Part 66: Chapter 27 - Part 2
... I'm going to the capital.
No. You are not. The king has ordered me to put an end to you.
Will you not resist?
I do not believe I could prevail against one of your power.
How extremely frank.
My only wish was to be beside the one I love. If that is not to be, then it matters not what happens to me.
As my last act of compassion, I shall make your end a swift and merciful one. Do you have any final words?
If I have the opportunity, I will so tell him. Rest in peace.
Hmph. I've been waiting for you, child.
Ah! Did you kill that girl?
Despite my promise, the blow was not clean. She breathes still.
I'll take her.
You'll have to do so by force. You brought the sacred sword Ragnell, did you not?
It appears you've grown smarter. Good. There is no challenge in killing a fool. Shall we begin?
Mist? No! Stay back!
I'll never let you kill my brother!
Gawain's daughter, eh? Good. Now I can pull out the entire family tree by the root.
You're not to interfere, Mist! This craven wretch is mine!
Hmph! Do as you will. This time, we begin in earnest!
Before we begin, we should probably note a few things.
First, and most importantly, Ike has finally decided to stop fucking around and just add Ragnell to his inventory. If his four weapon slots are full, it will replace whatever was in the fourth one.
Statistically, Ragnell is identical to Alondite; and thus very fucking awesome. It's the most powerful sword in the game, reasonably accurate, has a non-zero base crit chance, buffs defence by 5 when equipped, and can attack at range (and, unlike magic swords, is based entirely off strength). Also, it has infinite uses, which means Ike will never need to use any other weapon ever again ever (note: Aether cannot be used at range). It also has the curious but useful property of negating the enemy's crit chance (with the equally curious loophole that it won't stop units using Wrath or the Triangle Attack).
And, yes, it can strike through armour that has been blessed by the Goddess. Didn't we hear something about someone else having protection like that?
Also, did you notice the victory condition? It wasn't particularly specific...
Note these three squares here. It may not be entirely obvious given the dialogue, but this is not, in fact, a mandatory boss fight - and for good reason. It is entirely possible - though player ignorance or compound RNG misfortune, that this fight be rendered unwinnable by sheer volume of numbers. In addition, since Mist has invited herself along, if you haven't been training her she could find herself in considerable peril. As such, you can - as Titania said at the beginning of this chapter - have Ike or Mist escape if you feel they will not survive. The story will progress regardless - with a few differences depending on the outcome, which we will cover in due course - of whether or not you kill the Black Knight.
Oh, and something else that isn't apparent; we're on a time limit. And there will be... complications. Maybe.
Here's what we're up against, in case you've forgotten. A solid wall of numbers; without Ragnell we still wouldn't be able to actually deal damage to this motherfucker. And we'll be taking over twice as much as we give. Not. Pleasant.
Here's what else we're up against. The Black Knight recovers 6 HP per turn, and has an uncomfortably high chance per hit of halving Ike's defence.
The somewhat uncomfortable truth is this; even with maxed everything ever, this fight still comes down to luck; it's basically impossible to win without an Aether activation (or use of some other skill combination; the favourites are basically any two of Wrath, Resolve and Adept). Two activations of Luna will kill Ike. A miss can completely screw everything up.
So... here goes.
How... entertaining. But if you value your life, you will leave this place at once.
You... you took my brother and my father! My sword may not even scratch you, but I don't care. This one blow... will contain... all my anger... and all my pain... Rrrraaaaa! I'll kill you!
The really remarkable thing is, that if not for the Black Knight's protection, Mist would be able to deal more than twice the damage Ike could (if she uses the Runesword). Hell, if only Ragnell's ranged attack employed magic instead of strength, Mist would be a better choice to bear it than Ike.
Sadly, Mist not only lacks a blessed weapon but also Ike's plentiful defence and +5 buff to same. Therefore, the Black Knight proceeds to remove most of her health.
Well, it was worth a shot, right? Hell, Mist has gone a round with the Black Knight and lived. That's something, right there.
Right. Let's do this properly now. Note that we're at somewhat of a disadvantage re: damage; not much we can do about that, however. Literally our only hope is Aether activating.
The first was in the forest of Gallia. The second at Delbray in Crimea.
We've met twice, and I've lost twice. But the third time will be different.
My sword-fighting skills were given to me by my father. If I stay true to them, I cannot lose.
Hah... You think so? Let us test your stronger arm then. Come, son of Gawain... Show me your strength.
Basically, your goal is to stay alive and just keep hitting him until you get an Aether. And hope to god that you don't have to eat a-
And there's the added insult.
Standard procedure (ie, when you're not trying to show off and legitimately see the Mist dialogue) is to keep Mist on standby and heal immediately in the event of a Luna activation, because two of those in a row will kill Ike. Ike can eat a regular hit and a Luna, or three regular hits, assuming he's got at least 58 HP. You're supposed to attack, then heal if Luna'd or wait if not, then get attacked, and so on - carefully timing heals and such. You just have to keep it up until-
-you get an Aether.
Sadly, the hit that leeches health still has to go through the Black Knight's obscene defence, so - according to numbers - it actually won't help at all (although it does raise the likelihood that Mist will be able to heal Ike back to full) in that regard. The point is that Aether deals a whole twenty six more damage than a regular hit. One Aether, and the fight becomes winnable so long as you can keep Ike alive. Two Aethers and the fight is won.
Now that we've got a turn, Ike gets healed. Let's play the odds and attack again-
I guess we just won in two turns.
Two Soldiers barge in. Funny story - there are actually reinforcements in this fight, on the third turn; they come in and chase Mist around (they won't attack Ike). It would've been pretty funny to see them try and take on our Mist, but eh. I guess we just
Th-the Black Knight's fallen! How can this be?
I stopped him... Father...
Mist... I avenged Father.
Even now, though, I'm not as good as Father was. There's no way I could ever defeat him... Defeating the Black Knight was my way... I wanted to show him how strong Father really was.
I know, Ike. I know.
Our Father was the best in the world... A great man.
That's right! Dad was great... and so was Mom... And so are you, Brother. I love you all! I'm so proud of my fantastic, wonderful family!
I really had you worried, didn't I? But now it's--
Don't say anything. I understand.
Let's get back to the others... I can't do anything else today.
She's going to be all right. She's sleeping in the back.
He's there with her. He's been taking care of her the entire time.
Ike. I am sorry for escaping and... causing all the problems I did. When we arrived in Crimea, I sensed Ena... I had to go and look for her.
Is that so?
You... you saved her, didn't you? I don't know how to thank you.
I'm not worried about it. I just want you to talk to me. What's the connection between you and Ena?
Your granddaughter? That can't be.You're not old enough to...
It may be difficult for you beorc to believe, but... We of the dragon tribe live for a very, very long time. When we reach a certain maturity, we stop showing almost all signs of further aging. For example, do you remember Prince Kurthnaga, whom you met in Goldoa?
Yeah, he was a nice kid.
Also... there've been no births in Goldoa for over a century?
Why did you save Ena? She was your foe, after all...
You were willing to put yourself in danger so she could escape. I assumed she must be dear to you.
You did that for a dirty traitor? Under the guise of providing information to Gallia, I gave the same information to Daein. I also took Mist's medallion and gave it to King Ashnard... And even so, you...
I cannot. At least not yet...
That's not the answer I wanted, Nasir.
Please. I want you to believe me. I am not your enemy. King Daein had Ena with him. For her sake, there was nothing else I could do. Forgive me.
Tell me, are you willing to display your loyalty?
What do you mean?
Ashnard is in the Crimean capital. If we hope to defeat him, it would help to have the cooperation of one who's been close to him.
All right, I understand. On the strength of your belief in me, I swear I will not betray you again.
There's one other thing I need to hear. How much do you know about the medallion? Did you realize what it was when you gave it to Ashnard?
I can't go into details, but... Merely gaining possession of the idol does not allow King Daein to release the dark god. The reason for that is--
The only one who can sing the galdr of release is a girl named Altina. Right?
That's correct. I, too, investigated Palmeni Temple.
Yet King Daein doesn't know that, and he's kidnapped Leanne. Based on what happened in the past, who knows what he may do...
Earlier, I was able to speak briefly with Ena. It sounded like she knew where the heron princess is being held. When she awakes, we shall ask her about it.
We're allowed a total of 19 turns across both parts of the mission; we kinda sorta smashed that limit to bits (and it was totally skill and not luck). So, more BEXP for the pile.
You may wonder what might happen if Ike can't defeat the Black Knight... and that is why we have bonus updates. That notwithstanding...