Rest Ashored, Love is in the Garden!

This page has been archived here from official Square Enix sources. It was originally posted on 29/01/2014.

Today is Valentione's Day! Tomorrow is Valentione's Day! The day after tomorrow is Valentione's Day!
It's happy Valentione's Day every day until you finally receive your chocolate, kupo!

Now that the day has arrived, kupo…

Send a gift to that special person in your life to showyour affections, kupo!
Now is the time for Valentione's Day.
A chance that only comes once a year, kupo!

Yet, perhaps some are feeling a bit too shy to give their chocolates.
And perhaps others are experiencing constant anxiety waiting to receive theirs.
It can be a nerve-racking time, or so I've heard, kupo.

Not to worry – we moogles are here to help adventurers such as you, kupo!

What's important is courage, kupo.
Gather up all you can muster, and let's meet Valentione's Day head-on!
Leave it up to Mog Mail for all your chocolate delivery needs!

And you know…
Sometimes even moogles wish for an occasional chocolate from their masters, too…

I-it's nothing, kupo! A little truth just slipped out, that's all, kupo.

Well then, have a great Valentione's Day!

Kukuru beans lay on the table.
Standing with both hands stuck into the pockets of her white lab coat, Lorelili stared at them quizzically.

"What are these doing-woing here?"

The kukuru beans had been carefully encased in a leather pouch so that they would not get wet.
And the pouch had floated to the shores of Lorelili's Mog Garden.

Four pouches in all, each containing kukuru beans. Lately, they had been arriving at the rate of one pouch a day.

"Something the matterrrr?" purred Kuyin Hathdenna, the little Mithra who tended the garden.
"Do you know anything about these?"
"N-no! Nothing!"
The Mithra averted her eyes with lightning speed.
…How suspicious.

"How aboutaru you, then?"
Lorelili addressed the moogle who was merrily twirling next to the table.
"How about what, kupo?"
"I'm asking whether you know anything-wanything about these kukuru beans that keep washing up at our garden."
"Odd things are always washing up at the garden – that's just how it is, kupo!"
"…True enough."

The Sacred City of Adoulin is made up of a chain of islands, big and small.
However, most of the smaller islands are deserted and do not even have names.
These islands were opened up to adventurers who arrived as pioneers.
Originally from Windurst, Lorelili had arrived at this Mog Garden around summer's end.
Since then, six months had passed, and Lorelili continued to remain holed up here with her research.

A call came in on the Linkpearl.
"…Oh, it's just you, Hotcha-Motcha."
"That's no way to talk to an old childhood friend! Today's the day you promised-womised, rightaru?"
"Oh, yeah…"

Begrudgingly, Lorelili made her way back to Western Adoulin.
Hotcha-Motcha was already waiting for her at port.

"Sorry for the wait, but do you really want to come visitaru?"
"Of course! You finally-winally invited me. Time and time again, you've put it off with your excuse of, 'The place is a mess right now, so maybe next time.' How many months do you think I've had to waitaru?"
"You're so persistent, Hotchmo."
"That's no way to talk to your childhood friend! Do you realize you even forgot my lastaru birthday? You're heartless…and by the way, my name is Hotcha-Motcha."
"I know, Hotchmo. But it's too long and troublesome-woublesome to say, Hotchmo."
"You're doing it on purpose now, aren't you? And another thing—"

Lorelili put both hands up to her ears to block out her old friend's complaints.
Hotcha-Motcha, who had been wheezing and panting and working himself up during his rant, dropped his shoulders dejectedly.
"You're hopeless-wopeless…"
"But don't you see? I've gotten the personal laboratory I've always wanted! I have a whole island to do with as I like! How wonderful! Now I can experimentaru and research to my heart's content. It's almost enough to make me never want to leave the garden again!"
"But you never-wever do leave the garden! How many days do you think it's been since I lastaru got to see you?"
"That's because I'm busy-wusy working on a new recipe for wrought iron right now. I've got no time to be hanging out with you, Hotchmo!"

The two continued arguing even as they got into the moogle's little boat.
They arrived at the Mog Garden before the indignant Hotcha-Motcha even had time to calm down.

"Hm. You keep the place surprisingly-wisingly tidy. That's rather unexpected."
"Welcome, Sirrr Hotcha-Motcha!" piped the little Mithra assistant, bowing her head.
"Oh, uh…thanks."
"Huh? …I don't remember ever telling-welling you this guy's name. Did I?"
The little Mithra nodded her head.
"You did, you did."
"Oh. All right."
"Hey, Lorelili. Since I'm here, you could at leastaru offer-woffer me a cup of tea, don't you think?"
"You came to my lab to drink tea?"
"No! That's not whataru I –"
"Oh! I've got it! You've come to steal my research-wesearch, haven't you?!"
"No, no, definitely not! I have no interest in your suspectaru alchemy experiments!"

"Then what did you come here for?"
"To talk. Just…talk. So, anything strange happen-wappen lately?"
"No, nothing."
"But…that can't be! Think harder, and don't just acceptaru what you see at first glance."
"I told you, there's been nothing. My research is going as smoothly as can be. 'I'll soon show all those fools who ousted me from academia!'"
"Whataru? What's this 'academia'?"
"I'm not sure. But it's something that's frequently exclaim-waimed in these sorts of situations. I read it in the Tribune. It's supposed to sound cool."
"Is…is that so? But it's not your research-wesearch I was talking about–"
"There's been nothing unusual."
"Oh…really? …I see."
The conversation died out after that.
Left with nothing else to say, Hotcha-Motcha promised to pay his respects once more, then returned to Western Adoulin.

The day ended, and there was no new pouch containing kukuru beans.
But starting the next day, even more strange things began to show up on the shore.

Maple sugar.
Sheepskin parchment.
A scarlet ribbon.

Lining all the items up on the table in front of her, Lorelili folded her arms across her chest.
"There's something-womething odd about all this."
The cold, logical, scientific gears of Lorelili's brain clanked in calculation.
At first glance, none of the items had anything in common.
But she had a feeling there was some unseen thread connecting them together, if only she could find it.

"Hang on. All this needs is one more thing… Could it be that this is–"
She was hit with a sudden revelation, and checked the calendar in her notebook.
"It's been half a year since I came here, so right now it's the second-wecond month of…"
The answer came to Lorelili's head in a flash.
"Wait a minute. If I'm rightaru–"

That night, Lorelili pretended as if she were returning to the mainland, and then hid herself in the grove of trees.
After a while, she saw her little Mithra assistant approach the shore and leave something behind before skulking off into the shadows.
When Lorelili picked it up, she saw that it was a bottle of Selbina Milk.
"I knew it!"
The items weren't washing up on the shore. They were left there every night, just like this.
"He must be the puppetarumaster who told that child to do this. I wonder, what was he planning on doing if I never made the connection-wection?"
Lorelili let out a deep sigh.

The next day, she invited Hotcha-Motcha to her Mog Garden once more.
"Hello, hello! Thanks for inviting-witing me! So what is it? You mentioned there was something you wanted me to see…"
Hotcha-Motcha arrived, looking strangely excited and expectant.
"Have a look at this," said Lorelili.
She pointed at the table that had been placed on the shore.
On it were four pouches of kukuru beans, a pot of maple sugar, a sheepskin parchment, a scarlet ribbon, and lastly, the bottle of Selbina Milk from the night before.
"…Huh? Why haven't you done anything with–I mean, nothing…nothing-wothing at all. Never mind."
"These are all flotsam that washed up on the shore. Strangely enough, though, they're the perfect batch of ingredientarus for making chocolate. It's as if someone were telling–nay, demanding-me to make some."
"R-really. All these, eh? On the shore-wore, you say."
"But you know what? I've never cooked before in my life."
"On the other hand, you went to culinary-wulinary school, as I recall. Right? Here you go!"
"The milk will spoil if it's not used. And it would be a shame to wastaru it."
"Y-you want me to make the chocolate-wocolate?" stammered Hotcha-Motcha.
"Yes, that's right. Go on! Oh, and you know that crystal, for when you're making something especially precious? I think it'd be a good idea to use that as a finishing touch."

Hotcha-Motcha's may have tiny hands, but they were dexterous beyond belief, which ensured the heart-shaped chocolate he crafted was of the highest quality.

"Okay, now use these!"
Lorelili held out the sheepskin parchment and scarlet ribbon.
"You want me to wrap it, too?"
"That's rightaru. You're clever with your hands, aren't you, Hotchmo."

Neatly wrapped, the heart-shaped chocolate became the most darling gift you ever did see.
"I-is this okay?" asked Hotcha-Motcha.
"Yes, it's excellentaru! Great job!"
"Um, so…can I ask-wask what you're going to do with that?" Hotcha-Motcha asked nervously.
Lorelili smiled impishly.
"Do you want it?"
"Today's Valentione's Day, isn't it?"
"B-but…I'm the one who made the chocolate-wocolate!"
"Well, if you don't want it, perhaps I'll give it to my hard-working little assistantaru Kuyin, or maybe to the moogle…"
"W-whoa, whoa, hold on a minutaru! I do! I do want the chocolate!"
"Then here. I hope you appreciate it. It's handmade, you know!"
"I should know, my hands were the ones that made it!"
Lorelili, seeing Hotcha-Motcha was on the verge of tears, stuck out her tongue sheepishly. Perhaps she had overdone the joke a little.

"But if I had made it, it would've turned into something more like a sweet drink that may or may not make you stronger– would you have preferred that?"
"Is that even safe-wafe to drink?!"
"That's why I'm giving you this chocolate instead."
"*Sob* I never thoughtaru I'd end up receiving a chocolate-wocolate I'd made with my own hands and put my own name on…"
"It's your faultaru for cooking up such a roundabout scheme and dragging poor, little Kuyin into it."
"Come on, dry your eyes. I may not be able to make chocolate, but I can manage-wanage to brew up a cup of tea. It's a bit early, but let's have teatime."

Lighting the spirit lamp, Lorelili boiled water in a beaker and made some chamomile tea.

From the odd way she prepared the tea to the awkward pouring of it, it was quite obvious that Lorelili had no culinary skills whatsoever. Equally obvious was the worry on Hotcha-Motcha's face.
Yet, as they watched the sun set into the western sea, he mustered the courage to declare her tea some of the most delicious he had ever imbibed.

Such a simple-wimple creature, Lorelili thought to herself…while secretly vowing to remember Hotcha-Motcha’s next birthday.


Story: Miyabi Hasegawa
Illustration: Mitsuhiro Arita

Category: News

This content copyright Square Enix.