Musings of a Malcontent Samurai

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The sun shines down gently from serene azure skies. A balmy breeze blows over the verdant plains. Ah, spring in Vana'diel, kupo!

What stirs the soul of an adventure-loving moogle even more than this sublime season, however, is the rousing revelry of that timeless Far Eastern tradition known as the Feast of Swords!

But alas, misfortune is ever a moogle's lot! A band of odious outlaws has once again absconded with the stunning suit of armor with which our Far Eastern friends have furnished us for the occasion, and it's up to you, brave adventurer, to set things straight, kupo.

What’s that? Why, yes, there are those skeptical sorts who would suspect us moogles of having a hand in these high jinks, but we implore you! Pay no heed to their mutterings!

Far have we journeyed to reach these shores…

The wayfarer from the Far East allows himself a moment of reflection, gazing across the vast sea to the horizon beyond which his homeland lies. With a handful of retainers in tow, his travels will take him to the four nations of Mindartia and Quon, whose people eagerly await the gift he bears.

The Genji armor—that priceless and irreplaceable heirloom of his realm's most storied clan.

'Tis not my nature to harbor needless doubts. Still, I cannot help but question the motives of these moogles…

The M.H.M.U.'s professed goal is to pay homage to Far Eastern culture by bringing their traditions to the Middle Lands once a year—a worthy aim, to be sure. With bandit-induced bedlam having become as much a tradition as the festival itself, however, it grows somewhat difficult to take their claims at face value.

Flitting from place to place on those peculiar purple wings, currying the favor of man and beast alike… Could they not perhaps be taking advantage of our goodwill for their own dubious ends?

The wayfarer pauses to collect his thoughts. No, he tells himself. It is unbecoming of a cultural ambassador to question the goodwill of his hosts. After all, the nations of the Middle Lands—once a barbaric, war-torn realm—now stand as close friends and stalwart allies. To give voice to his doubts would be to invite an international incident.

Having secured disembarkation privileges from the port official, the procession marches through the massive gate, whereupon they are met by the M.H.M.U. representative in charge of this year's festivities.

"Welcome! Welcome, kupo! And what a spiffy, sparkling, set of treasures you've brought for us this year! Why yes, I think these will serve our purposes veeery well, kupo-ho-ho…"

And did you expect any less? Why, this armor was forged by the most accomplished blacksmiths in our land. Though replicas, each suit will boast powers identical to the original for the duration of the Feast. But wait—what are these "purposes" of which you speak?

"Word has it you've also prepared something special for us this year! Well? Out with the loot, kupo!"

With a sharp nod from the envoy, the men of his retinue heft the lids from the ornate coffers in their custody to reveal set upon set of ceremonial furnishings—striking helms and elegant blades of exquisite craftsmanship sure to add a refined, Far Eastern touch to any home.

Say no more. You'll be awarding these to the adventurers who recover our national treasures from your hired highwaymen, pocketing the profits when your contrived caper sends the townspeople into a mochi-munching, sword-swinging frenzy.

The emissary sighs. Then again, who is he to begrudge the moogles their machinations? After all, the armor is always returned to its rightful hands, brave adventurers end up with rich rewards worthy of their exploits, and the traditions of his homeland are celebrated far and wide. What does it matter if a few bat-winged weasels fill their coffers in the process?

I beg of you, just keep the dents and scratches to a minimum this time. Even a stoic samurai has his own coinpurse to worry about, after all…


Story: Miyabi Hasegawa
Illustration: Mitsuhiro Arita

Category: News

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