Part 24: Episode XX: In Which Glenn Wastes Everyone's Time's Time
Huh...so perhaps going on a fetch quest for pieces of a dismembered skeleton clown and playing god weren't the most constructive uses of our time... Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk.
Gah... They always warned Grandpa Radius about smoking his pipe while he was watching his stories alone. Now look what happened.
???: "Zat'z correct. Hmm... Maybe not?"
"Oh boy. Let me put on my beret and roll out the baguettes."
Harle teleports in front of the party and bows...
"Salut, Serge. Did you miss moi?"
"Look, I just put together a talking clown skeleton and it was some weird business. So I'm a wee bit not into the whole harlequin thing at the moment... So, at any point do you plan to stop looking like you're about to pull a caper across Gotham City with the Joker?"
"Ooh lah lah... Glenn.... You're all fired up."
"So, you two know each other...?"
"I was stationed at Viper Manor for some time. It is a bit hard to miss a French clown that flirts with everything on two legs."
"Tsk, tsk, tsk!"
"Yeah, get rid of some old badass so I have fewer allies... Slow down my progress... Show off your cat dude boss is not messing around... Maybe an excuse for a boss fight... I think I can figure out the gist of it without a speech, thanks."
"Ahh, oui? You are no fun. I waz disappointed to see zat ze geezer izn't here. I wonder where he went?"
"Zat is to slow down your pursuit. Here I go!"
Music: Between Life and Death
Time for a ridiculously easy boss fight with Harle. Apparently Lynx's plan was to deter Serge and friends' progress for an entire five minutes.
Harle is a black innate enemy packing a whole 400 HP worth of hit points. Seeing as Serge is a white innate shitwrecker, he can literally take her out in a single turn of attacking, followed up by using Slash&Dash with the very last of his stamina.
Our harlequin foe is such a lame boss battle that it doesn't even earn the party a new star level. The one unique thing about this fight is Harle has a very rare drop accessory called the Moonglasses, which are a really kick ass item that reduces all damage received from enemy attacks.
Unfortunately, the only way to obtain them is to get very lucky stealing them with Kid (who is gurgling up blood at the moment) or as a ridiculously rare drop. I tried reloading about fifteen times and redoing the fight but no dice.
"Well, zat'z all ze fun for today...!"
And so Harle teleports away once more. Well, that was exceedingly pointless.
"Radius, you are safe!"
"You seem well."
"I'm glad you are alright."
"Yes... Miss Riddel had informed me that Lynx and the general were heading to Fort Dragonia. I played it safe and went into hiding for a while... And it looks like Lynx did pay me a visit."
"That is fortunate. Though, how did Miss Riddel relay that message?"
"I mean, you are on a remote island a decent distance away from Viper Manor. Indeed, quite some ways from any civilized region really. How did the message reach you way out here?"
"You heard me boy! Anyway..."
"Lynx is the one behind all this. I had a feeling something like this might happen... That is why I made sure to build a sturdy stronghold underground. I believe it should still be intact."
"Lynx must be plotting something..."
"That was a rhetorical question, chief."
"Oh... They are..."
"I'm from another dimension where you're the village chief of my town out in the boonies."
"I am Greco! I was once feared in the squared-circle, but now I use my latent psychic abilities and grappling prowess in the service of the Lord!"
"Well, no sense standing out here. Please, come in."
The party enters Radius' hobbit hole and explain their situation...
"Glenn's father, Garai, the blacksmith, Zappa, and I used to tear up the battlefield. But that was a good fifteen years ago..."
<whistle> "That's like half a lifetime in JRPG years."
"I officially retired four years ago, after Dario received his father's sword, the Einlanzer. I have been here ever since, living a carefree life away from the rest of the world. However, Dario is no longer with us... Life is so unpredictable..."
"I see old people are verbose no matter what the dimension...."
"It was then that Lynx approached General Viper. He spoke of the legendary treasure, the Frozen Flame, which is able to heal all illnesses and fulfill any dreams. I do not know what this man Lynx is plotting... But I believe General Viper intends to overthrow the nation of Porre with the power of this legendary flame. Porre is a nation governed by militarism and has brought on suffering to many people on the central continent of Zenan. Perhaps the general envisions a bright and peaceful world, much like Guardia was at one time... "
"Zzzz. Zzzzz. Zzzzz."
"Or... Is he planning to find the answer as to why we have continued to hurt and kill each other since antiquity...? In any case, I no longer wish to involve myself in any conflicts. Besides, there is no way I would want to face General Viper in battle."
"Huh?! Wha...? Oh, yea yeah yeah. Porre is full of jerks. Lynx is a dick. Fighting is bad... Got it, sure."
"There are many cursed spirits wandering the seas around here. Rumor has it, they attack ships and suck the souls out of humans..."
"Oh, come on. Pirate...ghosts....? Ghost pirates? That's ridiculous. If we run into a pirate ghost, specter, skeleton, or zombie I'll eat my friggin' bandanna!"
The party gets some rest. Radius just so happens to have three beds in a guest bedroom of the secret bomb shelter level in his hermit hut. Convenient, huh?
"Is there something wrong, boy?"
"Well, it's just that...well...I mean there's no fanfare music playing..."
"Yeah...you know...the tune that plays when someone joins the party... It seems to be taking its sweet time."
"Why would it play in the first place?"
"For when you join my party and stuff."
"Who said anything about me joining anyone's party...?"
"I'm heading back to my recliner, lighting up the peace pipe, and watching the Price is Right. You're welcome to join me...though I'm not sure I'd call it a party, per se..."
"Remind me to never take your advice for side trips again..."
A prototype version of Radius existed in Radical Dreamers. He was an unnamed (and not entirely sane) prisoner in the dungeons beneath Viper Manor. This proto-Radius was also a retired Acacia Dragoon Deva. Though, he was slightly more assholish having conspired with Lynx to murder General Viper. Of course Lynx, being an asshole no matter what the game, immediately kicked the shit out of and imprisoned him as a way of saying thanks.