Part 28: Update 28Update 28
Welcome to exposition theatre.
: A restricted area? But why?
: What are you doing?
: Whoa, gettin kinda dangerous here.
: The so-called "Martel Knights" were generally bags of bad manners.
: Uh! Excuse me but if you would just listen to--
: Stop! That's enough.
: Damn it. That's why I can't let you handle anything.
Martel Knight B: Mmn? What're you mumbling about?
Martel Knight B: N'grrrr!!!
: Nobody lays a hand on Marta!
: Why not? This fool just attacked you!
: We need their help Emil, so we can get inside the temple!
: That won't be a problem if we kill them all!
: Emil! You're in Ratatosk Mode again! Pull yourself together. You've got to calm down and return to your normal self.
: My normal self can't keep Marta safe!
: Acting like this won't keep Marta safe, either. Will it, Emil?
: Just put your blade away. Provoking unnecessary hostilities isn't going to help our cause.
???: Wh-What's going on here!
Martel Knight A: Um, These people were trying to force their way into the temple!
: It's all right. This is only a simple misunderstanding. We were just wondering why this area's been sealed off.
Schneider: Oh, you... you're Duke Bryant, aren't you?!
Martel Knight A: Duke Bryant? You mean the president of the Lezareno Company?
Martel Knight B: D'eh... uh... nuh... vuhhh... You should have said so in the first place! We're glad to help the president of such a fine establishment.
Schneider: I must apologize for this unfortunately rude welcome. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Schneider, the director of Sybak's Imperial Research Academy. Recently, the Temple of Lightning has become quite dangerous. We've restricted access to only those who have permission from the Academy.
: Oh really? But why? What happened here? We really need to get inside, it's very urgent!
Schneider: Well I can make some exceptions as long as your cause is justified. Once I've finished my work, I'll be glad to hear you out. Perhaps you could wait for me at the Imperial Research Academy until then?
: Thank you very much sir!
: Yes, thank you. Emil, any objections?
: What? What's wrong with you? What's with the stupid expression?
: Do you know Emil?
Schneider: Emil? Of course that's impossible. There's no way it could be him.
: What is it? Does he remind you of someone?
Schneider: Uh, Eh, No, it's nothing, please disregard my comment. Now, if you'll excuse me.
: I wonder who you remind him of?
: Who cares? How the hell would I know?
: Well anyway. Why are you always so aggressive when you're in Ratatosk Mode?
: It's fairly simple.
: You tease.
Skit Video: Church of Martel
: Who do those jerks think they are?! I heard the Church of Martel was up to no good. Looks like the rumors were true! What the hell is Zelos thinking?!
: The appeal of the Chosen has dropped sharply since the system that supported his status was abolished. Putting on the blame on the Chosen is unfair.
: And Sylvarant's Church of Martel is completely controlled by the Church in Tethe'alla.
: Hmmph. Sounds like the Church of Martel's days are numbered.
: It would be difficult to imagine otherwise.
: Aren't they still around somewhat?
: Yeah, but I don't actually pay attention to them.
: You should grant visions, do miracles or something.
: I'm actually anti-religious.
: An anti-religious deity?
: It's more common than you'd think.
Skit Video: Appearances
: Here, eat.
: D... Did you make this?
: Yeah. Something wrong?
: No. It just looks a bit different.
: I believe "rough" might be the word you're looking for. You always did things like carve the apples into rabbit shapes, or shave carrots into flower petals.
: Who the hell bothers with stuff like that?!
: But I mean is this edible?
: I'll throw it out if you don't want it.
: No, sorry. I'm going to eat it. Huh? It tastes just as good as the food you usually make.
: My! Though comparable in appearance to the disturbing products of Lady Marta's cooking, it would seem the flavor is perfectly fine.
: Hey! Watch it!
: We've been there before. It's towards the far end of town.
: With Lloyd?
: Yes, that's right.
: All right, let's head to the Imperial Research Academy and wait for Director Schneider to return.
By the way I should point out that there are a ton of lightning rods everywhere to protect Sybak from the lightning storms raging around it coming from the Temple of Lightning. As you can see from the screenshot they animated lightning bolts striking them.
Along the way I did some item synthesis and upgrading.
Skit Video: Contagious
: Why do they all look so pale?
: Well yeah... This town's packed to the gills with bookworms and eggheads.
: So they're the complete opposite of you.
: Well excuse me! And what about you, huh?
: I'm in the same boat.~
: Looks like you both could stand a bit of polish at the hands of Professor Sage.
: Hmmph. Better hope her "Ruin Mode" disease isn't contagious.
: Like you're one to talk.
Researcher: You're alive! See, I told you not to get all buddy-buddy with that half-elf!
: Who are you?! And who the hell is Aster?!
Researcher: You're Aster. They said you died while looking for that summon spirit, Ratatosk.
: Hold on, did you say Ratatosk? You're researching Ratatosk here?
Researcher: Huh? Are you a friend of Aster's?
: His name is Emil. He's not Aster.
: Settle down, everyone. I am Regal Bryant. Director Schneider instructed us to wait for him here.
Researcher: Duke Bryant! M... my- My apologies! The director is currently out in the field.
: Yes, I'm aware.
Researcher: Oh, Oh, right, of course. Please, come inside. The director's room is on the second floor. It's the last room back.
: Thank you.
: Who knows. It sounds like they're holding on to that same old half-elf bigotry. I can't say I like that.
: It is difficult for people to change. Prejudice against half-elves has been around for over four thousand years. It'll be a while before it starts to fade.
: These were the guys Raine th... Raine Sage wrote about, who wanted to lock her in the basement doing research right?
: I guess you're right, but still... I wouldn't be surprised if they were still locking half-elves up in the basement and forcing them to do research.
: Damn, I must be psychic.
: They actually did something like that?
: Perhaps we should stop by the basement and check?
: You mean go where half-elves might be?
: I don't believe it, you too? You're friends with Raine and Genis, aren't you?
: Yes, you're right. Feeling afraid like this, it isn't fair to Raine or Genis. I'm sorry.
: Well then, shall we?
: Imprisoned in here? That's horrible. Can you imagine?
: Emil, are you all right?
: Where am I?
: Oh good, he's back to being a doormat again.
: What is it? Y-You look like you just woke up from a dream.
: Marta! You're not hurt, are you? What happened to those mean knights?
: Are you okay?
: Come on, wake up already. The Temple of Lightning was off-limits, so we came to the Sybak Imperial Research Academy, remember?
: We did?
: Perhaps you're just tired. Why don't you get some rest at the inn. I'll send a messenger as soon as the director returns.
: I'll go with you.
: Sure. Thanks.
Skit Video: Are You Okay?
: Emil, are you sure you're okay?
: Uh, Yeah, I'm fine. I just spaced out there for a second.
: I wonder if you have a fever. Anyway, let's get you back to the inn for some rest.
: Okay. I'm sorry to worry you.
: They've been saying you look like someone named Aster.
: I do?
Researcher: You're a dead ringer. You could be his twin. But I heard Aster was killed by Richter, so--
Researcher: Oh, you've heard of Richter? He used to be a researcher here, a half-elf.
: A half-elf. I did notice he's able to use magic.
: Why the fuck would you be surprised by that? You dumb ignorant racist shitheel...
: Ok that's enough. I can remain calm about this shit and I've lived through about 400 times the bullshit directed towards half-elves you have.
: Was this Richter a tall man with red hair?
Researcher: Yes, a redhead. He went off to investigate a summon spirit named Ratatosk, and ended up killing Aster. They were best friends, too. What a sick bastard. Damn those half-elves.
: Th-That's a lie! Richter would never do something like that!
: Emil, wait! Please, try to calm down.
: I must have reminded Richter of Aster.
: That's why he was so nice to me. If Richter really did kill Aster, it doesn't make sense why he'd be nice to someone who looks just like him.
: Yeah. If you trust Richter, then I do, too. Now let's go get some rest at the inn. Okay?
: Wait, what? You trust the guy who's made it his mission to kill you, and already has (as far as he knew at the time) killed you? This might be the most retarded thing I've ever heard.
Skit Video: Aster
: Marta, do you really think this Aster person was killed by Richter?
: H-Hey, ha-have you heard this story? Long ago, a little boy and girl lived deep in the forest.
: A little boy and girl.
: One day, while out on a stroll, they came upon a house made entirely of gels. They were hungry, so they started to eat it, when suddenly this old woman--
: Why do I look so much like this Aster? Maybe he's a distant relative or something.
: It appears you were unable to alter his troubled mood. By the way, I'm rather curious about the end of your story.
: Ugh... Does it really matter? They all lived happily ever after. The end.
: That same dream again. Why would Richter try to kill me?
: Maybe you wouldn't shut up?
: Are you awake?
: Tenebrae. Yeah, I had a really weird dream.
: A dream?
: Yeah, a dream where I'm killed by Richter. Hey, where's Marta?
: She received word from Regal and left. Shall we follow?
: Whoa, juicy revelations here!
: Dammit how did Sheena not notice Emil there.
: Honestly Sheena's a much better summoner than a ninja. On the other hand Emil is really ignorable.
: At the very least, that's what Raine believes. She said as much in the letter she wrote me. I've been observing him for a while, and I believe his "Ratatosk Mode" cannot be fully explained by possession alone.
: I think Regal may be right. We once witnessed one of our friends being possessed. When Emil's in Ratatosk Mode, he's being possessed by Ratatosk's power, right? But it sure lasts a long time for a mere possession, and he recalls those periods as part of his own memories.
: But recently, it seems like he doesn't remember what happens while he's in Ratatosk Mode.
: In our experience, the possessed party is aware they are being possessed. However, here, Emil perceives the possession as a part of him. And recently he has no memory of the incidents. This is just as Raine predicted.
: What exactly did she say?
: Raine's hypothesis is that the real Emil is suffering from a form of amnesia. She theorizes that the Emil we know is an invention of his mind, created to fill in the holes of his missing memories.
: I don't see how that's possible. His aunt and uncle recognized him as their nephew.
: That puzzles me as well. But Raine believes that his real self lies dormant along with his memories. She suspects that perhaps his pact with Ratatosk stimulated his mind, unlocking this inactive portion. Otherwise, I see no reason why his personality would dramatically transform simply from borrowing Ratatosk's power.
: In other words, the person I am now is a fake?
: You heard us.
: That's not exactly right. You're Emil, as well. But your personality was created as a way to face society after you lost your memory.
: Then what am I?
: This is nothing more than my own hypothesis. Raine might disagree with this but... perhaps this person named Aster is actually you.
: I'm Emil! Aster is supposed to be dead. Could this be why I remember getting killed by Richter? Because I'm actually Aster?
: They told us Director Schneider's back in the city. Let's go to the Research Academy and hear what he has to say, okay?
: But Marta...
: We can't just leave you like this.
: Marta's right. And there's something else you should know. Regal's reason for saying all that wasn't so he could call you a fake. He brought it up because he's worried that you'll disappear entirely. The you you are now is important to us. To me, Regal, Raine--to all of us.
: Thank you.
: I am sorry for bringing all of this up.
: Please, don't apologize. I want to know what's going on inside me more than anyone. Let's go to the Research Academy.
: Ugh. So Emil is now three people?
: Well, more than one at least.
: Yes. And there's something else we'd like to ask you.
: What can you tell us about the person named Aster? And Richter, as well.
Schneider: Aha... I knew you and Aster were related the moment I saw you. So are you his brother?
: No, you see...
: Hurrr is Emil Aster hurrr.
Schneider: Quite an interesting tale indeed. You may very well be Aster. You certainly look enough like him. Did you meet your relatives in Luin when you were young?
: No. I met them for the first time after Palmacosta was attacked.
Schneider: Hmm... Then it's certainly possible that Aster took on your name and identity somewhere along the line.
: But isn't Emil too young to have been a researcher here?
Schneider: Aster began conducting research at our facilities when he was nine years old. He was brilliant. It was hard to believe he wasn't a half-elf. If he were still alive, he'd be eighteen. Emil, how old are you?
: I'm sixteen. But if I really did lose my memory...
Schneider: Right, you wouldn't know how old you actually are.
: Isn't it fairly easy to distinguish 18-year-olds from 16-year-olds?
: Not if they have Emil's body type, and there's a lot of variation anyway.
: Ah, the "total wuss" body type.
: What did Aster research when he was here?
Schneider: He was originally studying summon spirits. I believe you may have met him in Meltokio's Elemental Research Laboratory.
: I knew I recognized Emil from somewhere.
Schneider: While studying the relevance of summon spirits and the environments, he theorized monsters regulate the world's mana levels. To prove this, he set out to perform a field test with a summon spirit called Ratatosk. That was roughly two years ago.
: And Richter went along, too?
Schneider: Correct. Richter was a half-elf who worked here. He and Aster got along quite well, even collaborating in their research. The two left town to conduct the test together.
: So what happened?
Schneider: I don't know the details. Richter told us that Aster had died, and he subsequently left the Research Academy.
: Is there any way to find out whether Emil and Aster are the same person?
Schneider: A researcher named Rilena is currently at the Temple of Lightning. She started working here the same time as Aster. She and Aster were close friends. She also knows quite a bit about Ratatosk. I'll give you a letter of passage to go inside the temple. Go and see her.
: Are you sure? It seems like you've been really strict about who you'll let inside.
Schneider: Lately, we've had an unusual number of lightning storms around here and it seems the temple might be the source of it. What's more, the dimensional boundary in part of the temple has become warped.
: Dimensional boundary?
Schneider: In other words-- How should I put this. This world and another world are starting to mix. The details explanation is far too complicated, so that will have to do for now. Anyway, it's not safe, so please be careful while you're in there.
: Whoa. No way this won't be important later.
: Oh boy.
: Right. Let's head to the temple.
Skit Video: Marta's Kindness
: I hope those guards don't give us any more trouble.
: We've got an official okay from the Director. We'll be fine.
: I guess. But what if they attack us, and I lose my memory again?
: Emil. Give me your hand.
: Huh? Oh... Okay. Hey! Ouch!
: It hurts, right? That's proof you're here right now.
: Does my hand feel warm?
: That means I'm here too, right beside you. So, stop looking like you could disappear at any moment!
Next Time: Something INCREDIBLY DUMB