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  1. - Top - End - #241
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Deme's Avatar

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

    Writing would be OK. I'm not too picky...That said, I accept the natural reticence on this. Anyone just want a copy of Long Live the Queen?

    Also, today's a shorter one, but... Well, I just didn't think I could top what happened. To be honest, it's one of the reasons I started this LP.

    Chapter 28: Shear Drop
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    I went out to go mine (I didn't find a jewel, like I wanted for Karina), but I did find...

    A nifty chest! The item in it wasn't much good, but it existed.

    I mostly spend the evening practicing my chemistry, but I don't make anything really interesting with it...But I do plant my grass, and remember to go check my field in Priveria forest.

    The next morning...

    I took a request from Sofia. It...sounds important?

    But while I was up there, I noticed Marian sneaking in through the rarely-used front-door.
    "...Why are you here?"
    "Oh! Well!"
    She pulled out a bottle and a sharp, shiny syringe.

    "Uh, I never said I was sick or anything."
    "You want to do both?"
    "I'd like to live, thank you..."


    Hmm...Gaius has always been a good friend to me. I should get him something, so I run back home and grab some gold from my storage.

    Raven's manning the shop today, I guess so he can spend all day doing his favorite thing: working.
    "Hey, Raven."

    "What?"
    "...Because it's Gaius' birthday."
    "Aww, that's sweet of you."

    When he comes down the stairs, I present him the gold. It may be a little delicate, but at least it's rarer material.

    "Well, yeah."
    "I love these! Thanks!
    Getting this on my birthday, is there something you want to tell me...?"

    He waggled his eyebrows.
    "No, there isn't any deep meaning." That came out a bit more nervous than I thought it would...
    "Yeah, I knew that," he grins, having successfully teased me.

    Pia ambushes me at the crossroads.

    Oh, that Pia...Always saying random things...

    ...Right?
    Maybe?
    I try to play off the pounding in my heart with,
    "More than Sakuya?"
    "What...?!"
    Her eyes go round as a fish's. They dart about uncertainly, and settle on the flaring and relaxing of her wrist-fins, close from her clasped hands.
    "Well...umm...Sakuya's like family, but you're important, too, so..."
    She begins to inch away as the words fail her.

    "Pia?!"
    What's that noise for?

    But she ends up running away.

    Either way, onto that request. I meet Sofia as she stands on the stairs in her mansion's hall.

    "Anyway, can you bring me some weeds that only grow in special places?"
    "What?! Wait, aren't weeds available any--"
    "Oh, I'm not in a hurry or anything.
    So please get it to me ASAP,"
    she said insistently.
    "Oh, okay..." She's even more confusing than normal today... I'm not sure she had to specify what sort of weed she wanted, unless she wanted something specific...
    But then, I don't know what a specific weed looks like.

    Well, I'll just run back and get what I have, and hope she was being opposite-y about the specifics.

    She smiles politely, once her shock wanes.
    "No, you imbecile! This isn't what I asked for at ALL!"
    I pause, reflexively.

    But as she goes on, I ease up.
    "You seem pretty happy with someone who can't do anything right!"
    Sofia isn't the sort of person to wear a false smile, even if she's saying false things.

    "Well, here's a reward for your troubles! Thank you, Ramza!"

    "Uh...sounds like a plan?"

    I wish she'd be consistent at times like these...

    Before I can really look at my reward, Evelyn comes up the steps behind me.

    "Oh, Evelyn."
    "From the looks of it, it seems like you passed her test."
    "Test?"
    "She has such a strange habit. So she sometimes tests if people can understand that."
    "So she was stranger than normal lately because...?"
    Evelyn nods.

    "No, that's Okay." When I think of her, though, I end up smiling -- even if she does confused me, "I don't dislike her for the way she is now."
    "Hee-hee...Actually, I thought you would say that. But you know, she only does this with people she's taken a liking to."
    This throws me off-guard.
    "What?"

    But Evelyn will say no more.

    She leaves me on the landing, feeling a little more dazed than before.


    My reward, by the way, was rice balls.








    Well, it's a good day for shields!

    I go check the bulletin board; it seems Sakuya has another request. I know I wasn't much good last time...Maybe this time'll be different!

    I head over to the Inn after that.

    "Sure...But what are you looking for?"
    "I'll tell you when we get there. Well, let's go to Privera: Lightway."
    "?"
    Uhh... Well. OK, then.

    We walk out to the entrance of the main woods, where I keep my field.

    Sakuya stops ahead of me, looking this way and that.

    "Hey, Sakuya. What are you looking for?"
    She smiles a little,
    "Well, there was actually someone that helped me around here."
    "What?!"


    She means me, doesn't she?
    "What is it?"
    Sakuya looks back on my shocked face.
    "Oh, um..."
    "Hmmm..."
    A crafty smile spreads across her face.

    What.
    "Shave it?!"

    "Yes...That's...true..."
    "What's the matter? You don't look well."
    "I-I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be fine?"
    Just fine. Ahahaha.
    "Okay then. Anyway, I don't see that golden wooly anywhere."
    "Yeah..."


    I could shave myself...?


    The moment the thought arises, I feel my skin crawl.
    That's just, too... Anything but that!



    I shake off even the suggestion.


    You can't buy pride with money, Sakuya...Even if she wants it...
    I'll pretend I didn't hear her...

    "Alright then!
    I've decided I'm not going home until we find that golden wooly!"


    Please don't say that.

    I'll...I'll feel too guilty!

    I stand there for a moment, understanding full well that Sakuya will stand in this monster-infested woods, getting beaten up, come rain or shine, until that golden wooly gets within shaving range.

    Only one person has the power to make things right here...

    "Seems like it'll be cold tonight..." I sigh. My shoulders sag in defeat.
    "What?"
    "Oh, well...ummm..." Let's just pretend I didn't say that. "You mind waiting a second?"
    "Okay...?"


    I run off, wondering if maybe -- maybe -- just perhaps -- there's still room for me to run for my dignity.

    But...Sakuya's...
    I can't just leave her here.
    Like it or not, I want her to be happy, and not shot by orcs.

    Dangit.


    Having shown myself, I let her at least believe I'm not completely in on her plan.
    There's still a chance she'll turn around, right?

    She was kidding, right?
    "S-Stop right there!"
    She runs after me. I slow down, and let her hands grasp around my shoulders, digging into the soft wool.
    The soft wool I'm about to lose...


    I shut my eyes.

    ...The things I do for the people I like.

    Clippers in hands, she pauses. Her grip is surprisingly gentle -- she's worked, but not so hard her hands are calloused. She holds a pencil more than any other tool.
    "You're just a regular wooly, aren't you?" Her tone is doubting.
    "?!"

    Then she laughs her own suggestion off.

    "B-Bah... (That scared me.)"


    The blunt side of a clipper's blade touches my back.

    The noise of cutting fills the air. I feel a draft.
    Oh, I can't look!

    ...
    It...It tickles...

    Hey, uh, this cutting's...a little much, right?

    I'll end up all but naked!
    "Hm?"

    I can't take it, I can't take it, I can't take it!
    I thrash about wildly.

    I reach out to grab her and push her off... But I still can't look. I just can't bear it!


    ...
    And that's when I notice that what I grabbed was...sort of soft.

    I let go, my eyes shooting open.




    I...I don't want to talk about it!

    Eventually...


    There's nothing I can do but change back when her back is turned.

    I feel so...


    "Where did you run off to?"
    "I just...had a thing..."
    My voice is hollow.


    "Well, just something that really cut me to the core."
    "Hmmm..." She considers this, not without concern.


    She holds up my own wool, soft and fluffy, shimmering gently in the noontime sun.

    "Oh, yeah."
    "Where's your enthusiasm?"

    "I see..."
    "..."
    I stare at the wool.


    "Here's just a little token of my appreciation. Hope I can count on you again."
    "Y-yeah..."


    I've never felt so humiliated.


    WAAAAH! Why did it turn out like this?!


    I collapse onto my bed, my vision blurred with tears.

    "Aaah~ I'm so ashamed!"
    Delita pokes his head out the top of the ladder, looking at me with concern.
    "<Dude, you OK?>"
    "No..."
    "<...Come on, it's OK. It's all OK. Just...tell me what's wrong, you weenie.>"
    "I'VE BEEN DEFIIILEDD!"
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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...

  2. - Top - End - #242
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Javan's Avatar

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

    I'll take a copy if you don't mind :)

    Edit: I can see why this scene in particular would definitely lend to you wanting to do this LP.
    Last edited by Javan; 2015-02-21 at 11:40 PM.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  3. - Top - End - #243
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    "I'VE BEEN DEFIIILEDD!"
    Hahahahaha!
    Made the English version of Moemon Leaf Green. LP by Deme
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  4. - Top - End - #244
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Gah, didn't realize I missed commenting on an update.

    Had to laugh at Shino's comments towards Ramza and her daughters, oh the naivety that he is. Also have to say that Sofia's lines are continuing to be hilarious. That and Pia, though she's hissing at him...

    I am very curious what Delita's going to be saying once he finds out about the shaving. Heck it might even be, 'good you needed one or something.'

    About the games and contest, while I would be possibly be willing to try, I wouldn't do well. Also, I wouldn't be able to do much with the winning, as typical of the let's plays I read of yours, I go out and buy it shortly afterwards.
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


  5. - Top - End - #245
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Deme's Avatar

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

    Pia just has a hard time with some things. But it is fun writing a totally innocent protagonist like this -- well, half innocence, half denial.

    As for the contest, I ended up dropping the idea...Though I still would never refuse fan contributions, you know...

    Chapter 29: The #1 Norad Tourist Destination
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    I eventually recovered my nerves -- Delita's reply of "<Well, look, it's not like you didn't need a trim,>" Certainly helped me relieve the embaressment.
    So I set off that evening to the Vale River to clear a little space.

    I think it'd be nice to branch out to some winter crops.



    The rest of the evening was in training my crafting skills.


    The next morning, I had the good fortune to finally have some fodder ready to go; I still don't know what happened to the fodder I had going earlier, but maybe we won't have these troubles again.

    Anyway, I shifted into my other form (ugh, the wool's still so short...) and headed to the settlement.

    "Good morning, Kuruna."
    "Comrade, did you trim your wool?" she asked, after assessing me for a moment.
    "Uh...Well...Not exactly." I sigh. I thought I felt better, but... "I don't want to talk about it."
    Kuruna leans forward, staring very intently at me over her glasses. She places a hand, just brushing lightly, across the top of my head.
    "Did one of those horrible hornless shave you?"
    "...That's..." Well, ok, that is what happened, but I don't like her tone.
    "This is why I worry about you, so close to them. They just take what they like."
    "That's not true."
    She sighs.
    "That sounds much less convincing when they didn't just take bits of you. Oh, it's just..." She pauses -- something hesitatnt and sad on her face, like someone stepping out onto the ice -- and then says, very softly, "You're very special, comrade. Anyone with eyes can see that. I just don't want that taken advantage of."
    "I won't. I mean, it's not like I couldn't have walked away, except for, um, moral reasons. But..." I hesitate. I kind of don't want to encourage her to think that way, but... I dunno. I like that she's worried for me, if only she had a better reason. "Thanks for the concern."
    She eventually nods, and lets it go.

    After that, I looked over my letters and found...

    Something that gave me pause. I think it'd be rude not to answer it, but I admit...I'm a little nervous.

    I walked through town, a light rain drifting around me. I saw as I approached the main street that Karina was dozing under the arbor, flower petals and rain dripping onto her long silver hair -- the latter, falling onto her face, causing her to slowly open up her eyes, look about and, grumbling slightly, start heading inside.
    "Rain wake you up?"
    "...Yeah (What a shame.)"

    "A nice dream?" Karina sleeps, but...She's never mentioned her dreams.
    "About when I got sick when I was young..."

    "..."
    I wonder... Is that a nice dream?


    I buy a few seeds at the general store -- including some winter seeds, to try that space I cleared, and a few more cabbages.

    And then I head down to the beach, to see what Carmen wants to say.

    At first, she doesn't say anything.

    "Yeah, what did you want to talk about?"
    "Um, are you free now? Could you make some time?"
    "Let's see..."

    "It's okay. Why are you so flustered, Carmen?"
    "This is all your fault! Honestly!"

    She winds up and smacks me a little, but by the standards of my life, I can't say I noticed it.
    Boy, she's worked up...

    "Well, let's go somewhere quiet and talk about it."
    "Y-Yeah, OK. Well, follow me."

    We walk back into the resort, past Carlos, who gives no comment this time.
    Out onto the dock, the wood making slatted shadows on the crystal blue water...

    We stare for a minute, unspeaking.

    "Yes, it is." I speak in the quietest tone I can -- I feel like she's a fish, and I'll spook her if I'm too noisy.

    She takes a deep breath, and turns from me. The sweep of her arms covers the whole lake.

    I hadn't noticed -- but the sun had come out since we began, as if just to shine a light on the lake -- on this -- on us.

    Her smile seems a little nostalgic -- not regretful, but looking at a time, or thing, or a value that's passed.


    "Well..." That's...
    Probably for the healthier.

    She breathes her bangs around in a puff of air -- one big breath out, another big breath in.

    "I liked just seeing your face, you know? That's all I wanted, Ha ha! Heh heh..."


    She turns back towards me and lunges through the space between us, her hair still a little damp from the rain before, her eyes gleaming. She overflows with intensity, and looks me dead in the eye.


    ...
    I want to make some sort of excuse.
    I want to say there's something I'm not getting.
    There's no way...That sort of idea -- not the words, but the idea -- could be applied in all seriousness to someone like me.

    But I think that'd ruin the honesty, right now, of Carmen, who's pooled all her heart's resolve into this.

    She means it.

    "Ahhhh! I said it! I said it..."


    I try to think of what to say. I've...I've never really considered myself as suitable for love, I've never...
    And what about Shara, who probably did mean it 'that way'?

    Carmen eventually responds to my silence.

    "I don't want it to be awkward, so just pretend I didn't say anything!"


    With a smile that looks like a wound on her face, she runs faster than I've ever seen her back to her house.


    Carmen, I... I want to explain -- I want to answer why there is no answer, why I can't answer...
    But I'm afraid. She's a simple person, the sort of normal person, with a normal family, I could never be.

    I'm not who she thinks I am. I'm not cut out for stuff like that...

    Something in me clicks -- her honesty, and my truth -- I run up to the door.


    I can't answer her feelings, but... This is the answer I can give.
    "It doesn't matter when. Please meet with me. I'll be waiting."



    "I wonder if she heard me..."


    Well, there's nothing I can do but wait and find out.


    Aww, that's kind of sad.

    And a thought to shake off -- I don't think, if someone asked me, if I could be somehow irreplacable like that. I'm not even sure I believe there's anyone in my old life who misses me.




    The recipe breads taste a little bitter.

    The evening, I make a new shield...


    That ends up looking like this when we're done.
    I also plant up those daikon, things like that.

    The next morning, I got...

    A letter from Sakuya.
    I guess I better...
    I can't avoid her forever.
    Especially if it's like that. I don't even have a love life, but I think it's getting...complicated.


    I mean, it's...I'm no longer sure what I believe things are.

    "Oh, you saw that?
    I thought I could start giving tours of the town to our customers."

    Phew. Well, that doesn't sound so bad.

    "Oh, I see."
    So my first impression was right! The world remains normal and not at all complicated.


    "I didn't mean..."
    She laughs.
    "It's nothing to be embaressed about!
    Oh, well. So, will you do it?"

    "Yes. But where are we going?
    "Any tourist spot outside of town."
    "Tourist spot?"

    "Alright."

    We head out to the rose bush first, since it's closest.

    "It's so amazing. A plant growing here..."
    "Hey, Ramza, do you know why this plant is like this? have you heard before?"
    "What?"
    "This flower and plant, they're not frozen to begin with."

    She points closer to the plants at the edges, closer to the town.
    "See, over there, those aren't frozen."
    "Oh, you're right..."
    She leans a little closer to the unfrozen vines.
    "And you can see dew on the leaf and flowers."
    "So?"
    How does this work, exactly?
    "After they've grown to a certain point, they take on water to freeze themselves."

    "What? They do it to themselves?"


    Wow, Sakuya's been reading up!
    "The reason why they're pretty is to draw attention to themselves so they'll be walked on."

    I pause and look over the flower for a moment.
    "How strong... It endures a lot for what it needs."
    "Yeah." She nods. "They get stepped on, and they take root here. That's how this flower is able to survive this barren region."

    "Yes..."
    She turns to me and waves a finger, all the sentimentality gone out of her.

    "Let's go to the next place."

    We head down just south to the desert -- the contrast of elements is probably something worth waiting for.

    It's not hard to imagine the blanket of stars up there, and we both look at the pale morning sky.
    "Did you know?"
    "What?"
    "Shooting stars are light from objects burning up in the sky."
    "Hmm...That's a little sad, for something so pretty."

    She nods.
    "I thought so, too. But that light emits when these objects actually meet again."

    There's really a positive to all of it with Sakuya, isn't it?
    "Is that right..."

    She clears her throat.
    "Well, anyway...This is the only place you can see the stars like this. Maybe you could invite someone here that you're close to," she offers with a grin.

    Her thoughts on stars concluded, she added,
    "We can go back to the inn if you want. But there are other spots. Shall we visit those?"
    "That sounds fine by me!"

    We head around until we reach...

    "Yeah..." I smile dreamily, thinking of the things that have happened here. Then Sakuya says, smiling blithely,
    "It's traditional to get married here."
    "...Really?"

    "Or you wish that your love stays true, whether it dries up or blossoms.
    Which do you think is better?"


    "I think...I don't think you can decide whether love dries, or not. So I think either wish is OK."

    "It's all about what you can do on your own. You need to put the effort in to really understand each other."
    "Yeah...you're right."
    I wonder what that means for me, though? I'm not exactly...known.
    "Well, anyway. This flower field is really something special. I hope you think so too."

    And finally...


    "Because there's always a rainbow in the afternoon. And sometimes you can hear 'Rainbow' being shouted..."

    "RAINBOW!!"


    That's...That's not legendary. That's just Daria.

    Sakuya waves her hands, trying to soothe over the discussion.
    "The weather's so nice, and the falls can change so it's popular with couples.
    And it's really quiet..."



    "RAINBOW~!!"

    ...With exceptions.


    And so we headed back to the inn.

    "Thanks for coming." She laughs cheerfully. "I'm a bit more confident now, so thanks."
    "Well, you should be. You know a lot about the town."
    "This is for you. Thanks for today. See ya."


    See? That wasn't some sort of shaving-based disaster mark 2 after all.
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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...

  6. - Top - End - #246
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Dragoon'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
    Pia just has a hard time with some things. But it is fun writing a totally innocent protagonist like this -- well, half innocence, half denial.

    As for the contest, I ended up dropping the idea...Though I still would never refuse fan contributions, you know...
    Well, if I can get into my friend's art materials we shall see about the fan contributions.

    Anyways, enjoyed the update, especially Delita's response of, well you sort of needed that to the sheering. Also, poor Ramza, he is actually trying to tell someone something and gets run off on. Seems to be the opposite of what normally happens.

    Though I am very curious what will happen when Kuruna finds out that Ramza has mastered the 'Cutting out the middleman in the "bring a cute dog to attract girls" gambit'
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


  7. - Top - End - #247
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoon View Post
    Well, if I can get into my friend's art materials we shall see about the fan contributions.

    Anyways, enjoyed the update, especially Delita's response of, well you sort of needed that to the sheering. Also, poor Ramza, he is actually trying to tell someone something and gets run off on. Seems to be the opposite of what normally happens.

    Though I am very curious what will happen when Kuruna finds out that Ramza has mastered the 'Cutting out the middleman in the "bring a cute dog to attract girls" gambit'
    Hahahaha.

    Nice update as usual Deme.
    I'm enjoying seeing the various girls reactions. I usually only focus on one when I play RF or HM games.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  8. - Top - End - #248
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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

    Nice update. I even managed to read it withing a week of the release. That's unusual. Anyway, the romance plot thickens.
    Made the English version of Moemon Leaf Green. LP by Deme
    Part of the Super Robot Wars GC Translation Team Complete!
    Ran @TweetsFromOYW
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  9. - Top - End - #249
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I usually play a pretty broad field in this sort of game. Sometimes, I'll go "everyone," but, like in my original RF3 play-through, I went with a couple of characters I found most interesting, and then some others -- we haven't gotten to the ones I didn't do to completion yet, outside of Carmen...
    So, I too am interested in Karina's reaction to Ramza's cutting out the middleman.

    Chapter 30: You look like a wooly, and you smell like one too
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    Well, having ended that rather pleasant little 'date...'


    I can go help out Sofia.

    Actually, I haven't seen a lot of people today; Sakuya kept me pretty busy, so I was happy to catch up with Karina.

    "A festival, right? (Right...?)"
    "Hmmm... Maybe there was something like that on my calender."
    I maybe just expect people to tell me these things.

    I bet Shara will let me know a bit more.

    Huh. So...stay clear of Pia for the next little while.

    But that plan runs into an obstacle: Pia.


    "Pia..."

    Anyway, I wanted to meet with Sofia, so I head up the steps to --

    "It's like a regal rose that blooms alone!"
    A man's voice rings out through the hall.


    I looked around and spotted them up on the stairs.

    The man, wearing travelling clothes, smiled innocently. I don't think he realizes that there's about a 50% chance that wasn't a compliment.
    "You must be in love with me as well!"

    Could she actually...?
    "I told you I like you! So come closer!"
    She crosses her arms, rendering that last, for a moment stomach-dropping sentence, moot.

    "Of course!" Says the man who is not getting the message.

    She cries out as he draws closer, and jerks back up the stairs.


    I don't want to interfere, but this isn't a good situation -- that guy needs to...

    Karina sighs from behind me.

    "Huh? You saw the bulletin?"



    "Oh! First I need to help Sofia."

    I dart up the stairs.

    "Excuse me."
    Everyone turns to look at me, Karina trailing behind.
    "Huh? Who are you?"

    "A friend of Sofia's. She says the opposite of whatever she's thinking."

    "Sir...This town is ridiculous."
    "Off with you! My dream is untouchable!"
    ...What does that even mean?

    That's...
    "That's quite realistic."
    But...It's actually a very sweet dream. I don't really have a dream, even one as simple as that -- not that I know, anyway. I guess I've never thought further than trying to remember, and what that might bring.

    "Of course. I always carry a medicine box with me on trips."

    "I think they're wealthy."
    "That's perfectly fine! In fact, that's better! Money is never a problem."
    ...Wait, did he walk into this house and start professing love without knowing anything about the people here?
    "So honest..."

    "I knew you'd say that."
    ...Duuuude. Listen to my advice.

    "Of course!"

    Sofia darts further back up the stairs.

    "This is too complicated..."
    Actually, there's something odd about all of this.
    "You know, I think the opposites are a bit more...frequent than usual."
    "When she's getting emotional, it happens more often." We both look over at her, trembling with indignant worry. "She really isn't happy right now."
    "I can tell by looking."


    Sofia looks over at us pleadingly, tears at the corner of her eyes. He didn't believe me...Should I get in his way? Physically?

    While I consider the options of just physically blocking the guy, Karina steps in.

    "Then how about you go get whatever Sofia asks you to."
    "What's the point?"
    "Ramza will too, and we can see who's really correct."
    "What?!"
    "Is that OK, Sofia?"
    Sofia smiles at the suggestion.
    "No!"
    "Ok then."

    The traveller looks back and forth.
    "Wait a minute, she just said that she..."

    "Did you say something?"

    The man shrugs.
    "I guess it was just my imagination. I'll go get it for you!"
    "What a trooper..."
    Now if only he could learn to listen.
    "You go too, Ramza."

    "Oh, yeah."
    While I admit, there's a little room for worry -- she could drop the opposite anywhere, after all -- but there's not a lot of room there, unless she feels like inventing an opposite to apples (oranges? Those are incomparable).

    Anyway, before I do that, I need to go take care of some business.

    I want some more space...




    Some recipes (I'll have to look at the monkey toy)
    And head home to cook up my crops for shipping.


    But before night falls, I can run over to the forest for an apple...
    And back to the hall.



    The traveller dashes up the stairs and points an accusing finger at me.

    "Yes. Well..." I shrug. "Well, that's about the only place around here you can find apples."
    "But Sofia said she wanted an apple that couldn't be found in Privera Forest." He grins like he's sprung a trap. Poor guy... You learn to live with the crazy, or you can't be here. "And so you've failed!"
    "No, like I said..."

    Sofia holds up my apple with a triumphant smile.

    "Impossible! All he brought was a regular apple!"
    "Like we said, it's the opposite. Sofia wanted an apple that can be 'found' at Privera Forest."
    "B-But..."
    He paused for a moment, as it finally hit home, and turned his back.

    "I'm sorry...!"
    And he ran out the house at high speeds.
    "He went."
    "Well, that's good, isn't it? (I didn't like him from the start.)"


    "Are you okay, Sofia?"
    "Yes..." She says, that same worried look on her face. "It's not that I care or anything."
    "..." It really bothered her, having to go through this whole she-bang just to get her point across... Aw, man....

    After that, though, she smiled.
    "Anyway, thank you for everything. This is just to show my appreciation."

    "Okay."


    But then she looks at me again, like she was worried.
    "Oh... (I think that was a...)"
    Don't worry. I understand...This time.
    "Well, I'll come by again."

    "... I wouldn't like that..."

    "... (She seems happy...)"



    My reward's a ring.

    Anyway, let's go look at that monkey shield...

    Do want. But to get it... I'll have to do things I never wanted to do.

    How black must my heart become?!

    My dark work done, I return to make my end of the bargain...
    0
    Of course, it needs some improvement, first.

    In the end, after throwing whatever I can at it, this is the plush monkey I achieve!

    I am history's most adorable monster.

    I run out to check on other parts of the world with my evening...

    And find this handy item in a chest. Down the hatch!


    The next day...

    ...Was what?
    "Uh, Kuruna? It's not... I don't even remember my birthday!"
    "Is that so? There was a note Zaid found in the desert announcing something like that, so we'd believed it to be authentic... Well, it doesn't matter, does it?"


    "Th-thank you, Kuruna."
    "You're welcome. I'm very happy to have met you."

    Who would leave a note in the desert...?
    Who'd lie about my birthday?

    Not Zaid, apparently.


    It's not...
    "It isn't much, but I have this for you. I hope you like it."

    I...I can't say no in good faith, can I?

    Well, maybe someone in town knows.

    "Not...Exactly."
    "This is from me. Just take it."

    Later, Carmen gives me the same thing. A matching set of fish.

    Well that's...Shara might know the bottom of it.

    "Shara, you know it's not my birthday."
    "Well, that's..."
    "How could it be? I mean, I don't even know my birthday."
    "Well, I'd heard... Anyway, you don't know, right? So it could be any time! We could have missed it already!"
    She's right. I could be a whole year older than...Than...I don't even know how old I am, actually.

    "Just let us celebrate it, alright? I think we all sort of understand... I got a present, anyway. I hope you like it."
    Her gift was some usual flower seeds...And also the growing knowledge that I do not have enough room for all of this.
    "Wait, though! Where'd you hear about this being my unofficial birthday?"
    "Oh, I think Sofia said something about it. It was sort of going around town."


    I run by the Blacksmith before I think it'd be a good time to head home.

    "What?"
    "I heard it was your birthday today. Everyone likes to celebrate their birthday." He pauses and considers this. "While you're young, that is."

    Anyway, he'd gotten me some platinum. I'm sure he'd think there'd be no better gift in the world.


    I also make a delicious, nutritious salad with some ingredients I've been saving up, while I'm clearing some space.


    She made me curry. That's really very sweet.


    "Uh...Well...It could be?"
    "What kind of medicine do you want?"
    Oh, well... I don't..."
    I picked the wrong time to roll with this.
    "Then how about this one?!"
    "What?!"

    ...That's...That's for plants.


    "Uh, well, that's..."
    "I heard...It was your birthday." A red flush appeared on her face. "So...here's your present."
    "Th-thank you. I'm happy."



    I keep getting these.



    "Yeah, thanks."



    "Um, you're wishing me a happy birthday, aren't you...?"
    "Of course."
    "Shara mentioned that you told her that, but... It's a little more complicated. Where did you hear that?"
    "Well, I suppose I didn't hear it when I was getting dirty at the inn."
    "Oh, I see. Thank you."
    "And here, this is from me."
    "Th-thank you."




    I take the time to enter the contest while I'm heading that way -- the rules are pretty simple: catch the biggest fish.



    The inn, sadly, was empty -- though Daria at least had some more platinum for me. To the beach!


    "Well, we're celbrating it today, I guess."
    "Well, you picked a busy day. I always have a lot to worry about, in terms of cooking."

    "With the fish? Sounds tough."


    Anyway, it's time to get to the bottom of this!

    "Um, well, it's being celebrated today, but...Where'd you hear that?"
    "Well, Pia said so! So I decided to help her propogate it!"
    "Oh...I see. Well..."
    "Congratulations!" She blushes. "Oh, and here's a little something I got for you."


    Ok, time to confront Pia about this.

    "What?!"
    "Oh, this is a birthday present, isn't it?"
    She says, offering me a still-moving lamp squid.
    This...doesn't seem exactly right.

    "It's over already? Pia, are you going to go through all the trouble of picking a birthday for me...for that?"
    "Well, I wanted you to have a good birthday! But you don't know, right? But if we picked a day, you'd know!"
    "...I didn't know."
    "That's because it's a surprise birthday party!"
    "That's not how...This isn't how these things work, Pia."
    "Don't worry about it, Ramza! The important thing is, you have one, and everyone's happy to celebrate it!"
    I blink... But at the end of the day, I can't help but smile.

    Me and my weirdo squid gift.

    Let's go enjoy the festival.

    I pick my favorite fishing spot, standing in the cave. I think I catch some good-sized fish, but will it be enough?

    ***

    "The winner of the Catch the Biggest Fish Contest..."

    "Thank you very much!"

    [color=maroon]"Congratulations, everyone! All of the winners, don't forget your prizes! Until next time!"

    What a grand supply of cooking recipes.








    Sounds delicious.


    I need to convert my catches to sashimi for cash; it promises into a big night. I have a nice, calm twilight to walk through, the summer heat around me... I find myself humming, just a little bit.
    HMMM-hmmm-HM-hm-hmm-HMM...HMMM-hmmm-HM-hm-hmm-HMM...
    "Happy birthday dear Ramza... Happy birthday to 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...

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Just spent 9 hours on a programming assignment. This was a blessed relief.
    Thanks.

    Happy belated birthday Ramza.
    "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!

    That was an interesting surprise birthday party. Now the question is, how did Pia get the note to the desert camp?
    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!

    Well, I think I said that the notes were just scattered in the desert.... Honestly, I have no idea, even though this is my personal explanation about why Ramza has a birthday in the game *shrug*
    Sorry for the delays, by the way. I've been on vacation, sick, distracted by Story of Seasons, and now I've lost yesterday's work when I wasn't looking, excuse me while I scream. I'm not sure whether I should play it again, or (since it was not an important or interesting bit) go "Some stuff happened, moving on." Thoughts?
    Last edited by Deme; 2015-04-15 at 01:28 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...

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

    Some stuff happened and time passed, Ramza worked hard at maintaining his new relationships and determining his own feelings.
    "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!

    Seems like a perfect time to have an amnesia subplot. Ramza wakes up, thinks its a few days ago. He doesn't recall the past few days happening and panics because he thinks he's losing his memory again.
    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!

    The last update was hilarious, though I it took me a few moments after finishing the update to get the title. *Sighs*

    On the missing days, I like the idea of him forgetting the last few days. Of course, I am quite fine with the whole, Ramza did things, not worth talking about.
    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!

    These are all pretty good ideas, but... Well, in the end, the amount of time I lost isn't quite enough that it was worth it to not just replay it -- particularly since a few hours does not a good amnesia plot make.

    Chapter 31: Summer Colds
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    You know, that whole birthday thing got me thinking... Maybe there could be a place for me here, after all. I mean a real place, you know?
    ...I know that there are people who really feel strongly about me, but... I think about what happened with Carmen, and I'm still nervous about what might come next.

    The next morning started with a light rain. And maybe I might have gotten out later than usual, but by the time I was going through the settlment, Zaid was up -- for a change.

    "I suppose I can."
    Please do not ask me how.

    "What...?"
    Look, that's not going to be...
    I mean, I'd need my hands for that...

    "Loser pays for tomorrow's lunch!"
    "No way..."

    I can't even imagine what paying for his lunch must be like.
    Or where we'd get it; he's never come to town...

    "If I withdraw, can I just get you lunch?"
    "...Well... Eh, I guess. It's not as much fun this way, though!"
    It is for me...

    I head back to town, thinking about what sort of lunch I could get this guy.

    ...But it can wait until I've done a request, right?

    Getting a cold? Well, it is a rainy day...

    I head on over to where I think she might be, darting in and out of buildings, including the Blacksmith's, where I'm stopped.

    "Something to be attained, I think."
    "Are you sure?"
    "Well, I couldn't say... I just feel like it's something you'd get if you worked hard at it."
    I think if I just stayed in my room to begin with, back then, I wouldn't be happy at all now.

    She looks away.
    "...Maybe you're right."

    I find Karina standing outside the Apothecary.

    "I'm...not sure I understand what you wanted."
    "Well...I want to catch a cold. Right now."
    "Huh...?"
    "Could you give me a cold?"

    "I need to catch one. There has to be a way." Her expression was surprisingly determined -- she normally seems vague, or bored, or sleepy, but this...
    I've never seen Karina so serious...

    I can't help but grin.
    "Okay. Let's think..."

    "How are we going to give me a cold?"
    "Hmm... I guess we should talk to Marjorie about that."
    "Marjorie...? (Well, as long as it's not Marian.)"
    "What's the matter?"
    "It's nothing. Never mind."

    Since it was just a few feet, we stepped inside.

    "Medicine that actually makes someone sicker?
    Hmmm... I'm sorry, I can't help you."

    "You can't?"


    "No ethical, responsible doctor would do something like that!"
    ...So...
    It has to be Marian after all.

    "Marian, do you know anything about making someone sick?"
    ...Deliberately?

    "Yes."
    "I see..."

    Marian paused for a moment, scratching her chin thoughtfully, her eyes alight with bubbling ideas.
    "This already sounds like a bad idea..."

    So now does Sofia need to get involved?
    "That doesn't sound very scientific..."


    "?!"
    "Okay! I'll need some ingredients..."
    "No problem. (As long as Ramza is here.)"
    "Okay. So for the opposite of cold medicine, I'll need... Yellow Grass, Purple Grass, Grape, and Rice. That sounds about right, right?" She answered her own question without pause. "Sure, why not!"
    The smile on her face was a bit charming...And a bit terrifying.
    "Oh, and I just need one of each."
    "So...I'm guessing the one who going to gather all these ingredients is going to be...?"
    "Thanks, Ramza."

    "I guess I didn't need to ask..."

    "Hey, she just needs a normal cold. I don't think she needs an extra-strength potion."

    "She's not listening at all..."

    Well, luckily (?) I have yellow grass and rice on me.


    The grapes are a quick jog away, and the purple grass grows in basically any field.


    "Well, then..."
    "Now we just need to find a good place to prepare it."
    "A place to prepare it?"

    ...This is going to all make sense one day, I hope.
    "And where is that? (I hope it's not far.)"

    "What?! Um..."
    She buzzes me out. I failed the quiz.
    "It's made my boiling stuff like grass and roots!"
    "I'm pretty sure it's a little more complicated than that..."
    "But we've got to do the opposite today! So do you know what we're going to do?"
    "Uhh..." I pause. "Pickle it?"
    "Nope! We're going to freeze the crushed mixture with snow!"


    "Well, let's got to Vale: Entrance!"

    They both walk off, leaving me shaking my head behind.
    "How did I ever get involved with this?"


    "O-O-Okay. (It's so cold...)"


    Time passes.

    And passes.
    And she's still doing stuff I can't see.
    "Um...How long is this going to take?"
    "Hold on!"


    I pace for a while, trying to keep myself warm.
    "Man, it really is cold..."
    Karina yawns.
    "I'm getting sleepy... (I'll just take a little nap here.)"
    "Hey! Don't go to sleep in the snow!"
    "I hear a voice, but it's so distant... Sleep....calling me..." Her voice sounds as heavy as snowfall, little more than an indistinct mutter.
    "Karina?!"

    I walk towards her, wondering exactly what sort of state she might actually be in, when --

    Marian eventually turns around.
    "Hey, what's wrong with you guys?"
    "We're cold!" I snap.
    "Then why are you waiting there?"
    "Because you told us to!"
    Marian blinks.
    "Really? Oops. Well, whatever. It's not so cold."
    "Are you kidding?"
    I'm worried about Karina getting hypothermia!

    Deep, even breathing fills the silence. We both turn and look...

    At a red-nosed, peaceful face.

    I end up carrying her home on my back. She's surprisingly light, and her face on my shoulder looks like the face of an angel...If an angel's been sitting in the cold.
    It's something special, seeing someone so at ease...

    I ended up bringing her upstairs to her room, and explaining it to Hazel.
    "Um....yeah. She didn't even try to the potion yet, though."
    "Hmph. She didn't need to! Falling asleep outside in the snow like that... That would give anyone a cold!"
    Hazel shakes her head violently, ponytail thrashing through the air.
    "Of all the stupid..."

    Her ferocity's kind of spooky, actually...

    Karina mumbles. Even with all that shouting, she's not even bothered enough to open her eyes.

    "You're young!" Hazel did not even try to not be yelling. "A little cold isn't going to kill you!"
    "Yeah...but that doesn't mean you have to yell at me..."

    Hazel sighs.
    "Whatever happened to that hardworking little girl I used to know?"

    This -- this at least gets Karina to actually open her eyes and, very gravely, look at her mother.

    Her mouth holds open, for a moment, as if waiting to have words come through it. Words that never came, at least outside herself.

    But, whatever she could say -- whatever she didn't say -- Hazel relaxes.


    A wordless glance passes between them.
    "...?"
    I can't say I get everything that's in it, honestly -- maybe that's just something between a mother and a daughter.

    "Hey, Mom..."
    "What...?"
    "I'm hungry..."
    Well, there went the mood.


    She headed off, leaving me and Karina alone.
    Actually, while we are alone...
    "Hey, why did you want a cold in the first place?"
    "Well..."


    What.
    "Huh...?"

    "Everyone there had it."

    So...So what she's saying is that if everyone in the city jumped off a bridge, she'd do it, too?

    "And, well, I didn't want to miss out on such a big trend."
    "I see..." She is. That makes me feel...
    Actually, pretty cruddy. My throat itches.

    Oh, don't tell me... I got sick?
    "Ramza? (Are you...?)"

    I cough again.
    "Ugh, I don't feel so hot..."
    "I see..."


    Epidemics... aren't trends.
    "Hey, by the way, I need to repay you..."

    "...Thanks."
    "Well, bye then. (Ah, I'm tired...)"




    Once I finish taking the medicine, I felt like moving was a good idea again.


    The bulletin board yielded up a message from Rusk. Now, I wouldn't say I'm the best at cooking, but...

    I don't think I'm bad, right?


    "Oh, good, Ramza. I'm a little rushed for time. Sherman has requested we make a lot of juice for a relative's birthday."

    "What? Is it okay for me to make it?"
    My kitchen hasn't been certified by the board of health!

    Well...I'm flattered.
    "Let me repeat it for you. Make a glass of Grape Juice and hand it to me."
    "Okay. Hold on."

    Good thing I grabbed an extra grape earlier.


    Easy as throwing things in blenders!


    "Take this."
    He hands me a collection of metals.

    "Alright, now to get this order finished!"
    "Good luck!"




    Not a great crop of breads today.


    And Collette's just sighing into her food.
    This is a sight so rare I feel a little stunned.
    "Whenever I'm with Marian, people think that I'm younger."
    She's older than Marian? Would not have guessed.
    "That makes sense..."
    The at-first shocked expression on Collette's face recompresses back into a furious pout.
    "What? Why does it make sense?!"

    On my way out, I spot Carlos on the road to his bath.
    "How's it been going?"
    I consider asking how Carmen's been doing since...the other day, but she seems like she's been fine when I've talked to her.

    "Oh, that's nice. Did you catch anything?"
    "Yeah! A big one!" He spread his arms pretty wide to tell me about the size. "And we gutted it on the spot. It was a big lover snapper!"
    Then he scowled and shook his head.
    "But then he said my knife wasn't sharp enough, and took off to sharpen it for me."

    "Makes sense..." For a value of sense that includes Gaius.

    The rest of the day is pretty much spent mining.

    And the next morning's mailbox reveals...

    Something I'd been waiting on -- dreading, maybe? -- for a while.
    But if I'm dreading it, it's my fault, too: Carmen was the one who put everything out there. I can say that "Oh, Carmen's the one who was silly enough to love me," but that's not true. There's a lot about me she doesn't know. There's a lot about me I don't know. But... I know I have to talk to her.

    When I'm stopped partway by Collette, I'm pulled out of my thoughts.
    "Oh, right! Here's something you need to know!"

    "Oh, thank you..." I'll be sure to find her a gift. "Look, I need to run. Very important...stuff."

    And then there was Raven, looking concerned about something.

    Do...Do I have time for this?
    "The other day, he said that she was like a piece of iron that was tricky to handle."
    "Is that a compliment...?"
    "...The greatest."
    "What?!"
    I guess there is nothing he likes more than -- wait, wait, stop. I have my own things to deal with!

    And then, flagging me down with another useless bit of preference is...

    Rusk... I really don't -- I can't -- don't do this to me, bro.
    In the end, I can't help but get a bit snappy.
    "Nations have fought wars over potato supply. Think about that the next time you dismiss them!"
    "Nations have fought WARS over potatoes? ...Cool!"
    "Yes, great, gotta go!"

    IF NO ONE ELSE WANTS TO TALK TO ME, I'VE GOT A THING TO DO!
    ...
    ...I'm sorry, that was rude.

    Rain's falling by the time I head to the shore.

    She heard me, after all. That means... I...
    "I have to tell you something."
    Her face grows serious. For a second, I think she might be mad. Well, she's probably going to be mad.
    "Ramza..."
    I look around. Carlos is watching us so intently from across the counter that I think he's going to fall over it.
    "Could you come to Privera Forest's Flower Field with me?"
    "Okay..."

    I grab her by the hand and we run to the field in the pouring rain.
    I stand there, smelling in the flowers, steeling myself with my breath. Shara's the only ordinary human I've told about this... And, well, she's far from ordinary.

    I feel like, if I run back now, I can just keep knowing that, even falsely, I'm loved. I don't have to do anything -- she said so herself.

    I turn away, and take a little step of distance.
    But if I say 'Oh, she's human, I shouldn't tell her,' aren't I just being unfair?
    Aren't I just leaving those innocent feelings to rot?
    "I was really happy with what you said to me. So..."

    "The other...?"
    Her eyes go wide as a fish's.


    And I give up hope of keeping that happiness.
    Well, it's not like I really had it, anyway.



    I circle around her, cautious and deliberate. I want this to make some sense to her, anyway.

    "I'm half-monster." The rain soaks into my hair, and I feel like I need to cover, somehow. It's not that I was *always* lying.
    "My memory is slowly coming back to me. Who I am..."
    That's an inescapable part of it. And who knows what else? Maybe there's...someone else in my life. That's something that means I can't say anything...

    She looks at me with a stunned, flat expression -- completely disbelieving, like I've pulled off something impossible.
    "Ramza, is this wooly... It's really you?"

    I nod.
    "I didn't want to keep any secrets from you."



    For a moment, all we can do is stand there.

    Then she takes a deep breath of her own, shakes her head, and with eyes blazing fiercely declare:
    "Hey, I want to see you as a wooly again!"


    I transform again, as asked. I'm not entirely sure what...

    She slides onto her knees, the flowers crushing undernearth her legs, slick and covered in rain.

    And Carmen's arms are wrapped around me. There's tears and rain on her face -- I can't quite tell you which is which.

    "I don't care what you are! It doesn't change the way I feel!"


    She looks up at me with a little smile on her face.
    "Plus you're so cute! And you're so kind..."
    "Carmen..."
    I bet I smell like wet wool... But I guess if that doesn't change her mind, nothing will.
    "Carmen, thanks."


    I transform back,growing up from her grasp, until her arms are draped around my waist.


    Carmen starts and leaps back, her face growing red.
    "Ha ha, sorry."
    "I'm going home now. Thanks for telling me your secret."




    "Oh, good..." I say to the flowers.
    Good, I said what I needed to said. I guess it didn't change anything for her, but...
    I feel like something's changed.
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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!

    And Carmen still does nothing for me. Hooray for the update though.
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I dunno, I thought the last couple of events were sweet...
    But no, she's not on my short list of candidates that I'd like to see as the final option. (Be thinking some of that, by the way; at some point, you will be required to pick a bride -- the story won't end without doing so.)

    On the other hand, that's one less set of events. We've barely done any of Marian, Daria, or Collette's events (Marian's been stopped by the knowledge that I need a day to do an event with her grandma, first, but since everyone else has had events....) We're about 1 away with Sakuya, and that's another event I like, and we're I think getting close to things with Karina (though I think she, too, will need me to do an event with someone else along the way) and Sofia.
    Last edited by Deme; 2015-04-19 at 08:29 AM.
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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!

    Slowly but surely the events are being completed.
    I agree Deme, the last few events were sweet.
    "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!

    Chapter 32: A Matter of Trust
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    I head back across town in the rain, feeling it land gently on my head. It's very peaceful, and nice for that sort of relaxed feeling I have right now...
    But I sure wouldn't mind getting dry, so I duck into the General Store.

    And it looks like Sofia's here to do some shopping.
    As Sofia looks about the shelves, I can't help but think about what just happened, and, well...Everything. The sort of thorny things I've got going on, um, relationship-wise...
    "Sofia, what do you think about love?"

    That's a vehement response...
    Not that I think she's wrong, though.
    Karina, resting on her arms, lifted her head.
    "Huh? Why not?"
    "You should only use powerful words like that when you don't mean it."

    "Hmmm.... (Anything interesting...?)" A sneaky smile spread on her face. "Hey, Sofia. What do you think about Ramza?"

    "What?!"
    "What?!"
    Sofia's face went very, very red in the moments as she fumbled about.
    "Well...of course..."
    Karina's probably never looked happier.
    "Of course? (Hee-hee, she doesn't know what to do.)"


    ...What...What sort of hate is that, exactly? Is indifference the opposite of hate, or... Or....?

    "..."This knocked the smile right off of Karina's face.


    A-anyway, I have to...Um...Go and...
    heylookit'ssunnygottarunfarmingtodo!






    Recipe breads, save me from awkward moments! (Oh, how I wish they had that power)

    It's only after I've made my mad dash for not thinking more about this today that I realize something: I actually do have something to do.

    Give Marian a birthday gift.

    "Leave it to you to get me something I like for my birthday! You're awesome!"


    "Really?"
    "Because it's my birthday, of course!"

    In the evening, I decide to go a little deeper into the Vale River area, fighting my way past swarms of enemies...


    Including these beautiful golden wolf-y sort of fellas.

    I'd like to add one to the barn, but... I don't have room.
    While I'm pondering that, I reach...

    One of these. That's... Probably an omen for what's ahead. I haven't heard any laughter recently, but... I'm not sure I'd be able to handle that yet.

    So I head home. Now, if I want another barn, I'm going to need some more lumber:

    And that's where my night goes.

    The next morning, Wells was nearby with some news:

    "Flea Market?"
    "Everyone will be walking around selling some items. There might be some excavated or unusual items, so you should have a look."
    "I'll do that. Are you going to be participating, too?"
    "Of course."

    On the mail, I find...

    A frightening note from Sakuya.


    Who, as it turned out, was waiting for me at the base of the stairs.
    "Yes...But I'm not really sure what you meant by it."
    "You know, we went to find some golden wool the other day."
    "Oh..."
    It's...about that...
    "Well, the merchant I sold it to said she wanted some more. I thought we could look for it again..."

    How much are you going to bleed me for?!

    I say that, but in the end...
    "O-okay..."
    I can't think of a way out.


    Sakuya just looks at me quizzically, like there's something she just doesn't get.
    "Sakuya?"
    She snaps back into a bright smile.
    "Well, let's head to Privera: Lightway then."
    "Oh, okay..."
    What am I going to...
    "..."
    Why am I going there? I know how to get her some...

    "We won't need to..."
    ...Reluctantly.

    "What?"
    "Actually, umm...I have an idea where the golden wooly is."
    "Really? You know him?" she chirps.

    I'm not always sure...How well I know him, maybe...
    "So I'll go alone this time. Besides, dungeons are dangerous."
    "I see..."

    "O-Okay!"
    "..." She stared at me for a while before running off --

    And then, at the last minute, turned back, glancing at me up and down.

    And fled.

    "Whew..." Why am I doing this? "Well then, I guess we'll get this over with..."


    ***


    But anything's more dignified then being held down against your will, right?

    The sound of the clippers fills the air. Little loose puffs of wool drift by.
    "Umm...I should make it short and easy to manage." I wonder if I can get that cowlick in the back while I'm here...

    "It got cut too short last time, and it was cold." And, now that I think about it, maybe too much like being naked. I mean, I wear a belt and the scarf and the hat, but... In the end, it's wool for my modest-







    OH GODS SHE'S HERE PANIC PANIC WHERE DO I HIDE WHAT DO I DO ALL MY FURNITURE IS GROWN OUT OF THE WALL PANIC!


    ...It's no good.


    We both just freeze there.
    Of all the people who I didn't want to know...
    Sakuya's pretty high on that list.

    "Wha...What the...?"
    why is she here what do I do what do I -- I just talked, didn't I?



    "Oh..."

    There's a moment where all my thoughts have gone white noise, like I suddenly lost my grip on everything.
    "Well, uh, you see..."
    Will she run? Or scream? Or --

    Or cry.
    "Oh..."

    As I stand there like a fool, the look on her face changes -- she glares at me, through her tears; the hurt sets and deepens, as it occurs to her that -- that -- that in some ways, I've never been really honest. And I used that against her.


    As she turns and runs -- oh, now she runs -- her tears fall loose, falling down her face.


    I can't just leave things like this.

    I change back and run through the town, searching high and low for her... But in the end, I don't know where she'd be.

    "The bath!"
    "Hmm....Other than that?"
    I couldn't go there, I mean...
    "Hmm....Sakuya likes looking at the sea."
    "The sea?"
    "That's where I saw her first!" Pia smiles at the memory. "She said she just got in trouble with her mom..."

    I might just know a spot...
    "Thanks, Pia!"


    So I head as fast as I can, using my shoes to race up the river, cutting corners, trying to get there as fast as I can... But even then, I don't know what I'll say. 'Sorry I'm a huge fraud'?


    Even as I walk up behind her, I can tell she's still been crying. I wonder if I'll have to say something...?
    "Why didn't you tell me?"
    "Huh...?"
    [color=darkmagenta]"Is it because you knew I didn't like monsters?"
    "Well..." I didn't want her to be afraid of me. And then it just got more complicated.


    "Huh...?"
    "That you were the wooly. But I didn't want to admit it."
    I wasn't terribly subtle, was I?

    "That I was...?"
    She shakes her head.

    "But I didn't want to admit that you were hiding something from me..."
    "Sakuya..."


    "But...But I also realize that they're not all bad monsters out there."

    She looks at me, swinging her head with a slight ring of her hairpieces.

    And then, soft as a petal falling, "Could you trust me a little more?"

    Is that how it feels to people?
    "It's not that I don't trust you -- that I didn't trust you, it's..."

    How do I explain it all?
    ...Well, no sense worrying about that. I just need to trust.
    "Actually..."

    I try laying it all out -- that I had forgotten, at first, about who my parents were; that by the time I'd remembered, I'd found something like an identity here, that people knew me -- but no one knew these things about me, and I didn't want to be caught lying, I didn't want to lose a place in the world that might be rare for someone who's... well...

    But it seems like she's not quite gotten past the first barrier. That's OK. It's...a lot to take in.
    "Yes. I'm half wooly."
    "That's why you can transform into a wooly..."
    "I'm sorry for not telling you sooner..."



    "What?"

    "Actually, it's not that I hate monsters."

    "Sakuya..."
    Thank you.


    "?"
    "I see. I wonder why I never realized that sooner."
    "What's the matter?"

    "Funny...?"
    "Let's go home. Mom might be getting worried."\

    No, I want to hear this.
    "Oh, Sakuya --"

    But she runs off ahead of me, laughing.


    "Well, you'll just have to wait and see."

    "This is for you. I mean, I got my wool and everything."
    You mean my wool.

    "Thanks..." I think.

    "Well, see ya."

    Well, that was...Good. I think.
    At this point, does letting so many -- but not everyone -- know make it all better? Or worse? Oh, well...I don't think I was wrong to be honest that time, anyway.


    And hey, not a heart pendant.







    While I'm in this part of town, I get my recipes.


    The town's all bustling with preperation for the flea market, but there was one thing that gave me pause:

    This message from Sofia.

    I head over to see her, pacing in front of the mansion.

    Well, she sounds troubled...
    "Is...everything okay?"
    "I've never felt so content!"
    "Okay, this doesn't sound good. Anything I can help with?"
    "No!"

    "So, what happened?"
    "I saw some food on the table, so I gulped it down without thinking!
    But...it...was..."
    She hesitated on the edge of some great horror. Poison? An avante-garde sculpture? An avant-garde poison?


    "Uh, gotcha. Well, what's the big deal? Just apologize to him. He'll understand."
    I assume.
    "Hilarious!"
    "Hilarious?" I think that's the opposite, but... What's the opposite of hilarious? Sad? "Hilarious how?"

    "Ah, I understand. Especially after you mentioned the last part..."
    "Anyway, I ate a gourmet soup prepared by a three-star chef!"
    "Well, we've got one right here in town. I'll just ask Blaise to whip up some more."

    "Specifically...he needs bird saliva."
    "That's an...interesting ingredient."
    "It is! Quite tasty! So, I have a request! Could you catch 3 birds by 4 PM?"
    "By 4? I'm not sure I can." How do you catch birds?


    "I'll, uh... do what I can, then."
    "You better! If you catch a bird, just give it to me. I'll send them all to the chef together."
    "Understood!"

    How do I catch birds?

    Or, how do I keep them from flying off?

    Maybe I should take it slowly.
    Slowly...Nice and easy...

    "Gotcha!" I pounce on it.

    And I get the chance to run back, carrying a thrashing bird.


    And then it's a matter of repeating. It really wasn't hard.

    "You're welcome!"
    "Oh, and a token of my appreciation!"

    "No sweat! Looking forward to it!"

    ...Hey, that was easy.
    "Wow, can't believe it doesn't even faze me now. It's almost like I'm bilingual!"



    Fun Fact: You can walk, not run, by pressing...Uh, whichever of the shoulder buttons doesn't pull up the quick menu? I think? Emulators confuse this issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Well, that was a... different way for the secret to get out.

    And did you catch that first bird while holding a fishing rod or something?
    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."
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    No. I just walked up to it and grabbed it. Walked, not run.
    The game does not inform you about the existence of walking at any time, and this is the only time you need it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Deme View Post
    No. I just walked up to it and grabbed it. Walked, not run.
    The game does not inform you about the existence of walking at any time, and this is the only time you need it.
    No, I got that, it's just that there appears to be a large pole in your hands, as well as the bird, in that picture.
    Quote Originally Posted by jamieth View Post
    ...though Talla does her best to sound objective and impartial, it doesn't cover stuff like "ask a 9-year-old to tank for the party."
    My Homebrew

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

    Oh, I just had the fishing rod equipped. I think you're still holding equipped items when you pick up items normally, or maybe the game doesn't account for equipped items when dealing with the 'you're likely never going to use it again except to chuck birds at people' bird-picking-up animation.
    Last edited by Deme; 2015-05-10 at 10:58 AM.
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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 wonder if they just felt the need to include a portion of the game that required walking.
    "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!

    Finally got a chance to read this. This was nice, and the way Ramza was discovered this time was fun.
    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!

    It's one of my favorites, and the whole Sakuya sequence was both a key factor in how I wrote Ramza and why I wanted to do this LP.
    Speaking of which, I have an update on that. There may be a short one coming -- I'm sort of struggling with consciousness today, but I'm grumpy about more delays. My laptop is dying suddenly. Lucky for you guys, I emulate the DS best on my desktop, so nothing relevant to this or any of my LPs is lost, but I've been stressed and worn out, so that might make for a bit of further delays.
    Last edited by Deme; 2015-06-08 at 01:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

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

    Who are you? What is this LP?

    Kidding, kidding. Glad this isn't dead. Glad you didn't lose anything related to the LP. Take as much time as you need, we aren't going anywhere. Well, except for those of us that are going on vacation later, but we'll be back.
    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 usually try to tell people if things are dead. Usually. Anyway, current update status: I have the whole thing played, but only written in chunks. I was going to say it was a shorter one, and in some ways it is... But then, it's 200 screenshots before I start paring it down. I hope to get it up before the end of the week, if real life is generous with me tomorrow and/or Thursday (it may not be).
    (Should I have tried to do an event on top of the festival? Maybe? No. But there we are. I did it for you guys.)
    Last edited by Deme; 2015-06-09 at 05:01 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

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

    Good news! The world was kind!
    I'll talk more about Monica's game, and maybe do a bonus on the love potion, later, but I need to get this up now, or it won't be up today.

    Chapter 33: Mercantilism
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    That night, I made some new soes...

    But I think I'll still have to carry my old ones. Still, it's nice to have shiny feet when it's time to head out the door the next day.

    Now let's get to that flea market!


    ...I might just have a thing for this.
    "Hold on, I'll be back later."




    I buy some of Sakura's rarer wares...One can never go wrong with spare bones and where exactly did she get these?


    And, after rummaging my fridge, do find I have an ultimate curry!

    And so...I can get... a love potion?

    I feel this is irresponsible to use...


    "Sure, I guess."

    "The left?"
    "Big winner! A can!"
    "...This is all junk, isn't it?"
    "Oh, there isn't anything like that. You're such a kidder." She laughed.
    "...Fine. Let's go again. Right."
    I opened the box for...
    "Oh, a silver."
    "Huh, I didn't know that was in there." She shakes the box, as if it was a surprise.
    You forgot you put an actual prize in.
    "Daria...?"
    So it is all junk?!



    I'll buy some gold crops, but I'm not sure how impressed I really am....




    There's not much I want from Shino, Wells, or Rusk, though.


    And Raven's aren't much better, either.



    ...It seems I can start a chain.


    Two starts. So I need cabbages and heavy spices. And to get a heavy spice, I can at least get one from Pia for...Oh, what was it... Oh, yeah, Ultimate Curry.


    "Really? Why?"
    "I didn't feel like selling them...(But you could use them, right?)"

    "Thanks! This is the start of something, I think."


    Collette's somehow not eating her stock...Much... I buy a curry, at least.

    And there's what we need for Sofia!
    "Sounds great!"
    "Then let's trade."

    "Wait, for what?"


    Flea market's sort of busy, but I feel like there's not much to it but the shopping. It's a little sad.


    "...What is that?"
    "For Flea Market, our resort opens a stall we call 'Carmen's Paradise'. Pay up front, then you get to see what gift you've bought! You might find a real bargain! How about it? Interested, right?"
    "Not really..."
    I mean, I feel like Daria was enough of a surprise...

    "Just means it's a day you can find our souvenirs for cheap. You want one, right?"

    "Not interested."
    "Really...? You'll regret it."
    "I mean it, I'm not interested."

    ...At this point, I have to say no.
    "This is the last time I'll ask..." He glared at me.

    He's really persistant.
    "I see...Oh, well. Come back if you change your mind! I'll be waiting."

    I ask Carmen, and she says similar stuff, except...


    She punches me when I say no!
    "Carmen, no means no!"

    "...If you insist."
    I'm bad at no.
    "I knew you'd get it!"


    "You only get one pick, so pick carefully."
    I go with the fished item, a Gibelio...Maybe I'll see what Carlos has, too.




    It's...a cake. OK.

    Now, to work on that trade chain.

    "Thank you!"



    I honestly am so full of things that I just shoved my reward in my bag without noticing.
    Now I just need to look for Marjorie with the rest of my curries, and...


    Check a flower shop along the way. Emery flower seeds sound like a good plan.

    And for Monica...

    "Here are the prizes you can win if you beat me at rock-paper-scissors. Shara helped me gather the prizes together."


    "Okay, let's go for broke!"
    "We'll keep playing until I win. We try again if it's a tie, and it's over if you lose."
    "Sounds good."


    "Scissors!"
    "Boo! I lose." She pouted at our outstretched hands. Then, with a wild change of expression, she smiled again. "Alright, one more time!"

    "Paper!"
    "Aww, I lose..."
    We go again, her paper, my scissors.
    Again, Rock and paper.
    And finally, for the special prize, my paper and her rock again.

    "I did it."

    ...I felt a cold wind.
    "I-I'm sorry..."

    "Owwww!" Here we are again...
    Maybe I just won't play Rock-Paper-Scissors.


    I pick up a last few things from Marjorie...
    ...And, that seems to be everyone. I can't hold much more, but I still feel like I came away with some good prizes.

    I wonder what I should do with the rest of my day...?

    In my mail box, I notice a hasty letter from Karina. Well, it looks worth checking out, so I head on over to the square to meet her.

    "You were? (That's unusual...)"
    "Got something to say? (You thought it was unusual, didn't you?)"
    We stare at each other for a moment, before my will breaks and I smile.
    "Oh, no...I don't..."
    She brushes it off, to my relief.
    "Anyway. Just because something is popular and widespread, doesn't make it good."
    "Like a cold."
    She nods.

    "Yes." I can't quite imagine giving up a home like that for something frivolous...
    "Something was wrong with me. Going over there just to live easier... This was all just really self-defeating. (To work so hard to get it easy.)"
    "Yeah, yeah..." Wait, there has to be a catch. "Yeah...?"

    "So -- I'm not going to the city, but I'm bringing the city here."
    "...Huh?"
    "So, Ramza, help me, okay?"
    "What? Help you with what?"
    "To make this into the city. We'll call it the...
    ..."
    She pauses.

    "Ah..."
    I was hoping for a good name.
    "But how are we going to make it the city?" We're not a construction team, after all.
    "Don't worry. I've made the preparations already."

    "You have?!" But that involves doing things, doesn't it?


    ...Wow, Karina's serious.
    "I mean...you have!"
    "Yes. So, let's go."

    "What? Where?"
    "My house. To see Mom. I need a store to sell things."
    "Is this alright...?"

    I do have one stopping point I come up with on the way.
    "I'm surprised the store is open at all today..."
    "Mom likes special deals on Flea Market Day. ('If everyone's buying...' or something like that.) It wouldn't matter to you..."
    "Oh, I see..." I wonder what they might be selling...


    Whatever it was, Karina was meant to have been selling it.
    "Not at all. I'm working right here." She had a grave expression. Karina was determined. Resolved....Awake.

    "Working?"
    I follow cautiously up the stairs.

    "Nice to see you again."
    "Don't be so tense. You're our valued customer here."
    "Ah..."
    "See? I'm doing my job. (Just not what you asked for.)"
    "Really?"


    "Hey, Mom."
    "What? Someone's chipper."

    Karina drew herself out of her usual slouch and walked up to the counter with her shoulders back.

    "...You mean you want to work more hours?" She said hopefully.
    "No. I want to sell things from the city."


    She sighed inwards for the wind-up, building on frustration.
    "If you think I'm going to let you run my store..."
    "But... (The only customers are the people in town...)"
    "Customers are customers. Sometimes there are travelers. Enough with your jokes. Get back to work!"




    Poor Karina... She was really trying...
    After a while, it occured to me that there was some way around this. If she's not willing to trust Karina, then maybe...
    "Ummm..."
    They both turn to look at me like they forgot I was here.
    "Can I just place the items up for sale then?"
    They both looked taken-aback by my sudden offer.
    "Huh...?" But I think Karina most of all, with her mouth and eyes wide open.
    "It'll just add to the store's sales, and I'll work the same." I don't even work here, after all -- I'm just a supplier.

    "..."
    "Please, Mom."
    "Karina?"
    "Just for a day. I really want to run the store." -Fluff?-
    "You...really?" Her expression grew distrustful. "Do you have a fever?"


    Then Hazel sort of smiled and relaxed.
    "Okay..."
    "What?"
    "Give it your best shot. Just respect the customers."

    Karina tugged at her neckerchief, trying to disguise in the gesture a delicate little smile. "Mom..."
    She nodded.
    "Ok...I'll try hard. (I guess I shouldn't nap.)"

    "Oh, yes."

    And Hazel turned and left the shop.

    "You're really into it. What's the matter?"
    "I dunno," She said, her fierce expression giving way to an easy smile, "It's just fun."
    "I see..."
    "Hey, Ramza, can you get the products from Raven?"
    "Yes. Okay."

    I found Raven heading up the street...Though I admit, I have no idea what I'm supposed to ask for.



    Oh. I guess this is it.
    "Thanks."
    "..."
    "Hm? What is it?"
    "...Where's Karina?"
    "What?"
    "What's Karina doing?"
    "Oh, she's trying to make our town more like the city by selling popular city items."
    Like...scrap metal? That does not seem right.
    "I see..."



    "Can you really sell this?"
    "Absolutely. People in the city really love things like that."
    ...Somehow I feel like the people here can't imagine people not being like the people here.
    "But I think you're talking about a really small fraction."
    By which I sort of mean crazy.

    "It'll be fine. Just put it there."
    "Okay..."

    I go down to put it on the front shelves, where to best put a "special" item... I notice a familiar-looking pendant.

    "I had Raven make a replica of it."
    "Oh, so that's why you borrowed it."
    "Yes, so..."
    I looked at the shelf again, and there was a shimmering dress of fish-scales, folded so the top caught the light -- little price card and all.

    "But this is the outfit that Evelyn gave you, isn't it?"
    "That's right. That's the real thing," She said, almost casually.
    "Didn't you like it?"

    "I do... But I have to make some sacrifices."
    "Karina..." Well, I hope this'll help her find whatever it is she's looking for.

    Time passed, the roar of the festival going on outside -- faintly, somewhere, someone was playing music. The shop was still as a grave.

    "The customers aren't coming."
    "Yeah..." Karina yawned.
    "You seem sleepy..." I tried not to yawn myself.




    Karina's head slumped forward onto her hands with the regular motion of sand through an hourglass. I sharpened the durandel, leaning up against a crate. Mites of dust danced in the light coming through the windows.
    The shop was empty except for the two of us.
    "..."
    "..."
    And we shared a worried glance.
    "Maybe no one's coming because of all the shopping outside?"


    "You can go home." she said, at last.
    "What? But..."
    "I'll be fine on my own."

    "Karina..." I think I got the meaning of that little downward dart of her gaze. Karina's always got something she isn't quite saying, just living out of earshot, huh?

    "..."



    "Karina looked sad..." I leaned up against the doorway. "But what can I do?"

    While I ponder that, I hear a woman's voice.

    When I look up from my planning, I see two women talking near the arbor...
    "That's....Hazel and Marjorie?"


    It is.
    "Hurry up now." Marjorie says, slightly snappish.
    "Oh, yes!"

    The two look about to see if anyone's listening.


    And she sees that I've, of course, been here the whole time.
    "Well, maybe I'll have him promote the store a bit. It's not like people come everyday."
    "That's true.

    Anyway, I'm impressed with how you've raised your daughter, Hazel. You've done a good job."


    "What's wrong? Can't you take a compliment?"

    The old witch laughed.
    "Oh, I see. Well I guess we should go. Goodbye, Ramza."
    "Marjorie!" Hazel shouted, knocked off-guard.


    "Hmmm, promoting the store...Alright!"

    Let's go find people and tell them!


    ...This was probably not the best first choice.
    "Oh, yeah. I hope you'll swing by."
    "...I'll try."
    "Thanks."
    "...You don't need to thank me."
    "Right. Thanks."
    "..."
    Sorry?



    "..." Bit of a non-starter there...



    "It seems like she really didn't want to sell your outfit..."
    "Hee-hee. It's fine, I know. But I'm just filled with emotion. Now the world will hear about my brand..."
    "Th-that could be..." If someone bought it.









    "It might be something that makes you laugh..."
    "Hmm."
    "But, it's definitely weird..."
    She beamed.
    "Then I'll go!"
    "So that's the correct answer?"



    "I never said food..."



    "Well. Maybe..."
    "Really? Then maybe I'll stop by when I'm done with work."




    "And Karina's running it."
    "Wait, she's a second generation like me. Looks like I have myself a rival...Thanks, Ramza. I'll need to spy on her."



    "No, the general store is..."
    "And so I turned the heat on, but....Oh yeah, I need to buy bathwater additives!"
    "Well, I tried."



    "I don't think they have anything like that..."
    "Then you mean fried fish?"
    "No, I don't think so... (She's taken the bait, but I don't think I'm going to reel her in.)"



    "Well, it's not fish...It's like accessories and clothes."
    "Accessories and clothes..."


    "I'm more worried that I don't know what you're going to do."

    I wonder where to go next... While I'm thinking that, I run into Sofia.


    "What?"
    "You mean the general store, don't you?"
    "Ah, you heard from Raven. You already planned on going?"
    "No."
    "Great, she'll be waiting."

    ...I guess I'm running low on people, though.


    And I head back to the store to see what was up. When I came in, Karina had a big smile on her face.

    "Oh, really? (Looks like it went well.)"
    "But..."

    She gestured to the shelves where she's stocked things, and a quick glance told me something: they were all still there.

    "Nope."


    I waited by the back shelves as evening fell, tinting the sunlight through the shop windows a syrupy gold.
    "..."
    "Maybe I should close shop." Karina let a defeated little sigh.
    "What?"
    "It's not our fault." But her eyes looked a little uncertain as they looked into mine. "(It's not, is it?)"
    "..." Well, I don't think so. I mean, I guess these things might have been unsellable...
    But the idea wasn't a bad one.
    And Karina worked.


    And then the door opened.

    "Sofia...?"
    Without a word, only a smile, Sofia went over to our special stock and picked up something, heading up the stairs with a cheerful smile.

    "Oh, okay..." Karina blinked at it, in a daze.
    "What a terrible find. Thanks."

    As she left, I said with a grin, "You got one sold."


    As the silence was settling back in, someone else stepped into the shop.

    "Raven!"

    "Yeah, I guess..."
    Hey, don't play coy, Karina. I saw that face.



    Raven walked over to our display shelves and found something, deposited on the counter with a clink.
    "You really want to buy it?"
    Raven smiled a little.
    "Not if you don't want me to."
    "..." The register's ding blossomed in the air.

    "That's two."
    "Yes...but --"
    Footsteps interrupted her, and an unguarded and wide-eyed surprise appeared on her face.



    "Welcome..." Karina's face grew serious, but her mother smiled.
    "Very good."


    Hazel looked over her daughter's selection with a serious air, one hand on her hip and the other occaisonally reaching out to get the texture or weight of an item. Her lips pursed, she seemed the model of a dangerously shrew shopper.

    Until eventually she found something that seemed to satisfy her, glittering in the dusk.

    "What is this...?"
    "Again, is that how you treat your customers?"
    "Oh..."
    Hazel shrugged.
    "Well, not that I can really talk. Now, ring it up already."

    Karina's expression tightened.
    "That was a gift from Evelyn."
    "Hmmm. So?"

    "So..." Her brow furrowed. "So don't buy it out of sympathy."
    "But you put it for sale, didn't you? So it's up to the customer then. Am I wrong?"
    "..."
    "And it's your job to figure out what to sell and what not to."
    She sighed, though, and smiled fondly at her daughter.
    "Well, I guess I'll let you off the hook by buying this strange rock instead."

    "This might be the only time you want to work on your own. It'll be something to remember this day by."



    "Yes..."
    The cashregister rang out.
    "And --"

    "Huh...?"


    After a second, I realize people are looking at me.

    Uh...Is there a reason for the significant glances? Guys?

    "Well, be sure to tidy up afterwards."
    "Aren't you just a customer right now?"

    "Oh...that's right."

    And she left, leaving just the two of us again.

    "Yes."
    I helped her take a few things remaining down -- I don't really get exactly what she was selling, as a more comfortable silence than before expanded into the warm air.

    "Oh, I had fun being able to watch."
    "I see...Oh, this is for you."
    "Huh?"
    I wasn't expecting to get anything!

    "I hope you like it."
    "Oh, yeah. Thanks. Buy are you sure?"
    "Yes."

    And once again, she muttered, or whispered, or just sort of thought, written on her face, something just out of my reach.
    "What?"

    "...? Well, I'll get going."



    Not a bad deal at all.
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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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