Part 11: CH11: DuelCH11: Duel
: Asbel prepared to attack the Fendelian troops, but there was a problem.
Lhant Militiaman: Lord Asbel! We've been undone!
: What happened?
Lhant Militiaman: The enemy has staged their own sneak attack! They're advancing on the town as we speak!
: We must have passed each other in the night! Unless they knew about our plan all along.
: Dammit! We can't stay here. We have to fall back! The town's nearly defenseless! They'll be overrun in no time!
Skit: A Hopeless Cause
: Asbel, do we really stand a chance? Fendel's weaponry is so advanced...
: I'll think of a way. I promise.
: Don't you see it? We could never hope to protect Lhant from such a force. Face it, we're so vastly outnumbered. We fight for a hopeless cause.
: Never mind... We need to get moving. Lhant is in danger.
Along the way, we pass defeated Lhant soldiers.
Skit: All That Remains
: Cheria, hear me out.
: We don't have time!
: Look, the people of Lhant are all I have.
: I withdrew from the academy. I won't be joining the knights.
: What are you saying? What does that even mean?!
: It's all right. No matter what Fendel brings to bear against us, I'll stake my life to stop them. ...Just like my dad did.
I'll prove to the world that I can protect them. ...And you. Will you stand with me, Cheria? Will you trust in me?
: ...I...I will. ...But...why couldn't you have said that seven years ago?
: Asbel and his friends were unable to beat the Fendelian Army to Lhant.
: Damn! They're already here!
Lhant Militiaman: New troops are coming in from the west!
: They're not from Fendel...
: Wait... They're from Strahta!
: Sophie and Cheria had their own problems to deal with.
: Aw! Dammit!
: Asbel was in trouble. But an unexpected savior arose.
: No way...
And now we have to "save" Hubert from four riflemen. They've got about 4k HP each and aren't total slouches, so this isn't a cakewalk. Hubert is probably capable of killing all of them himself on lower difficulties - he doesn't take much damage here.
As always you want them to bunch up so you can interrupt them all at once.
This guy is going down pretty fast. Note the second guy next to him getting staggered too.
I'm not sure I've mentioned this before, but there's a quirk to how Graces displays damage. In previous Tales games, the total damage in the combo would be shown in the upper-right with the number of hits. Instead, it's shown in the same area as the normal damage. So the 82 is how hard my last hit was, and the 872 is the total combo damage.
I'm the one taking most of the damage here.
Had to heal once even. Hubert is the third party member with a heal that isn't self-only, but I'm not sure he has one right now. Incidentally there's a special sound clip for Hubert healing Asbel with a gel, he has a chance to shout "Brother!" when he does it. It's not really appropriate at this point in the story though.
Ultimately pretty easy.
: L-Lieutenant? Wow, Hubert, you're really going places!
: The men of Strahta have driven the Fendelian army from your town.
: I am Hubert Oswell, formerly of the Lhant family.
I am the youngest son of Lord Aston, who tragically lost his life in your defense!
Man: It's Master Hubert!
Woman: You've returned to us at last!
: While I am now a man of Strahta, I still hold my homeland in the highest regard.
When I heard of your desperate plight, I was compelled to come to your aid.
And I have further good news to share with you all!
Strahta and Windor have formed an alliance against the cruel nation of Fendel!
Your fight is ours, and we shall work as one to drive our common enemy from this land forever!
: Hubert, wait!
: If you desire an audience, please wait until morning.
: The next day...
: Oh, I see. You're planting the sopheria seed.
: It should sprout in a few days and bloom sometime after that.
And if you continue to take good care of it, you might even get to see a blossomgale.
: What's that?
It happens after they bloom, if the flowers bathe in starlight for a few nights. ...Or so I hear. I don't really know the details. Anyway, just be patient and take good care of it.
: More or less.
: Look at you! A lieutenant in the military at such a young age. I...I never thought I'd see you again. Not like this, at least.
: We're lucky the town wasn't damaged further.
: We should catch up, you know? I could use your advice on a whole bunch of things.
: I'll be here for quite a while.
: Really? That's great! You can help us figure out what the enemy's going to do next. I'll feel a lot better knowing that we're working together.
: Her movements... Her body... Even her expression. She's like Sophie in every way. I will investigate this matter personally.
: Whoa, hey, wait! That won't be necessary. I'll decide what to do with her.
: So the boy who abandoned his family now thinks to be lord?
: We have more important issues to discuss. Meet me in the study when you're ready.
: I need to talk to Hubert. Are you okay here?
I did a few things to get ready. While I was doing so a thing happened.
This is the message you see when the random production function of the Eleth Mixer kicks in. This screen is mostly for the benefit of people who've played this game before. I'll explain Spheres eventually.
Also let's temporarily lower the difficulty.
And put that "too good for right now" sword back on. No particular reason.
: Hubert had done some redecorating in the manor.
: Good. You're here.
: As part of the bilateral alliance between our nations, the Strahtan military will be permanently stationed in Lhant.
I have been appointed military governor, and will handle all affairs of state from this point forward.
: What are you talking about? I wasn't informed of this!
: It was a term negotiated directly between the governments of Strahta and Windor.
Let me ask you something: What exactly do you hope to accomplish here?
As of now, you're completely dependent upon my military. No lord can rule under such conditions.
: What Lhant needs now is power. Strength. This is something I possess. As a commander in Strahta's military, I can bring peace and stability to this land.
I've spent the last seven years studying and training. I've sacrificed everything to achieve what I've become. I'm not you. I didn't forget my home and my people so I could go gallivanting around the countryside.
: You don't know what I went through! You have no idea what it's like to train at the Knight Academy!
: Then perhaps you'd care to show me what you've learned.
: Here is my proposal: If I defeat you in combat, you will leave Lhant immediately. If I lose, I will recognize you as the rightful lord.
: Are you nuts? I'll never agree to that!
: Then run. Run like you always do. It will prove the last seven years were about nothing more than your own pride.
: Fine! Let's see if my training was just one big ego trip!
: I'm glad you've accepted my proposal.
: Initially, it seemed like this could be anyone's battle.
Hubert uses a double-bladed sword...
...that breaks apart into two pistols.
This is "burn" status, which prevents healing.
: Asbel struck back powerfully.
: It looked like he would win.
: But there was one thing they didn't teach at the Knight Academy.
Broadside Waltz here is the first Blast Caliber (this game's term for a Mystic Arte or Supermove) you're likely to see. It's pretty snappy, the whole thing lasting about 3 seconds. In comparison, Devil's Hellfire, Emil's Mystic Arte, lasts over 20 seconds (yes I checked).
Remember what I said about the number there representing the total damage of the combo? Asbel should have enough HP to keep going, but this ends the fight automatically. Unless I'm forgetting one elsewhere, this is the only truly unwinnable fight in the game.
: That was it, then.
: Hubert... You've grown strong...
: I told you: I'm not the boy you knew. As per our agreement, you will leave Lhant. Now.
: Asbel left the Knight Academy to take your father's place as the next lord! I finally get both my sons back, and now they're at each other's throats?!
: Last I checked, you have only one son.
: Wh-What are you saying?
: I am an Oswell.
: Hubert, your father was only thinking of you when...
: Enough! The two of you abandoned me, and that's the truth of it.
: No! Please, don't...
: Don't worry, Lady Kerri. I will not force you to leave as well.
: Go find Cheria. She'll take care of you.
Strahta Soldier: Hey! Quit blubbering and go!
: It's going to rain soon. Let's get inside.
: I'm not weak like I used to be, Grandpa. You don't have to worry.
: I'll always worry about you, no matter how healthy you are.
: Everyone changed. It's all different now.
: Such is life. You just keep changing with it until you find the right path. When times are trying, you mustn't fear to face them.