Part 15: Chapter 14: Solid Heaven
Chapter 14: Solid Heaven
Loading Excerpt- Personal Logs, C. Bartel
Leglius suggested that I should try to act like this is any other day, that it might make me feel better. So here's my report on what happened after Metafalica failed. We took Lady Cloche's body to Promise Hill.
Of course not. These are the graves of royalty. It's kept a secret.
All the past Popes and Holy Maidens rest here.
As we walked through Promise Hill we noted one of the tombs seemed larger and more elaborate than all the others.
Same as the statue in the Hill of Metafalica. Two maidens and Soope.
Two maidens of true friendship rest here... A.D. 3313
Maiden of Fuero, Nenesha.
Maiden of Aqua, Infel.
So just as Laude said, there were two maidens 400 years ago...
I wonder what Maiden of Fuero and Maiden of Aqua mean...
It's the name of the maiden's Proof. I don't know much more than that.
The Maiden of Fuero is also known as the Goddess Maiden.
The Maiden of Aqua is also known as the Seed of Love Maiden.
Back when there were two maidens, it described their role... So they say.
How do you know that?
Amarie seems to know a lot more about what's going on that she ever admits to.
There were unoccupied tombs just waiting for inhabitants farther back in the ruin. And that's where we were going to leave Lady Cloche...
I couldn't protect you... I swore I would, but I couldn't...
Pu pupu pu!
Lady Cloche's life made many people happy.
She gave birth to Metafalica...
We'll stay here for the night.
I just sort of sat there for a while. I mean what the hell good was I? I couldn't do anything when it really counted.
Do you want to go home?
I know very well how you feel.
...After losing her, I realized it for the first time.
I know saying this would surely get my knighthood revoked. But...
I... had fallen in love with Lady Cloche...
When I was with her, in honesty, there were times when it was pretty rough.
And because of our difference in position, I might've subconsciously tried to wipe it out.
But when Lady Cloche passed away, I realized it.
...Why couldn't I give my life to protect her?
I learned that when my daughter died. I was just like you are right now.
What!? Captain... you had a daughter?
Yeah. I don't really talk about it though. Her name was Alicia.
She was still little... Because of me, she died in an accident.
...Did you regret it?
I'd have to be a demon not to. I couldn't even eat for a while.
But, I still continued my duties as a knight.
You see, there were others I still had to protect. Citizens... and other precious people.
Regretting it and being depressed is the easy way out.
But that choice is a dead end.
If you choose to stick to that choice, you should go home and rest.
I'll never blame you if you do.
Thank you for trying to cheer me up.
You're strong, Croix. I don't want to bury your strength.
I hope you use that strength for someone or something else.
...That's all I have to say.
Loading Excerpt- The Melody of Metafalica, C. Pastalia, L. Trulyworth
We were all exhausted and needed a break.
She was so stubborn to the very end. Is glory more important than her life?
You were a national hero. Now that I'm left behind, what am I supposed to say?
Luca! You look sad. Are you okay?
...Soope, thanks, I'm fine.
If you're going to sleep, I can at least be your pillow.
Hahaha! Thank you. I think I'll take that offer.
Hehehe... So soft.
And I once again found myself in that strange world. But this time I wasn't alone...
...!? Lady Cloche's... ghost!?
How rude. I'm not ghost. Well, it seems you're doing fine.
What!? What is this? A... dream? Or are you... somehow alive?
Oh please. I am alive. Right above you, boldly enough.
...Huh? What do you mean?
Hehe... I wonder.
Compared to when I had a body, I've become quite refined.
...When you had a body? Refined?
Though it was weak, an Ascension occurred. I was able to clarify my own direction.
Ascension...? Clarify? What's that? Hey!
My mind values Law and Order most. So I'll fix the government and lead us all to the promised land.
Are you maybe...
Huh!? Are you okay!?
But you know, I wonder if they were both real maidens.
Luca is the Maiden of Fuero. As proof, she was able to sing Solfage.
Lady Cloche... well honestly, I don't know.
Because I don't know what proof she needs as Aqua.
According to the Chancellor, Lady Cloche was baptized as Aqua when she was very young.
And as proof of Aqua, she has the control authority over Infel Pira.
Hmm... I see... But you know... There's something that still bugs me.
Hey hey! Captain! About the time when they were downloading Metafalica...
Was Lady Cloche really able to download the song?
The way I saw it, it kinda seemed like she couldn't sing it that well...
If that's true, then Lady Cloche isn't a maiden of anything.
Meaning, she's just a normal Reyvateil.
And if that's the case, that Metafalica couldn't have been a success...
That we were all tricked by some grand deceiver?
Laude got them to sing it. I'm sure he knew what he was doing.
He knew about the statue in Bell Strike Hall, and that there had to be two maidens.
There has to be a reason why he would use Lady Cloche for that ceremony...
I woke up, and had to tell everyone what I'd seen!
Hey, everyone. Listen...
There's a chance she might be alive. Lady Cloche... Might still be alive.
The destruction is happening again!?
The shaking had subsided for the moment, but I had a bad feeling I knew just what it was.
Lady Cloche! Is she still alive!?
...I think so. But I don't think he soul's in this body anymore.
Lady Cloche's soul is probably... Above the sky...
...Above the sky!?
Damn. This crumbling seems kind of different from the ones before.
Either way, let's go check outside!
As we left the ruins, we could see the sky clearly again, and bore witness to the battle raging above...
Wow... Looks like a big ruckus. I wonder what's going on...
Maybe Lady Cloche's pain was because of an attack like that...
What does that even mean?
You see, I just talked to Lady Cloche in this dream-like world...
I thought it was just a dream at first, but it was so realistic...
And I clearly remember everything she said.
So what did she say?
"My mind values Law and Order" and "I'll fix the government."
But at the end, it sounded like the Grand Bell was trying to hurt her.
Sounds like you're saying Lady Cloche is there on Gaea!
If what I saw wasn't just a dream, then Lady Cloche is a part of Gaea.
...Isn't that bad? If the Grand Bell keeps attacking it, Lady Cloche will...
Let's go back to the Grand Bell! We have to talk to Chancellor Alfman!
We rushed back to Pastalia, but it was under attack by these strange creatures. We had to enter through the Slums.
It's dangerous to go in from the front. We have no choice but to go through the Slums.
From the Slums, we'll relay through the elevators to get to Grand Bell Palace.
But not even the Slums were safe.
???: Your acts are worthy of death! Be purified now!!
We managed to defeat the strange creatures, fortunately.
What in the world was that?
Uncle: You guys! What are you just standing there for!?
Big Bro: This place is dangerous!
Uncle: Hurry, over here!
What was that armor?
Uncle: Hey, I just realized you guys are knights. Do something about this!
First you'll have to explain the situation.
Big Bro: They sprang out all of a sudden from the land that was made above us.
They'll judge you on the spot and tell you to die or something about rank... I don't even know anymore.
Uncle: What are we supposed to do? Oh, and if they say you're worthy of death, there's no way to live.
Uncle: What's going on? Isn't Metafalica supposed to be a paradise?
Why are there monsters overflowing from it?
It'll be alright! We'll go find out what's causing all this right now!
The lift up to the water mill was out of order, though.
Did it break? They are going at it pretty fierce up there.
Damn it. We can't go up like this.
Wait. I'm pretty sure Lift V comes all the way down to the Slums, too.
Yeah. It's pretty deep inside, but it's worth searching for.
Conveniently, in all the chaos some of the rubble had shifted, revealing a path we couldn't access before.
We can go further in.
The rubble probably fell with that last quake. Let's go.
And sure enough we found a working lift at the end.
That would suck. Elevators are so nice and convenient.
By the way, Amarie...
Even though it's chaotic, shouldn't you stay away from the Grand Bell?
Ah, you think so, too?
Take one step into the Grand Bell and I'll arrest you on the spot.
Alright, I get it. I don't want to go there anyway.
I'll kill some time in this area. You guys can go and hurry on ahead.
You better not be plotting to sneak in somewhere.
Aww, I won't do anything! Why are you so suspicious of me!?
This area is the center of Pastalia, filled with many important government facilities.
I can't leave you alone in a place like this.
Awww, you're so nice Cocona! You're much better than Mr. Tightass.
...Hmph, say what you want.
I'm more amazed than angry by your gutsy façade.
I'll take that as a compliment.
However, I can't allow you to roam around freely.
Captain, what if I take her back to town?
I don't like the Chancellor, so I don't really want to see him.
So while you guys are at his place, I'll stay at Cro's house with Amarie.
...Well, that shouldn't be a problem.
Well then Cro, I'll be waiting at home!
We need to switch elevators. We'll use Lift III to get to the Palace.
And so it was time to go talk to the Chancellor, probably the guy I least wanted to see at the time.
Continued next post...
Grh... damn it. It's called a mother ship but it's weak as hell.
Knight: Pardon me for speaking, but Gaea's attacks are too strong. The fires of war are severe and...
I don't want to hear it!
Knight: Ah, ahhh! Please, don't kill me...
Listen! Come up with an attack plan so that they won't sink. That's you job, isn't it!?
Knight: Y-yes, sir! Excuse me!
What is wrong with you people? Nobody thinks these days.
Where the hell is the Captain at a time like this?
Hoh! Speak of the devil... Where were you?
I deeply apologize for my absence during this emergency.
Chancellor Alfman! Please stop the attacks.
...The Maiden of Aqua is inside Gaea.
...Insteresting. But what does that mean?
We explained what was going on to the Chancellor, hoping he'd give us some time to try and find a way to save her.
But it's no reason to stop the attack.
Because I never let selfish brats dictate my military policies.
It's not that I want to crush this land. But I have my own things to worry about.
And this time, it's cleaning up this horrible mess that someone created.
Isn't that right, girl!?
Y-yes! I'm sorry...
This wasn't her fault!
She created it herself. How can she not be responsible?
So Cloche became a part of Gaea? It seems only natural, in a way.
I spent so much money raising her, but she kept arguing with me...
I'm so disappointed. Don't you understand how I feel, girl!?
Either way, I'm out of the maiden business. The Grand Bell no longer needs one.
What you say is beyond verbal abuse!
How much Lady Cloche helped you...
How hard she worked for the people...
You should know all of that!
Well, I do.
But times change. Be bound to the past and you'll only decay.
Tell me, Croix Bartel, what is your big plan for saving everything?
How, pray tell, can we guarantee the safety of the people, the Maiden of Aqua, and both lands?
I don't want to blow away this precious land that was created.
But this is our reality! Unless we do this, the chaos is just going to spread.
I'll go up into Gaea, and see what's going on.
I don't mind if you give me a deadline. But for that time, please wait!
Don't be stupid. What if we get attacked while we're waiting for you?
A person's life is at stake!
The same goes for us!
Don't get all high and mighty just because one person had to become the foundation for new land.
Chancellor... I beg you, too.
The Grand Bell Knights will take responsibility and manage this situation.
Please, give us your grace...
Captain Leglius, have you been corrupted by them?
You of all people should know that when you go to war, people die.
If one soul can save 100,000 people, it's well worth it.
I'd never seen the Captain so angry as he looked at that moment. He looked like he was about to say something, but he stopped short.
It may be to you, Chancellor...
But Lady Cloche is irreplaceable to me.
All I want is to save her.
Please give me time!
Before he could finish, a messenger arrived.
Fine. Croix Bartel...
I'll give you a little time.
And I'll give you a one way trip with an airship. Find your own way back.
Do your best to try and save that girl.
...Yes sir. Thank you very much.
We ran out to find Cocona and Amarie, and the Captain stayed behind.
I was planning to all along.
It would make me feel better if you stayed behind this time.
I apologize, but I cannot agree with your decision this time, Chancellor.
Your judgment is always utilitarian and easy to understand, but it goes too far sometimes.
This time, I have to go with Croix.
You're taking a great risk, Captain Leglius.
I have an important position waiting for you.
I would like to end this game with you soon.
Knight: Sir Leglius! If you go any further, we can't keep this quiet!
Please back away!
I am the loyal servant who was given the role of "Decieved One" for your clever plan 19 years ago.
The scar in my heart that you gave me is far greater than you might think.
Don't worry. With your charisma, you'll find a person of the same level as me soon enough.
Hey, what happened to the Sacred Army? Have you gotten rid of them all?
Knight: Yes, sir! They seem to have run away in the midst of the chaos.
We are currently searching for Chester, the main offender. But he cannot be found.
Alright. Continue the search. And make sure to catch him.
Knight: Yes, sir!
Though I doubt he can pose a threat now, he knows too much...
Chester... Why'd he say that?
Isn't it bad that he's here? Should I report it in!?
Cocona, please! I wanna follow him. Okay?
It's really important to me... Please!
...You can't tell Cro either, okay?
Thank you so much! I owe you one!
Now, let's chase after him!
P-probably... There's no other path.
Y-yeah but... we completely lost him.
You're right. * sigh*
Hey, let's go home soon. If Cro finds out, he's gonna get mad at me...
Hmm... okay. I feel bad for dragging you out here.
Oh, there's something I keep wanting to ask you about...
Why are you with Croix? You're not real siblings, are you?
My whole family died in an I.P.D. outbreak.
And it was Cro's squad that was sent to contain it.
Cro saw me standing alone in a burning field, and came over to talk to me.
He said, "Are you hungry?"
...Hmm, I see. So you've been with him ever since?
Well, my village was destroyed by an I.P.D. too. Only a few survived.
I lost my family, too. I found a new family, as well.
It's like you and Croix. A kind older brother...
Ooh! Who is it!? Do I know him?
You look well.
Seeing this body, it's the same as always, Sonia...
That name no longer has any meaning for me...
Won't you let me call you by that name? I don't want to call you Lakra.
...I'm sorry I made you use your powers for the attack on Rakshek Resort.
I wanted to kill them the same way the Grand Bell burned our village down.
But even that was a waste. The Maiden of Disaster... She's still alive.
By the way, were you able to execute Hibernation?
I didn't receive any commands on my part...
Ah... we got right up to the Song. But it seemed she couldn't sing it.
It seems the Divine Power has already withered...
I see. That's too bad.
What do you mean!?
Huh? What's wrong?
Cocona... you said something really weird just now.
What? No way! I sleep talk when I'm sleeping, but not when I'm awake.
I feel bad for that beautiful girl at Kanakana Pier...
What!? Cocona? How do you know about that place?
Hey, Cocona... Are you alright!?
What!? I told you, I didn't say anything!
What your father, grandfather, great-grandfather protected...
...Is this... maybe?
You don't have to worry. We will pull it off.
And... I'll be sure to save you.
Amarie!? What are you doing here?
You're going to end the world!? What's at Kanakana Pier!?
It has nothing to do with you!
...What? Could it be...? Sonia? Is it really you!?
What's going on!? Sonia died at the attack on Kanakana Pier...
I didn't die. I'm still alive... like this.
Though, that's only if you can call this state of being, "alive."
What happened? And what's going on here?
The day Kanakana Pier was attacked, I was restrained and brought here.
...What!? How could they!?
Don't get so mad. I won't live much longer.
90% of my mind was already absorbed by Infel Pira. This body can't even move anymore.
I'm no longer a life form that exists in this world.
Sonia! Don't say that. I will free you some day.
Amarie, get out of here already!
Why!? Why didn't you tell me anything about this!?
About Sonia... about Kanakana Pier. Why do you keep everything a secret!?
That child, she's Level 7.
Even though we'd gotten permission to travel to Gaea, I wasn't totally happy with how the meeting with Alfman had gone.
But... but... I was only able to say "Yes."
I didn't agree. I wanted to defend Lady Cloche more...
It can't be helped. Once the Chancellor is angry, anyone would be daunted.
But, you were trying. Why couldn't I say anything?
Sorry, I'm late.
Captain, thank you very much for earlier.
No need to thank me. I just decided to be honest.
But, is it really okay?
You're close to neglecting your command. And it's for my selfish reasons...
I will take responsibility for my own actions.
Unlike the Chancellor...
I'll go up there and see for myself what's going on.
For Lady Cloche, and for this world...
Well, how about we head to your home soon? Cocona should be waiting.
So we went back home, and sure enough Cocona and Amarie were waiting.
You're late. Did something happen?
No, it's fine. We were even able to get him to sponsor our trip to Gaea.
Ooh! Good job!
It does sound kind of suspicious though...
During our meeting, he got a message from Jacqli. And that's when he changed his mind.
Jacqli and this trip to Gaea... they're probably related somehow.
Yeah, that part about Jacqli is pretty darn suspicious.
Well, it's better than not being able to get up there.
Hey, if we're ready, let's go. We're gonna run out of time.
Yeah, let's go.
I'm... alright. Okay, let's go.
You're coming with us?
Of course I am. I want to stay with Luca.
...You're going to leave Chester?
Sure. There's nothing between us anyway...
We took the airship we'd been provided with up to Gaea. We didn't know how long we were going to be there, or what we'd see.
The airship is going to stick around for us for a while.
We'll be able to go back to the world below during that time.
It's so huge. Looks like we're gonna have to climb up.
We'd passed from the world we knew to the heavens...
Loading Excerpt- Hopes for the Green Land: Collected Writings, J.
Those people got up to Gaea, as planned.
Looks like it.
But it feels kind of strange. Do you think it's real?
You're not making any sense.
It's just you who doesn't understand. This forest doesn't feel alive.
See? The leaves won't fall off, even when I pull on them.
An artificial forest!?
Why an artificial one...?
Something's over there!
Yes. They're born from Gaea...
So this place is filled with them, huh?
They were making so much noise, it was really inevitable that they'd attract attention.
We're better off forgetting what we know and starting over.
???: If you're complaining about those guys, you're gonna see hell beyond here.
What is Alfman trying to do with you!?
I thought I finally found some normal people on this mysterious land...
And the moment we meet, I get yelled at. Why me?
You're here under Alfman's orders, right? What do you plan to do with Gaea?
Hmph, I don't know. I'm just searching this place with one goal in mind.
What are you-
I decided to properly introduce myself to them. They'd been so useful earlier, after all.
Now it's your turn to answer me. What are you doing here?
Sightseeing on this strange land? You guys must be pretty weird.
We're here to rescue Lady Cloche, who was swallowed by Gaea.
There has to be a way to save her here.
I'm surprised you figured that much out by yourself. As you said, there is one way to rescue her.
Really!? Please tell me!
It completely interferes with my goal.
You will not be able to rescue Cloche, because I will stop you.
What is this goal of yours!?
Why should I tell you?
I will save Lady Cloche!
It's almost refreshing to know that heroic types are the same everywhere. It's not like there's any real chance they'll be a significant problem, though, so let them have their hopes.
I mean, if you do rescue her first, there's nothing I can do.
But, I won't tell you anything. You have to investigate for yourself.
...Fine. I won't ask you any more questions.
I'll show you. We'll rescue Lady Cloche ourselves.
Very well. Do your best.
...She's so mean! I kinda wanna be violent now!
Lady Cloche, I'll rescue you for sure! I won't let Jacqli get to you first...
Anyway, it's time to play the long game. If my calculations are right, there's no way I can fail.
Loading Excerpt- The Melody of Metafalica, C. Pastalia, L. Trulyworth
After our encounter with Jacqli, there was a very real sense of urgency in the group. We searched the area for any clues, and eventually discovered we weren't alone here in Gaea.
There are so many Soopes and Pippens!
???: Ah, yous! Aren't yous peoples?
Y-yeah, we are. Where are we?
???: This is we's village, duh.
Village!? You're Pippen, right!? Do you live here?
Pippippen: I is no Pippen! Me is Pippippen, duh!
Pippippen: Yeaus, duh. I looks like this but I is the leader of this village.
Is that so?
Pippippen: Yous is like, so rudes! I is like these living dictionary of this village!
Well then, can you tell us how we can save Lady Cloche?
Pippippen: Lady Cloche... duh?
We explained to Pippippen what was going on.
Pippippen: But no, I does not know the way to rescue this Lady Cloche girl.
I thought you were the living dictionary...
Pippippen: I does not know what I does not know! This land is huge!
And the range where we gets to move around is like, so limited, duh.
Are there strong monsters?
Pippippen: Nah, wrong. For beginners, there's no world, duh.
I really don't understand this.
Pippippen: We doesn't know, either.
Then it's pointless to keep asking.
Well, let's just find a place we can rest, and think of a plan.
Pippippen: Yous can rest at the inn there.
Oh, there's an inn? That's rather normal.
Thanks. We'll go there.
We needed to come up with a plan, but we were all so tired.
Isn't it best if we just walk around this area on our own first?
That's foolish! We don't even know what's out there.
It's like walking straight into an enemy's trap.
It's called being smart.
Now's not the time to be fighting! Geez! You're so... boo!
She's right. We need to find a way to save Lady Cloche as soon as possible.
You really are nice, Luca.
I think maybe you actually do like Lady Cloche, hmm?
No, no, no! It's just, we can't leave her like this...
Anyway... I'm going to sleep.
There she goes.
Amarie, I think you went a little overboard.
What!? I don't remember saying anything bad!
Alright, everybody calm down.
Anyway, we're all tired and on-edge. We should all get some sleep.
Next Time on Ar Tonelico 2: Infelsphere