I check the world map before heading out. It seems that the malak pirate's also heading to the Gate as well...
One pirate calls the malak pirate the Skipper...he was betting he would win...he blames it on the malak pirate's curse.
So the crew's actual captain is missing...
There's even a shop the pirates run called the Aifread Crew Emporium, or the Chat & Patty Student Store.
We talk to the pretty blond pirate Benwick. Their plan is to get through the Gate...
Velvet asks if the Gate can be breached. Benwick trusts the number one so much that it can be done.
Rokurou points out the pirates' huge trust in the malak pirate. Since he has his "captain's blessing," the malak pirate's technically the captain of the ship.
She asks about sailing around to Midgand. Nope. The pirates got attacked and they lost their compass as well.
Velvet and the malak child react when Benwick mentions the compass.
I pick up an Earth Ring from a silver chest at the top of the cliff and save here.
I also check on the party's stats and other stuff before talking to Magilou.
Magilou has more funny and audacious stuff to say. She calls herself "neither a sailor nor a warrior." She's a noncombatant. Velvet agrees with that.
Rokurou asks Dyle about the Gate.
Dyle mentions the fort and the naval fleet but its the Gate that poses a real threat.
Dyle: "Even a battleship couldn't blast its way through that thing."
Velvets thinking of alternate sea routes to avoid the Narrows...there are, but it's a long way out at sea according to Dyle.
Velvet thinks of teaming up with the pirates at this point.
Magilou: "True enough! If forward lies destruction and backward lies doom, sideways is your only option!"
Velvet calls her out on her lack of participation. Magilou agrees and runs off.
Rokurou's suspicious about the malak pirate. I'm suspicious of Rokurou at this point...
Magilou runs off to the malak child and asks him if senses anything. He looks blankly at the ground.
Magilou: "Well, things just keep getting worse, don't they? I suppose that's life in a nutshell, though. Anyway, good luck."
Dyle warns us not to get involved with Aifread's crew. Even a daemon like him knows Aifread's power.
Aifread's rumored to be "as strong as an ogre" and causes trouble...is this guy the game's equivalent of the Dread Pirate Roberts?
So they've double-crossed the Royal Navy too, huh?
Dyle mentions the pirates' awesome ship, the Van Eltia, as well...
Rokurou: "Thanks! I could get along with them just fine!"
Dyle points out that every sailor wants to be as free as Aifread's crew is. Dyle also dreams that too.
Dyle calls himself a "lizard of the sea."
With that said, we follow the malak pirate into the West Laban Tunnel...
Aside: Funny enough, "laban" means "fight" in Tagalog, I think. Hope we don't get into many battles on the way there...
The tunnel looks very green, illuminating, and beautiful...
The enemies dropped down from the ceiling!
There's even spiders and scorpions here too...eee...along with three-headed slime monsters that are called Seeds.
We catch up to the pirate malak finishing a bout with a scorpion...
Malak Pirate: "So you've chosen to trust a pirate?" More like team up.
Velvet still doesn't trust him, and states that clearly. She decides to team up with Aifread's crew until they reach Loegres...
The pirate malak agrees, but with one warning. He flips a coin.
He says that "[he] brings I'll fortune to those around him." He calls his bad luck "the Reaper"s Curse." As proof, his coin always lands on tails, a grim reaper's face representing tails.
His crew attempted to break through the fortress, which cost him five crewmembers.
Why warn them about his curse? Velvet asks.
Malak Pirate: "Even daemons don't want to meet an unfair death, right?"
He tosses the coin to Velvet.
Velvet tosses it back, knowing the risks. I like her line here.
Velvet: "Works for me. I land on tails, I'll flip it to heads on my own."
The coin's on heads. The face of what looks like Znegry (ciphered) is on the coin...
The malak pirate's jaw drops.
Introductions are made. The malak pirate calls himself Eizen.
Eizen explains the Gate is very "impregnable." An attack is impossible on land or sea. Oh boy, not good...
Velvet thinks of trying both land and sea attacks. That's what Eizen wants. Bait the naval fleet, and then open the Gate by land. Afterwards, the Van Eltia will move away and head into the Gate after it's open, I think.
Rokurou: "One slip, and we're good as dead."
Velvet: "Then don't slip, and we're not dead."
Eizen says the plan's in motion now. That escalated quickly.
The tunnel leads directly to the fortress.
I check Eizen's stats and equipment.
More level grinding time...
Eizen's and Rokurou's exchanges, oh my god...
I have Eizen be leader this time.
My lord, this cave has endless inclines. It seems the fortress is situated at a very high location.
Now that I'm controlling Eizen, I get some pointers for his Break Soul: Draconic Drive.
Eizen wishes that he had a power like Velvet's powerful left arm.
We come across a set of large vines blocking the way...Eizen has some flint to burn it, though.
Velvet warns Eizen about the dangers of setting fires. But, as Eizen points out, they're daemons and malakhim.
As long as we have flint and kindling, we can burn vines...
We turn back to another part of the cave where there's a silver chest containing Amber Paper!
We make it to another part of the cave. Rokurou's worried about the malak child being very quiet.
Rokurou even vouches for me, saying that "calling him by a number is cruel." Good for you, Rokurou! Five for you!
Velvet asks what Rokurou's name means.
Rokurou: "Well: son number six technically." Like Jiro and Shiro for the second and fourth son respectively.
Velvet thinks it's the same thing. Rokurou resents that.
The malak child sees a plant...he gapes and stares at it...then a scorpion comes by...oh my god!
Eizen stops the scorpion...
Velvet now gets worried, and asks why he didn't say anything...
The malak said that she ordered him to be quiet.
Velvet's pupils shake, then she shakes him... I almost cried inside at this point...
It's a bit of an indication that she still has her humanity...
Rokurou tells her to calm down.
Eizen asks the malak child if he was bound by an exorcist. He nods.
Eizen: "The boy's will has been sealed away. Malakhim have individual personalities. Just like humans. But exorcists have developed methods to seal those personalities away..." Oh my god...
Eizen's not sure about a malakhim escaping the exorcists' influence, since it's never been done before.
Another skit: Rokurou asks Eizen about exorcists binding malakhim's free will. Eizen points out the malakhim have lived alongside humans with their own free will. Invisible to humans though, until the Advent.
Eizen makes a huge point here that I agree with and that I might've caught earlier. Malakhim aren't tools. Could the malakhim be a representation of oppressed groups?
The malak child recites: "Malakhim aren't tools."
Velvet's still being brought up by her old master's teachings. She still thinks malakhim are tools, along with daemons and humans.
Velvet: "Everything in service to his 'utopia of reason.' That's all anyone is to him...even my brother..."
My god, this is deep...
Going back, we get some Rosemary but we can't jump over that wide chasm...
We turn back up to where we came from...
After plenty of exploring we find another Katz chest! But no prize...
Heading up, we come across a save point at the other end of the cavern! Yes!
After a few battles, we save here.