Part 79: This place really has been full of memorable experiences.-The Hermit's Garden-
I can sense something truly terrifying from the other side of the gate.
I beg you: be careful. The next area should be the last of the sixth plane's trials.
But within is...
Something up? You're lookin' pretty down in the dumps.
N-Not really. I just can't help but wonder whether we're ever gonna be able to go home, 's all...
That's it, okay?!
There's so many stars, but not a single constellation I know...
...Are we really gonna be able to go back home?
...but it seems it did so without the knowledge of those who lived on the Liber Ark and relied on its power to live.
They entrusted all of the city's control and governance to the Aureole, believing that it would make the city into an actual paradise. Instead, it betrayed the expectations of those who actually made the city, creating another world entirely.
I wonder if that's what the people of the Liber Ark really wanted?
It seems like not even the ancients knew all that much about Phantasma.
In a way, it makes sense. It's a world created by the Aureole without their involvement.
*sigh* I want to look into this more, but it's proving more than a little difficult.
The accounts from people at the time are so fragmentary that decoding and putting everything together is quite time consuming.
Don't go so nuts that you burn yourself out, okay?
Be that as it may, Your Highness, I'd prefer it if you took a short break soon.
And it'd be my pleasure to take over things in your place.
Hmm... I suppose you're right.
All right, then. But only a short one.
It isn't his strength that makes him so incredible, though. It's his ability to see the true nature of things. That's why he's able to function equally well in both the army and as part of the Bracer Guild.
He is a master in every sense of the word.
How long will it take me to be able to reach his level...?
*sigh* Well, I know one thing: I'm gonna need to put a whole lot of work into getting there.
I can't help but wish that I had been able to see him fight up close and personal.
I truly cannot thank you all enough. I feel as though I can finally start to move forward again.
So let's keep going. Together.
Ever since the coup d'etat, I have found myself hesitating to commit to anything and everything.
I think I spent so long admiring the brigadier general that when the time came to begin a new path away from him, I...wasn't sure what to do.
With all that's transpired here, however, I feel like I can finally dedicate my life to doing just that.
Where did everyone go?!
Tita and Renne were here before, too.
I guess they must've wandered off while I was taking a nap here.
Heehee. We're off to explore now.
We can talk again later, though.
C'mere and give me a cuddle!
I-I've gotta head out now... We'll talk later, though, okay?
We're off for a while.
We'll talk with you again later, though, okay?
Okay, then... But you'll have to come and join us, too, Ries. ❤
But I wonder why? I know that deep down, he actually really respects him...
Why can't he just be more honest with himself?
Agate really respects Mr. Bright, too... and yet he keeps going on and on about wanting to fight him or settling some score...
I wish I knew what he was thinking...
Just so you know, the guardian of the third area turned out to be Dad...
...Yeah, yeah. I already know. Celeste told me.
I'd be lyin' if I said I wasn't bitter about not being able to fight him with you...
...but I'll just pay him back another time, I guess.
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.
I took him on a few times myself back when I was training to be a bracer.
*sigh* I don't think I've ever fought a harder battle in my life...
Oh, I can imagine! Hard to make a trial much more difficult than a fight with him. This place really has been full of memorable experiences.
I'll bet anything the final area will be the toughest of them all, though. Which, seeing as we fought Cassius, says a lot.
We can't afford to be getting careless. Not now.
U-Umm... Schera... Might you slow your drinking pace just a teensy little bit?
When her mind begins to wander, Schera has a habit of unconsciously starting to drink faster. I can't say I mind watching her like that...
...but trying to keep up with it for too long runs the risk of knocking me into a coma. Haha.
(Renne and Estelle truly are like sisters, aren't they? It's amazing to see just how strong their bond has become.)
I wonder if Estelle's getting stronger because of it?
Well, I'd like to think I'm getting stronger, yeah...
It's slow going, though.
I'd say she's getting stronger, yeah. It's gradual, but progress is progress.
Huh... So Estelle trains with Joshua every day, huh?
Perhaps I should help train her up myself.
A-Ahaha... Go easy on me, okay?
Maybe around...six years or so ago.
...Oh, yeah. So you did.
Haha. I had no idea at the time just how difficult the task I was undertaking would be.
You wouldn't think that would make for a happy memory...but I suppose it all turned out for the best.
The first time I fought against him, he clearly held back against me. Because I was a child, I suppose.
Still, it's been six years now... I honestly never thought I'd get the chance to fight him again--mostly because I wouldn't be crazy enough to try challenging him again alone.
You know what? That was the first time I seriously tried taking Dad on.
Not that I'm up to snuff against him yet--it's gonna take more than a few days to get me there.
Okay! I'll take a little break and then get right back to it!
The face of the monument is glowing, and words are visible upon its surface.
(The orphan of a lost village? Well, this is the most obvious one so far.)
We should head back to the garden and speak to Joshua. We can decide what to do then.
-The Hermit's Garden-
Kevin explained to Joshua that they thought he was the person the nohval monument's inscription was asking for.
... It sounds like the final area is where that Schwarzritter's waiting for us.
Why he specifically wants me to go, I don't know, but...
Seems like he does, though.
So, what're you gonna do?
Naturally, I'll be accepting his invitation.
We should head back to the monument as soon as we're fully prepared. Just let me know when you intend to leave.
I am. No matter what happens, I'll be just fine.
All we can do now is keep moving forward, and that's what I intend to do.
In my lord's place, I, the Schwarzritter, do decree...
Here lies the Black Ark.
Place your hand on this monument, the orphan of a lost village among your number.