Part 16: XIII: Pages of an Unrivaled PrincessPart XIII: Pages of an Unrivaled Princess
But before we head to Modis, just to me it seems we're still in no particular hurry. We have a scene in Arland we can see, for example. A rival in the wings
...Hm? is that... Aurel and Mr. Sterk?
Hey. You do know who I am, right?
Yes... You're related to him, and I know you learned the way of the sword under him.
Specifically, Aurel is Gio's nephew. Gio remained Arland's most eligible bachelor as far as we know.
Then... You know what I want.
Sword training? We can train anytime you like.
Quit playing dumb. It's a duel. A fight for the title of "Knight Supreme" that you took from Uncle!
...I will not. I'm quite busy with work today.
What. You must be kidding me! Forget about your work and...!
Heh, you still have much to learn.
If you're still saying things like that...then you're a fry cry from the Knight Supreme. I'll be leaving now. *gets back to his work*
Hey! Wait! STOP! Dammit...!
Aurel really went for it. Mr. Sterk wasn't having any of it though. I hope those two will be all right. Hmm... I might just be a tiny bit worried. *sigh* I hope they don't overdo it. Especially Aurel, but Mr. Sterk, too...
"Might" being the operative word here. Doesn't sound like Lulua could talk Aurel out of this if she tried. Alright, NOW we're ready to head back to Modis, especially now that we've made our Dragon Eye Tonic. Oh yeah, and as usual for Exploration Tools, the Tonic's actual Quality won't affect what it does one bit.
See that green bottle in the top left? That indicates the Tonic is in effect. The tutorial for the Tonic claims that icon will empty as the Tonic's timer starts going down, but this is a lie. This icon will remain the same, but will empty after...let's say like 5 minutes or so. This includes in-battle, so don't use one if you know you're going to be fighting a lot or you're about to throw down with a really tanky enemy.
Yeah, this doesn't look like much now, but that's because the quality of the materials around here isn't the highest, but having access to tons of traits thanks to a Dragon Eye Tonic can't be underestimated, you know? By the way, I'm almost sure this Boa Venom Gland is higher quality than 100, but it's not reflected because the Quality Cap is still in-place. I don't know if, when that cap is lifted, we'll get its true value or it's just stuck at 100 because that's the Quality we got it at. We'll know once we finish all of Chapter 6's riddles.
Check out Ficus' hands that have red sparkles around them. That's due to the Red Ray Symbol he has equipped.
Also notice he's doing Fire-elemental damage on an Ice attack, again because of the Symbol. You'll also know if some special weapon effect is activated if you get that pop-up.
There is a distinct possibility of that, Totori.
Jeltje also followed us here, but I see nothing here worthy of my coin.
Hopefully not bad luck shooting those birds down, though. Bird hunt
Heh heh! Feelin' feisty, are we?! Well, I hope you're ready!! Now I've got a crew at my side! Well then, Lulua!! How bout we give these monsters a taste!
Right-o! Take this!!
They are down!
Doesn't look like there are any others around. You should deal with it now.
OKOK! Let's do this! Ahahaha! To battle, everyone!!
Yep, you do have to fight these goofballs. They're souped-up versions of the Vulture from Trombe Plateau, and an enemy from about 3-4 hours into the game should not be an obstacle to you. Even without Ficus exploiting another vulnerability (two notches of weakness against Lightning), you should be able to take them out pretty easily.
Yay! Nice work, Niko!
All thanks to you, Lulua! You really helped me out! This magic cannon was just what I needed! I could take out any fish with a cannon like this! You're the absolute best, Lulua! And I'll stake my honor on that!
Ehehehe, I'm really happy that you think so!
Of course I do! Say, Lulua, when I head back out to sea... Do you think you can put together a really nice cannon for me? I'm going to need a lot more fire power to deal with sea monsters, ya know!
I'd love to! Just leave it to me! I'll make you the best cannon ever!
Might wanna ask Totori about this, Lulua. I believe she can speak with some authority on this subject...
Hahaha! You really are the best, Lulua! Well, it's decided then!
As I'm sure you're aware since the end of the last update, Niko already officially joined the party before now, but let's just say I didn't use him in this last battle to make this scene more appropriate.
Wh-Whaaaat?! I mean, I'd love to travel with you, but are you sure??
Absolutely! Since I don't have much else to do than save up to fix my ship... I might as well lend a hand to my kind cannon benefactor! Let's do this, Lulua!
Yeah! Welcome to the team!
I see... There is something in my memory banks about friendship and victory...
Haha, that's right, Stia! I'm no expert, but friendship is a wonderful thing.
Heh, you do look like you wouldn't know anything about friendship.
What are you saying! You and I have been real close since--HEY!
Damn... Looks like I missed...
Hahaha! I think it's time we head back to Arls! Especially since we still didn't find Princess Meruru...
Mhm. I've got to report back on my request too. Why don't we head back together?
Yep, getting a new party member is all well and good, but this chapter has been a big cul-de-sac if we don't find our source of inspiration. Hell, Lulua even has a DLC costume that has her wearing Meruru's outfit from her game. We *need* to find this girl before too long. Fated meeting
Oh, Ms. Keina! Is everything all right?
I received a report of a horrible noise coming from the Modis Ruins... I thought that something might've happened to you! I'm glad you're safe!
Heh heh! Sorry 'bout that, Ms. Keina. We went a lil' creative while takin' out those monsters. In the end, we were able to take them down, though! And now my request is complete!
Huh? So you got your request from Keina? This world is so small sometimes...
Ahaha, I guess that's true. Thank you, Niko! Here's your reward.
Ahh, well I can't take all of the credit. Give it to Lulua. It would've been impossible without her.
What?! No, I can't take your reward! What about your ship repairs and...!
Nah, it's fine! I try not to get too attached to money anyway. Kinda tends to suck the life outta ya! Hahaha! 'Sides, us pirates don't really care about small money. So go on! Take it!
If you insist... Hehe! Thanks a lot! *gets 1500 Cole*
Not a bad-paying job at all.
By the way, Lulua, have you found Meruru...?
Oh, about that...
Music: Princess March: For Lulua
*pant* I heard there was a huge monster that was spitting fire and blowing things up! We have to contact the citizen guard immediately! We'll gather all of the able-bodied citizens and--
Meruru!! You don't have to worry about that anymore! It's handled! Though the details are a bit...
P-p-p-p-princess Meruru?! The real Princess Meruru?!
Well, yes. Though I suppose I'm not a princess anymore. I'm Merurulince Rede Arls!
Arls' favorite princess rocking some new duds, I see. By the way, do you notice something funny about Meruru's outfit here? In the final sequence of Meruru, if you talk to Rorona, Meruru mentions that she won't be a princess soon and won't need her crown. She suggested giving it to Rorona, which was hardly objected to. Well, either Rorona gave it back or Meruru just never got around to that, because it's still there.
And thank goodness, too. Meruru might not be the protagonist of this game but she's still an Atelier protag. Gotta have that head wear, even if it's not a hat. Only applicable if you're a girl, though. Logy doesn't need any head wear, it seems.
Right now I'm traveilng the world as an alchemist. And you are...?
I'm Elmerulia Frixell! B-b-but you can call me Lulua!
Frixell... So you must be Rorona's... You're Rorona's...?!
That's right, Meruru. This is Rorona's daughter!
Piana! Hmm... I see...
Since Lulua here really looks up to you, Meruru, why don't you answer a few questions of hers?
Looks up? To me...?! Well, in that case, of course! As I'm a senior alchemist...Lulua, feel free to ask me anything you like!
O-o-ok-kay! Then... Um... Well, Ms. Meruru! I hope this isn't rude, but can you tell me how to improve really quickly?
Hmm... Hmmm... Improve quickly... Pick a goal... And give it your all, I suppose?
Pick a goal and give it your all...?
Yeah, sorry for being so vague... But that's the only answer that came to mind. Probably because ever since I started working hard to make Arls even bigger, my skills as an alchemist have begun growing much faster. So if you have a goal, just start working as hard as you can toward that goal!
Spoken with a lot of confidence. To be fair, that was her life for 4 years.
...! I see... Thank you! I'll just work as hard as I can, and one day, I'll be an amazing alchemist like Mom!
Yeah! I'm certain that you'll reach your goal, Lulua!
Thank you so much, Ms. Meruru! I feel like I can work even harder now! And it's not like I'd need to change what I've been doing already! Just keep on traveling and learning new skills! Let's do this!! I'm sure it'll all work out!
Heehee, I'm just glad I was able to help. I'll be staying in Arls for the time being. So if you have any more questions, just come on by and see me!
Keina getting a little upset she hasn't seen her childhood friend much anymore...
Hold on, are you mad, Keina?? Come on, you know I'm sorry!!
Everyone (except Meruru): Ahahahaha!
(I understood then that that was how the person I looked up to all my life became who she was. She worked as hard as she could to reach her own goals. That understanding was a warm ray of light for my anxious heart. It was one of the most important things I've ever learned. And I hold those words dear to me, even now. And so marks the "Chapter of Advice". A precious gift from a treasured mentor.)
But like the previous chapter, time to grow as an alchemist a bit more. The requirements for clearing this riddle are the same as last chapter: 10 syntheses and 10 successful battles. Time to get to work...
My lottery ticket! From the Arland Royal Fair! I forgot to check my number to see if I won!! Aww... And the deadline is already past... Shoot. Well, into the trash bin you go. *sigh* What a waste...
...So I didn't do that to get a new scene or go for some story-integration thing where Lulua was so excited to meet Meruru she completely forgot about the Fair ticket (though it would have been nice if that were so). I do bet you forgot about this ticket too, right? So I'm not the crazy one, right? Yeah, let's go with that.
Anyway, like I said, it's just a simple matter of getting the ticket and approaching the woman nearest to Ar Hollow to see what you got. There are four possible results: first place, second, third, or a consolation prize. I'm assuming you can save scum the result once you get the ticket, but that would, of course, require you to remember you talk to the rewards woman. Clearly, a difficult task for me.
Well, it's not the end of the world in any case, though the prizes are actually pretty good, especially the first place prize. But onward we go...
Prior to this shot, I made Sulfite and a Super Cooling Agent to fulfill another riddle, and these are pretty useful items, too. Sulfite adds +2 Fire Element points and Cooling Agent adds +2 Ice. Of course, there are corresponding items for Lightning and Earth. I also made a Pure Poison to fulfill that riddle, so we can unlock a pretty awesome item, the Dark Water.
For now, let's head back to Arklys and check in with our good buddy Refle. I bet she had a great time with those kids. An expert appraisal
...! That's right! You're totally right!!
Hey, Lulua, can I give you some recommendations?
Um, sure. That's fine, but, er--
Hehe! Thanks a lot! OK, what shall I show you first?
Wow, she IS in quite the good mood.
A really really really big garnet!
Have you heard of the language of gems? Garnets symbolize friendship and hidden passion!
*walks over to another case* And what about this? It's a fossil, so not technically a gemstone, but it's really pretty! Isn't it just amazing to think about the ancient creatures that used to exist! This has some scientific value too, but it's mostly just really nice to look at. I'm sure you agree, Lulua!
Huh? Oh, right! Yes! It's very beautiful!
Hehe! I knew you'd agree, Lulua! What else do I have...what else do I have...
*Six hours later*
I'm so sorry, Lulua! I just got carried away...
Haha, don't worry about it. I feel like I learned a lot. And I got a better idea of what sort of things you like! Hehe, I'm glad.
It makes me really happy to hear that, Lulua. If you don't mind, maybe we could do this again sometime?
Yes, of course! I'll look forward to it.
This next scene is a bit unusual, but not for the actual contents. In every town, there's a scene with a CG attached that's all like "People of Arls" or "People of Arland". I've never been entirely sure what makes these scenes pop up, but nevertheless, after seeing the above Refle scene, I got the Arklys version. Food for the soul
Hi, Lisa! How are--Huh?
Oh, this is delicious!
Incredible... Your appetite never ceases to amaze, Lisa. And the amount of you eat... Where do you put it all?!
A metabolism like a nuclear reactor. Also, I would normally screenshot Lulua's first line in this scene, but the text box would partially cover up how massive Lisa's helping is compared to everyone else.
Ahaha... We referred to her stomach as the "bottomless pit" back at home.
Hah! Nothing wrong with a robust appetite! Food nourishes the soul, after all!
Oh! Hi, Lulua. Come on in!
Ahaha. Good to see you, too. Food is great, isn't it? No matter what got you down, a nice hot meal will blow all troubles away!
Exactly! Eating a hearty meal's just as good for the mind as it is for the body.
Hmm, quite an insightful comment, Lulua. That's a bit surprising, coming from you.
Hey, what's that supposed to mean?! ...Ah, forget it... I'm too famished to care. I want to eat, too!
Ahahaha! So that's what brought you in, hm? You've always loved mealtime, haven't you?
Meals always taste even better when you're enjoying them with others! I'll be right back.
Yay! Thanks, Lisa! Hehe! Mealtime! Mealtime! An extra large helping of curry for me, please!
Yep, good eating time is good for the soul. On the same subject, while we're here in Arklys, let's go get those Hard Potatoes for Wild.
Yes! Just what you need for your new menu, Wild! I think this should be good enough... What do you think?
Hmm... The color looks good. Looks like it's really fresh. And the smell... Magnificent! These ingredients will certainly bring out the best qualities in my dishes. This is some high quality stuff! I can definitely make some good food with this. Thanks, Lulua! You've been a big help!
It was no problem at all! I'm just surprised you know so much.
Haha, of course I do. All cooking begins with the ingredients. You need good ingredients to make food. That's why my master taught me to be very careful about the ingredients I use. On top of that, I'm always studying my cookbook. ALl of this is to help me surpass my master! Ha ha!
What're you talking about? If you can gather quality ingredients like this, you've already got a really critical eye! And so, as a reward for your hard work... Heh... Want to try the new menu?
What? Are you sure? Hehe, I'd love to!
All right, just have a seat! I'll make you some of the best dishes you've ever had!
Might wanna bus that table, though. And while we're in the neighborhood, let's give Totori that 60 Quality Globe. Getting better
Great work, Lulua. OK, hit me!
Here you go! *hands over Globe*
...I see. Lulua, it certainly looks like you did your best. Your choice of materials is good, as if your synthesis... Very well done.
It's a good thing she did add that second part because, given Totori's penchant for making unintentionally acidic comments to people, could have easily been Lulua's turn.
Yeah. I'd say you've definitely passed. Congratulations, Lulua.
Yay! I did it, I passed! Oh, thank goodness! I was actually really nervous...
Ahaha, is that right? You didn't need to worry about it that much...
No... I mean, I'm still a beginner...
If you were a beginner, it would be a big deal that you did this so well. So have a little more confidence, OK?
Ms. Totori! I will! Thank you so much!
Yeah. But I still can't say you did perfectly...
And...also here. It seems like some of your materials had gone off. So the quality suffered. If you fix those points, you should be able to make even better items.
W-What's wrong?! Close your mouth or you'll catch flies!
I can't beleive you spotted all that in like 3 seconds. You're...wow.
Ahaha... I've been using alchemy longer than you have, you know? But, you'll get better. At your current pace, it'll be even sooner than you think. So to that end, keep working. Don't neglect your studies. Got it?
Yep, got it! Thank you, Ms. Totori!
Hm, as long as you understand. Thanks for your hard work on this task. See you around!
Agreed. You may be a step or two ahead of these two put together, but can't count on resting on your laurels in a sequel. Now that we've helped Wild out with his problem, he's got more business with us. THAT egg
Ah, yes. I love eggs! A soft-boiled egg over curry is the best!
Heh, that so? Then... I'll tell you about the most delicious eggs I've ever heard of.
The MOST delicious?! Yes!! Please tell me!
These eggs... Can be found in the area around Stalhang Castle. They're huge and rich with flavor. They even match perfectly with any spice or herb. But... I don't know what kind of egg it's supposed to be...
It's certainly delicious. This I know for a fact. It's just that... I don't know which animal's egg it is. It's a phantom egg that can't even be found in the market. People have called it...THAT Egg.
Uh, THAT Egg...?! What is THAT?!
I don't know about you, but I'm following this conversation to the letter. Go on...
I mean, yes, I guess you're right, but still...! THAT... Ngh...I have to know more...
Anyway, like I said, it's definitely one of the best eggs ever. If you're curious, why not try looking for it?
Yeah, I guess I will... THAT... THAT... That...? ...THAT? Ngh...
Try not to strain yourself, Lulua. I hope you'll understand why I made a video of this scene. In other news, this is one of a few special scenes with Wild where he'll mention an ingredient growing in a certain area, then you can go and find that special ingredient. Until Wild mentions the item, though, you can't find it no matter how hard you look.
After this, I took and completed a few more requests from Lionela to get her job board leveling up request. It calls for finding a Dark Dew, which can be found in an "Ancient Monastery". Well, I definitely remember that place from Totori, but again, I'll just have to pretend I don't know when the game opens it up for us.
But now it's time to check out the Stone Coliseum, which we unlocked very early this chapter but just haven't found the time to get around to yet.
Eva is correct; there is a lot to break around here for materials.
Like breaking conspicuous cave openings to find treasure chests. Luckily, a level 2 Pickaxe will break everything but the crystals around here, so you should get to looting.
These enemies, the Garuda, drop Azure Wings, but as I alluded to earlier, only Rarely.
You can also find a Nightshade in another cave, which, this particular one, is mostly only good on Aurel to raise his Evasion even higher.
This is Niko's special skill, Brave Stance. As I mentioned, Niko is supposed to be a tank, so this is how he exercises that ability: by drawing enemy attacks to himself in exchange for lowering his WT time every time an enemy attacks him. Note that AoE attacks will still hit the entire party, and having the enemy's constant attention on a single target can prove to be unfortunate for his health, but he can take a punch.
Example of it in action. Too bad he had to get hit with two status effects to demonstrate it.
Life Steal is how Niko keeps himself in a fight, so keep that in mind as well.
At level 30, Aurel gets Resting Spirit Stance which, in exchange for substantially lowering his DEF, increases his level (so, he can like, have the stats of a higher-leveled Aurel than he currently is, is how that works) and increase his ATK. It's actually a pretty good trade, since his evasion will manage to avoid a lot of damage. Just don't be upset if you use it that Aurel can't seem to last long in a fight if enemy attacks are getting through.
Although there's no particular need to fight a Garuda if you've made a Warp Gate already, it is good for the riddle Hidden Wall of Heat, so keep that in mind.
Ooh, a cool little underground cavern. Well, the chest just contains another Locket of Friendship, but it's still a cool little area. Also, those are the crystals you still have to blow up with a Mining Bomb.
When you're ready to move on, head on over to the Old Mining Tunnel and examine this note on a table to solve this chapter's final riddle. Well, final Advanced Riddle, that is. After this, I went back to town and made a good ol' Dark Water. In previous games, this was a really good debuffing item that could just throw a ton of mud in the enemy's face. Here, Invitation to the Hell L does something a bit on top of that...
It's our first insta-killing item, although there will certainly be more. Inflicts Impurity L has a 50% chance to inflict 3 randomly selected ailments. It's alright, the real bonus here is Invitation to the Hell. Now, there are some limitations to this. Bosses, obviously, it will not work against them. In addition, magical enemies like ghosts or spirits also are not affected by insta-kill, which is a shame, as those can be some of the most annoying enemies in the game. But, this will serve us well, I think.
Before the next chapter starts, I would also advise making a Magic Sword, which you unlocked the recipe for by making Ster Metal (you also had to buy the Ster Metal recipe book from Cole to get it, but obviously one had to come before the other), because next chapter has a lot of fighting in it and there's a riddle for using the Magic Sword enough. There's another reason this Magic attack item will be valuable for next outing.
But because next chapter has a lot of fighting in it, I'd advise upgrading to the next armor tier. Luckily, if you need a good (Threads) item, Hay is great. Hay is made from (Plants), (Fuel), and a (Supplement), so it's easy to put good traits on it. Make sure to drop off a good Nylonfeather with Dragon.
Well ain't that lucky, a magic Boost Item that can fit out both useful sides of the Effects bars. The Earth effect is to increase Stun (Faint) resistance. The Spirit Robe is very nice in particular because everyone can wear it, and it has pretty good stats.
But now we have the battle side of growing up to do. Why use one sword when you can use four? Lulua seems to agree. Just be careful around actual dangerous enemies, since this drains her HP. Not much, but it does add up. This item can't KO the user, as that would be silly, but like with any item that drains MP, if the user doesn't have enough HP its power will be significantly reduced.
Took a few requests to earn a little extra money / build up friendship levels / do jobs for various receptionists, nothing worth noting. Solve this "riddle" to end the chapter and move on to a big one. See you there.