Roiling Thunderswift Lord
Albert and Mina are visiting Auguste to learn how the Kingdom of Levin can boost its tourism. After Albert tweaks his overwrought itinerary according to the crew's critiques, he invites them to test out the new and improved plan with him and Mina.
The sun shines brightly on another beautiful summer day. Albert soaks in the rays as he gazes at the sea. Its waters are so clear one can see straight to the bottom.
Albert: Who knew watching the tide could do wonders for stress relief?
Mina: You're so right.
Albert: It's no surprise this sea ranks number one among Auguste's tourist spots.
Some girls enter the water and start splashing each other with delight. Their shrieks of laughter reach the ears of Albert and Mina on the beach.
Albert: Look at them, Mina. They're having the time of their lives.
Mina: I wish people who visit Levin could have just as much fun.
Albert: Auguste holds a wealth of information on tourism. I hope we pick up a few pointers during our time here.
Albert and Mina aren't visiting Auguste simply to relax and get a tan.
The Kingdom of Levin is still rebuilding, attempting to entice travelers with local offerings of grape liqueur and hot springs.
However, results have been mixed at best, and the tourism office is scrambling to find ways to bring in more visitors.
One idea put forth is to learn from the success of others, and there's no better success story than the resort isles of Auguste.
Albert and Mina plan to share what they learn in Auguste with the folks back in Levin.
Mina: We've pored over all the pamphlets and books written about Auguste before coming here.
Mina: But there are so many points of interest to investigate. How do we even start?
Albert: Have no fear, Mina. I know better than to dive headfirst into Auguste without a plan.
A victorious smile crosses Albert's face as he pulls out a thick stack of papers and hands it to Mina.
Mina: What's this?
Albert: A compilation of the action committee's thoughts and suggestions organized into a single itinerary that's guaranteed to generate a fun vacation.
Albert: I revised it last night.
Mina: It's so easy to follow...
Mina: Every landmark and establishment we should visit is sorted into specific categories like culture and history!
Albert: I wouldn't exactly say we're accustomed to taking vacations.
Albert: But if we stick to this itinerary, we'll become masters of all things Auguste by the time we leave.
Mina: I expected nothing less from our leader.
Albert: Let's not ease up, Mina. When travel time between islands is factored in, this schedule gets tight.
Albert: One could argue our stay in Auguste will be as challenging as a skyfarer's daily training regimen.
Albert: Vacations must be approached with utmost diligence.
Lyria: Hi, Albert! Hi, Mina! Did you two come to enjoy the beach too?
Albert: Well, isn't this a surprise. We didn't know you guys were in town either.
Albert: We're here to enjoy everything Auguste has to offer in order to improve Levin.
Vyrn: Hehe, it's pretty rare to hear Mr. Serious talkin' about havin' fun.
Mina: How rude...
Lyria: What's that big stack of papers for?
Albert: Oh, this? It's a detailed itinerary designed to squeeze out every drop of entertainment in Auguste.
The crew flip through the pages with great interest, but they end up frowning as they read.
Choose: This is supposed to be a vacation plan?
- This is supposed to be a vacation plan?
- It doesn't even have beach volleyball!
Albert: That's right. It was formed with everyone's input. Pretty good, huh?
Lyria: Um, how should I say this...
Vyrn: Just give it to 'em straight, Lyria. They've got this Auguste vacation thing all wrong!Choose: It doesn't even have beach volleyball!
Vyrn: Uh, that's not the problem, buddy!
Lyria: Vyrn's right! Poor Kyuta and the other kappa will cry if you don't try their kappa rolls...
Albert: Beach volleyball and kappa rolls? Sounds like I need to rearrange the schedule to slot those two things in.
Vyrn: Wait, wait! That's not the point!
Vyrn: You don't get it! Your novel of a plan defeats the whole purpose of having fun in Auguste!Continue 1
Mina: What! How dare you talk back to the leader like that!
Albert: Easy now, Mina. We're here to study Auguste after all.
Albert: Vyrn and the others are connoisseurs of Auguste. Why shouldn't we take advantage of their knowledge?
Mina: Yes, but...
Albert fetches a pen from his satchel and turns to (Captain) and company, ready to take notes.
Albert: You're saying the itinerary is flawed. Can you tell me specifically what's wrong with it?
Vyrn: Erm, well...
Vyrn: Just look at how you split up these activities. Culture, history, business...
Vyrn: It sounds more like a study plan to pass a test, not a list of fun things to do.
Albert & Mina: ...!
Vyrn: It's too by the numbers, y'know? When I think about havin' fun, I picture myself cuttin' loose.
Albert: So I should be more flexible.
Lyria: Mm-hm. For example...
Lyria: When Lancelot and the other knights are in Auguste, they go all out playing beach flags.
Vyrn: Somethin' tells me they're not thinking about history or whatever while they're grabbing for flags.
Lyria: As for Kolulu and her group...
Vyrn: They only had one goal: chowin' down on delicious sushi in an eating contest.
Lyria: Let's see, who else... Cailana spends all her time surfing.
Vyrn: And Elmott's mannin' the beach house like he always does.
Lyria: His new hellgrilled searoast is amazing!
Albert: Heh... I see. So that's what having fun in Auguste means to you.
Albert's pen flies across the paper as he listens to the crew's various experiences.
Eventually he stops writing.
Albert: This time I'm sure I've come up with the perfect recipe for getting the most out of Auguste!
Mina: Yes! And once we put your new itinerary in motion, we'll have lots of examples to present to the action committee.
Albert: Say, (Captain). If you guys aren't busy, would you like to test this plan out with us?
Albert: You will? Thanks!
Albert: Now that we've got everything settled, let's not waste any time.
Albert: We'll follow this plan accordingly and really cut loose!
Vyrn: Um, how do you cut loose when you're bound to a plan?
Albert: That's... That's a good point! But how am I supposed to be spontaneous?
When Lyria sees Albert furrow his brow and cross his arms, she has to speak up.
Lyria: I don't think you have to worry about it so much.
Lyria: Once you start having fun with everyone, everything will work out just fine!
Albert: I do see the logic in that. In that case I should focus on enjoying myself.
Albert: Vacation days are hard to come by, so the name of the game is to stop overthinking and just have fun!
All Three: Yeah!
Albert looks at the revised itinerary with excitement.
He's confident his time in Auguste will translate to a prosperous future for Levin.
A Night to Remember
Albert takes a break by himself after a long day of fun spent with the crew and overhears a pyrotechnic master and his protege talking about fireworks. When Albert asks if he can join their conversation, the master offers to show him a private fireworks demo.
Albert: Oof, my legs...
Albert has been out all day with (Captain) and company.
Today's selection of nonstop activities has drained his energy. He's come to a beach house to recharge by himself.
Albert: ((Captain) and the others have tons of pep. It's like they were born to party.)
Albert: (Heh, but honestly I can't remember the last time I laughed so much.)
Albert: (I'm glad I asked them to partake in my vacation plans.)
???: How's this, Master? I want to breathe new life into our fireworks displays.
???: Oho, I know something's brewin' when you get that look on your face.
Albert perks up when he accidentally overhears some people mention a fireworks display.
Albert: (Fireworks draw the biggest crowds to an already packed Auguste.)
Albert: Excuse me. I don't mean to be rude, but I couldn't help overhearing your conversation. Are you fireworks experts by any chance?
Pyro Master: Sure, we happen to be. And you are?
Albert: My name is Albert, leader of the Sky Knights of Levin.
Albert: I came to Auguste seeking ideas to help rebuild my homeland.
Albert: I was intrigued by your discussion of a fireworks display.
Albert: If it's not too much to ask, do you mind if I join your conversation?
Pyro Master: It ain't every day we get a leader of some kingdom's sky knights showin' an interest in fireworks. Grab a seat, friend.
Albert: Thank you.
Albert: Basically I'd like to understand the ins and outs of putting on a fireworks show.
Pyro Master: Wahaha! Hardly anyone ever asks the real questions, that's for sure!
Pyro Master: It's technical stuff. Definitely not something you can explain over a drink.
Pyro Master: Come with me to the launch area, and I'll give you a special behind-the-scenes demo.
Albert: Are you sure? I'd be ever grateful.
Pyro Master: All right. I'd better get everything set up then.
Pyro Protege: Hold your fuses, Master! I'm all for showing Mr. Sky Knight here.
Pyro Protege: But we were in the middle of a conversation!
Pyro Master: Ah, sorry, sorry. So... what were you saying again?
Albert: Something about wanting to breathe new life into fireworks?
Pyro Protege: Yeah, yeah! Picture this: we pump the beach full of music, then shoot off fireworks to the beat...
Before Albert even realizes it, he's managed to acquaint himself with a seasoned fireworks expert and his protege.
If he's to learn the workings of fireworks, he'll have to become a student for a day.
A Night to Remember: Scene 2
The fireworks demo leaves Albert speechless, and he envisions putting on a fireworks display in Levin to raise the people's spirits. Although the master initially refuses to take Albert as an apprentice, he changes his mind when he learns that Albert intends to use this knowledge for Levin's reconstruction efforts.
Gentle waves lap against the side of a boat.
Albert looks up at the starry night sky from his spot on the bow, his eyes bright with wonder.
Albert: It's so dark up there, like a beautiful abyss that threatens to suck me in forever. I've never seen anything like it.
Pyro Master: Wahaha! Just wait till we launch these suckers! Then tell me it ain't the most beautiful sky you ever saw!
Pyro Protege: We're ready to go, Master!
Pyro Master: Good. You might wanna scooch away from the launch tubes, Albert.
Pyro Master: A firework's nothing but a bundle o' gunpowder. Don't wanna take any chances now!
Albert heeds the master's warning and moves a safe distance away from the mortars.
Pyro Master: Here we go! Send up the first barrage!
An aerial shell is swallowed by the dark sky, only to reemerge as an exploding ring of light.
Albert: What a sight to behold...
Pyro Master: Kapow! Boom!
The way the master punctuates each percussive blast with a hearty yell, combined with the stunning array of colors, strikes a chord with Albert.
Albert: (This is what I've been looking for! I want the people of Levin to feel the same emotions I'm feeling right now!)
Albert: (What could be more relaxing than watching fireworks go off overhead while soaking in a hot spring?)
Pyro Master: Now it's time for the big mamas!
Pyro Master: Hey, when you get back, I need you to adjust the copper salt mixture so that the breaks go off more smoothly.
Pyro Protege: Will do.
After the demo concludes and the three arrive back on shore, Albert, who can't contain his excitement, bows to the master.
Albert: I know this is a lot to ask, but would you consider taking me in as an apprentice?
Pyro Master: Huh, wonder if I got wax in my ears. Coulda swore you asked to become my apprentice.
Albert: Indeed I did. I want to learn from you and show the people of my kingdom the wonders of a fireworks display.
Pyro Master: Ah...
The master rubs his head, looking troubled.
Pyro Master: Tell you what, Albert. As a man who's given his life to fireworks, I'm happy to know how much of an impact they've made on you.
Pyro Master: But in this line of work, you can get seriously injured if you ain't got the talent.
Pyro Master: Your health means everything when it comes to protecting your kingdom, am I right?
Pyro Master: Besides, no one can master the ins and outs in just a few days. Sorry, kid, but I gotta say no.
Albert: Please wait!
The master turns around and only manages to take a few steps before Albert quickly jumps in front of him.
Albert: I am fully aware of the risks associated with this job. I assure you I'm not taking this lightly.
Albert: I have to be the one to learn the trade if Levin is ever going to see a fireworks display.
Albert: It's the key to my kingdom's revitalization. I'm certain of it. I don't care how long it takes.
Pyro Master: Hm...
Albert: So please. Will you let me be your apprentice?
The master pyrotechnician can only do one thing in the face of Albert's intensity.
Pyro Master: Wahaha! Never woulda dreamed the leader of sky knights'd be putting his faith in me.
Pyro Master: And what kinda pyro would I be to turn away such a passionate student?
Albert: You mean...
Pyro Master: Heh. I'm a real hard-ass. I'd better not hear any whining later.
Albert: Thank you, sir. I swear on my honor I will give this my all.
Pyro Protege: Welcome to the apprentice brotherhood, Albert. And since I got seniority, you gotta call me Big Bro!
Pyro Master: Pains me to see someone o' your stature get a demotion.
Pyro Master: But there's a pecking order in the pyrotechnic biz.
Pyro Master: Sorry, that's how it is. Can you handle calling me Master and this guy Big Bro?
Albert: Understood. I look forward to learning from the both of you, Master and Big Bro.
Pyro Protege: Aw yeah, Big Bro status! Feels awesome to be at the top for once!
Pyro Master: Little Bro's gonna take your spot if you slack off, you chowderhead! Concentrate!
Pyro Protege: Yes, sir!
And so Albert has taken the first step toward his dream of putting on a fireworks display in Levin.
A Night to Remember: Scene 3
Albert practices making fireworks over several days, and when he finally creates a shell worth showing to the master, the master is so impressed that he plans to use it in a fireworks show scheduled for the next day. However, all the fireworks for the show mysteriously go missing. Albert and the protege frantically search for them; Albert senses something odd in the protege's behavior and threatens him with the Skyblade to tell the truth.
Albert's journey to becoming a pyrotechnician begins with a lesson in fireworks history.
Pyro Master: Fireworks started off as bombs a long time ago. Seems obvious, right?
Pyro Master: Imagine the explosions going off and fires being started in enemy camps. Pretty barbaric if you think about it.
Pyro Master: Well, the years went on.
Pyro Master: People started shooting off fireworks in memory of famine and plague victims. The idea was to lay good souls to rest while warding off evil spirits.
Pyro Master: Times change; cultures change. Fireworks are now a form of entertainment.
Pyro Master: And that's the evolution of these spectacular light shows.
The master laughs sympathetically at the sight of Albert jotting down notes like a mad man.
Pyro Master: You don't hafta remember all this, unless you think people're gonna ask for some reason.
Albert: It's fine. I hardly think a fireworks expert can be called an expert without knowing the history of their craft.
Albert: Besides, I find it very interesting. Thanks for the lesson.
Pyro Master: Wahaha! You'll make a fine pyro with that kinda commitment to details.
Pyro Master: But here's the thing, kid. It ain't as simple as listening to a lecture. You gotta roll up your sleeves and get hands-on experience!
Albert: Absolutely. I'm ready whenever you are.
Albert's practical training begins. He shadows the master, observing the expert at work and asking many questions before trying it for himself.
Albert: (Each shell contains a mixture of various types of gunpowder.)
Albert: (There's gunpowder that launches the shell, gunpowder that ignites the firework, and gunpowder pellets that produce the colors we see, also known as stars.)
Pyro Master: The brightness, colors, and shapes you wanna make depend on the distribution of the gunpowder mixtures.
Pyro Master: Getting the perfect color can take multiple components, as much as over a dozen.
Albert: I had no idea the process was so involved. I guess you could make an unlimited combination of colors.
Pyro Protege: We're just scratching the surface. Fireworks take a variety of shapes, like chrysanthemum, peony, and nishiki kamuro. In other words—
Albert: Stars and breaks have to be packed in a specific manner depending on the effect desired.
Pyro Protege: Surprised? Bet you took one look at the master before and thought, "Gee, there's nothing sophisticated about fireworks at all!"
Pyro Master: Wahaha! Never judge a book by its cover. An artisan has feelings too, y'know!
Albert: That's true, otherwise one can't achieve such stunning displays of beauty.
Pyro Master: Bingo!
Pyro Protege: Hehe. Hey, Albert.
Pyro Protege: Let's make the awesomest fireworks the people are dying to see.
Albert: Yeah, that's the plan.
That night, Albert hones his craft while consulting the notes he took earlier.
It's no easy task balancing the combination of quantity and composition, but he seems to enjoy the challenge.
Albert: (I can tell how much Master and Big Bro love their job from the way they taught me.)
Albert: (It's incredible how two individuals can bring so much joy to many others.)
Albert: Haha. This truly is a remarkable profession.
Albert himself has fallen under the spell of making fireworks, and he spends his days assembling shells.
After a few more days of practicing on his own, he finally creates a firework worthy of critique.
Pyro Master: Oho...
Albert: What do you think?
Pyro Master: This ain't the work of an amateur! Excellent stuff, Albert!
Albert: Phew... I couldn't have done it without you and Big Bro.
Pyro Master: In fact, I think I'm gonna use it in tomorrow's display.
Albert: So soon? I'm not sure that's a good idea...
Pyro Master: What're you mumbling about? Why else did you work day and night on this?
Pyro Protege: Uh, aren't you going a little too easy on him, Master?
Pyro Master: Says who? Albert poured his heart into this creation. You could learn a thing or two from it.
The master places Albert's handiwork in the palm of his protege's hand and unceremoniously walks off.
Pyro Protege: ...
Albert: Big Bro...
Pyro Protege: Hm? Oh...
Pyro Protege: You oughta go after the master. He's got a meeting with the show organizers. Could be a good learning opportunity.
Albert: Okay. I'll do that.
Albert hurries after the master, still concerned by the vacant look on the protege's face.
After the meeting with the organizers is over, the master and Albert check on the shells for tomorrow's event.
They're shocked by what they see—or rather, don't see.
Pyro Master: What in tarnation! All of the shells are gone!
Albert: But we moved everything to this storage shed after drying them in the sun...
Pyro Protege: I'm sorry! I looked all around but couldn't find a single one!
Pyro Protege: Argh! Could they have been nicked? Who'd do such a thing!
Pyro Master: We've got too many expectations riding on us. I can't cancel on tomorrow's audience.
Pyro Master: Search everywhere you can think of! I'm gonna go fetch some more eyeballs!
Albert and the protege rush out of the storage shed as ordered and search high and low.
Try as they might, they find no trace of the missing fireworks. The two feel as if their options are running out as they walk along the beach under the moon.
Pyro Protege: It sucks, but I guess the display'll have to be canceled after all.
Albert: I can't bear to hear it. Haven't you and the master been prepping for this event for a year now?
Albert: I won't let your efforts go to waste. I'll definitely catch the culprit.
Pyro Protege: Oh... I hope you do.
Albert notices how the protege is looking at the ground with a hangdog expression. He lets out a small sigh.
Albert: Why, Big Bro?
Pyro Protege: Wh-why what?
Albert: Weren't you the one who wanted to make the ultimate fireworks for all those who have been waiting in anticipation?
Pyro Protege: Ah, yeah. I did say something like that. But the fireworks are missing, so what's the point?
Pyro Protege: Wh-what?
Albert draws his Skyblade and points it at the sky. The brilliant moon is quickly blotted out by dark clouds.
Pyro Protege: D-dude... What is this?
Albert: Do you honestly believe it's fine to cancel tomorrow's display?
Pyro Protege: Y-you're saying it like it's my fault.
Albert: Tell me the truth, Big Bro, because if you don't...
Albert: All it takes is one lightning strike to burn you to a crisp.
Pyro Protege: Gulp....
Albert: Answer me!
A Night to Remember: Scene 4
The protege confesses to hiding the fireworks because he was jealous of the adulation Albert has been receiving from the master. Albert helps patch things up between the master and the protege, and the fireworks show goes off without a hitch. He watches the breathtaking display, wishing the people of Levin could be there with him.
Pyro Protege: Waaah!
Albert sheathes his sword and places a hand on the bawling man's shoulder.
Albert: I won't be the one to pass judgment, but at least tell me why you did it.
Albert: What happened to your pride as a pyrotechnician?
Pyro Protege: Heh, you're looking at a loser.
Pyro Protege: I've spent all my time making fireworks, but the master never uses any of my stuff.
Pyro Protege: Then you come along, and Master is so quick to add your firework to the show, even though you just started. I was jealous, plain and simple.
Pyro Protege: I mean, what makes yours better than mine?
Pyro Protege: Haha, I couldn't deal with my own suckage. Pretty lame, huh?
Albert regards the crying, remorseful man with sympathy.
Albert: Where did you hide the fireworks?
Pyro Protege: I'll show you...
The two men walk in silence and eventually reach an empty hut not far from the storage shed.
The missing fireworks are lined up neatly, including the one Albert created.
Albert: You kept the one I made?
Pyro Protege: Well, my original plan was to get rid of it, but upon closer inspection, it was pretty good for a first attempt.
Pyro Protege: When I thought about the work you put into it, I just couldn't bring myself to trash it.
Albert: Big Bro...
Pyro Protege: Master's gonna need your help with the show tomorrow, Albert.
Pyro Protege: It won't be easy for one man to pull off on his own.
Albert: What are you going to do now?
Pyro Protege: I can't face him. Sorry, but I gotta skip town.
The man offers a bitter smile and is about to run off into the night.
Albert: So you're just going to give up and run away?
Pyro Protege: Look, I don't got what it takes to be a pyro.
Albert spots a small firework hidden in the corner on a shelf. He picks it up and shows it to the protege.
Albert: Your craftsmanship is far and away better than mine.
Albert: This shell isn't just a symbol of your passion; it's a testament to the skills you've developed thus far.
Pyro Protege: ...
Albert: Leaving before you even get to see one of your creations going off in the sky is the worst choice a budding pyrotechnician can make.
Albert: You are destined to become a pyro. I say you give the master and fireworks another chance.
Pyro Protege: Albert...
Pyro Protege: After what I've done, do you really think I can make amends?
Albert: We all can learn from our mistakes. That's my firm belief.
Pyro Protege: Thank you... Thank you so much... Sniff...
The protege returns to the master and confesses to the deed, then waits for his punishment.
After listening in silence, the master lets out a deep sigh and suddenly grabs his student by the shoulders.
Pyro Master: Oy!
Pyro Protege: Urk!
Pyro Master: Who taught you that stupid crap?
Pyro Master: Who was it? Was it me? Hell no! I'm warning you right now: if you don't figure out how to make our audiences smile, I'm gonna be really mad!
Pyro Protege: Huh? Does that mean—
Pyro Master: Can the waterworks! Your job is to synchronize the fireworks to the music. How're you gonna hear the beat over all that blubbering?
Pyro Master: That was your idea, remember? Well, we're using it. Me and Albert ain't gonna hold your hand. So grow up and take some responsibility!
Pyro Protege: Yes, Master!
Pyro Master: Get the lead out, boys! Those fireworks ain't gonna check themselves for tomorrow's show!
The Two: Yes, sir!
The hours quickly pass by, and the fireworks display is on schedule.
Albert and the pyros stand on the deck of a boat some distance offshore, anxious to start the display. Spectators crowd the beach, staring at the sky with excitement.
Pyro Master: All right, guess it's showtime. Give the organizers the signal.
Pyro Protege: Check!
The protege holds up a torch and a jaunty tune begins to play on the beach. The crowd murmurs with delight.
Pyro Master: Albert! Queue the first barrage with the music and light 'em up!
Albert: You can count on me!
Albert lights the fuses with all the confidence in the world.
The fireworks fly into the air. Sparks explode from their casings, mingling with the stars.
Pyro Master: We're just gettin' started. Don't forget we got a job to do!
Albert: Yes, sir!
The fruits of their labor flicker out of existence in mere seconds, but the results they produce are well worth the effort.
Each explosion elicits oohs and aahs from the captivated crowd. Their smiles are lit with a rainbow of colors.
Pyro Master: Hey, Albert.
As the fireworks go off overhead, the master speaks to Albert, his voice soft and slightly quivering.
Pyro Master: Thanks for what you did last night.
Albert: It was nothing. Sometimes our emotions get the best of us.
Pyro Master: Spoken like a true leader of a kingdom's knights. I salute you.
Pyro Master: In my head I thought of the kid as my successor...
Pyro Master: Didn't even realize how hard I was being on the lad. Hah, who knew training a disciple would be so tough.
The master scratches his head with a sheepish smile. Albert nods, sympathizing with the pyrotechnician.
Albert: It's the same as training in any discipline. You can't expect results in a matter of days.
Albert: Your concerns aren't unique to just you.
Albert: I've seen many leaders, myself included, grapple with this issue.
Pyro Master: Haha, is that a fact? In any case, I think this old goat mighta softened a bit. Thanks!
Pyro Protege: Yo, chatterboxes! Can I get a little help here? There's more fireworks to let off!
Pyro Master: Wahaha! Now the shoe's on the other foot! Let's not disappoint the lad!
A firework bearing the name Auguste Falls lavishes a vivid rain of sparks. From the crowd's perspective, it's like watching a mini meteor shower.
Albert: (Words can't describe this beauty...)
Albert: (I feel selfish for being the only one from Levin to witness this.)
Albert: (I truly wish the people in Levin who are working for the kingdom's sake could see this wonderful spectacle.)
Albert: (Surely there will be an opportunity in the future.)
Albert continues to watch the lights in the sky while thinking about his friends and fellow countrymen back home.
In the waning days of his stay in Auguste, Albert spends every waking moment learning about fireworks to bring back to Levin.