Part 26: CH26: TravelCH26: Travel
There's a thing we need to do before we leave the dungeon. The area below here was filled with water, but now that Valkines is fubar it's dry and we can get those chests.
Skit: Keeping It Together
: Wait. If he was able to get here so fast, can't he go somewhere else just as quickly?
: Oh my gosh, Lhant! Is he... Is Hubert still safe?!
: Stand down, both of you! We have a job to do, and it isn't worrying about King Richard or your brother!
: How can you...?
: But, ugh, Captain!
: Pull yourselves together. We need to return to Yu Liberte and report to the president! ...Lhant will come next.
: They returned to the capital for a conference, but so had someone else.
: The situation has changed.
: Windor has pulled her armies out of Lhant and stationed them in Barona.
More on that in a moment. Let's hear your report.
: Um, well...
You see, King Richard appeared at Duplemar, and then he... Um...
: Did he absorb all the eleth from the valkines cryas?
: It's the reason why Windor's army pulled back. King Richard absorbed the energy from the valkines cryas in Barona and then vanished. Apparently, the capital is in chaos.
: Whoa. I've seen a lot of people do stuff like that on accident, but never on purpose.
: We have no idea why, or how, King Richard would do such a thing.
Regardless, we cannot stand idly by. The time has come for action. There are two issues. First, we must deal with the loss of our valkines cryas. Second, we must find King Richard and ascertain his ultimate goal. This new development is a threat to all nations, and we must put aside petty international squabbles.
: As two of the valkines have been drained, we must assume he will target the third as well. That means he's likely headed for Fendel.
: Asbel, I must ask of you a great favor: Will you take up the pursuit of King Richard?
: Does that mean you're sending me to Fendel?
: Your friend knows about valkines, and you know the king. I can think of no better people for the job. Please know we will support you with every resource at our disposal.
: Very well, Mr. President.
You can see this in the video, but Asbel turns to each party member and they nod assent. It's a nice little touch, although they really could do more with that.
: We have our own concern about both the valkines and the king. So we accept your proposal.
: Hubert? I want you to accompany Asbel.
: But, sir!
: Mr. President, Lhant will be lost without Hubert!
: If I allow you to choose the next governor, will that put your mind at ease? I understand you might have concerns about who I would nominate. And I would want your mind clear and focused for the upcoming investigation. Well, Asbel Lhant? Do you find my terms acceptable?
: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you very much.
: I merely made a decision in our country's best interest. Well then, enough talk. Asbel? Hubert? All of you? Good luck.
: Hubert is coming with us?
: It's an order. I have to come. Still, I'm a bit...uneasy about the arrangement.
: Have you had any trouble dealing with these people, Sophie?
: No. ...Except for being eaten by the Rockgagong.
: Wait, what?
: But your pepper charm made it sneeze and we got out.
: Yeah, your charm saved the day, Hubert. Thanks.
: It's a coincidence. Nothing more. Besides, you gave me that charm, remember? I didn't need it anymore, so I gave it back. That's all.
: It was still pretty incredible. It was kind of like having you save us yourself.
: How can my older brother still be so naive? It's things like that which make me uncomfortable about this journey.
: I guess you'll just have to keep them out of trouble.
: Welcome to the party, Little Bro!
: Oh, all right, all right! We'll work together. So it shall be, Asbel.
: Thank you.
: How should we enter Fendel, Mr. President?
: Take a boat out to Warrior's Roost, then secure passage from there.
: What's Warrior's Roost?
: It's a small island set apart from the other three countries. It functions as an autonomous district. Come. We can reach the port via the city's north gate.
: Do we still...need more power?
So that...you and I can...achieve our...goals?
At this rate I might hurt Asbel and Sophie...
No... They haven't betrayed me...
: Urgh! Gwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
: On the way out of the area, they took care of a few things.
: Wait, you know who Soph... I mean, who this girl is?!
Maid: I mean, I think I... But no, it can't be her. It's just not possible.
Wife: ...MOIRA? Is that really you?!
Darling! Darling, come quick! It's Moira!
: Who's Moira?
: I think these may be your parents, Sophie! We've finally found your family!
: I can tell this is going to be problematic...
: Uh huh...
Wife: ...Asbel, was it? Thank you so much for helping her. We are truly in your debt.
: Not at all. I just did what anyone would do.
Wife: And so modest! Hee hee!
Come now, darling, don't just clam up. Say something!
Husband: Er...right. I never thought we'd...be together again.
Wife: What's wrong with you?! It's like you're not happy to see her at all!
: Yes, about that. I'd like to ask a question, if I may. Are you absolutely certain this is your daughter? Are you certain it's Moira?
Wife: Hmph! If our word isn't enough for you, just look at this. It's a picture of Moira we had done by a famous painter.
: They do look surprisingly similar...
Wife: Of course they do! That's because this is our Moira!
Your room is just as you left it, Moira! You get settled in, and then tonight we'll celebrate your return! I'm sure your memory will return in no time.
Maid: Very good, ma'am. Shall I show Moira and her friends to her room? I'm sure they must be exhausted from their trip...
Wife: ...Yes, yes, of course. But we also need to prepare for the celebration!
Maid: Do you think you could help Moira's mother see the truth? There's no way that your friend Sophie can be Moira. Last year, Moira went out into the Strahta desert, and was beset by monsters...
: Wait, what are you saying?
: I knew there was something off about this.
Maid: Her parents have never recovered from the shock. I think her father realizes the truth. But with his wife happy for the first time in ages...
I'm just the help, so they'll never listen to me. I know it's a lot to ask, but please! You must do something!
: Our word won't be enough. We'll need proof that Sophie and Moira are two different people.
Maid: Well, she may have left something behind in the desert where she disappeared...
: All right. It's a long shot, but we'll see what we can do.
Maid: Thank you so much. I'll be sure to post the request so everything's official. Please. Just...help them move on.
Sophie's not the only one who gets a sidequest.
: ...Marian? Is that you?
Marian: Oh! You remember me!
: You two know each other?
: ...More or less. What are you doing all the way out here?
Marian: I came here to start my own gem-polishing business. It was great at first, but a few days ago I...kind of lost all my tools.
: Did you try posting a request about it?
Marian: Sure did! Just now, in fact. So, um... Who are your friends?
: Cheria is an old childhood friend. And the big lunk over here is my brother Asbel.
Marian: Nice to meet you guys! I'm Marian.
: Hey, Marian.
Marian: Anyway, I should probably get going to Sable Izolle and post my request there too.
: Sable Izolle?
Marian: Yeah, that's where I'd just come back from when I noticed the missing tools. I think I dropped them there, or perhaps somewhere along the way.
: This seems like a lot of trouble to reclaim some used tools. Why not just buy new ones and be done with it?
Marian: I know, but... They kind of mean a lot to me.
Marian: Well... See ya around, Hubert.
: We could look for those tools, you know?
: They seem really important to her. And if she dropped them out in the desert, we can't expect someone else to just happen upon them.
: They might even have been eaten by a monster.
: If you want to hunt down the tools, I have no objections.
Skit: Twenty Minutes
: Surely you understand that this is no time for dawdling! Or have you already forgotten our mission?
: Don't be like that, Hubert. Who knows when we'll have another chance to eat?
: You think I don't know that? That's precisely-
: What do you want? You used to like eggs, right? You want some eggs?
: Hey, are you even listening to me?
: You should eat something. I think it would make Asbel and Cheria very happy, don't you?
: ...It seems I have little choice in the matter. ...Very well. I give you exactly 20 minutes. I'm a busy man!
This monster, with the "talk to me for a sidequest" symbol on it between Sable Izolle and Yu Liberte is where the tools are.
Challenge not found.
: Bingo. This must be it.
...Yes. These are Marian's tools for sure.
: You know them on sight? That's pretty impressive, little brother.
: Come on. Let's get them back to Yu Liberte.
In the desert West of Yu Liberte, we find what we need for the other sidequest. The star, as I've said before, is the "sidequest here" sign for non-character interactives.
: There are human bones in here. And judging from their size, they once belonged to a child. ...One just about Sophie's age.
: Do you think it's...?!
: It's certainly possible. ...Hm? What's this?
: If she was inside its stomach, that would explain why her parents didn't find any remains.
: It's okay. We're going to take her home now. We'll take her back to her family.
We do not get an item representing her bones.
So it's back to turn in these requests. Some of the more sidequesty requests have scenes after you turn them in.
: How long are you planning to keep those old things, anyway?
Marian: Are you crazy? These tools are what helped me open this store in the first place!
: They're damn near worn out! You should just throw them away and get new ones.
: Um...what's going on here?
Marian: Hubert gave me these tools.
: Hubert? Gave a present? To a girl?! I think I need to lie down...
:Everyone's a comedian these days.
: If you don't mind me asking, why did he give you tools?
Marian: At a time when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, Hubert just silently handed me these tools.
: Wow... Not bad, Hubert.
: I don't remember that at all. You must be mistaken.
Marian: It's true! And the moment you gave them to me, I suddenly made up my mind about the future. ...And about you.
: ...Oh my gosh!
: What are you so surprised about?
: Sh-She just said she made up her mind about Hubert!
Marian: Oh, did I? I don't remember that at all. You must be mistaken... Hee hee!
: *Sigh...* I think our work is done here. We should get back to more pressing issues!
Marian: Good luck, Hubert! I'm going to make you proud! I promise!
I'd explain Gem polishing and Gems now, but I don't really have the time, so look forward to me doing (that as well as shards) with Hubert's skills in an update Soon.
Skit: Burning Questions
: I barely know the woman! We were in the same unit once. That's all.
: Come on! You can tell us the truth, Hubert.
: You're on my case too? It's none of your business!
: Well, you don't need to be so mean about it!
: Hey, take it easy, you two.
: Let me ask you something, then...
: Um... All right.
: How are things with my brother? Don't tell me you reunited after seven years and nothing's happened!
: No! Nothing happened! ...Shut up.
: What was that all about?
Maid: Madam isn't feeling well at the moment, so I must thank you on her behalf as well. I'm sure Moira is glad to finally be home.
Husband: And I would like to thank you as well.
Maid: S-Sir! What are you doing here?
Husband: I knew you asked these people for help. I'm...sorry. I'm sorry you had to do that.
Maid: P-Please, sir. I should apologize. I overstepped my bounds, and...
Husband: It's all right. I'm just... I'm glad my daughter is finally home.
...I hope your memory comes back, little one. I hope you find your true family. Take care...and thank you.
: Shouldn't we say goodbye to Moira's mom?
: Maybe not. Seeing you right now would only upset her further.
: We just ruined Sophie's chance to become the only daughter of a wealthy family.
: Hah! Yeah, I guess we did.
: Asbel...I have a family.
: Did you just remember something, Sophie?!
: No, that's not what I mean. "Family" is what you call the people you care about the most, right? So I think you and the Captain and everyone else are my family.
: Sophie, I...
: It's okay, Asbel. You can let it out.
: I...I don't know what you're talking about!
: You're a lucky girl, Sophie. You've got people who really care about you.
: ...Why is Asbel crying?
: Anyway Hubert eventually made them stop messing around, and it was time to get going.
Skit: Fight Me, Brother
: This well went dry long ago. But while it's no longer a source of water, it's become famous as a source of high-quality salt.
: This is rough country. I didn't realize what people had to endure just to get a drink of water around here.
: Enough. There is something we must discuss. ...I want you to fight me.
: Huh? What's this about?
: No, I just... I don't understand why you're doing this?
: I will be happy to tell you...should you defeat me. Now draw your blade... It's time to battle!
So we've got another solo battle against Hubert, but we can win or lose here, and it's totally optional.
It's also pretty goddamn hard.
Of course, I was trying to lose on purpose since there's dialog for losing.
Skit: My Reasons are My Own
: Victory is mine.
: Dammit! I lost again!
: And as such, I fear I will not share my reasons for challenging you.
Since I was recording this the day before I was going to take an 11 hour car ride, I decided not to mess around and just lower the difficulty.
: Are you troubled by the outcome of our last bout?
: Yeah. I want to know your reasons for fighting me. But more than that, I want to defeat you!
: Ah! Is that...pride I hear? Very well, then.
: The more we fight, Asbel, the more deeply your ego will bruise!
Hubert is WAY WAY faster than most NPC opponents.
Here he's shooting me before the shots he's fired in a different direction have faded.
The key is to block until he's vulnerable, then smash him.
Skit: Alas and Alack
: Victory is mine! Now tell me what that fight was about!
: ...I wanted to test you.
: And why's that?
: Earlier, you remarked on what people had to endure just to get water in these parts.
: After what happened to Duplemar, the water in Yu Liberte is likely threatened.
: And you think it's going to run out?
: It is definitely possible. And as it is my duty to defend Strahta, I felt it necessary to test the limits of your power.
: So what's your verdict? Did I pass your test?
: It seems that way.
: But alas and alack, it seems we do have the power to save Strahta after all.
: Hubert, I- Look, we'll talk later. Let me get Cheria to treat your wounds.
: Thank you.
: Is Strahta's survival truly the only reason you challenged Asbel?
: Do you accuse me of plotting something else?
: Your actions may be harsh, but from my perspective, you wanted to give Asbel an opportunity to defeat you.
: I gather that you defeated him in combat previously. Perhaps you were concerned for your brother's pride?
: I have no idea what you're talking about.
You strike me as a fascinating and unusual man, Captain Malik. Perhaps you and I will someday have time for a more...leisurely discussion.
: Hubert, Cheria's on the way, so- Huh? What's going on, Captain?
Holy shit, a title I haven't gotten before!
Skit: Furtive Glances
: Hey, what is it, Hubert? You've been stealing glances at me all day.
: Nothing. ...Nothing at all.
: Oh, come on! You never used to hold back in the old days. What's on your mind? You know you can tell me.
: ...Skirt's...a little...short...
: ...What? I can barely hear you.
: N-Nothing! ...My, but it sure is hot today!
: Uh, well, we are in a desert...
: They arrived at their port of embarkation.
: Here are the instructions for getting into Fendel. The Fendelian army has stationed a platoon at Warrior's Roost.
One of the spies that we sent to infiltrate Fendel is with them. When we arrive, we will make contact with the spy and have her lead us into Fendel. Watch yourself at all times: If we're discovered, it will make our mission quite difficult.
Now then, let's be off.
Skit: Piercing Glances
: You used to live in Strahta, right, Captain? Do you want to visit any old friends before we move on?
: Thanks, but even if I did, we don't have time. We must focus our efforts on the pursuit of King Richard.
: Pardon me, Asbel, but did I hear you say your former Knight Academy instructor once lived here in Strahta?
: Yeah, I did. Why? Does it matter?
: No, I'll save my inquiries for a more opportune time.
: There was one thing they did have time for though. Stopping an attempted coup.
: A Turtlez Transport was able to get them there and back fast enough.
: We are going to overthrow President Dylan Paradine and end his tyrannical rule over Strahta! Our country's recent troubles are a direct result of his terrible policies and incompetent leadership. The time has come for all patriots to rise up and seize the-
: You can't seriously be considering an armed revolt against the president?
: ...And what if I were?
: Then my path would be clear. I am a citizen of Strahta. I will not overlook those who plot sedition, no matter their relation to me.
: You insolent cur! You would disobey me after I took you into my home and raised you as one of my own?
: That worked about as well as you'd expect.
: Are you ready, Father?
: Eeek! P-Please, Hubert! Forgive me! What I did, I did for Strahta! M-Maybe we can bargain! Once I become president, all that I possess will be yours! The mansion, the land... Everything! With your smarts and my fortune, we could rule this great-
: Enough! I don't think you appreciate our current situation, Father. The valkines are depleted. If we don't join forces with our neighbors, we will not survive this crisis. However, I suppose you may still think this a good time to start a civil war... Your actions would be a black mark on our family for generations to come. ...As such, you would leave me no choice but to renounce the Oswell name. Do not force me to this course of action. I do not wish to lose another father.
: I will overlook your actions this time. But if you consider such a thing again, I will do everything in my power to stop you.
: Thank you, Hubert... Thank you!
: Perhaps I'm a bit naive, myself...
That's it for this subplot.
Oswell is defanged in two optional nonvoiced scenes, without so much as a playable fight. This is really the low section of the game here, but soon we'll be starting on the upswing again. It'll get crazier, at least.