Part 70: Valley: Stray Boss: Count DuphastonReports from the inside suggest that a town was consumed by Besek during its appearance, kept safe by a mysterious aristocrat.
- excerpt, The Fall of Valida
An Aristocrat of Strength and Beauty
When we returned to Besek, we found ourselves in some strange space with no way out.
Video- Stray Lead In
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It looks like ancient Valdian architecture.
Why would this be here ?
Huh? Someones coming!
We had an unwelcome guest. It seems Eriel didnt so much borrow that librum from the Count.
Count, whatre you doing here?
Shouldnt that be obvious, my dear hero?
Im here to recover my librum.
I need this book
I cant find the Eternal Poison without it!
Hey, I thought you said you BORROWED it from him ?
My dear child, the Librum Aurora and the Eternal Poison are far too much for you to handle.
Please return the book to me, and all will be forgiven.
I I cant
Why, then you leave me with no choice
Count, you arent really thinking of crossing swords with ME, are you?
Im afraid that librum is far too valuable If we must resort to some boorish sport to settle this, then so be it.
Hmph Eriel, stand back!
He wanted a fight, and I had no problem giving it to him.
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Our team this time was Yuri, Komori, Vivian, Velnor, Nena, and Alexei. This gives us a solid all-around team able to deal with whatever the enemys going to throw at us.
So, we dont have any of the Priests, Priestesses, or Acolytes were used to. On this map we fight the Count, the three Koona mercenaries, and four Caprus. Lets start by looking at the Koona.
Ossa of the Koona is a spear attacker with some weak Earth magic. Hes vulnerable to everything, though his raw defenses arent incredibly weak. Just hit him with anything and hell fall down eventually.
Pata and his darling little crossbow provide the Koonas ranged support. Hes vulnerable to everything, just like Ossa, so knock him down with whatever.
Toma is the close up Koona, and hes also got weak Fire magic. Just like the other Koona hes pretty vulnerable to everything so we can pretty much throw anything we want at him and expect it to work pretty well.
The Count is a hell of a lot scarier than his Koona buddies. Hes got more attack than anyone on our team save Rondemion, very strong Air magic, can heal, and hes got a devastating melee special, Grand Design. Hes mainly vulnerable to melee attacks, though his Magic Defense isnt incredibly high so magic is a viable choice.
We go for an aggressive deployment, nothing but the Count is a real threat so Im going to push hard and fast to butcher everything.
- Get lots of levels for mercenaries
Count, youve really lost your mind.
On the contrary I am always dead serious.
Hmph, so be it.
If you have it in you, come on!
Rondemion starts the show with a Terra II on Ossa of the Koona, who starts right in our faces. We throw some buffs out and manage an arrow shot on a Caprus near to our right as well. Ossa comes in and casts on Vivian to no real effect, so I start rolling my own casters into position to hit him. Since were about to get some negative attention from the Caprus, Rondemion shifts over and blocks its path, weakening it a bit with a spell.
I dont mean to accuse, but she STOLE it from me.
And protecting a criminal is quite a crime in itself
We start casting on Ossa with Vivian. The Caprus attacks Rondemion then tries to flank around our lines, and Ossa casts on Nena. We reply with a Malus from Nena, taking it down to near death. Alexei moves to block off the Caprus, which attracts Patas attention and gets him shot with a darling little crossbow bolt.
Thank you for your kind words
Ill miss them when I cut out your tongue!
Rondemion hits Pata with a spell as he moves in to cage the Caprus up. We want to try and set up a good Combo to take it down and also get weaker people experience.
Yet I must express how honored I feel.
I never wouldve dreamed Id be facing the Great Hero!
Complimenting your opponent? Youre quite composed.
Komori gets the first level of the map after a spear strike from a Caprus. We then send him over to whack Pata, though he doesnt do that much damage. Yuri finishes Ossa off with a Sacra, and the Caprus falls soon after to a Combo from Nena and Rondemion.
Thats none of your concern
You arent here to save the Princess, are you?
Pata falls soon after to a chain of spells from Vivian, Komori, and Nena, who gains a level. Now we start pushing forward, our next fight will be with three Caprus at once.
Even heroes of legend must succumb to old age, it seems.
Fool, do you think Im using everything Ive got?
Against a kid who can barely even lift his sword?
We push up far enough to lure the Caprus in, theyre easy to defeat so Im not concerned about having a few of them at the same time.
How about this: Ill cut you down and keep the damn book.
I wont stop a battle until Ive won.
The right Caprus has put itself into a bad position, and we make it pay with a Fracture Attack from Alexei followed by an arrow from Velnor that leaves it nearly dead. Rondemion pushes forward and hits the middle Caprus hard with a spell, and when it moves in to attack Vivian manages to land a Sleep on it. The left one comes in as well, and Rondemion casts on it too. Im concerned about killing these things with one sword swing is the thing. Yuri throws a Sacra into the weakened Caprus, taking it down to single digits. Im doing so well, actually, that I send Velnor to shoot at Toma of the Koona, which provokes him to run up and cast on Alexei. Nena throws a Malus at him which Fears him, making him pretty much useless. Vivian then wakes the sleeping Caprus up with some offensive magic that weakens it further. She then gets a level from a spear strike.
Nothing new from Vivian, but its been a while since we had an image so there you go. Rondemion levels right after from a different spear strike. Alexei Fractures the already Feared Toma, adding injury to insult. He even gets a level from it. The level train chugs along, with Yuri getting a level from finishing off the injured Caprus with a Sacra II. Velnor and Rondemion drop the Fractured Caprus with a Combo, getting Velnor a level as well. The last Caprus falls to Vivians Meta I spell.
But this is as far as you go.
Such a bold declaration
But I think youll find youre mistaken quite soon.
The last Koona is dropped by a Nena/Alexei Combo. We now start scooping up Majin and advance a bit to get the Count to engage. He obliges us by nearly killing Alexei with an Aero I, because the Count is a badass. We start throwing magic into him, even managing to Fracture him with a Terra II. While I could have just taken him down, I want to get the experience for someone who could really use it. Vivian pays the price, falling to a Grand Design that did terrible damage even with the Fracture. I dont manage to get a Combo together on the Count and end up just finishing him off with Nenas magic, getting her a second level. Map over.
Hahaha, I wagered youd be well beyond my prowess.
You truly are the Hero of Legend.
If you took it seriously, you mightve stood a chance.
Caprus Lv 7 x 4
We won, but it just added more complications.
Video- Stray Lead Out
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You sure know how to change your mind in a hurry.
I assure you, my ability to change is the reason for my success in life.
However, I wont withdraw so hastily.
I shall be your traveling companion and ensure the safety of my librum.
Excuse me ?
The Counts coming with us!?
Why, yes, it will be my distinct pleasure to accompany you, Miss Eriel.
Hold on, Count. I didnt agree to anything.
Please, my dear hero, you may call me D from now on. It is what all my good friends call me.
Isnt this great, Rondemion? Ds gonna be a strong helper!
You guys better not talk the entire time
Just then, Besek began to shake and make a strange noise.
Rondemion, I have a bad feeling about this
Besek is crying out.
Thats how it tells us we may proceed deeper into the next Stratum.
Are you saying Besek has a mind of its own?
The world takes its shape based on how we choose to see it. Within each of our hearts rests a different portrait of the world.
But here, only Besek itself is in command over the appearance of things.
You poets always talk so much and say so little.
I believe youll understand my meaning soon enough, my dear hero.
Miss Eriel, would you care to take the lead?
The Count wanted to share some ridiculous theory.
That librum she stole has the power to capture Majin and summon them at will.
If that girls known the secret of the librum and has been using it all along
I dont know what youre implying, but Eriel is the sole survivor of a Majin massacre.
She only wants the Eternal Poison to rebuild her village and bring the villagers back.
I know you trust her, but we must be open to the possibility that she might be Morpheus?
Im not listening to this.
(Hahaha, I may need to work on my skills of persuasion a bit )
At least the Counts not totally useless.
Forgive and forget, thats what I say, because were traveling together now.
I wont be a burden. After all, I was able to hold my own against you.
And heres the Count. Hes basically like awesome Komori, hes a hybrid melee/caster with a powerful special and healing abilities. We have to use the Count from now on, but hes really more like a special mercenary than a story character because we dont get to keep his level between runs.
It seems the second Stratum is larger than the first.
Vivian: It is up to you to choose which path you will take.
Stein noticed something, but the situation might actually be stranger than he thinks.
Stein: Camellia, the machine at the Traviata House, is an ancient relic.
Apparently, our ancestors used it to combat the Majin.
But I wonder how Archaya obtained such a rare artifact ?
Im pretty sure Eriel couldnt be Morpheus, anyway.
Yuri: Your little girl Eriel always looks so happy to travel with you!
She talks to people, boosts their morale, and listens to their troubles.
Shes doing so much to help everyone, way more than I am!
I better work harder!
Amelie needs help with something, but I dont think I have time.
Amelie: Eriel told me youre a mercenary.
I was wondering if you could help me
Sorry, I have my own problems to deal with.
Amelie: I see
Youre a well-trained fighter, right? Yet you couldnt handle the Majin.
Amelie: Ive studied martial arts since I was a child.
But even that wasnt enough in Besek. I was useless
Lets talk when youve calmed down a bit.
And that talking rabbit remains a talking rabbit.
Hm? What are you talking about?
Kuni: Pft, dont worry about it !
My pops says that worryinll make yer fur fall out!
Kuni: But who cares about all that!
Anyway, buddy, ya have to help me out with somethin.
Oh yeah ?
Kuni: Can ya do somethin about those weird bears livin round here!?
You mean the Koona ?
Kuni: They were crowdin me and pullin on my ears! I couldnt get away!
Aaaaaah!!! It was horrible! Ive never been so humiliated in all my life!
You have my sympathy.
Ive not decided which path were going to take yet, its hard to say which might be best.