Part 24: CH24: PoliticsCH24: Politics
: After escaping the Rockgagong in a totally-not-butt-related manner, the party arrived at their goal.
: Who would've thought a huge city like this could survive in the middle of the desert?
: Strahta's power comes from a valkines called Duplemar. This country possesses the most advanced technology in the world for drawing power from a valkines.
: Well, most successful at least.
: Got it. Now let's see if we can use this letter to meet the president.
: I suppose we should head to the presidential palace.
Skit: Climate Controlled
: Somehow I doubt that's the reason. But that's weird, why isn't this snowman melting?
: It's probably some secret Strahtan technology. But why wouldn't they put the snowman outside? Then everyone would be comfortable.
: No, it says it right here: "For indoor use only." Yeah, consumer electronics and gimmicks are sort of a hobby of mine.
: Can we buy one as a souvenir?
: We're not on vacation here, guys. Our money can be better spent elsewhere.
: Um...so what's "snow"?
So here's one of the non-real-money attachments. I think it works for Pascal. She'll wear it for a little while. Also you might remember one of the people in this place.
Skit: Leadership Qualities
: He's a leader chosen by the people.
: Yes, very good.
: Cheria told me. She said it's different from Windor.
: Yeah, Windor's a monarchy.
: But...why do people need kings and presidents at all?
: They help to protect us. It's the same reason Lhant needs Hubert.
: But, what about Richard? He was our friend and also a king, right? So why does he hurt people instead of help them?
: There...has to be a reason for that. And after we take care of the Hubert problem, we'll go see Richard together.
Skit: Fountains of the World, Part I
: That's nothing like the fountains back home.
: It's another application of cryas artes. If I had to guess, I'd say it uses the same eleth as our weapons.
: I bet it's based on the principles of eleth-coupling equilibrium, huh?
: Um...yes! It sure is...something to see, huh?
: Strahta is home to the water valkines Duplemar, right? Hubert sure grew up in an incredible place!
: I wouldn't be surprised if it was the wealthiest city in the world. You'd never see something like this in Windor!
: They were able to get into the presidential residence without incident.
: I come bearing a letter from Governor Hubert Oswell. I would like to request an audience with the president. Can you help me?
Presidential Guard: I will give this to the president. Please wait here.
: Will the president meet with us?
: I'm not sure. I guess it was kind of rash to just barge in here and demand an audience.
: Yeah, you can't get away with anything like that these days.
Presidential Guard: Sorry to keep you waiting, Mr. Lhant. The president will see you now. However, your companions will need to wait outside.
: That's fine. We'll wait out here, thanks.
: Sorry, guys. I'll try to keep it short.
: Good luck.
: Thanks. I'll need it.
Presidential Guard: Please, follow me.
: Wait. You're...!
: In truth, I wasn't trying to hide my identity. But in that place, and with that outfit, I figured you wouldn't believe me anyway.
Ah, perfect. Asbel, this is Garrett Oswell, a powerful business magnate and adoptive father of your brother.
Oswell, your son has sent his brother to discuss my earlier recall order.
: Asbel, let me start with you. Why have you come to our country?
: Mr. President, Lhant is currently facing threats on all fronts. We need the continued leadership of my brother, Governor Oswell. I hoped to come here and convince you of this. Your order was issued because Hubert was said to be ignoring the will of Strahta. However, in accordance with the agreement between our two nations, his actions are clearly in the right. I humbly request that you refrain from quick judgment of him, and come to a fair and rational decision.
: My reports say your brother is not fit to be a governor.
: I would disagree, Mr. President. Hubert is held in the highest regard by all the citizens of Lhant.
: ...Interesting. I've heard very different things from Mr. Garrett Oswell here.
I sent the recall order so I could ask your brother about the situation directly.
The original plan was for a much larger area of Lhant to come under our control. And in turn, for the supply of cryas to increase exponentially.
: S-Sir? Is that a report on the situation in Lhant?
: A president must have many sources of information, Mr. Oswell. I couldn't simply take your assessment as fact.
Asbel, the letter you brought supports the conclusions in this report.
So then, Oswell. It seems you directed Hubert to aggressively invade the outer regions of Lhant. I don't remember giving any such order.
I imagine you had been hoping that prolonged internal conflict would leave areas of Lhant with a power vacuum that you could then fill yourself. And when that didn't happen, you decided to take matters into your own hands and attempt to cause it deliberately. And you thought to hide this from me?! You must take me for a fool.
: I rule here, not you. I am the president of this country.
: M-Mr. President, I would never dream of hiding things from you! I simply meant to-
: Every aspect of our Lhant policy, from the initial occupation to the alliance with Archduke Cedric, was planned by you. I can see now that was a mistake. And so, I hereby remove any authority you have over the region.
: What are you... Mr. President! You know how hard I have worked to secure Lhant! And still you would have me surrender all authority?
: You will do it at once, or I will have the regulatory committee investigate your gross abuses of power.
: ...As you wish, sir.
: Oswell? We're done here. Leave us.
: ...Yes, Mr. President.
: You hold your younger brother in very high esteem, Mr. Lhant.
: He is an exceptional person, sir. And I believe he can serve as a link between Strahta and Lhant.
: I trust him for this as well. However... There is no getting around the fact that his current methods will leave our country desperately short of cryas. If that does not change, I will eventually be forced to recall him.
: Personal feelings have no place when compared to the well-being of a nation.
: But if the cryas problem were to be solved, you wouldn't need to recall Hubert! Mr. President, please. Give me just a little time.
: This is not a problem that can be solved quickly, Mr. Lhant. And I don't know how much time we have left.
: I understand, sir. But I have to try.
: Well then, good luck, and I pray you find a solution.
While I'm here I open the passworded chest in the president's office. Nothing good, just a really stupid book.
: Sooo, what was the president like, huh?
: We've met him before. Remember the guy in Sable Izolle, and later by the Rockgagong?
: Huh? That was him?
: So that means the discussion went well, yeah?
: Not exactly. As things stand, Hubert's recall is pretty much a done deal.
Apparently, Strahta sent their military to Lhant to take possession of our cryas. But they can't get the amount of cryas they want with Hubert's methods.
: So they're going to replace him.
: If we want to stop them, we have to do something about Strahta's cryas shortage.
: That's an extremely difficult problem for one person to solve.
: I don't understand why they need Windor's cryas in the first place. I mean, they've got their own valkines cryas, right?
: Now that you mention it, that is kind of strange.
: There shouldn't be a shortage of cryas with a valkines in place.
: Maybe there's something all woobly with the valkines here. We should talk to people or whatever, yeah?
: That's a good idea.
Skit: Big Trouble for Little Brother
: Then he must have been the one conspiring with Archduke Cedric.
: Does that mean Hubert has been standing against his own adoptive father?
: It seems Hubert chose to protect Lhant, even at the risk of his own position.
: Hey, wait wait wait. So that means Little Bro is in trouble, yeah?
: Yes. But I'll prove to Hubert that I can still protect him.
I'll need the president's cooperation, though, so for now let's hit the town. We can investigate and learn more about the valkines cryas.
: It's a plan!
So for this next section we have to go see stuff going on in the city.
This is an optional scene we can see here, in Mr Oswell's house, where we stole his diving faceplate earlier.
: He won't get away with this... I'll make him curse the day he crossed me!
Gather the other men! I'm calling an emergency military council!
: How dare you come in here uninvited! This is my home! I order you to leave here at once! Go on, get out!
Man: It kind of feels like it's been getting warmer and warmer every day, doesn't it?
Woman: Hmm, now that you mention it...
Man: I think we should file an official protest with the government!
Woman: That's a fine idea! I'm going home straightaway to discuss it with my husband.
Man: Excellent. We can't let the government get away with this.
Child: What's the matter, Mother?
Woman: Haven't you noticed?
Child: Hmm... Is the water level in the fountain lower than usual?
Woman: That's right, dear.
Child: Do you think it's broken?
Woman: Good question. I'm not an expert on fountains, unfortunately.
Child: Well, are you worried?
Woman: Maybe a little. We wouldn't want the city to dry up and become like the desert, you know?
Child: Aww, it'll be fine. We still have the valkines!
Woman: Yes, yes of course. Your dear mother's such a worrywart!
Woman: Tell me about it! Some idiots have even been protesting the unusually high temperatures of late.
Woman: Isn't that the stupidest thing you've ever heard? I mean, who protests the weather?! I wish they wouldn't do such embarrassing things...
Woman: Oh, I know. And did you hear about that strange man?
Woman: The one traipsing about town in that oddball outfit?
Woman: It's a sad day indeed when things come to this.
Woman: Last I saw him, he was heading toward the west gate.
Woman: I wonder if he lives out there in the desert?
Woman: Wouldn't surprise me...
: The west gate...?
For some reason this next bit isn't voiced, up until the movie link.
: They arrived just in time to prevent a kidnapping.
Ruffian: We know all about how the president has been sending researchers to the valkines.
: ...Did he say valkines?
: You bet!
: You're welcome. Now what's going on here?
Young Man: Well, um...
: It's something to do with the valkines, isn't it?
Young Man: Er, well, you see...
: Does it also have to do with the rising temperatures?
Young Man: Yeah, um, so... Oh, hey, look at the time! Gotta go!
: Aaaand he's gone.
: Well then, I guess we'll just have to ask this one.
: What do you know about the valkines?
Ruffian: Valki-who? I don't know nothing!
: Look, we're not interested in...whatever it is you're doing.
: Especially since I'm sure it's some petty plot for minimal financial gain.
: So then. Will you talk to us?
Ruffian: Like hell I will!
: They got the info out of him eventually, then put it together.
: Well, we've figured out the problem, but what can we do?
: We gotta go show this to the president!
: This is...a diagram of the valkines?
It's a little hard to see, but I think that's concept art of the water valkines on the table.
: Wait. Are you saying...
: Pascal, you know about the valkines cryas?
: A little, yeah! I mean, I read about 'em in some old documents once.
: You really do know everything, don't you Pascal!
: Hee hee! I just like learning about stuff, ya know? The president might not care, but it can't hurt to show him anyway.
: All right, Pascal, we'll give your idea a try. Thanks.
Everyone is in our party as guest characters for the next bit. Kind of weird.
Skit: Drawn Together
You're a really good artist, Pascal.
: You mean that valkines diagram? Aw, that's nothin'.
: There is no need for false humility. Asbel is an honest man, and only saying what he believes to be true.
: You know, Cheria used to be really good at drawing too.
: Me? Oh, that's nonsense. I certainly wasn't anywhere near as good as Pascal.
: Look, Asbel. I drew something too.
: That's great, Sophie! What a tasty-looking banana!
: It's a valkines...
I sort of misjudged how long this segment would end up being. WHOOOPS. Ah well, fits into my schedule better this way anyway.