Part 68: A Moonlit NightSo, recap:
Something's going down and no one told me! I'll have to yell at them.
Did they give Alenia the Sun Rune or something?
I'm afraid Lady Miakis is correct, Your Highness...
We have word of the enemy's new military campaign, Your Highness.
Rumor has it that Lymsleia herself will be leading an army to crush the rebellion.
That is terrible news! That I'm sure no one reading this knew about.
Those damn Godwins are forcing her to do this! They'll probably have a knife to her back the whole battle! How can they possibly thrust such a young child onto the battlefield?! And to face her own brother! The monsters!
What?! Why would the Princess put herself in danger like that?!
She loves her brother. But in the Sun Palace, she's SO far away from him! Maybe she thinks that even meeting as enemies on the battlefield is better than sitting around in the Sun Palace!
Perfect. Let's help her out.
Help her? How can we do THAT?
By kidnapping the Princess.
...Ah, I get it!
The Godwins are able to brand our forces as "rebels" and "traitors" in the eyes of the people. But they can only do that because they control the Princess. If the Princess came over to our side, they'd lose all legitimacy! And the war would be... over.
Wow... You're right!
Indeed. And perhaps this is exactly what the Princess herself has in mind. She may be young, but she does not lack in intellect or shrewdness. She takes after her parents... And, above all, she is the Prince's little sister.
And you better believe he's hella proud of her!
...Well, I think the probably just REALLY wants to see the Prince again, but whatever!
Miakis, I love you a bunch, but I think it's time we admitted that you may not be the cleverest person in the army.
What do you think, Your Highness? Does kidnapping your little sister sound like fun?
But I'm gonna object anyway. More dialogue that way.
You're right -- it might be a trap. But the Godwins are going to have tricks up their sleeves at every turn, no matter what moves we make!
Point taken, boat lady.
Prince, let's do it! What could be better than saving the Princess and ending the war, all at the same time?
Watching Gizel get consumed by man eating spores at the same time. But barring that...
Hmm... I don't know about this...
Did you say something, Lady Sialeeds?
Oh, no! Nothing. Just thinking to myself.
So, how are we going to abduct the Princess? We need to have this down in every detail!
The Princess' forces will be coming from the south to retake Doraat.
Sol-Falena is north of Doraat though
We'll have Roy harass the enemy lines. While their army is distracted, we'll attack swiftly with three small groups. The first will lure the bodyguards away from the Princess. The second will drive a wedge between them. And the third will abduct the Princess.
I'd like you to organize the three groups immediately, Your Highness.
...pardon me while I go make sure I have people for three groups. I remember the last time something like this happened! Well it actually hasn't happened yet NOT THE POINT dammit-
let's just move on
I understand. Take some time to think it over. Let me know when you've made up your mind, Your Highness.
There's also some dialogue to see once we've heard the plan.
I'm not going to think about Georg for now. I just have to concentrate on saving the Princess.
I wonder if he's ever coming back
We'll rescue Lym and end the war... And then... And then... what?
I'm going to have them make a giant cake that looks like Salzburg Castle, and them I'm going to have Wilhelm jump out of it wearing a tutu.
There will also be a second cake. That we'll actually get to eat. I don't think anyone will be too keen on the first one.
I have a feeling the Princess arranged to personally lead the battle in order to bring an end to this war. I say we go meet her.
Yeah, yeah! I just need, uh, stuff first.
I'm actually not allowed to. But I would!
All would prove interesting subjects for research! Alas, I have time for but one! Which to choose, which to choose...?
How about the one you promised to study, you colossal prick?
And we're done! Lyon gets her second rune slot when she hits level 45. Quite the wait. But worth it.
You owe me an apology. And I'm not gonna forgive you until you come in here and give it to me!
Prepare to wait a long damn time, beaver!
There we go.
This mission will require many specialized skills, so I'll gather a few of your select comrades. Please wait a moment, Your Highness...
Let's have Roy -- the Prince's double -- do the honors.
Heh, heh! 'Bout time I get to do somethin' 'round here!
It may be against my better judgment, but I shall accompany this... child. This child stands no chance against the Twilight Rune, so I must watch over him.
...now you care?
Guess I appreciate the help, lady, but how 'bout a little more respect here?
Try earning it.
Hmph! *mumbling* Stupid cloak lady, how 'bout gettin' some sun sometime, how 'bout not--
...Now, now, no fighting, you two.
This is the war room, you know!
Okay, let's build on this group. Who else would you like to accompany Roy and Zerase?
I know who I'd like to have accompany Roy. I don't wish Zerase's company on anyone less awful than Gizel.
We'll let him have his flunkies (even though the three don't have a unite together, strangely), Jeane because I don't trust Zerase not to fuck up, and Belcoot because I had space over.
Yeah, let's hit the road!
Just tell me where to go.
Always an honor, Your Highness.
Tee hee hee... Lead on, Prince.
Belcoot, you're coming too? Great! When do we leave?
Jeane isn't paying attention. She's still cooler than Zerase.
Next, we need to decide on the group that will drive a wedge between the Princess and her distracted bodyguards.
Ah, no need to discuss this one! The bodyguards are sure to be Queen's Knights, so I'm on it!
...And I definitely wanna put a beatin' on Zahak for all those times he talked back to me!
Please, someone else kill Zahak. I don't want to have to start liking Kyle.
But what about Alenia?
Oh, no! You can't ask me to put my hands on the babes! Don't wanna hurt their best assets, ya know!
...like I was saying...
...Well, we'll need someone to take care of her, then. Who will go with Kyle, Your Highness?
Something like this, maybe? Although on second thought, should have gone with an all-male party. less distractions that way.
*huff* My idiot pop's coming?! Well, okay...
My daughter's coming, too? This'll be interesting.
What? Y-Yes, of course!
While we're out, we can compare notes on magic.
I hope I can be of some help.
Murad, since I don't think I've said so before, is kind of like Marina, but he heals you at the end of battles, not every round.
Finally, let's decide on the group that will kidnap -- er, rescue -- the Princess.
You're the only man for the job, Your Highness. You're her brother, after all.
And I wouldn't trust Kyle or Zerase to get it right! Damn straight I'm going!
I'm going, too, then!
Don't forget ME, Prince! After what Gizel did to me, I have to make it up to the Princess!
...And I want to see my precious niece again, so I'll come along.
All right, Your Highness, who else will you take?
Do I look like I need more people? This is more than enough to deal with anything they can throw at me!
But I suppose having Double Aunt Power won't hurt. Egbert gets to come, too, the lovable loon.
My pleasure, Your Highness.
Hear me, filthy devils! My wrath shall rain upon you! To WAR!
We're about to beat up some filthy devils indeed. You'll enjoy it. You'll see.
Are you happy with these three groups, Your Highness?
Of course. I created them.
...well, apart from Zerase being in there
All right, Your Highness. It's settled, then.
The enemy hasn't set out yet, so we'll get a jump on them. Let's move out tomorrow.
Rest up tonight, everyone.
I believe that's one order I can accommodate.
I suppose Lyon finds the castle safe enough to leave Frey alone for a bit.
R-Roy? N-No, I'm His Royal Highness the Prince, regal and benevolent ruler of the Iodine in Hell Army!
...You promised not to wear that wig inside the castle, Roy.
Aw, damn! How'd ya know it was me?
Heh, heh! I can even fool that old auntie of his sometimes!
If she hears you call her that, there is not a power in this world that 'll save you, Roy.
Wait, are you telling me you do this a lot?! Well, you'd better cut it out! Right now!
All right, all right, sweetie! I ain't gonna do it no more, honest! Cross my fingers, even!
...What did you want, anyway? You didn't just come to play a joke on me, right?
Ah, thanks for rememberin', sweetie. So, 'bout the whole rescuin' the Princess dealie... The bad guys know you're the Prince's bodyguard, right? Well, don'tcha think we'd fool 'em easier if... you came with ME, sweetie?
God damn, stop saying that word! Over and over...!
Heh! I know, I know I was real proud of myself when I thought of it! An' just think, it'll finally be a ch--
...But no. I'm the Prince's bodyguard. That means I protect the real Prince. Not the fake one.
Hmph! I shoulda known! Just forget it! I'm goin' to bed! Don't go lookin' for me or nothin', sweetie!
Um, good night...
Next time, try a written confession. She might get it then.
...I'm not making promises, though. She is kinda sheltered.
And so, night falls over Salzburg.
As is customary, we get the usual "night before the final battle" music...
...and base conversations.
Each will then proceed directly to the expected area of engagement north of Doraat and rendezvous there. Our allies from Raftfleet and Beaver Lodge have also gone home, but will return here tomorrow morning. They think that I want them to go and recruit more people from their hometowns... In reality, though, I'm just hoping to lift their spirits for the upcoming engagement.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to send back our allies from faraway towns and villages.
Well that's kind of nice I guess! You're more human than Zerase, at least.
We're betting it all on this next battle. If we can steal back the Princess, we'll win! But if we fail, the enemy will rally under the royal banner, regardless of the Princess' desires. If that happens, we'll have lost all the support we've worked so hard to earn from the people.
Seeing as I did most of the work, I'm not eager to see that happen, trust me.
When you stop to think about it, we really do have a diverse collection of allies. And the more diverse our allies, the more we will truly represent the people of Falena.
We don't really need to represent the elves though, right...? I mean, there's diverse, and there's that.
The stakes are incredibly high! We can't afford to lose this battle!
Do I look like I've made a habit of losing battles?
It seems like we've been waiting forever, and yet, at the same time, it seems to all have happened so fast. But this... will definitely be the final battle. Right?
We'll do our very best!
...Hmmm? How would I know that? Heh heh... No reason! Swear it!
And now I know why she's not there.
Hey, Prince! Have I got a "special assignment" for YOU! You're gonna love it -- trust me!
...Put this wig on and act like a girl!
I'm already wearing a dress! Enough is enough!
"No"?! Urgh... How about "yes"?! I'll put the stupid thing on you anyway!
I thought you could make me forget the Princess... BOY, was I wrong!
How about you come over to my room and look at some etchings instead?
No, seriously. You won't believe what random Falenan critters can be found carrying around with them.
You can do it, Prince. Go rescue the Princess! Whatever happens, I'll always be by your side to defend you!
Then it's "we can do it." And don't you forget it!
...But where could she have run off to so quickly? I mean, we were just-- Er, never mind!
I refuse to believe Sialeeds has ever, or will ever be quite that desperate.
Which means you live. This time.
I can't WAIT to see the Princess again!
Go to bed! It'll seem quicker that way!
And it's all thanks to you, Your Highness!
I'd say not to drink too much, but I expect the state of being sober is unfamiliar enough that you actually perform better when you're sloshed.
There live the last of the Sindar race... and I am one of them. Surprised?
You're full of shit, is what you are.
I see no need for you to continue using this castle after the battle. I would appreciate it if you could clear out as hastily as possible.
I'm converting it to a puppet theatre and musical whatsit. I have all sorts of talented people here!
Where am I from? Why must I tell you that? You should be thinking about tomorrow, not wasting time on meaningless conversation.
All I wanted to know was where to send the body when you inevitably get hit by a stray arrow completely by accident! No need to get all hostile!
Think about what will happen if the enemy uses the Twilight Rune again.
Same as last time, jack fuckall? Just a guess? Bah, you're not worth the time.
Ha! Just kidding! ...Maybe.
Just for that, I'm not making you part of my party tomorrow.
My investigation will go much faster with everyone out of the way.
Dream on, four-eyes.
It's my sworn duty to protect Lucretia from the blade of any foul evildoer! Wherever she goes, I will follow!
You know she's like three rooms away, right? Most foul evildoers do blade things from much shorter range.
I'm just trying to learn, man.
That meal's gonna give me the strength for a whole bunch of super-duper special moves!
...I kinda forgot about you, so I didn't include you. Sorry.
(Besides, we both know you'll be wanting breakfast no matter how deluxe your meal is.)
Ah, a quiet moonlit night! I have the perfect melody in mind for an evening such as this...
...Unfortunately, I don't have enough DoReMi Elves, because of a certain MEDIOCRITY!
Hey fuck you, there's no way you could top my literal Theme of a Moonlit Night.
I came here to repay you for your help, Your Highness. But it appears this war will be over before I get that chance.
You've been helping! Remember how we killed that evil fish demon thingy? That was you helping.
With Island Nations fighters on your side, you can't lose, Your Highness!
Fighter. Singular. And she's mostly a mage anyway.
Speaking of whom...
It'll be nice to see peace return to Falena, but that means I'll have to go back to the Island Nations. I'm really going to hate leaving, especially since I just got here...
I'm sure we can find an excuse to keep you around for a bit!
Can I have some?
I'm part of the army too, damn it!
I'm trying! He won't let me.
Taylor has gone off, but not before getting a new issue of the Times ready for us.
The Dawn Times - Issue 10 posted:
Front Page - Princess Lymsleia to the Front? posted:Fresh from defeat at Doraat, the Godwins have released a shocking statement: "Our new monarch, Queen Lymsleia, intends to go into battle to personally put down the rebel army," a Godwin spokesperson said. This plan is surely not Princess Lymsleia's own; many feel the Godwins have forced her to the battlefield.
However, the Prince's tactician, Lucretia, remained characteristically unfazed at this development. "We were expecting something like this," she said." We need only deal with whatever the enemy may bring. We cannot allow the enemy's actions to fluster our ranks and cause panic and dissent."
Back Page - Mysterious Man Appears at Big Hole posted:"The Dawn Times" has learned that a peculiar-looking old man was recently seen at the Big Hole north of Rainwall. An Iodine in Hell Army guard on duty at the Big Hole said that the man had a dwarven companion with him, and continuously stared at the western sky with a look of grave concern.
The Iodine in Hell Army guard called out to this enigmatic elder in an attempt to get his attention, but the man didn't respond, and proceeded to enter the Big Hole. The soldier gave chase, but both the old man and the dwarf had mysteriously vanished.
The sighting occurred on the same day as the siege of Doraat. The old man appeared to be looking in the direction of Doraat, but one wonders how he could have seen it from the Big Hole. But the Iodine in Hell Army guard reported that the man didn't seem to be simply looking in that direction by chance.
Serials - Portraits of the Enemy: Queen's Army posted:This time, "Portraits of the Enemy" won't discuss a single person, but will instead investigate the newly formed force that the Godwin faction has christened the "Queen's Campaign Army."
The battleground against the Queen's Campaign Army will probably be on the plains northeast of Doraat. Thus, this will likely be a battle of ground troops only. The strongest Godwin soldiers are General Novum's troops, but they haven't budged from Rainwall.
This means, then, that the main force of the Campaign Army must be the Imperial Defense Force stationed in Sol-Falena. And Queen's Knights such as Zahak and Alenia will most likely head them up.
Normally, the Commander of the Queen's Knights takes command of a campaign army, but these are hardly "normal" circumstances at the Sun Palace. Thus, it remains a mystery whether Gizel himself will show his face in battle.
That's some nice dirt he's dug up for us in the serial! And a hint about Levi that we didn't need because he's on the next floor up.
I'm not going to make you fight even if it doesn't.
Me? Go home? I think not!
Years ago, when I decided to work for this detective agency, my parents disowned me! I was so mad! I told them, "No, I'M disowning YOU!" and ran out of the house! And I haven't been back since.
No regrets, then?
We gotta leave when the war's over? Damn! Just when I was gettin' used to this place! What a pain...
Aw, he wants to stay with us.
Where am I from? I'm afraid that information's classified. The Oboro Detective Agency guarantees privacy. Even our own.
I have read your backstory, you know...
Detective Oboro, Sagiri, and Shigure are my family now.
You're the most adorable little ninja family.
I'm not as young as I used to be!
Galleon wouldn't make excuses like that.
Eh, why Galleon? No reason...
War is nothing but mass murder, no matter the cause. That said, Your Highness, I hope you win tomorrow.
So do I. Thanks, I guess.
Maybe you could make a little Lym puppet for Miakis to help her sleep better... Nah, we'll nab the real thing tomorrow.
I hope and pray that the flames of this battle are quenched before too long, for the sake of all tomes yet unread.
Everyone has something to fight for, I suppose.
Oh... right. Sorry. That's where you're from, too.
And soon we'll kick the Nazis out and go back home.
How do you hope to accomplish that without a master thief like me?
I hope to accomplish it by sending people who are not level fucking fifteen to do it.
If more innocent lives will be lost by fighting evil, then that act itself becomes the greater evil. Your plan to end this war swiftly is to be highly praise, Your Highness.
I hope you don't mind me saying, but you're probably the sanest Maximilian Knight I've ever met.
Please, speak with Lady Isabel, not me. My only purpose is to live and die at milady's command.
Indeed, that's his regular line. He didn't even bother to switch it up for our special moonlit night scene. Screw you Mathias.
I pray that the evil of the Godwins perishes by your blade!
I use a stick though...
We shall stay with you till the end!
How very honourable yet boring of you. It's nice to see some things never change.
He's not even looking into Ernst's Rune! Some "amazing wizard" he turned out to be...
Have I mentioned Jeane before? Because I'm pretty sure I mentioned Jeane before.
Are you purring?
Would your girlfriend get jealous if I scratched behind your ears for a bit?
Whatever ya need, Prince, I'm here for ya!
Do your best tomorrow, big guy.
My brother and me? We're from Rainwall, just like Roy. None of us care about that lame town, though. And why would we, when those stupid frilly guys run the place?!
Good question! I have no answers.
Don't worry! I'll do what I came to do tomorrow! Man...
What'd I say? Written confession.
I'm still mad at them for using us to frame you!
Work off that aggression on Alenia tomorrow. I'm sure she won't mind.
Why, that's hardly relevant, I should think! Tee-hee-hee! Oh, my! A civilized land fragrant with high culture and the finer things in life -- that is where my heart belongs! It matters not where a FASHION DIVA such as myself was born! It matters only where I AM!
I can't find any fault with the argument, and yet something about it feels suspicious...
My very earliest childhood memories are of life as a gladiator. A slave.
You definitely worked your way up from there.
I Heard Marina was born and raised in Stormfist. She must want to go back...
I'll be able to go back when this battle's over, won't I?
Sure, but then we won't have an inn in Salzburg. And that would be sad.
What? Where's my hometown? Oh, come now! Surely Your Highness jests!
I'm from where those FILTHY, maniacal Godwin DEVILS laugh as they crush the populace under their boot! Stormfist!
There shall be no homecoming for me...
...Not until those FILTHY DEVIL GODWINS have been violently, thoroughly EVISCERATED!!!
Never leave me, Egbert. You are the light of my life.
You would be wise to heed this advice, Your Highness.
Yeah, the parry/counter system, I know how it works, I've been abusing it for like 60 updates!
What? My home? It's right here! Wherever Mueller is, that's where I belong!
Of course, he'd probably bash my head in if he heard me say that... But I don't care! In fact, I welcome it!
I won't judge.
Hey, looks like the war's gonna end sooner than we thought, huh, man? I'm a lover, not a fighter! But fightin' pays the bills... Not sure what to think, really.
I won't say I feel your pain, because it would be a lie.
He's always whacking me with that rod of his! I wish he wouldn't do that! ...Or, not too hard, anyway!
I'm moving on.
...But, hey, I won't worry about that now! I'll be partyin' with all these ladies tomorrow night, man!
Moving on now.
Viki, please, we have beds... you don't have to sleep while standing up. Next to a hole.
Same to you.
It's a little sad to see everyone go back home.
I don't want to go back to Rainwall, though. I won't go back there until I've made up for all the terrible sins the House of Barows has committed.
How about we just blame the people responsible for those?
I don't mind staying here, but I do feel a little bad for Chuck.
He's happiest being where you are.
You do realize, right.
Are you related to Lyon?
You have a lot of work ahead of you, brother.
...Pretty cool, huh? I came up with that line all by myself! It drives the ladies crazy!
If... if you say so...
I still haven't found a girl to marry yet. I'd better hurry! I'm not getting any younger!
I don't think even the Sun Rune could fix this guy.
I hope your opponent uses the Twilight Rune as well! Imagine the spectacle a magical clash between the two Runes would produce! Oh, I feel as giddy about it as Bergen! I doubt I'll be able to sleep tonight! And if I do, I'll surely have a fantastical, Rune-filled dream!
You're getting as bad as Kyle.
And that's bad.
Bergen? He said something about visiting his home. A dwarven settlement, though I'm not sure exactly where.
I am, but I don't think I can follow him tonight.
Why am I so sure? Call it a... hunch. Tee-hee...
Could you please show our other rune people how to be old and mysterious without making people want to murder you? Uh, not to imply you look old or anythI'll see myself out.
Ah ha ha ha ha ha! I took all the letters that were inside this box!
I am, of course, lying! Ah ha ha ha ha!
... he even writes that annoying laugh...
Maid: Very well, Your Highness. Pleasant dreams!
And so Frey withdraws for the night.
Meanwhile, there are those who still can't fall asleep...
???: Lady Sialeeds.
Oh, it's you. You nearly gave me a heart attack!
Well, things turned out just like you said. What should we do now?
What is it that YOU wish to do, Your Highness?