Part 15: Part XIII: Hear the Echoes of a PastPart XIII: Hear the Echoes of a Past
It's been almost a year since I began my journey, but I finally got to speak to Nio! Whatever happened to her, it definitely has something to do with the special flowers that only grow near ruins. According to the book Ms. Odelia let me borrow, there's two more special flowers I can find, but I don't think they're near Riesengang. I should head to Hornheim to see if I can gather more information, but first I should return to Vierzeberg.
Haha, oh you mean this? It's so embarrassing... it happened while I was way up north for business. I was caught in a blizzard up in the mountains.
Ohhh, in the snow? That's rare.
We don't get it much around here, but it snows up in the mountains from time to time. But still, I've never encountered that kind of blizzard before. Wherever I looked, all I saw was white.
That must've been tough. I'm glad you didn't get lost.
Actually, I did get lost. It happened even before I knew it. I managed to fine a cave to take shelter in, but it was so cold...
Hyaaah... Then what happened...?
For a while, I was able to use the firewood I had to heat myself up, but that only lasted for so long. After that, I started getting sleepy.
Y-You can't fall asleep...
Hahaha, I escaped within a hairbreadth.
Ernie, I don't think that's something you should laugh about...
I guess you're right. I think the only reason I'm still able to see you like this... Is thanks to this girl.
I see... Her long coat looks really warm!
Yup, she's a very dependable partner. I'm counting on you from now!
Oink, oink moo!
Cows are so helpful...I don't know how Ernie and I would get along without them.
Oh, Ayesha! H-H-Help me!
R-Ranun!? What's wrong!?
This person is so cruel. He's trying to lure me into a world of darkness.
Wh-What are you talking about...?
Ernie makes me work from morning to night!
Don't say things like that. What'll people think? I've been paying you for it.
It's not about the money. It's about my heart!
But, doesn't it feel nice to be working and getting a good sweat going? Money that you've worked for has a special feel to it.
That's because you like suffering. Unfortunately, I don't feel the same way. Actually, I ate more food than what I earned, so I feel like I lost more than I gained!
If you move your body, your stomach will get hungry. I'm sure the food was delicious.
Urgh...I do have to agree with that. And the fact that I have more freedom with my expenses... However, those are the only things I've gained. My body is crumbling. I've had it with carrying heavy packages and waking up early!
That's what a healthy lifestyle is all about. Let's keep this going!
You weren't listening to a single word I said, were you? Urgh, now I'm mad!
Ooh, I can totally feel Ranun's feelings! I've heard that Ranun wasn't doing well, but it seems like he's back on track.
It was my honor to help him out.
Even if you try to end this on a good note, I'll never admit it! Damn it!
(Ernie and Ranun... They might be a good duo after all...)
So, the next part of the game is to find the location of the next two flowers, obviously. To get to where Hornheim, your current destination, is, you'll have to go through the Oesten Marshland. Shortly after that, you can then head onto another big area of the world map, in the far northwest and southwest (there's only one location in the southwest, though).
After you leave the Vierzeberg / Zweiteturm area, it's going to be a long time and you'll gather a lot of materials before you can open up Hornheim's workshop (and truth be told, in my current game I still haven't, but that's another story), so you have two options: if you have the largest Basket (120 capacity, which I do at this point), and the Corrective Glasses (I also have that), you can bring along a bunch of healing items and attack items and attempt to take on the Oesten Marshland and the northwest all in one go. Or, you could play it safe and unlock Hornheim, return to Vierzeberg to resupply, double back, then head northwest.
The choice is yours, but I'd advise the latter on a new game file. The reason for that is because at this point in the game, it's impossible to make the Nomadic Shoes, because you need a (Scale) item, and no enemy at this point drops those. An enemy in Oesten does, though, so you'll only lose a few days total if you take the second route. Enemies in the northwest are really hardy, so you'll definitely want to bring along ample supplies. But first, we'll pass through the forests south of Vierzeberg.
Hello, Ranun. You seem to be doing well. Did you quit your job with Ernie?
Of course. I cannot continue to suffer through such a bitter experience. I waited for my chance, and made my escape, I'm not cut out to do labor.
I've done all the labor I can stand for the rest of my life. I've already done my best. I'd like to continue seeking music in my own way.
Hahaha, well I think that really suits you, Ranun. I wonder if it's thanks to Ernie that you can play again...
I don't want to admit it...but my experience with him has introduced me to an all-new kind of music. This world is not all sweet nectar. At times, you need to drink bitter medicine. It's good that I was able to learn that.
Hmhm, Ranun, your sense of values is very unique.
In any case, I wonder what Ernie wants to accomplish by working so hard... Wake up early in the morning, work, eat, lunch, work... He even works at night... I wonder if he enjoys a life of doing nothing but work...
I think Ernie cherishes his job as much as you cherish your music. Ernie takes pride in his job.
That may be true, but...
Oh...? Hrgh, shoot! I can hear Ernie's carriage!
The s-sound of his carriage? I don't hear anything...
No, it's no mistake. My hearing is far superior to normal people's. Being loved by the gods of music isn't just for show. I'll be pulled back into the world of Ernie's job. I must escape into the sky! I'll see you later, Ayesha.
Oh, okay... The sky...?
Could Ranun be related to birds? Hm... Well, I should get going to the marshland I heard about from Mr. Harry. Hornheim is supposed to be fairly close after I leave the marshlands.
On the same map I encountered the above scene in, we have this guy lurking around. Most locations you clear out will eventually spawn a more powerful, or at least different, enemy than what usually lurks around there after you complete the (Travel) x task for that area. This fellow right here is far more powerful than the beasts lurking around here, so much so that you all get a battle video. We haven't had one of those in a while. Versus Porter.
A pretty close battle, but we managed a win. Also, I should talk about something else regarding locations. As you can see from this update and last, I've run into Ernie and Ranun scenes all the over the place. Character events for the playable characters are a little more restrictive. For example, there are many places on the world map where no matter how high a character's friendship level is, their events won't show up. Linca's events only show up in the areas around Vierzeberg (this is the furthest south one of her events will happen). Many of Regina's events happen around Riesengang, and so on. So, if you're having trouble making character events show up, try going where you haven't gone already with that character. Thankfully, friendship levels build fairly quickly in this game, as long as you use them regularly.
Nanaca! Yaaay, we got to meet again!
Hmhmhm, hello! I was just thinking that it'd be great if Ayesha was here... And then I actually saw you. A lot of my friends come here, so I thought...maybe you would, too.
I see... I didn't know a lot of people come here.
Oh, no, hardly any people come here. The friends that come here are the ones that aren't human. Like wild bunnies and deer. This area has lots of water. I stop by here a lot to let everyone take a drink when I'm headed to Hornheim.
Ohh, I see. Pana, do you wanna drink some water here, too?
Hahaha, you should go drink with my cows.
But there's some bad water, too, so you should be careful.
Huh? Bad water...?
Yup. Bad things seep out from the dirt and get mixed into the water. Your stomach will feel bad if you drink it, so be careful.
I didn't know there was such a thing as bad water. I'll be careful.
My calf mistakenly drank it last time and it was pretty bad. I remember my grandma telling me that this area is a difficult land... Long ago, like hundreds of thousands of sun rotations ago, a poisonous monster lived here.
Huh, a poisonous monster? Th-That's scary...
Don't worry, it's a story from long ago. It doesn't exist anymore. But that monster's poison is still in the land, and... We need to watch out for that.
I see. Nanaca, you know about a lot of things.
Hehehe, I learned it all from my grandma. And then...
Hey Nanca, we're leaving soon. We should get past this area before the sun sets.
Okay. Sorry, Ayesha, we need to get going soon. I'll see you later.
Oh, okay. See you! (I wanted to talk to her a little longer, but I guess it can't be helped. This area is dangerous after sunset.)
Music: Wish for Treasure
Not much to say about the Marshlands, except for the rather unorthodox song they decided to use here. Regina has a couple important events here, and in one she unlocks a shortcut from the Marshland to Riesengang, which is a big help. This won't happen for a while, but I also haven't had Regina in the party for a while, so why not? Anyway, the Fairydrakes lurking around here drop scales, and don't leave the Marshlands until you have one. This area has three locations, so there's quite a few battles to fight here.
The flyer you get around here is actually pretty interesting. There's a lot of fun backstory stuff you get from the flyers. I just haven't taken any screenshots of them other than the first, and this one, but if you all want to see more of them, I can definitely look through my archive and screenshot any ones that I find interesting. If you can't read it (I certainly would not blame you) here's what it says in the top box.
Ruins in the Marshland, top box posted:
These are ancient buildings sinking in the marshlands. Even today they continue to sink little by little. In another few decades, these buildings will possibly be completely buried. There appear to have been many storeys in the ruins. However, for the most part they have been buried, such that it is difficult to search inside them.
Ruins in the Marshlands, bottom box posted:
Several hundred years ago, this area was far from being a marshland - it is assumed that it was a dry region without any rainfall. Could the appearance of the marshland have been influenced by things happening in other areas?
I really like these flyers that indicate this region of the world is far different than it was even a few hundred years ago. The geography has changed, there's far less actual civilization, etc. It's a really unique game setting, I think, that has the game take place on the fragments of an older civilization. All the signs are there that this world used to be a lot different than it appears today, but humanity, ever-resilient, managed to adapt and carve out life for themselves by appropriating what the older civilization left behind and turning it to their own ends.
I mean, even in the real world, this planet has changed enormously over the course of its lifetime. For example, the Sahara used to be a tropical area, but over hundreds of thousands of years, it became what it is today. But, of course, there's absolutely no one remaining in this world who remembers that, or can remember a time before the Sahara was a desert. But in Ayesha's world, there was a time in recent memory, within a few generations of the one that lives in the present, that lived in a time where the world was significantly different. But, those memories are all but dead, and humanity must live in the world and eek out whatever existence they can. That's definitely part of the reason I like this game so much.
They're here and there, but you have lots of ruins all around the area.
But by the time I was old enough to know what was going on, it was basically already like this.
Hearing that, I can almost sense the history in this place. What were people able to gather here?
Stone materials. Well, it's weather-beaten around here, so the quality isn't that good. I guess it used to be a hard place to work. You know how there are towers? The ground was loose because it was a marshland, and many of them collapsed. There was an accident during an excavation here, and that's why my dad had to retire. Thinking back, this isn't my favorite place...
I see... I'm sorry, I was so insensitive.
Oh no, don't feel sad. It wasn't life-threatening. He's tougher than the guys around here, and he's still healthy, working in the fields.
Oh, that's good...
It's just that with his injury he couldn't do heavy physical labor, so he retired from being a prospector. "Then, I'll succeed my dad!" That's how I started doing this job, but... Maybe I was too hasty. Thinking back, there was no reason for me to do the same job...
I guess everyone in Regina's family is as tough as she is. No wonder she makes such a great prospector.
Hmm, but I think being a prospector suits you, Regina.
Hahaha, I actually think so, too. Digging for buried treasures ain't bad. But, I do wonder how long I'll be able to keep doing this.
(How long you can keep doing something... I've never thought about such a thing... But, I feel like that's really important...)
For now, I want to go back to Vierzeberg. Regina said she has to get back to Riesengang soon because of another prospector party, and I don't want to inconvenience her for my sake. But, just before we got back, we set up camp for the night.
Thank you for the meal! Regina, the food was delicious.
Hahaha, I can only make simple things around here.
Really? I though it was really intricate.
Well, I've been cooking food for my family since I was a little girl, so I'm pretty good at cooking.
Now that I think about it, when I was young, you taught me how to cook...
Ooh, you're right. That was around the time I first moved out here. You were so cute back then. Like, you were so bubbly!
Ever since then, you've always been taking care of me.
It was no prob, I like kids. And I had fun teaching you how to cook.
Regina, you're very domestic. I'm sure you'll make a great wife!
Right! I'm totally good at needlework, or any housework for that matter. I mean, I'm from a big family, so I have time and experience to back me up!
Oh, is your family really that big?
Yup. Haven't I ever told you? I have five younger siblings.
That many? Sounds like that would be so fun and lively. I can't even imagine that.
It is lively. You have absolutely no time to be alone... If I let them be, my brothers would start fighting, and my sisters would start following me around. Well, as their older sister, that's what makes them cute. I'm working far from home, doing physical labor for those kids, too. If it's for them, no matter how tough it may get, I can keep on going.
Regina, you have such a kind expression...
Hahaha, am I acting out of character?
Oh, but my youngest brother is still pretty young...and my little sisters are a little unreliable.
I guess being the oldest sister is a lot of work...
Hmhm, now that you got me started talking about them, I'm starting to miss my family now.
I hope Regina helping me isn't keeping her from her family...but I think she just likes her work, like Ernie.
Unfortunately, my alchemy level just isn't high enough to get the second effect on the Shoes. Even with Power Pour, and Usage Ease in the Stock Yard (it halves the CP of ingredients when it's in there. Very handy), it's not enough. A few more levels, though, and I should be able to get the second Effect. The only difference between the second Effect and the third is Ayesha just moving faster in-game (like in Meruru). The second Effect is definitely what you want ASAP, but these Shoes are good enough for the moment.
Oh, Mr. Harry. It's rare for you to visit me here.
Yes. I had some formal topics I wanted to talk to you about.
(Huh? I feel like Mr. Harry is acting somewhat different from usual...)
I am currently questioning the meaning of my life. As a result of my soliloquy, there was something I had to ask you.
*gulp* Wh-What is it?
I've decided to retire as a collector and hand over the reins to the next generation.
Huh? So you're going to quit collecting rare items? B-But why?
I'm honestly surprised with your results in the contest. I flatter myself as being a rare treasure collector. I thought I put the knowledge and experienced I've acquired over the years to full use in the previous contest... But every trace of my efforts and glory have become a thing of a past, thanks to one girl. Your skill as being able to make choices about quality and rarity...is unbelievable for a rookie... I've never seen such a magnificent item. Such a great girl...you are.
Yes. And I thought to myself that my mission might now be over.
(Could it be that...Mr. Harry is depressed?) B-But, I thought your item was amazing, too!
...Hm? No, no, I don't need to be cheered up. It was my loss, no matter what.
No, I think your items are wonderful!
By some fluke, I won last time, but... I think you'll definitely win the next contest!
...So you're trying to say that my task is not yet done?
Yes. Mr. Harry, you're the only person who can collect rare items.
You may be right. No, that must be it! I was depressed because of one or two losses... But there is a lot more treasures resting in this world that is calling for me. I had forgotten about that... Okay then, as of today, I'll throw away all of my pride as a champion... And declare that I have become your lifelong rival!
The "Surprise! East-West Treasure Array!" Oh, that's my idea for the subtitle of the next contest... So at the next contest, I'll strike you down with a vicious blow! As I will be your challenger! Oh, but of course, this is only a metaphorical expression. I won't really strike you, so don't worry. Well, I'll see you at the next contest. I'll be looking forward to it!
There he goes... I think he returned to his usual Mr. Harry self. I think...that's good, right?
It just wouldn't be like Mr. Harry to be depressed. I'm sure he'll try his best at the next contest! Well, I should return to the Marshland. I wanted Linca and Marion to come with me this time. I don't know what's beyond the marshes, but I'm sure I'll be safe in their hands.
Woooowww...the view from this cliff is incredible. I can see so far away from up here. Hornheim intro
Music: A Holiday at the Plaza
Those are hot air balloons. You can fly across the sky if you ride one.
Now that we're seeing balloons, that has to be the town of Hornheim. It's smaller than Vierzeberg, but it's still magnificent.
I know, I should check out the balloons before I head to the inn. I think they're moored at the pier. I did some research beforehand. Alrighty! Let's go, Pana!
...Huh? That's weird. I'm back to the place I was just at... Maybe it's this way... Balloons, here I come!
What are you doing, circling around the same place over and over again?
Hyah! Wh-Who are you?
Whoops. It's impolite to call out to a girl from behind. I'm so sorry. I'm not some creep. You seemed like you could use some help, so I was just trying to help you.
Well, I think I'm lost. I wanted to go to the pier to see the balloons...
Oh, the pier. I see, I see. Well then, I'll take ya there. Nooo problem.
U-Umm, it'll be more than enough if you could jsut tell me how to get there... *mumble* *mumble*
It's on my way, so don't worry about it. Come on, follow me.
(He doesn't seem like a bad person... But, I know I shouldn't follow strangers...)
C'mooon! I'm gonna leave you behind if you don't hurry.
Oh, okay, I'm coming.
He seems like he just wants to help, but I should probably be careful, just in case. I really want to see the balloons.
Don't look down or you'll wet yourself!
Then I'll look up! Whoa! So from here on out, the sky is the road.
Yup, we have trade with towns waaay across the sky, too. We're not as big of a town...but we're strategically located for business and transportation.
So that's why it's so lively...
Correctamundo. Haha, isn't this a nice town? And I own a tavern in this nice town. I'm Kyle. And you are?
Oh, Ayesha. I'm Ayesha Altugle, an apothecary.
Hmm...I bet I could fully recover from the brink of death if I took medicine made by a beautiful girl like you.
Oooh, I always get too embarrassed when someone calls me beautiful...
Beautiful...!? I'm not that... *mumble* *mumble*
How long are you gonna be here for? The next time I catch a cold, I'll buy some medicine from you. Although, I never catch colds... Hahaha, I guess handsome guys don't catch them.
I make household medicines, as well. Please use them next time.
Yeah, I definitely will. Whoops, I need to head back to the tavern. My tavern's called "White Crow". It's a little ways down from here. Stop by whenever you please. See ya!
U-Umm, thank you for showing me the way! There he goes... He seemed like a fun person.
So, there's not much to do in Hornheim at the moment but head straight to the pier.
The sky is...so vast. I feel like I'll get sucked in if I keep looking up.
What are you doing here with that foolish expression on your face?
Oh, hello. ...I was just looking up at the sky.
Hmm... is it really that interesting?
I never get bored by looking up at the floating islands and flowing clouds.
Hmph, you're so carefree. I thought you'd be more flustered by now.
Well, I was pretty flustered until I came here. But, looking out at the scenery from here calmed me down a bit. I'm worried about Nio, but I figured that getting too flustered wouldn't be good, either.
Well, it's just as you say. So, the act of idly looking out at the sky had some beneficial effects...
It's such a beautiful view, it'd be a waste if I don't enjoy it.
Beautiful... Do you know how this big valley came into existence?
No... It wasn't a beautiful valley to begin with?
It was not. The land around here was rich with a lot of different special ores and rare metals. And, it was filled with the spirits who dwelled within them. From that, such fantastic scenery opened up. That's what was recorded in the literature. That was only about a few hundred years ago. The remains of what was left after everything was snatched away...that's the scenery that you're looking at.
Snatched away...? B-By who?
Although, it may be proof of the big possibilities of alchemy... For anyone who knows what this valley used to look like, it'd probably be a heartrending sight.
Something like that really happened? I never even knew...
However, it's interesting to you, not knowing its history, this scenery appears to be beautiful. I consider beauty to be something that dwells in nature, and yet... Things that were devastated by human hands might be part of nature, as well.
Past civilizations were really amazing. But they're kinda scary... Are ancient skills really magnificent? Or...
How past alchemy contributed to the world's development, and lured it down the path of extinction... Following those footprints is one of the goals of my journey. Whether it's with stone implements or alchemy, what humans do never changes. One thing I can say is...turning a simple mistake into something irreversible is the history of alchemy.
(Mr. Keith... He seems kinda sad...) Alchemy might've destroyed some things... But I'm sure it's done a lot of good for people, too. Like healing the sick, fixing broken things, and making life more convenient... I'm sure it's done lots of good things... Plus, alchemy can save Nio, too, right?
There is that side to it. However, they're two sides of the same coin. The current state of the world shows which side is winning. With the path we're on, we'll soon be...
Dig a little down into a lifeless wasteland and you'll find toxic materials... Water sources are disappearing, making it harder to secure drinking water... It's proof that a disaster happened in the past that greatly exceeded nature's ability to heal.
I'm sure you'll eventually understand. Now, I guess it's time for me to go.
(For such a terrible thing to happen to the world in the past... I guess I don't know anything about alchemy yet...)
Extinction... I wonder if that's why Mr. Keith is so focused on alchemy...but I don't know what I should think about it. Just like Mr. Keith says, alchemy can be both good and bad, but I wonder if what he says is true. Is what I'm doing really the right thing? Alchemy is...