Knowing I'll be in for a fight, I do a little bit of prepping at Reneed.
From a Bloodwing agent, I learn that the newest bounty is the white-horned dragon. It's a personal request from Tabatha herself.
Velvet: "Since when did the Bloodwings become agents of justice, interested in protecting the world from dragons?"
Bloodwing Agent: "Hey, we're not out to save the world. This is just to put an end to Zaveid."
Eleanor wonders if Zaveid did something. He's going after exorcists about the dragon. For the Bloodwings, it's not good for their ops.
Rokurou asks if Zaveid and the dragon are in Aldina Plains. They are.
She advises caution when taking them on.
Laphicet: "Are you going to fight Zaveid again?"
Eizen: "The time has come."
I head back to Yseult, and check the docks again. There she is...Morgrim, sitting on top of an open crate in the corner.
She's "quite impressed" that the crew woke up the four Empyreans.
Morgrim: "I just came to pass a little information to you, specifically that an earthpulse entrance has opened up. My guess is that it opened when you chased Innominat out."
Laphicet's interested in seeing more of the Earthen Historia.
Eizen: "If we could learn more about the Shepherd's past, it might give us a hint about how to take on Innominat."
Magilou senses a trap from her.
Rokurou's not worried. He knows Morgrim.
Rokurou: "Shigure loathed any form of trickery. If Morgrim was that kind of malak, he would have struck her down long ago."
Shigure, arrogant as he is, is at least, honest.
Morgrim appreciated the compliment of trust from Rokurou.
Velvet asks where the earthpulse is.
Morgrim: "It's at the Shrine of Tranquility in Aball."
Velvet knows Morgrim got this info from deep in the Abbey's network. She asks why give the entrance away?
Morgrim: "No special reason. I just happened to think of [the Shepherd's] malak...I thought it might be nice if I could help you learn a little more about her."
So we're going to take a look into Celica's past this time...Laphicet's getting excited about knowing more backstory.
I notice that Morgrim doesn't sit like an ordinary cat...
I decide whether to go to Eastgand or to Titania this time...choices, choices...
I go to Titania and have a rematch with Phoenix.
We manage to beat him, but he has another Mystic Arte up his sleeve: Like A Phoenix, where he fully resurrects himself and KOs half of the party!
Now, at least for this round I have a rough strategy: When he attacks, stay a reasonable distance away, but not so far as to be out of range!
But as I whittle down his health to a third again, it's game over for me!
Round three with this Rabbit of Caerbannog, and our party throws their whole relentless might onto him!
He revives himself again!!! Aaaaaaahhhhj!!!!!
It takes a huge ton of time, but we manage to get him!
Even the whole party's exhausted!!!
Rokurou: (to Phoenix) "You weren't lying when you said you were the strongest."
Laphicet: "No kidding..."
Eizen: "Strong or not, you picked a fight with the Reaper. Time to pay the price."
Eleanor's not having him take his life though!
Phoenix's eyes open and he springs to life!
Eizen: "I thought so. That's why you're called the Phoenix, isn't it? Your blessing has the exact opposite effect as my curse."
Laphicet has an idea. Phoenix could protect Eizen's sister with his power.
Phoenix: "I admit defeat...I await your command."
Phoenix's pupils agape!
Eizen: "I believe we should each steer our own ships through life's waters. I know that the life I've chosen is a selfish one...and I know that it leaves my sister lonely and sad. But...it's also the only way I know how to live. If I gave you a command it would be denying something at the very core of my being. So no, I won't do it."
Eizen: "Except...if you're able, I want you to use your powers to protect my sister. Protect her from daemons and malevolence...and...from any dragon who may one day attack her..."
Phoenix: "A dragon?! Are you serious?"
Eizen considers it a request from him.
Phoenix: "Well then, I accept your request, as your friend! But in return, I have something to ask of you. I want you to write her another letter. But this time, no hiding what you're truly thinking. I'll wait as long as it takes for you to write it."
Eizen didn't need a second, as he pulls out his letter that he's written and kept for awhile...
Phoenix does his flowery vows to Eizen that he will give the letter to his sister.
Phoenix: "After all, I'm the Phoenix! With me, life rises anew from the ashes!"
Eizen thanks him.
Phoenix calls on the White Turtlez to escort him out!
He jumps inside the small crate, and with a flash of light, vanishes!
The White Turtlez vows to also bring the package to Eizen's sister.
Phoenix: "Farewell, friend!"
Rokurou: "That Phoenix, what a guy! He doesn't back down even when he's lost."
Eleanor: "I guess, but I liked what he had to say."
Laphicet's happy everything ended well.
Eizen: "Yeah...I guess I learned something today. Never give up before you try."
We win our rewards, with the crew leveling up a few times!!! 200,000 XP, my god!!!
We also win a Phoenix Glacite!
It seems that now that we've beaten Phoenix, I think we can take on the Shepherd and Innominat and win!
The Phoenix Glacite allows us to have a piece of equipment that has the effect of reviving us!!!
We win a Mini-Normin too! I put the doll on Rokurou's head!
Usually, I can take any battle, but that battle was one of the most challenging I've faced in a long time! I'm not joking!
Back at the docks, Bienfu tells Grimoirh she can come out of hiding now...
Grimoirh: "He's so stuffy as always, that he made me sweat, and I was even hiding..."
Rokurou: "Now that I think about it, neither of you showed your faces when Phoenix was here, did you?"
Eleanor asks why.
Grim explains with a simple analogy of Normins by splitting them into cats and dogs...
Bienfu: "The ones who like to be around humans, like Phoenix, are your dog types. The ones who prefer to stick around objects and places are the cat types."
Laphicet: "I've heard people say that dogs get attached to the human, and cats get attached to the home."
Rokurou wonders if Bienfu's a "dog Normin."
Bienfu says his powers are channelled through Magilou's guardians, and calls himself the "cat type" of Normin.
And Bienfu lays on the analogy of Normin personality types more, like a Type A and a Type B person.
Grimoirh: "Some--ourselves included--don't conform with expectations, instead choosing to live as we please alongside humans..."
Velvet doesn't get the point about why they avoided Phoenix...
Grimoirh: "There's a gap between us that can't be bridged...like sky blue and sea blue..."
Rokurou: "C'mon, aren't sky blue and sea blue basically the same color?" No, they're not Rokurou.
Eizen agrees with me that sky blue and sea blue are different "in hue."
Rokurou: "I didn't realize it could be such a big deal."
Eizen: "Let me ask you guys this: are pudding and custard the same?" One's more thicker than the other, imo.
Eleanor would know the difference. To Rokurou, pudding and custard are "more or less the same."
Laphicet then compares "sherbet and sorbet."
Rokurou now smugly boasts there's a difference, but he can't tell...
More comparisons from Magilou about sandwiches...which Velvet points out they're very much the same.
Grimoirh: "Anyway, you get the point now, surely. We've long had our differences, and they put us in perpetual conflict..."
Eleanor now worries about Eizen's sister with Phoenix.
Grimoirh: "Nonsense. He can be obnoxiously brash and talks a lot of nonsense [...] but... Phoenix has a strong sense of responsibility." Along with a strong sense of justice. Though I wouldn't call Phoenix as "talking a lot of nonsense" if he can back his strength up.
Grimoirh assures us that Eizen's sister's safe with Phoenix.
Grimoirh: "Although, if you work him too hard, he'll start making speeches about uprisings and insurrections and all that stuff..."
It seems everyone's back in the hideout.
One pirate's proud that Eizen's being honest to his sister. But as Velvet points out, Eizen's still a bit mysterious.
Now to look for the code red here...
Which we do at the entrance of the cell block!
After fighting Phoenix, every battle feels so easy...
...until later, where she casts an Explode spell on us!
It seems she can withstand 15 hits while casting her spells! Iron Stances!!! *shakes fist*
Rokurou gets KO'd, but I revive him with our last Life Bottle!
We eventually finish her and win a Trident Glacite, meaning we get three skills for each equipment we get!
Outside, Velvet apologizes to Grim for involving her in her revenge scheme. Oh Velvet...
Grimoirh: "Eyes like yours spell trouble...but I like them all the same."
Kamoana has the dogs and Griffin (or Grawky) to watch over her!
Medissa realizes Innominat and his connections to the therions. Velvet is speechless, but says that she will protect them.
Medissa: "Your pride knows no bounds. You really do plan to kill the Shepherd and the strongest Empyrean, don't you?" Citing "common sense," she doubts Velvet will succeed.
We beat Phoenix, we could take on the Shepherd and Innominat, we just need more preparation.
Velvet tells Medissa to look after Kamoana. Medissa doesn't need to be told twice about that.
Velvet: "Sounds like you've got pride of your own."
Medissa: "Hmph! It must be catching, I'll have to warn the others."
Dyle vows the same thing Medissa vowed. Velvet compliments him. He's embarrassed...oh Dyle.
We set sail for Taliesin.