Lady Knight of Ronfaure

Lady Knight of Ronfaure (ロンフォールの姫騎士 [ronfaure no himegishi] originally) is volume 23 of the Final Fantasy XI Novelization Series. It's written by Miyabi Hasegawa, and published originally in 2007 by Famitsu Bunko under the ISBN 978-4-7577-3833-1.

Contents

NS23_cover.jpg

Contents - 003
Prologue - 005
Chapter 1 - 025
Chapter 2 - 083
Chapter 3 - 159
Chapter 4 - 203
Epilogue - 247
Postscript - 253

Summary

The book starts with Al, Iris, Peta, Max, Shera and Jed fishing somewhere at the coast close to Caederva Mire. They're trying to complete a quest given to them by a qiqirn at Nashmau. Once they get the final fish requested, they head out back towards Nashmau. Two small figures watch them go, and one of the two encourages the other one to approach the adventurers.

Chapter 1 starts with the group in Caederva. They are soon approached by a small child chocobo, grown up enough to no longer be a chick but young enough not to be fully grown yet. It waddles close and heads straight for Iris, who takes an immediate liking to it. Finding no one else around and knowing chocobos this small cannot survive for long by themselves, Iris and the rest decide to bring the child chocobo with them.
Even though they're careful in advancing through Caederva, they're soon accosted by two Draugars. They provide some difficulty for the group of adventurers, but soon enough the Draugars are laid to rest. Iris reads a prayer over their bones.
While approaching Nashmau, Iris grows very attached to the child chocobo. It's decided that she and Al will head to San d'Oria and bring the chocobo with them to be raised at the chocobo stables there. The two leave the rest of the group and through various ships and ferries as well as quite a bit of walking, they finally reach La Theine Plateau. On the way, Iris names the chocobo Chance Étoile, Chanse for short.

At La Theine, Chanse - who has been very well-behaved until then and followed Iris of its own accord - starts behaving weirdly. He leads Al and Iris to the scene of a battle, with the black-clad culprits fleeing from the scene. A wounded Elvaan woman lies on the ground. She refuses help, but Iris stubbornly cures her from poison. The Elvaan woman uses a scroll of Warp and disappears. The two have no clue as to her identity besides her being a Temple Knight.
Afterwards, Al and Iris continue on to San d'Oria, starting chapter 2. At an unknown location, two men discuss the disappearance of a child chocobo. They are determined to get it back.

At San d'Oria, Al and Iris leave Chanse at the chocobo stables. However, there's been a theft and they are largely out of chocobo elixirs and other necessary items to raise chocobos. After some consideration, Al and Iris start replenishing their stocks in any way they can. Then suddenly, they're approached by a Royal Knight bearing summons with the full names of the two, to a hearing of a certain Noeli Paltran. Al and Iris are confused, but show up for the hearing, where they find out that the mysterious Noeli Paltran is the Elvaan woman the two helped out before at La Theine. They verify her story about being accosted by black-clad men. They are apparently suspected of being in a thief gang responsible for major thefts before.

Days pass. One day on a walk out at East Ronfaure, Chanse starts finding items. Not too long after, Al, Iris and Chanse are accosted by four black-clad men. The battle turns in the favor of the men since Al and Iris have to protect Chanse, but is then turned around by the arrival of Cheet, one of their old companions. One of the black-clad men takes out a flute and summons a black chocobo with it. To the surprise of Al, Iris and Cheet, the chocobo spews poison gas from its beak. However, something goes wrong. Once when the chocobo draws in breath for another poison gas attack, it keeps expanding. Finally, it explodes. The black-clad men retreat.
Afterwards, Al and Iris get a bad feeling about the whole thing. Chanse has the exact same kind of white stripe on his forehead as the black chocobo had.

Chapter 3 opens to many days of taking care of Chanse. One day, Noeli Paltran visits Al and Iris at the stables. She's after the black-clad men. Turns out it's very likely the black-clad men are the group of thieves from before, who had disappeared from San d'Oria. Noeli deducts that they must have moved their operations to Aht Urhgan for some reason, and that the recent chocobo-medicine theft is related. They must have been growing chocbos beyond the seas, for whatever reason.
That evening, one of the chocobo stablehands approaches Al. Chanse had grown recently so they thought to replace his collar. Turns out, the old collar had writing on it, warning Chanse's new masters that he would have to be killed before adulthood when he'd turn dangerous if the writer of those words 'didn't make it in time'.

One day, Noeli proposes that they would use Chanse to search out the black-clad thieves. It is known that they have a hide-away somewhere in La Theine. Iris agrees reluctantly.

A tea-house in Aht Urhgan opens chapter 4. Peta and the rest are approached by a certain Rumoaa, a Tarutaru girl of unknown years. She professes to being an alchemist, and to be more exact an alchemist specialising in living beings. She was the one who gave the chocobos of the gang of thieves their monster-abilities, as well as several other modified beasts, much stronger than the chocobos.
Meanwhile, Noeli gathers as many knights as she can for their thief-finding operation. She manages to call in many, although this is not an official mission and is hindered by it. As expected, Chanse is able to find the hide-out, but there are more thieves than expected. A desperate battle ensues. At first it looks like the knights will win, but then one of the black-clad men summons a Chimera. It tramples everything on its path, knocking out both Al and Iris as well as Noeli and Chanse. Noeli awakens in desperation, and finds within her strength for an Invincible. The others wake up, and somehow the Chimera is defeated.

In the end, Max finally reaches Iris over linkpearl as per Peta's instructions. Rumoaa says she can possibly save Chanse, so they should head back to Aht Urhgan as soon as possible.


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