Part 110: Luca's Soulspace, Level 4
Loading Excerpt: Personal Log, Croix Bartel
I have to say I'm not sure which is creepier, Gaea or Luca's cosmosphere. I guess Gaea, Luca's cosmosphere has only made attempts on my life, not anyone else's.
Anyway, I needed more powerful song magic to help out against the monsters on Gaea. That meant I had to dive.
: I don't think it's got anything to do with that. There's some sketchy places too.
: Now that you've mentioned it... I see weird buildings...
: Well, why don't you go there to see what's up?
: You're right.
: You are... Mizune. You're sill watering it...
Unproblemize: Yes, I need to fill the wall up with roses... No problem... No problem...
: ...Hey, why do you say that when you water?
Unproblemize: Well... just because, I'm sure it means something, but I don't know what it is.
: ...I see.
: It's good to see it was so peaceful... I wonder where Luca is...
: Hm? Big brother, you're dressed differently. Are you from far away?
: Oh, yeah... Something like that. I like how lively this town is.
: Boo. Not so much. You can say that only because you don't really know this place yet.
: Is that so?
That's when the ground started to shake.
: Whoa...! Wh, what the...!?
: ...it's here again...
: What!? Wh, what is this...?
: I need to hurry and run! Good luck running away yourself!
: What the hell is going on...!?
Jacqli: Set... standard... Begin... attack...!
: Whoa... Is it attacking...!? Whoa!
???: Watch out!
: Don't be just standing around!
: B, but, what about that...
: Don't worry! The conceited knight Viola will be here soon to beat it up!
: ...Conceited knight...!?
Jacqli: ...Begin... attack!
: Damn! We're too late! *Screech*
: L... Lady Cloche...
The symbolism here is pretty obvious.
: Hey you two! Don't just stand around. Hurry and run!
: Yes! Thank you cocky knight! Croix, let's go!
: Oh, alright!
Jacqli: Viola... defeat...
: Hah! You're just a scum. Not even enough for me to warm up. Be prepared! Conceited beam!
: Hah, piece of cake.
Somehow I doubt it will be that easy in the real world. Maybe if we beat Jacqli to the heart we won't have to fight.
: Whoa! So strong! So Cool!
: But what's with the name...
: Hm? It's a compliment! Everyone in the town calls her the conceited knight with respect.
: With respect...huh...?
: Hey, Miss Luca! Were you ok?
: Cocona! It was so close this time. The conceited knight barely saved us in time.
: Oh, that's good. You really should watch out though, I heard about an enemy that the knight can't beat.
: Oh, really...?
: Yeah, if you encounter that thing, you're gonna be booted even if the knight is there, you know, like boo.
: Really... That's kind of disappointing.
: Isn't it? Anyway, I'm going home now!
: Okay, bye! So Croix, are you going anywhere right now?
: No, nowhere really...
: Well you should come over! I'll cook something for you!
: Um, no, I'll pass on the food...
???: ...Is that person...
: ...I knew it... well, thanks for cooking it, but I'm not that hungry. So what is up with that enemy... and that something knight?
: There's this place called the Nightsun Castle, and the witch from that castle comes and attacks the town. She always sends in monsters and robots... but the conceited knight always comes to save us!
: Oh, I see...
: The knight always defeats those enemies and brings peace to the town.
There was a knock.
: Hm? A guest. I wonder who it is... Come in.
: Ew! ...What the!? Weirdo!
: Who is it!?
Hot-Head Flag: Yo! I'm Hot-Head Flag! I'm a member of a secret organization of justice that protects this world!
: Wh, what...
Hot-Head Flag: There's no time to waste, so I will be straight-forward. I've been looking for you, ma'am!
: Whoa...are you proposing to me?
Hot-Head Flag: N, no! You're the true knight! We have been looking for you! You possess the blood of a knight! You can be a knight if you just swing this stick!
: What!? ...N, no... I can't!
More obvious symbolism. It's nice to see a problem that isn't totally nuts.
Hot-Head Flag: Don't say that! You have the power that you're born with! You are the true knight!
And then it started shaking again.
Hot-Head Flag: Oh no! I was too late!
: Who is this lady...!?
Hot-Head Flag: This woman is the owner of that Nightsun Castle... Lady Momoyo!
: Lady Momoyo!?
Lady Momoyo: That's right. I'm the owner of the castle. Lady Momoyo. The reason why I took my time to come out is... I can't let you awaken, Little Luca.
Lady Momoyo: There's a big chance you'll become more powerful than me. So, I'm here to kill you before that happens.
: Wh, what... I, I don't know anything!
Hot-Head Flag: Well this is your destiny! Here, swing the stick and transform!
: Luca... just give it a shot. You have no choice at this point.
: N, no way! I don't know how to fight!
Lady Momoyo: Hehehe! How sad... You're going to let yourself die? Well, I'll get started then. Haahhhhh!
: Lady Momoyo! I didn't think you'd actually show up yourself! Allow me to counter-attack you!
Lady Momoyo: Hehe, impossible. You can't defeat me with your power. You're just a faux knight.
: N, nonsense! I call the first attack! Conceited beam!
Lady Momoyo: Hahaha, what was that? Didn't even feel it.
: Wh... what did you say...!?
: ...Damn... she's pretty tough...
: Hey! You two! Don't just stand there! Hurry and run away while I stop her!
: Oh, yes!
Corix.png: H, hey Luca!
Hot-Head Flag: I'm withdrawing too! We can't defeat her without Luca's power anyway!
: There! Hurry!
Magic [Guardian Curse: Lv1] "Dual Gem" acquired
So we ran all the way back to the city. Whew.
: *huff* *huff* ...We should be fine here.
: That boss, Lady Momoyo... She's ridiculously strong. That "conceited beam" didn't even work on her.
Hot-Head Flag: She's on a different level. She's the boss!
: This isn't the time to be impressed. Luca, try and transform. It might be easier than you think.
: No, no! That's so scary... Why do I have to fight for my life!?
Hot-Head Flag: Because that's the destiny you're born with! You need to just give in already.
Honestly I'm surprised Hot-Head Flag doesn't look like Chester.
: No, no...
More shaking. Lady Momoyo was coming.
: No way...
Lady Momoyo: How do you do. We meet again.
: So...what about the conceited knight...!?
Lady Momoyo: I knocked her out. Well, the nuisance is finally gone. I will slowly torture you. A woman with the power. Hehehe!
: No, no... Am I... going to die here...?
: Luca! You have no choice!
: B, but...
: Don't worry! I'll be right here with you!
Hot-Head Flame: There's no time! You can transform or die!
: ...Ugh, fine! I will, I will!
Hot-Head Flag: Alright then swing this stick!
: Alright! Here I go! Cherry Power Tera Charge!
Hot-Head Flag: Yesss! The legendary knight is back!
: I will scatter those evil roses to pieces! The beginner knight Cherry! ...Is born?
Hot-Head Flag: Ahh! It was all good, until you lost your confidence at the end!
: W, well... it's like my first time... and I don't really know what I'm supposed to do!
Lady Momoyo: *Screech*! So you're back! The true knight... I will kill you before you know it! Yaahhhh!
Lady Momoyo: What!? Did you just bounce it back!?
: No way... Cool!
Hot-Head Flag: The deadly attack! Do your deadly attack! Hurry!
: Oh, ok! ...Uh, um... Cherry Bomb!
Lady Momoyo: Gah...! A scratch...! How... can this be... That's it for today! I will be back to finish this off! Be prepared!
: Did I...just win...?
Hot-Head Flag: Yessss! We won!
: Hey... you...!
: HEY! YOU! Can't you hear me!?
: Oh, yes? Oh, the conceited knight!
: Did you... defeat Lady Momoyo...?
: Well... can you just pretend that it was my work?
: ...What? Wh, why...?
: You just became a knight! I've been doing this for years! You should listen to what the professional says.. You understand!?
: Y, yes...
: I'm going to go to the victory parade. You can take that uniform off now, it will confuse everyone.
: Do you have a problem? I'm the big star of this world. I could say things so that you will never be able to show your face in front of everyone...
: I can't believe she said that... I always looked up to her... She always fought to protect the weak...
: Luca... Don't let it get to you...
Hot-Head Flag: There's no time to argue! Lady Momoyo is probably already planning her next move!
: ...You're right. I need to go find Luca...
I guess Luca was more disillusioned with Cloche than I thought.
Yeah I admit at the time I was a bit confused. I blame the near-death experience. All my training makes me want to get in front of them, but that's useless in their Cosmospheres. It's so weird being powerless.
: It's not just this time. Luca had the same traumatic experience before with Dive Therapy.
: ...Oh, that too...
: Well it does have stuff to do with Cloche too, but she's always been troubled with the same deal. She underestimates herself, but people envy her hidden potential. She's always been troubled by those.
: Some people would kill to be in her position...
: Well, rich men have all kinds of problems. Poor men might even be happier than them sometimes. It's important that you understand that.
: ...Goro, it's rare for you to say such nice things.
: Sh, shut it! I think about it all the time! Anyway, weren't you going to look for Luca?
: Oh yeah. Thanks for the talk.
I didn't think she would return to the house immediately (Lady Momoyo would probably be watching it) so I checked other locations. At the wall of vines...
: Reality... is so brutal sometimes. I didn't even want to become a knight, but I possess the power to. But it was just an annoyance to Viola...
Hot-Head Flag: Miss Luca! I understand what you're going through, but you can't defeat Lady Momoyo like that. Lady Momoyo will destroy Cherry City at any time! You're the only person who can stop her!
: ... Why me? I just wanted to stay as a normal girl. I just wanted to be the one who keeps screaming and running away from the monsters. I just want to go back to my regular life and pretend like I don't have this power.
Hot-Head Flag: Miss Luca!
: Hot-Head Flag, wait. Luca... I'll fight with you, so do you want to give it one more try?
Hey, there's one thing that I'm good at.
: I promised to protect you and your world, so I won't give up until the end.
: Then why don't you just go by yourself.
: This isn't what I want! I said I don't want to fight, so you can't make me...
: This is a world crisis! The world might end if you don't fight, don't you realize that?
: Then the world should just end!
I was really scared when she said that. I've heard bad stories about cosmospheres where someone says something rash.
: Croix, you said you would protect me... So why are you making me do things that I don't want to do? My heart is already in pain, so why do you keep hurting it?
Hot-Head Flag: This isn't good! There's no time...
: I'm sorry... Luca, for not understanding your feelings. I was just sad thinking about not being able to talk to you after this world ends. I was only concerned about my feelings.
: But I will still fight for you. I'm heading to the Nightsun Castle. I don't know what I can do, but I'd rather try and see.
: Well, you should run away as far as you can.
Taking on a Reyvateil's mind-constructs alone in their cosmosphere is stupid, but brave.
: Anyway… how should I go about beating her...
Hell, "stupid but brave" is pretty much my job description.
: Who knows... I'm more curious about why we are walking together.
: I'm sure I could be some help.
: You're just pulling my leg. Whatever. Do what you want.
???: Hehehe... Well I'm glad you guys are here. THat saves me some time.
: Lady Momoyo...!
Lady Momoyo: ...Oh, where is that girl...? Did you two think you will be able to defeat me alone?
: Of course! I'll kill you in a second!
Lady Momoyo: Looks like you didn't learn your lesson from last time. I'm impressed by your foolishness.
: ...What did you say!?
: Anyway, Luca doesn't matter. She never wished to be a knight, so there's no need to attack her.
Lady Momoyo: Well, yes, I understand. How fair, unwanted power and unwanted awakening... but that doesn't matter to me. I'm just going to kill any threat to myself. Anyway, there's no point in fighting against you two. I'm going now to look for Luca. G'day...
: Wait! I'm not letting you go!
: That's right! I'm going to defeat you right here!
Lady Momoyo: ...Oh how annoying. Fine, let me just kill you real quick.
: I call the first attack! Conceited beam!
Lady Momoyo: Oh? Did you just do something?
: Gh...! How degrading...!
Lady Momoyo: Such a fool. Well, let me fix that for you. Die!
: Are you okay!?
Lady Momoyo: My main target...!
: Luca...you came...
: I didn't want to...but I thought about it... And no matter how much I hate it, or how much I try to run away from it, I will always be the chosen one... So I have no choice but to do this! I'd rather do it while wanting to, than do it while hating to! That way I can put myself into it more, and I will have stronger power too!
Lady Momoyo: Hah, defeat me? Don't flatter yourself!
: I'm not! I was the chosen one! I was born to defeat you!
Lady Momoyo: Nonsense... Here I come...!
: I call the first attack! Cherry Bomb!
: N, no way... Is she already...!?
: Luca! Good job!
: No mercy! Finishing attack! Yahhhh!
Cloche shoved Luca out of the way. That's rude under normal circumstances, but pretty stupid in the middle of a battle. Especially when you're weaker than the person you just distracted.
: W, what are you doing!
: You're...my trainee! Don't steal the best part from a professional! I will finish her!
: Do you have a problem? Or do you want me to tell everyone that you cheated and stole the best part?
: Luca! No! Lady Momoyo is getting back up!
Lady Momoyo: ...Oh good. What fools...falling apart at a time like this? Hehehe...
: C, crap...
: It's, it's you! It's all your fault!
: ...I... I have no choice... This is for the world... Lady Viola! I'm sorry!
I still can't believe Luca knocked her out like that.
: Tell people what you want to say, I will give you all the credit for this, so just let me handle this...! I... I just realized why I'm here... I want to brogan peace to this world. And I want Croix to be safe...
: You can have everything else, so just sleep and wait there!
Lady Momoyo: I won't let you!
: Ultra Super Cherry Bomb!
Lady Momoyo: Gahhhahhhhhhh!
: I...did it... I did it! Croix! I... won!
: Yeah, Luca! Congrats! You did a great job... You really did...
: Yeah... thank you... Croix. The world would've come to its end if you weren't here. You cheered me on, and moved me with your heart... and I'm here.
: ...I'm glad to hear that from you.
: Thank you... Croix...
Magic [Hidden Enchant: Lv2A] "Lady Momoyo" acquired!
: The town's victory parade was such a hit!
: Luca... is this what you wanted?
: What? ...Yeah, I'm fine with it! I don't need people to praise me or be popular. Plus, I'm not good at being in front of people anyway...
: But you defeated the enemy... Not Viola.
: I know! It's enough that you know that. It's a lot of work to go up in front of people and carry yourself well... I couldn't do that.
: Well, I guess.
: Hehe, if the conceited knight does that job for me, I wouldn't mind.
: I understand that but... I think people should know the truth...
And then somebody else knocked on Luca's door.
: Wh, what...? Y, yes!
: Please, let us have an exclusive interview for our magazine.
: Wh, whaaaat!?
: What are you saying!? I got here first!
: We have the widest circulation!
We're the most popular among the target demographic...
: Alright...! Run!
: Ahh! She got away!
Honestly an Alfman/Chester/Laude alliance in real life would be pretty terrifying too.
: Looks like Viola told them about you.
: Oh, looks like you couldn't even handle them, Miss Luca.
: Conceited knight!
: Hehe, look at you. I wonder how much longer you are going to last.
: Um... thank you very much!
: ...For what?
: You...talked about me... At the victory parade! ...It made me happy.
: I didn't talk about you. I just said that you helped me defeat Lady Momoyo!
: Hehe, so everyone thinks we did it together!
: ...How... can you be like that? I'm putting you down so much...
: Well, I am a little bitter to be honest, but I can't beat the time you've put into your work. Plus, I'm still not that popular or trusted. You've been working hard to gain trust and popularity, so I will do my best from now!
: ...Alright. Well, do your best. This industry is pretty tough!
: Yes! I will do my best!
: Well...it looks like everything is alright now...but I feel like there is still something else...
: Hmmm... you have a strong intuition...
: What? ...So there's still something else?
: What? Nope, it's nothing! Anyway, looks like you did it again!
: A Paradigm Shift!
: So, what's behind this?
: Well, a lot of them. This only the 4th level. You haven't even gotten to the deeper level. You will start seeing the real Luca from now on. Well, if she lets you...
That's a good thing... I guess.
: I didn't do anything. You worked hard for it.
: Anyway, we're getting deeper and deeper. I'm kind of scared...
: Don't worry, I will accept everything about you.
: No, that's not what I meant...
: I'm worried that my deeper self won't let you see her world.
: ...I'm sure it won't be a problem. The Luca here let me in.
: Well... ...You're right!
: Okay, well I'm going to the Paradigm Shift. I'll see you in the next level...!
: Oh, alright... ...I'm sensing something...
: You should listen to your intuition, you know?
: Whoa! You scared me... Do you know something, Goro?
: Nope, I don't... Well just a little... but I don't know if I should tell you...
: C'mon... don't keep me hanging.
: Well...I guess I'll tell you just one thing! A cosmosphere is all a part of Luca, except for you, and that means...
: You are the outsider... You don't fit in. Tehehe! Did that sound scary to you!?
: Um, yeah.
Trying to interrogate her Mind Guardian might hurt Luca. Goro's a bit suspicious and annoying though.
: Don't worry! Look, in fact, you're making Paradigm Shifts happen. It means she is accepting you, you know? She wouldn't have one for an enemy.
: Whelp, if you have the time to be chatting here, you better move on to the next level! See ya!
Conversation: Dive #4
: Croix, when I started to cure people by letting them Dive into me...
: I heard about it.
: Really?...I thought so because I suddenly started wanting to tell you about it. It may sound cocky, but it seems I'm a naturally talented therapist. I had several regular customers...but my senior therapists didn't like me because of my popularity. So...they picked on me and bullied me all the time.
: I can imagine how hard it was.
: It was hard...I tried not to stand out ever since. ...But now I realize I was wrong. I was just doing what I wanted to do. There was nothing to be ashamed of.
: Yeah...it doesn't matter now anyway, right?
: I guess. But, it was the fact that they were ganging up against me, and I feel sad when I remember it. I'm glad it won't happen again.
Conversation: Costume #3
: Ah...Croix, I want to ask you something about the costume.
: Oh, okay. Which costume?
: Wait a moment... Transform!
: This one. Was I really wearing this in my Cosmosphere? It's so embarrassing!
: I'm not sure if you were "wearing" it or not... You were wearing it when you transformed into the novice warrior Cherry.
: ...... Seems like I've been doing more embarrassing things than I thought in the Cosmosphere...
: No, not really. Lady Cloche was that arrogant warrior. That was way worse. I think you were still better off than her.
: They were both from my Cosmosphere, so it's all my fault anyway, you know?