Music: Among Stately Peaks

Today's side story is a bit more involved than usual. First, let's see what exactly is going on.

They meddle in my trade and even threaten me with violence! I'm as proud of my wares as any, but even I wouldn't shop here if I had to deal with that. Can't they find someone else to bother?

So at first glance, this seems simple enough. This guy's being harassed by some brutes and needs some help. We've solved similar problems already, so what's one more time?

Also, holy crap does he have some good stuff. Not only does he have a second Mighty Belt for us (+50 PhysAtk, which is really nice), he has an Elemental Augmentor for a massive +100 ElemAtk. Both are fantastic accessories, especially at this stage of the game, and for 6000 leaves each they're a huge steal.

There's the ruffian in question.

His wares aren't very interesting, but I'm showing them off for reasons.

Used to be, you'd even see him smile from time to time. But ever since he lost his sister Layla...

This is the ruffian's cohort, more of a sidekick than anything. It seems the ruffian wasn't always that bad, but tragic circumstances meant he lost the will to be good.

At any rate, this one also has two ways to solve it, and we'll go with the more obvious one first.


Our first instinct is to whoop his butt.

Both Mighty Belts and a PhysAtk buff results in...this from a max-boost Cross Strike. This is disgusting and I love it.


Anyway this guy is no real threat.

And so the two flee to fight another day.

And with that, our work here is done...

Hah... Looks like my troubles are not over yet...

Music: Among Stately Peaks

...or not.

No matter how many times I run that lout out, he always comes back, like a bad leaf...

In a clever twist, neither solution involves beating up the ruffian in question. He just keeps coming back, as if someone has put him up to it.

But who...?

Huh, who the--!? I mean, ah, can I help you with something?

Probably this lovely individual.

And so...

Oh, I know.


Unsurprisingly, the mastermind behind this caper doesn't take getting his butt whooped very well and runs away like a coward.


Hmph, there's a convenient excuse. Slacker never did a hard day's work in his life. Doubt we'll see him, or out money, ever again.

With their employee having fled, the ruffian and his cohort have no reason to finish their job.

Music: Enveloped in Kindness

I knew he was a no-good slacker, but I didn't think he was fool enough to resort to intimidating his fellow merchants!

Though I do wish that...

You've done enough already, friend. More than enough for a stranger.

Music: Among Stately Peaks

Our reward is cash and a Guardian Amulet, an accessory that gives +65 PhysDef. Not a huge fan, but it'll have its uses for sure.

Also, you may see a familiar face in front of the old man's shop.

Turns out he's ended up with a new job working for the old man he tried to bully out of business.

The old man is inside, so once we forge a path in...

Heck, if he proves himself, I may even leave the old place to him someday. I'm not getting any younger, after all. I've been looking for someone to carry on for me for years now.

So Tobias may have put his old ways behind him, and the shopkeeper may have finally found an heir.

He says we're gonna use this chance to spread our wings and start a new life.

Even the ruffian and his lackey may have found a new chance at life from all this!

Already, this is a lot for a Side Story. Multiple characters, each with their own motivations, and a happy resolution for each character. The crazy thing is, this is the lesser of the happy endings!


Let's back up a minute. The ruffian used to be a good guy until he lost his sister, Layla. If only she were here, maybe she could set him straight.

Have we met a Layla in our journeys thus far...?


Music: Sunshade, City of Pleasures

And yet, I can't help but feel that someone out there is calling to me. Someone who needs me...

There's this woman in Sunshade called, of course, Layla. She has faint memories of a lout of a man, and...

...she just so happens to have the same inventory as that ruffian. Could this really be her?

Well, yeah, of course it is, the game pretty much hits you in the face with it. You just have to either remember she exists or rediscover her after traveling the towns of the world.

Music: Among Stately Peaks

At any rate, it's time to reunite the siblings, and hopefully end things for the better.

Y-you're... were dead! They told me you were dead!

You're the one...always doing...dangerous things...

And it seems the sight of her brother has jogged her memory. It's narrative amnesia, of course it works like that.

If I ever make an RPG I'm going to have the party fight the amnesia by beating the crap out of the person's head until it's cured.

Poor old man's always the one outside looking in.

And so...

Music: Bonds of Friendship

Heh... Pretty embarrassing, eh?
I'm sorry for all the trouble my silly brother has caused.

I-I don't need you to tell me, Layla!

Hmph, well, you sound sincere enough. I'll forgive you, but only if you swear you're done making trouble in this town.

...O-of course. I give my word. It's the straight and narrow from here on out for me.

Based on the last ending, it was likely he was going to run into his sister at Sunshade anyway. But here we get to at least make sure the two are reunited.

Music: Among Stately Peaks

Same rewards, though of course everything else has changed dramatically.

Layla and her brother are now employed by the old man instead of Tobias.

Even the lackey is happy that his friend has found his lost sister.

And the ruffian is no ruffian any longer. He's gained a new sense of purpose and has a new perspective on life, thanks to us.

So of course we beat him up.

Heh. Maybe someday I'll even be able to leave this place in their hands. I wouldn't mind spending my last few years in leisure!

And of course the old man's heirs have changed in this ending as well.

At this rate, all my plans to take over the store will have been for naught!

Only Tobias isn't happy, but who cares?

Next time, we'll take the cold frigid trek to Stillsnow to tackle Primrose's Chapter 2.