Training the Recruits (and the player)
So, last time our heroes "rescued" a captive maybe-noblewoman who may or may not get sold into slavery. Let's see where we go from there, shall we?
About one day after the last scene, our mystery girl awakens. Giulio greets her with a "good morning" despite it being 5:30 PM, and he and Noah explain things. They introduce themselves, but the girl takes a moment to say her own name (it's Alissa, by the way).
The game then cuts to a map screen with narration, and since it doesn't autoscroll I'm going to transcribe it:
The Empire of Gargania... This empire has been ruled by the Delacroix family for generations. Within the empire, the Leonicians, a despised minority, dwell in squalor. Gentrified into slums and called "Cursed People," they struggle to survive.
Giulio "kidnapped" a noble girl as part of an Esperanza operation. The "noble" girl... Her nobility means she's Daltan, the oppressors of the Leonicians. The appearance of this unwanted guest causes tension in Esperanza.
Just who is this girl?
After all that, we cut back to the hideout, where Ragnus and Paulo are speaking with Alissa. She's unable to answer any of Ragnus's questions, except to say that she's sixteen.
Ragnus has already sent for a slaver, but there's still some time before he'll arrive. His reasoning is that they can't harbour a noble who won't explain herself.
Paulo, at the very least, is happy to have her around, if only because she's a beautiful maiden
At any rate, Giulio decides to talk to Ragnus about the issue. He isn't about to work with slavers, because he doesn't trust them in the slightest. Wile the group is discussing this turn of events, Alissa decides to speak up on an important matter: she still has no idea who these people she's been talking with for the past fifteen minutes are.
The group proceeds to explain themselves. There's absolutely nothing unusual about Esperanza—they're just your standard underground group of plucky rebels against the oppressive Empire. Giulio assures Alissa that they're not about to harm her, and asks her if there's some reason that she can't tell them anything. There is, of course, but we're not about to learn it.
Some time later, on the seventh morning of the actually reasonably-named month of Wodan, Giulio, Noah, Claude, and Teresa are training some new recruits. They split into two teams for a drill, which is how we're going to throw a battle into this chapter.
To win this one I just have to bring Noah down in four days.
This time around, the game elects to explain what Aces do: each selectable Ace will reduce the Delay for certain units. In this case, I choose Giulio again because Teresa's bonus doesn't apply to any units that are actually on my team. Giulio, on the other hand, will decrease Teresa's Delay by 1.
I then go to deployment. Even Sting couldn't think of a way to mix this up, so I just deploy Teresa and get started.
As soon as the map begins, the game explains that loot will appear on each map based on my performance in the previous fight.
I immediately move Giulio onto a Base tile, which raises my maximum Tactics Points when captured. The game also explains that Tactics Points are gained by moving and can raise the damage my units deal. Teresa moves toward the chest on this map when my next turn comes up.
Giulio's next action is to attack an assassin on Noah's team, prompting the game to explain Beat attacks. Basically, I can spend Tactics Points to have multiple characters gang up on one enemy. Unfortunately, I don't get to try it out because I made Giulio drop farther than his Jump allowed.
I make a few stupid mistakes over the next few turns (including not realizing that you have to attack treasure chests to open them), but I also learn how to advance time to keep my units from having to act when they aren't ready.
I get over my own stupidity soon enough, though, and Giulio gains tactics power (whatever that is) from using skills that match his specialty.
By the time night falls, my team has brought down two of Noah's troops, with a third soon to follow. Giulio has dropped to the lowest parts of the map to engage Claude, while Teresa makes progress on the chest she's been fighting (which is destroyed early in the night).
Giulio later gets distracted by a second chest, which takes three strikes from his sword to destroy. Teresa and my generics, meanwhile, engage Noah, who doesn't have much in the way of constitution and is soon forced to flee.
Once it becomes clear that Noah is going to fall, I move Teresa to attack Claude, hoping to get some extra experience off of him before the battle ends (he blocked the attack, but Teresa did master the Abyssal Edge attack on her cutlass). One of my teammates then strikes Noah down to end the fight.
Meanwhile, Alissa is helping Fiona at her tavern. Alissa seems impressed that Fiona handles all the cooking.
Anyway, the team conveniently finishes around then, so Alissa heads out to call everyone for food.
The trainees (plus Noah) practically storm the tavern, knocking Alissa down in the process. The scene ends with the remaining members of the group heading inside for food.
The only thing worth doing on the setup screen was removing the Blunt Sword, which proved to be useless. Without it weighing him down, Giulio should be able to take turns much faster.
Man, that was a dull chapter. Maybe the next one will be more interesting.