Part 5: So the time to begin is finally upon us.-Something Precious-
Erika sure doesn't know when to quit.
...That's a kind way of putting it.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing right at the end, though. Just as I thought she'd maxed out her crazy talk to spew, she goes and shouts, 'Well, if you're going to be taking THAT, then I'll be taking HER!'
Haha... I thought Anelace was a one-of-a-kind cuteness freak, but she might actually have some stiff competition.
Oh, sorry. She's a girl I met while I was here last time. She's a bracer...errr...about your age, I think?
Haha... Uh... ...
You're not...mad at me, are you? For not keeping in touch with you.
Five years is a long time. Just as you have changed and progressed in rank significantly during those years, so have I.
The Ries Argent standing before you is a squire of the Gralsritter--not the girl you once knew. I am here to serve and to protect you. Nothing more.
Come on, Ries...
You need not concern yourself with how I feel. If you don't treat me as a subordinate, then there is little reason for me to be here serving you.
And with that talk out of the way, we need to board the last international liner out of Grancel, don't we? We should start making our way to the landing port.
Was that your...?
It was a figment of your imagination.
You seem to be tired, Father Graham. I see no other explanation as to why you're hearing sounds that clearly don't exist in reality.
I think you ought to try and have some rest when we reach the airsh--
...As I was saying, I think you ought to try and have some rest.
Man, for a second I thought you'd changed, but you haven't. Not one bit! You're still the same perpetually-hungry Ries I remember.
Th-This is just a simple physiological phenomenon. My lack of control is proof that I still have plenty of training ahead of me. I can only apologize for my own inability.
Haha... Since when did not being able to turn off your stomach become something you have to apologize for?
Besides, I wouldn't have you any other way. You're forever gonna be the girl who was always caught sneaking into the kitchen and trying to stuff her face to me.
...I'll be going on ahead!
I'm sorry, okay? I didn't mean to push my luck. I just got carried away thinking of old times, that's all.
You have no reason to apologize. Nor do I see any point in you doing so, because there are few things in this world that carry less weight than one of your apologies.
Damn. Finally biting back, huh? Well, while I've only got a 50-50 chance of you listening to me...can you knock it off with the Father Graham? Or even 'Father,' for that matter.
...For what reason?
I don't know if you're doing it because you feel like you have to or because you want to act all distant... but there's no way I can get used to it. Like, ever. It weirds me out.
So...please? Call me Kevin. Same as you always did.
What if I refuse?
Then I'll beg you until you change your mind.
I'll get down on my knees if I have to!
...You certainly would.
Well, you know what they say: you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I know it's been a while since, but I'm way too set in my ways now.
...the one... ...left me...
Sorry? Didn't quite catch that.
...It was nothing.
Still, I can't very well refuse an order from my superior, so--
Ohhh, no. You're not playing that game. It's not an order--it's a favor.
Veeery important distinction.
You're so selfish, Kevin.
I'll go ahead and say it: as paired leads, Kevin and Ries are every bit as good as Estelle and Joshua. There's my hot take.
Heh... Theeere we go! That's what I wanted.
But just so we're clear. Even if I've changed how I address you, the fact that I'm your subordinate hasn't changed in the slightest.
Don't forget that.
Yeah, I know...
We can talk like we used to, but there's no way to turn back the clock to the way things used to be.
Oh, and one more thing...
We've still got some time until the last airship leaves, so how about we head over to the department store in the east block? We can grab you something you can eat.
I like the sound of that.
I propose buying all the bread they have left.
I didn't know you were THAT hungry...
The girl behind the counter looked like she thought you were a freak of nature.
This is just another example of Aidios' divine providence. It's better that they're bought by someone who intends to consume them than to have the poor things be thrown away.
Yeah, yeah. You're a real bleeding heart. But THAT much? I hope you're not spending your entire salary on food.
I'll have you know that you have nothing to worry about. There are few people in this world who know how to make better use of sales and special offers than I.
*sigh* Well, whatever makes you happy. It's not my business how you blow your mira at the end of the day.
Still, while I'll give you that my getup is right up the top of the 'suspicious' charts... I'm pretty sure anyone would be confused if a woman in a sister's habit came wandering into their shop after dark to buy out the leftovers.
Oh, stop your grumbling.
...And it's almost time for us to leave. We should make our way over to the landing port. I'm not sure how much longer my stomach can wait.
(Sorry. That stomach of yours is gonna have to wait a little longer.)
(I don't know who this fiend is, but as long as I don't kill them, I can go as far as I like, right?)
(I sympathize, but you...uh...might wanna calm down a little.)
(Still, whoever they are, they're not very good at tailing people.)
(Quite. I doubt they have much experience. They do seem to have undergone some degree of training, however.)
(Oh, well. Sad to say, but we're going to have to skip today's last airship out of here.)
(Do you know of a good place to strike?)
(Oh, I do.)
(I know the perfect place.)
I saw them enter this area. I'm sure of it!
Kevin's Voice: It was you, huh?
How did you discover me? My stealth abilities are the height of perfection!
Haha... You're just like I remember you. Still way too sure of yourself.
Who might he be?
Well, he's technically part of Ouroboros.
He's about as low-ranking a member as you can get, though.
Ahh, I see. He does look the part.
H-How dare you? I'll have you know, I'm very much on the up! And as for YOU! What do you mean, 'He does look the part'?!
You couldn't look more like a nobody if you tried. You're the kind of person who constantly throws himself into things too big to handle and ends up sabotaging himself without anyone lifting a finger.
And you refuse to learn from any of your failures, too.
You haven't lost your touch. I'm impressed how accurately you were able to judge his character after talking to him for, like, a second.
I didn't even need to talk to him. He oozes irrelevance from his every pore.
...Cocky, aren't you?
Heheheh. Well, let's see how long that cockiness lasts!
A templar sword?
...So that's what you picked, huh?
Just like you chose a bowgun as your weapon of choice, I chose a templar sword for mine.
That's all there is to it.
Wh-What did you just do?! I don't even know how I got hit!
It's a weapon used by the Gralsritter called a templar sword. The blade's made up of multiple pieces held together by wires that let the user extend it at will.
As safe as it is practical!
Anyway, it's time those lips started flapping.
What's a wanted criminal like you doing here in Grancel? How much of our business do you know?
Hmph! Why should I have to answer your--
You don't know when to give up. Start talking. Now.
FYI, she's NOT in a good mood. And, uh...you don't want to make her any madder.
It looks like I've got only one option.
Those who force Gilbert to draw upon his true power will regret it.
I'm only here because I crashlanded! I didn't even WANT to come here! And after I did, I happened to see you two, so I decided to follow you! I swear!
Maybe I misjudged him.
There might be more to him than meets the eye. ...In a sense.
That's a nice way of putting it...
So go on. Keep talking. You said you crashlanded here? That means there's an Ouroboros airship somewhere near here that you came on, right?
N-No! There isn't! I did crashland, but it wasn't on board an airship...
-Fighting Right On-
He has an archaism?!
Show them what you can do, G-Apache!
Mow them down!
What a gap-ache.
Ries's titty-villainess sword gives her good reach and excellent stopping power.
Now this isn't a difficult fight, but you should be ready to use Kevin's S-Craft before Gilbert can get a turn.
I hold in my hand the chalice of Heaven.
May its holiest of lights act as our shield...
Some of The 3rd's enemies, like Gilbert here, will start right off with their nastiest move. Condensed Ice Etc. Etc. deals decent damage and inflicts Freeze. It can be a serious problem, but if you can cut it short with Grail Sphere then the rest of the battle should be no sweat.
That's what you're expected to do anyway, because Gilbert will say this even if the shot connects.
The 3rd has a bunch of recycled boss enemies like these, back for revenge with few or no major changes. G-Apache is a reskin of SC's Pale Apache with the same machine guns, bull rush, and charged cannon...but now with deluxe shag carpeting and Naugahyde bucket seats.
Learn your place, fools! AHH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!
Always compact your tin cans for recycling.
He had to save so many boxtops, you have NO idea.
You really are full of surprises, aren't you?
I'm impressed, Ries. You sure know how to get the best out of that thing.
Not at all. I've still got a lot to learn.
Especially if I want to be half as good as my sister.
Still, I'm no different.
If you don't try and cause any more trouble, I'll hand you over to the soldiers here and leave it at that.
Y-You're planning to hand me over to the Royal Army?!
That's your best option. If you really want us to take you back to Arteria instead, that's cool by me...
...but if you go with that one, I can't guarantee your safety. I'll leave that one to you.
Maybe it's reacting to something?
Wh-What is that thing?! What are you planning on doing?!
Nothing to you, don't worry. Shut up for a sec.
What is UP with this thing?
Man's Voice: Haha... So the time to begin is finally upon us.
-The Lord of Phantasma-
When did you...?
Traverser of the pathless darkness, repenting of his transgressions with the sin of a Stigma forever on his back.
Wh-Who the hell are you?
And why are you dressed like the Tower of Sauron?
Thus my lord was revived, and the door to Gehenna opened... Come forth, offerings! Come forth, lost lambs! Burn to ashes in the ever-blazing flames!
(What happened? Why did I...?)
Ugh... What's going on?
Where are we...?
Whew... I'm glad you're okay.
How're you feeling? Any pain?
...I feel sick.
My stomach's going to implode if it doesn't get any food soon.
I'm starting on all that food we bought.
Ugh... Sure, I'd normally be just as down for food as you are, but come ON!
Is that really what you should be thinking about right now?!
There's nothing in this world more important or fundamental than eating.
...But if we must change the subject... I remember a strange man appearing, then that cube glowing white all of a sudden...
Yeah. I don't remember any more than that, either.
But take a look around us.
Are we inside some kind of ruin? No, wait...
So much for this being an easy assignment...