Part 27: Episode XXII: Secret Pharmaceuticals
Well that was an odd encounter. We should still probably get a guide and skip town before Julienne busts out again to tear Kirs head off and punt it into the ocean. Shes incredibly racist against not-elves, you see.
We could wander around town consulting all the unnamed NPCs, whose dialog has all changed to variants off Gee willikers, Knight Commander/Princess Julienne sure is acting weird! We could do that... Or... We could just talk to the only other named character in this town that hasnt had much of a role. You remember, the one that got backhanded so hard he flew 5 meters back? Hes still hanging out exactly where he got the ability to ever taste again slapped out of his mouth.
Take us across the ice.
Gonna take a wild guess and assume you know how to do it and not Red Sweatered Man or Unfortunate Bowl Haircut Child. Though the way youre going, Im surprised your title isnt Guy Who Was Owned yet.
Youre that guy Julienne knocked out cold, aint ya...
*nods* Yes... thats me.
Its Lilus, by the way. Not Guy Who Was Owned.
Course not. Thats the lil guy in orange.
Umm... Would you please tell us a little about Julienne? I get the feeling she isnt her normal self right now...
*shakes head* So you can tell...
People dont usually glow purple and go into a blood rage. Usually.
Mm... Where should I begin...
When we first got here, you were arguing with Julienne, right? What was that about?
Whats your relationship with her?
You two arent like... ya know... Doing the na
To her, I am nothing more than that.
Thats not a real thing, Endir.
*shrugging gesture towards Lilus* With this guy though...?
...Okay. Maybe theres exceptions.
*frown* I-Im standing right here.
Youve noticed that Julienne has changed, though? You said that shed changed since that day, didnt you?
What is it that happened to Julienne?
Julienne was out slaying monsters, and ended up stranded.
Word reached the village that she and her companions had been caught up in an avalanche.
You know Im shocked we havent gotten in one of those yet.
Ugh... Dont jinx it.
Julienne should have been all right...
Shes a main character. Avalanches, dropping off cliffs, shipwrecks... those are all just minor inconveniences.
But she went back for a lone knight who failed to get away in time. There was a fierce blizzard, and eventually we gave up all hope that she could have survived... But then one day, a month or so later, Julienne returned to the village, alone.
I bet she ate that other guy to survive. Right, Guy Who Was Owned?
I am *not* a cannibal! Or that stupid name!
Can I finish?
Most people rejoiced and called it a miracle, but some were puzzled. Thinking about it logically, survival should have been impossible...
*shakes head* All I know is that ever since that day, Julienne has changed. Sometimes she is so cruel and ruthless that I cannot even believe it is her... But everything she does, she does for the sake of the people... At least... that is what I thought...
So what did you mean about Julienne asking you for help?
Julienne came to me with a request. She said that if she were to ever turn her blade against an innocent person... If that ever happened... Then she wanted me to lock her away, somewhere far away from anyone...
Lock her away...? Thats a pretty odd thing to ask someone to do, aint it?
Dont kink shame.
I was worried, so I talked it over with the man from the Magic Consortium here in our village. He said it may be possible to return her to her old self... but to do so, I need a certain medicine...
So buy it for her...
He will not sell it to me... He says he would only give it to me in exchange for a spritnite stone carried by a certain monster.
Defeat the monster, then.
*sweats* I am not strong like you!
Arent you supposed to be some kind of knight?
*rubs neck* Yeah... Well... Look, Julienne is the only one who is actually a real knight. The rest of us are mostly just in it for the tax breaks and free meals...
Please! Help Julienne, I beg of you!
Wed love to help ya, kid... but, well, yknow...
*nods* All right. Well do it.
*sweats* What? Cmon...
But we too have a condition.
*nods* If we get the medicine in exchange for the spritnite, youll help us get across the Floeberg Waters. How about that?
! Huh!? Really? All I need to do is help you across?
He doesnt look very reliable.
We should really just gank this fool so he doesnt talk and shove the body in the well. The locals will probably take until morning to notice and we can secure another guide in the meantime.
Yeah... Sorry. Dunno what I was thinking. I forgot we should probably just storm the knights barracks and grease the lot of em while Julienne is down. Five of us against... what? Six or seven of them with shaky morale? No problem. We did more than that with three of us back in Frankburg Citadel or wherever the hell. We can probably pin it on the princess going berserk and still get a guide. Its a solid strat.
Were not doing any of that Endir. Whats gotten into you?
Please dont do any of that!
Please, dont be fooled by my appearance. When it comes to crossing ice, I am your man!
Well weve established you aint keeping anyone warm in bed.
If necessary, we can all hold hands and skate across together...
*sweat drop* No, if we can just cross normally, thatll be fine...
Thank you! Thank you!
Alright. Now we need to go track down the Magic Consortium stalker. Hes the only of the usual merchants weve yet to see.
Hes been in town the whole time since we rescued those three villagers from Beetle Boys cave and the remaining 20 townsfolk phased into existence soon afterwards. Hes camped out across a bridge to a small sauna shack to the south of town. Really. Its a sauna in there. This entire next conversation transpires while a bunch of out of shape men in towels work up a good sweat scant feet away...
Music: Feeling of Unease
*turns to Lilus and shakes head** ...Oh its you again. You want to save her, right? Its like I told you last time, pal. You need to bring me the spritnite. So? Are you up to it or not?
Dont worry about that.
Oh? Hired some help, have you? I hope YOU wont let me down, then...
Guy, were 99% of your business. I think we got this.
Very well. If you pull it off, Ill mix some medicine up specially. Theres just one condition... Ill only do it in exchange for a Madara Spritnite.
...So if we pull off getting this Madara Spritnite youll give us the medicine. But only if we get the Madara Spritnite.
Okay... Yes, I worded that poorly. But the goal is clear.
A Madara Spritnite?
They can only be obtained from the body of a certain monster...
You want us to defeat the monster and bring back the spritnite stone, right?
I see. Nice n simple.
Yet you all keep rephrasing the request in the form of a question. Knock it off.
What illness does she have?
I was leaning less towards like... the flu and more towards a ghost possession or mind control device. I dunno... Not something you can work off with a swig of cough syrup and plenty of bedrest.
Her magical energy isnt like that of a normal person.
What do you mean?
Magical energy flows through all living things in this world. Some much more than others, of course... And magical energy has one fixed rule, too.
What rules that?
*sigh* I really shouldnt be explaining this to you people, since youre all lousy with magical energy and wearing several pounds of Spritnite around your necks. But fine...
One person can only possess one type of magical energy. Just like blood types... Everyone only has one, right?
Im not a positive.
Dont be negative.
*nods* Right, yeah... You can use spritnite to temporarily change magical energy, though...
Anyway, for some reason, I can definitely sense two types of energy from her.
Is that possible?
*shakes head* No, not normally. But something strange is happening inside her... I cant even imagine what could have caused it, though. Ive been watching her, and shes getting worse by the day. I think she might have even lost control of her own will by now...
Youve been watching her? Is that how you get your kicks?
Well, Im running a business here. Doing people favors wont help put dinner on the table, right? Anyway! We need to hurry, dont we!?
Way to deflect.
Thats a pretty weak answer.
Dont kink shame.
Once we do, youll be our guide.
Of course! I shall give it my absolute utmost!
If this doesnt work and she keels over or turns into a giant teethed vagina we have to put down or something, youre still on the hook for guide duty! Got it?!
Y-Yes. Ive got it. Let us... hope it doesnt come to that...
Dont worry, you can count on us.
Thank you... Thank you...
So all we need to do is go back to the Floeberg Waters and defeat this monster, right?
*nods* You need to defeat a monster called a Scarly.
...Really? Thats its name.
Hey, I dont name these things. I just profit off their remains.
Do you help name the materials?
Yeah really, cuz man... Some of these names are some DUMB nonsense.
Dont look at me. I am entirely just a middle-man here.
How long it takes you to find the spritnite will depend on your luck. Well... dont give up!
Music: March to Rebirth
Alright, we have our new objective of... backtracking to a previous area again. Terrific. Oh well. We can at least dump all our material stockpile here while were in the neighborhood and stock up on some new Spritnite for the party.
To be honest, I did Spritnite bartering earlier on and more now and its a bit of a mess to sort out all the new bits and bobbles weve obtained. Doubly since... we just have to go waste this solitary enemy back in the previous area and thats the final battle for this chapter. Ill post a video showing off all the new Techs and Double/Triple Techs weve acquired in the game thus far at the end of the chapter just to catch us up on everything weve gotten so far.
What I wont gloss over right now, since weve acquired a rather tidy war chest, is upgrading everyones weapons before we head out into the field. Sure, Setsuna only got to use her recent upgrade in a solitary battle and now theres a new one. But Id like to keep everyone current.
Endir acquires some cyberpunk ass looking saber used for slaying demons in ancient times. Im pretty sure some interchangeable cyborg mook in Metal Gear Rising had one of these equipped before being sliced into fifty pieces.
Setsuna now has some sort of ancient relic that phases her into a higher dimension or some shit. She is no longer shackled to the laws of causality and does 12 greater Magical Attack points of damage.
Aeterna of course upgrades to a ritual dagger used in a many a blood sacrifice. Tempered in the blood of countless maidens hearts, shes now got slightly higher MP as a result. So clearly human sacrifice is entirely worth the effort.
Lastly, Nidr has gotten some sort of cross between a monster mantis arm and a malformed wood saw. I cannot imagine the balance on that being anything other than a nightmare. But hey, I guess it causes Nidr to tumble out of the way of attack easier.
Kir only just joined the party officially a couple chapters ago and is exempt from getting any new weapon upgrades unfortunately. Hell just have to make do with that mace wand for a spell.
Now that all that business is out of the way, its back to the Floeberg Waters to see about slaying the fearsome... Scarly.
Music: Flowing On
So this monster called a Scarly has this spritnite, right?
He said it would be down to luck... Which means they wont necessarily have one.
Lets do our best. Liliuss counting on us, too...
If wed gone with my earlier plan we would probably be coming here to cross the ice right about now.
Were not going to discuss that plan again, Endir.
The Scarly isnt particularly hard to locate. We just have to essentially take the party back to the northeastern exit of the area and well find they have spawned back there in a previously empty plot of land. Turns out the Scarly is... a retextured Pengy variant. Really, game? Going to have a forced grind and not even make it a new enemy type? Why did you squander those snake guys on a nothing filler fight back in the cave? Hell the name Scarly even fits better for them.
Oh well. It is what it is. Scarly penguins are much hardier than even the angry eyebrow variants of their species. They only pack 295 HP but theyve got high enough defense that it takes a good three plus Cyclones for Endir to take em out. For comparisons sake, Endir could ice every other enemy we encounter in this area in a single Cyclone. Before he upgraded to the new HF Blade.
Scarly critters have all their species cousins previous attacks. But they can also coordinate their attacks to have all units do a presumably fart gas powered Rocket Rush, hitting a single party member for 30-50 HP x as many Scarly are on the field.
While the Scarly are rather strong against physical attacks... they do burn real good, as it turns out. And slaying the lot of em will result in obtaining the Madara Spritnite. All that talk about it being a potential randomized drop was false. The Madara Spritnite is their only drop, regardless of kill method. Or rather, Im fairly certain at some point it WAS going to be the case it was RNG dependent and testers complained cuz as it turns out, locking story progress behind grinding a single enemy encounter kinda would be shitty!
Anyway, jobs done! Lets head back into town for our fourth and final visit to Royburg.
Daylight has returned to the town and the town square bonfire has been extinguished and dismantled. The village of knights is very efficient about returning the status quo to order.
Here you go, guy. Take your shady Spritnite we carved out of the nether regions of a tan furred penguin.
Music: Feeling of Unease
You found one! Thank you!
Now we shall be able to save Julienne!
*turns around away from everyone* Wow... Ohhh... Ahhh...
*sweats* Umm... Will you give us the medicine for Julienne, please?
You can rub one off with that thing or whatever youre doing *after* we leave...
! Oh! Yes, right!
*turns back* Sorry, sorry... I got a bit carried away there. Here it is, as promised.
This entire exchange seems entirely on the level. Just your basic exchange of goods and services on a secluded island outside a sauna.
Come on, quickly! We need to go and give Julienne the medicine!
*nods and runs off*
Gonna be really mad if she does transform into a teethed vagina blob and weve gotta grease the entire knighthood anyway.
Now its just a matter of heading due north to the knights clubhouse and seeing if this Secret Medicine works worth a damn.
! Ah, travelers, it is you... What is the matter?
We brought some bottle of medicine to fix her knight highness here so Squire Friendzone will give us guide across the ice drifts.
Oh... Where did you acquire such a remedy?
A umm... reputable vendor. Anyway, just umm... pour this down her throat or... shove it up her bum or slather it all over her. It didnt come with instructions... Just give her this so shell stop being evil. Thatd be great.
*ponders* So if she takes this medicine, there is a chance that she shall recover...?
Yes! Come, Cornelius! We have no time to waste!
You cant pretend not to notice.
Cmon guy. Shes clearly got a mad case of the Caims with all the random bloodlust and whatnot.
*shakes had* I cannot deny it... You are exactly right. Too long have we buried our heads in the sand, saying it is for the sake of our kingdoms restoration... The blame for Her Highnesss condition lies with us also...
Very well... Will you give me the medicine?
Go for it, guy. No guarantees side-effects wont include massive weight gain, muscle growth, and shoulder eyeball.
Im no black market chemist, but I think Id give my mysterious remedy a more marketable title than Secret Medicine in quotation marks on the bottle.
Cornelius grabs the bottle of
New Music: Last of the Blood
Julienne sits up in bed...
I... Where am I...? No... I know you... I have seen all of you before...
Do you remember what you did to me?
*shakes head* ...I am sorry, I do not. What is it that I did?
*sweats* You, uh... You stroked my head. Yeah. Gave it a nice little stroke...
*rubs eyes* The hair on your cranium head, correct...
Yea... What else could you me
Some time later...
Oh, dont worry about us... You get good and rested up, then show everyone youre back to your old self.
I am grateful for your kindness.
You should probably start by apologizin to the two guys you were fixin to execute last night.
Yes... That would be a prudent start...
*nods* Julienne... Please take care of yourself. Youre irreplaceable to all the people here... Youre like a beacon of hope to them.
Thank you... I shall engrave your words upon my heart.
Dont have anything to add, Endir?
Yo Childhood Friend Who Got Owned, time to cross the ice. Get your ass in gear.
Of course! I owe Juliennes life to you... I shall do everything in my power to assist you.
I am sorry that I do not recall this, after everything you have done for me... But tell me, to where do you next intend to travel?
*sweat* Uh, well...
We umm... just want to do some...
Y-Yeah! Ice fishing.
Is it not the Last Lands, perchance?
Huh!? How did you know!?
*nods* I see. I thought you no ordinary travelers. For you to be journeying with such capable companions. Your destination could only be the Last Lands.
At any rate, I shall take responsibility for seeing them across safely. You rest, Julienne. Come, I shall be your guide.
Finally, time to get goin...
Please take care, Julienne.
Alrighty then. The stirring Royburg arc seems to finally be at its end. Lets just roll on out and...
Julienne rushes onto the scene...
No, I am fine. I...
Julienne rises to her feet...
You only just recovered, didnt ya? You sure youre up to it?
If I should become a hindrance to you, you are free to cast me off at any time. I wish to go to the Last Lands and see the truth with my own eyes.
See the truth...?
To see the kingdom, you mean?
You know its just gonna be a monster filled bummer ruins, right?
It is certain beyond all doubt that the kingdom has long perished. Perhaps no traces of the old capital even still remain. It is said that ordinary people cannot even reach the Last Lands, so I must go there for myself.
Well... you do have a character portrait. So youve already got that going for you...
The only thing that I do already know for certain is that a great power dwells there... The royal blood that flows through my veins tells me that it is so. Although it shames me to say it... I do not know if the source of that power is indeed what brought about my kingdoms ruin. I cannot send my men into mortal battle without being absolutely certain of this fact. The lives of my fellow countrymen hang in the balance.
So, to summarize... your goals different, but your destinations the same, and you wanna come with us.
Well, why not? It wont make any difference to our journey whether she comes along or not, right?
*turns to Endir* What do you think, Endir?
Youll have to earn your keep.
Kill monsters, beat bosses, try not to get kidnapped. Only own Kir if its funny.
Hey, lay off already.
Yeah... Thats unfair. I mean itll never not be funny.
I owe my life to you. Thus, I shall readily risk it for you in combat.
*shakes head* No, Julienne. Theres no need for you alone to risk your life.
We all look out for each other, and we all protect each other... Thats the sort of journey I want this to be.
*nods* Very well. Your word is my command.
Talk about formal... Its important to be able to take it easy sometimes, too, yknow?
Youre a fine one to talk, old man...
Lilus... I apologize for having caused you concern. As you have heard, I am to accompany them on their journey. I shall return with the truth... That is a promise. Then, together, we shall all strive towards the true restoration of our kingdom!
Very well... These people are worthy of your trust... You must place it in them.
*nods* Thank you... You are truly a good friend.
*sweat drop* Ha ha... ha... Friend, eh... Yes, right... I suppose that is enough for me...
*nods* Please look after Julienne. With her as your guide, I know I need not worry for your safety.
And so Julienne joins our party. Boy... I thought they would have dragged her being evilish out a bit longer. But nope. Heres some meds in exchange for murdering some penguins. All better. Welcome to the team! I'm sure it'll be fine... Oh well, that concludes Chapter 7: United By Fate. Or... more like happenstance and convenience. But thats not as catchy a chapter title...
Party Promotional Art Weve finally gotten the full party, so heres the one piece of very pretty art of all of em together.