Part 39: Moon Door 2: Client - Part 1-Primal Grounds-
This is Schera's area.
Year 1202 of the Septian Calendar, Rolent...
Huh? ...Where am I?
-The Mood of the Goddess Depends on Luck-
Boy, that dream really brought back memories... Hard to believe I was once that young...
Heehee. I see you've gotten yourself nice and plastered.
You might want to watch what you're saying, though. You're still young, but no one'll believe it if you start talking like that.
Wow. I thought you'd be out for a while longer, Olivier.
Heehee. Let me pour you another glass, then.
You can be such a monster.
Faulkner, bring Olivier another bottle over!
Ugh... Looks like Faulkner's gone and left early again. Fine. Guess I'll have to go get the bottle myself.
Scherazard, he's literally only just gotten up. At least start him off on some fruit wine before you bring out the big guns.
He can have both! Problem solved.
Spare meee... I'll dieeeeee...
You remember when we first met? How much did you down again?
Down? Down what?
Booze! We're talkin' booze, baby!
Scherazard began pouring alcohol onto Olivier's head.
That should go in his mouth, Scherazard.
You schwaaa...? Oh... Silly me.
Five years ago...
-Royal Capital of Grancel-
Okay, where's next...?
Erbe Royal Villa?! No way... I have to go all the way THERE?!
Ugh... This is why I hate cities.
Other Mover: You wouldn't have any interest in working for us, would you? You'd be more than welcome!
Sorry, but I'm not interested.
Really got to go, too. See ya!
Grancel City, 1197...
Five years had passed since the Hundred Days War came to an end. The scars it left were slowly healing, and life was returning to Liberl.
People gathered in the cities and towns that had returned to their former state, and the revived orbment trade brought the kingdom prosperity.
Peace was becoming normal once again.
Not all that was happening in Liberl at the time was so positive, however; this was also a period in which corruption was rife in the military.
Many of the army's officers at the time cared for nothing but lining their own pockets or gaining power and prestige.
Between the development of orbal technology and booming prosperity, much was forgotten...
Is there no one here...?
(I wonder if they'd mind if I used their phone?)
I feel more like a slave than a bracer with all this menial work getting dumped on me...
Oh, hello... Are you here to lodge a request?
Yes, that's right... Umm... Might I ask your name?
I'm Scherazard Harvey. A bracer. I'm still a junior one, but I know what I'm doing. Don't you worry about that.
Oh, my! Really?
Heehee. You look so young that I had no idea you were an actual bracer. My name is Aina. It's a pleasure to meet you.
So what's the request you want to make? I don't have all day to stand around chatting. There're only two bracers at this branch right now, so we're VERY busy. If you can make it quick, I'd appreciate it.
Oh, really? I'm terribly sorry. I had no idea you were--
Did you not hear me? Or do you need me to explain to you what the word 'quick' means?
O-Oh. My apologies.
Well, you see, it's my first time visiting the city. I thought it might be wise to come here and request that someone give me a tour of the main sights and such.
Heehee. The size of the place is rather daunting, as I'm sure you can imagine. But with a bracer who knows their way around at my side, I'd be able to enjoy all that Grancel has to offer without fearing getting lost.
You've got to be kidding... Please tell me you didn't actually come here for such a worthless request.
You seem to be misconstruing what bracers are actually here for. We're not community volunteers or whatever. We have a serious profession and do serious work.
And we're also VERY busy, as I said earlier, so I'm going to have to ask you to look elsewhere if you want a buddy for your sightseeing trip.
U-Umm... I... I wasn't trying to...
Or, hell, just go and look around on your own. Getting lost is probably part of the experience, anyway. (Has this one lived in a box all her life? Typical rich girl...)
Besides, I need to focus on doing major jobs so I can get my letter of recommendation from this branch and get promoted to senior bracer. If you find something serious you need help with, by all means come back. Until then, get going.
(*sigh* It looks like this isn't going to work...) Umm... I really am sorry for troubling you, but--
Pardon us for not properly manning the front desk. That's currently my job, but I'm undertaking other work at the same time.
Oh, you don't have to apologize.
I'd pay her no mind, if I were you. She's a waste of time.
She seems to have gotten it into her head that bracers are friends for hire.
...Well, if you'll excuse me. I'll get out of your hair now.
Do what she wants. Helping people in need is the fundamental mission of us bracers. You've got no reason not to help.
Wh-What...? But we're busy here! I don't have time to be playing tour guide! I've got more important things to do!
Don't worry about the other requests on the board. I'll take care of those.
But you're even busier than I am! You're even our receptionist on top of it!
You needn't worry about me. Besides, you're still a trainee, which means you still have much to learn.
So go. Once you've finished this request, I'll write you your letter of recommendation.
What...? Really? A-Are you sure? This seems like way too simple of a job to be awarding something like that for...
I thought it was your policy to give 100% to all work you undertake?
W-Well, it is, but...
Then I'm counting on you with this job, too.
Umm... Thank you very much...
Think nothing of it. Take care, you two.
I appreciate your assistance.
I do apologize. I really am putting you out with this request, aren't I?
Let's just get started. (Ugh. That aloof manner of talking she has just makes me want to smash something...)
So? Where do you want to go?
Hmm... Let's see... I suppose I should go and buy a few things in the Edel Department Store just in case...
In case? In case of what?
It's in the east block of the city. Don't forget.
Why WOULD I? (I can feel my blood pressure rising already.)
Level 10 Junior Bracer Schera Harvey: spreader of good will and flowers.
The Bracer Guild wasn't always well-heeled enough to hand out free tactical orbments to everyone who passes the preliminary tests, so the Schera of this era is as artless on the battlefield as she is in customer service. When a problem comes along, she must whip it.
Oh, not at all. I should be apologizing that there were no bracers here to take it when you first arrived. Speaking of, I should have introduced myself sooner. My name is Kurt Nardin.
It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Nardin.
My name is Aina, and I--
You can save the long introductions for later. You're fine as just 'the client.'
By the way, Kurt, can I have the key to get into the sewers for a while? I'll go take care of that monster under the west block while I'm out. Shouldn't take long at all.
...I was under the impression you were in the middle of escorting this young lady around the city? I also seem to recall saying that you should disregard all of the other jobs on the board until that was done.
I sincerely hope you weren't ready to take a civilian on a monster extermination request.
N-No! I wouldn't dream of it... I was just thinking I might drop by the sewers on my way back after finishing this job.
... I've explained this several times to you before, Scherazard. A bracer's worth is not defined by their strength in battle.
It's defined by their ability to help others. If that strength isn't being used for the good of the community, it serves no purpose.
I feel as though I'm repeating myself here, Scherazard, but--
Okay, okay! I get it. You want me to focus on helping people and not just getting stronger. I hear you... Though that's easy for you to say when you're super strong already.
Oh? Is he?
He sure is. There was one time a while back where he just walked past a wanted monster and beat it just like that. A single strike. He didn't even change the speed he was walking. Just...done. It was insane! I couldn't believe my eyes.
Ahh, I remember that one.
I wouldn't have done that if not for the fact I'd arranged to meet with someone soon after. If more time had been available to me, I would have fought it using more ordinary tactics. One shouldn't fight carelessly just because his or her foe is a simple monster.
(Not as insane as how stubborn he is, though.)
But here's what I'M wondering. Are you not the one putting the details of these wanted monsters on the board to begin with?
Is there really any point in doing that if you're just going to defeat them yourself?
P-Perhaps not...but such are the rules of this organization.
...Look at this guy. Such a stickler.
Come and let me know as soon as you've finished that job, Scherazard. Until then, you don't need to worry about taking on any other work.
(Wow... It never stops amazing me just how much work Kurt can burn through.)
(What's something like changing road lamps even doing on here?)
(He sure knows how to take on the dull stuff... *sigh*)
One day, I'll be able to handle this much, too... Just you watch...
You don't need to worry about taking on any other work for now, Scherazard. Just focus on the task at hand.
Percy: I wonder how you join.
Fisher: I had to sell my house to make this a reality... but no matter! All I need to do is live here in this building.
Lloyd: Apparently, they've made their way out of the lake and have made the Grancel area their new feeding ground. I-I need to get all this work here finished and go take a look! N-No... I need to be calm. Fishing is all about being cautious and patient.
Mover: Am I okay leaving these here? These, uh, rod thingies...
Lloyd: Be careful! Those break really easily!
Mover: Wh-What?! O-Okay... I will...
Mover: Decided to come and give us some extra muscle after all? Thanks!
My job was just unloading the goods, which I've already finished. My work here is done.
Mover: Aww... No need to be that cold with us. Carrying these things is such a pain in the ass. Maybe we could put in a request to the guild to get someone to do this, too?
Or maybe you could, you know, actually do your jobs? Stop slacking. It's painful to watch.
Other Mover: Hey! If it ain't that young bracer! You've got guts, young lady. I like that.
...Thanks, I guess?
Other Mover: Thinkin' about giving this sack of bones over there a pep talk? He could do with half the guts you've got.
How about you do that yourself?
Latanya: After all that's happened between us and the Erebonians, I wasn't quite sure how to react when I saw him, to be honest... He looked grumpy the whole time, too. I wonder if all Erebonians are like that.
Aldan: There's not going to be a major celebration taking place, but I'm planning to hold one of my own. First, I need to buy what I need here at the department store! I'm going to need champagne and a cake for starters.
He's going to set a candlelit table for two with a picture of the airliner on the other seat, isn't he.
Builna: They were both such lovely people... It's a terrible tragedy that we had to lose them. Their smiles are permanently burned into my memory... I doubt I'll ever forget them.
Godfrey: It's possible I just never noticed, but I feel like I would have... Maybe it's new or something?
Going through all the lesser-known spots in Grancel mentioned in these books was fun for a while, but I've had enough now... Maybe I should get some ice cream!
Sorbet: It's delicious, I assure you! I'm actually a student first and foremost. This is just a part-time job I do on the side. Still, I feel like I'm really cut out for it. Heehee! What do you think? Think I should make a career out of it?
Anton: Look, Ricky! It's like the whole world is blessing us! Hurray for school life! Behold, the beauty of the world!
Ricky: By some miracle of the universe, Anton actually ended up getting accepted into Jenis... By the same miracle, I did, too. I only took the exam because I had nothing better to do. I can only assume Aidios is playing a prank on the two of us or something. What's up with you today, Anton? I don't think I've ever seen your face that lit up before. No one around you's gonna need a light bulb ever again if you stay like that.
Laone: With the leadership he showed leading the post-war relief efforts and the managerial skills he gained from living in Bose, he sounds remarkably capable. I hear the mayor's daughter attends Jenis Royal Academy and is one of the most intelligent students there, too. Haha. Bose has a bright future ahead of it!
So? What are you planning to buy?
...I could probably do with restocking on recovery items, for one thing.
(Pleeease, Aidios...I just want this job to end.)
Hmm? (Hasn't Kurt read this book?)
(Did he bring it here? A lot of these look really complicated, too...)
...there's actually a really famous ice cream stall near here. Have you ever been there?
Why would I have? I don't like sweet things.
Well, I do, and I feel like having some ice cream right now. Let's go get some!
W-Wait a second!
Anton: Look at me! I'm right here!
Ricky: Oh, well. I know Anton too well to think he'll stay like this for long. He'll get back to being a gloomy worrywart soon enough.
Builna: What was her name again? Princess Klaudia, I think? She was still really small when I last saw her, but she was the sweetest little thing.
I guess I'll have to get these developed first.
This manuscript needs to be finished by two or I'm never gonna be done in time.
What are you doing?!
The girl forcibly took the camera from the man, exposing the photo-quartz inside.
What the hell do you think you're doing?! Those are useless if light shines directly on them!
Yes! Really! Shut the cover! NOW!
D-Damn... That gave me a scare... Do you have any idea how much a set of photo-quartz costs?!
Oh, I know!
He looks just like the dog that lives near me!
What are you doing with that thing?!
Don't you dare damage it! It's not mine! That's the editor-in-chief's REALLY EXPENSIVE prized orbal camera!
How do you use it?
*click* Oooh, it moved!
The legend begins.
If that gets broken, there's no way I can replace it with my joke of a wage!
I won't break it! Honestly!
Wow... You can see things that are really far away so well!
Aldan: Did you know that the famous Saul Holden, who contributed massively to the establishment of the Liberl Orbalship Corporation, passed away? I can't believe it... I was a huge fan of his, too...
Aldan: I only found out when I bought the latest issue of the Liberl News earlier. It's right on the front page. The timing of this seriously couldn't have been worse... I've got the champagne and cake for my celebration, but now I don't even feel like having one!
This isn't the right way.
I know, I know.
Aina bought two ice cream cones from the stall.
You'll like this. Promise! It's really nice!
(That's not how it works!)
(It's almost noon... That means I've only got 24 hours left... I'm running out of time.)
(It might be a bit risky, but...)
What are you spacing out and ignoring me for? I was trying to ask you something!
What was it? You look angry.
You're hiding something from me, aren't you? It's REALLY obvious.
So come on. Out with it. Or are you involved in something you can't even talk to me about?
... Well, it's just that...
...I realized I left something back at the hotel!
(As if anyone would buy that!)
(Not going to talk, huh? Well, fine! Be that way!)
Can we make our way back there so I can go and get it?
...Fine. Whatever. I'll come with you.
(At least until I get an idea of what you're really up to.)
Thank you! Well, shall we be going? Let's go through the south block.
Girl's Voice: That's right! You're so cuuuuuute... ♪
Damn it! Will you just give me that camera back, already?! It's not a toy, you know!
Heehee. I never knew you had this many different expressions... It's like seeing into a whole new world...
Let's try and go for that sexy, dandy look now, okay?
What is this girl even talking about?
Danton: Ah, excuse me, sir. I've finished developing the photo-quartz now.
Oh, right. Thanks for that. Sorry about rushing you...
There's no way this is happening... I can't believe this kid can take such phenomenal pictures...
Danton: Umm... I need payment for developing those quartz and for the photo-quartz you bought...
O-Oh, yeah. Sorry about that... So... Umm...
Danton: That'll be 1,050 mira for seven sets.
What?! H-Hey... Were you the one who took this?
Man, why am I even asking? There's no way she could have... It must've just gotten mixed in somehow by accident...
(It's just a photo of your average tree, and yet... The powerfully rising trunk, the see-through leaves with their veins spreading forcefully through them... Every one of them is visible with amazing clarity. I've never seen anything like this!)
(Th-This is the work of a pro... There's no way any amateur could take something like this.)
Doesn't it look taaasty?
That tree! It tastes of mint, y'know.
Cameras are really interesting things, right? It's like looking into a kaleidoscope... You can see loads of things just going round and round...
(I-I have no idea what the hell she's talking about... How can she take good pictures with a thought process like THAT?) Hey! Give me that back for a minute. I'll get those developed, too.
Give me a peace sign, now. *click click*
Latanya: They said they're from some kind of guild? Either way, they said the Imperial ambassador's face resembled some kind of fish... I THINK it was meant to be a compliment... Somehow. Maybe. I can't even remember what kind of fish it was now... I think it began with a...'g'? Maybe?
High praise indeed.
Tran: To think that the famous Saul Holden would pass away so suddenly... The news made me feel rather old myself, to be honest. He was the pride of my generation, too...
Yes. I'm in contact with Lugran, too...
Ah, Scherazard. You came at the perfect time.
It's Scherazard... Yes, I'll put her on.
Cassius: Hello, Schera. How are you doing? I hear you're working hard over there in Grancel.
I-I'm fine, thank you! Umm... Are you still in Rolent? I'm actually going to become a se--
Cassius: Actually, no. I've ended up coming to Calvard, I'm afraid. I doubt I'll be able to return to Liberl for some time, either. I've left everything in the hands of the other veteran bracers for the time being, so things should be fine even without me, but...
Cassius: Schera? Are you still there?
Y-Yes... Sorry. I'm still here.
If you spend too long away on work, though, Estelle's going to be really mad at you. I'd probably try and get that job wrapped up as soon as possible, unless you WANT to face her wrath.
Cassius: Yeah...and hell hath no fury like an angry Estelle. Oh! There was one more thing I wanted to ask of you.
Cassius: Next time you swing by Rolent, you might be in for a little surprise... but, well, I'm guessing I'm going to be away for a while, angry daughter or no, so if you could look after things at home, it'd help.
Cassius: ...Oops. I think I'm about out of time. Could you put Kurt on the line for me?
Oh... Okay. Bye.
Leave everything to me. I'll have the job wrapped up within the next few days. Oh, and as for the documents I sent you...
Let's get this job out of the way.
Miss Scherazard? Who was that you were talking to?
Mind your own business. We're going to the hotel. You DID want to go there, right?
Y-Yes. I do...
What were you doing?
Oh, just some light cleaning. There are always so many people shuffling in and out of here that dust starts to build up very easily.
...Oh? 93.6... 95.2... 93.4...
These books are out of order.
I'm going to have to sort that out right away.
Isn't this the hotel? The building you've just walked right past?
Well, yes, but...
(Grancel Castle looks really heavily guarded... I should have known. Hmm... There's got to be some way to get past.)
That way leads to Grancel Castle. Do you want to go and have a look around it?
Y-Yes. I suppose I do... But...umm...
(Looks like I've almost cracked her.)
(Time to talk, young lady! I want to know exactly what I've been dragged all over this city for!)
Man's Voice: I'm gonna go and catch a breather outside.
Man in Black Azu: Th-There she is!
Wh-What?! What's going on?!
-Fight With Assailant-
Let's do this.
Aina is another autonomous NPC who you have to protect.
She at least has a little more gumption than most.
But no victory pose. Aina, you need to get into the spirit of things here.
Wh-What the...?! That guy was no amateur.
(It's only a matter of time, though... I need to do something!)
Look, you. It's time for you to start talking. Who IS this guy?!
(I don't want the army to notice anything amiss, either...)
Shhh! Please, be quiet!
Men's Voices: Well, at least now we know she's not on the hotel's guest list...
I figured a rich girl like her would have to stay at a hotel, but I guess not.
We're just gonna have to start scouring the city...
Video - The Pursuit
This is just ninety seconds of Schera & Aina running from the Northern Jaegers; the sequence is long and involved enough that I thought video made more sense than screenshots or .gifs.
*pant*...*pant*... J-Just about...
O-Okay, I've had enough of this. It's time for you to open that mouth of yours.
Just who are these guys? Why do they want to catch you? What do you even want?!
Don't even try and worm your way out of answering. I will hurt you.
Th-That sounds painful...
No use hiding it any longer, is there? They're trying to capture me.
Thank you, Captain Obvious.
I'm asking WHY they want to capture you. Go on. Get talking.
L-Let me start from the beginning.
-Crushed and Scarred-
I suppose it started about a month ago... My grandfather, who I was living with, passed away.
That's right. He did mention that he intended to leave some of his fortune to me... but the will didn't just say 'some'--he wrote that he intended to leave me everything he had.
A super rich guy leaving his fortune to a young girl... Okay. Everything's starting to fall into place.
So now every relative you have under the sun is on you like ants trying to get their share?
At the very least, I still think my uncle is a very nice man.
He said he wants to look after me until I turn twenty, so as part of that...
...you should let him 'look after' all the money you've inherited? Ugh. Unbelievable.
His eyes when he said that kind of scared me, so I ended up turning his offer down.
And now someone's hired those men to come after me. If I don't formally inherit his money, Grandfather's will becomes invalid, you see...
Most likely, that's the reason they want to capture me. So I'm not able to do that.
They're no ordinary street thugs, either. They clearly have some experience under their belts. I can't believe they're just able to wander the streets of the capital in broad daylight like this...
Just what is the army even doing?
One of my relatives has connections in the Royal Army, so that's probably why.
My family's pretty influential, actually.
Argh... I'm getting a headache just listening to all of this... Hiring a bunch of suspicious, highly-trained underlings to fight over an inheritance? You don't get more stereotypically 'spiteful rich person' than that.
I'm not looking for an apology from you.
(Still, this really isn't looking good... I might have been able to win the last battle, but I'm not confident I could win another. I think the best thing we can do is try and get back to the guildhouse without getting caught, but I can't see that being easy.)
Don't '...' so loud, he'll hear you!!
Man in Black Buky: Come to think of it... I forgot to feed the birds.
(Feed the birds?)
(I doubt it's meant to be taken literally. It's probably some kind of code they use... which means...)
Actually, Man in Black Buky is an avid pigeon fancier with birds from over a dozen different exotic breeds. Don't assume he's a man of narrow interests just because he's a jaeger thug. That's prejudiced.
Man in Black Glagoli: You've been giving us a hell of a lot of trouble, but your luck just ran out.
Man in Black Buky: ...Now grab her!
-Fight With Assailant-
Awww, are we done already? ❤
(I don't think I can fight my way out of this...)
A-Are you all right, Miss Scherazard?
Man in Black Dobro: Have you guys still not caught her?
*pant*...*pant*... (I don't want to be beaten by a bunch of low-life scum like these guys...)
(Do you have any ideas for getting us out of this?)
Do you think you could manage any bowgun bayonet/divine spear combo attacks? You've got ten seconds.
(There's an entrance to the sewers nearby. If we can get to that, we might be able to escape to the west block. That's a huge IF, though.)
...All right. Let's go with that.
Close your eyes for a second.
Wh-What are you...?!
Man in Black Dobro: Wh-Whoa! What are you...?
Man in Black Buky: A-A smoke grenade?!
Man in Black Glagoli: *cough* *cough*
Man in Black Vede: M-My eyes!
Ready to go?
(Ugh... What is this smell? Is this mustard gas?)
Man in Black Dobro: D-Don't let them get away!
It was fun? idk
Get out of the way!
Scherazard took out a wire and jammed it into the keyhole.
I seem to recall a certain senior bracer making Estelle and Joshua march all the way up Ravennue Trail and back because they didn't have a key for the mine. If she could have done this all along, that was just a dick move.
-Steel Floor Blocking the Way-
Man in Black Buky: Outta the way! I'll get it open!
In addition to his beloved pigeons, Man in Black Buky is also a 'lockspotter' and apprentice locksmith who knows the history of every type of mechanical lock ever made. You and your narrow-minded assumptions. Maybe YOU'RE the shallow one.
(Should I use another of those canisters? I've got pepper ones, too.)
(P-Pepper?! Do you make those things yourself?!)
Now you're cooking with gas.
(I've got a few original blends of my own, yes. They were originally just white smoke grenades. For example, there's this one...)
(It contains powdered laughing mushrooms. Never tried it, though. You think it works?)
(Y-You don't need to find out now! It might get blown back in here!)
Man in Black Dobro: Ugh... It won't budge... Someone bring an axe! We're gonna have to smash it open! That damn bitch!
Whew... It looks like we've bought ourselves some time.
What were you thinking?! What kind of insane maniac just uses a smoke grenade or mustard gas canister or whatever it was?! You shouldn't even be making that kind of stuff! I thought you were a high-class lady!
But it helped us get to safety, didn't it?
Well, yeah...but still!
Where did you even learn to make those things?
Heehee. My grandfather loved collecting books. He had his own personal library in the mansion... I learned all kinds of useful things from there.
I take it you're not much of a book enthusiast yourself, so you probably wouldn't have read any of the things I have... but there's a famous spy novel I remember reading, and it has a scene in it where the protagonist makes their own smoke grenade...
(...She learned it from a book? I take it back. 'Miss Rich' is written all over her naive face.)
Never mind the dig about your reading habits that sailed completely over your head.
Look. Let me make this very clear for your own good. You might have gotten us out of a dangerous situation earlier, but you got lucky. Don't expect that to happen a second time. Don't go getting cocky just because you picked up some mildly useful knowledge from a book that may or may not have even worked. I don't want to see you doing anything like that again. Are we clear?
Y-Yes! Of course...
That's all. Let's get going.
(Ugh. Being in sewers like these always brings back unpleasant memories...)
(...It feels like my instincts are coming right back, though.) ...
(Wh-Why did she suddenly go silent? Did I say something to annoy her?)
Let's move. When they come back, they'll get that door open in no time.
But be careful, and stay close to me. There're bound to be monsters here.