- Aria: ..........Yes!
- Aria: Yes, I see, you are asking... Good questions.
- Aria: And me, I have... Good answers! Very.
- ???: Uh.
- ???: I really doubt that now.
- Aria: B-but!
- Aria: First, don't you think this is a dangerous spot?
- Aria: It's very open, which is very bad for us humans!
- Aria: I don't think I need to explain why that is the case... So, yeah!
- Aria: Maybe let's take some time to look for somewhere more suitable firs-
- ???: Look.
- Aria: A-aa!
- ???: I'm better equipped than you, more knowledgeable, and more resourceful.
- ???: I may as well just be better than you in every way right now.
- ???: Someone like me would never be out in the open if there was any danger.
- ???: And someone like you would do the same.
- ???: Don't play around.
- Aria: U-uuh.
- ???: But, you know what, fine.
- ???: I'll give you this one thing, just so you can't find another easy-out.
- ???: We will go somewhere more "safe", and then you will talk.
You guess your silence is now agreement to his conditions. Not like you've got much of a choice otherwise...
But he's not wrong, kind of. You did know in advance these roads should be relatively safe. After all, you were the one to direct Five and Ludwig here in the first place.
Although, you DO really think it's better to talk somewhere safer, if possible. Just as you encountered this boy out of nowhere, it could have been a monster, or worse, a GUARD-monster. At least he's listening to that request, even if he thinks it's an "easy-out".
Now, the answers. What he needs to hear to be convinced.
You take a moment to think about it, to think things all over again. You ask yourself, like he did...
"Why do you want to drag a monster kid with you?"
And you realize the mistake in the question.
The right question to ask is, why do you allow her to come with you?
And you know the answer.
It now must be worded most satisfactory and convincingly to this bluntly honest, strange human savior of yours. Your reason will have to be irrefutable at best, and if he's worried about anything such as extra baggage, then that worry mustn't be allowed room to exist as an argument against your reasons, at all!! Bargaining is definitely going to be hard, but there's no other option.
It would be cruel to deny Five the place she belongs, as you journey to find yours.
- Aria: Wh- H-hey!
- ???: Come on.
- ???: There's a good detour around here.
- Aria: I-it's rude to just DRAG people!
- Aria: Haven't your parents taught you any politeness??
- ???: ...
- Aria: I don't mind going, but you don't have to be rude!
- ???: You'd just dawdle around forever.
- ???: Now come on.
- Aria: D:
You then realize you never asked his name, so you make a mental note to do that.
Darn, how impolite of you! Where are your manners!!
You continue to unknowingly ignore the fact that he hasn't asked for YOUR name, nor does he seem to care about it in the slightest.
Also, you note that the path to this little area is slightly off-course, recalling the map you have stashed in your inventory. He's moved you from east to south. Then again, he should be the one who made that map! So he must know best when it comes to things like this.
Maybe he is right, that he's better than-
- ???: Okay. Now, talk.
- Aria: If you could stop dragging me for one second,
- Aria: That would be great!
- Aria: It's really NOT nice, okay!
- ???: I'm already done doing that, now stop changing the damn subject.
- ???: I want answers.
- ???: I don't have time to waste, and neither do you for that matter, if you still want to leave.
- ???: And I mean a single you, nobody other than yourself.
- ???: What's the kid's deal. And the helldogthing.
- Aria: Um, okay... Well.
- Aria: Ludwig is a good dog! He's not bad.
- Aria: And Five is my friend!
- Aria: She's just a little kid, I'm not going to be leaving her or Ludwig alone here!
- Aria: She- She has friends and family in the human world.
- Aria: She used to live there, her home is in the human world!
- Aria: So-
- ???: You answered none of my problems.
- ???: And you don't seem to understand what I'm getting at.
- ???: I'm here to show lost humans how to help themselves out.
- ???: Not to carry anyone's extra baggage.
- ???: You being able to find your way up to here safely proves that you're capable of returning back.
- ???: I will have no problem guiding someone like you.
- ???: You're not the first, you know.
- ???: But, a little kid? A little monster kid, to boot?
- ???: There's a lot of problems with that.
- ???: In the first place, why does a monster want to leave their world?
- ???: So if you want to leave, drop the dead weight.
- Aria: That's... That's horrible!
- Aria: How could you say that!!
- ???: What's horrible about it.
- ???: I'm right in that there's no damage to a monster being in the monster world.
- ???: So leave your baggage if you want to come.
- ???: Otherwise, I'll be on my way.
- Aria: She's not baggage!
- Aria: Stop calling her that!!
- Aria: I'm taking her with me, because that's where she wants to go.
- Aria: That's where her home, friends, and family are.
- ???: I don't think this kid or you know what you're talking about.
- ???: The human world is just as inhospitable for monsters as it is here for humans.
- ???: No doubt, she's just going to be a burden on you.
- Aria: I'm able to get us by! My ability can do the job!
- Aria: As you noticed earlier, I'm an illusionist.
- Aria: Maybe I'm not that good at it, but I've lived a whole life hiding in plain sight...
- Aria: So I think can handle this responsibility if I want to!
- ???: No, you're actually not bad.
- Aria: Huh?
- ???: For an illusionist, you're plenty capable.
- ???: Just from minimal assets I left behind, you've made it this far on your own, and despite the extra baggage with you.
- ???: That's commendable.
- ???: The humans before you were rarely able to help themselves first.
- Aria: Oh... T-thanks, I guess...?
- ???: But, your problems seems to be that you're not thoughtful enough with your plans.
- ???: You know nothing about what's on the other side, yet your whole plan is to just go for it.
- Aria: I've heard enough from Five to know that the human world isn't so bad as here!
- Aria: She has friends and family there... And they're waiting for her!
- ???: That has to be a lie.
- Aria: H-huh? Five wouldn't LIE!
- ???: I don't have a tell on that kid's personality to say if she's usually a liar or not,
- ???: But what I do know is that what you're saying is impossible.
- ???: Just as it's inhospitable for humans here, so it is for monsters in the human world. It's a fact that no laws permit monsters to enter the human world in the first place.
- ???: And so, my guess is that no human could be waiting for her back there at all.
- Aria: ...Well, how do you know, if you say that's just a guess!
- ???: It's built on facts.
- Aria: You're only choosing to not believe Five!
- Aria: I believe Five! And...
- Aria: If she wants to go, then I can't leave her behind! It's as simple as that!
- ???: That's the most stupid thing you could've said in response.
- Aria: L-listen, YOU... You... Guy!!!
- Aria: I just survived so many ridiculous scuffles, all just to be able to leave with my friends!
- Aria: And mostly, just to save my friends, more than myself!
- Aria: I'm not about to let go of her now!
- ???: So, this is an emotional thing to you?
- Aria: ...Maybe a little! So what!
- Aria: Even if you think I'm weak, I'm at least strong enough that I'll handle the "burden" all on my own.
- Aria: Is that good enough for you?
- Aria: You can just... Show me the way. And the rest is my problem.
- ???: You're not weak.
- ???: I can see that. It's not the problem here.
- Aria: ...
- Aria: How many times have you been here.
- ???: What?
- Aria: Just answer me.
- Aria: You've come here before to help humans like me, right?
- ???: Uh, yes. A lot.
- Aria: Have you ever lived in this world, or were you just dropping in to do what you do?
- ???: ...Latter.
- Aria: Then, you don't know anything!
- Aria: Even if you belong somewhere in appearance,
- Aria: If it isn't your home, then your life will be hellish!
- Aria: I lived all of that !
- Aria: Five's home, the place she belongs in, is somewhere in the human world.
- Aria: So there's no way I'm leaving her here.
- ???: ...You know, that's neither heroic nor commendable.
- ???: It's just, plain stupid.
- ???: ...Having too much niceness is not something good. You'll just get taken advantage of.
- Aria: Five is not taking advantage of me! Nobody is!
- Aria: And why is something like that even any of your concern?
- Aria: I'm helping out of my own choice, like...
- Aria: Like... Like you!
- Aria: You're...
- Aria: As far as I can tell, you're doing something even more dangerous than what I want to do...
- Aria: And more than once, just to help humans like me! Aren't you?
- Aria: I think that makes everything here a little hypocritical!
- ???: ... Don't make this about me.
- ???: I'm always plenty prepared. I've never once failed, and I'm not about to.
- Aria: Well, how unfair! I am prepared too!!
- Aria: And I think you are aware of it!
- ???: What could you be referring to.
- Aria: My illusions! You KNOW I'm an illusionist, you called me that!
- Aria: And let me tell you, I am not like the typical kind.
- Aria: I can hide anyone in plain sight.
- Aria: I've done that to myself for the past six years, successfully!
- Aria: My illusions have only failed... Once.
- Aria: Just once, a while earlier.
- Aria: It did cost a lot, but it is still one failure out of countless successes.
- Aria: So... I'm really,
- Aria: Kind of,
- Aria: Maybe,
- Aria: ...Not ALL that incompetent, okay?!
- ???: And yet you're talking like you're really, maybe, kind of lacking in confidence about it?
- Aria: I-I am not not-confident about.. I mean, I am CONFIDENT!
- Aria: I know I don't sound certain, but I AM c-certain.
- ???: Seriously? Come on.
- Aria: Talking bluntly and coldly like you do is hard, but d-don't judge me by that!
- Aria: I can handle what I set out to do, that's what matters.
- Aria: I will take care of Five and Ludwig, and you should never dare call them "baggage" again!
- ???: Or what?
- ???: I'll say it as I see it. Baggage.
- Aria: Ugh!
- Aria: You're like a little kid!
- ???: I'm not the one acting on some emotional spur.
- ???: My advice is to not involve that baggage with your schemes, blonde.
- Aria: I said, don't call them that!
- Five: Aria, s-stop!
- Aria: Five, don't listen to this guy's insults.
- Aria: You're alright, it'll be all okay, I'm not leaving you.
- Five: A-Aria!
- Five: He's not a bad person!
- Five: He helped Five...Human boy is good...!
- ???: Kid, that just means I prefer not to see someone die in front of me.
- Five: Ow!
- ???: But you, brat, are a burden.
- ???: And I will not change my mind on it.
- Aria: I said STOP calling her that!
- Aria: Really, this is just...
- Aria: ...
No, it can't be impossible. It just can't. You have to do something, anything.
You came this far, together, and you don't want it to be all for nothing.
You know that someone's home isn't always what might seem obvious. Living somewhere where you don't fit is the worst, and fitting isn't judged only by appearances. You experienced that, and you never want anyone to go through it again. Home is with friends and family, where someone really belongs, not where their looks are most suited. Many of the stories you've read taught you that. Your own life taught you that. You can't rob someone of their chance to find a home as you try to find yours.
The human boy, he just cannot understand it if he hasn't lived it like you did.
You're going to do... Something about this.
In your concentration, you miss the silent lull that replaced the conversation.