Part 94: Update XC: An Apprentice and the Lightning SwordsmanWelcome back. In this installment, we'll be taking a rather exciting trip to the Modis Ruins to take down that scaly threat. But first, we've got some preparation to do. First off, a scene with Astrid.
Oh, Ms. Astrid. What can I - wait, haven't we had this conversation before?
Forget that. I brought my most promising pupil a most wonderful gift.
Huh? You mean, for me? From...you?
Anyway, it's to show my appreciation for constructing one of the facilities. It'll really help with my research.
Oh, I see...well, I'm just glad you're happy with it. Thank you very much.
"Wonderful" may be stretching it, but the odd thing is that it calls the Night Lady "Dama de Noche", and the Glow Grass "Firefly Lily". A more literal translation than the names actually in the game? I have no idea.
You accepted it. Good.
Wh-Why are you smiling like that?
No reason. I offered you a gift, and you accepted it. That's all. So. Now it's your turn.
Huh? What do you mean...?
Arg...I should have known there was some secret reason. Ms. Astrid is truly frightening!
But now we'll want to assemble our party. We'll be taking Sterk, of course, and since he hasn't seen action in a while, as well as not getting any of his party scenes with Sterk last time, Gino. Gino is an alright choice, but nothing special. Still, variety and spices and all that.
Although we only have materials for the Wing Quilt right now, buying the final equipment recipe books is advisable. It's going to put quite a dent in our wallet, but we'll have to do it eventually.
Sterk, and Gino especially, need weapon upgrades. Combined with the other Platine, this will make formidable weapons. A scene came up after that synthesis. Video goes until Meruru says "Ghh...I'll have to spend some time thinking about this..."
*fade to black*
Pardon me, Meruru, do you know where Ms. Esty is? I heard she'd be stopping by the workshop.
Oh! She was just here, but headed back out again to go shopping with Miss Totori. Did you need to talk to her?
Oh, well, a letter just arrived at the castle addressed to her.
You handle that kind of stuff too, Keina? Amazing... Anyway, I think they should be back soon.
Thank you. Actually, I'm just here to give Ms. Esty a letter that came for her.
For me? I wonder who it's from.
...Oh, it's my friend from Arland. But why a letter now all of a sudden?
Maybe it's something important. You should open it right away.
What's wrong, Ms. Esty? Is it bad news...?
Music: Small Head Tilt (2)
Huh? Umm...and that's bad? I don't get it.
One of my few remaining comrades...has fallen. How is that not the worst news ever? Ugh, how depressing.
B-But...if your friend's getting married, I'm sure she's looking forward to your well wishes.
You're both too young to understand. You'll see things differently once you're Esty's age.
Ohh, I see... So Miss Totori, does that mean you understand?
Umm...Ms. Esty looks like she's in shock. She's just staring off into the distance.
Please leave her be, Keina. Oh, I know - tea! Pour us some tea, Keina! I want to try some of your tea!
Y-Yes, of course...
Heh. Heh heh. it's fine. I'm fine. I... I gave myself to my work. I need to look after Gio. And I need to help Meruru with her country's development. So I'm jst fine. I'm not jealous. No, not at all. I'm...I'm...
Th-That's right. I'm sure you'll be far too busy with work to go to her wedding, anyway. Esty...just tell yourself you never got that letter, and everything will be fine.
Uwawa! Miss Totori, are you sure you should have said that? Please, do something!
Ahh, nooo! Did I make things worse? I'll put something in Esty's tea to help her calm down.
Ms. Esty, wait!
...Ahh, she's gone. Is she gonna be okay, Miss Totori?
Oh, umm...I'm sure she'll be fine. I've seen her go through this before. It's a process - she'll get depressed, then she'll get over it. She'll be back to her old self in no time.
Me, too. But maybe it gets more important once you're as old as Ms. Esty.
Ghh...I'll have to spend some time thinking about this...
And Gino jumps a couple of weapons tiers to at least contribute some to our inevitable triumph. Coming up next...
Yup, you completed it successfully. Thank you, Totori.
Hehe. It looks like you're really getting used to your receptionist role.
I guess so. It's much more relaxing than Arland, that's for sure. Back home, Cordelia was always right next to me, yelling at me all the time.
Cordelia? Who's that?
She's older than me, but she's very cute and petite. A bit scary at times, though...
Way more than a bit! But looking back, I'm glad it was Cordelia who trained me.
Filly used to be so timid and afraid of strangers. You even got nervous talking to me!
I see. So Ms. Filly, as a proper receptionist, you need to be able to talk to Rufus, too.
Gh...that's - Mr. Rufus is an entirely different story. But...I'll try my best.
Hahaha, I'm just kidding anyway. I know you're working really hard. Please do your best!
Couple syntheses later, and another scene. Don't worry. We'll be getting to the real meat of this update within a couple scenes, and it's some good eating.
Oh, she's asleep. She must have worked pretty late last night... She's gonna catch cold like that. I need to get her a blanket...
Uwah! It's you!
That's some greeting. Why do you act like you just saw a ghost or a demon or something?
It's the same reaction I always have when you sneak up on me! How do you sneak in like that!?
That will remain a secret for now. It wouldn't be any fun to you just yet. Anyway... Pupil #2 seems to be deep asleep.
Yeah. And don't wake her up! She seemed really tired.
M-Ms. Astrid! You shouldn't do ANYTHING to her!
Whaaat!? Ms. Astrid, that's just... Absurd! Although...a teeny tiny little part of me would like to see that...
First of all, I don't like the fact that she's napping right in front of her master. Let's draw eyes on her eyelids.
I'm sorry, Ms. Totori...I couldn't help myself. Hahaha, so funny!
It's still lacking a certain...charm. Let's add some red circles to her cheeks.
Ooh, excellent choice, Pupil #3. This will increase her cuteness by at least 50%.
Ahh, Miss Totori is so cute! Errg...but I'm such a bad apprentice. Still...I can't stop now!
Oops. Time's up! Well, i'd better get going. See ya!
Oh no! Miss Totori's waking up! Ms. Astrid, hold on!
Oh my. Our mild-mannered alchemist is causing the screen to shake she's getting so mad.
I can't even describe how much yelling and scolding happened that day... *sniff*
Oh well. It's a valuble lesson about tormenting your teacher.
Next tier of cloth items has been entered. The Wing Quilt can make some rather great armor, and anything to even the odds with the dragon sounds good to me. After that synthesis, another scene. Video goes until Keina says "Besides, it's my job".
This should be good enough, I think. Which means I'm done for today. Man, I sure got a lot done!
I can see that. Now then, let me help you clean up.
Oh, thanks. Are you sure, though? It's already dark out.
Yeah, true. Well, I'll head back to the castle as soon as I'm finished.
I don't think I should. I'm officially employed at the castle - I can't just decide not to go back.
You're so dedicated. All right then, I'll walk you home myself.
But then...you'd have to walk back alone.
D-Don't say stuff like that.
Well...I suppose. I guess I'll stay over, just this once.
Yaaaay! We're gonna have a slumber party!
But we still have to clean up first. No fooling around until that's finished!
I just...like cleaning. Besides, it's my job.
Since I don't want to waste forever synthesizing, I'm only making one Gnardi Ring for the road, which is going on the strongest attacker, Sterk. It will serve him well. Alchemy level 30 gets us the following items.
A number of valuable items, but again, we're just getting everything ready for the trip. I just slept for a couple days because Meruru didn't have any MP for synthesis, and the shopkeeps restock on the 11th, which means more Wing Quilts for better armor.
Solar Cloak is a really nice bit of armor, and anyone can wear it. I put this on Gino, since Sterk is wearing the Beast Armor.
And for one final bit of preparation, Sterk's next best sword. It will live up to its name in a spectacular way. On January 11th, I set out on our most dramatic adventure to date. This is the scene for Gino and Sterk.
You're here to act as the princess' escort. You must tend to your duties with a secure mind.
Miss Totori told me I'd be perfectly safe with the two of you together. But if it's really been a while...does tha mean you haven't really worked together that much?
Well, I suppose you could say that. But you need not worry.
For stuff like this, it doesn't really matter how many times we've worked together. Just leave everything to us!
I know, I know. I'll remember to stay alert.
Wow, that's surprising. Mr. Gino is a lot more submissive with his master around.
Hey, come on. You make it sound like I never listen to anyone. I've toned it way down since I was younger.
Listen, I've been wondering...
I mean, Mr. Sterk was a king's knight and Mr. Gino was an adventurer. I don't see how those are connected at all.
It's a long story, but...when he was just getting started, I looked after him for a while. He had the skills but lacked the awareness necessary to be a knight. So he settled on becoming an adventurer.
Yup...definitely doesn't feel like a master-pupil relationship.
I could say the same thing about you and Totori. You don't come off as master and pupil at all.
That's not true. I have really reaaallly high respect for Miss Totori!
See? Even Princess Meruru understands. That's what you lack - respect.
Wh-What!? When did I ever say I don't respect you!? And why do I feel another lecture coming on?
Hahaha. I guess master and pupil are similar that way, at least.
That's all well and good, but my first stop on my journey was Hart Outpost, because I thought there would be an event with Gio. There wasn't, but there was an event with Gino, after finishing a battle.
You...love it? I don't even have the time to really even think about it.
Well, the stronger the better, ya know. You'll never get stronger if you just go around fighting weaklings.
I guess that's true. But I can't really afford to lose...
You've got it all wrong, Meruru. You'll never become a great adventurer with that attitude.
Ever the braggart, I see.
Wooow...it's kind of impressive you can just state something like that so plainly.
It's all so I can get stronger. And then someday...I'll surpass my master! That's my only dream.
Your...master? I don't really follow, but I can totally feel your determination.
So yeah, try finding somewhere with even stronger monsters. I still have room to grow.
Yeah yeah. Next stop is Trombe Plateau, because we have to check in on the progress of the area and have to do another request.
So this a windmill, huh? Not that I had any idea what it looked like, but I didn't expect it to be so big! Oh wait, so the whole thing doesn't spin? It's not quite what I imagined. Will this really give us power?
I hope so, if it's working right.
After Trombe Plateau I is complete and the next request comes in, the place becomes overrun with goats. After you complete the request, though, they disappear and the usual enemies return.
Also, this adorable little pig shows up, complete with oinks if you talk to it. Aww.
Now then, onto Sterk in battle. He is enormously powerful, of course, outputting nearly twice as much damage as Meruru, and about 50% more than Gino. He's also blazing fast thanks to my equipment, letting him finish nearly all the fights, simply because so few enemies can stand even a single attack.
Also, making him even more powerful is one of his passive skills, which gives him 50% critical hit rate, which equals a hell of a lot of damage.
He's also acquired quite the flair for dramatics.
Near the windmill itself, we find another gathering point with already-made materials. Feel free to take them. The windmill itself has a place that has a material called a Pollutant, which I guess is a pretty good material for syntheses. I dunno, I don't use them that much.
Further east is the Windy Ravine, full of Fresvergs and Jagd Wolves. Neither are very threatening at this point, but our feathery pal still has his insta-kill move, which thankfully did not work on me any time it used it.
One of the battles got me Gino's special move, Cross Blaze. It's a very good idea to have two characters with their super move to fight the dragon, but remember that Sterk always has his, since he starts at level 39.
Moving north, we have the Luminous Cave. This place is full of Crystal Pixies, an outdated enemy for quite a while. More importantly, this place has Black Ore, which can be used for the next ingot tier. Recommended to pick up, of course.
Our final stop before Modis is the Land of Mirages, which has Black Runestones, Shining Saucers, and the Sea Puddle, but in much worse quality and trait levels than the ones we got after the Dragon. It also has...
Behemoths! Specifically, two of them. Back at Quelei Forest I, these guys were plenty ferocious and deadly, but not so much now, even though the game considers them a boss battle.
I know it's kind of hard to see, but he also dropped Rufus' starting weapon. I forgot they did drop equipment.
Finally, the northern and southern routes are united. We've mapped quite a bit of Arls.
Now, onto Modis.
Music: The Lonely Inn
A city that flourished long ago...I wonder what happened to it. Oh well, I can think about that later. For now, I just gotta take down that dragon!
First area has horses wandering around, as well as a...Chim? Yep, you can buy anything Pamela sells from this distant corner of the world. I wonder how we get up to that ledge, though...
Next area is some sort of elevated garden-ish area. Not sure what to say about it.
Next up is another non-descript area. Don't worry, we'll be seeing these guys soon...
Penultimate area is I guess a residential area. It's pretty clear this place is long past its prime, which is why it's kind of hard to even guess what the areas we're going through might have been.
And then our final area is a big tower of sorts. Modis is a strange place.
The battle is ahead. Terror of the Sky - Wyvern
That's the spirit. Let's rock.
Music: Astral Blade
Well, if you're done grandstanding, can we begin? Wyvern is a pretty dangerous opponent, but we've got a number of advantages ourselves.
Possibly his most annoying attack is Toxic Dart, which causes Poison. It can add up a lot, so don't be like me and not have an antidote handy.
Luckily, he is not immune to sleep. Very few enemies in this game are, actually.
Single target skills definitely are helpful, especially Sterk's. Don't be afraid to unload them on him.
Breath shoots out of a pretty damaging fireball, so I'd recommend covering Meruru when he does fire.
Hey, I can show off a Potentialized Lightning Bomb. Got some pretty sweet damage in there.
Hey, get back here! Yeah, he'll do that. Once you've inflicted enough damage, he runs off and throws some lizards down there to help him out. Clear them out ASAP, because he launches a pretty powerful attack when his turn comes up next.
That blinding supernova of light will do that trick. One is down, and the other two are badly wounded. Luckily enough, Gino's super move is charged up, so let's see what he can do.
Music: Gino FJ: Cross Blaze
Yeah, even though Gino is using the second version of his super move, this song doesn't play because he's not killing the last enemy. Oh well, I might as well leave that here.
Well...he's gotten better.
Thanks for joining us. Shall we finish this?
Hm, he's holding up better than I thought. Damn that poison.
Somewhat harmless attack that really only lowers LP.
You coward! Get back here!
Unfortunately, since I didn't kill all his pals before his turn came up next, he gets a pretty mean hit and run against us. You'll get yours, don't you worry about that...
No more running away. Take your punishment.
You won't mind if I beat that thing, right?
Uh...no, no, go right ahead. Cookies to anyone who gets that. Anyway, time for the grand finale. And when I say "Grand", I mean it. Let's finish this charade.
Music: Sterk FJ: Gaia Breaker
This ends now. You are about to witness
My transcendent power
The sea and stars
Flash in the dark and cut them down
Embrace them all
This battle, shall be engraved in my memory. Farewell.
THAT, kiddies, is how you kill a dragon.
As Mimi would say, a great battle, and a great result.
Oh gosh, is...is it over? I guess we finally defeated it.
I'm just glad I was able to help. Princess Meruru, are you okay?
Ah, yes, of course! Don't worry about me. But Mr. Sterk...you're really strong.
O-Okay...I guess I'll be counting on you. But still... It's really scary to think how that dragon could have come to town. I hope we can move on with developing again.
A whopping 80 points for Wyvern's death (the two highest value requests are both for 100), ranks the kingdom up yet again. A fine result, I think.
Following the branch and dropping down for a bit (don't drop too far, or you'll have to go all the way back and try again), and we find the highest ingot material, the Rainbow Fragment. It'll be a while before we can truly make use of this, but it's nonetheless a very good idea to have around.
Also for defeating Wyvern, we open up two areas. This is the first, the Farthest Garden. In addition to being a rather lovely area, we can also find Rainbow Fragments here, as well as Paintings with a rather nice trait called Hand-Crafted, and World Spirits.
The other rather lovely area is the Twilight Forest, which has the best thread item: the Medicine Fiber. Pick them up while in the area, of course. But before we head back to town, we have just one more stop.
Cape Ichijo. I didn't forget this time. When we get back to town, we'll get the instructions for building a bridge here. Right now our only routes to the far eastern lands are either through Trombe or Quelei and both take quite a bit of time. A path through the middle would solve this problem, and that's just what we want to do.
Back in town, we get a scene.
Thank you so much for coming with me, Mr. Sterk! I'll see you next time.
What's wrong, Meruru? What's with the sighing?
I still can't help but get a little nervous when I see Mr. Sterk's scary face.
O-Oh...if you're having that much trouble, we have to do something about it. Umm... Oh, how about this? Maybe this will make you all better.
What is it?
"Make You Smile"? Why did you-
Don't worry about that right now. Let's just test it out on Sterk!
A-Are you sure that's safe...?
*fade to black*
Yup, just down it in one go! There's no risk at all.
Do I really have to drink this?
Do you really not want to?
That's a difficult question to answer...
V-Very well...if this is what Princess Meruru wishes. *gulp*
Umm...oh, Mr. Sterk, you're smiling...right? It doesn't look all that different...
Meruru! He really is smiling! See? Look very carefully.
Huh? Huh!? Ooooh...I've never seen Mr. Sterk look so friendly. It's good...it's wonderful.
Is it...I'm glad you're happy. I can't really tell myself... If that's all, I should get going.
It definitely worked. But it looks like that's the biggest smile Sterk is capable of.
Hmm...that wasn't much of a change. And actually...that faint smirk of his somehow made him even scarier...
The medicine won't last long anyway. I guess the only option is for you to just...get used to his face.
Poor guy. Anyway, let's wrap things up with a Sterk event at the castle, in honor of his crushing victory. Video goes until the end of the update.
That's "Sterk", Princess Meruru.
Agh, sorry! But what are you doing here?
As I'll be working in Arls, I wanted to introduce msyelf to the person in charge of supervising the kingdom.
Ah, I see. So you must be here to see Rufus. I hope he's not too busy with work.
It's not a problem. Meeting with an envoy from Arland is simply another part of my job.
I am constantly gathering information about the kingdom. It's only natural I would know when to appear.
Nice to meet you. I am Sterkenburg, former knight and representative of the Arland Republic.
I...feel the same way. Almost as if we've met before. Perhaps our souls' destinies are intertwined.
H-Hold on a second! You two have never met before, right? How can you be acting like you're so close already?
After reviewing his data, one thing stood out to me. He and I share something in common. And that is-
Oh, Rufus' pigeon...wait, huh!?
A-Another one? No, wait...Rufus, your pigeon is black. Have you been hiding a white one somewhere?
That's my pigeon. Sorry to surprise you like that.
Ooh, you have a pigeon, too? So the thing you have in common is...pigeons?
That's right. We have been in contact before, thanks to our pigeons. Specifically, our carrier pigeons.
Pigeons that can carry letters...man, birds are so smart!
There exists no animal on this planet as exquisite as the proud pigeon.
I feel the same. However, one grievous downside is that...yours is white. Pigeons are best when they're black.
Oh no you didn't!
Now hold on a minute. I can't let that slide. A proper pigeon should always be white, no matter what.
Liam O'Brien is as great as always as Sterk.
Fool! There are times where covert action is called for. Logically, black is the most versatile option!
Wh-What is this? They were getting along so well, and then everything got really scary really fast... Hey, come on, no fighting! As fellow pigeon lovers, you have to get along! Who cares about the color? Both kinds of pigeon are super cute.
Princess, I'm sorry to contradict you, but pigeons must be black. Not white. This is the undeniable truth!
No! They are absolutely white! A pure and noble girl like Princess Meruru understands that. Don't you, Princess?
Oh dear. Looks like things may not go too well with those two after all. Well, plenty more next time, I can assure you.
The Lonely Inn
For the Ancient City. I vaguely recalled seeing this ragged building by my house, so I went to go visit it. But...it was too Japanese and I couldn't use it for reference! So instead I read a light novel as a supplement. Of course, I'm not the kind of person who gets absorbed and spends the whole day reading...haha.
I suffer from a serioius condition called 2nd-graderitis. One terrifying symptom is getting excited when I heard "Unite!" or "Transform!" or "Super!" or "When our powers combine!". My illness is reflected in this song. It's something you might hear on Saturday morning.
Sterk FJ: Gaia Breaker
Sterk is more of a dark, sharp time. But yeah. I wonder what he's up to now. He's really matured since last time.
Gino FJ: Cross Blaze
He totally pulls off the cool hunky image. It's a bit old-school, like from the 80s. I'm so trendy.
Small Head Tilt (2)
Oh, but even if I were to tilt my head and make that "?" face, nobody would forgive me. Instead, I'd get a running punch. So sad.