Part 76: Star Door 12: I Accept Your Request-Primal Grounds-
I have no idea who that could be!!! I tried with every possible party setup I could, and the door opened every single time. Maybe it's bugged.
-Seaport City of Ruan-
R&A Research - Ruan Office
Mirano: Oh, my... Look at all of this.
Director: I hope it will prove useful.
Mirano: I see... You've sure found out a lot. With this many potential sales routes, I've got nothing to fear. I'll be able to make my move into the Erebonian capital as soon as I'm ready with this kind of information!
You asked us to investigate the current situation with regards to orbment sales in Erebonia... so I centered my investigation around stores in the region itself.
Mirano: And you did a fantastic job, too. Still, the problem of transport remains. After all, old Borden's got his grubby hands all over the international liners already.
It's true that the Borden family has preferential access to 40% of the load capacity of international airliners leaving Liberl for Erebonia.
However, they are no longer the only available option. There are now private carriers as well.
Here are some supplementary materials regarding that issue.
Mirano: My! You certainly come prepared, don't you?
Well, this request ended up taking a little longer than originally anticipated. Consider this a little extra on us in exchange.
Mirano: I like those who think two steps ahead. You sure you don't want to come and work for me? I'd pay you handsomely!
I'm certainly flattered you think highly enough of my skills to offer...
I'm not sure I have what it takes to be successful in the cutthroat world of business, though. I'm a rather timid man, you see.
Mirano: Come, now. You can't fool me. Oh, well. Do keep my offer in mind, if you would.
Please allow us to escort you out.
Mirano: Oh, since I have you here... maybe I should give you one more thing to look into. I've already had Simon get started, but I'm not sure he's up to the task.
I'd be happy to help if I can. Will this be another request to research a foreign market?
Mirano: It certainly will. Oh, look what you've got over there! Perfect.
Mirano: This place right here.
That's an unusual choice... It's quite a small place.
Mirano: That just makes it easier to seize a majority in the market. Small as it is, it's not like it isn't accessible by airliner, and what market there may be there is all but free for the taking right now.
So you want us to research the potential size of the market there, in other words?
Shall we focus entirely on the orbment market, or broaden the scope of our investigation and look into the market in general?
Mirano: The market in general. Do you think you can do it?
With ease. I'll get in touch with one of our staff members stationed near the state right away and begin weighing options.
Mirano: That's what I wanted to hear. I'll be back here next week, anyway. We can discuss the details then. Ta-ta!
Weren't the Reins brothers in that general area of the continent?
Yes, they are. I'll get in contact with them later.
Haha. She's not a merchant of Bose for nothing, is she? She's always coming in with such interesting, ambitious requests.
She's not half as ambitious as you are.
I think you may be overestimating me a little, there.
...Well, can you show our next visitor in?
Mayor Norman: I just wanted to get your input on another little something regarding the city's finances...
Oh, that won't be a bother at all. Please, take a seat.
So what can I help you with today?
-A Cat Relaxing in the Sun-
Although, I admit that it's taking me time to adjust to my days being so...peaceful. I do miss having a sense of tension in my life.
That's something you'll just have to live with, I'm afraid. We're civilians now. Not soldiers.
...That's true enough.
In any case, it's an honor to be able to live and work with you in the city where you were born, Your Excellency.
I really would prefer it if you addressed me as 'sir' now.
M-My apologies, sir!
Haha. There's no need to apologize.
Or those trails.
(It couldn't be...)
Sir? Is something the matter?
...Oh, it's nothing of much importance.
I just noticed that we seem to have mistakenly received another letter intended for the mayor. It's understandable that it keeps happening, given that this building was previously his, but it is a tad troublesome nevertheless... I suppose I'd better go and deliver it to him. It could be something important.
Now, sir? Couldn't it wait? It seems like it's going to start raining any minute...
It's not too far. Even if it does start raining, I won't be exposed to it for long.
Can I ask you to handle the regular reports in the meantime?
Y-Yes. Of course...
-Crushed and Scarred-
That letter was sealed in a special way we used in the Intelligence Division.
The letter itself is a meaningless decoy; the real message is concealed in how the envelope itself is sealed.
It means, 'Come to the landing port.'
Someone from the Intelligence Division is calling me in hopes of speaking to me.
Most likely because they bear a deep-seated resentment towards me and what I did to them.
...and I have a duty to go and see them.
After all, I was their commander.
I was the one who pushed their life off the rails and ruined their future...
Sender: Indeed. It's good to see you again, Colonel. I'm pleased to see you're still well.
I'm not a colonel anymore, Sender.
Though I feel saying as much has become a hobby. No one around me seems willing to correct themselves.
Sender: Oh, I'm aware. But today, I intend to address you as Colonel nonetheless. I called you here because I have something that I need to ask you. I hope you can forgive me for forcing you to come out here with the weather so poor.
If I can answer your questions, I will.
Don't feel as if you need to hold back on my account. If you can't accept something in the answer I give you, by all means say so.
Sender: Then I'll get straight to the point. Why did you leave the army behind, Colonel? What happened to your love for your country?!
I see you, at least, returned to the military.
...I was relieved to see that, in truth.
You were always an exceptionally capable soldier, even back in the military academy. If you hadn't had the misfortune of meeting me...
If you hadn't had the misfortune of being caught up in my foolishness, you would probably be a field officer by now. ...I'm truly sorry about what I did to you.
Sender: Please don't get me wrong, Colonel. I don't in any way blame you or harbor resentment for what you did. You thought about what was best for this country more than anyone else I know. Your patriotism was genuine and heartfelt. I don't regret following you at all. I'm honored that I could. It's certainly true that doing so has become a significant obstacle in my chances of promotion... but I couldn't care less about that. As long as I can continue to serve in the military--to serve the country I love with all my heart--I am happy. Know that I harbor no ill feelings towards you regarding the past. ...But... What are you doing now? You used to worry for this country's future more than any of us... You cared for it more than any other. ...Yet instead of picking yourself up and trying to work for your nation again, you left the army behind. And now you're running some sort of company that deals with the rich?! Just what happened to your patriotism?!
Sender: I beg of you: return to the military. You're a capable man. Those skills of yours would be a valuable asset to the force, and it's where you should be using them!
I'm sorry, Sender. I cannot ever return to the army again.
Sender: ...Why? Why, Colonel?! You've repented more than enough for your actions! Both General Morgan and Brigadier General Bright actively desire your return! I and all of the other soldiers in my position would be overjoyed to have you in our ranks again! So why? Why do you look at me with that sad expression and tell me that it's not possible? Why would you apologize to me?!
...Make no mistake, Sender. I haven't abandoned my love for my country; it burns as brightly in my heart as it ever did. But what I did was...
What I did was truly terrible. I organized a coup d'etat, destabilizing this nation and disrupting the lives of countless people. Thanks to the help of all those around me, I was able to realize what a foolish mistake I made...
And yet in my heart, I feel exactly the same way I always did.
Sender: I'm...not sure what you mean.
In spite of all that happened, my love for my country is unchanged. I still feel the blind desire to do anything I can to aid Liberl, no matter how reckless or dangerous it may be...
I'm the same man I was when I plotted that coup d'etat. Not a thing has changed. ...That thought, Sender, terrifies me.
Sender: ...Th... Then... You didn't leave the military because you had lost your love for your country... You're saying that you left it BECAUSE you still love your country?
Forgive me... I have no right to be making excuses to you and trying to justify myself.
Not after I dragged all of you down with me and ruined your lives forever. I truly am sorry for what I did to you and all of the other members of the division.
Sender: ... Y-You... No, you...
...Please don't misunderstand. I didn't leave the army in an attempt to run from my own weakness. Nor did I leave it because I was ashamed of the treatment I received for my actions.
After what happened, I thought long and hard about what I should have done instead of what I did. Trying to work out where I'd gone wrong...
As I did that, I noticed something. Something vitally important that I had failed to realize up until that point.
After setting up the Intelligence Division, I began gathering information and using it to protect Liberl. Yet thinking about it now, I didn't know the first thing about the nature of information at the time.
Information isn't something that exists alone. It only exists when people use it and see it as something of worth. Furthermore, the value of that information can change radically depending on the position and perspective of those who look at it.
I can't help but wonder if overlooking this simple fact was what caused my patriotism to start to become more of a force for harm than good. Somewhere along the line, I started to believe that only information I saw as valuable was of any importance. And as a result, I ended up wanting power in order to compensate for the weakness of my own heart.
Thinking back, I think what I really needed was a different perspective through which to view information. One separate from the military. One that doesn't see a country or people's way of life as a system, or as numbers and absolutes. I needed to be collecting information that was disadvantageous to Liberl, too, rather than cast it all aside. I needed to view us and the surrounding nations in a variety of lights while collecting a wide variety of information from a freer perspective.
Sender: So you believe the company you are running now is capable of doing that?
...Yes, I do.
I can't say for sure that this will allow me to avoid repeating my past mistakes. Perhaps there was something more important that I should have been doing before giving thought to any of this to begin with.
But in the end, I came to the conclusion that Liberl needs a fresh perspective, and I then resolved to leave the army. If it needs a means to gather intel, it can make another Intelligence Division. That is for Brigadier General Bright to worry about--not me. Still, the civilian population has no such group or organization. It's never had one. I doubt anyone in the civilian world has ever thought to create one in order to gather and accurately analyze information, either.
...That was why I, as a civilian like every other, chose to establish R&A Research. Believing that I am the right person to be the first to do so.
Sender: You truly don't have any intention of returning to the military, do you...?
If I said there wasn't a part of me that longed to return to my days of active service, I would be lying.
But I'm hoping that through this, I will be able to become another eye by which to support this nation.
And I see my current occupation as a new way to show my love for my country. I...wonder if that makes any sense.
Sender: ... You're...a coward... No doubt every word you are saying is objectively correct. That's how you've always been. There's never been room for rebuttal in your arguments. But, Colonel? You're also no longer the man who swore to forge this kingdom's future with his own two hands! Goodbye, Colonel! We will never meet again!
(I've chosen the path I now walk believing it to be right, certainly... but even I don't know for sure if what I'm doing is correct. Even now, I'm terrified of the possibility that I might be making the wrong choice. I worry that the road I walk might be the makings of yet another grave mistake...)
(I just don't have the same power that Brigadier General Bright does...)
(I really am hopeless...)
Woman's Voice: ...Sir?
You didn't have to come out here in the rain.
We should return to the office. You'll catch a cold staying out here much longer.
...I'm sure he's just having trouble coming to terms with his new life, too. He just can't forget the fervent enthusiasm of the Intelligence Division. As if he doesn't feel like he belongs in the world that's come after it...
The day will eventually come when he will be able to understand what you said. That's exactly what happened to me, you know.
...True enough, I suppose.
Haha... You're right.
Shall we be going, then, Kanone?
-Under the Moonlight-
I wasn't expecting to end up quite this soaked.
Are you all right?
I'm fine. Don't worry about me.
This actually brings back fond memories of the survival training I underwent back at the academy. I do think you should go and get changed into some dry clothes, though, sir.
A little rain never hurt anyone. I don't believe I was half bad at my own survival training, you know.
...An encrypted call?
Dilens did mention that he had some information of interest in his report earlier. Perhaps this relates to that.
Which would mean that something has happened over in the Republic...
...Yes, it's me.
Can you please stop calling me that?
BUT I LOVE YOU FOREVER YOUR EXCELLENCY PLEASE HAVE MY BABIES
...Yes. That's right... Yes... Yes... In the Eastern Quarter? We don't have anyone there yet, thinking about it...
All right. I'll look into it as best I can. Right... You be careful, too. *click*
Another jaeger corps has entered the Eastern Quarter. A sizable one, too. The Red Constellation.
Really? There seems to be rather a lot of activity on the jaeger front of late.
Their arrival makes it very likely that the power struggle there will begin to worsen, too. I doubt the old Intelligence Division network is going to be sufficient to fully stay on top of the situation...
I think I may have to head there, personally.
-Seaport City of Ruan-
Nothing about my love for my country has changed. Nothing at all.
So is it even possible for me to find and walk the right path this time?
Is it truly possible for any mortal to forge the correct path through life?
I don't know...but all I can do is try to follow the path I believe to be right in hopes that I'm not mistaken.
Believing in those who have supported me and worked to right my wrongs...
Woman's Voice: ...Sir? Is something wrong, sir?
O-Oh... You're here, Kanone?
I did tell you that you didn't need to come and see me off, you know.
You did, but I'm afraid that simply won't do. Seeing off their superiors is the duty of a subordinate.
...Perhaps in the military, but that is no longer the world we live in. There's no need to act like a soldier anymore.
Oh, and one more thing. Please do take good care of things in the office while I'm gone. I think the odds of any large requests you'll struggle to handle without me coming in are fairly low, at least, but...
'...but please don't scream 'HOW DARE YOU STAND WHERE HE STOOD' at customers, or recite tearful soliloquies about the luster of my hair.'
Leave everything to me, sir. I'll be sure to handle every request that comes in with care and kindness.
I'm well aware you always look foward to taking on small requests, too, so they will be given the same high standard of service as any other.
Haha... You know me too well.
*HONK* *HONK* *HONK*
What on earth is Julia's bird doing here?!
D-Don't you just sit on His Excellency's arm as if it's your own personal property!
Please, Kanone. There's no need to glare at him like that.
Also, please stop calling me Your Excellency.
Richard then noticed that there was a note attached to Sieg's leg.
What's this...? It's addressed to me...
Richard took the memo from Sieg's leg.
Th-This looks like... a letter from HQ?
As in, military HQ? Why is the Royal Guard's carrier falcon bringing a message to you?
Who knows? Its owner is a real slave driver, though.
Thank you for delivering this, Sieg. Let him know that I accept his request.
U-Umm... Sir... Was that...?
See for yourself.
...'Best of luck with your little trip. We'd like to know what the Red Constellation is up to, too, so we'd appreciate you looking into it for us on the side.'
I hope you don't think this information is going to come cheap, Brigadier General.
Since he's bound for the Eastern Quarter in Calvard, I like to imagine that the mystery man you play as in the Gambler Jack sun door is actually Alan Richard, Swords Detective. If they're meant to be anyone at all, my best guess would be either him or Lechter.
Side Story [I Accept Your Request] finished!
Received 10,000 mira.
Another great quartz.
The information benefit is redundant with Divine Eye, sure, but it's not like you'll ever notice Yin-Yang's heal effect either. The earth and mirage points make it easier to use arts like Gaia Shield and Athelas, which I am definitely going to need, trust me.
There are a few unused art pieces about Richard as a young captain during the Hundred Days War.
I guess Zechs Vander was originally the leader of the Imperial occupation? I don't know if that's still the case.
It didn't matter in the end anyway, because Colonel noticed him