Part 73: Don't count yourselves out just yet.
I STILL can't squeeze in all the quartz and arts I want.
Now that riddle makes sense...
What better place to describe as an impregnable fortress than this?
-Beard The Lion In His Den-
Good ol' Leiston Fortress, huh?
I can already tell we're gonna get a real fun welcome.
Haha. Well, aren't we in for a treat? I think it's safe to say that whoever is waiting for us--and I can think of a few who may be--we're going to need to give the battles our all.
This isn't an area we can conquer with anything less than top form.
I've been here many a time, but never as an aggressor.
This fortress has an intimidating reputation...
...and I, for one, look forward to seeing how much its defenses live up to it.
Heh... An adequate performance.
Th-That sounds like...
NOW GIT OFFA MAH LAWN
Gah... We don't stand a chance!
Indeed! We have nothing to gain by staying here any longer! Retreat!
but but but there's treasuuure
What were we even supposed to do against THAT?!
You've got a bow right there Kevin now go get that treasure.
Indeed... We can't compete on foot with a military airship.
It's easy to see why Liberlian military airships are so renowned.
I doubt we're meant to do anything against it. It's more likely to serve as a warning that we shouldn't go this way for now.
How about we investigate elsewhere instead?
Works for me. As long as we're alive, there's always a chance we'll be able to get through here later.
Lieutenant Colonel Cid?!
So you're our first opponent...
It seems like you've been through quite a lot since we last met, Father Graham. I certainly hadn't expected this was what was going to happen back when we met in Grancel.
All of this still feels like a bad dream to me, too, to be honest...
You remember all that happened under Grancel Cathedral, then?
I do. I can't be sure exactly when the me that stands before you was created here...
...but I can say it must have been after that if my memories are anything to go by.
It's good to see you again, too, Richard.
This was hardly how I envisioned our reunion going...but it's good to be able to have one all the same.
I could say the same to you.
That being said, I wasn't expecting a soldier as formidable as you to be our first opponent. This bodes poorly for us.
Haha. Don't count yourselves out just yet.
Even if I have no intention of being defeated.
-Till the Night of Glory-
...I, Lieutenant Colonel Maximillian Cid, will defeat you!
The phantom soldiers can be nasty if you're not very well protected against ailments.
On the flip side, they have no ailment resistance whatsoever, so you can have a little fun with that.
Richard's got a ranged impede, so Cid's flashy arts shouldn't be any issue.
Genesic Barrier makes your group immune to arts--both hostile attacks, and friendly buffs. Usually it sucks because there's no way to cancel the effect if you suddenly need a Gaia Shield or Zodiac, but it's handy if you're up against strong casters and you can compensate for the loss with items & crafts.
The heat haze is black instead of shimmery, because of sunspots.
That's enough fighting, you three.
-Beard The Lion In His Den-
...I expected no less from you, Richard...
With a knight of the Gralsritter on your side, my loss was likely guaranteed from the start.
Not at all. Breaking through your defensive formation was a real challenge. It's clear you've already surpassed me as a commander.
Oh, hardly. I've still got a long way to go before I can say that with confidence.
And while I wouldn't ordinarily tell you as much, I won't waste this chance fate has granted me...
I still deeply regret that you decided to leave the army behind, Richard.
Haha... That was how I felt about Brigadier General Bright, and I'm sure you remember where that led me.
Our paths have parted, but we both inherited at least part of him. I have the path of the sword and you have the path of a soldier. While they may differ, we can both work towards the same goal.
Haha... You're right, I suppose. Take this.
Lt. Colonel Cid handed Richard the Barracks Key.
The key to the barracks?
As it seems you're aware, I'm but the first of several opponents you will face here.
You'll want to prepare yourselves. The worst is still yet to come.
Please, do all that you can to lead everyone trapped in this world safely back out of it. I have a feeling you're the only one who can.
Leave it to me. I will.
I wonder if all Liberlian soldiers are this upstanding?
Well, we should move on. He's shown us the path forward--we shouldn't let his good will go to waste.
Off to the barracks we go, then.