Part 33: Frozen Sky, Scorched Earth
Before we go to the next dungeon, we have a couple of things to do. First, some shopping.
A new weapon for Olgar. Labrys is a kind of a two-headed axe used in ancient Greece.
Vahti gets a Morgenstern, which is just a German word for Morningstar and nothing else.
Two sets of clothes, but of course only buying one of them.
And finally, two Garnets.
Escher and Musiea are standing right here, so let's talk to them.
Yeah, I guess that's true... Well, this was a real letdown. I was looking forward to fighting an immortal.
Don't worry about that. Immortal or not, I won't go down easily.
No, I'm sure you won't. I'll continue to look forward to our battle then.
(Escher seems like a quick-tempered young swordsman.)
(This guy is definitely going to be the toughest opponent.)
(There's no doubt we're going to end up fighting him in the last battle.)
(Vahti looks like she's a little stronger than Musiea too.)
(It's strange... those two scare me, and yet, when I get close to them, I feel... safe.)
(Is it their scent?)
(It seems like I remember their scent from before I had even been born.)
Next, we visit Eluca and Zhamo.
(Zhamo looks like a smart, kind boy. But kindness can be fatal in the Ark Arena.)
(It will be up to Eluca to see how far they make it here...)
(This guy is strong. He's clearly been through many battles.)
(Ordinarily, I would never even dream of challenging people like this.)
(But I can't go back now...)
And finally, the man behind it all, Ayuta.
That goes for you too. When you rescued us earlier... you displayed much more skill than you did when we last fought.
Of course. You see that was my true capability.
What do you mean?
...The last time he fought you, he didn't have his memories.
Didn't have his memories?
As you know, it's painful to go though the Ark Arena again and again.
So in order to make it easier on myself, my memories are erased after each one.
Then why are they back now?
Now that half of the systems aren't functioning properly, it was unable to keep them erased.
It would seem that the Ark is nearing the end of its lifespan...
What do you mean?
After this Ark Arena, the Ark will only be able to make one more trip to the past...
So that would make this our last chance...
Correct. The ones who triumph in this Ark Arena are the last hope we have of defeating the Qualia.
You don't seem very disturbed by that.
This is our last chance, right? If we fail this time, then all of this will be for nothing.
In that regard, I don't think we have anything to worry about.
And why is that?
Because this Ark Arena has the strongest participants it has ever seen.
What do you mean?
Escher and Eluca are as strong as any of the strongest warriors to participate in the Ark Arena. And Zhamo has potential to surpass them both.
In addition, we have me with all my memories... And you, the champions of the last Ark Arena...
I feel safe leaving our future to whoever manages to triumph among these participants.
Of course, I will do my best to win. I want to be together with Mana, after all.
...As do I.
Very well, I now understand that this is the final loop. I will do my best to see how far I can go against these new young talents.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
(Ayuta... I believe in you...)
(Even if that means...)
(Please don't be late.)
For a while, it seemed that that conversation will never end.
It's time to head into the dungeon. As you can see, it's Clashing Grounds/Frozen Sky, Scorched Earth this time.
While Olgar and Vahti are heading off into the dungeon, we'll quickly eavesdrop on a conversation happening in the battle arena itself.
Eh? Who is he talking to?
As if that long conversation (and the entire previous chapter) weren't enough, the game choses this moment to remind us once again of the major plot points so far:
And with this we finally...
...rejoin Olgar and Vahti in the dungeon.
Soon we find the first puzzle. In this dungeon we need to swap our position with the blocks to put them on switches to activate the exit. As you can see, this particular puzzle is beyond stupid as it requires only one move to solve.
The next one is not much harder, just need to do the switches in the right order so you don't end up blocked from exit.
Poor Labrys didn't get much us as here is already a new weapon upgrade for Olgar.
The boss is reached without significant difficulty...
...and subsequently defeated.
This leads to the second part of the dungeon, where we are met with Zhamo and Eluca once again.
I've seen those statues before, yes... But I don't know if they resemble them so much...
They do! I'm sure of it!
The first Divine King worked tirelessly for his people, and was beloved by everyone.
And as a warrior, they say there has never been anyone stronger.
...Zhamo has always looked up to him.
(The first Divine King... I had no idea that is how the later generations thought of us...)
You must have seen and felt so many different things during your life.
I wish I could talk to you about them.
You know, I do sense something royal about you.
That was actually surprisingly pleasant... but we need to move on, unfortunately.
Here are nice new clothes for Vahti. Incidentally, "pareu" or "pareo" is a towell-like wraparound skirt typically worn on Tahiti and other South Pacific islands.
Solving two more easy puzzles opens the road to the boss. Interestingly, in this last puzzle blocks are already on switches, but you have to move them off to get through and then put them back on!
And so we meet again, Mr. Two-headed Tiger!
No, Mr. Tiger, I expect you to die!
With this, Vahti gets her ring finally.
There is a part of me that can't wait to face Escher and Eluca in combat.
The stronger they become, the more my desire to fight them grows...
That's just like you.
And yet, another part of me is tired of that. Escher, Eluca and the rest are also our descendants... In a sense they are like our children...
And the only way I can express myself to them is to fight them. It pains me how pathetic that is.
Is it like that for you too, Vahti? Does this competition bother you like it bothers me?
I'd be lying if I said it didn't...
If there only was a way to break this damn loop without fighting them...
If there was, would you lose on purpose?
Now that you are no longer immortal, we could just die and be done with it.
I mean, we have already lived 10,000 years. Maybe it's time to let the next generation have a chance.
If I could die with you, I would ask for nothing more.
...I don't want to see you die yet.
Protecting the one you love... in that sense we're no different from them.
Perhaps it would be meaningless if we were to go easy when we fight them.
Olgar, I want you to fight as hard as you can. I think that will be better for our children as well.
Okay. I will.
Well. The fact that Olgar and Vahti have done this before makes it a bit different than it is for the others. In any case, we can now leave the dungeon...
As always, the Agent greets us at this point.