Part 17: I fear I may have underestimated just how bizarre a situation this is.-The Hermit's Garden-
Right now Mueller's STR is only a little less than Ries's, and he's a good deal sturdier.
As usual, the tradeoff is weak arts.
Now that we have more than four party members, we can start switching them out here in the Garden. I'll let Tita have a break; not only has she been at this the longest, but it's also way past her bedtime. Mueller's fresh, and Julia's got a personal stake in this whole Grancel situation.
You got it.
We'll leave keeping an eye on things in the garden to you.
If you ever find yourself in danger, don't try and do anything dangerous, all right?
What was that?
Kevin, was that...?
Yep. It's our old pal the cube again.
Visitors from afar...
Possessors of the cube...
A woman's voice?
And who might she be?
Wish we knew.
Whoever she is, it doesn't seem like she can hear us.
You seem to be gathering...strength well...
I will unlock another of the cube's powers...
The power of the malevolent one is...much too great...
I pray that your bonds...will become a great light that will let you prevail...
I fear I may have underestimated just how bizarre a situation this is.
Regardless, whoever she may be, it doesn't sound as though she means us harm.
Indeed. That Schwarzritter is clearly our enemy, but the woman doesn't seem to be so far.
That said, I wouldn't place too much trust in her just yet. We still don't know who she is.
Well, thanks to her, we've got a few neat features on the cube to play around with.
You guys up for seeing how they work?
This story beat unlocks the cube's 'weighted companions' ability.
You can pick somebody who's not in the active party to give you a small bonus, usually with a small penalty attached.
The Gralsritter Notebook keeps track of remote abilities for you. It also used to spoil every party member, but now they're all censored out until they join.
What's up, Tita? You okay?
Oh... It's okay. I'm fine. I just kind of spaced out a bit... Sorry.
Trying to wrap my brain around all of this is making my head hurt, to be honest.
Can't blame you. I think we're in the same boat.
Th-That doesn't mean I'm not happy to help if you need me to, though!
So if you need me, just let me know. I'll be up and ready in a flash!
Haha. Got it.
Artifacts...dimensional spaces...sealing stones...
...The poor girl must be hungry.
Not everyone is like you, you know.
I can only pray that Her Majesty and Her Highness are all right...
Listen, Julia... I know how you must feel, but...
Oh, I'm sorry, Father.
I'm still having trouble taking in the current situation.
I don't think anyone can blame you for that.
Honestly, I'm still kinda reeling from the shock of it all myself.
I can't pretend to be all that well versed in our current predicament...
...but by the sounds of it, our enemies are still very much an unknown quantity. I think it would be in all our best interests to try and keep a cool head and approach the situation cautiously.
Yes... You're absolutely right.
There's no telling when we might next find ourselves facing another deadly foe.
So we would appreciate you remaining here and preparing to be ready to leave any time.
This area appears to be safe, thankfully. I will prepare myself to the best of my ability, so leave that to me.
This place truly is baffling... Just where are we? I've heard about the shadow towers you explored so I can understand the similarity with them, but beyond that...
...Never mind. I suppose at this point, no amount of thinking is going to give us an answer. We just have too little information to work with.
The more brute strength we've got with us, the better.
Indeed. Our odds of success here felt rather grim until you joined us, Major.
I'm not sure how much of a difference I alone make in that regard. I feel as apprehensive about our current situation as you likely do. However, if we have enemies here who wish us harm, then I can't stand back idly and do nothing.
Not until I know for sure whether or not that fool's been caught up in all this.
That's true, I suppose. Still, if our current predicament is the work of our enemies...
I'm sure our questions will be answered so long as we keep looking.
We may know very little about who our enemies are and what they want...
...but we can't afford to just ignore them. So let me know if you need me. I'll be more than happy to aid you.
Mueller can double-strike in Chain Crafts, but only against the enemy that the Chain was centered on. His base STR is higher than Julia's, so he'll be better for Chaining bosses while the captain will excel at crowd control.
Accessories with a + have added stat boosts.
Ever wondered why Joshua gets almost as many fangirls as Julia? There's your reason.
So it's a club sandwich.
More like...the...BUTT is empty!!!
Jesus I'm exhausted now
but your chest is down there ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
These new Iron Kaisers have higher DEF and ADF than the first one in front of the castle, but they're susceptible to Faint.
Julia's the heaviest hitter right now thanks to her Akashic Heart. Ries and Mueller will pull ahead once new weapons start coming in.
Run what? Run in place? Run through the jungle? RUN COMMAND.EXE?
once again: pff nope
I should be able to knock that out fairly soon.
That single K.O. is from Star Door 1--I lost to Mueller on this save.
The pain of the chain comes mainly from the trained.
You recognize this ship?
It's owned by the sky bandits who managed to make their way onto that flying city just like us.
I hear they've put a stop to the whole bandit business now, though.
After all the trouble on the Liber Ark, Her Majesty extended all of them a royal pardon for their actions.
I hear they are currently using their airship to operate a courier business, in fact.
Huh. That's cool.
Still, why would it be here?
Well, it's not impossible that they came to Grancel to deliver some sort of letter or parcel...
...but the best way to find that answer is to look inside and see what we find.
The door is locked.
Aww. That sucks.
There might be someone in here, too...
Should we try breaking it down?
...Wait! No! I was joking! At least let us TRY to see if we can unlock it by some other means before skipping to our last resort!
Given that this is an airship's door, I imagine it must be fairly sturdy.
It would probably take a significant amount of force to break through it.
Naturally, I was also joking.
(You little fibber...)
Okay! Now that we've saved this poor door's life, let's look around for a way to open it. Until then, we're just going to have to leave it.
That...was the sword of Vander.
Scent is still very good for any caster, but I'll hold off until I have some way to counteract the smelliness penalty.
Ooh, here we go.
You had an eye of red, you lying trashbag.
This is my first time seeing the inside, though.
It's currently being rented out by a new owner, as far as I'm aware.
Naturally, they've been given a thorough background checking this time.
I'm confident we'll have no trouble from 'Hiliath Schmosborne Imports & Exports.'
Oh, right. Probably for the best after what went down before.
-Fighting Right On-
*hellish wailing that I can't begin to replicate in text*
What a mess... Now we're up against GHOSTS?!
They're going to attack!
Wisps are fast and relatively hard to hit with weapons.
Their attack targets ADF and can Blind, Seal or Mute.
They've got a big wind weakness but I wasn't set up to take advantage of it.
There is nothing my sword cannot cut!
Found Bobcat's Key.
Could that be the key to the airship?
Can't think of anything else it'd be good for.
What's it doing here, though?
Solve one mystery and find two more right around the corner...
Still, at least now we should be able to get inside that ship.
Yeah. Let's make our way back.
Mueller tried to turn the computer on.
...But nothing happened.
The orbal engines don't seem to be responding.
As far as I can tell from here, it looks as though everything should work, too...
I see... Just like the Arseille, then.
Well, I can't say I expected any other result.
I don't think we have much choice other than to give up now.
It's hard to see from here, but it could very well be.
Should I go up and get it?
Nah. I'll go, just to be sure. You guys wait down here for me.
Let's leave the picking up of stones to the experienced, it's highly technical
I wonder whether it being here means what I think it does?
Well, we'll soon find out. Let's get it back to the base.
Here's hoping that releasing whoever's inside it'll make something happen in the city, too.
That sounds wise.
-The Hermit's Garden-
Hmm... So it's the girl, is it?
Sure looks like it. It was down to either her or one of her brothers.
Kyle? Don? What happened...?
It's been quite some time, young lady.
Haha. That logo on your visor's your new courier service, then?
What kinda dream IS this?
This is so lame! If I have to dream about people from Liberl, can't Joshua be in it? What do I care about some phony priest or that military nut?
Heh. You're still so very charming.
And I'll have you know my credentials are toootally for real, thank you very much.
And neither of them is even from Liberl. talk about owned
Just tell me where you've hidden my brothers so I can go and rescue them!
*sigh* How're we supposed to explain anything if you won't listen to us?
All of us are trapped inside this strange place just like you.
How could we know where your brothers are?
A-And you expect me to just buy that hook, line, and sinker?!
I mean, it doesn't take a genius to figure out there's something weird going on.
But it wasn't even that long ago that we were all flying over Crossbell in the Bobcat together!
So that was what you were doing when you were surrounded by that white light?
Yeah, that's right...
...Wait! How do you know about the light?!
THE LIGHT WAS ME ALL ALONG MUAHAHA
So your situation is nearly the same as my own, then.
Save for the fact that you were in Crossbell.
Still, Crossbell's not that far from Liberl on the map, right? It's the state between Erebonia and Calvard, isn't it?
That's the one. If you took an international liner, you could be there in about an hour.
Hmm... It's worth noting, for sure.
HELLO?! I'm standing right here, guys!
Actually, forget it! I'm going back to the Bobcat.
I've got no reason to hang around with you guys.
I-I'm not sure that's a good idea...
Just so you're aware, Grancel is no longer the city you once knew.
There's no telling when your ship will be overrun by fiends. Are you still sure you want to try acting alone?
If we can't change your mind, we'll at least escort you back, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Not until we've got a better idea what kind of situation we're even in here. It's not like we've never worked together before, right?
Okay. I get it.
My head's practically spinning with all that's going on, so I'm not so sure WHAT I should be doing right now... but I guess it wouldn't hurt to stick with you until we find Kyle and Don.
Good. We'd feel better if you did.
But if you guys think I'm gonna owe you one, you've got another thing coming! If I'm gonna stick around, I'm gonna be doing my part. So any time you need something, I'm your girl!
A noble enough sentiment. Just make sure you don't end up holding us back in your attempts to be of assistance.
Y-You mind your own business!
(She seems to be more dutiful than I was expecting.)
(She's a good person at heart, really.)