Part 16: Star Door 1: Julia's Day OffBefore we continue on with Mueller, there's another Memory Door we can open.
Obviously enough, this door will open once Julia and Mueller are in the party.
Only a handful of the doors throw a trial fight at you like the first Moon Door did, and they're always upfront about it.
Roughly two months after the crisis that struck Liberl came to an end...
Bringing an end to the chaos and restoring hope to our people was no easy task. You should truly be proud of yourself.
Your Majesty, please... I have done nothing to deserve such praise.
I would beg to differ, and it's why I want to thank you on behalf of every one of Liberl's citizens. Not only did you ensure our safety, you went from place to place aiding in the restoration as well. Now you continue to be just as busy serving as the leader of the Royal Guard. You deserve all the thanks you get. I really am proud of you, Captain Schwarz.
I am honored, Your Majesty!
I believe I'll be able to formally present you with at least one medal for your achievements at a later date, too.
Haha. General Morgan seems to think a promotion is almost assured as well. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds in store for you.
B-But, Your Majesty...I must object.
The only reason this crisis was resolved at all was because of the efforts of countless people, all of whom gave their all for Liberl's sake. My contribution was but a minor part of a much, much greater whole.
I don't feel it would be appropriate for me to be receiving medals or promotions...
...Captain. I agree that countless people contributed to achieving the peace that we now have. Everyone who fought, who tried to protect their loved ones, and who endured the suffering they faced contributed in some way.
But I believe it's clear to everyone that without the Arseille, the crisis would not have seen the conclusion that it did. And the one who commanded the Arseille was you.
B-Be that as it may...medals are one thing, but I couldn't possibly consider accepting a promotion... I feel as though I've barely spent all that much time in my current position, so assuming one with even greater responsibility would be...erm...
Heehee. There's no need to be so modest. In my opinion, you've accomplished much more in your current position than you seem to believe you have.
Captain, I'd like to propose that you take the rest of today off. How would you feel about that?
May I ask why, Your Majesty? I'm not sure I quite understand...
As I mentioned, I want to show my thanks to you for all you did...and I believe there to be better ways to do that than formal meetings like these. You certainly deserve some rest, too, given how exhausting going back and forth between military HQ and the castle practically every day must be. I've even been receiving requests from members of the Royal Guard saying that they would like for you to take a break as well.
I-I'm terribly sorry that you had to listen to such complaints, Your Majesty. It was certainly not my intent that you should be troubled so...
(So who was it? Lux? Leon? It could easily be both, knowing them... I'm used to them telling me as much every time they see me, but I cannot believe they chose to bother Her Majesty with the issue!)
As such, I would like for you to take the remainder of the day and use it to relax. That way, you can return to your duties tomorrow feeling refreshed and ready to work for the good of this nation anew.
If that is your wish, Your Majesty.
Royal Guardsman Turner: Good morning, Captain! I hear you've been given the rest of the day off.
Th-That's right, yes...
I'm amazed you already know that when I was just told myself.
Royal Guardsman Turner: It's not all that amazing, really.
Royal Guardsman Hooch: Leon was trying to make sure everyone knew over the communications network from Leiston. I hear Echo appealed directly to Her Majesty, even.
(I can't believe it... He did look like he had something he wanted to say to me the last time I saw him... What is it with them?!)
Royal Guardsman Turner: *sigh* I still wish we could have helped out with repairing the Arseille, though... I hear the repairs are running a little behind schedule, too. I wonder how things are going over there?
You needn't worry about the Arseille's repairs. The only reason those three are still at Leiston Fortress is that they wouldn't take no for an answer and insisted on staying.
The repairs are currently being carried out under Gustav, the maintenance chief from ZCF. They'll be completed properly.
...do you know if Her Highness left already?
Royal Guardsman Hooch: Y-Yes, in fact...
Man's Voice: Klaudia left not that long ago, if you're looking for her.
Were you not aware of this?
I-I was not... I would very much have liked to accompany her over there, if I am truthful...
Hmm... I suppose that comes as no surprise. You always have been one to put yourself forward to escort her at every opportunity. I can't say I understand why... Simple escort jobs are well below your current rank.
I-I suppose so...
Still, I'm sure she's well. She has a number of trustworthy guardsmen with her. Try not to fret over her too much.
...Of course. You're right. Thank you, Your Grace.
And with that, we're leaving, Phillip. There is work to be done.
What are you doing, Phillip? I said that there is work to be done!
Poor Phillip. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
(It looks as though I missed Her Highness yet again.)
(Still, we're both so busy with our duties that it's no wonder it keeps happening...)
Royal Guardsman Hooch: It's incredible how much Duke Dunan's changed.
Royal Guardsman Turner: Tell me about it. Apparently, he's often seen in the administrative room working genuinely hard lately. He was the one who proposed paying compensation out a while back, too.
Royal Guardsman Hooch: I always thought of him as a good-for-nothing slob, but maybe there's more to him than that. He's finally showing that he shares Her Majesty's blood after all!
You're on duty! Enough idle chatter!
Royal Guardsmen: M-My apologies, Captain!
...As you are seemingly aware, I will be absent from the castle for the remainder of the day.
I expect the two of you to take care of things here in my absence.
Royal Guardsman Turner: Yes, ma'am!
Royal Guardsman Hooch: Take care, ma'am!
-Royal Capital of Grancel-
...but I haven't had one in so long, I haven't the faintest idea what to do with it. Should I go shopping? Perhaps do maintenance work on my equipment? Or would I be best just returning to my room and reading a book?
...No. I need to do more than simply rest with my time. I need to use it productively.
I know! Wouldn't it be nice to take a light stroll along the scenic route? I haven't done that in ages.
It would be an excellent use of my time, even.
Level grinding on your day off? Jeez, Julia, live a little.
Women: Is it really true that Julia has returned to Grancel?
Where is she?! WHERE. IS. SHE?!
Private Dan: P-Please, don't push!
Private Aluts: Everyone, please calm down!
Private Dan: C-Captain?! Oh, no... Why did you have to come now?!
Private Aluts: It's dangerous here! Please, retreat back inside the castle at once!
Shrill Voices: It's Julia!
-Don't Let Him Go!-
Shrill Scream: *squeal* It really is!
Wh-What the devil is this?!
Shrill Scream: Juliaaaaaaaaa!
Shrill Screams: Waaait! Juliaaaaaa! ❤
Royal Guardsman Hooch: We've locked the castle gates for the time being. You aren't hurt, are you?
N-No... I'm fine...
What just happened?
Royal Guardsman Hooch: W-Well... they appear to be some rather...ardent fans of yours, Captain. You know, we DID have a rather large number of fan letters arrive at the castle this morning... I wonder if that could be related to all this.
Royal Guardsman Turner: Apparently, some magazine company put together a special feature on you yesterday. It was full of information on what you were up to on that flying city.
Royal Guardsman Hooch: Oh, that reminds me! A few people who claimed to be from the Liberl News came here while you were away. They said they were putting together a feature to capitalize on your popularity, so they wanted to gather material for it...
I-I think I've heard enough... I can probably fill in the rest myself.
(Why am I getting this kind of attention?)
(Fan letters? Magazine articles? Why am I being treated like someone special? I'm not... Not at all... First Her Majesty praising me more than I deserve, and now this...)
(All I really wanted to do was to protect Her Highness. That's all... That's what I want to do now, too...but the opportunity to actually go with her and escort her rarely seems to present itself anymore. Must I be forced to accept that this is how things will be going forward?)
Archbishop Currant: I will conduct mass again tomorrow at eight o'clock. Could I ask you to pass that on to Her Majesty?
It would be my pleasure.
Is something the matter?
Oh, not at all...
And good day to you, Archbishop.
Archbishop Currant: It's good to see you again, Julia. I haven't seen you for some time. You had me a little concerned.
I-I'm terribly sorry for worrying you. I'd also like to apologize for not attending mass at all of late...
Archbishop Currant: Oh, it's no trouble. I'm well aware of how busy you are. All I'll ask of you in the busy times you face is this: no matter how busy you may become, you must never lose sight of yourself. What matters to you most is always close at hand.
Thank you, Archbishop. I'll take what you have said to heart.
Archbishop Currant: Haha. Excellent. Now if you'll excuse me, I should really be on my way.
Royal Guardsmen: Good day, Archbishop!
-Royal Capital of Grancel-
Private Dan: Please, just a little more!
Private Aluts: If everyone could please remain calm...
Shrill Scream: She's coming out! She's coming out!
Aww... it's just the archbishop and a sister...
The archbishop doesn't have nearly as many fangirls.
Archbishop Currant: Come, now, everyone. Move aside and let us pass.
Sister Ellen: ...
Julia hasn't had to use her Sister Ellen disguise since FC, but you know what they say: old habits die hard.
Archbishop Currant: It looks like your plan ended up working, Julia.
Sister Ellen: F-Fortunately, yes... I'm sorry for causing you trouble yet again.
Archbishop Currant: Haha. Not to worry. You have my sympathies, even. Those seemed to be some very fervent admirers back there.
Sister Ellen: (I thought he had already left Liberl!)
This is quite a surprise.
I wasn't aware you were also a sister of the church, Captain Schwarz.
Sister Ellen: Y-You can tell?! I-I... I... Umm... Well...
I should be back in Erebonia, but I still have a little cleaning up after that fool to do. So I ended up having to come back here again in the end.
I would have liked to take the time to go and greet you, but the chance ultimately never presented itself.
Nevertheless, I'm pleased we were able to meet again, Captain...
...or is it 'Sister Julia' now?
Sister Julia: M-Major!
Archbishop Currant: Hmm... It appears to me that there is little point in trying to disguise your identity from this man. Perhaps you needn't bother? Regardless, I've preparations to make for this afternoon's mass, so I should excuse myself. Good day to you both.
So that was the famous Archbishop Currant, was it?
Perhaps I should have taken that chance to introduce myself properly to him.
Sister Julia: Erm... Major? I should probably explain how I ended up in this situation... You see, umm...
Woman's Voice: Aww... I wish I could've stayed a while longer, but I've really got to get going...
Another Woman's Voice: I wish I could've gotten a close look at Julia, though. I thought this was finally going to be my chance...
Girl's Voice: Ahhh... She's so dreamy... ❤
Sister Julia: (If they find me here, I'm doomed...)
...Should you like, Captain, I would be happy to help you disguise yourself.
Sister Julia: Pardon?
I can't pretend to be familiar with your situation, but I can see you aren't comfortable with being discovered here.
In these situations, your instinct may be to hide, but I believe the best thing to do is the exact opposite. If it works for you, I'd be happy to accompany you somewhere a little safer.
Sister Julia: O-Oh, my... Thank you.
Woman's Voice: Ahhh... Juliaaa... ❤
Sister Julia: P-Please do! Right away!
Will this be far enough, do you think?
Sister Julia: It should be...
Oh, think nothing of it.
-Dancing With The Wind-
I'm used to having to run around without being discovered.
Usually because Olivier's caused some kind of predicament...
Haha. I can see that.
I'm still ashamed of what happened, though.
I let a simple commotion like that ruin my plans to go outside the city for my day off... I wasn't able to calm the situation at all. I wouldn't even have been able to leave the castle without resorting to a disguise.
I'm not sure you've any reason to be blaming yourself here, Captain.
I'm afraid I must disagree. As a member of the Royal Guard, I am utterly useless...and this isn't the first time that I've felt that way.
During the coup d'etat, I was powerless. I should have been able to protect Her Highness, and yet she ended up being captured and placed in danger. The same was true when Grancel was attacked by Ouroboros, too. Not only could I not protect Her Majesty from being endangered by them, I wasn't even able to be anywhere near her.
I, of all people, should have been right by her side in her hour of need. How dare I learn of what happened only after the fact? I'm not fit to even serve them! I... I...
While I can certainly understand your frustrations, they were both safe, were they not? Surely that is what counts about all.
Much as we may wish to be, no human is omnipotent. Neither of us are any exception to that.
I understand that...or at least I want to believe that I do.
But to make matters worse, I now find out there are magazine articles about me, making me out to be some kind of great hero. There's even talk of me being promoted. I don't even feel like I've done my job in a way that's worthy of praise, never mind anything to deserve being given a higher position...
...No, none of that is what bothers me most. If people want to give me greater praise than I deserve, let them. And receiving a promotion isn't in itself a cause to be unhappy--more the opposite. On paper, at least.
But in reality, it will result in me becoming busier because of my new duties. Which will result in my ending up even further away from Her Highness than I am now...
...I'm a little envious of you, to tell the truth, Major.
You've always been able to go and escort Prince Olivert like it's the most natural thing in the world. Maybe you weren't always by his side, but you were when he needed you the most. You did more than escort him, too; you were able to help and aid him in ways beyond the call of duty.
...By comparison, I can't seem to be able to help Her Highness at all. I can't even lend her an ear when she is plagued with worry. When she was agonizing over whether to assume her position as crown princess, I couldn't do a single thing for her...
I feel somewhat reluctant to give my opinion here, as I can hardly pretend to be well versed in your situation...
...but from where I stand, your position seems the more fortunate one.
How so? What exactly do you mean, Major?
I didn't mean to offend you, so I apologize if I did...
...but protecting that fool is a task that was thrust upon me the moment I was born. Between us, I find myself envious of your natural loyalty to the ones you serve.
The moment you were born? Oh, right. You're a Vander...
And we're a military family which traditionally serves the Imperial family, yes.
My luck for anything less than a hectic life ran out the second I was given it, I fear.
Haha... That's certainly a great responsibility to be destined to fulfill.
Especially when you're chosen to protect Prince Olivert of all people.
Still, my point stands. I do believe that it's a happy, fortunate thing to be able to serve and devote yourself to those you genuinely care for. I may hardly be an expert on the subject seeing as Her Highness is much less of a handful, but am I wrong?
...No. I see your point. Perhaps I should see being able to sit and worry about something like this as a luxury.
Although whether someone who isn't able to defend Her Highness can really be called a member of the Royal Guard is another issue entirely...
...Captain. If you'd like, I would be happy to teach you a good way to clear your head.
...I would like you to keep this off the record.
Both arts and items may be used.
So this is what you had in mind...
I can't say I feel especially confident about my chances of defeating a warrior of the famed Vander family, but I'll certainly try.
Hah. There's no need to be so modest.
...let us begin!
-Till the Night of Glory-
Listen closely--this song is actually an arrange of Sophisticated Fight.
I've only ever been able to win this fight once, even on Normal.
The first problem: Mueller will always lead off with his S-Craft.
Sometimes you can get the first turn and block it with Mirageberg, but that's a total crapshoot.
The second problem: Julia left her sword back at the castle, so she's fighting with a pool noodle.
Trinity Kleis is the only way you can do any significant damage.
TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: [Kleis] means kreis.
You've got some attack arts, but forget it. You need literally all of your EP for healing, and heals are the only arts with a short enough casting time that Mueller can't impede (and possibly mute) you.
All you can really do is sandbag, but whenever you get an opening you should poke Mueller with your noodle to build up CP.
I try to wait until Julia's at 4,000 HP to heal, just so I'm getting the full benefit.
This is also why I always lose. Eventually I reach a point where I'm badly wounded but the turn order isn't giving me enough time to heal uninterrupted, then Mueller gets two turns in a row and I get stomped.
Either way, you should mash that red button as often as you can, as long as your HP is decent.
Also Mueller will S-Craft again once he's below 50% health, which is great.
He doesn't do it right away, so have fun trying to Mirageberg it.
You get the reward for completing the Star Door whether you win or lose, so you can just take a dive if this duel seems like a big waste of time.
Not quite enough, of course.
-This Is Our Real Power!-
For the sake of my master!
-Royal Capital of Grancel-
...Well, this is a surprise.
I had no idea you were this strong.
Let that be a lesson to you, Mueller. No one beats me seven times in a row.
Haha. Surely you jest.
I could tell that you were holding back against me.
I only wish I could say that were true.
I'm looking forward to the next chance we have to do battle now.
I will strive not to let you down.
Captain... You said to me that you failed to protect those you care about most.
What did you lose because of that?
Should you happen to lose against Mueller, the only change is to the first part of this conversation:
Ugh... I knew you would be formidable, but not quite like this!
Captain, may I ask something?
And the two outcomes branch back together right about...here.
...? I'm...not sure I understand.
The easiest way to determine the true worth of something is to imagine how things would be if you were to lose it. When you do that, you start to see things for how they really are beyond simple logic.
Imagine you were to vanish from this world, and yet you still possessed the ability to think. Would there be anything left lingering on your mind? Anything that worried you? Something that you wished you could do?
If so, that is what you should do most.
Those are excellent questions, Major... ...
(Your Highness...I think I finally know what to do.)
I cannot thank you enough.
Thanks to you, I can finally see the path I ought to take. I'll be sure to take all you've taught me today to heart.
Haha. Just don't assume I thought of any of what I've said or done today myself. I often would cross swords with my uncle to clear away frustrations from having to deal with my own insufferable charge.
...Well, it's probably about time I thought about returning to Erebonia. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm feeling a hint of concern for his well-being.
Haha... Only a hint?
Please give my regards to the prince when you see him, then.
I shall. And give mine to Princess Klaudia as well.
It was at that moment that I made a decision in my heart:
I would do all I could to support Her Highness, this nation's future queen.
...But to that end, I also resolved to accept whatever promotions I received.
No doubt the further I moved up the ranks, the more my chances to actually meet with her would decrease...
...but even if we can't meet in person--even if I have to do it from afar--I want to be able to support her.
Perhaps this decision is a selfish one, but I do hope you can forgive me for making it, Your Highness.
-The Dream Continues-
Girl's Voice: ...Is that you, Julia?
Y-Your Highness?! Sieg?! H-How come you're back here already?
Heehee. I expected to be, too, but there weren't many people there today, so I was able to leave earlier than expected.
Ahh, I see.
I'm just as surprised to see you here, actually. I thought you'd been given a day off today?
O-Oh, you knew?
Haha. Indeed, I had.
I ended up running into a friend I don't have many opportunities to spend time with. The time we spent together simply flew by. I owe my deepest thanks to Her Majesty for giving me the opportunity.
I'm happy to hear that.
I realize this may feel a little out of nowhere, but I wanted to thank you for always supporting me.
Goodness... That IS out of nowhere.
But it's something I should have done ages ago. I can't believe it's taken me this long to state the obvious. Everything my parents would otherwise have taught me, you ended up doing in their place.
How to fight, how to act, how to think... It's like I'm only now starting to realize just how much of what makes me myself are things I learned from you.
I feel like I've grown up always seeing you as a role model.
I remember Grandmother laughing at me at one point about how similar I am to you, too. Even in the little things, like how I walk and move, she says I'm just like you.
I only just noticed that a few of Kloe and Julia's expressions look a little alike.
Julia? Is something the matter?
No... (All this time, I really have been right by her side... I've spent all this time worrying because I couldn't see her by mine, but as far as she was concerned, I was always there.)
(I truly am beyond help...)
...Kloe, may I say something?
I don't believe I'll be able to wait upon you as I always have any longer. But even now, I wish to do all I can to protect and support you.
I wish to continue being your retainer, your friend...and your sister as well.
So...please try not to overexert yourself during my absence. And even if I'm not able to be near you all the time, I still want you to know that you can always call upon me if you need me.
Heehee. Of course I will. Although, I can't promise I won't find myself unintentionally taking advantage of your kindness when I do.
I'm always happy to have you to depend on.
And I'll always be glad you feel that way.
That afternoon, they were able to enjoy a few relaxing cups of tea together.
Despite her initial resistance, Julia's day off proved to be much more enjoyable than she had expected...
...and it seemed inevitable that the fragrance of the tea that she drank that day would remain in her memories forever.
Side Story [Julia's Day Off] finished!
Received Septium Vein.
Received 3,000 mira.
More sepith is always good.
Amidst all the artwork that's still in the game files but never used in the game itself, Julia Schwarz has one portrait with a unique look.
The original concept for her Sister Ellen disguise was a good deal fancier, as seen in the Trails in the Sky artbook.
I have to say, I don't think that sight would have calmed any hysterical fangirls. It wound up getting a bit of use in a Trails wallpaper: