Caesar Silverberg has a plan to woo his mentor. However, there's this saying about plans....
This became painfully clear to him, again, when one day he had picked up a crumpled-up note near the suggestion box in Budehuc Castle. The Flame Champion had apparently regarded it as beneath the attention of such a great figure. Caesar read the note. It was from Apple. "Caesar is still a child. He might be a nuisance, but please take care of him. If there's a problem please tell me."
A child? A nuisance? Caesar thought. Is this all I am to her? I need to fix that. If I can't do it through my work in the battlefield, I'll have to move all my strategies to a new one.
The Flame Champion obviously thought better of him than Apple did, because the note had been discarded. This meant that the problem with his charm and abilities was merely a matter of Apple's perception. But how could he change that perception? This was his first experience at wooing a woman. Unlike war, love wasn't quite as fair.
He began his planning in the library. Eike, the librarian, was not as helpful as Caesar would have wished. Eike knew where every book in the castle was, but as he tried to explain to Caesar, "I...am not quite sure...about what is contained within...these books." His mastery of information sadly did not extend to the laws of love. The books of poetry and the lone volume of traditional Iksay herb folklore did look helpful, though. Caesar set to work reading.
The Iksay lore was more helpful than he thought. Instructions for a love potion were clearly laid out. All the ingredients were available in Budehuc, too. Caesar had seen them in a garden near the shore. The farmer was apparently from Iksay. Caesar thought it would be a great idea to get his ingredients and a bit of advice, all at the same time.
When he arrived at the garden, his excitement was at full pitch. "Halloo! Barts! I'd like to buy some herbs from you!" No reply came. He could see Barts next to a small patch of tomatoes. Caesar walked closer. He could hear Barts talking to the plants.
"Dear, beautiful tomato," Barts said, "grow faster so I can eat you right up!" He kissed the small green fruit and stared at it with what looked to Caesar like a passionate gaze.
This is a bit too weird. I wonder if Scott has what I need at the trading post. Caesar slowly backed away and went to the neighboring trading post. Scott did indeed have what he needed but he had neither advice nor cheap prices. This task was looking to be much harder than he had thought.
The potion, once completed, bore an incredible resemblance to beer. It could be easily mixed in with beer. Thus, he would invite Apple out for a drink in the tavern. He would have no trouble distracting her for enough time to slip it in. Apple was surprisingly amenable to going out for a drink.
"Why not? I need a break from all this planning."
The tavern was quite busy when they arrived. Caesar had planned ahead and had informed Anne of his estimated time of arrival and his order. It was ready when they arrived. Caesar picked up the drinks from Anne and walked back to the table. He had mixed in the potion when Anne wasn't looking. Caesar had not been looking where he was walking, thoughts caught up with his plan, and tripped over Koroku the dog. The beer went everywhere. Before he could find something with which to clean up the spill, Koroku had drunk the puddle of liquid.
That plan dashed, Caesar had to find a new strategy. There was a sign in the tavern indicating that Nadir was casting for a performance of /Romeo and Juliet/. No one had signed up yet. He signed up both Apple and himself, and awaited the casting announcement in several days' time. This would be his chance to show his mastery of the spoken word.
The casting was announced. Caesar was to play Romeo and Apple was to play Juliet. Caesar finally had his chance. In his guise of Romeo, he would successfully woo his Juliet. The play would be in a week's time.
Caesar and Apple did not have much of a chance to practice, however. The Flame Champion had asked for possible strategies in defending Budehuc from either a Zexen or a Harmonian attack, or the both attacking at once. Their planning took up long days and nights, and neither of them had the time or energy for frivolities such as reciting lines of popular plays. By the time the performance date rolled around, they had only looked at the script once.
The performances were held in the small stage in the tavern. Usually the trio of Toppo, Nei, and Shabon entertained the patrons, but on performance nights the tavern was entirely devoted to the production of plays. Unfortunately, Budehuc's limited budget did not allow for elaborate productions. It barely allowed for productions in the first place. The sets were made from discarded building materials used in the build-up of Budehuc's new businesses. Caesar had his doubts about their strength. He had seen the girl Belle banging away at boards when she was not banging away on her barrel-shaped fighting automaton.
"You're on, Caesar," Nadir hissed. "Take the stage, boy."
Caesar went on but had no idea what to say. He had missed Apple-Juliet's first line. He could hear wild clapping from the patrons. ""Oh really? I see that am indeed rather popular."
Apple looked disgusted. Caesar was concentrating almost entirely upon her face, and not on the lines she was speaking. He had thought he had heard some wild accusation about why he was there. "No, it is just that I was told to appear in this play. I'm just muddling my way through." He could not possibly let her know that this play was an integral part of his strategy to win her heart. He listened to her next line, offered some plausible next line, and left the stage for the entrance of the persons playing the guards. In this case, they weren't persons, but Futch and his dragon Bright. Caesar wondered how he had missed such a big animal coming through the tavern. They soon took their leave and Caesar was pushed back on stage.
He listened to some blather about his life being in danger. He responded something about running away in time. He could hear the voice of the nurse coming from behind the stage. Apparently Mio had been cast in the role. That wasn't surprising. Apple then spoke something and left the stage. Caesar had completely forgotten what to do next. "Ummm, really? So is my part over?"
Nadir was looking disgusted, and making gestures that indicated that Caesar should stay on stage.
Caesar tried to recall the stage instructions, not to mention his next line, but failed. "Ummm... I think the script says I pretend to leave, but then I come back... I don't remember. Didn't read the script thoroughly."
Apple spoke. "My dearest Romeo, parting is such sweet sorrow."
Caesar nodded. "Yes, just as I suspected." He barely heard the next lines. He could see Apple's nervousness in her face. He was just as nervous. This plot of his would fail for sure. Apple left the balcony. He was still unsure what to do. ""Ummmm...do I come back stage again?"
Nadir vigorously nodded. Caesar rushed backstage. From the back, he could hear a crash from the front. The balcony had collapsed, and Apple had fallen with it.
The boos and heckling were even louder than the crash. Caesar heard shouting from the back of the room from an unknown man who was far in his cups. "This play would have been a lot better if they had cast Barts and his tomatoes!"
I think I'll junk this love business and stick to war, Caesar decided. It's a lot easier and much less embarrassing.
Thanks go out to the wonderful people who posted their helpful FAQs and walkthroughs to GameFAQs, so I did not have to replay Suikoden III just for the theatre scenes. Play lines and Apple's note to the Flame Champion were taken from these. I didn't cast Caesar and Apple in my Romeo and Juliet; I had used Eike instead. I imagine Caesar's performance was just as painful.