Part 7: Chapter VI: The Financial Side of the Girls' Journeys
Monster in the sand
We heard about a ship sinking...
What! Who was on it?
I don't know...
Do you know why it sank?
No, but passengers on a different ship nearby said they heard a Sand Dragon...
Damn. ...Not again...
What's wrong, Shallie?
It's so hard to save money.
You're trying to save up?
Some extra money would make life a lot easier, and maybe even let me do what I want.
So what do you want to do, Shallie?
Well uh... (I know there's something, but I can never think of what it is!)
Heh, there's no hurry. Just take your time and think about it. There's no hurry to save money, either.
You should go spend some time with Miruca instead of worrying all day. Isn't it your day off, anyway?
It'd be a good change of pace for you.
Oh! I know! Miruca's atelier is doing really well... I should ask her about her secrets to success! Thanks, mom! I'll go see her!
One step forward
Oh, I'm sorry. I can't seem to find all the materials we need to fix the ship... I've tried everything.
Oh... Well, that's not good... The city doesn't have anything to spare, and we're asking for more than they're willing to part with. We need to do more for the people here and gain their support.
You already have a pretty big job... Please, let me know if there's anything I can do...
Oh Teo, thank you. But we have to work together here, for the sake of our village... I'm going to the Union again to see if you we can get more materials... (They don't even have enough to spare for a little remote village. I just need to work harder!)
Sorry for keeping you waiting. Here ya go.
Thank you! With this, I'll be even better at hunting!
The pan broke...
A repair? Apologies, there'll be a little bit of a wait for that...
(This place is so popular! And all the customers seem so happy...)
Oh, Shal? Please get some tea while I talk with these customers.
Wha... Who is this?
Oh, Shallie! His name is Homura. He's a homunculus.
He may look odd, but he's a capable treasure hunter who works for the Union.
Nice to meet you, Homura. I'm Shallistera.
Nice to meet you. Shallistera. Can call you, "Shallie"?
Yes, a lot of people call me that.
Okay. Shallie. Where from?
Your clothes are strange. For around here.
I'm from Lugion Village, it's quite a ways from here.
You know of it?!
Long ago. Visit. Very nice.
The area around the village is deteriorating, so she came here to find a solution to the problem.
Homura... You're worried about us?
Lugion... Gratitude for help. Never will forget. If need something, ask. I help you, Shallie.
Thank you so much, Homura!
There also might be a way to get the materials you need for your ship... Through the Union.
Not for free, of course. We are many things, but a charity is not one of them.
I'll pay for it!
Alright, just let me know when you've got the payment.A
Are you. Leaving. Town now?
No, I'm going to go back to my ship to see if I have enough money.
I see. Come speak to me. Before you go on. Adventure!
Hee hee, sure.
Hey Jurie! What is it?
There's someone I want you to meet. Come with me.
Whew...sorry about that.
You're working pretty hard, Miruca.
Shal... What're you doing here?
Hehe, I'm spying behind enemy lines, as it were...
...I don't get it.
What's your ssecret to such a popular shop?
Why would you ask an "enemy" something like that!
Awww, c'mon! It was just a joke!
...Hahh. I don't have any secrets, I just listen to the customer, do waht I can to help and tell them if I can't. Also, I make sure they're happy with my services.
That sounds easier than I thought...
Imbuing isn't magic.
I wish I could make a lot of money like magic.
There's a lot you can do with just basic alchemy. That's part of the reason the basics are so difficult. Here, you should read this over.
An alchemy textbook?
It's full of useful information for old style alchemy.
I already mentioned it, but there're a lot of people interested in Central's style of alchemy coming to my atelier.
Oh, I guess you wouldn't know much about that... Well, to put it simply, it involves a lot of machinery that can "fold" materials into a base and enhance its properties. For example, with your old broom, I could fold alchemy materials into that and enhance it with new properties. It's why it's called "imbuing".
Oh, I guess they would only have that kind of machinery in Central, huh...
Exactly. Central has a number of skilled agents who can do that kind of work outside of Central, though. Although I'm not working for Central, there's a large academy there for students to learn the basics. Most of the machinery I use I had to build myself, and it's not the same as it was in Central.
But being able to do that is an incredible skill! I'm sure you'll make a lot of money for a long time.
That's possible, but I think that once the craze is over, people like me will need a strong foundation to stay in business. I'll support you if you want to work in this field. I'll do any Imbuing you need, too...
So, don't settle for just anything.
("Just anything"...?) I uh...
Excuse me, I have a quick question...
I'll uh, check back later.
Is something wrong? I can come back later...
Oh, not at all. What do you need?
This is it.
This is... An atelier?
Hello... (An atelier... Wow. I've never seen a lot of this stuff before...)
Oh, hey sis.
Same ol' same ol'.
By sis, do you mean that she's your sister, Jurie?
Yep. Younger sister, actually. She's the top alchemist in Stellard.
She must be wicked smart.
She is really, REALLY good good. Guaranteed.
She's also the cutest little sister ever!
That's also guaranteed.
Jurie, can you shut it for two seconds? Sorry about that. I'm Miruca Crotze. I run this Imbuing shop.
I'm Shallistera Argo. I have to say, I haven't seen a lot of the tools in here.
I do suppose they could be unusual to regular people...
Actually, Shallie's an alchemist, too.
Ah, yeah, a lot of people call me that. (That was the same name Miruca used for that girl she knows...)
Oh, I see. So if you're an alchemist but you have trouble recognizing these tools... You must be an old style alchemist.
Miruca studied in Central.
Just a bit. I use a new type of alchemy that uses these tools.
A new form of alchemy from Central...! That's amazing!
Thank you so much, MIruca! What is "Disassembling"?
Oh... As long as you bring me alchemy materials from outside of Stellard, I can disassemble them into their base forms. It's a new technique that's being worked on in Central, but it's proven. If you need a specific ingredient, you might find it be disassembling another.
Oh, that's great!
Don't settle for just anything, huh. (I dunno what she was getting at, but it seems like she knows I've been feeling down.) The foundations of alchemy... Since Miruca is working on IMbuing, I have to find something else to do... Hmm... I guess I can just jump in headfirst and see what kind of alchemic experience I can get!
I'll go ask Solle if there's any work I can help with!
Whoa! Who's this little guy?
] Oh, hello Shallie. He's Homura, a homunculus. He's a treasure hunter who works for the Union. He's also an old friend.
Yes. Solle. Admirable friend.
He just means we're good friends.
Oh! Well, it's nice to meet you! I'm Shallotte. I just started working here.
Nice to meet you. Shallotte.
You can just call me Shallie, everyone else does.
Then. Too many Shallies.
Huh? Too many?
Nevermind. Shallie. What work?
I wanted to help people in town, as an alchemist. I guess.
If need anything. Alchemy. Ask. I will help.
Are you sure, Homura? You're making an awful lot of promises.
I like. Adventure. Exciting. Growing alcehmists. Have good adventures.
Hehehe! Aww, you're interesting, Homhom!
Oh really. Your face. Interesting too. Shallie.
What? What about my face?! Why are you laughing!
He may look unassuming, but Homura is skilled and has a lot of experience. If you have trouble, you should consider asking him about it.
Oh, okay! Thank you so much!
So, is there a reason you're here today?
Oh, I was wondering if there were any interesting new jobs today.
I'm afraid not. Our more professional hunters are taking care of the hunting requests, and there's nothing we have interest in investigating at the moment.
Oh... I see.. Well, I guess I'll see you later then.
Shallie. Come with?
Shoot for the stars
What should I do to save money?
If saving. Money. Or treasure. Goal is best. We do too.
So you're saying it's easier to save when I have a goal?
First. Save money. To buy shiny.
You and Miruca seem pretty grounded... Maybe that's the secret to success.
Sounds good. Shallie. Work hard.
What? You're not going to stop me? That doesn't seem quite right...
Hahh... I guess I should come up with a more realistic amount to save... (Hmm, what I can do to make that much money...?)
The grim traveler
Hey, Rose. On your way back from work?
Ah, we meet again, while you're still alive, Shallotte.
Well, we couldn't meet if I was dead!
Oh, well... That's not true...
Huh? Anyway, how's work?
Today was pretty good. Do you want to see all the newly recovered items?
Sure, but I'm trying to save money.
Oh, don't worry, all of my items are very affordable.
Where do you find all of these things?
Oh, different places... You can use these items for alchemy, correct?
Yes, but... I don't think I can use them effectively now. Sorry Rose, I think I'll only buy the recipe book.
Oh, that's quite okay. I'm sure we'll meet again before we die.
You want to introduce me to somebody?
I know. They will help. Shallie. I know best information. In Stellard. Trust me.
Okay... So where is this person?
A long walk. Solice Trade Camp.
Trade camp? You mean this person is a merchant?
Yes. Sells many useful things. Grateful.
Oh, okay! Let's go.
Trading post. Just beyond here.
Why is this place called the "Land of Falling Stars"?
A lot of meteorite fragments have been found in this area. It's a valuable source of materials for alchemists like Miruca.
I wonder if we'll find anything like that...
Aw, it doesn't look like there are very many materials around here.
Well, I guess we came at a bad time. Still, we should continue on the trading post.
Wait. Let me help. With fighting.
When you attack. Combine to be more powerful!
Catch monsters. Off-guard!
Is there anything else we need to do here?
No, I think we can move on now.
Traveler of the seas
(Whoa, I didn't even notice her... It's like she doesn't even exist...?)
Oh, Homura. I see you're still surviving.
I never die.
Mm, how brave of you. And who is this young lady?
I introduce. Shallie. From Lugion Village.
Hello... I'm Shallistera...
Oh...yes. Another girl in Stellard seems to be named Shallie. I've never met her, though.
Oh, I'm sure you'll meet someday. Oh, where are my manners... My name is Rosemia.
Still... Lugion Village, you say? You've come quite a distance. Oh, I see. The strange ship in the harbor was yours...?
Yes, we caused an accident when we got here...
Stuff happens, that's life. Though I did end up losing work.
What? We caused you trouble, too?! I'm so sorry...!
Not to worry. Shallie. Rose is, "collector".
That's kind of a tasteless way of saying it, Homura. I work helping people having trouble out in the Dusk Sea.
Wow, that job sounds wonderful!
Though many times, it's already too late... If that is the case, I give them a proper burial and collect their things.
I also collect living people sometimes... If something happened to you, I'm sure I could help...
I'm going to try to avoid that happening...
Armor. Weapons. Rare items. Ask Rose when needed.
Of course. Feel free to check what I have for sale anytime.Usually I'm here or in Stellard. I usually only leave when I hear about something wonderful on the Dusk Sea. Do you want to see what I have for sale now?
Music: Sandy Sea -Trading Post-
Hmm... I'm not sure if I need anything right now, but if I do, I'll be sure to come back.
Oh, certainly. I'm sure we'll meet again, someday.
Well, see you later, Miss Rosemia.
Oh, you don't have to call me "Miss". Oh, there is a path to the north leading to a set of magnificent ruins. I'm sure you'll find something interesting along the way. Take out your map please...
Oh, that's very helpful. Thank you again!
Music: Sandy Sea -Cave-
Well, they shouldn't be too bad. As long as we have good equipment and are well-prepared, we should be able to beat them.
These are some really valuable ores... I'll have to come back here in the future!
Looks like the cave exit is just ahead.
This will make a good shortcut back to the ruins. It's easier to move across the Dusk Sea than some of the growth around Stellard.
Yeah. Well, we should head back to town to report to the Union.
Thank you, Homura.
You work hard. I like hard work.
Stop, you're embarrassing me!
Shallie. If have trouble. Tell me. Can help. Friend.
Okay, I will. Thank you again, Homura.
Let's see...next, I need to pay the Union 1000 Cole.
One giant leap
Yep! I seemed to have managed, somehow.
You came off as more a "kept princess" at first, but you sure have proven yourself.
Thank you so much! (Raoul actually gave me a compliment!)
Okay, we'll give you the supplies so you can make your ship even better than it was before!
I'll be happy if it just works...
Haha! No worries, it's part of the deal. Just you see! Do you have any idea what you'l need for the ship?
Hahaha, don't worry! I'll get in touch with the captain of your ship to see what you'll need. You might want to come back tomorrow for more work, though.
Oh, okay! Goodbye!
We're finally going to be able to repair our ship!
Shallie, you don't have to do so much work on your own, you can ask us for help.
Thanks, Kortes. But I actually like it. I feel like I'm fulfilling responsibilities. I'm still unsure about how we're going to save the village, but we'll find a way. I'll need your support...
Of course. Yes.
Also, uh, where's Teo?
He's double-checking the amount of supplies needed for repairs. We'll leave the ship to my dad so we can take care of other things while we wait.