Part 8: CH8: Loss.jpgCH8: Loss
So last time I told you about Asbel's Assault (A) Artes, but not his Burst (B) Artes (other than Lightning Strike). Whoops!
Anyway, Shockwave Slash here is a slash that extends in an arc ahead.
Demon Fang works the same as it does in every other Tales game, shooting a shockwave forward. Are there any Tales games with no Demon Fang?
Sparrow Seal is a series of circular attacks that are both strike and slash type, as well as anti-bird. Here you can see the bonuses you get for hitting all of the weaknesses of an enemy in a single combo.
Here we see the effect of one of my books. The Book of Maintenance restores some of your Eleth at the end of each battle you don't cook in.
: They reached the edge of the forest, and stopped to chat a bit.
: I feel great, sir. In fact, I'd like to take the lead until we return to the academy.
: It's good to see such motivation. But before you can lead, you'll need this map.
: Thank you, Captain Malik!
: The road leads straight there, so I doubt you'll get lost, but it's good to have just in case. Now be aware of yourself, and don't let your guard down until we reach Barona. The monsters on this road have been fierce lately.
: Yes, sir!
Along the way back, I forget that this is an item unlocked by stamps and buy a sword I should probably not have.
: They stopped to talk again, at a familiar cliff.
: Yes, sir.
Remind me, Asbel: When did you enter the Knight Academy?
: It's been almost seven years now, sir.
: Huh. It all passes so quickly.
: It's been my honor to learn from you during this time, Captain.
: You're the son of a lord, yes? Will you ever return home and reclaim the family name?
: I ask because I'm ready to recommend you as a full-fledged knight.
: In truth, my word is a mere formality. If the life of a knight is your wish, your acceptance is almost certain. You're young yet, and still lack experience, but this mission has convinced me that you're ready enough to take the next step.
: Thank you, sir!
: But this is not a decision to be made in haste, Asbel. Perhaps you should consult with your parents first.
: That won't be necessary, Captain. I am prepared to devote my life to the knights.
: ...Very well. If that is your wish.
: It is, sir.
(Finally! My lifelong dream is about to come true!)
: When we get back, we'll make a little detour to mark the occasion. I assume you're familiar with Tactics, right?
: It's your favorite pub, sir.
: Even a knight needs to unwind now and again. Wouldn't you agree?
: Thank you, Captain!
Skit: Out of the Clouds
: But unfortunately, the wars never end...
: Where did that come from?
: When I was young and naive, I came here with a group of very close friends.
One of them stood right here and told me all about how he wanted to create a world without conflict.
: Back then I was just a kid with my head in the clouds. At that moment, I believed I actually had the power to make his dream come true.
: That's what everyone thinks when they're young.
: But something happened soon afterward. Something that made me realize what a pathetic child I actually was.
: I see. And I assume, that's when you decided to enlist in the Knight Academy.
: Yes, sir.
Skit: That Certain Something
: If you don't mind me asking, Captain, who were those knights back in Orlen?
: Former students.
: I can tell they really trust and admire you.
Forgive me for asking, sir, but why did you become an instructor? Surely you'd see more action if you served in the field?
: The other knights were more capable.
: But Captain, you're an exceptional knight! I can't imagine anyone being better than you.
: Flattery will get you everywhere, Asbel. But let's just say the others have a certain..."something" I don't.
: Hmm... I wonder if I have that certain "something" to become a knight.
: When they arrived back in Barona, they stopped again - for ice pops.
: Want one?
: One sec. Celsius!
Skit: The Win Stick
: (I can't stop thinking about the way my hand shimmered back in the Orlen Woods.)
(What happened there? ...I should've asked the captain when I had the chance.)
: Hey. Your ice pop's melting.
: ...Crap. What a waste!
: That's a tough break. Oh, look - I got a WIN stick. ...Hey, shopkeeper! I'll take another! ...Hmm? Stand down, Asbel. I'm not giving it to you.
Ice Pop Vendor: You're going to be a knight, yes, Asbel? You've been going on about it since childhood.
Whaa?! You passed the exam? Oh, congratulations!
Care for a yummy ice pop?
You can buy ice pops. I forget exactly what they do, but they do have a small chance of dropping a "Win Stick" item when you eat them, entitling you to a free one.
Skit: Final Exam
: What's that, sir?
: Some time ago, Victoria told me that you and I were different. She called us complete opposites, in fact.
: I have never felt that way, sir.
: Nor did I, but that didn't mean it couldn't be true. In fact, I even thought about withdrawing as your instructor.
: Please know that I am deeply grateful for all that you have taught me, Captain!
: Oh? So my guidance is no longer necessary, is it?
: I didn't mean it like that!
: Ha ha. Then before you cast me aside, let me ask you a question.
Who will you fight for once you're a knight? Or rather, is there anyone you could fight for?
Does that question make sense?
: Yes, of course. I chose my answer to that question seven years ago and it remains the same.
I would gladly give my life to protect the people dear to me.
: Well said. Asbel, I see you are indeed my student.
Skit: Stamp Collectors
: "Each city throughout the world uses its own stamp cards. You can collect stamps only in the city where a card was issued."
"When you buy or sell items at a shop, you earn stamps. When you collect enough stamps, you get..." What? What do you get?!
: ...These instructions really get you riled up.
: ...Oh. You get "V.I.P. privileges."
: Oh, come on! That could be anything! What a pain to have to keep hitting the same shops to collect stamps.
But I am intrigued by these V.I.P. privileges...
This mostly explains the stamp system. Each store gives you a stamp every time you spend a certain amount of money (all at once or over time). Each time you fill a stamp card, you unlock a new item in the store.
We have access to Inn Requests now. At each Inn, we can turn in things for rewards. Some of the larger ones are associated with sidequests in some way.
All of them have a cute little message for when you turn it in though.
Various locations in the game have password-locked chests. This one is in the knight academy. Can you guess the password?
Yeah. I got an Elixer, which is a full-revive item.
However, this also means that each territory is ruled semi-autonomously by the local lord and his family.
So even if the King wanted to deploy the Royal Knights to other territories, the local lords could block him.
Duke Dalen, lord of the greater southlands, and Lord Aston near the borderlands both have their own private armies.
Those local militias aren't as big as the main royal force, but underestimate them at your own peril.
If you brought all the territorial militias together, they could easily prove the match of the royal army.
: I get the feeling that this will be important later.
: Just because I'm showing it to you?
: Well, a little.
: Asbel's first successful mission was celebrated at the tavern.
: A toast! In honor of Asbel Lhant's promotion, and the start of a long and glorious career!
: May the wind guide our blades!
Thank you, Captain. I hope to continue training under you even after I become a knight.
: Relax, Asbel. This is a celebration. Let tomorrow take care of itself.
: Being a knight is all I've ever wanted. I need it, Captain. I need to be strong.
: Nothing good can come from haste, Asbel.
: When I left home, I swore to become strong. I swore I would never again fail to protect someone.
So when I'm not training or fighting, I feel like I'm...wasting time.
: Seeking the strength to help others, eh?
It's a noble goal. And if becoming a knight helps you achieve it, then so much the better. But there are some things even a knight cannot protect. You would do well to remember that.
: Understood, sir.
: Alright, enough woolgathering. This is your celebration, so eat up!
: Yes, sir!
: Good! Maybe next time, we'll celebrate your entry into adulthood with my favorite cocktail. Come. We should return to the Knight Academy.
While we're here I grab those documents.
: When they returned to the Academy, fate once again prepared to change the course of Asbel Lhant's life.
: Oh my goodness... Could it be that...it's really you, Asbel?
: No wait... Then...
Cheria? Cheria, it's you!
: I can't believe it. This is crazy! I haven't seen you in seven years!
What are you doing here? When did you arrive?
: A little while ago.
: You should have told me! I could have picked you up.
: Didn't you get the letter?
: Your mother sent you a letter begging you to come home.
: Oh... Well I was on a mission. I haven't been here for a while... Wait a minute. Did something happen?
: Lord Aston passed away.
: You're Cheria, right? Let's talk about this inside. Please, both of you follow me.
Asbel, pull yourself together. Alright?
: Asbel would never get the chance to reconcile with his father.
: Please come home before the fighting takes an even more serious turn...
I had no idea things were so bad...
: We waited to hear from you, but then Lord Aston perished in battle... With Lady Kerri bedridden from exhaustion and grief, it fell to me to track you down.
: Captain Malik, I've also been entrusted with a message for the knights. Will you hear it? Lhant humbly requests the assistance of His Majesty's Royal Knights in her struggle against tyranny.
: The domains of Windor hold great autonomy compared to other nations. They're independent states in all but name. This makes it difficult for the knights to intervene in disputes. I see the right of your cause, but things may be difficult.
: My grandfather said much the same thing. It seems we can only pray the dispute does not escalate into all-out war.
: I will speak with the other knights, but I make no guarantees. This is a matter most grave, and perhaps they'll feel differently upon hearing the full story.
: We are in your debt, Captain.
: I trust you to be the knights' eyes and ears in this matter. Return to your home and assess the situation. We need to understand what's really happening. You'll also want to pay respects to your father, and look in on Lady Kerri. She needs you now more than ever. Go to her and give her what comfort you can.
: I must return to Lhant as well.
: Then you and Asbel should travel together.
Send word if you need any assistance. And I'll let you know if I learn anything on my side as well.
Well, that was kind of depressing. Let's get some points, making numbers go up is always good for a cheer.
: N-Not at all, ma'am.
Um, if you don't mind my asking...
: Hmm? Go on, out with it!
: Well, how could you lose such important papers? I'm sorry to be blunt, but it just seems so unlike you...
: ...Well, someone's feeling cocky today. Is this because Malik is telling everyone you're a shoo-in for knighthood?
: N-No, ma'am! I would never... It's just... I mean... Well, I noticed that it was a letter of reassignment.
: You really should stop obsessing about yourself for a change and pay attention to the world around you. The current Royal Guard is an utter disaster. And this document is proof.
: Wait, are you going to be part of the Royal Guard? That's great!
: A reassignment at a time like this just means they need warm bodies to fill positions. Nothing more.
Now get out of here. I think you've meddled in the affairs of others enough for one day.
: W-Wait! One last thing! ...Was Captain Malik selected for the Royal Guard as well?
: ...Why would you mention his name?!
: (Ouch, I forgot... Major Victoria was always butting heads with Captain Malik, wasn't she...)
I'm sorry, ma'am. I didn't mean to bring up any unpleasant memories.
: No, that...that's not the point.
: ...Ma'am? Wait, are you upset because the two of you might be separated if you move on and he doesn't? Hah hah, wait, what am I saying? That'd be the day!
: Will you please just zip it already?!
Remember this, Asbel Lhant: You are my pupil. As your instructor, I forbid you to speak of anything we just discussed.
: Y-Yes, ma'am!
: My reassignment has yet to be publicly announced, so you musn't speak a word of this to anyone. Understood? Don't you disappoint me!
: U-Understood, ma'am...
: Wait, we've seen Victoria as a kid. She's only a little older than he is.
: Yes, but she learned faster and graduated faster as a result.
Time Out of Mind (not included with the main skit video due to errors on my behalf)
: I don't remember seeing this statue before.
: They built it five years ago, so you wouldn't have been around. It's actually the first headmaster of the Knight Academy.
: Seven years... Has it really been that long? *Sigh*
: Yeah, so, how have you been? I mean... Um... S-Sorry. I know you were pretty sick back then, and-
: Cut it out, okay? Why don't we dispense with the small talk. We need to focus on the matters at hand.
: Um... Yeah, all right.
: Asbel and Cheria took a ship to get them most of the way to Lhant across the lake.
: Thank you, but... I'm fine. Really.
: But...what about your illness?
: It's gone. It disappeared seven years ago, just after... After everything happened. Now I'm stronger than almost everyone I know...
: Seven years...
: Maybe Sophie is watching over us somehow.
: I'm glad you're better, Cheria.
: Thanks. ...Me too.
: I think I see what's going on here, but I'm not 100% sure yet.
: Well you should have a confirmation one way or another soon enough.