Muscular Monk Faces Fears Before Bitter Buffalo

This page has been archived here from official Square Enix sources. It was originally posted on 05/09/2013.

In between bouts of cleaning cow pies and ridin' herd on hearty hoedowns, we merry moogles of the MHMU make it our motto to "certify the safety of ceremony supporters lock, stock, and barrel" durin' the bonanza, kupo!

After all, this festival is an exceedingly excellent way to express our appreciation to all the ardent adventurers who work to make Vana'diel varmint-free. With that in mind, how could we not crowd our caravans 'round the campfire of creativity and conjure up clever concepts to charm you congenial cowboys and cowgirls, kupo?

Therefore, we sincerely summon you to saddle up and box in those bellicose bovines for another year!

We understand you're no rodeo clown and being bucked into the boundless blue probably isn't your preferred pastime, but with our protective powers you won't perceive even piddling pats. I swear, kupo!

Fear not, for this festival is fun, frolicking foolery furled in fascinating self-discovery…as a certain grumbling guy gleaned this year, kupo.

Kanan was a hale and hearty youth who, while new to the art of adventuring, had a physique worthy of voluminous odes. Such may only be natural to one of his profession, however, as monks prefer to temper their bodies into metaphorical blade and mail rather than purchase such equipment at a nearby smithy. The lad had admired those with the very constitution he now possessed since he was knee-high to a sapling, but muscles alone do not a man make…

"I'm telling you, Can-can, you're perfectaru for it!"

"And I'm telling you I'm not. And cut the 'Can-can' crap! I'm not some suckling babe, you know."

"Yeesh. I'm away for only the tiniest-winiest bit and you already actaru like you're king of the hill. Thank your lucky stars I don't reward your impudence with a swift strike to the face."

Kanan could do naught but release a sigh of acquiescence. There was no use arguing with someone as stubborn as Shokonana, especially when she struck that pose: arms folded in hauteur and a smug expression on her face that left no doubt she was looking down on you despite physically looking up.

He had little room for rebuttal, as she was both his superior in terms of adventuring and three years his elder. She may be small even for a Tarutaru, but her commanding presence filled whatever room she entered wall-to-wall.

"I don't really see why I should bother corralling stampeding steers. Nothing about my training can be applied to such a base diversion."

"Because-wause I said so, that's why!"

She proceeded to puff out her cheeks in anger, as if Kanan were the epitome of idiocy for not seeing through her opaque logic.

Goddess be good, that face of hers is so adora… No, don't let her charm you this time!

Somehow he was able to pull himself together and resist succumbing to Shokonana's machinations. Though she may seem like an innocent pushover to the untrained eye, he was well aware that she deserved all the accolades she received as a battle-hardened scholar. Kanan often wondered if she dabbled in the forbidden arts as well, so beguiling was her nature.

"You know what the cattlepultaru is, right?" Shokonana asked, suddenly changing the topic.

"What about pelting cats…? Oh, oh, oh, you mean a catapult?"

"No, nitwit. That's what the Gigas use to chuck boulder-woulders. I said 'cattle-pult'."

"Sounds vaguely familiar, but it doesn't quite ring any cowbells for me."

Kanan dredged the riverbed of his memory, but came up with nothing but fragmented images of Shokonana either smiling at or scolding him. After a minute of awkward silence, the Tarutaru shrugged in exasperation.

"Bulls use it when they get irritataru'd. They charge people who get too close and launch-waunch them into the wild blue yonder."

"Oh, that. I wonder what genius gave it that ridiculous name."

"Some adventurer with a juvenile sense of humor, no doubtaru. There are so many worthier choices, like 'Buffalo Blast Off' or 'Bovine Providence'!"

"I'm sorry I even asked… 'Cattlepult' is fine."

"Well, it certainly is catchy and to-the-pointaru. I suppose that's why none of my more sophisticated-wated names for it caught on."

The tone of her voice and lack of a smile implied she was convinced of her names' brilliance. Instead of attacking her laughable suggestions, however, Kanan took the high road and tried to divert her caravan of thought with a boast.

"No matter what the moniker, I've no need to fear. I'd be able to see an obvious attack like that coming from a malm away."

"See, I toldy-wold you that you were perfect for this thing," Shokonana retorted, jumping at the opportunity he presented her. Kanan's hubris had cost him his only chance of worming his way out of participating.

Shokonana's cold smile sealed his fate and sent frigid beads of sweat dripping so slowly from his face that he swore they formed icicles on his jawline.

"Everyone thinks getting cattlepulted is scary-wary because it flings you yalms farther than a normal headbutt, but it really doesn't hurtaru at all. Therefore, even if on the off chance you do get hit, there's no cause for concern."

"I-is that so…?"

"Yup. It's all thanks to the secret moogle arts."

"The 'moogle arts'?"

"The moogles cast some protective-wective magic that makes your landing as softaru as a fresh pile of hay."

It would make sense for moogles to create a spell that lessened the blow of bulls' wrath if they wanted adventurers to keep herding cattle year after year, but Kanan still harbored some doubts. While he had never had the pleasure of being bovine-bounced back to his home nation, he had been on the receiving end of an Orc's shoulder attack, which left more broken bones than its name implied. If getting cattlepulted had even the slightest possibility of causing more severe damage…

"However, sometimes the impact of those bovine blows is so strong that the moogles' enchanted armor isn't enough. In such cases, they're forced to transportaru you to safety. Anyway, let's get to the crux-wux of the issue…"

This is exactly what Kanan didn't want—the discussion to refocus on how suited he was to dealing with buffalo.

"I want to figure out the process behind these mysterious moogle artarus. What exactly transpires when one gets cattlepulted? Inquiring minds—like me—want to know! If we were able to uncover-wover the secrets of these techniques, we could revolutionize the field of freight shipping! We might even be able to bypass those pesky waypointaru limitations the pioneers in Adoulin are always complaining about."

"And how do you suggest we go about 'uncover-wovering' these secrets?"

"From my tireless examination of the phenomenon, I've determined that the moogles employ methods that more closely resemble the enchantmentarus Teleport and Warp than the new technologies of the west. The latter-watter is like flying across the sky in an airship…but without the airship. If the moogles used techniques like that, then we'd be able to physically track adventurers all the way until they touch down-wown. That is not the case, however."

"So, the fact that cattlepulted people disappear means—"

"I knew you'd show some interestaru eventually!"

No! he screamed internally, and obviously to no avail. What was done was done, and there was no stemming the tide of Shokonana's obstinacy now.

"Y-you don't really want me to…t-take the brunt of a cattlepult, do you?"

"You're a quick one, Can-can. As it turns out, I've been looking-wooking for someone who's yet to conquer their irrational fear of buffalo charges. They truly do make the bestaru subjects… Thanks for volunteering, by the way."

Kanan had let slip both the fact that he'd never been hit with Cattlepult before and boasted that no buffalo alive would be able to use it on him, so he reasoned that it was time to reap what he'd sown.

Thus, three days later, Kanan was standing before a frothing mad bull while enchanted with special moogle magic.

"Are…are you sure I'm going to make it out alive?" he squeaked. His query, though, remained unanswered.

He could feel the daggers from the bull's stare piercing his skin, its breath simultaneously a ragingly hot flow of magma and gelid hoarfrost choking an empty plain. The horns that protruded violently from either side of its colossal skull seemed as thick as tree trunks yet sharp as pikes. All it would take was a flick of the head to bore a tunnel through Kanan's visceral organs, the thought of which caused those freezing cold sweat droplets to form once again.

The monk took a few wobbly steps forward. The buffalo was none too amused—its nostrils flared like full bellows and its breath burned as the flames of the netherworld.

If anything, please let me keep from soiling myself when I die…

Though he was cloaked in a sorcerous armor that had proven itself in numerous headbuttings, its invisible nature and imperceptible weight did nothing to calm his nerves.

So absorbed was Kanan in his own anxiety that it took him an extensive amount of time to realize the bull was now heading straight for him at full speed.

Fear welled up from deep within his bowels—or was it simply vomitus from within his stomach? Either way, he pushed the sensation down with all his might. He was a monk: a profession whose armor is his body, a man with muscles that could fend off any foe's fangs! But most of all, he was a conflicted Hume who simply couldn't stomach the thought of Shokonana laughing at him.

Mere instants before the buffalo was to slam its adamantine head into Kanan's chest, he noticed that the world around him had begun to bend and distort.

Then all went black. Though he had a clear memory of the bull making contact with him, he felt not an iota of pain. Instead, he felt his innards rising, meaning he must be falling from somewhere up high…possibly to his death.


While he miraculously clung to consciousness through the ordeal, Kanan was certainly not in his right mind to take stock of his surroundings. It was only after he had landed and his eyes could make out colors and shapes again that he pieced together the familiar sights of his home country of San d'Oria.

"I…made it? B-but how…?"

"Did you make any penetrataruing observations?"

It took a few extra moments for Shokonana's face to finally come into focus before him. Assuming that she had not yet developed a new type of magic, she must have returned via Warp.

"Observations? There was no time to make any observations; the whole thing was over as soon as it started."

"So…you didn't see a single-wingle thing?"

"I tried! I truly did…but everything went black, and then I wound up here."

Well, it's time for my just desserts. Of course I'd be ridiculed by her for biting off more than I could chew.

Yet there was no indication in her expression that she was mad at him whatsoever. In fact, her it was one of gentle forgiveness.

"But you didn't get scared and shutaru your eyes, did you?"

"…No…I guess not…"

"Then that's good enough for me!" she beamed as she patted his back in a comforting gesture.

"That's the Can-can I know. You did your best, and that's all that countarus."

Those few words, though interspersed with a nickname he despised and somewhat lacking in eloquence, immediately lifted Kanan from the depths of despair. They also gave him the revelation that no matter how strong a monk he'd become, he'd always go weak at the knees for Tarutaru girls.


Story: Miyabi Hasegawa
Illustration: Mitsuhiro Arita

Category: News

This content copyright Square Enix.