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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Deme's Avatar

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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    It's pretty do-able; I've seen the game completed by the end of the first summer.
    Also, I like the name thing, too. "Yup, that was always your name." I think the RF3 MC might be alone in being granted knowledge of his original name, at least among the amnesiacs, but I never played 2.

    Part 12: Fear and Trust
    Spoiler
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    The next morning was bright and sunny, the air full of a bright, crisp energy that I couldn't quite name, like a hive buzzing. Nothing was grown but a few moondrop flowers, but...

    Uh.
    What's that?
    The shining pillar of light on my farm. That was not there last night.

    Well...I guess I'm not finding out what it is until I try seeing. I poke it with a stick, and the stick does not burn or anything. I toss the stick in, and the stick vanishes. After a moment, it reappears, not burnt or anything. After another pause, it vanishes. So...This is some sort of teleporter?
    I nod. "Let's see where it goes."

    I step in, and am hit with a wave of heat.

    "This is...the settlement?"
    Before I can let the realization that I have a functional teleporter between the Sharance Tree and the Settlement (How? And Why? Did the tree do this, somehow?), I hear a shout. And I realize a certain problem.


    I'm in human form.

    "Why are you here...?! Please leave!" For all her angry rhetoric, she almost sounds...frightened. Of a guy with a watering can.
    I admit, the 'stepping out of a pillar of light' thing is intimidating, though.

    I make a mad dash for the entrance, fearing torches and pitchforks behind me.
    I don't know where they'd get pitchforks, but they'd have Mr. Slice, and Kuruna'd never let me back in if I explained...


    I should probably transform, teleport home, go back through that way, and tell her that the pillar of light's safe.


    Take two!

    I find Kuruna at home at her...

    Throne, I guess. It's kind of neat she has a throne.

    "Kuruna!" She practically jumps out of her seat, but relaxes when she sees it's me, as opposed to...also me.
    "Oh, it's you, comrade. I was worried we were being invaded by hornless."
    "Ah, about that..."
    Well. This is it.
    This is the moment. No return.

    "That pillar...Sort of leads...Practically to my house..."

    "So close to where a hornless might be walking?! Are you alright, comrade?" She leans forward and places a hand on my shoulder.
    "It's all right! It's all right. I'm fine. That person is...That human's..."

    Tell her the truth, Ramza, a little voice in my head says.

    "...A...a friend of mine! Yeah, he was visiting to drop something off, and thought it was strange. I -- He -- We -- uh -- didn't know it led here. No harm done, right?"

    You are saddest little coward in the entire world, says the voice. It's my voice.

    Kuruna's brow furrows. She folds her arms and crosses her legs in her chair. All of her posture goes inward with concern.
    "I don't exactly think it's safe for you to be friends with a hornless like that; it's hardly safe. I'm sure he's out to abuse your trusting and kind-hearted nature, at best... However, there's nothing I can do to change this. But. As elder, I will ask you to tell him to never again step foot near this desert. It will be seen as an act of war!"

    ...Harsh.

    "I...uh. I'll...pass it along."
    ...I bungled it all again... How do I recover this screwed-up conversation, anyway?

    Well, she did make reference to her position, but I don't really know much about it.


    "I manage the food supply and enforce public safety, among other things."

    "Oh, and I look after Will, of course."
    "That seems like the toughest part..." He seems kind of demanding...

    I haead back to town and start mingling in the pre-festival buzz.


    "O-okay... (Boy, he sure gets competitive when it comes to fishing...)"
    The fishing siblings are super-agressive about their livelihoods.



    "Why does it have to be fish? Why can't we have an acorn picking contest instead?"
    Shara waggles a finger, but with a consoling smile.
    "Now, Monica...Anyway, to make it up to you, why don't we have our own acorn picking contest after the fishing contest today?"
    Yay! Thanks, Shara!"
    And the sisters are making plans.
    "Awww...I'd love to judge an acorn-collecting contest."
    "*chomp*"
    "Offer withdrawn! Ow!"

    Oh, I sort of was zoned out -- maybe Karina's rubbing off on me in a bad way -- but Karina said that her mom's store might have some furniture I could use! Well, if I can bring wood for repair.
    Everything's lumber.


    Wait, is this about something besides fish?



    "..."
    I feel so sorry for her that I can't help but give her a sympathetic little pat on the back. She just looked too sad.


    "Isn't that...hard?"
    "Only for the weak of spirit, Ramza."


    I sign up for the fishing contest!

    But before I could finish a loop of the town and start fishing...

    I find Sakuya lying on the path to the inn.
    "Sakuya!"
    I rush to her side. She's not wounded, and her eyes flutter open at my approach.


    She pulls herself up with tears in her eyes.
    "Ouch..."
    "Are you hurt?"
    She looks about indiginantly, her tassled hairpieces whipping back and forth.
    "Ow!! What was that!!"
    "What's wrong?"

    "uh, calm down..." Well, I mean, she was attacked, so I guess she should be mad, but...
    "Yeah, you're right..."
    She dusts herself off; it seems like no harm was done.
    "And then what?"

    "Well...I was carrying your lunch, and waiting outside...Then a huge shadow came out of nowhere and surprised me! So I fell, and then the shadow took the lunch I brought for you!"

    ...Oh, she was saying something about that the other night, but it was so late...I hadn't even thought about it...

    I'm a little disapointed, then. A lunch while fishing might be nice...
    "But it took it away. I guess it's good that you weren't attacked."


    "I wonder what the large shadow was?" A big monster?
    "It was all so sudden, so I couldn't really see. Sorry."
    "I see..."
    "*sigh*...Man, I was scared!"

    "Interesting story...I'll look into it!" Can't have people stealing lunches! Collette and Sherman'll be rioting within a week!
    "If you think of something, let me know!"

    I start to walk away, when...

    "Oh?"
    "It went towards Oddward Valley. The customers have said they heard howling coming from there. It's a tourist spot, so I was worrie that something might happen."
    "Oddward Valley seems like there might be something there...?" I wonder if one of those orbs is there, too? Is a piece of my memory up that way? "Okay. I'll check it out."
    "Okay! Be careful!"

    Well, as nice as it'd be to start now...
    It's time to fish!
    I head down to the lake and get to fishing right away!

    Um...
    That's my day, actually.
    I fish.


    I catch *18* fish.


    I just hope it's enough.


    "The winner of the Catch the Most Fish Contest is..."

    "Thank you very much!"
    I expected him to take my catch...But he doesn't.
    They're apparently my fish.
    All of them. Mine.

    ...I am going to make so much sashimi.

    "In second place with 15 is Sofia. In third place with 8 is Rusk. Congratulations, everyone! All of the winners, don't forget your prizes! Until next time!"
    I expected better of Carmen and Carlos.










    My prizes are delicious and full of knowledge.

    Now to do other things!

    Since I'm going to Oddward Valley, I might as well plant this Yam seed I have in the soil there; I think it'll do well in the cool, crisp air and wet soil.
    I take care of my other distant crops...


    And sashimi for days.


    I can't even make all these sashimi. I am a lonely king on a sashimi throne.

    I have enough fish to save for gifts for the next few days for Carmen, Carlos, and Sakuya (I didn't catch enough Squid for more than one day's present for Pia) and ship a bunch of Sashimi besides.
    ...And with the aid of some pickles, power through some logging and clear a bit of land for tomorrow.


    The next day, it was drizzling slightly, so it seemed like a good time to give the buffamoo a day off. They've earned it!

    Also, strawberries!


    Raven has a request for me today. She apparently just wants to talk to me, which is pretty...Well, surprising. I guess we're becoming better friends.


    There's a new seed at the store, and I buy a bunch of them.

    And since Kuruna likes sweets...I buy some chocolate. Maybe I'll make something for her. She can't get a lot of chocolate in the desert.

    I also get the chance to ask Karina something I've been wondering about her...
    "Other than sleep and dodging work, what do you like?"
    "...Don't knock sleep. It's important for your health... Um, but... Gems are nice."

    "I think preferences are allowed to be a little shallow; you like things because you like them, right?"
    "Right. Oh, but I don't like diamonds very much. (Anything but that.)"
    "Are you trying to ask me for something?"
    Karina's a girl with expensive tastes.


    "Oh, what?"
    "There's an island in the sky that's shaped like a whale! How cool is that?!"
    Like a whale?
    "Really? A whale? That must be a big island."
    Her face grows determined and serious. Her fists pump the air.
    "I told Carlos about it! He said that that's where the King Fish must live!" She sighed dreamily. "Ah, I want to go there at least once. My fishing master blood is stirring!"
    "Best of luck to you!"

    The spirit of a fishing dream floating around my head, I head to the blacksmith's, where Raven is waiting next to the desk.

    "Yes."
    "I see..." She pauses and, for a moment, finds she can say nothing.

    "Raven?"
    "...Take me."

    "What?"
    Ah! T-t-that? My face goes red. That's a little forward, I mean, Gaius is right there and -- wait. No. She can't possibly be saying that.
    "Take me to Vale: Icy Rosebush."

    My heart slows to a normal speed.

    Raven sighs, as if that was a lot of effort for her, and our walk to the frozen river to the north is a quiet one. I'd not actually been to its sort of "tourist destination," off to the east side; I'm looking forward to it...

    Huh. Why's there a wooly here? It's definitely not happy to see someone that smells as oddly as I do; it bristles and bunkers down almost like a spring, ready to either headbutt or play dead, and which is anyone's guess. This is basic wooly fighting 101, 102, and 103.
    Woolies are not good at fighting, is what I am saying...

    But it's not good if Raven wanted to come here quietly and admire this giant rosebush made of (or covered with, I'm not sure) ice.
    I take a few steps closer. I am not entirely sure how to handle this. If she weren't here, we could just talk this out, or I could ignore it, but now...Well...How about I just uh, try and make shooing motions? General soothing sounds? Half-human shield?


    Raven herself closes the distance before I draw on a plan, her steps slow and steady, her breath calm and even. Each movement is fluid and predictable.
    "Raven?" She's not fighting, and she's not running, so...?


    The wooly's ears perk up at her whisper-like voice. It takes the opportunity, the two of us stopped, and sniffs the air between us. It takes the opportunity to retreat. I give it a little nod.


    I cannot tell if she is speaking to the wooly or me or to herself, only that she is smiling in her eyes and in that soft, almost frost-fern delicate tone of her voice, and I can see a little bit of ease in the wooly's back, and I feel it in mine.
    She draws closer, and it's ultimately elected to neither fight nor fly, but that we're probably not going to attack it.

    "It's only scared because we're scared of it, too. It's scared of being feared..."

    "But...I'm not afraid of it. I mean, it's a wooly." Now, the King Wooly that lives in the maze attached to my basement? Little afraid of that. Just being honest. I can't explain my full reasons to her, though; they are a little existential. "I mean, I don't even try fighting them when I go take care of my strawberries in the forest anymore."
    "You don't 'have to'?"
    "Right. I can go about my business without having to keep them out of my way. There are times I think that that must be what being really strong is; when you can do what you need to, and you don't have to hurt anyone."
    Raven seems to think about this. She even smiles a little, but shakes it off.

    "...But you still were going to try and chase it off, right?"
    "I wasn't sure what you'd do, or what it might do to you," I explain. "I can take care of myself, but..."
    She shakes her head.

    "I...I don't need anyone to be afraid for me. Anyway...It didn't know that. How could it? The world is so full of so many people...And they'd all fear...It's just better not to find out."
    She said this too the wooly, at the end: it was better never to know.



    The wooly retreated, and she watched after it with a lost expression.


    "What?"
    "You should stay away from me, too..."

    We were both entirely silent for a second. Raven stood trembling, like she'd been hollowed out, but her feet were planted on the ground. Her eyes were cold as the rosebush.

    "Why...?"
    "..." At first, she had nothing to say.

    "Is this, is this what you brought me out here to say?"
    She takes a deep breath.

    "That can't be..."

    Raven pulls away, staring at the heart of the frozen rosebush.

    "I came to play here with a friend. But --" She turns and stares at me, pinning me to the spot. I will not be allowed to escape, not as long as Raven's standing there, holding me to the spot with her gaze. "she disappeared. ...Right in front of me."




    Raven breaks away and walks a few steps. She is very still at the end of it, and one more time, musters all her courage.


    "But then...Why...Why did you ask me to go with you to Sofia's, before?" Raven doesn't answer. I want her to turn around, or change her mind. I wanted to know why she thought a delivery job was the best way to hang out with a guy.
    "Why hang out with me, and be my friend, and then decide, 'nope!' I'm not afraid of some sort of vague disappearances like that!"


    "So today was..."


    "What...?"

    I try to think of something more I can say...But just like that, all the effort, all the little steps and victories into our friendship...Just evaporated.
    I'm not even sure I really understand why.




    *sigh*
    Maybe actually helping someone will make me feel better.

    ...Well, I know where to find a lot of woolies, so this shouldn't be hard. Heck, if I'm clever about it, there's always me.


    "Yep."
    "Okay, so... You've seen a lot of monsters, right?"
    "I sure have."
    Shara fiddles with a beaded end of her headdress, working out how to say her exact request.
    "Um..."
    "?"
    "I'm looking for a particular monster."
    She looks pretty serious. It must be tough. Maybe that King Wooly from the basement?
    "Which one?"
    "It's a wooly."
    "Your message said that, but...those things are all over Privera Forest."

    "No!"
    The beads of her headdress clink between her fingers as she sweats, nervously. She's super nervous about this.
    "It's not just a regular wooly..."
    What, that very smart wooly from the settlement...

    On that day...?
    I don't remember this.
    "It collapsed right in front of our flower shop."
    But there's no one else it could be, right?

    A tender smile settles onto Shara's face.
    "I brought it inside and tended to its wounds."
    So, that's how I ended up in Shara's room! She brought me there as a wooly!
    That's so kind...Her grandfather must have been against it, too.

    It's all I can do to keep from being moved to tears. It's been an emotionally busy day.
    Shara, though, just looks annoyed.
    "But when I took my eyes off of it for a second, it disappeared."

    Tears pool around her lashes, glistening in the shop light. Hey, wait! I was exagerrating about being moved to tears, so please, don't!
    "I'm worried that it's still out there somewhere, injured."

    I put an appeasing hand on her shoulders to try and settle her.
    "It's probably fine by now. I'm sure there's nothing to worry about."
    Um, before I make a complete fool, I should probably just be sure...
    "Uh, was there something special about that wooly? Something...unique-looking?"
    Dashingly handsome?

    She settled down enough to answer.
    "Yes! It was a very strange wooly. It had golden wool, a blue scarf, and a funny hat that looked like the top and acorn."

    Hey!...My hat's not strange!
    "What is it?"
    "Uh, um, ah, it's nothing! N-N-N-Nothing at all!!"
    I nearly blew it out of wounded pride.
    "Have you seen it?!"
    "No! Definitely not! I've never seen it in my entire life!"

    Shara leans forward and peers closely at my panicked face with its rictus smile.
    "Are you ABSOLUTELY sure?! Never?"


    Shara sighs, deflated.
    "I see...What a shame. I just want to know that it's okay."
    Oh, wait! I wanted to reassure her! I went too far...

    "I-I'll tell you what. Let me go take a look. Maybe I can find your wandering wooly."

    "Uh, I think I'll be able to find this one. Trust me. I've got a good feeling."
    "Okay. Thank you."
    She doesn't sound confident at all.


    The wooly she wants to meet with is me...What should I do?
    She's so worried about that Wooly. I've got to let her know it's -- I'm -- okay.
    I'll transform and talk to her.
    ...Well, not talk. Because that'd give away too much. But generally not be dead. Alrighty.


    I find a corner behind the trellis to transform.
    It's a bit nerve-wracking, running around in town like this.


    "Bah." Just pretend I didn't understand that...
    "... (I probably shouldn't...)"


    Pia smiles big and innocently.
    "So cute!"


    I guess that there's not as strong an anti-monster sentiment as I thought. Among girls who'd think small woolies are cute.


    Monica likes me as a wooly more than as a human.

    But anyway, Shara's waiting.

    "Are you okay?!"
    I don't want to let on I can speak human, but I generally display perkiness. I even throw in a little twirl.

    "I was so worried about you after you disappeared like that!"
    "Bah."

    She looks me over carefully, checking me over for fresh wounds.
    "Are you getting enough to eat? Do you have a warm, comfy place to sleep?"
    "Bah, bah." I nod.
    "That's great!"
    "Bah."
    Because you were there, Shara; you'll probably never know how much you saved me. You dragged me in and made sure I was ok -- who knows what sort of shape I'd have been in if you didn't. You took me in, gave me a way to survive and a place to stay -- some wierdo just wandering around saying he couldn't remember anything!
    Because you were there, I had a reason to move forward for the first few days of my life here, when I didn't have or know anything. And I... I'll never be able to repay that.
    Because you were there...I might just have been saved by that simple fact.





    She takes something out of her bag and sets it down between us.
    "Here, this is for you."
    Darnit, Shara! This is too much! I just went on a monologue about how good you are and junk and d'awww and now you give me more stuff? It's too much!
    "Bah, bah!"
    "Tee-hee."

    "Oh, are you going already?"
    "Bah!"
    "I see...That's too bad."
    "Bah, bah."
    This won't be the last we meet. Well, probably. But...Uh, Woolyman will somehow always know when you're in trouble. Away!

    Cake, you say?
    "Bah!"
    I do like cake.
    "Take care!"
    "Baaaaaaaah."



    Aw, a wooly's favorite treat.

    And back again.


    "Listen! That golden wooly just came to see me!"
    "Really?!" I ask, trying to sound nonchalant.
    "Yes! I was so surprised! It was so cute! So soft and fluffy."


    Hearing something like that so soon after the rather confusing matter of Raven is...Well, uplifting, anyway. I guess I do feel better, and this whole business did distract me...
    "What is it?"
    "N-no, it's nothing."
    "Really? I feel like there's something you aren't telling me...Anyway, I saw my wooly, so I owe you a formula A."

    "Oh, that's okay. I didn't do anything." As far as you know.
    "Please, I insist."

    *nervous sweat* I have no idea what you're talking about.
    "But..."
    "No arguing! It's yours."
    "Well, thank you very much."
    "I'm the one who should thank you."

    "No, really. Thank you. For when we met, and all. I'm glad...I'm glad I met you and Raven, then."
    That's right. I can't give up on Raven -- I'm sure Shara wouldn't want it, either.



    That is a lot of formula A.


    "But I've never heard the flowers actually bloomed..."
    Wow, if someone Marjorie's age and knowledge hasn't heard of them really blooming, then...I guess it hasn't happened in anyone's memory.


    I can get a pharmacy! Hooray!

    "What?!"
    "It'll be ready sooner than you'd expect!"


    "We must expunge them from our fair hamlet!"

    "...You have mixed feelings about your sister's clothes, don't you?"
    "They're certainly simple designs. And when I told Evelyn how I truly felt, she ran out of the house, sobbing! Was it something I said?"
    I guess understanding Sofia is reliant on first knowing what she's trying to say. Certainly, her sister's clothing is a subject she can be...A little inconsistent on.
    "I think that's a safe bet."







    Today's options...

    I go home and do a little cooking...


    I even make a nice treat with some chocolate. If I use the warp, I can get this to Kuruna while it's warm!


    But on the way, I do plant and fertilize my new seeds.

    Now to deliver that cocoa!

    "I'm happy you like it."
    This seems to please her more than the cocoa, which she sips appreciatively.



    I have a few seeds left over, so I end up planting them by my strawberries. While I do so, a wooly stands behind me the entire time, watching me... After everything Raven said, I can't help but wonder what he thinks. I mean, after everything Raven said...
    I transform, sending him scrambling away before I can ask my question.


    Time to lure him back with spare strawberries.
    "< No, look, it's OK. I'm a friend, see? I just wanted to ask -->"
    "< Are you really? I mean, you're basically a freak or a traitor, no matter how you cut it. It's not like you can blame a guy for getting a little nervous. >"
    I sigh, but he takes the strawberry from my hand anyway.

    "< Well, I was wondering...>" I do not know what I really want to say. <" ...Wanna hang out or something? I've got a nice place in that big tree you could stay at. >"
    "< What.>"
    This conversation, delivered in a series of baaahs, could be going better.

    "< ...Well, let me ask you. What do you think about humans? Or about my being 'a freak and a traitor.' Or stuff like that. >"
    He pauses and gives this a little consideration.
    "<You're bizarre, is what you are. What does it matter what I think about humans? When we meet, we'll fight. That's just how it is.>"

    Auuughhh! I'm here all the time, never attacking anyone! gosh-darnit!
    "< Who says?! Who knows? They say that because you think that because they think that because you think that because they because you because they because -- >"
    I stop, breaking down a little, panting. Between Raven and Kuruna, the two've half driven me mad. Because there's the base of it. There's the rub. We run each other around in circles, because no one's going to unclench their fists first.

    "<...It's so stupid!>"
    I exclaim, the frustration boiling over.

    He smirks.
    <"...And your solution, your big plan, is 'want to hang out, I've got a house and you can chill there, cuz?">
    "Well, it's better than you going on calling me a freak or a traitor, right?"
    Someone has to let go first, even if it's just a little...
    And, well, I've got nothing to hold on to to begin with.

    "<Yeah, OK. I'm called...>"

    "<Alright, then.>"
    I show Delita home so he can settle in.



    And while it's less relaxing, I also find and talk a cluckadoodle into moving in.


    A task which brings me close enough to the mouth of the valley that I can hear what everyone else heard, too...
    That strange roaring. If I fight whatever's making it, will I find more memories? Or Sakuya's lunch?


    I keep running through the valley, fighting laser fish and a strong wind...The laser fish are alarmingly inaccurate...

    That noise doesn't stop...

    These guys, though, are both accurate and deadly. Booking it out of here!

    I head home and check out...

    my new pharmacy! This corner of the house is all completed.


    I make a few things I know how to make easily...


    And a bit of tinkering opens the path to the solution to my current problem: the para-gone!



    I've been collecting materials recently, so I take some evening time to upgrade my watering pot...


    And my hoe.

    That brings me to the limit of my strength today. I have a lot to think about. About fear, about generosity...About myself, too, though I guess I'm the only one who'd think of it that way. But that's for another day.
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    Azure Dreams (On Hiatus)



    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

  2. - Top - End - #122
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Dragoon's Avatar

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Great update as usual, definitely got at the feels, which you are good at. Yeah we got to see some of the people's reactions to Ramza as Wooly. Though I wonder what Carlos and Carmen say about their loss at fishing... Well I guess I'll go find out when I get there.
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


  3. - Top - End - #123
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Qwertystop's Avatar

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Were the Wooly NPC's lines in the game?
    Quote Originally Posted by jamieth View Post
    ...though Talla does her best to sound objective and impartial, it doesn't cover stuff like "ask a 9-year-old to tank for the party."
    My Homebrew

  4. - Top - End - #124
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Deme's Avatar

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    No. He's not even an NPC: he's just a monster I picked up. I just figured it's weird that the MC can understand the Wooly NPC who lives in the settlement, but there's never any dialogue with any monsters he tames, even woolies -- even if they'd just be silly, one-sided things like with the wooly NPC from the settlement. It never quite sat right with me, and I figured, eh, one opportunity in a narrative LP is to rectify little missed opportunities a game like this couldn't have.

    It also gives myself a character who has no real existence in the game world I can have Ramza bounce his thoughts off of from time to time, which feels useful to me.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-06-06 at 01:17 PM.
    LPs:
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    Moemon Leafgreen (Complete)
    Long Live the Queen (Complete)
    Harvest Moon 64 (Complete)

    Rune Factory 3 (Ongoing)
    Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (Ongoing)

    Azure Dreams (On Hiatus)



    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

  5. - Top - End - #125
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Good update, it's fun going into the story blind as to what it holds and being forced to wait, but the added narration makes it definitely worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    No. He's not even an NPC: he's just a monster I picked up. I just figured it's weird that the MC can understand the Wooly NPC who lives in the settlement, but there's never any dialogue with any monsters he tames, even woolies -- even if they'd just be silly, one-sided things like with the wooly NPC from the settlement. It never quite sat right with me, and I figured, eh, one opportunity in a narrative LP is to rectify little missed opportunities a game like this couldn't have.

    It also gives myself a character who has no real existence in the game world I can have Ramza bounce his thoughts off of from time to time, which feels useful to me.
    This will be fun.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  6. - Top - End - #126
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Yeah, I think that having the wooly become a character is going to be seen as one of the better moves of this LP. Just a hunch.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Well, I'm glad that's a liked decision! I'll try to find places for him.

    Chapter 13: Mithril Cook
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    The next morning, a light rain fell. Nothing big, but enough that it had a sort of peaceful, amiable quality. Days like this make me start thinking about increasing my production, at least a little.

    I found Raven walking down the stairs very early in the morning, for some reason. I waved at her and tried to say hi...


    ...But she just turned away.


    What am I supposed to do about that, if she won't even speak to me?


    What, in an eating contest? Haven't I been advised against exactly that? ...Fine, I might as well see what it is.

    That request brings me to the Diner early today.

    "Well, I can't hold my liquor. Wine especially..."

    But...How?!
    "Just a sip got you plastered...?"
    "It's a frightening thought, I know...Well, what'll it be so early?"

    I ask to see about some appliances; I'm nearly all set on that front, but could have a little more.


    Ow, my wallet. I really need to step things up in the cash department.






    Not a bad selection of recipes today; that cutlass might be worth looking into. But I'm here for a reason...


    "Uh, didn't you sort of challenge me...?"
    With the 'bring it on!' and all?
    "Lies! Darned lies and logistics!"
    "Uh, yeah, I don't think I can beat you in an eating contest, but I'll give it a shot!" I owe her for exploding her that time, and all.

    "What? It's not an eating contest...?"
    What a relief...

    Um, it is a very powerful characteristic.
    She points at me fiercely, a warrior's strength exuding off of her.

    "We're gonna have a cooking battle! Using all our senses, skills, and creativity, we'll tackle the secret ingredient of the day!"
    I see; this is an important battle. To see who will be the Mithril Cook...

    I feel ashamed.
    "Ah, sorry. I mean, I just assumed that because it was YOU, that --"

    "I'll keep that in mind! So, what are we making, then?"

    A big smile spreads across her face.
    "We unveil the ingredient!"

    "Rice Ball..."
    "I want to see artistic creations never seen before! You show me what you've cooked...and I'll tell you how you did!"
    "Wait, don't tell me you're going to be cooking AND judging?!"
    This is starting to sound one-sided...


    "Uh, who exactly elected you 'Chairwoman'? But sure, I'll bring my dish when it's ready!"
    "Wait, wait! I have to say it first! Allez Cuisine!"


    One rice ball, coming up! Delita sees fit to give commentary for this process.
    "<Well, it looks like we've got a fine Rice Ball coming up in the challenger's kitchen. He seems to be using the classic technique of just using his hands and the cooked rice to make it -- Challenger, do you think that'll take off points for creativity?>"
    "Well, Delita, I think the judges will appreciate that I understand that the best way to prepare something like a rice ball, which is so simple in its ingredients, is to take no shortcuts. To prepare simple food beautifully is, itself, an art."
    "<We'll see how that philosophy fares as the challenge continues! Back to you, Agrias!>

    "Cluck."
    "...Neither of us understands a word of that, do we?"
    "<Nope.>




    "Oh, it's beautiful..."
    "So, I assume your dish is ready as well?"
    "Oh, uh..." she squirms.


    Behind the counter, her father shakes his head.

    "I think you should go ahead. It sounds like you worked really hard on it!"
    She laughs nervously, like a puppydog's bark.
    "Nope! The challenger goes first! Chairwoman's orders!"
    I shrug.
    "Okay, go ahead and try it, then!"


    Uh, it's a riceball.
    "I've never tasted anything like it! My fantasy has become reality! You are truly a culinary artist worth of being in anybody's hall of fame!"



    "No point? Shouldn't you at least show me what you made?"
    I'm really curious; I bet she has access to materials I just don't have.

    She glares at me, nervous sweat dotting her brow.
    "No, it's cool! I lost! You gain the people's ovation and fame forever! Oh, and this!"
    "Uh, thanks!"


    "(Whew... Heh heh. He'll never know I was just tricking him into cooking for me! Sorry, Ramza, but a girl's gotta eat!)"



    I'm starting to suspect she didn't cook a dish *at all*.


    Karina has a request for me as well..Which is hopefully less like using me.


    Huh; I don't think I've been there.
    "They have a most curious statue at their gates! A bronze pineapple."
    "A bronze pinapple...? What kind of city would erect that kind of statue?"

    Oh, right...
    "Ah, so it's not actually true. That's good! I don't think I could respect a town that built pineapple statues!"
    ...What's the opposite of a bronze pineapple, exactly?


    "Why?"
    "She said she could have had an extra customer if I had taken you to her inn. I'm not sure why she's mad about it now, though..."
    "Oh, I see..."


    I consider buying some seeds...But clearly not that many. Just a few.

    I eventually go to see Karina.
    "What is it?"

    "The dungeons? Why?"
    "Just because. (I don't feel like explaining.)"
    "Well, for starters, they're more like wild areas than dungeons."
    The difference is, it's not like anyone's forcing you to destroy everything to progress. That's the difference in my head. Also, they're largely outdoors.
    "I see." She considers this, and then disregards it. "Well, whatever they are, I've got some questions about them."


    "It depends. But they are full of monsters."
    "Well duh. (Even I knew that much.)"

    "Apples grow there. That's pretty nice."
    "I see. (I guess those are pretty good.)"

    "Well, I like fishing."
    Especially in Oddward Valley.
    "Really...? (That sounds relaxing...)"

    "When I'm getting swarmed."

    "Most importantly, are there wolves in Privera Forest?" She asks, with an apparently serious grim face.
    I shake my head.
    "I've never seen one."
    "Oh, I see. (Hmmm...) " She pauses and thinks about this all carefully. "You said you like fishing?"
    "Yes."

    "Then could you catch a Masu Trout for me? Now that I think about it, I've never had a fresh-caught fish."
    "So close to the lake, that's a crime."
    "You think? (So Carmen's already gotten to him...)"
    "Well, I just think that fish is like anything else: when it's fresh, there's a really special quality to the flavor. I'll go catch you one."
    This actually earns a smile from Karina, which I wasn't entirely expecting right away.
    "Thanks."


    "Well, I think it's...Wonderful."
    I certainly wonder at it.
    And, you know? Throwing yourself into something is wonderful. Her enthusiasm makes me smile...And I actually do think it's pretty.
    She beams.
    "Then the Sharance Tree --"
    "No."
    It's wonderful here.

    I actually decided that I didn't want to have to deal with long-ranged enemies while fishing in the forest; it's actually one of my least-favorite wild areas for fishing. Anyway, I can fish in the lake, so I did...

    Catching at least one unusual item.

    After I netted the fish I needed, I returned with it to Karina.

    "You were sleeping again...?"
    "But then I dreamt I was the fish. I saw the chef raise up his big knife..." She looked down at the fish I had caught, as if checking its eyes for dreams.
    "That sounds kind of traumatizing."
    The fish flops about in agreement, slipping out of Karina's hands -- which, themselves, quickly jerk out of the path of fish.


    The fish's wet body slides across her bedroom floor with a series of wet noises.

    ***
    "Oh, great."

    She finds some form of payment -- for a change.

    "Thanks for everything. I learned a lot. (Now I'm one step closer to city life.)"
    "?"



    Actualy payment! What a shock!

    I head over to the settlement in the afternoon today.

    "Uh...huh."
    Kuruna doesn't pick up on some of the subtleties of my response, and instead sighs, as an honest look of grief settles over her features.
    "But it also means that we outlive many of our friends. It is a heavy burden to bear at times."
    "I'm sorry, Kuruna..."

    I guess asking her how old she is would be a really bad idea, huh?
    When she sees the look on my face, she smiles sadly and pats my shoulder.

    "Comrade...Could you please answer my request tonight?"
    "Uh, ok."

    Her request?

    A tour? Well, alright...


    I wait the time until evening outside, trying to get some ingredients for that cutlass recipe I learned today.
    I come back about an hour later, with the cloth I need.


    "So...you want to take me on some sort of tour?"
    "That's right. You need to see the beauty of the desert."

    She waves a finger.
    "Ah. You have seen, but you have not observed. I'll show you the majesty of Sol Terrano: Star Dunes. The skies are clear in the afternoon, and once dark falls, it's a perfect place to go stargazing.
    Have you visited there before, comrade?"


    Star dunes? I don't think I've been anywhere like that...
    "I haven't."

    "Then let us make haste, comrade!"
    "Sounds good. Uh, which way do we go?"
    "To the edge of the desert."


    Kuruna's clearly made for magic -- unsurprising, given what she's said about the Univir.

    We head to the entrance of the desert, and down the other path, just as night begins to fall.

    The horizon is still faintly light, where the sun's still echoing from beyond the horizon -- but above us, the stars have come out in full. The contrast between the two seems eery, and makes the sky seem like a vast world.

    "It's so beautiful... And it's surprisingly cool for the desert!" My laughter breaks the silence, making me feel slightly sad.

    "No, I don't even notice the heat at all."
    Looking out over that sky, I find myself wondering how strange it is: there's all these rivers and lakes, and then there's this vast, beautiful desert so close; the world is strange and marvelous.
    "I never really appreciated how magnificent the desert scenery actually is! ...When it's not trying to kill me." I chuckle, and turn to face Kuruna.

    The starlight gleams off of her horn, itself like a bleached desert bone, hair flowing like wind over the sand... She seems to almost be carved out of this scenery, at peace with it in a way I envy (I envy a lot of things).




    I wince, reflexively.
    "I'm not sure about --"


    The ground shakes underfoot, cutting off any discussion of whether or not enjoyment of a starry vista is racially-determined (or even whether or not I belong, even if she just sees me as a wooly, in a category with Kuruna.)
    "An earthquake?!"

    "I don't think so."
    She looks up and around at the rocks.
    "That felt more like a rockslide."

    "Do you often get those around here?"
    She nods.
    "Yes. The rocks around here tend to become unstable, especially after we get rain."
    "So I guess the desert's beautiful... But also awfully dangerous." I sigh. "Back to trying to kill me, huh?"


    "Do you head out here often, Kuruna?"
    She laughs into her hand, the first time I have seen her laugh even a bit.

    "That doesn't sound like appropriate behavior for an elder!"
    This honest teasing takes her aback.
    "Well, even elders used to be kids, you know."

    "Sorry! I didn't mean to insult you!"
    But she smiles and giggles, at last.

    I was teasing -- mostly -- before...But, actually...
    "It sure is..."

    A nostalgic sigh floats through the cool air, out of that smile faint as the distant swirling of the galaxy.
    "Time just flew by back then.
    It felt like her own secret hideout,"

    She confides.

    "It sounds like this place means a lot to you."
    Stories of her childhood...The whole notion feels far-away and uncertain. Was there a place I snuck out with, a trusted friend by my side? Was I alone?

    "I wish I could get my memories back..."
    Fretting and twining with eachother, Kuruna's pale fingers become the focus of her lowered, worried gaze.
    "Oh, I didn't mean to offend you!"
    "Ah!" My eyes dart to her. "I'm not offended at all!"
    I wave my paws.
    "I want to get them back because I want to tell you about my childhood, too!"

    She pauses, and we both drop our concerns to consider this tantalizing possibility, which for now, remains out of reach.
    "I'd like to hear those memories, comrade."
    "I wonder what sort of kid I was..."
    "I think you must have been a shy child, to be so mild as an adult...And a heart as gentle as yours couldn't have helped but have gotten you picked on."
    All things considered, I think being picked on seems likely.
    "If you put it like that, it sounds like I had all sorts of troubles. I don't think it could have been so bad."
    Well, there's no helping it.


    She nods.
    "Yeah, I have some work to take care of back there."
    Something shakes again, the impact sliding me forward on the sand.
    "Anyother rockslide?!"

    This time, however, I see it, the moment the question leaves my mouth: a rock, falling from the ridge above Kuruna's head, rolling off and for this terrifying moment, hanging above her in the air. Everything slows down.




    "Huh?!"
    I hear her voice faintly as I grab her, making a rather poor attempt to hold her for tiny wooly arms, and push or protect her from the falling rocks.
    Then there's a great impact, and a sharp pain on my back. And then blackness.


    The starry sky comes into focus first, and then, out of the pale shape the milky way the blue horizone line comes swimming Kuruna's figure.
    "Urrgh...My head..."
    Oh, gosh. I don't have amnesia again, do I? No, wait. If I had amnesia again, I wouldn't remember I'd be having it again, right? So I'm probably fine. My name is definitely Ramza.

    "Oh, I was so worried!"
    A sparkling tear lingers in her eyes.
    "What...happened?"
    "You don't remember? You knocked me out of the way of a falling rock! Such valorous instincts, comrade!"
    Oh, yeah...Something like this might have happened...
    Kuruna bows her head.
    "I apologize profusely. It seems I was...distracted."

    I brush this off; it's not like I didn't chose it.
    "You aren't hurt at all?"
    She looks surprised by this.
    "No, I'm fine. If not for your bravery, though, I'm not sure what might have happened." She looks me over once again. "How about you? Are you in pain?"
    "A mild headache, but I'm doing fine other than that."
    "That's good to hear. It looks like my healing arts worked."

    I get up and stretch. Everything checks out, I don't seem to be missing any key information...
    That I wasn't already missing...
    "You must be pretty powerful! Even my headache's going away now! You're amazing, Kuruna!"

    "No, comrade. You're the one who's amazing."

    She bows, formally.
    "I will not forget your selflessness, comrade."
    "I'm just glad you're safe. That's all I wanted. Anyway, we should probably get out of here before we run into any more rockslides!"
    "Definitely!"

    We run back across the dunes. There'd be a faster route, but...I doubt I could talk Kuruna into it.

    "You sure you'll be okay?"
    "Oh, I'm more than okay. And it's all thanks to you! What about you, comrade? How are you doing?"
    I rotate my shoulder to check it.
    "Your healing arts are amazing! I think I feel even better than before that rock flattened me!"
    "I know my healing powers are potent...but not that potent!"
    She shakes a finger to admonish me.
    "Take care of yourself out there, comrade. I want to see you come back in one piece!"
    "I will!"

    "Thanks a lot! I'll keep that in mind."
    "I hope I can show you some more of the desert sometime."



    She gave me a recovery potion.

    Then it was time to go to my field and get to work ramping up production!

    Say hello to my little friend.
    With the fieldwork done and planted, I headed upstairs to try and form a defense against, well, getting attacked:


    A new sword.

    Also, a ball of yarn!

    The yarn is maybe less purposeful than I would like, but it's good practice.

    The next day, I set Agrias and one of the Buffamoo to work in the fields, with some seed-sowing...

    And there's a letter in my mailbox from Gaius...About something on my mind.

    Though if I've cleared so much land, I want some new seeds, first... But people are acting oddly, there...

    "Uh, what's tomorrow?"
    "The festival! Did you forget?! Tomorrow's the Wooly Festival!"
    She glares with deep ferocity that makes me want to really not know what a wooly festival might be.

    I buy my seeds, nearly bankrupting me...


    So there's a specific wooly for this 'wooly festival,' huh?


    "I think he rather hates that wooly."
    So it's not a bad festival...That's a relief.


    A fun festival involving woolies... Belly rubs?
    I like belly rubs.


    "How should I know? I just heard about it five minutes ago!"
    "Ah, well...That's not the goal, at least. But it's so hard to tell, you know?"
    Aand now I'm back to being worried. Let's just go see Gaius.


    "Well, let's just go then."
    "What...?! W-Where to?"
    He paused and seemed to think about this.
    "Hmm, well. Sol Terrano: Sand Sea should be fine." He eventually decided with a shrug.

    ...Does this have anything to do with Raven?

    Regardless, we make it there before Noon.

    "Fine for...what, exactly...?"

    He begins mining from the ore there, a peaceful expression on his face.

    "Hey, Ramza."
    "Oh, um, yes?"
    He pauses for a moment and rests his hammer against the rock.

    "Ah..."
    I take in a little breath of warm, sun-baked air, and am met with a knowing smile.
    "They're just waiting here, waiting for someone to talk to them.
    That's the only way they know how to be."



    "But no matter how stubborn they are, you just need to talk to them."
    He smiles, perhaps because he is thinking about forging.

    "Gaius...?"
    "Even rocks can change their shape over time. Using a hammer just speeds it up a little."

    He lost his eye in a forging incident? I wouldn't have guessed...
    "They may be hard, but they can change."
    "..."

    I think I understand. There's no one thing I can say, or do, to change things. But...


    "Alright, this should be enough! Let's get back, then."
    He says, bursting into my thoughts.
    "Oh, okay."

    We head on back.

    "Thank you very much. You can ask me again any time."
    "Of course. Next time I'll ask you to watch the store!"

    He smirks, in spite of my crestfallen expression.
    "Raven has been out of sorts recently."
    "...?"
    "She just stops working and stares out the window."

    "Huh...?"
    But she said... Was she lying? Am I going to have to be a stubborn fool, too?
    "Well, see you."

    He goes inside, leaving me with a chest of goodies.


    Including Gold!


    Knocking wool off? Is that what this is...
    Wait. What. His mach punch?
    "That's got to be some punch!"
    "Mach punch thunder strike go! Whoosh! You see that? You see that punch?"
    He mimes punching the air a few times.

    That wasn't so impressive.


    Carmen's got a request, so I figure I might as well see about that.

    Even though she wasn't there before, she's home by the time I get to her place.
    She looks up from contemplation of her cutting knife and smiles when I walk in the room.

    "Oh, Ramza, perfect."
    "What's the matter? Your knife won't cut?"
    "Yeah. My important sashimi knife is dull. It hasn't been sharpened lately. I want to ask Gaius, but we've been getting swamped at work."
    I guess with Spring nearing its end, the travellers have been getting their spring fishing in.
    "I'm sorry, but could you go for me?"
    "Okay. I mean, you are my fishing instructor after all. I'd be happy to help."
    She laughs at my bringing that up, when all that's involved is a simple favor.



    She deposits a well-loved sashimi knife into my hands.
    "Good luck! Bring it back to me when Gaius is done with it."


    When I head to the Blacksmith's shop...I see Raven at the counter, as usual. It's like any other day. When I walk in, she hides her face in her hair.
    "Afternoon, Raven."
    I say, with a forcedly jaunty smile.
    There's a long pause. Maybe too long -- but I stand my ground.

    "So...Uh...How about that Wooly festival?"
    Her expression softens, signifying that, for one, this is not a festival I should be offended by in a for-my-people sort of way, and two, that this was a good choice of topic.
    "The Wooly Festival is...fun."
    "What? You think so? I don't know anything about it."
    She nods, then turns and pretends to be very interested in shelfing.
    But if she's letting me talk to her again, I think we have to count it: that even if she's afraid of it, the bond between Raven and I can't be that easily cut.

    But now, I have my actual task to tend:


    "It seems like it's gotten quite dull. Could you sharpen it for her?"
    "Ah, Carmen's knife? It's been a while since I last sharpened it. Alright, leave it to me! I'll get it nice and sharp!"
    *One Sharpening Later*

    "Thank you very much! I bet Carmen will be happy."
    "Yeah. Tell her to bring it again anytime." He pauses and thinks about this. "Well, I can't guarantee that I'll be able to work on it right away."

    I run it back to her. Not literally. Don't run with sashimi knives, kids!

    "Yes, this is it! Now I can go back to making tasty sashimi!"


    She takes a snapper and slices it to pieces right in front of me! Yowza!
    "Thank you, Ramza. Now let me offer you this!"
    She offers me the sashimi she's made, a warm smile on her face.
    "Ah, I bet this'll be nice. I, uh, won't guarantee I won't sell it, though...Money's, um, a little tight this week..." I laugh, nervously. "I guess I should be a little more worried about making money to get by tomorrow with my day today, huh?"


    "What?"
    She blushes and fumbles, the newly-sharpened knife slipping around in her fingers dangerously before being stowed safely away.
    "Uh...hope I can count on you again! See ya!"




    Wait, what? Like a king wooly?! I thought this was fun?
    "Everything sounds dangerous when you say it, Marian..."

    Well, let's leave that riddle for later...
    And the settlement for now.

    "Is that really --"
    "Compassionate rulers are conquered rulers. History is littered with their corpses."
    "But don't you think that you should be a little flexible as a leader?" I don't like to think of history as being covered in corpses...Though, uh, I guess it's covered in everyone's corpses. We're all just as dead when we die.
    Kuruna get a little red-faced.
    "I'm the elder. It's my duty. I will protect this settlement with my last breath."
    But...who's asking that of you?

    Ugh. Sometimes people are insufferable! To clear my head and recover my wallet, I go fishing for a while.

    When my evening payment comes in, things in my wallet are looking much, much better.
    So it seems reasonable -- at least to me -- to try going a bit upstream.

    Following the growing howling...


    And the increasingly tough enemies.
    I do manage to fend them off, but nothing more than that...
    And afterwards, I retreat like it's no one's business.

    and whip up a few para-gones.

    Also, Sashimi.

    If I want to keep going, I clearly need two things: level and gear. For gear, I need ingredients, and that means...


    "Hey, Delita, want to run around the forest beating stuff up for supplies?"
    "<Do I?!>"

    This takes us deep into Privera forest, looking for things that come off of plants and insects.
    "There's a festival coming up."
    "<I saw your calender. ...By the way, why does that girl come in and marking it in the dead of night?>"
    "...Uh. Which girl?"

    I pause from where I'm fighting not another row of giant beetle monsters.
    "<I don't know. They're all hairless apes to me. Besides...You smell like a whole bunch of human women. ...And elf women. And... Honestly, your tastes are bizzare. I don't even know what half of the things you hand around with are.>"
    "Hey! Pia's nice! ...Wait, my 'tastes'? Go back! Go back! You've got it all wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! It's not like that!"

    "<With who?">"
    "<Everyone!>"
    "<Good. You're only part Wooly, but you've still got a chance of turning out alright in the end. You just need to find someone who's alright with...Well...Weird stuff.>"
    "...Can we not talk about this?"
    He laughs.
    "<Alright, alright. You're kind of soft-hearted, aren't you?"
    Besides...I don't think romance is really in the cards for me.

    "<Still, a wooly festival. I'm not sure if I'm terrified, or excited, but I demand to see what you humanoid types cook up!>"
    "I'm pretty interested, too. Everyone was a little coy about it.

    We fought onward, until at last I'd gathered a few pertinent supplies. At least, I hoped so.



    Enough to make a colorful pair of sneakers...


    And a new shield! This'll be good, I'm sure.


    I also upgrade my sword, just for the skill levels.
    With any luck, I'll be able to move forward from here...Once we solve the mystery of that festival.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

  8. - Top - End - #128
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    Well, I'm glad that's a liked decision! I'll try to find places for him.

    Chapter 13: Mithril Cook

    "What? It's not an eating contest...?"
    What a relief...

    Um, it is a very powerful characteristic.
    She points at me fiercely, a warrior's strength exuding off of her.

    "We're gonna have a cooking battle! Using all our senses, skills, and creativity, we'll tackle the secret ingredient of the day!"
    I see; this is an important battle. To see who will be the Mithril Cook...

    I feel ashamed.
    "Ah, sorry. I mean, I just assumed that because it was YOU, that --"

    "I'll keep that in mind! So, what are we making, then?"

    A big smile spreads across her face.
    "We unveil the ingredient!"

    "Rice Ball..."
    "I want to see artistic creations never seen before! You show me what you've cooked...and I'll tell you how you did!"
    "Wait, don't tell me you're going to be cooking AND judging?!"
    This is starting to sound one-sided...


    "Uh, who exactly elected you 'Chairwoman'? But sure, I'll bring my dish when it's ready!"
    "Wait, wait! I have to say it first! Allez Cuisine!"


    One rice ball, coming up! Delita sees fit to give commentary for this process.
    "<Well, it looks like we've got a fine Rice Ball coming up in the challenger's kitchen. He seems to be using the classic technique of just using his hands and the cooked rice to make it -- Challenger, do you think that'll take off points for creativity?>"
    "Well, Delita, I think the judges will appreciate that I understand that the best way to prepare something like a rice ball, which is so simple in its ingredients, is to take no shortcuts. To prepare simple food beautifully is, itself, an art."
    "<We'll see how that philosophy fares as the challenge continues! Back to you, Agrias!>

    "Cluck."
    "...Neither of us understands a word of that, do we?"
    "<Nope.>




    "Oh, it's beautiful..."
    "So, I assume your dish is ready as well?"
    "Oh, uh..." she squirms.


    Behind the counter, her father shakes his head.

    "I think you should go ahead. It sounds like you worked really hard on it!"
    She laughs nervously, like a puppydog's bark.
    "Nope! The challenger goes first! Chairwoman's orders!"
    I shrug.
    "Okay, go ahead and try it, then!"


    Uh, it's a riceball.
    "I've never tasted anything like it! My fantasy has become reality! You are truly a culinary artist worth of being in anybody's hall of fame!"
    Wait.
    Is it really.
    It can't be.
    Is that an Iron Chef reference?!?
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    It does seem to be, though it skirts being very specific about it. Still, I think the sort of high-flung language Collette uses in that request and the term "Chairwoman," a secret ingredient... It can only be Iron Chef!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

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    Mithril Cook = Iron Chef
    That is actually pretty funny and neat.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    The Mithril Cook thing is a line of my own, actually, and should not be used to show how specifically off-brand they were willing to get. Things not in quotes or parenthesis are approximately 95% more likely to be my own description of events (I say only 95% because I will occasionally slip The MC's lines from his dialogue box with parenthesis into Ramza's internal narrative, because I don't know what to do with them otherwise.)
    Does Mithril even exist in the Rune Factory games? I forget.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

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    No, I don't think mithril is in RF.
    And I figured it was your line, but even so, it fit in well.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

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    Great update. Also, you know that that I've been saying about updating your sig with your LPs? I just found out about your Storm Silver LP. I'm reading it now.

    And I'll repeat this, characterizing the domesticated beasts was a very good idea.

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    ...*sigh* You make an excellent point, then.

    Chapter 14: Comedy Night
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    Many of my vegetables have come in today! Hooray! My onions, some cabbages, and some of the toyflower I had planted, too. I don't ship the onions and some of the cabbages yet, though: I have a feeling there's some further cash to be made if I cook something up with them.


    While I pondered this, I made some pudding. I've heard they call this sort of custard dish 'flan' in some parts of the world... Anyway, it's pretty good for RP recovery, so I'm holding onto it.

    Before I get out to the festivities, I head to the settlement, where I see Ondorus hmming and hawwing by the teleporter, his teeth clenched.

    He relaxes at my question, pulled from his intense study of...Uh, I don't know what.
    "I was just thinking how strange we univir are."

    ...Strange, your own species? Well, I guess I think humans are strange all the time.
    I think about how Kuruna sort of defines the Univir -- long-lived, magical, ancient, proud...horned.

    "...You mean the horn?" It's a pretty unusual trait, and it's also pretty defining.
    "Yes. The horn is the source of our magical abilities."
    "Is that right?"
    No wonder Kuruna's so hung up on it.

    "Well, I'm sure if anyone can work it out, it's you."
    "Oh, thank you for the vote of confidence, Ramza."

    I also find Will finishing his breakfast on Kuruna's shoulder.

    "What did Will just finish eating?"
    "A turnip."
    "That's it? I thought he'd eat more than that."
    She smiles.
    "Yeah, he doesn't eat as much as you'd think."
    I lean forward and examine Will, who glares at me threateningly.
    "How many turnips does he have per day?"
    "Hmmm... About 100. Give or take."

    Kuruna looked at me for a moment.
    "Who's Collette?"
    "Uh, uh. No one...important? A buffamoo I know."
    She looks skeptical, but can find no real evidence for my obvious lie.
    "You know some strange types."

    I head on back to the village, since it'd be about time for the festivities to start.

    "You're already talking about it ending?"
    "The wooly promised me lots of food in exchange for getting it shaved!"
    Oh, we're shaving a king wooly...Well, I'm a little spooked by the idea of being shaved, but it is almost summer...
    "I see... Wait, you speak wooly, Sherman?"
    Or the wooly speaks Sherman? That's impressive!
    "Well, not with his eyes and pantomime. I don't do this every year, so we certainly have no understanding."
    Oh...
    "Well, That's still very impressive to know."

    I mean that, honestly; that sort of understanding is essentially for, well, someone like me to have any hope at all.



    "I don't think so."

    And finally, to the festival square itself. Well, first, I run back to make sure I pick up Delita, who I promised to take with me.



    "How about it? Do you want to enter?
    The rules are simple. Sherman as acquired a giant wooly for us."

    It sounds like the wooly is bribing him.
    "The wooly must be hot and miserable in this heat! That's why you should do it a favor, and trim its wool!"
    "<You know, I could use a trim. It is pretty hot...>" Delita comments.
    "Well, maybe when we get home," I say, trusting that his obvious puppy-dog eyes on the topic would be sufficient to explain my response. Personally, I think it's kind of invasive.


    "So, will you enter?"
    "Yeah, let's do this!"
    ...You know, he didn't actually explain the rules.
    "Then let's get started!"

    They bring out, yes, a large king wooly with a large collection of wool. I don't think it's the one that headbutted me into oblivion before. Probably.


    These weapons are...kind of odd. Are they really for shearing?

    I pick a spoon, on the grounds that it'd at least do a lot of scooping deep in the fur, where I know all the dead wool sort of collects in a super-hot under layer. Also, because it's the most like a short sword.
    While there's some things I'd like to ask...The presence of judges observing means I really can't blow my cover.
    "Okay! Knock off the most fur to win!"


    There's a lot of things I'd like to say, or ask about, or...well, anything, but both the level of festivity and the presence of judges make it difficult.
    "Well, let's see what I can't do in the shearing department," I simply say, with a jaunty salute, before we begin.


    He doesn't make it easy, smiling playfully as he darts away from my dubious choice of shearing implement (to Delita's obvious amusement), but I pursue across the plaza and keep at it with my spoon flying, knocking aside all the wool I'm able!
    From time to time, he is joined by other woolies, set on causing chaos, I assume -- or joining in as well. I'm honestly not sure where they came from, but they're likely farm woolies from the area, since they've been shaved.
    "Time's up! The winner of the Wooly Festival is..."

    Small mercies!
    "Thank you very much!"
    "In second place with 5940 points is Carlos. In third place with 4860 points is Rusk."
    That was too close!
    "Congratulations, everyone!"
    The usual spiel about prizes ensued.


    Since no one else was picking up the wool, I guess I'll bring it home.
    "<I'm impressed. Even playing icognito, you managed to win. I'll let you go about your business, but I expect to not have to deal with the remains of my winter coat when you get back!>"
    Boy, you see one giant get sheared, and now everyone wants to do it...

    But before anything else, it's prize time.







    ...One of those sounded kind of dangerous.


    "And that wooly didn't seem to mind being trimmed. It must be a relief for it to lose all of that heavy wool."
    Maybe I'm the strange one for finding it a little unsettling...
    Thank goodness that was inside my head. I could already imagine Delita saying "Bah," in the sort of Bah that means Yes.


    ...Well. Don't jump for joy.

    It seems everyone has something to say about my victory.

    "Thank you."
    "I might have done better if Carlos hadn't have kept me up all night practicing and shouting 'Mach Fist!'"


    "Yeah! Do you need any, Evelyn?"
    "No. What on Earth would I use wool for?"
    "Uh...never mind."
    ...And here I was thinking about buying a summer wardrobe.


    "Ha ha..." He was sort of cuddly...


    "Well, pretty sure not a single one."
    Because wool does not work that way. Remind me *never* to be a wooly around Pia, if she thinks I'm a vegetable lamb.


    "I, uh, haven't calculated yet."

    After that, I ran home to tend to last-minute matters of shipping off that last wool and planting my spare seeds... And then I figured, I'd devote the evening to going further into the valley and testing my new equipment.

    All I had to do was follow the sound, which lead me out of the water-logged land...

    And by a tree where wild grapes grew, which was pretty nice.

    But now that I was out of the river, it seemed like I'd lost it entirely:

    Though that area did have a larger field, it seemed a bit too far away for me to take any real advantage of. I'd have to run all the way back here, I mean. No thanks.

    Going higher up -- getting closer to the water again -- did seem to help some, though...


    But faced with formidable bell pepper ghosts, I decided to cut and run.


    Besides, I did have to give Delita that trim.
    "< You're lucky. Your wool's relatively thin to begin with, so you don't notice how uncomfortable it gets.>"
    "You think that's it?"
    "< Probably. You know, it's strange. You don't look much different from any other human....But you look very different from other woolies.>"
    "Maybe. I... don't remember what my father looked like. I might look like him."
    I sigh: it's a riddle without an answer. To be honest, I'm not even sure how we lived, or what things were like. If I did, maybe there were a lot of things I'd understand better about the person I am.


    I make a spare watering pot and just practice with some yarn balls before calling it a night.

    The next day, my pink melons had grown in!
    A thrilling fact, which led me up to the kitchen for my usual light experimenting with various ingredients. This experimenting soon revealed...


    The end of all financial suffering, in handy juice form.
    This is more money than I have been able to make from one item ever, and I'm able to make 5 right now. I haven't even checked other strawberry plants I have going. Privera Forest shall henceforth run on Prelude of Love production.

    With this jaunty, boundless cheer filling my heart, I went to see the settlement.

    ...Where Kuruna is *not* sharing my mood, apparently.
    "What's wrong?"
    Kuruna opens her eyes and suddenly notices I've entered.
    "Oh, don't worry about me, comrade."

    This sends her into a near panic, trying to cover Will's entire body with her hands to silence him.
    "Will?! Stop it! Comrade, don't believe his lies!"

    "I don't think Will even knows what a lie is."
    "He does! He's lying! He's LYING! HE'S LYING!"
    "...So...I should just ship the hot chocolate I brought you today?"
    "Now, now, comrade! Don't be hasty!"

    After giving it to her, I head out to the town.

    Marian's got a request on the board that I think I need to take for the safety of everyone.

    Though I do stop by the forge first, where I'm hit by an uneasy question:

    "W-Where did that come from? N-no, there's no one like that!" I mean, even if there was, I can't -- I mean, I don't think anyone'd really want to be... I don't want to be with someone who I can't be honest with. And I can't be honest with anyone. So, I can't be with anyone.
    "Love is nice, isn't it?!" Gaius says with a laugh.
    "That's not what I said!"

    I walk to Marian's as quickly as possible under the stress.

    I'm ready for...whatever.
    "I'd like you to bring me back a patient to experiment on."
    I was willing to take one for the team there...
    "Wait, are you a doctor of a mad scientist...?"
    She waves this off impatiently. Perhaps the difference is, to her, very slight indeed.

    "So, just bring someone back with you! I don't even care if they have symptoms!"

    This...is not how medicine goes. Or experiments.
    "Wait, how can you test the medicine's results if they're healthy..."
    This, she does not even wave off. She acts as if I said nothing.
    "Well, I'll get things ready for the patient here. I'll let you get to it."

    "Wait, I never said that I would actually do --"
    Marian laughs.
    "Well, I'm counting on you!"

    I think we need to get her guardian involved.

    "Oh, I know. She's only allowed to mix medicine in front of me."
    "Well, I'm slightly relieved to hear that..."
    Marjorie half-chuckles, half-cackles.
    "Well, it's nothing life-threatening, so don't worry about it."
    "Huh...?"
    We're just going to let this happen, then?

    Well, let's start with someone durable...

    "Why so glum?" Carlos leans forward to examine me. I can't imagine him having health problems. "You got something on your mind, bro'?"
    "Well, actually..."
    He draws his eyebrows together and his expression grows fiery.
    "No, you don't have to say it! I understand!"
    "What?"
    "It's about Carmen, right?"

    I...What?!
    "No, that's not..."
    Why is everyone so interested in my love life all of the sudden?!

    "But! I won't forgive anyone who lays a hand on my sister! You understand me?!"
    "*Sight*..."
    I don't even get the chance to ask him about Marian's medicine...

    Let's try someone with, uh...lethargy problems?

    "You don't look so well!"
    "Hmmm, I'm alright. (Why does he seem so happy...?)"
    In spite of this set back, I have to push onward!
    "Then why don't you go to the apothecary? I think they'd see you for free."
    But Karina just looks at me with a cold green stare.
    "But today's a weekday, right? (Of course I won't go.)"
    ...She knows exactly what I'm thinking.

    I find Pia heading towards the lake.
    "Hey, wait! Will you come with me, Pia?"
    She examines this statement for a moment.
    "Are you talking about a bath?"
    "No, about the apothecary."

    "No, the apothecary..." I am not even sure I can put up a decent argument: I mean, Pia is fine, and I'm not sure medicine works normally on mermaids.
    "Bath's are nice! Very nice! ...Unlike certain unholy places, demanding my spit! Do I look like a nixie to you?"
    Uh...I guess not. She knows *exactly* what I mean.

    Well, let's try Wells! He's bound to have some little ache or pain.

    "Um, well...Do you have any back pain or...?"
    "You calling me an old man?!"
    "N-No, I didn't mean...! I-I'm sorry!" I stumble about in wild desperation, and drop the subject quickly.

    Take...whatever: Sofia.
    "Sofia, are you feeling well?"
    "No."
    "What?!" Perfect! "Then Marian's developed a new medicine, would you like to come to the apothecary and try it?"
    "Yes! I'll definitely go!!"
    "Oh, good." I can stop searching the town for...
    As I turn to go, I realize Sofia's rooted firmly in place.
    "Huh...? Sofia?"

    ...I'm an idiot.
    "Oh, I see..."


    "You have a strained back?!" At last!
    "W-What's your problem? Why are you yelling?!"
    Uh, well...Be a good salesman. Smile, smile...
    "Well, I just heard there's this new medicine that works on strained backs."
    "Really? So, where do I get this?"

    Bingo!
    "Currently on sale at the apothecary."
    Hazel wilts.
    "Oh, Marian's con."
    "Marian's con?!"
    "Don't get tricked by stuff like that. Not like good, honest products!"

    ...Like what you sell, huh?
    Well, I say that, but I buy more melons and strawberry seeds, and...

    A number of bottles of oil and bags of flour, for an idea I have. I think I remember a recipe...Maybe? Amnesia steals my cooking ideas.

    Let's try Monica, while I'm in the area?
    "What do you want?"

    "I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate them!!"
    Retreat retreat before the fangs come out retreat!
    "Of course..."

    Let's try Shara?
    "What is it?"

    "A patient? Am I sick?"
    What sort of question is that?
    "No, but..."
    "I'm in very good health." She says in cheery obliviousness.
    "So it seems..." I will be trapped in purgatory forever.
    "???"

    Well, so I don't have to go out here again...Let's try asking Daria.

    "Oh, what a coincidence! I was looking for a new model!"
    Suddenly, my afternoon stretches in front of me: I go hunt a model for Daria, finding...I don't know, Evelyn, who wants a knew strange dress fabric, which means going to Collette for food items, which she'll only give for growing tall tips, which for some reason I'll need to find a person for and I think that'd be a job for Shino, which would... And so on.
    "Wouldn't you want to get painted with my new paints?!"
    Or not, and I could be covered in paint.
    ...
    "I just remembered that I had to do something."


    Planting strawberries is something.

    After that...Let's see if Collete is at the diner. Maybe she'll help. She is not, though.

    "Rusk, how are you feeling?"
    "Why do you ask? I'm feeling fine -- Wait, is this for Marian?"
    I sigh.
    "Yeah, something like that..."
    "Then talk to Collette. I'm sure it'll be funny."
    "What?" I wouldn't want her to...Not after the explosion.

    Let's try Blaise.

    "One will fine no need for supplements if they get plenty of rest and eat a balanced diet. In my line of work, health management is very important."
    "I see..."






    I at least pick up some recipes.

    Anyway, maybe Sherman...?

    "What? Oh, the opposite. By the way, Sherman. Marian's having me find a patient for her, so do you have any aches?"

    "Ummm....??"
    Help. Which bits of that were opposited?


    "Yes. Marian asked me to look for a patient to test her new medicine, but..." My whole day's evaporating.
    "My, how unfortunate."
    "..." I look at her expectantly.
    "..." She does not even glance up from her papers.
    "Um, Shino --"

    "Is there anything else?"
    "Oh, no. No..."
    Just my whole day, wasted.

    Well, I can't just give up.
    "Hey, Sakuya. Are you interested in trying a new medication?"

    "It's something Marian made..."
    "I see. Well, forget about business then."
    "What?!"

    I think about who there even is left in town to ask... Gaius? Raven? I'm on thin ice with Raven -- if it's ice at all. These thoughts are interrupted by Collette.

    "What?"
    "Marian is making you experiment, too? She makes me do that sometimes. Like, I told her I only had a cold, but she made me take weird stuff, and gave me this big shot to stop this cough I had that just made me laugh non-stop --" She says with a smile.
    "Collette! I get it already!"
    ...
    And that's when I realize I think I'll just tell her no one will come. Because no one, in fact, will come.


    Still, I can't help but feel sad when I tell her,
    "Sorry, Marian. No one would come."
    "What are you talking about? This is plenty. As long as you're here!"
    "Huh...?"
    She takes my hands and beams. I suppose, when you think about it, I did come back: I guess no one besides Collette ever has.

    ...Not that I can blame them.

    "Now, here's my new formula! Go on, drink up!"
    ...I do not want to drink this. Can we go back to realizations about friendship? Well, maybe only I went there.
    "Oh, but I'm not sick, so...!"

    "I do!"
    "You don't know when to give up... I guess I have no choice."

    She shrugged and shook her head theatrically, looking for all the world like the image of a mad scientist.
    "What?!"

    "Wait--"
    Where would that injection go exactly?

    Marian just beams.
    "Okay, time for your shot!"

    She brings out her syringe, and then the world goes white.

    My legs give out and I gall backwards as if I was pushed.

    Before I can complete the thought, I'm unconcious.

    I wake up on a cool white bed, staring at a ceiling I have seen before, but is not mine.
    "Where am I...?"
    Oh, gosh! This is another round of waking up somewhere that's not my bed...
    My name is Ramza. I'm half-monster. I used to be a guard, don't remember where... I'm still worried about that... Now I farm and generally do-good.
    I lead a double life full of shame and sorrow, because I am a scumbag.
    "That's probably everything. I am probably OK."

    Marjorie turns.


    I remember...Being shot supremely full of drugs.
    "Oh, that's right... I passed out when she injected me."

    "We've already taken care of you. You should be able to get up soon."
    "Okay. Thank you."

    Footsteps pound, and Marian's hat appears to poke around the doorframe, followed by her head.

    Oh dear gods, no. Nooo. Not again.
    But as she comes charging in, her grandmother holds out a hand.


    "Oh..."

    She walks with the delicate footsteps of someone trying not to frighten a deer or awaken a sleeping child toward the bedside -- no, that's not it. Like a child herself, expecting reprimand she likely deserves, her steps shy and mincing. Her head hangs like the tips of her hat.

    "What?"
    "I seem to lose sight of things when I get carried away...I really did want to make you feel better, but...I guess I did spring it on you like that..."

    It's so unlike her that it gives me pause for a minute. She did, at least, start out with good intentions... The rest was just rampant enthusiasm.
    "Well, as long as you're sorry."

    She smiles a little -- not a big, glowing beam, not that over-enthusiastic grin. Just a little smile.
    "Ramza."

    And the next minute, it's wiped away, and she's back to her usual self.
    ...When did spells enter into this?

    "Ha ha... *sigh*..."




    On my way to collect my prize, I heard Marian muttering,
    "Maybe I needed more magic. Well, next time I'll add scrap metal and grass --"
    "...Those don't sound like ingredients for medicine..."

    My reward was a pair of sandals with duckies on them. They're not better than the sneakers, just squeakier.

    I head home, hoping to preserve at least a little daylight, and begin prepping the rest of my supplies for shipping.


    A little experimenting with the frying plan makes these tasty half-remembered dumplings!
    Though I guess I don't know if they're tasty, since I shipped them out right away.

    I still had some time left, so I checked my mail.

    Well, with any luck, this inexplicable request wouldn't take much time. And I could use a bath...

    That having been thought, I headed out to the inn.

    The two girls were waiting, flanking the entrance.

    "Wait...I never said I would join."
    Press-ganged twice in one day is a bit much.
    "Actually, what would I even be joining?"

    "A stand-up troupe."
    "Stand-up?"
    "I thought we could start doing stand-up routines to attract customers.
    But to be honest, we could use some help, so I thought we'd look for another member."
    They paused and cleared their throats.
    "So!"
    "Welcome, Ramza!"


    "Is this going to work?"
    Well, why not.

    We retreat to one of the back rooms -- I'm not entirely sure whose.


    "Wait, I never even agreed to do this..."
    "Just try to hit the right punch line!"
    Pia looks at me seriously.

    "Why would you even...?"

    "Pia didn't get it at first and tried to punch me in the face."
    "She did?!"
    "I thought it'd be more of an impact."
    "It would've."

    They swap this back and forth quickly; if they're maybe not the freshest material, they've got a good impression...Or maybe Pia really is that literal.
    Sakuya grins.
    "Anyway, just try to get your timing right."
    "For the punch."

    "You mean the punch line," I say, exasperated.
    Sakuya nods.
    "Yeah, that's good! Well, let's give it a try."


    With Shino waiting, we all scramble to the front desk.

    "I'm Sakuya." She poses, framing her face with her sleeves.
    "I'm Pia!" Pia, center stage, jumps up and down.

    "Umm..."

    No, no sense throwing it off this early -- I'm sure Pia's going to start, you know...Being Pia in about 5 minutes.
    "Well, thank you for coming out to see us. You must all have a lot of free time."

    "Say what?"
    And, as this seems like the invitation for a classical straight-man smack, I hit her on the shoulder with the palm of my hand. It's a lot of noise, but little effect, and Shino chuckles.

    "10 points."
    "What?! What's that?!"

    She returns to her previous topic smoothly.
    "But having free time isn't all that bad."

    Best let that slide, until I see where it's going.

    So Pia can step in.

    "What is?"
    "Learn from the tuna!"

    "Say what? Pia, you need to make sense!"
    And, as this is comedy, I give her a noisy smack on the shoulder.

    Once again, Shino at least seems amused.


    "No, not that..."
    [color=palevioletred]"They have to fight survive!"
    She looks so serious...
    "I-I'm sorry..."
    Uh, this comedy routine went downhill, didn't it?

    "I guess you can have too much free time. You end up wasting it on who knows what."

    "...Yeah..." Sakuya sighs.


    I think Sakuya feels the way I do.

    "Ms. Inkeeper?"
    Awww, she calls Shino Mom sometimes. I've always gotten the feeling that Sakuya and Pia were like sisters... But that's just sweet.


    Shino smiles and chuckles.
    "Very
    funny."

    Sakuya sighs, but I think Pia's just about having the time of her life.


    We regroup in the room.
    "Um, sure..."
    "I guess three is just too many. Mom seemed to like it, but she is my mom."
    "See, Sakuya had fun, too! It's all thanks to you, Ramza!"
    She comes closer and grabs my hands to thank me. I don't think she noticed a thing wrong...So eh. We'll call it worth it.

    "Umm...you're welcome..."
    "It might've been better if we'd all decided what part we were each going to play beforehand."
    "It's really fun to do it with everyone! Well, see ya!"



    All's well that ends well. My reward is several squid.

    And not long after, my pay for the day comes in:

    I WILL NEVER WANT FOR ANYTHING AGAIN~!
    I say that, but I bet it'll go down quickly.


    I plant some replacement crops in the evening, and then go out and just fight around in the desert for a while. No great adventures or prizes, though I did win some pineapples.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

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    Ah, culinary routes to fortune. Certainly beats monopolizing the eggplant market.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    ...*sigh* You make an excellent point, then.
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    But before anything else, it's prize time.







    ...One of those sounded kind of dangerous.

    The next day, my pink melons had grown in!
    A thrilling fact, which led me up to the kitchen for my usual light experimenting with various ingredients. This experimenting soon revealed...

    The end of all financial suffering, in handy juice form.
    This is more money than I have been able to make from one item ever, and I'm able to make 5 right now. I haven't even checked other strawberry plants I have going. Privera Forest shall henceforth run on Prelude of Love production.

    I head home, hoping to preserve at least a little daylight, and begin prepping the rest of my supplies for shipping.

    A little experimenting with the frying plan makes these tasty half-remembered dumplings!
    Though I guess I don't know if they're tasty, since I shipped them out right away.

    The dangerous one is obviously the fried udon.
    That is a lot of money for a seemingly easy to produce item.
    And gyoza are yummy!
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

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    Ah, Pia. I'd forgotten your... interesting grasp of logical progression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    The next day, my pink melons had grown in!
    A thrilling fact, which led me up to the kitchen for my usual light experimenting with various ingredients. This experimenting soon revealed...


    The end of all financial suffering, in handy juice form.
    Yep, cooking is a silly-good way to make some money.
    Thank you to zimmerwald1915 for the Gustave avatar.
    The full set is here.
    Quote Originally Posted by darthbobcat View Post
    There are no bad ideas, just bad execution.
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    A big thanks to PrinceAquilaDei for the gryphon avatar!
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    Deme enjoyed the update as usual, Pia's thought processes are interesting to try to follow. Have to laugh at the reference to whale island.
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sallera View Post
    Ah, culinary routes to fortune. Certainly beats monopolizing the eggplant market.
    True that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Javan View Post
    The dangerous one is obviously the fried udon.
    That is a lot of money for a seemingly easy to produce item.
    And gyoza are yummy!
    Ramza gets to eat so few of his own tasty creations, and he remembers even fewer. So many tasty foods he knows not of their tastiness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoon View Post
    Deme enjoyed the update as usual, Pia's thought processes are interesting to try to follow. Have to laugh at the reference to whale island.
    Pia is one of my favorites, so I find her thought processes interesting to follow as well...
    Glad you're enjoying it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

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    Chapter 15: Favor-able
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    Since it was raining hard on the morning of the 21st, I decided to send my more weary animals on a break for the day. Because the bulk of their work actually is just watering the crops, anyway.

    Well, let's get to the day!

    Kuruna had a...strangely hesitant request. Like she's afraid of anyone else finding out.
    Well, I'll take it, anyway.



    And see what it's about.

    "Yeah..." She's so nervous that I can practically see beads of sweat flying from her.
    I wait, and she does not elaborate.
    "And you want...?"

    She fumbles with the edges of her little shoulder-cape. Her eyes dart around the room.
    "I want..."

    "Yes...? Go ahead and spit it out!" At this, Kuruna blushes with emberassment. You'd think she were asking me to pick up grave sercrets or underwear or something.
    "I want..."



    "Yikes!" That was loud!
    "What's wrong?" She crosses her arms and pulls herself up with the haughty might of an angered elder.
    "I just didn't expect you to... yell."


    "Ah, that I did. My fault."
    I rub the back of my head, to her sigh. Never mess with a lady's repression.

    "Anyway, you head what I said. We shall not speak of it again, comrade. You know your mission."
    "Yep. I'll see what I can do for you. I should be able to find you some 'hornless food.'"
    Uh, what exactly constitutes hornless food as opposed to horned food? I mean, Kuruna's favorite thing seems to be chocolate. Does that not count?

    "Ahem! I told you to not speak of it again!"
    "Oh, right." Why all this secrecy? "But yeah, I think I know where to track some down for you. I mean, besides the usual..."
    "Really?!"
    "Yeah. Hornless food isn't hard to find if you know where to look!"
    She seems relieved.
    "Good to know."

    She folds her hands serenly.
    "So...this must remain absolutely confidental, you realize?"
    "Of course! None in the settlement shall be the wiser!"

    She fist-pumps.

    "Uh, what?"
    She covers her face in her hand, trying to disguise that moment of undisguised joy.
    "Ahem! Sorry. Lost myself for a minute there."

    "So...you looking for anything in particular?"
    "Yeah, I tried this once and am REALLY craving it today for some reason!" She begins a search of her pockets and sleeves for something. "Let's see. Where could it be...? There it is!"

    Well, this won't be hard...But I don't have a way to roast it. I need to buy an oven to make it.
    "Gimme some roasted yam!"
    "No problem!"
    I'm sure I can afford that. Right?
    "Like, soon-ish!"
    "What's the big hurry?"

    Yikes again!
    "I'll get right on that for you, then!"


    Good thing I now have money for the oven. If this had been yesterday, I might have had to refuse her.

    But I do get to buy one, so that's nice.






    And some recipes aplenty.



    I quickly run home and bake that yam!
    So I can deliver it as quickly as I can.



    Are we sure this isn't Will in Kuruna's body?
    "Whoa, there! Settle down!"
    She settles appropriately.
    "Oops! Forgot to thank you! You sacrificed yourself to save me...And now you would venture into the vile Hornless' lair to get this for me!"

    Overdramatic, much?
    "Oh, it's no big deal."

    She shakes her head, whisps of hair floating around her.
    "No, it's a very big deal, in fact. You are truly my comrade-in-arms. As elder of this settlement, there are...things it would not be appropriate for me to do, or to have. I'm...Beginning to realize this. By aiding me with this, you bridge that gap -- even, just a little..." She looks at me and sighs wistfully.
    I'm not sure I understand...I think there'd be nothing stoping her from eating whatever food she wants.

    "Please accept this gift as my deepest gratitude."
    "Thanks! I'm always glad to be of help. So, Kuruna... How did you actually get introduced to Hornless food?"


    "Okay." I look at her scrunched-up, angry face and I say, "You know, you're kinda cute when you crave Hornless food, though."
    "I do?!" She looks flushed and embaressed, "Uh, I mean, don't joke around about the Hornless! They are no laughing matter!"
    "Sorry about that."
    ...How is it relevant, though?
    "Anyway, Hornless Food is seperate from the Hornless.
    I mean, I'm basically using the Hornless' own food to fight against them!"

    From honesty to self-justification in five minutes.

    "Yeah, I guess you could look at it that way..."
    Ramza: Traitor.
    "Well, let me know if you need seconds!"
    "I will. Thank you so much, comrade."

    ...I need to make an effort. For peace.
    "You know, if you're using the Hornless' food, aren't they your 'comrades' as well?"

    Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and hoping for different results...

    She boots me out.

    And the sounds of eating fill the settlement.
    "She's tearing through that just like Collette would..."


    My reward?






    Recipes!


    Raven's sent me a...rather empty letter. This might just be an envelope with my name on it. I should see what she wants.

    Before I can tend to that, I do have a bit of shopping to do.

    "Is something the matter?"
    "I was just wondering how Marjorie can be so patient with Marian. She's such a handful..."
    Well, she might just be a patient person.

    Anyway, I buy a few pink melons, nothing extravagant, and move on to see Raven.

    When I walk into the shop, she stands and stares at me.
    "..."
    I stare at her, not entirely sure where to start.


    We say in unison, after intense examination of our feet.
    And, in that awkward silence, find there's nothing either of us can really say.

    At last, Raven hides her face in her hair and says, only looking at me from the corner of her eye,
    "...Gaius wanted me to come get you."
    "What? Oh, okay..."
    So it wasn't actually her idea.
    "Umm...Where's Gaius?"
    "Asleep upstairs. He has a cold."
    "Oh, I see."
    "..."

    "Umm..."
    I still need to know why I'm here, whoever asked me.
    "So...What should I do?"
    Raven turns to go through the store's supplies before eventually coming up with a skull.

    "Skull? Yeah, okay."
    I have one in storage actually, and quickly go fetch it.


    "Yes. Here's the skull you asked for."
    "...Thank you..." She says, after a long pause.
    It's then that I look down at her, accepting the skull...


    "Are you scared or something?"
    I do not ask if, having been turned away the way I was...if I'm the one she's afraid of.
    Or she could be afraid of holding bones of some sort of unknown hominid. They are kind of creepy... Yeah, there's no way I'm that important.

    0
    She looks at me like I've seen through her.

    "Oh... (I guess that's it...)"
    "..."
    "Then I'll help, too."
    "Huh...?"
    "I'll do the parts where you need the Skull, and I'll leave the rest up to you."
    I mean, I assume the only reason to need skulls is to craft something, right?

    At first she looks surprised, but then she regains her composure.
    "Ok..."
    "Should we get started then?"


    "Huh...?"

    But she says nothing, and looks away.
    "No problem..."

    Well, let's get to work!

    This is a bit more involved than my accessory-making, since it's a professional job and all. In the time that passes, we speak rarely, but without hesitating -- nothing important, just where to put things, where Gaius keeps this or that, whose turn it is to do what... Still, it's...different from our normal conversations.
    But eventually, it seems to take shape and I can do my part, at least.

    "Alright, is that it then?"
    "Yes."

    I turn and only then realize that she's standing directly behind me, very close. The air between us is a few centimeters of heated forge air, faintly shimmering.



    We both turn away, sharply embaressed from, well, nearly running into one another. But after a second, I turn back.



    "..."
    "..."
    I do not know how to continue... But then I think about what Gaius said. I have to keep saying something. Even if it's meaningless, little by little, she's waiting for me to say something.
    "Hey, Raven..."
    "What...?"


    I freeze for a second longer, having started a jump without knowing where to land.
    Do something, Ramza.
    Say something, you fool.

    Eventually, a little series of words, like flimsy toyflowers, struggle their way out of my mouth.
    "You think I could come again...?"

    "Huh...?"
    Raven's eyes widen. She looks in ever direction like a frightened animal, and then, at last, puts forth an answer:

    "Wait, that's --"
    I don't care about whether or not I'm helping, or in the building -- I mean, I like helping, but...
    What I really want to know is... What I really want to ask is...


    ...The opportunity pops like a soap bubble.


    Gaius saunters up -- for someone with a cold, he looks like he's doing pretty OK.

    "H-hello. I'm just visiting."
    "Both of your faces are red, did you catch my cold?"
    "Oh, no, that's not..."


    Raven is icily silent.
    "Oh well, whatever."
    His eyes catch on the subject of our labors.
    "Huh? Isn't that a Art of Attack? Did you make that for me, Ramza?"
    "Oh, no. I just helped out a little..."

    "...That's not...true." Raven mutters, almost too low for me to hear.
    "Huh...?"
    "I see, I see. So you did it for me. Thanks! Well, it wasn't like I was in a hurry."
    "What?!"


    "You said to have Ramza come over because you were in a hurry --"

    "Oh..."
    "Did you not get that? I was wondering why no one was bringing me any medicine."

    "Well, this request..."
    I show him the 'letter,' such as it is.
    "Yes. I guess Raven misunderstood."

    "Ha ha..." Well, the work *did* get done...

    "Well, all's well that ends well. Ramza, here. It's not much, but it's for you."
    "Oh, but..."
    "It's fine. Take it. Hope to see you around again!"


    Well, that's a request handled...And 6 pieces of wood for me.

    Since I'm by the bulletin board, I spot a request for Shara.

    Now, I have a spare waterpot I made as a test of skill, actually... So I should probably help her.

    When I see Marjorie running to escape the rain behind me, I have to flag her down and ask her...
    "How do you stay so patient with Marian?" It's worth asking, since Hazel, uh, asked.
    "It's a matter of perspective. There's a perspective you gain through love."

    "I...I guess that's one way of putting it..." A perspective you gain through love indeed.

    I head to the flower shop after that to find Shara openly sobbing.

    "Ramza...My favorite waterpot broke...I'm borrowing Grandpa's right now, but...it's just not the same."
    "I see..."

    She has favorites?

    "I need to find a new waterpot...Poor, poor Mr. Sprinkles."
    "And Mr. Sprinkles is...?"

    "I...see."
    "*Sob*..."
    "Don't cry. Shara, I'll--!"
    While I don't understand her pain, I am determined to fix it!


    "Get you a waterpot!" The other things I could say are just silly!
    "Really?!"
    "You bet! I'll pick out a special one."
    "You don't have to get me anything too fancy. I'll really be happy with any waterpot that works."
    "Leave it to me!"

    I find the spare I built and give it to her: it's a tin waterpot, like the one she lost.

    "Yes."
    "Thank you very much."
    She examines the waterpot I've brought her and smiles.

    "Although my waterpot was pink with a flower on the handle."
    "That sounds very nice."
    I don't have any paint or anything...

    "It was specially made by a friend of my grandfather. It was really one of a kind. But this one is special because it's from you. Thank you very much. Here's a gift to show my appreciation."
    "Thank you."
    I don't know if that really makes it special, but...I'm still glad.
    "Oh no, thank you!"


    I get a series of flower seeds, with something for nearly every season.


    "Well, I guess I can't say that." What brought this on...?
    "No, it's totally a lie! Then tell me why I can only manage to make lumps of coal?!"
    I see...
    "Sorry...I don't think that's what that phrase means."


    "R-ready for what?"
    "Ready to paint the mailbox rainbow --" She pauses momentarily and eyes me. "Whoops, I let it slip."
    "No, no, no. Not 'whoops'!"
    "Well, I mean, aren't mailboxes important? You have to look at one every day. You might get an important request. I thought I would paint ours to stand out."
    ...Ours?
    "I-I won't miss checking my mail! You don't need to worry about it, Daria!"



    Anyway, with my day's work more-or-less done early, so I do a little fishing. At the beach, I run into Sofia...

    "It is? Well, it's not too late for me to give her a present..."
    "What does she detest? embrodering material for her clothes! Like fish!"
    "Uh, don't you mean 'cooking ingredients'?"

    Well, I have a spare fish...

    "This is clothing material! Did you want me to design a new outfit?"
    "Ummm... yes." Whatever makes her happy.
    "Thank you very much. I'd like to show it to you when I'm done."
    "Ha ha..."
    "I'd planned on giving away fish-embroidered outfits to repay every gift I got today! But for some reason, Sofia said that wasn't a good idea! What should I do to thank people, then...?"
    Just leave their wardrobes alone...

    I decided to go into the mountains early, too.


    I may be getting near...But I also may be getting outside my competence zone.
    Running past a pair of minotauros leads me to a shrine gate of sorts...



    She was saying that she cooks lumps, but...What's that mark on the ground?
    I approach it cautiously; it even smells noxious.
    "I know it's rood, but what was it thinking when it stole it...?
    But..."

    I search around. No birds. No animals. No monster noises. The only sound is the falling leaves, one by one, rasping across the ground.
    "It's too quiet...Like there never was any howling... I need to tell Sakuya. I should get back to town!"
    Before I do that, I do grab the lunch, too.




    But first, I battle fiersome minotauros, who are pretty capable of ripping me open. But defeating them yields...

    The chance to mine for loads of copper, silver, and even gold!

    I bring that loot happily back home...

    Plant some crops...
    And then I spend the rest of the evening practicing my crafting.

    The next morning, I woke up...

    With Pia in my house.
    "Good morning...Why are you here?"
    "Well, it's raining! I was over by here, but then I got caught up in the storm, and this was the only place I could get to with fins out!"
    "...But why were you so close that you were on this side of the..."
    color=palevioletred]"So you'd just cast me out into the cold? How could you, Ramza? How could you?"[/color] She draws herself away, near-weeping.
    "Ah, ah, no! Nothing like that! Stay as long as you need."


    I selected a letter from Sofia from the mailbox today, though she was far from the only letter in there; these things sure collect.

    Anyway, I head out to the town; I figure I'll go to the settlement later today.

    "Hmmm..." That's an unusual question... I don't want to make it sound like I'm sad, but I think everyone's lonely sometimes.
    "With Pia, we're a three person family, so when I go off to travel alone, sometimes I feel really lonely. Well, I guess that shows how much I love this town."
    "I think everyone gets lonely sometimes."
    "Yeah, you may be right."


    ...That's so sad! *sniffle*




    I eat recipe breads to forget sad things.


    "Huh? Why?...I mean, specifically."
    "Oh, I'm sure it's no big deal! Now, eating, THAT'S a big deal!"

    Eventually, I get to seeing Sofia.

    "Yes."
    "Well, I wanted someone to kill some time with." She smiles with a smug aura. "Because I'm busy."
    "You must have a lot of free time..." Because she uses that specific opposite a lot...
    I shrug. "Well, let's go around town together."
    "No."
    "ummm....?"

    I look over at her face, wreathed in a cheerful smile.. She wouldn't say 'no' and mean it with a cheerful smile... Probably.
    "Let's go then."
    "No."

    ...I'll work it out.
    "I hope you don't mind the rain."
    "It's a favorite, but I'll make an exception today... Do you have an umbrella, Ramza?" She opens her parasol, which is better meant for sunny days than rainy ones, but I suppose at least tops mine... Since, well...
    "Actually, no. I just have to hope to drip-dry on rainy days." And not spend a lot of time as a wooly. Wool takes ages to dry.

    She comes close and grabs my arm with her free one, pulling me close to her, in the sort of jostled meeting of two people that exists in the tiny, enclosed world of an umbrella.
    "Well, you certainly couldn't possibly share mine."

    I slowed a bit to match her pace, getting hit by only most of the raindrops, and we jostled our way down the path.

    "Oh, really?"
    "Marian works in the apothecary. And Marian likes giving shots..." She shudders.
    "Do you hate shots?"
    "I l-love them of course! Never again!"
    "You must really must hate them..."

    We headed north next, to the plaza.

    She adjusts the umbrella slightly, lifting the edge to show off the plaza better; I try and move my arm, but since we've gone to the standard method of 'umbrella in the middle,' there's not much I can do to be convenient but to hold the umbrella, too, and take her hand in my hand.
    "It's very ugly, isn't it?"
    "Yeah, I do like the tree Wells always stands under when it's covered in flowers like this, but I'm sure it's still pretty in other seasons."

    "Yes, he does always stand here to sign you up for festivals that need participants. Those rules are hard to understand, aren't they?"
    "Yeah, they're pretty easy to understand...Well, when he actually explains them."
    Sometimes, I feel like he deliberately avoids them sometimes.

    She pauses for a moment and looks somewhere towards the horizon.
    "You can see the ocean beyond the trees."
    I follow her gaze, where the water shines a dark aquamarine -- the storm must be coming off from this, because the rain's so cool. Not cold, just pleasantly cool against the increasingly warm air.

    I wonder...when I lost my memory, was I going to see the ocean for some reason?


    "It feels great..."
    What a melencholy thought... My home might be all the way over the ocean...
    I shake my head.


    Well, she's Eastern, so the building's probably of an Eastern design, too?
    I consider pointing out that I've lived here almost a month, and hardly need a tour...
    But, eh.
    I can't say I mind.

    "A girl who hates traveling runs the gift shop, and a mermaid runs the bathhouse."
    It's interesting to hear Sofia's summary of this town, and the people who live here, too.

    "(Chef...? Oh, she must mean Blaise.) Sherman likes Blaise's cooking, too, doesn't he?"
    "No. And the inn orders all of its meals from the chef as well." She smiles, pleased that I recalled her father's near-constant presence at the diner. "She's got lousy taste!"

    Ok, I'm sure that was opposite...


    "Sous-chef? Odious?"
    Hmm...I'm pretty sure she was speaking oppositely there, but that looks like the expression one would use when talking about an odious person... Could I have found the limit to my policy?
    "How can she eat so much and not get fat?"
    "Ah, Collete. So the opposite of odious would be...'enviable'?" I guess that sort of works. Oppositing must be very difficult.
    "She eats whatever she wants, and never gets fat. How odious."
    You keep using that word. I do not think it means the opposite of what you think it means.
    "It is the opposite...right?"

    Regardless, we walk on to my house, or rather, the street where I live, now all but deserted in the rain. She looks up the long wooden stairs to my door, and to the mailbox where she deposited the letter that, ultimately, brought her here. Her arm slides across my chest as the umbrella adjusts.

    "Lively...?" It takes me a second to work out what she means by this. "Oh, that's right. Yes, it is quiet."
    She laughs, whether at the peaceful silence of the sharance tree's curling roots, or at my own slightly belated, but successful discovery of meaning.
    "Hmmm. I really hate places like this. I hate it. So I hope you invite me again."
    "Y-yeah..."

    We turn on to Flower Way next.

    "Could that be Shara? Then the opposite of cold is warm."
    ...How...elementary.


    Ah, she started moving a bit fast there...But then she turns an expectant gaze on me, so I have to remember what she was actually saying...
    "What? Umm... the laziest person... Least talkative person..."
    When did this become an opposite-speak quiz? I guess when I was doing so well to start with that I didn't even notice...

    "They're both honest girls, but..."
    "Both...isn't the opposite...So if they're honest then..." While I'm still stumbling with that one, trying to get my composure, Sofia continues on.
    "They're actually bad people.""
    "Ah! So confusing!"
    I regretted saying that. Sofia turned her head and fell silent, but after a second, I added, concilliatory...
    "But I know what you mean. They can be difficult to handle, but I do think they're sweet, deep down."
    At last she nods, and moves on towards the lake.


    "What?"
    I mean, factually, it's not that big, as lakes go...
    "I'm not scared."
    "Okay."

    "Are you..." Absolutely terrified? "Uh, yeah. It's nothing."
    "Okay then."
    But to someone who's afraid, it's probably much bigger than it looks...That probably explains a lot.


    "The brother really hates the little sister, and he is always distant."
    "Emotionally?" Let's start from the very beginning. The beginning is the place to start. Carlos is a known factor in all things.

    She laughs dismissively.
    "Like a librarian."
    "Librarian??? Does that even have a clear opposite?"
    Is it a barbarian? That sort of rhymes, and so feels much more opposite-y.
    "If you're thinking that hard, you probably don't understand, not even a little....Would you walk me home?"

    We walked back in the rain. In spite of my rather disapointing display at the end there, she seems happy; I guess it wasn't a complete loss.

    "Thanks again."
    "Any time...Just...take it easy on me..."
    She giggles into her hand, neither confirming nor denying my plea.

    My reward is 6 small eggs. I will have so much pudding!


    "Well, I guess I think about magic..."
    "That's some weak word association!...Fine. What sort of thing do you think magic is?"
    "Uh..." She is clearly looking for something, but...Um.... "I guess, uh, a happy thing? Yeah, a thing that brings happiness. I mean, even fighting magic can be used to protect people, and magic can be helpful in a lot of ways...That's the sort of witch you strive to be, too, right, Marian?"
    ...I mean, besides the part where you are some sort of mad witch-doctor.


    "But that's why I like you!"

    I head towards the blacksmith's, next; Raven's upstairs.

    "What?"
    "Oh, I just wanted to talk to you..."
    She fixes me with a cold stare.
    "I see. But I don't want to talk."
    "..." I see there's still progress to be made, in repairing things with Raven.


    The bulletin board has a rather urgent-sounding request from Collette today; I should get this done sooner rather than later.

    "Yeah. Need me to find some more food for you?"

    ...How did she make those noises?
    "Okay, okay! Calm down. What do you need me to find? Cake? Cookies?"
    "Uh...medicine!"
    "Medicine? Are you sick?!" Has the great eater at last over-eaten?
    She adjusts her collar nervously.
    "I'm, uh, a little under the weather, to put it mildly..."
    "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that! By the way, what kind of medicine do you need?"

    She looks even more uneasy. Her eyes dart across the room, and she turns her head to avoid being spotted.
    "Uh...I need medicine for me...stomachache."
    I was joking before!
    "A stomachache?! Isn't your stomach pretty much made of cast iron?"
    "Marian made me some medicine, but it looks like she accidentally gave it to someone else!"

    "I see. But you didn't answer my question about what happened to your stomach!"



    "What are you talking about? The medicine?" She taps her chin. "Let's see...the only people who came by were Sherman and Hazel. I must've handed it to one of them by mistake."
    Collette turns to me with a fiersome expression.
    "We gotta track down Sherman or Hazel and forcibly RIP that medicine outta them! Let's go, Ramza! We fight to deliver infinity gastric JUSTICE!"

    She goes charging out of the apothecary.
    "Hey, wait! Hold up!"
    "Poor Ramza."
    "...You know, she moves awfully well for a girl with a stomach ailment."[/color]

    We find Sherman nearby, which is a relief.

    "No. Is this it?"
    "This...stomach medicine...?" she stares at it for a long time.
    "I do need it, but Evelyn says to be on the safe side..."
    At this, Collette glares.
    "Please excuse me! Ramza! We're going to the next one!"
    "Oh, huh? Weren't you looking for stomach medicine?!"
    "Ramza and the sous-chef, you're both so not lively."[/color]
    "Ah, ha ha...Please, excuse me."

    Hazel's exactly where you'd expect her to be, another case of things being easy.

    "Oh? How did you know? I did actually. Here."
    "This...Invinciroid..."

    "Please excuse me! Ramza! Let's go back to see Marian again!"
    "W-wait! Wait, Collette!"
    "I'm not sure what's going on, but it seems like you've got a full plate."
    "Ah, ha ha... Please, excuse me."

    And so it's...back to Marian's.

    "Huh? That's strange."

    "What?"
    "Here it is! It looks like I had it in my pocket the whole time! No wonder I couldn't find it anywhere!"
    I give up.
    Packing my bags.
    Leaving town!



    "Now, now, at least we found it. Here's your medicine!"
    "Yay...huh? -- huh...? This is the medicine that will make me bigger?!" She looks at the bottle in her hands.

    "Yes. Although it's just a supplement. Just get some exercise and eat well and you'll grow on your own. Oh, and get plenty of sleep."

    "Awww...." She gasps dramatically, on realizing that I'm still here.
    I still can't get over that I was lied to.
    "Ha ha..."
    "Th-th-that information stays here! D-d-don't tell anyone, okay?! Here, take this!"
    "Well, it's not like no one knows already."
    "Ha ha ha..."


    My reward is a variety of medicines. Honestly, all this running around in the rain is exhausting...I could use some of...
    Wait.
    I should have this thought outside.


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  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Librarian and barbarian may not be opposites, but they do have an even stronger connection than just rhyming.

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  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Chapter 16: The Bachelor
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    You never want to think that you could use some medicine around Marian. It's just bad news.
    I head home and make all the eggs Sofia gave me into tasty pudding, shipping about half the pudding. The rest is for pudding-based emergencies.

    I don't know what those would be, but I bet they'd happen.
    I know my own luck.


    I also head to the Settlement, where I notice a request from Zaid. Well, actually, a lot of requests from Zaid...But one of them's sort of urgent.


    Which leads to him glaring impatiently at me when I enter the tent.
    "Sorry..."
    "There's a lot of stuff that this camp needs. If you're gonna hang out around here, you're gonna have to start pulling your weight!"
    I stared at the finger he'd pointed at me, trembling with burning fury.
    "Just watch me and follow my lead, and you'll pick things up."

    "Um, okay. Will do." Chill. Chill. "But didn't you have a job request of some kind?"
    I mean, shouldn't I be doing a thing?
    He relaxes from his fury.


    "I want you to get 3 Pineapple for me. You can get them from the piney monsters if you beat up enough of them. Go get 'em!"


    And without further ado, he goes charging off, to do...who knows what.
    "3 Pineapple... I...Uh, guess I'll go get that last one, then."


    Which didn't take as long as I was expecting; just a few quick punches and I managed to get it.


    So it was time to deliver it to an alarmingly grateful Zaid.
    "That's a pretty strong reaction for a few pineapple."
    It's not even like they're from far away.

    "Hey, don't sell yourself short. That was no easy task! And just in time --"

    A voice drifts in through the tent's entrance:
    "Zaid? Are you home?"
    And its owner follows just behind.

    "Ah! Good evening, com-"

    Seeing her, Zaid pretty much shoves me out of the way.
    "Here..."
    He's positively radiant, offering the pinapple like it was a true treasure.
    The pinapple I brought him. Apparently for Kuruna.

    [colo=royalblue]"Why are you giving me this?"[/color]
    "What do you mean 'why'? You mentioned that you wanted some Pineapple!"


    Kuruna smiles faintly.
    "You...You remembered me saying that?"
    "Of course!"
    ...Well, I guess as long as it does some good, I don't mind...

    Though her expression doesn't seem as pleased as you'd expect.

    "Is something wrong?"
    "Um, Zaid..."
    "Yeah?"

    "Do you mind if I share some of this?"

    "I can't eat all of this by myself. And food always tastes better when you share it with friends."

    Zaid's sweat glimmers in the dull light, his laughter trembling like the dripping beads.
    "O-Oh yeah! Totally! I was just thinking the same thing!"

    Kuruna turns to me, and I realize I am about to get a refund.

    "Thanks!"
    "Well, I wanted to see you, but I didn't mean to interrupt. I'll come back later. Thank you for the Pinapple, Zaid."
    "No problem! Any Time!"

    He turns and shrugs at me.


    "...No problem."
    I suppose...

    For my 3 pineapples, I get one. Somehow, I feel sorrow.

    As the moon rises and the clouds part, I head out into the valley yet again -- I don't know anything more about the situation there, but it never hurts to get stronger, right?

    But I do learn a little more about using my shortsword: the ultimate technique!
    Which looks, just to be clear...
    A little bit like...

    A swirling vortex of sword.

    The rest of the evening isn't much to account for: more fighting, and some practice at the forge that didn't amount to anything much.

    oh, but I did make some juice with that pineapple Kuruna gave me that I got Zaid to give her.


    The next morning rose with a light drizzle and a full harvest of strawberries, offering me a precious chance to make more Preludes to love. Also, some cabbages; I have another recipe idea, so I don't ship all of them right away, though.


    Daria has a request that sounds like she needs some help with... She can be demanding, but it sounds like she does need some help.

    But before I do that, I wanted to go to the settlement, since it's so convenient.

    "It's always nice to stop by the settlement! It's been so convenient; it's basically on my doorstep now. Magically."
    I smile with my eyes shut, and and when I open them...
    a burning flame greets me, as Will bobs directly in front of my eyes.


    I think I'm about to die of embaressment.
    "Wait, I never said anything CLOSE! to that!"

    The swishing of Kuruna's sleeves, swish, swish, swish, frantically disrupt the desert heat as she tries to snatch him out of the air.
    "Uh, Will must have accidentally gotten into the wine supply! He's clearly talking crazy!"
    Nice save, Kuruna.

    "Y-yeah, that must be it!"


    "That's got to be a downside for you, huh?"
    "I bet you could play all night."
    "No, they work at night, too...I'm sure."
    I can't exactly recall; did I ever live in a city? I've *probably* been to one, though...
    "...No way... (That'd be nuts.. Why would someone act that way?)"

    While I'm here, I buy some oil and flour for my cooking experiments.


    "Really?"
    "Yeah. She talks about them all the time. And she only has the nices thing to say."
    Is that the same as spoiling? They just seem like a very close family.
    "You two must be good friends, to hear all this."
    "I don't know about that. Seems like we just talk about our girls whenever we see each other.
    Shino's a tough inkeeper, but I've never seen her scold Sakuya or Pia outside of work."

    Hmmm...Well, it's a little late in their lives to really scold them, but I guess that doesn't stop Hazel any.

    After that, I head to Daria's house, to help her with her shelf. Of course, in the chaos, I don't really see a difference.

    "There you are, my assistant!"
    Just hearing those two words gives me a headache.
    "Oh no. Not this 'assistant' business again..."
    Daria glares at me with full fervor.
    "You're turning out to be a pretty good assistant!"
    "Uh, you don't really listen much to what other people say, do you?"

    "What? There's no time for that! This is a crisis!"
    "..." Sigh. Oh, well... "What's the trouble?"

    "My shelf broke!"
    "Ummm...so you need it fixed?"
    The air is streaked with rainbow flecks as the paint-tipped ends of her long blonde hair whip back and forth, stirred by her vehement head-shaking.
    "No! That's my job. I need you to bring me materials! I need 1 piece each of iron and wood."
    "Ok, I can manage that."
    "Alright! Now go!"


    I run out into the forest to fetch her the iron she needed.

    She beams and holds the iron to her chest like a treasure. It gleams in the bright light of her studio.
    "Rainbow! Good job! Now I can fix the shelf! Here's a token of my appreciation."

    "Um, I know I said this before, but I don't recall becoming your assistant."
    "Heh heh heh. You don't need to act modest. You do an amazing job!"

    Well.
    At least I'm a good assistant.

    "You should be proud!"
    "..."
    "No, I mean it: shout your accomplishments from the heavens, Ramza! No other shall proclaim their glories! I hope I can count on you next time!"
    "*sigh* I guess I'm not going to win this one."


    My reward is bronze and silver.

    Speaking of largely assumed relationships...

    My 'Master' has to ask me about fishing...I guess.


    "Uh, no, not yet..." I've never even seen one.
    "I have a lot of free time with my job. Although, sometimes groups come to the resort, and I'm really busy."

    "Is it alright to be so blase?!"

    Anyway, I came here to see Carmen!

    Ah -- uh -- uh. That's really flattering!
    "What are we playing today?"

    Carmen glared and planted her feet on the ground.
    "Oh, you! The atmosphere is really important! Oh, well. I just need you to answer some simple questions."
    "Okay. (I wonder what this is?)"
    "Well, here we go."



    ...This is a very specific question.
    "Well, I don't think that sort of thing really matters. What sort of girl a girl is doesn't make a difference to me; she should just be herself."


    Another very specific question...Why is she quizzing me about girls? Does she have a friend she's worried about?
    "Uh, well... That's a superficial question isn't? It's not like a girl who's cute with her hair long will look bad if she cuts it. As long as she likes her hair, it'll be cute."

    "Slender of plump girl, which do you like better?"
    I just shake my head.
    "These are...kind of silly questions, Carmen. I've said it; I don't care about stuff like that."
    "Okay! My, aren't you just a true romantic! 'It doesn't matter what she looks like!'"


    "...I'm not sure I can answer that one, Carmen. I mean, I don't actually know how old I am."
    "Oh, right...Sorry."
    "But I guess I don't mind being the mature one in a relationship."
    I didn't actually know most of these answers even existed in my head... I'm a little happy to find them like this, this great, untapped resererved of myself, hidden away where I hadn't found him.


    "???"


    "Carmen. Now you're just fishing."
    "No, now I'm not fishing! Just tell me!"
    "...Fiine, fine. I do like a girl who likes to fish."
    It is important to share hobbies, after all.


    Did he -- did I -- have a girlfriend? Or...more?
    "Oh, uh...Whatever. I don't think that matters. I'm not the sort of guy who'd bring down a brother's wrath..."
    I answer, without enthusiasm.

    I guess the one thing I know about my own life, when it comes to love, is the sort of marriage my parents had: it should have been impossible, but all that mattered...
    "All that matters is love."
    She flushes for a moment.
    "...There it is; that sort of totally dangerous sentiments!"
    "...Dangerous?"
    "Nevermind! Let me tally the results!"


    She looks down at her notebook, which I suspect is full of largely imaginary notes.

    "...I see. I got a good idea about you now."
    "Wait, who were you matching me with?"
    "We're done here now. Good work!"
    "Um, what are you using these answers for?"

    "I'm the enemy...?"
    She snaps back into focus.
    "Stop probing! Here's a present for taking the time to do this. Well, dimsissed!"

    "What was that about?"

    My reward is a cooked fish dish, fried skipjack.


    I buy a new headband at the blacksmith. I like making new things when I can, but...
    There's just stuff that's out of my league, and it'd be a big help.


    "I specialize in accessories."

    "What?"
    "Never mind..."


    "That's a proverb from Shino and Sakuya's country! But...Isn't their country in the east? Now that I think about it, that proverb is BIZARR-O!"
    "Uh, maybe their country has two coasts?"
    Pia has no business calling anything bizzare.


    "She was humming while she was mixing her medicine. With a ladle. In a cooking pot."
    Uh... Is that a problem...?

    "I-I don't know why you're asking me..."
    It sounds exactly what someone's grandma would do, though...


    I headed to the diner after that...

    But I ended up stopped at the door.
    I step back a little, dodging shards of porcelain.
    "What happened here?!"


    Right in the restaurant?!
    "Nobody got hurt, but it snatched the Salted Char right out of my hands!"

    Collette collected the last of the pieces of plate and shuddered, thinking about the attack just briefly before.
    "...I don't look that scary when I'm scarfing, do I?!"


    "Wait...It was a lion-like beast?"
    That produces a lion-like roar?
    "...I'd better head to Oddward Valley later! The townspeople have a right to eat in peace!"
    "I'm afraid to cook anything now! Who knows what vile beast the smells might attract?!"

    But that's something to do later.


    "Drink milk? Calcium's good for growth."
    "Uh...Anything but that..."









    To engage in justice, I gather up some fresh recipes.

    And, lastly, I headed to the Inn, where Sakuya was upset.
    "Oh no!"

    "The diner got vandalized! I heard it was a giant lion...Maybe it's the same one that attacked me..."
    "Don't worry. I'm sure I can handle it."
    ...Probably.
    I'm lying.



    After that, I went home and cooked up my experiment: sort of a fried cabbage cake.

    That evening, I mostly went out and gathered materials...

    And when I came home, I put those materials to work, making a new sword:


    Which took a bit of tinkering. It's not the most attack-heavy sword ever, but it does have some defensive boosts, and pairs very well with my preffered sword-and-board style of fighting.


    I also made a ring using an emerald I got. While maybe not an upgrade over the gloves I've been wearing (and they need an upgrade, but I just don't have the material...)

    But with a lot of upgrading, it's about the same, and it offers a strong defense against the wind magic of the Oddward Valley residents.

    Speaking of which...It's only very late, nearly midnight, but then...
    "...I forgot to water my yams!"
    And so I go dashing out into the night.


    Who on earth would have followed me at midnight?

    "Carmen? It's 11 PM!"
    "Then what are you doing?"
    "...Watering yams. No, wait, that's not important! About the lion monster!?"
    "Well, I was just fishing down by the falls. I got hungry, so I got my midnight snack out, and it came out of nowhere!"

    "Man! It was scary! I just got out of there as fast as I could."

    "So it's down there?!"
    She shook her head.
    "I'm not sure. I went to check on my fishing rod, and it wasn't there any more. Looks like it took my salted char, too... That's too bad."
    So this monster has a weakness for salted char... Maybe I can use some to lure it out. I'll get some ready before I go.
    "Thank you."



    I watered my yams...And did just a little fighting, to top off the night. Just a bit.

    And a super dissapointing chest.

    But the fighting earns me the last material I needed...


    For a new shield.

    Which, when it got some boosts, left me looking like this.

    And that seemed like a contented reason to sleep for the night.


    The next day gave rise to a letter from Pia, asking for some assistance...

    So I figured I'd just head to the Inn to answer for that, which leads me running into Sakuya.

    "We celebrated by putting candles in vegetables."
    "In vegetables?!"
    I feel like this non-sequetor describes Daria perfectly.

    Pia was waiting in her room, swaying uneasily with distress.

    "Yeah. Sounds like you've got a crisis?"
    "Totally! Our mop cracked, and it could break any second now!"
    She holds the lonely cleaning tool in her arms like a fallen friend, its limp head falling, nearly falling off, over her arm. Every inch of it is worn, and the marks of grime and hand, and even a faint imprint of scales, are worn deep into the handle.

    "Wow, it looks like it's in pretty bad shape."
    She laughs at the suggestion that it'd be otherwise.
    "Duh! I use it every day! Just about every second of every day! I want the bath to be sparkling! You hear me? SPARKLING!"
    She waves the mop so the head teeters dangerously.

    "Don't worry. It will."
    Her mop is not the mop that will rival the sun in brightness, but she does seem soothed by my comment, for a moment.
    "But I can't make things sparkly when the mop's kaput like this!"

    "Why not buy a new one?"
    "I'd sooner make out with a squid!"
    Strong words!
    "You're awfully attached to this mop."

    "It's got special powers or something!"
    Or something?
    "Anyway, Gaius said it just needs to be reinforced with Strong String!"
    "So you just need me to get you one?"
    "Exactamundo!"

    Well, luckily, I have one from last night's resource-collecting, so it's not hard to find.


    "Now I can make the bath SPARKLING! Thanks, Ramza!"
    "No problem!

    "I'm gonna scrub-dub-dub till the tiles erode! Then I'll make the dirt underneath sparkle!"

    She already begins trying to tie the mop back together with the string, and the look of bliss on her face is so powerful, I just have to ask...
    "Pia, does your whole life revolve around baths?"
    ...And comedy routines?
    "Yup! I love baths! Especially sparkling baths! I love it like a princess in a tower loves the knight who saves her, like a ship loves an anchor, like a fish in a stream loves a rock in the stream, like sprinkles and ice cream or tomatos!"
    "...You...Uh, lost me there." I admit, in the shape of such fervant, starry-eyed similes.

    "And I epecially-decially love people who take baths!"

    "Uh...gotcha."
    I do not gotcha. Except that maybe she'd like me to stop by and use the bath more.
    "Oh, almost forgot! Here's a reward for helping out! Are YOU gonna love THIS!"


    She smiles so happily as she gives me a different strong string.
    "Uh...yeah."
    "What's wrong, buddy?"
    "Well, it's just that you gave me a strong string."
    "I did!"
    "But...why?"
    "Because you gave me a strong string, silly!"
    "...All right, then."

    I give up.



    "Oh, before you go..."

    "What's the right answer?!"
    "Right answer?! What the heck's the question?!"
    Well, she liked that story about the tuna...Or, uh, was inspired to vengence by it. You know. Whatever.
    "Tuna?"

    ...
    "That's not even a fish!"

    Today's recipies:







    I don't think bread works that way, but whatever.

    At the bulletin board...

    Shara had a request today, too, it seems. I don't know anything about handling Monica, but I can try...I mean.
    There is literally no way to make Monica worse.
    Worse is just not possible.


    "What does she think I am, some senile old man? My mind's as sharp as a wolf's tooth!"
    Well, then there's no better place to start maintaining it from.

    But onto the request.

    "I have a small problem that I wouldn't mind some help with."
    "Okay. That's what I'm here for."
    "It's about Monica...I'm sure you've noticed, but she's very shy around people. That's why she's always talking about biting them."
    So that's why...
    She sighs.
    "That might be okay now, but I'm worried that she won't grow out of it."
    I'm not sure it's Okay now. She has sharp teeth.
    "So I was hoping that you might be able to give me some advice."
    How to help her overcome her shyness so she won't bite me...

    "Hmmm...That's a tough one..." Well, I guess the first thing is to make her feel comfortable with more people. "What's something that Monica likes?"

    "Hmm.... I can't see how that'll help us, though..."
    We both pondered the unsolvable dillemna of a young girl's heart.


    "Oh, wait..."
    "Did you think of something else?"
    "She had a favorite fairytale when she was younger."
    "Really? What was it?"
    "Well, it was called "The Rose Prince."
    Shara cleared her throat and launched into a summary.
    "One day, a handsome prince saw a very beautiful girl in the forest. He could see she was terribly lost, and wanted help. But he didn't want her to see him. She would recognize him as the prince, and fall all over him just like all the other girls in the kingdom."

    "So the prince took his bouquet apart, rose by rose and left a trail of roses for the girl to follow to safety. But the girl was faster than the prince expected. She caught him as he was laying down the last rose at the end of the forest."

    She smiled at the end, with the fondness of a story that she'd read more than once; I can't imagine it wasn't precious to her once, too.
    "Monica loved that story. She said she'd marry a prince like that some day. Although now she's too emberassed to read it anymore..."
    "Heh. That's cute."
    Her eyes widened.
    "That's it! Ramza! Don't you think Monica might have an easy time talking to 'The Rose Prince'?"
    "Uh, I guess so?"
    Where would we get a prince?
    "He's someone who she's always admired. I'm sure 'The Rose Prince' could open her heart!"

    "But how can she talk to a character from a fairytale?"
    "Isn't it obvious? You'll become him!"
    "Huh?! I-I'm supposed to become 'The Rose Prince'?!"
    Her devious smile put one in mind of nothing so much as the limbs of an orchid mantis, weapons made to hide in flowers.
    "You said that you would help, didn't you...?"

    "I did, but..."
    I dislike this toying with my identity...
    "It's fine if you can't." That tone. The tone indicative of things not being fine.

    "L-let's do it! Anything if it'll help stop her biting me!"
    "That's the spirit! I'll go talk to her in a little bit. I'll have her send you a letter soon."
    "I'll watch the mail."

    "Ramza..."
    "Yes?"

    "I'm 'The Rose Prince!' She's in good hands."
    She curtsied like a proper lady in a perfumed sweep.
    "Tee-hee. Thank you very much, Rose Prince."


    We'll have to see what comes of this...
    And begin preparing to take on that lion monster.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

  23. - Top - End - #143
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Nice update.

    Leaves me somewhat curious as to the other conversation options with Carmen.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    The Rose Prince request is so cute. It's kind of a pity Monica isn't more useful as a partner, though.
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  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I need to adventure with party members (or animals, or anything) more often; for some reason, I usually just forget to go, often since I'm going in the evening.

    Carmen doesn't seem to have particularly interesting responses to the questions; I changed things in that section up heavily, because it sounded really repetitive otherwise. All answers of the "I don't care" type had the same "You have a big heart," all questions you answer the way that best aligns with her description of herself (she sees herself as a plump, younger tomboy with short hair and a brother who likes fishing) with "My! You just get it!"
    Watch this post in the morning for me looking to see what her other two responses are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Another enjoyable update, the Rose Prince is definitely cute. Also since I missed commenting, for Ramza's sake, I hope Evelyn doesn't give him a fish-stick outfit for him birthday, assuming he ever figures the day out.
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    The Rose Prince event is pretty great; I ended up taking a lot of screenshots simply due to how adorably expressive Monica is during it.

    Also, I'm looking forward to handling Ramza's birthday. He does have one that the game celebrates, with just the right amount of detail for me to enjoy dealing with it... Of course, at the rate we're going, the game might be over before then. *shrug*

    Chapter 17: The Rose Prince
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    Though, I suppose trying to deal with that lion-like monster will have to wait until the evening.


    "Hmmm, like what?"
    "Like giving something Sofia hates to someone and have them give it to her."
    You haven't tried it, have you?
    If not, is this going to be a request?
    "Oh, I wonder. (That was so funny.)"

    I head to the blacksmith's next, and yawn loudly while looking over their wares.
    "...Are you tired?"

    "When I looked outside to see what is was..."

    Raven tenses like a cat in the middle of my spooky story.
    "Huh? What's the matter?"
    "...Nothing."


    "Although when I stay in front of it too long, I feel like I'm going to die."
    Don't do dangerous things like that, Gaius.
    "I-I see..."


    "Well..."
    You do use it to shoot people full of strange medicines.
    "It's so annoying. And I'm here using it to help people..."
    "Oh." Right. Yeah.

    Next, I headed to Sherman's place, where Evelyn's shop was open for business for a change.


    ...I'm relieved, though I can't say I want any furniture now.


    Now, as for clothes...I'll think about those later, I suppose.


    "Oh, yeah? How'd that go?"
    "The chef brough out a generous portion of food, and Father was elated! Since Father has such a miniscule apetite, he always goes on hunger strikes!"
    "Eee...That sounds like it ended badly."
    "Father was so joyful that he decided to pleasure with a song! He got in the waiter's face and sang that he couldn't feed on the powerless when his cup was already overfilled! "
    ...That statement might be too complicated to opposite cleanly.
    "(The scary part is...I'm sure Sherman, Sofia, and Evelyn all thought this was normal behaviour!)"

    As part of trying to deal with that monster, I head to the desert to try and catch a char...

    Which leads to me catching a lot of other fish.

    But I get it eventually.

    After that, I do have one last person to see... A certain artist/birthday girl.

    "So I've heard."
    "Huh? Did you know?"
    "A few people mentioned...It's not much, but I do have a present, of sorts."



    I make my bait...

    After that, I headed up into Oddward Valley, to face down my foe...

    But as I go up to the cliffs, I hear a great rumbling behind me...


    As giant spiked walls of earth rise out of the ground in all directions, turning the space into an arena.

    Why is nature so malevolent?

    And now monsters just spawned into my path...And there's just no way around them at all.
    "Got no choice but to take care of these monsters..."


    My new sword cuts through them like, well, like a sword through a bell pepper (ghost)...Among other monsters.

    They're down before I can think, practically. Nice work, me.


    And when that happens, the path opens.
    "Whew! The path's clear now!"

    I walk forward, just a little, and...


    Yes, again.

    "These guys look tough... It's do-or-die!"


    I whirl through them in a cluster without too much trouble, though I am taking a few hits.


    My heart pounding, I walk up the path to the big empty circle...

    And place down my offering of salted char.

    I'm not, you know, crazy, though...

    I'm retreating to a healthy distance, thank you very much.

    When I've reached the edge, I see something emerging from the forests...

    That's...pretty big. Everyone's lucky they got away with so little damage.
    "So this is the monster that attacked Blaise and Collette! You'll pay for that!"

    But he is not alone.

    "Wait, another one?! Which one attacked the diner?!"
    I don't want to go attacking giant lion monsters who could fit my head in their mouths willy-nilly, you know.


    A single roar emerges from two throats, perfectly unified, and split to rend the air. The sound could boil air.
    "Guess it doesn't matter! They're both about ready to make me their meal!"
    Nevermind all that fish I worked so hard for! Lazy, lazy lions!


    The two go quite a way's apart, and I chase after, well, the one that's in my face.


    Crimsone, the red one, attacks with shining fang...But, of course, he's pretty much always in the path of my sword, so we exchange quite a few blows.
    In the meanwhile, the purple one, Amaranthine, hits me with waves of wind that my ring takes much of the sting out of...But I don't want to have to deal with a distant enemy.

    I run towards him, essentially pulling Crimsone with me: He doesn't seem like he can do anything if he's not right in front of me, which, uh, kind of comes as a relief, honestly. Two enemies who could snipe me at range? No, thanks.

    So now I've got my two-on-one, and all I can do is whirl my sword around, trying to catch them both in as many blows as possible. I'm not really doing anything but working on automatic -- in the heat of battle, everything's gone but trying to survive. I like that, even if it's a bit less peaceful than mind-numbing through work.
    ...After all, I'm...not sure why I seem to know the names of these guys. It was just sort of...there...

    This line of thought is interrupted by a supersonic roar knocking me around.

    Too much thinking! Not enough running!

    And while he has the advantage...

    Amaranthine heals them both.
    "Oh, come on!" I've been working hard!
    Well, it's not like I can't heal, too -- I have food and all ...But I can't let him do that again!


    I chase after Amaranthine and keept my blows mostly focused on him...

    Until he collapses, and the magic for the Return spell brings him back to the Forest.
    A deep, gutteral roar fills the air...


    Taking out one just made the other more angry!
    "Nice kitty?"
    Well, nothing I can do!


    But slash him until he can go be with his friend.


    And on the opposite side... Something parted open.

    The hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Is there going to be... Another orb?


    Well, I guess it's only natural. It seems that everywhere I go... There's some place designed for an orb like this, like a shrine.
    I approach it gingerly -- I can't quite explain the mix of terror and excitement I feel; I can't hear the rain over my own heart, and the blood rushing through my ears.

    For some reason, these orbs, that these strange places seem almost waiting for...Contain pieces of "me." The person who is always standing behind me; the person who I used to be, and I guess never really lost. At the same time...
    I'm getting comfortable here; what'll happen if I find something that I can't ignore, and have to leave? I can't help but be afraid of that.
    "What memory will I get back this time...?
    Where was I before...?
    Why did I come here...?"

    The orb's silence is almost beckoning.

    "I hope it all becomes clear, but..."
    All I can do is reach out my hand and see what I find.


    It's a sharp jolt that leaves a metallic taste in my mouth, like being shocked.


    In the darkness of my memories, I hear a storm raging. Is this the past? The present? The rain falls heavily on that day, too.


    The voices, and even the silences, are indistinct -- I can't say if they belong to me, or to someone else.

    This one, clearly, isn't mine, though he's a little difficult to place: I think he might have been...a commanding officer of mine, maybe? My boss?

    I answered back. I wasn't entirely sure then, and I was exhausted from running through the mud.


    With that weight on my shoulders, all I could do was chase after them. His trust was like being pushed.




    Eventually, I came upon it -- or near to it...A little town, where the monsters I was chasing went to hide...



    But...What happened then?


    The memory fades out, and all I'm left with is the very real, very present, sound of rain.

    "I was chasing after them...
    The racoon...The skelefang...Crimsone and Amaranthine, those two...
    And one more..."

    I try reaching for something about it -- an image or a name, a shape or...Something!

    ...No, wait. There's one more! There's one more! I'm here for a reason, and... And that's my responsibility!

    "But...I have to go...! He's dangerous... I can't rest knowing that he's out there!"


    And then, Ramza of yesterday?
    Then, maybe we can figure out what we owe one another, maybe?

    I slept roughly that night.

    And woke up to more rain and a field full of the season's probably last round of pink melons, ready to be harvested and turned into preludes to love... Well, when I get strawberries.


    "You're right! I hadn't noticed."
    Where do my wooly clothes go when I'm in human form? It's a mystery even to me. How do they get ripped... Unless they've been ripped for a while now.
    "Let me take care of that for you."

    She took off my bandana and stitched it, making tiny, meticulous stitches with a light blue thread.
    "You know, it's a little unusual to see a wooly wearing clothes; how did you come by them?"
    "Um, well...I'm not really sure. But I like them anyway. They're, you know...secure, maybe? Like... I've always worn them." Also, I can't tell her that, as a person who has at least one body in which wearing clothes is essential, wearing clothes. Is. essential. "They're cozy, and I think, sometimes..."
    I take off my little acorn cap and look at it. Someone knitted it personally -- it's not a proffessional job. It's warm, and has been on my head for so long that it smells like myself...And, oddly enough, of nutmeg. It puts me in mind of a fireplace, somewhere, just out of reach. I'm not even sure if it's a real fireplace, or one I dreamt up, only...
    "I think sometimes that they must have meant something special, once."

    "I can only hope it'll mean something special again, comrade."
    She snaps the bandanna.
    "Okay, all hemmed up!"
    That was fast!
    "Did you use magic to help fix it?"
    "Heh. No, this was good old-fashioned sewing!"
    "Well, thanks."

    With that done, it's a little easier to go about my day...

    Where I have a different sort of heroics to tend to than fighting monsters.
    I guess I should run by the flower shop to pick her up.
    Though when I went there, I noticed an interesting-looking...

    Magic seed. A lilypad I can ride around on? Alright, I'll bite.

    Ahem. But, back to business!

    "Where is Monica?"
    "She's waiting for you in the plaza. Please hand her this 100-rose bouquet."
    She hands me a bouquet of flowers that's larger than my head; I mean, I didn't count... But the overwhelming smell of roses assures me that it probably is a real 100-rose bouquet.

    "How do you expect to play the part of the prince without it?"
    "ha ha..."
    How exactly do you play the part of a fairytale prince, anyway? I don't want to lose her in the woods.
    "I'm leaving Monica in your hands."
    "Alright, then!"

    I'll make stops on the way; I have a feeling my hands full with Monica!

    "I especially like the moment you pass out from the heat."
    "What?!"
    Passing out around fires is bad!

    While not as defensively powerful as my Defender, the Sakura is a much more powerful sword, and I don't think I could make something like it just yet... It's not like I'm hurting for money, either.


    "What's the matter, Raven?"
    "...Our shop's sales are a little..."
    "Sales are down?"
    "...They aren't selling."
    "What?"
    "Gaius likes giving stuff away..." she glares at the floor below her.
    "I-I'm sorry... Well, I made a big purchase today, so maybe it'll turn around?"
    "...Maybe.
    ...Thank you."



    "Simple! As you can plainly see, it's dysfunctional! During a downpour, it blocks out the sun. It even comes in useless when I need to smash bugs in the summer!"

    "Uh...so it's useless in the rain? Isn't that the whole point?" I thought about the two of us on that walk... "Wait, It wasn't that bad..."
    "I...used the same one that day, since I knew you have so many umbrellas." Her admission comes with a red face.
    "Well, it was a good call."

    At last, though, I make it to the town plaza, where my princess with sharp teeth awaits.


    She stares at the offered bouquet and snarls.
    "Rrrrr!"

    Oh dear native dragons, this has already started out badly!
    "Ow, hey! Calm down, Monica!" I pry her from my arm. "I thought we could spend some time together today."
    "What are you talking about?! Quit being weird or I'll bite you again!"

    "I gave you the roses because...It's only for today, but I'll be your Rose Prince."
    I extend a hand cautiously, unsure of whether or not to prepare it to be bitten.
    "So..."



    She gasps and hides her face.
    I guess I can make a reasonably impressive prince, if only to a little girl.

    After taking a second to compose herself, she crosses over to me, her face red as her hair.
    "W-what?!"
    Uh, actually... I don't really have a plan, but...What sort of thing would be a good idea...
    Well, Wells probably doesn't let her go to places with monsters often: let's start there.


    She grumbles and stomps her feet, and for a second, I think I've gone wrong.
    "I wanna go to Vale: Icy Rosebush."
    "Very well. Let us depart, Princess Monica."


    Ah, laying it on a bit thick...

    We make our way over there quickly. I need to get a better look at this area sometime soon.


    "Wow!"
    All of Monica's stubborn silence melts like ice under the sun; she runs about, watching her breath rise in white clouds of fog.


    She spins and turns back to me, practically singing out her words.
    "Amazing."

    I walk to stand next to her in front of the frozen rosebush, when she seems to have come to a stop.
    "Monica."

    "Would you like to go anywhere else?"

    "Yeah, you'll be safe with me."
    She beams, and for a moment, she's every inch Shara's little sister, with that same bright smile.
    "Yay! Yeah!"

    "Well, let's go to Oddward: Rainbow Falls next."
    "Okay!"

    She races ahead of me all the way across the town.

    "It's a rainbow!"
    She turns back to me and makes the arc of the rainbow with her hand.
    "Look!"
    Then she paused and seemed to realize she was adressing not some familiar person, but a relative stranger.

    "Yeah. It's beautiful, isn't it?"


    "Hm...?"
    ...That's not a good silence.
    "What's the matter?"
    She just shakes her head and smiles. I was honestly expecting her to snarl and threaten me... But I guess the allure of all these distant places is working.
    "It's nothing! Let's move on!!"
    "??"

    "Okay. Let's go to...Privera: Flower Field."
    "Okay!"


    "So, you come here often?" ...Wait, that was not the correct phrasing. Oh, well.
    "Shara brings me here a lot. I help her take care of the flowers."
    "Really? You do a great job!"


    She runs around the flowers, leaps over the more delicate ones, and flings her hands into the flower-scented winds, giggling to herself.

    After a second, she composed herself and ran back to me.


    "Rarr!"
    Aaah, the demon's back!


    "L-let's keep going!"
    I say as I dodge eager fangs.
    "We should go to Sol Terrano: Star Dunes...But for the best view, we definitely want to go after dark, alright? Is that okay with you, Monica?"

    "Oh, don't worry. She said I'm watching out for you today."
    "Really? Then it's OK!"
    "Yeah! We'll go, then!"

    Between then and now, though, I guess there's still some business to attend to; it's the end of the week, so the Diner's closed, but Collette's around...

    To thank me for my efforts.


    Was it long ago, or...Does Pia have amnesia, too? Uh, it's probably the first one. Because, seriously. There's only so much ridiculousness to go around.
    "What sort of dreams are they?"
    "I don't remember much, but the dreams are always sad..."

    "..."
    I...I think Pia needs a hug. Maybe just on an existential level.


    "Fortunes?"
    "Yes, it's a tradition from my homeland! I can tell you how your day will go!"

    "However, if your reading is 'poor' or 'horrible, something bad will happen!'"
    "Wait...Something bad...?"
    "Well, the chances of that are low, so I think it's worth the risk! I think so, at least..."
    "Sounds, um, interesting..."

    "Sure."

    "Um...Okay..."
    I shake the box around and pull out a card.
    "It says 'Uncertain'..."

    "Which means...?"
    "Uh, nothing, really..."
    Shrugs all around.


    The afternoon was spent mostly fishing, waiting for one thing to happen...


    For the stars to come out for Monica to see.
    "Look at all the stars!"

    I walk up beside her slowly...Come to that, I think I said the same thing, didn't I?
    "It's an amazing sight, isn't it?"
    "Yes! It's wonderful!"
    "Good."
    I wonder if Kuruna would be mad I showed this spot to a human... Well, probably.
    But I think, if she saw this smile, she'd understand. It's a pity I don't see it so often...

    "Monica, can I ask you something?"
    "What is it?"
    "Why don't you let people talk to you?"

    The wounded silence feels like it could go on forever.

    "...It's just...I...When people talk to me, I get really nervous."
    She balls up her hands into fists and then relaxes them, repeating the process a few times.
    "And then I get mad at them for making me nervous and uncomfortable! And then I bite them!"
    "I see..."
    She squirms.
    "I...I know I shouldn't do that."
    "Well, when you explain it like that, maybe it's not so bad."
    "Huh...?"

    Don't panic! I have not changed my position re: biting. But I guess she's not some sort of feral jungle child.
    "Oh, I mean, you definitely shouldn't bite people. But it's good to hear that you know it's wrong."


    Wanting to change is the first step, and without it, everything else isn't possible.


    A cautious smile spreads across her face, but then becomes completely earnest, and bright as the stars.
    "You really are like the Rose Prince!"
    "Y-You think so?"
    "Yes."

    "Thanks."
    Success! Shara will be relieved, too.

    "Well, shall I walk you home?"


    I took her back under the stars.

    "Was it fun?
    "Yes! Very much!"
    "I'm glad."[/color]

    "What?"


    She walks forward, and before I can do the correct thing and flee, flee for the hills...

    It takes all of her reaching on her tippy-toes, but she leans up and kisses my cheek.



    Then she runs inside.

    "..."

    Ha...I guess if love's completely hopeless for me now, I could always wait a few years, ha ha...
    Not that my situation would change any, though...





    That evening, I spend preparing my field for summer. I've planted a few out-of-season crops, to try and get some withered grass going...I've heard that works alright. I also did some logging, but we don't have a lot of stumps in my field right now. Bummer.


    Mechanics Corner!
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    Boss Fight - Amaranthine and Crimsone
    I'll work on getting a video for this fight, since I do have a save-state for it...(Well, I took one, but it was the wrong format. Still working on these things.)

    I didn't have much trouble here, but I did have a lot of trouble in earlier runs -- preparation is key. Amaranthine is primarily magic-based, and all of his attacks are wind elemental, so if you prepare for that, you're gold. He's got a couple of options for wind attacks -- blades, little cycloney things, that big roar -- but for the most part, you have very little warning as to which he'll be doing. He will, however, pause and strike a pose before doing any of his special attacks, so if you're not fully prepared for those types of attacks, you'll just want to start running away when he does that. Being wind elemental in all he does, he resists wind attacks. He will also sometimes heal the two up, and I *hate* that.

    Crimsone's primarily a physical attacker, as you've seen; other than hitting you a bunch of times in quick succession, and a charge attack, he doesn't seem to have any special moves. He resists fire element attacks, being fire elemental, but I don't know if that impacts his damage type.

    Both of them are weak to love attacks, but to be honest, if you find a love crystal, I'd use it for making that one skill EXP-boosting accessory...But it doesn't hurt, if you're stuck. More usable advice is to not use elements, since you'd have to switch mid-fight. You'll want to weaken them together, when you can, since killing one berserks the other... But I'd prefer to take out Amaranthine first, because he heals. Just be ready to take the survivor out quickly.

    The Water Lilly Magic Seed, or a specific pair of shoes, the Water Shoes, are required to progress with the storyline after this, so there you go.

    Oh, and while I'm here... Let's talk about clothes! Most of the clothes are boring pallet swaps, and the one that isn't, a bathing suit, I'll be picking up for the heck of it. But, in case you wanted to see them, or wanted me to wear one, here they are~!

    Yellow

    White

    Red

    Black

    Blue

    Cobalt? These outfits are tiny.

    Purple

    So, uh, send in requests if you want one.


    While I'm at it... Pick 3 People to Prioritize for Requests, since I've been doing them at semi-random for a Bit.
    Please note that Zaid, Kuruna, and Ondorus do not have more requests until later in the plot. Just the way it is.
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    Moemon Leafgreen (Complete)
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    Rune Factory 3 (Ongoing)
    Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (Ongoing)

    Azure Dreams (On Hiatus)



    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    The Rose Prince event was cute.

    Umm Requests should be take from
    Pia
    Raven
    Monica or Daria (Monica because of well, this last update, but there's also the Rainbows to consider, so whichever)
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Nice update. My votes for request focus: Gaius, Raven, and one vote for not focusing on anyone and randomly taking requests from other villagers.

  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Daria
    Pia
    Marian

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