Part 31: ...The Center Cannot Hold
Obviously, the only thing that is open to us now is to finish Olgar/Vahti story. So that's what we'll do. Already in this update it will become obvious why you should play this story last.
Previously on Chaos Rings...
And now, the continuation...
We are in a familiar room...
...with a bunch of people standing around...
...four couples, to be exact.
Hello there. You seem to want to say something?
...Well, it was 10,000 years ago. It's not surprising that you have forgotten.
How... how are you still alive?
Take a guess.
Don't treat me like a fool!
Wait a minute, Vahti. Something is not right.
What do you mean?
This man is definitely Ayuta... but there is something different about him.
Ha ha... very perceptive, Olgar. Just what I'd expect from you.
Well, so much for the introduction. At this point we can talk to other people (again). Let's first check with the wife if she has some idea what's up here.
No... I'm afraid this time, it will be even harder...
What? But why...
So... the warriors we fight now will be...
Yes. Our direct descendants.
I'm still not really sure how this whole "populate the earth from two people" thing is supposed to work (especially since last time even Ayuta mentioned that it really doesn't).
But that's a discussion for another time. In the meantime, here are Escher and Musiea.
No... sorry, it's nothing.
...Nothing? Are you insane, old man?
How can this be nothing?
If you know something, you better spill it now!
Choose your next words carefully, if you want to live to see tomorrow...
You feel that overwhelming force too, don't you?
Yeah, I do. What about it?
You'll see soon enough. It belongs to the one who invited us here.
Escher! Stop taunting him!
There's no point in getting into a fight with these people now.
Hmph. Batty old man.
And on the other side, Eluca and Zhamo.
Yes. We also saw the eclipse.
Eclipse? Is that what that's called?
There is a legend in our country that has been passed down through the ages.
Keia, the god of sun... Omali, the god of moon...
When these two gods cross paths, it is said the world will end...
It is just as the legends say... except...
Except that the world hasn't yet ended.
And as long our battle continues, we will never meet our "end".
You know something, don't you?
If I have to, I will do whatever I must...
If you know something, please tell us! Anything at all!
I have a feeling that we will need all the knowledge we can get here!
Ok Zhamo, you can calm down now.
Of course that old bottle of mulled vine is always there!
Finally let's see Ayuta and whatever her name is in this universe...
Surely this time you must have been able to enjoy it yourselves.
Is that the signal for the start of the Ark Arena?
In a way... I suppose it is. Because this one is not caused by the moon blocking the sun...
...it is caused by the Qualia.
And finally, here is the Agent...
Here in the Ark Arena, those of you who have been summoned here as warriors will fight together with your partners to see which of you is the strongest.
The fights will be to the death. No losers will be spared.
However, the winners will escape with more than just their lives. They will also be granted the gift of immortality.
You may not refuse to fight in the Ark Arena. Likewise, you are prohibited from fighting until I allow it.
If you break either of these rules, you will pay with your lives.
Stop! Before you speak any further, answer me this! Where are we?
Why do we have to fight each other?
I am under no obligation to answer your questions.
It's been a long time, Agent. I never thought we would be summoned here again.
Again? What do you mean, again?
Have you participated in this thing before?
I am not the one who summoned you.
Ah yes, that's right. Well, it doesn't matter who summoned us.
We're not going to play in your little tournament again.
I'm just going to defeat you and leave.
That's right. I know that I can.
And you know it too!
I'm sorry, but that just isn't possible.
One of the rings is the Warrior's Ring. The other is Companion's Ring.
These two rings shall prove your eligibility for the Ark Arena.
Either way, we cannot stand up to him now. If we tried...
...we could be killed instantly.
Well, I'm not going to rot away in a place like this. Let's go, Eluca.
Guess that's how it is.
Nothing we can do, then.
We should get going too. Come on, Mana.
Ayuta, wait. We're not done talking yet.
There's no need to rush, is there? The Ark Arena's only just begun.
Come on Olgar, let's go.
We'll go in a moment. But first, our good friend...
Some quick shopping.
As we already know, Olgar uses a very large axe as a weapon...
...whereas Vahti prefers various kinds of mace/morningstar weapons.
It's going to be a while before we get to the interesting clothes names!
Finally, a moon stone for Olgar (as always, the "companion" already comes with one equipped.
A bit more chat with Escher...
Even if you have to kill others to get it?
It wouldn't be worth it, unless there was some risk involved.
Last man standing wins?
What could be better?
The spirits will never let something as inhumane as this go unpunished...
Perhaps it's the spirits' will that will be tested?
That is only to test people's faith, or when they have betrayed the spirits.
This is the work of demons! It has nothing to do with the spirits!
Olgar, faith is something deeply personal. One mustn't go around denying it thoughtlessly.
I'm sorry. That was not my intention.
No, I'm sorry. This situation has my nerves on end.
(The spirits, eh? If they really do exist, they are naught but the mere spectators.)
(Otherwise they would surely have helped us in the last 10,000 years...)
I'd lay off the lectures if I were you, old man.
(It's strange, but... I feel like I've met these people before, a long time ago...)
And some more Eluca and Zhamo...
(It's true that we may be able to defeat the Agent if we collect the two rings.)
(But, is that really enough?)
(And even if we made it outside, we would have to wait another 10,000 years...)
I wonder where that door leads to...
There's no way those things just now were human... Where in the world are we...?
Are you scared?
I have long since learned how to overcome fear.
I'm scared, you know.
I'm scared of losing that which is precious to me.
I'm scared that I may end up destroying it with my own two hands.
...And I'm scared... of forgetting that which is precious to me...
No matter how much you age, your heart tends to stay the same.
Ha ha. In my case you might even say that I'm nothing but an overgrown child.
No... I'm certain you aren't.
And lastly, the happy couple...
As long as they were still that person, I would continue to love them.
Then, how would you define who that person is?
Well, it depends on what your definition of "is" is, doesn't it? I am so, so, sorry, I just could not resist this!
Hm... that's a difficult question... but...
I think that no matter how much their appearance might change, the person you see in their eyes would not.
I mean, we are so close we simply can't ignore each other.
Ayuta, if you know something, tell us. For one thing, how are you...
You... shut up.
I'm sorry. It appears I got carried away.
At any rate, our goals are the same.