Part 20: CH16: GaiusCH16: Gaius
: A little Heart Herb aromatherapy, and then it would be time to head out.
: Mmm, that smells amazing.
: I feel so much calmer.
: How is it? Do you feel any better?
: Yes. I can feel the tension melting awa-- Hic!
: Hmm... Hic! I can't stop hiccuping... Hic!
: Oh no! You caught my acute hiccup disorder?!
: I kinda doubt that. She's probably just allergic to the Heart Herb aroma.
: If it was an allergy, wouldn't she be sneezing?
: Perhaps this is some unique aspect of Milla's anatomy?
: I'm sorry. I'll put it out right away.
: Hic! Ha ha ha... This is fun!
I've never had-- Hic! Hiccups like this before.
It makes me forget-- Hic! All about my pain-- Hic! Thank you, everyone. Hic! Oh!
: N-No problem.
: So uh, now what?
: As long as Milla's happy, I say we can move right along.
: After all, there's no better medicine than laughter.
: Ha ha ha! Exactly! Hic!
Skit Video: The Amazing and Cumbersome Human Body
: I'd certainly kill for a nice steaming bowl of stew.
: You'd kill for stew? Hmm... For once, I understand exactly what you mean.
: Milla, isn't your stomach cold?
: It's fine.
: Oh! Mucus!
: Looks like you're having fun over there.
: I am. The human body is truly a cumbersome thing.
: Um, anyway... Who's ready to eat?
Skit Video: New Experiences
: We're all gonna catch colds at this rate.
: Oh! A chance to get sick!
: Do you enjoy having colds?
: This will be my first time. When I had the Four, they wouldn't even let the rain and snow get me wet.
: But what if you get a fever?
: Ah, I did experience that when I hurt my legs. I felt like my body was burning up.
: See? That's why you should try to stay healthy.
: But I want to experience the sensation of having continuous nasal discharge!
: I doubt that anyone else wants to see that.
: It would be funny to see though.
: Kanbalar is awesome. I hang out there all the time.
: Wow, and I thought Xian Du was an odd burg. Look at this place.
: The spirit faith is stronger here in Auj Oule than it is in Rashugal.
: Whoa, check those out.
: That's something you won't see anywhere else in the world. It's one of Kanbalar's famous mountain slidecars.
: What are they?
: Don't they look fun? I bet we could see forever in one of those.
: How do we go about meeting the king?
: I'll request a royal audience for you when I seek permission to use the wyverns.
Don't get your hopes up, though. Many people come to the capital seeking an audience, so you may need to wait a bit.
I suggest resting at the inn until I get back.
: I bet right now you're trying to think of a way to do things without Yurgen's help.
: Just try not to make trouble for him, okay? He's a nice guy.
: Yurgen still isn't back?
: Not yet.
: Elize, wanna do some sightseeing?
: Miss Elize, why not join Leia?
: Come on, Elize.
Gosh, now that Teepo's giving us the silent treatment, I guess I need to pick up the slack.
: You, talk more than before? Impossible.
: Hey, just because Teepo's gotten quiet doesn't mean you have to.
I'd love to hear more about you, Elize, in your own words.
: Shut up, Leia. You're the one holding us all back, after all.
: Elize, that was uncalled for. You should apologize.
: You must've really crossed a line if Momma Milla's scolding you.
: I hate Milla! And Leia, too!
: Hey, where're you going?
: Ouch. That stung a little. Not gonna lie.
: Please do not let it get to you.
: Oh, I'm fine. We need to get Elize back!
: No reason to be alarmed. This is purely a chance encounter, nothing more.
: No, his office was in Kanbalar.
: Elize, I'm sorry about before.
I can't imagine how lonely you must be without the old Teepo.
I know I have a bad habit of opening my big mouth without thinking. Please, forgive me.
: Come on, don't say that. I'll beg if I have to.
: I thought you and Milla were my friends! I hate you! I hate you!
: Can't you see that I'm just worried sick about you?!
: Liar! You don't care about me at all!
I don't want to be friends anymore!
: Miss Elize!
Everyone is being kind to you right now because you have them so concerned.
You say that you feel hurt, but have you considered your own actions?
Do you realize that Teepo's words were just as hurtful to Miss Leia?
: I hurt Leia?
: Well, hurt is a strong word, but...
You took the wind out of my sails, that's for sure.
: I had no idea.
: Why don't you try apologizing to her?
: But, I said such horrible things.
: I am certain she will forgive you if you ask nicely.
Forgiveness is the sign of a true friend.
: Leia, I'm sorry. Will you forgive me?
: Sure, but under one condition.
From now on, I want you to tell me more about yourself using your own voice.
: Hmph! You're not the boss of her! You're only three years older!
: Teepo! Stop!
: Even if it's only three years, I'm still older than you.
: Bossy Leia is scary Leia!
: Hehehe... Hahaha.
: There's a lesson here, child. Never take your friends for granted.
: So what do we do now? Yurgen still hasn't gotten back yet.
: We could just barge into the castle ourselves.
: For the hundredth time, let's not cause any trouble for Yurgen.
: That's no good? Hmm. It sounded like a good idea to me.
Skit Video: Elize Uncensored
: But that's on you, Elize!
: No! I don't want to insult my friends!
: But at the bottom of your heart, don't you want to?
: No! You're wrong! Don't say things like that!
: Bad Teepo! Bad!
: Hey, take it easy, you two!
: But Teepo's been saying horrible things.
: It's all right! I don't mind.
: Always meddling with us just 'cause you're a few years older.
: But... But I like it when Leia meddles.
: Yep, she really does feel that way.
: Aw, thanks, Elize. Guess I'll keep right on meddling, then!
A Sign of Affection
: Hey! Why do you always chomp my face?
: As a sign of affection!
: I've never seen Teepo get so close with anyone else before.
: So that was like a Teepo kiss!
: It was?! My first kiss was stolen by Jude?
: Stolen? That should be my line!
: I can't believe I'm having this conversation with a puppet.
: Don't be coy, Jude.
: You have to take responsibility!
: Oh, Jude.
: Responsibility? Responsibility for what?!
Skit Video: Teepo Drain
: Teepo, what exactly is it that you absorb from foes?
: I'm not really sure. It's like their energy or enthusiasm.
: Is that nutritious?
: Beats me. But when I'm hungry, before I know it, I'm chowing down!
: You really are a peculiar creature.
: What does enthusiasm taste like?
: It depends on the person.
: For example, yours tastes like strawberries!
: What! When did you absorb mine?!
: I don't need to absorb it to know. I can just tell.
: Huh. That does sound appetizing.
: Wait, what?!
There's an unvoiced scene you can see if you rest just now.
: But you're hot now.
: Thanks sweetie. You're pretty hot yourself!
: Huh? Oh... Ha ha ha!
: That was so lame...
: On days like this, I wish I had a nice scarf like Alvin's.
: I know, right? Apparently basic, loose-knit scarves are totally in right now.
Those and cloud-sheep wool earmuffs are this winter's absolute must-haves.
: I like the plaid ones myself.
: Oh yeah, those are great. And they'd look super cute with Teepo!
: I go great with anything!
: Hah, that you do! You may even inspire a new trend!
: How could Teepo be a trend when there's only one of him?
: Hey! Quit butting into our girl talk.
: Well, don't set me up by saying nonsensical things!
: Now, now, Jude. Why not come with me, so you and I can enjoy some men's talk instead?
: We shall speak of love, and youth, and friendship!
Why, we could chat until the very break of dawn!
: I... I guess so.
But, whenever we talk about anything, it always turns into you giving me life advice.
: Hmm... Now that you mention it, I don't really have much to discuss except for my physical ailments and the life lessons I've learned.
: Isn't there something fun we could talk about?
: Hmm... Nothing comes readily to mind.
: Wasn't that other thing just the cutest?
: Oh, it so totally was! I thought I was gonna die from cute overload!
: Wah-hey! Me too, me too!
: Oh, and I heard that wasn't even the cutest thing they had! There's something way cuter.
: I must say that I'm a bit jealous.
Skit Video: Elize's Song
: It sure is.
: I just thought up a snow song!
: It snowed last night. It snowed last night.
Milla and the Four had a pillow fight.
: Sylph tore up all clouds in sight. Tossed down all the feathers white.
: What a great song!
: That was perfect!
: What was that?
: Elize has a new hobby?
: So in the end Milla walked past the line of people waiting for the audience and everyone followed her. The guards must have assumed she was supposed to be there.
: I guess this king really does listen to his people.
: The King of Auj Oule is well known for his charisma.
It is said he unified this strife-torn country on the strength of his character alone.
: I'd imagine the strength of his mana lobe helped some. And the strength of his arms. Mmm.
: A guy like that is sure to help us!
: Charisma only goes so far. If his government is secretly producing children like Elize, then he must answer for it.
: Thank you.
: Sorry, we were getting antsy.
: No, this is actually perfect timing.
: Are we good to go with the wyverns?
: Yes, I got royal approval.
And something incredible happened when I requested an audience for Milla.
: What is it?
: When I told them your names, they said His Highness was looking forward to meeting you, too.
Are you all famous in Rashugal or something?
: Ah, err... I don't think so.
: Perhaps word of the tournament has reached His Highness. What a great honor for our clan!
Anyway, I need to head back to Xian Du to ready the wyverns.
: Hmm, quite the unexpected welcome.
: It's not a trap, is it?
: I have a bad feeling about this as well.
: You do? It beats not getting to meet him at all.
: Keeping secrets from us again?
: Of course. I have to maintain my mystique for the ladies.
: What does he mean?
: They say men with secrets are attractive, or something. I'm not exactly the right guy to ask.
: Come on, let's go say hi to His Highness.
: Alvin, we really need you to be straight with us.
: Don't worry. I know you've put your trust in me.
: Their audience with the king turned out to be more interesting than they hoped.
Guard: Citizens seeking an audience with the king are to wait in line outside the castle.
: We were told the king wished an audience with us.
Guard: Is one of you Lady Milla?
: That's me.
Guard: Very well. Please proceed.
: What's the holdup?
: I don't believe a doll is appropriate at a royal audience. I thought we might leave it here.
: You sure?
: It's okay.
Guard: I'll hold that for you.
: Now, let us meet this king.
: What are you doing here?
: I am Jiao the Immovable, of the Chimeriad.
: The Chimeriad?
: Four warriors in personal service to the king. To think Jiao was a member all along...
: Hail to the king.
: It is a great honor to meet you, former Chief of Staff Ilbert.
: Ah, and you are the Ebon Wing of Auj Oule... Wingul the Nova...
: You must be the King of Auj Oule.
: My name is Gaius, King of Auj Oule. Welcome, Maxwell.
: You have requested an audience with the king, have you not? Now, please state your business.
: Boosters made in your country have already fallen into Rashugal hands.
If a war were to break out between your nations, then the results would be catastrophic for everyone.
: Oh, and you came all the way here just to tell me that in person?
: Uh, yes, Your Highness.
: We're planning to destroy one of Rashugal's weapons. A really big one at that.
Once that thing's gone, we know that Rashugal's king wouldn't dare declare war on you.
In fact, we hoped that you might, you know, help us?
: Is there anything else?
: Yes, there is one other matter we'd like to discuss:
It is in regards to the booster laboratory within the Royal Hunting Grounds.
: Is it true you once abducted orphans for this facility and then you performed experiments on these children?
: Well, I didn't see that one coming. What does any of this have to do with you, spirit?
: I am Maxwell. It is my duty to protect both humans and spirits alike.
: Really? Spirits, protecting humans? Now that is quite an interesting tale.
: You forsook your duty as king, and then you toyed with the lives of your own people, didn't you?
: The laboratory is entirely my responsibility.
It was a haven for those children. They would have died without it.
You imagine it as a mad scientist's lab, but I assure you, the experiments were entirely humane.
: You expect us to take your word for this?
: But I... I was...
: This girl, she was that test subject?
: Yes, she was.
: Even in Hamil, Elize was forced to live in a tiny room.
Don't you consider that--
: Well, uh, yes.
: Tell me something, boy. Have you ever considered what it takes to achieve happiness?
: To achieve happiness?
: Yes, to try and live a satisfying life. How do you think one can achieve that? Do you even know?
: It takes freedom to make your own decisions and to form your own beliefs.
: Exactly. It takes freedom.
: Heh. Well, I disagree.
When a man loses his way in life, the ground beneath him starts to slowly crumble, until there is nothing left.
: What do you mean, nothing left?
: A man who cannot find his way becomes trapped. The more he struggles, the deeper he sinks into uncertainty.
: True happiness comes from following a noble path across an entire lifetime without getting lost.
My country does not produce failures.
It is the king's duty to show his people the proper path. I must keep them from becoming completely trapped.
Now, let me tell you in no uncertain terms why I've called you here.
Maxwell. I know you stole the key from the laboratory in Rashugal.
Now hand it over immediately.
: No, I won't. The key was not meant for human hands.
When faced with a power that could destroy the entire world, no human can control him or herself.
: It seems as though you haven't heard a thing that I just said, spirit.
: Heh, something about royal guidance and noble paths? I've heard it before. You humans never change.
I've watched you for 2,000 years.
: All right, then why don't you just tell us where the key is?
: Alvin? What're... What are you doing?
: But you can't!
: Sorry guys. I'm just doin' my job.
: Alvin. Who did Maxwell entrust the key to?
: The handmaid Ivar. He's probably sulking back in Nia Khera as we speak.
: Al, what're you doing here?!
: Hey, Presa. Long time no see.
: Presa, what is it?
: Ignore them. Give your report.
: The Rashugal army has invaded Hamil.
: What did you say?!
: I'm afraid the casualties are high. Those not killed were captured. They were then sent to Rashugal.
We also found evidence that the power of a Great Spirit was used upon the village.
: A Great Spirit? But no one has successfully summoned the Four Great Spirits for two decades.
: Impossible. I would have known if the Four Great Spirits had been released.
Could it be the Lance of Kresnik...?
Is it possible that Nachtigal has made a new key?
: If that's the case, then we're declaring war. Send word to all the clans.
I am going to crush anyone who dares to harm my people!
: Well then, we will no longer have any need for the likes of you.
: Miss Elize!
: Teepo, now!
: Well, don't just stand there! Come on, run!
Skit Video: Troublemakers
Incidentally, those soldiers in the background there will fight us if we run into them. I won't, because I'm not interested in fighting them right now.
: You knew that we'd have to escape. So that's why you left Teepo with the guard.
: Yes. I knew that it would end up being Milla who treated with King Gaius.
: And when Milla fully expresses herself, well, I figured something would happen.
: Haha, I see why you were cautious.
: Yep, just as predicted.
: Oh, I know what that's called. That means Milla's a troublemaker!
: Gyaaahhh! Milla? Did you hear the whole thing?!
: I can't deny the truth of your words, but there is one thing I'd like to add.
By that definition, wouldn't Teepo be a troublemaker as well?
: Well, that's...
: I guess that's...
: What? You're not going to defend me?!
: So Alvin really was a big fat liar.
: I assumed he had his reasons, but this time, he took it too far.
: Stupid traitor! Lemme at him!
: Why would he betray us like that?
: I'm afraid even I can't read his mind.
: How could he do this to us?
He better not show his face around us again!
Guard: They've left the castle!
: The gates to the skycar had been locked.
: It won't open!
: If we can reactivate the five control stones, we may be able to unlock the gate.
Pour your mana into the stones until they glow red.
: Just like at Fort Gandala.
I think this might be an error of some sort, since Leia wasn't there for Gandala. It doesn't sound like Elize though.
: The gate will not unlock, however, unless we all activate the stones at roughly the same time.
: Wait, I've never done anything like this before.
: Don't worry. Just use your mana as you would when casting an arte.
: There's no time. We've only one chance.
: Let us begin!
: I'm finished, too.
: Same here.
: I did it.
: Come on. Come on.
I'm so sick of holding everyone back!
Why? Why can't I do it?
: Leia. Relax.
: I'm not good enough for this!
: Quit thinking you're inferior to anyone here.
: You can do this. Let's continue!
: Unfortunately they didn't quite make it all the way out of the city.
: Presa, was it? If you've been Gaius' henchwoman all along....
Then you've been after us ever since we escaped Fennmont.
: Al sold you out to His Highness way back in Nia Khera.
: He was on your side the whole time.
: Hmph, hardly. That man's no ally.
: Hehe. I'll leave our relationship to your imagination.
All I'll say is this: Al drifts from one group to the next like a ship without a compass.
Trying to plot his course is impossible. Serves you right for trusting him.
: That guy's going to break Zelos's record isn't he? The betrayal one I mean.
: It's obvious that the Lance of Kresnik is the greatest threat if war breaks out.
Surely Maxwell realizes this.
: Your territorial squabbles are of no interest to me.
My only concern is keeping that thing out of human hands and preventing a miserable end for us all.
: So high and mighty. It's time someone broke your arrogance.
: Enough. You didn't become a veteran of countless battles through meaningless bloodshed.
Has your youth gotten the better of you?
: Don't lecture me on age, Ilbert. Your ways are old. Therefore, you falter.
: And then you flee!
: Wh-What just happened?
: A sudden burst of mana?!
: He has a booster!
: Who are you?!
: (Elize, watch your tongue. You should know to respect your elders.)
: Is that Long Dau?
So we've got a bossfight with two bosses. Wingul is more stabby and Presa is more castery.
He's also got a fairly good combo.
Gotta get these guys away from my casters.
Yeah that's a link. The enemy can use the link mechanic too.
And a link arte.
Despite being wind-aligned, Wingul knows some fire spells like Flame Ring. Queen's Torment is a skill Presa uses that stomps on an enemy repeatedly. It seems to force you to stand if it hits.
Presa knows Guardian Field, but fortunately the healing it provides is toned down a LOT.
Dragonmare Claw opens her book and a claw comes out to slash at you.
Elize's Dispel owns. It clears every status effect from every party member and if she's got Teepo in ON mode it provides status immunity for a while.
Death Knell > enemy casters.
Sometimes enemies are outside the radius of Flare Tornado. When they get hit by the whole thing, though...
In theory I could use the equip menu to put these capes on to give myself massive resistances. In practice I'm already doing pretty well.
Oh crap. This attack inflicts charm on Leia, and via the link it gets Milla too.
Using an Elixer to get the charm off Milla is probably overkill, but Milla's charm wears off first, rendering it almost entirely pointless.
Oh hey I finally remember to swap party members in combat.
Mostly because Jude has earth-elemental link artes with Milla.
Giant dark tentacles of death brought to you by Elize's Negative Gate spell.
Dude goes down pretty fast.
I don't know if I've mentioned this, but "GP" are what they call the points you use to unlock nodes on the Lilium Orb. How much you get per level varies, but right now we get mostly 4. How much it takes to unlock a skill or arte varies too, but is never less than four. The design of the orb means that adjacent skills "share" costs so in theory you might unlock a skill for "free" if you grab each adjacent skill.
As you can see by the "8" we gained two levels, thanks to strategic use of a +100% xp food.
Remember how I made a special note of Elize's Healer's Reward Skill? Yeah that's it in action. Five levels.
: Still want to play, do you?
: Don't try to stop me.
: No, look.
: I suppose our time is up.
: Running away again, Ilbert?
It's because you ran last time that King Nachtigal ended up the way he did.
Skit Video: Tragedy at Hamil
: I'm surprised that you would care. The people of that village treated you horribly.
: It's true that we were bullied a lot.
: But there was a man who gave us fruit. And a woman who put a blanket over me so I wouldn't get cold.
: They didn't deserve to have horrible things happen to them!
: I see.
: And having a Great Spirit running wild would be so scary!
: It was the Rashugal army that attacked, right? Why would they do that?
: I don't know. It seems we'll have to head to Rashugal to find out.
And more importantly, to ensure the tragedy of Hamil is not repeated.
Skit Video: The Chimeriad
: One of four. They're called the "Chimeriad", because each member embodies a different weapon of the chimera.
Wings, horn, stinger, and fangs. I've heard rumors about them.
: Like what?
: It isn't public knowledge, but two years ago, hostilities broke out on Shrade Island.
Rashugal sent 120 elite soldiers, but the rumors say they were wiped out by four enemy agents.
: Four people defeated 120 soldiers?!
: Sounds like we shouldn't wake the beast.