Part 60: To the Ice Princess' LairTo the Ice Princess' Lair
You know what? That quest sounds stupid and I don't want to deal with it. Let's sell the Wind Rock.
: Oh, that's wonderful! Thank you so, so much! It's every craftsman's dream to make something from a Wind Rock! Thanks to you, now I know what to give my father... Hee hee! His birthday is coming up soon! You can just give it to me. It doesn't really involve the store. Oh, I should pay you for it, shouldn't I? There's not that much, but here, take this... Well, I should deal with the other customers, but thank you very much!
I've made a terrible mistake.
: Ah, yeh're back! So, did yeh meet the Messenger? Hm...? What's that look for? Don't tell me... Yeh sold it, didn't yeh? Haw haw haw! I can't believe this! Yeh really hocked the stone!? What kind of devil would sell off something they received as an important delivery!? Ahh, not that I care... It's not my things yeh're being so cavalier about. I just didn't know yeh lot were that mercenary... Haw! Were yeh not able to resist that Abigail's big watery eyes? What...? That's it!? Don't worry... I won't tell a soul. Well, one way or another, the quest is over. Here's the reward... Haw haw haw!
Okay, you know what? Let's actually do that quest properly this time.
You don't need to check the tile for the event to happen, just walk over it.
You think back to the quest you accepted at the bar... You are to give an offering to the Messenger of the Labyrinth in exchange for the incense. Perhaps the shadow before you is that very Messenger... The shadow watches you intently as you come close, and begins to crouch. Abruptly, the shadow makes a tremendous leap and vanishes! You wait for the wind to calm down before you leave the area.
If that happens, you have to look in the other spots. Sometimes he'll accept it on the first try. Other times you'll be forced to do this over and over.
Here's the spot on the 2nd floor you need to go to for this quest. If you get this message, the Messenger will accept the Wind Rock. But let's show off the other spots first.
Here's the spot on the 10th floor, near that guard that sells overpriced Warp Wires.
The easiest way to cheese this quest is to save at the Geomagnetic Field on the 6th floor.
And then head straight to this spot. And keep resetting the game until the Messenger accepts the Wind Rock. Or if you're me, get lucky and have him accept it on the first try.
You look before you to see a shadowy, human-shaped figure. The figure stands in place, staring at your party. You think back to the quest you accepted at the bar... You are to give an offering to the Messenger of the Labyrinth in exchange for the incense. As you have not yet sold the offering, you can still present it to the shadow...
You approach the shadow slowly, so as not to scare it, and hold out the offering. The shadow tilts its head to one side and speaks quietly.
: You must be the people of the land... Why are you chasing me? Why give me the Wind Rock?
The Wind Rock you hold must be the offering... You tell him of your quest.
: We were told to give this to you. It's an offering.
: Since you have presented me with an offering, I am bound to give you this in exchange.
The shadow takes something from his belongings and tosses it at your feet.
: But remember this, people of the land. Your kind and my kind will always be apart. Tell your kind not to hunt us anymore.
The shadow finishes speaking, and vanishes into thin air. You have exchanged the valuable jewel for a bent twig. After stowing the sweet-smelling branch in your pack, you leave the area.
: What was that about?
: I have no idea.
: Did something seem off about the guy? He looked kind of weird.
: Hmm. Only thing we can do is go ba- Uh oh.
Guess what I forgot to buy more of?
: Forgot the Warp Wire?
: Forgot the Warp Wire.
: Ahh, yeh're back, eh? So yeh met with the Messenger?
: Yeah, he was a human. I think. I'm not sure.
: That somehow rode on the winds themselves.
: Eh? Yeh say he was a human? Look, no human I've ever heard of can ride the wind. It's a big Labyrinth... some strange folk live there. Ahh, whatever. So long as yeh got what yeh needed... Right? Well then, no harm done. Yer quest is finished. Here's the reward. Thanks!
A much better reward than the Nectar.
Now let's do that other quest. If you're coming from the 15th floor Geomagnetic Pole, you want to pass the time so that the clock is between 9 and 10 when you enter the Labyrinth. You get this message when it hits noon.
: A flute?
: Where's that sound coming from?
You try to pinpoint the sound, but it's too late, and the noise dies before you can locate it. Just afterward, however, you hear a low roar nearby... It reminds you of the quest you accepted at the bar. Your task is to defeat the monster assaulting the explorers... The hour of the monster's coming is at hand! You don't have long to find it, if you intend to begin your hunt now.
This FOE only patrols this area from 12 to 1. Once it gets past 1, it'll despawn and you'll be forced to wait for it again.
Item Drops: N/A
Description: Appeared for a single hour each noon. It was controlled by the tune from a thiefs flute.
Weakness: Volt (150%)
Resistance: Physical (25%)
Just a souped up Clawbug. Nothing special.
: Ha! No monster is too much for me!
You detect someone behind you and spin to face them, but it is only a guard.
The guard's face is hidden by his helm, but you're sure you've heard that voice before... You tell the guard of your quest from the Grand Duchy.
: Eh, we were sent to kill a monster that was attacking explorers.
: Wow, sounds tough. I bet it's made you thirsty. Why don't you all have some of my water?
: Oh, thanks!
Emilia takes the water skin and drinks the first gulp. Something belatedly dawns on you...
: Wait, didn't Cass mention...
The guard before you shouldn't be here at all! Emilia realizes this too, and spits the water out!
: You bas- ack!
As Emilia gasps in pain, the rest of the party draws their weapons! The pseudo-guard smoothly dodges, landing on a nearby branch out of your reach.
: Tch. Two for two... You're smarter than I thought. Time for you to die already!
Before you know it, the pseudo-guard disappears into the Labyrinth. You now recognize him as the thief who tricked you before... Twice now, you have been a victim of his mischief! When you have a moment, return to the bar and report this nonsense.
Your first party member will lose 10 HP after that quest.
: You all right, Emilia?
: Yeah I'm fine. Hey Fedot?
: We didn't go to the store.
: Uh huh.
: That means we still don't have any Warp Wires!
: I was hoping no one would notice.
GOOD GOING FETUS! You forgot the Warp Wire once, and somehow forgot to buy more right after making that mistake! Your LPer ladies and gentlemen! Oh well, it's not a big deal. The enemies aren't a threat anymore and it's a short trip to the Geomagnetic Field. A Warp Wire isn't really required in any of these games, it's just really convenient. I mean, you could technically play any of these games without ever using one of those. Though I wouldn't advise doing that.
: Ahh, there yeh are. How was it? Find any good treasure?
: We found a thief. Who tried to kill us.
: It was the same thief from before.
: Eh...? That thief again!? So it was all his doing, eh? I asked around here and there since that last incident. I heard the treasure yeh tried to get last time was a flute to control monsters. It only works on a few species, but it's still bad news. I assumed he got it to steal something from another floor, but... I never thought he was after the explorers's loot all this time. I'll keep making inquiries, so keep yer shirt on.
: Thank you, Cass.
: Ah, and I can't forget yer reward, of course. Yeh killed the monster, so here yeh go. G'luck!
That quest doesn't appear until you complete Just out of reach. The Evil Mist reduces the damage taken from elemental attacks, but its a bit less effective than using a single elemental mist. It does stack with those, which is something to keep in mind.
Fedot's level up reminded me that I haven't spent all our party's skill points yet. Oh, and remember to come at night so you can get past the ice tile blocking the way.
Frederik takes a point in War Edge.
Fedot also increases his TP pool.
Maverick is now maxing out Patch Up. It heals 9% of our party's HP after battle.
Gilbert is leveling up Stamina.
Oh hey another level up.
We can never have too much TP. I put 2 points in TP Up.
This next room is
: Feeding time!
: I'll take everything.
: Hey, save some for us!
Unless your party is really terrible, Darksoars should be food for them at this point.
Oh, look at this poor FOE. If they didn't murder my party horribly back on the 11th floor, I would almost feel sorry for them.
There's 5 of them in this room. Spoilers: They all died horribly.
The last item point, the Mine point, is here.
I wish synchronized exp bars were still a thing, because that would be less annoying for me when I have to take screenshots.
I would have Cursecut by now if I wasn't brain dead.
Patch Up heals 10% now.
I would've loved to have both Stamina and Health maxed out for the boss fight, but I'll have to make do. I am a bit over leveled anyway.
: Secret paaaaaaaaa-
: Just go through already!
: I think I'll stick with my old gun.
Hmm, giving up 10 points of TP, which is a valuable resource, for an extra 5 points of attack when Fedot's already hitting hard. Yeah, no thank you.
Doubt I'll need it for the boss, but it's a nice treasure.
The beautiful stillness calms your hearts, but the hall has its share of danger. Your veteran explorer's senses detect a powerful aura from the center of the icy lake! Take great caution should you continue to investigate the hall! If you proceed forth, you will inevitably encounter a terrible demon!
: I'm getting a bad feeling about this room.
: Yeah, let's come back here once we're properly prepared.
The boss is in this room.
And heading down leads you back to this shortcut for easy access. It also means you don't have to come at night to deal with the boss.
: Okay, I'd say we're done for today.
: Wait a minute.
: We're still missing part of the map.
: Hm, good catch.
You listen carefully... It seems to be calling for help! Then again, this is the Labyrinth... what sounds like a human may be deceiving. There's an even chance that it is a monster mimicking distress to lure in explorers. But if it is a human... You weigh the risks of heading toward the voice.
: Someone's calling for help. We need to find them!
: But what if it's a monster?
: Then we'll just kill it! Duh!
: A convincing argument. Go forth!
You triangulate the voice's location and hurry towards it through the snow. You eventually come across an iron helm in the snow... It seems to belong to a guard! A guard appears to have been buried by an avalanche and trapped beneath the snow! You hurry and dig through the snow to rescue the guard.
: Holy crap. This guy is not in a good condition. Frederik, help me out with him!
: Of course!
: I... I'm saved... I was on my rounds... everything went white... I nearly died... down there... But you heard me... Thank you for coming...! You saved my life... This... is all I have... but please... take it...
The soldier removes money from under his helm and holds it out shakily to you. Could these be his secret savings...? You accept the guard's offer, and return to your journey.
: Really good catch, Maverick.
: Uh, yeah. Wasn't expecting a guard to be there.
: Well, I'd say it's really time to go back now.
Since we're at the boss, let's check up on the guild.
: Who would be twisted enough to turn humans into monsters? Wait, he's using dead bodies. That's even worse!
: I never knew that pandas loved cheese.
: Hmm. Wonder what this Ice Princess looks like. I just hope the trip through the 4th Stratum will go a lot smoother than last time.
: Okay, these notes I've written on the maps should stop us from forgetting the Warp Wires! I hope.
: La la la la la.
These five are the same, no need for more details.
: Oh, so that's what those two were up to? Huh, didn't think this whole thing would blow up like that.
Ken has 5 points in TP Up because his TP pool is ridiculously tiny.
: People turned into monsters? Hah! Who cares? I'll make sure they can't do a thing after I'm done with them!
Nick has maxed out Bait, which should be really good for the upcoming fight.
: Explorers being turned into monsters? Hope I don't end up like them.
Aliara has maxed out Dampen and started working on maxing out Corrupt, which is an AOE Curse. Handy for infinite TP while exploring. Not so much in boss battles.
: Lousy stupid cheese eating pandas.
Aegis has been working on getting his defenses up.
: Huh. That would explain the lack of corpses in the Labyrinth.
Pauline has 5 points in Apollon.
: None can best my formulas!
Bellamy has maxed out Analysis and has 5 points in TEC Up.
Ling has also been working on his defenses.
Next time, we take on the Stratum boss.