- Reed: Then, you're sure you don't know what the festivity down there is for.
- Aria: No, it doesn't ring any bells.
- Reed: God, and here I thought you were poking fun at the kid.
- Aria: ??
- Reed: Tonight happens to be two days before a worldwide holiday.
- Reed: A holiday for monsters, I mean.
- Reed: It will be their ruler's birthday.
- Five: !!
- Aria: H-huh!
- Five: A birthday party!!
- Five: Five was right!
- Reed: You sure were.
- Five: Five wins!!
- Reed: Don't forget to pester your friend for a prize later.
- Five: Yes!!
- Five: A victory prize! :D
- Aria: H-hey!
- Reed: Better not be a sore loser, c'mon.
- Aria: D:
- Reed: So,
- Reed: The vast majority of the population congregates in the royal marshes down there.
- Reed: That's where the festivities happen.
- Reed: Every year, they hold what is probably the biggest, most obnoxious birthday celebration party anyone has ever had in history, for the prince.
- Reed: It also happens that the workers and guards all around the world begin a two day holiday break in order to prepare for the celebration, specifically starting from tonight.
- Reed: I'm sure you get it now.
- Reed: That period of off-duty makes areas located farther from the royal marshes extra safe, for...
- Reed: You know, us humans.
- Reed: And it's exactly why I would've thought you planned to go today.
- Reed: The extra safety is why I'm here myself today of all days, even.
- Aria: Whoa...
- Aria: No, I didn't think of that at all!
- Reed: I thought you'd know about the festival, living here and all that.
- Aria: Well, actually... I do!
- Aria: It just didn't cross my mind until you mentioned it now!
- Reed: Jeez, really.
- Aria: Yes! I really thought it couldn't be a birthday...
- Reed: You're saying this very perfect setup was just a big, convenient coincidence, then?
- Aria: I-I mean, it's a celebration for monsters!
- Aria: Not something I've ever endangered myself to attend.
- Aria: So I don't have the date marked on my mind or anything..
- Aria: You see, tonight was, um, eventful!
- Aria: I had no time to think about anything, really.
- Aria: But now that I can sit and think about it, it feels like it is around the time that Koto-
- Aria: U-um, around the time that the royal guards start their break.
- Aria: And um, the businesses, stores, and shops in the town I lived in would close up.
- Reed: ...I guess that's just some luckily nice timing on your part, then.
- Aria: Y-yeah!
- Aria: Well, let's make the best of it!
- Aria: So what do I need to do now? What’s next?
- Aria: I'm just about ready to take on ANYTHING!
- Reed: Nothing, chill out.
- Reed: We’re all done.
- Aria: Oh...!
- Reed: Well, you are.
- Reed: Me, I just have to find the rift.
- Aria: R-rift? Then...
Seeing it up close, it lives up to its reputation. That thing doesn't look crossable at all! Crossable may or may not be a word you've invented just now to describe it. But it must be possible to cross, if all the rumors you've heard about rifts are true.
So pitch-black and eerie, it's hardly visible that something's there at all. From a distance it's basically invisible, as if the vast stretch of terrain was suddenly absorbed into darkness.
Time is the natural enemy of all things with lasting effects.
And so, slowly but surely, the barrier has weakened enough for parts of it to periodically rip open, creating small openings which people call rifts. No human or monster can force the barrier open, only through these naturally occurring rifts does anyone have a chance of crossing over to the other side.
- Reed: It should be somewhere around here.
- Reed: Between the piles of rocks bordering the barrier, I'd hope.
- Aria: That's kind of vague...
- Reed: I haven't pinpointed it yet.
- Reed: It would be hard to find a rift just by looking.
- Aria: B-but wait, don't the rifts close up?
- Aria: How are we going to find it before that happens!
- Aria: I really really don't want to miss this chance...!
- Reed: Oh, don't worry, I have a,
- Reed: Uh. Detector.
- Aria: In your arm... Thingy?
- Reed: Yes.
- Reed: It's made specifically for finding rifts.
- Reed: Gonna save us some trouble.
- Aria: Whoa, that’s useful!
- Aria: And it sounds possibly, um, dangerous?
- Aria: I mean, if it fell in the wrong hands...
- Reed: That's because it is.
- Reed: Or it would be, if were in anyone else's hands.
- Reed: But I'm the only person alive who has such a thing.
- Aria: Oh, whew.
- Reed: What, you're not even gonna say "thank god it's in responsible hands"?
- Aria: Well... No!
- Aria: Let me guess, you didn't even make it, did you?
- Reed: No.
- Aria: Yeah, so I don't feel like praising you!
- Aria: I figure it's something from, umm, headquarters?
- Reed: Yeah.
- Aria: Then I will be sure to give them all the praise!
- Reed: Eh... Sure.
And also because it is an effort that deserves applaud, as always.
- Aria: Hey, so, hypothetically speaking...
- Aria: If there was another human who crossed the barrier like you do,
- Aria: How would they have done it without a device like this?
- Reed: Anyone who happens to find a rift can just cross through it.
- Reed: I guess they'll need to be lucky enough to find one in the first place.
- Reed: Or unlucky enough, depending on how you look at it.
- Aria: Huh, I see...
- Aria: Wow, all the little devices you have sure do make it much safer and easier.
- Reed: They sure do.
- Reed: Although, I can't think of any good reasons that an unprepared human might voluntarily cross the barrier for.
- Reed: But why were you asking about that.
- Aria: Oh! Uh...
- Aria: I'm... Just curious! Don't worry about it!
- Aria: H-haha, so I could've just left on my own if I went and found a rift all these years, huh!
- Reed: Only if you were lucky enough to.
- Reed: They're a rarity.
Aria: Check out that cool detector!
- Aria: A-anyway, how can you find a rift with that detector?
- Aria: How does it work?
- Reed: Well... Uh.
- Reed: The rifts emit a warmth, so the detector searches for its heat signal, until it finds something.
- Reed: I think.
- Aria: You... Think?
- Reed: I don’t know how it exactly works.
- Reed: But it's something along those lines.
- Aria: You don't actually know how any of your technology works, do you.
- Reed: I do!
- Reed: ...Just not the little details.
- Aria: How does our own temperature not interfere with the barrier's heat signal?
- Reed: ...Errrm...
- Reed: Maybe the barrier emits a signal in a specific frequency.
- Aria: Umm... I don't think heat comes in frequencies!
- Reed: Do you even know what you're talking about any more than I do.
- Aria: Yeah! Frequencies are sound... Right?
- Reed: Then maybe it looks for sound.
- Aria: That's stupid, the barrier doesn't make any noises.
- Reed: It totally does. I can hear it right now.
- Reed: And it sounds like this: "Shut up".
- Aria: Hey!!!
- Reed: Wow, what a strange secret message, I wonder what it means.
- Aria: Well I'm just saying...
- Aria: You should at least respect who made your devices enough to learn all about them!
- Aria: That's what I would do, I think.
- Reed: No way.
- Reed: That's like reading all of an oven's manual.
- Aria: You don't do that?
- Reed: ...You don't really read the entire manual of every single thing you own, do you.
- Aria: I try to! What's wrong with that?
- Reed: God, you'd sit for a whole day reading a T&C agreement too, I bet.
- Aria: A... A what?
- Reed: Look, stuff gets me results, and that’s all that matters.
- Reed: So just give this little metal bastard some time to do its thing.
- Aria: Don't be rude to it!
- Reed: It's a thing. It has no feelings.
- Aria: But it's working so hard to help us out!
- Aria: I think I can hear a sound from it...
- Reed: That's an internal cooler.
- Reed: It's there so it doesn't overheat.
- Aria: No, that's the sound of the little detector doing its best to help us out.
- Aria: Take your time, little metal friend. :)
- Reed: :|
- Reed: By the way, I'm not sure where the rift will be.
- Reed: Hopefully it's somewhere easily accessible.
- Reed: Otherwise, we might have to dig a little if it’s buried behind rocks or something.
- Aria: Oh... N-no problem!!
- Aria: I’ll do all I can to help!
- Reed: Guess we'll see once it picks something up.
...So, two days from now is the celebration.
It sure has been one long night.
The yearly festival, for the prince's birthday. The people really adore their ruler.
You wonder if Kotori is going to be there as always. She'd definitely be gone from town around this time every year.
You close your eyes and hope that she's at least having fun right now.
That's one more memory to leave behind.
- Reed: ...
- Reed: It's almost... Hmm.
- Aria: Almost what?
- Reed: I don't want to jinx this.
- Reed: But I'll say it anyway.
- Aria: D: ?
- Reed: This is almost way too nice of a timing.
- Aria: Hey, coincidences happen all the time.
- Aria: I don't think you should worry about it?
- Reed: ...Well.
- Reed: That you'd happen to leave today,
- Reed: And that I'd happen to come here for entirely unrelated reasons,
- Reed: And that I'd run into you in such a safe place...
- Reed: I would say that's way too many favorable coincidences.
- Aria: I mean, I... I guess?
- Aria: But what's the point of saying this?
- Reed: Someone once told me,
- Reed: "If things ever line up too perfectly, that's never a good sign."
- Reed: Maybe not highlighting the coincidences would've caused us some sort of ironic doom. Or maybe, highlighting them will be the cause, instead.
- Aria: S-stooop!
- Aria: You're making me anxious for no reason!
- Reed: Ha, scaredy cat.
- Reed: I guess those words kind of stuck with me. Maybe as a bad habit.
- Aria: Well, it sounds silly to me!
- Aria: Reality doesn't work like that.
- Reed: Yeah, let's check the facts.
Reed: Fact number one.
- Reed: Since it's late now, the guards are probably done with work and just starting their break.
Reed: Fact number two.
- Reed: And the citizens are probably knee-deep in preparation for the festivities.
Reed: Fact number three.
- Reed: The majority should already be in the royal marshes for the celebration,
- Reed: So a far place like this is sure to be devoid of monsters.
- Aria: Yeah... So...
- Aria: It's safe and it's fine, see!
- Aria: Coincidence or whatever, don't mull on it for so long!
- Aria: We don't need to be unreasonably worried right now...
- Aria: And whomever told you that just sounds too suspicious for their own good!
- Reed: Mhm. You're probably right.
- Reed: We're definitely safe.
- Reed: Definitely.
- Aria: ...If you say it so confidently, I'm going to think the opposite might happen.
- Aria: Just be normal about it, not too negative, and not too sure... No, augh!
- Aria: Aaaaah, now I'm being paranoid!
- Aria: That's your fault for planting these weird ideas in my mind!
- Reed: Wow, it's so easy to mess with your head.
- Aria: Stop! This isn't a game!
- Aria: And it's not like sudden bad things happening would be anything new. :(
- Reed: Relax, it'll be fine.
- Reed: And hey,
- Reed: Here's a sudden good thing for once?
Wow, who would put up decorations that big for a birthday?... Me, actually, if you're seeing this page around the date of Oceanfalls' birthday. Happy (two days early) 4th anniversary!
Suvillan's birthday is on the same day as the anniversary (5/17), but the lining up of this update's contents with the actual date was a big big unplanned coincidence. I guess that's fitting for an update that mentions big coincidences!
damn it nights ive lost 10 dollars due to these quick updates not that i dont appreciate the fact i have more ocean falls
10 dollars, 10 bag of dorito.
Was recommended this webcomic yesterday, already read it all! Im loving it, too bad it ends here, cant wait for more!
YO CORONA HAS A HECKIN' STATUE?! I WANT ONE!
Maybe the bad coincidences are the friends we made along the way?
Reed:They know nothing, give them the knowledge required to survive.
I can feel the sass in the beep beep loser from across the screen
Wew my favorite character's birthday =DD I know this is late but happy anniversary =DD