Part 19: Chapter XVIII: To Become The Storm
After the previous Jule scene, obviously we're headed back to Graccea and Gideon's cave. But first, we have a lot of business in town. A very early bonus video. Including Eva and Fiona as pop idols. I still find it amusing how Schwarz talked Eva into doing that. By making herself popular among the townspeople, Eva could bring in people to Frensberge and they could bring information about demons. It's about the only way she would agree, after all.
Anyhow, I mentioned you can get the first group of Rank 4 Skill Books by completing the Ignis, Li Ra-Lua, Yumil, and someone else commission. The Rank 4 Skills are vastly more powerful and cool than anything that came before, and you can finally acquire skills that can go up to 6, meaning you get more powerful versions of combination attacks, new ones, etc. It's awesome. I decided to trick out Vanessa, Weiss, Li Ra-Lua, Ignis, and Schwarz with this book.
Of particular note regarding EX Skills in that crowd is Genius and Rile. I've already talked about Rile, but Genius is an incredibly useful skill that lowers all AP costs for absolutely everything. I think it cuts AP costs by a third, but the fact remains you'll be doing a lot more attacking with Genius on. Li Ra-Lua is useful as always.
Forgot to mention this commission. There's an open one for killing 12 Army Bees, 12 Earth Spirits (the game says Thunder Spirits, but it's mistaken), and 2 Demon Bringers. The Demon Bringers can be found in the far eastern battle point in the Dajlua Wetlands, and the first two monsters in the area of Graccea just outside Gideon's cave. Although, you can find all of them in the first few areas of the Calendrier Temple, which is where I hunted them.
Anyhow, let's see if Gideon's done. Back to the temple
I finally finished it yesterday. Now go take it to your brother.
Is this...a ring?
This artifact is called Mobius Bijou and bestows on anyone who wears it immortality. Once worn, it should not only cure any illness, but it will give the wearer increased power.
To think it took all of that stuff just to make one tiny ring. Where did the rest of the materials go?
That's just how it works with artifacts.
What do you mean about giving the wearer increased power? Wasn't it only supposed to cure illnesses?
I created that artifact per his wishes, nothing more.
May I ask something?
About the Eye of Muad'Dib, how did you manage to counterfeit it?
What're you going to do once you know?
I was simply curious about its creation, so I thought I would ask you about it.
Even if I tell you, you all- *Cough* *Cough*
Are you all right? Is that...blood?!
Hmph, I've spent a great deal of time working on that thing. I'm just worn out, that's all. Don't worry about me, it happens every so often.
And anyway, even if I were to talk you through the process, you still wouldn't understand it. More importantly, little girl, demons are attracted to that eye. You should watch yourself.
How do you...
I wouldn't be able to make something like that artifact there if I couldn't sense the magic in its materials. Don't worry; I have no intention of trying to use your eye as a material to make something else, though. However, you should be careful. There are many others who do not think the same way I do. Now get going. I have other things that I need to do.
Thank you so much for all you've done for me. You have my gratitude.
Hmph. And what would I do with that?
We will be on our way now.
An artifact, huh... *Cough* *Cough* So the culmination of my life's work is just that meaningless bauble. I must be going senile. I can almost hear your derisive laughter now, Gordon... I can only pray that the ring I just made is on the level of a real artifact...
Now what could he mean by that? I wonder... Pieces in motion
A guardian beast?!
Why is it in a place like...
What the hell are you all doing?
Why is the guardian beast of the Yurle clan coming after one of its own?!
I don't know! Why would such a thing...
Is this really the best time to whine about it? It's about ready to kill us all, you know?
I highly suggest that you do not take this guardian beast lightly.
If it's after her, then it's after all of us. Right now, our choices are fight or die.
Yeah, if we turn our backs on this thing, we'll all be as good as dead.
I suppose there is no avoiding it. I have no desire to do this, but... Sparks that rain down upon me are only to be brushed away. As a guardian, all I can offer you is to be cast into oblivion by my hand. Now burn to ashes!
Actually, I had completely forgotten about this boss when I recorded this fight, and assumed I'd be fighting an entirely different one... Anyway, Kali's not bad at all. Powerful magic, not so strong physical attacks. Fun fact: Jainus is hilariously underequipped for this fight. He doesn't have any armor or accessories on (which is why his AP is so low). Complete oversight on my part, I admit. At least Yumil will be taking this guy apart.
Without any allies, without any exceptional abilities, Kali didn't last long at all. I am really glad I nabbed Byakko's Bracelet, though. It's an excellent piece of armor, on top of being able to absorb Water-elemental attacks. But, it's another item we can't upgrade until we acquire more Orichalcum, and our only source of that right now is some of the enemies in the Yurle temple, and those are only ores. We can sit on that for a while, because even at level 1 the Bracelet is plenty effective. And hey, I got a B-rank on this fight! Probably the highest I can expect from a boss battle.
And you may have noticed there was a Seiryu's Sword, and now Byakko's Bracelet. No points for guessing the next two items in the set. You ready? An enemy fairly late in the game drops Genbu's Gauntlets as a rare drop, and Suzaku's Ring is a very rare late-game item that you can only get a finite amount of.
For those not in the know, Seiryu is the Azure Dragon of the East, Suzaku is the Vermillion Bird of the South, Byakko is the White Tiger of the West, and Genbu is the Black Turtle of the North. All of these animals are from Chinese mythology that's been appropriated by many East Asian cultures, including Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. Obviously, this game is going with the Japanese names for the various animals. Anyway, they've shown up together in a number of games, probably most famously in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (they were the animals Maria could summon, for those who have played that game).
It appears that I wasn't able to make it in time...
What is the meaning of this?
My guess is that the guardian beast discovered that the Eye of Muad'Dib had been removed.
So this is what is meant by the old proverb: -Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap-. It is a fitting punishment for performing evil as a guardian.
And what about you? You not only let that slide, you helped us slaughter this thing.
What I did was done out of necessity. I had no desire to fight with a guardian beast.
If I could have arrived just a little sooner... Now that you have killed a guardian beast, the villagers will most likely turn a deaf ear to your apologies. The suppression corps will be coming here soon. We should leave this place before they arrive.
But I must get this artifact to my brother! That, and if I become the target of their pursuit, my brother may also come under suspicion.
Do not worry about your brother. Rasta is currently in a safe place. Please, just leave everything to me.
Really? That would make things easier...
Allow me to deal with the situation and find a place to hide until things calm down a little.
Boy I had egg on my face for this choice, in real life. I completely forgot there was a choice here, and had to hastily look up the LL Guide to see what I should pick. I had a sneaking suspicion it was this choice, but I didn't want to make a choice, save, and find out I screwed up. Anyway, Jainus' and Eva's affection goes up from not especially trusting this more than suspicious character.
Is this really the time for saying things like that? Don't make any more trouble than we already have.
Do you have a better idea?
Nope. That's why we should listen to the man.
Let's make for the wetlands.
I see your point. We could seriously slow down the pursuit there...
We're out of time, people. Let's get moving.
Danaos, give this to my brother!
It's the artifact.
Please take it to him.
Of course. I will be sure to give it to Rasta personally. I will continue to monitor things here and let you know how things are. But please, be careful.
You be careful too, Danaos. If they begin to suspect you, please tell them that I am responsible for everything that has happened.
No, all of this is my doing. Do not forget that.
All right, let's go.
Then, I will take my leave.
... I shall deliver this -fake- to Rasta, just as you wish. Mervina.
So, these two have been in cahoots this whole time. Given that Mervina lead the attack against the Nebula, should be pretty obvious what's going on. Danaos infiltrated the Yurle with the goal of rising high enough in its ranks to influence Yumil to gather the materials to make an artifact. Since he needed to create an Eye to fill the place of the real Eye he needed to steal from the Yurle, he got Mervina to attack the Nebula. After that, he just waited until the party gathered all the materials and passed everything along to Gideon.
Gideon then created two things for Danaos: the Mobius Bijou and a real artifact (which is why there was that whole exchange with Schwarz wondering where the materials went). The Bijou is going to Rasta, while Danaos is taking the real one. But we still don't know know WHY he wants the real thing...
Go after them and take care of them once and for all. Do not fail me this time, understand?
I will be sure to end their miserable existences.
If you fail...well, you know the consequences. Your suffering will be legendary, even in hell.
I've looked after you up until now. Do not disappoint me again. Now go.
I will be leaving now.
They say children take after their parents... But to be connected to a creature such as that by blood... Well, in any case, I should make my final preparations, using this counterfeit.
So he finally shows his true colors... Unholy ambition
What is wrong? We have obtained the artifact that will save your life. Why are you not happy?
I am truly grateful for the artifact. However, why didn't you tell me about what Yumil had done?!
Ah, so that is what has you so upset.
No, I will not have you sidestep this! Yumil trusted you. And then you-
I acted as I did for the benefit of both of you. Please calm down and think things through. Do you think she would remain quiet about switching out the Eye of Muad'Dib?
Eventually, she would have confessed her actions directly to the elder. Should that occur, your miraculous recovery from your illness would immediately come into question. The two of you are not only siblings, but you were once betrothed to each other as well, correct? In light of your illness, the latter relationship was terminated. As of now, there are others far more suited to be her husband, but the elder is incredibly perceptive. He would almost assuredly be suspicious of your relationship with Yumil. From there, it's certain that he will notice the connection between your recovery and the loss of the Eye. At that point, there will be nothing more that I can do for you. Because I saw in both of you and Yumil the possibility that you could change the world, I told you about the artifact that you now have in your possession. I have granted you and your sister's wish and fulfilled my promise to you. Now it is your or Yumil's turn to fulfill your promise to me.
I understand your pain. However, by leaving the village she will be free. The elder will not waste time pursuing one who has willingly abandoned the village. In addition, he knows that there is nothing more than can be done regarding the Eye of Muad'Dib. And Yumil is with those others. If she is a Maiden of the Pillar, then what's occurring now is for the best.
Is Yumil with that man they call Schwarz?
Yes. She's being hunted by the suppression corps, but she and the others should be able to escape.
I don't care about becoming the elder, the only thing I want is Yumil!
However, if you do not become an elder, you will not have the authority or power to do anything.
Then, I just need to become the elder right now. I now have this artifact. The situation would become far more amusing should the elder decide to disobey me. This is something that would've occurred eventually. If the difference is whether it happens sooner or later, there's no reason why the change shouldn't happen now, right?
You are aware this is a very dangerous gamble, yes?
I don't care. I'd rather die than lose Yumil.
However, she already belongs to them. But as powerful as they are, they are still no match for an elder of a guardian clan.
Then I will take all that is mine. And I will use the power of this artifact to do it.
Understood. I will no longer try to convince you otherwise. However, please endeavor to not do anything reckless. There is no need for you to throw away your life for nothing. Your time will eventually come.
I do like how Danaos here is poking and prodding Rasta into action while trying to remain on his good side. Guy has been playing Rasta like a fiddle likely since they've met. He knows Rasta is going to do something desperate now, all because he talked him into doing it. He's a smooth operator, that one.
Meanwhile Yumil's life has gone from bad to shitty real fast.
Thank you for everything you've done. If something happens to me, please take care of Yumil.
Be sure to fully use the power of that -artifact- and do what I require of you.
Next stop is the Wetlands. I'm sure this is going to go swimmingly. Danaos' schemes
Wonderful, you again. And even after I let you run away.
Your conceit is unwarranted; I could end your life any time I wish. It was I who let you escape.
You have all the allure of a dead rat.
Were you the one who led the demon assault against the villagers?
And if I was? I really did need to harvest a few eyes from you onerthes, though.
Why would you do such a thing?
It was what was required of me, nothing more. I take it you are from the village I attacked? If so, I think that you should be thanking me right now. I personally took care of every onerthes I captured. I even properly buried them after killing them.
Why should I thank you for slaughtering them?!
Would you rather I left them for the goblins and orcs? They like to torture their human victims before eating them. It was solely because of me that they weren't able to use the villagers for their -sport-. No one would go through that much effort unless they felt it necessary, yes?
Don't flatter yourself. There's nothing necessary or right about what you're doing now.
Are you actually worried about something so trivial as right and wrong this late in the game? You've all been in my position. Sometimes it is necessary to take things that may belong to others. Objects of personal importance, land, money, lives, materials to create artifacts...
People...no, all living beings, including animals and demons, cannot live without taking from others. Do not presume to think you are any different.
But as you are one of the bastard children of the dark god Chaos, such vile blasphemy is expected.
Say one more word and I will kill you, and I swear that your death will take days.
It'd amuse me to see you try. I am sworn to the service of Lenion, the god of light. I cannot fall to degenerate syrium scum such as you!
Don't start shit by yourself. We're kind of in a hurry, so if you're going to attack us, just do it already.
All right... I'll make you all into playthings for the demons!
Alright, so this fight is pretty open as to how you want it to go down. The Shadow Fenrir is weak to Light, but absorbs Darkness, and Mervina is strong against Earth, Wind, and Darkness, but is weak to Lightning (which is why Victoria is here). Both enemies have physical counterattacks, but I'd advise going after Mervina first, actually. She has two Original Skills she can draw from, whereas I believe the Fenrir only has one.
Despite her boasting, Mervina goes down fairly easily. I'm glad I was able to nab her Fairy Cloth, as that's a nice Attachment, and you can't have too many of those, I say. Now all we have is her little puppy...
If you're going to kill Weiss, do it right the first time. Now he's pissed off and Rile is in play. Man, last time I played this game my Weiss had Genius and Rile as his third and fourth EX Skills. Talk about unstoppable when it was his turn and he could both on.
By combining The Oathsworn and Eva's own magic (I was looking pretty hard for a good action shot of this move), Soul Crush punches through to the very core of an enemy's being and shatters them for a pretty effective Finish Strike. And I Over Killed that son of a gun, so I'm pretty happy.
Yeah, not looking so hot now, are you? Though, given what Danaos is going to do to her after her second failed attempt to kill us, I'm not inclined to rub it in...
Hm... What's with all those scars?
Don't look at me!
I can't help seeing what I saw.
Hey, there they are!
Tch! We took too long-
Mervina teleports away again. I don't suspect things are looking up for her.
Shit! You're not getting away from me!
We'll just have to cut our way through, then!
No! Don't hurt anyone that isn't involved. Please.
Well, I seriously doubt they'll kill us all here. Let's just go peacefully for now.
My...brother? What do you mean?
It seems like something's wrong.
You haven't come to capture us?
We've been ordered to track down Danaos. However, we were also instructed to ask you about Rasta should we come across you.
Is something wrong with my brother?
You do not know? Rasta turned into a demon.
Man, this really bites. Artifacts do seem to be nothing but trouble.
Is that true?!
According to what we've heard, he appeared in town one day and suddenly went completely insane. Then he morphed into some kind of monster and began attacking all of the villagers. Keep in mind everything I've just said is hearsay. We've been focused on finding Danaos.
Instead of wasting time here, why haven't you staked out the area's transfer portals? He was still around when we left the village.
You're not lying to us, are you?
Why would we lie to you? If you're not after us, there's no need for us to lie to you in order to get away. Or do you plan on trying to capture us instead of Danaos?
Our mission is to hunt him down. We have no business with you.
Then go away already.
We are after Danaos, but do not forget that you all are wanted as well. If there is anything you wish to say in your defense, I'd advise you speak with the elder directly.
Considering the amount of trouble we're responsible for, not an entirely unwarranted response.
Just what the heck is going on?
We'll find out when we get to the village. Come on, just don't stand there in a daze.
Oy vey. This just keeps getting worse. Anyway, prepare VERY well for this upcoming fight, as it is easily one of the hardest boss battles in the game. I'd advise a team with Yumil, Li Ra-Lua, and Jainus, for the Devil's Whispers Finish Strike. Besides, Yumil being in the fight is just right. Last spot can go to anyone, but I'm rolling with Weiss. Gotta stick with what works, right? Love's end
There's not even a trace of him left.
Is that thing really Rasta?
I'm not sure... But the magic I sense in this demon is the same as the magic I felt from Gideon's artifact.
No, that's can't be! That demon is not my brother!
If Li Ra-Lua can feel the magic of the artifact...
That demon is not my brother!
So, do you mean to say that Danaos didn't give the artifact to Rasta, but passed it on to someone else?
That's not impossible, but...
That is the one called Rasta. There is no mistake.
If that is the case, then it must mean that he was overcome by the power of the artifact.
No, that cannot be my brother! I'm sure of it!
Then you should have no problems with destroying this demon.
If you are my brother, you have to stop doing all of this!
Quit wasting your breath.
No, that's isn't true!
If you don't want to believe that your brother was turned into a monster... Wait, actually... It doesn't matter if you think that this is that Rasta chump or not. Whether it is or not, we can't just let that demon run amuck, right? We're going to have to fight it, either way.
If you don't have the stomach to fight, then stay back. You'll only get in the way.
No... I will fight, too. If that demon really is my brother, then I have to defeat it. That will be my last duty as a guardian.
If you're sure, then... Let's do this!
So, Rasta is definitely one of the toughest fights in the game, but only because he gains an absolutely ridiculous 16,000 HP back every turn. He's certainly not slacking on his physical attack or defense, but is somewhat crappy at magic and takes a bit more magic damage than physical. Still though, this fight is a goddamn slog.
Your first priority is going to be to getting an Ultimate Point, but his Break gauge is high enough that it'll almost certainly take two turns to get it.
The next course of action is to have Genius running and getting an AP bonus. We're going to need all the AP we can get to actually start doing damage to him. Remember that he'll pretty much negate this entire attack on his next turn. That's the reality of fighting this guy.
And this is the first time a character has gone into Over Wait. While a character is in Over Weight, they can't take any actions whatsoever until their Wait drops a little and they can rejoin formations and attack and the like. However, even if a character goes into Over Wait and they're still attacking, they can keep going until the attack is over.
And just like that, he's already in pretty critical territory, but with this guy, he'll be getting that all back in 2-3 turns. You cannot afford to half ass this if you want to win. Oh, and he countered this attack by hitting Yumil with a counterattack worth 16,000, and Weiss with 14,000. Even No Fear wouldn't protect from that. See All is basically the best thing ever for 90% of this game.
Man, video games are WEIRD. Here I am, having characters seduce a winged man-turned giant demon with a cape while another prepares a giant laser cannon to blast him into oblivion. This is a pretty silly way to end the battle against Yumil's brother, yes? But it's also very effective. This is a fight where you simply can't pace yourself. You will never win this fight if you hold back.
Nice job everyone. Jainus didn't do much, though.
Why did you take that form...?
Danaos... Danaos... We were fooled...by Danaos...
I know. I know, so please don't talk anymore right now.
I just...for you... Why... How did I end up like this...? Yumil... You...
Yumil... How could such a thing happen...?
There is no mistaking it. This is the artifact that we received from Gideon.
It's pretty much useless as it is now.
It's better that something like this can't be used ever again.
What an incredibly crude, inferior artifact. Did you truly betray the clan for an object such as this?
This thing is simply rubbish that anyone with a little sense wouldn't consider an artifact.
What do you mean?
Do you honestly believe that an artifact could be broken like this? If it were a true artifact, there's be no way a mere mortal could possibly destroy it.
Then what the hell was it?
It was most likely a fake of some kind. It definitely was not a creation of the gods. A fake artifact will always turn the one using it into a demon. Although to be accurate, a real artifact would do the same thing. Artifacts are tools of the gods. Such power cannot be contained by the body of a mere mortal. If you would have taken the time to remember your ancient history, you would have recalled that larva warriors who used artifacts always fell victim to the darkness.
So this moment comes REALLY close to acknowledging Agarest Zero as canon to this game's story. In that game, three larva of the forces of light, named Giganda, Arzest, and Vashtor, were tempted by the power of Summerill's Gem of Might and became reborn as far more powerful, but far more evil, Gurgs. To be sure, though, Vashtor attempted to resist it, but fell victim to its temptation all the same. All three Gurgs slaughtered not only most of the forces of light, but also many civilians just because they were in the mood, I guess.
Vashtor also has the distinction of showing up in the original game. As hinted by his final appearance in Zero, Vashtor is cursed to wander the earth for an eternity until he can atone for his sins while he was in the service of Summerill. Unlike Giganda and Arzest, Vashtor survived the events of Zero and, many thousands of years later, eventually swears to assist Leonhardt's scion, Ladius, and his descendants as of way of making up for what he had done.
Danaos... Where is Danaos now?
We have yet to track him down.
Then the odds of finding him now are pretty much zilch.
And I assume that given what you knew at the time, that was the most likely possibility. Still, I'm impressed that you would actually turn your attentions to Danaos. Sorry, but I honestly thought you'd be too dense to see it.
At first I believed all that he had to say. However, the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize the truth of the matter. Especially in light of him creating a counterfeit Eye of Muad'Dib and how he chose to use it. There was no way that anyone could believe that you, who has no knowledge of artifacts, would even consider stealing the Eye of Muad'Dib. Yumil, I understand your feelings and I know you do not want to believe it, but it is the truth. Danaos used you.
Why would Danaos do something like this?
Perhaps it is because Danaos...truly detested us.
Care to elaborate on that?
He carried the blood of the syrium in his veins. The syrium are considered abominations by all guardians. Because his people had that accursed blood flowing through them, they were treated with contempt. Even so, Danaos sacrificed everything and dedicated his soul to helping the Yurle. He was beyond reproach and took pride in his accomplishments, even if they were not acknowledged.
Why would he do something like this if he was proud to be a guardian...?
The responsibility for what has happened lies with me. He was in love with a woman I disapproved of. The woman was of the syrium.
I see, so that's it...
In addition to her race, the child she was carrying was a bastard; the father unknown by her or anyone.
If she were to become his mate, his reputation would have been seriously damaged.
For that reason, we refused to allow that woman to live amongst us. We also informed Danaos that if he married the woman, we would expel him and his people from the clan.
If it was only him who paid, I believe he would have chosen to leave the village to be with that woman. However, he would not let his people pay for his perceived sin.
So what happened to the woman?
Others might know, but I do not. However, I doubt that she is still alive. When she came to the village, she was very weak. Even if we'd accepted her, she wouldn't have lived long.
So you sent her out to die alone. That is unforgivable.
So this all did start with you.
And this was the punishment for your actions. You should give thanks that more damage wasn't done.
I am thankful that you stopped Rasta. However, I cannot overlook the fact that you stole the Eye of Muad'Dib.
I am prepared for any punishment you choose to give.
It appears that you have learned nothing from Rasta's sacrifice here. You're so bound by guardian customs that you can't see anything beyond them. Why won't you understand that it's your obstinacy that causes tragedies like Rasta's and Danaos'?! I know that guardians choose to marry within their families in order to preserve their bloodlines. It's even more common with those in positions of power. But at what cost? It's not just about choice of mates, either. You've ostracized and rejected those who aren't guardians, and act as if you live in a different world. You're so firmly convinced of your superiority that you don't care about anyone or anything else. Is it okay to ignore everything around you because the gods gave you a single duty to perform? If the results of your sanctimonious devotion to duty are misery and resentment, then what's the point?
Now you understand why I hid the fact that my parents were guardians.
However, as guardians, we cannot do anything more or less than we have sworn to do. Until the gods release us from the bonds of the oaths we have sworn, we must continue as we are. I will not ask for your understanding. But there are many who are unable to accept their role as guardian.
That's pathetic. You're pathetic. Call yourselves guardians or whatever, in the end you're just selfish pricks. I can't believe you have the balls to claim that the -gods- made you act like you have. All right, do whatever you want. But I warn you now: DO NOT drag me or mine into any of your meaningless little struggles. Got it? Oh, and I'll be taking her with me now. You're just going to excommunicate her anyways. Allow me to rid you of the responsibility in place of your -god-. Really, no need to thank me. Come on; let's get the hell out of here. This place is starting to depress me.
Lord Helshaft, I thank you for looking after me all this time. Though I stole the treasure of the Yurle, you still have tried to help. I'll never forget my debt to you. I truly regret that I cannot hold a funeral service for my brother, but... Please, could you do it in my stead?
I understand. I will not allow anyone else to lay a hand on Rasta and will inter him by my own hand.
Please... Please, take care of him... Brother... May you rest in peace... I will be leaving now...
Gods, how long will you continue to test us? We guardians have sacrificed everything in order to fulfill our oaths to you. However, what am I to believe in if what has happened here is the result of my devotion? We will all eventually atone for our sins. But at the very least, please allow this one to rest in peace.
Poor, poor Yumil...