Part 26: Chapter #14: Faulkner's Ambition, Part 1Chapter #14: Faulkner's Ambition
: Watch your backs! Duyere can strike in an instant if given the chance!
: Degalle's little brat won't deter me from the noble business of retaking this majestic city for the Kingdom!
: Have I ever told you what beautiful eyes you have, Bastion? I get lost in them sometimes...
You know, I'm starting to get the feeling that Bastion's either going to marry Reyna, or die by her hand.
: Did you hear Barlow's story about the death of his childhood pet, Snacky?! It was heartbreaking!
: Reyna just told me about a job I'd be great at! After the war, I'm going to be a full-time fudge-packer!
Huh. And here I had assumed that he was a bot- You know what, let's move on.
: Bastion, I must admit. If you need a laugh, talk to Andrew! There isn't a naughty joke he doesn't know!
: Your Highness, I have often dreamed of this day...the day when the capital would be ours again!
: I'm a sinful man, Bastion. Don't live your life the way I live mine. Besides, I don't want the competition...
: Bastion! Barlow just ate Kyu-Kyu's food! Doesn't he know it's made out of earthworms and tree moss?!
: I shall drink a toast to the dawn of my reign as the Emperor with a glass of your lifeblood! All units! Attack!
That's...not a lot of units. And they couldn't be weaker. The only challenge here will be keeping Bastion under level 18.
: Let us reclaim the royal capital, Your Highness!
A few turns of slaughter later...
: Where are the reinforcement ATACs from the palace?
: Not here yet, Emperor Duyere. If the time on their departure report was correct, they would have already arrived by now.
: If they are nothing more than tardy, punishment shall be severe.
A couple turns beyond that...
: Bodyguards, join me outside! Your precious Ultragunner will do you no good against the might of the Imperial Army. I will personally dismantle your royal armor, Prince Bastion!
: Look! Duyere has personally entered the battle!
And Duyere and his bodyguards almost immediately put themselves in a chokepoint against my numerically superior forces. The only way to lose this battle is if...actually, I don't know how you could lose unless you were deliberately throwing the fight.
Yeah, Duyere isn't quite up to snuff as a enemy. Here, Devlin manages to wallop him good. Duyere will run away at half-health, like always. It's possible to kill him outright, but you don't get much in the way of XP, and the cash isn't really worth it to be honest.
: Emperor Duyere! Without our reinforcements, this battle has become too dangerous! We must retreat immediately!
: I cannot flee from my first battle as the new Emperor! That would set a very poor example indeed!
: Emperor, you don't understand! There must be a connection between the missing reinforcements...And the assassination of your father! If we leave now, you can determine what the connection is!
: Of course! I was just thinking that. I will neither forget nor forgive this day, Kingdom Army! Ultimate victory will belong to the Junaris Empire! The Continent shall be OURS!
And then he flees, taking his chief bodyguard with him. Time for a quick clean-up!
: Duyere escaped!
: Now is our chance to storm the city! Follow me!
Looting for all!
Meanwhile, Duyere and his bodyguard run away.
: How are you faring, Your Majesty?
: My power output is down to sixty percent, but the leg actuators are still fully operational.
: I was referring to you, not your ATAC, M'lord.
: Oh. I'm fine, Chief Matisse. Slightly shaken up, but alright otherwise. I apologize for the way in which you must constantly clean up my messes. I...I don't think I'm meant to lead.
Well, I got to give him credit for coming to that conclusion before the total destruction of the Empire.
: That is not true, Your Majesty! You simply have yet to learn the methods of your father's greatness. You will be a great Emperor, Duyere. The Junaris Empire shall grow and prosper under your rule.
: Faulkner, we were forced to retreat because your reinforcements did not arrive! Explain yourself!
: I have no need to explain my actions to anyone...least of all, a dead man.
: What are you talking about?! As the Emperor, I demand that you answer his question!
: Alright, Duyere, I'll humor you one final time. The reinforcements never arrived because I never sent them.
: What the hell is this?! What are these soldiers doing?!
: Duyere, I am placing you under arrest for conspiracy in the murder of your father, Emperor Degalle.
: Faulkner, this is ludicrous! Duyere had no role in his father's death, and you very well know it!
: Matisse is correct! I loved my father! I continue to grieve his passing! Bringing false charges against me is treason, Faulkner! You shall be executed for your crime!
: Oh, but I have overwhelming evidence that you DID order your father killed. I have the assassin's confession. You are no longer an Emperor, Duyere, but merely a criminal who will say anything to escape justice.
: Of course...Of course! Your Majesty, I beg your forgiveness! I should have realized it sooner! It's so obvious to me now!
: All that is obvious to me is the utter insanity of this situation!
: Don't you see, Your Majesty?! Faulkner is the one who had your father murdered! He's responsible for all of this!
Not....the world's most shocking revelation, but sure.
: What?! Is this true, Faulkner?!
: You are a very smart man, Matisse. It is obvious to why Emperor Degalle entrusted his life to you. If only you had been smart enough to cast your lot with me instead of the Emperor's simpleton son. It is truly a pity that you must die.
: Gwahh! Your Majesty, I'm sorry...!
: Damn you, Faulkner!! You unconscionable bastard! After all my father did on your behalf, you would betray him?! This is your end, Faulkner! I will kill you or die trying!! What?! My ATAC has shut down?! Damn it all!!
: Now you understand why I always inspect my ATAC very closely before heading into battle. It's far too easy for someone to place a series of easily activated overrides into your ATAC's systems.
Yeah, apparently computer programming is all the rage in the medieval setting of Vanguard Bandits. They also have electric lutes!
: Curse you, Faulkner!
: Escort the prisoner to the palace.
: No! NO!!!
Next Time: Devlin picks a fight he cannot possibly win!