Part 8: Chapter VII: The Evergreen Mountain and Atelier
Miracles of R&D
What's the matter, Logy?
It's just... I'm supposed to be an alchemist, too, but I've got nothing to do, next to you. Our superiors have done a lot to take care of us, which leaves me...
I don't mind things being the way they are now. Having you around is a huge help, Logy.
Still, I can't continue laying the burden on you like this, Escha. I'm going to ask Provisions if there's anything we can do about that.
Huh!? Don't you need, like...an application to get that through?
You do, but... I'm just feeling a little useless. I have to do something about it. I'm going.
W-Wait, think about this! It's all too sudden... This isn't like you! Come back, Logy!
Oh, it's you guys... Well? You getting used to the job?
Yes... Thanks to you, it's been great.
That's good to hear. I hope you can keep that up, for the sake of the town. ...Did you want something from me?
Um... The truth is... I've spoken to Marion about it, but the fact is I can't do cauldron alchemy like Escha can. Back in Central City, I was only trained using the latest alchemy equipment, and this branch doesn't seem to have any of that. Cauldron alchemy is a bit outdated in Central CIty, and I'm not skilled enough as an alchemist to be able work like Escha can with her cauldron.
I see... Marion's spoken to me about it, but I guess the equipment here is insufficient.
I've come all this way, but I feel as if I'm hindering the project...
Now, don't blame yourself. You could say it's our fault for not fully preparing for you. We tried to put the facility together in a hurry, so it understandably lacks some elements. Now that we have two alchemists, we should attempt to procure more equipment from Central City.
Th-Thank you very much, Sir!
Isn't this great, Logy? I'm sure he'll work something out for you.
Speaking of which, Marion has a request for me, too. Did you hear the research investment's been approved?
Huh? Umm... This is the first I'm hearing about it... I think?
If you save some of your stipend at the end of each month, it should add up to a significant amount. We encourage our staff to invest excess funds into the facility to help with day-to-day activities.
So, we can use some of our stipend to improve our working environment in the R&D Department?
I suppose you can put it that way. In any case, Marion's in charge of that, so talk to her. Continue your research and complete your missions, and you'll soon have more efficient equipment.
Understood. We'll try that when we have some leftover cash.
Whoa, when did this stipend come in? It's the 20th...
I'm not sure... Oh, it must be the stipend for this month. We left so soon for the ruins that we must have forgot about it. We're making good progress, to be sure, but we have to watch what we spend, as always.
Hey Escha, Duke talked to me last month and said he was going to be putting a new dish on the menu starting this week, and he wanted me to come in and see all the female customers that would be coming in. You want to come with me to see if he was right?
Oh... That should be exciting!
But it's full of male customers. I wonder if something happened...
Oh, hello there, you two! Are you after the new menu? It's the talk of the town.
Ah, I didn't expect to see you in a bar like this, Solle.
Yes, well, normally I don't, but there's always extra room for dessert. Oh, this bar is just superb! They've created exactly what we've all wanted...
Wow, you like the new menu that much? I'll have to congratulate Mr. Duke!
Well, I'll let you two go. Hahaha, I think I need to put this place on my lunch rotation.
Logy, let's go try it out, too!
(Mr. Duke can't be happy about this...) Wait... Don't you think the place feels a bit...off?
Huh? Oh, Duke... What's the matter?
See, I added my special pancakes to the menu, right? And they've been selling like hotcakes!
Isn't that a good thing?
The sales aren't the point! I was trying to make this bar more attractive to a female clientele. Now look at this place! It's just sweaty dudes packed from wall to wall! I wanted a new audience!
Sweet smotherin' sassafrass! These pancakes are fantastic!
I could eat any amount of dessert you churn out, Duke!
Put a sock in it! How the hell are you guys going to eat!? Don't blame me if you get sick later! Sheesh... As you can see, I've got nothing but sweet-toothed men and guys who'll eat anything.
As long as it's selling, then does it really matter?
There's not a single lady in here! Why the hell do these chumps think I added this dessert to the menu!?
Ha, come now, Escha. We both know you eat more like a man. I've got to credit your amazing appetite.
...I think you actually have a point there.
N-Not you, too, Logy!
Argh, that's it! If it's not getting the results I want, the new menu's cancelled.
Huuuh!? But that's such a waste!
Nope, it's decided. I can't have any more of this!
I think all you need to do is pull back on the volume a little bit, and you'll be in good shape...
Oooh, it's so sad... I wanted to try that, too.
Well...it's not a total waste. Duke told me when we first talked about this that if he ever took the new recipe off the menu, we could have it. It might be a bit much on an adventure, but it's definitely filling.
Really? Wow...this is an alchemy recipe! I'm sure I can make this! Yeah, I can't wait!
That's what he was talking about... Well, do you want to head back to the atelier? I kind of want to see what Marion's research projects are that Mr. Grumman was talking about.
I'm interested in that, too. I wonder what they could be...
Do something about that, please!
Hey, you guys! Help me out here!
Oh, Wilbell and... Brother?
What's wrong, Awin? Why are arguing with Wilbell like that?
Oh, you know this girl? Good, then you might understand, then. I'm asking--Wilbell, is it?--if she'll help me with something. You two can help me convince her.
Um, Wilbell, what is he asking you to do?
Well, this guy seems to have seen me flying through the air on my broom. And now he's saying he wants me to teach him to fly, too...
I've never even heard of someone flying around like that. It's amazing!
Oh brother... We definitely can't tell him the truth about Wilbell.
Ahaha... I suppose it would be pretty hard to forget.
Yeah... And you've been seen by the most irritating person possible.
You know, it might look easy to fly like that, but it's actually pretty difficult. It might be easy to float, but controlling your altitude and velocity takes a lot of training.
I see... So if I train enough I'll be able to do it, too!
NO! YOU! CAN'T! You're way too old to start training to be a magician.
I need to try before I can find that out! So please teach me, Ms. Wilbell!
Please stop, Brother. Wilbell looks really irritated.
I don't think it's going to hapen, too. Just give it up.
But... I know that if I put my mind to it, I know I could fly on a broom, too...
Ugh, fine! I get it. I'll show you everything I can!
You'll really teach me?
Yeah, yeah, I'll teach you that you can't do it. And I'll show you how amazing the Great Wilbell is!
Hey, don't get carried away. What are you planning to do?
Music: Let's Go, Development Team!
Just say I'm an associate or something. I wouldn't have to be so secretive around town anymore, too. It'll be good training for me, and I'll help with your investigations. You should be thanking me.
Well, it's good to know you're helping us, Wilbell, but shouldn't you be keeping your secret better?
All right! I couldn't use anything flashy up until now, but now I don't have to hold anything back!
I'm sure nothing bad will come from this... ...Was that all you wanted?
Music: Please Hold My Hand in Yours
How did that happen?
I'm not sure... But it'll be great having a powerful magician helping us!
It will definitely be interesting...
Katla, is something wrong?
Well... To be honest, my sales lately haven't been very good.
Are you going to be okay?
It's not so bad that I'm going to have to close shop, but I'm not making any money either. I have been selling things, little by little, and my customer base is growing...
So you're not making any profit? You should really be thinking more about the prices you put on items.
I am thinking about it! There's got to be something else I can do. If only I didn't have to pay for the goods that I sell...
Haha... Your only choice would be to go and find stuff from around here.
...Hey, that's right! I can always do that. It totally slipped my mind! Um, there's something I really want to ask of you two...
Is there something we can do to help you? Just ask, and we'll do what we can.
...Do you mean that? You'll help me if I ask you to?
Well, sure. It does depend on what you're asking for...
Wha... Are you kidding?
Totally serious. I need to find some good stuff to sell, for free, if I'm going to make any profit. Being with you would make me feel a lot safer, so please, let me come along!
No, it's too dangerous.
I agree. Look, we can share some of the materials we find with you...
Why are you two being like this...? Despite how i look, I'm actually pretty good at fighting, you know. I could go to the nearby forest all alone...
That makes it sound even worse...
Besides, how are you going to sell anything at your store while you're gone?
I'll close shop for those days. Nobody would really be botehred if I took a break. So that's settled! I'm going to find some rare stuff while we're investigating, and make some money!
Wh-What are we going to do, Logy? She's going to just follow us if we don't let her come along...
...It would be dangerous for her to follow us without our protection. I guess we'll have to let her come.
I'm even more confused how that happened...
I know how you feel. I guess the more people helping us, the better... How much help a girl like her will be, though... I can't imagine. We'll just have to see if she can do it. Escha, I'm going to make sure Katla is prepared for the kinds of adventures we have. You go on ahead back to the atelier. I'll be back soon.
Escha, are you here?
Oh, Miss Marion! I'm glad you stopped by!
So, how's it going? Are you getting used to the work already?
Uh, I'm still trying to finish up. But Logy already finished his part, and left...
There's no rush, you know. As long as you do the job properly and within the time limit. Just focus on completing the task and getting a feel for your duties, m'kay?
Yes! I'm doing my best!
Still... I don't think I gave you all that much to do. Are you having trouble?
Well, I was asked to organize the archives earlier, so I wanted to finish my reports before I start that. Oh, and I also need to clean the hall, and submit applications to Solle for the people in town.
W-Wait a second! Why'd you take on that much work!? Are you sure you can finish all of that in time?
B-But... They asked for my help!
That doesn't mean you have to agree to do it all! How can you possibly finish all of this!?
Y-Yes... I'm sorry. Actually, I'm really not sure if I can...
Sheesh... I'll help you with the applications to Solle. Don't go helping out others until you've got your own assignments finished, got it?
I'm sorry... I'm creating more work for you...
Heehee, don't be so depressed about it. I know you have the drive to do more work, which is a great thing. But you do have a tendency to go a little overboard, so just be careful with that, m'kay?
Ahaha... Yes, I'll be careful.
What's that, Escha?
Oh...after I got back, I decided to take a bunch of jobs. Marion stopped by and asked me how things were going, and I told her. She got kinda mad at me and said I was trying to do too much. So now I'm trying to cross out some jobs so I can do them all...
Let me see... "Organize the archives", "clean the Hall", "completing reports", "submitting applications to Solle"... That's way too many jobs. We'd have to spend all day working on stuff like that.
I know, I know...
I'm going to turn in my report on the ruins expedition now. You should start organizing your own work.
The assignment is complete, but we've still got a lot to do.
Logy! I'm done! I want to see the R&D research stuff!
Escha, are you okay with this? This book will help you refine your searching techniques. You should be able to do it faster if you follow the instructions in this book.
Yeah, that sounds great!
Oh, and one of the main parts of this assignment is to buy another alchemy book from Katla. I'm going to head down to her shop to get it.
Yes, let's go.
W-Wait for me! Sorry I'm a little late.
Are you really going to be all right? We're not playing around, you know.
Stop saying that, Logy. I've already decided that I'm coming with you. I won't do anything to get in your way. I'll even help you with your work.
I guess we can't help it... It's dangerous out there, so don't wander too far away from us. Also, make sure you listen to everything we tell you.
RIght! I'll do exactly as you say!
Don't try carrying things that will get in the way. ALso, if you're not feeling well, tell us right away.
Okay, okay. You don't have to treat me like a child. I know these things...
...I know you're just worried about me, despite what it sounds like. You sound like the kind of parents who get overprotective of their kids, even when they're older.
Hmm... Clone's been telling me stuff like that since I was little. I was just repeating her...
I don't think you have the right to complain, since you're the one who insists on coming with us.
Are you that worried about me? Hee hee!
...Of course. Anyway, let's get going.
Wait! ...He left! I don't think he should be so cold to you. Sorry about that, Katla.
No, no, he's obviously just embarrassed and trying to hide it. What a difficult guy.
Well, you're sure optimistic about this. Anyway, make sure you don't get separated from us.
Okay, let's go!
Escha! Hurry up!
What do you mean, "how much"? The number of spells I know? The different types?
Both, I suppose. To be honest, I don't know anything about magic, so I want a better understanding.
I'm sure it would be helpful in our investigations to know more.
Uh, sorry. I hope you're not expecting too much. My speciality is in attack magic, after all. I like taking down monsters with big explosions and stuff. I don't need anything really fancy.
But you do have some spells, right? What else can you do?
Well, I can probably do stuff like helping you search for things, or light up dark places... Oh, but searching takes a while, so I can't find much. And you could just use a lantern in the dark. Magic was probably a lot more useful a long time ago, but now there's a lot of good substitutes.
I see... If you look at it that way, magic is pretty limited.
I guess. Oh, I fly on my broom, too.
Now that sounds useful. You could use it to scout the surroundings, or investigate high places.
Will you let me ride on your broom, too?
Well... You look kind of heavy...
Is that so? You know, you don't need to push yourself so hard like that.
Just a little less, really...
Regardless, riding with two people is too dangerous. It's hard to balance it, it's really too fast. Maybe I'll give it another thought when I feel for sure that you have my back.
Aww... I really wanted to try riding it...
I can understand how she feels, but we really need to get back to work...
Pretty expensive, but we had to do it.
Yeah. Oh, Clone wanted me to start the harvest. It's something I do every year when the harvest starts. I'll be back in the atelier soon! I'll start synthesizing as soon as I get back. We have to get started on planning on our next adventure.
I'm glad I still have the chance to pick the apples...
What is with that tail? She's always had it, but...
Logy, I finished it! Logy...?
O-Oh, right... Good job.
Um... Are you thinking about something? If you need to talk, I'd be happy to listen.
You know, I've been really curious about something for a while now...
Something? What are you talking about?
That thing on your waist...
Oh, this? This is a tail!
Y-Yeah, I figured that much...but what is it for?
Ah, I'm actually not sure how to make this myself...
Huh? What do you mean by that?
I see... No wonder you look like you've been cherishing it so much.
But, it's really amazing! It moves on its own sometimes, too!
So my mind WASN'T playing tricks on me! It does move! ...How exactly does it work?
Like I said, I don't know. If I knew how to make more, I'd have fifty of 'em!
Ah, o-okay... Well, I hope you figure it out someday.
Yes! And when I do, I'm going to give one to you, Logy.
But really, how did she...? No, I've got to stop thinking about it.
The Guryun Blitz? I never thought I'd be able to use one of those again.
Hm... Do you see the machine on my left arm? It's an alchemy machine designed in Central. There are a number of items you can put inside it to let it shoot out an incredible amount of power in a single burst. It would be easier to make the Blitz first so I can show you how it works than try to explain the mechanics behind it.
Wow, that sounds interesting!
This should be good for... Hm? Sounds like someone's at the door.
What's up, Awin? You look awfully happy...
I think the R&D Division's ratings are slowly improving. The brass is rethinking the resource allocation. And the branch manager has finally given the seal of approval, so we get to use something really fun.
Interesting...? What could it be?
Haha, you'll know it when you see it! C'mon, follow me!
What could get Brother so excited?
Anyway, we'd better follow his directions.
Yeah. I can't wait to see it.
I have to admit I'm interested as well. Let's go.
Music: The Story of the Sky, the Balloon, and the Climate Geomorphological Sun
What is this...? It looks like a very old blimp.
Ahaha... Yeah, I've got to say that this is pretty old...
Heh heh heh, you sure you should be saying that? Believe it or not, this baby belongs to R&D now!
It belongs to--you mean we can use this however we want!? That's incredible!
Wait a sec... Are you really going to fly this thing?
I've done some solid maintenance on her and given 'er some TLC. She may not look the best, but don't worry.
Now that we have this, we can investigate further away!
Exactly! I'm gonna show you how to pilot this old girl, so what do you say we go on a test flight?
A blimp, huh...? Well, I suppose it would come in handy.
S'matter, Logy? Are you afraid of heights or something?
I'm fine. I flew to town on an airship. That's how I got here in the first place.
Okay, Brother! Start teaching!
Right on! First, we're going to lift off... I'll show you what to do, so get some practice in.
Music: Kaiyuugyuo no Genfuukei
That's the first time I've ever flown... Seeing Colseit from high in the sky is way different than being on the ground.
Really? I guess it might be a lot different if you've never flown before, but my trip from Central was so long, I kind of got tired of flying. But, it's definitely true with the balloon we can investigate a lot further away from town. Is there anywhere near Colseit that you can't reach on foot that might be worth investigating?
Hm...the only place I know about is some mountains to the west. There's supposed to be a bunch of ruins there. I guess we can try and see if anything interesting is over there. After all, we have completed our assignment.
True. I'll go over my notes from the flight and make sure I know how to pilot the balloon. If it's not too much trouble, could you start working on the Guryun Blitz? If we're going outside of town, I'd like to be able to show you what my gauntlet does.
Oooh, that sounds great! I'll start working on it. I have to make a few things first, though...
Huh? What's the matter, Logy? Are you worried about something?
I was just thinking... You've been improving so much lately, Escha, and I haven't been every much help at all.
He has been looking really worried lately... That's not true! If I was on my own, I'd be too scared of messing up to ever try Synthesizing anything!
Well... I'm just wondering if that's okay...as an alchemist, you know? Never mind.
Hello... How's work going?
Oh, Marion. Good to see you.
Haha, I've got some good news for you, Logy. I was able to get my hands on some equipment from Central City.
R-Really!? I'm amazed you managed to do that!
The branch chief really came through for us on this one. Maintenance is going to install it when you leave.
Oh, let's go, then. I wonder what new equipment they brought for you, Logy!
I am interested... Okay, let's step out for a bit.
Hmm, push it a little more... Yeah, right there. Perfect! Thank you. ...Okay, it's all done, you two. Go on in and take a look.
You can tell just by looking at it? I have no idea what that thing is... Well, here's where my job ends. Please keep up the good work, you two.
Thank you very much, Ma'am.
This is beginning to look like a blacksmith's workshop. We could probably sharpen knives and stuff!
Heh, I suppose we could... But this new tool is actually for alchemy. Unlike alchemy that combines two items into one with Synthesizing, Training materials enhances their properties. You can combine different properties and powers inside materials, and strengthen your equipment.
Strengthen, huh...? Yeah, I guess I really couldn't do that in a cauldron, could I? This is getting interesting. Do you think I would be able to use that, too?
...I suppose I could teach you, but you really have to use your head.
...Huh? You have to use your head...? You mean, I don't just toss stuff in and stir it around?
You have to forcibly merge materials into an existing item to enhance its properties. It can be dangerous. You also have to calculate the amount of stress the item can take, or you could end up breaking your equipment.
Whoa...! There's no way I could do that! I'm gonna leave all that stuff up to you, Logy!
From my point of view, the way you Synthesize looks equally difficult. Why don't we just keep things the way they are for now? I'll take care of this.
That's a good idea... I don't think I have the dexterity.
What are you reading, Logy?
Oh, I'm just writing down the recipe notes for making standard equipment. Before I start making more complicated equipment, it would be good to practice the basics.
Ah, the Blitz Core? Let me see it.
What do you think? I built it according to the specs you gave me...
Hmm... It's actually really well made. I never thought you could make this in a cauldron.
Wow, I'm glad you like it. But what is this thing, anyway?
I guess you could call it... A crystallization of nature's power. Using this allows you to tap into the power of nature for a brief moment.
Unleashing...? That sounds so dangerous.
It's not bad if you use only a little bit. In Central City, we'd seal all kinds of power in crystal. If you use the right materials and tools, I heard that you can make some pretty potent ones... In the end, it's all a balancing act. But I think I'll be able to do lots of stuff with this one.
Wow... I'd like to try using that, too!
I wonder... It might be a little difficult for you to wield this, Escha. It's pretty dangerous.
Aw, really? If I could use it, then it'd be twice as useful to us, don't you think? But, you know how to use them, right? I'll try making all sorts of them now!
Yeah, that would be great. If you had my gauntlet, you could probably use these with enough experience. But, as long as you keep experimenting with elemental crystals, I'm sure you'll be able to keep making more variations on this before too long.
Oh, someone's knocking on the door.
What's the matter, Marion?
There's someone I'd like to introduce to you. Please follow me.
Hello there. Hope I'm not intruding.
H-Huh? You're...umm... The historian or researcher...?
My name is Threia. That reminds me, you two said you were in the R&D Division, right?
Yes, we are. What are you doing here, Miss Threia?
I'll cut to the chase. From now on, when you go out exploring, I'll be accompanying you for my research.
Ooooh, for research... Hey, wait! This is all so sudden!
Well, I came all the way from Central City for this... But I don't sit back and read reports. Besides, I'm still not clear what your "R&D" Division does. You research AND develop? No fair!
B-But... That's our job...
...Are you okay with this, boss? She's calling out our Division for...an ambiguous name?
Threia and I know each other from Central City. She's a walking encyclopedia, and good in a fight. We're short-handed as it is, so try to look past her prickly personality and work together.
"Prickly"!? I'll remember that, Marion.
See, that's exactly what I'm talking about. When are you going to realize...
It's good to know we have a real researcher to help us! I'm sure we'll make a lot of progress.
Perhaps. My own research comes first, but the results should help you. Consider this a joint effort.
(Marion wasn't kidding about her personality. Still, she should be a good asset if she'll work with us.)
Escha, I've been meaning to talk to you about something.
Oh? About what?
Well, including us, we now have six people helping us with our investigations. You know how I told you it would be a good idea to combine our attacks to not let the enemy recover? I was thinking it's about time we tried Special Support attacks. If the enemy is sufficiently off-balance, we can probably launch more powerful attacks then normally would be available.
Sounds a little complicated...
You don't have to think about it right now. We'll try it in the field if we get a chance.
Gotcha... By the way, did you inspect Katla's equipment? What did you think?
I'm confident she can do better than I thought, but... You should probably see for yourself.
That's another request done! This bomb can really slow down anything it hits. I'm sure it'll work great.
Yeah. We should start getting ready to head out. I'll head to the docks to prepare the balloon.
Looks like getting around here is going to be harder than I thought...
Music: At the Foot of the Hill
It's amazing to find something like this way up high in the mountains... Logy, there's a lot of fruit growing around here. We should gather as much as we can.
Looks like the path to the summit is this way. These ruins are...
The monsters around here can be pretty aggressive, though.
The view from here is incredible... I'm glad we came here.
Yeah. These ruins are definitely interesting, and we're still not at the top of the mountain. Let's keep going.
There's a lot of rocks around. It's probably a good idea to bring a lot of bombs whenever we go on an adventure.
Good idea. Especially as we go further away from Colseit, the paths are going to be more difficult to navigate.
These are the ruins of an atelier!
I was beginning to think that, but you're right. This is an incredible discovery. I think I see a passage into a building. Let's go check it out.
Logy, what was in that chest?
A Crystal Ring. Interesting alchemic item, I think. I'll take care of it for now. Looks like there's a basement level, too. Careful, the passage is pretty narrow.
Wow...a cauldron. I guess the methods of alchemy haven't changed very much from hundreds of years ago.
Yeah, these ruins are about that old, considering the amount of decay. Still...it's fascinating to find such a well-preserved ruin as this one.
It kind of makes me happy knowing I'm doing things the way alchemists of the past did them.
... I'll just make sure Katla isn't holding on to the documents we find in the field...
Escha, careful! There's a slag coming out of that workshop!
Logy, I can do it! Let's take care of this!
Here I go, Escha! Watch carefully!
Katla's coming to help. It'll be interesting to see what she does, considering the size of the bag she brought...
That was impressive.
That was actually impressive... Looks like I don't need to worry about Katla and Wilbell after all...