Part 21: CH21: HostageCH21: Hostage
: After the battle, it was time to take stock of the situation in preperation for the next move.
: So they could easily stage another attack.
: However, the Fendelians have shown recent signs of activity as well. We've deployed a squad to the Fendel border and are increasing our surveillance. If they plan something, we won't be caught off-guard.
Oh, and Lieutenant... What was that light that appeared during the last battle?
: You need not include those details in your report.
: Might I ask why? It could be a new weapon developed by the enemy...
: Official reports are no place for guesswork and speculation.
: Very well. But we still have to consider the cryas issue. Our higher-ups are demanding that we increase production in the cryas mines, and yet nothing has been done.
: We lack the manpower to do it ourselves, and I will not force the people of Lhant into hard labor. We are not here as a conquering force. We are their allies.
: I suppose that's one way of putting it. However, you appear to be prioritizing the local people over the orders of our superiors.
: You only think that because you still see me as wayward orphan from Lhant.
: But isn't that precisely what you are?
: I am a soldier of Strahta. I cast aside my homeland seven long years ago.
(Or rather, they cast me aside...)
: Aw, man! I don't think we can get any closer.
: It doesn't look like they're crossing the border. They're probably worried about Strahta.
: What will you do now, Asbel?
: Just what I can, I think. I have to ensure that Lhant isn't swept into another battle.
And then there's Sophie. She died seven years ago. She died...protecting us. But now she's back, and not a year older. I may not understand it, but I'll make sure we don't lose her again.
: Yeah, and we're totally gonna help! Right, Mr. Captain?
: Of course.
: ...Thank you.
: Well, we came to investigate the Fendelian army, and we've done that. Let's head back into town.
: Agreed. Come on, Sophie. It's time to go.
: Can we visit the meadow?
: Go ahead. Pascal and I will meet you in town.
: Okay. Let's go, Sophie.
Along the way back we find a Watermelon, which is one of three or so free attachments in the game.
Skit: Arrested Development
Note: This update has seperate two skit videos.
: But it is true.
: Oh, I know. But there was a part of me that was sure I'd never see you again. It just makes me so happy.
: Being able to remember you makes me happy, too.
: But everyone has grown so big, and I'm still...
: (Uh-oh. She must be bothered that she hasn't developed at all in seven years.)
Don't you worry, Sophie. Even if your height and such haven't grown, you're still the same old Sophie to us.
: "And such?" What else is there?
: Oh, uh, sorry, nothing at all. Heh. Um...
: Along the way, they took a detour to the top of the hill.
: This is where we met, isn't it.
: Yeah. Actually, both times I met you, it was here.
: What happened to me after I saved you?
And what happened before I met you?
: Where was I? What was I doing?
Thinking about it... worries me.
Maybe I can't remember because it's something I shouldn't remember.
: Yeah, but you don't know for sure that your past was bad.
: Besides, what happened in the past isn't important.
All that matters is right now.
: Let's go home. I don't want people to worry.
Skit: The Power of Conviction
: I don't know. But if he does, Lhant will become a war zone again. I imagine the Fendelian army is just waiting for a chance to strike.
: A war.
: And if a battle breaks out, there'll be nothing I can do to stop it. I can't possibly protect Lhant against such adversaries.
: Hm? Asbel, don't you like Lhant anymore?
: Of course I do. I just know now that conviction alone isn't enough.
: So Lhant will become a war zone?
: No, everything will be okay.
: They returned to Lhant, but not everyone was happy to see them.
: Thank you, Bailey.
: What can I do to help?
: Nothing. We have everything under control. We'd be fools to depend on someone who vanished during our time of greatest need. If help is required, Hubert will no doubt provide it.
: Bailey doesn't understand...
: He's probably talking about my decision to join the Knight Academy. And he's right. I was gone for seven years. I abandoned my duty and thought only of myself.
Maybe I should just leave Lhant for good.
: You're going to leave again? I heard Hubert might be leaving too...
: What are you talking about?
: I overhead one of the soldiers. Apparently, Strahta is displeased with the way Hubert is handling things here. I think they're going to recall him.
: Recall him? What's Hubert going to do about it?
: I...I don't know.
: (If Hubert leaves, what will happen to Lhant?)
I have to go see my brother.
(Are we all going to be separated again? No... I can't let that happen...)
The fountains are broken.
But it seems they were a bit lazy modelling it.
Also, there's a side-event we can get now.
: I'm quite busy at the moment, so please make it quick.
: Hubert... I know how angry you must be at your father and I.
: I'm not angry. It's because of you two that I was able to achieve my current position.
: Then what about Asbel?
Can't you find a way to forgive him as well? He had no idea that you were being sent to Strahta to become an Oswell. ...After he found out, he was furious.
: ...Seven years, and things haven't changed a bit. You've always favored him over me because he's the firstborn son.
: N-No! Hubert, I tried my best to raise you as equals...
: As equals...? So when you decided to send one of us away, I assume there was a long and sober discussion? I can just see the two of you spending long, agonizing nights choosing which son to sacrifice. No, Mother, the facts are simple: I was expendable, and Asbel was not.
: Hubert, please! Your father and I did this for you! The reason he sent you away is because-
: This is a pointless conversation.
: H-Hubert, wait...
: Do not bother me with such matters again.
: Asbel confronted Hubert about the recall.
: Who told you that? ...Anyway, yes, I've been recalled. The order was signed by the president, so I don't have a lot of wiggle room.
: I guess Strahta's not happy with how things are going. What does that mean for your return there?
: I'll likely be stripped of my title and never set foot here again.
: Did you go against their plans for Lhant's sake?
: It's foolish to sacrifice future stability for immediate profits.
Even a common soldier such as myself can see that.
: I...I want you to stay.
You've meant a great deal to Lhant. I can see that clearly enough.
You have the ability to think ahead and guide our people to a more prosperous future.
I don't have the talent for that kind of thing... You're the only one who can protect Lhant now. Hubert, please!
: Surprising words coming from the lord of Lhant... even if in name only. You don't mind your lands being ruled by a stranger?
: You're not a stranger. You're my brother.
: I believe you will always act in the best interests of Lhant. So all I can do now is help you.
: If only there was more time...
: What would you do with more time?
: I can't solve all of Lhant's problems, but I could fix quite a few. At the very least, I'd like to strengthen our defenses and make plans for an orderly transition of power.
: Then I'll go to Strahta instead.
I'll tell them how much you mean to both countries. I don't know if I can stop your recall, but I should be able to buy some time.
: Do you realize what you're saying? There will be no way to guarantee your safety.
: If it helps you, I'm willing to risk it.
: Why are you doing this?
: Because it's a way for me to protect Lhant.
: I'll write a letter to the president. Bring it to the presidential palace in the capital city of Yu Liberte.
: So you're accepting my proposal?
: ...And be careful around Mr. Oswell. Don't ask for his help, no matter what.
: Isn't he your adoptive father?
: He is, first and foremost, a businessman with considerable influence in Strahtan politics. The plan to station troops here was almost entirely his idea.
: ...I see. You're in a tough position, Hubert, and yet you're still doing your best for Lhant. Thank you.
: All right, get going. That letter won't deliver itself.
: Okay. I'm off.
: We still control the port that lets you access Strahta's mainland. You can get there through the west gate.
: Cheria was a terrible spy.
: Sir? May I come in?
: ...What? You're asking them to rescind the recall order?
What is the meaning of this, Lieutenant?
: I have entrusted Asbel Lhant with a letter for our president. If the order is rescinded, I will remain here. If that is not to be, then at least I'll leave someone behind to continue what I've started.
: Am I to understand you won't be choosing me as your replacement?
: Interpret things as you will.
: Your actions will lead to great losses for the Oswell family.
: My duty is to Strahta. All other considerations are secondary. I am simply acting in my country's best interest. Or do you think the prosperity of the Oswell family should take precedence, Cousin Raymond?
: My uncle would be saddened to hear you speak such things. It's like taking in a stray dog only to have it bite you.
: You can say whatever you like. Now if you'll excuse me, I have business to attend to.
: Does that mean Asbel left already?
: Finally I get a chance to take charge of Lhant, and he pulls this! What was my uncle thinking when he adopted him? I'm the one who's working for the good of the Oswells! I must stop that letter from reaching Strahta...
: (Oh no! I have to warn Asbel!)
Strahta Soldier: You there! What are you doing?
: Uh oh...
: You! Were you listening at the door?
: No! No, I was just... Um...
: Hmm... If I were to use her...
: Asbel gathered his party, intending to venture forth, but...
: There you are. Good. I have a favor to ask. Will you come to Strahta with me? I'm going to ask the president to rescind Hubert's recall order.
Honestly, it could be dangerous. I don't know how the president will respond. But I...I need your help. So please come with me.
: I'll come.
: Thanks, Sophie.
: I'll come as well. I've hardly done anything to repay my debt to you yet.
: I'm totally coming! I've never been to Strahta!
: Thanks, you two.
Um, has anyone seen Cheria?
: She bolted off a little while ago. Looked kinda nervousy, too.
: Perhaps I can be of some assistance.
: What does that mean?
: She was caught eavesdropping on military secrets. The punishment for this crime is...severe.
I might be convinced to grant her a pardon, but there will be conditions. In exchange for your friend's safety, you will abandon your mission to Strahta.
: Hey! You just totally took her hostage!
: I won't let you hurt Cheria.
: Now, now. I wouldn't attack me if I were you. Assuming, that is, that you care at all for your friend's life?
: Damn you!
: Give me the letter. Do it quickly, before I have the girl devoured by monsters.
: Oh, Cousin. To think that you would stoop so low.
: You will tell me where Cheria is, and you will do it now. If not, I will file a report for home detailing your clumsy attempt at blackmail. And that's not all. I will also inform them that you attempted to steal an official letter from a superior officer. Whatever you do, please decide quickly.
: You...you leave me no choice!
: Raymond! You damn fool!
I'll take care of Raymond. Go find Cheria. Hurry!
: Dammit! Cheria, where did they take you?!
Skit: A Name to be Feared
: Oswell is his adopted father?
: You know him?
: Only by reputation. If you travel to Strahta, dealing with him won't be easy.
: Hubert must be harboring all kinds of difficult feelings about Mr. Oswell. And that's why I want to help him.
: Guys, nobody cares about any of this! Let's go find Cheria already!
: She's blunt, but right. However, we've little information to go on.
: Raymond won't be any help in his condition. Maybe someone in town knows more.
: Come on. Really?
: This whole plan was pretty badly thought through on Raymond's part.
: The trail was found, and the collision course set.
It's really hard to see the Sopheria at this size, it's a bit in front of Sophie there.
: It's withered.
: I think it's been pressed. It looks quite old.
: When people want to save important flowers, they press them between pieces of paper to dry them out.
: Could it be?
(I bet this belongs to Cheria... That means she must be up ahead somewhere.)
Everyone! This way!
Skit: A Name to be Treasured
: That sounds like your name. Is it a coincidence?
: No, it's not. I was named after this flower.
: I see.
: Asbel, Hubert, and Cheria gave me my name, back when they were kids. It's very important to me.
: Is that right? Then take good care of both the name and the flower.
: Yes. I will, Captain.
: Come on... Just a little more...
: Good job! Nice to see a lady not being useless.
: It's locked!
: Dammit. Spoke too soon.
So uh this battle is kind of weak shit. Also I have no idea where the boars come from or where the humans went. Presumably Cheria's knifing them offscreen.
After dealing with Richard one-shotting my dudes, I gotta say that these things are barely there in comparison.
Oh, and here's one of Malik's spells, Ice Spires. It's impaling the shit out of that boar with yard-long icicles, and has a chance to inflict Freeze.
The game agrees with me that that battle was weak.
: Cheria. Are you okay?
: Yes. Thank you so much, everyone.
Uh... Thank you...
: No, I didn't mean... Things just happened.
: Things just happened? If we had been a minute later, then you would have been killed!
: I wasn't trying to be captured, Asbel!
And you don't even know what happened, so stop yelling at me!
: Whoa, hey there kids, now calm down! Everything's just fine, isn't it?
: I'm going to call this moment "proof that they're going to get married".
; Do you know how worried I was?
: YOU were worried? Oh, that's rich! Look, all this happened because I was trying to save you!
: Ya know, you've been treating me like crap ever since I came back here.
: Well that's your fault.
In fact, all this is your fault!
Seven years ago, you walked out of my life.
You never came back. I didn't know if I'd ever see you again.
Does Vesperia have animated tears like that? It's not something I'd expected a Tales game to bother with.
: I wanted to come see you, but I was worried you wouldn't want me there, so I didn't.
I felt like I couldn't come back til I was a knight.
: Aww, they're so close they make me jealous.
: Both of you just shut up! Asbel's nothing but a big jerk! And I don't care about him at all!
There we go. That's the Cheria I remember.
: And what exactly is that supposed to mean?!
: Take it easy, Cheria!
: It just means that it's time for you to relax a little.
: I'm really glad that you're the same girl that I used to know.
And I'm also really glad that... Well I mean... I'm just... I'm just glad that you're safe.
: Is your fight over?
: Our fight? Yeah. It's over. We're good now. Isn't that right, Cheria?
: Huh? Yes. It's all over.
: So...are you friends?
: Good then. Make a friendship pact.
: Ah, young love, ain't it wonderful?
: Enough of your jokes, Pascal.
: Well we should start heading back. We need to report our success.
Cheria gets the title "An Old Friend, Returned" here, which gives her first Mystic Arte. Pascal gets the title "Adolescent Girl" here, which is funny because she's 22 .
Skit: Like Old Times
Note: This is the second skit video.
: If the answer had been yes, I'm pretty sure Raymond's stab would become redundant.
: It's good of you to worry, Sophie, but no. I'm fine.
: We all worked together to track you down.
: I know, and I really appreciate it.
: ...Oh, but Asbel, I have to tell you! It was Raymond who-
: Don't worry about him. Hubert took care of it.
: Wow, so even Hubert helped out.
: Come on. Let's get back to Lhant.
: (Somehow, little by little, it's like we're going back to the old days...)
: Cheria, you must be glad. You have your happy face on.
: Yes. It's my happiest!
: Cheria, however, was a better person than... most anyone.
: This would not have happened if I had monitored my subordinates more closely. I apologize.
: Well, it's over now, so there's no need to worry.
That's a terrible wound.
: His plan was coming undone, and so he stabbed himself. It was incredibly foolish.
: You'll be all right. I'll take care of you.
: I probably would not have done that. Certainly not then.
: You should be fine now. Just make sure to get lots of rest.
: I treated you poorly. Why are you doing this?
: Let's agree to forget all that. All right?
: ...Thank you...
: And the next time you feel like doing something crazy, stop and think about it.
: I...I will.
: Come on. Let's get to Strahta and deliver that letter. Cheria? Are you coming?
: Yes, of course.
: All right, kids! Let's get walkin'!
: Wait, please.
I meant to give it to you earlier, but things got...hectic.
: Hmm? What's this bag?
: It's nothing, really. It's just a good-luck charm. Anyway, if you're going to go, you'd best get moving.
: You got it. Farewell.
: ...And be careful.
Skit: Lucky You
: What's on your mind, Asbel?
: I got this good-luck charm from Hubert, and I'm trying to figure out what he meant by it.
: Maybe it's just his own way of worrying.
: How so?
: I'm sure he remembers heading to Strahta seven years ago, alone and scared. He probably can't help but think of you making the same trip.
: Even after all that time... Cheria, we have to save him!
: Yes, we will!
: Yes, Hubert remembered that good luck charm you gave him.