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Cat, Freedom, and Mage
The party, lost in the mountains of Amalthea, rests up in the hut of a cat-loving man named Dante. When Dante sees how much his cats admire the freedom of the Grandcypher crew, he decides to join them on their adventure.
The crew completes a quest deep in the mountains of Amalthea...
But they lose their way on the mountain path. The night grows cold as the crew reach the limit of their endurance.
Vyrn: Brr, it's freezing... Hey, haven't we passed this sign before?
Lyria: Um, I was just thinking the same thing...
Vyrn: Darn it! This is looking bad, you guys!
Lyria: Brr, I can't take another step... Is this... the end?
???: Ahh. Much time has passed since I last saw anyone else here.
Vyrn: H-hey! You're not a mirage, are you? Thank the skies, we're saved!
Lyria: Hello. We seem to have lost our way, and...
???: So it seems.
Vyrn: That was close. We nearly froze!
???: Indeed you did. Anyway I must be going...
Vyrn: Wait, what? C'mon!
Lyria: Please! Could you please take us somewhere to warm up?
???: By all means feel free to follow me.
Vyrn: So we can go with you then?
Lyria: Erm... Thanks!
Vyrn: Well, it certainly looked like he was just gonna leave us there!
Lyria: He doesn't seem to have any ill will towards us though.
Lyria: Hey! He's gone already! Quick, we've got to follow him!
Along the way the man introduces himself as Dante and shows the crew to his home, a small mountain hut.
Inside are an extraordinary number of cats. Some are walking around, some are lying on the floor...
Lyria: Aah! They're so cute! So fluffy! Come here, little kitty!
Dante: Stop that at once! Lord Rivera needs his rest.
Lyria: Huh? Lord... Rivera?
Dante: Yes, the venerable lord your hand sought to disturb! It is most improper to interrupt one's rest!
Vyrn: Hey, this guy's kinda weird...
Lyria: Ahahaha... He seems nice enough...
Vyrn: Hey, mister, have you always lived up here? Not that I'm complaining... You saved our lives, but it's kinda remote!
Dante: Those living with the populace have rules to follow—rules set forth by the Crew of Enforcers.
Dante: However I wish not to be bound by any such rules. I live according to my own wishes. No one else shall dictate my life to me.
Dante: Freedom is what I truly desire. To be like Lord Rivera and the other great ones.
Vyrn: Freedom, huh? Is that why you live by yourself?
Dante: By myself? What are you say—
A cat wakes up and wanders over to Lyria, sitting at her feet and staring up at her.
Lyria: Aww, how cute! But if I pet you, Dante's going to get angry again...
Dante: What are you doing? Lord Mukuta is commanding you to pet him!
Lyria: Huh? O-okay... I'm sorry.
Vyrn: Oh, so now we're allowed to pet the cats?
Lyria: Aww! He's so warm!
Lyria: Hm, what is it? You want a belly rub? Here you go: coochie, coochie coo!
Vyrn: Whoa! All the cats are coming towards you, Lyria.
Dante: This is most irregular... It seems they have deigned to grace you with their appreciation.
Dante: Who are you? It would appear that you are no ordinary travelers...
Vyrn: We're skyfarers actually! We're trying to get to the island of the Astrals!
Dante: What? The legendary island of the Astrals... It's very existence is an uncertainty.
Dante: But your way of life... Truly that is freedom.
Dante: Perhaps the genteel here have sensed that freedom, and that is why they are enamored with you.
Vyrn: Erm, that's probably overstating it a little...
Dante: What! Do you truly mean to say that, Lord Rivera?
Lyria: Huh? What's going on?
Dante: Indeed I cannot truly say I have embraced a life of freedom...
Dante: In a way I suppose my life is already being dictated to me. I am tied to this place after all.
Vyrn: Hey, dude! What are you muttering about there?
Dante: I have a favor to ask of you. Would you be willing to accept a humble man such as myself into your crew?
Lyria: Whoa! That came out of nowhere...
Dante: Lord Rivera told me... He said that he wishes for me to see the world and to fly off into the sky.
Choose: Sure, come with us!
- Sure, come with us!
- The cats are coming too?
Dante: Very well. I thank you.Choose: The cats are coming too?
Dante: Of course this was our collective decision.Continue 1
Vyrn: Can you really talk to cats? I feel like you're just hearing things...
Dante: I do not understand their words. I merely sense their emotions.
Lyria: Oh... Well, I'd be happy to have all the kitties on the ship with us!
Dante: My magical abilities are unparalleled. You will not regret having me, (Captain).
Vyrn: Hey, hey, the cats get titles, but Captain (Captain) gets snubbed?
And so Dante, lover of freedom and cats, joins the crew.
From then on cats became a common sight aboard the ship, much to the rejoice of cat lovers in the crew.
Meandering Cat Collector
A glum-looking Dante walks into the dining room explaining that his cat Rivera has disappeared. Although unsure whether the cat has decided to make the island its home or is simply lost, the crew sets out to search for Rivera.
The crew stops by an island to rest up for a spell.
While dining, the topic of conversation turns to their many travels.
Vyrn: Haha! I was so shocked when that happened!
Lyria: Yeah, me too! I mean, it was so sudden...
Dante: If I may interrupt?
Vyrn: Huh? What's up? Why the glum face?
Lyria: What's wrong? You don't look too well...
Dante: I myself am fine... Have you perchance laid eyes upon Lord Rivera?
Vyrn: Erm... By Rivera you mean one of your cats, right? No, I haven't seen him.
Dante: Oh, how troublesome!
Lyria: Do you think something has happened to Rivera? If there's anything we can do to help...
Dante: I have not caught sight of his fair feline form ever since we made landfall on this isle.
Vyrn: Oh no! You think he's run off somewhere?
Lyria: That's terrible! We should go look for him!
Dante: A search?
Dante: However I wonder if that would be what Lord Rivera truly desires.
Vyrn: Huh? What do you mean by that?
Dante: If Lord Rivera has decided of his own volition, to make this fair isle his home... Then he does so of his own free will.
Dante: A gratuitous intervention on our part would be a grievous infringement on that freedom!
Dante: I shall not allow it! Shall not, I say!
Lyria: Umm... Why don't we calm down first?
Vyrn: Yeah... Aren't you overthinking this a little? He probably just wandered off.
Dante: Enough! This is the destiny of all of us who seek freedom! I shall pour my tears into a cup and then drink a toast to my old friend!
Dante: To Lord Rivera's new life, I raise my glass!
Vyrn: And that's why you should be listening to what we're telling you! He probably just got lost!
Lyria: Vyrn's right! He could just be stuck somewhere.
Dante: Hm... Yes, that could indeed be the case.
Vyrn: You see? It's finally clicked.
Dante: Forgive me. I am truly ashamed to have caused such commotion...
Dante: Let us scour the island for him at once, and only then may we divine Lord Rivera's true motives!
Lyria: Okay! Now, where do cats like to run off and hide...
Dante: The plateau beyond that village—I believe it to be quite suited to Lord Rivera's disposition.
Vyrn: Okay then! Let's go have a look, (Captain)!
Meandering Cat Collector: Scene 2
The crew comes upon a former acquaintance of Dante holding Rivera in his arms. When the man threatens to take away the cat as an expression of freedom, a battle commences.
The crew searches for Rivera in the highlands and arrives at a clearing.
Vyrn: Here, kitty, kitty, kitty! Riveraaa!
Lyria: Aww, he's just nowhere to be seen.
Dante: And yet there are traces of his presence. He must be somewhere in these highlands... Huh?
The crew follows Dante's gaze to find a thickset man at the edge of the clearing cradling a cat.
Thickset Man: Aww, hello there, little thing! Aren't you a cutie pie? And where did you come from?
Dante: Lord Rivera!
Thickset Man: Oh, are you his owner? Isn't he a cute kitty?
Thickset Man: Huh? I know you... You're Dante!
Dante: Mm? Why yes, I...
Thickset Man: Well, well... I see you haven't changed a bit. Still crazy about cats, eh?
Dante: You're one to talk! Shouldn't you be with the Crew of Enforcers?
Thickset Man: Oh, I left the Enforcers after I got injured. They awarded me a medal of valor. A bit different from quitting to look after cats!
Dante: Do you mock my pursuit of freedom? You good-for-nothing whelp of the Enforcers!
Lyria: Um, could you two stop quarrelling please?
Vyrn: I'll say! Just what happened between you two?
Dante: It is an old enmity. Long ago I too was in the Crew of Enforcers...
Dante: I spent those days living in accordance with their edicts, but then...
Dante: One day I encountered Lord Rivera and by living among felines, my eyes were opened to the inestimable value of living freely!
Thickset Man: Eh? What's so free about always dragging a clowder of cats around with you on your business?
Dante: Always? I suppose they were there that one time... when you used the regulations of our ship as a pretext to persecute us!
Thickset Man: Huh? Pets not being allowed on the airship is just common sense!
Dante: You dare call Lord Rivera a pet? Even your venomous scorn must have a limit!
Thickset Man: You nincompoop! Cats are pets!
Thickset Man: Enough already with all this claptrap about cats being free!
Thickset Man: Okay, let's settle this! From this day forward, I'm going to take in this cat as my own! Now how's that for freedom?
Thickset Man: Hehehe! If you want this cat back, you'll have to take him by force!
Dante: I accept your challenge!
Lyria: Yikes! (Captain), hurry!
Meandering Cat Collector: Scene 3
After taking back Rivera from the thickset man, the crew learns about Dante's past in the Crew of Enforcers. Rivera runs off again in the midst of it all, but thankfully he simply returns to the Grandcypher.
Facing defeat at the hands of the crew, Dante's former comrade returns Rivera and reveals his true feelings.
Thickset Man: Darn it... I used to respect Dante.
Vyrn: If that's true, then why—
Thickset Man: Sigh... He was so talented and popular, but then he took off all of a sudden with his cats.
Thickset Man: That really hurt. Him leaving like that.
Dante: I see.
Dante: I have no regrets about the path I have chosen. However I do admit the change was a little abrupt...
Dante: My deepest apologies... I neglected to make efforts to gain the understanding of my fellow shipmates.
Thickset Man: No, no, for our part we should've been more sensitive to your feelings.
Vyrn: Well, that settles it! Now everyone's friends again!
Lyria: Yay! It's also quite the coincidence meeting again in a place like this.
Dante: Yes. Though I suspect Lord Rivera had a hand in this...
Dante: Wait, where is Lord Rivera! Has she wandered afar once more?
Vyrn: What? Yeah, she just went back. To the Grandcypher, that is.
Lyria: Ahahaha... She's probably just stretching her legs.
Dante: I am indebted to you all. I hope to repay the favor during our travels...
Without looking back, Dante turns and heads for the Grandcypher.
And thus the crew return to the airship with Lord Rivera in tow and resume their journey.
To Be A Cat
Sen is on the deck with one of Dante's cats. She tries befriending the feline, which to her astonishment replies with encouraging words. After a short conversation, Sen then falls asleep. Dante explains to Vyrn that he had been speaking the cat's thoughts for Sen.
Sen: Ah, nice and toasty!
Sen stretches out on the deck of the Grandcypher, squinting up into the limpid blue sky.
Sen: A perfect day for... Huh?
Sen: Oh, you must be one of Dante's.
Sen finds a cat curled up where she'd hoped to lay. After a moment's thought, she steps back and sits, knees pulled to her chest.
Dante's Cat: ...
The cat glances up at Sen, who fixes her posture ever so slightly.
Sen: Um, er... Hello! Mind if I sit here?
Dante's Cat: ...
The feline responds with a yawn and buries its head.
Sen: (Lyria always pets you and talks to you, doesn't she? Her and everyone else...)
Sen: (Maybe you and me can be friends, too. Guess I've just gotta talk.)
Sen: So, uh... Sure is warm here.
Dante's Cat: ...
Sen: I'm Sen!
Dante's Cat: ...
Sen: People always tell me I'm like a cat. Honestly, I don't get it.
Sen: I thought, y'know, maybe if I hung out with a cat...
Dante's Cat: ...
Sen: Back in the woods where I'm from, there aren't any cats. Just the big, wild ones.
Sen: It's good to be here on the ship with a cat like you.
Sen smiles at the reactionless cat and blushes slightly.
Sen: Heh... I'm being a chatterbox. Sorry to bother you while you're sunbathing.
Dante's Cat: No, not at all. You're bothering no one.
Sen: Whoa! Was that really you, Kitty?
Dante's Cat: Yes, and what of it?
Sen: Wow! Uh... Mukuta?
Dante's Cat: As a matter of fact, I am Rivera.
Sen: Oops! Sorry, Rivera.
Rivera: Think nothing of it.
Sen: This is just—I mean, a tiny little cat like you, talking!
Sen: That's it! That's got to be why they say I'm like a cat.
Rivera: It's weighing heavily on you, isn't it?
Sen: I'm just like, how am I like a cat? They're always saying I am.
Rivera: It's truly nothing to concern yourself with.
Sen: Really? You think so?
Rivera: I do indeed. Your friends adore your most catlike feature—your free spirit.
Sen: Hmm... My free spirit.
Rivera: More than whiskers or love of the hunt, it's what makes a cat, a cat.
Sen: This free spirit stuff sounds cool. Guess I've got a lot to learn.
Rivera: As I said, you needn't worry. Simply be yourself.
Sen: Y'know, maybe you're right. Thanks a bunch, Rivera!
Rivera: But of course.
Sen: Aaaah, I feel sleepy. It's so nice and warm...
Sen: Rivera, I... I uh...
Lying on her side, Sen curls into a ball. Off to her side, Rivera blinks and yawns.
Vyrn: What're you doing, old man?
Dante: Oh, it's you, Vyrn.
Vyrn: What's with the cat act? You had Sen thinking the furball could talk!
Vyrn: You oughta just chat with her—no pretending you're a cat!
Dante: I didn't pretend to be anything.
Vyrn: Oh yeah? Then what was that?
Dante: The speech was mine, but the words were Lord Rivera's.
Vyrn: Sounds like the same thing to me!
Vyrn: And either way, Sen still fell asleep talking to a cat!
Sen: Hmm... Urmph...
Vyrn: Sure, she looks like she's got it together. But she's pretty quirky!
Dante: Yes, her heart is gentle and free.
Dante: She and Rivera have much in common.
Vyrn: Hehehe! No one would know better than you, old man. I guess she really is like a cat!
As the two converse, a patch of sun advances past the sleeping Sen.
Rivera stands and stretches deeply, then returns to Sen's side.
The cat sidles up beside Sen, and curls back into a ball.
Dante: Yes, Lord Rivera seems to feel a sense of kinship with her.
Sen: Ha... So toasty... So furry... So...
Vyrn: Well, isn't everyone nice and happy!
From that day forward, Sen began sunbathing alongside Dante's cats.