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The crew meets a student named Alistair at the Hall of Knowledge. His provocative arrogance gets him into trouble with a group of ruffians, but (Captain) saves him. When Alistair discovers the crew's destination to be Estalucia, he pleads to come along in order to prove the hypothesis his father never could.
According to rumor, there is a building where one can find information on Estalucia.
(Captain) and the crew are visiting the Hall of Knowledge, which houses the biggest library in all the skies.
Welcome to the Hall of Knowledge. I'm Arusha, the librarian here. Which tome do you wish to find?
Vyrn: Really appreciate the gesture. We weren't sure how we'd get through the mountains upon mountains of books before us.
Lyria: Erm, we want to find books about Estalucia...
Arusha: Hmmm, I see. Estalucia, is it... Yes, that won't be easy...
Arusha: We've been trying to secure tomes pertaining to that island for quite some time now without much luck...
Ooooh my, isn't this wonderful. After being away so long, the smell of pages... It's like I'm home!
Vyrn: Hey, hey! We came here looking for books, remember! There's no time to be soaking up the atmosphere—you've gotta help us!
Arusha: Heehee, indeed. Please wait here a moment. I'll go and have a quick look.
Arusha: I'm sorry to say that our luck in acquiring books on Estalucia hasn't changed a bit.Continue 1
Vyrn: Aww, that sucks, (Captain).
Lyria: Oh well... I guess we'll just have to find the Sky Map pieces and get there the hard way.
Lyria: Huh, what's that? There's so much buzz coming from that direction...
Arusha: It's one of the students here... This library is also an academy that nurtures talented students. They all have brilliant minds.
Arusha: Erm, right now they are having what's called an open debate. This academy is well known for its discussions.
Vyrn: An open debate? What are those? Why hasn't anybody closed it already?
Arusha: Hmmm, how do I explain... They pose arguments and answers to an academic question. Kind of like a battle of wits.
Arusha: Heehee, it seems they're reaching a conclusion.
Alistair: Hmm? Is that all you have to say? I wonder, is it embarrassing for a senior to lose to a freshman like me...
Older Student: You... You might be clever, but you sure are cheeky for a freshman...
Alistair: That's just wrong. Do you not understand? I am Alistair Alethea, and you'll never find a mind more brilliant than mine in the sky!
Katalina: E-excuse me, did you say Alethea? Could you be a son of the noble house of Alethea?
Lyria: Katalina? Do you know something?
Katalina: No, not really... Just that the house of Alethea has produced many great scholars...
Alistair: Heh, glad to know there's at least someone out there with an intellect. Hey, why don't you try and learn from her, "senior"?
Katalina: But rumors speak of how the Alethea family has fallen to ruin...
Alistair: H-how dare you! Who even are you! Are you one of the participants in this debate? If so, I accept your challenge!
Katalina: W-wait, I didn't come here to debate...
Alistair: Ergh, how boring... I never wanted to come to this stupid place... I hate this library...
Alistair grumbles under his breath and walks off, pouting all the while.
The crew gives up on finding books about Estalucia and leave the Hall of Knowledge.
They wander around town, using the time to stock up on foodstuffs. The time to return to the Grandcypher approaches.
Lyria: Huh, that voice... It's Alistair. Is he having another debate?
Vyrn: Maybe, but it sounds kinda weird...
Older Student: Hehehe, you've got some real nerve to embarrass me in front of everyone... A lowly commoner like yourself should know your place.
Alistair: That is unjustified resentment through misunderstanding. It's okay—I'm sure you'll understand if you study a little bit, "senior."
Older Student: Why you... You're sassing me again! Maybe I can fix your cheekiness with a little pain...
Ruffian 1: Gehehe, 'bout time. You're gonna pay us good if we rough him up a bit, right?
Ruffian 2: Gahaha, easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. We could do this all day, every day.
Older Student: I'm willing to forgive and forget if you apologize. Come on now, freshman, speak up. Admit you were at fault.
Alistair: Do you really want to do this? I mean, even if I apologize, it doesn't prove you were right about anything.
Older Student: W-why you! That's besides the point! I just need to best you in something!
Vyrn: Something bad's about to go down... Let's go help out, (Captain)!
(Captain) and company rush over to stand in front of Alistair, each ready to brandish their weapons.
The extraordinary show of fighting spirit strikes fear into the ruffians.
Ruffian 1: W-what! Is this a joke? Nobody told us about any skyfarers!
Ruffian 2: Blast it! This isn't worth getting hurt for! I'm outta here!
Older Student: H-hey! Where are you going, cowards! You can't just change your tune like that! Wait!
Alistair: Pant... Wheeze...
Katalina: Are you okay? You may have overstepped... You know, even if you're correct, being so critical and one-sided will never end well.
Katalina: Haha, but perhaps you can think of it as a lesson learned. It pays to keep an open mind and consider the other party's feelings.
However, Alistair does away with meekness and goes straight on the defensive.
Alistair: I understand, but you are wrong. The way I am is normal in my world.
Alistair: "Always be strong, always be correct, then you will have no problems." That's why my father—
Lyria: Huh? Your father? What does he have to do with this?
Alistair gasps, surprised, then falls silent. But then, his eyes widen with resolve, and he begins to speak from his heart.
Alistair: My father was a brilliant scholar. But at an academic conference, his thesis was met with animosity and complete condemnation.
Alistair: But Father never gave up! He tried to prove his hypothesis by himself, throwing all his funds away, gathering airships and skyfarers.
Alistair: Then he left. He set off for an island. It was his grand experiment, the one that would finally prove his hypothesis correct.
Lyria: (An island? Could he mean...)
Alistair: But, his grand experiment was a huge disaster. He lost not only his fortune and zeal, but the trust of the academic congress too.
Alistair: So the house of Alethea has big hopes for me. I dream of restoring my family, and I'll risk everything to achieve that.
Alistair: I have to find the answer! No matter how much I am resented, or how strong the objections. I will prove the hypothesis correct!
Katalina: So I see now... It explains why you've been working so hard. I'm sorry I admonished you so carelessly.
Lyria: Erm, just one thing! When you mentioned an island... were you talking about Estalucia?
Alistair: Huh? What? No! That's not it! Why do you know about that place! Why!
Vyrn: We're kinda clueless about the place actually, even if we are on a journey to get there. Right, (Captain)?
Alistair: You're kidding? Really? I can't believe my luck! Hey, take me with you!
Vyrn: Huh, I dunno about that... Whaddya say, (Captain)?
Choose: Sure, come along!
- Sure, come along!
- We can't take you. You're still a student.
Alistair: Of course you'd understand me! You're way too cool!Choose: We can't take you. You're still a student.
Alistair: That shouldn't matter in the least! I can submit a leave of absence form right this second!Continue 2
Vyrn: Heh... You really do have an answer for everything, don't you.
And so the somewhat impertinent student, Alistair Alethea, joins the crew.
To join the crew, Alistair goes to the academy to request a leave of absence form. Unfortunately, this academy has no such system. Filing a notification of withdrawal would work in its place; but at the same time, doing so would shut Alistair out of the academic world forever. Just as Alistair is lost on what to do, a professor storms in suggesting the academic acceleration test. Alistair, hopeful to get his doctorate with this test, heads out with the crew to research the ecology of the island's monsters.
Alistair, (Captain) and the crew have come to the academy to request a leave of absence form in order to search for Estalucia.
Academic Admin: A leave of absence? I'm sorry, this academy doesn't have any sort of system like that.
Alistair: It doesn't? That can't be right, what am I meant to do? Are you saying I can't go and look for Estalucia?
Academic Admin: I'm afraid I think I am... However, I can provide you with notification of withdrawal from the academy. I think they will accept that.
Alistair: You must be joking! If I submit that, they wont accept my doctoral thesis!
Alistair: If I don't get my PHD, then my dream of becoming a scholar will be ruined. Then I will have let my name and family down!
Academic Admin: I see, but there is not much else I can do for you. Please consider abandoning your plans for travel and work hard at the academy.
Alistair hangs his head despondently, when a hoarse voice sounds behind him.
Professor: Hahaha! There is one way I can see out of this, but you might not like it...
Professor: I'm talking about a test to see if you can skip a grade.
Academic Admin: The academic acceleration test? Professor, please be serious, that's—
Professor: If you pass, your considerable academic potential will be recognized, your study will end, and you will be awarded your doctorate.
Professor: This is a special exception, and you must know that this test can only be taken once. Fail, and you will be immediately expelled.
Professor: Since the founding of this academy, only one student has ever passed. Nevertheless, I wonder if you might have the courage to try?
Alistair: Heh, that is a foolish question. Do you know who I am? I'm Alistair Alethea!
Alistair: For the dignity of the house of Alethea, I will absolutely accept this challenge.
Alistair receives his thesis topic from the professor, and heads deep into the mountains to conduct his research.
The subject he has been given is an investigation into the monsters and ecology of the island.
Alistair: Aha! There's one! Don't dawdle around! We need to get it, quick!
Vyrn: Hey, wait a sec! Don't get too ahead of yourself! Calm down a little, yeah?
Intellectual Giant: Scene 2
Alistair secludes himself in the Hall of Knowledge, furiously writing out his thesis for the academic acceleration exam. Vyrn and Lyria are impressed with his enthusiasm for study, yet equally shocked to hear him profess his hate for studying. He laments his lack of self-confidence, explaining that he only studied to earn his father's praise and respect. An older student in contempt of Alistair's half-hearted attitude challenges him to another open debate.
With assistance from (Captain) and the crew, Alistair has made a new discovery about monsters.
Now he must write his thesis, and submit it to the professors.
Alistair secludes himself in the Hall of Knowledge day and night, working hard on his essay.
Vyrn: Hey, I've been wondering. You've come all the way to the library, so why aren't you reading any books?
Alistair: Books? Like these, you mean?
Alistair gestures at the pile of tomes piled up beneath him.
Vyrn: Whoa, what are you doing? Do you really think it's a good idea to be sitting on them?
Alistair: You think it isn't? I couldn't find a comfortable chair, so I just made a few adjustments...
Lyria: Um, you want to be a scholar, don't you? Maybe you should treat books with a little more care...
Alistair: Well, if they were worth treating carefully...
Lyria: All books deserve to be treated well! They're full of things you don't know yet.
Alistair: Hmm... That might have been true in the past, but I think I know it all pretty well by now. Here, look!
As Alistair speaks, several pens float magically upwards, and move slowly through the air.
Then, the pens dance through the air at an incredible speed, leaving glowing blue letters and mathmatical formulae behind.
Vyrn: W-whoa, what's that?
Lyria: Oh, it's a book! It's exactly what's written in this one!
Alistair: Do you get it now? All of these books are in my head. I can call them out any time I want.
Alistair: Hehe... Paper is dead. Now begins the age of the air library!
Vyrn: WHAAAT? You have all of these books? That's really useful!
Vyrn: But if they're in your head, you must have read them at least once, right? You sure do love to study.
Despite the praise heaped on him, Alistair's face falls.
Alistair: My father used to praise me if I studied hard.
Alistair: Everyone in my family would praise me because I was so good at studying, so I made sure to work hard.
Alistair: Hehe... I studied so hard to make them happy, but actually, I really hate studying...
Lyria: That can't be true. If you didn't like it, you wouldn't have tried so hard for so long.
Alistair: But I've always known that I didn't inherit my father's passion. I just looked up to him.
Alistair: It doesn't matter how many books I read, I'll never be a great scholar like my father was.
Lyria: Oh, Alistair...
Everyone is lost for words, but suddenly a boorish laugh breaks the silence.
Older Student: Hehehe... That's right. A blockhead like you could never make it as a scholar.
Alistair: Oh, it's you again... Sorry, but I'm not in the mood to deal with you right now.
Older Student: Oh, I can see that. Is it true you took an acceleration exam to skip a grade?
Alistair: Huh? I don't know who told you that, but it's none of your business.
Older Student: W-why you little— Just the thought of you trying to skip ahead so you can graduate first makes me sick!
Older Student: Don't think that you can beat me just because you have a smart mouth! I hope you're ready for this, because you're not going to run away!
Alistair: Ugh, you're such a pain. All right, let's have a farewell debate, then.
Older Student: Hah! A debate? You pale in comparison to my vast knowledge. Behold! True intellect!
Intellectual Giant: Scene 3
During the heated debate with the older student, ink from the desk spills over ruining Alistair's thesis. He shows a hint of kindness here in telling the concerned older student that it's only a minor setback, and sets out to take the acceleration test. Alistair's enduring perseverance in the face of all adversity earns him a passing mark and he proudly sets out on an adventure to chase after the very same dreams his father did.
Alistair and the others score a fine victory in the debate with the older student.
However, in the chaos, the ink on the desk spilled over, and Alistair's essay is now soaked with black ink.
Katalina: Oh dear... This doesn't bode well for the test tomorrow.
Older Student: I'm sorry, I didn't mean for this to happen. I just wanted to...
The older student carries on, explaining that he just wanted to be good at studying.
Alistair tries to cut in, shaking his head and telling him that it's all right.
Alistair: Hehe, who do you think I am? A genius like me needs a handicap, or it's just no fun.
Alistair: Come on, stop this. I'll make up the points in the oral section.
And so, the next day, the acceleration test begins before a panel of professors.
The first step is to apologize for being unable to submit the thesis.
However, without offering an explanantion, Alistair stubbornly tells them that the thesis is in his head, and lays out his theory.
The professors are skeptical, and offer fierce criticism. They determinedly pick holes in his argument.
Nevertheless, Alistair does not falter. He sticks to his theory until the end, defending it with all of his willpower.
Eventually, the closing arguments are completed, the professors retire to a separate chamber to consult. They take a vote, and then return.
Professor: Now then, Alistair. There is one thing I would like to ask you. When walking the path of a scholar, do you know what the most important thing is?
Alistair: Would that be... wisdom? No, a quick wit, perhaps.
Professor: How foolish. The answer is a heart that never gives up.
Alistair: A... heart?
Professor: That's right. To be a scholar, one must have faith.
Professor: Even if all are against them, a true scholar will stubbornly defend their truth, and stand up to face the storm of criticism.
Professor: Whether you face the greatest scholar, or an emperor with his sword drawn, you must not turn from the path of reason.
Professor: This is no easy feat. Many of us will yield in the face of authority or prestige...
Professor: But in truth, I know only one person who would stand up to even the greatest scholar.
Alistair: Just one? Don't tell me—
Professor: That's right. Your father.
Professor: He is the only one who has ever passed the acceleration exam at this institution. No, I should say, he was the only one.
Alistair: P-professor... Do you mean...
Professor: Hahaha. And now we have a second person. Congratulations, Alistair. You stand at the same level your father did.
Father: Now, our great ancestors studied diligently, and became masters.
Father: So do not worry, Alistair. Though you may still be small, you can ride on my shoulders.
Father: Then, as you view the world from my shoulders, you will see even further, and one day become greater than I am.
Alistair: Thank you... I will become an even greater scholar than my father!
(Captain) and the crew are cheered by Alistair's success, and return to the Grandcypher.
There on the broad deck, his friends shout for joy, and their happy laughter continues throughout the day.
A Book by It's Cover
The party arrives at a small bookstore in town, but Alistair is skeptical about finding any book that could satisfy his curiosity. However when he reads a book Altair is carrying, old memories come flooding back, leaving a smile on his face.
The crew, weary from its exploits, stop at a sleepy town for some rest.
Although the other crew members disembark, Alistair remains on the deck of the airship with an open book in his lap.
Vyrn: Aren't you comin' with us?
Lyria: Why don't we go for a walk together? You know, for a change of pace.
Alistair quickly closes his book.
Alistair: Well, if you insist. I don't mind keeping you guys company.
Vyrn: Haha, I knew you were just waiting for someone to invite you along.
Alistair: N-no, that's not true! If you insist on lying—
Lyria: Now, now, let's be on our way, shall we?
And so Alistair joins (Captain) and the others on their outing into the town.
Lyria: Wow! What a charming little place!
Vyrn: You said it! Hey, doesn't that smell good? Let's go check out!
Vyrn: Hm? Hey, what's the matter?
Alistair: Umm... It's too quiet and boring out here. Can we go back to the Grandcypher now?
Vyrn: What are you talking about? I just said we're gonna go grab some tasty grub!
Alistair: What, is that all you ever think about? Eating?
Vyrn: Argh! (Captain), help me out here!
Choose: Let's just walk a little more.
- Let's just walk a little more.
- It'll be boring everywhere.
Vyrn: That's right! Maybe we'll see something interesting along the way!
Alistair: Well, if you insist, (Captain)...Choose: It'll be boring everywhere.
Vyrn: Whoa, whoa! But what about the food?Continue 1
Lyria: Oh! What if we happen to see a bookstore? I'm sure you can find an interesting book in there.
Alistair: Interesting isn't good enough. I'm hoping to find a book that sates my curiosity.
Vyrn: That's why we gotta keep goin', otherwise you might never find it!
Alistair rolls his eyes as the crew members drag him down the street.
Finally they come across a quaint, red brick bookstore.
Vyrn: (Hm... I don't think this place has any books that Alistair would read.)
Lyria: Heehee. I bet you'll find something rare hidden away in there!
Vyrn: Well... Let's just go in and see!
Alistair: Yeah, but... I don't know...
With a wry look on his face, Alistair and the others peek into the bookstore.
Lyria: Oh? It's Altair!
The crew gasps when they see Altair inside the shop happily buried in a book.
Vyrn: I get it. It might not look like much, but this shop's actually famous!
Lyria: Teehee. Look at Altair. He's got a huge grin on his face.
Alistair: Yeah, he does...
Alistair: (Hmm... If even Altair is here, then maybe...)
Vyrn: Why are we still wasting time out here? Come on!
(Captain) and company enter the bookstore.
Lyria: Vyrn! Are you okay?
Altair: Ow, ow, ow. Sorry about that. I saw an intriguing book that I had to stand on my tiptoes to reach.
Alistair: Hey. You know you're talking to a bookshelf, right?
Altair: Oops, pardon me. Well now, I recognize that voice. That must be you, Alistair.
Altair: When my vision gets this bad, it must mean that I've dropped my glasses.
Altair: Hehe. But anyway, I know you and I are the same. We can't pull ourselves away from books. They're a vital part of any journey.
Alistair: Sigh. I'm over here. You're talking to a wall.
Vyrn: Oh, geez. Hurry up and put your glasses on already.
Lyria: Ah, here they are!
Altair: Goodness! Sorry for troubling you, Lyria.
He grabs his glasses and puts them on sheepishly.
Vyrn: What's up?
But Alistair isn't listening.
The book in Altair's hands has grabbed Alistair's full attention.
Alistair: You found a hidden gem in a tiny shop like this?
Altair: Er, no. This is... Oh, how should I put this? It's a picture book my mother used to read to me when I was a kid.
Alistair: Huh? A picture book?
Altair, somewhat embarrassed, shows them the front cover.
Alistair: (Hmm... I feel like I've seen this book before...)
Lyria: Oh my, what a cute little picture book!
Altair: Yes. I enjoyed reading it greatly.
Vyrn: Haha! So even Mr. Specs had a phase like that!
Altair: Of course I did! But the tides of time can't be stopped. Before I knew it I was all grown up.
Vyrn: Are you for real? It's not like you've always been reading challenging books.
Lyria: Heehee. I know. Could this be the first book you ever read?
Alistair: (Hmm... Have I ever read a picture book?)
Alistair searches his memories and thinks back to his childhood.
Alistair: (My father's study was only filled with advanced-level books.)
Alistair: (I wanted to become a great scholar like him so I never wasted time on picture books.)
Alistair then thinks about the time he became a scholar. The cover of a picture book flashes in his head.
Alistair: Say, can I see that book for a sec?
Alistair takes the book. He turns each page slowly, struggling to contain his impatience.
Alistair: (Ahaha! I knew it. No wonder this book was bugging me.)
Alistair: (Hehe. This takes me back. My father read this to me when I was studying entomology...)
Vyrn: Hm? What are you smilin' about?
Alistair: I guess doing stuff like this isn't so bad every now and then.
A smiling Alistair closes the book, his chest swelling with emotion as he reminisces about his father.