Update 26: Lizard-kun

Absolutely splendid!
I'd compare it to Gilbert and the Troubs, but it has a much more refined, yet cynical sense of humor.
Uh, Dosen? That's a band. I was juggling swords.
Oh, you mean this wasn't your part of Cecil's monster orchestra?
...Dosen. I'm a magician. Why would I be performing in Cecil's monster orchestra?
Being a magician doesn't pay very well. It's entirely possible that you're financially insolvent to any number of parties in or out of the city. As such, between several options, I would think billing yourself as an interesting aspect of an already-established troupe would be the best option for benefits and income if you wanted to continue performing despite the fact that it's inherently unsustainable.
...Dosen. I have an important question.
How much of that was you, how much of that was Sasha, and how much of that was your mother?
I'd give about a 45/15/40 split.
I see.
Dosen, I-- I'm not poor. I don't really have any outstanding debts. I'm not... I'm not financially insolvent.
Oh. Are you sure?
Yes. Yes, I'm sure.
Okay, good. I'm glad to hear it.
So, that aside. Jana. What would it take for you to teach me to do that?
Not be financially insolvent?
No! No, juggle swords.
Oh! Well I appreciate the interest, but if you got hurt in the process, I'm pretty sure at least five foreign dignitaries would pay untold amounts of ental for my head, and the only time my head is not attached to my body, it's entirely intentional.
Unfortunate, but understandable.
Wait. So, you're not going to try and teach Iseria how to juggle swords, but letting her go into the Labyrinth is fine?
Well, yeah. Duh.
How do you figure?
Liability laws, mostly.
But what if Jana kills you in the Labyrinth?
Wha-- Why would--
I find that highly unlikely and therefore have not ruminated on the subject.
Oh, okay.

Let's just get into it, shall we?

(Floor subtitle: Obstructing ore and slithering beasts)

There's a campfire spot here.

Blaze Creep

HP: 598
STR: 75
INT: 75
VIT: 60
WIS: 60
AGI: 61
LUC: 60



Damage Resistances:
100% 100% 100%
10% 150% 100%

Disable Resistances:
150% 150% 150% 150% 150% 150% 0%
100% 100%
0% 0% 0%
Blaze Creeps are Bolt Creeps except fire. Yep.

...Do any of you ever, perhaps, feel bad when we kill a monster before it gets a chance to act?

Reflower can make Jana surprisingly good at clearing out two enemies at once, if they're relatively low HP.

I...cannot say I thought I'd see a gorilla living in a large cavern system.

Mighty Gorilla

HP: 1374
STR: 84
INT: 64
VIT: 77
WIS: 67
AGI: 51
LUC: 55



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

Disable Resistances:
150% 100% 100% 50% 100% 50% 100%
50% 50%
100% 100% 100%
Hammer Kongs but with higher stats. Exciting.

I had Dosen buff up the front row's HP, in preparation for...

(Giganto Hammer.)
That. It's more for Jana's sake than anything, to be honest, since she, y'know, has no armor.

Armor...just weighs me down...

Cooked to perfection. ...Do not eat it, though.

This food point gives Labyrinth Wheat.

(This is an auto-event.)
As you navigate the crystal labyrinth, you hear a voice coming from deeper within. Half mumbling and half singsong, you can either investigate this mysterious voice or ignore it and continue on.
Well, I'm curious. Anyone else wanna go?
All of us, I'm pretty sure.
Worried about anyone who might be this deep in the labyrinth, you head towards the voice.

(The music stops here.)
After a bit of walking, you find someone standing before a wall!

It's a girl you've never seen before, quietly standing still. Is she the one whose voice you heard?

After you stare at her in silence for a while, she vanishes like an illusion. She didn't look like an explorer, so who exactly was she?
...The heck just happened?
Left with only questions, you return to exploring.

That path I was just on is the way further into the floor, but there's still some stuff to do near the entrance.
As you navigating the mazelike corridors of the crystal forest, you come across a group of people running their fingers along the wall as if trying to grab something. When they notice you, they turn their heads and call out to you.

Hello again, Clarste's guild.
Their repesentative identifies themselves as Marlone from Mina-san. Marlone the Illusionary Fencer tells you that they found these crystals on the wall which look pretty valuable, but weren't sure how they were going to get them off to take home. If you're confident in your strength, maybe you could help them out.
I'd like to think all my exercise makes me pretty strong. Lemme at it!

Jana steps forward. They grab a crystal sticking horizontally out from the wall and casually give it a tug. It comes out easily! You hand the crystal to Marlone, who promptly declares that they're giving half to you. After all, they wouldn't have been able to do this without you.

Obtained 3 Dragon Crystal Fragments!
They're rather insistent about this gift, so even if you wanted to refuse you wouldn't have been able to as they force it into your hands. And with that, they give you one last smile and wave goodbye as they leave. You return to exploring too.

Crystals and explorers

You ran into some explorers who were having trouble extracting a crystal. You lent them a hand and got half in return.

Aw, you couldn't wait a few more steps? I wanna look at the Dragon Crystal bits more!

Mole King

HP: 897
STR: 82
INT: 69
VIT: 75
WIS: 77
AGI: 67
LUC: 59



Damage Resistances:
100% 100% 125%
100% 150% 100%

Disable Resistances:
50% 50% 100% 100% 150% 0% 100%
150% 50%
100% 50% 100%
Mole Kings have the same gimmick as the moles back from the 2nd Stratum, and they're even more annoying, not the least because they now hit the entire party instead of just one row, and hit even harder (relative to party HP totals) than before.

Okay, just lemme hit you one more--

Heyyy, get back here, I wasn't done!

Did, you, uh, just--
The casting of spells are a very set process, and cannot be altered mid-cast.
I've heard it's possible to use those...Incantations, I believe they were called, mid--

(Great Mole Claw.)

There we go!

Obtained 1 Selenite naturally, and 2 Selenites from Sasha.
17F, D4 Mine Point

As you walk through the crystalline labyrinth, you happen to notice a source of springwater welling up from below. You marvel at the clear, beautiful water flowing through the labyrinth, when suddenly you hear a bird honking at you from nearby.
Bird? Honk? What?
You turn your heads to find a Cave Duck swimming in a pool of the crystal water. Cave Ducks are famous for their delicious meat, so you might be able to make a meal of it.
Fear not, duck, for I shall ensure no part of you goes to waste...

Iseria hides their presence and approaches the Cave Duck using a rock as cover. In the next moment, they leap out with knife drawn and take out the duck before it even realizes what's going on. Their feat was so impressive that the rest of the party finds themselves clapping without even meaning to. Iseria carries back their kill with a smile.
Sometimes you scare me.
You're no saint when it comes to not saying unnerving things, you diminutive oddity.

Obtained 3 Animal Meats!

Cave Duck

You found a duck living in a springwater pond and took it down with your impressive hunting skills.
Do not try this at home. The fearsome Cave Duck should not be approached without a highly skilled professional.

Kaelin finally has access to High-Speed Incantation! Now to wait 5 levels until he can just take it to max level immediately.

You hear the sound of running water, although you can't tell where it's coming from. Stopping to look around, you discover a source of crystal-clear water dripping out a gap in the wall. The water has pooled up in a shallow impression in the crystal, and you estimate that there's just enough for all 5 of you to take a drink. If you like, you can take turn drinking the clear water.
I am kinda thirsty...
One by one, you drink the springwater. Not only is it refreshingly cold, but it's also faintly sweet. Your exhaustion fades away!

The water is gone, but it's slowly refilling from the gap in the wall. It should be back after enough time has passed. You keep this in mind should you ever need to restore your stamina in the future.

Obtained Amrita.
Never hurts to have more of these.

A random encounter gives Iseria a level.

She uses the skill point to bump up Chain Shock to level 5.

That was a fun detour, wasn't it? Let's go further into the floor now.

You open the door and enter a room lined with shining crystals. Up, down, left, right, no matter where you look there are simply more crystals. If you could gather them all and take them back to town, you might be able to make quite a fortune. However, doing so would also take quite a lot of time. If you like, you can roll up your sleeves and begin some hard labor, or perhaps it's a waste of time and you should just move on.
Get swinging, everyone!
You spread out to gather all the crystal shards scattered about everywhere...but when you reach out to pick one up, what you thought was a crystal begins to move on its own and bares its fangs at you! This wasn't a treasure hoard, but a den of fearsome monsters!


You repelled the wave of monsters only for another group to rain down on you from the ceiling!
Perhaps we should let someone besides the circ--grk, no--someone besides Jana choose our next plan of action.

Yep, that sure is an encounter.

...You somehow managed to fend them off, but despair as you see a seemingly unending swarm of them crawling out from the walls!

Oh, hey, a lizard.

After you repel the third wave, the remaining monsters seem to rethink attacking you, as they scurry back into the cracks in the walls. You decide that this is probably your best chance to get out of here, so you push your weary bodies to dash back outside.
Ah, what, we don't even get a Dragon Crystal for it?

The brilliant crystals were...?

You found a room surrounded by crystals, but failed to notice that they were monsters in disguise. You weathered their attacks.

Sasha and Jana got level ups in the middle of all of those fights.

By god I will show you an FOE or boss fight where Pillboxes really shine soon enough.

Another point into To the Death.

I went back to town because my pack was getting overfull by this point.

Zhezl (+54 ATK, +86 MATK, INT Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Selenite (4th Stratum Mine 1). Costs 18000 en, sells for 7200 en.

Beast Coffin (+63 ATK, +84 MATK, HP Up Lv4-8, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Beast Arm Membrane (Mighty Gorilla normal). Costs 13600 en, sells for 5440 en.

Caput (+24 DEF, +20 MDEF) is made from 1 Translucent Red Horn (Blaze Creep normal). Costs 5400 en, sells for 2160 en.

Brogan (+14 DEF, +29 MDEF) is made from 1 Beast Arm Membrane (Mighty Gorilla normal) and 1 Selenite (4th Stratum Mine 1). Costs 3900 en, sells for 1560 en.

I bought Kaelin a Zhezl and forged it once.

Okay then, let's get back to it.

...Oogh... Oh, gods, it's a giant worm with mouthflaps and fangs and ohhhhh I can hear it from here.
Not a big fan of worms? What's wrong with worms?
As-- As much I--urk--find worms disgusting as well, perhaps we should lower the noise a bit.
Echo-Chasing Worms (henceforth, well, "worms") have a bit of a unique movement pattern.

That person at the bar mentioned something about worms that follow sound, right?
Dosen, please don't--

Oooogh, that slithering sound's even worse...
Yep. Whenever we hit a crystal, Echo-Chasing Worms will move one tile closer to our current position. They also do this for every turn that passes in battle.

There's no puzzle in this first room--just hit this crystal and the worm won't catch up to you--unless you get into battle while you're in the room, I guess.

The next room isn't much more complicated. Just don't hit the crystal from its right side and you won't get ambushed by the worm.

Note that any of my advice here relies on the assumption that you don't shift worm positions by getting into a battle.

This next room's a bit more complicated. If we hit the crystal that's blocking our way forward, the rightmost worm will immediately catch us. How can we fix this?

Hit the crystal in the top-left corner until it breaks, which shifts the worms into good positions.

Pretty easy, IMO.

Obtained 7000 en.

Can we please just get to the stairs? All of those worms and their slithering are making me nauseous...
Oh, hello there, secret area. I'll be back for you later.

If I wasn't feeling so sick I'd just cut one of these worms in two...
One last puzzle.

Destroy the first crystal, and hit the second one once, and you're home free.

That wasn't so bad, was it?

Obtained 1 Bismuth naturally, and 1 Bismuth from Sasha.
17F, E3 Mine Point

Let's go up, shall we?

Now that we've done that, let's go back to town.

Big news, all!
Did Gram's mangy mutt finally calm down after being around all those cats?
My sister finally came home and she brought souvenirs! So she had these two baskets, one was huge and one was tiny, and put them in front of me and the littler sister, and told us, "Choose ye from these presents wisely." I was frumping over which one to pick, but then for whatever reason, my saintly little nugget of a sister told me that she'd let me have the bigger one, just this once. When she said that, I realised; kindness and generosity were the true treasure all along! I can't believe I almost listened to the devil on my shoulder and took it from her after she said that!
Aww, that's really sweet.
...Didn't expect it to have this clay doll in it, though. Wonder what the other one had?

(You'll forgive me for screencapping Ceric's quest dialogue.)
The other day, one of Genetta's sisters stopped by with this wheelbarrow full of crystals to sell.
The amount of strength the older sibling posesses is...both inspiring and frightening.
Maybe some of her lizard drinking buddies helped?
I think the town would be in a panic if that happened...
Those things are, of course, quite valuable, so I gave her a lot of cash for them, and you know what she says? She says she wants to buy a silver hairpin, for making her poor sister worry about her! Family bonding's wonderfully heartwarming, isn't it? ...On the way out, she told me also wanted this ratty old clay doll I was gonna toss. Being a reasonable merchant I of course sold it to her for a pittance, but what possible use could she have had for it?
Genetta's family life is both sad and endlessly amusing.
Incidentally, speaking of quest dialogue, let's give Ceric the rarest mining material.
Whoa whoa, for real?! You went and got me the rarest ore in the fourth stratum, might as well be in the world at that point?! Just for me...? Aw, shucks, you guys, thanks a million! I'll write my mom all about you guys- this lovely set of regular spenders who're always giving me a good help! Eh heh heh. Thanks again, guys. The lady at the bar's got your reward, so go get it--free of charge!
I would hope it's free of charge.

Compound Bow (+69 ATK, +65 MATK, TP Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Bismuth (4th Stratum Mine 2) and 2 Stretchy Leech Skins (Green Leech normal). Costs 12700 en, sells for 5080 en.

Tail Mitt (+21 DEF, +25 MDEF) is made from 2 Lizard Tails (Hammer Lizard normal). Costs 6100 en, sells for 2440 en.

Vitality Bangle (+30 HP, +30 VIT) is made from 3 Chipped Blades (Sword Lizard normal). Costs 13000 en, sells for 5200 en.

Mmhmm, I see. So he was worried about what gift to send his mother. But I can see where he was coming from. The closer you are to someone, the harder it is to make those kinds of decisions. He can't just say thanks, after all. But once you manage to put it into words or something concrete, it feels good for both parties. Speaking of which, thanks. And here's your reward. Can I count on you for next time too? *chuckle*
Wait, why...wouldn't you be able to count on us?

Obtained Soma Prime.

...I'm not gonna get an answer, am I?
I believe she was joking, Sasha.
It never hurts to make sure that mutually-beneficial partnerships are rock solid.
Perhaps you should let your business sense worry you less when dealing with not-business matters...

Let's take on the 18F quests.

#1: Careless Genetta:
Oh, that one's from Genetta. Sounds like her inn's been really busy and they need a few extra hands around. Cooking and cleaning, perhaps? *chuckle*
I hope not...
Maybe this will be your toughest job yet. Anyway, go see her in the inn for the details. Good luck.
#2: Labyrinth lifeform capture:
So you're doing that one then. Okay. This one's from the Monster Research Society. They want to capture a powerful monster from the 17th floor, and need some explorers to follow some very specific instructions. It's a rare creature, so it seems they want it alive so they can study its behavior. They already sent some guards up, so go talk to them for further instructions, if you don't mind.

Good luck.

Here's our current bar patrons.

#1: Kamikaze martial artist woman:
Faye: Hey hey hey, you guys! Have you ever went all squee with a crystal and then kapow?!
Ummmmmmmm. No?
Faye: No no no! I mean when you squeee and stand right next to a crystal, you end up somewhere completely different, y'know?! I'm an idiot, so no matter how many times I went kapow I was like "gah why can't I remember where they go already!" And when I went up to the crystal from different directions, tryin' to be all systematic like a whosamawhatsit, I just ended up flat out lost. Nothing to do but use a Ariadne Thread at that point! Oh crap...they're gonna get mad, aren't they? My head's going kapow for sure...

[10:03 PM] Kinu: I'm really glad I didn't have to touch this block of text
[10:04 PM] Ragnar Homsar: you can just like
[10:04 PM] Ragnar Homsar: hear
[10:04 PM] Ragnar Homsar: the high-pitched hyperactive voice in your head
[10:04 PM] Ragnar Homsar: can't you
[10:04 PM] Kinu: yes
(Kinu being alcharagia's name on Discord.)

#2: Long-haired man polishing a key:
Key Man: You know those doors with strange patterns on them? You see them every so often in the Labyrinth. I wanted to see if I could force one open, but even my secret weapon went nowhere. I'm thinking you need some kind of special key. But I've talked to all sorts of explorers checking out the third floor, and no one knows a thing. Good grief, where could it be...?

You're already halfway through the stratum? Do you people ever rest? At this rate it won't be long before you're on the 20th floor. I wonder what's beyond even the fourth stratum... I mean, just from looking at the outside there should be at least one more.
Maybe it's some kinda floating castle?
The ruins of an ancient civilization's capital?
Maybe some kinda glassy forest?
You all listen to those drunkards far too much.
Your conversational acumen is homogenizing~
Homogenizing? There would have to be something else for comparison for it to homogenize.
There is.
Well, what is it, then?
Use context clues to figure out the answer!
Confound it, you bedamned jabberjaws, I will destroy you where you stand!
Life's never boring around Kaelin, is it?
Nope, and it's great.

Nameless, huh? How've you been?
Same as always, really, Edgar.
We've reached the 18th floor now.
...18th floor, huh? Sounds like you're gonna be running yourselves ragged. No doubt that Monstrous Codex and Item Compendium you've been keeping will become highly-valued cultural touchstones a few years down the line. Probably attract any number of new explorers. Funny how that works out...even if you comb every little inch of that tree, history's gonna repeat itself anyway. Maybe someday I'll be talking to some hotshot Herbalist about the 57th floor of Yggdrasil! Hah.

As the head of the Council, I of course always encourage the exploration of the Labyrinth, but I had always assumed it would be a much... slower process, one that would span many decades, even centuries--that it would not be us, but our children, and grandchildren, who would finally complete this task. ...But then, you came along, Nameless. Ever since I've met you, I've come to realize that our goal may be much closer than I once thought-- No. I know, and have full confidence, that you will be the ones to reach Yggdrasil's summit.

Let's close out the update by talking to Genetta--always an enlightening experience.
Well how-dee-doodle, if it isn't my favorite patrons! Back for the night, are we?
Yes and no. We heard that you're something to the effect of busy?
Sure am! I can barely keep up with how much there is to do about wait a second is this a leading question, you sly dogs you?
I'm surprised you even know the term "leading quest--" Urk, no, forget I said that...
So here's the skinny: Miss Genetta was so swamped today, that she forgot to give these here lunchboxes to some of the guests this morning and wouldn't you know it, they ALL went to the Labyrinth, so I can't deliver them! Have I got your assistance, my friends?
We're not getting paid otherwise, so...yeah.
WOOF, that's a load off my back, thank you so much you guys are the beeeeest. You're delivering to, uh hold up, carry the seven, factorialize a bit... 3 groups. I think they said that they were looking for a secret passage or something arouuuuuund here!

If'n you go over there, you can probably just follow the sounds of their stomachs growling, because you see, they're probably hungry, because you see, they do not have their lunches. Have fun, kids!

Next time: that secret area. Maybe 18F if the secret area is short enough.

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