Maple's Story by IsaacGS

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Chapter 1

Long ago, Victoria Island was ruled by the civilization of the Sharenian. The Sharenian ruled from the heavily forested area in the north of Victoria, where Perion is today. This culture lasted for hundreds of years, and created much of the things that make the Maple World what it is today. The Sharenian Country really did span the entirety of Victoria. The Stone Golems were created to guard their Temple at the southern edge of the island. Even the Sanctuary, deep in the Ant Tunnel, was once an important proving ground for them. But alas, all great things must come to an end, and the Sharenian met their end under the rule of Sharen III. Sharen III was a wise and compassionate man, who ruled fairly and was liked by all. He craved immortality, however, and sought out the Rubian, a precious jewel that brings youth to anyone who owns it. Unfortunately, the Rubian is cursed, and all who possess it meet their end, downtrodden and defeated. Sharen III, being the ruler of the entire nation of Sharenian, inadvertently took it down with him. Perion became the barren, arid wasteland we know it as today. More recently, the Excavation Site and all of the digging going on nearby have not been helping the problem.

And that is how the world remained, without any major ruling group, until nearly 300 years ago. Alcaster, the famous magician of El Nath, began studying a story passed down for a long time. It told of a great war that took place ages ago, and a legendary book, The Book of Ancient, containing forbidden magic and dark spells, that was used as a weapon in this war. The war, though fought for unknown reasons and between unknown factions, does have a few survivors to this day: The Four Wisemen of Victoria Island. Grendel the Really Old, Athena Pierce, Dances with Balrog and Dark Lord all met during this conflict. Together, they decided to hide The Book of Ancient from everyone. After hiding it, they created a map, and to prevent it from being abused, split the map into four corners, each one keeping a piece.

Grendel retired to the town in the trees, Ellinia, and began to study black magic. His first attempts at this were to bring straw dolls to life. Black Magic is very dangerous, because if it is misused, the magician risks losing his ability to use spells all together. Black magic dealing with life is especially forbidden, and yet the young Grendel went straight for it. Unfortunately, something went horribly wrong, and the curse of Black Magic leaked into the dolls. Grendel took the Cursed Dolls and sealed them deep in the dungeon, never to be seen again... Or so he hoped. Years later, the Lupin living nearby discovered the cursed dolls and stole them away, causing them to become Zombie Lupin.

Around this same time, Athena Pierce, wandering the plains of Southern Victoria, came across a small town that was under attack by hordes of powerful monsters, led by Mushmom. She defeated the onslaught singlehandedly, and has since remained there to protect the village of Henesys and teach young beginners the Way of the Archer.

Getting back to Alcaster, after having someone gather up the 4 map pieces from Victoria's wisemen, he was able to piece the map together using another form of Black Magic. The map revealed that The Book of Ancient was hidden in Orbis Tower. Finally, the book was recovered and Alcaster studied it for a long time. Eventually he discovered a way to seal its forbidden power once and for all using Dark Crystals.

Chapter 2

Decades ago, there was a legendary hero that roamed the island of Victoria named Tristan. He was well known, but rarely seen, always hunting for the strongest, evilest monsters. One day, Manji of Perion, an up and coming warrior, detected an evil aura emanating from the cave at the center of Victoria Island. He was drawn to it, and began descending deep into the Ant Tunnel.

Eventually, Manji went so deep into the cave that no light was able to reach and the cave walls began to appear blue. He knew this was dangerous territory, but his sense of adventure kept him on the trail down to the dungeon's end. At the end of the cave, he discovered an ancient sanctuary, long vacant of humans and beginning to crumble. The dark force was coming from the sanctuary, he was certain. Finally, after reaching the last, darkest room of the sanctuary, he saw something: two glowing eyes piercing through the darkness. Yes, it was the fabled Balrog! It flapped its huge wings and grinned devilishly with its sharp teeth.

Just then, the Balrog started to attack! Manji knew he didn't stand a chance, but it was too late to run. As the Balrog's Claw came crashing down, Manji winced, but felt no blow; he looked up, only to see the legendary hero Tristan there to save him! The hero's sword had a mythical glow that helped it to repel the balrog's dark aura. Tristan and the Balrog fought for quite some time, until he was finally able to gain an advantage, and knocked the Balrog into a pit. Tristan turned to check on Manji, but this turned out to be a fatal error; The Balrog flapped its damaged wings enough to clamp down on Tristan with its jaws, and both fell deep into the darkness.

Manji raced down the cliff, searching for Tristan. By the time Manji reached the cave's floor, it was too late for Tristan. The legendary hero passed on his sword to Manji, but it was severely damaged by the fierce battle and the Balrog's brutal evil aura. Manji swore that one day, when he was strong enough, he would restore this sword to its former glory and give it to a warrior as noble as Tristan.

Chapter 3

The fairies of Ellinia are a peaceful, wise race that practice magic in schools and gather lots of knowledge all around, kept in the Magic Libary. The only human that they will obey is Grendel, because of his overwhelming magical powers. Fairies are generally distrustful of humans, but sometimes they have no choice but to ask for help. The one thing that can win over a fairy, however, is a shiny object. Many of them have a specific valued object that they carry with them. Arwen the Fairy has a glass shoe which is often coveted by monsters, for example. Some fairies are so desperate to keep these shiny objects that they are even willing to sacrifice a wing to get them back!

Ellinia is not the only place where fairies live, however; another variety of fairies populates the floating town of Orbis. While the fairies of Ellinia have delicate, fragile wings like those of a butterfly, the fairies of Orbis have powerful, angelic wings, many times the size of their body in some cases. Both species of fairies get along together well. They trade valuable items to create potions and elixirs. Wing the Fairy of Ellinia sometimes hires strong humans on their way to Ossyria to deliver items to his friend Kriel the Fairy, who synthesizes powerful magician weapons and items. One of these items is the Tears of Kelvelos, a legendary monster's drop that was obtained by Wing's family long ago.


Chapter 4

The Goddess: Minerva

Orbis is the first town that a traveler from Victoria will arrive at on the vast continent of Ossyria. Orbis is not actually on the continent anymore, however; through the force of Lithium crystals refined in Magatia and enchanted with the powers of alchemy, the city is actually floating in the sky, high above the El Nath mountain range. The town was raised into the air a long time ago by the goddess of Wisdom Minerva, who ruled over Orbis. She spent much time in a special tower built for her by the humans of Ossyria. Recently, the humans brought a huge statue to her, made in her image; She liked it so much, she had it moved into the Tower so she could drink tea and admire it every morning. Many travelers paid her a visit every day, and not all of them were human or fairy; occasionally, monsters would come through. This day, the unsavory Papa Pixie came into the tower, asking Minerva to sell some Water of Life to him so that he might create more Pixies. Minerva would not part with the Water of Life and he was forced to leave, quite unsatisfied.

The next day, the goddess awoke to find that her statue had been broken! The culprit had broken in overnight and destroyed her prized statue, but accidentally left a footprint. Papa Pixie came by not long after, offering to fix the statue in exchange for the Water of Life. Minerva was so happy with this news that she didn't realize how suspicious Papa Pixie was behaving. After Papa Pixie left, the humans came by, and Minerva quickly covered the statue with a nearby cloth, embarrassed that this could happen to a goddess. She decided that it must be fixed as soon as possible, and thus was forced to hire Papa Pixie. Her chamberlain, Eak, tried to point out that this was a bad idea, but he nagged her so much that eventually she ruined his cloudy body to force him to be quiet. Papa Pixie, seeing that Eak was now disposed, brought more and more pixies in to the tower. His final act of deception ready, he asked Minerva to model for him so that he could fix the statue properly. She went into the ruined statue and Papa Pixie sealed her there, hiding the pieces of the statue all across her tower to prevent her from being released. Only a daring party of powerful humans could possibly challenge Papa Pixie and free the goddess from her marble statue prison...

...and many areas of the floating island have fell into disrepair and were eventually overtaken by monsters. Some residents of this area refused to move, despite the monsters looming outdoors. One such resident is the fortune telling Sorcerer, Spiruna. She has been able to foresee Orbis' terrible fate for some time: the floating city was slowly sinking and might soon crash into the ground! No one knew exactly what was causing the town of Orbis to sink, however. One theory that was proposed was that Orbis was getting heavier due to the rapid increase in the number of monsters on the island. The dark forces unleashed by Zakum and other incredibly evil monsters led to this increase. Particularly, the Jr. Kitties seemed to be to blame. Upon finding a brave soul to take out hundreds of them, the island's sinking slowed down, but still persisted.

After further investigation, it was discovered that the pixies were causing this. They were leeching the power from the clouds and stones keeping Orbis afloat to regain their HP and MP. Finally, after roughing up a lot of Pixies, enouh clouds were recovered to repair the damage they caused. Spiruna used her cloud sprayer to redistribute them evenly and Orbis was saved.


Chapter 5

Ludibrium, much like Orbis, is a town high in the air. However, unlike Orbis, Ludibrium Castle is supported by two enormous 100 floor towers, called Eos and Helios. The entire castle is made up of toy bricks, which while it may not seem strong actually provides a formidable barrier to most monsters. Ludibrium is so high in the air that it experiences sunshine 365 days a year. Despite their playful, leisurely appearance, the people of Ludibrium are highly advanced and use factories to produce incredible amounts of toys and use an advanced power system that relies on the immense energy hidden in Tachions and the flow of time.

The towers, being so enormous and valuable, are often a target for the local monsters. So, the soldiers of Ludibrium must clean out each of the towers from time to time. Lately, however, the number of soldiers has been dwindling due to the threat presented at Omega Sector, and the Ludibrium Soldiers have resorted to asking adventurers traveling through to clean out the towers for them. some of the monsters are Ratz toys, created by Nemi to try to eliminate the monster problem but ended up actually increasing it. Others, like Tweeter, are ordinary monsters that nest on the outer walls of Eos Tower. Still others are toys from the Toy Factory that have gone astray. The strongest monster that is attacking Eos Tower is actually made out of leftover bricks used to construct the tower itself! The Block Golems came to be through the evil influence of Dark Crystals. They want to destroy the tower and use the blocks to create even more golems. The leader of the Block Golems is Rombot, a monster so tainted that it has grown beyond redemption and must be destroyed once and for all.

Drum Bunnies are another cute toy monster that went out of control. Somehow, they were exposed to the force of darkness created by Dark Crystals, and began using this energy to operate. They became wild and enraged, destroying the tower. General Maestro in Omega Sector thinks that it could be the attacking Greys that are to blame...

Eos Tower is not the only area of Ludibrium that's in distress, however. The Clock Tower in the center of the Castle has stopped ticking. A monster that slipped through the Cracked dimension stole the Clock's pendulum, causing it to stand still. That monster ran to hide in the Hidden room of Eos Tower, full of Doll Houses. It had the uncanny ability to disguise itself, and managed to blend in to the houses. Luckily, a keen-eyed traveler noticed a subtle difference and destroyed the monster, retrieving the pendulum. The traveler then returned the Pendulum to Grandpa Clock in the Clocktower, who fixed it and started the tower ticking again. For a while, it seemed like the invasion of monsters from the other dimension had ceased...

Chapter 6

Unfortunately, that was not the case. The monsters from the other dimension just kept slipping through, and they only became more powerful the longer the crack stayed open. Alishar, the Gatekeeper that guarded over the door of dimension between worlds, was corrupted. He began to send through all sorts of powerful monsters from the Other Dimension, with the Pass of Dimension that allowed them to slip through the door. As more monsters passed through the opening, the Other Dimension began to leak into ours, making areas near the Door inaccessible to those without Passes. The door was gaining size due to the Crack of Dimension, and so soon all of Eos Tower might be in danger. The King of Ludibrium found that the only logical course of action, with all the soldiers being preoccupied, was to find a party of strong adventurers who could travel into the abandoned tower and have them sort out the mess.

By defeating the monsters from the Other Dimension and taking their Passes of Dimension, the party was able to force their way through the contaminated area of the Tower and proceed deeper and deeper. Alishar was threatened by the approaching party, and summoned more and more powerful monsters to challenge them. The King Block Golem from Another Dimension guarded the doors to the spare passes, but a stealthy thief was able to sneak past unnoticed. Alishar realized he needed a more cunning enemy, and brought through the leaders of the Block Golems of the Other Dimension, Rombot. The party of adventurers were shocked at Rombot's ridiculous power, but they defeated all three of the enemy leaders, taking their Passes of Dimension as well. Alishar's final trap was a complex code he devised, locking the door to his throne room. The party eventually guessed his code and broke into the Throne Room, only to find that it was empty! Luckily, a lone Dirty Ratz from the other dimension ran out, and dropped the Pass of Dimension. The item's power forced Alishar out of hiding from between the dimensions, and he raged against the party. After a long fight, Alishar was defeated, dropping the keys to the Door of Dimension and fleeing back across the threshold. The party was rewarded for their efforts by the King of Ludibrium, and the King's messenger promised that should Ludibrium Castle ever need saving again, they would be the first called.

The peace at Ludibrium Castle didn't last long, however. The town's power source, the Time Sphere, was being disrupted. This posed a huge problem, as without it the flow of time around the town would be completely stopped. The King dispatched a team to check out the Time Sphere, which was located deep down at the base of the Clock Tower. Their report wasn't good; the number of monsters down there had grown exponentially, with many new kinds of monsters down there as well. Worse yet, the Time Sphere was leaking Tachions, the object used to produce its power, and would have to be replaced. Mr. Bouffon, the King's aide, recruited a powerful traveler to help restore the Time Sphere. The traveler went down into the Path of Time and defeated the strong monsters there, which had become evil after obtaining the power granted by Tachion. Mr. Bouffon only requested a small number of Tachions at first, to make sure that they would work. After combining the Tachions with a small amount of Mysterious Powder he had already collected, he managed to create a tiny replacement Time Sphere. Now that it was known for sure that the two would react, the traveler gathered both Tachions and Mysterious powder en masse.

Mr. Bouffon, grateful for the favor, began using these materials to construct a full-size Time Sphere that would later be taken down. A new problem had developed, however; the crack of dimension caused by the leaky Time Sphere was growing bigger, and more powerful monsters were coming through. Papulatus, an incredibly powerful monster that made even Alishar's abilities pale in comparison, had already passed through the crack and was leeching the Tachions coming out of the Time Sphere. Simply replacing the existing Time Sphere wouldn't do the trick anymore; Papulatus would ruin the new one as well. Someone needed to defeat him once and for all, to ensure that Ludibrium's power source could exist undisturbed and out of danger. First, however, the crack had to be sealed so that Papulatus couldn't just escape back to his own dimension.

After Papulatus passed through, many other monsters began to follow it into our world. Some had even passed through the exact same crack as Papulatus, while others had passed through one of the smaller cracks caused by it. The traveler, under the direction of Flo, a powerful magician, headed down to take out the Grim Phantom Watches and Gigantic Spirit Vikings, monsters from the other dimension. Finally, after killing hundreds of them, the traveler found a piece of crack on one of them that was identical to the one caused by Papulatus' intrusion. Flo gave the traveler the Piece of Cracked Dimension, and sent him back to Mr. Bouffon. Once there, he was told that he would have to gain far more power in order to defeat Papulatus. After training himself for a long time, the traveler came back and asked how to reach the clocktower's lower floors. Mr. Bouffon informed him that the Time Sphere's power chamber needed a special medal to enter it, and that medal had been stolen by the incredibly powerful Gatekeeper and Thanatos, monsters second only to Papulatus itself in pure strength. The traveler defeated these daunting foes, taking back the Ludibrium Medal needed to access the Origin of the Clock Tower. Finally, he used the piece of Cracked Dimension to seal the hole between worlds, causing the old Time Sphere and Papulatus to be forced out of hiding. Seeing its escape route was blocked, Papulatus launched a series of vicious attacks, and after a long, drawn out battle Papulatus was at last defeated. The new Time Sphere was put into place, and the traveler was rewarded, named a Hero of Ludibrium, and given a powerful cape to symbolize this victory. The crack between the dimensions was sealed, but that doesn't mean all the problems caused by it are fixed yet...


Chapter 7

The Minar Forest one of the main features on the continent of Ossyria. It takes up a huge portion of the southern and western territory. The forest is very dense and incredibly dangerous, populated by powerful monsters and fearsome dragons. The entire region is so isolated that it's rare for a human to even be seen. At the center of the Minar Forest is Leafre, a village founded by the Hafrings, a tribe of intelligent native creatures that are very fuzzy. The Hafrings are mostly pacifistic, but have formed a deal with the dragons of the forest. The Hafring care for the dragons' eggs and make sure they are safe, while the dragons protect the Hafring from the dangerous monsters outside. The dragons raised by the Hafrings tend to be much kinder and less ferocious than those that hatch in the wild, which also makes the forest safer. They employ a number of techniques, from heating the eggs and cleaning them to a shine to singing and playing musical instruments for the unhatched babies. The Hafrings in charge of the eggs even go so far as to decorate the rooms in pleasing colors to make the dragons happier.

The Hafrings aren't the only creatures living in the Minar Forest, however. The forest's other residents are the Kentaurus, half-human, half-horse creatures that come in three different colors with varying elemental attributes. The Kentaurus factions are all at war with each other: The fire versus the water versus the darkness. They fight constantly, resulting in huge battles that tear sections of the forest apart. Occasionally, an unfortunate group of Hafrings will wander into this battle and get hurt very badly. The only medicine that can heal a Hafring is that created from Birk's chewed Grass, but they are simply not strong enough to gather these items on their own. Luckily, a kindly explorer aided the Hafrings by defeating Birk and collecting the grasses, saving the lives of many. Leafre was opened to humans, and many travelers began to make their way there. These new travelers weren't the first humans to come by, however; at least one human had been living deep in the Minar Forests for quite a while.

Raul, a knight, was this man. He had spent a lot of time with the Hafrings and knew that they were being threatened, even if they did not. He gathered together a group of powerful human warriors and set out for the center of the forest, where a dangerous beast was hiding out. Horntail, an evil three-headed dragon, was threatening the Cave of Life, where the dragon eggs are kept. Chief Tatamo, the leader of Leafre, sent a message to his old friend, Grendel the Really Old of Ellinia, requesting a special item to help protect his village. After a lot of searching, he finally found the Pure Water of Protection. This special water can be dripped onto an item, instantly creating a transparent shield to protect the object from anything. The whole bottle, placed strategically on a tree in the center, was enough to protect the entire forest of Leafre. Unfortunately, Horntail had already taken the Cave of Life. He was hiding out deep inside, blocking the path to reach Nine Spirits Dragon's nest, where the egg of the special dragon that leads all of the dragons in Minar Forest can be hatched. Raul knew that he had to get the Nine Spirit's egg to the nest, and organized the Dragon Squad to take it out. Unfortunately, Horntail caught the squad by surprise and they were nearly wiped out. Raul barely escaped, suffering grievous wounds, but lost the Nine Spirit's egg. Horntail, realizing that this dragon was a threat to his control over the region, stole the egg to prevent it from hatching. After returning to town, Raul asked a powerful traveler to help him fight the Horntail. The traveler, seeing Raul's terrible injuries, insisted that he stay here and let him handle the formidable foe. Raul consented, but only after a significant amount of convincing.

Other problems had begun to crop up in the Minar Forest, however. The tree that had been sprinkled with Pure Water of Protection had begun to turn crimson red. The Hafrings were concerned by this, and asked the traveler to take a message back to Grendel asking about the problem. After studying the problem for some time, Grendel finally discovered what was happening: The barrier was being weakened by the Nine Spirits Dragon's absence. He had devised a temporary solution, but it was only temporary and the only way to ensure that the Barrier wouldn't collapse was to defeat Horntail. The items needed to strengthen the barrier could only be obtained from the Kentaurus, however, and they weren't likely to give it out easily. The traveler took this information back to Leafre, and defeated many Kentauruses to collect their Flames, Marrows, and Bones in order to patch the Barrier. Chief Tatamo gratefully accepted the items and used them to fix it immediately. Horntail still cast a menacing shadow over the village, however. The traveler set out for the Cave of Life to confront this cruel creature.

On the way to the Cave of Life, the path was littered with Wyverns. Raul had warned about these; The wyverns are the most violent kind of dragon, and are not native to the Minar Forest. They used to live in the swampy lands north of the region, but allied themselves with Horntail to attack the Forest. He had advised that the traveler kill at least 18 of each species to ward them off. Horntail's evil power began permeating the air of the forest, causing many of the monsters to become dark, including the wyverns. By taking their blackened spirits to the imprisoned girl at the cave of life, she could use them to escape. Moira, the girl, warned the traveler to retreat before Horntail's gatekeeper spotted him, but he politely declined. Seeing the traveler's resolve, she gave him special potions that would allow him to slip into the Cave of Life. After gathering his guild, they used the potions, which disguised them as Cornian, and sneaked past the gatekeeper. Finally the traveler entered the Cave of Life, and they began the assault on Horntail. The battle drug on for a long time; they disabled his body, one part at a time. At long last, one final hit destroyed the evil dragon and the Nine Spirits' egg was recovered. The newly hatched Nine Spirits' Dragon rewarded the hero and his guild. Raul congratulated the squad, rewarding them as well, and their names were spread all across the world as the team that finally saved Leafre from Horntail's cruel grasp.

Omega Sector

Chapter 8

Omega Sector is a military base located on a small island at the foot of Eos Tower. The people of the Omega Sector possess some of the most advanced technologies in the world, and they certainly need it. Recently, the Sector has come under attack by invading aliens from outer space. There was little warning, and their motives were unknown. The sole piece of evidence that could alert the citizens of the world was a letter from deep space that landed in Victoria Island one day. Luckily, a citizen of Henesys found it before the monsters could get it and handed it over to the leader of Henesys, Chief Stan. Chief Stan was unable to deliver the letter, but he did manage to find a traveler who was headed to the Omega Sector to take it to Dr. Kim, to whom it was mysteriously addressed. After a significant journey, he finally reached the Omega Sector's Command Center and handed the letter over. Dr. Kim, shocked at this letter from outer space and that it managed to make its way to him all the way across the world, rewarded the traveler. It was too late, however; The aliens had already begun their assault on our world. Dr. Kim was a genius developer, and had been working on an enormous robot to combat these aliens. In need of a messenger, he then asked the traveler to take the blueprints for this robot to 3 top ranking soldiers, Chury, Hoony, and Gunny. Chury was still stationed in the Silo at the time, so it was a simple matter to track him down. After showing the plans to him, he asked the traveler to pick up some space food for his buddy Hooney before heading over there. Since he would have to visit Hooney anyway, the traveler agreed. Upon showing Hooney the plans, he then asked that the traveler deliver a Laser Gun to Gunny when he took him the blueprints. Again, the traveler agreed, finally finishing all the tasks asked of him. He returned to Dr. Kim, and was again rewarded handsomely.

The invasion was still going on, though. Dr. Kim had asked the traveler to return to see the completed robot, but it would be a long time before that happened. Temporarily finished visiting the Omega Sector, the traveler began hiking up Eos Tower back to Ludibrium. At the top of the tower, in an old, run-down house, he ran into an odd girl named Korin. She looked very confused, and he tried to help her. She said that she had been missing for the last 10 months, and had recently turned up with no recollection of that time at all. She said that not long before his arrival, she had been questioned by two strange men in pure black suits about what had happened during the time she was missing. Korin wasn't a fool, and realized that these men probably knew something about her disappearance. Desperate, she asked the traveler for help. Not being one to leave a person in need, he decided to aid her. There was only one place he knew of where such strange occurrences could happen: the Omega Sector. Tired after having just walked all the way up, the traveler still turned around and went back. It didn't take long before he found a person matching Korin's description of her questioners in the base. The traveler confronted him about Korin's predicament. The black-suited man could tell that his visitor wouldn't settle for a lie, and decided to tell the truth. His name was agent Marco, and he was investigating the disappearances of many people around the world over the last year. At the time Korin was abducted, he was already on the trail but arrived too late, and there was nothing they could do to save her. She, as well as the other missing citizens, had been abducted by Mateon, one of the kinds of aliens invading the Omega Sector! They had stolen her memories and were now carrying around pieces of them. Marco said that he could reassemble the pieces, if someone could gather them up. Without hesitation, the traveler set out to the Off Limits area of Omega Sector and began fighting the Mateons. After hundreds of Mateons had met their demise, he finally collected all of the Memory Pieces and brought them to Marco. Marco put the pieces back together into Korin's Memory, which looked like a precious gem, and carefully handed it to the traveler. He warned that it was fragile, and that upon recovering her memories Korin may go into a slight state of shock, but that it would be normal. The traveler was sworn to secrecy on the matter, and sent on his way back to Ludibrium. Once again, he laboriously climbed the Eos Tower, at last arriving in Ludibrium at Korin's house. She was surprised that he had returned so soon, and had a hard time believing his tale. He handed her the memory, and it was absorbed into her. She suddenly remembered everything. The aliens had tried to gather information on Ludibrium and the Omega Sector from her memories, but she fought back, finally escaping after being imprisoned for 10 months. Extremely grateful, she handed the traveler a scroll.

After some time, the traveler, who had been attending other matters around the Ludibrium Castle, became curious as to how the Robot's construction was going. He descended the Tower and arrived in Omega Sector, immediately heading to Dr. Kim's post in the Command Center. Dr. Kim was pleased to see him. The robot's design phase had just been completed, and now it was time to begin the actual construction. The parts had just been manufactured in the Ludibrium Clocktower's Factory, and needed to be delivered to the hangar in Omega. The traveler knew what was coming next, and just went ahead and started up Eos Tower. After making his way back to Ludibrium, he searched out Assistant Cheng, the man Dr. Kim had spoken of. They had already made contact, and Cheng was ready to hand over the Boxes of Parts. Once more, he made the trek down Eos Tower to the Omega Sector, and breathing heavily gave the boxes to Dr. Kim. Dr. Kim was so impressed by the traveler's dutifulness that he rewarded him with Ludibrium Warp Capsules, which could instantly transport anyone to Ludibrium. The traveler was a bit angry at first, thinking that he might have used these to avoid all those trips up the tower, but finally was grateful since it would save him another trip. After resting up for a while, the traveler was about to return to Ludibrium when Dr. Kim approached him. The parts had been stolen by the aliens while being transferred to the Robot's construction site. Luckily, the soldiers had placed tracking devices on the boxes, and their locations could be pinpointed. The aliens had hidden them at Boswell Field, but all of the stronger soldiers were currently occupied. The traveler jumped at the chance to act as something besides a delivery boy, and set out to see the aliens and collect the boxes of parts. After destroying the alien storage devices, he recovered the boxes and returned them to the Omega Sector. Dr. Kim was overjoyed, and gave the traveler several more warp capsules, some of which would take him to the command center instead of Ludibrium.

Satisfied with his work for the day, the traveler again prepared to use the Ludibrium Warp capsule. This time, the General in charge of running the entire Omega Sector, General Maestro, approached him. He said that the cute, peaceful Drum Bunnies of Eos Tower had suddenly become fierce, angry monsters attacking all passerby attempting to reach the Omega Sector. It was so suspiciously unnatural that the General began to presume the aliens must be involved. The initial reports had revealed that the Drum Bunnies were carrying a Dull, lifeless crystal. Even though its power was already depleted, they still gave off an evil aura. General Maestro needed these to study their effect on monsters. The traveler climbed up Eos tower to the middle floors, and hunted the Drum Bunnies for these crystals. It took quite a while, but he finally was able to return to the Omega Sector with all the Dull Crystals. The General was quite pleased with the results, but still saddened. The Drum Bunnies had originally been created to start the Festival at Ludibrium, but as the festival came to a close, the bunnies began to be corrupted into monsters. The research on the Dull Crystals had provided some clues, however. It seems that one of the invading aliens, Alien Gray, had been involved in this. General Maestro requested that the traveler go out to the Kulan Field and rummage through Alien Gray's things until finding something worthwhile. After breaking a few safes, the traveler found a document written in the Alien's language. He handed it over to the General, who used Omega Sector's advanced translators to read it. The document detailed the plan to contaminate the Drum Bunnies. By using Dark Crystals, crystals created from chunks of darkness formed in the minds of evil monsters which contain huge amounts of dark power, kind and pure creatures could be contaminated and forced to become monsters. The Aliens had used these crystals to turn the innocent Drum Bunnies into cruel monsters to aid in their attack on Ludus Lake. Since the crystals were the only things causing these monsters to be evil, however, after time the dark power inside begins to wane, and they fade into Dull Crystals. A temporary solution could be accomplished, the General discovered, by using these Dull crystals and the ore of the Dark Crystal. The traveler quickly ran to the middle of the tower to fight off Drum Bunnies and collect their dull crystals. Not long after, the General was able to seal the dark power, if only for a short time. The traveler received a powerful scroll for his trouble. The problems in Omega Sector weren't over quite yet, however...

Chapter 9

As the traveler wandered out into the Off Limits area and into the Kulan Field, he saw many of the Gray aliens swarming around. Most of them looked menacing, but one was standing very calmly in the middle of the field. This was odd, but not nearly as strange as what happened next: The alien began to speak in English! He said that his name was Alien Gray, and that he and the other Grays were actually peaceful aliens that simply wanted to help the Maple World. The Omega sector, he claimed, was trying to use the alien's presence to gain power so that they could eventually take over the world! The traveler was concerned by this. These aliens were intelligent, so why couldn't they also be kind? The Omega Sector did seem kinda suspicious... So, he agreed to help Alien Gray. The aliens needed a classified document that was being stored in Omega Sector's Silo. Obviously, they couldn't sneak in to get it themselves, but a human could. The traveler walked back to Omega Sector and entered the silo. He broke open a few safe boxes and eventually was able to collect the necessary documents. As he walked back to Alien Gray, he felt a slight amount of apprehension. It was too late to turn back, though, and so he took the documents to the aliens. Upon seeing the classified information, Alien Gray began to laugh maniacally. He handed the traveler a device that would allow him to summon aliens to his aid a few times. Then, he turned nasty. Alien Gray yelled, "Get out of my sight! You better not let the Omega Sector find out about this, who knows what they'll do to you!"

The traveler instantly realized he had been tricked. These aliens had no intention of cooperating. Now, he had even ruined the relationship with the Omega Sector... The yellow Mesoranger, one of the top soldiers at Omega Sector, saw him walking by. She decided to give him a chance to redeem himself. The traveler jumped at the chance. The yellow MesoRanger asked him to defeat 120 Ultra Grays, some of the strongest aliens. He immediately ran deep into Kulan Field and fought them all off. It was not an easy task, so after reporting back to the Yellow MesoRanger, she acknowledged that he wasn't an Alien supporter. The traveler was able to relax a little now. Since he was now officially back on the good side, the Yellow MesoRanger asked him for another favor. When the aliens' space ship had crash landed near the Omega Sector, they had also brought down several meteorites from outer space with them. These meteorites might give some info on where these aliens were from. The traveler went back out through the Kulan Field and gathered a sample from each of the Meteorites he came across. These were turned in to the Yellow MesoRanger, who gratefully took them back. Now that he was back in the Sector's good graces, there were a lot more requests to fulfill. The first of these came from Chury, one of the soldiers to whom he had shown the Blueprints for the robot. Chury said that there were still other people who were supporting the aliens. Many of them had helped the aliens to gain classified information, and even constructed a base for them somewhere on the island. The traveler, knowing first hand how deceitful these aliens could be, agreed with Chury, and set out to retake some of this information. Reaching the base was difficult, as they had laid traps all around. Once there, he destroyed their safe box and took back the report. This could be used as evidence so that the alien supporters were locked up and could no longer fight against the Omega Sector. Upon receiving the report, Chury began studying it immediately.

The next MesoRanger the traveler came across was the Black MesoRanger. He was studying the Grays and had noticed the number of them was steadily increasing. The most efficient way to do this would be to defeat a good number of the weakest ones, Barnard Grays, to send a message to the others. Despite the fact that they are the weakest, the Barnard Grays posed the greatest threat to the Omega Sector because they are forced to get as close as possible. The society of the Grays is very hierarchical, and so the lowest ranking ones are always sent into dangerous situations. Still, it made little sense that they should stay so close to the base, and the Black MesoRanger suspected they were being controlled by a dark force. The traveler went to Kulan Field and wiped out all the Barnard Grays that came nearby. Once he reported back to the Black MesoRanger, he was set with another task. The dark force was still being researched, but they had been able to learn about the Grays' ranks. The highest ranked in the area was the Chief Gray, their leaders. Some of these Chief Grays carry objects called Notes, which contain a significant amount of detail on the history of the Grays. This information would be invaluable to the Omega Sector, and so obtaining it was a top priority. The traveler made his way to the furthest point of the Kulan Field to find the Chief Grays. There were very few, but after searching thoroughly through the entire area, he managed to gather up the Notes. The Black MesoRanger was very pleased. It didn't take long to get the information translated, and the Notes contained some shocking details.

The aliens weren't attacking Ludibrium and the Omega Sector at random; they had a very specific purpose. Their homeworld, Zeta Leticulan, was very polluted with dangerous contaminants. Fearing that their entire species might go extinct, they set out to find a new home, and chose Ludus Lake. This might prove to give an advantage to the Omega Sector, though. If the contaminants could be discovered and their toxicity determined, then maybe it could help force them to leave. So, the black MesoRanger needed to collect some DNA from each of the 4 classes of Grays. The traveler again headed deep into Kulan field to collect the DNA from defeated Grays. It took a while, but finally he had gathered enough. The Grays wouldn't be posing a threat to Omega Sector anymore, soon. The Black MesoRanger rewarded the traveler handsomely and sent him on his way. On his way back to the Omega Sector, the traveler spotted a second path that he hadn't traversed yet. The aliens on this path were totally different from the Grays, the Mateons. Now he remembered, they had stolen Korin's memory. It didn't take long before he spotted another MesoRanger, though. This one, the Green MesoRanger, was concerned with wiping out the invading Mateons. The Boswell Field had far more intense attacks than those occurring in the Kulan Fields, and the Mateons had no qualms with attacking innocent passers-by. The traveler went out and defeated 100 of these mateons, and came back as fast as possible. The green MesoRanger was shocked that he returned so fast. Stronger reinforcements were coming, though, and the Mateons were no longer the highest priority. Plateons, which ride in large hovering vehicles, were drawing close. This time the Green MesoRanger needed some of the helmets that the Plateons wore on their heads; the Mateon species couldn't breathe the air here, and had to use these helmets to survive. The traveler again headed out for the Boswell fields, collecting a hundred of the helmets. This task went by quickly, and again he reported to the Green MesoRanger. As fast as the Mateons could be fought off, though, more powerful ones came in their place. This time, there were Mecateons, which are Mateons riding in Mechanical robot walkers that fire laser guns. These naturally posed an even greater threat to the Omega Sector, but they had also brought along another wave of Plateons to aid them. The traveler headed to the deepest parts of the Boswell Fields to destroy this army of aliens. It was a tough battle, but he finally managed to collect all of the Laser Guns and defeat the extra Plateons. When the Green MesoRanger heard of this, he was so happy that he had the traveler named as an honorary MesoRanger. The traveler was quite pleased with his new title, and decided to head back to the base.

After getting back to the Omega Sector, one of the Mechanics, Kay, approached him. She was trying to come up with a use for the leftover fuel that comes from a defeated MT-09, a giant robot that the Mateons had constructed to oppose the one being built out of the parts in Omega Sector. She needed at least 5 canisters of the fuel, but there was no one available to go retrieve them for her. The traveler agreed to become her assistant and go out to fight the MT-09. So, he set off in search of the MT-09's at the furthest point from the Omega Sector, the Boswell Field's end. The alien's robot was a force to be reckoned with, capable of firing homing missiles and had very heavy armor. The fight was challenging, but finally the traveler collected all 5 of the MT-09 fuels and took them back to Kay. She handed him a bunch of extra screws as a reward, and already had a new request. For the new robot the Omega Sector was planning, she would need a better control program. The best model to program this on would be the one from Rombot, the leader of the Block Golems in Eos Tower. Occasionally, it drops a Memory Card which contains the control program. They would need at least three of these to completely understand it, since they often get damaged in battle. So, the traveler now went back to Eos Tower to collect the Rombot's control programs. After hunting in the Block Golem's hidden Tower for some time, he finally collected enough of the Memory Cards, even an extra one. He handed these over to Porter, a scientist in the Command Center, who could decode them. It didn't take long, but unfortunately Porter's cold had caused him to ruin one of the disks. The traveler handed over his spare memory card, and was finally able to hand them over to Kay. With this, the robot's construction was very nearly complete. Kay rewarded him, and he began to climb out of the Silo. Porter stopped him before he got out, however. An urgent message had just arrived, marked for Kay. Since the traveler was now Kay's assistant, he took the message back down to her. She read it quickly, and rejoiced. The dropship, which had been missing for a long time, was finally found, crashed out in the Plateon Field at Boswell. She asked that he find the pilot an the dropship. The traveler immediately set out to rescue the pilot and recover the dropship's technology to prevent the aliens from acquiring it. One short hike later, he arrived at he abandoned dropship, but the pilot was nowhere to be found. After looking around the dropship, though, the traveler did find a short letter that appeared to have been written in a hurry. It said that the pilot was OK, and that he had to leave the wrecked dropship to get away from the aliens. The traveler immediately headed back to Omega Sector and gave it to Kay. She was relieved to know that the pilot was still alive. Kay considered this a personal favor, since the Omega Sector had quit officially investigating this a while ago, and gave an amazing reward. The traveler set off finally finished with his work in the Omega Sector.

Some time later, while exploring the Ocean, he found a bottle with an SOS note in it. The same traveler noticed a small desert island, as described in the note. He headed up to the surface to see the island, and found a man named Robinson who had been there for a long time. Robinson desperately needed something to drink, and so the traveler handed him a bottle of Pure Water. Robinson told his story: He had been a pilot in the Omega Sector Army, and his dropship had crashed after being ambushed by the aliens. He had managed to bail out and run to the island's shore, and began swimming away from the aliens. An enormous tidal wave washed him up on this tiny desert island. He wrote lots of SOS letters, hoping that someone might find it. He needed the Omega Sector to send a rescue team because he wasn't strong enough to get back on his own. He handed the traveler an ID card that could be used to prove his identity. The traveler set out for Omega Sector as fast as possible, and arrived shortly after. He handed Kay the ID card, and she looked at it. She was very happy, and handed him a special warp capsule, the Omega Sector Warp Capsule. This could take a person from ANYWHERE in the world straight to Omega Sector. She warned the traveler not to try to use it, however, because it only works for Omega Sector members. He immediately set out for the small island again, with the warp capsule in hand. Not long after, he met up with Robinson again, and gave him the warp capsule. Robinson was quite grateful, and the problems with Omega Sector were at last settled... for now.

Korean Folk Town

Chapter 10

The Ludus Lake region still wasn't completely settled down yet. Though the cracked dimension may have been repaired, it had still had drastic effects on the world as a whole, and out of the remaining problems, the largest were in Helios Tower's Library. Unlike the Eos Tower, which had been constructed first, the Helios Tower used an elevator to descend its enormous distance. This kept the possibility of monsters taking up residence in the seldom used areas to a minimum, which allowed the remaining sections to be used to their full potential. The first floor of the Helios Tower became a library of books containing the tales of the entire world. These books were very important and interactive, and somehow the power of the cracked dimension managed to get the stories out of order. Wiz, the librarian tasked with keeping Helios and the stories in check, was greatly distressed. If the stories were taken out of order, the entire history of the world could be lost. There was one way to retrieve the proper stories, and that was to enter the story's world and set it straight. Unfortunately, Wiz couldn't leave his post in the Library, as the monsters would raid it as soon as he left. Lucky for him, the traveler was passing through on his way to the next town. Wiz asked if he could please enter the Folk Town, the setting of the altered stories, and set them straight. At least 7 books were currently identified as being out of order. So, not being one to neglect a person in need, the traveler agreed and set off into the Korean Folk Town.

The Korean Folk Town, though at the base of Helios Tower on a twin island next to the Omega Sector, was completely different. While Omega sector was very highly advanced in technology, the Folk Town had next to no technology at all. There were many small huts with straw roofs. Living in one of these huts was Mr. Cantsee Shim. He was an elderly man who was losing his eyesight. He told of his lovely only daughter, Shim Chung. She had left some time ago, and he was growing worried. Upon hearing the man's name, Cantsee, the traveler asked if he was truly blind. Mr. Shim replied that he could still see, but he was very concerned about his eyesight that was rapidly deteriorating. The traveler suggested that he try glasses, but Mr. Shim ashamedly admitted that he was too poor to afford them. He had been offered a pair for 300 packages of rice, but was unable to come up with it. The traveler, recognizing this as a part of one of Wiz's storybooks, volunteered to gather up the rice packs. Supposedly, other visitors to the Folk Town had reported that the Retz in Helios tower had been stealing the packs of rice. Knowing this, the traveler went to the tower and collected all 300 of the rice packs over a long time. He brought these back to Shim as quickly as possible. Shim was overjoyed, and handed him over their family treasure: the correct storybook of his ordeal. The traveler had one book down, but still many left to go.

Chil Sung, another resident of the Folk Town, was next. He and his brother, Chil Nam, had just lost their mother. They had divided everything left to them perfectly even between them. Both thought that the other brother deserved the larger share. Chil Sung had just recently gotten married, and still had many expenses to pay for that. So, one day, Chil Nam had an idea. What if he had someone take a sack of rice from his stack to his brother's stack? If he tried it himself, he would undoubtedly be seen, and his brother would never accept such charity if it were offered directly to him. The traveler just happened to be walking back at that time, and Chil Nam approached him. Again recognizing this as one of Wiz's stories, he took one sack of rice to Chil Sung's house, and slid it into his stack of rice. As he began walking back, Chil Sung called to him. Fearing he had been caught, he stopped. Chil Sung then asked if he could take a Sack of Rice to his brother's house, and secretly slip it into Chil Nam's stack. The traveler again dragged the sack of rice to the other side of the Folk Town. The next day, Chil Nam was quite confused; he still had the same number of rice sacks, but knew that the traveler had taken one to his brother's house. He shrug it off and asked him to take another one. This went on for some time, until finally Chil Sung spotted the traveler returning from the rice sack. He immediately realized what was going on. The two brothers grew much closer together. As the traveler headed off, Chil Nam stopped him one last time. He handed him the storybook that was left by their mother. It was another of the corrected tales from Wiz's library. He also offered to make Roasted Pork and that his brother could make Buckwheat Paste for him any time. The traveler gratefully accepted the offer and went on.

Chil Nam and Chil Sung were not the only brothers in Korean Folk Town, however. The other pair of brothers didn't get along quite so well. Hongbu, the younger brother, was a polite, kind, and honest man with a large family, while his older brother Nolbu was typically very angry and rude. Hongbu's family was very poor, and were forced to live as beggars. On one day where Hongbu visited his brother, asking for rice, Nolbu's wife slapped him in the face with a rice-covered ladel and sent him away. He walked home, not angry or saddened by the events, but grateful for the little bit of rice that had stuck to the side of his face. Right outside his hut, he found a swallow on the ground with a broken leg. It had been attacked by a snake and now was unable to move. Hongbu fixed the bird's leg, and sent it on its way, migrating south for the winter. Many months later, after that cold winter had ended and the spring arrived, the swallow returned. The God of the Sky had seen Hongbu's kindness towards this swallow, and wanting to reward such a deserving man, gave the swallow a special seed to take to him. On its way back to the Folk Town, the unlucky bird had clipped its wings and crashed. Unable to deliver the special seed, it desperately looked for a trustworthy soul to finish the task. The swallow saw the traveler and instantly recognized his kind nature. Surprised to find an animal requesting his help this time, the traveler nonetheless agreed to help. He took the seed straight over to Hongbu's home. Hongbu, not knowing of the traveler's errand, welcomed him into his home. The traveler told Hongbu of the swallow and the seed. Hongbu asked him if he could plant the seed on his roof, because he was not strong enough to climb up there due to hunger. He did this, and the seed instantly grew into a gourd. Remembering how hungry Hongbu was, the traveler decided to check the inside of the gourd for food to give him. Much to his surprise, when the gourd was opened it turned out to be full of gold and jewels! The traveler took the treasure down to Hongbu. Shocked, but modest as ever, Hongbu gratefully accepted the chest, immediately setting out to buy food for his family. He gave the traveler the only thing he could, the storybook that had been in the family for a long time. Grabbing a third storybook, the traveler began looking for more.

The next resident he ran into was Haenim. Haenim was a young boy who lived in a house with his younger sister, Dalsoon, Their mother had gone out to make rice cakes the night before and not yet returned. Later that night, a Hogul tiger had come to the door of their home, dressed in their mother's clothing, pretending to be her. Dalsoon was fooled, but the older Haenim did not fall for it. The tiger tried all sorts of tricks to get them to let him in, but none of them worked. He became frustrated and ran off, yelling that the next night he would come back to eat them. Haenim and Dalsoon feared for their lives, but came up with a clever plan. They would need a large length of rope and some slippery oil. The only problem was, the Hoguls had stolen all the rope not long before. To get it back, someone would have to go out there and defeat them. It was about this time that the traveler passed by. Haenim thought he looked strong, and begged him to help. Naturally, he agreed to do anything he could. Collecting a few lengths of rope from the Hogul would be no challenge. It didn't take long to get the rope, but the oil was much tougher to find. It could only be made from Cico, a creature living in the ocean of Aqua Road. While hunting for this item, the traveler saw a ship fishing directly above him, and decided to check it out. The man on the ferry was named Tae Gong. He had been out fishing for a long time, and thought his wife must be worried about him. The traveler asked if he could take her a message. Tae Gong thought this was a good idea, and asked him to gather up some shrimp meat, her favorite food, so that she wouldn't be so mad at him for staying out for so long. The traveler jumped back into the water. He easily gathered up enough shrimp and while doing this, managed to find the slippery oil also. It was starting to get dark, so he headed back to Korean folk Town as fast as possible. Haenim gratefully accepted the materials. He said that his plan was to use these ropes to climb into the sky, and then coat the rope behind him with slippery oil so that the Hogul could not follow them. He handed the traveler a storybook, telling the story of the kids who became the sun and moon. That was 4 books, but there were still a lot of stories that were still distorted. Not forgetting about his promise to Tae Gong, he took the shrimp meat to his wife, Grandma Yeon. Contrary to Tae Gong's expectation, she wasn't happy that he had sent someone to gather food for her. She felt bad for the traveler, and offered to make pots for him any time, a service usually reserved for trusted members of the village. Thinking that this might come in useful in the future, he accepted the offer.

On his way through town, the traveler ran into a distraught looking girl. She was carrying a cracked pot that was leaking water. He stopped to help her. Her stepmother had given her a lot of work to finish by nightfall, and with the cracked pot she would never be able to complete it. She introduced herself as Kong Ji, one of two sisters, the other named Pat Ji. Kong Ji was very beautiful, while Pat Ji and their Stepmother were ugly, and they resented her for this, forcing her to work harder and harder every day. Remembering Grandma Yeon's offer, the traveler volunteered to get her a new pot. She was overjoyed, and went about her other jobs with a little more enthusiasm. Meanwhile, the traveler had walked down to Grandma Yeon to talk to her about buying a pot. She asked for a little money, which he didn't mind giving up. He quickly brought the new pot down to Kong Ji. She was surprised that he had actually been able to convince her to make him one. This would help her work greatly, but she still needed one thing: her stepmother had now ordered her to make rice cakes and do all the laundry on top of the existing things. To make these rice cakes, she would have to go out to the dangerous Black Mountain to gather Artemesia. There was simply not enough time for her to do everything, and she pleaded with the traveler to help her once more. He gladly agreed, setting out for the mountain. The Artemesia grew wild all over, so collecting it was fairly easy. Even this small chore being taken off her workload allowed her to finish everything in time. The next day, though, things began looking even worse. Her stepmother had ordered her to plow the fields, but the weak old Wooden Hoe they had been using snapped in half. The only option was to get a stronger Steel hoe. They were too expensive for her to purchase, however. She had one last idea. The Blins, prankster monsters that lived deep in the Black Mountain, which were the freed spirits of discarded items like brooms, flails, spears, and most importantly hoes. Often they still carried these items with them, so perhaps a Steel Hoe could be taken from defeating one of these. The traveler set out for the deepest part of the Black Mountain. The Blins were powerful foes, and after sorting through many brooms and other worthless discarded items, he finally found a Steel Hoe for her to use. He immediately returned to the Folk Town to give it to Kong Ji. She was thrilled once again, to know that a complete stranger would help her with even the most difficult tasks. She handed over the storybook of Kong Ji and Pat Ji to him as thanks. Perhaps one day soon she would no longer have to do these chores, and leave the unhappy household, but for now she had what was needed to complete the labor ahead of her. With 5 books down, the traveler set off in the town again.

The last person that he had not spoken to, Chumji, approached. He was the lord that ruled over the Korean Folk Town. The blins were not the only kind of goblin that had plagued the Folk Town lately. One of the side effects of the Cracked Dimension's disruption in Helios Tower was that powerful Goblins had escaped from one of the story books. Chumji had the book in his possession, but it was still out of order. He read the one still important paragraph from it, which stated that the Black Mountain had been cast into permanent darkness by 3 King Goblin's influence. They hid themselves well in this darkness, so bringing them out to defeat them would be nearly impossible. Fortunately, Chumji had one last bit of information about the Goblins' weakness. They each loved a certain food, and from his research Chumji discovered that the foods for these three Kings were Roasted Pork, Buckwheat Paste, and Rice Wine. He said that all of these were produced right here in the Folk Town, so to obtain them would not be too terribly difficult. The traveler remembered from his previous tasks that Chil Nam and Chil Sung could make these. So, he paid a visit to each of the brothers. Chil Nam was willing to make his specialty Buckwheat Paste, but only if the traveler brought him a few tiger stamps to prove the population was under control. Chil Sung was ready to whip up a batch of Roasted Pork, but his pounder for making rice cakes had broken and he needed some new ones. The last item, Rice Wine, was best produced by Kong Ji's cruel stepmother. She promised the traveler that if he could get some shiny, smooth fox tails for her, then she could convince the stepmother to give up some Rice Wine. The traveler set out with his list of items and began collecting them. After grabbing five pounders, four stamps, and three three-tailed fox tails, he turned them in one at a time, gathering the items needed to lure the King Goblins. To get more instructions now that he had bait, he returned to Chumji. Impressed that he had gained the trust of so many residents, Chumji said to head out to the Haunted House, a place at the furthest distance high up on Black Mountain. The best spots to do this were to place the pork on a pile of rocks, smear Buckwheat paste on the inside of a tree, and set the Rice Wine down near a stone lantern. Each of these goblins had a special item that granted them great power: The Blue King Goblin carried a giant club that could summon any existing item that was in the world if it wanted, the Yellow King Goblin wore a special Goblin Cap that could make the wearer invisible, and the Green King Goblin wore a Goblin Cape that gave great strength in wrestling matches. The traveler needed to defeat each King Goblin and take its enchanted item to prove they were defeated. Armed with this knowledge, he set off for the Black Mountain's peak.

On his way to the Haunted House, the traveler ran into the God of Mountains. He was complaining that someone had dropped an axe on his head. Naturally, he threw this old axe away. Not long after, though, the tree cutter had come along looking for it. The God of Mountains offered him a new Golden axe, or a Silver axe, but the Tree Cutter insisted on his own axe. The God of Mountains, shocked by his lack of greed, agreed to get the old axe back. Before he could recover it, however, a Dark Axe Stump had run off with it. The traveler knew what was coming next, and immediately began slaying Dark Axe Stumps on his way to the peak. It didn't take long to find the Tree Cutter's axe, which was positively identified by the God of Mountains. Since the Tree Cutter was working nearby on the Black Mountain, the traveler dropped the axe off. The Tree Cutter, glad to have his own personal axe back, gave him a book he had been holding for some time. Lately he had been very busy, and thus unable to read the book, so he didn't mind giving it away. With 6 storybooks in hand, the traveler again headed for the peak of Black Mountain. Once at the old Haunted House, he followed Chumji's instructions, first smearing the Buckwheat inside the tree, which drew out the Green King Goblin. He defeated it with ease, and then took its Goblin Cape. Next, the Roasted Pork on the pile of stones lured the Yellow King Goblin out, and it was quickly defeated, losing its Goblin Cap. Finally, the Blue King Goblin was drawn into the open by the rice wine on the Stone lantern. The traveler killed this last King Goblin fast, took its Goblin Bat, and headed back to town as soon as possible. Chumji was now shocked that this traveler was able to defeat the powerful King Goblins, and as a reward offered him one of the Goblin's special items, in addition to the now-corrected Storybook. With 7 storybooks in hand, the traveler headed over to Helios Tower's library. Wiz was ecstatic upon seeing all the correct storybooks back in place. Things weren't perfectly fixed down there yet, but things were settling down. At long last, his work in the Ludus Lake area completed, the traveler headed to town for a well-deserved rest.

Aqua Road

Chapter 11

The next town the traveler visited was the town under the Sea, Aquarium. The well in Korean Folk Town plunged straight into the ocean, making it easy to reach. The Aqua Road was completely under water, but somehow he could still breathe, albeit painfully. Colorful fish swam by, and the bright sunlight shined through the water's surface, playing on the sandy ocean floor. The residents of this town all had fish-like attributes. The first person he met was Kenta, whose hair resembled jellyfish tentacles. He was working in the Aquarium's Zoo, which had captured rare monsters from all across the world, including a Jr. Balrog. He also studied the wild animals that lived in the ocean near Aquarium. Recently, he said, they had begun to act strangely, though it wasn't obvious to the casual observer. Some looked drained, and out of energy, while others were constantly in a fit of rage, making them more powerful than usual. The only suspicious thing that had happened before this change was a wild storm. Kenta felt that this could become a serious problem, and needed to gather DNA samples from a few of the monsters. The first set of monsters he wanted to look at were Cicle, Cico, and Pin Boom. It took a little while, but after hunting them down, the traveler gathered up a DNA sample from each. When he returned to Kenta, he gratefully accepted the samples. Kenta advised that he might need more samples in the future, so he should visit again soon. While wandering through the Aquarium, the traveler heard a rumor about a device being created in Orbis Tower that would allow a person to breathe easily underwater. His interest was immediately piqued, so he set off for a hole in the walls of Orbis Tower that had appeared under water.

After a short journey, he found himself at the foot of the immense Orbis Tower, peering into it through the crumbled wall. Upon setting foot inside, he saw a room that was somehow keeping the water out. Suddenly desperate for a breath of fresh air, the traveler entered. Inside, he found a scientist working feverishly on something. As he stepped closer to take a look, he heard something squeak, then break. The scientist turned around, and began shouting, "You broke my doll! Sorry doesn't cut it!" The apologetic traveler volunteered to go get him a new one. The scientist immediately calmed down, and gave him a set of instructions. To reach the monsters that kept the Baby Seal Dolls, he would have to pass through hordes of Scuba Pepe. Once past those, there would be Jr. Seals, which carried these dolls. He asked for 10 replacements and for him to wipe out 50 of the Scuba Pepe. It was an easy task; The Scuba Pepe were playful creatures that lived in the tower, and wore snorkels so that they could breathe underwater. Thinking he could possibly use them, the traveler gathered up a bunch of these snorkels. These didn't work for him, but he did find a few items that would: Air Bubbles. These bubbles would let him breathe normally for a short time. He grabbed as many as he could, so that the task wouldn't be so straining. Gathering the dolls was easy, and soon he was back at the Laboratory. Feeling bad about how he overreacted, the scientist introduced himself as Hughes the Fuse. He was working on a special item called the Oxygen Tank, which would allow anyone to breathe freely underwater for an unlimited amount of time. He offered to make the traveler one, but only if he could gather the materials. It would take Snorkels, Air Bubbles, and lots of metal, particularly Screws and Steel. Fortunately, these were all things he had gathered beforehand, and was able to give them to Hughes immediately. After a short period of working, hughes presented the traveler with an Air Tank. The traveler thanked him, and went to test it out. Moving around in Aqua Road was much easier now, and it was no longer stressful. He returned to town, and decided to visit Kenta to see what progress had been made.

Kenta had finished with the first batch of samples, and found a few more mysterious changes. But, to be sure that this was the problem, and not just something with those specific monsters, he would need new samples. This time, he wanted the DNA of the fish, particularly Flower Fish, Masked Fish, and Bubble Fish. Flower Fish was a slow-moving bottom feeder, grazing the ocean floor like a cow. Masked Fish traveled in huge packs and swam very close to the Aquarium. Bubble Fish had long been one of the kindest of monsters, but lately had begun to harm passerby. The traveler set off to the eastern side of Aqua Road, where all these fish lived. The DNA was difficult to collect, but the monsters were weak and posed no threat. It didn't take long for him to collect all 3 species' DNA. After taking these back to Kenta, he found more disturbing clues. The monsters that were living closer to the Aquarium, like Masked Fish, were in greater danger than those that lived far away. He still needed more evidence, though, so he asked the traveler to gather one last batch of DNA, this time from the monsters on the western side of Aqua Road. These monsters were Poopa, Sparker, and Freezer. Getting the DNA this time around was not too difficult, so he hurried back to Kenta. Kenta immediately set himself back to his research, determined to discover the cause of the change. He rewarded the traveler with tickets to reach Korean Folk Town, and recommended that he talk to his coworker, Muse.

Muse had been worried for some time. Not long ago, an expedition had set out to explore the troubles at the bottom of the ocean. Muse's boyfriend, Gail, had been a member of this expedition. The bottom of the ocean is a very dangerous place, even for the strongest of people, and after a while the Aquarium had lost contact with them. With each passing day, Muse was growing more and more worried. She was not strong enough to venture down there by herself, but she had heard about a powerful Sea Witch who could look into the future. Maybe, if she could contact this Sea Witch, then she could find out what had happened to Gail and the rest of the expedition, without having to head to the sea floor. The only problem was, that even the Sea Witch lived pretty deep down, and she couldn't even reach this far. The traveler, who was now also concerned about the expedition's fate, asked if he could go on her behalf. So, he set out down the Deep Sea Gorge in search of this Sea Witch. The monsters outside her cave were incredibly powerful, but he managed to reach it unscathed. The Sea Witch, named Carta, was not too happy with strangers barging in to her home. He asked her if she could see th future for him, but she scoffed. "Only a fool would believe that fortune telling is possible." she said. "The future isn't set in stone; believing that is ignorant." She did say, however, that she could look back on past events and the present actions of a person. Carta could tell that someone had sent him here. She asked who it was, and the traveler told her of Muse and Gail. Carta had warned the expedition that the bottom of the ocean was not a place for humans, but they had ignored her. She would agree to perform the ceremony to see what Gail was doing now, but only if the traveler would gather up the materials needed. This would not be an easy task; for the ceremony, she would need 3 Cold Tears, the frozen tear of the saddened underwater ghost, Bone Fish, and 10 vials of Sea Dust, magic powder which floated through the sea and occasionally got trapped in the sunken treasure chests. The last item needed was the Pianus' Scream, the cry given off at the death of the banished heavenly Fish, Pianus. These were all incredibly rare items, and it would take a brave soul to gather them all. It didn't take long for the traveler to defeat enough Bone Fish, and the Sea Dust, though rare, was not so challenging. On his way to gather these Sea Dusts, he saw a sunken ship resting on a cliff. A faint light was shining through a hole in the hull, and curious, the trveler investigated. Inside was a man dressed in safari clothes. He said that his name was Taeng, and that he had led the expedition to the Sea Floor. He told the traveler what had happened. A few months ago, the expedition was assembled to take a look at the strange goings on at the bottom of the ocean. There were only four people who were powerful enough, so Taeng and Gail and two others set out. They had taken this wrecked ship as a base of operations, and Taeng had deployed the rest of the team to investigate. After a while, he grew concerned as they weren't coming back... He went out on his own, but couldn't find any traces of them. He asked the traveler to help him look for some of their possessions, like their flashlight, notebook, and camera. He suspected that the sharks lurking outside the wrecked ship were to blame, but he couldn't be sure until those items were found. Unwilling to let a potentially vital piece of information pass by, the traveler headed out to hunt the sharks. Hoping that he wouldn't find anything, the traveler was unfortunately disappointed as a flashlight dropped to the rocky floor. The notebook and camera followed shortly after. He slowly trudged back to the wrecked ship, and handed the items to Taeng. Needless to say, Taeng was deeply saddened by this outcome. The path to the bottom of the ocean was blocked, so they couldn't have gone far... He was still hopeful that they might be alive, however. The traveler needed confirmation, so he gathered his strength to prepare for the last obstacle in his way to discover Gail's fate. However, Pianus posed a much greater threat than he could have imagined. The traveler summoned his guild, and together they fought the ferocious fish. It was a long and tiresome battle, and Pianus pulled out all the stops. With one last, powerful attack, the heavenly fish fell, letting out a horrible cry upon its death. This sound was captured inside a special can, and the traveler hurried back to Carta. She was impressed, and took the items, quickly concocting the potion. It changed colors, and once this happened she asked aloud what had happened to Gail, the deep sea explorer. She described what she saw: a rock near a cave, with a brilliant pattern on it; then, black fog enveloped the sight, surrounding the team, and they sunk deeper and deeper until she could no longer see them. She was knocked back quite suddenly by an enormous negative vibe. Living deep in the ocean, she was used to a lot of evil auras, but this was more powerful than any she had encountered. Carta was finished looking into the potion for now, and told the traveler to take this news back to Muse. He hesitated; she would be devastated, he couldn't do this to her. Carta convinced him that lying to her would only make her pain even greater, so he decided to tell her the truth. He headed back to Aquarium to confront Muse.

Muse was very happy to see the traveler, because he hadn't checked in for a long time. He told her that Carta could only see a black fog, which wasn't a good sign. Muse took this surprisingly well, but was clearly distraught. She began to call a town meeting, but first rewarded the traveler for bravely investigating Gail's fate. The traveler left Aquarium in a melancholy mood.

Mu Lung

Chapter 12

While wandering through Orbis one day, the traveler saw that a new platform had been installed at the Orbis Station. He decided to check it out, and met a crane named Hak. Hak often flew the skies between Orbis and the mountain village of Mu Lung, and decided that in order to make a little extra cash, he could carry travelers between these two towns for a small fee. The traveler, always eager to explore a new land, paid him and started off on the flight to Mu Lung. The trip was short, as Hak flew fast. Just one minute later, he found himself standing amidst a huge temple. The walls were a deep red, and all of the buildings had blue roofs. The most interesting fact of all, however, was that the citizens and shrinekeepers of this town were all Pandas! They looked like the Hafrings of Leafre, but were a little taller and patched in white and black. The first one he talked to was named No Gong. No Gong was a master, and wanted to train more people up to this level of discipline. Up for a challenge, the traveler agreed to undergo this training. His first task would be to take down ten straw target dummies. This was very easy; it took only a few moments before he returned to No Gong's position at the Temple. No Gong had already forgotten that he had sent the traveler out on this errand, however. He was surprised, but after a short explanation, prepared the next task. This time, it was to defeat twenty Straw Target dummies. Again, it was short work, and he returned quickly. Not surprisingly, No Gong forgot about this once more, and hastily sent the traveler out one last time to defeat forty Straw Target Dummies. It took a little while longer, but still it was an easy task for the experienced traveler. He visited No Gong for the final quest, and hoped to receive the mark of the master. He was not happy that the traveler kept coming back, but finally admitted that persistence was a key part of becoming the master. No Gong advised that the traveler now go speak to his associate, Do Gong.

Do Gong was another master working at the Mu Lung Temple. Unlike his fellow master, Do Gong had a good memory and was able to recognize the traveler instantly just based on No Gong's description. The traveler admitted to Do Gong that the philosophical nature of the master's speech was confusing him. Do Gong suddenly had an idea: if the traveler read the Book Ghost, he would be able to comprehend this form of speech much more easily. There were ten pages missing, and he would have to go out and find them. Jumping at the opportunity, the traveler set out for the Sky Forest, where Do Gong had reportedly lost it. When he got there, he found dozens of Book Ghosts swarming all over the place. Only a few would have the pages he needed to read, however. So, the traveler began wiping out Book Ghost after Book Ghost, searching for the Book Ghost's Sheet of Paper. This took a long time, but finally he managed to get all ten of the pieces and returned them to Do Gong. Do Gong began to reassemble the book, putting the pages in order, when he noticed some suspicious footprints all over the ripped out pages. After investigating this for a short time, he realized what must have happened. These were cat footprints, yet they resembled those of no ordinary cat. Street Cats, which are normally rather dull-witted and violent creatures, had been changed into monsters by the immense power gained after reading the Book Ghost. They had begun to dress up as sages and wise men, luring innocents into their traps. To prevent this knowledge from spreading throughout all the Street Cats, which would cause an epidemic of unimaginable proportions, someone would need to gather the spirits of the Sage Cats that contained this. So, the traveler now set out to fight off hordes of Sage Cats and gather the five Kitty Spirits. The spirits were rare, but he finally found them all. Upon returing these to Do Gong, he granted the traveler some advice on how to become the master: the best way is to simply train hard and help others in need. Seeing his determination, Do Gong was impressed, and certain that the traveler would become a master someday.

Keeping this advice in mind, the traveler walked into the main town of Mu Lung. The first person in here that he met was Tae Sang. Tae Sang was the farmer who ran the Peach Farms immediately outside of town. He was putting up wanted posters of monkeys. When the traveler asked about this, he said that these monkeys, known as Peach Monkeys, had been breaking into the Peach Farm and stealing all of the peaches. These were special peaches, used to create all kinds of medicines and renowned for their great taste. Without them, the town would be in dire straits. The traveler knew what he must do, and agreed to wipe out the thieving Peach Monkeys. He set out for the Peach Farm and began hunting them down. The wanted posters said to kill 50, so that's what he did. The monkeys had many tricks, like throwing the peaches they had stolen, but it did them no good. He returned to Tae Sang. While grateful that the Peach Monkey population was down, they had already done too much damage; the majority of the farm would need to be replanted. He was out of seeds to plant, though. The traveler, during his time fighting the Peach Monkeys, realized that they had been dropping the Peach Pits when defeated. He could go back out and collect a hundred of these to reseed the entire farm. Tae Sang thought this was a great idea, and so the traveler went back to the peach farm. Getting a hundred peach seeds was fairly easy, so it wasn't long before he found himself back in town. He was quite pleased with the traveler's results, so he recommended that he visit his friend in the Herb Town, Mr. Ku. With this, the traveler set out to Herb Town.

Herb Town

Chapter 13

After descending through Mu Lung's mountainous Sky Forest and Tae Sang's Peach Farm, the traveler reached the Old swamps of Herb Town. The herb gardens extended from the town for a quite a ways; they looked to have been sorted by age, with the oldest herbs planted far from town, and the youngest ones located nearby, so that they could be tended with ease. The traveler thought he saw some of the Bellflowers scuttle by, but when he couldn't find them he assumed he must be mistaken. He reached the Herb Town shortly, and was not too surprised upon discovering that the occupants of this town were also pandas. Mr. Ku was easy to find, as he stood near the center of town looking worried. The traveler approached him, and mentioned Tae Sang's requests. Word had already spread, and Mr. Ku had his own problems: The Herb Gardens located outside of the town were not producing healthy crops as they should be. A group of misguided Bellflower Roots had snuck in and sucked out all the nutrients from the soil, which caused the planted Ginseng to wilt. These herbs were very important, as Tae Sang needed them to create better potions. So, the traveler turned around and went back out to stop these Bellfowers. They were quickly moving from garden to garden, and were a little hard to find. Eventually, though, he had defeated enough to hopefully scare the others off. Mr. Ku was pleased with the results of this, however some still were sneaking in. He decided that he may have to build a wall around the gardens soon...

The next day, Mr. Ku was furious again. This time, the herb garden was being continually raided by a group of pirates. These pirates were coming from the Red Nosed Pirate's Den that was hidden deep in the swamps outside of town. They were running through the gardens, stealing the Ginseng and only the most valuable herbs. The traveler agreed to head to their lair to defeat a large group of Kru and Captains from the pirate ship. On the way, he passed through the Old Swamp, and saw one of the older Bellflowers. This bellflower also saw him, and ran up. Ready for a fight, the traveler was shocked when it began talking to him! The bellflower begged him for help. Willing to listen, the traveler sat down and listened to his story. The bellflower said that his named was Guon, and he had once been the chamberlain to the King of the Bellflowers. Once, they had been a peaceful race living alongside the pandas in the Bellflower Valley, but not long ago the evil Lord Pirate had come and kidnapped their King, Wu Yang, and taken him hostage. Now, he was forcing the Bellflower Roots to do his evil bidding, threatening to kill their king if they refused. The pirates treated their slave Bellflowers horribly, and they had been reduced to stealing nutrients from the Ginseng gardens to live. The only way to restore the Bellflowers to their previously peaceful nature was to defeat the cruel Lord Pirate, free Wu Yang, and set the Herb Town back in order. He also asked defeat the entire leadership of the pirate ship, which consisted of 200 Lord Pirate's Kru and 200 Lord Pirate's Captains with special ranks. They didn't come out of the ship often, but when they did it was only for a few seconds to check up on things. He would have to be fast to get them all. The traveler was very concerned by these problems, but the only problem was that the Pirate Ship was out at sea right now, and he couldn't take care of Lord Pirate until it returned. He decided that this must wait, and began heading to the Red Nosed Pirate's den. He fought off hordes of the ordinary Kru and Captains, and then quickly headed back to Mr. Ku. Mr. Ku was now confident that no one would be messing up his herb gardens anymore, and sent off his newest batch of Ginseng to Tae Sang.

The traveler waited in Herb Town a bit longer, and rumors spread that the Pirate Ship would be returning soon... the battle with Lord Pirate loomed ahead. He anxiously awaited the coming fight.


Chapter 14

The latest town the Traveler visited was Magatia. Magatia was a special town hidden deep in the Nihal desert, under a perpetual cover of night time darkness. The town was based on the science of Alchemy, and were responsible for a lot of the things in the world. The only problem was, there were two sides to Alchemy: Life Alchemy, which involved living things, and the side that tries to mesh modern technology to Alchemy. The town had split into factions along these lines, and since then it's been a lot more difficult to get around. The two groups called themselves the Alcadno, life alchemists, and the Jenumists, science Alchemists. The traveler found a few of the members of the town who would talk to outsiders. The first person he talked to was Bedin, a Jenumist. Bedin was studying the monsters in the desert outside of town, which had been growing increasingly more violent lately. He believed that the Alcadno's experiments were having a detrimental effect on the wildlife of the desert. The Alcadno had been creating living machines using their alchemy, and Bedin and the Jenumists felt this was against the laws of nature. Regardless of the reasons, he needed for someone to defeat the Sand Mole-Rats that had been chewing holes in the half built Aeroboats. The traveler went outside into the desert and killed them all fairly quickly, reporting back to Bedin after only a few moments. Bedin had found out that the Alcadno had been experimenting on the Sand Mole-Rats, and this was probably agitating them into being more troublesome than the other monsters. He was adamantly against what they were doing, and felt that the Alcadno's greatest atrocity was the combination of life and machine. Bedin realized he was starting to ramble, and thanked the traveler, sending him on his way.

The next person who talked to the traveler was Kinny, another Jenumist. She was a fairy from Orbis, and though young and not officially holding the title of Alchemist, she was quite gifted and had the talent of some of the professionals. Lately, she had been studying the Roids, the mechanical creatures the Alcadno had brought to life with Alchemy. She was worried what the other Jenumists might say if they saw her collecting pieces of these monsters, and so asked the traveler to gather up some pieces of their intricate wiring for her. The traveler agreed to help her with this, and snuck into the Alcadno's laboratories to fight the Roids and gather their components. The Roids were not particularly strong, so gathering their components was an easy task. Kinny was happy with these pieces, but it wasn't long before she finished studying them. The Alcadno had a more advanced model, the NeoHuRoid, which drug a huge power supply around behind it. This time, she needed some of the plugs which connected the HuRoid to its power supply, so that she might learn how to deliver energy with minimal power loss. The traveler again snuck into the Alcadno's laboratory, and now confronted the NeoHuRoids. They weren't much tougher than the ordinary Roids, but still posed a bigger threat. He gathered up the plugs as fast as he could, and ran back to Kinny. She easily found what she was looking for from them, and had one last task for him. She thanked him profusely, and he thought it was a little odd. She had one final request. The most powerful model the Alcadno had produced yet, the D.Roid, was roaming the deepest floors of their laboratory. This one dragged a mechanical heart around behind it in an enormous tube. She needed one of the Mechanical hearts, even if it was broken. The D.Roids were far more powerful than the other robots had been, but the traveler handled it with ease. He quickly brought the heart to Kinny, who rewarded him with a pair of special Machinist's gloves. The traveler left Kinny, but soon found another fairy here in Magatia. Her name was Philia, and she was Kinny's mother. Philia said that despite Kinny's lively and enthusiastic appearance, she was actually quite ill. The Jenumists had no idea how to treat her, and even their leader, who also practiced magic, had no way to heal her. The traveler suggested that Philia talk to the Alcadno with their life alchemy, but she immediately replied that they would never help Jenumists... The only person who might be able to help Kinny was Ericsson of Orbis, who was a master of Fairy Magic. She handed him a letter, and asked that he please go to Orbis with it. He set out for the trip to Orbis, letter in hand. Once he got there, he hurried to Orbis Park to meet up with Ericsson. The traveler asked him if he knew Philia. He said that she was his sister, and had left Orbis long ago with an alchemist. The traveler handed Ericsson the letter, and he read it quickly. He was surprised to learn that he now had a niece, and that she was sick. He wanted to help her, and so came up with a list of items he would need to make the medicine. The traveler volunteered to help out by collecting these items, and set off for the Cloud Park to start. The medicine was called "A swallow of Moonlight", because it required a lot of the lunar pieces to create it. It was the perfect medicine for healing fairies. Ericsson used these to make it quickly, and handed it to the traveler along with a letter for Philia. With the cure in hand, he rushed back to Kinny. After a short ride to the Nihal Desert, the traveler met up with Philia and handed her the letter and the medicine. She thanked him and gave him a special powder which could return him to Magatia from anywhere in the Nihal Desert area.

When he had given Philia Kinny's medicine, he began walking through the town again. This time, an Alcadno approached him. Russelon was a studied man carrying a book and wearing a dark cloak. He warned the traveler about the scorpions outside of town. They were moderately dangerous, and had served as a dangerous obstacle for amateur Alchemists and tourists trying to leave the town. Russelon knew this from first hand experience, as once long ago a scorpion had damaged his right eye, and eventually he lost it. The Alcadno had formed a new mechanical eye for him, and now just by looking no one could tell it wasn't his natural eye. For this reason, he had joined up with them. Still, the process of incorporating machinery into living flesh wasn't perfect, and he had to take medicine to help his body cope from time to time. To make this medicine, he would need fifty of the Scorpion's stingers. The traveler was strong enough that the scorpions posed no threat to him, so it was easy to take their stingers. He brought them to Russelon. He was glad that he would not have to go out to face them again, and began working on the medicine. The original reason for developing this technology, that would integrate machine components with humans, was because the leader of the Alcadno had also lost an eye.

Now that he was introduced to the Alcadno and the Jenumists, he wanted to learn some more information on the history of Magatia. Why couldn't these two groups get along? He had heard a few of the townspeople whispering about a broker, a dealer of information in town. Though the two groups refused to talk to each other, they were still very interested in each other's research results, and these brokers would sell information to curious alchemists, for a price. The first broker that the traveler met was Broker Han. Han recognized him as an adventurer and a traveler right away. One look told him that the traveler was the curious type. He said that for 10,000 mesos, he could tell the traveler the entire history of Magatia.

The Alchemists had built the town of Magatia in the Nihal desert together, long ago after the Dark Magician had left the continent of Ossyria. The town is actually very prosperous, because foreign towns will pay large amounts of money for the experimental research data, but the division between the groups has made the town a sad and gloomy place. The Jenumists are pure Alchemists, combining magic and science into a flawless art, whereas the Alcadno specialize in Life Alchemy and fusing biology and mechanical parts. Alchemists, who are by their very nature secretive people, have become even less trusting since the split, and so outsiders visiting the city in hopes of learning the secrets of Alchemy are often turned away. The only solution was to join up with one of the groups. The traveler would have to pick if he wanted to learn more.

The traveler had to choose. He convinced Broker Han to give him the details on both. First, he asked about the Jenumists. Han said that Magatia was not just a town for scholars and research; the alchemists of Magatia fight for power more than any other town. Joining the Jenumists would not be easy; they considered themselves to be the true scholars, and had tough requirements to join. Momentarily dejected, the traveler asked if that meant it was impossible to join them. Han laughed, saying that he had methods. For 20,000 mesos, he could give the traveler an item to prove his research abilities and ensure his acceptance to the Jenumists. This time he asked him about the Alcadno. Unlike the Jenumists, they needed research to be handed in via a research paper. They're very picky about who they take since they deal with heavy machinery all the time, and because of the nature of their work they are looked down upon in many areas. Han could, for 20,000 mesos, obtain a Research Paper from an alchemist who owed him a favor. He also warned that the Alcadno had a strict interview system, and so there might be a quiz involved, not just handing in the paper. Han gave the traveler the paper, and then the answer to three questions, in order: Lithium, Grendel, and Alcaster. So, with this information in hand, the traveler picked a side, and headed for Mad at the Alcadno laboratory.

Maed took the paper, and saw it as simple enthusiasm to join. He said that the real test of skills is a quiz. So he asked the traveler a few questions:

The Alcadno do research on bringing Machinery to life. This involves lifeless dolls like Roid and NeoHuRoid. What stone is needed to bring these machines to life?

The traveler knew that this one must have the answer of Lithium, and he was right. Mad asked him another question:

To find the equation that creates the transmutation circle which controls the mechanical dolls, what Book is used? There were four options for this one. "Grendel's Basic Mana Equation Theory", "Robeira's Magic Entry", "Jane's Alchemy for Beginners that a Monkey Could Do", and "Alcaster's Magic Equation Theory for Basic Alchemy". Remembering the order, the traveler knew it must be Grendel's theory. Thinking back, he remembered that Grendel had once performed life magic on the cursed dolls which caused the Zombie Lupins to come to life, so this made perfect sense. Fortunately, he was right. The final question was this:

Name the great Alchemist who created the Magic Rock, laid down the basics of the Aeroboat, and proved the initial effects on life magic. He had also once served as one of the 3 leaders of Magatia...

This one had to be Alcaster. Alcaster was one of the most well studied magicians, and he had lived for centuries. He created Magic Rocks and Summoning Rocks with ease through Alchemy, and was powerful enough to seal the dangerous Book of Ancient. Alcaster was, in fact, the right answer. So Alcaster had once led Magatia... The traveler was so surprised by this that he nearly forgot about the Alchemy quiz. Mad handed him the Alcadno cape, the signal that the traveler had joined their group.

Now that he had joined up with the Alcadno, many people were willing to trust him more. Russelon was one of them. He was now working on his specialty, medicines for diseases. He said that he was also good at making poisons... He jokingly asked the traveler for his finger to use in a potion, but as he stepped back, Russelon laughed and said he was kidding. To finish his latest medicine, he would need a special leaf full of the magic of life. The only problem was, they could only be found in the Jenumist's laboratory. They would certainly recognize Russelon, but perhaps the traveler could sneak in and get some of these. Take as much as you want to, he said, the Jenumist's opinions don't matter. The traveler was a bit turned off by this attitude, but still decided to collect these leaves. They were hard to get, but he managed to find all that Russselon needed. Russelon just laughed and quickly thanked him, returning to his work. The traveler began to wonder whether he had made the right choice...

While walking through Magatia's starlit streets, he began to wonder how Kinny was doing, and decided to pay Philia a visit. She didn't have good news for him; Kinny was beginning to feel better at first, but the medicine had suddenly stopped working. She begged him to visit Ericsson again. In the letter, he had warned her that the medicine had a high chance of failure, due to Kinny's special condition, so it wasn't exactly surprising. When he took this message back to Ericsson, he sighed. If only she were a fairy, he said. The traveler was perplexed; outwardly at least, Kinny looked like a fairy. Why didn't the medicine work? He revealed the truth behind her predicament: Kinny was not a full blooded fairy. While her mother Philia is a fairy, her father had been a human alchemist, and so neither the medicine of humans nor fairies was working to heal her illness. He decided that the only option was to use a more powerful fairy medicine, though it is dangerous. This medicine was called a "Swallow of Sunlight", and needed the magical sunpieces to create it. As soon as the traveler could get the materials to him, Ericsson set about brewing this stronger potion. He was still a bit hesitant, as it's too powerful for most children, but he finally admitted they had no choice. The traveler took this new medicine to Magatia as fast as possible, and handed it to Philia. She was very grateful, but she didn't get her hopes up. She knew that half-fairies had a tendency to be sickly, and that they were difficult to treat, but she wasn't going to give up hope.

The traveler again walked through Magatia, and this time was stopped by a mechanical man. First fairies, then alchemists and now robots! Magatia truly was a town with all kinds of secrets. He stopped to talk to this android. He introduced himself as Humanoid A. He said that he had lost the memory of his past, and no longer even knew who had created him. Still, he was satisfied with his life here in the town of Alchemy, and had a friend in Kinny. He wanted to make her a gift to show his gratitude for her friendship, but was unable to obtain the materials to create this gift due to his mechanical nature. He needed Steel Pieces and Reinforced Steel pieces, which could be found off the Iron Mutae and Reinforced Iron Mutae hiding in the Alcadno laboratories. The traveler headed off into the Alcadno laboratories, no longer needing to sneak past since he was now a member. He fought the Mutae, which were transformed by the emanating power of alchemy present down there. They weren't too hard to collect, and so he took them back to Humanoid A. He was pleased, and took the materials. A little later, he called the traveler back, and handed him a model of the Mutae that he had made. He asked him to take this to Kinny, and present it as a gift from him. She was really happy, because she had wanted this for her research for some time. The traveler left Kinny, pleased to have been able to help the poor girl again. He headed back to Humanoid A to report her thanks.

Humanoid A was staring off, thinking hard about something. When the traveler approached, he snapped out of it. He asked if the traveler had ever heard of a flower called the Snowfield Rose. When he saw the confused look on his face, he explained. The Snowfield Rose was a special flower, white and clear with a pungent aroma renowned by alchemists everywhere. He wanted one to give to Philia. Unfortunately, they were incredibly rare, and the only person that Humanoid A knew of that owned the seeds of this flower was the great Alcaster, currently residing in El Nath. He asked the traveler, who was acquainted with Alcaster, to retrieve it for him. He agreed, and set off for the distant town in the snowcapped mountains, El Nath.

After arriving in El Nath, he slid across the ice to meet Alcaster. When he explained why he was here, Alcaster was surprised that a non-alchemist was aware of the Snowfield Rose's existence. The seeds were so rare and valuable, however, that he could not just give these away for free. He had a small favor to ask in exchange for the seed. El Nath's residents were recently growing concerned about the actions of Leatty, a weak monster which lived in the small field between Orbis Tower and El Nath. They had been slowly tearing the tower apart, and something had to be done. The traveler agreed to wipe out a few Leatty in exchange for the rose. It was a simple task, and he completed it quickly. Alcaster held up his end of the bargain, and handed him a Snowfield Rose Seed. He reminded the traveler that only an alchemist could plant it, and with the advice he returned to Magatia quickly. There were some materials that Humanoid A had said were necessary, Mithril Pieces and Gelatin. These could only be obtained in the Alcadno and Jenumist laboratories, respectively, so once he arrived he went to each of these areas. Once had everything he headed back to Humanoid A. He thanked the traveler and begain planting the seed immediately.

A few days later, the traveler decided to check back up on the Snowfield Rose. To his surprise, it was ready to bloom. Humanoid A had another favor to ask. In order to pick the rose, the warm touch of a human hand was needed to preserve it. If he tried to pick it himself, his mechanical hands would ruin the flower and it would crumble. To make sure it was ready, someone would need to pour five Dews of May on them, and the Snowfield Roses would be in perfect shape. They went to the special laboratory, and he gave the traveler the 5 dews. They were used to transmute Homunculi, but these had a nobler purpose. He placed them one at a time on the special platforms, and gradually five Snowfield Roses appeared. He tried to pick them, but each one wilted... There was finally one flower left, and he anxiously reached out to grasp it. Luckily, this one survived. Humanoid A happily led the traveler back out of the laboratory. He walked over to Philia, and slowly presented her with the Snowfield Rose. She was struck speechless, and seeing this the traveler left her to her thoughts.


Chapter 15

The story of Amoria begins with the story of Elias. Elias was a noble hunter whose love of battle knew no bounds. He fell in love with a maiden of striking beauty, Cecelia. She hoped he would one day realize her love went beyond the mere fleeting of arrows, but Elias continued to hunt on and ignore his wife. During one of his hunting trips, Cecelia was kidnapped by a group of monsters. When Elias returned and found his wife missing, he immediately set out after her, vanquishing any monsters in his wake with his might bow, axe, and powerful magic. Alas, he came upon the cave where his true love has been taken. He heard her voice cry out in terror, and immediately rushed in to find several Drakes prepared to feast on her. Elias defeated the monsters and carried his wife back to their house, but her wounds were too great for even his skill to heal. Saddened by the loss of his wife, he used the last bit of his magic in a sacrificial act and created a place that would allow others to experience the love he once had, and as a lesson to never take it for granted. Thus, the town of Amoria came to be.


Chapter 16:New Leaf City

One day, during his journey, the traveler heard rumors that a new continent had recently arisen from the sea. Masteria, a legendary island that had supposedly sunk below the ocean one thousand years ago, was now visible from the coast of Victoria Island. After traveling to Kerning City, he discovered that a new subway route had opened up. The destination was called "New Leaf City," apparently a town that had been constructed on Masteria already. He boarded the subway quickly, and sat down. The train moved fast, and in mere moments they had arrived in the NLC Subway.

After climbing the stairs, the traveler emerged into a bustling town center. Standing near a sign that read, "Welcome to New Leaf City!" Stood a man who introduced himself as Mayor Icebyrd Slimm. The mayor thanked him for paying a visit to the newly opened city, and offered to explain a little bit about the town and the continent's history. The traveler seized the opportunity to learn more. First, he asked the mayor why he had built the city. Icebyrd explained that he had always wanted to build a city, after growing up in Kerning City. He decided to set out on a journey to discover how he could set up a city, and discovered several friends who would aid him in this endeavor: Professor Foxwit, a time traveling genius who had agreed to set up a museum; Jack Masque, a friendly bandit prince hailing from Amoria; his old thief friend, Lita Lawless, who now served as the town sheriff; John Barricade, an adventurer on a quest for knowledge; and lastly Elpam Gorlab, a stranger from another dimension whose motives were almost entirely a mystery. With the help of these individuals, Icebyrd had managed to build New Leaf City, essentially from the ground up, in next to no time. They did have a base to work off of, though; several of the larger structures dated back to the continent's initial heyday over a thousand years ago. One of these areas was the monster-ridden MesoGears, deep below an enormous clock tower called Bigger Ben. He mentioned that John Barricade had been exploring it in search of something, but couldn't elaborate. The next thing Icebyrd warned about was the Krakian Jungle, the dense wilderness area located at the outskirts of town. Dangerous monsters roamed the area, and there was a rumor about a lost city deep out there. The traveler was surprised at how quickly this enormous city had been constructed. Icebyrd sheepishly admitted that he had gotten some help from someone in bringing the continent back to the surface, but wouldn't divulge any more information yet. The last thing he said was that they had used the base of an ancient city, Olde Sapp Village, to construct the new town. With that, the traveler set out to explore the new areas as well as he could.

The first person he encountered was a strange man holding a rose, his face covered by a black mask. Curious, he approached him and started up a conversation. He introduced himself as Jack Masque; he said that he had left Amoria in shame. One day, while on a date with the Beautiful Amorian, Princess Restless, they were ambushed by Wolf Spiders, just as they were about to kiss. They both survived the attack, but since that day he has worn the mask in disgrace over his failure to protect the Princess, and will not remove it until he is able to regain his honor. To do this, he first needed to cut down on the population of the Wolf Spiders, and was recruiting the most powerful tourists passing through to help. Jack asked the traveler to wipe out a hundred of the Wolf Spiders at their den inside the Clock Tower on the far side of town, Bigger Ben. The traveler agreed to help and set off for Bigger Ben.

Before reaching it, however, he was stopped by a woman holding a boomerang. She said her name was Lita Lawless, which the traveler instantly recognized from Slimm's speech as the Sheriff. Lita mentioned that she had trained as a thief for some time, so she could understand the monsters' motives. She needed the visitors to help her protect the city by defeating 200 Gryphons and 200 Electrophants. These lived in the Krakian Jungle, which was in the opposite direction from Bigger Ben; the traveler decided to take out the Wolf Spiders first, and continued on down to their cave. After climbing the clock tower and entering through one of the clock faces, he descended through the inner workings of the clock. Near the bottom of the tower, he found a man holding a red whip. This person greeted the traveler as John Barricade, one of the two members of the Barricade Brothers Treasure Hunting Company. He was here to explore the MesoGears, the underground section of Bigger Ben. John could go no further unless someone cleared a path through the numerous species of monsters that lay beyond the next doorway. Since the traveler would have to pass through here anyway to reach the Wolf Spiders, he volunteered to help John. John asked that he kill at least 50 Killa Bees, 30 Mighty Maple Eaters, and 40 Fire Tusks. The list in mind, the traveler descended further down.

Once in the MesoGears, a swarm of Killa Bees immediately set down on attacking the traveler. They weren't difficult at all, however, and the traveler had taken out fifty of them in no time. The Maple Eaters were huge purple flowers with vicious looking teeth that were said to eat unwary passerby. The plants sprouted through the hard brick floors of the MesoGears. The traveler took them out from as far away as he could, but they grew back so quickly that he had defeated thirty before making his way to the next room. From here, there were two paths; the traveler took the upper one, and suddenly found himself in the Wolf Spiders' cave. They were fast, ruthless, powerful little mechanical monstrosities, and posed a great threat to anyone unfortunate enough to cross paths with them. Having encountered them, it was easy to see why they gave Jack such trouble. Still, they came in such huge numbers that it only took a few minutes to take out a hundred of them. Before turning back out of the MesoGears, he needed to find the Fire Tusks. Heading back to the previous room, the traveler took the lower route, entering a new room called the Fire Chamber. In here, dozens of Fire Tusks roamed around. While fighting, he spotted a tombstone sticking out of the floor. Once he approached it, he read the inscription: "Sunstone Grave - Tempt Fate, Discover the Path." The traveler was perplexed; he wondered if, perhaps, there were more of these graves in the MesoGears. His curiosity was enough to drive him deeper, after eliminating the remaining Fire Tusks. In the next room, the Ice Chamber, he found another one, this time reading: "Moonstone Grave - 30, 101, Hidden." This clue was even more confusing, and drove him further still. The following room appeared to be the last; there were no monsters in here, either. Another Tombstone stood in the center: "Here lies Christopher Crimsonheart, the immortal warrior." It didn't help him figure out the others any better. The traveler noted all three of the messages, and began to climb out of the Meso Gears.

After getting back up to John Barricade, he reported his success at clearing out the monsters. John praised him and started to talk about the treasure. The traveler asked him what else he had found. His list was quite long: the treasure of King Solomon's mines, Stonehenge, Captain Kidd's gold, the Knights Templar's treasure trove, the lost Dutchman's mine, the Sphinx Chamber, and many wrecked Galleons. He had chosen this career after graduating from college while studying History. After this, he and his brother decided that they wanted to live forever, and decided to find the Fountain of Youth. To the traveler's surprise, John claimed to have actually done so. His father was an archaeologist, and his brother, Jack, was now exploring something separate in Aqua Road. The traveler asked what John was doing here if his brother was all the way at Aquarium. John started telling a rather long story.

Subani was once a great and powerful magician who sacrificed himself to seal the evil and equally powerful demon, Naricain. Naricain's power was still present in the world today in the form of Dark Scrolls. There were rumors of more, though, and while traveling through the Purplewood Forests of Amoria not too long ago, John heard from the Glimmer Man that this treasure might be located near the MesoGears. He had followed the traveler down the path he cleared, and discovered some strange markings on the wall. The only way to translate them was with a special item called the "Hyper Glyph." Each one could only translate one character, however, and since there were 50 letters he would need 50 Glyphs. John said that Electrophants sometimes carried these, so that would be a good place to start. The traveler was glad he hadn't taken those out yet, and so he headed back out of Bigger Ben.

Now in New Leaf City's Town Center once more, the traveler reported his success with the Wolf Spiders to Jack Masque. In return, Jack handed him some Leaf Crystals, forged from the vines of a magic Ellinian plant, and explained his mask. He wore it because being defeated by the Wolf Spiders embarrassed him. He was still concerned, though, because he had a rival for the Princess's affection back in Amoria: Prince Vince. Jack had no more to say on the matter, though, so the traveler took the crystals and began walking towards the Jungle. As he passed, the Mayor called him over. While trying to clear parts of the jungle for construction of new areas, the machinery was being attacked by the monsters of the Krakian Jungle. Before they could resume, someone would have to deal with them, and Icebyrd felt that the traveler was the person to do it. He agreed; Icebyrd told him that he needed him to defeat a hundred Gryphons and get 150 Boomer Cores, the inner workings of the Boomer. The traveler kept walking. On this side of town, he noticed a huge metallic structure looming, and saw someone standing high up on its edge.

Curiosity again piqued, he climbed up and took a good look at the strange man; he wore a long, flowing black cloak with a large hood pulled up over his eyes, as if to shield him from the sunlight. His skin was an extremely pale blue tone, and he gave off an odd scent. He seemed to have noticed the traveler staring, and approached. He introduced himself as Elpam Gorlab, and asked for help. Elpam claimed to be from a place called Versal, a parallel universe to the world they were currently in. He had come here to observe, as he does from time to time; this time, however, his calculations to return were thrown off by the appearance of Amoria, and now he is stranded here. He explained that in Versal, Balrogs, which in the Maple World are amongst the fiercest of foes, are actually kind and loyal to humans. Similarly, the Mushmom, one of the mildest monsters in Maple World, is the cruelest and most dangerous of Versal. To return to his world, he needs to recalibrate his magnetic compass; the only things in the maple world capable of doing so are the Elpam Magnets, which are exclusively held by the Barnard class of Grays. He asked the traveler to bring him 30 of them. This would mean traveling all the way to Omega Sector, which was on the opposite side of the world; the traveler decided to put this off until he had finished his business here.

In the jungle, he found a region that was infested with Boomers. They were small, yellow walking explosives. As he tried to defeat them, he found that for each one that wasn't destroyed on the first hit, another one would appear. Additionally, if he didn't take them out fast enough, they could blow themselves up, creating a dangerous blast. The traveler harvested the cores as quickly as he was able to, defeating them each with a single blow. Once he had enough, he began to push deeper into the jungle. At an area called the Mountain Slopes, he found the Electrophants. They had a deceptive appearance; they looked just like the Fire Tusks, but with a different mechanical apparatus attached. The Electrophants, however, were significantly more powerful than the Fire Tusks. Nonetheless, the traveler began to wipe them out in large numbers, and after quite a while, had taken out all 200 that Lita had asked for. Some time later he had also collected all 50 of John Barricade's Hyper Glyphs as well. Both Lita and Icebyrd had said that the Gryphons lived at the furthest area of the jungle from the city, and knowing this the traveler continued walking until he came upon a cliff overlooking a huge drop. Gryphons darkened the skies, circle high above in large numbers. There were crystalline devices that had been mentioned by Icebyrd in his introduction, the Gear Portals. The traveler found he could use them to get out into the airspace over the cliff and take out the Gryphons hiding out of range. He moved from Portal to Portal, warping around adeptly until he had taken out two hundred of them. Upon finishing, the traveler ran back to the city, speeding up the process by jumping down the cliff face from the lowest possible point.

Back in New Leaf, the traveler first approached Icebyrd, who thanked him and immediately got the construction efforts going again. Next he moved on to Lita. She was quite impressed. The traveler wanted to ask her about something she had said earlier: that she was a thief. She explained that one day, after she tired of the life of a thief, she approached Dark Lord. Dark Lord proposed a test. If she could hit him, even just once, then he would grant this wish. Lita said that the REAL Dark Lord was much, much more powerful than his clone. Due to a lucky opportunity, she finally landed a blow, and headed off to New Leaf City with Icebyrd. Having finished her tale, she gave the traveler a special item and sent him on his way. Now, he set off for the last person he needed to see, John Barricade. John was quite excited to see the Hyper Glyphs, and began using them right away. Before he left, the traveler asked him to explain a bit more. John stated that he felt certain that Subani had left something here in Masteria. He said that, while exploring the Sphinx Chamber that he had mentioned earlier, he discovered a legend that was very close to the tale of Naricain and Subani; this legend foretells that the two will rise again to engage in battle once more. He also said that the legend mentioned another world. Hearing this, the traveler asked John if he had spoken with Elpam yet. John scoffed and muttered something about cheese, then said he hadn't, but it was a good idea. The traveler noticed that John had returned to translating, and told him that he would come back in a little while after he finished the translations. He returned to town and decided to rest for now.

Chapter 17

The next day, the traveler set out for Bigger Ben once again. When he arrived, John Barricade had just finished the translations. He looked a little distraught. When the traveler asked about it, John explained that he had "borrowed" some robots from Professor Foxwit's secret lab to help him. When they finished their task and translated all the scraps, they suddenly went crazy and ran off into the jungle with them. John was very suspicious because Foxwit's things usually worked perfectly, but nonetheless someone needed to go out there and take the Map Pieces they had stolen back. The traveler volunteered to go into the Jungle, while John started to comb over the MesoGears once more.

In the Krakian Jungle, he kept moving until reaching the Mountain Slopes once again. Here, he could see the Robots Barricade had mentioned swarming across the rocky ground. They had wiry arms and screens on their chest that revealed their next moves. The traveler used this feature to his advantage, and set out destroying the robots to get the map pieces back. There were hundreds of robots roaming the jungle, so it took quite a while to gather up all 50 of them. After collecting the last piece, the traveler returned to John Barricade. John was pleased with the results, but since the robots had flipped out on him, he would have to reassemble the map by hand. John warned that it might take him a long time, but as soon as had completed it he would call the traveler back and they would go treasure hunting together. In return for helping him thus far, John gave him a special ring he'd found deep in the MesoGears: it had a faded inscription carved into it, which read "Subani" when looked at closely. The traveler put the ring in a safe place and returned to town. By now, he only had one errand left; it was time to head to Omega Sector and confront the Grays. Omega Sector was extremely far away, so the trip was going to take a long time.

After at last reaching the base, the traveler set off down the Kulan Fields to find some Barnard Grays. Elpam had said these magnets were rare, and he wasn't exaggerating; only a handful of the Grays actually possessed them. The traveler had to defeat many before he gathered as much as Elpam had requested. Once he had them, though, he passed back through Omega, and noticed that a new person was setting up shop. His name was Spindle, and he claimed to have been capable of forging brand new items out of very rare materials. The traveler had none of these materials at the time, so he had to go on. One long trip back to New Leaf City later, and he found himself standing on the tower next to Elpam once more.

Elpam quickly recalibrated his compass with the magnets, but had another problem to deal with: in order to return to Versal, he would need to go back in time to the point where his previous attempts had failed. To do this, he would need solidified shards of time called "Temporal Fragments." Each one was worth approximately 1 second of time. Due to the time-altering nature of the item, the only place it could be found was in Ludibrium's Clock Tower, not far from the Time Sphere. Elpam said that Tick-tocks often collected them, so they would be a good place to start. The traveler sighed, but he really wanted to help Elpam, so he agreed. He would have to go all the way back to Ludus Lake again.

One more equally long trip later, the traveler was in Ludibrium. He descended through the clock tower to the path of time and began defeating the Tick-tocks. It had been a long time since he was here, but he fell into the rhythm of the area and in no time had all of the Temporal Fragments. The traveler boarded the Ludibrium train (hoping it would be the last time for a while.) and returned to New Leaf City. He handed over the Fragments to Elpam, who was quite grateful. The traveler decided that, in return for his favor, he deserved a few more answers, and so decided to ask Elpam why his skin was pale. Elpam explained that in Versal, this skin tone was the norm; they only had 3 months of sunlight each year, so everyone was naturally pale. He promised the traveler that once he had devised a way to bring others with him to Versal, he would be the first one.

As he headed for the subway, the Mayor once again stopped him. Icebyrd thanked him for all his hard work helping the residents of the city. Since the traveler was already so involved, the mayor felt it was only fair to give him more of the story. Having just finished up with Elpam, the traveler decided to ask Icebyrd about Versal. He answered that there were rumors that it might be possible to open a portal there from somewhere within the city, but he wasn't sure how. Confused, the traveler asked him why he wouldn't know something about a city he built. Icebyrd explained that he had actually rebuilt the city. When Masteria arose from the ocean, there was the remains of an ancient town here: Old Sappe Village. The foundations of the city were over a thousand years old. This included things like the Gear Portals, as well as their power sources, which now also fueled the Foxwit doors. Not all of it was being used yet, though; Icebyrd was a bit superstitious about the old legends, like the tale of the immortal warriors, or the one about the mad scientist, or the threat from outer space. He also stated that the legendary Subani and Naricain were from Masteria. The traveler was intrigued, and pressed Mayor Slimm for more.

Icebyrd told the traveler of Masterian civilization from before it sunk: It was once populated by a powerful, advanced people. Unfortunately, their hubris was their downfall, and due to some accident the entire continent was lost. The Mayor made a deal with a man to have the island raised for some price. When the traveler asked for details, he declined to elaborate. The mayor hurriedly dismissed the topic and went to get the reward. When he came back, the traveler was awarded with the enormous Warrior's Throne. With his prize in tow, the traveler decided to call it a day and head back to Kerning.

Chapter 18: Haunted House

On the traveler's next visit to Masteria, he heard that an offroad Taxi had discovered a new area on the continent, in the Phantom Forest. It was the old Prendergast Mansion, the home of the once famous Prendergast Toy Factory. As the traveler approached the broken down mansion, an old man stepped out and blocked his path. "You want a word of advice about the house? STAY OUT OF THERE! It's haunted!" The old man explained that the master of the house, Jonas, used to be a master toymaker, renowned across the world. He would often hold parties near this time of year, where he would give out toys to the children in costumes. Unfortunately, one year, his daughter Sophilia died in an accident, and Jonas went insane with grief. He withdrew from the world, turned off his toy factory, and hid in the workshop. Suddenly, one day, the machine turned back on, and began pumping out toys again. This time, however, the toys had become monsters, twisted into evil by the powerful sorrow Jonas felt. The traveler thought it sounded exciting, and wanted to enter the mansion to see if he could find any ghosts. Old Man Tom shook his head and gave up. He pointed to the door, and the traveler entered.

The mansion's foyer was huge. Inside, the traveler met a Butler, named Edmunds. He looked concerned. As the traveler approached, Edmunds turned abruptly, scared out of his wits. Upon seeing him, the butler breathed a sigh of relief. He decided to ask for a favor. The mansion's fireplaces were running out of wood. To keep the fires going, he would need more. Unfortunately, most of the housekeeping staff had left; he was here all alone, and the mansion was far too big for him to care for himself. If the traveler could gather some firewood, it would be a great help. Always willing to lend a hand, the traveler agreed. Before sending him on his way, Edmunds decided to explain a bit to him, since he seemed unaware of the Mansion's history. Ever since Jonas stopped producing toys, the legend of the Prendergast Toy Company has faded into memory, and along with it the mansion had decayed. He was always the object of affection for many women due to this fame, and ended up marrying a total of 7 times. He always grew bored of his wives, getting wrapped up in his work, and they eventually left him. His last wife, Ludmilla, still lived here. She enjoyed her lavish life here, and had no qualms about nagging her servants. She was the one complaining about how cold it was, leading to the need for firewood. It didn't take long to gather enough, and once he returned, Edmunds agreed to answer all his questions. The traveler asked for some help navigating the mansion, which Edmunds graciously provided. Next, he pointed to the pictures on the wall. Edmunds showed him Ludmilla, Jonas, and Sophilia's photos. He recommended that if he wasn't busy, he should see Ludmilla.

The traveler, taking this advice, walked through the hallways until stumbling in to the Vanity Room. Upon entering, Ludmilla immediately began ordering him around, assuming he was a servant. She was feeling lonely, and wished to speak to someone. The traveler took pity on her, even as unpleasant as she was. Ludmilla was complaining about how she hadn't seen Jonas for such a long time, ever since Sophilia (whom she referred to as "His little brat") died. Ludmilla thought that she could lure him out, though, if she gave him some of his favorite food, Cherry Pie, from Old Sappe Village. For a moment, the traveler was confused, but he left the room as soon as possible to get away from Ludmilla. The name was familiar, but he was certain he had never been to any town by that name. Suddenly, he remembered where he had heard it: the Mayor of New Leaf City had said that his town was built on the ruins of Old Sappe. Still, why would Ludmilla refer to New Leaf by that name, when Old Sappe hadn't existed for over a thousand years? Things weren't quite adding up... At any rate, he went to New Leaf City and purchased the Cherry Pie for her and returned to the Vanity Room. She tried setting the pies out for him, but Jonas never emerged. Now, her earrings were missing, and she claimed to have a ball to attend later. Ludmilla claimed that Sophilia used to take them, but now that Sophilia is no longer alive and the housekeepers are all gone, she had no one to blame for stealing them. The traveler agreed to find them for her, and left the room.

In the hallway, he saw many dolls wandering around which resembled Sophilia. Might they have taken the earrings? After defeating a few, the answer became obvious. The traveler walked through the hallway, defeating doll after doll, until eventually he found himself in a bedroom with an enormous picture on the wall. Standing beneath it was a small girl, who resembled the one in the picture. The traveler thought she might be Sophilia but... that couldn't possibly be. He decided to talk to her. She asked him if he had seen her doll. Surprised, the traveler blurted out that there were hundreds of dolls around the house. The girl said that her father had been making more sophisticated dolls all the time, but the one she was looking for was the first he made. She looked so upset, the traveler gladly agreed to help her find it. The girl thought that Ludmilla might have it, as she was always taking her toys away. Before he could go back to Ludmilla, though, he had to finish gathering up the Tarrymore and Sepha earrings. It didn't take long; most of the dolls had a set. After he found them, he headed back to the Vanity Room and gave them to her. Ludmilla threw a ragged doll at him, claiming she found it at the foot of the stairs some time ago and then lost it in her closet. The traveler wondered if this was the doll that the girl he had seen before was searching for. He quickly fled from Ludmilla's presence, fearing she'd have more terrible tasks for him to do. The best thing to do now, he decided, was to head over to the girl's room and hand her the doll. Once the traveler reached her room, he handed her the doll. She was extremely happy, and shared some of her favorite candy with him.

Now that he had met the Mansion's other residents, the traveler decided to look for Jonas. He recalled that Edmunds had said that the Toy Workshop could be accessed from the Library, and began heading that way. Upon arrival, he discovered a man who was stooped over the controls of an enormous machine that was pumping out toys. It had to be Jonas. The man turned around, and began questioning the traveler. "What are you doing here? You are not Sophilia!" The traveler asked if he was the one creating all these monster toys. Jonas only heard "toy" but admitted to it. He said that a tool had fallen into the machine and nearly broken it. He needed to replace it, but in order to do that he'd have to get firewood, Screws, and Springs. Jonas couldn't leave the machine running unattended. Thinking that by replacing the part, the toy monsters might return to normal, the traveler volunteered to get the pieces.

It didn't take long, and as soon as he had gathered all the pieces, he brought them back to Jonas. Jonas thanked the traveler, and in no time had the parts installed. As Jonas stepped back to admire his work, the traveler felt compelled to ask why the machine was still pumping out monster toys, faster than ever. He answered, "No, no, the broken Assembler was merely slowing down production, that's all. Now that my we're back to full production, I can turn my attention back to the task at hand... finishing the newest model of my line of dolls!" The traveler was slackjawed. Didn't Prendergast know what these toys were doing? Still, he held some trust in Jonas, and was willing to listen to his next request. His latest project was assembling a doll that looked eerily like Sophilia. To finish it, he would need some doll hair. Unfortunately, he had no more in stock up here in the workshop. Jonas decided that it would be best to collect some Locks of Doll hair from some of the older doll models. He also claimed to need some candy, which left the traveler perplexed. Still, he went out to the mansion's hallways and defeated the monster dolls, taking locks of hair from each. Collecting them was simple enough, and he already had the candy from his earlier encounter with the girl. Upon returning to the toy workshop, Jonas quickly grabbed the items from him and put the finishing touches on his Sophilia doll. He handed it to the traveler, asking him to take this doll to Sophilia. The traveler didn't really know what to do, but he decided to take it to the girl.

The traveler walked up to the girl's room. She stared blankly at the new doll. "This doll doesn't look much like me at all," she said. She had a point; there was something off about the way it looked. "Can you please take Annabelia to Father?" she asked. He was surprised for a moment. Could this really be Sophilia? Edmunds and Tom had said she died... Still, he was already too involved. The traveler agreed to take the doll back to Jonas. when he got back to the Workshop and handed it to Jonas, he looked disgusted for a moment at the tattered state of the doll, then realized what it was. "This is the first doll I made for her..." he said. He was suddenly stunned. "She named this doll after her mother..." For a moment, it seemed like he was reliving the events of Sophilia's death. Instantly, he snapped back and cried out. "MY WORKSHOP! MY TOYS! ...What have I done?" Jonas couldn't believe what had become of his once beautiful toys. worse yet, it was impossible to stop the machine after it had been operating for so long. He begged the traveler to help him. Glad that poor Jonas had finally regained his senses, the traveler gladly agreed. Jonas said that they must destroy the toys the machine was producing before they could escape from the house. The Psycho Jacks, Nightmares, and Sophilia Dolls were coming out in enormous numbers, and they could potentially overrun the entire continent.

He ran through the house, eliminating toy monster after toy monster. Prendergast was right, there was certainly no shortage of them. After he had destroyed a lot of each variety, he made his way back to the Workshop. Jonas smiled, and handed over his Toymaker gear to the traveler. "I have chosen to retire from this craft. It is past my time here," he said. The traveler decided to ask Jonas about Sophilia. She was his first, and only, daughter. At the time, he had not yet become a famous toymaker, but was only a humble carpenter. He couldn't afford to buy toys for her, so he started making them by hand. For some time, they were happy; Until the day when Annabelia died. To distract himself (And Sophilia) from their sorrow, he kept making new and better toys. As time went on, his business grew, and his toys became wildly popular. He became so busy with his company that he had little time to spend with Sophilia anymore. He married all those women so that Sophilia might have a chance to have a mother again, but no one could ever take Annabelia's place. As he finished his story, Jonas asked the traveler for one last favor: to take the key to his Workshop, so that the machines could never build these evil toys again.

Feeling a bit melancholy, the traveler exited the house. As he did, Old Man Tom spoke up. "Where did you get that Key? Let me see that!" he shouted. The traveler explained what had happened to him inside the mansion. Tom had a hard time believing it at first... "Jonas... Jonas has been dead for decades!" Tom introduced himself formally: His name was Tomlin Prendergast, Jonas' younger brother. He told the tale of what led to his brother's death: after Sophilia's accident, poor Jonas lost it. He locked himself in his workshop, refusing to see anyone, ignoring their pleas for him to eat. The toy machine shut down, and they heard nothing from the room. Then, some time later, the noises of the Toy Machine started up once more. They waited, hoping that he would come out, but he did not. About this time, the housekeeping staff began to claim they saw Sophilia's ghost, and deserted the mansion. Even Tom saw her. It wasn't long before the once active mansion lay empty of all but Edmunds, the loyal head butler, and Ludmilla, who couldn't leave her life of luxury. Eventually, Edmunds began to beg Tom to use his Workshop Key and go talk to Jonas. When he went to the workshop and opened the door, he discovered his brother's body, slumped over the machine in a room that was completely filled with toys.

"Standing there, in front of my brother's lifeless body, his huge mechanical contraption looming above me... I couldn't help but feel that somehow part of Jonas' spirit, his grief, had entered his Toy Machine. As if it had heard my thoughts, the machine began to crank out toys... monstrous toys I had never seen before! They were my brother's toys... but twisted, hateful. In my haste and fright, I dropped my key as I fled the house. I... I have never gone back in since." Tom finished. He slid the key in his pocket and brought out a shiny necklace. Tom said it was a protective talisman that Jonas had made for Sophilia's birthday. The traveler graciously accepted the gift, and set out away from the haunted Prendergast mansion.


Chapter 19

One day while walking through the town of Perion, the traveler heard a strange rumor. Recently, a band of foreigners from a far-off desert had come through the town, looking for Manji. Whatever they wanted of him, he did not agree to it, and so they left back for their desert. Now, Manji was beginning to regret his decision and wanted to send them some help, but he couldn't simply leave Perion defenseless. As the traveler walked by, Manji found the solution to his dilemma. He could send the traveler in his place! First, though, Manji needed proof that the traveler was up to the task. He asked him to defeat a mere 15 Dark Axe stumps, an easy task for almost anyone. Once he had completed this, Manji informed his that he could use his power to warp the traveler to the town that the group had come from, the mysterious desert village of Ariant. After a short time of preparation, the traveler found himself in Ariant in the blink of an eye.

Getting here was the easy part, however. As the traveler wandered through the streets of Ariant, he realized that this town looked quite impoverished. It made no sense; the stories of Ariant had always described it as a wealthy town from the sale of Lidium, an important mineral which could only be found in the Nihal Desert. Lidium powers the Aeroboats, keeps Orbis afloat, and even drives submarines! Being the sole provider of such a crucial item should have made the town the richest in the world. The traveler decided to ask one of the residents about what had happened, but not a single Ariant citizen would speak to him. As he walked through the town, he luckily spotted a man who seemed to be a foreigner. The foreigner greeted him heartily, glad to see another visitor to this village. He said his name was Byron, and that he was an anthropologist studying the culture here. The traveler expressed his dismay that none of the people here would talk to him, and asked Byron what he could do to fix that. Byron explained that the people of Ariant were suffering due to the reign of their Queen Areda, who was extremely greedy. This fact had made the townspeople angry, and since the only regular outsiders were those selling goods to the queen, they developed a distaste for all foreigners. Byron himself had gained the trust of the citizens by becoming one of them, and advised the traveler to do the same. It was easy to become one: all he would have to do is go to the legendary Oasis outside of the palace and drink from it.

So, with the possibility of communication now available, the traveler wandered through town to the Castle. It was suspended a few yards above the ground, with a huge fountain underneath, and the Oasis right in front of it. As the traveler stooped to drink from it, he felt a cool sensation wash over him. He then heard a man yell something, and looked over his shoulder. A Palace Guard was looking out from the castle, and said to stay away. The traveler thought the castle looked amazing, and wanted to explore, but there was no way he could sneak past the guard. "If you really, really want to enter the palace, then there might be a way for you to enter. If you show your allegiance to the Sultan, then I may let you in." The guard shouted down to him. The traveler climbed up and asked how he could show his allegiance. The guard, named Tigun, said that the easiest way would be to pay a tribute of 2,000 mesos. It wasn't much, but the traveler felt a twist in the pit of his stomach. A bribe, that's what it really is... Still, there was no other choice. The traveler handed over the mesos and received an Entry Pass to the Palace in exchange. Tigun said that as long as he had this pass, he could enter. Tigun tried to behave as though he had just done the traveler a great favor, but he also emphasized that the traveler could get as many as he wished should he lose the first. The traveler restrained his dislike for Tigun's behavior and quickly left the castle area.

Unsure of what to do now, the traveler decided to go back to Byron. Byron could tell instantly that the traveler had drank from the Oasis, and so could the other townspeople. Byron advised him to strike up conversations now, and see if he could get more favorable responses now. He decided to take this advice, and walked up to a girl who looked to be a dancer. She introduced herself as Sirin, and stated that she wished to develop a dance so great that she could perform it for the Sultan of Ariant himself. The problem was, her dance just wasn't fancy enough to get the attention of the palace. Since the traveler was from a different land, she thought that he might have a new perspective on what she should add. Before the traveler had a chance to speak, she suddenly decided on bells. Bells, Sirin claimed, would make the dance flashy enough to be allowed into the palace. The only way to get bells, however, would be to take them off of defeated Bellimoa, desert snakes. Sirin said she would need at least 20 bells to cover her entire dance costume. The traveler decided it would be best for him to help her, to hopefully get on the townspeople's good side. He ventured outside of town deep into the desert in search of the Bellimoa.

While he trudged through the desert, the traveler spotted a strange man standing near a large rock formation. He looked suspicious, as though he were hiding something. The traveler was suddenly reminded of why he had come to Ariant in the first place. Could this man be a member of the group that had approached Manji? There was only one way to find out, and so the traveler asked. The strange man laughed raucously, "that's what it is. Yes, I am a member of the Sand Bandits! So, will you help me then?" The traveler agreed, but he had a sudden bad feeling. Manji was a brave and honorable man; this Strange Guy behaved shifty. Why would such a man have approached Manji? Still, he had promised that he would help this group of "Sand Bandits", so he had no choice. The Strange Guy asked the traveler to collect 30 Cactus Stems, which he planned to dry and tie together into a rope. What bad deed could possibly be done with a rope? The traveler decided to fill the request, but he still had to get the Bells first. Many Bellimoa were scurrying away nearby, and the traveler took the opportunity to attack. He had 20 bells in no time, and returned to the town immediately. Sirin was quite pleased, and began sewing them to her costume immediately. Now, he needed those Cactus Stems. Just west of town, the traveler was surprised to find many young-looking cactuses wandering around! He soon discovered that by defeating these, he could obtain the Cactus Stems. They were quite weak, and it was easy to get enough. The traveler, careful not to prick himself on the needles, carried the stems to the Strange Guy. The Strange Guy cackled again and took the stems. Now, he had a new request: He claimed to need Poison Needles for the next part of their plan. He already had the poison made, but he would need needles. The ones from the Stems were much too small, and so needles would have to come from a more mature Cactus. Poison Needles? Poisoning any humans, even the enemy, was certainly not an honorable act... Still, he couldn't break his promise to Manji.

The more matured Royal Catus were much closer to the Strange Guy. The man needed at least 50 of their thorns for the needles. These Catus weren't much stronger than the others, so defeating them was simple. In only a few minutes the traveler had gathered enough, and he headed back to the Strange Guy. Once again, the Strange guy took the materials and showed little thanks. In fact, he had yet another request. The Strange Guy told the traveler to break in to the Palace and steal the Queen's Treasure! He advised the traveler to use hidden warps to move in and out of the castle quickly. The treasure was hidden in a table on the far side of the King's Room, the deepest part of the Castle. It wouldn't be easy... Would the Sand Bandits really ask a newcomer to do such an important task? The Queen's greed was well known, and so maybe if this treasure is stolen it would help the people of Ariant. The traveler once again set his bad feelings aside and decided to proceed.

Tigun did nothing to stop him, as he held up the Entry Pass, and the traveler used every warp point in the palace to jump deeper and deeper inside. It really was spectacular, but now was not the time for sightseeing. One last warp took the traveler from the entrance of the King's room to the table where the treasure was hidden. The Sultan was sleeping peacefully, almost unwakeable. The traveler snatched the treasure, a small yet glamorous ring, and leapt out a hidden exit. He quickly departed the Palace area and ran through the desert to the Strange Guy. It wouldn't take long for the guards to notice him, so he didn't stop until he had made it. As he ran through the desert, he noticed a young boy dressed in a heavy winter coat. What on earth could someone who was dressed like that be up to out here? He'd have to come back and investigate this later. Finally, the traveler was standing, breathless, in front of the Strange Guy. He handed over the ring, and the man started laughing again. "Thanks to your help, the Red Scor…er, I mean, Sand Bandits has been going very smoothly. Thank you. Hahaha… I hope you keep helping us down the road." he said. Red what? The traveler was immediately very suspicious, and left the area. He suddenly had the feeling he'd been duped. The instant recollection of the boy in the coat temporarily distracted him, however.

The traveler walked back a ways to where the boy had been kneeling. The boy barely even acknowledged his presence, as he was busy tending to a lone rose which was inexplicably growing in the dry sands. He asked the boy if he was okay, and if he was thirsty sitting in the sweltering heat in that heavy coat. The boy merely asked for water for the rose. Water... When hunting the Catus, the traveler had found a few bottles of water that were labeled "Desert Mist". He took them out and handed them to the boy, who promptly poured them over the rose. The traveler shook his head, but the boy suddenly began staring off into space. When he asked what he was staring at, the boy tried to point out a star on the horizon. The traveler gave him a strange look, as it was much too bright out here to see any stars. The boy agreed that it was hard to see, and said that he had heard of a device which can be used to see the stars better. The monster Meercat carried these telescopes around with it to keep a lookout for trouble on the horizon, but they could also be used to look at stars. The boy wanted 20 of them, but gave no reason as to why he needed so many. Meercats lived in a different part of the desert, so it'd have to wait for now.

As the traveler walked back to Ariant, he passed by the Strange Guy once more. The man was adamant. He told the traveler that the ring, which they just stole, had been taken from them! The strange guy was convinced that Sirin was behind the theft. Sirin... How could she have gone against the Sand Bandits, when they were out to help the people of Ariant? Someone would have to confront her, the man said. The traveler agreed, not only due to his previous suspicions but because he had already met Sirin. He quickly ran back to town and talked to Sirin. When Sirin was accused of stealing this ring, she freely admitted it. The traveler was stunned that she didn't even try to hide the fact. He asked why she would interfere with the Sand Bandits, and she scoffed at him. "No way! That had nothing to do with Sand Bandits. What are you saying? The jewel hidden behind the rock is stolen by other bandits, and that's why I took it." Sirin said. Other bandits? That confirmed the traveler's suspicions. He HAD been tricked. He told Sirin about what the alleged "Sand Bandit" had made him do, and she agreed that it was not something the Sand Bandits would do. They are extremely secretive and certainly wouldn't trust such an important mission to a relative stranger. Sirin knew that the Strange Guy was a member of the Red Scorpions, a group of selfish bandits who keep all the spoils for their own good and do nothing to help the people of Ariant. The traveler was sickened by the thought of helping them, but he felt slightly better knowing that the loot he had given them was no longer in their hands. Sirin suggested that he take his own revenge on the Red Scorpions. The best way to do this would be to break into their treasure storehouse and steal much of their treasures. Then, to show his good faith to the people of Ariant, he could divvy up the spoils and split it amongst the good people there. She warned him, however, that the door needed a magic phrase to open. She didn't say what it was, but implied that he already knew it.

With these instructions, the traveler set out to the desert in search of their hideout. He thought the best place to look would be the area where the Strange Guy waits around. As the traveler snuck around, he discovered a hidden door behind the rock. He spoke the password: Open Sesame! The door allowed him to pass. Inside was a single chest, filled with treasures. The traveler took some from it, and split it into four bags. Once again he dashed back to Ariant. Sirin had mentioned that the houses of kind Ariant citizens were painted with circles on the doors, while those of Red Scorpion sympathisers had X's. One house at a time, the traveler left the bags of Jewelry. Once he had given them all out, he returned to Sirin. She told him not to feel bad about what he did before. In fact, sirin thought he ought to go back and keep a little of their treasure for himself. Well, it would be less treasure for the Red Scorpions... He agreed, and decided to go back to their hideout again. Before that, though, he decided that he probably ought to get those telescopes for the boy now. While walking to the desert, he took a small detour to hunt Meercats. Getting 20 telescopes was simple enough, and he stopped at the boy's location before going to the hideout. The boy was very happy, and immediately pointed the telescope to the same point in the sky. "Look at that star! That small yet beautiful star… is actually my home. Hopefully I'll be able to go back home someday." The boy said the traveler. Could this child really have come from space? It doesn't seem possible... the only things from space are the Grays and the Mateons... Something's not right. At any rate, the traveler continued on his way to the hideout. He gave the password, and reached into the chest to obtain the only remaining item, 5 ores. The traveler moved back to town.