Update 5: Drenched in Red



Oi, bub, we're still here.
My friends, please let me do the honor of engaging this beast. Again.
By all means—


GROOOOOOOOOR!



Th-That works! I guess!
I could give advance warning for the next time I roar, if that would help you.
Please do...
The second part of the bloodbear fight isn't any different from the first, aside from it starting at 50% HP.

Same basic strategies as last time. I'm having Marlin open with Regen Waltz this time, to mitigate the damage of Binding Voice.

I had Waylon use Double Slash mainly because the burst gauge was close to capping. I don't like letting potential burst accumulation go to waste.

Piss-arse.
(Don't grind your teeth, Merula, I know you're annoyed, but it's not healthy...)


Naijou got stunned, which isn't a huge loss.

Let's finish this up nice and quick.


The hell's it strikin' a pose for?
Nothing good, I can tell you that much.
That would be Delay Charge. I've got a few turns to deal 250 damage to the bloodbear, in order to stun it and cancel Ruinous Strike.

Now it's got it. Oi, what took you?
Do you mean "got the meaning of the music," or "received the poison?"
Both?
D-Dumb question, sorry.
That's alright, eh? I ask tons of those!


It struck a pose, only to get knocked on its ass.
Well, that was easy.

...Oh.



Can't say I was expectin' that.
That felt if I'm being honest, anti-climactic.
I can see it now, on the Grand Court's bulletin board: "POWER OF ROCK DEFEATS TERRIFYING MONSTER".
Maybe not like that, but you...do deserve genuine credit.

♪ No music ♪


You have defeated a powerful foe, at the request of the nobility, no less! But your joy is short-lived.
...I wouldn't celebrate just yet.



The sadness and anger of losing a comrade is unmistakable in that deafening roar. One after another, you hear answering roars from other beasts. You stand there, stunned, as the roars die down.
...O-Oh.
Seems like there's more beasties like the one we just killed out there on this floor.
Indeed, I counted one, two, thr—
N-No need to count, gramps!
The succession of roars is disturbing, but not so much as that first howl. It was very different from the others. You think there can be no doubt that something on this level far surpasses the threat of the bloodbear...


Let's just regroup with the others for now.
Don't worry, I have the beast's head safely in my grip.
And I'm pretending I do not see it...



You still cannot forget the fearsome roar that shook the entire labyrinth when the blood-red beast fell.
As annoyin' as it is, gotta say, we can't tell the Count that we're done yet. If other explorers or guards go down to the third floor right now, they'll get mauled by one of that beast's brothers.
Or worse, judging by the loudest roar.
Nngh...
Ah, chin up, lass. Don't fret.
Dealing with unforeseen challenges is just part of being an explorer.
Don't mean I can't be annoyed.
While you are lost in thought, a man approaches you. You recognize him as Whirlwind.


Judging by the huge severed head in the lion man's hands, I'm gonna guess you're part of the Daffodil Guild?
Mhm. You're, uh... Whirlwind, I think?
Yep. I've talked with your friends plenty, gave Harper mapping tools. Glad to see your entire guild's got some talent. You're gonna go far, I bet. Oh, before I forget, I already know Marlin and Waylon, but you three are...?
Naijou.
Wen Ray-shin, future rock goddess of Tharsis.
Merula Rosen. Pleased to meet you.
Likewise. You ever gonna open the Rum-O-Rama, by the way, Marlin?
The answer's the same as the last five times: "yes, when it's done."
Seems to me like becoming an explorer would push that back a bit.
That's the beauty of "when it's done," isn't it?
Heh. Fair. Anyway, it's good to see you, too, Waylon. Glad to see you found somewhere to apply yourself.
...Sure.
Now that the pleasantries are taken care of, did you have business with us?
Nothing important, just wanted to know if you'd had any trouble with the monsters on the third floor.
We haven't engaged any of them in combat, so I guess the answer is technically "no."
Huh! I'm actually sort of surprised by that. How come you didn't go further?
After we killed the bloodbear, there was, eh...a loud roar. Many loud roars, actually.
Uh...huh. Well, that would make sense. If you want to get your confidence up, why not stop by the Valley Spring? It's—
Is it the big thicket that's got two kangaroos near it? South of the Small Orchard?
Spot-on, Shady Lady. You don't mind if I call you that, do you?
I— I mean, it's not bad, but I prefer it when people use my real—
Got it, thanks!
(...Deep breaths, Merula. Don't want a stress headache.)
Anyways, be seeing you, Shady Lady and friends. Whether you go further into the third floor, or go to the spring, good luck.


...Uuuuugh, that's going to be a thing, isn't it.
Merry? You good?
What? Yeah, I'm fine, why?
Well, aside from the mumblin', your lump's lookin' right fucked.
I...don't like the nickname, alright?
Why did you not say so, then?
Because if I did, then he'd get offended, and we'd have to deal with that, and look, I don't have it in me to deal with a guy who wants to call me "Shady Lady" taking offense to something. Especially not when he's ingratiated himself to the other half of our guild.
The man has all the courtesy and tact of someone raised in a sewer.
...
What? Why do you all look stunned? Merula's far from alone in having a distaste for that man.
Am I now?
The magnanimous Waylon, not likin' someone? Scandalous.
I have my limits.
He's a perfectly nice bloke, why're you so rough on him?
As you know, I get the job of testing all the drive blades. Moreover, despite the fact that we both arrived here under similar circumstances, he gallivants around as an adventurer, letting me do all the grunt work—including letting Wynne's prototypes explode in my hands, which has occurred eleven times and counting. It hurts.
He does seem like the sort of man who would foist hard work on others, yes.


What's got ya lookin' so grouchy, Wales?
Whirlwind.
Ahh. Cloak gal—sorry, didn't get ya name yet—ain't lookin' too happy, either.
Merula. That's my name.
...He called me "Shady Lady..."
Berund Atelier has the following new items in stock:

Oh, by da ways, 'zit true? Did ya get to da third floor?
Not just that, but we killed the red bear.
Hot dayum! And ya only just got here, ta boot!
There's still other threats we have to take care of, but...I guess reaching this far is an accomplishment.
Dat ain't da half'a it. Even da big names—Whirlwind, Wiglaf, Kirjonen—couldn't get down dere. Ya even impressed my boss! He said ta me, "Looks like we gots some explorers wit backbone!"
Well, we've earned the forgemaster's respect, at least.


Well, Dalla, the good news is that we killed the red bear.
Oh! Excellent work, dearies, I knew you could do it!
The, ah... The bad news is that there may be more of them. Bigger ones.
...Oh my. How troublesome.
No kidding.
Please, Marlin, you and your friends be careful out there. If something looks like trouble, don't chase after it without thinking!



Ah, we did...and then we slew it. The rest of the third floor awaits us.
...I find myself at a loss for words, aside from "most impressive." The beast grievously injured so many guards, and yet here is your guild, vanquishing it so quickly.
Unfortunately, we fear that there are greater threats lying in wait on the third floor.
Ah, there is always a catch. I can only hope that my other patrons do not encounter these new beasts...
Is it particularly hard when one of your patrons' lives is claimed by the Labyrinth?
I try to stay detached from individual explorers, but... Truthfully, I still feel the ache of their loss.
Understandably so.


Bow-maintaining explorer:
Hey, you. Sorry, don't know your name, but I'd know you anywhere—you're the lion man from Guild Daffodil.
I would prefer that people think of me simply as a "man." You are correct, though.
Right, sorry. Is your guild going to go further into the third floor?
I don't believe we've decided yet. Sir Whirlwind suggested that we explore the Valley Spring before we do.
Ha, what a coincidence. That's exactly what I'm going to do. Can't afford to get myself killed, charging in without being ready for whatever the third floor's got in store.
Good man. I will pray for your safety, both in the spring, and on the third floor.
And me, yours.
Graceful landsknecht:
Woaaaaaaaah, wait, you're a member of the Daffodil Guild?!
Indeed.
Sorry, didn't mean to startle you! It's just so cool to see one of you in the flesh... Oh, and my leader's got a message for you: we're not gonna let you show us up!
I...beg your pardon?
Eheh, we've been exploring for a few months now, and she's really competitive.
I see. I think.
Heavily built fortress:
And I thought I was a big guy.
Don't sell yourself short, my good man.
Heh. You in the explorin'— Ah, who am I kidding, course you are. Didja know you can learn special moves or spells just by equipping some weapons?
We found a special healing wands, yes.
Ohh, there's more of those? Neat.
The full original dialogue for this guy has a..."joke" about his wife hitting him with a healing staff, only for him to end up not being hurt instead. You'll forgive me for skipping it.


Oi, guildteach!
"Guildteach...?" Oh, hell, it's spreading.
What, ain't you the guild guy? And you teach people, right?
Yes, but... Listen, there's a history with that nickname. If I may change the subject, I hear your guild vanquished the red devil that attacked so many of my men.
Yup-yep.
Well done. That monster made mincemeat of trained soldiers—that you were able to fell it is a testament to your guild's skill. Don't rest on your laurels, though. Continue honing your bodies and minds!
Hell yeah, man. Stayin' ahead of the beasties is rock.
I'll pretend that I know what that means.



Sorry, Ciaran, we've been...very busy. It's been a hectic week.
Yeah, nah, I get it. Just...y'know, a lot of traffic comes through here, on all kinds of business. I'm sure some of it's bound to be worth your while.



So. Someone's gonna have to break the news to the Count.
You say that as though it's something to be scared of. Anyways, I'll take care of it.



Sir Count? Are you in right now?
Mister van Houten! What a pleasant surprise, I wasn't expecting to hear from the Daffodil Guild again so soon. No bad news, I hope?
Unfortunately, I do come bearing bad news.
...Ah. Did one of your friends succumb to the Labyrinth?
Hm? No, we're all just fine.
Oh, thank the gods. You've no idea how many promising new guilds hit the ground running with their careers as explorers...only to fall apart due to untimely deaths. I was afraid your guild was going to become the latest example.
If I may... While we were able to fell the red-furred bear, upon its death, there was a terrifying multitude of roars from deeper within the third floor. We fear that there may be more of them, or worse, even stronger monsters.
I see... Well, I can't disagree with your conclusion. The Lush Woodlands will not be safe to explore unless something is done to quell these new threats. Keep at it, and stay on your toes.
Of course, sir.
Before you go, my good man, would you mind listening to something? Recent events have reminded me of some rather poetic words I heard from an explorer a long time ago.
Go ahead.


Man traverses the labyrinth in search of its secret, while the monsters jealously protect their habitat. It is a war that will not end unless such exploration ceases...
Poetic, indeed.
That's all. Be safe on your travels.



Ah, hello, everyone, I was finishing up my business here.
I see two new requests on the board.
Yes, I was going to wait until everyone else was available to accept them.
Thank you, Naijou. What's this one about, Kirtida?
My knowledge of this quest extends to what's on the posting. If you wish to accept it, then talk to the requester—he's the man in the merchant clothes, over there.
...Wait, this other one says someone dropped a ring on the third floor? How is that... What?
Some of your colleagues in other guilds—or unaffiliated explorers, even—can be very reckless. I would not be surprised if there were explorers who immediately rushed down to the third floor as soon as you discovered the stairs.
I know we're not responsible for other explorers' well-being, but that still makes me uncomfortable.
Their attitudes are...inadvisable, yes. However, since being an explorer is a career for many people in Tharsis, I can see where they are coming from. In any case, will you be accepting this request?
Sure.
Wonderful. The client said that, after being ambushed by a bear, she dropped a ring her mother gave her in a spring somewhere on the third floor. She barely escaped with her life and is in no condition to go retrieve the ring. Hence, the request.
We'll keep an eye out for springs on the third floor, then.
Good. Kismet be with you on this search.


Hello. You're the merchant that posted this request, right?
Yes, and I'll assume that you are the guild that accepted it. My name is Sabert—sorry to rush you, but this is urgent. The other day, a man pawned this key in my shop. I hear it's for a treasure box in the Valley Spring. But the guy disappeared without a trace, leaving his debt behind. By law, I own whatever's inside. The best part is, it's supposed to be a breastplate crafted by the master blacksmith, Conrad... But I'm not cut out to go adventuring in the Valley Spring. So I'm asking you explorers for help. Just bring me the contents of that box and you'll be well rewarded. Head west from the Lush Woodlands and you'll reach a side road that leads to the Valley Spring.
Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I was leanin' towards going to the Valley Spring already, and this just makes me more confident in that.
Agreed.
If no-one has a problem with it, I think that's what we'll do. Um, we'll be as we can with finding the container this key is for.
Splendid! Just come back here once you've found the treasure.



Hey, Merry, everyone. I've got a bright idea.
Hm?
See, listen, if we're gonna be goin' back and forth between town and the spring a bunch, by way of that shortcut there... Why don't we just kill this berk here, so we can scarper through the shortcut hassle-free, eh?
T-That is an incredibly dangerous idea!
It's not without merit, however. We know these kangaroos simply can't resist vegetables—if we bait one with some, surely we'd have enough time to manuever around it, and ambush it from the back.
...That's still dangerous, but it at least provides us with a fighting chance.
Worst comes to worst, well, we're still on the ship. We can use a thread to get back to town.
I... You know what, okay. I'm nervous, but I trust everyone's judgement.


Awright, it's feedin'. Ready, Merry?


No, but I won't let that stop us.



Seven hells, the child is almost my size.

Bounding Beast
Level: 16HP: 1289STR: 24TEC: 19VIT: 18AGI: 18LUC: 17DS: 53
EXP Given: 2011

Damage Vulnerabilities:
100% 100% 100%
125% 125% 125%

Disable Vulnerabilities:
25% 30% 10% 10% 30% 10%
10% 10% 20%
20% 20% 20%
  • Boomerang Hook: Deals heavy bash damage to one row of party members. Attempts to bind hit targets' legs, with a moderate chance. Slightly inaccurate.
  • Jet Uppercut: Deals severe bash damage to one party member. If the attack does not miss, attempts to inflict paralysis on the target, with a high chance. Slightly fast, but slightly inaccurate.
  • Boomerang Hook: Deals 100% melee STR-based bash damage to one row of party members. Attempts to bind hit targets' legs, with a 30% base chance. Has a speed modifier of ±0, and a base accuracy of 90%.
  • Jet Uppercut: Deals 160% melee STR-based bash damage to one party member. If the attack does not miss, attempts to inflict paralysis on the target, with a 50% base chance. Has a speed modifier of +3, and a base accuracy of 90%.
  • Bounding Beasts always use Jet Uppercut on the first turn.
  • Once a Bounding Beast falls below 60% HP, it begins using Boomerang Hook.
  • If Jet Uppercut hasn't been used yet:
    • Use Jet Uppercut.
  • If the Bounding Beast's HP is below 60%:
    • 50% chance to use Boomerang Hook.
    • If the above did not occur, 70% chance to use Jet Uppercut.
    • If neither of the above occurred, attack.
  • If none of the above occurred:
    • 60% chance to use Jet Uppercut.
    • 40% chance to attack.
Drops:
  • Kangaroo Fist: 100% chance. Sells for 237 en.
    • Fist Shield (17 DEF, +1 VIT): Made from 1 Kangaroo Fist. Costs 460 en.
The fact that the kangaroos about Tharsis's children, riding in their pouches, are about the size of myself is enough to say that the territorial, brutally powerful beasts are not to be trifled with. Certainly they are killable, but attempting to is an unwise prospect. They swing with the force of a steel piston, and having taken at least one to the chest, I assure you I am stunned that I am still alive.
Bounding beasts are a brutal introduction to the whole "overworld FOEs are a cut above FOEs you find in the labyrinth" thing. Stat-wise, aside from HP, these strangely muscular kangaroos are comparable to the Lush Woodlands boss, and their skills will give you trouble too. Boomerang Hook has a not-insignificant chance of just straight-up wiping an entire line of party members, and Jet Uppercut will one-shot most potential targets.

What are the early counterplays, then? Unfortunately, there's no one definitive answer, especially since fortresses can't just use Line Shield to take away the pain of Boomerang Hook. Your best bet is just reacting as quickly as possible to deaths, as well as throwing out as many infliction attempts as you can, in the hope that one will stick.

There's also the option of fighting one of these after you've finished the 1st Land and have a few more levels under your belt, at which point they're considerably more manageable.

The quicker that you three can kill this thing, the better.



We're doing this again, I guess...


Hmph, its head is quite sturdy.


Gck—!
I wasn't expecting it to strike that quickly!
It left me some room to dodge, at least...


Yes!
Hella.


Phew, I was worried that my drive techniques would be far less effective on bigger monsters...


I'm sorry, baby kangaroo—!


Ahh!



Get away from me!


I, uh. I think you've taught it a lesson, lass. You too, Waylon.
T-Thank you.


GROR! Cheap strikes will not fell me...!
Phew, a death just before I won would've sucked.

I...wow.



We...actually did it! Ah, I mean... We did it.
Ah, stuff it, lass, you've got the right to be excited.
Toldja it'd be a good idea, eh?
Yes, you were correct. Good job, Ray.



...Izzat a fist from one'a those kangaroos that make flyin' on the Windy Plains annoyin'?
Mhm.
Ya Daffodil guys scare me sometimes. No-one's ever brought one'a these things ta us. Lemme see what I can do wit' it...
Berund Atelier has the following new items in stock:

Dere, how's dat? Doesn't look da best, but if ya fortress gets dere hands on it, she'll be a lot sturdier. Dat's a Wynne guarantee!
For all of Wynne's eccentricities and...exploding drive blades, a Wynne guarantee is not given lightly.



Hopefully the other kangaroos don't attack the ship while we're exploring...



Don't seem too different to me.
The consistency in flora between these locations is fascinating.


No major new monsters yet, but encounter formations are a bit beefier than previous locations. I get the feeling this formation was made before Binding Root was taken away from mandrakes, though. As-is, it doesn't have much synergy with the forest frogs.

I'd bet that gold box over there's got the loot we're looking for.



Ah, hell, the scorpions are out here, too.
Multiple scorpions, even.
And that one's got the glow on it.
groan


Right, if they'll just listen carefully...


Boom! Now you're getting it.
I remain unnerved by your ability to poison our enemies with sound.



Poison Circle can kill deathstalkers in one shot, so that's nice.


TOO CLOSE!
Hello, big guy, where'd you come from?
It looks suspiciously similar to those fawns that the other team took down at the Small Orchard. And it is distressingly fast. Oh dear.
Meet the furyhorn! This isn't the first time we've seen one, technically—after we killed both of the furyfawns in the Small Orchard, one of these spawned at the start of the map, and would've quickly run for our position, had we not used an Ariadne thread to get out.

This furyhorn is not aggressive towards us, and patrols a set path, like the nomad baboons back in the Old Forest Mine. However, while we move at a speed of one tile per turn, furyhorns move two tiles per turn, meaning they are far faster than us. We can't simply slip in behind it and get where we need to go. We, instead, need to find an alternate path around it.
I like deers.

If you will, Naijou.
Gladly. Stand back, everyone...


Here's hoping that we can get around the deer this way.



An unremarkable random encounter nets the party another level.


Rank 4 of Attack Tango significantly boosts its effect, from +25% damage to +30%.

Skull Crusher rank 6 just ups the damage and infliction chance minorly.

Assault Drive gets another 20% damage.

Biding Slice rank 5 unfortunately ups the TP cost (though only by 2 TP), but also boosts the total damage if both hits occur from 295% to 325%.

Lastly, Chain Circle rank 3 just ups the infliction chance.

Received supple branch x2, and guaiacum wood x1.
Recurve bows are the best bows you can get in the 1st Land, both in terms of ATK, and having a forge slot.
Well. Guess there's no way around the deer. Can't go any further from here.
...Hold up. Can we go back to where the deer was?


We took down one'a the kangas. You takin' the mickey on me? I ain't scared of this bugger.
A healthy initial fear of FOEs will probably do us wonders in terms of staying alive, I feel.
Well, yeah, but we're strong as hell. Let's just mash this thing.
...I can't say I disagree.


At least someone is ready for a fight.




Furyhorn
Level: 14HP: 784STR: 18TEC: 18VIT: 17AGI: 18LUC: 15DS: 48
EXP Given: 1824

Damage Vulnerabilities:
100% 100% 100%
125% 100% 125%

Disable Vulnerabilities:
50% 30% 20% 20% 10% 10%
10% 10% 20%
75% 50% 50%
  • Stomp: Deals severe bash damage to one party member. Fast.
  • Muddle Roar: Attempts to inflict panic on one row of party members, with an extremely high chance. Fast.
  • Stomp: Deals 170% melee STR-based bash damage to one party member. Has a speed modifier of +5, and a base accuracy of 99%.
  • Muddle Roar: Attempts to inflict panic on one row of party members, with an 85% base chance. Has a speed modifier of +5.
  • If no player characters are afflicted with panic, furyhorns will only use Muddle Roar.
  • When at least one player character is afflicted with panic, furyhorns have a coinflip chance of either using Muddle Roar again, or attacking (in which case, they heavily prefer using Stomp).
  • If any player character is afflicted with panic:
    • 40% chance to use Stomp.
    • If the above did not occur, 50% chance to use Muddle Roar.
    • If neither of the above occurred, attack.
  • If the above did not occur:
    • Use Muddle Roar.
Drops:
  • Fawn Hide: 100% chance. Sells for 78 en.
    • Barbute (10 DEF, +5% Max TP): Made from 1 Fawn Hide. Costs 320 en.
The 'furyhorn' has an odd vibration to its roaring—and they are roars—that allow them to manipulate mammalian sensory receptors to cause hallucinations. I imagine it was evolved to attempt to prey on Cutters or Bloodbears. However, we humans—and humanoids, again, akin to my friends Ray and Naijou—are very vulnerable to this. I would recommend earplugs.
Furyhorns are a serious pain to take on early, though a lot of the difficulty in fighting them is concentrated in the opening turns. If you can make it past those, then the rest of a fight against one will probably be smooth sailing. This mostly comes down to the fact that each time someone gets inflicted with panic by Muddle Roar, they gain accumulative resistance against it, reducing the chance of being re-inflicted with it each time it happens. It's also possible, though not particularly likely, for furyhorns to just waste turns by using Muddle Roar over and over again, which definitely helps.

For specific anti-furyhorn strategies, Refresh Waltz can completely waste a furyhorn's turn if the dancer's row is the one that got targeted. Best part about that is that the row will still get accumulative resistance, too. Furyhorns are also vulnerable to leg binds, which basically renders them helpless as far as damage goes, as well as nullifying their skills' high speed modifiers.

Gah...grr... GRRRROR!
Can't see can't steeeeeep!
Sir, yes, sir, I have spotted the outsiders, and will engage them immediately!
What the hell happened to them?!
Oyyyyy. Looks like the deer knows how t' use the power of rock too. None of the actual song bits, but screamo's a valid genre of metal?
Unfortunately, Muddle Roar was able to outspeed Marlin, which means Refresh Waltz wasn't applied, which means I have been very much put on the back foot.

Merula, Ray, lasses, help! I can't control myself!
Fffffffff— I wish I knew how to help, sorry!


Hostile fauna engaging, sir!


Ignoring fauna and engaging outsiders, sir!
Yup, oy, that hurt. Ohhhhh...


'Least it can't see...
That's not going to help much if our friends won't dodge it.


ARRRRROOORR!
Cripes, he just bit the git!
Who bit what? Gwaaaaah!


Accursed deer! You will pay thricefold for assaulting my mind!
I have half a mind to punish it for this dent in my armor, yes.
Still need help heeeeere!


We can help you once this deer is dead.


Man down...
Ggggggggghhhhh deep breaths, deep breaths...
Maintaining your strength under stress is an important skill.


...Right, I can do this.
Yes, just like that.


How 'bout you just stay right there, dear deer, eh?
I'm not going to think too hard about the loud crunching coming from the deer's legs.


Easy.


Please get up.
I...can stand now.


That'll help ya do more than stand.


Please help a man out!


Exhausted, are you?


Perfect time to strike, then.


What happened?! I felt my sword hit something! Please tell me it wasn't one of you!



...You're pulling my leg.
Why would I joke about this? Your uncoordinated swinging was the final strike needed to kill the deer.
You can tell me that with the straightest face possible, and I still won't believe you.
Okay, that was a bit messy, but we got there in the end.

...Waylon didn't even get to use Assault Drive.


Right, with that deer right bread, let's take what's ours.


...Euch.
It's filthy! And looks like it's been filthy for a long time, too...
I hope the client is not displeased with this.


This, on the other hand, seems interesting. It's very large, even for a shield.
I'd bet good money that you could do some direct protectin' with it.
The Pelta lets whoever equips it use a rank 1 Ally Shield in battle. It also gives +15 DEF.


Sir Sabert? We found the chest you were interested in.
Oho, wonderful! Your guild gets jobs done quickly—I like that. Come, show me what you found.
Here.
...It's...filthy! This can't be Conrad's work... I've been had! Ugh, get rid of this ugly thing. My apologies for making you go out of your way to find this garbage. Here, take it. I have no use for it.
Thank you, I suppose.
Looks like I'll be in the red again on this one... sigh


I heard your conversation. It is unfortunate that what you found was not what Sabert was looking for, but at least you are still getting compensated, no?
Yes, I suppose. It's still disheartening to see a requester be so upset.
Mm. Well, do try to not let it get to you too much. An upset requester is far from the worst thing I have seen in my time here. Perhaps you can take the armor to Wynne—she may be able to at least pay you what the metal is worth. Here is your reward—let that cheer you up.


The speed hammer lets us add AGI forges to our weapons. As you might've guessed, each AGI forge gives +1 AGI to the wielder.


Well, let's at least let Wynne take a look at this hunk of junk.



'Ey, Daffo— Woah, whatcha got dere?
We found this armor inside a very old treasure box in the Valley Spring.
Dag, yeah, dis armor's pretty freakin' old. I betcha I could fix it right up! Whaddya say, wanna leave it wit me?
It's not like there's much else we can do with it, so sure.
Tanks! I'll give everything I got ta fix it right up! Just gimme a sec!


You can't fault the lass's enthusiasm for the forge.


Oof.
Eh? What, did I say somethin' wrong?
See, uh, we only pinched this bugger because some merchant bloke was really hopin' it'd be valuable. When we brought it back and it was lookin' old and dirty, he got all het up, told us to keep it.
Welp, dat guy's missin' out. All it took was a bit'a polish and some fixin' details, and it looks good as new!


That is quite shiny.
It's so shiny that it's almost hard to look at it.
I'll have Ace take a look at it once she responds to exploration-related questions with more than an exhausted grumble. Thank you, Wynne.
Yup yup.
The pure plate gives +30 DEF and +5% max HP. Ace will absolutely be using this once she's put back in the party.

Oh, and don't worry, we've got a box of regular junk for you to look at.
It's like all my birthdays've come at once! Gimme gimme.
Berund Atelier has the following new items in stock:


For now, though, Naijou will be able to make use of the pure plate.


There's not much going on in the Valley Spring after you deal with the furyhorn and learn strategies for fighting the deathstalkers.

Also, I forgot to spend the skill points right after this.


Someone must've dropped this in a hurry.
It should be plenty safe to see what was left behind in the bag, no?
Probably, but let's have someone who's quick with their hands do it, just to be safe.
Fine.
Merula reaches into the bag, but then gives a sharp cry and throws it away!
Gggggghhhhh that hurt.
Oi, what— Oh, look, it's just a little fella.
You look at it to figure out what happened and see a small spider poking its head out from the bag.
Don't be too mad, Merry, look at him, he's just a little guy.
That may be, but this stinging—ngh—is anything but little.
Hmm... Well, that swelling does look nasty, but not dangerous.
Merula loses 10 HP.
Unfortunately for all of us, I can't leave things like this well alone. Let's just—
Marlin warily reaches for the leather bag...but tragedy strikes yet again!
Tssssshhh ooh ooh ooh, even keel, Marlin, even keel...!
Got bit, didn'tcha?
Did the grimacin' and the "tssssshhh ooh ooh ooh" give it away?
Marlin loses 10 HP.
Enough of this. Surely the spider has scampered away at this point.
Naijou reaches for the leather bag... But this time, the spider does not appear! At last, you get a look at the bag's contents! The prize inside is an expensive phial of medicine with powerful effects! You stow it in your pack.


At least our pain got us something, eh, lass?
Good to know my pain is worth a few hundred ental.


Encounterin' a scorp when we were investigatin' that hole kinda spoiled this whole place, huh?
Not much is really challengin' us, aye.


There is this encounter formation, at least. We saw it back in the main maze, but the difference here is that the angry baboon is put in the back row, making it more difficult to kill while not affecting Throw's damage, since Throw is ranged.

Man, EO4 loves its unique equipment that you can't get anywhere else, huh?

Anyway, the solid moccasins are, well, pretty solid shoes. I put them on Ray to hopefully up her action speed.
I like that about it!

I feel as though I would work better with a hatchet that is more proportional to my size.
Received supple branch x1 and guaiacum wood x3.


I believe we are done here.
That's it? That's pretty anti-climactic, e'nt it?
I don't think Whirlwind was expecting us to be able to take down the deer so easily when he recommended we train here.
I'm fine with callin' it a day early if the rest of you are. Could definitely use some rest after fightin' several big baddies.
That sounds lovely.
Mm... I would like to keep going, but I won't object if people need to rest.
Agreed.
It seems we are in agreement. Back to the Air B'n'B, then.
Next time: Lush Woodlands B3F. We're almost at the first boss!














Welcome home.
Eh? You're back already?
The Valley Spring proved far less challenging than we'd anticipated.
'Zat so? Well, good job, I guess.
Are we going to decide on the group that will be exploring the third floor, then?
No. You killed a lot of FOEs. We're all still tired. Let's rest for a few days.
You're sure? Merula and I, at least, are both ready to—
Rest.
Okay.
Do you mind if I join you two?
Take a seat. Nothing like a good sit by the fireplace, if you ask me.
I can get you blankets, if you want.
...That'd be nice, thank you.




















Oh, good evening, Eine.
Naijou! Good to see you, I heard your group's forays went well.
Indeed. Good evening to you too, Ace.
Mm.
...You are reading?
Yeah? What, didn't expect a meatshield to be into reading?
I'm not sure what a "meatshield" would be expected to be into, I just took you for the type of person who spends all of their free time training.
I can attest that she has spent just as much of her off-time in the library as she has practicing out on the deck.
Not big into stories, but I've learned plenty of useful things from other books. Ever wanted to know about the chemical logistics of oil treatment on armor? Boy, do I have a bunch of words I could spew at you.
So books can be used for the simple transfer of knowledge, in addition to being a record of stories. I'd never considered that.
If you're trying to learn how to read, you might be better off with the stuff Eine reads. I'll be the first to admit that a few of the words in the kinds of books I'm into still go over my head.
The thought had not crossed my mind, but that's still good to know.
...What types of books are you "into," Eine?
Adventure novels. I find it thrilling to experience the lives of people braver and more adventurous than myself. It's also fascinating to see the worlds that people concoct based on what's been discovered about the ancient civilizations beneath the other Yggdrasil cities.
Forgive my ignorance, but "Yggdrasil cities?"
Etria, High Lagaard's Central City, Armoroad, Ontario, and Gotham. Each of those cities is built around its own Yggdrasil, and their culture and economies are heavily influenced by the throngs of explorers that travel in search of glory.
Can't speak for Ontario and Gotham, but Etria had all this weird old technology buried way deep in its Labyrinth. High Lagaard had this floating castle filled with kinda-similar stuff. I bet Harper's got some stories from her moms about it. Armoroad...has its own history.
I don't follow.
All I'll say is that the stuff under Armoroad freaks me the fuck out. I wouldn't look into it, if I were you.
Understood. I'll take my leave now. Enjoy yourself, you two.
Thank you.
Mm.

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