Part 19: CH19: TroubleCH19: Trouble
: After the Coronation, Asbel's first priority was to establish what would happen to the prisoners.
: You know, you could just ask Richard directly. Course he's all kingy and stuff now, so that might be kinda tough.
Windor Soldier: Asbel Lhant! His Majesty requires your presence in the throne room at once.
: Thank you. I'll be right there.
This might be about the prisoners. I'll be back in a bit.
: In his infinite mercy, the king has chosen to forego their execution. Instead, the commanders will be stripped of their rank and titles and expelled from service.
I summoned you here for a different reason. I have reached a decision regarding the current situation in Lhant.
: You have?
: Earlier, we informed you that the Strahtan military has occupied Lhant's cryas mines. Because of this, our country's supply of cryas is nearly exhausted.
If this continues, it will be a serious blow to our country's economy and the lives of our citizens. Such thoughts are deeply painful to His Majesty, and so he has decided to take immediate action.
: ...What kind of action?
: We will invade Lhant.
: What? You can't! You'll initiate an all-out war with Strahta! And the people of Lhant will be caught in the middle!
: We have sent numerous messages to the Strahtans ordering their withdrawal. But they continue to cower behind their meaningless alliance with Archduke Cedric. We have also heard rumors that the people of Lhant wish to break away and join Strahta permanently.
That is nothing less than high treason against His Majesty and his kingdom.
: I cannot forgive those who turn against me. We will drive Strahta, and all who support her from my lands.
: You can't be serious!
:With that in mind, Asbel, His Majesty has chosen you to command the invasion force.
: This is a chance to both redeem your honor and reclaim your homeland. Be grateful that His Majesty has elected to be so generous, and serve him well.
: You ask me to fight against my own brother?! And my own people?!
: Tread carefully, Asbel Lhant.
I rule this country now. Would you defy your own king?
Your Majesty... Will you at least send me to Lhant as an envoy?
: Do you really think you can convince Strahta to leave? As I remember, their commander is your brother, and the very man who drove you out in the first place.
: Do not expect a different outcome just because you're related. Blood breeds hate as well as love. You need look no further than my late uncle to see this. You are no different. Your brother has forced you to this position, and you hate him for it.
: Richard thought Asbel was the same as him, but that was simply not true.
: I haven't given up on repairing my relationship with my brother.
Please, I beg you: Give me one chance. I will convince my brother to enter negotiations.
: ...Very well.
If this is your wish, I will give you the chance.
: Thank you, Your Highness.
: However, time is short. You are to leave for Lhant without delay.
: I understand.
: Your Majesty. Is this wise?
: He's such a kind man. It's the trait I love most in him.
: Wh-What is it?
: Is it true that the people of Lhant want to secede from Windor and join Strahta?
: ...Well, I did hear a few people suggest something like that.
: Cheria, you have to listen to me. Our homeland is about to become a war zone. Richard is planning to invade Lhant.
: I'm going back to Lhant. I have to convince Hubert to enter negotiations.
: Well, I cant just sit around here. I'm coming with you.
; Mind if I tag along as well?
: Captain Malik?
: Had you not interceded with Richard, the other knights and I would have been executed. I owe you a great debt, and this is a way to repay it.
: It'll be an honor to have you at our side. Thank you, Captain Malik.
: Thank you, Captain.
: Heh. I'm not a captain of anything anymore.
: You'll always be Captain Malik to me.
: I think we're ready. Let's head for Lhant.
Skit: A Touching Moment
: That's okay. As long as I have you and Cheria and Pascal, I'm happy.
: Aw, you're such a good kid, Sophie!
: Well, it's true that she never hides her feelings. So I guess we can assume she means it.
: Man, we're the bestest friends ever, huh? Now howzabout a quick touch to celebrate!
: We can assume she means that, too.
Skit: Eye to Eye
:It's logical. If Strahta withdraws, things should settle down in Windor.
: I just feel like I don't understand what he's thinking anymore.
: There's no denying that His Majesty has changed. But don't look to me for answers.
: I'm sorry, Captain. I guess I was out of line.
: You've graduated from me, Asbel. And you should know that I'm certainly no great champion for you to rely upon.
: But as far as I'm concerned, you'll always be the Captain.
: Then at least stop looking up to me, and look me eye to eye instead.
: Captain. Understood!
: On the boat to Lhant, Malik opened his heart a little...
: Just thinking back on my old life as a knight. On all the lives I've saved...and taken. It's quite a tally.
: I'm sure it is.
: I'm only now realizing that being a knight means taking more lives than saving them. Lives are more than numbers, of course, but many who I killed were fighting only to save someone else. And if I atone for my sins by protecting those whom they sought to save, it'll undoubtedly bring misfortune down on another. Such a vicious cycle. I wonder if we'll ever break free.
: Do you think it's even possible?
: ...Who knows?
: No, not today. ...I don't mean to bother you, but I couldn't help but notice your book.
Elderly Man: What, this? Oh, it's not mine. I just found it here and decided to take a look. It's called "Windor's Military History".
: Hey, isn't that the textbook we used at the Knight Academy?
Elderly Man: Oh ho! A cadet, is it? Or are they making full knights so young these days?
: Um, no, not quite. I mean, I did study hard, but...
: Hold a moment. Are you...?
Elderly Man: So! You finally remembered me, eh, Mally?
: Could you please not call me that, sir?
: You know this man, Captain?
: He's the former head instructor of the Knight Academy. He helped me get my start as a teacher.
Elderly Man: Heh heh! And don't you forget it, kiddo!
: ...He's certainly spry for such an old timer.
Elderly Man: How very kind of you to notice.
: So what are you doing in this place, sir? I heard you'd left on a long journey some time ago.
Elderly Man: Yes, that's true. Running into you here is just a happy coincidence.
: So, um... Why did you call him Mally?
: Asbel, I don't think we need to-
Elderly Man: Oh, that would be a nickname he earned after he became an instructor.
It was a perfect fit for such a little brat.
: You know, I just made that one little mistake...
: Wow. He's treating the Captain like a little kid...
: Look, just... Never mind.
Elderly Man: It's hard to look cool in front of your students, isn't it?
: It's kind of hard to imagine how you must've been back in those days, Captain. So, um... What were your grades like?
Elderly Man: What's wrong, Mally? Cat got your tongue?
: I...can't quite recall.
Elderly Man: Oh, but I can! Mally here didn't go through the usual rigmarole; he went straight to being an instructor!
: Wait, so he never graduated from the academy? Is that even possible?
In certain special circumstances, yes.
Elderly Man: It's true Mally always excelled in the art of combat, but... Well, let's just say that experience alone wasn't enough to earn him a teaching spot. Remind me again, Mally: How did you end up teaching?
: Your daughter recommended me, and you know it! Now can we be done with the public humiliation? You know how I dislike discussing the past.
: Captain, wait!
Elderly Man: Heh heh! That little brat never did stick around when the discussion turned to something he didn't like.
: What do you mean?
Elderly Man: I mean my daughter. She carried quite the torch for him back in the day...at least until he left her. Mally's always been something of a lady-killer, even if it's mostly by accident. I bet he hasn't changed a bit.
Elderly Man: Anyway, I should be on my way. Oh, but first, why don't you take this? I think it belongs to a cadet, so be sure to return it. All right?
This gives us a book for an inn request.
Skit: The Orlen Report
: That's where I had my field training, right? I...I fought a monster and that strange power emerged.
: That monster is what I wanted to talk to you about. I looked into the matter further.
: Did you find anything?
: Unfortunately, nothing that made any sense. To be completely honest with you, I don't even know if the monster you fought was a monster at all.
: What do you mean?
: The samples that I took didn't match those of any known life form in the kingdom. Even our top scientists said they'd never seen anything like it.
: I see. I appreciate you taking the time and looking into it.
: I thought you'd press me for more information. Are you so easily satisfied?
: I wouldn't say satisfied. I guess I just sort of expected that to be the outcome.
: Indeed. Well, that settles that.
: (My new powers awakened just when that monster appeared. There must be some kind of connection.)
We have a very special costume for Malik. We also have some more end-of-battle conversations.
: They'll open it if we ask. At least, they always have for me.
: Yes, but Asbel is a different story. I think we should keep our distance.
: So, Asbel? Can we be all sneaky sneaky and avoid the gate?
: Well, let me think...
I suppose we could head to the canal and just follow it inside.
Before this area didn't have any real use.
There's a sidequest here where we plant seeds we've found elsewhere. Right now I only have two.
: Is that a flower bed just like the one at Asbel's house?
: yes, but it hasn't been used in a long time...
: I see...
: Why don't you use it, Sophie?
: That's a great idea. You could plant seeds here just like you did with the sopherias.
: ...Is it really okay?
: Of course! Do whatever you like with it.
: All right, I'll give it a try.
: You know what? You should use this to plant flower seeds from all around the world!
: All around the world?
: Yes! That would be a lot more fun than just planting local flowers, wouldn't it?
: She has a point, Sophie.
: Okay. I'll do that.
: Whenever you find a new seed, you can plant it here.
Before long, you'll have the loveliest garden ever!
: I'll do my best!
: Let's plant these night lily seeds.
: let's plant these canola seeds.
I hear they use these to make oil.
: They were able to meet with Hubert, but as for averting disaster...
: I don't remember seeing you on my calender.
: Hubert, we have to talk. I won't ask you to accept unconditional withdrawal, but let's at least sit down and negotiate. Windor's supply of cryas is dangerously low, and if it runs out, the citizens will be in trouble. Please, Hubert.
: Does Windor's new king really think that sending my brother will convince me to withdraw?
: I asked to come.
: Then you are naive.
: They've come with staggering numbers, and our forces have already been pushed back into town!
: What the hey?! We came here to STOP a war!
: So! You come to me under a flag of peace, but with an army at your back.
: No! That isn't why we came!
: It's almost charming how badly you've underestimated me.
Order the troops into defensive formation! Hold Windor back, no matter what the cost!
: Yes, Sir!
: Hubert, please. I didn't know anything about this. You have to believe me!
: Then you're both a pawn and a fool.
: What do we do?
: Let's go outside. We have to find out what's happening.
: Windor was hitting them with everything they had.
: Richard, why are you doing this?!
: I already told you... I was planning on attacking Lhant.
I'm doing this for you, Asbel. Remember when I promised to help you reclaim your homeland?
: I never asked for this, Richard!
: Oh, I know. But... I decided to do it anyway.
: No mercy... It seems like that's the only thing you ever talk about anymore.
What you're doing is wrong!
: So be it, then. Before I proceed to deal with Lhant, it appears that I am going to have to deal with you first.
: Cheria. Take the others, round up as many townspeople as you can, and get them to safety.
: All right Asbel. Come on Sophie. Let's go.
: I thought that you of all people would always understand me.
: You should know better. You can't control people through violence and fear. Nothing good ever comes of it.
If that's the kind of ruler you are, then we'll never have true peace!
Please! Listen to me!
Go back to the way you were!
: Is that really Richard? How... how can he be so strong?
: Sophie! Why did you come back?!
: To protect you!
: Sophie flew into battle with Richard.
: But she was struggling to keep up with him.
: There's that light... Just like before!
: Not you again...
This time I won't let them get hurt!
Is your memory back?
: At this rate Sophie could not win.
: You betrayed me...
: ...You BETRAYED ME!