Part 37: Chapter XXXI: The Grateful Traveler and Medic
Are you as tired as I am, Escha?
Maybe even more... Let's just get our report to Solle as fast as we can. I finished the report while we were flying back.
This is the end of the mystery of the Unexplored Ruins, but it's a big world out there. I'm sure there's a lot left for us to discover.
Y-Yes...! What can I do for you? I believe all necessary documents have been processed on schedule. Is something wrong...?
No, I was just wondering... If you'd care to join me...for a meal.
You want to have lunch with me? Um, w-well, I...
Mr. Solle, do you think you could take a look at these documents for me?
Huh? Were you in the middle of something? Maybe we should come back later...
Oh, I should look at these immediately! Oh dear, it appears I have quite a bit of work to do. I'm terribly sorry, but I have to take care of this.
...I see. I suppose I'll go have lunch on my own, in that case.
Really? I was afraid we'd barged in at the wrong moment.
Yes, the thing is... Ever since I went to dinner with him once, he's been pestering me to go out lately. I wonder what caused his recent change of heart... But his surprise visits are bad for my health.
Oh, really? I didn't know that's what was going on. That sounds great!
Um, I don't think it's all rainbows and butterflies.
Huh? What do you mean, Logy?
I happened to bump into them while they were having dinner.
I'm still grateful to you for that, Mr. Logy.
Wh-Why do you look so down, too, Logy?
I mean, he's your father. Why can't you just have a meal together? Who knows, maybe you'll get used to it.
How can I possibly eat comfortably in the same space with that man...? Ah, this won't do... Please revise the areas I've checked, and submit this form once more.
Oh, no! ...But, someone with delicate nerves couldn't possibly mark us off so quickly.
That's that, and this is this. I must ensure that my work image is properly maintained.
Yeah, you say that, but from that dinner i saw, I think you're having a very hard time keeping them apart.
...Well, you've sure learned to speak up.
But, I think the Branch Manager would be sad to be treated that way by his own son... The next time he invites you out to lunch, you're not allowed to turn him down! You got that?
...I will do my best. I try to tell myself that it is indeed a good opportunity. B-But, I just need a little more time. I have to prepare myself mentally for these get-togethers.
Anyway, Escha, why don't you fix those mistakes?
I still can't believe I made those mistakes... I've done these reports before.
It's nothing to get upset about. We all make mistakes every now and then.
I know, I know...
Hey, you're not at the bar today? That's rare... Is something on your mind?
Something like that. Now that I've struck it big, I'm tryin' to decide what I should do next. There are quite a few ruins in the area, so I think I could do the rounds relatively quickly. I mean, I doubt I'll get a haul that big ever again, so... Maybe it's time I settled down somewhere.
You want to live in Colseit...? That doesn't suit you, somehow.
Tch... Words can hurt, y'know? Are you sayin' I'll always be a rollin' stone, getting no moss?
That's not what I said... It's just always give the impression you'd always be chasing treasure.
Still, I do give a lot of thought on how I spend my money, y'know? Maybe I should go all-in and buy a blimp... Or buy a nice mansion...or hire some girls and open a bar.
You mean you seriously haven't decided what to do? I thought you'd already executed your master plan.
About that... Truth is, I really haven't decided on how to spend all this money yet.
Are you kidding? After cutting all these corners, you mean you have no idea what to do with your money?
So, I ran away, taking with me nothing but a single loaf of bread that I managed to steal.
Wh-What's this all of a sudden? Is that true?
Yeah, it is. So from there, I lived a desperate life. Hiding in the mountains, hunting game to eat... I was like a wild dog. One day I was so hungry I couldn't even move. A gentleman happened by... He was kind enough to share his food with me, and that was when I met my treasure hunting master.
I see... And that's when it all began for you.
I promised to become rich, and show everyone in my village a different life. I promised that to my master. Guess what he did then? He punched me right in the jaw. "What kind of boring dream is that?" he asked me. He taught me that I should buy my own dreams with my own money once I grew into a real treasure hunter. Since then, I've been searching for that dream. Something that'd be worthy of all the work I'd put in.
...And that dream is to buy a mansion in this town?
That's the only thing that comes to mind right now. Do you think that sort of things suits me?
...Actually, it doesn't.
I was hoping you'd say that. Anyway, if I keep hunting for treasure, I know it'll come to me. I'm gonna continue searching for that dream! Big treasure... Big dreams!
Heh, I hope you find that dream you're looking for.
Chasing my dreams, huh...
That's an odd look for Linca... What's wrong, Linca? You're standing around with a blank look on your face.
Oh, it's you, Logy. Good timing, I have something to ask of you. I want you to listen to the story of my past.
I don't mind, but this sure is sudden. Does it have something to do with the other Linca we met?
Yes. And I want you to keep this story secret from Escha. If Escha heard this, she would hate me...
I'm sure you're worrying too much. I know Escha would understand. But, if you don't want me to tell her, then I won't.
Thank you, Logy.
I listened to the people who raised me, and together with the other Lincas...
...That doesn't sound like you were simply a mischievious kid.
Indeed. However, eventually we got lost, and most of us were captured, along with those who raised us. The person who saved me was one of my enemies at the time: Marion.
Well, that sounds like a good story. So that's why you feel like you need to repay Marion...
No, that's not all. One day, I happened to overhear something. Marion had had an argument with her superior and tried to defend me. She ended up getting demoted.
Really... So that's why she was sent to the frontier...
My organization was destroyed, but many Lincas managed to escape captivity from Central City. I know of at least eight of us, including myself. I don't know where most of them are.
Eight? Why are there so many...?
I haven't been thinking about their lives...just fighting off any Lincas who attack.
There's a whole lot of weirdness going on here. But I can tell you one thing. It's only natural that you would lead a different life. Cursing your blessings keeps you from moving on. I don't think there's any reason for you to be so afraid to live. Live your own life, Linca.
Is it really okay to do as I please...? I feel like I rely too much on the sympathy of others.
I think you already made your decision, when you refused to go with the other Linca.
i see... Maybe I already have.
(At least eight Lincas... And they all look exactly the same. How does something like that happen in the first place? Unless she's... No, couldn't be. No use thinking about it.)
*Sigh* I wonder if this will be okay...
C'mon, what's that sigh for?
O-Oh, Mr. Logy...! I'm sorry!
Why are you apologizing to me? Go ahead and tell me what's the matter.
Oh, right... Actually, it's about my parents.
I thought we'd already laid that problem to rest...
Yes, well, there's actually another little problem with that...
*Sigh* And now what's wrong?
I've been telling them how much fun I've been having at work in my letters to them. But then, finally...
Wha-!? But how!?
It sounded like I wasn't going to come home for a long time, and my father collapsed from loneliness.
From loneli--wow. So what's the situation right now?
My mother wrote to me, and said that my father wrote all those letters because he missed me. And that all my letters saying how much I liked it here made him think I was never coming home, and...
Uh... There's not much we can really do about that, is there? I mean, you're working with us now.
I know, and this is something he agreed to before, so even if he's telling me this now, it's awful. So, um... What do you think I should say in my letters? I can't come up with anything good.
Well, the bottom line is that you're not getting any more letters of protest. Maybe you can just stop?
Honestly, I don't think anything's going to work at this point. You might as well stop talking to him.
I can't do that! It's not like we got into a fight or anything.
Oh, suit yourselves.
Oh, no... Mr. Logy! How can you be so heartless!? You're going to abandon me!?
Wha--!? N-No, this isn't what's going on... You've got it all wrong!
He's not picking on me... But I have a problem, and he doesn't want to help me with it... Please don't desert me... Let me pick your brain! Mr. Logyyyyyyy...!
Aaaargh, it's not fair! How come she's always running to YOU for help, Logy!?
Please... Give me a break... More importantly, did you fix the report, Escha?
Yes, but that's not important right now! Lucille, Logy, come with me!
Wha--!? Where are you taking me?
Marion wanted us!
(I've never seen Escha like this...)
...Wait, from Central City? Why would they send a request to us all the way out here?
Um, please allow me to explain that.
Huh? You're in charge of this meeting, Lucille? What's going on here?
My family lives in the Business District in Central. We're in distribution, and own the Ernella Company.
The Ernella Company? The one that specializes in pharmaceuticals? Are you kidding?
Wow... Lucille Ernella, from THE Ernellas... Why did I realize it sooner? Your family is loaded!
Um... I don't really know what's going on, but I guess Lucille's family is really really rich?
"Rich" doesn't begin to describe them. But what's a wealthy heiress doing all the way out in Colseit?
I was being selfish, and asked to be stationed as far from Central City as I could. If I go somewhere where the company has influence, nobody wants to let me do any real work...
I see... You could have told us sooner.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hide it from you guys or anything...
I kind of understand how you feel. If I knew that from the start, I'd probably treat you differently...
But our next job is a request from the Ernella Company itself. Lucille and I decided it's best you knew.
Ooooooooh. So, what's the job this time?
...Do you remember that epidemic that spread across the region a little while ago? It might be back. The company's trying to develop a new vaccine for the virus in order to prepare for the worst.
The epidemic...might spread again...?
And they want our help in the matter, is that it?
The company is sending out requests to a number of regions, but I'm sure we got one because of me. I have no idea how much we can do here, but...
No! If they 're working hard to make a vaccine, we need to do our best to ensure they get what they need. Let's all put our heads together, and do what we can!
Miss Escha...thank you so much!
Boss, what's the duration for this assignment?
We're all being told that the deadline is "until the vaccine is complete". But, frankly, I can't say when that'll be, so I can't make it your primary assignment.
So, we're supposed to work on it when we have the time?
Hmm... If only we knew someone who knew medicine...
Hm... I thought I had some books on medicine, but I can't really find anything that works.
That's not good... Maybe we can see Nio? She might know something about medicinal herbs that we should use.
Yes. I thought that maybe Miss Nio would know some ways to help create the vaccine.
Nio, do you happen to know anything about it?
And there's no one vaccine that can prevent all types. It's simply impossible to create a perfect one.
Ooooh... So it can't be done after all...
If you can eliminate some of the options and focus on the one that's spreading, I might be able to help. I'll try to do some research on my own, but I can loan you some books that might be of some use.
Thank you, Ms. Nio! That would be a huge help!
The only thing is... They're written in ancient script, and they're hard reading.
W-Well... I know a little of the ancient language...
All right, then, wait right here. I'll go find you some books that will come in handy.
Yes, it certainly seems that way.
What's the matter, Lucille? You don't look too happy...
Oh, no, I'm happy. Really, I am! It's just that I'm not all that great at the ancient language... But because most books on medicine are written in it, I studied really hard...but I'm still slow with it.
Yeah... I heard that most people who study medicine hit a road block there.
Right... And I tried studying the medicine and not the language, but even then I didn't get much faster.
D-Don't worry! I'm sure you'll do just fine, Lucille!
But even if you say that...
Th-Thank you very much! A-All right... I need to read through these!
Thanks, Ms. Nio! If we find out more information, we'll let you know right away.
Sure. I know it won't be easy, so hang in there.
I guess I'll try reading them in the atelier. If we all pitch in, we'll learn more.
Let's split up and try to find some useful information.
Y-Yes... I'll do my best.
Hmm... This is pretty tough. Can Miss Nio really read all of this?
Well, she has more time to study than us, but still, these books... This is about the effects of various plant extracts, with side effects on specific combinations... Man, this is going to take a while just to read, let alone understand...
I guess it wasn't as easy as we thought... How are you doing, Lucille?
I can't understand... How can you two read such a difficult book so easily!?
It's hardly easy. I have no idea what we're looking at here.
But, but, at least you can tell that you don't know anything! It took me years to be able to read that much...and I was always the slowest reader in my class... And I know people made fun of me behind my back, saying I'd never be a doctor... That I was spoiled...
That's not true! Lucille, you worked so hard up until now!
But I'm still not good enough! I studied hard so I could be a doctor, and I'm always left behind! In the end, I became a government worker so I could use what I learned to help people around me... I wanted to help, but I only ended up causing nothing but trouble...
Don't worry! If you put your mind to it, you'll be able to do all sorts of things!
Nothing I do goes according to my plan. Even if I continued to work here, I feel that I...
Hey, we just started on this case. You've got to give it more time. Don't give up before we start!
Yeah, b-but...that doesn't make me any more useful...
Lucille... You know, I wasn't able to read these books until very recently myself.
Huh? But... You never said that...
When Escha started out working here, she couldn't do most of the more difficult Syntheses. She studied really really hard during all her spare time to be able to read the way she can now.
Then, you mean... Miss Escha?
It's nothing to brag about, but I'm actually not that good at studying. C'mon, let's do this research together. I don't know half of these plants. I need your help!
You...need me to teach you?
I don't know much about herbs, either, so I will read this out loud to you. Can you tell me what it means?
...That took us quite a while.
But, I think we can create a recipe now...!
That's great, but... It looks really difficult to make. Are you sure we can Synthesize this?
This is the best recipe we came up with. I'm surprised Lucille knew that much.
Yeah, even I needed help. I only know about plants that are really useful in alchemy. Thank goodness Nio knows so much about flowers and herbs.
This vaccine should cure the epidemic... I can't believe we were able to make it ourselves!
Like Nio said... It's not going to work on everything, but it's better than nothing at all. All that's left is to give it to the Ernella Company to see if it works as a cure.
Yes! I'll send it home right away! Um... Thank you both so much. For cheering me on, and...supporting me, after I caused so much trouble.
All we ask is that when you have people working under you you help them in the same way we helped you.
You won't be our assistant forever. If you keep working hard in what you do, you're going to grow.
Yes! I know I'm going to bother you more in the future, but promise me you'll take good care of me!
This area is really good for training.
Yeah, I know! I'm getting lot stronger lately, and with these weapons you made for everyone...
We've both grown a lot since we started. Wait...
What is it?
I've been making notes on items we've been using in battle, and it looks like we've used 60 different types. That means...
We've completed all our assignments. Take a look!
I can't believe it...
Come on, we need to let Marion know right away!
Well, I have to write the report first... When we get back, why don't you ask Lucille if the vaccine was successful? We've been too busy out here to really follow up on that, but we'll have time after we get back.
I received a letter from my family. The vaccine we sent them arrived safe and sound.
Really? And did the vaccine work?
They're going to do a more thorough trial, but they said that the preliminary checks are promising. Apparently it's much better than the ones their other vendors sent them!
That's great news...! I hope that we can save even just a few more people with this medicine.
Yes... There are new illnesses all over the world, and it's hard to develop cures fast enough. But, if we can help them make another cure like this, I think we'll help even more people...
Ahahaha, yeah. I hope that that day will come.
Can I ask you something...? Why did you go so far to help me?
I mean, when we were making the medicine, you worked so hard to help me out...
I-I see. I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was being so insensitive!
No, it's okay. It was so long ago that I don't remember much about that time. But maybe that's why I tried so hard to help you with this cure. Like I was somehow helping her...
Miss Escha... Thank you so much! It's all thanks to you guys that we were this successful.
I think you were a big part of this too, Lucille. You worked really hard in helping us figure it out. If you ever need help with something, feel free to talk to us. We are your mentors, after all.
Hey... Why are you blushing so much?
Uh...it's nothing! Just something Lucille said.
A-Anyway! Did you turn in our final report to Marion?
Yeah. She said we did a great job, and that R&D is fully developed. Our efforts over the past three years have put R&D at the top of all the departments here.
R-Really...!? That's amazing.
It's thanks to her and everyone else we were able to do it. Central is going to flip when they hear about everything we've done here.
I'm still surprised we were able to do so much... Let's go say hi to Clone. It's about time to help with the harvest again.
It is that time of year, isn't it? I want to help this time.
There are new discoveries every time you go out, and it's so fun you don't ever want to stop.
Isn't it? I really like this work, too.
I'm so jealous that you get to go to so many places and get paid for it! I can kind of understand how my parents enjoyed their business trips.
Now that you mention it, have you ever thought of traveling with your parents? I know they're off on business, and somebody has to watch the store, but you must get lonely sometimes.
It's a little more complicated than that... I kind of feel like I'd be getting in their way.
I don't think you would. You always work so hard while you're investigating with us.
Yeah. Even with their daughter right in front of them, they're all over each other. They do take good care of me, but they get even more heated up for each other.
Well, that's quite a story.
Yup. I think I'd get a little worn out being with those two on a trip for any length of time.
So you let your parents be together while you mind the store for them! That's so thoughtful...
I see. So that's why you seem a little mature for your age.
They told me all about how their romance started, too. When my dad opened the store, he hired my mom. And their working relationship quickly turned intimate.
And they told you all that? Sounds like you had a rough childhood...
But it does sound like a romantic story. I'd kind of like something like that, too...
Who are you talking about?
...Sorry, my mistake.
Aww... I wanted to meet the happy couple...
Well, I doubt we would ever meet a couple as passionate as Katla's parents.
Y-Yeah. I'm sure. Ahahaha... Hee...
What's going on, Wilbell? You look happy.
I'm finally ready to make a new contract. Now I can go make a contract with the Fire Lord.
You did mention something about that before. Sorry, we were so busy with the engine that I forgot.
Oh, you... Well, whatever, you did seem really busy, so don't worry about it.
So, if you're going to make a contract, we need to go see the Fire Lord again, right?
Yep. If you have some time to go out to the Wastes, would you mind taking me along, too? I was planning to go alone, but I have been helping you out. You'll return the favor now, right?
Of course we'll help you!
Is there anything we should prepare?
What? We have to fight the Fire Lord?
Well, you did put her in a good mood before, so if all goes well, I might just be able to talk to her. ...But it's pretty are for things to go that way. Spirits usually want to test your strength first.
I see. Is it okay for us to take part in that battle, then? It seems like you'd have to fight 1 on 1...
Only if the spirits asks for it. But if I'm allowed help, I'd like your best assistance in this thing. Anyway, I don't know what the Lord of Fire will say, so you should be prepared just in case.
Um... I really want to ask, but...the Fire Lord is really strong, isn't she?
...Probably. Someone did build an altar for her, so she was worshiped at some point in the past. In any case, it would probably be hard to avoid a heated battle...
She'd definitely be a powerful ally, but she could also become a fearsome enemy. We don't know how strong she is, so we should do everything we can do to prepare to face her.
Well, there's no rush, and we have plenty of time... The harvest is more important.
Right. I want to see how it's done.
Could it be...Flameu?
Hello, little alchemist.
I never would've imagined... I would encounter you here!
The first Geosys facility was built here, long ago. There is not much Spring left, but there is probably enough for us to talk.
I see... Then did you speak with Clone, too?
Yes. I learned a lot from her. She told me everything that happened up until now, and about you kids, too. She told me everything she could... I think we talked for so long that we both got a little tired.
Ha, I see... Well, I'm glad you and Clone were able to talk after all.
And... We're sorry about having to wake you up the way we did. It was all we could think of.
To think that the little seed would grow into such a magnificent orchard. It's unbelievable. Apparently, it took much effort, but...the humans never gave up. I thought we'd never see eye-to-eye.
We do fight over small things all the time. That's why it's so important to work together. Because working through that, no matter how tough, is what makes the world a better place if we try.
You can go in the wrong direction but not notice it for a while. Alchemists of the past, and of today... We all try to move forward, one step at a time.
...You're absolutely right. I think what you say is true. I would like to try once more. I think there's still more that I'm capable of. And now, I won't be by myself. I have very valuable friends by my side.
Yeah... That's true!
I want to give this to you two...
A brand new life. Someday, it will bloom into a beautiful flower. Please, take good care of it.
Flameu, thank you so much! We'll cherish it!
Looks like she's gone... But I'm sure we'll be able to see her again.
Me, too. I want to try planting this. And one day, I can show this flower to Flameu.