187 cm (6'2")
|Innate Element:|| |
Celestial Stem: Gui
|Dominate Hand:|| |
Scratching his head and hair,
Saying "Ya" or "Ha" before he speaks
|First appearance:||Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4|
|Only voiced in drama CDs and Aizouban port.|
Ribhu (リブ) is a secondary character in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4. He joins the main party in any timelines his master joins.
Role in GameEdit
Unlike the other central figures of Tokoyo no Kuni within the game, Ribhu is a commoner. He is not physically strong nor is he one of prestige. In the eyes of royalty, that makes him an expendable asset who can be assigned fatal tasks with no consequence. He witnessed the Raja's fall to the Black Dragon, thus he was under a close vigil to safeguard the secret from the public.
When he was twenty-two, Ribhu met Asvin for the first time. The game states he was ordered by Surya to go to Asvin; the drama CD story says it was a corrupt minister named Varaha who gave the order. In either scenario, he was ordered to be a spy within Asvin's ranks. The prince deduced Ribhu's purpose and quickly sought to slay him. Ribhu lived due to the armor he wore underneath his clothing, an invention of his which fascinated Asvin. Spared from execution, Ribhu was surprised by the prince's integrity and loyalty to his troops. Asvin even personally saved him when he was still loyal to his former master. Viewing Asvin as the one true Raja, Ribhu swears his loyalty to him. He uses his inventive genius to create mechanical weapons and other inventions to help Asvin's army.
As the prince's trusted aide, Ribhu accompanies him everywhere in every timeline. Asvin freely entrusts him to whatever war preparations and reconnaissance is needed. Since Ribhu is not skilled with fighting, he often acts as the rear flank with his inventions.
When Asvin covertly gathers information regarding Levanta, he happens to attract Chihiro to follow him. The princess asks Asvin for his plan to conquer Levanta, yet hesitates to agree to the prince's plan immediately. Ribhu offers his condolences as he comments that she should console with those close to her before taking action. The prince is surprised by Ribhu's interjection and curtly dismisses their meeting.
After Chihiro and company land within Izumo, she happens to visit the local smithy. She finds Ribhu inside it and learns from him that he is creating weapons for the Tokoyo no Kuni army. In spite of the dark implications of the topic, Chihiro instead focuses on being supportive for his inventiveness. She is impressed by his contraptions, hoping that they will someday be used in a land of peace rather than one for war. Ribhu accepts her praise and they end their meeting on a positive note.
Later, Asvin forms an alliance with Chihiro. The ministers within Kumano criticize Asvin for being useless to them, as he cannot predict Tokoyo no Kuni's further movements. Asvin acts as though their reactions are completely natural and feigns impassiveness. When Chihiro worries for his emotional state, she follows him. She openly states her concern for him on a personal level, which unintentionally drives the prince away. As she feels that she has offended him, Ribhu asks for her understanding regarding Asvin's behavior. He interprets the prince's reaction as one of brooding and assures Chihiro that he will recover in time.
Mudgala falls and the Nakatsu Kuni army presses onwards to their capital, Kashihara. Chihiro is supposed to ritually pray for the dragon god's blessings yet she still feels traumatized by Mudgala's death. Her anxieties regarding the lives lost for the war catches up to her, and she mulls over her thoughts within the flying ship. During her wandering, she happens to encounter Ribhu, who is in the midst of preparing the troop's equipment. Since they are the only ones present in the area, he halts his duties and offers her a chance to express her personal doubts freely. He serves her a cup of tea while he sympathetically listens to her. She thanks him for the support, saying that her time spent with him has helped change her perceptions of the people within Tokoyo no Kuni.
Her response perturbs him, causing him to look for her the night before the final battle. When they meet, Ribhu repeatedly asserts his sole loyalty to Asvin. Through these attempts, Ribhu fails to successfully voice his real thoughts for Chihiro. She confuses his declarations as staunch loyalty for his homeland and is pleased that he has a goal for himself. Despite Ribhu's claims to care only about Asvin, he bravely uses his machinery to break the third gate of the palace for Chihiro –thereby negating a battle for the player at Kashihara. He wishes the princess fortune as they proceed to fight the Black Dragon in Tokoyo no Kuni.
In his epilogue scenario, Ribhu had returned to Tokoyo no Kuni and Chihiro reigns as the Queen of Nakatsu Kuni. They both have a free day from their duties, so Ribhu hurries to Kashihara. He invites Chihiro to see his restored homeland and shows her his inventions being used to help the people. As she marvels over the land's beauty, he finally gains the courage to confess his infatuation for her. Ribhu serves a cup of tea to soothe her surprise, all the while stating his earnest feelings for her.
At first, Hiiragi was planned to be Asvin's subordinate. When developers wanted Hiiragi to join Chihiro early within the story, however, they decided to create another character to fill the void. Ribhu was going to be a minister in Tokoyo no Kuni yet Ruby Party members dumped the idea for his servitude to Asvin.
One of the discarded story concepts involved Ribhu constructing a steel flying ship for Tokoyo no Kuni. A scene was planned to have a dog fight with Nakatsu Kuni's flying ship. The Tokoyo no Kuni ship would then be shot down and crash land into the earth. The explosion of the ship was planned to char and devastate the landscape. While the dog fight was omitted, the idea of an arid landscape remained and was altered to be caused by the "black sun god".
Humble and soft-spoken, Ribhu appears to be laid back. He may seem unassuming, but he is actually a perceptive realist. He may accurately predict the enemy movements and is a talented inventor of carriages, armor, and weapons for Asvin. Occasionally, his keen and honest observations slips through his lips. Since he comes from common origins, however, his remarks have gotten him into trouble in the past. As such, he rarely shows his true emotions to people.
Ribhu is Asvin's closest friend and confidant outside of family. Despite having known each other for a short time, both men share an unbreakable bond of trust, as though they have been familiar with one another their entire lives. He can see through Asvin's apparent cruelty, easily accepting the vulnerabilities the prince tries to hide. For his master's sake, he feigns ignorance. Instead, he may innocuously question Asvin's boldness to assert the prince's convictions for his plans and to help the prince regain his composure. Yet through all of their banter, Ribhu earnestly believes his master as the only prince worthy of the throne. He would gladly place himself in harm's way if Asvin needs his protection.
Initially, Ribhu admires Chihiro for her thoughtfulness and kindness for her people's safety. Many of the same traits he likes in Asvin can be found in her. She looks beyond status and enjoys being beside him. Her benign wishes for both countries' security and her wishes for peace solidifies his trust in her. Once he becomes aware of his endearment for her, he entrusts her with his love. He sternly states he can't give her his life or loyalty as a servant, but Ribhu will devote everything else of himself to her.
In Hindu mythology, Ribhu is the name for the Ashvin twins' chariot. They are said to ride it across the sky to rise and set the sun.
Ribhu's symbolic color is kuri-iro, a blackish brown shade known to exist in Japan since the Nara period. Its namesake is supposedly dark, fertile soil found by a riverbed. The color has also been argued to be a dark red or dark yellow rather than brown. It has been used to dye clothing and to blacken women's teeth.
His symbolic flower is one which blooms on the Camellia sinensis, which is used as a common ingredient in most teas within Asia. Like in China, the tree is dedicated solely to the beverage and is literally called "tea tree" in Japan. Its flower has white petals and several yellow stamens. The petals supposedly represents the purity of youth, and the stamens are identified as affection for the petals. Thus, the flower language often interprets it as a blossom of memories or pure love.
- "Ya, try to end this before the tea gets cold."
- "Hmm? The tea's piping hot, but are you sure this is the right time and place?"
- "Amazingly, you're relaxed enough to sip tea in the battlefield."
- "Please forgive His Highness and his manners. He does that. Lord Asvin means no harm."
- "Crafting is fun. Maybe you should try it sometime."
- "Ha, well, you are a princess. It makes sense to over think everything and to consult your followers."
- "How about this? Would you like to try ranting now? I won't ask anything. Just let it all out. It's not good to keep everything bottled up, you know. Otherwise, your anxieties will sink deeper within yourself."
- "Sorry for the inconvenience. I know how busy you are with your new duties, but I couldn't help myself. I just had to see you as soon as possible."
- "Ribhu, forgive me. I misjudged terribly..."
- "Your... Highness?"
- "Don't talk. Your wound is still fresh."
- "... I'm so sorry. I let your precious troops-"
- "It wasn't your fault. You were just following my command. ...And because of me, you ended up like this."
- "This... it's nothing. Please don't worry for me..."
- ~~Asvin and Ribhu
- "Ya, let's say there's a situation when you and His Highness are in danger, okay? If that happened, I would risk my life to save him, not you."
- "It can't be helped. You've sworn so much loyalty to him and you've known him longer. I can't compare to Asvin in that regard."
- "Um... Ya, that's not entirely it. His Highness is an important person to me who I'd give my life for. But you are about the same... How should I say this? If I could split myself in two, the other me would go to you. Yet Lord Asvin will always be my true master."
- "Okay, but what does that make me to you? You've made it clear that you won't be loyal to me. So... who am I to you?"
- "You are... Ya, maybe this isn't how I should express it. You are on the same level as His Highness to me. Or maybe you're on a level that surpasses him."
- ~~Ribhu and Chihiro
When Chihiro summons him in battle, Ribhu serves the party tea. Each party member automatically restores fifty health each turn. The effect "Ribhu's tea" lasts at least three turns each summoning. The effect is especially useful for long boss fights.