Part 23: Chapter XX: The Fateful Materials and Syntheses
The giant stuffed animal
Man, why do we keep running into powerful slags like this?
Escha, let's try another Double Draw!
I'm gonna draw something REALLY powerful this time!
...A giant homunculi? Really Escha?
See? It even destroyed the slag!
...I guess you were right...
A second option
...Yeah, right there.
U-Uhh... Quiet, quiet...
Whoa! That's the dragon? It's huge!
Well, right now, we have three options: use the Slumber Incense, run away and prepare more for the dragon, or...fighting the dragon head-on.
I'm just saying it's an option...and keep your voice down!
It might be scary, but... That dragon's been causing trouble for everyone. We should fight it!
A-Are you serious? It looks very strong...
We have no time to waste! Let's go!
(I didn't expect her to make that kind of decision...) Oh man... I guess it's time to take a leap of faith.
It doesn't seem as powerful as Duke made it look...but we should still be really careful.
Oh man...I need to take a little break...
All right, I'm ready to go!
It's going to have a big help having Linca here. She seems used to fighting dragons.
Looks like it restored some of its stamina. We should just keep going. I still can't believe we're doing this well against it.
Lucille, you can do it!
Music: FJ: Journey
...Is it safe now?
We...we did it!
That was a close one...
What a relief! I guess we're getting stronger every day, huh?
It's magnificent... It must have taken years, perhaps even longer.
Well, let's look for some metals we can bring home!
Remember to keep in mind the quality of the metal. It will take too long to explain how you know what metal is good or not, so just use your best instincts. I'll help you if you need anything. I'm going to look elsewhere.
Phew... Do you think this will be enough?
Yeah, let's bring it back home, dismantle it and analyze it. Then, the homunculi should be able to replicate it. After that, we can get the parts for the dreadnaught.
Let's get back home right away, then... I hope this will be enough.
Alright, let's get to the Fire Lord's altar. If we can calm her down, then we'll get the energy source. Between that and the metal...
We can finish the dreadnaught!
The everlasting fire
Um, should we just put the jewel right here?
Couldn't hurt to try.
I hope this will calm the fire spirit...
Ahhhh, my altar!
Hmmm... That's much better. Well done, well done.
I'm sorry, Fire Lord... Your altar was ruined by humans, wasn't it?
As long as it has been restored to what it once was, my anger is quelled, young girl. You seem different from the humans I know. What is it you seek from me?
We require a stable but powerful material as an energy source for an airship engine. Can you help us?
...I hear the words you say, but understand not one bit. Explain!
Umm... How should I say this?
We need a material that has a very strong and steady flame!
A strong flame, yes... Very well. I shall grant you what you seek, as thanks for my altar.
The blessing of an everlasting flame. It is the proof of our bond. Use it however you please. Come again, humans... The fire will always burn within us!
U-Umm... I think she's calmed down a bit, yeah?
She's actually quite nice. Much more understanding than I'd expected. But this... I've never seen this material before. Can we really use it as our power source?
I don't know, but since it was given to us by the Fire Lord, it must be useful for something!
I guess you're right. I'll try to put together a recipe for it. It'll be done by the time we're back.
Whew...I think I'm ready to head back. Got those Heavenly Spirits to send us back, Escha?
Wait, wait. We need to test the strength of each material first. We don't know if we can use them yet. I'm going to take a look at them with the Dismantler. Could you lend me a hand?
O-Okay... Here you go. What do you think, Logy? Can we use it? Oh, no... What if we went through all that trouble, and then we can't use the raw materials after all?
...No, this looks pretty good. I think we can use this material to reinforce the airship!
Really!? That's amazing! I'll go give it to Solle right away.
H-Hey, calm down, Escha! That is some high-quality metal, though. I doubt we'll find anything like it for a while...
We've come so far... One final push, and we'll finally have our dreadnaught...
Umm... Logy? About the budget for our atelier this month...
But will this really be okay? There are some areas that I still need to go over... (I also need to come up with some way to use the material we got from the Fire Lord...how to incorporate that into the design...making sure the output is stable. Can't have another accident like before, and...)
Logy! Are you even listening to me!?
Whoa! Sorry, um... What were you saying?
About the atelier budget sheet you always make...
...Oof, I completely forgot about it. Will I make it in time if I start now? We're really close.
U-Umm... I tried making it myself this time!
Huh? You did?
I've been watching you make them for a while, Logy, so I think I did it right. If it's not good, I can do it agan, but... Um... What do you think?
Let's see here... Hmm... ...Yeah, it's good. You did a good job.
Really? Thank goodness...
I'm sorry, Escha. I've been so caught up in building the dreadnaught, I completely forgot.
Haha, don't worry. I know this is a very important time for us.
Thank you so much... You're a lifesaver.
(Logy looks like he's got so much on his mind... I need to help him out however I can!)
These are the designs I came up with. If we make both of these items, then we'll have a very stable and powerful engine that'll allow the dreadnaught to get off the ground and power through the debris around the Floating Ruins. It's the best design I came up with. If we had access to Central's facilities, I'm sure this would go a lot smoother.
No, no, it's great, Logy! I'm sure this will be perfect. What is this...a Moon Tablet?
Yeah, it's for harnessing the Fire Lord's gift. We can't make it right now, but I'm sure we'll find the recipe for it soon.
Now that you mention it... Let's try and put the pieces together!
Yes, one second... Hmm...
I knew it! We got them all!
Wow, this is the completed version...?
What on earth could this be...? Is this some kind of local legend?
I have no idea...but I think it's very important.
Really...? After all the trouble we went through to find these, I'm honestly a little disappointed.
Um... Maybe it's a little underwhelming, but... Does this look a little familiar to you?
I don't know. I guess I can kind of see what you mean.
Anyway, we put the tablet together. I was just hoping for something a little more amazing.
Somebody carved this into stone. Who knows how old it is? Maybe it's even older than the previous era? Well, I guess the most interested thing about it is how it was scattered all over the world.
Maybe you're right... We did go through a lot of trouble, though, so let's put it somewhere safe. (That figure carrying the apple... That looked a lot like...)
Logy, I finished making the Earth catalyst you wanted!
Thanks, looks great... Hm, it's incredible how much power you could draw out of the materials. The Aroma Materia is a really great ingredient.
I'm still surprised I was able to put something like this together on such short notice. Honestly, I didn't think we'd find both the metals and power source so close together.
So this engine will power the airship?
Right. As long as this engine is installed in the airship, upgraded with the metals we got from the dragon's nest, we'll be able to finish the dreadnaught.
Then we can go to the Unexplored Ruins!?
I don't see why not, but... For now, let's just focus on completing our tasks for this period.
This talisman is a strong natural repellant to any kind of monster. If we ever want to explore without having to fight enemies, we can use something like this.
I don't know how I feel about this, but... I guess it could help if we just want to gather materials.
Alright, that's another assignment. What we have left...
Deliver dragon materials to an official.
Go on an investigation with 30 Search Items.
Use a Slag Figure three times.
Slay the Emerald Ray at the Slag Graveyard.
Deliver four of my Cores to an official at the town entrance.
Deliver healing items to another official.
Deliver flammable materials.
Deliver medical supplies to an official at the Old Highway.
Apparently there's a huge monster infestation in the Twilight Forest...
Synthesize a Poly. Poison with the Triple Handicap effect.
And defeat the Compact Dragon in the Searing Wastes.
Wow, so much... Hey Logy, why do the requests have a lot of deliveries? Can't they just put in requests through Solle?
Well, if they went through Solle, it's possible we wouldn't accept them. And besides us, there are other teams that need help, so we have to take care of them.
Oh! Speaking of Solle, I have to turn in the atelier budget sheet I made.
Oh, right. I need to get started on the next one. I promise I won't forget about it again.
It's no problem!
Yes, I suppose I do. What of it?
Um, you know how you're always eating them, though...? How come you don't have any cavities?
My teeth have always been strong, since I was a child. I suppose I've never had much trouble in that way.
Whoa... I'm jealous! I got a cavity when I was really young...
I'm sorry to hear that. Perhaps I should exercise caution myself. Ah, look at the time... In need to get back, and soon.
Um, I was trying to give you a friendly warning. You didn't listen to a word I said!
Oh, that was meant to be a warning? I thought you were trying to one-up me with a story of personal pain.
Ugh... Y-Yes, I suppose it might sound that way. Maybe I was beating around the busy too much.
You can speak with me frankly, if you'd lke. That's what I do to others.
...Hmm, is that really what will happen?
Of course it is! If you do nothing but sit around all day and eat candy, you're bound to get fat!
I see. Perhaps it's simply my body type, but I've never been prone to gaining weight.
Y-You just don't get fat because of your body...!? Please, tell me how that works!
I don't think much of an explanation is necessary. In fact, I think I'm actually losing weight.
Th-This is unfair! How do you get to have a body like that!?
I tend to eat too much, so I have to try hard not to get pudgy...
In fact, I have to eat these snacks simply to maintain my body weight.
S-So... If I eat your snacks, does that mean I won't gain any weight, either?
Ahh, please, calm down. I think each person is slightly different...
Th-Then... How can I eat snacks the way you do, and not gain any weight...?
I-I see... How about you trying doing some work that uses your brain?
Yes indeed. Constantly thinking uses a lot of energy. In fact, I do mental exercises and not physical. So, perhaps undertaking many such tasks will allow you to lose weight.
Hmm... The way you say that makes me think it might be true... Okay! I'm going to start using my head!
..."Might be true..." If you work with that mentality, maybe you actualy will lose some weight.
Hm? Did you say something?
Oh, no... Nothing at all.
Hmmm... Where can I start? Oh, I'll take care of the dragon materials! Logy will be more impressed if I can do more things by myself!
Logy, Solle was telling me if I want to lose weight like he does, I should start thinking and doing more things on my own! What do you think?
Well, it's good to do things where you don't need any help, but I don't think thinking has anything to do with it. What did he tell you?
Well, he was saying that he needs to eat all the snacks he does in order to keep up his body weight. Then he told me if I wanted to lose weight like he does, I should start thinking harder about more and more things, like he does.
Really? Hm... I don't think you have anything to worry about. You'll only get fat if you eat too much and don't get out enough. Considering how many monsters and slags we end up fighting and how many investigations we go on, I don't think you have much to worry about. Besides, to do our work, you need a strong body. I don't think Solle's body is very strong.
Logy, you're not a girl. You wouldn't understand this!
Huh? What don't I understand?
Ah...synthesizing always helps me relax.
Hey Escha, what do you think we should do about that 30 items assignment?
Maybe we should have the homunculi replicate our smallest items... Everything we have is so big, but we have a few really small items. We just don't have enough time to make a bunch of small items.
Yeah, you're right. We have too many assignments to worry about making really small items.
Hey Logy, let's take care of that monster infestation in Twilight Forest. How bad could it be?
Looks pretty normal outside... Let's check inside the house.
... (This is going to take a while...)
That was exhausting... Man am I glad to be home.
Alright, now we only have the official who wants to conduct research on my cores. We do have a delivery at the Old Highway, so do you want to head off now?
Sure. Let's just make sure the homunculi reproduce that Refuel Ointment. It's really handy to have something so small, but can fix so many wounds. Oh! I also have to finish up a synthesis.
Alright, now I'm ready!
That's that! Let's head back.
Man, the people helping us sure us some weird weapons... Anyway, does that look right? Put the jewel there, magical catalysts there, and...
What are these made out of? They look like your average pair of earrings, to me.
I know what they look like, but I"ve made some upgrades on the inside that you can't see. They probably had some purpose in the old era...
Probably...? But I thought you built these?
I had to ask Threia for all the theories myself.
I see...and what did she say?
Well, to put it simply, there was a way to use these as weapons in the past era.
I see, I see...
No matter how many times I asked, that's all she would tell me.
Okay... That sounds kind of tough. How can someone attack with a pair of earrings, though?
I hope she doesn't get mad at me if they don't work as intended... What the heck am I doing with these?
D-Don't ask me! Are you upset, Logy?
No, it's just... Messing around with the technology of the previous civilization is something that I'm not really comfortable with doing, but... Whatever. Do you want to take care of the hunting requests?
That's the Emerald Ray...
I guess it's not a surprise we'd find documents about slags around here.
And that's the Compact Dragon!
Wow! This is a really rare material. We should take good care of it.
Hey Logy, we didn't really get to see much of the Dragon's Nest in the previous investigation. Let's go check it out!
So, this is a scene drawn by nature. It's spectacular...
Oh, it's Harry. Strange meeting you here.
Oh, you two. Just look at this spectacular scenery! It really is fantastic. I was searching for a place just like this! It is a very mysterious place. It's very moving. Isn't that right? It's best to stop once in a while to fully take in the beauty of nature. A purely scholarly investigation would miss out on such beauty, after all. Having such appreciation for the world is necessary in order to be a true explorer.
I see. There are a lot of mysterious materials around here, too.
Materials... Do you mean plants and animals? Yes, they are untouched by human hands. Very interesting indeed.
There could be rare plants that nobody has discovered before.
Hmm, discovering new things... It does have a certain charm to it.
Well, why don't you come with us, Harry? There are even more amazing things ahead.
Very well, please show me.
Oh, some low growling...
Yeah...probably monsters lurking around.
...What, exactly, was that?
Oh, there are dragons around here. You have to move very carefully.
Dragons!? As in, big lizard monsters that fly around and breathe fire?
Yes, they're very dangerous. That's why we must be careful as we advance.
Oh... Oh, no! I completely forgot about an important matter I need to attend to! That sure was a close one. I need to hurry back to town and prepare.
Wait, you're leaving? But you already came this far with us.
Sorry, but I care for my life... I mean, it's a very important matter. I'll leave the rest to you. I'm off!
Oh, too bad. We might have learned a lot if Harry had come with us. Well...I'm sure he had important things to take care of.
These dragons are everywhere... Anyway, focus your attacks on the blue one! The other two are strong, but a bit weaker than the Dark Wing Lizard.
Wow...Micie is so fast. I couldn't even see him!
We got it!
Alright, let's head back and see if the homunculi are done with the requests.
Looks like they'll be done soon.
C'mon, let's go out and do something!
Oh? What are you doing over here, Mr. Reyfer?
Oh, hey. I got my hands on something pretty rare, but I'm not sure what to do with it.
You mean you know what this is, little girl?
Yes, I love collecting little models like that.
Oh ho... Well, how about I give it to you, then? It's not doing me any good sitting in my pockets.
You mean I can have this!? Thank you very much! I'll paint it later! ...Do you collect these, Mr. Reyfer? There are many kinds, and it's fun to collect them.
They're not really my type of thing. It's just a waste of money to me.
Aww... But it's so much fun...
What's going on here? The two of you together is kind of strange.
Oh, guys! Look at this! Mr. Reyfer was kind enough to give it to me!
Wow! It's so cute. What is it?
Oh, a model, huh? I used to collect those when I was a kid.
Models...? I've never heard of those before...
It's a toy, but they're all handmade by artisans, so there's so much detail packed into them!
I know rich people collect 'em, so I know or thing or two... The rare ones can be a pretty penny, right?
Aw, that's no good! You can't just buy them. The fun comes from coming across them by chance! Would you like to start a collection with me, Miss Escha? We can trade them, too!
If it's that much fun, then maybe I should give it a try...
Huh!? Why not?
It's just... You know, one or two might be cheap, but if you start collecting, it's "Good-bye, money."
I can't believe I'm agreeing with Reyfer. Also, when you start spending money on them, you're going to want to keep buying them. It never ends.
That's why it's a hobby for the rich. If we tried collecting them, we'd all be broke in a heartbeat.
Ahahaha... You're just exaggerating! That's not true. Would you like to come see my room some day? I can show you all the ones I've collected.
Really? Maybe I'll take you up on that offer sometime...
Aw, they're ganging up on me and Lucille...
W-What now...? You don't have to be so mean about it! You're making me sad.
If Escha gets hooked on that sort of thng, there might be no way to undo the damage.
I don't want to see my friends' savings melt away.
Eeesh... That's a little scary. Maybe I should just stay away, then... (I can still see Lucille's room sometime, right?)
Whoa! Where did Threia come from? Our...plans? Do you have a suggestion or something?
Do you remember how we went to the ruins in the forest? I would like to investigate that site again.
Oh, yeah... I suppose it's worth another look.
I've been thinking about my thesis' organization, and I think I need some more specifc examples. And, do you recall how those particular ruins had a lot of remnants from the people there?
Was there...? I actually don't really remember, so...
Oh, you... What do you think we're even investigating ruins for? It's not just to get you materials!
O-Of course not! We... We have to investigate the area, too!
Not that it really matters to me that you choose to spend all your time idling in the ruins.
But... Are you sure you want to go back there? Aren't there others with more valuable data?
Well, as I mentioned earlier, I think that area is related to the daily lives of our ancestors. This is only conjecture, but I think we may find even more insight related to that topic. Of course, I'm just trying to piece data together, but I doubt there's any harm in taking another look.
Hmm... What do you think we'll discover?
I don't know. That's why we need to investigate some more. I hope we'll be able to collect some valuable information with an additional run on the ruins.
I-I'm sorry. I suppose you're right.
We can't draw any conclusions until we have more data. All right, let's go back there again.
I'm glad you understand so quickly. Let's head back over there right away.
Hey, wait a second! We need to get Marion's approval to go, at the very least...
I was just running the idea by you, that's all.
So... You came to tell us about a mission you already got approved? We don't have a say in this?
It's a chance to make some amazing historic discoveries! I'm getting a little excited!
You probably shouldn't get too excited. We've been to those ruins many times, but I wasn't really looking out for anything. Maybe she's right...
I suspect there was a major event leading up to the desertion of this atelier... Yet, there isn't much evidence of a disturbance here... But why...? Was there danger approaching? No... Perhaps it was something important to them...
Umm, Miss Threia? Do you think this is going to take much longer?
I don't see much damage to the facility itself, and they're very similar to our atelier today...
She's not listening...
We already knew this was going to happen. We should just leave her alone for the time being.
Yeah, I guess you're right. Well, we can continue our own investigation, can't we?
Huh? Harry...? What are you doing here?
Hello! As you can see, I'm investigating these ruins. After all, I am an explorer. I'd heard there were ruins here, so I wanted to see them first-hand so I could document them in my book.
A-And you came all the way out here?
I see, I see... This scenery looks somehow familiar...and yet, somehow not. I got it! These ruins must showcase the daily activities of the people from long ago!
Ah, I'm glad someone decided to come to work today.
Of course. Just look at all the cauldrons lined up here in this large building. This is most likely somethng of a kitchen, where the ancient people would cook their meals.
Huh, really...? These look like alchemy cauldrons to me, so I thought they were for Synthesizing.
I didn't think about it that way. But what you're saying does make sense...
Perhaps this was the basis for mankind's eating habits and rituals. The ancient people must've been real gluttons, to think that they would eat this much... Combined with the spaces in these facilities... Perhaps the ancient people were fatter than we are!
Hm, while that appears to be a very far-fetched interpretation... IT seems more and more plausible. Do you think you could tell me more about your theory? I would love to cite it as an example.
Ah, to think I would meet a fellow scholar in a place like this! Of course I'd be happy to discuss it!
This could take a lot longer than I expected...
Uh, can we save the discussion for after we return to town? Let's just investigate right now... Please?
Well, the good news is that with how long they're going to be talking, the homunculi will finish up our requests by the time we get back. Let's go secure the area so these two can talk in peace...
Right behind you...