Part 105: Fool Me TwiceUpdate 14: Fool Me Twice
After beating Basilisk, the townsfolk have new stuff to say to us.
Hope it's not anything too dangerous. ...If you ever need help, you can always come talk to me, alright? Don't just brood over it all on your own! Whatever anyone says about you, I'll always be on your side!
...I kinda get the feeling she has the wrong impression of us.
Quona has nothing new to say, but here's an audio only conversation we can hear now.
Ah, Flavio! I tried that laundry method you told me about. It worked a treat!
Right? I heard that they did it that way at the orphanage. Gets rid of stains like magic!
Indeed! Seeing them disappear was so satisfying. Such knowledge you have! No wonder you're from the Midgard Library!
Oh no, it's really nothing. By the way, do you know this trick too?
Flavio's gone native.
They get along so well.
I'm glad she's so interested in our stock, but to see her handling valuables like that... um, makes me a little nervous.
Sorry about that.
Oh, no! I didn't mean for you to apologize! It's just... a little unnerving.
There's not much I can really do...
You'd probably have better luck asking the old man. He's her chaperone, after all.
Wh--Hold on now. Chaperone? Don't be ridiculous.
Mmhm. It's backwards. I'm the one watching over Trand.
Chloe, you idiot... that's even more ridiculous.
U-Um, no fighting in the store!
And here's an audio only conversation that we can hear now.
Daaad! I brought the things you asked for! I'm putting them over here!
Huh? Mr. Flavio? Is there something you'd like?
Oh oh, no no, it's not that that. I was just thinking how nice it is to see a family-run shop.
*Laughs* Is that so? It's not uncommon in High Lagaard.
That's true, I suppose. But I still admire it.
...All esteemed families have some kind of obligations that bind them. You'd better make sure to be there for her.
And here's her 2nd Stratum audio conversation.
Order up, Ms. Regina!
Wait, why are you taking orders?
Well uh, a customer called me over and uh-oh! I can take those plates, sir!
He's supposed to be a skilled explorer, right? Why is he so modest?
That's part of what makes Sir Flavio so wonderful!
What I'm talking bout? 'Course I'm talking 'bout the treasure! The loot! The goods! What else would I be talking 'bout! Yeh lot owe me, so if yeh find somethin' nice, yeh gotta tell me first. Yeh hear me? Haw haw haw!
Here's Cass' audio conversation.
C'mon! Eat more meat, yer too damn skinny!
I am eating! Am I that skinny? I mean I've been working out pretty hard, but compared to him, yeah.
Hang in there, kid.
Erk! You were listening!?
...A locked door is barring the way...? I'm afraid I don't have enough information to offer much help. ...However, it's possible the Minister would know something. You could try going to the Duke's Palace.
Here's the Guildmaster's audio conversation.
The guildmaster seems so strong. She's the picture of a veteran warrior!
You think so too, Sir Flavio? She's truly amazing.
Mmhmm! I really look up to people like her!
Ahem. I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't discuss me as if I wasn't here.
Forget it. They don't think you can hear them.
Were you able to complete the ritual, Lady Arianna?
Well... Now that Ginnungagap is in ruins, it has been difficult for us to find the Hall of Sealing... I have yet to fulfill my mission.
What...!? Hrm, I did not expect the site to be in such disrepair... I must apologize that we did not maintain the area.
There is no need to apologize, Minister. After all, I've heard that it is normally forbidden to enter the Ginnungagap. Surely it is not the fault of High Lagaard if the place has lapsed into ruin.
But we do have one specific inquiry... We found a mysterious door while exploring the Ginnungagap. It appears this door continues to the ritual hall, but we are unable to open it. We were left with a hint to gain greater power... Might there be any kind of old stories or clues we can use? Perhaps any records of the previous ritual?
Hmm... I'm afraid there are no tales of the ritual that I know of. But... there may be a way to find out about this mysterious power, as well as what happened during the previous ritual.
Really!? Do you mind telling us about it?
Of course. Keep in mind, though, I cannot say any of this with absolute certainty... There is actually a branch of government called the ceremonial bureau. They keep records of traditional folklore. They are tasked with the duty of studying and recording local history, legends, and folklore. I believe Midgard has a similar branch as well, yes?
We've been taught that learning from the past is an important part of shaping the future.
Well put. However... our ceremonial bureau was closed down, ten years ago.
Wait--it doesn't exist anymore!? Then... well, how's that gonna help us, Minister?
Don't be so hasty, now. It is true that the branch no longer exists, but those who staffed it still reside in High Lagaard. Perhaps we could ask one of them.
Ah, so this person may have our answer!
Yes. Unfortunately... the man in question is quite eccentric, and he may not give me an answer...
Even a direct question from the Minister!?
After the ceremonial bureau was shut down, he locked himself in seclusion to continue his experiments and research... The only thing he's ever interested in is his research, and I'm afraid unless it benefits him, he won't give it a second thought.
Perhaps some personal interrogation is in order.
Could we meet him in person?
I'm afraid his mood may only be soured by the sudden appearance of questioning strangers. Well, I'll go and see if I can get that old hermit to cooperate with us. Please have patience.
Fade to black.
Minister? Did it go well?
Hrm. Unfortunately, Lady Arianna... ...His response is that he will only provide any of his information once his request has been met.
Indeed. It seems he wishes to obtain a rare material that can only be obtained from a monster deep within the Labyrinth.
Right. Deep within... the Labyrinth.
Yes. Now, if you wish to hear more of the details, then I suggest you first accept this as a mission.
Oh huh. Classic couldn't accept a mission until they reached 8th floor. Let's see what the Duke has to say normally.
Okay, let's see what this guy wants.
What the chief of protocol has asked for is a feather of the legendary beast known as the Salamander.
The legendary beast called the Salamander... Is anything known as to where we might find this monster?
Its nest is a large room on the west side of the 8th floor. That came to us from a very reliable source.
The 8th floor of the forest...? That's pretty far in.
I think that's enough to know about.
...There is one thing I must warn you of. The Salamander, they say, is comparable in strength to the Chimaera. The monster is dangerous enough that this fact has not been made public. I would not advise attempting to fight it. Use the map I have provided you with and take pains not to engage it in combat.
Well then, I bid you good luck. ...The chief of protocol is a childhood friend of mine. I ask that you do what you can for him.
So a mission to save the Duke's life got reduced to a mere errand in Story Mode. Anyways, Dubois has something else to say to our party now that we've accepted the mission.
It is reassuring indeed to know that you are setting your sights on the new floor. After all, it was you who slew the king of beasts! If I recall correctly, the next area is the russet forest... Oh, you're surprised I know of it? Several months after the entrance to the forest first opened, we entered the Labyrinth as well. I led a legion of guards... and so many fell victim to the monsters there... The very memory makes a chill run through me. After losing half our men, we realized it was too dangerous to proceed any further, and stopped our expedition. But, with just the five of you... you reached the point where our journey ended. I expect no less from those of the Midgard Library. Ah, forgive me. I ought not to dwell on the past. I look forward to your safe return.
And here's Dubois' audio conversation.
Heh. I'll probably never get used to being here.
There's no need for such anxiety. Does everyone at the Midgard Library share your temperament?
Oh uh, I don't know about that. We had some nobles from other nations and even between us kids at the orphanage, there was this one guy who was always dignified. And another one who never knew when to take a hint. Uh, wait.
Could I be the odd one out here?
Seems like one tough enemy. Tackling the Chimaera was bad enough... Are we up to doing this?
We won't know until we try.
...Well, that's true about anything.
Still, I wish you'd take this more seriously. A lot can happen out there in the Labyrinth.
But I believe we'll see it through, so long as we do so together.
Well, they do say, Those who believe will be saved.
Trand's being optimistic. Do you have a fever?
I'm always optimistic!
I feel quite encouraged by this. Well! Shall we head directly to the forest?
Ms. Hanna? Goodness, but your arms are full!
Hahaha! You have to hear me out. Something wonderful's happened! I thought I'd prepare a celebratory meal, so I went out and bought ingredients! Here, hold this for me!
Whoa! Hey, this is heavy...!
Really now? I know a strong young boy can do better than that! When my husband was your age, he carried double that. Here, take this too!
This is all on you, Flavio.
I-I can't...! It's physically impossible...!
Hahaha, come on, boys! Are you all set? Then go ahead and carry it all off to my inn!
Kid, there's no use trying to resist ladies today. Just give in and carry her junk.
Oh wait, we do see Hrothgar again in Story. Whoops.
Oh, and the Guild Guild... I didn't think I'd see you here.
Hahaha! I brought them back with me. These kids helped you out, right? I thought you might want to see them. Besides, you all should hear this too. Beowulf's going to take up exploring the forest again! I was so happy to hear that... I'm making a special meal today! Make sure you come back to have some! I'd better get started preparing! Excuse me, kids!
She blew in like a storm and left like one, too...
Haha, she's always like that. But this is excellent timing, though. We were thinking of doing something to pay our respects to you.
Can I pet Wulfgar?
Haha, go right on ahead. I'm sure he won't complain when you do it.
... You saved my life... Or something even more precious, perhaps. Once more... Thank you.
...This is awkward.
...Stop that. Seeing you like this is making me feel awkward, too...
You know, Hanna said something before... You're gonna get back in the saddle on exploring the Labyrinth?
Yes. I considered this carefully while recuperating... What we want most is to investigate the forest. We plan to take it at our own pace, slowly, without feeling trapped by a need for revenge. What have you been up to? I don't mean to pry... but you mentioned about preparing for some kind of ritual?
Indeed. Though we haven't been able to begin it yet... We'll be exploring the forest for a bit longer.
I see. Then maybe we'll meet there again someday.
Won't you come with us?
A tempting offer... but I'll stay with Wulfgar a bit longer. I... wish to preserve the Beowulf name. Now, I should be on my way. Hopefully we'll meet again somewhere... someday. I'll pray for your good fortune, wherever I may be.
Look after yourselves, Sir Hrothgar and Wulfgar!
Both innkeepers have something new to say after that. Let's talk to Quona first.
...He looked really big and strong... but you were the ones that rescued him, right...? ...You really are amazing... Hee hee...
And now Hanna.
Bahaha, there's no need to thank me! I just want to see the smiles on you explorers' faces, that's all! It's always lovely to see the people you know happy. Bahaha!
And he said they were going to keep exploring the forest...
Yeah. He had a look in his eyes like a weight finally getting lifted... I actually envy him a little.
Someone we saved got better. That's the best news we could get.
Yes, I must concur. I take great pleasure in knowing that our Guild Guild was such a help to someone
It was well worth the effort.
Well, let's be on the road.
It's a dirty job, but we've gotta suck it up and do it. Let's finish this quick so we can relax at the inn.
O-Oh! I'm sorry! Actually... I-It slipped my mind... I was going to ask for herbs to make a new medicine, but you already sold me what I needed. A-And the medicine's ready. But still, thank you so much! It's thanks to you that we have new cures, and that we can help the sick feel better! Since you sold me these ingredients like I needed, please take whatever reward Mister Bartender has listed. I'll ask for help again if anything comes up, but please don't push yourself, okay?
And here's Abigail's dialogue if you already sold the materials for Medicinal Research to her. Anyways, let's finally get back to the Labyrinth.
Now that plot is no longer barring our way, we can head to the 7th floor.
There's some kind of mineral packed here. I think it's an ore vein?
Hmm. The rock looks pretty hard. It'd take so much time to pry it out that I think we're better off leaving it alone.
You agree to abandon the idea of mining the discolored wall and return to your investigation.
Upon inspection, it seems to be a small, furry animal in the shadow of a large plant. The animal shows no fear of your party and scampers right up to you with a bright squeal.
This seems familiar.
Gracious... How adorable!
I wouldn't get too close to it.
S-Surely you're mistaken... This can't be the same one, and so there is no certainty that it will do the same thing.
As you debate, the small rodent looks up at you with its little, beady eyes... It's cocking its head slightly in a manner that's absolutely adorable. You are tempted to pet the cute creature...
Arianna has a point. Let's pet it!
You kneel down and extend a hand gently, so as not to surprise it. But at that moment...!
Ugh, sheesh! I knew this would happen! Hey, get outta there!
The squirrel obediently runs off, albeit carrying something in its mouth as it goes.
Oh come on! That was actually my last one!
It seemed to already know how to sneak into our backpack. It might be a repeat offender.
Well, there's certainly enough explorers around for it to practice on. But why's it so interested in the thread?
...What a saddening development.
You decide to press on with your investigation, this time with renewed understanding of the forest's hazards.
I'm not staying on this floor with no Ariadne Threads. Let's go back to town.
Since Ragnar missed Hanna's 7F dialogue, I'll show it off myself.
Bahaha! Pretty good, isn't it...? You know, my daughter's actually the one that made this. She's so kind, and clever, too... She's going to be a heartbreaker when she grows up. Just like her dear mother, eh? What? You don't believe me? Why, I used to be even more beautiful than I am now! Bahaha!
Quona has nothing new to say. I could really get some rest right now.
As you sit there, you hear a knock at your door. Who could it be at this hour...?
And the next inn scene that we'll be seeing is Chloe's.
I'm too hungry to sleep. I was about to go out for something to eat. Do you want to come?
Mm-hm. Come on.
What're the two of yeh doin' here this late? Hmm?
There's only one thing to do at a bar.
Thick bison steak. Medium rare. And an oxtail soup. And an assortment of fried food.
...Yeh know, a bar ain't a cafeteria... Ah, well, I s'pose yeh're regulars anyway. Oi, Knight. Yeh're gonna have somethin' to eat too, right?
Let's have what Chloe's having.
Haw haw! Hungry, are yeh? Alrighty, I'll fix something up for yeh. Wait right there!
Good choice. I have very good taste. We'll both have a delicious meal.
...Knight. Are you feeling okay? You got new powers, but do you feel any different?
...I'm a little scared.
Scared? Why? Are you worried that you won't be able to turn back after you transform? You don't have to worry about that. You'll always be you, no matter what you look like.
Arianna and Flavio probably won't mind at all either. I like Trand whatever he looks like, because he'll always be Trand. It's the same thing. ...Right?
Mhm. I know I'm right.
I hope the food gets here soon.
What happened to the serious talk?
Waiting for the food to come is serious business. I love meat. I'm very serious about the things I love.
Trand told me once. You should always enjoy it when you eat. Trand says he doesn't like eating a lot, but he says he enjoys watching me eat.
That's why I always enjoy it when I eat.
Haw! Yeh always bite into these things like they're the greatest thing in the world! Makes all that effort worth it! And here, this one's on the house.
That's right Missy. Yeh love this stuff, don't yeh? Make sure that yeh share it with him, now.
Yay. Karaage is so good.
This is all mine!
Knight. You weren't listening. He said this is for the two of us.
We're going to share it. Nicely. Hogging all the karaage won't be forgiven.
Here. This is your share of the karaage, Knight. ...Hey, Knight. I want to continue that conversation we were having. I think... Trand also likes watching Knight and the others eat too, recently. Not just me.
I think I understand. Flavio is a really picky eater. He's also really bad at eating fish. It's funny to watch. And Arianna eats really gracefully. She's really good at pointing out the ingredients. Everyone eats differently. It's interesting. I had a big family back at home. So when I eat with Guild, it feels really nostalgic and makes me happy. I'm sure Trand feels the same way. So you need to eat more, Knight.
We should eat a lot. A whole lot. Then there'll be lots of things that Trand likes.
Time to eat!
Having both eaten until full, the two of you return to your rooms and rest in preparation for the next day.
Abigail's and Regina's dialogue is the same as in Classic, but Cass has something new to say.
There's no stoppin' that kid. Even after all he's been through, he still ain't quitting the explorer game. Guess I'll be stuck watchin' over 'em and makin' sure they don't do anything reckless..,
... You're complaining. But you seem happy. Why?
Happy? Bah! What yeh talking 'bout!? I'm just worried 'bout 'em. S'pose I'm gonna get some more business again. Better get a couple treats ready for Wulfgar! Haw haw haw!
...As he was registering, he said he'd make sure you all would be the first to know. After all he's been through, I was afraid he would never return to the Labyrinth... but it seems I was worried for nothing. ...He is indeed a true explorer.
Marion also has additional dialogue if we talk to her again.
...Hm. By now, you're more experienced than a great deal of explorers, so it may not be necessary, but I'll pass on some advice. Strength isn't simply measured by how many enemies you've defeated. What's important is that you survive. Insight, analysis, quick decision making, and the ability to act when needed. If you're lacking any of these, you won't succeed. Well, that's all I have to say for now. Try to avoid any unnecessary risks.
...By the way, are you aware of the legend surrounding High Lagaard? It is said that long ago, the Duke's ancestor descended to the land from the floating castle.
Ah, yes, I have heard of this before. It is the legend of the founding of High Lagaard itself.
Huh... sounds like some fairy-tale to me. How would they even get down here? What, did they have wings or something?
Indeed, there are many that brush it off as some outlandish tale. Nobody knows the truth, of course... Still, I thought you might like to know of the legend. It's been passed down for generations, and it's at least intriguing. I bid you farewell, then. I look forward to your further endeavors.
Back on the 7th floor...
Sleeping on a bed of fallen leaves... Ahaha!
Now that Arianna mentions it, it does seem as though the pile of leaves could be used as a bed. You try putting your hand into it, and find that the fallen leaves are soft and warm... You may lie down on this bed of fallen leaves or go on your way.
Let's take a rest.
Since the area is not large, you take turns standing guard and dive into the pile of leaves, one by one.
Okay, your turn next, Knight!
As you eagerly anticipate your turn on the bed of leaves, Flavio calls out the signal to you. At last, your turn has come, and you dive enthusiastically into the pile of fallen leaves! However...!
Sir Knigh!? What's the matter?
Your eyes well up with tears over a sharp, stabbing pain in your hand as you dig through the leaves. It is only then that you discover the nuts with vicious thorns on them littered throughout the pile.
I blame the squirrel.
Huh!? I-I didn't notice those when it was my turn...
Well, don't feel down about it.
Their kindness stings even more now... You wonder what other hidden dangers may be waiting beneath the leaves. You decide against resting here any further and return to exploring.
Chloe's statement is a hint on how you could have avoided that bad outcome. Our party's total LUC has to surpass a certain threshold, or Knight gets an injury. If they had enough LUC, we would have gotten a full heal instead.
This place seems inviting. Oh...? Is something over there?
And it hasn't noticed us yet. Fingers crossed that it never does...
I'll cross mine too.
Sure, it doesn't cost anything. The less we have to fight, the better it is for us.
It does not seem to threaten you at the moment, but you cannot say if or when the monster may change its mind. You make a note to be especially cautious of the monster's position as you travel through the area.
I walk into its line of sight.
It seems to be aware of our presence... But we're safe at this distance, no?
We should back away a bit, just in case, and see what--
No sooner do you move away than a gout of flame, seemingly far too large for its size, spews from the monster's mouth! The flames hang in the air at the spot where you stood only a moment ago.
Yikes. We won't be passing through here for a while...
We could just grit our teeth and go...
Well, sure, we could do that... but I'm warning you, it's going to hurt.
To pass through the lingering flames would surely injure you severely. You fix in your mind the monster's ability to breathe fire at nearby prey as you proceed onward.
We'll explore the rest of the Stratum next time.