The burden of duty and the thoughts of the future of one's nation can weigh heavily on anyone's mind, much less the mind of Melvien de Malecroix, leader of the Order of Woltaris and Minister of Finance for the Sacred City of Adoulin. In his personal reflections, the young Elvaan relates to his wariness towards the adventurers of the Middle Lands and to Princess Arciela, as well as his feelings of the future of colonization of Ulbuka.
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From the official Seekers of Adoulin site:
Seeking fame and fortune in the far West, adventurers flocked to the Jeuno Chamber of Commerce and Industry to seek safe passage to Adoulin, a land of intrigue and innovation.
Yet the incomplete warping technology left them stranded in the Ceizak Battlegrounds, where they were pointed in the right direction by a young woman named Arciela. Upon arriving in the fabled city, they registered as official pioneers with the eponymous Pioneers’ Coalition, starting their new life as servitors to the city.
The newfound pioneers’ exploits in the wilderness had caught the eye of Adoulin’s ruling class. After an important assembly discussing the future of the city, the council held a grand feast to which they invited those recognized as making particularly valuable contributions. Yet another unexpected meeting waited the adventurers.
One with Arciela V. Adoulin.
And so the wheels of fate began to grind, slowly but surely, toward an uncertain future.
Melvien’s Personal Reflections: The Council Meeting and its Aftermath
It’s not that I find writing particularly disagreeable—it helps me collect my thoughts and spur on my memory—but all day I am strangled by official proposals, financial forms and governmental applications. Such stuffiness requires perfect precision, right down to the final stroke of each unsmeared letter.
That’s why I enjoy taking the time to collect my thoughts in a more informal manner at the end of each day—particularly those relating to colonization and pioneering.
I’ve no intention of showing this to anyone else. No, some of what I write here must never be made public. But I must record it, lest it weigh heavy on my mind.
I wonder what my reaction will be when I read this five, ten years down the line. I pray that our efforts toward opening up Eastern Ulbuka will have progressed, and inroads to the continent will have been secured.
The Pioneers’ Coalition came to me today with an update. Over the past month, their efforts have succeeded admirably; having given them free reign over the national coffers, I am pleased to see that they have not let even one coin go to waste. I must confess, though, that the majority of the burden has been borne not by our own native sons, but these battle-born adventurers from the Middle Lands who have come here to claim the moniker of “pioneer.”
There is, however, another thorn in my side—those who oppose colonization. They make quite a lot of noise, when in reality they are but a paper tiger; after all, of Adoulin’s Twelve Orders, only four growl in protest. The most effective way to silence them is to continue making inroads, to continue opening up the continent.
Adoulin is oft thought of as a big city, but its walls are beginning to burst as the population surges to previously unthinkable levels. The island is quite resource poor, providing sustenance for only a modicum of its citizenry, and prospects for securing a more stable food supply are grim. Those pitiable fools complain about living in harmony with the land and respecting the sanctity of the forest, yet they ignore the wails of the citizenry as they cry out for succor. Without the bounty provided to us by Ulbuka, how are we supposed to persevere?
Yet I must remain objective and not let my emotions control me.
Will Adoulin flourish as one of the great nations of Vana’diel? Or will it be relegated to a single footnote in the annals of history? The actions of those from the Middle Lands may decide the fate of us all.
What was the name of that pioneer whom I met at that dinner in Castle Adoulin? No matter. Of more pressing concern is that they have become a bit too close to the little witch—or rather, “Princess” Arciela—for my liking.
This vexes me, as our dear princess seems to have a strong distaste for our sudden calling—which in itself is surprising, given that it was none other than her brother Ygnas who proposed the gates be opened once more. What piques my interest, however, is that a pioneer could curry favor with the Order of Adoulin. I must let this play out as it will.
After all, the Pioneers’ Coalition is still in its infancy and requires further refinement if it is to fulfill its intended purpose.
Take the Zoldeff River, for instance—the main obstacle that impedes our advance into Foret de Hennetiel. Its waters are too perilous to ford without watercraft, and yet precious few coalition members have acquired watercrafting skills to navigate their way to the other side.
They would do well to learn more from the experiences of our new friends. Perhaps I should inform station and bivouac administrators to that effect...
Bah. These are supposed to be personal reflections, and yet I find once again my pen has turned toward duty over pleasure. I suppose it can’t be helped. There’s too much to do, and only so many hours in the day.
Suffice to say that these pioneers may yet prove their worth, and the bonds they’ve formed with each other will be the biggest source of their strength.
Pioneering, you see, is not something that can be undertaken alone. No...not with what I know about Lhe Lhangavo. For her, each day had been spent mired in regrets and what-ifs, all because she didn’t value those around her.
There is strength in numbers when fighting in uncharted lands. Ironic that it was Lhe herself who rose her voice to lecture us on what she called “the one undeniable truth of the continent” when Ygnas declared that colonization was to recommence.
She had been in such low spirits. What caused her to have a change of heart? “I’m our coalition’s Maester, after all,” she bleated out like a lost sheep, obviously trying to convince herself more than any one of us.
“Together we stand, divided we fall,” was it? Sometimes I wonder if those foreign-born adventurers will become aware of the true meaning of these words.
They must, or they shall find themselves suffering the same fate she did...
Melvien de Malecroix
Story : Miyabi Hasegawa
Illustration : Mitsuhiro Arita