- Five: Everyone said bye-bye to Five and sis, after Five's birthday.
- Five: But, when Five woke up...
- Five: No one was waiting for Five.
- Five: Home was... dark.
- Five: Five couldn't find big sis, or anyone...
- Five: Five doesn't really understand what Five did wrong.
- Five: Everyone always praised Five.
- Five: So Five thought, everyone likes Five...
- Five: But why did they all leave Five alone and go?
- Five: Did Five do something wrong?
- Five: Then... Five wants to fix everything, and apologize!
- Five: But, Five doesn't understand...
- Five: What is Five's mistake?
- Reed: ...From the sound of it...
- Reed: You didn't do anything wrong.
- Reed: It's just that... they didn't tell you anything, really.
- Aria: That's what it sounds like to me, too...
- Aria: Feels like there was more going on beyond helping Five regain her health.
- Reed: Dammit... the professor has a bad habit of leaving people hanging like this.
Unit 5: Emerge.
- Five: Oh... Five knows what Reed and Aria mean.
- Five: Five understands, that sometimes...
- Five: Adults don't tell the truth, because adults don't want worrying.
- Five: Sometimes, adults say everything is fine... but Five feels like it's not fine.
- Five: And adults want Five to accept the lie...
- Five: But, Five doesn't understand...
- Five: Why do adults need to lie?
- Five: Is it because it's scary to tell Five?
- Five: Then, Five understands that no one wants Five to feel bad, but...
- Five: Five still doesn't like it when adults lie.
- Five: Even... everyone here, too.
- Five: Sometimes, everyone lies a little bit to Five.
- Five: Aria... lied to Five before, too.
- Aria: ...Ah...!
- Five: Aria didn't really think that Aria would find Nino again... right?
- Five: But Aria still promised to take Five to Nino.
- Aria: Sorry, I-I... I never meant it to hurt you, Five.
- Five: Five understands, Aria!
- Five: It was because, Aria doesn't want Five to feel bad... right?
- Five: Five is glad that Aria met Nino again! But...
- Five: If Aria never found Nino... then Aria would lie more and more to Five.
- Five: When Five thinks about that... Five really doesn't like it.
- Five: So now, Aria doesn't have to worry anymore!
- Five: Everyone else, too, don't worry!
Five: Express feelings.
- Reed: ...Right.
- Reed: I nagged at you guys earlier, but even I'm kind of guilty, actually.
- Reed: I wonder why adults just can't avoid muddling the facts.
- Reed: Just... setting kids up for disappointment.
- Reed: Even if the truth is unpleasant, sometimes it's kinder than a lie's consequence.
- Aria: I think we tell those lies thinking they're a kindness...
- Aria: But really, i-it could be such a bad oversight!
- Aria: At least, that little dishonesty definitely feels like one on my part now...
- Aria: I just... don't know how to confront a child, as weird as that is to say.
- Aria: Um... I was an only kid, and never really interacted with anyone else...
- Nino: Well, you were also surrounded by monsters.
- Aria: N-not to make excuses for myself, but, erm... yes!
- Nino: It's fine! That's the strongest excuse a human could ever have, haha.
- Meimona: Humm, I never really thought about this until now...
- Meimona: I guess I liked it when my big bros and sisters put me on their level!
- Reed: Kid or not, I'm sure no one wants to be lied to.
- Reed: Well... most of the time, anyway.
- Reed: Point is, Five doesn't want to be lied to, right?
- Five: Right!!! Five is glad, if everyone understands!
- Reed: Then... I'll be honest here, too.
- Reed: I said I'd eventually help take you to that lab, if we uncover more about it.
- Reed: But, after hearing everything you've told us...
- Reed: I probably wouldn't be taking you to anything you're looking forward to.
- Five: Huh...? What does Reed mean?
Reed: Review timeline.
- Reed: It's this, the timeline everyone drew.
- Reed: You guys were saying that this didn't make sense, right.
- Reed: That's what I mean.
- Five: B-but Five wasn't lying!
- Five: Remember, it was Five's birthday... for becoming five years old!
- Five: See, everyone, there are five candles...
- Five: ...Because Five is five!
- Five: Five really, really isn't lying!
- Reed: It's okay.
- Reed: Everyone believes you, Five.
- Five: Oh... really?
- Nino: Yeah!
- Aria: Sorry for making you think otherwise!
- Aria: We just wanted to figure out how this was possible...
- Reed: Now look at your timeline again, and take what Five told us into account.
- Reed: Try to think about it so that Five's words still hold up alongside these events,
- Reed: And you'll figure it out.
- Nino: Well, the only way it remains consistent is if everything Five described took place before the barrier was constructed.
- Nino: That is, the last time that humans and monsters could stand side by side, working together in peace.
- Aria: That would have to be six years ago, at minimum.
- Meimona: Then how can you explain the inconsistency with her age?
- Meimona: If it's not a lie that the last thing there was her fifth birthday, so...
- Meimona: Did Five make a mistake, maybe?
- Five: No, Mei! Five is not wrong!
- Five: Because... everyone made the same joke when it was Five's birthday.
- Five: "Five is five!", so it's true!
- Five: Hehehe, isn't it funny, Mei?
- Meimona: Ah, hahah... I guess?
- Meimona: But I bet that got old fast. :V
- Nino: ...Wait, how long did you sleep for after your party?
- Five: Ummm...
Diana: Escort the Unit.
- Diana: Look, Five.
- Diana: Isn't the moon pretty tonight?
- Diana: Is it nice to see the outside when it's not morning?
- Diana: Yes... it's a nice change of pace.
- Diana: Oh, no... we don't have time to play around, sorry!
- Diana: But, maybe later, okay?
- Diana: Some other time... I promise.
- Diana: I truly hope we will see this same moon again.
- Five: Five went to sleep at night!
- Five: But, just for a little bit!
- Five: The moon was up when Five went to bed...
- Five: And Five woke up... before the sun came up!
- Meimona: That's a pretty short nap, huh!
- Nino: No, wait... there's another possibility here.
- Nino: When Five went to sleep, it wasn't an ordinary rest for one night like that.
- Nino: But it was some sort of deep sleep that lasted much longer than she thinks.
- Meimona: Ehm... what do you mean?
- Nino: For the timeline right here to make sense...
- Nino: The last time Five saw her friends has to be at least six years ago.
- Nino: So that's how long she was asleep for.
- Meimona: Wah... what?
- Meimona: So you mean, a coma...?
- Nino: Maybe something like a deliberately induced coma, from the sound of things.
- Nino: That might not be what it exactly is, but...
- Nino: That's the closest thing to describe what I'm proposing here.
- Aria: Is it possible to pull something like that off...
- Aria: It was still possible for Five to age during her sleep, wasn't it?
- Reed: Right now, she looks older than a five year old for sure.
- Reed: But you're all likely right on the money with a guess like this.
- Meimona: Wuh... sure it explains the time disparity, but I still don't get it...
- Reed: We'll likely never know the specifics of it.
- Reed: Because it's something the professor had a hand in...
- Reed: So however he accomplished it is ultimately just another secret of his.
- Aria: Umm, I also don't think it matters to us how exactly it was done.
- Aria: We don't need to know the specifics of the technology used...
- Aria: The result we're seeing here is what matters by this point!
- Reed: Right, I'd say "deep sleep" is a decent explanation to settle on for now.
- Reed: So if we were to modify the timeline accordingly...
- Reed: It'd be a little something like this.
- Five: Ummm, then everyone is saying...
- Five: Five was asleep for really, really long...?
- Aria: Yes, Five...
- Aria: That seems to be the special kind of "bed" you went to sleep in.
- Aria: That means, about six years have passed from your fifth birthday, until now...
- Aria: So you might be somewhere around eleven years old!
- Five: R-really!?
- Aria: It explains why the world is so different from what you last remember.
- Aria: So Five, you see...
- Aria: Back then, humans and monsters were friends.
- Aria: And then, in the time you were sleeping...
- Aria: Humans and monsters became enemies, unlike what you'd last seen.
- Five: Oh...
- Aria: Ah, sorry, I'm trying to be clear about this, but...
- Aria: Do you understand...?
- Five: But, it means... Five missed a lot of things!
- Five: T-then... what about Five's friends...?
- Five: Did everyone forget to wake Five up, for so long?
- Five: Or... or...
- Five: Did Five's friends not want Five to wake up...?
- Aria: Ah, wait, I don't think that's true!
- Aria: They didn't speak like they wouldn't see you again, right?
- Five: Oh...
- Five: Friend said "see you later" to Five!
- Five: Guard, too!
- Aria: Ahh, see?
- Aria: That means they were going to wait for you, Five!
- Meimona: Yeah...
- Meimona: But humans and monster had to go and be super duper hostile, sadly.
- Five: Are Five's friends now also... enemies?
- Five: Do Five's friends have to fight...?
- Meimona: Since one of them's a monster, uhmmm...
- Meimona: That's unfortunately what we have to assume for now. :[
- Five: B-but then... what do they think about Five now...?
- Aria: Well... what about your big sis, Five?
- Aria: Even though she's a human, she sounds like she would still be on your side!
- Nino: You know, unlike the other woman there, the guard...
- Nino: She's not sworn to absolute duty, to be against monsters at all costs.
- Aria: Yes, that's a good point!
- Aria: So did your sis say she'd "see you later" too, Five?
- Five: Ummm...
- Five: When Five was going to sleep, Sis said...
- Five: Five doesn't know why, but...
- Five: It feels different from Five's other friends.
- Nino: Huh...
- Nino: Out of everyone, she was probably aware that Five would be in "deep sleep".
- Nino: She's the one who took her there, after all.
- Meimona: That's true...
- Aria: Well, even though I can't say I know what she was thinking...
- Aria: You trusted her to not do something that would hurt you, right?
- Aria: Then maybe, this sleep really was meant to help you in some way.
- Five: Oh... then does it mean sis is still waiting for Five somewhere?
- Five: But for a long, long time, Five was gone...
- Five: So where is sis now?
- Five: And where are Five's other friends?
- Aria: Umm, for us to know where they'd be after that long...
- Nino: I don't want to say it's impossible, but it won't be easy.
- Aria: I believe we can make educated guesses based on what we know!
- Meimona: Well, hang on... so they put Five into this "coma", right?
- Meimona: And then, god knows what did in the following wars, but...
- Meimona: Why should a healthy person be put to sleep in the first place?
- Meimona: I don't get that part!
- Aria: Ah, but when Nino found Five, she wasn't healthy anymore.
- Aria: Five needed his healing, right?
- Meimona: Oh, right! That "transformation"!
- Meimona: What was that, really?
- Aria: Hmm... does it mean Five's treatment failed?
- Nino: Actually, let's continue following Five's path from her side.
- Nino: Though I don't remember meeting her, this might still clue us in on something.
- Aria: Well then, after waking up in that lab,
- Aria: What did you do next, Five?
Nino: Five and possibly Sis were kept in the facility for so long that just being allowed to go outside was a major gift from Zachary.
- Five: Umm... because big sis was gone...
- Five: Five wanted to look for big sis.
- Five: Then, Five remembered that sis said...
- Five: Because Five was being very good, professor said Five can finally go outside!
- Five: So Five looked for big sis outside... even though it was still dark.
- Five: For a long time, Five walked, but...
- Five: Five saw no one.
- Nino: Going outside...
- Nino: That in particular seems like such a privilege, huh?
- Nino: For both Five and her nurse, to boot.
- Nino: I wonder why the professor didn't allow it before then.
- Reed: I'd assume there's nothing too complex about it.
- Reed: Let's say, if Five earned the right to "play outside"...
- Reed: It may just mean she had finally recovered well enough to be able to handle it.
- Reed: Remember... she used to be wheelchair-bound all the time at the start.
- Nino: Hmm... what else do you remember, Five?
- Five: Umm...
- Five: When Five looked for sis, lab... was empty.
- Five: In there, it's the first time Five was all alone.
- Five: It was scary...
- Five: Everything was dark, and Five, was feeling dizzy...
A scene fitting for a word that Five had read before in a book.
The many mechanical things that always followed a particular order were now out of place. The bright monitors that used to display neat numbers were now totally dark, and some were broken.
And there was no one, no one at all, that could respond to Five's voice.
It's the first time Five felt like Five wanted to get away from the lab.
Lab was home, but without everyone, it didn't feel like the word "home" fit anymore.
In an unfamiliar place, one that Five can't remember well.
Five only remembers feeling a lot of pain there.
For a very short time, Five saw Five's friend.
Five was so afraid, afraid that friend would reject Five.
If Five was becoming sick again, then no one will want Five.
Because weak things are useless.
You useless, weak thing.
The prince has stated that no such monster is allowed.
You cannot be trusted anymore.
Five was now something that friend didn't like.
Five was painfully changing into a terrifying thing, even though Five didn't want it.
So Five ran away, away, and away so aimlessly, into darkness.
Five kept running, until Five could barely move anymore.
Five could only crawl on the ground.
- Five: ...Prince is bad.
- Five: Prince made friend... not like Five anymore.
- Five: Even though Five is a monster, too...
- Five: But... but maybe, Five can still talk to friend!
- Five: If Five looks healthy, and not scary... friend will like Five again!
- Aria: Wait... are you sure that was your friend you talked with?
- Five: Y...yes! Even if Five didn't see well...
- Five: Five heard friend's voice, saying everything...
- Meimona: Oh no, what the heck!
- Meimona: I thought he sounded nice, but wow... what a total jerk, actually!
- Meimona: Unnngh, how could he be that mean to poor Five, when she was so weak... :[
- Aria: Wait, I think... there's a different possibility here.
- Aria: That might not have been him.
- Aria: In fact, it may not have even been a real person.
- Nino: Whoa, what do you mean?
- Aria: Five's hazy recollection sounds familiar to me.
- Aria: This sort of antagonistic enemy that takes the form of a loved one, and speaks exactly what's on your mind...
- Aria: That might have been a spirit talking to Five.
- Aria: If it read her memories, it would've chosen the most painful thing to imitate, what Five feared the most...
- Aria: Her friend rejecting her.
- Reed: I thought so, too.
- Reed: Since this "friend" said exactly what Five was fearing.
- Nino: A spirit? What's that?
- Meimona: Umm, I'm wondering too!
- Aria: Oh... you guys wouldn't know, right!
- Aria: Count your blessings, you're lucky to not have encountered them!
- Nino: W-what are they?
- Reed: Just one of the worst threats you could face in the monster world.
- Aria: Spirits are spectral beings that chase living people.
- Meimona: Whoah... like, g-ghosts?
- Aria: Err, maybe? That sounds too basic, though.
- Meimona: D-does it?
- Aria: Absolutely!
- Aria: Mainly because spirits are much more advanced than that idea.
- Reed: Also... they're real. Biggest difference, duh.
- Aria: Spirits attack the living with the goal of consuming their souls.
- Aria: Um, and they try to accomplish this through a lot of illusory tricks.
- Aria: Like taking an illusion in the form of a familiar person...
- Aria: They're a very dangerous thing to run into, since they usually target a person by their lonesome.
- Nino: That's... freaky.
- Aria: Haha...
- Aria: If you're a monster world veteran, you kinda get used to dealing with them.
- Reed: Ditto.
- Nino: And that might be the one skill I wish never to develop!
- Meimona: Jeez, you two!!! What have you seen?
- Meimona: Actually, don't answer, I don't think I wanna know...
- Aria: That's fair, that's fair...!
- Nino: So you propose that Five's encounter was actually with a spirit-thing...
- Nino: But it doesn't seem out of the question that Prince Suvillan might've made a law against monsters, who were previously involved with humans, disallowing them to freely roam the monster world.
- Nino: If our own prince has declared the same for humans involved with monsters, then it's not too far fetched for this to be true on the other side.
- Aria: That may be... but we're talking about Five's friend, not the prince!
- Aria: Five... do you trust your friend not to tell you something that hurtful?
- Aria: Does he have that kind of personality?
- Five: Ummm... friend is very... honest.
- Five: So Five... thinks that friend really did like Five a lot!
- Five: Friend always told Five, lying is bad.
- Five: And always told Five to say the truth...
- Five: Sometimes, it gets friend in trouble if friend is too honest!
- Five: Five knows that sometimes, adults will lie for many reasons.
- Five: But Five thinks... friend will feel really bad if friend lies!
- Aria: Ah, see? If he liked you...
- Aria: It doesn't seem right that he would reject you later so harshly!
- Five: Umm, also, friend really likes monster prince!
- Five: Friend protects monster prince, and monster prince trusts friend the most!
- Five: They are very good friends! Best friends!
- Meimona: Wait... but then, that means he'd probably be inclined to obey the prince's orders, even if they were something against Five...
- Meimona: Umm... I can't tell if he'd be a reasonable guy or not...
- Aria: Still, wasn't he always caring towards Five in the lab?
- Aria: And to value honesty that highly, he wouldn't be able to act so emotionlessly mean towards her... right?
- Five: Aria is saying, it wasn't really Five's friend...?
- Aria: It might've been hard to tell in your weak state...
- Aria: But it's possible that it wasn't him, yes!
- Aria: To me, the inconsistency implies that this may be a spirit, simply aiming for the harshest damages it could inflict on poor Five.
- Reed: Let's assume that so, for now.
- Five: Oh... Five would be really glad, if it really wasn't friend.
- Five: Five hopes so...
- Aria: I hope so too.
- Aria: Don't worry, no matter what the outcome is, we're all here for you.
- Five: Okay...!
Eventually, Five couldn't see nor hear anything, besides Five's own thoughts.
Still, Five tried to keep moving forward.
Five doesn't remember too well what happened, when Five was in so much pain.
Five knows only one thing, a thought that Five's mind repeated over and over.
That, all along, Five was hoping for anyone to respond to Five's cry for help.
But thankfully, it seemed that there was such a person at the end of Five's path.
- Aria: You poor thing...
- Reed: ...Ahhh, man. So it's an inconclusive answer, after all.
- Five: Sorry... Five doesn't remember very well!
- Five: But, at the end, when Five's pain went away...
- Five: That was because Nino helped Five!
- Five: So Five was okay, and had a big adventure with Nino, Ludwig, and Aria!
- Ludwig: Bark.
- Aria: Hehe, that's right~
- Five: But, Five thinks...
- Five: Five doesn't know everything before, from when Five was weak...
- Reed: Well, it sounds like you found your way to the monster world somehow,
- Reed: Met this forgetful guy, and got to where you are now.
- Reed: Other than that, while the rest of your description is pretty vague...
- Reed: It does suggest that no one was around by the time you woke up.
- Five: Oh...
- Reed: Aaahh, this is why I had a bad feeling about all of this.
- Reed: Since it's probably impossible to find anyone cooperative from those peaceful years, under these kinds of circumstances...
- Reed: And it also sounds like someone destroyed the laboratory.
- Reed: We're faced with the possibility that anything useful there is gone, to boot.
- Nino: Hey, not even the humans...?
- Nino: I get it if Five's monster friend and the guard are out of the question.
- Nino: But what about your father's student, the nurse?
- Nino: If you're able to find any records, couldn't we learn more about her?
- Reed: Yeah, you'd think so, but hear me out.
- Reed: Six years ago, every research group headed by the professor was dissolved.
- Reed: Not a single name listed under his supervision seems to be around anymore.
- Five: What does that mean about Five's friends...?
- Reed: It means that, including the professor himself...
- Reed: Nearly every person associated with his work is basically unreachable.
- Reed: Right now, the only one I've found with such a strong relation to the professor... is you yourself.
- Five: Then, if Five tries... can Five still find... any friends?
- Reed: ...I can't say for sure.
- Reed: As for your nurse... I've yet to find any of the professor's students after he disbanded all those groups.
- Reed: And as for your monster friend... that's beyond us, in another world entirely.
- Reed: Finally, as for the prince and the guard, well...
- Reed: Those are associated with the government here.
- Reed: And we cannot openly talk about monsters... about you, to anyone here.
- Five: Oh...
- Reed: But this doesn't mean the end of the line so soon.
- Reed: I'm not saying any of this to demotivate Five, or you guys...
- Reed: I just wanted to clear up where everything currently stands.
- Reed: Despite how small our chances might be...
- Reed: If we look around more, re-inspect what's been recovered from the professor...
- Reed: Maybe, with Five's knowledge, new clues can still be found.
- Reed: But now, after knowing all of this, Five...
- Reed: Do you still want them to look for your friends?
- Five: Yes!
- Five: Five wants to go... to lab, again!
- Reed: ...Even if you don't find any of them afterwards?
- Five: ...Yes!
- Five: Even if not all friends are there...
- Five: Even, if... no friends are there.
- Five: Five... still wants to know.
- Five: Five must know what happened to everyone... and to Five's home.
- Reed: ...I see.
- Five: It's okay, Reed!
- Five: Even if it's scary...
- Five: Five has new friends, who will help Five!
- Reed: That you do, huh.
- Reed: Nino and Aria have probably got your back, no matter what.
- Aria: No need for that "probably" part!
- Nino: Right, we'll be with you for sure.
- Meimona: Aww, you hear that? Aren'tcha glad!
- Five: Yeah...!
- Five: Hehe, see?
- Five: If everyone is with Five, then Five can handle anything!
- Reed: Yeah, yeah, no need to try and convince me.
- Five: Then, what about Reed?
- Reed: Hm? What about me...?
- Five: Yes!
- Five: Reed is going to look for professor, right?
- Five: So... everyone can help Reed!
- Five: Now it won't be scary for Reed too, because Reed isn't alone anymore!
- Reed: ...Oh.
- Reed: Nah, no one beside me's getting involved with that.
- Reed: I'd just like to get information, if you happen to be useful for that later on,
- Reed: But that's where it ends.
- Reed: You and your friends can just follow your own goal there.
- Reed: Don't concern yourselves with the professor.
- Five: But... Reed is also a friend.
- Five: Just like Mei, Nino, and Aria!
- Five: So why can't friends help Reed?
- Reed: Uh...
- Reed: It isn't good for anyone to get involved with the professor's stuff.
- Five: Not good...?
- Aria: Um, let's not assume everyone would be on board right away.
- Aria: But, speaking for myself...
- Aria: I actually do want to lend you a hand if I can.
- Aria: I owe you a lot, you know?
- Reed: Huh...
- Reed: I told you, I don't need any kind of recompensation.
- Aria: There you go with that again...
- Nino: Well, it's true that it's none of our business, if you want it that way...
- Nino: But one way or another, Five's case is related to the professor.
- Nino: So it's not far fetched to think we may need to be a bit more involved.
- Nino: Besides, this is a person whose research was based on helping Five out.
- Nino: That's objectively a good thing he was doing.
- Nino: So what do you mean it wouldn't be good to get involved?
- Nino: You talk like it would place us in danger.
- Reed: ...Ok. Maybe this comes as a surprise here.
- Reed: But the professor doesn't give attention to others without a goal in mind.
- Reed: He's rather absent with things that lie outside of his personal interests.
- Reed: The successful and satisfactory, those were the only things he cared about.
- Reed: I wouldn't be surprised if his relationship with his student, and with Five, an important research subject... was still somewhat distant in nature.
- Reed: It's more likely that he was doing something good not for the sake of the person its helping, but for his own gain, actually.
- Reed: The possibility that he had personal motives behind the scenes, is much more believable to me than some kind of "doing good" here.
- Aria: Oh... a parent being that way must've been difficult.
- Reed: I turned out just fine, so who cares.
- Nino: Uh, sure you did.
- Reed: What, are you saying I don't look fine to you?
- Nino: I don't mean that, but...
- Nino: If you think it's okay for a parent to be absent, then you didn't turn out fine.
- Reed: ...That's not what I was getting at.
- Reed: I mean, it's because I'm unaffected by any of it, so I don't care..
- Reed: Speaking for myself... I'm fine.
- Reed: But obviously, on a broader scale, a parent should be more...
- Reed: ...Ah, what the hell, why are we even talking about this!?
- Reed: What would any of us know, when we're nowhere near parent-level here?
- Nino: ...
- Reed: Point is, his matters aren't the nicest, and everyone who may have had anything to do with him seems to just be gone by now, somehow.
- Reed: Whether it's death, unknown whereabouts, or something else...
- Reed: That is danger, and I wouldn't want to subject any of you to it.
- Nino: But what about yourself?
- Reed: It's different when it's me.
- Reed: That's when this becomes a family matter, but you guys are just outsiders.
- Aria: But...
- Reed: I'm serious.
- Reed: Don't think of involving yourself as "repaying" me, or whatever.
- Reed: Forget about the professor in every way that doesn't pertain to Five.
- Reed: She is what's important.
- Reed: Therefore, I will only talk about the professor in relation to her.
- Reed: And nothing else.
- Meimona: G-guys, lighten up a little!
- Meimona: No matter what, we're all here to help Five, so don't get divided now...
- Nino: ...Fine, then.
- Nino: It bothers me, but since you insist... I'll respect your boundaries.
Mei: Get them off of this personal drama, stat!!!!
- Meimona: Since we're only talking about things related to Five, what about...
- Meimona: The topic of the professor's research on her?
- Aria: Um, I've got a guess, actually.
- Aria: Five told me before that she's unable to awaken an ability!
- Nino: Is that right, Five?
- Five: Oh... yes, it's true!
- Five: Five can't have one, but...
- Five: Sis said that it's just like sis, and sis was fine!
- Five: So Five wasn't sad about it!
- Meimona: Wow, not being able to awaken an ability isn't even possible for the winged!
- Meimona: Is it something bad for humans and monsters?
- Reed: If you're a human, it isn't.
- Reed: Five's nurse should have been perfectly fine.
- Five: Big sis was healthy! And strong!
- Five: Sis cleans lab, and moves big tables and chairs... all by herself!
- Aria: Oh my, how reliable!
- Meimona: Aaaand certainly able-bodied, it seems!
- Reed: Being unable to awaken an ability...
- Reed: In that case, only Five herself would've been affected by that.
- Reed: There's a difference between how each race handles abilities.
- Nino: Oh, I know that the winged are pretty much broken with this stuff!
- Nino: Like, Mei and her kind are way too overpowered...
- Meimona: Heh heh, that's right!
- Reed: I didn't mean it in terms of raw power.
- Reed: I meant in terms of whether you can have one or not in the first place.
- Reed: You three all have something here, right...
- Reed: But as Five said, some people are born simply unable to ever awaken an ability.
- Reed: It has a different effect, depending on which race it is.
- Reed: If I were to illustrate this... it'd be a scale like this.
- Reed: First, humans who are born unable to awaken an ability.
- Reed: Actually, they appear physically fine on the outside.
- Reed: Such a human looks indistinguishable from another who can awaken.
- Reed: But this is where it differs, when it comes to the other races.
- Reed: For the monsters, and for the winged...
- Reed: Mei, you're under the wrong impression when you say that it isn't even possible for your kind to not have abilities.
- Meimona: Wha... really?
- Reed: In fact, they can be born unable to awaken abilities, just like humans.
- Meimona: I've never heard of a single winged like that!
- Reed: Yes, that's to be expected.
- Reed: Because, when that happens, they'll immediately... die.
- Meimona: !
- Aria: !!!
- Five: ?
- Reed: ...Yes. Sorry, no dancing around it.
- Reed: These winged... cease to be alive immediately following birth.
- Reed: You get it?
- Nino: Yes...
- Meimona: Whew, what the heck! I never knew...
- Reed: Going right to left, it's a range of the strongest abilities to weakest.
- Reed: And going left to right, that's a range of who suffers the least from lacking an ability, to most.
- Nino: Huh... it seems like there's a tradeoff.
- Nino: The winged's abilities are the most powerful, but the winged themselves are also the most reliant on having their abilities to survive.
- Nino: Then, if humans are basically unaffected, and monsters are in the middle...
- Reed: They're between the two extremes of humans and winged.
- Reed: Humans live without health side effects, the winged don't get a choice,
- Reed: But monsters...
- Reed: They can live for a very short time, in rough conditions.
- Reed: If they're born this way...
- Reed: They'll only suffer from weakness as they grow older.
- Reed: Until, at an early age, they'll also... well, you know how it ends.
- Aria: Oh, my gosh...
- Meimona: Oooof, what a short life... :[
- Aria: The weariness, isn't it like what Five described at her early years?
- Aria: So that was what the professor tried to cure...?
- Reed: That assumption is not wrong to make, I think.
- Nino: ..."Think", you say?
- Reed: Well, I can't rule out the possibility of him having additional personal goals in secret as I said before, but...
- Reed: I know that studying abilities was a major part of... whatever he did.
- Reed: So at least, that prediction has to be correct in some way.
- Reed: But specifically, "medically assisting monsters" is what his longtime research efforts were known as to the public.
And in that time, it was a daring idea.
Sixteen years ago, in the year 4513, a peace treaty was signed.
The war had finally ended. Monsters and humans rejoiced.
Behind the scenes of celebration, the monster prince approached the notorious professor with a simple request.
Please, let them see life to its fullest.
The professor was commissioned to resolve a condition that plagued monsterkind for as long as they've existed. To say it's a difficult task would be a vast understatement.
It was thought that the soul's dependence on an ability was embedded in the blood of monsterkind, but the professor certainly was one to challenge these so-called 'inescapable realities'.
And so did the professor readily accept that request.
It is said that he's a man few understood, not even his own family.
With a team of students he'd greatly trusted, he earnestly began his research.
What a ridiculous idea.
At every turn, the professor's actions were met with such sorts of endless doubt, but the words of others mattered little. There was only one person whose words held any weight to the professor, and naturally, she was supportive of her father.
But even when that precious gem was gone, the professor persisted.
And even though the students he'd chosen to trust succumbed to the despair, giving up in the face of failure, admitting to utter defeat, the professor was still determined to keep going. Even if by his lonesome, he wanted to reach his desired truth.
Unexpectedly, one person chose to remain by his side in the end.
The professor's most hardworking student, who never allowed herself to give up.
Though she wasn't the brightest in academics, never outperforming her peers, it turned out that her unique worldview was what made her the professor's best asset.
Slowly, but surely, she kept that seemingly dying research effort alive.
Despite what heart-wrenching losses she experienced, this young lady kept trying, for she had a deep desire to succeed at least once in her life, no matter what it took.
- Diana: Hmhmmm, when you don't understand it...
- Diana: An ability seems like a magical inexplicable thing, I know.
- Diana: But the reality is that this is a beautiful process, a wonderful harmony of actions your bodies do, involving both physical and mental functions at once!
- Diana: I'll take you on a little journey here, so you can witness it!
I had to take a long break between this and the previous update due to college, but just this week, I've finished my finals and inched closer to graduation. Only a year of college remains, if everything goes smoothly. With less work on hand, I'm planning on updating more frequently than once a week, and hopefully on doing even more flashy content for Oceanfalls.
I'll start testing the waters by updating twice a week for the rest of Chapter 3, at a coming future date.
Also here's a picture of Five getting her Bachelor's before me. Dang.
I hope you continue to enjoy the current + future content!
Also, I want to comment on something: We've indeed been spending a lot of time with Nino's party discussing past events. The next update is the last of it, we're ending the backstory parts with Five, and returning to action in the present.
Kotori and Solis will be showing up soon, feel free to write commands for them. And since Diana is giving a little lecture on abilities... you can give her (& her audience) commands too.
Anyway, I just want to promise you that actions forwarding the present state of the characters in this chapter will resume after one update.
"Reed: First, humans who are born unable to awaken an ability.
Reed: Actually, they appear physically fine on the outside."
That last line indicates that humans who don't are very much not all that fine, just not as "Lifespan is shortened dramatically" as Monsters.
Yes, this is since Reed's only talking about physical appearance and health. But the few humans unable to awaken abilities likely feel inferior to those who can, which might strongly affect their image of themselves.
Additionally, I want to point out how Nino, Aria, and others with abilities can continuously rely on them for protection and survival. Aria in particular awakened hers to survive a dangerous situation. A human unable to awaken lacks that inner capability of protecting themselves under danger.
*Sits patiently for the special lecture*
With the way the illusion Aria cast on Five works, if Five started to transform again we'd be able to see it, right?
Probably not, illusions are dispelled through harming the original caster somehow, (Aria in this case) or contact of any kind upon one of the illusions through a false point, so if someone tried to headpat Five, they’d reveal Five’s actually a monster by touching her horn. So if Five transforms, unless it affects the illusion somehow, such as her mouth bleeding out and touching her monster fangs, or something similar to that, it’d be likely to be unnoticed.
I think it depends on whether the illusion works like "disguise Five's horn, eyes, and teeth," or like "disguise any trait that would give her away as a monster." I've been assuming the former.
For most illusions, the result is the same. If Five breaks down from the injury and it doesn’t affect any monster parts, then her disguise won’t break down, as shown in
“These hot’n’cute maids can’t be hardened criminals!”, by the esteemed author Nino, normal contact not touching the disguised part just shows normal results without any dispelled illusion. It’s true however that the whole disguise comes off if the caster is harmed, as seen by Aria’s horns, fangs, and red eyes dissipating when harmed. It probably works in a plausible deniability method as seen by the fake Nino’s arm being sliced, where it still lived and stayed in Nino form due to Aria’s guilt and the specter’s strength. When attacked like Aria did in her flashbacks, or when Reed blasts them to the point the should reasonably be dead (I.e. the chest.) The whole illusion disappears. This is also proven more likely through Nino breaking through the illusions of his deaths in the cave through denial/focus/concentration.
I think there may be a misunderstanding. It sounds like you're talking about whether Five's condition acting up could cause her illusion to be dispelled? What I was wondering was whether we'd be able to see her start to transform, or if the illusion would hide that.
The illusion has a very low chance of hiding the transformation, as seen by the beating Nino took from the maids illusions won’t hide effects performed upon physical beings, and he didn’t have any scars or bruises after the beating, nor after the illusion was dispelled. So it would probably be obvious even through the illusion that we’d see her transform, it’s just very likely that the transformation would disappear as well in the process.
Diana: Absolutely SCHOOL this audience with your knowledge.
Audience: Be ever the skeptic(s).
Professor: Congratulate student on her showcase.
Meanwhile, in the present-
Reed: From what has been shown, your father seems like a bit of a transhumanist, is that correct?
Five: The knowledge that Five is close to finding closure fills Five with determination.
Reed: Explain what Monsters transforming actually means.
Nino: If Five started transforming back when she wasn't being treated, and thus was near death, then your ability not only may have saved her life, but may currently be the ONLY thing keeping her alive.
Aria: Surely Five won't just start transforming back all of a sudden when her health catches up to her, right?
Nino: Use your Healing Hands on Five just in case.
Party: Try to chill out. Fail miserably.
Nino: There's only four beds for five people. Be the dependable(!) leader(?) you are and take the couch for the night.
This is a bit late, but I'd like to point out how Kaji's advice has rubbed off on Nino. He says the party needs to support Five if they "uncover something unpleasant," which is reminiscent of the words Kaji used about "undesirable" memories. Small detail I love.
As others pointed out, it seems Kaji's advice, Five and Aria telling him about his pre-Decimate self, and Mei choosing to stay with him have influenced Nino to be like his old self, albeit with some of his newer, post-decimate traits remaining in a lesser state. I imagine what we're seeing now is roughly what Pre-Amnesia Nino would've been like.
Post-Shatter Nino shall be his name, son of Pre and Post Decimate Ninos, and grandson of the original Nino.
I can't hold all these Ninos......
I'll keep notes.
Pre-Amnesia Nino (Past Nino/Child Nino): Little known about him. He seems to have had a happy life until he lost his parents in the War. He was taken into an orphanage where he had to do chores and help adults, but left for the monster world and got amnesia, leading to-
Pre-Decimate Nino (Paragon Nino/Starter Nino): Kind, Dependable, and Pacifistic, he healed the monster Five despite knowing it was wrong in the eyes of humanity, and later met Aria and Ludwig. He remembers he crossed the barrier to do SOMETHING, but can't remember what. Corona would almost kill him and Aria, creating-
Post-Decimate Nino (Anti-Nino/Douchebag Nino): A significantly more callous, rude, and untrusting character (with a dramatic side). He completely forgot Five and Aria after Decimate. Despite his mean-spirits, he had an instant soft spot for Mei's cat Boyfriend, and later on for Mei herself. Just before Shatter, he reunited with Aria and Five, and met Reed, later becoming-
(ran outta space :) )
Post-Shatter Nino (Present Nino): The most complete Nino so far, merging traits of his old versions.
The combo of Kaji's guidance, Aria and Five telling him about his Paragon self, and Mei deciding to stay with his party influenced him to be more like his Paragon version, while keeping his worse traits in a lesser form. He is shown as a cocky individual, who wants to lead and be the most dependable person in the room.
Despite forgetting Five, he is determined to keep his promise of guiding her home. Additionally, he frequently butts heads with Reed, due to him keeping distance from the group, hiding info, and trying to take Five without him and Mei, regarding them as "baggage."
This comes off as a bit hypocritical. When the party discusses and asks about things related to his own past and amnesia, he becomes sour and annoyed, as his amnesia makes him feel helpless and even pitiable, which seriously conflicts with his desire to be a dependable leader.
I could probably write a full character analysis if I had the time and encouragement.
You're close, but every Nino is the same(ish) Nino. Paragon Nino wanted to be the leader, and with the kind and calm Aria, and Five, someone to protect, he shifted into that role. But he had traits in-line with his Post-Decimate self, such as being pouty when denied making a trap for Kotori, and being ignorant slightly of emotions, like when leaving Aria or telling her Kotori didn't matter anymore and that he shouldn't care about her when running. Anti-Nino met the energetic and carefree Meimona, which clashed with his personality, especially after learning that she was a thief and her dragging him along with his antics when he was supposed to be safe in the human world, changing his personality. He has moments of kindness like looking out for everyone, and helping out when he can, like with Five's letter. To someone untrained, like Aria or Mei, both Nino's would look extremely similar, if not the same, which is why she didn't notice a major shift in personality.
Their similarities are due to Nino's different circumstances, and as Kaji said, a core part of him still being himself, so to others, it could look like he's just reacting naturally to the circumstances occurring. Mei and Aria only noted that he seemed a bit different, but to them, his personality is basically the same, give or take a few memories. Both Ninos have similar moments of pride and apathy, like trying to leave Aria and Mei alone, and moments of paranoia, such as not trusting Aria or Ludwig. They both also don't like being burdens on others, seen when Paragon Nino freaked out over being in Aria's bed after his 2nd seizure. There isn't a significant change between any Nino except for: Adult Pre-Amnesiac Nino, and within the cave Nino. Pre-Amnesia Nino was probably on a quest for revenge, so probably dangerous, but we have little info about him. Cave Nino, however, seems to have only a few pieces of memory on him, those memoris being his motivation for entering monster land.
Cave of Illusions Nino straight up views other people as tools for him, and came to the monster world for an important mission, which he views as potentially benefitting the human world. However, he doesn't care about his homeland, and views it only as a positive side-effect. Nino has his most dramatic shift in personality here, Only from his reasons to enter the monster world. if there's any Anti-Nino, then it's this Nino, or Original Nino. Again, it's the same Nino, adjusting to different circumstances, such as having his memories being incomplete and only knowing of Kotori and Corona without Aria and Five, and not having the full bevy of experiences changing his persona. Present Nino isn't that different from Anti-Nino, mostly only changing due to Aria and Five. He's doubtful of Mei and others at times, but consistently worries for others, while brushing off his own troubles, as seen with his interactions with Reed now, and shrugging off his seizures with Five and Aria in the past.
One last thing, most of the more sketchy things Nino says and sees when he's Post-Amnesia tend to be in his head, so to outsiders, their view of him is massively softened compared to us, who can see the noticeable differences in his internal monologue, and with it, his slightly adjusted behavior, explainable by his Post-Decimate Amnesia. If we didn't have a look in the book of Nino's thoughts, then Nino being different would be much more hotly debated, and potentially seen as something else even, if not nothing to worry about and not a big deal, and maybe even just the result of people overthinking.
Anyone: So if Nino found Five in the monster world, then wouldn't it be most likely that the Lab Five was sleeping in was in the monster world?
Nino: So if Five currently healthy because of your ability, then surely the Professor would have been able to find someone with a Healing ability to help sick monsters.
Meimona interrupt: Well maybe that only works after the Professor's treatment?
Aria: Then why was Five put to sleep then? If there was a workable treatment...
Reed: They either didn't notice the two treatments worked in combination, or
Meimona interrupt: Or the Professor was more interested in whether he could restore the lack of an Ability.
Diana: Unconsciously explain at least Five hints of foreshadowing as to why Five is the way that she is. Also, explain all Five of the mind/body/soul trio and their combinations, but make the combinations stuck at Five due to one of them being unknown.
Nino: Think about abilities and be confused on why yours is so general, and why some individuals can’t have them according to the other 3 non-animal non-amnesiacs. Judge if to embrace a past life which was revealed earlier. Also, are you really gonna leave Reed by according to his wishes? I mean, you probably won’t. Also, Six years that Five was amnesiac, really? Should you rename her? Wait, what about your party/stats ability?
Aria: Ask about the monsters’ execution method.
Reed: Explain what you must to everybody,
Ludwig x Boyfriend: You two understand any of this? Do you two even have abilities?
Tori x Solis: What’s the plan in a Five step explanation, and do you think the other might be insane?
I'm a bit late to the party but I'm a bit confused since we see a younger child in 2 pages ago that Reed walks into dismantling a clock. Who actually is that since in the family photo it shows Reed only had a older sister so who was that in this image? (It's most likely not the most relevant of things but I still can't stop thinking about it.)
The family photo is old, reed's younger sister was born after it was taken
said sister actually is pretty relevant she's the person reed was texting before
I think the parents had another kid after that photo was taken.
nevermind3476 and cB557's comments are correct. It's "Eidolon", AKA Headquarters. The pictures are from before she was born, since Reed himself was a very small child in that time.
The younger sister’s Eidolon, who we don”t know the same of yet, and the older sister is Ruby. Ruby died a long time ago, probably before Eidolon was too young to remember, which is why Reed has two sisters. After Ruby’s passing, it was implied that Reed’s father, Zachary, tried to bring her back from the grave, and that she was the “star child” of the family.
Somebody in audience: Be distracted by how cute Diana is.
(I am SEVERELY biased here, considering she is wearing glasses and a turtleneck sweater.)