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10 Sep 2022

Once upon a time.

  • Nino: Uh... are you talking to me?
  • Lacia: Yes! You are an aspiring hero, are you not?
  • Nino: A what now...
  • Nino: Uh, I'm afraid you've got the wrong guy?
  • Lacia: That could never be the case!
  • Nino: I don't know where the "heroic" part you're talking about is.
  • Lacia: Oh no, I do believe it is you who brought peace to our little island.
  • Lacia: Thanks to your actions, um...
  • Lacia: The captain of the sea patrol finally earned the recognition he deserves!
  • Lacia: Resolving years of misunderstandings regarding him...
  • Lacia: Was that not your doing?
  • Nino: Oh, that's what you meant!
  • Nino: Sure, I guess it was me!
  • Lacia: Yes! Us sea folk are most grateful for what you've done,
  • Lacia: For the captain is dear to us all.
  • Lacia: So on behalf of this entire sea, and all that live within it, allow me to extend our most sincere thanks to you, kind hero!
  • Nino: That's a lot of thanks...
  • Nino: I mean, uh... you're all very welcome!
  • Nino: Yes, I did this on purpose!
  • Nino: I'm basically the coolest guy ever, milady.
  • Lacia: That you are!
  • Reed: (Oh, great, he found someone to feed his ego.)
  • Nino: (Shush! Let me get the recognition I deserve!)
  • Nino: (But wait... I don't know why she keeps calling me a hero.)
  • Meimona: (Yeah, where the heck's this hot praise coming from!)

A heroine walked the midworld.

  • Nino: Um, Miss, so all of this is just because I helped Kaji?
  • Nino: That doesn't really feel like a heroic action...
  • Lacia: Not that alone!
  • Lacia: You are aspiring to be a hero, are you not?
  • Lacia: Though, I was misled by your appearance,
  • Lacia: I did finally see that your accomplishments are indeed heroic in nature.
  • Lacia: Verily, you must be following in the footsteps of humankind's heroine.
  • Nino: Humankind's...?

She was a no-name who came from nothing.

  • Aria: Oh! Do you mean Lady Oshen?
  • Lacia: Certainly! It is her, and no other.
  • Meimona: Wait, I don't get it...
  • Meimona: You said his looks mislead you...
  • Meimona: What does his pretty face have to do with any of this?
  • Lacia: Oh, my angel friend, do you not know?
  • Lacia: It must be because it is a custom of humans, and not the winged.
  • Lacia: Lady Oshen was always identified by her long hair, flowing from a single magnificent ponytail.

Yet, she became everything to this world.

  • Lacia: Thus, it has become one way that her legacy lives.
  • Lacia: Humans who idolize the lady often imitate the same hairstyle.
  • Meimona: Whoa, wait, really?
  • Lacia: Yes.
  • Lacia: It is a custom for humans to tie up the hair of their young, and encourage them to hold the values of a hero, so that they could be in the image of humankind's ultimate heroine.
  • Lacia: And so, young humans are taught to follow Oshen's virtues.
  • Lacia: "Perhaps, my child is destined to be our next hero", they say!
  • Lacia: Or so goes the tradition.
  • Meimona: Wuh... woooah...
  • Lacia: I believe that, as of late, many aspiring heroes in the army do this to imitate his highness Prince Ruit as well!
  • Lacia: He too is a very influential figure, after all.
  • Meimona: So that's why ponytails are so popular here!
  • Meimona: Dang, I didn't even know that question had an answer.
  • Lacia: Certainly. As you can see, it is the mark of a hero.
  • Lacia: However, your heroic friend here lacks it!
  • Lacia: That is why I was mislead in our first meeting.
  • Meimona: I see...

Humankind's hero, monsterkind's villain.

  • Meimona: But, errmmm, Nino, really?
  • Meimona: Do you seriously fancy yourself a heroic dude like that?
  • Meimona: Man, I didn't know you were roleplaying like that!
  • Nino: Hey, no I don't!
  • Nino: I'm not doing anything of the sort!
  • Nino: I mean, I didn't even know any of this stuff until now.
  • Lacia: Pardon, what...?
  • Nino: Listen, mermaid lady...
  • Nino: That's a big misunderstanding on your part.
  • Nino: Sorry to shatter the dazzling image you got here,
  • Nino: But I didn't do anything to try to imitate anyone.

Forever immortalized as such.

  • Nino: I didn't even come here on purpose! Just circumstances...
  • Nino: And then, in the face of what I saw here...
  • Nino: I just did what felt right to me, I guess?
  • Nino: Actually, I thought Kaji was the worst at first.
  • Nino: But it turned out he's not such a bad guy, so... yeah!
  • Nino: I did what felt right, that's all.
  • Nino: See? There's nothing heroic about me.
  • Lacia: Oh my...
  • Lacia: Young man, you mean to say....
  • Lacia: You were doing good simply for goodness' sake?

Even if a hero falls, their legend lives.

  • Lacia: Not even to please anyone, to impress, nor to copy another's good deeds...
  • Lacia: How supremely heroic of you!
  • Lacia: Ah! I'm so honored to be in your presence!
  • Nino: Wait- no- what!?
  • Lacia: Why, you might even be more of a hero than every other follower of Lady Oshen's legacy in this world!
  • Nino: T-that's not right at all!

It leads one to wonder...

  • Aria: (Oh, I actually recognize what she's talking about!)
  • Aria: (I used to do my hair like that a lot.)
  • Aria: (Since I heard it mentioned as a trend for humans... hehe.)
  • Aria: (It's one secret way I could connect to my roots!)
  • Meimona: (Ooo, um. That's... interesting?)
  • Reed: (Hey, you're already a human among humans now...)
  • Reed: (You're normal to everyone here.)
  • Reed: (Talk like a human, you human.)
  • Aria: (Oh... oops! It's so difficult to forget old habits.)
  • Reed: (Get your act together, seriously...)

Is it better to survive as a failure, or perish as a success?

  • Meimona: Wait, hey! Reed has THE hair!
  • Meimona: Look! You've got a teeny tiny ponytail!!!
  • Meimona: Are you trying to play hero too?
  • Reed: No.
  • Reed: Just easier to have it out of the way like this.
  • Meimona: Oh, aww.
  • Meimona: Thought I was onto something there.
  • Reed: What would you even accomplish if that turned out to be correct...?
  • Meimona: Dunno, haven't thought that far yet!
  • Meimona: But I guess you're not even that heroic of a character anyway.
  • Reed: Good, I'm not trying to be.
  • Nino: Me either, hey!
  • Nino: Mermaid, Lacia, or whatever it was...
  • Nino: I'm no one's cheap copy, I'm me.
  • Nino: I appreciate the praise, but please don't treat me like that.
  • Lacia: Oh... my apologies...

---->

  • Lacia: Well, young man, I will not call you a hero if it displeases you...
  • Lacia: Although I cannot promise we would stop thinking of you as one.
  • Lacia: We are still so very grateful, no matter the reasons behind your deeds!
  • Nino: Ehh... well, okay.
  • Nino: I guess that's an acceptable compromise.
  • Lacia: My gosh, this discussion was not the goal of my visit at all.
  • Lacia: I apologize, I got so carried away...
  • Lacia: Let me get to the point, I shall not waste more of your time!
  • Lacia: Young man, we would like to express our gratitude with something worth more than words. Would you accept presents we sea inhabitants gathered for you?
  • Nino: Presents...?
  • Lacia: If you would, please follow me to my residence!
  • Lacia: I have prepared a selection for you to take what you wish.
  • Lacia: I hope that it can be of aid to you on your heroic journey... oops!
  • Lacia: My apologies, I forgot I wasn't supposed to say that!
  • Lacia: At any rate, if you'll accept, then please come along with your companions as soon as it suits you.
  • Nino: ...
And this is probably where a REAL HERO, whatever that means, would be all like, "oh, my fair maiden, your words were more than enough to aide me on my journey!"

But not THIS guy.

---->

Party: GET FREE STUFF HURRY

Nino: Enter Lacia's house.

One step in, and you're faced with SHINY LOOT. Oh boy!

While it's tempting to just pick everything here up without even checking, you actually don't have much room to pull that off. You and your party members agree that you must make wise choices here.

In deciding what to take, you should consider how much space you have, and weight the benefits of each item first.

So first of all, you decide to run a quick INVENTORY CHECK.

Nino: Check INVENTORIES.

It seems that you have room to pick up three things.

Of the party, you can assign each item taken to yourself, Aria, and to Mei.

Nino: Examine ITEM #1.

It's a SACK OF MONEY. Literally just CASH!

Whoever prepared this gift had the right idea. You can't ever go wrong with money!

And speaking of money... you are quite literally penniless. Seems like everyone else has some funds lying around in varied amounts, except for you. So having something to your name would be great!

Although you're not sure how you would spend it while in the monster world. Doesn't that require approaching a market or something? So, a civilization of monsters...

Well, money's usefulness is certainly something to keep in mind.

Nino: Examine ITEM(s) #2.

It's clothes. There's a lot, for some reason...

Lacia notices your confusion, and explains the reason these were prepared: Heroes need proper dress, one that merges a travel-ready outfit with an inspiring style! Or so she says. God, would she let go of that nonsense already.

You guess these clothes do have style though, and don't seem cheap at all... you can tell that the fishes put effort in arranging the articles together.

Perhaps you could pick something to improve how you blend in the monster world, and to lessen the burden on Aria's disguising ability? Now that you think about it, it would be good to hide Reed's robotic arms, just in case. Not that you plan to go near civilization, but you can't predict what you might run into.

Plus, clothing doesn't affect your inventory load, since you'll only take what you can wear on your person! Let's see, there are gloves, accessories, shirts, varied kinds of scarves, and even... a cape. Hmm.

You could put together something useful from all these pieces.

Nino: Examine ITEMs #3 and #4.


Lacia says that these dishes have special effects, due to the abilities utilized in the cooking process. Wow! You never realized food could be given such properties!

As for the "healing" meal, seems like just eating it can remedy one's wounds, though it won't do much if it's a gravely serious injury. Luckily, you DO have your healing ability, if an extreme scenario ever occurs...

Plus, you've discovered that eating can replenish your own healing, too.

It might be good to have some grub on hand!

Nino: Examine ITEM #5.

Lacia informs you that this is a treasure from the deep sea, unearthed by a mermaid just for you. But to your eyes, it just looks like a very shiny oversized pearl...

You're not sure what use it could have.

Nino: Examine ITEM #6.

Uh... why did someone think to gift you a book?

Once again, Lacia notices your confusion, and promptly begins exposition mode. She says that this is a tome of precious origin. This book has seen many owners, and may have even been in the overworld at some point - or so she claims.

Around a decade ago, sea folk happened upon it. Since then, it was kept safely in the depths of the ocean's, protected by silent darkness.

So some fish decided to unearth it just to say thanks to you, huh!

That's cool.

As for its contents, Lacia says that she hasn't the faintest idea, nor are the sea folk particularly interested in finding out. So you decide to briefly examine the book's introduction for yourself instead.

The Book of Wonders.

This is a manuscript itched by a most heavenly pen.

It can tell one much about seeking Prosperity, whilst anticipating the Unforeseen.
Good things come when one understands the true meaning of this book.
However, great misfortune shall befall one who does not think to look between the lines whilst perusing the book's words of Guidance.

Be wise, for light does not come without shadow.
Ok, so that was a little confusing and ominous...

To be honest, while you'd love to expand your knowledge, and while a book this mystical-looking is probably right up your alley, that's unfortunately all a personal thing. Beyond a desire to own something for its long-term value, you're seriously not sure what immediate use it could have on this journey!

Nino: Conclude.

And that sums up all your choices!

Now then, of this vast selection, what shall you pick?

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kaji
Guest
kaji

>Grab the cape. Become a vampire.

Taki
Guest
Taki

Nino: The book could be useful to pass the time if that is ever necessary, won't weigh you down much, and you can't help but wonder about the contents of a book that was kept safely in the deep dark below the raging tides of the ocean.

Taki
Guest
Taki

Aria: Hesitantly ask Reed if the chilling cake could be useful for keeping his arms from overheating.

Taki
Guest
Taki

Meimona: You've struggled with money for so much of your life, you aren't about to turn down a bag given willingly to you now, right?

Taki
Guest
Taki

(This one is a bit of a joke suggestion since Five doesn't seem to have an inventory)
Five: Take the pretty shiny pearl.

Taki
Guest
Taki

Aria: Examine the scarfs. Could the scarves find use as a tourniquet in an emergency?

VB.Rainer
Guest
VB.Rainer

I second this notion!

DZ4114
Guest
DZ4114

Obviously he’s gotta get the cape there’s no denying this self evident fact

Unclevertitle
Guest
Unclevertitle

That Book of Wonders seems too mysterious to pass up... It'd be a shame to pass up on the Polar Star. It sounds like a lot of effort went into acquiring that gift. Plus it's possible the polar star might even be worth more than 100 gold if we'd need to sell it. Having some extra food would also be handy. And heck a chilling cake sounds like it might self refrigerate (not that I'd expect the food to rot any time soon). I'd go with: Book of Wonders - Nino (Already piecing together one mystery, why not another?) Polar… Read more »

zeph
Guest
zeph

this ones def the best comment so far i think, esp noting aria/nino's previous exposure as humans in the monster world

Reader
Guest
Reader

Party: The best way to think about the best course of action to take with all these options is to talk about it around a table while you all stuff cake in your mouths. And look, there's 4 servings! (1 for Five since Reed will decline) Nino: Just take the cape. Just... just take it. Also, do you even need that key anymore? You should probably return it, lest it falls into the wrong hands. You would hate to force those kind penguins to change their locks because you didnt remember to drop the key off. Mei and Aria: Theres… Read more »

Reader
Guest
Reader

(continuation cuse comment was too long)
Five: COOL CLOTHES! :D

VB.Rainer
Guest
VB.Rainer

Since people are focusing on items, I think I'll play dress up. I'll just second any other posts if i agree Nino: Consider taking the red cape. On one hand the cape is a reminder of... him, but on the other, it could help act as a disguise and isn't in his striking blue. Not the mention, capes are cool. Become Red Riding Nino. Reed: You'd be better off keeping those arms covered. Take some gloves and maybe the jacket on the 3rd mannequin if it isn't enough to cover them totally. Aria: The further you keep from your original… Read more »

Lay's Chips
Guest
Lay's Chips

Aaaaahhh it's really hard to choose :[ all look so cool!

#3 #5 and #6 seems like really interesting choices, (idk if they traverse through the desert area in the monster world I'm sure the cooling cake would be helpful-) but I will just wait to see what everyone else thinks :]

pikarai
Guest
pikarai

Reed: Take some gloves to hide your arms, although ideally nobody would see you in the first place.

Meimona: Scoop up every accessory in the display, somebody must be willing to swap them for coin when you're sick of wearing them.

Aria: May as well pick something out while everyone else is, find something that looks nice.

Nino: Don cape.

Archiewhite
Guest
Archiewhite

So if it's a matter of suggestions... - The book feels like a plot coupon. Pick #1. Nino can take it, read it and marry it. - The bag of money is the bag of money. Money is useful. Pick #2. Aria can keep it. - The cake is pick #3. It was mentioned earlier that a Niyran (the desert where Buried Oasis is) hosts tunnels that can be used for fast travel. Accessing them for the first time may be easier if the party has a cooldown option. Meimona can hold onto them. - The clothes needn't take a… Read more »

Lunk
Guest
Lunk

Nino: For no reason whatsoever, take the cape.
Five: Take the dress on the ground.

HousePet
Guest
HousePet

Hrm...
I'm thinking Polar Star for Nino, as he does seem to be a bit lost.
Book of Wonders for Aria, as I feel like she would be best to read between the lines of it. (Although perhaps Nino's higher Mind stat is more relevant than Aria's Perception and Illusion ability?)
For Meimona, I'm thinking either the Coins, as she could go shopping in a Monster market safely. Or perhaps she should take the Cake, as who else can be trusted to maintain the coolness of the party?

Xacrom
Guest
Xacrom

Nino: Take Item #6
Aria: Take Item #3
Mei: Take Item #5

I know that these seem the item with the most dubious utility, but I have a feeling they are secretly the best ones

nevermind3476
Guest
nevermind3476

Nino: Take the book, knowledge is power after all! Mei: Take the pearl, it looks valuable, you can sell it later if you can't figure out what else it does Aria: Take the cape a lot to unpack this update I can't figure out the first letter in the third panel but the rest of it says "despised by half", I"m guessing it's referring to Oshen being "monsterkind's villain" Nino might not idolize Oshen now, but he could have in the past, might be part of why he chose to head into the monster world the book is pretty obviously… Read more »

HousePet
Guest
HousePet

First letter appears to be a fancy lower case theta, but I think it translates to a 'J' (which doesn't exist in that alphabet), thus is it 'Justice is despised by half'.

Urimma
Guest
Urimma

Party: Check clothing for pockets. Nino: You should probably return that room key right about now, seeing as you'll be leaving Icicle Bay for the foreseeable future. The penguins can keep it safe for you while you're away. You wouldn't want to lose it during your journey, would you? Also, take the bag of coins and the Chilling Cake. The coins are fairly obvious, but the cake... you're not entirely sure why, but you think you might need it. Just in case. Aria: Those lunchboxes could come in handy! Even if Mei's already getting you guys a first aid kit… Read more »

Urimma
Guest
Urimma

(2/2) Mei: Well, it'd be bad form not to accept the pearl when the fishfolk went to such lengths to get it for you, wouldn't it? It seems pretty important to them too... Maybe it's some kind of special treasure that can do something cool? And even if it does end up being nothing more than a pearl, well... alright, you'd definitely feel bad about it, but you guess you COULD pawn it off if you needed to. Aria & Reed: Think back to the clothing you've seen in the monster world. It'd definitely be wise to go in with… Read more »

leiirue
Guest
leiirue

hehehe while everyone wants the book i really really wanna see them dress up :,)

cB557
Guest
cB557

So if Nino was like, incapacitated, the lunchbox wouldn't be able to get our healer back up on his feet? So this is just if we want a bit of extra healing in our pocket. Right now I'm leaning towards book, chilling cake, and polar star. Book just because it seems like it's gonna have some important plot or setting info on it, and also I just like books. Chilling cake because I'm pretty sure back in that last Kotori and Solis scene they talked about a desert along part of the border of the monster world, and I think… Read more »

cB557
Guest
cB557

Don't have strong opinions on the fashion other than the narration definitely being right that we should grab some stuff to help disguise the party. Staying incognito for as long as possible is gonna be critical, I think, and I think Aria's focus is gonna be the bottleneck for our ability to do that. So, anything that'll let her use her focus more efficiently seems like a must-have.

AshenChromatic
Guest
AshenChromatic

please get the cape nino. please. please take the cape. please take it. plea

Niko
Guest
Niko

My votes go for Book of wonders and Pearl (seems too much like quest items to pass up), and the lunchbox (ALWAYS have extra healing prepped incase your healer goes down + it'd be better to use than one of Nino's charges out-of combat). As much as it's a shame to pass up the money i think the pearl is an overall better investment, as just in case it isn't a quest item it could always be sold for a pretty penny, quite possibly more than what's in the Bag. And as for armor it should be of no surprise… Read more »

Slid
Guest
Slid

Nino: the book sounds like something useful in the long run

Some guy
Guest
Some guy

The cape, the pearl, the book.

Wight
Guest
Wight

who needs snacks (useful or otherwise) when you've got DRIP! The outfits are clearly the most important, but the book, polar star and money definitely seem like the most interesting choices.

Mysteriousmaverick
Guest

Party: Ask Reed if the rift area will be hot, and prioritize getting the money first, since they are universal currency as your fellow party members may know. Get the polar star for more potential money. Also, can’t you just use Mei’s luck to return the keys with no potential consequences as well as getting an extra item? If the cake is needed, than get it, if not, experiment with the lunch box and Nino’s innate healing, or at least keep it if. he’s somehow incapacitated. Can’t Five carry items in her inventory anyways? One of the party members or… Read more »

Mysteriousmaverick
Guest

Nino: One last thing, try switching your ability with someone, perhaps Aria’s weapon. I mean, why else is your ability taking up inventory while no one else’s is?

a birb
Guest
a birb

Change into those clothes and be the embodiment of swag!

Lavasoft
Guest
Lavasoft

Nino: Money
Mei: Pearl
Aria: Book
Healing items are for noobs anyway
Five: Equip purple bow

Kirbo1117
Guest

Five can't fight wtf she too precious

Mysteriousmaverick
Guest

She’s growing up and mature enough to handle the circumstances she’s in, she deserves to have a little fun in her life

Kirbo1117
Guest

Can't wait for the next update!

Pun Lord
Guest

Nino: A hero with blood-red needs a cape behind him, and perhaps a book to ease his mind.

Aria: Equip the purple raiments and cast no illusions on the troubles ahead to lay out the information. Perhaps the cake to feed the party's hopes and keep them cool under pressure?

Mei: Fortune favors the bold, and wealth is definite fortune.

^