Part 25: Chapter XXIV: To Seek The OriginWe're hunting demons, to be sure, but where is this all going? The more demons we kill, the more Grey and Eva both suffer. We need to find out what's really happening here, since there's too many weird things going on for just "Hunt demons, gather their power, revive Chaos, save world" to be all that's going on. A high elf sealed away in a cave, Eva's pain, the mysterious flashbacks Weiss and Schwarz had, and the fact it seems Grey is only receiving some of the god's power, and Eva is getting the rest. Let's see how this all is going to break down...
This video has the following scene, as well as one at the Warrior's Soul, bath house, and the last one, with Eva and Fiona as pop idols, for the last one of those scenes in the game. The last one is a bit anachronistic, though, because you have to complete another round of commissions to make it show up.
Hey, what's wrong?! Are you okay?
It's just a mild headache. It'll go away if I rest for a little bit. It's nothing to be worried about.
And if I have to suffer through this pain in order to fulfill my mission, then so be it.
Yes, and it will be so.
Then when will Grey be freed from this obligation? Both Weiss and Schwarz did as you said, and...
All I know is that he will be freed when the time comes.
You're an -Agent of the God-, aren't you? You have to know something, right?
I apologize for putting you on the spot like that. I didn't mean to upset you. It's just... It's painful to watch Grey suffer...
I am simply here to ensure you make the correct decisions. It is the gods who have decreed what is to be. However, it may be... I feel that the last of the remaining power will be gathered in the not too distant future. Things may come to fruition either in this generation or the next. Of course, by exerting himself more, things could come to a close much quicker... It may be possible for Grey to end this in his lifetime, but not without considerable risk. Considering Grey's condition, I cannot say that filling the -vessel- to the brim is the right thing to do. Take care that you do not overexert yourself. It is not your life that I desire. All I want is for you to retrieve the power of the god.
I do really like this development from Eva. Because the team has lost 8 close friends because of this whole mission, and Grey is suffering ruinously, even Eva knows she can't get away with half-baked answers anymore. She's still completely focused, of course, but knows everyone else is getting impatient with this.
I... I will do whatever I can.
Just don't do anything stupid, okay?
I don't intend to. It's just... There is something wrong about the fact that I'm allowed to exist in this world. Once you've finished eating, we should start making our way to the next destination.
Next up is the Thermidor Temple. Now that you're with us, the Lishius shouldn't be too hard to deal with.
I wonder about that. I am not sure what to expect when we arrive there... But to my knowledge, I was told everything that is known about the demon there.
The strength of the guardians doesn't mean much anymore. I doubt there's a safe place left in the world.
It is a sad thought, but Mervina is correct in her observation.
You're not going to tell us to go back to the village, are you?
If she was going to say that, she would have done so as soon as we left for the Nanai Cave.
The strength of mere -humans- may not be of much help anymore, either...
Well, all we can do is try. We can't really rely on the gods, all things considered.
That is true...
I had originally wanted to do the second demon hunt of the third generation with a testosterone team (Jainus, Jude, Grey, and Ignis), but things just didn't work out, because I didn't have any ability to eliminate counterattacks. I know I said I wanted to keep Eva out of boss fights, just to give other characters more screentime, but that's just not the way things worked out this fight. Oh well, let's roll. Versus Neo Ananta
What a mess. Well, you'll likely have to deal with Iron Wall right at the start, meaning everyone on the field has dramatically increased defense. Even so, the Rakshasa's are the first target. The Manticore is fairly easy to kill, and is an enormous threat. Obviously, the Ananta is the last target, because the longer we wait to take out his allies, the more Original Skills are going to get thrown at us.
I like how Engel Israfel (the Manticore's second Original Skill) inflicts all those status effects: Insta-death, Poison, Blindness, and Paralysis. That's on top of the, uh, considerable damage it does. It's like, if he launches that at you, anyone in that area of attack is dead like 4 or 5 times over.
I feel a little cheesy, exploiting the Manticore's magical counterattack to drop Eva below 20% HP, but I see nothing wrong with that. I want to kill these guys, not have a good fight with them. They're demons, and we're the ones saving the world. Survival of the fittest, guys.
Oh, and Gospel doesn't work exactly like I thought it did. When you kill an enemy, the EXP you get from that enemy is set in stone. You want to use Gospel early in a fight, not later. Should keep that in mind for future boss fights.
It turns out that without Iron Wall on, this guy is a lot weaker than he might seem. Iron Wall is one of the absolute most annoying enemy EX Skills in the game, because it cuts physical damage done in half or something like that. It's horrible. Eva and Mervina actually have a Finish Strike together, Soul Crush, which has the same requirements, effects, and name as Weiss and Eva's Soul Crush. I prefer the Weiss version, honestly, because a glowing energy sword just looks better.
Not exactly my greatest moment, but man Gospel kicks ass. Sofia certainly pulled her weight in this fight, too. I am pleased with these results.
Now then, I managed to nab a Saint Hand from the Manticore (the cat things drop Dark Digit, which is a more physical attack focused version of the Saint Hand, and its attack element is Darkness). Thanks to using an Imperial Jewel on it, Grey can actually be a pretty good mage with this in hand, so to speak. It's not that Grey CAN'T be a good mage, it's just his leveling up growth doesn't point him that direction. That goes for everyone in the party, actually. With the right equipment you can turn anyone into anything you like, but what skills they can equip will usually tell you what they should be doing.
Sofia, too, is going to be more helpful from now on, with some of the mightiest Wind and Thunder spells in the game at her disposal right now, as well as being extremely fast, having a surprising amount of defense, ability to heal, and resist status changes. I'll probably end up making her the new Eva.
With Georg outfitted with plenty of new skills, he can start joining in, too. I'd like to avoid using Marionettes as much as possible, even though sometimes circumstances may force my hand. All the fighting to complete the next round of commissions before the next boss allowed me to equip him with all this stuff, and his EX Skills are See All, Training (increases TP gain), Qigong (blocks a certain amount of physical damage), and Desperate Strength. Georg is a very melee-oriented character, and his magical attack is pitiful.
For this commission, the game says use Georg's Malevolent Blade, but he has no such move. I suspect what it's referring to is Annihilation Blade, which starts as his level two Original Skill. For the monster hunting, defeat 10 Mabs, 10 Wights, 3 Sandworms. The first two are in the new areas of the Thermidor Temple and just outside of it, and the Sandworms can be found in Agnee Snow Field. The second is for 3 Belladonnas, 10 Bone Knights, and 3 Manticores. All three are in the new areas of Thermidor.
Although Georg is here, Ignis was actually in his spot while I was clearing out the new areas of the dungeon (the points going left from the entrance, and onto the big rock outcropping on the left). Let's see if grandpa can pull his weight. Future worries
This demon... It looks really strong!
It seems it will prove to be a worthy opponent. It may be worth fighting by your side, if just for this reason.
If you feel that you are in any danger, be sure to get away as quickly as you can.
Understood. I will support everyone as I am able.
In spite of the party's trepidation, this is a very easy fight. The Lich Spirit has extremely high intelligence, which means he'll be throwing out a lot of status effects, but is very vulnerable to physical attacks, and he doesn't have very high evasion, meaning your attacks will strike home a lot more.
Also, Georg is currently equipped with the Snow Wolf Fang, which is a Water-elemental nodachi, which means I may have to switch him out if there's a dungeon with a lot of Water-resistant enemies around, but not this guy. He and Mervina are roughly equal in terms of attack power, and another plus is they have a Finish Strike together. It also means I can keep Grey and Sofia in reserve while those two handle the dirty work.
Blade Arts is a pretty intense Finish Strike. It's just an endless series of slashing and attacking by our two dedicated swordsmen. More importantly, the Lich King meets a glorious end. He should be thanking us. I could have easily Over Killed him, if I didn't want him dead before he could fire off a Finish Strike.
That team was a lot of fun. Everyone had their part to play, and they played it masterfully. I really couldn't ask for a better outcome. I should put Gospel on Grey, though.
Man, Grey sounds like he's going to explode. He definitely got Chaos' power from that demon, but I'm not thinking this is a good thing for him...
Grey, hang on!
You collapsed almost as soon as the demon was defeated. You don't remember?
I see... (Was that...a dream...? No...that was...)
You seem to be letting your fatigue show.
No more than you are.
I believe you will be all right now... But it would be a good idea to rest a bit.
No, I am all right. I will not die, regardless of what is done to me. Right?
I cannot guarantee things to that extent. I had said that you -will not die-, but I did not say -cannot die- or that you'd survive anything. Also, should the -vessel- try to hold too much of the power, those around it will meet an...unpleasant fate. You have played the role given to you more than adequately. In fact you have exceeded my expectations. But as Sofia has said, you should stay still and rest for now.
She seems to have finally learned to show a little compassion.
There used to be no reasoning with her. I never thought I'd see the day when she'd listen to others. Now, she's actually letting on that she's worried about Grey. Then again, her ice queen facade began to show some cracks when Schwarz was still around.
I guess even the strongest bull's horns dull with age. If you're right, it'd be a reason to celebrate.
It is somewhat unnerving, though.
It'd put it on the same level as you becoming so docile.
I won't deny that; I'm not nearly that self-important.
Actually, you have become significantly more human. And Eva is beginning to change a little, too. But Grey... He frightens me sometimes. Not to mention this indescribable -horror- we're forced to witness.
And when that happens, he'll be transformed into something that is most definitely not human. I felt some of the same thing with both Weiss and Schwarz. That must've been the reason why those two didn't allow anyone to get close to them. I guess that they didn't want to hurt anyone. But with him, it's different. He has abandoned his humanity in order to fulfill this mission of his. It's like he inherited Eva's single-minded drive...no, it's much more than even that.
Yeah, his obsessive focus on completing his mission is more than a little odd. Especially considering that his life grows shorter with every fight.
If it was merely a physical pain, I'm sure he'd be able to endure it without comment. But as far as I can tell, his obvious pain and exhaustion are not physical in nature, but mental. And in fact, Sofia's healing magic does not work on the body, but the mind. But her powers only... No, that's not important. However, only so much can be done using magic. Right now, rest will be the most effective treatment.
We've been going at a near-suicidal pace. I'm sure the gods will understand if we take a break now.
If only. Grey, of course, has something he wants to do next, now that we've waxed all the demons we know about. To the land of beginning. This video also has a scene at the Hunter's Guild, and at the bath house, which only shows up after the next scene I cover.
Sorry for worrying you. I'm fine now.
To be honest, I really wish you'd rest a while longer, but... It'd be pointless to try and stop you.
I'm truly grateful to you, Fiona. And not only you, but to everyone here as well. I know I am being selfish. However, I cannot turn my back on the responsibility that's been thrust upon me.
Yeah, but instead you're running away from everything else in your life. It seems to me that you're being intentionally reckless and refusing to think things through, and you act as you do because you're afraid of what's to come, what's awaiting you at the end.
Whether you're right or wrong is irrelevant. In all honesty, I'm not sure what the truth is myself. But I cannot sit by and do nothing. If I stop now, then I'll...
That may be so, but you have to admit things have gotten peaceful around here due to our efforts. There isn't much for us to do right now except stay put and rest up a little, right?
That's a continent, right? What about Zaint Luke?
Does anyone know of a way to get to Zaint Luke?
In case you've forgotten that name, since I haven't mentioned it in a while, Zaint Luke is the name of the sixth continent, and where the Day of Light happened. The Sera lived on that land, protecting the seal binding Chaos, until Weiss withdrew The Oathsworn and killed him.
Let me think. From what I've heard, none of the transfer portals that go there are currently active...
Faz, you survived the -Day of Light- on that continent along with my grandfather, didn't you?
Yes I did...
If so, then there has to be one somewhere, right? A transfer portal that still works?
That's... I cannot say it'd be impossible, but the odds of one existing are incredibly low. And in all honesty, I have no idea how I managed to survive that day. If the gods truly are capable of performing miracles, I am convinced that my survival was one. And I wish with all my heart that that miracle was not wasted on me, but instead given to the woman who was to be Weiss' bride.
If it were that easy, we would already be much closer to the truth of things.
You're probably right...
There is...one possibility.
Yes, but it is a -possibility-, nothing more.
That is fine. Please, tell me.
In every guardian village, there are transfer portals that connect the villages to each other. There are also other portals that are located outside the villages to be used in case of emergencies.
The one we used to get to the Nebula's village when working for Li Ra-Lua was known only to guardians.
Li Ra-Lua was...a member of the Nebula clan. As you all know, Fendias is land of severe cold. And needless to say, with the number of demons around, there are many places to be avoided. Because of that, a comparatively greater number of transfer portals have been placed there. Among those many portals is one that should connect to the central continent.
However, most of the other portals have been destroyed. Even if we find the correct one, there is no guarantee the portal on the other side will still be there.
Do you know where it is?
I apologize. The location is...
Then, let's go ask Lady Jule. She may know something, right?
That seems to be our only option right now. All right, let's go pay Jule a visit.
Nowhere to go but here. We're still down with Jule, definitely. Haven't seen Gnade or Fyuren for a long time, though. Though, from the way they talk, it's likely the team took a young Schwarz / Grey around to meet the guardian elders, and Sirus, before the generation started on our end. An old woman's wisdom
There technically is one. However...
Getting there by any regular means will be almost impossible, right?
The transfer portal you seek is located on the d'Alene Snowy Mountain. Not even demons dare go there... We have thought to go. But we will not risk our lives when the odds of success are at fifty percent. Even more so when we know what lies ahead is only despair.
That mountain is the one we passed to relieve the siege of the Nebula village last generation. It's almost literally right outside the temple.
So there's only a fifty percent chance of this working... She's right, those odds suck.
But even if the portal works on this side, there's no way of knowing if the one on the other side does.
It's obviously a losing proposition, no matter how we look at it.
Even so, we have to go. There is still a possibility that it will work, even if it is slim.
You are very different from Weiss and Schwarz. Like a monolith who is rooted in the depth of the world. No one could hope to force such strength of will. Although having such will poses its own questions. In any case, be careful. None of you are accustomed to this land. The frigid cold found here is more deadly than any weapon. I would not even think about setting foot in the area you intend to go. Do not ever forget the dangers that will await you there. And if I were in your position, I'd focus my energies on slaying demons instead of going to such a place.
Do you have any information regarding demons in the area?
A demon has appeared in Nenan's Flurry. I would recommend you deal with it first, but it is up to you. But whatever you decide, you should consider resting today. You do have time enough for that, right?
We're not likely going to be going to Zaint Luke for a while, but we might as well take of this problem while we're in the area. The affections of Georg, Sofia, Mervina, and Liel goes up, while Jude's drops.
We should head for Nenan's Flurry as soon as possible.
I agree with your decision. While the transfer portal isn't going anywhere, there is no guarantee that the demon will stay put.
It would be of great help to us if you were to eliminate the demon I told you about. Whatever the case, there is no need for you to act in haste. I have a few villagers monitoring the demon's actions. If it moves, I'll be sure to send you word. You should take this opportunity to rest in the village and prepare tomorrow. Also... It seems that the weather will be much better than now, at least for a short while.
A glimpse of the future courtesy of onerthes foresight, I take it?
No, just an old woman's intuition.
If that's the case, we'll just stay put and rest for now.
Please take your ease and think of this place as your own home.
I wish to express my thanks for your hospitality and assistance, Lady Jule.
There's no need to be so stiff and formal. Your daughter has grown so much since I last saw her. In a few years, you may grow to be as much of a woman as Sofia.
Really? Father, did you hear that?!
Ignis, it seems you have raised her to be both vibrant and straightforward.
Yes, but perhaps she is a bit too straightforward. I attribute that to my wife's influence. Her strong will comes from me, though.
It is to the good, her being so vivacious.
Lady Jule, it has been a while since we last met.
Indeed it has, Sofia. Is Ordine doing well?
Yes. She seems to be in good health. She has mentioned that she would like to meet with you again, Lady Jule.
It would be nice to share a drink or two with Ordine again. I'd very much like you to join us, as well.
I'd be honored to.
For now, I'd appreciate it if you could spare some time to speak with me this evening. As long as it does not interfere with your plans for tomorrow, of course.
It'd be nice to sit in on that girls' gathering, but whatever Jule and Sofia talked about, we have no idea. Jule remains the best guardian elder, no doubt about it.
A Louisette with a Crescent Moon Rock is pretty potent, indeed. I had 15 of those, so I could afford to be generous with them for now. Can't let myself get carried away, of course.
In one of the new areas of Nenan's Flurry, called Promising Saffron Koi, you can find the Forbidden Tome for Schwarz and the second generation Pillars. Unlike last time, when we needed to advance far enough into the plot before we could revive the fallen champions, we can simply head right back to Frensberge and revive them. Of course, no reason not to and all that.
Because I am getting really tired of enemies getting the first move, I opted to put about 200 points into Sofia's AGI to keep her at the top of the speed food chain. The annoying part about fights in Nenan's Flurry is that you'll frequently run into groups that'll be four Vampire Bats, or three Vampire Bats and a Rakshasa, and then two Rakshasas and a Dragon Knight. If the enemy has an Ultimate Point going into that, it's going to be very hard to turn it around.
But, this should tide me over for a bit.
But, before long we're through the last of Nenan's Flurry. I'm opting to bring along Team Shaldie's Gift, because it's a funny enough Finish Strike, and this is a super easy boss fight. Oh, and those points along the northern edge of the map have a Big Black as a reward for clearing all three. The Big Black absorbs Darkness and has excellent resistance to magic in general, but its ability to resist physical damage is nothing short of shameful. But, it is valuable. Why? Its other effect is Max HP Change+, which is a very considerable increase to maximum HP. Depending on how many blue nodes you link with it, you can be seeing up to a 11-12,000 max HP increase. Sofia's magic
It's a demon, so it needs to be killed, right?
That's true. I guess taking it out won't count as a total waste of time...
We cannot suffer to let such a creature live.
Return now to the world of the gods.
I like how the characters are saying all sorts of dramatic lines about a silly scorpion boss.
This guy is super vulnerable to magic, especially when Sofia activates Critical Break and Eva is formation leader (her bonus is Magic Attack and Defense Up). That's a single turn of attacking right there, without Genius on.
Well THAT was uneventful. Physically strong, but magically weak bosses are by far the easiest bosses in this game. Too bad there aren't more of them. If it wasn't for Iron Wall, I wonder if I would have Over Killed him?
You can tell just by looking at it?
No... I'm just making a judgment based on Grey's reaction.
It seems that your healing magic will not be necessary this time.
Yes, I am truly glad for that.
Fiona has her suspicions as well as I. But she's keeping them to herself because you've been helping Grey. What are you after?
After? I simply wish to help Grey in any way I am able.
The magic you use doesn't just affect the body, but the mind and spirit as well. And not only does it have a powerful tranquilizing effect, but it also deadens memories and emotions. With the amount you have been using up until now, there should be no need for worry... If you won't volunteer to explains your reasons, I will not force you to do so. However...
I do not know what the right thing to do is. So for now I can only continue on as I have been.
I see... Then for now I will hold my tongue. But should you stray from that path, I swear that I will be the one to stop you.
Please do so.
It seems Jainus' group has returned.
Something about demons?
That's exactly right...as usual. King Sirus of Jueyvei has personally sent out a call for help.
A demon has appeared in the Gai Desert and he's at a total loss as to how to deal with it.
I've been giving your demands priority, but Sirus is an old friend. If we can, I'd like to go lend him a hand...
Not an enthuastic response, but it pleases Jude, Ignis, and Mervina.
What is the army doing? Do not tell me that they are wasting energy dealing with minor demons?
That does seem to be the case. It was nice of them to let us fight in the main event, though.
Just as everyone else does.
The increase in their numbers is definitely unusual.
Maybe, but more unusual is seeing a guardian suppression corps forced to laager up in their village.
All right, let's make our way to the desert.
Sorry to dump this on you.
It's not like I am doing this for you. It is for my benefit as well. And...there's the debt to him as well.
From a land of frigid cold to a land of scorching heat. Absolutely bloody wonderful. I wish demons would be a little more considerate of us when choosing where to pop up.
Yes, it'd be much easier if they would appear in places more convenient for us, wouldn't it?
Well, we'll go see what ol' Sirus wants next update. I am very much inclined to use an estrogen brigade for that fight, actually.