Yes indeed, it turned out that Lyle was the prince of the Layans. And of course I had to fight him. Yet even with this, frankly, predictable turn coming, the game managed to defy my expectations. After Rhys (By himself) bested Lyle in combat, Lyle rejoined my party as though nothing had happened after saying “Hmm, looks like you’re stronger than I thought.” Bizarre, and frankly a pleasant surprise.
I also get the feeling that I saw the game dip into Phantasy Star II-level translation for the first time here. Near the end of the Layan castle, Rhys exclaimed “It’s her!” “Her” did not refer to Maia, though, but apparently a girl I’ve never seen before called Lena. From what I can tell, Lena is Rhys’s Layan counterpart. The only issue here is that she starts off at about the same strength Rhys was at at the start of the game–which would be great if Rhys weren’t about 17 levels higher than that.
In any event, the next step, now that I had a full party (And drums on the overworld music!), was to use Lyle and Lena’s moon fragments to reactivate the Satellite Control System in Aridia. Luckily, I knew exactly where that was given my exploration of the tower, so that was no problem. The village I went to after that contained equipment far, far beyond my realm of affordability (Mid-five digits Meseta on average, when the most I had ever carried on me at any one time was about 2500). No doubt that this will be some sort of true endgame town. For now, though, I’ll keep going, since I think I’m near the end of the first generation (Maia is getting mentioned again with increasing frequency).