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Dim New World
Ayer is a brawler that hones his abilities in illegal arena battles. He celebrates a recent victory with his friend Bowman, but the festivities are cut short when guards begin a mass arrest in the arena. In the ensuing struggle, Ayer encounters (Captain), whose strength intrigues him. Afterwards, he stows away on an airship to escape, which turns out to be the Grandcypher. In the end he joins the crew on their adventures.
???: Dogs, pigs, monkeys...
???: Sigh... Call 'em whatever you want.
???: Growing up, I was just that. A domesticated animal.
???: Follow the rules, mind your manners, and never forget to smile. Then you'll be happy. Humph. Useless.
???: That's when I discovered something new: a new world that all but obliterated the values I used to believe in.
???: A new world for me, filled with the sublime brutality of combat.
In the underground fighting arena of a distant island, crazed cheers erupt around a pit soaked in blood and sweat.
Spectator 1: Wipe the floor with'em, champ! Paint the arena red!
Gladiator: I'm gonna clobber this punk. Time to teach you who the real king of the ring is around these parts!
Spectator 2: Listen kid, you'd better win! I bet everything I had on you!
Ayer: A chorus of fools.
Bowman: Ha ha ha! Sounds about right. It's about time for the big fight to decide the number one spot, yeah?
Bowman: This is the new world we both wanted. We sacrificed everything to get here.
Ayer: Right. It's the only place I feel alive.
Bowman: Heh. Hope your eyes are as sharp as usual, buddy.
Gladiator: Bring it on, punk! Hope they sell coffins in kid's sizes, because you're goin' in one after this!
Ayer: Sadly I could only find ones that fit hulking brutes like you.
Gladiator: Heh heh. You're messed up in the head, kid. I'm taking you down!
Ayer: Not any more messed up than you're gonna be!
That night Ayer celebrates his victory at home.
Bowman: Hahaha! That counter jab had me shaking! And after I told you not to freak me out too!
Ayer: Really? I could've sworn you were laughing the whole time.
Bowman: You got me there, but I realized something during the match. You purposely chose to fight within his reach, didn't you?
Ayer: It's pointless otherwise. If I don't risk anything, I don't feel anything.
Bowman: You don't feel alive, you mean. Sheesh, you're just a big bundle of instincts, aren't you?
Bowman: Still you're the champ now. Who could imagine a privileged squirt like you being king of an illegal fighting arena?
Ayer: It still comes to me in my dreams.
Ayer: Dreams of a milquetoast daily existence. Dreams where I never met you.
Bowman: But it didn't turn out like that. Instead, your wimpy, honor-student self picked a fight with some thugs and realized what you were born to do!
Bowman: And then we started our quest to find a new world! One that would satisfy our thirst for combat!
Ayer: You're delirious. I'm the king. You don't get to celebrate more than me.
Bowman: C'mon, it was my idea to have you leave home and go underground! And I was the guy who taught you how to fight!
Ayer: Right, got it... Granted, you deserve some amount of thanks, I'll admit.
Bowman: I need a do-over on that one. Didn't really feel the respect in your tone of voice.
Ayer: Oh, get off it! When are we going to see you fight anyway? Aren't you stronger than me?
Bowman: What a pain. We wouldn't make any money that way, I told you. The only reason this works is because people refuse to bet on a pipsqueak like you.
Ayer: I'm gonna make you regret that!
Gladiator: Look alive! The authorities are doing a mass arrest of the whole arena!
Bowman: They never learn, do they?
Ayer: Yeah, who cares. We'll just crack their heads like we did last time.
Gladiator: Are you nuts? Just so you know, they brought guards from other islands this time. Crews too! They're trying to shut the whole operation down!
Bowman: Crews, huh? I was wondering why the town seemed a little extra bustling. So we're outnumbered. What do you want to do?
Ayer: As if you had to ask.
Gladiator: W-wait, you're not seriously thinking of fighting back, are you, kid?
The streets are wrapped in a strange aura of anticipation in the dead of night. Ayer joins the fierce battle between guards and arena fighters, toppling guards left and right.
Guard 1: Argh!
Ayer: Humph. Fighting these fools doesn't do anything for me.
Ayer: Still, how are they doing so well? There might be a lot of them, but they should be no match for a trained brawler...
Gladiator: Ha ha ha, I knew it was you! Now that you're here, we've got a chance at winning this thing! C'mon, let's—
Vyrn: Nice, (Captain)! Keep it up and we'll have these guys locked up in no time!
Ayer: They took out that big lug in one shot?
Vyrn: Hm? What's a kid doing here? This is a danger zone, buddy!
Vyrn: Whoa, he's glaring at you, (Captain). Wait a sec—is he a fighter too?
Ayer: Heh... Hahahahaha!
Ayer: Now I get it. You might look like a kid, but you're the one leading this charge.
Ayer: All right, this is what I'm talking about!
Vyrn: Um, (Captain)? I'm not sure what he wants, but he seems a little off his rocker. Watch it!
Guard Captain: Now, men! Force your way through!
Distracted, Ayer is forced to the ground by the combined weight of countless guards.
Ayer: Out of my way, pigs!
Guard Captain: Thanks, Captain! Your help is just what we needed to pin this guy down! We're counting on your help with sector four too!
Vyrn: You can count on us!
Guard Captain: Whew... Well, we managed to apprehend the biggest threat. Our victory is at hand!
Bowman: Hoo boy. Heck of a situation you got yourself into.
Guard Captain: What the... This guy's a freak...
Bowman: Humans possess an innate ability to crush each other with one punch. Harness your full potential, and even giants will fall before you.
Bowman: That's the theory anyway. Tough to execute. And why is that, Ayer?
Ayer: Will you quit screwing around?
Bowman: It's because we can't draw out our full potential. Our minds are clouded by ethics, morals, and common sense. Noise that gets in the way of the killer instinct that lies inside.
Bowman: But loosen those restraints, and...
Guard 2: Aauuugh!
Bowman: That happens. Now stand up, Ayer. We're punching these chumps to the curb.
Guard Captain: You're a... m-monster!
To escape the island, Ayer hides away in a docked airship's storage bay.
Ayer: So, any idea where this airship is heading?
Bowman: Hahaha, none whatsoever! The arena's done though. Whatever happens, we can never go back.
Bowman: Hey, don't be glum! There are still greater heights to be found out there!
Ayer: Who was that skyfarer back there?
Ayer: I could tell they've survived battles we can't even imagine.
Bowman: Yawn... Well, guess I'll hit the hay. Boy, today really took it out of me.
Ayer: One day we'll meet again, my supreme quarry.
The crew has finished a request and are en route to the next island when (Captain) and Vyrn pay a visit to the airship's storage bay.
Vyrn: Where are those salves at... Anyway, yesterday sure was crazy! Talk about folks you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley!
Vyrn: I mean the guards sure seemed happy, but— Hey, what's someone doing sleeping in here?
Vyrn: W-Wait, this is that fighter from yesterday!
Ayer: Hm? My prey from yesterday?
Ayer: This is your airship? Well, that was faster than I expected. There goes the suspense...
Vyrn: Awfully nitpicky for a brawler. What are you doing here anyway?
Ayer: Stowing away. Thanks for the ride.
Vyrn: We're not giving you a ride! And try to at least act embarrassed about us finding you, darn it!
Lyria: Oh, good morning, Ayer!
Vyrn: Um, Lyria? Do you know this guy?
Lyria: I heard about it in the mess hall. Ayer was tricked into fighting by some evil men!
Lyria: And after leaving home with dreams of becoming a skyfarer too... You've been through so much!
Ayer: Ah, so this is your doing, Bowman. I was wondering where you went off to.
Vyrn: Now I get it! But he still did all sorts of bad stuff, didn't he? He clobbered all those guards! And he's just a kid!
Ayer: Let's see you call me a kid one more time, dragon whelp.
Vyrn: I ain't no dragon! Wait... Maybe I am?
Ayer: I read about dragons in an encyclopedia, and you seem like a match. That was a long time ago though.
Vyrn: Heh heh heh... Yeah, that's the ticket!
Vyrn: Okay, I've got it! We'll rehabilitate you as part of our crew! Right, (Captain)?
- I'm not sure we can trust him.
Ayer: What are you guys thinking?Choose: I'm not sure we can trust him.
Vyrn: Oh yeah? But he called me a dragon! We can totally trust this guy!
Ayer: What kind of reasoning is that?Continue 1
Lyria: Becoming a skyfarer was your dream, wasn't it? If you join us, that kills two stones with one bird!
Ayer: I think you've got that reversed.
Ayer: Gah.... Bowman, if you weren't trying to make things miserable for me—
Vyrn: You must be starving! Let's show him around the dining hall, Lyria!
Ayer: Sigh... Whatever. I'm going back to sleep.
Vyrn: Heh heh heh! Let's take you to an empty room then!
Ayer: The storeroom's fine.
Ayer rolls over and falls back to sleep. A strange twist of fate has reunited him with the crew, yet he refuses to open his heart.
What could possibly lie ahead for him?
Ayer is just about fed up with the peaceful life aboard the Grandcypher. Bowman suggests they steal the airship, but Ayer hesitates. He then encounters a woman arguing with a ruffian in town, and it turns out to be his sister, Jessica. Ayer hasn't seen her since he ran away from home a few years ago. Though they want to talk more, they have to dispatch the ruffians first.
The crew stops at an island to get supplies.
Ayer has only just joined the crew, but Vyrn and Lyria see this as a prime opportunity to make him feel extra welcome.
Vyrn: Hey, Ayer! I know you're the silent type, but have you properly introduced yourself to the crew yet?
Ayer: I will.
Lyria: Ayer, I know you spend all your time sleeping in the storeroom, but we've got a really nice rec room if you're interested!
Ayer: Sleeping's my hobby.
Vyrn: Oh, right! Rackam's got a dartboard in his room! Wanna play sometime?
Ayer: I'm good.
Lyria: Do you like books? Katalina's got tons of them!
Ayer: I said I'm good.
Vyrn: He's not very friendly, is he? Maybe he's just not used to the skyfaring life yet.
Lyria: If we talk to him more, maybe he'll get used to it faster!
Bowman: Bahaha... Why the long face, Ayer?
Ayer: Bowman, this is no joke!
Bowman: They're taking care of you, aren't they? Nothing wrong with that.
Ayer: Quiet. I'm leaving the airship.
Bowman: Hey, hang on a second! You've got good food and a job here! Why throw that away?
Ayer: What an empty way to live. And this is all your fault, you know.
Ayer: Because of that garbage lie you told, they're all bending over backwards trying to squeeze me into a life I never asked for.
Bowman: Hahaha! And thanks to me, we completely eluded those soldiers! Just have a little patience, okay?
Ayer: Patience? You have something planned?
Bowman: Heh heh heh... I've taken a liking to the sky these past few days. Thinking about becoming a real skyfarer.
Ayer: Then this is goodbye, old friend.
Bowman: I was kidding, c'mon! Well, sort of...
Bowman: We're gonna steal the Grandcypher!
Bowman: Ain't she a beauty? Cuts through the sky like a knife.
Bowman: Well? Ready to teach these good-natured goofs just how harsh the world really is?
Ayer: Are you serious? I mean, stealing from scum is one thing, but these guys, well...
Bowman: I told you, Ayer. You have to abandon morals, ethics, and common sense. That's the shortcut to fulfilling your killer instinct!
Bowman: Besides, you want to fight the captain of this thing, right?
Bowman: Steal the airship, and you'll have your chance. You'll feel so alive, you could scream!
Bowman: So, we on?
Female Voice: Hold it right there, you two!
Ayer: Hm? Wait, Bowman, she's—!
Thug: Oh, shaddup! The manager said I could have it for free! Mind your own beeswax!
Jessica: I'm Jessica, a traveler, and while you're right that it doesn't concern me, I can't stand idly by while you threaten someone!
Thug: Oh yeah? What're you gonna do about it?
Jessica: I'm just going to ask you to pay. Please. If you don't, I'll make you regret it.
Thug: Watch out, guys, we got a sassy one over here! Well, Jessica? How you gonna make me regret it?
Jessica: Ayer? Is that really you, Ayer?
Jessica: It is, isn't it? I can tell! Oh, I've finally found you!
Ayer: Sis, what are you doing in a place like—
Thug: Oh, well isn't this just touching? Spare me the mushy reunions, sweetheart!
Thug: Listen, kid. Take your snot-nosed sister and scram. Do it now, and this whole thing'll be... Whatchamacallit... Water under the toilet?
Ayer: Offer accepted. Except you're the one getting flushed.
Thug: Huh? Oh, I get it. You're cruisin' for a bruisin'!
Ayer: Sorry, I was joking. Considering your size, we'd have to call sanitation to get you unclogged.
Thug: That's it, time to rumble!
Ashen Boundary: Scene 2
Ayer's sister Jessica explains that she was searching for the primal beast Nephthys, who supposedly captured Ayer. This conflicts with Ayer's explanation that he left home to become a fighter after some prodding from Bowman. When he realizes Bowman was responsible for deceiving him and his sister, he gives chase seeking an explanation.
Jessica: Oh Ayer, it's really you...
Jessica embraces Ayer, a stern expression lingering on his face.
Any version of Jessica
is a crew member
Wow, so the little brother Jessica said she was searching for was Ayer?
Vyrn: But... wait a minute. Wasn't Ayer supposed to have been captured by Nephthys?
Well how about that, Jessica! I was just thinking that we hadn't met in a while, and then it turns out your brother's been stowing away on our airship!
Vyrn: But wait a second... Wasn't your little brother captured by that primal beast?
Jessica, a traveling gunner, once fought alongside the crew against the primal beast Nephthys some time ago.
For years Jessica had searched for Nephthys, the one responsible for stealing away her brother.
After finally finding the primal beast's lair, however, her brother was nowhere to be found, and she's continued the search for him ever since.Continue 1
Lyria: Oh, I'm so happy for you two!
Jessica: It must have been just awful for you... But don't worry. We beat Nephthys. There's nothing to be scared of now.
Ayer: Uh, Nephthys?
Jessica: So what have you been up to? Where did you go after escaping from Nephthys?
Ayer: Wait. What are you talking about?
Ayer: Didn't you read the letter I left for you? I left on a journey with Bowman.
Jessica: You left me a letter? Bowman? It sounds like you basically ran away from home...
Ayer: Yeah, figured it would save you some time. I've been searching for a world that I can call—
Jessica: Ayer, what is wrong with you?
Ayer: Listen, I know you probably don't agree with my decision, but I did my best to explain myself in the letter!
Jessica: There was no letter! And how could you even think of running away from home?
Vyrn: Hold on a sec. Is it me, or does nothing about this make sense?
Lyria: Um, you must have been thinking of your family when you wrote that letter, right, Ayer?
Jessica: But I never saw the letter. And I heard rumors in town that he'd been captured by Nephthys.
Vyrn: Assuming you're both telling the truth, where was the letter?
Lyria: And why would you hear this rumor about Nephthys in town?
Ayer: It can't be...
Ayer: You did this? Wait, where do you think you're going?
Vyrn: Hey, hold it! After him, (Captain)!
Ashen Boundary: Scene 3
Bowman reveals that he secretly tricked Ayer into leaving home and becoming a fighter. Ayer is furious, since Bowman's deception put his sister in danger. Bowman then reveals that he is actually Ayer's split personality before taking over his body and attacking the crew.
Ayer runs ahead of the party, seizing Bowman forcefully by the collar.
Ayer: Huff... Huff... What are you trying to pull, Bowman?
Bowman: Hahaha, calm down, buddy! I never meant any harm!
Ayer: Don't screw with me. Where did my letter go? How did you spread that rumor about Nephthys?
Bowman: I tore up the letter while you slept, and the punks in town spread information per my instructions. It was all for your sake, Ayer.
Bowman: And it's not like that letter would have convinced anyone. That happy family of yours would have been feverishly searching for you day and night.
Bowman: That's why I sent them running in the opposite direction of where we were headed.
Ayer: Why didn't you tell me any of this? My sister's been journeying in search of me because of you. She even ended up fighting a primal!
Bowman: Well, y'know... You were just a little squirt at the time. You never would've agreed to deceive your family!
Bowman: Listen, I'm sorry. That was my bad. Look, I'm real apologetic about the whole thing!
Ayer: You think apologizing's gonna do anything?
Bowman: You're real upset about this whole thing, aren't you? Were you that close to her? Heh. You're still just a baby after all.
Bowman: You've really gotta quit blaming others for this stuff. Sure, I told you to run away from home and become a fighter, but you were the one who decided to do it!
Jessica: Ayer, what in the world is going on?
Ayer: Don't come over here. I'm not done talking with this jerk.
Vyrn: Talking with... who exactly?
Ayer: With Bowman, obviously! The guy right in front of me!
Lyria: Bowman? Is he one of the islanders here? I don't see anyone...
Jessica: Are you okay? Did something happen after you ran away from home?
Bowman: Hahaha... Looks like the jig is up.
Ayer: Sis, behind you!
Jessica: Huh? There's nothing there.
Ayer: No way...
Ayer: Am I... going crazy?
Bowman: You were crazy from the beginning.
Bowman: You're the only one who can see me or hear me. The only person who knows I exist... is you.
Bowman: A shame, Ayer. I was your number one fan.
Ayer: Urgh... Graaah!
Jessica: Ayer, what's wrong?
Ayer: I'm fine... Jessica.
Vyrn: What are you doing, Ayer? You just hit your sister!
Ayer: Heh, my bad! What can I say, holding back's not really my thing.
Lyria: No, Vyrn... That's not Ayer!
Vyrn: What do you mean?
Ayer: Hahaha! Accusing people of identity theft? That's just mean.
Ayer: Now then, my dear Captain. Care to help me get used to my new body?
Jessica: Here he comes! Our only choice is to fight him off, (Captain)!
Ashen Boundary: Scene 4
Born with a preternatural desire for combat, Ayer grew dissatisfied with idyllic family life. He unconsciously gave birth to a second personality, Bowman, who pushed him to become a fighter. Fearful of what might happen if this other self were to take over, Ayer decides to leave the crew, but (Captain) holds him back. In the end, an exhausted Ayer falls back to sleep once more.
Bowman: Hahaha... I knew you wouldn't let me down, Captain.
Ayer: Bowman, what in the world are you doing?
Bowman: I'm you, yourself, and I. The other Ayer. The one you wanted to be.
Ayer: Another... me?
Bowman: You were born with a brutal fighting spirit.
Bowman: Too brutal even. You would have ascended to greatness in a world of wanton chaos.
Bowman: But in a quirk of fate, you were born into a happy home. Hardly the right environment for a fighter like you.
Bowman: Talk about a waste! You were going to live a boring life, die a boring death, all while harboring the strength of the almighty within you.
Bowman: You always felt it. You knew that wasn't where you belonged. You had to go elsewhere.
Bowman: That despair gave birth to me. You wished for it without thinking. Someone to push you.
Ayer: Because I couldn't take the first step alone.
Bowman: It's nothing to be scared of. Anyone who ever left their mark on history had a little devil like me holed up in their heart.
Bowman: So how about it? You ready to work together again, buddy?
Ayer: You're plotting something.
Bowman: Honestly it's been a gas seeing you slowly unleash your inner potential and become the fighter you were destined to be.
Bowman: I'm gonna create a new world. Ooh, I can barely contain my excitement!
Ayer: Go away.
Ayer: This is who I am. The idea that there's another person inside me makes me sick!
Bowman: Hahaha! You know just what to say to get me fired up! I'm disappointed in your decision, but you still make me proud, Ayer.
Bowman: And next time, I'll be in charge.
Ayer passes out, and the crew returns him to the Grandcypher, where tension hangs in the air.
Jessica: I'm sorry, everyone. My brother caused so much trouble for you, and he lied on top of it.
Vyrn: Aw, no worries! You heard the doc back there. Matters of the heart are complicated!
Lyria: That's right. Ayer must be suffering right now too.
Jessica: But if I'd only realized what was going on...
Ayer: It's not your fault, sis.
Jessica: Ayer? You're already awake?
Ayer: It's nobody's fault. It's my fault for being such an easily manipulated idiot...
Vyrn: Hey, you shouldn't be walking around yet! You're still recovering!
Ayer: We haven't left the island yet, have we? I'm leaving the airship.
Lyria: Huh? B-but why?
Ayer: Bowman said he was going to take over. If he does, I'll lose control of my bodｙ...
Jessica: Got it. But I'm tagging along. We should be able to find a way to fix this problem together.
Ayer: No! I may not fully understand what's going on, but I know one thing's for certain.
Ayer: You won't be safe if you stay by my side.
Choose: Don't worry.
- Don't worry.
- We watch after our own.
Ayer: Quiet. I wasn't worried in the first place.Choose: We watch after our own.
Ayer: Seriously. What's your deal?Continue 1
Vyrn: Hee hee! And I'm a dragon, so everything's gonna be cool!
Ayer: You better keep watch over me. I should be fine for now, but... eventually I'm...
Ayer: ...definitely going to... to...
Lyria: He fell back to sleep. I guess because he's holding two people in there?
Ayer suddenly falls asleep, collapsing against (Captain)'s knees.
There's something calming about his sleeping face, and the crew breathes a momentary sigh of relief. Ayer's trial, however, is only just beginning.
A Dark Mirage
Ayer continues to battle every day against his combative other self, Bowman, and grows impatient with his own shortcomings. He is approached by Siegfried during his training one day, and they have a spar.
Ayer: The new world I once sought came crashing down before I knew what hit me.
Ayer: Everything I'd believed to be the truth turned out to be nothing but deceit and lies.
Ayer: I now stand atop an expanse of quicksand, slowly sinking beneath the surface.
Ayer: I swing my fists, unable to forgive myself, but my punches slice through the air without hitting their mark, the sound echoing painfully in my ears.
Bowman: Say, Ayer. How long do you plan to keep moping around?
Bowman: Ooh, so scary. C'mon, there's no reason to glare at me like that.
Ayer: Can it. I have nothing to say to you. Get lost.
Bowman: Hahaha! Man, you really know how to cut a guy deep.
Ayer: You're the one who said you were going to take over.
Bowman: Did I really? Can't say I remember.
Ayer: What kind of moron do you take me for!
Bowman: Don't get all worked up—it was just a joke. Whatever happens depends on you.
Ayer: On me?
Bowman: I know you're so pent up you're about to burst.
Bowman: Don't you wanna let loose and go wild?
Ayer: You wish!
Bowman: Isn't that the real reason you're training so hard?
Bowman: You're desperate. Ahh, it pains me to see you like this.
Ayer: You're wrong! I...
Bowman: I gotta say, that goody-two-shoes act of yours is a real pain. But whatever.
Bowman: Ayer... You hate yourself the way you are now, don't you? You feel weak and helpless.
Bowman: Aren't I right?
Ayer: Shut up.
Bowman: But don't worry! If you team up with me, it'll be a cinch to take back all that power you had!
Bowman: Admit it. You need me. C'mon, let's have some fun together, just like we used to.
Ayer: Stop it!
A searing pain shoots through Ayer's fist, doubling in intensity.
As his hand throbs, he can feel the ground beneath his feet melting away bit by bit.
Lyria: Ayer? Ayer, are you okay?
Vyrn and Lyria shake Ayer's shoulders and call out his name repeatedly, until finally he stirs.
Vyrn: Oh! You awake?
Ayer: What's going on? What time is it?
Lyria: It's already midday, Ayer. Are you all right?
Ayer: It's daytime?
Vyrn: You weren't wakin' up, so we got worried and came to check on you. Seemed like you were havin' a crazy nightmare...
Ayer: I see.
Lyria: Um, are you feeling okay?
Ayer: I'm fine. Just need to splash some water on my face.
As Ayer wobbles out of the room, (Captain) and company exchange concerned glances.
Vyrn: Think he's okay?
Lyria: He seems exhausted a lot lately...
Vyrn: Guess that guy's startin' to get to him.
Lyria: You mean Bowman?
Ayer: It's nobody's fault. It's my fault for being such an easily manipulated idiot...
Ayer: You better keep watch over me. I should be fine for now, but... eventually I'm...
Ayer: Definitely going to... to...
Lyria: He fell back to sleep. I guess because he's holding two people in there?
Lyria: Ayer must be fighting furiously. I wish there was some way we could help...
Vyrn: Yeah, but I don't have a clue what we could do.
Choose: Act natural.
- Act natural.
- Distract him.
Vyrn: Yeah. I guess all we can do is act the same as always.
Lyria: Okay... I'll do my best not to make him sad!Choose: Distract him.
Lyria: Good idea. Let's come up with some ways to help him have fun!Continue 1
Vyrn: Either way, there's no point rushin' things at times like these.
(Captain) and company smile weakly at each other, hoping to shake off their worries over their inability to find a clear answer.
Ayer continues his daily routine of training on the deck of the Grandcypher.
Ayer: This isn't enough...
He lowers his fists and clenches them tightly.
Even after driving himself out of breath, the chilling restlessness continues to linger.
Ayer: What can I do to become stronger?
Siegfried: Training, huh? You sure are a hard worker.
Siegfried: Are you finished for the day?
Ayer: No, I'm going to keep going.
Siegfried: In that case, I'll join you.
Ayer: Huh? You will?
Siegfried: Yeah. A bit of boxing would do me good once in a while. I'd be happy to be your sparring partner.
Siegfried sets his great sword down on the deck.
Ayer: Oh, actually... Wait.
Siegfried: Hm? What is it?
Siegfried: It's been a while so I might not be able to defeat you, but you can be sure I'll put up a fight.
Ayer: No, that's not it... I'm grateful you're willing to spar with me.
Ayer: But I'd rather you fight like you usually do... using your sword.
Ayer: That way I'll be able to focus better.
Siegfried: That makes sense. All right then.
Siegfried: Let's do this.
A Dark Mirage: Scene 2
Conscious of the lurking Bowman, Ayer finds himself unable to focus. The crew decides to take him out on a shopping trip for a change of pace. As Ayer is waiting for the others, he bumps into a former brawler from his days at the arena and gets attacked.
Ayer: Huff... Huff...
Siegfried: Ayer, is something still bothering you?
Ayer: No, I just...
Ayer: Sorry. I made a big deal out of staying focused, and then I went and gave that pitiful display...
Siegfried: I'm not trying to criticize you.
Ayer: I know...
Ayer wipes the sweat from his brow with his fist.
Ayer: (There's a chill running down my spine... I can tell he's right there, waiting...)
Ayer: (Letting myself get carried away would be bad news, even in a practice match.)
Ayer: (I don't even want to think about what would happen in a real fight.)
Siegfried: It's not bad to think through things. A little stress can be beneficial.
Siegfried: But don't get hasty. Remember what I told you before?
Siegfried: Well, I guess if I had to say, it would be our difference in perseverance.
Siegfried: Yes. Keep at it no matter what, prepare yourself for things to get better, and wait for opportunity to come knocking.
Siegfried: Of course you never know when it'll come. But life swings between joy and sorrow in a flash, so it's possible to blink and miss your chance.
Siegfried: That's why perseverance is so important.
Ayer: I need to keep persevering until opportunity comes knocking...
Siegfried: Well, I'll be on my way now. See you later, Ayer.
Ayer: Oh, okay... Thanks.
Ayer gives Siegfried an absentminded reply and sinks into his own thoughts once again.
Ayer: (He told me not to be hasty, but I don't think I'm even at that point yet.)
Ayer: (I'm just floundering because I'm unprepared...)
Ayer: Wait, what exactly do I need to be prepared for?
Ayer: (A real battle? Am I planning to fight someone seriously one day?)
Though unable to discern the reason for his desire to become stronger, he is nevertheless disgusted by his weakness.
He had always felt somehow dissatisfied with his idyllic family and the happy moments spent with his friends.
Whenever he pictured himself in such situations, he would be overcome with a sense of uneasiness and impatience.
Ayer: (Why exactly do I want to become stronger?)
Ayer: That's what I can't figure out.
The words are carried away by the wind, heard by no one.
Jessica: Hehe. That certainly would be surprising.
Lyria: Right? Silly Vyrn...
Vyrn: Hey! Are you sayin' it was my fault?
Vyrn: What do you think, Ayer?
Jessica: Ayer, were you listening?
Ayer: Huh? Oh, yeah...
In order to help Ayer unwind, (Captain) and company have brought him with them into town on a shopping trip.
But Ayer's expression remains downcast, his mind elsewhere.
Lyria: Why don't we take a look in that shop?
Lyria chimes in as though trying to lighten the mood, and (Captain) nods in response.
Lyria: Let's go, Jessica!
Jessica: Oh—wait, Lyria!
Come with us, Ayer.
Ayer: I'll pass. You guys go ahead. I'll wait here.
Vyrn: Are you feelin' sleepy, Ayer?
Ayer: Nah, I'm fine. Don't worry about me.
Jessica: Well, if you're sure... Wait right here then. Don't run off on your own, okay?
Ayer: I know, I know. I'm not a little kid.
Jessica: Hehe. That's true. Okay, we'll be right back.
Now alone, Ayer leans against a wall in view of the shop Jessica and the others are in.
It's true that he doesn't feel sleepy. However, his body feels chilled to the core, making it too much effort just to move and think.
Bowman: Ugh, I'm so booored. I'm sick of this charade. Aren't you, Ayer?
Ayer: (I can feel him growing stronger with every day that passes. At this rate, he really is going to take over. I have to do something...)
???: Well, if it isn't Ayer!
???: Whaddya know? Long time no see, Ayer.
When he turns, Ayer sees a man who seems vaguely familiar.
???: I gotta say, this isn't the warm welcome I was expecting. Don't tell me you don't remember me.
???: We used to face each other in the underground fighting arena.
Ayer: What do you want?
Former Brawler: Heh. Well, it's not something I'm keen on discussing in the middle of the street. Follow me.
Former Brawler: So you managed to escape that mass arrest too, eh? Guess I shouldn't be surprised.
Former Brawler: Cold as always, I see. Anyway, I'm lucky to have bumped into you here.
Ayer: If you have something to say, then spit it out. I don't have time for this.
Former Brawler: Now, now, just hear me out. I have a feeling this'll interest you.
Ignoring Ayer's obvious displeasure, the man drapes his arm around Ayer's shoulders in an overly familiar manner.
Former Brawler: How would you like to make it big with that skill of yours again?
Former Brawler: Things with the arena have just about blown over, so I was thinking about starting up some more underground fights.
Former Brawler: They wouldn't be on the scale of the arena at first, of course...
Former Brawler: But I bet we could put on a pretty great show with you involved.
Ayer: No thanks. Ask somebody else.
Former Brawler: Don't be like that. With that crazy strength of yours, it'd be a waste for you not to fight.
Former Brawler: Plus you've got that gap between your appearance and strength going for you.
Former Brawler: You were born to fight in an arena.
Ayer: Knock it off! Let go!
Ayer violently shakes the man's arm off his shoulders.
Former Brawler: Hey!
Ayer: I'm not interested. I have no intention of ever fighting in an arena again.
Ayer: So beat it!
Former Brawler: Huh? We were having a nice conversation, and then you go and start mouthing off. You've got a lot of nerve, kid.
Former Brawler: Do you seriously think you can go back to living in the real world? Huh?
Former Brawler: Anyway, now that I've told you my plan, I won't be leaving empty-handed!
A Dark Mirage: Scene 3
The brawler and his friends gang up on Ayer, who refuses to fight in fear that Bowman might show himself. Jessica and Lyria arrive at the scene and are about to become the brawlers' new targets when Ayer finally gives in to his combative self.
Ayer: Huff... Huff...
Ayer: (At this level... I can still restrain myself!)
Ayer: Had enough? Now get lost!
Former Brawler: You really are strong, Ayer. I'm telling you, it's a waste not to use that strength.
Former Brawler: Don't you think, guys?
Former Brawler: We're not going anywhere until you agree to cooperate. Put those fists up, Ayer.
Finding himself suddenly surrounded, Ayer instinctively clenches his fists to fight back. But then he hesitates, his hands trembling.
Ayer: (I won't be able to control myself if I take on this many people!)
A chill run downs Ayer's spine like a cold hand tracing his back, and his knees buckle.
Former Brawler: C'mon, what's wrong? You just gonna sit back and let us pummel you?
Ayer: (This is bad... I can feel my consciousness fading...)
Overcome with drowsiness even as he is struck with countless relentless blows, Ayer crouches onto the ground.
Former Brawler: You look pathetic, kid! Guess I had you pegged wrong all along—I didn't realize you were such a coward!
Ayer: (I must look like such a loser. But even so...)
Ayer: (It's better than letting Bowman take the reins. But I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open...)
On the verge of losing consciousness, Ayer groans in pain as he tastes blood from the corner of his mouth.
The fog in his mind clears instantly as he hears a familiar voice.
Jessica: What's the meaning of this!
Grimacing from the pain he can suddenly feel all too clearly, Ayer raises his head to see his sister Jessica staring into the alley in shock.
Lyria pops out from behind Jessica.
Ayer: No... Don't get involved!
Jessica: What do you scoundrels think you're doing?
Former Brawler: Huh? Who are you supposed to be? One of Ayer's buddies?
Ayer: Hey, wait!
As Ayer attempts to pull himself off the ground, the men surrounding him dig their heels into his back, preventing him from rising.
Former Brawler: Why don't you just lie there and take a nice nap?
Jessica: Stop this nonsense! Get away from Ayer!
Former Brawler: Now, now, settle down, missy. Y'know, you two are pretty cute.
Jessica: Don't touch me!
Former Brawler: Whoa now! You oughta calm down if you know what's good for you.
Ayer: Leave them alone!
Hey, what happened to (Captain)?
Lyria: (Captain) isn't with us. We split up to look for you.
Former Brawler: Come on, quit ignoring us. Let's all get to know each other better. Whaddya say?
Former Brawler: Ayer, is this cutie the one who stole your backbone and turned you into a coward?
Ayer: Shut up... Get away from them!
Former Brawler: That must've been nice... How about you let us join in?
Ayer: No! Get away!
Ayer: (My head feels like it's about to burst...)
Filled with rage and desperation interspersed with bouts of conflicting drowsiness, Ayer's head pounds with pain.
Ayer: (It's no use... I'm losing control...)
With Ayer still unable to move, Jessica is the one to break the deadlock.
Jessica: Out of my way!
Jessica: I don't know who you people are, but do you really expect me to let this continue?
Former Brawler: I gotta say, I wish you'd keep that pretty little mouth shut. Cheeky girls aren't my type.
The man grabs Jessica's hair and yanks it forcefully.
Ayer: You bastard!
Flashes of red and white dance before Ayer's eyes, flooding his mind until he can't think straight.
Ayer: You... filthy, rotten scum!
Former Brawler: Ngh... Gyah!
Former Brawler: No... Stooop!
The desperate cries and shouts of confusion fade away until they seem to be coming from far in the distance.
A Dark Mirage: Scene 4
With the brawlers defeated, the crew is back at the ship. However, Ayer is unable to win against Bowman in his own mind. Bowman takes control of Ayer's body, vowing to take care of things from here on.
Vyrn: Man, of all the things to happen when we weren't around.
After regrouping, (Captain) and company have arrived back at the Grandcypher.
Vyrn: Sounds like things got pretty dicey back there.
(Captain) apologizes to Lyria for leaving her side.
Lyria: It's not your fault, (Captain)!
Lyria: And besides...
Lyria: Ayer was there to save us! I can't believe he was able to fight so many opponents at once—it was amazing!
Vyrn: Haha! You really are strong, Ayer!
Bowman: It was no big deal. Those guys were a bunch of pushovers.
Lyria: How are your injuries?
Bowman: This is nothing! In fact, I'm feeling better than ever.
Vyrn: You've been awful sleepy-lookin' lately. Are you over that now too?
Bowman: Yeah, that won't be a problem anymore. I'm good as new.
Lyria: Thank goodness. We've been really worried about you. Right, Jessica?
Jessica: Yes. Very much so.
Jessica stares at Ayer's—Bowman's—face as though searching for something.
Jessica: Say, Ayer...
Bowman: Yeah? What's up, Sis?
Jessica: Never mind. It's nothing.
Bowman: Hahaha! So? How're you feeling, Ayer?
Ayer: You bastard...
Bowman: Glare all you want, but you can't scare me anymore.
Bowman: Those half-baked efforts of yours turned out pretty crappy, didn't they, Ayer?
Bowman: Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.
Bowman: What were you even trying to do back there?
Ayer: What do you mean? I just—
Bowman: Even though you rejected me, you still relied on power.
Bowman: And now I'm in control—all because you tried to protect those ridiculous bonds of yours instead of just giving them up.
Bowman: Hah! What a joke!
Bowman: And you were worrying about some pretty stupid stuff too, weren't you?
Bowman: Like what you were using your power for or something.
Ayer: What's it to you?
Bowman: You really are an idiot, you know that?
Bowman: Do you need a reason to feel hungry or sleepy?
Bowman: It's all the same, Ayer.
Bowman: Craving power and conflict—it's just instinct!
Bowman: You don't need a fancy reason. Just forget about all that and give in to your desires!
Bowman: But don't worry.
Bowman: I'll punch a hole right through all that crap and simplify things for you.
Ayer: I don't know what you're up to, but I won't let you have your way!
Bowman: Ayer. Say all you want, but you know as well as I do that you can't stop me.
Bowman: Ooh, you wanna have a go? I'm in! Feels right, doesn't it?
Ayer: Shut up!
Ayer and Bowman swing their fists wildly at each other, as though vying for survival.
Bowman: C'mon, Ayer! You gotta be faster than that to keep up with me!
Ayer: Cut it... out!
Bowman: Hahahaha! Too weak!
In the face of Bowman's fierce attacks, Ayer is the first to be brought to his knees.
Bowman: Looks like I win. No surprise there.
Bowman: Now, you just sit back and watch. I'll take care of everything.
Bowman grins confidently, knowing full well that Ayer is powerless to stop him.
A Hopeful Heart
As Bowman continues to spend his days on the ship as Ayer, his vulgar comments become increasingly apparent. Bowman accompanies the crew on a new mission, excited for an opportunity to let loose.
On a quiet morning several days after the incident in town, (Captain) and the crew gather in the galley of the Grandcypher.
Lyria: Oh! Good morning, Ayer.
Vyrn: You sure look sleepy. You feelin' okay?
Bowman: Yeah, I'm fine.
He greets his crewmates sleepily and sits down at the table with an innocent expression on his face.
Lowain: Mornin', bro!
Lowain: I'm in charge of breakfast this morning, and I cooked up something real special just for you!
Bowman: Oh yeah? Special?
Lowain: It's high in protein and low in fat, just like you asked. But I didn't let that affect the taste or looks one bit!
Lowain: I'm, like, pretty proud of it, so enjoy!
Bowman: High protein and low fat, huh? Hah, pathetic.
Lowain: Huh? You say somethin', bro?
Bowman: Nope. Looks delicious. Thanks a bunch.
Lowain: You got it!
Wait, did you just thank me? You?
Lowain: Looks like today's gonna be a lucky day!
Lowain grins happily and saunters into the kitchen.
Vyrn: Ayer seems to be feelin' a lot better.
Lyria: He sure does!
Lyria: I've seen him talking to the other crew members more too... I'm really glad he's opening up!
Bowman: What's up, Ayer? Got something to say?
Bowman: You gotta admit, things are going pretty well.
Ayer: Bowman... What are you scheming?
Bowman: Hahaha! Chill out, buddy. Just kick back and enjoy the show.
Bowman: Hey, (Captain), don't we have any more interesting jobs on our plate?
A short time has passed since Bowman started working with the crew as "Ayer."
Lyria: Um... Interesting jobs?
Bowman: Yeah. Feels like I'm starting to lose my edge, y'know? I've got the urge to let loose and go wild.
He speaks the words with a smile on his face, but (Captain) and company are confused by his intentions.
Vyrn: Go wild?
The rough nature of Ayer's—or rather Bowman's—speech and behavior has gradually been making itself more obvious.
Lyria: Well, we do have a request... Right, (Captain)?
Bowman: Oh yeah? What for? You ought to bring me along—you can be sure I'll be useful, (Captain).
Bowman: Oh, this must be the place.
(Captain) and the crew have made their way off the main road to a remote location in the mountains.
Bandit: Hey! Who the hell are you people!
The crew has accepted a mission to capture a gang of bandits targeting travelers and merchants in the area.
Bandit: C'mon, guys! Let's give our guests a warm welcome!
Bowman: Hah! The worthless little rats are rounding themselves up. Thanks for saving us time.
Vyrn: H-hey, Ayer! Don't be too rough with 'em!
Bowman: Yeah, yeah, I know. Anyway, let's get to work!
A Hopeful Heart: Scene 2
Bowman ends up getting too rough during their mission. As the crew discusses his recent behavior with Jessica, Bowman appears and is about to challenge (Captain) to a fight when he spots Seox passing by and decides to switch targets.
Bowman: Hahaha! Is that all you've got? Well?
Bandit: Urgh... Eek! N-no more!
Bowman: Oh, come on. You gotta entertain me more, or else what's the point? Show some spirit!
Vyrn: Hey, lay off 'em! Don't you think they've had enough?
Bowman grudgingly lowers his fists as Lyria and Vyrn plead with him to stop in panicked voices.
Bowman: Whoops. They were so weak I guess I let myself get carried away.
Jessica: So that's what happened...
Lyria: Yes. Then we asked him to stop, and things didn't escalate any further.
Vyrn: He's been actin' kinda funny lately, don'tcha think?
Jessica: You're right. He does seem to be behaving strangely. But I think that's—
Bowman: Hey, (Captain).
Bowman: I could use some more action. Whaddya say we trade punches?
Vyrn: In other words, you wanna fight?
Bowman: You're up for it, right?
(Captain) seems to hesitate at Bowman's request.
Bowman: C'mon, you can't tell me that was enough for you. I know you—
Bowman: Oh, actually, never mind. I'll ask him.
Lyria: Huh? Who?
Bowman: Perfect timing.
Bowman grins with delight upon seeing Seox pass by behind (Captain).
Bowman: Perfect timing.
Appearing behind (Captain) is Seox, a member of the Eternals, one of the strongest crews in the skies.
(Captain) and company were first acquainted with the Eternals through Sierokarte.
Bowman grins with delight upon seeing the formidable warrior.
Bowman: Fight me, Mr. Eternal.
Seox: Are you challenging me to a duel?
Bowman: You'll do it, right? Think of it as a rematch.
Seox: Very well. I accept your challenge.
A Hopeful Heart: Scene 3
Bowman wins against Seox, but growing irritated with Seox's words, reveals his true nature as Bowman and attacks the crew. Believing that Bowman is also a part of her brother, Jessica decides to put a stop to his actions.
Lyria: I guess Ayer wins?
Bowman: I could tell he was holding back, but oh well. I was doing the same thing.
Bowman: Either way, guess I've had my revenge.
Seox: Do you recall what I said to you before?
Seox: What has you so flustered? What are you afraid of? Can you even see me clearly?
Seox: If you discard those who care for you to walk the path of solitary combat, nothing awaits you but darkness.
Bowman: Sorry to say I don't.
Seox: I know you must remember, Ayer.
Seox: I heard about what happened the other day. You swung your fists to protect your sister and Lyria.
Seox: So what are you so frightened of?
Seox: It doesn't sound like you're headed down the path of darkness anymore.
Bowman: What the hell are you going on about?
Seox: I see. I suppose you wouldn't know...
Oho... It's quite rare for you to speak to other people like that, Seox.
Seox: Seofon. I didn't see you there.
Seofon: I was here the whole time! Actually, wait—we came here together!
Oho... It's quite rare for you to speak to other people like that, Seox.
Seox: Seofon. I didn't see you there.
Seofon: I was here the whole time! Actually, wait—we came here together!
Seofon is the leader of the Eternals.
Seox: Enough. I don't have the energy to deal with you right now.
Seofon: Okaaay. Sorry for interrupting.
Seox: Anyway... Ayer.
Seox calls his name as though to confirm something.
Seox: You've already figured out what's important to you, haven't you?
Bowman: Hah! Don't give me that.
Bowman: You mean all that happy-go-lucky crap that tied him down, don't you?
Vyrn: Huh? Who are you talkin' about?
Bowman: Ugh, I'm seriously getting sick of all this.
Bowman: I think it's about time to smash it all to pieces.
Vyrn: Whoa, what're you sayin'?
Lyria: Um... Are you... Bowman?
Bowman: Oh? Guess the jig is up.
Vyrn: Huh? What's goin' on? You're not Ayer?
Bowman: What're you acting so surprised for? You already knew there was another person inside "Ayer."
Bowman: That person would be me.
Vyrn: What! Then what happened to the real Ayer?
Bowman: What do you mean real? I'm just as real as he is, bonehead.
Lyria: Is Ayer okay?
Bowman: Who knows?
Vyrn: You jerk!
Bowman: Hahaha! You lookin' for a fight? Bring it on!
Bowman swings his fists gleefully at Vyrn and Lyria, but (Captain) dashes forward to intercept his punches.
Bowman: Well, well! Looks like you're finally ready to fight. Let's do this, (Captain)!
Jessica: Stop this, Ayer!
Vyrn: Hey, Jessica, he's not Ayer right now—he's Bowman. Ayer can't hear you!
Jessica: No, that's not true.
Jessica: Ayer. I won't stand idly by and watch you attack your fellow crewmates.
Jessica: (Captain), everyone, I'm sorry for my brother's behavior.
Vyrn: There ain't no reason for you to apologize! I'm tellin' you, he's—
Jessica: He's Ayer.
Jessica: It's true he's acting differently... even going so far as to take the persona of someone he calls "Bowman"...
Jessica: But make no mistake—he's a part of Ayer too. That much is fact.
Jessica stares directly into her little brother's eyes as the rest of the crew watches on, bewildered.
Jessica: Ayer... As your sister, I can't stand by and watch you make poor decisions.
A Hopeful Heart: Scene 4
Ayer listens to Seofon's words of advice and realizes that there are those who will accept him for all that he is. As Ayer comes to terms with his combative nature, Bowman disappears and Ayer returns to himself, stronger than before.
Bowman: Hahahahaha! That's rich!
Bowman: I gave in to my instincts and tried to attack my comrades, and you still think I'm that naive little brother of yours?
Bowman: Is that what you're saying? Is that seriously how it looks to you?
Jessica: Yes, that's right. You are—without a doubt—my little brother Ayer.
Bowman: I gotta say, I'm shocked! I knew you were clueless, but I didn't realize how clueless.
Seofon: Hm... You won't stand a chance against your sister by being sarcastic.
Seofon: I've said it before, but that sarcasm of yours is no more than a defense mechanism stemming from your fear of revealing your true self.
Seofon: What are you so afraid of? Both the unnecessary length of your trunks and the sarcastic cut of your jib—it's all a defense mechanism.
Seofon: It's like you're scared to expose your true self.
Seofon: Putting the length of your swim trunks aside for the moment...
Seofon: Isn't it about time you were true to yourself, Ayer?
Seofon: The desire to guard your heart as well as your heart itself...
Seofon: There are so many people ready and willing to understand and accept you for who you are.
Ayer: My... heart? Bowman is... part of me...
Ayer: Sis, everyone... I...
Ayer turns to face Bowman and stares directly into his eyes.
Bowman: What? You wanna fight?
Ayer: No, I won't fight you.
Ayer: Bowman, it's true that you're an alternate self I created.
Ayer: I was searching for someone... someone to rely on.
Ayer: I wanted somebody to see I was different from my perfect family and to accept my combativeness... to understand and guide me.
Bowman: Right? We had a lot of fun together, didn't we?
Ayer: Fun, huh...
Ayer: I won't lie—it was comforting having you around. It felt like I had an older brother looking out for me.
The resolve in Ayer's eyes seems to waver for a moment, but he continues.
Ayer: Even so, I rejected you.
Ayer: I rejected you—the symbol of my desire to fight—but I couldn't accept my powerlessness.
Ayer: I turned away from the combativeness driving me, as well as from the people who made me who I am, and who are trying to protect me even now.
Ayer: But after doing that, I had nothing left.
Bowman: Hey, knock it off, Ayer. Enough talk.
Bowman: If you wanna persuade me, you better come at me with your fists. C'mon, fight me like a man.
Ayer: Give it up, Bowman. I told you I'm not going to fight you.
Ayer: Don't let me reject you any longer.
Ayer approaches Bowman slowly.
He then wraps his arms around Bowman, who stands frozen in place.
Ayer: Thank you.
Bowman: Hah... You're a downer through and through.
Bowman: I've had enough of protecting a boring kid like you.
Ayer breathes a sigh as he opens his eyes and looks around at his crewmates.
Upon seeing their concerned expressions, he shrugs his shoulders slightly, feeling uncomfortable.
Jessica: I want you to stand there and think about what you did!
Jessica: Do you have any idea how much trouble you caused everyone? How worried we all were?
Ayer: Sorry about that.
Vyrn: Sheesh. I don't really get what just happened, but I'm glad things are back to normal.
Lyria: Hehe. Don't be so mad at him, Jessica.
Jessica: But... I was so worried...
Ayer: Sis... I'm sorry. Er... It's all thanks to you that I, well...
Jessica: The truth is, I was scared.
Jessica: I didn't know what I'd do if you said you didn't need your friends and family anymore...
Ayer: Sorry... I'm okay now. I won't deny who I am any longer.
Jessica: Hehe. I'm glad to hear it. You've really grown up strong.
Ayer: Don't treat me like a kid.
Jessica: I wasn't trying to. I just meant I'm glad I can rely on your strength.
Ayer: Me being strong makes you happy?
Jessica: Of course! You saved me the other day, after all.
Jessica: And you have to be strong if you're going to travel with (Captain) and the crew as a skyfarer.
Ayer: Yeah... That's true.
Ayer raises his head and turns to (Captain) and the crew with newfound resolve.
Ayer: It wasn't just my sister. You all being there for me, and the things you said... they all pushed me forward in the right direction, little by little...
Ayer: At least I think so.
Ayer: I guess what I want to say is...
Ayer: Nope, that's it! The end!
Ayer turns his face away, his cheeks flushed slightly.
Vyrn: Haha! C'mon, there's no reason to be embarrassed!
Ayer: I'm not embarrassed!
Lyria: Don't worry, Ayer! I understand what you were trying to say!
Ayer: Stop it! You don't need to understand it!
Try as he might, Ayer is still unable to be completely honest about his feelings.
But upon seeing his efforts to improve himself, (Captain)'s heart is filled with warmth.