Part 22: Chapter XIX: The Tragic Side of the Woman's Love
What are you doing? Are you... Working out? Another pointless effort...
It's not pointless!
S-Shallie... When did you...!?
I... I did it! I beat Kortes! ...I can do things when I set my mind to them... Um... Kortes? ...Kortes!?
Ugh...when did you get stronger than a dragon? I'll be fine, I just need to rest. Ugh...
Stera, that was so awesome!
Haha, really? We've been doing so much fighting lately, I guess I just had a lot of practice.
That should be obvious! He's always treating me like a kid... He doesn't need to bully me just because he's old and cranky about it!
Old... Cranky? Who...?
Keithgriff! Who else around here is a mean old geezer with a mustache!?
(I shouldn't laugh, right...?)
I might look like this, but I'm a respectable adult! Nobody can complain about my skills with magic, either...! Yet he still can't accept me... And it's not just Keithgriff. The Grand Master won't recognize me as a full-fledged magician either. I can use all kinds of magic, and I've obtained some pretty dangerous power. If that's not enough, I'm at a loss...
Just kidding! If I complain about something like this, I'll just get further away from my goals. Okay, enough stalling. Next up, a fresh plan for revenge against Keithgriff. What do you think?
A fresh plan for revenge... That sounds exciting!
Why, hello you two! So this is where you were?
Did something good happen?
Why yes indeed! Today is truly a great day! That's because... Today is the day when my autobiography, "The Harry Chronicles", is released!
C-Congratulations...! (He really wrote it...!)
I'd like to offer this significant work of literature to my young friends... You'll accept it, yes?
U-Um...thank you for thinking of us!
No need to thank me. You inspired me to write it, after all, so think of it as a reward! "From the Wilderness", my previous book, was also a masterpiece, but this epic may outshine even it! If you ever feel down, you should give it a read. The tales of my past adventures will surely inspire you.
Hahaha! But, fascinating as it is, you shouldn't read it here. Go home and read it! I'll take my leave now. There are still countless others awaiting my latest work! Please tell me your thoughts when we meet again!
Walk with. Me. Much to tell. Of my. Adventures!
Want to know. Why I became. Treasure hunter?
You have such a small body, but you're so brave and wonderful...!
Hey. Don't call small. Shallie. Since long ago. Was interested. In outside world. Want to know. Truth of world.
The truth of the world... That sounds really cool!
Right? All homunculus. Have some dream. No. Might not be right. Anyway. My dream.
Then. Met Solle... Helped Solle. Saved money. For adventure.
That's great, Homhom!
Now. Treasure hunt. Makes money. Two birds. One stone.
So you fulfilled your dream...
Homhom, you're even cooler than I thought!
Keith. Wanted man. What do you want?
Yes. Solle tells me. Keith. Bad man!
That depends on what you mean by bad. But enough... I'm simply searching for the truth... You could say we're the same.
Is this. True. Shallies?
Yes. Keith's journey is to find the truth behind the Dusk.
I see. Didn't know. Unexpected associate.
I have a proposition for you.
What? Have bad feeling.
I'd like to research you. I've said this before, but it's rare to find an individual like yourself...
What are you saying Keith!?
I refused. Already.
This is necessary to find the truth. I'd like your cooperation.
Hahh. Homhom's got it rough...
I guess Keith's just really eager to study...? I wonder how Keith would study Homura.
Knowing Kieth, he might try to dissect him... We should probably keep those two apart when we're outside of town...
Music: Um, Er... I think
(Huh? Katla... I wonder what's wrong?)
Hello! How's it going?
...Does it look like it's going well?
The water? ...Oh! The water! What happened with that? Shouldn't you have sold out by now?
No! There's no way I can sell something like that!
Huh, why!? You were the one so full of confidence that it would sell!
Before you say that... Why don't you two think about what you did recently.
Huh? We didn't do anything to make you mad!
What have we done recently? We explored the Castle of Mirages, we talked to Keith about the droughts, we discovered new water sources...
That's just it! Everyone was happy after hearing about a new water source.
Everyone was happy? That's great...!
Yeah, it is! Thanks to that, the water shortage was eased a bit, so it's not bad...
...it seems you've finally noticed. If the water shortage goes away, there's no way to sell overpriced water!
Oh... Now that you mention it...
Thanks to that, I can't sell it at all unless I cut the price to normal! Hahh... All this bulky stuff is just getting in the way of business now. I should just put it on clearance...
(I see... This might be bad for Katla, but it's fine if everyone is happy now.)
So...what are you going to do now?
I've still got to get rid of this water, and then... I don't know. Can you guys take me out on an adventure sometime? I used to adventure with Escha a lot!
I don't know if we can... Don't you need to be near your shop? I don't want to cause anymore trouble for you.
I don't know if I can be in more trouble...
Hello young ladies. Making any money?
Nobody would have trouble if it was that easy to make money!
Hahaha, that's true.
Reyfer, are you working as a treasure hunter because you want to get rich?
...Sure, I want to get rich, and quickly. I think any treasure hunter feels that way.
But... That's not the real thrill.
Oh? Then what are you really after?
That's my dream... I guess you could just say it's a romantic ideal.
Does that mean you want to be the first to find something?
It's not just about being first. First off, it needs to be an awesome treasure. You need that for people to take notice.
I see... So you want people to remember your name.
...That doesn't quite seem right...Although I do want to have a reputation among hunters. Anyway, secondly, I need to get rich. Doesn't that sound great?
Sure... (I kind of understand, but not really...?)
Romance is simple and pure, yet complicated and profound... But this is a man's romance. it might be hard for young ladies like you to understand...
Don't jump to conclusions like that! I feel like I...kind of get it!
Hm, I don't think I get it... I'm a little jealous.
Oh, hello Shallies!
Hello Escha. What are you doing here?
I'm on my way back from delivering something to the Corporation. I was running, so I got thirsty...
Oh! Then why don't you stop by my house for tea? It's really close.
I wouldn't want to intrude.
You're always helping out, you're more than welcome! You should come too, Shallie!
Sure. It's this way, Escha.
Uu... Okay, I guess I'll take you up on that your offer...
Hello Shallies, and...
Oh, are you Shallie's mother!? I'm Escha Malier, I was sent here by Central! Shallie is always helping me... Oh, and I was invited today...
Don't worry, just make yourself at home.
Escha is our senior for alchemy.
I don't know about senior. I think you two could catch up in no time.
Also, Escha is really good at making sweets!
Oh my... I'd like to try them sometime. Anyway, I'll go make tea.
Your mom seems really kind, and gentle, and wonderful...
She's pretty much just an airhead.
She's always looking after me, too. I feel almost like your sister, Shallie.
What kind of person is your mom, Escha? Is she also good at making sweets?
Hmm, I don't know about sweets... She's really good at writing story books though.
Story books!? That's wonderful...!
Your mom died!? I'm so sorry!
Oh, no, don't worry about it. It happened a long time ago, after all, but...thank you.
I see... What kind of automaton is she?
Kind, knows everything, scolding me when I goofed off... Just like a human woman... That's why I still had a happy childhood.
I didn't know... I'm sorry for bringing it up.
No, it's okay. Hmm, I want to go see her again once I'm done with work.
Please invite me when you do!
Me too, I want to go, too!
Ehehe, that's good. I'm happy you feel that way!
Huh? Over there, is that...
Ms. Odelia and Albert?
Ah, Odelia, would you kindly accept a humble gift from a pitiable man who is drowning in his love for you?
Half of the words in that statement were unnecessary and meaningless. In summary, what exactly am I to receive?
Wow, Ms. Odelia is brutal...!
Maybe she just didn't understand what he meant...?
Your voice, which flows from such lovely lips, rings like a beautiful bell. Ah, how charming!
My vocal mechanisms do not have any functions resembling a bell.
Odelia, these roses bloomed just this morning. Does their color not resemble your eyes, and the color of the sky?
I cannot determine the model number of my ocular components. In summary, what am I to do with these cut flowers?
They are a gift! I could not sleep a wink since last night... Please laugh, and have pity upon me.
...Is this a command to "laugh"? Or is this indicative of some other action?
I'm starting to feel more and more sorry for Albert... Al isn't getting it at all. I'm feeling more sorry for Ms. Odelia.
Ah, if only my humble gift could reach your heart...
This appears to be a metaphorical expression. Searching, please wait.
I have determined that this means to be happy with your gift. A gift is an item presented to another free of charge. However, I have no use for cut flowers.
I see... But gifts do not have to be something useful. Would you please accept them?
An expression once used by my master's apprentice's younger sister may be appropriate, I shall recite it. You must consider the other person when giving a gift. You cannot give them what they don't want. That is all. I have business to attend to, so excuse me.
Odelia... But what do you want...? I suppose this yet another trial, imposed upon this loving man!
I didn't know Ms. Odelia could do that. It must be nice to be able to express your true feelings that openly...
I feel kinda bad for Al, though... I know we were planning to go to Miruca's, but maybe we should get those automatons we found first for him? It's not like either of us will ever use them.
Yeah, good point.
Two automatons...! Wow, you two really are amazing. Here's your reward.
5000 Cole and all these nice items? Are you feeling okay, Al?
Of course! Automatons are truly priceless! Still, to think that you keep finding automatons one after after... I really do have good friends.
Oh stop it, complimenting us that much is embarrassing!
...I know! As thanks... I'll tell you about my secret plans! To tell the truth, I'm thinking about building new automatons... And mass producing them too!
What!? Can you really do that...?
A-Are you serious!?
Heh heh, surprised? But I can tell you, this isn't an unrealistic dream. I got the idea when I was talking with you and Miruca the other day. The machines she's using are based on ancient alchemy, right? Well, automatons are products of ancient alchemy as well. Thanks to you, I've obtained plenty of samples. If I can analyze them properly, I think I can do it.
So that's why you were collecting so many.
Exactly. And if I'm successful in mass producing automatons, the lives of the people would change dramatically. Considering the benefit that would bring, the money I'm spending now to collect them is just a minor investment.
(I didn't think Albert's dream was something so spectacular... A future where everyone lives with automatons... That sounds like fun.)
And that will bring me even closer to Odelia's charms... Each individual automaton is wonderful, but Odelia is exceptional...
(M-Maybe I spoke too soon...)
But Al, won't Perriend get mad if you don't take over the Corporation?
I admit, he's not excited about this plan, but when I take over the Corporation, then I can make it happen! Just you wait, Odelia!
Uh...she's not here right now...
Sorry for asking for help out of the blue...
No problem! I had some free time, and this is a learning experience for me.
Oh, Lotte, you're here too!
Stera? What's up? ...Something smells really good.
I bought some snacks for everyone to share.
What!? That's so thoughtful, Stera!
Ahh, I ate so much... I'm stuffed.
You know, if you eat too much, you won't be able to eat dinner.
Yeek... Won't your mom get mad?
It's fine. My mom usually just goes along with whatever, really.
Is that... A good thing?
Also, Stera, where did you buy these snacks? They're really good!
I know, right? I actually got these from a shop Solle recommended.
As I'd expect from Solle! I need to thank him next time... Oh, thank you, too, Stera. That was really good.
Don't mention it. I wanted to try them anyway.
I need to get back to work. Feel free to leave when you finish your tea.
What was that... Did I do something wrong?
No... She's usually like that...
Ah, wait! I have some business!
I know the recipe seems unusual, but this is what he gave us.
...It looks like it's a crystallized power source made from ancient alchemy techniques. I'll try...
Is this for a ritual? This weapon has a strange shape...
It looks like there's weird energy seeping out!
I don't get it either. But I made it as asked, so there shouldn't be a problem.
It does look like something he'd use...
Honestly, Keith would be okay just finding a random rock and using it...
Maybe we don't need this...
There! It's done!
That looks...strange. What is it, Stera?
It seems like it's some kind of monster ward. It's a recipe passed down in Lugion, which is why our village is safe from monsters even if we don't have many fighters like Kortes. It should still work around here, but I can't tell why it works.
If won't. Tell Keith. I talk.
Oh yeah... How did you get away from Keith yesterday?
Hid behind. Barrels. Got bored. Gave up.
Homura really might not be safe with Keith around...
Is this something you don't want him to know?
When I. Was born...
...... Too long ago. Forgot...
...But. Humans there. I think...
So... Does that means you were born and raised in a human city or village?
...Maybe. Humans. Like Shallies... Alchemists. I think...
So you were born in a city or village of alchemists?
Don't think. It was good memory...
Not really. Something I want. To remember. Sorry. Shallies. Come back. Another day...
S-Sure... Hey, Lotte, do you think Homura is really, really old?
Huh? Why do you say that?
He says he might have been born in a village of alchemists. A whole village... Alchemy was much more common in the past, so I was thinking Homura might be really old.
Oh yeah! And homunculi live much longer than people do... Weird.
This scary customer is disturbing my business! He saw a poor, weak, girl was running the shop and starting haggling for rock-bottom prices... Isn't that awful?!
Hmm, I see you've gotten pretty good with words. I'm happy to see that. But... You still have a lot to learn if you want to beat me. Take this...I know you can still afford to sell this for less. Just give up and drop the price!
You see?! He's done it before, too!
I see... So that's what you meant.
B-But... Katla's just trying to get by, she can't cut prices too much...
No, this girl isn't the kind of person who'd lose heart this easily. Don't worry! C'mon now, you can drop the price again, right?
Wh-What are you talking about!? I can't lower the price any more than that!
Don't worry, you can do it. Just believe in yourself!
N-No, I'm saying it's impossible!
Reyfer, aren't you a capable hunter? I'm sure you've got plenty of money, why don't you go easy on her?
I never spend any more than is absolutely necessary. Go on, give this pathetic man a break.
F-Fine! I get it! I just have to sell it to you at the price you want, right?!
Yeah, exactly. I like girls who do what they're told.
Whatever! Just leave now, please!
Reyfer definitely isn't your average customer...
There're so many things here! I never imagined I'd see something like this back in the village.
Yeah, there's lots of stuff. There're things that've been excavated from ruins. Though, I dunno if they're real. Oh, see... Check this out.
Yes, out of everything here, this was what caught my eye. Rare articles are generally only found by people who understand their true value.
(Is that really a rare item...?)
Hm, looks like Harry's getting fooled by shady junk again. Wait? That item is...
(Could it actually be a rare item with value...?)
Harry... I see you found something nice.
Oh, it's you! Yes, take a look at its unique shape! The colors that show its age and rarity!
That's right! Wow, you guys really do have a sharp eye! I'll give you a discount as well!
By the way... I got this from a specialist who came back from visiting some ruins...
Well it's a bit of a shame to part with it... But it's probably best for someone who knows its true value to take it.
Really? I can't believe my incredible luck!
Hey! This item has a way higher quality than that thing!
You don't even know what it is, how can you judge its quality!? I already had a specialist appraise it...
I understand, I'll pay well for it!
Really? Well then... How about....10,000 Cole?
10,000!? It must be an incredible item to demand such a high price! It was a pleasure doing business with you, young lady! Now then, I must be off! I have to return to the east with my partner!
That about does it.
That was amazing, master. I'm surprised you happened to such a high quality item on hand!
Oh, that? It was junk.
Yeah... You're not actually a master criminal, are you??
I mean it was junk to ME. Doesn't mean it wasn't something Harry thought was valuable... Cha-ching!
I wonder if it's even possible to make a lot of money without doing things like that...
Uu, I don't know who to trust...
Is that the same item from Harry's book?
Yes. After Teo gave us the recipe for the Eyedrops of Truth, I need to improve my alchemy skill. Can you help me here, Lotte?
Oh sure! Let's see...
A...Dowsing Rod? Wait, something like that might be really useful for looking for good artifacts on our investigations.
It's another recipe Teo gave me.
Oh yeah, you mentioned your village has some alchemists, too...
Yes, but Teo can't do alchemy himself. He just knows some old recipes in my family.
The power of Dragons is amazing...
Yes... Still, I'm a little sad we have to fight them.
You mean that talk you had with Kortes? It's okay, a life of fighting isn't for everyone, Stera.
You...what are you doing here?
I was going to ask this girl something, but that monster there... It's not real, is it?
No, it's something I created as alchemy training for Stera and Lotte. They fight it, and they use all their skill to defeat it.
Hm, well, I would be interested in helping them with this. I see some value in it, at least.
Oh yeah!? Well, if you're fighting, then I'm fighting too! Let's go!
Music: FJ: Secret Arts
*pant pant pant*
You haven't seen anything yet!
So you've finally made them? Well, if you're planning on using them, you won't need to take them outside of town. Just apply a bit to your eyes, and you should be able to see your way past the illusion trick.
Wow...how do you know all this stuff!?
Haha! An old man like me has heard a few things in his time. Come back if there's any problem with them.
Alright, let's find the treasure of the ghost ship! For real this time.
Wait...didn't we get turned around somewhere?
Yes, I think so. Let's retrace our steps.
Wait. Look like there's something on that desk. Was it there last time?
Hm.... Hey, Lotte! ...Take a look at this!
What is it? Did you find some treasure!?
No, it's not. I just found this nearby...
...This is a diary, isn't it?
Yes, and when I opened it... I found this inside.
A picture? That's nothing strange. Maybe it belonged to the person who owned this diary?
Probably, but... Don't you recognize the woman in this picture?
I thought so too!
Yeah, this face... There's no mistake! Then that means the man next to her...!
We can't just stand around here! We need to bring this back to Rose!
Yes... We should find that door now, though. I'm starting to get scared...
Narrow passages everywhere. Maybe this was a storage area, or simply a a series of passages leading to the back of the ship. It's just too broken down to tell at this point.
Keith, have you run into a lot of ruins like this?
No. Abandoned ships like this hold very little interest for me and my research, and I've only been in the Stellard region for a little while. My concern is mostly from ruins from the past.
So you...only visit ruins that interest you?
I visit ruins that I think will bring me closer to the truth. If I don't think so, then no, it has no interest to me.
Wow...it's so dark here. I almost can't see where I'm going. That means...we must be getting close to the treasure!
Doesn't look like there's anything beyond this.
A place like this... Feels a little strange.
Senses. Sharp. Nose. Tickling!
This seems like it's the deepest part... If there's treasure, it would be here...
This place is so creepy...!
Sure does live up to the name "ghost ship"...
Don't say things like that while we're IN here!!
...Are you scare--
No! Just, you know, if you say things like that, sometimes they actually happen! That would be REALLY bad!
A... A ghost... Wait, an octopus!?
Don't let down your guard... This must be the current master of the place... Let's go!
Guardian of the old ship
Alright! Now we'll finally get to see some treasure...!
This is it...? What's with all the cheap looking junk...?
...I didn't expect treasure like this, that's for sure.
This is a bit disappointing...
Argh! It's all worthless!
It seems, perhaps, that the story was embellished... Quite a bit. Hm. On one hand I'm disappointed, but personally, I'm glad I got to see the ghost ship of legends. Also... This doesn't mean I'm finished. I'm going to keep looking for treasure...
Let's make sure to check this area thoroughly.
Not as much as I thought, but even so, these are some valuable ingredients.
Hey Lotte, when we get back...
Yeah, we should give Rose that diary. I'm sure she'd want to have it.
Pretty much just as a coworker. Why?
Oh! I'm curious, too!!
They might not talk much, but they seem to understand each other really well!
Yes, that's right. That's why I was asking...
...There's nothing like what you're thinking.
So what is there, then?
I told you...
It's just...you two seem like complete opposites. I didn't think you would be able to get along at all.
(So that's all it was.)
(S-she'll hear you...!)
...Yup. It's probably just because we've known each other for so long.
Oh my... Give me? Whatever could it be?
We found these inside a ship... Please take a look.
... You found these inside a ship? Where exactly was it...?
It was in the Sea, a little to the south of the Sand Dragon's nest.
I see. So that's where he was... To be honest... I had kind of given up hope already. It's been so long since he passed away, after all.
By "he"... Do you mean the man in that picture?
Yes. He... He was a very, very kind man. He accepted a magician like myself without any prejudice or fear... That's why I decided to live with him, and even throw away the long life being a magician had given me... However, I made that decision a little too late. By the time I prepared myself, he had already... I decided to quit being a magician after that. Whatever power I'd had, it hadn't been enough to save the one person who mattered most. I despised myself, and hated the fact that magicians even existed... I decided to use the long years I had left to search for a memento of him.
There aren't many magicians left in this world. We're a people who are merely a remnant of an age long past. I'm sure one day your young friend from earlier will find herself struggling with the magician's path.