- 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: ...
But not THIS guy.
Party: GET FREE STUFF HURRY
Nino: Enter Lacia's house.
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.
Of the party, you can assign each item taken to yourself, Aria, and to Mei.
Nino: Examine ITEM #1.
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.
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.
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.
You're not sure what use it could have.
Nino: Examine ITEM #6.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Now then, of this vast selection, what shall you pick?