The Festival of Regina Leone
So, last time we left off, we scraped by the Vale (after dying) for the sake of recruiting Daddy, then pointlessly went to Loch Vaan for the sake of not even recruiting Ruby. But now it's time to move on with the story. For now, that just means heading back to Longshank...
When we stop by the Carriers' Guild in Longshank, we get a little scene with the daughter of the guildmaster we met before. It's kinda cool that we find our her name is "Jameela" when Ventus refers to her as "sis" like the little poop he is. (BTW, I like calling Ventus a little twerp and stuff but I really do like him!)
Jameela has a job for us to go to Vaftom, but Ventus complains because that just involves sitting on a boat and nothing much else. She reminds him that a "real" Carrier would gladly accept any job, like Briza would. Ventus gets mad and says he's not Briza, and Jameela apologizes and says she shouldn't compare him with the dead. Then Ventus says to lighten up (even though he's the one that snapped at her?!) and then says he will take the job so he can "catch up to Briza" even though he just denied it because he's "not Briza" so like... lol????????????????????
Either way, it's boat time! Our job is special this time, too. We're not just delivering to the Carriers' Guild in Vaftom, but we're to take the package directly to Jeanne Maure at the Temple! Which means Jeanne! Yay!
And despite being a story event that places us on a boat, we don't do the whole Necro Boat thing again. I guess they figured we had enough Necro Boats in the other scenarios and the rest of the series or something? We just take the boat and arrive straight in Vaftom.
And Vaftom means FESTIVAL TIME!
Of course, Ventus isn't too concerned with the Festival going on around him; he's more concerned about getting his package to the right place. Dashing through the busy plaza, he accidentally bumps into Kurt. You may remember that this exact event also happened in Kurt's Scenario, but now we're seeing it from Ventus's perspective!
Just as before, a passerby Anubito asks Ventus if he's alright after his fall, but Ventus doesn't hear or notice him, probably worried about the package he dropped that Kurt caught. And he stands up and accidentally headbutts the guy right in the chin, and the Anubito thinks he did it on purpose, and a fight ensues. Kurt cuts in quickly, though, catching the Anubito's fist and saying, "No fights today!"
But the Anubito is fired up and decks Kurt in the face, knocking him back, and then Kurt drops the package. Ventus dives for it and manages to catch it before it hits the ground. Kurt and the Anubito get into a brawl, and Ventus thanks Kurt as he runs off, determined to continue his mission.
Ventus asks to see Jeanne, but the knight guy doesn't let him through, saying he'll take the package for him. Ventus says he's under strict orders to deliver it in person, and wonders why Jeanne is so busy that she can't receive a package. The guard tells him that she's currently guarding the Dragonheart, and Ventus gets excited. But he realizes that if Dragonheart is here, that Kalandorn is most likely targeting the place, so it could be dangerous. It doesn't really explain how or why the Knighthood got ahold of the Dragonheart when Kalandorn was the one to have it last, but the Knighthood is pretty sketchy so they probably are doing something nefarious as well (and just using Jeanne to protect it since she won't question it).
The guard begrudgingly escorts us to where Jeanne is, and we give her the package, which is said to be from Maximilian Burgundy. Ventus notes that it very easily could have been forged, though. And upon opening the package, a bunch of Undead are summoned! Everyone is shocked, and Ventus realizes that the package must have actually been a trap set up by Kalandorn to help him snag the Dragonheart from the Temple.
Ventus runs off, leaving Jeanne and the guard to fight the monsters (lolllll) so he can go search for the Dragonheart himself, hopefully getting to it before Kalandorn. I'm not exactly sure what Ventus's motivation for trying to collect the Dragonheart is, though, other than just to foil Kalandorn's plans out of spite and vengeance? Like, Ventus is completely clueless about Kalandorn and his plans, but is so determined to put a stop to the plans, even though all he's really after is to beat him up for killing his brother...?
Now we're thrown into the basement of the of the mausoleum with no direction given to us at all.
But, yeah, we gotta go find the Dragonheart, I guess! And uh, even knowing that (which we don't actually know), we're given no clue as to where it may be. Of course, we've been here plenty of times before in other scenarios, so we can kind of guess a likely location. Like, Iskandar's resting place where Fae shouted out for him. Either that or Lord Dixon's place.
Even though I went through the trouble to draw an entire detailed map of this area (and that, even though I own the book with the maps too), I decided to just wing it and try to find the locations again on my own. It's not that it's necessarily hard, it just takes forever because this place is pretty huge.
In the Hall of Hades we don't even have to fight the Giants, and we're able to walk right into Iskandar's room and find the Dragonheart. Ventus comments that it's "not wine this time," which makes no sense whatsoever at this point since we still are given no context for any of this stuff.
One of the temple knights shows up and runs off with the gem. Ventus is quite confused at this. Tiffon tells him that the guy must be Kalandorn's but Ventus says it can't be, because he was a Temple Knight. Now, my assumption would just be that one of Kalandorn's lackeys just put on some knight armor, because that's... a very reasonable thing to assume, I feel? But Tiffon seems certain that the Ensanguined League has penetrated even the Knighthood!
Now you're probably wondering... what is the Ensanguined League? Yup, another term they start using that is never explained before. I think they did cover this a bit before though -- Kalandorn has a network of lackeys that he uses to do his dirty work during the day. Being a vampire, he's kind of limited on his mobility and timing, but humans and monsters can do stuff whenever and wherever they want basically, and such the ones that follow Kalandorn make up the Ensanguined League. I think they just never told us his little gang had a name. Actually, from their reach, they seem to be a pretty big gang. I think it's actually going to explain this here in a bit, though, so this isn't as bad as the confusing start to this adventure.
The name of the gang in Japanese is "Bloody League" (like, they use the English words) so I was wondering why they decided on "Ensanguined League" but that is a long word I've never heard of before. But! It apparently means blood-covered, so it's just like... a fancier way to say it, hahaha. But like, they're blood-related because they're a gang that serves a vampire. Neat, right?
After reaching the center of the upper parts of the mausoleum again (like, where the adventure starts), we run into Kalandorn and the "knight" from before. Kalandorn commands the knight to take off, and then he runs away just after him, confirming that the guy was indeed a part of Kalandorn's crew. Ventus asks if what was taken was another Dragonheart, and so we finally now learn that there are more than one Dragonheart, which makes the events of this adventure make a lot more sense. It wasn't that the Knighthood somehow took the wine from before and turned it into a gem, but rather that there are more than one Dragonheart and this was another, and Kalandorn is trying to collect them all.
Ventus then asks about the "league of whatever" and Tiffon explains to him what it is. Pretty much with the explanation I just gave above lol. When Tiff explains that the humans work during the day so the Undead can have their turn at night, Ventus says it's hardly human to work for monsters.
We're immediately taken back to the Festival of Regina Leone, which has now reached the ceremonial lighting of the fires. Ventus looks up at the fires and smiles... and then we get a voiceover that says, "What the? The bloodsucker's making a total fool outta me!"
Yeah. I don't even know. This entire episode is very, very confusing.
Afterward, we head back to The Strelitzia Inn, where Ventus just kinda sits around for a while, before Tiffon comes in and tells him she found some information. Like... does Ventus just not ever do anything? This whole thing is pretty much being run by Tiffon while Ventus runs around confused or heated and tries to punch stuff.
Tiff says there's a tower near Nivacolina where the Great Wizard Leith Torles was said to have sealed up something. Ventus wonders if it could be another Dragonheart, and Tiffon says there's no way to know other than to go find out. So our next destination is Nivacolina! We haven't found that on the world map, yet, though, so the only way to continue with the story now is to find a Carrier Mission that will take us there.
After settling on the next course of action, Ventus says aloud, "The Dragonheart, Kalandorn, Briza, and me... what a weird combination..." to which Tiffon responds that he was forgetting someone. Ventus kind of casually notes that, oh yeah, Tiffon is here too, and then hops along, leaving her alone in the inn.
Tiffon alone says to herself, "I'm a part of it, too, Vent..." which seems so sad. Especially since Tiffon seems to be more important to this whole thing than Ventus anyway. I also like that she calls him "Vent" here. I'm not sure if this was intended to sound like a nickname for Ventus, or if they forgot to translate the name properly (since his Japanese name is just "Vent.") I like to believe it's the former, though, because Tiffon starting to call Ventus by a nickname is pretty cute.
Uh, not in a shippy way. I feel like Tiffon is probably starting to see Ventus like a troublesome little brother that she has to babysit across the world, but is growing attached to him in that way, too. And maybe she's starting to see parts of Briza in him?
And with that, we're off to do some carrier missions and try to find Nivacolina.