The crew stops by the Valtz Duchy where they run into Io's old friend Almeida. She escorts them to the underground factory, explaining her desire to forge the perfect weapon modeled after a certain masked man's scythe. The trip underground ends with Almeida coming upon the idea of imbuing weapons with the power of primal beasts. She asks to join the crew in hopes of one day creating the ultimate weapon.
The crew stops by the Valtz Duchy for a quest.
Io waltzes around town with (Captain) and company, elated to be back in her hometown after a long absence.
Io: Hey, check out this hair ornament!
Lyria: Wow, that's some incredible design work!
Vyrn: It sure is! With the steel industry booming in Valtz, it's no wonder their craftsmanship is some of the best around!
Io: Well, what do you think? Should I take the plunge?
???: Those braids... Could it be?
???: Hey! Io, is that you?
Io: Huh? Ah, it's Almeida!
The girl known as Almeida makes her way through the crowd and clutches Io in a tight embrace.
Io happily snuggles against her arms.
Almeida: You should've let me know you were coming back!
Io: Aw, I'm so sorry, Almeida! Are you heading back from work?
Almeida: Yup. Unearthed some real beauties in the mine today. Maybe I can use 'em to make you something.
Io: Yay! Can you make some for (Captain) and the rest of the crew, too? Oh, that's right. I haven't properly introduced you yet!
Almeida: You were involved in the incident with Tzaka, right? Name's Almeida. Io and I go way back.
Almeida: Anyway, I'm starving! Let's celebrate this little reunion with some food. It's on me!
The crew does some catching up in the mess hall, where they are greeted by a few sturdily-built men.
Worker 1: Hiya, Boss! Done for the day?
Worker 2: Sorry for the trouble today, Boss! I'll pick up the tab!
Almeida: At ease, boys! I'm just passing through.
Lyria: Haha, they really look up to you!
Almeida: They're way too polite around me, no matter how many times I tell 'em to treat me like one of their own.
Vyrn: Well, that's no surprise! You handle weapon forging at the factory too, right?
Io: Haha, isn't she incredible? She's also the youngest to do so in the history of Valtz!
Almeida: What can I say? I love this stuff. Can't get enough of it!
Almeida: Now, back to what we were talking about earlier. How'd you all like to check out that underground factory?
Io: Huh? You mean the one used by the Astrals to create primals way back when?
Almeida: Yup! It's all people talk about ever since Tzaka went missing.
Almeida: He'd always brush me off when I asked him the location. Said it was dangerous and crawling with monsters.
Almeida: But with you guys here, it should be A-OK! So, ready to roll?
Io: Sure, but why do you want to go to such a—
Almeida: Much obliged! Let's head down there after giving our stomachs a rest!
Worker 3: Good timing, Boss! I wanted to discuss the mining on the second block, and—Oh, sorry! Were you in the middle of something?
Almeida: Can you make it quick? I'm chatting with some old friends of mine!
Worker 3: Old friends? Wait, does that include the masked man?
Lyria: Hmm? A masked man?
Almeida: Gah, don't you go blabbering on about that! Io, we're going!
Vyrn: What was that all about? She turned red as a beet!
The crew fights off the monsters blocking the path to the factory. Upon arrival, Almeida excitedly rummages through the parts lying around.
Almeida: Whoa! This must be where Valtz's steelmaking technology comes from!
Almeida: Can't make heads or tails of this, though. Assuming this is the power source, where do the wires go?
Io: Hey, Almeida! Tell me more about the masked man. We swore to tell each other if we had a crush on someone, didn't we?
Almeida: A crush? N-no, it's nothing like that!
Lyria: But he's important to you, right?
Almeida: Hm, it's more complicated than that.
Almeida: It happened a few days after you left the island, Io. I was working deep in the mines when a bunch of monsters attacked.
Almeida: Suddenly, this masked guy I'd never seen before shows up to the rescue.
Almeida: I had no idea who he was, and he disappeared in the blink of an eye. Doesn't get any better, right?
Vyrn: So it was love at first sight, eh?
Almeida: Love at first sight? Don't be ridiculous!
Almeida: I was referring to his weapon—a scythe with power I never imagined possible!
Almeida: I've been trying out a few things, hoping to create something just like it!
Almeida: The Vaserav Hammer here is my finest work yet!
Lyria: That's one cool hammer! What's Vaserav mean?
Almeida: It's the name of the masked man. I'm still a long way off from making something as awesome as that scythe, though.
Io: Aha, so you named your weapon after the mysterious masked man's—
Almeida: Are you trying to suggest something, Io?
Almeida: Sigh, I wish you guys would stop prying like the boys at the coal mine always do.
Vyrn: Nah, you're just overreacting. What were you looking for down here, anyway?
Almeida: The more I tried forging the scythe, the more I felt it couldn't possibly be any ordinary handiwork.
Almeida: I was hoping to find materials that would get me closer to what I want, but there's nothing special about the steel down here.
Lyria: That's unfortunate. Does that mean the Astrals created primals using ordinary steel?
Almeida: I would imagine partially at least. But the power source must be from the Astrals...
Almeida: Which must also mean it's possible to instill the power of the primals into weapons, right?
Io: Huh? Why are you asking me? You answered your own question, Almeida.
Almeida: Eureka! You're right!
Almeida: I did it, Io! I've figured out the scythe's secret!
Vyrn: Oh yeah? Mind sharing?
Almeida: I have to inject the power of a primal beast into the weapon. Except I have no idea how to do that...
Almeida: Whatever the case, I can tell from looking around the factory that the people of Valtz used to do it all the time. I just have to study up on primal beasts.
Almeida: Hey (Captain), you fight primal beasts all the time, right? Any chance you could take me along with you?
Choose: Of course!
- Of course!
- What will become of the mines?
Almeida: Thanks a bunch! Tzaka approves of you, so I'm sure I'll feel right at home!Choose: What will become of the mines?
Almeida: No worries. I was only in charge of one block, and Valtz has more than enough talented miners to pick up the slack.Continue 1
Io: Yay! I get to travel with Almeida!
Almeida: Yay is right! Anyway, I'll be right back. Gotta find someone to take over for me at the mines. Oh man, I can't wait to see Tzaka!
Lyria: Haha, the Grandcypher's going to be full of energy with her around!
Vyrn: That's for sure! I've been wondering, though. Where have I heard the name Vaserav before?
Almeida joins the crew in her quest to create the perfect weapon.
From weapons imbued with the power of primal beasts to a mysterious masked man—much about Almeida remains shrouded in mystery.
Uncovering the Mask
The crew has defeated numerous primal beasts following Almeida's arrival. She tinkers with weapons trying to perfect them as usual when the masked man known as Vaseraga shows up for an unexpected reunion. He tells her to stop obsessing over weapons, causing Almeida to run off in shock.
Since Almeida joined, the crew has defeated numerous primal beasts.
And today, as usual, she's tinkering with the Vaserav Hammer in an attempt to draw out its full power.
Almeida: Hmm, I don't think power consumption's the problem here. It feels like something else is missing.
Almeida: But what? It's not magic, that's for sure.
Almeida: Gah, this is getting me nowhere!
Io: Hiya, Almeida! Still trying to figure out what's wrong with your hammer?
Almeida: Huh? Yeah, I guess.
Io: Teehee, I might know a thing or two!
Almeida: Oh, nice! You know something about this?
Lyria: She has to! Look how sure she is.
Almeida: Then tell me!
Io: What you're experiencing is more commonly known as... love!
Almeida: L-love? Did you really have to bring that up again?
Io: But talking about love is so much fun!
Almeida: Wargh! Quit saying love, already! Seriously, I'm sick of this, Io!
Io: It's just a word, though. Love! See? Was that so bad?
Almeida: How many times do I have to explain this? The scythe he was carrying is what I care about! Not him!
Io: You just don't realize you're in love yet! Most people don't at first. I think!
Io: You can do it, Almeida! Love only blossoms when you're true to your feelings! Probably!
Lyria: Hahaha, you sure seem to be enjoying this, Io!
Almeida: That's the fifth time you've said love! I'm reporting this to Tzaka!
Vyrn: Hey, Almeida! You have a second?
Almeida: You too, Vyrn?
Vyrn: Well, it's about the masked man...
Almeida: I knew it! Just you wait, I'm gonna tell Tzaka about this, and... and...
Almeida: Gasp! Vaserav, is that you?
Lyria: Oh my gosh, Vaserav was Vaseraga all along?
Io: Wow! Now that you mention it, though, it does make sense.
Yeah, I thought it might be Vaseraga. And I was just telling him about you, Almeida.
The stalwart warrior Vaseraga. He once fought alongside the crew during the investigation of a certain island.
Much about him remains a mystery. He seems to belong to an organization that tasks him with annihilating primal beasts.
Vyrn: I bumped into him at the port and was just telling him about you, Almeida!
Vaseraga: You must be that girl I encountered on Valtz.
Almeida: T-thanks to meet you! Y-you sure jammed me out of that bust back at the mine! I mean!
Almeida: O-oh right, about this hammer! I couldn't stop thinking about your scythe, so—
Vaseraga: Enough. This obsession of yours with weapons must end.
Vaseraga: It's more than you can handle. Just forget about it and go back to Valtz.
Io: Aw, did you really have to go and say that out of the blue, Vaseraga?
Almeida: It's okay, Io. I'm the one at fault for trying to copy his personal weapon. It was insensitive of me to even try.
Almeida: I'm sorry, Vaserav.
Almeida: Still, creating the perfect weapon is my dream! Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?
Vaseraga: I don't like repeating myself. I only saved you because I was passing by. Forget about me and my weapon already.
Almeida: Just... passing by?
Lyria: Oh no, Almeida!
Io: How could you be so cold to her, Vaseraga?
Vyrn: It's my fault for opening my big mouth. We gotta go after her!
Uncovering the Mask: Scene 2
Vaseraga explains that the pursuit of weapons is a dangerous path for Almeida. Convinced by his sincerity, she capitulates. Just then, a band of thugs come by to snatch her away. Thankfully, the crew quickly puts a stop to this and brings Almeida back safe and sound.
The crew catches up with Almeida who once again confronts Vaseraga.
Almeida: So uh...
Io: Hey, Vaseraga. Can you tell us something about your situation? It just seems like you're being mean, otherwise.
Vaseraga: I cannot. There are certain rules I am bound to.
Vaseraga: What I can say is that it's all for her. The perfection you crave is dangerous, Almeida.
Vaseraga: Forgive me. You possess a profound insight. But that's precisely why I'm warning you not to pursue this path.
Almeida: I get it. I'll stop.
Lyria: Just like that, Almeida?
Almeida: My savior wants me to stop. Besides, it's all in my best interests, right?
Almeida: I'm just glad to know I was right about you, Vaserav. You really are a softie at heart.
Vaseraga: I am nothing of the sort. However, there are certain unpredictable—
Almeida: It's okay, I get it. You have rules to follow, right?
Io: Okay, then! Can you make me a new staff, Almeida?
Vyrn: Ah, right! You can count on me to help, too!
Almeida: It's fine. Don't worry about it, Vyrn.
Almeida: Anyway, sorry guys, but... I'm gonna go take a little walk by myself.
The crew watches her trudge off into the distance in silence, unable to think of anything worth saying.
Just as she walks out of the forest—
Thug 1: I've got the girl! Bring the carriage over!
Almeida: Gah! Let me go, you rotten scumbag!
Vyrn: Huh? What are those guys doing?
Lyria: Oh no, they're going to take Almeida away in that carriage!
Vaseraga: Io! I need a spell in the direction that carriage is headed!
Io: Got it! How about... this!
Thug 2: Waugh! They're using magic? Hurry up and get us out of here!
Thug 3: What do you think I'm trying to do? The horse's feet are frozen!
Thug 3: Arrgh!
Almeida: Let go of me, you creep!
Thug 1: Augh!
Thug 2: I don't believe this! These guys are way tougher than they said!
Vaseraga: So you're hired hands.
Vaseraga: You're going to tell us who hired you. Don't let any of them escape, Almeida!
Almeida: Huh? R-right! You've got it, Vaserav!
Uncovering the Mask: Scene 3
With the thugs taken care of, Vaseraga retracts his previous admonishment of Almeida and advises her to follow her heart. In contrast to the overjoyed Almeida, Valseraga grows concerned in learning of his organization's involvement in her kidnapping.
After taking out the thugs and returning to town, Almeida approaches Vaseraga.
Almeida: Thank you for saving me again, Vaserav.
Vaseraga: Don't mention it.
Almeida: I gotta say though, the way you rocked that scythe was incredible! There's gotta be some primal be—
Almeida: Oh right, sorry. Rules are rules, let's just forget what I said.
Vaseraga: Understood. But I'd like to retract my previous statement, as well. Do as your heart wills.
Almeida: Huh? Then does that mean... you'd be cool with me making weapons?
Vaseraga: That is correct. It appears the situation has changed. If building weapons would help you find a way forward, then—
Vaseraga: I've said too much.
Almeida: Thanks, Vaserav! I'll do my best!
Io: Good going, Almeida!
Vyrn: Haha, for real! Just leave the primal beasts to us!
Lyria: By the way, I've been meaning to ask. What's your real name?
Almeida: Ahahaha, looks like I misheard you the first time. Sorry, Vaserav!
And thus concludes Almeida's fruitful reunion with Vaseraga.
Now more determined than ever, Almeida proves to be a valuable addition to the crew.
Client: I'm sorry! Please, you gotta listen to me! I'm way down the totem pole! I have no idea who ordered this, I swear!
Vaseraga: Humph. A flawless cover-up, as usual.
Client: So uh, can I go? I promise I'll never lay hands on that girl ever again!
Vaseraga: Hm. So this is the organization's doing. Are they trying to scare her? Or worse?
Vaseraga: Whatever happens, I'll be waiting for their next move.
Meanwhile, the reunion with Almeida allows Vaseraga to sense the advent of something larger looming in the distance.