Part 12: The Secret of the Sea Gull
Mayor Leonard: ...He changed into a bat?! What a very odd character, indeed! But you people must be awfully good to drive the great Grand Papillon off! I'm truly impressed with all of you!
Is it just me, or is he laying it on a bit thick?
Mayor Leonard: Okay, Cole. Show these people to the shop. Get this over with quickly.
Cole: Come to the south end of town later.
Mayor Leonard: All right, folks. Hurry up and catch that bandit, you hear? And you'll be handsomely rewarded!
Mikey: The bandit changed into a bat? Sounds like some kind of magic trick.
Sounds like a vampire.
Anyway, we head down to the south part of town (the area where we found Ring Soul). The mayor and Cole are right behind us.
What did you want us to come here for?
You gonna buy us a meal or something?
Cole: Shhh! Look at that.
Cole: No. That's the name of the tavern! Not that. Look there!
Hey! It's the fruitcake!
Hmm. I just know I've seen that guy somewhere before...
Geez, the moment where Keith beat the crap out of his brother and received his ultimate weapon, and Yuri's forgotten it less than a year later? Some friend he is.
We watch the "scary bandit" play with the kids for a while. So fearsome.
If you know where he is and who he is, why don't you guys catch him yourself?
Because they're pussies, that's why.
Cole: ......... ...Um, good luck, now!
See what I mean?
What do you wanna do? Wanna close in?
Hmm, something's odd... If he really was such a big, bad bandit, would little kids be hanging around with him?
But we already took half the money.
Let's at least try talking to him, anyway.
Wait, Yuri is being reasonable? What sort of bizarro world have we wandered into, and how do we get back?
But Joachim isn't a thief!
John: Yeah! Now get outta here!
Okay, okay, just relax. Don't get so worked up.
I don't know what the mayor told you, but I'll never let you take us alive!
Well, this is getting us nowhere fast.
Tell me why you're stealing! And causing so much trouble in the town!
Way to assume a fat, seedy guy that looks like a gangster is telling you the truth, Karin.
Voice: Joachim is protecting the store and the children from the mayor and his cronies!
Whoa, who invited Grandma Moses?
With the situation under control for now, the kids go outside to play.
It's my treasure, I'm afraid. The mayor wants to get his hands on it.
Oh yeah? What is this treasure, anyway?
The deed to this store. Three months ago, on his deathbed, the man who built this store told me about a treasure buried beneath it.
Treasure? Is it really true?
Well, I've been living here for thirty years, and that's the first I've heard of it. But ever since, they've been bullying me to get me to give up the store.
So the vigilante group...?
Yes, that's right.
So that's why...Grand Papillon?
Should we go and take back the money?
Uh, sure. Why not?
We've got some new additions to the Character Library. Besides Grand Papillon, we've also added the Golden Bat, Granny Lot, Yuma, and John.
Wow, it didn't take the old gal long to get Yuri figured out.
There's a Mana Leaf hidden behind the bar. I kinda feel bad, stealing from the old lady-- wait, no I don't. Muahaha!
Ah, just the lying bastards I wanted to see.
Mayor Leonard: So what happened?! Did you get him?!
Gepetto walks up to the mayor and gives him the money back.
We changed our minds. Sorry, but we quit the vigilante group.
Cole: Hey! Are you guys going back on your word?!
No, we just found out the truth, that's all. And you're the ones who are in the wrong here!
Mayor Leonard: Don't think you'll be leaving here alive! ...Cole!
Cole: Men, take care of 'em!
So, the guys that couldn't beat up the bandit are supposed to take care of the people that could? This should be interesting.
And by interesting, I mean boring.
We easily take care of the group of Thugs and Fat Thugs. This is even more pathetic than the fight against the Steel Claws in Gepetto's apartment.
Cole: He he he... No...!
You ready for some more?
Cole: No! We, uh...
Fine. We're leaving.
Mayor Leonard: Yes, yes. Fine...
Looks like we just did. What're you going to do about it, baldy?
Time to claim our free food.
Got the mayor to see things our way.
I don't think he'll bother you anymore. We gave him a good talking to.
Really?! That's great! Come in and rest, everybody.
We're not there very long when Granny comes rushing in. She moves pretty fast for an old gal.
The children! Yuma and John!
Calm down, Granny! What happened to the children?
The vigilante group... Those hooligans took them! They said if we wanted them back, we had to bring the deed to the wine cellar!
Are you serious?!
We can't let them get away with this, now, can we? We should help.
Does this mean we're not getting fed?
You bet. Of course we'll help!
When we rescue the kids, we have to have Joachim in our party. Now that we have more than four party members, the selection screen opens up. We can set up three different teams and scroll through them on the fly using the L1 and L2 buttons. Anyone not in the battle party gets half experience points from battles, so it's pretty easy to keep everyone at nearly the same level.
Now that the situation has changed, most of the people in town have something new to say.
Olivia: He was studying under that odd wrestling teacher that used to live here, but then the teacher left on some trip...
And that trip will have just happened to lead him in the same direction we're going, right?
Vincent: Come to think of it, I haven't seen those hooligans around...
That's because they've been busy kidnapping little children.
But now that we've got Joachim, we're going to kick some more vigilante butt! Joachim has two special abilities, Joachythms and Muscle Arts. Joachythms, which we can't look at yet, relates to his transformation abilities, and Muscle Arts are the special moves he learns by training in wrestling. Right now, he only has Drain Touch, which works the same way as Keith's by hurting the target and healing Joachim.
The neat thing about Joachim's weapons is that they're all things he "finds" (read, "steals"). At least he's economical. Besides his weapon and a Leather Cloak for armor, Joachim comes equipped with two accessories, a Studded Belt and a Bhodi Bracelet. He also has two crests, Gremory (Barrier) and Agares (Earth Edge, Rock Rot).
Yes, you read that right. Keith's brother is a vampire trained as a professional wrestler who thinks he's a superhero. I'm starting to think all the Valentine children were repeatedly dropped on their heads as babies. At least he's well suited to beating people up, which we'll be doing as soon as we get over to that Wine Cellar. Forward, ho!