Part 7: The HighlandsUpdate 7: The Highlands
Welcome back! Last time we confronted Alphonse, who ran away, and then got forcibly recruited to be an Immortals proxy. Now were not only chasing down Alphonse, were also going on the pilgrimage for our own benefit. To that end, well still be heading towards the temple and will be going through the Highlands today.
Once we arrive, were immediately shown a lot of Vangals and Komainu surrounding a seemingly cornered bug man and a little guy with a pack.
Stay behind me. Ill keep you safe for as long as I can.
I is able to help. Many potions!
Down to the southwest, our party arrives on the scene.
Wild beasts are threatening those travelers! We have to help before theyre torn apart!
And were in a fight. Notably, this is our first fight with a different objective, thought its pretty simple. Bzaro is a solid fighter and Somier will prioritize healing the two of them, so its not too easy to lose them.
This time we get to bring a party of 7, so Im bringing everyone whos been shown so far. We do start out a bit far from the enemies, but should be able to close pretty quickly.
Up top, we can see Bzaros stats. Hell at least be able to hold his own until we get there.
Though he will have a bunch of friends to hang out with in the meantime.
After a few turns, Reiner opens fires the first shot with a small hit on a nearby Vangal.
While Somier busies himself by debuffing one of them.
Mongo runs up to get another kill. As was mentioned earlier in the thread, you can use forceful strike to push enemies off cliffs or into water. If they cant swim, then it instant kills them (indicated by Mongo dealing over a thousand damage on this hit).
Or at least he would have, had he not missed on a 98%.
On Bzaros first turn, he turns to the party and greets Kyrie.
That didnt come out quite right.
Bzaro, always good to see you. Save your usual chatter for when weve dealt with the immediate threat.
As always, I love the way you think. Oh, and I believe the expression youre looking for is your usual chitter.
After that, one of the vangals manages to take a chunk out of Somier.
Kyrie runs up and uses her new skill to take a decent chunk out of another vangal.
I cant show it, but Somier does a little jump and dance animation after Anadine points him out.
Not surprising. They are a reclusive race and in general only the merchants venture beyond their own lands. Although occasionally some rogue Kawas turn to banditry. Just as with our kind, sadly.
Banditry does seem to be a popular pastime throughout the lands. In any event, dont be fooled by their simplistic dialect. Their merchants are incredibly shrewd, and never settle a deal without the upper hand.
I see. We should hurry and save him then!
After that exposition dump, things progress for a few more turns before Reiner scores the first kill.
Which Mongo quickly follows up on by actually hitting this time.
Hannah then takes out a third vangal.
These vangals are all pretty weak individually, so no ones really in danger during this fight. Its a pretty simple one overall, so Ill mostly skip over it.
At one point, Kyrie knocks a Komainu into the water.
And we see Bzaro use a familiar skill. Well be seeing a good bit of him, so Ill explain what his deal is later.
After beating up a lot of dogs, Bobby continues having troubles with friendly fire as he takes out the last Komainu.
Another victory screen where I forgot to get the MVP. Pretty sure it was either Anadine or Kyrie this time.
Afterwards, everyone meets up on the top of the hill.
I fear my little friend and I came very close to ending up as dinner.
Thank you to kind Arbiters!
It was our pleasure, friends. How did this little one end up out here in the wilderness?
I believe my merchant friend here took a wrong turn outside Illuster and ended up getting rather too close a look at the wildlife.
Human roads is very confusing!
What about you, Bzaro? Im guessing youre on your way to the Temple?
Yes, on official Arbiter business. But first
Though I will accompany you if you wish.
I be fine! Will follow Human road this time! Big thanks!
And Somier heads off down the hill.
Certainly! The little folk are quite resourceful.
Now that we have some privacy The body of a Marked was found near Azure Fields, and Ive been tasked with investigating what happened. It was most likely the doing of another Marked, but in case it wasnt, Im to ensure there is no outside interference with the Pilgrimage. Even be it from other Arbiters
Do you have any idea who might have done in that Marked?
Theres no need to be coy about it. It wasnt us. But we have been tracking a Marcked ourselves, one Alphonse. It would surprise me not one whit if he killed another Marked to improve his chance at the prize.
If youre right, then the murder would not constitute outside interference. But I must be certain. It is something to go on at least, and thats more than I had a moment ago. You may find this shocking, but I have little experience as an investigator.
Ahem! So I assume this Alphonse fellow is somewhere between our present location and the Temple? Say, do you mind if I tag along with you for now? If this Alphonse is the culprit, Ill be in a better position to deal with him with an armed escort at my back.
I heard you were the Arbiter who arrested him on charges of murder before the Immortals saw fit to make him a Marked. That doesnt sit well with me.
All right. I know from personal experience that thats a dangerous line of thought, but its your call. We certainly welcome a stalwart Arbiter accompanying us on our way to the Highlands Temple.
Excellent! Lets get going!
Sigh. Now I must endure the both of you at the same time.
And with that were back at the world map. However, a new event popped up so I think well check that out before ending things.
Cut into the camp, with the pot conspicuously empty.
Reiner rushes over to the pot.
Bzaro then wanders over from off screen.
*Brrp* Boy, have I! That stew was amazing, but you really need to make more next time, Reiner. Everyone will be so disappointed its all gone.
We can get by on our travel provisions for one night. You should give yourself a break.
Reiner lowers his head in defeat and heads off.
Reiner is such a delight! I wish I had a partner like that to keep me company on the road.
Ive been giving some thought to your special assignment
And based on the timing and location of the Markeds murder, Alphonse cant have been responsible.
According to you, the Marked was killed in Azure Fields. We were in close pursuit of Alphonse at that time, and he was nowhere near there.
Ugh. I admit that I was pretty set on him being guilty. I guess I let personal bias blind me to the obvious.
Personal bias? Are you acquainted with Alphonse, then?
Not personally, but I worked a couple times with the fellow he killed in Gelligh.
Oh, um oops. I never have been good at keeping my big buzzing mouth shut.
Bzaro, were all involved in this, now. Tell me what you know.
Well. With the man dead, I suppose theres no need for secrecy anymore. He was an informant. He and I both reported to the same Immortal. He was spying on Alphonse for us. Our boss suspected that Alphonses trail would lead back to corruption within the Council.
But I guess Alphonse discovered our spy and did him in before he could report his findings. Alas, his case might be closed, but that still leaves me with no leads on the Marked-killer, now.
Hmm, yes. Well. Yes, I believe if we are to make the most of our alliance, I should share her identity I report to Tertia. Or I would, had I anything to reprot, drat it all!
If Alphonse isnt the culprit, Im afraid its back to square one. Square zero, really.
Tough to return empty-haned like that.
But you know, another idea is coming to me Perhaps you yourself will be a target of the same murderer!
Though even if youre not, disorder and violence seem to follow wherever you go.
Yes, it seems to me the most sensible thing is to continue along with one of the Marked. Now where did Reiner get to? I cant wait to tell him!
Bzaro rushes off to find Reiner, and I think thats where well leave things for this update.