Part 26: Ophiuchus and Aries (Part 1)Bonding Update IX: Ophiuchus and Aries Classmating 3 and Bonding Events Part 1
Now that weve enjoyed a break from Bonding Updates and had a chance to check out one of the Japan Events, its about time we return to the bonding events.
Weve got a new selection of Focus Maidens starting with this set of updates. Well, new might be stretching it a little. As we saw with the Festival Update, we still have four of the same Maidens. Theyre just ordered a little differently. The only true change to our Focus Maidens are the inclusions of Alfie and Femiruna, and the loss of Reone and Mahiru.
Alfie came in 1st, so we start with her. However, because of the way that Alfies events work, shell only technically have two, as opposed to the other Focus Maidens three. The event well take a look at now is her Classmating Ritual 3 event as well as her first Level 3 Bond Event.
~Granvania Shopping Center~
I picked the right event, right? What are we doing with Mirei? Also, yes. That really is all there was to that scene.
So, did you manage to find out anything about that Impurity?
Of course I did. Who do you think I am?
Thats great. Thanks a lot, Mirei. I knew youd come through.
Just like what Alfie said, it must be the same one that attacked a Star Maiden 30 years ago.
You got all of that just from our description of it?
There was an upstanding citizen who managed to photograph it. They offered up the photograph to me.
Oh yeah We did hear someone screaming in the forest that day.
What the hell was he doing out there?
By comparing the photo with previously retrieved data, Ive figured it all out. The Bond Eater is a rare type of Impurity that feeds on Bond Energy.
Wait, whats Bond Energy?
Bond Energy is a special power that Star Maidens possess.
That produces stronger Star Children created from the Classmating ritual.
So thats how it works. Well, partially anyway.
The Bond Eater feeds on Bond Energy to grow stronger. It was gravely wounded 30 years ago, and likely laid in hiding in a secluded place ever since.
So why did it decide to come back now?
One theory is that this is the right time for it to regain its strength.
Its the Star Chaos, where 13 Star Maidens all appeared at once. If it manages to devour all the Star Maidens, it will gain enough strength to fully revive. According to my calculations
What, you mean like Collette and Tarua?
When I say small, I speak of their power.
Then say weakest. Why refer to it as smallest? Unless youre deliberately trying to be misleading so that Itsuki says something wrong and gives you an opportunity to sound smarter than he is
I could see Mirei doing that actually.
In other words Having the power of the Star Maidens artificially implanted, Alfie was the first target.
This doesnt make sense by the way. The Bond Eater supposedly feeds on Bond Energy, which comes from the strength of Gods Gifts bond with a Star Maiden. That means it should be targeting Maidens that Itsuki doesnt spend much time with. In our case, that would be Maidens like Lillith/Lillie or Tarua, you know, since the entire thread hates them.
Dammit So its gunning specifically for her then.
The people will panic if they find out a dangerous Impurity has appeared on the surface. We must find where it is and destroy it. Also
Excuse me? Why the fuck would you not tell them? That Impurity is after Star Maidens. Sure, it might be trying to get to Alfie first, but whats it going to do when it cant? Tarua seems to routinely run around the forest by herself during deliveries and Sue is separated from the others because she stays at her ranch. Arie is also fairly vulnerable because she seems to live and work at the Church, which isnt exactly in the middle of the city from what the background CG indicates.
Okay. Ill leave that to you then.
I didnt think I would have to spend so much on that photo
He made you buy it from him?
Its fine. Ill have the invoice sent to the kingdom.
Oh, okay. Im fine with billing the kingdom, especially considering the recent discoveries weve made and how they are probably being funded by Granvania through some means.
Okay. Oh, its time. Sorry, I have thing to get to.
You mean with Alfie? If its all right with you, tell me how shes doing next time.
You mean the two of you still havent made up?
B-Be quiet That has nothing to do with you.
Lets try and make sure that it remains a rare moment, okay? Weve got enough of that crap with Mahiru/Ruka/Femiruna.
Hmph If youre done here, just go.
~Church Spirit Chamber~
Hey! Its Alfie! Finally showing up halfway through her own bonding event!
Wh-Whats going on here?!
Oh Gods Gift!
Why were you screaming?
Im sorry! It was nothing!
Is that a book in your hand?
Th-This is, um Its really nothing!
Wait Ive seen that magazine before Where was it?
Where did you get it from?
Wow, nice of the game to show us that interaction between Alfie and the other Maidens. No, its okay! Alfie is totally part of the story and friends with the other Maidens! You just cant see it because Yeah.
She told me the bookmarked parts are useful for the Classmating ritual A-And when I read it It mentioned what happens between a man and a woman that goes beyond what Ive seen in the dramas
Your mistake was taking any form of advice from Lillie.
Yeah, the stuff in there is a little more than youre used to.
Huh? You too? Wh-Why did you read it?! Was it to study and learn?!
Uhhhhh S-Sure lets call it that.
I-Im sorry. But this is way too much for me
You really dont have to read that kind of stuff, Alfie. Lillie is just messing with you. Its her thing.
So then, this book wont teach me anything useful?
Thats not important. H-Hey! We still havent done Classmating yet! Lets do that. Now.
*Distracalicious Classmating happens*
To be honest From the day I lost my power to fight Impurities Ive felt a little down. But when I talked to Lillie, she cheered me up She told me to just do what I can. She was very lively.
Thats one way to put it.
Kind of surprised to hear about Lillie being supportive like that It would have been pretty admirable if she hadnt tricked you into reading that magazine.
But I found my resolve after hearing that. Even if I cant fight Impurities directly, I can work hard as a Star Maiden!
And I can still teach the Star Children how to fight!
Thats the spirit. Youll do a great job, Alfie.
I will! Theres no need to be reserved. Please come to me more often.
I will. And Ill also defeat that Bond Eater. I promise.
Oh Is that the name of that Impurity?
Oh, uh, yeah. Its the same one that you saw back then.
I knew it
Dont worry, though. You might not be able to fight it, but Ill make sure to protect you.
By the way, you didnt tell Lillie about that whole thing, did you?
No, I havent told her any details
Mirei said the same thing
Its nothing, dont worry about it.
And thats it for this event for Alfie. Well check in with her later for her other event.
~Church Spirit Chamber~
Are you ready, Arie?
Oh, of course
Really? You dont sound ready. Is everything okay?
I asked if you were okay. You look kind of pale.
My Lord, have mercy on me Phew. Thank you for waiting, Itsuki. Im all right now. Lets proceed with the Classmating ritual.
Well actually Arie, this has been bugging me for a while. I think we should stop Classmating.
You always seem really bothered by this. I thought you were just nervous at first. Everyone was when this first started, especially me. But now Im not so sure thats it I think I should just stick to asking the others.
I-Its not that I dont want to This is my duty as a Star Maiden.
But thats kind of why I feel bad for you.
You feel bad for me?
Yeah. I dont like making you feel bad just because you have a duty.
No, Itsuki. I must assist you as a Star Maiden. Theres no need for you to feel bad about that.
But you always look really sad when we have to do this.
Listen, Arie. Ill be blunt. I want to get me and Mahiru back home to our world. In order to do that, I need to work with you and everyone in order to make stronger and stronger Star Children.
But we cant do that if youre forcing yourself into this. Doing things that way isnt going to help anyone.
Thats not it, Itsuki
What do you mean? Arie, you definitely look sad every time we get ready to do this.
Thats not true Very well, Itsuki. This time will you hear me out during the ritual?
Are you going to tell us whats in the room?
Im happy to hear your honest thoughts about this matter. So I, too, will
Please, dont say anything, just this once.
*Soul-baring Classmating then happens*
Huff Huff Huff
Are you okay, Arie?
Y-Yes, Im fine
So, will you tell me everything now?
I thought she said she was going to do that during the ritual, but I guess that was more of a metaphorical show you my true feelings deal. Whatever, as long as we get some answers.
Yes. The Classmating ritual is a duty given to me by the Star God.
But during our first ritual, I I felt very
Itsuki must I really say it?
You did say that you would tell me everything.
Thats true, but *sigh*
Arie, we cant keep doing this unless you tell me. Seeing you like that makes me really uncomfortable with this We wont be able to build a stronger bond that way and that means that we cant make strong Star Children.
Were not about get dumped with a tragic backstory, are we? Im still sort of put off from Alfies.
When we first did the ritual, I felt I felt really good.
Arie, thats Wait You felt good?
Y-Yes. A great feeling of fulfillment spread throughout my entire body.
It made me feel like I was doing something sinful.
Um, Arie Its a sacred ritual. Theres nothing sinful about it.
Is that so ?
I still become very nervous during the ritual. But you say you accept it because its your duty as a Star Maiden.
I left Official Itsukis line in here because I honestly have no idea what the line of thinking is here. I couldnt think of a way to rephrase this part to have it make sense. Its very strange. The only way I can think of right now to fix this would be to remove Theres nothing sinful about it from Itsuki and replace it with Its fine or something to that effect, then chain Aries next line together with the above to read Is that so ? But, I shouldnt be tempted by sin in my duty
I shouldnt be tempted by sin in my duty
It beats feeling bad about it all the time. Maybe Star God made it feel good so that it would be easier on you?
Thats not how gods typically roll, Itsuki. They usually like to make things as much of a pain in the ass as possible.
No That would only make me a failure as a Star Maiden. Please, Itsuki Dont tell anyone this.
Dont worry, what happens here stays here.
Its a promise then. I trust your word, Itsuki. This is how I really feel What should I do now?
Do you really need to agonize over it?
Youre always so serious about this stuff, Arie. Well, at the very least Im glad that you dont hate the ritual itself. Are you really going to keep punishing yourself over it, though?
I cant help it if I continue helping you as a Star Maiden.
Christ, Arie. Youre allowed to enjoy things. Just relax a little.
Then how about we change things up a little?
Lets forget about Classmating and bonding and all that duty stuff and just go out and have fun. If that can help you relax a little and feel better, then Ill be happy.
Itsuki, youre too kind All right. Then lets go out the next time we meet. We should have a picnic if the weather is nice.
That sounds great. Food is always good.
Ill finish my church services early and make some lunch for us. Ill be looking forward to our date.
That was a weird conversation, but the gist of it is that Arie constantly feels like she has to self flagellate whenever Classmating happens because shes secretly excited by it and thinks that makes her a failure of a Star Maiden. Arie thinks that feeling pleasure makes her unworthy of Star Gods blessings, despite the fact that Star God basically created a ritual where Gods Gift and a Star Maiden have mind sex in order to summon the spirit warrior children needed to stop the world from being destroyed. Granted, he did also apparently make it so that sex produces monster energy
The point Im trying to make is that Granvania Star God is a gigantic asshole and Arie shouldnt be depriving herself of happiness or pleasure or whatever the hell good feeling you can think of just for His sake. Lets see if we can chip away at Star Gods influence and free fun Arie from His grasp.
Oh, man. This place looks gorgeous. The developers didnt trace this from a Bob Ross painting, did they?
Yeah, its an amazing spot. Have you been here before?
Ive come here previously to hike with the children from church. But on one occasion, two children got lost, and it took all day to find them.
I see. Must be hard trying to wrangle a bunch of kids on a trip like that.
Its a very nice place, so I regret being unable to relax here.
Yeah, its been a while since Ive really been able to relax like this as well.
Itsuki, youre always in the labyrinths and never have time to rest.
Actually, Id be interested to see how much time Ive actually spent running around dungeons compared to watching bonding events and shopping and Star Child creating and etc.
Well be alone together today, so you can relax now.
As long as you can too. Remember, were here to get away from it all and help you feel better.
Haha Youre too kind, Itsuki. I made lunch. Would you like some?
Oh yeah, you said you were going to make lunch for us.
Yes. I always make lunch for the children.
I feel somewhat nervous If someone sees me doing such a thing
Arie, youre not doing anything that you should be ashamed of.
Thats true But its still quite embarrassing. Here you go. I made sandwiches. Theres plenty to go around.
WHOA! Scale it back, Possible Reality Itsuki. This game, man. This is actually the second instance of "I'd like to eat you." so far. I can't remember when the other instance was. Might have been in a Collette event, or an earlier Arie event.
Um Could you maybe feed one to me?
Huh? You want me to feed you?
Its kind of become a thing with me, for some reason.
Oh, hehe You can be such a baby. Which one would you like?
Why dont you pick? Im sure theyre all good. I wouldnt be able to pick.
Then how about this one? Its been cut perfectly Say ah What do you think, Itsuki?
Haha, thats good. Its strange I feel so happy when you compliment me.
I like Arie when shes not constantly fretting about what Star God thinks. I was going to mention it earlier, but honestly I was just happy at the time that it looked like she wasnt going to be a pushy religious fanatic. I didnt want to push my luck.
Im not that great with giving compliments though. Oh! That reminds me. I heard someone in town say that theres nobody in Granvania as gentle or as good a cook as you.
Is that so ?
I think he was right, personally.
So far, from what weve seen, thats a low bar to clear. As good a baker as Collette is supposed to be, I got a feeling that her idea of cooking involves heavy use of bread and not much else.
And even though I think you get a little carried away with what Star God thinks, I admire how devoted you are to your faith. I can see why everyone likes you so much.
But I havent done anything to deserve that. I am quite a sinful person
Youre not still talking about Classmating, are you?
Oh! Y-Yes I didnt think I would ever become like that.
I feel so pitiful
Everyone has different sides to them that they didnt know they had.
They might be hidden, but theyre still part of us.
Arie. Believing in the Star God and keeping the faith is important, but that doesnt mean you need to keep hiding who you really are. You like the Classmating ritual and anticipate it. Thats part of who you are.
Gettin real sappy, Itsuki. But Ill allow it if it means that Arie will start having fun.
I-I never said I anticipated it
It was heavily implied.
Um, well I suppose theres no need to hide it now Ive hidden my feelings in the shadows of my faith to the Star God.
Haha Youre like the Star God himself.
I, uh I think youre really exaggerating it.
Im certainly not. You listened to my confession and absolved me. You are exactly like the Star God, Itsuki.
Does Gods Gift have that religious authority? Because I can think of a few people in Granvania who could use the opposite of absolution.
Come on, Arie. Im really not that great of a person.
Theres no need to hide your true feelings I understand now. I will be more honest with myself from here on. Though it may still take some time
Im fine with that. At least youre making progress on it.
Thats okay. I just want to know what your real feelings are.
Yes You did tell me to show my true feelings after all. Ahem No, Itsuki
I-I mean, its nothing
What were you trying to say?
Sorry, Itsuki. Contract stipulates that you cant have a big confession until the last or penultimate event.
It really was nothing Oh! Theres a bread crumb on your face, Itsuki.
Something about Aries eyes are bugging me in this CG I dont know why. I think its because the colour is deeper or glossier than usual? Maybe its because its reminding me of Enzea or something? I dunno.
Hah The same thing always happens to the children during lunch.
So what, Im like a kid?
Please dont move. Ill remove it for you. There we go
It kind of feels like youre just trying to change the subject.
Oh, um Im sorry, Itsuki For me to tell you my true feelings
Like, see? Her eyes are normally a bit more dull. Is it just me? Her last CG matched with how were seeing her eyes right now.
Well, I cant force it out of you. Ill wait until you feel youre ready to tell me.
Thats all for Aries event. That went on for a while, not going to lie. Not that I have a problem with that. Its a hell of a lot better than some of the other events were going to see. You know which ones Im talking about.