Chapter 4: The Trapped DemonsEdit
Town of EteEdit
Just as Cheryl warned you, the following day the labyrinth is off-limits, leaving you without much to do except hang out around the town. If you visit Masheri, she'll invite you out to gather dye ingredients in the forests; while you're out there, you stumble across the crest from a Marsterrian knight's armor. Wondering what Natal was doing hanging around out here, Fino decides to hang onto it for later.
Heading by the Moonflower during the evening, Fino is surprised to see an elf sitting at the bar. She brushes off his initial attempts at friendliness, but eventually relents when he introduces himself. The elf Forchera tells him that she's come to town on behalf of her people to find a pair of sacred treasures; this gets Fino's attention very quickly, but Cefilia soon arrives to escort her to her lodgings. It turns out that Forchera is an instructor at the knight's academy at the capital. Although she doesn't ask for any special treatment, Cefilia is still a little awkward around her teacher. After they leave, the twins present Fino with some special aged liquor as a reward for working up the guts to talk to Forchera.
The next day, Jinos has returned from his errand and the labyrinth is reopened for expeditions. Forchera is there, getting acquainted, but isn't ready to sign on with an adventuring party yet. Fino promises to help her find the artifacts she's seeking, but in the meantime, Jinos has another request, this time from Zereia: the horn of a demon from deeper within the dungeon.
Head past where you fought Kuguri and continue around; eventually you'll run into Kuroe again. Fino decides to give him the aged liquor as repayment for his help in the fight against Evan, which surprises the dwarf a bit - enough to hand over some magical ore that he claims he doesn't need anyway. He also lets you know that the demon you seek is in the area beyond, although he senses Evan's presence in the area as well, so be on your guard.
Temple of the Dark Chimes B24 (Map)Edit
Before long you'll come across a glimmering object in the dust. It turns out to be a ring, although it doesn't seem to be worth anything; Fino tosses it over the objections of his companions, telling them that he has a sixth sense for finding magic items (according to Zereia, anyway) and that this wasn't one of them. Cefilia brings up the story of the Couple's Rings, a pair of magical rings that enhances the "bonds" between two people... both she and Myiri seem quite interested in this story. Of course, Fino is naturally oblivious to anything but the news of another treasure in the dungeon, promising that he'll help them find the rings together.
Behind a hidden wall on the west side of the map you'll find the demon you're seeking. Luckily for you, it's already dead, its remains surprisingly well-preserved. Unluckily for you, no sooner do you finish cutting off the horn than Evan appears to take it from you, looking none too impressed to see that you've added even more children to your numbers since last you met.
This time around there's no timer to save you; you've got to fight until one of you falls. Unless you've done some hefty grinding (you should have earned your first class change by now), winning will require a fair bit of luck, and probably one or two Magic Stones to replenish Cefilia's healing magic as you trade blows. If he proves to be too much, losing this fight does not cause a game-over, although Evan will take the horn from you as the final insult.
Evan is surprised to see you holding up so well, although it's clear to you both that he'll wear you down eventually. Fino still can't quite picture Evan as a bad person, but demands to know why he's so intent on collecting demon horns. To Fino's annoyance, Evan doesn't give a straight answer, merely dropping the cryptic hint that he considers humans no different from other monsters - yet neither is the greatest danger in the labyrinth. Before that can sink in, he leaves, allowing you to hang onto your prize.
Town of EteEdit
Jinos greets you heartily upon your return, but then has to ask why everybody's looking so downhearted. Nonetheless, he rewards you quite generously for completing the request, and tells you confidentially that there's a "special" assignment coming up.
It turns out (next day) that another party has asked for Fino's assistance; Laura and Zereia will be temporarily teaming up with Cefilia and Myiri, respectively. Fino is furious that somebody's barging in and rearranging his party for him, but that fades when Forchera enters. She wants him to help her locate the Tears of Typhtita, one of the artifacts she came to Ete to find. She's also asked Kuroe to help you both as a guide.
The sand in the southwest corner has stopped flowing, allowing you to pass through and take the stairs up to the Phantasmal Hall.
Phantasmal Hall B16 (Map)Edit
Your goal here is only a couple of spaces away from where you entered. Exploring the rest of the level can yield a fair bit of free equipment, although you'll need to be wary of mimics as you explore; it's best not to mess around and have Kuroe crush them as quickly as possible.
In Room 15 Kuroe announces that he smells treasure; Fino finds this rather unlikely, but decides to sit back and let him do his thing regardless. Before they find it, Fino senses something else - the approach of a demon.
This enemy is fairly resistant to Forchera's magic; you'll likely find it best to drop a trap and step back, having Fino soften it up with knives before Kuroe finishes it off in close range.
Fino is surprised that they came out on top, and realizes that the three of them were covering each other's weaknesses as they fought. Remembering the treasure, they resume their search - but what they find is not the Tears, but a magical perfume instead. Fino is downcast that they didn't find what Forchera wanted, but she doesn't seem concerned in the least - the real goal was to train Fino and get a feel for the labyrinth.
Town of EteEdit
After parting ways, Fino reports his "success" to Jinos and Cheryl, who give him his new marching orders from Zalex: to move into the Gatekeeper's Palace and exterminate the demons there. Fino doesn't like the sound of that order, but remembering the beast he just fought, understands and accepts the mission.
Reuniting with Myiri and Cefilia, Fino is surprised by how much they've grown during their training.
Room of Sand Carvings B21 (Map)Edit
The statue north of the beacon will crumble into dust as you approach, revealing a staircase leading down.
Guardsman's Palace B27 (Map)Edit
Only a couple of rooms in you'll come upon a magical barrier. Myiri is fearful of whatever terrible demon might be sealed away behind it, but Cefilia says that the barrier doesn't seem very powerful; its source can probably be shut off somewhere in the immediate area. At three separate locations around the level, you'll find glassy constructions which can be broken; when all three are smashed, Myiri will say that she hears a voice. Returning to the barrier, you'll find that it's no longer active.
Reminding themselves that this was a demon's prison, the party steels itself for what it might find... but instead of a fearsome beast, they encounter a winged, cat-eared girl named Renee. The three of them struggle to reconcile their expectations with the beast-girl in front of them, with little success, but Renee corrects them and says that she's not a beastwoman, but a mare. This, according to Fino, would make her a demon like Alastor, but Renee reacts fearfully and says that that's not at all the case. That being said, she's still going to try to work her charms and drain Fino of his spirit, over the girls' objections.
Renee's ranged attacks are nothing special, and while her melee is stronger, it's still not much compared to fighting Evan (or even the common enemies on this floor.)
Fino manages to convince the girls not to kill Renee after the battle, but they're still suspicious - and it turns out that they're now locked inside of the prison as well. According to Renee, this is the doing of Grashim and Margot, two high-ranking demons in the labyrinth; in fact, Grashim may actually be second in power only to Alastor itself.
They eventually find a way to release the lock and make their way outside, but run headfirst into Latiffe, whose immediate response to seeing Renee is to attack. Fino tries to shield her, and they both end up back inside the prison as it teleports to another location in the dungeon. Later, she "thanks" him for saving her; then they open the prison again, and Fino makes his own way back to the surface. He wonders what he can do to protect beings like Renee from being harmed as their exploration continues.