Part 6: Well, this is foreboding.
Last time, a priest and a nun went out for a night on the town. They started a fight, one thing led to another, and suddenly they're waking up in a strange place with no recollection of how they got there.
-The Hermit's Garden-
Ignorant Cults... The Kin of Vegarna... The Cosmographica... Oh, here's the Azure Fragments.
Whoever manages this library must have some out-of-this-world connections to've gathered this many rare books from all over the place.
Whoa! Is this a copy of Isthmian Tales?! What's a banned book doing here?!
The guys over at the Congregation for the Sacraments would flip their lid if they saw this thing.
And there aren't just old and rare books, either. I found one that was published this year.
Wh-What's it called?
It's called 'Liberlian Cuisine.' Published by the Liberl News Service.
That can't be real.
What's that doing here mixed in with all the other stuff? You sure you aren't pulling my leg?
Your guess is as good as mine...
The photographs of food in it look delicious, however.
Oh, I bet they do. There's this girl named Dorothy who works for the LNS, and she's one incredible photographer.
Oh, yeah. Don't know how I forgot but...weren't you hungry?
I was, but I finished eating while you were busy looking at the books here.
I did save some for you, of course.
Ries handed over a smidgen of her Egg Salad Sandwich.
How fast did you eat...?
Wait! We bought that poor store's entire bread supply and this is all that's left?!
They were perfectly baked, too. The flour used was clearly of high quality, but bread like that can't be made without excellent water, either.
I think I like Liberl.
Well, I can't deny the country's got some great grub to try all around...
...Let's get off the subject of food, already!
There's something truly odd about this place. We should have a thorough look around.
Oh. Come to think of it...
... It's completely stopped glowing now.
Might as well be inactive again.
I doubt it was a coincidence that it started glowing just before we were sent here. This is no ordinary artifact, that's for sure.
Give it to me, Kevin. I'll look after it.
Protecting you is my duty as your squire. As such, I can hardly stand by and let you keep something that poses such danger on your person. I should be the one to keep it.
Wait a minute, Ries...
Give it to me.
First, we still don't have any conclusive proof that this cube is the reason we ended up here. Second, despite me being the one who had it up till this point, you're here with me anyway. So unless you plan to take it off me AND run as far away from me as possible, who's holding it won't make a damn bit of difference.
Get your own mystery cube already! This one's mine. I found it. It came to me.
Sorry, but this time I'm actually ordering you. You wouldn't disobey an order from your superior, right?
All right, then.
But if we find out for sure that it really is dangerous, promise me you'll get rid of it. That's all I want you to agree to.
All right. Promise.
Anyway, you up for some exploring? I don't know what's up with this place, but it's time to try and find out.
Fine by me.
Our two lost Grail Knights are both versatile in battle, but they also manage to complement each other perfectly: Father Kevin is a ranged support with more ATS and EP, while Sister Ries is a melee bruiser with higher STR and HP.
In addition to her Arc Fencer impede attack, Ries also starts out with Holy Blessing, which can restore 50% of an ally's health, revive them from KO, and grant them 50 CP. There aren't many better ways to turn a bad situation around.
Doesn't look to be a relic of the ancient Zemurian civilization, though.
I agree. As far as I can tell, it's not any kind of device. Simply a stone monument.
...Oh? There's something written near the bottom.
Huh. So there is.
What is this supposed to mean?
I'm not sure... It could be a message, or maybe even... Actually, let me look it over some more before I say anything.
Maybe it's an anagram for...'HI, THEMED STRANGER.' This must be another dirty Enforcer trick! I knew it!
On the other hand, maybe not.
Nope. Can't find any hidden switches or the like anywhere.
You were right. It really is just a stone monument.
Shall we try destroying it and see if anything happens, then?
I get first hit!
...Wait, no! No way!
Just because we've established it isn't any kind of device doesn't mean nothing bad will happen if we go smashing it to bits!
Someone worked very hard on this limbo dimension monolith and you're just going to vandalize it? So thoughtless.
Don't worry. I was just joking.
(You SO weren't.)
Anyway, let's save extreme options for that until after we've explored all of our, uh, more reasonable ones. I say we should go and look around somewhere else.
As far out as the eye can see...
Just where...are we...?
Still, wherever we are, it's big. Judging by how our voices don't echo, anyway.
There's no sign of any others in the surrounding area, either...
As big as it is, it doesn't seem to be a fruit tree. Unfortunately.
Heh. Figures we wouldn't get that lucky.
You don't recognize what kind of tree this is?
...I wish I did, but no.
At the very least, it isn't one that grows on the western side of the continent.
...? Did you work something out?
Maybe. Maybe not.
We should try looking somewhere else now.
Still, even if it doesn't bear fruit, maybe it has sweet sap inside like maple trees.
May I cut into the trunk a bit to see?
No. No, you cannot.
I'm not sure... I'll take a closer look.
Found Solar Seal.
Found Lunar Seal.
Obtained 200 of each type of sepith.
Huh? Who dumped all this sepith on the ground?
Well, whatever. Don't think anyone'll complain if we take it.
Don't tell me you're feeling disappointed it wasn't food.
I didn't know you knew how to read people's minds with your Thaumaturgy. Was that part of your Dominion training?
Sure wasn't. All I needed to know was you...
If you've got a clear save from SC with maximum BPs, you can get a free copy of the Gladiator Belt and Gladiator Headband, along with a bit of extra sepith to get you started.
Ignore all that other stuff. That is mega spoilers.
I've kept most of my ill-gotten gains from previous playthroughs but I won't be using much of it...yet.
Well, this is nice.
Looks like some kind of rest area or something. But...why? What's it doing here?
Well, resting is important.
I'd love to sit and enjoy a relaxing lunch here.
Well, I'll give you that it might be kind of nice. Although personally, my first thought was that I'd love to sit and fish here...if there were any fish to BE fished.
Really? I didn't know you still liked fishing.
Sure. Can't say I've gotten any better at it, but a hobby's a hobby.
I was surprised at how many fishing fanatics there are over in Liberl.
There's a guild in Grancel that's REALLY hardcore into it, and one girl I ran into would give most pros a run for their money.
...? Something wrong?
Regardless, it's a shame there are no fish in it. The water here is exceptionally clear. I think this should suffice as a water source for us, at least.
All right. Let's go check somewhere else.
...but we didn't find anything that would give us any idea as to where we are.
Maybe not specifically.
I think I may have an idea what kind of place this is, though.
It's a place both within Liberl and not at the same time.
Like a separate dimension of sorts.
Can you elaborate?
Well, you see, during all the trouble with the Aureole...
Kevin explained about the altered spaces hidden within the Tetracyclic Towers intended to seal the Aureole away.
So you think the place we're in may be similar?
I can't say for sure, but it's definitely a possibility.
There are a few cracks in my theory, unfortunately.
Oh, I think I understand what you mean... The Liberlian Cuisine book we found earlier is one, right?
If we assume this is some kind of enclosed space sealed away with the Aureole all those years ago... how did a book that was only published this year get in here? All the other unusual books are from after the Great Collapse, too.
...someone else has been going in and out of here within the past year?
Could it be that man in black we met at the port?
Maybe. Maybe not.
I wouldn't peg him as the kind of guy who'd want to read about Liberlian cuisine, though.
That's very true...
Either way, I think we can say for sure now that this situation we're in was planned out by someone. Possibly before that cube even came into our possession.
You really think so...?
But if that really is the case...what should we do now?
There's the million mira question.
We don't have much to work with here. Just a big open area with no way out...
On a new game, the cube will destroy all of the quartz that Kevin and Ries started with. There used to be a very unfortunate glitch in NG+ that would also eat all of your quartz from previous playthroughs, and you would have to freeze your inventory in Cheat Engine to get around it. Happily this glitch has been fixed.
...I don't know.
I'd wager it was this cube's doing. Guess we can add 'altering this area' to its list of quirks along with wrecking our quartz.
Are you sure it's a good idea to keep it on you?
Honestly, I get the feeling we'd be shit outta luck without it.
At least now we've got some new stuff to investigate that could lead us in the right direction. We should go and check all the places that have changed.