X Marks the Spot!
The Region of Rumors
We've traveled into Bicyniro. Liz asks Leo why he's come here. Does he think he's going to find Ai Hanumu or something? Leo's just like "idk let's look for Scarlet Shards or something lol"
The place seems overall very empty. But there's a river running south toward the ocean, dividing the region in two, and on the west side we find a town called Pescara. For some reason I feel like this should be the name of a fish dish?
In the town, we find some rando, and Leo asks her if she knows anything about Ai Hanumu. I thought we were looking for Shards...? Anyway, she's just asks if we've tried looking on the other side of the river.
And then a big "X" appears on the map there. Liz comments that it was a pretty vague answer and wonders if it's a good idea to believe her. Leo says that if they go to the other side of the river, they'll find out. This is like... a highly recurring theme of these little convos. Liz wonders if they should believe them, and Leo says that if they try it they'll find out if it's real or not. Like... seriously half of them end like this I feel.
Entering again, the lady just tells us she hasn't heard any good rumors, and we get the welcoming gift of a Guard Ring.
When we head to the X, Liz wonders if this is the area where Ai Hanumu is supposed to be, and we're given the option to choose "No way" or "THIS IS AI HANUMU!!"
I chose the first one and the X just... disappeared. That's it lol...
I really wondered what would have happened if I had chosen the other option...
We continue on to another town in the northeast called Anchiano. Here a Gabriel recolor (who is honestly cuter than the actual Gabriel, hahaha) says maybe we should check the Nooono Forest.
And we get a similar little convo from Liz and Leo. "Do you think we can find the Noono Forest?" "If we walk around, we can see if we can find it."
It's not hard to find, though, because not only did we pass by it on the way here and the title "NOONO FOREST" was floating above it (though I realize Liz and Leo can't see that, hahaha. At least... I hope they can't...) but another big red X appeared in the forest like the last one.
We're given the same options again, and this time I try picking "THIS IS AI HANUMU!!!"
Well, it is not Ai Hanumu. This creature appears and Liz totally freaks out. It's just described as a "weird animal." Liz is screaming about how there's a giant caterpillar or something, and Leo says it looks more like a snake. Liz doesn't really care what the hell it is, we just need to get out of here.
We're given three options: "Let's try to catch it!" "Run for it!" or "KILL KILL KILL!!" Honestly I laughed at these, and of course I chose we should try to catch it because it's kind of cute and I wanted to freak Liz out because I love her.
Leo suggests maybe we could sell it (lol?!) and so we decide to catch it. But Liz swears she is NOT helping with that. A new X appears, and each time we move to the X, it becomes the creature again, and we get a little text about how Leo tries to catch it.
After a few times doing this, we manage to catch it, and we get a trophy for it?! And Liz indeed flips, screaming that if Leo comes any closer with that thing, she'll kill him dead. Eventually she even starts crying for mommy and daddy. Leo is kind of mean hahaha. Well, I don't know if he's teasing her or if she is just working herself up. All Leo says is "It was my idea to catch it..."
We're kinda near Pescara again, so we stop in there once more. This time the lady has a new rumor for us -- there's a place where things are falling from the sky. Like maybe some kinds of items or maps or something, or like... monsters.
Liz says that'd be great if it were items, but monsters don't sound so good. And of course Leo is like "We'll see what it is if we go."
We go and check the big red X, and -- guess what -- it's monsters. Just regular ol' monsters and we fight them off, pretty easy.
We talk to Pescara Girl again and she says that it seems someone found the final boss's cave. Like she just says "final boss" lol. And Leo thinks it might have someone to do with Ai Hanumu. Liz says there's no way it does. But we go check it out anyway. Just regular enemies.
Pescara Lady seems to have run out of rumors for us, so we head back to Anchiano. Recolor Gabriel says that there's was a beautiful girl sitting on the edge of a well, and then suddenly she disappeared!
Leo says that some random well probably has nothing to do with Ai Hanumu (which, I have no idea why, since he is pretty willing to look into literally anything thinking it might have a clue). Liz looks at him suspiciously and says that he probably still wants to check it out anyway just to see the hot girl. And he says he really doesn't care.
But of course, we go anyway, to the next big red X! Leo wonders if this is where the well leading to Ai Hanumu is (wait -- I thought he didn't believe that?!) and Liz reiterates that this well is definitely not going to lead to Ai Hanumu. We have the option to believe the information or give up.
Believing the information, we at least do find a girl sitting at a well. Liz seems unimpressed. The girl there isn't even that hot. And she's not even disappearing!!
But as soon as she says that, the girl does disappear! Liz is a bit taken aback. Leo figures the girl probably just fell off, so they go to check it out. But it seems she really did disappear, because there's no trace of her as they approach. Leo wonders if maybe she's a ghost or something.
Liz starts worrying that her saying she wasn't pretty and didn't disappear must have cursed her somehow. Leo says there might be some kind of clue sitting along the well, so we should check it out. Liz figures there has to be some kind of trap door or something, but still seems super worried.
But we can't find anything, and Leo says it must have been a ghost. Liz starts to get scared. You'd think after being haunted by a soul-sucking demon that almost killed her, something like this would be nothing at all.
Leo tells her he was only kidding around. He goes on to notice that despite being out in a field with trees around like this, there's not a single fallen leaf in the well. There's also no indication of people coming out here to use it, and not even a trace of water. Is this place even a well at all?
After that, nothing seems to come of it. We can't inspect the well anymore and the description is just "suspicious well." Going back to Anchiano, Recolor Gabriel tells us that he heard of a cave overflowing with monsters. We get another X, go there, and have some battles.
Rico ranks up Drain Slash to Rank II, which is awesome because now it only takes 1BP. This is another very useful art -- it gives him a slight speed boost on the timeline and damages the enemy while lowering their attack power.
Recolor Gabriel doesn't seem to have any more hints for us after this, so we head south a bit and find a town called Caprese.
And here we find... Recolor Rico! He's super hot, maybe even hotter than the Normal Color Rico. Though I feel like his color scheme is like... cookies and cream, which is really weird. His outfit looks like a Hershey's wrapper.
Let's just take it off now~~
Er, I mean, let's ask if he knows anything about Ai Hanumu.
He asks if we've checked the forest.
Like why do these people of this region think Ai Hanumu might just be lying around like a few meters from their towns...?
Another X, so we go check it out.
When we travel here, instead of finding Ai Hanumu, we find a statue. Liz immediately begins freaking out (she's been doing this a lot lately, heh) saying that someone turned this person to stone, and she's going to be next. Leo is just kinda 'wtf' at her, saying it's just a regular statue.
But she is convinced the gods are punishing her for turning up her nose at the girl from the well, and they're going to turn her into stone and then turn a monster into stone and make her the monster's eternal bride.
Leo compliments her on her vivid imagination.
But Liz insists this isn't imaginary -- we're looking right at the well girl turned to stone! This is real life!
We have the option to run way or stay and investigate. Of course, I want to investigate. Our searching reveals a nearby hut at the edge of the woods.
Entering it, Liz is totally losing it now, because everyone inside has been turned to stone.
An eccentric gal approaches us and greets us cheerfully, asking us what we're doing out here. Liz shuts her eyes and looks away, demanding that the girl not look at her. I guess she thinks she's some sort of Medusa or something.
Leo tries to convince her that she's overreacting and this nice lady is just a regular stonemason. She corrects him, though -- she's not a stonemason, she's a ~sculptor~. Leo says if she makes stuff out of stone, doesn't that make her a stonemason?
Liz finally starts to come around, and asks if the 'girl' we saw in the woods was just a statue, too. Miss Mason tells us that everyone seems to think this place is cursed or something, because no one ever seems to come around.
Leo says we've solved the mystery, and this place isn't Ai Hanumu, so we should go.
Aslana (that's her name lol) stops him though. Since we've come all the way out here, wouldn't be like to be her models for a new project?
Leo responds with a hearty "Nope."
She teases him a bit. Don't you want to know more about Ai Hanumu?
But Liz says she doesn't want to do it, either.
But Aslana has a way of convincing people. She tells Liz that she's never made a statue of someone as beautiful as Liz, so she'd really like for her to model for her. Suddenly, Liz seems to think it's important to help her out. Leo can't believe it.
Since it's been decided, she rushes to start sketching.
But it turns out a bit... weird.
She shows them, and Leo says he doesn't remember doing any poses like that. Aslana says it's because the pose came from her own inspiration. Liz thinks it's pretty gross. Aslana assures her that the design isn't intended to reflect Liz and Leo's actual relationship or desires -- it was just an expression of the beauty hidden in the depth of their relationship.
Leo says he doesn't really get what she means, but she better not put this thing outside when she makes it.
She thanks Liz and Leo for their cooperation, as drawing from the inspiration of their relationship brought new challenges to her work.
Leo asks her again what she knows about Ai Hanumu.
She tells him that Ai Hanumu never vanished, it just became impossible to see it. And now people look to fairy tales to try to explain it. Leo thanks her for the hint and they leave.
Liz eyes Leo suspiciously once they're outside and asks him if he really understood what she meant. He says he didn't really, but he does know that since he has to look for Ai Hanumu it can come in handy. Liz says he seems to know a lot about stuff he doesn't know, and seems kind of annoyed. I have a feeling I didn't understand this part properly.
Then suddenly a HUGE X appears in the plains east of the river.
Before checking it out, I go to see if there's anything else left south in this region since I hadn't been all the way down there yet. Just a giant maelstrom. No thank you! I've had enough maelstrom for one game.
We head back over to the big X. The description of it says that there aren't any rumors or anything, we just have a feeling about this spot. When we approach it, Leo says it seems like something's there.
And we just... find a Scarlet Shard! I don't really get it, but I'll take it. And that seems to be Liz's reaction, too. And then she suggests we head off to another region before something weird happens here.
We also are rewarded 70 water crystals, 5 Holy Waters, and 25 fire crystals.
Before heading out, though, I check around the region to see if anyone says anything new (or please please please Cookies Rico join the party...)
He doesn't join the party, but he does tell us another rumor. Seems people have been talking about a giant footprint in the southern part of the region. Liz wonders if it's true. I mean we really doubt there's some kind of giant running around here.
We go to check it out, and it's another X. Investigating it, we find a 'big footprint.' Approaching the big footprint, though, it seems to be not a footprint, but a school of monsters huddled together in the shape of a footprint.
I choose to wait and see what happens, and the footprint disappears and another one appears behind it. This time, though, it seems like it's an actual footprint. But it's still huge -- maybe there really is a giant here?
We keep finding more footprints and following them. We also start finding some kind of animal hairs, like some claws or something... after a while, Liz says she doesn't want to meet whatever it is leaving these footprints.
But Leo thinks that the footprints could be of a nice friendly giant who will tell us about Ai Hanumu, so we go to check it out.
It's just demons and zombies though.
But they aren't so bad. Cookies Rico gives us another rumor about a cave with treasures, but it just has monsters... and now we've finally finished up what we seem to be able to do in Bicyniro, at least for the time being. None of the townspeople have any more X-marking rumors for us, and everything thing else just seems to lead to simple battles but nothing particularly interesting. So now we're going to head to the east to another region we haven't seen yet... Stay tuned!