Part 101: Okay, I Guess Hedgehogs CAN Be TrustedUpdate 10: Okay, I guess Hedgehogs can be Trusted
Hm? That's not... that hedgehog, is it? Looks like it's not stuck, for once.
Maybe it's a different one.
No, it is the same hedgehog as ever. I recognize its face.
To your surprise, Arianna can evidently tell one hedgehog from another. If you are to credit her, one could say that fate has brought you and this hedgehog together several times. The hedgehog seems to have not yet noticed you, so you could try talking to it.
Sure, why not? Let's talk to it.
Even if you are inclined to talk to the hedgehog, though, should you approach it so casually? This hedgehog has caused you no small small amount of trouble in the past... You keep that in mind as you consider how to approach it...
Let's make some noise.
As well-acquainted with it as you are, it is still a monster, and it would be best not to make any sudden moves.
Yeah, that sounds like the best plan. That way, we'll have time to react if it decides to attack us.
You and Flavio deliberately rustle the nearby bushes... The hedgehog is not totally inattentive, it seems, for it turns its head your way. Now comes the test... you remember the hedgehog well enough, but does it remember you? An odd tension arises between you and the hedgehog... Suddenly, the hedgehog spins on its heels, turning its back to you, and--
A ramming sound is heard.
You have no earthly idea what possessed the hedgehog to do this...
I admit to a lack of knowledge on the subject, but do hedgehogs normally... do this sort of thing...?
As you ponder the hedgehog's mysterious behavior, a huge pile of leaves rains down upon you from the branches above!
Hey, you little--!
Flavio yells, but the hedgehog is already gone...
Figures... It didn't let us down.
However, after the rain of leaves stops, you spot something gleaming amidst the scattered leaves. After sifting through the pile to retrieve it, you realize that it's a set of useful materials for explorers.
Could it possibly have... struck the tree to bequeath these to us?
I don't think so.
The hedgehog's intentions aside, you gather up the items and go on your way.
Well, these will be useful.
And that's it for the 4th floor.
Now that we got to the 5th floor, let's go back to town and take a break. I'm sure Hrothgar will be fine. In fact, I think I'll take another nap.
Where? I'm looking for him.
...Mr. Sword? I don't see Trand anywhere.
Oh. My mistake.
I wasn't sleepy, so I was reading when I heard Trand's footsteps walk by my room. I think Trand was worried about you, so I thought he'd be here.
Bertrand was worried about me?
Trand always thinks about High Lagaard. He doesn't talk about it, but I can tell. That's why we came here and met you and Ms. Princess in Ginnungagap. After that, Trand was always interested in you and Ms. Princess.
I don't know why. If Trand doesn't want to say, then I don't ask. Trand talks to me when he thinks it's important, so if he doesn't, he must have a reason.
Trand's an amazing person. That's why I decided to follow him. It's just like Mr. Bow and Ms. Princess. They go on journeys with you because they like you. It's all the same.
I think you're wrong about Flavio.
Wrong? How? I like Trand, and Mr. Bow likes you.
There's no doubt about it.
I'm getting sleepy after all that talking. I'll go to bed now. I'm sure Trand'll be back in the morning.
You should go to sleep too. Good night.
And that's the end of that. Hanna, Quona, Abigail, nor Regina have anything new to say in Story Mode for this floor.
Be careful, though. I hear there's quite the beastie up on that floor. Just recently, a guild ran into it. Woulda been wiped out if it weren't for another guild coming in to save 'em. And that guild ain't no pushover. It's the beast that's not normal here. Yeh lot best be careful, yeh got that? It's no laughin' matter if I end up never seeing my regulars again.
This bar patron isn't in Classic.
Oh, if it isn't Bertrand! Still alive and kickin', are you? Hah!
I was gonna say the same damn thing. Still haven't turned things around, eh?
Is that man, perhaps... a friend of Sir Bertrand's?
Trand knows a lot of people. He's friends with most of the bar people.
Even a lazy bum like that ends up with a ton of friends... huh. Wonder how he managed that.
But you're on the 5th floor now... Be very cautious. If you underestimate the monster in its depths, you'll sorely regret it. Well, that's all I have to say for now. Try to avoid any unnecessary risks.
Ah, it's the investigation team... How is the exploration going? ...Ah, I see, you have already reached the 5th floor. I have heard that the Chimaera resides somewhere on that floor. I am sure that you will be able to take care of yourselves, but... all the same, be sure to exercise caution.
Well, let's get back to the Labyrinth.
It is High Lagaardian currency... Could some explorer have dropped it? You may pick it up if you wish, though the option is always there to ignore the money.
Never say no to free money.
Spare change is still money.
Just as you are about to bend over to pick it up, a powerful force shoves you back! You are caught so off guard that you fail to catch yourself and end up falling painfully to the ground.
What the hell...!?
Wait, is that--!?
When you regain your footing, fighting the pain all the while, you find the dull-witted hedgehog you've come to know. Could those coins have been a trap to engineer your doom...?
I knew I couldn't trust that hedgehog!
You brace yourselves, thinking that the time to fight this hedgehog has finally come... but it is acting strangely. The hedgehog keeps butting its nose at you, which hurts not at all. It's almost as if... it's trying to warn you away from here...
Sounds of a fight ensue.
Oh no, the hedgehog...!
The hedgehog remains motionless on the ground, having been struck fiercely by a much larger monster.
You think... those things are the ones who set the ambush?
The monsters snort and hiss in anger at their snare being spoiled, as they turn their malicious gaze to you! You cannot fathom the hedgehog's true intentions, but there is a more pressing threat to deal with now! Take up your weapons and charge into the fray!
Wait, that reminds me! That little critter! Is the hedgehog okay!?
I will admit that I horribly misjudged it. Its sacrifice shall be remembered.
The battle having ended, you begin searching for the hedgehog that was set upon by the larger monsters. The hedgehog lies still where it landed, but its injuries don't seem severe.
Oh it's still alive. Never mind.
Even when you approach, it shows no sign of fleeing, and instead raises its head to look up at you with its beady eyes. You have had enough encounters with it by now to recognize the dull-witted hedgehog when you see it...
You saved us, didn't you...?
The hedgehog, unable to understand human speech, gives no response. Yet you feel certain that Arianna has hit upon the truth of what happened...
Well that was a pretty strong headbutt.
The headbutt which saved you from the ambush was quite painful, and so you compliment the hedgehog's brute strength.
You're right... it really hurt.
Honestly, it might've hurt worse than anything those monsters did to us.
Yet isn't that fitting, in its own way, for our little hedgehog?
Thinking back, you recall how every encounter with this hedgehog ended in pain, no matter what you did. Considered in that light, this may have been the most fitting way for the hedgehog to repay your kindness.
I'll treat your wounds. To thank you for what you did for us.
The hedgehog obediently allows the black-robed girl to heal its injuries. When you stand back for it to return to the forest, the hedgehog remains at your feet and sniffs at your hand.
May as well.
The hedgehog straightens its back to lick at your hand. It's focusing its attention right around where you were injured in battle...
At least, we can finally know what it's like to pet a hedgehog.
Seeing this as the perfect opportunity, you pet the hedgehog to your heart's content. Its spines feel astonishingly soft when it is in this relaxed state... it feels truly heavenly...
After it has licked until it is satisfied, the hedgehog walks away, its purpose fulfilled. It glances back at you only once before quickly darting into the brush.
...What a weird guy.
Still... I'm most grateful for what it did for us.
You take a moment to reflect on the twist of fate that united you with the small rodent before resuming your exploration.
Farewell little guy. And that's the last we'll see of it. Incidentally, in Classic Mode, the event plays out a bit differently. You lose 50 HP because the monsters decided to attack you, not because a hedgehog headbutt everyone that hard.
Oh and here's another audio only conversation in the 1st Stratum.
*sigh* Who in the world decided Protectors needed to be on the front line?
I could try instead. But I'm so small that a lot will get by me. Is that okay?
Ngh, no, I'll stand up front.
The ground's soft all of a sudden... Is this moss? There must be water nearby somewhere.
As Flavio notes, it takes a great deal of water in the environment for moss to grow. You look around, wondering if there is a water source at hand.
Oh...? Sir Knight! Take a look at the ground!
As Arianna points out with surprise, water has begun to seep out, quickly forming a small pond.
The pooled water reflects the moonlight; its shine rippling like a living thing, even in the absence of wind.
Like tears from the moon...
Heh. I don't usually wax so poetic, huh?
Bertrand scratches his head sheepishly and looks away. Bertrand scratches his head sheepishly and looks away. But hearing that phrase does trigger something in your memory... You suddenly recall a request that you undertook at the bar. The Braggart Chap asked you to look into where the tears of the moon could be found. Could these tears of the moon" be the same ones that Bertrand referenced in his moment of reverie?
Huh? We have no idea if that's related to this thing.
Yet surely there cannot be many places in the Labyrinth it could apply to. This must be the one!
What a beautiful way to put it, too... A place where the tears of the moon fall...
Hey... you're embarrassing me.
All that's left to complete the quest is to visit the bar and tell the client about this spot, whenever you have the time.
I go back at this point. The advertisement I put up just ended, so I go to get my money.
...Hmm, it seems it went well.
I am happy that the people of the South Ward enjoy it.
I am sure that once they learn the taste of this restaurant, they will want to come back for more.
But we'll need to add more dishes to the menu for that.
This is getting fun!
This isn't a game, but... It's something that can't be done without you. Now then, about the money earned from this campaign... Grandfather has given us a suggestion. He is asking if you want to use it to develop the town.
Isn't it our money?
He said it's not mandatory, but voluntary. What you do with it is up to you.
Hold on there... That's the kind of thing we're supposed to do? That's the country's job.
Do you think so? I think it is closer to us than you think. My father would often burn the midnight oil designing a plan.
Arianna's father is the duke, right!? We're just plain folk here.
But if people increase, customers increase. If customers increase, profits increase. I don't think it's a... bad offer.
In fact, this is the best way to make money in this game. Developing the town is definitely in your best interests.
Yeah. The more customers we get, the more famous this restaurant becomes And as a resident, it simply makes me happy if this town gets better. Try town development out at least once.
And then the game gives us a tutorial on developing the town. I go to get some more quests done.
I'm so sorry! You already gave me all I needed to make the Beast Bow! So we already have it in stock... I'm sorry... But you did an amazing job! You knew what I wanted even before I asked! That's really impressive! I left the reward with Cass, so you can claim it from him. Please come see us again!
And now back to the Labyrinth.
Is it your imagination, or does that howl seem suffused with sorrow...?
Let's hurry and find out.
Yeah, we gotta hurry and catch up to them!
It sounded like the pooch might be hurt. We should find him quick.
Uhh, I get how you guys feel, but don't work yourselves into too much of a lather over this. If we let some monsters take us out because we were in too much of a rush, who'll save them then?
You nod at Bertrand's sensible advice, and then begin walking again to catch up to the Beowulf Guild.
Arianna gasps, apparently noticing something, and calls out to you.
But his red-haired companion is nowhere to be found, and the beast's slick fur is matted a darker black
Perhaps because of this, Wulfgar remains tensed, despite his familiarity with your guild.
You need treatment. I won't hurt you.
The black beast heeds the robed girl's words, then looks hesitantly at the rest of you. Eventually, though, he stops growling and obediently lies down.
Incredible, Dame Chloe. You can communicate with Wulfgar?
He acted like he understood before. So I tried it out.
...He's a good kid.
You too, Chloe.
I'm just doing my job.
I'm treating him now. Stay back.
The rest of the party gives the robed girl space to work, and you quietly watch her treat the beast's wounds...
Fade to black.
Yeah... Talk about a huge relief!
...What're you doing?
There's no telling what drives the beast, but he suddenly headbutts the robed girl with his large head! The slender girl, unable to withstand its force, falls on her bottom.
...What? I didn't do anything bad.
The girl gets to her feet, seeming confused. It doesn't seem as if she's hurt anywhere. You try to think of what to say to the nonplussed girl in the silent Wulfgar's stead.
I think he's trying to thank you.
Some thanks that w--
The robed girl has not yet finished her muttering when Wulfgar butts his head against her again!
Haha, look at you, getting knocked off your feet.
It's... not funny...
I believe Wulfgar is attempting to thank you. He means to say that he owes you a debt, Dame Chloe.
The beast's show of gratitude seems to have drained his strength. He sits back down and gazes sadly into the forest. He lets out a howl suffused with sorrow and anxiety, and it sounds as if he is trying to tell you something.
Do you suppose... that Sir Hrothgar is up ahead...?
The beast howls again at Arianna's comment. He gazes at you, then turns deeper into the forest, urging you on.
...Let's wait a bit.
The black beast, hearing you, lets out a low and threatening growl.
Sir Knight, I believe Wulfgar is asking us to save Sir Hrothgar.
Knight... We gotta help him out, right?
Let's hurry on.
The black beast, hearing you, closes its eyes in relief.
Don't worry. He's just tired.
Chloe seems to be correct. You can hear the beast's peaceful breathing, showing that he is indeed merely asleep.
Thank the heavens...
If Wulfgar's hurt this bad, there's more up ahead than just Hrothgar... The Chimaera must be there too. We better be careful before moving forward, Knight.
We can talk to Wulfgar again.
Seeing this, you decide that you must forge onward to save his master, Hrothgar.
We'll do that later. He can wait. I just need to get a few other things done first. Also yeah, Wulfgar lives in Story Mode, where he died in Classic.
Successfully advertising Deer Steak for that quest has the Story party chime in.
We got to eat meat, and help the cafe, so we're even happier.
*giggle* What a wonderful request that was! Everyone's so happy... and all because of my favorite dish!
Just thinking about that Deer Steak that Dame Regina made for us... Ah, it makes me smile just thinking about it.
Yeah, yeah. Bet you had a great time. C'mon--it's about time we went to the bar to tell Cass how it went.
We'll get around to dealing with Chimaera next time.