Tips & Hints Introduction

Welcome to the Tips & Hints page.

Some games can sure put you into really tough spots, huh? What pattern should I against this enemy in Fate/ Extra? How do I make progress in Fury Mode on Muramasa Rebirth? How do I defeat that damn Vale in Deception IV? How do I do ANYTHING in Dark Souls?

Now challenges are part of the game. Playing a game that’s too easy is just boring, right? So these games are expected to give you a certain level of challenge. Keep you from mindlessly mashing that attack button and use your brain to try and get things done. Some games, however, can get overall infuriating when you get stuck and can’t progress.

Well, that’s what this page is for.

I used to be a notorious cheater. Every game I got, I’d cheat the hell out of it. In fact, cheats would be the first thing I’d look up because some games almost seemed to be nigh impossible without them. Nowadays, I’ve calmed down with that. While I do do things like find cheats and look up walkthroughs, I now have a strict set of rules for it. I may not cheat unless:

  1. I’ve accomplished the feat myself and earned the right to cheat the hell out of it. For example: Using invincibility mode or something like that. Or,
  2. I’m really, REALLY stuck and can’t figure it out, thus need a hint or something to carry on.

In doing so, either by watching Let’s Plays, or playing the game myself, I have devised strategies and even some guides to help myself through some tough spots, so I figured, why not share it. Though, this isn’t going to be all me. Just like with my Mythology Facts page, I will get some of this stuff from outside sources. In this case, I will note where I got it from and thus, who deserves credit for the helpful insight.

Not only that, once again, like my Mythology Facts page, I intend for this page to be communal. If you’ve got your own tips for a particular subject on this page, feel free to let us know and I’ll even add it to the page crediting you. If I got something wrong, or something could be done to do better, you make note of that too. Just remember to keep it constructing and non-abusive. You just sound like a jerk and a smartass otherwise.

As always, keep the comments fair and abuse free. I reserve the right to delete abusive comments and should they be severe enough, ban the user. Enjoy the page!

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Mythology Facts Introduction

Welcome to the Mythology Facts page.

The point of this page is to provide insight to mythological tales and expand your mind regarding the various monsters and heroes within the world’s mythologies.

If you don’t know by now that I’m a HUGE mythology geek, welcome, you must be new.

We people of the modern age have our minds clouded by popular culture regarding what we learn about mythology. We’re taught things that monsters are evil and heroes are good. We learn demons are horrid creatures wishing to corrupt our souls, while angels try to save and protect us. You’d be surprised how little of that is true.

With this page, I intend to dispell all of those Sunday School versions of myths, most of which will be taken from various sources which I’ll make a note of. Also note, that in some cases, what I may express is more opinion based from what I’ve learned.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Aegis, what does mythology have to do with gaming?” Surprisingly, a lot. In fact, some of the best games, fantasy especially, take influence from mythology. Not all of them, mind you. But tell me if these sound familiar.

Orcs

Elves

Dwarves

Valkyries

Cerberus

Hydra

Dragons

Unicorns

Oni

Fairies

Believe it or not, all these elements which occur SO much actually have a mythological basis. As I just mentioned, fantasy especially borrows from mythology when bringing in various races and monsters.

Before anyone says it though, no, I’m not using this as a loophole. This is mainly for aspiring game developers who wish to make a game, but have trouble with certain elements or evenn may not have elements right.

Believe it or not, I was once like everyone else here. I grew up on the Sunday School variations of these mythological tales. I grew up believing Medusa was an evil bitch, that Banshee were shrieking old hags, that Vampires were the undead. But then I was exposed to something that made me question that perception. You’ve all have to have heard the name once before, especially if you read my review of the spin-off game. I’m talking about Fate/ Stay Night.

A friend of mind once brought the anime adaption of the visual novel over. This was before I even knew what a visual novel was. Needless to say, we were enticed by it. I’d known about the series beforehand, but never really new the premise of it. In the end, we were a single episode short and I had to download and watch the final episode myself. After which, I took to Wikipedia like a bullet to learn about more of the Servants.

Now, for those not familiar with it, the Fate series uses D&D based alignments regarding Servants and their behaviour. Lawful Good, True Neutral, Chaotic Evil, that sort of stuff. I was surprised to learn that Rider, who turned out to be Medusa, turned out to be Chaotic Good, an alignment that’ll do whatever it takes to do what they believe is right. Thinking on it, I realized it actually made sense. Medusa never went out of her way to turn people to stone. Everyone she ever killed came to kill her.

My perceptions were thrown out of whack and I ended up wanting to actually properly learn this stuff whenever it came to be, and before long, my interest in mythology started to turn more towards the monsters. If it wasn’t for that anime, and afterwards the visual novel it came from, I wouldn’t have come up with ideas like Metanauts Arcana.

So that’s what this page is for. To enlighten you all on better informed details, uncorrupted by popular culture, Christian demonisations and the (Alternate) History Channel. Who knows, maybe this page will inspire you just as Fate/ Stay Night inspired me.

Now, I’ve been dumping all this on you all for a while now, so I’ll leave you all with more more thing. While I’m a mythology geek, I don’t consider myself an expert. Far from it. There’s still a LOT I have to learn. That said, I intend for this page to be more communal than the others. If I get something wrong, feel free to correct me. If you have an opinion, feel free to express it. Just don’t be rude or antagonistic about it. Things like ‘Are you stupid or something?’ never encourages people to listen to your opinion.

As always, keep the comments fair and abuse free. I reserve the rights to delete any abusive comments and should it be severe enough, ban the user. Enjoy the page!

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News Introduction

Welcome to the News page.

Despite what the name says, the chances of anything referring to release dates or or updates regarding games isn’t that big. That said, it’s not an impossibility either.

The mains purpose of the News page is to inform you guys if something happens if I haven’t, or can’t post for a while. You’re not gonna find much in the way of articles on this page. More often that not, it’ll be just me making excuses for bouts of inactivity.

That said, though, this page isn’t just gonna be me making excuse after excuse. It’ll also be for providing my thoughts on certain subjects. This may be game related or not, but there’ll almost always be something here.

If I ever become bigger, I may start posting things like upcoming cons or give you all the latest and greatest gaming news, but for now, this is mostly just so I don’t mess up articles with explanations and thoughts. It may also be where I bought thoughts on game I reviewed that I forgot to put in the review itself.

As always, please keep comments fair and abuse free. I reserve the right to delete any abusive comments and should it be severe enough, ban the user.

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My Projects Introduction

 

Welcome to the My Projects page.

The purpose of this page is to pitch and report progress on game I, myself, want to make or am currently developing.

I remember the day I first got into doing this. When I was young, I was a huge fan of Power Rangers (Keep in mind, this was LONG before I was even aware of the Sentai genre or even the show that spawned it). One day, I got an annual with a competition in it. Create your own Power Ranger. It was exclusively for occupants of the USA, but I did it anyway. I discovered a passion for creating characters.

Originally, the intent was to make characters for whatever I liked and sell them off later while I do other work. However, in my last year of high school, I met my best friend, and we started each other on the path of making our own works. While we don’t always work on things together anymore, he was a major influence in my decision to ultimately become a game designer and has even got me some of the programs I can use to start making my own games. So here we are.

With this, I will give information on various projects I create, which will ultimately be given a page for themselves for greater detail.

Please enjoy this page and keep projects fair and abuse free. I reserve the right to delete comments I deem absusive or even ban the user.

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Campaigns Introduction

 

Welcome to the Campaigns Page

The intent of this page is to bring attention to campaigns for games being funded on sites such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter. As well as post updates on said projects. This was sort of a ‘service’ which I provided on Facebook, a sort of attempt to support the project despite being unable donate funds myself.

This page may see more use than either the Reviews or My Project’s pages as I will probably keep my eye on multiple projects throughout my career as a blogger.

As to why I would make such a page? Well, it would be nice to learn about a project your interested in before it’s time is up, yes? And it may be tedious to go back to the page constantly to see how it’s doing. Allow me to take up that tedium for you.

Projects I’ve tried to back this way include:

Mighty No. 9 (Sorta out but delayed)

Night Cry (Out now)

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Fully Funded)

CrossCode (Out on Early Access)

Indivisible (On Demand)

I wish to continue this tradition while providing news to my readers about said projects. I hope you will all consider donating to these games and please let me know if there’s a campaign that you wish me to give a shout out too.

Please enjoy this page and please keep comments fair and abuse free. I reserve the rights to delete any abusive comments or ban the user.

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Reviews Introduction

 

Welcome to the Reviews page

Here you will find the reviews and impressions of all the games and demos I’ve played.

Keep in mind however, that any critic or reviewer worth their salt will acknowledge that these are only opinions. This is merely to give you an idea of the games and if they may grab your attention. My taste in games may not be your taste in games.

For example, while I hold the Shin Megami Tensei series in high regards, you may not feel the same. That being said, I do intend to keep my judgements as fair as possible. I will try to be objective. Tell you what I enjoyed about the game, what I didn’t enjoy. What I thought was perfect, what I thought they could improve upon.

On that note, ultimately the intent is to give you an idea as to whether or not a game is worth your time buying or renting, or if you’ll just give it a pass.

Please enjoy this page, and please keep the comments fair and abuse free. I reserve the rights to delete any abusive comments and should it be severe enough, ban the user.

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Sonic Forces – A Step in the Right Direction

Today’s game is a bit of an interesting one because.. it’s of a franchise that I haven’t played in well over a decade. Sonic the Hedgehog.

I got into video games sometime after the video game crash, my first console being the NES, though for us, it related more to the Japanese Famicom (We called them Famiclones). However, it wasn’t too long after that I transitioned over to Sega with the Sega Megadrive (Genesis in the US), so naturally I played a lot of Sonic games as a result. I never FINISHED any of them, but I was a Sonic fan mostly from his second game onward. However, I wouldn’t improve on Consoles until the release of the Playstation, so I ended up falling out of the ring.

The Playstation was where I truly discovered my love for story in games, and especially my favourite genre of RPGs (again, even though technically I played Pokemon before then). So, as you can imagine, I ended up falling out of touch with the blue blur… mostly for better as I understand. The Sonic games coming out around the time were TERRIBLE, or at best, gave people mixed reactions, while Mario had still been going strong.

My theory as to why is this: Sonic’s major problem is he wasn’t really as flexable as Mario. Mario was pretty fleshed out to the point where he even goes well in genres outside of platforming. RPGs, racing games, hell, even the fighting genre technically. Mario was able to fit extremely well in most games throne at him. This is probably due to him just being a basic character with a simple design. Sonic, on the other hand, only had the gimmick of going fast. How could you update Sonic to a new era of consoles, especially going off of the 3D craze, and still have that? The results were… interesting.

That’s kinda the word of the day: Interesting. Each Sonic game brought interesting ideas to the table, but couldn’t quite catch up with Nintendo’s little red plumber. In fact, many of them tended to suffer bugs or have crippling design flaws. Even Sonic Boom, a reimagining of the sonic characters, spawned a good TV show, but the game is infamous as one of the worst Sonic games yet, practically painful to go through. The best of the bunch being Unleashed, which had fans split down the middle, but runs HORRIBLY on PS3. This brings us to today’s game, Forces.

Much like Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Forces had fans split down the middle. Some loved it for its darker tone and fixed gameplay, while others hated how braindead easy and short it was.

So, having just been reintroduced to the Sonic franchise after a 20 years absence, I can throw my thoughts into the ring here.

One of the new features Sonic Forces boasts is the ability to create your own character. Truth be told, I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff. I’m always in on games that allow you to create your own protagonist to the story. So, withut further adeiu, I presnet Ahklys the Wolf:

She’s very excited to be here.

Unfortunately, the character creation aspect makes DC Universe Online’s character creation look like Dark Souls. It’s so basic and bland, with limited customisation until you unlock options while you play. Now, to be fair, while Sonic Team is no stranger to character creation (Hello, Phantasy Star), this IS the first time it’s been applied to a Sonic game, so it’s not bad for an experimental feature, but they could’ve at LEAST given you the ability to NAME your character.

How it works is, you pick a species, each with their own special ability, most revolving around rings, then customise their gender and basic colours. The Wolf, for example, has the ability to draw nearby rings to them. However, the lack of definition in body types does make it kinda awkward placing them next to the more defined Sonic characters.

While the concept of having each species having different abilities is novel, they could’ve done more with it. Your avatar uses a weapon called a Wispon to attack enemies and move around the level. Admittedly.. I don’t really like this as a mechanic. There’s nothing wrong with it, as the Wispons are varied and you can try them to your liking, but I would’ve liked it more if your character had powers that made them more definable amoung the Sonic cast. For example, how cool would it be to be a Speed type, like Sonic, or a Strength type like Knuckles. Then, you could have a tech type like Tails and that would be where you would use the Wispon. Still, for a first attempt in a genre that generally doesn’t do character creation, it’s not too bad. I could easily see this becoming standard to the series from here on out like it did for Soul Calibur.

As for the story, and how your character gets into the team, Robotnik, or Eggman, whichever you prefer, unleashes a new weapon, a new villain named Infinite, who defeats Sonic. In the hedgehog’s absence, the world is taken over by Eggman, and the remaining members of Sonic’s team form a resistance, of which you are the latest member. The rest of the game from here on is discovering the nature of Infinite’s powers and retaking the world from Eggman.

Now, despite what Jirard thinks of this story, I think it’s perfectly fine, aside from some hiccups. It did a fine job of reintroducing me to Sonic and introducing me to all the characters I’d missed since the Mega Drive era. And while some would complain about the whole ‘Sonic is dead’ plot lasting almost no time, did you really think they’d seriously kill off the title character the game is named after? Or to not play as him for the whole game? Why, that would be like a Megaman game where you don’t get to play as Megaman. Isn’t that right, Megaman X7?

Though, the game does offer a second Sonic to play as. Classic Sonic. Now, why he would be included in the main story, I have no clue, but one thing is made clear to me during the course of the game. Classic Sonic, and his levels, are a love letter to to golden age of the blue hedgehog. No joke. I felt familiarity in each of his levels, right down to the recreated and updated music. Each level was crafted with love and care, and to me, it didn’t feel at all like they were just trying to play off nostalgia. While some of the same levels were recreated, or even reimagined, it felt like each one was a product of love.

This is part of the whole style of the game. Each level, you either play as Classic Sonic, Modern Sonic, the Avatar, or team made of Modern Sonic and the Avatar. And I’ll be honest, I had a great time. As someone who hadn’t touched a Sonic game, it was challenging enough that I needed to learn what I was doing, yet forgiving enough that I wasn’t stuck on the same level for several hours. I had to learn mechanics that Sonic players up until this point were used to.

That said, the game is rather short. While having over 20 levels, you’re not likely to spend more than a few minutes in each of them, and once I learned the mechanics, it wasn’t hard to get A and even S rankings. And while there are alternate paths, you only have one chance to take them, and the case of the Avatar character, you will often need a different Wispon, and have it powered up, to access them. Miss it and you’ll need to redo the level if you ever want try again. No backtracking. Despite this however, I was done with the main story in two days, and not even that. Most of the second day was just me replaying levels, and the only reason it took that long was I kept dying near the end because I suddenly needed to master walljumping, which was never a thing in previous levels.

That said, the controls are pretty solid… for the most part. The mix between 2D and 3D movement works really well and adds a nice cinematic angle to the game. However, I have had times where such things had lead me to death because I couldn’t make a turn sharp enough, though partly this was my fault, as it didn’t click until much later that the game wanted me to made those sharp adjustments with the shoulder buttons, which was much more responsive than trying to turn with the stick. At the same time though, I’ve noticed that your movement IS more slippery in 2D when using the stick as opposed to the D-pad. This has also lead me to many a death.

Ontop of that, Sonic also has a new boost ability, which allows him to speed through most of the level that fills up either by hitting Wisp pods, or defeating enemies. Thing of it like Speed Break in Sonic and the Secret Rings, only it actually works as intended. In defeats all enemies in your path, which continues to fill the gauge, but leaves you vulnerable to environmental hazards, so knowing when to boost and for how long is helpful skill to learn, lest you end up running off the stage and into a pit of doom.

The avatar’s Wispon gives various combat and platforming abilities depending on what you use. In my case, I favoured the Lightning Wispon, which allows you to attack with an electric whip, or speed through rings like Sonic’s Light Dash in Sonic Adventure 2. The void Whispon, another favourite, allows you to create a black hole that absorbs enemies and rings, and allows you to float through the level as long as the gauge lasts. While this does allow afford you many options, again, I would prefer it if your character could have powers or abilities worthy of the Sonic crew.

After the main campaign was done, I had the desire to tackle the DLC, since it was free… This was..,. less stellar. The Shadow of the Hedgehog DLC details the events before Eggman’s take over, and fleshes out Infinite’s character… But not in a satisfactory way. The DLC only consists of three levels, some Sonic levels made a little harder, and.. it doesn’t exactly define Shadow for me. He just came across as exactly like Sonic. He had no elements that really set him apart. So much so that even though you can play as him in any Sonic or Sonic/ Avatar stage wasn’t really a satisfactory pay off. I didn’t know Shadow that well as a character, so what was the point of playing as him if he was like Sonic anyway.

Not only that, the payoff for Infinite’s backstory.. didn’t make him compelling at all. I came up with something a little better when talking about it with my brother-in-law, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

As for the Super Sonic DLC… well, I used it once and never again. Same Sonic jargan. Collect 50 rings and you turn into Super Sonic, and your Boost gauge becomes infinite. But instead of adding levels that allow you to earn Chaos Emeralds, you just have them and you choose Super Sonic in character selection. I didn’t like it because I felt I didn’t earn it.

However, the biggest problem with this game, is it failed to keep me invested. Now, I’ve been known to play the same game and beat it SEVERAL times before putting it down. I’d calmed down on that for the sake of the blog, but in this game… I couldn’t really keep playing. The game wouldn’t let me experience the story again with the things I’d unlocked so far, so what was I really playing for anymore. Even the SOS missions and their extra challenge of ‘one chance only’, wasn’t really holding my interest. After all, what was I playing for now? To improve a ranking I didn’t care that much for in the first place? This could’ve been fixed SO much with a New Game+ option. But without the option, I ended up finishing my session early because I just didn’t want to keep playing the same short levels over and over.

Even playing as my own character got old because the lack of polish to the character creation and the blank slate style of it ended up making me feel that my character was less a member of the team and was just there. I felt like she was just someone who happened to be running with them, just your average joe, and the lack of being able to experience the story again kind of weakened the growth of being too frightened to pick up a gun to being a badass who could stare the source of her fears in the face and not flinch.

However, with all this, I can’t really say this is a bad game. It brought a lot to the table, and is easily one of the best modern Sonic games considering what I’ve seen other people play. It was probably an experiment on where to take the series next. I’d say that this game wouldn’t be a bad template for future Sonic games, be they classic or not. If you’re a Sonic fan, or someone who’s interested in the series, I’d say it’s at least worth a look.

That said, my own absence is something I shall not excuse, so before I resume Tales of Berseria, I’ll delve into the game that made people fall in love with Sonic all over again.

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Tales of Berseria – Part 7 – Blood is Thicker

Disclaimer: For the purposes of this journal, the main character, Velvet, is semi-replaced with an original character. Nothing else has changed.

While making our way to the nearest town, Laphicet found a stone. At first I turned it away, but it turned out it was a rare metal named brightsteel. Through this, Eizen was able to determine that we were either on Endgand or Islegand, a long way from the Abbey’s control. It was a good find. It helped us narrow our position, but I instruct him to wash his hands. Rare or not, it’s been covered in dirt.

We ran into a man in a rough-looking helmet and tried to ask him directions. However, he panicked upon seeing us. He thought we were with someone named ‘Swordbreaker’. He attacked us, but he was no Artorius. We subdued him pretty quickly. We asked him about this Swordbreaker and he tells us he’s a daemon who searches for travellers with swords and attacks them to break them. Rokurou took interest when he mentioned the sword was foreign. He tried to steal that sword, but to no avail. He confirmed that we’re, indeed, in Islegand and Eleanor took the change to preach to him about his banditry.

Eleanor was surprised at how much Laphicet, and malakhim, in general, seem to like reading. Beinfu confirmed his passion for reading, and tried to share them with Laphicet. His choice if material is… not something a child like him should be reading.. or anyone for that matter. Eleanor agrees with me on the situation. I confiscate the books and she intends to interrogate Beinfu… thoroughly..

We encountered another code red daemon, this one a large bird. Horus. It was accompanied by harpies. This one was a bit on the rough side, since its attacks just lingered.. However, we didn’t have too much more trouble otherwise.

Further along the path, we encountered a daemon matching the discription of the Swordbreaker. Rokurou recognised his sword as one named Stormquell. Even after we defeated him, he refused to stay down. Rokurou decided to take him on on his own. He got noticibly upset when Laphicet tried to help him, and almost attacked him. He came to his senses once Eleanor and I got in his way. Even if he had stuck with me all this time, I wasn’t about to let him harm Laphicet.. He apologised for his behaviour, but Swordbreaker had already disappeared.

He apologised once more as we reached the bridge and explained his behaviour, how there was someone he had to defeat, no matter what. However, he also thanked him for doing what he throught was right. Eleanor wasn’t too taken with the way he did it.

Laphicet thanked Eleanor for stepping in to protect him. He seemed rather disheartened when she told him it was for orders, but he perked up again when she also told him that she would’ve done it whether or not she was ordered to. Seeing them made me angry.. I can’t really describe it.. It wasn’t like the anger I felt whenever I saw Artorius. It was just this.. annoying feeling.. I just didn’t like them like that..

Magilou suddenly remembered a story relating to the Stormquell, the sword the Swordbreaker was using. She told us it was made by a man named Kurogane, who wanted to make a sword that rivalled the Stormhowl, known back then as the God Blade for its power. She told us that he died by unknown means, and that this daemon may be him carrying a centuries old grudge. While it was just a tale, it sounded more legitimate than her other stories.

We entered into a mine shortly after. The zombies were proving rather annoying to fight along the way, but we didn’t have two rough of a time fighting the golems and centipedes. However, I took the time to talk to Laphicet. I wanted him to be careful of Eleanor, even if he thought she was nice. He needed to know that I came first.. I’m number one and she was number two… Even now, it feels so embarrassing how childish it sounds.. It wasn’t exactly what I was going for..

We came across a sealed door with a candle nearby. Laphicet told me that it was meant to keep looters and thieves out and it reacted to heat. The answer was simple. We used Eizen’s flint to light it up and the seal broke, allowing us to get through the door.

Going a bit out of our way, we found another red code daemon, a large snake. Oroboros. It wasn’t too difficult to handle. In fact, it proved to have little bite compared to Horus.

The Reaper’s luck continued to provide us with a challenge, though. We ended up encountering the missing member of Artorius’ little squad, the only other man to ever recieve the title of legate, Shigure. He had just defeated Swordbreaker, who he had confirmed was Kurogane, and he got into a fight with Rokurou. Rokurou was easily overpowered and suddenly Eleanor moved to help, only to have him throw one of his daggers at her head. He unsheathed the Stormhowl during that time, which Shigure had declared to be a fake. The blade was broken.

Shigure stopped his assault then and there. He wasn’t even trying. He didn’t even use his fat cat of a malak. He told us we won’t let us leave until we defeat him, then just walked away. Kurogane talked to Rokurou about forging him a new blade, then left with him in a different direction.

While following, I scolded Eleanor for trying to attack and asked what she’d been thinking. The answer she gave me was clearly a bold-faced lie, but I couldn’t exactly tell about what. She said she just wanted to save Rokurou, a daemon she had, just moments before, been scorning for his ways.. I told her to be careful from now on, that she needs to protect Laphicet above anything else. Laphicet whispered something to her afterwards, but I couldn’t hear it..

Deep into this offshoot of the mines, we found a workshop where Rokurou and Kurogane had been talking. It turned out Magilou’s story wasn’t too far off. However, instead of him doing through execution or suicide, he just became a daemon in his obsession to make a blade surpassing Stormhowl. In this process, Rokurou cut off his head, which they planned to use for the materials. We decided to wait outside until they were done.

Eizen informed me the Van Eltia was on its way, but the major concern was Shigure. He’s Artorius’ bodyguard, so we have to fight him either weay. He suggested we all fight with the intent to kill, even if Rokurou tries to stop us. We agreed that that would be best, if it was necessary.

Magilou sent Beinfu to scout the town. In the meantime, she had been thinking about what it means to sacrifice something, especially body and soul, for some cause or god. As usual, she tries to make a show of it.. I ignored her extra dramatisations..

Eleanor, meanwhile, was pondering the nature of daemons, specifically those like Rokurou and Kurogane, who would do anything to accomplish their goals no matter the cost to themselves. I let her know that humans, even exorcists, weren’t so different from daemons. He refused to believe the Abbey would so low as to make a sacrifice like that. I told her to ask Artorius next she saw him what he did three years ago..

Subsequently, Laphicet had been thinking about the passion the two of them carried and how he never felt it. I let him know that he was too young to know such a thing and he never should. He should live a normal life.

Almost like it was perfectly timed, Beinfu returned to tell us that exorcists had invaded the mines from the port. They intended to ‘purge’ Eleanor. Her heart sank at the news. I can imagine how heartbreaking such news must be to the perfect honours student. Nevertheless, we headed out to meet them.

The exorcists were rather blind in their goals, scorning Eleanor with a seething hatred. They were nothing though, and the fight was rather easy, however, Eleanor herself was reluctant to kill them, even with me watching her. She would’ve gotten killed if Rokurou hadn’t jumped in at that moment with his new daggers. I got ready to devour them, but Eizen had stopped me. I decided to let it go, telling her that she had to fight them from now on, but she didn’t have to kill them. She found my mercy strange.

Rokurou told Laphicet why Shigure called his Stormhowl a fake. In the process of making the sword, many more are made. The true successor is given the real blade while everyone else are given the failures. Explaining this made him think.

Laphicet later asks why their styles are so different. He explains there are two styles to Rangetsu. A greatsword style, and a twin sword style. Rokurou chose to wield the twin sword style to fight his brother, as that’s what he knows best. Naturally, Magilou turns it into one of her ridiculous poetic trysts, likening it to the legend of Stormquell trying to surpass Stormhowl… and then she went one step further, comparing it to Artorius and myself.. Eleanor didn’t get the latter.. Is she really that naive..?

We left the Vester Tunnels directly into Pord Cadnix. The place was deserted. Shigure had already been waiting for us. He told us that he told the exorcists that invaded not to bother coming for us. Only the ones next to him seemed to listen. We fight, but he proved to still be too much. Rokurou went for a berserker strike, taking the blade into his hand to try and take his neck, but it didn’t work. However, the method seemed to impress him and he decided to let us go.

As the Van Eltia arrived, Eleanor was beginning to talk to herself.. I don’t think she realised she was thinking aloud. It was mostly about me. I didn’t hear all of it, but she mentioned something about mending my clothes. When I asked her about it, she broke out into a sweat and made the offer. She claimed to be good with her hands, so I decided to take her up on it if need arrise. However, I instructed her to take care of herself as well. Being covered in sweat like that wasn’t healthy. I also told her to let me know when she needed a bath and I’d arrange something. After all, the men are too dense to even think about something like that. She seemed rather stunned by my offer, but accepted nonetheless.

As life returned to the port, we met weith the bandit from earlier. He said that, thanks to Eleanor’s words, he decided to give up banditry and use his knowledge to open a bandit cuisine themed resteraunt. He obviously had a crush on Eleanor, but he didn’t get it.. She’s.. far too innocent…

After I turned in the bounties for the code red daemons we defeated so far, we set sail for Southgand, with Kurogane having joined us so he could forge his weapons for Rokurou. Laphicet began talking with Benwick about Aifread. He likened the pirate to the sea, scary sometimes and calm on others. Laphicet then likened the decription to me… Am I really so scary…?

The clam was short lived, though, as Eizen had called for an emergency change of course for Port Caneed. He said several of the sailors had caught the corsair’s scourge and had shown symptons for three days. Apparently, it’s a mysterious, yet fatal disease that only seems to spread while at sea. All the humans would have caught it by now. He needed to get the medicine at Caneed. It’s an annoying detour, but one I will not risk passing up. I refuse to let a single human die here.

As we arrived at Caneed, Eizen told us we need to get a flower named Sale’tomah. It’s juices are used to make the medicine that counteracts the scourge. We decided that it was for the best to leave Eleanor behind so as not to risk her life. Magilou tried to get out of it, but I refused to let her laze about.. She’s a witch.. She’ll be fine… I remember hearing Eleanor mentioning that the juices of the sale’tomah taste awful. I might have to force her to take it when we get back..

As we were about leave, Eleanor started talking to us about what happened back in the mines. She didn’t quite understand why he would attack her. Eizen mentioned it was probably due to his code of honour named Bushido. It seemed to provide her with some food for thought. Despite her preconceptions about daemons, she seemed to believe he wasn’t the type of person who’d try to hurt anyone like that. Perhaps she can become someone we can trust entirely, but until then, I need to keep an eye on her.

Status Summery:

  1. Khaos is now Level 27.
  2. Khaos learned Slag Assault.
  3. Khaos learned Soaring Dragon.
  4. Rokurou is now Level 27.
  5. Rokurou learned Jade Wave.
  6. Laphicet is now Level 27.
  7. Laphicet learned Void Mire.
  8. Laphicet learned Frigid Pillar.
  9. Eizen is now Level 27.
  10. Eizen learned Mirage.
  11. Magilou is now Level 27.
  12. Magilour learned Fire Mine.
  13. Eleanor is now Level 27.
  14. Eleanor learned Whirling Top.
  15. Eleanor learned Burning Moon.
  16. Eleanor learned Maelstrom.
  17. Eleanor learned Rock Swarm.
  18. Eleanor learned Spiral Hail.
  19. Eleanor learned Coiling Serpent.
  20. Eleanor learned Shock Drum.

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Tales of Berseria – Part 6 – Berserker

Disclaimer: For the purposes of this journal, the main character, Velvet Crowe, has been semi-replaced with an original character. Nothing has been changed beyond this.

With nothing but time on our hands at the moment, I decided to just walk around Zekson Port until the scouts returned. I may have learned more than I should have..

Rokurou and Dyne were conspiring together to keep a drink called Iliagne Red away from the pirates. They fear they’ll drink it all without decorum. He said he was passionate when it came to alchohol, but still.. to this extend..?

Eizen and Benwick were talking about preparations for the attack. They wanted to make sure they were prepared for anything. Not a bad mentality to have. We are aiming to kill the Abbey’s dear Shepard, after all.

I met with a Bloodwing agent who paid me a substantial amount for the bounties we defeated. The masked bat in Northgand turned out to be one of them as I suspected. I suppose it’ll be known as Bat Baron.. Why am I insistant on naming these things..?

Beinfu was talking with Magilou. He doesn’t want us to fight Artorius. He believes it to be a suicide mission. Magilou assured him that if things get too dire, they can run, but she seems to have no intention of doing so. In fact, the news just seemed more entertaining to her.

She tried to get me to crow like a rooster for some apples.. I absolutely refused.. Why does she insist on humiliating me at every turn..?

Laphicet was at the docks, eating some apples Magilou had given him. He offered me one, but I declined. I wouldn’t be able to taste them, anyway. I told him about my brother, how much like him he is, and how much I regretted not being able to do anything for him.. I let him know that he didn’t have to come with us and put himself in danger. He said he wanted to come with me.

The scouts returned to report about a malak with a pendulum attacking exorcists. Eizen took immediate interest that the same malak may have been involved in Aifread’s disappearance. He ran off to face him.

Naturally, when we found him, they were about to fight. I tried to talk to them, but neither of them would listen. We had to beat them both down. Afterward, he helped us break the barrier, introduced himself as Zaveid the Whirlwind, then left. It seems he’s not a fan of the exorcists and wanted to see the chaos we could cause. I suppose I shouldn’t expect any less from malakhim not under the Abbey’s control.

We only found malakhim behind the barrier, no signs of humans anywhere. Before us lay a large temple that made the chapel in Leogres look like a quant, little shack. Eizen and Laphicet let us know why it was built here, of all places. This area was brimming with energy from something called the earthpulse. A perfect place to worship their new god… or kill it.

As we drew near, I felt my blood beginning to boil. It was almost like paths were beginning to converge here. A clash was about to happen. I found myself less and less able to think clearly.. Just a deep, growing desire..

“Kill…. Kill… Kill..”

I found an insignia near a locked barrier. Merely touching it caused the barrier to unlock and break, opening our path to the temple. Eizen told me it was made using malak arts. The entrance was double locked with the same kind of barrier.

One side, then the other. The malakhim didn’t make it easy, but the switches weren’t hidden enough to make it a threat beyond that. The barrier shattered at the released seals and soon enough, we were climbing the stairs of this overgrown eyesore of a temple. On the way, I was telling them our plan. Magilou, Eizen and Rokurou would apply preasure to strain his connection with Innomenat. During this time, I would throw myself at him, keeping him squarely focused on me. While he was busy cutting and burning my body, Laphicet would heal me until I broke through. He was reluctant, but I made sure he knew that was an order.

Artorious was waiting for us, quietly drawing standing up and facing us before drawing his blade. He knew this was coming, but seeing him again, all I could see once more was red..

Kill.. Kill.. Kill.. KillkillkillkillKILL!

A vaguely remember what happened next. We attacked him with everything we had, but it was doing nothing. Hid defences were perfect. He barely did anything before unleashing his great attack and threw us all back. Pain filled my body as I forced myself to my feet. On my order, Laphicet healed me. I charged at him again, only unable to touch him and my efforts being met with impalement on his blade. I called to Laphicet again. One heal to keep me alive, another to take care of the wound.

To our misfortune, Artorius’ subordinates arrived. Eleanor, Oscar, Teresa, and an overweight old man that was established to be Melchior. Another was supposed to be here, the man Rokurou was looking for, but he was apparently off doing his one thing.

I was already at my limit before Artorius summoned Innomenat to blow me back. Laphicet quickly ran to my side to try and keep me healed, but I could no longer fight. My mind was already fading. I vaguely remember him asking me why I fought.. and answering that it was for failing to rescue Laphi..

I don’t know clearly what happened after that. I saw Teresa talking to Laphicet.. She apparently gave him an order, but he was refusing to follow it.. In her efforts to discipline him, some power was unleashed and a portal opened up. We got dragged into it as I fully lost consciousness.

I had a strange dream.. Not really a nightmare like before.. Just.. strange.. I was lying in bed with Celica standing over me, urging me to get up. Then, Celica became Seres, telling me she trusted me to protect him. These events snapped me awake.

I found myself in a strange land, with floors made of some kind of crystal. Above me was some kind of.. void, I think.. However, I wasn’t too concerned with that. I saw Laphicet right next to me. He was weak and he had a fever. He did his best to save me. I resolved to do the same.

I ran through this strange world, not knowing where to go. There were no daemons, malaks or humans. Nothing to pose any sort of threat, but I was growing frustrated with my lack of knowledge in navigating the place. I had to trust that whenever I found a floating orb that would transport me, that I’d be getting one step closer to the exit. Eventually, I met up with Eizen. He told me that this was the earthpulse, a place of energy. Most people are unable to reach it, but somehow Laphicet’s power clashed with Innomenat’s to bring us here.

What was more dire, though was that we needed to find a vessel for Laphicet. He was on the verge of becoming a daemon.. It was my fault.. I forced him to push himself too hard.. I remembered the time that malak of Oscar’s turned into a dragon.. I couldn’t let that happen to him..

Somehow, Eleanor had come to the earthpulse with us, and she was offering to become his vessel. Apparently, that’s how tethering with a malak works. I didn’t fully trust her, so I was going to sever her legs so she had no means of running away. She responded by threatening to cut her own throat. She wanted to face me again and it came to a stand still. We would have a duel after she became his vessel. If she won, she would kill me. If I won, she would do as I say.

After she bonded with Laphicet, we returned to our world from the earthpulse, landing in some ancient ruins where Rokurou and Magilou were waiting. I landed on Rokurou in the process. Eleanor didn’t follow us. She landed somewhere else. We had to find her.

Magilou wondered if I intended to give up my quest for revenge after seeing the difference in power between myself and Artorius. I assured her I was more determined than ever. Laphicet’s power was strong enough to clash with Innomenat’s. He was our key to victory. She became rather unhappy when Rokurou mentioned something about 10 gald… Were they… betting on me..?

According to Eizen, the ruins had a rich history behind them, apparently one of meany strewn all over the world near the earthpulse. Apparently, people back then were more sensative to it. Unfortunately, this didn’t really tell us where we were, as it could’ve been any ruins anywhere. We had to make out way out. Some of the passages were also blocked off, but the age of the stone had left cracks. It wasn’t too hard to break them down.

We talked about the power Laphicet displayed, and I tried to talk to Magilou if she could tether to him so we didn’t need Eleanor. She told me that even she would be able to tether with a malak of his power.. Though, Beinfu stated the difference between her and Eleanor is Eleanor actually tries… The one time I ACTUALLY need her for something..

We met with the Turtlez merchant again, and once more, he was trying to get us to pay extra for his wares. Magilou discouraged him by telling him a horror story about me.. While I can’t argue with the results, I’m wondering if the resulting indigestion from eating her would be worth it just to shut her up…

We ran into another red code daemon, this one being a woman with a spider’s lower half. I suppose Spider Queen will do.. She proved a bit troublesome, throwing her webs everywhere, but we won out in the end.

We finally reached the exit to the ruins where Eleanor was waiting for us. For a crybaby, she at least as a sense of honour. She aplogised for not landing in the same place we did, and re-issued her challenge.She wins, she can kill me. I win, she obeys me until the day she dies. It was proper duel. I fought without the others, and she fought without using Laphicet. However, I achieved victory quickly. She tried to turn it on me, using Artorius’ teachings, but I reversed it. Then, she tries to take her own life to null the agreement. Laphicet stepped in to stop her from doing so and she fainted. I was glad to see him before me with his strength back.. However, Eleanor would still prove to be a problem, but like it or not, she was one of us now. We decided to wait for her to recover.

Beinfu looked after Eleanor while she was out. He mentioned something similar happening to Magilou when they first made their contract. In the middle of springtime, she couldn’t stop coughing and sneezing for months… I wonder if I can use than information to get in her face at some point..

Eizen and I talked about what to do next. Unfortunately, we had to agree to keep Eleanor close. If he dies, Laphicet will turn into a daemon.. I don’t want that.. He’s amused by our ragtag band.. Two daemons, two malaks, a witch and now an exorcist..

Rokurou told me he still intends to fight with us, even after what happened. He admits part of the reason is because Laphicet saved his life. He now owed a debt to him too.

I met with Laphicet outside the ruins. He was rather upset, and apologised for disobeying me. I told him not to worry. He saved us back there. He was nothing short of remarkable. If anyone needed to apologise it was me. I kept telling him he wasn’t a tool or an object, that he was alive, yet at that moment, I was treating him like an object, no better than an exorcist. Despite that, he assured me that he still wants to come with me, of his own will.

Magilou showed up just then to put her usual, unwanted 2 gald’s worth of thought in. She thinks I’m going to break and give up before I get my revenge, and she made a bet with me for 100 gald, since she lost a similar one to Rokurou.. I reluctantly agreed, but I have no intention of letting that little bet go unpunished.. Maybe we’ll be lucky and fun a daemon with a taste for witches.. I’m still not sure the indigestion is worth it..

Laphicet told us that the secret behind Innomenat lies in the book he took from the villa. He noticed that the insignia on the cover is the same as the one that appeared in the temple when it intervened. However, none of us are able to read it. Magilou told us a friend of hers named Grimoirh in Yseurt village in Southgand may be able to read it. Though, we had to take care of that later. Laphicet was getting tired, so we went back inside to rest.

For the most part, Eizen and I were resting our bodies, but remained vigilant. Eleanor had come to and saw what was going on. It was clear that being watch over by a daemon like me was unforgivable to her. She was ready to take her own life again, but a ball of light showed up. She followed it outside. She mentioned it was Malchior’s communication art. Artorius used it to order her to keep Laphicet safe and to lead him back to the earthpulse. She had no idea Eizen and I were watching.

Eleanor was acting obedient in the morning. A little too much compared to before. Laphicet believes she’s a nice person, but I warned him that women like her can be deceitful. I have to trust her for now, but the first sign of betrayal, I’m eating her…

However, first thing’s first. We need to find a village so we can figure out where we are so we can find Magilou’s friend in Yseurt.

Status Summery:

  1. Khaos is now Level 24.
  2. Khaos learned Heaven’s Claw.
  3. Rokurou is now Level 24.
  4. Rokurou learned Shooting Star.
  5. Laphicet is now Level 23.
  6. Magilou is now Level 24.
  7. Magilou learned Flood Wall.
  8. Magilou learned Triple Tremor.
  9. Eizen is now Level 24.
  10. Eizen learned Illusory Veil.
  11. Eleanor joined the party.

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Tales of Berseria – Part 5 – Assassination

Disclaimer: For the purposes of this journal, the main character, Velvet, is semi-replaced with an OC. Nothing else has changed.

Our final job was to foil an ambush on the Royal Medical Society on Dannan Highway. It wasn’t hard to find. It turned out to be in the area where we fought Orc Kong not long ago. When we found them, they had just attacked the caravan, but hadn’t taken the cargo yet. They turned into daemons, but were no different than the guarry we faced on the highway, mere Gibbons.

They were after the medicine in transport and Laphicet noticed they all wore red scarves. The medicine was in red crates as well, marked with the Cathedral’s seal. It became clear to me what was going on.

The highly addictive medicine called Nectar was being brought in by the Abbey, or rather, someone within it. It was causing trouble for not only the populous, but for the Bloodwing Butterflies as well.

We retrieve our information from the woman, who introduces herself as Tabitha Baskerville. Artorius headed north for some ceremony at a new temple called The Empyrean’s Throne. Something for this ‘Grand Empyrean’ Inomenat. However, the area is guarded by a barrier. We need a key to break through it.

Of course, that information also came with a price. One last job. Assassinate the High Priest Gideon. Tabitha was rather impressed when I pieced together that Gideon was the one in charge of distributing the Nectar. It was proof we were trustworthy.

She gave us an insignia to show to any members of the Bloodwing to aid us. This was crucial to the job. The best time to assassinate Gideon was while he was praying in the worship hall in the villa. They were needed to get inside.

I began to feel ill. Hunger pangs, I suppose. This wasn’t the longest I’d gone without eating a daemon, but this time it felt particularly bad. Laphicet was worried about me. I tried to assure him nothing was wrong, but I got rather harsh in how I phrased it.

Tabitha was sharing information with Eizen that night. I don’t know exactly what. I was too tired. It no doubt had something to do with Aifread though.

I had another nightmare, only this one was more disturbing.

I was eating… Just eating.. At the time I didn’t care what it was.. My stomach was just an empty void that couldn’t be filled.. However, I suddenly noticed that I was eating Laphi.. Terrified, I threw myself into a corner and backed up, only to find Artorius behind me. He bade that I continue, that there was nothing wrong with it in his twisted sense of logic.. Denying it, I attacked him..

However, I woke up to found my grip around Laphicet’s throat.. I panicked and let go, scolding him for not being careful around a daemon like me. Apparently, I was too harsh with my words. It scared him and he ran out, practically crying. Magilou was there enjoying the show..

We met in the plaza, the first order of bussiness was to find the Bloodwing members disguised as guards. It wasn’t hard to do. There were a few around. Two of them let us walk onto villa grounds and a third was waiting nearby. When I showed him the insignia, he showed us straight to the secret entrance, through the Barona Catacombs sewer system.

Laphicet trips as we entered the catacombs, but I was quick to catch him. Magilou decided now was the perfect time to tease him about there being crocodiles. Eizen came up with a counter-proposal that they loved eating witches. She tried this sort of thing again, even lying on how the Mabo Curry he liked was made from crocodile meat rubbed in human blood. I eventually just got fed up and pushed her into the water. Serves her right for embarrassing me before…

Though, it was strange.. The catacombs were infested with daemons. Infested, yet the abbey wasn’t doing anything about it? The slimes along would be a problem for any normal human, but the undead were prominant too, and they just ignore it? Something was going on here.

Not only that, we found a code red daemon as well. It was like a beetle, almost entirely wrapped in its shell. I suppose Pillbug will do. Its defences were great, but we didn’t give it too much time to attack. It was another mark down.

When we came out of the catacombs, we found ourselves in the villa library. Laphicet was enamoured with a set of books Magilou found hidden behind a bookshelf. He was holding back on taking them, it was clear, so I just took one and gave it to him..

Magilou accompanies us because she had been to the villa before, yet she doesn’t know where the worship hall is. So, once again, she proves to be absolute deadweight. Why do I let her do this to me all the time..?

She tried to teach Laphicet a stupid charm to help keep him calm. Shouting like a moron while doing so.. Something stupid.. Magickazam, or whatever.. Eizen gave her a swift blow to the head to make sure shut up. She was devistated when Laphicet turned that charm to her. That’s what she gets for wasting out time..

When we finally reached the worship hall, after defeating the remaining guards, we approached Gideon, only to have that crybaby exorcist Eleanor get in out way. She put also put together what he was doing, but wanted him tried by Abbey rules. Well, she’s smart, even if emotional. It wasn’t much effort for us to corner her, but she kept summoning more malakhim.

With us getting quickly outnumbered, it became apparent that the only option was to crush her head. I went on the attack, charging right at her. Beinfu got in the way to protect her, but I swatted him aside. He landed right in Laphicet’s hands. Magilou took the advantage to re-establish their contract. She actually became useful in suppressing them after that.

Getting tired of Eleanor’s persistance, I charged for her again, devouring her malakhim as they attacked me. I could see the fear in her eyes as I drew close to her. I gave her a swift punch to the gut to knock her out after that. I was tired of her getting in our way.

Gideon began to cower in fear after that, wondering who sent us. He even suspected we were sent by Artorius. I suppose that means his operation was completely unsanctioned. However, he turned into a lizardman daemon, then attacked Laphicet. I guarded him and took the blow as the high priest ran off. Laphicet healed my wounds before we gave chase.

It was at the bottom of the villa we found Gideon, now dead as he was being eaten by a daemon we never saw before. A beast with an eagle’s head and wings on a lion’s body, with razor sharp talons. It tried to attack us, but was stopped by barrier.. One I was all too familiar with. It was the same type of barrier they used on my cell in Titania.

With our task accomplished, we turned to make our leave, but Eleanor got on the way again. I got tired of this persistance of hers and walked up to her. I showed her personally how weak she was without all those malakhim she had. She couldn’t stop us from leaving, and she didn’t. She seemed rather upset, and in some personal turmoil.

As it turns out, Beinfu ran away from Magilou because she treated him poorly. Somewhere in his escape, he ran into Eleanor, who was much kinder. He wasn’t too happy to be back with her. Again.. if I had to pick who I wanted to travel with..

We went to Tabitha and was ready with the information. To get through the barrier, you need to be considered a high ranking exorcist, needing to be accompanied by four greater malakhim. We happened to have three already with Laphicet, Beinfu and Eizen. We just needed one more, even if we had to steal it.

Laphicet asked Magilou to join us on our quest, since we need Beinfu. While she was annoying, she accepted. It’s almost like she has a soft spot for him… Or she’s just bored, that’s possible too..

The Bloodwings decided to be full allies of ours, ready to help us whenever they need it. They’ll probably regret it.

Laphicet fell asleep after everything that happened, so I took him to bed. He apologised when he woke up the next morning, but I told him not to. Needing sleep is just apart of being alive.

We met up again in the plaza. The temple lies north up a mountain past the highway. We made a plan to meet up with the rest of the pirates to figure out how to steal the fourth malak.

On a side note, Magilou can talk to dogs… Or she was just pretending to while emoting her thoughts on dog-related sayings.. I somehow think the latter is more likely in this case..

On the way back to Zekson Port, Laphicet started wondering about his place in the world. It turned into a big existential talk. Magilou tried to play him off as just my tool and emergency good, but Rokurou and Eizen took it seriously while answering him… I threatened to leave them all behind.

While the sylphjay reached the men, they hadn’t returned from scouting yet. It’s inconvenient, but how is a good time to rest. We were up most of the night, after all. Now… how to make Magilou pay for humiliating me..

Status Summery:

  1. Khaos is now Level 22.
  2. Khaos learned Moonlight Cyclone.
  3. Rokurou is now Level 22.
  4. Rokurou learned Form 4: Cyclone Dart.
  5. Laphicet is now Level 22.
  6. Laphicet learned Beckoning Lure.
  7. Eizen is now Level 21.
  8. Eizen learned Lighthouse.
  9. Magilou joined the Party… Fo real this time!
  10. Magilou learned Great Cycle.
  11. Magilou learned Blood Moon.
  12. Magilou learned Atmos Glaive.
  13. Magilou learned Ascending Angel.

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Tales of Berseria – Part 4 – Not-So-Shady Errands

Disclaimer: For the purposes of this journal, the main character, Velvet, is semi-replaced with an OC. Other than that, nothing is changed.

Leaving Zekson Port, we overheard that there were some code red daemons around lately. Daemons so dangerous that even the Abbey has to put out a wanted list. It brought to mind that bat with the mask we fought on the way to Dyle. We’ll have to be cautious dealing with those.

Finally, we arrived in Leogres. They were performing system checks at the gate, but Rokurou suggested we just act normal and we can just pass on through. It seemed to work for the most part, but I seemed to have attracted their attention. One of the guards followed us in and asked for a travel permit. Magilou jumped in to distract him, advertising us as ‘Magilou’s Menagerie’. She passed me off as her assistant, and then thoroughly embarrassed me by trying to make me perform a trick I wasn’t prepared for, then forced me to coo like a dove.. I can’t decide if I want to devour her as painfully as possible or just plain kill her.. I might have to get Eizen to flip his coin on that one..

Nevertheless, it’s astonishing how lax their defense was around us. Or rather, as Rokurou put it, how confident they were in their peace.. A peace that was paid for with blood…

We made rounds to learn the situation in Midgand. The king had stepped down and placed his son in charge. Subsequently, the prince, himself, had put Artorius such influence that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say HE was actually the ruler of Midgand. Everyone was excited and happy. It was obvious our allies would be few and far between, if any at all.

The prince was holding a speech today, and exorcists would be present. We decided to attend, but I lost control as I spotted Artorius. I broke from the crowd, ran to the side of the castle, out of site, and unleashed my arm to scale the wall. Everyone was so engrossed in the speech, even moreso when Artorius took over, that they didn’t notice me. However, my mind wasn’t registering any of that with clear though. Each word he spoke was like a hot pike in my brain.

He’s no savoir!.. He’s a murderer!.. He killed him!.. Shepard Artorius!?.. He’s the worst monster of them all!

Yes, during the proceedings, Artorius took on the title of Shepard, and the crowd was eating it up. If Rokurou hadn’t stopped me, I would’ve charged in then and there, praetors and legates be damned.. It took all my effort not to break down as he held me in place, but he was right. If I were to even try to attack Artorius, I needed to plan carefully. Magilou found this resolution boring and left us again in search of her supposed betrayer.

Eizen suggested we look for Baskerville, a member of a shadow guild that runs out of a tavern. They might have information to help our cause. Laphicet was getting hungry at that point, so there was no reason not to. Food, drink and some rest. It just seemed convenient.

Unfortunately, it turns out Baskerville was executed a long time ago. We went and ordered food while we thought of what to do next. Mabo Curry.. He even has the same tastes in food..

However, the woman at the counter suddenly mentioned Laphi’s murder. The Bloodwing shadow guild was still active, and it was unsettling how much they knew. She agreed to give us information on Artorius, if we ran some errands for them. She even gave us transcripts to get past inspection, conveniently labelled as ‘Magilou’s Menagerie’. She said we could start in the morning and rest for the night.

Eizen and Rokurou spent the might drinking while Laphicet and I stayed in the room. I don’t think they realised how loud they were talking. I could just barely catch a few words. I think I heard my name once or twice, but nothing specific. It’s none of my business anyway..

Our first job was to find a missing scholar named Mendi, who disappeared on the Galles Lakes Road. Before we left, we visited the main church to see how far the farce of Artorius’ theocracy had poisoned everyone’s minds. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find some pleasure in throw a patron’s ‘holier-than-thou’ philosophies in his face when he told me to confess my crimes and I would be forgiven. It didn’t take him long to react as I suspected.

As we left, we ran into a Bloodwing agent, who told us more about the situation with the code red daemons. Apparently, the so called heroes of the Abbey have a tendancy to leave them be if they feel the cost to their numbers were too great. They asked us to take care of them whenever possible.

Naturally, we found one on the way to the Galles Lake Road. Some kind of orc, but an ape… I’ll call it Orc Kong.. Simple enough.. In any case, Rokurou suggested we face it to help bridge the gap between us and Artorius’ troops. As long as we were careful about it, I saw no issue.

While the fight was tougher than any normal Orc, we manage to deal with Orc Kong rather quickly. Rokurou admitted he wants to keep fighting these red code daemons to keep improving, partly in order to fight along side me. While I’m no helpless maid, I can’t say I don’t appreciate the gesture. As long as he doesn’t slow me down, he can tag along as much as he wants.

The Galles Lake Road wasn’t without dangers, but mostly small ones consisting of snakes, marmots and pixies. However, much deeper into the overgrown areas, we found a nother one of those code red daemons. It was rather plant-like, looking like a woman, yet the bottom half resembled a snake. I decided to go with Echidna on this one. She turned not to be not much tougher than Orc Kong, but that said, I had no intention of giving her time to attack. I was rather insistant with my assault.

At the end of a far off location of the road, not too far from where we fought Echidna, we came across two guards. If there was anything to guard, it had to be our wayward scholar. They summoned malakhim similar to Echidna, but they were the only ones to really last.

We found our missing scholar along with a large number of other people. Mendi told us that they were being forced to mine vermillion ore to make some type of nutrient medicine called Nectar. However, the addictive properties made it effectively a narcotic. Kidnapping and forced labour for a drug.. This is the face of the world’s ‘heroes’. We returned to Leogres to report in.

Our next job took us back to Port Zekson. We were to go into the warehouse and destroy the cargo in red crates. Eizen had the Van Eltia distract the guards, allowing us to sneak in.

Our luck continued to hold out, as who should we run into but the crybaby preator, Eleanor. I had no intention of apologising or explaining my actions to her. I didn’t know what was in those crates, and I didn’t care. Naturally, this lead to a fight, but I beat her down before she could really get going with her malakhim.

Yet, she had to summon one more, and it was… some kind of imp creature wearing a top hat over its face. If thinks weren’t already strange enough, that’s when Magilou showed up again and called him out. Turns out this malak, whom she called Beinfu, was this supposed traitor she’d been hunting. He retreated back to Eleanor as soon as he saw her.. I have to admit, if I had a choice of who I’d rather spend my time with, I’d have picked the crybaby praetor too…

Now that Magilou knows where Beinfu is, she’s decided to rejoin our group again. Again… if I had a choice if which one I’d travel with….

As we were leaving, I caught some of Eleanor talking to the guards. I heard the word ‘Nectar’ mentioned. I suppose that’s what was in those crates. … Not that it really mattered. Two jobs done, one to go.

Status Summery:

  1. Khaos is now Level 20.
  2. Khaos learned Water Snake’s Wake.
  3. Khaos learned Shadow Flow.
  4. Rokurou is now Level 19.
  5. Rokurou learned Smokescreen Assault.
  6. Rokurou learned Armour Crusher.
  7. Laphicet is now Level 19.
  8. Laphicet learned Pyrogenic Ring.
  9. Laphicet learned Kaleidos Ray.
  10. Eizen is now Level 19.
  11. Eizen learned Winter Winds.
  12. Eizen learned Air Thrust.

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Tales of Berseria – Part 3 – Laphicet

Disclaimer: For the purposes of this journal, the main character, Velvet, is semi-replaced with an original character. Nothing else has changed.

We began our assault and headed towards the front gate. The guards were child’s play. However, as we entered the town, we found it abandoned. Not only was the attack predictable, it was poorly hidden. Anyone with half a brain would’ve known immediately. Either Teresa was is honest, or a fool. I wasn’t about to take the chance that she was the latter.

Despite her earlier declaration, Magilou seemed particularly cheerful to see us, execution or no. Teresa, on the other hand, was rather upset with me. Apparently, that praetor Oscar, whom I met in Titania, was her brother. Her guards were weak, but there were many of them. The malak with Laphi’s face was there too. She called him Number Two.

She ordered Number Two to attack, and I called out her cowardess. She seemed to rather take offense. Was I wrong, though? She ordered a malak to attack instead of coming after me herself. Exorcists are a disgraceful bunch, without a doubt.

Nevertheless, her pride was in direct proportion to her blindness. It was at that moment Dyle set the storehouse ablaze. In the ensuing chaos, we ran, Magilou in tow. However, what she lacked in foresight, she made up for in tenacity. She chased us all the way to the docks with her two malaks in tow. While she wasn’t one to be taken lightly, taking out her malaks first severely limited what she could do.

Thrust into a desperate situation, determined not to let us go, she ordered Number Two to attack us. The child was fully prepared to come at us with a suicide strike. I lost control of my senses for a bit as I kicked him out of his attack and went straight for Teresa’s throat. Unfortunately, Eleanor stepped in. That crybaby praetor.. But with two of them there, the situation turned around completely. Without thinking, I unleashed my arm and grapped the malak, ordering him to drive them back or I would devour him. The threat was practically unneeded. He followed my orders without fail. We took the chance to make our escape.

… It was only later that I realised I dragged the malak along with me.. I must’ve held his hand tightly without realising it. Well… it’s too late to worry at that point.. We would just have to accept him as a member of our ragtag crew. He seemed unsettlingly.. obedient about it.. He was different from Seres. It was almost like he was without a personality of his own.

Once things had settled, I took the time to talk to everyone about the situation ahead of us. As it turns out, much of the information Magilou disclosed to Teresa was a work of fiction.. with me set as her villain… I pondered if it was too late to take her back for her execution…

Rokurou was doing everything he could to keep the ship in check, but it’s hard to do when our only experienced sailor is the one doing the actual sailing..

I tell Dyle that we should head to Leogres. He was compliant on the matter, but he said we need a bigger crew. I could hardly argue the matter. We weren’t going to make it far in our condition.

Number Two seemed rather interested in what was going on around him. In particular, he was fond of the compass I was holding. I was having a hard time reading it until he instructed me on the correct way. When I asked him if he wanted to hold it, he asked if it was an order, even it looked like he did. It seems his feelings and his need to obey are conflicted.

We weren’t at sea long until we were attacked by pirates. As Magilou pointed out, we weren’t equipped to fight at sea, so we headed towards land. We should’ve had the upperhand, but even landside, they had an ace. Of all things, it was a malak. They were particularly pleased to find out we were daemons.

The ensuing fight turned into an even match, even with Number Two’s help. He stopped halfway. It turns out, they didn’t intend to rob us, but enlist our help. They were headed the same way, but needed to get past Fort Vortigern. When I expressed my reluctancy to trust him, he just went on ahead. I discussed the matter with everyone. We decided that joining forces with these Aifread pirates was for the best. As usual, Magilou tried to dramatise the situation…. we ignored her..

Dyle warned us against putting out trust in the pirates. The Aifread pirates apparently built up a reputation. Even so, apparently he dreamed of being like them. Well.. we all have our desires..

The pirates seem to trust their malak. They’d lost their compasss in an earlier attack, so they couldn’t sail around the fort. He seemed to have made the decision to make a path through it.

With the decision made, we followed the malak into the cave. As usual, we found vermin. Bats, scropions and spiders. Despite this, it isn’t long before we reached him. He indroduced himself as Eizen, and warned us that he invites misfortion, calling himself a Reaper. I assured him that should misfortune come upon us, I’ll reverse it with my own willpower.

We came to the conclusion that the best plan for attacking a fort impossible to penetrate by neither land nor sea is to attack from both sides at once. We were to attack the fort and open a path for the Van Eltia, the pirate’s ship, to sail on through. This, apparently, was his plan all along.

There were brambles strewn about the cave, though Eizen made quick work with them with a clever and careful use of flint. I’d call it dumb luck that he didn’t set the place on fire if it wasn’t for the fact he had successfully done it so many times already..

Further in, Rokurou and Eizen grew concerned at how quiet Number Two was. I told them that he was always like that, but he said nothing even as he was attacked by a scorpion. If Eizen hadn’t noticed and intervened, he could’ve… He said it was because I told him to keep his mouth shut.. I lost my composure and scolded him.. However, I was also at fault.. I should’ve been more careful with my wording.. Eizen tells us his personality was sealed away..

We came across a travelling merchant dressed in turtle clothing from a clan called Turtlez. He tried to swindle us by getting us to buy his goods at absorbitant prices, but I convinced him otherwise. Though, this lead to a conversation about names, especially regarding Number Two. They didn’t want to call him that anymore.. And why were they looking at me..?

As we left the cave, Eizen flipped a coin and it that turned into a whole thing as well with this group.. Apparently, it’s a rare coin made with a special process depicting a goddess and daemon lord from the age of myth. Number Two was the one who pointed most of this out. He apparently likes to read in his spare time.. Why is the world doing this to me..?

Our luck kept going the usual route. The front entrance of the fort was guarded by a forcefield. We had to find another way through. However, we found a good decent to a door with two guards. A perfect weakpoint. As I was about to rush in, Eizen and Number Two gave me a warning. The guards suddenly turned into lizardmen. I felt relief once they were dispatched. Number Two had been listening to me. I let him know I could count on him from now on.

It’s almost ironic when you think about it. A fortress, mainly designed by a ‘heroes who kill daemons’, and it was taken out by the daemonblight in an instant. It was overrun with lizardmen, wraiths and wall fiends. While this was a minor inconvenience, it was fortunate for us. With this chaos, we could move more freely. Perhaps this ‘Reaper’ isn’t such bad luck after all.

We reached the area where the control room was located and Eizen took out the guard. However, it was locked. Eizen had to.. convince the guard to tell us the location of the key, as well as the battleship we had seen while making our way there. Despite his stubborn words, he turned out to be very compliant. It was a choice of which to handle first.

Finding the key didn’t take long. Just through a couple of doors and splitting up to search two rooms. In the process, though, Number Two became enamoured with a compass on the shelf and it fell on his head while he was trying to get it. To get so fixated on it.. However, I couldn’t say such an action was a display of hopelessness. No, if anything, I found it to be proof that he was showing signs of liveliness. Rokurou tried to joke with him about pushing the bump down. I instructed him to rub some sugar on it later instead.

With that task done, our next goal was the battleship. Aside from pushing a boulder aside and jumping across a broken bridge, it wasn’t to far to go. However, we found our path blocked by a praetor claiming to have learned the Rangetsu-style. Rokurou took this personally. He held back during the fight, but he told us to go on ahead while he handled things personally. When we returned after rigging the battleship, the praetor was already a corpse on the floor. The ship was destroyed seconds later.

Now that the ship was taken care of, it was time to open the gate and make out escape. The first switch was a glaringly obvious lever infront of us. I pulled it to open the left side of the gate. We then travelled across the top of the gate to get to the other side and hit the second lever. With all our tasks accomplished, it was time to meet up with the ship. However, with the fort now overrun with daemons, we had to make a jump for it as the ship crossed.

Our friend, the guard, had other plans though. Determined not to let us go, he dragged his pained body to the top of the gate and transformed into a wall fiend and charged right for Number Two. I managed to pull him out of the way before he did any damage, but my vision had started to turn red. The words from that night started to fill my mind once more..

Kill him.. Kill him… Kill kill kill kill.. KillkillkillkillkillkillKILL HIM AND LEAVE NOTHING LEFT!

When my rage had subsided, he was battered into the ground. I had half a mind to devour him, but we were short on time. Eizen and Rokurou made a jump for the ship. However, Number Two was going back to retrieve the compass, and with his remaining strength, the wall fiend knocked him off the edge. My mind flew into a panic as memories came flooding back to me.

“Laphicet!”

I remember screaming that name as I dived forward to grab Number Two. It was just the first thing that came out of my mouth. I gave him a light scolding before jumping for the ship to our escape.

Naturally, Magilou demanded thanks for aiding in our escape.. when she wasn’t supposed to.. I ignored her..

Instead, my attention turned to Number Two. I told him if that compass meant so much to him, he should take good care of it. As a result, he refused to let Eizen tough it and became our navigator. He threatened to throw him to the sharks if he gave him the wrong heading.

Number Two happened to have been paying attention during the incident earlier and asked me what a ‘Laphicet’ was. In an attempt to save face, I told him it was his name. Everyone agreed that it was a perfect fit… They had no idea how perfect..

We arrived at Leogres port without any further incidents. Turns out the people there are supportive of the Aifread pirates, going so far as to label the Van Eltia as a merchant ship. They told Eizen his captain was taken to Titania prison. I added my own update on the matter. His captain was no longer in the prison, now with a praetor named Malchior.

With this infromation, we were now all headed in the same direction. So now I find myself with a rather interesting punch of permanent travel companions.

Eizen told me our ship had now been converted into a scouting vessel. Benwick added that this allows us to send our ship on expeditions and we might find many new things as a result that could help. The guys romanticise what we could find out there. Treasure, new lands, ancient cities or texts.. I was fine as long as it was a couple of fish we could sell… Magilou agreed with me on the notion.. Why of all people, Magilou..?

Without a doubt, the Abbey is going to be very upset with the incident at Hellawe and Fort Vortigern. I suspect we’ll be seeing more of Eleanor and Teresa soon enough. Not that I’m that concerned. If they get in my way, I’ll just crush and devour them if I have to.

Status Summery:

Khaos is now Level 15.

Khaos learned Shell Splitter.

Khaos learned Avalanch Fang.

Khaos learned Lethal Pain.

Rokurou is now Level 15.

Rokurou learned Form 3: Water Hammer.

Rokurou learned Shockwave Slash.

Rokurou learned Form 0: Sunder.

Laphicet has joined the Party.

Laphicet is now Level 15.

Laphicet learned Rainbow Mist.

Laphicet learned Geostigma.

Laphicet learned Triflare.

Eizen has joined the Party.

Eizen is now Level 15.

Eizen learned Flash Step.

Eizen learned Eleventh Hour.

Eizen learned Stone Lance.

Eizen learned Perfect Mayhem.

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Tales of Berseria – Part 2 – The Tail of Dyle

Disclaimer: For the purposes of this journal, the main character, Velvet, is semi-replaced with an original character. Nothing has changed beyond this.

We arrived at the Sailor’s guild after venturing into town. However, Rokurou saw a weapon shop and went to have a look at their stock. Magilou made a comment about boys being unable to be seperated by their toys. I couldn’t disagree on the matter. We would have to look into the guild ourselves.

Talking to them proved to be fruitless. Due to our misfortune, the guild was closed down by the Abbey due to a recent incident concerning the smuggling of Flamestone. I suspect it was the same kind we found when entering the warehouse. A local praetor was investigating the matter, Teresa. Fortunately, she was unable to tell that Magilou and I weren’t human. The malak child that we encountered before was with her. She questioned the guild and they tell her that the culprit, a lizard daemon named Dyle, fled from Hellawe. We came to the simple conclusion that if we take care of him, the problem would be solved sooner.

We went to pick up Rokurou at the weapon shop. He apparently found a good blade and the shopkeep gave him some weapons for free. I told him about the situation. Naturally, because he thinks he owes me a debt, he went along with it. Magilou, on the other hand, decided to take her leave. She said something about finding the one who betrayed her, as well as not desiring to be devoured by me. As if I would find someone like her appetising in any way..

As we were setting out to leave town, Rokurou found a Yak and began to talk to me about how covetted and precious Yak’s hair is. I bluntly told him I didn’t care, but he kept going.. saying that his family treasures included a Yak-hair helmet, as well as the Stormhowl he’d been carrying on his back.. He didn’t seem taken aback by my remark on how they must’ve regarded him very poorly. Are all the Rangetsu this.. carefree..?

On our way to the next town, we found some Princessia flowers growing in the snow. It brought back horrible memories. A time when I saw Arthur talking to some exorcists infront of the gravestones in Aball. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but in retrospect, that was likely the start of his betrayal.. Betrayal… That’s what these flowers have come to mean to me now…

The next town was much less a town, and more a refugee camp. Only a few small houses. We barely took a few steps in before we encountered another praetor from the Abbey. She introduced herself as Eleanor, and she seemed to have been crying. It became quickly apparent that the Abbey wasn’t popular here. Nevertheless, she seemed sincere on helping people. Her innocence was almost cute.. After she left, we encountered a girl. She told us a lizard daemon had made camp in the cave of Hadlow Hollow to the north of town, but she wasn’t allowed to say anything out of threat of being eaten. She gave us some apples in return for not saying anything. It had been a while since we’d eaten, but I bit into the apple to find I couldn’t taste anything.

Leaving town get to the cave, we run into an elderly man, the grandfather of the child we had spoken to. I thought he may have mistook our talk with her as being threatening, but he simply gave us a recipe and ingredients to allow us to cook. I found it slightly annoying, but at least I didn’t have to worry about taste. Rokurou questioned me about what I’d been eating all this time. He caught on quickly when I mentioned being stuck in that prison, as well as being able to taste blood.

He mentioned using alchohol he’d gotten from a shop in town to swell the wood in his blades for better grip… Is he serious?

It was a short trip to Hadlow Hollow. The cave was swarming with all manner of vermin. Bats, giant centipedes and octopae. It was a good chance to get some training in. A boulder blocked our path, but even so, for daemons, it was an obstacle easily removed. Furthermore, there were rivers of tar, using rocks as stepping stones, they were easy to cross. However, we ran into a back wearing a strange mask. It proved incredibly tough to fight. It was soon apparent that I couldn’t afford to hold back using my arm. The victory was hard earned, but it was a valuable lesson.

As we headed deeper, Rokurou and I got into a conversation about our daemon natures. He tells me he’s a Yaksha, a war daemon of war. I told him I’m a therion, and all I know about it is it’s a daemon that absorbs the power of anything it devours. He likens me to a Hag as a result.. I didn’t appreciate it…

He soon asks about my ability to smell in relation to my inability to taste. If anything it had gotten keener since I became a daemon. He’s… oddly passionate about alchohol. Moreso than anyone I’ve ever known. However, he tells me that since his transformation, he becomes drunk very easily. Just as well. I never saw the appeal of the stuff.

Once we reached the back of the cave, we found the body of an exorcist floating in the tar. Our quarry, Dyle, wasn’t far behind. He tried to push us in like he did the exorcist. He proved resiliant, but still no match for us. He cursed his former friends at the guild, telling us they were all in on the smuggling operation and they set him up to take the fall. He was burning with the desire for revenge. I decided to leave him his life and slice off his tail. After all, they need only believe he’s dead to get to work.

Of course, it turned out not to be that simple. Even as we returned with out prize, they told us they were still unable to do anything until they got permission from Teresa. I decided to use the tidbit of information Dyle gave me as leverage to make them more.. cooperative.

Rokurou took the time to tell me about using the weapon shoop for weapon enhancement. Truth be told, it sounds like a pain, but I’ll do anything to get stronger. Besides, the benefits sounded quite useful.

Upon leaving town, Rokurou asks me why the daemons I kill turn back into humans. I’d just assumed it was normal, but apparently it never happens to him. Still, even if they do return to human form, they’re dead. It’s no use pondering such things… But still… In any case, he also wondered if we could get a free crew that would work despite the restrictions.

Of course, our bad luck still seems to be making rounds. The guild leader told us it was impossible to repair our ship. We’d have to get a new one. Furthermore, I suddenly had this feeling of impending danger. My prediction was confirmed when we met with the guild again outrside of town. The Abbey had captured a witch and they intended to hold her execution. Neither Rokurou nor I held any doubt that it was Magilou. Apparently, this was Teresa’s specialty. Using executions of criminals to draw out their allies. I decide that it was time to revisit Dyle.

Rokurou showed concern for my apparent lack of hesitation in abandondoningt Magilou and using Dyle. I assured him I had no such intentions. Magilou’s clever. She could take care of herself. There was little doubt she told the Abbey about our activities up to this point, therefor, if we were going to rescue her, we were going to need a wild card. Such as a daemon they think should be dead.

We met with Dyle, and I offered to help with his raid. The plan is simple. Rokurou and I attack the front gate and force the Abbey to focus on us. Meanwhile, Dyle will use the tunnel below the warehouse to sneak in and free Magilou, then we all steal a ship and make our escape. He found the plan amusing. He was all for it.

That night, I had a dream. A dream about Laphicet.. No.. it was more of a nightmare.. He tells me that Arthur asked him to meet him at the shrine of tranquility.. I realise this is will lead him to die. But as I try to stop him from going, I’m bound by fire, and left helpless. I call for him not to go, that Artorius will kill him.

Apparently, I was talking in my sleep, as Rokurou asked me who Artorius was. I could barely hold my fury as I gave him my answer.. The monster who killed my little brother.. A monster who deserves to die…

We meet with Dyle, and he asks my name. When I answer, he sharply tells me that if I lived, he’d gladly sail with me. Or if I died, he’d know what to put on my tombstone. Cute..

Rokurou wanted to know if it was likely we’d encounter the malak child during out assault. I told him it was likely. He has no quams about fighting him if need me. Likewise, if he gets in my way, I won’t hesitate to devour him, even if… Yes.. Even if he has his face…

Status Summery:

Khaos is now Level 11.

Khaos learned Mega Sonic Thrust.

Khaos learned Twin Whip.

Rokurou joined the Party.

Rokurou is now Level 11.

Rokurou learned Form 2: Imbue Earth.

Rokurou Learned Hurricane Thrust.

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Tales of Bersaria – Part 1 – Scarlet Night. Chaos Night.

Disclaimer: For the purposes of this journal, the main character, Velvet, is semi-replaced as an original character. Nothing else has changed.

It began on a night where a the moon turned crimson and the sky was as red as blood. Our hometown was in flames and everyone was screaming as they were attacked by their fellow man, each of them stricken with a violent madness. A man runs with carrying my brother on his back, with myself following behind. However, I trip and he takes us to a nearby tree to hide.

He tells us to stay hidden, this man, my brother-in-law, Arthur, while he tells us he is going to return for our sister, Celica. We’re afraid and tell him not to go. He promises to return, then leaves. However, I disregard his words and leave the tree.

Soon, a man comes up to us out of the bushes, the madness consuming him as he turns into a monsters, a werewolf. Afraid for our lives, we start running. Eventually, we make it to the cape where Arthur is waiting. I call out to him. We’re finally safe, but… I can see.. his sword is stained with blood.

This is the constant nightmare that has plagued me to this day, while I lay in this cell. The gate above me opens once more and another beast drops in. It attacks me, but I unleash my arm, it transforming into a monstrous shape of its own. I easily strike him down, grab him, and feed on him. This is the place the world has become. A world of madness where man and monster are possessed by violent, evil spirits. Even, I am consumed by the bloodlust.. a burning desire… for revenge..

My name is Aeon Crowe, but now I am better known as Khaos. As I devour the worthless beast infront of me, my memories drift back to a simpler time. A time when I was just simply Aeon, living with my brother-in-law and my little brother, Laphicet. In those days, to me, he was just Laphi.

He gets irritable with me as I geat him. He hates being called by his nickname. I only laugh it off as I check him. He’s been sick for a while, and his fever was still high. He dislikes having to stay in bed again. It can’t be helped.

Arthur returns home shortly after, but he informs me that due to circumstances, he was unable to pay for medicine. I offer to earn it myself by hunting prickleboar in the woods nearby. As I prepare to leave, I let Laphi know that I’ve prepared porridge for him.

I make my way into the Tranquil Woods from the main town of Aball where we live, talking to the villagers along the way. Many of them talk about the daemonblight, a strange disease that turns humans into monsters, and that it’s also starting to affect the wildlife. They also talk about the coming of a Scarlet Night, much like the one that took my sister.

The hunt itself is farely easy, so along the way, I couldn’t help but contemplate the domestication of the prickleboars to make selling their meet easier. My thoughts stray to what those domesticated boar would be called. Oinkleboar? Piggleboar? How absurd..

I make my way to the cape, where there lay ruins. The whole there had gotten bigger. The town refuses to put a fense around it despite my petitions. They tell me the place is forbidden land and a gateway to the underworld.

As I return, I’m ambushed by more prickleboar who seemed very upset with me. They must be angry at the ones I hunted. However, stepping down wasn’t an option for me. I defeat them quickly, but one starts to come back and attacks me. I’m only saved by Arthur, who happened to arrive there.

He scolds me for being sympathetic towards them, partly talking to Seres, a malak, a type of being that I can neither hear nor see. In his lectures, he warns me that there are daemons around the area and I should run if I ever see one. When I tell him I can fight, he asks me why birds fly, continuing by saying only exorcists can fight daemons. I spend time contemplating this as I return to town.

I run into my friend, Niko, as I head to the shop. She tries to talk me into buying a new comb, since my old one broke. In doing so, she tries to strike a deal with the shopkeep. He sadly tells me that because of trouble with the daemons, the medicine hasn’t arrived yet and it will probably be costly when it does. He believes Arthur is unable to protect us anymore. His comment makes me angry, but I stifle it as he gives me some Apple Gel as an apology.

As I leave to go home, Niko tells me she wants me to teach her how to make my special quiche for a guy she likes. She’s determined to date him, even if her parents disagree.

As I reach home, I visit the graves of my sister and her unborn child, who died on that night. I’d forgotten to bring Princessia flowers, the type of flowers she liked.

I enter to find Laphi out of bed. I scold him for not staying when he has a fever. On the table lay a picture he was drawing of a compass. As he explains it, I question its use, but he insists it would be the way of the future as I take him to bed. He’s an intelligent child, and not only that, according to Seres, he has potential to be an exorcist. Because of this, he wants to be as strong as Arthur. I believe he can achieve this… as long as he behaves and takes his medicine like he’s supposed to.

As I start preparing dinner, he asks that I leave the spinach out. I agree to it for now, but the conversation quickly turns to love, as my conversation with Niko was still on my mind. I asked Laphi to let me know if he ever gets a girlfriend. He starts to choke, causing me to panic a bit, but he assures me it’s just that I said something wierd.

As I prepare dinner, I start talking with Laphi. The conversation quickly goes from bargaining the inclusion of spinnage to matters of love. I panic when Laphi chokes, but he was just embarrassed by where it went.

The next morning, I wake up to find Laphi gone. In a panic, a search for him around town, asking anyone if they’d seen him. The shopkeep denies it, but I end up discovering a book he’d copied. They made a trade, but he doesn’t know where he went after. I shortly meet with Niko, and she tells me she saw him head to the forest.

I didn’t have to travel far into the woods to find him. He was sitting on the grass like he was tired. When I scold him for suddenly leaving like that, he told me he came to pick flowers at the came for for the graves. I decide to take him there and our conversation along the way turned mainly to memories. The meaning of the Princessia flower, the first time we saw them there, oddly enough, the reason for the name of a reciple Celical had for apples called Apple Boos. It’s strange how we both ended up calling them ‘boo boos’..

We reach the cape before too long and decide to relax there for a while. Since it was on my mind, I talk with Laphi about why he thought birds flew. He gave a similar answer to mine, but before we could get anymore into it, we were attacked by a werewolf.

I told Laphi to run while I held him off. I know what Arthur told me, but I had to protect my little brother. I fought it as hard as I could, butmy blade couldn’t do anything to it.

It easily overpowers me and tosses me to the side. Laphi tries to distract it to protect me, but he’s knocked aside too. It’s then I notice a comb in his hand. He traded that book earlier just to get me a new comb. Instinctively, I shield him as the beast closes in to take us out, but we’re quickly saved by Arthur. I pass out soon after, waking up at home to see Laphi safe and sound. He gives me the comb and we embrace as he swears to me that he will save the world.

That night, a wake up to a red moon. The Scarlet Night had returned, and Laphi was missing once again. As I exit the house to search for him, I see werewolves all over the town. This time, I heed Arthur’s warning and I run from them while searching for Laphi, all the while, passing corpses of villagers.

They didn’t just infest the village either. Even the forest was overrun by them. I find Laphi and Arthur at the ruins at the cape. I thought we were safe but… before my eyes, Laphi starts to levitate before the moon. As I try to help, I fall, feeling my limbs catch on fire. Before I knew it, Laphi is suddenly impaled by two blades of light. He falls into the hole in the ruins and I quickly move to jump after him. I grab his hand desperately and hold on tight. Above me, Arthur scolds me before severing my arm and causes us to fall.

The fall seems to take forever, but all I can see is my brother’s lifeless body as it’s devoured by a golden dragon. It soon overtakes me as well, but all I can feel is rage. Next thing I know, I’m thrown out of the hole with a transformed arm. I lift myself up, focusing my rage on Arthur. A werewolf attacks me from behind, but I grab it out of the air like it’s nothing and use my arm to devour it.

More show up. As far as I’m concerned, they’re in my way. They were meaningless nothings. All I wanted to do was kill kill kill KILL! Kill him! Kill them! Kill them all! I barely even remember Arthur calling me a ‘therion’, a ‘daemon that eats daemons’. I didn’t care! All I wanted to do was kill!

As I finish them all, I find myself soon looking at the villagers. The town had become infected with the daemonblight. Niko is included amoung the corpses. My fury boils over and I attack Arthur directly, only to be deflected by Seres. Other malakhim decend around them as she becomes visible to me, but I start to lose consciousness.

That’s how I came to be in this prison. For the past three years, I lay in this cell, feeding on daemons thrown to me. I devour them until there’s nothing left, because I can’t die.. I won’t die.. before I kill him..

Tonight, however, I find myself with new company. Seres enters my cell, and I waste no time attacking her. I demand she tell me where Arthur is. She responds by saying I must prove if I’m worth teaching. However, during our fight, I can tell she’s holding back. She tells me she’s no longer Arthur’s malak.

According to her, the ritual Arthur performed three years ago changed the course of the world. For this purpose, she seems to have chosen me. She breaks the seal on my cell and tells me to escape.

We head to the storage room first to procure some equipment. The guard was already knocked out. In the nearby chest, we find some rope and a sword. Seres recognises it, referring to it as Stormhowl. She’s surprised when I decide to leave it. It may be a decorated blade, but I’m used to my faster armblade. A sword like that is useless to me. She’s further surprised when she learns I already known Titania is an island prison and that she procured to boat to get us out. I learned a lot from daemons begging to live.

On the way out, we find an ethereal ball. Seres tells me it’s a collection of mana, like a family of malakhin, a side effect of the Advent three years ago. She tells me if I collect enough, I may be able to solicit help from a malak family.

Further down, we overhear guards talking. They mention a path at the watchtower. However, they know intruders are here. I decide to cause a distraction using the prisoners. I manage to incite many. They all had reasons for wanting to get out. Some were still reluctant. Either way, as soon as the seals on their cells were broken, a riot began.

Upon leaving the cells, a woman claiming to be a witch snuck up on me. She calls herself Magilou…. though it was much longer than that.. I’ll just keep it short. Seres confirms that, despite her claims, she’s not tethered to a malak. Still, her sneaking up on me… It’s likely she’s a daemon.

Later, we encounter another daemon. A man with a glowing red eye. We get into a fight, but he stops when the knives he was using get chipped. He mentions reclaiming Stormhowl, the sword I had found before. At my bewilderment, he asks me about it and thanks me when I answer, leaving to head for the storage room. He was an odd one as well.

As we reach the tower, we encounter three exorcists, but we’re quick to take them down. Seres tells me the prisoners are doomed and our time grows short. To make matters worse, the path at the watchtower is out, probably collapsed during the riot. Without a second thought, I unleash my arm and jump down, breaking my fall as best as possible. However, I still end up dislocating my shoulder. Seres heals me, comparing my commitment to the oath of a malak. When I tell her she made me this way, she responds by saying that’s why she chose me.

As we run to the front, we’re met by an exorcist praetor named Oscar. He seemed rather reasonable, but we was unwilling to let us go. We fought, but one of his malaks unexpectedly caught the daemonblight and transformed into a dragon. He’s knocked aside, and I fight it off, but I can’t compete with it. Seres, however, takes the fatal blow that was meant for me, then begs me to devour her.

She hands me the come that Laphi had given me before, and I decide to grant her wish. I devour her and her power, fully unleashing my arm. As she becomes merely a ring bonded to me, I see things through her eyes. What it was like for her that day. What she saw. What she felt. I’m overcome with rage once more. With her power in hand, I crush the dragon.

Oscar tried to stop me with a blast from his remaining malak, but I quickly regain my footing, take the dragon below me, and begin to devour it. I give him my name, as it becomes the last part of my previous life remaining. I am Aeon Crowe. I am a therion. I am Khaos. I am a monster.

Using the dragon’s fire, I wounded him, forcing him and the malak to retreat. It’s oddly then that I meet with Magilou and that daemon again. He introduces himself as Rokurou and tells me he wishes to join me until she repays me for helping him reclaim his sword…. Magilou seems to join because there are no better options.

It’s needless to say that escaping in a storm with no accomplished sailors and only a compass was not the best choice, even if the only one. We become shipwrecked and I wake up to find a child healing me. He looked like Laphi, but he was a malak. He gets scared as I get up, tasking the compass with him, but he’s attacked by lower daemons.I jump in to protect him, but he runs off.

The others recover by the time I finish, Rokurou saying he would’ve joined in if he had a weapon… despite having one already on him. He suggests we go to the nearby town of Hallewe. Along the way, they end up talking about various things, eventually turning to why they were imprisoned. They seemed to have been in Titania for three years like myself, Rokurou saying it was due to a debt. Magilou seemed to want to boast about the ‘horrible story of betrayal’ that lead her to being imprisoned… I ignore her…

We soon run into a creasure known as a Katz, as Magilou put it, a sort of malakhim. Apparently the souls I had found on thus far belong to his kind and after a strange party, they became scattered and most of his kind got trapped in chests… How does that even work… In any case, he asks us to help find them all… I can’t believe I’m doing this now…

We reach the town to find it guarded by exorcists, however, the malak child from before shows up to give back our compass. He claims he didn’t mean to take it and ran off to an alternate path. We follow him into a cave that leads to a ladder and soon find ourselves in a storehouse upon climbing it. The child is gone, so Rokurou suggests talking to a local guild.

As we take to the streets, I overhear a couple of kids talking. They wish to become exorcists praising how hard they work to ‘protect the world’. I feel anger and frustration, that such people like Arthur can be considered heroes.. But.. then again… to them… they are..

Status Summery:

Khaos is now Level 7.

Khaos learned Swallow Dance.


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Review: Phantasy Star Portable – A Hit And Miss

This review has taken much longer to get out than I intended because I immediately moved into Portable 2 afterwards… and then kinda fell out into OTHER journal projects because I got so BORED trying to grind…

Phantasy Star Portable is the PSP sequel to Phantasy Star Universe on the PS2, the second in the rebooted series that was Sega’s critically acclaimed Phantasy Star series which originally saw several games on the Megadrive (Genesis in the US) before it went online on the Dreamcast.

Taking place a couple of years after Universe, Portable follows the story of a new member of the Guardians which the player can create. Fresh our of training, your created character becomes paired with another new recruit of the CAST android race named Vivienne as you seek to to investigate the possible reaccurance of the enemy known as the SEED, while teaching her about the galaxy and everything in it. For the sake of the playthrough, my character was a CAST Force named Metis who is an eccentric inventor.

The game’s gameplay and mechanics have only slightly changed from its predacessor on the PS2 (Though I have never actually finished it). As per standard fair on the PS2 at the time, the hub worlds have been boiled down to menus and missions are played out in various maps depending on which settlement you’re on. Your weapons and weapon ranks are determined by the class of your license. While you start with three basic licences, Hunter (fighter), Ranger and Force (mage), by developing your classes to required stats, you can advance to more advanced classes down the line, including a couple of Hybrid classes. It goes a decent way into ensuring you can customize your character how you want and you don’t have to stick with a particular class the entire game.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the story of Phantasy Star Portable. It’s pretty decent and goes a long way to making your care about your characters, including some decent pathos and humour along the way. I honestly enjoyed all the story segments from beginning to end…. But then I started to realize something about it. Many of the characters are all returning from Universe. With MAYBE the exception of the instructor who trains you and your partner Vivienne, there are no new party members and even new characters in general were in the minority. Even missions began to feel eerily similar to missions I had played in Universe. I began to realize that this game was originally intended to be a port, but was converted into a sequel sometime during development. Now, while this wasn’t exactly a problem for me since I never finished Universe, many returning fans probably found the gameplay rather stale.

I’m not kidding when I say that. The gameplay hadn’t been improved since Universe and in some cases felt worse. I found locking on to me almost to be the BIGGEST pain of the game if I were trying to aim spells. It got to the point where my strategy for spellcasting was to use Area-of-Effect spells most of the time ontop of my healing spells because spells that targeted would often miss or not reach the required range. This wasn’t a major issue in the long run as bows were well suited to Forces and went a long way in accomplishing my goals, but it was a pain in the rear that when I wanted to spellcast, I had to hundle up to an enemy and hope he doesn’t move out of the way while I cast my earthquake.

I’ll tell you what WAS a major issue for me, though. GRINDING. Phantasy Star Portable takes the online features of its predacessor and unfortunately incorperates it into the single player mode as well. But instead of having a more boiled down experience, it tries to behave more like an MMO. The amount of weapons you get in this game is REDICULOUS to the n’th degree with several different TYPES and RANKS. The major problem of this is that these different weapons have different stats, including the damage they can do and how much PP (The game’s equivalent of MP) you could use. But there’s almost NO reason to have so many different varieties of a different type. I don’t CARE if my staff can do 1500 damage if I can only CAST it five times. Forces and Rangers effectively would prefer weapons with more PP over damage because their damage output won’t mean much if you run out of PP in the first place. And to top it off, the weapons you’re going to WANT will be in some rank of some mission and it’s COMPLETELY dictated by RNG if you GET it or not. This turns getting new equipment that you actually want by the end of the game into a frustrating pain. ESPECIALLY for Forces.

This is not helped by the different levels of HP and damage reduction of each class and it’s CERTAINLY not helped by your intellegence, or lack their off, of the AI! Enemies will ALWAYS focus on attacking you in Single Player mode, because they KNOW that if they take YOU out, the mission is over. And the AI of your teammates gets so GODDAMN awful, that all the healind duties to fall onto you, which can easily become IMPOSSIBLE when an enemy is TRAPPING YOU IN ICE WHILE SPAMMING YOU TO DEATH. Saying this as someone who normally actually LIKES grinding, grinding in this game is NOT fun because you have to FIND where your weapon is, SURVIVE to beat the BOSS and HOPE that it’s the weapon you’re GODDAMN LOOKING FOR. To make it even more frustrating for the Force class, your low HP will ensure that some deaths are absolutely UNAVOIDABLE, meaning there’s an even LARGER chance than you’ve battled through gauntlet after gauntlet of enemies for absolutely NOTHING.

This could’ve been SUCH a simple fix. Just give the Forces something that increases their survivability. Immunity to any status effect that immobilises you, the ability to block, dodge or shrug off magic attacks. Or even AI that actually SUPPORT you when you need help and not just STAND there while you get PUMMELLED TO DEATH.

To make THAT even worse, in order to even BEAT the game, your character HAS to have over 1000 HP to survive the final boss’ best attack, meaning MORE hours of grinding depending on your class. To give you a good idea, if you’re a Force, that’s a LOOOOOOT of extra grinding, most of which accomplished while dealing with the RNG of trying to get the weapons and dying to enemies over and over and over.

It’s clear the game intends you to do all that grinding with friends online, but even that can get tedious. I don’t even know if the online still works because I never HAD online on my PSP. Because I’m on a dynamic ISP setting for safety reasons, I COULDN’T activate online, and when I did by connecting what possibly was a dummy server setup, the input was PAINFULLY laggy.

However, as much as I’ve harped on it this entire review, I can’t say I actually hated this game. Sure, I had plenty of moments of frustration, but for the most part it works okay. Once I settled into patterns and styles for my Force, I tended to be pretty consistent with victories most of the time and I always felt accomplished after beating a hard boss. The story has a couple of flaws, but it was good enough to make me want to see it through to the end, and reaching that end was such an accomplished feeling. Furthermore, the game does offer you the ability to return to it with previous save data upon clearing it. There was a lot of frustration to be had, but that frustration was always met with reward.

The game’s major flaw is ironically the its attempts to make it’s online it’s major draw and keeping that online seperate from the main campain. If they put more focus on the single player aspect and adjusted it accordingly, I wouldn’t have had half my problems with the grinding I had during my playthrough and the wonky lock-on was probably an error from when it was still a port.

This game also boasts multiple endings, allegedly based on how you interacted with Vivienne.

The only other complaint I can really offer is most of the time it felt like you were more a side character in Vivienne’s story. However, I can’t fault it for that too much and the game always tried to include you whenever possible.

It’s hard for me to really recommend this game at full price, especially for hardcore RPG fans, as the forced grinding tends to wear on patience, and I’d suggest finding a guide on Gamefaqs to cut down on the time needed to grind for gear, but if you can get it at a good deal and you’re willing to take part in the story of a fine space opera, it’s worth the purchase.

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Lord of Arcana – Part 1 – Rebirth of a Monarch

My name is Casta Medora, and I have no idea what or where I am..

I can tell you what I once was.

I was once a simple peasant girl in one of the many villages around the kingdom I called home. We were not wealthy by any means. Some days, we’d have to go without food because there wasn’t simply enough to go around. I really didn’t mind too much. I had a family, a place where I belonged.

That was, until one day, I caught the fancy of the court Wizard, who, with his king, had travelled to our village. He told me he could feel a great power inside me, a proficiency for magic that he had never seen before. After consulting with his king, they had bargained with my family and I was sold to them. I was suddenly this old wizard’s apprentice and I had no say in the matter.

Despite his lecherous glances, I can’t say he treated me badly. He may have made the odd remark about my garments ‘not being revealing enough, but he dared not touch me.. Partly because I had quickly learned spells that could incinerate him in an instant. Nevertheless, he had treated me much like he would his own child. The only exception being he presented me with a sealed visor for my eyes and entructed me never to remove them.

In his passing, I became the new court Wizard. The old king and his son entrusted me with matters that no other member of the court could take on. In fact, I was even the first wizard to be given command over a platoon of knights in case of war, as I had learned the art of weapons and combat through mere observation.

It was only fairly recent, but now it feels so very long ago.

We had received word that a dragon had been attacking village after village within the kingdom. The king had ordered the entire military to go and defeat it within the cave where it had made its layer. I proposed that only I should encounter it. There was something about the power I felt from the area that made me think it was the best option. He reluctantly agreed. I could almost hear the cackling of my former mentor as I set out.

Once I had entered the cave, I had noticed that it had covered the ruins of an ancient structure, possibly a temple. It was filled with monsters, mostly mere goblins, but some were huge, hulking beasts, each guarding the path further inside. I was forced into a side path as one of the the final gate refused to open. Defeating as guardian beast elsewhere, then hit a switch to activate a teleporter to quickly transport back.

Reaching the deepest part of the ruins wasn’t hard, as I was sufficiently armed with powerful fire magic and the best armour and weapons the king could provide. I even took the Dragon King Bahamut with me to be safe. Yet, it was no ordinary dragon I met in the ruins. It was Nidhogg, the Devourer of the World Tree. Even if the entire military were to attack it, they wouldn’t leave a scratch.. and they would just be in my way.

Despite my sealed eyes, I could easily tell where the beast was weakest. The difference in our sizes made a huge difference, as I was much quicker. I kept myself behind it to attack its tail. It got angry as I managed to hack it off. The battle itself prooved long and hard. It was difficult for Nidhogg to hit me and its hide didn’t make hurting it too easy. I had to increase the output of my mana to shred into his his armoured hide.

Realizing the gravity of his situation, he tried escape, limping along as it did. I couldn’t let it leave the cave, so I had continued my assault. I forced it into a desperate fight before I severed his head from his neck. However, as his body began to disintergrate, a spiritual figure clad in fire appeared before me. He was apparently impressed by my accomplisment. He told me I was to inherit his will and with a wave of his hand, I lost consciousness.

Next thing I knew, I found myself in a strange land. Strange yet, somehow familiar. I was in a vast temple, room I was in looked as if it could rival the king’s throneroom. However, the land wasn’t the only thing that has changed. My body itself had undergone a transformation. It was covered in bronze scales, a great bronze tail slinking around my back. My hair now had streaks of white lining the normally pure black strands. I couldn’t see it through the seal, but my sight had improved tremendously. I would give no doubt that my eyes, too, had changed. There was also something else. I had become far weaker.

I was greeted by this strange impfolk named Veddel. They told me I was a new candidate to become Sovereign of this land they called Horodyn. To do so, I have to prove my strength by claiming the Arcana.

This land was apparently named after the first king. He arrived with a great power and conquered it all in just nine days. Was this perhaps the figure that had spoken to me?

I’m told that I have undergone a rebirth. All my accomplishments in the other world had been wiped clean for this one. It showed. I could cast any spells, my gear had been wittled down to just my sword, and it was heavy and hard to wield. I couldn’t even feel the presence of the King of Dragons around me.

Coming out into the town, I was pointed to the Slayer’s Guild, a place for monster hunters apparently. They gave me some basic equipment and I was given a trial to complete in order to fully become a member.

I headed into the forest, which surrounded this village. My task was to slay three Goblins. They weren’t exactly difficult, but it had become quickly apparent how much my strength had waned. Nevertheless, I accomplished my task and was allowed to join the guild. I took full advantage straight away to strengthen my gear.

My next task was to achieve five red stones from the Goblins. Once more, it was a simple task. However, once I had finished, a great power started to flow from the temple. It was calling me.

Touching the pulsating monolith within the circle of nine, I was transported to a desert. Aside from the goblins were also skeletons. An Oasis lay to the right of the path back to town.

Those undead took considerably more effort to fight, but it became a matter of attacking from behind and not getting caught in my own swings.

At the end of the path, I found my challenger, the Fire God, Agni. A beast made of molten rock and a hand that burned like a great inferno.

My ill-preparedness lead to my swift defeat, but after I had properly prepared, I had taken to making that arm my primary target of attack. It became rather annoying that he took a liking to rolling himself into a ball and rolling everywhere. It was easy enough to avoid and he had a tendancy to go over my head when he did it while I was in the middle of my attack.

It was the easiest to avoid when he went to the center of the arena and spiralled outwards, as I just had to wait until he moved outward before taking refuge in the middle. His hardest attacks were actually those he would do while attacking, like swiping with a flame blade from his arm or hitting me with a double punch. At that point, I had to be careful of my attacks and block when necessary.

I took the best opportunity to slash into him while he was open, drawing out several parts and breaking his arm. He was quite angry as a result, but I would just continue as normal, now slashing for his head. It wasn’t long before he was trying to escape. I could show him no mercy. I kept attacking to force him into a desperate situation.

He charged at me, but I slid between his legs and slashed at his back before kicking him. As he came in, I slashed for his body before flying up and come down for a vertical slice. The clash, I used my momentum in the are to swipe away his fist before slashing across his body. The Fire God had fallen, and I had claimed his Core.

Once I returned to the temple, Agni submitted fully to my strength and opened his desert to me. He also offered to help me train. I took the rest of the day to make preparations.

The next day, I took a job to hunt down five skeletons around the desert. Much of the path was now open to me. The skeletons, however, were few and far between. Eventually, after a single round, I made it two the Oasis with three of them taken out. A Goblin mage was protecting the others. I made short work of him and finished the hunt.

Then came a foraging request for five Sand Ripple Roses around the desert. A few spots in the path were inhabited by creatures riding giant monsters. I thought best not to fight them just yet. I had collected three, but the final two were in the Oasis, where one of those creatures patrolled. I tried to fight them for a small time, but retreated when I saw I was clearly not ready. Still, I managed to get the final two roses without it noticing me afterweards.

The temple had called to me once more, but I was not felt fully prepared. Agni had issued a challenge to me once more. I had no idea if he intended to initiate a coup de’ tat, or if he merely wished to test me, as this time, I encountered him aided by two Goblins. Despite his cheating ways, I still proved the victor. It became the same process once the Goblins were out of the picture.

I probably should punish him for using such low tactics, it’s because of his efforts that I was now able to use Fire Magic again.

Now that I was prepared to my satisfaction, I returned to the temple to face my next challenge. I found myself in a cave with a skeleton guarding the path forward. It proved no more difficult than the desert, and my challenger even came to me.

This time I faced the Thunder God, Takemikazuchi, a beast with horns that beat drums to call down thunder and lightning. Those drums were the weakspot here. I quickly took to attacking his back, but he annoyingly had struck me with a bolt that shrunk me.

I kept running around waiting for it to wear off, but to no avail. It was then I was made aware of the ball of light wandering the arena. I struggled to reach it, and then struck. The force of me reclaiming my form had stunned the God, allowing me to attack him and break his drums. It took only a few more hits for me to need to slash into him.

He shrunk me once more, and he had started becoming more viscious with a blade of Thunder, but getting to the orb was more trouble than actually striking it. It wasn’t too much longer before he was trying to get away and I had to force him into a final clash like I had done with Agni.

Like Agni before him, his desperate attacks met with my counters and I finished off by breaking him open before thrusting my sword into him, and with a final swipe upwards, I claimed his Core. Furthermore, much like Agni before him, he submitted to my strength and opened his cave to me.

With the power he granted to me, I gained the ability to cast Thunder Magic once more, and improve myself further. I also had claimed the Darkness Magic of the skeletons.

Training was smoother after that. Between Agni and Takemikazuchi, I was able to become more capable. I wasn’t just reaching my former prowers. I had begun to surpass it.

Two days, two Arcana and two supremely powerful monsters that had submitted to my strength. It was then I started to realize a simple truth about myself. I, myself, am a monster like them. This entire ritual was a battleground for the supreme, and only the strongest can come out on top. A war between monsters, by the law of monsters.

My next opponent will certainly not be easy, and neither will any of the opponents I will face after. I do not take any of them lightly yet, at the same time, I can’t help but look forward to the next big fight.

Status Summery:

Casta is now Level 15.

Two-Handed Sword Proficiency reached Lv. 11.

Guild Rank reached Lv. 6.

Darkness Magic reached Lv. 4.

Thunder Magic reached Lv. 6.

Fire Magic reached Lv. 5.

Casta learned Battle Art: Shadowless Prayer.

Casta’s Arcana is now 2.

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