Part 9: The Flame of Hope
I went over to Domina today when I ran across a wild egg. With the help of the onion fellow, I was able to capture it. Soon it should hatch, where it could serve as a traveling companion. Isn't that exciting?
You know, it will be nice having more company in the homestead. Talk to you later, Li'l Cactus!
Might as well take Bud along to further his little mission. It's going to take a few more days for my little friend to hatch, but I see no point in waiting around for that to happen.
There's really not much left to do in Domina. I think that one jerk's still sulking in the bar, but I'd rather not help him. I think it's time for some new sights.
Despite my numerous adventures, the only two magical artifacts I have are the ones Niccolo gave me. I think I'll try activating the flame.
You know, I think I've heard a lot about this place already. A rocky, windy place that also serves as a holy site for those who serve the Mana Goddess. Might be worth investigating.
Whoa. This place is huge! Looks like the left road is a bit hostile, while there's some civilizations to the right. Let's check out that building up top.
What's wrong with that Sproutling?
My tummy hurts...
Thanks... Ow, my tummy!
Come on, try to walk to that shop over there.
Oh...... N-no, I can't...
...Odd little fellow.
I'd rather check this area out first.
Huh, this guy seems a bit out of place here. I wonder what his story is.
I am sorry, I cannot sell you this stone. Without any sparkle to it, a stone is useless.
I cam her to buy some gems, but good gems are hard to find. I wish there were better stones.
A bit of an oddball, but sadly that's becoming the norm for the people I meet.
Further up is another interesting fellow. Seems impatient.
I hear a thief is after the temple's flame. Did you see anyone suspicious on your way here?
Well, I did see a Sproutling that was acting odd.
A Sproutling? No, he is probably not involved. I guess it was just a rumor... The inspector exaggerates everything.
A thief? Inspector? Something big's going down. Wonder how I can help.
What is it you do around here?
My job is to keep the torches burning at the temple. The temple is to your left.
Did you see that Sproutling that just walked by?
That Sproutling was acting strange... I think he went to the terrace.
What's this about an inspector?
He's a mouse-man with a pipe and a really loud voice. He keeps pestering me to be careful all the time.
That's some handy information. I really want to see that temple up close, so onward we go!
I... I don't know if I want to go in there. It's rather...high...
Seriously, how are the people here not terrified to enter that temple? It looks like a slight breeze could send it hurtling to the ground!
Oh hey, there's the Sproutling!
Let me see...
Just wait! That bug is the ultimate medicine... Let's just remove it.
You're going to help me?
I'm going to peel away a leaf to take out the Popo.
Oh, what a waste! Popo Bugs are so expensive... I think Mr. Rubens needed that medicine, too...
That Sproutling was certainly weird.
Though she's right in that this area is gorgeous. What a great view of the waterfall!
Alright. I think I can enter that deathtrap of a temple now.
Oh, there's the Sproutling.
You must meditate. Everything is in your mind.
By Goddess, is that guy annoying. I know I don't want to run around up here like a maniac!
Though while I'm here, I might as well explore the place.
Hey, is that...?
It's the room of my old friend, Matilda. She is the priestess of this temple.
Oh, right, Daena said she's from here. It only makes sense I'd find her here.
There are some nuns in training here, who are rather gossipy. Apparently there's mixed feelings about the priestess. Interesting.
I'm assuming the Sproutling ran back to the terrace. I'm starting to hope he trips and falls off the cliff.
Not only is the Sproutling and the nun there, but so is Rubens.
My tummy hurts!! Help me, but don't tear off my leaves!
Alright, my dear. Come over here, I will help you.
Here, Mr. Rubens.
Did that nun just subdue the Sproutling? Very odd, considering the other one simply ignored him. Doesn't seem very nun-like.
Well? Don't you want to revive your petrified sweetheart?
I don't want to hurt anyone.
Then you can't protect anyone. You're too soft.
Life is like this town...Cutting through rocks to make pathways. We can't get to the top without a flame of hope in our hearts.
I'm getting the feeling I'm missing a huge chunk of the story here.
Though unfortunately I'm clearly not going to get the full story from these two. Guess it's time for more "Chase the Sproutling."
Aha! A crime!!
Loud voice... a pipe... this is clearly the inspector. Not what I expected, to be honest.
I wasn't anywhere near it!
Oh, my apologies! What seems to be the problem?
I twisted my ankle when the Sproutling bumped into me.
He certainly gets agitated quite easily.
So she disguised herself as a Sproutling! What could she want!?
He's certainly no fan of this Sandra character. And I'm starting to be suspicious of that Sproutling. Better go back to the terrace and stop his reign of terror.
He's not there, but it looks like Rubens and the nun are having quite the conversation. Maybe if I listen in, I can figure out just what in Fa'Diel is going on.
I think I will get the Popo bug from that Sproutling.
Well, go ahead. I'm not going to do it.
How callous! So you don't care one way or another about your love in Geo?
Don't mock me...
Fine by me.
You don't care whether it affects your girlfriend or the Sproutling, do you?
Look, I don't want to interfere in anyone's life. And I don't want anyone interfering in mine.
Stones who lose their sparkle shall be punished!!
Oh damn! Gotta stop this!
I wanna see some tears! Cry like a child and beg for your life.
Still alive, eh? Jumi of the Lucidia are indeed formidable.
Gotta stop her from getting away!
See you around.
I was too late!!
You probably couldn't have saved him, though...
Sandra is a master of disguise! But I WILL catch her!
And off he goes... So Rubens was actually a Jumi all along...
I've never actually seen a Jumi before. I hear their life force is inside their jewel cores, so if the nun stole his core... Poor guy...
Diana... I-I wish I could see you again...
The temple received a note from Sandra, the jewel hunter. It said that she will steal the Flame of Hope.
...But she was after Mr. Rubens's core! If only I had known that Mr. Rubens was a Jumi! We must catch Sandra, no matter what!!
Sure thing! We can't let someone that dangerous continue to wreck havoc on the town!
Something tells me that Sandra is still around this area... I will search the temple and the village, you go check the outskirts. Let's go!
I have to say, even if this guy's been unsuccessful so far, I appreciate the effort he's putting into this case. Didn't Nouvelle say the inspector's name was Boyd?
Guess I'll head over to the other side of Gato! Better get some supplies first.
While I've cherished my time with my bronze blade, I need to be prepared for greater challenges. It's time for a stronger blade!
Aha! Leaves! Looks like I'm on the right path!
Looks like there's some monsters on this path. Better be prepared.
These creatures are fragile, but they're a bit creepy and seem capable of transforming their body into various forms.
These snakes are a complete pain. I swear this one constricted me several times before I could escape its grasp. Once I did, I showed it no mercy.
These birds were a bit stout and agile, but nothing I couldn't handle.
What's going on here?
Ah, I see. This is where the nuns store their booze.
This guy is definitely sturdy, but I eventually bring him down with my blade.
At least the trip was rather short. Plus I figured out a few shortcuts to make it painless to go here next time I choose to do so.
Beautiful waterfall, but no Sproutling. I guess there's nowhere left to go but up!
Better stop her!
You're going to pay for what you've done!
No one will ever catch me!
Oh, wow! My tummy doesn't hurt anymore! Yaaaay! I'm okay now!
At least the Sproutling's happy. Even though Rubens is dead and the killer has escaped, at least the Sproutling's happy.
That doesn't make me feel any better, and it clearly doesn't help the inspector either.
Oh, shut up. This is no time to celebrate!
This Sandra person is killing numerous Jumi? Not good.
Well, having more artifacts is nice and all, but I still wish I could have prevented Rubens's death.