Part 23: Chapter Twenty-Two: Grand CityWeve got a bit of an interesting chapter today, if only for the strangeness of events. It all started when they set out to Grand.
Well, whats it gonna be?
Soldier B: We have confirmed the authenticity of Tolenas Letter!
Soldier A: Though you may be a friend of Tolena
Our investigation was held up. I am terribly sorry.
Soldier B: Please go through.
It feels strange to be treated like an Imperial.
It does feel strange.
That Tolena girl must be a really important person within the Empire.
And so they reached Grand safely. The day seemed like it would be relatively normal.
Thats probably because it isnt under Imperial control
At least it feels like we can relax a bit here.
So Felt, wheres the next workshop?
It looks like theres one just east of here.
East of here, hmm?
And to the south lies the [Grand HWY].
Its a rural place, so itll be great for catching our breath.
Alright, lets head into town first.
Yeah, here we go.
They even got a good lead when they entered a weird shop.
Magic Shop: Oh, welcome, come in.
Youd think shed notice her own customers.
Cut her some slack, Gray.
Magic Shop: Gray?
You wouldnt happen to be Gray the Dragon Slayer, would you?!
Yes, I have been called that
Magic Shop: I knew it! Someone did come to save our village!
What are you talking about?
Magic Shop: Oh, forgive me. I was getting too far ahead of myself.
My homeland is a place called Claire east of Grand.
A dragon has recently taken residence close to our village.
Though he didnt mention why, the next statement briefly shook even the mighty dragon slayer.
Magic Shop: Ive heard youre a pro at getting rid of dragons.
The one who killed so many dragons that he was cursed with their form.
Is that a fact?
Yes it is, actually.
Magic Shop: So, are you willing to get rid of our dragon?
Whattaya say, guys?
Im going to leave that decision up to Felt.
Okay then, lets do it.
Magic Shop: Really? Great!
Ill go on ahead to notify the village.
Follow the valley to the east to get to Claire.
Thank you for helping.
Are you okay with this?
Of course. I cant wait to beat this dragon.
They headed out into Grand proper, and thats when things started getting strange.
Blue 5 to Red Leader, Im going in!
Beautiful lady, will you come to my tea party?
Oh, arent you a cutie
It really is too bad
You see, I cant associate with dirty people.
Thats called a burn, Mr. Poe.
See, you have to wash up before you hit on girls.
Who are you to talk about proper hygiene?
Hmm, looks pretty scary
There is nothing feminine about your fashion. It is not lady like at all.
Your look is rowdy.
Yeah, thats the idea.
Hmm. You have great potential
Your skin looks good and you arent wearing any make-up
Hey, I know you!
It turned out they were in fact talking to someone famous. Its best not to dwell on how Gray knew who she was. That way leads to madness.
Yes, I am. Thank you for pointing that out.
Some people dont even recognize me.
Hey, I know! Let me give you a make over! Come on, itll be a lot of fun!
Of course, there wont be any charge.
No thank you.
Im not interested in that
Thats a real shame.
I know I can make a total transformation for you if you want, but
Anyway, I work at the café down the street.
Just let me know if you ever change your mind.
Maybe you should have taken her up on her offer.
Nah, thats okay.
Thats just not my style.
Im sure you can see the direction were headed here. Anyway, they headed for the park, where a rumor suggested the richest man in town might be. Rumor also suggested he had an alchemy recipe in his possession.
???: Its that girl!
???: That sublime air, those deep, sparkling, beautiful eyes
But she looks too young.
What are you talking about?
Duvine: Hello, my name is Duvine!
Im on a quest to find the most beautiful girl in the world. A girl of unrivaled beauty!
Im willing to spend millions to find her
But, I have yet to find the woman that I seek.
This is a most arduous task, Nyago.
Um You missed me standing right here
Duvine: Im beginning to doubt if she even really exists
Hello! Im standing right here!
Duvine: Is there no end to our search?
Youre pissing me off!
Settle down, Noin.
Duvine then had a proposition for Felt.
Duvine: If you bring me another delicate beauty like her
I will give you the [Book of Hermes].
They returned to Theresa Marvel for advice on this front.
Well, you see
Hmm So, youre trying to find a girl of unrivaled beauty for Duvine.
We were hoping you might know of someone.
Oh, I know someone alright
Im talking about you Miss Noin.
Yes, you have the purity for unrivaled beauty potential.
With your full cooperation, I can transform you into the girl of unrivaled beauty Duvine is looking for.
All you have to do is put your faith in Grands number 1 stylist, Theresa Marvel.
But, I need a few items before we can begin.
Like [Moon Stone] and [Goat Milk]
I use it to make a cream that softens up your skin.
Its my own secret blend.
I just hope we can find everything
We need that [Book of Hermes]
You know, we could just beat it out of Duvine
Lets just try and unleash Noins unrivaled beauty!
You got my vote!
Well, at least someones having a good time.
It turned out they already had the supplies on hand, so they quickly got them together and handed them over.
Alrighty! Ill take it from here.
Ill send Noin over when Im done. So, go ahead and wait with Duvine.
Okay, lets go.
Okie-dokie, theyre gone
Now, lets get started
Oh, so its important to this story that you understand that as with all artists Theresa Marvel is quite mad.
Y-Your eyes! Theyre all big and sparkly!
Dont move! I dont want to cut anything Im not supposed to!
Snip, snip, snip, snip ! Ahh hahahahaha!
Felt and the others waited in the park with Duvine.
Yeah, we found her.
Duvine: Oh, really?!
Then, where is she?
???: Sorry to keep you all waiting
Felt invited me to come down here.
Theresa had also supplied Noin with a change of outfits.
Duvine: Oh, Momma!
Shes, shes, gorgeous!
Please dont stare at me so much. Youre embarrassing me.
Duvine: Oh, my dear. Your beauty is nothing to be embarrassed of! Youre--- youre perfect!
Duvine: Thank you. Thank you very much, Felt!
I have never seen such beauty in this world before!
Oh, you dont have to tell me that
Duvine: Well, here it is, just as I promised. Please take this.
System Message: Received [Book of Hermes]!
You now have the recipe for [Key of Hermes]!
The Book of Hermes told of a mysterious key that could unlock many doors that had previously been closed to Felt and his allies. There was still a bit more, though.
Duvine: Id love to see you everyday. Would you like to stay with me in my mansion?
N-No, thats not
Duvine: I can give you anything you want. Money is no object.
The thing is
My heart belongs to Felt
Duvine: Forget that idiot.
Should you be by my side, I can offer you so much more
Noin laid the man out with a single, brutal kick. Really an impressive feat in that getup.
Id never want to be with a selfish man like you!
Duvine: She even kicks beautifully
Noin walked off, and by the time they found her shed already changed.
Of course, this is the way I want to look.
Oh, and Felt
That stuff I said before, about my heart belonging to you
I only said that to get away from that old man
What are you talking about?
Oh, nothing. If you dont remember, thats fine.
We should also look around Grand some more. Theres more that we havent seen.
Thats a good idea, too.
After that awkward moment, they returned to their search. Next time, though, well se what mysteries the Key of Hermes unlocked in Eden.