The Embrasque Enigma
With the moon conflict over, Beatrix throws a welcome back party for Embrasque replete with homemade treats for the weapon. The others know swords can't eat, but after looking away for only a second, they find the treats are gone. Eustace stops by, having business with Beatrix but decides to save it for later. (Captain) is glad Eustace is enjoying the party but has a bad feeling about this "business" of his.
Beatrix: Uhhh, ahem.
Beatrix: We all settled in? Everyone's got their drinks ready, right? Let's get this thing started!
Beatrix: Here's to my trusty partner's recovery!
Vyrn & Lyria: Cheers!
Zeta: Ahaha, cheers!
(Captain), too, raises a cup and looks to the guest of honor sitting—nay, propped up on a chair—at the head of the table.
Beatrix: Oh, (Captain)! Wanna clink glasses with Embrasque?
Beatrix: That's what we like to hear! Come on, move your butt!
Excitedly, Beatrix drags (Captain) by the arm over to her beloved weapon.
She beams like a child at her birthday party, drawing a smile out of (Captain) as well.
The captain's glass taps Embrasque's red grip.
Beatrix: Embrasque says "cheers" too! Hehehe!
Lyria: Hehe, Beatrix and Embrasque are positively glowing with happiness.
Vyrn: That's nice to see and all, but I hope she doesn't keel over by the end.
Zeta: Let her have her fun. It's a party for her best pard's return, you know?
Zeta: I haven't seen her smile like that in such a long time. If she passes out from running around, then we'll just carry her to bed.
Vyrn: Guess you're right. Sure was surprising though when she suddenly sprung this party on us.
Vyrn's comment reminds (Captain) of the events leading up to the celebration.
Everything was set in motion some hours ago.
With the skies saved from the moon, and Cassius safely returned home, life for the crew had settled down...
At least until Beatrix ran up to (Captain) with her newly revived Embrasque in hand.
Beatrix: (Captain)! Vyrn! Lyria! Zetaaa!
Zeta: You don't have to scream for us to hear you. What is it?
Beatrix: Let's go all out! Right now! Everything's already good to go!
Beatrix: So you can't say no, heh!
Zeta: Uh-huh. Settle down, girl, and tell us what exactly we can't say no to.
Beatrix: A welcome-back party for Embrasque, duh!
Beatrix: It's finally back in action! We gotta celebrate! We have to! No ifs, ands, or buts about it!
She holds Embrasque up like a proud parent.
And like a proud child, it beams in response.
Embrasque—a special blade known as a seal weapon.
It is also Beatrix's beloved sword and partner. Together they have overcome challenge after challenge.
However, this was not always the case.
Its blade was shattered in a battle against Alandus when he betrayed the Society.
The damage seemed irreparable...
Beatrix: Look at it! Boom! Embrasque is back! Well, sort of.
But a small portion was restored thanks to the efforts of Society research and Divine General Mahira.
Things would only get better for Embrasque in the strife that followed.
Lyria: Ah! Embrasque is responding!
Raybury: Sorry for the wait. But I hope you'll find that it was worth it.
Glowing with an intense purple aura, the sword regains its original form in Beatrix's hands.
Zeta: Congrats, Bea!
Beatrix: Whoo! I've got my baby back!
The recovery program Raybury prepared allowed for a complete restoration.
Beatrix: You guys'll join in, right? Don't leave us hanging!
Lyria: A welcome-back party for Embrasque... Hehehe, sounds fun. Of course we're up for it!
Zeta: Not too often someone celebrates a weapon's recovery. It's lucky to have you as its partner.
Zeta: Anyway, who am I to say no? I'm in!
With a nod from (Captain) as well, the group agrees to the party.
Beatrix: Heheh, I knew you'd say yes, so I already prepped everything!
Beatrix: There's a mountain of sweets waiting that'll melt your teeth and taste buds!
Bursting with excitement, she leads them to the party area.
Beatrix: Embrasque! We owe you for bailing us out during the whole thing with Diaspora!
Beatrix: Without you, we would've...
Beatrix: Ugh... Definitely not something I want to think about.
Zeta: Got its groove back at just the right time, that's for sure.
Beatrix: I just wish you would've come back sooner!
Beatrix: Do you know how awful things got without you around?
Beatrix: After you got messed up, I had to finish a covert mission without you...
Beatrix: Mm, you were always by my side, that's true. It's all over and done with anyway!
Beatrix: Huh? You were that worried about me? S-sorry...
Beatrix: Hey, you worried me just as much!
Beatrix: Gah, I don't wanna hear it! This conversation's over! Just be quiet and enjoy the party!
Vyrn: I'm never gonna get over hearin' someone speak with their sword.
Lyria: What do you think they're saying to each other?
Vyrn: No idea. You sure it can actually talk? What if she's been pranking us this whole time?
Zeta: Hm... Feels like she's not faking it to me, at least. Remember what Mahira said before?
Zeta's words prompt an early conversation to come to mind.
Mahira: Another thing I found interesting is that Embrasque most resembles an automagod out of all the seal weapons.
Beatrix: Huh? What makes you say that? It's still in the shape of a sword.
Vaseraga: That does make sense, on multiple fronts.
Zeta: Embrasque always did seem to have a strong will of its own. Sure, it kept its sword form, but you could see small changes in how it looked.
Zeta: You've even said yourself that you could hear its voice, Bea.
Beatrix: I'm not sure I fully understand, but does that mean Embrasque will end up just like Grynoth and Arianensa?
Mahira: No. As I said earlier, there's no need to worry about that happening.
Mahira: It may be the closest to an automagod, but it's ultimately something else entirely.
Zeta: Only Bea knows for sure...
Zeta: But she's having such a blast that I'm inclined to believe her conversations are real.
Lyria: Hehe, watching her makes me wish I could speak with Embrasque too!
Beatrix: Don't just wish—give it a try!
Beatrix grabs Lyria by the hand and brings her face-to-face with her partner.
Lyria: W-welcome back, Embrasque.
Lyria: I think it's saying "thank you"?
Beatrix: Ding-ding! So you can hear Embrasque after all!
Lyria: Yay! That was our first conversation ever!
Vyrn: Does it really count as a convo if you can guess what was said...
Zeta: Ahaha, why sweat the details? Lyria, congrats.
Beatrix: Now that we're all in a festive mood, it's time to bust out the main dish! Embrasque, hope you're ready to chow down!
Beatrix: Ta-da! Lovely Melty Bea Pie! Topped with extra cream!
Beatrix: And that's not all! Here's a Cute and Dreamy Bea Macaron and a Fancy Bea Langue de Chat—
Vyrn: Whoa, okay, wait!
Beatrix: Relax, I'll get to you guys soon. There's plenty to go around.
Beatrix: How about a Fancy Bea Biscuit? Or a Twinkle Star Bea Eclair?
One after another, Beatrix places an assortment of pastel colored treats on the table.
Lyria: Oh my gosh, it's like looking at a cute rainbow of desserts...
Zeta: You made all this yourself? Forget being a weapon contractor. Maybe you should've been a patissier this whole time.
Beatrix: Butter me up as much as you want—you won't get anything besides food!
Vyrn: Which we haven't even tasted yet.
Vyrn: Wait... Hold on.
Vyrn: That, uh, lovely whatever...
Beatrix: You mean the Lovely Melty Bea Pie and the Cute and Dreamy Bea Ma—
Vyrn: Right. So movin' past your sense of naming...
Vyrn: You seriously tryin' to feed Embrasque this stuff?
Beatrix: Uh, yeah? Why do you think I made all this stuff?
Vyrn: Pretty sure you can't feed food to a weapon, no matter how special it is...
Beatrix: Hm... You think so?
Beatrix: The important thing is showing Embrasque that it's appreciated!
Soon enough, the table overflows with Beatrix's baked treats.
Zeta: It's almost like we're making a huge offering to a primal beast deified by a town or temple.
Lyria: Hehehe, we are pretty blessed to have this much food!
As the others chat, (Captain) catches a whiff of something acrid.
Zeta: Hold on... Something smells like it's burning. Bea, you didn't leave the oven on, did you?
Beatrix: Well, the Bea Apple Cake should still be—
Beatrix: The caaake!
Zeta: Bea! I don't care how excited you are, you know you shouldn't leave any fires unattended!
Beatrix: U-ugh, you're not wrong! My caaakeee!
Zeta: Oh no... Wait! I'm coming too!
Zeta: You're going to burn yourself just like last time if you don't calm down!
Vyrn: Scatterbrained like always...
Eustace: Did you expect anything less?
Lyria: Eustace? When did you get here?
Eustace: Just now.
Lyria: Are you here for the party too?
Eustace: I've got other business. Need to tell Bea—
Eustace: Where did all the sweets disappear to?
(Captain) follows Eustace's line of sight.
The gigantic pile of food is gone, leaving only empty plates in its place.
Vyrn: Everything's gone? Lyria, don't tell me you...
Lyria: I-I promise I didn't eat anything! Beatrix's sweets are always very tasty, but...
Lyria: I wouldn't eat Embrasque's food without permission!
Vyrn: That's true, sorry... Where did it all go then?
As the group ponders the mystery, Zeta and Beatrix return.
Beatrix: Ahh... I can't believe I burned a bit of it...
Zeta: It's probably fine. The amount of sugar you pour into your recipes should cover it up.
Beatrix: Hehe, I guess so. The burnt parts might even highlight other flavors and make it taste even better!
Beatrix: Like caramelized topping!
Zeta: If you want to go that route... Why not add custard cream into the mix and turn it into pudding?
Beatrix: You're a genius. No, wait, I'm also a genius. I was about to suggest the same thing.
Zeta: Okay, genius.
Zeta: Huh... Where'd all the food go? Don't tell me Lyria—
Lyria: I-I didn't! Geez, even you thought so...
Zeta: Sorry. Guess that only leaves Eustace... But he wouldn't snack like that, so he's out.
Beatrix: Hehe, obviously Embrasque's the culprit!
Beatrix: Told me it was all delicious too!
Beatrix: It could've been sweeter? Talk about having a sweet tooth!
Vyrn: A sweet tooth... You seriously sayin' the sword ate all the...
Vyrn: Nah, I refuse to believe it.
Zeta: I can't tell the fact from fiction anymore.
Eustace: Those two are always a chaotic mix of surprises.
Zeta: Ahaha, like wielder like sword, or maybe a pair of odd siblings.
Beatrix: Heheh! That means I'm the older sister!
Zeta: More like younger.
Beatrix: Hey! I'm way more mature! Don't deny it!
Beatrix: And what are you laughing about? You looking down on me too?
Beatrix: Sit down and get a mouthful of my cuisine, and you'll realize how right I am!
Vyrn: Before that, I think Sourpuss wanted to talk to you about somethin'.
Eustace: We can discuss it later. Right now let's humor Beatrix.
Eustace smiles and takes a seat at the table.
The party begins in earnest, with conversation and laughter filling the room.
However, in the back of (Captain)'s mind, dread builds at the thought of whatever news Eustace brings.
Submerge in Ultramarine
After Beatrix's party ends, Eustace informs the crew that a noble family living in a nearby country was brought to ruins and murdered. In addition, many people reported seeing an Otherworldly being in that family's town. Beatrix is left shaken when she hears the news.
The curtain closes on Embrasque's welcome-back party, and clean-up time begins.
Once (Captain) and company finish tidying up, Eustace speaks of the business he came to discuss.
Eustace: We discovered a group of Otherworldly beings disguised as automagods.
Beatrix: Them again!
An image of the aforementioned creatures comes to mind.
They started an invasion while (Captain) and friends were planning to go to the moon, and a fierce battle ensued.
Their offensive ultimately ended in failure, and they vanished afterward.
Zeta: Those guys are still around? Would've been smarter to give up and lay low.
Eustace: If only. They've been spotted throughout the skies, and we have no idea what they're after.
Eustace: I think you'll agree when I say we can't let them run amok.
Beatrix: That's where we come in, huh?
Beatrix: Heheh, leave it to us! You hear that, Embrasque? It'll be your first mission since coming back!
Beatrix: What, keep my guard up? Pssh, it'll be fine! With you by my side, we'll have it done in no time!
Zeta: I know your partner's back in action, but try not to get carried away. Charging in's not always the answer.
Beatrix: I-I never do that without a good reason, okay!
Zeta: Is that right? Now you've got me worried too. Maybe I should come keep you company.
Eustace: No. You've got your own task to do.
Eustace: Like I said, we received reports of automagod-disguised Otherworldly beings from multiple areas.
Eustace: Splitting up will allow us to prevent casualties over a wider area.
Zeta: Hmmm, right. Can't argue with that...
Zeta: Bea, stay focused out there, all right?
Beatrix: Heheh, you know I will! Me and Embrasque will have those creepy punks handled!
Beatrix: What're you squirming around for?
Beatrix: Oh, is my cooking so good you've gone speechless? Haha, if you like it that much, you should tell—
Eustace: Your deduction skills need work.
Beatrix: Hey! It's not like it couldn't happen...
Zeta: Is there something you're not telling us?
Eustace: There is.
Eustace: The country near the sightings... A well-known family of nobles used to live there before their house suddenly fell into ruin.
Eustace: They were supposedly doing well for themselves, but they began to take on a lot of debt around the same time witnesses started reporting they'd seen Otherworldly beings.
Eustace: After the family lost everything... They were all killed by unknown assailants.
Lyria: That's horrible...
Lyria: Do you think it had something to do with the Otherworldly people?
Vyrn: If they did, why would they bother removin' the nobles from grace in the first place?
Vyrn: What's the point?
(Captain) glances over at Beatrix and Zeta, noticing their strange silence.
Beatrix in particular is pale as a ghost, her lips trembling ever so slightly.
Her voice is unsteady when she speaks.
Eustace: The appearance of Otherworldly beings could be a coincidence.
Beatrix: Coincidence? Are you blind!
Fury bleeds from every word of her outburst.
Beatrix: It's too similar... to what happened to me...
Beatrix: Same circumstances, same method, same grisly outcome...
Vyrn: What do you mean?
Submerge in Ultramarine: Scene 2
Beatrix tells the crew about her past—coming from a noble family herself, she lost everything because of the Foe. Her family's collapse sounds suspiciously similar to the ruined family Eustace just told them about, and they think the Otherworldly being might be involved. Beatrix and (Captain) travel to the country where the Otherworlder was spotted to investigate.
Lyria: Are you okay, Beatrix?
Beatrix: Yeah, sorry for losing my cool.
Vyrn: Do you mind if we ask about what happened to you?
Beatrix: No, I don't mind...
Zeta: Bea. You don't have to if you don't want to.
Lyria: Zeta's right. We understand if you don't want to talk about it.
Beatrix: But... I'll be okay. I think it's important to clear things up.
She takes a deep breath, then begins her story.
Born to a noble family, Beatrix spent her early years in comfort, but her family fell into heavy debt when she grew slightly older.
Her parents struggled greatly to maintain their lot in life.
Young Beatrix supported them as best as she could, swearing in her heart to one day restore honor to their family name when she grew up.
But that day would never come to be.
What was thought to be a thief broke into Beatrix's home to steal away everything she held dear.
It was only later that she learned that the true culprit was an enemy of the Society.
Listening to Beatrix speak, (Captain) remembers what Zeta had explained about her past.
Lyria: Beatrix... I'm sorry we made you remember...
Vyrn: So that's what you meant... Those are some pretty scarily similar circumstances.
Vyrn: You know for sure the Society's enemies did that to her family?
Eustace: Yeah, though we don't know how involved the Otherworld was.
Eustace: For the current situation as well, the extent of Otherworld involvement is unclear.
Beatrix: They have to be dealt with either way.
Beatrix: Eustace, I'll head over as soon as you give me the coordinates.
Zeta: I still think I should go with you. C'mon, Eustace.
Zeta: Suppose the Otherworld is involved, and they purposefully recreated a situation similar to Bea's past.
Zeta: It'd be the perfect lure to get her attention.
Beatrix: I'll be fine, seriously. You just focus on doing your job! The faster we beat those Otherworld creeps, the better.
Beatrix: Besides, I won't be alone! I've got my two trusty partners coming with!
Beatrix: Yeah! Embrasque and...
Beatrix slings an arm around (Captain)'s shoulder.
Beatrix: (Captain)! Right, partner?
Choose: I've got your back.
- I've got your back.
- Do I know you?
Lyria: Yeah! We'll be helping out however we can!
Zeta: Hehehe, that so? Guess I can breathe a little easier with you guys on the job.Choose: Do I know you?
Beatrix: What! How can you leave me out to dry! That's cold!
Vyrn: Hahaha, you just wanted to see Blue freak out, didn't ya!
Beatrix: C-come on! I get enough teasing from everyone else!Continue 1
Eustace: Look after her, (Captain).
Nodding, the captain returns Eustace's gaze with confidence.
Eustace: If the situation gets out of control, retreat immediately.
Beatrix: Gotcha! Time to do this, (Captain)!
Beatrix and gang part from Zeta and Eustace, ready to fulfill their respective roles.
Submerge in Ultramarine: Scene 3
The crew arrive in the country and find a town devoid of people. They've all been sacrificed by the Otherworldly beings; this was a ploy to capture Beatrix and Embrasque in order to use them as a power source to get to the moon. Beatrix explodes with rage and (Captain) joins her in attacking the beings.
Beatrix and company travel to the country where the Otherworldly beings were sighted.
Not a single soul is in sight when they arrive.
Vyrn: This is super weird. Where'd all the people go?
Beatrix: Hmm... According to Eustace's report, everybody besides the nobles were doing fine.
Beatrix: Heeey! Anyone out there?
Beatrix's shout echoes throughout the empty town.
Vyrn: Not even a whisper back...
Lyria: Hold on... Listen.
The group quiets and does as Lyria asks. After a moment, they realize someone approaches.
The crew instantly draw their weapons.
Beatrix: Who's there? Show yourself!
A shadowy figure emerges from behind a nearby building.
Vyrn: Just a person, huh...
Vyrn: Wait, you okay?
???: Are you here... to help? Please... Help...
Vyrn: Y-you're covered in blood! What happened?
???: Strange beings suddenly appeared out of thin air... and attacked...
Lyria: Oh no...
Lyria: We should give him first aid, (Captain)!
(Captain) does not move. Neither does Beatrix, whose eyes have gone wide.
Lyria: Beatrix? (Captain)?
Beatrix: I've seen you before somewhere...
As Beatrix stares at the stranger's face, a faint memory begins to resurface.
She remembers a time, before her family fell from grace, when her parents were happy. Then she remembers a man that appeared one day.
Beatrix: That's right...
Doubt transforms into certainty as she realizes the man in front of her is the same one from her past.
Beatrix: It was you!
His arrival coincided with the sudden debt that burdened her parents...
The beginning of the end of her happy family life.
Beatrix: You were the one who took everything from me!
Beatrix's scream is the only warning they have before Embrasque expands in size.
Beatrix steps forward, ready to launch herself at the man.
But as she moves, (Captain) catches sight of Embrasque flickering, as if trying to convey a message.
The captain, taking the hint, restrains Beatrix just in time.
Beatrix: Let go! Don't stop me! He's the one—
A magic circle appears in front of the man, and a gargantuan hand emerges to clutch at nothing.
Vyrn: If (Captain) hadn't stopped you...
???: She was mere moments from being in our grasp. How vexing.
Otherworldly Being: All that time and effort spent to make this trap, wasted.
Lyria: An Otherworldly being!
Lyria: You were trying to capture Beatrix? But why?
Otherworldly Being: Isn't it obvious? To use her as a source of power.
Vyrn: What, like a battery or something?
Otherworldly Being: To be more precise, we require the power of her weapon. Alandus was clever to use the blade as the core of his automagod.
Otherworldly Being: But he failed to realize that the woman is a crucial component as well.
Otherworldly Being: Only together can their true worth be drawn out... Hehehe, isn't that right?
Beatrix: Shut up! I don't care why the hell you're here!
Beatrix: You'll answer for what you did to Mom and Dad!
Otherworldly Being: Ah...
Otherworldly Being: I assume you are referring to this man.
Vyrn: Wh-what's goin' on?
Beatrix: I know him! He's the one who showed up at my house a long time ago!
Beatrix: That's when Mom and Dad's troubles started! He has to be the one responsible!
Otherworldly Being: Is that right? Be that as it may, I am not the culprit.
Beatrix: What are you talking about?
Otherworldly Being: You jump to conclusions so quickly. I only recycled this form and its memories to draw you out.
Otherworldly Being: Though... Hehehe, I won't deny that the guilty party was one of my brethren.
Beatrix: I guess there's no way to prove if it was really you or not, is there?
Otherworldly Being: What a ridiculous question. Of course not.
Beatrix: What happened to the people here then?
Otherworldly Being: Another ridiculous question. Can you not deduce the answer yourself? We used them as sustenance.
Otherworldly Being: Though we spent most of their energy on the failed entrapment.
Otherworldly Being: I would advise that you don't waste my time by resisting, and become my source of power.
Otherworldly Being: Every moment spent quarreling with us is a precious opportunity squandered to strike at the weakened moon.
Otherworldly Being: Assuming that you and yours are enough to power our travel to the moon, that is.
Beatrix: You don't even know if your plan will work?
Otherworldly Being: The probability of success is high. Since we failed to obtain the guide beacon to the moon, we are willing to attempt whatever is within our grasp.
Beatrix: All this just to get to the moon?
Beatrix: Everything you did to lure me here...
Beatrix: Like hurting innocent families... Eating the people of this country...
Otherworldly Being: Though our capture mechanism failed, we still managed to bring you here. Our efforts were not completely wasted.
Beatrix: All that... to take Embrasque... and my family away from me again? To get to the moon?
Beatrix: For a garbage reason like that?
Otherworldly Being: You... You dare make light of our ambitions—
Beatrix: I know garbage when I hear it!
Beatrix: What the hell do you think people are?
Embrasque grows ever larger, matching the fury of Beatrix's rage.
Otherworldly Being: Yes... Yes, exactly like that! Your power shall be ours for the taking!
Beatrix: The only thing you'll be taking is a sword to the face!
Beatrix: (Captain)... We're finishing this.
Beatrix: Devour their karma and give them what they deserve!
Readying a weapon as well, (Captain) stands with Beatrix to face the Otherworldly beings.
Submerge in Ultramarine: Scene 4
The crew defeats the Otherworldly beings. The perpetrators of this incident aren't the ones Beatrix seeks revenge on, and the Otherworlders will continue to hunt down Embrasque and Beatrix. (Captain) and the others vow to support her through thick and thin.
Beatrix: You're done for!
Otherworld Horde: ...
Beatrix: And you're all that's left!
With a swing of her mighty sword, Beatrix cleaves the fake automagod in half.
Otherworldly Being: Gah...
Otherworldly Being: Ha... Haha! We were right... Your power can become the guide beacon...
Vyrn: Uh... How is this thing still moving?
Otherworldly Being: Give it to me... Give it to meee!
A tar-like tentacle shoots out from the bisected being and attempts to wrap itself around the swordswoman.
Lyria: Beatrix, watch out!
Beatrix: Don't worry, Lyria. I've got this.
Beatrix: Embrasque Sword! Devour the surging chaos before me!
She swings with enough force to part the very heavens.
Otherworldly Being: Aggghhh...
Where the Otherworldly being once laid, a hole deep enough to gaze at the bottom of the skies remains.
Beatrix: And submerge it in ultramarine.
Vyrn: Wh-whoa... That was somethin' else...
Lyria: Is it over?
Beatrix: Not yet.
Beatrix: He wasn't the one I was looking for.
Beatrix: The true evildoer is still out there, treating people like pawns and making them suffer...
Beatrix: None of this will be over until I find them and devour their karma.
Her grip tightens around Embrasque as she speaks.
Beatrix: If we were their targets... There's no telling when these punks will come back for another attempt.
Choose: We'll devour them together, partner.
- We'll devour them together, partner.
Beatrix: That's right. With you and Embrasque by my side, there's nothing we can't handle.
Beatrix: Thanks for earlier, by the way. Their plan would've worked if you hadn't stopped me.
(Captain) corrects her, saying it was Embrasque who sounded the alarm.
Beatrix: Embrasque did? Haha... Wow...
Beatrix: I was so mad, I couldn't even hear Embrasque's voice...
Beatrix: Sorry, partner. And thanks.
Embrasque glows in response.
Beatrix: We should head back and let everyone know what went down.
After a nod from (Captain), Beatrix leads the group on their path home.
Though their conflict with the moon has subsided, a never-ending surge of fate awaits Beatrix in the coming days.
Her friends and partners stand ready to help her devour it all.