Part 8: Stratum 2: MiseryTensions within the Church over the reach of its power were especially high in the days before Besek appeared in Valdia.
- excerpt, The Fall of Valdia
Every step we take further into Besek is painful in a way I cant properly describe. I wish I could just run from this place and forget it ever existed, but I cant. Not while Master Leto is still inside. After we passed the first stratum, it almost seemed to disappear behind us.
The second stratum sprawled out around us in every direction. One path led to a thick forest, but I was concerned about a Majin ambush in that terrain. Another path led up into the clouds, but we werent sure it would even allow us to progress. In the end, we decided to head into the desert. At least we could see the Majin coming when they came.
Glynne still doesnt trust Reyna.
Video- Misery Lead In
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(Will we ever find you?)
Ashley, may I have a moment?
Of course you can.
I was thinking that if I knew your plan a little better, maybe I could help
We dont know anything about him. We dont even know who he really is. We cant just give him information.
Reyna, or whoever you are, right now your skills are valuable to us.
Were tolerating you for that reason and that reason alone. You got that?
This is going to have to wait. The Majin are back. Lets go!
The Majin only seem to be getting stronger, and defy any expectations as always.
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It took a bit to decide what I was going to bring as my final team on this map. Ares was a shoo in, as was Velnor. Theres a lot of Majin that cause Phys status on this map, so Stein is an easy choice as well. Our final choice came down to Alexei or Vivian. I ended up settling on Vivian because I wanted to get her some experience with the idea that she is more likely to be useful later.
Were up against a set of powerful physical attackers here. There main line of the opposition consists of three powerful Caprus and three Vespula. Towering over them are two huge Cancer Gigas Majin. Rounding out the enemies is a Thiefler, whos a special sort of Majin.
These level nine Caprus are the roughest weve seen yet. Theyve got an even higher critical hit rate, stronger attacks, better stats overall, and are better resistance to physical attacks. Theyre still vulnerable to Fire and Light, so hit them with it hard.
Vespula is an upmarket version of Apis. Now its got the ability to cause the Disease status, which reduces the overall effectiveness of a unit. If Apis was annoying, Vespula is actually a huge threat. It can trash casters if it gets to shoot at them unmolested. Its got different vulnerabilities than Apis, but is still pretty weak on defense overall.
Cancer Gigas is a generic large Majin. Its got brutal physical power and is totally immune to Water attacks and nearly so to Earth and Piercing attacks. Wind, Dark, and Light magic can do some serious damage through its weak magical defenses, and Strike attacks can crack the crab easily as well. Its incredibly slow, and wont engage unless we approach it. Just be careful not to do what I accidentally do, because your weaker characters just cannot withstand its power.
Thieflers are the bane of all existence. These Majin go around to chests on the map and steal the items within, causing them to be lost to you forever. Theyre vulnerable to everything but Earth and Darkness, and have weak defenses overall. We want to predict which chest theyll go for and get in their way, giving us the chance to knock them out of the park before they get there.
I go with a really aggressive deployment here. I intend to charge through this Caprus as quickly as possible so I can advance to the center of the map and trash the Thiefler before he can steal one of my precious chests. Only Ashley, Ares, and Glynne are directly exposed to the Majin. All of them should be fine to take some heat even from the Cancer Gigas if it comes to it.
-Get my loot
The Majin can speak!?
Wh-Why do you possess that librum!?
Theyre going crazy
You must not have that librum..!!!
Ashley, I think they want the librum
We start out pushing towards the middle of the map and the near Caprus. It runs up to attack Ares, but she Evades. I pay it back with a brutal combo from Ares and Ashley, and between being attacked and the combo Ares levels up.
Ares gains Fire Attack, a special melee attack strong against things that are vulnerable to Fire. We throw some buffs on Ares and Ashley and shoot the Caprus with Reyna, taking it down to critically low health.
They think IM this Izel ?
It seems to be the case!
When we see the Thiefler take its first move we can predict which chest its going for. Now a second combo from Ashley an Ares easily Overkills the first Caprus, allowing Ashley to run over to interdict it. The near Vespula moves up to attack Ashley, though it doesnt really do anything to her.
Sorry, but were not getting eaten today!
Thiefler and the remaining Caprus all advance as well. I send Ashley to Fracture the Vespula, also putting her directly in the path Thiefler will have to take. Glynne is sent to attack one of the Caprus and interdict, which also gets him attacked in return. The Fractured Vespula weakly attacks us, and Vivian hits it with a Meta to bring it into Overkill range. We put a bit of firepower on the Caprus and set Reyna and Ares up to Combo the Vespula, overkilling it. Meanwhile Ashley hits the Thiefler with a Sacra, bringing its health critically low. Glynne continues to trade blows with the Caprus, and its friend brings him down below a hundred health. Ares manages to land a bleed on the spear Caprus and we capture Vespula with Vivian.
Thiefler has been blocked from this chest, so hes moving away. I have a few options here. I could heal Glynne with Ashley and then try to deal with Thiefler some other way, or I could send Ashley over to be sure he gets finished off and then figure out how to save Glynne later. I decide on the latter, because to hell with Glynne. A combo from Ashley and Reyna overkills the Thiefler, getting Ashley a level.
Ashleys mainly getting increasingly resistant to attack with these levels. Shes now only vulnerable to Earth magic and slightly to physical attacks, though her high physical defense makes this practically not the case. I give the bleeding Caprus some pepper to drag it down into overkill range and move Glynne over into a position where he could only be reached by one Caprus. I then moved Ares into his former position. The Caprus took the bait and swung at Vivian and Ares, which is fine because I can just group heal them later. A Sacra from Ashley overkills the bleeding Caprus.
I might die here, if I underestimate this place !
We capture the bound Majin and then set up a combo to take out the last Caprus.
It hurts so much Is it because Im fighting !?
???: (Yes Thats it Good girl.)
Ares and Ashley drop the silly thing, giving Ares another level.
Glynne opens the chest, which contains a Plum Wine. This is a healing item that also cures the Disease status. We group back up to heal and rebuff so we can advance on the Vespula.
We start out throwing ranged attacks on the Vespulas, which gets Velnor a level. He doesnt really gain anything of note. They disease Ashley because theyre pricks, but fortunately Stein can cure Disease with Restore. I push Ashley, Ares, and Glynne up into the enemy party and manage to get Reyna another level.
Things dont go quite to plan here, because a combo I hoped to unleash was blocked by the Vespulas movements. I end up taking them out all in one go. The first falls to a combo from Ares and Reyna, and the second to a Punishment from Ashley. Then I make a HORRIBLE MISTAKE.
Moving here makes the Cancer Gigas attack Vivian. Shes nearly killed and Fractured to boot. Now I start a two-pronged effort. I draw ranged people back so I can throw some firepower onto the Cancer Gigas while also getting the melee into position to interdict it. Were able to bring it down to near death with Ashleys attack. After curing Vivians Fracture, we land a Sleep on the Gigas. This gives us plenty of time to move everyone into position for the final blow on the first Gigas. Ashley levels up. She doesnt gain any new active skills, Ill try to capture the stat screen for the next update. Capturing it levels Glynne up.
One aggressive advance on the second Cancer Gigas later and the maps all but over in a flash. Ares levels up again, and we get a Studded Leather armor from the chest.
Ares evasive power is even greater now. Anyway, we capture the last Gigas and the map ends.
Thiefler Lv. 7 x 1
Vespula Lv. 9 x 3
Caprus Lv. 9 x 3
Cancer Gigas Lv. 8 x 2
I continued the conversation with Reyna from earlier after the battle.
Video- Misery Lead Out
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(I hope we find Master Leto soon )
Ashley, are you alright? If you need to rest awhile, we can stop.
No, its okay Im fine.
Alright, if youre sure.
Um, I know that Glynne didnt want me to tell you why were in Besek
But, were here to find someone.
Find someone ?
Sorry, but thats all I can tell you for now.
Does this have something to do with the followers of the Pope?
Im sorry. I wont push it. If thats all you can tell me, I understand.
Thats when Reyna explained how he came to join us. I really wish hed told me this sooner.
It was orders from the Pope to meet up with you two and search for the Eternal Poison. I decided to disguise myself as her and go.
The letter also had a secret dictate, signed with the Popes seal, ordering Reyna to kill some high priest named Leto.
What!? Is that true!?
Ashley? Do you know him?
Theyre trying to kill Master Leto!?
Reyna, High Priest Leto is the man were looking for.
Youre really useless, you know! Do you know how hard I was trying to keep the assassination plot from Ashley !?
You knew about that already? How?
Ashley, its going to be alright.
Hes tougher than that. Master Leto cant be killed so easily.
Y-Yes, I guess youre right
See? Theres no need to worry.
Yeah Master Letoll be just fine!
Lets hurry. As strong as he is, Master Letos still alone, and we need to help him.
(The Pope gave those orders directly to Reyna. No one else saw her letter I destroyed it after I read it.)
(Only the real Reyna and the Pope should know about the assassination plot )
(So how did Glynne find out?)
I still couldnt believe the Pope was trying to kill Master Leto. Still, worrying about it wouldnt make things better. We returned to Isapolis to prepare to move forward.
Muse: Dont be sad! No! No! No!
Here, come watch me dance! Ill cheer you up!
Shivan: I can see your light, but a small shadow has been cast within.
As the days wear on, this shadow will grow into a great darkness. Be careful.
There dont seem to be any new mercenaries around today, sadly.
Basil: I hear there are volcanoes deep within Besek.
If only we could draw water from there for some hot springs
But I presume itd be quite difficult, with so many Majin swarming about.
The Count is very strange, Im not totally sure hes really on anyones side but his own.
I think that hiring others to investigate is much more efficient.
I enlist Koona scouts for that, but they keep getting eaten by the Majin
So I never get the information I need. Its so hard to find good help
Leon continues to have good advice.
Leon: You can take up to three weapons into battle.
When you check your equipment at Twilights Rest or Uzaporium
Do you see certain weapons that are underlined in red?
Those are your main weapons, and theyre used in Counters and Combos.
These main weapons can be switched in the equipment screen.
During battle, the weapon you choose when you attack will be your main one.
For example, equip a staff and a librum
Using the librum to attack will make it your main weapon for that battle!
This is really important if you want to master Counters and Combos.
Also Evan seems to be planning to destroy all space and time, which I just cant support.
Evan: I think so. I am learning to accept my situation.
Evan: After I disappeared, my family was left in ruins.
According to Basil, no one was left to carry on the family line.
I believe if I can return, I may be able to set everything right again.
You cant change the past!
Its terrible you were brought here from your own time
But no one has the right to change the past!
Evan: Then what the hell should I do?
I have no home and no family to return to!
Evan: I am sorry, Miss Ashley. I need to be alone right now.
Okay. Ill check on you later.
Thats all wed need, with our luck Evan going back to his time would lead to the destruction of all life. Zadikus is bored, which is preferable to dead so he shouldnt complain too much.
Zadikus: That really makes my day!
Zadikus: So, Miss, ya got that match for me? Im itchin for some practice.
Um, uh, no
Zadikus: Well, thats sure disappointin! Id got my hopes up and all
Oh, Im sorry!
Zadikus: Thats alright, Miss. Dont you fret none!
But Ill tell ya what, this lack of exercises killin me!
No monsters around these parts
And all them stronger dudes just head down further into Besek
Are you really that bored?
Zadikus: Oh, Im bored as can be. I gotta move around, see?
Well, Ill figure something out for next time, okay?
Zadikus: Really!? I sure appreciate it, Miss!
Ill just be right here, then. Hurry on back!
That Irving guy we rescued seemed pretty anxious to get right back out into Besek, I dont know that its a good idea.
Hey! Are you okay to move around?
Irving: I feel refreshed.
Oh, I forgot to thank you properly.
This is for rescuing me.
Irving: Its not much, but I want you to have it.
Well, thank you.
Irving: I need to be going now.
Irving: Deeper into Besek.
I cannot rest until my journeys over!
Please, excuse me.
I see. Be careful!
Irving: Good luck.
I hope he stays safe. I cant imagine what it must be like to be all alone in this horrible place. Master Leto Just hold on.
- journal entry