Frostleaf: Learning to Read

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Operator Record
Learning to Read
Frostleaf icon.png

When all's said and done, just what is "a new life" to a roving mercenary?

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Frostleaf to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Frostleaf.
RI Medic icon.png
Medic Operator
Excited Operator
Happy Operator
RI Infirmary
Living Room
RI Corridor
RI Cafeteria
RI Room
RI Training Compound
RI Landship 1
Moved by a song she hears, Frostleaf wants to figure out what the lyrics mean, and learns to read.
<Background 1>
Frostleaf ...We're already done? No missions for me today either?
Medic Operator Like Dr. Kal'tsit said, just be a good patient and get some rest. Your missions can wait till then.
Frostleaf How long are we talking here?
Medic Operator Based on your latest tests... you'll require more than a month to recover from your anemia and malnutrition, not to mention your old injuries...
It's best that you refrain from any strenuous activities until you fully recover. We'll arrange for your rehab too, so you don't have to worry about that either while you rest.
Frostleaf More than a month...? But Doctor, I was hired as a mercenary.
I was told there would be missions for me. I'm here to earn my meals, but instead I'm just seeing a doctor and... resting? I don't have the money to pay for treatment anyway.
Medic Operator Hm? The onboarding contract should've mentioned that the costs of treatment would be deducted from your salary on a monthly basis. Were you not aware?
Frostleaf "Salary"? What's that mean?
Medic Operator Huh? It's your wages, or remuneration? Uh, pay? You know what I mean?
Frostleaf Uh, yeah, I know what "pay" is.
Medic Operator Something's not right here. Didn't HR explain the contract before you signed it?
Frostleaf What's there to explain? I work, you give me money. Back in the unit, those pieces of paper were only to state how many of us there were and how much we'd get paid.
Medic Operator ...No, that's not how it works. I suggest you go back to HR and let them explain the contract in detail. Not just about the money, but other important terms and conditions you need to be aware of.
Frostleaf ......
Medic Operator Hm?
Frostleaf I've had employers who refused to pay before, but you guys...
Frostleaf scans Rhodes Island's massive and sophisticated interior.
Frostleaf I've never seen something so huge that can still move, so you guys can definitely afford it.
I just wish I could get assigned a mission soon, or I'll feel strange...
Medic Operator Why do I feel like we keep talking past each other? If you don't want to visit HR, I can only do my part as a doctor and suggest you to head over, and be sure to note down anything you need to be careful of during your recuperation.
As for now, if you're feeling uneasy, you could always chat with your roommates, or maybe take a stroll on the deck.
There are different facilities and activity spaces on the middle floors, like the Rec Room, the Reading Room... Go take a look, and enjoy your new life!
Frostleaf ......
Medic Operator Hm? Is there anything else?
Frostleaf I just...
Never mind, it's nothing.
Medic Operator Alright, I'll be heading off then!
[The medic leaves.]
Frostleaf (I have nothing at all to do... A month of rest time, to enjoy a new life?...What does that even mean?)
("HR," "Rec Room," "Reading Room." Where exactly am I supposed to find those? I can't even read the signs on the doors.)
<Background 2>
Happy Voice Add flour, then sugar, then stir it all up~
Beagle, make sure not to mistake the fleur de sel for powdered sugar this time!
Flustered Voice I-I won't!
You're the one who brought up the idea of baking Fang a birthday cookie, but yours ended up exploding in the oven!
Happy Voice Hm? No, that was a special surprise~
Serious Voice ...I don't think I'd consider that a birthday surprise.
Happy Voice You say that now, but I remember how much you were laughing!
Serious Voice ...We should keep our voices down. I think we're disturbing that Vulpo over there.
Happy Voice Ah, sorry, mate! Wasn't on purpose! Say, you wanna join us?
Frostleaf Ah, me?
Frostleaf looks at the neatly arranged ingredients not far from her.
Frostleaf I don't get it. With those ingredients, you could definitely make some simpler food that'd take less time and provide more calories.
Why waste so much effort making something so crumbly that's hard to carry...
<Background 3>
Warm Voice Then, what about this scent? Does it help you relax?
It was made with the orchids you grew yourself. From planting the seeds to the first bloom, this fragrance wouldn't have been possible without you tending to them daily.
The Medical Department usually recommends patients come here often, for a stroll. Whether the aromatherapy or the plants, both are beneficial for your health.
Miss Vulpo, you've been standing over there for a while now, is the scent not to your liking? Or would you perhaps like a flower of your own to grow? I can teach you how to take care of it.
Frostleaf No... It smells nice, and light.
And thanks, but even if I learned to grow flowers, I don't see myself doing it much... Flowers aren't really useful for anything.
And even if I were growing wheat, I've never stayed in one place for long, so I wouldn't be the one eating it.
<Background 4>
Frostleaf (I can't understand what these instructions are saying... All I remember is to take three of them every day, and the doctor said it should be after meals? Or was it before? And I have to finish them.)
(There are so many pills... I can't tell them apart, so I'll just take them all together. I've always taken medicine like this, and I always feel fine the next day after getting some sleep.)
Anxious Voice Wait! What are you doing? You can't just mix those pills!
Don't they come with instructions? How could you... Oh... can you not read them? I know, do you have a notebook? I'll draw a visual aid for you!
Rest assured, I've done this for plenty of other operators! Although I'm just a medical intern, I guarantee my drawings are distinctive and easy to understand!
Look, this one means to take before meals, and the empty bowl means to take them after. I hope you know numbers at least? Okay, I'll just write how many to take here!
Frostleaf ...Thank you.
I didn't think to bother you with something so small. Usually I figure this stuff out on my own.
I'll remember all this, so don't worry, I won't be bothering you anymore.
<Background 3>
Frostleaf (Okay, there's a red flowerpot here, and the plant in it is half-withered and has short round leaves. This is where I get treatment. The word on the doorplate looks like a tail, I'll remember that.)
(Turn right, and go straight in when I see a red door. Then turn left at a blue door. There should be a shelf nearby, where the plants have drooping leaves, and that's where I get my pills.)
(The door with the yellow plants is the Logistics Department for getting daily necessities. The doorplate with words that look a little like two burdenbeasts is the Training Room, where I can do my rehab exercises.
(I can remember all these the old way. I don't need anyone to draw me a map. People who rely too much on others always end up being left behind by their teammates, sooner or later.)
(The faster I learn all this and meet their goals, the sooner I can get back to the battlefield and work.)
Excited Operator We got approval from Logistics? That's great!
We can finally get rid of all these old doorplates! And those flowers; it's so hard to grow them without any sunlight in here. Like I've been saying, we should've just given them to the operators to grow themselves!
Happy Operator Alright, let's get going and grab our stuff from Logistics so we can clean this place up properly!
Frostleaf ......
<Background 5>
Frostleaf (...When will I be considered well enough to start going on missions?)
(I'm a mercenary, aren't I? I've been here so long, and what am I doing? I spend my days making sweets, growing flowers, and being dragged off to pet small animals... What use is all this?)
(I'm supposed to be fighting for them, but it seems like they don't need me at all. And I'm pretty much useless at anything else: whether taking my medicine or finding my way around, I always end up needing somebody's help.)
(...What exactly am I here for?)
Her roommates are all out on missions, and Frostleaf is alone in the dormitory with a pile of small gifts from operators she doesn't know.
There are a few books and brochures she can't understand, some snacks, a few potted plants, and a pair of headphones. Compared to the packages she would receive as a mercenary, they were both more expensive and less necessary.
Frostleaf puts on the headphones like she had seen someone else do before, as if they could isolate her from all the annoying things in the outside world.
A soothing rhythm and constant humming combine with some incomprehensible words, and Frostleaf hums along with the melody.
Frostleaf ...Hm–hmm♪♪
Phew... I think I've calmed down.
<Background 6>
Frostleaf ...Hm–hmm♪♪
......I am♪♪
(I can't understand the rest.)
Medic Operator Frostleaf, I think that's enough training for today. Any more practice might put a strain on your body.
Jessica You're so strong, Frostleaf... You're in the middle of recuperating, but I still can't keep up with you sometimes.
Medic Operator Jessica, she won't be able to practice with you any more for today.
Jessica Gotcha, I'll do my best on my own!
Frostleaf The methods us wandering mercs use are definitely different from yours, but you're strong too.
Jessica You really think so?
Frostleaf The doctor must also be able to tell you're getting stronger, since she's giving me less and less time to spar with you.
Medic Operator Right, which is why I must always be here to observe. Over here, Frostleaf, I need to collect some post-exercise data.
By the way, are you listening to music? I've seen you with headphones on a lot lately. Have you finally found something you enjoy?
Frostleaf Uh... it's okay? I just feel less on edge after listening to this song.
Medic Operator Don't worry, your body is recovering much faster than we expected, so you might even pass the next physical exam.
Frostleaf For real?
But♪...yesterday...shed tears...♪
Chasing♪...throw away...♪
Medic Operator Seems like you're in high spirits. I got the data I needed, so I'll get going! We're always so busy over at Medical. Just get a bit more rest and you'll be good to go.
Frostleaf Uh, Doctor, I want to ask, do you know this song?
Medic Operator What song? ...No, I've never heard it. Why?
Frostleaf I just wanted to know what it's about. I feel like it's a peaceful story.
Medic Operator I think there's some sort of book sharing session in the activity room right now, maybe you could join them?
Frostleaf ...Forget it, I've never needed to read. I just wanted to know what the song is about.
Medic Operator Hm... Then I recommend you head over to the reading room. They have some dictionaries you could borrow. Would you like me to take you? Do you know the way?
Frostleaf ...I would, if they didn't replace all the plants and doorplates.
Medic Operator Hm?
Frostleaf Nothing! I can go by myself, thank you!
<Background 5>
[Frostleaf shifts through a dictionary's pages.]
Frostleaf *muddled pronunciation*? or is it *muddled pronunciation*?
A word that looks like weeds, and behind is a hook that looks like a tail... Does this mean "starry sky"?
*muddled pronunciation* ..."lost"..."witness"......
"Tears drunk, look at lost starry sky, light up, passing by crazy young people"......
"Sad light, but it can't be done, throw it away, throw it away, dance and cry"?
I've written down the meanings of each word, but what does the line actually mean...?
Is it even meant to be understood? Or did I read it wrong? But that's what it says in the dictionary, so there shouldn't be any problems.
What's going on...
Tears drunk–♪♪Throw away, throw away, dance and cry♪ Um...
...That sounds so weird, and so bad! There's no way they sung it like that. Now I'm even more annoyed!
...I really can't do a single thing right.
Frostleaf throws off her headphones in a huff, and a fragmented voice seeps out from the earcups, floating into her ears.
Frostleaf ......
I don't believe it.
The gifts from her fellow operators were still piled up on her desk, and Frostleaf takes out a vocabulary book she'd put away in a drawer.
Frostleaf "I, eat, biscuit. Subject, verb, object."
"I happily eat, the, delicious biscuit. Adverb, article, adjective."
"...Using modifiers can make your sentences more rich and complete."
Then that "tears drunk" is actually...
"Drunk on tears"? If I add the words before it, "Why not," then it becomes "Why not get drunk on tears"? It's still a weird sentence, but kinda... beautiful?
[Frostleaf shifts through the vocabulary book's pages.]
Frostleaf Oh, I read this wrong earlier, this word is supposed to be "review" –why do they look so similar? "read, review, browse," They have similar meanings, and this one looks like a flying fowlbeast.
A flying fowlbeast...? Wait, is this the one from the doorplate? ..."Reading Room," a place where you can read books. Oh... so that's what it means.
And that word from the other day that looks like two burdenbeasts, is "prohibited," and that means... "not allowed."
This one is "movie," the thing they invited me to last time. And "catalog," I've seen this in the cafeteria and infirmary... I got sidetracked. Let's move on.
...Alright, so this line could mean something more like "We frantically spend our youth, trying to light up the night sky."
"So why not we get drunk on tears, and pretend to be a cluster of lost stars."
"Yet we hope to illuminate the other sky."
Huh... I still don't really get it. Why did they say "Don't look at me, I am just a disappointed person, trying to get you back" at the end?
What does that have to do with the stars, the night sky, getting drunk, and being young? The last few lines sound more like what Tom said to Katy after they broke up and he was trying to get her back...
I don't get it... what does it mean?
Frostleaf lies on the dormitory floor, her gaze wandering aimlessly across the notices and posters put up by her roommates on the walls.
Frostleaf Hmm...?
"Reading Room," "prohibited," "food and drink," "next week," "movie to watch," "catalog."
Is that what it means? The words I got wrong earlier are here too...
Woah, I can understand it?
We frantically spend our youth, trying to light up the night sky♪
So why not we get drunk on tears, and pretend to be lost stars♪
Yet we hope to light up another sky♪
It sounds so different now, like the words I heard the other day in that movie...
<Background fades out and in>
Frostleaf I finally finished checking all of it, and it doesn't seem that complicated. Seems like its just about romance?
Sounds like a young person wanting to get back together with their lover after they broke up, and they feel like a lost star...
But I don't get what it means to light up the sky... Why would they want to do that?
Frostleaf puts away the vocabulary book in her hand, and crumples up several sheets of paper.
She stretches her neck, and walks out of the dormitory, where she had been for a long time.
<Background 3>
The hall outside is still a hall, and the room is still a room, but–
"Instructions for Rhodes Island Operators"
"Today's Cafeteria Menu, featuring a Leithanian head chef!"
"Oranges sent from home, feel free to eat them!"
"Don't forget about the event in Perfumer's garden today!"
"The snack shelf has been restocked!"
She suddenly realizes she can understand all these previously meaningless symbols. The doorplates, the menus, the notices, they all have their own meanings.
In a way, it felt as if she suddenly belonged here.
[Jessica tries to catch up with Frostleaf.]
Jessica Oh, Frostleaf! Where are you headed?
I, I... Hold on, Frostleaf, wait up!
<Background 2>
Frostleaf ..."Rec Room"!
<Flashback starts here>
Kroos Like I was saying, Frostleaf, you put too much flour in, and now the meringue has collapsed and the biscuits are gonna come out real hard!
See, just like I said, right?
Beagle But you did great for your first try!
Fang Want to taste it yourself?
Frostleaf ...Oh, man! It really is hard as a rock!
Kroos Pfft, hahaha.
<Flashback ends here>
Frostleaf The meaning of "Rec Room" is... a super hard biscuit.
Frostleaf opens her vocabulary book, and next to the words "Rec Room," draws a circle that could be seen as a biscuit with three small figures crowded together.
<Background 3>
Frostleaf ......"Garden"!
<Flashback starts here>
Perfumer You were called Frostleaf, yes?
I don't know the meaning behind your codename, but it reminds me of the autumn leaves after the frost descends. Mm, a beautiful image.
Try smelling this fragrance, does it make you feel like you're in a maple forest with snow falling everywhere?
Frostleaf Mm... smells refreshing... and like dry leaves?
Perfumer That's right, I concocted this one based on your name. It's alright if you didn't enjoy yourself today, but if you ever do spark an interest, you're always welcome.
<Flashback ends here>
Frostleaf "Garden" means... a maple forest after snow has fallen.
Frostleaf flips through the vocabulary book, finds the word "Garden," and draws a maple leaf next to it.
<Background 4>
Frostleaf ......And "Cafeteria" is......
<Flashback starts here>
Hibiscus If you can't read the medication instructions, then what about the menu?
Here, I'll explain it item by item. They have separate sections today: this side is by a Victorian chef, and that side is a Columbian chef. They both taste pretty good!
But you–you should eat from this section, where the food is both delicious AND nutritious!
I'll read out the menu, and then you can decide what to eat, okay?
Frostleaf Thanks...
<Flashback ends here>
Frostleaf The "Cafeteria" is a place where I can fill my plate up everyday, with the diagrams Hibiscus drew for my pills.
Frostleaf draws a plate of food and a piece of paper covered with words.
Originally full of messy notes, page after page of the vocabulary book is filled with variety of small doodles, as if each word has taken on a new meaning.
Jessica Frostleaf!
[Jessica catches up with Frostleaf.]
Jessica Frostleaf–! Don't run away–the instructor told me to tell you we can ramp up our training exercises tomorrow!
*pant* *pant*...
Frostleaf Jessica, can I borrow your pen again?
Jessica Huh? Yeah, here!
What are you drawing, a... table?
Frostleaf Yeah, on top of it are "headphones," "vocabulary book," and "potted plants."
Jessica What's the small pot and shed next to "wilderness" and the group of people next to "battlefield"?
Frostleaf Ah, that's my life before I came here. We had a shed out in the wilds, and people would look for us when they needed something done. The lucky ones survived, most would never return.
Jessica That must have been hard...
Frostleaf Erm...I don't know, actually. It's always been like that, ever since I was small. I was even a little uneasy coming here at first.
Jessica Um, what did you draw next to the word "hall"?
Frostleaf A crying Feline's head.
Jessica ...Eh?
Frostleaf I need to go training!
And then... I'll look for Kroos and Perfumer. I have to thank them.
And thank you, Jessica! When we're on the battlefield, we'll be epic squadmates!
<Background 7>
[Frostleaf approaches the Rhodes Island landship.]
Frostleaf *pant*...*pant*...I finished the long-distance running mission... I feel alright, not too tired.
My body should be fully recovered by now.
We frantically spend our youth, trying to light up the night sky♪
So why not we get drunk on tears, and pretend to be lost stars♪
Yet we hope to light up another sky♪
Yet we hope to light up another sky♪
Hmm... I guess you could interpret the lyrics this way too.
I'm like that lost star... but I also hope to light up the sky here.
Frostleaf looks up to the sky, the huge ship behind her roaring to life as it prepares to depart for its next destination.
Frostleaf It's time to hand in my application to Dr. Kal'tsit. I'm pretty sure I'm ready to hit the battlefield!
This is what the doctors wanted to see, right? My body's in tip-top shape, and I even gained some muscle.
And with Engineering to help me repair my weapons, hmm... I might be even better in combat than ever!
Dr. Kal'tsit will definitely approve, and I can finally return to battle!
Finally... this is what I should be doing!