Music: Victors Hollow, Jewel of the Forest

Once again, revisiting another familiar face, this time from H'aanit's Chapter 3.

A-Alaic... Please forgive me!

I was supposed to deliver them to Susanna, too...

So I'm assuming we're gonna have to help out with this little bandit problem.

Susanna gets ill from time to time, and those were the ingredients for her medicine. I need to get them back right away.

Alaic's pretty protective of Susanna, so he's interested in getting these ingredients back.

I wanted to fight back, but I didn't stand a chance against all those bandits...

Susanna really gets around as far as helping random people.

Music: The Trees Have Eyes

I don't know where, if anywhere, the game tells you this, but the bandit leader in question is hiding in the Forest of No Return, the optional dungeon right outside of town.

What's this now?

Well, he's called a bandit leader, but it's arguable whether he's really a leader of bandits. I guess he's a leader of the sole bandit of himself?

He has another Viper Dagger, which is handy. Of course, I don't actually buy it.

That said, we can't Challenge/Provoke the bandit. This is a bit unconventional, but...

First we need to bring Alaic along with us.

Next I enjoy the lawless nature of the great outdoors and spam Steal until the 8% chance lands.

The actual way to resolve this side story occurs when talking to the bandit leader with Alaic in tow.

Let me guess, yer with that merchant from earlier. Well, you've got perfect timin', friend! I was just lookin' for someone with somethin' good to steal.

Music: Battle II

We have a regular old full-party battle with this one bandit leader.

He's not very threatening.

So I use it as an excuse to play with a couple things I never bothered with before. The first, Nightmare Chimera. This is what it did with one of the weakest weapons I had, unboosted, which...really doesn't tell me much. Neat to try it out, I guess.

I also try out Olberic's talent, which is boosting his Defend command. This lets him take physical attacks in place of other characters, great if he has Sidestep stacks.

I even let Alaic join in the fun!

Olberic blocks an attack thanks to boosted Defend, and he happens to kill the bandit leader with a counter.

Can I tell you something?

Music: Enveloped in Kindness

She was targeted by an organization known as the Obsidians.

My entire existence revolved around the deaths of others. I never once felt guilty for taking a life. I was a heartless killer, and good at it too.

Only death awaits an assassin who fails to eliminate his target. So, as were my orders, I drank the vial of poison in my pocket.

When I could find the words, I asked her...

Do you know what she said?

It was then I realized that she was right. I was nothing but a child. No, I wasn't even human. I was just a failure. I was nothing. I finally understood that then. And Susanna helped me see it.

I'm not yet done repaying that debt. I want to see her live a long and healthy life.

So yeah, Susanna was indeed a famous scholar (and the author of a work that was a great inspiration to Cyrus!), and ended up targeted by that one organization that's had some shady dealings in quote a few of our characters' own stories. Alaic may have failed his assassination and subsequent suicide attempt, but the mercy of Susanna led him to discover and live a new life, which is why he's so protective of Susanna.

But again, none of that matters because our real prize is this bow with a hefty ElemAtk stat and a boost to wind damage. This stacks with the wind boost from the Tradewinds Spear, and it so happens both weapons are equippable by a Merchant, who has wind magic. Or rather, you can give both to Runelord Tressa, throw on a Wind Rune, and watch her rip things apart.

This is a fantastic find and I look very forward to watching Tressa pair this with the Tradewinds Spear.

I pity any bandit who tries to take from me now! Haha!

Our merchant friend at least feels a bit better now that he can better defend himself. Alaic of course has gone back to Stillsnow.

Music: Town Veiled in White

And now Susanna shows up there as well.

I'm sure you can find a better way to spend your time than worrying over an old woman like me. I don't know why you're even here in the first place...

I'm sure she knows exactly why he's there.

Nothing exciting to buy, but still some fun text.

Next time, another two-parter consolidated to one update.