Part 87: A run-of-the-mill corrupt bureaucrat
Now we could go hunt down villains, but our castle has upgraded to its final form after we took it back, so it's time to go explore.
Speaking of which, is it just me or is the design of this place kind of familiar somehow...?
I wonder where all the old fishies are, though...
We now have a whole new floor, and some of our recruits have relocated there.
You're going to crack down now on that evil force that made the people suffer and tried to sell out the nation? Allow me to help, by all means!
And they seem to be in good spirits.
Speaking of spirits, we also have a bar! Just to the left of the stairs.
Well, except... This wine came from Kanakan.
I am now firmly convinced that Kanakan is the only location in the Suikoden universe that produces wine. Anyone else just imports and rebrands it.
Goods from Kanakan are all routed through Hershville. How did you end up getting some?
Err... Well... I just happened ta... find it!
I also heard that you "chanced" to get your hands on medicine from Nagarea and "stumbled upon" shields from Zelant. You'd better not be up to any funny business, you hear?
Aw, you know you love Logg's funny business.
N-Not at all, darlin'! My hands're clean! I swear!
What's that supposed to mean?!
Uh, er... Nuthin'! Nuthin'! at all!
Well, gotta skedaddle! Love ya, darlin'!
Isn't there always?
Egbert has relocated. Sadly he says the same thing he said after Roy died.
Apart from that, there's just this guy. Nothing much else of great interest around here.
The bottom floor of the castle also has a... graveyard, I suppose. If we had not recruited Roy and opted to defend the castle, he'd still have shown up in time to get shot full of arrows, and then his flunkies would be hanging out down here and we'd be able to recruit them.
The mercs are hanging out in a room nearby.
I can't believe they fell for it. Childerich and Commander Sparna are not worthy of the title "military leader"!
How about "corpse"? Because I'll be bestowing that title upon both of them as soon as I can.
Man, that tactician babe's got it all figured out! Wonder if she's a master anywhere ELSE, if ya catch my drift!
I wouldn't know. I can introduce you to Lelei if you have any further questions.
It's good news for Falena, but I'm not so sure I like how eager the public is for all the gory war news. Death and destruction sells papers, though...
Still, as long as we're at war, reporting on the fighting is what and intrepid reporter must do!
Taylor has his very own office set up! We don't have to go down here to read the paper, though; it's still up on the wall next to the restaurant.
It's a monument! Well, I don't think anyone's surprised by this, given Frey's the only person in the group who's been in it at all times since the very beginning. If we hadn't lost access to Lyon though, she might have taken this spot, since she's faster than Frey.
A statue commemorating the fact that Frey is the only person in the group who has ever cast a healing spell. These days, we're not so much into the whole "taking damage" thing, so no one else has had much of a chance.
And proof that Miakis hits like a girl. Respect the Miakis.
At the end of the corridor, there's a prison.
At least it's our prison, so we can walk out again whenever we feel like it.
And here's where it ends. Neither the door nor the fading-out corridor leads anywhere.
We'll head on up again.
I ain't a fan of ships. This place is heaploads better than Raftfleet!
Hey, Raftfleet is cool.
Roy... What does he see in that stupid g--
Uh... Oops! Never mind!
Do you have something to say about my bodyguard, Failure?
Speaking of whom, she's still in bed.
With Dr. Silva here, I didn't think I'd be needed, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Dimwit Soldier: *cough cough*
Oh, Your Highness! No, this isn't an injury from battle. I slipped and fell from the castle into the lake... Genoh was the one who saved me.
Good grief. You have my sympathies, Murad.
I don't approve of moving an injured patient all over the place. It can't possibly be good for her recovery... But I realize it wasn't your fault. We didn't really have a choice.
Sure we did! Just ask Roy.
These two are still hanging around the restaurant. Can't blame them, Retso makes tasty stuff.
I was surprised by how brilliantly you recaptured this castle!
Nothing too terribly interesting up here, though. However, we do have a paper to read!
The Dawn Times - Issue 17 posted:
Front Page - Prince Floods Out Foes posted:The Prince had to flee his own castle and literally go "underground," but recently was able to return safely. First, he managed to secure the services of the Feitas Dragon Cavalry. Then, in an ingenious plan, the enemy occupation met a swift and speedy end.
The Prince closed the sluice gate that controls the water level of Ceras Lake. In the ensuing flood, the enemy forces that had been occupying Salzburg Castle were forced to evacuate. With His Royal Highness recapturing his base of operations, things are looking up for the first time in a long while.
Back Page - Godwin-Dragon Cavalry Blackmail Plot posted:"The Dawn Times" has uncovered the truth behind the Dragon Cavalry's recent refusal to repel the Armes invasion. It turns out that the Godwins took dragon goals and horse eggs as hostages, threatening to slaughter them if Sauronix Castle did not agree to complete silence and compliance.
"The Dawn Times" has learned that it was none other than His Royal Highness the Prince who uncovered this malevolent conspiracy. The Dragon Cavalry is said to have sworn vengeance on the Godwins for their reprehensible act.
Side notes - Armes Western Marine Corps Goes Home posted:The Godwin Army and Southern Mountain Corps' defeat at the Prince's castle has apparently convinced the Western Marine Corps, which had been occupying Estrise, to withdraw to its native Armes without incident. Despite a long period of occupation, Estrise appears to have suffered little damage.
With its return home, the Western Marine Corps has essentially deserted the Southern Mountain Corps, who still occupy Sable. However, the Valya family, the head of the Western Marine Corps, has always been known as a moderate Armes faction.
In Fact, "The Dawn Times" has learned that the Western Marine Corps may not have been dispatched for fighting purposes at all. Sources say they were sent only to keep the more hard-line Southern Mountain Corps in check, preventing the wholesale slaughter of major Falenan cities.
Shula Valya. What a guy.
But we've actually missed a couple of issues what with all the invasions, Luca Blight clones and Schrödinger's Roy, so let's take a look at that, too.
The Dawn Times - Issue 15 posted:
Front Page - Dragon Cavalry Doesn't Respond posted:After the Armes invasion, the Prince rushed to Sauronix Castle. The Prince and the Dragon Cavalry had agreed to an alliance in the event of a foreign invasion, but Commander Craig Laden refused to go through with an attack, not even giving a reason for his attacks.
There are rumors that the Godwin faction is blackmailing the Dragon Cavalry in order to keep them in line. However, with war raging, there is simply not time to investigate the matter any further.
Back Page - Cave Dwarves, Prince Reach Alliance posted:His Royal Highness has gained more allies in the fight against the occupying regime. Lord Godwin, still determined to wipe out the "inferior" demi-human races, recently ordered Nether Gate to annihilate the cave dwarves, with several murders successfully carried out. However, the Prince's forces happened to pass through the cave dwarves' underground lair just as an attack was taking place. In great debt to the Prince, the cave dwarves have sworn vengeance on the Godwins. They are the newest members of the Iodine in Hell Army.
Serials - Portraits of the Enemy: Nether Gate posted:Thanks to the Prince, the Nether Gate assassins who attacked the dwarves turned back. Upon investigation, these assassins were using a powerful drug called Raging Nostrum, which temporarily gives an ordinary man superhuman strength. When its effect wears off, however, the user invariably dies.
At one time, there was a division of Nether Gate that specialized in drug development. "Portraits of the Enemy" believes that Raging Nostrum and the Dark Arcanum used in the Sacred Games and the attack on the Sun Palace are, without question, creations of that allegedly defunct division.
That leads to this question: Could the Nether Gate drug division have been revived? "Portraits of the Enemy" will investigate this matter with the greatest vigilance possible.
Some nice detail on the whole "raging assassin" bit here. Taylor remains damn good at his job.
The Dawn Times - Issue 16 posted:
Front Page - Lordlake, Lelcar Fall to Enemy posted:With the Armes Southern Mountain Corps bearing down on Lordlake, and the main force of the Godwin army approaching Lelcar, the Iodine in Hell Army advanced on both towns.
They carried out bold defensive battles in both Lordlake and Lelcar but, in the end, the Prince's forces were hopelessly outnumbered. Not being able to maintain the front lines of either town, they were forced to retreat, regrettably allowing enemy troops to take both Lordlake and Lelcar.
But the defeats were not a total loss. The strong defensive fight shown by the Prince's forces gave the townsfolk enough time to evacuate completely. In fact, sources say that the safe evacuation of Lordlake and Lelcar was the reason behind the Iodine in Hell Army's presence in the first place.
Back Page - Prince's Forces Hanging on by Thread posted:After losing Lordlake and Lelcar, the only territories still held by the Prince's forces are Raftfleet and Salzburg Castle. Fortunately, these areas can probably withstand quite a siege. But with Lord Godwin gaining much military might, the Prince's outlook seems grim.
Still, the Prince's tactician, Lucretia, isn't showing the slightest bit of anxiety, and the Prince and his staff seem to be maintaining their composure as well. How can they be so calm? Does the Prince's inner circle have some sort of trick up their sleeves in the event of an invasion?
Serials - Portraits of the Enemy: Jidan Guisu posted:Jidan Guisu is the leader of the Armes Southern Mountain Corps, who invaded both Sable and Lordlake. Many of our readers will also remember that Guisu also once conspired with Lord Barows. Yesterday, Barows. Today, Godwin -- he certainly lacks loyalty. And he has apparently always been this way.
"That guy only got where he is by kissing Commander Sparna's ass," an anonymous Armes insider said. "He'll make a deal with anyone, anywhere, as long as it'll get him ahead. And once the deal's over -- or even before -- he'll stab you right in the back if he finds something better."
I wonder if "anonymous Armes insider" is Nakula, and they just wrote it like that in case you haven't picked him up, or if Taylor actually went out and interviewed people in the enemy army. Who is this guy, Clark Kent?
Anyway, I believe we heard something about Hershville.
Still, all of the papers seem to be in order... I must just be imagining things!
We should go take a look.
Like in this one warehouse we stumbled on all accidentally, like.
Hmm, those voices sound familiar! Let's just walk right up to them in case they're friends.
And then they shivved us in the back and tossed us in the river. What a tragic and unexpected end for the glorious rebellion.
Oh, wait, never mind.
Bureaucrat?: "The Prince"? The real deal?
You betcha! Prince Frey, real as he's gonna git!
Well, unless I'm Roy. But since I'm me, that would be difficult.
...Interesting. You know, if word got out, he'd never get out of this place alive.
I've actually been casually wandering around this place in my rebel leader outfit, chatting up the soldiers and all. No one gives a flying fuck.
Aw, the Prince don't let details like THAT bother him!
And there's that, too.
I'm just a run-of-the-mill corrupt bureaucrat. Nothing special.
Bollocks to that! You have a portrait. Ordinary bureaucrats don't get those.
Prince, this here's an ol' pal o' mine! His name's Haleth! He went and become a Godwin yes-man. But he ain't changed a bit! He's takin' them shippin' receipt and givin' a li'l "excess" cargo ta me!
If I weren't so corrupt, the Iodine in Hell Army wouldn't have access to vital foreign commodities.
I think I like him. Can I keep him?
Heh heh... No doubt!
Aw, Prince, ya ain't gotta thank him fer it!
Well no, but I get a (completely useless) affection point if I do.
It's not as if I'm providing the commodities to you out of the goodness of my heart... It's just that I've got a little... friendly wager going with a friend over the outcome of the civil war. My money's on you guys, so I'm just... doing my part to ensure I get paid off in the end.
Of course, a few black-market items aren't likely to make much of a difference, but I've got to try, right?
How'dja find another Godwin guy ta go along with yer bet, anyway?!
Are you kidding me? Not like it was hard! And it's not like we've pledged loyalty to the Godwins.
If the Godwins lose, every last official will be kissing the Prince's ass the next day. That's how we work.
Well, I'd better be going... I can't have any suspicions aroused over my absence, can I?
And I gotta take the loot on back ta Salzburg Castle!
Awright, Prince! I'm gonna go on ahead. Don't go gettin' yerself caught!
And so they walk out.
Ah, if it isn't the boy from the other day... If you keep running around dressed up as the leader of the rebel army, sooner or later you'll be arrested.
We can go back and chat with Haleth, but no recruitment prompt! Bah.
Sadly, we can't teleport home. Gotta use this thing.
The dock has followed the water down. This part is new!
Time to put a hurtin' on those stupid Godwins!
Raftfleet women repay our debts twice over! But we pay back our enemies a thousand times over!
I don't think Gizel has a thousand parents for us to assassinate, but it makes for a nice mental image!
Inside, the knights have settled in this... rather empty-looking room.
This was the Dragon Cavalry's fault. We're going to try as hard as we can to make up for it, no matter what it takes!
I'll hold you to that.
Upstairs, we have the trainees.
Yoran is not a playable character, but he does run a minigame!
With its own music!
wait is my dragon horse named "frey"
that's not even a weapo-
wait never mind
HOW DO I DRAGON HORSE
...it's a silly minigame anyway.
Then we leave the castle.
...dammit Frey, not that way!
Here's where we want to go.
Gotta unlock the stupid door every time we go in here!
Since the water has gone down, a new part of this room has opened up. See the chests at the bottom? There's another one out of sight, with a Shield Orb in it. The one on top here has a Thunder Piece, which is quite rare (seven total in the entire game, one of them missable, dropped by an archer ship when attacking Doraat.)
But most importantly, there's this!
If I'm lucky, I never have to look at these fucking stairs ever again.
I question how S-ranking skills is "intermediate" but I don't care what they call it as long as I do get to S-rank them! Only one manual left, now, for double S-rank (have I mentioned how this shit bothers me? I mean, I can understand one rank over "A", but it just loses all meaning when you go from A to S, then S+, SS, SSS, Totally Fucking Rad, Utterly Bitchin', and Ridiculously Bloody Awesome. Why not just start at H rank or something? Goddammit Japan.)
I never wanna have to do that again!
And since we're here anyway, let's chat up some people hanging around the place.
For one thing, I'm glad Kyle no longer creeps around outside my room.
I had to wait until everything dried out, so please pardon the mess, Your Highness.
I do like that we get these little "hey, things have happened!" lines.
And with that, I identified the painting I got from the assassins in Gordius. Why did they even have this? Well, it's mine now and I've had that one of Zegai up for a long time, so.
"Our big outdoor bath is ready now! It's really big! And it's mixed bathing!"
Miroon asked me to write that.
- From Muroon
I must destroy this letter before Kyle sees it.
Is he the guy who won the Sacred Games? Well, he's not Mueller, so see if I care about him.
Speaking of one-track minds...
I know a lot about those knights. Isabel and Mathias mean business, and they're up to the job.
Do tell! The two of them are actually really good, given five rune slots between them and a 1.5x damage unite.
You probably won't believe it till you see it... But the wife can drink anybody under the table. Kanakanians, even! She knows her liquors, too. She's real picky about flavors and brands and all.
Why would I not believe Kisara is amazing?
Those two just don't get along. Even I have a hard time calming Flail down after she sees Byakuren.
Flail is usually calm, even in the heat of battle. I wonder what's gotten into her...
If you don't know, how am I supposed to -
Wait, hold that thought, I got an idea.
Every time I try to practice, Yoran and Ax stop me! They're so mean!
Ax really is the cleverest little dragon horse.
Anyway, let's try out that new bath.
And let's see if we can't make these two ladies relax and make up while we're at it.
Ssssss!!! Ssssss!!! Sssssss!!!
Gronk!! Grank!! Griiiiink!!
...that doesn't sound like making up.
Miroon: Pardon me, ladies, but please keep it down, won't you?
Miroon: Troublemakers, are you? In that case...
Miroon: That's right. This is a respectable establishment, and we bathe in a friendly, sociable manner, understood?
Miroon: What's this? No sleeping in here, either! Ah, what's the world coming to?
I don't know! Stop asking me these things!
Oh, Haleth? It was discovered that he was sympathizing with the rebel army, but he fled just before capture. I wonder where he is now...
Then we check back on Haleth again. But he's not here! I wonder where he could be?
Gasp! Of all the places in Falena, he was right where I was going to go next, what a stroke of luck!
This idiot goofed up an' hadda fly the coop! He ain't got nowhere to stay, so I told him ta stay here!
...Sorry fer not askin' if it was okay, Prince!
Hey, I'm not gonna complain if people recruit themselves!
Hmmm... That doesn't sound half bad. After all, I was betting on you, so why not go all the way, eh? And you could use someone with my... connections.
Very good man!
Well, I guess I'll have a look around and see if there are any jobs for someone with my... certain skill set.
...But if I can get some gambling going, I won't need to worry about a job.
And what if ya can't? Yer gonna go bankrupt!
Heh... Somehow, I don't think I'll have to worry about that.
Somehow, I don't think he will either.
We're starting to come up on the endgame here, and Haleth is actually our very last optional recruit! We still have a ways to go and a bunch of others to pick up, but all of them will be joining automatically.
Regardless. I got distracted by the whole "recruiting new dudes" thing that I forgot to check the rare finds in Hershville. Fortunately, we can just
viki, what did you
"Welcome, to the Vel... ah, that's not quite the guest I was expecting..."
"I don't remember him signing the contract."
"Don't worry. It's never too late to sign a contract."