The crew stops by the Valtz Duchy where they run into Io's old friend, Almeida. She explains her desire to forge the perfect weapon modeled after a certain masked man's scythe. After coming to the idea of imbuing weapons with the power of primal beasts, she asks to join the crew who often cross paths with them.
The crew stops by the Valtz Duchy for a quest.
Io waltzes around town with (Captain) and crew, elated to be back in her hometown after a long absence.
Io: Hey, check out this hair ornament!
Lyria: Wow, that's incredible design work!
Vyrn: It sure is! With the steel industry booming in Valtz, it's no wonder their stuff is some of the best around!
Io: Well, what do you think? Should I buy it?
???: Those pigtails... There's no way it's...
???: Hey! Io, is that you?
Io: Huh? Oh! Almeida!
The girl known as Almeida makes her way through the crowd and clutches Io in a tight embrace.
Io happily snuggles against her with a great, big smile on her face.
Almeida: You should've let me know you were coming to visit!
Io: Sorry, Almeida! Did you just get off 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 the archduke, right? Name's Almeida. Io and I go way back.
Almeida: Anyway, I'm starving! Let's celebrate this little reunion with some food. On me of course!
The crew does some catching up in the mess hall until Almeida is greeted by a few sturdily-built men.
Worker 1: Hiya, Boss! Done for the day?
Worker 2: Sorry for the trouble today, Boss! I've got the next round!
Almeida: Boys! At ease!
Everybody just relax!
Lyria: Haha, this forewoman is really something!
Almeida: They really bend over backwards for me, no matter how many times I tell 'em not to.
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 person to do so in the history of Valtz!
Almeida: What can I say? When you are what you do, right? Or something like that... But stop praising me already!
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 the archduke's fiasco.
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 fine! So are you 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 leaving!
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 c-c-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 have no idea who he is, and he disappeared in the blink of an eye. But I loved what he was packing.
Vyrn: So it was love at first sight, eh?
Almeida: L-l-love at first sight? Don't go saying creepy things!
Almeida: I was referring to his weapon—a scythe that had its own aura like I never imagined possible!
Almeida: Since then 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 hammer is so cool! 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: Stop it! I know what you're trying to say!
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 too bad. But does this mean that 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 mean it's possible to instill the power of the primals into steel, 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'll happen to the mines?
Almeida: Thanks a bunch! Since the archduke approves of you, I'm sure I'll feel right at home!Choose: What'll happen to 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. And I've gotta let the archduke know I'm leaving too!
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 the hopes of creating the perfect weapon.
From weapons imbued with the power of primal beasts to a mysterious masked man—much remains shrouded in mystery.
Uncovering the Mask
The crew has defeated numerous primal beasts following Almeida's arrival. While tinkering with her weapon in the pursuit of perfection, the masked man known as Vaseraga shows up for an unexpected reunion. He tells her to abandon her dream causing her to run away.
Since Almeida joined, the crew has defeated numerous primal beasts.
And today, as usual, she's tinkering with the Vaserav Hammer thinking of ways to make it more powerful.
Almeida: Hmm, I don't think power consumption's the problem here. It feels more like a power connection.
Almeida: But how? I don't think magic was used...
Almeida: Gah, this is getting me nowhere!
Io: Hiya, Almeida! Still trying to figure things out?
Almeida: Huh? Yeah, I guess.
Io: Teehee, I might know a thing or two!
Almeida: Oh, nice! What can you tell me?
Lyria: Something good I bet! I can tell from how confident Io looks! Even I want to know all her secrets!
Almeida: Tell us! Tell us!
Io: What you're trying to figure out is... why you're in love!
Almeida: L-love? Did you really have to bring that up again?
Io: Come on. 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 the archduke!
Vyrn: Hey, Almeida! You have a second?
Almeida: Hm? You better not say the L word!
Vyrn: Actually, it's about the masked man...
Almeida: I knew it! Just you wait, I'm gonna tell the archduke 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 once fought alongside the crew during an investigation of a certain island.
However much about him still remains a mystery. He seems to belong to an organization that tasks him with hunting primal beasts.
Vyrn: I bumped into him at the port and was just telling him about you, Almeida!
Vaseraga: You... We've met once before in Valtz.
Almeida: T-thanks! Y-you really jammed me out of that bust!
Almeida: O-oh right, about this hammer! I couldn't stop thinking about your scythe, so—
Vaseraga: Enough. This obsession of yours with my weapon must end.
Vaseraga: It's more than you can handle. Forget about it and go back to Valtz.
Io: H-hey! Why would you say something so mean!
Almeida: It's okay, Io. It's my fault for trying to copy his weapon. I wasn't thinking about his feelings.
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: Don't make me repeat myself. Saving you wasn't my intention. Forget about me and about my weapon.
Almeida: You didn't... mean to save me?
Lyria: Wait! Almeida!
Io: What's wrong with you! Why are you being so mean to Almeida!
Vyrn: It's my fault for opening my big mouth. We gotta go after her!
Uncovering the Mask: Scene 2
Vaseraga explains that her pursuit will lead Almeida down a dangerous path. Convinced by his sincerity, she capitulates. In a suspicious turn of events, a band of thugs attempts to kidnap her, but thankfully the crew quickly puts a stop to their attempt.
The crew catches up with Almeida who once again attempts to speak with Vaseraga.
Almeida: So... umm...
Io: Vaseraga... Tell us what's going on. Otherwise it just seems like you're being heartless.
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: I know you have the talent to do what you must not. I'm sorry if I sound heartless to you.
Almeida: I get it. I'll stop.
Lyria: Are you sure, Almeida?
Almeida: He saved my life. If he wants me to stop, then I will. He's trying to protect me after all.
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. There are simply 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: Y-you can count on us to help, too!
Almeida: Ahahaha! You don't need to change the subject like that.
Almeida: But... I'm sorry... I need a little time to myself.
The crew watches her trudge off into the distance, 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 trying to force Almeida into 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 hooves are frozen!
Thug 3: Arrgh!
Almeida: Let go of me, creep!
Thug 1: Augh!
Thug 2: I don't believe this! These guys are way tougher than they said!
Vaseraga: Hm... So you're hired hands...
Vaseraga: You're going to tell us who you work for. 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, Vaseraga grows concerned after deducing his organization's involvement in her attempted kidnapping.
After taking out the thugs and returning to town, Almeida approaches Vaseraga.
Almeida: Thanks 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. 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 okay with me making that weapon?
Vaseraga: That is correct. It appears that circumstances have changed. If forging will help you find a way forward, then—
Vaseraga: I've said too much.
Almeida: Thanks, Vaserav! I'll give it my all!
Io: Good going, Almeida!
Vyrn: Haha. Hurray! 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.