Part 26: Ancient Path to Death
The first eliminatory fight is finished, so it's now time for two more dungeons.
We could have a chat with Vahti and Olgar. It's probably not going to be very pleasant, but...
I remember how you used to delight in killing your fallen opponents.
So how about it? Did killing Escher and his girl help to bring back some of those old feelings?
Stop it! Don't you dare mock them like that!
Escher and Musiea have entrusted their hopes to us.
And I will never forget that.
You really have changed...
Olgar... do you know something?
What did I do at the last Ark Arena? What is my connection to this place?
If you know something, tell me! Anything at all!!
I can't believe a coward like you is the same man.
The Ayuta I knew was more demon than man.
He rained down blows like a storm and gave off an aura so strong lesser men would faint before it.
When I finally managed to beat you... the sheer excitement caused me to realise my true nature.
...You're really talking about me?
I will give you some time. Hurry and return to the way you were.
If you cannot do that... you will once again lose everything.
Either way, as long as your memory is lost it will do me no good to keep prodding you.
Alrighty, let's move on to the next dungeon then.
In the first chest, we already find a new and better ring.
Since Mana is a bit lacking in speed department, I give it to her.
But soon enough, we need to face a puzzle. In this dungeon, we are back to sokoban-style.
And then the second one. All puzzles in this dungeon consist of tightly packed boxes so they are kind of a pain. At least the number of moves is unlimited.
Shortly after that, we discover a new weapon for Ayuta.
Incidentally, Niten Dōraku (二天道楽) is one of the names that Miyamoto Musashi used to go by.
And then we are at the boss, again.
Nothing unexpected happens in this battle.
But, Mana has something to say afterwards.
No matter what you say.
Why do you care about my wellbeing so much?
...Well, that's... because...
...I'm in love with you.
Why... do you love me? Is it because I am a princess?
No. No, that's not it.
I know how you practice you bow and arrow for hours, even after your official practice.
Everyone said you didn't have any talent, but you never gave up. You kept practicing until you were satisfied.
That's what I fell in love with.
So... you've been watching over me all this time...
Princess Mana, do you remember how I said I have no memory of anything before I became a stablehand?
Sometimes, I become so scared that I'm not who I think I am.
That, maybe the me I am now isn't the real me at all.
Whenever I think that, it feels like I could slip away at any time...
Yes... I know what you mean...
But I do know this. No matter what, I will always love you.
That is my reassurance that I can be me.
So please, let me protect you. Not just for your sake, but my own as well.
Uh, that didn't go over too good.
Let's take a quick trip out of the dungeon before we move forward.
We can leave the room, but this time there is no Agent to interrupt us, so back to the dungeon it is.
This is the dungeon where paths are blocked by ice.
As always we break the ice by pushing the boulders on it.
Some more sokoban...
...and finally the last one leads us to...
...the second boulder, so the path is now clear.
On the final few steps before the boss, we find a weapon for Mana.
Sakura hunt (桜狩り - sakura gari) is basically exactly what it says... it's what people do in spring in Japan, go on a search for blooming cherry trees. Don't think it has much to do with bows, though.
Well, there's the boss.
And now he's gone.