Proof of Determination
Clarisse wants to return home to tell her parents that she will decide her own future, and the crew agrees to accompany her back. Before they leave for Clarisse's home, Clarisse asks Cagliostro to transmute for her a new outfit to show that she is serious about her intentions.
Clarisse: Yeah, I can't just leave it like this... I've got to tell it to them straight.
Clarisse: But then again, if it doesn't work out... That'd be sooo awkward...
Clarisse paces about the deck of the Grandcypher by herself, lost in thought.
Clarisse: Nnn... nnn... nnn...
Clarisse: Aaagh! That does it! I can't take this kind of deep thinking stuff anymore!
Clarisse: I just gotta do what I do best! Charge in with a kapow!
Clarisse: Okay! First I'm gonna give Master Cags and (Captain) a heads up.
Clarisse: Hey, hey. Is it all right if I talk to you guys for a sec?
Cagliostro: Huh? What is it? You seem unusually restrained...
Cagliostro. Founder of the alchemical arts. Having transmuted her very own body numerous times, she has lived through millennia uncounted.
It was only a few days earlier that the crew had a run-in with the Alchemist Guild of Helmuth.
This organization of alchemists had been plotting to seal away Cagliostro, but the crew wasn't about to let that happen.
Cagliostro. Founder of the alchemical arts. Having transmuted her very own body numerous times, she has lived through millennia uncounted.
But a series of events led to her being sealed away among remote ruins.
(Captain) and company happened to undo the seal by chance, and she's been traveling with them ever since.
Before long they encountered the Alchemist Guild of Helmuth.
This organization of alchemists had been plotting to seal away Cagliostro, but the crew wasn't about to let that happen.Continue 1
Clarisse turns out to be a direct descendant of Cagliostro's sister, and through many twists and turns, they establish a relationship of master and apprentice.
Clarisse: Um... I was thinking about going back home again. So, you know, would it be all right if I leave for a while?
Cagliostro: You want to go back again? Where's this coming from all of a sudden? Did something happen?
Clarisse: No, it's just that things were kinda crazy the last time I saw my parents, and we didn't really get the chance to have a good chat.
Clarisse: But things'll be different this time. I hope.
Clarisse: I think this is gonna be the best chance I get to tell them exactly what's on my mind!
Clarisse: That I swear never to hunt down Master Cag—er, the founder.
Clarisse: I've made up my mind about my purpose. I won't be stuck following my family's ways or whatever anymore!
Clarisse: That's why I need to go back again...
Cagliostro: Then take me with you.
Clarisse: Huh? Why?
Cagliostro: Given your family's lineage, my sister might've left behind clues or research notes at your house.
Cagliostro: There could be something in them about existential dissolution.
Clarisse was able to awaken her ability to use an alchemic technique called existential dissolution during the party's clash with the Guild of Helmuth.
It has the potential to reduce all of creation to nothing—an unparalleled power that has one major problem.
Cagliostro: For now that power of yours is fueled in part by your instincts.
Cagliostro: The dangers of using it are unavoidable since you can't control it.
Cagliostro: I want to prepare a backup plan in case we ever get caught in a worst-case scenario.
Cagliostro: It might be alchemy, but still it's out my area of expertise.
Cagliostro: That's why you're taking me with you.
Choose: I can't let you two go alone.
- I can't let you two go alone.
- We'll hold the fort here.
Clarisse: Uh... Why not?
Vyrn: Hello? Have you forgotten about a little something called the Guild of Helmuth? They're waiting to pick you off if you go back alone.
Clarisse: Oh. I guess you could say that...
Lyria: Vyrn's right! That's why I also think it's a bad idea if just the two of you go.
Clarisse: But I have to tell my parents somehow...
Lyria: I know. And that's why we're all coming with you!
Clarisse: Are you sure about this? I mean, this doesn't really have anything to do with you guys, right? I can't imagine you'd get mixed up in this for me—
Vyrn: Oh, please, don't worry 'bout that! We're your buddies!
Lyria: What Vyrn said! It's not like we can stay calm waiting here for you anyway.
Clarisse: Thanks, everyone.Choose: We'll hold the fort here.
Clarisse: Thanks, (Captain)! Well, I guess we'll be—
Cagliostro: Aww, [;nickname]... Come with us!
Cagliostro: I'd feel all tense going alone with Clarisse, not to mention lonely!
Cagliostro: Catch my drift?
Cagliostro leans in close and stares (Captain) right in the face.
Vyrn: Uh... You're up to something, aren't you?
Cagliostro: Don't be ridiculous.
Cagliostro: I just want a few good people I can trust with me if anything happens. That's all.
Cagliostro: Our enemies aren't just going to show up when we expect them to. They're tricky like that.
Lyria: We're expecting them?
Cagliostro: Yep. Think about it. We're about to head into enemy territory. Who knows what we might run into.
Cagliostro: So won't you come with us, (Captain)?
Cagliostro: You're such a dear, (Captain)!Continue 2
Vyrn: Great! Let's get going!
Clarisse: Yeah! I'll show you the way!
Clarisse: Oh, I almost forgot! Can I ask you something, Master?
Cagliostro: What now?
Clarisse: Well, it's more of a favor actually. I...
Clarisse leans in and whispers into Cagliostro's ear.
Cagliostro: I see. That's fine. Come to my room.
Clarisse: Thank you!
Cagliostro walks back to her room with Clarisse following behind, as if they'd been friends forever.
Lyria: They still haven't left the room...
Vyrn: Yeah. The heck are they doin' in there?
Daylight fades as the hours wane.
Clarisse: (Captain)! Look, look, you guys!
Clarisse bursts through the door and onto the deck in her new ensemble, giving a little twirl.
Clarisse: How do I look? Isn't it great?
Lyria: Yes, it's wonderful!
Choose: It's cute.
- It's cute.
- It fits you to a T.
Clarisse: Cute? Ooh, don't say it again, or you'll make me blush.
Clarisse: I was only going for something I thought you'd think was cool-looking, but...
Clarisse: Guess there's just no helping my cuteness!Choose: It fits you to a T.
Clarisse: I know, right? It's bursting with style!Continue 3
Vyrn: Where'd you get those duds anyway?
Clarisse: Cagliostro transmuted them for me.
Cagliostro: Yep. Clarisse wants to end things on her own terms.
Cagliostro: She said she wanted to be a new person. So I transmuted something special for her.
Cagliostro lets out a heavy breath and steps out of the room.
Cagliostro: Consider it a gift for striking out on your own.
Cagliostro: And you did rescue me from those guild fanatics after all...
Vyrn: By the way, you look a bit tired. Is something wrong?
Cagliostro: I wasn't expecting her to ask for so many little details when I agreed to make it for her.
Cagliostro takes another deep breath.
Cagliostro: I should've known better. My sister's intransigence was terrifying.
Cagliostro: Seriously, why does Clarisse take after her in the worst ways possible...
Cagliostro gripes, but she does so with a delighted grin.
Cagliostro: How's the fit, Clarisse?
Clarisse: It fits perfectly! Thank you, Master!
Clarisse: I'm gonna work extra hard from now on!
Clarisse turns to Cagliostro and lowers her head in respect.
Clarisse looks back up somewhat sheepishly. She takes a deep breath as if trying to gather her thoughts.
Clarisse: I'll be making my own choices from here on out. Everything'll be my decision...
Clarisse: I wanted to make that clear to you as the new Clarisse. That's why I said I'm gonna work extra hard!
Cagliostro: Hah. Whatever happens, you're still my apprentice. That will never change.
Clarisse: Yeah! Okay, switching topics, let's go crash at my house!
With a nod from (Captain), the Grandcypher diverts course for Clarisse's hometown.
Clarisse has chosen the path she wishes to pursue.
There's no telling if she's made the right decision at this point.
But there's not a single trace of doubt on her face.
The Vow to Start Anew
When the party arrives at Clarisse's home, Cagliostro demands to see notes on existential dissolution. She and the rest of the crew are led away to the archives by a house servant, leaving Clarisse alone to speak with her parents, Promethia and Harold.
Vyrn: Whoa... Is that really your... house?
Clarisse: Uh, yeah? So? What's with those looks on your faces?
Lyria: Oh, no, no... It's a really amazing house...
The crew arrives at Clarisse's luxurious abode.
Many of the crew members have never seen such a stately manor before.
Clarisse: I don't know much about the backstory, but my ancestors built it, and we've been taking care of it ever since.
Clarisse: Come on, I'll show you inside.
Clarisse gives the majestic doors a push and walks in.
Lyria: Pardon the intrusion.
Cagliostro: I'm coming in.
Clarisse's entourage files in after her.
Servant: Welcome home, Miss Clarisse.
Clarisse: It's good to be back! Where's Mother and Father?
Servant: The masters of the house are in the parlor.
Clarisse: Mother? Father? I'm home!
Promethia: I'm glad to see you again, Clarisse.
Promethia: You skyfarers are most welcome here. As are you, founder.
Harold: We wish to thank you again for everything you've done for us.
Clarisse's parents bow to Cagliostro.
The crew had met Clarisse's parents several days earlier and teamed up with them against the Alchemist Guild of Helmuth.
Cagliostro: I don't need thanks. As fellow alchemists, you're familiar with the concept of equivalent exchange, yes?
Promethia: I... see. You seek repayment from our family, as I understand it.
Cagliostro: Yes. Thanks for getting to the point.
Promethia: Then I have a question for you. What is the cost of this equivalent exchange that you desire?
Cagliostro: It's not much really. I just want to see any research materials you might have on existential dissolution.
Promethia: And what use do you have of that?
Cagliostro: For Clarisse's sake. But also so that we can protect ourselves.
Cagliostro: Clarisse uses existential dissolution based on instinct.
Cagliostro: Without proper technique it's not out of the question to assume it could get out of control.
Cagliostro: I don't need to harp on the danger that poses when that happens, do I?
Cagliostro: Therefore I need that information to prevent such a thing from happening.
Promethia: I understand. As an alchemist I deem that to be a fair exchange.
Cagliostro: A simple nod would've sufficed, you know.
Promethia: It needed to be said for Clarisse's sake as well.
Promethia picks up a bell and gives it a ring.
Servant: Yes, my lady? What would you have me do?
Promethia: Please show our guest to the secret archives.
Servant: As you wish.
Would the madam please follow me?
Cagliostro: Hey, you're all coming with me too. I can't look through all those documents by myself.
Vyrn: Right behind you!
Clarisse: Oh, me too—
Cagliostro: This doesn't concern you, Clarisse. Did you forget why you came here in the first place?
Cagliostro: Good luck.
Cagliostro ends the discussion. She and the rest of the crew follow the servant out of the parlor.
Clarisse turns back to face her parents and draws in a deep, long breath.
Clarisse: Um, so, there's something I wanted to tell you both!
She looks them both straight in the eyes from one to the other.
She prepares to speak her mind and to take her first ambitious steps in carving out her own path.
The Vow to Start Anew: Scene 2
Promethia is unable to accept her daughter's newfound ambition, going so far as to insinuate disowning Clarisse. Before that can happen, Cagliostro reappears with another option for Clarisse: to best her parents in a duel and become the new head of the family.
Clarisse is conversing with her parents in the parlor room.
Clarisse: There's something I want to tell you both.
Promethia: What is it?
Clarisse: I'm not going to fight Master—I mean, I won't exterminate the founder no matter what.
Harold: Clarisse. Do you understand what you're saying?
Clarisse: Yeah, I understand. That's why I'm telling you in the first place.
Clarisse: This is something I've decided on my own.
Clarisse: So no matter what you or Mother say, I won't go back on my word.
Promethia: I can kind of understand where you're coming from.
Promethia: But we can't agree with your decision.
Clarisse: Why not? Master isn't a bad person like the stories say.
Clarisse: You both know that...
Promethia: Yes, we know. But we can't change our family's creed.
Promethia: The founder must be sealed.
The founder must be hunted down.
Promethia: We... No, not just us, but everyone in the family line was raised by this creed from generation to generation.
Promethia: It's not possible to change our way of life nor look for another way after all these years.
Harold: We are bound by the destiny flowing through our veins. That is, in a word, family.
Harold: We can't live as freely as you choose to be, Clarisse.
Clarisse: You can't say that! I know you and Mother can be free just like me!
Promethia: Clarisse. This is my decision as head of the family.
Promethia: All family members must abide by my decision.
Promethia: If you can't follow the rules, then perhaps it's time to cut these familial ties.
Promethia: I am the matriarch of this household. I have to put the family above myself...
Promethia: This is my... responsibility. This is what happens when the family creed is opposed.
Promethia: You aren't exempt from the consequences, even if you are my most beloved daughter...
Clarisse: Then I guess that's that. I don't have much of a choice but to obey, do I?
Clarisse has a look of strong determination.
She slowly gets to her feet, willing her trembling body to stand.
Clarisse: But I already told you that I wouldn't go back on my word.
Promethia: Yes, you did. I suppose this will be the last time we meet as mother and child.
Clarisse bites her lip and soon her tears start to fall.
Cagliostro: Hey, my silly apprentice. Are you okay with this?
Clarisse: Master? I thought you were in the archives?
Cagliostro: Forget about that. I'm going to ask you again.
Cagliostro: Are you okay with this?
Clarisse: No, I'm not. But I said I wouldn't go back on this.
Cagliostro: All right.
Cagliostro: What would you do if I told you there was a way to follow your heart and make peace with your parents?
Cagliostro: You should become the new head of the family.
Clarisse: Huh? I should?
Cagliostro: Think back to what your mother said: the head's decision is absolute.
Clarisse: So what you're saying is I can make a new rule that says don't hunt down Master...
Cagliostro: And your parents would have to obey.
Cagliostro: Am I wrong?
Promethia: No, that's right. If Clarisse becomes the new matriarch and makes such a rule, we will obey.
Clarisse: Okay! Then I just need to become the next matriarch!
Promethia: Our traditions allow for new heads to be chosen. We shall take it into consideration.
Promethia: If you want to become the next matriarch, first you must prove your worth to us.
Clarisse: Oh? How?
Promethia: Combat. Fight against your father and I to show us your strength.
Promethia: A person who is weak and lacks fortitude can't become the head of a household.
Clarisse: That's crazy... I could never fight against my own parents...
Promethia: If you hate the idea of it so much, then you can either throw away your family or throw away your ambitions.
Promethia: Take your pick.
Clarisse: Fine. I choose to fight.
Clarisse: Like I said before, I won't go back on my word.
Clarisse: But I'd hate to be disowned from the family too. Because you two are so important to me.
Clarisse: I'll fight without regrets for a future where I get to keep both my family and my ambitions.
Promethia: Haha, good. I can see that you're serious.
Promethia: You're going to need time to get ready. Let's have the battle tomorrow.
Promethia: We'll have rooms prepared for you and your friends. Rest well tonight for your big day.
Clarisse's parents walk out of the room.
Clarisse: Thank you, Master. I don't know what I would've done if you hadn't been here...
Cagliostro: Humph. You can thank me when this is all over.
Hey, where's (Captain) and the rest?
Cagliostro: They're still in the archives.
Cagliostro: I got worried about my silly apprentice and came out to check on you alone.
Clarisse: You really are a nice person in a lot of ways.
Clarisse: Like being concerned about me for example...
Cagliostro: Eh, I just do whatever I feel like. Now go get the others and rest up for tomorrow.
The Vow to Start Anew: Scene 3
Later that night Cagliostro and Clarisse devise a strategy against Harold's manikins and Promethia's decomposition alchemy. The duel begins the next morning, with Clarisse and her existential dissolution squaring off against her parents' alchemical prowess.
Clarisse reunites with the crew. They ask her how things went while they were gone.
Cagliostro: Basically if she wins the fight tomorrow, that pretty much solves everything.
Lyria: I'm going to cheer for you until my voice gives out! Do your best out there, Clarisse!
Vyrn: I'm for Team Clarisse too!
(Captain) gives a resolute nod.
Clarisse: Thanks, everyone!
Cagliostro: Here's the real question, Clarisse. Can you win?
Clarisse: I honestly don't know. They're both so strong.
Vyrn: No kidding. They protected you from imperial soldiers and the other alchemists all by themselves that one time.
Clarisse: Yeah. Mother's especially good at the same type of decomposition alchemy that I use.
Clarisse: And Father's specialty is figure transmutation.
Lyria: Hm... What's figure transmutation?
Clarisse: He can create manikins capable of following simple commands. Or something like that, right, Master?
Cagliostro: Yeah, that's a good enough way to put it. But I doubt figure transmutation will pose a huge threat.
Vyrn: Is that so? Wait, but what if the manikins swarm her?
Cagliostro: No matter how many there are, they can only follow simple commands. Every single one of them can be disintegrated.
Cagliostro: Suck 'em all in and shoot 'em out. That's what you do best.
Clarisse: Yep. I'm more worried about those two working as a team though...
Clarisse: Father's able to make a bunch of manikins that can use Mother's decomposition alchemy.
Clarisse: Can I really win against them?
Clarisse: Ah, sorry. Second-guessing myself isn't gonna help.
Choose: Believe in yourself.
- Believe in yourself.
- You got this. Because you're Clarisse.
With that, (Captain) ruffles Clarisse's hair.
Clarisse: Thanks, (Captain).
Clarisse: Hey, you know what? Could you maybe keep doing that?
Clarisse: It might, I don't know, get me fired up.
(Captain) acknowledges her request with a wry smile.
Clarisse: Thanks a million! Now I'm feelin' awesome!Choose: You got this. Because you're Clarisse.
Clarisse: It's weird. I don't know how to explain it, but when I hear that from you, I get the feeling everything's gonna be all right.
Clarisse gives her cheeks a quick slap.
Clarisse: Okay! Get psyched!Continue 1
Cagliostro: That's the spirit. Just be yourself and you'll do fine.
Clarisse: Yeah! I'll blast anything and everything that gets in my way! Kapow!
Vyrn: Yeesh. Think you could tone it down for now?
Cagliostro: Don't worry. I just came across the perfect something in the archives.
Clarisse: Perfect... something?
Cagliostro: Research notes on existential dissolution left behind by my sister.
Cagliostro: I can derive a method of control using this information. Then I'll show you how to do it.
Clarisse: Okay! I'm all ears!
Cagliostro: That's what I like to hear! Don't you dare wimp out on me halfway through!
Clarisse and her parents gather in the garden the next morning.
Promethia: Are you fully prepared, Clarisse?
Clarisse: You bet! I've made my decision! I'm gonna be the new head of the family!
Clarisse: And once I do, I won't lose you guys or my master!
Promethia: It's nice to see your resolve, but we're not going to hold back on you.
Promethia: Here we go, Harold.
Harold: I'm ready.
Harold transmutes a number of manikins that have Promethia's power.
Harold: This is how serious we are, Clarisse.
Harold: If you can defeat every single one of these manikins, you win.
Promethia: Prove to us that your ambitions are true!
The swarm of manikins advances on Clarisse.
Clarisse: I'm not gonna go easy on you either just because you're my parents!
Clarisse: You're gonna get a taste of everything I've got!
The Vow to Start Anew: Scene 4
Clarisse disintegrates all of her father's manikins, becoming the new head of the family with her victory. As her first act as the head, she revises her family's creed, henceforth forbidding the hunting of Cagliostro.
The manikins disintegrate one by one before the might of Clarisse's existential dissolution.
Clarisse: That means I beat you guys!
Promethia: We completely lost, didn't we?
Harold: Yes. I guess this is it.
Clarisse: Yes, Mother?
Promethia: As the current head of the household, I now acknowledge you as the new one.
Clarisse: You mean...
Promethia: You have just become the time-honored head of the family.
Clarisse lets out a joyous cry of victory while simultaneously sprawling onto the ground.
Promethia: She's really grown up, hasn't she?
Harold: Yes, she gave it her all.
Clarisse's parents sit down next to her and softly stroke her hair.
Clarisse: Hehehe... I think that's the first time you guys have ever complimented me...
Harold: I'm sorry, Clarisse. I've never really known how to connect with you.
Harold: I had just assumed that our way of life was how it was supposed to be.
Harold: I could only see your sense of freedom as an act of heresy.
Promethia: As for me, I took it upon myself not to coddle you nor give you preferential treatment considering my role in the family.
Promethia: On the contrary I was especially hard on you because you are my daughter.
Promethia: I know you hated that, but even so I...
Promethia: But you're the new head of the family now, not me.
Promethia: If you could find it in your heart to forgive me, I'd like to be a normal mother to you. But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself...
Clarisse: That's not true, Mother! We can change from now on!
Clarisse: Because I love you guys!
Promethia: Thank you, Clarisse.
Harold: Sorry... and thank you.
Promethia: Now, there's still one more thing that must be done before we can reconcile.
Promethia: From one head to the next, I need to instill in you all the etiquette and education that comes with your new title.
Clarisse: Er... You mean, like... I still have to study stuff?
Promethia: Yes, you have more learning to do. You're running the family now after all.
Promethia: You must learn what is appropriate and proper.
Promethia: That is what it means to be the matriarch. You understand, don't you?
Clarisse reluctantly nods her head in the face of her mother's quiet intensity.
Promethia: Good. Now your first act as the matriarch is to set the family creed.
Promethia: Tell us how we should proceed.
Clarisse: Don't go after Cag—
Clarisse: Ahem. Don't go after the founder anymore! That's our family's way!
Promethia: If that is the will of the head, then I shall obey.
Harold: I have no objections to the head's decree.
Clarisse: Ahaha... I did it... I did it, Master!
Clarisse: I kicked butt! Yay!
Cagliostro: Geez, everyone's singing your praises this time. You put on a good show. Well done.
Lyria: Nice job, Clarisse!
Vyrn: Attagirl, Clarisse!
Clarisse: Thanks! But I couldn't have done it without everyone's help!
Clarisse has a huge grin on her face as she bows to the crew.
She was able to follow through with her convictions and become the new head of the family in the process.
But this is just the beginning.
A new chapter in the story of Clarisse is about to be written.