Part 29: CH29: Military FirstCH29: Military First
So last time we learned a few uncomforatable things about a certain family. I could do a bit more with them, but I don't think we want that yet.
Instead let's take a quick look at a skill Pascal has that I totally forgot to get.
This is the non-mystic-arte version of Grim Sylphie. Note how Pascal TURNS INTO said entity.
Also, here's the forward-stick Assault Artes for Hubert.
Tiger Blade is just like it always is, only with the darth maul sword making it a little trickier.
Detonation Bloom hits a dude and then he blows up.
How often do you see a male upskirt?
Mega Sonic Thrust is pretty cool.
First you stab a dude, then you phase through him, then you stab him some more.
Air Pressure is Malik's version of the Vortex spell some enemies have.
: As they traveled, they realized Fendel bore the scars of past failures.
: Oh, that old thing? I kinda hoped somebody had filled it in by now.
: You've heard of this crater, Pascal?
: A bit, I suppose.
: What could have created such a large crater?
: It happened after a cryas explosion.
: Of course! The cryas in Fendel is naturally unstable, which makes it kinda hard to control.
: We should get to Velanik before people start getting suspicious.
: How come they didn't get into a fight right there?
: Well, there is one group that's allowed to travel freely in Fendel.
Skit: Just another Coinkydink
: Yeah. I'd hate to see a hole like this open up in Lhant somewhere.
: Why would a hole open up in Lhant?
: Allow me to elucidate!
: Our current location is just north of the Windor border, so we've actually been traveling in a big ol' circle. We're not all that far from Lhant.
: I have to admit, even after the whole valkines ordeal, I continue to be surprised by how much you know.
: Yeah, well...it's just a coinkydink!
: Is that all? I, for one, have trouble believing in all these "coinkydinks."
: Then it's destiny!
: That is NOT what I was suggesting.
: The town was in terrible shape, most of the houses unihabitable.
: (This place hasn't changed at all. If anything, it's gotten worse...)
: Are you reflecting again?
: Something like that.
: Is it...hard?
: Sometimes, very much so. When you think about the past, it's easy to focus on regret. ...On how you failed to act when it was required most.
: Failure to act...
(I feel like I was meant to do something as well... Was it protecting Asbel and my other friends? No. It was...something bigger than that...)
: Let's ask around town and see if anyone knows anything about the valkines.
Skit: Misery Loves Company
: What's happening in Fendel? Why are people living such miserable lives?
: And what was that about?
: What was what about? And more importantly, what's wrong with Sophie?
: Hey, is everything all right?
: Yes, but sometimes...my chest hurts.
: Do you need to rest?
: I'm okay.
: Maybe it's the sudden change in climate.
: Tell us if it gets worse. Don't just suffer in silence.
This scene shows up if you rest at the inn before talking to everyone.
: Oh, hey, Captain. Are you cold, too?
: It is indeed chilly tonight, Pascal.
: Is that one of those bar shaker things?
: How come you don't know what it's called?
: Hey, very few bartenders died over the Great Seed.
: You'll have to tell me more about that after I finish.
: It'll warm you up and help you sleep.
: Ooh, sounds great!
: Wait right there.
: Soooo, Captain. What did you do before you started teaching at knight school?
Were you like a bartender or something?
: Ooo! This looks totally yummy.
Ohmigosh, it's awesome! I bet you must be a big hit with the ladies. Hee hee!
: What makes you think that?
: You know! You're all dark and charming and mysterious or whatever. Ladies looove mystery.
: Perhaps I just have a past that isn't worth sharing.
: SEE?! That's exactly what I'm talking about.
We're a lot alike, Captain. I was always making mistakes when I was young, too.
: That doesn't appear to have changed.
: ...Hmm, maybe not! ...Oh, hey, Little Bro! You can't sleep either? I'd offer you a drink, but you're still a child.
: I'm merely too young to drink. I'm not a child.
If you keep drinking like that, it will impair your performance tomorrow.
: *Hic!* Wh-What? Don't be shilly!
: Perhaps that's enough for tonight, Pascal.
: Gosh, it's gettin' pretty warm in here!
I better take my clothsh off before I melt...
: Don't you dare!
: Eeeek! Settle down, Little Bro! Why you gotta be all angry all the time?!
: I abhor drunkards. And I might add that this is a terrible time to lose control of your faculties!
: You have a point. But people can't operate at full stress all the time, Hubert. We all need to unwind.
: I disagree, Captain. People who think like that often end up as failures.
: Failures, eh?
Perhaps you're right...
: Hey! Which one'a you clownsh jusht made the room all shpinny? I'm hungry. I wish I had pancakesh... Ooo, yeah... Pancakesh with shyrup and butter and...and...bananash!
*Hic!* ...Hey, whaddya you two lookin' at?
: Go to bed, both of you. We have an early morning tomorrow. Good night.
Next morning I raid the stage at the inn. Joe and co would be there if I'd taken the time to do some other stuff, but fuck that.
Skit: Bananas for Bananas
: Oh, what a difficult life Her Majesty leads! What can I get Her Highness?
: Just bananas?
: Well, if you also find banana pie for dessert, that'd be swell.
: You like bananas that much?
: I love bananas! And banana pie! It's 'cause bananas look like valkines and stuff.
: I see...
We learn from some of the villagers that the crater down the road was from an explosion that fucked the town, and that the culprit was a woman about Pascal's age who dresses like Pascal. Hmmm.
: In the deserted streets, children scavenged.
: Bits of cryas. Some are no larger than a grain of sand.
: No kidding?
: What use is it if it's that small?
: They use it to heat their stoves.
: That's so sad...
: How goes the search?
Girl: Not good.
Boy: Our family runs the inn. So we need enough cryas for the guest rooms, too.
: I see.
: Can't they just buy cryas fuel?
: This country has few cryas reserves, and they're mainly reserved for the upper class. The government has long turned a blind eye to this injustice, no matter how many people suffer. That's just how it is in Fendel.
: In Lhant, people have all the cryas they want...
: In Strahta, we're not unfamiliar with cryas shortages ourselves. But this situation is...extreme.
: (This is Fendel...? These poor people are our most hated enemies...?)
Girl: Ah-choo! I'm c-cold.
Boy: Looks like you have a fever. You should go home and rest. I'll take care of the cryas.
Girl: But, we don't have enough.
Boy: Don't worry. If I can't find more, I'll get a strahteme horn.
Girl: What? No! A strahteme would kill you!
Boy: Hey, I always figure something out! ...R-Right? I'm your big brother. Just leave it to me.
: Is a strahteme something that a child should be taking on?
: No. It's not.
They're extremely dangerous monsters that live on cryas fragments. The eleth from the cryas accumulates in their horns. Uncountable men have perished trying to secure those horns. It's not a foe to be taken lightly.
: Strahteme horns, huh?
: Incidentally, we fought strahtemes several times on our way here.
: Damn, we should have taken the horns when we had the chance.
: Oh! Hold on! Lemme see how many we have...
: Pascal? When did you pick those up?
: One, two, three, four, fiiiiive... Oh yeah. We got plenty!
: All right, so...
Is this enough?
Boy: Wait, what?
: You should get out of this cold and find a place to warm up. Why don't you take her home?
: We just happen to have these. Don't worry about it. Now take your sister home and let her get some rest, okay?
Boy: Th-Thank you! Thank you so much! Let's go. Can you stand?
: We're lucky Pascal thought to take those horns, aren't we?
: Yeah. We are.
There's a different version of the scene if you don't have enough, and you have to go get some. But fuck that.
This kid lets us collect the item from the chest...
...but won't stop getting in our way until we give him 1,000 gald. I have no idea what happens if you somehow don't have it.
If you find him, he gives it back, presumably fearing an ass-whuppin.
: Is that your mother sleeping over there?
Connor: Yeah. I wanna get her a doctor from Zavhert, but it costs way more money than we have...
How much do you need?
How about ○○○○ gald so I can get my mom a doctor?
Those circles are replaced with numbers.
You give him gald in incriments, but it's not too much unless you're really poor or stingy. 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, and finally 6400 gald.
Connor: Great, now I can have a doctor look at my mom!
: That's wonderful.
Connor: I'd like to give you something in return, but...
: It's okay. Just be sure to help her once she feels better. And don't ever extort money from people again.
Connor: Thanks. But you know, you should really be more careful out there.
: What do you mean?
Connor: If you keep trusting people, someone's gonna rip you off for everything you've got. You're lucky it was just me this time.
: Don't get carried away, mister.
Connor: Hee hee hee!
: They returned to the Inn.
Innkeeper: I...I can't believe you just gave us those horns...
: We were happy to help.
Innkeeper: I...I don't know what to say... Those horns are so hard to get, and yet you went out of your way. Thank you. Thank you so much. We'll use them well, I promise.
: By the way, how is your daughter?
Innkeeper: She's feeling better, thanks to you. Oh, where are my manners? Please, come! You must be tired. You can stay here tonight, on the house.
: Oh, we couldn't possibly ask that of you.
Innkeeper: You must! Please! It's the least I can do! I'll start heating your rooms right away.
: Oh man, this is so... Oooooh yeeeeeah...
Innkeeper: Hello! We've been waiting for you.
: Thank you for your kind hospitality.
Innkeeper: You're our first out-of-town visitors in quite a while. And as such, you'll get nothing but top-drawer service! It's not fancy, I admit, but I think you'll like the food we've prepared!
This scene seems a bit redundant if you get the first (optional) scene. Not sure how the writers could have fixed that.
: Nothing has changed. Nothing at all...
: Oh. Hello, Sophie. What are you doing up?
: Pascal is snoring. She's loud.
: I see...
: What about you, Captain? What are you doing?
: Actually, I was just thinking about an old song.
: A song?
: It's a story of two men who hold their honor and ideals above all else. But eventually, one of them becomes disillusioned and strikes out for another land.
: What happens when he gets there?
: He devotes his life to finding a new ideal.
: What about the other man?
: ...I don't know.
: Can you sing it?
: ...Heh. Why not? This is for you, Sophie.
: He made a song about...? Hoo boy.
: It was cold, and I totally didn't sleep at all...
: That's amazing, considering that your snoring was rattling the crockery in my room.
Innkeeper: You're right, little lady. We do have some cold nights here. We keep hearing that the government will use its valkines to help us. I wish I could believe that. These are desperate times.
: Do you know where the valkines is?
Innkeeper: Not specifically, no. But I've heard they're studying it in Zavhert.
: Studying? Does that mean someone's helping 'em? But who...?
: All right then. Let's get to Zavhert as fast as possible.
: Be careful, Captain. You should try to shake that before it turns into a full-blown cold.
: It's from singing too much last night. ...Perhaps I should go rest.
: Singing? Ha! It sounds like the dear Captain slipped off to who-knows-where last night and did who-knows-what!
: Hubert, seriously.
: Those who trust too lightly are likely to awaken with a knife at their throats!
: What are you singing there, Sophie?
: A song the Captain sang to me last night.
: Yes, well, as I was... Those who trust will... *Ahem!* ...Never mind.
: (He actually broke!)
On the way out, we go through a tiny-ass dungeon that I'm not sure why it exists. Anyway here's a new Burst Arte Asbel has.
No points for guessing that it inflicts "Burn" damage.
Also for some reason if you do it twice in a row he'll teleport up to the target on the second one.
Here's Pascal's second Mystic Arte, which we picked up on the way to Yu Liberte but I forgot to train.
Kind of appropriately named for us being in Soviet Russia and all.
Skit: The Cold, Hard Truth
: This isn't a cave. It's a tunnel through the mountains built by the Fendelian government.
: Humans built this? That's incredible!
: Yes, and ever since its completion, Fendel has pestered Windor with incessant incursions.
: If it wasn't for this, Dad might still be alive.
: With Fendel free to torment Windor as it pleases, there can be no peace or joy for Lhant.
: Peace or joy. Those words sound odd after seeing the people of Velanik. Are we the victims here? Or are they?
: And if Fendel is the greater victim, what do you plan to do about it?
: I don't know. But someday, we may have to come up with an answer.
: I hope he has a good one.
Skit: What Lies Ahead
: And what are we muttering about? Something to do with this frozen tree, perhaps?
: Ah, hrrmm...
: That is no answer... Now speak! What are you trying to hide from me?!
: Huh? Oh, nothing at all. I'm just wondering what's up with the valkines.
: The valkines is near Zavhert, yeah? So I'm just worried about what kinda research they're conducting.
: Do you think that it's possible that the military might be using the eleth from the valkines?
: If Fendel is thinking along those lines, it falls to us to stop them. And then we can dispense with that other menace to the valkines as well!
: I wonder if Richard will be there.
: This? Yeah, I guess. We found it in the Rockgagong's stomach.
Researcher: Gu-Gu-Gu-Goy?! PA-POW! Hod-farg!
: Okay, that was weird.
Researcher: Hey! Don't call me weird, or I'll give you a big, fat, sweaty hug! Brrrrrr!
: The hell is wrong with you?
Researcher: I was ready for the worst when I came here, but now I found an even WORSER worst! Well, that's that. Might as well head back to Zavhert.
: Anybody know what he was talking about?
: Let's just pretend we never saw him.
: I think that's a fantastic idea.
Researcher: Hey! What are you idiots standing around for? Move it, already!
: If you have something to tell us, then out with it! We're not so idiotic as to follow you around in a snowstorm.
Researcher: Then who's the idiot here? Are you saying it's me?
: (This guy's a real freakshow...)
Researcher: Hey, missy! You were just thinking I'm a freakshow, weren't you?!
: Wh-What?! No, I just...
: Enough! Just tell us what you want and be done with it!
Researcher: Fine, fine. Well, you know that Rockgagong Flute you're carrying around? It's actually mine.
: Wait, are you the guy from that house in the Rockgagong's stomach?
: (What kind of weirdo chooses to live in a stomach...?)
Researcher: I'm not a weirdo! Didn't you read my letter?!
: I vaguely recall a letter. Something about saving the Rockgagong because you could not, yes?
: I have to admit, I thought you'd look...different.
Researcher: Hey, I was just trying to put some drama into it, you know?
: This guy is a serious pain in the...
Researcher: ANYWAY! ...Don't worry about saving the Rockgagong anymore. I just want you to save me.
: Will you please, for the love of all that is good and holy, get to the point?
Researcher: Okay okay! Sheesh! So it's like this... I want to present my Rockgagong findings at the upcoming academia conference, but no one believes they're true.
: Academia conference?
: Judging by this man, I have my doubts as to the conference's veracity.
: I wanna go to a macadamia conference! Mmm...
Researcher: I said academia! ...And I may not look it to you, but I'm actually a phenomenally skilled researcher!
: (I don't trust this guy one bit. I think he's trying to trick us...)
Researcher: No tricks! I swear! See? I just read your mind. You have to believe me now! But anyway, here's the deal. I need some Rockgagong Fur. I posted a request in Zavhert, but no one's taken me up on it.
: Perhaps they're smart enough not to get involved.
Researcher: You wound me, sir!
: So you want us to find you some Rockgagong Fur. Is that it?
Researcher: Yes! Exactamundo! Anyway, I'm heading back to the city. Let me know when you get it.
: W-Wait! I don't suppose you know how to get such a thing?
Researcher: That's why I'm hiring you! Sheesh!
: You're not coming with us? I thought you wanted to get back to the Rockgagong?
Researcher: Naw, I gotta pass. I'm gonna go home and warm my feet by the fire. But good luck!
: ...Well, I'm fresh out of ideas.
: I doubt the beast has fur on the inside, which means we'll need to procure some from its...outer layer.
Yeah this can be a bit of a pain, but it's not too hard. I could do it now if I wanted to, but I'm going to wait.
Skit: High-Risk Highlands
: Hm, interesting. I never thought the day would come where I could say we've offically seen the Fendel highlands.
: What do you mean? Haven't we been seeing them all along?
: Until now, no man of Strahta has ever seen the highlands.
: Hey, so now you can brag about it when you get back!
: I suppose so. It is quite a point of pride. After all, no one we sent through Fendel Mountain Pass has ever returned.
: Wait, what do you mean?
: We sent countless spies to infiltrate Fendel, but none made it to the imperial capital of Zavhert and returned.
...Incidentally, the capital is said to be right past the highlands.
: But...we'll be able to make it back. ...Right?
: I'm sure our men said the same thing.
: Hubert is bad at the whole "reassurance" thing.
Skit: False Pretenses
: Heya, Sophie! How 'bout you and me cuddle up?!
: You seem in high spirits.
: Meh, I don't mind the cold so much.
: But you've been making a big deal about how cold you are ever since we got to Fendel!
: I have?
: Heh heh. Okay, I get it. You just wanted to touch her. Go ahead, Sophie. You can tell Pascal to shove off.
: Hmm? Oh, yes. Shove off...Pascal.
: You okay? You've been acting strange ever since we saw Richard again.
: That's not true. I'm...okay.
Sorry about the update being a week late. Here's some more end-of-battle conversations.