Part 29: Of Magic Medals and Mocchis3Yr. 6Mo. 2Wk.
So I headed back to Torble the weekend before last. See, it turns out that since I wasn't able to forget the horrifying images Teetee put in my mind, I also wasn't able to forget that she claimed to be there to tell me Wit wanted to see me. I thought maybe he had a lead on the whole cyborg monster thing.
Nope, he'd just heard about Rio decking Diehl. He'd also heard about me challenging Diehl to a monster battle. (I got carried away by the heat of the moment, what can I say?)
Unfortunately, he didn't seem to think much of my chances. Luckily for me, he had an edge in mind.
It seems that, with the right craftsman and the right parts, regular training gadgets can be enhanced with a variety of effects. And we don't have to turn our ranch into some sort of factory line to make use of them.
I can't say I'm enthused by the look of the medal he gave me, though. Apparently it's a Magic Medal, and a training gadget built using it will make the monster work harder. I'm just worried I'm getting a little close to a slippery slope by using it.
Teetee was just thrilled by him helping us, naturally...
...but I guess she remembered who writes her check. (Brr. Think happy thoughts.)
Oh, and everyone's favorite androgynous veterinarian dropped by a little after we got back.
She gave everybody a looksee and proclaimed them all healthy as... well, as a motley assortment of monsters can be. At which point Rio decided to get chatty.
Long story short, she'd had a traumatic experience with a Mocchi too. I sympathized, so I shared my own.
I was a bit surprised, though, that someone who'd had a monster die on her like that wouldn't have any trouble doing a job where, frankly, you're going to see another monster die sooner or later.
And then she said something rather insightful.
She uses that memory as a motivation; she's learned to take care of monsters so that, hopefully, she can prevent that from happening again to some other poor kid.
I never really thought of it that way before. I mean, I felt guilty about getting Gourdon and the others hurt, but I didn't quit ranching. No, I learned from my mistakes and carried on.
It's something I'm going to have to think about.
Anyway. In other news, Wit apparently got in touch with a guy who knows how to actually use these medals. I've only got the one, so I have to use it where it'll do the most good.
So I traded in the old target...
...for a Magic Target. Creepy-looking thing, isn't it? But he seemed to know his stuff; iScream was scheduled to work out on the target this week...
...and he got massive results. Between the Magic Target and the Wind Drum, I can expect to see some serious improvements in accuracy all around. Now I just need to get more medals.
After a week of training, I decided to head into Torble again, stock up on watermelons. (The whole gang loves them, and they're rather soothing.) Turns out it was a good thing I did.
Seems the missing Mocchi had been tracked to... where else? The Kalaragi Jungle.
For once, though, I wasn't the one expected to brave the jungle in search of the missing Mocchi. In fact, the guy in charge of the expedition looked pretty capable.
I dunno, though. Maybe I'm just getting used to playing the hero. Or maybe thoughts of my own Mocchi were still in my head. I asked if there was something I could do to help... and he gave me this.
Since I don't have a Mocchi of my own, he suggested using a Mocchi doll as bait to try to lure out whatever's behind all this. I think it'd have to be a pretty stupid monster to fall for something like that... but what the hell.
Chucky, Natsu, iScream? Pack your bags. We're going jungle hunting.