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21 Feb 2022
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Nino: Hesitantly inquire. Get the deets.

  • Nino: Um, yeah, I'd like to know.
  • Nino: Although, hold on...
  • Nino: Did it always look like this?
  • Kaji: Whatcha talkin' about?
  • Nino: The note.
  • Nino: I feel like... something is off.
  • Nino: Um... maybe I'm just confused.
  • Kaji: Ya sure sound like it.
  • Kaji: Far as I know, this looks just the same as the day we put it there.
  • Kaji: Kid, this lil' thingy has so many memories attached to it!
  • Nino: Can I see it again for a sec?

Nino: Examine note's other side.

It's the Unpleasant/Apologetic Note.
You found this in the monster world, and that's as far as you can recall.

It has always looked like this, and it always will.

...Huh, what?
Your thoughts feel a bit jumbled.
But nothing is weird here, right? That's all that matters.

  • Nino: Umm...
  • Nino: So this yellow handwriting.
  • Nino: It's someone else's, not yours, right?
  • Kaji: Yeah!
  • Kaji: Someone very important to me wrote that.
  • Kaji: Ya see...
  • Kaji: Before I became this Kaji 'ere, I was someone else.
  • Kaji: I lived on the moon with my best bud.

Nino: Listen to him quietly.

Without any hesitation, Kaji tells you about his old best friend.

She is the current queen.

Hold on, former best friends with the queen!?
What the hell kind of brag is that!?

And somehow, that's not the most unbelievable part in his story, nor is it the fact that he talks like a bumbling oaf for someone who was once standing by the side of the most important person in the world (probably), at some point in his past.

What's unbelievable is the way he talks about that queen. In books, she has never been described as anything less than perfect, but for once, this being who seemed like an emotionless force of nature was made to sound like a regular person.

A curious person who loved fun, hated studying, and was rather smart yet scatterbrained, unlike what any record says about her.

Just a girl who dressed inconspicuously in order to sneak out and play... why, she sounds more like a funny child than a proper monarch! Really, this is supposed to be the ultimate Ruler of The Entire Whole Everything around you? Is Kaji trying to shatter your worldview in record-time, or what?

You wonder if it's just that historical records and public images tend to depersonalize rulers, or if the queen had simply grown up to be an entirely different person from how Kaji knew her in those days.

Kaji: Reminiscence those fond memories of the note.

  • Kaji: Ha, we just left that back there as a little prank...
  • Kaji: And laughed on the way home imaginin' some punk gettin' PUNKED by it!
  • Nino: Ooof, I guess your timeless prank succeeded on me!
  • Nino: You got me good.
  • Kaji: Hahah!
  • Kaji: I'm glad it's ya and no one else, kid.
  • Kaji: Cuz ya kept the note around!
  • Nino: I sure did, huh.
  • Kaji: So, uh...
  • Kaji: I kinda wanna ask if ya would let me keep this.
  • Kaji: There're just, well... lotsa memories attached to it.
  • Kaji: It's the only thing left of my old friendship, so...
  • Nino: Hmmmm.
  • Nino: That's nice, but hey...
  • Nino: You're a bad person for teaching the queen to swear.
  • Kaji: U...uhhhhh...!
  • Nino: I can't believe she let you write the fuck word so openly!
  • Kaji: Hey, I'll have ya know SHE'S the one who taught me the fuck word!
  • Kaji: Y'all in the midworld invented swears, we just learned from ya!
  • Nino: Uh-huh.
  • Kaji: A-and she dragged me out into skippin' studies and playin' around, okay?
  • Kaji: More like, I'm the one who was corrupted to start swearin', kid.
  • Nino: Hahah!
  • Nino: Well, she sounds like a really fun person.
  • Nino: I didn't imagine this at all.
  • Kaji: ...She really was, yea.

Nino: Let him keep the two-sided note if he truly wishes for it.

  • Nino: I think you can keep this thing, if you want...
  • Nino: I don't have any use for it, anyway.
  • Nino: At least I got an interesting story out of it.
  • Nino: Here you go!
  • Kaji: Really!? Damn, thanks so much!
  • Nino: I didn't really do anything, but you're welcome.
  • Kaji: Nah, bringin' this to me all the way here in one piece means a lot.
  • Kaji: Even if ya didn't mean to do it!
  • Kaji: If ya need anythin', ask away. It'll be what I owe ya for it!
  • Nino: ...

Nino: Recall that Kaji might know about memory-recovering methods.

  • Nino: I'll take you up on the offer right away, then.
  • Nino: I have something to ask.
  • Nino: When I was with Meimona, we had the chance to walk around Icicle Bay and talk to a couple of people.
  • Nino: In particular, there was a... pink mermaid lady here, who said you're the person to consult for a concern I have.
  • Kaji: Mermaid...?
  • Kaji: Oh, Lacia, right? She's a good pal.
  • Kaji: Go ahead, I'm gonna be here for a long time.
  • Nino: Alright.

  • Nino: This... might sound dumb, so sorry in advance.
  • Nino: Do you know anything about memory loss?
  • Nino: I happen to be struggling a little, with... some kind of amnesia.
  • Kaji: ...
  • Nino: Oh, but it's not as simple as that sounds!
  • Nino: It's a sort of specific amnesia...
  • Nino: Some things I'll remember, but some I won't. Rather selective.
  • Nino: I think that "normal" amnesia isn't this picky...
  • Nino: If this were normal, I would just not be remembering anything at all!
  • Nino: Mainly, I've forgotten stuff that is pretty vital to me... to my identity.
  • Nino: I... also might have forgotten people I spent time with, and did a lot for.
  • Nino: As if there's holes in my memories wherever these people should pop up.
  • Nino: I mean, is it even possible to just forget an entire person?
  • Nino: I didn't want to believe it at first, but that seems to be the case after all.
  • Nino: And I wouldn't have even known I forgot that person if she hadn't told me. That's how weird it is, I recalled everything except what had to do with her.
  • Nino: It's definitely not normal to forget important things so selectively...
  • Kaji: ...I see.
  • Nino: W-well, the mermaid lady said that you'd know something about it.
  • Nino: But if you don't, that's fine as well!
  • Nino: I realize it's a pretty specific situation, so...!
  • Nino: Sorry, I just went on without thinking...

You notice that Kaji has completely dropped the accent.
He leaves his drinks unattended, and completely turns his attention to your topic.

He seems to be taking this very seriously.

  • Kaji: I think it's lonely when a person experiences something unique to them.
  • Kaji: They can't let out their frustrations if no one can relate.
  • Kaji: But, we all thrive on understanding each others' experiences, so...
  • Kaji: It's the loneliest when you can't share something with the others.
  • Kaji: If you try, it feels like putting a burden nobody else understands on somebody.
  • Kaji: But... hey.
  • Kaji: You're the first one I could actually expect to share an understanding with.
  • Kaji: What you described is exactly the same as my amnesia.
  • Nino: Oh...!
  • Nino: Uh, I... I'd appreciate anything you can tell me about it, then!
  • Kaji: Heh heh, that's quite a turn around!
  • Kaji: You're not afraid I'm going to betray you anymore?
  • Nino: I think you wouldn't dare, in this tired and drunk state...
  • Nino: But, hold on... you suddenly sound completely normal now.
  • Kaji: Oooh, naaah.
  • Kaji: I'm so drunk n' useless, really!
  • Kaji: Me, a prideless fool who knows nothin'!
  • Nino: W-what's up with that attitude shift!?
  • Nino: Are you not actually drunk...?
  • Kaji: I'm tipsy, sure. And I'm tired indeed.
  • Kaji: But I talk like that by choice, to fit in...
  • Kaji: I just chose to put it all away for now.
  • Kaji: Because this is important to you, isn't it?
  • Nino: Well... Yeah. It is.
  • Kaji: Mhm. You'd be offended if I didn't take it seriously.
  • Kaji: Hell, I'd be disappointed in myself if I don't take it seriously.
  • Kaji: Since I know best how bothersome this experience can be.
  • Nino: ... I appreciate that.
  • Nino: Um, I really want to get my memories back if it's possible!
  • Nino: So anything you can tell me helps, even if it's not a sure-fire solution!
  • Kaji: Sorry to disappoint, but I don't really know how to recover memories.
  • Kaji: I'm still struggling with mine too, after all.
  • Nino: Oh. Oops.
  • Kaji: Now, I won't ask about your amnesia if you don't want to trust me with it.
  • Kaji: But do you want to hear what I learned from my amnesia, if it'll help...?
  • Kaji: The least I can do is give you the chance to compare notes, so to speak.
  • Nino: Oh!!!
  • Nino: If you don't mind...
  • Nino: Then yes, please tell me about it!

  • Kaji: Remember my friend, the queen?
  • Kaji: I was born just to serve her. That's how the birth of a winged goes.
  • Kaji: We're born to fulfill certain wishes, which give us life in the first place.
  • Kaji: Now, there were two wishes for me to carry at all times.
  • Kaji: On one hand, I was to be a guide.
  • Kaji: And on the other, I was to be a friend.
  • Nino: That sounds like an odd combination.
  • Kaji: Heh, I agree.
  • Kaji: Friends are equals, but a guide is wiser than who they're guiding.
  • Kaji: Nonetheless, I had to maintain the harmony of these two things.
  • Kaji: ...I was not unhappy with it.
  • Kaji: Guiding the queen and being the queen's friend both came first, even before my own heart beats.
  • Kaji: So, in order to fulfill one part of this wish,
  • Kaji: I was born with the vision of a guide.

  • Kaji: It's right 'ere, take a gander!
  • Nino: W-woah!
  • Nino: That's... that's so scary up close!
  • Nino: What, is your... your eye?
  • Kaji: Eyes, plural. Get it right.
  • Kaji: Three of 'em in one socket to make up four in total.
  • Nino: Eeeeegh!
  • Nino: I-I'm sorry, but I don't like looking at that one bit.
  • Kaji: Heheh! It's fine, it's fine!
  • Kaji: I cover it up like this 'cause you humans get scared of everythin' weird.
  • Nino: ...I can't argue with that.
  • Kaji: This was my vision...
  • Kaji: It is very special for a winged.
  • Kaji: With it, I could simply and literally see which path was the right one for the queen to take, in order to achieve any goals she desires at a given moment.
  • Nino: That... sounds overpowered.
  • Kaji: Heh. Maybe because it was an important person's wish.
  • Kaji: It is more than a little handy to have around, sure.
  • Kaji: But it's suitable for someone as important as a monarch, wouldn't you say?
  • Nino: I guess so. That's the only kind of person deserving of such powers!
  • Kaji: To guide the queen, I was also given my title as the angel of guidance.
  • Kaji: Augh, god! That sounds so corny now!
  • Kaji: I used to be so proud of these things, hahah!
  • Nino: You talk as if it's all gone now.
  • Nino: Is it really?
  • Kaji: ...Yeah.
  • Kaji: These eyes are blind now.
  • Kaji: I only got this one big normal eye.
  • Kaji: So don't get scared again, alright?
  • Nino: I won't, I won't!
  • Kaji: Heheheheh, good.
  • Nino: So you had such a high position, huh...
  • Nino: But why did you lose all of it?
  • Nino: You don't seem unworthy, if my limited judgement can pass here.
  • Kaji: Mmmm, well...
  • Kaji: It's because I lost my purpose in the end.

  • Kaji: I always did what my friend desired, but one day...
  • Kaji: I dared to defy her for something.
  • Kaji: That's where a part of my amnesia kicks in.
  • Kaji: You see, just as you described, there's a hole where certain memories should be.
  • Nino: Ah...!
  • Kaji: For me, I just cannot remember what I defied her for.
  • Kaji: In the first place, I...
  • Kaji: I don't even want to believe that I dared to stand against her.

  • Nino: Is that because no one would dare defy a monarch?
  • Nino: That's what I'd think, at least...
  • Kaji: Well, you're not wrong! It definitely takes a brave fool to try that.
  • Kaji: But, that's not my reason.
  • Kaji: I don't want to believe it, only because I don't think I would turn on a friend.
  • Nino: Oh...
  • Nino: So her status has nothing to do with it?
  • Kaji: Not at all.
  • Kaji: In our last meeting, I remember the world around me dyed in gold,
  • Kaji: And every path in sight converging where she stood.
  • Kaji: Even though I saw with my eyes where my correct future pointed...
  • Kaji: For some reason, I didn't follow any path leading towards her.

  • Kaji: My memories of the event are so shaky, but from what I do remember...

  • Kaji: I had enough defiance that I willingly chose to blind my eyes by my own hands.

  • Nino: H-huh?
  • Nino: That means you must've changed your mind about guiding her!
  • Nino: For example, she issued an order you really didn't approve of...
  • Nino: Or... something like that?
  • Kaji: That's one possibility.
  • Kaji: But, prior to that day, I never followed my own judgement over her commands,
  • Kaji: Nor did she and I ever have any strong disagreements.
  • Kaji: So...

  • Kaji: For what reason would I take measures this extreme to not follow her anymore?
  • Kaji: What's so bad that I would choose to turn on a friend?
  • Kaji: That's what's gone from my memories.
  • Kaji: And I feel that it is very pitiful of me, to end up this way.
  • Nino: ...
  • Kaji: When my eyes became blind, I could no longer see a guiding path like before.
  • Kaji: I thought, maybe, if one half of my purpose is gone...
  • Kaji: Does my other purpose of being someone's friend remain, at least?
  • Kaji: I badly wanted to recall my memories, because I had hope.
  • Kaji: I wanted to believe that I had ended things with the queen on a good note.
  • Kaji: But, on rare occasions, when I see glimpses of those forgotten memories...
  • Kaji: All of it seems to hint that I wasn't simply discarded by my queen.
  • Kaji: Just like you said, as if I left her side by my own choice.
  • Kaji: And that, in the end...
  • Kaji: She was not pleased with my choice.

  • Kaji: Rather than a smile, I only remember crushing disapproval reflected on her face.

  • Kaji: I suppose the queen ultimately wanted a guide, not a friend.
  • Kaji: I think... I've already known that this was the case.
  • Kaji: I continued to let myself ignore it, uselessly hoping for a better possibility for long enough.
  • Kaji: But seeing you now, I think I'll be a bad source of advice if I keep denying reality. Since, as the only other person with forgotten memories...
  • Kaji: I'd want to tell you that you shouldn't deny what you uncover about your memories, even if it turns out to be something undesirable.
  • Kaji: I should start by living up to my own advice, huh.
  • Nino: Kaji...
  • Kaji: I kind of envy you humans.
  • Kaji: You're born free, and can live by your own purposes, not someone else's.
  • Kaji: But if a winged discards the purpose of their creation, they lose everything.
  • Nino: ...It's okay!
  • Nino: In this world, you can do whatever you want!
  • Nino: You're free here, just like everyone else is.

  • Kaji: Well, things are a lot different here for sure.
  • Nino: Sorry, that wasn't very encouraging, huh.
  • Kaji: Heheh, what's this?
  • Kaji: Are you concerned for your nemesis now?
  • Nino: W-we've established that you won't betray me, so...
  • Nino: I'm just a little bit concerned.
  • Nino: That much is fine!
  • Kaji: It's true that it hurts to try and recall something undesirable.
  • Kaji: But I'm really fine.
  • Kaji: As long as there's something to do in the present,
  • Kaji: I won't find the time to crash down and mull on the past for too long.
  • Kaji: In the morning, I'll have no choice but to get right up and back in action, and start working as usual. So really, there's nothing to worry about.
  • Nino: Well, umm...
  • Kaji: I won't be upset if you felt sorry for me after hearing all this.
  • Kaji: It's all cool.
  • Nino: Wait, no... that's not it.
  • Nino: I don't think it's something pitiful...
  • Nino: It would be difficult for anyone to balance friendship and duty.
  • Nino: And I would be seriously freaked out if I could see the future so clearly, too!
  • Nino: This stuff sounds like a whole lot of responsibility!
  • Nino: But you were born into it... it's not something you asked for.
  • Nino: It sounds like you chose to set yourself free, even if doing so was costly.
  • Nino: And you know, I don't know if I can say that was the right or the wrong choice.
  • Nino: Whichever it is, I think being here really did let you do what you want!
  • Nino: Or at least, you got more freedom than you had under a queen's control... right?
  • Nino: Like the sea patrol!
  • Nino: That's something you got to build up for yourself on your own!
  • Kaji: Huh... really. You have a way with words.
  • Kaji: That's the first time I look at it from a different angle.
  • Kaji: I always thought I was just plain pitiful, for losing all I had.
  • Nino: Not when you've been chosen for some grand purpose without a say in the matter!
  • Nino: So I don't feel pity for you, more like...
  • Nino: I'd want to cheer you on for coming this far.
  • Kaji: ...
  • Nino: Um, you don't have to say more about it if you don't want to!
  • Nino: Just... take care of yourself, man.
  • Nino: Sorry, I've made you talk about something depressing for you.
  • Kaji: Boy, don't worry.
  • Kaji: I said all this because I wanted to.
  • Kaji: I'm glad I'm finally able to let it out in some way, actually.
  • Nino: Oh...
  • Nino: Then, I'm glad if it helped to hear you out!
  • Kaji: Sure did.
  • Kaji: Thanks... for cheering me on.
  • Kaji: I really appreciate it, kid.
  • Kaji: Now, as for you and your lost memories...

  • Kaji: I won't stick my nose into your personal business, but I'll say this.
  • Kaji: You should keep in mind that they could be good or bad.
  • Kaji: It could be something as undesirable as my memories are for me.
  • Kaji: I'm not saying this to scare you, though...
  • Kaji: It's just my little piece of advice to prepare yourself, if you still intend to pursue your memories no matter what.
  • Kaji: And... no matter the outcome, don't let what you recall affect what drives you.
  • Nino: What drives me?
  • Nino: You mean like my goals, motivations, and stuff...?
  • Kaji: Ehh, not really.
  • Kaji: Who's to say you won't forget a particular goal?
  • Kaji: I meant something that won't be affected by memory loss.
  • Nino: Oh...!
  • Nino: Does anything like that even exist!?
  • Kaji: Sure it does!
  • Kaji: Think about it like this...
  • Kaji: Are memories what make up a person? I'm not really sure myself.
  • Kaji: But, I've realized that with or without them,
  • Kaji: A core part of yourself remains the same.
  • Kaji: That inner part of you is shaped when you grow and change as a person.
  • Kaji: Whatever your core's like, it's important to try and know yourself better.
  • Kaji: That means... your strongest beliefs, the things that you value most.
  • Kaji: Even without our memories, we still tend to act in line with these fundamental parts of ourselves.

  • Kaji: For me...
  • Kaji: I've come to know my own definition of doing the right thing rather well.
  • Kaji: And I find that I usually end up acting according to it.
  • Kaji: Like, letting a couple of kids find a home...
  • Kaji: Or giving a little trickster of an angel the chance to learn and do better.
  • Kaji: Even though, going by law, I'm not allowed to do any of what I did there.
  • Nino: Aw.
  • Kaji: So, although I don't remember why I chose to defy the queen...
  • Kaji: I believe that I've done it only for a strong personal reason.
  • Kaji: And, even if I don't want to think badly of my old friend...
  • Kaji: I still must hold on to my core values carefully.
  • Kaji: In my case, I can't betray myself by regretting my choice if it was right by me.
  • Kaji: I think this is what you should pay attention to, kid.
  • Kaji: If you don't trust what you know about yourself, then what's left to trust?
  • Nino: ...
  • Kaji: Make sure that you're satisfied with who you are, and what you value...
  • Kaji: So that you will not be lost, even if your memories never surface back!
  • Kaji: ...Or if you do recover them, and they turn out to be undesirable.
Nino: He's right. Not on everything, but on many matters.

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SquaredPancake
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SquaredPancake

I really like this update! Something about this interaction between the two is heartfelt and nice to see and improved my perception of Nino and Kaji, especially since Nino turned more and more of a stereotype / really exaggerated and unrealistic person that always overreacts to stuff in a way I disliked for me the last few times I checked out the updates!

MildTrash
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MildTrash

Nino: Consider keeping a Journal.

Mysteriousmaverick
Guest

...He's right. Not on everything, but on many matters. You don't have the mightiest skill in your hands. At least, nothing as great as sure guidance/improbable luck. (Strange how both of their abilities are similar and different). But you are not a bad man at heart or soul, no matter what you lose. You protected yourself and you save those around you, like your new allies. You are not completely yourself without memories, but you can find some shreds of life in your heart and choices. You were competent enough to assist a friend with your mind, and a stop… Read more »

Unclevertitle
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Unclevertitle

I just gained a lot of respect for Kaji in these past few updates. Valuing friendship over duty and acting accordingly even if it costs one dearly can also be a form of guidance. Guiding by example. Guiding through personal sacrifice. It may not have been a literal fulfillment of Kaji's purpose but from what little we've heard it sounds like it was a fulfillment of his nature. And I'm guessing those two are not often in conflict for a winged, or at least that they're not supposed to be. And if the queen was so keen on observing and… Read more »

immortalartisan
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immortalartisan

so is the color change a retcon due to not finalizing the queen's design and thus her writing color? or is this something more story related because if so i find that a bit terrifying.

Taki
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Taki

I was thinking "guide" was color coded (and it seems the queen wanted a guide but in the moment where Kaji stabbed their eye, being a friend seemed to conflict with being a guide), and since "With it, I could simply and literally see which path was the right one for the queen to take, in order to achieve any goals she desires at a given moment." and it mentions how it was any goal she desired at the moment, the reason Kaji stabbed his guide eye is because it was because the queen wanted something that would result in… Read more »

Taki
Guest
Taki

Also, especially with the recent intermission, the queen clearly represents hearts, but even the rulers of the Humans and Monsters seem to not have their own dedicated symbol (I don't know the term or the name of the card game), is the queen special? Not even an actual winged? Or are they so far above everyone else in some way, they are considered to be about as much a force of change as an entire advanced sapient species?
Are there bits of exposition I either missed or forgot that explain all of this?

Mysteriousmaverick
Guest

No, humans are associated with diamonds, monsters with spades, and winged clubs. The symbols are associated with many games but the most common are cards in general.

Mysteriousmaverick
Guest

Also, good theory.

Taki
Guest
Taki

Also, I probably should have mentioned this, but there was a period of time where I just didn't read this webcomic, forgot how long but I've probably forgotten key details and I should probably reread Oceanfalls at some point.

Enk
Guest
Enk

This is the first time I've seen a media portray lost memories, not as some other person entirely, but as the same person with a different world view. The separate person thing has annoyed me for so long- My respect for Kaji has exploded, I am in love with the pirate lad.

^