Part 106: Into Salamander's NestUpdate 15: Into Salamander's Nest
Let's start out this update with a bit of cooking.
...Sorry to keep you all waiting. It turned out pretty well.
...I was doubtful as to what use that would be in cooking, but... I see, that's a daring way to use it.
Sir Apicius was one incredible person. I never imagined one could eat stones...
I was just thinking... Can we use this softening technique in battle!?
...Sorry to burst your bubble, but you don't actually eat this stone.
Knight's right. The stone isn't edible.
Dialogue merges here.
Then why is it there?
When using the stone to heat the dish, the results differ from other methods. For instance, cooking sweet potatoes on hot rocks gives you a better taste than on an open fire, right?
Oh, you're right! I get it now.
And after comparing, I've found that this strange stone makes the food more tender and flavorful than a normal rock. Even Apicius noted that he didn't know the reasoning behind it, though...
That doesn't change the fact we're eating something we know nothing about.
But I guarantee the taste. I'll add this to the menu, so feel free to order it whenever you feel like it.
Self explanatory, and really not worth it. Bravants and Stonards only increase offense and defense by 30%. Several other skills give stronger buffs than that.
...Sorry to keep you all waiting. It turned out pretty well.
Ooh! There's a lot in here! When a soup is full of ingredients, it feels like a luxury.
A pile of food. I'm happy.
Let's pile more on.
Pile more on... That has a nice ring to it. Those were words we never could say back at the orphanage.
...Let me warn you that if you pile on any more I'll have to raise the price.
Ack, that's not good!
There's plenty enough on here, so just make due with it. You young'uns are so full of energy, it makes me jealous.
But, still... There's so much, yet I can eat it like nothing.
This is a bit much...
Knight, don't eat much?
I agree... With this much in front of me, I feel overwhelmed.
Arianna, too...!? I don't understand.
Your stomach's too peppy. But still, this soup...
Kid, Knight. There's no need to fret. Even I can finish this.
Dialogue merges here.
Oh... You're right. It is a gentle taste.
I stewed a lot of ingredients that warm you up, so it's even better on cold days. I'll add this to the menu, so feel free to order it whenever you feel like it.
Useless. I have no idea what purpose the imbue foods are supposed to serve.
I leave and then come back to Cafe.
After unlocking enough dishes, you'll witness a scene from Regina's little subplot about her restaurant. Far better than how EOU handled its scenes with the Guild House caretakers, where you pretty much just had to do busywork to grind up relationship points with them. Anyways, they're pretty abridged in Classic, but there's a lot more to them in Story.
Something wrong, Flavio? Why're you looking around the place like that?
Uh, well... we've gotten more dishes on the menu, and more customers have been coming in... but the place still feels so dead.
Now that you mention it... There aren't many customers that stay and relax.
That is a shame indeed! The cafe is such a nice place. I wonder why they leave so soon?
What's the problem with that? It's a cafe. People eat, and they leave. It's not a place for freeloaders to loiter and take up space.
Could be that the people leave early because you act that way to them.
Try to relax a bit.
Yeah, what he said. There's no point stressing yourself out over the stuff you can't control in life, huh?
...That attitude is exactly why you never
get any better.
It's good to be so dedicated.
Dammit, you're one of those stiffs too...?
I think you have no idea how to take something seriously.
Dialogue merges here.
I have a goal that I have to achieve. I can't relax until I've accomplished it.
Haha, you think maybe there's some deep, dark secret behind all this? The Minister's granddaughter, trading status for cooking!
Oh my! I've... heard of this situation before. It was the central concept of a romance novel!
...Uh, kid... what exactly do you usually read?
That's what I would like to know as well.
I suppose even to you, the thought of the Minister's granddaughter becoming a chef is strange?
Well, you're not obligated to work.
It's as you say. I've been given my own plot of land. I don't have any actual financial need to come work in the city.
Y-Your own land...!? I guess being the Minister's granddaughter really counts for something!
...It's all because of Grandpa's name. I didn't earn any of it.
There's nothing strange about it.
Thanks. I appreciate that...
But I know not many people are going to see it from my viewpoint. Like your friends, for example.
Well, uh... yeah, kind of...
Don't worry about it. I already know most people aren't going to understand me.
Dialogue merges here.
Sorry. There's no big melodramatic story on why I'm trying to become a chef. like it if Grandpa and the rest of my family could see that, and respect it.
Yes. If things just stay as they are... I'll be married off to someone who'll benefit the family, given away like some kind of prize.
The reason I agreed to be in charge of this place was so I could prove my worth to the family. If I can recreate the lost recipes of Apicius, and contribute to town development, they'll have no choice but to admit my skills.
You don't want to get married, Regina...? That's why you work at this store?
There's more to it than that, but sure. That's good enough for now. Anyways... that's why I need your help. We've finished a good number of Apicius's recipes, but it's only basics so far. I'd like you to keep looking for new recipes.
I get the feeling that the customers leave quickly because of Regina's, uh... attitude.
Yeah, I wouldn't stay too long.
Yeah, I know... Regina just straight up glares at customers who stay after finishing their meal.
Even if the food's great... I kinda doubt people would want to come back after that.
The food's great though.
Well, yeah, the food is good. I mean, that's probably the only reason she's still getting customers...
But shoving a menu in their face without a word, or putting down the plate without even a smile... doesn't really help. Even if the food's great... I kinda doubt people would want to come back after that.
Dialogue merges here.
I do not envy the situation that Dame Regina has been put in...
But it's somewhat saddening to know that her purpose for cooking is to just prove a point. A meal should be a much more happy occasion...
Yes, I love eating together with all of you, whether in the Labyrinth or at the bar.
I'm guessing that Regina doesn't really buy into that kind of stuff though.
Her cooking's just a tool so she can prove her own worth... or something like that, anyway.
That's just how Regina thinks.
I suppose... Dame Regina feels no joy when eating, then...
Yeah. To her, cooking's just a tool she can use to prove her own worth.
Dialogue merges here.
Hm... This is all making me uneasy. I know that the Minister's counting on us and all, but can we really make that cafe succeed?
It's up to Guild.
Yeah. I s'pose we were the ones that accepted this job in the first place. Looks like we just have try our best!
Yes. We became quite good friends with Dame Regina, so we must do everything we can to help!
I'll do my best so that I can continue to eat delicious food.
... *sigh* This job is such a pain.
Oh, come on! Well, yeah, the situation doesn't look good... but we accepted this job, so we should at least see it through!
The job we accepted was to get ingredients for Apicius's recipes. Whether or not that cafe succeeds is none of our business.
But... we have become good friends with Dame Regina... so I would like to help her if I can...
I agree with Arianna. We need to work hard so that I can keep eating all that tasty food.
Uh, Chloe. Kinda missing the point here...
If the food is good, more people will come. I miss no points.
Yes, you are exactly right!
... *sigh* It's not just Regina. You two are a huge pain in the neck to deal with, too...
After witnessing a restaurant scene, the townsfolk will have new stuff to say. Hanna has no new dialogue for Story, but the Classic playthrough did miss Quona's.
She was having an argument with a man at the market... It was someone from the Grand Duchy, but she wasn't afraid at all... I got scared... I couldn't say anything to her... She's a very brave person. ...It must feel good to speak your mind like that... ...But she looked a little... lonely. M-Maybe I was just imagining it, though...
The thing I hear the most is... usually something like, I never expected that would actually be edible! Th-That's actually a little scary.
The rest of the townsfolks' dialogue is the same as in Classic. Except for Dubois.
Regina is quite a hard worker, but she tends to lose perspective at times. She needs to see the bigger picture. Oho ho ho ho! Of course, that part of her can be rather adorable.
*giggle* Minister Dubois must truly care for Lady Regina.
...Uh huh. He's a doting grandparent if I've ever seen one.
Anyways, back to the Labyrinth.
They seem aware of your presence, and one of them, the tall man, steps forth as if to protect the tanned woman.
Well, let's introduce ourselves first.
I have no interest in individuals. State the name of your guild.
You tell the black-clad man that you belong to the Guild Guild.
I've heard the name. You are the guild who saved Beowulf, then. ...What rubbish.
The black-clad man narrows his eyes at you before speaking--almost spitting--his continued thoughts.
The standards for explorers have fallen hard. To think a guild like yours could tread these halls...
Oh he did not just say that.
Care to test our skills?
The black-clad man responds to your taunt with a fierce smirk.
Oh? So... you at least have an explorer's pride. Very amusing, when you have no notion of your own weaknesses. Such a sorry sight... You and your guild peopled with rubbish.
Why, you--! What is it you want? If you've come for a fight, we'll gladly supply one!
Sorry, but I'm not backing down. This creep didn't just insult Guild... He insulted all of us in it!
Oh I am so up for a throw down!
You see no reason to cower before the black-clad's man sharp tongue. You draw your own weapon and face him!
You too, Sir Knight...!?
A sense of menace fills the air between you and the elderly man... Any sudden movement and a battle could break out... and though he remains still, you can sense his immense strength! You are aware that you are at a disadvantage, yet you strengthen your resolve nonetheless...
With an odd cheer in her voice, the black-clad woman steps between you. Though she had allowed the tall man to stand guard over her prior to now, she turns a stern gaze at him.
That's enough, Wilhelm. You're being very rude.
Lower the guns, Wilhelm. I'm only going to tell you once.
Though her tone is cheerful, she is firm with the man before turning to give you a friendly smile.
I'm sorry. My guard is overstepping his bounds. I apologize for his behavior.
We've had a number of troubles lately with reckless young explorers. It's all made Wilhelm a bit high-strung.
No need to worry, then. We just have some business on the 8th floor. I doubt we'll get in your way.
On the 8th floor? Are you the ones out to find the Salamander's feather?
Oh? How do you know about that? The Minister said that the Salamander's existence was a closely guarded secret...
How, you ask? It's simple: we were the ones who told the Grand Duchy where the Salamander's nest was.
You do recall hearing that the Grand Duchy obtained that information from a reliable source... Who could these two be? You put that question to the black-clad woman.
...We didn't introduce ourselves, did we? Honestly, Wilhelm can be so unmannerly.
You have indeed heard the name before. They are widely known in High Lagaard as one of the most skilled guilds. Now knowing this, you begin to see why the pair before you has such a dignified air about them...
Once you get the feather from the 8th floor, head straight back to town. I wouldn't go much further if I were you. Good luck with your work for the Grand Duchy.
With this cheerful farewell, the black-clad woman ascends the stairs, with the tall man following close behind.
Once they are well and truly gone, Chloe peeks her head out from behind Bertrand and mutters quietly.
They were scary. I'm not sure why.
Yeah... they did seem pretty intimidating.
You are all disquieted by the implied warning in the Esbat woman's words as you return to your investigation...
Well, let's go up to the 8th floor now.
Arianna checks your surroundings against the map as she hems and haws. She appears to be correct; if your map is to be believed, this must be the Salamander's dwelling place.
This place seems even more dangerous than they told us...
Could it be due to the legendary fire beast's presence? You swallow at the intense heat of the air here... And for another reason as well: the dread presence lurking beyond this point is all too evident, even from here. Seeing that your guildmates have also stopped, you address them.
I'm pretty sure we can easily kill it.
Let's defeat the Salamander!
Wh--You're serious!? Didn't the Minister specifically tell us not to fight it?
Well, if you're sure, we'll obey our leader's orders.
But I'd rather not become fertilizer for the trees.
Don't say things like that, old man!
Knight... If you're really going to do this, I'll help, but we should run at the first sign of trouble. Okay?
As you nod your agreement to his proviso, Flavio recalls something and continues.
Didn't we get a note from the Grand Duchy on where to find the feather? What did it say?
You fish the note out from your belongings and confirm its location on the map with Arianna.
Let's see... if what's written here is accurate, I believe it's pointing to this area.
Let's start looking.
Newly united in purpose, your guild moves to carry out the mission.
You are clearly within its sights, as it is glaring directly at you! Just feeling its terrifying presence is enough to make the sweat roll down your back...
Just like the Minister said... that thing is a cut above the rest of the Labyrinth's monsters.
True enough. If we don't concentrate on avoiding it as we go through here, we could all pay the price.
As you observe and comment upon the Salamander, its murderous gaze grows even stronger!
I'm... growing uneasy at the way it's looking at us...
Wh-What the hell!? The whole area's gone up in flames!
It really is... Wait, this is no time to stand around admiring it!
That flame'll do a number on us. It'll be best to try and keep out of it as we go through here...
I'm sure we can take it.
Maybe we should just defeat it.
That would certainly be a simpler way... But I am anxious to confront it...
If you are certain of what must be done even despite Arianna's concerns, you are free to put your plan into action.
Okay I know I said that we should kill Salamander and all that, but you really don't want to get into a fight with it. Trust me.
100% 100% 100% 0% 150% 100%
0% 50% 25% 25% 50% 75% 25%
0% 0% 10%
50% 25% 25%
Take a good look at those stats. Even on Picnic, Salamander will utterly destroy your party at this point. And in case you're wondering, no, there isn't a crazy cheese method like wearing nothing but belts that will enable you to take it down now. Salmander is strictly a post-game boss. Don't bother with it until then.
It seems strangely exhausted. What could be the matter with it...?
It clearly hasn't snacked in a while.
Maybe it's gotten hungry?
No way! That's too much of a coincidence to believe! Wouldn't it make more sense for it to be tired from all that firebreathing?
Yeah, that makes sense. Either way, this is our best chance. That Salamander's going to be out of commission for a while, I suspect.
Let's get the plume. Now.
Alright! Then let's get to it!
Having finished analyzing the situation, you spring into action to retrieve the feather and complete the mission.
It's full of energy again.
Ugh... Does that mean it's ready to breathe some more fire?
It's back to business, so I assume so. *sigh* What a hassle...
I wonder if it'll get tired again...
It rested after breathing a certain amount of fire previously, no? Perhaps it may do so again if we can coax it into breathing fire a certain number of times?
Yeah... that's certainly worth a try.
So let's go.
Salamander's fire breath will push you all the way back and deal a heavy amount of damage. Yeah, don't get hit by it.
Heh, looks like we were right. That thing tires itself out with all the fire it breathes.
Basically. Now's our chance.
Sir Knight, let us make haste and find the feather!
......As you brush aside the grass, you find something giving off an odd gleam within. It is not the light catching the grass... The hard gleam catches your eye, and you dig deeper. Your efforts are rewarded with the discovery of a strange feather glinting with the colors of the rainbow!
You call out to your comrades that you have found what the party seeks.
What unusual colors... See how they shift as the light hits it!
Interesting. ...I want it.
We're turning it in for information. Cough it up.
That wraps it up. Let's hurry back and give this to the Minister!
You decide to return to town for the time being to deliver the Fire Plume to the Minister at the Grand Duchy.
We have the feather, so let's hurry back and get it to the chief of protocol.
Having accomplished your goal here in the Labyrinth, you now need to return to the Grand Duchy to report your results.
Okay, fine. Let's go back to town.
Oh, come now, loves! There's nobody in this city who wouldn't know about an elite guild like Esbat! If a guild that famous would come stay at my inn... ooh, loves, I can't tell you how flattered I'd be! ...But I suppose it would be a little unnerving for people that famous to come stay at our humble little place. Bahaha!
All the townsfolk have some new dialogue after your meeting with Esbat. Then they switch over to their floor 8 dialogue. Hanna's is the same as in Classic.
...Oh, I think I've heard of them... They're really strong explorers, right...? ...Oh, but y-you're all really strong too... That's what our customers say... They all say that Guild is a really amazing guild... a and that makes me happy... Hee hee...
After that roasting, I could use a nap.
As you sit there, you hear a knock at your door. Who could it be at this hour...?
It's Flavio's turn now.
I thought maybe they got mixed up with your things...
Feel free to look.
Get off of there.
Quit sleeping in someone else's bed.
And I'm usually fine as long as we're out exploring, but the moment I get back here, I just suddenly feel so wiped... It's just so different here compared to the Library. Maybe that's why I get so tired...
I thought I'd get used to things here, but it's way colder than the Library. And the food's so bland, don't you think?
I already miss the fried pie they sold at the student union...
You're too weak-minded.
*sigh* How's a strong will supposed to help me stand this cold...?
We grew up in the same place. We went through the same training. So how can we be so... different?
What do you mean?
There's no deep meaning to it, I'm just saying you're stronger than me.
*sigh*... Why am I always like this...?
Hey, get off of there.
Oh, have you all heard about Esbat? People say they're one of the strongest guilds in all of High Lagaard. They sometimes visit our shop... and they just look so... cool. I don't think I've ever met anyone who was just that... that cool!
She has new dialogue in Story if we talk to her again.
Stand over here for a second, I'll fix that for you. A stitch here, and there... There! All done!
Wow...! Good as new.
Hey, you're not half bad at that stuff. Guess I should have expected as much from the scion of Sitoth Trading, huh?
S-Scion!? Y-You're exaggerating too much! I'm just good at mending clothes... That's all, really!
That's pretty amazing.
E-Ehehehe... Hearing that makes me really happy!
...Could you teach me?
Huh!? M-Me!? Teach you? Th-This is kind of embarrassing, but... Y-Yes I'd be glad to teach you!
You'd make a perfect housewife.
A-A wife...!? I-I'm too young for that! B-Besides, this really isn't a big deal...
Nuh-uh. You're really good at this. You should be more proud of yourself.
Y-You really think so...? Eheheh...
Uh, yes. I do know... or at least, I've heard of it before... I think. It's a... spice, right? A dash of Esbat...? No? Maybe not, then. Sorry. I can't seem to remember things that I'm not really interested in...
The Smallish woman is back in Story mode.
Oh dear, what am I going to do...?
Hmm? What's wrong, lady? Looks like you're having some trouble.
Well, I want to ask for work here. But I'm afraid it's so rowdy around here, I simply don't know what to do...
Oh, no problem. For jobs, you go to that counter over there. See, with the board near it?
Over there... the counter where that bearded ruffian is standing...?
Hah! Yeah, he might look rough around the edges, but he's not the kind of guy to take advantage of people in need.
But if you're really not comfortable going by yourself, I'll go with you! Here, give me your hand. We'll ask him.
Oh my... Oh, dear me... Why, thank you, young man...
Sir Flavio... Your kindness is truly an inspiration! We must follow his example.
Sheesh. How's he so nice all the time...? I can barely show my face here...
Let's see what Cass has to say.
Hm? Oh, yeh're familiar with 'em already. Well, guess they are pretty famous. They're one of the best in the land, and ruthless to boot. Plus, they always see right through when I try to cheat their reward... Huh? Oh, yer rewards...? 'Course I don't cheat yer rewards! Yep. Thought never crossed my mind. I'm right offended. What's with all the questions?
The two of them can come off as a little aggressive. Also... ...No, nevermind. It's not my place to say. What's important is that you accomplish your goals. Well, that's all I have to say for now. Try to avoid any unnecessary risks.
She has more dialogue if we talk to her again.
Pretty impressive, huh?
Haha, you seem quite relaxed. Perhaps your exploration is coming so easily thanks to that calm outlook. I'd heard you accepted a mission to obtain a fire plume, but it looks like I won't have to worry about you. However... the monster is very powerful. Your mission is important, but it's even more important that you come back alive. There's no shame in retreating if things look grim. As long as you keep yourself alive, you'll have a second chance. Well, that's all I have to say for now. Try to avoid any unnecessary risks.
What's that supposed to mean!?
Hmhm... Seems I've taken the joke a bit too far. You seemed somewhat on edge, so I was trying to loosen you up a bit. I heard you accepted a mission to obtain a fire plume. The monster is extremely powerful... Be careful. Your mission is indeed important, but it's even more important that you come back alive. Understand? There's no shame in retreating if things look grim. As long as you keep yourself alive, you'll have a second chance. Well, that's all I have to say for now. Try to avoid any unnecessary risks.
...And yet, even explorers of their caliber are unable to reach the floating castle. The Labyrinth is perilous indeed... I know the ritual is your objective, but you explore the Labyrinth a great deal, so please--be careful.
And he has more stuff to say if we talk to him a 2nd time.
High Lagaard is a bit remote... It must have been quite a journey just to arrive here. Hm. I was merely thinking of possible measures to attract more foreign explorers... Road maintenance, arranging lodgings, ensuring we can provide for more visitors... There is much to be done. If there is anything you can think of that might help, please let us know. I understand that there is much that you have to do already, but I would appreciate your advice in the matter, hm? Ah, I've kept you too long again. I look forward to your safe return.
Well, let's turn in that feather.
It seems the worries I harbored prior to making the request were groundless. As a reward for your excellent service to the Grand Duchy, I present you with this.
Money is always nice.
But so is the exp.
Hmm, I wonder if I'm underleveled if I got enough exp for 2 level ups.
I shall deliver this feather to the chief of protocol and see what else he might know.
I do hope this gains us some sort of lead...
I have my doubts.
This may not work...
What's this!? Do you have some ill premonition about this, Sir Knight?
C'mon, Knight. Try not to scare Arianna like that.
Don't joke, Knight. Or you'll grow into a lousy adult like Trand.
Uh, Chloe, isn't that a little harsh?
And I have here the records that were passed down through generations of the protocol department!
Is this true!? Then there are indeed records relating past instances of the ritual?
Mm... According to this, there was a woman named Violetta, the Martial Princess of Caledonia, a hundred years ago.
The records show that Martial Princess Violetta came to High Lagaard with a knight before journeying to Ginnungagap. The chief of protocol at that time took an interest in the ritual and requested to accompany her, which she declined. But the chief's curiosity was insatiable, and he secretly looked into the pair's movements, recording what he found.
No wonder she declined the request.
Indeed... Well, I ask that you pardon their intellectual curiosity, and pay attention to the rest of the records. The chief of protocol wrote that the pair returned from investigating Ginnungagap and then entered the Yggdrasil Labyrinth. They discovered the chief following them, and the resulting exchange is recorded here as well. For the sake of the ritual passed down in Caledonia, we must hunt the evil lurking in the forest. Soon afterwards, the chief heard that the Flame Demon dwelling in the forest's second Stratum was slain.
A Flame Demon?
I believe I've heard of it. I have a terrible feeling that this Flame Demon dwelling in the second Stratum...
Yes. It is a dreadful monster that has hindered the passage of explorers for nigh on a century. No matter how many times it is slain, it returns to life over time. We call it the Flame Demon.
This is referring to the fact that Stratum bosses can respawn.
I must insist that you accept the next mission before I go into more detail.
Let's get on with the plot.
Its den is in the hall directly before the stairs that lead upward. The fiend is a threat to all explorers. According to the chief of protocol's records, that Demon is what the pair who previously undertook the ritual slayed. It was at that time, a hundred years ago, that the Martial Princess disappeared. Thus, my humble opinion is that the answers to your questions lie there. Please do take the utmost care when venturing out to face the Flame Demon.
Is something the matter, Sir Flavio? You seem lost in thought.
I was just wondering... how can a monster live for hundreds of years?
I noticed that too. It's not just Ginnungagap. There's a lot of mysteries in the Yggdrasil Labyrinth.
Very true. I do wonder what relation this monster might have to our ritual...
And then there's whatever's going on with Knight... ......
We'll find out soon enough.
Yeah, killing the Flame Demon will be the fastest way to get some answers. We've just gotta get to the 10th floor first. Once that's taken care of, up next is a trip to Ginnungagap. If we keep pushing forward, I'm sure we'll figure stuff out along the way.
...Yeah, I guess so. Once the ritual is wrapped up... there'll be no problems.
I can't wait to see the ritual. Can we hurry to the 10th floor?