Part 12: Return to Reinhart
: Hey, Henry. Welcome home.
: Listen up... until we find out what's going on, I don't want anyone to find out who I really am... Just for now, I'm only a traveler, okay? Alright... Let's go then...
: Hello again, door. You vexed me as a child, you vex me now, but your time is coming...
: So long as you fight, you get tons of money and all you want to eat!
: This nation's Queen is really something. It won't be long until this land conquers all the world. Wa ha ha ha!
: There is nothing more enjoyable to me than war. Ahh, the sweet sounds of slaughter and the bitter cries of death... Hee hee hee hee...
: God... what kind of horrible person recruits literal monsters?
: quiver. You know what I mean? Oh, wait! Please don't tell any of these men that I said such a thing!
: But, God, to this day I cannot erase from my mind that atrocity... Though it was an order from the Empress, how could we have destroyed such a defenseless village?
: Hunh. Well, we were told to leave. Invasion over!
: castle... Wait a minute! There used to be a secret passage around here. Maybe we can get into the castle through that... Let's see... where was that thing...
: Well, there's that door that for some reason we can't see even though we're looking right at it. Is that what you mean?
: No, no. Oh, wait, I remember. Let's grab that boat.
: It's this passage under the drawbridge that we can't see even though we're looking right at it!
: What is this place? It looks like an altar or something.
: I dunno, my ancestors were into some weird stuff, I guess. Now take a look around.
: Phew! Stinks like monsters down here. What the hell do you guys keep in your basement?
: Ugh, I used to hide down here and play when I was little! I can't believe my stepmother is just letting monsters run around down here.
: I don't know if this door even has a key. C'mon, we can just go around it.
: Hmm... I don't remember which way to go from here...
: Wait, I sense something... Something lootable.
: ... Simon, you're not just helping me out so you can look all the castle's valuables, are you?
: ... ... no? This junk isn't that valuable, anyway.
: ... In any case, the other way leads to the castle dungeon, I think.
: I've been here for too long now... and my ears and eyes no longer serve me as well as they once did... but I can tell you this simple truth! The one who got rid of Prince Henry was none other than the former Queen, and our present Empress!
: Yeah, I kind of already knew that.
: And yet she pretended to be torn apart by his disappearance and even blamed the whole ordeal on Papas! Even destroyed his village... Never have I met such a vile and repulsive woman... But soon... she'll get hers!
: It can't come too soon, as far as I'm concerned.
Tornado is the next level up from Gale. About twice as much damage for twice as much mana.
At the other end of the dungeon, Henry is surprised by an unexpected voice from the past...
: No way... It can't be!
: I am this country's Queen... Now hurry up and get me out of here!!!
: What the...? The Empress is upstairs ruining the country. Who the hell are you?
: What? You dare say you do not believe that I am an Empress? Oh! How irritating! Oh yes, it was I, who ten years ago had that brat Henry kidnapped and sent to his grave!
: But it was all for my dear son. All to make Dale the King! Part of being a parent, I suppose...
: Lady, you don't know the first thing about being a parent.
: But now, I truly do regret doing such a thing... So please... do not leave me here... *sob*
: You know what... I actually believe you. That's why you can just stay there and rot for a while.
: Besides, I haven't figured out the trick to ripping jail doors off their hinges yet.
: There, now we don't have to walk past that noxious woman if we have to come and go through here again. The main floor should be right up there.
: Don't see any guards around. Let's go find out just what the hell is going on.
: This country's King is Lord Dale. But he is merely a puppet for the Empress. She holds the true power. So it would be best if you did not ever go up againsther. Else, you may find your head lying by your feet...
: But the moment he became King, she became a totally different person, almost overnight... Now, it seems as though she considers King Dale to be a nuisance to her ambitions. I wonder... what could have happened?
: I am studying the evolution of life. People, living things, how did they come to be as they are now? Can they grow stronger...? I have heard that there was once a way to manipulate such evolution... perhaps it was just an act of God.
: I heard that last time someone tried to manipulate evolution, it pissed some woman off so badly that she rounded up a small army and beat the shit out of him.
: True, it is an order from the Empress, but how much longer can something this heinous continue with such impunity?
At long last, Simon and Henry come to the throne room. Dale is there, all grown up and kind of looking like he could be the protagonist of his own RPG. The Empress, however, is nowhere to be found.
: Come back tomorrow.
: Welp, invasion over.
: You already made that joke. Move over, old man, we're not leaving.
: You heard the Chancellor, did you not? We do not feel up to speaking with anyone today. Be gone from our sight.
: Very true, my liege, but remember this... goons always listen to their masters...
Yeah, goons. Listen to your masters!
: ...!! That means... You are...!! Chancellor!! Leave us! I must be alone with these travelers!
The Chancellor goes and has a smoke break on the balcony or something, giving about two shits for proper security.
: Henry! My dear brother! You're alive!
: Yeah... sorry for my absence 'til now... But first off...
: What? Mother's in the dungeon?! Then who the hell is upstairs?
: Shhhhhhh! Not so loud, Dale!
: Now that I think of it, things were going a bit odd... I don't remember when, but I read in some book about a magical mirror... It was on the book shelf of the castle's storage room... Here, take this key with you... it should come in handy...
: Key? DIBS!
: Be careful...
: Ummm. Yes?
: Don't lie to me! I would have told if something like you had been called to her.
: There is definately something very strange going on here...
: Woah, calm down! You're lapsing into gibberish!
: Oh well, so long as the Empress lives, this country will be peaceful.
: The Empress that's declaring war on the entire world? I don't think you know how peace works, dumbass.
: Ha ha ha! It's Simon's time! ... OWOWOWOWOWOW!
That striped floor is a damage zone. It can't kill you, but it'll drain you down to 1 hp pretty damned fast. Especially if you stomp around trying to catch a screenshot of the pixellation effect when it damages you.
: WORTH IT.
: Sure, Simon, just help yourself to the royal treasury.
: Sorry, can't hear you over the sound of some actually decent loot for once!
: Another one! ... And it vanished, too. I hope the Medal King appreciates all these things I'm somehow sending to him. Whoever he is.
: "Day * Month * Year" I don't think whoever wrote this was 100% clear on the diary concept. "Today I traveled through the palace's warp gate to a Southern land. In that land stands a tower. And in that tower is said to exist a mirror that reflects the truth of all things. But the door to such a tower would not open itself to me. Only the nunnery possesses the key..."
: Warp gate? I didn't know we had a warp gate. I didn't even know there IS such a thing!
: Well, here it is. Let's give it a try!
Next time: Where did we go?