Part 41: Slavic Shuffle
You know Velasquez, maybe inviting everyone on the planet wasn't such a good idea.
Notice how these two guards are pretty much the first sign we've had at all that Terra has any kind of law enforcement.
Why? Is he an assassin that, god forbid, has actually murdered someone?
It seems that Konrad is genuinely excited to meet him. In fact, I don't think I've seen him like this before. He must be a fan -- or something of the sort. I ask him for some more information to pass the time.
He has this way of reading you. He can predict your future, or something. I've heard that he's scarily accurate.
I just never expected to see him here. Hey, Rabies -- get out some money! I'd love to have him read our futures.
What money would I pay him with exactly? I don't even know what the currency is on Terra.
Considering how long it took you to finally lug Rabies to the castle, Konrad, I wouldn't be surprised if Velasquez pays you with sofa lint.
I like how the gates to the castle are supposed to be open, even though the background clearly shows them being closed.
And here you thought we'd exhausted our supply of sparkledogs.
That sounds pretty awesome, Laito. I'm Konrad -- and this is Rabies. You might have heard about my friend.
Yes, Velasquez told me about him personally. No specifics -- just that he's important. But that doesn't place you above the rest.
I'm here to do my readings of the future. Everyone needs to know what awaits them. Velasquez has promised a brand new start.
So today -- the readings are on him. Everyone is sharing their stories inside. We're looking towards a brighter future.
Has anyone else noticed how fucked-up looking Laito's hands are? They look like the Grinch's fingers.
That is so cool, I can't wait to hear. I've always wanted to get a reading done. I'm really glad that we don't have to pay.
It seems like today -- everything is free. Velasquez will no longer hold anything back. So who'll get their reading done first?
Also, if Velasquez did in fact invite everyone on the planet, and this magician asshole is doing readings for each and every person before they can go into the castle, wouldn't the line be like a mile long?
I'm glad to see somebody so eager. A few people have been very rude so far. But either way -- let's not wait any longer.
Laito grips his hand and holds it tightly. Then, he closes his eyes and remains silent. I guess his reading required the utmost focus.
I sense that you're lost, Konrad. Perhaps things have changed for you. You're scared of what you might become.
Konrad has a very bright future as a wandering belt salesfurry!
You're going to do lots of traveling. You'll make so many notable discoveries. These discoveries will benefit the world.
And you won't be doing it alone. So there's no chance of losing your path. The way you feel now is only temporary.
I can tell you've lost a loved one. But they are not truly gone, it seems. They'll find new life within you.
You might become more like them. Or perhaps -- you've already started to. This person helped make you who you are.
Let's all appreciate Laito repeating himself here.
"I demand a refund! Yes I know it was free!"
I'm not entirely sure what he meant. But it seems like my future is awesome. I have no objections to anything I heard.
I wonder what yours will be like, Rabies! Maybe our futures will cross paths. I'm pumped just thinking about it.
Wow -- he's more eager than I thought. But I did forget to let you know. Velasquez requests an audience, Rabies.
He turns to me and gives me a wide smile.
How does Laito have Earth playing cards when apparently every person that comes to Terra does so with no memories of their past life? Did Terra just independently invent the exact same deck of cards?
I offer him my hand, just like Konrad did earlier. He grips it tightly and closes his eyes.
He squeezes it a little tighter, like it's not working. In fact this seems more intense than Konrad's reading. He shifts in place a little bit, almost uncomfortably.
Some magician you are. I bet you can't even pull Phidget out of your hat! <>
I look at Konrad and we exchange awkward glances. But before I can speak up -- Laito pulls back.
Well then -- that was something else. Thanks for letting me read you, Rabies.
Wait -- what? I ask him what he saw.
Velasquez can wait, like he's been doing for the whole game.
Guards pushing people inside a big castle and locking the doors behind them. I feel as if this is somehow ominous.
Eclair got your tongue, Laito?
Yeah Laito, it doesn't take a wizard to figure out Rabies is walking disaster area.
First thing's first. Direct your attention to the center of the background image. See those flags? Do they look familiar? That's because they're the flag of Serbia.
I know this because I have a Serbian friend who pointed out to me that the background image used here is from Serbia's old national bank.
Konrad, you're not more worried that the guards locked the doors behind us?
I have to admit, there was something off about Laito. If he didn't like what he saw, that was an ill omen. Especially given my role as the "Savior" of Terra.
But I shrug it off, I don't believe in that anyway. Whatever happened next -- Laito could never predict. Especially if Reiyo was right about my true potential.
Looks just like it did when I left it. I sure wish Endymion was here right now. Our mission -- we've finally succeeded.
He smiles as he examines the royal halls. It must feel good for him to get back. This was what he's been trying to do all along.
I like how this implies Velasquez is so neglectful that most of the castle is in ruins.
He points to where a crowd of people are walking. I guess that's where the real party would be happening.
Oh -- but I guess you have other plans. You have a meeting with the King, right? I guess we can't waste time like they can.
That's a shame though, it's amazing. And it'll be so full of people. If only we could put the world on pause.
I wonder if my meeting with Velasquez could wait. Konrad is definitely making the party sound amazing. Should I see the King now -- or ask Konrad to the ball?
Rabies is presented with a choice: go see the super-failure king, or go faff about in a ballroom that's probably well over max occupancy.
Screw it, let's see how deep the PBhole goes.
What -- really? You want to go with me? Sorry, that caught me off guard.
Well, we -are- in the castle, after all. I suppose we can go a little bit off track. Especially if its to show you around.
But let's not tell Velasquez, alright? I wouldn't want to appear irresponsible. I might even have a drink or two.
We've had bad experiences with ballroms. But I'd love to spend more time with you. Let's hope things go a little better, now.
Presumably to ask him if the capital of this planet is named Belgrade for some reason.
I'm guessing they're grateful the stone walls are protecting them from the roaming bandit gangs that haunt Terra.
Well then -- this is it. It looks different when it's packed. I used to come here to get alone time.
He explains the room to me in vivid detail. He points to different areas as he talks about them.
You can grab some food over there. I guess drinks are on the house, today. The live orchestra is still preparing.
So for now -- the dance floor is empty. That's why everyone is off to the sides. I guess that's all there is to it.
Konrad's kind of telling the truth here, since this more looks like a place in the castle where all the gunpowder is stored.
I suppose we should just talk about whatever we can. That's what everyone else is doing, right? We cold hang out together one last time. I'm sure he wanted to relax before the big speech
Are you sure you don't have a thing for me? I mean -- you're supposed to meet the King. But you'd rather spend time with me...?
Look at you -- making me doubt things. Business and pleasure don't go together. At least, that's what I've been taught.
But then again -- this isn't exactly normal. We barely even know each other, Rabies. But I swear that the opposite feels true.
What's really messed up is how apparently in every single loop, Konrad and Endymion decide every single time to screw around instead of taking Rabies directly to the king.
What kind of fucking orchestra doesn't tune up first and starts playing so loudly that it startles everybody?
Sorry for rambling on like that. Things have just been extraordinary. I'm feeling so many things at once.
You should probably leave the ballroom. If you don't -- they'll expect us to dance. And trust me, I'm really not good at that.
I'll probably stay behind and grab a drink. You have an important meeting to attend to. I can't keep you behind like this anymore.
It's true -- I did have an important meeting. Perhaps coming to the ballroom was enough of a delay. But it would be nice to relax before the end of this. Something tells me I'd have a lot of work to do.
And we come to another choice. Remember, Klace promised dates in this game and the only one in the entire game is one you can skip entirely.
Screw it, let's keep digging until we hit magma.
Wait -- are you serious right now? Like I said, I don't know how to dance! We'd just make fools of ourselves.
I gesture at the rest of the dancers in the room. Their moves aren't exactly professional, either. It's likely they've never been on a dance floor. They were just making the most of this moment.
I guess you're right, actually. Perhaps we could give it a try. I've been described as graceful.
Of course -- that was about killing. I assume it's different from dancing. Now I'm just delaying, I'll admit it.
BEGIN DANCE SEQUENCE.
I hope they don't get the wrong idea. You know -- because we're both guys. Terra is home to far worse than that.
But I wouldn't do this with just anyone. Not even if Endymion asked me to, you know. You're more special than most people here.
The people on the dance floor group up a little closer. This pushed Konrad and I much closer to one another. But he doesn't complain, and we continue dancing.
In fact -- you've left me conflicted. I have a little secret to tell you. It's been on my mind a lot lately.
He looks away from me, blushing slightly more.
Couldn't kill Rabies because you like him, or couldn't kill him because you couldn't even kill a person in a coma?
That sounded sweeter in my head. What I meant to say was -- I like you. You're not like anybody I've ever met.
And that's what I've been thinking about. It's like my assassin days are behind me. I haven't killed anybody since we met.
And after watching Endymion die...? I don't want to do that to anyone anymore. I guess I'm going through a sort of crisis.
Getting your mentor killed?
Why Velasquez has assassins but not a secret police force is beyond me.
He said something about an adventure? That I'd have a long journey ahead? And here I thought I went through a lot.
But he seemed to know about Endymion. He mentioned that I lost somebody. He said that I'd take after them, too.
I can't imagine a bigger journey than this. I must have a really special future. But he never mentioned King Velasquez.
I think Velasquez would have a higher rate of success with assassinations if he just leaned out the window and took potshots with a BB gun.
Though I guess it's all up in the air. Nothing is set in stone right now. Not until Velasquez make his speech.
But -- even if the future -is- so uncertain. I'd really like you to be a part of mine. You're quite the unforgettable person.
The orchestra stops playing, and the floor clears up. But Konrad doesn't seem to notice, and we stay close.
I wish you the best of luck with the King. He's really a remarkable man, Rabies. I'm sure you'll be very surprised.
Even if Endymion and Konrad weren't such fuckups, wouldn't it make more sense to pay the both of them on a salary basis?
Perhaps that's the journey Laito mentioned. Not every adventure has to have hardship. It could be smooth sailing from now on.
He smiles, and we release our grip on one another. I guess the dance was over -- the orchestra is done. We walk back to the side of the room for a final chat.
Don't be afraid to ask him to slow down. The King knows how to talk an ear off. Make sure you take in every single detail.
Oh -- and if you could do me one favor? Ask him if he still has a use for me. I'd like to know what my future holds.
Ten-to-one Endymion's death causes Konrad to just spiral further and further into his belt hoarding.
I think the people are more lured to the ballroom on the promise of free food and booze.
I place my foot on the bottom step, and look up. It was happening -- I'd finally meet the King. Everything I've done, it's led up to this moment.
I ascend the stairs, my mind hard at work. I imagine a million different scenarios in my head. But soon enough, I'd know the truth about everything. What my power truly was -- and what Velasquez wanted.
When I reach the top of the stairs, I see a large door. Clearly this was the throne room of Vealsquez. I gulp audibly as I stare at its intricate design. It did a good job of making the inhabitant seem grand.
"Hey Velasquez! We need to have a very long talk about your choice of employees!"
Meanwhile, at the Wayfarer's Tavern/Inn/Immigration Office/Nuttery, Caylen starts to realize that placing his trust in Rabies was probably a bad idea.
I'm not sure what the 'bag' is supposed to be. The infinite bag of holding that contains all of the stupid things Konrad and Velasquez has done?
Nah, not big enough.
Righty I can sort of understand being able to protect people, but Caylen looks like the character at the start of every Elder Scrolls game ever, with no equipment and crap stats.
Sorry -- I guess you're right. I've just been a little on edge lately. Being in prison, and then that big fight.
Why didn't anybody come sooner...? I sent mail for Endymion and Konrad. This all could've been avoided!
There's no point worrying over the past. Remember -- the future is what's important. Especially with what Rabies is doing.
That would probably be because a revolution is imminent because Velasquez just let thousands of discontent peasants into his castle.
I'll believe it when I see it, PB. And sorry -- but I need to be excused. Some time alone would be great right now.
Whoa -- what's gotten into him? Oh well, I'm sure he'll be fine.
And here's Phidget, thankful that because of the the ball being held at Velasquez's castle, the bar is empty of patrons singing drunken tavern songs about his mother being dead.
I'm sure everything will be fine. But I feel like we did more harm that good. Especially with what we did for Riley.
Well, he got what he deserved in the end. We won't be able to push us around anymore.
True -- but innocent people died. And I'm scared it might not be over, yet.
I think this maybe the first instance in the game of someone actually knocking and not just barging into the room.
-IF YOU'RE HERE TO REMIND PHIDGET HIS MOM IS DEAD, PLEASE LEAVE A NOTE-
Maybe someone is just really trying to ward off bad luck.
<> "People knocking all hours of the day. Our doors are cheap! They can't handle that kind of abuse!"
Goddamn Phidget do you make it easy to mock you.
KILL THEM ALL
I don't care what anyone says, these two are the true heroes of the game.
Rest in shit, Phidget.