Part 33: Rio Gets Mugged By Plot4Yr. 8Mo. 1Wk.
Well, folks, there are two big pieces of news from the last six months. But first, a small piece of news: as of a few days ago, Chucky, Natsu, and iScream had all reached Grade A, while Titan is Grade B and Gourdon Grade C.
Now on to bigger news. The first piece is that the ranch has had a complete makeover! I've been collecting ancient tablets from our wild adventures, and Pollock's been decoding them; he finally said he had a complete set, so I went ahead and splurged to have the ranch redecorated.
Unfortunately, the gadgets take up so much more room than the ones I was using before that I had to put the Wind Drum in storage... and I noted the effects immediately.
None of the monsters on the ranch seem quite able to get to grips with the new gear, and it's hurting their training.
To make matters worse, the gadgets seem to have a negative effect; this flying target, for instance, seems to sap the user's health even as it raises his accuracy. That's not a very good tradeoff.
I could cope with any of these issues on their own, but the combination is ruining my training efforts! I need to get this swapped back as soon as I see Pollock again.
I honestly don't know what the deal is here; gadget use percentages have been terrible, often under 50%. Even without the Wind Drum, they were never that bad on the level 2 gadgets. Still, now you've seen them. And maybe level 4 gadgets will be better, once we get them all.
The other piece of big news is Chucky's day in the sun. Age has been taking its toll; he gains less and less from his training, getting tired faster and faster. But he's not dead yet, and he aimed to prove it last weekend...
As you can see, he pulled it off. Then things got a little crazy.
See, we got awarded this nifty-looking trophy for the win. Apparently, the gem on top comes from the Promiass ruins. I wouldn't put an archaeological find on a trophy, but what do I know?
I know things are getting weird again. Rio looked at the trophy like it was talking to her...
...and then she collapsed.
We took her to the nurse's station on campus (Elives actually maintains the arena here). By the time she came to, Casa'd shown up, wanting an explanation...
...one she was finally willing to give.
We both want answers, and I think I know where we're going to have to get them...