It would seem I've taken my title a little too literally this time around. I hadn't meant to blow this off for the last month. Better late than never, though, right?
Now that I'm finally back, it's off to the town of Gust. When you get there, about half the people in town are going bonkers for some reason. It turns out there's a plant growing in the valley north of town that's sending out pollen that causes madness in some people. But that's an issue for later. What needs to happen now is entering a cave with a metal door.
In this cave, there's some pretty decent enemies, including ones called Warlocks, who seem like somewhat weaker versions of the Wizard at Karma. Worse are the Rogue monsters that guard the cells in the cave. Head to the right, passing the first bunch in favor of the next one you come to. These'll have breakable walls at the back, but you'll have to tackle one of those Rogues mentioned before. I say that because these things can lay some serious hurt on the party. Given that I tend to be kind of bad at managing my inventory, it's for the best that I tried to face only one.
Get past that and go up the stairs behind the wall. Corte, one of Jade's henches is up there, and as soon as he sees you come up the stairs, he throws a shrinking potion on you. It works, which means the party needs to find a cure for this. There's a mouse hole you'll need to go in and kill off some cockroaches so the mice can have their cheese to eat in order to get the potion. The fight with the roaches was a real reminder that I need to get better armor for Nina and Bleu because the ladies just got their asses kicked a little easily for what was supposed to be a moderately difficult fight at best.
Once the roaches are gone, the mice will give you the cure for the shrinking potion. There were two chests available, and given my luck, I happened to pick the one with the cure in it first, which was the one on the left. Since doing so pretty much auto-controlls the party out of the mouse hole, I'm hoping I didn't need what was in the other box. At least I was smart enough to use the free inn the mice had in their hole before I got the cure.
The only option once that little side quest is done, the only option is to go down a second set of steps after Corte. He's in a room full of floating saucers over lava. With him is a monster he made from a guy from Gust who went in to see what was making the villagers crazy. Corte tells you you're toast and leaves, but this boss is kind of easy. Beat the monster's ass and he turns back into a normal guy. Nina tries to use a cure spell on him, but it doesn't work, so two of the male heroes haul the dude back to Gust. Bleu takes a moment to get catty with Nina about it before they follow the guys.
Back in town, the dude's girlfriend gets understandably pissy when she finds out that you essentially kicked the crap out of her man, even though it was kind of hard to avoid doing. Bleu looks the guy over and says she can make him better but needs Oil of Frog to do it. She leaves the party for a bit and forces everybody else to go get the stuff for her.
But since it's not really explained where I might need to go to do that, it'll have to wait until next time. See you then, in issue #18: Looking for Slippy Toad!