Expedition check: Before facing off against the code red daemon for the Fens of Nog, I get another valuable treasure from an expedition, a Bone Mask (n pnzrb gernfher sebz Gnyrf bs Qrfgval VV)!
Rokurou: "Now this is one hell of a helmet!"
Magilou and Rokurou share dialogue on the mask. Magilou says it "has a disturbing aura about it." She asks him to put it on. He refuses, quoting one of his family's maxims: "Cut before being cut," or "the best offense is a good offense!" This guy...it's always attack, attack, attack with him!
Magilou ends it by saying she hopes to not fight anyone practiced in the Rangetsu sword style.
We enter the Warg Forest.
Velvet advises to proceed with caution because of exorcists around the area.
Checking the area map, it's a big place...
While walking, we find another blue barrier and a small floating Final Fantasy-esque crystal opposite the barrier. I wonder if I touch the crystal, I can lower the barrier...
Eleanor points out this is one of the Abbey's newest technologies: a two-layered barrier. Meaning we take one crystal out we need to find the other?
Rokurou thinks it's too much trouble to have the extra protection. Maybe it's to keep the daemon inside?
So all we have to do is turn off the crystal to lower the barrier.
I turn the crystal red, lowering the blue barrier here...
A red barrier is raised in the area where I previously picked up a stack of Katz spirits...
As we proceed further, I see another skit.
Eizen flips his coin. Still tails...
Eleanor's wondering if the curse is affecting Eizen's coin flips. Magilou explains synchronization with malaks and vessels...
Eleanor apologizes for being skeptical, but Eizen tells her that's up to her whether to believe the curse or not.
Eleanor brings up Laphicet and the compass. Eizen considers the compass as "proof of [Laphicet]'s 'manhood'," whatever that means.
Laphicet: (singing) "Must polish you, so you don't rust..." Awww...
Magilou puts down Eleanor's ignorance of the world.
Eleanor decides to investigate the matter about the Reaper's Curse.
She accuses Magilou of setting Eizen's coin to tails. Nope.
Eleanor's in shock that the coin has Dhaos as tails! She's super-excited about seeing a Kharlan relic, mentioning that the coin is made up of a "shape memory alloy" of sorts instead of gold...
Eleanor decides to believe in the curse.
Rokurou finds an inconsistency to Eleanor's explanation earlier. No one in the party knows what she means by "shape memory alloy." Eizen now knows at least how the coin's so durable...
I pick a fight with a Lycanthrope here, they don't like fire...
There's also Boars here too.
Into the next area, where Laphicet asks what a sale'tomah is. Magilou explains the flower is "ugly" and purple, and its roots and leaves are maroon...
Another skit: What does the sale'tomah symbolize?
Eleanor: "Deceitful coexistence?"
Velvet's not too fond of the sale'tomah's symbolism. Magilou thinks the flower's a fitting symbol for the crew.
Rokurou asks Laphicet what's wrong.
Laphicet mentions what Magilou said earlier, then Eleanor mentions all the good things in common about the crew...
Bienfu then add his input.
Velvet: "Laphicet, think about deceitful coexistence this way..."
Eizen: "Daemon, exorcist, malak, pirate, witch...we're never going to be a single cohesive unit. But each of us understands where the others are coming from in a way that's very real."
Velvet then corrects the crew's coexistence as "selfish."
Eleanor looks down, a bit guilty...?
There's a lot of mushrooms here...
After a battle, our expedition crew returns and we get Antique Tarot Cards!
Magilou: "These cards look like they hold many secrets..."
She asks Velvet if she wants her fortune told. Velvet tells her to "start up a business cursing people instead."
She goes on with her fortunetelling, saying that "[Velvet] will be horribly annoyed by [her] fortuneteller." Ha!
I go to the nearby crystal switch and turn it blue.
Into the next area, where I get a back attack from a Lycanthrope...
I escape and turn the crystal here red since there's another barrier blocking us!
Another unwanted encounter later and I head to the next part of the forest!
There's now three paths to go to here. Which one should I take?
We see mushrooms and flowers in bloom here. Magilou tells us to look for "purple, ugly flowers." There's a lot of maroon leaves in bloom, but no purple flowers...
The center path's blocked by a red barrier, so I go north.
To the north, it's a one-way trip down...
I head forward. It seems we're close to a code red daemon in the area...
No sale'tomah flowers, but a lot of Katz spirits here...
The area where the code red is is blocked by another red barrier. The Abbey's clever.
Southwards, there's another barrier but the crystal's on the other side this time...
I turn east and jump down the cliff again.
I make it to the other side and lower the barrier here...
Tales of Berseria - Part 56a: Plantasm
Now that that's done, I head off to face the code red daemon here.
After gathering all the items in the surrounding area, and prepare, I face off against the Plantasm!
The Plantasm has no allies but is pretty huge! He's weak against wind, and strong against water!
I turn off everyone's water artes in the battle menu before our offense against the overgrown plant!
After a huge wind-based offensive, I unleash Rokurou's Mystic Arte!
I've now whittled down his health to a third...
But I get paralyzed by his spin attack, and attacked repeatedly by his Heartbreaker Shot!
A few hits later, and he's finished!
We get a Glacite of Reversal as our reward!
Tales of Berseria - Part 56: Warg Forest, Emerald Labyrinth (continued)
We now head back to the area with the three paths...
But the way is blocked and I turn back...if only Rokurou could jump and latch on to the edge, we would make it...he's tall enough to do that.
Another expedition haul, where we get Swimwear for Rokurou, which is nothing but a pair of "school approved" trunks! The description asks if it's "a hand-me-down from Rokurou's older brother."
Into the south area, where I see another one-way cliff to jump down to...
A few more areas, and we're close to where the sale'tomah is...
We also rescue another Katz on the way south.
Another one-way cliff path...and a crystal switch here too!
My goodness, a lot of monsters want to fight us!
I'm back to the area with the three diverging paths. It seems the only way to go forward would be to head north here and back again.
After a battle, I have my main four back again for the next battle: Rokurou, Eizen, Velvet, and Laphicet.
The red barrier's blocking the way to the last area. I go around and turn the crystal here from red to blue again.
Up ahead in the far side of the open area, there's more exorcists on patrol!
I learn from one battle that by pressing the left and right directional buttons, I can adjust my backup members to switch to another ally instead of the one I'm controlling!
We approach the patrol...
...and quickly take care of them!
Rokurou notices that they weren't "daemon hunting..."
Laphicet's compass is spinning in different directions!
He says that the compass is reacting by itself...hmmm...
Eleanor notices that "he's in sync with his compass..."
Eizen doesn't sense anything in the forest.
The compass stopped reacting. Laphicet still senses something different around the forest. He mentions the earthpulse.
Velvet: "So a force similar to Innominat's power? I'm starting to think this may be no ordinary daemon we're dealing with here..." Oh boy, if the exorcists aren't actively hunting for this super quick daemon, does this mean they're... protecting it?
I'm now in another area with more Boars, Lycanthropes, and Skunks...
There's a blue barrier blocking the way forward yet again.
This part of the forest is going to be hard to traverse without setting off a battle...
I go around to find the crystal, and a chest containing a Cassandra Sash!
It looks like we're close to the end, probably where the sale'tomah is! I save at the point here before going forward.
Velvet: "It looks like a dead end up ahead. Laphicet, do you feel anything here?"
Laphicet: "No. Not right now."
It must be something elsewhere...elusive.
There's our precious sale'tomah flowers!
Laphicet and Magilou pick some. Rokurou's smiling. Velvet's pondering why the Abbey would close the forest off.
Eizen: "Worry about it later. It's flower-picking time!"
She lets that worry go. Magilou thinks the flowers are "hard on the eyes." Laphicet has stars in his eyes.
Laphicet sees a beetle...
...which turns giant!
Eleanor and Velvet charge immediately to his defense!
Rokurou: "This must be the daemon we were warned about!"
Eleanor wonders if the daemon appearing is part of Eizen's bad luck.
Eizen: "We're just getting started."
The daemon beetle flies away, but a barrier stops it!
Eleanor looks around...even she can't break through that! She wonders why the Abbey would need a daemon beetle. Is it for more secret R&D?
Magilou and crew decide to take on "Mr. Bugglesworth!"
We face off against "Mr. Bugglesworth", or the Thickjaw Beetle now! It's weak to fire and water!
Laphicet's in awe of the bug!
Laphicet: "This thing is so cool! I want to be a bug!"
Velvet: "Stop fantasizing and help us get rid of it!" Hee...Misty would strongly agree with Velvet here.
It takes a few minutes, but we finally exhaust the daemon beetle! It sinks and becomes a beetle again!
Magilou: "Phew! Insect collecting is a sweatier hobby than I thought!"
Laphicet picks up the beetle with a smile on his face.
He asks if they can keep it. Velvet automatically says no.
She pulls out her daemon arm, but she has second thoughts.
Rokurou decides to watch over the beetle closely.
It's a tense moment...she closes her eyes and takes her arm to the barrier!
Laphicet keeps the beetle as long as he feeds it. He smiles!
Eleanor: "It looks like we've closed the door on this little episode."
She's still skeptical about the Reaper's Curse Eizen has. Eizen mentions how many people who've survived with him "for more than three years:" Only a handful. Eizen warns her she might be the 50th victim of the curse.
Let's go back and head to Yseult!
We get the Sprinter's Ventite! Yes!
Laphicet's still wondering what to call the beetle...
Seeing the warp point, I head to it, but another skit plays: Eleanor asks what daemon Velvet is. Is she mentioning personality? She denies looking for weaknesses. Right...
Laphicet doesn't know that much about her.
Magilou announces that "Velvet's a daemon like no other." A therion...
Rokurou slips to Eleanor that some daemons she takes care of turn back into humans. Eleanor jumps in surprise at the idea! Though she thinks the High Priest is an exception...
Magilou makes a surprisingly good point: "If things were normal, we wouldn't have found each other!"
Eleanor's still finding anything to exploit Velvet with...
Another skit: Laphicet, Bienfu, and Rokurou are amazed at the new bug they found! Eizen decides to call the species the "Laphicet rhinoceros beetle." Rokurou thinks it's a stag beetle, and they debate...
Rokurou: "The Laphicet stag beetle! It has a better ring to it, right?"
Lol, oh my god, these two guys...
Bienfu: "I feel a dangerous storm brewing..."
Eizen and Rokurou now debate over which species the beetle belongs to based on their personalities. This is too funny.
The women are not amused and don't care.
Rokurou & Eizen: "They're totally different!"
"Rhinostagros" is the compromise Laphicet decides on.
Another skit: Laphicet smells the sale'tomah, and they're sweet. Rokurou does too.
Eizen mentions the not-so-tasty qualities of the flower. The stem and leaves taste like beef tongue while the flower's taste is stronger than mint. Aifread's the one who gave him that info. Eleanor confirms it's true.
Sweetening the flowers in a juice makes it worse. Why not make it salty?
Rokurou teases Eleanor about her procrastination.
Eizen tells her she needs to "drink double the doses after [...] displaying the symptoms." She's getting frightened...
Everyone's worried about drinking the sale'tomah juice...Eleanor knuckles down and decides to drink the juice as soon as they make it to the ship!
I wonder why the warp point put us in the middle of the forest instead of the beginning? For those skits? Or is it something else?
Oh no, more exorcists!
The crew hides!
The exorcists ask each other about a "wanted malak". One of them mentions Lothringen. Are they talking about Zaveid as the "wanted malak"?
They also mention the malak "opening the bug cage." I'm guessing we freed the beetle from that cage...
The exorcists leave, one of them not happy with the turn of events, which include Hellawes and Eleanor's "betrayal".
Time for our next mission: to Lothringen (pronounced Lohringen)!
I decide to head back to the village to stock up before making our way to Lothringen...