Our Unsung Heroes
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Forename, you're here! Excellent.
Landenel, mere moments ago, received the necessary authorization for us to enter Amdapor.
He'll also be accompanying us into the lost city. He claims that in watching over Setoto, he's developed a brotherly affection for her and wants to help. Honestly, I think he's just raring for a fight.
Well, whatever his reasons, I am simply glad for his assistance. The more seasoned fighters we take, the faster we'll be able to dispatch the parasite leeching Setoto of her aether. Now, let us head to the gates─where we will be meeting Landenel.
It shouldn't be much longer until we receive an answer from the Order of the Twin Adder.
Are you ready, Forename?
Good. The moment Landenel joins us, we'll enter the lost city.
I presume Alka Zolka has apprised you of all that you need to know, including the fact that I'll be delving into the depths of the lost city with you. Please begin making your way there. I'll meet you at the gates.
Is it... Is it gone? Haha! It is! We did it! It's another victory for the Royal Marines!
The statue's stopped moving and the earlier dread I felt has begun to recede. It appears the phantom faerie is no longer...
Yes─which means there's a very good chance Setoto's aether has returned to her! She'll be up soon! Let's hurry back so that she might have a friendly face to wake to.
Forename, what in the gods' name are you doing!? Come, we must return to Camp Tranquil posthaste!
<pant> That fight...<pant>...took a lot more out of me than I thought it did. <pant> Where's Setoto? And Landenel, for that matter...
Setoto, you're awake!
Alka, what's wrong? Are you all right?
...Do you not remember? You attempted to summon Lilac, and fell unconscious. You've been asleep this entire time─well, at least until we defeated the faerie you had called forth.
I...I had no idea... I'm so sorry. It was never my intention to place any of you in harm's way.
...While I was sleeping I had a dream.
It was of my father. When the first wave of the sickness hit, person after person began taking ill. I watched as he and the other scholars rushed through the streets, trying to save anyone they could.
Then, the sickness struck me. When my skin began to turn green and my limbs began to shrink, he decided to embark upon a mission to obtain the cure─one he knew was destined to end in failure from the very start.
He made his way to where all the white mages resided─the enemy nation of Amdapor. In a last-ditch attempt to save me, he infiltrated their borders. I suppose we all know how that story ends...
<sigh> Even if he no longer cared for me─loathed me, even─for what I had become, it wouldn't matter. I just wish I could have seen him one last time...
What are you talking about, Setoto!? Your father would have been delighted to see the stunning young woman you've grown into.
Thank you, Alka. You always know what to say.
While I've always known I'd never again feel my father's loving embrace, I had thought that maybe, just maybe, I could have at least seen his faerie.
In my selfish desire to do so, however, I put everyone in danger, including Lilac. Words are not enough to express how sorry I am.
That reminds me... Setoto, do you have any idea why Lilac was so drawn to the lost city?
You need not worry about it, friend. There is likely little rhyme or reason to the actions of a frenzied spirit.
Maybe...but the way she was moving seemed deliberate─almost as though she was trying to show us something. Do you have any ideas, Forename?
What will you do?
Hold out the gemstone.
Shake your head.
That reminds me, after the battle you stooped down as if to retrieve something. Did you find anything interesting?
A gemstone? I think this is what Lilac was trying to lead us to!
We should take it to Surito Carito that he might examine it. He, of all people, will be able to comprehend its significance.
Oh, I nearly forgot! Landenel, sir─thank you for taking care of me when I was unwell.
Think nothing of it. This world may be full of self-serving men and women but don't forget that not all of us are like that.
Should you run into someone or something that threatens to hurt you, be sure to come and find me. Once I run them through with my lance, they should bother you no longer.
Thank you, sir. I'll be sure to do that.
Go to Alka Zolka. I'll bring out the tonberry girl shortly.
Surito Carito, there is something we would like for you to examine.
Forename discovered this gemstone in the Lost City of Amdapor. It seemed as if to be of great import to the faerie Setoto summoned.
Dear gods... It couldn't possibly be...
Th-This gemstone─it appears to contain concentrated white magicks. How did you find this!?
Ah... From what you described, I can only surmise that this is the guardian statue's crystal core and the source of its power.
Is it possible, then, that this is what Setoto's father sought to acquire by infiltrating Amdapor?
It is very likely. Had the Nymians managed to attain and analyze one of these gemstones, we could have found the remedies to any number of diseases─possibly even that of the sickness which destroyed our lands.
It is just as I thought. Lilac was acting with deliberate intent. She had guided us to the lost city that we might uncover this...
Normally, a faerie which has failed to fully manifest is nothing more than a sphere of turbulent aetheric energy, incapable of being manipulated by its summoner.
Lilac, however, is in part, a remnant of her father's aether. Perhaps she retained his strong will to see that Setoto was saved.
Lilac... Father... Thank you. Thank you for everything.
You were right, Commander. Truly, the duty of the strong is to protect the weak.
The two of you have gone to great lengths to bring Setoto safely back to us. For that I cannot thank you enough.
This gemstone that you brought back from Amdapor at Lilac's behest will no doubt pave the way for a new generation of scholars.
I shall begin analyzing this gemstone straightaway. I will do whatever it takes to discover the cure, and thus carry on Setoto's father's legacy.
And speaking of legacies, you have shaped up to be a mighty fine scholar, Forename. I cannot help but feel proud whenever I look upon you.
In my selfish desire to reconnect with my father, I caused the two of you a great deal of distress. For that, I am terribly sorry.
Setoto, there is no need to apologize. Your undying gratitude is more than enough.
Hehehe! Thank you, Alka─for everything. That you should, even now, treat me like the young girl I once was...it is perhaps what I've come to like about you most.
My apologies, Setoto. I didn't quite catch that. Do you think you could─ Setoto! Are you all right? You're going red! Mayhap you need to lay down and rest?
I-I'm perfectly fine! Although... Alka, the next time the Royal Marines are out training, would it be all right if I joined you?
Of course! You'd be a fine addition to our ranks, my lady. You are the daughter of one of Nym's very own Royal Marines, after all!
For now this is enough. When the day comes that I regain my original body, however, I pray that you will give me strength─Father, Lilac─that I might one day convey my feeling to him.
To think that Lilac would retain a fragment of her father's consciousness and guide us to the stone... Setoto must have meant the world to him.
What a relief it is that Setoto is back to normal.
While incredibly trying, I cannot help but be glad for our little misadventure. Not only will it aid Surito Carito's efforts to discover a cure, but the Royal Marines have become all the stronger for it! We have even earned ourselves a new member!
I know I don't say it enough, but thank you, Forename, for always being there. You are an excellent scholar and an even better friend!
Now, let us leave this place. It is past time we returned home to continue our training!
TO VICTORY─COME HELLS OR HIGH WATER!