Part 32: Chapter XXVII: The Distant Reaches and Sunset
What's wrong, Micie?
Do you have a problem with work?
No, it's just... I was growing taller, little by little, but I seem to have stopped.
Oh, is that all?
What do you mean, "is that all"? You really lack consideration for others, Escha.
...It is actually a little scary.
Escha, you should show some respect for others' feelings. This is a serious problem for a kid his age. There was a period when I stopped growing for a while, and I remember being extremely worried about it...
So this is something you experienced as well, Logy? That is unexpected...
Hmm... But you're way taller than me, Logy.
I don't know why it happened, but I did start growing again. I was very anxious about it until then.
I see... I do wonder what the cause of it is, though. I've been training my body, and eating more to match, so why is my height...?
Oh, yeah, you did say you were trying to be more manly. But you should be getting taller normally.
Exactly! What could I possibly be doing wrong...?
What do you mean?
I don't know much about anatomy, but isn't all this training something of a sudden train on your body?
Hmm... So if you suddenly grow too much muscle, your height might not grow as much?
That's basically what I'm getting at.
What!? So you're saying that by working to gain muscle mass, I may have been sacrificing my height!?
W-Well, Logy did say he was just guessing here...
No... That is a convincing hypothesis. I have made some radical lifestyle changes lately, and that's the only reason I can think of...
I-It'll be okay, Micie. I'm sure it's only temporary. You'll start growing again.
I'd like to believe that, but I shall still cut any unnecessary training. I suppose everythng needs to be done in moderation. I recall my teacher saying something similar...
Hmm... Are boys really that worried about their height? I don't get it.
Well, it's just... Boys think they look better the taller they get. You kind of have to be a boy to understand it.
Really? That's kind of strange...
What about girls?
Hm, well, I don't know many girls my age, so I don't really know. I don't worry about my height very much, though I guess I'd like to get taller. I just don't think about it very much.
How could you...? Wait...
What is it?
I don't see Micie anywhere... I guess he wandered off. Anyway, you said you wanted to make that Knowledge Book?
Yeah, and I need to pick up some ingredients from Duke.
You know, while we're in the bar, we might as well tell Duke about defeating that dragon.
Oh yeah! With everything that happened with Flameu and Clone, I almost forgot about that.
We all worked together, and that's how we were able to defeat it. It's not that amazing...
Don't be modest, now! You've done something that everyone's going to know about. It's fantastic! You've just created a great legacy for yourselves. If I were to drop dead now, your names would live on.
Um... I think you're a little young to die, Duke. Please keep doing what you're doing.
Hahaha! Yeah, you've gotta keep living just to see how good the future's gonna get, right? You just wait here, then. This one's on the house for our big damn heroes.
Yeah, I guess this isn't too bad, either.
Sheesh, I was sweating back there... Really.
I heard an ancient dragon had been defeated, but I honestly never suspected it was your doing. Honestly, I was a little worried about you kids at first, but you've truly grown.
Th-Thank you very much. I think that's the first time you've praised us like that...
You see, I was in Duke's group years ago. He was injured helping me escape from the dragon. I could never forget the sight of him, drenched in blood, as I dragged him back to town. Ever since then, we've been having trouble with that dragon. I didn't want history to repeat itself.
I never knew that happened... No wonder nothing's been done about it.
I'll be damned. You build airships and defeat ancient dragons... You youngins are always surprising me. I think it's time I put all my trust in you now.
...Sir, would you like something to eat? I would love to hear more of your stories.
Yeah... What's the harm? Join us.
Logy, this is really interesting, but I have to help Lucille with writing a budget report. Can you make up some excuse for me?
He went into the back with Duke. I think this is your best time to get out. I'll keep him entertained. He's starting to get a little drunk, too, so I think he won't recognize that you're gone.
What's the matter, Lucille? Is something wrong?
Miss Escha... What should I do!?
J-Just calm down, and tell me what happened...
I'm sorry, it's, um... Miss Marion asked me to organize some of the R&D Division's records. I was supposed to throw away stuff that we don't need anymore. I was still going through the items...
Okay. Having stuff that you don't need is just a waste of time. That makes sense.
So... I finally finally finished sorting them into documents to keep and documents to toss out.
Wow, that's a good job. I'm impressed. ...But wait, if you already finished, what's the matter?
Ohhh... All that's left is to give them to Miss Marion. I put some in a folder and wandered around a bit. And the next thing I knew, they were gone... What am I going to do!?
I-I swear I had them, but I don't know what happened!
Where could they have gone... Oh, why didn't you go straight to Marion?
Please, don't yell at me... I'm already so sorry about it... *Sigh* Why am I always losing things like this...
Don't worry. I'll help you look for them!
Miss Escha...! Thank you very much!
Ahahaha, don't worry about it, don't worry about it. Let's go ask around, okay? (Maybe she left them in the bar?)
Right. Lucille left them somewhere...
Is there anything in your Lost & Found lately?
Now, I wonder... I don't recall anything like that. Hey, you guys see anything that looks like a stack of papers or an envelope over there?
Nope, nothing over here...!
Not that I can recall!
Ugh, you guys are useless. Anyway, I don't think you left it here, young lady. Maybe it's somewhere else...?
Okay... Thank you very much for looking!
Don't mention it. This sorta thing happens all the time, right?
Hmm... I was pretty sure I brought it here...
Hmm? Oh, I'm not forcing myself to do anything.
C'mon, now. Every time I see you, you're straining to finish your plate. You could just ask for less.
Really!? Aw... If I knew that, I would've asked sooner...
Hahaha, why do you try so har to eat it all?
B-Because, I think I'm so small because I can't eat that much... And I really like the food here, so I thought I'd try to eat more than normally would.
Hahahaaaa! How about you keep coming here and we'll do something about your vertical challenge. Ha!
Um, I still wonder what happened to your documents... We've looked all over. Do you think someone might've accidentally taken them?
Ahh, but wouldn't they notice once they opened the envelope?
Hmm, I suppose you have a point...
If you dropped it somewhere along the road, then I could see you having to spend a while searching. Hey, you guys! When you're walking around, if you happen to find a big envelope, bring 'em back here!
You got it, Duke!
I'll wander the city streets until they're found! I'll never rest!
Uh, you don't have to try so hard just for me...
Th-That sounds like overkill...
But it's not here, either... This is proving more difficult to find than I'd thought.
Don't worry. It might take us a little while, but I'm sure we'll find them.
That's the spirit!
Umm... Thank you very much for your help, Mr. Duke!
Sure thing. Hope you find those documents soon.
Hm...let's go talk to Katla next. Maybe she saw Lucille.
I-I did! At the very least, I know I had them when I came here...!
Now, I wonder about that, Katla.
Yes! Did you see it around here somewhere?
Not at all. Because if I saw an envelope, I'd make sure to read everything in it already. And, since I can't recall going through any new papers lately, I'm sure I didn't find anything here.
Wh-WHy is it I can totally picture Katla going through other people's stuff with no shame whatsoever...
Uuu... Then, where could I have possibly dropped it?
...What's this stick?
This legendary artifact is said to have been used by people of old to find missing items! I call it, the "Lost and Finder"!
Are you sure about that...? I think that sounds like a stretch...
This is amazing! How much are you asking for it?
Huuuuuuuuh!? Y-You're gonna buy it?
Hmm... Normally, I'd charge you the sticker price, but since you're Escha's friend...
I don't care how much it is! I have to have it!
R-Really, now! In that case, thank you for your business! Wow, I made a lot more than I was expecting...
I can't believe you really paid for that...
All right, time to try this out...!
Hmm... Oh! I think it's reacting to something over here! Wait... Or over there, too! We've got to run all over the village and use this to look!
Maybe we should just stick with asking people around town instead...? I guess I should just follow her...
I know you paid for this thing, but... I'm not sure how effective it's going to be.
It's been reacting for a while now. I'm sure it's having some kind of effect! We should find it pretty soon...
Huh? What are you two doing here?
Ah, Miss Wilbell. Lucille lost some papers, so... We're looking for them.
Aw, man. That sucks. Want me to find them for you?
You're going to help us search for them? Oh, that would be a great help, Wilbell...
No, I'm not going to help you look. I'm going to FIND them. Leave it to me and it'll be over in a second. But, I will have to take a small fee for my trouble, you know. What do you say?
Wow... You mean magic can do that sort of thing, too?
I-I'll do anything! As long as you can find it for me, I'll pay you fairly! H-H-Here you go!
All right, thanks for your business. Now focus your mental energies...
Now, are you ready? Here it goes...
Documents... Very valuable documents...
Hmm... Not here. Is it over there? No...or over here? Hmmmmmm.... Hooooooh... It must be...this...right here...!
How did she do that!?
I don't know where it was. I just pulled it out of where it had been. But are you sure this is yours? It has Escha's name on it.
Huh? What's that mean...?
That's probably because of what's inside. See?
...Hey! These are reports I made when I first joined. Aw, that brings back memories.
These are things Miss Marion said I should throw away, but I wanted to keep them for my own reference...
I see... Thank you for hanging on to them, but I doubt something this old would be much use to you.
It's okay. Please, tell me all kinds of things from before I joined the R&D Division!
Sure! How about we go through these later?
Heh, I was wondering what you were trying so hard to find, and that was it...?
Whew...that was exhausting. Mr. Grumman can talk a lot outside the office... Anyway, if Escha is anywhere right now, it's probably...
Oh, Logy, there you are! What did Mr. Grumman have to say about his days working?
Oh, lots of stories, like how he and Duke used to go out causing trouble, fighting dragons, all kinds of things. Nothing really interesting, but it's nice to know he was like us early in his career. I guess you're working on the Knowledge Book right now?
Yeah, I think I got some great ingredients!
Well, at least it's easy getting the best effects!
This is the most powerful attack item I can make! It's amazing!
Those traits... This should be incredibly helpful in the future. I can't wait to see what you can do with it, Escha.
The last travel
Excuse me, are the two of you both here? We've found where the ruins fell from the sky.
Really, sir!? Where are they?
It would appear that the crash site is somewhere due north of town.
Wow... This really will be easier to reach than when they were in the air!
Well, you'll have to cross over several high mountains, so they are still difficult to reach.
I see... So it's going to be a while until we can actually go there again...?
Don't forget that mysterious girl you mentioned in your report. She could still be lurking about. There are too many unknowns right now. We have no idea what to expect. Your safety is more important than the investigation itself. Please, promise me you'll be careful.
I understand! We'll make extra sure we're prepared!
This is it. If we can separate Flameu from the Geosys system, then we can end this. Whatever she's planning, I don't like the sound of it.
Still... We have to remember to do everything we can to help her.
Right. I'm just saying we have to be prepared for anything when we decide to go.
Alright, I think that's the best sword I can make with my skills.
That's amazing, Logy!
Yeah, it's not bad... Anyway, we need to go talk to Awin about the damage to the airship. It's still bothering me...
Wow, that's amazing... What do they say?
Most of them have been tossed out already, and there's only a little information left... But records indicate that the team went far far to the west of here.
(The airship looks nice. I guess Awin and Heizman have been fixing it up while Escha was making the Knowledge Book...)
The Edge of the World, huh...? I wonder what kind of place it is...
I don't know, but it's got to be someplace special. There's no doubt about that.
...Sorry to rain on your parade, but are you sure they went to the Edge of the World at all?
Hmm... Well, I won't go so far as to say it's a myth, but it does sound pretty far-fetched.
We can't deny that there's a possibility it exists. And these documents are just the proposals. The final report isn't with the rest of this file. Do you think that...?
But even then, maybe they did make it there! I think this is worth doing more digging! It might be a waste of time, sure, but there has to be meaning behind it...! And if we don't do it now, someday we'll regret never taking the chance! "We should've gone..."
But, it's really far away, right? I wonder how long it would take us to get there?
The report says it's far to the west of the wild fields... Back then, the only way to travel was by foot. Just getting past the fields was a challenge in itself. But today, with airships, I think is a distance we could potentially cover.
N-Now hold on... We have to verify these claims! How could this "legendary land" be so close?
Hahaha! Yeah, I can see why you'd want to go slow, but this is my childhood dream! The Edge of the World could be a place of great prosperity. If we can start migrating people over there, we won't have to worry about running out of food.
It sounds like it's not just a walk in the park, either. There's no doubt that it's a great distance.
And... This is just my own personal hobby. I won't force you guys to help me, but I would appreciate it.
Hm, if this place really does exist, I'd like to see it.
I know, right? I'll make all the preparations on my end. Man, this is getting exciting!
B-But we haven't decided if we're even going...! Oh, he's not listening...
Are you sure we could even make it there? Maybe we should tell Miss Marion about this, just in case. There he goes again...
What do you think, Logy?
Well, the airship can probably make it there, it's just... I'm not sure we'll find anything like what he's looking for.
I agree, but... It sounds pretty interesting. I guess we could take a quick look.
We'd better prepare well, then.
This is where the Fallen Ruins are... When we're ready to head there, we'd better keep this location in mind.
12 days!? At least we don't have to walk there...
Logy, are you finding it a lot harder to move around here...? I just feel really...tired.
This is going to be a difficult journey.
This place is nothing but wilderness.
It's pretty depressing to look at.
There are some interesting materials, though. Maybe we should gather a lot while we're here.
It's a good thing we brought those bombs. If we had to leave the path we might never find our way back to the airship.
Why would Awin think they went this way? I guess this is the only path, but what people would come this far out?
Reyfer really doesn't like this place. This kind of place just makes me feel sad.
Let's keep moving. At least Awin was right about this place, but are we going to find anything out here? Maybe the Expedition Corps left more clues.
Well, at least there's some sign of civilization was here at one point. If we're following the Expedition Corps, then they probably came through here.
Why do you say that, Logy?
Look at it. It's the only building around here. It would be the safest option to come through here.
Oh, that makes sense. There are a lot of dangerous animals around here, too, so it would be a good idea to stay out of the wilds as much as possible.
Exactly. Let's keep going.
Well, we're still on the right track, but this is a really old building.
Yeah. I wonder how long ago people actually lived here?
Wow, that monster looks really scary... Is there any way we can sneak around it?
Maybe, but... With your Knowledge Book, Escha, I think we can win this. Do you want to try?
Sure! I kind of want to see how powerful it is. And this monster could hunt us if we try to avoid it.
Monster of the steppe
Wow, that was amazingly powerful...
Escha, let's try a Double Draw. Use your Knowledge Book and let's see how powerful it really is.
How was that, Logy!?
That was incredible... Your alchemy has come a long way.
Oh, hehe, it wasn't that special... Anyway, we should keep moving. This building is pretty big.
The sunset is still going outside...
(...Is this the future of our world...?)
Logy, I'm going to check over here. I think I see some rare materials!
Wait, be caref--
Titan of the wastes
Oh brother... Let's go!
Escha, you okay!?
Yeah, don't worry. I'm fine!
I'll take over. Here I go!
Heh... Too easy.
That was incredible, Logy! How do you do that with your catalysts?
It's tricky, but it involves amplifying the output and controlling it in bursts. It's not something I can do all the time, but with practice I've gotten fairly good at it.
The path just keeps going...
Logy, do you have any idea where we are now?
I have some idea, but only because of the map. I'd be totally lost without it.
This place is as far as our map goes. There's...just nothing beyond this.
It's going to be a difficult road, moving forward...
Awin, I think we should turn around soon. The roads are bad, and we don't know where we're going.
You're right... I'm starting to feel queasy just thinking about the return trip.
I know, I know... And, I think we should still push forward just a little more. It has to be close! I can feel it! We're at the cusp of the Edge of the World... It was my dream... I became an engineer for this sole purpose.
That's right. Actually, I'm starting to agree with Brother. We came this far; we can't turn back! It might be just over the horizon, so let's do our best! I know we can reach it!
...We need to make sure we don't get too greedy, or Awin, you might be the one who's most disappointed. I've done that in the past, and regretted it...so take it from me. Just remember that.
Thanks, you two. Let's keep on going! It's just a little more!
Music: Promise (Dusk Hill)
You mean to tell me...this is the Edge of the World? We came this far and...
Um, what is this, Logy...?
...In Central City, we called these regions the "Lands of Oblivion". There's nothing beyond here. Just deserted wasteland.
That can't be true...! There has to be more on the other side! There has to be! When we cross this wasteland, we'll find those prosperous lands!
Brother... There's no more path to walk on. We can't go any further.
No! The exploration team went further! I know it! And there, they saw the Edge... ...They must have! Otherwise, this is...it's just... It's not fair!
Logy, is there really nothing else?
No. This is as far as we can go. No living creature could survive out there. There's no point in trying.
...Wait! I think I see something over there!
Ah! W-Wait, Brother!
So, they did make it this far... Then what's the "major failure" supposed to be...?
Hey, what does it say?
Um, this is... Some sort of progress report. And, the last page here... "It was a long and strenuous journey. Surviving countless perils, we made great sacrifices, yet we continued onwards."
Did they lose people...? Then this must be...
"We believed that there was a new world. For the sake of the fallen, we wanted to find something worth their sacrifice. But, even we have reached our limits. I intend to give the order to return. Perhaps the promised land we believed in lies beyond this barren land. But not knowing how far it may be, how many more would die trying... I couldn't bear the thought of it. Please forgive me for failing to return you to your families. I intend to leave this final report here. People will call us failures, but I no longer care. There is simply no way we can tell the rest of the world, waiting for us, what we saw here today. At the very least, I want those of us who died to be remembered as heroes. That's the least I can do."
The Lands of Oblivion weren't known about when the Corps was formed. This news would cause chaos...
He couldn't turn in this final report, because the hopes and dreams of so many rested on him... So when they returned, they claimed to have failed to find the Edge, and not tell what they truly found.
Let's leave the note here. This isn't about concealing information. I feel this message belongs here.
Brother... The explorers really did make it to the Edge of the World... Maybe, it wasn't the Edge you were hoping for, but... Even then, they left something behind for us. Something important. At least, that's what I think.
Yeah... Let's go back. Thanks for following me this far. I suppose I inherited their dreams... That much is true.