Part 58: Episode LIV: My Old Friend...Episode LIV: My Old Friend...
Music: Spiritualization ~ Holy Land of God
Time to head into the cave dwellings of Goreme Valley. Fun fact: the actual Göreme Valley was indeed host to a bunch of homes, temples, and churchs carved into the rock or inside caves. This was a big spot where Christians hid out when the Roman Empire was being kind of dicks to them. So I guess it's appropriate a weird Christianity split-off ex-cult leader is camping out here. But before we do that and perhaps walk headfirst into a rather lengthy story exposition, let's chat up the other cave dwellers in the area...
I was born on a mountain and raised in a cave. Truckin' and fuckin' is all I crave.
I'm glad you shared that with me.
I will stay behind, to gaze at the sun. The sun is a wondrous body. Like a magnificent father! If only I could be so grossly incandescent!
Are they putting something in the water around here...?
Yuri enters the first door on the left.
No, I'm always thrilled to see strangers pointing rifles at me as soon as I stumble into a new town.
Heh. Same. It really gets the blood flowing.
Yuri enters the first room on the right.
My journey here took much from me. My husband was trampled by a goat stampede and lost both of his legs. My son was detained by Turkish police at the border. My father died from dysentery outside Istanbul. My cat ran away. The toll has been great.
I flew here on a jet plane.
...How swell for you.
Up the steps in the central corridor leads to what appears to be a dead-end or possibly somewhere reserved for a future cutscene as our heroes gaze into the horizon. But, if you'll recall a certain treasure hunt quest...
"Behind the pillar where there is a view of the town that has stone houses and a beautiful sunset."
Well, we cannot see the view of the town or the sunset. But, there *is* a pillar and... hey, Seere!
No, get that eternal five-year-old shitty kid and his murder golems the heck out of here! I'm not going through that crap again! Anyway, next time we're in Cannes we'll need to rub this in that Loud Croft guy's face.
Yuri enters the second door on the right.
If it's discovered by the Ottoman government, everyone will be driven out. There's no doubt about that.
You ever think about, I don't know, blending in better? Maybe by not wearing a three-piece suit while hiding out in a desert cave?
Poppycock! One must always strive to look sharp.
I'm sure this guy won't need this Lottery Ticket on his desk. There aren't even any Lottery Members in Turkey. Ridiculous!
Yuri enters the second door on the left.
Your guys tried to shoot me and my friends as soon as we walked in town.
He has taught *us* to live peacefully every day. Outsiders are another story, stranger.
Yeah, you are like the fifth person to say that but it's just an orange overcast glow in the sky. I can't even tell where the lousy son is right now. And why has it been sunset for like five hours? That's not normal...
I like sunsets.
There is definitely something in the water here...
OK. I believe we've bugged everyone outside of this Jovis guy. Let's go talk to Lawrence... or Tom or Ed or whatever the hell he's calling himself today... and get this show on the road.
Yes. This is the true Sapientes Gladio.
Sages of the Sword...
I thought they would, you know, change their crest after a violent terrorist group took over the name.
I would wager rebranding is difficult when you have no resources and are in seclusion in a remote cave based town in central Turkey.
I guess that makes sense.
The Bishop will be inside.
Now we could run straight ahead into the chapel and have our meeting with Jovis...
...Or we could quickly duck into his bedroom and steal some of his shit. He's lucky we didn't slaughter his flunkies. If he's foolish enough to keep anything in a treasure chest, it's up for grabs.
A free set of that other piece of armor that was newly available in the shop is found in Jovis' chest. Despite the "female adventurers" description, all the female characters plus Blanca and Gepetto are capable of wearing this cloak. Don't ask me. This set of armor offers +50 Physical and +58 Special Defense, making it a slightly more magical defense inclined than the armor we got for Yuri. We'll equip this one on Karin.
That's enough looting and gabbing with random folk. Let's finally get on with the meeting with the original leader of Sapientes Gladio.
So you have finally come. The outlanders who wish to question me.
Are you Bishop Jovis?
We came here from Russia. We want to find out... what you can tell us... about Sapientes Gladio and their leader, Rasputin.
...I've washed my hands of them completely. We were once aligned. Now we're nothing more than enemies...
...No further calls are made for birthdays. No token gift cards exchanged for the holidays. We have unfriended one another on Gladiobook. Our ties are severed...
And... do you happen to know what Sapientes Gladio, or should I say Rasputin, is planning to do?
Some nonsense about stealing a country.
I am sure an overly complicated and drawn out scheme is involved which ends with him gloating in a theatrical fashion. And I am sure it is tedious and full of idiotic fools that are easily duped and should have seen the betrayal coming miles away.
Anastasia runs forward.
It's not nonsense! That's my country you're talking about!
<sigh> Congratulations on residing in a place one-eighth of the world's landmass.
Listen here. Your friend has ruined my whole life! How dare you call it nonsense!
Jovis slowly gets up and turns to Anastasia.
My words were careless. I beg your forgiveness, Princess.
I'm afraid you fall into a nihilistic rut sometimes at my age and don't realize who your guests are... especially, when your followers just vaguely mention "outsiders" without any further information. It makes things difficult for me...
Are you blind...?
Mhm. I can sense only some light, that is all.
Although now I am able to see many of the things that I could not see when I had my sight.
Check this out, child. I bet I can point out who of you, as the young people say, got "owned the hardest" recently.
Bishop Jovis points toward Yuri.
Huh...? Wha? Huh? <looks around confused>
Dang. You nailed it in one! I'm impressed.
But, that's not all...
When you first set foot into my church, I felt as if an old friend had come to visit.
The God of Wrath's soul that is sealed within you made me feel so. I could sense his presence.
What? The God of Wrath's soul...?
You're gonna have to specify, old man. I've got like a dozen Fusion souls rattling around in me. And the ghost of a little girl.
It's a long story...
<nods> Hmm. His power has also been sealed away by that foul Mistletoe's curse.
You know about that?!
I did start the organization, young man. I would know a thing or two about our cursed holy relics or ones we had planned to obtain.
Hmm... Fate certainly does have its ironies, wouldn't you say?
Can't you speak clearly, old man?!
I am sorry. I am a bit out of practice, I suppose. I have not met the likes of you since I left the secular life and came here.
Hmm... Yes, it has been some time since I encountered wandering adventurers... Yes, some time indeed... I suppose you have already looted my quarters of valuables?
You better believe it!
That is acceptable. Take it as payment for my earlier rudeness.
Karin over there already has it equipped.
What? You stole that?! You told me you got it on a discount from the Magimel shop!
Yeah, I did! But then I found the free one and reloaded an earlier save.
I think I can answer the questions that you seek. Allow me to tell you about... Rasputin.
<strokes beard> Hmm...
He is, as you young people say, kind of a dick...
Yeah! Tell us something we don't know!
<nods> Yes, of course. Allow me to prepare some slides.
<sigh> I never should have started this trend with those doodles...
That was when it all began. I was betrayed by my disciple, and forsaken by my friend...
My friend and I had just taken in a young Rasputin as our new disciple. But time passed...
And soon Rasputin had gained the power he needed to fulfill his ambitions.
That was when he showed his true self. Recognizing his madness too late, my friend and I tried to fight him.
But we were quickly undone by the demonic power he wielded... The two of us were banished and Rasputin became the new leader.
He has made a soul pact with the King of Demons, Asmodeus. That is what shields him and protects his mortal flesh.
...W-Wait, who was the guy in the background of those slides?
A soul pact?
<nods> When a person sacrifices his very soul in exchange for unearthly power.
Is that really possible?
It is. If one possesses great knowledge and willpower.
I'm afraid that's exactly what Rasputin learned from us...
That was, as you say, my bad. We really screwed the pooch on that one, as it were.
So you're saying that he possesses the power of Asmodeus?
<nods> Mmm. Maybe he thought he was strong enough... But at some point, well, while unaware, his soul was devoured by Asmodeus. And now that demon within him seeks the destruction of this very world.
...I thought he was only taking over Russia?
These powerful demons in soul pacts, you see, they start small scale. Take over a country here. Start a war there... Then eventually get, as I've heard the term, "galaxy brain ideas" and it escalates from there. It usually ends in world destruction.
Isn't there any way to stop Rasputin?
A power equal to Asmodeus could break through his shield.
Power like that? Where would we find it?
My muscles are perfection and their power was nothing!
<points at Yuri> Within the heart of this young man.
To stop the madness of Rasputin and our former organization, my friend fought to change the future of the entire world.
His plan was to summon a god that would shake the earth and shatter the skies. When I saw his plan would reorder the nature of the world, I became fearful...
Hey, now, wait a minute...
This sounds a LOT like a story I've already heard and I'm NOT a fan...
My friend lost his confidence in me and, in order to battle Asmodeus, he made a soul pact with the most powerful demon he could find.
But the soul of Amon is now sealed within you. Why is this so?
I found a weird stone in a temple beneath Wales and then beat up... aww crap, it IS him...
Because you defeated my friend and conquered the will of Amon. And so when the god which was summoned turned to light and was crushed by you, my friend's soul disappeared within you as well.
Hey old man, that friend of yours...
Cardinal Albert Simon...
That's right, dapper warlock Albert Simon didn't summon an alien god to destroy the planet due to vague JRPG cleanse the corrupt world and maybe visions of World War I being a really bad scene. He was actually trying to stop his old dirtbag student Grigori Rasputin from uhh... taking over Russia and MAYBE going crazy and destroying the world at some point after he made a soul pact with a demon? And he tried to accomplish this by err... ALSO doing a soul pact with a demon and then ergh... trying to destroying the world first...?
Also we've got him fucking about with Dehuai who killed Yuri's parents and was just a huge piece of shit. An incompetent piece of shit at that. And everything with Arcane Olga. And helping out murdering catboy and his master and doing gruesome experiments on Wugui of Kowloon in China. Plus torturing Koudelka and giving that weird Kiryu/Majima hybrid doctor the fucking Emigre Manuscript... Like, uhh... I dunno, man...
I know don't know about this retcon, ref. But nobody gets off Shadow Hearts: Covenant's wild ride -- even characters that are already dead.
Only the fallen angel Astaroth and the God of Wrath Amon have the power to resist Asmodeus.
...Wait, what's this Astaroth thing? That's new.
Don't worry about that right now.
You're the one that brought it up!
If you want to resurrect that power, you must first pass a trial.
You must search for Amon, buried somewhere within you.
<looks at his chest> ......
The Mistletoe extinguishes your powers. The more you resist, the more the curse inside you will eat into your very soul. There is a limit to how much even the strongest of wills can endure.
<points at Jovis> And what if I... can't... endure...?
I-Is like a... bad debuff... Or maybe my Level gets reset again. That would su
You will go permanently insane.
Well, that sucks...
<definitely trying not to have a panic attack> Ha ha ha! Yeah! Right! Good one, old man! Ha ha! Yeah... Gimme a break...
Ha ha! Yeah... G-Good stuff... Rog, hehe, where... where did you dig up this fossil? He... ha ha... he's a real... a real comedian... Ha ha.
Son, I am, as they say, dead ass serious right now.
You need not go alone, I will come with you. It will be a most perilous journey, my young friend.
I don't know. We already got the old man niche filled in the party with Gepetto and we barely even use him.
Amon is a powerful foe. I think you know that far better than I do.
I did hold off the German Army for half a year with it so... yeah, I see where you're coming from... But...
Let me take your place!! I'll be the one to go with him!
Uhh... umm... Karin...
You know that failure means death?
If you die in the Mirror Castle, you die in real life.
...Wait, Mirror Castle?
There are many steps to this trial I need to go over. There will be an orientation.
Hmm. It shall be. Now then, come with me.
I did not intentionally mean to make that rhyme. I do not want you to think I am one of those kinds of douchebag elderly mentors.
Jovis walks off.
Eh... uhh... umm...
Tune in next time as we prepare for Karin and Yuri to take a journey into the wack ass mind palace residing in Yuri's soul in order to resurrect the power of an easily permanently missable late-game Shadow Hearts 1 Fusion that is suddenly incredibly plot relevant as Shadow Hearts: Covenant continues to just keep doing whatever the hell it wants.
Video: Episode 54 Highlight Reel (You should probably watch this.)
Jovis Abraham Concept Art - That's about how I'd expect an exiled holy man living in a cave to look.