The Let's Play Archive

Atelier Lulua

by Sylphid

Part 10: IX: Pages of Great Ambition

Chapter IX: Pages of Great Ambition

After entering this chapter, you lose 7 days traveling back to Arklys from the other side of the continent. Apparently Dragon was really hustling, because normally it takes more than twice that long. Atelier Lulua

Hey, Lulua!! We're all done now!
Come on out!
Fiiine, I'm on my way...

Fun fact: this CG is purposefully nearly identical to the first CG of Atelier Rorona, when Astrid makes the sign and officially changes the name of her workshop to "Atelier Rorona". Everyone lines up perfectly and in the same roles: Lulua as the protagonist, Piana as the teacher, and Eva as the childhood friend. Only really big difference is the color of the liquid in the flask, Eva is happy where Cory was angry, and the background.

"Atelier Lulua"... You really changed the sign...
Of course we did. It is your atelier, after all.
Yeah! And it's such a lovely sign!
Sure, I mean, yeah it is, but... It's such a heavy, heavy...heavy burden...
Tehehe... Good luck with your new shop, Lulua!
Well, looks like my work here is done. I'll head back to my atelier. See you! *returns to the Wagon Atelier*

This actually raises an interesting dilemma. I think Piana lives in the Wagon Atelier: she's always standing near it in towns and most scenes involving her are in the wagon. So Lulua is imposing quite a bit by constantly hanging out there, but Piana is a willing teacher.

Bye, Ms. Piana!
Oh? You don't look too good, Lulua. Something wrong?
Well of course... How else can I look with all that's happening... I can't stop worrying...
Yes. I mean, this atelier has my name now, but this used to be my mother's atelier. And if I don't take proper care of this place, it could totally ruin Mom's reputation!

Aww, you just worry too much. You've improved so much! You can handle proper atelier work, no problem!
That's not true... I'm just not as bad as I used to be. Compared to my mother or Teacher, I'm still a beginner. What should I do now... Sorry, Eva. I think I should go talk to Teacher about this.
Oh, yeah, sure thing. I'll see you later.

*Lulua wanders off*

Oh, Lulua...

Fun fact: although this game is called "Atelier Lulua", and we finally have a place IN the game called Atelier Lulua, as I mentioned, you hardly ever go to her house for scenes. "Atelier Lulua" much more aptly describes the Wagon Atelier, but at the very least, she's not the first Atelier protagonist like that.

After that scene, you get more Exploration Equipment and Battle Equipment slots, and you'll get this periodic upgrades throughout the plot, but never mind that.

Wow, so many events....nah. This is just the game's strange way of showing you that you really can't do anything else until you see the next plot scene. In fact, if you try...

No time for side trips this time. Just go straight to the Teacher's atelier...

Fine, fine... The plan

Greetings, Nano Master.
Oh, Lulua. What's wrong? I thought you would be busy mixing things up at your atelier.
Would you mind if I asked you for advice on something?

*Lulua explains her latest problem*

Hmm... I see. So as the new shop owner, you're afraid of ruining Rorona's reputation?
Yes... But I guess there's nothing I can do, yeah?
Well, there's really only one thing to do. You must build up your skill as an alchemist! That way, no matter what kind of work you get, you'll be able to face it!
Build up my skill... But how do I even do that...?
Keeping up with your studies is the best. Personally, I don't really think there's a reason to hurry... Compared to your work from not that long ago, you've already improved quite a lot! I'm almost a little jealous.
Well, that might be so, but... I have to do more! Be better! For my mother's sake! I want to become a better alchemist... Oh? *Alchemyriddle glows*
What is it, Nano Master? Wait, don't tell me...
Yes. "Alchemyriddle" is glowing... Ah. Look! Just as I thought, new text has appeared! What does it say, what does it say...?! A door to Fellsgalaxen...? Oh! I see what it means!

What? Destroy a door?? What's going on?!
This door you're talking about is the huge one right near the entrance to Fellsgalaxen?
Yeah! That door is such a bother, too. Because of it, nobody can get any further in.
Oh... Right. Wasn't Arklys originally built to investigate Fellsgalaxen?
Yes. However, any attempts at investigation of the interior have been fruitless. As a result, Arklys became deserted and lonely.
Hey, Chim Dragon! There is a kinder way to say it...
Ahaha, no, it's fine. It's the truth... But, anyway, I need to destroy that door!

Music: Creating Our Future

And then! The research will begin again, and Arklys will become more prosperous! And everyone will be happy! Thank you for the idea, Riddle!

Well...that's one way things can happen.

Alchemyriddle... Just what ARE you...?
Hehe! In any case, let's get going! I can't wait! I'm all fired up!

Alright, from this point in the plot, the game starts to resemble more traditional Atelier fare instead of being ushered along a pretty strict story progression like the first few chapters of the game, already covered by the first 8 updates of this thread. By "traditional", I mean there's more areas to explore, events happening all over the map, and character builds, in addition to continuing the story. But before we head out into the big world, there are a number of events in Arklys, mostly because we haven't been here for nearly half the thread. Best buds

Ahahaha! Great minds think alike! I believe we do make the best partners!
Ugh, what did I do to deserve this... I would prefer to not get too familiar.
Oh, really? You say that, but you're out here! Right next to me! Could it be... Maybe it's the girl that you're interested in instead...?
WHA...! I'll cut you.
Ugh! No-no-no! What did I say before? Human or monster, everyone has their reasons!
And your reasons are--oh, is that you, Lulua? What are you doing, just standing there?
Oh, well, I was just on my way to collect a few things. Are you two finishing up some work?
Yup! Aurel just kept begging me to join him!
I'm pretty sure you just brought yourself along. Anyway, if you're going out, I'll come with you, Lulua.
Ahaha! Of course, I'll help, too! It's always better to have more hands to help out!
Really? That would be great! Thanks, you guys!
Hmph. This will also help me with my training as a swordsman.
Ahaha! You liar. You just want to be with Lulua--whoa!!

Damn, I missed.
Hey! How about you don't go swingin' that thing around, huh?! I need time to prepare my magic before you go sawing me in half!
Haha, it's good to see you two become so close. Anyway, I'll be relying on you!
No problem. I'll lend you a hand while I feel like it.
Me too! Ahahahaha! Looking forward to working with you, Lulua!

Now that all that pleasantry is out of the way, time for a big batch of scenes at the orphanage. It was a busy day there, okay?

Since you're here, would you like to take anything home?
Ohh, really? Yes! Or, I wish I could, but I can't advantage of you guys like that...
In that case... What if we say this is a shop? And anything that you decide to take, you pay money for it. That way, you'll be helping the orphanage and getting items you need. It's a win-win, right?
Ohh, that's a great idea...! Don't you think so, Lulua?
Yes, of course! Thanks, Father!

And like that, Benon's shop is now open. He sells a bunch of pretty high-quality ingredients, as well as the only place in the game you can get Nostalgic Spice from, for the moment. Well, "high-quality" in that they're almost all 40 Quality, but hey, better than most things you can gather right now.

Have a feeling she'll invite herself in no matter what the time of day. Betting man

Everyone: Yay!
Ah, you caught me! Haha, it just looked like I picked the perfect time to stop by...
Haha, it's fine, Eva. We have plenty of snacks to go around... Here you go! Treats for Lulua and Eva.
Yay! I love you, Father Benon!
Hehe, thank you! Oh, this is one of those packages where you can win a prize.
Oh, yes. I thought that would be fun for everyone. OK, everyone, let's open them together! One, two...three!
Oh, I won!
Me too! Me too!
Hm, it seems I've won too.
Whoa, me too?!
No way, I won too! These odds are unbelievable...
Yeah. So, it's...just Father Benon left, now...
*disappointed groans*
I probably don't need to ask, but... Um, Father...?
Hahaha... No win for me, naturally.

Oh, Father Benon always has bad luck. I'm going out!

*Alf and Renen run off*

Ah... I suppose I never have won any kind of lottery... Even though everyone else won... Why, I wonder...
Oh, Father Benon, please cheer up! Even if you don't have any luck with lotteries...oh.
That's right, I know, I have no luck... I'm always... *sniff*
Eva... I don't think there's anything we can say to help him right now... Why don't we leave him be?
Yeah... Oh, Father Benon...

*the kids run back in*

I'm back! Look at this, Father Benon!

Hehe. We traded it for our prizes! Now you can eat them with us, Father Benon!
You two... Oh... You're all such good kids! Haha, yes. Let's eat them together, then. Gather 'round, everyone!
Haha, and now he's just smiling away. Good work, Alf and Renen.
Indeed. The two of them grow by the day...
Hehe, I suppose so. ...Though it sounds a bit strange coming from you, Mana.
I may have no luck with lotteries... But I'm happy just having all of you here with me.
OK! Heh, I'm happy too, Father Benon!

Again, that vocabulary... Anyway, Benon seems like a nice guy, but let's just say I wouldn't go to Vegas with him any time soon. Or get on an airplane.

Next up, another scene in the orphanage. Part of the reason there are so many scenes in the orphanage is because a lot of Eva's character scenes take place there. We've already seen some of Aurel's character scenes, for the record, since most of his happen in Arland.The sweet big sister

Hey, Eva! Hmm... Looks like today is pretty busy around here...
Oh, Lulua! Hello, Lulua! Yeah, I'll be busy all day. There's so much work piling up now...
Ah, sorry about that... I've been all over the place trying to gather everything...
It's fine, you don't have to worry. It's not your fault anyway. Besides, everyone else should be helping out. Alf, Renen, Lars!

Hey, what's up, Eva?
Need a hand?
Leave it to us! We'll clean it up in a jiffy!
Hehe, thanks guys! Guess I better figure out who does what...
Well, well, I guess I'm not needed after all, Eva.
Oh, Father Benon. Shes even more engrossed in her work, isn't she?
Yes. It is probably because I'm so undependable... Eva has been working very hard for our sakes. She's like the mother of this place. Hahaha!
Dear Father... Please say I'm more like a sister.
Oh no, the way you look after and protect the little ones, you're definitely more like a mother.

The wind seems to have changed all of a sudden...

Yes, I see. Sister. You are a sister.
Ahahaha!! You are scary, Eva! Even Father Benon is no match for you!
I'm not scary...! Anyway, I have to get the food ready for children! Listen up! We're having curry today! Let's work hard and we can have a treat for dinner!

Hehe! I see you've sneaked into the ranks, Lulua.
Uh-oh, you caught me. But I really don't want to mis sout on the curry either... I'll help out with some of the work! So...can I have some of the curry, too?
Of course! And in that case, Lulua, you can...
Heh heh...

Welcome to the Guiding Light Forest, located just north of the Empty Neighborhood. Nice-looking quiet forest around here, especially at night, but there is one thing you should get while you're visiting this pristine locale: catching a Bomb Fish in the water around here. Guess what I didn't do? Again, just gotta talk yourself out of the notion that you're timed.

Well, I should say that there is something important happening in December, back in Arland, but we've got plenty of time until then. You'll see. Enemies around here are early game rubbish, like Audras, Wolves, and Red/Green Puni. Harmless bunch, really.

It's a nice place, just not a lot of action. Which I wouldn't want there to be, to be fair.

While you're in the neighborhood, it would be a good idea to stop by the Eternal Spring if you haven't defeated an Ice Spirit yet. Need one of their heads for a riddle, you see. Strangely enough, not weak to Fire, believe it or not. When I got back to town, another bunch of scenes popped up. This video incorporates both Lisa scenes. The Monster

Lisa...? What's wrong? Oh no... Not that again...
Yeah, you already know... I did it again... And now I don't have enough ingredients... What in the world should I do...
Ahaha... Not having enough ingredients is definitely a problem... Here, I'll help you out. Want me to bring you some stuff?
Oh, are you sure...? This is my fault after all...
Of course I'm sure! You're always helping me out anyway, Lisa! Plus, it's my duty as a lowly alchemist! I can't just ignore those in need!

In that case, I'll take you up on your offer... These are the items I really need...
I see, I see... Got it! Be back soon, Lisa!
Please do take care!

She wants three Carrots of sufficient quality, so if you don't have them, one of the vendors in the Town Square sells them. I'm sure it'll be fine.

Before we get back to her, I should talk about this chapter's riddles, since they're a bit more...oblique than previous chapters? Yeah, let's go with that. Case in point, that Angel's Providence riddle. It involves beating up an Ice Spirit (just did) and blowing up a crystal and gathering a Blessed Stone. Note that I said "blow up". Those small crystals like in Fellsgalaxen you could smash with your staff don't count. You need to use a Mining Bomb to blow up the crystals I'm talking about, and, unfortunately, Destruction Level 2 is not gonna cut it.

So, this is where Awakening Effects come in. Unfortunately (yes, again) I do not believe this is possible to achieve prior to finishing the second story riddle of this chapter, mostly thanks to the fact you can't synthesize any (Gunpowder) items before then. Just the way it's gonna have to be. The second big roadblock is to get to alchemy level 20. That's four levels from where I am now, so yeah, not going to 100% this chapter for a bit.

Of course... Just careful you don't come out of the experience with a few extra holes in you.

Oh yeah, I had two Carrots I could have given Lisa, but she wants three. See, that's the...kind of weird thing about requests like this, in that if you have *some* of the items but not all the ones being asked for, you don't even get the option to hand over the items. Strange way to handle it if you ask me.

Wow, thank you so much, Lulua! These look really good, too...! I'm sure I'll be able to make something delicious. Delicious... So delicious... I think I better have just a taste...
Hold on! Wait a second! Lisa, stop!!
Huh?! Uh-oh... Did I...?
Yup, that was close...! You didn't even realize it! You're a bit of a binge eater. And once you see something delicious, you kind of get sucked in.
Yes, you're right...
You're so pretty and nice, but... Your stomach is like some kind of food demon...

The Smiling Goddess and Demon Devourer of Worlds... Wow, that's quite the combo...
Aww, it's just's that... Delicious food just looks so good, right? I see it and my hand just reaches out... I'm sorry...
Well, I'm not trying to come after you or anything... You still look flawless when eating!

Don't you dare. I'm just going to carry all of this into the kitchen!
Oh no! Just let me have a taste! Just a little, Lulua! Come on, Lulua...!!

I'll never look at the cute bartender the same way again... The protecting belle

Hm? What's wrong, Lulua? Did I say something strange?
No... It's just I have this strange feeling... Didn't you used to use a gun before...? Back when we were younger and I went outside the town, you used it to save me from a monster once, right? I'm certain it was a gun back then... Guess my memory is a little fuzzy.
No, you're right. I used to use guns, but I switched over to cannons. that, apparently.

I see... But isn't it heavy? It must be a lot of work to carry around...
Tehehe, it's not that bad. I think it suits me better. A cannon has more fire power than a gun, doesn't it? Plus, the area of attack is larger. So it's great for fighting multiple monsters at once. Essentially... If you're ever in a pinch, a cannon is a much better option to use!
Ohh, that makes sense... But do you really find yourself in pinches that often?

Ah... I can't even say anything to that...
Hehe! And that's why I use a cannon to protect myself and the orphanage.
I see! As expected from Eva! You're always thinking of others! And here I thought you preferred it because using one cannon shot is cheaper than multiple gun bullets...
Well... That's another reason.
Oh, after all? Ahaha... I just wish I had more money...
Yeah... The world is not too kind...

Though, not when it comes to gun control in this country, evidently. So after this scene, I wanted to finish up Piana's little assignment where she wanted some simple medicine to test our progress. What that means is a Healing Salve at 30 Quality or greater, which I had to make, but doing so did get this crucial scene.

Ah. About the service discussed earlier, yes? Very well.
Huh? What service?
Oh! Hey, Lulua! Hehe. You're going to love this. It's a real lifesaver for alchemists. It's called Wholesale! I figured it's about time for you to try it out!
That's correct. Allow me to explain. Wholesale is a method of...

It's a simple mechanic, but a very important one. All those usable items / synthesis items you've been making up till now? You can register almost all of them at Dragon's, and after 10 days, he'll stock 10 exact copies of that item for a nominal fee. Well, before I say "nominal", I should say that there are three primary sources that game looks at to determine how much a copy costs: the Quality, the traits, and the item itself. At this point in the game, with the item selection you have, copies will struggle to break 200 Cole. It can go up to like 14k Cole, but that's only for very late-game items with all the best traits and Quality.

For this point in the game, Dragon can only register 3 items to copy at a time. Throughout the game, Dragon will announce that more and more slots are available for item registration. The other limitation is that Exploration Tools, Special Synthesis Items (they're classified under the (Important) category, and you can only make one of them a playthrough. We haven't seen any of these yet), and Accessories can't be registered under any circumstances. As for how he does all this? Don't worry about it. He doesn't require anything to make copies of items aside from time. Every 10 days from this scene, actually. All items get restocked at the same time.

Thus concludes my explanation. In short, I can duplicate items and sell them at a reasonable cost.
W-Wow! That sounds really useful! But, um, if you've been able to do that the whole time, why didn't you tell me sooner?
Ah, yeah... That's, um, your teacher, I have to expose you to some hardships to help you grow...

Hardships like fighting a dragon? Piana is quite the instructor.

I was unable to offer this service until now because of an enormous order placed by the Master. I have only now, finally--FINALLY--reached a point where I can accept other requests.
...Is that true?
A-Ahaha! I have NO idea what Chim's talking about! Anyway, like I was saying, Wholesale! It's super helpful! Try it out with lots of items!

Understood. I will do my best to assist. Within reasonable limitations, that is.

You should start off by wholesaling any good healing items / weapon / armor crafting items with Dragon, because if you're like me you purposefully avoided kitting out folks until you could gain access to this system. Of course, you'd have to know when it was made available, so luckily I did. Isn't it great how things work out like that?

Next scene happens when you hand over a 30+ Quality Healing Salve to Piana. Mischevious girl

Ah, excellent! Hmm... It looks good, and it smells good too. At first glance, it looks like you pass, but... The real challenge is whether it actually works. Therefore, let's give it a try. Hm.

Uhhh... Was 34 not good enough?

No, don't tell me I screwed up?! Ms. Pianaaaa!!

Not again...
Yup. Hehehe. Well? Were you surprised?
I almost died from shock! I thought I might've poisoned you!
Ahaha, sorry, sorry! Although, you really should learn to trust your abilities. You're even better at making this medicine than before. I can see that all that studying is paying off.
Hehehe. If you say so. That's a relief. But I'm not going to forget this trick you played! One of these days, I'll get you back!
Ahahahaha! YOU'LL get ME back? You're much too kind. Have you got what it takes? Well, I'll forward to it. At any rate, good work synthesizing the medicine.

Piana is still the young girl who ripped Gerhard's mustache off, it seems.

Fellsgalaxen is still a valuable place to come even without high explosives for that door, because you'll frequently get a couple of jobs calling for hunting Bats, and also Fang Flyers specifically, which you can accomplish both at the same time if you beat up these fellows. It's good for some pretty good early game scratch, if I do say so myself.

In addition to the pure convenience of getting to buy copies of valuable items you make, you can also use Wholesaling as a money-making venture. Register an item you know is being asked for, like Globes or Nectars, as high quality as possible, then buy them and turn them in to fulfill job requests. You'll basically always be making a big profit, and I'll just say for now, you wanna start saving up to at least 10k Cole for December. Won't say why for now, but trust me, it's worth it. As for me, again, I'm trying to stay as honest as possible when it comes to spending. Of course, also be sure to fulfill requests for excess materials you can easily part with. After fulfilling a handful of Lisa requests, this scene pops up... Sisterly love?

It's really good. Thanks.
Lisaaa! I'm hungry... Oh, Refle! That looks really good!
Oh, Lulua! Good afternoon!
Good afternoon! Hmm... So it's seafood today... Did you make this, Lisa?
Yup! I put this one together for my dear sister!
Hehe, I see! It's pretty amazing though... Both Refle and Lisa...each running your own shops.
Ahh, well... That's only because of our family situation...
That's true, but I still think you're doing really well, Refle. Gathering the stock and looking after the shop all by yourself! I'm quite proud of you!
Hehe! You guys are really close! Well, anyway... Hey, Lisa! Could I also get what you gave Refle?
Sure thing! Coming up! Maybe I should join you?
Ahaha! Just looking at Lisa's portion is making me full! But I'm sure eating together--
I...I think I better go! Thanks for the food!

That was an...odd reaction.

Huh? Refle? I wonder what happened...
Ah... M-maybe she's just not hungry anymore? Anyway, I'll make a plate for you, Lulua.
Sure, thanks...

Seems like there might be some history here...

Now, it's time to take a field test with Awakening Effects. As you can see, we supposedly can only make a Destruction Level 1 Pickaxe. This is not acceptable to me, so let's put in a little work on this one... From here, we can tell we want ingredients with as high Earth Effect as possible.

So here's what we're doing. Start making an Ingot, and sort ingredients not by Trait, but by Awakened Effect. That way we can easily zero in on the item we want, instead of painstakingly looking through the items for the one we want, although that's obviously also an option. In this case, Natural Fertilizer gives us the Earth +2 effect, which is the strongest Elemental Point+ Effect we can get for some time.

But we also need a Tinc, and here we have two Awakening Effect slots. No sense in not using a Fest and another Fertilizer here to get the Earth value as high as possible for that pickaxe. Quality is, of course, a negligible point. After I made this as shown, another scene. Cleaning duties

Excuse me, Master. I would like to clean here...
Oh, yes, of course. Please go ahead.

That reminds me, Chim Dragon... I'm actually a bit hungry.
Yes, of course. I shall prepare something.
*pops up behind Dragon's shop counter* Hmm...
Oh, one more thing. There's a request I'd like for you to handle for me.
Sure. I shall see to it as soon as I finish my chores.
Hah... I knew it...
What is it, Lulua? You've been staring at me all this time. Is something wrong?
No, I was just thinking... That maybe, most definitely... You're pretty lazy, aren't you?
Yes, most definitely. Without a doubt.
You too, Chim Dragon?! No, you've got me all wrong! I'm not lazy! You see, it's not laziness... I just prefer not to do things that are unnecessary. I mean, thats what I've got Chim Dragon for. So there's no need for me to...y'know.

A nice way of saying the same thing, if you ask me.

Hmm... Although... Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen you do any of the housework.
Wha---?! I guess when you put it that way... When I was a kid, my grandma did everything... After that, Big Sis helped out... Huh? Now that I think about it... I'm completely useless when it comes to housework! Maybe I am lazy!
A-Ahaha... You really seem to be surprised by this. By the way, when you mentioned Big Sis, did you mean Ms. Totori? Ms. Totori is quite good at housework.
Ah, no. Big Sis is Totori's big sister. She is extremely kind. She's done a lot for me.

Well, the translation makes this distinction a little confusing, because Piana always calls Totori "Onee-chan" (Big sister), the same way she refers to Ceci in this scene. Lulua understandably a little confused.

Oh, Ms. Totori's sister?! I bet she's beautiful.
Yeah, she's super beautiful! I'll introduce you to her someday.
Yay! Thank you! But... Maybe you should try and surprise her sometime... You know, by starting to do some of the chores on your own.

Fine, I'll do it. I'll work on getting better.
*thumbs up* Nano Master. Nice work.

And that's how you use Awakened Effects. Granted, this is a basic example, but when you're up against it and needing that Effect, this is how it's done.

Before we head back to Arls...again, let's stop by the Old Blocked Mining Tunnel, which we unlocked back in Arland.

The materials around here are of decent Quality, but the enemies around here are similarly a bit of a jump in difficulty, even if we're still technically in the Arklys Area (I *think* this place is closer to Arklys than Arls).

Let's try shattering this crystal and finish off that riddle while we're here...

Nope, not happening. My pickaxe and Mining Bomb have the same Destruction Level, so that's not gonna help. Gonna have to get Level 3. I should also note that, even if you destroy an object, there's a small delay before Lulua can move again. This is only important if any enemy is currently chasing you.

When you hit 50% map completion and discover there are two chests tucked away in caverns, this area is a little dangerous because the manuvering room is a little tight.

The bats around here are pretty dangerous, which is why I wouldn't advise fighting them right now. Before they get hit with Weakness, of course.

This particular chest has two Tincs in it, don't remember what the Traits on them are. Once you're finished spelunking around here, we're moving on to Arls. There actually is something important related to a riddle around here, but even if you know about it, you can't interact with it until you know it's there via Alchemyriddle. Which means we're coming back here for a mostly unnecessary trip, but it has to be done.

Oh! Sorry about that, young lady! It was careless of me! Are you OK??
Ah... Yeah, I'm fine. I really should be the one apologizing though--
Haha, don't worry about it! Well, in any case, farewell! *marches off*
Wow, such a big guy... Must be an adventurer. And he was in such a hurry, too. I wonder...ah well!

Well, that was random. But not much going in Arls for now, but seems Pamela is a bit worried about something. Let's stop in. Helping the ghost

What is it? What happened?! What's so tragic?!
Oh dear, oh me...! I don't have enough money to pay this month's rent!!
WHAT?! You mean...?!
If I don't do something... I will most certainly lose my shop! Whatever shall I do, whatever shall I do?!
Isn't this exactly what I asked you before?! When I asked if the shop was making money!
E-Even if you say that... Either way, I absolutely must sell something now! I absolutely must!
*sigh* Well, in the mean time, I'll take care of this month's rent! How much do you owe...?
Let's see now, I need about this much... *3000 Cole*
Ugh... Well, I guess I could cover it this time... *3000 Cole deducted with no input*
Ohh, my dear Lulua...! Thank you, Lulua...!
Yeah, yeah... But you really can't keep going like this. Even if you work something out this month, what about next month?
Ohh, yes, I suppose you're right... Oh my, whatever shall I do...

A shop...that makes money...?! Hmm... But however will I do that...
Hmm... Good point... I can't think of anything... Oh, how about this? Let's work together to figure out a way to make money. With two minds, we're sure to figure something out! Don't you think so?
Lulua... Yes, you're absolutely right! And I must start doing better...! Thank you! I shall work hard to come up with ideas...!
OK! I'll keep thinking of some good ideas too! Let's do our best, Ms. Pamela...!
Yes! I most certainly will!

Personally, I'm skeptical of any plans Pamela might have, but you know who might be able to help? Cole. He helped her out once, and he's only grown in maturity and experience since. And he's basically stayed in the same kind of work, so his advice should be invaluable, I would think.

But, let's leave Pamela to her own devices.

And this here is why you can't complete all of this chapter's bonus riddles right very frustrating. Unless I'm absolutely missing something, that Fire Effect is as good as it can get at this point in the game, since you can't make any (Gunpowder) items, and even if you have Gold Puniballs, which has an Awakened (Gunpowder) Effect, can't be used in anything that would help. Just going to have to save this for later. Well, you could actually do this if you carried over a Bomb with a +4 or +5 Fire Effect on a NG+, but I didn't, and let's be real, that doesn't count.

Oh yeah, there's a whole bunch of Awakened (item category) Effects, which allow you to add another category type to an item. An item can have up to 5 categories it can be used in, which includes (Gunpowder). Knowing the materials and items that can add categories to valuable items is going to be very important in the late game, I assure you. You're going to have to be an expert in that craft if you want to fight the big boys on CHARISMA.

Moving on from this failure, I made Hay, which does help us complete a new riddle. Now I just need to gather enough.

In addition to the Destruction Level 3 Bomb we need, many of the other clues require us to be alchemy level 20 before they become available for decoding, but we're gonna need to do a little grinding for that. Not that easy when you have such low level items available right now. But as for Arls, we're done here and now headed back to Arland.
The lance-wielding woman

Come on, I'll be fine. You're such a worrywart...
Oh, Ms. Totori. And...?
Oh, it's Mimi! It's been a while, hasn't it!

Ah... Yes, that's me. I'm not sure what you've heard, but I'm Lulua. Elmerulia Frixell.
Nice to meet you! I'm Mimi Houllier von Schwarzlang.

"Ardent protector", huh? I wouldn't quite put Mimi and Totori's relationship at that... But in any case, yep, it's good ol' Mimi again. We've followed her on quite the journey of personal growth, from a somewhat ill-mannered child of an aristocrat in Atelier Totori, to a proud, confident young woman in Atelier Meruru, to her appearance here. A constant presence in her life has, of course, been Totori. Mimi can hardly contain herself when it comes to the subject of Totori, but they've been tight for about...20 years now by my reckoning of the Arland chronology. You'd expect that much at this point, and they're as close as ever in this game.

Mimi Houiller? Von... Von Schme... Schmar...
Ahaha... You're just like your mother! You can call me Mimi.
Thank you. Nice to meet you, Mimi... Um, you know my mother...?
Well, of course I do. We used to travel together back in the day.
Hehe. Mimi's been my bodyguard for what seems like forever. That's how she knows Rorona. We've been relying on her skills a lot!

Actually, Totori doesn't know the whole story and neither do we. If you take a party of Mimi and Rorona out in Totori, the two will talk as if they know each other outside of both of their relations to Totori, and one of Mimi's events in Totori also features her talking to Rorona on her own, so they definitely knew each other. But, Mimi never talked about how she knows Rorona to her ward.

Oh, wow...! That's amazing! Then you must be a very competent adventurer!
Competent...? Well, you're not wrong. If I'm not competent out here, I don't know who is! I can take down any and everything with my lance. Keep that in mind! Hehe!
Ahaha! You haven't changed a bit, Mimi.
Right? Oh, by the way, Lulua... We'll all be staying in Arland for a while... So, if you ever have any questions, just come and see us. We'll be happy to help!
Thank you so much! Well, I better be off. See you around, Ms. Totori! Ms. Mimi!
Sure. See ya around, Lulua.

*Lulua and Piana wander off*

Yes. I thought so too. All that's left now is for Lulua to work hard...!

Unlike Arls, there's quite a bit going on here in the capital, so let's just get to work. First, the Wagon Atelier. The Adventurer of Arland

Sure! What happened, Ms. Totori?
Um, I have a suggestion... Is it OK if I go along with you?
What? Are you sure?
Yeah. I'm not very busy recently around here, so... So I thought, maybe it'd be fun to travel with you. What do you think?
Ahaha, of course, that sounds amazing! This'll be great.

It'll be something, alright. This is the scene you get after Chapter 3 if you have the Playable Totori DLC downloaded and you go to the Wagon Atelier in Arland at this point in the game.

Totori joins at level 35, which is considerably higher than anyone in the normal party. Totori has a lot of neat tricks about her, which obviously we can't demonstrate everything she can do just now. Also, she's weak to Physical damage? I just noticed that after taking this screenshot. Anyway, Totori is an alchemist, but she can't use Interrupt the way the Piana and Lulua can. Instead, she gets Assist Interrupt, which operates kind of the same way.

In reality it's a simple mechanic. Equip an item to the "Interrupt" slot for Totori, and it'll be set as Totori's Assist Interrupt item. The activation condition for it is to use a skill to inflict damage, which is very easy, but it only has a 50% chance of activating and only works if Totori is in the backline. Even though activation requires skill damage be done to an enemy, the *type* of item she has equipped is irrelevant; if it's a single-target healing item, she'll use the item on the party member who activated Assist Interrupt. In addition, once the Use Count reaches 0 the chances of it activating drop significantly. Don't know exactly what the new odds are but I must presume they are low. Like with normal Interrupt items, once the battle ends the Use Count is refilled.

Other than that mechanic, Totori is an alchemist so she can use normal items from the Basket to her heart's content. If you know *anything* about the meta of this series, you'll know that being able to use items is an utterly irreplaceable ability no matter what the game. I'm sure we'll find something for her to do. Moving on...another Totori scene? Alright then. An alchemy teacher

Yes, that's great. You might want to add a little more of the ingredients, though.
Master, how's my medicine coming along? Hehe, it looks like it worked out rather well to me!
That's amazing! Hehe, it looks like you've improved quite a bit!
Oof, there's a lot of people here!
Ah, come in, Lulua! Welcome to Master Totori's Alchemy Classroom!
"Master Totori's Alchemy Classroom"...?!
Yeah. I borrowed Ms. Rorona's workshop, and now I'm teaching everyone alchemy.

Interesting that Totori feels entitled to use Rorona's workshop to host this thing. Then again, Totori is about the last person on the planet Rorona would ever say "No" to, or her permission has already been given. Either way, Totori is still freely making use of this place.

Everyone's more or less a beginner... But look here.
Look, look! I made this!
I-I don't believe this! It's a well-made medicine!
If you take classes with Ms. Totori, anyone can learn to make a simple type of medicine.
Wow! Anyone?! That's pretty useful!
That's right. Being able to use alchemy can be useful for everyone, right? So I thought I'd help spread it to more people around the world. many people still don't know how to use it. So, I decided to teach a workshop every so often and show everyone how to use alchemy.
Hmm, I see. So that's what all this was about! It's probably true that if everyone learned how to use alchemy, the world would be a better place. Maybe...

Ehhh, there's good and bad things about that, if you think about it.

Yeah. Well, that's what I believe in, at least.

That's why...someday, Lulua, I'd be happy if you could help me out with it.
Indeed! I have to study so I can help you someday!
Yeah. I believe in you, Lulua. I'm looking forward to it! Since you're here, why don't you observe? You might just learn something.
A-Are you sure...?! If so, then I'd love to!

And next up, Wild's got something for us. For our masters

Good afternoo--Wow! So many people...!
Ohh, Lulua! Heh, here for some lunch?
Well, if you have the time... I'd like a curry.
OK! One curry! Hold on just a sec!
*devours yet more curry* Thanks for the food! That was delicious!
Hehe, right? I mean, they do call this place the best restaurant in Arland, after all.
Ohh, the best restaurant in Arland! I see, I see. Well it's not really surprising, because the food is so good.
Ohh, I got a compliment from Lulua! Heh heh, more valuable than money!
Ahaha! But it really is amazing, Wild. You're still young and you're already running the "best restaurant in Arland"! I'm really impressed.
Hahaha! Oh, come on now. This shop was just a hand me down from my master. The one who actually turned it into the best restaurant in Arland is my awesome master!
Oooh! So you got the restaurant and the menu from you master?
Yup! But I didn't just take it over. My dream is to make food that tastes even better than my master's food! That's why I'm adding my changes to the menu, little by little.

I have someone that teaches me too, but I never thought about surpassing her!
Really? Well, masters present a rather high hurdle to overcome... But even so... I"m certain that most teachers want to see their apprentices to become better than they are.
Become better than they are...
Yeah. The skill should always evolve when it is passed over. And when an apprentice surpasses their master, that skill can finally be cultivated and put to use. And that is why it is important for an apprentice to pay their respects to their master by surpassing them. At least, that's what I think.
I get it! And it makes sense. It really does, Wild!
Heh, right? And that's why, if you have a teacher you respect... You should work hard to surpass them, alright? Not only for yourself, but for their sake too.
Yeah! Thank you! I will do my absolute best! I'm really impressed with how much thought you put into being an apprentice, despite how you look!

Ouch. She's been hanging around Totori and her acid tongue too much.

Ouch... Come on, Lulua, that was a low blow! Anyway, us apprentices should do our best. To repay our masters. Stop by anytime you're hungry and I'll feed ya!
Yay!! Well, I'm off! See ya later, Wild!
Sure, later!

Wild isn't selling anything new right now, but if you need to buy that recipe book with Pure Oil in it, make sure to pick it up now. Not only for the next story riddle, but all the recipes in there are very important. And now we have a scene at Parliament. Aristocratic pride

OK, OK then. I'll go for you. I'll set out... OK, understood. Just leave it to me.

That figure behind the couch just quickly ducked behind it after this shot was taken. Today seems to be a strange day around here.

*stare* ... Hm?
You! Over there! You've been staring at me this whole time!
Ah, busted... Yes, I was staring at you!
N-Now there's a refreshingly honest answer. What's up? Is there something on my face?
No, not exactly... Well, it's just that... You're so cool, Mimi!

O-Oh, really?
Yes, really! And the way you support Ms. Totori... Really speaks to how you're a great adventurer... I just think it's really great! Hehe! I really admire you, Mimi.
Hmph. Is that so. Well, I understand why you've been staring at me now. But you know no matter how much you praise me, nothing will come of it, right? Flattery won't work on me.
Ahaha, I got it. It's not like I'm after anything. I just want to become cool like you, Mimi!

Man, Lulua took a liking to Mimi fast. This happens to a trend of hers, though.

Oh, is that right? It won't be easy, you know... Hehe. You'll have to work very hard.
I will! Thank you so much!
...After this, how about we get some food? If you like, I can tell you lots of stories. I know a good place. Hehe, what do you think?
Whoa, really?! I definitely, definitely want to go!
Well then, it's decided. It's my treat, of course.
Wow! Thank you so much!

*the dynamic duo leave*

I wonder if I complimented her, she'd take ME out for dinner? Fat chance. Oh well, back to work.

I don't think you need to compliment her, Totori. Just saying.

But now we have work to do. This is a pretty important riddle to decode as fast as possible, and luckily, it's pretty easy to do. Both parts will be solved at 50 Interrupt uses which, between Piana and Lulua, you should have broken by this point in the game.

Oh, heh, while watching this video to write this update, I saw that this page, fully decoded (after all the sparkly stuff) spoils a future party member. Oh well, it's not even that big a spoiler, but it does, so I won't comment on it further right now.

What this does is give you added buffs to Interrupt uses. You can see Piana and Lulua's buffs that they got just now in the box in this screenshot, but you probably don't need me to tell you that Lulua's is awesome. "Low chance" is actually more than you'd think, and if you get on a hot streak, you can absolutely decimate enemies with powerful item uses all in a row. I think my record is four Interrupts in a row? Pretty sure that's right.

By the way, Expensive traits? Complete waste. It raises both the cost of buying copies of this item from Dragon and sale price. I *guess* you could take advantage of this if you were making a whole bunch of items with these traits and selling them, but this is probably the worst way to make money imaginable. For our purposes, it's entirely a waste, which is why I forgot I added this trait to the final product and registered it with Dragon, obviously.

I really just wanted to make that Pure Oil just now to get that Fire DMG L Effect, which is the second half of the story riddle for this chapter. We'll be moving this into a more powerful item soon enough.

Well, explosives are certainly one thing you can pack into a barrel. Blow it all down

Hey, Lulua. Done deciphering "Alchemyriddle" yet?
Yup! I finally have what I need to destroy that door in Fellsgalaxen!
Heh... What exactly is it that you plan on doing?

*sweat drop* Excuse me?

I'm suddenly starting to think Lulua's the last person who should be playing around with explosives. And this is the same room with a girl who used guns as a child and now fires a bazooka.

Whoa whoa whoa! Don't you think that's dangerous?? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised as it is your idea after all!
Hold on! This wasn't my idea! That's what was written in the Riddle!
Ahahahaha! Well I think it's a good idea. Just blow away the things in your way! It's so simple!
Why do I feel like I'm being made a fool of... Well, nevermind that. Anyway, if I can just prepare a bomb, I'll be able to travel to the very depths of Fellsgalaxen! So let's do this! And then, my atelier's reputation will shoot through the roof after this!

Uh-huh... Well, let's just leave Lulua to it, I guess...