876: Tales of Vesperia 2: The Blastia Age Restored – Chapter Four, Part TwoPosted: November 1, 2014
Hello, and welcome back to chapter four of Tales of Vesperia 2: The Blastia Age Restored, by MrAwesomeMatty! I’m your host and guest-riffer, SC, and in the last part, I kidnapped a really important guy, Tai got mad at people being mean to Raven and made a really laughable threat of violence if they tried it while he was around, and then Raven joined the party and the group set out for Zaphias.
It only took four fucking chapters.
Also, it’s NaNoWriMo! Possibly my other favorite time of the fall besides Halloween and Thanksgiving. And I’m ruining it with this garbage. Mine is a world of good decisions.
So, I got the weirdest request the other day, right as I was preparing to write this riff solo because Specs is still out and I couldn’t wrangle any OCs or canon characters to sit in with me.
The request was sent by a one King Arunumin, who is an OC of mine noted for his wise rule, expert swordsmanship, and above all else, his immortality. He’s one of about seven of these Immortals who all happen to be students of an eighth Immortal of great renown, whose mission it is to train them to be the guardians of all living creatures against the evils that would plague the world, and wouldn’t you know it, after he took the throne of his kingdom, all of his fellow students fell into roles of authority alongside him.
Anyhow, Arunumin’s request asked that I allow him and his fellow Immortals to sit in on some of my riffs – I don’t have any idea why – and the first name on the list to do so is none other than Arunumin’s Court Wizard and very close childhood friend, Libraum.
So… Welcome, Libraum!
Now, normally, I would take some time to go into detail about the character… but Libraum and his fellow Immortals have all lived for several millions of years, so instead, I’ll just touch on the most important things they’re known for.
Libraum’s magic capabilities can almost be compared to Gandalf. After several millions of years, you’d have to be that good, else what the hell were you doing for all that time, huh?
As I said, Libraum is Arunumin’s close childhood friend. And yet, in spite of Arunumin flat-out asking that he not, Libraum insists on referring to him as “Your Majesty” and all that jazz. In fact, that bronze circlet he wears? That’s because Arunumin wears one of platinum, and his wife – the Queen – wears one of gold, and Libraum would be damned if he were to show either of them up by wearing one of higher value than them, so he rejected the offer for an adamantium circlet in favor of the bronze one you see. This level of obedient servitude tends to stress Arunumin out quite terribly, as he prefers to interact with people on a personal level, rather than King-to-subject.
She didn’t come along, but Libraum has a long-standing friendship with a fairy named Flit who was adopted by his family when he was very young. Eventually, Libraum will outlive Flit, but fairies thankfully have an extensive life span, so at least they can be buddies until then.
Aaand last important detail: When Arunumin’s reign ended upon his “death” in battle, he and Libraum awoke a few thousand years later and went on to found the Veldynal-Ae-Ruun, which is a guild of heroes from around the world. In their world, Veldynal-Ae-Ruun translates to Brotherhood of Protectors. Take a wild guess what their objective is.
So, did I about cover everything?
Libraum: As much as need be known, yes.
Alright! Well, since we’ve gotten that out of the way, how about we check in on Tai and the others and see how their little journey to Zaphias is going?
The travel to the capital was very quiet a peaceful, except for the few monster attacks. They were relatively weaker on this side of the hold. Just a few wolves and plant-type monsters were killed in like a few seconds. Estelle and Raven didn’t even need to use artes at all really; just with their weapons they could kill them with ease.
I’d say it’s going quite well, wouldn’t you?
Libraum: I’m not certain it’s possible to face difficulty from opponents of diminutive strength. However, I do have a number of lifetimes worth of training under my belt, so perhaps I speak with an unfair bias.
But Tai kept a very close eye on the old man’s fighting style. He liked his bow and arrows, how he fired them while dodging in a very unique fashion, how the short knife came into play when enemies came to close, and how despite his age, the man could jump really high and was nimble.
Libraum: I can’t find it within me to be impressed. I’ve known Attriune for far too long.
Full disclosure: Attriune is another of the Immortals, and she happens to be Arunumin’s archer regiment commander.
Libraum: Former archer regiment commander. We don’t control the kingdom, anymore.
Right, my bad.
It was coming to the last two monsters: a wolf, and some kind of pink fungus. It was where something happened that the teen didn’t want to happen.
Libraum: He tripped and twisted his ankle?
God, I wish. That would be the most hilarious way for this shitwipe to get killed.
Anyways, Estelle had run up to the wolf and tried to deal a fatal strike to it, but she missed as the wolf dodged to the side. It caught her off guard and caused her to fall. Seeing her open, the enemy started to growl and charge at her.
However, it would NOT be a hilarious way for Estelle to get killed. Actually, it would be quite sad and distressing.
Seeing her in peril but too far away, Tai quickly scanned the area to see where Raven was, but unfortunately he was just finishing off the fungus that he turned right as the wolf charged for her.
Libraum: He Turned the fungus? I wasn’t aware you could manipulate the will of plants to your favor.
Several million years, and there’s still things you don’t know, eh?
Libraum: Well, they say that knowledge has no boundaries.
“Darn it! We’re not gonna make it in time!” Raven said, worried as he ran towards Estelle.
Pet fungus in tow.
Tai tried to sprint as fast as he could, but he wouldn’t make it either by the time he got there. Estelle widened her eyes as the wolf lunged for her and bore his fangs out at her.
OW! Why would you bore out your own fangs?!
Libraum: And to perform such a garish display in front of a lady? Something in your mind is truly broken.
Causing her to scream in fear as she closed her eyes, it hit the fact that his hope for her not seeing it was inevitable.
Not sure if brick to the head, or if Tai was hinting at being forced to use his OMINOUS POWERS again.
Grunting in frustration, Tai stopped running and sheathed his bat onto his back again.
Libraum: *sigh* Though my strengths lie in the arcane, I have seen Lord Arunumin and Master Sigeren duel plenty enough times to know that you do not sheathe your weapon in a combat scenario, regardless of how far away your opponent is.
Hey man, this isn’t even the half of the fuckwaddery Tai has been known to display in combat. You should read back two chapters.
He slowly raised his left demonic glove towards the enemy and held his right side of his headphones.
What, is he about to channel a nonsensical Dubstep Cannon through his equally nonsensical headphones that have no business being in this time period?
Libraum: Why, this sounds like perfectly normal- What in the blessed names of the Gods is this?!
Yeah, that’s Dubstep.
Libraum: If I had known it was demon music meant to summon Eldritch horrors from a world beyond sanity’s comprehension, I would not have asked!
Closing his eyes for a second, Raven slyly noticed his glove show its green design with in the blackness as it glowed. Opening his eyes, Tai glared at the wolf.
Wait, are Tai and Raven the same person, now? Did we literally just perform a Fusion Dance and create Taiven?
Libraum: Guh. I’ll thank you not to bring up memories of the art of Fusion. A more dreadful example of magic I fear I may never know – there is no torture quite like sharing minds and bodies with another person, and therefore shouldering the weight of whatever difficulties they suffer from on top of your own.
Before the wolf got to her, Estelle didn’t notice out of fear that the same dark liquid came out from underneath the two and slowly bubbled. Suddenly, a shout was heard.
“EGAD! SOMEBODY SUMMONED C’THULHU!”
Or that, I guess.
It was then that a huge impaling spike came up from underneath the wolf and went through it.
Aw, for fuck’s sake, Matty!
*Alarms Bla- Oh, hi Libraum, I didn’t see you there, I’ll be quiet now*
…The fuck did you DO?!
Libraum: I do not necessarily need to USE my powers for them to effect the environment around me.
You just disarmed a DRD assault by SITTING THERE!
Libraum: Refer to my previous statement.
With a huge yelp catching her attention, Estelle watched as the spike went in a curve and then smashed the wolf into the ground, causing a huge explosion of smoke and dirt kicked up.
Oh fucking fantastic, Tai has Tim Burton powers.
Libraum: If it was his intent to slam the poor creature into the ground, could he not have just made the attack in the form of a large hand and ended it quickly? Did he truly need to disembowel it, as well?
Keep in mind, this is the same Tai who claims to not like killing, so he uses a bat and bludgeons his enemies to near-death instead and lets them suffer a pained existence from then on if they survive the trauma.
Libraum: I would sooner demand that I be killed swiftly at the hands of my opponent and at least retain my honor, rather than be made to suffer grave agony and shame from non-lethal defeat!
After a few seconds, she gasped to see the wolf was dead and the energy slowly began to disappear.
Oh yeah, and he claims not to like killing, right in the face of having just committed murder.
Libraum: Double-standards, and false heroics to disguise outright torture? If there is a way for me to kill a man from across worlds that I have yet to discover, I would certainly like to make use of it now.
Join the club, pal.
Estelle and Raven both looked at Tai, who just in time had run over to her and helped her up.
“Estelle, you okay?” he asked, concerned.
“Y-Yes, but… that energy… it came back, Tai!” the princess exclaimed, a bit out of it from so much shock.
“I guess ya can thank Tai for that, yer highness,” Raven walked over, smiling.
Both looked over to him with widened eyes, but each had different reasons. Estelle was surprised that the was the one who helped her all along was the teen, but Tai was scared that he slipped up.
I mean, if Tai and Raven are the same person now, he SHOULD be scared of having slipped up, because he fucking DID, and ADMITTED IT TO ESTELLE’S FACE.
“What are you talking about, Raven?” the boy tried to act unknowingly.
“Sorry, kiddo, but ya can’t fool me. I saw your glove or whatever the thingy is glow and you yelled the arte name,” the old man rubbed his chin and winked to him, “Then, that dark energy cam’ out and saved Estelle. That was you, wasn’t it?”
Libraum: I discarded vocal incantations many years ago for this reason. Though I’m not one to try and hide my powers, if I absolutely must go unnoticed, it’s helpful to be able to cast a spell and not draw attention to myself as the one responsible for it.
Well, these guys aren’t quite as advanced in the use of magic as you are, so you can’t really expect them to know how to do that. And that holds true for EVERYBODY in the Tales series who uses Artes, not just these three. (Oddly, though, it doesn’t seem to apply in cutscenes, or for non-boss enemies. It’s a bit of an abstract rule, really.)
Found out, the sigh and lowering of the head signaled the man was right as Tai said, “Dang… you really did see…”
…Matty’s shitty writing, just then.
Libraum: That truly was awful.
Estelle looked at the teenager and asked, “Tai, you used that energy back near Halure when you were ambushed, didn’t you? Why didn’t you tell me you could do that?”
“…It’s just I don’t like using artes if I don’t need to,” Tai said, turning from both of them and looked up into the sky, slightly blushing,
Yes, and you don’t like killing if you don’t need to, because that and the artes means you don’t get to torture your victims, nor do you like socializing with the outside world if you don’t need to, because you risk being seen for what you are.
You know, there’s a TV show about guys like you. I tune into it from time to time. I believe it’s called:
“Plus, the last time I used that kind of arte, I scared people back in Halure because they never saw it.
Libraum: If they did not see it, why were they frightened?
Not to mention every freaking person who visited Halure who caught a glimpse at it wanted to take me away and either use me as a guard or a mage wanted to pull me to Aspio to study it.”
Not possible. The city-weapon Tarqaron was located beneath Aspio, and it destroyed Aspio when it was raised. The mages of the city had to relocate to Halure because they had nothing to go back to after the Adephagos was destroyed, and Tarqaron happened to crash-land right where it rose from in the first place, destroying itself and the remains Aspio even worse. If the mages did manage to rebuild Aspio, it would have taken them many, many years to do so, and that takes away from their magic research, so why fucking bother?
Put simply, the mages got ROYALLY FUCKED by Duke’s endgame plan. And considering why he wanted to wipe out humanity in the first place (for killing the Entelexeia in order to make blastia and betraying Duke’s friend, who was among the few Entelexeia that were on humanity’s side – killing the Adephagos was more of a means to an end in that regard), as well as what the mages of Aspio spent their time doing (researching new types of blastia to produce), it’s hard to say they didn’t have it coming.
“You’re respectful of what people feel about yer artes?
Where, in any of what Tai just said, did you manage to infer that, Raven?
Gotta give ya credit; that arte was incredible; can’t blame people for bein’ scared of that,” Raven said, putting his hands on his head and causing Tai to blush more.
Wow, I haven’t had to do this in a while. Everybody duck.
*SC removes his glasses and hooks them on his shirt collar*
Sure, Tai’s Arte was incredible.
By which I hope Raven means incredibly STUPID.
I don’t blame the people of Halure for being scared of it; I’d be scared of it too, on the basis of it being probably the last thing I’d trust my life to in a fight.
I mean, let’s look at how it measures up in a fight: in the time it took for the damn thing to fire, Estelle nearly had her jugular ripped out by a wolf which, had it not tripped her up, would have otherwise proven to be nothing of note for her to handle. And when it finally did activate, it then curved around and bitch-slammed the wolf that got skewered on it, which sounds to me like something that is entirely unnecessary to use in a fight against the local ravenous wildlife. Just fucking cut the poor mutt’s head off, it’ll get you the same end result.
More than that, though, that Arte is something like a rocket launcher – it’s too messy, and requires far too much diligence and mathematical thinking to be used in an up-close, fast-paced situation like a wolf being milliseconds away from tearing the healer apart. The timing on that thing has to be impeccable just to avoid skewering any of your allies by accident, and you have to stand away at a wide enough radius that you won’t get dunked by the slam that comes afterwards. It would be better employed as an ambush tactic, or something of that sort; say you have a squad of opponents patrolling a road, and you charge up the attack as they happen to be about to walk right over the top of it. Odds are, they won’t notice it and think to look down in time to jump out of the way, and since they’ll be right over the top of it, it could probably effectively wipe the entire group out in one go. And if one of them DOES manage to slip by the first strike, that slam could easily make up for the initial miss. Or, failing that, I’m sure it could come in handy against enemies that happen to be of a large, slow nature who can defend themselves well enough on most sides that hitting them from below (skewering them) or above (slamming them) is the only good way to do damage.
Hell, I bet that somebody’ll probably go into detail about how even THAT might not be a good way of using it.
But, as an attack in single combat against a highly mobile enemy, with allies in dangerously close range? Thank God Tai had to announce the attack first, else things could have gotten really ugly for him, really fast.
Libraum: He also used it far too close to Estelle’s person to be called a practical act of defense, if I might interject.
Yeah, if we can go back to the not skewering allies thing: holy shit, you could have fucking WASTED ESTELLE with that move, Tai, acting in her defense or not! I’m sure Raven could have fired an arrow at his range and run less of a risk of doing bodily harm to Estelle by it!
For that matter, why the fuck DIDN’T Raven just shoot the damn thing? His weapon is a combination bow-sword that can transform between both modes practically in the blink of an eye! Certainly fast enough for him to be able to effortlessly switch to close combat from ranged if he needs to!
And he’s plenty skilled enough that he can pull off that hypothetical saving throw I mentioned! It’s not like he’d go full-moron and drop the arrow or something! He said he couldn’t get to her in time to save her at close range, so HOW ABOUT YOU WHIP OUT YOUR FUCKING BOW THEN, RAVEN?
Or, if not that, ESTELLE HAS A FUCKING SHIELD!
Those are not so heavy that she can’t throw it up in front of her and ward the mutt off long enough for her two nincompoop allies to get their asses over to her and HELP HER OUT! And nobody ever said that she DROPPED IT! Hell, some of her shields are the variety that you strap onto your forearm, if we assume she’s using that kind of shield instead!
The bottom line here is, there are so many other ways you could have dealt with the issue that didn’t have to include an overpowered, extremely dangerous Arte that requires too much calculation and quick thinking to be called practical, and risks doing more harm to you and your team than it’s honestly worth in combat.
Incredible? Try reckless, Raven.
*SC puts his glasses back on*
Wow, that felt… liberating. I guess I was needing to do that.
Libraum: It certainly is an informative way of releasing pent-up aggression, I must say.
“So, how can you do those artes, Tai?” Estelle asked, smiling as she became interested.
I would assume the same way that everybody else does.
“It’s this glove,” Tai said, showing her it, “When my blastia used to work, I could manipulate aer into this and used the glove’s power: this dark sort of energy that can be twisted into any shape or form I wish.
And this raises the question: If it manipulated aer in order to work, HOW IN THE HELL ARE YOU USING IT NOW?! The blastia core should have turned into a spirit and rendered the body useless! If your Artes only work because of technology the world has discarded, Tai, and you can’t use them otherwise, as you implied by saying that you got your power from your glove when your blastia used to work, then please explain to me how it is that you still have access to them, hmm?
As I previously explained, Raven and Estelle both have excuses for why they still have full access to their powers – Estelle’s magic works on an entirely different principle from the rest of the world because she was born as a Child of the Full Moon, and Raven’s body was kept alive by an artificial blastia heart, so the spirit from his core probably stuck around to keep him from keeling over and dying. Meanwhile, the rest of the Arte-using population would have to rely on dumbed down versions of their Artes because they no longer have the blastia’s power to focus and boost theirs for them, but still have their actual power to a certain degree because they were born with it.
Tai more or less admitted that he is among the people whose power was artificially supplied by the blastia, which means that HE SHOULDN’T HAVE ARTES ANYMORE!
Author, you can’t just dick around with mechanics as strict as these! Just from that one slip-up, I uncovered a HUGE plot hole that you probably didn’t even think about!
But once again, I don’t like using artes.”
Libraum: And we’ve already established why, so is there any need to remind us?
“Well, you might need to get used ta it, ya know,” Raven said, letting go of his head and standing in his stance of holding his knife,
Libraum: …He is doing what?
Suffering from a brick to the head.
“If we’re gonna be travelin’, we might need your help every now and then. Not ta put stress on ya, Tai, but ya know.”
Why do you need his Artes? He doesn’t like using them, technically shouldn’t even have ACCESS to them, and you and Estelle have plenty Artes of your own. And they’re all much more practical than his.
Raven, for Christ’s sakes, use your brain. I know you have one. Tai’s the idiot here, not you.
“Got it… But…” Tai said, turning back and looking at them, “Can… I ask you two to promise not to tell anyone it’s me if I happen to use it again?”
Libraum: You have to loudly announce the attack before you commence it. I fear there are very few ways to cover that which do not involve making an even bigger ruckus to draw even more attention to you.
“Of course! If it makes you nervous for people to know about your artes, I promise I’ll keep it a secret,” Estelle said happily, smiling.
“And you can count on ol’ Raven ta keep his trap shut about it, too,” the old man winked and grinning, pointing to himself.
Pfft. I wish you both the best of luck with that.
“Thanks, I really appreciate this. Anyways,” Tai said, smiling relieved and then pointed to the capital, now only a bridge-crossing away as the three headed over it, “let’s get to Zaphias and get this over with.”
And on that brick-to-head note, I’m cutting it short here. I happen to be participating in NaNoWriMo, so I need as much time as I can afford to focus on that, which means that this riff is that last one I’ll be posting until the end of November.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for December, when I get back to my regular riffing schedule! I actually forgot which fic comes next on my list, so I’ll just draw straws and start from there. In the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of my guest Libraum, I’ll see you next time!
…I hope you don’t mind how short this was.
Libraum: Oh, no worries. Given how bad things were getting, I rather appreciate the swift end to this madness.
Oh, good. But that just means that Attriune is gonna have to deal with a double dose when her turn comes.
Libraum: I’m sure she’ll manage.