Part 67: A distinct odor of cheeseTime to wrap up our recruitment for the time being.
As you may recall, Norma and Ernst were looking for a wizard. Personally I think Jeane would probably be the best fit in their case, but...
I sense powerful magic! It's emanating from that cat!
He's not a "cat"! He's a leopard!
Semantics, dear girl! Anyway, the cat appears to be bearing a mysterious Rune!
You can tell?!
Wait! Are you the amazing wizard I've been searching for?!
...Where does everyone keep getting that? I keep telling people, I'm a Rune magic scholar! Not a wizard!
So it IS you! Please! Can you help Ernst?!
They make a pretty good fit... I guess...
I'm sorry if I've given you a shock. As you can see, I'm actually human. But ever since the day I bore that Rune, I've been like this...
Hmmm... It must be a property of the Beast Rune... But I've never seen THIS type of Rune before!
Ernst's rune is called the Beast Rune. Not to be confused with the Beast Rune.
To change form entirely! Remarkable! Where did you find such a rare artifact?
It's all my fault! It's my fault you were taken over by the Rune!
No! I keep telling you not to blame yourself!
Fascinating! I must have that Rune!
Don't tell me you're refusing?! You have some objection?
Now is no time to be stingy!
No, that's not it! We don't even want the Rune! We've been trying to get rid of it! The whole problem is that we can't even take it off in the first place! We asked a Rune Master to remove it, but he said it was being held on with magic, and that we'd need the help of a wizard. Why else would we be looking for an amazingly strong wizard?! If you can get it off, then please, keep it!
Hmmm... Very well.
Well, that certainly simplifies matters! I'll remove the Rune, making it my own!
However, it can't be done immediately. I'll have to conduct some research first!
"Research"? You're not gonna... hurt him, are you?
Are you even listening?! How could I hurt him by doing research?
Okay, please help us!
Prince Frey, please take these two to Salzburg Castle.
Thanks! This means so much to us! I'm sorry for the hassle, but I know there must be some way we can help you, too, Your Highness!
Another two-star combo! We're on a roll.
...Nah, it couldn't be...
The two of them take up residence near the base of the tower where we have the inn and bath. Sorry Norma, but I'm like 98% certain the Sindar are responsible for all your troubles.
They're some very... visible... troubles.
Levi's not even looking into Ernst's Rune! Some "amazing wizard" he turned out to be...
He's kind of an ass. I'd still ask Jeane if I were you.
Oh yeah, and I picked up another window set in Doraat. It's not quite as eye-blistering as the last one, but I'm not a fan.
We're going back to the dark blue one. I like this one.
I had hoped at least Sagiri and Shigure would forget about the past. It seems now I was hoping in vain. I guess I'm going to have to settle things once and for all.
Oh yeah, and Oboro is finally back now that the Doraat siege is over.
If you have something to say, tell it to Oboro. He can fill me in after my nap.
And so, of course, are his assistants.
I think I'm... tired.
I guess the lot of you worked pretty hard.
Well, it was true that Lelcar was set aflame.
Oboro has multiple lines before he'll get back to filling his main function.
Thank you, Your Highness! This is a magnificent room! Don't worry, my mice are all well trained. I'll make sure they don't dirty the room.
...we can get back to snooping. This is around the point where I tend to forget about Oboro's exístence, but I'll try to keep the reports coming.
We'll busy ourselves while he's working on the next case.
Well, I became Levi's apprentice because I wanted to see all this great magic and whatnot. But once we came here, I found out there are lots of other people who can show me magic for free!
I guess that's true.
And then I started wondering why Levi had me digging for orbs all the time, instead of teaching me anything...
Yeah, I know what you mean. My master made me forge all this stupid stuff for his rails -- oh, but it wasn't slavery, it was "training." And, yeah, I learned a few things, but still, Master just kept sticking me with all the grunt work.
Hmm, yeah. Guess you've had a hard time too, huh?
What about you Gadget Boy? I'm sure you have your share of beefs you wanna talk about. Go ahead and tell us!
Aw, c'mon! We know your master treats you like a beast of burden.
You don't have to hold back, you know. We're all apprentices here! You can tell us anything!
N-No, really. I really don't have anything to say! Professor Babbage is a really great inventor! I'm lucky to be his apprentice.
Yeah, really sad.
Huh? What is?
So very, very sad...
Dongo: He's being overworked and he's not even mad about it. He's a brainwashed slave, right down to his empty, hollow core.
Bergen: And the saddest part of all? He doesn't even realize it.
No bath is complete without toy... beavers?! Wait, what the hell?
Out of nowhere, let's take a trip to Sable!
A thief appears to have broken in last night. As for what he took, though... Well, that part's a bit odd.
What was stolen?
It's very peculiar. Gold and other valuables are not kept in this building, you see. But for some reason, the thief made off with our family tree. Yet we've only belonged to the aristocracy since my grandfather's generation, so it has no value.
Are there any witnesses?
In these tumultuous times, we've posted guards on watch at night. But they didn't see so much as a shadow. And this appears to be the only home in town that was broken into. But we've got to figure out the identity of this crook. Who knows when or where he'll strike next?
I'll say! This seems to be a job for a detective or something. I wonder if I could find one.
While Oboro drags himself back from his latest investigation, Frey takes an opportunity to fix up his room a little. This is a plum bonsai.
And finally he's back.
An unknown thief broke in to Lord Raulbel's mansion? Well, that sounds like detective business. Why don't you tell me all about it?
"Crow" is the nickname of a mysterious thief. Let's see... No witnesses, an aristocratic target...
...and nothing stolen except for a family tree. That's Crow's modus operandi, all right.
Detective Oboro has caught Crow before. Quite recently, in fact. Unfortunately, Crow escaped, and he's been laying low ever since. Until now, that is.
Prince, what do you want to do about it? Should we try to nab him again?
Good. I've been itching to get another crack at Crow ever since he escaped.
First, we'll need some bait. Maybe somebody in this castle has a family tree.
Shigure, go with the Prince and search for some bait.
What? Why me?! Man, what a pain...
Shigure! Do your job!
Okay, already! Damn... No need to get all testy on me, lady.
A family tree? Members of the aristocracy tend to have them.
No one told me about this! I want one, too!
Hmm, no, I'm thinking more aristocrazy here.
Why of course! Of course! Fully one-hundred generations of Aethelbalds, fully documented right here! Go ahead, have a look!
But what do you need this for? To catch a thief of aristocratic histories? Of course! I insist!!!
That couldn't have gone better!
It's a keepsake that helps me remember the indignities suffered by us at the hands of those FILTHY GODWIN DEVILS!
Sometimes, I think it's all I have left.
You're somewhat depressing, Egbert.
Well, isn't this interesting...? This family tree goes back one hundred generations. Even the Queen's family tree only goes back thirty... Fascinating. Might be just the bait we need to clip this Crow's wings.
Now, we'll ask Taylor to spread the word about our bait, then the trap'll be set.
And now there's a special issue.
The Dawn Times - Special Issues posted:
Aethelbald Family Tree Discovered posted:Prince Frey recently acquired a chart of the Aethelbald family tree. Even though the Aethelbalds fell into ruin 100 years ago, they are still considered one of the most prestigious families in all of Falena, as one can trace their lineage to the country's founding.
The family's brilliant history is gloriously inscribed in the chart that His Highness obtained. The family tree is deemed priceless as both a museum piece and a historical artifact.
However, a mysterious thief known only as "Crow" has been targeting the family trees of the aristocracy recently, so the Prince has asked the detective Oboro to safeguard the precious Aethelbald chart.
"This 'Crow' is nothing more than a third-rate thief," Oboro said, his lips forming a confident smile. "I've caught him in the act before, and I'll do it again. Believe me, the Prince has got nothing to worry about!" With such an experienced detective on the case, it appears the Prince can rest easy.
Ah, no need to worry! Not a false word in the article, and it was fun writing it up! Next, I just need to spread this around a few town!
When Crow sees this, he's sure to come after Egbert's family tree. All we have to do now is sit back, relax, and wait for him to show up on our doorstep.
It's gonna be good. I can tell.
I-It's probably all some kind of mistake! Please cheer up!
Behold, Gizel. The results of your schemes. People trying to cheer me up.
Anyway. I feel kinda weird having to go to the inn when Frey has a perfectly useable bed in his own room, but that's the way they want it.
Pardon the late hour. It looks like our bird has taken the bait. He's trapped in the storage room. Let's go say hello.
With that Rune, he's completely invisible in dim light. Did I forget to mention that? Must have slipped my mind. That's why we had to trap him in this small storage room.
Even though we can't see him, we should be able to find him if we grope around a bit.
I... I'm not sure I should be involved in this. I mean, I'm still so young!
Let's go! Before this bird flies the coop!
Anyway, we have to go "grope around" the storage, without, naturally, seeing anyone anywhere. (music)
'course, catching an invisible dude who can see you coming isn't exactly an easy task.
???: Wah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah! Oboro! I win this time! Idiot!
Is he outside?!
???: Wah hah hah hah hah hah hah! You'll never catch me, you stupid detec--
Ow ow ow ow!
Ah, it's the requisite Extremely Loudly Dressed Ninja! Can't have a Suikoden without one!
How ya doin', Crow?
We meet again.
Oboro: The Raven Rune only works in dim lighting. We can see you, plain as day. The game's up, Crow.
I sprinkled grated cheese on the scroll of the family tree.
I desperately want to say something, but I can't think of anything that would make this better than it already is.
Why, you...! This mouse bit my finger!
Give it up, Crow! You're caught.
Stop calling me "Crow"! My name is Raven! Why would I be called "Crow" when I have the RAVEN Rune?! Idiot!!!
Whatever. A black bird's a black bird. Now, come along quietly, Crow.
Really? By my count, this is already the second time you've been caught by this particular "aristocrat's lackey."
Why you... Shut up! Let me out of here! Let me out, or suffer my wrath!
What do you think, Prince? Should we let him out?
Cool off in the dungeon for a while!
...is what I'd say if I had one. But this room will have to do.
That's the verdict, Crow. Time for you to do some soul searching.
Not in THIS lifetime, Oboro! I'll get out of here! And when I do, you're all gonna pay!
Well, case closed, fellows. Let's go back to our rooms and get some rest.
Well, then, have another great day!
It's a beautiful morning.
Except... Is there some reason that it has a distinct odor of cheese about it? Or is it just my imagination?
Egbert, old pal, you have one hell of an imagination. You tell me.
...we can go pick on Crow a bit.
Never! Let me out of here!
He doesn't take it too well
We request your assistance.
Let's try the other one.
Well, actually... I'll consider it. But under one condition... Bring Oboro here!
Heh heh... There you are, Oboro! Now, let me see you beg! I'll consider joining the Prince if you bow your head and beg like you mean it! Well? Don't be shy! Wah hah hah hah hah hah!
What? Is that all?
O Great Raven, please lend us your uncanny stealth and unmatched wits, I humbly beg of you.
How could you...?! Don't you have any shame?!
Argggggh! How can you be so smug, even when you're begging me?`
What? Not enough? Should I get down on my hands and knees next, Raven?
Aw, forget it! What's the damn point?
Well, I'm a criminal of my word. I, Raven, the unmatched master thief, shall grant you my services! I assure you, you can't begin to imagine how privileged you are! Wah hah hah hah hah hah hah!
Three out of three ninjas recruited. Of course they have a unite together, but you know, Sagiri, killing things.
Raven's... Raven Rune... makes him dodge all attacks that can be evaded until he's struck by something that can't. Seems a bit of a waste of a slot, given ninja dodging skills.
He also has the Thief skill, which makes him nab Potch when attacking.
Is that what his name is? That guy who just trashed my workplace? Prince, please tell him to come down here and clean up!
Finally, let's go through the day's mail.
She showed me her puppet show. It was really cool!
We became friends when we were performing in the Island Nations. I'm thrilled to be able to see her again!
All I said to her was "Wow, your armor is so cool. It's making me hot!" And then, just like that, that guy glued to her hip started waving his sword! Do something about him, knave!
No, no, I have front row seats and I'm not gonna miss this for the world.
I had no idea I'd run into them here! What a pleasant surprise!
We're all the bestest of buds. Now, was there something else...
...why doesn't anyone tell me these things?!
Please, Your Highness! This is the ONLY person who can help us! I'm sorry for the hassle, but I know there must be some way we can help you, too, Your Highness!
Being a dick to
This is not canon.