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- Richard's second art initially depicted his ring on his right middle finger, when his base art and battle sprites had it on his right ring finger. It was corrected on May 10, 2019.
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All Bets Are Off
Richard, who often suffers bad karma in exchange for his gambling luck, makes a misplay in a poker tournament when he realizes his crush, Therese, is watching him. Despite losing the hand, he ends up winning the tournament and is crowned Phantagrande's top gambler; the casino manager, Christina, observes from afar with a crafty smile.
Have you heard of a tournament called the Casino Crown Jewel?
It's an event hosted on the Jewel Resort Casino Liner to determine Phantagrande's top gambler.
When the day of the event arrives, players from all walks of life pack the casino halls.
Sparks fly between the card sharks at a poker table, where the final stretch of the tournament is taking place.
???: Well, shut my mouth. Sorry to say this, friends...
???: But I think Lady Luck has fallen for yours truly.
Gambler 1: Psh! So what if you've got a lucky lady on your team? It ain't over till the fat lady sings!
Gambler 2: Tch, laying it all on the river is the mark of a true gambler. I'll show you a comeback for the ages.
???: Haha, now we're talking. If I wasn't looking for a challenge, I'd have played fifty-two pickup.
???: Can't leave the table without experiencing the electrifying thrill of bluffing.
The last remaining players are seated together. One man in particular is nearly hidden behind a mountain of chips won in consecutive hands.
That man's name is Richard, who has earned a reputation as a gambling prodigy.
Richard: Hoo boy. This winning streak isn't the result of my usual lucky string of risky plays.
Richard: Nope! It's gotta be divine intervention!
Richard: (If I've gone this long without a single stroke of bad luck, that can only mean one thing...)
The gambler is grateful things are going his way, but he tempers his elation.
Richard is susceptible to ordinary bouts of bad luck in exchange for the good luck he enjoys in gambling.
Richard: (This win streak is a miracle. And knowing how my luck works...)
Suspicious Man: ...
Richard: Wait, wha? Wh-where's my wallet? Oh man, it was stuffed with cash too...
Drunkard: Watchin' a punk like you hit the jackpot pisses me off! Take this!
Richard: What was that for? I didn't even do anything!
Richard: D-down, boy! Somebody help meee!
Richard: (It's hard to believe all the misfortune I've suffered through.)
Richard: (But this time, I don't feel any negative shadows around me!)
Richard: (If anyone tries to use violence or cheat, the casino staff will surely put a stop to it.)
Richard: (And I don't have to worry about my fear of dogs since they're not allowed in the casino! Let's see... what else could go wrong?)
Richard: (I guess someone might step on my foot or spill a drink on me. Small annoyances to be sure.)
Richard: (But in terms of a disaster bad enough to offset my winnings, I'm in the clear!)
Richard: All right, dealer, let's get the next hand going!
Richard's loud laughter, no doubt getting under the other players' skin, can be heard across the casino floor.
(Captain) and company are also at the casino today, delivering cargo. A quick glance at the surrounding activity reminds them that a tournament is underway.
Vyrn: Wahoo! The energy in here is electric! I wanna go watch the action!
Lyria: Uh-huh! I do too!
Choose: What are we waiting for?
Vyrn: Awesome! Knew you'd agree!
Choose: It's packed in here.
Vyrn: Yeah! A crowd this size proves this tournament is no joke!
Vyrn: Bwuh? Where did (Captain) go?
Lyria: Ah! Over there!
Vyrn: It'd be bad if we got separated... We oughta simmer down and pay closer attention.Continue 1
The crew make their way to the poker table where the final event is in full swing.
As they draw closer, they spot a familiar face behind the imposing stack of chips.
Lyria: Hey, isn't that Richard?
Richard is a crew member
Richard notices his fellow crewmates and calls out to them during a lull in the action.
Richard: Oh, hey, guys. Did you come to celebrate with me after I win the championship?
Vyrn: You could've at least left a note or something telling us you were entering a tournament! How rude!
Richard: Sorry, sorry. You guys seemed busy, so I decided not to bug you about it.
Lyria: Wow! Look at all the chips you've won!
Vyrn: Seriously! You've pretty much got the title locked up, eh?
Richard not in crew
Vyrn: Oh yeah, it is! He's the guy we met during the Festival of the Falling Flame!
The man behind the chip stack calls out to the crew during a lull in the action.
Richard: Haha, long time no see, you guys. Thanks for the help during the festival incident.
Vyrn: Hehe, don't mention it! So it looks like you're in a real good spot!Continue 2
Richard: Heh, who do you think you're talking to? They don't call me Richard the gambling wizard for no—
Vyrn: Uh, what's wrong?
The crew follow Richard's gaze, and they quickly come to understand why he suddenly froze.
Therese, a casino duelist, has spotted the crew and is coming over to greet them.
Therese: Heehee. Fancy meeting you all here.
Therese: Oh my. I've never seen such standout skill among a group of expert players. Amazing!
Richard: Th-this is only the beginning!
Vyrn: He's like a completely different person...
Richard: W-watch me w-win it all!
Therese: Um... O-okay! Good luck.
Richard: (Great! This is my moment to show her my brilliant play!)
Richard: Hey, dealer! Keep the cards flowing!
And so a red-faced Richard, high on some sort of euphoria, is dealt his hand.
Gambler 1: Bahaha! This pot's mine! My revenge starts now!
Richard: (Damn! That was supposed to be my place under Therese's spotlight!)
Richard: Aha... Ha... A small misplay is all that was. The, um, next pot definitely has my name on it!
Vyrn: Oh, brother... He's falling apart in front of Therese.
Lyria: Ahaha... But I'm sure he'll win the next one!
Therese: I suppose that one hand was simply following the ebb and flow of probability.
Richard: Y-yeah, exactly!
Richard: I'll make sure it doesn't happen twice!
Therese: That's the spirit! Unfortunately I have to help set up a duel.
Therese: I'll be cheering for you though, Richard.
Vyrn: Focus. You're only a few chips away from winning it all. You can feel lonely later!
Richard: You're completely right.
Richard: Okay, okay. This ends now!
Richard's attitude takes a dramatic shift, and his winning ways return.
When all is said and done, Richard stands above all other gamblers in Phantagrande, boasting a new title and a huge payout.
Lyria: Congratulations, Richard!
Richard: Well, the odds were simply in my favor.
The skilled gambler sweeps his bangs to the side and clears his throat.
Richard not in crew
Richard: Conquering this tournament proves there isn't a gambler left in this skydom who can give me a run for my money.
Richard: If I remember correctly, you guys are on a journey to some far-off place, right?
Richard: Hah, that's it. Guess my memory isn't that bad after all.Choose: Yeah, we're going to Estalucia.
Richard: It wouldn't surprise me if there are artful gamblers living in other skydoms.
Richard: I mean there's just gotta be!
Richard: Okay, my mind's made up. I'm joining you guys!
Vyrn: Er, hold on there! You can't just decide without—
Richard: You've seen my gambling skills with your own eyes! You'll never have to worry about running low on funds again!
Lyria: Um... What do you think, (Captain)?
Richard: There's a one hundred percent chance you say yes. Looking forward to the journey, (Captain)!
Richard's eyes twinkle as he grasps (Captain)'s hand in a handshake.
Although Richard hasn't given the captain much of a choice, (Captain) is no less impressed by his enthusiasm.Choose: Mm-hm, welcome aboard.
Richard: Thanks for taking a bet on my dreams.
The crew members nod at Richard, who is grinning from ear to ear.
Richard: I hope you don't mind if I change the subject...
Vyrn: What's up?
Richard: It's about Therese.
Richard: When you guys helped me out during the festival incident, I confessed my feelings for her.
Lyria: That's right. It's too bad you couldn't beat her in a duel to win her over.
Richard: Be that as it may, I haven't given up on her.
Richard: So can I ask you to help me out again?
Richard: I won't put her on the spot about becoming a couple like I did last time.
Richard: First I'll ask her to go on a d-d-date. Will you help me?
Choose: You got it.
Richard: Thank you! The one thing you can always bet on is friends!
Richard finishes shaking hands with (Captain) and breathes a sigh of relief.
Choose: Are you serious about this?
Richard: I am. When I start thinking about her, my heart goes into overdrive.
Richard: If that's not serious, then I don't know what else to call it. You know it's true, (Captain)!
(Captain) acknowledges Richard's resolve with a firm handshake.Continue 3
A woman on the fringe of the milling crowd watches Richard and the others without their knowledge.
With an air of invincibility, Christina—manager of the casino liner—makes her move.
Christina offers Richard the opportunity to increase his tournament prize money by playing Higher-or-Lower. Urged on by the spectators, Richard accepts Christina's challenge, and his winnings continue to pile up.
The Casino Crown Jewel tournament determines who is the top gambler in Phantagrande.
Richard wins it all, earning him the coveted title and lots of prize money.
He stands on a stage set up on the casino floor, thrusting his fist toward the spectators.
Richard: To all my fans and well-wishers out there... To everyone who believed in me... You're the real stars! Thank you!
The giddy champion bathes in the cheers showered upon him.
The laugh comes from Christina, casino manager extraordinaire.
She strolls up to the stage and stops just shy of where Richard is engaging the crowd. Her smile is one of provocation.
Christina: First allow me to congratulate you on becoming Phantagrande's top gambler.
Richard: Oho. A personal message from the house empress? You must be in a good mood.
Richard: Mmm.... So this is what it feels like to be complimented by the great Christy.
Christina: And why shouldn't I offer praise? You put on quite a show back there, and it gave me an idea.
Christina: Hehe. You have a sizeable bankroll now. How about double or nothing?
Christina: What do you say? I know you've got an itch you can't help but scratch. I'll make it worth your while.
Richard: Heh, with a hook like that... What should I do?
The response from the crowd, their desire to see more suspenseful risk-taking, is unanimous.
Gambler 1: What's there to think about, Richard? You'd be a fool to let this chance slip away!
Gambler 2: Hm... You've got momentum on your side, Richard. You should go for it!
Richard listens to the shouts urging him to keep going, his shoulders shaking from laughter, his spotless teeth gleaming under the lights.
Richard: Haha, sure is easy to wager someone else's money, isn't it?
Richard: Fear not. I feel the winds of fortune pushing me toward another flawless victory.
Richard: I was in from the start.
Lyria: Should he really be doing this?
Vyrn: He's flyin' high today. Maybe it'll turn out to be another easy victory!
Vyrn: Listen to the crowd. They're even more hyped up than they were during the actual tournament.
(Captain) and company marvel at how Christina's theatrics have whipped the crowd into a fervor.
Richard's attempt to break the bank is about to unfold.
Richard: Yeesss! Another successful call. I'm going to keep this luck train running.
Christina: Hahaha! I hope it stays on schedule.
It would seem that Richard's luck has yet to be spent.
Before long his prize swells to tens of times its initial worth.
Showdown Aftermath: Scene 2
With Richard on the cusp of winning the largest payout in casino history, Christina has all the staff gather on the floor to witness the historical event. Richard catches sight of Therese in the crowd and asks her for a date if he wins it all. Before the final hand is revealed, Richard's Kleshas surface.
Lyria: Oh my goodness! Richard won again!
Vyrn: That's insane! How far can he go?
Gambler 2: Hm... Most people would have quit by now for fear of losing it all.
Richard: Haha, this is a casino, not a comedy club! To back out in the middle of a wager is unthinkable.
Richard: Because I'm a gambler. I land wherever the dice lands!
Christina simply laughs with satisfaction at each uproarious cheer that signals another successful guess from Richard.
Christina: Ahahaha! A feat fit for Phantagrande's top gambler! But it's too early for me to be saying that about you.
Richard: Is that a bluff? You're keeping your composure on the outside, but you must be sweating on the inside.
Richard: Lady Luck has no intention of breaking up with me!
Christina: Oh, really? Why do I get the feeling that you're the only one who thinks so?
Richard: Yikes. Do I detect a hint of jealousy?
Richard: All right, chitchat over.
Richard: I'd like to press on, if that's okay with you?
Christina: Absolutely! Just let me take care of something real quick. I need to call in the staff members.
Christina: If I lose, this will be the largest payout in casino history.
Christina: An event like this comes but once in a lifetime.
Christina: It's a historic moment my lovely minions need to witness for themselves.
Richard: Sure, it's your casino.
Richard: (Clearly the tide's going my way. How does she plan on pulling an upset?)
Richard refuses to drop his poker face as he sizes up Christina.
With one eye on Richard, Christina has all the casino staff gather by the stage.
That includes the one woman guaranteed to make Richard flush red.
Christina: Ahahaha! Are we having a blast yet?
Therese: Um, what's going on? I thought Richard already won the tournament.
Richard: I did! I b-became the champ, just like I promised you.
Richard: B-but my newfound title as Phantagrande's top gambler won't let me back down from Christy's challenge!
Vyrn: Busted... You gonna be okay, pal? If this is anything like during that poker match when you had Therese on your brain...
Richard: Phew... I'm calm. I'm in control. This time focus is the name of the game.
Richard: (I'll show Therese how cool I am.)
Richard: (And that'll be my cue to ask her on a d-d-date!)
Lyria: Do your best, Richard! We're with you all the way!
Richard: Thank you!
Christina: It all comes down to this!
Staffer: Are you sure about this, Lady Christy? If he keeps winning—
Christina: No guts, no glory! Are you asking me to go back on my word like a coward?
Christina: Hahaha! Don't worry. I'm prepared to accept the consequences. You just watch and never forget what you're about to see.
Christina's bold words, coupled with her unwavering confidence, draw even louder cheers from the crowd.
She proceeds to draw a single card, face down, and the cheers give way to a silence in which one can hear a pin drop.
Christina: Now where were we?
Christina lays the card in front of Richard, her mouth upturned in a smirk.
Christina: What's it going to be? Higher or lower? Show me what fate has in store for you!
The crowd watches with bated breath, but Richard is struggling with a different pressure within himself.
Richard: (Th-Therese is watching me!)
Richard: (Calm down, Richard, calm down. Just keep doing what you've been doing. You can win this.)
Christina: So after reaping fame and fortune from your inevitable victory, what else is there on your wish list?
Richard: Huh? My what list?
Therese: Teeheehee! Catch me if you can, Richard! I'm right here!
Richard: Ahaha! I'm gonna get you, Therese!
Richard: Hehe... Hehehe...
The gambler's disciplined facade crumbles at the fantasy of dating Therese.
His lapse in concentration is on display for all in the bemused audience to see.
Staffer: What a simple man... Everyone in the casino knows he has the hots for Therese...
Gambler 1: Hey, you love-struck dummy! Get your mind out of the gutter!
The crowd's razzing hits home, and Richard returns to reality in a state of panic.
However, he collects himself long enough to face Therese and make his intentions known.
Richard: If I win this, p-please go on a d-d-date with me!
Vyrn: Whoa! Can't believe he did that in front of all these strangers!
Lyria: Mm-hm! That takes a lot of courage!
Therese: I... What should I say?
Christina: Come on, Therese, answer him. It takes daring to go steady with a fool.
Therese: Lady Christy... Okay!
Therese: As a casino duelist, I-I won't shy away from a challenge.
Therese: If those are the stakes, then I accept your wager!
Lyria: Yay! You're on your way, Richard!
Richard: (Yes! Yes! Yes! Just gotta win this, and that date is mine!)
Richard: (Finally! A date with Therese!)
Having made some semblance of headway with Therese, Richard's excitement is at an all-time high.
But at the same time, Kleshas inside him stir.
Richard: Ngh! No! Go away!
Richard: (Huff... Huff... This is not good...)
Richard: (I'm in danger of making a mistake just like that one hand during the poker finals.)
Richard: (I have to get these Kleshas out of my head!)
Richard: (Calm down and breathe. Be cool, be smart...)
In order to fight off the encroaching negative influences in his mind, Richard desperately draws strength from within.
Showdown Aftermath: Scene 3
Richard is able to suppress his Kleshas, but in the end he loses at Higher-or-Lower; all his winnings and his chance to date Therese are gone. Later on the crew go drinking with Richard to provide moral support, and he vows never to lose again. His image is tarnished when a barking dog sends him scurrying under the table in fear.
Richard: Huff... huff... Good... Leave me in peace...
Somehow the gambler overcomes the Kleshas and regains his composure.
But he falters again after catching sight of the one person that so captivates his heart.
Therese: Um, are you okay, Richard?
Richard: Y-y-yeah! Sorry for the holdup!
All it takes is the sound of the woman's voice to turn his legs to jelly.
Richard: (If divine intervention truly smiles down on me, then all I can do is put my faith in it!)
Christina: Well, Richard? What's your call?
Richard: I think that card is higher than eight, so... I'm going with higher!
Christina: Very well. Is that your final answer?
Christina: Then here we go!
Hearts race as the card is raised high in the air. Holding the card between two fingers, Christina flips the card over with a flourish.
The number on the card stares out at the world, plain as day: a two.
Christina: Heh. Lady Luck is a cruel mistress. She jumped ship at the last minute.
Richard: I was too caught up in thinking she loved me... Haha...
And that's how Richard came to lose his mega fortune.
After the tournament concludes, the crew accepts Richard's request to drink with him at a bar. He gripes the entire time.
Richard: Sigh... Normally, I'd have to suffer something bad happening to me in exchange for my gambling wins.
Richard: But this time the tables were flipped. What little good luck I had with Therese came back to bite me in the butt.
Richard: So much for an undefeated gambling streak... Haha...
Richard laments his first loss, coming at the hands of chasing after Therese.
Vyrn: I mean, you went all in for Therese, right?
Lyria: It's unfortunate. You worked so hard trying to keep your promise to Therese too.
Choose: Maybe it's time to let her go?
Richard: Haha... I wouldn't be in the dumps if it were that easy.
Choose: Tomorrow's another day.
Richard: (Captain)... Yeah, you're right. Therese would never be caught dead with a guy wallowing in self-pity.
Lyria: I wouldn't go that far!
Richard: Thanks, Lyria. You're too kind.
Richard: But it's fine. You don't have to console me.Continue 1
His expression suddenly changes, and he finishes his drink in one fell swig.
Richard sucks in a deep breath and slaps both his cheeks.
Richard: It's time for a fresh start.
Richard: When it comes to gambling, my poker face is a steel fortress that shall never fall. My tells are prisoners that shall never be released.
Richard: But above all else, there is one thing I will wear with pride.
Lyria: What's that?
Richard: An indomitable spirit, as immovable as any mountain.
The crew is moved by Richard's overwhelming determination.
All to be undone in the blink of an eye.
Dog's Howl: Awooo!
Richard: Eep! A dog!
A high-pitched squeal escapes the grown man's lips as he quickly darts under the table.
Vyrn: Wait, what happened to that indomitable spirit you were braggin' about!
Richard: Q-quiet! I'm starting tomorrow!
Richard stays under the safety of the table for as long as the dog's howl can be heard.
The sight of the once fearless man reduced to this has the crew in stitches.