Let's finally go to Fiduc Castle, home of the Roslolian Knights!◊
We are greeted outside by some soldiers.◊ A knight asks us about our business. Leonard explains who we are and the knight tells us to wait there. While he's gone, Leonard explains this castle is also called Swan Castle and it as impenetrable as it is elegant. The knight comes out with a man named Balzepho, most likely a Roslolian,◊ who tells us to come in.
We are ushered into a room, where Balzepho says the duke's offer sounds interesting. Leonard asks bluntly what they say to it, and Balzepho says they should hear it directly from Lans.
"My god... Sir Lans himself is here!?" exclaims Leonard. This is the castle of the Dark Knights, why wouldn't he be here?
Lans comes in and welcomes us.◊ Now you can see where I got avatars 2, 74, 82, and 84 from. Also note, this is the guy that was looming over the burning town in the intro.
They exchange pleasantries until Leonard asks what their answer is.
"Ha, ha, ha. Your are impatient," chuckles Lans. "Very well, tell this to your duke. The leader of Bacrum, Branta, is not interested in the Gargastan and Walsta war. We, the Dark Knights, share the same feeling." Obviously not, you're from Lodis. "We will maintain neutrality."
I guess this means they accept the non-intervention treaty. Sweet.
"However, do you think you can win the war without our support?" asks Balzepho.
"To be honest, we may not," says Leonard. "But victory is not our goal. Our ultimate wish is to establish a world where everyone can co-exist peacefully."
Well, Vice doesn't want that, but nobody gives a shit about him.
"Besides, if we wanted support from another country, we would lose the trust from the people." Especially if you're allying with Lodis.
"I see..." mutters Lans T (Lans Tartare). "Then I assume you do not want to follow in the footsteps of Bacrum, who owe their success to us..." Branta seems a bit stupid, putting all of his power into a foreign country. But Lodis hasn't betrayed him yet, so they must be a bit trustworthy.
"...and lose the trust of the people. This is interesting. Ha, ha, ha."
"Well, I did not say..." begins Leonard, flustered.
"Very well," interrupts Lans. "We, the people of Lodis, are very proud... I understand why you do not want to be like the Bacrum people. Actually, the reason I asked you such a question is because your troops are quite young. It gave me the impression Walsta's situation was so bad that you had no choice but to use children..."
Leonard tells him not to underestimate us, which is good advice, and advice many people later on won't follow. Leonard explains our feats, like saving the duke and rescuing Leonard from Krizar.
"I see... so you are the heroes of Griate that the people are talking about. Forgive me... but have we met before?"
Remember how Kachua said our parents were killed by Dark Knights? Remember that town in the intro? Remember the name of the part that intro was in? Remember the man being taken away and Orcus being held off by his sister?
"I... don't think so... but..." mutters Orcus.
"But... what? Go ahead."
"It was the night when the first snow fell in several years," starts Kachua. "In the town of Griate, you were the knights..."
"Stop it Kachua!" interrupts Leonard. "Do not forget why you are here!"
Dialogue choice.◊ Orcus doesn't like the dark Knights and what they did to his family, but he understands the Roslolians are vital to Walsta's success. He understands sometimes you must do unsavory things to further your goals. I select 1.
"Don't start... this is not our war anymore..."
To be frank, I have no idea what he means by this. Bad translation, Orcus not being sure what to say, or both? Take your pick!
Lans catches on. "Ah, so you are the survivors of the attack on Griate... that was..." He turns to Balzepho.
Balzepho explains they attacked on information that said rebels were hiding in Griate.
"Which, unfortunately, turned out to be false information. Your hate of us is not unjustified..." Lans says. "Though it was a mistake, that does not justify what we did. I offer you my most solemn apology..." He bows in his chair.
Leonard awkwardly says we should be heading back and apologizes for our rudeness. We take our leave, Kachua lingering a bit. Once we're gone, Balzepho walks to the window and asks if Lans really had to go that far.◊ What does he mean by that?
"...Do you remember Haborym?" asks Lans.
"...Yes sir. He wasn't all there, but he was very close to me..." mutters Balzepho.
"That brother and sister... they're very close, just like Haborym and you once were..." Lans cryptically says.
...I have a feeling we shouldn't trust these Dark Knights.
We head back to Amorika◊ and are greeted by Ronway.
"You have overcome your personal vendetta and accomplished your duty. Thank you."
Well, Orcus knows some things have to be done for the greater good.
He tells us to go to the town of Baramus. Kachua says that that is the town where Gargastan made a Walsta self-governing system. Ronway explains that really, the town is a concentration camp.
He says the total population is only 5,000.
"We must save them... it is our duty..." mutters Kachua.
Ronway says it would be impossible to save 5,000 people and explains his plan is to make the people revolt.
"A revolt with that many people... we can't possibly lose..." chimes in Vice.
"Your optimism is encouraging... however, the odds are against us," says Ronway. He says we are still too weak. "Fortunately, antagonism between Barbatos and the anti-government supporters is increasing. If Barbatos is going to move, he will first destroy the anti-government forces. This is our only chance!!"
Leonard and Ronway explains our goal is to persuade the people of Baramus to fight against Gargastan. Sounds like if we do this, it might change the tide of battle. We might finally win equality for the Walstanians!
Once we're gone, Ronway tells Leonard not to fail him.
"Everything is moving according to your plan... do not worry..."
Why do I get the feeling everything is not as it seems?
Lans H (Lans Hamilton) stands outside◊ when we come to talk to him. He greets us◊ and asks us how we knew he was there. We say Guildus told us. Lans asks us if something is bothering us.
We say Leonard told us the mission would be dangerous. He asks if we're scared.
"Don't feel embarrassed. Everyone gets scared."
"Sir Lans, do you get scared?"
"Of course. Every time I go into battle my body shakes with fear. But then I think, 'I can't die here. I have to live.' Somehow the thought eases my fears."
"Can't die here... but I always thought I would die for a revolution... and yet I realize I fear death..."
"Risking your life and dying are two completely different things. If you are really concerned about people, then you should not die. You have to see where this battle will take you... besides, you have a sister. You have to live for her."
"How about you, Sir Lans? Is there someone that you live for?"
In response, he pulls out a music box that starts to play a haunting and beautiful melody.◊
This sequence makes more sense if you played the original Ogre Battle. He's talking about the old Zenobian empire he helped overthrow.
"I live to carry on the memory of my late wife... four or five years ago. Before the war against the empire. We were chased by the empire's men and during our journey, my wife got sick and died... I can't remember how many times I considered killing myself. Especially before the battle. Then I listen to the music box that my wife left me. It reminds me of how precious life is... it tells me that I have to live. I have to carry on..."
"...to live," mutters Orcus.
Lans puts the box away.
"I hope the day will come when... a young lad like yourself does not have to fight..."
And... fade out.
That Lans Hamilton seems like a real nice guy. Thought it makes you wonder what he got banned for... I mean, he helped the current emperor gain power... what could he have done to be banished?
Next time: we begin our trek to Baramus!
That scene is surprisingly effective. Also, hooray, a person with more Tactics Ogre tracks! I may start replacing some old ones with ones from this guy. Doing this, I realized in Part 6 I accidentally linked to the "kick ass for the lord" video before I made the joke. Fixed, though it doesn't really mater now. *sigh*