Part 19: Chapter XVI: The Aerial Side of the Alchemist's Training
Just what I would expect from Homhom.
Yes. Well made. No problem.
You can use such a big sword despite your little body... That's amazing, Homura!
Shallie. Don't call little. This a matter. Of experience. Nothing about. Strength.
Don't worry, he'll be okay.
Ahhh! I'm so jealous!
I go. Now! Jobs for. Solle.
Aw....come back soon. Shal, are you okay now?
Yeah...I am. Me and Stera just needed to talk about things, and I think we know more about each other now. Right?
Yes... It's going to be difficult for both of us, but we can do what we want, together. There's no reason we have to work by ourselves.
That's good... I'm glad to hear it. By the way... Do you know anything about fairy tales? I keep remembering one lately, but I can't remember the ending at all. It's really irritating. I was just wondering if you knew... Well, I don't expect much from Shal.
You never know, I might know everything about it!
It's about gold and silver parrots... Well?
Uh, I think I heard of it... Or maybe not... I guess not...
Hmm, I don't recall anything like that either... I'm sorry.
...I was just wondering. Don't worry about it.
Is it...possible Jurie told you this story?
Do you know that one, Jurie?
Gold and silver parrots... It's a story I made up for Miruca ages ago.
Huh!? Then what happens in the end!?
It was a spur of the moment, so I don't really remember. I'm sure Miruca fell asleep, so I just ended it there.
But she really wants to know what happens.
...If it's for Miruca, I have to do it. I'll try writing the end.
(Oh... Jurie seems really happy...)
Oh, Raoul, do you have some work for us?
...You should do just fine. Yeah, it's work. A really important mission...!
An important mission!?
I can't tell you who requested this, but we need to be careful to keep it quiet.
So... What exactly is this mission?
Right, it's about Perriend's secretary, Linca... You need to find out if she's interested in anyone.
"Interested"...? Why does the client want to know that?
Hey, it's the client's request. He promises you'll be rewarded for this, so...
...We've been given a difficult mission.
At least it shouldn't take too long.
I just hope it goes well...
You have business I can help you with?
Um... This is a private matter, but...
I can keep a secret.
Um, you don't happen to have anyone you like... Do you?
Let's see, well, of course I like the chairman. Albert as well. Oh, and of course I like you two.
Um, that's not quite what I meant. I'm asking if there's someone you like more personally...
I'm sorry, I don't understand your question.
(This might be impossible...)
(Oh brother...) Well, let's just get back to Raoul.
How'd it go? Did you finish your top secret mission?
Um, well... There's probably not anyone she likes.
Really? ...Alright then, good work. I'll let the client know!
Um...? What's going on!?
Hey...! Raoul, what about our payment!!
Hahh, hahh... There's Mr. Raoul...
Hahh, hahh... Now where's he going? Give us a break...
Is this something you don't feel like you can tell the chairman directly? I can let him know for you if you like...
No, uh... This doesn't have anything to do with him...
Then what could it be?
Uh, oh right! Homura...! Homura wanted me to tell you something...
Homura? I just saw him not too long ago...
Really... Uh, yeah that wasn't it, uh... Right! Nice weather today, isn't it?
Yes, although every day is about the same as the last.
Haha, ha, yeah. ...Really pretty...
Hm? What is?
Oh! Um... This water is! The weather's nice, it's so shimmery...
Yes, that's right. We can't let the water stop flowing. The chairman always says the same thing.
Oh, of course... I'll tell him... What was that...?
Raoul is just hopeless...
It might be best to forget we saw this...
Automatons...! Automatons. Ah, such a noble and sublime sound...!
Al... Are you okay?
Oh, it's just you Shallie.
"It's just you"? That's kinda rude. And why do you keep saying "automatons" over and over again?
Ah, that's because I've been completely enchanted by automatons.
Huh... And why, all of a sudden?
To tell the truth, the other day I met an alchemist who came from another city. They had an automaton with them... Why, the moment I saw her was like a shock to my heart. All my life I had been waiting for this person...!
...Huh, I see.
Now she runs through my mind, both awake and asleep. Even now I wonder what Odelia is doing...
(So her name is Odelia?)
Ah, but please don't misunderstand. I'm not simply enchanted by her appearance. The way she speaks, and walks, everything about her presence is simply overwhelming... Ah, Odelia! You're simply the greatest! Grace this pitiable man with your every aspect! Anyway... I figured if I studied automatons, I could find out more about her charms. Do you understand now?
Yeah, I understand... That you're an unexpectedly tiresome guy, Al...
How can you say that, Shallie!? Ah, automatons...there must be more in this world!
Lotte, maybe we should give Albert that automaton just so we can get away.
Oh yeah, sorry! I'll be right back!
Oh, Shallie. What is it?
We came here to give you something really great today!
Something great...? What could it be?
Here it's this. You want this, right?
Th-This is...! An automaton!
You said before that you were collecting them. We found one for you!
Wow...! Th-This... Is it really okay for me to have this?
Of course! Besides... I doubt anyone but an automaton maniac like you would want something like this...
Hah! I'm at the summit of happiness right now, even the sarcasm of my ill-natured childhood friends can't hurt me!
Well SORRY for being "ill-natured"!
Well, I guess it's a pretty cute doll...
Huh... I-I guess so...
She sang... She sang for me! Ah, such a lovely, clear voice...! Right, here, your reward. If you find another automaton, please bring it to me!
I've taken yet another step toward the truth behind my lovely Odelia... Ah, such fortune!
A-Anyway, Al, we'll see you later!
What's wrong? You don't seem too cheerful...
To tell the truth, I made a huge mistake... I put the Slag coins you collected in my shop, but they won't sell at all. I thought it was weird, but then I realized they were only valued a long time ago. They're worthless now...
Yes I heard.
You heard... Wait, you knew!?
Raoul told me.
If you knew, then why didn't you tell me sooner!?
I thought it was interesting that you were trying to sell money. I fugred you had some sort of plan...
Grr... I guess I still have a lot to learn as a merchant... I lost a lot of money...
(I guess everyone's got their own troubles.)
To make up for this loss, I need to make some big sales... Oh, I know. You two are alchemists, right? Actually, I've got some rare items for alchemy in stock... Would you care to take a look?
Oh, uh... Sorry, I don't have any money on me right now! I swear! See you later!
Wait up... Please!
Okay! I don't know if I'll buy anything, but I'll browse!
Every time I see you, you're so full of energy...
(She seems happier than usual... Also...) Um, I feel as though you have a lot of valuable items here that I've never seen before... O-Of course I think the stuff you had before was wonderful, too!
You noticed? I'm glad you have such a sharp eye. But... This is also thanks to you.
Huh? I don't think we did anything...
Now now, no need to be so humble. Without your efforts, slaying the Sand Dragon would have been far more difficult... That's what everyone says.
Well... I guess that IS kind of a big deal!
Yes, thanks to you, the areas I can visit to collect items has grown... I believe I should thank you.
Please take your time and look over everything.
By "customers" Rose probably means...
Stop. We shouldn't think about it anymore...
Hm, I believe I see someone who might be interested in talking to me.
Of course! The fact that she's a lot like your master could mean that Rose is a magician too!
Ugh, I just said that she reminded me of my master! There's no way she could be a magician...!
I'm curious too...! Wilbell, let's all go and ask her.
U-Uh, I really don't want to see her...
Um! Rose, are you a magician!?
Direct, as usual...
Oh dear, why the sudden question? You have quite the imagination, young lady.
Please tell us!
That's easy for you to say, but.. I'm not even sure how I should answer that.
(I knew Ms. Rosemia would say something like that...)
...Enough playing dumb, you know the answer. It seems like you tried to hide it... But I can sense a bit of magic from you.
Oh dear... You noticed?
"Was"? ...So that means you decided to stop being a magician!?
Yes, you could say that... Although your earlier assumption wasn't quite correct. I wasn't trying to hide my magic at all. I simply didn't use it for so long that eventually it began to fade on its own. I didn't think there was any left by this point...
Um! Why did you quit being a magician?
I only answer one question a day. Besides... Don't you think it's rude to pry so much into the lives of others?
I guess... We all have our own reasons, huh?
Hehe... Now young lady, if I may ask...why do you continue to be a magician?
Uh... So I can be recognized as a great magician by master, I think.
Oh... Is that all? What do you need to prove to her?
You are still young, so you will see many days ahead of you. Use that time to find out what you want to do with your life.
Ugh, you're so persistent!
But you won't teach me anything about flying!
(What's a magician supposed to teach you!?) ...You should learn to think for yourself a little. If you really want to fly, that should be natural. (I should be able to keep her fooled like this!)
I tried reading, but what I read didn't help much... No matter how much I think, I can't come up with anything.
(She doesn't know what to do... She sounds like me back then.)
And the more I think about it, the more scared I get... That I don't have any talent with alchemy.
(But she's different form me... I ran away from my troubles. Still...) Fine! No getting gloomy! Your cheerfulness is your redeeming feature, so just keep holding onto those dreams.
First you need to use your body! We'll talk after that. Try sitting on the borom dozens, no, hundreds of ways. Sit on the broom, and imagine yourself flying where you want to go. This is a matter of body AND mind!
I-I see...! I understand!
Um, so sit on the broom... And imagine myself flying... Oh! I do feel like I can do this!
You're really fast at getting back on yoru feet, that's for sure...
I'll try running like this!
Huh? Why's everyone so excited?
...There. I found...!
As expected. I don't recognize you as a top tier treasure hunter for nothing.
By the way... Have you noticed anything strange around town lately?
Mm, I don't think I've noticed anything too out of place.
I see. That's good.
However, I have heard a rather curious rumor... There're several people who've mentioned monster activity increasing lately.
Something like that. I deal with.
Yeah, Homura! Show 'em who's boss!
Monster activity restricts our activities as well. That's a problem.
There's solutions. For example...
I didn't do anything... But information is vital in the hunting business. It's necessary to be assertive. I don't really care for how hunters exaggerate so much when they talk... But it could be useful for writing.
Lotte! Wait...why are you so tired?
Ehehe...I tried flying. It was hard, but I think I made some progress. Just have to keep practicing!
Oh, I just got a letter from my coworker back home yesterday. I'm curious about what's going on there...
A letter from home? What did it say?
Well, he said the apple harvest is bigger than usual this year. He mentioned work and said not to worry that I'm not there... Though I don't know if I like the sound of that.
...That sounds like good news. That's great... I want to get a letter from home too...
What's your relationship with your coworker?
Huh!? Why do you ask...? I don't know what to say... He's just someone I worked with.
Well, if he was just a coworker, you wouldn't be THAT happy to getting a letter from him.
Of course she would be really happy. I'm curious about my home, too.
That's normal! Which reminds me, your hometown is really far away, isn't it Shallie...?
Do you ever miss it?
I do feel like that sometimes... But I met you two thanks to coming here, and I get letters too, so I'm just fine!
So Escha, who you're getting all these letters from again?
I'm sorry Miss Escha... Let's just go Lotte.
What's with you!? Don't tell me you were watching...! Tell me exactly what you saw!
I'm sorry, we can't say...
Well... After talking to the client, I understand that men are all about their work. A man is at his finest while working! Hahaha... Hahh...
Um... Raoul, a lot can happen throughout life. Nobody knows exactly what lies ahead for them...
I'm getting sympathy from people like you. I really am finished... Anyway, it's fine... I'm not heartbroken or anything. ...Oh right, you should take this. I don't need it anymore... Hahh...
Alright, back to work. Men are all about work...! Speaking of which, I've received reports from the Crystal Valley talking about some powerful monsters living there. Did you two notice anything when you went to Faav Village?
Yes, I do remember some powerful monsters living there. We were more concerned about making it through than fighting.
I understand. Well, if you can take those monsters out, it would make passage to Faav Village much easier. It's up to you.
Wow, where did Raoul get this...?
Oh, hello! Do you have some business with Solle? I apologize for intruding. We should be taking our leave now.
Yeah. It's good to see you again after such a long time. Later!
Solle, are you friends with them?
It's about as easy to be friends with them as it is to describe Slag life cycles.
U-Um, that seems a little harsh...
I'm joking. Harry helped me out when I was young, and Reyfer works with him. I suppose you could say that we're acquaintances.
Wait, just acquaintances?
Well , he just barged in here, after years away, and declares he'll be finding some new, unseen, treasure.
I only just met Harry, but...that does sound like something he'd do...
Well... He's not a bad person. Some of his achievements are even recognized by Central.
Huh, so he really was an amazing person.
...I suppose you could put it that way.
I-I see... (It's kind of hard to tell whether Solle is on good terms or bad terms with him...)
No, I actually have business with you two!
It would be for the best if you don't ask for any details, and refuse immediately...
To tell the truth, I've received information that there's some sor tof hidden treasure in ruins nearby... As young people with promising futures, I wanted you to experience the excitment of discovering that treasure!
U-um, I don't know if we... Aah!
What do you think!? An adventure with me, exploring unknown ruins!
U-Um, please, give us a little time to think about it!
Ugh... This is why I told them to just refuse outright. He's not a bad person, but...
We're not really looking for anything. There's something we want to ask...
Go right ahead, I don't mind.
Um, have you ever heard of a place where no matter how much you try to advance... You just end up at the same place?
That's probably an endless corridor trap. They were used in quite a lot of places in the past.
I knew it! I thought something was strange about it!
Hehe, it seems you went through quite a lot of trouble. There used to be a particular item that would allow you to enter those kinds of places...
Really!? What was it?
Such a trap simply deceives the eyes of people who aren't meant to pass. If you apply a certain eye medicine to correct your vision, you should be able to pass through.
Huh... I see...!
...Unfortunately, I've forgotten the recipe to make it. Time certainly takes its toll. I'm sorry I couldn't be more help.
No, that's more than enough...! Thank you very much! (Now that I think about it... Exactly how old is Ms. Rosemia?) Um...
What is it?
Ms. Rosemia, remember what we talked about before...?
...You wish to know the reason why I became a collector?
You should be able to do anything else you want, Rose. Why would you choose to do a weird, and kind of dubious, job like this?
Hehe, do you really think that being a collector is "weird"?
I-I'm sorry! Lotte didn't mean anything rude by that... Right!?
Oh my, no need to worry so much. I actually prefer people who are honest. That's why... I'll tell you just a tiny bit about myself, out of respect for your innocence.
A long time ago... I lost someone very dear to me in an accident. It was a horrible tragedy. But no matter how much I cried, I knew they would never come back. So I decided I would search for something to remember him by. I went out into the Dusk Sea... And to my surprise I found this kind of work to be quite calming.
I'm so sorry... This wasn't something we should have asked about so lightly...
Now now, no need to apologize.
...Um! Did you ever, um...find the memento you were looking for?!
I hear that the ship he was on is still out there, somewhere in the Dusk Sea. I'm sure I'll find something there... If you were to find that ship, would you mind searching for a memento in my place?
Y-Yes! Of course...!
Huh, where did Miruca go?
She's over there. Do you see her on deck?
But... It's weird. They're sisters, but they don't talk when they're with each other.
They weren't like that before. Miruca's always been cool headed, and Jurie was really attached to her. But before I knew it, they were barely talking at all.
I wonder why...
I have no idea, I can't think of anything! It bothers me, too... But I can't do anything about it. I want to help them, but...
..I'm sure they'll understand your feelings.
(I wonder what drives people apart.)
Oh... An automaton! I'm sure Al would be happy if we brought this to him.
That's the first monster Raoul wanted us to defeat...
And there's the other!
Is that all we came here to do?
Raoul wanted us to clear out some of the wildlife between here and the trading post. I guess we could do that for a little while before we go back...
Good practice. Always!
What's the Water Festival?
They've been having them in Stellard since forever. People play around with water to show appreciation for its abundance. But with all the talk of a drought this year, it might not even happen... Argh, it's one of the few things to look forward to every year!
Huh, it sounds like a fun festival!
Yeah, there's lot of stands selling stuff, and you can use as much water as you want. it's great.
They had it back when I was in Stellard. It was a pretty lively festival. A lot of things happened too...
Kortes...? You look really relaxed, did something fun happen back then?
N-No, it's nothing. Don't worry about it.
...You're acting weird, Kortes. But it would be nice if the Water Festival wasn't canceled.
Yeah! I'm looking forward to it!
Working while on a ship? You're like a model government official.
If I don't take care of the paperwork every day, scary things happen.
Hey, I'm curious, what kind of things do you work on?
All kinds of things. I receive budget reports, assist Raoul with allocating work, work with different teams to coordinate efforts, including Shallistera and Shallotte, manage communications between Central, the Union, and sometimes even with the Corporation. It's endless.
...Well even a hunter goes dull if they don't do anything.
Hard work is a virtue of humankind. You have to keep working to maintain a healthy mind and body...
I can't really sympathize, seeing how I don't have a daily routine like that...
You attended school in Stellard, right? Would you mind helping me organize this paperwork? It will probably do wonders for your mind and...
He's pretty fast at running away, at least. I should've expected this from a fisherman.
I was a little surprised about him running away, but...
Solle's lack of surprise is impressive...
It's weird meeting in a place like this.
I had a request.
Don't hold back, you can always just ask us!
Well, they're saying that... What do you want to do?
I don't really care.
Alright, then it's settled. The contents of this request was... Let's see, was it gathering research ingredients?
Yeah, relics from the past.
There you go. I don't know much about alchemy, so I don't really understand what it's all for... But I'm sure you'll do fine. You're all alchemists, you should be able to understand each other.
Please don't let Shal pick up anything strange.
Hehe, leave it to me.
Hey, you guys!
Raoul, you too!? This is too much!
Oh, already? That was fast, thank you. Did you need anything made?
Wow, you two had a lot of business today. Can you two report back to Raoul and tell him the job is complete? I need to clean up my atelier.
Sure! Let's get going!
Yeah. I'm sure you already know, but dragons are the things most feared by treasure hunters.
I don't think unskilled people should become treasure hunters, anyway.
Hello, Raoul... What were you talking about, Kortes?
We were just talking about some dragons that live around here...
...And about asking Kortes to take care of their extermination.
Wait, why Kortes and not me!?
You didn't like the idea of hunting dragons, so I came here on my own...
You didn't have to keep it secret...
And we've heard about it now!
...Very well, I trust that you'll be accepting the job?
Grr, I get it already. I'll make my own decisions!
I'm kind of surprised you want to hunt dragons, Shallie, but I'll be glad for your help. Do we know where they are?
Not at the moment, no. Survey teams report some movement that might be a dragon somewhere in the Dusk Sea, but that doesn't exactly help.
Um, I finished the item you requested...
I'll examine it now.
Um... What do you think?
Um... Is it okay...?
The gold thread is slightly out of line... The stitching on the tuck is a little conspicuous...
I see... (I thought he would be happy this time...)
Am I to understand you made this suit with alchemy?
U-Um, yes, I did...
I see. Suits of this quality are better off left to professional tailors, as it's impossible to get accurate measurements of the person who will be wearing the suit using just alchemy. However, you seem to have regarded the comfort of the wearer, and the way it would conform to their figure.
...You can tell that?
...I know a good item when I see it... I'm glad to see that you've improved.
Th-Thank you very much. Um... I've been wondering this for a wihle, but... Why are you giving me special treatment like this?
You're an alchemist, correct? ...That's what you said when we first met.
I...I was just trying my hardest to get someone to listen to me... Maybe I sounded a little conceited...
No, you did the right thing. While I may expect the absolute best, you're still young.
As a customer, I simply wish to see that evolution come to fruition.
Mr. Perriend... I'm going to work really, really hard!
Yes, I expect great things from you. While I may be in opposition to the Union a lot, it's clear that alchemy has its place in Stellard's future. When I'm no longer able to lead the Corporation, your generation will have to ensure its safety. Can you promise me you will use alchemy to preserve Stellard and our way of life?
Yes! I want to do everything I can to help Stellard!
I see... I'm glad to hear it.
Ms. Shallistera, here's your payment.
(I guess even things like this can tell me if I've matured...)
Are you worrying again? You're going to get wrinkles if you keep frowning like that.
Kortes... I just don't know how to get the people here to listen to me...
Oh, that... To be honest, I think whatever happens happens. Same with Stellard. You don't need to keep straining yourself like that, just play your strengths.
I don't know... I just end up worrying about it.
That does seem like something you'd do. But we don't know how long the drought will last, or when it'll be too late. You'll get poor results with uinformed, rushed work. Just do the things you can do right now, and stay positive.
...You're a lot more capable than me, Kortes. It's hard for me to think that way.
Thinking negatively produces negative results. People's thoughts affects their futures more than you'd think.
I sort of understand, but I kind of don't... But I think I get what you're trying to say. I need to look ahead, and do what I can now. That's the shortest path to a solution.
Exactly. And if one plan doesn't work, you try another. The next clan chief is pretty sharp, as expected. Our clan will be safe for a while longer.
Hey, don't poke fun at me! (But thanks to him, I think I"m starting to see what I need to do... Thank you, Kortes.)
Welcome home, Shallie. I've been feeling a lot better lately thanks to the medicine.
Really? ...That's good. But don't push yourself too hard, alright?
Don't worry. I'm your mother. I'm a lot tougher than I look. Also, your friend worked really hard for this. I can't just sit around and do nothing!
Maybe I should make something special for a change? Could you give me a hand, Shallie?
(Stera... Thank you so much.) ...Oh right, I shouldn't be relaxing. I need to continue my training!
Take that! I'm not done yet!
You never seem to get tired of this.
Oh, Master Wilbell! That's because I made my choice. I'll keep working until you accept me...!
Well... I can accept that honest part of you.
Does that mean you'll teach me how to fly!?
Uh... About you...
Well you see, um, we're actually following different paths, in a way...
That's why... I'm sorry. I just couldn't tell you whenever I saw your innocent and happy face.
Master... But you're still my alchemy master!
Alchemy... You really are a big idiot, aren't you?
W-what's that supposed to mean!?