Part 15: Chapter XIV: To Cross Snowy WastesWelcome back. I believe I left off on a bit off a cliffhanger last time, so let's fight that demon, shall we? Versus Neo Dragna
The Neo Dragna's not too hard. He's vulnerable to Darkness, as you can see, and I have a lot of Darkness-based attacks, like Yumil's Nightmare. He doesn't hit exceptionally hard, he's not particularly fast, and his magic isn't great. Pretty average boss. Also, the Phantoms have very low defense, so it shouldn't even take you an Ultimate Strike to get rid of them. The Storm Knight he has coming in for backup also isn't very hearty, but he is tougher than the Phantoms.
Finally, I get to show off Desperate Strength. As I said, not as powerful as Rile is, but when you need to punch through something fast and hard, there's few more reliable options. It's also kind of a reason why I don't heal very much. I mean, in Agarest Zero, at the very least, I never healed. But that's because the best (or rather, the more accessible) desperation skill, Unleash All, was activated right after a character recovered from KO. It dramatically increased very single stat, making it broken to all hell. At least in this game, having characters with more HP will cause the enemy to use more AP to kill them, increasing their Wait.
Goddamn that was so much fun. I survived so much crazy shit with my dudes at less than 25% HP. There was no reason whatsoever to heal in that game, toward the end.
After more tests during my latest recording, I'm now absolutely sure if you exploit an enemy's elemental vulnerability, their Break gauge goes down faster. Eva makes a fine compatriot for this battle.
Well, a much better outcome than my previous attempt at this boss, which got me an F rank. Fs are completely unacceptable to me now. I'm still not entirely sure why I sucked so badly my previous go at this guy. Oh well. One of four down.
Back in town, another bonus scene after a few more fulfilled commissions, and I have enough TP to outfit Vanessa. You might notice from the upper right of this screenshot that my current team is three gunslingers and Yumil. That's because I already know there's a commission from completing 10 battles with a team of Vanessa, Jude, Jainus, and another character.
As far as her EX Skills go, Vanessa's sporting Concentration (small evasion, accuracy bonus), Accuracy (already talked about), and Light Brigade, which is essentially Desperate Strength without the 33% HP requirement. Also, Satori does the same thing as Concentration, but I'm pretty sure the buffs in Satori are stronger. Probably because Concentration is available in the first generation. I'll probably replace Concentration with Hunter (accuracy, critical hit increase. Critical hits are very rare normally) eventually. Her EX Skill, Elgar Volcano, is a Fire skill as you might guess, but it increases the Wait time of affected targets. The blast radius of it is very weird, though, so you can only expect to hit only a single target with it normally.
Also worth mentioning is that Vanessa has the cutest smile in the game. Not even a contest.
But enough horsing around. I know for a fact this event doesn't happen before recruiting Vanessa, at the very least, but as for the Xhosa-Materia stuff, I'm not sure. Never checked. Anyway, A resurgent menace
I will not fall here...!
Are you all right, young lady?
Damn it, what's with that bitch giving out bogus info? I don't have time for bottom feeders like these. I'll let you all handle this.
Hey, you. Get out of the way and let us take care of these guys.
Schwarz, don't slack off now. Let's do this!
Damn it. What a pain in the ass. I'll take you all down at once.
Well, to be fair to the purple-haired girl (hey, that's three purple-haired characters so far. Vanessa's hair appears black at first glance, but it's just dark purple), taking on all these guys at once by yourself is asking for trouble, but I can crush these guys like bugs.
To wit. Literally the only thing these guys have going for them is some reinforcements, but all that means is more cannon fodder.
No, they really weren't. No harder than a random encounter.
I'd say that their leader was very good, but I'm pretty sure I didn't see a garvel anywhere nearby.
Young lady, where do you plan on going with a wound like that?
I have to get back quickly... Everyone in the village... They are awaiting my return...
Village... Are you a guardian?
I am called Li Ra-Lua. I am a member of the Nebula clan.
You're one of the Nebula? What are you doing in a place like this?
I must go...
Please don't move. You have to have your wounds healed.
Please do not worry about me. Please, let me go. Pl...ease...
Li Ra-Lua? Li Ra-Lua?!
She seems very weak.
Jueyvei's the closest town from here. I don't know why you came here, but for now getting your wounds looked at is priority number one. Jude, give me a hand.
In a funny little detail, if you're looking closely at Jude's sprite after Jainus says this line, you can see him looking right at Schwarz.
Don't look at me; you're the one he asked for. Hurry, get moving.
So yeah, just a hop, skip, and a jump away to Signihardt Castle. Let's see what's been shaking there now that we're in a new generation. An unsafe world
Is that...preppy boy? It is! When I first saw the new Sirus, I was a bit...weirded out, for lack of a better term, at his new look. But, if he was in like, his 40s in the first generation, it's not that odd. Also, it's a damn good thing Wolfgang tossed Victoria out of the line of succession, or Schwarz could make a very strong claim on the throne. If this kingdom had succession laws like real kingdoms, Schwarz definitely would have a stronger claim than Sirus. I don't think he'd be interested at all in running a country, though.
She is all right now. I think her collapse was due more to fatigue than her injuries.
If she is from Fendias, she must've used the transfer portal located just beyond the Groza Mountains.
I'm fairly certain that she was traveling alone. There weren't any signs of anyone around but her.
The Groza Mountains is an incredibly dangerous place to travel, even for men skilled in fighting. As for the princess... Well, you remember what kind of person she was...
The question is: Why did she leave her village and make such a dangerous journey alone?
I want to know why she was attacked by demons.
I can give you an answer for that one. Basically, it was because she is an onerthes.
Ah yes... The magic that exists within the onerthes' third eye... However, that doesn't even begin to explain the directed movements of those goblins and orcs.
There weren't any signs of a garvel in the area, either.
Are you suggesting that someone else could have been directing their movements?
No, there wasn't anyone like that around. But then again, whoever it was could have been hiding.
Whatever the truth may be, it'd be for the best to wait for the girl to regain consciousness.
How disruptive. Please do not embarrass me in front of guests.
M-My apologies! However, this information is too important to wait...
According to dispatches from one of our patrols, an army of demons is pushing hard for Signihardt Castle.
What?! What were the patrols doing instead of paying attention?
According to the report, the demon army seemed to suddenly appear out of nowhere.
A sudden invasion... If that is the case, they may have used the transfer portal as well.
There is no other possibility. I make it a point to assign only elite soldiers to the patrol companies. I also took great pains to exterminate the lesser demons like goblins and orcs remaining on this continent.
Perhaps the demons that assaulted her were part of an advanced guard. If their objective is this castle, they will most likely attack as one.
Their opponent was a single young woman. They probably thought their numbers were enough to kill her.
Hey, do we really have the time to screw around while you all play at being detectives?
You're right, we can discuss it later. Right now we need to launch an assault against those demons. I'm sorry to ask this of you, but do you think you could lend us your assistance?
It's not like we can refuse a royal call for help, can we? As long as we can do it like old times, then yes.
I'm counting on you.
Afterwards, you'll be handing us some kind of reward, got it?
Again, a reward that only exists in the plot. Dammit...
Then I've got no complaints. Okay, I'll finish up here in no time flat.
Okay, so, we've got a couple more back-to-back battles. This sequence is a lot harder than it has any right to be, but it's definitely not because of the first battle. As with the previous fight where we saved Li Ra-Lua, crush these guys like bugs. Do it quickly, because the second fight is actually pretty tough.
Oh hey, another Garvel. This is a battle that actually gave me a lot of trouble. The most since Neo Orthos, actually. The Garvel has been pretty significantly buffed, but the main problem is all the goons.
A big goddamn problem is I came in with very few Blessed Leaves. But because I am a stubborn fool, I didn't go out and get more between attempts. You'd think I'd be smarter by this point, but you'd be very wrong. I mean, I still manage to win, but I have to dip into more inconvenient stocks (read, items that cost more AP). But it's damn better than having everyone dead and not getting experience.
Via a lucky break, I managed to activate Desperate Strength and punch through the Garvel, killing the bastard and defeating the biggest threat. It was at a high cost, but we've cut the head off the snake. I'm also happy I got that War God's Crown, since that's another great Attachment.
And that's checkmate. Literally with only 32 AP left after getting an Ultimate Point, Blast Wing nullifies any threat to my victory. It's a simple mop-up operation at this point.
Trust me, when I finished this fight, I was pissed, and very tired. I just wanted the night to end so I could get some sleep. It's times like this I'm really loving that auto-scroll option, lemme tell you. The heirs of greatness
Being old doesn't mean being done for.
I am also amazed at your son's abilities as well.
Right? That's because he takes after me, of course.
And as for Weiss' son, I believe he has far surpassed his father in terms of fighting skill.
Don't compare me to that jerkoff ever again. It makes me want to throw up the soles of my shoes. More importantly, where's our reward?
It is being prepared as we speak. I will have it sent to you later.
Although obvious by the size of their force, a garvel must've been in charge of that demon horde.
It would be an accurate assessment to say that that force was far larger than would be the norm.
If that's the case, then why wasn't the garvel with that group that attacked that girl? And how was it that those demons could act as they did without direct garvel control?
There are a number of things about this whole situation that don't make any sense. Fiona, does it look like we can talk to her?
I think it should be fine now.
Then why don't we go see what she has to say? If you ever need our help again, don't hesitate to give us a call. After all, what else are friends for?
Thank you. For now, I think I'll fortify the surrounding defenses and increase the number of scouts. I will send you word should the demons move again.
Okay. See you later.
Schwarz, Jude, may I have a word?
Granted, I merely offer my own personal thoughts, and they may appear differently in your eyes. It is all right to measure yourselves against them, as that is how people find where their weaknesses lie. Whether you can make what you discover your own, is up to you. It is difficult for most people to acknowledge their weaknesses or accept responsibility for their mistakes. People only have a very brief time in this world to accomplish anything. What you are able to do in that time, or how much you are able to leave behind, just as this country exists, I want you to take time to reflect upon what it means for you to be here, now.
Are you done? Screw all of that; just give me the reward you promised.
It seems that the young will never be able to take anything seriously. It's even more so when it comes to accepting things that go against their self image. Just like I had been once.
I believe that I have fully recovered. Thank you very much.
That's good to hear. However, I wouldn't recommend over-exerting yourself just yet, okay?
What the hell were you doing in a place like that?
That's right! I can't just stay here like this! I have to find reinforcements and return to my elder as soon as possible!
You won't make things better by rushing off in a panic, right? First of all, why don't you clue us in on your situation? We're old friends with the king here; maybe we could be of some help.
... My village...is currently surrounded by a demon army that had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I was sent as a messenger to recruit reinforcements.
You were intending on meeting with the Gruut?
Wouldn't it have been easier to simply use a transfer portal?
All of the transfer portals around my village have fallen into demonic hands. In response, we have sealed all of the other transfer portals in order to prevent any demon incursions.
She's not lying. In a nice bit of gameplay-plot consistency, you can't go to Fendias at all right now.
If that's the case, then how did you manage to get all the way here?
But unlike the transfer portals, the amount of magic it takes from both the caster and target is incredible. It is not a technique that can be so easily performed.
I see. So that's why you were traveling alone. But if the transfer portals are unusable, sending reinforcements will be seriously tough.
Would it be possible for you to escort me to Frensberge?
What do you plan on doing in Frensberge?
There are people I know I can trust in Frensberge. I wish to ask them to lend me their strength.
Jainus, Fiona, Eva; do any of those names ring a bell?
How do you know-?
To put it simply: the gang's all here.
I-I apologize! Not realizing that even after you've healed my wounds...
There's no need to lower yourself so. Lady Jule helped us a number of times. We will be glad to help in any way we can.
Please continue to bathe your unworthy children in your glorious radiance.
Well...she's odd, but seems harmless. Certainly not the impression of the gods this crowd has...
What an idiot. Why in the hell you are wasting time praying? There are no such things as gods.
If the gods really did exist, then that degenerate asshole wouldn't have done something so moronic.
You might've heard a little about it, but there are a number of...issues...with our current situation. Don't worry about it. There are more important things to be concerned about now.
Like the fact that not being able to use the transfer portals will make sending help difficult.
And we can't just leave the portal here unattended, either.
If you are referring to the transfer portal to the south, I have taken measures to make it inoperable.
Is that so? Now we just need to figure out a way to get to Fendias...
If that is the only problem we have at the moment, perhaps I have might have a solution. There is a transfer portal located in the Groza Mountains that has been well camouflaged. If we use that portal, we should be able to reach Fendias. However, we will still have a hard journey before us after we arrive.
Now that we know we can get there, the question is: Will the village be able to hold out that long?
It should be able to...
Then there's nothing to worry about. Also, the temple in the village is almost a fortress itself. If they have enough provisions and are able to hold off demon assaults, they could hold out for a year. Also, Jule is still in charge. Can you imagine her being overcome by a rabble of lowly demons?
Perhaps you're right...
Even so, we should probably hurry.
We can head out as soon as we're done getting ready.
Hey, don't just go volunteering all of us on your own like that.
What are you saying, Eva?
Firstly, I do not wish for the guardians of her clan to be annihilated. However, it is important to remember that my priority is to see to the resurrection of the god. I trust you understand?
Could Li Ra-Lua also be a...?
It is my desire to have her become a -Maiden of the Pillar-. If you are a protege of Jule, then I believe you fully understand what I mean.
I have heard of Weiss.
It makes it much easier knowing that you understand the situation. You accept, yes?
... Yes. As a guardian, I have prepared my entire life to sacrifice myself for the good of the gods. Schwarz, I give my life to you and to the gods. I beg of you, please save my elder and all of the people of my village. Please.
Damn... Why did you have to agree so quickly?
After all, it's only fun for you if they fight back, right?
Shut the hell up. What a pain in the ass. We're not going to be able to take care of this quickly, are we?
Think of it this way, it'll be an entertaining distraction.
Die in a fire.
The two of you will never change. We know you're friends, so knock it off. We need to hurry.
Despite their obvious immaturity, they are both incredibly skilled. Don't worry.
I hope we can work well together.
Jesus that was a long scene. Anyhow, this video is going to have a boatload of events in it, because we have a lot of ground to cover so there's enough plot content for this update. The first group of these came from after the event with Li Ra-Lua joins, and the other half is for completing Commissions 108-111 (defeating 2 Stingers, 8 Devils, and 8 Demon's Eyes, and their Over Kill items. All three are hanging out near the Fef Portal in Aegisthus).
Well, Li Ra-Lua spoke no lies. There is indeed a portal on the northern peaks of the mountains. A blood-soaked warrior
What's up with that guy?
He's obviously not your ordinary old man, that's for sure.
Am I safe in assuming that you are making your way to the transfer portal?
How do you know of that?!
There's no need for you to act so surprised. There is a transfer portal just ahead, and you don't look like you have any other business in this area. With just a little thought, the answer becomes immediately apparent.
Hey gramps, what are YOU doing out here?
I'm trying to stave off my crushing boredom by slaughtering a number of these feeble creatures. However, low-hanging fruit such as these demons are merely causing my skills to atrophy. Fighting you might not alleviate my boredom, but it'd almost definitely result in a number of fatalities.
As much as we'd love to play with you, we have our own shit we need to take care of. We'll come back and entertain you later. That is if you're not demon chow by then.
Then you'll be sure not to fall to a demon such as this.
This demon isn't the one, either...
There's still some around?!
This one should prove more of a challenge than the ones I have already dispatched. However, it is not an opponent that would even come close to satisfying my thirst for battle. Therefore, I pass it on to you.
Hey hey, don't give us something unnecessary like that.
Sweet, a brief warm up before I rip your spine out. And pay very close attention to the person you're stupid enough to pick a fight with, you senile old fool.
Indeed I shall.
Couldn't help but screenshot Schwarz's psycho face here.
Pretty ho-hum fight, nothing much worth mentioning, except for my first No Fear use. Although Schwarz got KO'd by this Reckless Blow, you can see later on in the fight just how damage this guy is NOT doing. Remember, even if Schwarz gets KO'd (La-Rua bit it, too), all of his teammates still have that 6800 HP shield.
It seems that facing you in battle would indeed get my blood boiling again. However, I shall have to save that entertainment until next we meet.
Coming down with a case of cowardice, old man?
Were you intending to head towards Fendias? According to rumor, the Nebula clan seems to have been besieged by demons.
How do you know...
Just who are you?
Either you arrive as soon as possible, or the extermination of the Nebula will all but be guaranteed. There is not much time left to you. You should hurry.
I don't have the time to waste on this doddering old fool.
I'll beat an answer out of the next time I see you.
I shall look forward to that day. So those were the ones that -he- was talking about, then. It might be amusing to play along for a while if it means crossing paths with that Schwarz boy again.
We'll meet again, but for now, we need to cross Fendias. The enemies on the Fendias overworld are are severely weak to Light, so have someone, in this case I chose Ra-Lua, have at least a level 2 Earth Nova (powerful group attack Light-elemental spell) available. It'll do a ton of damage and break them really quickly. You can see the next dungeon in the distance, so have a really nice, but non-plot event when we get there. Fellowship of the Pillars
That is correct. First, we will need to travel west through the Agnee Snow Field. Once we make it through that, we will then need to turn north until we reach the Urim Mountains. After passing over the mountains, we will arrive at the temple.
The path up to the temple sounds like it's pretty precipitous.
Yumil, you have your own stuff to take care of, right? Are you okay with doing this?
You have taken the time to help me as well. It's only fair that I return the favor.
Yumil... Thank you very much.
Coming from the resident joker, maybe this doesn't mean much, but speaking as myself, a guy, the way women get along with each other I think is different from the way guys get along with each other. Sometimes I do envy how women can be so physically and emotionally close to each other, but the same can't always be said for guys in my experience. Maybe it's a "grass is always greener on the other side" thing, but I prefer the way women get along with each other. It's just...nicer, I think, but then again I don't have many male friends.
In-gameplay, this is handled really interestingly, I think. All the Pillars in this generation genuinely like each other, and choices where if one heroine's affection goes up, at the very least, the affection of the other two won't go down. There's no choices that the LL guide says to make where, for example, Vanessa's affection will go up and Yumil's will go down.
Having such wonderful, caring, nubile young women around truly warms my heart, even in this cold- Achoo!
Jeez, that's what you get for making oogly eyes at your age.
Doesn't this place make you wish you could share the warmth that only the body of another can give? I'm actually jealous that you're surrounded by so many beautiful wo-
If you continue that thought, I will crush your head like a grape.
I could think of better things to happen to my head. I get it. I'll stop joking around now. Now let's start making our way through the Agnee Snow Field.
I don't usually mention dungeon treasures, but this item you can only get here. While we can't do anything with it right now, keep it in mind...
God, my brain was like silly putty after all that fighting in this dungeon. They aren't hard fights, except for the incredibly hardy Titanias, but I had been playing like 4 hours by this point and my brain just needed a rest.
But, with a day and a half's rest, I'm ready to roll again. Just to give you some perspective on where we are, that wide open plain the camera is looking at is where we first arrived when we came to Fendias.
A short dungeon crawl later, and we're at the end of the mountain range. For now, anyway. The most annoying enemy in the dungeon is probably the Naga, who are Gorgon-type enemies with annoyingly high evasion. I say Gorgons only because they kinda look like Medusas. Well, since we're going to have a plenty busy next update, let's finish things off here. Lifting the siege
If that's so, then this might be a good time to stop and rest for a bit. But considering the situation...
We won't be able to get much meaningful rest in a place like this.
I guess we'll just have to fight our way through right here and now. Li Ra-Lua, is there a way we can make contact with the guardians holed up in the temple?
I have arranged to send a signal upon our arrival.
So we will take our chance then.
Honestly, things are looking pretty grim. But I suppose it's not like we have a choice in the matter.
The key to all of this is how long we can keep them in confusion.
If we can confuse the demons, then we should be able to easily defeat them with the guardians' help.
This isn't the time for wishful thinking. If things go to hell, you know what to do, right?
Yes. When the time comes, we will not hold back.
That goes for you, too.
A woman after my cold, dead heart. All right, let's go join in the fun.