Music: Clearbrook, by the Pristine Waters

This is a weird two-parter, so I'm going to bundle both parts in one update.

Ahem! E-excuse me. Can I help you?

Naturally, we'll be dealing with Zeph and Mercedes in this quest about Zeph and Mercedes, but it's Nina who starts this side story.

You see... My brother likes someone. They used to read books together a lot when they were young.

And it seems like my brother still can't forget her. Sometimes, he even whispers her name.

See? I don't know if he can concentrate on making medicine like that...

But he hasn't sent it yet. So I was wondering if you could give it to her for him. I don't know where she lives, but...

What? You want to know more about her?

It's weird having Alfyn or Cyrus start this quest since both of them already know who Mercedes is. Alfyn grew up with her and Zeph (and even recounts this in a future tavern banter!), while Cyrus knows her as the librarian in Atlasdam.

Maybe you can find her in a place with lots of books!

Naturally, the Atlasdam library is where she is, but we need to get the actual letter first.

Which...isn't difficult considering Zeph is selling his letter to his lost love for pennies.

Welp, time to play mailman!

If you want to borrow a book, you need to fill out the appropriate form. I'm currently reading the sequel of this one!

Yep, that's definitely her, alright.

Naturally, we're going to deliver this letter, since I went through all the trouble of documenting this side story so far. It'd be lame if I changed my mind and decided to end it here, right?


Hm? Is this letter for me? I wonder who it could be from...

It's been eight years since you left. Whenever I close my eyes, I imagine what your days so far away must be like.


Music: Enveloped in Kindness

The ones you gave me left such an impression on me. Remember the waterblooms? I know you loved them so. Being with you always made my heart feel...full.


What are you doing? Where are you? I'm sure you've had some hard times over the past few years... But I hope your days have also been filled with happiness.

Oh, and I've got so many good books to tell you about!


I...I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am.

I tried writing him a letter of my own, but... I hid it in a book and never sent it.

What should I do...?

And with that, we're immediately thrust into part two of this side story. No reward yet!

Naturally, our next step is to continue playing mailman.

Zeph has nothing to say here, so let's jump right in.


If it's medicine you need, then... No? Then what is it?

Let's see what it says...

I hope this letter finds you in good health. It's been eight years since that day.

Music: Enveloped in Kindness

I spend every day surrounded by books. It's like a dream come true! I may have moved away from Clearbrook...

I'm sure you're an amazing apothecary by now. Whenever I catch a cold, I always think about going to you for a diagnosis. I can't believe eight years have passed already. All this time, there's something that I've been meaning to tell you...

There are so many good books I want to tell you about. If I ever go back to Clearbrook... I'd like to read them together.


I... I've always--


Well, then.

After eight long years, Zeph and Mercedes are finally reunited.

Music: Clearbrook, by the Pristine Waters

And our reward is tied with the Battle-tested Sword for the highest PhysAtk in the game at a whopping 400, and it has a nifty debuff and hefty speed bonus to boot. It's clearly one of the best axes in the game, and the perfect capper for a lovely side story.

Adults are so silly sometimes... If they like someone, why can't they just say so?

Of course, our real reward is reuniting two star-crossed lovers who've spent the last eight years pining for each other.

When we're here together like this, it's almost as if no time has passed at all.

When I'm done working, we sit down and read together like this... Oh, sorry! Did you need something?

Kind of hard to see these two staying together considering their lives seem so anchored to where they live, but maybe they can work things out after all. Only time will tell.

Next time, one last side story before I go into vacation mode.