Part Twenty-One: The two moles
Leviathon is a hard battle, but we manage to subdue it. Back to the plot!
At the base of the Tower of Trials we find Jinnai confronted by his brother Tobikage and four ninja mooks. The party is forced to make a choice, and Nacht chooses to defend Jinnai.
The resulting boss fight isn't too hard. Tobikage teleports away, because bosses can do that while mooks just die.
With some prompting, Jinnai tells us the story of what happened in Burtgang from his point of view. The clan elder told them that Burtgang was planning an invasion, and they struck preemptively to prevent it. Jinnai lost several of his friends during the storming of the castle and eventually his arm to Gawain.
Later, he overheard the Elder talking to a woman with elaborately styled white hair who congratulated him on furthering the Empire's interests.
He says he has to climb this tower and Nacht promises to help him get to the top. Up we go.
Partway up we run into Tobi again. He has an ability called Stoneskin that makes him completely invulnerable, so we are forced to use Jinnai's Smoke Bomb ability and flee. Tobi seems rather pumped up at the thought of the "hunt
These people need to find a new hobby.
Further along we again run into Tobi. This time he makes 3 duplicates of himself. Attacking the wrong one results in a counterattack. This battle is winnable, although it hurts a few times. Tobi tells Jinnai that he can still be forgiven. If he kills Nacht and friends he'll be given amnesty for his crimes.
Well, that's worrisome, but Nacht is a keep-your-promises kind of guy so we keep climbing.
At the top we find the Hagakure jewel, which Diana identifies as a crystal. After we snag it and verify it's unharmed Tobi shows up. Jinnai insists on fighting him alone.
This boss fight is a foregone conclusion. After a few rounds Jinnai uses an ability that ends it. Tobi congratulates Jinnai on his victory and says he's proud of how strong he's become. ...Weird, not long ago he was salivating at the idea of hunting us.
The Elder shows up, and he's pretty furious that Tobi has "betrayed" him, too. Now we have a boss fight for real.
The Elder Turns Red
twice during this battle. The first time he buffs up his stats and starts unleashing more powerful ninja attacks. The second time a Mind Parasite comes pouring out of his mouth and his attacks change completely. His favorite trick is to cast Deshell on everyone and then follow up with Blizzaga or Firaga. Ouch.
Haste + Curaja carries the day here, but it's a near thing.
After defeat, the elder snaps out of his control and apologizes to Jinnai and Tobi. The woman we saw in the flashback shows up and freezes him solid before he can continue.
She introduces herself as Cocytus, one of the divine generals. Jinnai leaps at her in rage, but she freezes him solid, too. Just as she's about to repeat her human ice cube trick on the party, a giant dimensional vortex opens and the four non-ninjas get sucked in.
We reappear in a clearing, where it seems The Mask has saved our butts again. The Crystal starts to glow, and we get the Ninja job.
Nacht is not really sure what to do next, but Alba says she's got this covered. She pulls out the same device that Dusk has been using all along and starts talking into it.
...I did not see that coming.
She says we need to go and unseal the ultimate magic.
Back to the Light Warriors. The Imperial airship is still in pursuit and is now gaining on Lugae's craft. It pulls up alongside it and throws a chain and hook into ours and start boarding. After a battle, Lugae tells us to keep them busy and he'll take care of the chain. He lets go of the wheel, saying that Argy is the airship now.
The party lures the Imperials away from the chain and Lugae sneaks over and removes the hook. We're free, but the airship is still right behind us. Dusk grabs the wheel and takes us up, up, up...
Above the clouds and to the Floating Continent
We dock here. Eve is in the back cabin of the airship and is now alive and, well, essentially the ship
. Going into town, all the white and black mages here seem to know "Lord Dusk" and inquire about "Lady Alba." In the largest structure in town we find the "Great Elder", who turns out to be a little girl named Sophia.
Sol calls her out on being so young (specifically by calling her "gaunt girl"), which turns out to be a stupid idea. She blasts him with lightning.
She tells us that the Mysidians knew that the crystals were in danger and so sent out Dusk and Alba to protect them. Dusk confirms that they got captured on purpose in order to get close to the Lux crystal. Sophia also says that the world is soon going to rejoin.
Before she can go into too much detail on that, however, the island starts shaking. It seems that the Empire has caught up to us. Sol volunteers to get rid of them.
The mages are all panicking because their magic does no good from the outside of the airship. We board Lugae's ship and ask him to drop us off on the deck.
The airship is the gigantic one we sabotaged back with Eve. It seems they've finished it. We give Lugae Dusk's whispergrass, which will allow him to communicate with us as we infilatrate the airship. Eve and Lugae drop us off on the deck and we make for the engine room.
At three points we come across locked doors, but each time Lugae can tell us the access code. At the third door three Argy 2's hop out and ambush us. They smack us around a bit before the battle ends. Eve starts talking through the whispergrass telling her "sisters" not to hurt her friends. Sol wants to use their distraction to destroy them, but Sarah tells him to leave them alone. She tells Eve to keep talking to them and we leave the whispergrass here.
Before we can get much further we run into Vata. He wants to know if we're still all talk and initiates a boss fight. Halfway in he says something about someone being too early, but Sol dismisses this as nonsense.
After we beat him he collapses across the doorway, blocking our progress in that direction. Fortunately, there is another door.
This door leads us to the engine room where we find Shango waiting for us. Sarah demands to know what happened to Gawain and Shango says he fought well for a human. Enraged, she declares him an enemy of Burtgang and we attack him.
...Which was a mistake because he creams us. Ow. I think I felt that through the screen.
He's about to finish us off when the engine room starts exploding. Shango wants to know what's going on and Dusk tells him that they were just decoys and that the real plan has gone off without a hitch. Shango teleports out, presumably to look for the saboteur. Not smart of him to leave us breathing, but I won't complain.
Dusk says the decoy thing was just a ruse and he has no idea what's really going on. But now we need to get the heck out of the airship before it crashes and/or blows up.
Vata's body is no longer blocking the other exit, so we go that way. We find Cid powering up his escape craft. We tell him he's taking us with him, and in response he summons three more Argy 2's. The joke's on him, though, as these are the same Argys as earlier, and they turn on him to protect their friends. Cid graceless accepts that he's lost and agrees to take us with him.
Unfortunately, his airship won't start. Sol and company race for the deck while Cid refuses to budge. The Argys stay because this is their home.
After we leave, Cid reflects on how ironic it is that his life is going to end here onboard his greatest creation. The Argys, however, declare that they're going to protect their friend, Master Cid, and surround him.
Onboard the deck it seems like Lugae may have retreated, but before we can crash his airship comes up alongside us. But because things never go smoothly for the heroes, he has no way to reach us. Vata shows up and tells us we're being idiots. he changes his job to Dragoon and jumps the gap to Lugae's ship. After a moment, Sol and the others follow.
They all land safely but an explosion from the Imperial airship causes Sarah to fall from the airship. Sol begs Lugae and Eve to save her, but Lugae says we can't just turn around at this speed.
And the chapter ends. Next time: Unsealing the ultimate magic.