Part 11: Chapter Eleven: Mathiu
Chapter Eleven: Mathiu
Seika was within view almost immediately after we crossed through the fortress. After looking around for a while, we decided to talk to people, looking for Mathiu.
We went up the stairs, and into Mathiu's house. There was nobody of any importance to be found, just children.
: Yes, I'm Mathiu. What can I do for you?
: We're here to honor Odessa's last request. SHe asked us to deliver this earring to you...
: Last request?.......... I-I see. So she's dead.... She was a fine young woman, but she got mixed up in that...
: That what? I don't like your tone of voice. What's wrong with what Odessa was doing?
: She was a fool. I knew it would come to this. I can't accept this earring. Please leave.
Mathiu went up to the steps to his house, but we weren't about to let him get away.
What were we going to do now? We left his house, pausing at his stairs.
: Me too. But why did Odessa ask us to see him?
: Those Imperial Soldiers went towards Mathiu's house.
: I wonder what's going on.
Curiosity got the better of us, and we went back up the stairs.
: Mathiu Silverberg. You are hereby ordered to return to duty in the Imperial Army. There's no reason why a fine doctor like you should be wasting your talent in this pathetic village. Why, you're a hero of the Battle of Kalekka.
: I refuse! I've had it with war. Nowadays I'm nothing but a poor recluse.
: We have been ordered by Lord Kasim Hazil to bring you with us by force, if necessary.
: I have no intention of returning to Imperial Service.
: Really? If you choose to be stubborn, there's no telling what will happen to this child. Say, maybe we'll send him to the Banaar Mines. Pretty hard labor there. Who knows if the kid will survive...
: No! No! Help me, doc! Help me!
: Let-let him go. Right now.
: Looks like trouble. What should we do, Young Master?
: Great. Let's do it.
: Oh my, trouble again. It's not easy serving you, Young Master.
: Come on, Cleo. I know you're about to enjoy yourself. Young Master, let's go.
: I don't know about that. Maybe if you agree to come with us, I'll let the kid go. How about it?
: Shut up!
: How dare you! Capture them all!
: Uh oh. Let's go, Tir.
: Who are you?
: Whoever they are, capture them.
Die, Imperial scum!
(In front of a children? )After the carnage was over, I went to speak to Mathiu in his home.
: How do I know? I still keep in touch with a few friends in the Imperial Army.
: Those Imperial soldiers, they called you Mathiu Silverberg...
: That's right. Odessa, Odessa Silverberg was my sister.
Then why did you say such terrible things about her?
: I decided that I would never again be involved in war, in killing. But not ODessa. She chose to fight for her beliefs. How did ODessa describe me?
: Just as a main in Seika named Mathiu...
: I see. I guess she never forgave me. Odessa told me that a powerful man who doesn't use his power is a coward. Yes, I am a coward. I would rather be called a coward than have to bear seeing that awful sight again. Even if it meant being rejected by my own sister.
: Awful sight?
: Watching people die from my own actions. Friend and enemy alike... But today..... I have realized something. Even if I close my eyes, the world will not disappear. From now on, I will strive for what Odessa was striving for.
: You'll accept this earring, then?
: Earring?... You should keep this.
: Look at it closely. There's a map inscribed in it that shows the location of the Liberation Army's hideout. Whoever holds this earring is destined to lead the Freedom Fighters.
: I believe she wanted you to have it.
: I am a talented military surgeon, but hardly the type to lead the Liberation Army. But You Tir, however, are a born leader. I'm sure Odessa realized that. That's why she wanted me to meet you. Please accept this earring, and live out your destiny as leader of the Freedom Fighters.
Freedom Fighters? They need to pick one name and stick with it.
: I see. It's a difficult decision, for sure. Take some time to think it over, and come back with your answer.
I thought about it long and hard, and returned to him.
: Tir. Have you made the decision to inherit Odessa's leadership?
: Thank you, Tir. From this moment on, you are the leader of the Liberation Army. Henceforth, I shall call you Master Tir.
: Gremio, Cleo, what will you do? You won't be able to return to the Empire.
: Wherever you go, I go, Young Master. Master Teo will forgive me. I'm sure.
: Me too. I've just about had it with the corrupt Empire.
: Master Tir. As your military surgeon, may I offer my first piece of advice. To revive the Liberation Army, we must recruit volunteers. People who are dissatisfied with the Empire. And to do so, we need a headquarters.
: You're right. Too bad the hideout at Lenankamp burned down.
When did that happen? I thought everybody was just killed... (Also, does Mathiu mean Strategist instead of surgeon? I know he's a doctor, too, but since when do surgeons give strategical advice?)
: I'm thinking of something much bigger. A place that can withstand an attack by the Imperial Army. There's an abandoned castle in the middle of Lake Toran that I believe would be perfect for our purposes. Why don't we make for Kaky, a town on the shores of the lake?
: Aren't you coming with us, Mathiu?
: I must prepare for the move. And I'll have to give the children a year's worth of homework.
I see what he did there. By "we" he meant "you". At any rate, we set out for Kaku, sans Mathiu. Along the way, we were accosted by some squirrels.
Die, Squirrel scum!
Uh oh, looks like that woman didn't appreciate what we did to her pets...
Well she can die too!
We made it to Kaku eventually, and headed towards the pub. After all, if I was going to find sailors to take me to the castle, they'd probably be there. There was a fiery-looking redhead at the bar who caught my eye...
: You! I've got you now, you bum!
Oh god, she was crazy!
: Wh-what is it? What have I d-done?
: What have you done? Ha! I've got you now! "I'll collect from your grave" is the debt collector's motto, and you'll never outrun Camille the She-Devil!
: What's all that about? Is she Gremio's friend?
: Well... I have no idea.
: Com on, gimme that money you owe me, right now! In cash! I've been looking for you for two months!
: Gremio, are you in debt?
: Goodness, of course not.
: Trying to lie your way out of this situation, eh? But I've got proof. Take a look at this!
: Hmmm... let me see. Oh, this is the bill for the banquet with Master Teo. I also owe something at the inn. What! You want me to pay this right now?
: That's right. Immediately! All of it!
: Let me see, Gremio. !!!!!!!!!!! L-listen, we're in a spot of trouble at the moment, and we're short of cash. By the way, young lady, you seem to be acquainted with Tai Ho.
: I know him.
: Can you tell us where he is?
: Sure, after you all pay up. After all, this is business.
: How about this, then. We have no money at the moment. But once we find Tai ho, we might have a way of getting some. As soon as we get some money, we'll pay you back.
: Hmmm... Hey! You're trying to trick me!
: Oh no, not at all.
: Damn these penniless bums. All right, so be it, then. But I'm sticking with you until you pay up.
We're actually totally loaded.
: So, where can we find Tai Ho?
: He's usually downstairs. Ask the shop keeper.
: We sure have recruited an odd one.
Well, if he was usually downstairs, there was no need to bother the shop keeper.
: That place is full of monsters. I'll be placing my life on the line to take you there. Tell you what. Since I'll be risking my life on this trip, you're going to have to make a correspondingly risky bet. You're going to have to bet all the money you have. Are you up to it?
Not all my money!
: You're smart. Go home to mommy.
I can't go home, and I don't know where my mom is...
: Here we go, then. Too late for regrets!
(This is the dice game. It's a little tricky to explain, but I'll do my best. Tai Ho and I take turns throwing three dice into a cup. The scoring system is pretty elaborate. I'll list out the scoring:
- Two of a Kind + any third number = Your score is the third number.
- Three of a Kind (Except One) = You win triple your bet
- Three of a Kind (One) = You lose triple your bet.
- Four, Five, Six = You win double your bet.
- One, Two, Three = You lose double your bet.
(I totally aced this. Also, 1,000 bits isn't anywhere near all of my money.)
: Well, you're lucky today. I tend to go along with lucky folk. Hey, Yam Koo, let's go prepare the boat.
: Sure, sure. Here we go again with Big Brother's madness.
: Hey, you guys. We'll be waiting at the docks.