Joshua: I'm Joshua. So, uh... You want to make me a bet?
Artur: A bet?
Joshua: Sure! Call it in the air: heads or tails?
Joshua: What's the matter? All you have to do is say heads or tails. So what's your call?
Artur: I have no idea what this is about, but I'll say heads for now.
Joshua: Right, so I get tails. Here, we'll flip now. Annnnnnd... Right! Tails. I win.
Artur: You win. Um... What do you win?
Joshua: Well, now, you have to do whatever I tell you.
Artur: What? Why do you say that?
Joshua: You lost, right? Since you lost, you've got to do what I tell you. So when this battle's over, I want you to train with me.
Artur: Train? What are you talking about? Look, I only said heads because you pressed me to! I don't remember you saying anything about what we were betting on.
Joshua: You shouldn't worry so much about the tiny details! You'll waste your life, worrying so much! Now, about that training. I always have a tough time fighting against people who use magic. I think it's got something to do with getting the timing right... I don't really need to polish my technique too much. However, I've noticed that these battles just keep getting harder. So, I figured I should train with someone who can use a little magic!
Artur: I commend your attitude, but I really can't help you... My evenings are pretty full as it is, so...
Joshua: Hey, now! A deal's a deal. I'll be waiting, so don't be late!
Joshua: Hey, Artur. I wanted to thank you for training. I learned a lot from it. I hope you're not too exhausted for today's training session.
Artur: Well, actually... Could we not do this today?
Joshua: Hey, now. Show a little enthusiasm, why don't you? An attitude like that ain't gonna win you any battles!
Artur: You may be right, but I just can't keep up with you. If you keep exhausting me in training, I'll be no good when the real fighting begins. I'm trying not to let it show, but I'm really worn out today.
Joshua: Then let's make a bet. If I win, you do what I tell you.
Artur: Joshua, I'm quite drained, and we still have much fighting to do. You should just rest tonight.
Joshua: Don't worry about me, Artur. So, heads or tails?
Artur: Fine... Heads.
Joshua: Great! You're heads, and I'm tails. Here we go! Incredible! Tails! I win again!
Artur: ... Could I see that coin?
Joshua: What for? Are you suggesting that I would actually cheat?
Artur: ...No. Sorry.
Joshua: So it's a deal. I'll be waiting for you tonight. Don't forget!
Artur: Fine... ......
Joshua: ...You're hopeless. Don't look so tired. It gets me all worried, and I can't go back to the front being all worried. Listen, just take a day off. Get some rest, all right?
Artur: But I lost the bet.
Joshua: The deal was, if I win, you do what I tell you. And what I'm telling you to do is take it easy.
Artur: Joshua... I appreciate it. I've never done much fighting. I think I'm just worn out. It's exhausting, having to keep your guard up all the time. But your kindness has rejuvenated my frazzled nerves a little.
Joshua: Well, we're still fighting, so don't let your guard down. Stick close to me today, and I'll watch over you. But don't skip tomorrow's training!
Joshua: Hey, Artur! You're looking pretty pleased with yourself today. Care to make a bet? If I win, we'll hit the training again tonight.
Artur: No need for bets, Joshua. I'll be happy to train with you.
Joshua: You're volunteering? Are you feeling all right? Did you take a blow to the head?
Artur: No, no. I'm fine. I'm just offering to help you out. It's easier than losing another bet to you.
Joshua: What do you mean? You've got even odds of winning.
Artur: You must be joking! Out of the past 21 coin flips, I've won two, and you've won 19! Those are impossible odds to beat, so there's only one answer. You must have some divine betting power or something. If I can help you train, I will, but I don't want to lose anymore.
Joshua: Hmph... But that's no fun! All right, you don't have to train with me if you don't want to bet.
Artur: ...Excuse me?
Joshua: I don't have any divine power. You've won 11 out of 21 coin tosses so far. We're about even. I was...cheating. Just a little, though.
Artur: You cheated? I felt so guilty when I accused you earlier. I guess I just trusted--
Joshua: Yep. That's your problem. I know trust and faith are important to you monkly types. However, on the battlefield, you can never trust your foe. If we were gambling for your life, and not for training, you'd be dead 19 times over. Well, I mean, you can only die once, but you get my drift.
Artur: ... I'm speechless...
Joshua: Ha ha ha. Good thing I'm a reasonably fair man, huh? No harm done, and you even learned a little something, didn't you?
Artur: I suppose.
Joshua: So here's the deal. I want you to keep being my partner. But this time, I'll be teaching you a little bit about wagers.
Artur: What's more important to you, Joshua? Gambling or training? I guess I don't even have to ask you that, huh? But no more cheating!
WowJoshua: Hey, I've been hearing good things about you lately. Everyone's real happy you've been helping to heal them.
Natasha: Really? That's nice to hear. I do what little I can, but I'm glad if I've been helpful.
Joshua: Oh, you have been, rest assured. You don't just mend flesh. Your smile eases all our pain. So, I may have lost our bet... but everything seems to have turned out for the best, right?
Natasha: Joshua... I just do what I can to help and to stay out of everyone's way.
Joshua: I'm just saying, you've saved a lot of lives out there. We've got other healers, I know, but you're more than that. You're special. I may be the most cynical of our lot, but even I can see that.
Natasha: Joshua... You're far too kind.
Joshua: Don't be so humble. You deserve the praise.
Joshua: Watch out! Nngh!! An arrow!? Did someone set up a trap for us? Or is there someone here? An archer? Where is he?
Natasha: Joshua! You saved me. Thank goodness you were near.
Joshua: Yeah, well... I just happened to be in the neighborhood is all.
Natasha: You make light of it, but I truly appreciate that you were nearby.
Joshua: Well, uh... Are you all right?
Natasha: I'm fine, thank you. But it's only thanks to you, Joshua. You saved me. I'll try to be more attentive to my surroundings.
Joshua: Yeah, well... It's not always easy, you know? Especially when you're working. You concentrate pretty hard when you're doing your healing thing. Just focus on your work, and I'll keep an eye on you. Sound fair?
Natasha: Oh, no... I couldn't ask you to spend all your time protecting me.
Joshua: What, you don't want me to?
Natasha: It's not that at all! I rather like-- ... Um, never mind.
Joshua: ...... Say, you want to make a bet?
Natasha: Another...bet? Right here? In the middle of this battlefield? What did you intend to bet on this time?
Joshua: That you're gonna fall for me, sooner or later.
Joshua: I'm betting yes, personally.
Natasha: Oh... This isn't the time for jokes... I-I just don't know.
Joshua: Hey, don't go running off! Sigh... I wasn't even joking...
Joshua: Hey, you're Prince Innes, aren't you? I'm Joshua. Nice to meet you.
Innes: I'm sure.
Joshua: Well, now that we know each other... What say we play a quick game of chance, hm?
Innes: Hm? What are you planning on doing with that coin?
Joshua: We're gonna have a little wager. What else? If I'm going to fight alongside someone, I want to know him. And there's no better way to get to know someone than a friendly wager! So... What do you say to a starter bet of...1,000?
Innes: Betting? Here? You can't be serious.
Joshua: Hey now. I always take gambling seriously. Always. Whether you live or die on the field often comes down to luck. Every fight, you're putting your life in someone else's hands. You should be glad to meet up with such a lucky guy.
Innes: You may rely on luck, but I prefer raw skill. However, we might as well. Put your money where your mouth is.
Joshua: Now you're talking! Right, here we go! Heads or tails? What's your call?
Joshua: Let's see what we've got... Oh, well. It's heads. Too bad, Your Highness. You lost.
Innes: What? That's impossible. I saw--
Joshua: C'est la vie. Look closely. See? It's heads.
Innes: That's strange... My eyes never fail me, but I could have sworn—Hm. There seems to be more to betting than meets the eye.
Joshua: Figure that out already? You're a quick study.
Innes: Yeah. Let's try that again. I'll get it this time...
Joshua: You can't be serious. You want to keep going?
Innes: Just flip the coin.
Joshua: ...Oh, brother. Your Highness, I have a little admission to make here. You have no chance of winning. The whole thing is rigged.
Joshua: Yeah. You flip the coin ...like this. Then catch it in the hand. I'm the one holding the coin. I can turn it over any way I choose just by moving my palm a bit. Like this.
Innes: Hmm... That's how you did it... I knew you were up to something. It was straining my disbelief that you could keep winning like that. Strange that I couldn't catch on to your little trick, though.
Joshua: That's nice of you to say, but I'm sure you must have suspected. There's a guy who hangs out near a pub in Jehanna. He's real smooth. His secret is to mix in just enough losses to make it look plausible. If you ever go there, you'll know the guy I'm talking about right away.
Innes: Interesting. I've never had any experience with this sort of thing. One only has so much time when he's groomed to become the king, you know.
Joshua: I can imagine. But a king must have a wide range of knowledge, don't you think? When I was a journeyman, I lost a lot of money to scams like this. I started learning these tricks so they couldn't be used on me anymore! It's all rubbish, innit? But it's not a bad thing to add to your experience.
Innes: I must hand it to you, you have a point. Some things, you can only learn firsthand, on the field.
Joshua: Well, I've given away enough of my secrets for one day. I'll give you back all the money I took you for, so go easy on me...
Innes: There's no need to give it back. That I failed to see your trick was my own failing.
Joshua: You serious? All right. Good deal. You're a good man. Let's just call this your tuition fee, eh?
Joshua: Now what? What is it this time?
Innes: We're still in the middle of the bet. We'll pick up where we left off.
Joshua: Are you saying... you want to keep going?
Innes: Naturally. You've revealed your secrets to me. My luck is bound to change. I feel a winning streak coming on.
Joshua: ...Oh, brother. Well, you're persistent, I'll give you that much. Call it in the air.
Joshua: So, is today my lucky day? Or... Tails, hm? Oh, well. Luck's just not on my side today, I guess.
L'Arachel: Oh, may I ask what you are doing?
Joshua: Hm? Oh, I was just checking my luck. Looks like today is not set to be one of my better ones.
L'Arachel: That's not good! Perhaps if you gave up that coin for some good, honest prayer... I have no need of luck, you see, for I benefit from divine grace!
Joshua: That sounds nice. I'd love to have a bit of that myself. All right, let's have a quick bet to see which is better. We'll test your divine grace against my good old luck.
L'Arachel: Oh, I could never give in to such a vile sin. Gambling is a pox, a boil upon the fair skin of mankind.
Joshua: That's going a bit far, don't you think?
L'Arachel: Gambling corrupts the masses, and I'll have none of it. Which is the more noble: to earn your keep or to swindle it? And besides, this is a battlefield, not a gambling hall. No, I simply will not indulge in such spiritual pollution here.
Joshua: Oh, you're really making too much of a big deal out of it. This is just a coin toss. You can flip a coin just about anywhere. Let's see... Well, heads or tails? What is it?
L'Arachel: Since you refuse to resist the evils of temptation... I shall have to teach you a lesson you won't soon forget. Heads!
Joshua: I knew you'd come around! Right, so let's see here... Hey! It's heads! You really are lucky!
L'Arachel: Huh? I won? Well, of course I won! I shouldn't be so surprised. It was fate. One as blessed as I could never lose at something so base as gambling.
Joshua: Great, so let's keep going. How about putting some money down this time? 100 gold coins?
L'Arachel: That's fine. Anything I win will, of course, fund only noble causes.
Joshua: That's my girl... Are you ready? Heads or tails, what's your call?
L'Arachel: What do you mean, making such rude noises in front of a lady!? You're slowing down the game!
Joshua: Hold on, give me a break! You got me. I lost. I've had enough. It's just like you said. I shouldn't gamble anymore.
L'Arachel: Are you quitting on me? Where's your spirit?
Joshua: ...Man. I just don't get it. Not at all. You must really have some sort of divine powers on your side. I mean, I've been fixing every single game, and I still can't wi--
L'Arachel: Fixing? What do you mean? The game's not broken. I'm doing fine!
Joshua: Uh... No, I-- Nothing. Anyway, I'm all done. I don't want to play with you anymore. Go take someone else for a ride.
L'Arachel: A ride? Like on a horse? What are you talking about?
Joshua: Look, what I'm trying to say is... You don't know anything, and you STILL managed to beat me!
L'Arachel: What do you mean, I don't know anything? Oh! Such disrespect! What do you know, other than gambling? Tell me that!
Joshua: Hm? Let's see... I know how to survive in a desert, for one thing.
L'Arachel: I think we're all quite familiar with the hardships of travel by now! If that's all you've got, don't go around telling me I'M the ignorant one!
Joshua: Aaaah! Enough already! Fine! Fine! I was wrong!!! Anyway, the point is that I'm not gambling with you ANYMORE!
L'Arachel: Oh! He ran away! ...Why do they always run away? Who will I play with now? Oh, I have an idea! We can build a gambling hall in Rausten! Yes, I'm brilliant! I simply must bring this up with Uncle next time I see him!
Joshua: It's a pleasure. By the way, you ever hear this?
Marisa: Hear what?
Joshua: Well, I guess it was popular for a while, way back when. But when two swordsmen met on the battlefield—even allied swordsmen—they would duel it out to test one another's worth with the blade. So what do you say? Don't you think it's time to revive this tradition?
Marisa: ... You want me to kill you?
Joshua: No, no, no. I'm not saying we have to fight to the death! It's just a simple test of skill.
Marisa: ...Fine. As long as I get a chance to whet my blade's appetite.
Joshua: Er... Great! Now, what say we make this more interesting? If I win, you owe me, and if you win, then I owe you.
Marisa: Owe me what?
Joshua: ...I'm not quite sure yet. How about... Ah, yes. How about you owe me a favor.
Marisa: I'm not following you.
Marisa: But it doesn't matter. I'm not going to lose to you.
Joshua: Now you're talking.
Marisa: Then let's get started.
Joshua: Whoa! Hold your horses! Where's the hurry? Let's do this another day. After all, I like to savor the anticipation a little bit.
Marisa: I don't get it, but fine.
Joshua: Great! We're all set then. Next time we meet, we cross swords. Deal?
Marisa: ... There's nothing to anticipate. You're simply going to lose.
Joshua: Well, I don't know about that. See you later. I'm looking forward to it.
Joshua: Whew... After a match like that, I can be happy with a tie!
Joshua: You're better than I thought.
Marisa: You're not too bad yourself.
Joshua: Heh... Thanks. But remember, I was at a slight disadvantage, so...
Marisa: I must admit, I did hold you at a slight disadvantage. However, we are closely matched, despite our incompatible styles. I simply couldn't land a decisive blow. But it was all worthwhile. After all, I've learned, and that is worth far more than any wager.
Joshua: I see. You're a quick one, aren't you? How did you get that good?
Marisa: Fighting is all I have.
Joshua: You live for the sword, eh? I prefer rolling the dice to swinging the sword, you know?
Marisa: ...Why is that?
Joshua: Whew... I thought you'd never ask. You're asking how I got hooked on gambling, right? Let me see... There's not much to tell. I guess by the time I realized it, it was already too late. I'd grown bored of everything before I discovered gambling. But then I saw it—gambling was like life, in short little bursts. Life itself is just one big gamble! That's how I see things.
Marisa: I see. ... I don't know anything about gambling, but it was a good duel. We must try this again soon.
Joshua: What, with no wager? That doesn't sound very fun.
Marisa: Suit yourself.
Joshua: You mean that? Then we'll have another bet. I'll win next time. See you later.
Joshua: No, you're just having a bad day. And it's not like I had a decisive victory this time. I'd say we're still just about even.
Marisa: All that matters is that I didn't win. You won the bet. What do you want me to do?
Joshua: Oh, you remembered our last bet! That makes me happy. All right, here goes...
Joshua: I want you to be my partner for a while... How's that sound?
Marisa: What? Your partner?
Joshua: Don't get the wrong idea. I just meant for training. And gambling.
Marisa: So, nothing would change...
Joshua: Well, I suppose, but there's still a point to it all.
Marisa: What's that?
Joshua: If I train with you, I'm going to become a better swordsman. And if we train together, maybe we'll each learn something.
Marisa: I could ask nothing better.
Joshua: And there's something that I want to do soon when the war is over. It's something that can't be done in a single day or overnight. You could probably call this the biggest gamble of my entire life. I'm going to have to hone my skills, and I'll need someone to help me. What do you say, Marisa? Won't you lend me a hand?
Marisa: I'm good for fighting, and not much else.
Joshua: You think? I doubt that's true. Well, think about it.
Marisa: ...I'll do it.
Joshua: I know this is a gamble, but... gambling is my hobby.
Marisa: I see that.
Joshua: Well, don't let me down.
Marisa: I won't. But try to keep it interesting, all right?
Joshua: Heh. Then I'll do my best to keep you entertained. And remember what I said... Life is a gamble. You never know what'll happen. But don't worry. I'm sure you won't be bored. Besides, how often do you meet someone you can spar with? Not to mention someone who can actually beat 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.