Part 118: Circuit BreakersUpdate 27: Circuit Breakers
...Flavio. Are you okay?
...Of course I'm not okay.
Knight's gone! He's... He's gone somewhere we'll never be able to reach! We won't ever talk to him again...! Why are you all so calm!? Knight's never coming back!
Sir Flavio... I understand how you feel, but we must have faith in Sir Knight. I am sure that Sir Knight... will not simply give up his life. He must be searching for another way.
Tch... S-Sorry. I... I lost control of myself. ...I'm sorry, Chloe... and Arianna. I was taking my anger out on you.
...It's okay. You were good friends with Knight since you were little.
...I understand how you feel.
...Let's all just calm down and take a breather. We need some rest, or we're going to collapse...
...Mm. Let's head to the inn.
...It's okay. You don't have to say a thing. I have your rooms all ready. Go on, get some rest.
...Let's head to our rooms, and have a good night's rest, then.
Yeah. Might be pointless to try... but we can decide on things after we get some rest.
It is here that you will become the next Black Guardian, as I did. Come, and I will explain to you about the Calamity you must seal.
This is the same hallway that Knight first came through when he got his powers.
A creature is heard roaring.
The Calamity dwells beyond this door. It drains life energy to claim it as its own. When it has consumed all the energy around it, it goes in search of more sustenance. To prevent that, we must devote our lives to keeping it chained here.
What do you mean?
Those of us who can become the Fafnir Knight possess life energy surpassing that of ordinary man... Ginnungagap drains the life energy of the Fafnir within it, supplying it to the Calamity that dwells in this room. In other words... it is by feeding on us that the Calamity is kept in check.
What about the seal?
It is sealed by giving it our life. That is what keeps it here. It is the only way to contain such a powerful monstrosity.
That lasts for a century?
No matter how much energy we possess, it fades after a hundred years. That is the extent of our lifespan.
Can't the Calamity be defeated!?
...Defeat it, hm? Its size is monstrous, and its rage terrible. It fights with the strength of a demon, and has nearly infinite regenerative capabilities. It would be futile for a human, even with the power of Fafnir, to challenge it. If one could, then the ancient...
But the Black Guardian trails off there, shaking their head.
It is useless to voice one's dreams without reality to support them. But enough of this. I will now begin the transfer of power from myself to you. This process will make you a Guardian. When it is complete, I will be no more, leaving you as guardian of these lands.
...Can you wait a moment?
If you need a moment, use the time during the transference ritual. Then I will release my power to you. After that power is condensed by Ginnungagap, you will inherit it. The process will take a full day. At this time tomorrow, you will be the new Black Guardian. This will be your last day with a human mind and body... Rest in peace, Knight.
...Morning, Arianna. Did you manage to get much sleep last night?
...Yeah, thought not. It's hard to just forget it all and relax, knowing that Knight's gone. ...What are we supposed to do now?
Regarding that... I have given some consideration to my next course of action...
...What are you planning on doing?
I will go to where Knight is.
But Knight's all the way underground...
I know... he has taken on the duty of protecting the seal within the depths of Ginnungagap. But...
...I have realized that I can also aid him in protecting the seal. As princess of Caledonia, I cannot abandon Knight to carry this burden on his own.
Kid... The Black Guardian already told us that their world is too rough for humans.
Yes, perhaps it is dangerous... but I cannot bear that we will never see Knight again...
Even if certain peril awaits me... I wish to remain in that place by Knight's side... together.
...I feel the same.
I want to see Knight. At least one more time. I... I want to see if there's anything that I can do to help him.
Then I'll go too. A lot of things happened yesterday It was shocking. But we're here today thanks to Knight. That made me happy. That's why... I want to help Knight.
Yeah, I guess I feel the same way. I can probably find some way to make myself useful. ...It's not like I don't have a plan, after all.
Ah, nothing. Old man muttering to himself. Don't pay it any attention.
Alright then. The one who rejected my resolve, one hundred years ago... It's high time I paid them a visit.
Has the transference of power that the Black Guardian spoke of begun...? Having noticed your awakening, the Black Guardian appears in your sight.
The screen shakes.
...What was that?
An earthquake? No, this is...
The Guardian tenses and looks up at the ceiling.
Intruders!? This world beyond is cut off from the world of the living... yet someone has entered without permission!
What will happen?
If they are ordinary humans, they will perish while wandering within the world beyond. Yet I fear this bodes ill... The air is growing stagnant, and the walls of Ginnungagap are creaking strangely. I can only hope that this does not affect the transference...
Who could it be?
I do not know. Though... perhaps...
The Black Guardian seems to stare at you intently.
Whoever they are, it will be revealed if we check the upper floors. I cannot move from here. The transference depends on it. But my voice will reach you anywhere in Ginnungagap, and thus it falls to you to investigate these intruders.
Listen to me, Knight. You must investigate the aberration in these lands and deal with it promptly. If you do not, the transference of power will be interrupted... It is too delicate and important a task for that.
You nod at the Guardian's echoing words, but just as you are about to begin, you hear familiar voices.
Yeah... It was only a day ago, but it feels like it's been forever.
I'm glad you're okay, Knight. But...
The black-robed girl's expression darkens, and it is then that you notice her constant companion Bertrand is absent.
Why are you here?
We wished to see you once more, Sir Knight. If it is your fate to protect the seal here alone... I had hoped to at least accompany you along the way.
Such was our intent in coming here, but a curious thing happened as we passed through that door.
The woman's face grows somber as she glances at the empty space next to Chloe.
We came back to Ginnungagap because we wanted to see you one more time. But when the old man opened that Door of Boundaries...
There was this intense rumbling, and the next thing we knew, the old man was gone.
As the others express their bewilderment at Bertrand's disappearance... The Guardian's voice echoes in your mind.
I see. This is... unexpected. For another with the mark to come here during the transference of power... I understand the situation now. I had intended to take you into the Hall of Succession at the last moment of the transference. But now that another with the mark has approached the Hall of Succession, the system believes him to be the successor.
You mean... Trand?
Yes. Ginnungagap detected his mark, mistook him for the successor, and began its process. There have never been two with the mark before... This is unfortunate. I could not have foreseen it...
What must we do?
Though even if you enter the Hall of Succession now, the power flows into him as we speak. It will be difficult to move him at this stage. Thus, there is only one way.
The power flows in from four locations. You must go there without delay.
And so, the voice fades...
So, Knight. Uh... what's the plan here?
We have to find Bertrand!
You tell the others that the problem is another Fafnir coming here while the Black Guardian's power was being transferred.
So that's what happened... I'm sorry about this, Knight.
It was just... we couldn't stand the idea of you shouldering all the responsibility...
You listen to Flavio's tale of how they could not help but come to you.
Yeah... it's a bit of a pain.
S-Sorry... Really, I am.
Still, you smile at your friends and tell them that you need to search for the missing Bertrand. The three of them nod eagerly, and begin exploring Ginnungagap with you...
This Geomagnetic Pole can be used to go back to High Lagaard in case you need to restock.
...I don't really know what's going on, but I can still get you a cup of tea. Take some time to relax.
All the townsfolk have something new to say as well.
Oh, I'm sorry... I was just remembering... some things...
Uhh... N-No, nevermind! Were you, um... interested in buying anything...?
...No, I'm not going to pry into your business. Do what you need to do to get him back. I'll be waiting here.
And now, smooth as anything, yeh head back to yer real job" at hand... Well! Ain't yeh just the greatest! ...But I would prefer yeh finish with yer job and get back to explorin'. Why? Well, yeh know... Without yeh explorin', where am I gonna get all those stories to tell my customers!?
That legend of explorers who delve too deep being taken to the floating castle... Perhaps it's not just an old myth after all. What could be behind this castle in the sky...? I wish I could ask you to find the truth for us... However, I understand the ruins must take priority for you. These days, I keep forgetting that you're not actually explorers... I'll have to work on that.
It is... somewhat saddening to know that you will be leaving once the ritual has been completed. ... Seems I'm getting a little too sentimental. I will be praying that you will succeed.
What very interesting and enlightening conversations. Now back to the matter at hand.
We're not allowed to head back into the Labyrinth or Ginnungagap B1F or B2F until we get this done.
This is because we are stuck with 4 party members for the entire floor! Not only that, the one party member that got taken away was our defensive support. To compensate for that, there aren't any new enemies, and the encounter formations on this floor are slightly easier than they were on the 3rd floor. There are still Axolotls on this floor, so feel free to take advantage of Arianna's Force Break is needed.
In Classic Mode, the 4 man party gimmick is not forced upon them, and they are allowed to use Protectors if they want to. So there's a bit of a difficulty drop there.
Is this where that voice said to go? Where the circuit is?
Chloe looks around her, but sees no such device...
...What could this be?
Though Arianna is perplexed, you sense a mysterious power flowing about the empty air.
The moment you reach out, the power dissipates and silence returns. The other three appear to have sensed the invisible flow when you reached out to it.
Knight seems to have done something just now... Are we all done here, then?
In response to the young man's uncertain tone, the Black Guardian's voice sounds.
The flow of power has ceased. Stop the three remaining circuits and the transference will be halted.
With that, the voice fades again.
Our task is clear, then.
Mm-hm... We'll do our best to save Trand.
The whole guild, united in purpose, moves on in search of the next circuit.
Oh and after breaking one circuit, some FOEs appear. These guys can immediately teleport to the other side of any walls they run into, so navigating this place can be a bit of a hassle.
You can tell that the mysterious power is rich within this empty space.
We're half done. I wonder if the old man's okay...
Come now, Sir Flavio. You needn't look so worried! I'm certain that he's well. Let's have faith in him and stride onward.
You're right... Worrying about him isn't going to help him any.
Alright, Knight. Let's go find that next circuit!
You nod to your friend, who hides his fears behind a cheerful demeanor, before moving on in search of the remaining circuits.
Chloe speaks out at a dead end where you see nothing, as before. You can tell that the mysterious power is rich within this empty space.
Only one remains now!
Then Trand will be saved.
You forge onward in order to accomplish your goal of saving Bertrand.
Just as before, Arianna looks to you at a dead end. You can tell that the mysterious power is rich within this empty space.
And we're done.
When you reach out, the mysterious power disappears, as if banished.
That's... all of them, yes?
The woman smiles to you cheerfully. As you nod to each other, you hear a familiar voice speak to you...
Can... hear me...? Can you hear me, Knight...?
Is this... the Guardian!?
Are we done now?
You have indeed halted the flow of power that was being transferred. However... Bertrand is in the Hall of Succession, suffering due to the power that has flowed into him. That power is already trying to change him.
What should we do?
Go to the Hall of Succession quickly and remove him from these lands. If you don't... the man with the mark will be swallowed by that power.
The abilities of Fafnir that Knight should have gained are being inherited by another with the mark. I suspect the ritual will work improperly if someone who is not the champion I certified were to inherit them. What I do know is that if it doesn't go as planned... the one with the mark will be left neither human nor Fafnir...
That's... not good, is it?
It is the worst-case scenario. If it came to pass, Ginnungagap would be no more, and I would be the last Black Guardian. That is why you must hurry, Knight. He is in the Hall of Succession.
The group's faces harden after hearing the Black Guardian's speech.
Sir Knight! We must hurry to save Sir Bertrand!
Right. The old man must be tired of waiting for us.
Wait for us, Trand!
Your guildmates look to you, and you nod your assent before you hurry to the Hall of Succession as a team.