The Let's Play Archive

Trails in the Sky the 3rd

by Really Pants

Part 88: This is practically another day for me now.

The veil has slipped.


Young Man's Voice: ...Hey... ...Hey, Ries...

You okay? Feeling any pain?
N-No... I'm okay...I think.
But why...are you...? I fell through...that crack...alone.
So why...are you...?
You big dummy!



-Something Precious-

What were you thinking with all that taunting?! 'Go ahead and do your worst!'?! 'Drop me wherever you like! I'll live!'?! And just how do you know you'll live?! Oh, right. YOU DON'T.
You're a squire, aren't you?! A rookie like you with no experience or proper judgment has no business making calls that put her own safety at risk! If you can't promise to NEVER do that again, then you and I both know you're not cut out to be part of the Gralsritter!
...That's probably what I should be saying, anyway, but it'd be real rich coming from me, huh?
So I'll let you off with that little bop there.

Look around us. This is it. The seventh plane.

Yep. It's just like the Testaments brought to life.
And I'm the one responsible for bringing it all.
After all, if there's one place that's possible, it's Phantasma. I don't know how Rufina came back, but she did, with both memories and personality intact. And now I have the good fortune of being punished by one of the very people I wronged.
I really couldn't think of a more fitting punishment for a bastard like me.
Everything she said was dead on. More than anything, I wanted to be punished. I figured that by accepting that punishment, all of this would be done, and everyone else could go back to their lives. I thought I could be just like her: sacrificing my own life so everyone else could be saved.
But that wouldn't make me like her at all, would it?
She might have given up her life to save ours... but that wasn't because she was happy to throw away her life to protect someone else's; it was because she saw literally no other option.
With me unconscious, she didn't even have the choice to retreat. There was no way out of the situation without one of the three of us losing our lives.
That's the only reason she chose to do what she did.
...Yeah. She was never the kind of person who would praise self-sacrifice as some kind of virtue.
She'd only ever accept it as an option if all the others had been exhausted, and it was truly the only way.
Right. But this time, that's not the case. You're here. I'm here. All of our friends are here.
If we put our heads together, I'm sure we could have found another way out of here. One where no one would have to die. You must have realized that...and yet you tried to take the easy way out.
Didn't you?
I hate to say it, but yeah. I did. That's a pretty shameful thing for a Dominion to be doing, huh?
Haha...See? I've got no right to be criticizing you. I'm even less fit to be a knight than you.
Still, standing around lamenting my failings isn't gonna get us anywhere.
So if you're up for walking, let's get ourselves out of here.
...Come again?
What're you looking so surprised for? You didn't think I was gonna stay here and accept being punished for eternity, did you?
...Well... Either that, or stay here and wait for Rufina to show up again...
Listen here, Ries.
I'm not gonna deny that there's a part of me--a big part--that wants to be punished for what I did. Or that there's a part of me that was overjoyed to see Rufina again, however it came to be.
But I'm not alone down here. You're here with me, and believe me, that changes EVERYTHING.
As long as you're here, I'm not staying in this hellhole a second longer than I have to.
We're getting out here, you and me. No matter what it takes!
Right... Right!

-Stairway to Gehenna-

There's no warping out of this one.

I forgot to take Scent and Divine Eye off of all my other casters. No Zodiac for me.

Good job... Keep it up.

...You son of a bitch...

One of the heretics I killed, huh?

Damn right, I am! I'm...Owen...!
The first of so many lives you claimed...

He was a bishop in the Congregation for Divine Worship.
He was also the one who hired those jaegers to attack Aster House--all as a pathetic act of revenge after being exiled for corruption.
Like he says, he was my first target after taking up my role as Heretic Hunter.
Heh. I never thought I'd have the chance to see your ugly mug again. How's it feel to crawl around in this flaming pit for all eternity, unable to even die to break free from it all?

It's hot... It hurts... I hate it...

Haha. What a pitiful sight you are now.
Well, hey. I guess you've suffered enough that I can put you out of your misery.

No more heat or suffering for you.
Just a quick death and eternal rest as a grimoire!

-Masquerade of Lies-

These poor unfortunate souls can all divide and explode.

The fight can go south quick if they manage to divide three or four times, and you're suddenly surrounded by angry virus bombs with fists.

Sorry...but you had to die.

-Stairway to Gehenna-

...All right. Let's keep this up. I doubt we're near the exit just yet.
We can't dawdle here for too long.

These demons must spend 10,000 years torturing souls before the Archlords of Hell grant them animations.

Please... Let you...
I... I'm so... I'm so, so hungry...

...A-A child...?
His name's Elmer... He was a young boy turned into a flesh-eating monster by a fanatical devil-worshiping cult. They did it all through a ritual involving artifacts.
I tried everything I could to save him--every kind of Thaumaturgy I could think of...but eventually, the only option was to put him out of his misery.

I can...right...?
You both look so tasty...

So go on...
It won't hurt...

You didn't deserve this, kid... but I'm not gonna blame Aidios, either.
If you want to resent someone...resent me.

So...let me put you to peace a second time.

No! I don't wanna die!

I just... I just...
I just don't want to be hungry anymore!

-Masquerade of Lies-



-Stairway to Gehenna-

Haha... I didn't want to get out of bed for a week after that one. How times change... This is practically another day for me now.

Why?! Why have you been trying to deal with all this all on your own all this time?!
You could have at least talked to me...
I chose the path I walk by myself, Ries. What right do I have to drag others down with me?
Especially you.
...Nah. That's not why I didn't talk to you about it at all, is it?
I think more than anything, I was afraid. I didn't want you to see me trying to hurt myself. To punish myself... I was afraid that if you did, the bond between us would be severed forever, and that thought alone was too much to bear.
Yeah... I bet that was the real reason.

I was right. You're stupid. You're the stupidest person I've ever met!
Haha... Couldn't you use something a little more affectionate? I called you a dummy before, right? That one's cute.
...Although, I guess being stupid suits me.
You dummy... You blockhead... You halfwit...
That's an impressive collection of insults you've got in stock.

...You okay now, Ries?
I'm fine. You don't need to worry about me.
I'll do all I can to get us out of here.
So I don't want you to worry about me. I want you to rely on me.

It actually blocks stat drops, not ailments. Watch out for that.

...I failed as your mother...
...but I'm so tired...
I'm so, so tired...

I-Is this...?!

...At least this way...
...At least this way, the two of us can...

-Masquerade of Lies-

Have it your way, Mrs. Graham. We'll do best two out of three.


alright I think the Time Gem is cramping my style here


O pitiful souls, may you rest in peace.

-Stairway to Gehenna-

Haha... Damn. That one hurt...
Kevin...y-you don't...
If this place and everything in it was seriously what I wanted for myself... then I'm probably the biggest masochist who ever lived, don't you think?
You don't need to force yourself to talk, Kevin!

I suppose this moment had to come sooner or later. I've been running away from Mom's death ever since the day I lost her. Always so desperate to look away from it all... But now...I feel like I can finally accept what happened.
...You're sure?

Yeah, I'm sure. Let's get going, Ries.
There'll be plenty of time to be sad after we get out of this place.
Right now, we need to concentrate on living long enough to do that.

-The Abyss-

We're at the exit!

The gates of Gehenna...
'Those gates are distorted but steadfast, serving to keep the living and the dead apart...'
Yeah. They've been accurately realized, for sure.
Too bad the Testaments don't give us any clues as to how the two of us can force them open.

Haha... Nor do you have any chance of doing so.


Who was that...?
(About time...)