Part 13: Chapter XI: The Decisive Side of the Great Confrontation
Music: Stop the Sand Dragon
This is as close as we can get the ship. Dad is going to take the ship around these rocks, but we have to be ready to meet him.
Uh.... I thought we were going to fight the dragon on the ship?
Right, but the Corporation's ships are going to be going around the rocks to draw the dragon toward us. Once the dragon is in position, that's when we attack.
So why aren't we going on the ship?
Teo is the only person who needs to be on the ship. In case things go badly, we need to know how to retreat from the dragon.
Oh. That makes more sense, and there might be some nice materials around here, but we can't get more supplies unless we return to Stellard.
Right. Let's not exhaust ourselves fighting these monsters.
Hey Shallie, what are you doing there?
Oh... I saw some hunters talking about digging valuable things out of the ground, so I thought I might give it a try.
Valuable things, huh...?
Music: Stella -2-
Music: Sweep -2-
Let's work together and crush these monsters!
(Ship ruins? Maybe...)
I can feel the Sand Dragon around here...
Let's be careful everyone!
The Sand Dragon should be just ahead...
Alright everyone, the plan is set! No turning back!
Alright! Let's get going!
Music: Flying Clouds, Drifting Haze
Uwawa... It's so big!
Don't worry, we can do this!
Dad! Is the ship going to be okay!?
It'll be fine! Focus on the dragon!
Water hurts it a lot! We have to break its defenses and hit it hard!
I'll support everyone with my pilebunker. Focus your attacks and defeat the dragon!
Ugh, what is it doing!? Hold on!
The ship will hold, but this is gonna hurt! Everyone, hang on to something!
Don't worry, it's going to be fine.
That was embarrassing...
Looks like it dug itself into the rocks so long so many have attached to its back. It's amazing this ship can take so much.
Sorry, I need a break.
I've got this. Here I come!
I didn't know it could be this tough... Ugh, we're going to need to defeat this thing soon.
I told you, I won't let you get hurt.
I know it's hard, everyone, but let's just keep it up! It looks weak!
That's it! Kortes, finish it!
I'm on it!
We did it!
I can't believe it...
Defeated a dragon...
Yeah!! We did it!
We really won...?
Is it really over?
Whoa. Like legendary heroes. This power.
Miss! We are victorious!
Yes! Thank you, Teo.
That was easier than I thought it would be. I wonder if Solle and Escha have something to do with it...
We should ask them later.
Yeah, I suppose. Everyone seems pretty happy at the moment.
Now then, miss, shall we head back to Stellard?
Yeah... Wow, I'm still kind of amazed we did it. How about Stellard's ships?
The Sand Dragon was lured out, just as we planned, and all of Stellard's ships got away safely. Many of them will probably make it back before we do.
Hey! You did it, you guys!
Hehe, you saw?
Gimme a break, I can't see that far from the harbor. One of the Corporation's smaller ships saw the battle and got back before you did. The captain headed straight to the Union and Corporation to spread the news.
Ohhh...I was kinda hoping to tell you myself.
Heh. Oh, Shallistera.
The Sand Dragon has been slain, and Stellard should be safe again.
Yes! We're so grateful! I promise that from now on, the Union will do everything it can to help Lugion Village.
Thank you so much!
This is still just the beginning.
But, we're making progress. There's no need to worry.
Kortes and Teokhuga, right? Thank you, for today. You have my gratitude. Hey, how's the ship holding up? Looks fine to me.
That Sand Dragon couldn't break this ship if it wanted to. The ship has almost never been better, but it did take a few hits when the dragon threw a big chunk of stone into the side.
Jeez! But, it still looks great.
Of course. Lugion Village is famous for its shipbuilders. We can build a ship better than anyone.
Heh, that's for sure. Well then, I think a big party is in order for tonight. Everyone's invited! This is a new day for Stellard!
Sir, we've confirmed the death of the Sand Dragon. The fleet should be arriving back in Stellard soon.
Hmm... Any losses?
Seems I underestimated Shallie. So we succeeded in defending Stellard..
I'm sure Raoul is going to bring this up for a while. Still, there's no arguing with results like this. It may even be time to think about *that*.
Music: Miru iro no Hoshi
Admit it Miruca, you were scared.
Hey, why do you have to say that to her? I know Miruca better than you do, and trust me, she wasn't scared.
Hey, there's no shame in admitting it. It was scary, even though I knew we could do it.
I wasn't scared. I'm just tired from the adventure. Maybe I'm not...
You've got what it takes to be a great hunter like me, maybe even better with your knowledge of Imbuing.
(At least the Union will be fine with people like this working for it.)
Hey Solle, why don't you share some of those with us?
No. These are sweets only I enjoy, and you'd have to ask the Homunculi. They made them.
... They do look good...
So then I was like "Logy!" but he mixed it in anyway. The explosion made a huge mess all over the atelier, and it took us days to clean it. Mr. Grumman was so upset... I'm so glad I could get away for a little and stay at my house in the orchard.
That Logy... You know, after traveling with me, you would think he would appreciate magic more.
Oh, he always said he never trusted anything he couldn't test or experiment with. You know him...
Yeah, I know that kind of guy. But after seeing things like this...
You'd think even a guy like Logy could understand!
Ah! How do you do that?
Hehe, the secrets of a great witch.
And. Like that. I defeated. Dragon!
Well yeah, I mean, now that the Sand Dragon is defeated, the Union has some big expansion plans.
Are you thinking of sending members to the ruins to the east? Not many people have been there.
I still have to discuss it with a few people, but there's a definite chance.
And how about the new members of the Union? I've seen their ship before, but the owner wasn't there.
Her name is Shallistera. Seems she goes out a lot on adventures.
Someone that young, coming all this way... She's pretty amazing.
Amazing, huh? Yeah, I can see that.
Yes, the young miss is an inspiration to the entire village. Neither of you probably realize how many people are counting her. She's assuming an incredible task, and she's performed it well.
She is impressive, but don't you think you and Kortes should do more for her? She's already got so much on her plate, hardly seems fair to make her do all that.
Believe me, we put too much pressure on her, but neither I or Kortes can do alchemy at all. She's the only one with great talent for it in our clan.
Just like Colseit, huh Escha?
Well, not exactly, but it's pretty close.
Um...can I have one?
No. I need all of these for energy. You're still young, so you should have plenty of energy.
Not enough to deal with Shal every day.
Hm. Good point. Very well, you may have a couple.
Oh, Homura. What brings you here?
Sharing. Sweets. Important. Part of. Friendship.
I suppose so...
Why do you think Solle gets along with the homunculi so much?
Well, you may not know it, but Solle is an incredible maker of sweets. Some of his treats are just delicious, and I guess the Homhoms can just look past his scary face. Come on! Maybe we can get some his sweets, too.
Everyone looks so happy!
Stellard really came together today. It's unusual to see a night with such joyous celebration.
Yeah... I'm so happy...!
It was all thanks to you, Shallie. Even Raoul mentioned it.
No, it's thanks to everyone on the hunting team, and those who were helping us.
I still can't believe how amazing it is... You came from so far away, yet you helped fight a dragon when people asked. That's not a common trait...
I guess not. But I wouldn't have any regrets, even if I failed.
Well, I've spent a lot of time up until now following along. Because I'm the chief's daughter, because I can use alchemy, and be the next chief... Everything I needed to do was already planned out for me, and I never knew any better. That dragon fight was the first thing I decided to do on my own. I made my own choice, and it went well. What a relief!
I see... (So she's the complete opposite of me, huh...) So what are you going to do now?
We still haven't found anything to help with the drought in the village... I'll keep looking around for a fix. Because of today, it seems like Raoul is going to start helping... And we can all move forward!
Yeah! I'll help too! Let's save Lugion Village together!
Oh! Thank you, so much.
So ah, what do you want to do once you've saved the village?
A side effect of spending so much time with Kortes is that I've developed a love for travel.
That sounds great!
Today also showed me it can be hard to get people to accept someone they're not used to. That's why, after saving the village, I want to work to become someone even more worthy of being chief. I wouldn't want anyone to ever feel ashamed that I represent them.
So what's YOUR dream, Shallie?
Ehh? I, uh... My dream... Is... To fly... I guess.
Yeah! Like... On a broom! Like my master! Does that...make sense? I mean, I know I would have to make something with alchemy, and have fun anywhere I wanted...
Hehe, that makes sense. It sounds like you.
Yes! Once you can fly, please, take me along sometime!
Is that why you're training with Wilbell? To learn how to fly?
Well, kinda... She also really helps me out, so I want to repay her.
Do you want to learn magic? It sounds like it might be kinda tough...
You think so?
Good morning, Shallie.
Wha!! Shallie?! Oooh, right, I stayed over here last night.
Hehe, you were sleeping pretty well... Do you feel like you got some rest?
Yeah. How about you?
I feel wonderful.
What're you gonna do now?
I need to study what's going on in this world right now... What's happening to it... That seems like the next logical step to saving the village.
Alright. I'll help out. Just let me know if you need anything.
Okay... Wow! I feel like I can do anything with you!
I feel like everything will turn out just fine if it's with you, too. We can do this, together!
The distant frontier
I suppose... I've heard it's been quite a few decades since anyone last travelled there.
I'm sure the situation has changed a lot since then.
True, but I think it's worth looking at if it gives us a hint about solving the water crisis.
I suppose I could send Escha...
Wha? Me? Really?
Wait a minute, you're not sending her off on her own, are you?
Despite her appearance, Escha is quite the skilled alchemist.
Still, we can't supply food...
But you need water, and combat supplies...
I can make those too.
...Well how do you travel?
I'll give you one guess.
...Okay, do whatever you want.
Alright. I'm sorry to have to ask, but you mind investigating this?
Sure, but I want you to do all the paperwork I've got piled up...!
Absolutely not, you do that before you leave.
This isn't a vacation...
Ah, you're here.
Thanks for the other day. I mentioned there was a good chance of victory, but I didn't realize with how little damage.
Because everyone worked together.
I guess. So what do you need?
Uh, I just thought there might be something I could help with.
We can't come up with stuff on the spot every day. We'll let you know when we decide on something.
You can practice your alchemy in the meantime!
Remember, the basics are just as important!
Solle, are you ready to make a decision about that idea?
Yes, I have. I've decided to go ahead with it.
I still say you shouldn't, but it's your call.
Oh, hello Shallies.
Hello, Mr. Solle... Are you going somewhere?
No, I actually had some business with you.
Huh, with us?
What!? You, Mr. Solle!?
...Is that so surprising?
I-I'm a little surprised too... Why did you decide this?
Escha was a little responsible for it, during the time she was working in Colseit. But the larger reason is that there are many things I cannot properly grasp by just reading reports at a desk. I'd like to actually get out and see things with my own eyes.
Mr. Solle... You really are serious.
This is my job.
Huh? I think you're just that kind of character.
Regardless, please let me know when you're departing on an investigation.
Okay, I understand.
Um...how will you fight?
The homunculi do a lot more than just reproduce the items you use outside of Stellard. They are skilled in a wide variety of skills, and I plan to use them effectively on future expeditions.
(Using...the homunculi to fight?)
Oh, by the way, Shallistera. I heard you were the one who fulfilled my request for a Stellapearl.
Yes, how was it? Did it turn out well?
The city I was in previously didn't have such a crunchy confection. It was very dynamic. It wasn't too sweet, so it's definitely not for everyone. But, I'm not one who minds either way. I'm surprised alchemy can create treats with such texture.
Uh... You don't really need to look into it that much...
Of course I need to. I'd never had it before, and I didn't want to hold anything back. The nut on top was a decent accent, too. It tasted a little different from a walnut.
There were a few flavors for sweets in Colseit too. They have many apples, so fruit themes were common... But I understand how to make Stellapearls now. I can make them whenever I want.
Ohh, I see... I'm glad we helped...?
Well then, see you later!
I've managed to negotiate an increase in supplies you can take out in the field. Taking more items will help you fulfill more and more jobs. So...
Yes! I'll do even more!
This is a request from my master!
You're going to take it? If you are, I'll explain it for you. The request we received is a search for magical catalysts in the region.
Magical catalysts... Like what?
From what I was told, it's called Liecester Meterorite Iron. It falls from the sky, apparently.
It falls from the sky... Does that really happen?
No idea. But there're legends about it, and it comes up in some books too. Also... Around here, there're craters all over the place where they say stars have fallen. Some are bigger than Stellard. If you hunt around there, you might find what we need. Although apparently, they look a lot like regular rocks... Anyway, good luck. Try not to disappoint our client.
Okay, I'll do my best!
You know, I think we picked up some of them when we were in the Sand Dragon's nest. Are these the rocks, Raoul?
Hey, yeah, they sure look like them. The client wanted four of them, so here you are.
Oh! Shallies! You came at the perfect time.
Huh? For what?
I'm actually planning to open here, but there's so much to do... Ahhh!!
Oh, are you okay?
Yeah, I'm fine, just a little tired. Anyway, do you mind lending me a hand?
Yes, of course! (I heard Escha is an excellent alchemist, but she's also so easy to talk to...)
Don't mention it...
I'll open my shop soon, so please come by again when you can!
Okay! I look forward to seeing what kind of stuff you have to offer!
Oh, Shallies! I have something else to tell you! It's really exciting!
Hello, Escha. What's...so exciting?
Well, Solle said to take a break from the paperwork, and to help out with the investigations.
Yeah, you're investigating the water sources around here, right? The original reason I was dispatched here was to help out with that.
Wait... That means!
Yup, from now on, I'll be able to go with you on your investigations. Give me a call anytime.
Wow... I'd feel really reassured if you're with us, Escha.
...Is this really reassuring?
There's so many people helping me... I have to do my best for everyone.
Now that the Sand Dragon's gone, I can travel further out to sea... I can finally search for the ghost ship.
(The ghost ship... I remember her mentioning that before...)
I'll definitely find it...!
(She seems really happy...)
Wait, ghost ship?
Yes, Jurie says she's been reading a lot of reports of mysterious ships in the Dusk Sea, including what she thinks is a ghost ship.
Well, I read a lot of things, and the topic of a large ghost ship somewhere in the Dusk Sea keeps coming up.
Ghost ship means...treasure, right?!
Well, I haven't heard of any treasure, but it's very possible. The one I've been reading about right now... There's just one passage that's bothering me... "Those who do not possess the light of truth shall wander for eternity"... Happen to know anything about it?
No, not at all...
Light... Could that mean a lamp!? No, I doubt it...
I'm sure it's describing some sort of trap in the ship... Well, if I find any more information, I'll be sure to let you two know.
That's right! I've travelled between many settlements, big and small, so I'm quite confident with my selection.
Travelling, huh... I'm sure it's difficult since it's for work, but I kind of like the idea.
Is there any reason why you don't stay in one place?
Of course that's to trick... I mean develop new markets... No, wait. It's to deliver items to fulfill the hopes and dreams of everyone everywhere! I've come to Stellard to break up the monotony of every day life with a breath of fresh air. Katla's shop is fun to browse, fun to buy from, and fun to use these products! Please, buy whatever you like!
These are some valuable items...
Oh man! I forgot! I forgot to tell my mom I was back! Sorry Shallie, I'll be right back.
Music: Mother's Wish
What's wrong, mom?
I bought something nice, but I don't have enough money...
What exactly did you buy...!?
(What...is this? ...That looks useless, no matter how I try to spin it.)
Don't worry mom, I'll give you 500 Cole to pay for it. Hahh... My money... And I'd finally saved up a decent amount...
Thank you so much! I'll be more careful next time... I'm sorry.
(Well, at least she looks happy. I can make this up with more work. I won't let something like this get me down!) Wait... Oh yeah! Mom, did you hear about the Sand Dragon?
Oh... Oh that! I'm glad to see you're safe.
I'm sure it was really scary, but you beat a Sand Dragon! Your father would be really impressed.
Heh...well, I didn't defeat the Sand Dragon by myself... Everyone was helping me, including the other Shallie.
She's a wonderful girl. You should be glad you have such a great friend.
Yeah... I know. ...Oh right. I should do the training Master Wilbell told me to do. I already finished the assignment, but it's important to continue practicing...
Hmm, so she's still at it...
Wah, Master! When did you get here!? You should've told me sooner! Just look at these brilliant swings! I might even be able to win the world swinging championship at this rate!
...What was your goal, again?
I'm just kidding! My goal is to become a great alchemist, that won't ever change.
...Well, I will say you're unmatched when it comes to persistence.
Yes! So please, I'll putup with any training, no matter how harsh!
Just talking to myself. More importantly...
Huh? Wha? W-what's this!?
It's a monster I created. It won't attack on its own, so it should be good practice for a fledgling alchemist.
Then does that mean...!
But you can't beat this thing if you half-ass it. Just think of it as a test of your strength, and don't hold back.
Okay! I'll definitely win!
It's going to be hanging out near Shallistera's ship. Make sure to bring her and her friends along if you hope to beat this thing.
Wait, won't that be cheating?
This time...nah. I'll even help you if you want.
And you're sure it won't attack?
Yep. It's a creation of magic, so I can basically make anything I wanted!
Wow... Even a dragon?
Oh, Ms. Shallistera. There was actually something I wanted to ask you.
What is it...?
I'd like you to tailor some clothing.
Yes, the chairman is in need of new clothes.
This suit may be a little worn, but it's still perfectly wearable...
The sleeves are beginning to fray. I believe it would be best if you replaced it.
Hmm... I suppose if you say so, I'll indulge in a new one.
Very well then. I've written the details here for you.
I understand, I'll do my best.
I know nothing of alchemy, so I'm not sure how she's going to make this, Ms. Linca.
Not to worry, sir, I've already talked with some alchemists here in Stellard and they've come up with a recipe to make a new suit for you.
Really? Hm... Can you make this, young lady?
Yes, everything looks good. I'll be sure to have a new suit for you soon, Mr. Perriend.
Well, both of us have a lot of work to do! Let's get going!
Excuse me. I have to put away some of the stuff we got from the Sand Dragon's nesst...
Music: The Warrior's Holiday
No idea. I don't remember saying anything strange, but I did feel out of place when I came back to the village.
...Out of place? Now that you mention it, you always had this frown on your face during festivals...
I don't think things like the Water Festival should be held when there's a water shortage.
But the Water Festival is important to show gratitude to the god of water...
Yeah, I know. That's what everyone believes. But I can't just ignore reality... Please don't tell dad.
You must be having a hard time.
The job is just too much for you.
Shallie, it's fine to look for a way to save the village. But you need to find your own happiness, too.
Do you think you can find happiness here in Stellard?
I'm not sure yet. The only reason I'm here is to save the village, but I'm not sure what I'll do after that. I told Shallie what I thought of doing in the future, but to be honest, I'm just not sure what I should do. I love Stellard and Lugion, but right now, I don't think I could choose between them.
I'm sure you'll find your answer before this journey is over. It's not a decision you have to make now. Anyway, don't tell anyone about this. It'll just cause trouble again.
I understand. I have to start doing some alchemy now, so...
Shallie, is it okay if you stay here to do alchemy instead of going back home?
I'm here because I want to! I'm not very good at alchemy, so watching someone better would really help.
Oh, I see. But, I've still got a lot to learn. I hope I can be a great alchemist like Escha while I'm living in Stellard.
Besides, I...want to learn with you, Shallie!
Really...? Thank you so much!
Shallie, you here?
Oh, hello Jurie.
I've got some exciting news for the two of you. Come on down to the Hunter's Hangout when you're both ready.
Wow... Maybe she found some treasure?!
Wow...you two sure came down here fast. Do you have a minute to talk?
Yes, what do you need? (Hmm, Jurie seems a little different from usual.)
...Do you remember when we talked about the ghost ship?
Of course. The one packed with treasure, right?
Yeah. I didn't know where it was before... But I've heard a hunter saw something resembling it. It's in the sea south of the Eastern Sea of Smoke. Nobody's actually gone inside it yet... So... We might find, not just treasure, but also relics from the past era.
Isn't this a huge chance?
Yeah, that's why I want your help. Can you go with me?
(There could be something useful for alchemy... Even something that could save the village. And above all, I'd be helping Jurie.) Okay! Please, I'd love to accompany you.
That's the spirit. Can you take out your map? It's right...
Just south of the Sand Dragon's nest?
Yeah. The hunter that saw it was on one of the Corporation's ships. It'll be a long journey, but it shouldn't take too long if we take your ship, Shallistera.
It's hard to explain... I suppose you just need to build trust, though it might take a while...
That'll take too long!! I want to pet and hug him RIGHT NOW!!
Don't understand. But doubt. I like. Petting. Or hugging.
Was there anything special that helped you two become friends?
I don't think so...
Trying. Solle's shiny. Changed. My life!
I do remember you being quite touched when I first offered you some sweets.
Yes. That time. Very shocked. Never forget. Also. Solle's kindness!
...It sounds like it was really cute. I wish I'd seen it...
I said. Don't make fun. Of me. Expert treasure hunter!