Part 39: Dueling Dates
How Rabies' wound didn't get infected in this hellhole will forever remain a mystery.
People crying, Endymion bleeding out. Sweet memories.
I guess Rabies should count his blessings that this place doesn't have a shag carpet that's absorbed the sins of the last 50 years worth of patrons.
Rabies demands to know why he is naked but still wearing shoes.
Just like your mom, huh PB?
...Eh, you're not Phidget. It just ain't the same.
He laughs it off and gives me a smile. A great example of beside manner.
Hey Konrad -- get in here! Your special friend is moving again.
PB rests his back against the wall. After a few seconds, I hear someone run up the stairs. Sure enough -- It's Konrad, panting softly as he enters.
Geez Konrad, isn't there somebody somewhere you should be off not killing?
Rabies, I can't believe it! Almost everyone said that you'd die. But I can't lose you just yet -- I can't.
He runs to the chair beside the bed and sits down.
I still need to get you to Velasquez. Your journey here is far from over. But don't move too much, you're--
I cut him off and let him know that I'm fine. My body is just a little stiff from the lack of motion.
Rabies is suddenly stricken with the urge to hop up and do jumping jacks.
I don't know why they're so paranoid. Much to their objection, I stand straight up. Konrad puts his hands out as if to brace for my fall. But I look at both of them -- telling them I'm fine.
They look at each other, confused. Did they expect my condition to be worse?
Is defying death something you do often? You got stabbed clean through, you know. There was a literal hole in your body.
There's no way in hell you should be alive. And nobody is giving me any details! Almost everyone has been silent so far.
Question: if Reiyo knows that we're supposed to be going to Velasquez, why didn't he just take Rabies there in the first place?
A weird vision due to my blood loss. I couldn't expect them to believe me. But at the same time -- I'm thankful. Reiyo really did have my safety at heart.
Well, he -is- The Savior, you know. Never short of surprises, this one.
Besides, the mystery man was right. He said Rabies would survive. I'm surprised none of you believed us!
I'm starting to think maybe Terra's probable food shortages would be solved if they devoted less furrypower to making hair dye.
Who the fuck do you think it is, Rabies? You literally mentioned a few paragraphs prior that Reiyo saved everyone.
Well, a lot of us don't remember. Plair's residence is just a big blur. After everything ended -- we woke up here.
PB had to fill us in on everything. We were brought here by a stranger. Some random man saved our lives.
he said that he tended to your wound. He told us that you'd live through this. But I was the only one who believed him.
It's nice to know that he was right. The other people were starting to get to me. Pessimism can do that -- you know how it is.
A harder feat than it even sounds, considering how most doctors on Terra believe washing your hands is 'unmanly'.
But if there's one thing I've learned? It's that nothing is impossible. You can leave Terra, after all.
Everybody says -that's- impossible. But the word doesn't mean it can't be done. It's more like -- it deters us from trying.
So I expected you to prove them wrong. It seems like you're good at that.
He smiles at me, and I start to wonder. This mystery man -- could it be...? The pieces start to fit together in my mind.
But there was no need for my mind to do any work. Before I can continue thinking -- he enters the room.
WE AIN'T OWE HIM SHIT!
Oh, I believe there's no need. We have a sort of "arrangement".
Reiyo holds his hand out towards me. It's like the other times -- but this feels different. Even after leaving The Ark, he still follows me? There'd be so many places he could go instead.
But here he was -- in the real world. No longer held back by a prison, or The Ark. He'd be free to do whatever he wanted. And that thought was both terrifying, and reassuring.
That implies that anything has even been remotely adequately explained in this goddamn game.
Might want to re-consider that hairdo if you're really set on making a public appearance.
"Perhaps we should allocate funds to purchase several tons of oats. For...oat research."
That would be the starving hordes you've been neglecting these past few centuries.
It's natural, I'm sure. This is a big day for you, Velasquez. Soon -- you will reveal everything.
I can only hope for a positive reception. Perhaps that is why I'm scared. I have no way of knowing how they'll react.
It's different from no other speech. Don't overthink it like that, my Lord. Focus on poise -- speak loud and strong.
You're in the highest position of power. You need to focus on -how- you say things. It's more important than -what- you say.
I suppose you're right. As usual -- you have a way to calm me. I'll choose to focus on my demeanor.
"And I'm a herd animal, so I know what fright is."
Your bearing transfers to your subjects. A happy King creates a happy world. That is something you must remember.
Creating a happy world...? Yes -- I'd quite like that, Dusk. Thank you again for your input.
It's an honor. Is there anything else I can do?
Does Velasquez even know what Rabies is supposed to look like?
Chapter Nine. This isn't the end of the LP, but you can see it from here.
You'd think Reiyo would be immediately suspicious on Terra on account of his blander color scheme.
I guess you could say that's still the case. I've been less than forthcoming until now. But to answer your question -- we do.
I'm sensing some kind of story here. You haven't been lying -- have you?
I shake my head -- of course I haven't been lying. I just didn't think that anybody would believe me. The story of The Ark and my destiny was quite strange.
Well go on, I'm listening. You can't just leave me hanging.
It really isn't. Reiyo here wanted to save the universe, but apparently is also sadistic as all hell and decided to hold a death contest for shits and giggles on who got to take his place. There, you're caught up.
Don't belittle me, man. Just start with the basics. I'm more capable than you think.
Reiyo lets out a huge sigh -- likely of annoyance. He probably didn't want to explain things to Konrad. Especially after he just finished doing that with me. Or did the timelines not add up that way...?
I guess he still had to train Acheron. That means more time may have passed for him. Either way, he doesn't seem interested in talking. But his disinterest didn't stop Konrad from trying.
Well -- it's a long story. But me and Velasquez work together.
Konrad, Reiyo could have broken your shins and you wouldn't have noticed he was there.
Well it's not that simple, Konrad. I'm not exactly what you'd call a Terran. I watched over this world from far away.
That's all I'm willing to say right now. I worked with Velasquez for a long time. You -could- say we ruled Terra together.
How did Caylen find out? From what I can tell, before this Reiyo could only show up when time was frozen. Does Caylen have time powers that have up until now not been explained at all?
That's not what a scapegoat is, Klace.
So, the same amount of suffering.
And what's the reason we have that anybody would have believed him the first place?
Righty mentioned that, didn't he? Said Caylen had some royal secrets. Secrets that could ruin King Velasquez.
Of course, that's far from the truth. Velasquez isn't up to anything sinister. Your friend just had an undying grudge.
I knew it -- Velasquez isn't evil! I didn't even believe what Riley said. He said that Velasquez was his employer!
It was just a trick, wasn't it? To catch Endymion off guard. That way he could make his move.
So yeah, the plot "twist" of Riley working for Velasquez has petered out in a wet fart because, surprise surprise, another character lied. This game finds new ways to disappoint me.
HOW? What fucked up line of succession would go King > Political Rival > Political Rival's Butler?
But Plair was his puppet no longer. Riley's ambitions died alongside him. That's what happens when you serve yourself.
Speaking of which -- where is Plair? I haven't seen him since the ballroom.
I gave him a good head start. He said he wanted to get away from this. Start all over again, make a new life.
It wasn't in my nature to deny him. So I guess you could say that Plair is dead. He's starting over as a new man.
And with just a few lines, Plair is completely written out of the plot!
What, were you expecting something else?
Perhaps. But that is all I'm going to tell you. Know that Velasquez's goal is honorable. And Rabies will make his vision real.
I'm sorry that you lost your friend. I'm sorry that you went through all of this. But it couldn't have happened any other way.
Whatever -- it's fine. Thanks for telling me what you did. Now I know that Velasquez is clean.
So I guess it's time to head to the ball? I heard he's going to make a big speech. It probably has to do with you, Rabies.
I mean the guy wears an ermine coat. In a world where everyone's a furry. Not hard to make the connection.
But if he opens up to everybody? Perhaps their minds will be put at ease. We're working towards a better future.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious. So we should stop wasting so much time. If we stay here -- we'll miss everything.
Words of wisdom, Konrad. We wouldn't want to be late for this thing. After all, Rabies is the guest of honor.
Alright -- let's get downstairs, then. People will want to see you, Rabies. They all thought you were dead meat.
Rabies is just about the only person in this game that hasn't lied.
Konrad smiles at me as he leaves the room. I can hear him descend the stairs with heavy steps.
It's true -- you did make friends here. Perhaps it's time to say goodbye to them. When you meet the King, this'll all be over.
He leaves the room after giving me a slight bow. I can't believe this is finally coming to a close. Everything we've worked for -- it's happening today. I guess it really is time to say goodbye.
Has anyone else noticed how in the last few chapters, Rabies has kept saying something to the effect of finally finding the answers and yet we keep coming up empty?
I don't know what you two are arguing about, but on principle Rabies violently disagrees.
Nefarious? No. Possibly extremely reckless? Most likely.
Yeah not having two people get stabbed to death probably would have been less of a bumpy journey.
Righty crosses his arms, and looks at Konrad. It's clear that Konrad was rubbing this in his face. His entire quest to expose Velasquez was falling apart.
And blame Kila.
Oh right, you guys don't know who that is. Uh, blame Klace? Since he's dead, he's probably running around on Terra somewhere.
You're right -- I'm sorry. But at least our goals are now aligned. We want to learn what Velasquez is up to.
And that won't be too hard, either. Apparently -- he's going to tell everyone. That's the point of this "royal ball".
No one will have to fill the gaps. All of these rumors will be dealt with. About time, if you ask me.
For once -- I agree with you, Konrad. Velasquez's silence hurt him in the end. Made it seem like he had something to hide.
Okay, so we're supposed to believe that Konrad had just stayed in this tavern for a week? Couldn't even be bothered to pop back to Velasquez and go "Hey, we have the Savior but he's kind of mortally wounded. Give us a week, k?"
I notice someone calling out to Righty. His attention is immediately directed to the bar.
You must excuse me, Rabies. It appears that Phidget wants to see me. I think he said something about a drawing.
Oh -- but first, I nearly forgot. Welcome back to the land of the living. It's nice to see you up, Rabies.
With a quick nod, he exits the conversation. It seems like everything is back to normal around here. Everybody is getting ready for this royal ball. A huge counterpoint to what it was like beforehand.
I'm pretty sure that's because Velasquez is going to fire you for being a week and change late.
After this is all said and done? I don't think there'll be a need for me. Assassins will become a thing of the past.
But maybe the world will be better off. Guilds can end up robbing you of friends.
He looks over at the bar in deep contemplation. I'm not sure if he means Endymion or Righty. But at this point -- I guess it doesn't matter.
I suddenly feel the need to get a drink. I'll meet up with you before we go.
If you think Konrad's incompetent now, wait 'till you see him sloshed.
It's almost as if the writer can't write emotion worth a damn.
Caylen turns to address me. This is the first time I've ever spoken with him.
Oh, sorry -- did I say something wrong? I half expected you to agree with me. Either way, at least I'm not like them.
I still see Kabu when I close my eyes. I'm not as quick to forget, it seems. I might take a step back from all of this.
But if you really do "save" us all? Perhaps there won't be a need for guilds. I'll be free to live my life my own way.
I sincerely hope one of Calyen's first independent decisions is to find some better clothes.
I wish I could've done it with Kabu. He was a helpless victim of circumstance. He didn't deserve to experience any of this.
I notice Reiyo standing not too far away. His ears perk up when he hears the name Kabu.
Dude, you held a Saw-style succession contest where one of the contestants was a war criminal. You don't get to preach about what bad thing you didn't want to happen.
It's okay, Reiyo. This isn't your fault or anything. I just wish it were me instead.
He was so bright, and full of life. But I embraced my death a long time ago. Nothing of importance would've been lost.
Trust me Caylen -- you're important. But I do feel a little responsible. Your imprisonment was indirectly my fault.
Velasquez wouldn't have done it otherwise. But both Nami and Nagi are powerful foes. He needed to keep my identity hidden.
Rabies will use his powers cosmic to make the McRib stay on the menu YEAR-ROUND!
Well -- I can't say with absolute certainty. But I experienced just a fraction of it. The power within Rabies is near infinite.
Reversing all of this may be possible. But we -need- to defeat Nami and Nagi. Otherwise, they'd just get in our way.
Would you join me for a drink Caylen? I'm parched -- but in need of company. Perhaps I can tell you a little more.
For some reason I suspect that the drinks in this tavern are so watered down that you'd be better off licking fermented pumpkins to get drunk.
What an interesting guy. But it's not like I can turn him down. He knows a lot more than he lets on.
But now -- he helps me feel at ease. It's the exact opposite of before. I thought he was evil, but now I don't.
After saying this, he follows Reiyo to the bar. It seems our experiences were both the same. Reiyo is almost a completely different man to us.
At first, I had no idea what he was up to. In fact -- Velasquez was in the same situation. His secrecy caused the people of Terra to doubt him. But he was about to open up -- just like Reiyo.
Why does Rabies even feel compelled to help these people?
I look towards the bar, and I'm surprised by what I see. Konrad and Righty are laughing -- and sharing drinks. Reiyo and Caylen are engaged in an intense conversation. Just the other day, I never would've expected this.
Things are changing -- that fact is now concrete. Right now however, only a few people are affected. But soon enough, it would be the entire world of Terra.
Reiyo might be all-powerful and all-seeing, but in the end he ain't very smart.
I wouldn't get your hopes up, Rabies. This power might not be what you expect. Only believe what Velasquez directly says.
PB approaches me from behind, and startles me. But I actually agree with him. Not even Reiyo knew what Velasquez truly wanted. I'd have to treat what he said as pure speculation.
Like -- there's just so much in the air. And I still don't really trust Reiyo. This is all too convenient for him.
He's definitely holding something back. But I have no idea what it is. Normally, I'm better at getting a read.
Yeah, you lied like every other character in this game. Nobody cares.
Who invited the stripper?
Same must've heard, and proceeds to intrude. Wow -- everybody involved was currently at the tavern. I guess I'd be getting one hell of a send-off.
Go away Sam, nobody asked you. You're not making any money off of me today. This is personal business, nothing sellable.
I'll pretend I didn't hear that, PB. Every piece of information can be sold. You just have to find the right buyer.
PB clenches his fists and fumes with anger.
Why is Sam even here? Does she have a single reason?
You're going to the royal ball, right? I managed to secure a carriage for you. Some local townspeople will take you there.
You'll be visiting the castle in style. But the Savior should settle for no less. You'll surely turn heads when you arrive.
Wait -- a carriage, and townspeople? Does he mean something like a rickshaw?
"Yeah, slavery does exist on this piece of shit planet. What of it?"
Reiyo has already pleaded with me. So you'll only have room for one more. The rest of us are going to stay behind.
We don't want to make you feel pressured. But we're expecting you back ASAP. Then you can tell us what Velasquez wants.
We'll all share drinks before this is over. But for now, just relax and enjoy the ball. With whoever you choose to take along.
That may be true, but your apparent position on pants makes Rabies wary.
The castle must be loaded with secrets. It's not every day that they open the gates. This is a huge opportunity for me, Rabies.
If I went with you, I'd blend in more. You'd take the attention away from me.
As if he was listening -- Konrad barges in.
A duty you have failed magnificently.
Rabies, I have to take you to the King. It's been that way since day one. I have to finish what we started.
This isn't what Endymion would want! I need to see our goal completed. There's so much at stake, here.
Don't be deceived by his words, Savior. He's after the money, just like I am. Velasquez promised him lots of cash.
I doubt he actually cares about you. I'm just more transparent about it. No matter what -- it's just about the money.
Konrad does need the money, though. He owes a lot to the Mafia Guild, which he's also the head of, and if he doesn't pay up he'll have to break his own knees.
Is it too much to hope that Konrad literally doesn't know what the definition of 'friend' is?
This is the part where I mention that early on in the game's development, Klace mentioned being able to go on dates with characters. And true to Klace fashion, he didn't think to put it into any part of the game until literally the last minute and scrambled together a binary choice of either a shitty assassin nobody likes or a character you interact with exactly once before in the game.
Nobody wins with either choice, but I'll leave it up to you guys.
Go with Sam, or Konrad?