First up is Ralf, our tsundere #1. He’s pretty much the “in-love-by-default” character in Elkrone, but he always covers it up by being extra thorny. Cuteness and delicious development ahead!
Ralf is an alchemist who’s enrolled in the highest institute in the academy, the “Meister Rank”. He’s well-known as a prodigy in the academy, and he has a strong desire to improve. Aiming to become a top world-class alchemist, Ralf is planning to leave Elkrone and move to a larger stage in the future. Ralf sat next to Meri in the academy for four years, and he’s been treating her as his rival ever since. His parents own the Singing Bird Inn, located beside Meri’s atelier.
The Flower Festival Arc
Client: Ralf. Reward: (to be discussed).
The academy is busy preparing for the upcoming Flower Festival, and Ralf needs Meri’s help to look for a model who can showcase the flower accessories they made. The model has to be a young girl around the age of 12, so Meri decides to ask for Laura’s help. If you leave Meri in charge, she makes a Stardust Bouquet for Laura. Even though her previous creation failed to satisfy Laura, this one actually impresses her enough to accept Meri’s request. The event is a success thanks to Laura’s help, and Ralf pays Meri with his own money since he was the one who suggested running the event. He doesn’t have much money though, and he feels so guilty when she says this would put her in the red.. so Popote says he worries too much. xD If you leave this request in Popote’s hands, he decides to be the model instead. Which works, since any model will do as long as they’re “cute” LOL. Based on Belinda’s advice, Meri makes White Fairy Clothes for Popote to wear during the event.
Surviving in the Snowland
Client: Cheese shop owner. Reward: 300 cole.
The cheese shop owner needs some goods for her journeys towards the norther snowland, and she requests for something that’s warm, easy to wear, provides safety and slides well. Meri mentions that riddle-like problems like this are Ralf’s specialty, but she doesn’t want to go to the academy and disturb his studies. Sadly the cheese shop is closed today, and since she can’t find any clues from the citizens, she ends up going to the academy anyway. They run into Ralf by the entrance hall, and Meri decides to discuss the request with him. Even though Meri doesn’t want to disturb him too much, Ralf actually wants her to rely on him. He’s still a bit irritated that she decides to work after graduating without discussing with him first, but it was because she has no doubts about her future career. Right from the start, she already decided to reopen Margret’s atelier right after graduating from the academy. Ralf is puzzled too when Meri explains the request details to him, but they’re starting to see the answer after learning more about snow in the library. Meri is planning to solve everything by herself from here since she feels bad for troubling Ralf, but he insists to help her until the end. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:* After further discussion, they eventually find the solution to this strange request — Snuggly Skate Sandals! ヽ(*´∀`*)ﾉ They’re warm and light, easy to wear, and allows one to skate their way through the snowy road safely.
When Popote leaves to deliver the sandals, Ralf says it’s been a while since the last time they had a good discussion together. Right before their graduation, Ralf said a lot of mean things to Meri because he was against the idea of her running an atelier.. and he reluctantly asks if his words hurt her feelings. He feels really bad when she says yes, but she admits that she was being childish too. She thought he would support her decision, so she felt really sad and cried a lot after their fight. It only strengthened her decision to reopen the atelier though, and so she asks him not to think about it anymore. Ralf is surprised since Meri has became much tougher since their graduation day, but he’s still worried about her running a business. If she keeps on accepting strange requests without calculating the profit, her atelier would go out of business in the end. Ralf thinks Meri needs to learn more about alchemy in Meister Rank, but Meri insists that she keeps learning too by creating new items everyday. This leads them to have another argument, and Ralf leaves saying he’ll laugh at Meri if something ever causes her to return to the academy someday. Ralf accidentally slams the door onto poor Clemens’ face on his way out, and Clemens tries to get back at Ralf by causing an explosion.. which also blows himself away. ＼(^o^)／ The day ends with Ralf carrying Clemens to the infirmary LOL.
Today is the atelier’s weekly day off, and Meri decides to relax with Popote at home. At noon, Ralf comes and invites Meri to visit the academy. They have a lot of interesting new materials, and he thought she might be interested. On the way to the academy, Ralf explains that there’s a fragment of a magic mirror among the new materials. The mirror fragment is regularly rotated from one alchemy museum to another, and it’s currently stored in the academy. It’s going to be displayed in Elkrone’s museum next, so this is their only chance to see it directly. Ralf refuses to answer when Meri asks why he informed her about this, but eventually he blushes saying it’s because she was excited to see the mirror fragment when it was discovered. (๑´ლ`๑)♡
However, Carl comes to stop Ralf and Meri before they could even walk out of Realm Street. After thrusting a heavy pack of vegetables into Ralf’s hands, Carl drags him and Meri back to the inn — where they find the entire member of the imperial knights having lunch. Of course Carl also needs help in the kitchen, so he ignores Ralf’s protests and forces the poor guy to help out. Ralf angrily says he’s going to the academy with Meri, but being the good girl that she is, Meri says she’ll help Carl in the kitchen too. Even if they can’t see the mirror fragment today, Meri doesn’t mind since they can always see it in the museum later. At first Ralf tries to argue knowing she actually wants to see it, but since Erhard keeps ordering more food for his men, eventually he starts helping Carl in the kitchen. Ralf tells Meri to sit down with Popote though, and he makes his special potato, sausage and onion stew for her. (❤ฺ￫艸￩)
However, things get out of control when some of the knights start fighting. Both Erhard and Dirk calmly say they have a lot of high-spirited newbies this year, but Ralf panics since they’re breaking the inn’s dining wares. Before Erhard could stop them, Meri suddenly yells at them to stop — shocking everyone with her loud voice. She tells the knights to look at how many cups and plates they’ve broken, and her rage scares them so much they apologize immediately. xD Meri also rages at Erhard for not stopping them, and Erhard apologizes to Ralf. Apparently this kind of physical quarrel happens a lot among the knights, so he usually won’t stop them unless they take out their swords. Ralf answers he doesn’t mind as long as they help cleaning up the mess, but then he whispers about how scary women can be when they’re angry LOL.
Sadly, one of the inn’s table cloths is stained by aurora sauce during the fight. It’s a mixture of eggs and tomato oil, which is well-known for being extremely hard to wash off. Noticing that the table cloth is still new, Meri decides to help by synthesizing a bottle of Flower King Liquid Soap and erases the stain for them. Unfortunately while everyone is happy with Meri’s soap, Ralf is clearly irritated and whispers that alchemy isn’t for show. When Carl asks him to learn something useful like Meri, Ralf suddenly snaps and says he’s not taking Meister Rank to keep their table cloths clean. He might be the son of an inn owner, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to take over his father’s business in the future. Ralf also calls Meri a fool for wasting her talent by washing table cloths instead of taking Meister Rank, but upon seeing her sad expression, he apologizes and returns to the academy — saying he’ll cool his head off.
After leaving the inn, Meri walks around the town while spacing out. Popote asks if she wants to visit the academy because she’s subconsciously heading that way, so Meri admits that she wants to talk to Ralf again. It appears that Ralf is thinking of the same thing, because they run into each other along the way. Since Ralf says he’s not angry because of the soap, Meri then asks what he exactly wants her to be. He answers that he wants her to aim higher instead of feeling satisfied of what she has now, because running a business is different from doing an alchemy research. She needs to think about obtaining profit, and if she can’t do that much, he wants her to return to the academy instead. Meri insists saying she won’t run away until her atelier really goes bankrupt, and this leads to yet another argument with Ralf because none of them is willing to give up.. until the cheese shop owner eventually comes to thank Meri for the skate sandals. It turns out Meri also sent extra skate sandals for her son, and she’s really grateful for the help.
Upon seeing the cheese shop owner’s happy expression, Ralf finally admits he actually knew that Meri’s alchemy is really helpful for the citizens. He’s doing his best to complete his thesis too, but of course his parents don’t find it useful since they’re not experts in alchemy — they don’t know the meaning of his hard work. Meri then tells Ralf that she’s always aiming higher, because she has a dream that she wants to achieve — becoming a “singing alchemist”. That’s why she decided to run an atelier, and she won’t give up no matter how harsh it can be. Ralf then asks if she’s really okay with this, and when Meri says yes, he finally smiles and tells her to work hard. Ralf never really smiled at Meri ever since their fight before the graduation, and so she feels really glad to see his smile again. Ralf also apologizes for making her cry during their fight, and even though it’s really late.. he finally congratulates Meri on her atelier’s grand opening.
Today Meri receives a letter from Junger XV, which says that she needs “Spirit Light” in order to make Aoi Wakkakka. It can be retrieved from the Forest of Fairies, which means they have to walk through the Lost Forest. Since Meri and Popote need someone to guard them through the way, Meri then decides to ask for Ralf’s help. She finds him in the academy library, reading a copy of “The Tale of the Blue Moon”. He asks if they don’t find it weird that she has another copy in her atelier, but when she says there’s nothing weird about that, he sarcastically asks if they’re blind.. and that’s it. He doesn’t explain why. When Meri asks Ralf to accompany them to the forest, he agrees and asks them to meet him by the Austen Gate. He does a research on Spirit Light before meeting up with them, but sadly he doesn’t find any useful information. After handing protective amulets to Meri and Popote, Ralf then follows them all the way to the Forest of Fairies — where they split up to search for Spirit Light.
After a while, Meri finds a beautiful heart-shaped stone on the ground. Before they can figure out what it is, suddenly a bearded fairy appears asking what they’re doing in this forest. Meri answers that they’re searching for Spirit Light, but the fairy doesn’t seem to know what it is. However, upon seeing Aoi Wakkakka’s recipe, the fairy explains that the thing they’re looking for is called “Spirit Heart” among the fairies.. and she’s already holding one in her hands. Sadly the Spirit Heart is frozen solid, and she won’t be able to use it in this state. Just as the name says, Spirit Hearts are the crystallization of fairy hearts.. and the reason why it’s frozen solid is because fairies don’t trust humans. In order to melt it, she needs to listen to the heart’s voice and wrap it with the warmth of human kindness.
Following the bearded fairy’s words, Meri then tries talking to the Spirit Heart. The moment she asks the heart to her hear its voice, it instantly melts in her hands.. and Ralf quietly whispers “as expected from my rival” behind her. The bearded fairy laughs upon seeing this, and then he tells Meri that the Spirit Heart is now hers — she can take it back with her. He then turns to Popote saying he has found a good alchemist, which makes Popote realize that the bearded fairy is atcually the elder he grew up with. The elder fairy reveals that he also left the Green Forest after sending Popote off, so he’s no longer the elder of said forest. He’s now living in this forest, protecting the fairies here as their guardian. When Popote asks the elder fairy to take him along, the elder fairy asks if Popote can throw his life with Meri away.. since unlike humans, fairies like them can never destroy a bond they have established. The elder fairy also mentions that in order to make Aoi Wakkakka, Meri needs to take the “fateful ancient crystal” back from Junger XV. After asking her to take care of Popote, the elder fairy disappeares into the forest. Beside Meri, Popote sadly wonders why humans and fairies have to live apart. He can’t choose between Meri and the forest, because both of them are important to him.
However, Ralf asks Popote not to cry. They already know that Aoi Wakkakka’s recipe is real, and they can keep moving forward as long as they have a goal in mind. Meri also tells Popote that he’s got her by his side, and he can keep living in her atelier if he wants to. Popote cries in Meri’s arms after that, and Ralf walks them back to the atelier — keeping them company until Popote falls asleep. Before leaving at night, Ralf tells Meri that he loves her alchemy.
The Port Festival Arc
Today there’s an open market at the fountain plaza, and Meri goes to buy some new flasks for the atelier. She then spots Ralf among the crowd, and noticing that he looks tired, she decides to make something for him. Just then Elie comes to greet her, and Meri remembers that Elie’s cheesecake is infamous for relieving fatigue. Meri then asks Elie to teach her how to make a good cheesecake, explaining that she wants to make it for her “acquaintance”. xD Elie smiles upon hearing this, and Meri quickly denies that it’s for the guy she’s interested in.. even though Elie was actually thinking of Popote LOL. Elie agrees to share her recipe with Meri, and she guides Meri as the latter learns to make a “truly good” cheesecake in her atelier. After 10 tries, Meri finally manages to make “Elie’s Special Cheesecake” by putting her love and pride into it.
Meri delivers the cheesecake to the academy after that, and she finds Ralf sleeping the lab. She also finds his recipe book lying on the desk, but she decides to respect his privacy by not reading the contents. When she takes a closer look at Ralf’s sleeping face, Meri realizes that he’s actually quite handsome. (๑´ლ`๑)♡ Meri then puts a blanket on Ralf, and she goes home after leaving a note to inform him about the cheesecake. Unfortunately, Meri completely forgot that Ralf absolutely hates cheesecakes. xD Ralf wakes up not too long after she left, and he grumbles upon seeing the cheesecake Meri left for him.. but he decides to eat it anyway LOL. Surprisingly, Ralf finds Meri’s cheesecake delicious. He also notices that it heals his fatigue, and he returns to work feeling refreshed. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:*
Meri finds a letter from Ralf in her mailbox this morning. The letter reminds her that he doesn’t like cheesecakes, but he found her cheesecake delicious. He doesn’t mind eating it again, and he wants to make something for her to return the favor. (*´∀`*)
Client: Ralf. Reward: n/a.
Clemens threw a bunch of archives for Ralf to organize, and Meri decides to help him sorting them out. However, she soon learns that it’s not exactly organizing “archives”. It’s more like organizing Clemens’ lab instead. There’s also a burnt mark on the ceiling, but Ralf tells Meri to ignore it. xD Apparently Clemens made yet another explosion and went wild when Ralf tried to clean up the mess, so Ralf kicked him away to the infirmary. Clemens’ idea of “cleaning up” is to wipe everything out with bombs anyway. Σ(`д´ﾉ)ﾉ!! Ralf can’t tell which ones are trash and which ones aren’t since Clemens has so many junks in his lab, but Meri says there’s no such thing as “trash” for an alchemist. They can use even the most useless stuff to synthesize a new item, and that’s why alchemy is interesting.
After they’re done organizing Clemens’ books together, Meri finds Ralf looking at her in silence. He quickly apologizes saying they should let Clemens organize the rest of the books, and their hands touch when he takes the books from her hands. This causes both Ralf and Meri to get nervous, which leads to them dropping the books and apologizing at the same time. (❤ฺ￫艸￩) Ralf then asks Meri to tell him if she’s feeling tired, but since he won’t listen when she tells him that she’s not, Meri says Ralf seems tired too since he’s being really quiet today. Realizing that persisting will only lead them to an argument, they eventually decide to take a break together. As they look at Clemens’ mountain of books, Meri asks what kind of books Ralf usually reads. He says he prefers basic books — which are more useful than Clemens’ books of bombs — and he recommends the complete edition of Ingrid‘s records to her. She recommends a fiction book about alchemists and vampires in return, but he turns pale upon hearing this. When she asks if he’s afraid to see vampires in his dreams, he instantly goes “S-Stupid! I won’t see such dreams! … I won’t see it. I definitely won’t.” ﾌﾟｯ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵
Ralf then asks if Meri’s atelier is doing fine lately. When she says it’s much better than how it used to be, he teases her about her first day at work. They look back on what have happened ever since, and Meri says she’s lucky that she never received Clemens’ class during her days in the academy. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ Remembering Ralf’s argument with Carl, Meri then asks how is it going with his parents. Ralf explains that his parents have always been that way, though they have grown softer than before. It’s difficult for people to get into the academy, but Ralf’s parents weren’t happy at all when he got accepted. Even when the postman came to deliver the letter of acceptance, they tried to return it saying it’s not addressed to them. When he told them that he’s going to become an alchemist, they got really angry and asked about what he’s going to do about the inn. They also went to the academy to cancel his admission, and the one who had to deal with them was Clemens.. fortunately. Since Clemens is a crack, they gave up talking to him and let Ralf do whatever he wants until he graduates. Even until now, they’re still thinking Ralf will return to take over the inn eventually — because alchemy is only a “hobby”. That’s why he’s planning to show them that he’s really serious about alchemy.
When Meri asks about his research, Ralf admits that it’s actually going pretty well. Since Meri isn’t there to compete with him in the academy, Ralf is going to get the top marks for sure. The lecturers seem to like him too, but sadly some of the students are jealous of his success. They keep saying that even if Ralf’s thesis ends in a failure, his future is secure because he’s been helping out in Clemens’ lab. In reality, Ralf would rather use his time for research rather than thinking of a way to secure his future like that. Realizing that she doesn’t know much about his dreams, Meri then asks what Ralf wants to achieve by enrolling to Meister Rank. After asking Meri not to laugh, Ralf reveals that he’s actually trying to create a philosopher’s stone. When she says he’s really awesome for having such a big dream, he blushes saying he’s nowhere near reaching that goal.. but it still impresses her. Meri excitedly says she’ll always cheer him on, and Ralf smiles saying she will be the first person to see his philosopher’s stone. He has a long, difficult path ahead, but he can go on as long as he keeps improving — just like how she runs her atelier. Meri is doing her best too, and Ralf doesn’t want to lose to her.
Ralf also wants them to stop judging or approving each other, because both of them are doing their best to reach their dreams. He asks Meri to stop him if he ever tries to escape by taking the easy way out, and she promises to say something really harsh if that happens. When Meri laughs, Ralf smiles and almost confesses to her.. but then he falls asleep beside her before he could finish his sentence. Meri knows Ralf must be busy with his own research, and yet he never says no whenever someone — like Clemens — asks for his help. She whispers that he’s a really kind person, and knowing that he’s exhausted, she decides not to wake him up. When Ralf open his eyes later — still half-asleep — he finds Meri fast asleep beside him. He knows that she’s actually tired too, but she would never admit it if he asks her. After saying that she doesn’t have to act strong in front of him, he falls back to sleep.. until eventually they both wake up in the evening and realize that they’ve been sleeping together the entire time. xD They blush and say “good morning” to each other, but then they sigh because they made zero progress in cleaning up the lab. The request ends in a failure. ﾌﾟｯ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵
As Ralf walks her back to Realm Street, Meri wonders why he wants to make a philosopher’s stone.. but in the end decides not to ask. Popote comes out of the atelier to pick her up, and he reports that a client came to ask for a stomach medicine when she was away. He handed the “erureruki” for 5 cole since it’s just a medicine, but both Ralf and Meri are shocked to hear this. It wasn’t “erureruki”. It was an elixir, which is extremely hard to make. Meri faints on the spot, and the last thing she heard was Ralf’s panicked voice calling her name. xD
Today is the atelier’s day off, and Meri stays at home with Popote. When they’re having tea at noon, Ralf comes saying he wants to talk to Meri in private. At first Popote sulks since they’re leaving him out, but he happily runs off when Ralf promises to buy him a cheesecake later. xD After Popote leaves, Ralf shows Meri a suspicious letter he received last night. The letter asks him to come to lab no. 7 today, and the sender wrote that she’ll keep waiting until he comes — clearly a love letter. Since Ralf wants Meri’s opinion about what to do, Meri tells him to just go and see the girl. It would be cruel to keep her waiting, and Ralf needs to give her an answer. When Ralf says he’s going to refuse, Meri wonders why she suddenly feels relieved. At the same time, she also feels confused as of why he came to ask for her opinion if he’s planning to refuse anyway.. though he says it’s just to make sure that it’s really a love letter. It turns out that in the academy, there’s a legend saying a couple will be blessed with eternal happiness if they confess in lab no. 7. Meri doesn’t believe it though, since she’d rather conduct a research with 1000 sample couples to see if it’s true. xD Apparently Ralf’s mind works the same way, since he says 1000 samples isn’t enough. They need at least 2000, and they have to check if the happiness is really eternal. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ
Back to the confession, Ralf says that as a man, he needs to give the girl a firm rejection. He then asks Meri to come along, and she reluctantly follows him to the academy. After a while, the girl who wrote the letter eventually comes to lab no. 7. The girl creepily giggles and asks if Ralf is giving her an “OK” since he came to see her, but Ralf doesn’t get what she’s trying to say.. and Meri is getting incredibly irritated in the background since he’s not giving her a “firm rejection” at all. When the girl asks Ralf to give her his second button, he unsuspectingly pulls it off and asks why would she need it. Before they could figure out what’s going on, the girl suddenly swallows the button — happily saying Ralf now belongs to her forever. (＠盆＠) Just then Heidi appears beside Meri, and she whispers that yet another tragedy will happen in lab no. 8. It used to be a place for couples to profess their love, but the legend has changed. Now the legend says that if one receives something that one’s crush wears, the two of them will die together… and then for the next seven lives, the two of them will always be together. Σ(Д｀|||ノ)ノ Thanks to the crazy legend, the girl who confesses to Ralf has become completely delusional. She believes they were lovers in their past lives, and she takes out a knife saying they need to die together so they can be together forever. (屮ﾟДﾟ)屮 Luckily Meri pushes Ralf away just in time, and they escape together to Frasco Cafe — where he buys cheesecakes for her as an apology for dragging her into danger.
When Ralf wonders if the girl is okay after swallowing the button, Meri thinks he’s really kind for worrying about someone who did such a thing to him. What happened earlier was really dangerous, but in the end they laugh it all away. The line between love charms and curses is incredibly thin, though both Meri and Ralf think it’s really foolish to rely on charms. When Meri says Oswald probably knows about this — since he’s actively seeking for information — Ralf falls into silence before deciding to share his future plans with her. He’s actually planning to take a teaching qualification as an alchemist apprentice, which means that in the future, he’s going to become a lecturer in the academy. Ralf then asks for Meri’s opinion, and she happily says it’s a good idea. She knows how good he is when it comes to taking care of people, so a lecturer will be a perfect occupation for him. While Ralf thinks that he’s being too nosy about Meri’s future plans, she clearly tells him that she doesn’t think that way. Even though he said a lot of harsh things about her decision to run an atelier, she knows it’s because he cares about her. Meri also admits that she felt sad after their fight because she cares about him too, and she wanted him to understand her decision. If those harsh words came from a person whom she doesn’t care about, she would just ignore them.
When Meri asks why he wants to be a lecturer, Ralf explains that it’s to pass their knowledge to future generations. People can store their knowledge in books, but they still need someone to teach the contents to those who don’t understand. Even Clemens said that knowledge can’t be carried over for generations just by itself, and so they need people to pass the knowledge to the next generations. Clemens might be drunk when he said that, but Ralf was touched and decided to take the same path. Meri realizes that Ralf must be trying to create a philosopher’s stone in order to take a teaching license, and he says she’s right. He’s confident in his skills, but he still wants to give it his all.
Ralf also makes it clear that he didn’t take Meister Rank because he doesn’t want to take over the inn, but because he truly enjoys alchemy. When Meri says she knows how much he loves alchemy, Ralf replies saying he can admit everything honestly thanks to her. However, a part of her also feels that he’s gradually going out of her reach. Meri then changes the subject by asking if Ralf would be happy if the girl from earlier confesses normally, and he answers that he wouldn’t — because everything happened in front of her. Meri is surprised to hear this, but since Ralf already turns around to order more tea, in the end she doesn’t ask what he means by that. After writing in her diary that night, Meri suddenly feels lonely upon thinking that Ralf is going to become a lecturer in the future.
Ralf is dozing off in the academy lab this morning. He tries doing light calisthenics to drive the drowsiness away, but he ends up punching poor Clemens — who happens to be standing nearby — instead. xD Clemens tells Ralf not to force himself so hard because he has another chance in October, but Ralf doesn’t want to run away. He wants to give it his all, knowing that he’d only regret it otherwise. To help giving Ralf more motivation, Clemens then forces Ralf to become his assistant if he fails to take a teaching license in the upcoming exam — explaining that he’ll get Ralf to make Burning Sands everyday LOL. He also asks Ralf to write something for the academy’s newsletter for a change, and the theme is “the strongest alchemist for me”. Clemens is the one who chose the theme, and he won’t take no as an answer.
Do You Like Hunting?
Client: Ralf. Reward: 100 cole.
The inn is going to run a stand in the upcoming Port Festival, and they’re planning to serve a special menu in the evening. The problem is, Carl has no idea about what to make. He ran to Ralf for help and Ralf just couldn’t refuse, so now he’s asking Meri to help him search for an unusual ingredient for the menu. The ingredient he wants is the egg of a phantom bird named Galton Adler, and they can find one in Qualm Mountain. Since none of them can use weapons, Meri makes some sleeping potions and joins Ralf’s egg-hunting mission along with Popote. xD Somehow Meri finds it suspicious though, because normally people wouldn’t “hunt” for eggs.. and Ralf seems to be hiding something from them. Upon reaching Qualm Mountain, Ralf guides them towards the river — saying they need to find Galton Adler’s nest first. He clearly avoids the subject when Meri asks why a bird would build its nest near water, and soon she learns the reason. Galton Adler’s nest is built on the back of “something” that’s as large as a horse, covered in thick fur and has a peony on top of its head — an animal named Flora Behemoth.
Ralf didn’t tell Meri thinking the creature will be as cute as its name, but reality totally betrays his expectation. It’s not an animal. It’s a monster, and it looks absolutely nasty. After observing the monster from afar, Popote soon reports that there is indeed a single egg on the nest. The monster is currently drinking from the river, so if they want to retrieve the egg.. this is the only chance. The three of them then devise a plan to drug the river with their sleeping potion, but unfortunately Popote trips and drops the potion. This causes the Flora Behemoth to notice their presence, and it lets out a roar that’s just as nasty as its face. Knowing they probably won’t be able to escape anyway, Meri decides to stay and fight. She throws her sleeping potion to the monster’s nose, and Ralf goes to retrieve the egg with Popote after it starts snoring on the ground. Sadly their plan got interrupted when Galton Adler returns to its nest, and it’s beyond angry upon seeing them trying to steal its egg. In the end they have no choice but to escape from the phantom bird, and Ralf apologizes for putting them in danger. He decides to search for other ingredients as they walk home, so Meri and Popote help him gathering various kinds of wild plants and flowers they can find along the way.
Upon returning to the atelier, Meri and Popote apologize to Ralf for failing to complete the task. They’re still feeling bad even after he says it was his own fault, so he borrows their kitchen and makes his special omelette to cheer them up. Ralf also tells Meri not to feel bad about the failed request, though he’d like to complain to the author of his reference book for writing such a “misleading” description about Flora Behemoth. xD He promises to make a giant fried egg for them next time, and they eat dinner together after that.
In the morning, Ralf comes to take the ingredients he left in the atelier yesterday. He’s worried since Meri is giving most of the ingredients for the inn, but fruits and flowers are already more than enough to satisfy her. Ralf mentions that Carl has been thinking so hard about the special menu, and that’s why he was so desperate to search for an unusual ingreident.. but now he already realized there’s a lot of good ingredients too around Elkrone.
• The Voyage Dance •
Today is the Port Festival. In the afternoon, a lively music starts the festival’s Voyage Dance. The citizens hold hands to form a circle, and they march around Elkrone together. After finding Meri among the crowd, Ralf takes her to join the dance along with Popote. They have to follow everyone’s pace — which only grows faster and faster — or else the circle would break, and the speed causes this conversation to ensue:
Meri: “Kyaaa! Ralf! Don’t let go of my hand!”
Ralf: “I definitely won’t! Don’t let go of my hand too!”
Popote: “Why is it that only the words are romantic!?” (`д´ ；)
The three of them are running out of breath when the dance finally ends, but then they laugh together since it was really fun. The dance actually symbolizes the citizens working together to “row their ship” — which is the city of Elkrone itself. After the dance, Ralf invites Meri and Popote to join the “spice party” in the academy cafeteria. When she asks about what kind of party is that, he blushes and asks her to come and see it with her own eyes already. Just as the name suggests, the “spice party” has a lot of food cooked using foreign spices. Meri can see her academy friends again during the party, and she feels grateful to Ralf for inviting her.
Today Ralf comes to greet Meri and Popote in the morning, and she thanks him for yesterday. Popote then asks him about the spicy yellow food they ate during the “spice party”, and Ralf explains that it was made using a spice they usually use for medicines. Meri notices that her body still feels warm even until now, and Ralf says he’s glad their bodies can take the spice without any problems. There are people whose stomach got upset after eating those unusual spices, though he’s pretty sure it’s because they ate too much. Popote is an exception though, since he ate like a blackhole and is doing really well today. ﾌﾟｯ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵ Ralf returns to the academy after that, and Meri realizes that he came all the way to the atelier just because he’s worried about their stomach.
At noon, Meri hears the news that Elkrone’s ocean liner is drowning. She rushes to the port and helps everyone synthesizing medicines, but soon they learn that Duke Rosenheim — who were helping all the passengers to evacuate — is now missing. Laura is prepared to hear the news of her father’s death, but Ralf believes the mayor must be hiding somewhere inside the ship. After telling Meri not to worry, Ralf then jumps into the ocean to save Duke Rosenheim — followed by Erhard. Johann immediately orders Fren and Dirk to follow them with a boat, and Alex says he won’t forgive Ralf if he ever makes Meri cry. Popote also tells Meri that Ralf will surely return because he’s as strong as a shoe sole, which is proven true when Ralf returns to the port not too long after that. Upon seeing Meri on the verge of tears, Ralf smiles and asks her not to make such a face. Even though she wants to scold him for doing such a dangerous thing, she feels glad that he’s okay.
Following Charlotte’s suggestion, Meri travels to Vincestein — the Kingdom of Winter — with Ralf and Popote to search for the last material to create Aoi Wakkakka.
When they wake up in the carriage this morning, Meri asks Ralf to explain why he took them on this sudden journey. It appears that Charlotte was the one who prepared the carriage for them, and she asked Ralf to protect Meri throughout her journey. Ralf was confused because Charlotte wouldn’t explain anything about the destination, and that’s when Heidi came to inform him that Meri is going to Vincestein. Ralf also realized that Charlotte brought him to the mayor’s mansion because she wanted to see if he’s trustworthy, and while Meri thinks Charlotte is a wonderful person, he replies that she’s scary. Definitely not the type you’d want to have as an enemy. xD Meri also explains that the last material of Aoi Wakkakka is related to dragons, and Ralf says they’re probably on the right track because there’s an ice dragon in Vincestein. She admits that she has no idea if the black society is still targeting her or Aoi Wakkakka, but she knows one thing for certain. Even if the black society is getting on her way, she’ll surely complete the task for Popote’s sake.
Just then Popote wakes up and asks if Ralf is joining their journey because he’s a spy for the black society, but Meri says it’s impossible since Ralf is a very bad liar. xD Ralf then explains that he needs a material from a dragon too in order to make a philosopher’s stone, so he joined their journey because he wants to see that material. He stresses that it’s for his own benefit, so he doesn’t need any gratitude from Meri. (❤ฺ￫艸￩) When Meri smiles at him, Popote stares at her and asks if she feels happy to travel with Ralf. Popote mentions that it’d be better if she takes someone strong like Johann or Erhard, but Ralf replies that he’s not relying on physical strength or weapons. This leads to Popote asking if he’s going to fight with the power of love, which causes both Ralf and Meri to blush like tomatoes. (๑´ლ`๑)♡ They end up bickering out of embarrassment, and they almost admit that they’re not interested in any other girls or guys out there because they’re in love with each other. |壁|ｮ･_･*)ｷｭﾝｯ+｡* The sound of Popote’s grumbling stomach eventually stops their debate, and they decide to eat breakfast together.
Before the sun rises, Meri, Ralf and Popote continue their journey to Vincestein. They have to use their time effectively during the journey, so Ralf suggests thinking about all the necessary stuff before reacing Vincestein. First, they have to figure out the location of the last material. Popote thinks the dragon has it, but Meri says it’s probably in someone’s possession. Mathias is quite overprotective of her, so she doesn’t think he’d send her a passport to see a dragon. Next, they figure out that the person who has the material must be strong enough to obtain it from the dragon. Vincestein is geographically surrounded by monster habitats, and so it has a very powerful military. They don’t have any adventurers since they have a strong army, and there are no alchemists either because they don’t have an academy. If anyone in Vincestein is strong enough to fight a dragon, that person must be a soldier. Since the army is serving the royal family, anything that person obtains from the dragon will surely become a royal treasure. It might be difficult for them to retrieve the material in this condition, but Ralf thinks they might be able to create a chance. They’re alchemists — something Vincestein doesn’t have — and they also have a fairy with them. Right now they don’t have any ideas, but they might be able to figure something out later.
In order to find a way to obtain the royal treasure, Ralf takes out a mountain of books about Vincestein’s history. Their knowledge is their only weapon, so they need to learn everything they can about the country — including the reason why it doesn’t have an academy. Popote doesn’t like reading though, and he decides to stay quiet in the corner so he won’t disturb Meri and Ralf.
Four days have passed since their departure, and both Meri and Ralf are starting to feel tired in the carriage. Popote is sleeping comfortably beside them though, which makes them realize that his tiny fairy body is probably stronger than any adventurers or knights out there. xD To drive away the drowsiness, Meri and Ralf decide to discuss about the things they found from the books. First, Vincestein’s soldiers are really powerful when it comes to fighting monsters. They might be able to get on the army’s good side by synthesizing weapons, but Meri doesn’t want to use alchemy for battles. Next, Vincestein’s citizens are physically strong since they’re living in a cold area, so medicines are probably useless. After brainstorming for a while, Ralf suddenly invites Meri to enjoy their journey back to Elkrone later. They’ve been working hard in the last few days, so he wants them to relax on their way home. Ralf blushes in silence as he waits for her answer, and he happily smiles when Meri finally says yes.
After spending five days traveling in a carriage, Meri, Ralf and Popote finally reach Vincestein today. Ralf says he has an idea about how to obtain the royal treasure, though he’s not sure if it will really work. He then takes Meri and Popote to have a royal audience with the queen, and they’re welcomed by the royal advisor — Lutz Reisengang — in Vincestein’s Crystal Palace. Ralf introduces himself as a Meister Rank student in Elkrone’s academy of alchemy, while Meri introduces herself as his assistant. Since Vincestein’s residence only has limited knowledge regarding alchemy, Ralf then fools Lutz by saying only alchemists of high ranking can have a fairy like Popote.. and he’s offering his alchemy recipes for Vincestein. At first Lutz doesn’t think his country needs any of the recipes, but Ralf takes out a cold medicine saying it might be useful. Not for the citizens, but for travelers who come to visit Vincestein. Lutz is unsure about this since they have no alchemists to make the medicines, but Ralf tries to convince him by saying Meri and him are capable of doing the task. Just then the queen of Vincestein — Queen Victoria — speaks up saying it’s an interesting idea, but she wants them to produce cold medicines of the best quality. They gladly accept the task, and they use their remaining energy to produce a mountain of extra strong cold medicines after that. Their hard work isn’t for nothing though, because both Lutz and Victoria are really impressed with the result.
Victoria knows they want a high reward for the medicines, and knowing that her words are powerful enough to move people’s hearts, Ralf asks Meri to do the explaining. Meri honestly tells Victoria that she’s on a quest to create an item for Popote, and they came to Vincestein hoping to find a clue about the last material — an item that’s related to dragons. Victoria then asks what would she do if they don’t know anything about said item, and Meri answers that she’ll retrace everything from scratch.. because it means they have been following the wrong track all along. Upon hearing this, Victoria laughs saying she’s taken a liking on Meri. She then orders Lutz to take out Vincestein’s royal treasure — the Dragon’s Tear — from the treasury, but she wants Meri to prove her worth first by synthesizing Aoi Wakkakka right in front of her. If she succeeds, then the Dragon’s Tear is hers. Meri decides to accept the challenge, but the result turns out to be “Aokunai Wakkkakka” instead — a ring decorated with a grey gem. It’s definitely not blue.. but she successfully synthesized the item, and so Victoria allows her to take the Dragon’s Tear. ｲｴｰｲ☆-(ノﾟДﾟ)八(ﾟДﾟ )ノｲｴｰｲ☆ In addition, she also lets them spend the night in the Crystal Palace.
After thanking Lutz and Victoria for everything, Meri, Ralf and Popote leave on a carriage back to Elkrone. Victoria only sends them off from afar, but she’s already satisfied just by hearing the song Meri sang while creating Aokunai Wakkakka yesterday — Margret’s song. It turns out that Victoria actually knew about the “singing alchemist” of Elkrone, and she feels that her “old friend” has returned to her side.
Just as they promised, Meri enjoys the return trip with Ralf and Popote. They decide to stop by the beach along the way home, where they see the beautiful scenery of Vincestein’s frozen ocean. When Popote goes to play with the ice, Meri tells Ralf that she was really scared when Victoria suddenly challenged her yesterday. She always thought alchemists won’t be able to synthesize anything from unclear recipes, but she manages to synthesize Aokunai Wakkakka thanks to him — because he believes in her and encouraged her throughout the process. Ralf blushes upon hearing this, but then he tells Meri to stop. They’ll always encourage each other from now on — though sometimes they will have arguments too — so he doesn’t really care about gratitude anymore. It’s only natural for them to do so.
Ralf then points towards the ocean saying theories aren’t always true, and the world is full of mysteries they probably can never solve. It makes him feel powerless, but at the same time, it also drives him to seek more knowledge. He will keep learning as long as he has that curiosity inside of him, and he knows that Meri will do the same — continue learning until she becomes an old lady. Meri jokingly says Ralf will be an old man too by the time she reaches that age, but she knows he’s right. They will keep learning from now on, be it for alchemy or other things. Just then Popote calls them saying he made some shaved ice from the ocean, and Ralf laughs as he takes Meri to eat it together.
After spending another four days traveling on a carriage, Meri, Ralf and Popote finally return to Elkrone at night. When Meri thanks Ralf for accompanying them to Vincestein, he reminds her that he doesn’t need any gratitude. Besides, he enjoyed the journey as much as she did. After telling Meri and Popote to get enough sleep in their beloved beds, Ralf says goodnight and leaves.
The Spirit Festival Arc
The Blessed Liquor of Health
Client: Ralf. Reward: 200 cole.
For the upcoming Spirit Festival, the academy is supplying Alois Bar with a large amount of the Blessed Liquor of Health. Alois needs 100 bottles in total, but since most of the students are busy preparing for other events, Ralf asks Meri and Popote to help synthesizing and delivering the liquors to Alois. While Ralf drags his friends to collect the materials, Popote assists Meri as she creates the liquors one by one. By the time Ralf returns to the academy lab, Meri seems really tired and is speaking in a strange way. He wonders if she’s drunk after synthesizing so much liquors, but she assures him that she’s just tired. However, Popote is completely drunk and faints on the spot LOL. He then starts laughing hysterically in his sleep, so Ralf tells Meri to take the poor thing outside and get some fresh air. xD After drinking a cup of Mystica Tea to clear his head, Popote admits that earlier, he felt the world completely belongs to him. People say one’s inner personality will come out when they’re drunk, and Meri wonders if Popote has an inner desire to conquer the world. (*ﾉ∀｀)ﾟo｡ｱﾋｬｬ
After they’re done synthesizing everything, Meri and Popote helps Ralf delivering the liquors to Alois Bar. They notice that Alois has bought a lot of supplies from various countries, and Alois explains that he also took his rare supplies from the storage — all for the Spirit Festival. Ralf is unsure if their health liquors can blend in with Alois’ high-quality stock, but Alois says a lot of his customers are interested in the academy’s health liquors. What’s important is they worked hard to make the liquors, not to mention they also delivered the order as soon as possible. As a sign of gratitude, Alois then gives them a bottle of 100-years Pomegrenate Syrup — a liquor with beautiful pink color. They share the syrup in Meri’s atelier after that, but while Popote and Meri find it sweet and refreshing.. Ralf suddenly starts giggling and asks for more. Σ(・д・ﾉ)ﾉ Ralf then clings to Popote saying he’s incredibly cute, and he starts pinching the poor fairy’s cheeks saying they’re really soft and squishy — just like a pie crust. ﾌﾟｯ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵ When Meri wonders how can someone gets drunk over a glass of syrup, Ralf insists that he’s 100% not drunk and keeps squishing Popote. In the end Meri smacks Ralf in the head, hoping he will return to normal when he wakes up later. xD
That evening, Ralf apologizes for what he has done to Popote, but Meri says it’s good to know that he’s actually really fond of Popote. Y⌒Y⌒Y⌒Y⌒Y⌒Y⌒(。A。)ｱﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ!!
Today Ralf comes to ask about Popote’s condition, and Meri answers that the poor fairy had a nightmare of getting turned into a pie last night. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ Ralf then gives Meri a bag of “Powdered Sugar of Oblivion”, and he tells her to mix it into Popote’s morning tea — the sugar will erase his memories of yesterday. Ralf feels bad for creating such a traumatic experience and asks Meri to drink it too, but she refuses and says she definitely won’t forget.about what happened yesterday. It was the first time she ever saw someone getting drunk because of a syrup, so she will always remember the memory. xD He doesn’t need to worry though, since she’s going to erase Popote’s trauma properly LOL.
Since they’re running out of food, Meri takes Popote to go shopping today. They meet Marcel along the way, who then asks for her help regarding Ralf. It turns out Ralf has been working and locking himself in the lab for quite a while, only returning to their room when he needs to change clothes. Marcel knows Ralf needs to work hard for the upcoming exam, but he’s still worried since it seems like Ralf hasn’t been eating and sleeping properly. Since Ralf wouldn’t listen to him at all, Marcel now wants Meri to tell him to get some rest. Meri goes to see Ralf in the academy after that, but right before she enters the lab, she hears his frustrated scream from inside. As much as he wants to pass the exam, his philosopher’s stone research isn’t going too well. Ralf soon notices Meri’s presence, and she apologizes for interrupting him.. but she also notices that he looks really pale. Meri says she came here because she’s worried about him, but since Ralf keeps insisting that he’s fine, she touches his cheek saying it’s really cold. He hasn’t eaten anything either today, but he says he doesn’t have any time to rest — he needs to pass the upcoming exam and get a teaching license. When Meri says he has another chance in October, Ralf gets really angry and says he doesn’t want to run away. Ralf knows she would do the same thing if she’s in his position, but Meri replies that he would stop her too if she pushes herself that hard. She reminds him that they’ll only make mistakes if they’re tired, because alchemy requires top physical and mental condition.
Meri understands Ralf’s feelings though, and so she gives him a basket full of the food Popote cooked for him. He notices that she has another basket with her, and she finds her trademark jam tart inside — though she tries to hide her embarrassment by saying it’s just an “extra”. xD When Ralf thanks her for the delicious jam tart, Meri blushes and blurts out that she baked the tart while worrying about him. (๑´ლ`๑)♡ Ralf starts feeling sleepy after eating, and Meri tells him to get some rest. If he doesn’t want to lose time, she’ll help him synthesizing the agents he needs. At first Ralf refuses saying he doesn’t want to trouble her, but when Meri asks him to take her as his assistant, he finally gives in and goes to take a hot bath. After Ralf leaves the lab, Meri takes some materials from the shelf and finds the academy’s newsletter there — the one Clemens asked Ralf to write before. Ralf totally ignored the theme though, and he wrote about “the alchemist I love” instead.
Upon reading the contents, Meri realizes that Ralf actually wrote about her. He wanted her to take Meister Rank because he didn’t want her to become an ordinary alchemist, but she made him realize that there’s no such thing as an ordinary alchemist. All alchemists are using their knowledge to help those in need, and he came to respect them thanks to her. However, Ralf and Meri have different goals in life. Ralf wants to love himself as an alchemist who devotes himself to research.. and he’s wishing that Meri will acknowledge him too someday — as an alchemist. Meri feels really touched after reading everything, and she whispers “stupid Ralf” because she will never know how he truly feels if it’s not for the newsletter. Just then Ralf returns to the lab, asking if she just called him stupid. (。-∀-)ﾆﾋｯ♪ When Meri reveals that she already read his article, Ralf blushes saying he just wrote as he likes since the original theme was so stupid.. but he never thought it would actually reach her hands. (❤ฺ￫艸￩)
Ralf then admits that when he entered the academy, there were two things that surprised him. The first one was the nasty taste of black tea, and the second one was Meri. Ralf was really proud to enter the academy at the age of 13 — thinking he broke the record as the youngest student — but upon seeing Meri, who was only 12 back then, he realized there will always be someone better. He expected her to be a cool genius, so he was shocked upon learning that she’s really different from what he imagined. He’s been treating her as his rival ever since, but when they worked together once to collect materials, they found each other’s company to be surprisingly enjoyable. He never won against her when it comes to academy grades, but right now he doesn’t care about that anymore. Ralf’s life is currently filled with research with Meri by his side, and he’s truly enjoying his life.
Ralf then says he can’t be an alchemist who dedicates his life to help people like Meri, but he wants to raise that kind of alchemist if he manages to become a lecturer. He will have to face various kinds of students — including the problematic ones — but he won’t lose to her. After a short silence, Meri admits that she loves watching Ralf when he’s synthesizing. He never has any doubts, and she feels good whenever she watches him. Of course this makes him blush, and he lets out an embarrassed laugh saying it makes him happy. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:* He’s feeling really good right now, so he decides to continue his philosopher’s stone research — knowing this feeling will lead him to a good result. Meri watches as Ralf synthesizes the materials in front of her, and he finally manages to create a complete philosopher’s stone. ヽ(*´∀`*)ﾉ He still needs to submit it to the lecturers, but both Meri and Ralf are happy knowing the result is perfect.
It’s already dawn when they walk out of the academy, and Ralf tells Meri that she was right. Alchemy depends on people’s feelings, so the result can be different even if they follow the same recipe. Then suddenly, Ralf hugs Meri saying he’s really glad to be an alchemist and met her in the academy. Everything about her feels so dear to him, and he says his philosopher’s stone is dedicated to her. After thanking Meri for helping him, Ralf almost falls asleep while still hugging her. (*ﾉ∀ﾉ)ｷｬｰ♡ Meri then tells Ralf to return to the dorm and go to bed already, and she also goes to get some sleep at home.
Today the teaching qualification exam results are out, and Meri is feeling restless waiting for Ralf’s result. Ralf comes to the atelier just before Meri goes to see him, but it turns out that he’s still waiting for the result to be delivered. Instead of sending the result to the dorm, he actually requested for the result to be sent to the inn.. because he wants his parents, Meri and Popote to be the first people to hear the result. Ralf then takes Meri and Popote to the inn, where Carla tells him that the result has just arrived. Meri and Popote nervously wait as Ralf read the letter, and they instantly hug Ralf when he announces that he passed the exam. Ralf’s philosopher’s stone turns out to be much better than he expected, because he also passed with the highest score possible. He has no doubt about the philosopher’s stone itself since Meri helped him to synthesize it, but he was worried thinking he made some mistakes in the thesis, so he’s really glad to know that he passed. .｡ﾟ+.ヽ(*´∀`*)ﾉﾟ+.ﾟ。.
After showing the letter to his parents, Ralf apologizes to Carl because he can never become a “town alchemist like” Meri. He knows he’s not fit to become one, but he wants to raise that kind of alchemists in the future — as a lecturer. Ralf also apologizes for not taking over their business, but he wants them to understand that he has his own dream. He tells them that he didn’t enter the academy because he hates managing the inn, but because he loves alchemy. He respects them as professionals — albeit in different fields — and he wants them to know that his love for alchemy is just as deep as their love for cooking and serving customers. Carl also reveals that Ralf actually promised to show them the result of his effort before summer, saying he’ll quit the academy if he fails to do so. Ralf says it was necessary to drive himself towards the limit, and he was planning to take over the inn if he fails the exam. Carl eventually sighs saying he lost, and he finally allows Ralf to follow his own path. Beside them, Carla also gives in and says he’ll punch Ralf if he ever complains about his job in the future. xD The path Ralf takes might be indirect, but just like Meri, he’s doing what he can for Elkrone too. He loves this city, and he admits that he actually loves the inn as well.
To celebrate his exam result, Ralf invites his friends and lecturers from the academy to have a party at the inn. Even though it’s a party for him, Ralf is busy helping Carl in the kitchen instead — cooking food for everyone. He refuses to sit down in the table saying he’ll see everyone in the academy anyway, and Meri decides to help him in the kitchen too. Standing in the kitchen reminds Ralf that he used to be really curious about how ingredients can turn into a different food, and that curiosity eventually led him to alchemy.. so this is the land of beginning for him. Ralf then falls into silence until Meri points out that he’s burning the onions, but Meri realizes something here. If the kitchen is the land of beginning, does it mean he has the next destination in mind? Back in the table, Popote asks why Ralf wanted to take a teaching license as fast as possible. Ralf explains it’s because the license allows him to obtain more knowledge, and he wants to learn more about this world. His curiosity will never end, because an alchemist will never stop learning. However, Ralf’s answer makes Meri feel complicated inside. She almost asks if it means he’s going to stay in the academy for a while before becoming a lecturer, but she stops herself — knowing she’s about to push her insecurities onto him. Plus, she doesn’t know why she feels insecure either.
After the party, Ralf takes Meri and Popote for a walk to Torene Lake. When Popote jumps into the lake, Ralf says Popote will be just fine since Meri will make a medicine even if he catches a cold. Ralf knows Meri’s atelier is necessary to keep Elkrone peaceful, and that’s why he has no worries about the city. Meri is surprised upon hearing this, but Ralf quickly covers it up by saying Elkrone is blessed by its people — like her, the adventurers and the knights. Ralf then takes out an apple pie for them to eat, and he also tells Popote to eat a lot so he can become a reliable partner for Meri. When Meri asks Ralf to visit the lake together again sometime — either for collecting materials or for a picnic like today — he promises to take her to the lake again.. someday. As they walk home together, Meri asks Ralf about what he wants as a present for passing the exam. Ralf says he doesn’t need anything, because whenever he looks at how Meri runs her atelier, he realizes that he still needs to learn more. He was against the idea at first, but how he can see that she learns a lot of things too by running a business. Since Ralf is being awfully honest today, Meri can sense that it seems like he’s preparing to say goodbye to her. Eventually she decides to ask if he’s going away in the near future, and knowing that he can’t hide anything from her, he admits that he’s planning to study abroad in fall. He actually received the offer quite a while ago, but he put it on hold until he passed the exam. (´；ω；`)
Noticing that Meri looks sad, Ralf then asks about what he should do.. and she asks him not to go — even though she knows it won’t change his decision. She honestly admits that she feels left behind, both as an alchemist and as a person. She has never felt this much sadness and fear, and she realizes that it’s all because she loves him. Meri apologizes for showing such a weak side in front of him, but Ralf then says it’s the same for him. She became more and more mature after she started working, and even though he’s happy to see her growth, he actually feels scared too thinking she’s leaving him behind. Ralf also says he’s not going ahead of her. He’s just walking on the right path, because he’s got Meri by his side. When Meri whispers “I love you”, Ralf replies by saying he knows she’s a really strong person.. so she doesn’t have to act strong in front of him.
Today Popote mentions that Meri looks sleepy, and Meri says it’s because she found it hard to sleep last night. Or rather, she couldn’t sleep at all since she was thinking about Ralf all night. Soon Ralf comes to visit them saying he’s got a temporary break from the academy, and when Popote asks if it means he can play with them, he explains that it’s a break so he can prepare for his plan to study abroad.. (´；ω；`) It doesn’t change the fact that Ralf now has much more free time than usual though, so he can play with Popote as well — especially since the Spirit Festival is coming soon. Since Meri still looks upset, Ralf then gives her a.. thing that she can’t seem to recognize. When she asks him what it is, he blushes saying it’s a ring and tells her to smile already. It definitely doesn’t look like a ring, but he spent all night making it for her since it was their “anniversary” yesterday. ♪ﾟ+.ｏ(*萌´д`从´д`萌*)ｏ.+ﾟ♪ Realizing what Ralf is trying to say, Meri finally smiles and thanks him for the ring. He also wants her to know that if he’s not happily surprised by her confession, he won’t spend all night just to make a single ring. They still have time before his departure, so he wants to make a lot of memories with her until then.
After Ralf leaves, Popote only stares at Meri with a mischievous smile — though he reads the atmosphere and says nothing. xD
Today is the Spirit Festival Eve, and Popote asks if Meri is planning to participate. She explains that women’t can join in unless a man invites her to go together, but not too long after that, Ralf comes to ask her out. ||萌||ョ´∀`。)萌えぇ～↑ At first Ralf is too shy to say it directly, but since Meri doesn’t get what he wants to say, eventually he goes “I’m asking you out, stupid!” xD He runs off after saying he’ll be waiting at the fountain plaza tonight, and Popote can’t believe that “unbelievably-dense” Ralf has just invited Meri to the Spirit Festival Eve LOL. Popote then calls Belinda and Miranda, who helps Meri to dress up for the event. Meri is obviously nervous and asks Popote to come with her, but he refuses saying he’s tired. Besides, he knows that Ralf must be feeling nervous too.. so everything will be okay. (* ´艸`)ｸｽｯ♪ By the time Meri comes to the fountain plaza, Ralf is about to go home since she spend too much time thinking about how to face him. (´・ω・`；) He’s glad that she finally came though, and he takes her to dance together. It turns out everyone in the dorm found out that Ralf asked Meri out, so after they’re done teasing him about it, they taught him everything about the Spirit Festival Eve — including how to dance. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:* They end up stepping on each other’s feet, but Ralf is glad to come and enjoy the event with Meri. However, Meri doesn’t want to turn the wonderful night into a “memory”.
Just then the countdown to the Spirit Festival begins, and Ralf tells Meri that couples who are dancing together will kiss during the countdown. She couldn’t hear what he said since all the people around them are counting down, but when the count finally reaches zero, he tells her to close her eyes and leans in to kiss her.. though they end up bumping foreheads instead. xD When Ralf asks Meri to see if his forehead is bleeding, she asks him to lean closer and gives him a surprise kiss — which he returns with a kiss to her forehead. ε-(*´∀`|萌| Ralf feels that he still has more things to say to Meri, but she reminds him that it’s now the Spirit Fesival — it’s time for everyone to have fun. Memories are recollections of the past, but they’re living in the present. Rather than thinking about the difficult stuff, they should enjoy what they have now.
Today is the Spirit Festival. Popote won’t be able to reach his dream once the festival is over, so Ralf comes asking what happened to his request for Aoi Wakkkakka. When Popote says the request is currently on hold, Ralf tells him to go and enjoy the Spirit Festival with Meri. They should take a break from work during times like this, because it might lead them to the answer they’re looking for. Popote happily replies that Ralf says a good thing for a shoe sole, and Ralf answers that Popote is the only one who can call him — a person who successfully created a philosopher’s stone — as a shoe sole LOL.
After escaping from the black society’s attempt to capture her, Meri finally manages to create Aoi Wakkakka with “singing alchemy” and Popote’s help. The ring then takes them to the world of the spirits, where they meet Margret and the king of the fairies. When Margret asks Meri not to blame the black society too much, Ralf protests saying the black society keeps putting Meri into danger.. and she says that’s why Meri has Ralf to protect her. Besides, Margret knows her granddaughter is a hardworker who will never give up even if the black society is getting on her way. That’s why Margret wants Ralf to do his best too, or else he’ll only get dragged away by Meri’s determination. Ralf nervously answers he’ll keep those words in mind, while Margret teasingly says Meri has an interesting boyfriend. xD
The king of the fairies then invites Meri and Popote to live in the world of the spirits, but Meri turns down the offer because she loves Elkrone too much to leave it. When the path towards the world of the spirits closes, Meri returns to the city with Ralf.. and she cries upon realizing how empty her atelier is without Popote.
When Meri wakes up in the morning, she hears Popote’s voice greeting her as usual.. but then it turns out to be her imagination, because Popote is no longer here. Just then Ralf comes and blushes as he hands a fairy doll to Meri, admitting that he didn’t sleep at all to make the doll for her. She thanks him saying he doesn’t have to push himself so hard, and they fall into silence.. until a loud, familiar fairy voice surprises them with a loud “DOOON!!” Σ(Д｀|||ノ)ノ ..and the next thing they know is Popote’s standing beside them, asking Meri to employ him. Ralf is shocked and asks how did he end up here, so Popote explains that it’s an order from Margret and the king of the fairies. Time flows differently on the other side, and Popote’s already satisfied after making friends with a lot of fairies. Noticing that Popote is really good at making friends, both Margret and the king of the fairies sent him back to the human world — saying that precious skill will only be wasted in the world of the spirits.
Popote is now back to assist Meri in the atelier, and so he wants Ralf to stop searching for a chance to confess when she’s feeling sad. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ Popote then teases Ralf further by saying he doesn’t like how Ralf is using his position as Meri’s rival or ex-classmate to stay beside her all the time, and Ralf rages saying Popote also stole a kiss from Meri during their tearful farewell yesterday. xD They keep bickering until Meri eventually yells at them to stop, and she scolds Ralf for letting himself got provoked by Popote LOL. Then she turns around to scold Popote for asking her to “employ” him, while he clearly has to say something when he returns to her side. When Popote says “I’m home”, both Ralf and Meri answer with “welcome back!” .｡ﾟ+.ヽ(*´∀`*)ﾉﾟ+.ﾟ。.
At the end of summer, Meri sends Ralf off as he leaves Elkrone to study abroad. After he left, the people of Elkrone resume her daily life. They work, eat, play, fall in love and visit her atelier from time to time. Time has been passing quickly ever since, and eventually spring comes to Elkrone again. One day, Meri reminds Popote that it’s only two weeks away from the day of their first encounter. It was also the day he first met Ralf, and he wonders if Ralf is doing fine. Popote feels lonely since Ralf doesn’t send any letters, and when Meri says it’s because Ralf is busy, he replies that she’s being too understanding as a girlfriend.. but he’s going to endure the loneliness. Meri then goes to collect some materials at Strauss Hill, and despite what she just said to Popote earlier, she whispers that she does feel lonely without Ralf by her side.
Just then a strong wind blows throughout the hill, and when Meri opens her eyes again, she suddenly finds Ralf standing in front of her eyes. He looks as surprised as she does though, and he asks why does she look like she just saw a ghost. xD Of course Meri never expected to find Ralf here, and he explains that he’s returning home for a two-week break. After making sure that Ralf isn’t just an illusion, Meri turns silent before suddenly yelling “バカーーーー！！” at him for not informing her about this. ﾌﾟｯ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵ She can’t believe that coincidence has brought them here, but Ralf says it’s not a coincidence.. because he was planning to see her as soon as he returns to Elkrone. Last year he congratulated her atelier’s grand opening way past the date, so this year he’s trying to make it up by being early. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:* After a short silence, Ralf finally leans in to kiss Meri on the lips.
When Meri tells Ralf that she really missed him, he admits that he also felt lonely without her.. but he knows she’s working hard in Elkrone, so he did his best too knowing she’d punch him in the face if he ever gives up. They notice that a Bush Warbler — a bird which announces that spring is coming — witnessed their kiss earlier, which means that the news will probably spread throughout the city in no time. The citizens will surely give Ralf a warm welcome later, and Meri knows Popote will definitely stick to Ralf for the entire day. Ralf then says he wants to stay on the hill with Meri for a little longer, and Meri replies by asking Ralf to let her keep him to herself until then. When she tells him “welcome back”, he answers with a gentle “I’m home.” Meri knows she will surely follow Margret to the world of the spirit someday, and she’s hoping that Ralf will come along with her when that time comes — holding her hands forever.
In the good ending, Meri holds back her feelings and encourages Ralf to take the offer to study abroad. She cries and admits that she feels sad, but she knows that as a lecturer, he needs to spread his wings and fly away. Then someday, he can return to Elkrone and raise a lot of good alchemists who can become her business rivals. Ralf pats Meri’s head, and he whispers that he loves her too.
On July 4, Ralf invites Meri to enjoy the Spirit Festival together. He also asks Popote to come along, but Popote refuses saying he’ll watch over the atelier instead — giving them a chance to be alone. He’s planning to tag along tomorrow though. xD At the fountain plaza, they find Alois sitting by the reception desk of the Summer Goddess Contest. Ralf clearly isn’t interested in beauty contests, but Alois explains that the Summer Goddess Contest is different. A long time ago the kingdom suffered from drought, and people chose one girl to offer a dance for the summer goddess and ask for the rain to fall. That was the beginning of the contest. The problem is, Meri’s name is listen among the participants.. even though she never registered for the contest LOL. Alois says a woman will be listed as a participant if two men submitted her name, so some men — or maybe a certain fairy — must have registered her into the contest. Ralf jokingly says they have a strange taste, but then he goes and votes for Meri so she will have at least one vote. (❤ฺ￫艸￩) However, Meri admits that Ralf’s vote means everything to her. Rather than having hundreds of other men voting for her, she’d be happier to receive one vote from him. (*´∀`*)
Rain suddenly starts falling after that, so Meri and Ralf run off to take shelter at the port. As they watch the sea together, Meri asks about what everyone in the academy said about Ralf’s plan to study abroad. Oswald is really supportive since he was the one who suggested the idea, but Clemens clearly has no intentions to stop his beloved assistant from going away. xD As long as they’re still living in the same world, it doesn’t count as a farewell to him LOL. Ralf then asks Meri to check the academy when he’s away, and also to help him make sure that his parents aren’t overworking. When Meri gladly accepts the task, Ralf says he won’t have any worries as long as Meri and her atelier are here in Elkrone. She also assures him that she will be just fine during his absence, but then he blushes and gives her a ring — asking her to keep it with her. The first ring he made was a total failure, so he made a new one for her.
However, Ralf is surprised when Meri also takes out a ring and gives it to him. It turns out she also made a ring for him, which looks identical to the one he made for her. He’s going to leave Elkrone by the end of summer, but he promises that he will return someday. As long as Meri is living in Elkrone, Ralf will surely come back to her side. He’s going to be a great lecturer in the future, and she will be waiting for him while improving her atelier. They can see the sunlight shining through the clouds when it finally stops raining, and they promise to make something as beautiful as this scenery someday — with their alchemy.
I went for Ralf on my first run simply because I’m into Maenu at the moment, but Ralf turns out to be so much cuter than I imagined. ||萌||ョ´∀`。)萌えぇ～↑ The endings aren’t sugary sweet and Ralf only says he loves Meri once during the whole route, but it’s so beautiful how they remain connected while pursuing their own dreams. It’s really clear that Ralf respects Meri a lot, and their rivalry only draws them closer to each other. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:* They sort of left the ending hanging, but the thought of Meri and Ralf going to the world of the spirits when they’re old is just so romantic. (๑´ლ`๑)♡ Ralf’s route gives me this warm and fuzzy feeling, and I love how Popote completes their relationship. They’re just like a family.