Part 35: Chapter XXX: The Triumphant Hero and Heroine
A giant...golden slag statue...
The people had some...interesting tastes...
Really, why did they make something like this?
Maybe the people of the past thought about the slags differently... Hey Logy, do you know anything about when slags first appeared?
Well, they didn't just "appear". As long as we've known, the slags have been around. They usually only stay near ruins, but we've seen a lot of slags that have been outside the ruins.
But those were usually different models of slags, right?
Yeah. Usually the slags you see will be big ones like the statue, smaller ones, or ones that look kind of like dogs. The ones that looked like tanks and dragons are much different...
Anyway, this is going to be an interesting report to file with Solle...
Hm? You seem to be in a good mood.
Yeah! You know that statue we found the other day? The branch paid me a pretty penny for it. Soooooo, I'm here to give you your shares, as promised.
Really? I was afraid you'd forgot about the promise and lost it all rolling dice. This is unexpected.
Thanks for the appreciation. Anyway, thanks for helping me out. This is for you.
Wow. This is quite a bit. Are you sure you want to give us this much?
Forget about it. That's just a tiny fraction of the whole amount. You can use it however you see fit.
Thank you very much! But, you're sure it's okay for us to receive a portion of this...?
Ah, don't start saying that. Threia already turned down her share, saying something along those lines... "I'm not in it for the money!" or whatever... I was just trying to share my happiness with her.
...Why don't you try seeing things her way for a change? Just when you're around her? Like, don't use the word "treasure" so often. I think a little consideration would go a long way.
Whoa whoa whoa, don't expect me to start being all high-falutin' and calling it "historical value"! It's too soon to be crackin' jokes like that, kid. All a treasure hunter needs is a treasure to hunt.
Isn't that better than arguing all the time...? C'mon, Reyfer, you're being immature.
I just don't agree with all the "nobility" that scholars like to throw around.
Don't agree with...? Do you have a reason for that?
See, scholars take the artifacts from ruins and try to use them to their advantage, right? Sure, it may help make our lives convenient, but the very people that used that technology died out. As long as what they find improves our lives, people conveniently forget that a civilization died.
That sounds like something you might say... But even alchemy isn't the answer to everything, you know?
In the end, I can see why they'd want to collect all those artifacts and say it's for our own sake... But they're pouring all this money into the process, and I think they've forgotten the real goal. We should be giving a lot more thought to the way we spend what money we have...
Wow... I'm sorry, it's just that all along I just thought you were really stingy.
C'mon, try to spare my feelings a little, huh? I mean, I don't really care, but still... You look at the big picture, and I'm able to make a living off of these so-called artifacts.
Yes, but what you say and what you do seem to be contradictory.
My point is, the value of any one treasure hinges on the person assigning the price. All this historical stuff makes less sense, but as long as it's worth something it's all good.
It's just treasure then, huh... I guess you do actually think about more stuff than it looks like.
Hm... Escha, why don't you take a break and get something to eat Duke's? I have to start working on the golden slag report. Even if R&D approved the purchase of it, Solle still needs a record of it to keep the budget in line.
Reyfer gave us a lot of money... Is it all right if we keep it, Logy?
To be honest, I'm not sure... I'll have to ask Marion about it. Anyway, can you get some materials for me, too?
Sure! I'll be right back.
Okay, thanks Duke! Oh, but the way, Ms. Linca... Congratulations on your victory in the competition.
Thank you, Escha. It's actually flattering to be praised so much, simply for eating. But those food tickets disappeared in the blink of an eye. If I had more, I'd have shared with you.
Huh!? You ate them all already!? How is that even possible!?
Boy, watching you eat sure was refreshing. I'd never expect a little doll like you to pack all that in there, and yet here you are.
My training consumes a lot of energy. The best way to replenish it is to consume provisions. Your restaurant certainly does not disappoint in that regard. I shall come back here in the future.
Hahahaha! Now that sounds promising! You're welcome to eat here any time! I guess I really shouldn't underestimate my female contestants... Escha, you want to join in the next round? You might even have a shot at the prize.
N-N-No way... I couldn't possibly eat all of that!
That reminds me, I forgot to ask when the next competition will be.
Yeah, about that... I actually stretched myself pretty thin on that last one. I'm gonna have to run this place normally for a while. I don't know when I'll have another tourney...
Is it that difficult to gather the ingredients?
Yeah, especially in that volume. It's not like everyone's dying to sell their food to me. Honestly, I barely scraped enough together this time... I don't know when I'll be able to throw another.
Th-That's...quite unfortunate. I was looking forward to winning more free meals...
I suppose it isn't easy to host contests like that, especially lately. I really wanted to watch.
...Well, don't sweat it! I never said I was never going to do another one. But, it probably won't be for another while. Just hang tight, all right?
Ah, those are some promising words. I look forward to it.
Yes yes, I can't wait till the next one, too!
Yeah... I guess I'm really doing this for the next generation of big eaters. Hahaha!
Ah, Mr. Logy!
What's up? You seem happy today.
I took your advice and sent that letter out to my parents. Do you remember what we talked about?
Oh, yeah... I remember that. Have there been any new developments?
I sent them a bunch of letters telling them how much fun my job with the R&D Division is. And the FINALLY accepted. So now there are no more letters of protest.
Wow, that actually worked? I know I'm the one who suggested it, but I'm kind of surprised.
It's all thanks to you, Mr. Logy! Oh, thank you so much!
I-I see... Well, I'm glad to be able to help you. But, it's...strange, that you actually enjoy work, Lucille.
I mean, if you have parents that worry so much about you... I thought you'd be feeling homesick.
Yeah... I get yelled at every day, so it's tough sometimes.
You think so? I really don't feel that useful, for some reason...
That's not true at all! Because, when I thanked you, you looked really happy!
Th-Those are two completely different things...!
What are you two talking about? It sounds like you're having lots of fun...
Oh, I just gave her some help with a problem. It's nothing serious, but it's been resolved, so... Yay?
Yes! It's all because you helped me, Mr. Logy!
I see... Aww, that's so nice that she's got someone she can rely on! Um, Lucille... You know you can talk to me about things, too, you know?
Huh? But, you always look so busy, Miss Escha...
Ugh... Okay, right, you have a point. But I'm supposed to be your mentor, right?
If you want to seem more reliable, maybe you should start by acting the part.
D-Do you think I look unreliable!?
No, not at all! You're both very helpful mentors to me, and I trust you both!
T-Thank you... B-But I'll try harder, too...so that you can rely on me!
...And here you are, taking advice from her. Hah. Did you get those ingredients for me, Escha?
Sure! They're right here.
*mumble* Yeah, looks like that's all of it. I want to get started right away.
A letter? I wonder who it's from. I wasn't expecting anything.
Maybe it's someone you knew from when you were working at Central Command?
I don't tell this to a lot of people, but when I was in Central City, I didn't have many friends.
Wow... I wouldn't have expected that. But, this IS addressed to you, Logy.
You're right... Who could it be?
Um, who is it from?
He's the...pilot of the airship I was trying to build before. My...friend back in Central City. But he was injured in an accident and can never fly again...
Was he your friend that was burned in the accident?
Yeah, the same one... I thought he'd hate me by now.
I don't think that's true. Hurry up, open it!
(I can't believe it...)
What does it say?
He'll never be a pilot again...but apparently he's doing well as an engineer. It took him a while to get his full range of motion back, but now he's living a normal life...
Wow, that's amazing! I'm glad he's doing better now.
He found out I left after he recovered, and was apparently pretty shocked. He says he wants me to come back...and that if I'm concerned about what happened, I shouldn't worry.
I... I see... U-Um, Logy? What are you going to do?
Hm? What do you mean?
Well, I was worried that maybe you would go back home...
Hahaha, I still have work here in R&D. I'm not going to up and leave.
Whew, that's a relief. We'd better write a response to your friend.
Yeah... I'll tell him I'm doing my best here. And if we ever get the chance, we should meet up. If I tell him we built a dreadnaught, he'll lose his mind. Let's send him some apples, too.
Colseit's specialty! Leave it to me to pick out the best ones!
Sure. I'll be looking forward to it.
...It's great that you can still be friends with each other, even after everything that happened.
Escha, I think we'd better head to the Fallen Ruins. We're as prepared as we're going to get...and we need to save Flameu before anything worse happens to her.
Yeah, you're right... I should get everything ready.
Music: Sleeping Nest
...Wh-What is that thing?
There are flowers blooming here...? How can that be? I've never seen those flowers before.
Neither have I... What the heck is going on here?
Logy, do you remember what Flameu said? About making Spring bloom again?
Is this what she meant...? Then Flameu must've known this was going to happen... Which means her true goal is...?
Let's go, Logy. There has to be something deeper inside.
It's beautiful, but kinda scary...
Yeah. Even I'm kind of nervous about this...
If I was able to hear her voice, then maybe I could talk to her, too...
Do I really have the ability to save that girl...?
These are definitely the remains of the Unexplored Ruins... I never thought I'd be exploring them like this.
The sign of the girl
I'm not sure, but I don't think it's a good idea to touch that.
Let's not touch this, it scares me.
It has an eerie feel to it, as if powers will be unleashed if we destroy it.
I think the owner will be angry if we break it.
I don't know about it, but let's see what happens if I break it...
... Did anything happen?
Okay, so what happens?
Hm... That scary feeling I have is only getting stronger.
This place is incredibly strange... Let's just keep moving. Who knows when the path could collapse from the weight of all these flowers?
Escha, there's another one of those weird honeycomb things in the back. Do you want to investigate it?
Something about it is making me nervous... Nothing happened the last time.
That's true, but...
We broke it, but was it all right to begin with?
Is it just me, or does it feel like it's getting more dangerous? It would help if we knew what these things were...
We should just keep going...
Let me try this time.
Escha, do the walls feel..strange to you?
Now that you mention it, yeah... It's like it's never the same shape.
We're pretty deep inside now, and we still haven't seen Flameu.
Well , we knew she's here. It's only a matter of time until we find her.
I think I see another honeycomb thing. Are we going to destroy that, too?
Well, we destroyed the other three. I still don't know what they do, but things seem to be going okay so far. What could it hurt?
There's something up ahead... It looks like...
...This girl is Flameu? She's so small...
Are you...the cradle? Is it really you?
Flameu, can you hear my voice? This is Nio.
Nio... A nice name... A beautiful name, cradle. ...Who are the rest of you? Are you friends of the cradle?
You don't remember me? I am Clone...
Remember...? I... What is it about you... I...!
I was not expecting her memory to have...eroded this much. I'm afraid that this is...
Flameu. My name is Escha Malier. I'm an alchemist from Colseit.
Escha Malier... Oh, yes. You too, are... I had thought that you'd run away long ago...
I won't run. I promise I won't run. We've come to save you, Flameu!
...I decided that I wouldn't rely on you anymore. You have no patience, easily betray your friends, and lie without a thought. You lack the will to make decisions. You are very vague...very difficult.
But, we want to become your friends, Flameu. Being all along here is no good. Let's go home, together. You can live in Colseit with us, and make new memories.
Please, wake up, Flameu. It must be so painful for you right now... I heard your voice, crying for help the whole time. Which is why we've...
It is too late. Autumn has come and gone, and so we must make Spring bloom once more. If you intend to prevent that, then I'm sorry...but I don't care who you are. I cannot allow it.
She disappeared again... But I'm sure she went deeper into the ruins.
...I apologize. I think I've lost my reason to go further. It would seem I am incapable of convincing that child.
Clone, you've come so far... Anyway, we have to keep moving forward... Flameu, I promise we'll save you.
Come on, Escha. Let's go.
This is it...
The sun has gone cold and died. Even the green earth has turned brown. There is no one left. Not a single soul. Where have they all gone? I'm...all alone now...
I'm not sure what you're trying to say... I'm not sure, but... ...It's not right for you to be suffering all on your own. I know that it's wrong!
I'm...suffering? Why am I suffering? I don't understand...
There's something I can do here.
If you work with us, together, then every day will be better and better!
...I"m sorry, but I have a promise to keep. A very very important promise. That is the sole purpose of my life right now. So please, do not interfere. I no longer need a helping hand from humans.
Escha, it's no use. Flameu wants to use her failed research to try and save the world. We have to stop her, here.
I'm ready... If this is the only way to save her, that's what we'll do! Let's go!
Music: Colony Collapse Disorder
What do you intend to accomplish? I can't tell anymore...
I never wanted it to come to this, but there's no turning back now!
She's so powerful... Did we do something bad by destroying those objects!?
If we're going to defeat Flameu, Escha, we need to use everything we have!
We're doing well so far...
This is a special bomb!
Why do you insist on interfering? This is something I must do.
I...I don't want to return to darkness!
I have a promise... A promise I made to keep.
She's unleashing her true power!
This is it. Escha. Hold on!
Logy, are you okay!?
Yeah, barely... We need to finish this now!
Don't be afraid. Let's go together.
Owwww.... What should I do...?
Sorry. I'll pull myself together.
Escha. It's time to finish this. Let's use a Double Draw and defeat Flameu!
I understand. Let's go!
I'll show you my secret!
Just hold on a little longer...
I can't let it end here!
Why does nobody...
Hear my side? I can't...keep...
Return to the Spring
Spring has come... Surely my promise will be fulfilled...someday. ...Huh? Promise... What was my promise...? I do not know... I cannot remember!
So, you have forgotten even that. It was your one true desire...
I'm glad we made it in time... I tried everything I could to bring her back. Clone, you have to face Flameu!
...Yeah, you're right, Nio.
You're...Clone? Clone...!? No, this isn't possible. You left me, and sided with the humans...!
No, you were the ones who left everyone else. You took to the skies, to be on your own.
...Ah...Ahh! Is...is that true? It can't be...
The lands continue to wither. In order to stop it, you continued your research on your own.
But...the humans would not share my path. They would not walk at my side...would not save the earth. I had stopped relying on the humans to help me. Yes... But you... You were different.
Geosys alone could never save this world. No matter how difficult it would be, we had to work together.
No! That's not true! That's why I flew into the skies...
Yes, you wouldn't know. You left all your friends behind. But, you left me a single apple seed.
The seed you left me now produces so many apples that I cannot gather the crops without help from others.
Yes, that's right... A strong apple tree that would not be defeated by anything... Why...? Why did I...?
You made a promise, a very valuable promise, to me. But, that does not matter anymore. That promise is a thing of the past...
...Ahhh! That's right, I...I made a promise with you, Clone! A very valuable...promise! While you planted trees, I would find out why the earth was withering...and I would return! And... And then once I knew, I would come back to you, and we would enjoy the apples...together!
Yes...yes! I'm home, Clone... I'm back!
Welcome home, Flameu. Your long journey is over.
I'm so sorry... I just didn't understand. I couldn't keep our promise.
As did I... But the research doesn't matter anymore. I'm just glad to see you again. I know I was supposed to welcome you home, but it took a little longer than I'd hoped... I'm sorry.
I had a very valuable...very important friend, close to me. That's what kept me going so long.
I see... I didn't know anything. Clone was in our town this whole time, but I didn't know any of this...
There was no need for you to know... Having friends provides all the motivation one needs.
Thank you very much. I'm truly glad to have met you, Escha.
Flameu... She disappeared. But why?
She's not human like us anymore. Perhaps when the interface was destroyed...she disappeared, too.
No... Flameu was simply bound to the Geosys for the time being. But she must have gone somewhere else.
That's true... I've seen lots of ruins like this one. Also... For some reason, it's like... I can still feel Flameu near me. I can sense her.
Hey, do you think we were able to save her?
Yes, of course! If we hadn't, she wouldn't have smiled the way she did. The Bumblebee Princess' story finally has a happy end, thanks to all of you.
I wonder where she'll go now? Will we ever see her again?
I'm sure you will. As long as there are more Geosys facilities in the world, she will continue to exist.
Yeah... I'm sure we will, someday.
Flameu... I will be waiting for you to finish your journey. I'll wait as long as I have to.
The journey home