My next destination is the Terraced Springs of Lawston. Iím not sure what Iíll be doing there, but itís right next to where I am now. No battles on the way or anything. First, though, I stop back in town to finish buying equipment. I get some armor and a few more items, then leave and enter the springs.
It looks like the group has been running for a while, but it seems like theyíre OK for now. They decide to take a break. Alph seems pretty upset about Heath, though. He didnít listen to us, and he even said that the Garden Children were no longer his students. So Alph wants to be alone for now. Lucia goes off after him, though.
Saki wishes she knew more about the Steel Witch. She seemed surprised to see Heath, and Heath seemed reacted the same way upon seeing her. The group ponders that. Meanwhile, Alph seems devastated that Heath didnít listen. He starts crying. Lucia shows up, and Alph gets annoyed, saying that he said he wanted to be alone. Lucia says that she wants to say one thing. Didnít he just tell Sir Heath that ďGodĒ is the one he should be fighting? When did Alph decide that? Alph seems confused. Lucia says theyíve come together because of all thatís happened, but today was the first time that Luciaís heard him say that he was going to fight his god. Alph gets defensive, saying that if he hadnít made that decision, he wouldnít be working with the Witches. And heís Luciaís Rym, isnít he?
Lucia says if heís made that decision, then he should stop whining about Heath. Heís our enemy now. What if he finds us? What if one of us tries to kill him? Alph says he wonít let that happen, but Lucia asks what if Heath tries to kill one of us? Alph seems shocked, but Lucia decides sheís said enough. Alph clearly isnít ready for this. He canít be her Rym if he canít let go of some things in order to protect the world. Alph pauses, then says that Heath was more than his teacher. He was like a brother. He doesnít want him to be his enemy.
Lucia says if thatís the case, she canít count on him anymore. She thought she could, but it looks like she was wrong. She calls him a crybaby, and leaves. Wow, thatís harsh. I mean, I understand where sheís coming from, but itís not that easy to just stop caring about someone. Lucia, you need to chill.
With that, the action menu pops up. I try to see what I can do, but it picks the ďreturn to world mapĒ option instead. I save, because I might as well. Then I go back and pick the right option. I can talk to Theo, Mel, or Nicolai. Talking to Theo has the group wondering about why Heath didnít listen. Maybe he has a personal reason for hating Witches so much. Alph says that Heath was the one who taught us how important it was to protect each other. Talking to Mel results in her asking where Lucia went. The other Witches guess that she and Alph had an argument. Pollon tells Alph to be less stubborn and be careful about what he says.
I talk to Nicolai, and he says that as long as the Church keeps up their faÁade of punishing evil, then theyíll have the publicís support. Theo wonders if the Church was trying to use us. Weíve believed in them all this time. Was it all a lie? Cecille says that creating life in a laboratory disrupts the natural flow of life. Is Kingston trying to play god? Nicolai says that Kingston reveres God, yet he wants to be his equal. It doesnít make sense. Alph points out that not everything the Church told them was a lie. He believes in protecting whatís important to him. Kai says that if battle cannot be avoided, the one with the weaker heart will always lose. If Alph wants to truly be strong, he has to believe in himself.
With all that said, I advance the story.
Alph is annoyed with Lucia running off by herself. All of a sudden, Andre shows up. He says heís found us, and that he swears upon his ďabs, pecs, and deltsĒ that he will capture us all! He says to beware the sword he holds Ė the Regulus Heart! Only the leader of the Zephyroth Knights can use it.
Whoa, whoa. Wait a sec. Thereís something I forgot to mention earlier. Remember that book about Leonís father? It said that the sword he used was called the Regulus Heart. That doesnít bode well.
He tries to draw it, but he canít seem to do it. Nicolai suggests that the sword has rusted into its scabbard. Everyone thinks itís ridiculous how he calls himself a knight, but canít take care of his weapon. Andre says that anyone taught by a fool will also be a fool. He then mentions that Heath was demoted from his position as one of Johannesís guards. He was made the leader of some random army, and itís all our fault. Itís what he deserves. Andre says that if something that shameful happened to him, heíd never show his face again. Alph gets pissed at him, and tells him to shut up. Andre tells us to prepare ourselves, and the battle begins.
OK, so hereís my groupís levels right now. Alph and Kai are level 33. Theo, Leon, Cecille, Vivi, Mavi, and Mel are level 31, Saki is level 30, and Nicolai is level 29. Aside from Alph, whoís required in all story battles, I bring in Nicolai, Saki, Cecille, Mavi, Vivi, Theo, and Leon.
The map has a lot of changes in elevation, and I start towards the top. My enemies are five ďGalaxiesĒ (stronger versions of the monks that were with Andre the last time I fought him), along with a cleric, a magician, and Andre.
I save at the beginning of the battle, just to be safe. I then start attacking the nearest monks. It looks like Andre starts out with two flash points. Thatís not good. I should probably be careful of that.
Vivi gets the first kill, and levels to 32. She learns a new spell, but I canít check what it is yet. Two monks down (I refuse to call them "galaxies" because that's just stupid), leaving six enemies left to go. Saki soon levels to 21, and learns a new skill. Vivi moves again, so I take the chance to see what her new spell is. Itís a speed buff. She uses it on Cecille and Mavi.
The cleric appears to know Hail. Thankfully, it doesnít do much damage. The magician goes down next, causing Nicolai to level to 30. Mavi levels to 32 after attacking a monk. She learns a new spell.
Andre uses his flash drive on just Alph, and doesnít even kill him. Thatís a relief. Alph is still pretty badly wounded, so I have Leon heal him. Saki dies afterwards, though. Iíll try having Cecille heal her. Vivi ends up killing the cleric, which is a very good thing. They can be awfully annoying if allowed to live.
This battle is going very easily so far. Theo levels to 32. Cecille levels to 32 after reviving Saki. Oh yeah, and one thing about Maviís magic. All her attack spells are single-target.
Iíve just taken out Andre, leaving only a single monk. Taking him out levels Nicolai to 31.
My spoils are 4800 Rico and four Vitae. I really should get those Vitae identified soon, but that requires a trip to the Witch village, and thatís kind of inconvenient right now. I decide to intermission with Leon, who seems to have a half-full heart.
Andre declares that the sword of God will punish us. Leon then protests, saying that a sword is meant to protect people, not to hurt them. Andre remarks that the previous leader of the Zephyroth Knights used to say that Ė the fool called the Lion King! Oh, snap. You did NOT just diss Leonís dad in front of him.
Andre says that the Lion King was so conceited. Andre decided he had to punish him himself instead of waiting for God to do it. Heís a much better leader than he ever was. Leon, of course, catches on. Andre says that when the pirates attacked the capital, Andre killed Leonís father and threw them all in the ocean.
Andre runs off, and Leon tells Alph that he has to follow him. That creep killed his father, and he has to avenge him. Alph and Cecille protest, but Leon says heíll be back once heís done. So he runs off, leaving the group behind.
Alph seems even more upset. Without Leon, what can he do? But everyone else agrees that Leon has his things to do, and we have ours. Arenít we going to help the Witches stop God? But Alph still doesnít want to fight Heath.
Mavi realizes that this is why Lucia left, and calls him a wimp. She understands that Alph respects Heath, and feels like heís been abandoned. But who has Alph sworn to protect? Alph says the planet, but Nicolai asks if thereís anyone in particular. Alph remembers Ė itís Lucia. Theo says that Heath taught us that a knight cannot run away from those heís sworn to protect. Alph decides that yes, he will keep fighting. Even if Heath stands in his way. Heíll still keep doing what Heath taught him, even if it means opposing him. With that, we all go off to help Lucia.
I still get my intermission with Leon, even though heís left. He asks me if I had to fight to save a girl, what would be his ideal scenario. My options are ďRescuing a princess,Ē ďSaving my dying lover,Ē and ďThe true enemy was my lover!Ē I choose the middle one. Leon says thatís pretty classy, putting my life on the line to save the girl. But I donít get anything.
Kopin says that he accidently burned one of Viviís kopins while goofing off. He apologizes.
I guess we have to go after Lucia again. I hope she hasnít gotten into too much trouble. She always seems to be going off by herself, doesnít she? And it looks like Alph has gotten over that slump. I hope that Heath figures out the truth sooner or later. Wouldnít want to have to fight him again.
It looks like my next destination is the ďholy statue at Parnus.Ē Thereís one battle on the way. But thatís the end of the chapter, so Iíll stop for now.