Well, we've gotta head back to Troia now. Which, like the beginning of the chapter, involves lots of walking and a Chocobo. When we cross the river, we head straight to the Epopts.
Leonora: I have returned from the Tower of Trials.
Epopt: Ah, Leonora. You're back rather soon. And the Monastic Seal...?
Leonora: Yes. I touched the tower's stone plinth with this very hand.
Epopt: Very good. I knew you had the right sort of potential within yourself.
Leonora: No... it was all thanks to Palom.
Palom: Well, I should say so. If Porom were here instead of me, Leonora would've come back here in a coffin.
Epopt: What do you mean by that, Lord Palom?
Palom: Why does the Tower of Trials have monsters and guardians and all that inside?
Palom: Why do the Epopts need black magic? Why does Troia need it, for that matter?
Epopt: We Troians need a way to protect ourselves.
Palom: What, are you saying your Crystal might get swiped again?
Epopt: There is always the possibility of that.
Epopt: We have reports from across the globe about a certain kingdom engaging in suspicious behavior...
Palom: Oh? Which kingdom is that?
Palom: You don't mean...
Epopt: Yes. We are speaking of Baron.
Palom: What!? You've got to be kidding me!
Epopt: It is unfortunately the truth, Lord Palom.
Palom: That's ridiculous... Cecil'd never do anything like that!
He runs out.
Leonora: Palom...? Please excuse him. He must be tired from his long journey. It's my fault for giving him a great deal of trouble.
Epopt: Leonora... Well, I'm sure you're tired as well. Feel free to go. Take this time to rest your body.
Leonora: ...Yes. Thank you.
Leonora leaves and joins Palom, who's outside.
Leonora: Palom... I'm sorry.
Palom: You don't need to apologize for anything.
Palom: Look, it may be true that the Epopts need a way to protect themselves and the Crystal. But I refuse to believe what they said about Baron... or Cecil...
You're the only person who said anything
Leonora: A-are you all right? Perhaps you're just tired, Palom. We should probably both get some rest...
Leonora leads Palom to the infirmary, which now has a Save Point in it for some reason.
Leonora: Here, feel free to use this room as you like.
Palom: Man, what's that smell?
Leonora: This is the castle's infirmary.
Palom: Okay, that makes sense then. I guess you want to cure this filthy mouth of mine.
Leonora: Troia castle is usually off-limits to men, so this was the only room I could find for you...
Palom: You've got to be tired too by now. Get some sleep already.
Leonora: ...All right.
Palom gets in bed and goes to sleep.
Leonora: Um... I... Good night. And... thank you, Palom.
Palom: (There was a time when Baron took away the Crystals by force, no doubt about that... Cecil himself took the Water Crystal away from Mysidia, no less. But that was all the work of Golbez, in the end. And Golbez is gone... he went away with the moon. ...!)
Looks like someone's figured out that the second moon is more than just a bad omen.
Palom: The moon! That's it! I can't stay here anymore!
Leonora runs in.
Palom: What is it!?
Leonora: Ah... I'm sorry if I woke you up. I... You might not believe me about this, but...
Palom: What is it?
Leonora: The Crystal... It's afraid.
Palom: I knew it.
Leonora: You felt it, too, Palom?
Palom: Where is the Crystal?
Leonora: Beyond the Epopts' chamber.
Palom: Let's go!
Back to the Epopts!
Leonora: I've brought Lord Palom with me!
Epopt: Lord Palom, I'm afraid I have some distressing news. A number of airships from Baron are approaching Troia as we speak.
Epopt: It seems clear that their objective is the Earth Crystal we possess.
Palom: So you want me to fight back against them?
Epopt: We are not asking that. We must wait to see what their next move is.
Palom: Look... you're underestimating what Baron could do. Let me keep the Crystal for you.
Epopt: What are you going to do with the Crystal?
Palom: I'm not going to do anything with it. Do not engage Baron's soldiers, okay? Tell them some bandit stole the Crystal or something.
Leonora: I'm going with you!
Palom: You'd just get in my way.
Leonora: I am an Epopt who serves the Earth Crystal. I know I don't have much experience, but... but still! I have a duty to fulfill! A duty to protect the Crystal!
Palom: You've said it now...
Epopt: Very well. Leonora, we will entrust the Crystal to you.
Leonora: I will make sure it is safe!
Leonora heads to the Crystal Chamber. We follow.
Leonora: I will go get the Crystal.
She grabs it.
Leonora: We need to hurry.
She starts to head out.
Palom: Stop! Not that way!
We see the Epopts' Chamber again, where the seven are graced with the appearance of the Mysterious Bitch.
Mysterious Girl: Where is the Earth Crystal?
Epopt: What purpose do you have for the Earth Crystal?
Mysterious Girl: Is there a reason why I must tell you?
Epopt: The Earth Crystal is a symbol of Troia itself. I'm afraid we cannot simply give it up to someone so easily. Is this what Cecil, the king of Baron, has in mind?
Mysterious Girl: I have no need to answer to an inferior species.
Epopt: Inferior species!? Are you trying to insult us!?
Mysterious Girl: I am not here to argue with you. Where is the Crystal?
Back in the Crystal Chamber...
Palom: We're too late. There's no place to run!
Leonora: ...This way!
She shows us a hidden path.
Palom: A hidden passage!?
Leonora: The Epopts built this escape route in case anything like this ever happened.
Palom: They thought of everything, didn't they?
Well, down we go.
Leonora: I'm sure it won't be long before they find this passageway.
Palom: Then we'll have to run as far as we can before that happens. So where's this path lead to?
Leonora: It runs underground to an exit near the castle entrance.
Palom: Good. Then let's keep moving until we get out.
The path leads us to some Ice Arrows that we equip on Palom, then to the Troia Castle Waterway. Challengingway's here to sell us stuff. I grab some extra Tents just in case.
The first area of the waterway has a fork in the path. One path leads into the water where we find a Great Bow and Lightning Arrows (even better than the Ice Arrows for most of this dungeon), the other path leads us to a healing pot and the next area.
After a battle in the second area, Palom learns Toad and Leonora learns Silence. There's not much here, and the area ends with a Save Point.
Into the third area then. Another fork in the path here. The "wrong way" leads to a Rune Armlet. A nice increase, and anything that protects against Silence is a boon in this tale.
We proceed to the final area. Here we find... a Ruby Ring? Huh? Ruby Rings are garbage! The only thing that gives them any kind of advantage is that they're non-metallic!
Wait a sec. Non- metallic... Oh Crap
, we're not going there
are we? I hate that place!
Well, let's head out. We end up right outside the castle gates.
Palom: Any pursuers? ...No. Looks like they're still in the castle.
Leonora: What about the Epopts?
Palom: They aren't stupid, you know. I'm sure they won't do anything to escalate the situation.
Palom: You respect them, don't you?
Palom: So have faith in them.
Leonora: ...I will do that.
Palom: Come on. We need to leave the castle.
We head further out.
Palom: So where's a good place for us to run to?
Leonora: How about the lodestone cavern? We'll have a way to keep the pursuers at bay there.
Palom: Where is that?
Leonora: Northeast of Troia. We can take a black chocobo from the chocobo village. We can't have anything metallic equipped in that cave, though. We should restock in town first.
Palom: Sounds like a plan.
Fine, we'll go to crap-gimmick cavern. Next time.
Leonora: Lv 20 HP:477 MP:132 Strength:16 Speed:9 Stamina:13 Intellect:17 Spirit:33 Attack:17 (3x55% Accuracy) Defence:19 (1x28% Evasion) Magic Defence:18 (1x24% Evasion)
Palom: Lv 23 HP:642 MP:252 Strength:20 Speed:12 Stamina:13 Intellect:33 Spirit:20 Attack:35 (3x80% Accuracy) Defence:18 (1x27% Evasion) Magic Defence:14 (1x20% Evasion)