The Oath of Stars

The second part of Miyabi Hasegawa's FFXI novel series. Original name is 星の誓い [hoshi no chikai], and it's known as Le Serment des Étoiles in French.

Contents - French Version

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Character introductions - 000
Prologue: Les Dunes de Valkurm - 007
Part One: Skeleton - 021
Part Two: Mandragora - 081
Part Three: Dhalmel - 147
Part Four: Yagudo - 187
Epilogue: Le Monticule des Étoiles Filantes - 215

Summary

Valkurm Dunes at night. In the prologue, Alfred Lead and his party of adventurers - Iris Wayres, Max, Jed, Shera and Peta are on their way to Selbina, to catch the ferry to Mhaura and eventually make their way to Windurst, where they are to show the Warmachine blueprints they recovered in Ghelsba to Windurstian officials. Their peaceful night gets interrupted by a Goblin Ambusher, who the party quickly take care of.

Chapter one opens with the party already in Selbina. Iris does some last-minute shopping of spells and almost get her and Al late for the ferry. Nevertheless, they manage to reach it in time. On the ferry, they meet an Elvaan bard called Leysha. She joins them for dinner.
That night, Max is out on deck, looking at the sea. He remembers how the night his adventuring companions - Iris's parents - died on a night like this, on this very same ferry route. Due to this, he is the very first to notice the threat approaching the ferry - a ghost ship, full of undead. He sounds the alarm. Fierce fighting ensues. By the end of it, many are wounded. And due to a lucky dagger toss that revealed the face of one of the undead, Iris and Max are now quite disconcerted. The undead mage was Iris's father Flam Wayres.
That night, Leysha sneaks about the cabins of Al's party, looking for something. Jed catcher her before she can do much anything, and it becomes obvious that the two know each other. In the shadows, Shera spies on the two.

In chapter two, the ferry has just arrived to Mhaura. Al's party bids farewell to Leysha and make haste towards Windurst. When they've journeyed all the way to Tahrongi Canyon, they meet up with Cheet, a Tarutaru monk who was chased by a Serpopard. Naturally, the party saves Cheet from the rampaging NM. Not too long a time later, the party reaches Windurst. They report to the Consulate of Bastok, only to discover that the consul herself is out, and told to come back later. They make base at Rarab's Tail inn.
As they have free time, Peta writes a letter of recommendation for Iris to have her get familiar with the magic academy. However, Shantotto gets her hands on the letter and sends Iris to gather a Starfall Tear from beneath the Twinkle Tree if she wants to attend the academy. Iris, being too proud to back down, is determined to do that. Al goes with her. Out at Sarutabaruta they get help from Cheet (who requires their help to get rid of monsters chasing him again) who guides them to the Twinkle Tree. In the end, Iris doesn't get a Starfall Tear, but instead the three admire the beautiful sight that is a night-sky full of falling stars in Sarutabaruta.
When Al and Iris return to the inn, the others are still awake and waiting for them. They have urgent summons from the consul of Bastok to come meet her. They decide to do so in the morning. That night, Leysha sneaks in again. She manages to steal the Warmachine blueprints before having to escape.

The next morning dawns on chapter three. Both Jed and Shera are gone. Al, Iris, Max and Peta go meet the consul without them, and receive a mission of urgency. They are to vanquish a monster rampaging in Giddeus. They accept the mission, but soon get into even more trouble. Back at the inn, Max's old friend Kodai is waiting for him, and reports that the Tunnel of Korroloka has been opened. Max decides to go with him.
Meanwhile, Shera is out searching for Jed. She decides to make use of old acquaintances and brings Nanaa Mihgo lizard tails in exchange for that information.
As Max decided to leave, Al and Iris are now out looking for a warrior to complete their party. They stumble on the Star Onion Brigade, but do not find a warrior. Windurst is the country of mages, after all.
Shera, still out by herself, manages to find the residence Leysha stays at. As expected, Jed is there, too. She spies on the two as Leysha tries to guilt Jed into coming back to San d'Oria and continuing his duties as a spy, using the past of his family. She also tries to justify stealing the blueprints, as Al's party was part of a San d'Orian expedition at the time. She and her superiors feel that they are San d'Orian property. Shera finally gets bored of it and barges in, telling Jed to decide for himself. Jed leaves with Shera.
The two return the Warmachine blueprints to Al. Right then, they receive word from the Heaven's Tower that another party of adventurers has been erroneously dispatched to Giddeus, and they should make all haste to go save them.

The fourth chapter has Al's party out at Sarutabaruta again, heading for Giddeus. On the way, they pick up Cheet again, and he joins the party as their missing warrior. When they reach Giddeus, they are guided to the place with the monster, Searcher, and come just in time to save the other party from being killed. Semih Lafihna had been sent to retrieve them, but she couldn't keep them all safe by herself.
With a second party appearing, Searcher looses his patience and summons a Black Dragon. Al's party is hard pressed to battle it as spells don't seem to work, but manage to take it down after a while. Although it costs them dearly, as Jed jumps in to protect a distracted Shera and gets hit by the Searchers attack. Not too long after, the Searcher goes down too, but not before he calls them fools as this was merely one part of the return of the Shadow Lord.
The party slowly makes their way out of Giddeus, burdened by the Searcher's words and Jed's lingering sickness from the attack. They barely make it to Semih Lafihna and the other party of adventurers before he collapses. He and Shera stay behind while the other four hurry to Windurst to report on the success of the mission.

In the epilogue, Al, Iris, Peta and Cheet are at the Twinkle Tree in Sarutabaruta, looking at the skies. They're soon joined by Shera and Jed, who are on their way to Jeuno to cure Jed's disease. Cheet says he'll stay and train in Sarutabaruta, while Peta has decided to stay in Windurst for a while to take care of business. Al and Iris make plans to travel to Bastok to train and find out more about the ghost ship that carries Iris's father. The party separates, hoping to see each other again.


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