Part 24: Chapter XXIII: To Feel Unknown PainWell, the Dajlua hunt was a bust, but I'm sure there are many more demons out there on our hit list. Stands to reason we should head back to town to plan our next move. Just as a note, in the future I'll put most plot scenes inside bonus videos, unless they're really important. What counts as "Really important" is something that is up to me, but this scene, as well as a couple scenes in the Item Shop and the Park, are in this video.
He says he's all right, but...
But you think otherwise, right?
If you saw how he was after we returned, he may be right in not having us worry... He's done nothing but fighting up until now. It's no surprise that fatigue would catch up with him.
You guys always dump everything on him. Of course this happened! You should all learn to shoulder a bit more of the responsibility.
I have no idea why he's in such a rush. Grey is pushing himself way too hard. And before insinuating that the rest of us can't be relied upon, try using your brain to think for once. If that's too hard for you, then any further discussion would be pointless.
It seems the time for talk has come to an end. The star of the show has just made an appearance.
Hey! Are you okay?
This always happens to me, but I'm fine now. More importantly, let me know if you hear word of any more demons.
Seriously, is that the only thing you know how to say? Try worrying about yourself once in a while.
I am merely the -vessel-, nothing more. A -thing- has no need to worry about itself. Especially when I am still capable of fulfilling my function. So forget about my wellbeing for now. Do you have any new information?
A demon has appeared around the Nanai Cave. Unlike the last time, the sighting has been confirmed.
So this is information you've obtained through your personal network.
We can go after you've rested for a while. We'll still have plenty of time after that, right?
Now here is a guy that only hears the sound of his own voice. Let's do what we can for now.
So, time to hunt another demon. The new areas in the Nanai Cave feature Greater Devils, Orc Lords, Gorgons, and Shadow Fenrirs. Lots of Light magic is a good thing here, so I'm bringing along a motley crew of Grey, Mervina, Ignis, and Eva. Mervina kinda got cheated out of the Danaos fight, even though I did want her to fight him, simply because I couldn't leave such a difficult fight up to amateurs, so she gets to be in a boss battle.
You know what I've just realized? Eva has only sat out of three boss fights so far, the entire game. The first fight against Vanessa's demon, later the boss of the Thermidor Temple, and then Rasta. I should start letting other characters besides her in, because right now she's by far my most-used character. But before we get to the boss, we need to do some grinding for Clairvoyances, and their potent convert item, Accuracy++. I also tricked Mervina out with a Durandal from the previous boss fight, since it far outclasses Tyr's Fang from last generation.
Yes, grinding. Now, the materials for the Bird Eye -> Hawk Eye -> Clairvoyance can almost entirely be found in Fendias, with the exception of the materials for the Bird Eye, which I've already talked about where to get, and the Yellow Powder, which is from the Earth Spirits in the northern areas of the Dajlua Wetlands. Orc Mages, Spark Knights, Phantoms, Earth Spirits, Wind Spirits (those are in Nenan's Flurry) are all who you want to Over Kill and steal from like crazy, because we're getting into that part of game where Accuracy is only going to become more important.
While there's no set number of Clairvoyances -> Accuracy++ we should need (the material needed to convert Clairvoyances is Mythril, which I've had a metric ton of for a while now from fighting toward the end of the second generation), I went with four for now. Grinding those out is a fairly simple task, since the enemies you're beating up are mid-second generation rubbish for the most part. As for money, four Clairvoyances fully upgraded and converted cost me about 500,000 all told. To be on the safe side, the accuracy for your melee fighters should be in the mid-300s right now, so you aren't constantly missing attacks. Nothing more frustrating than that.
Of course, how many Accuracy++'s you need depends on how many regular melee fighters you have. A more magic-oriented team might have need for less, and a melee-oriented one obviously needs more. However, four for now is a happy medium, especially since you should still have Accuracy+'s sitting around, and you don't want to get too bored grinding, right? One final note is that enemies are going to be dropping Orichalcum Ores all the damn time in the third generation, so make sure you keep stock of how many you have. When you're not using them to upgrade, you should constantly be forging Orichalcums when you hit 99 (the max of any item you can hold), because you're going to be needing a LOT of those. Whenever you're town, just make sure, and allot yourself about 30 for any given adventure. You can buy Orichalcum in the store once you've forged your first once, but it costs about twice as much as forging one at the Warrior's Soul. Mervina in particular is a good teammate for rare stealing Ores all the time.
Meanwhile, didn't we have a demon to hunt? We did. Fragments of the past
Welcome. If you are inquiring about commissions, reception desk is that way.
I have not come here in regards to any commission. I was wondering if you knew of a man by the name of -Grey-. I have received word that he makes this town his home...
Ah, Master Grey. I know him well. He is an old friend...more or less...and extremely capable. Do you have business with him?
I heard that he frequents the Kokuriko Inn, but when I stopped by there, he was out... The people at the inn said he might be here.
If that is the case, you might have walked past him without knowing it. He was here yesterday asking for information about the demon near Nanai Cave. Perhaps he's there now?
Is that so... Then it might be for the best if I just waited for him at the inn. I apologize for troubling you.
No need to apologize. I normally spend my day -conversing- with the most unrefined and uncouth of men. It was a refreshing change to talk with a well-spoken and well-mannered -elf- such as you. Should Grey stop by here, would you like me to tell him that you're looking for him?
If it wouldn't be too much trouble.
It may be a while until he returns, so I'd suggest taking some time getting familiar with the town.
It's nice to have a character who is just generally in a good mood by default, doesn't go "..." a lot, and is very polite, right?
To think an elf would come here... And a guardian, to boot. The world sure has changed.
So, Ring Dragon and two Gorgons. Piece of cake. The Ring Dragon is nowhere near as powerful as his Neo counterpart, and the Gorgons are pretty easy to kill, too. This fight is just more of an exercise in tedium, unfortunately, as there's really nothing to this fight.
Even my rewards were terrible. Only 37,000 EXP. Let's just move on.
I've never said you were a burden. However, demons can be far more serious opponents than you could possibly imagine. Letting your guard down for even an instant can prove fatal. Never forget that.
You always say the same exact thing after every single fight. I get it already. I won't let my guard down. So stop worrying about it.
It seems that this demon wasn't one of the ones we are looking for.
Whatever the case, what's important here is that you're still alive. Watching you suffer is bad enough, but having to watch Fiona suffer along with you is unbearable.
When we go grab our reward, let's see if any new information has come down the pipe.
Time will eventually erase everything without a trace. However... In the grandest tradition of irony, the most trivial of memories only become more vivid as time passes. I never expected that memory to last as long as my scars or the pain that came with the loss of my arm... But if pain is the ultimate proof that one is alive... Then I guess it is only natural. At least I know where I'll arrive in the end. The gods willing...
Back in town, there's a couple commissions to be fulfilled. One is to kill 4 Shadow Fenrirs and 9 Orc Lords, while the other is to Over Kill two Greater Devils. Easy money. Meanwhile, another batch of scenes in town, with the second one being the most important.
Who are you?
My name is Sofia and I am from the Lishius clan. I have been ordered by Ordine, the elder of my clan, to assist you in any way I am able.
That can't be possible, can it?! Why have you- I cannot imagine what reason Lady Ordine would have for sending her successor away from the village. It could be that she wanted me to broaden my horizons, as it were. Or possibly there are other reasons why she chose to do as she did... In any case, it was what Lady Ordine wished for me to do. I am simply obeying her orders. But...
I understand full well the dangers of what you all are trying to accomplish. Howeer, should I become the next leader of my people; the experience I gain will be a benefit to all. I appreciate your concern for my safety, but I am no longer a child. I trust you realize that...Brother.
Bro- Wait a second, you mean to say this beautiful woman is your sister?! Seriously, why have you been holding out on us all this time? I think introductions are in order.
Your behavior is as boorish as always. You will never learn even a modicum of self-restraint, will you? Her formidable skills were recognized early on, so she...Sofia left home in order to become the next elder. And after I joined your party, I have seen very little of her. To be honest, outside of the fact that we are siblings, I know very little about Sofia.
However, I know a great deal about all of you. I have heard about your exploits from Lady Ordine as well as the other villagers. And do not forget... Though it is a thing of the past, you and I were once to be married, so I do still think about you on occasion.
What?! How can this be, especially since you are already married to another woman?! Such disgraceful behavior from a guardian!
Last warning: calm down. As Sofia just said, it was a thing of the past. Our betrothal was called off many years ago. Which is just as well, since neither of us wished for it to be, right? And don't try to say it was otherwise.
But you are still my brother and I cannot help but worry about you, seeing as you haven't changed.
Enough of that. I am concerned about Lady Ordine's orders. Why would she command such a thing now?
I find it hard to think of a reason but if I were to make a guess... It is known by many that the intensity of the battle you've been fighting has grown. And if the fate of the world truly rests on your shoulders, shouldn't I be there to assist you? In particular, wouldn't it be better for everyone to have another healer who could ease Grey's pain?
You know how to use healing spells as well, Sofia?
Yes, I do have some ability with healing, though I am not nearly as skilled as you, Fiona.
Healing, huh... All I really need right now is to find all of the demons that are infused with Chaos' power.
I anticipated that you would answer as such so I have managed to obtain some information for you. It seems that a demon has made an appearance in the Agnee Snow Field in Fendias. Of course, I have no way of knowing if it contains the power that Grey is searching for. However, would it not be prudent to as least go and see for ourselves?
You are disturbingly thorough. It was as if you were timing when you would mention that bit of information.
If that is how you wish to view me, then so be it. But I have no doubt that you will need me eventually. In fact, I have bided my time and have waited for the most opportune moment in which to join you.
Could you have...
And when did you come to such a realization?
I cannot explain how I know this to be true. I just...felt it.
I see... It seems that we won't have to expend any effort to track her down. Does that not please you, Grey?
H-Hey! Don't talk in front of me like I'm not here! He is MY-
Father... How dare you speak to me like that?!
Ignis, perhaps you should have a long talk with your daughter.
I see how it is now... No, it is nothing. Please, continue.
I can vouch for her strength. I don't think it'd be a bad thing for her to come, but it is your decision.
Regardless of whether I need healing or not, I will need more than Fiona to finish all of this. If you are willing to die alongside the rest of us, then you are welcome to join the party.
Now that's settled, I look forward to working with you all.
Yeah, welcome aboard.
So, we're leaving?
As soon as we can.
And there you have it. Sorry about not giving you a warmer welcome. You should probably start getting ready now.
And now Sofia's on the team, as the penultimate party member. She's tied with Eva for best mage in the game, but her ability to equip physical skills is abysmal, as well as having very low affinity for Darkness magic. That's okay, though, no one's looking at Sofia for fighting prowess. For her, though, it's a bit tragic, since she joins at a time in the game where you probably don't have a lot of spare TP to outfit her and get her up to speed quickly. For the moment, though, Liel is getting what TP I can spare, and we'll catch Sofia up fast enough so that she can join in boss battles soon.
But, I was able to give her a couple EX Skills. Destiny increases item drop rate, and Genius I've already talked about. She starts with a Blade of Rays, which is a pretty good Staff (yes, even if it has "Blade" in its name, it is a Staff). Now that Sofia has joined, there is another round of commissions that have gone up. The first, which I've already done, is for 8 Gorgons, 4 Aellos, and 2 Hresvelgrs. The latter two can be found all over the Fendias overworld, especially near Nenan's Flurry. The next is for unleashing the level 2 Original Skills of Grey, Mervina, Liel, and Sofia (you can also switch their Original Skills and it'll still count, even if it's in the level one spot), 10 battles with those four, and 10 battles with Ignis, Jude, Jainus, and Liel.
There are a couple Finish Strike commissions, too. One is for Shaldie's Gift (which is another 1 SP, 1 Ultimate Point Finish Strike. The characters you need to activate it are Eva, Sofia, and Liel), but the other, Big Bang, is kinda weird. The reason is is that it's going to be quite a while until you can learn Big Bang as a Finish Strike. And even then, holy cow do you need some prerequisites. From memory, I think you need 4 Ultimate Points and 3 SP. Could be wrong, but I do know you need a lot of preparation to use it. It IS pretty tremendous, though.
Since we have to do some grinding anyway, might not hurt to be a little ahead of the curve. I know for a fact there's a commission for Dryads and Ring Dragons in the future, and both can be found near Lucrellia's Temple of Commerce. I used the Grey and Co. team to fight those battles, before switching over to Team Family Ties. In addition, I opted to use PP to improve Sofia's speed so that she's the fastest member of my team. When I have a bit more TP, I can properly outfit her, and we can start going to town.
For Team Family Ties, I decided to start grinding for more Accuracy++ materials in Fendias, as well as clearing the Agnee Snow Field up to the next boss.
Said boss is located here. For this fight, you want a bunch of Fire skills, so I changed Ignis' Original Skills around so Purgatory Roar is a level one, and it's a Fire-skill. I decided to outfit Liel, too, since Generation 3 needs more representation in boss fights, outside of Grey. Hidden suffering
Damn, wrong again about details. I swear, it's a running gag in my LPs I forget stuff all the time. I mean, I remember most things, but I completely forgot about what this guy looked like. It's not the first time I completely forgot a boss, though.
I do like getting a nice, close look at Grey. Damn that coat looks nice, but he must be hot in that thing. It would be good for this kind of environment, but can you imagine how much he would sweating if we went to the Gai Desert or Calicai Volcano?
Jeez, we must be insane; I mean we're actually happy about coming across demons.
These demons are hardly worth the trouble!
It's really dangerous here so you should get behind us, Auntie Sofia.
I shall support you from behind the lines, as it were.
I'll take you all on! Come on, let's do this!
Eva was not a good choice to bring into this fight. Fiaat's resistance to magical damage is off the charts, but not so good at resisting physical damage. Jude would have been a better choice in her place, since he can rare steal and use Readjust to increase accuracy. Mervina would be good, too, but the problem is I only have so many Accuracy++'s to go around, and I didn't want to grind anymore than I had already done on the day I recorded this.
Well, like with the Thermidor Temple boss fight, if you kill Fiaat first, then the Hresvelgr in reserve is not going to join. Otherwise, the Sandworm has a physical counterattack, and the Fiaat a magical one.
Normally I equip Eva with a No Fear in her fourth EX Skill slot, but I'm not finding *that much* practical use for No Fear this playthrough for whatever reason. Instead, she has Unleash All in her fourth slot, which is basically Unleash Magic for physical attacks. Since Fiaat has really high resistance to magical damage, it would be a better idea to exploit its weakness more, correct?
Even with that, though, I had to put Grey in Over Wait, and I still didn't kill the bastard. Kinda getting tired of this. But, Liel of all people took him out after this turn. Anger and Rile / Unleash All actually does stack, turning your melee fighters into absolute killing machines.
Inelegant, perhaps, but those who worry about elegance on the battlefield are going to lose. Fight with everything you have, and accept the consequences.
Weird...this was definitely one of the demons with Chaos' power, but Grey didn't receive any... And it's not the first time this has happened, either. There were a few demons we fought with Schwarz that had Chaos' power, but he didn't receive any.
Really? I'm glad.
So this wasn't one of them.
I'm just happy we didn't have to watch Grey suffer this time.
Well, what he's doing will help everyone in the end. We should be glad of that, at least.
Eva looks pained again...
What is wrong? You don't look well.
It is none of your concern.
I see... This goes for Grey as well, but you need to look after yourself, Eva. You, Grey, and Fiona are the -core- of what we're trying to accomplish. I'll take care of all the preparations, so please try not to exert yourself and rest for a bit.
Why does it happen only when they fail to gather the power of the god...? Why do I feel so uneasy...?
It's definitely no accident...Eva's in a lot of pain, just like Grey, and yet she has no idea why... And it's likely this has been going on for a while, so Eva's been suffering in silence. Well, we can mull on that later. Time to head back to town and see what's up. This video will have the following scene, all the way up to a scene in the bath house with Eva. Despite the setting, I'm betting the content is not what you're thinking.
So this is your town. Nice place, actually. Its construction and layout make it difficult to attack and easy to defend.
But more impressive is the fact that anyone who wants to live a decent life is welcome here. Regardless of race, gender, or creed.
I have not come here to seek peace or a safe place to dwell. I live only to fight. I live only to watch blood flow, to sever tendons and break bones; to witness the moment when life fades.
So why did you come here?
To finish a fight begun a while ago. Is Schwarz here?
Sorry, but you will not find Schwarz here.
So he is out. Then I shall wait until he returns.
Unfortunately, no matter how long you're willing to wait, he won't be coming back. My father, Schwarz, died fulfilling his mission.
Sorry, but you should leave now. You have no business here anymore.
I see... I have finally understood those words he left when we parted.
Will you just drop it, already? Can't you see he's tired?
You referred to him as -father- just now. Does that mean you are his child?
And if I am?
Does your skill compare with that of your father?
No, he's much stronger than anyone else. That includes you, too.
I see... Then I can get right to the point. As per the promise made to me by your father, I wish to duel you.
You haven't changed at all since when we last met.
Sorry, but I have neither the time nor inclination to play with you.
Do you mean to say that you refuse to face me in a duel?
Look into my eyes. What do you see?
But you are burdened with regret. I see nothing but hesitation in your eyes. And it is that regret that caused you to leave my father without crossing blades, or am I wrong?
... And so, I will not be able to cut you down with a hesitant blade... But you are correct. I am trying to hunt down a demon. And once I had finished with the demon I was going to officially challenge your father to a duel. However...it is just how you said. To fight against another while having such a distraction hanging over my head would be folly. I suppose that this fight was already lost before it ever began...
You know, if this game was anything like real life, Schwarz would totally just plunk Georg right between the eyes and end the "duel" right then and there. There's no way he would care about playing fair, and it's not like sword vs. gun is anything other than a slaughter in anything outside anime and anime video games.
Why don't you join us?
What the hell are you thinking?! We can't have someone like him traveling with us! I can't believe that you'd even suggest something so stupid.
Everyone here knows of this man's capabilities.
I guess it'd be okay. Also, he's the type of hyper-energetic old codger you don't want as an enemy.
Old pot, meet ancient kettle.
Please cease your pointless banter, Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
Hey, do you expect me to take that?
Mind your manners, you ignorant child. If he is hunting demons, then our objectives coincide for now, correct?
Do whatever you wish. I'm going to go rest.
Well, even if he is being very rude (it's not like he has time for anyone, to be fair), it's still pretty incredible to see Grey want to actually relax.
Well, it's not like we hold a grudge against you, and it'd be nice to have another swordsman along. But I warn you against trying anything funny. If anything happens to him, you'll regret it...badly.
And if you do try something, at least do it in front of us and not behind our backs.
I understand perfectly. Perhaps I will accompany you for a while.
And Georg makes the final party member of the entire game. When Schwarz and the second generation Pillars inevitably rejoin as Marionettes, that'll make a full roster of 18 characters. The first game had an absurdly large cast of more than 30 playable characters, I think. 18 playable characters is a little chunky, of course.
I took this because I wanted to raise a few points. One of the quirky things about third generation choices is that more characters than ever are affected by decisions in the events (but a single decision affecting six characters is only for this scene, I believe). On that note, Georg's and Sofia's affection will be rising much faster than the other characters', with Sofia's in particular shooting up from level 2 all the way to level 6 in a fairly short span of the game. What this means is that you're likely only going to hit Party Rank A before the end of the game, and I can tell you now that everyone except Jude, Ignis, and Georg will be hitting max before the end of the game (especially since you can only do the bath house mini-game with the girls). If you really want to see if you can hit Party Rank S, you're going to have be using those three a lot. I may or may not. I'm already using Ignis a lot more this playthrough than I usually do.
Now then, let's wrap up the update with a really important scene for Eva's character. It's from this point on when Eva really starts to change, and trust me she's going to be a completely different individual before this generation's story comes to an end. Truth behind the strength
I'm surprised that you, of all people, need to be healed.
What are you talking about?
I can't expect you to tell me what you don't know, but at the very least there should be no lies between us.
Eva really likes a bit of sensitivity here, and despite her outward personality does like the fact that Grey takes a personal interest in her wellbeing. Eva hits level affection level five from this choice, along with increasing the affection of Ignis, Georg, and Mervina.
Of course, Eva could be hitting level five prematurely because I use her in battle so much.
It's entirely up to you whether you want to answer my question or not. Do what you feel you must.
And what would you do if I said I didn't wish to answer you?
I would simply wait until you changed your mind.
Unfortunately, you have very little time left for you to do such a thing.
Even after we part from each other, the -blood- that I'll leave behind will still continue to hound you.
That will only last until your final moments, though...
How long has it been...?
Uh... I believe that it started even before I sealed Weiss.
You're not talking about our situation in general, are you? You came here to find relief from your pain.
This pain... I started feeling it when I began traveling with Weiss. Although it wasn't nearly this intense back then.
Is that so...?
What made you want to know such things about me?
I was just curious about you, nothing more.
About...me? Why would you want to know more about...
No reason, really. Like I said, I was just curious. Also, isn't your role in all of this to seal me? I assume that there are others things you need to accomplish once I've gathered all of the power? Don't feel you have to do everything yourself. We're here if you need someone to talk to.
And yet, you are worried about me...?
My reasons for suffering are fairly straightforward. The pain is something I just have to accept. But it's different for you. It's hard to continue struggling without knowing why you should, isn't it?
Stop hiding things from us. The others are already suspicious enough of you as it is.
So this has indeed been going on for a while, but it seems Eva's guard may be dropping, especially around Grey. Despite her personality, the others have trusted and fought alongside her for 40-something years. Eva is what keeps this team focused, but more importantly, she's the rock. She has seniority over anyone on this team (Weiss and Aina don't count, because they're Marionettes and not actually fighting for us), having been the second person to accompany Weiss, and she's got a role second to none in this grand design of a plot to recover Chaos' power and resurrect him. But she's been bearing so much pain for a long time now.