Story Update 14: Shellfie

So it turned out that Ragnar never actually finished Chef's Request I, so I'll show that one off.
Decided to take the request, have you? Good, I've been hoping someone would. Jackson the chef has another request.
Wait what? But the quest's name is Chef's Request I!
I, Chef's Request
He wants to pioneer a new trend of using Bug Nest as the main ingredient in dishes. Let's see... I heard you can get it from Dragonflys on B13F.
Simple enough. We'll be running into those enemies soon enough. Also, the plural and coding clash strikes once again!
He wants three of them. What kind of food can you make out of a bug nest?
Quite a lot insects are considered delicacies in real life! A nest isn't too out there as a dish! Granted the kind of nests that people eat in real life are just bird's nests. And the nests that get harvested for that are mostly made out of bird saliva anyways.
I'm hungry already.

Next up is this quest. Ragnar already covered this one, but it has Story exclusive dialogue, so I'll show it off as well. As for the last quest, it contains nothing new for Story, so I won't bother with that one.
Decided to take the request, have you? Good, I've been hoping someone would. It's a mystery why, but the ants living on B12 become very violent at a certain time each year. They claim the lives of many adventurers... I want you to find the reason why they turn so antagonistic... Pun very much not intended. If we can find out what's happening, then we may figure out a way to deal with it. I'm counting on you.

This quest also pops up after you talk with Austin and head to the Labyrinth afterwards. I'm also going to cover this one since it also has Story content.
Decided to take the request, have you? Good, I've been hoping someone would. You remember that detective guy, right? He told me he was going into the forest, but he never returned. I know a lot of the patrons in this pub look forward to his stories, and a lot of people are worried about him. He didn't say where he was going, but he did leave this note behind. It's a bit long, but let me read it.
"Once property of man, now belonging to the insects who dwell below. The light of the ore becomes the sun. The shadow points to the four doors. From under the sun, south two steps and one, west one step, and again south two steps and one. There, below. The honey shall become an orb and regain its shine." ...That's it. Do you have any idea what that means?

You get the notes in Classic too, but in Story, Valerie pipes up after this.
Come to think of it, that customer over there was worried about the detective's disappearance, too. Maybe if you work together, you'll be able to get a hint about where the detective's gone.

Yo, Achievers! You're the ones who'll help search for the detective? I'm worried about why he's not here. The hostess told me about the note, too. You want to put our heads together and think about it?

Sure, why not?
All right, here we go. Once property of man, now belonging to the insects who dwell below. The light of the ore becomes the sun. The shadow points to the four doors. From under the sun, south two steps and one, west one step, and again south two steps and one. There, below. The honey shall become an orb and regain its shine. ...There you go. I don't have a clue what any of it means, though. If we could figure out what the "sun" and "shadow" refer to, then maybe we could get somewhere.

And the Story advantage kicks in here too. This NPC shows up in Story to give you a hint for this quest. In Classic, he doesn't. So uh, screw you if you're playing that mode!

Let's talk about the sun first.
"The light of the ore becomes the sun." Huh... What could it mean...? There's an ore vein where the detective went. You think that could be the sun? ...I have no idea what I'm saying.

Well he just basically spelled it out for us.
Stick it where the sun don't shine, sunshine.
A mine...? Ohh! That might be it! You get ores from mines, after all. So if a mine is the sun... Then if you start from the mine on the floor the detective went to, you just walk in the directions listed!
Now let's talk about the shadow.
"The shadow points to the four doors." Hmm... The inn has doors that line up, but is this talking about something in the forest...?

Only one place so far that has something like that.
Really? Then if you think about what the note says and check that place, maybe you'll figure out where to go.
And we're done with him. Thanks for the help, concerned patron!
No problem. I'm counting on you to find the detective!

Didn't the detective's note have some mention of insects?
Oh, yeah... Uh, 'man is an insect, and insects are...'? ...Wait, what was it?

Once more from the top, I guess.
The note said the following:
Okay I don't think we need to see this for a 3rd time. Skipping ahead...
That's all it said.
Okay, so the steps and the directions make sense, but the question is: where do we start?
Is there a hint or something in there?
Maybe we should compare the note to our map. We might find something...
You decide to begin searching for him with his encoded note in your hand.
That conversation is certainly redundant if you've already talked with the man with the twisted lip. Whose hints are exclusive to Story.

The directions are pretty straightforward once you figure out how the note works. Though uhhh, doing that in Classic would be more tricky since you get no help at all there.

This must be because the ants had turned violent, as you had heard in the pub. You must determine what the ants are hiding. Check your map and figure out where you should go.
Oh right, we were on this quest too. I'll handle that later, finding a detective is more important than ants.

You look where Ricky is pointing and see a familiar figure: Austin the detective, facing away from you. You remember the quest from the pub to look for Austin in the Labyrinth.

You decide to talk to the detective.

One of the regulars at the pub became worried about me and hired you to find me, I presume? Well, I apologize for causing others to worry. Still... You didn't happen to come here using the note I left behind, by any chance?

It was either that or a blind tile hunt, and it definitely wasn't the latter!
You nod, and the detective looks straight into your eyes.
Is that so... Allow me to ask you this, then. What is the sun?

The mining point.
Hrm... You are indeed very skilled and clever adventurers. You have my respect. But it matters not right now. You see, I am here on business. Since you're here, could you lend me a hand?
A hand with what...? You don't appear to need any help.
In a matter of seconds, a certain monster should arrive. You're good at fighting monsters, yes?
You hurriedly look around for the monster Austin spoke of, but you do not sense anything... Suddenly, an immense pressure surrounds you, just as the detective said it would!
Now then, my fellow adventurers. I'm counting on you.

Easy enough to handle.
Ah good, another variety of worm.

Just roast them. You have access to a ton of Fire damage in this party.

When the detective approaches the fallen monster, it suddenly rears up and spits poison on him!
Wha--!? Dude, you all right!?
Don't worry, I'm fine. One final parting blow, it would seem.
I can't believe it. You were hit with an immense amount of poison, but you don't appear to be sick at all. What is going on?
Oh, it's an application of simple technology. Anyone could do it if they understood the principle.
But enough of that. There's something I must confirm here.
After confirming the monster's death, the detective examines its carcass... However, it seems he does not find what he is looking for. Austin shrugs and sighs.
...Hrm, this one isn't it.
I apologize for involving you in my work. Just think of it as bad luck.
Still... In the end, he didn't appear...
'He'? Who?
Oh, don't worry about what I said. If you knew the details, it would only put you in danger. Now then, I must be off.
With these words, the detective uses an Ariadne Thread and disappears.

I don't know if we came here to look for him or to help him.
Doesn't matter. He's fine, and he just went back to town, so we finished the quest, right?
Arthur is right. You have found the person you were requested to look for. You should report this at the pub.

Now as for Orphans of the forest, we saw from the map from our search for the Detective, that the part of the floor this pit leads to was conspicuously empty.

These eggs must be the ants'. Clearly, they become violent in protection of their eggs. You should escape the nest so that you can report your findings on the ants' behavior.
...There was supposed to be Story exclusive dialogue, but it goes entirely unusued! Oops! Oh well, they said nothing intersting anyways. The instructions were just given in dialogue form instead of being told to you directly.
You're implying that Story dialogue is interesting otherwise.

Good work, everyone. The detective is back and safe. Still... what a false alarm.


Some say that certain living beings live to collect things. In some cases, there may be no reason, and in others, it's part of the creature's ecology.
...Now, what does this mean?

...What a strange job. We went searching for a missing person, and when we found him, he made us kill a monster for him.
Yes, and for no payment.

Dude saying something like this is amusing to me so...
Hey wait a minute, this is dead language in my LP, the canon!
C'est la vie.
Well, if you're okay with it, Dude... I'm sure that's what's best for the guild.
Yeah, I mean, we did end up helping someone... It's not all bad.
And now back to the Labyrinth.

You hear Ricky mutter to herself while gazing about the mysterious blue forest.

We'll manage somehow.
True. They said it was like a human, so it must be at least as big. I don't think this will be as hard as you say.
It could be worse, you reflect; your task could be to find a single insect. The thought cheers you as you go on your way.

A cursory inspection of the tree branch Simon picks up leads you to believe it would make for good crafting material.

Hah, lucky us. Maybe there's some more around here?
After putting the sticks away in your pack, you search around to find more good material stacked in a nearby tree. It is close enough for you to reach out and take, if you wish...

Always say yes to free stuff!
The moment you reach for the materials, a high-pitched, buzzing noise intrudes upon the scene. A troop of flying insects charges at you, furious over the theft of their materials!
Uh-oh! You think these belonged to the bugs!?
Even if you abandon the materials now, the insects will show no mercy. You must take up arms and defend yourselves!

Pfft, is that it? Something interesting to note about Dragonflies is that they get less fearsome as they lose more HP, the opposite of what normally happens with enemies in this series. So you'll want to damage them as fast as you can.

I would heavily advise grabbing their conditional drop if you can (though your methods are rather limited, since your only source of Paralysis is Simon's Curare skill.) It makes a very good Gun for Ricky.

How convenient!
In the end, it's all free stuff.

Though I can't say the same for the materials. They're all crushed now...
Dejected though you are at losing your bounty, it is a secondary concern to the hordes of insects that may arrive...
At least we still keep the Bug Nest we got from this spot.

Good job, everyone. You have... one, two, three Bug Nests. Jackson will be happy when he gets these. Still... is he really going to make food with these? I don't think I'd want to eat whatever he's cooking up with these things. How about you?

Some of the more delicious dishes can be made from the strangest of ingredients. So sure, I'd give it a shot.
You adventurers sure are bold. Well, maybe you'll get your chance once he's finished with these Bug Nests.

It's a way for our party to inflict Panic should we ever need it.

Wasn't kidding about that conditional drop being something you want to grab. It's a really good upgrade, and it comes with an extra element for regular attacks to boot!
Better now than at the very end of the game when you don't need it anymore.

What's with them all of a sudden...?
The low croak's volume increases, as if surrounding you...Is this a threat by the frogs? You grow wary of being attacked by so many at once...
...Best we don't make any sudden movements. Who knows what might incite them to attack...

Throwing a stone gets you into a battle. Yelling does nothing and just sends you back to this choice. Staying still dispels this event without anything happening. Using an item on the other hand...
Dude, why don't we use a Sonic Bomb?
It's true that a Sonic Bomb may startle the frogs into fleeing...
Flash Bombs also work here.

You warn your allies to plug their ears before throwing the Sonic Bomb into the water! A deafening noise is followed by a wave rippling over the water's surface as the frogs scatter in all directions...
I'd say that was quite effective. And look... the frogs seem to have brought a few things up from under the water.
Just as Simon says, you see a plethora of valuable materials around you! Your decision seems to have been sound. You gather the materials and stow them in your pack before going on your way.

sonic bombs op. pls nerf.
And here I was getting into a battle like a chump.

When you look towards the others, perplexed, Raquna speaks up.

She remains quiet and wary of her surroundings, nodding silently toward the thicket ahead. When you peer into the thicket, you discover a small figure there.
Maybe it's that ronin and hexer we keep running into?
Arthur's voice is cheerful as he cranes his neck to see into the thicket.
I'd think they'd just come talk to us by now. Doesn't this seem a little strange to you...?
Raquna's expression grows more suspicious as she dismisses Arthur's suggestion...
Could it be... those creatures?
Ricky's worried whisper seems plausible, and you exercise heightened caution as a result. She may be right... One of the creatures may well be lurking in the thicket. You weigh the options of approaching the unknown figure or ignoring it.

What have we got to lose?
The suspicious figure, seeming to sense your movement, disappears into the forest...
That wasn't Ren and her partner, right?
You doubt that Ren, at least, would ever retreat from you. Whatever observed you was more likely something unknown. You warn your companions to stay cautious of their surroundings before resuming the investigation.

Simon stops to peer at a hole in the ground large enough for a person to fit through. You can't see its bottom from here, but it seems to run for quite a ways below ground... You suppose you could enter it, but if you all did so at once, you suspect you would get stuck before long. Your curiosity is piqued as to what may be inside the hole...

Might as well take a look.
You direct your light into the hole and find that the sides gradually slope downward. Past a certain point, the hole curves, and you cannot tell what might be further within. You must pull back from the hole for now and decide what to do next.

Nothing for it, but to investigate ourselves.
Honestly, the one time you could make Arthur come into the hole...
You enter the hole alone. The narrow hole is a tight fit for you...

You reassure the worried Ricky as you continue to descend the gradual slope... After several turns, you notice that the torch in your hand is illuminating an unnatural shape up ahead. You don't sense anything odd or hear any unusual noises, but you have no allies with you. You must be cautious...

We've come too far to turn back.
You make up your mind and take a determined step forward. You are startled to find a gigantic crab monster only a few paces away! The narrow confines of the tunnel offer nowhere to flee... You must take your weapon and fight for your life!
Fuck, I don't think I'm ready for a solo fight!
You dig in, beads of anxious sweat forming on your brow, but... The monster remains still... Slowly, warily, you approach to find it is only the molted shell of a crab.
Oh, false alarm.
...Though you feel embarrassed at your overreaction to a mere shell, you return to where your allies await.

Huh. I didn't know crabs molted.
...Wouldn't that mean there's a crab bigger than that cast-off shell somewhere around here?
Thinking back to the size of the shell you saw sends a chill down your spine... You suggest to the others that you all mind your step in this area.

Oh and just a word of warning. From here on out, you are really going to want to make liberal use of Ice Wall. A lot of enemies in the rest of this Stratum have powerful Ice attacks, so you'll want some protection against it. So at this point, it should be at level 5 or close to 5. Just be warned that there are also enemies that can bind your arms, and if Raquna gets her arms bound, it'll cancel out the use of Ice Wall (Same goes for when she gets disabled.) Just something to be aware of.
Elemental attacks? Never heard of 'em, bruv!

Hey, Dude? What's making those bubbles in the water?
You look toward the water Ricky spoke of and see small bubbles popping on the surface. Could there be something on the stream bed...? If you wish to satisfy Ricky's curiosity, you could check the water.

They say curiosity revived the cat, right?
*Only applicable with Nectars on hand, do not have your cat check mysterious water without adult supervision, results may vary.
You cautiously dip a hand into the water. The water here is quite shallow, and fortunately for you, your hand easily reaches to the bottom. As you sift through the mud, you bring up a large shellfish. It seems this is what was creating the water bubbles...
That's a big one...
You are about to hand the shellfish over to the impressed Ricky when a thought crosses your mind. Could this shellfish be edible...?

Mmm! Shellfish can make for some very good eating! Try some of those kinds of dishes sometime if you haven't already!
You mention the idea to the others.
Sounds like my specialty. Let me see that.
After accepting the shellfish from you, Raquna skillfully inserts her knife into the bivalve slit to open it up. The fresh shellfish meat is plump and plentiful enough for everyone to eat.
Ah, I still had some seasoning in my pack. It's fresh, so... a pinch of salt should do. Arthur, a fire, if you will.
I'm on it!
W-We're really going to eat it...?
Ignoring the surprised Ricky for now, you skewer a hunk of shellfish meat and cook it expertly. When you bite into it, you are met with an exquisite taste...!

I didn't know shellfish could be so... delicious.
That was a nice find, Ricky.
You are unable to find another shellfish, having just disturbed the water, but another may drift by later. If you happen to pass this spot again, perhaps you could search for another shellfish then.
Another daily healing spot for us, but this one is a little too out of the way to be useful.
The game is usually shellfish like this.

That's all for this floor.

And back to town to restock on supplies and such.

Continuing with your original classes is fine and all, but why don't you try out a few new ones? With your skills, I'm sure you could get 'em into fighting shape pretty quickly.
Gee I'd sure love to, but I can't exactly change classes that easily in this mode!

This quest has some Story mode dialogue, but we've already seen most of it because it was tied to an event. I'll cover it real quickly now.

Hey, Dude. Don't you think that shell we found in here would be exactly what our client wants?
Raquna is right. The giant shell you found would surely make your client quite happy. You pull the crab shell out of the hole, making sure not to damage it. The quest is complete! Turn it in at the pub when you have time.

And that's it. Next time, back to your regularly scheduled labyrinth exploration.
Lake it or not, there's still a bit to go!

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