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The Roses of Death

by MogMaster

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Chapter 4

The bar at the Dragon's Neck, was insane that night. Every fighter in the Colosseum was there, leaving the next day or not. Siegfried even showed up to the festivities. In his private booth in the corner, he watched as people got very, very drunk.

Towards midnight, Ultros stumbled into his corner of the world, where he was sipping a fine wine and thinking about the current events behind his big grey mask.

"....Hmmf. I suppose I chose correctly. After all what's blood over life?"


"Hey there Mr. Tall dark and brooding. Gyahahah." The ugly squid ball laughed at his own lame joke. Siegfried regarded him with cold blue eyes.

"Aww, c'mon pal. Lighten up. This is your last chance before they cart you off overseas."

Ultros looked quickly to the flagon of wine on the table.

"Could a poor old octopus have a drink? Might be I have something good to say. Hehe."

"One glass, you purple monstrosity."

Ultros grabbed a glass from a nearby shelf with one tentacle, and the wine with the other. As he poured he began to talk.

"Ah, thank you." The glass was full and he began to drink. After guzzling down half the cup he wiped his mouth and belched loudly.

"Good stuff. Only the best for a champion right? Gyahah. Well I was thinking to myself. I thought, ‘Ultros, you should go talk to your old pal Siegfried. He's a good guy. Maybe he can help you.' I was wondering, old friend, if maybe you might be able to spare..oh say...one million gil? Surely you understand I have mouths to feed." He grinned his stupid, pointy tooth grin.

Siegfried just sat and stared for a moment before giving a curt reply of, "no."

Ultros stood up.

"Dammit you bastard! Come on now. I'm sick of you and your big superiority act. What the hell are you hiding behind that mask anyway, big shot? Got a dirty little secret behind there? Or is it just a big mole? Might be you're just ugly. Gyahahah!."

Ultros knocked over the glass of wine, creating a deep crimson stain on the silk table cloth. With two of his other tentacles he began reaching for Siegfried's mask. Before he could get there, Siegfried threw the table over on top of him. Ultros fell to the ground crushed by the weight of the heavy oak, and began to moan in pain.

"Huh-hey.! I was just kidding!" He moaned, "Please, have mercy on a poor old octopus."

It was then he noticed that all the music in the bar had stopped. Everyone was looking at them. Siegfried abruptly finished his glass of wine before stepping on the table, pressing it into the purple blob trapped beneath it, and walked out. As he walked down the hall, he heard the piano begin to play again and the murmur of the crowd start back up in the distance.

"That's one purple pain in the arse I'm not like to miss."

The thought made him chuckle to himself, as he walked back too his room to finish packing his life into one trunk.

------

He was to fight for Tzen. The price was six million gil; a hefty sum. Siegfried knew that if he survived this mess he would be able to retire young, and spend the rest of his days fondling women in an expensive bar in Jidoor. The thought brought a smile to his lips that nobody else could see.

As they came to the nearby port of Nikehea, a large part of the ships population disembarked, and a handful of new people came on. He watched with curiosity as gaunt men, children, and some women boarded the ship. Why any of them wanted to go to a war infested hellhole like Tzen was beyond him. That was when he noticed the girl.

"Bloody Hell. It's her. The light warrior. I'd figure she'd be done with her battles by now."

Terra Branford was looking extremely pretty that day. With her back length, green hair, and pretty face, Siegfried figured by the time they reached Tzen, a good amount of the ships men would be bloody heaps for making passes at her.

Her hair was tied back into a long ponytail, and she was wearing, what looked like, some mans clothes who was several sizes bigger than her. She had on a large pair of brown woolen pants, which were held up by a brown leather belt. On her body she had a white shirt and brown leather vest. A pendent was hanging from her neck, which Siegfried, for a brief moment, seemed to recall from somewhere that he couldn't put his finger on.


"Hmm. Let's see what this egg will hatch."


As she came aboard, she handed the captain a small sack of coin before heading into a cabin towards the back of the ship. Their eyes met briefly, but if she recognized him she gave no sign. He didn't let it faze him that she didn't recognize him. After all they had only met briefly before. Siegfried, however, seldom forgot anybody.

The whistle blew, and the plank was pulled up. With a shudder, the steamer slowly pulled away from port, and began its journey to a destination it would never reach.

The Albrook warship hit them around midnight of the second day. The ship shuddered and groaned as a metal cannon ball pierced its hull, and tore smashed the engine. Apparently someone on the other side had done their homework, and figured out that mercenaries for Tzen were on this ship. The captain was screaming orders to frightened and confused sailors as Siegfried emerged, fully dressed and battle clad, on deck. The smell of fire and death was everywhere. As he looked around, he watched as a small child was crushed beneath a sortie of boots spraying his blood everywhere. When the men were gone, he walked over to the body and sighed. The child was a boy, who couldn't have been past ten, he had a bear in his crushed hand, which Siegfried took for a reason he couldn't recall later, and put in his cloak pocket before closing the boys cold dead eyes. By now the water was damage was taking its toll, and he felt the ship sinking beneath him. Glancing around he noticed there was only one lifeboat left, which he managed to jump into at the last second before it was released into the ocean. He questioned fates sense of humor a few minutes later, when much to his surprise he discovered Terra sitting unconscious on the bottom of the boat. There was a man as well. He was tall and homely. When he looked at Siegfried, he smiled revealing a mouth full of yellow teeth.

"Looks what I caught me."

He said, indicating Terra with a boney white finger.

"She almost escaped with the cap'n before I knocked her on the head. Hehe."

For some reason Siegfried was vaguely reminded of Ultros. Maybe it was because this man gloated over the girl, like Ultros would over any treasure he got. His memory jumped back for a moment.

"Siegfried! Looky what old Ulty found!"


In his mind he saw a golden tiara studded with diamonds in the octopus' hand.

As it turned out, he had been cheated. The tiara turned out to be plated brass, and the jewels were zirconium. For a moment he almost missed the stupid squid. His mind flickered back to the present where the hideous man sat drooling over Terra.

"Heh, it seems as though this guy made a similar mistake. Thought he was getting gold but turns out he got platinum."

Without thinking, Siegfried drew his sword and impaled him before pushing him into the water to feed the Razpos. He only screamed once before dying. As they floated away the water behind them began to churn as carnivorous fish devoured his ugly remains.

"The same mistake with me. Thought I was only brass. Fool didn't believe he would get steel I'll wager."

Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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