“How is he?” Cecil asked, looking up as the White Mage entered the room.
“He’s resting better now,” Porom answered, brushing the hem of her robe off with one hand. “Master Golbez has amazing resilience. I think with a little sleep, he’ll be back up on his feet in a short time.”
“I’m glad…” the Paladin answered. He outwardly relaxed with the knowledge that his brother would be okay.
The girl gave a soft smile. She looked pleased at his show of concern… which was assuredly real.
Golbez may be a Master Wizard… and he may be tough. But he was up against a lot in the Crystal Room.
With the destruction of the Crystal of Wind right there in the same chamber, it was a wonder any of them made it through. But somehow they had managed to contain the damage and the Elemental Dragon’s attack to a small area of the Fabulian fortress.
I guess things could have been a lot worse. Though Yang’s throne room is going to need some work now.
Always one to look on the bright side, the Fabulian King simply waved the matter away as his wife had stated frankly that the throne room needed redecoration anyhow. All in all, the victory was somewhat bittersweet. A lot of men had been lost in fighting the Daear, but once the tide of battle had turned, they had been able to destroy most, if not all, of the invading forces. They had lost another Elemental Crystal, but caught the Crystal thief and reclaimed Incrytan.
I still don’t know how we did all that.
The Crystal thief was nothing more than a little girl. At least, that was the appearance she gave. But since she was a Lunar, Cecil knew that looks could be deceiving.
It’s the first time I’ve seen another Lunar… outside of Uncle Fu.
The situation was a tricky one. As much as Cecil didn’t like to imprison someone before knowing the full story, there wasn’t really much else that they could do in this case. The girl only spoke in the Lunar language with a very few, random words in Common that anyone could understand. That meant that Golbez was the only one in the city that could speak to her and find out what the story really was.
And Golbez has been under intensive care… and will be until we’re sure he will recover well enough from the strains of the last battle.
So, for now, the Lunar girl had been mageloked and placed in holding until they could figure out what was the best that could be done with her.
Afterall… a lot of people have died because of the destruction that the Crystals have created. And if she was really the one that took Golbez’s Crystal and caused all of this… then the question remains… what to do about it.
But Cecil tried not to think about that too much. There were too many other things on his mind.
“Yo, Cecil!” came the shout from across the hall. A shout that could only belong to one person.
The Paladin’s head swiveled around as Edge strode into the room, waving a rolled up scroll excitedly. The Ninja spent no time in making his way over, quickly shoving the parchment into Cecil’s hands.
“An Airship just arrived – I’m pretty sure it’s one of the Red Wings,” Edge informed him quickly.
“The Red Wings? From Baron?” Cecil was already working to open the seal on the scroll. The Paladin could feel his heartbeat rising, thrumming in the back of his head as he anxiously unrolled the paper.
Rosa… I hope everything is okay. I know you were under attack. I know I should have gone back home to support the battle efforts. I’m not sure what I’ll do if something has happened to Baron.
“What does it say? What does it say?” Edge was crowding over his left shoulder like an overgrown child.
“I’m trying to find out,” the Paladin informed him calmly. “Can I read it?”
“I thought that was the point?” the Ninja replied crisply, continuing to invade on personal space.
Porom rolled her eyes with a little frown. If she was anxious at all to find out the wellbeing of her brother, she was good at keeping it hidden.
Finally Cecil held the scroll out and between Edge’s random interruptions, managed to skim it enough to get an idea of what it was about. His expression must have changed, because both of his companions were leaning forward with an intense look of interest.
“Cecil,” Porom finally broke, “What does it say?”
“Baron was attacked by the Daear army,” the Paladin began to summarize, skimming the letter yet again.
“But the attacking forces were successfully fended off. Baron won the battle with surprisingly little casualties. And just like here, the Daear were completely obliterated… by… something,” Cecil squinted at the paper.
“Something?” Edge asked.
“Yeah. Rosa doesn’t seem to know exactly what it was… and she can’t get a confirmation from any of the men either. They just know that something intervened… and it seemed like a bright, white light.”
“Strange,” Porom tapped her chin.
“So they won?” the Ninja King echoed.
“Yeah, they did?” Cecil’s smile was deeply relieved. Then he turned towards Edge with upraised eyebrows, “And it seems as if they’ve recovered Rydia as well.”
“They what?” Edge’s voice lifted an octave as his whole body drew upright, rigid. “They found Rydia? Is she alright?”
“I’m assuming so. Rosa didn’t say that she was hurt. So, I guess everything must be fine,” the Paladin replied.
“Well… then what are we waiting for!”
“What are you talking about?” Cecil frowned.
“Fabul is secure. We’ve taken back Incrytan. We’ve caught the Crystal thief. Baron won the battle. And Rydia is back in Baron,” Edge began to tick off things on his fingers. “Why are we hanging around here. There’s one of your ships outside! Let’s go?”
“Edge…” Porom intoned seriously. “Master Golbez is in no condition to be moving just yet.”
“Not to mention we don’t really know what we’re going to do with the Crystal thief yet,” Cecil added.
“What’s to think about?” the Ninja snuffed. “She stole. She killed. She has to pay the price.”
“Is that the kind of justice you rule your kingdom with?” the Paladin grumbled.
“It’s fair? You do something wrong, you face the consequences,” Edge crossed his arms. “How many people have to die? How many cities have to be leveled? How many wars have to rage? What does it take before someone is held accountable for their actions?”
Cecil shot the Eblanian a warning look. There was no doubt he was making references to Golbez.
“Well, in this case, we don’t know the whole story yet,” the Paladin murmured. “And until we do, I don’t think it’s fair to sentence anyone to punishment.”
“Oh, and ironically, the only person that can speak the thief’s language is Golbez?” Edge crossed his arms and leaned back in a motion of discontent.
“Sure is funny, don’t you think? Maybe it’s all a cover up?”
The Ninja waggled his finger, “Maybe she’s working for Golbez and all of this was jus–”
“Edge!” Cecil gritted his teeth with a sharp tone. “Don’t even suggest that! I won’t for a single moment believe that my brother set any of this up! He has sacrificed just as much as we have to see that this situation came to an end.”
Finally, the Eblanian King closed his mouth. But he shook his head showing his disagreement.
“If you want to fly back to Baron with the ship, be my guest,” the Paladin’s tone was exasperated and firm. “I won’t keep you from it.”
“What about you?” came the solemn question.
“I’m not leaving here until I know my brother can leave with me,” Cecil replied. “And until I know that the girl we threw in the dungeon will get a fair chance to tell her story. No matter her origins. No matter the situation. She has a right to be heard.”
Edge pursed his lips, grey eyes watching his companion for a long time. He wrinkled his nose a few times and paced the hall a bit. But when he finally turned back around, he gave a long sigh, “Fine. I’ll stick around for a little while longer.”
“Are you sure?” the Paladin asked. He knew more likely than not, Edge would really want to see Rydia. Just as much as he wanted to see Rosa.
“Yeah. I’m here for the long haul, Cecil. Don’t you ever forget that.”
Cecil peered over at him. As much as the Eblanian could be a real annoyance…. Sometimes… just sometimes… Edge could really be a good friend, too.