Part 95: Star Door 14: Phantasmal Blaze-Primal Grounds-
They called the fifteenth star door Star Door 14.
This door only requires you to complete the first part of multi-stage doors like the Sun Doors, and possibly Moon Door 1.
-The Way of the Heart-
Always have a backup for your Goddess-given, one-of-a-kind, limitless energy source. Don't get caught in the dark!
Hey, Bleublanc. Don't just stand there. Say something.
Heh. Why should I be the one to break the silence?
Words have no meaning in the face of such a splendorous sight. All there is for us to do is to be overwhelmed and awed by the spectacle before us.
The others still haven't come back, either.
Kinda crummy ending to this whole schtick, huh?
Renne left the city and has since departed this region. Luciola is missing...but no good can come from us fretting for her safety.
Heh. Oh, no worries on that front.
Just think it'd be a waste for a woman like her to die so early. So, you know. Here's hopin' she didn't lose her life for nothing.
Hah. I quite agree.
As for Loewe...I fear the odds of him making it out alive are nonexistent.
Damn it... If I'd known this was gonna happen, I would've finally made him fight me. He was always finding excuses to get out of it.
Well, unlike us, he had a clear and specific purpose for taking part in all of this. And it looks like he may well have been able to achieve it, at that. Though he met his end, I have an inkling that he, at least, is satisfied by the ending to this story.
Hard to believe it's all over.
Wh-What?! What's HAPPENING?!
I-I thought we were going to use that floating city to rule Liberl! Then we were going to use it to rule the whole CONTINENT!
So why is this happening? This wasn't supposed to happen!
...W-Wait... Did anyone ever actually say we were gonna do that? Or was I just thinking it on my own? ...I was, wasn't I?
I hate my life... All I seem to do is get humiliated by THEM and abused by Lord Campanella lately... A-And then to top it all off, THIS happens?!
Just what have we all been doing?!
Enhanced Jaeger Stanley: L-Lord Campanella!
Enhanced Jaeger Oliver: I-I'm relieved to see you're well, sir!
Heehee. The same to you fine gentlemen.
I'm thoroughly impressed with your work ethic. It takes guts to dedicate yourselves to your duty even at a time like this.
You should see what's happening outside! It's a sight to see, you know? All the mira in the world couldn't buy you tickets to see a show this incredible.
You're not too late to check out the show if you head out now. Why not go take a peek? I won't tattle.
Enhanced Jaeger Stanley: W-We couldn't possibly!
Enhanced Jaeger Oliver: We wouldn't dream of abandoning our posts without permission!
Haha...I suppose you wouldn't after the training you've been through.
Well, no matter. Now, mind letting me inside? I've got something I need to take care of in the sanctuary, you see.
Enhanced Jaeger Oliver: ...Sir?
Enhanced Jaeger Stanley: B-But we've been ordered not to let anyone inside without the professor's permission... Even you, Lord Campanella.
He's as dead as you'll be if you won't let me through. I don't think even I can get a dead man's permission, now, can I?
Enhanced Jaeger Stanley: What?!
Enhanced Jaeger Oliver: B-But that's just not possible...
Oh, dear! Is my word worth that little to you?
Maybe I should have a little fun with you like I always do with darling Gilbert. That might make you a liiitle more inclined to have more faith in me.
Enhanced Jaeger Stanley: I... We weren't...
Enhanced Jaeger Oliver: We never once doubted your word, so you need not trouble yourself on our behalf!
That's lovely to hear. Well, then, why don't you go outside and watch the show like I suggested?
You're under no obligation to guard this place now that the man who ordered you to do so is no more.
Enhanced Jaeger Stanley: Gladly, sir!
Enhanced Jaeger Oliver: G-Good luck with your business, sir!
They may have served their purpose now, but it seems a terrible waste to steal their memories and toss them out like garbage.
Maybe I should put them under my command.
Even all the noise going on outside can't reach this far inside the ship by the looks of it.
Just as well. I couldn't fulfill my role otherwise.
I, Enforcer No. 0, Campanella the Fool... hereby request access to the Celestial Globe in place of the Third Anguis, Georg Weissmann.
Voice: We've been waiting for you...
Heehee. Already here, I see.
Fifth Anguis: ...I certainly never envisioned that the Faceless would perish.
Second Anguis: Poor thing. All the trouble he caused his old friends finally caught up with him. So, how exactly did he die? I'm simply dying to know.
Oh, I wish you could have seen it!
The poor fellow was turned completely to salt, from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. Then it all came crumbling down into itty bitty pieces.
Second Anguis: Oh, my... What a chilling way to go. I do wish I could have been there to witness it for myself.
Sixth Anguis: So he fell victim to the result of that singularity in North Ambria, did he? Ahhh, I would have loved to have seen the real thing when it first appeared...
Fourth Anguis: Haha. Who'd have seen that coming? That guy never seemed to let his guard down even for a second.
Fifth Anguis: ...I imagine it was the work of a Dominion. Almost certainly the fifth--the position everyone previously believed to be vacant.
Fourth Anguis: Oh, right... Guess that explains why he screwed up. So what's the Fifth Dominion's name, then?
Kevin Graham. He calls himself the Heretic Hunter, and he studied under the one and only Carnelia.
Heehee. Seemed a real riot, too. Twisted in all the right places.
Second Anguis: He studied under Carnelia, now? Now I'm even more interested in him.
Fourth Anguis: You've gotta be kidding me, Abyss. After how into Leonhardt you were, you're not even gonna mourn his loss for more than a second before setting your eyes on a new guy?
Second Anguis: Oh, my... You've got me all wrong. I assure you that I'm mourning Leon's death in my own way. He's not a man I'll likely ever forget...especially as I could never get him to show even the slightest hint of interest in me to the very end.
Seventh Anguis: Indeed... He truly was a skilled swordsman... His loss will be keenly felt.
Fifth Anguis: He was the only one among the Enforcers who was able to cross blades with you, I believe?
Seventh Anguis: Certainly of those I have fought against. I often asked him to humor me with my training. I always felt as though there was a chance he may surpass me as a swordsman one day. It makes knowing he lost his life before having a chance that much more difficult to bear.
Sixth Anguis: Haha. In my opinion, the loss of the Bladelord isn't all that significant when you look at the bigger picture. A tiny, predictable loss in our overall combat capabilities. Now, the loss of the Angel of Slaughter will have much more of a long-term impact.
Fourth Anguis: Heh. Oh, the chick with the scythe? I wonder if she'll come back in the end. She seemed pretty confused.
First Anguis: That's a decision for her and her alone to make. We may be above them in the Ouroboros hierarchy, but that doesn't give us the right to order them around. That is the way of the society.
Sixth Anguis: But still...
First Anguis: Professor, all of us here are well aware of the importance of the Gordias series. But this is a law decided by the Grandmaster. Surely you are aware of what that means.
Sixth Anguis: ...
Second Anguis: Heehee... You only need to look at Weissmann's obsession with that black-haired boy to see what can come from being too fixated on someone.
First Anguis: Indeed... That very obsession proved to be his undoing. Isn't that right, Campanella?
You could definitely argue it was one of the factors that led to his failure, yes.
Kevin seemed like he was trying to use it to his advantage, too.
Sixth Anguis: ...All right, all right. I'll drop the issue. But know that as long as the Thirteen Factories are in my care, the Gordias series will be of unparalleled importance to me. So I'll be keeping an eye on her from now on to observe how well the one she has is functioning.
First Anguis: Certainly. We'll leave that to you. I believe we've talked for long enough. The time has come for the Grandmaster's advent.
Fifth Anguis: Is that so...?
Second Anguis: Teehee... How thrilling.
-Etude of the Ruin-
That Ouroboros emblem is off-center Gilbert must have helped with it.
First Anguis: Yes, Grandmaster. With the exception of the Third Anguis, all are present and accounted for.
You deserve my thanks for observing all that transpired as my representative, Campanella.
I'm pleased to hear as much, Grandmaster. I imagine you are already aware of what transpired during the Gospel Plan even without me relaying the details... but allow me to fulfill my most important duty.
Fifth Anguis: Oh, my!
Second Anguis: So that's...
Fourth Anguis: That's the Aureole!
Yup! Father Kevin stood by picking his nose and let Campanella waltz out of Liber Ark with nothing less than the Aureole. And now the Grandmaster has...eaten it?
If only the price we paid to obtain it weren't so great...
To say nothing of the countless other sacrifices, both human and otherwise that arose through this plan...
I, and I alone, bear responsibility for each and every one of them.
Fifth Anguis: Th-That is simply not true!
Seventh Anguis: Please, do not place the burden of blame upon yourself. The Faceless alone was at fault for his death.
Second Anguis: But if anyone should take the blame, it's we Anguis who chose to overlook his behavior rather than steer him back on the right track.
No... I half expected that this is what would happen.
Yet I chose to leave all of the decisions in his hands.
I did so because I believed that to be necessary for this world, but nonetheless...
...the blame is unequivocally mine.
Fifth Anguis: Oh, Grandmaster...
Seventh Anguis: Why must you blame yourself so?
There will inevitably be a reaction to what has happened in time...
...but I imagine the church will act regarding that.
Let us leave the matter to them.
First Anguis: ...As you wish.
Sixth Anguis: Haha... I must admit that my curiosity is piqued, but it shall be as you desire.
Fourth Anguis: In that case, what should all of us do now?
The bells in the west have rung, and the first pact applies no more.
I hereby proclaim the completion of the first phase of the Orpheus Final Plan, the Gospel Plan...
...and the initiation of its second phase, the Phantasmal Blaze Plan.
Fifth Anguis: Very well!
Second Anguis: Heehee...
Sixth Anguis: Leave everything to us.
Fourth Anguis: We, your loyal Anguis...
Seventh Anguis: ...in accordance with your wishes...
First Anguis: ...shall now fully devote ourselves to the execution of your plan.
So it's time for the Phantasmal Blaze Plan to begin, huh? The stage is set, at the very least. It's going to utterly dwarf the Gospel Plan in terms of both quality and scale...
Heehee... Things are finally about to get interesting.
...By the way. I might be the last person you want to hear this from, but...
...would you mind stopping the whole peeping in thing, mysterious stranger?
Trails in the Sky the 3rd spends a huge amount of time putting wheels in motion for future Trails series: Star Door 8 was setup for the Erebonia arc, Star Doors 3 and 15 foreshadow events in the Crossbell arc, Star Door 4 laid the groundwork for an as-yet-undeveloped Calvard arc...and this Star Door spells out the big overarching metaplot tying them all together.
It's also the closest look we've gotten yet at the Society of Ouroboros. Based on the big reveal in FC's ending and the general conduct of their forces in SC, I always pictured a cabal of Weissmanns: all gleeful sadists, sowing torment and mindfuckery from the shadows just for the fun of it. I was way off. Even in that short little vignette, the Anguis exhibit a fairly broad spectrum of personalities but are all fiercely devoted to the Grandmaster--or at least, striving to appear so. The Grandmaster also seemed to be disturbed by Weissmann's unrestrained sociopathy and surprisingly remorseful toward the casualties of the Gospel Plan...not that they ever took any great pains to rein him in.
Incidentally, this Star Door was eventually made into a drama CD, and the Grandmaster was given a woman's voice.
Side Story [Phantasmal Blaze] finished!
Received Brilliant Crown.
Received 30,000 mira.
Finishing all the Memory Doors gets you a singularly fancy new hat: +100 STR/DEF/ATS/ADF/DEX, +15 SPD/AGL, +2 MOV, along with immunity to ailments and stat drops. You can open this door before clearing Nightmare Arena, and it'll definitely come in handy.