Part 27: Chapter 26: Duel of Fates
Chapter 26- Duel of Fates
Loading Excerpt- Hopes for the Green Land: Collected Writings, J.
It was time to go back to Kanakana Pier. Luckily, we didn't have to go through the Rim this time.
Oh, umm... through the underground passage inside the Rim.
Inside the Rim? I didn't know there was such a thing.
Well this time, you won't have to suffer too much. We can use the Terutrain.
Yup. I just ring my bell here, and the axis train will come.
Tsk, that's cheating.
It's just residential privilege!
Just like the magic protecting the Pier, the train was a product of Teru magic.
That's a pretty strange shape.
The train's made with Teru Magic. Come on, get in! Let's ride!
It feels like... we're being eaten.
That's right. Well, welcome back to my hometown!
Your hometown, huh? Can I ask you something?
I heard that Kanakana Pier is a city of the Teru Tribe.
And the Teru have horns and a tail. Like the Dive Shop person.
Are you really a resident from here? Or were there people other than the Teru who lived here?
Of course I lived here.
And, more accurately, we residents of the Kanakana Pier are all half-Teru, half-human.
Yup. And when they mix, no matter how dark your Teru blood is, both the tail and horns disappear.
...Though secretly, we have them. But they're really short so our hair and clothes cover them.
Chester and Sonia... I mean Lakra are half-Teru, too.
What!? They are!?
Yup. Unlike the Teru in the city, the people here were mostly half-breeds.
I see... all half-breeds.
What now, Jacqli? Is there something on your mind?
Anyway it was time to get to work.
Probably... in the Chamber of Aqua. I've never been inside, though.
And I don't know if we can get in, either.
We can go and see.
"Someone" had beat us to the punch.
Last time I came here, it was closed...!
Looks like someone's a step ahead of us.
Do you think they're after the Hymn Crystal, too? And who could they be?
I have an idea. It has to be him.
Turns out the people of Aqua at least kept good records.
Is this... and archive?
These books are... Research data on the people of Aqua!?
People of Aqua...!?
Isn't that... like me?
...Yes. The residents of this place.
Looks like someone's already ransacked the place. And it looks pretty recent, too.
But who could've...? Could it be, Laude!?
There's a high possibility.
Can I look through some of the texts here?
Hey, Amarie. You really lived in a place like this?
That's a rude way to ask! I mean, this is my hometown, you know?
But yeah... I can't say I had a good lifestyle.
We didn't even know why we weren't allowed outside.
And so Chester, who took care of me, was my everything.
We both lost our parents, so...
...Sorry. If only the knights were here to save you.
No! Stop apologizing. That was over 10 years ago.
Right. At the time, I was only a low-rank knight.
When I finally heard of the Kanakana Pier attack, it was days later.
And it wasn't just me. Most of the knights weren't informed of it.
Publicly, it was announced that we delayed going into action, but we never got a sortie request.
At the time, I questioned it in my mind, but I soon forgot.
Nor did I ever expect it to be a part of the Grand Bell's plot.
...I kinda assumed it was something like that.
But, let's stop talking about the past. It won't help us anymore.
There was rather a lot of information here. Some important pieces of the puzzle fell into place.
Yes. And I also know why the people of Aqua were here.
Really? Tell me!
The people of Aqua were here to support the Maiden of Aqua.
The Maiden of Aqua is also known as the Seed of Love Maiden.
Which means, the maiden who can control the Infel Pira...
But the Infel Pira was silenced after the war the Goddess.
That's why the Grand Bell gave her other names...
The Maiden of Taboo, or the Maiden of Disaster...
Found you, Maiden of Disaster. Never thought you'd be out here.
Ah... Lady Cloche!
How dare you speak of me as taboo and disaster!?
How rude can you be!?
And if she can control the Infel Pira...
The Maiden of Aqua is inevitably an I.P.D. as well.
I'm so glad you're okay... I'm really glad...
What's wrong with Lady Cloche?
When the Song began, she suddenly collapsed. Soope, too...
...What!? Could it be that Lady Cloche is...?
I would say that the people of Aqua were the engineers of Infel Pira.
They made the plans for and maintained Infel Pira, as Lakra does now.
And because the people of Aqua designed the Infel Pira...
When the treaty was struck with the Goddess, they were imprisoned here.
For the Ascension Project to work, there had to be a huge memory space to put in people's souls.
So the Goddess and the Grand Bell of the time decided to fix the Infel Pira for their use.
And it was the people of Aqua who were forced to take up the task in secret.
But that's only natural since they designed it in the first place.
So that's why we were imprisoned here...
And that would be why Alfman attacked this place. To reveal the secrets of the Grand Bell.
This was the headquarters of the Ascension Project, to erase this world.
That's about it.
The Hymn Crystal is sure to be in Kanakana Pier.
Let's search more in-depth, including the doors that didn't open before.
I had been worried that Laude might have taken the crystal, but it turned out not to have been the case.
I guess it wasn't stolen.
I assumed they would set up some sort of preemptive defense, but I guess not.
System Message: Obtained Hymn Crystal, Implanter!
What is it!?
Ah, so there is a security measure.
Boss Battle: Divine Armyx3
The Divine Army is back. It's pretty much the same as last time we had to fight these clowns. They have a lot of health but aren't particularly threatening.
Croix asked me for something I absolutely could not do.
Jacqli, can I ask you to do the download?
I'm not interested.
Why don't you have Luca sing it?
The strength of emotions is important for these things.
Honestly, if I sang it, I doubt there would be enough of an effect.
I think Luca would sing harder, especially for Cloche.
I leveled with Croix as to the reality of the situation.
Her Boundary Gate was plowed through. It's a miracle she didn't have a mental breakdown.
It's my duty to believe in it until the end.
Come on, let's go.
So if this crystal wasn't stolen...
Why did he come here in the first place?
I finally found it! The Heart of maiden Nenesha, from 400 years ago...!
Now, all that's left is the Song passed down from the Maiden of Fuero...
I can go home soon... For my triumphant return!
Oh, I shouldn't be laughing yet. I must get the Fuero Song.
Now that I've come this far, the rest I can do by force...
I'm sure we'll find out soon enough what Laude's plan is. No point worrying about it until then.
We brought the crystal back to Pastalia. It seemed since we had gone people had started to figure out that Targana had nearly ended the world.
The townsfolk are surrounding the Grand Bell and causing a riot!
I don't know how they know, but they're blaming Targana for everyone's collapse...
They're saying all the Reyvateils are still in a coma because of him, too.
Everyone's saying he tried to end the world.
We weren't gone very long, but it seems like a lot's happened.
We have to sing Implanter or the situation will only get worse.
Yeah, you're right.
So, were you able to find the Hymn Crystal?
Yeah, we found it.
This is Implanter? Hehehe, how pretty...
Luca, can you download it? I want you to sing it.
Yup! Of course!
Thank you. Alright, let's begin the download ritual.
In retrospect the results of this were obvious before we even started.
Was yea ra chs hymnos mea
En chsee fwal fwal yor
Exec drone hymnos implantation
That was... kinda weird?
This feeling... I've felt it before...
The Hymn Crystal failed to download.
This is the last Hymn Crystal for Metafalica.
I'm counting on you.
5100 x tarm azit tn metafalica
Es tn sol.infel.phira.mea
Cocona: Lady Cloche, how are you feeling?
It seems different than Luca's reaction.
That's when it failed, right?
Yeah. She said herself that it failed.
So did this one fail, too?
Probably. I don't feel like any Songs are flowing into me.
I'm not moved, nor do I feel any change...
I know why. I think the people back then were just stupid or something.
What do you mean?
If I'm right, this Song is only for I.P.D.s.
Think about it. You need to be an I.P.D. to control the Infel Pira.
And this is obviously a Song that controls the Infel Pira.
Which means, the only one who might be able to sing it is...
We had hoped to avoid it, but there was really no way but to have Lady Cloche sing Implanter.
I've been... really horrible to I.P.D.s until now.
I knew it, but I told myself it was a necessary evil.
Those girls have lives, too. And I won't deny that I've treated them poorly.
Luca's precious sister, and Cocona... I made them go through many hardships.
I... when I was fighting with you at the Labs...
I said all that, but I thought to myself that I knew I did something terrible.
I'm sorry. I know apologizing now won't solve anything, but still.
About that... I'm sorry, too.
I can't take back all that I've done, even if it took a lifetime. I know that.
That's why... I want to sing this Song.
But... you might not be physically able to sing it.
...That's all the more reason why I should try.
Please take me to the Hill of Metafalica...
And there's the other little snag. We can't sing this damn song just anywhere, it has to be at the Grand Bell Hall.
Though in the midst of chaos, I doubt that we can enter that easily.
I will talk to Targana.
In your condition, that's impossible. Please just rest for now...
Some things are more important than my health. That's why I can't rest!
But Lady Cloche...
Are you going to argue with me?
And I'll remind you, since it seems you've recently forgotten.
Your job is to protect me. In a situation like this, you should go all-out.
No matter what condition I'm in, there are things I must do as a maiden.
Who can I depend on in times like this? Who can I lean this body against?
...I'm sorry, Lady Cloche.
I am the knight who is responsible for your life.
Even if this body shall perish, I will protect you.
Loading Excerpt- Personal Logs, C. Bartel
There was nobody I wanted to talk to less than Targana at this point. I mean what do you say to the guy who was your best friend and then tried to kill you and destroy the world?
I wish... to speak with... Lord Targana. I request... A meeting.
Knight: ...! The maiden...!?
Lord Targana... Is he here?
Knight: It's the maiden! Catch them!
Hold your tongues in the presence of the Holy Maidens, the most precious lives in this world!
Your behavior is unacceptable!
Knight: We don't need maidens anymore!
We only follow orders from Lord Targana!
I'm the complete opposite. I will protect our Holy Maidens, even at the cost of my own life!
Those guys had no chance against the power of our determination. But the noise drew even more...
Knight: What's this!? The maiden!?
Grh! This is never going to end.
...There's way too many of them. Let's retreat for now!
Welcome, my dear beloved princesses.
Lord Targana, there's something I must speak to you about.
This is hardly a suitable place to talk. How about a cup of tea?
Lord Targana... I would like to restore the Infel Pira.
How do you know...?
A friend who was supposed to celebrate the new world with me gave pity to the enemy.
Lord Targana, this new world you speak of... what is it?
Is it... the end of this world?
Lady Cloche, it is you who led this world to its end.
The Ascension Project was a grand-scale plan that took the Grand Bell 400 years to build.
It was a project to save the people of this world from their suffering.
However, your government ruined this project.
You betrayed the Goddess! Not only that, but you led this world to the brink!
You failed at Metafalica, and created an evil Gaea, spreading more chaos...
And stole away even more of the Goddess' power.
That's why I decided I must correct it. More than anything else, for this world!
Luca didn't really know what to say, but even near collapse Lady Cloche made herself a presence in the room.
But I don't think it was a waste.
I learned much from it. And I'm starting to understand why it failed.
Ever since we declared war on the Goddess, I have watched the people closely.
Expectations and hopes for Metafalica... I saw all of it, first-hand.
I knew I wasn't doing something I was proud of...
But the voices of the people who wished for Metafalica fueled my will.
And that's why I will create Metafalica. For the people of this world!
I will make it a success!
Where's your proof?
Proof that you'll succeed.
I will find it soon.
Don't make me laugh. You're repeating the mistakes of 400 years ago.
Sure, I failed too. The people no longer look up to me.
But one thing is sure. I will not hand this government over to you!
I also want Metafalica. It was my dream since I was young.
But if I'm going to live to my fullest, I'm gonna bet on Metafalica.
I've seen many things. I.P.D. children, their families...
People who had high hopes for Metafalica, and the disappointment afterward.
Each person has a way of showing anticipation or anger, but their emotions are the same.
They want Metafalica.
They're worried from fear of failure and past experiences, but they're really hoping for it.
How can you say that?
Because I am one of them.
I will protect Lady Cloche and Luca. I will continue to do so with my full strength.
Because that will lead to the world's hope... That's the best I can do for this world.
I will risk everything to protect them.
Targana had heard enough.
I believed you would understand one day...
I gave you so many chances. But each time I reach out to you, you slap my hand away.
This might just be the time to give up.
Rebel and protector of the maiden government, I challenge you to a duel.
If you win, I will hand over the Grand Bell to your maiden government.
Of course, then you will be free to recover the Infel Pira.
However, if I win...
I will execute you all, and pursue the path that I choose.
There could only be one place for our final battle. The place it all began.
At Cape Dice.
That's it. I have nothing more to say. You shall back away.
We went back to my place. Lady Cloche needed to rest after all that exertion.
She's alright. I think she just got tired, so she's sleeping now.
Croix... Are you really going to accept the duel?
Of course. For you and for Lady Cloche.
Mostly, I want the Infel Pira restored to save all the I.P.D.s.
Like Cocona, and Lady Cloche...
By the way, where is this Dice Cape? Is there such a place in Dreamy Fields?
It's Cape Dice.
There's a reason you've never heard of it.
When we were kids, Targana and I gave names to the places where we hung out.
...Oh, I see.
You have to go through a small mazy area to get there...
When we were kids, we used to act like it was our secret base.
Why would he choose a place like that for a duel?
Let's go. I don't want to lose by default because I couldn't get there in time.
Jacqli decided to point out how screwed we'd have been without her.
It sounds kind of interesting. Please tell me.
Okay. It's about you and your friends who got the Implanter.
You guys tried downloading it onto Luca, but it didn't work.
Why didn't it work? What was wrong with it?
You guys get together and think about the answer.
But, because Jacqli figures out why...
I don't exist in this story.
What if I said, "No," to you and didn't become your ally? What do you think?
How was my story? Interesting, huh?
That sure was scary in a way, but that's not a horror story.
Anyway, we headed to the Dreamy Fields once again.
It's at the very edge, but first I have to see if it's still there.
Here it is... We go in from here.
...It's a tight fit.
Can you even fit through that?
Don't worry. I'm rather flexible for my size.
Looks like it. I can tell now, but when we were small, we had no idea.
We just said it was a time-tunnel...
We also used to say beyond this place was our Metafalica.
He used to admire Metafalica with me back then.
Our Metafalica... Haha.
What's wrong with that? We were kids.
I didn't say it was wrong.
Damn you! Pull a little more gently!
Oh? I thought you were really flexible.
I just flipped over your arm. I can do it normally.
That's just you! Geez...
Well, thanks to me, you were able to get through, so isn't that good?
It's your fault if I can't fight.
Targana was waiting at the edge of the world.
...How nostalgic. How many years has it been?
I want to talk to you in private first.
Men, return to the dead track station.
Knight: B-but, my lord...
There's no need to worry.
Knight: ...Yes, my lord!
Just call me Targana for now. Let us return to the old days for a while.
I'm pretty amazed you remembered this place.
The same goes for me.
Do you remember, Croix... About the days we used to play here? And...
The time I revealed to you that I was a descendant of the Imperial Family...
Of course I remember. I was really surprised.
Yeah! Now do you understand? You and me are worlds apart. Respect me.
Hahaha. No way! If you want me to, then you have to beat me. Not be tied!
Okay! Then, let's fight!
*huff * You really don't hold back, huh?
You were pretty strong today, too. I was about to lose... *huff *
Hmph... this is still only the beginning!
But, wow! You're a prince.
You finally get it!?
Hey, when we get older, let's be the Pope together!
...Both of us being the Pope?
Yeah, and then, we're gonna beat up the bad guys together!
I don't think it works that way... but that's cool, too.
Alright! It's done then! Here, I'll protect you!
Don't tell anyone else about it, okay?
If people find out I'm a prince, they said my life would be in danger...
So I can't tell anyone.
But you just told me.
Dummy! You're special! So don't tell anyone else, okay!?
Alright, I won't say it!
But only cuz if you die, I can't be your bodyguard, and then it'd be boring!
But, 10 years later, when we reunited, you were already an enemy.
I was... shocked.
Sure, it was a childhood dream. If you say I was dumb for believing it, what can I say?
But at least to me, it was still a betrayal...
By my one true friend...
...I see now. I'm sorry.
But I don't care about that anymore. ...I really don't.
Stories of the past are done with. It'll all be settled here.
How about we begin now? Our final battle!
We started the showdown both of our lives have been moving towards since we first met.
Boss Battle: Targana
This isn't a particularly hard fight, but there are a few caveats. Croix is limited to Level 2 attacks and you can't guard at all. If you were high enough level to defeat Zodom, this shouldn't be any threat.
Hey, are you sure?
What are you saying, Croix? This isn't training. This is a duel.
I am here... to settle the past between you and me.
I didn't challenge you with a half-hearted determination!
...Fine. Then for the honor of your soul, I won't hold back either.
That's right, that's how it should be! Here I go!
Boss Battle: Targana
Now we get access to Level 3 attacks, and Targana gets access to better stuff as well. It's still not hard, though. You should easily be able to stuff Targana before he ever gets close to getting you.
Targana gave it a good shot, but no matter what his skills are now he can't match my determination to save this world.
Rather, you've improved quite a bit.
And that's what makes you my lifelong rival...
The world began to shake with a force greater than I'd ever felt.
This is... it's shaking more than I've ever felt before!
Come, Croix! We don't have much time!
Stand! Let us continue the fight!
Wait Targana! This isn't normal! Let's finish this duel another day!
Even if we escape from here, the quake covers the entire land.
That's how weak the Goddess has become. We leaned on Her too much.
I can accept destruction. But before this world ends, I will settle this fight with you!
Why are you so stubborn!?
Don't you understand why I continue to fight you!?
This is my motivation in life. Fighting with you is my life's purpose!
Even if I die here, I don't regret leaving my position as Pope.
I even think I've already done all that I can.
But looking back on this life, there's just one thing I linger on.
That's why I...!
As just a man, I want to fight you to my heart's content!
The cliff began to fall, and I only barely reached Targana in time.
Come on! I'll save you!
Let me go, Croix!
Don't be stupid!
Get away from here. You're going to die, too!
I still have to run after I save you!
You're stupid as always! I don't even have the strength to run anymore!
Then I'll carry you!
You're so... Even back then, you never thought ahead!
You may look calm, but that's just because your head is empty!
This world is in a crisis right now. This quake it only the first sign.
Someone has to save it... That's why I believed I should, and founded the Sacred Army.
I've worked this whole time, determined to never give up. To pull through with my belief.
But in this battle, I realized, no, I probably realized this in the Pope's Chamber earlier...
It's not I who can save this world...
Yes, I came here... to find a place to die.
What are you talking about! I don't understand!
Croix! You must support those maidens.
...I leave this world in your hands.
Don't be so stupid...
You better not think that by dying here, everything will be settled!
The reason it turned out like this in the first place was because you were stalling!
What did you say!? What do you take my determination for...
Don't act all cool by yourself! Live and take care of your own mistakes!
Isn't that how it should be, partner?
The others arrived just in time to pull us from the brink.
Knight: Lord! My Lord! I'll come rescue you!
Alright, we're all going to pull them up!
I'm so glad you're both safe.
But this quake. What does it mean...?
I think this is the first time I've felt it this hard.
At least it wasn't my fault this time!
...I know. It makes me feel uneasy, not knowing the reason.
Let's go back to Pastalia for now. We can start with what we know for sure.
First... to restore the Infel Pira.
Sorry Targana, I know we haven't settled this, but I'm going ahead with the recovery.
...Fine. I leave this world to you.
Sorry. Take Prince Targana back to the Grand Bell and let him rest.
Knight: Understood. Thank you... for your concern.
Maybe there's hope for this world yet...
Next Time on Ar Tonelico 2: METHOD_IMPLANTA