Mulberry: A Prayer for Peace

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Operator Record
A Prayer for Peace
Mulberry icon.png

She used to feel trapped by her ambition, and dared not look back; but now, she hopes to give this blessing and hope to many others.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Mulberry to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Mulberry.
Female Yumenite icon.png
Resque Squad Leader
Male Yumenite A icon.png
Resque Squad Member
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Young Victim
Snowy Mountain Pass
Snowy Mountain Pass Blizzard
During her first official mission with the Chun-qian rescue team, Mulberry is thrust into the middle of an unexpected and severe disaster. In the face of crisis, she overcomes her fears and tackles the job given to her.
L-Let's stop here. This mountain road is so twisty that if we keep driving, we might actually end up closer to those clouds.
Look, everyone else's stopped by the side of the road. There's nothing we can do but pray for the Catastrophe to float past us.
Ning-Ning, don't stick your head out the window. Just hold onto this talisman and keep yourself hidden.
Mom, Dad, is that really... a Catastrophe? B-But... why didn't the Catastrophe Messenger warn us?
Well, there are some disasters not even the Catastrophe Messengers can foresee.
Don't you worry, though, we'll be just fine... You'll get to grow up, Ning-Ning, as happy and peaceful as can be.
<Background 1>
Gu Ning-Ning Woah... The wind's so strong...
Rescue Squad Leader The good news is that the snow's stopped, and once the weather clears up, our search and rescue operation will go much easier.
We're responding to a request by the Chamber of Commerce. According to their information, the last signal from the missing caravan came from their temporary winter camp, two hundred li to the north.
But following the snowstorm last night, communications with the camp were cut off, and we've been tasked with confirming the situation.
Everyone, please double-check your equipment and confirm the condition of your protective gear.
If there are no issues, load everything into the cars. The roads are slippery after it snows, so plan your route accordingly.
Gu Ning-Ning Um, excuse me, am I bringing enough emergency supplies to deal with frostbite and hypothermia?
I don't have much practical experience, so I could only go by the textbook, but I'm not sure if I've overlooked anything...
Rescue Squad Leader This is your first formal rescue operation, right?
Gu Ning-Ning Y-Yes! I'll do my best not to be a burden.
Rescue Squad Leader Haha, don't be so nervous. If you've already passed the training course and become a full-fledged member of Chun-qian, you should be more than prepared for this.
Gu Ning-Ning O-Okay.
Rescue Squad Leader ...Mhm, see, you've got plenty of all the right medicine and equipment.
What's this, by the way?
Gu Ning-Ning Oh, um, that's a letter.
When we left, you said that no matter how simple the operation might seem, we must always be prepared for the possibility of not making it back... So, um, I decided to write a letter to my parents.
Rescue Squad Leader Oh. I didn't mean it that seriously. But still, it's better to be prepared for the worst than not.
[The resque squad leader heats up Ning-Ning's hands with her Arts.]
Gu Ning-Ning ...Hwah?
Rescue Squad Leader Feel that? My hands are pretty darn hot, right? My Originium Arts let me produce a little bit of heat.
I noticed you've been shivering this whole time. Feeling a bit warmer now?
Gu Ning-Ning Oh, umm... Yes, but actually, that wasn't because of the cold...
Rescue Squad Leader Haha, don't worry about it. No need to thank me. If you're feeling better now, then let's get going.
<Background 2>
Rescue Squad Leader The current wind conditions will seriously impact the operation. When heading into the mountains for search and rescue, be sure to closely follow the guidelines and avoid making any rash decisions.
Rescue Squad Member Captain, the snow's starting to pick back up again! This is nothing like the weather forecast!
Rescue Squad Leader The temporary camp is right around the corner. Once we reach it, we'll need to repair the comms station and confirm the situation with HQ.
But, if this poor weather persists...
Gu Ning-Ning ...We might have to put the operation on hold.
Rescue Squad Leader Mhm. It'll delay our entrance into the camp.
??? Anybody... Is anybody there? ...Help...
Gu Ning-Ning Oh, over there!
[The rescue team approaches a young victim of the snowstorm.]
Young Victim ...The rescue team? I, I made it long enough for help to arrive?
...Please! Save my parents! And the others from the caravan! They're still trapped under the snow!
Rescue Squad Leader Don't worry. We're here to help.
Ning-Ning, he has signs of severe frostbite and needs both first-aid and food. Also check him for any fractures since there are signs of having taken a fall.
Gu Ning-Ning Right away!
Rescue Squad Leader Alright, you can relax now. Can you tell me where the other members of the caravan are?
Young Victim I...
(Shakes head forcefully)
...I don't know. Everyone got separated during the blizzard. I walked what seemed like forever, and finally found my way back to the camp alone.
No idea what happened to anyone else...
Gu Ning-Ning Um, to the best of your knowledge, did the blizzard cause an avalanche nearby?
Young Victim I... don't think so? I didn't hear anything like that.
But... I can't say for sure... The wind was so loud, I could've missed it...
No, I'm sure they're still alive! They're all experienced caravanners! There's no way I'd be the only survivor!
Rescue Squad Leader Hmm...
Gu Ning-Ning (The squad leader isn't saying anything.)
(The fierce wind is... so, so cold. My teeth won't stop chattering.)
(With the current visibility, there's no way we'd be able to search for victims, not to mention the risks of heading deeper into the mountains.)
(We can't fly any drones out there, we can't rely on radio signal scans, and we won't be able to see much with our searchlights.)
(But if they are experienced caravanners, they must've done what they could to send out distress signals.)
(If they've been consciously making signal banners, or carrying survival whistles and signal lights with them, they have a very good chance of being found.)
[The victim tries to get up, but Ning-Ning stops him.]
Gu Ning-Ning Hey, don't get up yet! I'm not done with the check-up!
Young Victim I'm already feeling better. I have to go look for them.
Gu Ning-Ning No, don't! You've only just barely warmed up a little!
Also, you've sprained both your ankles! The only reason you don't feel anything is because of how badly frozen they are! Now sit back down!
Young Victim I'm fine, I can handle myself. If you're not going to go rescue them, then I will.
[The patient feels pain that forces him to sit back down.]
Young Victim Urgh...!
Gu Ning-Ning C-Captain, I've gotten the patient under control!
But what should we do...? The missing people are still out there, waiting for our help.
Rescue Squad Leader ...Is the communication base station back in operation yet?
Rescue Squad Member Hold on... I'm getting a signal.
Captain, we've managed to make contact with HQ, but the signal is extremely unstable.
According to HQ's observational analysis, the snowfall will decrease over the next two hours, but beyond that, they can't say for sure.
Rescue Squad Leader That's good enough.
Ning-Ning, stay here and keep an eye on the base station. Fix up the tents around the camp, and move the wounded inside.
Use the transceiver to stay in contact with us. We'll need to make decisions on-the-fly depending on the information we get from HQ.
Gu Ning-Ning U-Understood!
Then, umm...
Come back safe.
Black rocks fall, carving a gash into the mountain.
Sand and stone pour from it like a waterfall, the terrible noise echoing through the valley.
The girl covers her mouth, blankly looking on as the cars on the road across the valley and the houses at the foot of the mountain all become submerged beneath the torrent of falling rocks.
<Background 3>
Gu Ning-Ning Phew... That should do it.
Once the herbs take effect, the swelling should go down quickly. Your body temperature has already more or less returned to normal.
Oh, and you've been in starvation conditions for so long that your stomach might not be able to handle solid food right away. Let's get you a nutrient solution first, to at least restore your energy.
We've also managed to restore comms with HQ, so all we have to do now is wait.
Young Victim Mm... Thank you.
Gu Ning-Ning (...The captain let me stay behind because she saw right away how scared I was.)
(Of course, I realize my role here is important too, and someone has to do it. I don't have enough experience in making snap decisions, so I'm not suited for heading out in such dangerous conditions.)
(But when I heard her give the order, my first reaction wasn't disappointment, but... relief.)
(How can I call myself part of the rescue team like this? What do I have to show my parents, to prove I can go down this career path?)
Oh, um! Excuse me!
Young Victim ...Ngh?!
Gu Ning-Ning S-Sorry! Please don't go to sleep just yet!
We don't have any monitoring equipment on hand, so I have to directly observe your condition for the time being.
Young Victim Oh... Okay. I'm just... really tired. I don't... want to sleep either.
If I fall asleep now, I know I'll have nothing but nightmares.
Gu Ning-Ning Then, um, let's chat a little. My job is just to make sure the communication equipment stays stable, so it won't distract me or anything.
Young Victim That's... not a very encouraging expression.
You're a professional, so give me your honest opinion. It's too late for the others, isn't it?
Gu Ning-Ning Huh? N-No, that's not it... A-Actually, I was thinking of something else entirely.
I'm sorry, I can't believe I let my mind wander at a time like this.
Young Victim Oh, no, I'm the one who should be apologizing.
I can't exactly keep a cool head either. I even blew up at you earlier.
I... I'm just really, really scared.
To be honest, I wanted to prove that I was capable, that I wouldn't hold my parents back. That's why I insisted on going into these snowy mountains with their caravan.
So, if something happened to them... wouldn't that make everything my fault?
Gu Ning-Ning Um, I think... nobody's to blame for the heavy snowfall.
Young Victim But still, I can't help but think that I'm responsible for all this.
If not... who else could I blame? God?
...The wind sure is harsh.
Gu Ning-Ning Mhm... It sure is.
Actually... I think I can relate a little. My parents didn't want me taking this job either. They said it was dangerous, what with how "the elements are unpredictable," and all that.
So I snuck off by myself. All this time, and they haven't even sent me a single letter.
If something were to happen to me, and the letter I left taken back to my hometown... To be honest, I have no idea how they'd react.
...I don't want to think about it either.
[Ning-Ning receives a dispatch.]
Rescue Squad Member Ning-Ning! Ning-Ning! Do you read me?
Gu Ning-Ning Ah, yes, I'm here!
Rescue Squad Member Please report back to HQ: We've found traces of entrapment under deep snow, with thermal imaging signatures from beneath. No response to calls.
We need HQ to help us come up with a rescue plan.
Gu Ning-Ning Got it!
Temperature... Wind speed... Entrapment depth... Snowfall conditions... Okay, I've got everything!
I just contacted HQ, and members from the rear technical team should be on duty right now, so I'll pass on the message!
Also, the snow will intensify again partway through the night, so make sure to come back in time.
[Ning-Ning signs off.]
Gu Ning-Ning Did you hear that? The northwestern team seems to have found someone!
...Oh, asleep already? I hope I wasn't talking too loud.
[Ning-Ning checks the victim.]
Gu Ning-Ning Mm, his vital signs are stable, so it should be fine.
He's earned his rest.
Now to call HQ–
[The signal was lost when Ning-Ning tries to contact HQ.]
Gu Ning-Ning Oh no!
Crap, crap! The signal cut off! That gust of wind just now must've interfered with the base station...
Gu Ning-Ning cannot help but cast a glance at the sleeping victim, and then at the wireless transceiver in her hand.
She is now completely alone, alone with the howling wind.
Gu Ning-Ning (Shakes head forcefully) Stop trembling! Don't you dare! Don't you dare think about calling the others back to bail you out either!
Forget these unnecessary thoughts. Tell everyone there's been an interruption in the signal, then hurry up and fix it!
*exhales*... Okay. Searchlight, protective goggles, non-slip gloves, safety rope. No problems there. This situation was explained in the manual.
Next up is...
Gu Ning-Ning takes out the letter from her luggage and slips it into her pocket.
<Background 4>
[Ning-Ning walks outside the tent through the blizzard.]
Gu Ning-Ning (The camp is sheltered from the wind, but the base station is atop a hill... If I'm remembering right, it should be this way.)
(Ugh... The wind is so strong that I can't see anything but blowing snow in front of me.)
(Oh no... That means the people still out there are in even more danger!)
(That's why... I, I absolutely can't panic. If I mess this up... If I make any sort of mistake...)
(No, stop it! Just watch your step, and don't let your eyes wander!)
...Oh, I think I see the outline of the base station. Good, the damage doesn't look too severe.
[Ning-Ning contacts the squad leader.]
Gu Ning-Ning C-Captain! Reporting in!
There's no sign of external damage to the base station! I'll go check on the antenna!
Rescue Squad Leader Good. Be careful when climbing up there.
Gu Ning-Ning Got it!
Phew... Checking the fulcrum, adjusting the position of the safety rope...
(It's freezing...)
(The moment I looked up, my goggles were completely covered with snow, and I can't see anything...)
(How much further is the top of the tower? How long have I been climbing? In training, I've climbed dozens of meters, but it never felt this long...)
(The support... is it about to get blown over by the wind? Or is that just my legs shaking?)
[Ning-Ning's transceiver beeps as she climbs to the base station.]
Gu Ning-Ning (The transceiver keeps beeping. It should be the teams confirming their safety with one another. If I waste any more time here, am I putting them all in danger...?)
(No, no! What am I thinking? I'm not nervous, I'm not nervous...)
(I just need to figure out how to solve this problem. That's right, I can fix this!)
(The safety rope is secure. I double-checked it before I started.)
(If I slip, I just need to make sure I control my bearings, to minimize the risk of sliding down the hill.)
(Just stay focused and take it one step at a time. Everything will be fine.)
[Ning-Ning made it to the base station.]
Gu Ning-Ning ...I feel it! Reporting in, Captain! I've reached the top!
Now checking the fault light prompts to determine the position of the failed circuitry!
[The squad leader replies.]
Rescue Squad Leader Good. I'm here to assist you in remote troubleshooting if you need it.
Gu Ning-Ning U-Understood!
Rescue Squad Leader Don't panic. We're all relatively safe for now. The second team has located two missing persons and brought them back to camp.
Once you're back, you can divvy up the workload.
You're doing a great job.
Gu Ning-Ning ...Okay!
<Background 3>
Gu Ning-Ning Phew, I've managed to calm this lady down too.
None of the rescue victims seem to be in critical condition, which is great news.
Oh, the sun's rising.
Rescue Squad Member The weather will be clearing up shortly too. Once the sun's out, our rescue operations will be significantly easier.
Hah! I'm feeling motivated again! Let me head out with the third team and see what the situation's like.
Gu Ning-Ning Okay, please be careful!
[The squad member leaves.]
Young Victim ...They're still not back yet?
Gu Ning-Ning P-Please don't get up and walk on your own! I only applied emergency treatment; you'll still have to rest so your injuries can heal.
I'm sure one of us in Chun-qian will bring back good news soon, so please hold on a bit longer.
Young Victim How long has it been since you guys last slept?
Gu Ning-Ning Huh? Umm... Just one all-nighter? It's totally fine. With how dire the situation's been, it's not like I'd be able to sleep anyway.
Besides, saving lives is more important. I think everyone's been pretty tense. Even the ones in HQ's support team haven't had time to rest.
But don't worry, we won't mess this rescue operation up!
Young Victim Mm... Thank you.
By the way, why did you decide to join the rescue squad? To prove yourself to your parents?
Gu Ning-Ning Umm, no, that's not it... It's because when I was very little, I saw a Catastrophe firsthand.
But... I don't actually remember what was going through my head at the time. After all, Catastrophes are still terrifying to me, even now...
[The squad leader enters.]
Rescue Squad Leader Ning-Ning, prepare the warming measures!
Gu Ning-Ning Okay, got it!
Rescue Squad Leader Be careful when moving these two into their sleeping bags. We did our best to keep them warm in the open air, but they're still extremely frail.
Young Victim –Father! Mother!
Gu Ning-Ning So those are your parents! That's great!
Young Victim Thank you so much! Thank you!
Gu Ning-Ning We... managed to save these people.
Right, back then...
The girl thought her father would soon reach over to cover her eyes with his large hand; that her mother would tell her how terrible Catastrophes are, and that children ought not see or think about them lest they have nightmares.
But instead, they sighed and took her hand.
"Ning-Ning, just remembering these Catastrophes is already a very brave thing to do."
<Background 3>
Gu Ning-Ning The only thing I could think of back then was... how scared I was. Sad. Powerless. But I still wanted to remember. I wanted to make the misery brought by calamity less painful.
...That's what my mom and dad taught me.
Young Victim ...Father, Mother, can you hear me?
I'll rub your hands for you, you'll warm up in no time...
Rescue Squad Leader Please stay calm and let us handle the first aid. Your parents still need to rest and recover before they'll be able to respond to you.
And that should pretty much wrap up our search and rescue operation. Judging from the other teams' reports, they've located all the missing persons, choosing the most effective rescue methods for each situation.
Gu Ning-Ning That's fantastic... Looks like this letter won't be needed either.
Phew... Finally, a moment of relief.
Oh right... Excuse me...
Young Victim Yes?
Gu Ning-Ning opens the envelope with her home address written on it.
There is nothing inside except for a small talisman.
Gu Ning-Ning Um, th-this is a kind of protective charm, like a prayer for peace and prosperity.
I hope that you, your parents, and everyone else in the caravan can have a speedy recovery.
I was planning on bringing it back with me, but I think it'd be better to pass this hope on.
And instead... I should probably write a proper letter.