Gerik: Tethys. How are you feeling?
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?
Gerik: Right, Tethys. You be careful.
Tethys: Of course! And you too, 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: Hm…good idea. Thanks, Tethys. I think I’ll sleep soundly tonight.
Tethys: Good. You know, Chief, I’m really happy.
Gerik: Yeah, me, too. I’ve got a life I enjoy and good companions. All that and a wonderful woman to love. Everyone should be so lucky.
Tethys: Oh! Chief!
Gerik: Whoa! … Hey now… This is a battlefield. This isn’t the place for that…
Tethys: No one’s looking…
Gerik: Um… Oh, all right…