Part 25: Update 25Update 25
: Huh, you'd figure it'd be harder to escape from a collapsing ruin.
: Actually, Sheena grabbed Marta and surfed down the collapsing columns, then did a jump and a triple flip at the bottom.
: Whoa, cool. Why aren't we seeing that?
: Ok, fine. The truth is, Sheena carries a parachute for falls.
: Emil! Argh!
: I treated myself, I'm okay.
: It's my fault. I never meant for you to get hurt.
: It's okay, but what's happening to you? Sheena mentioned it, too. You've been in Ratatosk Mode for a long time.
: So you're on their side.
: Sheena and Richter are both on my case to return to the "normal" me, and now you too!
: No, I didn't say--
: Why?! Why should I? My normal self is a pathetic weakling! A cowardly dog who'll never amount to anything!
: You said you wanted me to protect you, as a Knight of Ratatosk. And that's exactly what I'm doing! So what's the problem!
: Emil, I didn't mean it like that.
: Maybe I should just disappear. None of you want me around.
: Aww, that's so romantic.
: You want to do that with your boyfriend?
: Well, I'd like to skip the multiple-personality-fainting part.
: Emil, you're finally back.
: Are you okay?
: Sheena! Sheena, you're okay, too!
: Yes. I'm glad both you and Marta are safe. But...
: Tenebrae won't wake up.
: Tenebrae?! So Richter didn't get him after all!
: What are you talking about? You grabbed the core yourself.
: Huh? I guess I did?
: Look. I've been trying the same thing I always do to hatch Centurions, but Tenebrae won't wake up.
I couldn't get a shot of Emil hatching the core that would really convey it, sorry. Instead, let's point out that if Emil can hatch cores Marta's role in the A-plot is kind of nil now.
: Wha-What was that?!
: Emil, Lady Marta, my most humble apologies for worrying you so.
: Tenebrae! Are you okay?!
: Centurions do not die. They only regress to their core state. Though I would not have been able to awaken had you two not come for me.
: Tenebrae, you sacrificed yourself for me. I'm sorry.
: Please, think nothing of it.
: Thank goodness. I can't stand saying goodbye to friends.
: All right, should we start heading back to Meltokio? Regal must be worried by now.
: Uh, Wait. What about Richter? Any idea what happened to him?
: I was caught up in the cave-in, so I can't say exactly for sure, but it looked like that Centurion, Aqua, rescued him before he was crushed.
: Then he's still alive!
: Why are you acting so relieved? Are you STILL IN LOVE WITH HIM?
: Uh... Y-Yeah, probably.
: Ok, you are. Glad we could clear that up.
: The Ratatosk Mode you and the normal you are like night and day.
Skit Video: Welcome Back
: Wha-What is it, you two?
: Tenebrae, welcome back!
: We really missed you.
: Oh my, well I am sorry for causing concern.
: Is that all you gotta say? Show some emotion! Is old age making us a little grumpy?
: How rude! I would ask that you not treat me like an elderly dimwit!
: Look, he's getting angry! It's really him!
: Yep! I wouldn't have him any other way!
: Wha...What happened while I was gone?
Skit Video: Omen
: That's weird. When did I pick up Tenebrae's core?
: Is something wrong, Emil?
: Well, yeah. My memory is--
: Your memory?
: No, it's okay, it's nothing. My memory of when I arrived at the Temple of Darkness is really hazy. Why?
Skit Video: Mom
: Hey Mom, do you--
: I'm sorry! That just sort of came out. I guess it's because you seem sort of "mom-like."
: You think I'm motherly? Are you implying that I'm old?!
: N-n-No! Not like that. I meant you were really kind, and grown up and stuff, and-- I don't know kind of like the middle-aged women who lived in my neighborhood.
: Damn, check out the smoothness there.
: Personally it's hard to sympathize with such concerns.
: Well, you're an immortal, ageless, spirit, you old hag.
: Nope, didn't feel anything.
: Guh! Hey, Tenebrae, help me out here.
: You see, on some level, Emil feels a sort of attachment towards you as a mother. And as we know, a powerful symbol of motherhood is the breast. The young man is simply expressing his appreciation for your ample bosom.
: What the fuck? That doesn't even make sense.
: I-i-Is that how you've been looking at me?! You-you-You creep!
: You jerk! You perv! How could you?! I hate you!
: I guess reawakening didn't change you, Tenebrae.
: Spiteful nothing, that was like a murder attempt.
Skit Video: 50 Escapes
(Trigger: Run away 50 times)
: Right on. That was our fiftieth!
: Our fiftieth what?
: Our fiftieth escape from battle. Remember what you said? About how retreating is sometimes the best strategy. So I've been keeping track.
: Well, yeah, but it's not exactly something to be proud of. I'm kind of disappointed in you.
: Huh? Why?
: You're all right! What about Tenebrae?
: As you can see, I am quite well. Terribly sorry to have worried you.
: So Regal, did you talk to His Majesty about Glacies' core?
: Actually there's been a bit of progress on that front--which is why I came to find you.
: Progress? You mean you know who has the core?
: That's correct. It's one of Meltokio's nobles, just as we suspected.
: So who? Hopefully someone who will fork it over without too much trouble.
: I don't believe it should pose much of a problem. The buyer was one Seles Wilder.
: Seles. You mean that idiot Chosen's sister?
: The Chosen Zelos' sister.
: Indeed. We should head to Zelos' mansion.
: Does that sound good to you two?
: Of course.
: I'm not exactly enthusiastic, but it's not like we have a choice.
: I'm not too eager, myself. But let's go.
Skit Video: Darkness
: How was the Temple of Darkness?
: It was really dark.
: It is, after all, the resting place of my altar. One should expect some darkness.
: That's right, you're a dark elemental.
: Darkness is quite pleasant. It wraps the world in a warm, black blanket. It would seem though, that my altar was converted into a temple of some sort during my sleep.
: I think it was Cruxis that built the temples.
: Cruxis is that institution in the heavens where Goddess Martel lives, right?
: Yes. I suppose that describes it well enough.
: So the Church of Martel's followers turned the Centurions' altars into temples.
: Indeed. It's rather rude to remodel someone's home without asking permission. They've ruined the bleakness of my magnificent lair.
: What's the big deal? It's still plenty dark.
: The quality of the darkness is as different as night and day! Can you truly not appreciate that fact?!
: I guess some differences are too subtle for we humans to perceive.
: I'm pretty sure you can perceive all that gaudy purple stuff.
Skit Video: Seles Wilder
: Um, So who is Seles?
: Seles is the half-sister of Zelos, the Chosen.
: She has a frail constitution. Without the aid of an Exsphere, even everyday activities are difficult for her.
: Huh? Wasn't she an absolute beast opposing the Party of Regeneration in the Arena?
: Yeah, with an exsphere. It's so sad, if she wasn't in such poor health from the confinement in the abbey, she'd be a powerful warrior.
: Exspheres. Those stones with mysterious powers, right? And they were made by the Desians.
: Yes. They allow people to amp their abilities to their full potential. Both of us have one.
: The King has issued an order demanding the surrender of all Exspheres. So we'll have to return these as well someday.
: At any rate, Seles didn't waste any time in giving her Exsphere back. And that's why Zelos has been so worried about her.
: When Seles is involved, the Chosen has a tendency to lose his composure.
: Anyone so much as touches a hair on her head and he'd hunt them down to the gates of Hell itself.
: Wow, that's so dashing.<3 I wish I had an older brother like that.
: Anyone else get a slightly creepy vibe there?
: It's been a while, Sebastian.
Sebastian: And you would be Sir Emil, Miss Marta, and Sir Tenebrae, correct? Duke Bryant was good enough to send word ahead of your visit.
: Th-Thank you. We've come about the Glacies' core.
Sebastian: Yes. Well, one of our servants, a man named Tokunaga, informed us that he had come into possession of an unusual jewel.
: Isn't that the butler we saw coming out of the item shop?
: The same. It seems that he had just purchased the core when we saw him.
: Could you please call Mr. Tokunaga for us?!
Sebastian: Wh-What could that be?
Sebastian: What?! Sir Bud kidnapped Lady Seles?!
: Sir Bud?
: Are you talking about Lloyd?
: We'll explain later! Which way did he go?!
Tokunaga: Out the second floor window.
: We have to go after him!
: I wonder if "Lloyd" has Solum's core with him.
: Tenebrae! Can you sense Glacies around here?!
: I do sense a presence getting further from here. However, energy from another Centurion's core is causing some interference.
: Another core? Like Lumen's? Lloyd has that!
: No, this would be Solum's core, I believe. Why would Solum's core be here?
: Because Decus is using it to impersonate Lloyd, it should be really obvious by now.
: We can wonder about that later! Let's split up and start searching!
: Woah, Excuse you! It's you!
: Zelos Wilder!
: Huh. Never expected to see you in my neck of the woods.
: We don't have time for that! Lloyd kidnapped your sister!
: What are you talking about?
: It's true! Huh?
: Well ain't that a coincidence.
: Lloyd Irving! I--
: I've been waiting for you! Come back here!
: Damn it! I lost him!
: You're saying that was Lloyd?
: Of course! Are you blind?
: Don't make me laugh. That's not Lloyd.
: You idiot! Your sister's been kidnapped!
: Hmmph. Don't get your britches in a bunch, kid. Lloyd wouldn't do something like that to Seles. That was not Lloyd.
: Where're you going?
: I'm going home. If someone's gone to all the trouble of kidnapping Seles, I'm sure they left me some sort of message. You come too. You wanna see Lloyd, right?
: Hmpf! ...
: The kid already filled me in.
Sebastian: Duke Bryant and Miss Sheena are currently out looking for Lady Seles.
: Regal and Sheena?
: It looks like Lloyd's already skipped town. Oh!
: Sebastian, tell me exactly what happened.
Tokunaga: I was the one who witnessed it, Master Zelos. I had presented Lady Seles with an exceptional gem called the Glacies. I had just begun explaining its origins when it happened. Sir Lloyd suddenly came in through the window. He grabbed Lady Seles along with the gem, and escaped.
: You mean Lloyd has Glacies' Core?
: I'm sorry, Marta. If only I caught him...
: And there's been no word from Lloyd?
Sebastian: We have yet to hear anything.
: That's weird.
: What's so weird about it? Lloyd's after all of the cores.
: Then why go to the trouble of kidnapping Seles? I'm telling you, that's not Lloyd.
: You're wrong! It was Lloyd! I saw him with my own eyes!
: What would you know about Lloyd, anyway? You really think he smells like that?
: Yep. When he ran by me there was this horrible stench. I thought I was gonna pass out. Lloyd's never been the sort to wear cologne. And even if he was, he'd never put on something that putrid.
: Now that you mention it, it did smell a bit familiar.
: Was it Eau de Seduction?
: That's it! Wait, that would mean Decus was disguised as Lloyd?!
: Hey, you guys want to enlighten the rest of us as to what you're talking about?
: Um, Well, you see...
: Vanguard Ratatosk Decus Ratatosk Marta Ratatosk Ratatosk Ratatosk.
: So anyway, there's a good chance the "Lloyd" we saw was actually this Vanguard guy Decus in disguise.
: Judging from the smell I think so.
: All right, come with me for an audience with His Majesty. Let Regal and Sheena know when they come back.
: An audience?
: The house of Wilder is second in status only to the royal family. We have to report this immediately. Let's go.
: To be more accurate, Your Majesty, she was taken by an impostor of his. We believe the Vanguard may be involved.
: Excuse me, why do you call him "Bud"?
: Because he's my bud.
Princess: You say those barbarians who call themselves the Sylvaranti Liberation Front committed this crime?! How awful.
SOLDIER: Your Majesty, Duke Bryant and Sheena Fujibayashi of Mizuho have arrived.
Tethe'alla King: I would speak with them.
: Your Majesty, we come bearing new information about the current situation.
: Scouts from my village reported seeing a Rheiard overhead, flying east.
: East of here. That could be the Cape Fortress.
: The Vanguard has a base in the Cape Fortress.
: Former Vanguard, huh?
Tethe'alla King: A member of the Vanguard?
: And right now my sister's life if more important. Put away your weapons!
: It's nice to see Zelos is a bit more commanding than the kid there.
: So far, the Vanguard hasn't made any attempt to contact me regarding my sister's kidnapping. Which is why I suspect they've abducted Seles in order to get to Lloyd, rather than me.
: Why would they do that?
: Emil, the Vanguard's after the cores too, correct? That would include whatever cores Lloyd has.
: I see. They took Seles so they could make a trade with Lloyd.
: Well, it could just be coincidence. Seles came in possession of the core. They set out to steal it, and ended up grabbing her when they realized she'd be useful as well.
: Decus. How could he?
: We'll need to infiltrate the Vanguard's base. Your Majesty, in case our plan should fail, I would request the royal army be readied to take up the search for Seles.
Tethe'alla King: Of course. I'll have my generals make the necessary preparations immediately. As for Mizuho...
: I've already asked my people to start a search.
Tethe'alla King: Excellent. But Chosen One, shouldn't you consider staying behind in the city?
: If I don't get some thrills in now and then, I'll grow old before my time. Well then, your majesty, we will take our leave.
: Is something the matter?
: I'm sorry.
: What are you apologizing for?
: It's about Lloyd. I've been thinking. What if all these terrible things I've been blaming on Lloyd were actually done by his imposter?
: I don't know.
: Maybe this is the only time it's his imposter. Of course it could turn out that the real Lloyd is responsible for this. But every time I hear one of Lloyd's friends talk about him, it's hard to believe he's the same person who did all of those terrible things. So...
: I appreciate what you're trying to say, but we have no idea what the truth is.
: Yes, I know. It's just, I finally realized I can't jump to conclusions when there's so much doubt about what's happened. That's why I wanted to say I'm sorry.
: Then let's call a truce. When you gave me the evil eye, I pegged you as just some punk. But now that I've gotten to know you, you're a pretty decent kid.
: Zelos! You don't have to talk like that. It was probably Emil in Ratatosk Mode that gave you the evil eye.
: Indeed. It seems that Emil gets a bit abrasive when he enters this so-called Ratatosk Mode.
: That Emil is Emil, too! And he's doing the best he can. So please stop talking about him like this.
: Uh, Right. I'm sorry.
: Yes, I'm afraid I went too far as well. I'm sorry, Emil.
: N-No, I'm fine.
: Well, moving on, I think it's about time we left. Sorry to rush you all, but I'm worried about Seles.
: Yes, I'm sorry for delaying. Let's get moving!
Skit Video: Chosen and His Sister
I'm pretty sure there are skits with even more characters on screen at once than this.
: After I string them up by their necks from the summit of Mt. Fooji, I'll tie them to a sack of bricks and dump them into Flanoir Harbor!
: Wow, Regal and Sheena weren't kidding!
: What did they say?
: They said you cared a lot about your sister.
: That you'd never forgive anybody who hurt her.
: Essentially, they said you seem to have a thing for your sister.
: Regal, Sheena. Come here a sec.
: No, that's not what we meant.
Skit Video: Never Been Apart
: Oh why hello, Miss Jubblies! I see you're keeping that sumptuous body of yours in top shape!
: Say it again and I'll smack you!
: OW! You always warn me after you do it! Nice to see you haven't changed, Sheena.
: Nice to see you still can't have a conversation without slobbering over breasts!
: The Chosen's personality is the picture of constancy.
: You haven't changed a bit yourself, Duke Bryant.
: Chosen, we just saw each other the other day, at the salon of Countess Rattenmeier.
: He was checking out her voluptuous aristocratic curves, no doubt.
: What's that, Sheena? Do I detect a note of jealousy?
: It's almost as if they've never been apart.
Next Time: Emil makes the Right Choice (because I force him to).