Mallea nods, relenting to Cloud's offer, and Chiu happily takes his hoof. They head outside and rejoin the others, Chiu stretching and yawning in the invigorating sunlight. As they come down from the steps, Chiu notices Cutlass and Puddin, as well as Schnitzel and a drenched Plague, who in a rare moment is actually clean. Plague looks like he doesn't know what to do with his life now. Putting that aside, Chiu smiles at Cutlass and her crew. Cutlass notices that Chiu is basically bouncing with joy on each step. "Cutlass. Good to see you're still in the land of the living." She then looks at Cloud as if to say "Have you told her?"
All the while, you head southwest through town, remembering Tranquilino's directions. Cutlass' crew catch up with the Beesting's on what both sides missed of their respective adventures. Along the way, many townsfolk stop and point as they see you with the chickens and ostriches. Many give cheers and whoops as they see the massive flock of freed birds. Even without a translator, it's plain to see they're giving you thanks.
Eventually, when you reach the farmlands, many of the workers put down what they're doing, and call over the boss – a mid-sized locust Krikral who you can tell is the leader through his large and distinctive rancher's hat. The birds gather round him without needing to be told, allowing him to inspect them. As he inspects, the boss turns to you. "¿Qué pasó?">>724830
Immediately intrigued, Mallea finishes emptying her dustpan and shakes out her rag. "Of course you'd have to bring it up when I'm all filthy from the cleaning. Just a moment–"
She withdraws from her apron's pocket a small, round pod – about the size of a strawberry – with a clear mixture inside. She drops it on the ground, where it dissolves. A puff of smoke flies up over her, and when it clears, she is clean and presentable.
With her assent, you demonstrate the key's power by inserting it into a nearby door.
Unlike before, where the door immediately opened unto Gullveig's realm, it takes a moment for the door to open. You nearly miss the delay – it can't have lasted for more than a second or less.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk3X2o5Aaxc
But still, the door opens, revealing Gullveig's cluttered shop. Inside, she waits, in her standard Vola form. When she and Mallea lock eyes, Mallea rolls hers. "Couldn't leave well enough alone, you old meddler?"
"If you were competent, I'd need not to interfere," Gullveig smugly retorts. She comes around the counter, offering Mallea a light hug.
Mallea takes the banter well, returning said hug. "I've not seen you in a dog's age. Not since the last–"
She cuts herself off with a look at Thessaly, then at Gullveig.