Update 68: CCCool

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Welcome back. Today, we do Anna's paralogue.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

What about profits?
Hi, Professor! Overheard me mumbling about profits? See, I got a lead on a pretty big job, but I've got some concerns. Professor! You need some money? Of course you do! I've got the perfect job for you.
Although it's not without its issues.
A job?
Yup. Apparently, there's some priceless treasure that's been unearthed. If you can believe it, it predates the Adrestian Empire!
I've been asked to secure troops for the job, but I've got to cover the cost for them. The upside is, whatever we find, we get halfsies on! But there's a downside too.
The potential to find...nothing?
Bingo. If we find nothing, I'll be eating those up-front costs. But just imagine the gold if we do find something. It's a risk I'm willing to take. This job is coming from a merchant named Pallardó. Ever heard of him? He frequents the monastery, so he must be somewhat trustworthy... Right?
You know what? Yeah. I'm gonna do it! You in?
Your job's gonna be to find someone who can help out, and then I'll need you on board at the excavation site. Naturally, the more treasure we dig up, the more money you get. Sound good?
I'll find the treasure.
Your services are appreciated, as always! Let's head out! Haha, come on! We'll be rolling in gold!

♪ A Dark Sign ♪

Uh, hey, Pallardó? What's with the cavalry?
Ah, they're here to transport the treasures. It's quite a load, after all.
You trying to pull something? We agreed on a fifty-fifty split!
Yes, you have it right. Stop fretting about it. You'll be receiving your cut just as soon as I determine the exact value.
Nuh-uh. No way, no how. I can't agree to that. As a merchant yourself, you know I can't. No way am I watching my share of the treasure gallop off into the sunset. We're splitting this up right here and now. I'm not agreeing to it any other way.
Whether or not you agree, I'll be on my way now. Come on then, men! Let's go.
Wait! Come back here!

Oh, hey, it's that guy, the one that was searching through the ruins of Garreg Mach in Reunion at Dawn.
♪ As Swift as Wind ♪

Guess he wasn't as sympathetic as I thought.

Hrm. Not the easiest map to move around in, each group of enemies is close to another.

Pallardó himself isn't worth talking about.

The enemies around the map are holding a wide array of items, from bullions and large bullions, to consumables, to a horseslayer, to a hammer, to worthless venin weapons.

Oh, yeah, there's fucking bow knights here. That's a real nasty move to pull in part 1—enemies with 8 Mv and 2-4 range.

Here's who I'm taking along. Our A team, plus Ignatz and Raphael.

Anna is a non-factor, by the way. I'm not using her because she's effectively a joke character with no supports. All she does on this map is be a liability if any enemies get near the south part of the map.
♪ No music ♪

Bring it on.
♪ Dark Clouds Gather ♪

Do you really think you're getting away with all that loot? Ha!

♪ Tempest of Seasons ♪

He knows how to warp things away? You gotta be kidding me.
We gotta put a stop to Pallardó right now, otherwise the treasure will be out of our hands for good!

I want as much of the loot as is possible, so: Stride!

You're not going anywhere.


Was hoping for a crit, but that's fine, Hapi can just Canto to a forest tile to get some Avo.

Is this dangerous? Yes. Do I think I can pull it out without Constance dying? Yes.

There, I pulled it off.

Pure grit!

Sure, don't get Str, get Mag, grumble grumble.

Same grumble grumble, except with Spd instead of Str.

Well, that's a step in the right direction.

Another case for stacking as much Mv as you can on your dancer.

Don't worry, Lysithea's probably safe. Probably.

Ah well, it was worth a shot.

Between the venin lance this paladin is stuck with, and Ignatz having Seal Strength, it's not like he can do much on the counterattack anyway.

Or, well, could've done much on the counterattack.

That is an abysmal level, cripes.

Glad I hired those mercenaries. Now I can worry about myself and get out of here.
Although... I figured there would be more of them. Well, I'm sure more will show up soon.
Oh, fuck off, reinforcements? Bow knight reinforcements?

Every other enemy phase, up to turn 8, four reinforcements will spawn at various points on the map. On Maddening, in addition to those reinforcements being act on their spawn turn, they're also increased from four units to five. Except on turn 8, in which case you get a whopping 6 reinforcements to deal with. These reinforcements have no loot, they're just here to slow you down. Don't let the map drag on, if you can help it.

Phew, that was lucky.

Ah, Cyril, no, get more levels like the one from earlier...

Poor Adan is basically perpetually behind everyone else on this map.


Thankfully, while the bow knights are dangerous as hell in terms of mobility, they don't have the greatest AS, due to using steel bows.

No, no, please, get more levels like that. Literally as long as you just keep getting Mag, maybe the occasional point of HP, I'm fine with it.

Might as well get Pallardó out of the picture.
♪ Wrath Strike ♪

Anna has battle dialogue against Pallardó, by the way.
Pallardó, how could you?! Running off with all the treasure... That's unthinkable!
As a merchant yourself, you must understand that more is more when it comes to profit.
Don't you dare group me in with the likes of you. You're a thief and a liar playing at being a merchant. For true merchants, the customer's trust is more valuable than gold. Squander that trust, and you'll be out of business before you can say "profits"!

Eh, that was the likely outcome.

How the fuck...?

That's the eastern side of the map taken care of.

Hades Ω was unnecessary there, but let's be honest: sometimes it's fun to just destroy an enemy unit in a tower of darkness.

Also, meh to that level.

And I take out the horseslayer paladin, a genuine threat to Lysithea.

With this, Cyril has moved from "really needs good levels" to "useless."

Quit bugging me!

There's three enemies targeting Hapi after this. Hopefully that doesn't bite me in the ass.

No, not good enough, Ignatz. How are you this slow?

Everyone, protect the treasure! The wagon will be here soon.
Whew! Well, at least the treasure's safe for now.
That said, if that wagon gets back here, it's over. Better hurry and take back the rest of the spoils!

Time for more reinforcements.

Oh fuck yeah, Hapi lived.

Ah, a good ol' one-shot. Nice work, Raph.

That right there is an okay level.

Alright, time to finish this.

No, Raph, that's bad.

I will take that Marianne level, though.
♪ No music ♪

Well, what goes around comes around!

The Secret Transport Force is weird. +3 Phys Atk, +15 Avo, +5 Prt/Rsl, +8 Cha at max rank. Mediocre stats, but they have Stride for a gambit. Stride is rare, and for good reason, so any source of it is appreciated greatly. It's also the only flying battalion that offers Stride.

So, since we got a lot of stuff this map, I'll take a quick moment to provide a full manifest:
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

I didn't expect it'd come to this...
That makes two of us. But either way, I'm still grateful for your aid.
And just look at how much we got back. It should cover all our costs and then some! You'll be rewarded handsomely!
Thank you.
I wish we'd gotten more of our money back. But we did pretty well anyway, and it's all thanks to you! You'll receive a fair reward.
You win some, you lose some...
I promise you'll be rewarded.
Thank you.
Though if that guy calls himself a merchant, maybe I shouldn't call myself one.
We'd better submit a proper report and get some people to teach him a real lesson.
I almost feel bad for Pallardó. No, wait—he tried to rip me off! I don't feel bad at all!

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Well, we've got time—let's do Hilda and Cyril's paralogue.
♪ Tempest of Seasons ♪

No, bad, what.

Hey hey, that's very good!

As is that! That makes up for Ferdinand's bad level.

Hilda. What is with this Mag streak.

Well, if you're gonna get HP and one stat, I guess Str's an okay choice.

There you go, Ignatz! Keep that up, and you won't end up benched.

Fuckin' again with the Mag. At least he got Spd too.

You're still gonna end up benched, no doubt in my mind, but hey, that might help me for the rest of the map.


How do you even miss Str as a brigand, Raph?

The fact that Claude's Str and Mag are within 8 points of each other scares me.

And that's the last level I got on this map. Onto the story mission.
♪ Tactics ♪

Apparently they're lurking in the Sealed Forest, not too far from the monastery. Rhea has called back all of the knights who were out searching to round them up. Seems like it could take some time for them to make it back here...but she didn't ask for our help.
Why keep it a secret?
Perhaps to prevent you running headfirst toward revenge?
It's only natural that you would leap at the chance for it. Anyone would.

This discovery comes just when the knights are at their busiest. It is all too likely that our foes revealed themselves to lure you out there. They are the ones who took Jeralt from you... I know how you must despise them, but I must ask you to rein in your personal feelings for now.
You can't stop me.
Please, Professor. Do not act carelessly. I ask that you leave this to us.
Losing you so soon after losing Jeralt would be unbearable.
Listen, Rhea. Erm, Lady Rhea. This move is the most strategic. The military strategy I'm devising will soon echo across Fódlan's history. I'm sure of it. Just think about it. Most of the knights are still far away, and we can't afford to have Seteth and friends abandon the monastery. So the only person who can take action now also happens to be our best commander. It's Teach, and wherever Teach leads, we'll follow. And since you've taught us that this sort of thing is always a possibility, we're already prepared for battle.
We can buy the knights more time. Not for revenge, but for a defensive attack on behalf of the monastery.
Professor... Do you agree with this strategy?
Adan nods.
Understood. I will give you the order. Destroy the enemy that is hiding in the Sealed Forest... You have the protection of the goddess on your side. Whatever happens, you shall overcome.
We have our orders, Teach. Now all that's left is to pull out a miracle.

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Before we head into that, though: supports!

Claude/Raphael B.
♪ Funny Footsteps ♪

Hey, Raphael. This scene...why is it oddly familiar?
Heh, it's almost like this stuff is drawn to me whenever I'm in town!
I'm just happy I can use my muscles to help out around here.
But isn't your goal to become a knight? Running errands isn't exactly a knight's job.
I heard that proper knights always help those in need. Isn't that right?
Well, you're not wrong, but I think most people would consider that only a small part of a knight's duty. A knight's main function is to fight and defend, don't you think? That said, I'll agree that helping anyone and everyone who needs it makes you a remarkably virtuous person, which is even better.
If someone virtuous becomes a knight, they'll be a virtuous knight, right? That's about as proper as you can get!
I... Yes? I suppose so?
I, for one, would certainly look for virtue in any knight that I recruited.
So, you're saying I'm the type of knight you'd want to hire for House Riegan?
Absolutely. If I somehow actually manage to become the head of my house, that is. I can't see into the future, but you have my word that I'll do all I can to help make your dream a reality. That is, if you're actually able to let somebody help you out, rather than helping out the whole world by yourself.
I'm not gonna stop helping others, but you can do me all the favors you want.
All this talk of being proper is making me hungry. For my first favor, why don't you bring me a snack?

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Felix/Leonie B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

How long did you expect me to stand here?
I did just say sorry, but I could say the same to you. You were pretty slow to settle on a time.
I can't help having a busy schedule. Plus, I thought you could use the extra time to prepare.
We could go back and forth like this all day. Or we could get started.
Hmph. You were the one who kept me waiting. Let's begin.
On my signal?
Hurry up.

Let's see what you— Huh?! Aaaaargh!
The sounds of Felix falling into a hole can be heard.
A pit trap?
That's right! How you feelin' down there?
Say what you want, but Captain Jeralt taught me this one!

I'll admit, I wasn't expecting that.
If this were for real, you'd be dead. Aren't you glad I put straw down there, instead of spikes?
Yes. I underestimated you.
I suppose your lateness was a ploy to distract me.
You're not wrong. I did it to rile you up...draw you in. You're capable, confident... I was counting on that. So, what do you think about Captain Jeralt's training now?
His technique worked, and you won. What else is there to say? Winning is all that matters. You drew my attention to a major vulnerability. I'll need to be wary of traps. Thank you, Leonie.
Seeing as you're thanking me, can I ask you a favor? Will you come watch my next training session? I'd like a few pointers about fighting in close quarters.
The loser must pay tribute, I suppose. Yes, I'll help you train.
You will? Thanks!

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Felix cleanly admitting to losing? Wow.

Ashe/Hapi C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

I'm glad to be of use. If there's anything else you need, come find me anytime.

Chummy? I suppose... Really I was just helping out with some equipment repairs.
For an assignment or something?
No. It just looked like they could use a hand, so... I lent one.
To me, it looked like they were using you for some unpaid labor.
Unpaid labor? Heh heh, I helped them because I wanted to, Hapi. I wasn't expecting to be paid. It's like when you help us with our assignments. We don't pay you for that, do we?
Like I have a choice. Can I give you some advice, Freckles?
Don't support the knights, the church, any of them. All you'll get in return is a knife in the back.
Isn't that a little...dramatic? You really don't need to worry about that with most people...
You're naive. Those two-faced buffoons exasperate me so much, I can hardly help but—
Oh! Ah... Hey! That reminds me of a great story. You have to hear this one.
It's called, um... Oh! The Luna Knight's Tale! Yeah—I think you'll love this!
On second thought, maybe a story about a knight isn't what you want to hear right now...
You know, the knights in stories aren't like the ones in real life.
Unless the Luna Knight is a liar who does terrible things.
No, of course not! The Luna Knight is the hero of the story.
She's from an offshoot of House Blaiddyd. Marries into House Riegan after the Crescent Moon War. In peacetime, she sets aside her weapons and devotes herself to giving wise counsel to her husband.
In this role, she ensures that the dishonest and unfaithful are dealt with accordingly.
Huh. She sounds like a real hero.
Very much so, yes! The tale is full of fascinating details about her...

Of course! Be right there. I'll tell you the rest of the tale later. OK, Hapi?
Um... Sure, I guess. But seriously, watch yourself, OK? I don't want you to learn I'm right the hard way.
See ya, Freckles. I can hardly wait to hear that riveting story of yours.

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Constance/Hapi B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

I live here, so it's not like I had to travel a long way. Do you need me for something, Coco?
"Need" might be an exaggeration...
Good, because I was just headed to bed. It's nearly sunset. Have a good night.
Wait, no! Just because I don't need you for anything doesn't mean you may go.
"Need" isn't quite it precisely. Hmm, how to broach the subject nicely?
Nice rhyme. Are you dabbling in poetry now?
Don't be daft! Anyway, I need you for something.
You could have just said that from the start.

It's how I intend to show my gratitude for all the things you do for me.
Right, right, everything I do for you, such as... Uh, what, exactly?
You know. The pastries... The dried meats... Sharing your fruits...
Oh, like when we ate those currants and you got juice all over your face!
Must you bring that up every time?! It took me hours to get the stains out of my favorite fan.
I thought it was funny. So...what's this drink you gave me? It smells good, but it looks weird.
Ahaha! It's all the rage amongst the elite now. They call it coffee. It's derived from rare Dagdan beans, which are roasted, ground, and then boiled over water.
That's a lot of effort to make hot bean-water. Nobles find such inventive ways to waste time.
Hold your criticism until you've tasted it. And taste it quickly, please. This is a beverage that one must drink hot.
All right, I guess.
Well? Your verdict?

Exactly my reaction! The flavor is so striking that one trembles for more!
All gone. Got more?
Ahaha! Indeed I do not!
The coffee bean, as I mentioned, is rare and thus expensive. They are not easy to procure.
Though, if I could restore House Nuvelle to its former glory, I might have means to acquire more.
On second thought, never mind. You don't have to go to all that trouble.
Oh, but I was going to restore my house anyway. It just may be...some time until my finances improve.
How about we go to the woods and find some fruit trees, like we did the other day? Fresh fruit might not be as fancy as coffee, but it's good enough for me. Come on.
If that's all you desire, I think I can indulge you.
To the orchards!

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Hapi's description of coffee is just...classic.

I normally like to make Ferdinand a paladin, but y'know what? Let's give wyvern rider a shot.

Same with Felix, though he usually ends up in the infantry sword classes.
♪ No music ♪

You seem to know a lot about it. It is just a forest, isn't it?
Have you been there, too? Oh... Never mind. Listen, just like I told the archbishop, this is not a war of vengeance. It's a riddle, so to speak. Those guys are undoubtedly planning something terrible. We need some kind of clue as to what. The attack on the Holy Mausoleum. Flayn's kidnapping. That foul business in Remire. The Demonic Beasts at the chapel... It can't go on. We need to figure out their objective and stop them from achieving it. That's our mission.
So, we have our mission now. We had better not fail.
It is a difficult task, but we will succeed.
It is time to repay the kindness of the professor who saved my life!
An enemy whose objective you don't understand is a frightening prospect.
We're gonna destroy 'em! It's our mission!
I will have my revenge, whatever it takes. On that, I will never budge.
Leonie... You will have what you seek.
I'll admit, vengeance sounds pretty nice. But don't forget that we're here for information. Luckily, we can easily find what we're looking for while getting revenge for Jeralt. Right, Teach?

♪ Tearing Through Heaven ♪

Gimme more like that!

And that!

Not like that!

This is an incredibly good Balthus. 17 Spd at level 20 is way higher than I'd expect from him normally.


Yeah, that sadly checks out...

Goddammit, where were those levels before now?

I'm running out of good things to say on damage stat + Spd levels.

Seriously, what the hell, Balthus has gained way more Spd than his growth rates would suggest.

Anyway, Kronya died, and then Adan got got taken to a Dark Big Hole. Before we move on, Leonie has battle dialogue against Kronya!
Monica. You'll pay for what you've done.
I told you! I am not Monica, I am Kronya! Do not call me by that fake name!
I don't care what you're called. I don't care if it takes my last breath. I'll kill you.
Please! My powers are beyond your comprehension. You're just a filthy worm!
♪ Those Who Sow Darkness ♪

They were swallowed by the mystical darkness of the forbidden spell. An eternity wandering in a void of nothingness, never to return to this world... To think we almost had the Sword of the Creator...
I don't believe anything you say! Our professor is still alive!
That's right! Our professor is no ordinary human!
I refuse to believe that Teach would die in a place like this!
It is possible that death has yet to find your friend. But there are worse things than death. Drifting through the darkness with no chance of escape... Overwhelmed with hopelessness... It must be torturous.
Hey, all I hear is good news. Teach is still alive. And if that's true, then there's only one thing to do. Defeat you while we wait for Teach's triumphant return!
Prepare yourself. We will avenge our leader here and now!
How trite. But if you wish for pain, I shall oblige. If you prefer it so, you shall also be added to the ranks of the dead!

♪ Tearing Through Heaven ♪

Back to your regularly scheduled levels.

Gods, but these are abysmal stats for level 20.

These aren't, though!

Eh, I'll take it.

Ohoho, hell yeah.

Not bad.

God you're so mediocre.

I thought outranging Solon with a crit was disrespectful, but a melee unit critting him from 3 units away, on an 11% chance, is also pretty disrespectful.
♪ Beyond the Crossroads ♪

But Jeralt's killer is dead. All's well that ends well.
You're kidding, right? I understood putting it off while we were in battle, but now that it's over, just go ahead and spit it out. That hair. Those eyes. That unfathomable power. What happened out there?
I will tell you...
You mean to tell me...that an entity who claims to be the goddess was living in your mind? And it's been that way since you were a baby? And this goddess entrusted all of her goddess-like power to you and then vanished... It's a difficult story to swallow, Teach. But the way you look now... I guess I've got no choice but to believe it.
How could something like that happen? There must be a clue in Jeralt's diary.
If you believe the diary, there's a high possibility that Rhea did something to you when you were born. That's likely when all this began. What in the world happened to you as a baby? And what was Rhea after?

This must be an effect of the goddess's power. I wonder if Teach's body can handle the strain... Think, Claude. What now? Should I carry him on my back? Easier said than done...
Next time: the end of Part 1.

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