- Meimona: Woooaw... this is so cool!
- Meimona: But um, I don't know what I'm looking at.
- Meimona: It looks like an incomplete jigsaw puzzle!
- Reed: Uh, so... this is a map built off of the data I've "gathered".
- Reed: By that I mean, these visible areas are locations I've previously been to.
- Nino: So these blocky parts are places you've never been to?
- Reed: Yeah.
- Aria: It's mostly concentrated in the monster world, I see...
- Reed: Well, because we don't really have a ready-made map of it,
- Reed: It could only be constructed bit by bit, like this.
- Meimona: Oh! It really is like putting together a lil' puzzle! :o
- Reed: But for our purposes, this much data should be more than enough.
- Reed: Look at that northernmost part of the monster world.
- Reed: Up until "0001", that's the part that really matters.
- Aria: That's the clearest spot on the monster side!
- Nino: Is it where our destination is?
- Reed: Yep. That's where I cross to directly reach the capital.
- Reed: It's our best bet for finding a way back.
- Reed: And luckily, it's a pretty "active" area, in terms of rifts.
- Reed: There were times where I'd detect multiple rifts just around there.
- Nino: That's great!
- Nino: As long as we know where we're moving, we'd be set.
- Nino: So can we, uhh... draw a path on this?
- Reed: Easily.
- Reed: Just point out the way and I'll do it.
Nino: First off, you all will need to stay near the barrier so that if you need to escape fast, Reed can find a rift.
First, from the side of the human world...
- Reed: A direct trip to the capital isn't possible, since the docks are closed, and there are many watchful eyes around it. So here's somewhere less conspicuous.
- Reed: We could start here, just an idea.
- Nino: Ah, "0010: Wither Garden"... here?
- Nino: What kind of place is that?
- Reed: A... barely habited island.
- Reed: Compared to the expansive capital, it has very little value.
- Nino: It seems like a pretty isolated place...
- Reed: That's why it's a good choice.
- Reed: There are no official "docks" to pass through to enter it.
- Reed: Anyone could just sail towards it.
- Reed: Therefore, it's not a place where a passerby would be tracked.
- Aria: I see... that would work well in our favor.
- Reed: For now, I vote that we try to cross starting there.
- Meimona: No objections here! Seems good to me!
Reed: Avoid bustling roads, areas, and towns. Just because people are at the celebrations doesn't mean everyone is attending. You're all probably going to be hiking for most of the journey.
So long as you find rifts roughly near these points, then everything should be okay. They don't have to be exactly where you've indicated, just somewhere reachable.
And thankfully, having enough luck on your side is a given.
- Aria: This seems like a decent path!
- Aria: I believe it falls on roads with little activity in the monster world, too!
- Reed: Mhm. That's only regarding people activity, though.
- Reed: The forested parts of the monster world happen to be popular with, uh...
- Reed: You know. Spirits.
- Aria: Oh, right...
- Aria: We might have to skirt the edges of those parts on our way. :S
- Nino: Hey, it'll be fine!
- Nino: You guys have gotten out unscathed against these things one-on-one, right?
- Nino: There's four of us now, Aria. Nothing to worry about!
- Reed: Yeah, our odds aren't bad.
- Aria: Well... if you just don't get tricked by a spirit, it'll be okay...
- Aria: They're only effective when a person is isolated by themselves.
- Aria: So us sticking together is a must!
- Nino: Sure! No splitting up, guys.
- Meimona: Okay, boss!
- Reed: No reason we wouldn't stay as a group, anyway.
Check #4: A Boat. You guys need one.
- Reed: Uh, so this is a cool plan and all, but hey.
- Reed: You guys do realize that you need a ship to reach the very first point on the route you just made, right? Otherwise, we can't even get started here.
- Aria: Oh no, you're right. D:
- Meimona: Aw, dangit! >:[
- Meimona: I knew this was going too smoothly.
- Aria: Now how are we ever going to get there...
- Nino: Hey, hey, calm down.
- Nino: You're just asking the obvious!
- Aria: What do you mean?
- Nino: Well, we have the newest member of the sea patrol right here, don't we?
Nino: Ask for a favor.
- Meimona: ...Wait, wuh?
- Nino: Go on, Mei. Put in a good word for us with your fish coworkers.
- Meimona: Wuh!? Hold on, are you...
- Meimona: Are you asking me to STEAL Kaji's ship!?
- Nino: Oh, no no! There will be no stealing involved.
- Meimona: I've pulled off plenty wild heists before, but not something like this!
- Nino: Come on, it's not a heist! Stop thinking about stealing!
- Nino: You're a sea patrol member.
- Nino: So you'd just be using your position to borrow us one quick ride.
- Meimona: Uh, I-I don't think Kaji would trust me so soon!
- Nino: But what if he isn't the one you ask?
- Nino: He might not even be around, actually.
- Nino: I saw him get deathly hungover yesterday, you know.
- Nino: If at least one of the members could lead us there, it would be enough!
- Meimona: W-what would I even ask them for that to happen?
- Meimona: I've barely even started working with those guys...
- Meimona: They've got no reason to listen to me, you dummy!
- Nino: Come on, at least give it a try?
- Nino: I believe you can do it!
- Nino: Don't you too?
- Meimona: ...
- Nino: I mean, you've done similar things before.
- Meimona: ...Uh... wait...
- Meimona: (What did you just say?)
- Nino: Why're you whispering?
- Meimona: (Shh! Just answer quietly!)
- Meimona: (You say you... believe I can do it?)
- Nino: (Uh, yeah.)
- Meimona: (Really? You're not joking around?)
- Nino: (No, not at all.)
- Meimona: (Then... why would you think that about me?)
- Nino: (Mei, I've seen you play everyone on the island like a fiddle.)
- Nino: (You were practically showing off with how you did that!)
- Nino: (So isn't this kind of method right up your alley?)
- Meimona: (That's true, but...)
- Nino: (Ah, c'mon, you don't believe you can do it?)
- Meimona: (Weh! I-I don't know about that.)
- Nino: (So you don't want to do it for yourself.)
- Nino: (Fine, then...)
- Nino: (...Do it for me?)
- Meimona: ...
- Meimona: (Only if you come with me to see the sea patrol.)
- Nino: (Oh... sure?)
- Meimona: (And just you! No one else!)
- Nino: (Huh, I don't know what's got you so nervous...)
- Nino: (But I can do that just fine.)
- Meimona: Good!
- Meimona: Then let's go!
Mei and Nino: Look for Sea Patrol.
Anyhow, what's this crow's deal? Just giving it a shot wouldn't hurt.
For once, she's not in a position to do something illegally.
And you're not kidding in saying that she can succeed here.
Regardless of her luck, Meimona is good at this kind of thing - mixing innocence with childish tricks. Even as a thief, she wasn't disliked by the sea folk on this island, nor did her actions cause them serious harm.
That's Meimona's specialty.
As such, she's in a position where she can certainly request the patrol's help.
...Only without disclosing the real reasons behind it, of course.
- Meimona: H... hey guys!
- Meimona: Good morning!
- Weddell: H̷e̵l̴l̸o̶,̶ ̸l̶i̵t̶t̸l̶e̸ ̴M̴e̶i̸.̸
- Warty: G̵͓̓O̷̮͐Ō̸͚G̷̨͒ ̴̯͘M̶̥̃O̸̥͗R̶͇̓G̶̨͆Ḯ̵̙N̴̬͂G̵̪̐.
- Nino: W-what'd he say?
- Meimona: Umm, the one obvious response to "good morning", duh!
- Nino: You can speak fish?
- Meimona: No! I thought I told you I can't!
- Meimona: But I speak improvised sign language, heheh.
- Meimona: So, um, guys!
- Meimona: Looks like the boss ain't around, huh?
- Weddell: C̵a̶p̴t̷a̸i̸n̵ ̶a̷s̴l̷e̵e̶p̴.
- Blackfin: A̴t̶ ̵b̶a̶r̴,̵ ̸r̴e̷s̵t̵y̶...
- Warty: N̶o̸ ̸B̴O̷T̸H̷E̸R̵I̸N̶G̵!̶ ̵U̵n̷t̵i̸l̵ ̸n̷o̸o̵n̷.
- Meimona: (Hoho, sounds like Kaji did get too drunk to function.)
- Nino: (Oh! I told ya so.)
- Meimona: (That works for me!)
- Meimona: (Nino... sit back and watch, ok?)
- Meimona: (I'll find a way for us here.)
Nino: Leave this to her!
You wouldn't say it out loud, but she can be kind of cool.
Somehow, you feel that this confidence contributes quite significantly to her luck working out in the way it does.
- Warty: W̴h̵e̷n̸ ̸C̴A̴P̸T̶A̵I̸N̶ ̵g̵o̷n̷e̸,̸ ̷W̴A̷R̷T̴Y̶ ̸i̵n̴ ̶c̶h̵a̶r̴g̴e̸.̴
- Warty: T̵e̴l̷l̶,̴ ̷w̸h̶a̵t̶ ̷M̵e̵i̶ ̷n̶e̸e̵d̴s̶?
- Meimona: Right, umm...
- Meimona: We're supposed to be on break right now! Aren't we?
- Meimona: For today n' tomorrow! Right?
- Blackfin: T̸͕͑ṟ̸̋ù̴̳t̷̻̃h̶̰͂.
- Meimona: Cool! Weeeell! I was thinking that, umm...
- Meimona: Before I start working for realsies with the crew here, I uhh...
- Meimona: I wanna... I wanna go somewhere!
- Meimona: With this guy here!
- Meimona: Can you guys help me with that?
- Weddell: I̴t̵'̵s̵ ̵a̷ ̵d̸a̴t̶e̵?
- Blackfin: M̴e̶i̵M̶e̴i̶... w̶i̷t̷h̵ ̵a̶ ̷h̷u̸m̶a̷n̸? Re̵a̸l̴l̷y̵!
- Meimona: No, no! Nothing like that! Stop!
- Warty: T̴̟͘h̸̠͋ë̴̹́n̴͙͑,̶̣͌...a̶̙̓ ̷̧̈́V̴͚̂Ḁ̶͑C̵̳̃Å̴͇T̶̩̂I̸̯͐O̴̤͝N̴̹͋?
- Meimona: Um, I guess so!
- Blackfin: W̷h̵e̴r̸e̵ ̷d̸o̶ ̷M̶e̵i̸M̷e̷i̴ ̸a̶n̸d̵ ̸h̵u̶m̸a̴n̶ ̴g̴o̷?
- Meimona: Nino, I think...
- Meimona: The fishies are asking where I wanna go.
- Nino: Oh, it's fine to say it.
- Nino: Do you know an island called "Wither Garden" south of here?
- Nino: That's the place.
The only response they give is a very confused reaction.
Ah, yes. That makes sense.
From what you've heard, it's not exactly a pretty vacation spot.
Warty breaks the group's silence, asking Mei the obvious question.
Why does she want to go there of all places?
And now, Mei can easily just say that-
Mei: Answer temporary-captain Warty.
- Meimona: Well!
- Meimona: It's because of...
- Meimona: This guy! Yeah!
She's tossing this your way without warning!
- Meimona: You wanna go there, right Nino?
- Nino: Uh...
- Nino: Y-yeah?
- Warty: W̵I̵T̸H̵E̸R̵ ̸g̴a̸r̵d̷e̵n̶ ̶i̷s̶ ̸s̴u̴s̶p̷i̷c̶i̸o̷u̷s̴.
- Warty: U̷N̶F̶R̵I̶E̵N̶D̵L̶Y̶ ̶p̸l̷a̶c̶e̷.
- Warty: N̸o̶ ̶r̷e̷a̶s̶o̶n̷ ̵t̶o̴ ̸g̶o̸.
- Warty: S̸o̸ ̶W̷H̵Y̸ ̶g̵o̸,̶ ̶H̴U̵M̵A̴N̷?
For once, you don't need a translation to understand what was said.
- Meimona: Because... uh...
- Meimona: It's... his home!
- Warty: .̸̜̌...W̵̛̹A̶͉̐Ḫ̶̆??
- Meimona: Yeah! He wants to go home!
- Meimona: And I was invited!
- Meimona: Don't worry, I'm just visiting! Yep!
- Meimona: So I'll totally come back to you guys later!
The best lie she could think of was that your home is on an uninhabited island?
Ugh, this girl is so...
Mei: Try to get him to catch on.
- Meimona: And there's no better time to visit that home than now.
- Meimona: Isn't that right, Nino?
- Nino: ...?
- Meimona: I'll also do my part in following your human culture, you know?
- Meimona: Like, I'll be sure to pay my respects and all.
She didn't simply toss the ball in your court.
She walked up to you, put the ball in your hands, and with a firm pat on the back - told you to go get 'em, buster.
In other words, she did the best thing possible.
Nino: Finally catch on.
- Nino: That's right.
- Nino: It's always so difficult in this time of the year...
- Meimona: Oh, especially on the days of the memorial, oh my gosh...
- Meimona: The memories of lost people must be so difficult for you.
- Nino: But I'm lucky to have you around, at least.
- Warty: W̷̻̌A̵̞̓Ḧ̸̰́... w̶̘̿ḁ̵́i̶̟̽t̶͍̍...
- Warty: H̸U̷M̷A̵N̶.̶.̸.̵ ̷is̸ ̵mo̵u̷rn̷i̷ng?
- Weddell: H̵u̸m̵a̶n̵ ̸f̸r̴i̵e̷n̸d̶ ̶l̶o̶s̷t̵ ̸h̷o̵m̵e̸.
- Weddell: B̸u̶t̸ ̷s̶t̵i̸l̷l̸ ̷v̵i̴s̸i̷t̴,̵ ̶t̸o̸ ̷h̶o̵n̶o̸r̶ ̶l̴o̵s̸t̸ ̴p̴l̶a̵c̷e̴.
- Blackfin: O̷H̵ NOU̸.....
- Warty: I̶s̶ ̸h̸u̸m̷a̷n̴ ̷S̵A̵D̶? H̶u̶m̴a̶n̴ ̸w̷i̵l̶l̷ ̴C̸R̶Y̸?
- Blackfin: N̸e̴w̵b̴i̷e̴ ̴M̴e̷i̸M̴e̷i̸...
- Blackfin: Is on̸l̴y̷ ̵o̸n̵e̴ ̷k̴e̵e̶p̶i̴n̶g̷ ̷c̶o̵m̷p̷a̴n̶y̷.
- Weddell: O̴̠̓H̴̳̔...
- Meimona: (It's working! I think they're believing it!)
- Nino: (Yes, yes!)
- Nino: (Wait, crap, we're supposed to look sad.)
Mei and Nino: Work your magic.
- Meimona: Ahem...
- Meimona: Humans pay their respects by revisiting old memories, right?
- Nino: Yeah...
- Nino: Man, you really understand me, even though you're a winged.
- Nino: Why, you even invited your two others friends to join us...
- Nino: I'm truly blessed that I won't have to mourn all alone for once.
- Meimona: It's okay, little guy, me and the bros will keep you company!
- Meimona: And then you can cry aaaall you want, okay!
- Meimona: I'll wipe your tears with me kerchief all lovingly so!
- Nino: (Wha... hey now, you're getting carried away.)
- Meimona: (Eeeh, really? You look like you're having fun, though!)
- Nino: (I'm trying really hard not to smile.)
- Nino: (And you're not making it easy.)
- Meimona: (Nono, it's working 'cause it looks like a sad smile!)
- Warty: W̸A̶A̷A̴H̷! M̵e̵i̶!
- Warty: W̸e̵ ̸he̴l̸p̶! ̵We̸ HEL̶P!
- Weddell: M̷e̸i̷ ̵a̵n̴d ̶f̸r̵i̴e̷n̶d̸s̶s...
- Weddell: P̶l̶e̵a̴s̵e̶ ̷k̷e̷e̵p ̶l̴o̷n̶e̴l̴y̷ ̵h̶u̶m̵a̵n ̸c̶o̸m̸p̶a̵n̵y̴.
- Blackfin: Y̸e̴s̶! T̸e̶l̴l ̴h̷u̴m̶a̴n..̵. ̴D̶E̷A̸T̵H i̴s ̴no̶t E̴N̸D̶!
- Warty: H̵u̴m̴a̵n̵'̸s̴ ̷S̴A̶D̸ ̵m̸e̴m̷o̶r̷y̶...
- Warty: V̶e̵r̶y̶ ̵S̴A̵D.
- Warty: B̷u̸t̸ ̶m̷u̵s̷t̵ ̴k̸e̵e̸p̶ ̵h̶u̴m̴a̵n̵ ̶m̴o̸v̷i̷n̶g̷ ̶f̷o̶r̸w̴a̶r̵d.
- Meimona: Wow, ummm, really!?
- Meimona: So you guys are saying...
- Meimona: You'll help us visit his sad little home one last time?
- Warty: Y̸E̴S̶! ̵We̸ HEL̶P!
- Meimona: Aww, you're so understanding!
- Meimona: Thank you so much!
- Nino: Thank you so much!
He has also asked you to prepare well for your trip, but to try to travel light.
It's a small boat, so take only the essentials, Warty mimes to Mei.
Wonderful. That's exactly how you were planning to travel.
But how about the return trip, the rest of the Patrol ask.
They all say that they must stay in Icicle Bay until the memorial ends.
Well, just come for me after the memorial, Mei says.
- Nino: So as long as you're able to get back here on time,
- Nino: There'd be nothing suspicious about this story.
- Nino: And nothing suspicious about none of us being on the island!
- Meimona: Yup!
- Nino: And only you need to return to the patrol, so...
- Nino: My presence won't be needed after everything's said and done, right?
- Nino: I have nothing to do with you guys, after all!
- Meimona: Oh... I guess so.
- Meimona: Um, let's think about that when the time comes.
- Nino: That's good, it works out better than I thought.
- Nino: But there's something I'm wondering...
- Nino: Why did you ask only me to come along, Mei?
- Nino: Do you have some kind of issue with Aria or Reed?
- Meimona: Oh, no, nothing like that!
- Meimona: But well, Nino, why did you ask only me to talk to the patrol?
- Nino: Uh... don't answer my question with a question.
- Meimona: It's okay! The answer to your question is the same as mine.
- Nino: Huh...?
- Meimona: So just think about it, and maybe you'll get it!
- Nino: ...So in other words, you're not going to actually answer.
- Meimona: Nope! Imma go tell everyone the good news instead!
- Meimona: Last one there's a rotten egg!
- Nino: Hey, wait!
Meimona: Run off.
You don't like how dodgy that felt, but whatever!
As long as you've got this sorted, it doesn't matter.
Nino: Rejoin everyone for Check #5.
You actually have no idea what's left to check.
How about a head-count?
But you already know that it's only the four of you!
Oh no, wait, there's five of you now!
Or, uhm... wait... uhh...
That's 1, 2, 3, 4, plus Five, and... 6, 7. Hmm.
- Nino: Hey... do we really have to take this bark and meow?
- Meimona: Huh? Of course we do!
- Aria: Y-you want me to leave Ludwig here? But...
- Meimona: I don't know about the doggy,
- Meimona: But the meow, at least, is coming with!
- Nino: I'm trying to get a head-count here.
- Nino: For people, it's just us four, and Five.
- Nino: Which is already plenty crowded.
- Aria: I don't know about leaving him behind...
- Aria: Are you okay with it, boy?
- Ludwig: Bark. Bork.
- Aria: R-really?
- Reed: Uh. Does he mind?
- Reed: He looks like he doesn't mind.
- Aria: Oh no...
- Reed: So he does mind...?
- Aria: No... he doesn't...
- Aria: He doesn't mind at all.
- Meimona: Oh? Then what's the problem?
- Aria: He doesn't mind leaving me... oh no...
- Aria: You don't like me, Ludwig...?
- Aria: You want me to leave you?
- Ludwig: BARK BORK BARK-
- Aria: Oh, okay, so you don't!
- Ludwig: BARK!!!
- Aria: Hahah! Sorry, sorry! I got the wrong idea, haha!
Ludwig could be useful for carrying Five around. So far, no one on this island has questioned his presence. They're probably used to seeing weird things like the diverse sea-folk, and it certainly helps that Ludwig already tends to behave himself.
What a well-trained dog he is.
As for Boyfriend, he's... well...
He's not trained to do much.
In fact, he might not be trained at all.
But he's a cat.
A cute cat.
Let's not say no to his power of raising group morale.
Nino: Wrap this up.
Nino: Who dares interrupt thee!?
- ???: I apologize, it was not my intention to disrupt you all...
- Meimona: Oooh! Hi Lacia!
- Meimona: Guys, this is a good pal of mine around these parts!
- Meimona: Everyone, say hi!
- Five: Hello!!!
- Lacia: Hello, little one.
- Nino: Uh... wait.
- Nino: W-were you watching us!?
- Lacia: Oh my, not at all!
You've briefly met this mermaid lady before when you were with Meimona!
She resides in one of the houses here.
- Lacia: But pardon me...
- Lacia: I wished to exchange some words with you much earlier.
- Lacia: However, it seems that I could not find a delicate way to reach your ears.
- Lacia: So I was forced to seek you out in such a discreet manner.
- Nino: Erm. What.
- Reed: You mean...
- Reed: Things were too chaotic for you to approach us before?
- Aria: Oh, that must've been when everyone was crowding around Mei yesterday!
- Lacia: Ah...! Yes, that was it.
- Meimona: What eloquent words, so succinctly summarized by our homeboy.
- Lacia: Please pardon the disruption!
- Aria: It's fine, Miss!
- Aria: Your manners do more than make up for it, I say.
- Lacia: Thank you for your understanding.
- Meimona: Go ahead, Lacie! What can I do for ya?
- Lacia: Oh, my business is not with you.
- Lacia: It is with the human who accompanied you prior.
- Meimona: Huh? Wait, you wanna talk to... him?
- Lacia: Certainly!
- Lacia: The young hero, with the azure eyes.
- Lacia: A word, if I may?