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Yuri, Balthus, Constance, Hapi enter the scene
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Balthus
Heh, I don't believe it. Little Hilda herself. Why didn't you speak up sooner?
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Hilda
Baltie, this isn't the time to catch up. What would Holst think?! I bet you didn't consider that, did you?
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Balthus
Yeesh... I dunno, but it wouldn't be nice.
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Hilda
...
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Balthus
Look, sorry. OK? Just don't tell Holst. If he knew I raised a hand against you, he'd have my head.
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Hilda
Ha! Like he'd stop at your head. Fine though. Just this once, and just for you, I'll keep quiet.
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Claude
Now that that's sorted... What did you mean about it being lucky that you found me?
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Balthus
Oh, that. One of the guys I owe gold to is Count Gloucester.
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Balthus
He said something about forgiving my debt if I could dig up some dirt on you. Figured this was my shot.
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Claude
Aha, so it was purely selfish. But then, was a fight really necessary?
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Balthus
Really was. Best way to acquaint yourself with someone is to get into a tussle with 'em. That's common sense right there.
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Hapi
Huh. I had no idea there were others like B out there.
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Hapi
Who knew such a refined lady could be so backwards.
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Yuri
That's the correct response for a reasonable person. We're not all as far gone as Balthus here.
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Balthus
Say what you will, but I learned all I need to know. It's clear this lot has nothing to do with the church's intentions.
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Balthus
But that means those other creeps could always attack us at any moment.
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Balthus
Someone's targeting Abyss. Mercenaries keep sniffing around and causing trouble here. They won't let up.
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Yuri
It's a real problem, and we have no clue who's pulling the strings.
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Yuri
There are many within the church who would love to see this "filthy" underground city purged.
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Yuri
When you first showed up, we thought you were here to do just that. Apologies for the confusion.
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Hilda
So that's why you came at us with that nasty "kill the outsiders" act.
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Hapi
As Yuri-bird said, we're sorry. We're all pretty on edge these days.
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Constance
Indeed! That someone would descend to Abyss out of pure curiosity was far too outlandish to consider.
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What is the purpose of Abyss?
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Balthus
No idea. These tunnels have been around for ages. They could be older than the monastery for all we know.
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Constance
None remain who know the complete truth. However, I shall tell you all that we know for certain...
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Constance
Abyss is home to those who shun the light of day. It is the secret shadow of Garreg Mach, if you will.
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Hapi
The church quietly tolerates us. They think they need a place like this for Garreg Mach to thrive.
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Yuri
The deal is simple. Abyssians never get involved with the surface, and the surface never gets involved with us.
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Constance
Alas! For some foul reason, surface dwellers have been after us of late.
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Constance
Further oppressing those souls who can only find solace beneath the ground? I cannot abide it!
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Constance
Though it pains me to admit, we, too, harbor valid reasons for not venturing into the light.
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Constance
That is why, by the grace of our esteemed patron, we have been granted sanctuary here in Abyss.
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Hilda
I see... Baltie, does that mean you've got a reason for being here too?
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Balthus
Afraid so, Hilda. I'm here because...there are more bounties on my head than there is hair. Needed to lay low. Real low.
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Hilda
Baltie... That's awful.
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Yuri
Enough with the niceties. Let's get these surface dwellers out of here.
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Constance
Nonsense! Intolerable nonsense! Whyever would we let slip this chance to acquire their aid?
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Balthus
Easy there, pal. Can't say no before we've even asked for anything. Talk is cheap, but listening's free, yeah?
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Balthus
Like we said, recently this place is being targeted by mercenaries.
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Balthus
Myself excluded, a lot of the folks who live here can't defend themselves. They're here to avoid conflict.
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Balthus
The elderly, the infirm...orphans, lost souls... merchants who were chewed up and spit out by the nobility. The works.
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Constance
It rests upon us to protect those who cannot protect themselves...and to safeguard our home.
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Constance
To that noble end, I must insist that you lend us your strength!
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Dimitri
I feel for your cause, truly. However, I cannot help but wonder why you would trust us so readily. We are from the surface, after all.
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Yuri
Trust is a choice. We're choosing to trust you. For now. It's clear you're not here by command of the church.
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Yuri
And you're not just a bunch of noble twerps, either. You can hold your own. It's in the way you fight. How you carry yourselves.
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Yuri
Still... I'm reluctant to get you involved with this madness. It's our problem, not yours.
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Hapi
It's too late now—we already told them everything. Let's at least give them a chance to decide for themselves.
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Constance
Most true. Wander about Abyss for a time and I am certain you will come to the only correct conclusion.
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Balthus
Right, what she said. Take a look, think some thoughts. Consider yourselves our special guests.