Part 10: Chapter IX: The Final Side of the Separate Paths
Shallistera. What do you want to order today?
Something a little strange. I hope it'll be okay...
This is... A weapon for Kortes...
You know Kortes?
Yes. He trained with my sister briefly before I left for Central. I haven't seen him a while, though.
Huh... His weapons are always a little strange...
I made it the way you wanted, but I have no idea how to use it.
It looks like he draws powers of various talismans through the rod he uses to unleash attacks...
...Okay, that was even more confusing.
I don't know much about it either, only that I asked him to tell me about it, and I didn't understand at all.
Well, I made it according to the plans, so it should be fine. Actually, I have another question for you: you practice alchemy, and Kortes uses weapons like this. Is everyone from your village special?
Hm, it's hard for me to answer that, because I was living in my village almost all my life, but I guess we would be a little strange to people from the city.
I look forward to learning more about your village.
Oh, you're accepting it? I'll explain it for you. This request is for a provision of sweets.
To be specific, a traditional recipe in this town called Stellapearl. It's pretty tasty.
It looks like Solle made the request. Maybe he can't make it himself...?
Well, we've been short on a lot of ingredients lately, and a lot of younger people don't know how to make it.
I see... Now I understand.
Even if you haven't made it before, it shouldn't be that hard to learn. Anyway, I know you can do it. Bring it here once you're done.
Okay, I'll do the best I can!
One more thing: I shouldn't have to tell you after you've seen him, but...
I know... That's why it's important I take my time with this... I'll be sure to deliver something that will impress even him!
No, it doesn't sound like him. I heard something about them having a tail.
The alchemist with the tail is Escha, but that old man? I wonder if he's the same one as the man I met...
Shallie, keep up!
So what are we looking for?
Ancient Stones and Mixed Oil. Mixed Oil can only be found in small quantities, and Ancient Stones are kinda fragile, so be careful with them...
I guess there aren't any of those around here, but I did find these mushrooms. Do you think you could use these, Shallie?
They're definitely not good for eating, but these are the famous Reaper's Kiss mushrooms... I could use the poisonous taste to them for bombs and stuff like that...
Alright, we'll keep them. (How can she do stuff like that with alchemy...?)
Well, if there aren't any of the things you're looking for around here, we should keep going, Shallie. Hunters like Katla are rarely wrong about these kinds of things.
She's not really a hunter...
I had no idea there was a place lilke this in these ruins. It's really amazing to see the past like this.
What are all these machines?
They don't look like alchemy machines, and it's obviously been abandoned for some time... This place looks like it might be great for finding ancient materials and machine oil like we need. Let's make sure we look carefully.
Looks like Katla was right. Let's gather a lot here.
That should do it. Me and dad could easily repair the ship and get it moving with all this stuff. Nice job, Shallie.
Haha... Really? That's great.
We should come back here later to finish our investigation.
The first big step
Yep, there's no doubt about it, I can definitely repair the ship now. I'm sorry for all the trouble.
And I'm sorry for leaving the ship all up to you.
It's alright. Anyway, I should really start on those repairs. We will finally be able to travel back across the Dusk Sea again.
Yes... Thank you again, Teo. (The ship will finally be fixed... Gosh that took a long time. I hope the village is okay... It's been a long time since we got to Stellard, and we haven't solved anything. But the problems here are related to the problems back home, so I guess we are progressing a bit...)
The chairman is currently busy, please come this way...
These fights are becoming more frequent...
Uh oh, are Raoul and Perriend not getting along?
It's more like... They're disagreeing on the future direction of Stellard, now that--
That's why I said you're a hard-headed old man! We really will be completely taken over by Central at this rate!
Do you have any sort of proof that YOUR methods will ensure the independence of Stellard!?
There's no need for proof or things like that now! We're in a crisis here!
I don't think so! Besides, what exactly is Central "investigating" around here!?
I told you, the progression of the Dusk! You stubborn old man!
They aren't a chairty, do you really believe they would dispatch agents here for such an abstract goal!?
I'm done here, you stubborn old coot! Don't come crying to me when something terrible really does happen! Linca... I'm sorry you had to see that.
It's quite alright. I'm used to you disagreeing with the Chairman, but it has been getting a little...
Yeah, I know. The Union has its interests, the Corporation theirs'... I don't know why we get so heated when we agree on the most important things. Anyway, I'll see you later, when we've both calmed down a little.
...Oh, and Shallie. You've been doing excellent work outside of Stellard. Your skill has really improved. You'll be getting bigger and bigger jobs from now on, so...
Yeah! Leave everything to me!
He's always so hot headed... Some day it'll be trouble.
Um, Mr. Perriend... Why don't you want to cooperate with Central?
Because this city is my life! My family has kept this city running for generations!
Uh... Th-That's true, but...
I apologize... I didn't intend to shout at you. Shallie, Stellard is very important to me. It's my duty to protect it. I understand the danger of the Dusk, but I cannot cooperate with Central without knowing their true plans. ...They could threaten the sovereignty of Stellard... And the lives of the people.
Hm, do you think that could happen here in Stellard?
It's always possible. Central's resources would be considerable, and the population of Stellard would definitely prosper if they were put to use here in Stellard. But the opposite side of that is, how much opportunity for growth would be lost by allowing that? Until I'm sure about that, I can't trust the Union or Central.
...I didn't know... But if you explained it like that to Raoul, wouldn't he understand?
Every time I try to explain it to him, it ends just as you saw! That foolish youngster!
Chairman, just take a deep breath.
Oh, I apologize... That was rather unpleasant of me.
Now then, Shallie, did you have some business with me?
Uh, no... Just was visiting Miruca and asked her to make something for me, and I wanted to stop by while I was waiting for it. See ya!
Yep, for your master.
It looks pretty well made.
I'm a bit worried... I've never made anything like this before.
It's perfect! I'll be able to draw plenty of magic power with this.
Is it really okay not to use your broom? I know you gave it to me, but...
If you really feel that way, give it back!
Whaah! I shouldn't have said that! I'm sorry!
I'm kidding. The broom is just a tool. Different catalysts are used to draw out magic.
Oh... I see. I'm a little disappointed...
I didn't know...
Hmm, I expected Shallie not to know it... But I guess you didn't know it either, MIruca.
Well, magic isn't really my specialty...
Master! What's that supposed to mean?
...That should be obvious.
Hm, that's a pretty good job, but I think I could touch it up a little. Miruca, could you help me?
Hm? Of course. What are you going to do?
Just a little grand magic...
If you don't mind me asking, what is the difference between the ring I made and this one?
Well, the rings I use channel magic in slightly different ways. It's complicated to explain to people who don't study magic, but rings that use more powerful catalysts let me channel stronger magic.
Oh, that's slightly easier to understand than I thought.
Do you see the folds in the metal here? Well--
(Why do I feel like I'm being left out here...?)
Oh, Shallie... Is it okay if I watch you do some alchemy? I have some free time now.
If you don't want me to come, you can just say so.
Uwawa! No! Come on over!
Haha... I'll see you two later then.
Hm, hm, hmmmm...
Materials going in, and items taking shape... How does alchemy work, Shallie?
How does it work...? I'm not really sure. It's a process you have to feel, experimenting with how long you stir, how to combine ingredients and applying chemicals and supplements, that kind of stuff.
Hm, interesting. How much have you learned from other people?
I guess recipes and stuff, but alchemy is the kind of thing you can't really learn from a book or by watching others. How about Imbuing?
Hm, it's a lot different, the processes are more structured. The difference really comes down to the quality of the education and the machinery each Imbuer uses. I don't have any of the stuff Central uses, so it's a little harder here than back in Central. Even so...
Even so what?
Um, never mind. Do you want to do some requests for the Union?
I've got some good news. Your hard work is earning you quite the reputation. I'm really proud of you.
Really? That's good...
In response to that, I'll start giving you some of the more important jobs we've got. This is work given only to people most trusted by the Union. The rewards are also huge. I'm counting on you!
Is it really okay to give something so important to me...? I'm getting nervous, but I'll do my best...!
Of course, continuing to fulfill requests from the townspeople will help grow your reputation, and you'll have more support going forward. I heard about the ship. You must be pretty excited, huh?
Hm...I'm not sure I'm excited, just really happy... It seems like I've been moving so slowly since I got here, and the village can't wait for me.
I know how you feel, but you've made excellent progress here. Once you get your ship up and running, I'm sure you'll be able to travel even further from Stellard.
I just hope I can help my village after all this time.
I always hunt at a certain spot. I found something nice the other day and made some good money.
Um, may I ask what you're talking about?
Oh, well, we're talking about mining for relics out in the field.
Yeah, if you dig out there, you can find a lot of relics.
There're times you don't find anything, either, but it's great when you do.
(Mining... Could I find things for alchemy? I should look into it.) Um...what kind of tools should I use?
Any kind of digging tool would be fine, but you should probably avoid anything too heavy. You want to be able to carry everything you find back here, right?
Y-Yes, thank you. (I should ask Teo about it.)
Yes, I want to try it.
Wait a minute, miss. I think I have something...
Yes, I found it!
I used to dig around a lot when I was younger. I didn't know it would be useful again.
Thank you, Teo!
I wouldn't try digging very deep with this. It's not really designed for digging, but searching for things just under the soil should be fine.
I'll keep that in mind, thanks.
We've got materials to find and monsters to defeat! Let's get to work!
Let's keep going. The materials have to be around here somewhere!
Ugh, not here either!
Shallie, the monsters aren't here. We need to look in the regions around Stellard.
Oh, heh... Sorry.
Well, we came all this way, so we might as well finish our investigation here.
There are some pretty good machines here, well, they used to be nice. Still...
It's kinda sad-looking...
An ice cold bomb... I wonder if that's better than fire bombs. Guess I'll find out when I use it on adventures. That about does it... I wonder if I'm growing a bit... (I know I learned alchemy when I was young because I'm the chief's daughter... But I feel like Im getting better now compared to when I was just being forced to learn. Personal feelings must play a big part in this... I still don't know how to save the village, but... It's strange, I don't feel too worried about it. More importantly, I feel much stronger about training more and becoming more useful.)
So you only accepted a trash-cleaning job before coming out?
I said I was sorry... Well, let's finish this up. It is pretty dirty around here.
Hey Shallie, do you...want to get some lunch with me when we get back?
I'd love to! You never ask me for things like that. Are you okay, Miruca?
...I start to feel sick if I'm in the sun too long...
What... Are you a ghost or something, MIruca...?
...Can I go home?
C'mon now! The weather is so nice! Here, these rabbit sandwiches are really good.
By the way... When you were going to school in Central, did you pack lunches? Was it hard doing that every morning?
... Why are you interested in my time in Central?
Well, it's just... I've only lived in Stellard, and I've heard people from Central talk about how amazing it was. I was just curious...
Hm, well... The school had a dining hall, I ate there.
That sounds pricey... What was on the menu?
All kinds of things... But I prefer the food in Stellard.
Whaaat? I'd want to try it at least once. I'm sure it's good...
Not really. It was just too expensive, and the place was loud... Nothing tasted good eating in a place like that. ...The sandwiches you made are a lot better.