Part 28: Part XXII: Hear the Struggle of a Sibling - Part BPart XXII: Hear the Struggle of a Sibling - B
But then, it was only this long... I was so disappointed!
Hahaha, yeah that happens sometimes. It's hard to tell how long a root is from above the ground.
On the other hand, sometimes you can dig a hole as deep as you are tall, and the root still goes further down.
Yup, yup. Gathering medicinal herbs sure makes you think. Oh, that reminds me... Last time, I went out a bit further than usual to find some medicinal herbs... And I found a good spot that no one knows about. I'll take you to it next time!
Really? Yay, that sounds exciting!
...Hey, that's boooorrring! What's fun about youthful girls talking about roots in the middle of the day?
Haha, sorry, we got carried away.
Jeez. Let's talk about something else. For example, how about...that new pastry shop!?
Ooh, I know about that shop! It's really good!
So you've tried it too, Nio? Yup, yup, their cakes are scrumdiliumptious! The mountain strawberry cake is the best one they have. Have you had it yet?
Mountain strawberry? No, I haven't. How about you, Nio?
I haven't, either. Hmm, mountain strawberries... They're so hard to gather.
Oh? Why's that?
Ohhh, I see.
And they're always far from towns, so just going there is a pain.
I've always wanted to use them for synthesis, but I've never had the chance. I've been interested in mountain strawberries, since they can also be used as an ingredient in medicine.
Hmm, but that might be hard unless you can fly or something.
Oh, Wilbell, your cheeks are all puffed up! What's wrong?
Jeeeez! You guys are talking about plants again! Don't talk about stuff I don't know about!
Ohhh, sorry, Wilbell. We didn't do it on purpose.
Yeah, when we're both together, we unconsciously start talking about things like that.
Hmph, fine. It's not like I'm your sister to begin with. You sisters can keep on having fun like that. Yeah, be that way... Ayesha, you should just selfishly keep having fun with Nio all day long...
Cheer up, Bell. Oh, I know! You can start calling me "Sis" from now on!
Yeah! Then I'll start calling Wilbell, Sis!
Hmph. That's not the problem!
Kyah, I'm sorry...
Okay, you guys are forbidden from being friendly with each other!
Since you guys are too close, there's no way I can join.
Hmm... I don't think Sis and I are that close... I think we're about normal.
Yeah, like normal siblings.
Then be on bad terms. Then it'll be perfect for you guys.
Th-That's kind hard to do...
Yeah, we can't just start fighting for no reason...
Ugh! Goodness! Anyways, I don't wanna be the only one who feels left out!
Um, um, then let's go gather medicinal herbs next-
NO to that, too! I forbid all medicinal herbs, too!
I guess it's kinda unfair to talk about gathering around other people, but I have to teach Nio all about it! She was away for so long and never really learned all about it. I shouldn't talk about it around Bell in the future, though.
Alrighty! Then you stay here and rest. I'll go gather some medicinal herbs. I bet I can gather a lot around here!
Let's take a break together. You must be tired too, right?
Nooope! I'm not tired at all. I'm still full of energy!
Well, if you insist. Oh, but... The footholds around the ruin are bad, and they easily crumble, so you can't climb up them.
Oookay! I'll be careful when I climb them! I'll get going now!
That's totally not what I said!
No, I'm telling you, you can't climb... Aww, there she goes... Jeez, I'm so worried. I should go see how she's doing.
I found another Taun! Oh, and there's one over there, too!
I guess there aren't any dangerous animals or anything around here. And I don't see any dangerous steps or pits...so I guess it's safe... Wait, huh? Where's Nio?
Lalalaaa... Hmhmhm hmmm...
Ohh, this ruin is really wearing down... If it crumbles... Ah...ahhh!
Niooo, Niiiooo! It's dangerous, so come down!
Huh? Sis? I thought you were resting...
Oh, yeah, but I'm not tired anymore, so I was going for a stroll.
Jeez. You really do worry too much. Anyway, medicinal herbs are growing on top fo this ruin, too! You can't climb up here, right? So just leave it to me!
Hrgh, but what if the ruin crumbles...?
If that happens, I'll just jump off, so I'll be fine. I have excellent reflexes! So don't worry!
Goodness... Nio, you're so full of energy, as always...
I guess it's alright, as long as she's safe. But she does make me worry sometimes. We decided to go back to the White Crow to get something to eat for the day, but Nio kept dragging that big bag full of herbs on the way back to my workshop in Hornheim. She's getting as strong as Pana!
Hahaha, you sure packed it away. That's more of a blessing than any cook could hope for. You ate enough for two people, easily.
Hehehe, I'm still a growing girl! I need to eat a lot to grow fast!
Now that you mention it, haven't you gotten a little bigger recently?
Huh? Really? Wow, yaaay! With that being said, Mr. Mix Master, I actually want more!
Huh, you're gonna eat more? I think anything more is pushing it!
That's right. If you eat too much, you'll get fat.
Aww, really...? I think I'm still okay...
Fat will creep up on you from out of nowhere if you let your guard down. Even if you're okay now, you'll be in trouble later.
Uh, Sis, did you get in trouble?
Eh? Hrgggh, well that's not...
Just give it a few more years. Your arms and legs'll grow longer, and you'll grow where you need to, to be a fine adult.
Nooo! I can't wait a few more years! I can't help my sister if I'm like this... So I need to grow bigger!
She's...doing it for me?
Hmm, Nio, you're so thoughtful about your sister what a story. Ohh, I want a little sister like you! So how about it? Wanna try becoming my little sister?
Yout can put an end to calling me Mix Master. Let's see, from now on... You can call me Big Bro or just Biggie...
Hurgh, I don't know why, but I sense a vibe coming from Ayesha that I've never sensed before...
Hmhmhm, is that so?
Nio's only sibling is me, and it'll be that way forever!
Hmm, "Operation: Making Nio My Sister" seems to have hit a few complications? Well, how about this...? Ayesha, you can become my sister! And then you can call me Big Bro or even just Bro, and...
Whoa, there's a mysterious ghastliness within Nio's smile! Ah, seems I've hit a slump today...
Hehe, we'll always be sisters. Nothing will ever change that. We got Pana to bring back all the herbs we gathered in the marshlands back to Vierzeberg, where I could start working with them. When we entered the city, Nio said she was going off to a nearby mountain. I wish she'd stick closer to me when I have work to do, but I guess she's used to it by now. I just wish she wouldn't push herself so hard.
Wait a minute, I feel like I haven't seen Nio today... I wonder if she went to go gather medicinal herbs again...
And...there you gooo!
Wh-Wh-Wh-What was that noise...?
It sounded really heavy. Don't tell me Nio...
Nio! Wh-What is all this!?
Hehehe, I gathered medicinal herbs. I found this great place!
Hyaaah, but this many? It must've been a lot of work. Who carried all this back? Ernie?
Nooope, I did! It was a little tiring...
I don't think this would only be a little... Nio, you can't push yourself too much. You'll hurt your back if you carry too many heavy things.
Okay, I'll be careful. I might not look like it, but I'm getting physically stronger. I can carry some things now that I couldn't even lift before!
Hmm. I guess...that might be because we've been going places together.
That's right. I can even scare away a dangerous animal or two now!
(Hahahaha... It's good that she's so full of energy, but she's totally a tomboy now.)
Hm, maybe I underestimated her. She definitely has been getting stronger, but she may be tiring herself out. Maybe I don't know my sister as well as I thought I did. Well, I thought she had been doing more and more lately, but one day... Growing up
Wait a minute, I feel like I haven't seen Nio today... Hmm, I feel like something like this happened before...
And...there you gooo!
There was an even bigger crash! Don't tell me she brought home even more!?
What!? That noise...
Nio! Did you go out to gather medicinal herbs again?
Oh, yeah, I have medicinal herbs, too.
And lots of them... This is way more than usual. I don't think I could use all these up...
It's fine. I'm gonna sell the leftovers at the bazaar!
I see. I guess that's okay...
Hehehe, I brought other things besides just medicinal herbs today. Look, look!
Huh? This is a Beast Claw... And this is a Dragon Scale... Nio, where in the world did you get this stuff?
I've heard Dragons naturally shed scales every few decades or so, but there are so few Dragons in the world I really have to wonder where she got it. She must have ventured really far away from Vierzeberg. I don't even know what direction she went in.
Wah, well, that's, umm...
Goodness, don't do that, okay? Don't do any dangerous stuff by yourself...
Okay, but there was nothing I could've done to avoid it. It attacked me all of a sudden. ...Are you mad?
I'm not mad, but I'm really worried. I feel like you've been pushing yourself too hard lately... Don't go to dangerous places alone.
...Huh? Nio, your face is kinda red.
Huh, is it? Hmm, I'm getting kinda dizzy, and...
She must have collapsed because of her exhaustion!
Oh, you're awake? Nio, you collapsed all of a sudden.
What!? Urgh, my head hurts...
Looks like you got sick. You collapsed suddenly, and scared me.
I see... I'm sorry, Sis.
You really have been pushing yourself too hard...
Maybe. I remember thinking, "I'm still totally okay!" But... I may have worked a bit too hard...
I'm happy...that you're working hard for me, but... It'll be meaningless if you get sick. I'm more than thankful for you, even now. To think how sad I'll be if you encounter any danger...
...I'm sorry. But...
But I'm still just a child. Our gap widened while I was there... So I felt like I was left behind, and... I was sad.
...I didn't know you thought that way. Thank you, Nio.
But there's no need to hurry like that. In a few more years, you'll be a grown lady, too. Let's take it step-by-step for now, okay?
Okay... Thank you.
Maybe I'll take a break and enjoy some tea...
Another loud crash!
Whaaa-! Wh-What was that!?
So much... What did you get this time...?
Hehehe, a year's supply of Fire Stones! As you might expect, I couldn't carry them all yself, so I had Ernie help me!
Ohhh, I'm sorry Ernie. Did Nio force you to help her? Did she get in the way of your work?
No, no. I had an empty load, and it was perfect since I got a person to talk to. Although, I might be sore tomorrow.
Kyaaah, then let me at least give you some medicine that's good for muscle pain.
Plus, I can't say no to Nio.
Look! With these, I can even open up my Fire Stone specialty store!
Goodness... Nio, have you already forgotten your promise from when you got sick? You said you won't push yourself too hard and you'll take it slow, step-by-step.
I didn't push myself, and I am taking it step-by-step. It's true. I don't wanna break my promise to you, so I haven't been pushing myself.
Hmm, if you say so, I'll believe you. But really, this is quite a large amount... Should we move them inside first?
Okay. Oh, but one of the boxes has eggs, so be careful.
Who's eggs? Where did you get them?
Rocky mountain? You mean, you climbed the cliff wearing that?
Yup. It thought since no one was looking...
That's a bit unladylike, so let's not be so hyperactive while wearing a skirt from now on, okay?
(Maybe Nio's idea of taking is slow is faster than my idea of taking it slow... I get scared a lot, but all I can do for now is trust Nio and watch over her...)
Nio, no matter what you grow up to be, I'll always be proud of my little sister. I know you'll do great things, with or without me. I may not always be there, but there's no way I wouldn't love you. You're my precious little sister, and I met so many great people because of you.