Part 7: CH5: Not Quite Yet Hails and FarewellsCH5: Not Quite Yet Hails and Farewells
: Their return to the village was otherwise without incident.
: So you've made up your mind.
: Yeah. I'm going with Milla.
: Whoa. You're quite the flip-flopper. I thought you regretted getting involved.
: True, but, I've made my decision to help her, and I'm sticking to it.
: Is that right?
: Alvin, thanks for all your help.
Oh, I almost forgot. We still need to pay you.
: Ah yes. My fee.
I ran into some hayseed. He said he'd pay it.
: One of the villagers?
: Yep. He was all, "Thank you for looking after Lord Maxwell!" And, "You saved our Spirit!"
: Hmm. That sounds like the elder. He shouldn't have offered.
Alvin, I'll pay you myself.
: You need to learn how to read your people, Milla.
That old man was tickled pink to pay your debt. You'd crush him if you refused.
: You think so?
: I know so.
Anyway, he told me to wait here for him. That was ages ago, though. Not sure what's holding him up.
: He's still in the village, right?
: Most likely. We should find him.
: Don't forget to take care of anything you want while I'm still around.
Once I get my reward, I'm outta here.
Well, let's take Alvin at his word, because there's something I've wanted to do: put an attachment on him!
We've got the equipment menu here, if you scroll down past the equipment you get accessories and costumes. There's two types of accessories, one you can have one of and one you can have two of.
I also slap a dagger on his arm. It says it'd look good worn on the thigh, but I'd have to accomplish that by moving it to another slot and I like it where it is just fine.
Also I turn in some quests I did.
Elder: Thank you for all that you've done.
Now we can once again visit the shrine without having to fear for our safety.
This quest appears to have slightly different dialog depending on if you turn it in with Milla or not.
Isn't this wonderful, Lord Maxwell? Now you have another specimen for your Insect Husk collection!
Don't worry, Lord Maxwell.
I won't tell your companions that you have such an... unusual hobby.
If you have someone else turn it in, she says something like "Thank you so much. I'm sure Lord Maxwell will be thrill-- I mean, I am honored to have been able to uphold our village's tradition."
: After talking with a bunch of other elders, they finally found THE elder.
: Worry not.
I hear you've prepared payment for Alvin.
: Yes, yes. The villagers all pitched in and collected a small fund ages ago.
It's the least we can do to help you, Lord Maxwell. We're farmers, not fighters, after all.
: I see.
: Told you.
: I appreciate everything you've done for me.
The Elder hands Alvin a coin bag, but Alvin's back blocks the entire thing so they don't have to animate it.
: So my debt is paid. Thank you for everything.
: Yeah, thanks!
: It was fun. See you around.
: And just like that, he's gone.
: That's a mercenary for you, I suppose.
: Will you be departing again?
: Yes. Look after the village.
: But I would rather accompany you!
I wouldn't dare leave your holy care in the hands of this blasphemous, uncouth, shifty, backstabbing stranger!
: Ivar! Tell me again of your duty.
: My duty? Why, it is to serve you, Lady Milla.
: And what of your other duty?
: Uhh, to protect the people of Nia Khera. Those who can't protect themselves.
: Exactly. And now you see why Jude shall accompany me on this journey.
While you fulfill your second duty.
: But Lady Milla! You wouldn't have lost the Great Spirits if not for him!
: No, the fault was mine and mine alone. Indeed, if Jude hadn't been there...
I might never have returned safely to Nia Khera.
: Thanks, I'm only trying to help.
: Yeah, he really did look like he was about to burst into tears like a whiny baby. He's so adorable that way. If you can't hear him.
: Then let's be off, Jude. I hope they haven't closed off the seahaven.
: So does that mean we'll be passing through Hamil again on the way?
: Hmm. Yes, that's not a bad idea.
: Really? Is that okay?
: It will give us a chance to check up on Rashugal's activity here in Auj Oule.
If we're lucky, we might even find a way to sneak into Fennmont.
: Gotcha, we'll stop by Hamil then.
: Safe travels to you, Lord Maxwell.
: Thank you.
: As they left, mysterious forces were at work.
Mr Husky: And you claim she has lost her powers, Presa?
: If I'd only known that woman was Maxwell, I would have forced her to reveal the key's whereabouts.
Mr Husky: No matter. It is in our best interest to let her wander freely for now.
Thin Man: Yes. Let her attract the attention of Rashugal while we quietly put all the pieces in place.
Mr Husky: Any word from Agria?
Thin Man: She says they appear to have decided to construct a new key to replace the one they lost.
Mr Husky: We cannot ignore that.
Thin Man: Jiao, you no longer need to watch over the girl. Join the search for the key.
: But, sir...
Thin Man: If the Rashugal soldiers have withdrawn, you need not monitor her personally.
: It only makes sense for priorities to change. The data is safe, after all.
: As you say...
Thin Man: Presa, rendezvous with Agria and infiltrate Fennmont.
: Oh, so it's truly safe to leave Maxwell alone?
Thin Man: Yes. We still have another pawn on the board. I'll have him search for the key, as well.
: Our heroes were talking strategy as well.
: What is it?
: I was mulling over our options. What if we can't take a boat straight to Fennmont?
: I vote against taking the land route from Auj Oule. Crossing the mountains would be a real pain.
: We could head toward Sharilton from Sapstrath Seahaven.
: We? What do you mean, "we"?
: That handmaid of yours offered me a little job.
He wasn't so crazy about his exalted Spirit traveling with a pipsqueak for a protector.
: I don't think Alvin is very good at being a mercenary.
: Oh wow, that was a great sarcastic tone. I need to practice that!
: It comes with dealing with the heroic types all the time.
: I hope I never sound that world-weary.
: Check back in four thousand years.
: Hehe, very well. Good to have you back.
: Yeah, thanks for coming along.
: Thank Ivar and the villagers, not me. So, what's the plan?
: First, we head to Hamil to investigate Rashugal's movements.
: If they're still there, that is.
: Then you better take this. Keep it handy, just in case.
Shall we go?
Yeah fast travel booyah! No need for an airship or anything fancy, the game just lets us abstract out the walk the way Skyrim or something would.
Skit Video: Storing Mana
: Fundamentally, the Four are masses of mana.
: The Lance of Kresnik absorbs mana and, apparently, is able to store it.
: I never thought that was even possible.
: Apparently it is.
: We have to go rescue the Four then!
: I do like the pluck. But this might be a case where a bit of pluck'll get you a lot of dead.
: A pissed-off med student's probably not a tall order for the group that bagged the Four Great Spirits.
Along the way, we pick up the "Arc Fire" arte for Alvin, which fires bullets in an arc and has a flaming effect. I realize at some point I should explain charging and show off the charged versions of these moves. It just feels less interesting to me than Milla's stuff.
Skit Video: Alvin's Secret
: That's a secret for grown-ups.
: It sounds like you're trying to hide something.
: Figured that out, did you? Do you want to ask what I was doing?
: If you don't want to tell me, that's fine.
: If it's fine with you, then I ain't tellin'.
; You don't want to tell me?
: You don't want to ask?
: I'm starting to think I'd rather not know.
: I'm starting to think you're probably right.
Skit Video: Ivar's Duties
: I don't value his temper, but he is quite skilled.
: He said he's been serving you for years.
: Yes. He cleans up the shrine, he runs errands, always with a lot of enthusiasm.
: He buys my clothes and arranges them into outfits.
: Wow. Your handmaid has... exquisite taste.
: Yes, the clothes are very comfortable. I quite like them.
: I don't know what they expected to find back in Hamil, but I don't think this was it.
Woman: This is all your fault, you evil brat!
Man: What's the big idea?
: I'm surprised that man got to keep his jaw. Jude was on a rampage of gallantry.
: Rampages of gallantry aren't very exciting, but still gallant.
: Do you have any idea what you people put us through?!
: Honestly I'm not sure what the big deal was. Nobody got killed! Except some of the Rashugal troops that couldn't get away from the big guy's hammer fast enough.
: Is this Rashugal's doing?
: They couldn't find us, so they took it out on the village.
: Leave here at once! You outsiders are nothing but trouble!
: She was like a completely different person.
: Let's see if the villagers know anything about Rashugal's activities.
Don't forget, we'll be leaving soon.
: Gotcha. Thank you.
So we split up. Milla interviews the mayor, while Jude will see what's up with the girl.
We chase her to the basement of a shed.
: I don't think she was expecting anything good to happen.
: Hey, can we talk?
Don't worry. I won't hurt you.
: We've met once before, right?
: Jude wasn't expecting that either.
: Whoops! Clumsy little guy, aren't you?
: This is Teepo. He won't hurt you.
: And this is Elly, but you should call her Elize!
Nice to meetcha!
: Ah, heh. Nice to meet you, too... Er, both of you.
: Um... Are you okay?
: Sure, just thrown for a loop.
My name's Jude.
: Wah-hey, Jude! Thanks for helping us out before!
: Thank you.
: So what exactly happened? Can you tell me?
: Well, first, all these meanie men showed up from who knows where. Some place far away!
Then the big man whupped 'em all!
; Ah yeah, that guy.
: But then he wandered away somewhere.
: Right! That's when the meanie men started bullying the villagers!
: Is the big guy a buddy of yours, Elize?
: He's a bad guy! He locked Elly up!
: We arrived here together in Amnis.
: But they started chucking rocks at us the second we stepped outside!
: Oh, sorry.
Are the two of you waiting for friends here or something?
: Friends? We don't have any.
: Well, you do now.
: Wah-hey! Jude is our pal!
: Mind if I tell my friends about you, Elize?
: I don't like the way the villagers here treat you.
I want to ask my friends if there's anything we can do.
: Sure, why not? Jude's our pal! We can trust him!
: Thanks, Elize. You just wait right here.
: Oh, you want to come with?
: Jude took the kid back to the group.
: Oh, it's the doll girl.
: We're finished here. We didn't learn anything useful. It's time to go.
: Wait. We need to talk. It's about the girl.
: Blah blah blah shed.
; The villagers do seem to treat her like a pariah.
: Until that big fellow Jiao returns, I don't see her situation improving.
: He locks her up when he's around, and the villagers treat her horribly when he's away.
Sounds like she's stuck between a jerk and a hard place.
: Unless we bring her with us.
: Bring her with us? And then what? Have you given this any thought?
You do remember my mission.
Very well. She can come.
: Jude. Do you remember what I told you at the falls?
: Be yourself, and do what you have to do.
That's what I said to you.
: Yeah, I remember.
: Those words still apply.
Can I assume your decision to bring the girl is just another step in your path? That it will help you find the answer you seek?
: Then tell Elize she's coming.
: You got it.
: That was nice of you.
: She won't affect my mission. If she slows me down or gets herself in trouble, I'll just leave her behind.
My intent from the beginning was to do this alone, after all.
Skit Video: Fruit of Temptation
: Mmm, is that so?
: They look like they're at the peak of ripeness. Sweet with just a hint of tartness.
: That sounds... interesting.
: Uh, Milla, you're drooling really bad.
: For some reason, I can't make it stop.
: Sounds like your body has awakened to the joys of eating.
: Just keep those mitts off the merchandise. Our rap sheet's long enough as it is.
Notable stuff in town:
The kid we talked to about Aifreed's treasures says he's not supposed to talk to outsiders, but he'll "talk to himself" about it if we're around.
There's a guy who claims that the whole reason shop expansion exists is that everyone used to have to pitch in to make trade possible due to monsters and spirit climes, and that even in this day of better roads and ships it's become a tradition.
: Nobody waved goodbye to her. They're all terrible.
So for the moment, Elize is in our party as a guest party member. She's not going to fight anyone. How would she? She's a not-very-athletic little girl.
Skit Video: An Awkward Introduction
: I'm Elize Lutus. Hello.
: Well, you look like you'll be a fine lady when you grow up.
: I'm Alvin. It's nice to meet you.
: I, um, well...
: Don't talk to strangers, Elize. Strangers are bad!
: Why is this stuffed animal talking?
: Huh? Teepo always talks.
: Oh. So I'm the one who's reacting strangely?
: Sure looks that way!
: I'm arguing with a stuffed animal. How unusual.
: Unusual, she says.
: Coming from you, Milla?
: So what's keeping this "Teepo" thing floating in the air like that?
: Who knows? Sheer talent, I guess!
Skit Video: Howe's Egg Principle
: Howe's Egg Principle. It sounds obvious, but at the same time, not so much.
: 500 years ago, Professor Howe used that principle to deduce how spirit channeling works.
: Although, people still channeled beforehand, right? They just didn't know what they were doing.
: Yeah. Since spirits have no apparent physical form, people weren't aware they existed at all.
But Professor Howe surmised that something had to be converting the mana from our mana lobes into artes.
: And that turned out to be spirits.
: Yep. His hypothesis was proven with the discovery of spirits that had taken physical forms.
: And 'cause he figured out what was inside the egg, the age of spirit artes was born.
: Exactly. Although there's still a lot we don't understand about spirits.
: Like Maxwell being a busty twenty-year-old. Bet even Professor Howe didn't see that coming.