Part 5: Chapter V: The Varied Side of the Converging Stories
What's with that old guy?
He didn't seem that bad to me, but I wonder why he came here.
Maybe we'll see him again... He could have at least told us his name.
Let's explore down here.
Treasure! Yes! Let's see...
Aw, I thought they might be a little nicer than this... Still, I guess they can help when we go on new adventures. I got a new broom, too!
Shal, why do you use a broom anyway?
Well, I figure if I can pick up trash with it, then I might as well bring it everywhere. I can even hit monsters really hard with it and do a lot of damage.
But wouldn't you feel safer with a more powerful weapon?
Maybe, but I'm so used to this...
I don't have any more questions. I've heard enough.
At least you finished the job... But the work overall is shoddy, and your descriptions too vague. You don't seem to have much knowledge or experience.
Are you really an alchemist? Because you're totally different from the alchemists I know.
... If that's all, then--
I'll send for you when I have something more to discuss.
What do I do now?
You've completed your mission. Good work. You may leave. Let's see...your payment is 300 Cole. Here you are.
What is it? Remember, we have guests... Please keep your voice down.
Oh, sorry... Hey Linca, who're the guests?
This is Shallistera from Lugion Village.
You're from another village? My name is Albert. My dad is Gerard Perriend.
Oh...! It's nice to meet you.
Linca, where's my father? It's important I get something from him! Hurry!
I understand. Shallistera, you may leave. Please come back again sometime.
Okay. Thank you...
A boy's dream
Here is your well-earned reward! You went above and beyond.
Holy moly, this is a lot! Are you sure about this?
Yes, please take it! You have my gratitude. Can I... Count on you if I need something later on?
Yeah! Of course. I have to ask, though, why do you like automatons so much? They're cute, but I wouldn't pay this much for them...
How can you not appreciate their beauty?!
Ugh... Okay, okay...
What's all this ruckus about?
(Oh no, it's Perriend...)
Are you still collecting useless junk? You already have more than enough to do as my heir.
I'm sorry, father... I'll get back to studying...
You should try to follow your mother, Shallie, and find some real work for yourself.
(...It's that girl again!!)
Shallie, you okay?
Yeah... We have to keep our heads up!
(So her name is Shallie, TOO!)
Is something wrong, Shallie?
Oh, nope. I'm gonna head home now.
Alright, I'll let you know if I need anything else.
Don't blame me if it makes your dad angry.
Don't remind me. Well, I'll see you later, then.
She's gone now... I'm sure we'll meet again, though. Well, I'm sure Mom is worried.
But the best part is finding real work, and getting an actual reward! I do kinda feel bad for Al... But this might really help me move forward. If I can make enough, I can finally do what I want... (Wait a minute, now that I think about it...) What DO I want to do?
Shallie! Bath is ready!
Okaaay! I guess I can think about the other stuff later.
Shallote, why don't you help me around the house today?
Sorry mom, I need to accept some jobs. Raoul said he had a bunch of requests today.
Okay. Make sure you get home before night.
What do I do...?
Shallie, you have a guest...
Oh! Please, come in.
I've brought an extra reward, and a message from the Chairman.
Extra reward? To be honest he didn't seem that happy with my work.
No, it's not that... He just has trouble expressing himself. Please, take this...
An alchemy book...
It's your extra reward! The Chairman said to "keep up the training". Did you see those books on the walls of the Corporation? The Chairman loves to collect books, but never seems to have the time to read any of them. When he heard you were an alchemist, he said it should go to someone who can use it well.
He knows you're quite sincere and hardworking, Shallistera. But it seems you have your own circumstances and responsibility. He hopes you will gain the capacity to carry that burden.
A responsibility and a way to carry it?
(I wonder if he's actually a nice guy...)
That's all for now. I look forward to seeing you later.
I wonder if I'll be able to finish my task.
So, what's next Shallie?
I should focus on alchemy for a bit, then go back to the ruins. I didn't get to explore as much as I wanted to. I'm sure there's more valuable ingredients there.
Okay. Just let me know if there's anything I can help with. I have to help dad with the ship repairs now.
Is it really bad?
To be honest, it's not that the ship is in bad condition, it's just we don't have the materials necessary to repair the ship fully. The impact badly damaged the front and destroyed a lot of machinery that we need to move to the ship. Until we repair it, the ship is stuck in Stellard.
Really...? And we still don't know how to save Lugion.
I hate to say it, but we may be here in Stellard for a while.
I'm sorry I can't do more...
Don't worry about it. That's why we're here to help.
Yeah, I know. Thanks. I'm going to go down and get some jobs from the Union. We could always use more money.
Um... No... (Could he mean the person I saw before...?)
Her full name is Shallote. She's a cheerful girl, but that is basically her only redeeming quality.
Whaaaaat?! That can't be right.
If you ask me, it most certainly is. However, you might find her more interesting. Apparently she's an alchemist as well. You'll probably end up meeting her eventually.
(I wonder what kind of person she is... I want to meet her.)
About the ethos here. If it hasn't changed since before, everyone is mostly concerned with their personal freedom.
In other words... You take care of yourself first... Or, uh...
What's wrong? You're muttering like you've got a mouth full of food.
Nothing, it's just...
Miss, you seem to be surprised after to such a large city for the first time. While everyone in our village is like a family, this is more like a gathering of strangers.
Gathering of strangers?
People live alongside unrelated strangers... Connections different than in the village. In other words... Personal choice and mutual aid are valued highly in this city. You can't expect help right from the start for nothing, but you help each when needed.
...But isn't that the same as the village?
In the village, it's easy to guess what others want, then act on it, right?
...Isn't that what it means to help each other?
There's too many people, so you can't tell how other people feel...? That doesn't seem good at all...
But that's normal here. That's why there's no point in waiting for someone to help. You need to network instead.
It's up to you to work towards an understanding with others here. They won't come to you. You must go to them.
If you show an open heart and accept them, the people of htis city will do the same in return.
Okay... There's still a lot I don't understand, but I'll do my best.
Miss Shallistera, you've already shown so much improvement since we've arrived in Stellard. Why don't you walk around the city with Kortes and talk with the people here? I'm sure you'll understand them much more if you speak with them.
Of course. Let's go Shallie.
(Hm...I'm starting to understand the people here, but...) ...Still, what can I do to gain the trust of the people here...? Maybe someone would know... Oh, what about Jurie? She's from Stellard...
So, that's why I'm here today.
You want to know how to approach people?
Yes... When I thought about it, I don't think I've actually befriended someone before...
And that's because everyone in your village is already like family, right?
How did you know?
Because Kortes was always complaining about that.
You didn't know? I guess that's not a surprise, though.
(I didn't know Kortes felt that way about the village...) I really don't know anything...
You should stop blaming yourself for everything.
There're people who'll take advantage of that here... Something bad might happen if you keep doing it.
...Anyway, befriending people is easier if there's a mutual benefit, or similar interests. That's where it starts. As you spend more time with someone, you understand each other more. That helps mutual trust.
Just don't think about it too hard.
Thank you very much... I'll try. (I still don't really understand... But I guess I need to help others, and get to know them, and then they'll listen to me... It seems difficult, but I'll try my hardest...)
There's no reason to think about it so much. You've only been here a little while, and already you've made great progress winning the trust of the people here. You'll get used to it before you know it.
You think so? Thanks Jurie.
What is it, Raoul? Do you have a big job for me to do?
Don't get so carried away. You know how that big ship came from a distant land?
Oh, the one that came crashing into town!
Apparently, the young lady who was on the ship is also called "Shallie".
Young lady? ...Is she a kid?
No, she's just a bit younger than you. Her name's Shallistera, I think... Also, she seems to be a princess...
You're all over the place. I don't really get your point.
Quiet. Anyway, I was just mentioning it because it's an interesting coincidence.
Hmm, another Shallie, huh. This is starting to feel like fate!
She seems to be hard working, but also a little shut-in... Or, I guess you could say she's naive...?
I got it! If we ever end up working together, I'll be sure to train her well!
You don't need to get so excited about it.
(I wonder what kind of girl she is... I wanna meet her...!)
Shallie, didn't you come here to see what jobs are available?
Oh, almost forgot! Sorry!
More trash-cleaning jobs, Raoul?
I know, but someone has to do it. Cleaning crews are already at the harbor, but if you can help out that would be great.
That's a lot of jobs. You think you can handle that much?
Of course, just leave it to me!
Heh...I wonder if you can maintain that enthusiasm.
Just you wait! Okay, now then...I should get ready.
Oh, Shallie, listen! I found some great work for you!
Huh? What kind?
All you need to do is prepare 50 pieces of leather!
...What? Seriously...? ("All I need to do"? That sounds like a ton of work to me...) Uh... Hmm.
What's wrong, Shallie? Does your stomach hurt?
(But mom went out of her way to find this work for me...) Okay! Thanks mom! I'll give it a shot sometime! Ahaha...
I'm glad you're happy. It's great to have connections for work.
...Yeah, I'll do my best... Ahaha... Where did you get this job from?
A clothing designer. She said she needed plenty of material for designing new fashions, and thought she'd ask an alchemist in Stellard to make some for her.
Oh... Okay, I'll do a great job!
I'm sure you will, Shallie. There's no time limit on the job, so feel free to focus on more important jobs first. But I'm sure it would be great for you if you completed it.
Thanks again mom! (Ugh...this job sounds like a pain...) Hm.
Oh, I don't have the recipe for making leather with alchemy.
Is it that hard? I think you could make some leather without a recipe book.
No...it's really dangerous to try and make something if you don't know the recipe for it. Is there anyone selling alchemy books in Stellard?
Well...I know the Katla girl outside the house had some books with her, and you might try the Perriend Corporation, as well.
Katla and Perriend...guess I'll try there.
Ah, excellent choice! Another alchemist also bought a copy of this book.
Yes! A very beautiful girl with long black hair and a strange dress. She was here a few days ago.
(That must be Shallistera! I wonder where she is now...)
There's only so much you can learn from studying alchemy. I can't just study in the atelier all the time. I need to get stronger!
Well, slags make good training opponents because of their predictable movements and behavior while still being dangerous. You're young; I'm sure you'll learn a lot from Kortes and me.
That's nice to hear... We should also survey the area much more than we did last time we were here.
Well, there are ruins to the north and east. I've heard the north has some really strong slags, so maybe that's not a good idea right now. The ruins to the east... I think that should be okay.
Have you been in these ruins before?
Last time was a while ago so I don't remember much about this area, but the Ruins of Frozen Time should be to the east.
Those ruins in the distance are about halfway between here and the Ruins. Let's head there first.
Actually, maybe we could head north a little...
Wow...this is a great material! I'm not really able to use it very well, though, but it will be nice to have.
Alright, let's keep moving.
Doesn't look like there's many materials... I wonder if we'll find any?
What is that? Do you know what it is, Shallie?
I'm not sure... It looks human, but it's not alive, and it looks...stuck in the ground. It might be an automaton.
Why would one of those be here?
I don't know, but I don't think we can move it like it is now. Let's just keep investigating this place.
There are no materials here... But this ruin looks too important to be completely empty.
Well, if there's nothing else here, we should head back to Stellard.
Ugh... There're so many people here...!
This is where treasure hunters meet up for work and information. Maybe it's a little soon to bring you here.
Hey! Stop treating me like a kid all the time...
Sorry. But you'd hesitate to come here on your own, wouldn't you?
Well, yes... (Everyone here is an adult... I hate to admit it, but I really am just like a kid in a place like this.)
Hey yeah, you're right. She's a respectable treasure hunter, after all. I wonder if she's got some business.
I don't know... But why isn't she talking with anyone?
Hmm... It kind of looks like everyone's avoiding her, rather than her not trying to talk to them...
Huh, why...? Do people not like her?
No, she's a good person, just not that social. Plus she's an expert treasure hunter, so she's kinda intimidating.
I didn't know... She's really nice. What a shame.
Oh, Kortes and Shallie. What are you two doing here?
Hi Jurie. Me and Kortes were just about to head to the Union to turn in some jobs.
Oh, right. Kortes, help me out here.
Help you out? It doesn't look like you're doing anything.
No, I'm doing a lot actually. Besides, it'll be good for Shallie if she's on her own for a bit.
You think so?
I know so. Now come on.
Ugh, what a mess. Well, I should finish this up. Hmhmhmhm.....
Really? I still don't really understand it that well...
I should be able to start giving you more profitable work now. But, more money means more trust from the client. It's a big responsibility. Work hard and get it done!
(Okay, I'll do my best!) Are there more jobs in today?
There are, but nothing I think you'd find challenging. Come back in a few days and I should have more for you.
Okay! Thank you very much! (There's still one more thing I want to make right now, now that I'm more comfortable with my alchemy...)
Is that a bomb, Shallie?
Yeah, but...don't worry! It won't explode without a really strong shock. We'll be fine!
Are you sure? Oh! But that means you're getting much better with alchemy, right?
Yeah! To be honest, I was kind of scared to try a synthesis like this, but it turned out alright.
Of course it did! You were the one making it.
Oh, mom... Oh, is dinner ready yet?
Well, I followed the recipe exactly, so it should be safe to use outside of town. I never realized how dangerous alchemy can really be...