Part 15: CH15: GralesydeCH15: Gralesyde
: They arrived in Gralesyde, and for once everything was going ok.
Gralesyde Soldier: W-Wait... He's...Prince Richard!
Gralesyde Soldier: Please forgive me, Your Highness! We shall inform the duke of your arrival at once!
: Richard's a prince? That's awesome!
: If Richard is a prince, then what is Asbel?
I don't know. I don't know what I am now.
Gralesyde Soldier: I apologize for making you wait. You are all free to pass.
: Thank you. Is Dalen at his manor?
Gralesyde Soldier: He is, Your Highness.
: All right, Asbel. Let's find Duke Dalen and see if he can shed some light on our current situation.
Before we do that, let's loot the place some! There's a lot of areas you wouldn't notice at first here.
Not much at the port right now, just a chest of food.
Although I do get this out of the way here.
Skit: Who You Are
: Oh, where were you before?
: Oh, you know. Ever since I left my hometown, I've just been kickin' around the world.
: You traveled the world by yourself? Who exactly are you, Pascal?
: Funny! I totally ask myself that all the time.
: Wait a minute. You don't know who you are?
: For sure! I mean, do YOU know who you are?
: Um, well...
:Like, why am I here and stuff? Where'd I come from and where am I... Eeek!
: Uh oh.
: I saw you, Sophie! You can't hide!
: Do I know who I am? That's really the heart of the matter, isn't it?
: I always teased Asbel by saying his reason for existing was to be exactly as dumb as was required to save the world.
Skit: That Would Explain a Lot
: Psst! Asbel! Over here!
: Listen, there's something totally hinky about the way Sophie's acting toward Richard.
: Yeah, I noticed that. I've been thinking about it too, but I can't figure out why.
: Well, duh! Don't you have a clue! It's because of you and Richard!
: Yeah! Sophie's jealous that you guys are all mwa mwa mwa hanky-panky all the time!
: Mwa mwa... Wait, what?!
: Duke Dalen was very happy to see them.
: I thought you were still in Barona, and was even now preparing my troops for a rescue mission.
: I'm sorry to have worried you. But I will put your troops to good use in the coming days. I intend to defeat Uncle Cedric and avenge my father's death. I pray you will support me in this, Dalen.
: All that I call mine is yours to command, my lord.
: Now please, rise. Let me introduce you to my friends.
This is Asbel. It is by his hand that I was able to escape the capital. And this is Sophie and Pascal. Both have been a great help to me as well.
: I am Asbel Lhant. It's an honor to meet you, sir.
: Asbel Lhant... Of the family Lhant?
: Yes, sir. I am the eldest son of the late Lord Aston.
: I see. Well, you have my eternal thanks for saving His Highness.
: I could do no less, sir. I consider it my duty.
: These are indeed strange times for Lhant. It seems Strahta has seized de facto control of the area.
: Can you tell us of the current situation, both in Lhant and elsewhere? We need to plan our next move.
: Of course. This way, please.
: They seem to have occupied Lhant of their own accord. This has allowed the cryas mines near Lhant to come under their control.
: That gives them the power to cut off Windor's supply of cryas.
: It does indeed. If the situation is prolonged, this could become a very serious problem.
: I also heard something about an alliance between Windor and Strahta.
: Yes. Archduke Cedric has maintained close ties with Strahta for some time now.
: He most likely gave them Lhant in exchange for turning a blind eye to his treachery. Or, perhaps, for their outright cooperation.
I'm sorry, Asbel. That can't be easy for you to hear.
: Asbel Lhant, the prince and I must now engage in very sensitive discussions. I would ask that you please take your leave.
: W-Wait! You must allow me to help you take back Barona. I want to help His Highness however I can!
: I would ask this as well, Dalen. I need Asbel.
: Very well. If that is your wish.
: Thank you, Dalen.
: The Archduke, perhaps anticipating an attack, has garrisoned a large number of troops there.
: A direct attack on Wallbridge would be suicide.
: If we can't go through the front, howzabout just poofing right into the middle?
Depending on whether or not you explored a particular area, the next line will change. If you saw the second exit, you get someone (I think Asbel) saying "Hey, that's right! There's a second device in the ruins!"
: You didn't see it, but there's a second device in the ruins that'll zap you right into the fortress above!
: I see. So we could send someone to infiltrate Wallbridge and open the main gates.
: Is that possible? If so, it would put us at a distinct advantage.
: Allow me to infiltrate the fortress, Your Highness. I will carry out this mission without fail!
Pascal? Will you come and help me with the devices?
: I will go as well. I fight this battle for my late father. If I am to avenge him, let it be with my own hands.
: Your Highness...
: Enough. I'm going. Now let's gather the commanders and plan the rest of our strategy.
: Yes, sir!
: My uncle has many of the knights on his side, so some of them may be people you know.
: Don't worry. I knew that the moment I joined up with you. I am your sword, Richard. Use me as you will.
: Thank you, my friend.
I would never say this to anyone else, but...I have no desire to fight a war.
I wish there was another choice.
: Remember this part. There will be a test later.
: The faster we finish this war, the sooner peace will be restored to our land.
I'll do whatever I can to make that happen.
: Thank you.
Now come, Asbel. We have a battle to win!
: And we will!
: (I get nervous when I see him with Asbel.
But...Asbel and Richard are friends... Richard would never hurt Asbel. ...So why am I feeling worried?)
: Your Highness? My men await your word, Sire.
: I expect great things from you.
Men of Windor: May the wind guide our blades!
: Please take good care of His Highness, Asbel Lhant.
: Sir! Understood.
: Let's return to the ruins. We will be able to access the fortress from within.
Needless to say we're not doing that yet, since now we have the opportunity to loot Dalen's mansion!
Not really that impressive.
There's a side exit from the mansion that you might never see unless you have a guide.
It's a reasonably large area, but there's not much here aside from a few items and a discovery/skit.
Skit: Jealous Much?
: How so?
: This is Lake Grale, not a river to the open sea. A bottle like this wouldn't reach a foreign land.
: Interesting. I never knew that. Wait, does that make me a child as well?
: Ha ha! Sorry about that. I suppose it did sound a little bit condescending, huh?
: Just a little.
: Hey, um, Asbel?
: What is it, Sophie? Did you want to ask Richard something?
: Uh... No. It was nothing.
: Too close, you two! Step away.
: What are you insinuating?!
Also, we can now use the road connecting Gralesyde with Lhant. Except we can't go to Lhant or Barona right now so it doesn't really matter aside from the sidequests and such along it.
Along the way Richard and Asbel show off their first Mystic Artes
Richard: Not a dog person.
Asbel's first Mystic Arte is actually from the title he gets for going on that date with Richard up there.
I'm not sure exactly what happens here, either a beam follows Asbel's sword strike or he hit the dude so fast the dude doesn't move with it for a few seconds.
Although the beam appears to be the more likely explanation.
Skit: Weird Science
: These are a Windor delicacy.
: I dunno, Mr. Science! The Amarcians have influenced many facets of modern society, you know.
: Such as?
: You know how streetlights draw power from eleth? The devices themselves are supposedly based on Amarcian technology.
And the weapons that let you use cryas artes contain similar technology.
: So this blade is built with Amarcian technology? Huh, well in that case, I guess a carrot could be as well.
: I know, right? I saw carrots in a book once, but they were way smaller. It seems pretty likely to me!
Skit: Overdue Maintenance
: What are you doing?
: Just maintenance. I'm takin' out the parts that are all busted and replacing them with ones that work and stuff.
: Like a mechanical engineer.
: Oh yeah, I totally do that too. Hey, do you have a screw that's about this size?
: Uh, not really...?
: Aw, no sweat. I'll just shop in that town up ahead. What's it called, anyhoo?
: Um, the town? It's called Lhant.
: Asbel? Will you visit Cheria and Hubert?
: Oh? Whassup? You seem kinda bummed out.
: It's a personal matter.
: Sophie! Asbel's being all cold to meeeeee!
: Sorry, Pascal. Look, it's just- It's like your gear, okay? You have to toss the stuff you don't need anymore.
So here's a little sidequest. Bandits on the road.
They've been mentioned a few times before as the reason we couldn't use the road from Lhant to here. To start a fight, you talk to the head bandit 3 times.
???: Hey! I told ya I don't know no bandits! Now beat it before ya get hurt!
The third time...
: Maybe you should take this a little more seriously.
Bandit: Now... Yer money or yer life!
: Ohmigosh, did you REALLY just say that? I can't believe people still say that! I mean, total cliche, right?
Bandit: How dare you, you little wench!
: Um, Pascal? This would be a good time to stop talking.
: Aw, come on! I wanna yell at the fat burglar some more!
Bandit: H-Hey! I'm a bandit! ...And I'm NOT fat!
Innkeeper's Son: Halt, villain!
Bandit: You little brat!
Bandit: Well, well! If it ain't the squirt from the other day. ...You angry 'cause we made ya look like a fool in front of your girl?
Bandit: Meh! Get 'em!
One thing I like about this scenario is that it's not like we were saved by the guy distracting the bandits. We're big-deal heroes and they're no-name bandits, and the order of the universe means that there was only ever one possible outcome: us decorating the road with bandit-related debris.
I would have posted a screenshot of the fight but they all died before anything interesting happened. Aside from Richard getting his ass kicked a bunch. I'll say more about that next update when it matters.
Bandit: D-Dammit... You haven't heard the last of us!
: Dude, even his running-away line is pure gold! It's like I'm in a play.
: Are you okay?
Innkeeper's Son: I don't need your help! I could have taken them out myself!
: Hello! What's this? ...Gyaaaa!
: Whaaaaa! What's goin' ooooon?!
: Pascal? Are you...
: The contract has been fulfilled... I am Grim Sylphie, loyal messenger of the wind dragon.
: Who said that?
: The cryas has responded to your blood. My power is yours to use as you wish. Go, and improve your skills forthwith. I am eager to serve you in battle...
: Oops. Gone, just like that. Its power is mine to use, huh? I wonder what that means.
: I have no idea...
This gives Pascal her first Mystic Arte, and a Burst Arte that attacks with Sylphie. I'll try to show those off soon. Pascal's got a lot of Burst Artes I haven't written up. Same with Asbel and to a lesser extent Sophie.
Skit: The Ruins Entrance
:You go east all the way down to the end of this road. It's where we saw Sophie's illusion, remember?
: It was just before Wallbridge, correct? I recall the entrance being in a thicket to the right.
: See? Richard's all smart! Try not to forget next time, Asbel.
: I hadn't forgotten the first time!
: Come on, let's just go. No need to get sulky now.
: I wasn't sulky either!
We're back in the ruins, but we won't stay long enough to care.
Skit: Touched in the Head
: Are you thinking about something?
: I'm wondering about this Lambda thing that was in the records.
: I'd like to know, too.
: Maybe touching you will help us figure it out!
: Really? I guess we could try...
: Don't listen to her. She's lying, Sophie.
: Nothing so far...
: What are you doing?
: Oh, I'm touching me.
: She found a loophole to my logic.
Skit: Inside the Ruins
: Okay, let's go find it.
: They arrived at the entrance to Wallbridge.
: Wallbridge is divided into northern and southern sections, each with a bridge that operates independently. Our ultimate goal is to lower the south bridge and open the gate there. However, if we can raise the north bridge, it will cut off my uncle's reinforcements. I'd like to deal with both bridges while we're there.
Once we're inside, our first priority will be to raise the north bridge. After my uncle's forces are cut off, we'll proceed to lower the south bridge.
Understood? Good. Pascal, if you would you be so kind as to activate the device.
: Sure! I'll just give it the ol' chunk chunk and then bam! Easy peasy, nice'n breezy!
I accidentally hit x here, cutting off Asbel, but I didn't think it was worth re-recording for.
: Yes, and we're likely surrounded by my uncle's men, so we should move with purpose. Let's make for the mechanism that controls the north bridge.