The Beginning of Alchemy
Cagliostro receives an invitation from the lord of a remote island, who has supposedly found a papyrus scroll dating back to the early days of alchemy. As the founder of alchemy makes her way to the lord's manor, she thinks back to her encounter with Ramon—the writer of the scroll, as well as the first stranger who ever showed support for alchemy.
It is a sunny day at the port of a remote island.
There, a single, young girl steps off of a cargo ship.
She tilts back her head to look up at the blue sky, her arms reaching up into a stretch.
???: Ahh! Say hello to the world's cutest, super genius alchemist!
???: Oh, excuse me, Mr. Driver! Do you think you could give a girl a ride? I'd like to go to this address here!
The "young" girl's name is Cagliostro, who happens to be the legendary founder of the art of alchemy.
Having obtained an artificial and immortal body, she now travels the skies together with (Captain) and company in search of the truth and ultimate cuteness.
It just so happens that, several days earlier, a letter arrived on the Grandcypher.
Lyria: An invitation?
Cagliostro: That's right. The correspondence is from the lord of an island in a remote area.
Cagliostro: It seems they've found an old papyrus scroll in the depths of their family treasury with writing unique to alchemists.
Lyria: Papyrus? You mean alchemy can preserve fruit too?
Cagliostro: Fruit? You sure you're not thinking of papayas?
Cagliostro: Papyrus is a material that was used for documents in ancient times. I used it back in the early stages of my research too.
Vyrn: Huh, so it's a material from a couple thousand years ago? That sounds like some pretty valuable stuff.
Vyrn: You're sayin' this lord sent you an invitation so he can give it to ya since you're the founder of alchemy?
Lyria: That's really nice of him! Is the lord an alchemist too?
Cagliostro: Doesn't seem like it. He says in this letter that the contents of the scroll remain unknown, which means he can't read alchemists' writing.
Cagliostro: The only thing he could make out was his ancestor's name... Chances are, the guy's just your average country bumpkin ecstatic about finding a cultural asset in his own home.
Vyrn: Come on, you could act a bit more grateful... He's givin' it to ya for free, ain't he?
Cagliostro: Please, I have more important things to do. He could've just sent it to me by mail.
Lyria: Ahaha... Maybe he was worried it'd get lost in the mail. It does sound like a pretty important historical document.
Cagliostro: Hm. I don't know if it's got any historical importance, per se...
Cagliostro: But there's something about the past that I do want to look into.
Vyrn: And what's that?
Cagliostro: Something to confirm a theory I have. And I wouldn't pass on a chance to get some answers.
Cagliostro: So, (Captain), I guess I'll be away for a while. I'll be back by the time you finish your current job.
Choose: Be careful.
- Be careful.
- Was the author someone you knew?
Cagliostro: I will. There could be an ulterior motive behind this for all I know, so I'll be on my guard.Choose: Was the author someone you knew?
Cagliostro: Maybe... But I'm not sure yet. First, I gotta see the scroll with my own eyes.Continue 1
The carriage passes several towns and continues to roll along the endless fields.
Cagliostro gazes out the window, lost in thought and paying no attention to the rural landscape.
Cagliostro: A papyrus scroll from the early days of alchemy...
Cagliostro: I didn't think there'd still be any of his writings left... This sure brings back old memories.
Cagliostro: Doesn't it, Ramon?
Cagliostro: The first time we met... When was it, back when I was traveling with my sister? Trying to make it big.
Cagliostro: And you had just come to the city alone because your small-town dad wouldn't understand you...
Cagliostro: There. Seeing is believing, right?
Ramon: Are you serious? Did you just turn an iron spoon... into gold?
Cagliostro: Thanks for the meal. This one's on you.
Cagliostro: Hey, did you hear me? You're the one who said you'd pay for my food if I showed you what I could do.
Cagliostro: Well, guess it was just your luck that the person you sat next to happened to be a genius who's discovered a brand new theory.
Ramon: A brand new theory...
Cagliostro: Alchemy. Not many people know about it yet. But they will soon, so you better not forget it.
Cagliostro: What're you, a parrot? I'm out of here. My sister's waiting for me back at the inn—
Ramon: Hey, would it be okay if I took a closer look at this spoon? I want to take some notes on it...
Cagliostro: It's your spoon. Do what you want with it.
Cagliostro: But no guarantee I didn't make it explosive, so don't blame me if you end up losing an arm or two—
Ramon: Got it! Thank you!
Ramon: Wow... The texture and weight of it... It's exactly the same as real gold!
Ramon: Okay... First, I'll need to make a precise sketch of the shape...
Ramon: Amazing... This is going to go down in history. It's world-changing!
Ramon: Has this theory already been formally announced? Mind if I ask a few questions about its concept and application?
Cagliostro: Well, before that... how long are you going to stand there for? You're attracting a whole lot of attention.
Ramon: Ack! My apologies! I got too excited from seeing something so genius...
Cagliostro: You sure know how to change your tune, don't you? Just a few minutes ago you were looking at me like I was crazy.
Ramon: Ahaha... I'm really sorry.
Ramon: But the truth is the truth! I'm telling you, the entire world will be ecstatic about this!
Cagliostro: Ecstatic, huh...
Cagliostro: Never mind. You should know there are more fools in this world than you think.
Cagliostro: Even if I showed them what I can do in broad daylight, there'd still be people saying it's just a magic trick, an illusion... a street performance.
Cagliostro: Someone even called it a scam recently. Not a lot of people take it positively like you do.
Ramon: No way...
Cagliostro: People don't like it when their common sense is questioned.
Cagliostro: At this rate, spreading alchemy and getting my name out there is going to take an immense amount of time.
Cagliostro: Heh. I suppose I could live up to their expectations and really scam them. Though if I did that, I'd never hear the end of it from my sister...
Ramon: Y-you can't!
Ramon: Your alchemy is going to change the world...
Ramon: It has potential. The potential to save people who couldn't be saved before, and prevent trouble before it happens.
Cagliostro: Whoa, what got you so riled up? I was just complaining to myself...
Ramon: Listen to me. See this spoon? All I can do is scoop soup with it.
Ramon: But you're different. You can save people with this spoon.
Ramon: Which is why! You should have me with you on your journey!
Ramon: It's clear to me now. Spreading alchemy across the skies and showing this new potential to people...
Ramon: Building the foundation for this is what I was born to do!
Ramon: Ahem... Ahaha, very sorry about that. I got ahead of myself again.
Ramon: Yikes... Y-y-you aren't mad, are you?
Ramon: I'm sorry! I'm really sorry! I know I'm just your regular guy. I must be insufferable, prattling away like I actually know a thing or two—
Cagliostro: Hah... Hahaha!
Ramon: Hah? Ahaha?
Cagliostro: Fine. Well, you're right about being a regular guy.
Cagliostro: But you're smart. A lot smarter than some big-name scholars out there.
Ramon: Huh? Um, so I'm a regular guy... who's actually smarter than most scholars?
Cagliostro: We're leaving tomorrow morning. I guess I'll let you handle our luggage.
Are you saying you'll let me...
Cagliostro: You're still my coin purse here. But don't let other people take advantage of you like this after today.
Cagliostro: Thanks for the meal.
Ramon: Got it! Thank you very much!
The carriage creaks to a stop in front of a large, antiquated mansion just as the sun begins to sink below the horizon.
At the sound of the carriage wheels, a small figure comes to open the gates.
Blonde-Haired Girl: Welcome...
Cagliostro: Thank you! Could you let the lord know I'm here? It's about the papyrus scroll he wrote about in his letter.
Blonde-Haired Girl: ...
???: Ah, could you perhaps be the founder? To think you actually came to pay us a visit...
Cagliostro: Are you the one who sent me the letter?
???: Yes. I am the lord of this island, and a descendant of Ramon. It is an honor to meet you, Founder.
Cagliostro: You're not surprised that the legendary founder of alchemy is an incredibly cute girl?
???: Hahaha. I had received reports to that effect prior to this, you see.
???: Now, please come in. I've already made the appropriate arrangements for passing on the item in question to you.
Cagliostro follows the lord into his residence.
What secrets may be unearthed in her search for the truth?
And There Was Cute
The lord Philio tells Cagliostro that she is to create an artificial body according to his tastes, in exchange for the papyrus scroll which contains classified information on the founder's own body. Cagliostro attempts to use her charms to persuade him otherwise, but to no avail. Threatening to sell the scroll to the Alchemist Guild of Helmuth if she were to refuse, Philio gives the founder until the next morning to decide.
Cagliostro is on a remote island after hearing about the discovery of a certain ancient document.
The old text, written on papyrus, was found by a lord named Philio.
Pleased to have the founder of alchemy herself as a guest, Philio invites Cagliostro to join him for dinner before they look at the scroll.
Cagliostro: Ahaha! You're quite the scatterbrain, aren't you, Philio?
Philio: Hahaha. Unfortunately, I never had a good understanding of math or science. I did attempt to study abroad once, only to return a mere half year later.
Cagliostro: I see... The complete opposite of a certain someone.
Philio: Do you mean my great ancestor Ramon? I'd very much like to hear more.
Philio: What kind of person was he? There are hardly any records of his name and achievements, and it remains a mystery whether he was actually an alchemist himself.
Philio: I'd like to know the truth regarding that.
Cagliostro: What kind of person? Well...
Cagliostro: He acted as our gofer and handled our luggage. You could say he was a jack-of-all-trades... or maybe a handyman.
Cagliostro: Ramon did his best in many ways, but he never had a talent for alchemy.
Cagliostro: Still, he was very methodical and precise in tasks like compiling documents and managing accounts.
Cagliostro: In terms of the guild's administration and accounting, he was in charge of everything.
Philio: I see... Precise in compiling documents...
Cagliostro: Disappointed? I suppose he was a bit average.
Philio: Oh, no. I'm happy to hear about the past from you directly. Did he continuously travel with you?
Cagliostro: Mostly. That is, up until one day he got news of his estranged father's passing...
Cagliostro: Turns out he had no other relatives. So it fell on Ramon to take over the lordship, and off homeward he went.
Cagliostro: The day he left was the last I ever heard from him.
Philio: So that's how it was... Serving as lord can get quite busy, I must admit.
Cagliostro: Hmph, it's no excuse. He didn't even send a postcard.
Philio: Hahaha. Please accept my apologies in place of my ancestor... Ah, would you care to have some more dessert?
Cagliostro: More? Hmm...
Cagliostro: Thank you, but a girl can only eat so much at once!
Cagliostro: Anyway, Philio, do you think you could show me the scroll now?
Philio: Hmm, in that case...
Philio: Yes, I suppose it's about time. I've gathered all the information I wanted to know.
Philio: On the credibility of the man named Ramon. I'm afraid I didn't mention this in my letter, but...
Philio: I've already decoded and read through the introduction of the scroll. But since its contents were of such significance, I had my doubts on their authenticity...
Philio: The document is titled "Confidential: Creating a Body"... Putting what you told me about Ramon into consideration, the text must really be classified information then.
Philio: And given the timeline, I presume it's classified information on creating your body.
Philio: Now, let's get to the point. I have some... conditions, you could say, in exchange for handing over the scroll.
Philio: The document is highly valuable historical material that some would die to get their hands on.
Philio: Yes... that includes you, Founder, as well as the alchemist guild.
The Alchemist Guild of Helmuth—a group of alchemists willing to resort to unsavory methods in pursuit of the truth that they seek.
The guild once captured Cagliostro in an attempt to steal her knowledge of the truth, and the crew has had multiple confrontations with them since.
Philio: I've heard about the rather intense disputes between you and the guild.
Philio: Wouldn't you like to know how much the guild is willing to pay for the papyrus scroll?
Cagliostro: Oho... So your real motive for inviting me here was to authenticate the contents of the scroll, then extort money from either me or the guild.
Philio: You don't seem too surprised.
Cagliostro: When we were chatting earlier, you didn't even bat an eyelash when I mentioned the guild.
Cagliostro: So, is that all you want? Money?
Philio: Oh, no. I'd like you to make a body, Founder. An artificial body made to look as I desire.
Cagliostro: You what?
Philio: Rest assured, it's only a personal interest of mine, being the descendant of an alchemist and all.
Cagliostro: Hehe. Do you really think super cute and genius Cagliostro would use her alchemy for your entertainment?
Cagliostro: I'd say you're even braver than the guild for trying to threaten the founder of alchemy.
Philio: You think you can intimidate me with your power? Don't tell me you don't care what happens to the scroll... I have my own methods for ensuring my success, you see.
Cagliostro: This little punk...
Cagliostro: An ulterior motive is just as I'd expected. Now, what to do with him...
Philio: What's the matter? It shouldn't be too difficult of a choice for a wise, legendary figure such as yourself.
Cagliostro: You see, Philio... Making an artificial body is kind of hard. Especially if you're looking for the highest quality and durability...
Philio: Founder... If the guild were to decipher all of the contents of the scroll, they'd certainly know your weakness as well.
Cagliostro: Oh nooo! But making a body really takes time, you know!
Philio: It's no use pretending. Why don't you drop the act?
Cagliostro: Hngh... Philio...
Cagliostro: You made the cutest girl in all the skies cry! Doesn't that strike anything in you?
Cagliostro: Come on, don't tease me like this... Won't you give me the scroll? Pretty please?
Philio: What nonsense are you...
Cagliostro: Is there anything else you want other than an artificial body? I'll do my best just for you.
Cagliostro: So... one itty, bitty favor for me!
Philio: This won't do.
Philio: I shall have a guest room prepared for you. The condition of creating an artificial body for me still stands, but I will allow you some more time to think on it.
Philio: Have your answer ready by tomorrow morning. Now if you'll excuse me.
Cagliostro: Wait a minute... Are you serious? He just brushed me away like I wasn't the cutest girl ever?
Cagliostro: Impossible... Just who is this guy?
And There Was Cute: Scene 2
Later in the night, Cagliostro follows the sound of footsteps to the basement, where she finds several young girls imprisoned by Philio. From what the girls tell her, the founder manages to locate the scroll just as the lord finds her. She points out to Philio that his kidnapping of the girls as well as his desire for an artificial body are results of his gynophobia. Suddenly, they hear an explosion from within the manor.
Stunned, Cagliostro retires to her room and soon falls asleep.
She wakes in the middle of the night, some rest having helped clear her head.
Cagliostro: Tch... This is more trouble than I'd expected.
Cagliostro: All this talk about the guild and making bodies... If only it wasn't Ramon's scroll, then I'd blow this whole place up and it'd be over in a second.
Cagliostro: But if my hunch is right...
Cagliostro: Hm? Those footsteps...
Blonde-Haired Girl: ...
Sensing something amiss, Cagliostro follows the sound of light footsteps.
She descends the stairs to the basement and comes face to face with a door.
Blonde-Haired Girl: ...?
She opens the door to a dimly room, in which she finds several young children, all of whom look strangely pale.
The children—all girls, and all with elegant features—turn to look at Cagliostro in fright.
Cagliostro: I get it... So that's what's going on.
Blonde-Haired Girl: Um... Who... are you?
Cagliostro: No need to be scared. I'm just a passing visitor.
Blonde-Haired Girl: A visitor... But you shouldn't be here... The master will be most displeased.
Cagliostro: Master, huh... Is Philio employing all of you?
Blonde-Haired Girl: Um...
Blonde-Haired Girl: The master is our savior. We are willing to repay him in any way he desires.
Cagliostro: All right.
Cagliostro: Tell me. Have you seen any old papers around the house? I'm looking for a scroll made of papyrus.
Blonde-Haired Girl: Papyrus...
Cagliostro: It's a memento of a guy who used to be my right-hand man.
Cagliostro: Don't worry about Philio. I'll set you all free tomorrow morning.
The girls stir, their faces lighting up in faint expressions of hope.
Blonde-Haired Girl: We can... leave this place?
Cagliostro: Yes, I promise. I won't let harm come to any of you.
Blonde-Haired Girl: ...
Blonde-Haired Girl: The study on the second floor... There's a hidden room behind the bookshelves.
Blonde-Haired Girl: I've noticed the master there looking at some curled-up, old-looking paper recently...
Cagliostro: Thanks. All of you wait here.
Blonde-Haired Girl: Um...
Cagliostro: Just leave the rest to me. I am the legendary alchemist, you know. The one and only.
Blonde-Haired Girl: Legendary?
Cagliostro: That's right.
Wary of frightening the girls in the basement, Cagliostro is careful not to raise any alarms as she sneaks quietly into the study.
Just as the girl had said, Cagliostro finds a narrow passage hidden behind one of the bookshelves.
Cagliostro: So this is the secret room...
Inside the chamber, Cagliostro looks around at a large assortment of clothing and accessories for children.
Several paintings depicting women decorate one of the walls, all of which hang in shreds as if ravaged by something sharp.
Cagliostro: Hmm. Middle-aged, heavy make-up, wealthy... I'm starting to see where this is going.
Cagliostro: Well, not that I care. All I want is the scroll and I'm out of here.
Cagliostro: Shouldn't be too hard to find. There are only so many places idiots hide things in.
Cagliostro: Heh. What'd I tell you?
Cagliostro: Judging from the handwriting, code, and style... this was definitely written by Ramon.
Cagliostro: Haha. I can't believe he wrote everything so neatly, down to the last detail.
Cagliostro: But what's with the exaggerated title... Confidential? Creating a body? This is just—
Philio: Rummaging through people's homes... You'd think historical figures would have more manners.
Blonde-Haired Girl: I-I'm sorry... The master came down after, and...
Cagliostro: Don't worry about it. One thing that never changes is how good villains are at sniffing out their prey.
Philio: Heh heh... I hear you pried information about this room from her.
Philio: And that you mentioned something about freeing them? However, they want no such thing. They only responded so because they were terrified by your questioning.
Cagliostro: Ah, yes, the perverse are always good at justifying themselves. The only thing that girl is terrified of is you.
Philio: I saved the poor orphans. As their savior, I provided these frail flower buds with shelter and a place to grow.
Philio: Isn't that right?
Blonde-Haired Girl: Hngh...
Blonde-Haired Girl: The master is our savior... We are willing to repay him in any way he desires...
Philio: Hahaha. You see?
Cagliostro: Did you shove those words in their mouths? Pretty sure I heard the exact same thing just a while ago.
Cagliostro: Hmph. I don't care about your delusions about flowers or being a savior.
Cagliostro: One look at this room and it's clear that what you have is gynophobia—you fear women.
Cagliostro: One look at how those paintings of women were torn is enough to figure out what's going on in a simple brain like yours.
Cagliostro: You were under abnormal educational pressure from a young age and robbed of a proper childhood. You shook off your mother by going abroad to study, only to encounter yet another form of malignancy.
Cagliostro: I can understand your ill luck with women... but it doesn't justify your escapism through enforcing your sick ideas on those girls.
Philio: Shut up! You don't know anything!
Cagliostro: I don't want to know. The reason even the cutest girl failed to charm you is because what you seek isn't a living thing, but something that guarantees you a sense of security—a doll.
Cagliostro: Even those brainwashed girls aren't enough to satisfy you. That's why you want an artificial body—that's your ideal, isn't it?
Philio: Shut up, shut up! I thought about what's best for them!
Cagliostro: It doesn't matter what you thought!
Blonde-Haired Girl: Eeeek!
Philio: An explosion? What in the skies happened?
Cagliostro: Tch. This power... Could it be?
And There Was Cute: Scene 3
As alchemists from the guild make an attack on the manor, Cagliostro realizes that Philio and the guild had already been in contact. However, as the guild had only been using the lord for its own purposes, Philio is soon pushed aside among the chaos. Surrounded by the enemy, the founder gets ready to engage in battle.
A sudden explosion shakes the entire mansion, throwing it into chaos.
From the strangled cries of the guards, it is clear that the assailant responsible for the explosion is a dangerous one.
Alchemist: Find the founder! She should be somewhere in this mansion!
Philio: Hahaha... The guild! They're here!
Philio: Alchemists! I am the lord of this residence, Philio! The founder you seek is here with me!
Cagliostro: You... So you were already in touch with the guild.
Philio: Heh heh... I told you. I have my ways of ensuring success, though the guild seems to have arrived earlier than I expected.
Cagliostro: Are you stupid? Whatever you were expecting, I'm guessing it wasn't them blowing up the entire house, which is what they're about to do.
Philio: No matter, the mansion can be rebuilt. With the funds from Ramon's scroll, of course...
Blonde-Haired Girl: Eugh!
Philio: Heh heh heh. From how you talked to this girl earlier, it seems you're surprisingly soft-hearted, Founder.
Philio: It's most regrettable that I won't have a body at my disposal... but never mind. It's time you returned the scroll to me!
Cagliostro: Sigh... And here I was hoping to settle this quietly.
Philio: Huh? What are you talking about? It's much too late for—
Cagliostro: The only reason I put up with your despicable attitude was because I didn't want to see the scroll damaged.
Cagliostro: And I suppose part of me wanted to show my gratitude in some way for finding Ramon's memento.
Cagliostro: That was just me being respectful. Yet you're still standing here like a fool who thinks he's already won.
Cagliostro: Did you really think merely taking a hostage would let you stand up against me?
Alchemist: I found her! Over here!
Philio: Phew... Thank goodness!
Philio: Alchemists! As I am the one who informed you of the founder's location, I must insist that you protect me from—
Alchemist: Out of the way!
Blonde-Haired Girl: M-Master!
Cagliostro: Fool! The guild would never negotiate, much less with insignificant trash.
Alchemist: Surround her! Don't let the founder get away!
Cagliostro: Heh. These guys are never anything but trouble.
Cagliostro: Well, I can appreciate you all putting yourselves on a platter like this. Ouroboros is just dying for a meal!
And There Was Cute: Scene 4
After Cagliostro subdues the alchemists, (Captain) and the crew arrive on scene and help with clearing the aftermath. Cagliostro explains that the papyrus scroll is a document detailing the progress of making her body—in other words, notes written by Ramon on the founder's ideals of cute. Cagliostro is grateful to her friend for having written the scroll and, as a result, saving the girls from Philio's clutches.
By dawn, peace is restored to the mansion after Cagliostro drives away the guild's alchemists single-handedly.
Having been worried, (Captain) and company arrive at the scene in search of their friend and offer to help with cleaning up after the night's events.
Vyrn: Hey, Cagliostro. You were saying somethin' about confirming a theory you had before you came here. What was that all about?
Cagliostro: I wanted to confirm the truth behind Ramon's final moments.
Vyrn: The truth?
Cagliostro: Ramon never had any children or descendants. On his way back to this island, he was attacked by a bandit and died.
Cagliostro: I only found out several years after it happened. Everything he had with him had been taken away, leaving only his corpse.
Cagliostro: I couldn't track down the bandit using the limited methods available at the time for obtaining information. I couldn't even find out where Ramon's family estate was located.
Vyrn: I see... So comin' here was your way of finally gettin' to the bottom of that, huh?
Vyrn: Wait. But Ramon's papyrus scroll was in Philio's family treasury...
Cagliostro: The bandit stole Ramon's status too. He must've realized who he'd got while going through Ramon's belongings, and decided to engage in some identity theft.
Vyrn: Just how rotten can people get... Hopefully he paid for it somehow.
Cagliostro: Hopefully. Not that having his descendant pay for it means much. I came here for the sole purpose of finding the truth.
Cagliostro: But what goes around comes around... Evil only pays for so long.
Lyria: Cagliostro! We've found a place that can take care of the girls!
Blonde-Haired Girl: U-um, I don't know what to say... Thank you so much for helping us, Founder.
Cagliostro: Hm. Save your thanks for Ramon.
Lyria: Ramon? Oh, that's the man the papaya scroll belongs to, right?
Cagliostro: Sigh... Yeah, the guy who wrote the papaya.
Vyrn: So what's written on the papaya anyway? Somethin' about confidential information on making a body?
Cagliostro: That's right. Various records and data on the prototype for my body.
Lyria: Records and data for your body?
Lyria: That sounds really important!
Cagliostro: The thing is, in reality, it's just a compilation of my ideas for the perfect conception of cute.
Cagliostro: A lot of trial and error happened before I got to lookin' like the goddess you see now, you know.
Cagliostro: My face, hair, shape, weight, clothes... The options are infinite.
Cagliostro: Ramon took the time to record every single adjustment made during the entire process.
Vyrn: Okay... So it's basically useless...
Lyria: Hehe! But that sounds like fun!
Blonde-Haired Girl: Hehe. It does!
Cagliostro: Oho. That's the first time you've smiled since I got here.
Ramon: Listen to me. See this spoon? All I can do is scoop soup with it.
Ramon: But you're different. You can save people with this spoon.
Cagliostro: Heh. Are you kidding me? You didn't just scoop soup.
Cagliostro: You saved those people, Ramon.
In her mind, Cagliostro conjures an image of the very first stranger to ever show support for alchemy, a wave of gratitude washing over her.
And with that, the crew say their goodbyes to the girls and return to the ship, taking to the vast skies once more.