Part 58: Chapter LI - To think we were all played so easily
To think we were all played so easily -OR- Love Will Rise Again, Part 1
Chapter XV: Even now, I dont like to go to the bathroom alone
Mojcado Castle Its an ancient castle left to ruin. Now its only home to legions of monsters and beasts. Why in the world would she select such a dangerous place to meet? No matter how I try, I cannot make heads or tails of the decision? Nevertheless, I will go.
Thank you, Rush. Words cannot fully convey my gratitude. But, dearest Charlotte, why did you decide to meet in such a perilous location in the first place? Though thanks to me requesting Rushs help, we were able to rescue you
What do you mean? Paris, you were the one who decided the meeting place. You wrote me not a fortnight back.
What!? I never wrote such a letter.
Chapter XXV: You owe me a corpse, asshole!
It's an important hub on the way from the mining city of Royotia. Pretty much all goods going from Royotia pass through Balterossa. From there, they go on to Elysion, then all over the continent. After all that, by the time they make it all the way here to Athlum, goods from Royotia have a pretty heavy markup. So, we've started talks for making a trade route from Balterossa straight to Athlum.
Chapter XXVI: My heart was the only casualty
More girlfriend troubles, right?
East of Balterossa, deep below the Great Sand Sea, lives a very kind old seer. Charlotte and I would appreciate it if you would escort us to him.
I hate to involve you in our personal intrigues yet again, but you have my gratitude. Our parents refuse to acknowledge our love. Throughout the time we've been kept apart, we've communicated in secret. But now...we are tired of all this cloak-and-dagger - keeping our true feelings in the shadows, as if we are shamed by such a thing! We've decided to elope. The seer has agreed to keep us for a short time. Afterwards, we'll flee to some place far, somewhere we may be together.
By ridding the world of the two of you, our organization will be able to spread joy to many, many people.
Hmph. There is no need for me to explain. All I'll have to explain is how I found the two of you - victims of lovers' suicide!
Yes, I'm fine. Paris...I'm sorry, I can't do this. I tried, but...I need to be at Mother's side.
Why? You believe that the times we spent together, the feelings we shared were nothing more than illusions created by the seer?
I just - I can't...
I... I see... ...It's alright. I knew that someday, we would have to face the cruel truth of our situation. I only hoped our borrowed time would have lasted longer...
Paris, I still -
Let us return... Back to where each of us belongs.
Music: Gateway to the West (Balterossa Theme)
Merchant: Lately things've been a bit more muted... Lady Bertrude has been suffering from some strange illness, and that's all anyone can talk about.
Its the same as Royotia.
Yes. Wed better look around town.
New city, so lets talk to the people again.
Tao Tie-Admiring Child: So, I was listening to Daddy talk to some rich-looking guy... He said that Ms. Lady Bertrude was real sick an' it was all the Tao Tie's fault! That guy's gotta be fibbing! The Tao Tie's always took good care of us, so it wouldn't do anything bad like that!
Aristocratic Man: Lady Bertrude has fallen deathly ill. The town's merchants have travelled far and wide, bringing back different medicinces to try and cure her. But it has been to no avail. Her condition has steadily worsened... What strange affliction could have struck Lady Bertrude down?
Charlottes Admirer: So lucky! I wish she'd give me some bedside care... hurr hurr...
Youre pretty creepy, dude.
Charlottes Admirer: A-anyway, she's always been dainty - so delicately built, like she could fit in your pocket! But lately she's been losing weight... At this rate, Lady Charlotte will fall sick as well - and without me there to catch her! I-I have to do something!!! ...Is what I was thinking, but for some reason, they won't let me into the castle. *sigh*
Youre lucky they havent let you into the dungeon.
The Duchess is an incredibly strong woman, taking care of Balterossa single-handedly after her husband passed. She is much admired. If the famed trade routes of Balterossa are able to save her life, I can't think of anything more appropriate.
The Silver Falcons have received some troubling information from Intelligence... Some entity is attempting to take advantage of the Duchess's illness to inflame relations between Balterossa and Royotia. By the name of the Silver Falcons, we will do our best to avoid war at any cost.
This seems important.
Elegant Madam: Still, I was drawn to its shimmer and would gaze at it for hours. I can't quite say I've ever shaken the habit! But recently, it's seemed a little strange. Every so often, the Tao Tie seems to lose its shine... Like its heart had gone cold. Ahh, perhaps it's just the ramblings of an old biddy... I hope that's all it is, at least.
So apparently the Lady of Balterossa is sick too. Lets have a visit.
Lately it seems my body will not agree to my spirits wishes Its almost as if some strange power tries to control me Th-this wave could it be
Bartender: Oh, a new discovery from the famed scientists intriguing. Beloved daughter, shall we take a trip to Athlum to see what the fuss is about?
Thats actually an important sidequest which touches on the main plot, but well be putting it off until we advance the main plot.
Hey, pardner, didja hear? The boss o' this here country's been sick fer a long spell, an' ain't any o' the medicines helpin' a lick. While on the range, I rode into another country an' they were singin' a similar song. Reckon this bug is only hittin' royal-types? That sure don't sound too likely, though...
Oh, you again. Heard about you from the commander. Granted, you don't look like much, but I hear you're not too shabby with a sword. Next time we have an anti-monster operation, join us. Lately, we need all the help we can get.
There actually is another op we can do for Caedmon, but we arent doing it today.
Wise Old Man: I really worry for Lady Bertrude... She is deathly ill, and getting worse every day. For her to go from standing proudly at the head of our country to lying in a sickbed... How could this happen? Or - could it be...? The curse of the felled warriors of the ancient desert kingdom...? Is it possible there was truth to that story? ...Ugh, I don't want to think about it!
Charlotte-Struck Girl: Apparently she broke up with her boyfriend! It's the absolute latest news. And when you hear who it was, you're going to flip. it was the son of Royotia's Marquis, Paris! I mean, seriously, that man is fine. And you know he's gotta be a passionate and skilled lover. *sigh* If it were me, there'd be no way I'd let a catch like that go!
Shes standing right there
It really seems as if Balterossa and Royotia shall go to war. Already strengthen our armies... For a long time, Royotia has tried to build its own trade routes, independent of Balterossa's involvement.
Oh yeah, I think I helped them find one.
But Mother is strongly opposed to this. Royotia seems blind to the trials of not only creating a major trade route, but protecting it from bandits and beasts who would attack it. For them to even attempt to enforce a level of security on the road would take countless lives. Yet through the blessing of the Tao Tie, Balterossa can and has kept the Great Sand Sea under control for years. I agree with Mother... It is best for everyone if Royotia continues to use our roads. But Royotia refuses to accept this, and guerilla insurgency in Balterossa has spread... Mother is certain it is officially sponsored. But, to go to war with Royotia without any solid evidence... Tell me, Rush. Is this war truly necessary? Will no one try to stop it?
There might be one guy...
Paris... Yes, if he... If we can - Sir Rush... Will you assist me in a task? I need to stop this war!
Don't gotta ask me twice!
Thank you so much. Yes...I shall go to Royotia! Paris is the son of the Marquis. Surely he can do something!
Accepted quest: Love Will Rise Again
Balterossa and Royotia are at each other's throats. Charlotte asked me to with her to Royotia. Who can say no to such a cute gal?
With this, Charlotte leaves and we cant find her. But she was headed for Royotia, so lets go there. (We could also actually go to the Balterossa castle as well, but Royotia makes more sense.)
Well met, Rush Sykes. My son has told me a lot about you...
No wait, let me explain! I didnt know the squid was in there!
Good things, don't worry! It seems that you've helped him out of many a pinch.
Right. About that war
Royotia is continually robbed of the profits it rightly deserves by Balterossa's exploitation. Ending that cycle and gaining control of her own trade routes is my country's greatest wish. Yet that woman ignores our rights on baseless whim, and instead blames us for her own security problems. It's as if she wishes to bring us to war! And if that is so, we shall show her what the men of Royotia are made of. We shall establish our routes, and if we must fight, then so be it.
That's the Duchess's daughter, isn't it - the one plotting to hoodwink my son? As if I would know her location. The strumpet can die in the gutter for all I care. More importantly, might you have an idea as to where Paris could have gotten off to? We're on the cusp of war, and he's disappeared... Surely he hasn't gone to meet that trollop? He knows that Lavavender is too dangerous right now!
HINT HINT Hey guys I think maybe we should check out Lavafender
Charlotte, we haven't much time. We must bring Rush up to speed...
Theres no dungeon crawl to search for them, you just meet them. Thats a good idea, because we dont need a dungeon crawl on top of the rest of this update.
It was to induce Royotia and Balterossa to deploy their armies, and then use a legion of monsters to completely destroy both forces.
And he just left those letters sitting around for anyone to find?
The letters were coded, their true content hidden in innocuous-looking phrases, so it took some time to decrypt the message.
Someone was trying to manipulate our countries into war. Mother and Paris's father both fell for their tricks...
They took advantage of both our relationship, and Father and the Duchess's distrust of each other. To think we were all played so easily...
Off to Royotia!
We should head to Royotia first, yes? The troops are making their stand at the Salamander's Belly. Let us hurry, so that we may save the Balterossans as well!
A guest union has joined the party.
This choice matters less than you think. We have to do both battles anyway, so its really which should we fight FIRST?, and you fight different enemy compositions depending on which order you do the battles. I dont think it makes enough of a difference to show off both versions of the battles. So, were off to the Salamanders Belly! (I think weve been here once before for The Ancient War.)
Music: Beat the Odds
- Battle Video: Salamanders Belly
Paris joins us for these battles. We have to spend the first turn closing in to get anywhere.
The Godwood boss monster appears at the end of Turn 1.
Thats hilariously pathetic for a dodge-counter. Pagus at this point is worthless for physical attacks, so I really hope you dont have him use any.
Circle their flank!
On the other hand that is pretty great damage for a normal attack, even with the flank bonus. Im wondering if this is more of a benefit of a guest unions boosted stats, but I dont recall other guest unions doing huge damage.
Land Mine does some damage and lowers an enemys AP. Ive been neglecting item arts, so before this update I stopped by some towns to pick up supplies so I can actually use them.
Rush and Emmys unions have managed to end up pretty far from the others.
Its startling how good Gabriel has gotten on this playthrough. I think I should rotate my unions to give Violet and Glenys more of a better chance to shine, without Rushs overpowered arts stealing XP. When I next go to look for components, Rush is going to be benched, and Glenys will take the lead.
Music: Turn the Tide
I have everyone stand by or defend, because as soon as one union engages the Godwood
some more reinforcements appear. But those are actually optional you only have to take out the Godwood to win the battle. But Ill kill him last for more art XP.
Support is a high-level Remedy, which does the work of three potions at once. (Its still not great).
That was all Caedmon. Earthrender is super-powerful. The scary thing is that Caedmons been grousing at me for weapon upgrade materials (Raptor Hide) for ages, which means his weapon is outdated and hes ready to upgrade. The really scary thing is that there is still a higher-level art past Earthrender.
Your life is over!
With the extra forces over, everyone left to move targets the Godwood.
Looks like that hurt!
Rush deals almost 15k damage by himself.
I love big numbers.
Spoiler alert: Theres no way the Godwood will live through this turn. Which is actually too bad, because I was trying to trigger a Massive Strike.
Have a taste of Athlums Strength!
Well wipe them out at once!
learned Nimble Acalas Wrath IV!
class changed to Expert Cleric!
And thats the first battle done. I reach BR 33 at the end of it. This update was going to break 100 images and probably also the 50,000 character limit, so well have to end it here. The next one should be ready soon, though, since its mostly done already.
Torgal learned Quadrille - the ultimate Quad-wield art four rapid strikes, one with each weapon.
New Arts Summary
learned Nimble Acalas Wrath IV!
class changed to Expert Cleric!
On a test run, I got a Massive Strike on the Godwood, so Ill show that off.
- Video: Massive Strike
One thing I learned about Massive Strikes is that if the boss had survived another turn, ALL our units could perform a Massive Strike on the next turn not just two, ALL of them.
Battle: Salamanders Belly
I'll be doing another component hunt to upgrade my party members weapons. While doing this, I'll record a bunch of footage and show off new arts.
Poll: Should I include full videos of the battles where I use new arts, or just short clips of the new arts?
Next Time: Together, we can bring many people happiness.