Part 31: Maze of Shadows, Part 2
Wow. Who designed this place, Pythagoras?
I imagine all the triangles are supposed to be symbolic of something.
Some kind of trinity, perhaps? Gods, demons and Sprites, one for each side. All moving in different directions, opposed yet intertwined, unable to fully detach themselves without compromising the whole. Quite poetic, when you think about it.
Maybe they represent tortilla chips!
...or perhaps they are, as you say, representative of tortilla chips.
Hey, there's something on the ground.
They must be Malice's. We're on the right path.
Wait a minute! I never thought about it before, but the black feathers at Yggdrasil...those might not all have been Ledah's!
What do you mean?
When we found those feathers, I thought we were on Ledah's trail. But Malice has black wings too, and she would have taken the same path. They might have been hers.
How astute. And this means...what, exactly?
They call me "fear" in your world. I am Aghart, a Dark Progenitor.
(Aghart. Hmm. That's very interesting, Ein, because I seem to recall you saying-)
SHUT UP THIS IS A COMPLETELY DISTINCT AND SEPARATE ENTITY
(Is it, Ein? Is it really?)
Now that we're not stuck with Ledah and an extremely wussy Ein, this guy's a pushover. Since he's equally resistant to everything, you might as well just have everyone use their weapon of choice. I went with Serene and Lina here because they're both physical attackers, and Aghart's Magic is pretty high. It also means we can cover everyone with a Power Wrist.
(Hey Ein. Don't push yourself too hard, alright?)
What's this? Surely that isn't concern for my well-being I hear.
(Well, yeah. If you keel over, who's going to feed me?)
That's all I'm good for, is it?
(Hey, saving the world is all well and good, but I still have to eat. Speaking of which, I have a favour to ask.)
(When this battle's over, make sure you take me on your next adventure.)
Oh please. Like you actually need to ask. Besides, I left you alone for five minutes and you ended up losing your voice and getting stranded in a demon-infested forest. You obviously can't take care of yourself.
(*I* can't take care of myself? That's a laugh. I turn my back for one second and what happens? You lose your memory and get dumped in some strange village.)
Well that settles it. Neither of us can be trusted on our own, so I guess we're just stuck with each other.
Someone you know?
What's your name?
Baby, what's your number?
Cuz girl, you got me, you got a brother wondering,
If you want a homie and a lover,
I can be your friend till the end
...are you talking to ME?
I just want you so much,
Can I have you, baby?
Do you have it, baby?
Baby tell me,
What's on your mind?
Do you think that I'm being too forward,
Oh baby, by coming at you this way,
I can't help myself, you're...
u killin' me
My pleasure. Really.
I'm sorry for all this trouble. Dragging you all over the world like this. I didn't mean for you to get caught up in everything.
Is this actual candour, or just the set-up for a joke at my expense?
The former. But don't get used to it. You're witnessing a rare phenomenon, so take advantage while you can.
In that case, thank you. But technically, I should be the one apologising to you. I was the one who brought you to Rosalina island, after all.
Hey, that's a good point! You totally owe me!
That didn't last long.
Five years of servitude or your firstborn child. What's it gonna be?
They call me "fear" in your world.
What did you just call me?
Linda. That's your name, right?
His name is Lindwurm. Emphasis on "his".
What? No way! I was paying attention in that fight! I'm sure it was Linda!
It's not. "Linda" is hardly a fitting name for a harbinger of the apocalypse, is it?
What, so you're an expert on harbinging now?
Alright, let's not fight over this. I'm sure he can clarify it for us.
It's...so simple. So ordinary. It is not my name, but I feel as if I've known this "Linda" all my life.
Perhaps...perhaps it should be my name. Perhaps it was meant to be. Do you think that is possible, small one? That my calling in life is not to be Lindwurm, the Dark Progenitor, but simply...Linda?
Um...sure. Why not?
I see. I thank you for sharing your wisdom. Please excuse me. I must...I must reflect on this.
Alright, that was definitely our weirdest S-rank to date.
So Lina. What are your plans once this is all over?
Me? I dunno. Donate my treasure to the usual charity, I guess. Apart from that, I haven't really thought it through that much.
Yeah. I suppose with all that's been happening, none of us have really...
...sorry, you're going to do what?
Well, that is, I sell it and give the money to charity. Makes it a lot easier for them.
Sure. What, you didn't really think I was keeping all that loot for myself, did you? If I was that rich, I wouldn't still be rooming with Fia. Besides, I don't even know what to do with half the stuff we find.
What's the matter?
Oh, nothing. I'm just re-evaluating everything you've ever said and done. Don't mind me.
They call me "fear" in your world. I am Archangel, a Dark Progenitor.
Seriously? That's all this place is? Just a bunch of fights against enemies we've already beaten?
You're complaining about having to fight?
No, I'm complaining about having to fight the same dudes. Just because I like pasta doesn't mean I wanna eat spaghetti every night, you know?
Let your fear flow! It will feed my rebirth!
I wouldn't mind that, actually.
Oh, come on. Every night?
It IS quite versatile. If you knew enough recipes, it'd take a long time to get bored of it. Bolognese, Carbonara, Napolitana...
Let your fear flow! It will feed my rebirth!
Hey, do you mind? We're having a conversation here.
Some time later...
...and of course there's spaghetti alla puttanesca, which uses a spicy tomato sauce with anchovies.
God, I'm so hungry now.
Well, I'm afraid I can't offer you spaghetti. But I could whip up some angel hair.
I'm leaving now.
No, you really aren't.
That's some good eating!
It's always better fresh.
Hey Fia! Don't you want any?
i am never associating with any of you ever again
Serene? Once we're done here, why don't we go to Rosalina?
Because I want to see where you lived. I'm guessing it wasn't in the castle.
No, it wasn't. But there isn't exactly a whole lot to see, you know. Especially now that everyone's...
I know. But you'll be heading back there anyway, right? To handle the burials?
So a little company wouldn't hurt, would it?
Well, if backbreaking labour is really your idea of a good time, I'm not gonna stop you.
I said I'd keep you company. Never said I was going to help you dig.
That was a joke.
It's hard to tell sometimes.
They call me "fear" in your...
...in your world. I am Death, a Dark...
Oh yes. Very clever. By all means, ruin my introduction. I knew this would happen if I ended up last in line.
Hey, maybe if you'd all come up with different speeches, it wouldn't have been a problem.
It's important that we all say exactly the same thing! It represents the monolithic nature of our evil! The unification of our minds and souls! The Dark Progenitors act and think as one!
It was time constraints, wasn't it?
i am going to desecrate your corpse SO HARD
SPECIAL NOTE: If you have Cierra use the Black Choker, you will sometimes get a hidden message!
...which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, because she's already wearing a black choker and has been from the moment we met her. Maybe she just doesn't realise it?
Anyway. You saw how easy Death was the first time we fought him, and now he doesn't even have his minions to shield him. I shouldn't need to tell you how this battle went.
Hey Cierra. Thanks for looking after Rose for me.
...thanks for looking after Gateau for me.
Oh. Of course. Don't mention it.
(Stop encouraging her.)
Thanks for helping out, too. I mean, Fia and Lina were kind of in this from the beginning, and for Serene it was personal, but you didn't have any reason to join us. I'm glad you did, though.
So am I. I've learned far more on this journey than I ever would from a book, and I'm very pleased to have met all of you.
In spite of all your quips, yes. Any insecurities about my weight have since been dealt with, thankfully.
Geez. I've been letting myself slip.
What, you mean the colossal earthquake? YES. JUST ABOUT.
Is Seth already being summoned?!
Let's move! Hector's got to be somewhere nearby!
How do you know that?
Because having to fight "Dark Ledah" and "Dark Malice" would just be dumb. And excessive.
Perhaps I was addicted to the dark side,
Somewhere inside my childhood I missed my heart die,
And even though we both came from the same places,
The money and the fame made us all change...
Ein! My main man! Feels like I haven't seen you in years! What's up, dawg?
Heard you done fucked up Ledah. Knew he'd get his cocky ass beat sooner or later. Since I'm down one angel now, how's about you fill in? You ain't officially off payroll yet, so no worries about the red tape.
What, you giving me the silent treatment now?
Do you really think you can just act like nothing's happened? After all you've done? All the people you've killed?
Say what? You be trippin', my friend. I ain't killed anyone.
Oh really? So I suppose Malice just pretended that what happened at Rosalina was your idea?
...she told you that?
Yeah. She did.
Well hell. Fine. Guilty as charged. The fuck do you want from me? I'm just doing my nine-to-five, man. The gods want a Retribution, I gotta give 'em a Retribution. You got a problem, take it up with them. I'll get you a contact number.
Nice try, but she also told us what you're really planning. That you're going to use Seth's power to become the one and only god.
You're shitting me.
Great. Fan-fucking-tastic. She let anything else slip? Maybe she felt like sharing my social security number? Where I keep my diary? What colour underwear I'm wearing today?
WHAT THE FUCK
A'ight, so you got me. But listen. I ain't frontin' when I say that this IS what the gods wanted. Asgard don't give half a shit about Riviera. With or without me, the Retribution woulda happened sooner or later. Can you blame a brother for...opportunisin'?
You know, I've been thinking about that a lot. What it would mean if you were telling the truth, and the gods really were just using the Sprites as sacrifices. If they really did want Riviera to be destroyed. And do you know what I decided?
If this is what the gods want, fuck them.
Ein, I gotta warn you. Right now? You about to cross the line. You do NOT wanna cross my line, 'cause ain't nothin' over that line but a big old can of whup-ass.
Too bad it's got your name on it, Hector.
Oh, and just for the record? I QUIT.
Your funeral, G. Time to see how my pimp hand's holdin' up.
God damn. I must be having an off day or something. I know you ain't that tough.
Apparently I am.
Bullshit. If that Ursula skank hadn't-
But she did, and this is how it went. You got screwed. Shit happens. Deal.
Say, you ever considered becoming one of the Magi?
If you did, you'd get a copy of our handbook. All full of safety tips and shit. I wrote it myself. Wanna know what rule number one is?
"Always save enough juice for one last teleport."
...really should have seen that coming.
What do we do now?
He can't have gone far. We'll find him.
What's this thing he dropped?
Don't play with that.
Just...don't. Trust me.
Tentacle Rod: One-shot boss weapon.
Effect: Single Magic attack, power of 551. Physical damage.
Target: All enemies.
Additional: Unblockable. Unavoidable.
Ooh, ooh, ooh,
Can ya feel me burnin'?
Hello. My name is Linda. Who are you?
They call me I-S-H-E-R R-A-Y-M-O-N-D
I see. I am pleased to meet you, "I-S-H-E-R R-A-Y-M-O-N-D."
We goin' down to the club
Yes. That seems...right. Let us go to this "club".
I think we got something special,
Girl you and me, together we'll take over the world