Update 21: I Already Used The Levelord Message Joke

Listen, Lanzon. I know you take great care of your body, but I think you could do even better with this amazing Swole-B-Get! Only twelve installments of 300 ental each!
Sasha, honey... I'm liking your enthusiasm, but cheap gimmicks would only lessen my regimen.
My products are not "cheap gimmicks!" They're legitimate business ventures that frequently improve the lives of the common person*!
Well, here's how you can improve the lives of the common person: I do situps and pushups every morning, drink plenty of juice, and I'm pretty great.
You can't ignore the factor that genetics play in your roguish attractiveness, Lanzon!
Are you going to market genetics to the common person*, then?
I... I am taking you off the raffle, young man!
Oh, what a shame.

Sasha and Lanzon needed a few levels, since they'd fallen behind due to lack of use. Sasha put a few points in some Race skills, tossed three more points into Hypno Cannon, unlocked Pillbox, and put one point in Pillbox. Unfortunately, it's kind of hard to use Pillbox in this party, because Lanzon needs his ghosts.

I kinda...blanked on what I wanted from Lanzon, so I just put as many points as I needed into the prereqs for Zombie Powder, and then put four points into Zombie Powder.

Ahhh, a respite from that dreary enclosure of the undead.
I take it you don't like exploring the Vanguard's Mortuary.
Unfortunately. Everything in that stratum, save for...whatever the Noir monsters are, is undead. There's nothing to study about the undead!
So you're bored, then?
Beyond words.
Time to do a round-up of all the secret areas I've neglected to do so far.

The 2F secret area entrance is here.

No events in this area.

Just a bunch of corridors and this one Crawler.

Obtained Treatment Knife!
Oh, and this. The Treatment Knife has +16 ATK, +25 MATK, and contains the skill Self-Taught Treatment, which heals one party member's HP. THe amount restored is 15 HP + 15% of the target's maximum HP. It costs 1 TP, and has an 80% speed modifier in battle. It's pretty okay healing for the early 1st Stratum, I guess. Toss it on a Shaman.

If you're not over halfway through the 3rd Stratum like I am, that is.

And...that's it for 2F.

Next up is 9F, where the secret area entrance is here.

Please note that the secret areas all have encounter formations that are incredibly rude for parties that are at the expected level for exploring the floor normally.

You come across a large hollow gouged out of the cliff, like being underneath the crest of a wave. You would be protected from the elements here, so it might be a good place to rest.
Oh, why not?

You take a nice break and come away refreshed.
Welp, back to it.

Safe from the elements

You rest your exhausted bodies and minds underneath a cliff like the crest of a wave.

Hey, look, a scorpion. This is some kinda complicated puzzle, right?

Obtained Almighty Ring.
Well, no. Just...grab the treasure, and then use an Ariadne Thread to get out. That's...not much of a puzzle.

Oh, right, the Almighty Ring. We've seen it before, but as a reminder: it gives +8 to all stats. I actually put it on Raven, since he could use a little bit of everything.

And let's finish off the secret areas by doing the 3rd Stratum's.

Oh, fuck off.

Getting bad flashbacks to old EO secret areas that were a long corridor with a bunch of doors.

At least the dead ends are courteously short.

Oh fuck off.

At least these random encounters are an okay source of EXP.

Affection's HP restore is now 16 + 4% max HP, instead of 16 + 2%.

I take back what I said about the dead ends being courteous in any way. This room has nothing in it at all.

Oh, come on, haven't you run into these skeletons enough to not be surprised by this point?
I-it's different at night!

How did this small room in a separated section of the floor become host to this many restless undeads?
Mmmmmaybe they ran out of room on the other floors? Had to rebury themselves elsewhere to get better sleep?
...I-I'm just trying to spitball here!
This room is a skeleton minefield.

There's almost certainly a proper way to go about this room. I don't really care, though.

Obtained Fortune Necklace!
This is a reward worth the effort. The Fortune Necklace gives +50 TP and +30 LUC to whoever equips it--in this case, it's absolutely perfect for Lanzon, who I put it on.

And with that taken care of, and the room mapped out, back to town we go.

Why the long face? Didn't you guys just finish resting after doing all those weird hidden areas?
Yeah, but I'm bored. I haven't been able to sell anyone anything in forever, mostly because everything I could sell is already taken care of by Ceric!
You haven't checked on those...people at the bar? The ones that constantly make weird things?
Too busy being bored.
Well, one of them chucked this thing at my head after realizing it was useless. It's...a pen with a book-sized parasol inside it. I guess. Please don't ask me how that works.
...Dosen, you're a treasure, have I ever told you that? I know the perfect person to sell this to...

And of course we go in when I can't demo it.
Floor subtitle: The honor of death by battleaxe.

This fishing point gives Skeletal Fishes.

Zombie Flying Squirrel

HP: 503
STR: 69
INT: 51
VIT: 59
WIS: 56
AGI: 82
LUC: 35

Damage Resistances:
100% 150% 100%
100% 50% 150%

Disable Resistances:
50% 100% 50% 100% 150% 100% 100%
50% 100%
100% 100% 100%
Remember Balloon Flying Squirrels from the 1st Stratum? Good, they're back again. Literally the same monster, but with a different drop, and beefier stats.

(Balloon Drop.)
I include the Affection healing to show how nice it is in combination with Sasha already reducing damage.

I really hate Trample, mostly because it's guaranteed to one-shot any ghosts I have.

Mandratato food point.

I went back to town because Lanzon died to a Gran Noir, and I have no methods of reviving him with this party.
Warabiteto (+80 ATK, +50 MATK, WIS Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 2 Vampire Crowns (Flare Lady normal). Costs 11000 en, sells for 4400 en.

At the end of the corridor, you discover a small stone monument, probably someone's grave. It seems to have some writing engraved on it, but the ravages of time have left it unreadable. However, to the side of the words is what appears to be a picture of a cup.
Goat horn cup?
Goat horn cup.
You recall the horn cup you picked up earlier. And upon closer inspection, what you thought was a picture seems to be an indentation large enough to fit the the cup itself.
Oh, thank the spirits, a chance to rid myself of this accursed object!
You take the cup from your bag and set it into the depression. The moment you do so, the monument suddenly starts moving as if satisfied with your actions. It leans backwards to expose a hollow cavity at its base. Taking care not to damage it, you peer inside to discover a large scythe, stained a deep crimson. Believing this to be the bone cup's gift to you, you take it.

Obtained Darkness Scythe!
A scythe that inflicts blind with normal attacks WHAT A GREAT REWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARD

Owner of the cup

You discovered a stone monument with mysterious writing on it. You unraveled its secret by inserting a bone cup, and obtained a scythe.

wait wait hold on what the fuck why does the Darkness Scythe have fucking real ATK/MATK values and why is it stronger than a fully forged Harpy

holy fuck

(I don't equip it on principle but my point still stands: holy fuck)

Received 1 Bamboo Flower naturally, and 1 Mist Flower from Sasha.
14F, D4 Take Point
A routine random encounter gives Iseria and Sasha levels.

Chain Plus now lasts 4 turns, but also costs 9 TP.

Maybe someday Sasha will get to actually use either Bunker or Pillbox.

Over here is an Other Guild food trading event.

We can trade Mandratatoes for Labyrinth Wheats. Whee.

As you continue through this forest of the dead, filled with unsettling presence, you notice something in the shadow of the trees, poking out between a gap in the rocks. As you approach, you realize that it's part of an old, old tent that appears to bear an Earthrun coat of arms. As you search the area, you discover the rest of the tent scattered about, as if it had been hidden behind the rocks. While it's covered with countless years of dirt, it nonetheless appears to be in usable condition. If you like, you could set-up the tent and take a break.
Haaaaaugh... Same. Can we please take a rest?
As long as someone keeps watch, I don't see why not.
Not it.
No no, you three most certainly are "it."
Damn you.
You gather up all assorted supports and miraculously unharmed fabric and whatnot and manage to erect the tent. Once you step inside, you're surprised to find that not only will this protect you from the elements, but it's also rather spacious. It must have belonged to a high ranking military officer. You feel like you could easily relax here and put down your belongings.

...Well, uh, Raven and Mio are out cold.
For being a 15 year old and 16 year old, they certainly tire out very quickly.
It's somewhat cute, though, isn't it?
I...can't refute that, I suppose.
Okay, this is the perfect chance... So, Iseria, I have something that might interest you...

...Hm, I can see the merits of this...bizarre invention. However, I must ask--
I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.

...After a short nap, you sense something wrong and are startled awake! It seems the tent has been surrounded by monsters. You draw your weapons and prepare for a fight!


With the monsters defeated, you can either continue resting or leave.
...Let's continue fighting, shall we, dears?
I can hear a restless voice begging us to continue...
Um, okay.

...Once again, you're awoken by the presence of monsters! You draw your weapons and fight!


With the monsters defeated, you can either continue resting or leave.
The voice...is still begging.
O...kay, then.

...And a third time!

Okay, this one's nasty, but it's nothing we can't handle.

With the monsters defeated, you can either continue resting or leave.
The voice seems quiet now... How about we rest one more time, just to make sure?
Well, um, Raven kinda collapsed after that last one, so...yeah, please.

...Having apparently exhausted the monsters, you wake up refreshed.

As you wake up, you notice a pile of eight Lunarian Silver Coins in the center of the tent. At the same time, a strong wind rattles the tent and you can hear a faint voice whispering "thank you."
You're quite welcome.
Perhaps it was just your imagination, or perhaps it was the tent's previous owners showing their appreciation for getting revenge on the monsters that killed. Having no way to know for sure, you gather up the coins and return to exploring.

Obtained 8 Lunarian Silver Coins.

Someone's tent

You erected an old tent, and after repelling wave after wave of monsters managed to get some good rest.

I'm not actually sure what I want Raven to invest in going forward, given that I don't want to bump up Great Scythe of Cold Ash or Scythe of Cruel Poison's TP costs yet.

Zombie Powder gets a pretty good upgrade at level 5--up to a 59% chance, from 46%, with the cost being an increased TP cost of 14.

A dead Raven does me no favors, so...back to town.
Fire/Ice/Volt Mist (+35% fire/ice/volt resistance for all party members for 6 turns) is made from 1 Mist Flower (3rd Stratum Take 3). Costs 1200 en, sells for 480 en.

Those...those are some pretty big axes...
That thing in the distance is a Decapitating Executioner, a new FOE. It aggros on us once we get within a small area around its spawn point, and will do a lazy chase on us until we leave an...area. It's not really very well-defined.

They also can't step on light tiles, but, um... Kinda hard to demo that right now.

Obtained Skull Helm.
That was not worth getting boxed in for.

Rather than go forward, let's take a brief detour to clean out my quest log.
Mia: Oh, um. Hi. Everyone.
We got the things you need for your veil!
Mia: ...You-you brought the materials for the veil. Oh my goodness. Ohhh sweet heavens thank you thank you thank you thank you he'll be so delighted wait but I'm wearing it shouldn't I be happier about it than him but--
Please, dear, calm down. It's for your big event. You should be happy!
Mia: Sorry. I was. Super excited. But...really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Now our wedding can go smoothly. You've all done so much for us, you deserve more thanks than I can give, but the reward is the least I could do, I guess, it's nothing much but I hope you like it.
Look. Go be with Thaddeus. Don't worry about the reward or how many thanks you can give, just...go be with your soon-to-be husband.
Mia: I should, um. I should go now, I-I need to go tell Thaddeus. About this. Yes.
Yes, good. Best of luck, dear.

Ooh, ooh, Lanzon, while we're on this: do you ever want to get married?
Hm? That's quite an abrupt question. ...To answer you, Mio, dear: not right now, of course, I and the ghosts have our hands full with exploration. After this, however... Hm, yes, if someone particularly tickles my fancy.
Does...does anyone you know right now tickle your fancy?!
Mm... No.
...O-oh. Well, um, does anyone you know seem like someone that might eventually tickle your fancy?
That's a good question, actually... I would have to say... Either B or C. Preferably a combination of those two~
Wait, what?!
Lusting after the restless spirits of the dead seems dumb.
Oh, spirits below, not you two, no no no. Someone like you two, though.
...So much for Cecil x Lanzon...

Looks like you completed Mia's request. Good work. The rings and the dress and the veil, all custom-made special orders. Those two are really going all out with this wedding. But it must be nice to see all your efforts finally bearing fruit. So what's next, having you play matchmaker at their wedding?
I, um, prefer to know who I'm shipping. Closely. There has to be a reason.
*chuckle* Don't worry, the explorer-client relationship isn't that close. ...I hope. Anyway, here's your reward. Keep it up.

Obtained 2 Holy Gifts.

And so begins The Hunt for a Quality Sapling. Wanna know how long that took?

Just over seven minutes in real time. You have no idea how fucking long that feels when you're the one actually doing this.

There, Ceric's stocked his stupid Sapling Hat now.
Take a look-see: the Sapling Helmet! Ain't she a beaut? I'm putting her up for sale right away. Check it out if you're interested! ...*sigh*
Um, everything okay?
Is it...about your height?
Yeah, it's pretty inconvenient... Wait, no! I'm perfectly average for a Brownie! Sheesh! Can't a guy worry about something in peace?!
...Wait, just forget I said anything! Everything's just fine, nothing to see here! I-I left your reward with the same Lunarian chick as always, s-so why don't you go pick it up? I'll let you know if I need anything else!

So you finished Ceric's request? Good work.
I do wonder what he was sighing about...
I still say it's about his status as a tiny short small...shorty.
Hm? Ceric was sighing? That's unusual. He always seemed like to type who'd say "Who has time to worry when there's business to do?!" Oh, excuse me, maybe that was a bit prejudiced of me. Anyway, if he told you not to worry about it, then I think it's best to leave it alone. If it's important, I'm sure you'll hear about it. So moving right along, here's your reward. Keep it up.

Obtained Sapling Hat.

I put the Sapling Hat on Raven.

Still dropping points in Affection. I might want to put more points into Consoling the Dead as well.

Okay, let's try that again.

Notice how the Decapitating Executioner isn't trying to chase me in the light tiles.

Here's another one.

By doing a bunch of sidestepping and stepping back and forth, I can get the Decapitating Executioner at a safe position.

Meaning it can't catch me before I get to the door.

Obtained 1 Zombie Birch naturally, and 1 Zombie Birch from Sasha.
14F, C6 Take Point
Crucially, I now have enough materials to finish up New menu development journal III.

Welcome back, everyone. So you've got the ingredients? I'll be going over to deliver them to the client then. And see what this new recipe is all about while I'm at it. Just wait here until I get back, if you don't mind.

I'm back. It took a while to get here, but we've finally gotten a happy ending! The client took the ingredients and threw them into a new dish to show his manager right away. And that do you know, his manager said it was delicious. The client was so happy that he even started crying. I was surprised, obviously, but then the manager said something else. He told the client that his talent for cooking was unmatched, and to have more confidence in himself. All he needed to do was to stay focused and stop making all those stupid mistakes. And, well, think a bit more about the presentation of his dishes. The client was just so happy to hear that. Frankly, I had pegged the manager as this cruel taskmaster who was always screaming at this poor sap, and I was sure the client thought that too, but I guess I misunderstood. I'm kind of disgusted at myself for judging this guy so quickly, but I suppose even I have a lot to learn. And...that has nothing to do with your reward. Sorry, here you go. Take it with pride, you've earned it.

Obtained Gale Amulet.
The Gale Amulet gives +30 HP and +20 AGI. Pass.

One more point into Chain Plus.

This is the last puzzle of the floor, and it's actually a pretty big doozy. We've got two Decapitating Executioners to deal with.

For your convenience, a better view of what the floor looks like.

The primary issue here is that it's not possible to draw the second Decapitating Executioner up to the top of the room, which would be an easy way out.

Until you realize that just stepping directly backwards from the rightmost light tiles means you'll get behind that DE.

ez pz

As you open the door and step into the next room, you notice a piece of parchment at your feet. Sasha bends over to pick it up and discovers that it's covered with red writing. "This is the realm of the Undead King. None may enter." The moment you've finished reading, the ground in front of you cracks open and monsters emerge!


The battle won, the parchment you picked up burst into a cold blue flame. As you stare at it in fascination, you hear a voice reverberate inside your skulls, as if someone is speaking directly to your minds!

Just hearing this cold, emotionless voice sends shivers down your spines. Is this where Soleil and Lily have gone? You continue on, more carefully than ever before.
"Lord of the dead," hm. Bit presumptuous, if you ask me.

One last random encounter gives Sasha a level.

The skill point goes into Pillbox, which unlocked Gun Support. I don't want points in it until Pillbox is at a good, high level.

Anyway, the floor's done.

15F is a doozy of a floor compared to the rest of the stratum, but that's neither here or there.

So... I heard...that the 15th floor...is covered in POISONOUS SWAMPS...!?!?
The rest of the stratum has been, from what everyone's told me, so... I'd assume so.
SHRIEK OF HORRORRRRR!!! I don't suppose I could count on them turning into puddles of warm milk, could I...?

End of the stratum's in sight, huh? But, golly, that usually means there's some big monster waiting for you. You should make sure not to cut any corners on your equipment, and entirely coincidentally I just happen to have everything you'll need right here! Heheh, am I good at this or what?

Flying Squirrel Bow (+57 ATK, +50 MATK, VIT Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 2 Tough Tailbones (Zombie Flying Squirrel normal). Costs 6200 en, sells for 2480 en.

Kilt Tassel (+13 DEF, +26 MDEF) is made from 1 Tough Tailbone (Zombie Flying Squirrel normal). Costs 2100 en, sells for 840 en.

Zombie Shield (+27 DEF, +13 MDEF) is made from 2 Tough Tailbones (Zombie Flying Squirrel normal) and 1 Rotting Dog Rib (Zombie Dog normal). Costs 3200 en, sells for 1280 en.

Stonard (Increases one party member's defense by 30% for 6 turns) is made from 1 Zombie Birch (3rd Stratum Mine 2). Costs 500 en, sells for 200 en.

The 15th floor is the third stratum's last floor, and the monsters will be more dangerous than ever. Be especially careful of the Demon's Coffin. They aren't one of those powerful foes you can see from afar, but they're more than enough to ruin your day. And unlike the more powerful monsters, you're going to end up fighting them whether you like it or not. Be careful.

The only bar patron right now is Hansuke. Moving on.

#1: The young explorers' wall:
Um, this one's from another group of explorers. I suppose the difference being that these guys are still brand new. They're in the bar now, so go talk to them for the details if you don't mind.
I, um, forgot to talk to them. I'll do it next time.

#2: Roman in the Labyrinth:
That one, huh? Thanks, you're a lifesaver. The client this time is a nobleman who collects armor, but I've had a hard time finding anyone to take it. Are you familiar with the monsters known as Decapitating Executioners, from the third stratum? Well, the client wants a Jet Black Slate from one. And that's not all. If you can get anything else from it, he wants those too. He'll pay more for anything beyond a Jet Black Slate. It's a tough opponent, but I can rest easy knowing you guys are on the job. Please, be careful and good luck.
Leeeeeeeeeet's hold off on that one.

Oh? The 15th floor already... I don't know why I'm still surprised. Ever since you got here you've been nothin' but surprising. But, still, that's the climax of the 3rd Stratum. I'm sure you've realized this by now, but there's always a reason people tend to get stuck at the end of a stratum--a big reason. No exceptions here. Nobody's ever gotten any further than this- it's the steepest wall you've ever had to climb. But, if anyone can do it, my gut tells me it's you all. Just... Take care of yourselves out there.

Try to keep up, milord.
Oh, so you grind the fish into a paste with a mortar... And then what?
Next, you roll the fish paste into balls--eh?
Greetings, Lord Remus.
Oh, hello there. I'm actually in the middle of having the Guildmaster teach me a Therian recipe for fish that he picked up.
So that's the gist of it. I've got a guild to be at. Try not to embarrass yourselves in front of Lord Remus, kids.

So. Nameless. Would you care to try out this Mountain Fish Soup with me?
Um, yes, a billion times yes. Bottoms up!
Great. I'll divide the portions accordingly. Apparently, in the Therian capital of Yamato, this is a traditional fish dish. The Skeletal Fish you can catch in the third stratum, I hear, makes for fantastic fish paste when ground with other fish. Ah, here you are. Watch out--it's hot.
...Haaaaaaaaaaaaah... You guys have to try this!
...Eh-heh, seeing you eat it so enthusiastically tells me it turned out alright. You grind up these Skeletal Fish with other fish from the Labyrinth, roll the paste into dumplings, and put them in the broth. It shouldn't be a problem if you use this special pot I ordered--this was to be my spare, but if you'd like it, you can keep it.

Obtained Yamato Earthware Pot!

I hope Soleil and Lily are okay... But if you get injured, or worse, trying to save them, that's hardly an improvement. Iseria is looking a bit under the weather. Perhaps you should rest before returning to the Labyrinth.
Hm? No, I feel quite fine, aside from the normal exhaustion after clearing a floor.
Welp, that'll do it for now. Next time: 15F.
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