We're finally going to do some proper plot stuff this update. We're back at the castle.
Yeah! I heard there was a really cute girl onboard.
We can't go on the elevator, so instead we're stuck going up the stairs.
This is important and you probably already know why.
Whoa, take it easy. I just got here.
The princess is gone! She was supposed to stay in this room.
Maybe she went out for a little walk.
How can you be so calm!? This is a very serious matter! Have you forgotten all the danger she faced just to get here!? What if something terrible happens to her!?
Steiner's being Steiner, as usual.
Nothing to do but go back out.
That sweet voice... It's Dagger. She's upstairs.
You might want to click that Tindeck link if the sirens haven't already tipped you off.
Maybe if I disguised myself as a guard, he'll let me through.
You already know what's going to happen.
I just saw a suspicious character wandering around!
"He was decked out in rusty armor and kept screaming 'PRINCESS!' at the top of his lungs."
Upstairs. Follow me.
Can't ignore the classics.
Apparently the Sleepy Soldier is pretty popular among the guards here.
If you try to leave...
As we go up the lift...
...Zidane decides to ditch his disguise. At least you could have Locke save the day as some random-ass merchant in his scenario.
Whew... That was close.
You see, it's only OK to sleep on duty when you wear the less-goofy armor.
Oh yeah. I saw her go upstairs just a while ago.
Our trek leads us to the roof of the castle.
Only one place now that Dagger can be.
Indeed, Dagger has quite the captive audience for her performance.
[Insert your own Drakengard 3 joke here]
This is also the first instance where the game itself suggests there may be a spark between these two.
Zidane's face scares the birds away.
How did you get up here? This is a restricted area.
Come on, I do this for a living.
...Oh yeah. You're a member of Tantalus. It must've been easy for you.
Whew... What a view...
There's six places to check out. Most of these are locations we'll be visiting when we eventually leave Lindblum.
Maybe I should check it out sometime.
The Marshland is one of two optional areas to explore, and both of them you should really visit ASAP, but especially this place.
I guess the best way to get there is through the cavern at the base.
There doesn't seem to be an airship gate connecting Burmecia and Lindblum. North Gate connects Burmecia and Alexandria, and we already know from blowing it up that South Gate connects Alexandria and Lindblum. Kind of a weird thing considering Lindblum's the nation with a large airship fleet and all.
It'll probably take a while to fix everything.
I assume airships can't fly over mountains because there's no Mist in the higher altitudes. Then again, all the major nations are high above the Mist anyway and airships work just fine. The reason is probably because the peoples of this game refuse to undergo non-gate travel.
I bet they're looking for us.
Maybe I can catch a chocobo in that forest.
There's the other optional area we really want to visit when we get a chance.
You can get to the gate by walking along the river.
The river's not important, it's just a landmark.
"I want to stare at the ugly swamp."
(Uncle Cid knew everything... That's why he asked Tantalus to get me out of Alexandria. No matter how hard I try, I'm always a step behind in everything...)
Dagger is realizing that she's nothing more than a pawn. All the agency she thought she had was nothing more than others guiding her. Just look at how Steiner treats her. Really, the only person that's been encouraging her to do her own thing is Zidane.
She's selling her accomplishments so far a bit short, but it's totally understandable how frustrated and powerless she feels right now, while her own mother might be starting a major war.
Why did you help me come here-to Lindblum? ...Is it because your boss ordered you to?
I just wanted to help you. That's all.
Zidane, of course, has a good heart behind his cocksure demeanour. He's genuinely looking out for Dagger and Vivi's best interests, and despite his bluster he always tries to do the right thing.
The boss didn't agree with me...so I ended up leaving the band.
Really!? I'm sorry.
I also like how Zidane leaving Tantalus is something that happens semi-regularly.
Oh...um... How were you planning to abduct me?
We were gonna put you to sleep with sleeping weed, then kidnap you. It's mostly used for kids, but a big dose can knock out an adult just as easily.
I guess you didn't need it, since I came along on my own.
I've had a hard time sleeping lately.
Heh, heh. Can't blame me for trying.
U-Um... Th-That song... Were you singing it in the Village of Dali?
...Yes. So, you were up that night...
What is that song, anyway?
I sing it whenever I feel sad or lonely... For some reason, it comforts me and reminds me that I'm not alone.
Remember the armor Zidane made fun of two updates ago? Of course Steiner is a fan.
Steiner also apparently forgot he was looking for the princess but whatever.
Who knows when that Brahne will start another war...
You dare speak ill of the queen!?
Who the hell are you?
Oh. Well, in that case, can you recommend some good armor?
I...I must go!
While Dagger sings, the other party members go through some stuff. Steiner is starting to contend with the possibility that perhaps the Queen and kingdom he holds up to his highest regards of nobility may not be so noble after all. But since this is Steiner, the thought hasn't really sunk in yet so instead he just yells at people who say bad things about Alexandria.
They look so stupid. I'm gonna take Cid's airships and destroy them.
I'm gonna go tell your mom!!!
No, come on!!!
Those black mages were like toys...being controlled by someone...
Vivi's still got his identity crisis to contend with, though at this point he's more curious about the other black mages and whether perhaps they have the sentience he does.
Something's about to happen.
Sir Fratley, where are you...? I need you...
And Freya laments about her lost love. Hey, we've only seen her for a minute so far, of course her hook's not gonna be as big right now.
It should work now.
We can't stabilize the engine system. It can't run for more than 10 minutes.
What are you talking about?
Wait. I-I can explain.
Go have a wonderful time.
Zidane goes for Plan B: Threaten suicide.
How does that have anything to do with me?
Zidane fell off the cliff.
Okay, it's a date!
Uh, you have to actually win first, Zidane.
Next time, the Festival of the Hunt! It's been three updates since our last battle!