Part 15: CH11: Hope and DespairCH11: Hope and Despair
: Thank you for that... mostly unbiased explanation of events from Milla's end. I'll continue now.
: Good work. You have my gratitude and that of the late Lord Cline.
Guard: Everyone in the fortress has heard what happened in Sharilton.
It's hard for any of us to come to grips with this.
: The fortress was designed around a large central corridor that in peacetime would constitute the road between Sharilton and Fenmont. The guards on duty in that central area were all Sharil infiltrators.
: I'd offer my shoulder to cry on, but we're kinda in a hurry here. What's going on inside? The short version.
Guard: Uh... of course. Lady Driselle and the others are locked in a cell on the second floor.
But that's not the worst of it.
All the prisoners have had their legs bound with hex shackles.
: And those are?
Guard: If anyone wearing one of those shackles steps across a hex zone like the one over there, then it's designed to explode.
: So even if we free them from their cells, they won't be able to escape until we can disable those shackles.
: It would take far too long to track down the keyholder.
I suggest we seize the fortress' control room, instead. Then we can deactivate the whole security system.
Guard: We've been unable to pin down the control room's location. I'm sorry.
: Don't worry, we'll figure the rest out. You've been a huge help.
: Not to put the cart before the horse, but we should make sure we have a way out of here.
: Would you see to our escape plan?
Guard: Yes sir.
We'll commandeer a carriage.
Here, you'll need this key. It allows you to operate the elevators.
Dungeon Video is here, it's got block puzzles I guess :geno
: They had areas where you had to stack blocks to get around! I'm told people are really tired of that. I wouldn't know, I can float over all that.
: On their way through they got another key off some guy. He dressed a little fancier so I guess he was important? Humans. Anyway he got killed pretty hard.
: I thought you said hunting for keys was a waste of time?
: Life is full of surprises, mercenary.
: Lessons from a butler. Just what I needed.
: Oh, after Milla ran off to get herself maimed going 1v1 with a guy much stronger than her, the door slammed in Jude's face and he had to fight all the soldiers trapped in with him.
: Damn it! Get out of our way!
: These guys couldn't even have a guy in fancier armor to break up the monotony. So lame.
: Neither of them had the key to the door though.
: Something was wrong with Teepo, too.
: Not talking, huh? His batteries kaput?
: We need to get this door open! Milla needs us!
: Everyone, listen up!
: I... Can't see them in this picture.
: Maybe they're inscribed on a control panel nearby or something. I don't really know much about human technical stuff. Or at least I didn't until... WHOOOPS! Almost gave it away.
: Doing so will open the doors and deactivate the hex shackles.
: But this fortress is huge. Its control inscription must be incredibly complex. Can you really destroy it?
: Not on my own.
I'll open a channeling circle. Everyone, pour your mana into it.
: Urgh! Even with all five of us, we're still coming up short on mana.
: Hmmm. I doubt Rowen's calculations are off. Could one of them be deliberately withholding mana?
: It's possible, it's difficult to tell where mana's coming from if you're all inside the circle like that. Anyway around that time there was an explosion, which you can figure out what it was if you remember what derp boy there said.
: Whatever we do, we need to do it quick!
: Milla's in trouble!
: With Teepo back in action there was a huge surge of mana.
: We did it!
: The hex shackles were deactivated. Unfortunately, Milla was a little too impetuous there.
: Jude ran off after Milla the instant the doors opened. He's like a loyal little dog. So cute!
: Wait! Jude!
: Mornin', superpals! What did I miss?
: You're back!
: You've seen the rest, Milla's legs got chargrilled, daring escape, blah blah.
: They made it back in the carriage to Sharilton without further incident. Milla's condition hadn't changed.
: What do you expect? As if being captured by goons and tossed into prison wasn't exhausting enough, she learned her brother died, too.
: She apparently heard of Cline's fate when she was taken. She is surprisingly calm given the circumstances.
Doctor: She was fortunate to have someone with medical expertise nearby. And your healing artes were a real boon; they helped stop the hemorrhaging.
She has lost a great deal of strength, however. These next few hours will be crucial.
Please, get some rest, everyone.
I'll take good care of her.
: Shouldn't you rest as well, doctor?
You've been using spirit artes all day. You must be exhausted.
Doctor: Now hold on a second. I can say the same of you.
: The young man can handle this.
Please, doctor, this way.
: Is everything going to be okay?
: Milla's going to die?
: She'll pull through. I know she will.
You all should get some rest, too.
: I want to help too, if it's okay with you.
: Thank you.
: This isn't my specialty, so I'm gonna turn in.
: He stayed by her side for hours.
: It would seem the worst is over.
: Yes. She's breathing normally again. I think she'll be okay.
Doctor: Now it's your turn to get some rest.
: Just as soon as I tell Elize and Alvin.
: Thank goodness.
: Now we can thank Milla for the jailbreak!
: Where's Alvin?
: I'm not really sure, now that you mention it.
: I'll go find him.
: Alvin was at the Inn.
: Alvin! Good news!
: I know. She's out of the woods, right?
: Er, yeah. How'd you know?
: It's written all over your face.
Hey, have you ever heard what folks call this city?
: No, not really.
: "The City of Hails and Farewells."
It's a waypoint for travelers. They stock up on supplies here before heading out.
And people returning from a journey unload their surplus goods here.
I couldn't have picked a better place.
: What do you mean?
: That woman I was chatting with. She's my new employer.
: Huh? You're bailing on us?
: Why risk my life to accomplish someone else's suicide run? That's no way for a mercenary to make a living.
: Milla's just trying to complete her mission.
: What about my mission? Any idea what it might be?
: What? How should I know?
: I don't know either. Does anybody?
How many people do you know have a mission in life? One they're willing to risk their lives for?
: What's your mission, kid?
: I just want to help Milla. That's all.
: Fine. Nothing wrong with that.
: You could help her, too.
: I'll swing by to say goodbye before you all leave.
Milla Half posted:
: Where am I?
: Milla, you're awake!
You're in my manor. Do you remember what happened?
Yes, I attacked Nachtigal, and then...
Thank goodness! Stay in bed. I'm going to call the doctor.
Doctor? What doctor?
Doctor: That's enough tests for today, young lady.
She's stable and alert. I think she'll be fine for now.
What happened to Jude and the others? Are they okay?
Miss Elize is downstairs.
Jude went into the city to look for Alvin.
You must be famished, Milla.
Doctor: Yes, you should eat what you can. You need to regain your strength.
I'll order something hearty. Let's head downstairs.
I can't move my legs.
: By the time he got back, it was sunset.
: The second floor window is open.
That means Milla's awake!
: What's wrong?
Doctor: There's something I should tell you.
: It can't be...
: Jude rushed off to her side. Elize tried to follow him, but Rowen dissuaded her.
I think these lines only appear if you're playing as Milla
: How much time has passed since I let him get away?
I can't stay here any longer.
: Without the full use of her legs, the mighty Lord of Spirits couldn't even get out of bed properly.
: Yes. No tingling, no pain, no anything.
: Jude, where's my sword?
: Don't be ridiculous. You have to rest.
: I have rested long enough. I must get to Fennmont.
: You're still going on about your mission?! That's all over now! Don't you get it?
: Terrible bedside manner.
: What gives you the right to make that decision?
: Decision? Don't be stubborn. There is no choice here!
You don't have any strength left. You can't even walk, let alone wield a sword!
You have to accept reality.
: Jude, do you remember the people of Hamil?
: They were forced into a situation they didn't choose, and they didn't have the strength to fight against it.
: Well, yeah. Maybe things would've turned out differently for them if they were stronger.
: So what is strength, exactly? Is it something you wield to fend off attackers?
Is it something you use to control the Four Great Spirits? Is it something that lets you walk on your own two legs?
It's none of those things. Not real strength.
: Milla was beginning to figure things out for herself.
: You just won't give up, will you?
: I can't give up. My mission won't let me. I must keep moving forward.
: Even if your body won't move at all?
: That's who I am.
: Milla knew that giving up wouldn't accomplish anything.
: After acting like a putz in front of the woman he admired, he couldn't sleep well. It was the thoughtful kind of not sleeping well.
: Is something on your mind?
: It's just that...
A long time ago, my father healed a patient who had lost the use of his legs.
: Yes, really.
So I was thinking, we could visit my hometown, Leronde.
: What changed? You were so determined to hold me back yesterday.
: I was... I don't know why. I'm not sure what changed.
: Heh, if you say so.
: I just know there's nothing I can do to stop you. Even if you can't walk, you'll just crawl away and get into trouble.
: I kind of wish she'd gotten a wheelchair and invented a wheelchair-and-sword fighting style.
: I kind of want to see that as well.
:Hehehe. You really are...
: A do-gooder. Yeah, yeah.
: Thank you. I'm in your hands.
: Right. We can reach Leronde by boat, so let's head to Sapstrath Seahaven.
: I presume for the horse? Those things aren't cheap.
: Yeah. One time I stole a bunch of horses and... whoops. I shouldn't tell anyone that story. The horses were ok, that's the important thing.
: And you have my hopes for a full recovery.
: Please, take the utmost caution on your journey.
I'm truly sorry we cannot accompany you.
: No need to apologize. You have much to keep you occupied here.
Driselle's life is about to get very busy. She'll need your guidance.
: You're really leaving?
: Yeah. Take care, okay?
You don't have to worry about being lonely anymore. Driselle and Rowen will keep you company.
: I know, but still...
: We should get moving. Everyone, you've been a great help. I am in your debt.
: Time to hit the road. Thanks, all of you.
: Superpals, don't split up! We stay together forever!
: I hope we get to see them soon.
: So be it.
Skit Video: Jude's Hometown
: It's just a normal little boondocks town. It did use to be a famous mining colony, though.
: Since you're human, you must have parents. Are they a lot like you?
: I don't know about that.
: Aren't you looking forward to seeing them?
My parents tend to prioritize work. We don't always get along.
: I've read about child-parent relationships. There's something called an "Oedipus complex".
: I'm pretty sure that's not it.
: Ah. So yours is more of the scheming, back-stabbing sort of family?
: Exactly what sort of books are you reading?!
: They forgot something back in town. I'm not sure what, but they turned around and checked up on Elize and Driselle while they were there.
Tales sidequests, folks.
: You're back!
: No, sorry... We're just stopping by.
: Oh... Okay...
: You got me all excited for nothing!
: Teepo seems to be back to his old self.
: Yes. Thanks to you getting him back for me.
: But now the team's all broken up...
: There's nothing we can do about that.
: Rowen and Driselle are too busy to play with us.
I'm so boooooored!
: Things have been hard since her brother died.
You're not supposed to be selfish now!
: But I just can't stop!
: Have you guys seen Alvin since then?
: No. He said he had another job, and we haven't seen him since.
: He's a heartless jerk!
: Don't say that, Teepo. Work is important to adults.
: Then you play with us, Jude! You're not an adult yet!
: W-Well, I, uh...
: I said no!
: Jude has to help Milla heal!
: I'm sorry to leave you all alone like this.
: Don't worry about me. I have Teepo.
: Look how brave she acts! Elly's all grown up too!
: Teepo, be quiet!
: Ha ha, yes, I see what you mean.
This next bit isn't in the video since it's not voiced.
: You seem to be in better spirits than I had expected.
: Oh yes, I'm fine.
Better than I had expected myself, honestly.
I guess I'm used to it. Even before this, Cline would often go away for months at a time.
He became the head of the family after our parents died, so he was always running around taking care of things.
: He really worked hard to help everyone in the city, didn't he?
: He really did. That's why I can't help but feel that one day he'll just come waltzing through that door.
He'll say, "I'm home, Driselle" like it's no big deal, and leave a bag of souvenir candy on the table.
He always thought he could cure my bad moods by bringing me candy.
But I just liked eating them together with him.
: I'm sorry. I know in my head that he's gone, and he's never coming back.
I think my heart will catch up soon.
: The human heart obeys no timetables.
: True, but I'd like to think Cline gave me this time as one last gift.
I want to eventually tell him that he doesn't have anything to worry about.
I want him to know that I will carry on what he was trying to do, and mean it.
: You're very strong.
: No, I'm just repeating what I've heard before.
It's exactly what Cline always used to tell himself after our parents died.
Skit Video: Different Paths
: She has Rowen and Driselle with her. You don't need to worry.
: I wonder what Alvin's next job is gonna be? I hope it isn't anything too dangerous.
: He wouldn't last long as a mercenary if he turned down dangerous work.
: Haha, you really are a worrier, aren't you?
: It's not that.
: I just wish we could have all stayed together.
: This was inevitable. We all have different duties.
Cheer up. We'll see them all again.
: They set out again, but once they'd gotten too far away to turn back, they encountered incliment weather.
: It's about to pour down on us. Better call it a day.
: Good idea.
: I can't even boil water without burning it.
: That's not true. Anybody can become a good cook with practice.
: Everyone has their own mission.
: Hah! So you're saying my mission is to cook for Milla Maxwell?
: Well, in my current state, I can't even do that.
I can't make dinner. I can't even make a bed anymore.
: Heh heh.
I want to thank you.
: Glad to hear it.
: One of the local boars was rooting around in hole in the rock face. They were planning to give it a wide berth, but...
: Something flung it out of the hole at incredible speed!
: The horse was ok, but it sure wasn't sticking around.
: And Jude had to fight the boar. It wasn't much of a challenge, the problem was the horse.
: Sure, I'm fine. But, now what?
: I tried to get my guy to give me a piggyback ride, but he refused. "Your wings and legs are both in fine condition" he said!
Skit Video: Ilbert the Conductor
: I can't agree more.
: It isn't every day you get to ally with Ilbert the Conductor!
: What's the reason behind his nickname?
: They say it's because he gains full control of the battlefield. He once crushed three armies in a single day.
: That's not the actual reason.
: The battle was called the "Procella Miracle", and it helped create the Rashugal we know today.
: I could tell he was no normal man, but I had no idea that he was such a famous tactician.
: It was such an incredible honor to fight beside a living legend like that!
: And how might it feel to fight beside the Lord of Spirits herself?
: Hm? Did you say something?
: Nothing. Nothing at all.
: Nothing else happened to get in their way to the seahaven.
: And then this asshole showed up.
: Lady Milla! I finally caught up with you!
: Ivar, what are you doing here?
: When I saw your face on the wanted posters, I knew I just had to find you right away.
: But what about your duty to protect Nia Khera?
: I begged the villagers to let me come to your aid. They were very understanding.
: You imbecile! That's not the point!
: Lady Milla. Are you okay?
Your... Your legs...
: You! Tell me what you've done to her?!
: Stand down, Ivar. This wasn't Jude's fault.
I brought this upon myself.
: But you wouldn't be in this predicament if I'd been by your side.
Listen here, pipsqueak. Handmaids are made, not appointed! One must dedicate his life to serving and protecting Lady Milla!
It is an esteemed position for real men! Manly men!
She may have commanded it, but clearly it was a mistake to let an uncouth, unreliable, underhanded stranger like you serve her holy person!
Now, come with me, Lady Milla.
: Wait! My father might be able to heal her legs!
: If what you say is true...
: I will be the one to take her to see him.
I've had you pegged as a phony from the moment I laid eyes on you. Now, know your place and begone!
: You can accompany her if you like, but I'm coming, too.
: Ivar! Stop this nonsense.
: Please, Lady Milla, stay where you are. You will thank me for this later.
So we've got ourselves a solo boss battle. That's the real reason they had you fight that boar, so that the player can get some practice controlling Jude. If you noticed the hiccup at the start of the fight, that's me inelegantly stitching over an attempt where I forgot to wear arteseal protection and decided to let him kill me.
Ivar's pretty easy to around-step.
: Have you ever considered that any fighting style where you smack the ground with your face THAT HARD if you miss might be a bad fighting style?
This sweep attack is unblockable.
If you mess up his attack combo is actually pretty large for an NPC.
: He's getting out a gel and you're busy attacking the air?
: It's a kata! I've got to finish it, I can't just stop.
: I don't think that's how it's supposed to work.
You probably can't back-step that normally, but if I'd done one of Jude's around-step things it'd work.
: Nice light spear. At least you managed to punish that gel.
What I said for Grave, but even more so.
Aqua sweep knocks down foes and Steel forces them to stand, which is what I'm trying to do. Unfortunately, the way Xillia handles inputs fucks with me. Normally when I mash a button for action A until I see it start, then start mashing the button for B, I expect to execute A->B. Instead Xillia will execute A->A->B because it queues up those buttons I pushed in the middle of the arte.
: I'm astounded at the amount of punishment Ivar took there.
: Jude hit him in the head a few times, that does nothing.
: Pretty good for a phony.
: Call me whatever you want. I just want to help Milla!
: How many times do I have to tell you? That's my job!
: I don't have time for this. You two can duke it out as much as you want.
: I'm sorry.
: If you still aren't satisfied, I'll fight you again later. Right now we need to get moving.
: Consider it as precious as my life.
The lives of the Four are counting on it.
: And you're entrusting it to me?! I shall defend it to my last breath, Lady Milla!
: I knew I could count on my handmaid. Now, return to Nia Khera.
: Your duty is to protect Nia Khera.
: B-But Lady Milla! My place is with you.
: Don't make me repeat myself.
Hurry up and take her.
But don't forget who's the real handmaid. This guy!
: Uh, sure thing. And I promise I won't rest until Milla walks again.
: You got that right!