I only have to move one space to get to the Witch Village. No battles in between. Looks like it’s finally time to see what’s up. I enter the area.
Mel tells us that this is the entrance to the village. She’s going to remove the seal so that we can get in. She says some kind of spell, and the background changes to a deep forest with moss-covered buildings visible.
Cecille says that she feels relaxed, even though she was worried before. It’s almost as if she’s been here before. But that’s impossible, right? As if to drive the point in further, she thinks she hears someone say “welcome back.”
Lucia seems to have run off somewhere, and Mel notices that the village seems awfully quiet. She calls out to see if anyone’s there, but it doesn’t seem so. The usual screen pops up. I select “action.” I can talk to Theo, Cecille, or Leon. I pick Theo first. He’s still nervous about what Hugo and Andre said. The group thinks about their mission, and how they’re supposedly traitors now. Alph says that Heath always taught them to protect the people closest to them. He doesn’t think that that was wrong.
I talk to Cecille next. She says that she was worried about the forest before, but now it’s not so bad. It feels like time has stopped here, and we could just forget about everything that’s happened.
Leon is worried about Cecille. She seems to be acting different lately. Nicolai tries to ask her, but he just ends up looking stupid. Because, you know, he’s Nicolai. Mel does say that it seems like the forest is welcoming her, more so than the rest of us. Odd, isn’t it?
I briefly return to the world map to save, as well as messing a bit with equipment. I then return to the village and continue on.
I see a little girl saying “there she is!” Another little girl shows up, and says “Lady Claire!” Actually, these are the same little girls from the very beginning of the game. They seem to be young Witches, or something.
An elegant-looking woman shows up, and says that she was waiting for us. (She looks like this◊, by the way.) She says that she’s Claire, the Thunder Witch, and the leader of the Witches. Nicolai, of course, goes nuts, but he’s ignored. Claire says that before we can enter, she’ll have to test our strength. She wants to see if we’re the ones that the planet has chosen. All of a sudden, Mavi and Vivi warp in. Yup, this means I’ll have to fight all three of them. It’s not going to be easy – I had quite a bit of trouble with it on my last playthrough.
Funny enough, when I get to my character picking screen, I find that I can bring in Mel. Not Lucia, though, because she ran off once we got to the village. Just a reminder, here are the levels of my characters. Alph and Theo are 22, Leon and Mel are 23, Saki and Nicolai are 21, and Cecille is 19.
Anyway, I go into the fight. The first thing I do is save, because like I said, I had trouble with this on my first playthrough. I don’t have to want to sit through that scene again if I lose.
Vivi moves first, and attacks Theo, Mel, and Nicolai with a wind spell. After that, it’s Saki’s turn. Before I move, I scout out the map. We’ve got all three Witches, as well as two wind Kopins and two nature Kopins (Fukopins and Kikopins).
I try to remember what I did last time. I think I went after Vivi first, followed by Mavi and then Claire. The Kopins were a pain, so I just took them out whenever I could. Vivi is the fastest, so it makes sense to take her out first. I’ll try and do that.
Saki runs over, attacks her, and levels to 22. Mavi tries to put Cecille and Mel to sleep, but it only works on Cecille. That’s still a problem, so I have Theo wake her up.
It appears that the spell also damaged Mel. But right now, it’s Leon’s turn, so he goes over and attacks Vivi.
The Fukopins are moving forward, but they only seem to use weak wind spells. Alph attacks Vivi, levels to 23, and learns a new skill. Claire moves forward, but is too far away to do anything. Nicolai finishes Vivi, and levels to 22. Mel moves forward and heals pretty much everyone who’s been damaged. This is going pretty well. I wonder why it was so hard last time?
My guys start going after Mavi now. Mavi’s next turn has her using her sleep spell, but it only affects Leon. Alph attacks her, and Theo wakes up Leon. Leon attacks Mavi as well. The two Kikopins attack, positioning themselves in a row. I have Saki attack both of them.
Claire attacks next, doing a whole lot of damage to Nicolai. Ouch. I have Cecille finish off Mavi, leveling her to 20. ‘Bout time.
Alph attacks a Fukopin, and Theo goes after Claire. He is then killed by a Fukopin. Then Saki dies. Also, Claire attacks Mel and Nicolai. Nicolai is badly hurt, but still alive. Leon uses a Holy Wing on Saki, because she needs more experience anyway.
OK, these Kopins are starting to be a real pain. One of them kills Nicolai. Thankfully, it’s Mel’s turn, and she heals herself, Leon, and Saki. Alph kills a Fukopin and levels to 24.
Claire heals a wounded Kikopin. Then I have Saki attack her with a flash drive. She’s got a serious dent in her health by now. Because I’m so evil, I have Mel take her out. She levels to 24. Leon takes out a Kikopin with a flash drive, and levels to 24. There’s just one of each kind of Kopin left.
I wonder why this is so easy. Were my guys just higher levels than they were last time? Or am I just better at the game? I’m really not sure.
Saki levels to 23 at some point. It doesn’t take long for me to take the Kopins out. I’m glad things went so well for me this time.
Anyway, my spoils are 2400 Rico, a Tiara, a Red Rock, an Opal Band, and a FP-Max. I decide to intermission with Theo.
After the battle, Claire tells us that she’s sorry for her rudeness. Leon was worried that they’d tricked us, and Mavi apologizes for that. Claire welcomes us to the Witch Village. Somehow, she also knows all our names.
Alph gets straight to the point, and asks us about how to undo Theo’s curse. But she tells us that it’s not a curse – it’s meant to return Theo to his original form. So it sounds like Vanessa was serious about the two of them being dragons. Everyone’s pretty surprised about that, especially them. Claire tells us that the power of the Rune can be neutralized by the Draconic Geode. That’s what Lucia was telling us before, wasn’t it? Claire also says that Lucia has gone to get it. Lucia apparently feels guilty about what happened to Theo, so she went to go get it.
Strangely enough, the game never gives this any more explanation. If they're dragons, then why did they look human in the first place? Did the Church use magic on them or something? The answer is never given. How infuriating.
Mel seems horrified, though. The only place you can get that is by a nearby volcano. Claire thought she’d be fine, but judging by Mel’s reaction, I doubt that’s the case. So the group runs off to go help her.
Claire starts to worry too, wondering if she made a mistake in sending Lucia alone. She seems to have very low confidence in her status as leader. The two little girls (it says their names are Alice and Therese) try to cheer her up, but she just keeps crying.
Time for my intermission. Theo says that after that hard work, he’s really hungry now. He asks what’s for dinner. My choices are meat, vegetables, or eggs. I know Theo loves eggs, so I’ll pick that. He seems happy, but strangely enough, that’s not the answer. Guess it was too obvious.
Kopin says that apparently, he’s a good stress reliever. Apparently, Vanessa was angry about something. The picture is of him being squeezed like a stress ball. “Squish squish, squish squish.”
I have one battle to go before I can get to the volcano. But since the chapter has ended, it’s time for me to stop. Well, the Witches actually seem pretty nice. And the Church was being pretty horrible the last time we met them. Maybe things aren’t so simple after all?
Keep checking the liveblog. I’ve got plenty of time, so I’ll try to update regularly.