Aoi: It's time for all good little boys and girls to be in bed! Ninja art...Shadow Stitch!
Nicolas: Looks like Aoi is on night watch tonight. Her techniques may prove troublesome...
Jurota: One sends a shinobi to fight a shinobi. Leave this to me.
Eugene: But then what will become of you?
Jurota: There is no greater honor than to fight for one's brethren. Now go while I do this. Ninja art...Shadow Stitch Reversal!
Hope: We'll never forget you, Jurota!
The tale begins earlier that morning...
Hope: Okay, my turn! I rolled 12 in total, so I'm gonna attack with my shock trooper!
Wannabe Knight Apprentice Priest
Eugene: Sorry, pal, but I got a shield knight and a heavy cavalry lying in ambush there.
Dour Young Dreamer
Nicolas: Eugene's counteroffensive wipes out Hope's forces entirely. That's game.
Magic Academy Ace
Jurota: This tale of tabletop war ends here. Skillfully done, Eugene.
Ranzal: Sounds like you guys're havin' fun. *yaaawn*
Hope: And you sound wiped. Hanging out until the wee hours again, Ranzal?
Ranzal: Yeah, wild night on the town—for purely work reasons, I'll have ya know.
Ranzal: Mercs and adventurers gotta cut loose to stay limber, which means the city's full'a them types once the sun beats feet.
Ranzal: And since those guys and gals got the intel we need to fight this war, my wild ways're purely for networkin' and reconnaissance.
Nicolas: Getting in good with the nightlife and gathering intelligence? You've piqued my interest!
Hope: Yeah! Sounds like just the sort of thing a warrior should be doing!
Hope: Take us with you next time, Ranzal!
Ranzal: Sorry, champ. No can do. Yer a little young to be runnin' amok with the likes'a Ranzal.
Eugene: He just treated us like a bunch of kids! That was low...
Jurota: But as we also fight under the Halidom's banner, I believe his demeanor unfounded.
Hope: Right? We're TOTALLY warriors! So I vote that tonight we... *whisper*
Eugene: I can't believe Operation: Sneak Out Of The Castle Alone And Party With Ranzal just started and Jurota's ALREADY down.
Nicolas: Should we call it off?
Hope: No way! We can't waste his sacrifice. We've gotta push through the tears and keep moving forward!
Eugene: That's right! We're gonna avenge Jurota and the meat by going... Wait, meat?
Nicolas: Uhhh, is that Yue?
Hope: Gah! We're under attaaaack! Wait, is she sleepwalking?
Yue: Grrrrrrrr... RRARAAAWR!
Eugene: Mayday! Mayday! She's gonna eat meeee!
Hope: There's gotta be a way to calm her down!
Nicolas: It's a gamble, but... You two, stand back! Arcane barrier, unfold!
Eugene: You stopped her in her tracks... Where'd you pick up THAT trick?
Nicolas: A magic studies textbook, though this is my first time putting it to actual use. I'm pleased it worked out.
Hope: Nice one, Nicolas. Okay, let's get going!
Nicolas: Would that I could. But I'm afraid I have to remain here to maintain the spell until she calms down. Alas, fellows, my path ends here.
Yue: Mmmeeeeeeeat... MMMEEEEEEEAT!
Eugene: No! We can't lose you, too!
Nicolas: Please don't look so sad. Using knowledge I found in one of my books to actually help my friends is a complete win for me.
Nicolas: No more looking back. Go and enjoy the night's pleasures in my stead!
Hope & Eugene: Okay, we will. Thanks, Nicolas!
Yue: MY MEEEEEEEAT!
Eugene: We finally made it outside! Now we just have to get past the gates and we're—
Hope: Shh! Someone's coming! Hide!
Celliera: Mmm, the breeze feels so nice... It's the perfect night for extra training.
Hope: (Look! It's Celliera! If she spots us, she'll ruin the plan AND make us do push-ups until we hurl!)
Hope: (One time, I saw her catch the prince trying to sneak out and she put him through a "lifestyle correction" course!)
Celliera: Right! There's 500 midnight wind sprints. Now for my ten thousand nightly squats. ...One! ...Two! ...Three! ...Four!
Eugene: (Uh, do we have to wait until she's done? 'Cause ten thousand is a LOT.)
Hope: (Knowing her, she'll move on to something else as soon as she finishes squatting...)
Hope: (No other choice: I'll act as bait and draw her off while you make for the gate!)
Eugene: (What?! But if she catches you...)
Hope: (Don't worry! Tobias trained me well; my legs can handle it.)
Eugene: (This plan is stupid. If you're gonna be bait, then I'M gonna be bait!)
Eugene: (We split and run for the gate from different directions, yeah? If she gets one of us, the other one keeps going.)
Eugene: (And you don't get a veto. If there's risk, we're gonna share it equally.)
Hope: (One for all and all for one, eh? Copy that, partner!)
Eugene: (On my mark. Three, two, one...RUN!)
Celliera: ...431! ...432! ...Huh? Footsteps! Sounds like...two pairs?
Celliera: They're moving separately. I'll start with the closer one!
Hope: *gasp* *wheeze* Made it...to the gates... But where's Eugene?
Celliera's Voice: Is that all you've got, soldier?! Swing those arms! Lift those knees!
Eugene's Voice: Ma'am, yes, ma'am! ONE, two, three, four! TWO, two, three, four!
Hope: Oh no! Celliera got him...
Hope: I won't let your sacrifices be in vain, everyone... I promise.
Hope: I'll carry your memories with me as I head out to an unforgettable night on the tow—
Ranzal: Not happenin'.
Hope: Ranzal?! What are you doing here?!
Ranzal: Figured ya squirts would try somethin' like this, so I decided to lay a trap for ya.
Ranzal: City's a dangerous place at night for the same reasons what make it fun, so ya gotta keep yer head on a swivel.
Ranzal: And if yer gettin' busted by the likes'a me, ya ain't ready for the city. Now c'mon, kid. Let's get ya back to bed.
The next morning...
Eugene: She kept me training until dawn, and I'm literally dying. *yaaawn*
Nicolas: Yes, and I had to keep that barrier up all night as well. *yaaawn*
Jurota: Aoi and I were evenly matched, and our battle stretched on to daybreak. *yaaawn*
Hope: I'm so sorry, you guys! You all put your bodies on the line, and I couldn't...
Jurota: You faced an opponent beyond your skill, nothing more. There is no apology needed.
Nicolas: He's right. And so is Ranzal, frankly— we'd have made a pack of easy marks for street toughs or shady merchants.
Eugene: Plus it was fun, even if we lost; sneaking out at night is peak youth!
Hope: Aw, you guys!
Ranzal: Hats off to the solidarity, boys! Still, I can't have ya sneakin' off again.
Ranzal: So I'll make ya a promise: You four get a little more experience under yer belts, and this old man'll take ya out on the town personally.
Hope: You mean it?!
Ranzal: You bet. It's a promise between warriors!