Part 28: Chapter XXIV: The Far Side of the Twilight Ocean
Wish me luck, Stera! I'm going to make my flying machine!
You're going to do it!? Good luck!
Alriiight! It's finally complete! I should go tell master right away!
What? That's the item you made to fly!? So you really did make it! That's great!
I talked to lots of people and got some help. But I should be able to fly with this! I'll try riding it now!
B-be careful, okay...!?
Wait, the controls aren't working!? I-I'm going to crash!
Are you alright?
...It was just a moment.
It was just a moment, but I flew! I really flew!!
Shallie... Y-yeah, you did. Good work. Although it looks like you still have plenty of room for improvement.
Yeah! Alright, time to start improving it!
(I did it, I'm one stop closer to reaching my dream!)
Yep. If we stop the purification device, the water will go back to normal eventually... Right?
It would probably take a long time. This was caused by humans in the first place... We need to take responsibility.
Hah... You don't need to think that way... Of course a human should stop a device a human created. This is a result they brought upon themselves.
Hmm... If we stop it, will the Dusk stop too?
The Dusk isn't an individual phenomenon, it's a condition. A collapsed system isn't easily restored.
I guess that would be too easy...
Stopping the device wouldn't be for nothing. It's the course you decided to take, remember? In the short term, of course, the dwindling water supplies in this region would be in real danger of running out. In the long term, the condition should be more favorable for people, even if the world itself doesn't want it.
The world doesn't want it?
This is the path you chose. As long as we humans are here, we have to do everything we can to survive. If that means fighting against what the world has fated for us, so be it.
We just need to do what we can, Stera!
You're right. Let's go, Lotte!
That looks like the center of the device. We should go there if we want to stop it...
So there are dangerous slags down here, too. Hmph. Let's take care of all of them.
Even more powerful slags. I guess it makes sense, since this ruin has been here for so long...
One last obstacle...
This is the core.
But where's the device? I don't see anything...
We don't know how ruins like this work... We should we extra careful...
Wow, I didn't think there'd be a place like this underground...
Stay on your guard.
Did you forget? There were documents about artificial life forms with the ones for the device. Some ancient alchemy devices work by using life forms as intermediaries. There's no question this is one of them. If the device is out of control, the life form isn't going to be in a normal state either.
A device created from an artificial life form... So the purification device was something like that...
But why would they build something like that?
Think about it. A completely automated device, if it broke, would mean disaster for the entire region. However, an artificial life form would last a lot longer, and would be able to repair any damage itself, without constant human intervention. And it isn't the only one... Didn't I tell you? Humans love repeating the same mistakes.
Still... Turning a living thing into a device is too much.
As I thought... It won't just sit by and let us shut it down.
Music: Luto -Tochisurumono-
It's done playing around. Now's the time to throw everyone we have at this!
Time to finish this.
Did we shut the device down?
In a manner of speaking, yes. Anyway, come with me.
The device has restarted under normal operation conditions.
The problem wasn't the device, it was what was controlling it. This should buy a little time.
Is it okay not to stop it?
Without the Controller, the device will stop on its own eventually. Not for a while, but it will. At that point, Stellard and the surrounding regions will have a water crisis. Of course, I can't say when that will happen. I've fixed the levels for the intake and output. It won't intake more than necessary. Better than nothing. The rest is up to nature.
But the Dusk really won't stop?
No way! We won't lose to the Dusk. That includes our towns, too!
Yeah, you're right!
I'll put the material in here. Easy!
...What a weird song.
Hey, Miruca! You're late. You said you'd teach me alchemy from Central today!
There's not much I can teach. You've gotten really good at alchemy, Shal.
What? No way! Not at all. I can't do anything about the Dusk like this!
Well to be honest, you HAVE gotten pretty skilled at alchemy.
Wait, really? Stop! You're embarrassing me!
Today's your initiation!
There's nothing else I can teach you. Not for a while, actually. Hahh. Now I can finally get back to my magic training!
Wait, does that mean I won't be your apprentice anymore?
I guess you could say that... Though I was never an alchemist in the first place. That okay?
No, it's not okay! You're my master!
You say that, but, the apprentice is more skilled than the master, here...
Please, Master! I want you to stay as my master! I want to learn more!
I just told you...
There're things I need to do, just like you. Or more like, I found out what I need to do. That's why I can't just be thinking about alchemy all the time. You'll be fine, your alchemy is amazing! I taught you, so there's no doubt! I know you'll try your hardest!
Looks like it's finally over, Shallie.
In the end, I wasn't able to help the village... But that's okay, we know why the water was drying up, and what to do about it.
You've changed since coming to Stellard.
Yeah. A lot.
You've changed too, haven't you?
Well it's nothing compared to you... All I learned is that there's a lot I don't know.
Are you... Going to go on another journey?
I want to, if I can. Though I know there're probably things to do around the village...
Do you want to travel the seas with me?
I'm trying to get rich.
I started thinking about Miruca's alchemy and how that might not be able to sustain her forever. I need to start planning for when that day comes and we have enough money to get by. Besides... Traveling the Dusk Sea is still a dream of mine, and there's treasure out there, somewhere. I'm sure of it.
I need to look out for Shallie. She's going to be the next chief. I can't just mess around.
...No, it's okay if you go.
The Village will be fine. I'll definitely find something to do about it. That's why I want you to do what your heart tells you, Kortes.
I guess I don't have a say in this one...
I'm gonna get going... What about you?
Where're you going?
The Dusk Sea.
To each their own
Solle. Skills grow. Again.
Homuran, try this one too!
Escha. That name. Not. For skilled hunter... Nom nom.
What! Why is it okay when Shallie calls you Homhom, but I can't call you Homuran?
Reasons... Om nom nom.
Mm... Something smells good!
Shallies! You two should try this! It's my special recipe.
These apples tarts... They smell so good!!
This is a specialty of your homeland, right? They look delicious!
I made these using apples from my family's orchard.
Don't you miss Colseit, Escha?
Yeah... I want to go home and eat apple tarts!
...That's not quite what I meant.
Escha. Tarts. More please.
We still have plenty of apples! Shallies, please, eat as much as you like!
Whoa! Do you have more at your shop?
Yes, but... I have to help Solle with some documents. I'll meet you soon!
Oh, Harry, hello. Why are you here?
I guess you could call it a celebrity gathering.
Olson runs a global company that publishes books, and is still quite an agreeable fellow.
Ohh, Mr. Perriend, your deep knowledge of ancient history and noble character are quite the accomplishment!
Sounds like... You're getting along?
We're planning a cooperation between the Harry Company and Perriend Corporation, to spread information and goods!
I didn't think I'd make a business venture like this at my age, but this is a breath of fresh air.
I agree, that sense of adventure is just what's needed to overcome the Dusk!
Heh heh... You're both capable with business... Yet daring.
I've never seen Mr. Perriend smile before!
Stellard looks like it'll become even more prosperous.
Shallie, what happened with the water control device? Did you shut it down?
Um... Well, when we investigated it closer, it turned out the being that was controlling the device was the problem with it. We defeated the Controller, and Keith stabilized the device's function.
He said that eventually the device would stop, but there's still time to find a solution.
So the city's water supply will be safe?
For now, it seems.
I see... I guess that was the best possible outcome, given the circumstances.
A marvelous one, indeed!
Let's see... I'd like plenty of space for firm rooting. I want them to grow big enough for her to see...
I'm sure you'll find the perfect place.
I think so too...! You're thinking so much about those seeds, after all!
Thanks. You might laugh, but... I have the feeling these seeds have the power to hold back the Dusk...
I'll help look for a place to plant them!
I'll help too, of course!
...I'm sure if we all work together, we can find a good place...!
We didn't know if we should tell you... Uh...
No... Thanks to you, I can finally feel some closure. Without you two, I might've never learned the truth. I'd like to meet the other me's that Escha and Keithgriff know some day.
I'm sure you will! You just have to go to Colseit.
Yeah, you can just ask Mr. Perriend for a little break...
No, it would be strange to go visit them myself.
Haha... Oh, wait, is that Keith and Odelia?
It is! Oh, Keith, Odelia... Are you going somewhere?
Yes, I'm done here.
No way... It's too soon!
I have an appointment to meet with someone. I'm behind schedule far enough as it is.
That's not a big loss. I'll buy you something sweet later.
Uh, you can have this if you want...
!... This is!
Solle made it.
Thank you... A delicate texture and flavor... With a feeling of love and care for the person eating it... The vanilla is nostalgic, and the cinnamon and orange are a perfect blend... This was a lovely experience. Thank you.
Hehe! You're pretty cute sometimes, Odelia.
Odelia, we're leaving.
Thank you for helping me with alchemy... And seeing the truth.
Hahh... It's about time, Lotte.
Are you going to the harbor?
Yes. I don't really have any more business here in Stellard...
I...I see. Lemme go get everyone to say goodbye.
Raise the sails
Yeah, I feel the same way... But, after coming here and meeting you, and experiencing so much, I feel like a brand new person!
A new person, eh? I wonder if I've been able to move forward at all.
You have, for sure.
I hope so... You're going back to your village, right?
...Yeah. I know what I need to do, and what's the most important to me. So...
I see... Okay, I guess I have another dream...
No matter what, I'll make your dream come true, Flameu...
Heh, sounds like Escha has been pretty busy over there. If Marion wasn't keeping me so busy here, I'd go out and visit her sometime. Hm... The seeds Flameu gave her? Yeah, we need to finish her last request.
You're finally here.
What was keeping you so busy? Me and Nio just finished investigating the sunken ruins.
Hm... Just cleaning up some past mistakes.
What does THAT mean?
Don't worry about it. Anyway, are you two ready to keep moving on? There's still a lot of work to be done.
Master, I believe we should tell them. It may be of interest, and we are at least two days from the nearest ruin.
Fine. But we'll keep walking.
A weave of memories
Music: Last Wanderlust