Part 78: I'd appreciate it if you would all lend me your strength.Meanwhile, in milliards of parallel universes...
You haven't changed...
Haha. I see you're the same as ever.
Th-This guy's as scary as all the rumors say...
Wow... This old man sure has impressive vocal chords.
(His voice is too loud...)
Heh. YOU haven't changed.
Heh. Your voice is as boisterous as ever.
(So our next opponent is perhaps Liberl's most famous officer...)
Thank you for keeping your head in the game, Mueller.
Haha... That was one hell of a roar, there.
Boy... This is one hotblooded old man.
How have you been faring on your journey? Are you still doing well?
Ahaha... Yeah, thanks.
I'm glad to see you're still in good health, too, General.
Bah. I'm past my prime.
The sooner I can pass my duties over to your father and retire, the better.
...I'm sure you've more than earned it.
I thought if I were to run into you two again, it wouldn't be in a place like this.
Well, erm...it's good to see you, sir!
Heh. You got me, there. I've heard all kindsa stuff about you since we last met, though. Been told there was a point where you were known far and wide as Liberl's God of War... That true?
Hmph. That was a long time ago.
-Beard The Lion In His Den-
I'd be happy to!
I'm curious how much of a fight I can put up against him, too.
I'd be happy to assist, too.
It's been six years now since he took me in... This will be a good chance to show him how much I've grown during that time.
Heehee. So we get to fight the legendary hero the professor was so scared of, huh?
I can hardly wait to see what he's like.
His name and strength are known even to the Gralsritter.
I'm not sure how well I will be able to fare against him...but I intend to fight the very best I can.
Heh. Nothing would make me happier.
I'm curious just how much of a fight I can put up against him these days, too.
I-I don't know whether I'll be of any use...
...but I'm not going to run away! I'm going to try and do what I can to help, too!
...I'd be happy to.
Having the chance to test my skills against Liberl's most legendary swordsman is an opportunity too good to pass on.
It will be an honor to face the famed strategist and legendary swordsman who was able to repel Erebonia during the war.
This should prove an...educational experience.
Haha. Of course.
I can't say I'm not afraid to fight him, but as his former student, it will be a good chance to show him just how much I've grown.
I-I'm really not sure I stand a chance against him...
But as a fellow Eight Leaves practitioner, I'm not going to let a chance to try my skills against him pass me by!
It'd be my pleasure.
I'd love to see how effective my Taito skills are against Master Cassius. It's not a chance I'm likely to get again any time soon.
Th-This next guy's really that much of a big deal, huh?
Still, I'm not gonna let that stop me from trying!
Cassius is the single most important NPC in all of Trails in the Sky, so he's got at least a little to say to everybody...Ries and Renne in particular.
Hmm? What's with the funny stare, young lady?
You're a real monster, aren't you?
I should be able to sense how strong you are... Why can't I?
Haha... I manipulate both the void and the helix as my form. You might be a genius, but even you won't be able to get a handle on my capabilities so easily.
And while I've got the chance, you should drop by our house with Estelle and Joshua some time. We'd welcome you with open arms!
A-And why would I ever want to do that?!
It's good to have the chance to meet you, Divine Blade.
My name is Ries Argent, a squire of the Gralsritter.
...You're Rufina's younger sister, aren't you?
Sir...? You've met Rufina?
Not in person. But her name was known by a small portion of those in the Bracer Guild, myself included.
She was known as perhaps the most skilled negotiator in the whole of the church and an expert at problem solving. In many ways, her way of doing things seemed more akin to a bracer's than a knight's.
She was known as the Thousand Arms, I believe?
Indeed...and what you've heard about her was true, too.
I heard at one point there were even talks about the guild trying to get her to leave the church and join them.
Oh, I can confirm as much. As long as she wasn't a Dominion, we figured the chances of her joining weren't zero and it was worth a shot.
Unfortunately, she lost her life before those negotiations could seriously get going. I'm sorry for your loss. She was quite the woman, by the sounds of it.
...Thank you for your kind words.
Back when I first met you, I didn't really get the true meaning of what it was to swing this heavy blade of mine around...
...but not anymore! Now it's time for you to learn just how much this thing hurts when it's swung by someone who knows how to use it!
Heh. Good to hear.
By the way, Tita... Is it true your parents have come home?
Oh! Yes, it is. Just recently.
Do you know my mom and dad?
I do. Your father in particular--he helped me out an awful lot back during my early days of being a bracer.
They must be pretty worried about you... All the more reason you have to return safely.
I'd like to believe I will be able to fare better against you than I did during our last battle.
Oh, I'm sure you will. I'm looking forward to seeing how much.
I may have taught you the basics of swordsmanship, but it's clear you've long moved on beyond those and started to develop your own style. So I hope you will continue to follow the path you believe in. I'm sure it won't lead you astray.
Thank you, sir. I'm honored you would speak so highly of me.
Incidentally, if I may, Princess Klaudia...
I don't suppose I would be able to ask you to step aside and have someone else fight in your place, would I?
I'm afraid that won't be possible.
I doubt I could defeat you in a battle of swords, but I do have confidence in my ability to use arts to fight and support my friends. So I have no intention of stepping aside and every intention of helping everyone here on to victory.
...Very well, then.
Surely you could've let the others take care of this?
And pass up such a valuable opportunity?
Whether I fight you or not, a battle with the Empire's greatest monster is in my future... I need all the experience I can get.
That's a fair point, I suppose. I guess I really can't afford to let my guard down against you.
It's an honor to be able to test my skills against you, Brigadier General Bright.
I look forward to seeing what you can do.
I could say the same to you, young lion of the Vanders.
Your family is held in high esteem both inside Erebonia and outside it, so I'm very curious to see what you can do.
I hope not to disappoint you.
When did you cut your hair?
Haha. About a month ago, I guess?
I'd forgotten you hadn't seen me like this yet. Hopefully, I'll be able to surprise you by just how much stronger I've been able to become, too!
I hope so, too.
Ahaha... I never thought I'd get the chance to fight you like this...
So, like...you know. I'll do my best!
Haha. I almost wish I would've had the chance to fight you back before I abandoned the path of the sword.
But knowing how you learned your skills from Master Ka-fai himself, I'm looking forward to seeing firsthand what you can do!
Same to you!
Although you being here doesn't surprise me half as much as Kilika ending up being drawn into all of this! I thought she'd gone back home for good.
Ahh, don't worry. It's clearly just fate messing with us.
Still, I intend to make the most of this chance to test my skills. I'm eager to see just how far my fists can take me against a true master like you.
Hah. By all means.
I'm looking forward to seeing the heights of the Taito school myself.
Now, if there's one face I didn't expect to see here, it's yours.
How fares the delivery service? Business booming?
Exploding, even. Thanks for asking. At the rate we're going, it shouldn't be too long before we're able to repay our debt to Her Majesty off in full.
Heh. All the more reason why you need to get out of here safely and get back to work, then.
You're telling me.
-The Hermit's Garden-
Heh. That was a worthwhile reminder of just how much room I still have to improve my own skills.
This really hits the spot!
Well, that didn't take long.
Well, we've managed to overcome our toughest ordeal yet.
I'd say I'm entitled to a drink or two.
Don't lie. We all know you're not going to stop at two.
...He keeps talking about how he wants to beat up the real one next time he sees him, though...
*sigh* Why is he always like this?
Oh. 'Sup, Agate?
Heehee. So how'd it feel to fight my dad?
Heh. Just beating him once isn't gonna be enough to settle the score, that's for sure.
Back when I first met that old man, he kicked my sorry ass more times than I can count.
One day, I'm gonna pay him back tenfold--count on it.