Facilitate Fast Friendships among Fledgling Adventurers

This page has been archived here from official Square Enix sources. It was originally posted on 13/09/2011.

Tramplin' tarnation, kupo! There are buffaloes everywhere, and preparations for corrallin' these crazy critters have got the MHMU doin' the hokey-pokey and turnin' all around!

…What? You don't like kickin' up a little dust with some down-home dancin', kupo?

Moovin' on… Despite all the hustle, bustle, and buffalo tussles, the sight of eager adventurers earnestly enjoying this annual event spurs our spirits on to cook up some more rootin' tootin' fun for each year!

So, pardner, why not rustle yourself up some adventure and partake in all the rip-roarin' rodeo action we have to offer, kupo?

Hm? Why's that little whippersnapper over by them there buffaloes got such a long face, kupo? What could be chafin' his chaps, I wonder.

"Coward" was the last thing Ednahl wanted to be called. In his mind, no adventurer―not even a fledgling fifteen-year-old like himself―would ever abide such a despicable insult.

"If you're gonna be that stubborn, then you can just do it by yourself!"

"Fine then, I will! And I won't even break a sweat!"

Yet for all that bravado, he was still awestruck upon coming face-to-snout with a mother buffalo. Mustering what little remained of his crumbling resolve, Ednahl managed to eke out his impression of the beast.

"It's gigantic…"

Why did I have to say that I'd enter this ridiculous festival alone?

The bison was so colossal Ednahl felt he'd be trampled like a fallen leaf underfoot, and its horns so gargantuan his arms seemed as thin and brittle as straw. Though he knew the creature wouldn't charge him, his body was still a quivering mess of assorted puddings at the possibility. As Ednahl took an unsure step backward in retreat, his heel chanced to crunch down upon a dead leaf. He could feel the sensation climb all the way up his spine.

"S-stop quaking like a craven!" he blustered to himself while punching his legs to spur them into action.

It was then he noticed he wasn't the only thing shaking… He turned around just in time to see the whole ground convulsing beneath the weight of a feral behemoth of a buffalo stampeding toward him.

Before he could even regret leaving his lasso behind, the encounter was over and he was soaring through the air with the birds. As he plunked down in Southern San d'Oria, Ednahl realized he was just as much a victim of timing as cattlepulting, for his friends Yunami, Eddi-Moddi, and Red Wolf just happened to be walking by.

"You're back already?"

"Let's see your bovine brand card… Hey, it's completely blank!"

Even good-natured Yunami was snickering at his failure, and it was all he could do to keep his composure.

"I'm not d-down and out yet! Just you wait and see!"

With that, Ednahl spun around on his heels and marched back toward the Ronfaure woods, his eyes ablaze with ardor. That blaze, however, also blinded him to the uneasy silence hanging over the Hume white mage, Tarutaru black mage, and red-haired Galkan monk as he strode away.

He found the cow deep within the woods, but one glance at the beast was enough to suck out the confidence he had inflated himself with earlier. Curiosity got the better of the hulking calf, though, and it came plodding up to him. The scent of its mother must have rubbed off on Ednahl, for wherever he walked, the li'l dogie was sure to follow.

"This way, little guy!"

Plod by plod, ilm by ilm, the two came ever closer to their final destination: the moogle rancher. At last, Ednahl was mere steps away from proving them all wrong. Then the calf's mother came charging in, looking to rid Ronfaure of her son's captor. Fear triggered Ednahl's instincts and he twisted his body in an awkward and desperate attempt to evade the oncoming blow. Her battering ram-like horns barely grazed his cuirass, yet that was still enough to vault him into a nearby stream. As he splashed down, Ednahl could feel the cold autumn waters turning him and his clothes sopping wet.

Not again!

But he was already so close, and wasn't about to let a little water extinguish the fierce flame that burned within him.

"What're you doing!? You'll catch a cold if you don't get out of there!"

That voice…

After climbing out of the river and wringing out his sopping wet hair, Ednahl was met by none other than his friends; they had coaxed the calf over to them and kept it from running away.

"You guys…"

"You're so close. Just a little farther," encouraged Red Wolf, with Eddi-Moddi nodding in agreement.

"Yeah! And you've already proven-woven how greataru a buckaroo you can be!"

"Herd him this way! And watch out for chigoes, okay?"

The only reply Ednahl could manage in his shocked state was a simple, "Okay."

Upon reaching the moogle, Ednahl finally received his bovine brand.

I couldn't do it all by myself, but you know what? I'm glad this is how it turned out, he thought as he gazed upon his friends' smiling faces.

That was only the first of many buffalo they'd be wrangling together this year.


Story: Miyabi Hasegawa
Illustration: Mitsuhiro Arita

Category: News

This content copyright Square Enix.