Part 19: Part XVI: Hear the Warmth of a TouchPart XVI: Hear the Warmth of a Touch
Before I go back to Vierzeberg, I should talk to the Homs again. I promised Marietta and Mr. Harry I would, and they're just so cute! I want to see them every time I come to Hornheim. The Homs' desire
(I need to start investigating, like I promised Marietta I would...) Umm, can I talk to you about a few things?
Talk, I like. Okay, talk about what?
Oh, your nose is twitching... It's so cute! Umm, is there anything you like?
Like? Like talk.
I see. ...Anything other than that?
Like eat. Like sing, dance!
S-So cute! ...But that's not it. Umm... I wanna know things that you like, not actions.
That is no.
(Huh? They got quiet all of a sudden. I wonder if they've reached their conclusion...)
Umm, what is a thing that you like?
What Homunculus like, that is...
(That didn't narrow it down at all...)
Yeah. Like food.
Th-Thank you very much. You were very helpful. (Maybe I should ask around a little more.)
It's just so fun watchng them talk to each other! ...But, I really should ask them about sparkles. There's so many of the little Homs walking around, one of them is bound to know something! Plus, they're all so friendly!
Yes. Like to talk.
Um, do you like sparkly things?
I'm glad. I wanna know more about these sparkles. What kind of sparkles do you like?
Sparkles, different ones. Hard sparkles. Come from rocks. Like.
(Maybe he's talking about a mineral...)
Sky sparkles. Come out at night. Like that, too.
(That's...gotta be the stars.)
Sweet sparkles. Got from a human. Really like.
(Sweet sparkles...? Could that be candy?)
Hard sparkles. I have a lot. Sky sparkles. Not allowed to touch with hands. Sweet sparkles. I no have. I want...
Umm...by sweet sparkles, do you mean this?
Sure. Here you go.
You give that? Really?
Of course. Don't be shy.
Thank you. Very happy!
(Good. So the sparkles they were talking about are candy. I should go back right away and tell Marietta... Huh? I feel something coming up from behind...)
I want sweet sparkle.
Give me one, too!
Ohhh, I didn't bring that many with me. I'm so sorry! I'll bring more next time, so please forgive me.
I forgive. So gimme!
I'm telling you. I don't have any more...
They're cute, but they can still be pretty scary when they all gather like that. Well, at least I know what the Homs want. I'm sure Marietta and Mr. Harry will be really happy to know that, because they really weren't acting like themselves last time. Mr. Harry should always be happy and passionate! When I get back to Hornheim, Regina said she wanted to stop by Mix Master's. She's always looking to try out new drinks.
W-Water!? You're so simple, Ayesha. It's rare for someone to order water at a tavern. As the Mix Master, drink orders are where I really get to show off my skills.
Hmm...but water goes best with the cherry parfait.
Well, if you feel that strongly about it, I guess I have no choice. All right, one water coming up! And what would you like?
I'll...hmm... I guess I'll start with the hard liquor! Give me one that's got a high proof!
Oh, wow. Are you sure you should order hard liquor during the day?
Don't worry. I've done it plenty of times before! I want a delicious one please!
A delicious one... To be frank and earnest, I can't drink, so I'm not really sure what to give you. But all of my alcohol has been recommended by the supplier, so I can guarantee the taste.
What a waste... I feel bad for you, not being able to drink something more delicious.
Yeah. I've tried to train myself, but I guess my genealogy just won't allow it. My mom, dad, grandma and grandpa...my whole family can't drink alcohol. Because of that, even at big ceremonies, like weddings, my family is always sober.
Oh...it's really weird how a bartender runs a bar. I wonder how he can be around alcohol...
(Alcohol... I get drunk from just the smell, too...)
I see. Now that I think about it, my mom and dad are bottomless... I guess that's why I have a high tolerance. Yeah, I have to thank my parents next time.
But if we were to have kids, they might be moderate. So...whattaya think about me?
Wh-What's with that expression? I'm slightly hurt...
But still, you? I don't really care if a guy's older or younger than me, but... A guy that's shorter than me is a deal breaker. If I'm going out, I want my guy to be tall.
Huh? But I'm taller than you, aren't I?
Ehh, really? I think we're about the same, or you might be slightly shorter.
I can't stand guys who are this picky. Guys need to have a big heart.
Ugh... Hey, Ayesha, say something to her. Like how the value of a guy isn't based on their height, or how I'm actually taller than her...
Huh? Umm...well, everyone has their own values. Oh, but I've also hear that someone's height can differ depending on the time of day. I heard that you're tallest in the morning! So if you compare heights in the morning... Huh?
It's obvious that you're using your words carefully... Ayesha, your intended kindness is piercing my heart instead.
Hahaha, Ayesha, you're sinful as well. Anyways...Mix Master, I want seconds!
Okay, okay... Coming right up.
Okay, so I earned Power Transfer before I headed off to the make the salt flower bloom, but this is probably the single most important alchemy skill in the game. What is it?
Well, there's all sorts of items in the game that have cool properties attached to them. For example, items with properites that add elemental damage, chances to inflict status ailments, increase stats, add new effects to items, etc, etc. But until you get Power Transfer, you can't take any advantage of those. With this skill, you can. Now, its usefulness at this stage is somewhat limited, because in addition to properties, you still have all the incidental properties you get from the box in the lower right of the alchemy screen. Items can have only five properties on them, so you could have an item with really badass properties on it, but because of all those incidental properties, they'll get bumped off the menu.
The final two alchemy skills halve the cost of alchemy skills (always helpful), and the final one is also very important, Power Denial. For no CP, you can delete a property from the box in the lower right. Those skills are learned at level 40 and 45, respectively. Once you have all of the skills, it's time to really get serious about creating ultimate equipment, and at such time I'll go into how that's done. At this stage in the game, though, Polish Powder is an incredibly valuable ingredient for moving properties from materials to weapons, and honestly, it stays that way the entire game.
That was another really fun adventure, but the Thrilling Teasure Contest is going to start soon, so I should be getting back. There's a lot I have to do.
Hello. OKay you guys, stop for a sec!
Huh? Your brother isn't with you today? Are you working separately?
Hm? I think he's nearby...but I haven't seen him around.
Oh, so he is somewhere nearby...
Jeez, and we finally met up with Ayesha... Where could he be?
Hahaha, maybe we should just wait until your brother shows up... Now that I think about it. I had a question I wanted to ask you.
What is it, Ayesha?
Well, your job is to go all over the place with your cows... And your brother is a huntsman who works up in the mountains, right? You seem to have completely different jobs, so why are you always together?
That's because we got a lot of calves this year, so he's been sticking with me just in case. I told him I'll be fine on my own, but my brother worries too much. "Nanaca, you've finally become a competent cowgirl, but... Overconfidence after you've gotten used to doing something is dangerous. Especially when you always look so dazed."
Were you just mimicking me?
Whoa, Mr. Brother! Umm, well, hello! And sorry again for not noticing you!
Goodness, don't scare me like that, Juris!
U-Umm, umm! I'e met you a couple of times, but I haven't introduced myself yet... Umm, my name is Ayesha!
I'm sorry I was so careless. I didn't introduce myself, either. I'm Juris. I'm her brother and I'm a huntsman by trade. Nice to meet you.
Oh, yes! Nice to meet you, as well.
Nanaca, the calves seem to be growing up nicely, but for a bit longer-
"Keep a careful eye on them!" That's what you were gonna say, right? I knooow!
Good. Nanaca! I'm gonna go hunt some birds. Go on ahead and I'll meet up with you later.
Whew, I was finally able to introduce myself. But I guess as expected of a huntsman, I didn't notice him.
Even amongst my family, I'm the only one who can sense my brother's presence. ...Although, I couldn't tell earlier.
But, you're lucky. He's a nice brother.
I guess so. He's a bit worrisome, though.
That can't helped. I totally know the feeling. (I guess he feels the same way about his younger sister as I do with mine...)
I also have to teach Linca her final cooking lesson. I sure hope she can become more independent after this and becoming a bigger help to Marion.
Marion likes egg dishes, as well. I need to learn this, no matter what!
This time, let's pay attention to its looks, too. If it looks good, it'll taste good, as well.
Wh-What an ultimate secret...! I need to remember that! Decorating the appearance will somehow make it taste better. I learned a useful tip.
Now, let's start cooking!
We tried cooking the easier egg dish I know, but it didn't turn out so well. I haven't cooked in a while, and Linca, well...
Uhh...umm, this is... It might be a failure...
Yes. It is completely different from the ones I always see being served on dining tables. Maybe it is impossible for me to cook after all...
Y-You can't give up yet. We just...need a change of plans! Scrambled eggs are easier to make. If you think it won't work out, then just switch gears in the middle!
Try to find a way out of extreme difficulties... Even against great adversity, one must never give up... There is strategy based on those very tactics. So, it is the same!
Yes, so let's give it a try!
We tried making scrambled eggs, but it still didn't go very well...
Umm...it used to be a scrambled egg... Although, that was only for a brief moment. The fire was way too strong...
So it seems. There is no more evidence that it used to be eggs. It now looks more like...charcoal...
But, but, but...it sitll might be okay if we add some color to it...
...Color? But it is brown.
Umm, umm...then how about this flag?
Ooh! A flag on a dish... It looks so impressive...! Hmm, so there is a skill this in cooking... Putting a flag on a dish will kind of make it look good... I learned a lot! I shall remember this as a last resort! However, this is almost equal to waving a white flag in surrender... I must try to avoid it.
(Hmm...I think I gave her the wrong idea. Teaching is hard...) So, I think that's all for the basics. I hope that was somewhat useful information for you.
Of course. "What is cooking?" ...I think I finally know the answer to that. Now, it is all about practice.
Ah, then it might be good to have someone eat for you. It'll feel more worthwhile, and you can get their opinion. For example, you can cook something for Marion...
Ayesha, thank you for everything. I will never forget all that you have done for me!
(I'm not quite certain, but I'm sure it'll be all right. I hope Marion will be happy.)
I don't think I'm really cut out to be a good teacher... Mr. Keith could probably teach Linca how to cook, but I don't think he'd be interested in that at all. Linca's so simple, but I'm sure she's a good helper for Marion. Anyway, I've collected a bunch of glowing flowers over the past year, but I'm still not really sure what to do with them...
And over that time, my alchemy skills have improved, and I've collected different flower specimens... I was also able to meet Nio, but I wonder what I should do now... My mind is getting all jumbled up... Maybe I should go over what I've done. Umm...so far, I've collected... Several mysterious petals, and a reference book on flowers that Mr. Keith picked out for me... And experience as an alchemist. Hmm... I guess that's it. Oh, and I also got that mysterious vessel from Mr. Keith, too... Oh, and I also know that Nio is still alive somewhere. That's for sure now. As long as I find out how to help her, I'm sure I'll be able to see her again. I've gotta investigate these glowing flowers. Maybe I'll discover something if I use the vessel...
A distant touch.
These flowers are so mysterious..but now's not the time to admire them. I need to see what they're made of. I'm gonna try grinding them down to extract their elements. Let's see... Oh right, I need to use that vessel, too. Hmm, I wonder how I'm supposed to use it... Mr. Keith should've told me exactly how to use it.
As long as the flower doesn't have a will of its own, or act like a medium... I should be able to figure out how it works by examining its elements. For example... I hope I'm wrong, but it might've had hallucinogenic elements that only made me see Nio...and other stuff. But that couldn't be it. Mr. Keith and Regina both saw Nio, too. Anyway, I think it's safe to conclude that Nio just appears at places that have glowing flowers. So, they must all share a common element... OKay, I'm gonna do my best on this analysis.
Water, fiber, nectar, medicinal properties... So, all that's left after extracting that is... What is this? It seems ike some kind of essential oil, but that's all I can tell for now! I don't know how to use the vessel, so I'll just use it like a container. Ugh...I feel like I'm on the right track, but... At this rate, I bet Mr. Keith would laugh - no, he'd probably get mad at me.
Huh? It has a comforting aroma. It's almost nostalgic... Huh...? I'm suddenly feeling sleepy... No, no, I can't fall asleep...until I finish this... Zzz...zzz...
*yawn* ...Oh, Nio...sorry, I fell asleep. Wait, Nio!?
Something smelled nice. I was wondering what it was, so I followed it here and found you sleeping...
Yay! I didn't know if I'd be able to see you, Nio!
Me, too. Sorry, Sis, I know you've been really worried about me...
*sniff* *sniff* It's okay. You don't have to apologize to me, Nio. I'm just happy to see you! A few times, I thought...that maybe I'd never get to see you again. Come to think of it...where are we? Why are we floating like clouds?
I don't know. Before I even knew it, I was here. I've been feeling...like I can't tell if I'm asleep or awake this whole time. I've tried to remember, but every time I do, my head starts to hurt...
Nio, you don't have to force yourself to remember...
No, no, I'll try harder! I can't let you go to all this trouble by yourself. That day, I was picking medicinal herbs to help you out... But I tried to pick a flower that I was sticking out of the cliff...and I slipped... Before I realized it, I was in place that I don't even know how to describe. Sis...what happened to me...?
It's okay. Everything will be okay, Nio. We can talk to each other, so now I just have to figure out how to bring you back from here! So...please wait a little longer.
Of course. When your big sis says she'll do something, she's gonna do it!
Okay, I'll be waiting! Cuz Sis never lies! Although, she is a little too easygoing and unreliable.
Th-That's not true. I've been able to do everything by myself recently.
Hmhm, are you sure? Can you wake yourself up in the morning? Can you keep from collapsing because you're too busy synthesizing, you forget to eat?
I-I'm fiiine... I haven't done that...too often.
Your workshop... I miss it. Pana's there, and Ernie stops by sometimes, and the cauldron is always simmering...
Ernie... That reminds me! Nio, these are for you!
I've been carrying them around in case I saw you.
Yay! I love these! I wanna go home...to your workshop...
Don't cry, Nio. For sure, I will- Wh-What was that!? It felt like I just got shocked...
Sis...! I have to go back to that place...
Forced termination...of command... Switching to...dormant status...
...Was it a dream? No, it couldn't be a dream! I can still feel Nio's touch! I need to hurry! Nio is waiting for me!
The glowing flowers, the vessel, Nio, and that strange voice...everything seems to be connected. Maybe Nio's somewhere near the workshop? But I know everything around where I live, and there's nothing that could make a voice like that... I'll bet Mr. Keith would like to hear about this, but I've got the Thrilling Treasure Contest for Mr. Harry.
Third contest. Well, I'll admit it and say when I first attempted this contest, I lost. Harry got really lucky, and I got really unlucky. Likely because I only had one judge multiplier thing (Harry liked my item) for my Nimbus Stone, and I was just unfortunate. Second time, though, I utterly crushed him. Grinded him to dust. And through the magic of editing, I have a success video.
Sure, you can call that outcome a bit cheeky, but in a way, I'm screwing over the game because it screwed me over first. Circle of life and all that, and hey, two endings require you win every contest.
I even thought about spending aaall my money to buy up all their sweets.
Huh, they're that good? I'm really interested now. Let's go there together next time.
Sure! I'll lead the way!
Huh? I hear some mysterious chimes. Bell brought that it when she wanted to talk to me, but it couldn't making those noises, right?
Huh? What's that sound?
Ohhh, it's my great-great-grandmother! I gotta borrow this desk for a bit!
Yes, this is Wilbell! Sorry to keep you waiting!
(I didn't think Bell was afraid of anything, but she looks rattled...)
Hmhm, you don't have to talk so loudly. I can hear you perfectly. Wilbell, it's been a while since we talked. I'm glad to see you're doing well. I'm relieved.
Yes! I'm happy to see that you look well, as well! And so, how may I help you today?
I'll get right to the topic at hand. The item that you sent the other day... Was very well made. Everyone was surprised, as well.
Th-Thank you so much, Great-great-grandmother...!
The person who made it seems to be quite skilled. Is this person your friend?
Oh no...she knows...
Your letter didn't seem to mention anything about this friend, but...
Great-great-grandmother, that's well, the circumstances were complicated, and...
No matter the circumstance, I conclude that there's nothing to consider. You seem to be in need of a good lecture.
Oh nooo! I'm so sorry!
That lecture was pretty long...
Great-great-grandmother used to be so nice... But recently, every time she sees me, I get scolded. Great-great-grandmother must really hate me...
I-I don't think that's true. She was scolding you because you tried to cheat.
B-But...her level of anger was more in line with hatred. I was probably adopted. I bet I was left somewhere, like under a bridge...
I-I don't think...any of that is true. I'm sure she's only strict with you because she's thinking about you...
If you messed up, then you just have to try again from the beginning, okay? Don't worry, I'm sure you'll do fine next time!
Yup! Bell, you can do it as long as you try!
I'll try again! I'll make sure Great-great-grandmother acknowledges me next time for sure!
Yup, that's the spirit! You can do it, Bell!
Yup, I'll do it. Well then, I'm gonna count on your cooperation again. I'll do it better next time!
Huh? Do what better...?
I'm getting pumped now! I'm gonna come up with a new strategy! I'm going home! See ya, Ayesha!
(I-I don't know why, but I get the feeling that "doing it better" means something different to Bell...
Hehe, but Bell is always so full of energy. I hope she can live up to her dream of being a great witch who saves lots of people someday.
Next update is going to be a bit unique. You'll see why when it gets posted.