Welcome to the last numbered chapter of the game. Kinda fills you with nostalgia, doesn't it?
As we come to the front gate, Galagar teleports out to meet us. Showoff.
: The Mage General! So he was here after all?
: Oh, I'm here, and perfectly fine. I can't say the same about your Siegfried-less gang, though. Granted, it must be easier trying to wage a war without his misfounded leadership.
: You... Don't insult Siegfried! He's a far better leader than you or your Emperor, that's for sure!
: Who exactly is winning this war, Galagar? Siegfried's army, or yours?
It's not even like Siegfried was used in half of Anakin's chapters anyway.
: Ah, don't get carried away now. I've been attending to... other matters, elsewhere. Of course, when I heard Holton was leading the forces outside our Palace, I knew I had to come back. That malevolent excuse of a knight can't protect our homeland--just destroy it. However, now that I'm here, everything is under control.
: I wouldn't count on that. We'll defeat you and your forces and end Magnus's era of war.
: Every last politician in your corrupted government, down to the Emperor himself.
Who's the hero here, exactly?
: Ah, yes... You have a brother as a Senator, don't you, Kelik? But you don't appreciate him... you only want to kill your brother. Having your best friend struck down by your own blood? Painful, isn't it?
: W-What?! How do you know of this?
: Don't you remember, Kelik? Weak hearts are easy to see through. You're just like Siegfried. People who let their emotions cloud their mind, and people without the will to overcome their mental anguish... It's so very easy to read their minds.
: A... mind-reader? I... still don't understand...
: "That's impossible! There's no way he can know what's going on through my head!" You're easy as well, Anakin. You all are. Especially the sulking son of Siegfried over there.
: His Father...
: It's not just your thoughts, but your very presence. I can sense all the ether seeping out of every life form. You won't even be able to touch me. I'll know where you're going to attack and how you'll attack before you do. The large dispersions of ether from using all of my magical power disrupt this ability, but I'll finish you before it comes to that.
This is unfortunately reflected in gameplay. We'll see in a second.
: Hahahaha--you're completely out of your league, this time. I am the greatest mage this continent has ever known! And if you don't believe me, I dare you to come further!
: Every time I see him, I can't control my own temper. The ether around him is so concentrated and powerful, I can hardly stand...
: I know... I felt the same way. If we're going to defeat him, we have to take him out of his fighting's comfort zone. That means we'll have to avoid him for now, but if we can get near the throne, he'll have no choice but to use all of his power on us. After that, it'll come down to a showdown of raw power.
: I know. We don't have any time to lose. We can't let Galagar's words or anything else distract us! We'll have to sort out our feelings on the way to the throne room!
Sadly, it won't be quite so easy to get there. As always, Blazer's indoors maps prefer the long and winding road, but at least there's only one batch of reinforcements in this map. That's because the next Secret requires us to kill every single unit before we take out the boss himself.
Don't mind the various colored boxes. I'll refer back to those when they're relevant.
You can tell we're nearing the endgame, because Blazer's started cheating the numbers. Not only does Galagar's level and HP break the caps, but for the opening portion of the map, his evasion is hardcoded to 200 in order to reflect his whole "mind reading" thing. What that means is that until you reach a certain stage of the level, he's going to be completely untouchable. There is no way that Blazer is going to let someone cheese the gimmick of this chapter. No sir.
Stats-wise, all these tomes weigh him down, but he'll switch between them readily, depending on if he needs raw power or speed. Inferno is the lightest option at 11 weight, giving him a potential maximum of 28 speed, and he WILL switch to the one that the AI thinks will guarantee a kill.
Before we begin though, do you remember how Kelik had commissioned Jake to make him a weapon WAAAAAY back in Chapter 3?
: Oh, Jake! If I'm seeing you here, this can only mean one thing.
: Yes. It worked. I used the research notes you gave me to make you a new sword. I brought it here myself, just to make sure it wouldn't end up in the wrong hands.
: You had a long journey, to travel all the way over from Atheya. I'm sorry I couldn't pick it up myself.
Bear in mind that getting to Blaine took the group six months. That's a long way to travel just to deliver one sword.
: Don't mention it. I'm just glad I could get it on time.
: So, what's it called? A sword like this can't go unnamed, Jake.
: I named it after a Fairy King of legend who waged war against demons. It was said he and his fairies cleansed the land of all evil. And so, I call this... "the Fairy Sword, Arectaris".
: Arectaris, huh? I like it.
You can't make stuff like this up.
: Don't worry. This sword has the ability to manipulate ether itself.
: Then with this sword I will bring out every ounce of my power... and Kain's. Thank you, Jake. This means more than you know.
: Hey, it means a lot to me, too. You don't owe me for this. Just do what you need to.
: I know. And I will.
Here it is, folks! The Blade of the Raisin Fairy is ours! Arectaris increases Kelik's strength and skill by 3, and his speed by 10, but since it outweighs his constitution by 6, his speed bonus nets to +4. Still quite respectable.
: I'm here too, and we're all going to do everything we can. We carry Siegfried's will, and that will carry us to our victory!
Yes, I feel the warning signs in the air right now. It's time for...
: My father and mother...would never let them.
The inspirational sayings montage! From the top:
: This battle's the end of our journey. I won't dishonor General Siegfried's name by turning back now!
: I'm not going to stop helping until people can live in peace!
: In my time as a mercenary, my sword has never been paid as high an honor as it has to fight as it is right now!
: Everyone's counting on us...aren't they?
: I just hope I don't mess this up...
: May the light be with you, everyone.
: Let's storm this castle and rain down arrows! Damn straight that pun is intended!
Storm, you really are the "special" bowman.
: Oh, NOW I'm getting revved up!
: I've made so many friends on this journey, and I'll do everything I can to protect them! As a friend!
: Hey, hey, nice guys like us always win, don't we?
: I shall honor the death of my friend by fighting with everything I have!
: Hey! No matter how small or insignificant, we all have our part to do! And I'll make sure I do mine!
: Let's wreck some havoc! FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!
: If we're to win this, we must be sure of ourselves. Because all of the ideals we hold are on the line!
: ...Kelik, I trust your judgment, and shall lend you my full power.
: My girlfriend's waiting for me, so let's finish this already!
Get out of here, Logan. You're dead.
: This is a battlefield with the best of each side. It'll come down to every little advantage we can get over them!
: I'm almost there... I'll make this battle the final test of my bow's maturity.
: So... everyone's sacrifices have led up to this moment...
: Kelik. Let's do this. We both know this, but... "swords" are the only way.
: Families across the world are relying on our victory. When I think of that, I know we can't afford to lose.
: Captain Drake... We'll rescue you soon.
: Not everyone has as great as a chance as we have right now. We're here, ready to strike down the people with the power to change the world. We can't waste this chance when so many others have sacrificed themselves just to get us this far!
: I can't believe my home country has come to this... It's time I right some wrongs.
: This aching in my heart... It burns at this sight which my soul is no longer fond of... I know... I know what must be done...
Yue, after paragraphs and paragraphs of endless exposition, you don't get to lecture about taking action.
: I've been running from Magnus for a long time... But this is one time I won't run!
: I'm here. So I'll fight.
: I dun' like these guys...'Ey make me angry!!!
: Memories of Zane and the regret for the loss of my people... With these in my head, I cannot distracted (sic). On behalf of Blaine, I will end Magnus's tyranny!
: Magnus...will be silenced.
: Underestimating us is a shallow mistake. We'll teach Magnus for good!
What he said.
: I've only just begun to give Magnus their well-earned thrashing. The real vengeance for all their victims starts now!
And, bringing up the rear...
Overall, I actually kind of like these quotes. With a few exceptions, they're a lot more evocative of the specific characters and certainly feel a bit less generic than the final quotes for FE8.
: And we won't leave until we give them retribution!
: Mage General Galagar, Emperor Louis, the Senators, the Sword Emperor, and that necromantic druid! This is the final strike!
And yet, even with everyone chiming in instead of just the party you take with you, it took less time to get started than Chapter 20 did.
The way everyone's set back from the big three, you'll be lucky to have anyone besides Shon, Kelik or Anakin capable of hitting these heroes.
Wow. Hit the level cap with Anakin too. This game's heavy enough on the experience that being maxed out isn't too bizarre a possibility.
So let's try out Arectaris. Like most protagonist-specific weapons, it has its own animation.
And it's...pretty much okay. There's a long-range version of the same attack, which is basically just the same sword swipe, only without the zooming in and out.
Last secret shop of the game, and it's a good one.
Every regular stat booster, minus the Body Ring, and a Barrier staff. Barrier is going to be pretty handy against Galagar.
Siege tomes are in this map, of course. This Eclipse fellow is a minor annoyance at best.
We're supposed to loot the door keys from these guys, but the AI is still stupid, so they'll just open doors for us.
We get the assassin's lockpicks at least.
Liquid's going to make good use out of the axe we got last chapter. We don't even need to crit when we're using this sucker.
This is the Shon we need, not the Shon we want.
Blasting enemies through walls is a great way to deal with them before entering a room.
The enemies in those side alcoves can't actually be killed through direct damage anyway.
These siege tomes are a bit deadlier, but there's only two of them.
: Using my abilities, I'll strike their army when they least expect it...! I'll have to rest my etherium sometimes though, and I can't use all my power...
Thank you, Tutorial Man. This is hinting at the surprise happening next turn, although you still wouldn't know how to react to it if you hadn't seen it in action yet.
While this has a low chance of actually hitting, combined with the Bolting tomes, it's a bit too risky.
Man, I was joking about it, but it looks like Tekun really IS working on maxing his resistance.
Now comes the annoying part.
From now on, Galagar will be warping to preset points on the map. He loses his turn when he first teleports, so no surprise attacks, but he does have quite a range on him, so someone like Liuke or Kevin wouldn't be able to get away in time.
So let's look back at this map here. Galagar will start at the lower right pillar, bounce to the left, up and to the right, and so on, criss-crossing all the way up the map to chase your party to the throne room.
There are two ways to make him end his rampage: either have somebody step onto that area marked in red, or have him go through his entire set, ending in that pillar just south of the throne room. There are some other considerations that make that second option impractical, so we'll be aiming for the first.
That's the Kevin level I like to see.
For the purpose of avoiding Galagar, most of the army is heading up the left side, while Shon and Emma are on a spree down this end.
Hey, it's speed. I'll take speed.
Unfortunately, Althares got hit by Bolting last turn while about to loot the middle rooms there, so I had to double back and heal him. Guess we get a taste of Galagar's power and whatsit.
But not until after we snag this sucker. Just look at that accuracy! I mean, sure, you're only going to fire once, but you're going to hit.
Meanwhile, various party members are going to be 'roiding up, thanks to me flushing my finances on stat boosters. So if you see odd discrepencies in level screens, it's because of fantasy drugs.
Cia, stop pretending that you've capped magic.
I'm amazed at how Storm has turned out.
Especially with levels like this.
Ace has similarly turned things around. He's really impressive.
Now then, Galagar. I'm skipping his boss music for the actual battle.
: Every move you make, and every ounce of fear.
Picked the wrong person to try magic against, although Emma wouldn't like to go another round.
If the AI could think beyond the current turn, it would have had Galagar cut Emma off so that she couldn't support Shon. I'm glad it can't.
Next item. I could probably be fine without it.
Luna is awesome against these sages, because most of them are being weighed down by their equipment.
And no, I know it's called Solstice. I just don't care.
It should be noted that Galagar's "teleportation" actually puts him next to the pillar, and then he quickly runs in. That's to prevent players from just placing someone on the pillar to block him from being spawned in on that location.
The general doesn't move, but the swordmaster does.
Not that Shon gives two figs at this point.
Fun fact: Liuke isn't actually available for the endgame. Figuring that, I should have probably just let Galagar hunt him down.
She's so fast and resistant right now.
Gotta be honest, Al. You're mostly here for Kelik's support bonus at this point.
Even with Anakin not being weighed down, Galagar can still double him. That's kinda scary.
Regardless, everyone else surges forward, even though Galagar's teleporting away next turn.
Liquid's capped his speed, but not his skill. Kinda surprised he missed his growth.
We'll have plenty of swords to slay going ahead.
Dang. Guess it's time for Shon and Emma's little campaign to go on hold temporarily.
Or at least it would have, if not for a bizarre discovery.
But first, we have to resolve the player phase.
Oh sure, get speed levels AFTER I feed you Speedwings.
What's wrong with Berserk?
So here's the startling discovery. You remember how I said that one way to end Galagar's gimmick is to have someone move onto the area in front of the throne room?
Well, here's the thing: it isn't faction-specific. Anybody of any faction moving into that area triggers the event to occur.
: I suppose I should go back and protect the throne now.
Using this exploit, it's possible to move to Phase Two of the level on Turn 2, before Galagar even starts his teleporting. Makes it a whole lot easier, let me tell you.
: No more holding back... Selica, give me your power!
When it comes to Galagar, you might as well empty the whole bottle.
Now that Galagar has parked himself on the throne, he summons in a whole bunch of reinforcements, but this is the only time that reinforcements arrive, and these guys don't attack until you're in range. You can really take this level at your own pace once Galagar's given up on the whole teleporting thing.
Oh yeah, and Blazer's still a dirty cheater. I can understand capping almost everything. Heck, I can even sorta wrap my head around breaking the caps. But why cap defense too? He's a mage, for crying out loud!
Gonna bling out my entire army in charms, feathers, rings, and dragon scales. Ah yeah.
Now that Galagar has been tricked into leaving early, Shon's assault can resume.
And what do you know, but Storm can get good levels too.
Here's the main problem with this map, and the reason why you have to be in a bit of a hurry.
: Wait, Father! The rebels are waging war against the Mage General, are they not? If that is so, then we must go and aid them!
: No! Do not even suggest such a thing! I just got you back, Rachel. I will not lose you again!
: But Father! This is our chance to help change Magnus! His Majesty's reign is coming to an end, but Magnus is not! These rebels will not shape our future for us! We must do that ourselves, starting here and now!
: Listen, Rachel... I know you're right. Our country has committed many, many terrible sins. But you, my daughter, are more important to me than my country. When they trapped you in that underground chamber, I... I felt like my own life had been cut down to a meaningless existence. I... cannot bear to suffer... that pain... ever again.
: Father... I... I know. I know it's hard. But I must do this. I love my people, and I love you, too. But I can't sacrifice either... I want to protect them both! Father, you're strong, and I am no weakling myself! All I ask is that we help the rebels to end this time of war. Then, once it is over, we ask them to yield Magnus to us. We'll rebuild our country into one of tolerance and compassion. Mother would like that... It's what she always wanted.
: Sigh...You... are just like your Mother, after all... I could never win an argument with her. I never did. I'm getting old, Rachel... If we're going to change this country, let us do it now.
: Then, you'll... Yes. It may be hard to face our own blood now, but all we can do is trust in ourselves and a brighter future!
Rachel and Frederick are absolutely fine. You could put them right into a Fire Emblem game and nobody would know the difference.
Also, that's some crafty thinking on Rachel's part. Help the rebels, then they'll cede Magnus to you. Siegfried would probably just stomp Magnus into the ground, but I could see Anakin agreeing to that.
Frederick is a very well-rounded general and could stand in for Kevin if we really wanted him to. It's appropriate that he step in now, when we're right at the cusp of the endgame, since he's an outstanding unit.
Which makes Rachel a little perplexing. She's a Level 7 when there's almost nothing left to kill in this game. Still, she comes in with the S rank bow, and that's a gift that Storm could take gratefully. Plus she's a good unit in her own right.
Rachel's presence does create a small complication though, since she's surrounded by some very strong foes. Shon's there to alleviate the pain somewhat.
Way to end your leveling on a high note, buddy.
We're around the bend now. The end is in sight.
Thanks to Shon's intervention, the only person who attacks Rachel is this hero.
Lovely thing about Rachel and Frederick is that they start with a B rank support, so they are pretty hard to lay a finger on when they're together.
And Frederick's fast enough that he can actually take this sniper in a single turn.
In a shocking development, Shon is actually able to contribute as more than a tool for murder in this case, since any of the three lords can recruit Frederick.
: Are you Lily's son? Siegfried's son?
: Oh... you look just like her. It's... remarkable. My condolences. I was a bit startled. I am former Senator Frederick. If I may, could I join your forces? I need to do what I can to end this distraught time in history. I assure you I am no longer pledged to Emperor Louis.
: I don't care... Do what you want. *leaves*
: ...He lost his Father... I can only imagine the pain he is going through right now...
Either that or he's taking lessons in etiquette from Kelik.
As I said, he has alternate recruitments with Anakin...
: You are one of the rebel commanders, are you not?
: Yes, I am. You do no appear to be an ordinary man... who are you?
: I am former Senator Frederick of Magnus. I come with a proposal to join arms and cleanse my country of its self. I realize that magnus is your enemy, but I mean no harm. If you refuse to accept us, however, we can work alone...
: Where you are from matters little to us. We already have many Magnians in our ranks. As long as your intentions are good, we will accept any help we can get.
: You are truly most tolerant and kind to trust me so. I will not betray that trust so long as I live.
: That's good to hear. My name's Anakin, and the black-haired swordsman is Kelik. We're in the middle of a battle here, so I hope you're ready.
: Of course. I am prepared to do whatever it takes to end this war
: ...Anything, Your Majesty...
And with Kelik too.
: You... You're Senator Frederick, are you not?
: You know of me?
: A tall, bulky man in green armor at Magnus's Palace. You fit everything I know about you.
: Hmph... Not many know anything about us Senators. I am surprised.
: I did some investigating at some point, but I won't lie. Hardly anyone knows anything of the politicians behind Magnus. Until recently, it was like you didn't even exist to us. Regardless, your tone and manner suggest you have something to say to me.
Wait, how can they be secretive shadowy types if they're freakin' politicians? I'm not even going to try to think about it, it's so dumb.
: How astute. I wish to join your ranks to help defeat the Mage General.
: Oh? What is this? Betrayal?
: The true traitors are the people who forget their own duties as nobles. I... am simply doing what my daughter and I think is best. For us, and our people.
: Hmph. Well, as long as you don't get in our way, I have no problem. Just know that I don't take well to back-stabbers. We may have Magnians in our ranks already, but I will not let my guard down for even an instant.
: I do not blame you for that... We Magnians have earned our reputation.
Looks like Siegfried passed the xenophobic baton. Couldn't have been to a nicer guy.
Continuing right along.
There's nothing really to see with Kelik's long-range crit. It's just the usual Sage runes appearing, then a regular swing.
I am so glad that the endgame has a lot of open slots. I wouldn't know who to bring otherwise.
The only one who can recruit Rachel is her own dad. That's fine, since they start right next to one another.
: We will now be following their command, my daughter.
: That's perfect. We won't fail them! Right, Father?
: Of course, Rachel.
Not sure how much help they can give. We're already there.
All of these guys have droppable items. Why wouldn't they? Blazer loves droppable stuff.
Almost as much as I love good stats.
Oh sure, like I needed ANOTHER infinite use sword that I can't throw away because the game won't let me.
We're only going to shoot once with Yue, but it's going to have a kick to it.
It cannot be emphasized how fast Rachel is. She's very hard to lay a hand on.
I don't think she'll be sticking around though.
And the enemy answers.
The Swordmaster also had a Killing Edge, but neither of them went off. Rather lucky, but I think Shon could have survived anyway.
Even if Kevin isn't quite as good as Frederick, I still plan on keeping him around. Guy's been with us from the start, so let's give him a chance at glory.
Speediest little bugger in our army right now, Storm is. That's handy when you're an archer.
I'd rather not be on the receiving end of that, thank you.
Got no choice in this case, but he missed anyway, so it's cool.
It's okay, and we have a Brave Bow. That could be handy somewhere.
Don't stop getting resistance yet, Emma. You're one away from capping it.
Nice idea in theory, but assassins just don't have the power for Runeswords.
This is going on Kevin. No contest.
Now then, it's time for the man himself.
Sweet battle theme. Almost all the battle themes from here on out are pretty good.
: I will convert into magic! And all of that magic, I will use to crush you!
Cool story, bro.
Unable to double Storm to death, Galagar switches to dealing as much damage as possible.
This gives Shon enough of a hit chance, combined with a shot of Barrier from Emma, to give it a try himself.
: Didn't you learn anything from your father, kid? Even the former champion of Valencia couldn't beat us. A weakling like you is an eyesore!
: ...My sword...
: Huh? What was that?
: I speak... with my sword!
: Is that so? Then speak, and make yourself be heard, you failure of a kid!
Did you hear that? I think it just said, "Die, pansy!"
Obviously, Anakin and Kelik can get their own cracks at Galagar too.
: Galagar! You bastard!
: Oh? This is unusual for you, Anakin. You sound flustered.
: I'm sick of your games, and I'm sick of you. Fight me, Galagar!
: You've been hanging around Kelik too much, it seems... Do you honestly think I'd lose a fight, nevermind to a pathetic magic user like you, Anakin?
: That doesn't matter... I've already motivated myself to try anyway! And you can't stop me from trying!
: I suppose I can't, but don't say I didn't warn you, fool!
It's a very bad idea to try to use Anakin against Galagar, mostly because his resistance is sky-high.
: Kelik... I don't understand. You're the same as me... why are you doing this?
: No Galagar... I'm not. I know my life was ruined by one person alone... And I will take my revenge on that one person alone. I've already heard of your story, Galagar. You've killed so many people to avenge your one sister... And in doing so, how many people have you made feel the same pain?
: No! You're wrong! My sister died because of a foreign plague! And the people responsible for that are you of foreign lands! You should take responsibility for my sister's death! For Emperor Louis' family's deaths! Everyone's deaths!
: Galagar... I may be a villain, but do you think yourself righteous? Because if you do, then with this sword, I shall slash the weight of all your sins upon you!
What does that even mean? Anyway, he also has a conversation with Howard...
: Hmph. Howard... Your sight aches me. I thought you understood us... I even looked up to you. But look how the great have fallen, Howard.
: The same words... may be spoken of you. I have nothing left to say. You are no longer... the person I once knew.
: Nor you to I, Howard.
That's some interesting implied history. Frederick too.
: Frederick, you bastard. You lost your brother to this very war, yet you side with their killers. I never did understand any of your ridiculous actions.
: You must first learn to understand yourself... The time before was a result of my own ignorance. I don't regret the changes I've gone through, Galagar.
: Do you think yourself enlightened? You're still as ignorant as ever, Frederick. But I'll teach you to regret everything you've done!
Last chest of the game. Could be better.
And now it's time for a real hero.
If you can consider an incomprehensible accent a superpower.
You died so that other people could improve. And since we killed everyone else before we killed Galagar, we get the next Secret.
I wonder if this should be considered spoilers.
And now it's time for a tome avalanche. Every single tome that Galagar was carrying now goes into our possession.
No, thank you, Blazer. I didn't need those light tomes anyway.
: With Galagar finished, Magnus should surrender.
: Not yet, Anakin. This isn't over until the people who started this... acknowledge their crimes, and atone for them. Galagar may be too wounded to fight, but...Anakin... There's something I need to tell you.
: What? Right now?
: Yeah. Galagar needs to hear this.
Are you ready for the longest and most convoluted explanation for a character's motivation ever?
: It was caused by a mineral in the ground with a deadly gas fume. That man lived all alone in the woods, and he soon became sick from the gas, which intoxicated the very ether in his body. He traveled to Magnus, hoping to find some magic that could cure him... But instead, the disease became like a virus, and started to infect Magnians. However, no one noticed, and the man ended up begging the Emperor for help... Emperor Richard the Benedict was known for his compassion, and heard his plea. ...Galagar. You know the rest better than I do. I heard this from my brother, but I want to hear it from you.
: ......Soon, the first doctor that scum had come in contact with became ill... And then, one-by-one, everyone the man came even close to fell victim to the new-found "ether intoxication". Of course, by the time people realized what had happened... It was too late. Emperor Richard fell sick.
Well, didn't this come out of left field. No hinting about toxic minerals, no characters mentioning Ether Intoxication before, nothing. But oh wait, it goes on. Boy does it ever.
: My sister was an extremely gifted mage, despite only being thirteen. Our parents were too, but they had already passed away... And so my sister traveled to this very Palace, so that she could try to cure Emperor Richard. But even she failed. After being exposed to the toxic ether, she became sick as well. More and more victims came about--Lanmark, Holton, and I were all chosen to be Imperial Generals... because like His Majesty, we lost our families to that scum! My sister was all I had left, but because Richard "the Benedict" showed that Valencian mercy, we all suffered! If you sickly, cruel-hearted Valencians ceased to exist... If all of you other countries didn't have to bring us down, my sister would--
So that's Galagar's motivation in a nutshell. A foreign guy delivered a disease that wiped out a good chunk of Magnian society, including his own sister, so now Galagar hates all foreigners.
But wait! There's even more!
: Your sister wouldn't have died. And neither would my best friend.
: W-What...? Your brother killed him! I read your mind earlier!
: ...Yeah, he did. But it was thanks to Magnus's order that he did.
: What are you talking about? We never...
: You still haven't finished telling your story, have you?
: ......Fine... I'll continue. Once it was found out that the man from Valencia had caused this, the Imperial Knights quickly took action to subdue and kill him. However, it was too late--before they could even execute him, he died. We knew... we knew that everyone else only had a few more days to live. His Majesty... Emperor Louis, hadn't been infected. The senators decided they would protect him and as many nobles as they could and that everyone else would have to die alone, or they'd infect someone else. When I heard that, I realized... I would never see my sister again. I was only seven, but I still understood everything: the Senators planned to set fire on the woods the Valencian had traveled to get to Magnus. They would blame the Emperor's death due to heart failure, and Louis, only twenty years old, would become the new Emperor. No matter what, they had to cover it up. And they did. Few knew of the transition, and even fewer knew of the real tragedy.
How does setting fire to the woods cover up anything?
: ...They did more than that. They knew that anyone who lived in those woods might be infected with the disease, and could potentially cause more deaths. Thus they sent the only person on the continent who could silence ether intoxication.
: With a sword that can dissipate ether, he could kill anyone before getting infected by the toxic ether himself. The fire wasn't enough; humans are amazing at surviving. And so Leon... and so the bastard... who shares my same blood... Set the woods--my best friend's and my home--on fire.
But you just said that the fire wasn't enough.
: We ran south as soon as we figured out it was Magnus's doing. But my brother was faster, and more prepared. He found us and caught up to us. That's when... I realized I never wanted another friend. If it meant that they... they would sacrifice themselves... I didn't want... anything... to have to do with them...
: But listen... Even though you're a Magnian... I don't hate you, and I don't hold you responsible. I'm fighting against you because there are people out there who have suffered just like you and me but don't have the power to fight.
: An etherium... That necklace of yours. It's an etherium, isn't it? That's where you get your strength from...
: Yeah, it is. My best friend is still with me, giving me the will to fight. I would have never gotten this far without him. Even when we were kids, he was always stronger than me... And he would always look after me, even if I told him not to. We were both orphans, but... he was like a real older brother.
: It's just like Selica and I... We're... so much more similar than I ever imagined, Kelik.
Where did they stab Galagar where they could have such a lengthy conversation anyway? His pinky?
: Maybe so, but you and Emperor Louis directed your anger towards hurting people, not helping them. I have no right to preach you--but we took different paths. Sometimes, we can't know if the path we choose is right or wrong... Until we finally reach its end, whatever that may be.
: Right? Or Wrong? I don't even know the difference anymore... My sister, Selica, died to a mass-murderer from Valencia. I'm not even sure if that's true anymore... Was he truly a murderer? And did his origins matter? This power of mine--is it even mine to use? When my sister died, and I visited her funeral...
: and when I woke up next, I had heterochromia iridum. This pink eye of mine...is an etherium. My sister was very gifted in magic... She should be the Mage General. Not I...
So yeah, Galagar's sister is in his eye. That's lovely.
: However, fate had other plans in store for you. You gained the power, and what you did with it was up to you. Galagar--right now, we need to find the Emperor and make him stop. Too many people have suffered as it is. This can't continue.
: Kelik... They aren't anywhere in the Palace. They must be elsewhere.
: That's the thing. I have a feeling we won't be able to find them. Galagar, I must know. Where is the Emperor? Where are the Senators? And where is Leon?
: As you said, they're not here. They've already fled... all the way to Blaine.
: To Blaine? How?! Where could they be in Blaine that they could flee to?!
And as you recall, just last chapter, we watched the Senators deliberating amongst themselves, and the chapter before that, Emperor Louis was chatting with Lanmark. Galagar must have been busy moving them.
: ...The Hall of Emperors. It's underneath the ground of Blaine. They say the Seven Heroes used it as a meeting place after the Falling. That is, when they first came to this land, a millenium ago... There's only one way to get there from here. Kelik... Anakin... You... aren't Magnians... but you're not bad people...
: Kelik... his magic power is building up again... this ether is enormous...!
: I definitely... took the wrong path... I just hope yours... Doesn't end... like mine... Kelik... If I... had just... expanded my world... I didn't think... loving my sister... could be wrong... But I forgot that... we all... have people we love... and lose...
So after that long, LONG speech about Galagar's tragic origin story, one can only imagine that Louis's one will be equally grandiose and important, right?
: This is... the last of my ether...and the last of... Selica's...
: Finish...what I started...
: I will...Galagar.
The sad thing is, the guy who sounds like he's 13 or 14 puts in a better performance than the guy who voices Kelik.
Next Time: So counting Emperor Louis, Leon, Lahar, and the four Senators, we've got seven villains and three endgame chapters to deal with them in. Can you say "Boss Rush?"
Weapon Ranks: S in lances and axes
HP: 57 (0%) Lck: 8 (200%)
Str: 26 (100%) Def: 30 (0%)
Skl: 22 (100%) Res: 20 (100%)
Spd: 20 (100%) Con: 15
Frederick's method of leveling is fairly consistent, I'd say. In the two levels he has remaining, there's a pretty good chance that he'll be able to get a point in almost every stat and hit his luck growth twice. It's this consistency of leveling and his good bases that make him a very good substitute for Kevin if you happened to kick him to the curb for some reason.
Weapon Ranks: S in bows
HP: 35 (75%) Lck: 24 (50%)
Str: 15 (50%) Def: 15 (30%)
Skl: 23 (50%) Res: 10 (35%)
Spd: 20 (50%) Con: 7
While her father could easily fill a slot in the party, Rachel doesn't have quite the same "Wow!" factor that either Frederick or Gary have. She's a bit more straightforward of a character. Good growths, mind, but if you've been building up a bow user of some sort, you may find it difficult to make a case for switching her in.