Part 98: Update XCIV: An Apprentice and the KnightsWhat an absolute mess. Very sorry about the time between last update and this. Computer problems. You know how it is. Or maybe not. Anyway, let's start by wrapping up a few scenes I had to leave hanging from last time.
Don't sweat it. I need you to keep working harder so the town, and my store, can grow bigger!
Okie dokie, I can do that! By the way... I know you travel far and wide to gather your goods, but... Is there anything you're afraid of? You never know what pop out of a dark cave or some old ruins.
I'd never get any business done if I spent all my time being scared of caves or monsters or whatever.
Huh? Where'd that weird voice come from?
Weird voice...? That's so mean! It's just me. Meee!
!?!?!? Wh-Wh-Where'd you...you just -!
Oh, it's Ms. Pamela. Say, didn't I ask you to use the door when you stop by?
But this is so much faster...
Oh no, I can't do magic or anything. I'm just your garden-variety ghost.
Gh-Gh...ghost... Ah-hahaha... Y-You're just teasing me! ...So, May. Who is this person? Really, I mean...
I'm telling you, I'm Pamela. Nice to meet you!
No. No no no. Nonononono. No more fooling around.
...Uwaaaah! Y-You're...you're really... F-Fore really real...
I couldn't believe it at first either, but everyone from Arland confirmed it. So I'm sure it's the real deal.
KYAAAAAAAH!!! A GHOST!? ...Stay away! Don't come any closer! I...I can't do ghosts...
Hanna! That's a very rude way to react!
It's been so long since I scared someone like this. It makes me glad to be alive...or dead, I guess!
Evil spirit, begone! Evil spirit, I compel you! Don't touch me! Don't curse meeee!
At some point, I'm liable to put Hanna and Pamela into a party.
I will haaave my veeengeeance...! Giiive me your bloooood...!
That's more a vampire than a ghost...
Nope! Nope, no way, no! I'm going hooooome!
Aww, she left. I still had a few more ghostly tricks up my sleeve...
Hey! You better go tell her you're sorry later! Although that might backfire, too...
Okay, I understand... I'll make sure and be nice to her, since we both have stores in town and all.
*sigh* I wonder if she really does understand. I just hope Hanna can get over it before long... (But...I guess Hanna does have a weakness, after all. It was kinda cute.)
We've got another coming up. All of these Pamela scenes tend to happen in a period of just a few months, which is why she's coming up so much lately.
What? You were obviously disappointed just now! Not nice!
Sorry...I just thought maybe it was Sir Rufus, or Lias.
"Sir" Rufus...? So you've reached that point, huh? This is a serious case of love sickness.
Sir Rufus hasn't opened up to me yet. He looked so nervous when we were talking about the store.
Really? Rufus? Why would he be nervous?
Oh...how you said you'd stand by his pillow every night and be like, "I curse thee!"
Yeah yeah! But he just groans, and nothing romantic happens. Boys are so bad at these things...
I-I think that's a pretty natural reaction.
It's not going well at all. Gah! Meruru, what should I do? Give me some advice.
How would I know? Why don't you...I dunno...try talking to some older people?
Man...I can't say no to that face. Okay, I'll go ask people for advice. Hmm...older people... Maybe Miss Totori and Ms. Esty? Yeah, I'll go talk to them.
Personally, I would have loved to hear Astrid's advice, but I guess it's understandable Meruru doesn't care to ask her. Anyway, I just flipped a coin to make my decision, and it came up tails, which means I went with Esty. It doesn't matter, anyway, since Totori and Esty come up with the same idea. That was the context of me talking to Esty last time, but the spying on Keina scene came first. Anyway, let's see what she says.
Oh, hey Meruru. What's up?
*fade for explanation*
Shhh! You're way too loud right now! ...Ms. Filly...what are you doing here?
Oh, the girl just can't keep out of the love affairs of others. She should really worry about herself first...
You always go too far, Esty! ...Anyway, what does Pamela want?
Well...she's still in the middle of the dilemma. She has no idea how to go forward.
What!? Don't say that...!
It's true, though. Issues of love are always a delicate matter. It's time for...a showdown.
I agree. We should get a hold of Rufus and Lias and settle this once and for all. Two guys duking it out over one girl... This is really exciting!
Either way, we can't settle this until we get everyone together in one room.
O-Okay...I'll go get Rufus and Lias and bring them to the store!
Luckily, you don't have to actually go get them. As soon as you enter Pamela's store after either talking with Totori or Esty, the final scene of this little story comes up.
Okay, so, what am I doing here? I'm on break right now, you know...
Ms. Pamela, I brought them both here. Let's settle this once and for all!
Wh-What's going on?
That's what I'd like to know. Why have I been forced to come to the gh - Ms. Pamela's store?
Man, first that pigeon crack, now this. Seems Rufus isn't as smooth as he'd probably like people to think.
Just quiet down and I'll tell you! We are about to decide the fate of one young woman! Now, Ms. Pamela - tell them how you feel!
O-Okay...I guess I'll just say it.
*gulp* ...Go for it!
His eyes are filled with sorrow, but his determination to overcome such sadness and live with strength is so amazing!
I simply cannot comprehend what's going on here. May I leave now? There is much left to do today.
Oh, um...sure. Sorry to bother you.
Then if you'll excuse me...
Errg...sorry, Lias. I think I know what's causing that, but I can't really explain it...
Huh? What's that mean? Whatever...I'm gonna go pass out for a while.
Thank you, please come again! Hmhmhm...if I got married to Mr. Dessier, I'd be your mom! What would I have you call me? Mom? Mother? Or...Mommy? Ahh, I'm blushing!
Fair warning, but I'll be spending a lot of time synthing behind the scenes. There's a lot of development to do, and it's about time we start making ultimate equipment. Although it really isn't necessary for Ent, it's very possible to make great equipment in time for when Ent comes back around Arls.
But now we've got another Pamela scene. Lots of the ghost lady this update.
Hello! I'm here to deliver the items you ordered.
Oh, hi Hanna. You came to deliver it yourself? Thank you!
It's just good customer service. Plus, it's faster to come straight here rather than going back to my place first.
You work so hard, Hanna. You go back and forth between the town and the wilderness like every day!
You're so industrious! I need my little workers to be just as industrious today. Okay, Chims. Time to get to work. Everyone gather round!
Great. Can you put these packages away? I'll give you a big reward once you're done.
They cleaned it all up so fast. It's like magic! The Chims are such good workers.
Homunculi are so mysterious. They're super cute, and great workers. Alchemy is so amazing.
Well...I imagine ghosts are just as mysterious...
Well, I'm sure anyone would agree with the cuteness of the Chims. Here's your reward - some candy!
Aww...man, I wish I had some Chims at my shop, too. It'd be a huge help if they could watch over the place while I go out on my deliveries.
I want some, too! I'd love to have them around just to organize all my synthesis materials.
Hey, Chims...would you like it if I adopted you?
What!? Hey, are you trying to poach my workers right in front of me?
No fair, Hanna! My workshop is pretty nice, too! I can use alchemy to make whatever you want, Chims.
Hold up! You don't even need them, May. You have Totori and the Homs!
That's totally different. Right, Chims?
The Chims are my most precious workers!
You all need to stop making fun of them. Anyway, up next is one final scene we need to catch up on. There are a number of scenes with Rorona making pies with all sorts of wacky effects, that happen as you level up her friendship level. This is the first.
Rorona seems like a real pro at this. No way could I even copy what she's doing...
Her body remembers what it was like to synthesize. She really was an amazing alchemist.
All right, all done!
Heh heh. See, when you eat this, you'll go inside-out.
Inside-out...? What does that mean? Well whatever it is, it sounds fun!
It IS fun! There's lots for everyone, so let's eat!
Oh, Mimi. We just finished baking a pie. Would you like to join us?
Ah, sorry, didn't mean to interrupt. But still...don't mind if I do!
*fade for eating*
Yeah. I've never had a pie like this before. Anyway, Totori...I know you're busy, but try to make some time for me.
What's this? Is Mimi going to be confessing?
M-Ms. Mimi is acting kind of strange...
And now Totori's acting all weird... Perhaps she's showing her true colors...
Hey! Don't you think that was a little too mean? I don't want you talking like that, Miss Totori!
Huh? But I just said what I was thinking. So I didn't do anything wrong, right?
Wh -! Was I acting super weird just now!?
I-I feel like I said something I shouldn't have...
Not weird, but definitely cute. BUt in a way, we were all kind of weird. I got really mad, too...
Yeah...I definitely said some stuff better left unsaid...
Oh yeah...I think I remember you saying that.
Th-This pie is way too dangerous!
Yeah. We need to lock it away...
Ms. Mimi got cuter, but Miss Totori was too mean, and I got way too mad.
Now then, let's get on getting on. This is a scene that tends to come up eventually, regardless of friendship levels of the involved characters. Video goes until Meruru says "Did I say something wrong?"
Oh, it's you. You know you're not supposed to be out here by yourself!
Waah! Are you mad at me again? You're so scary...
Grr...calm down, Sterk. Breathe. Upsetting her will only make things harder. I need to keep her smiling... No, Rorona...I'm not mad at all. But did you not come here with Princess Meruru?
Ehehe. Nope, I came all by myself! I wanted to find something fun to do.
Let's go have fun together! Here we gooo!
Hey, hold on! Ugh, I can't just let her go off on her own. I'd better go look after her...
*fade to black*
Hey, I'm huuungry. Do you have any snacks?
Why don't we go get something to eat? I think I saw a store around here somewhere...
Come on, enough with the jokes. I just need some snacks and a drink fit for a kid.
You know, most voice actors probably would have read that line pretty plainly, but O'Brien does a really good job of it. He says the line as you might expect up to "drink", but then he does a nice "catching himself in mid-thought" maneuver and adds the last part. I don't know, just something I've always liked about that line.
Sure sure, coming right up! Here you go, Rorona.
Wooow, thanks! I'm so hungry! *gobble gobble*
Hey! At least wait until I pay for it to start stuffing your face!
*munch munch* Sorry! *munch* Hehe, it's so good!
Haha! Seriously, you guys really do look like a family. You've got a natural talent for it.
I told you, don't even joke about that. Gh -! What did I just say!? You're spilling everywhere! Hold it straight!
*chomp chomp* But it's so heeeavy. Can you hold this for me? But don't eat it - it's mine!
The more I see, the more you look like a real family. Why don't you just adopt her already?
*fade to present*
So that happened, and I've been running around all day. But now I'm finally free.
This scene in general has a really nice voice acting touches courtesy of Mr. Cranach. I really like how he communicates Sterk cooling down when he says "But now".
Hahaha, that must have been quite an experience. I guess you're not a master of everything, huh?
Unfortunately not. It took everything I had just to keep her from crying.
Hm. But I would love to have seen you taking care of her. Oh, I know! Do you wanna go with me and Rorona next tiem we go shopping?
Shopping? I...guess I can do that.
What!? Such a ridiculous role - er. I mean, such an amazing honor...I simply couldn't accept it. ...Goodbye!
Huh? Why'd Mr. Sterk run off like that? Did I say something wrong?
Again, something that comes with age. Now then, we have a big scene in the Study. Video goes until Meruru says "But he's still got a long road ahead of him."
Hmm. If I may be honest-
Unngh...is it time for another lecture?
It can be, if that's what you'd like.
No no no! Anything that's NOT a lecture is fine!
Your actions go nowhere 80% of the time, and when they do go somewhere, they don't relate to any overall plan. Frankly, no sane person would have expected such recklessness to produce the kind of results it has.
Umm...you're praising me right now...right? I wasn't sure for a second there.
Hehehe. But I did get help from everyone around me. Even Lias...
Sounds like someone's confident.
Hey, Lias...something about you seems different.
Maybe. Ever since you told me to be more optimistic, I've been trying to just go with it.
Oh, good for you! Yeah yeah, I think that's way better than before.
So anyway, Rufus - give me more tasks! I can handle anthing you throw at me.
Wh-What do you mean!? You told me to protect the princess, and I have! I did exactly as you asked.
And if you're satisfied simply doing the bare minimum of what I ask, I will never entrust you with more responsibility.
Hey, come on Rufus! That's going too far. I'm really thankful for the way Lias has-
Wh-What is this? Who said you could apologize on my behalf!? This doesn't make any sense!
Not to mention, you had a fatal flaw as our princess' escort. Were you able to overcome that?
Tch. Who cares about that!?
I thought as much. How could I approve of you if you can't even recognize your own flaws? Get out of my sight.
Damn...fine! If that's what you think, then I officially resign as Meruru's escort!
*Lias storms out*
Lias, wait! You're too mean, Rufus! Lias has been working really hard!
I am fully aware. But if you efforts don't measure up to expectations, they're only good for self-satisfaction.
So what is it you think Lias lacks? Is he just unlucky or something?
Oh...then why don't you just tell him that? You know he listens to whatever you say.
If he has to be told, he'll never learn. He has to figure it out on his own so that he'll truly remember it.
Yeah, that's for sure. You're pretty terrible at it. Oh, so...what was Lias' flaw you mentioned?
Totori clearly has been rubbing off on Meruru. She's developed quite a lip.
From what I just saw, he hasn't overcome it yet. And unless he can, I see no sense in letting him be your escort.
No sense in...just tell me what it is!
It is the duty of a soldier to work with a clear mind at all times. And Lias' fatal flaw is...
*fade to black*
Oh, Lias! DId you come back to tell Rufus you're sorry?
Of course not! It's just...what my brother said was bugging me. So I wanted to ask you what he said about me.
So you DO want to apologize. It's okay, don't worry about it. Rufus understands where you're coming from.
That's impossible! I'm nothing but a burden on him.
You really think so? Then why didn't he fire you from being my escort?
But I went and told him that I quit! And it's too late to take that back now...
Now that that's settled, go and apologize to your brother. That's an order! Go!
O-Okay, okay, I'm going. Sorry for causing so much trouble.
Boy, I guess Lias had a lot of stuff on his mind. But he's still got a long road ahead of him.
Well, in-story, I guess, but actually Lias only has a few more events until his ending flag. Another time, however, and now we need to stop in with Rufus.
Now then, the Wonder Container. This is the last item that directly helps out with alchemy, and what it does is that it makes items that naturally grow in Quality inside the Container (such as Nectars and Sylph Breaths and other magical items), gain that Quality faster. Nothing too essential, but it's pretty cheap.
Up next (right after leaving the development menu), we have another headache for Rufus. It just isn't his update. Video goes until Rufus says "Just one more source of headaches, it seems"
Okie doke! I'm gonna head back to the workshop now.
Huh? I'm surprised to see you here, Mr. Sterk.
Do you have business with me, sir? I'm sorry, but I have no time today to discuss pigeons.
It's not about that. I'm here for an initial inspection, to establish the Sterk Knighthood headquarters.
Knighthood...? Princess, what is he talking about? I haven't heard anything about this.
I-It's...Mr. Sterk did this on his own.
This is my study. I would think you'd have realized that by now.
You don't need this much space for yourself. I ask that you yield this room to my knights.
How arrogant. Arls has no need for knights. It would be nothing more than an extra expense.
Money's not important. What's important is the dignity and honor of the kingdom.
Stop it you two! No more fighting!
Ah-ha! So you're willing to give up your claim on this room in favor of the knighthood?
How in the world did you reach that conclusion? Not only do I not yield, but I do not approve of any knighthood!
H-Hey, Mr. Sterk...why don't you head home for today? That's okay, right Rufus?
My decision has been made and will not change. And you, Princess. You just keep your mind on your duties.
Wh-Why am I getting yelled at now?
That's all for now. You are both getting in the way of my work, so please leave.
Aggh! No no no, Mr. Sterk! Stop making things worse! Oh, I know! I have to go gather some synthesis materials. And you'll follow me wherever I go, right?
Nng...if that is your wish, Princess...
Then let's go! Right now! See you later, Rufus.
*Meruru and Sterk leave*
...Good gracious. Just one more source of headaches, it seems.
Indeed, and since you can't keep a guy down, a follow-up scene back at the atelier. Video goes for the rest of the update.
What a waste of time...
Everyone, I've made some tea. Please take a little break. I've also prepared some snacks.
And Keina showed up too for some reason? What is going on...?
I wanted to hear what each of your intentions was for joining me. ...So?
Well, I do look up to you as my master, but I'm just an adventurer, after all. Besides... Aren't knights supposed to protect their own kingdom? I'm not from here, you know.
Nng... Okay, Lias - what about you?
I'm already a soldier here. And I get paid for it. Besides, I can't join in on a plan that's just gonna cause my brother more trouble.
So neither of you have any intention of joining my knighthood...
Wait, your tea -! Ahh, they're gone.
I'll drink enough for the both of them, but...I feel really bad for Mr. Sterk.
If you need members that badly...would you like me to join? To the Sterk Knighthood!
If she's joining, I'd like to join too! Who knows what Meruru will get up to on her own?
Um, no...I was trying to create this knighthood in order to protect you. I'm grateful for the offer, but... Letting you join would be like letting the fox into the hen house. I'll go into town to search for more members. Have no fear. I am resolved to establish the knighthood in your service. I should get going now.
I really want to. Maybe I can talk to him about it next time we head out...
Well, another update mostly consisting of scenes. Next time we'll have a few more big scenes, and I'm pretty sure we won't make Ent. Honestly, it's just good to be back. Catch you all on the flip side.