Human story, chapter 3

You go to the lobby.

Kai: Woof, I am beat!

Sarisa: Sorry. It's my fault.

Kai: Gah! Enough! Just drop it, would you? That's an order as team leader. Yeesh. Now let's head over to the Quest Counter and collect our reward. We should also swing by to see the mayor. He needs to know about that guy raiding the ruins. He may have more news for us. I just hope it's not all bad.

You talk to Millio.

Millio: Hey, [big guy / lady]. You know about Forces, don't you? Cyan's saying she wants to be a Force. But what's that job like anyway? What are Forces all about? I know their techniques are strong, but they're kinda wimpy, aren't they? That sort of makes me worried. If I become a Hunter, I won't be fighting with Forces, will I? Hm, what should I do?

You talk to Millio again.

Millio: Anyway, why's she all keen on joining up all of a sudden? She's such a crybaby, sheesh!

You talk to Cyan.

Cyan: Oh, hello, [mister / nice lady]! Listen, listen, do you know a lot about being a Hunter? Um, Millio is saying he wants to be a Hunter. Don't Hunters carry weapons and fight with hostiles? Isn't that really dangerous? But being a Force is a safe job, isn't it? They use techniques from far away and that's safe, right? I wanna help in lots of different ways!

You talk to Cyan again.

Cyan: [I think a Hunter's job would be really dangerous./I think a job as a Hunter would be really dangerous.] [I wonder if Millio's really serious about being a Hunter./Do you think Millio's really serious about being a Hunter?] [Do you think I can help him if I become a Force?/Can I maybe help him if I learn to use techniques?]

You talk to Natsume.

Natsume: Oh, hey there, stranger! Fancy meeting up with you again. We've been running into each other a lot lately, haven't we? Yeah, I'm usually kind of a nomad, but I've been hanging out around here a lot lately. Do you live in the city or something? Oh, you're a hunter, are you? That's good to know. It's always good to have a few hunters in my pocket. Heh heh!

You talk to Natsume again.

Natsume: What I said earlier? Oh, yeah! So that did pique your curiosity? Heh heh! Eh, don't worry. I'm not up to anything. I just think hunters are good people to know, that's all!

You talk to Ohyo.

Ohyo: Ah, are you here for more of my tales? Very well. Perhaps today I should tell you of the Great Blank. It was some 200 years ago when it came without warning, and created a void in the annals of history. Aye, the very incident that created the vast blank spot in history up to now. That which everyone calls the Great Blank. What happened to cause the Great Blank? That is the world's biggest mystery. What is known is that the Great Blank caused the newmans to disappear and the CASTs to take to sleep. A few humans clung to life, but none passed on the knowledge of how the Great Blank came to be. Perhaps if CASTs retained memories of the time before they slept... But, it is meaningless to wish for what does not exist! What is known is that from the incidence of the Great Blank, history simply ceased, one day, to be.

You talk to Ohyo again.

Ohyo: I heard story of a CAST investigating the time before the Great Blank. If I could only remember the name...

You talk to Gray.

Gray: Yo, how's it going? Did you want to see me?

Just wanted to chat.

Gray: Hey there, [NAME]. Listen, you haven't been to any other cities, have you? You know, the Hunters' Guild isn't unique to this city. Lots of other cities have them too. They sometimes have different names but, as far as I know, there's not much difference in what they do. Some people have become hunters after coming from another city, and others have gone the other way. As long as you don't neglect the spirit of cooperation, hunters are a pretty free lot. They have the right to give priority to their own hopes and dreams. That sort of freedom is probably what keeps everyone happy and loyal, you know what I mean?

What's the Quest Counter?

This text is unchanged.

Tell me about the Custom Shop.

This text is unchanged.

I'm just saying hi.

The conversation ends.

You talk to Lindow.

Lindow: Hello, [NAME]. Do you have a question for me?

Tell me about this city.

Lindow: This city was named after its first mayor, the man who discovered this location and founded the city. Before he became our first mayor, he was supposedly a hunter. After founding the city, the first Mayor Dairon dedicated his life to laying out the city's foundations. The city was named in his honor so his achievements will never be forgotten. Our present Mayor Dairon is the third generation. He often speaks of honoring the family name. That is all I know on the subject. Do you have any other questions?

What jobs are there?

This text is unchanged.

What races are there?

This text is unchanged.

What is a Mag?

This text is unchanged.

Nothing in particular.

Lindow: I see. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

The conversation ends.

You talk to Lindow again.

Lindow: Hello, [NAME]. Did you want to ask me something?

Tell me about this city.

This text is unchanged.

What jobs are there?

This text is unchanged.

What races are there?

This text is unchanged.

What is a Mag?

This text is unchanged.

I wanted to see you!

Lindow: I-Is that so? I'm always here, so please visit me anytime. And, um... If you wish to make any other inquiries, please don't hesitate to ask.

The conversation ends.

Nothing in particular.

Lindow: I see. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

The conversation ends.

You enter the mayor's office.

Dairon: Excellent, you've come at a good time. The expedition you rescued was just here to thank the guild. I imagine it was a difficult fight, but you did wonderfully, as expected.

Kai: Aw, stop. It's all just part of the job.

Dairon: And it's part of my job to praise you for doing yours. Sarisa, [NAME], I hope to see more of this caliber of work from you both. Our guild's only as strong as the bonds that unite its members. Keep up the solid teamwork.

Sarisa: Y-Yes, sir.

Dairon: I wish I could say today's news ends with your success, but the world tends to throw us the bad with the good.

Kai: Did something happen?

Dairon: One of our best hunters has gone missing, I'm afraid. I'd planned to introduce you all when he returned, but... We're watching and waiting for now, but the guild may ask you to go look for him at some point. Just keep it in mind. Now, if you'll excuse me, my work is piling up.

Dairon leaves.

Kai: A hunter, this time? I wonder what he was doing to get himself into trouble like that. Hm? What's up, Sarisa? You look awfully serious.

Sarisa: ...Aren't you going to tell the mayor about Captain Reve?

Not unless you do.

Kai: I'm with [NAME] there.

I thought Kai was going to.

Kai: What, do you think I'm some kind of blabbermouth or something? You do! You guys are jerks.

Kai: Anyway, I figure you'll talk when you're ready, right? We're not gonna get far until we get the whole story from you.

Sarisa: I see... Thank you. You're both so understanding. The mayor, too. We just met, but he talks to me like he really trusts me.

Kai: You wouldn't get far in a world like this if you didn't trust your friends. That seems pretty natural to me. Geez, it's almost like you were taught growing up that everyone you meet is a predator!

Sarisa: S-Something like that, yes. More like there are all sorts of humans, so you have to be careful who you trust.

Kai: That's pretty sad, Sarisa. And in times like these, getting by on your own is next to impossible.

Sarisa: Yes, it is sad. But now I know better.

Kai: Good to hear it. Now, enough serious stuff. Let's hit the town and enjoy the sun a little.

You enter the mayor's office again.

Dairon: Ah, good day, [NAME]. I've been hearing good things about your exploits. Nothing could please me more. Incidentally, the fellow who assigns you missions and whatnot... Gray, the coordinator? You might not know this, but Gray was originally a hunter for this city. And a very good one, I might add. He withdrew from front-line service. Marriage and family came first, if seems. But his achievements are numerous and worthwhile. If, out of his many achievements, I had to name the best, it would be his training of countless hunters. Do you know what I'm saying? Hunters who study under aces are more likely to becomes aces themselves. Gray's students are now carrying his torch as front-line hunters. Hunters who are as good and dedicated as Kai. They're in great demand wherever they go. You being one of Kai's partners, it would please me to no end to see you join their ranks one day.

You enter the mayor's office yet again.

Dairon: I hope to still be mayor when you have mastered your craft. I look forward to seeing such a day.

You talk to Gray.

Gray: Yo, how's it going? Did you want to see me?

Just wanted to chat.

Gray: You're training under Kai and, from what I can see, you've got pretty good potential. If I had my say, I'd keep you around for a while. You ought to stick around and be an ace here!

What's the Quest Counter?

This text is unchanged.

Tell me about the Custom Shop.

This text is unchanged.

I'm just saying hi.

The conversation ends.

You go outside.

??????: ...Hm? Hmmmmmm?

A blonde man approaches you.

Sarisa: Um... Wh-What's wrong? Why are you staring at [NAME] like that?

??????: You're the same... You are! You've got to be!

Kai: Do you know this guy, [NAME]?

Long time no see!

Kai: If he's a friend, you should introduce us. ...Well, [NAME]?

Sarisa: Wait, were you lying? Look, if you don't know him, just say so!

Cock your head inquisitively.

The conversation continues normally.

??????: I'm sorry, I can understand why this would be perplexing. We've never actually met, you see.

Kai: I'm not following you here. So why are you surprised to see someone you've never met before?

??????: Believe me, I am just as perplexed as you.

Sarisa: I am so confused!

??????: I'm sorry, I've gone about this backwards. My name is Nicolas. I trade in relics unearthed from ruins. I'm sorry to be cryptic about this, but is it possible that you're 200 years old or more?

That's not possible.

The conversation continues normally.

I'm a lot older than that.

Kai: Yeah, because that's possible. Get real, [NAME].

Nicolas: Yes, I... I suppose it is impossible.

Kai: I'm still having trouble seeing where all this is coming from. It's Nicolas, right? Do you think you could boil it down nice and simple for us?

Nicolas: Hm, I'll try my best. You've heard, perhaps, that a new ruins site was discovered recently? I was just there, moving ahead with the investigation together with a hunter escort. There, we found a machine with images from before the Great Blank. A sort of video projector, I suppose you'd say.

Sarisa: Great Blank?

Nicolas: You're really not familiar? Well, surely you know that a civilization far more advanced than ours once existed here? We call the phenomenon that ended it the Great Blank, though we don't really understand it. It occurred roughly two centuries ago.

Sarisa: Ah, I see. I'm sorry, I'd just always learned it under a different name.

Nicolas: A different name? I don't think I've ever heard it called anything but the Great Blank. Have you?

Kai: Let's get back to the point. What does [NAME] have to do with a video from 200 years ago?

Nicolas: Well, and I know how this sounds... But there was someone absolutely identical to you in that footage.

Sarisa: How strange. How could that be possible?

Nicolas: Good question. That's why I was surprised to see you in person. Not to spring another topic on you out of the blue, but you're hunters, right? Could I ask you to help my friend Ogi?

Kai: Ogi? Why does that name sound so familiar? He's another hunter, right?

Nicolas: That's right. A CAST hunter. I was just at the guild to submit a request for help. I told you I was exploring the ruins with a hunter escort, right? That escort was Ogi. As you may know, the CASTs have been awakening with no memory of the past. Well, Ogi was always eager to learn about all he'd forgotten. He was all for helping me sift through the ruins. When he saw that video, he was just about bursting with curiosity. Anyway, he's gone missing. I hear he was out in the wetlands to hunt some hostile causing trouble there.

The one the mayor mentioned?

Sarisa: I was just thinking the same thing. I'll bet you it's the same person.

I wonder what happened.

Sarisa: Hey, [NAME], do you suppose this could be the same person that the mayor mentioned before?

Nicolas: The mayor?

Sarisa: Yes, he said that one of his best hunters had recently gone missing.

Nicolas: That has to be Ogi, then. I know he and the mayor were close.

Kai: Ugh, but did it have to be the wetlands? That's a nasty place to get lost!

Nicolas: I know he can handle himself, but I still can't help but worry. The guild should send help right away. [NAME], I know Ogi would be curious to meet you. I'm sure you could learn a great deal from him as well. Perhaps that's enough incentive to convince you all to go look for him?

We'll do it.

Nicolas: I'm so glad to hear it. I hope you find him soon, and in one piece. It would be a crime to lose such a skilled hunter, and more importantly, such a dear friend.

We'll think about it.

Nicolas: I understand. That swamp is a dangerous place. I wouldn't force anyone to go there, but... Please do consider it.

Nicolas: You have my thanks.

Nicolas leaves.

Kai: I still can't imagine what [NAME] is doing in a video from 200 years ago.

Sarisa: But I can't believe that man would make something like that up. Now I'm really curious to see it for myself.

Kai: Well, we can head out there anytime. The rescue mission's probably at the Quest Counter by now.

Sarisa: And if a fellow hunter really is in danger, we should help him.

Kai: Just be sure you're good and ready before we head out there. The wetlands are pretty unforgiving.

Quest name
Clockworks
Description
Search for the CAST Ogi, missing in the wetlands. He may be in trouble.
Difficulty
1 star

You take the quest Clockworks and travel to Ozette Wetlands, Rainy footpath area.

Kai: So, here we are.

Sarisa: Real wetlands... I've read about places like this in books, but it's so... Wow. Don't you think, [NAME]?

It's kinda damp.

Sarisa: Yes, I'll grant you that. I'm all right with hot or cold weather, but when it's muggy like this, ugh!

It's beautiful.

Sarisa: Isn't it? It's like we're standing right on the water. It is a bit muggy, though.

The boardwalk looks rotten.

The boardwalk cracks and Kai falls through.

Sarisa: I don't think-- GAH! Whew! That was close... I guess with this much humidity in the air, wood really does rot fast. Thanks for the heads-up, [NAME]. It would have been a drag to get soaked right off the bat here.

Kai: I haven't been here in a while, but it's even more lush than I remembered. Nature's really made a comeback here.

Sarisa: I can only imagine. This place is amazing.

Kai: Well, the fact that the pollution's died down means the hostiles will be out in full force, so stay sharp. Now, let's get looking for this Ogi guy. CASTs tend to stand out. I don't think we'll have much trouble spotting him.

You find a message pack.

Message pack: "Card Key Locations" Card Keys can be found without fail somewhere on the map. Backtrack if necessary.

You enter the Rainbow copse area.

Sarisa: Hm, still no luck.

Kai: Hey, no news is good news, right? By all accounts, he can handle himself in a fight. I doubt he's kicked it yet.

??????: Mmm?!

Kai: Still, let's keep pushing ahead. He may be further back a ways.

??????: Hey! You there!

Kai: ...Hm? Did you say something, [NAME]?

??????: You! Human! Down here!

Sarisa: WhaAAUGH?!

Ogi's head is lying on the ground.

Sarisa: Wh-What in the world?

??????: I fail to see what's so shocking about finding a CAST's cast-off cranium on the roadside. My name is Ogi. I'm currently in a bit of a bind because a hostile made a snack of my body. I was careless. In any case, I'm more or less stuck here as a result.

Sarisa: Ogi? You're Ogi?! Oh, thank good-- Wait, a-a-are you sure you're okay? I mean, you're just a head!

Ogi: We CASTs wear bodies like you humans wear hats. Except upside-down. They're convenient, but not necessary to live.

Kai: That's pretty wild. You CASTs are durable, I'll give you that. Human heads don't tend to fare so well alone.

Ogi: I hear you humans are all about heart. Well, a CAST's heart is his head.

Sarisa: I-I see...

Ogi: Hm? You seem... different. You're not like the other humans, are you?

Sarisa: Wha--?! Er, n-no, I'm just...

Ogi: Well, it's of little consequence. I must say I'm more curious about your friend here. You, human. What is your name?

[NAME].

The conversation continues normally.

I'm no one of consequence.

Ogi: Mm? That was an unanticipated answer.

Kai: Oh, quit making a show of it and tell the man your name already. It's not like it's gonna cost you anything.

Kai.

Kai: Uh, I think he's asking you, not me. I also think you already knew that. [normal] Now quit playing around and tell the man your name.

Ogi: [NAME], you say? If you'll allow me an odd question, [NAME], have you been alive for at least 200 years or so?

This again?

Ogi: ...Again?

I'm way older than that.

Ogi: ...I see. I realize I was the one who asked, but you certainly don't look two centuries old.

I was born yesterday.

Ogi: Oh, very interesting indeed. I was under the impression that human growth takes place at a steady rate over a number of years. You must be an exception.

Kai: ...

Sarisa: ...

Ogi: Hm? What is it? Why the sudden silence? It is very unsettling.

Kai: Sorry, it's just kind of weird hearing that odd-ball question twice in one day.

Ogi: What? But how is that...? Ah, then you've met Nicolas, have you?

Sarisa: That's right. He's the one who requested that we come here and find you.

Ogi: Then you must have heard the details by now. That simplifies things. Still, the resemblance truly is uncanny. The longer I look, the more similar you seem to the one in that footage. Too similar for a simple coincidence.

Sarisa: So where are the ruins you found that machine in, Ogi?

Ogi: You're curious, are you?

Sarisa: Well, sure. I've never heard of a machine like that, and we don't even know where the place is. R-Right? I mean, it'd be terrible if, um... Someone were to attack the ruins. Don't you think, [NAME]?

I do.

Sarisa: Right? We know so little about the past. It's natural that we'd want to learn more.

I don't care.

Sarisa: Even though they saw someone who looks identical to you there? This doesn't seem like something you should just dismiss as coincidence! This could be a clue to some big new discovery.

Ogi: I see we share an interest in history. I would be happy to show you to the ruins in question, if you so chose. Before we go, though, I have one favor to ask of you. I originally came here to take care of a large hostile making trouble in the area. Unfortunately, I'm in no shape to fight anymore. Do you think you could pick up where I left off?

We'll do it.

Ogi: You have my thanks.

No can do.

Ogi: Oh... I'm sorry to hear that.

Kai: Come on, [NAME], the man just lost his body. Throw him a bone. Plus it's our job to take out hostiles as we find 'em anyway.

You decide, Kai.

Kai: The thought of picking through the crumbs of some dusty old culture doesn't really send me, but I'm still a hunter. I'll go where I need to, to get my job done.

You decide, Sarisa.

Sarisa: Wha--? Wait, me? Er, I think we should do it. I mean, if it's something we can handle.

Ogi: Thank you. I'll owe you one. Now, if I might ask one more favor, could you bring my head with you? I'm a couple of legs short of a pair. I hear CASTs are heavier than they look, but I guess we can't just leave you here. Don't worry, I'll lug you around.

You find a message pack.

Message pack: "A Childlike Dream" We should be seeing what is here and now, but he only sees the future. I envy that.

You find a message pack in the Clear footpath area.

Message pack: "Weapon Tips #3" The ability to make hostiles flinch depends on the weapon. Find what suits your intent.

You take the boss teleporter to the Master's lair area.

Ogi: I'm getting a stronger reading on the hostile. We're not far off.

Kai: Wow, you can tell? You CASTs can see traps too, right? Must be nice. So, what can you tell us about this thing? I'm trying to imagine the sort of beast that'd call this place home.

Ogi: Only that it was strange. You'll have to see it for yourself to understand.

Kai: What, you've seen it already?

Ogi: Of course. It ate my body.

Kai: Oh, great. So this is the one... Ugh, why am I not excited to meet it? Hm? Hey, [NAME]! Sarisa! This thing is close. You can take in the scenery when we're not all in mortal danger, okay?

Sarisa: It's just so incredible. The water looks cloudy, but it's really thousands of tiny living things... Nature's amazing. I wonder if people lived out here before the Great Blank. ...Hm? What's that thing floating over there?

A tentacle grabs Sarisa.

Gah?! H-HEY, [NAME]! Watch where you put your hands, okay?!

Cock your head inquisitively.

Sarisa: Oh, don't play dumb with me. You just grabbed my...

It wasn't me.

Sarisa: Don't you lie to me! You just grabbed my...

The tentacle grabs Sarisa again.

Sarisa: ...

The tentacle moves.

Sarisa: AaiiieEEEE! What-what-what is that? It's all long and... T-Tentacles?! This is not okay! Hey! That is off limits! Ah! Ah ha ha! Ah ha ha ha ha! Stop it! Th-That tickles! I-I'm gonna pee!

I wish I had popcorn.

Sarisa: [NAME]?! Help! H-Hurry, it's... It's... Ah ha ha haa ha ha ha ha!

Kai strikes the tentacles.

Kai: Quit messing around, [NAME]! This is serious!

Sarisa: Huff... Pant... Th-Thank you, Kai. I'm fine.

I'll save you!

You strike the tentacles.

Sarisa: Th-Thank you, [NAME]. I'm fine. Ugh, but it's all sticky where that thing grabbed me!

Kai: Are you two all right? And what is this thing? A giant tentacle? Or no, the body's still underwater. This thing really is a monster.

Sarisa: Ugh, but it's all sticky where that thing grabbed me!

Kai: So it's a giant tentacle? Or no, the body's still underwater. This thing really is a monster.

Sarisa: Yeah, the worst monster! It looks creepy, it smells just, just gross, and this goo! Ugh, nature is awful!

Ogi: Just be careful. The smell isn't the only part of it that's strong. Remember, it's the type of thing that snacks on solid metal.

Kai: How are you all glib and preachy about this? You're just a head! Still, you have a point. This isn't a hostile I want to mess around with.

Ogi: But it's the responsibility of a hunter to neutralize hostiles. All the more so with one as dangerous as this. The next person to have their body eaten might not be a CAST.

Kai: That's a mental image I didn't need.

Sarisa: We can do this. Now let's get to work on beating this thing to a pulp!

Kai: Right. ...You really don't like this thing, do you, Sarisa?

Sarisa: It needs to learn what happens to things that take advantage of girls!

You defeat the Octo Diablo.

Kai: Ugh, finally... That took forever.

Sarisa: It better not still be hiding somewhere. I want that thing super-dead. Eww, and look at the slime it left all over the place! It was so pretty here, but now it's just... Ick!

Ogi: Danger is always a part of nature. Let this be a lesson to us all, hm?

Kai: I still don't see why you're the one preaching when you learned that lesson harder than any of us.

Ogi: And so I naturally now understand its importance. It makes perfect sense.

Kai: Nrrgh... You little smart aleck.

Ogi: Now that our obligation to uphold public safety is behind us, let me ask again. [NAME], how old are you? ...I'm sorry. I know it's not possible for a human to live two centuries. Still, there must be some connection.

Sarisa: You really seem fixated on it, Ogi.

Ogi: I think you'll understand why when you see the footage for yourself. It shows [NAME] fighting some entity I couldn't identify. Seeing you fight just now, I'm more certain than ever that it must be you.

Kai: Interesting. Well, all right, if you say we'll understand when we see it, let's go see it already. But first, we should head back to the city. Between combat and... other factors, I'm dead tired.

Ogi: Understood. I have heard that exhaustion may lead to several health problems in humans. You should rest up.

Kai: It's nothing that serious. I'll perk right back up so long as I'm not listening to you.

Ogi: I see. I was unaware that humans could rest simply by reducing aural stimuli. That must be very convenient.

Kai: So... tired...

Kai leaves.

Sarisa: Ugh, and I'm still all sticky. Between the humidity and the emotional trauma, I won't be hurrying back here soon.

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