Part 54: Stratum 2: Sacrifice Part 1It is said that within the shadows a twisted evil dwells, waiting to devour those with darkness in their souls.
- unknown source
Today we had an unwelcome visitor. From the past.
I knew something was wrong as soon as we reached that place.
Video- Sacrifice Part 1
Click For Video with Commentary
I add Ares to the party in place of Velnor and bring Komori back in. This turns out to have been a good idea, because theres a lot of damage that comes in on this map.
Theres nothing new about the Majin we see on this map, but they certainly do suck. Theres the obligatory Thiefler, two Jade Sylphs, two Sprites, an Aquamote, and then four Nightwalkers. Weve seen them all before, but this maps gimmick is going to make things way worse.
We dont have much space to deploy, so theres nothing fancy about this. Im going to want to split up once we get past the initial hurdle of the map so that we can get both chests, therell be no time next map for it.
- Do not kill the Aquamote
If youre having problems, you can wait behind, Retica.
Im too worried about you to leave, Thage.
Ill do what I want to do, and you wont say otherwise.
If you talk like that, youd better do your job later.
Im sure Ill be saying the same thing to you very soon.
Therell be no one to mourn us if we die wasting time.
I start advancing hard towards the crossroads here in the map. I need to take control of it as best I can to get the Thiefler down and dead (though its not so crucial because the chests on this map are somewhat mediocre).
This ground is sacred! Leave or be buried under it!
Sacred ground ?
If youve noticed all three of the fourth steps of the second stratum have been sacred. Anyway, the Majin get the first blow in this time around, a Nightwalker hits Komori quite hard with a Malus III and diseases him. The Jade Sylph thats relatively close to us advances a bit and casts on Raki, though it doesnt really do much to him. Raki and Ares both advance and try to hit the Thiefler, but it manages to evade both hits.
Is the magic in the air affecting you too ?
No, this is different. Its something else
Thage makes up for their incompetence by burning the thing down. Now weve got the Aquamote to deal with too, and its joined by another Nightwalker from the same side as the Jade Sylph soon after. Even worse, as were about to find out, things are soon to become even more irritating.
What do you have in mind, Guiding Sage?
We can use them to lure another out of his perch.
S-Summon another Majin!? Why!?
Leave the Aquamotes until the end, and he will come.
Raki, I have a bad feeling about this
Somethings wrong, this time.
Yeah, so Im not allowed to kill the Aquamote. That is a real pain in the ass, needless to say. Raki and Alexei are sent over towards the Jade Sylph and Nightwalker, while Ares stays to keep the Nightwalker with the Aquamote from getting through. Thage blasts the Jade Sylph down to critical health, since shes not got great options for a Nightwalker and I cant touch the Aquamote. Meanwhile we work to drag down the Nightwalkers as best we can. Im taking a lot of damage from everything, but now Ive actually got the upper hand because I can get Alexei stuck in with the Nightwalkers one by one.
I intend to. It is his will.
His will? Whose will?
Thage then drops the Jade Sylph like a ton of bricks. Were just barely holding up at the other front, but Aquamotes almost out of spells to fuck us with and were almost done with the Nightwalker on the second front so thats close to changing.
Cursed one, you must be eliminated!
Go ahead and try!
The Nightwalker behind our main line takes one last crack at Alexei before we surround it and Overkill it with a Combo. This gets the big guy a level, which is always helpful. We get some captures down, and now I start thinking through the best way to get the rest of the map done. I eventually decide to split Raki, Thage, and Yuri down to the right and everyone else up forward.
Silver Wolf, will you secure the sacrifice for yourself!?
Hmph, you feed on the minds of others. I said begone.
We start to execute our advance on the center front, but we make much more progress on the right. Raki and Thage both blast the Nightwalker with Aero magic, which gives us a good start on it. It fires back with some magic on Raki, but doesnt really have the juice to do much to him. The Nightwalker on the other front pulled back a bit, leaving me to slowly try to move past the Aquamote as it slowly tries to move past me. Its rather a pain but theres nothing to do about it. Anyway, I get a Combo set up on the Nightwalker in the middle and Raki weakens the other, so both fall on Thages action. The first to a Combo from Alexei and Retica and the second to Thages Last Rites, a brutal Strike attack. This leaves us free to make some real progress towards finishing the map. Raki gets the Ring mail armor from the chest on the right, and everyone pushes up forward. Thage hasnt been getting much from kills here, but she levels from capturing the Nightwalker.
Thage just gets better and better every level. We wont really get anything exciting until level 20, though, which is when we get the almighty Malusphere. Now Ive got to catch up as fast as I can, because the other group is about to have to fight two Sprites and a Jade Sylph.
Raki, stop smelling me to tell what my mood is.
The perspiration on your brow is all the sign I need.
Dont treat me like some monster. Everyone sweats.
Fortunately, the Majin up top split their fire quite a lot, so while theyre doing a lot of damage to the group everyone is actually okay. We need to stay together and let them come to us or were cooked. Aquamote is continuing to chase Yuri, Thage, and Raki around and has actually run Yuri very low on healing by whacking her. The last Nightwalker has also started casting on us now, though it starts on Raki and doesnt do that much. Our holding effort up top is starting to drag our enemies down slowly and surely, and Retica manages to level up, getting his Class Change.
Reticas Serene One class focuses on Water skills, and he gets a Water Attack from it. Its potentially pretty useful, some things are vulnerable to Water. I keep going on the Majin up top and throw everything at trying to get one set up for a Combo. Its not easy, though, because they heal and even have a Release on the Sylph. Even worse, Yuri runs out of heals and falls to the Nightwalkers magic shortly after. I get some revenge by smashing a Sprite, getting a level for Alexei, and then even more by blasting the Nightwalker down with Thage. The Sprite gets released, though, and hits Komori. This gets him a level, though, so its okay. Still, now its all over but the screaming. In the end we kill both of the Sprites, one with a miscalculated Malus spell and the other with a botch on weapon selection in a Combo. Jade Sylph does get captured, though, and with just Aquamote left the map is over.
Nightwalker Lv 13 x 3
Jade Slyph Lv 14 x 2
HE. WAS. HERE.
No, this presence. Its him!
Somethings coming! Thage, do you know him!?
No, it cant be This isnt possible!
Thage, gather your senses. Whats wrong!?
Somehow this damn thing was STILL ALIVE. But not for long.
I am Arkanos.
Izel, the day has come for you to be sacrificed again!
Impossible! This isnt happening!
You died. I killed you with my own hands!
The sensation of devouring your soul still lingers on.
I will meld with the darkness once again, my dear
And this time, I shall make your soul mine!
Im no longer afraid of you. Get ready.
That dress You have embraced the darkness!
I will make you disappear from this world, forever
There was only one thing to do. KILL IT.
- recovered text fragments