Part 72: Whoever we end up facing, we'll find a way to win.-The Hermit's Garden-
Ahaha... Wait for meee...
She's fast asleep...
Heehee... I got youuu...
Now I can go to the Plushy Kingdom, too... ♪
I have a horrible feeling I'm gonna get a real earful from Kilika when I get out of here. I hope I'm wrong...
Kilika's not a great loser... Take it from me.
I see a whole lot of yelling in my future next time I see her.
I'd heard Kilika was able to make her way through one of the shadow towers alone, so she is clearly a force to be reckoned with.
I wish I had been able to meet her while she was still in Liberl, to be honest.
The Lord of Phantasma appears to have some rather capable warriors under his command.
If that's the strength of the second guardian, I dread to think how powerful the rest will be. *sigh* This is going to be quite the challenge.
Come to think of it, that Schwarzritter said that he's one of the guardians, yes?
Regardless, at least now we are halfway through this plane.
Perhaps now would be a good time to make sure everyone is well trained and battle ready.
Wh-What are you looking at me like that for?! Exercise makes you hungry! It's a fact of life!
I'm feeling kinda thirsty, too...
Maybe I could go for some ice cream or something?
Do you not find such remarks a little imprudent?
Furthermore, while the guardians we are fighting may not be the individuals themselves, their personalities are still being violated.
In light of that, I hardly find it appropriate to be talking about all of this like it's some sort of game orchestrated for your entertainment.
What's got you so mad all of a sudden?
However, I was under the distinct impression that we were all in agreement on one thing: the Lord of Phantasma was our enemy.
So I will not stand by and listen to them being, of all things, praised.
Come to think of it, every time we've encountered them, they've always made a point of taunting you and Kevin, haven't they?
Heeheehee. That wouldn't have anything to do with why you're angry, would it?
Oooh. I bet it does. The Lord of Phantasma seems to have a peculiar fascination with Kevin, and yet you just can't work out why...
That's why you're getting so worked up, isn't it?
This isn't a game, Renne.
You might be a genius, but that doesn't mean everything in life will go the way you want it to, and to assume otherwise is sheer arrogance.
Voice: ...Okay, okay! That's enough.
Renne, bringing up things that clearly bother people and teasing them with them isn't a very nice thing to do.
As for you, Ries...
She might be smarter than other girls her age, but that doesn't change the fact that Renne is still an ordinary 12-year-old girl.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
Well, let me put it this way.
She's smart and she's strong. We both know that. But do those two things really make her that much different from other girls her age? Or make it so that she can't act like they do?
Because I think you'd find plenty of 12-year-olds out there who're a little selfish and cheeky or like to cause trouble. That's pretty normal.
Plus she's got plenty of good points, too, like how she's always considerate toward others when the situation calls for it.
See? She's just like your average girl who goes to Sunday School, right? Just a little brighter and a little stronger.
...You think so...?
It just doesn't seem fair to me to hold her to a totally different standard than everyone else her age because you see her as somehow different.
What. Estelle you are just talking crazy now.
That's not to say don't tell her off if she's been bad, because you do that to kids, too...
It's more you're being unusually hard on her.
I suppose you may be right. You have my apologies, Renne.
Really...? I wasn't expecting an apology from you.
...Although, your face says you've still got a lot you want to say to me.
After all, admonishing unreasonable children is the duty of their elders, however special or not special they may be.
Yup. Like I said, I'm not gonna disagree on that point. As long as we're all here, we're basically her guardians and stuff.
Oh, please... You can say what you like.
But by the way, Estelle... You said I was 'just like your average girl who goes to Sunday School,' right?
Sure did. Am I wrong?
You can think whatever you like about me--I don't care. But I do want to make one correction.
I wouldn't be attending school as a student. I'd be teaching there. I've got three doctorates, after all.
One's in chemistry, one's in mathematics, and the third is in information theory. I even publish regular papers in those fields.
I do it through someone else because I don't want the hassle of someone finding out who I am, though.
(Disciplining her appears as if it will be an even more difficult task than I'd anticipated...)
And don't forget: you've got no chance of getting out of this world unless I'm with you to help.
What's even gonna happen to us? *sigh*
She says this world is capable of absorbing information spaces into itself.
The books we see come from the knowledge accumulated within being drawn out through our thoughts and existence.
That was what she told me, at least.
Perhaps the doors scattered throughout Phantasma appeared as a result of the same mechanism. The books in this library are the result of information spaces being made manifest by our thoughts and existence.
I can only assume this area was one of the things left as is when the Lord of Phantasma remade this world into its current form.
I tried asking Celeste a few questions regarding the Liber Ark...
...but she doesn't possess most of the real Celeste's memories regarding the city.
From what I can tell, Celeste was only given the bare minimum of information and nothing more.
I suppose that makes sense when you consider how anything she knew may have ended up being leaked to the Aureole.
It's just that surrounded by so many skilled warriors, I can't help but be reminded of just how feeble my own swordsmanship is. I'm unable to perfect it and reach the heights others have, but I'm unable to turn my back on it, either.
My swordsmanship is a feeble, halfhearted thing... Still, I feel as though by coming here and honing my senses, I may be able to see something new.
I couldn't tell you why I feel that way--there's just something...calming about doing this.
Whoever we end up facing, we'll find a way to win.
Schera's absolutely right here.
The best approach here is to keep calm and take obstacles as they come.
Still, if Phantasma is able to recreate people who are in Calvard, too...
...we might find ourselves against someone truly fearsome sooner or later.
The rest of the guardians we face are likely to be even stronger than the two we've already defeated.
So don't go skimping on preparations, you hear me?
I always figured she was strict, but come ON.
...Well, whatever. I guess I'll help out with some of the guild's workload in Zeiss when I get back.
She did seem kinda attached to the place and all.
From what I know, Kilika went back to Calvard not long before Grandpa left Zeiss on vacation.
She just showed up at our house one day to tell us she was off, and that was that.
That sounds just like her, all right...
Oh, speaking of Zeiss...
I hope Mr. Murdock is doing okay. ...And I hope Mom isn't causing more trouble for him... Especially now that he won't have Kilika to help him.
I hope he hasn't worked himself sick or something...
You really are too soft for your own good.
... (Why is she so attached to Renne to begin with?)
(They should be enemies...)
It's gradual, but the Lord of Phantasma's power is growing ever greater the more time passes.
The majority of my power is dedicated to the preservation of this garden... but at this rate...
This oughtta perk you up!
The face of the monument is glowing, and words are visible upon its surface.
Don't have a clue what 'impregnable fortress' could be referring to, but I think we all know who we're gonna need to have with us this time.
Estelle? Joshua? Julia? Schera? Agate? Anelace again? Maybe we'll find Cid in a sealing stone somewhere?
I've been taught by Cassius in the past, but as far as swordsmanship goes, Colonel Richard is the only one who could really be called his successor.
Glad to see we're on the same page.
Then let's head back to the garden and ask him to come with us.
-The Hermit's Garden-
Kevin explained to Richard that they thought he was the person the carnelia monument's inscription was asking for.
...I suppose there's no point in debating if I am fit to be called his successor. No one else seems to match the description, after all.
Nope. No one at all.
I'd be happy to accompany you when you return to that monument.
The Lord of Phantasma does decree...
Here lies the impregnable fortress.
Place your hand on this monument, the Divine Blade's successor among your number.