Part 61: Episode XLIX: President Evil
Were chipping along well with this side quest thing. Up next is Aeterna... whose sidequest has almost nothing to actually do with her beyond the contents of it getting her most pissed.
For this quest well be heading back to the refugee camp of Tenderville. Remember, the place Lord Whatshisface was secretly spiriting away innocent people in a pact with the monster mafia to protect the Citadel. Besides his father dying, that jerk really had no comeuppance and nobody really seemed to care he was tossing refugees into a meat grinder.
Strange to see realistic political outcomes in a JRPG.
To trigger this sidequest, we must have Aeterna in the active party and barge into the house of a robed guy near the gates of the town. Originally, this guy would just tow the party line about Lord Avalo being a great guy definitely not selling out immigrants to be eaten by monsters. But now...
Music: Shrouded Fate
*nods* Yes... Why do you ask?
Perfect... I apologize for my impoliteness, but I have a favor to ask of you.
Nonono... Why are we even in this town again...?
Thats right. There is someone I want you to look for.
Sorry, no can do.
Thank you, Endir! Now lets get it together and focus, guys... Dark Sams
*shrugs* You really are impatient, arent you, Endir! We can at least hear him out, cant we?
What if hes paying well? You didnt even ask.
*rubs chin* Hmm... You make a strong argument that speaks to my relevant interests.
Uggggggghhhh... *briefly blips in and out of existence*
So you will listen to my request. Thank you... As you can see, I am in charge of managing this village... Thus, I cannot simply leave when it pleases me.
You all arent still secretly sending people here to sacrifice to monsters... right?
Oh no no. That... unfortunate policy... has been abandoned.
Even if youre lying, I killed the guy you all had a deal with last week... So maybe rethink that.
I... see... Nothing like that.
Which brings me to the favor I wish to ask of you. There is a person I want you to find... The president of the Magic Consortium.
! What!? The president of the Magic Consortium!?
*nods* He and I are old friends, you see... but I lost contact with him a long time ago. Recently, however, I learned of his whereabouts.
So where is this president, then?
In the Nameless Village.
? The Nameless Village?
I hear it is a village inhabited by only the most lawless of outlaws and thugs...
Its got that kinda reputation and no name?
No, you misunderstand me... Its name actually IS Nameless Village. They thought it sounded tough, I suppose...? Like I said, nothing but crass ruffians.
It sounds like a hazardous place indeed...
A true hive of scum and villainy.
Surprisingly enough, they actually have one of the lowest crime rates in all of the Land of Snow.
Oh... Hmm. Still, a rough place to be sure.
Indeed it is... Thats why I havent been able to ask this of anyone else... I can tell just by looking at you, however, that you are very strong.
*satisfied nod of approval*
Wow, the president of the Magic Consortium, eh... I wonder what hes like...
*holds out arms* If you are able to bring him here, you shall be duly rewarded. In fact, no... it shall suffice if you simply ascertain that he is indeed in the village.
...Now youre speaking my language.
As a reward, I shall give to you my family heirloom, this spritnite stone.
And now this guy is doing the stone thing...? Was there some grammatical edict passed before the land I didnt hear about...? Whatever. At least its a guaranteed payday...
Well do it.
Hold on, Endir... Are you sure youve thought this through?
Textbook securing a VIP. We dont even need to escort him? Just confirm his status? Thats like free money in the bank... after we pawn this spritnite stone. Im in.
I dunno... I kinda wanna see the president now!
*nods* Yeah, Im a lil intrigued, too...
Ah, I am so glad you came! I dont know what I would have done otherwise. If you can just have a look for the president when you stop by the Nameless Village...
Alright then. Our goal is clear. Time to set sail clear to the western edge of the map to the Isle of Misfits we briefly stopped by during the first trip world tour on the airship.
Music: Thug Life
The only person of any use in town is that grumpy village chief that told us to get lost the first trip here. Now hes sub-plot relevant!
Although, it does not appear you are just any old travelers... So, what brings you here?
Were looking for someone.
Oh, is that so? This is a lawless place... No resistance or knighthood here... Who might you be looking for in a village of criminals such as this, I wonder?
Hes not a criminal. Were looking for the president of the Magic Consortium.
She has a lot more faith in politicians than most...
The president, eh... He was indeed here in the village.
Hand him over!
Do not be preposterous... I am not his keeper!
...Is it you? Are you the president?
What? No! Heavens no... Absolutely not... No... But, as I was saying...
Im sorry... The thing is, theres someone who really wants to know where the president is. He asked us to bring him back with us, if possible.
Youre the first travelers who have passed through here in a long, long time...
Its been weeks since we saw the last ones...
Pretty sure that was also us...
Well, there you go!
I really would like to help you... but Im afraid that will not be possible.
The president was indeed here... He was carrying out research into a type of spritnite, I believe... But he is no longer.
*sigh* Just give us the location so we can get this over with... We do have MUCH BETTER things to do. *judgmental glance at companions*
To put it frankly, there is no use searching for him now... he is no longer in this world.
So hes dead, ymean?
A little while ago, this place was attacked by a huge monster. He lost his life trying to protect the village. A heroic death indeed... No body remained, so there is no grave...
What did he like get vaporized?
Devoured. Whole. One bite. Very messy. No body.
If he is now deceased, then our search is truly futile...
Indeed it is... I am sorry that you have wasted your time, but I would advise that you simply be on your way.
Welp. Jobs done. Lets bounce...
Everyone shuffles back outside.
Well, we aint got no way of knowin that, do we...
He said there was no grave, too... *sigh* ... I was looking forward to seeing what he was like...
Yeah, well. Thats life. Weve filled the parameters for the job. Lets go get paid...
...What was that? It sounded like a monsters howl...
Lets go check the watchtower!
Wait... no. The job is done... We dont need to get involved. Again... The pay is just waiting for us. Aeterna, what happened to you being all oh guys lets get back on track?
Would our next destination be the Frozen Lands to finish things responsibly...?
Alright, fine... Lets go up to the watchtower. Where we find...
I think you took a wrong turn, guy. Theyre filming Catherine on the next island over. Look for a bunch of sliding blocks. Cant miss it.
Its HUGE! Ive never seen anything like it before...
Tch. We fought that exact same thing a month or so ago. It just had white fur then.
I dont recall such a creature.
It was when you were having your episode... It attacked your town. It was no big deal.
...The monsters assaulted Royburg?!
Oh, yeah... Guess we forgot to mention that, huh? Oh well. Ancient history.
Perhaps this is the monster that slayed the president...
! Hold on a minute! Is that...
? Whats the matter, Aeterna?
So you have realized, too, Aeterna...
Whoa. He talked again.
Yes... I didnt think it could be... but...
What the hell are you two talkin about?
First of all, we need to make certain...
Eh? Make certain of what?
That is my conclusion also...
Come on, you two! Stop leaving us hanging and tell us whats going on!
Yeah no magic fake people alliances here. Whats the deal?
*shrugs* Weve found the president of the Magic Consortium...
! Really? Where is he, then?
Hes right in front of us... or whats left of him, at least.
What? You dont mean...
Thats right, Setsuna...
That monster is the president.
Wh-what!? How the hell do you now that!?
At the center of that monster, I can sense a human consciousness. Even though the consciousness of any regular human would have long disappeared...
Wait... since when can you do that?
I could always do it. It just... never came up. Its a very limited use case power.
Well... I guess...
So you mean the president is alive inside that thing?
Like in its stomach...? I dont like where any of this is going...
*shakes head* Dingus and I... What we sensed was a tiny fragment of human consciousness... I wouldnt say hes alive ...but something of his consciousness does still remain. The president didnt fight that monster, or get eaten by him... That monster IS the president...
...I thought I already stated as much?
Yes, I know you did. But your credibility is still lacking after... you know... everything you did earlier in the journey.
Whaddya mean... Is that even possible?
*ponders* I dont know how it happened... If were going to find out, we need to find someone who does know.
Ask that old man.
You seem committed to pulling off the mask of whoever is behind this caper. So fine... Its always the old shady guy you first meet when entering a new town. Always.
*nods* Yes, good idea. He seems the most likely to know something.
All right, lets start with that smug old man... Ill make him talk, just you watch...
Nidr! You mustnt do anything rough! Youll only make matters worse!
*sweat drop* Yeah, yeah... all right...
Im gonna kick that geezer in the dick.
Endir! I just said...
*already walking off* Not listening!
Back to the old man we go...
Music: Feeling of Unease
I hoped that you would have left before the monster came...
Come on, tell us what you know. Everything.
Talk or die!
What fearsome eyes... Are you really human behind that mask, I wonder?
I am human when Im paid to be. Right now I aint...
That monster is the president. We know that.
Well, well... So you have realized. I see... Now I understand... You are a clone of Eutess...
Uhh...? And you know that how...?
Then it is no wonder that you realized the truth... Very well. I shall tell you everything. This is all because of the research the president was pursuing...
The president spoke of it constantly. He wanted to return a certain being to its original self... a being that had changed beyond all recognition... He wanted to rectify the consortiums past mistakes.
He poured over countless volumes of combat data obtained back during the Magic Consortiums early days as a pharmaceutical corporation, trying to find an answer while locked deep in his basement laboratory.
And so, he began research into creating spritnite powerful enough to overcome that being. But he failed, and he himself was absorbed by the beings power.
So thats how he ended up turnin into a monster... Pretty sad, even if he did have it comin to him...
*shakes head and yells* How many times must the Magic Consortium make the same mistakes before they realize? There are some things in this world that humans need to just leave well alone. Spritnite contains the power of the laws that govern all creation. No one even knows what ancient civilization created it... Trying to create something like that yourself is beyond arrogant...
I am not asking you to agree with what he did. But all researchers believe that the road to truth can only be found by breaking boundaries...
For every failed mutated affront to the gods breaking out and rampaging across the countryside, there is always a cure to disease or a profitable biological weapon just within grasp...
Well, the result of foolish research like that is on the verge of destroying the world!
And Im stuck with a bunch of irresponsible fools who keep getting sidetracked instead of stopping it...
Huh... Is she talking about us?
ARGH! And now IM guilty of doing the same thing because Im pissed!
I am fully aware that you have no duty to do so... but will you save the president?
And by that, you mean for us to slay that monster?
Its more politically palpable to say something like liberate from suffering.
The president still remains inside it, even if only faintly... Thats why it wont enter the village. But the last of his senses shall soon disappear, and then the monster will indeed attack this village. Can you destroy it before that happens?
Weve got absolutely no reason to help fulfill a selfish request like that.
But if we dont do something about it, wont the monster attack other towns and village, too?
Were on some crappy island off the uninhabited half of the continent. I think itll be fine, this dump of a town excluded.
I understand youre reluctant, Endir, but weve got to do something...
No we absolutely do not! Stop saying that! Just because you put on an aww shucks tone doesnt make it true! Damn, lady!
I agree with Setsuna.
Oh do you, DAD?
I understand why youre irritated, Endir... Id like to just let em rot in their mess, too. But if we dont do somethin about that monster, and people get hurt as a result... Im pretty damn sure well live to regret it.
You people really dont know me. I once helped burn down a village to the ground because a client threw in a voucher on free pies for life at this restaurant chain down south.
What? I really like pie... Whatever. Aeterna seems the most ticked off. Its up to her...
Aeterna... Now is the time to cast aside our own feelings, and to do what is just.
All right, fine... Lets go and take care of the president... or monster, rather.
Music: Thug Life
Alright, then. Time to take on President Black Sheep. To initiate the battle, we need to mosey outside of the town gates where...
Imagine the look on his face if we brought this thing back with us!
Does it count as cannibalism if we have Kir roast this thing and put on a big barbeque?
Consuming monster blood is still poisonous, remember?
I would not recommend such a course of action.
Tch... Fiiiiiine. Were taking the Trebuchet to a rib shack after this, though...
...I can get behind that.
Nidr draws his log and Julienne her sheep horn on a stick.
Let us dispose of the creature with our own hands.
*draws sword* Tch. At least Ill be able to pad out my résumé with another high profile corporate executive assassination.
Endir, youve really got to stop sharing about your past...
Tune in next time when the gang slays President Lamb Chop and gets to the bottom of the Magic Consortiums shady dealings that the plot proper never committed to making a real thing until now.
Part 7 - Chapter 3-2 (Castle Sewers to Garden Maze)
Part 8 - Chapter 3-3 (Garrador Cage Match to Luis Death)
Part 9 - Chapter 3-4 (Ashley's Playable Adventure)