Part 96: Update XCII: An Apprentice and the Window to the PastBienvenidos. We begin another update with a short chat with Sterk after returning from our adventure.
What is it?
I just wanted to ask you... Actually, maybe it's better not to know.
Well now you've piqued my curiosity.
Okay...then I'll just ask. Mr. Sterk, do...do you...
Yeah. I see you talking to them from time to time. So I thought maybe you could understand them.
Of course I can.
...Is what I'd like to say. But sadly, I cannot. I just sort of...decide what it is I wish they were saying.
Ohh, I see. I thought it was really incredible that maybe you could talk to animals.
I'm sorry I let you down. But I'm just a normal human being.
Ah, speak of the devil.
What!? He's that close!?
I'm very sorry, Princess. Something important has just come up, so if you'll excuse me...
*Sterk and the pigeon leave*
He lied! He lied about not speaking pigeon! That description was way too specific!
But Meruru has more important things to worry about than where Sterk comes from, as Totori has made her decision. Let's see what she has to say...
Don't tell me...it's about the letter you got asking you to go back to Arland.
Honestly, I didn't plan on leaving until things had settled down here, but...
I understand. I'm not gonna try to argue with your decision. I...I'm gonna work super hard to become a real alchemist by the next time I see you!
Listen, Meruru...even when I go back to Arland-
*fade to black*
Miss Totori is leaving...that's not what I want. I assumed she'd always be here, and now she's just leaving out of nowhere. It's not fair!
*fade to black*
Please be careful during your return. Although I don't imagine such a renowned adventurer has much to worry about.
Thank you, Rufus.
Is the princess really not going to come and say goodbye?
There's nothing we can do about it now. We can't keep Ms. Totori waiting any longer.
...I'm gonna go look for her! I'm sure she's around here somewhere.
Keina, please...a big farewell like this will just make it harder for me to leave.
If...if you say so.
Three days later...
Yeah, I'm fine. I know, I need to just get over it. I'm sad Miss Totori's not here, but it's not like I'll never see her again. Arland IS pretty far away, though...
No, Meruru, listen. What I wanted to tell you is that Ms. Totori...
It's okay, Keina. I just wonder what kind of adventures she's having right now.
I knew it. Still, it's only been three days since she left. I wonder how she got back so fast...
Thanks for looking after the workshop while I was gone. Here, I brought you some souvenirs.
She has some pretty good taste in souvenirs. Especially that World Spirits, since it has a Cost +3 on it, which turns it from a 20 Cost item into 35 Cost, I think.
Waah, thank you! Wait, no! Miss Totori, you said you were going back to Arland!
I did go back. And then I came back again.
Wh-What are you talking about...?
Ms. Totori was only supposed to be gone for a day.
Well, you have been gone for something like three years now.
So I had to spend some time dealing with that, which made me late getting back.
W-Well, it still seems like you weren't gone very long. Arland's pretty far away, isn't it?
Oh, I used the Warp Gate. It only takes a second that way.
Oh, you don't know about it? It's a device that lets you travel to anywhere you've been before in an instant.
So you can come and go whenever you want? But then...
Well, Meruru, I tried telling you, but you refused to listen.
Ghh...maybe, but still...
At any rate, Ms. Totori had planned to return to Arland for only a day.
Rufus! If you knew that all along, you should have told me!
How could I tell a princess who refused to show herself? Besides, i did tell Keina about the situation.
What, really!? She never told me about it! Keina!
Would you say you're a real alchemist now?
Nng...Miss Totori, stop being so mean!
Well, as long as she's hanging around, that's what matters. Anyway, onto other business. Finishing another Chim Doll, incidentally, got me another scene. Nothing to do with the previous two, though. Video goes until Keina says "Yes, of course"
Hellooo? Are you here, Meruru?
Oh, Keina. Good timing. I was just about to take a break.
Hehe, just as I thought. I brought you a little snack. I'll pour some tea.
Wow, you can even tell when I'm gonna take a break? That's amazing...
One day I realized, whenever I find myself thinking about taking a break, you're usually thinking the same thing. So as long as I act a few minutes before that time, I'll always be able to cater to your needs.
Wow, really? I never noticed. But hey, if it works, it works. When I was living in the castle, we always woke up and ate together. Then...can you tell me what I'm thinking about right now!?
Wow, that's right! You're so amazing, Keina!
I'm sensing thesauruses are not a big commodity in Arls.
Hehehe. Here, your tea is ready. I thought you might be in the mood for some herbal tea this time.
Whoa, you guessed it! You're awesome.
So, while we're on the subject...can you tell what other people are thinking, too?
N-No... For example, I never have the slightest clue what Mr. Rufus might be thinking. The same goes for Lord Dessier. Oh, but sometimes I can guess what Mr. Lias is thinking.
Oh yeah, I might be able to do that, too. I've known Lias forever.
But anyway, you're hte only one whose way of thinking I can really understand.
I see. I just thought maybe you could find some extra work if you could tell what everyone was thinking.
Ehehe. Thanks! Then you have to stay with me forever!
Yes, of course.
Another scene at the castle. Video goes until Meruru says "I really wanna find out more about him..."
What's wrong? Why is Keina screaming!? What happened!?
*fade to black*
Keina! Are you okay!?
Ah, Meruru! Help meee!
Just calm down and tell me what happened!
O-Okay. You see...
Please don't say my name before me.
S-Sorry...I couldn't help it.
Now then, which helpless maiden let loose that scream? What's the problem? Were you assaulted by a no-good thug!?
A...worm? So that scream just now was...
You gotta be kidding me! You really scared me, you know. I thought you were in serious trouble!
I'm really sorry. I just go so startled, I...
All's well that ends well. It was a bit anticlimactic, but better that than a tragedy!
I dunno, it's kind of a tragedy for you, Masked G. You made such a dashingly awesome appearance.
Now, I'd better get going. Taaah!
*Masked G leaves*
Goodbye, Masked G! To appear for even little problems like this...he is a true hero. I really wanna find out more about him...
Another another scene in the Study.
I've stated only a theoretical, general conclusion. You should stop blindly believing only in your own flawed logic.
What!? Rufus and Mr. Sterk, are you two fighting again? Last time, you argued over the proper color of pigeons...black or white, they're both cute!
We are not arguing about that anymore. It's much more serious this time.
At this rate, the merger will bring nothing but trouble.
Wh-What!? If they cancel the merger, does that mean my life as an alchemist will come crumbling down!? So what's the argument about this time?
Lord Gio was a benevolent king, true, but Arland is no longer a kingdom, and he is no longer a king. Now he has chosen to wander the land rather than fulfill his duties as head of his republic. Lord Dessier has remained to stand and take the helm of his kingdom. Clearly he has the greater stature.
That's not true! Lord Gio does not just wander aimlessly. He is simply trying to view the world the way his people do! There are many things you cannot see by simply sitting on a throne.
That's not what I'm saying at all! Arland has prospered because the king was loved by all!
I unreservedly respect the fact that you have found a king worthy of pledging your allegience to. But if we're talking about a king of kings, personal feelings aside, clearly Lord Dessier has a greater stature.
No, I'm sorry, I must object. Considering how he ruled over a nation as big as Arland, Lord Gio-
That's all in the past.
What are you saying? This concerns you as well, you know.
Who has greater stature, or who's higher up - I don't care! That's just stupid.
Yup. That isn't the kind of thing the two of you should be trying to decide. Neither my dad nor my uncle care about stuff like that.
Uwaah, just stop it! *sigh* But I have to hand it to Mr. Sterk...he's pretty amazing for getting Rufus so worked up like this.
Quite. Just visited the Study to begin the development of the Material Archive, the final facility Astrid requested from us.
Quite a few minutes of looking through ingredients resulted in this Sky Flame, which can be directly used in the synthesis of new ingots. Attack Boost and Attack +10 gives the new ingot 27 more attack, just on their own. Always helpful. A scene afterward.
Ah, Keina? Wow, you're always up so early.
After breakfast, I'll clean up the workshop.
Th-That's a good thing, isn't it? You guys are always helping out, you should take a break.
If we cannot satisfy Mini Master's needs, the meaning of our existence comes into question.
In which case, we shall go on a journey of self-discovery. Thank you for everything, Mini Master.
Whaaat!? Please, just wait! Hom and Hom! I'm sure we can work this out! You two are doing a great job helping me, too.
That is not it, Mini Master. Keina's cooking ability has far surpassed Hom's.
In the field of personal assistance, Hom should not lose to anyone.
So you think your skill has to be as good as Keina's... Then Keina and the HOms will have to have a battle to decide who's superior!
That just sounds like an excuse for you to not have to clean up after yourself...
Crap! Er, I mean...that's not true! It's all for the sake of the Homs, see?
If you say so...okay then. I'll do it.
I have no objections.
We will undoubtedly win and regain the meaning of our existence in this workshop back.
Let's see how clean the workshop is... WOW! The whole place is shining like a diamond!
The Homs really worked hard. I'd say this battle is a draw.
Yup. ...Huh? Where's my cauldron stirring stick?
Hmm...I don't know. I didn't touch it.
That was me. Considering its shape, mass, and length, I moved it so that it would be out of the way.
I see. But I need to keep it somewhere close by so I can reach it quick if I need it.
I understand...I am deeply sorry.
Oh, that was me. I recalled exactly where you liked to keep them.
We have lost...Hom did not clean with Mini Master in mind...
Hom's existence is pointless. We are useless. Dispose of us as you wish.
Ahh, I made them even more depressed! This isn't how I wanted this to go... B-But the battle's not over yet! Next, we move on to cooking! So don't give up!
Part one of a few scenes between Keina and the Homs. I wonder if our two alchemical servants can ever win against the perfect maid. We'll have to see later, as we've got another scene in town. Video goes until Meruru says "I'm really pumped!"
Hello hello! What's so interesting?
Wh - Meruru!? When did you come in? How'd you sneak up behind me like that? That was amazing!
Oh, uh, hehe... Well I just saw you here, so I thought I'd come and say hi.
Haha, it's okay. I was just kidding. I was just lost in thought about my job and didn't realize you were there.
Ohh...so, what IS your job?
There are differences in our cultures as well as our values. Even when both sides accept it, merging can be difficult.
I see...when you put it that way, becoming a single republic is a pretty big deal!
You're absolutely right. So I'm here to find out more about the people of Arls. I have to observe what they do on a daily basis, how they act, how they think. The people here are very interesting. Even on a personal level, I couldn't be more excited.
So how do you investigate people?
You mean like Rufus and Keina? I like to think so.
Hmhm. Do you, now? You know, most people don't even understand their own true nature. Maybe you have a side you only show to strangers; maybe you have a side that comes out only when [your] life is on the line.
Wow...that's kinda creepy. Have you been observing me, too?
Nng...that just makes me even more curious!
I think maybe you have the wrong idea. If you like, we can investigate together next time. I don't mind, if it's you.
Huh? Can I really?
Hmhmhm. Of course! I'll come find you when I'm ready. I hope you're excited.
Okay! We'll be like some detective team out of one of those books! I'm really pumped!
So after that event, you have to wait 15 something days before going out on your first "investigation". I think the two other events like that require Esty's friendship level to be higher and higher, eventually capping out at 80 for her final event. We'll leave it for later. There's not much rush.
Scene at Pamela's next. Yeah, we're in kinda one of those parts of the game.
Ms. Pamela? What's wrong?
Oh, Meruru. What are you doing here?
Um...to look around. You seem distracted today.
About...life? I had no idea ghosts thought about life.
Of course. I've been around way longer than the living, so I have more to think about.
Ohh. So...what's the matter?
Wh...whaaat!? In love with...Rufus!?
Oh nooo! I let it slip out! Love is truly powerful. Well, I didn't want to have to hide it, either.
This is so unexpected...I never could have pictured you falling for...him. But where did this all begin?
I had a chance to talk with him about the store recently, and when he looked at me with those icy eyes of his...
If you did that, I have a feeling Arls would start spinning out of control. So...I'd rather you not.
Hey, so...what should I do? He's in charge of Arls' political machine, and I'm just a humble store owner...
I'm sure he won't have a clue unless you tell him directly how you feel.
A declaration of love? I...I can't do that! I couldn't stand the rejection. Besides, I like waiting in the shadows. A secret love is simply marvelous...
Then I don't think Rufus will ever recognize your feelings. As I'm sure you've noticed, he's a total workaholic.
Then we'll both be ghosts, and we'll travel the world together. Hmhmhm...doesn't that sound splendid?
I-I'm not sure...I've never really heard anything like it before.
My oh my, don't you have any imagination? Floating through life can be quite fun, you know. So I'll wait. I'm already a ghost, so I have all the time in the world. Yup...then it'll work out!
You guessed it...another scene. Video goes until Totori says "You can do it, Meruru!"
Rorona used to be your teacher and a great alchemist, right?
That's right. Other than Ms. Astrid, I'd say she's the best alchemist in the land.
Wooow...looking at Rorona now, that's pretty hard to imagine.
Hm? Did you say Rorona's name?
Yup. Are you interested in alchemy, Miss Rorona?
I guess she doesn't remember that she used to be an alchemist.
I don't think so. Even if she got younger, I don't think her memories simply disappeared. The Potion of Youth doesn't actually turn back time - it just changes the person's appearance. Therefore-
Rorona should still have the memory of alchemy somewhere inside her?
That's right. It's possible for her to recall those memories, if we can get something to trigger them.
Even if it can't change her physical appearance, it might bring her memories back! Yeah, it's worth a try.
Great, then let's get started right away! I'll help however I can.
First, let's go over the basic steps for creating a Supplement.
She answered so fast...
Miss Rorona...you're an alchemist, so you have to learn lots of different things.
Rorona doesn't wanna learn anything hard. I wanna go play house!
This is gonna be a problem. She just doesn't have any interest in alchemy.
But how do I do that...?
On my head...? Oh, you mean my crown?
Yup. Rorona wants one, too!
Well, I wouldn't mind giving you mine, but I think Rufus and my dad would get really mad if I did.
Okie dokie. I don't want Meruru to get yelled at. Neeever mind.
Oh, I know! Rorona, if you get real good at alchemy, you might be able to make your very own crown!
Huh!? You mean it!?
Absolutely. There's nothing you can't make with alchemy! ...I think.
Of course! Why don't we go over to the cauldron and try it together?
*fade to black*
It might take some time, but we just might be able to job her memory. You can do it, Meruru!
More synthesis silliness occurs and I make my next ingot tier. That's +32 attack to the weapon made from it, as well as 7% of damage coming back as HP. I'll be honest and say all the Convert traits are pretty worthless in the long run, simply because healing items are how you heal in the real fights, as redundant as that might be.
Convert is good for trash mobs, I guess.
Legendary Staff for Meruru. She'll be holding her own in battles.
This time it's Rorona tagging out, for good ol' Mimi, mainly because Wyvern dropped a more powerful lance for Mimi. We've got an important adventure in the north.
Couple pricy, but important, recipe books from Astrid, and look at the cost of that mushroom she stole from us! We'll have our revenge when Ent comes back around, however.
Now then, we have Handel Forest IV open, but the problem is the request for this requires 8 Tonics in total, and that's quite a lot of time wasted waiting. It's not like this is the last time heading north, so we'll handle the remaining two tasks for it another time.
Yup. I'm good. You know, I don't know how to put it, but you have a very...distinctive presence, Mr. Sterk.
Count on me...a real knight...
Arland was once filled with knights like that. However...the flow of time has...
Umm...Mr. Sterk? What was that about the flow of time?
And yet! I now have a delicate princess relying upon me! Have the heavens seen fit for me to resume my knightly duties?
Uwah! You scared me!
Th-Thank you very much...but that might be kinda hard if you can't loosen up a bit. Please, just relax. And I'll do the same thing...okay?
Regardless! I swear upon my sword to protect you from now on. Please, leave your fears in my care.
Y-Yes...I will do that. Mister...umm...Mr. Knight!
Mr. Knight...what a soothing phrase. Yes! I shall succeed!
Okay then...let's go!
Well, at least he isn't sulking all the time.
Anyhow, off to the north we go. You may remember Pioneer Village from our brief visit in the...third update, I think, where we fought some Green Punis and Squirrels here. Now we're here to slaughter everything.
None of these enemies can stand even a single hit now, of course, but...aren't those abandoned buildings? Certainly seems like people used to live here.
Second area is the Sunlight Torrent. These new enemies are fairly powerful, but there's only one of them in a group, and there's three fights. Nothing to fear from these guys. They are highly resistant to fire damage, as you might expect.
Our final stop is the Early Woodlands. The same kind of bugs we saw in Hart Outpost earlier, and just as strong as they were back then. Moving on...
Yep, the (nearly) furthest north location is now open, the volcano we've seen way in the background in events that took place outside Atelier Meruru. Naturally, being a distinctive location we can't go here right away until Meruru reports to Rufus and opens it up.
That said, though...there isn't much reason to go to the volcano for a while. But don't worry, we'll be getting there. With nothing else to do, returning to town.
Welcome. I apologize, but Mini Master is not here right now.
If you would like to leave a message, Hom will record it for you. Please state your message now.
You two are the homunculi, I suppose. If she's not here, it's fine. I'll just stop by again later.
Well...I've just been busy with work and haven't been able to get much sleep... But I'm okay. I can handle this level of fatigue.
You cannot underestimate the effects of overexertion. You have a 28% chance of collapsing during your workday.
You also require rest. You can do so here. Hom will carry out your duties in the meantime.
What's that? Are you saying that a homunculus understands the duty of a butler?
Correct. We were created with such knowledge, and have followed Grand Master's teachings faithfully.
Grand Master...you mean Ms. Astrid. If you're her homunculi, that must mean... Very well, if you don't mind.
Hom, where did you get that candy?
We lent our aid to Mr. Rufus and subsequently received them as a gift.
He wanted to show his appreciation for the medicine, and for carrying out his duties. It is very delicious.
Wh-What are you talking about?
*fade for explanation*
Hom simply did what Hom was made to do. Plus...
It is Hom's job to assist those who assist Mini Master.
Hehe...then I guess I should thank you, too. So...thank you!
As long as they're happy, I guess.
The Assassin Guild? I didn't know Ezio and / or Connor was moving into town. That aside, I can't say I feel good about an Assassin Guild lending their name to a product that erases stains. You know what else stains? Blood. Perhaps Hanna is just a front for a massive criminal enterprise.
Or...perhaps the Brotherhood is lending their name to this to let the good citizens of Arls know that the Templars are really pulling the strings around here. I will have to give this more thought. Let's have a scene with Lias.
Hm? No, I'm not busy. What did you want to ask?
It's been a while since you've taken me out as an escort. So I was curious what I'm lacking, in your point of view.
H-Huh? So you're asking me to...point out your flaws?
I've been thinking about what Pops said to me the other day. And I've been trying to figure out what it is Rufus has that I don't.
Ooh, I see...so did you figure out what it is?
Wow, that's really serious. This calls for a drastic remedy, but I'm not sure if you can handle it...
Just tell me. I can handle whatever it is. But I can't start changing until I know.
..Wait, I have no luck? That's not a flaw! How would I even begin to fix that...?
W-Wait, there's more? *sigh*
Ahh, s-sorry! I just said what popped into my head! But when you think about it, those flaws aren't too bad...
...You don't have to make excuses. I'm the one who forced you to tell me. Besides, just because of the way I think, I hadn't even considered my luck. No wonder I can never match up to him.
Umm...I dunno why didn't realize that until now...but I gues that's normal for people with no good luck.
So how can I fix my bad luck? Tell me what I can do to make things better!
...I see. Maybe you're right.
But I guess you wouldn't be suffering so much if you could just decide to - wait, what?
When I compare myself to my perfect brother, I think I can't help but be pessimistic about it. Mabye that limited me and kept me locked in my own little shell. Be more optimistic...I'll think about it.
Whew...I didn't imagine Lias would agree with me. I said it without thinking, but maybe it'll have an effect. But thinking too hard is never good, so maybe it'll be better for Lias. Yeah, I'll just leave it at that.
Perhaps there is hope for him yet.
Secret Remedy again. In retrospect, this was a poor choice of traits. Clever Heal restores MP, as does one of the Remedy's effects. A bit redundant, you see. Hand-Crafted would have been a better choice, but this can revive and remove status effects, as well. A valuable healing item as always.
But hey, let's finish things with a fun Mimi scene.
Oh, Ms. Mimi... Sorry, I was just about to close the workshop for a day.
Yeah, I know. You haven't had dinner yet, have you? You mind if we eat together? I got a bunch of mushrooms today from accompanying a hunter in the woods. You mind if I borrow that pot?
Ahh! That's our synthesis cauldron! If you need a pot, please take one from the kitchen.
*fade to black*
Mushrooms are one of the specialities we have here in Arls, so I'm pretty picky when it comes to mushroom dishes.
THis one is based on a secret family recipe. You'll be astonished by its deliciousness.
You're that confident, huh? Okay, well...here I go!
Heh heh...didn't I tell you? All right, I'm gonna have some, too.
Man, so amazing! I can't believe Miss Totori is missing out on this.
I spent so much time gathering these to make her happy.
...Whoa! Wait, what the heck am I saying!?
Ms. Mimi? You're acting kind of...strange.
Nope! Nothing strange here! It's only natural that I'd be disappointed Totori isn't here!
W-What...? Could these mushrooms be...? Umm...Ms. Mimi? I know I asked this before, but you and Miss Totori are friends, right?
So I used the prospect of new adventurer jobs as an escuse to follow after her.
...Whaaaat!? What am I saying!?
I knew it! This mushroom is a Pure Truffle! Pure Truffle is a really tasty mushroom, but one bite and you start spouting off all your true feelings and wishes.
P-Pure Truffle!? Wh-Wh-Why would you make me eat something like that!?
You're the one that brought them here and cooked them up!
Th-Then...even the fact that I want to tell her how I really feel...
Well...yeah. You just did.
*fade to black*
*sigh* What a ghastly experience... Hey, listen up! Everything I Just said was a total lie! Don't believe a word of it!
You don't have to work so hard to deny it...
Just...hush! You can believe this. If you ever repeat any of this to Totori... I'll kill you.
Ms. Mimi...I don't like the look in your eyes.
But why'd it only happen to me? You ate a whole bunch, too. That's not fair!
Tch. Flaunting your innate girlishness like that. Hey...there's no more...weird stuff in here, right?
I...don't think so. But those Pure Truffles aren't poisonous or anything, so please enjoy them.
They're totally poisonous! Intensely so! Ugh...I'm just glad Totori wasn't here to see that.
Ahh! Shut UP!
Well, that was fun. Hopefully Mimi will eventually confess...she does, and it's one of the best scenes in the game.. But, I think we've had enough this time. Later.