- Nino: You're more perceptive than I thought.
- Nino: Are you... hurt?
- Aria: ...I'm a little upset, I admit.
- Aria: But I'm not hurt.
- Aria: I'm worried.
- Aria: You make me worry so much, Nino.
- Nino: What...?
- Nino: ...What are you talking about?
- Aria: You want me to help, but...
- Aria: You won't even talk to me first.
- Aria: Instead, you thought of all this trickery.
Aria: Wait, what does Nino not recognize?
Not of you, but of himself.
He really doesn't see how bad it is.
- Aria: I'm not the one who wasn't able to trust the other party.
- Aria: I'm not the one who felt the need to manipulate, just to get what I want.
- Aria: So... why would I be the hurt one here?
- Aria: That was all you.
- Aria: Why was this your first thought, rather than taking anyone's input?
- Aria: Isn't acting like that... really lonely?
- Aria: Aren't you hurt, Nino?
Aria: This isn't the Nino who gave you hope and saved your life. It's like there are two of them.
Nino is Nino.
The fact that he's beginning to show a different side of himself doesn't suddenly make him someone else. It also doesn't erase what good you've previously seen from him, and you certainly will not forget it so soon - even if he has.
With or without memories, he is still the same person.
That's why, you believe he can come to understand his mistake.
- Nino: Hurt...? No, I'm just being careful.
- Nino: I... took the method that ensured you wouldn't refuse.
- Aria: But you haven't even tried asking.
- Aria: I don't think that's careful. It's closer to paranoid.
- Aria: And you are most certainly hurting yourself with it.
- Aria: So instead... would you talk to me?
- Aria: Can you tell me why your first thought was to go behind our backs?
- Nino: ...
- Aria: ...It's okay, if you don't want to discuss it.
- Aria: I meant it when I said that I won't refuse to help.
- Aria: You can use me. Really.
- Nino: Why...?
- Nino: Even though... you correctly guessed everything,
- Nino: You'll still go along with it?
- Aria: Yes. I don't want to refuse someone as sad as you.
- Nino: ...Sad? Excuse me?
- Aria: I meant what I said.
- Aria: Your first thought was manipulation.
- Aria: I think that is very sad.
Nino: The path of manipulation will not work here, but an honest answer might.
And, "use me", she says. That's convenient for you, isn't it?
Does that mean your work here has succeeded?
If so, then what about her?
Why can she smile so, despite the position she places herself in?
Reed: Attempt to listen in.
- Meimona: Reed?
- Meimona: What are you doing there?
- Reed: Uh.
- Reed: *Cough*.
- Reed: Just existing.
- Meimona: Oh... are you eavesdropping!?
- Five: Reed, that's bad!
- Five: Sis told Five so! No sneaking!
- Reed: God dammit.
- Reed: Leave me alone, you children.
- Meimona: Woah, I'm not a child!
- Meimona: And you don't talk to the super-boss this way!
- Reed: Shut it! You're so loud.
- Meimona: So you're that worried, huh?
- Reed: ...About what.
- Meimona: Um, the obvious elephants outside the room, duh.
- Meimona: You don't have to pretend to be a stoic brick wall all the time.
- Meimona: I'm worried too! It's okay to admit it, see?
- Five: Mei... Mei?
- Five: There's an ELEPHANT outside!?
- Reed: Um.
- Meimona: Oops.
Mei: Attempt an explanation.
- Meimona: Actually... yes, Five!
- Five: Whoa!!
- Meimona: There's two of them, in fact!
- Five: WHOAAA!
- Reed: Dude... what are you doing.
- Five: Let's go outside!!!
- Five: Five wants to see the elephants!
- Meimona: Nuh-uh, sorry! But no can do, boss.
- Meimona: They're discussing top-secret stuff, you see.
- Five: Oh...
- Five: So Five can't listen to it?
- Meimona: Nope!
- Meimona: But, you know what?
- Meimona: I don't think either of the elephants is a bad guy!
- Meimona: So we shouldn't eavesdrop on them, even if we can.
- Five: Oh... okay! Five understands!
- Five: Five... will respect elephants!
- Five: But Five thinks, Five will have a secret meeting too...
- Five: With doggy and kitty!
- Ludwig: Bork?
- Boyfriend: Mrow!?
Super-boss: Have secret meeting with new subordinates.
- Meimona: Well... how about it?
- Meimona: Did you get what I'm trying to say?
- Reed: ...You're putting your blind trust in someone you just met.
- Meimona: Hmm, time doesn't really matter to the point I'm making.
- Meimona: C'mere, that's not how you deal with your worrying, Reed.
- Reed: Wha- stop it, hey!
- Reed: Don't pull!
- Meimona: C'mon! Quit standing by the door like a creep!
- Meimona: You don't snoop on people you trust! Alright?
- Reed: ...Look.
- Reed: That guy's only thinking of himself.
- Reed: I don't understand what else the manipulation was for.
- Meimona: Emm, I'm not so sure about that.
- Meimona: Didn't you want to leave soon, too?
- Reed: Uh.
- Reed: It would be favorable for me, sure...
- Reed: But I'm definitely not on board with forcing it.
- Meimona: Oh! so if I'm getting this right...
- Meimona: It's less about how Nino's plan sounds risky,
- Meimona: And more about his treatment of Aria?
- Reed: ...
- Meimona: C'mon, don't you know how trust works?
- Meimona: Trusting someone means I won't care what happens behind closed doors...
- Meimona: Because I believe they'll be the same as ever.
- Reed: It's not like I don't want to trust Nino.
- Reed: Even though he was incredibly insulting.
- Reed: But, considering the way Aria is...
- Reed: ...Meh.
- Meimona: Ahh, no no, when you let your worry get the best of you,
- Meimona: And you try to verify your trust with sneaky ways like this...
- Meimona: You become what ruins it in the first place.
- Meimona: Because snooping and trusting someone don't go hand in hand!
- Meimona: More like fist to fist!
- Reed: What are you rambling about...
- Meimona: Hehe!
- Meimona: I'm not saying that I'll follow Nino blindly, either.
- Meimona: I definitely wanna hear more details from him first!
- Meimona: But, for now...
- Meimona: I'm saying that letting those two talk alone is a part of trusting them.
- Meimona: I trust the Nino I know, who often misspeaks, but ultimately means well,
- Meimona: To be planning things with our benefit in mind.
- Meimona: But, if you don't trust Nino in the way I do...
- Meimona: Then what about Aria?
- Meimona: What do you trust the Aria you know for?
- Reed: ...
Might be easily swayed into doing something against her wishes. Right?
Somehow, that doesn't seem entirely correct.
Even after a life lived in fear of monsterkind, she still decided to dedicate her efforts towards saving one of those very people - no matter how much you criticized her decision in your first meeting.
Sometimes she's worryingly careless when it comes to herself, but she's always so tender with others. She also has this ridiculous super power of recognizing people's intentions, and acting accordingly.
Right, she's headstrong in her own way.
After all, she's gotten through to you in such little time.
Nino: Attempt to be more honest.
You're not in the wrong. You just did what made sense.
It's reasonable to keep your guard up, to remain safe even in the worst scenario possible, right? And ultimately, you're not going to cause her harm.
So why does it feel like you're in the wrong?
- Nino: ...Um.
- Nino: I didn't think I'd hear this kind of response.
- Nino: I... didn't actually intend to hurt you.
- Aria: ...So I wasn't supposed to have realized this?
- Aria: Was I supposed to be ignorant in following you,
- Aria: Since you don't believe I'd agree to your request if you asked directly?
- Aria: But to assume that without even trying... isn't it a little unfair?
- Nino: ...I just thought that...
- Nino: If I end up getting the best outcome anyway,
- Nino: Then the way I accomplished it wouldn't matter.
- Nino: ...Even if it was a bit dishonest.
- Aria: If "ultimately", you didn't mean to hurt me...
- Aria: To you... the end justifies your means?
- Aria: "If we end up happy, then it doesn't matter if the path was thorny."
- Aria: Is it like that?
- Nino: ...That's not wrong.
- Nino: I know the risks. I really will keep all of us safe.
- Nino: And in the end, we'd both reach a good result with everyone else...
- Nino: By then, there'll be nothing that hurts you.
- Aria: No... That's not good, Nino.
- Aria: If you have to be dishonest to reach a good result...
- Aria: Then you're hurting yourself.
- Aria: You might think it to be in the majority's favor to do this,
- Aria: But isn't the path towards a good result important, as well?
- Aria: You say that if we follow you in ignorance, we'll end up in a good place.
- Aria: But if you guide us with lies...
- Aria: Your part in this good end will be muddied and questionable.
- Aria: Letting doubt and lies lead your way... is unfair to yourself.
- Aria: So I don't like it.
She's so unafraid to trust you and the others. Does she not feel any danger?
Or... to her, does the benefit of trust outweigh the risk?
- If you leave everything up to such people...
- It'll only end badly for them.
- They follow you, but you do not follow them.
- Aria: Nino, depend on me, so I can depend on you too.
- Aria: Would it really be that bad if we worked together?
- Aria: Really, it's okay to be honest with me. I'd prefer that much more.
- Aria: I swear that I'll be honest with you in turn, too...
- Nino: ...
- Nino: Can I really trust you?
- Aria: Yes.
- Nino: But...
- Nino: ...Agh! Forget it.
- Nino: That was such a pointless question.
- Aria: Why is that so?
- Nino: Because... you don't outright ask someone something like this!
- Nino: Then they can just tell you want you want to hear.
- Nino: It's like friendships, right?
- Nino: You don't ask someone, "can we be friends".
- Nino: You just become friends naturally.
- Nino: There's no official process for these kinds of things.
Aria: Kill 'em with kindness?
- Aria: Oh, is that how it is for other people? Hehehe, interesting!
- Nino: W-what's so funny about that?
- Aria: Well, I asked that exact question to the only friend I... used to have.
- Aria: Um, Kotori... if you remember her.
- Aria: I really trusted her, and considered her my closest friend.
- Nino: ...
- Aria: So I think I am one of the people who do act this way!
- Aria: I'm not proud of it... unfortunately, I'm so obvious about everything.
- Aria: It's probably why Reed always calls me a bad liar.
- Aria: But because of that, when you ask if you can trust me...
- Aria: Then, all I'm giving you are real answers.
- Aria: You can at least trust that I'm not a good liar, if it helps!
- Aria: This might be the only time I feel thankful for this flaw.
- Nino: Uh, I... I'm sorry.
- Nino: I didn't think about how you'd feel at all.
- Nino: Because I thought you just won't notice.
- Aria: Oh... I know I said I'm not hurt, so it's okay...
- Aria: But I guess I'm glad to receive an apology after all.
- Nino: Why do you still prioritize my wellbeing over your feelings?
- Nino: ...Even though you'd be right to hate me.
- Aria: Um... I don't want to hate you.
- Aria: Compared to you, I think I'm lucky.
- Aria: The others sympathize with me.
- Aria: But when you act like this, they're going to be against you, you know?
- Aria: Like this, you'd only be isolated...
- Nino: You're worried more about me than yourself.
- Nino: That's not a good thing.
- Aria: Well...
- Aria: You're not worried about doing things that hurt you at all.
- Aria: So if I don't worry about you, who will?
- Nino: ...This is insane, I...
- Nino: I can't accept this kindness.
- Nino: Aria, I...
"I only have myself."
- Nino: ...I have no right to it.
- Aria: Huh? That's a strange thing to hear.
- Aria: Who decided that?
- Nino: That's... well...
- Aria: Isn't it me that decides who I want to be kind to?
- Aria: This is the one thing you can't force me to do, so don't worry.
- Aria: It's my choice...
- Aria: I'll deal with the consequences of it myself.
- Aria: So... I'm here if you want someone to be honest with.
- Nino: ...Aria.
- Nino: Seriously... you're making yourself so easy to use.
- Aria: Oh... then will you try to trick me again?
- Aria: Please don't do that! You don't need a trick for me to agree.
- Nino: ...
- Aria: You can simply be honest.
- Aria: I promise that I'll extend you my understanding, as much as I can.
- Nino: No, you don't get it!
- Nino: If you make yourself so open like that, you're gonna get taken advantage of!
- Nino: But... okay.
- Nino: I'll think about it, okay?
- Nino: So no more worrying about me from your side, okay!?
- Nino: You... you...
- Nino: Augh! You should worry about yourself too!
- Aria: Hehe, okay, okay! I promise that I will!
Nino: Inform the others.
- Reed: Huh... really?
- Nino: Yes. We're really going.
- Reed: ...Are you really sure about this, Aria?
- Aria: Yeah! I'm fine with it.
- Aria: Are you... worried about me?
- Reed: What? No, no... I was just checking.
- Reed: This doesn't mean anything to me anyways.
- Reed: It's good enough if it means I'm not delayed in going home...
- Aria: Yes!
- Aria: I won't hold you guys back at all.
- Reed: ...
- Meimona: (Ooh, see, Reed?)
- Meimona: (Maybe this is gonna be okay like I said!)
- Reed: (If Nino makes her regret this, I'm kicking the crap out of him.)
- Meimona: (Um.)
- Meimona: (Wow.)
- Meimona: (Very violent...)
- Meimona: (...But I think I'd join you on it.)
- Aria: So, to summarize...
- Aria: Nino wants to recover his memories.
- Aria: And, there's a chance that simply being in the monster world could do it!
- Aria: Right?
- Nino: ...Yes.
- Reed: How can you be so sure of that?
But on second thought, nope. Not at all.
That wasn't the reason, you see. In a way, your dream was only a reminder, and so, you won't give it more credit than it deserves.
Also, you are not telling him about it, or anyone else for that matter.
Super-boss: Secretly finish secret meeting.
- Nino: ...It's my logical conclusion.
- Nino: I went to the monster world out of my own accord.
- Nino: And, the things I forgot were all events related to that world.
- Nino: Therefore, retracing my steps is a move in the right direction.
- Nino: But if I happen to never recover anything... you guys will still benefit.
- Nino: Reed gets to reach his home sooner,
- Nino: And we get to pursue Five's lab origins with safer odds.
- Aria: Huh? It's going to be safer?
- Nino: Yeah. The whole reason for the docks closing is that workers, including most guards, get a break leading up to the memorial after tomorrow.
- Meimona: I see! It's good for us if there's fewer eyes around, huh.
- Nino: Furthermore.
- Nino: Passing Five to our destination through the monster world is safer for her.
- Meimona: Eh... there's more...?
- Nino: Going by ship ultimately means having to pass through official check ups.
- Nino: During which, Five's disguise might be discovered.
- Nino: But this way, we ensure that we reach the capital with less risk of that.
- Aria: Oh, I see...
- Meimona: Huh. So you did think this through better than I thought.
- Meimona: Atta boy, I guess!
- Nino: Hey! I'm not taking that as a compliment.
- Nino: It just means you should think higher of me.
- Meimona: Wahahahahahah!
- Nino: Don't laugh! That wasn't a joke!
- Meimona: Well well, I don't mind this arrangement!
- Meimona: Human world or monster world, no one there bats an eye at a winged.
- Meimona: I'm on board if you all are!
- Aria: I agreed prior...
- Aria: And the explanation does make me feel more secure in my choice.
- Nino: Great! So that just leaves...
- Reed: ...
Reed: First things first.
Worrying about others is acceptable, but not when it interferes on the trust you place in them, and on respecting their wishes. Yes, even if you happen to disagree with their choices. God dammit. But it's fine. You can deal with it.
If this is the case, then...
There's a better way to remove your worries about everyone following this bloke.
- Reed: Look, wannabe-leader.
- Reed: As long as you don't fuck up, I don't care.
- Reed: I have all the tools to plan out a cross-barrier travel route.
- Reed: But if you want to lead us, then act like you're worth following.
- Nino: Uh. That's a given.
- Nino: As a leader, I give you my word here that I won't let harm touch any of you if I have a say about it.
- Reed: You better not be lying.
- Reed: I'm gonna hold you to it.
- Nino: Do what you want.
You just have to make sure that nothing goes wrong...
And that this guy doesn't get off easily with any half-assed ideas.
Party: Prepare as a team.
- Reed: Normally, I'm always a well-prepared guy.
- Reed: Even if my first plan fails, there's always a back up.
- Reed: A second, a third, a fourth...
- Reed: Up to a fifth back up plan at minimum.
- Reed: Heck, that's why I'm even able to cross the barrier without any fear.
- Reed: It's because I've always done things as I calculated.
- Reed: But yesterday, facing that pirate with you guys...
- Reed: That was the first time I'd been without a single plan to fall back on.
- Reed: It sucked.
- Reed: How do you all just stumble into stupid bullshit and hope to survive?
- Aria: It's because Nino saved us back there!
- Meimona: Hate to admit it, but... yeah? Very coolishly so.
- Nino: Ha, well, it's a given that I would.
- Reed: Sure, sure...
- Reed: We're in your debt, or whatever it is your ego wants to hear.
- Reed: But it's not always going to work out that well.
- Reed: So if we're travelling together, then I want to have plans.
- Nino: Leave it to me.
- Nino: If we know what each person's good at, we'll have an easier time.
- Reed: ...Sure.
- Reed: You better give us a solid plan for this crap.
- Reed: If you do, I'm willing to help.
- Reed: Otherwise, you can just fuck right off.
- Nino: Heh, okay, sure.
- Nino: If you'll still act like I haven't thought this through...
- Nino: Then let's see how capable we all are when we're together.
Aria and Solis are the most patient people in this stink comic
and that's why we love them
i think aria is a good deal more patient cause solis does get fed up with some people>
Party of Flunkies: Work together to close the gaps in the plan, and protect the Super-Boss. Make sure to work together tightly so nothing goes wrong.
Nino: You gonna act like less of a tool now?
Every tribute to PUNS only makes me mightier, I bless all who bring me offerings.
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.
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.
Aria: Especially steer clear of Red Tulip Town since pretty much everyone there knows you, Nino, and Five. Also, since you can't lie to save your life, your might wanna stay quiet. Only you, Reed, and Nino need to stay disguised, so as long as you don't get hurt, your illusions will stay intact.
Mei: Your luck will naturally bring you guys good opportunities, but you should also stay quiet since you know next to nothing on the monster world.
Party: Well, now there's the hard part; Reed can find you all a rift in the barrier, but all of said rifts are over a bunch of water and the dock is closed. How're you gonna get a boat?
Nino: Ask for a favor.
No one can escape from aggressively honest friend therapy!
Aria is capable of generating illusions but it seems like her true gift is seeing through them. Further she has the grace to trust in spite of them. I think she's becoming my favorite character.
Idk if it's okay to ask this question but I might as well is Nino the only person to be able to bring up a menu as if he was inside of a video game? Or does everyone have this which would be odd since there was a part menu that only specific characters could fit in. (Five despite not being a "Party Member" follows the group and taking Nino away from his dream with Past Nino does seem VERY suspicious to me)
In-universe, Nino is the only one able to see these that we know of, but there are 3 other candidates who have the potential, Suvillan, Ruit, and Kaji. The first 2 are princes and respective leaders with parties of their own, and Kaji has the Sea Patrol. Nino seems to be the only one aware of wider things, but everyone has an inventory. In Icicle Bay, we could select the party order and could move Meimona, but it is unknown if Nino could. Apparently, Non-party members are counted as companions when checking the wiki, (under Stats for some reason) and they stand for non-party members which travel with the group, so Five would be here, along with Ludwig, Boyfriend, and potentially E1dolon. Nino is the most aware if it so far.
Like a video game, the menus aren't really tangible. I'll try to explain what they represent!
Leaders have special insight and control over the people they lead. This is represented as a party with one leader. Examples of party leaders are Nino, Ruit, and Suvillan.
The leaders don't magically know others' information (stats) because they're leaders, but the other way around. They're able to lead everyone because they managed to gain knowledge of these details, whether from inference, observing their party members, or just the members sharing this information outright. The leader is trusted to analyze members' points, strengths and weaknesses, and come up with plans for the party based on that.
So in our video-gamey vision, we see the leaders' analysis represented as a menu. But in reality, it's not that Nino literally has video-game-like insight with a real menu. In-universe, it's a way of communicating what's known of a member's details, capabilities, and growth.
Cont'd, hope I'm not confusing...
The distinction between a companion and a party member is to differentiate their roles in the group. Party members are generally in a position of protecting the companions. If this were a game, you'd see it as party members being the characters you can use in a fight/encounter, and someone like Five is a tag-along who isn't part of these activities. Companions get led by the party & assist externally.
So it doesn't mean anything negative that Five can still follow Nino without being a party member - she's his companion! Same as Ludwig for Aria's, and Boyfriend for Mei's companion. Reed also has Eidolon, although she's not accompanying him currently!
In-universe, they're not seen anything different or more special from what they appear as. Aria/Mei's pets, Reed's little sister, etc. The video-gamey mechanics serve in representing a distinction for the reader's vision of the story, but are not literal to the characters in it.
Incredible. Aria just had to treat Nino like a mother would treat a schoolboy in need of a scolding and he’s back to abnormal. I’m genuinely impressed.
Oh right, Nino: We’re all Proud of you, you changed for the better so easily after a simple conversation, but that doesn’t mean you can escape the consequences of your actions. You clearly changed after that conversation with yourself in your dream, and you could easily change once again. You treated people who you once called your friends terribly, and you manipulated Aria using her fears, you can’t continue like this. We need to talk, or at least think. You’re in a strange period of your life where the world seems simultaneously grand and simple to you, and you could get hurt, or worse, do something you’ll regret for the rest of your life. And if you won’t talk, than just be careful, OK? Look out for the others more at least to make up for it…
Aria: You’re a good, courageous girl… and the fruits of your acts showed multiple times. But you shouldn’t put yourself at risk or use for someone who treats you like this, no matter who they are or what they did. For Five, if not yourself.
Mei: You’re incredibly gifted, and have a good heart, but you can’t risk trusting others all the time, Nino had no right to act the way he did.
Reed: Nino has acted splendidly multiple times, but you shouldn’t let him always lead the way. It’s easy for you to talk honestly, but you need to act with integrity as well.
Nino: At the very least, you have companions who may remind you of yourself. A woman filled with kindness and courage for all she meets, a spiritual hound who serves those whom he cares about with what he believes, a heavenly scion who has the blessing to bring hope through her natural gifts in situations she stumbles upon, an angelic cat with an independent streak, a man who plans and plots, helping others upon the way, and a girl who seems small, but has many stories to tell. Even a rejected guide who still seeks to guide others in any way he can. They’ve all lost something, so be gentle with their hearts, lest they lose more.
What a beautiful series of comments.
Yeah, the tribute and the comment about about how Nino being an abnormal child was really poetic.
i love this update so much>
also one of my commands was used and that's just neat to see>
Thanks for submitting it!
I kind of wish I had delayed in submitting to the character popularity poll now; Aria has just moved up in my rankings.
I figured doing them during ongoing updates might not be the most accurate, as favorites can fluctuate like this. So for the next ones I do, I'll be fitting them in between small breaks between the end of a chapter to the start of a new chapter!
> Nino: Consider telling the party about your self-harm trump card
been keeping up with the comic for a month or so after finding and binging it, finally decided to make a comment.
all of the last few updates have been absolute god tier so looking forward to the next one
I've said it before, and I'll say it once again. I genuinely believe Nino is or was a Winged.
Yeah there's not enough solid evidence indicating he was, but there are just so many similarities with how he acts and how Kaji says winged acts, and how we've seen Corona act. While this kind of behavior is far from impossible for humans to display, it's just more in line with how Winged try to gain favor/following from anyone through any means. I may be remembering wrong, but Corona flat out says "yo im literally using you lol". This mirrors it, almost.. with Aria(Suvillan) calling Nino out and revealing she knows Nino is manipulating her, as opposed to Nino(Corona) being transparent with it.
I have no explanation for why he has no wings nor halo (i believe if they lose their halo they die? bad memory) but I'm sticking with my guns. He's a winged. He lost his wings and somehow lost his halo and memories like Kaji. He's so willing to manipulate and use people because that's what winged DO
Winged are not inherently manipulative. The majority learn to act this way because of necessity, and the surrounding competitive environment in the overworld. There is no reason that a human, monster, or even celestial can't simply be manipulative for their own reasons, except on a level unaffected by the factors exclusive to the winged (wishes, divinity).
You noted a very good parallel between the pairs there, though.
You make fair points. I do have smol brain syndrome sometimes.
The parallel, while it does exist, isn't really evidence enough to prove my point though either. D'aw well.
But Nino has a healing ability, human/monster type, not a winged agility like MeiMei’s, Kaji’s, or Corona’s.
my goodness this update was a rollercoaster of emotions