It’s not that Golbez wants to dress strangely; it’s just that sometimes the circumstances leave him with no choice.
Part 1: Brothers and Their Bad Timing
Cecil this, Cecil that, quite frankly, Golbez was tired of hearing his men talk about the enemy. Kain had gone on a tangent about it too and his usual gloomy remarks of jealousy had somehow evolved into a story about how he and Cecil used to be like brothers. ‘Brothers… who needs them?’ Golbez grunted as he entered his private quarters. Right now all he wanted was a shower, some food and a bed. He didn’t want to hear stupid stories about non-biological brothers, or any kind of brothers actually. As far as he knew, not that he actually remembered ever having any siblings; brothers were only good for borrowing one’s things without permission and practicing the bad habit of needing something or other when one was busy, or sleeping, or in the shower, etcetera.
Golbez removed his heavy armor, displeased with the state of his clothing beneath it. Did he ever need a change of clothes! He rummaged through his supplies but found that he had nothing else to wear. Angry, he stomped back to the hallway and shouted, “who is in charge of the laundry?”
A frightened soldier patrolling the halls jumped and stared at the man before him, his nose discretely wrinkling at the unpleasant odor. “It’s… not me… I think Golbez fired him, literally, with Firaga. Speaking of, you really shouldn’t go into Golbez’s quarters without permission. You seem to be very strong, but Golbez is-”
“I am Golbez and you are in charge of the laundry, go get some clothes and deliver them to this room,” he ordered.
The soldier’s jaw dropped and it took him a moment to react under Golbez’s deadly glare. He squeaked a hurried, “yes, sir,” and dashed away, muttering something or other about Cecil’s hair, which he was lucky Golbez didn’t quite catch as a comparison to his own.
Golbez closed the door, leaving it unlocked and removed the unpleasant clothes; one could certainly work up a sweat in such heavy armor. He went into the annexed bathroom and relished the feeling of clean water over his body. Despite his short temper most of the time, for that small moment he felt relaxed, silently thanking whoever invented soap for its great usefulness. He was applying shampoo to his hair when he heard a knock from the main door of his quarters and the faint voice of the soldier saying something about clothes. “Just leave them in the room and take the other clothes.” The door opened, seconds passed and it closed again.
After Golbez was done with his hair he stayed in the shower for a while longer, just relaxing. Yet his time of rest was interrupted by the alarmed cries of soldiers saying something or other about Cecil. Golbez growled in frustration, stupid Cecil, couldn’t he even stay away long enough to allow him to take a shower in peace? In a hurry, before the soldiers made a mess of things without his direction, or even worse, before Kain acted on his own, Golbez dried himself off and exited the bathroom to the main room. He found the clean clothes that had been left there, but unfortunately they didn’t fit him at all. Try as he might to squeeze into them, the clothes were simply too small.
“Lord Golbez! Lord Golbez! It’s Cecil!” A soldier relentlessly knocked on his door.
“I’m coming!” Golbez growled and he soon heard a squeak of fright and footsteps scurrying away on the other side of the door. Now what was he to do? The soldiers were in a frenzy and he had no one to send to get him some clothes. He couldn’t exactly venture out to where such supplies were kept wearing nothing but a towel around his waist. What would his men think? Kain would surely believe him to have gone insane and what if he ran into Cecil and his friends? He would never live it down. “Stupid Cecil…”
With no other choice that he could think of, Golbez put on his armor. It was very uncomfortable to wear it like that, but there was nothing more to do.
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Part 2: Pajamas
After the whole business with Zemus and Zeromus was done, discoveries were made and a semblance of acceptance was formed between the Lunarian brothers, Golbez was ready for a very long nap. He was ready to sleep off the years and wake up in a distant era where no one remembered who he had been.
“Here we are,” Fusoya pointed out a suspended animation container with a glass cover. “You may sleep here. By the way, shouldn’t you take off your armor now? I admit I’m curious to see your face, and besides, you can’t possibly be planning to sleep in that. Sure you won’t feel a think while in suspended animation, but still, you’ll be quite stiff when you wake up.”
Golbez removed his helmet and paused, absent mindedly running a hand through his long pale hair. He didn’t even pay attention to Fusoya’s expression upon seeing his face and only half heard the remark about the resemblance between him and Cecil. Honestly, other than the hair, Golbez just couldn’t see it. But he wasn’t dwelling on such things anyway; there was something else on his mind. Through the perils that they face, Golbez had endured, telling himself that it was not the time to think about such discomforts and he managed to throw them to the back of his mind. But now… “I can’t…”
“You can’t?” Fusoya wasn’t sure what this was about. The old Lunarian thought that Golbez was having second thoughts about sleeping on the Lunarian Moon. “Would you prefer to join the others on the Blue Planet? I could drop you off on the Lunar Whale,” he offered.
“No!” Golbez refused. “I mean, I can’t take off my armor.”
Fusoya tilted his head in confusion. “You can’t?” He examined the joints of the metal casing. “Is it wielded together somehow?”
“No… I can take it off, it’s just that…” How was Golbez supposed to explain this? It was embarrassing!
“Ah, you meant it metaphorically,” Fusoya theorized, his bony hand stroking his long beard. “I would not expect you to be able to remove your personal armor so quickly, you went through a lot after all and-”
“No…” Though the old Lunarian had good intentions, Golbez just didn’t feel like listening to a self esteem lecture. “What I mean is… er…”
Fusoya waited and when the silence stretched, he gently prompted, “yes?”
“I have nothing else to wear,” Golbez finally confessed with a good measure of embarrassment.
“Oh, well you don’t need armor here, it’s not like any battles are expected to happen,” Fusoya didn’t quite understand.
“I know but…” Golbez looked away from Fusoya and at the suspended animation case, his own face and Fusoya’s vaguely reflected on the glass. “Sleeping naked under glass isn’t exactly something I’m comfortable with.”
Finally understanding the true meaning of Golbez’s words, Fusoya could only voice a quiet, “oh.” He wondered how Golbez managed to get around in that heavy armor like that; he would guess it’s quite uncomfortable. “Well… Let me see what I can find for you to wear.” Unfortunately, there wasn’t really all that much Fusoya could find.
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Part 3: Lunarian Dress Code
After a visit to Mount Ordeals and the announcement of his decision to return to the Lunarian Moon, Golbez left. Sometime after his uncle had left, Ceodore curiously approached his father with a question that returned to his thoughts after he had pushed it to the back of his mind, when there were more important things to think about. “Father…”
“Yes?” Cecil replied as the two made their way down the Baron Castle hallways. Ceodore was to leave on a mission with the Red Wings in a few hours, under the guidance of their new captain, Kain.
“I didn’t ask anything before because there were more important things going on,” Ceodore began with an explanation. “Besides, I didn’t want to sound rude.”
Curious about what his son’s inquiry could be, Cecil prompted, “what is it?”
“About Golbez…” Ceodore shyly began, wondering if it was even right of him to question such things that, for all he knew, were well beyond his understanding.
Cecil prepared himself for a long and complex conversation. He paused his walk next to a window in the hallway and turned to face his son, rather than walking next to him. “Yes?”
The question that left Ceodore’s mouth was not what Cecil was expecting. “Do all Lunarians dress like that?”
“Wha…” Cecil’s mouth hung open. There he was, ready to answer his son’s questions as best he could and tell him all about the complex past relationship with his brother and how they came to terms with each other, then Ceodore’s question turned out to be so simple. It caught Cecil completely off guard and made him think. Fusoya didn’t dress like Golbez, though his long flowing white robes were as big as sheets, so maybe wearing sheets wrapped around themselves was the traditional Lunarian dress code. Cecil finally managed to close his mouth, organize his thoughts, then voice a somewhat acceptable answer to his son’s curious eyes. Appealing to something Rosa had taught the boy, Cecil answered with a question of his own. “What has your mother taught you about other cultures?”
Ceodore thought for a moment until the answer emerged from his memories and he obediently recited it. “That we must be respectful and open minded.”
Cecil nodded in satisfaction, “very good.” He didn’t elaborate any further as he thought that basic lesson should be enough. Besides, he didn’t actually have the proper information to give a full answer anyway.
The king and prince resumed their walk in silence for a few seconds until once again, Ceodore spoke up. “Father?”
“Yes, Ceodore?” Cecil didn’t expect any hard questions in that occasion, as his son’s tone was relaxed, a slight smile upon his youthful face that made Cecil smile back.
Ceodore’s features reached a full smile as he inquired. “Since I have Lunarian heritage and all, can I dress like that sometime? In the summer, when it’s hot?”
Once again Cecil opened his mouth, but no sounds came out. Honestly, it might not look so good for a prince to be running around barefoot, shirtless and also pantless for that matter, with nothing but a sheet wrapped around his waist and another used as a cape. But if he said no, then that would contradict Rosa’s valuable lesson, that Cecil had just reminded him of, and he had always tried to teach his son to be proud of his roots.
Ceodore continued to smile, “can I, father?”
“O-of course,” Cecil finally replied. Well, why not? The monks of Fabul ran around shirtless all the time anyway, though they at least wore pants and shoes. But being open minded and respectful of different cultures was important for any person, more so for a prince. He couldn’t tell his son to be that way and then contradict the lesson by forbidding him from publicly embracing his Lunarian heritage. Now he just had to explain it to Rosa.
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Part 4: Fan Girls
Golbez ducked into the main building of Mysidia in a hurry. Ceodore dashed in after him, wondering what had his uncle in such a rush. “Is everything alright?” The young prince asked.
“Maybe I shouldn’t be here on this planet…” Golbez stated, his face downcast.
“But you just arrived!” Ceodore was quick to argue.
After spending some time at the Lunarian Moon and making sure that everything was alright, Golbez had returned to the Blue Planet to calm an irresistible urge to see his brother and his family again. He was very curious about how they were all doing and Fusoya wouldn’t stop mentioning how they must be ever so worried about the way he left, not being able to tell them if the Lunarian Moon had survived or not. “They know who I am,” Golbez grimaced.
“Who does?” Porom curiously inquired, joining the conversation as she entered the main room. “By the way, welcome to Mysidia. I wasn’t expecting visitors today, but please allow me to show you our hospitality.”
“Thank you, but we’re not here to stay for long,” Ceodore replied, returning Porom’s smile. “We have a lot of places to visit before we head back to Baron for a reunion celebration. You, Palom and Leonora will come, right?”
“I would love to, and I’m sure Palom and Leonora will be all too happy to go too,” Porom replied. While Ceodore disclosed the details concerning the celebration, Porom took a moment to notice how quiet and uneasy Golbez was. She also wondered about the conversation she walked into before. “Golbez, is everything alright?”
Golbez shook his head wearily. “Maybe I should just leave; it’s obvious that I’m making people uneasy. Just outside, some mages were staring and whispering among themselves. I could feel a wave of something similar to unrest coming from them.”
“Oh…” Porom was taken by surprise. She didn’t expect anyone to even recognize Golbez. “I’m sure we can work things out, please don’t leave.”
Palom suddenly entered the building, loudly asking, “where is he?” In a very accusing tone. He looked at the uneasy Golbez and blinked in realization, “it’s you.”
“You see?” Golbez pointed out, getting the wrong impression. “I’m making people uneasy, they complained to you, didn’t they, Palom?”
“Not really,” Palom admitted. “The girls were talking about some guy and it wasn’t the great Sage Palom, so I came to investigate who the suspicious individual was.”
Porom rolled her eyes at Palom, “so that’s how it is, and by the way Palom, you’re not a Sage yet.”
“They’re scared…” Golbez frowned. It wasn’t his intention to frighten anyone.
“Scared?” Palom echoed in disbelief. “More like scary!” The door opened and closed at that moment, with someone quietly entering the area and standing to the side in silence, not wishing to interrupt. “Listen,” Palom placed his hand on Golbez’s shoulder as if giving advice to someone who was younger and more inexperienced than himself. “Trust me on this, after all I am a great Sage,” Porom gave him a look. “A great future Sage,” Palom amended. “The point is that stuff like that gets attention from girls, lots of attention, so I know what I’m talking about. What you need to do is-” a soft clearing of the throat and a cold chill running down his spine made Palom fall silent and turn around slowly. “Hi Leonora, when did you get here?” He smiled innocently.
“I was just…” Leonora shied away and backed out towards the door. “I was just leaving.” Though she wasn’t as clear in showing it as his sister, Palom knew that Leonora was upset and that one way or another, if he didn’t make it up to her, he would suffer the consequences. “Wait, Leonora!” He rushed out the door.
Porom sighed, “pay no attention to him,” she advised Golbez. “And trust me; the girls are not afraid of you. They are simply curious. Why don’t I introduce you to them?”
“Are you sure they don’t hate me?” Golbez fidgeted.
“Oh no, not at all,” Porom smiled reassuringly.
Ceodore got a strange feeling from her, something akin to a rare kind of sadism that was unlike anything his senses had picked up before. He didn’t know why, but he felt like Porom was throwing Golbez to the wolves so to speak. Maybe this was that scary feeling girls gave off that Palom had warned him about.
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Part 5: Influence
“Young lady!” Sheila’s disapproving voice reached across the throne room of Fabul Castle and penetrated into Ursula’s ears as the princess froze near the door and, with lightning speed, turned to face her mother. With her trusty ladle already on hand, Sheila approached her daughter and pointed out her attire. “Where do you think you’re going dressed like that?”
Ursula’s eyes never left the ladle as she replied, ready to dodge the kitchen appliance at any moment, should her mother choose to go on the attack. “To Baron, I was planning to go early so I could help out with the upcoming celebration. You and father said it was okay, remember?” She appealed to the conversation from a few days ago.
Sheila waved her ladle in the air, but not yet took a swing at Ursula, wanting to hear the full explanation first. “Dressed like that?” She emphasized the main part of the question.
Ursula self consciously tugged on the fabric wrapped over her chest, tied on the back, yet her eyes were still on the ladle. “It’s traditional Lunarian attire,” Ursula pointed out, hoping that her mother would believe her, it was after all, as far as she knew, the truth.
“Oh?” Sheila raised a curious eyebrow and tilted her head to the side in perplexity. Her daughter had never been in the habit of lying and she couldn’t imagine her starting now.
Seeing that she was starting to reason with her mother and the threatening swinging of the ladle had ceased, Ursula elaborated. “It’s true; Ceodore told me all about it. This is how Lunarians dress,” or at least it was how she interpreted them to dress from Ceodore’s descriptions. She had seen him wearing attire similar to Golbez when he stopped by when the Red Wings flew over Fabul. Yang and Sheila had been away on some official duty, leaving Ursula and the advisors to watch over Fabul for a few days.
It was then when Ursula had curiously struck up a conversation with Ceodore and he explained the origin of what he was wearing. “Do Lunarian girls dress like that too?” Ursula had curiously asked.
Ceodore wasn’t sure, but he would imagine they did. “Of course, just in a more… um… feminine style, but very similar.”
The clothes looked very comfortable and Ursula was inclined to try to wear something like that during the hot summer days when the training sessions felt longer for each article of clothing one wore. As for the more feminine style of the Luniarian female attire, Ursula combined logic with imagination to figure that out. She added the bra-like wrap over her chest and made the wrap around her waist a little shorter.
“Well,” Sheila finally voiced, lowering her ladle in acceptance. “If it is to show our fellowship and support to Baron by embracing Lunarian culture, I guess it’s alright. Have fun at Baron, your father and I will be there on time for the celebration.”
“I will!” Ursula cheerfully dashed out of the throne room.
A few minutes later, Ursula stopped at the training grounds in front of Fabul Castle, where she greeted her father formally. “Master Yang, I will be on my way to Baron now.”
“Dressed like that?” Yang frowned in disapproval. He could allow her to wear such clothing for her own personal training and for private lessons if she felt more comfortable like that, but not to train with the other monks and very much less on a trip to another country.
“It’s traditional Lunarian attire,” Ursula explained. “This way I’ll be showing our fellowship and support to Baron by embracing Lunarian culture, mother said so.”
“Oh…” and because Yang never dared to question his kitchen appliance wielding wife, without further protests, he gave his apprentice his well wishes and sent her on her way.
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