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.
Joshua: You should be.
Joshua: Hey, Gerik.
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.
Joshua: Well, I’m a lucky guy.
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.
Joshua: Don’t worry. I’m feeling lucky.