The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico II

by Feinne

Part 49: Luca's Infelsphere, Level 1 Part 2

Lanternal Brid: That's right! Every time you get to know Luca in the Infelsphere, the world of Gaea expands by a chunk.
NatureBloom Brid: But the type of world that appears depends on your choices. Conversations with Luca will determine that change.
: Which means... Depending on our actions and decisions, Gaea can become something completely different.
Invert Brid: That's it!

: Oh, you're here again? Master of plate shattering.
: What...? Wh-why would you say that all of a sudden?
: You can't work like that. I think it's just impossible for a princess.
: I just started. I'm not used to it yet.
: Oh fine, then we'll say that's the case for now. But I know you're going to give in to defeat soon enough.
: I'll come as many times as it takes. I've already decided that I am going to understand you.
: How annoying. I didn't even ask you to come.
: Luca...
: Just kidding. You're precious to me, Croix. I want you here everyday. It'd be so much better if it weren't for the third wheel.
: Croix, come on, let's get to work!
: Haven't had enough? Then go ahead and do your best with them.
Lanternal Brid: If you're coming, you better hurry or else you'll be late to work.
Naturebloom Brid: Being late'll lose you money.
: You don't have to tell me!

: Y-you let go of it on purpose, didn't you...!?
: What are you talking about? You're just clumsy, newbie. Hurry up. We can go home when you're done with the dishes.
: Krh...

: Phew... Finally done. Working with water causes so much damage to my hands. My fingertips hurt.
: Good work, you two! Come now. Today's the day you've been waiting for, pay day.
: Yay!
: Pay...
: Of course, you did work. Here, good work to you.
: My first time getting paid... It feels so new, and happy. Thank you...wait... Wh-why is it so...light?
: Trainees are half the normal part-time wages. And you broke plates, too.
: This is half? But even if you doubled this...
: Yeah, it's barely much to add to your food expenses. But well, that's the way this world works.
: Yup yup, it's not that easy!
: Anyway, I have news for everyone today. As of today, I'm quitting. Thank you for everything until now!
: What, you're kidding, right!?
: It's true. Because working here isn't making life at home easier at all. You've got a new worker to fill the spot, so good luck with the rest.
: But why?
: Wait, Luca, hold on!

: Oh, Cloche, you seem energetic.
: Ah, hello, Miss Reisha. Is Luca home?
: Yes, but before that, well?
: A, uh... A handshake?
: Oh come on, don't be silly. Give me what you got for your pay.
: Ahh, that's...!
: Oh my. Even with both your pays, it'll disappear after we pay rent... It's pay day and we'll only have bread..
: Nothing else!?
: If we can't even get food for today, what can we do starting tomorrow...
: I-is it that serious?
: Well, things usually work out. We can live off Kurku Cake Bars everyday, and for 2-3 days, water should be fine.
: That's just too...
: Life in this area is pretty much like that. Anyway, you must be tired. Come in for some tea.
: Th-thanks...

: The irony of them living together as sisters in this simulation even before they figured it out is hilarious.
: I suppose so.

: Luca, I'm coming in.

: I left on good terms. I had them hire a new employee in place of me too.
: What...? You were planning to make me replace you from the start!?
: And I've already thought about what to do next. I'll be a trainee at first, but I already have a new job, too. This next job can make so much more money compared to being a waitress.
: Don't tell me...
: I'm going to do Dive Therapy. It's a job only Reyvateils can do.
: Dive Therapy is illegal!
: That's only in Pastalia. I already decided, and I found a master to apprentice under.
: You can't! I won't allow that!
: Then let me ask you Wich is better, dying of starvation, or letting other people into your soulspace?
: W-well...
: If you die, it's all over. I can't be all righteous. I mean, with your earnings like that, we can't even survive until the end of the month.
: Er...
: To me, Dive Therapy offers a bright future. I've thought about it, and I should act before it's too late!

: you can't! Never! While I'm alive, I will never allow that!
: Then how are we going to eat!?
: W-well...if we all work together...
: We've been doing that all along, but it hasn't gotten any better. This is the only way.
: But why Dive Therapy of all things?
Knock Knock
: Who is it?
: I'm sorry to interrupt...
: Is something wrong, Miss Reisha?
: THere's someone at our door. She's asking us to spare her something...
: We can't afford that.
: But...she's saying that her child is dying of malnutrition and sickness...
: What!? We can't just send them away! Miss Reisha, please give them everything I earned today.
: Hey, what do you think you're...
: People's lives are on the line!
: Our lives are on the line too! I want to do something for them too, but... We're having enough trouble trying to feed ourselves.
: Then I don't need any! Please, Miss Reisha.
: Are you sure? If you insist...
: I'm so not responsible for this.
: It's better than leaving them to die.

: Excuse me. This may sound abrupt, but have you been visited by a mother and child pair recently?
: Huh? Mother and child?
: Well, they're wanted con artists. They use malicious tricks to ask for money for a sick child... Please be careful.
: What? Is
: Ah gee... Well, there's no mistake. That's gotta be it. You were tricked.
: H-how dare they exploit people's kindness...! I won't forgive them!
: But as you said, you don't get food tonight. Well, time for dinner for me. Croix, let's go eat together!

Naturebloom Brid: Well, I guess you can call it a good lesson about life.
: Is Luca forced to live this unjust lifestyle everyday?
Lanternal Brid: Well, everyday might be misleading, but...
Naturebloom Brid: But in poor living conditions, these problems aren't that uncommon.
Invert Brid: Everyone's struggling to live.
: ...Oh, I see. People will do anything to live... That's the world spread out below the Grand Bell.
Lanternal Brid: Well, pretty much!
Naturebloom Brid: I'm happy you understand. Then here, I'll give you this as a reward!
Obtained [Mindgem: Causality]!
: ...Thank you.

: Croix, you came for me today too! I'm so happy.
: I'm worried about you. I plan to do whatever I can.
: Hehehe, you're so nice! I'll give you Therapy again next time as a reward!
: L-Luca?
: Y-you, excuse me!
: Aww, you're here too.
: How dare you ignore me and talk about... S-such immorality.
: You can say all that, but you can't do it, even if you stood on your head! It's alright, Croix. I'll give you the best service ever. I'll even let you do a normal Dive...
: It's not that I don't do it because I can't! I don't do it because it goes against morals!
: Hmph. If you insist, I'll let you do some Therapy training.
: What?
: I'll prepare a Dive Machine for you. It's not as easy as you think. I'd say it's impossible for a princess like you.
: W-wait a minute. Why do I have to...?
: It's fine by me if you don't come along. I'm gonna go on a Dive with Croix! Come on, let's go Croix.
: Uhhm, what about my opinion...?
: H-h-h-h-how could you! Wait! I'm going too...!
Lanternal Brid: Ooh, you're going to the Dive Shop?
Naturebloom Brid: I thought you hated that place?
: ...I'm going.

: Jacqli?
: Well, Luca was jealous of her theoretical therapy capabilities, so it seems natural for her image to represent that of a Pro Therapist.
: Except Luca didn't know Jacqli could do all that stuff yet.
: On the contrary - remember how Jacqli at this time would be trying to connect with the heart of Gaea?
: Well, it was Cloche when it happened, I don't have any way to connect with her. I was asleep then too.
: Anyway, my theory is that Jacqli under these conditions would communicate with Luca about how she also can create fake worlds in her soulspace.
: That makes sense, I mean she'd need some kind of a connection to go all Sphilia with her.
: I mean, people's hearts are quite nasty when you see all of it. Don'tcha think so, miss?
: Hahaha, yeah it really is.
: Luca, how could you say...
: Oh? Pretty missy over there don't think so? Quite the confidence!
: Ok, what's with Jacqli's speach patterns?
: That's not really Jacqli - or even simulation Jacqli. It's Jacqli's image projected onto Luca's memory.
: Whoever that was, she needs a speech therapist.
: Uh-no... That's not what I meant...
: And the mind's a fickle thing. I tries to rid of others to protect itself. This is the same for everyone at first. I mean, it's only natural. The self's precious to anyone. Can't just let your heart open up to some stranger. But if you keep rejecting the customers, there won't be no business, ya see? You know what to do then?
: Erm, I don't know yet... And so I would like to begin learning!
: That's the spirit. Right, and so, you make a safety region in your soulspace with your own will. You play out a safe, pretty world so that customers would enjoy watching it.
: Hmm... There seems to be more privacy than I thought. Sounds rather easy.
: Oh, it looks easy to you, huh? However, you see. Usually the soulspace is a place where your consciousness can't quite reach. And so, no matter how hard you think to do it in the real world, it's more useless than the skin of a Funboon.
: Uh... Then how are we supposed to do it?
: Well, the mind's wall is lowered by the Dive Machine to an extent, so customers can come in even if you refuse.
: What!? That's so forced...
: Well this is a business. You can't just tell a customer, "Sorry, can't do that." Let alone, hurting a customer inside, that's out of the question.
: That's very true.
: And so. You ever have it where you're sleeping and you're in a dream... But somehow you know, "Ah, this is a dream. I'm sleeping." That feeling?
: Ooh, it happens sometimes~! It's such a strange feeling!
: Ah well, then moving on. You gotta make that situation intentionally, and ensure that you can do it 100% of the time.
: How do you do that?
: Well, you just gotta get used to it.
: Huh?
: Gotta learn through experience. It's the subconscious world we're dealing with. Do it unconsciously and you're a pro. Well, there is actual help. We set the Grathnode wave packet flow lower than 37Hmag/s, and create a pseudo REM sleep. And so it'll become easy to create a consciousness within a dream, once you get used to it. Got it?
: What...? Not at all, this is hard.
: I'm no good with numbers either. But with experience, you just memorize them even if you don't mean to. Don't worry. As for practice, you're not gonna get it with 1 or 10 or 20 times. You need a lot of skill and willpower, and training.
: 10 or 20 times!?
: Well, it depends on each person, but if you're good, you might get a hang of it at 10 times. But that's with real skill. Most girls can't endure it and run away after the first time. If they can go on 3 times, that's pretty damn decent. You think you can handle it?
: It sounds hard... But I've already decided that I'm going to become a Therapist. Master, I'll do my best!
: Good answer. What about you missy? You scared and wanna go home yet?
: I am not scared! I-it's easy.
: Oh hoh, tough attitude. Then let's try it out with you first, huh?
: I'll take on that challenge!
: Quite the spirit. Well, come on over.
: I-I'll try my best!
: Good luck~.

: Missy, you're no good. You've already done it 20 times, and you still can't form a safety range.
: Grh...I feel sick... It's worse than motion sickness... My head feels like it's melting between consciousness.
: A-are you okay, Lady Cloche? You seem very pale.
: Luca, you're pretty darn good. 7th try and you're this far, outstanding. It'll be worth it to raise you. I'm sure you'll become a good therapist.
: Er...kWh... Yes, thank you very much... I think I'm getting the hang of it! Self awareness of a perfect distance, the will to sustain it, and a cheerful spirit. Yup, I think I'm used to it.
: Yes yes, you're getting it real good. You've got quite the potential, Luca. See therapy is about the philanthropic mind. You can't have a special someone you like, or anyone you hate. Customers are all equal. You have to like them all the same.
: That's such a slutty, immoral...
: If you get special likes and dislikes for certain customers, you might get them involved in something dangerous. That's not qualified as a job. No matter what you're thinking inside, you can't let that show. You're sharing the same soulspace, gotta be careful.
: Yes, I understand.
: Oh, but your private life is different. Go ahead and make a boyfriend. You can give him Therapy, or let him do a real Dive and polish up on your lady side of things.
: Oh la la!
: Ahh, Master, that's so mature-woman-ish! I want to learn from you good at a lot of things, too!
: Ooh, what's this, Luca. You have a boyfriend?
: I-it's embarrassing...!
: You're so cute, all blushy!
: Ahh, please. Croix.
: Oh, is Mr. Handsome there your boyfriend? Lucky you!
:, uh...
: H-hey you people!
: Well, Therapy's a job where you share your heart. Can't love too much, but there can't be none.
: Love...

Naturebloom Brid: Love!
: I still feel rather sick... Luca had to endure this harsh practice everyday...
Lanternal Brid: That's right. What do you think for?
Naturebloom Brid That of course, is to live!
: ......
Lanternal Brid: I mean, it's true, Luca herself feels fulfillment in this, but she did feel those thoughts you just felt.
Naturebloom Brid: If you're still against Dive Therapy, you need to offer something in place of it that can continue to feed her.
Invert Brid: And of course, the rest of the world.
: ...In our current situation, I can't do that. And... I prohibited Dive Therapy, as instructed, but...I think I need to judge it more objectively...
Lanternal Brid: If you really think so, it was worth our time to show you Luca's world.
Naturebloom Brid: Yup! Then, let me give you this!
Obtained [Mindgem: Conqueror's Heart]!
: ...Thank you.

Lanternal Brid: Ooh! Congrats! You've completed the first level!
: Completed...?
Naturebloom Brid: That's right. It means, Luca and Cloche got to understand each other enough to clear the standards of the first level.
: Which means, in order to get to know each other even deeper, we need to go to the second level?
Invert Brid: That's right!
Lanternal Brid: Well, that's the end of the first level. We need to do a ritual. Come to the [Sphere Gate]!
Naturebloom Brid: We'll be waiting.

Lanternal Brid: Finally here. I'm tired of waiting.
: Well I'm sorry about that. So, what am I supposed to do now?
Naturebloom Brid: I want you to tell Luca what you felt. If Luca's heart is moved by it, then the gate should naturally open.
: I see... Alright.
: ...... How was it, Lady Cloche?
: I... It was hard. ...It was just a lot of suffering. I'm sorry. If I had to live in a world like this... I don't think I could even survive for a day. It might sound rude to say that in front of you, but, that's my true feelings.
: I see. Well I'm glad you understand!
: ...Hm?
: I mean, it'd be nice if you could do something about it too. But I know some things just can't be helped. As for now, I just want you to know what kind of life I was forced into. How badly we suffered.
: I visited many places, heard many stories... And I thought I knew it all. But thanks to you, I now understand your true feeling. Thank you.
: Yup!

Lanternal Brid: The gate to the next world opened!
Naturebloom Brid: Now this world is complete.
Invert Brid: You were able to communicate your minds.
: Come on, let's go. If we go to the next world, we should be able to get closer to each other even more!
: Luca...? You're coming too?
Lanternal Brid: Well of course. This is a place where you two get to know each other.
Naturebloom Brid: You go to the next world together.
: Alright. Then Luca... Let's go.
: Okay.

: A place to get to know each other...?
Invert Brid: Now the two are a step closer. But more obstacles are waiting for them in the next world.
: ...So, are you on Luca's side? Or...
Lanternal Brid: Who knows? We don't know that.
Naturebloom Brid: I mean this world does feel like there are contradictions...
: ...Contradictions?
Lanternal Brid: Yup. Contradictions. It feels like my existence doesn't match with the reason for this world's existence.
Naturebloom Brid: I don't know why it's like that though.
: I don't quite understand, but...
Lanternal Brid: Well, it's fine even if we don't know. Either way, what I'm about to say is more important!
Naturebloom Brid: From now on, we can help you in the real world too.
: ...Song Magic?
Invert Brid: That's right! Use us well!
Combo Magic [Holy Burst: Lv E] "Invert Brid" composed!