Securing the Saltery
Our course is decided. I shall return to the palace and have my ministers begin work on implementing the particulars of the plan.
If I could prevail upon you one more time, Forename, I would ask that you convey the details of our negotiations to Commander Hext on your return to Ala Mhigo.
My thanks again. Together, we have laid the groundwork for an endeavor which promises to benefit the peoples of Ala Mhigo and Ul'dah both.
You need not accompany me back to the palace─I will have Papashan arrange an escort. That is, if he hasn't already organized a search party... I've been absent for rather longer than intended...
Welcome back, Forename. How was your audience with the sultana?
In your absence, I have kept myself busy cataloging the riches of the mad king's trove and calculating its worth in gil. I have some way to go, but the figure is already quite staggering.
Oh, uh...greetings, Forename! I'm actually in the middle of reporting to the commander here, so...
Forename! You're back! What did Nanamo─ Oh! Sorry... Are you allowed to talk about your audience with the sultana?
So...Raubahn says he's going to return to Ul'dah...but she isn't sure he wants to.
Hmph. Tell us something we don't know... But I'm pleased to hear she's committed to helping our refugees come home.
And this plan to revitalize the Saltery does make a lot of sense. Quite how you convinced her to seek Lolorito's help is another question. After all that has happened, he is the very last person I would expect her to turn to for advice.
But on a more practical note─Lyse, assuming the interim government elects to accept Ul'dah's proposal, I have one caveat I should like you to include in the bargain.
Ala Mhigo must be permitted to cover a portion of the investment. We have a fortune at our disposal, after all, and allowing Ul'dah to provide the entirety of the capital will afford Lolorito too much control.
Honestly, Alphinaud─it's like Kugane never happened. What exactly does a ruthless profiteer have to do to earn your trust?
But yes, you do make a good point. First things first, though, we need to discuss this proposal with the Saltery's residents.
Wiscar─how do you fancy explaining the sultana's plan to your grandfather? I'd like to hear what Watt thinks of the idea before agreeing to anything.
Right away, Commander. Would you mind coming along, Forename? I might need you to fill in the details.
Then I shall come as well. Should Watt wish to discuss figures, my knowledge of the nation's finances may prove useful.
I'm leaving the business of dividing up the treasure to those who know about such things. I'm not proud to admit it, but every time I see a column of numbers, my eyes glaze over. One of these days, I'll have to ask Alphinaud to explain it all to me...
I'll have to give Nanamo my thanks next time we meet. With this and everything else that's been happening, it really feels like things are gathering pace around here.
Ideally, one would want Ala Mhigo's stake to match Ul'dah's gil for gil... In combination with a cast-iron contract, that should serve to prevent Lolorito from making off with all of the profits...
Let's go and see Grandad! He's going to want to hear this!
What manner of mischief brings you young 'uns to old Watt this time, eh?
They want to rebuild the Saltery, Grandad! Forename, tell him about the deal!
Well bugger me... We've never had the coin or the hands to put the place back to how it was─but it sounds like that's about to change!
...There's just one small wrinkle in your plan: it doesn't account for all the nasties queuing up to eat anyone who goes near the shore.
The king used to send soldiers to cull the buggers, but the imperials weren't about to help the likes of us.
Don't worry, Grandad─we'll take care of all that. Commander Hext has been talking about starting up regular patrols, and I'm sure she'd assign me to the loch if I asked.
I'd appreciate that, Wiscar, my lad, truly I would. So, does this mean you've gotten better with that blade of yours?
I've been training, aye...but mostly to kill imperials.
You've some experience hunting monsters, don't you, Forename? Think you could cast an eye over a few of the local beasties and teach me how to deal with 'em?
Let's not waste any time, then! I'll see you by the loch!
Whilst you are busy attending to the local fauna, I shall have Master Watt explain to me exactly what is required to restore the Saltery to its former glory. Good hunting!
Needless to say, I shall impress upon our friend here the singular importance of securing a fair contract with his Ul'dahn benefactors.
It does my heart good to see youngsters like my grandson giving their all to rebuild the country. Feels like anything's possible.
Right then, Forename. I've got a spyglass here you can use to take a closer look at these pests. Once you've got their measure, you can tell me what to do, and we'll see how well I get on!
Ah, looks like you've found a yabby. They say hitting their shell's like smacking a rock. Any suggestions?
Vulnerable under the head, are they? R-Right then! Wish me luck!
I... All right, then. I was hoping there'd be more of a trick to it, but brute force it is!
Thanks, Forename. I did just as you told me and the wavekin went down like a sack of popotoes! Let's find something else!
I think I can handle the yabbies now, so we should try something different. What else is out there...?
Ugh...a phoebad. How do I defeat one of those?
Inside its head, is it? I'll try to stab it right between the eyes, then!
As hard...as I can. Well, simple strategies are often the best! Here goes!
<pant> <pant>It's not easy...fighting with the liberator of Ala Mhigo watching your every...move. But I got the job done.
Thanks for the advice, Forename! I feel a lot better prepared for my patrols now.
Anyroad, we should head back to the Saltery before Grandad starts to worry I've been snipped into pieces and fed to a yabby's hatchlings.
Let's hurry up and tell Grandad how the hunt went. It'll set his mind at ease.
For the merchants of Ul'dah, a well-constructed contract is both sword and shield, and Watt must understand this if we are to meet them on an even field. Speaking of battles, does Wiscar seem equal to the task of thinning the loch's monster population? He certainly seemed eager enough.
I see you've returned in one piece. Dealt with those beasties then, did you?
Aye, fought them myself...after a bit of instruction from Forename here, like. Once I've shared what I've learned with the others, we should have no trouble keeping the shoreline clear.
Good lad. A fine young man you've become, Wiscar. A fine young man, indeed.
Too often of late, I hear tales of folk over in the city, drunk on victory and hungry for revenge, their heads stuck firmly in the past.
But we need to set our sights on the future─on things which'll improve our lot. Things like getting the Saltery ready to welcome our long-lost countrymen.