H-h-hello, Mardek. I-it is strange, this adventuring business, is it not? I-I-I am so far out of my c-comfort zone here!
Well, uh, I can take you home if you don't like it...
Oh, my no, I-I-I wouldn't want THAT! I-I-I admit it is n-not in my nature to seek out *thrills*, a-and I am very much the bookish type who p-p-prefers to experience the wildlands in my imagination, but this is an experience that is r-r-rivalled by no other. N-n-not many have such an opportunity!
S-s-so, for the s-sake of s-s-science, I feel it is my duty to o-observe and record all things that I come a-a-across in our journeys! I am l-l-learning more than I ever could from h-h-home!
Well, that's good! But, uh... what about the monsters? You've said before that you don't like killing...
Ah yes. That. A-a-and indeed, I truly d-d-detest violence and killing and all that s-s-stuff that you and Deugan were devoting your lives too, b-b-but... Well, you understand the Miasma theory, d-d-do you not?
It is a theory p-p-put forward years ago by a scientist/wizard type, t-t-to explain the n-nature of monsters. B-b-based on extensive knowledge of science and magic and m-m-much field research, he concluded that there e-e-exists an invisible 'film' o-o-over the whole of reality, comprised of r-r-residual energy from the forging of the p-p-planet.
A-a-amusingly enough, religions have t-t-aught this for centuries. Our s-s-socks flew off so hard when we f-f-found that despite fervent and frequent testing to try to *d-d-disprove* this e-embarrassing confirmation of religious mumbo-jumbo, a-a-ll the tests just added more evidence and s-s-support for the theory. It seems that 'Miasma' really IS real!
M-m-miasma is related to the D-d-dreamrealm... yet it exists b-between this realm and that one, meaning th-th-that it takes on properties of both. When you are i-i-in the Dreamrealm, the e-e-environment is wont to morph and w-w-warp based on your thoughts, a-and the thoughts of others in the material realm. The th-th-thoughts manifest as dream figments.
Miasma is the same, e-e-except the thoughts manifest as 'physical' illusions.
B-b-but they are but mere phantasms! They a-a-are not *alive*, and this clears up many moral quandaries in my p-p-pacifistic mind.
I f-f-fear and hate the idea of k-k-killing innocent living creatures, but monsters are not a-a-alive, and they are e-e-evil. I t-t-take no pleasure in the act of slaying them, and I f-f-fear it as I always have, but I-I-I have been practicing fighting them because I feel it is doing a kindness to the w-w-world.
S-s-so that's that! That's why I'm a pacifist AND why I can slay m-m-monsters with my inventions designed for that specific purpose.
But doesn't 'pacifist' mean 'one who hates violence', and 'violence' doesn't depend on whether the target is living or dead?
This is n-n-no time to get mysteriously clever, Mardek. Those are mere pedantics a-a-anyway! I s-s-stand by what I said.
N-now, o-o-off we go once more!
Heh. I-I-I was just thinking about h-h-how you were when you were but a ch-ch-child, Mardek. So long ago, yet i-i-it feels like just... two or three years ago. Or however long it's been since the l-l-last chapter was released.
Y-y-you have been a good friend to me, a-a-all these years. You and Deugan w-w-were my only friends, in many ways, for m-m-many years... I thank you for k-k-keeping up with my m-madness, though I m-m-miss Deugan almost as much as you do.
Well, I do miss him quite a lot...
I-I-I know you do... I-I-I wish he could be with us now.
B-but it is best not to d-d-dwell... Or n-now is not the t-t-time, at any rate. As I was s-s-saying...
I-I-I used to be respected by the other villagers, b-b-back in the b-beginning. I-I-I was encouraged by my p-p-p-parents and the o-other villagers to continue inventing; they w-w-were eager to see how I could help Goznor w-w-with my science.
B-b-b-but then... *The Accident*... Th-th-that horrible, fateful day... My invention, i-i-it went so wrong, and my p-p-parents, they... they didn't make it! I-I-I *killed* them with my science! I-I-I... I have never got over that.
The others, th-th-they hated me, they shunned me, th-th-they thought that I would k-k-kill them, too... with my inventions. I was ostracised. N-n-nobody would be my f-f-friend anymore... Except you two kind young boys.
Heh. Everyone used to talk about the 'weird, evil madman' who lived on the edge of town. We thought you'd be some mad old scientist with a grey beard and a white labcoat, making monsters or something!
But me and Deugan thought you were just lonely, not evil, and we thought it'd be an adventure to try to see what you looked like, and whether you were as mad as people said, and... yeh!
A-and AM I quite as mad as that?
Heh. I-I suppose I am a bit, eh?
E-e-ever since that incident, I have vowed never to t-t-take another life again... E-e-except I, uh, considered taking my own, a-a-actually. Everyone hated me, I'd killed my parents... why not? I-i-it seemed the logical thing to do.
I-I-I never have properly thanked you for saving me from... a-a-all that, Mardek. Y-y-you were always too young... But now look at you. A noble Knight, fighting for what is Right. I-I-I am glad to have known you, I truly am.
A-a-and on that note, we have more a-a-adventuring to do...!
U-uh, Mardek...? C-c-can we have a private little chat, quietly, s-s-so nobody else can hear?
Uh... okay! What is it?
Uh... I-i-it is embarrassing to mention this, b-b-but... Gloria, that young Shaman, sh-sh-she... she's beautiful! I-I-I... do you think she's noticed me? H-h-has she been looking, or anything? Uh...!
Oh, yeh! She's totally into you!
W-w-what?! A-a-are you being serious?
Well, haven't you seen the way she blushes and stumbles over words around you? I think she's got a thing for you!
A-a-and yet I am f-f-fearful of, uh, p-pursuing this matter... I-I-I am much older than she is, you see. She is... s-s-sixteen, isn't she? A mere child, in many ways, yet I am almost t-t-twice her age...
I-I-I do not w-w-wish to be an old fool and stifle her youth. I-I-I... I only want what's best for her, a-and I do not think that I am it...
Well, I think that she loves you, and that age is meaningless when it comes to love!
S-s-so you think i-it would be okay for a ten-year-old t-to fall in love with an elderly grandmother?
Then p-p-perhaps you are n-not the most sensible ear to i-inflict this issue upon right now...
I-I-I will mull over these thoughts... F-for now, I will k-k-keep things as they are.
Places not listed below
Oh, err, h-hello, Mardek. Anything you need? No? Well, i-if there ever is, j-j-just give me the word, as they s-s-say!
The p-p-people of Goznor never really accepted me, did they, M-M-Mardek? They were scared by m-my experiments over the years, e-e-especially after *The Accident*, so I'm, err, s-s-sort of glad to leave, even though I-I'm also s-s-scared a bit...
S-s-studying the past is crucial for building a b-b-brighter future! M-m-many natural designs of life, found in old fossils, can i-i-inspire modern scientific inventions, you know. A-and learning from h-h-human history tells us what n-n-not to r-repeat.
I-I-I really admire this place, I r-r-really do, yet I do think that m-m-maybe I'd rather travel across the seas on a b-b-big boat, a ship, a feat of magnificently inventive engineering and not just m-m-magic, borrowed from the gods... It would just feel so much more s-s-satisfying, maybe.
Ooh, how f-fascinating! The things you learn about and s-s-see when on Adventures... I only regret that I d-d-didn't travel when I was younger! A-also, I'd be very interested to look at the Library here a-and ask these r-r-reptoids about their scientific knowledge! M-m-maybe we can learn from eachother?
W-w-what is THIS place, Mardek?! It's fascinating! I-i-it looks like a huge MACHINE, but I don't understand what it does! I-i-it seems to be broken... b-b-but if I had enough time, I wonder if I could f-f-fix it?
I-I-I remember coming here once when I was s-s-staring my Metal Man project, t-to learn about what I'd, err, n-n-need to do to get him to live. I-I-I've come so far since then! It's so a-a-amazing to know that that wild idea is now a r-r-reality!
S-s-sorry for getting you into this, Mardek... I, err, know we'd all r-r-rather be somewhere else right now... Th-th-thanks for being such a good friend and helping me s-s-so much, though. I really do appreciate it.
M-my mind feels like it's running at a mile a minute! Ideas are c-coming in from every which way! I-I-I'm thinking steam-powered engines, lava-driven flying machines... S-s-such wild ideas, but I can picture them vividly and I think they c-c-could really work!
Th-th-the elemental temples... I-I-I have read so much about these places! They are l-l-legendary, and now I walk within one... Truly m-m-marvellous!
Water Temple/Fire Temple/Earth Temple (after taking the crystals)
I-i-it is saddening to see such a once-wondrous place like this in s-s-such a state... I-it makes me think deeply about how fragile things are, i-i-including our own lives. Just t-t-take away one critical thing, and everything collapses, d-d-dies.
After *The Accident*, I-I-I wanted to move to Canonia, I was s-s-so embarrassed, and cut off... I-i-if it wasn't for you and Deugan, I would have, and I-I would have given up i-inventing, t-t-too... I'm g-g-glad that didn't happen...