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  1. - Top - End - #151
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Great LP.

    I vote for Sofia, Carlos, and Raven.

  2. - Top - End - #152
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Dragoon's Avatar

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    May 2007

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

    Enjoyed the update like usual and agree with Javan.

    Let see votes for prioritize for requests: Sofia, Pia, Raven.
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


  3. - Top - End - #153
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Ehehe. Let's see... Carmen, Marian, and Daria, since those are the three I've seen the least of in my own playthrough.
    Last edited by Sallera; 2014-07-23 at 11:46 AM.
    Wriggle avatar by memnarch.
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    Current characters:
    Faien
    Aya
    Sei

  4. - Top - End - #154
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Deme's Avatar

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

    Chapter 18: Of Sea and Air
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    The next morning was bright and sunny, after a string of rainy mornings...

    And in my mailbox, Shara clearly wanted to hear about last night. Actually, it's a precious letter.

    Luckily, she was just down the stairs, having dropped off the letter but a moment before.

    "How has Monica been since last night?"
    "After coming home from her date with you, I feel like she's really opened up to everyone. She's still just a child, but she seems a bit more grown up."
    Well, that's good. I'm glad my advice helped her a little.
    "Oh, and she won't stop talking about you."

    Shara giggles.
    "So much so that it almost made me jealous."
    "Aw, shucks."
    Who knew I was alright with kids?
    "Really, I couldn't have imagined seeing her like this at all. Really, thank you so much."
    That seems a little much; all I did was talk. It was Shara's idea to give me an opening.
    "Oh, no, I couldn't have done it without your help. You're giving me too much credit."
    "I'm glad to hear you say that. And now, I have a gift for you."
    "Oh, I don't need anything..."


    "...?!"
    "I gave it to Monica to hold. Why don't you go see her, Prince?"
    "Th-that again...?" We'll keep this up until it's enforced!

    On the way around town, I spotted Sofia, who seemed to have something on her mind.

    "Uh... I'm almost afraid to ask what form of 'persuasion' you resort to."
    "Service with a smile, of course! Customers detest it when cashiers beam with kindness, so she should never smile!"
    Well, she already does that. Now she just needs to do the opposite.
    "What was Raven's reaction.
    "She scoffed at the suggestion! In fact, she nodded vigorously."
    "I'm more surprised that Raven nodded vigorously than anything else..."


    "Don't give him any food. EVER. He'll keep coming back for more, like a trained puppy!"
    The first time Sherman has ever been compared to a puppy, or anything smaller than a hibernating bear!
    "I'll be sure not to feed his addiction, then."

    Anyway, I swung by the flower shop to see Monica, who flushed bright red the moment I entered the room.

    She gave me a carefully-iced slice of cake.
    "Wow. This is a cake, isn't it? Did you make it?"
    "Yup!! I baked it with Shara."
    "That's great. I can cook, too."

    "But Shara's better, so I'm going to have her teach me lots! I'll let you have some of my next batch!"
    "Okay, thanks."


    Pia has a request for me to get to, too... Part-time work? As a comedian?
    Well, it can probably wait until I've finished up around town, right?


    "Let's talk."
    "Why?"
    Her stare is as empty and wating as an open grave.
    "Well, I don't know why, I guess..."
    "I told you before not to talk to me if you didn't need anything."
    Two steps forward, and two steps back...
    "Oh...Sorry."


    Gaius's head quickly retreated behind the divide, where he'd been watching us.
    "Sometimes it's like swimming upstream..."

    "But thanks to everyone here, she's begun to open up. Even just since you came here... I think it takes getting used to; the impossible suddenly opening up."
    He offers, with a concilliatory shrug.
    I nod, accept it, and move on...


    "Mine uses some foreign technique. My grandma rejects that a little.."
    Yours is also wildly unsafe.
    "But magic treatment is a little old, you know?"

    "Yeah."
    I mean, I guess everything's...uh, wildly unsafe, until you know more about it.
    "So I'm going to prove her wrong, no matter how many sacrifices I have to make!"
    "I think that's missing the point..."


    "She told me that I should go home if I wasn't going to buy anything."
    Sounds like her.
    "But I was totally going to!" Carmen sighs. "Seems like I'm really loud. I guess I don't know how to adjust my volume."





    I collect my recipe breads...
    And then I go see the Inn.

    While I'm here, I'd like a fortune read:

    "That means you should have better luck fishing."
    "Oh, really?"
    "Yeah! It's pretty useful, huh?"
    I pause and consider this, and the girl in front of me.

    "I don't know...Not really a fan, I guess."
    ...Well, that's not good, then. She sees me slightly crestfallen expression and adds,
    "But they do so much for me, so I have to be somewhat grateful."
    Hmmm...I'm not exactly sure what that means... But I also don't think it does much for me.

    Alright, now for that job!


    "Wait! Scrubbing? That wasn't in the request!"
    Neither was Booyah!
    "I just knew you wanted to get on your knees and SCRUB! It must be telepathy! I feel like I can hear you inner voice!"
    "Um, maybe you could listen to my actual voice first..."
    She clapped her hands together, drowning out all voices real and inner.
    "Chop chop, buddy! Get to scrubbin'!"


    And that's the story all about how my life got flipped turned upside-down...

    By which I mean, how I ended up scrubbing the bath, listening to Pia's song drifting over the walls. It was some silly thing with nonsense lyrics, but it relaxed me all the same.


    "...Wait, why did I just help...?"

    Drifts Pia's voice from the woman's bath.
    "Oh, yeah. Totally."
    "Then just wait here. I'm almost done, too."
    "I could use a break." My muscles are sore; my knuckles are scraped; it's hard to tell if I was in a bath, or a fight!
    "Well," I say when I recieve no reply, "guess I'll just kick back here."
    I crouch; against my back, the wall that seperates the men and women's back is stable, and slightly warm from the perpetual steam. After a time, in the heat of the bath's and Pia's gentle humming, conciousness drifts away.

    "Zzzzzzzzz..."

    A voice starts me awake.
    "Huh?!"

    I stretch out and turn to the wall.
    "Sorry. Keep ya waiting long, buddy?"
    "Nah, I kept myself occupied. But you're quite...thorough."

    She chuckles.
    "Heh. Not exactly. It takes me longer than it should because I have to avoid turning into a mermaid! It's hard to scrub with fins!"
    I guess it would be...
    "Makes sense."
    "Now to put away the mop..."


    Thinking about it, though... That sort of work would be difficult to do well, and yet, here she is, doing it all the time.

    "Yeah. It can be," she answers in a quiet, thoughtful tone. "But this bath is like me."
    "How so?"

    "I was always alone when I lived at sea."
    Her hair swishes about her. [color=palevioletred]"The fish were my friends, but I couldn't talk to them..."


    The image rises up then: the image of Pia, floating alone in some dark shadow of the sea, her hair spread out around her, forming a tiny bubble of color and sound in an immense darkness.
    "You must've been pretty lonely..."
    No wonder she has sad dreams of that time...

    Her footsteps ring across the stone.

    "She handed me a mop, and I didn't have to say a word."
    "She just handed you a mop?"

    Pia's voice grows warm and happy at the memory.
    "Yeah! She said, 'If you wanna eat, you gotta work!'"
    "Typical Sakuya."
    "At first, it took me a whole day to clean the bath. But when I finally finished, Sakuya smiled.
    She said 'See? I knew you could do it!'"



    "So I'll always have passion for cleaning the bath, no matter how long it takes me!"
    For a moment, I don't know what to say. Except that, in some ways...
    I think I know how she must feel. If I didn't have something to do, something to work on... I don't think I'd have thought of this place as my home; I think I can love this place because I have a purpose here.
    But I don't think I'd have put it like that, if I hadn't heard it that way. I guess...There's something to be said for that strange perspective, risen from the sea.

    And I want to say something of that -- any of that -- but in the end, I don't exactly know what to say...
    "That's...quite inspiring."
    Is the best I can manage, in soft earnestness, a little smile on my face.


    The moment's broken by Sakuya's voice.

    She says, warmly,
    "Nice chatting with you!"

    "Wait, Pia!" Because I wanted to say...Or, maybe, I just wanted to talk a little longer -- I'm not even sure.
    But there's nothing but the sound of footsteps, farther and farther away.

    "...She's gone, I guess."


    "Huh?"
    She runs up and deposits a chest down in the men's bath.


    Well, that's a surprise.

    Her Hakimichi is slighlty better than mine, though it could do with a bit of improving on.


    That evening, I went to the cave where I fish in Oddward Valley... And decided to test out my new toy.


    I'm riding a lilly pad! It scoots around at my direction without much trouble at all.

    And so I can fish in teeming water.


    And go hunting for materials beyond.

    Including some unusual elemental crystals I intend to save up. I haven't seen any like them before, after all.




    To celebrate, I upgraded a variety of tools, including my watering can yet again!
    With that done, though, it was all I could do to flop into bed, and call it a night...

    The next morning...

    Raven had a request. Since she doesn't like purposeless talking, this is as prime a chance as any to talk to her!

    Though, first, I wanted to do a little bit of shopping, which involved stopping by the store...

    Where I was instantly rebuffed.
    "I'm trying to focus on picking a vegetable for tomorrow's Spring Crop Festival."
    A crop festival? I'll need to pick an entry, then.


    "Yeah. What sort of thing makes an entry a good choice?"

    So I'm best off going with an onion, maybe? I'll save one that grew today.

    Well, I'll think about that after I go see Raven.
    "What is it?" she asked, on my approach.

    "Oh..."
    "Yeah. The one you sent. To me. And stuff."
    "...I wanted to make a brooch."
    "A brooch?"

    "Oh, I see." They really do watch out for each other, don't they?
    "But..." She hesitates.
    "Something the matter?"
    I ask, watching her face curiously. She spends a while just looking at my expression.
    "...Is there something funny about giving him a brooch?"
    "Nope. I think he'd like that."
    "Really?" Little by little, her shoulders round.
    "Yes."

    The shoulders go up again.

    "What?" The topic being thrown at me completely knocks me off-base, and for a second, I stumble. "Uh, sure. I'd be happy."
    "I see," she answers quietly. "Well, I'll need some hard bone for a base. Could you help me get it? Sol Terrano: The Fossil should have the bone I'm looking for."
    "Yeah, okay."

    We head off to the desert, where the rain and heat intermingle into a wall of pure muggy air.

    "Really?"
    "Are you okay with the heat, Raven?"
    She shrugs.
    "I don't really feel the heat or the cold..."
    "Is that right...?"

    I'm ok with cold, but the heat bugs me like mad, so I think she'd have to be lucky.
    Of course, that's because if I'm cold, I have wool to run to.

    "I don't think it's that big a deal."
    "Really? I think it's pretty cool that you're so calm and collected."

    She said, her monotone dipping into a near-whisper. I have no idea why she'd bring up cuteness all of a sudden!
    "What?! No, I mean..."
    "It's okay. I don't really care..."
    But no matter how I apologize, she doesn't look at me until we reach the Fossil.


    I pick up a likely-looking bone fragment and tap on it.
    "Yes. This bone should be hard enough."
    "..."
    "Raven?"
    Raven, watching from behind my shoulder, only shudders...And cautiously approaches the great skeleton.


    Raven didn't exactly look pleading -- I think that her face doesn't have it in it, not exactly -- but her eyes, blue as a glacier's heart, were big and soft, and locked onto my face. Her expression was hesitant and mournful, like a deer's.
    "That's why you wanted me to come." I smile. "Well then, why didn't you say so from --"

    "No..."
    "What?"
    She plunges her hands into the pile of bones and bone fragments shielded by the great fossil, like someone plunging their hands into coals. She comes out with a skull gripped in white knuckles.

    "I'll be fine."
    "You don't need to..."
    "I'm...fine."

    This display having been made, she walks off.

    Leaving me to chase after her shaking steps.


    "I'm fine." She repeats, in the same tone. It is less a response, and more a mantra.
    "But you're shaking..."

    Her temper flares, and with a look of anguish like a person at the end of their rope. The skull digs its way into my ribs and I stumble back over the sands.

    "Ah!"
    Behind me, I realize, is a key feature:
    a cliff. Not, as my foot was thinking, the ground.


    Her anger dissolves in an instant.
    "I-I'm gonna fall..."

    The land rushes up towards me, and for a moment, all I know is the rush of air and blood and blackness, as my whole vision goes dark.
    And a great beating of wind...Or wings...The grip of something needle-sharp, and the faint scent of toyflower...


    And then the feeling of sand on my face. The air's still full of the sound of wings.

    (I thought I fell from the cliff...)

    D-Do I have amnesia again? Quick brain check! My name is Ramza, I'm a little nervous about what I'll do next, I farm, I used to be a guard, I'm half-wooly, I'm prone to existential panic.

    Ok, it's all there.

    I glance up, where a beautiful bird with enormous wings is watching, concernedly, just off the ground.

    (I should thank it...)
    I reach out a hand, woozily... As the air spins and whitens and burns with light...

    Everything pulses and then...


    It's gone.
    "Was that a dream...?"

    I glance at my feet; there, almost shining against the dull grains of sand is a red feather, about the length of my hand: it's a light red, like a sunset.
    "A pretty feather's on the ground...This feather...That bird did save me."


    Raven's voice whispers across the sand. She comes running up towards me.

    "Yes. I'm great!"
    She relaxes enough that I can tell she's sorry for, uh, pushing me off a cliff. Well, I guess I was being "pushy" myself...
    "I see..." She says, with a faint smile.

    "I'm sorry..."
    "What?"

    It almost comes as a surprise for her to admit it; or, really, for her to need it. I knew she was sorry...And it was OK. I was being pushy, and she was...well...
    "That skull was scaring you, wasn't it?"
    "Yes..." She admits.
    "Well, why were you being so stubborn then?"
    "Well..."

    She pauses, and seems to wrestle -- even more than building up her courage to grab the skull, this scares her; admitting this takes filling her lungs like bellows and pumping out a single response:
    "...I didn't want you to think that's the reason why I asked you to come."
    "What?"
    "..." Her expression doesn't change.
    So she called me here not to help her, but...
    But because...

    Because she...
    For the same reason I came...
    Because she wanted to see me.


    "Anyway, let's get out of the desert! We'll just get sweaty talking here!"

    I turn and try to hide how red my face is, taking a few steps out, when...

    "This?" I turn around and pick up the feather. It's somewhat warm. "Oh, it seems like it's from the monster that saved me."
    "Can I have it...?"
    "What?"
    "It looks like I can make an accessory out of it."
    "Oh, yeah. Well, sure!" I'm not sure what I'd do with it otherwise.

    "Thank you..."
    We made our way back to just outside the Blacksmith's. Raven seemed particularly tired when we got there.


    "Yes."

    I'm impressed she went this far for Gaius.
    "You know, you and Gaius have a strong bond. It really seems like you're a family. I'm a bit jealous."
    "...I never had a family." She admits.
    "Huh...?"

    The rain's drenched her hair through, and she wipes the long wet strands out of her face. For just a moment, her expression's completely exposed. Her face isn't cold, or empty; it's just stoic, like it was made to endure things like rain, or heat, or cold like this. Whatever it is, it's a face that won't complain. But her eyes look soft and lonely, dodging away from being trapped by the world.
    "I don't remember my parents. I never had that."
    "Oh, I see..."
    "But...It's just a feeling."
    "What?"
    "Gaius is..."
    The one she ... cares about. Of course. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but that thought feels somehow like an ice cube down my back.

    I chuckle and relax, and all the ice in the world -- and Raven's expression -- melts away. I almost feel foolish.
    "Not a brother?"
    She puts something down.

    "You've done so much for me...So I wanted to repay you..."
    "Oh...okay. Thanks."
    "...It's nothing special." She says, hiding her expression again.
    "Really, thank you. I'll take good care of it."
    "...Bye then..."
    And she went inside.


    My reward was a ruby ring.

    As for other requests...

    Well, I can't refuse a present! To the Resort!


    "About me?"
    "Oh. Seems like you've gotten pretty good at fishing under Carmen's guidance."
    "Ha ha. Master...I mean, Carmen said that about me? I'm so happy."
    "Yeah, and I couldn't just do nothing. Here, take this."


    "Is this...silver?"
    "Yeah. Silver is used to make fishing rods...A real fisherman will make his own tools. And you will be able to charge a good rod. It's child's play to us fishing masters."
    "I see. Charge...?"
    "It's similar to a weapon. If you charge with a good rod, it'll attract far off fish, and you'll get lots of bites!"
    "Oh! That's amazing!"

    "Keep at it, bro'."
    "Thanks!"


    I was headed up through the inn's upper floors, when I spotted an unusual woman sitting in one of the rooms.
    "Um, excuse me..."

    "Uhh...Have we?"
    "No, I don't think so."

    "Why don't you take a look at my wares?"

    She sold an ecclectic mix of items...Most of them well beyond what I really wanted to pay. But there were a lot of nice cooking breads I could get.















    RECIPE BREADS FOR ALL! RECIPE BREADS FOREVER!

    Oops, sorry...Just don't know what came over me. The evening itself, I'm not sure what I'll do with -- I'll work that out soon enough.
    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 - #155
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Javan's Avatar

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

    Another well paced update.
    Partly due to the spacing of the requests/story, partly due to how you are presenting, the story is spooling out nicely.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  6. - Top - End - #156
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Dragoon's Avatar

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    May 2007

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

    Enjoyable update as usual, though some of the earlier stuff with characters is starting to make a bit more sense.
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


  7. - Top - End - #157
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Deme's Avatar

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

    Well, that's good! We're approaching the midpoint for the events of a lot of characters, actually -- or, at least, what I sort of think of as the midpoint.

    Sorry for the delays in this, and in other projects: I was at the beach, so not much could be done. This'd been sitting, mostly done, for about a week...

    Chapter 19: Weird Science
    Spoiler
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    During the evening, I decided to head over to the river, to explore it a bit, when...
    A sound resounded across the ice, bouncing off the snow.

    "It sounded like it came from across the river. I think I might be able to cross it with that magic seed I have..."


    Riding my lilypad! I'm glad the cold water isn't freezing it over or anything like that.

    The area has some enemies I'm not wholly prepared for...but they go down quickly enough, and I can cross over to the other side...
    "Mwahahaahaa!"
    Something called out from upstream.

    "Looks like the road ahead's protected by a powerful wind...Do I have to defeat all the monsters in this area?"


    In the ensuing fight, I noticed a big piece of ice. I reached up to it and tried shoving it, since there wasn't many other places I could go during this match...
    "There, that should do it!"
    It rumbled and shook and then collapsed, with a noise like glass shattering.


    But the ice that fell fell across the water, so...

    "Well, I can get across now, so it's all good!"

    In terms of the fighting...The turnip ghosts aren't too terrible, but they are fast.

    But the hits from my Sakura sword just get absorbed by these ooze guys! No matter how hard I hit them, there's no damage to be done.
    I think that means I absolutely have to retreat, at least until I can gain my strength back.

    The next morning had all the bustle of a proper festival, so I had to go around and see how people are doing.


    "What did you grow, Shara?"
    "Tee-hee, that's a secret. What about you, Ramza?"



    "Well, it's more like I'm trying to decide..."


    "Yes. You're really amazing."
    "Oh, not really."
    "Yeah, you are! You're amazing!"
    "Thanks."


    "...It was for the vegetable."
    "For your vegetable?!"
    ...Raven, it's a vegetable. It does not need a helmet.


    "R-really?"

    I find Pia and Sakuya on the beach, in intense discussion.

    "Hmm."
    "I'm counting on you. We need to be scouting for some good items."
    "So, how about moving vegetables?"
    "Moving?!"
    Pia turns her head and notices me.


    "Oh, Ramza. Nice."
    "What? What is?!"

    I flee before I get roped into anything...

    And present Wells with my best onion.

    "Yes I am."

    I hang around for a while until the judging starts.


    "This must have taken a lot of effort. It's a tricky crop. I appreciate that."
    He cuts off a piece and tastes it.

    "The results are in!"


    Victory!
    "Thank you very much!"


    "All of the winners, don't forget your prizes! Until next time!"


    I do get to keep my onion... And my giant tower of cooking bread.








    A full set of breads eaten!


    I can even make one of the recipes at home right now, so that's a relief.

    After that, I check my mail:

    Sounds like Daria needs some help. I should head over to her house.


    Ok, she said she needed help, but this is ridiculous!
    "Daria?! I saw your letter! What's the matter?!"

    She lifts up her head and looks at me blearily.

    "I --"
    "Oh? What is it?!" Monster attack? Rare elf disease? Monsters attacking with rare elf diseases?!
    "I'm hungry..."
    I stare at her, lying helplessly on the ground like she's about to die.
    "Um....can I go home?"

    "Hold on! Hoooold on!"
    She reaches up for me, her voice a desperate hum.

    Dramatics aside, that actually sounded like she meant it...And, on some level, it's not surprising.
    "Your art must be more important than eating..."
    "So what if it is? I love what I love..."

    You know? I can't argue with that, not even a little bit.
    "Okay. Well, let me help you then." I smile at her. "What do you want to eat?"
    "Really?! Yay. Well, I want to eat some dried sardines!" She props herself up on her elbows and smiles with fresh vigor.

    For once, something I said struck a nerve: she curls her arms tighter beneath her, and ducks her head to glare at me balefully from the upper edge of her eyes. Her face is very red.

    Well, I didn't mean to make her mad; it just seems...unexpected.
    "Okay. Dried Sardines, is it? Well, wait here then."

    "A-alright, I'll do that. Now, go...my dear assistant!"


    I mean, I have sardines...but not that many. Maybe Blaise has a spare dish or sardine?

    So I run down to where he's enjoying the post-festival atmosphere.


    "Thank you. Then I'll be waiting."
    "Oh, no, that's okay. I thought this might happen --"
    "What?"
    "So I already have something ready."
    "What?!"
    How did he anticipate my request?!
    "I've learned from experience. Well, then, please get this to Daria."
    "Wait, you knew it was for Daria?!"
    "She would be the only one who would want Dried Sardines in such a hurry."
    "Does it happen often...?"
    "Yes. Particularly this time of year, when it rains often. Sometimes, inspiration carries her off."
    "..."
    "Now, please, get these dried sardines to Daria."
    "Oh, yes. Thank you."

    I run back to her house in the woods, Dried Sardines in hand.



    "Time to eat!"
    She got up to at least a kneeling position and began eating her sardines like, well, a starving woman.

    "S-so delicious. Good job! You'll make a great wife!"

    I mean, besides all the technical details. And, really...Well... I keep thinking it, but it's true: I probably wouldn't make a good husband. I can get by in human (mostly human) society by, well, hiding. I can get by in monster society by hiding, too.
    ...No one wants to be lied to, and love can't exist within lies.
    Ah, nevermind!

    Daria finished her fish and stretches.
    "Whew...I feel so alive! Thanks. I really do owe you my life."
    "O-oh, it really wasn't that much..."
    "Well, you have a point." She says, her face going neutral.
    "Um, would you mind being a little grateful, still?"

    "I'm just kidding. I really am grateful. Here, just to prove it."

    "P-Permanent?! And you want me to live in your house?!"
    Wouldn't that be like being your servant?
    "You'll supervise the dried sardines," she says with a straight face.
    "I've never heard of a supervisor like that. I'll pass..."[/color]

    "Oh, well that's too bad. Well, come back if you change your mind. Thank you for today."

    "Please eat next time..."


    I think I have time for another request. Let's see about Marian's...secret formula?


    "Oh...I did."
    "I made some new medicine today."
    "Again...? So, what's the medicine this time?"
    She smiles innocently and sweetly.
    "Well, before I tell you, how about some tea?"
    She offers me a warm cup that she had going on some sort of burner. Isn't there normally a flask on that?
    "Oh, thank you."

    The tea tingles slightly on my tongue.
    "And so, what's the medicine?"
    "It's a 'growth serum.' There's someone perfect to test it on."
    ...Oh dear.
    "Test...?"
    Her face splits into a bright grin. My heart feels...somehow, very peaceful and calm when I see that.
    "Now, Ramza! Go find that evasive Collette and bring her here!"
    Uh, isn't that a little unsa-

    ...I didn't mean to say that! My hand raises before I even realize it. It feels heavy and numb, like it's not really my hand anymore.
    "Wait, my body's moving on it's own...?"


    My legs feel cold as they pivot about. I look down and see my feet shuffling as if trying to read the ground be feeling it -- somehow, this action seems very distant. Not just because I can't feel or control it... It just feels very...

    I slide out the door, a puffy pink feeling spread throughout my head.

    Almost immediately outside, Rusk is passing by. He'll probably know where she is, so I can get this done faster <3!

    "Collette just ran out of the plaza to get away. It looks like something to do with Marian." He pauses and looks at me. "You know, I'm surprised that you're helping her that way."

    "What?"
    "Oh, ummmm...(I've been acting strange)", mumbles a little voice in the back of my head.
    "Ah, I see now. Well, you should go to the plaza. It won't be as fun when the medicine wears off."

    I think I understand this feeling: It all belongs to someone else. All these problems belong to some other person. This kind of annoying body, with its instincts split across species lines, and its secrets, and its lost past and its scary responsibilities -- its family, its friends, its messy double-life -- they all belong to someone else, far away. All "I" have to do is go get Collette -- isn't that wonderful <3?

    There were a lot of people in the plaza, but none of them were Collette.

    But I did spot something moving in the tree~!


    "Ramza?! Why are you here?!"

    "That strange way of talking...! Is it Marian's special mystery drug?!"
    I reach up for her in the tree.
    "I'm sorry, Collette. Please, come with me for my Marian."
    "Mercy! Mercy...!"

    I find something of hers and just grab it. I'm sure it'll aaaaall work out.
    "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

    I pull her down from the tree in a cascade of blossoms and pretty much carry her back to the Apothecary before setting her down in front of my precious Marian.


    Collette fumes.
    "Marian! Forcing medicine on someone isn't taking care of them!"
    "Good medicine is bitter. Sacrifice yourself for science!"
    "I don't want to!"

    Marian steps back and considers this.
    "I see. Try some tea then."

    Some little voice in my head wants to try yelling something like 'Waiiit, no!' But that voice sounds like somebody else, so why should I care?
    "Oh, thanks."
    Collette drinks the tea, and Marian turns to me with a teacup in her hand.
    "For you too, Ramza."

    I drink the tea. It tingles on my lips, with a sudden vividness of feeling, like a blush spreading through me.


    The fog falls away and something hits me: I totally did all of that! I dragged Collette here! She was hiding!
    Why did I do something like that?!

    "...! What have I done?!"
    "Experiment is working..."
    "Experiment?!"

    Her WHAT?!
    "I want to see the other you, Ramza!"
    Was that what that was? No, it couldn't have been. I'm pretty sure my body stayed the same. And I'm also pretty sure feeling like a girl wouldn't suddenly make me obey Marian... I really don't think that's what just happened!
    Which means that's more science yet to be done.

    "When did you..." I look down. There's a cup in my hands.
    "Wait a minute... The tea?!"
    "It's too late now! Come over here. I'll take care of you."

    "That's not..."
    I try reaching out my hands to form a shield between Marian's advance and myself, but... My hand stays holding the teacup.
    "My body won't move!"
    "I used some paralyzers."
    "More medicine?!"

    "I don't believe it!" What's going to happen now? "It must have been the tea...Why don't those things fail like the others?!"

    "O-Oh, is that so...?"
    We glance at each other. I think our faces are about all we can move.
    "Let's focus on the issue."

    I think I've already done that today!


    And then everything goes black.

    When my vision clears, the apothecary's ceiling greets me. Yet again.

    "I feel like this has happened before." So I probably don't need to check my memory.
    Huh. My voice sounds normal...So I don't think she could have done too much to me, right? A stopped clock isn't right more than twice a day.


    Collette says in agreement, from over on the bed.
    "Collette?!" Well, I'm glad I didn't check to see if her experiments worked more throroughly!


    ...Really, really glad.

    As Marjorie walks in, a voice calls out from behind her,

    I very nearly curl up in a ball for my own defense as Marian charges into the room.
    "Now, Marian. How many times..."
    Marian looks crestfallen.
    "Oh..."


    She looks over the two of us, lying down -- well, at least until I raise myself off the floor. And boy, am I glad for that.
    "I'm sorry. I overdid it again."
    She looks contritely at her feet. She passed 'overdid it' a while ago, but...

    But...


    Well, but Collette accepts it, at least.
    "Yeah, I'm sorry. I'm not skilled enough.But next time... Next time!"

    "Wasn't it a growing medicine? Or a gender switching medicine?"
    She shrugs.
    "It was a cure-all at one point. Conceptually!"

    "Just wait! Next time...!"

    ...I'm going to the valley.

    Where, mostly, I fight random monsters until I get some new materials...


    For new boots!

    The next day...I end up watching Kuruna do what looks like paper work; though, I guess for her, it's scroll work. I guess this, too, is part of being the elder...

    "Indeed. It was decreed by my ancestors, comrade."
    So, no matter what, she was bound to do this, or let everyone -- even her ancestors -- down. In some ways, that's probably comforting. I like not having to make scary decisions...But in other ways, it's got to be frustrating.
    "So...If you could've chosen a career, what do you think you would've done?"

    She smiles brightly and answers,
    "That's easy. I'd own a cake shop!"
    "You can't eat your own inventory, you know."
    I'm sure this'll be a struggle for Collette, for example.
    "Hmmm... You've got a point. I might have to reconsider, then."
    I leave her to her paperwork and considerations of paths not travelled, leaving me with other questions of Univir society and customs.


    "Not with any more frequency than humans. It's just a coincidence that Kuruna and I both wear glasses."


    "G-Gai-Gai?" She does not respond to that, no matter how much I want to know about that nickname.
    "But not enough! He needs to make them rainbow colors." She bounced up and down. "And then add some arms and legs. Maybe a tail or two --"
    "That's not a weapon anymore."
    That's an animal.


    After some thinking, I decide to take a request from Karina.


    "Oh, really? I'll have to bring her something."
    "Raven may seem cold, but she's actually very kind."
    "...Yeah."

    I go and see Karina next.

    "Well, let's go."
    "What? Where?"
    "Privera Forest. Of course."
    "Wait, why?"
    "Because."
    "What?"
    "Oh...ummm..."
    She adjusts her scarf with a tug.
    "(I probablt shouldn't say.)"
    "Come on. You can tell me."
    "Well, I want to practice."
    "Practice?"
    Is this about running away?
    From the sleepy, oceanic depths of her face rises up a grave expression.
    "Yeah, if I want to get to the city, it's going to take a lot of walking. So I need to get ready for that."
    "You need me to help you practice walking?"
    ...I don't think she understands it very well, but...Is that just because I don't understand her feelings? I mean, I'm not the sort of person who'd throw everything away.

    "Hey, there's some dangerous stuff in Privera Forest. (Monsters are such a pain.)"
    She dismisses that without any embaressment.
    "Ah."

    "But won't you have to deal with monsters if you travel to the city?"
    "Oh, I'll worry about that later." She waves me off airily. "So could you get me to Privera: The Eye, then?"
    Well, we're off.

    By the time we got to the forest, Karina was already out of breath. How's she getting anywhere?

    She says, between pants.
    "What?! This is just the entrance."
    "Oh. Really? (Who would have thought the wilderness was so...big?)"
    She looks at me sternly.
    "Isn't there some kind of carriage service that we could take there instead?"
    "I don't think so. Let's go."


    I water my crops in the forest and keep going.

    I rub the back of my head.
    "At this rate, we're never going to get there."
    "Yeah, I know. (Maybe I should give up on this "Walking" concept.)"
    She looks around the open stoneway, taking in the flower-scented air.



    "Or jewels sometimes, I guess."
    "Hmmm..."

    She contemplates this for a moment and turns to look over at me, a gleam in her eyes.

    "How do you collect ore? Could you show me?"
    "What? I guess I can..."
    She smiles.
    "Thanks. I'll just watch."
    "Okay."
    "(Now I get a break.)"


    And so I mine for ore.

    She yawns in response.
    "Yeah, thanks. (It's over already?)"

    She looks around again, scanning the woodlands for...Um. I'm not exactly sure.


    "What?"
    I follow her eyes to...

    The apple tree in the corner.
    "Those apples look tasty. Could you get me one?"
    "You could get it yourself, you know..."
    It's not like we aren't here to, you know. Walk.


    "*sigh*..."


    And so I pick an apple and bring it to her.

    You know, when she's happy like that, she's really very cute. She chews the apple with a smile.
    "Okay, where are we going next? (I hope it's someplace with a bench.)"
    "..."

    She looks so dejected.
    "Don't worry, Karina."
    "Hm?"
    "It's just a little farther." I smile reassuringly, answering what I think is...probably on her mind. Karina's not too hard to guess.


    "Okay. I can make it."
    "Okay! Let's go, then."

    I walk ahead, towards our goal.


    And soon after, we reach our goal. Privera: The Eye!

    "Yeah...finally." It took us a while, with all the delays. She seems more worn-out, though.
    "I see...(I'm so tired.)"
    She crouches on the ground, the dust puffing around her slightly, shifting to her motion.


    I think last night's fighting is still in my system; something hit me pretty hard.

    I yawn and stretch, trying to shake off that fatigue.
    "...Maybe the town isn't so bad. (I'd never make it to the city.)"
    She says, behind my back.

    I laugh uneasily.


    We hurry back. Kuruna's much faster going home than coming out, like a reluctant horse.

    "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
    "That was a real adventure. Here's your reward for being such a good guide."

    ...Well, at least I got some ore.
    "Thanks for today. (I guess it went okay.) Well, see you later."

    Last edited by Deme; 2014-08-13 at 05:16 PM.
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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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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    This is one of the best Let's Plays ever.

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

    Marian's experiments are of a slightly worrying nature...
    "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!

    Marian's experiments are only slightly worrying, Javan? Are you trying for understatement of the thread?

    Enjoyed the update, though do miss the interactions with Delita. Though the fact that cabbage is used for bunny-ears, hopefully she does not attempt to get Ramza to wear any of her favorite outfits she makes.
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bashhammer View Post
    This is one of the best Let's Plays ever.
    Aw, you're making me blush! I'm really happy to hear you speak so highly of this project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Javan View Post
    Marian's experiments are of a slightly worrying nature...
    ...Slightly? I think if it weren't for the fact that this game is, in general, happy-go-lucky, Marian might qualify as honestly kind of horrifying... Though I like mad science enough I can't say I mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoon View Post
    Enjoyed the update, though do miss the interactions with Delita. Though the fact that cabbage is used for bunny-ears, hopefully she does not attempt to get Ramza to wear any of her favorite outfits she makes.
    Delita's still around; he'll show up probably when Ramza has more dilemmas to talk through.
    ...Knowing this game, it will all involve women. I'm sure Delita will have an observation to make on that.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-08-18 at 03:58 PM.
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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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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoon View Post
    Marian's experiments are only slightly worrying, Javan? Are you trying for understatement of the thread?

    Enjoyed the update, though do miss the interactions with Delita. Though the fact that cabbage is used for bunny-ears, hopefully she does not attempt to get Ramza to wear any of her favorite outfits she makes.
    Haha, no, not really. But apparently I made the qualifying rounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    Aw, you're making me blush! I'm really happy to hear you speak so highly of this project.

    ...Slightly? I think if it weren't for the fact that this game is, in general, happy-go-lucky, Marian might qualify as honestly kind of horrifying... Though I like mad science enough I can't say I mind.
    They are only slightly worrying because at least she is attempting to help* people. Horrifying would be if her grandmother was unable to fix something she did...
    *help covers all attempts up to and including forced hypnotism, forced test subjects, forced experimentation, abduction, incomplete disclosure of potential experimental outcomes...
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

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    It was a cure-all in theory, I'm sure. At some point. It just then went stampeding into one of the events I actually most looked forward to recording. I have 3 that I'm particularly looking forward to; we've seen that one, but the next two are of varying distances...

    Part 20: Farewell to Spring
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    Well, with that little trip over...Back to the day at hand!


    Collette apparently has a secret...Or, um, wants to grow bigger? Well, that's no secret.
    Still, I guess I'll help.

    But I can worry about that later, right?

    On the beach, Carmen's sighing.
    "What's wrong? Something bothering you?"

    "What kind of criteria?"
    I can't explain my reasons, but...You and me both.
    [color=lightseagreen]"I can't marry any guy who doesn't eat fish! That's non-negotiable." She stamps her foot, to emphasise the ultimate non-negotiability of this. "Carlos eats his fish clean! It's great! You should take note."
    But why do I need to care about how fish are eaten?
    "Why is that?"

    She blushes a little, but keeps her face looking at me steadily. She mutters something slightly too low for me to hear,
    "Although maybe it'd just be with me..."
    "What? Did you say something?"
    "N-No! It's nothing! Ha ha. *sigh*..."
    "...?"
    I sort of thought she meant other people's requirements for her...


    "Y-yes...?"
    What an intimidating stare...

    "Huh...?"

    This is a weird day...


    Monica's in a bad mood, too...
    "What's the matter?"
    "Shara's so pretty, isn't she? I wonder if I'll be like her."
    "You don't need to worry. You're pretty too, Monica." Girls sure worry about a lot of things.

    ...What's with that look? Have I been rolling in pheramones today?
    This is apparently too much for Monica to take.
    "*Chomp*!!
    "Owww!"

    I found the birthday girl in the plaza, by a bench.

    "What?"
    "Never mind..."
    ...
    ...
    ...
    AAAAUGH! I DON'T REMEMBER WHEN I WAS BORN!
    Do I have a birthday? I must. Everyone has a birthday.
    I've been making such strides, I forgot that I didn't remember!
    "...You look like you're about to be sick..."
    "...Nevermind that!"
    I shake off the minute of weightless existential panic.
    "It's your birthday, isn't it? I have something for you."

    "It's, um...
    A necklace. It's pretty basic, so if you wanted to make something more complicated out of it, you could, or it could, um, work on its..."

    "Did you ask around...what I liked?"
    "Well, I heard some ideas, anyway...But you told me a lot of it youtself."
    She smiles gently.
    "I see...thank you."
    "Happy birthday!"

    I headed to the Diner to see if Collette was there...But she was not to be found.




    Only recipes.


    "Well, I think we can all agree on that!"
    Rabbit ears made from vegetables...
    "Really? I didn't know that! Does that mean you'll join me in raiding her studio in 'Operation Fish-Scale Justice'?"
    I'm pierced by pink, pleading eyes.
    "Uh...I don't think we find her outfits offensive for the same reasons!"

    I just can't find Collette, until I double back to the Diner.

    "Yes, what did you need help with?"
    She hesitates, sad and halting.
    "I...Actually, I..." Eventually, her timidity fades in the face of her goal. Her fists are white-knuckled with determination. "I want to get bigger!"
    "Yeah, I know."
    An audible sigh rises from her.

    "I still believe that I can get bigger some day, but...I haven't changed at all...I asked Marian and all she told me was to 'exercise, eat a lot, and sleep!'"
    "Why do you want to get bigger?"
    "To become a good cook."

    She repeats.
    "I see..." What she just said finally reaches my brain. "Wait...what? Why?"


    "Ramza! Please! It's to help make me bigger!" She all but shouts, and I take a step back from the noise.
    "Y-yes. Well, I'd be happy to help. (What does being bigger have to do with cooks?)"
    "Thanks! But what should we do...?"

    Hmmm...
    "Well... For now..."
    "I'll just try to do what Marian prescribed!"
    "Since it's not medicine, that should be OK." I mean, those are all pretty basic ideas... "Yeah, that sounds like a good idea."

    Um...
    I just went there.

    *sigh*
    Back to the stoneway.

    This time, we walk in a gentle shower.


    At least Collette picks her own apples.
    "Phase one of the workout program is complete!"

    "Phase two: cooking! I can do that! Just make sure I don't scarf the ingredients beforehand!"

    We returned to the Diner where Collette dove into the kitchen with a fervor, dicing and coring and baking and peeling and mixing, bringing out sugar and dough and a few other ingredients I didn't see as clearly.

    Until there was a feast of apples at the table.


    "Whoa! You made a ton!"
    "Eat well, play well! I gotta get big! Now then...Time to eat!"
    Rather than a full-length scarfing, she actually manages some dainty eating.

    Is it because she cooked this herself?
    (She tries so hard. She runs around the forest, and looks so serious cooking here.)

    When Collette's just eating, it's one thing...
    (Even now, she's eating with all...)
    These two trains of thought about catch up to each other.
    "Wait...what?"

    "Um, Collette?"
    "Huh, what?"
    "Well, it's um...really hard to say this, but..."

    She looks up at me.
    "What? Go ahead?"
    "Isn't this...How you usually are?"

    She bolts upright, scattering plates and knocking a stool aside.



    Her head falls forward.


    "Huh?!"



    ...Poor Collette.




    I head home and ship my supplies for the day. It's the best I can do...
    Before heading to the river.


    Where I find a recipe bread in a chest!



    Rather than uselessly try to fight with my sword, healing up these slimes...

    It's time to use my other best weapon: my own body.

    This way takes me a while, but I manage to clean up, feeling the wind dying down around me.


    My advance is once again halted by an evil laugh.

    A wind buffets me away from the exit.
    "The gusts are knocking me back again. And who...or what...is behind all the laughing?"

    I look around and spot another path, from the other side of the river.

    "If I defeat all the monsters in the cave, I might be able to move on."



    I get on my lilypad and cross to the other side...

    But once I'm in the cave, I'm knocked out before I can so much as move.



    *sigh*
    I'll have to try to improve what I have.

    I spend the rest of the night just trying to get a little bit stronger in my crafting skills.
    No absolute progress, though; just slow incremental gains.

    The next day was drizzly, matching my rainy mood. The last day of Spring was coming.

    "By the water? They're pretty."
    "You think so too? They really are pretty..."

    Meanwhile, Ondorus was pacing about in frustration, looking over his books.

    "What tree? The Sharance Tree?"
    He relaxed.
    "Ah, you overhead...Yes. I'm not sure why is suddenly changed like that; it'd been the way it was before you arrived here for longer than I've been alive. However... In that state, it would certainly never truly bloom.
    So why... Why did it suddenly blossom? What changed..."


    He paused and looked at me for a long time, his expression evaluating.
    "...What?"
    "Nevermind. It's nothing."

    I head home, with the feeling that I'm being evaluated, somehow. Judged.


    Hm; I'll need to pick up a swimsuit, then.
    "...Uh, what are you doing in my house?"
    "Uh, nothing, nevermind, bye!"

    And she dashed out.

    The mailbox told the tale. I ran after her in the rain and caught up to her in the flower shop.


    "Yes," I say, straightening up as I get the wind back into me.
    "Well then, let's go."
    "Where to?"

    I take a step back and try to dodge out of her fury.
    "N-No, not that... I meant, where are we going to go?"
    An emberassed smile spread across her face.
    "Oh..."

    "That's okay..."
    "Well, let's go to your house then. I want to talk to you about something."

    Why my house, though? I mean, there's lots of places that are out of the way, but that's...Really, really...
    Out of the...
    Way...
    Where no one could possibly overhear.
    "Just the two of us...?"
    I mutter.



    We stare at each other for a moment, red-faced at our own pile of half-said implications. I'm as surprised at her blush as anything in my own mind.
    "L-Let's just go already! You're embaressing me!" She bursts out, panic in her tone.
    "Y-yeah, okay."

    We ended up having tea in my kitchen, the last drizzle of spring hitting the leaves outside.

    "It's okay. I'm happy to do it for you."
    She smiles at me quietly, looking up through her dark eyelashes.
    "..."
    "What is it?"


    She fidgets with her skirt and fingering the feathered edges of the flowers on her collar. A deep breath in. Shara's eyes move up to meet mine.
    "I want you to hear about my dream."

    "My grandpa has spent the last 50 years trying to get the Sharance flowers to blossom."
    "50 years...?"
    "Yes. Before even my parents were born, he'd carried that dream. When we lost them... He still had us, and he still had that. I guess having watched him, I started to want the same thing as well."

    "Watering every day, pruning the branches, making special plant food..." She counts her techniques off on her fingers. "At one point, I actually lived here too."
    "Oh, is that right?!"
    I wondered where the bed and fridge had come from... Wait, does that mean Shara's used that bed?

    "I thought it would help me understand the plants."


    She turns and paces away. Shara's shoulders slump, and she sighs.

    "I almost gave up."
    "..."
    It's a little hard to imagine her giving up, but I don't say that.
    "I just left the tree alone for a while."


    "He had lost his memories, and didn't know what he was going to do."
    "Is that...?"
    Well, who else would it be. But it's strange to hear me being talked about.
    "That's why I brought him here."
    She looked back at me more directly, her face open and relaxed.
    "Perhaps this person could affect the tree..."


    "But now I have hope."
    "Shara..."
    I haven't done...anything...to justify that hope.

    She swirled in a cirle, turning with the energy of her words back towards me. Shara's hair swirled out around her like the halo of the sun. She shortened the distance between us -- but not closed it.

    "I was surprised."
    "Shara..."
    I don't know if I did anything; I might just have...been here...right?
    But the determination in her expression couldn't be argued with.
    "And I promised myself...I'm never going to let myself think that way again!"

    My eyes widened.

    "I'm going to make the Sharance flowers bloom!"
    "Shara!" I know she can do it!
    "That's been my dream! I can't just give it up! Ramza, will you help me?"
    She reaches out a hand. I don't so much as hesitate, and grasp my fingers around her hand, my determination rising to match hers.
    "Of course..."

    "You gave me those flower seeds way back." I feel my expression, and my heart, soften. "You told me to make them grow strong."
    Now, everything growing on my farm...Was bought starting from that place.

    I chuckle,
    "But I was happy..."
    and then...
    I remember the story Pia told me. I knew, when she told it to me, that the two of us were alike: that I undertstood what she meant.
    "You gave me a reason to be here. I owe you so much."

    The life I have now...Began with Shara. That's not something I can ever say isn't true.



    "I'll do anything for you! Anything at all!"

    She giggles and tries to wipe the tears from her eyes.
    "Tee-hee...Thank you very much..."
    She sniffles ungainly, and her gauzy sleeves darken and solidify with the touch of teardrops where she tried to wipe them away.

    I shuffle my feet and try to distract myself with the tree itself -- specifically, I glance over at the staircase.
    "So I guess something changed after I came."
    After she eventually calms down, she nods.
    "Well, I don't know. Ramza, maybe you did something without telling me?"

    "No way!"
    "You sure...you aren't lying to me about something?"
    "..." A cold dart hits my stomach. "No! No."

    She comes closer, close enough that I see my own thin and nervous face in her eyes.

    "H-honest!"
    My honesty is worthless.
    But...I don't know what any of this has done to the tree. I don't even know why everyone suspects me! I've only defeated monsters!
    ...Do those orbs have something to do with the tree? But, no. It wasn't when I touched the orbs that the tree's developed...


    Her face is inches from my face, close and skeptical. She smells intensely of wildflowers, and at least one type of weed. Maybe goldenrod.

    I back up slowly...
    Until she takes a step away to retreat.


    I wish I knew.
    "Hmmm..."

    After a moment of thought, An epiphany lights into her eyes.
    "Since you came, the crops have been better."
    "Would better crops mean a bigger tree? That would be..." Easy...
    She shakes her head.
    "When my grandpa grew crops, the tree was the same size."

    She stood bolt upright and her eyes bore into mine.
    "It must be love!"
    "What?"
    At the same time, when she said that... My heart began to beat faster, and I couldn't explain why. The noise of my own heart was, itself, a player in this conversation.
    "You must have lots of love for your crops!"
    My heartbeat settled back into its normal rhythm, or perhaps slunk off into disapointed hiding.


    "A love for veggies! That's what made the tree so big!"
    "Um...Shara?"
    "Yes! That's brilliant!"
    "Oh, I'm not so..." And now we're back to forceful.


    "Ha ha..."
    "Tee-hee. I hope you grow even better crops from now on."
    "Okay..."
    "I'll be going now. See you later."

    And she walked out, much happier than before. Lighter, for having shared that worry with someone...
    "She must trust me if she told me her dreams."
    But at the end of the day...
    Aren't I betraying that trust?

    "And...I don't think it's the veggies."
    I say, with a smile.



    ...That is *a lot* of formula Cs. What's more, they're even better than the fertilizers I have now.




    I buy a bunch of seeds for summer to go with them.


    "W-well... (She seems really motivated today...)"
    "(I ate too much over the winter...)"


    Well, as long as everyone knows how to swim, it should be OK. Or, if the people who don't know how to swim know how to not go in the water.


    "You knew that already, didn't you."


    The bulletin board has a request from Blaise. Since I'm always at his diner buying recipe breads, I decide to help him out.


    ...There's a beautiful, burning weapon on sale. And it's an element bound to come in handy in this winter wonderland... But...Is it really a good idea to always rely on others?
    On the other hand, I have more than enough money to afford it.

    ...Alright. I'll buy it.

    My purchase weighing heavily in my pack and my heart, I headed on.


    ...I wonder if Pia will fight her.


    "I've designed the perfect swimsuit for the occaison: the Croissant bikini! Why hasn't anyone bought it yet...?"
    "I think their want their swimsuits not to dissolve. That's why I'd like a swimsuit...Made of ordinary swimsuit fabric. Please."
    "Oh, alright..."


    "No, that's fine..."



    Pia was so thrilled about Summer.

    She was bouncing around on her tail.

    She was nearly panicking as her nature called to her, the lake's tepidity a dull replacement -- but even that might be too much, having abandoned it so long...
    Maybe? It's hard to tell what she was thinking as she swayed back and forth.
    "Let's calm down first."

    And then I head to the Diner.

    "I see. You would be a big help. I'd like you to get a message to Shino."
    "To Shino? What did you want to tell her?"
    He clears his throat to deliver an exact message.
    "'The Easern tableware you ordered has arrived.' is the message."
    "Okay."
    "I would appreciate it if you could tell her soon. Thank you."

    Luckily, it's just next door.

    "Yes, what was it?"
    "His message was..."

    "The eastern tableware you ordered arrived."
    "Oh, that's good. Thank you for the message."
    "You're welcome. Excuse me, then."
    Alright, back to Blaise.



    "Oh...don't tell Pia about that last bit."
    "I won't, I won't."


    "This isn't much, but it's to show my appreciation. Please take it. I hope that you would do this for me again sometime."


    My reward is that recipe bread!





    I wash it down with, um, more.


    I fish in the evening...


    And head out to to do some testing of my new sword, some logging with a goal...




    And then try it out on my obstacle last night.


    With the sword cutting through it like a hot knife -- which is what it was -- the whole this was frustratingly simple. I had nothing at all to fear.


    I need to remember that, before I move on: take it slow. Be cautious. Use the summer to grow and blossom forth. And then...I'll see what's so funny.

    But for now, the spring is over. The heat of summer begins to fill the night air.


    So, here's a question: we're starting to get close to the truth about Ramza with a few of the girls, but are still pretty far away with others. At least one knowing the truth will be required to progress with the plot, though depending on how it shakes out, I'd want to do as many as we'll be doing before that point, for narrative reasons.

    Do you want me to try and keep it even going forward, catching up with the ones that are behind, or get to the truth with the ones we're close to already?
    Secondarily, should I ask you guys if we should trust them with the secret on a case-by-case basis (this question will arise after the update where we do the last request before their reveal, probably), or do all of the girl's reveal events (where applicable)? This will slightly change the writing on Ramza either way, though it won't change the events themselves -- just his willingness to engage in requests with certain people, his attitude regarding the situation, and so on.

    Also, we're starting to be able to take girls on dates. Anyone you'd like to see Ramza take to some scenic locales for some chats?
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-08-24 at 05:19 PM.
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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...

  14. - Top - End - #164
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Um. Everyone's equally interesting and weird. Case-by-case, I think?

    EDIT: Actually, I don't much like Marian (not a nice person), Shara (series-standard default from the little I've played), or Evelyn (um. only trait: makes odd clothes). Of those, Marian could still be interesting because she's an interesting character even if she isn't a likable one.
    Last edited by Qwertystop; 2014-08-24 at 07:52 PM.
    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

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

    I'm not asking for your stances if you want case-by-case now; we're not actually at the last possible point to not tell someone with anyone yet (a point, though not the only one, in "just do everyone"'s favor: it's much less complicated). Also, Evelyn is not an eligible bachelorette, so she doesn't have one of these scenes.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-08-24 at 07:57 PM.
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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...

  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I don't know if anyone here has watched Acchi Kocchi, but Monica suddenly reminded me of Tsumiki
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    Yes, she is gnawing on his head.

    You know, making baskets in the forge seems counter-intuitive...

    I would like to see all the reveals, starting with the ones Ramza is already close to, and catching up with the others later.
    And Ramza should take Raven on a date.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  17. - Top - End - #167
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I agree with Javan about the telling everyone when we can and catching up later.

    Also since we're all mad here, I suggest for date(s) either Pia or Sofia.
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


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

    Great update. My playstyle would be to bring up everyone that's behind and tell them nearly at the same time. On the other hand, from a story perspective, telling people as it comes up is a little more compelling. As long as following the second option doesn't make us miss out on other events, I vote for that, otherwise tell everyone at the same time.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by fizzmaister View Post
    Great update. My playstyle would be to bring up everyone that's behind and tell them nearly at the same time. On the other hand, from a story perspective, telling people as it comes up is a little more compelling. As long as following the second option doesn't make us miss out on other events, I vote for that, otherwise tell everyone at the same time.
    I would delay the plot to prevent that from happening, as some events (Marian's, I believe) are only available before... And narratively, these really all make most sense before the next sweep of plot events. During would be better narratively, but it's a million times more manageable to do it before, because the game might pull the trigger too early.

    To be a bit less coy, the events after this boss require at least one eligible lady learning the hero's secret, and if none do, the proceedings will be stopped at a certain point until you can do that. This is the ideal place if one lady learning Ramza's secret was enough... But then the sequence of events will proceed pretty much the next time you talk to the right person, and I'm way too scatterbrained to not talk to him if I happen to see it.
    So, best to, while maybe not as dramatic, pre-empt the issue a bit. I will probably make some note of this issue pre-empting in my narrative around that point.
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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...

  20. - Top - End - #170
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Sorry to double-post, sorry to double-post with a message you've likely already seen if you're part of an overlapping Giant in the Playground LP readingbase, working on update...Oh, but speaking on working on an update...

    I've been thinking about my life regarding time and projects, and thought I'd do a formal taking stock. While I'd be equally enthusiastic to work on all my projects, there's simply not enough hours in a day or energy in my body to do that. Creator ADHD is one heck of a drug. So, I thought I'd turn to my audiences, since these are all public projects (my private projects are non-negotiable). Put simply, all other things being equal, I want to spend my energy on the things that people enjoy most.

    Check Here

    To that end, I have made a poll! It has all my active projects, an inactive project or two, and a hopefully joke option, and I'll generally adjust how I work on these in accordance with the results, with some things taking precedence where perhaps they did not, or coming into or out of inactivity -- or maybe, all will continue as before. I don't really know what the poll will show, though I think I can be confident about a few things. Though, I should add, the results are not the sole predictor of some matters, either; the projects themselves are slightly "weighted" in terms of effort and junk. Nothing's getting totally thrown away, though -- I'm promising that now.

    Voting for multiple things is possible. I would vote for everything, which is how we got into this mess.

    I hope you forgive some self-indulgence, and should you vote, thank you for your time, this helps me a lot!
    If you've already voted, thanks for reading this message. Sorry for the trouble.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-09-05 at 02:07 PM.
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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...

  21. - Top - End - #171
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Well first off, before you do anything else, update your sig, including the off-site projects. After that, I voted for this. This project had a bit of a rough start, but I think you started adding your own story to it (or the games story picked up, I honestly can't tell which) and it's much better now than when you started it off.

  22. - Top - End - #172
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I voted for this and the Pokemon Let's Play, but honestly out of the two, I'd rate this one higher (despite possibly responding less here). Pokemon Let's Plays are done to death, and while I like your take on it, I could go without it. This for me, much like Harvest Moon was, is a totally new game, which makes it a lot more refreshing to explore (even if I was very iffy on most of the characters at first). And frankly the story of this style of game seems to give you a lot more room for interactions and embellishments than the Pokemon game does. You can invent stuff wholesale for Pokemon, but I honestly think I like it better when the game is giving you a framework, and you introduce your elements to strengthen, support, and flesh out the bare bones that is there.

    Basically with this game and Harvest Moon, I feel like reading your Let's Play brings the game to life in a way I wouldn't have gotten playing on my own. Whereas reading Pokemon I feel more like I'm reading straight up fanfiction. It's a kind of weird distinction to make, but that's how I generally feel about it. Take it for what it's worth to you.


    (As for the others, I simply haven't looked at them. I saw the Fire Emblem one when you started it but never really got past the first post. I may give it another try some day. None of the others were even things I knew existed, so I have no opinion).
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  23. - Top - End - #173
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Aww, I'm glad to hear people speak so fondly of it; it is a different sort of ballpark, and I appreciate having it. Though, to be honest, I don't feel like I make a lot of additions -- the game's very talk-y, so I tend to burn myself out transcribing.
    Of course, maybe I only feel that way because I normally do a lot more writing.
    Anyway, I'd call it a little bit of "the game picking up" and "Me getting into a good groove with the presentation." Each LP needs its own style, like a self-contained creative universe.

    Chapter 21: Beach Episode
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    The next morning was the first day of summer! There were seeds to plant and my field, well...

    My field was a mess of dead grass. A lot of it was the end of last season's crops, but some of it was just wild grasses, too.
    I got those running and directed the crew to it quickly, then went about my day.


    Which included changing clothes; it's the first day of summer, after all, and that means spending some time relaxing at the lake shore in swim trunks!

    ...I admit, not the most intimidating figure.

    Not that Kuruna, who I find cooking breakfast in her tent, will get to see that. Or the lake. Kind of depressing, really. But it's a lot of breakfast for one person... Well, and Will.
    "Is that all yours?"
    "No, I'm preparing food for the whole settlement."
    "Do you always cook everyone's food?" If so, then color me impressed; that's a lot of work!

    "Wait, you mean...Zaid actually cooks?!"
    "Of course he does!"
    "And you guys don't mind eating his food?"
    No one's dropped dead? He's never used any cooking implement as a bludgeon?

    "No, he's actually a skilled chef!"
    "I can't imagine Zaid even picking up a fork and knife!"
    Do swords count as knives? Because then I could picture it.

    "...I can believe that."

    Ondorus has switched to a lighter summer cape, so at least he's acknowledging the season.
    I can't believe I just said there's such a thing as a summer cape.
    "You really like capes, don't you?"

    Sometimes, I wonder where they are. These two, just living out here by themselves, feel...kind of sad sometimes.
    "Is there a reason why?"
    "There was a book that I loved in my youth. There was a courageous hero who wore a cape much like mine. Wearing a cape...It still makes me feel like a hero sometimes."
    Wow. I didn't expect that!

    After that, it was time to hit the town! And by town...I mean beach.

    "Carlos, you just love the ladies. Ha ha."
    "It's the dark when all the girls in bikinis fall for me. Ha ha ha!"
    "Is that it?"
    "Oh, bro', you better not be staring at the ladies!"

    "..."

    Ok, see when I said I wasn't intimidating shirtless?
    ...Carlos is. I'm so ashamed.


    A swimsuit suits Carmen well, naturally; her skin's got a very even tan, too.

    Well, I think I might have to agree on that one.I don't put on visible muscle well, and I'm kind of short...
    Still, hearing someone say I look alright in a swimsuit is...
    "But, Carlos likes to pose in front of the girls."

    "...I'm sorry."


    Even Raven's in a swimsuit! I honestly didn't expect that from her.
    "...Maybe I'll swim."
    Oh, that makes sense, then. I really can't see her wearing one for vanity's sake.


    Reality?

    ...I don't see a problem.



    Sofia's got sort of a cute dress-y swimsuit on.

    So the swimsuit's...pretty much ornamental? Well, it's very cute.
    "So...could you teach me to swim sometime?"
    "Uh, I don't see why not..."



    ...Reasons. Riiight.



    "Isn't that how you get cramps?"


    "I hear you might get an inspiration if you swim until you're tired."
    Inspiration? Is that...code for something?


    "Before the day is done, I'll convince someone to wear my turnip bikini! And by someone, I mean Gaius!"
    "I somehow doubt you'll be successful..."


    "I'll just watch you youngsters from my window."
    ...
    That sounds frightening. I want a cover-up now.


    ...I'm not sure what you're asking, exactly, but the answer is probably "No, we can't have a rainbow lake." Eventually, that's always the answer.



    "I need to take Pia swimming again this year!"


    She grabs me by the shoulders.

    "I...don't have fins, if you hadn't noticed?"
    "Oh, right! Oopsie!"
    "Besides, you don't have yours out, anyway."
    "That's because I wanted to show off my swimsuit, and it's hard to wear a swimsuit and fins!"

    Well, it is rather cute.

    Everyone comes by the beach to swim or take in the sun, which also means everyone's got swimsuits on. Here are some highlights:





    I spend the evening rather fruitlessly gathering materials and running around.

    I can't help but feel like I could have done better.

    And the next day dawned so hot that I really honestly regretted changing into wooly form to hang around the settlement.

    "We don't ravage the enviroment with all that light pollution over here!"
    "Yeah, that's true..."
    Still, there also aren't a lot of people, so that sort of life is easy, isn't it?

    It's a bit of a heavy thought on my mind as I run back home, and to the mailbox... Where Raven has a letter waiting for me.


    ...And finding Shara in my house, looking at some slightly bug-chewed leaves by the window.

    "Bugs? I wouldn't say I love them, but they don't bother me."
    "Really? I'm surprised."
    I expected a more conventionally girly response.
    "Tee-hee. I have to deal with them all the time when I'm gardening. I'm just used to them now."
    "Oh, yeah. That makes a lot of sense."

    I find Sofia, walking along in an attitude of almost love-struck happiness.

    ...That is not the best way to put it.
    "That's not true."
    "So you realize it, too."
    "No."
    Well, my fumbling aside, what I meant to say was...
    "But that's the good thing about you."



    "Oh, from yesterday?"
    "Well, it happens. I guess it's unavoidable when you fish outside all year-round."
    "Yeah, I got pretty burnt myself." There's this spot right between my shoulderblades...
    "I'll need to cover it with makeup later."
    With...make-up? Carmen?
    "Oh, what's with that look? I take care of my skin, you know. See how nice it is?"

    I was thinking that yesterday, too...


    "What was it?"
    "Some black ink."
    "What is that?" Like...squid ink?
    "Eastern artists use it to write powerful calligraphy, apparently. I want to try it."
    That sounds like a fun venture.
    "Well, that was a rare thing she got you."
    "Right? I'm going to paint a picture with it right now."
    "What about the calligraphy?!"

    I find Karina staring sadly out over the water.

    "Karina?"
    "You'd like that better, too, wouldn't you? (*sigh*...)"
    "W-what are you talking about...?"

    Well, enough dillying. Time to go see Raven!

    "Did you see my letter?"
    "Yes. You want me to mine some ore, right? I went with Gaius the other day, but I guess you help with the mining, too, don't you?"
    She nods.
    "Sometimes...When our supplies are low, or when Gaius can't go outside."
    "I see. Then where are we going to to mine today?"
    "Oddward: Windy Hill...or something."
    "Or something...?"
    "...Then Oddward: Windy Hill."
    "Are you just picking random spots?"
    ...She does not answer right away.

    "Let's just go."
    "Oh, okay."

    We walked toward the Valley's entrance.

    ...Where, of all people, Gaius was walking with his hammer in tow.

    He looked behind me to where Raven was trying not to be.
    "Oh? And Raven, too."
    Pinned to the spot, she lowered her head in assent.
    "Yes..."

    Gaius smiled vaguely.
    "Oh. I forgot you said you were going to take the day off!"
    "Ummm...Well then the store is..."
    Totally empty, isn't it?
    "Guess we're closed today!"
    "Won't your customers be mad?"
    "Ah, don't sweat it. Anyway, are you guys on a date?"

    Sweat rapidly forms, forgetting the coolness of the valley's air.
    "N-no. I'm helping Raven gather some materials."
    "Materials?"

    "Yes. She said you were running out..."
    "We are?"


    After a long pause in which Gaius looks over my shoulder at something -- Raven, I guess -- he smiles softly.
    "Hmmm...I guess we are."
    "What?"
    "Well, I'll leave the gathering to Raven, and I'll get back to the store."
    "Yes, I think that's the best. Someone should be there."

    "Yeah. Well, see you."
    "..."

    So...This is like that delivery from before, huh?


    Raven went rigid with an expression almost like panic on her face.
    "Curry Udon for dinner tomorrow, OK?"

    She relaxed and nodded.
    "Ok..."
    "Curry Udon?"
    "Gauis' favorite. It's my job to cook..."
    "Oh, I see."
    In other words, he's not saying anything.
    "...Let's go."


    She goes charging ahead without me, though.


    And we battled our way up the hill. Though...I guess "We" is kind of overselling it; I did most of the fighting. I guess I never realized...How strong I am.

    But we made our way to the spot, and could gather materials there in peace.


    "Yes..."
    "Well, I should --"

    "Is that a wooly...?" That's...a little far from home. Is it the one from before? It has that look...
    "...It's okay. This one looks like the one from the ice field."
    "I see..." I don't want to say anything out of the ordinary. But...It's really impressive she can tell.
    "It likes you, Raven." I declare, with a smile. That trusting step...There's no room for doubt.




    The wooly circles around her and retreats.
    "Well, let's go then."
    "Yes..."

    When we just exit the cave and to the entrance, though...

    A strange light fills the air, thick as silence and heavy as a winter frost.
    "Huh...?"


    Having appeared with that light, and standing next to a gate...

    The wooly from before. Is that how it gets around?
    "...!"


    My vision clouds over with glow.

    All I see is the brightness and the whiteness. My chest burns. My skin feels tight, my bones sore and uneven. Muscles that some parts of my brain -- parts designed only to be human -- does not think should exist tighten. The sensation is familiar, but in incredible slow-motion.


    No no no! I can't do this with Raven right behind me!
    I glance about, but the only escape's right behind me. I dive to it like a man trying to escape a fire. She can think it's strange, as long as she doesn't see.


    I can't let her see, because there's no way I can stop now.

    Once I'm in the cave, I stop so much as trying.

    The pain goes away instantly; in fact, it feels like a comfortable release.
    "What was that light?"

    I shake it off... And wonder for a moment if something'll stop me from transforming back. I've transformed without intending to before, but... Never when I was awake.


    But it doesn't happen. Everything's fine.
    "I should get back."

    Outside, everything's...normal. Nothing happens. No light, no pain.

    "Where's Raven --"


    She's standing where the gate was. A little noise, like a gasp or a sigh or a sob -- to small to tell, the feeling odd and ambigious, breathless and full of feeling -- escapes her.
    "Raven!"

    She turns and sees me, an expression of pure surprise flitting momentarily across her face.

    "No...It's nothing."
    "Are you sure...?"
    She won't say anything more than that, though.

    "Ok..."


    "Thanks for today..."
    She looks...dissapointed somehow.
    "Don't worry about that. It's time for rest!"
    I need to rest, too...
    I was so afraid...

    "Yes..."


    She leaves me with a trio of the gems we've collected.

    I run across Collette, charging down the streets.
    "Are you going somewhere?"
    "Yup! The flower shop!"

    "Ah, good to hear you're expanding your horizons! What kind of flower?"
    "Artichokes! YUM! Can't wait to scarf 'em down!"
    "Uh, that's not exactly what popped into my head when you said 'flowers'..."

    At the request board today...

    Is a kind of concerning message from Pia. I know the bath is important; what sort of help could she need? More scrubbing assistance?

    I stop by the diner for some recipes on the way, though.



    Accessories are my bane.


    "Huh, I didn't know those came detached...
    "...(I think it'd suit Ramza.)"
    "W-What?"

    "Anyway, if you're looking for Pia, she's in the back room."
    "How did you know I was looking for her?"
    She looked aside for a moment, before answering.
    "Well, uh, it's obvious, isn't it? You're always running around doing this or that for someone; if you're here, and you're not here to do a favor for me...Then it's probably Pia..."
    "Oh, I see. You may have a point..." Do I really come off as such a busy body?

    I head on back with Sakuya behind me and find...

    Pia lying back in a state near collapse.

    "Pia?! What happened?!"
    She smiles bravely, but her skin's pale...
    "Oh, don't worry about me! I'm just resting my eyes!"

    The innkeeper's daughter crosses the room and stands at the head of Pia's bed (well, it's one of those eastern mat-style beds, but you get the idea).

    "Nah, that may be what it looks like, but I'm still rarin' to go! Trust me!"
    She waves an arm in assurance -- or protest -- or assuring protest -- but it slowly stops waving, hangs there for a moment, and then drops over her stomach limply.
    "Besides, who...else...can clean the...bath...?"

    Sakuya shook her head.
    "No! Mom will do it. You get some rest!"
    The prospect of the bath being handled by someone else -- no, that's not it, is it?... After what Pia's told me... After how I feel about my own situation, I can't help but think... -- The prospect of her reason to stay being handed over to someone else is too much, and she tries to sit up with a struggling fury.

    "Just do it!"
    Pia flops backward, unable to entirely pull herself up. She stares at Sakuya's stern, upside-down (to her) face.


    We both leave the room so she can actually get some rest.

    "She's been really enthusiastic lately. But maybe too much when it comes to the bath..."

    "She cares so much about the bath..."
    ...I've worked myself pretty hard on my farm, so I think I can understand.
    She cares so much about her home.
    "Well, it seems like she's alright. I'm sure she'll be back to work in no time. But I'm sure she'd love it if you took a fried squid to her."

    "A friend squid? Yeah, I think I can manage that!"
    Actually, I fried up last night's squid; I was planning on giving it to her anyway.

    Sakuya paused and looked at me for a moment.
    "Although, I have a feeling she'd just be happy to see you."
    "Really?"

    Well...I guess I should give her that get-well-snack quickly, then.

    "I feel a little bad having you do all this for me..."
    She admits sheepishly, spinning the squid gently on its stick. She clamps her expresssion down into a smile.
    "I need to get better and get back to work!"
    "You don't need to push yourself so hard..."

    "Huh...?"
    "Sakuya was upset. You need to take better care of yourself. She gave me an earful, too. I...I think it seems like you don't think you're any good without the bath..."

    Lying on the bed, a lonely and far-away smile rises on Pia's face.

    "What?"
    "If I didn't have the bath, I'd have nothing left. Then I'd feel bad for Sakuya because she made me who I am."


    'I'll do anything for you,' I told Shara... Because she allowed the person I am right now to exist...
    That's what I felt, but...

    Somehow, I can't believe that of Pia.
    "I don't think people can make you anything."

    "Sakuya didn't make you who you are or anything, you changed when you met Sakuya.
    And so, that's what made you happy the most."

    "Happy...?"
    I nod. I understand that... Isn't that odd? Understanding someone who's so extravangtly odd as Pia, but...

    "Let's go somewhere together when you're feeling better. I want to go somewhere with you."

    I'd like to make her happy, too.


    "Ok..." She smiles very broadly and innocently, like right then and there, some light poked out around the clouds -- the feeling of walking out into a sunbeam on her face.


    I left the inn, followed by Sakuya.

    "Thanks for coming. Seems like she wasn't going to be listening to me. Oh, and this is from Mom. She says to take good care of her girls."


    "She's really busy right now, but she's worried about Pia, too."

    "She will?!"
    I mean, what? No. Of course...not...
    "Anyway, take good care of Pia!"


    They...they make it sound like they're handing her over in marriage.

    Better shoes. Also, good for snow.

    That evening...I admit, I was a little worried about things. Well, not exactly worried, but... I'm not sure what to call it. I feel like this morning was much too close.
    Which means I don't want to go adventuring alone.

    "Hey, Delita, want to come with me?"
    "<Where to?>"
    "I dunno. Places? Um, maybe up to the valley. There are some ingredients I could get, and fishing I could do..."
    "<...Yeah, alright. May as well, right?>"



    First thing's first, fishing.

    Even though it's the same area as this morning... This time, everything's fine. I can't help but try and keep an eye out.
    "<...What's bugging you this time?>"
    "Huh? What?"
    "<...You're jumpy. Jeeze, you've always got some trouble, haven't you?>" He sighs in a sort of superior 'What am I going to do with you' sort of way.
    "Not always!...But...You're right. There is something on my mind."

    "<Well?>"
    I watch the bobber go up and down on the water; I feel a certain kinship with it. Just trying to stay above the line...
    "Today...something happened here. Someone almost found out. About me, I mean."

    This premise did not seem to worry him nearly as much as it worries me.
    "<And then?>"
    "Well, she didn't, but..."
    He smirks at the 'she.'
    "Quit it!"
    "<It's always a girl with you.>"
    "No it's not!"
    "<Name one crisis not brought about by this human town's downright lunatic batch of females.>"
    "...The amnesia has nothing to do with them! There! That's a crisis!"

    I decided not to turn around and look at him until I was done blushing.

    "<...Ok, so she didn't find out. What's the problem? You don't want them to know, and they don't. The farm's doing well -- I've seen to that -- everything's coming up Ramza, right?>"
    "Yes -- no -- I... I don't know why it happened. What if something makes me transform again? Who'll be there then? What happens if someone finds out?
    ...Can I really keep lying to everyone, even the people I care about most?"
    My face in the water of the cave's pond is lost and confused; I normally look sort of small for my strength, but here, it just looks pitiful.

    "<I don't see why you couldn't. To be honest, I don't really get how you can hide that stuff. I mean, you smell the same. It's dumb.>"
    "Not all species have good noses." Ugh, I'm getting caught in useless squabbling...

    Anyway, I start going to get a move-on up the hill. Or mountain. I'm not sure how to class the general rise, but, whatever.

    Along the way, I end up doing most of the fighting; Woolies aren't really an agressive species, so it's not like that's a surprise.
    "...What would you do, if you were in my shoes?" I say as I watch an orc of some descript return to the forest of origin.
    "<If I were in shoes at all?>"
    "Yeah."

    I pick up the fallen drops while he thinks about this.
    "<I'd probably hide from everyone, too. Nothing wrong with a certain amount of deception to get what you want; what you want is a nice, quiet little life, right? You want people to like you.>"
    "...Basically."
    "<...But then, you showed yourself to me, and asked me to live at your farm. I wouldn't have done that.>"
    "Why not?"
    He waves a paw casually.
    "<Three can keep a secret if two are dead. If I were really set on not telling anyone, I wouldn't tell *anyone*, not that I'd be honest where I could get away with it.>"

    This gave me a bit of pause.
    "Get away with it?"
    "<Yeah. Like I said, I don't get how you can fool anyone...But you can. Like it or not, you can't live among woolies...So if I rejected your peace offer, it wouldn't really hurt you. You'd still have people to talk to, a home to live in. Humans are diverse -- you can hide there forever, if...If you weren't you, I guess. So, really, you're fine if someone knows. No, better than fine, if it's bothering you that much. You're just scared you'll have nowhere left to run.>"
    "...I guess...that's a weakness of mine." I smile sadly, and shake my head.

    I don't want people to know I've been lying, or that I'm not 'like them.' I don't want to be alone.
    ...But if all I do is lie, I'll be alone anyway. Right now, I don't know what I really want.
    I can't be weak too much longer. I...I just have to be stronger.
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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...

  24. - Top - End - #174
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Well be it writing, good groove, or the game picking up, it's very entertaining.
    The confidant of Delita though is a nice touch, as has been mentioned before.

    I have to keep restraining myself from finding the story elsewhere and reading a synopsis. I have bits and pieces figured out, but I want to know what the full story is.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  25. - Top - End - #175
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Update is coming, sorry for the delays to...um...Everything. I am in a bit of a funk. I hope to have something up tomorrow or the next day. Things have been played.
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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...

  26. - Top - End - #176
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Chapter 22: Stay Here
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    The next day began quietly, with nothing more than smalltalk and vague greetings with the Settlement dwellers.


    And an unusually forthright letter from Raven, even! What a surprise!

    I'll have to see her when I go to town.


    ...Now I'm imagining a cute little baby Karina, fresh from a nap...How precious!
    "She was such an energetic child. What happened?"
    It's a mystery.

    Speaking of mysteries, there's something on my mind...

    I mean, she's going to have to go through the woods to reach the city...
    "I can use a little magic."
    "Oh, I see. I thought you would be too lazy to learn magic..."
    "Well... (Seems easier than swinging a weapon.)"

    The town's unusually bustling; there are people on all the streets for a change. Maybe it's the nice summer weather. Sakuya flags me down on my way to the blacksmith's.

    She waves something like her own hairclips around.
    "Wait...that's for girls, right?"
    I mean, the tassle's pink and all...
    "Well, I thought it might suit you. You know, because you're like a girl."
    "What?!"
    ...I...It's true, isn't it?
    I'm a horribly unmasculine figure, and there's nothing I can do about it.

    Curse my soft and cuddly ancestors!

    I head, with my head held low in shame, to the Blacksmith's. Maybe if Raven's actually asking me to see her, she'll be a good distraction...


    What...?

    Her desk is empty.
    "Huh? Raven's out somewhere?
    Well, I'll ask Gaius."

    I walk over to where he's working at the forge, seemingly lost in his happy world of hot metal.


    "Hey, Gaius!"
    He looks up.
    "Huh...?"

    "Oh, hey, Ramza. What's the matter?"
    "I came to see Raven..."
    He looks around -- I wonder how long he's been at work...
    "Raven? She's not there?"
    "No..."
    "Well, she does wander off now and then."
    He hesitates for a moment, which makes me wonder at the response.
    "Is something the matter?"
    "Well, she just hasn't been herself since yesterday."


    She was looking sort of sick...
    "Sofia or Karina might know something."
    "Okay. I'll go ask them." They might even be together... Those three seem to be decent friends, though I can't picture Karina or Raven really being "close."
    "Thanks."

    True to expectation, I find them in the general store.

    "Yes."
    "What?!"
    "No," she explains.
    "Oh, I see..."

    "What did you do to Raven, Ramza?"
    She said, looking at me with a stern expression.
    "..." Does it have to do with that light...?


    "Raven... (*yawn*...) Who knows...? (Wait, didn't I see her?)
    She's gone?"

    "Yeah. Gaius didn't hear anything either."
    "Oh."
    "What?"

    "You saw her?!"
    "I think I did... (Vaguely though...)"
    "Thanks, I'll look there."


    I run up there as fast as I can, to the bluff with the rosebush.

    And there she is, looking out over the strange, frozen shapes...

    With the wooly from before. As I run over to her, her expression hardens.


    "Huh...?"
    She couldn't hold onto that expression, cold and thorny as the scenery, for long. Her eyes softened, and she turned away, her long hair hiding much of her face.
    "..."

    I don't understand. That makes no sense at all.
    "Um...You gave me a letter, didn't you? Didn't you want to talk?"
    "Why did you come...?"
    It's barely a whisper -- something between a lonely accusation and a prayer. 'Why did you come?' Like she'd not asked for it.
    "Huh...?"
    Letter! Wrote! You! Said!

    "That was...a mistake. I don't have anything more to say to you."

    When you think about it...
    Have we really said anything yet? Just little things, just small steps -- just avoiding everything. It finally felt like... We were getting closer.

    I reach out a hand.
    "Wait --"

    Only to be met by a wall of anger.

    She pivots to glare at me better, and everything falls out of her expression. The only sound I hear is my own heartbeat. And I'm sure then she sees the look on my face -- it must be...completely pathetic.

    "Raven..." But I'm not sure I can help looking pathetic. Everything's forward and back, and I just don't... It feels like something's about to crumple, anytime I think it might be safe.
    "...Don't come near me," she says in a softer tone. When she turns to face the edge of the bluff, her voice goes even quieter, and I can't tell if she's angry or sad. "...Please."
    What would happen if I didn't? Would that hurt her trust even more?
    "..." I turn and walk away.





    "I'm alone again."

    Back by the entrance, I can't keep the strangeness of the whole thing off of my mind.

    "But right now --"



    The wooly from the other day -- well, really, I guess I'd call him more Raven's wooly friend... Walks by. If I had to think about it...
    I'd say he looked worried.

    "That wooly is drawn to Raven..."
    Hm, I wonder...
    "Maybe if I pretend to be that wooly..." I can get a better idea of what she really feels.


    Now I'm a little glad I haven't told anyone. I mean, besides avoiding consequences.
    Of course, I'm still a blonde wooly in a scarf, belt, and hat.
    "Now to use the snow to make me white..."
    And stow my clothes somewhere.


    I roll around in the snow until a thin layer of frost is spread across my wool, making it white on the surface. It's thick enough I don't feel the cold very much, and I'm sure that -- to a human, anyway -- I look just like any other wooly.


    And I can approach Raven without being seen as the least bit unusual. It feels weird being totally naked, though...

    She smiles faintly.
    "I see...You came back."
    "Bah!"


    I stand next to her, and stare out across the frozen space. Below, I see fields of ice.

    The noise that she makes, filling up the frosty silence, is that lonely little sound I've heard from her before -- just a little catch in her throat, trapped and isolated before it can become some recognizable thing.
    "I wonder if Gaius is worried about you."
    "Bah?" Is she talking about 'Me'?
    "Ramza..."
    She sighs and shakes her head.

    "B-Bah bah bah! (That's not true!)"
    But...I can't hate Raven. I just don't understand her.
    "I don't know what you're saying." She smiles fondly and shakes her head.
    "B-Bah... (Of course not.)"
    It's a totally useless argument, but -- what argument can I make, without giving everything away like that?
    "But...thank you."

    She sighs.
    "I wonder why this always happens..."
    "Bah...?"
    "And I thought we were getting along so well..."
    Rubbing her arms for warmth, or comfort, she looks very small.
    "That light...It takes everyone away."
    "..."
    She's seen that before? A realization hits.


    "So I decided not to be friends with anyone again...
    That's what I decided..."




    She shakes her head, sending red strands thrashing through the air.
    "But being lonely is hard..."
    "..."

    "And I thought...This time...This time, it could have been different...I don't really know why... It was just... I just felt..."
    She sighs and yawns, looking out over the cold expanse.
    "...There was just something about him. It just...felt that way... What a fool."
    She sighed. As she stared out, her head drooped lower and lower...

    Until she fell onto my cold, snow-covered shoulder, asleep.

    I didn't want to move her, but...It was no good, her sleeping on snow.

    I changed back (relieved to see that, despite my wooly clothes being stowed, I was still dressed in human form. I mean, who knows how magic worked?)
    ...And then, the snow gone, I let her stay like that for a while.

    Until she snapped awake, anyway. It was about time for me to stand up and pretend I'd just come back here.

    "You'll catch a cold if you sleep here, Raven."


    She jumps up like she'd been stunned; I can't help but chuckle.

    A little gasp escapes in a puffy cloud of warm air.
    "Ramza..."

    She takes a step back and raises her shoulders defensively.
    "Go away. I don't want to see you."
    "Because of your 'curse'?"

    Ok, that's a low blow, but...The truth is important.

    I take a few steps closer.
    "Stay away!"
    I don't move. I won't move away.

    Her expression goes iron and ice, furious at -- at what? At me? At herself? At everything? I'm not sure, only that she shakes her head, her eyes gleaming like glaciers, with cold, long-forsaken depths.
    "I thought finally I've found it...Finally I've grasped it!"
    Her fists clench and unclench, uselessly grasping onto the cold air.


    And, like ice melting...Tears appear in the corner of her eyes, trickling out onto her face. In the cold air, I'm sure it feels like being bitten.

    "..." Raven...
    "I can't take it any more. I don't want to lose someone important again..."
    The tears that stain her face are hidden away -- her head dips, and the veil of her long red hair closes about her.
    "I can't take it..."


    The light burns, and covers my field of vision.

    "...!"
    "Not again...!"


    It feels so familiar.

    I turn my head and see, around the rosebush --

    Is using gates again.

    Maybe it feels similar...

    ...Maybe it's connected?
    ...But this time, I don't feel any irrepressable need to transform. How strange.

    I glance to the side and notice that Raven's silent and miserable. Her eyes are shut very tightly.

    She opens them slowly, and with some surprise.
    "...I thought."
    "What?"
    "I thought you disappeared."
    "..."
    What do I say to that -- to what she was saying before? What can I do? Should I explain, about before? Can I?
    "...It's okay."
    All I can find is the weakest, smallest thing. I can't explain why I ran before. But...Surely, that's not all I can do. I can...

    Do this.
    Her body's neither cold nor warm; the chilled air and the snow haven't touched her. My fingers pass through the hair that falls to her back, feeling her tight shoulderblades, her thin back.
    I pull her to me.

    "See, I'm here." I smile at her, sunny enough to unfreeze the air. "I didn't disappear."
    "..."
    Her arms clasp my sides. I wonder...when the last time she let someone come close enough to grab her was...Or when it was, the last time she put her arms around someone, to hold them close.

    "Hey...Raven."
    "Yes."
    "Let's go home..."

    "..."
    Her eyes widen in wonder. The pause made by her hesitation could have lasted hours.



    We head back, into the warm summer air of the town.

    "..."
    "Raven?"
    Her face goes red.
    "Um...thanks for today."
    "What?"
    "This is for you..."

    She retreats into the saftey of the forge.

    "It was very...typical Raven."
    Something brushes against my arm.
    "Hm? What's this on my clothes...?"

    It's a single, luminous red feather.
    "This is from the bird in the Sol Terrano Desert!"
    The one I practically hallucinated!
    "But if its feather's here, then it must have been real...But why was it there?"

    "Well, no use pondering it."


    At the village's notice board...

    Carmen's got an, um...Kind of unusual request, now, doesn't she?
    I mean, she can't mean...She doesn't think...

    There's no way! I mean, like everyone says, I'm pretty girly, and I'm pretty sure I'm un-datable, so she can't seriously mean it as, like, a date-date.

    She runs up towards the town, giving me a warm greeting.
    "Are you free now?"
    "Okay. Yeah, I don't have anything to do."
    Well, I do, but...I'll manage.

    "What?! Date?!" I thought she was kidding! "You're pretty direct, Carmen." I say, trying to distract from my bright red face.
    "Well, the magazine I always read had a feature. Said that mountain stream fishing is all the rage! So let's go! It'll be fun."
    "Oh, you just want me to go fishing. My heart skipped a beat for a second."
    Carmen laughs and winks at me.
    "Ha ha. But I can't tell Carlos about it. So it's our secret!"
    She brandishes her fishing rod.


    On our way there, I stop by the Witch's Cauldron for some medicine; I'm running low.

    "?"
    "Keep your eye on your opponent and when you see an opening, STRIKE! That's an injection fundemental," She explains at the end of some bizzare, pointy calisthenic routine.
    "Is it a martial art...?"


    A roaring noise fills the air as we head towards the mountain.
    "????"
    And Carlos comes charging after us, sending up dirt clouds as he skids to a halt.

    "Ah, Carlos! You were listening?"
    "I'll never let you date as long as I live! You can fish at our resort!"
    OOokay. Someone has issues.

    ...She's just going to fold? I mean, I'm not a prize catch, but...Seriously, Carlos?

    Well, before I know how to interfere in a family situation...

    We end up fishing at the resort's private pool.
    "..."
    Awkward. What a mood-killer.
    Her bobber dips.
    "Alright...!"


    She grunts and smiles, reeling in the fish...

    And bringing it, squirming, to the air.
    "It's a good size."
    "Wow, Carmen. You're good at this."

    I sigh. Nothing's bitten this whole time.
    "I'm having no luck. It brings me down."
    "Don't worry. Just fishing with you is fun for me."
    "Yeah, me too. I was being selfish." Well, I would like a fish...It's good money.


    I use the lake...But I don't usually use the resort. Maybe I should.
    "Okay. I'll be patient."

    After a while -- still no dice -- Carmen stretches.
    "Let's eat. I'm getting hungry."

    She scooches closer to me, bringing out some food -- I guess she'd planned this as a proper picnic.

    "Oh, just a minute. I'll put the fishing rod down."
    She takes out a fork, laden with her lunch, and brings it up.
    "Don't worry. Now say 'Ah'."

    The lunch is pretty tasty -- I didn't get a good look at it, though... and you can't fault the service!

    "Hmm....It's good."
    "Heh heh. I'm glad I woke up early and made it! It was hard to prepare without making noise!"
    She grins, full of self-satisfaction -- her brother could demand a change of venue, but not take away her hard-cooked lunch!

    Something jars my bobber, and it goes beneath the surface.
    "Huh...? Is that a fish biting?"
    "Oh! You got one! Pull it up!"
    "O-Okay!"


    As much as I struggle and try to real it in, the fish on the other end dies deeper and struggles beneath the surface.
    "It's pretty big. The rod might break..."
    "Don't force it! I'll help you!"


    She wraps her hands around my fishing rod for more support, and pulls back in time with me, struggling against the fish on the other end.


    Snap!
    The end of the line -- the new end of the line -- goes flying into the air. Suddenly pulling back with no pull forward...

    We both fall back.


    "That was a strong fish. I wonder if it was the King Fish."
    "You think so?!" Carmen gets over our defeat and beams. "Wow! The King Fish was just on our line! That's amazing!!!"
    She sort of bounces excitely, but then winces.

    "Are you OK?"
    "I'll be fine! I twisted my ankle."

    "Don't worry. Use my shoulder."

    There came a loud roar.


    ...Oh, so this is when he stops spying from the windows?
    Carmen side-steps and lets go of my shoulder, and tries to maintain an air of nonchalance. No, no touching here. Nope. Lalala...
    I was not so lucky.

    "What did you do to her? You better answer me!"
    "I'm sorry, Carlos." It was my fishing line... "I think Carmen got hurt because of me."
    "No, stop! I was helping him catch a large fish. Then the line broke, and I fell to the ground!"
    Carmen glares at her brother, hands on her hips.
    "You're do hot-headed!"
    "...!"
    Carlos sighed and sort of gently deflated.

    ...I hadn't noticed at all. Not even slightly.
    "You were helping her and I yelled at you. Sorry."

    "Carlos." Just...Carlos.
    "Silly guy...I'm glad you're worried, but you need to trust us. *mumble mumble*
    ...Let's go home now."

    She turns to me, and away from grumbling at her brother.
    "Today was fun. Thanks."
    "I had fun too. Take care of your foot."


    And the specter looming over all your interpersonal relationships. The two of them went inside, leaving me alone on the resort dock.


    I suppose I should try and make nice about this. I have a fish, maybe he'd like that...?

    "You knew it was my birthday... You just made my day."
    Uh, sure I did. Yeah.
    "Heh heh, I guess I've been doing something right to deserve this. Thanks! It's so great to be alive!"
    ...I can't stay too mad.
    "Happy Birthday, Carlos...But...could you cool off next time?"
    "Men have enemies everywhere."

    "Ah... (Carlos is pretty funny.)"

    I run and get some recipes, you know, the usual...




    And decide that, since Pia's feeling better, maybe I could do what I said before...

    And take her somewhere.
    Aah, not like...Well, maybe a little like that. Just a bit "like that."
    "Okay! You know, I feel like looking at the waterfall today."
    "Then let's go!"

    The giant fish Pia brings when she goes travelling, apparently, is...Um.
    Special.
    It's very much the sort of thing you expect from Pia.


    We eventually make our way to the waterfall's pool. Pia dashes toward the the rushing water and leaps about, the picture of childish excitement.

    "Do you like waterfalls, Pia?"
    "...I think my reaction should have made that obvious, buddy."

    "Well, should we take a break here?"
    "Abso-duh-TUTELY!
    You know, Ramza, you can usually see a rainbow in the afternoon here!"

    Huh. I haven't really been here enough to notice, but there certainly is one now.

    "And fishies LOOOOVE rainbows, too!"
    Test Daria for fish blood, got it.
    "Yeah, but...why exactly is there one here so often?"

    "Basically, you can only see them when the sun's behind you, which happens in the afternoon here!"

    ...That was a sudden and unexpected deluge of knowledge.
    "How... do you know about rainbows in that detail?"
    "Who DOESN'T?!"
    "Uh...You'd be surprised."
    You know...The happiness she has at this town's landscape makes me think of something.

    "By the way...Did you come to the village because you didn't like the sea?"
    Pia sighs and thinks about this for a moment, her expression calm and far away.
    "Not exactly."
    She smiles a little.
    "Have you ever felt like you wanted to...escape?"
    'My' life isn't very long, so it's not like I can really say... But... There are times I wanted to avoid something: the future, or the past, or the fact that those two things hold answers that might drive me from what I know right now.

    Her voice moves over the words fluidly, avoiding an overt telling of how she feels about that: not regretful, and not sad... But obviously not happy. A sort of peaceful wistfulness, radiating something cool and quiet.
    As quickly as it appears, it's gone, because she smiles again.
    "And when I arrived in town, I met Sakuya and Shino!"

    Me?
    ...I'm...well, flattered.
    "Sounds like the right move."
    She nods.
    "But there's one thing I'm not sure about."
    "What's that?"
    She holds her hand up toward the water, but doesn't touch it; from an inch away, even though the water's not still, I can see the broken shape of her fingers reflected in the falls.
    "Is it okay for me to stay like this and deny my mermaid heritage?"


    Given what Sakuya was saying to me, I don't think she has any reason to doubt. Whether it's ok to deny her heritage...
    I don't think I can do it forever, either, Pia. But she's in a better place than I am, at least.
    "I think you can. Stay here, I mean."
    "Really? You don't think I've overstayed my welcome with Sakuya and Shino?"
    "Well, I can't speak for them." If she can't tell how they think of her, then that's not my place...
    But she was happy to have met me; that she came here, and so did I. I want to return that trust.

    She pauses for a moment, just staring at me.
    "You know what...?"
    Her face flushes, so her entire head is a warm pinkish color.


    We spend a little longer talking by the waterfall, until it seems like time to go.

    We part ways, and she goes home to the path.

    I spend my afternoon logging... And my evening fishing. At least at first.
    After a while, I switched to just making and upgrading gear...

    Leading me to getting a new ring to replace my old one. I figure water defense would be good in an ice area.

    The next day dawned rainy; a perfect summer storm that had everyone inside and introspective.

    "I do."
    "I'd like to reconsider my answer, if I may. I can't imagine myself as anything BUT the settlement elder."
    "Wow. That's commitment."
    "I love the settlement. I will protect it with my last breath."
    The pride and grace she has in her job makes me feel like...I couldn't imagine her without that pride; it's who she is, for better and worse.


    "I don't know, though. I can't find any sound evidence of that phenomenon."
    ...Are you...doing science to wishes?
    I'm just...going to leave that there.

    Mail needs getting.

    And it includes a request from Shara. A wooly?... This meeting could go badly. Well, at least there's a language barrier...

    Out on the town, the first thing I want is...


    A much-needed update to my storage.

    It's been too full for too long.
    "For the storage box, I'll need 6000 gold and 160 pieces of wood."
    That's what all that logging was for!

    "That soon?!" What, are there ninja carpenters?
    Hazel leaned back with pride.
    "Of course. We're prompt."

    Before I go see Shara, I decide to head to the forge, where I find Gaius sighing, distracted from the forge. Which is...New.\

    "...Evelyn, huh?"
    "She's nice and responsible and...she's made cast-iron underwear..."
    ...I guess that's...what gets a dwarf's motor running, huh?
    Well, good luck to him.

    I eventually head down to the flower field where Shara likes to be.


    Shara's bent over a wooly -- from a distance, I can't read the wooly's expression. But I can read hers -- she's worried about something, her thin brows furrowed.


    A wooly who's definitely not the one she's looking over. No, more than that...
    I think it's angry. I admit, it can be hard to tell with Woolies. Agression isn't, you know, a thing.
    But anything can hurt if it sneaks up on you.
    "Watch out!"


    I dash between Shara and the agressive stranger, holding out my arms as a shield.


    The stranger freezes and sizes up the situation... But I think just being caught is enough to scare it off.

    I turn to look at Shara, and for Shara to look at me.
    "I wonder what's wrong with that wooly?"
    "I'm curious about this wooly, too."

    I look at him; he's definitely not doing ok...Even during that little kerfluffle, he barely lifted his head.
    "I found it like this. It seems hurt."
    It may have just been the rain still drizzling down... Or the droplets glittering on her face might have been tears.

    "Shara..."
    She wiped her eyes with the edge of a translucent sleeve, the spot growing dark and solid-looking. She lifts up her head, and her expression's fully severe.
    "I want to take it home and look after it."
    "That's a bad idea!"
    I've heard your grandpa! That's... more than a little terrifying.
    "Why?! It's injured and weak! I can't leave it!"
    I can't explain my actual thoughts without edging too close, so let's go for the obvious one...
    "It's a wild monster! It could attack you, Shara!"
    She shrugs.
    "I don't mind. Help me please."

    ...That's...
    "..."
    At the end of the day, Shara doesn't care about herself -- or what anyone else might say -- if it means helping someone.
    Even a total stranger, ending up on her doorstep in the rain.

    Yeah, it's dumb worrying about her grandfather.
    "Okay."

    We manage to bring it up to her bedroom, where the wooly in question seems to recover enough to walk around and scope out the room.

    Hopefully it's not waking up with amnesia in a strange girl's room, ha ha.

    "Yes."


    ...Oh dear. I'm about to watch a fight, aren't I?

    He glances around the room. I can almost see his mental gears screeching to an angry halt at the sight.
    "Monster!"
    Don't reflexively jump, don't reflexively jump...
    I manage to mostly stay in my skin for that one.
    "Hush, grandpa. It's hurt."
    "But...!"
    Shara glares.
    "Grandpa!"
    "..." He sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose. I'm guessing that I'm seeing what happened the night I showed up here play out again -- and, sans details, he knows it, too. "Forget it."

    In the silence of his departure, we turn and look at each other.

    "I'll keep it here."
    "I see... Be careful." I guess I shouldn't feel quite so worried, but...Well, I guess I'm a little protective. "I'll help with anything, just let me know."
    She smiles brightly at me.
    "Thank you very much. I wanted to give this to it..."
    She starts digging around for something.
    "But I wasn't sure it was okay to give, so I was wondering if you'd like it."
    "Oh, yes. Thank you."



    She gave me an unusual-looking ring...
    As I stare at it, I can't help but think about how useful it could be, one day...

    And I turn and look at the little guy looking about the strange room.
    "You watch out for her, OK?"


    Well, anyway... I do have a request on the bulletin board.

    From...Carlos, of all people.


    He sighs.
    "I'm sorry about how I acted before. Really sorry."
    "Carlos, that's over and done with." Honestly, I think apologizing to Carmen might be better...
    "To be honest, it's a little complicated for me...Because I can tell from the way she acts. You don't need to hide it from me any more." Carlos's expression is absolutely serious. "You're close to Carmen, aren't you?"\
    "Huh?" Me...and Carmen?
    A big, weatherbeaten hand lands on my shoulder.
    "You're a good guy. But, I don't know if you're worthy of my sister. That's why I'm giving you this test."

    ...Ok. This is starting to get weird.
    "Carlos, I..."

    "Catch 2 Lover Snapper. It might sound crazy, but I want to know what kind of man you are. You'll do it, won't you, bro? I'm serious here."
    T-there really isn't anything to be serious about...

    Carlos... I guess he's just looking out for his sister.
    "Okay."
    At last, he smiles.
    "It's a bro's promise then. I'll be waiting."


    Conveniently, there were some Lover Snapper in the lake right then. Carmen even watched me pull it up. With a laugh, she commented,

    "This girl married a man who caught a giant lover snapper! And they are so hard to catch. It'll make you popular with ladies!"
    Uh, what? Is Carlos...right about Carmen's feelings?
    Then she winks at me.
    "Although I can catch them myself, so I'd rather be given something else. Heh heh."
    Oh...Well, I guess that's...good. That she wasn't being serious, I mean.

    After a bit more fishing, I manage to bring in two lover snappers.


    "I can't trust a guy who would give up on my sister. But you're not like that."
    "What? Then --"
    He slaps my back, sending me stumbling forward.

    "I have nothing more to say. Take care of Carmen."
    Why does everyone keep saying that about their female relatives?!
    "Uh...Thank you?"
    "Now, with my sister off my hands, I can focus on picking up some nice ladies! Ha ha ha..."

    ...Whatever.

    Up next was the apothecary...
    Where, watching Marian tend her 'research,' which I'm sure Collette or I will find in our tea soon... I have to ask.
    "Marian, aren't you a witch? Couldn't you use magic?"

    "It's just that sometimes combining something with magic could solve old problems. And to probe that, I need to experiment!"
    "If only you didn't include that last part..."


    "Uh, I like forging, I guess."
    Well, I spend a lot of time at it...
    "I see. Well, then I'll need to gather up some materials."
    "I'm counting on you."
    "Yeah, leave it to me!"


    "But Sofia wasn't always like that. But one day, Boom! She started speaking just like father! What could have set her off...?"
    What a mystery.

    Of course, in this town...It's not unlikely that things could just be strange.
    When I get home, I get a good look at my new storage box.

    Just look at all that space! It looks like things are moving up.
    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...

  27. - Top - End - #177
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I am somewhat disbelieving that the translators used "Awesomesauce"
    This is some sort of torture update, things happened but nothing really happened...
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  28. - Top - End - #178
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Hmm...I'll try to find a way to make updates like these more interesting, since we've got a lot of events to cover before the next plotline advancement, especially since we went with seeing all of the reveals. On the upside, we're almost at Pia's and Shara's -- the next event is it for each of them (Pia has some events after those, but that can wait until after the plot moves on).

    Anything people particularly want shown off while we wait? I've been pondering trying the Sharance Maze stuff again, to pass time.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-09-25 at 01:06 PM.
    LPs:
    Spoiler
    Show
    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...

  29. - Top - End - #179
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Enjoyed the update, will be curious to see if others will continue to make it sound like they are giving away said potential love interest. Also the fact that Evelyn expects to be able to get Gaius to wear the turnip bikini makes me wonder a bit if she knows about his crush...

    Hmm, it would be interesting to see the maze again, though I think if the reveals are coming up, it will help, but then again, I enjoyed update.
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


  30. - Top - End - #180
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    Hmm...I'll try to find a way to make updates like these more interesting, since we've got a lot of events to cover before the next plotline advancement, especially since we went with seeing all of the reveals. On the upside, we're almost at Pia's and Shara's -- the next event is it for each of them (Pia has some events after those, but that can wait until after the plot moves on).

    Anything people particularly want shown off while we wait? I've been pondering trying the Sharance Maze stuff again, to pass time.

    It's not that the update wasn't interesting, but that I want more.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

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