Part 22: Part XVIII: Hear the Prelude of a RescuePart XVIII: Hear the Prelude of a Rescue
This upcoming scene will eventually come up after you've used the balloon a few times, or it's far enough in the plot. Hard to say what makes it come up. To uncharted skies.
You're like the only young person who rides on my balloons. You're totally my best customer. You never get tired of this, huh?
Hahaha, it's very handy. I'm sure I'll be using this service a lot from now on...
Is that so? Then I need to think of something to give you in exchange for your favors.
In e-exchange...? That totally isn't necessary. Buuut, I would like to go to other places. Is that possible?
Other places, huh? That's a bit tricky. I have other customers and it'll be hard to ensure your safety... Oh, I know! With how often you use these, buying one is one way to go. If you don't mind a used one, I'll sell you one. It won't be cheap, but how 'bout it?
The price tag, as it comes up in the video, is 20,000 Cole. You ever play A Link to the Past? Buying the balloon is kinda like buying the Zora Flippers in that game. A considerable investment, but well worth it. Well, the comparison isn't perfect. You need the Flippers to beat that game, but you don't need the balloon to beat this game. Also, aside from the Flippers, money is virtually worthless in that game, whereas it is anything but in this.
Point is, it's a one-time investment that costs a lot of money. I had more than 40,000 Cole by now, so I could swing it. Also, you need to buy the balloon to acquire several endings, so you'll have to buy it eventually. Don't worry; nothing else in this game costs nearly that much.
Whoa, I guess you weren't kidding about it not being cheap...
Hahaha, you don't need to give me an answer right away. When you've made up your mind, come talk to me again.
(If I had a balloon, it'd be super convenient, but...what should I do?)
I decided to buy it. It's a lot of money, but I'd love to go anywhere in a balloon! I saw a bunch of floating islands while I was going to Salt Desert last time. I'd love to see what kind of materials might grow on floating islands...
All right, sold! Please follow me. Now, this is your balloon. It's a little old, but it's been well taken care of. It performs as well as the newest models, too.
Wow, it's amazing...!
This is the first balloon I ever rode. My whole youth was spent with this gal, She'll be happy, too, if she's flying with you. Use her well.
Thank you so much. I'll take good care of her.
Also, buying the balloon gives you a whopping 500 memory points, so it's not all a waste.
Music: Floating Islands
There's five islands you can visit right now, filled with a bunch of new enemies. With Juris and Regina with me, I was able to blaze through enemy groups pretty fast. There's a lot of important materials here, but the most important is the Wind Core, which is needed for a recipe pretty soon (as in, two or three updates from now). You can also get them in the Zweiteturm, but only from the lower levels, which we don't have access to at the moment.
After completing the fourth island, the fifth, Decayed Ruin Isle, opens up. The major target here is a new recipe book, called History of Water. The reason I mention this is because there's a couple requests in Veirzeberg that call for materials made from recipes in this book. There's a bunch of black slags wandering around, called Porters, that are really dangerous. Even against Juris, they can take off about half of his or Regina's HP with a single punch, or about 30% of Ayesha's. They're tough cookies, but Bright Crafts that inflict Blind, and Juris' insta-KO move does work on them, will even the odds.
Phew...that was an exhausting adventure! I hope Nanaca isn't too worried about Poro. I should go tell her, as well as Marietta about the delivery. I've got a lot of work to do...
I was never really big into meat, but I can't get enough of yours. You'd have a booming business if you opened up a shop!
There are no huntsmen who don't know how to cook their own prey. I don't think I'm good enough to the point where I could open my own shop, but i can cook to a certain extent. Well, the night is advancing. Ayesha, you should go to sleep first. I'll look after the fire for a while.
Huh? Are you sure? Aren't you tired, too...?
You seem to be more tired than I am. You were nodding off earlier while you were eating.
That's not true. I'm still full of... *yawn* ...Aww.
See? You seem to be reaching your limit. You don't have to push yourself. I'll take a nap in the morning. You can just wake up a little early for me. It's what I usually do when I hunt alone, so you don't need to hold back.
O-Okay, if you insist...
Oh, Juris, good morning.
Morning. Looks like you slept well.
Well Juris, you should take your nap...
Yeah, I'll do that. By the way, Ayesha, you sure do talk a lot in your sleep. Thanks to that, I didn't get bored.
Like, "This synthesis failed", or "I'm gonna get eaten by a monster!" You seemed to be having a lot of trouble in your dream.
U-Umm, Juris...were you watching me...?
It's not that I was watching, but I did see you in my peripheral vision.
What!? You can't observe a girl when she's sleeping!
But I wasn't observing... Other than that, I heard you say the words "more please" and "delicious" quite often. And-
Ahhh, I get it! Please don't say anything more!
I don't think you need to be that embarrassed. I don't mind.
Arrrggh, but I mind... (Ahh, this is embarrassing. I never knew I talked in my sleep. I-I have no choice but to watch Juris while he's taking his nap and... But that kinda seems pointless. Urgh, my face is burning up!)
Juris has a lot to learn about girls! I really wish I didn't say anything... Juris left early in the afternoon to go on a short hunt, and i came across Nanaca. I sure hope she isn't too upset...
I see. Thank you for letting me know, Ayesha.
No, no, I'm sorry I couldn't bring her back.
Don't apologize. The ways of the stars have decided her fate.
In the night sky. Do you know how the stars make complicated movements? Just like a sprocket. Every living thing in this world has a star, and... The movement of the stars decides our fate, or so the saying goes. So it's not your fault Poro disappeared.
Plus, I'm glad to know she seemed to be doing fine on her own. I was so worried about leaving her alone, but... If your sister's gonna be at her side, it's reassuring. Thank you for worrying about Poro, Ayesha.
(She's trying to be enthusiastic, but I think she's still depressed...)
This is Ranun's late-game shop inventory, filled with a lot of valuable stuff. The Diamond Ball needs no explanation (well, aside from Skill Enhance Lv3. It both reduces skill cost and increases skill power a lot, and can be registered with Regina), the Success Ring in the lower left has a couple of traits that add Fire and Ice damage to normal attacks, and the Polish Powder in the lower right (it's the white powder in a dish) also has a bunch of really nice traits on it. I splurged and got all three.
Hmm, if I extract the components now, it'll only increase the amount... For normal medicine, I can just brew it longer, but essential oil is what I get after I remove all the moisture... I know, I should go do some research in the library. If I'm lucky, I might even see Mr. Keith. I need to report to Mr. Keith that there was some progress with Nio. Oh, I know! I should have him look at the essential oil in this vessel. Mr. Keith told me not to move it, but... I need to take it with me somehow... Huh? It's stuck in the air and it's not moving. Hrrm, hrrrmmm, yah! I-I got it.
Now that I have the vessel and more flowers, I'm ready to go report to Mr. Keith. But first, I should check in on Mr. Fred and Marietta.
Wow, its shape is really cute! Is that meat on the top?
Yes. It's minced chicken meat, seasoned to be sweet and salty.
Mmm...smells amazing! It looks like it's filling, but it's still cute. I'm sure Marietta will be happy with this!
Do you think so? So, Ms. Marietta will be happy... I see, so she'll be happy! I guess I did it...!
It smells really good... Maybe I'll buy one, too. Eeny meeny miny moe... Well, Mr. Fred, I'll be going now.
Okay. Thank you for your patronage! Now...the new bread is finally ready. Now that its taste has been perfected, it is complete. Now all I need to do is figure out how to get Ms. Marietta to notice it... If I talk to her... No, if it were that easy, I would've done it already. If would be best if it caught her eye naturally. First, I should put it in the most visible spot in the store... Here? No, wait! I need to consider the level of her eyesight. Or should I place it next to the kitty bread? Hmm...the more I think about it, the complicated it getting [sic]. This is a difficult situation...
So, the man said he'll look for the package. He seemed very energetic about it.
I see. Hmhm, I was correct in sending you over.
Huh? But I didn't do anything special...
That's not true. That guy's know for being unfriendly. Buuut, he has one weakness. And that is...
He doesn't like medicine?
No. He's weak to beautiful girls. Hmhm, so I totally hit his mark! I assumed that he wouldn't be able to say no to you.
Huh? Was it really like that?
What kind of question is that? Well, to say the least... You're the most beautiful girl I know.
Oh. ...Wha-huh!? I mean, umm, well, so... I don't think...I'm like that...
Took you long enough to get embarrassed! ...Well I guess that's pretty cute, too.
Hyaaah, don't tease me...
I caaan't... (Aww, I bet Marietta is making fun of me. I'll just have to synthesize, have dinner, take a bath, go to sleep, wake up, and forget all about this... Ungh, this is so embarrassing...)
Hello, Ayesha. Do you have some time to spare right now?
Yes, I do. How can I help you?
Well actually...I have a customer, and I was wondering if you could meet him...
Oh, who is it?
Umm, it's the person I had you make medicine for a while ago.
Do you mean the landlord...?
Yes. He's actually outside, and he insists on meeting you.
Hey, how long do you plan to make me wait!? I'm a busy man, you know!
Hyah, Ernie, let him come in right away!
Hmph, I heard this was the workshop where you make all that medicine, so I imagined it'd be a bigger facility... But it's actually very small and disorganized. It's hard to believe you can make any medicine here at all.
You are completely right. This isn't very reassuring!
Hey, you. I came here to see the owner of this workshop. I've heard great things about the apothecary.
Oh, yes. That would be me.
You're the owner of this workshop? Hahaha, stop kidding with me.
That's very hard to believe. She doesn't seem to be that smart, either.
No, she is the person who made that medicine. She may be young, but her skills are top-notch.
My name is Ayesha. Nice to meet you.
This is Mr. Modus. He owns a lot of large properties.
So, you're the one who made that medicine... A young girl like you...
Appearances can be deceiving.
Keep devoting yourself to making medicine. I'll buy however much you want. If you need funding, just come and ask me.
O-Okay... Th-Thank you...very much...?
Well, Ernie, let's head to our next inspection. We're running a bit behind schedule.
Certainly. The carriage is waiting for you outside.
Hmph. Well, if you'll excuse me, I'm a busy man.
You should feel honored that he even spoke to you.
Sorry to intrude on you all of a sudden. I'll make it up to you for this next time.
Oh, okay. Good luck. (Ernie seemed really stressed out. This isn't what I imagined...)
The landlord...is really scary. His clothes are so fancy, and it looks like he has someone who does things for him, but he seemed really impatient with Ernie and me. I'm sure he's really busy, but he could have been nicer...
After Juris is ready for recruitment, he'll start running a shop in town. The only really notable thing he's selling is this Cryptid Fur, which is only dropped from the boss enemy that appears in the Marshlands, which still hasn't shown up for me (also keep in mind this screenshot is from before I bought the balloon). The reason this is important is because one of the guys in Vierzeberg is asking for Beast Leather, which you can't make without Cryptid Fur, and Everpure Water from the recipe book from Ruined Decayed Isle. Also, any items marked with 'L' are one of a kind, so once they're sold out, they're gone forever.
For fulfilling his request, you get a really special material, the Pixie Breath. This material is very rare, and very valuable, so don't do a thing with it for now. Also, Juris mentions in the scene when you talk to him while the Bazaar is going that he scares small children away with his presence. Sterk has found a kindred soul at last.
Regina asked me to help her gather some rocks from a nearby quarry, but she suddenly got really interested when she saw Juris standing next to me...
No, no, I just got here, too... Oh, who's this?
Oh, this is Juris. He's a huntsman and a master with a bow.
Well, more of a crossbow, really.
And this is Regina. She's a prospector and is really knowledgeable about ruins.
I'm Juris. Nice to meet you.
Well, well, nice to meet you, too... But still... Mm-hmm mm-hmm...thi-this is...!?
I-Is something wrong...?
I don't mean to be rude all of a sudden, but you really resemble my brother... Your height and ambiance...are totally alike. Your chest measurements are about the same, too.
Kyah! Regina, what are you doing!?
Don't move. I'm just gonna measure your chest.
No. Being Ayesha's guard has nothing to do with my chest measurements. Could you refrain from touching my body?
Darn, what a shabby fella. You're definitely like my brother! Alright, I'll consider you to be my little brother from now on!
Don't do that! I've never had an older sister.
Hehehe, I'm glad you two are getting along already. I'm happy. I'll be counting on you two from now on, as well.
How and why did you come to that conclusion after seeing what just happened...?
Regina makes friends with everyone! I'm sure Juris has his soft-spots, too.
The only location we haven't expanded at all for a while is the northeast. I'm sure you can guess by simple virtue of the fact the world map has finite space that the area where Nio is in is in the northeast of the map. I mean, it's close to the workshop, where she disappeared initially, and in the opposite direction of Salt Desert.
Anyhow, the first location is the Grand Rocky Mountain, and after clearing that area, you unlock two more spots, Pond Forest, and The Furthest Forest. These areas are filled with pretty strong slags, so healing and attack items are always welcome. At the very least, these slags will often drop the second-highest tier of equipment, so bring anyone along you want to upgrade. I went with Linca and Juris this time.
Is it any wonder Linca has the best super move? With Ranun's Success Ring on, she can have up to four sources of damage: her regular attack, fire, ice, and close range damage bonus.
I probably shouldn't carry around the vessel too long...I really need to get going to the Zweiteturm.
Guess what! Poros came back!
Poro, who disappeared? Huh? What do you mean by Poros?
Poro got a double. See, these two calves are the same.
Whoa, you're right! That's amazing! I'm so happy for you! Although I wasn't much help...
No, no, I think you changed the course of the stars when you went out to look for Poro. I've heard that lost cattle become messengers of the god of hunting, but... There are also times when they return, like this.
Oh, I see. I'm so glad for both of them.
But, I have a bit of a problem. I can't tell them apart if they're like this.
They're identical. The more I look at them, the less differences I see...
So I'm thinking about renaming them. I'm thinking of calling one Poro and the other Jiro, but... Both of them start running away whenever I call out "Poro".
Oh yeah, Poro runs away when her name is called...
But it's double the work now to run after them. Hey you guys, come baaack.
(What if two Nios come back...? Hmm, I guess that'll be okay, too...)
She's a handful as a little sister, but I love her so much I wouldn't mind!
I really like your fashion sense!
Oh, this? These clothes were bought and given to me by Marion. I just followed her to the tailer and stood in the fitting room.
I-I see. So your clothes are based on Marion's fashion sense...
I do not like these clothes...
Huh? Why not...? You look so good in them...
They are so frilly, they are not suitable for battle. And they rip easily.
Oh, it does seem like it'll be tough to patch the ripped areas. The cloth is so thin, you could tell it was patched up.
When they rip, I throw them away. Every month, at least 10 more sets of the same clothes get sent from our home country.
I have even had a dream where Marion was holding lots of clothes, chasing me...
Umm, so Linca, does that mean you don't like to dress up...?
I do not. I would rather be naked than dress up in clothes.
But, still, I'm sure Marion wants you to look cute.
I am a bodyguard, so I think I should wear clothes suitable for a bodyguard.
Hmm, I guess I can see your point as well, but... (I understand Marion's point of view, too. Linca looks so good in lovely clothes like these...)
In any event, this is the last set for this month. If it rips, I will not have any more clothes to wear. I need to be very careful not to rip it... I guess this is also an effective training tool. Could that be Marion's true intentions? It is true that if you wrap yourself in hard armor, your defensive awareness will stagnate.
I-I'm not so sure about that...
Either way, please do not worry. I will not take my duty of being your bodyguard lightly. I will do my best to carry out my duty to the end, even if I must be naked to do so!
It's hard to tell if she's telling a joke or not, but with her...I don't think she ever jokes around. I'm sure she serious, but she can make me really embarrassed, just like Marietta. Maybe I just get embarrassed easily?
Anyway, Ms. Odelia told me that Mr. Keith is about midway through the library. Last time I was here, the passage below was still blocked off, but I guess her slags cleared the way. I wonder what Mr. Keith is doing so far down there... The way forward
I've been on the upper floor, and I came to the middle floor today... And there's still the lower floor... Hmm, that's gotta be a lot of books. Just thinking about reading them all is starting to make me feel faint... Oh, Mr. Keeeith!
...Oh, it's you. I'd prefer if you would bring everything up when I visit you.
I-I'm sorry. But, there's something I really wanted to ask you. And, there were some advancements regarding Nio...
I see... That's a story of interest, to some extent. Fine, I shall listen to you if you're able to entertain me more than this book.
I told him all about everything I've done since I last saw him. Finding Nio in the Salt Desert, the Marshlands, and the Hom Village. I also told him how I've been seeing Nio a lot more lately, and how we're having conversations now, and about the Flower Oil I made from the vessel. He didn't say much, but he definitely seemed more interested than the last time I talked to him.
...is what happened. And this is the essential oil that I told you about.
Hmm...this is Flower Oil. To have arrived at this already earns you a "well done" for the day. So, you were able to extract this using that lacking workshop of yours? That's pretty impressive. I couldn't do it.
Huh? You couldn't do that, Mr. Keith?
Normally, one would use instruments designed specifically for extraction. It's not something one does by hand. It's not that I couldn't do it, but rather it's something I wouldn't want to do.
I see. I guess I counted my chickens before they hatched. I thought I did something amazing...
In a way, you could say you did something amazing, but... Well, it was skillful of you. Anyway, your sister said that she could "see" the fragrance? That means we don't have much time left...
Huh? Wh-Wh-What do you mean...?
Let me explain it step-by-step. If you don't understand, don't worry about it.
Hrgh, don't be too hard on me, please.
Beasts, insects, dragons, spirits...they all have their own set of words... Outside the human audible range, or even through scent or light...the world is filled with their "words". Though, it's nearly impossible for a human to consciously recognize them. You could say that this essential oil contains "words", itself.
They can contain "words"?
That's right. The "fragrance" gives off the "words". A keepsake of erstwhile alchemists... The ruins around here had something that wasn't human as their keeper. Like the automaton here or the slags...or the being that swallowed your sister. Essential oil was the tool they used to give them "orders".
So, the flowers are connected to what happened to Nio, but how does flower oil talk to the slags? They're living things, right? Well...they're not living like I am, but...
Uh-huh... I'm sorry...but I don't quite understand.
Something completely unknown sleeps somewhere in this land. Your sister is probably with that something. However... If she showed a response to Flower Oil, then we should take that as a sign that her assimilation has begun.
A...ssimilation? What's gonna happen to Nio?
It's as the word implies. After her assimilation is complete, your sister can never return.
What...!? Where is Nio right now!?
I know it's exasperating, but not even I have a firm grasp on everything...
...I need to ask Nio!
That is one way. Though, it's very unlikely that your sister would know the answer. Now, is that all you came here for?
Oh, that's right! I came to look for a way to make the Flower Oil stronger. Nio said it'll be easier to find me if the flower scent is stronger.
Hrmm. I guess it's better than...not having a plan and doing nothing. Okay, then I'll tell you how to purify it. It is a technique to crystallize liquids. However, we cannot foresee what might happen by enhancing the "words". To open a closed door, drastic measures are sometimes necessary, but...are you prepared?
I don't know. But I'll do it! For Nio!
That place mysteriously harnesses the power of spirits. It was most likely made with that in mind. It is best suited for synthesis where precision is especially required. So, go there and...
Mr. Keith told me all about how to make what he called the Flower Crystal, which he said would combine the special flowers I've gathered and transform them using the flower oil as a medium. His explanation was really complicated, but everything he said made sense. It wasn't really safe to try anywhere but the workshop, he said, because of the nature of the flowers. If the ley line going through a particular area isn't strong enough, you could easily destroy the flower petals and the oil, not to mention creating an extremely toxic smoke. Grandpa really was an amazing alchemist...he had to have known about it. But, I don't know what will happen when I use it... No going back
It's done... This is the crystal that Mr. Keith was talking about! The crystal is exerting tremendous power... I feel like this is probably a dangerous item... I wanna try it right away, but...it has so much power, I don't know what might happen... But it won't help any if I don't try it out. Alrighty, I'll just go ahead and use it! Now, crystal, show me your hidden powers... Yah!
...You, at times, show extraordinary resolve. One would normally be hesitant to use the Flower Crystal.
I-I'm sorry. I thought I should hurry. What's happening?
The stimulation was probably a bit too strong. The area around here was just caught by surprise. It'll stop soon.
How will he move forward, now that he's been struck by such tremendously powerful "words"? It'll be interesting to see what kind of changes this will bring. We need to be ready for when he shows himself.
You seem pretty excited, Mr. Keith...
This kind of phenomenon is a first for me, too. So, I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't excited.
If anything, now I'm more nervous...
The situation will probably change suddenly. If anything happens, I'll come visit. Don't overlook any trifling changes, and be on a constantly keen alert. Farewell.
(Be on a keen alert... I'm not really good at that, but I guess I have to...!)