Part 22: Vigilance
Chapter 12- Vigilance
Another long day. I can't believe it's not even been a week since this all started. Anyway, we headed back to Astec hoping to see if there was any useful information to be had. While on the way there, we decided to see if Gig would cooperate and give us anything useful. Heh, like that'd ever happen.
I've seen the Raide World Eater for myself, but what are the others like?
Do they look the same, or way different, or what?
I think Gig would know best.
Of course I know best. There's nobody alive who knows more about them than me.
Let's see... one can move at hyper speed. If it spins in place, it can create monster typhoons!
How're we supposed to fight something like that?
Oh, and another can morph and transform. It can phase through physical objects, and it has telepathy, too.
Gig, that's not...
You're such a liar! You stupid... liar!
Hey, you're starting to catch on! Good for you!
Grr... you're never gonna trick me again!
You're just a big, fat liar. I'll never believe another word you say!
Yeah, why do you lie so much? Why can't you just answer straight?
Speaking of which... hey, kid, aren't you sick of this? Why not just hand the thing over already?
No can do.
C'mon, stop being so selfish. It's almost like you don't want me to have it.
Hey, there's a World Eater now. Here's your chance! Lemme take over, and then we'll all be happy!
Hey, if you do take over that body, what'll you do then?
You're so... evil.
So what's left when you're done? Just you and... what? Your food?
You know, you're not our friend. You might be even more dangerous than the World Thingies.
If that body wasn't my friend, I'd snap your neck right now.
Please. We live in different realities. Don't even try to compare me to your pathetic human ideas.
Friends... family... It's all a mindless distraction.
Ain't that right, kid?
I don't think so.
Gig was no help at all, so we decided to see if Christophe had anything for us.
What? These guys are slugs. I have slightly more faith in you.
Hmm... So tell me...
All you want is a body, right? And people are nothing but a stepping stone to that.
Duh. Should I talk slower for you? Why should the totally indestructible Gig need anything from you?
Then why not use all people everywhere? They're just toys, right?
I don't need you to tell me that, ya damn geezer.
Who do you think you are, anyway? You think a pathetic human could ever have anything useful to say?
I didn't ask for your narrow, thoughtless, moronic opinions.
Hahaha. Okay, okay! Uncle! Don't waste your venom on a broken-down old man like me.
How can you let him talk to you like that? And you just laugh it off...
Is this really how you humans are? I-I can't say I approve of that...
Ah, yes, well... By the way, I'm sorry for the trouble I've caused you and your kind.
Wipe that smug grin off your face. Are you ever sincere?
Haha. Again, sorry. I just love life!
It's got brains, but no brawn. Although, it's pretty good at hiding.
I remember it used to love experimenting on humans out in the barren lands.
What, you mean Mirage Desert? I've heard of a colony that formed after hearing the 'voice of a god'.
I bet there's a traveling merchant around here who could give you details.
We tracked the merchant down, and he confirmed the existence of this colony. We didn't want to get too close to him, though, he seemed to be coming down with something. The owner of the tavern thought it was Scarlet Iago. Nothing's worth risking coming down with that...
We started down the road through the Mirage Desert. When we reached a crossroads, we encountered something I'd never seen before. Neither had I. Heh. You know, I know when you're lying. How's that? You say things. Touche.
There's a shocker!
Shut up. I told you, I don't forget everything!
I've never seen anything like it, either.
What about you? You recognize it?
Nope, no clue. Hahaha.
It... could be...
You're not being honest, Gig.
Heh, you know me too well. Of course I know what it is.
But why should I tell you? The harder the battle, the more you need me, and the closer I get. Hahaha.
These strange creatures appeared and disappeared at will. Luckily, once we managed to track them down they weren't especially powerful. Though unused to the desert air, Juno and her bodyguards proved extremely effective against the things.
Feinne on Soul Nomad:
This is another Fade Out gimmick fight. Watch for where the cursors stop when they move, and keep in mind that out on the desert squares you're at a disadvantage unless you bring Death Requiem décor. The shadows aren't that powerful, although they do like targeting people in your back ranks.
We saw a small village off in the distance after the battle, and decided to investigate. It was going to start getting dark any time, and the desert was hardly an ideal place to spend the night. Baby. We were briefly concerned that this might be the colony we'd heard of, but it turned out to be a small enclave of older folks who worship the gods of Apis.
So, what're we gonna do? We staying here for the night?
You, little Sepp girl. Watch where you're walking. I nearly stomped on you!
I-I'm sorry, sir.
You're a Redflank, right? I've never seen one myself...
We had some in our village.
Hrm? That sword...?
What about it?
No... nothing. My mistake.
We looked around the town for a while before stopping in at the church. Yeah, and then you listened to some boring ass sermon about the creation of life on the planet, as though everyone doesn't already know that crap.
So the gods used the dirt of Prodesto, which floats in an ocean of the gods' tears, to make men similar to them.
These humans were very smart, and spread throughout the world.
But they eventually fell to petty bickering and war, leading themselves into oblivion.
The despairing gods then created the woman-race of Nereids from the dew of a dayflower growing in the ruined land.
The Nereids had no desire for power or wealth, so they never engaged in war.
But the gods were unable to create males for the all-female species, so they quickly went extinct.
So the gods heated those water droplets to form the mighty Tauros.
The Tauros were honest and playful, and never fought for long. So they populated the world once again.
But they grew restless and lashed out against the gods. In return, the gods were forced to drown the world in lava.
This caused mighty storms, and the gods took the lightning and placed it on a mountain of wisdom to create the Dracon.
The Dracons learned from everyone's past mistakes and spread throughout the land.
However, they became obsessed with the past, and ignored their future. Unable to cope with change, they withered away.
The gods gathered the winds of the world to create the winged angels.
They flew across the world, innocent and carefree.
But with their wings they abandoned the earth and ascended into the heavens.
Finally, the gods separated the old Tauros into Redflanks and Sepps. Then they mixed in every race they had made.
That decision is what has led us to where we are today.
The world could not exist with just one race. Each race is connected to the next in one way or another.
Every race has its own task, its own specialty. That is how we keep society stable.
So we must all do our part to make the world better. That's the only true path to heaven on earth.
The sermon ended there for the day.
Humans really rely on faith, don't they? Is that something Penn needs, too...?
I think I'm having déjà vu... It feels like I've been here before.
Miss, is something wrong?
This isn't a bad place.
Look, your friends are here. They're worried about you.
I just... something popped into my head.
But important, too. Something...
Miss, don't force yourself. You don't have to remember.
Everything comes and goes according to the will of the Gods of Apis.
Is it a demon...? A devil trying to seduce me?
Why would I hear the voice of the enemy? My merciful god, please forgive me.
The enemy? The hell does that mean?
Nah, he's not a devil. He's more like... a pimple. He can't do anything on his own.
Eat me, stupid cow. And watch that filthy mouth of yours. It might get you killed someday.
What'd you say, old man?
Over there ranting to nobody. Are you senile or something?
Now that you mention it, he's been following us this whole time.
Can we help you...?
Oh, no, don't mind me.
When you say it like that, it makes me even more curious.
You young Sepps are just so... yippy. How can you people stand it?
An enemy attack!
Creators, bless us...
Some Gryphos attacked the town. They're strange creatures that blend eagle and lion. I suppose they're common around these parts, but I'd only heard rumors of them before.
Juno and her Nereid comrades unleashed their full powers on the enemy this time around. It was pretty impressive.
Feinne on Soul Nomad:
So, Juno's a good example of a different kind of Special. Her Hydro Fang hits the enemy middle rank, not the Leader like Demon Blast or Blaze Slash. Here's what it looks like:
Furthermore, she counts as a Nereid, as do Norah and Minerva. What does this mean? It means that they together get access to a special attack unlocked by having three or more Nereids in a room, Sea Rush. This attack hits the entire enemy squad, and is pretty awesome.
Juno and the Nereids are Water movement type, which isn't actually a bad movement type to be honestly. It costs them more ACT to move through some terrain types, but it's not onerous. Juno's also got some very nice field Tactics, including one that raises the experience gained by adjacent rooms for the battle. Oh, and she hits like a half a brick in a sock to the face. She's very worth using.
We managed to hold back the invading forces with minimal damage to the town. Shame, seeing the place wrecked would have been funny.
Damn, they got in farther than I thought.
Father, where were your defenses? You had to have known the danger...
Yes, we did.
But this town is a very poor town. We couldn't afford many defenses.
And what little we did have were destroyed by earthquakes. We didn't have the funds to replace them...
You must all be very tired.
I'm afraid I'm a poor host, but please rest here tonight.
Before we settled down for the night, I decided to talk with Father Valerio for a bit, because I felt a little bad about something. And you call me an asshole.
You son of a bitch!
I'm mean, I'm a jerk, but that's just cruel! I thought you were better than that.
I saw there were some missing. But I just assumed that fatass cow just ate them all.
Dammit! My hotpods...
Th-that voice... it's that devil again.
You won't do what you did 15 years ago!
Huh? What happened then?
Even a fellow priest-in-training, a man I loved like my own brother, fell to the temptation.
What about 10 years ago?
10 years ago? Umm...
I do recall something of a religious struggle around here...
I didn't think I'd get any thing else useful out of him on the subject, so I decided we should take them up on the offer of shelter. We are resting at an old woman named Flo's for the night. I wonder if I'll have another dream tonight. Why do you look forward to those? They always suck. I don't think so.
Oh man. That dream... SHUT UP ABOUT IT. DON'T WRITE ABOUT IT. No way, Gig. This was important, whatever it meant.
Does Ashur really wish for us to act like this?
I just don't understand. Virtuous, have you heard the Voice?
No, I haven't...
But when I see these people... I find it difficult to agree with Drazil's ideas.
I understand that well...
But then, Drazil's word also carries an element of truth, does it not?
So you're saying this conflict of ideas between us... it's all for the people?
We are gods, and yet we are far from godly. I cannot be what I am not.
Us and them, we're all servants. We're not allowed the luxury of ego.
Drazil's ideas... dominate and oversee to maintain order... That's not necessarily wrong.
But only if it can be done by a disinterested entity.
You and I both know we've already done wrong.
But the wheel of destiny is spinning, and we must let it run its course of be crushed beneath it.
Then it seems our paths have diverged for good.
I cannot walk beside you and Drazil and longer.
There's nothing I can do for the people. I have no role.
But I'll search for it. I'll find my own path, while you continue down your own.
Yeah... what the hell kind of lameass name is that?
I'm Gig, that's it! Always have been! Who that pansyass 'Vigilance' was, I have no idea...
Now listen close, kid. Don't you dare tell anyone what you saw.
What a pathetic pushover... just dreaming about it gives me the creeps.
I have no idea what that all meant, and who that Vigilance actually was. But I can't deny that he's almost identical to Gig, at least in appearance. And the other two... Have I seen them before somewhere? I can't be sure. I don't think I have. I'm sure I'd remember two women with floating things. Just shut up about them already. They don't matter. It was just a dream. Whatever you say, Gig.
Now then, take care.
May the blessings of the gods of Apis follow you wherever you may go.
Hey kid, what's up?
What, you pity these jerks or something?
I just... wish I could help somehow.
I know how you feel. But we have things to take care of.
I'd stay behind and help myself... But you need someone to watch out for you. And that's a full-time job.
Don't you understand?! There's no one here to take care of these people!
If those monsters attack again, they won't stand a chance!
They have enough trouble just putting food on their table. Don't tell me you don't wanna help!
That is really sad.
Grr... I'm gonna stay, too!
Okay. You two are tied for the most retarded cows I know.
They can summon me anytime, right? So it shouldn't be a problem.
But these people have to start all over again every time they're attacked. I'll stay till they can fend for themselves.
Well, it would be a waste of breath to try and stop you now.
Hey... are all you cow people like this?
Oh, thank you, sir. Thank you so much!
Unbelievable. But whatever. Not like we needed you, anyway.
We're on the road now to this colony in the desert. Hopefully we'll find it reasonably soon, it's a pain to travel here. Once we find it I'll write some more.