Part 9: The Brave and The BoldThe Brave and The Bold
Before we advance the plot and finish up today, we have something to do.
Not only is Joe a level behind everyone else, he's also a demon short too. We also might be lacking in skills to distribute them all effectively right now.
I gave Joe the 2 offensive spells we started with, since he's primarily a spellcaster and all. Plus, fire and electric weaknesses are the most common right now and he is probably going to be fighting a bit more than the others. Hibiki kept Bufu and Io kept Zan, though.
Fortunately, free battles exist to mitigate these problems so we'll bleed the one here dry of all crackable skills (all 3 of them) and use the funds we get from that to give Joe a new demon. In the process, he should hit the same level as everyone else too.
He does, and he's nice enough to pick up more Magic too.
Skills we got from this little excursion were Hero Aid as seen above (a flat +25% increase in chance to critical hit), Snipe and Extra Cancel (physical hit that if connects guarantees removal of Extra Turn from the target).
I reset a bit, and pick up a 5 star Knocker. It'd be better if those 3 extra stat points all went into Strength, but I'm not complaining that much over what is probably going to be used as better healing.
Race-D is its 5 star skill and means he takes 50% less damage from other Fairies. Since the only fairies we've seen so far are Pixie and Knocker itself, this could help more than you might think. Pixie has Zio and Knocker has Zan, so they can both take advantage of his weaknesses.
That done, let's go hang out with Io for a bit.
[Music: In the Devastated Town]
Oh, Hibiki. Um... Can I ask you something?
Do you feel... um... worried?
Well, he probably doesn't because he's the second calmest dude we've seen so far (#1 being Joe, of course). It's possible that's a facade but it doesn't seem like it. Still, this gives us the most dialogue so...
Yeah... I figured... I guess I was asking the obvious...
I still can't believe we're going to be fighting demons...!
And Shibuya's a wreck... I don't think there are any relief efforts going, either.
I just hope my mom and dad are okay...
Io looks down sadly...
We're only able to use the app to summon demons because of it, and we saved Daichi...
So was it a good idea for us to start using Nicaea...
Uh-huh... I first went to that site after a girl in my class told me about it...
I was kind of scared, but everyone else was doing it, so I...
Oh, sorry, Hibiki. Now I'm just bombarding you with questions.
I think talking this out has calmed me down a little... Thanks.
Io smiles, but she still seems a bit worried...
Merely hanging out with someone grants a fair few points to the next Fate level - 10 for the scene and usually more for dialogue choices; in this case it's just the 10 though. I'm fairly sure that's enough to get Io to level 1 anyway, actually.
Io's elemental resistance isn't quite what you might expect, but it's not a bad one either. Really, no elemental resistance in itself is bad per se.
We'll do some more party chat stuff later, but for now the plot's decided to rear its ugly head. Let's see what this one's about.
But we're here at Shinbashi. We'll be at the Metropolitan Expressway in no time.
...Huh? Well, I'm a grown-up. I have to work hard...
Are you okay?
Oh... S-Sorry. My ankle hurts...
What!? Oh, Io, I'm sorry! I totally didn't even notice!
No... It's okay. I'm fine...
Don't push yourself.
Oh... Uh... Sorry, thanks.
Hmm... I wonder if there's something that would make this easier for her...
Wait here! Hibiki, I'm gonna go look for a car!
Remember that driver's licence thing from the very beginning?
And the key's inside! Nice! ...Hello? Anybody here? I need to borrow your truck!
Just because Daichi can drive, he takes the first opportunity to steal some guy's delivery truck. Real nice.
All right! Everybody can ride in style now...
Hibiki, Io! Check it! Now we can--
It's Dubhe! Daichi, look out!
Is that... could it be...?
Daichi! Floor it!
Whoa... Wah... whoaaaaa!
Uh-oh. It saw us. That's not good.
And we can't take the way back... Hibiki! What should we do!?
Let's ignore it.
Yeah, that sounds good. Mmm-hmmm...
H-Hey, Hibiki... Look behind it. Can we escape through there...?
That's it! That's a great plan!
Let's go, then!
Slightly different win conditions this time, but it's also the hardest fight of Sunday so makes sense. There's mostly just a bunch of low level dudes around, with a Tam Lin hiding in the Poltergeist party and of course Dubhe himself...
We're running away from this guy for a very good reason! It's only kind of straight up unbeatable. Not only does he have immunity to everything, but he can hit you from 4 spaces away too. Binary Fire is just "Agi but infinitely better at basically the same MP cost" which is sort of unfair.
We can't even crack it either (not that we'd be able to get it if we could). This is all we can crack, and Anti-Fire's the best of the bunch by far. Fortunately, the Anti-Fire and Extra Bonus are available from different Knockers so we can get both.
And we'll begin by having Hibiki charge right after the one he's trying to crack. This shouldn't be too difficult, since he only has two Poltergeists with him.
He's also apparently absurdly lucky. Go figure.
Joe's gonna jump down and help by taking out the Agathion, while Io heads up to try and draw the Poltergeist/Tam Lin in. Important to try and keep just out of Dubhe's attack range because I really don't want to get oneshot by Binary Fire any time ever.
...Well, at least you tried Joe. The Agathion won't last that long now that its on its own, at least.
In yet another "something that should succeed but will find a way to somehow not quite manage it" move, the Poltergeist team took the incredibly obvious Io bait.
The plus side is that not only are the Poltergeists in their absolute base level 1 form, but Io has an easier time with Tam Lin than Daichi ever could. Being able to capitalise on that force weakness helps speed things up massively.
So much so, that not only did Io get the Anger Hit but she wiped everything else out in the process.
Come the demons' turns, the Agathion decided to use its racial skill. Ghost Wounds is a pretty simple one, but an interesting counter for Dragons. Which, uh, it kinda has to be considering that is its sole use and all.
It reduces attack range back to 1 and cuts how far you can move in half. I don't think it's that great, but it has its uses.
The Knocker used its turn solely to use Glamour, so Io went over and punched it to weaken it again. It doesn't quite drop back as low as it was before, but 6 HP is still plenty for Hibiki to oneshot it.
And he does just that, after the Knocker decides to try and pick a fight for some reason.
As you might've gathered from Dubhe's skillset already, Anti-Fire is really, really good in this fight.
Resistance skills are really quite good in general for that matter, especially on demons since they can patch over existing weaknesses or make things basically immortal.
The catch, of course, is that you only get 3 passive skill slots so you have to pick them pretty damn carefully (plus side: you can scan the battlefield at the start of a fight and switch around then). Later, better ones also have a lot higher stat requirements, and in stats you might not have invested in.
Hibiki's turn is used to help out Joe, but in the process he had to step into Dubhe's attack range temporarily. This won't matter, but we'll get to that shortly.
I'd say that after taking out the Obariyon, and punching the Knocker a couple of times he's helped out enough. Much more and he might've accidentally killed it.
...Not that it really matters when it uses Glamour and then tries to fight Hibiki again.
So, he's gotta knock it down a peg or two. Again. Joe can finish it from here without worry, at least.
So now we do something ballsy. To get past here easier, we're going to take advantage of a very situational racial skill. First, we go up and act like we're going to punch the unpunchable.
[Music: Break Out]
Since we can't even pretend to scratch Dubhe, this consists of using our turns to merely guard. Dubhe's surprisingly does not take this opportunity to wipe out Pixie with Binary Fire anyway (it totally could even with Guarding).
Instead, it decides to cast Agi. On Hibiki.
It's not very effective.
That done, we can now take advantage of Animal Leg (Kabuso's racial skill). This lets us move twice in a turn; once before, and once after, fighting something. Using this, we can move to just outside of Dubhe's attack range but this time on the other side of the arena.
Next up's Joe, and he finishes off his Knocker and the Kabuso it came with. This just leaves that one Kobold right by Dubhe... except, that doesn't move. This is a bit of a problem, since it's sat right inside Dubhe's attack range.
Small mercy though; Joe gets another level. It's also around about now, that bringing Daichi's Agathion may have been a smart idea.
Io's going to fight the Kobold, hopefully wiping it out with her own Kobold's racial skill. Only, she's now 2 spaces away from Dubhe. Ghost Wounds would be pretty nice in this scenario.
Of course, Dubhe can move anyway. It just chooses not to most of the time, for whatever reason.
Worse still, the Kobold hung on by a thread. It's just got enough HP left to not be able to use Aggrevate in turn, and it can't heal either. Still, not an ideal scenario.
Hibiki's pretty safe at this point, though. That's one.
...Next is Dubhe. This can't end well.
Aaah! Is it going to attack? I can't beat it... so I'll have to resist it!
This time it uses Binary Fire, and throws it straight at Pixie. The AI isn't all that stupid, but it probably could've wiped Io out with it instead.
Fortunately, the AI is still dumb enough to usually not explicitly try to target and kill the party leader until both their other units are taken out first. There are exceptions, but we'll get to those later.
The Kobold might not be able to use Aggrevate, but that doesn't stop it from trying its luck against Io anyway.
It doesn't work out as well as he'd have liked.
Joe's able to take this opportunity to run through to safety. That's two...
Unfortunately, Io's next turn is after Dubhe's.
Naturally, it uses that advantage to blast Kobold with Binary Fire. Again, this oneshots the thing pretty effortlessly.
At least Io can now get away and hopefully be one turn from finishing this fight off. The only thing that could go wrong at this point is if Dubhe actually opts to move slightly over.
...That'd do it as well.
No...! How can...?
Oh, no... We're going to...
Oh, man! This is bad! Really, really bad!
What...? That was Daichi!
It's still dangerous.
He certainly does like a mostly eaten cornet at this point...
Hey, look. I think he exploded or something.
See? He looks pretty weak now. You think maybe we could stand a chance fighting it?
Let's do it! For Daichi!
[Music: Battle of the Brave]
even if you're not the kind of person who clicks every music link, you should still click this one
Now we have to kill Dubhe. This sounds like a problem, considering its stats from before...
Now, however, it's pretty damned weak! Not only have its stats been completely wrecked, but its now weak to basically everything too. It's HP is cut down to exactly half of what it was originally (it seems like less, but he has 200 now and 400 before). Of course, it looks like he got all his MP back but that might just be because his maximum now is less than what he had earlier.
Point is, we can do this. Very, very easily.
He still takes less damage than most anything else we've fought, but that's purely because he's level 20 and we're level 8.
Not that it matters that much, though, when he's going into the extra turn phase frozen. And everyone can now punch him.
He takes more damage from being punched, because this is a critical on top of the physical weakness. He still manages to barely hang on, but he's done for next turn.
He takes his one turn grace period to try and kill Kabuso with Agi. It doesn't work out very well...
And with that, Dubhe is down.
He gives a ton of EXP too, jeez. So much so, that Hibiki gained two levels out of this.
Despite how long and involved that fight was, it doesn't give much bonus EXP. In fact, no one important levelled up at all out of it. Money's pretty okay, though. I guess. Should be enough to help grab some new stuff later at least.
[Music: Over the Brink of Death]
So you defeated Dubhe... Impressive.
Hm? You've changed personnel. Did the other young man you were with die?
...Did he? Is Daichi... dead?
Daichi!? Where are you?
I'm over here!
[Music: A Moment of Rest]
I jumped out of the truck before it went over the edge, you idiot!
I did it to save your lives!
He's safe... I'm so glad!
Um... Io? I might be safe, but I can't get down...
Sako, go assist that boy. We have to help him down.
You're gonna lock me up again, aren't you!? No! I'm fine up here, thanks!
You all defeated Dubhe... Even if by coincidence, your actions are praiseworthy.
It's late. We'll provide you with food and shelter, so get some rest.
Oh...! Thank you so much, Makoto!
What luck! Good things do happen to nice people, after all.
Hey, so uh... Can somebody get me down?
Now that we've beaten up Dubhe and somehow managed to not die yet, we're free to do whatever we like for the rest of the day. The most popular unwinding activity was hanging out with Joe, so let's do just that.
[Music: A Moment of Rest]
Hey, if it isn't Hibiki. I haven't read "Shoji Leap" this week. Do you follow it?
I'm into it.
It's cool, right? Do you read "Featherman: From the Ashes"? It's soooo good!
I was reading this while I was on the train, then that earthquake happened.
I lose my "Shoji Leap," my threads get all ripped up... Man, it's tough.
Yep. I was meeting with a client for my company.
I think I was about half an hour late when it happened.
I thought I was going to get fired for that! It was a close call! ♪
Well, I'll go. See you later.
Oh, about that convenience store... The food's all gone, but there's a lot of manga.
If you're going to take some, make sure you pay for it. Haha, I sound so old!
Joe walks away...
And with that, we've got all three members of our party up to Fate level 1. Can't complain about that.
Speaking of our party, though, let's go chat to Daichi next. This one's actually plot relevant so it's worth doing.
Wow... This place is really awesome...
Oh, hey, Hibiki! How are you?
How's your injury?
I'm good! I just got a little banged up from when I jumped out of that truck.
I know, right? If it was one second off...
I don't remember it much, but I just knew that I had to go back...
Wasn't I... pretty awesome then!?
Yeah-yeaaah! I showed you guys what I'm made of!
Daichi repeatedly punches you in the arm, excitedly...
Haha! Sometimes you gotta step out of your comfort zone.
You guys are safe, too, so I'm glad everything's worked out.
Well, I'm going to look around some more. See you.
Daichi walks away...
We haven't had a chance to hang out with Makoto before now either, and she seems pretty cool. Might as well do so while we can.
So it's not as if you were aiming for it?
Oh, no, not really...
Daichi seems to be fidgeting nervously...
Uuuum... Can I go now, please?
What? Oh, sure. Sorry for keeping you.
Phew... Please excuse me, then...
One last thing, Shijima... How are you feeling?
Huh? I'm good, thanks...
Oh... really? W-Well...
Of course. You saved Tokyo.
Whoa, seriously? When you put it like that, I think it's finally hitting me.
...And I mean, it wasn't that big a deal!
Makoto gives Daichi a stern look...
What are you saying!?
There's a difference between courage and recklessness. Don't forget.
...If you get in trouble, talk to me before you consider throwing your life away.
Th-Thanks... I will...
...? Shijima, what are you smiling about? Are you feeling well?
Wahh! It's nothing! Excuse me!
Daichi runs off quickly...
[Music: A Moment of Rest]
He's always like that.
Oh, really...? Well, make sure you keep an eye on him. Tell me if anything happens.
Makoto walks away...
Surprisingly enough, that gets a Fate level for Makoto.
We can spend the rest of our evening grinding, or we can head to bed. I think the latter's a better option.
[Music: In the Devastated Town]
I have compiled a simple summary of your actions on this day...
Well? Would you like to hear it?
Let's hear it.
Understood. Well then...
You first accessed Nicaea at the exam site.
Okay, yeah, if you didn't know already we technically had a choice between the cool male Tico we have now, and an irritating lady Tico.
I made the sensible decision to pick the tolerable choice and ignore the alternative entirely. This is non-negotiable.
Next, you ventured to Shibuya, where you were caught up in what seemed to be a quake.
At the subway platform, you made your first contract with a demon.
How does it feel, this perverse ability to bend demons to your will, hmmm?
You then accessed one of our death clips for the first time, seeing your classmate die...
Afterwards, you encountered Master Yuzuru as he was being pursued by demons...
Once you had rescued him, you elected to add him to your number.
You also encountered Dubhe, and showed your magnificence in defeating it.
Finally... You have fallen in with the organization known as JP's.
Whether they will aid or hinder you has yet to be determined...
...This concludes my overview of the day's events.