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  1. - Top - End - #181
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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

    I've been a little preoccupied with some things and just got a chance to read the last two updates. Let's just say, I really like where this is going. Carlos and Carmen still don't do anything to me, but Pia has really grown on me since the start of the LP.

    Great updates, like Javan said though, I want more.

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Deme's Avatar

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

    I'm not surprised about that: Pia stands out as the character who most surprised me, and her events were some of my favorites...Because they ultimately did work out to be more revealing and personal, a little more thoughtful and sweet, then I'd expected by a wide mile.

    Seriously, though, work with me: What's "more"? What can I do to help acquire "more," understanding that there actually, in fact, is not that much "more" in terms of plot that I can do right now, one way or another. I...am not sure I could do longer. I could try doing longer. Does "more" mean "longer"? There's the Sharance Maze stuff if "more" means "more dungeoncrawling," and there's a few optional mini-bosses that are open -- not sure if we're ready for 'em, and I'm pretty sure beating them wouldn't do much for us anyway, but it might be cool to show off. I could show off in a bit more detail what goes into an evening of Rune Factory 3 when you're at the stage of the game where all you want is to make a dang heart pendant, who designed this loathesome crafting level system again, if that'd help satisfy "More."
    Basically, what I'm hearing is this.
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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...

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    SamuraiGuy

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

    Ah, no. In my case, "more" means I've finally gotten some emotional investment in these characters (I'd say it took a long time, but that's not true, we just finished Spring, it's just an artifact of this being an LP, rather than a straight playthrough), and I want to see where this all goes. Raven's character development seems to be coming to a climax, Pia has become a much more endearing character, Gaius just revealed who his crush is. I want to see what these characters still have in store.

    "More" essentially means, "I can't wait for the next update." Hope that makes it clear.

  4. - Top - End - #184
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    For what it's worth I'd be interested in seeing some more peeks into the crafting and stuff you are doing on a day to day basis.

    I'm also kind of curious what's going on with Ramza's money, because he's seemed to have a huge stockpile of it since pretty early on (even when talking about being relatively poor), and I haven't seen you spend much of it on pretty much anything. Is this just general hoarder tendencies, or are there big things you are saving up to afford?

    Other than that, I agree with fizz. Just generally happy to wait to see the new updates as they come.

    edit: He is fizz not fuzz.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2014-09-29 at 04:47 PM.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Javan's Avatar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by fizzmaister View Post
    Ah, no. In my case, "more" means I've finally gotten some emotional investment in these characters (I'd say it took a long time, but that's not true, we just finished Spring, it's just an artifact of this being an LP, rather than a straight playthrough), and I want to see where this all goes. Raven's character development seems to be coming to a climax, Pia has become a much more endearing character, Gaius just revealed who his crush is. I want to see what these characters still have in store.

    "More" essentially means, "I can't wait for the next update." Hope that makes it clear.
    That is also what I intended by 'more"

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    For what it's worth I'd be interested in seeing some more peeks into the crafting and stuff you are doing on a day to day basis.

    I'm also kind of curious what's going on with Ramza's money, because he's seemed to have a huge stockpile of it since pretty early on (even when talking about being relatively poor), and I haven't seen you spend much of it on pretty much anything. Is this just general hoarder tendencies, or are there big things you are saving up to afford?

    Other than that, I agree with fizz. Just generally happy to wait to see the new updates as they come.

    edit: He is fizz not fuzz.
    And here is where the abundance of money initially came from
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    ...*sigh* You make an excellent point, then.

    Chapter 14: Comedy Night
    The next day, my pink melons had grown in!
    A thrilling fact, which led me up to the kitchen for my usual light experimenting with various ingredients. This experimenting soon revealed...


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

  6. - Top - End - #186
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Deme's Avatar

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

    ...Oops.
    That's what one gets for responding to feedback while sick.

    Nevermind, y'all are great, go about your business.

    About the money though, yes. That's where it came from. As for where it was going in the beginning, and is not going now... In the beginning, when I did not have fairly large stocks of prelude to love money, or really good sashimi money, or just those slow little upticks in cash that happens as one progresses through a game, I also had the largest expenditures. Money actually was pretty tight, since I was usually spending 5-6 days worth of profit on single items like pots or ovens or forges, on top of about a thousand -- in a time when making a couple thousand in a day was not a sure thing -- on recipe breads.
    These days, it's lumber that's tight: all the big purchases I'd want, like that storage chest upgrade, need lumber. But lumber's hard to find, especially on top of all my other needs. In terms of things left to buy, there's furniture, barn upgrades, and I want both of those but don't usually have the materials... (Heck, I definitely *need* a double bed before the game's over. I gotta get logging.) There's equipment, which can cost a pretty penny, but I tend to prefer not to buy equipment if I can help it. I'd like to totally not undermine their crafting system, but they make it so difficult.
    I also regularly buy seeds, a stack of rice, and a stack of chocolate -- the latter two, specifically, are gifts: the rice is given straight-up to Collette, and the chocolate is given in the form of hot chocolate to Kuruna, and needs regular replacing.


    If I had the affection levels for it, and wanted to be making even more money, I could go down to the Resort and actually use it -- you can make requests of what fish you want them to put in the water, for a fee, unlocked at various affection levels. The best for your money is Tuna, which is pretty pricey, but shows a decent return.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-09-30 at 09:04 AM.
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    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...

  7. - Top - End - #187
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Javan's Avatar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    ...Oops.
    That's what one gets for responding to feedback while sick.

    Nevermind, y'all are great, go about your business.

    About the money though, yes. That's where it came from. As for where it was going in the beginning, and is not going now... In the beginning, when I did not have fairly large stocks of prelude to love money, or really good sashimi money, or just those slow little upticks in cash that happens as one progresses through a game, I also had the largest expenditures. Money actually was pretty tight, since I was usually spending 5-6 days worth of profit on single items like pots or ovens or forges, on top of about a thousand -- in a time when making a couple thousand in a day was not a sure thing -- on recipe breads.
    These days, it's lumber that's tight: all the big purchases I'd want, like that storage chest upgrade, need lumber. But lumber's hard to find, especially on top of all my other needs. In terms of things left to buy, there's furniture, barn upgrades, and I want both of those but don't usually have the materials... (Heck, I definitely *need* a double bed before the game's over. I gotta get logging.) There's equipment, which can cost a pretty penny, but I tend to prefer not to buy equipment if I can help it. I'd like to totally not undermine their crafting system, but they make it so difficult.
    I also regularly buy seeds, a stack of rice, and a stack of chocolate -- the latter two, specifically, are gifts: the rice is given straight-up to Collette, and the chocolate is given in the form of hot chocolate to Kuruna, and needs regular replacing.


    If I had the affection levels for it, and wanted to be making even more money, I could go down to the Resort and actually use it -- you can make requests of what fish you want them to put in the water, for a fee, unlocked at various affection levels. The best for your money is Tuna, which is pretty pricey, but shows a decent return.
    I would say all in all Ramza is making a fair investment with his money
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  8. - Top - End - #188
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Deme's Avatar

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

    While this has already been delayed more than I'd like, it'll have to be delayed a bit more; it appears a power outage last night took out all my work on a fairly significant scene, the penultimate of the update, and I don't have time today to make it up. Expect it Sunday or Monday.
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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...

  9. - Top - End - #189
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    You seem to have a rather large number of power outages occur.
    My personal rule learned from losing large chunks of data is - "Save Everything. All the Time."
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  10. - Top - End - #190
    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, I live in the subtropics, so there's a time of year where you get a lot of thunderstorms... But I wouldn't say I get a lot of power outages. Just that, from time to time, the ones I get tend to wreck my day. Anyway! Back on track!

    Chapter 23: Somewhere in the Middle
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    What I do this evening is this:
    First, I celebrate my new space by putting away most of the things I don't need. I keep my new ring with me, but there's so much I've been carrying with me simply because I couldn't put it away, that it's like suddenly taking off 50 pounds worth of backpack.


    Second: Fishing. Nothing heavy, since I have plans, but enough for gifts for Sakuya and Carmen and -- since I got a boot -- Sofia.

    I think Pia and I are at an understanding where she's as happy to see me as she is a squid, right...? Right. Right.


    Third: Find a chest full of goodies! I mean, that wasn't part of the plan. But it's pretty nice. I like goodies.


    Actually third: I go through the valley, fighting and mining, mostly with the idea of logging everything I can log. There's...not much. But at least a stump, right?
    By the time I'm done, allowing for a teleport accident, it's midnight, so I run home and cook up stuff for tomorrow.



    And I ate those recipe breads I found in that chest!

    And I make a pendant for Raven. That's all I could do before I ran out of Rune energy.

    After a fairly full evening like that, the next morning starts off quietly...

    With the pumpkins coming in! Well, mostly. Soil variation and all.
    I celebrate with a quick breakfast before dashing off to the settlement.


    It was apparently too quick a breakfast.
    "Oh, sorry. I guess I didn't notice."
    Kuruna narrowed her eyes.
    "Hmmm..."
    "Something wrong, Kuruna?"
    "Is that...cake?"
    "Uh...No?"
    I don't really have time to buy supplies for cake. Maybe I should.

    "I'm pretty sure that's not part of my patriotic duty, Kuruna."
    She shakes her head, looking disappointed.
    "It's uh...in the fine print!"
    "Well, if I have cake, I'll bring you some."

    Back at home, the mail's come...

    Raven has a request for me. I'll take that...

    And stop by the flower shop on the way.

    "I get plenty exercise throughout the day."
    "Oh, of course! What was I thinking?"

    When I got to the Blacksmith's, Raven looked almost surprised by my arrival.

    Her face went red.
    "...Did you read my letter?"
    "Yes. You wanted to thank everyone?"
    "Yes...I really caused everyone a lot of trouble. That's why I thought to give everyone their favorite things."
    "Then you want me to help you gather those for you?"
    "Yes...I want to give Sofia a failed dish, an Amethyst Ring for Karina...and a gold for Gaius."

    "...Do you have any of those things?"
    Her foot scuffed against the ground.
    "...Alright. I can loan you a gold and it's not hard to screw up a dish, but that ring..."
    I don't even think I have an amethyst.
    "Let's go give them in order."
    Hardest in the middle.


    We end up having to go mining all the way in Privera, but we eventually find it, and rush back to my house.

    I dig around for the gold easily enough...

    "Hello and Welcome to Cooking Without Looking, the show where we throw stuff together and see what happens!"
    "..."
    Rough crowd.

    "Success! We failed!"


    We made the ring together, as opposed to my just putting things together alone. She seemed happy to work with me.

    First up was Sofia, who we found in her house.

    "Yes..."
    "Really? I'm so sad, thanks! Oh, which reminds me -- "

    "What?!"
    "You knew...?"
    "Not at all."
    "So you did know..." I wonder how...


    "Where humans and monsters cause an imbalance...?"

    I wonder if I've been followed by that light in the past...
    Raven, next to me, freezes.

    "But I haven't found a case where it causes a person to disappear. Just monster pets."
    "But I saw. I saw with my eyes my friend disappearing..."
    "Was that really a human?" Sofia asks, simply.

    Why is that a 'huh'? Was he, or... Was he -- the person who gave her this idea in the first place -- like me? Or someone disguised?
    Sofia shrugs.
    "Well, it doesn't matter. I just looked into it a little, I'm not worried about it at all... Just let me know if you find something."

    "She must really be curious."
    But...So am I. What is the full story...


    "But why me? (Is she trying to trick me?)"
    "No...I cause you so much trouble the other day."
    "Trouble? (What is she talking about...?)"
    "What?"

    Karina just sort of shrugs.
    "Oh, yeah, right. I think you did. (I'll leave it at that.)" And, with a larger grin, "Well, I'll let you off the hook with this then."
    We left the store.


    If that light shows up because of rune energy unbalanced due to humans and monsters, then...Will there be situations when it pops up around me again, and I'm forced to transform? What if I'm around people?

    And then we go at last back to the Blacksmith's shop.

    "Is this for me? Thanks, but what is it for?"
    Raven fidgeted.
    "I...caused you trouble the other day..."
    "Oh, is that all?"
    Raven's eyes widened.
    "That all...?"
    Gaius smiled.



    For a moment, Raven didn't move. She just repeated that word to herself, as if holding it up inside her head.
    "Family..."
    "I mean, you'd be worried about me if I disappeared, wouldn't you?"


    "That's all I mean."
    Aw.

    "But I will be taking this, though."
    Of course.
    "Thanks."


    Raven walked me out. Which may be a little silly, since I'm just going to go back in and shop, but -- But she was, um, a little forceful about it.

    "..." A blush crept onto her face. "Ramza, for you..."

    "Yes..."
    "I see..."
    So, even though we did all this, I'm also someone she wanted to thank...
    "Thanks. I'm happy."

    "Oh, by the way...Here..."
    I reached into my pockets and pulled out that feather from the other day.
    "What? This feather..."
    "I found it the other day when I came back with you. If you want, you could make it into an accessory."
    She stares at the offered feather, shining dimly in my hand.
    "...
    Ok. Thanks..."
    Her voice dips into quiet tones.
    "Something the matter?"

    "...No. Nevermind. Bye then."
    "...?"

    How odd...

    That was a long morning, so let's do something simple this afternoon...

    Like try and work out what Sherman might need.

    On my way, I run into his elder daughter.

    "That's the core of my design philosophy, in fact!"
    "You've got a very warped view of people's personalities..."
    I mean, really. Gaius in a metal bikini...


    "Wait, apprentice...?" Another title for the pile...
    "Please don't bring me an ingredient for either Fried Blowfish, Chocolate Cookie, or Dried Sardines."
    "Just one?"
    "Yes. You don't have to only bring me one. Also, it shouldn't satisfy my hunger."
    "...?"
    "Then, bad luck!"










    Speaking of appetites...My own apetite for recipe breads is not easily satiated.

    An ingredient for a chocolate cookie...

    Yeah, I can make those. He probably wants the most substantial ingredient, so... A cookie?

    I bake a cookie quickly -- it's just flour and milk, which borders on irresponsible baking, and head out with it...


    That expression...
    "Huh? Was this not right?"
    "No! You pass, Ramza!" He grinned and the cookie vanished somewhere in his gaping, fish-like maw. "You can't be promoted to chef-in-training!"
    "Um..."
    "Oh, I almost forgot. This isn't you reward for today."

    Not a bad bit of money, for a lump sum.
    "Thank you."
    "Next time, you won't be in charge of cooking!"
    "Um...I-I'll do my best."
    "I'm not expecting much!"
    "Ha ha..."
    I sigh.
    "Ah..."


    I was heading towards the bottom corner of town, when I ran into Collette, who was in a mood somewhere between amusement and exasperation.
    "What is it?"
    "Marian."
    "Marian?"

    "Why?"
    Who can say...

    Speaking of whom...

    "Even when I'm conducting experiments in my dream, I'm tinkering with you, not Collette..."
    This may not be the sort of dream I want to be a part of.
    "Could it be a vision of the future?!"
    "Then it's my nightmare..."

    I wanted to make a Tortoise Shield that evening, so I was hanging out where the turtle-y things were...

    Where I found another chest.


    And a different one, containing less of a fine payload.
    But I eventually got my last tortoise-shell, and ran home to make...

    A tortoise shield!

    Since there were a few areas where it wasn't the equal of my previous sheild, I decided I'd upgrade it a little.

    Leaving something like this.

    I clear out all the stumps from my field, and then...

    Find another chest, this time with a recipe bread!

    A weapon, huh?
    And further in, without any luck...

    ...Another chest. Where are they all coming from? Is it chestapalooza?


    It was late, so I went home and infused scrap metal into a wool hat.
    No, I don't understand it, either. Maybe Monica will like the metal hat. I will face this terrifying notion tomorrow.


    Tomorrow, this terrifying notion has a few new veggies. Corn makes all notions less terrifying, right? Right.

    Speaking of accessories, Kuruna flares out her cape before me.

    "It looks good on you."
    "That means a lot coming from you, comrade."
    But then she sighed a little, and adjusts her cape. She shakes her head.
    "But...I suppose that doesn't matter. This is, after all, an elder's cape. Whether it is fashionable... No. Whether it is appealing... Does not matter. It isn't made for that."
    She sighs again, and that seems to be the end of the conversation. She avoids my gaze until I leave.


    "...Kuruna's in an odd mood, isn't she?"
    "Is she?"
    "Well, she was asking me about her cape...But then she sort of got gloomy about it. I don't know why."
    Ondorus just nodded thoughtfully.
    "Ah, I think I see." He pushed up his glasses and seemed to give me an appraising stare. "Ramza, would you call yourself free?"
    "...I...What do you mean by that?"
    "Well, for any given action you wanted to take, could you simply go ahead an do it? You couldn't, could you? You have reservations, and obligations."

    When he puts it like that, there's a lot of things I couldn't just do, if I felt like it: I couldn't transform just anywhere, or it'd ruin my whole life: I might not even have a home to go back to...
    And I've got those monsters to defeat...
    And I've got whatever it is my previous self has to worry about...
    And someone has to take care of my monsters...
    And...And...

    He takes my expression as an answer.
    "You see? We all have a place in the world. And while that place has its advantages -- things we can only do because of who and what and where we are -- it also has limitations placed upon us. Things we cannot afford to have, luxuries we cannot permit ourselves. Sacrifices that, hard as they might be, we have to make. Kuruna is the settlement elder -- and for all the pride and happiness that that affords her, there are times I think... Her pride affords her far less freedom than some people. There are things we simply can't have, built into the ideas of 'who we are.' This is, philosophically, the danger of having such a concept to begin with, or at least so argues..."
    I hold up a paw to stop him before he picks up a tome. "So she worries about fashion?"
    "... *sigh* Apparently so. I can wear whatever I want, but... I like what I wear, so I suppose it doesn't make a difference."

    For me, there might just be something that outweighs the rest, though.
    I can't tell anyone who I really am.

    And without that, I wonder, what it is I can really have.

    ...I don't feel like checking my mail.

    I go to the bulletin board, and answer a nondescript-looking thing of Shino's.

    I'll head there after seeing the people on this street.

    "What's the matter?"
    It's no excuse not to help people, my feeling down.
    "She said she was going to go water flowers in Privera: Flower Field so when I tried to go with her, she told me it was too dangerous and got mad at me!" She crosses her arms and pouts. "I just wanted to help Shara...
    I just hate her!"

    "I see..."
    I gently shake my head. I wonder if I was like that with my family? The only people who definitely knew, or who might have understood...The one time I could have "had what I can't have"... "But didn't Shara say that because she was looking out for you?"
    "But..."
    "Shara doesn't really want to leave you behind."[/color]

    Right now, I feel more adrift then normal, realizing I don't know -- I don't know if I realized that. Like, right now, the line connecting the "Before" and "After" versions of me is less solid than normal, leaving the only me I have a bit more alone. I wonder...
    "Okay..."
    "There you go."
    I pat her on the head, and offer her my terrible hat.

    Well, she seems happy enough.


    "Her birthday, huh?"
    I'll have to say Hi, then.

    I run on up to the Inn, since it's about time for that part-time job.

    "Oh, you saw the bulletin board? Well, could you go order some meals from Blaise then?"
    "From Blaise?"
    "I put together the snacks, but we have Blaise do our meals." She chuckles. "There are some customers who come just for that."
    "Very impressive."
    "Yes. And so, about your job. We serve at lunch, so please get back here by 12 PM."
    Well, that shouldn't be hard.
    "Yes, of course."
    "Oh, and be sure to order a warm, Eastern style meal that doesn't use seafood."

    I head over to the diner and see Blaise, next, engaged in a bit of overthinking.


    "Yes. Shino asked me to order some food for the Inn."
    "Ah, I see. You are helping out with the inn. Very well then. What was the order?"
    "Umm..." I think for a minute. I've been so distracted by stupid feeling stuff, I've nearly forgotten. "Warm, Eastern-Style, no Seafood."
    "I understand. Please wait."

    "Okay. Thank you very much!"








    I buy my recipe breads and go running off, the covered dish in my arms.


    "I'm sure the customers will be happy with it."
    "What? It wasn't ordered by a customer?"
    "That's right. But it's my job to match the perfect meal to my customer... Anyway, thank you. This is your payment."

    "Oh, by the way... Where's Pia? I wanted to wish her a happy birthday."
    "I'm not sure. However...I'm sure she already sent you notice of her plans. So, please, go check."
    "Ack! I didn't check my mail this morning!

    I go running off like a stampede, at a full panicked tilt.
    Shino laughs, and I realize the money's on the desk.

    I snatch in on a double-back.

    A rather small sum, at this point.

    But, oh well. It's not like I help people for the money. I do it because it's the thing I enjoy most.
    It's the thing that I have and I love.

    ...But then I remember when Sofia was telling me yesterday -- that the light that could just force me to transform was just a consequence of my very existence. Of course, sometimes, I transform just...all on my own, when I'm not awake. So...
    Even this might be... The most fragile and only thing I "can have."

    Thinking this, I almost stop in my tracks. My legs feel like tight wires, and I end up thudding up the steps.


    Oh, yeah, I said we'd go somewhere...Well, we might have, but...I'm not sure if that counted, or if it'd be wrong to call her on it. It is her birthday. So, yeah. We can...We can go somewhere.

    I find Pia on the East End of town, looking up at the sky with a worried expression.

    "Hm, that'd be trouble, wouldn't it? Good morning, Pia."
    Her head snaps in my direction.
    "Oh, Ramza! Do you remember what you promised?"
    "Uh...To go somewhere, right?"
    "Yep! You promised we'd go somewhere when I felt better!"
    "...Does that still stand when --"
    "Hey, don't sass me with details, buddy! You came, so you must want to go somewhere, too!"
    ...I guess I do want some other distraction.

    "So, where do you want to go?"
    "Well, how about Oddward: Cavern Pond? We could go swimming!"
    "It'll be pretty cold..." I mutter, thinking about the chill of the valley.
    "I like baths, but I like cold water, too!"
    "What? But Pia, I thought you hated things like rain!"

    "Sure coulda fooled me."
    Just a minute ago, you were sighing.
    "No, it's just hard to walk around in the rain as a mermaid. But I don't hate it. In fact, I love water! It feels so good, and it's SO pretty!"
    Well, I could understand that, but... Sometimes she just seems... So conflicted.
    "Stop looking at me like I'm nutso!" Pia pouts.
    "No, I'm just surprised! Let's head to the cavern pond, then."
    "Yippee!"

    We walked the short distance to the cavern with the pond together.

    The cave's waters were dark, and to be honest, and it wasn't clear how deep it might have gone down -- it seemed cool and almost infinite, the stone bottom fading out of sight, the light from the entrances bouncing around the wet cave walls and onto the surface, turning it into a rippling shimmer.

    Pia splashed around for a while, while I mostly drifted on the lilypad; I'm not entirely secure in exactly how well I can swim -- I think I can, but it's not like I've really had time to test it out.
    "How can you not know?"
    "It's not like I remember learning, or how often I'd swim or anything. Was there even water nearby? Did I drink well water?"
    "That's no good! If things calm down, I'm making sure you know how to swim!" She flicked her tail at me and, for a moment, vanished under the surface.
    "Pia?" I leaned over the side. For a moment, I was alone. Some of what she was saying the other day crossed my mind. "...Hey, can I ask you something. Do you really think that'll happen? Do you think...I can stay here?"
    Her head popped up from under the water, her long pink hair trailing.
    "Why wouldn't you? Are you going somewhere? Hey hey hey! If you're making travel plans, you should bring a loaf of bread!"
    "Bread?"
    "Sakuya told me a story about some kids who got lost in the woods, and left a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way home! If you lose your memory again, you'll have a trail of breadcrumbs, so you can just come back!"
    ...That didn't turn out well, in the story, did it?
    "Ha ha...Thanks."

    Eventually, Pia decides she's done swimming.
    We sit by the water on the little island until Pia's got her legs back together. Or apart. Or however one would term the workings of mermaid metaphorphic anatomy. And then, for a while longer, we just watch the water shimmer from the shifting of the indirect light, the droplets trembling down from the stalagmites and sending ripples, shining on the surface of the clear depths, spreading through the cave, attracting the shadows of fish.


    "See? It is!"
    Pia shrugged.
    "But don'tcha think it's weird-ish?"
    "What do you mean?"

    Pia's eyes followed one of the fish, circling the area where a drop had just fallen, before vanishing back into the depths.
    "When I was in the sea, I was always looking up. Everyone looks down at the water, but I was looking up at the lights."

    She waved -- at the fishes, or at a her that no longer existed, who might have, at one point, been looking back at her, and waving from a lonely place beneath a different surface.
    "That's an, uh, interesting way of putting it. But I agree, Pia."

    Pia tugs at her hair and turns away, stepping a few feet away. She takes a deep breath.

    "So, you came all the way out here just for me?"
    When she asks me that, she doesn't turn to look at my answer, which makes it all feel...A little strange. Like, that's not exactly what she's asking. Or, well, that's not what she really wanted to say.
    "Of course!"
    Then she turns, she pivots, her face pulled into a bright smile, drawing her breath up in a giggling gasp. When she speaks, her voice is breathless and flighty.



    I feel my blood rush up into my ears, as I try to assemble that string of 'lots' and 'likes' and there was a thing about comets, and it all can't mean what it means, right? That's totally ridiculous and absurd, and -- and -- and...
    I think my face must be the color of Pia's hair right now.
    "Uh, could you translate?"
    "About as much as I like Sakuya and Shino! And as much as I like baths!"

    That's...
    I'm touched.
    "Ah. That means a lot, then!"
    I mean that sincerely. That she thinks of me as someone so important...Like her family.
    But...I'm lying to her. And... Because I'm lying to her -- to everyone -- because of who I am, there's just things I can't... I can't have her sort of family.

    As if answering something in my head, or my worried expression, Pia goes on, her face thoughtful, prepared for sadness.
    "Rain's a hassle, but I don't hate it. I hate squid, but I love how they taste!" Here, she takes a deep breath, pulls herself as high as she can -- her capelet billows from the movement. "When I'm down in the water, I look up at the surface; when I'm up on the surface, I'm looking down in the water, and realizing how beautiful it is!"

    "What are you getting at?"
    "It's never 'either or' with me! I'm always somewhere in the middle!" She puts a hand to her chest, and clenches it. "Are you sure you can handle that?"

    We'd both asked eachother...We'd both meant it... 'Can we stay here?'
    "...Why not?"

    It's really nothing compared to...What sort of a contradictory mess I am.

    When I'm with monsters, I think about how humans are. When I'm with humans, I'm always worried about being a monster.
    If she's a creature of sea and earth...Then what does that make me?


    The moment I said that, almost without thinking, I knew I'd said something I couldn't take back. It'd seemed so easy.

    My heart beat faster. Everything bubbling around inside my head...That was 'the real me,' the one who existed full of silly contradictions, caught between two worlds, between the wilds and the towns...
    The one who couldn't have anything.

    "You're...a mermaid?"


    Some part of me said stop. She'd be afraid. She lives with Sakuya, and Sakuya's afraid of monsters.

    Some part of me said that she'd been so honest. And what she'd said was what she, Pia, really was; who she really was; what she really felt -- and she was scared.
    She was scared that, because she wasn't just one thing, she couldn't...that, push comes to shove, there'd be no place for her. Not among people who could spend all their life, just looking down at the water.

    Stop. Turn back now. Jump out of the cave. Run off into the valley and never look back. Throw away your memory -- you've done it before -- and it won't hurt. Just a series of voices, growing more and more panicked.

    I'm trembling.

    I lurch forward, propelled by terror and hope. Propelled by the honest truth: I feel the way she does.


    I want...To return Pia's trust in me. Even if I suffer for it.

    Still, I shut my eyes when I transform, and take a second to open them again, bracing for something -- some reaction. Some gasp or shout or -- something. I'm panting like I've been running.


    Maybe I've only now stopped running.
    "I'm half-monster. So I'm neither completely human nor completely monster."


    She's so shocked she doesn't say anything. She just stands there, staring at me.

    "Are you scared, Pia?" I say, in my most level voice. I know the answer. I should have listened to the sensible part of me.
    "I'm terrified!"
    "I knew it..." I went and ruined it. Darnit. There are just some things you can't --


    ...What. This is not how this conversation goes.

    She begins winding up for a hug the way I might charge a weapon attack.
    "Uh, wait! You'll crush me!"

    Wasn't this a serious conversation a minute ago?


    "M-My ...neck... Eyes...closing...Vision...going...Black..."

    "At least...I can...die...happy. Relatively."

    "You deserve to get squeezed HARDER! *Smoosh*"
    Her grip, which never adjusted to the idea that I'm much smaller than my human height, tightens.
    I think I hear something snap.
    "Pia's...hugs...are...true...weapons...of...war... "



    My vision goes black, and everything else fades away.

    Sometime while I was out, I must have transformed back, because when I wake up at the inn, I'm human. And my coming around gives Shino a chance to scold her daughter.



    "Sorry about that?"
    She offers, squirming.

    "Really sorry?" Shino asks in her best Mom-voice.
    "It's okay, Shino. She didn't mean it!" And...
    Honestly...

    I can breathe easy. Now that she's not suffocating me, I mean.
    I don't think it's all hit home yet.

    "Well, if you say so, Ramza..."
    "Thanks!"

    It hits me that, the first thing I should think about that is that Just because Pia knows and that's OK I guess what the heck just happened does not mean I want her telling everyone. Yet? Ever? Just, whatever!
    And that I should probably tell her, because these things are likely not obvious.


    "Sure! You were so CUTE!" She announces that a touch too loudly.
    "Uh, what did I just TELL you not to discuss?!"

    Shino leans forward, glancing back and forth between us.
    "What are you two talking about?"
    "Nothing!" I blurt out, a bit too quickly.
    She smirks.
    "Curious! Tell me: what were you two doing alone together...?"
    The way she said that...Wait, does she think?!
    "Just...hanging out!"

    ...Ok, deep well of paranoia aside...Did...Did she have to word it like that?
    "Shut up, Pia!"


    An aura of incredible menace radiates from her.
    "Oh, Ramza! I was thinking of sharpening my sword!"
    "Wh-what does that have to do with me and Pia?!"
    I've gone from threats of the soul to threats of the body!

    She opens her eyes and looks at me casually.
    "Oh. I was just wondering if I should ask you or Gaius." She shrugs, her point made. "Oh, never mind. I don't have anywhere to the sword, anyway. Forget I said anything."
    Her voice was all pleasantries.
    "Well...just keep your swords away from me and Pia!"
    "Anyway, thanks for cheering up Pia. Here's a little something for your trouble!"

    "*gulp* I don't wanna see that sword!"

    Pia just laughs.



    Blade's good. Longer than I'm used to using, so the defense is dicey at best, and this won't be of much use in an icey area, but...
    But...


    Did that really just happen?

    ...Did I... Really say all of that? 'All of that.' It was, what, 3 sentences?
    But...It's the only secret I have. It's the only truth behind the only real lie I've ever told. It's...It's me.
    And somehow, I got away with coming clean, after lying all this time. Everything's OK. Everything's fine. I'm safe. Of course, Pia's Pia, so that's no sign of what other people will feel. It might not mean anything.
    But I'll always have that.
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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...

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    Chapter 23: Somewhere in the Middle
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    "Are you scared, Pia?" I say, in my most level voice. I know the answer. I should have listened to the sensible part of me.
    "I'm terrified!"
    "I knew it..." I went and ruined it. Darnit. There are just some things you can't --


    ...What. This is not how this conversation goes.

    I beat Javan this time.
    Ahh Pia this chapter, just Pia. Very much enjoyed the chapter.

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    Especially the scene, very well done, though he did forget to get her a present. Goes off to wipe face.
    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!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    Well, I live in the subtropics, so there's a time of year where you get a lot of thunderstorms... But I wouldn't say I get a lot of power outages. Just that, from time to time, the ones I get tend to wreck my day. Anyway! Back on track!

    Chapter 23: Somewhere in the Middle
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    What I do this evening is this:
    First, I celebrate my new space by putting away most of the things I don't need. I keep my new ring with me, but there's so much I've been carrying with me simply because I couldn't put it away, that it's like suddenly taking off 50 pounds worth of backpack.


    Well you get a lot of ill-timed power outages then
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoon View Post
    I beat Javan this time.
    Ahh Pia this chapter, just Pia. Very much enjoyed the chapter.
    ...White text isn't fair play and I was halfway through when you posted :P
    I agree with Dragoon
    Last edited by Javan; 2014-10-14 at 09:48 PM.
    "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!

    Great chapter. I agree, Pia was very Pia.
    Made the English version of Moemon Leaf Green. LP by Deme
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I love Pia's events as a whole. They're just the right mix of surprisingly sweet and empathetic and just... Pia... That she walked away with my surprise favorite set of events. That's not, though, why we did these first.
    We did them first, well, besides voting, because Pia has a lot of events on the bulletin board, while most other girls switch to the mailbox, so up until the last one, it was pretty easy to advance that chain. Score one for unconventional thinking. She has a few other events, but those can wait.
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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!

    I love how the tone went from "serious identity issues and fears" to "Pia being awesome" in two sentences. That was just perfect.
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    Originally Posted by Keld Denar
    What can I say? When life gives you lemons, you BLOW THOSE LEMONS TO BITS WITH YOUR LAZER BEAMS!
    Avatar by the wonderful A Rainy Knight.

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

    I propose that Ramza scuttle about town in Wooly form and chat up the people (and things) before he gets much closer to other girls. Maybe he can even bring Delita for color. The village won't be (physically) hostile, but the folk have interesting things to say. This option will eventually become unavailable unentertaining, so it's an idea for filler or something. I think he can even chat up the inn guardian statues, or maybe I'm thinking of another Rune Factory.

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

    I've done a bit of that, but I suppose I can do a full bonus update... I forget about the guardian statues. Anyway, this update's a bit brief; I just wanted to get my schedule back under control.

    Chapter 24: So Many Family Dinners Go This Way
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    After a few minutes of spacing out, I realized that today was a day that is still happening. The rain started to fall, landing on my face as if waking me from a dream.

    "... Right. I need to get going."

    I decide to buy some spare melon seeds, since my next stop was the forest... But first, the rainbow studio of Daria.


    "...Rival?" Oh, oh gosh -- does she like Gaius and know about his feelings? Are we getting up in some sort of elf-dwarf-human love triangle?
    "Evelyn's outfits are artistic. Hmm, maybe I should make her my apprentice."
    Oh, silly me; she doesn't mean anything like that.
    "That doesn't sound like a good idea..."
    Still... I wonder if there's anyone she does like. Is there something other than art in Daria's world?

    After that, I went and picked a few crops and planted my new seeds in the forest, before going back to cook everything up.

    Nice, buttery popcorn.

    On my way back out, though, I ran into Karina, yawning and sighing as usual.

    "You're always tired."
    "Work is pretty hard."
    "But Hazel's always yelling at you to work."
    She shrugs.
    "Because I'm the store's daughter."
    I give her a look.
    "There was a pillow at the counter the other day," I point out.
    "It is a general store..."

    Hm, well, I guess I should decide what to do with my evening...

    "Hey, Delita, want to go exploring this wierd maze that might be nowhere?"
    "<Do I!?>"
    "...Do you?"
    He sighed.
    "<That's 'yes,'>" explained the wooly.



    We're going through this mysterious maze at the bottom of my home, which may not be a maze or at the bottom of my home.
    "<This tree is some magic heebie-jeebies, you know what?>"
    "...Yeah. Yeah."

    Anyway, we run around the, um, inside of the tree for a bit, fighting monsters.

    "You know...I told someone." Ok, fair enough, someone noticed I really just wanted to chat about the biggest thing.
    "<Oh, is it the fish? Because it smells like the fish.>"
    "...What? Pia is not a fish!"
    "<Look, all I know is, you smell like you've been hugged by a fish.>"
    "She's a mermaid, thank you very much!"


    ...Is ground yogurt a good idea? It doesn't feel like a good idea.
    "<Hm. I don't know mermaids well. They're not humans but... They're not monsters, either. That's a tough thing to think about.>"
    "It might just be an arbitrary line. I mean, I understand the difference at the extremes, just lifestyle-wise, but closer to the edge, it's all the same."
    I smile faintly.
    "Pia's sort of like that, too. A threshold person, so... I felt it was safe. Or, maybe..." Like I owed it to her.
    "Well, it sounds like it went over well. But...Call me cautious, but how humans react to monsters can be..."
    "A little tricky. I know. I'm not telling everyone, just Pia. But... I'm happy for that, too. I feel a little different, like... Like I'm tethered to something, somehow." Yeah. I'm not totally alone.
    "<...Tethered, huh? Just be careful; After all, we don't really know if you can afford to be tied...>"

    We enter the next clearing, and Delita finds himself staring at the single enemy within.

    "<Oh, sweet terrible giants walking among us.>"
    Oh, right. I forgot about the giant wooly.
    "...Well, only way beyond is through fighting! Sorry, sir!"

    Last time, he pretty much demolished me, and it's not like he's going to make nice conversation, apologies aside. I'm wielding my new longsword, too, just to get some practice in...


    But it seems like I know a bit more about these swords than I thought.

    But not, for example, that this specific one is healing him.

    "Time to switch weapons, then!"
    "<...yeah, I'll just be over here.>"

    Much better, much better.


    And eventually, he collapses.

    Making a magic circle appear on the ground.
    "Huh. Well, let's try it out!"
    "<I can't tell if you're very brave, or very, very stupid. This must be the human in you.>"
    ...Thanks for that.

    The magic circle just brings us back out, though, with a little treasure gained.


    After that, I took a nice hot bath to celebrate my victory. And, using the materials I got, I manage to make two important things...

    A new hat (that gets upgraded), like... So.



    And a new neckalace.



    We're going to be pals, this little piece of jewelry and I.


    The next day saw a decent crop growing...


    And a very smug look on Kuruna's face.

    "We are too proud to let petty disagreements devolve into bloodshed."
    I'm not sure that's a pride thing. I mean, isn't being very proud the sort of thing that causes fights?
    "Of course. We all have strong opinions. But they are just that. Opinions."
    Hm...I wonder if it's not pride, but...
    "So the settlement comes first, then?"
    "Always."
    "Hmm...That's nice." I think about what's been on my mind the past few days -- what happened yesterday -- and look at her. "Just... Remember something for me, would you?"
    "What's that, comrade?"
    "You don't have to stop yourself from doing things that are important, just because you have something to think of first, or because you're not supposed to. Kuruna can be Kuruna, if...If only sometimes." Just once. Kuruna stares at me for a moment, and smiles.
    "I see...Thank you, comrade. I will keep your advice in mind."

    After I go home, I find a letter from Sakuya in the box.

    Hm, well, I better go see about that...

    With some tasty rolls packed. Mmm, rolls.


    "Yes."
    "Well, do you think you could get some Cheap Cloth for me?"

    "What?" My worry and paranoia muscles snap to attention. Did Pia say something?
    "Well, it's not that I hate them...But they tend to take my food and things. It's just nicer not to deal with them."
    "I see..."
    I sigh. Well, I'm glad it's not that, but... It just felt like a reminder: I may have found someone I can confide in, but... It won't be that easy for me all the time. There's always going to be a gap. Even if the line is arbitrary... To Sakuya, who's far away from it, there's a difference.
    "So, you going to go?"
    I shake myself out of that bit of gloom and smile.
    "Oh, sure."
    Thanks! Oh, Cheap Clothes get dropped by Orcs."
    Actually, I have one at home, so it shouldn't be too hard to find one...
    "Well, thanks --"

    Shino, at the front desk, turns to look at this little scene.


    She walks over to us, her expression serious.

    "What?"
    "I don't really mind..."
    Sakuya might not feel that way if she knew the truth, but... She's my friend.
    Shino smiles, as if she understands that feeling.
    "It's an issue of will." But that's an iron tone of voice.
    "You'll never be a respectable inkeeper with that kind of attitude."

    Sakuya turns away and looks over her boxes of souveniers.
    "..." A deep breath and a sigh, before Sakuya rallies and smiles. "You're right. Maybe I was relying on him too much. Sorry, Ramza. I'll try to manage on my own today."

    And she goes running out, presumably to beat up Orcs. Can she really handle that?


    "Yes. She won't be able to take over as innkeeper with such half-hearted efforts."
    "But for her not to get any help...?"
    Sakuya doesn't strike me as a warrior.
    "Oh? Whoever said that?"
    "What?"
    "I just said she was relying on you too much."
    "Then I can help...?"
    "That's not for me to decide."
    "I see..."
    But she won't stop me from helping, then? At least, making sure she doesn't get hurt...

    I find Collette wandering off in the rain.

    "What was it about?"
    "This reeeeeeally tiny Marian was trying to get me to take medicine. But she just couldn't get that it wasn't going to work, so I lectured her."

    "Ha ha. I guess you have the upper hand in your dreams."
    "Well then, Marian suddenly became giant and picked me up."
    "Huh?"
    "'Come on, it's just tea!'"

    "'Huh? That wasn't supposed to happen. Let's try it again!' I mean, why did that happen?! I'm the older one here!"
    ...Collette has a complex, doesn't she?
    "So she still gets you, even in your dreams..."






    I get a fine collection of recipes for today.

    On the way further into town, I find Karina yawning.

    "You're always sleepy."
    And we're right back where we were yesterday.
    "Work is pretty hard."
    "But you're always sleeping even when you're working."
    "Because I'm the daughter of the owner."
    What does that have to do with anything?
    "I thought I saw the exact same pillow you use on sale at the general store."
    "It is a general store..."

    I run out to the forest. After all, Sakuya is going to be where the orcs are, and that means...

    As I run forward, I very nearly stumble over something, lying on the ground. I crouch down and examine it.

    "So Sakuya is here..."

    I run around the river to find her...

    Before I can say anything to let her know I'm nearby, Sakuya sighs and begins to talk to herself.


    "But I want to be able to run the inn like Mom..."
    "..." I could say something, but... Somehow, this feels a bit too private to burst into.

    ...Nevermind.
    "What should I do?"

    "But I can't find the Cheap Cloth anywhere. I usually just find items on the ground while I'm running away from the monsters... *Sigh* What am I going to do...?"

    Well, I guess I could throw it. I hurl the cloth...so it hits her.


    "Hm...hey, a Cheap Cloth! Wait..."
    She turns.
    "That figure there, it's you, isn't it, Ramza!" She stamps her foot on the wet ground. "I thought I told you! I don't need help!"
    "So she found out it's me..." I mutter. "If only there was some way to disguise myself."


    But I'm sure now that she won't take it if I just hand it to her...

    Well, if it's "me" handing it to her. After all... It's not like she'd be able to tell.



    Alright, let's try this again.



    She looks at the object I have thrown...Um, maybe a bit too close to her head.
    "Hey, it's a cheap cloth! Was it Ramza...?"
    Oh, boy -- disguise or no, I better get running.

    She stares off after me.
    "..."

    And I run all the way back to town. What now, though? Maybe head to the beach?
    While I'm standing by the Inn, thinking about that... Along comes Sakuya.

    "Yes. But..."
    "What's the matter?" Um, I wasn't too unsubtle, was I?
    She shakes her head.
    "Oh, well, never mind."

    "What?!"
    I didn't do anything wasn't me nope nosiree that had nothing to do with me, mr. ordinary human, lalalala.
    "You know, since I made you come out for nothing.
    Wait, why are you so shocked?"

    "Oh, no reason...! (I thought she knew it was me...)"
    "Well, see ya."
    "Bye."
    She retreats to the inn, probably relieved to get out of the rain.
    "Whew...It all worked out."



    I head back in to try and dry, just a little, before going out to face the rain. I spend a lot of time running around in all sorts of weather.

    "Squid are mine! Watch out!"
    Pia, behind her desk, burst suddenly into song.

    "Are numbered."
    ...So, her enemies will have songs about their death.
    "So suddenly?!"


    At the bulletin board, Carmen's got a request for me... Which I sometimes wonder about, since, really, anyone could be reading this.
    ...Unless everyone knows no one reads this, and forgot to clue me in.
    Well, I'll see about it.


    "Yes."
    "Then if you administer fluorescent paint in your mouth --"
    "Well, first of all, I'm pretty sure you can't administer fluorescent paint."
    And I am getting out of here before I am proven horribly, horribly wrong.

    ...Heh. 'Fluoral Administration.'

    I found Carmen watching the fish swimming around at the base of the waterfall.
    "Afternoon."

    "How so?"
    I thought we were done the charging and shouting.
    "He's been in a bad mood lately. And he suddenly said he wanted to invite you to our home. Do you have any idea what it could be?"

    "Oh, then could you come to our house around 8PM to 11PM? I'll cook you up some of my special fish. What do you think?"
    ...It's been a while since I ate food cooked by someone else.
    ...Actually, except the things I just find, I don't think I remember anything like that...
    "Okay, I'll be coming hungry, then!"
    "Yay. I'm sure Carlos will be happy. Don't be late!"

    To pass the time...

    Let's try the second part of the maze.

    This place is creepy...And the enemies are much tougher.


    But I did find a chest! It didn't have much...

    But it did have a recipe bread.

    You know how I said they were much tougher?

    They're much, much tougher. Time to flee for my life.

    The entrance is the only exit; no teleporting out.

    After that display, I went back to have a bath...

    Do a bit of logging...
    And, in a fresh fall of rain, head over to the Resort.


    "Good evening, Carl-"


    Carmen comes down, carrying a sizzling dish of fish.

    "Wow, smells great."

    We all gather around the table; Carlos pours us all some wine, and we start to work over the dishes.
    "So, what's our new guy in town been up to since he moved in? Farm doing alright, bro?"
    "Oh, the fine's farm -- er, the farm's fine, er..." I feel like I'm on the spot... Carlos laughs.
    "Don't worry, Ramza! This isn't an interview or anything; we're just curious!" Carmen assures.

    "Uh, well, I've been doing some fighting in the areas around town, too..."
    "Oh, yeah! You found what took my fish and gave it what-for, right?"
    "It was a them; just a pair of giant, I dunno, lion-monsters!" That I might have been here to fight all along...
    Carmen leans forward to rest her chin on her hand as I take a sip of the wine. Carlos pours himself another glass.
    "Wow! That's pretty brave!"
    "...I was mostly panicking, really..." I admit.

    "Got any other good fights under your belt? I heard about the raccoon, too!"
    "That was so not a raccoon..."

    We chat like that, over a warm dinner, for a while; Carlos even tells a few good fish stories. The wine flows, and the fish tastes of the wide, wide ocean.


    He takes another deep drink from his glass.

    "He did finish off that bottle..."
    I look at my first glass, mostly sipped from. I'm not sure it's wise to do much drinking, as I don't remember anything about my alchohol tolerance. It's not like you can assume these things when you're not entirely human.
    "What's gotten into him?"

    We busy ourselves with our food a bit longer, until Carlos clears the silence.
    "You know, I've been looking after Carmen forever now."

    "I see... *munch, munch*"
    We keep eating for a while, and Carlos keeps going back to top off his drink and mine.

    Carmen sputters, her face about as red from rage as Carlos' was from the wine.

    "Huh? What do you mean? It's just the truth... Nothin' wrong with that..." He muttered, voice slurring and gradually coming to a hault.
    It's embaressing for someone else to tell that, but... I don't think it's shameful or anything. It's a childhood memory...
    I wonder what mine are like... Knowing me, they're probably pretty embaressing, too, but... I wouldn't mind, reminiscing.

    But before I could calm her down with any of that, Carlos leaned back in his seat...

    And just outright fell back, the stool clattering down as he fell.


    We both stare for a minute.
    "He's asleep."
    "I've never seen him so drunk before. That's so strange."
    "Maybe having someone over made it seem more, uh, festive?"
    She shrugs.
    "I guess we should call it a night. He's not going to be getting back up."


    We snuck out quietly.

    "...I did. I..." I don't want to say that this was my first sort of 'family meal,' but...That's the way it feels to me, now. Maybe they happened, and maybe they didn't... But today, for the first time in this town, I had a nice warm meal, surrounded by people having a good time. It all felt...Really, very cozy. A little warm world, felling faintly but not horribly of fish.
    I'm not sure how to say any of this. After a minute of just trying sort it out, I settle for, "The meal was great, and Carlos' stories were interesting."
    "I'm glad."
    She grins, and I wonder if I'm not just wasting my time, trying to say it; maybe she figures that, since I've been living alone.


    Carlos's sleepy voice rings out from inside the shop.

    "I'll let... you have her... take care... of her..."


    A flush rises to my face. Why does everyone act like they're giving people to be married?!

    "Ha ha ha ha ha! Come again, OK? Anytime you want."
    "Thank you very much."


    ...I'd like it; having dinner like that again.
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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...

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Nice update, it seems that another family is trying to give away an eligible lady. I am curious what Shino's going to do if/when Sakuya starts to fall for Ramza.
    I beat Javan again.
    Also would appreciate the bonus update when you can. My favorite part is when Delita refers to Pia as the fish. I do like the humorous touches that you add.

    On Pia being the first told, it also makes the most sense as Pia is the only openly not one hundred percent human of the group. I would say only one, but I don't know for sure with Raven and I assume that situation will resolve later.
    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!

    You forget Daria, who, while I don't think she's mentioned it, makes no attempt to disguise her big ol' elf ears. We'll get to Raven, who is not openly anything, even "fond of shiny necklaces," when the events for her spawn.

    Frankly, I think all the adults in the town have some sort of betting pool combining Ramza's ultimate choice of lady with how long it will take him to realize that, no, everyone does mean everything they're saying that way, seriously, get a clue...
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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 - #200
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    You forget Daria, who, while I don't think she's mentioned it, makes no attempt to disguise her big ol' elf ears. We'll get to Raven, who is not openly anything, even "fond of shiny necklaces," when the events for her spawn.

    Frankly, I think all the adults in the town have some sort of betting pool combining Ramza's ultimate choice of lady with how long it will take him to realize that, no, everyone does mean everything they're saying that way, seriously, get a clue...
    Sorry should have been more precise with the whole elf/human, blame the fantasy playing in that seeing elves/dwarves as not that different from humans.

    I so am head-canoning that now even if it doesn't. The obvious reason he left, he was breaking too many hearts and the adults wanted him away.

    Also if you do the bonus update with Ramza running around seeing the people in town in Wooly form, he so should take Delita with him.
    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!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoon View Post
    Nice update, it seems that another family is trying to give away an eligible lady. I am curious what Shino's going to do if/when Sakuya starts to fall for Ramza.
    I beat Javan again.
    Also would appreciate the bonus update when you can. My favorite part is when Delita refers to Pia as the fish. I do like the humorous touches that you add.

    On Pia being the first told, it also makes the most sense as Pia is the only openly not one hundred percent human of the group. I would say only one, but I don't know for sure with Raven and I assume that situation will resolve later.
    Dragoon, Dragoon, Dragoon, we've been over this... white text just isn't fair...
    And I plead exam induced distraction/stress
    And I agree, the fish comment is great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    You forget Daria, who, while I don't think she's mentioned it, makes no attempt to disguise her big ol' elf ears. We'll get to Raven, who is not openly anything, even "fond of shiny necklaces," when the events for her spawn.

    Frankly, I think all the adults in the town have some sort of betting pool combining Ramza's ultimate choice of lady with how long it will take him to realize that, no, everyone does mean everything they're saying that way, seriously, get a clue...
    Nice update as usual, and just thinking about the betting pool is funny.
    "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!

    So I just finished reading through all the current updates, and now...I'm jealous. Like, of Ramza specifically, but now I'm reminded of harem-type games in general...

    Anyway, Raven or Pia all the way. If neither of these two end up winning the noble Ramza, there will be problems .
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    Quote Originally Posted by digiman619 View Post
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Took long enough for me to get around to reading this. I blame life.

    The update was nice, but I'm not really a fan of Carmen and Carlos, so the last part was merely OK. The first half of the update or so was good.
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I don't really care about Carmen's events, either; I didn't see many of them in my own run, so I actually have no idea where they'll end up. I actually saw everyone except Carmen's, I think. Oh, I may have missed Karina's, too. So there's a little discovery left in this for me.
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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!

    So are we all agreed then? Carmen is not Ramza's destined soulmate.
    "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!

    Hold it for the actual vote! Because I have to go along with the official vote, and you've already decided that we're seeing her event anyway. So maaaaybe she'll turn it around?
    Speaking of events....

    Chapter 25: You're Not Alone
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    Well, with a warm dinner inside me, the important thing to try and decide was what to do.
    For the most part that was mining, and practicing a little forging on a test sword...

    Oh, but I did make a new fishing pole.

    The next day was warm and sunny -- a proper summer day if I've ever seen one!

    But the Buffamoo weren't taking the heat well. Alma was pretty much on the edge of collapse, and had to be taken off of work all together today. I'll need to get a treat for her...
    I'll have to put Agrias on it instead, and check on the one who did go out today.

    After I went to the settlement (Too...hot... for... wool...), I checked my mail.

    To be honest, I've given up deciding if Raven saying that is ever good or bad. Like she pulls from a hat what she wants to say today -- like she decides it every time she sees me, and decides again whenever I turn my back.
    What could I do that's so scary to her?


    I stopped by the flower shop, hoping that I could find something that would make her announcement a good one. Monica found something she desperately wanted to show off, though.

    A little light crystal.
    "Wow, I want one."
    "Heh heh." She giggled, cheerfully.

    Never change, Monica.
    By which I mean "Please grow into a nice young lady."

    There wasn't much in the realm of flowers I wanted to give her, so it was time to just stare Raven down.
    Or, uh, say hi.
    "Hi."

    "You saw my letter?"
    "Yes. But what was so important?"
    "..." And there it was, the moment where she decided what it was she wanted to say. "Come to Vale: Entrance with me. I'll tell you everything there."
    "What?"
    Not the rosebush... And not here? Why just the entrance? She just dodges the question entirely.
    "...Please."
    "..." I'm a little apprehensive... But I can't help but keep extending my faith. "Yeah, okay."

    We walk up, the sudden blast of cold a refreshing break from the summer sun.

    And see a prone wooly on the snow.
    "But that's..."
    "...!"
    It's Raven's friend.

    We rush up to him;

    Raven checks out his breathing and pulse. He'd fallen, but it doesn't seem like he's hurt.

    "He should be back on his feet in a moment."

    When he gets up, Raven smiles earnestly.
    "See, now you can walk --"


    There's a pulsing sound, like a spell being cast, and a smell -- somehow sweet and earthy, almost like the smell of grape leaves or... If golden light falling through the woods had a smell, it would smell like that -- cutting through the crisp air... Raven and I lift our heads, instinctively, and saw across the ice flow...


    It's one of the gates from before -- the ones that made that light...

    Do I have to run away again, and prove her right about me?
    ...Could Raven... Could Raven forgive me? For lying to her?

    The gate sheds is soft green light, calling to something at the top of my spine or the root of my soul, something old and covered and forgotten... Something almost like a siren song...

    I shake my head and look around. The one she was calling out to is not me, but... The wooly, who walks toward the gate with not a hint of concern.


    Raven dives forward to stop him, and stands between them as if shielding him. The wooly's little plodding steps keep heading towards them, and Raven moves back, just a little, on the ice. The light touches her back, the green glow standing sharp against the red of her hair.
    The look on her face is as deep a fear as I've ever seen -- not terror, not fear of being hurt, but fear of loss, so strong she'd throw away anything to prevent it. The flash of glittering snow and nervous girl exists for a moment before a flare of light swallows it.





    And then the gate is gone. The girl is -- is --
    No, let me try again.

    The giant bird is hovering there, her resplendent feathers ruffling the cold breeze. The air almost steams off her surface, and a sense of power, like I've stumbled on something grand and holy and beyond me, strikes me. Like a creature out of legend.
    "Raven?"


    She does not answer at first; I do not think she can't, but I admit, talking with beaks: how does it work?
    Eventually, hesitantly, she says in exactly the same voice as before,


    I have no idea what to say. No, I have no idea exactly how to process what I'm seeing. Ideas and hopes and worries and wishes about everything about this scenario -- who she really is, what she really is, what this says about her, what this says about us, whatever I mean by 'us,' where I've seen her -- or something like her -- or -- or -- it all comes crashing down me like a wave, and all I can do is approach her, staring agape.
    She watches my expression as I draw near.

    Does she not realize what's just happened? Does she not care? Does everyone know? Am I the only person who assumes there's any sort of secrecy anywhere about anything?
    "You're..."
    My problem here is I have no idea how to end that sentence. Would it presemptious to say -- to even think -- that Raven is... like me?


    She looks down at herself.

    "So it really is you, Raven...?" At this point, I'm more asking to be certain than anything. The atmosphere feels like a film of ice, inclined to shatter at any second.
    "...!"

    And I guess she felt the same or -- no. She feels the same way I would, if I were just "found out" like that.

    And she flies across the water, leaving me standing on the shore.

    Before I can go after her, I want to put everything together.
    "...So then that bird...is Raven...?
    And that light. That feeling...
    ..."
    It's all familiar, and it all amounts to *something*.

    Do I have time for this? Right now, I bet she thinks... That I'm afraid, or I don't understand, or...
    "I need to go after Raven!"


    Staring out over the thorny shapes that fade into the distance... The way she is now, the barrier of the cliff's edge doesn't exist -- I wonder if that's what she's always thought, looking out to distant mountains, the fields of frost, the sky blue as her eyes? That one day, she could take off from this point and never return.
    One day, she'd have to.
    She'd leave no footprints, and the memories would just freeze over.

    ...Did she believe that? Raven's always been deserted; she's never said if she's done the deserting.
    "There she is."

    The snow underfoot breaks as I draw near, intruding onto this lonely moment.



    Raven can't think of what to say, at first. I think it's all I can do -- or, at least, the best I can do -- to wait.

    "What?"

    Her wings beat the air very, very slowly, barely stirring it, lifting up pillows of mist. No matter how quiet that is, it's louder than her voice when she says,
    "It's fine. I wonder why I couldn't tell you..."
    I clear my throat.
    "...Tell me what, exactly?"

    This was not the answer I was expecting.
    "..."

    "I didn't want you to hate me..."


    There's a flash of light and a faint ringing sound. I feel the change in the way the air moves, the sudden loss of the rhythmic flow, before I see her standing there:

    Raven, just as she always is, apologizing softly for something completely outside of her control.
    In the cold, she seems as small and vulnerable as a baby bird. How pathetic.

    "..."
    How pathetic I am. I should have told her the moment I thought I had a part in any weirdness about, but... I was afraid, too.
    "I'm sorry, too."

    Her face opens up in surprise.
    "Huh...?"

    Hiding now would just be silly, wouldn't it?
    Still... She did suffer...She worried and felt guilty and afraid because I was a coward -- even if it was the same for her, it doesn't make what I did better.

    The best I can do now is tell her the truth, which spreads across the ice like a light. I -- she -- is not alone.


    ...Though I guess, by comparison, giant almost godly phoenixes really blow 'small fuzzy harmless wooly' out of the water.
    "What do you mean...?"
    She says, slowly, cautiously -- like I did before, she doesn't understand exactly how to assemble everything.

    "I'm just like you." Only smaller. And fluffier. "That's why the light was both our fault."
    "..."
    Please don't be mad, please don't be mad.


    I morph back, not sure what to expect.

    "You're just like me...?"
    She just repeats it, like a phrase without meaning.

    We're interrupted by a noise.


    That gate again... I guess there's a limit to two half-monsters (or however Raven works) hanging out...


    Raven's wooly friend comes towards it, which distracts Raven from any sort of existential questions of loneliness, or cowardice.
    She goes running towards him.


    He lifts his head towards her, his eyes shining with a feeling I cannot describe -- except, perhaps, that I'd felt it, too. Just recently...

    And...I think I understand everything.

    "No, Raven..."
    "Huh...?"

    I come closer to this whole scene.

    "I sensed it from you, too. And a memory of that same smell..."
    From where, or what, or how, I don't know -- is there a word yet, for something nostalgic you can't recall? Is that something I know from before, that I haven't managed to place?

    "What do you mean...?"
    I shake my head slowly.
    "I'm sure, not everyone disappeared."
    And, thinking of the smell of that warm forest, I smile. Raven's friends... are all monsters, aren't they?
    "They just returned. Returned to where they wanted to go home to."

    I turn over and look at Raven's pal here.
    "Isn't that right...?"
    He nods.




    "But...!"
    She tries to come up with something to follow that -- something, anything, other than "But I don't want to be left behind."
    Eventually, she just falls silent.
    "...Okay..."

    Her friend approaches the gate slowly. He turns to her and smiles.

    It's a gratitude only I might be able to understand the words for, but...

    "Huh...?"
    I hope she'll understand that feeling.


    He entered the light and was gone, in a shining ascent of runes.
    "He went."
    "...Yes..."

    "Hey, Raven." I say, trying to change the subject. And... Because if he had a piece of gratitude, from his heart, well... I have mine.
    "Could you show me again? Your other form."

    "Huh...?"
    "I want to get a good look at what you look like transformed."


    For a moment, she just looks at me cautiously. Maybe she's afraid I'd do something, or say something unkind.
    But eventually, she steps back...

    And transforms.

    "..."
    Looking at her closely, her feathers like fire and jewels, I'm struck for just a second by how lovely Raven is. And how familiar.
    "I knew it..."


    "By the way, I hadn't thanked you for saving me when I fell off the cliff." I grin. "Thanks."

    "Oh, umm..."
    Without her long, flexible hair to hide her face in, Raven's at a bit of a loss -- she just pulls back a little, stunned.

    Still... What I want to tell her -- what I think she ought to know about herself... Please, don't worry. I'm not afraid.

    "...!" Raven gasps and, as quickly as she can, transforms so she can turn around.

    I laugh.
    "Raven, you get easily embarrassed, don't you?"
    "...
    ...Idiot."
    Is all she says, cold as ever.

    But when she starts to walk away, she turns back and looks at me.
    "...Aren't you coming back?"
    "Absolutely."
    And I follow after her until we're at the shop.


    She looks about, uncertainly, and then just decides to cut to the chase.

    "Okay, bye then."
    Whether she's bothered that I lied to her, I...well, I don't know. But I guess our secrets are safe with each other...

    She suddenly smiles, and it's enough to drive away what little concerns I have for now.
    "This is for you..."
    "What?"


    "..."
    I feel better, too. I don't really know how many half-monsters there are; what are the odds?
    But, more than that... I'm less lonely because I feel like I, at last, have found a place where Raven and I can have some security with each other; I found Raven's heart.

    "What?"
    There's really not anything to thank me for, is there?
    "..."





    It's a nice little heart to hold onto. I think it may be better than before.

    I turn around and see Karina watching this.
    "I, uh, that was -- please, don't worry --"
    "It's good she has someone else to get along with."

    "So I've been able to get along with her OK, since we have that in common, but... Ah, nevermind. (She probably gets lonely...)" Karina looks at the Blacksmith's shop. "Why do you think that is?"
    "Well, with Raven, I think it's her expression..."
    "Does that mean I'm cold?"
    I...Uh...
    Uh...
    "I-I'm not sure..."
    I see no good way to answer that. It's not that she's cold, it's just...She's a little unexpressive.
    "What do you mean, you're not sure?"
    I...I...There is no way around this, is there?
    "Look, just yell at me already."


    As I'm wandering town, I'm ambushed by Pia.

    After today's been such a high-stress day, maybe I just want to play it safe.
    "W-whatever you make?"


    "You're welcome."
    I wonder what I just signed up for?


    Rusk's got a request, so that looks like it could be done.

    While I'm pondering that...

    I'd like a bit more room in my bed, for sure. I sometimes transform during the night, and I end up tossing and turning a bit, so it's better if I have space.

    "W-what? No, I, I -- I mean, things are -- I'm not --" I stutter and blather until my ears are bright red.
    "Oh, don't worry. You don't have to tell me. Well, I'll need 15000 gold and 80 wood, okay?"
    "T-that's fine."
    "Okay. Well, I'll get it out to you soon. It should be there when you get home."
    "That soon?!"
    "Being prompt is the key to good business!"

    Before I do that, I have the town's circuit to visit.

    "What about it?"
    "I was thinking about how nice it is, that's all. You just cast the line and stare at the sky. It'll make you feel you're in your own world."

    "I'll have to try to pay more attention to it."
    "Oh, but be sure to take a warm bath afterwards. Along with a hot drink."
    I chuckle. "Okay."

    Next I headed out to see Daria...

    "I-Is that true?"

    "That doesn't even fit."

    By the time I head back to town, Collette -- as she often does in the afternoon -- is in the Apothecary.

    "You can drink medicine, but you can't drink shots."
    Marian just smiles.
    "I see. Well, I'll show you a little trick to get over your fear of shots."


    ...Is this a shot to make her not afraid of shots?
    "Gotcha!"
    "I don't think Collette is gonna like how this turns out..."

    Watching this from one of the back rooms was her grandmother, who just shook her head and sighed.

    "She just needs to learn to hold back a little..."
    "Um...A little...?"

    Well, OK, enough goofing around, let's go get to help Rusk!

    Oh, but first, recipes.




    ...OK, now we help Rusk!

    "Help! Ramza! There's an ingredient I need to make sweets, but I forgot its name..."

    "Oh...that's it?"
    Somewhere in my world of personal dillemnas and monsterfights, it's nice to find a simple problem.

    "So, I need your help! Could you go find it for me?!"

    Ok, enough of that.
    "Hm, it's an ingredient to make sweets, and it's called something powder? I'll go look for it."
    By which I mean, I'll go pick apples. I have a pharmacy.


    So I go pick the apples...


    And make a little Sweet Powder for Rusk.

    "Yeah! That's it! Sweet Powder! Thanks, Ramza!
    Here, this is for everything."

    He hands me a stack of pancakes, dripping in tasty syrup.
    "Thanks. Wait... You didn't use that Sweet Powder to make this, did you?"
    "What? Oh...That's right, we had some in the house."
    A zero-sum game.



    Oh, well. I spend the evening in pretty much useless pursuit. I wanted to work on making that new shield recipe, but then I didn't have the materials, and couldn't get the materials, and the evening just went down the drain.


    But at least I have a nice, big bed to fall asleep on.

    The next morning, I'm greeted by a healthy cucumber-and-some-tomato crop.

    I guess I'm selling a lot of pickles today.


    When I head to the settlement, I catch Kuruna brushing her hair. Now that I look at, her hair is really very long, and she lets it hang loose, too, so that at every turn, she's surrounded by a halo of white, almost golden, light, fine as spiderwebs or sunlight through a faint mist.
    ...I bet it tangles like mad.

    "Well, outside of my duties as elder, I probably spend the most amount of time on my hair." She brings the brush down through the bottom of her hair, and shifted it back over her shoulder. "It must be easy to take care of your hair, comrade. Just a quick hop in the lake, and you're done."
    ...What, does she think wool doesn't tangle? Well, OK, it doesn't, it mostly just...sort of mats, but that's even worse!
    "...Uh...sure."


    Oh, dear... If Shara's having trouble about that Wooly... Does that mean her grandfather's coming down harder on her? I'm sure we'll think of something.

    On the way, I went shopping -- just a few seeds, nothing much.

    "Really? What kind?"
    "A general store that sells nothing."
    "..."


    Well, let's try and suss out Well's mood for Shara, first.
    But he just looks...I don't know. Thoughtful.
    "How're you today?"
    "Doing just fine."
    ...
    "And the flowers?"
    "...Do you want something, sonny?"
    Caught on the spot, all I can come up with is:

    "Travel? I sure haven't."
    "Is that right?" I think that this was not what I was expecting was plain on my face.
    "Why do you look so shocked?"

    "Hmph." He looks me up and down. "You work out where you're supposed to be yet, Ramza?"

    There's a beat. I...Well, I've been doing better, but I wonder... Am I actually any closer to remembering where my home is? I wouldn't want to go home until the job is done anyway, but...
    But I don't know, do I? Where my home is, where my family is? What, at this point, my family consists of... I'm just waiting out here for the answer.

    "...No, sir."


    "When you've come that far, you know it's no good to go looking for something else."
    Still, he didn't quite look satisfied, saying that.
    "Is something wrong?"
    "It's just..." He heaved a long, long sigh.
    "?"

    "Just so when they make a choice, it's the best one."
    "Wells..."

    So, if Shara's problem wasn't a familial conflict, then what?

    I'm shooed off before I can find out, though, and more or less have to sneak back upstairs.
    Where I hear Shara and Wells talking in her room.




    "What is it?"
    I ask as I enter the room, breaking into Wooly Negotiations mark (Well, I was probably 1, and before was 2...) 3.

    Shara beams.
    "Ramza! You came!"
    She clasps her hands together pleadingly.
    "Help me, Ramza! I want to keep it. But Grandpa..." She sighs. So it was a familial problem...

    "..."
    Wells put his foot down.
    "Your actions will mean it can never go back into the wild. Can you take responsibility?!"

    I have to admit, his argument held its ground.
    "But...but I...! I can't leave it!"
    I glanced over at the little wooly, watching back and forth between them with the vaguest understanding. I wonder...Who really knows what he needs? Or what he wants? That's not fair at all.
    And there was a wooly at Privera forest who was acting strangely, when we found him...

    The wheels in my head began turning.
    "Hold on. Can you leave this matter to me?"
    "What?"
    "I have a plan, but I'll need some time."
    They glanced at each other, at the wooly, and at my face. I tried to look stern and intimidating, and probably looked like some sort of angry puppy.
    "If you say so..."
    "Fine...I'm counting on you, Ramza."


    His parent? If that's it, then it might still be searching, even now.
    I should go check it out.


    "I'll try not to let it go to waste."
    Let's be honest, though... How much do I deserve it? I only barely have any faith in people who I end up thinking are like myself...

    With a sigh, I head out towards the wood, when Sofia stops me on the way.

    "My grooming and fashion...?"
    I guess I am wearing the same clothes I arrived in...They're, well, other than my swimsuit they're sort of just... 'my clothes.'
    "But I do try and keep myself looking clean and presentable."

    A...a date?
    "Wait, how much of that was opposite-speak?"
    She laughs, and refuses to answer. I guess understanding Sofia is my duty.

    My way out is also, and less surprisingly, met with Daria, looking distressed.
    "What is it? Is something wrong?"

    "What?"
    "A ghost!"
    "What?"
    "What's with that look you're giving me?"
    ...Ghosts. Well, in our complex world of half-woolies and elves...
    "No, I'm not doubting you." Says the lying liar who lies.
    "I really saw one!" she insists. "It was a cold night...It just floated next to my house! It was blue... with a long tail and white flecks!"
    "..." Is that a real thing?


    I came to the flower field as a rain began to fall.

    Well, time to transform and ask some questions.


    By which she means, "what is it?"

    "You're the parent of the wooly that got hurt a while back, right?"


    She frantically explained the circumstances.
    "I see. Your child was injured. You went to find medicine, and saw a human approach..."
    "Bah..."
    She nods, sadly. She looks very worried -- well, of course, her child hasn't returned.
    But seeing that expression on her face, tight as knot, shadows under her eyes from bad sleep, I end up thinking that. After all, if that's natural...Then...
    Oh, nevermind.
    "So that's what happened? No problem. I'll go talk to that human."
    Bah?!"
    I can use my massive traitor-to-everything powers for good sometimes.
    "Bah."
    She warns, softly, her worried look clamping down into something like a fist of an expression; this is the last chance, before she does whatever it takes.
    Whatever it takes.
    The idea hangs, momentarily, in the air. I don't want to see what that means for Shara.
    "It's fine. Wait here, OK? I need to rush over to Shara!"

    I run to her house in the pouring rain, the mother wooly's expression in my head. The door slams open, and my boots leave puddles on the stairs.

    "Its mother is worried. You can't keep it here."
    Shara crosses her arms.

    And, slowly, she retreats from me, with the wooly at her back like she was shielding it.
    "I thought you were on my side."

    "I... Shara, I just want..."
    Before I can work out what I mean to say, though, she turns her head, and shuts her eyes tight.
    Grabbing the young wooly by a ribbon she's attached to its paw, she dashes out of the room.



    Oh, this is going all wrong...
    "It'd be dangerous if she runs into the parent right now!"

    Of course, though, she's gone to the flower field, and walked right into the most tense of situations.

    The mother's staring them both down, pure fury in her eyes. She's already decided that I -- that everything -- has let her down. Shara's got her palms open, trying not to look worried, trying not to be threatening.
    "Easy, now...Wait a minute!"
    But there's nothing she could say -- nothing but the best of her intentions. Between a mother and her child, between her own desire to be protective and how she -- somehow -- completely missed what it was that she was protecting... There's no way she could satisfy that, except to stand aside.

    I understand that, at a glance. But does she?

    If everyone could just -- if everyone just tried to understand -- no one wants to hurt anyone!
    "Shara!"

    This is all my fault. I asked everyone to trust me, but I wasn't firm enough to make it work out. If I wait here, if I waver here... Shara could get hurt.
    If I move now, I don't know how I'd calm her down without showing myself.
    There's a second, in the rain, where I balance those options. But, what the heck: I've already betrayed her trust.


    I run up to try and smooth things over, after only that heartbeat of thought. Petals rise in the air behind me, only to land, sodden, in the summer muck.


    Everyone blinks in confusion; that's all the time I have to be afraid, or sad for myself.


    It's all the time I have to transform, the rain breaking in the air around me. Time to face the music. At first, no one can even move.

    I turn and face her. I... I never wanted to lie to Shara. But once I did... I never wanted to tell her the truth.
    But it came down to what everyone wanted, and what I wanted, so...

    "Shara. Let it go."

    "Shara, please."
    I can at least help them understand.

    She sighs and shuts her eyes. There's no sound but the rain.


    She reaches down, and unties the ribbon.

    And the little wooly launches towards its mother at high speeds.



    They even offer each other a little consolation. I'm not translating that -- let them have their moment.
    It's not everyday a seperated family gets put back together...

    ...I wonder if it's something I'll ever see for myself.
    "I'm sorry I didn't do this sooner."


    The two flee, leaving me with my friend, and my saviour, and the person to whom I owe so much...


    Starting with the truth.
    "I'm sorry for hiding this from you..."
    She turns and faces me, and I'm not sure I can bring myself to look up into her eyes. But I can't retreat now, either.
    "I'm half-monster, you see..."


    ...She has no idea what that means, does she?
    "I can turn into a monster."
    "That's how you knew what it was saying?"
    "Yes..."

    And then she smiles, very gently.
    "I see..."
    On the slightly more confident ground, I can look back up and plant myself with some confidence. The air smells like wet wool and flowers and mud, letting the soil breathe a sigh of relief.
    "They're a family. The parent went to get some medicine, when you found the child."
    "I see..." She looks down, not at me, but at the flowers on the ground. "If you hadn't stopped me, I would have seperated them." She wiped a bit of the rain from her face with one diaphonous sleeve. "I wasn't thinking about that at all..."

    "But I..." I've never been honest, not since the day we met.
    ...Well, OK. Then, I guess, we might have been. I'm not sure how it works when you hide things you don't know. False pretenses, maybe?
    "It's fine! I'm a bit sad that you were hiding this from me..."

    To her...That must have been troubling, too.
    "I'm sure that you were torn about your secret. And you told me to help that little wooly. Otherwise, I might have done...something very cruel."

    That forgiving smile is as warm as a spring breeze, hitting me deeper than the rain.

    My warmth? I'm not really sure what she means, I mean... I just wanted to help.
    I've been trying to live up to that kind smile, without anything weighing down her heart, for a long time.
    "Ramza."
    "Yes?"


    She reaches down and her arms fall around me. The air is full of perfumed scents. We are both drenched with cold rain, even as she reaches her fingers into the depths of my fur. In the little bubble, in that tiny world in which we exist for that moment...
    I feel very warm.



    "Tee-hee. I'm not saying it again!"

    "..."
    ...I...I...What. Is she kidding? Or...
    No, no way, right? Right? She just means it....like...like...
    Ok, I have no idea.

    "Let's go home for today."
    "Okay." She says, as cheerfully as anything. I transform on the way back.



    "Back with its parents. I was wrong to try and keep it."
    "I see...Shara, I said too much. I'm sorry."
    Now, see, I think this is a reason I'm still not sure it's safe to be telling ordinary people this, but... I don't think he was wrong, either.
    "Grandpa..."

    He turns to me.

    "It's okay."
    "This is to make up for it. Take this."



    Again with that? I mean, I'm not --
    But then I think about what she said.
    I'm...

    I'm not sure.
    Shara's the first human who knows about me. But then again, she was always, in a way, the first human who knew about me; she was the first person who knew me at all.
    I don't know what to think about anyone else knowing...It could just be that Shara's special. And I don't know what to think about what she said, either.


    All I know is the warm, golden color of the flower that I received that day.


    Expect some bonuses sometime in the future.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-12-09 at 06:48 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...

  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Huh. You know, I hadn't even realized the whole first-human-to-know thing - somehow didn't really make the division between Shara and the not-technically-humans.

    Do you ever see monsters similar to what Raven turns into? Some large bird, presumably of a different color?
    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

  28. - Top - End - #208
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    In this LP, it's a fairly meaningful distinction: the previous two people Ramza's shown, Pia and Raven, he's shown almost explicitly because they're not fully (or at all) human, and within their personal positions both as individual and as people who have similar relationships with humanity and the world, he's felt a trust and kinship.
    Actually, for a game that has Fantasy Racism as a theme, very few of the characters have a leg to stand their positions on, simply because of how many non-humans reside in the human village, and that there really is not a distinction drawn.

    As for Raven's other form... I think it's actually unique across all the Rune Factory series. To my knowledge, that species does not have an official name (Phoenix will have to do), but according to the wiki, Word of God describes her species as being a fairly powerful and significant one, closer to the Native Dragons, so therefore probably just a little short of being almost gods.
    Ramza, of course, is a common farm-dwelling creature and woodland annoyance so passive and clumsy that in at least one game, its main attack is falling over. Life's not fair.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-12-09 at 08:15 PM.
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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...

  29. - Top - End - #209
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I wasn't sure - Ramza's not the same color as any of the other Woolies, either. Is there any large bird monster, perhaps not such a regal-looking sort?
    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

  30. - Top - End - #210
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    Pia doesn't like it when you make her blush.
    I beat Javan and Dragoon.
    Great chapter. Two reveals in one chapter. I like how the plot is moving along.
    Last edited by fizzmaister; 2014-12-09 at 10:24 PM.
    Made the English version of Moemon Leaf Green. LP by Deme
    Part of the Super Robot Wars GC Translation Team
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