In our last adventure, we pondered about how huge conflicts could still arise in this already very established part of Yuna's alternative world. The kingdom's already quite stable, she's already a celebrity in Crimonia, and all bigger threats are either already taken care of, or is just One Punch™ away from being instantly solved.
The answer, of course, is already revealed way back in Episode 01 when Yuna first discovered egg ville: simply show more lands and places that Yuna is yet to visit.
"If I'm going to turn this series into a crafting show anyway, might as well use seafood too!"
It all started one peaceful evening (as always), when Yuna was doing her usual part-adventurer, part-item crafter stuff. In another seemingly endless reference to food and the act of making them, she starts to sorely miss recipes native to her original land.
Yes, Japanese recipes. If that doesn't sound obvious yet to you. And by Japanese delicacies, Yuna meant seafood. In fact, she even made sure to specifically complain about having only eaten river fishes in Crimonia to emphasize her predicament(?) further.
"Which reminds me, didn't you and your little sis mention something about the sea when we were searching for that blue crystal flower?"
So yeah, that's basically the primary motive of the episode. Don't you just love the fact that the simplest non-linear objectives in RPGs, can usually lead you to the best RNG-infused adventures and disasters your account or save file will never ever forget?
"Yuna, this series is a slide-of-life show, and Millela is outside the kingdom anyway."
"Well, we need something interesting enough for Episode 10 somehow."
To be fair, she did consult the commerce guild for geographical guidance (I guess that is also one form of negotiable or tradable information). At first, she was actually surprised to learn that the nearest harbor, Millela (and therefore the sea), was less than half the distance it took to travel to the capital.
The main plan was to drive directly through the Erezento mountain range, in order to reach Millela in the shortest physical route possible. Then, just like egg ville, she intends to establish a hidden warp point that could allow instant access back to Crimonia. After successfully connecting the two urban centers, all that's left to do is to claim the sea's fleshy treasures to her heart's delight.
"Wow, all information that I would ever need bundled in one accident."
Thus, the adventure to the treacherous mountain path begins. Unlike some other group that needed literal mammoths and an Ice/Flying kigurumi to travel through, Kumakyu and Kumayuru is all that she needs. Though, by some twist of fate (oh no!), she encounters a couple that is well... already trying to leave the world entirely on the spot actually.
Yuna, being our eternally heroic main character, sheltered the two on her magic bear cottage. They introduced themselves as Damon and Yuura, and they explained that they came from Millela on a mission to feed their families. Apparently some giant kraken decided to stay and chill out right in front of the harbor, halting all sea-based commerce and industries, leaving the citizens at the mercy of bandits and thieves just lurking outside the harbor to extort valuables from them.
"Wow, all the simple objectives I ever want bundled in a bigger accident."
Anyway, upon reaching Millela, the couple additionally explained that it was the commerce guild of this town that's heading out to procure meat for the people... selling them at ten times the regular price. Fair enough(?), given that dangerous deviants have been prowling the outskirts, plus land-based hunting grounds are also probably limited in this region.
But wait a minute...
- A kraken that somehow doesn't want to leave the harbor
- Groups of bandits and thieves surrounding the town
- Starving and desperate townsfolk
- And a commerce guild that gouges prices heavily during the crisis
Does that sound like a conspiracy? Ah well, maybe not yet.
"Dang, your adventurer loot record is quite impressive. Would have been really nice if you were able to visit here on a previous episode."
What about the adventurer's guild in this location, you ask? Yuna did visit one in Millela, but immediately realized just how more dire the situation is. Atla, the guildmaster of this branch, seemed to have given up half the fight already, and is even initially unwilling to believe that our kigurumi hero was ever a fellow adventurer in the first place.
However, after clearing up a few things, she explained that the guild was currently occupied with investigating all of the suspicious stuff happening around the kraken incident. Unfortunately, with their smaller numbers, even if we assume that the average Millela adventurer is better/stronger than ones from Crimonia, the amount of chores to do seemed to have been too widescale to properly handle. Atla herself seemed to have already been on some investigative search for quite some time.
"... Is it Friday today?"
At the very least, though, Yuna was willing to tackle the food supply situation, requesting all hunting grounds information around the harbor. She was able to temporarily fix the hunger problem by distributing the low-level mob loot for free. The supplies also reached several dining and lodging establishments, to which we are introduced to the father-daughter duo Deega and Anzu.
Expectedly, these actions eventually shifted the focus of the commerce guild to her. On the surface, it seems like their extorting operations were being interrupted by some kigurumi-clad foreigner. But I don't know, the intention feels too obvious, and something's totally amiss with their standing as an organization and how their activities are given the blatant antagonistic exposure.
"Oh, they're hostile? That's quite convenient to automatically know."
Anyway, eventually certain forces around the town started moving in response to Yuna's actions. This ultimately led to an attempted theft (yes theft, not murder), where hired bandits got tasked to steal from a kid a supposedly magic pouch that easily fits mob loot in.
This is quite interesting actually. You mean to tell me that the first thing that piqued the interest of whoever hired these knaves was her ability(?) to bring tons of meat to the town by herself? Not because she was disrupting any standard criminal modus around the harbor?
Okay, I take all of those listed conspiracy assumptions back, this definitely smells like an equally fishy red herring...
"Oh, I have a better idea. Why don't you guys just tell me your hideout instead? I'll be sure to squeeze out all the information I need from your boss."
The bandits' attempt failed, of course. Instead, they were treated to an impromptu mental torture session, where the aforementioned information (of the objective being to steal something, rather than to harm someone) was extracted.
After that, the only other thing she needed to know was the location of the raiders' hideout...
Stay tuned for Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear again in Part 02!