Ross: Um... Ahem. Are you Sir Gerik by any chance?
Gerik: What do you want, boy?
Ross: Oh, my name is Ross. I'm the son of warrior Garcia.
Gerik: I see...... So, Ross, are you an axeman?
Ross: Yeah! Don't be fooled by my appearance. I'm actually pretty good.
Gerik: Ha ha ha! If you say so.
Ross: Well, I think so. But it's important to keep improving.
Gerik: Why is that so important to you?
Ross: My father is such an amazing warrior. I've always wanted to be worthy of the title "son of Garcia." And I want to be able to go home and rebuild my village. After that, I want to go on a voyage and train in the open ocean. And after that, I'd like to go back home. To do all this, I need to be the best warrior I can be.
Gerik: Those are admirable goals. I'll help you out sometime.
Ross: How? You'll give me a lesson? Are you serious? That's great!
Gerik: I might not be able to beat your father, but I could teach you a thing or two. Why don't you try landing a hit on me?
Ross: That'd be great! But before we start, let me go practice on those guys first!
Gerik: It's great that he's so eager to learn, but he's really not ready to go solo yet!
Gerik: Ross, didn't you say that you wanted to go on an ocean voyage to train yourself? The sea is a great place to train because it strengthens both the mind and body.
Ross: Have you ever been on a voyage?
Gerik: Of course. I've escorted many commercial ships before. It's embarrassing, but I got seasick for the first few days. That was very painful. But I got used to it in a few days. It was a long trip. Nature was more brutal than the enemies who pursued us. But after the voyage ended, I realized that I grew up a lot. The sea is an amazing combination of brutality and expansiveness.
Ross: Now I definitely want to go on a sea voyage.
Gerik: By the way, Ross, how's your injury from our last session?
Ross: Oh, that little thing? It healed right up!
Gerik: Ha ha ha... You sure are tough, boy!
Ross: Sir Gerik?
Ross: What should I do to be strong like you?
Gerik: That's a tough question... I would have to say that it's all in the mind.
Gerik: If your desire to win is stronger than your opponent's, you've already won. Your mind is your most important weapon.
Ross: Come to think of it, I have noticed that. At our last lesson, before we even started, I was thinking that I could never win. I guess it was like admitting defeat before even trying. All right! You've convinced me! I'll start strengthening my mind as well as my axe skills. Thank you, Sir Gerik. I can't wait until our next lesson!
Gerik: His energy is refreshing, but I must teach him patience next time.
Gerik: What are you talking about? Just use a stronger axe to beat a sword.
Ross: That's not what I mean! I want to be strong enough to split a silver sword with an iron axe.
Gerik: Your father...
Ross: What about him?
Gerik: He could defeat many swordsmen with just one axe.
Ross: So you've seen him in battle?
Gerik: Just once. He was leading a unit of the Renais army. He was swinging his axe at the front line.
Ross: Wow, my dad was really strong, wasn't he!
Gerik: He was more than just strong. He was like a war god. I have to be honest with you, Ross. I was on his enemy side at the time.
Gerik: I was a mercenary hired by the other side. It was a fierce battle against Garcia's unit, and we ultimately had to retreat. Come to think of it, this is a perfect example of the power of the mind. You see, I was so intimidated by Garcia that I had lost even before I started. That was an unforgettable failure for me. After that, I swore to myself that I would be as strong as him with a sword.
Ross: Wow, I can't believe Dad beat you down like that! He's the greatest. But you're pretty great, too.
Gerik: Someone who lost to your father?
Ross: Yeah! You might have lost that time, but you became a great swordsman because of it! OK. I'm going to stop moping around. From this moment on, I swear that someday I will destroy swords with my axe. You are my witness, Sir Gerik!
Gerik: Truly, you are the son of the warrior Garcia.
Ross: That's not all! I'm also the best student of the master swordsman Gerik!
Gerik: When did you become my student?
Ross: When I met you! Oh! Enemy detected! I'll catch you later! Give me another lesson someday, Sir Gerik. I'll be much stronger by then, and maybe I'll win a match with you!
Joshua: You're Gerik, right? Head of that band of mercenaries?
Gerik: Where's your respect? I've got a title. Use it.
Joshua: Oh... My mistake. Pardon me. I'm Joshua. I heard you once commanded a band of over a hundred mercenaries. I've been wanting to talk to you.
Gerik: Huh. So that's what you've heard, is it? You look a bit on the rough side. Yeah, I can see it in your eyes. You're no ordinary swordsman, are you?
Joshua: ...It's just like they said. You're a natural leader. Commanding and observant—it's a rare combination.
Gerik: Ah, thanks. So what brings you over here, anyway? Didn't just come here to say hello, did you?
Joshua: You ARE a sharp one.
Gerik: Not half as sharp as your sword, from what I've seen out there.
Joshua: Actually, I'm here with an offer, but I didn't want to rush into it. I'd hate to mess this one up. I can't go into the details just now, but it's a big job. I'm guessing it'll pay pretty well, too.
Gerik: I see. Well, you have me curious. I'm looking forward to hearing your offer.
Gerik: Is that you, Joshua? So, I hear you like to gamble.
Joshua: You hear right. Care to try your luck?
Gerik: Ha ha ha. I'll pass. But tell me, why do you like gambling so much?
Joshua: I've got my reasons. Mostly, I just like to believe in my own luck.
Joshua: Oh, yeah... See, you can have all the skill in the world and still have a bad day. It doesn't take much for the most fortunate man around to have a fall. A royal family at the height of their power gets betrayed, and that's the end. It's life really, innit?
Gerik: Hmm... You've got a point there. But you know, Joshua, you don't want to use luck as an excuse. Don't blame luck if you lose a fight. Blame yourself, but not luck. Renais didn't fall because of bad fortune. It was malice that did it. You're right—there's good luck and bad, but it's no excuse for failure.
Joshua: Well, that's a good point you've got there. But I think I'll just keep believing in my luck for now.
Gerik: Whatever works for you. If you're an even match against someone, sure, luck is a factor. But you're not counting on luck alone, are you? You're a fine swordsman, and that isn't all luck's doing there.
Joshua: You are far too observant. We're lucky you're on our side.
Gerik: That's the best compliment a mercenary can get.
Joshua: Call it a hunch, but I think this is the start of a long friendship.
Gerik: You think so, huh? I wonder if that's just a lucky guess.
Gerik: Hey, Joshua, I don't mind a little friendly gambling with my men, but would you mind not fleecing them too much? It's demoralizing.
Joshua: Hm? Oh, you're talking about those guys? Man! They wore me out! They just kept losing and losing and losing, and they still wouldn't give up! If they'll risk so much on a bet, they might risk too much in a battle. You're their commander. You should have a word with them.
Gerik: Ha ha ha... Good point. I'll talk to the boys. But, Joshua... I'm going to have to win back the money that you took from my men.
Joshua: It's about time! I've been waiting for you to put the challenge to me.
Gerik: Oh, I'll do more than just challenge you.
Joshua: So if you win, I'll cough up your men's money. And if I win...
Gerik: What's it going to be? Come on, out with it.
Joshua: I want you to join me when this war is over.
Gerik: ...That's all you want? Well, it doesn't sound like your standard mercenary assignment, but you've piqued my interest. This sounds like a big bet. I'm not sure I get what you're after in all this, but... Fine. You've got a bet.
Joshua: Great, then let's go... How 'bout we flip a coin?
Gerik: That's it? I'm wagering my life on a coin toss? Eh, why not? Flip it.
Joshua: Heads or tails? What's your call?
Joshua: Which leaves me with tails. ...Here it goes... Hup!
Joshua: ...Ready to see what it is? ... Look! It's tails!
Gerik: I won. Now, let me have the men's money back.
Joshua: ...Wait, you called heads...
Gerik: I sure did. But you cheated. Open your left hand. There—you palmed the coin and swapped in a fake one.
Joshua: ... You ARE observant. Not a lot of people can see through that. You're right. You win. Here, I'll give you back the money.
Gerik: Ha ha ha. Thanks, Joshua. I'll get this back to the men.
Joshua: Mind if I ask how you found me out? I like to think I've gotten pretty good at that trick.
Gerik: Before I became a mercenary, gambling was my one true love in life. I've had to learn how to see through a LOT of tricks in my day.
Joshua: So, wait... You just pretended not to be interested in gambling? You're really something. You pulled a fast one on me. Today's not my--
Gerik: Not your lucky day? Don't say that, Joshua. You were just out of your league is all.
Joshua: I'm starting to think maybe I was. But then again, maybe not... Maybe today was just YOUR lucky day.
Gerik: Ha ha ha... I like your enthusiasm. And I'm glad you appreciate my gambling prowess.
Joshua: I haven't given up on you yet. When this war is over, let's have us a quick duel. If I win, you come work for me.
Gerik: You're on. Just make sure you stay alive until then.
Innes: Gerik... I'm sorry you had to see that ugly side of me.
Gerik: Huh? What do you mean?
Innes: At Renvall, when you stayed by me. If not for your loyalty, I would have fallen into the hands of those mercenaries.
Gerik: Ah, well, that's my job, innit? But what's your point? This is unlike you, Prince.
Innes: I've guided men into battle countless times before that day. I've always tried to be a model commander, to guide others by my example. But...I found that many of my soldiers wanted a less severe example to follow.
Gerik: Ha ha ha...
Innes: But you're different. I've known that from the day we first met. How do you stay so composed in the heat of battle?
Gerik: I don't know how to answer that... I suppose it's just in my nature. Long discussions on the battlefield, however, are not. Let's go already.
Innes: Nice work, Gerik... I see the Desert Tiger is still as fierce as ever.
Gerik: I can't believe my skill with the blade is known in circles as high as yours. Let me tell you, I didn't get into this line of work because I like fighting. It was a twist of fate that started me on this path...
Innes: Really? But I've heard of your fame from no less a person than my father. He tells me your name was once known from shore to shore on this continent.
Gerik: The past is the past. I was just doing what I had to. If I hadn't, I never would have survived. But there's something about combat that just doesn't agree with my nature.
Innes: If that's the case, why are you with these mercenaries?
Gerik: Ahh... The answer is so simple, you'll probably laugh. Back when I was a kid, a friend from my village said he wanted to be a mercenary. He said he was going to be famous, the greatest warrior in all the land. No matter how many times I told him to give it up, he wouldn't listen to me. Well, one day, he left for Jehanna. I didn't know what else to do, so I went with him and joined the guild, too. Stupid reason, isn't it? Anyway... I didn't particularly like fighting, and while I wasn't opposed to the money, I certainly wasn't in it for fame... I just couldn't let my friend go off and get killed.
Innes: And where is this friend now?
Gerik: He went off and got killed.
Innes: I see...
Gerik: So there was no reason for me to continue being a mercenary... But then there were other men who I considered to be my friends. I couldn't bring myself to abandon them... And so the years passed and here I am. The thing is I can't stand to see my friends die. But if you're in this business long enough, people around you get killed. It happens. The only thing you can do is keep moving forward and try not to think about it. So... Yes, I'd have a problem if you got yourself killed. I've got no place else to go, and I'm tired of trying to forget.
Innes: Hmph... Do you really think I'd lose so easily? It won't do for you to underestimate me.
Innes: There's something I've always assumed to be true... Those born to royalty cannot show others any weaknesses or deficiencies. If they're not perfect at all times, their enemies will take advantage of them.
Gerik: Yeah? So?
Innes: But meeting you has made me rethink that belief. My father told me before I left that I should watch you and learn from you. At the time, I believed there was nothing a mercenary could teach me. Now I know better. I am thankful to both my father and you.
Gerik: That's enough of that. In my opinion, you're much finer than I could ever be. The way you live, your manners, and your bearing... I could never pull it off.
Innes: Me? What do you mean?
Gerik: Look at you! You're full of confidence. You've got pride. When I first met you, I thought, "What a high-handed dandy."
Innes: Did you just call me...a dandy?
Gerik: But that's just who you are. Being proud is not always a bad thing. You must have worked yourself near to death to preserve that pride. What I mean is that you never make excuses for losing or being beaten up. No matter the pain you face or hardship, you keep on fighting to honor that pride. It's what defines you, and I can't say that I don't admire it.
Innes: It comes naturally. I will be king one day, and I will make Frelia the greatest nation in all the world. It will be a wonderful kingdom of wealth and power. When that day comes, I will command you to become general and lead Frelia's armies. No, I'll have you come and ask me to make you general.
Tethys: Oh, Chief. Things are as fine as one could expect. But I've been dancing so much I've worked up quite a sweat. At this rate I may even lose a few inches off of my waistline. Who knows, maybe my figure will be even more alluring than before.
Gerik: Ha ha ha! Well, I'm not sure that's even possible, but keep up the good work. Your dancing has had quite a restorative effect on the troops.
Tethys: Really? I'm happy to hear it. I must keep dancing then, mustn't I? Oh, I almost forgot, Chief. I have good news, and then I have better news.
Gerik: What's the good news?
Tethys: I hear today's meal is one of your favorites, herbed stew.
Gerik: Oh, that is good news! It's been quite a while since I've had any. And the even better news?
Tethys: In this next battle, you'll get your hands on some sort of an incredible treasure.
Gerik: A treasure?
Tethys: Yes, that's right, some sort of treasure.
Gerik: Ha ha ha! I see. I don't know what it might be, but I can't wait for it. Nor for today's meal.
Tethys: I'm going to continue dancing a bit longer so as to work up a healthy appetite.
Gerik: So tell me, Tethys, when did you first start dancing?
Tethys: Oh... Well, that would have been...
Gerik: Hm? What's the matter?
Tethys: Um, well... Yes, it was long ago. Back when Ewan was still young.
Gerik: What is it, Tethys?
Tethys: ...I'm sorry, Chief. I'll explain it another time. Can we drop it for now?
Tethys: Chief. The truth is, Ewan and I? We were abandoned by our parents.
Gerik: ... Oh, I see...
Tethys: Um... I wandered about with little Ewan in tow. He had no idea what was happening. I was a child myself with no job. We went to bed hungry every night, and our clothes were rags...
Tethys: Then one day I said to myself, "We cannot go on like this!" I watched a dancer on a street corner and memorized all of her moves. I wasn't a very coordinated child and it was so difficult. I didn't have real shoes, so my feet were a mess of blisters, and I fell so many times I was covered in cuts and bruises. It was painful. And miserable. And very, very difficult. But I never cried. Because if were to cry, he would cry. And I loved seeing Ewan's smiling face. I wanted him to smile all the time, so I worked hard so he could.
Tethys: Tee hee hee. What a sad and miserable tale. I'm sorry. I was reminded of it all just recently, and I was overcome with emotion... But that's how I earned the dancing skills and physique I have now! All of the hard work I did back then has made me the woman I am today. What do you say to that?
Gerik: I'm not sure what to say. So before you met up with us, the two of you had a rough time of it, did you?
Tethys: OK, that's enough. The past is the past! You mustn't tell anyone about this. I don't share this story with others. I only told you because you're the chief. A story of toil and hardship doesn't quite fit my mysterious image, does it? You know what I'd like? For you to tell me more about you.
Gerik: Sure. Another time, though, OK?
Tethys: All right. Let's see this thing through to the end. If we do our best, good things will come of it. And then better things after that. Right, Chief?
Tethys: Um, Chief, there's actually one thing I've been wanting to ask you.
Gerik: And what's that?
Tethys: Sorry if this brings up any bad memories, but how'd you get that scar on your face?
Gerik: This? I got this beauty when I had just started out as a mercenary. I was still a novice, but I was feeling pretty good about my swordsmanship. I got to a point where I was arrogant enough to believe no one could best me. Then one day it happened... It's something I've never been able to forget.
Tethys: What happened?
Gerik: It was just another battle. I'd been hired on as another sword and then I met him. He was a knight from some country or another. I had fought knights on several other occasions and had beaten them all. Even though he was a bit tougher, I was sure I'd defeat him in the end. That's what I thought. But... His strength was beyond me. I may as well have been using a broomstick to fight. I remember thinking, "What a tiny little world I've been living in." He crushed me effortlessly, and the wound he inflicted became this lovely scar.
Tethys: I see...
Gerik: I was truly frightened. It was the first time I'd experienced fear as a mercenary. So this knight saw how scared I was and said, "Go." He didn't kill me. He let me escape.
Gerik: I was humiliated and ashamed. My eyes were finally opened to my own weakness. It goes without saying I lost every shred of self-confidence. I still dream about it sometimes. It wakes me up every time. I've never forgotten that knight. He thought I was weak and pathetic.
Gerik: I was young and stupid. This scar is my punishment.
Tethys: But that knight spared your life. Because of that, good things and better things have happened?
Gerik: What do you mean, Tethys?
Tethys: First of all, Chief, you're alive. If you had died, all the good times you've had since that day, and all the joy you're sure to have from this day onward, wouldn't exist. And another thing, because you lived, you made many friends and you met me. I also don't think that knight thought you were pathetic. I think he saw a young man with his whole life ahead of him. That's why he let you go.
Tethys: Yep. I'm sure that's it. So try thinking about it in a more positive light.
Gerik: Ha ha ha. You're right. I was a lot calmer after that. And while I've had hard times, there've been far more good times. I guess you could say I owe my success as a mercenary to that knight.
Tethys: Yep. You've got your knight, and I've got my dancer. Thanks to the two of them, the two of us are here now. Say, Chief, why don't we become like them? I think we should work at being inspirations to other people.
Gerik: You're not seriously injured or ill, are you?
Gerik: I see. So you can continue on?
Marisa: Yes. Why all the questions?
Gerik: Oh. I'm the commander, you know? I'm supposed to check on you now and then. Well, see you later.
Marisa: I'd like you to keep talking. I don't mind talking to you.
Gerik: You know, we've known each other for a long time, so I understand you... But listen, Marisa, it wouldn't hurt you to be a bit more sociable. Not for me, mind you, but some of the others have a hard time working with you.
Gerik: Speaking of which, when I first met you, you were always working alone. I remember thinking how odd that was. I figured a woman as beautiful and talented as you would have men all around her.
Marisa: Don't need 'em.
Gerik: You see, that's what I'm talking about! Your beauty belies your words.
Marisa: Do you like sociable women?
Gerik: Um...sure, I guess. I mean, doesn't everyone? If you go to an inn, aren't the sociable gals the most popular?
Marisa: I understand. OK. I'll be more sociable. This better?
Gerik: Imagine! You and me fighting together. Life's full of surprises, isn't it?
Saleh: I suppose so.
Gerik: So, what do you think of our commander?
Saleh: I'm here. There's your answer.
Gerik: Good point. You know this job seems to have more meaning than any of my previous ones. And it's not because it deals with the continent and all the nations and all that. I simply want to accomplish my employer's goals. That's my prime motivation.
Saleh: I think it will all work out. As long as you and I are here...
Gerik: Ha ha ha! Well said. No one can touch us, is that it? I do imagine with us in the field we'll win most battles, eh? Can't get overconfident, though.
Saleh: Mm. ......
Gerik: Huh? What is it?
Saleh: Gerik... Do you...
Gerik: Do I what?
Saleh: Nothing... Pay me no mind.
Gerik: C'mon, now. What is it?
Saleh: Forgive me. It's nothing...
Gerik: All right... Well then, let's get going. When there's a break in the fighting, we should get together for a meal.
Saleh: Very well. We'll eat to our mutual good fortune...
Gerik: Is that so? You know I was so surprised the first time I visited Caer Pelyn. The elder's eyes...they were not the eyes of your average person. They were filled with a lifetime's wisdom and seemed to look right through you. Deep...and sharp. And they were so clear. I've looked into the eyes of many people, but no one had eyes like hers. But the thing about the elder is that her eyes weren't harsh, or judgmental. That's what I like about her. Actually, when I first met her, she intimidated me. But she treated me with such kindness. She's why I grew to enjoy Caer Pelyn, even if it doesn't have any nightlife! I want you to take good care of the elder, Saleh.
Saleh: Yes, I intend to.
Gerik: You say the right words, Saleh, but are you being sincerely considerate?
Saleh: Considerate? When I'm home, I look after her personal belongings. I also take care of her meals and watch over her health...
Gerik: That's only natural. You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you? That's just like you, though.
Saleh: Is there...something else I should be doing?
Gerik: Next time you go home, make sure you take her a gift. Bring her some jewelry or something that's popular in town.
Saleh: But... I don't know what she likes...
Gerik: Oh, please, Saleh. That's not the issue. Simply receiving that sort of present from her grandson will make her happy.
Saleh: Oh...is that so?
Gerik: That's what I'm trying to tell you.
Saleh: I understand. I'll take it into consideration.
Gerik: When we next pass through a city, I'll help you pick something out.
Saleh: That would be helpful.
Gerik: Studying magic is all well and good, but you should pay attention to these things, too. And in your case, you need to work on understanding women's hearts.
Saleh: ...... I'll look into it.
Gerik: Ha ha ha. I'll help you out in that area, too.
Gerik: Hm? What is it, Saleh? You look even more serious than usual.
Saleh: Gerik... You truly despise me, don't you?
Gerik: Huh?! What?
Saleh: Your friend, I...
Gerik: Don't say it, Saleh! That was an act of fate. Right? All you did was brush those sparks away from yourself.
Gerik: Listen, we're mercenaries. We end up working together with old foes, and crossing blades with former allies. It's just part of the job. My friend Zabba died by your act. That much is true. And at that moment, I could think of nothing but avenging him! But after that, you saved my life... We became friends. That's the truth of it, isn't it?
Gerik: I trust you now. You are my friend. I'm not lying to you. I don't lie to my friends. That's something I don't do.
Saleh: And you are my friend. Since that day, it's you who has saved me time and time again.
Gerik: We're all human after all. Helping our friends is part of our nature.
Saleh: Gerik... You... You're a good man...
Gerik: That's enough of that! You keep that up and I'll be blushing like a schoolgirl.
Gerik: Hey! Ha ha ha! I caught a rare glimpse of you smiling. Listen, Saleh, I know we're risking our lives here, but this war's not our whole lives. Let's not do anything stupid. We're going to get past this. Then you're going to haul your carcass back to Caer Pelyn and care for the elder!
Saleh: Yes... And you'll visit, too.
Gerik: Sure. When things calm down I'll let you throw me a feast. I can't wait to have Caer Pelyn's famous mutton stew again.