The Let's Play Archive

Atelier Lulua

by Sylphid

Part 20: XVI: Pages of Getting Closer

Chapter XVI: Pages of Getting Closer

We'll be getting back to the plot this update, so we'll finally find out what's so awesome about Stia's special tea. I don't know about you, but I'm excited. We begin today in Arland.

Ohh, I'm from Arklys!
Is that so! Then surely you've heard of the Eternal Spring?
Of course I have! A beautiful place with the clearest, most delicious water.
Then... Sure you know about the Juicy Peach that grows there?
Huh? What's that?? I've never heard of it!
Heheh... It's just like the name says. The juiciest peach you've ever tasted! And when you bite into it...the sweetest juice! Just one bite...and you'll never ever forget its flavor.
Anyway, it's pretty rare to come across something that delicious. Maybe take a look the next time you're in that area.

I'm not exactly sure, but I think these special Wild scenes only pop up if you 1) have progress his events far enough, and 2) have access to the location where that special material can be found. 2) isn't an issue thus far, since the locations have been Stalhang Castle and Eternal Spring, but it can be. You'll see what I mean later.

So even before getting to the plot business this chapter, let's talk the Basic riddles. Lance of Light, Bane of Evil is for defeating a Shiningshroom (can be found at the Monastery, which is why I told you to beat up a mushroom and bat there) and a new Demon type enemy which we can't fight right now. So we can't finish this one. True Sign of Friendship is for buying another recipe book from Refle and making one of the recipes from it, so that's pretty easy. Healing Heart is from gathering a Serenity Flower at Quelei Forest and using Migraine Syrup enough times.

And finally, the star of the first part of this update: Forbidding Wall of Heat is for beating up a Yellowsein and a Garuda from the Stone Coliseum. This unlocks the Scorched Wasteland east of Arland, which you may remember from Totori. As the riddle text says, you should prepare well if you want to do a thorough investigation. Toward that end, I upgraded Ficus' weapon to the Judgment Tarot (all of his weapons are named after tarot cards) and gave Niko a shiny new Spirit Robe.

Yep, still a hellhole. All of the enemies around here are pretty meaty, even the Red Puni with more than 2200 HP.

Of course, if you have a Dragon Eye Tonic, no reason not to use it here. Lots of materials to gather in a big location. Speaking of crystals, even a Mining Bomb with a Destruction Level of 3 won't break them, so we'll need to get an upgraded one before we can think of breaking them. That's only for the purple crystals, though. Red ones you can break just fine with a Pickaxe at Destruction Level 2.

Also speaking of materials, rocks with like, volcanic cracks in them have a chance of giving up a Magma Stone, which can be used to upgrade Eva to Ster Metal-tier of weapons, so that's good for her. She hasn't been in a serious fight for a while. In general, items with a DE Tonic are in the 120-150 Quality range around here.

Large Scales are also good to pick up while we're harvesting the dead. I'm sure Pamela would approve.

Some personal space, if you do not mind.

As far as the new Omega Craft is performing, if you're curious, it's fine. I have to mentally talk myself into the proposition this is a decent amount of damage, fully aware of how insanely powerful items are on endgame builds. Just soldier through this pre-999 Quality part of the game, me.

Pretty fun passive skill name for Ficus. It just increases his elemental damage, but again, a cool name. Piana gets Curse Loop at this same level, which finally gives her AOE damage in the form of a chance to inflict Curse. Unfortunately, it's a pretty niche effect since the enemies who can typically get hit with Curse are the ones who *can't* heal themselves. But it's nice she finally has a way of fighting crowds.

The chest in the middle of the field has a Black Mist Symbol for your Curse-inflicting needs, by the way.

That's a bit more like a Scorched Wasteland. This game just generally looks better when it's bright. There's a third chest around here, but it's ornamented so we can't open it. Can't quite remember what's in there, but we'll get back to it. Shortly after this shot was taken, I went back to town, since there wasn't really much else to do here for now. Since the plot continues in Arklys, we'll head there. A girl's weakness

Sure thing. What do you need?
Well... I want some delicious sweets... Actually, it's this...

Ah yes... I've heard the way people in the village talk... And I know it's strange for me to say this, I can usually handle problems on my own. I just can't make sweets. I'm not really built for that kind of work. It's much easier for me to tear things apart than to make them. I only specialize in eating!
Ahaha! That makes sense! In that case, I'll help you out. Give me a moment and I'll make some of the best sweets you've ever had.
OK! I can't wait!

Unfortunately, Lulua's "moment" and mine are not interchangeable concepts. Part of the Mont Blanc recipe calls for Uni, and I know of a location available soon that has very high quality Uni. Mana seems pretty discerning, so let's use those Uni instead of trying to fool her with lower quality ones. It doesn't seem like anything can slip by her so we'd better be careful.

Getting to work, the recipe book from Refle's I mentioned prior is a hefty 3000 Cole, so pick it up if it's within your price range. The item we need to make is a Komet to fulfill the second part of the riddle, and it also triggers a very nice series of events in town. I believe we can arrange that now, especially since I'm Alchemy level 28 and it's a level 26 item.

Wait, a beautiful gem? That gives me an idea! If I made a pretty gemstone and gave it to Refle, I bet she'd be really happy! And it would bring us closer together! Yeah, it's decided! Hehe. I'll make an awesome gem and give it to Refle!

As in, either of the two gems you just made. Quality doesn't matter, but make it as high as reasonable. It's good ol' Refle we're talking about here. Next three scenes are all part of the same video, and there's an additional special fact about this first scene... It's the first scene I wrote for this thread. Check the filename for the screenshot immediately above this paragraph if you don't believe me. A girl's heart

Wow, what a beautiful stone! Wh-What's it for? It's not... It's not for sale, is it?
Haha. No way! I'd never sell this.
Oh...I see... It's just that it's so wonderful...
It's a present. For you! Hehe. Go on and take it.
Huh? A...pre...sent? You mean...a gift? For me? If I got this appraised it would be worth an unbelievable amount of money.
Oh, don't worry about that. I just made it using alchemy. Because you like gems so much. I'm not taking it back, you know!
Th-Thank you...! It' beautiful... The size, the color... This faintly translucent pattern... Lulua! I'll treasure it always!
OK! I'm so glad you're happy with it. Oh! You mentioned the language of gems before? Does this have any kind of meaning?
Of course it does. All gemstones do.

Huh? What's up?
N-Nothing! Nothing at all. Just, the meaning of this... I-I can't say it! B-b-bye now! S-See you again!
W-Wait a sec! Refle?! Ahh!

I can't help feeling like I insulted her... I guess I'll do some research back at the atelier.

Don't know how I feel about our heroine now that she insulted the jewelry store girl that Lulua has known for years. We'll just see what exactly she freaked out about back at the atelier, as planned.

Well now, this is unexpected. Didn't know you were interested in that!
What do you mean, unexpected? Isn't it normal for teenage girls to be interested in things like this?
Haha, I suppose you're right! So what gemstone are you looking up?
This one. Teacher, do you know anything about the language of gems?
Of course I do! That one means... Hehe...

Ahhh, so Lulua accidentally proposed to Refle. That'll do it.

H-Huh? Are you serious?
Yeah. People often use it to confess their feelings. Didn't you know, Lulua?
Um, well...not exactly... I

You what?! Oh, Lulua. Ahahaha.
This is no laughing matter! This is a real problem! I guess all I can do for now is go apologize to Refle.
*Lulua leaves*
Hahaha. Good luck! To choose that stone unconsciously... Fortune works in funny ways. Hehe.

Quite a delicate situation here. Let's see if Lulua can thread this needle back at the shop.

Ah... L-Lulua... Big Sis...

She actually says "Lulua onee-sama", a very deferential way to refer to her. Looks like she gathered her feelings quickly enough.

Um... Like I said... Lulua! Please forgive my behavior before. I didn't consider your feelings. You just made such an impassioned declaration, and it rather threw me.
But...I've been thinking. And...I've decided.

But...I'm still a bit young... So...

In a few years I'll be able to be with you like you want! I promise!

My, how forward. Still, wouldn't be too bad to settle down with Refle. Marrying into an aristocratic family, with a sweet girl like Refle... Definitely could be worse.

Until then, if you'd allow me to think of you as my big sister... I'm sorry, Lulua. I'm not very good at this!

Goodness. This plot thread moved quickly. Maybe not such a mistake.


Ahhhhh! Nooo! This is terrible! Agghhhh!
I'm sorry... I really am. This was all completely my fault.'s OK. I got carried away with wild delusions. Ah...I wish I could just... Curl up and die... *sniff*
Listen, Refle. It's true that I had no idea about the language of gems. But the meaning. "I want to spend my life with you"? That's not totally untrue.
I want to be your friend, Refle! I want us to be close. So... Would you be my life-long friend? If you want to.
Lulua... I feel the same way! I want to be good friends with you too!

...! D-Don't tease me, please...!
Haha, sorry, sorry. So. Friends, then.

A very Lulua-like joke to pull, so it's fine. Even if she was teasing.

Yes! See you soon, Lulua!

Well, that was quite a little thread of events with the cute owner. This sequence is why I didn't include Refle's seiyuu's comments in any addendums to this point, since her comments talk a lot about this little subplot and they would both give the content of these scenes away and have no context. After I post Chapter XX, I'll include it.

Let's hope heading back to Stia's room can let Lulua forget about this sorta-faux pas. The cold

Hm? Oh, it's you two!
Wait, Mana and Stia, you know each other?
Yes, of course. Don't you remember what I said? "Take good care of the other one"?
...Oh! You meant Stia!
Yes. Good grief. Anyway, it's been a while, Stia. How have you been?
I'm great. Never better. I feel like I could run a marathon.

Wait, these two actually know each other?

Yep, that's right! Oh, by the way. We're here for those oil-smoked leaves. Mmm, hot oil tea is the best! I'm sure you agree, Mana! Hehehehehe!
Er, Stia... Are you quite all right? Wh-What's going on?
...Hm. She's gone and done it, haven't you, Stia?
Done what? What's she's done?
Caught a cold. She's gone and let herself get sick. But, I should warn you. This is no ordinary cold.

Symptoms include...exploding.
E-E-Exploding?! What do you mean? I've never heard of people exploding from a cold!
People...? Oh, I see. You don't know about Operators yet.

I guess they have similar gestures, too...

I'm not sick. I'm in the best of health! I'm positively glowing. Radiating. Burning?

Sure, it sounds bad, and seems like Mana knows what she's talking about, but Stia is pretty funny when she's like this.

That's not OK! Stia! Hold on!
Wait just a moment. Here. Create this item. *hands Lulua a recipe*
Er, what on earth is this? Can I really make something like this?
Don't ask whether you can or not. Just do it. If you don't, Stia will explode.
H-Huh?! Th-This is bad... *Alchemyriddle glows* Hey, "Alchemyriddle" is glowing again! Maybe if I figure this out, it'll be alright? Somehow?
Hehe, I hope so. By the way, about that oil-smoked tea...?
Now's not the time for that! We have to find a way to read the Riddle!
Oh... Ohohohoh... *the dynamic duo leave*

Damn it. The whole of Fellsgalaxen... Ugh. I won't forgive you, Sharm.

Sounds like Lulua could ask more than a few reasonable questions for Mana... But as she said, now's not the time. Back to the Wagon Atelier.

Regardless of whether 3000 Cole is within your power to part with at this point, you have to do it to continue the story. As pictured here. Growing up right

Lulua? Are you alright? You can't forget to rest properly.
Um, yeah, sure. But I don't have time right now. Stia needs me. I need to push if I'm going to cure her cold.
...Is that so? Hmm. You really have grown up, Lulua. It's remarkable. If you keep it up, then--
What's up, Stia? Sorry, Mom! Got to go! *runs off*
See you later! Hehehe...
You're looking very cheerful, Rorona. Pleased with how Lulua's coming along?
Ahaha, yup. I've been so busy, I haven't been there for her much... And yet, she's grown up wonderfully. Hehe, that's my daughter for you!

Master. Is this an example of an "overly doting parent"?
Ahaha, I daresay. But I really think Lulua is doing great, you know. If she keeps it up, who knows how far she'll go. I'm excited to see!

That's her answer to everything lately. Toward the end of this line, she starts swirly-swirling a lot faster.

You didn't even wait for my answer... Hah. Good luck, Lulua... Your mom and I, not to mention everyone else... We're all cheering you on!

Round two. Also already solved. This chapter is coming along nicely.

Hey, Stia. Can I ask something? What exactly is an Operator anyway?
An Operator is an Operator. Nothing more, nothing less. *achoo*
Ahahaha. I don't think she's in any state to answer properly...
No, that's pretty much what I've come to expect... Hrrrm. Maybe it's easier to ask...
Mana? Yeah.
Somethin' wrong, Ficus? Sounded like you went trout fishin' and reeled in a viper fish.
What? No. Nothing's wrong. What? Yep, I'm fine and dandy! Hahahahaha!
Not suspicious at all... Well, anyway. We should be able to find Mana at the orphanage. Alright... Let's go see what she can tell us. Then I'll be able to help Stia.
*achoo* Sorry, Lulua...

Part three of this chapter's story riddles is a bit unique, in that it's two parts we couldn't have banked before now: talking to Mana at the orphanage and examining one of the monitors in Fellsgalaxen. Well, Mana is closer, so let's start with her. Operators

I suppose that's all the answer I need... Still not managed to fix it yet, then?
I'm in the process of figuring it out. To do that, though, I need to ask you something. So, er, Mana. What exactly is an Operator?
You don't know? I guess you wouldn't, hmm. Operators are the supervisors of the Galaxen Arks.
Oh, Stia mentiond Galaxen Arks before... Orthogalaxen and Fellsgalaxen and...
Ehtogalaxen. Though it's been destroyed.
Yes. Operators manage the machinery of the Galaxen Arks in place of humans. What I'm trying to say is...Stia isn't human. Despite how she looks, she's something like a machine.

Well, we could have already gathered that since she mentioned being hundreds of years old before, but she's clearly not entirely machine. The curry proves that. No cage of steel can eat curry.


No, nothing like that. I don't really care what you are. You're Stia and that's all that matters to me. I just have to cure you. So I wanted to know a little more about you.
Hehe... Hahaha! As expected from our Lulua. Would you like a more detailed explanation?
Nope, that's fine! "Something like a machine" is all I needed! I think I can get it done now...probably! Right, time to get back to deciphering! Come on, Stia! *does just that*
Ahh, Lulua! *achoo* "You're Stia and that's all that matters"...
I suppose you've never had someone say something like that to you before. You must be happy?
Hmm...? I must be too thick-skinned, or just apathetic? All I feel is a little shocked...*achoo*
Heh. I see. By the way, Stia. About Fellsgalaxen...
Yes, I know. I'll try my best to bring it under control. But... If the worst should happen, you know what to do...
Understood. ...Get well, Stia.
... See you soon, Mana. *goes after Lulua*

Well then... Ficus.

Heh. Don't insult me by thinking you can fool me. Just keep looking after Lulua and the others. Or... You understand me, right?
Yeah, yeah, I get it. Just... Just leave it to me! Hahahahaha! *disappears*
Hm... I wonder what is his true intention. If he keeps helping them, it's all good, but... Lulua... The destiny you've chosen for yourself is far, far heavier than you know.

That was all some pretty heavy stuff. Something happening to Fellsgalaxen, Mana and Ficus knowing each other... Definitely seems there's a lot more afoot than it appears. None of that matters to Lulua, however. True to form, next stop is Fellsgalaxen again.

Well, three possible candidates. I'm going to call upon my vast knowledge of Link to the Past and guess it's the center one.

Amazing how it works out.

Gotta lighten the mood with a good Encyclopedia entry, you know.

Irrefutable logic. Once you're back home, decode the third riddle in like 10 minutes of gameplay to get this following scene. There's actually quite a bit of Chapter 7 left, and that's just counting plot-important stuff.

Th--*achoo* Thank you so much. Sorry to put you through all this trouble...
It's no trouble at all. After all, Stia is irreplaceable to me! I'm going to make the item we need and cure you! Hang in there, Stia!
First I need to gather the materials. Ugh... Where am I going to find THIS thing?
What do you need? Fish? Meat? Oh, maybe vegetables?
It's nothing edible... Er...a "Windslice Feather"? I feel like I've heard "Windslice" somewhere...
Oh, "Windslice Feather"?! Could that mean one of Wind Stone's feathers?
Oh, maybe! One of...Wind Stone's... Wait, what?! Wind Stone as in that HUMONGOUS bird? Wh-Wh-What are we going to do? I can't fly!
I don't think flyin's necessary. This Wind-face is a bird, right? It must have a nest somewhere. We just track it down, and...yoink! may be right, but... Where is this nest?

What, really? Where is it? C'mon, Mom, spill!
Er, well, I think Sterk looked it up before. He said it was somewhere cold. I'm sorry, that's all I've got. Sterk could probably tell you more.
Mr. Sterk...OK! Thanks, Mom. It's decided, then! Mr. Sterk is probably in Arland. Let's head there and ask him!

And that's just what we'll do right now. Next event takes place in the Parliament building. Forcible enlistment

Oh, it's you lot. What's wrong?
There's something we need to ask you about... I remember you were researching Wind Stone?
Ah, yes. That's right. Why are you interested?
I need one of Wind Stone's feathers so I can cure Stia! So if you know anything about where Wind Stone's nest is, please tell us.
...I see. Wind Stone is a very powerful creature. Its wings have toppled fortresses. Even the citizen guard would never engage it directly--we just keep an eye on it from a distance. I don't know how many trained soldiers I would need to take down the Wind Stone, but I believe many. Are you seriously considering this?

Granted, there's no need to fight this thing if it's so powerful. Seems Wind Stone minds its own business.

Of course. I must help Stia. There's nothing I wouldn't do for her! It doesn't matter how scary the monster is! Please, Mr. Sterk. Help us!

In addition, no reason Sterk should know who Stia is or what her problem is, but after guard duty for three alchemists over the past several decades, I'm pretty sure he's learned not to ask too many questions and go along with things.

*sigh* I see you got that stubborn streak from your mother... You need to go to the Ster Highlands. Wind Stone nests atop a treacherous icy peak.

Ah, the Ster Highlands. Haven't seen those since Rorona, and we didn't get to revisit it in Totori like we could with Traveler's Way, Nabel Lake, Night's Domain, or Orthogalaxen (only applicable to Totori+).

Ster Highlands, got it! Thank you so much for your help! OK then, let's g--
Wait. I will come with you.
What? Are you sure? Aren't you busy here with work and stuff?
Hmm, members of the citizen guard are very capable. They can handle things while I'm gone. Besides, Ster Highlands are a memorable place for me. And with your opponent being so formidable...

"Being nearly killed by a dragon and waylaid for 3 months" has a way of making a place memorable, it's true.

Great! With you, it's like having 100 more people!
Very true. No need to hold back, Lulua, you can rely on Sterk any time you need!

Are you still holding onto that? I thought we'd put it behind us!
I didn't put it anywhere! Lulua, forget just Ster Highlands, let's make him come with us everywhere!

She's right, she never did let that go. The last we heard about Sterk's hiring cost in Rorona's game was in Totori (if you bring out a party of Rorona and Sterk) and she was still complaining about that. Just as a point of fact, and a fun meta-commentary on why Rorona is complaining about him, is that Gio was the most expensive hire in Rorona. I think even at level 100 friendship, he costed 500 Cole. In Rorona+, that distinction goes to Astrid who costs 9999 Cole every time you take her out.

But, the meta-commentary part comes in because Rorona is only complaining about Sterk's hiring cost not in comparison to the other party members, but because Sterk becomes recruitable early on in the game, at Assignment 2 i.e. when the player doesn't have a whole lot of money to throw around. When Gio is recruitable (Astrid notwithstanding), the player will almost certainly have a lot more money, so hiring him isn't nearly as big a deal. So Rorona, both not realizing it and making sense within story confines, is unintentionally an audience surrogate.

Ahahaha! You got it, Mom! Welcome aboard, Mr. Sterk!
*Rorona and Lulua leave*
Hey, wait! I said wait! Ugh...what have I gotten myself in to?

Please, nothing you haven't already gotten into since you were in your mid-20s.

And, even counting the DLC characters, good ol' reliable Sterk, who bears the distinction of being the Atelier male to show up in the most Atelier games, becomes our final party member. Nope, Stia never joins the roster. Special heroine status, you see. Glad we got his opinion on whether to join the party permanently, I must say.

Well, Hagel might be able to argue with Sterk, but the point is that all the Hagels are not the same character. Doesn't count.

See, even Aurel agrees. Nothing to worry about. Wow, look at that time difference between this screenshot and the previous field map screenshot in Fellsgalaxen. I'll just leave it to your imagination as to how that happened. We'll actually be busy preparing to go visit the Ster Highlands for quite some time. If it's anything like the Atelier Rorona incarnation, the fauna there will be quite dangerous.

As an addendum, I believe it was around this point in the third playthrough when I hit 200 hours played. Of course, that doesn't count all the times I reloaded a previous save, but still. By the end of this thread, I should be about in the 230-240 hour area.

Once you unlock the Black and White Supplement recipes, you'll be making those almost all the time, mostly because they take four ingredients instead of just two. Much easier to get good traits on it than any of the previous four Supplements. This White Supplement will be used on the road to making a Scale Cloth, the next tier of armor. It's a level 30 item so we can't make it right now but we're getting close. A few more new items made and we should have it.

This one's going to Lulua. Know why? Enhance Items Lv 2. It's a 5% boost to all Medicine and Bomb items. Free power-ups can't be beat.

Hyper Particle (+2 to Lightning value) does it. Unfortunately, there are no upgraded versions of these particular Boost Items. We'll just have to deal with +2 if we want to use them.

I'm pretty proud of that DEF & SPD +10, don't you know. In fact, I'm so proud I'm going to the Ar Hollow. Teaching alchemy

Hmm...that makes sense. I mean, it can't really be helped, right? More importantly...

Oh, did I get it wrong? I saw the two of you and thought you were discussing what to eat...
Ahaha. Yes, you got it wrong. We were talking about alchemy.
That's right, Lulua. You know how Ms. Totori is trying to spread the use of alchemy?
Ah, yes. If we spread alchemy far and wide, it'll be super helpful for everyone.
Actually, I'm participating in it too.
That's right. We're both working hard to promote alchemy. That's why we're having this meeting today.
Ah, I see. I'm sorry for interfering...

I guess so. Besides, recently we haven't done much... With so few of us... There's still a severe lack of alchemy teachers.
Ah, Ms. Totori said that too... I'm not really surprised though... Alchemy does have this image of being super difficult...
That's true. So much of it is intuition, and that's hard to teach. And that's exactly why we're expecting so much from you, Lulua.
Huh...? Me? Why?
Because you're my apprentice, of course! And what do you think happens when I've finished teaching you alchemy?
Oh! When you finish learning how to do something... Then you can teach others!
Exactly! Hehe, that's why... You're our hope, Lulua.
It won't be easy, I know, but it can be also a lot of fun.
One day, let's open an alchemy classroom together, OK? Hehe. I'll be waiting, Lulua.
...Yes! I'm looking forward to it!
Yeah. Well, while we're at it... Let's get some food! Lionela, can we order, please?

Now that's the smartest thing I heard all day.

Yaaay! I think I'll probably have curry!
And I'll have some fish pie!

In other news, Lulua's getting a new staff. With a chance to inflict various elemental damage. Neat.

And finally, Meruru gets a nice new sword. Noble Force L gives her another +10 to DEF and gives her 15 HP back a turn. Hey, better than nothing.

Even if the girl herself feels conflict about it. Speaking of her, let's check in for a bit. Just for the record, I'm getting these scenes at a considerably different time of the game than on the previous playthrough. I like to think there's some degree of randomness as to when certain scenes will show up.

Ah, come on in, Lulua!
Sure! Ms. Meruru, are you in the middle of a synthesis?
That's right. If I don't practice every so often I tend to backslide a bit.
Hmmm... Then, is it OK if I just observe you for a bit?
Yes, of course! Ahaha, it makes me a bit nervous though...

Now, with that, it's done! ...How'd I do?
...I'm moved, honestly. Wow, Ms. Meruru! You're really skilled!
Hearing that from you makes me really happy. I'm meant to be a bit ahead of you, after all! Hehe, and while we're here... If you have anything you want to know, I'll teach you, OK?
Ah, really?! Well then, um... When you mix your cauldron...
*fade to black for Professor Arls' lesson...*
So, um, that's about it. So you grab the eggs but make sure they don't break like this... What... Wait, what am I saying?! I don't even understand what I'm saying anymore...
Ahaha... We were talking about how to stir a cauldron...
Ah... Yes, that was it, wasn't it. I guess I really AM pretty bad at teaching, aren't I...
Did someone tell you that before?
Yeah... Ms. Totori. She said... "Meruru. You're not really suited to teach people."

Can't exactly remember when she said that... It sounds like what she said to Meruru after she tried and failed to teach Keina how to do alchemy. Only occasion in Meruru I can remember Meruru teaching anyone anything.

Ah... Um, I don't know if that's quite... I mean... I wouldn't say...
*sigh*... Thanks for sparing my feelings. I'll try to work on my teaching style for next time. And if you like, you could come by to hang out again...
Oh, yes! Of course! Thank you so much for today, Ms. Meruru!
Yeah! Take care of yourself, OK! And thanks for today!

Before we can go to the Highlands, we'll need to pass through a location from Totori: the Forgotten Village. This wasn't a big location in Totori, but it was important. It's the first place in the game you could get a World Spirit from, which was a necessary ingredient for Traveler's Shoes, which lowered the amount of days needed to travel from one location to another. A big help in a timed game.

As for this one, apparently the Highlands are just south of Trombe Plateau, meaning we were a lot closer to Arland in Meruru than you might have thought. Good to know.

Not exactly scenic vistas around here, but Sterk's advice is important to keep in mind. Case in point...

...Somehow, I ended up falling through the level geometry and ended up in this brightly-lit Hell. Not sure how that happened, but this does tend to occur when you leap before you look, as Lulua tends to do. Unlike the thing in Night's Domain in Rorona where you could jump off the world and had to restart the game to get out of it, this is just a press of the touchpad to get back to the world map away from fixing things. Still really glad I got this on camera, though.

But, what I did is I reloaded my save I put down at Arland before setting out. Normally I wouldn't mind this at all, but I did just use a Tonic, and I was wanting to put that to better use. Resuming where we left off...

There's a new synthesis material here, the Mysterious Disk, that I guess you should pick up a few of. There's also a lot of failed alchemy byproducts around here, which normally you have to fail a synthesis to create, but you can get for free here. Another important bit of business...

Killing one of these things, a Black Demon. Doing so fulfills the last objective for Chapter 7's basic Riddles that you couldn't finish before now. When we return to the Atelier, we'll be able to unlock the hidden Riddles for this chapter. These guys are a little meaty in terms of HP, but are otherwise pretty harmless.

Piece of cake. Love Omega Crafts. There's a treasure chest with an Angel Charm with good effects, and Jagd Wolves come out at night. There's nothing super valuable in the Forgotten Village, but gather accordingly and make sure you kill one of those demons before moving on.

This place does look pretty great under a different clime. Gotta have the fog around here.

Now that we've finished the Basic riddles, we won't be going on to the Highlands and will instead go back to town. We've got plenty of work to do besides. The Knight and Lance

Whew, thank you. You're constantly saving the day.
Ahaha, it's fine. It's good training.
Ah, it's Mimi and Mr. Sterk! Are you talking about work?
Indeed. I gave Mimi a monster extermination request, and she did it in the blink of an eye. Hehe, that's Mimi for you.
Your admiration doesn't come easy, Mr. Sterk... You have to be pretty amazing, then, Mimi! Hehe...
I must be. Feels pretty good to hear praise from the Knight Supreme.
Heh. I might be the Knight Supreme, but Mimi is the Lancer Supreme.
Huh? WHA?! You're that strong, Mimi?! I mean, I knew you were powerful, but I didn't think you were THAT strong.
Hehe, are you surprised? The title of Supreme is just a prize for winning a tournament.

As for the status of this claim, hard to say. It makes more sense if you remember Mimi and Sterk aren't really close in age at all (Mimi is just around Totori's age, which would make Sterk her senior of about 25 years) and he's actually referring to their time escorting Totori around. Sterk definitely wasn't a kid then. If you bring them out together in Totori, they introduce themselves as if they're meeting each other for the first time, and Sterk, as usual, gets really excited about protecting nobility.

I think all those adventures helped you grow up...
Hehe, you may be right. In a sense, it all my be thanks to her...
...Possibly. So, thanks again for taking care of stuff.
No problem. Please leave it to me. The Lancer Supreme is at your service. *the two take off*
T-That's so cool...! The Lancer Supreme!

OK! So I can catch up to Mimi, I'll do 100 staff swings when I get home!

That's the spirit. The first step? Decoding the last of Chapter 7's Basic riddles.

Hm, so we've got some work to do. Quiet Forest Far From Home is for gathering a Gold Scarab and defeating a Shiningshroom, both of which we've done plenty of. Enshrouded in Black/White is for finding a Black Runestone and Glow Grass, piece of cake. Mining Explosives Redux is for destroying a certain number of objects with a Mining Bomb (the Pickaxe won't count for this) and making a good quality Mining Bomb, Master Gatherer Appears is for making a good quality Bug Net and Fairy Bag, so we'll need to work on that. Ultimate Ice and Electric Bombs are for making a good quality Ice and Lightning Bomb. Remember, "good quality" means 100+.

And finally, Secret to Good Fortune is fairly infamous, at least for me. First, defeat a new kind of mushroom in an Arland forest, which we'll be going to soon, and for getting a Dragon Eye. Unfortunately, for some reason this won't count the Eye you could have bought at the Fair so the earliest you can get a new one is from one of the dragons at Ster Highlands as a Rare drop. Unfortunately, quite Rare. It just depends on how lucky you get.

So let's start with the Mining Bomb business. Here, you'll definitely want a Uses +2 at least. Multiply (Use Count +1 x Count +2) isn't really necessary, but since we're making the upgraded Mining Bomb, gonna want to take this seriously.

Yep, this'll do. But now that we've unlocked that new location, let's see what's poppin' with Wild.

Oh, Wild. What are you eating?
Ohh, Lulua! Heheh, this little guy...!

A S-Sour Apple King...?! What is that?!
It's the sourest Sour Apple of the Sour Apples...! A phantom fruit with a most refined acidic flavor! You can probably find them there the uh, the whatchamacallit... Neu-something-or-other Forest. Anyway, it's got King in the title, so you know it's gotta be really, really good and really, really hard to find... But I'm sure you could find it, Lulua!
Hmm... I guess so... A Sour Apple King... Hehe, I guess it wouldn't hurt to look...

This is another scene that unlocks a special material: the Sour Apple King, as you might have guessed. Luckily, as an Arland vet, I know exactly what forest he's talking about. We'll be visiting it soon. But first, another scene that kinda randomly shows up after taking care of Jeltje's Living Rope request. A familiar scent

Oh, Lulua, hello! Heh, I thought I'd see you here!
Huh? What made you think that?
Oh... It's kind of a special skill of mine. I've got a really good nose.
A good nose? So you can tell people apart by smell or something?
Yes, exactly! Hehe, it's pretty useful, you know. I can tell when there are monsters nearby, and I can tell foods apart by smell. It's really the ideal skill for an Adventurer! Ha ha ha, lost for words, are we?
Not really lost for words, is pretty cool! Huh, so you've got a good nose... A good nose and friendly with people... You're kind of like a dog, Jeltje!
A-A dog?!
...Oh! Uh, no, that's not what I meant! I mean, I'm sorry!
Ahahaha, no worries. I've got nothing against dogs. Maybe I should try putting on a pair of dog ears! Or not, hahaha!
Haha, I'm sure you'd look cute! ...Say, Jeltje... Do I really smell that much? You can actually smell me coming?
Oh, yeah. When you're nearby, I kind of... Hm. I feel hungry.

Makes sense to me. Then again I haven't made much curry in my playthrough, so Lulua must really eat a lot of it.

Like curry?! I mean, I do like curry a lot, but... You're saying I actually smell like it?!
Oh my gosh... I really had no idea, oh my... What do I do? I could eat less curry... No. That's not happening. I could never do that! But if I don't, I'm going to smell... Oh nooo, what do I do?! I don't know!
Oops, might've teased her a bit too much. But... Nah, this is way too cute, I'll just let her be.

Well, Lulua did call her a dog. Fair's fair if you ask me.

Glad he's enjoying himself. Well, the reason we're in Arls is because of Hart Outpost. Why this place in particular? Lots of things to blow up with a Mining Bomb. Let us just presume I did just that, and that it was not particular entertaining to grind out these item usages. It's 30 things blown up, for the record. Back to town again... This video has both the following scene and second half, mostly because both were recorded fairly close together in time. Duty of royalty

Whoa, Aurel! What's wrong? You look really worked up...
Yeah... I have messed up...
Messed up?! Wait, are you hurt?!
No, that's not it. I took on a wrong request.
I said, I took on a wrong request. This is the paper for it.

That's correct. I took this one instead of a monster hunting request by mistake.
Hmm... What's so bad about this? You could just apologize and decline it.
No, I can't.
What? Why not...?
I'm not sure if I told you this, but I'm a member of the Arland Royal Family. I can't just refuse a request after taking it on. It would disgrace the honor of my family name.
O-Oh... I'm surprised to hear you're royalty, but I'm surprised you would say that, too. Hmmm, I guess I can understand though. I'll get that item for you. ...Actually. Since you came to the atelier, I guess you were planning that from the very start.
You are correct.
Ahaha, so honest... I'll bring it to to you once I've finished. Just make yourself at home until I'm done.
Alright. Sorry about this.
It's fine. Don't worry about it. All right, time to do some synthesis, lickety-split!

Well, that's not too bad, especially since it doesn't call for a high-quality Nectar. Also, this pop-up is wrong. You have to deliver it to him in Arland, not Arls. Let's just head on over... Next scene takes place once Piana is at 40+ Friendship level. She has a follow-up scene after this, and after that we'll replace Piana with Rorona on the active team. Being an adult

What's the matter? Hm? Is that alcohol?
Oh. Hi, Lulua. Yeah, and it's pretty strong stuff, too.
Wow... That's unusual... Teacher having alcohol like that.
I know, right? I actually got it as a payment for a request. I don't drink at all, though.
What, really?! I never would've expected that.
Excuse you. What, did you think I was just always drinking in secret somewhere?
Ahaha... It's not that. Although, why not? Is it because you're actually not old enough?

I'll never forget it... The day after I came of age. I thought I would finally have my first drink. I was so excited as I walked into a tavern. But once I got there... I got caught up in something.
Caught up in something?!

It really was something. So much that I hardly have any memories of what happened afterwards...
I asked around later and apparently they were both quite famous around Arland... Well, not that it matters or anything. But because I met them, I have come to a decision... That I never want to become like them. So I decided that I won't ever drink.
Uh... I see... So that's why...
Yup. You should keep that in mind, Lulua. If you drink, don't let it get the better of you.
Yes... I'll be sure to keep that in mind. Ahaha...

Ah, the legend of Esty and Tiffani continues to this day. The widower Tiffani owned a shop next to Atelier Rorona and was the saintliest woman who ever did live...until she started drinking and completely lost control of her inhibitions, as Rorona so vividly experienced. We also learned in that game that Esty, the receptionist at the castle, was drinking buddies with her and got similarly unchained when she started drinking, so the two were fast friends. Apparently the two still live in Arland or close to it, and Piana had to go through that particular trial by fire.

With that bit of history out of the way, time to give Aurel his Nectar.

Forgive me. You have my thanks. ...Here.
Huh? What's this?
A token of my thanks. I know I caused you trouble in this. *gives 2500 Cole*

Wow, 2500 Cole for a Nectar job. Well, we already know money is not quite an object to Aurel, so it makes sense.

You really don't have to do this. But if you're offering... I'll take it! Thanks, Aurel!
But... I really think you should stop being so stubborn. Well, I know you'll always be a little stubborn, but... At the very least when you take on the wrong request...
No, I can't. That's just how I live my life.

Even if the kingdom is gone...that doesn't change the fact that I am royalty. As such, I must act as royalty would. That is my responsibility.
I don't expect you to understand. However, just like I said, that is how I live. Whatever I do, I must take the title of Knight Supreme as my Uncle's heir.

Well, as always a bit tense, but he at least has a consistent worldview.

Now that we're making the most powerful Mining Bomb, it would serve our interests well to make it as good as possible. Destruction Level 6 is the most important one to get, however. This is the most powerful Destruction Level and can destroy everything that can be destroyed, including, as it says, rainbow crystals. We haven't seen those yet but they are around. Luckily, this thing is as easy to get that Effect on as the Mining Bomb was since it can take so many predominately Fire-based materials. Picked Item Amount Up L is also fine, but you really just need Level 6 and Uses +2, if you ask me. Oh, and Heavily Mass-Produced or something similar to lower the cost of Restocking, since other traits won't matter.

Yeah, I think this'll do for Sterk's first new weapon. Wild Instinct is a bit dangerous in that it's +20 HP and +10 ATK but at the cost of lowering DEF by 20. Luckily, Sterk's a pretty tough guy. I think he can handle that penalty. Gladiator's Might L further increases the Faint value of his attacks by 30 and critical hit damage by 15%.

Have you heard of Sterk? Great Sword wielder, head of the citizen guard, Knight Supreme. What a guy. One day I'd like to be able to forge a sword for Sterk to wield...
Oh, er, Cole? This is for Mr. Sterk to use.
Huh? Whaaaat?! No way! You're joking! You're joking, right?
I'm not joking. I'm not some kind of liar!
Whoooa! Why didn't you tell me this earlier? Inscription! It needs an inscription! Something to prove I made it! Agh, what should I do? I should have made it way more fancy...
Haha, there's no need to get in a tizzy. I don't think Mr. Sterk cares about that stuff.
Agh, I keep seeing things I should have done differently! I want to scrap it and start over!

But I know Mr. Sterk will be totally happy with the sword you already made, Cole. So I think I'll just take it. Thank you, Cole!
Agh! Fine... Hey, Lulua... Can you kind of sneakily see what he thinks of it? Please!
Haha, sure thing. Just 'coz it's you. But... It's fun to see you've got this side to you. Hehe.

Hm, let's just make sure Rorona's loadout looks good before our next adventure and...


Well, while I replay the last quarter of this update or so, see you next time...