It may be almost Christmas in the real world, but in the little hamlet of Selphia, spring is about to turn into summer - and to celebrate, the inhabitants are having another one of their seasonal harvest festivals. People from all over town can submit the best of the vegetables they've been lovingly raising all month in a friendly competition to see who's got the greenest fingers. Really though, being the chief farmer of the village - and, for all they know, their beloved royalty - we should have this one in the bag.
But what's our vegetable of choice, we hear you cry? It's the perfect specimen that screams Selphia, but with a distinct touch of 'us' - and one that's sure to get us the prize. Back in our first diary entry, we talked of the town's love for a particular root vegetable, the turnip. But this isn't just any turnip - oh no. It's a glorious Pink Turnip; a tuber of our favourite colour, and one which requires more skill to grow than your average common garden turnip.
So, after many a day of lovingly watering, poking, and admiring our soon to be prize winning turnip, the soon rolled around. The harvest festival was upon us - and without further ado, we wrested Jeff from the earth in which it grew - yes, we gave it a name - and presented it for judging. If you'd been lovingly raising something for a whopping eleven days, watering it every day, you'd have grown attached too. Anyway. Handing Jeff over to Volkanon, we join the crowd and await the results. Or so we thought - but instead of just letting Jeff's glorious pinky tunipy-ness speak for itself, we apparently have to appeal to appeal to the crowd first, like farmers in a beauty pageant, effectively persuading the villagers as to why we should be crowned the spring crop queen.
We kick off our little speech with a crowd-raising "Everybody having fun?!", only to be broadsided by the creepy chef Porcoline declaring his love for us - we try to let him down gently, telling him our "heart knows only crops", but he doesn't seem to take it too well. That might have cost us. Next comes nurse Nancy who, somewhat predictably, asks about the health giving benefits of our wonder turnip. We assure her that, by eating such wondrous root vegetables, "you'll never get sick!', although she doesn't seem all that convinced. We begin to feel what should have been a surefire victory slowly slipping through our fingers, like freshly hoed earth in the wind. Fortunately, good old Dolce's question, where she asks for our opinion on vegetables (to which we declare we "love them"), lets us end on a high note.
But it wasn't enough to save us it seems. With the results comes the shocking realisation that we - me and Jeff - weren't good enough to win the hearts of the Selphians. Dr. Jones won, with a whopping 151 votes, leaving us with our reputation in tatters as the second best farmer in the land. Which would be fine, if it wasn't our main reason for being in the village; our livelihood. And on top of that, the scores reek of cheating, as, unless each person cast a whopping 6.9 votes each, 22 inhabitants does not make 151 votes. We head home, somewhat dejected and comforting poor Jeff, who's glorious pink turnip-ness was wasted on these Neanderthals.
Arriving back at the castle, we decide to have a little chat to Volkanon - perhaps to shed some light on this flagrant fixing of the harvest festival results. Only... the poor guy seems to be in tears. Manly tears. Apparently his beloved 'Jenny' has died - we never knew the guy had a family, the poor thing. Except, as he sobs it becomes apparent that Jenny was never alive in the first place. Turns out Jenny was his favourite farm tool - a fishing rod - and he asks us to make him a new one. While we wouldn't really class that as a farm tool, who are we to deny a guy in his hour of need? To the forge we go...
Rune Factory 4 is out now on the 3DS eShop. If you've already read the other diaries, make sure you check out our full review, parental review, and enter our competition! And check back soon for the final instalment in Sarah's Rune Factory Diaries!