The Seaside Performance Is On
The crew comes across a little girl holding a homemade tlepilli who laments her father's inability to attend the concert. Because non-ticketed guests are prohibited, the maidens think of a way to bypass the rules.
Days pass after the crew's arrival in Auguste. All the while their preparations for the upcoming concert continue.
The day of the concert finally arrives. The maidens are about to rehearse on the completed altar.
Harie: You okay? Feeling nervous?
Diantha: Yeah, I'm good. We should see how far our voices will go from this altar.
The maidens exchange knowing glances.
The ichnia, preoccupied with decorating the outer part of the altar, suddenly stop in their tracks and focus their full attention on the maidens.
Diantha: Yes, this is a neo fairy tale—
Linaria: Teehee... In this world that has forgotten how to believe—
Harie: We've descended as the stars of hope...
Canna: To clear the clouds of darkness...
Diola: By shining our dancing light!
Diantha: Hehe, sounds great! We should be able to handle this without a hitch!
Diantha Fan: Aaagh! Th-this is too good! Our beloved Diantha gets to sing on stage again! Hic...
Linaria Fan: D-dude, crying in a place like this? What gives, man? Hope you get it out of your system before the main event!
Lyria: Wow... Everyone's voice sounds as beautiful as ever!
Guard 1: Ahh... Those must be the maidens we've been hearing about! That's some incredible singing!
Guard 2: I can see why they're treasured as much as we treasure our seas in Auguste.
Guard 1: I swear on my pride as an agent of Auguste to keep them safe during their stay here. Let's move on with the patrol.
After taking a breather, the guards go off to deal with monsters who've been showing up in an area near the altar.
Linaria: Ehehe... Looks like they love our singing on this island too.
Canna: That's a given! I mean, just think about how hard we practiced for this! We'll ace this thing for sure!
Diola: Hey... I'm worried about what's happening outside.
Diantha: You too, Diola? I was wondering the same thing after singing just now. I hope everything's okay...
Vyrn: (Captain), just the thought of monsters creeping around behind rocks and stuff gives me the heebie-jeebies. How 'bout we go check it out?
(Captain) also feels an uncertain presence in the vicinity.
They walk out the tent covering the altar and go with the maidens and ichnia to search for the source of this presence.
Girl: Sniff... Hic...
Harie: What we felt was from her?
The young girl appears to be three to four years of age. Everyone's attention is drawn to her.
Harie: Hi there. Everything okay? Care to tell us what happened?
Girl: Um... Well... Only Mommy and I will get to see your performance...
A look of confoundedness colors everyone's faces as they press for more info.
Girl: Daddy couldn't get a ticket to the concert...
Diantha Fan: No way... How could something like that happen?
Harie: Anyone who placed an order should've had no trouble getting a ticket...
Diantha: Maybe there was some kind of mistake with her father's ticket?
Linaria Fan: We've gotta do something about this... Is that a handmade tlepilli she's holding?
Although a bit unwieldy, it is obvious enough that the girl put a lot of effort into making her own tlepilli.
Diantha Fan: To think that the people of Auguste would make their own tlepilli in celebration... I never expected to see such respect for our culture here...
Girl: I heard maidens would be coming... and that they'd be giving a concert. I wanted to see it so much, so I made my own tlepilli...
Girl: It's transparent for now. I thought of adding color later—after I decided on my favorite maiden...
Harie: Yeah, I hear you... Thank you so much...
Diantha Fan: Harie... Isn't there anything we can do for her? I can't bear to see her so upset because of the concert.
Harie: Hm... I'll bring this up with the head priestess.
Head Priestess: So that happened, huh...
Harie: Head Priestess, there must be some way to secure a seat for the little girl's father.
Head Priestess: I hate to say this, but...
Head Priestess: The Auguste authorities have stipulated a few conditions for our performance here.
Head Priestess: Among them is one particular rule prohibiting non-ticketed guests—a necessary caveat to minimize confusion and to keep both the maidens and the islanders safe.
Harie: Are we really going to just let this go? How do you expect us to just stand by and watch that baby girl bawl her eyes out?
Head Priestess: If I make this one exception, I'll have to make exceptions for everyone else.
Head Priestess: And if that happens, the authorities might very well call off the concert. So I'm sorry, but I can't bend the rules.
The head priestess herself does not seem fully content with her decision.
But the damage a cancelled concert would cause to both Auguste and Xolotl is simply too great to ignore.
As head priestess she simply made the best decision she possibly could in her position.
Vyrn: That kinda felt like we were putting her on the spot...
Lyria: The girl was really looking forward to it. I feel sorry for her...
Harie: There must be something we can do...
Diantha: Something that wouldn't cause trouble for the head priestess...
Linaria: Let's go find out what that something is then. I hate seeing that child heartbroken and unable to pick her favorite maiden as much as any one of you.
Canna: Yeah, we've still got time until the concert. I'm sure it'll all pan out somehow!
Diola: Mm-hm, let's do what we can. Xolotl wouldn't be pleased about leaving a little girl out in the cold either.
Diantha Fan: We'll look into things from our side too.
Diola: Just be careful to act under the radar.
Vyrn: I get ya. Wouldn't want any guards to think we're trying to sneak someone in...
Guard 1: Hm, what's going on here? What's this about sneaking someone in?
Lyria: Yikes! I-it's nothing!
Vyrn: We were talking about sneaking around any monsters in the area so we could get the upper hand on them!
Guard 2: Yeah? We could definitely use the help. There's a few places we haven't checked yet that you might want to scout.
Vyrn: We're on it! C'mon, (Captain)!
(Captain) goes out monster hunting—
Leaving the matter of how to let the little girl's father attend the concert to the others.
The Seaside Performance Is On: Scene 2
The maidens have the girl's father hide underneath the altar until the concert begins. When Diola begins singing on a whim, the man's blue tlepilli—symbolizing allegiance to Diantha—begins to glow, drawing the attention of nearby guards.
Linaria: Good job taking out the monsters, (Captain)!
Vyrn: Heheh! They had us beat in numbers, but we got them beat... Period!
Vyrn: Anyway, how'd things go over here?
Canna: I get the feeling we might beat this one too! We've got a plan in mind!
Linaria: I know she said plan, but it's just a matter of having the father hide in a small opening beneath the altar until the concert starts.
Lyria: Good idea... Once the performance gets going, all eyes will be focused on the maidens...
Vyrn: The ichnia will be raving so hard that no one'll notice one extra person coming out to play.
Canna: Perfect! Now we just need to explain it to the girl's parents! Let's move it!
Canna: Scuse me! We heard you missed out on a concert ticket?
Man: Those outfits... You must be the maidens!
Man: It's true I missed my chance to get a ticket... But how did you know that?
Linaria: We heard about it from your daughter. We'd love for you to come to our concert as a family!
Man: You're too kind! Ah, fate has truly smiled upon me!
Canna: Well, we really want the people of Auguste to enjoy our show!
Canna: So we thought of a way for you guys to come as a family!
Man: I'm all ears.
Though deeply moved, the man's expression remains cloudy.
Man: I don't deserve to attend the concert...
Linaria: Huh? What's there to be deserving of? Don't tell us you actually didn't order your own ticket on purpose?
Canna: You sounded like you were really looking forward to it though. Is there something else we don't know about?
Man: No! It's nothing! Please forget anything I said!
Linaria: Come... on! Do you have any idea how upset your daughter is about this whole thing? She even went as far as to make her own tlepilli!
Man: Rgh! But I...
Vyrn: Crud! We can't draw this out any longer! Guards are coming!
Canna: It's time, ichnia!
Linaria Fans: Woo!
Man: Th-the heck is with you guys? Let go of me!
Linaria Fan: Heh... You're coming with us!
The man is hauled off by the brawny Linaria fans to where the altar is.
Drawn by the surrounding clamor, the other maidens come rushing to (Captain).
Diantha: So... I take it this man is the girl's father?
The man's expression suddenly changes at the sight of Diantha.
Man: Oh my! Diantha? I thought you had given up the maiden life... But here you are in matching outfits with the other maidens!
Vyrn: I was thinking, mister... Your attitude toward the maidens seems different from that of everyone else in Auguste...
Linaria: To top it off, you know way too much about us.
Man: What... are you getting at?
Diola: This is going nowhere...
Diola: Hm-hmm... Hm-hm-hmm...
A faint light fills the surroundings as if responding to Diola's humming.
Man: Ouch, too hot for me!
The man lets out a shriek and squirms, causing an object to fall out of his pocket.
Man: Why would it heat up all of a sudden?
The man grabs the glowing blue glass tube before it lands on the ground.
Diantha: It's the type that my fans use...
Diantha Fan: There's no mistaking it. It appears to be an older design, but it's extremely well-made.
Linaria Fan: Just who are you!
Guard 1: You don't have a supporter badge. Tell us who you really are!
Lyria: (Yikes! (Captain), the guards are on to us!)
Guard 1: Don't tell me you're an intruder...
A bright light fills the surroundings as the guard approaches the man.
It is the radiant tlepilli in the man's hand that shines so brightly. All eyes stare wondrously at the captivating glow.
Guard 1: Monsters? They must've been hiding under the sand!
Guard 1: The concert starts soon! Protect the maidens at all costs!
The Seaside Performance Is On: Scene 3
The man turns out to be a former Xochitl ichnia who lost the chance to see Diantha's final performance when moving to Auguste due to sickness. Canna's encouragement keeps him strong as he hides under the altar, while Xolotl keeps the guards on lookout at bay.
Guard 1: Rgh... Hold it!
(Captain), we're counting on you to keep the maidens safe!
Vyrn: Whew, saved by the monsters...
Diola: Mister, you should know... Xolotl's doing what he can to make sure you're okay.
Diantha: The primal beast who grants power to the maidens. Our performances were originally meant to honor Xolotl...
Diantha briefly summarizes the history of the maidens and Xolotl.
Man: Not just all of you, but even a deity would go so far for me and my daughter?
Man: Very well. I'll explain my circumstances.
The man resigns himself to the situation and begins to speak at length.
Man: I once lived on Xochitl Island. And as you may have noticed from my tlepilli, I was a Diantha fan...
Diantha: Huh? You were an ichnia on Xochitl Island?
Man: Yes... My wife and I were all set to watch your debut performance, but I suddenly fell ill.
The doctors on the island could do nothing for the man. The family went to Auguste in pursuit of more advanced medical care.
Many things happened, obstructing their return to Xochitl Island. They have been living in Auguste ever since then.
Diantha: And I was no longer a maiden by the time your illness was cured...
Man: My wife was a devout Diantha fan as well, but she chose to take care of me over attending the sessions at the altar...
Man: Rgh! If only I hadn't fallen sick!
Linaria: So that's what you meant by undeserving... Because you gave up the chance to see off your favorite maiden...
Canna: Why don't we consider it a revival of sorts of Diantha's final concert then?
Diantha: Sounds good to me. Though I'll have to admit I'm a bit nervous about being the main event again.
Linaria: Ehehe... That'll give me all the more reason to shine onstage! We'll be fine!
Harie: Well, how about it? Now that we've heard your story, I have to say you are absolutely positively deserving of attending.
Man: Thank you... You have my utmost gratitude.
Harie: Hehe, perfect! You can come on out now!
Girl: Yay! Let's watch it together, Daddy!
Man: Aah, I'd be glad to...
Canna: Okay! Under the altar now!
Canna: As soon as we've finished singing the opening chant, we need you to run to the front of the crowd. The guards won't notice that way, so it'll work out just fine!
The crew hides the family under the altar and proceeds with concert preparations.
Diola: Something's up...
Diola knits her brows in consternation as multiple sets of footsteps approach.
Guard 1: We're on the homestretch! Check every nook and cranny—monsters could be lurking anywhere!
Guard 2: Having monsters around during the performance would be most unacceptable! It is our job to make sure we root them all out beforehand!
Multiple guards come rushing into the tent.
Lyria: Uh-oh! They're doing a really thorough search!
Harie: What's our move? It all goes down the drain if the guards find them...
Diola: Let's cover up this spot really good for now.
The crew places a myriad of objects that fit the scene atop the hiding spot, praying that the guards miss it entirely.
Guard 1: All clear here!
Guard 2: Same!
Making sure to leave no stone unturned, the guards approach the hiding spot of the family.
Guard 1: This is the last spot.
Just as one of the guards reaches out to the opening covering the hiding spot...
Guard 2's Voice: Aaagh! I-I—
Guard 2's Voice: It's a primal beast!
Guard 1: What!
A dreadful shriek sounds from outside the tent, cutting short the inspection.
Lyria: A primal beast? Could it be...
Vyrn: I've got a bad feeling about this! We should go check it out too!
Guard 1: Stand your guard! We have to protect the altar and everyone inside!
Xolotl: Woof! Woof!
Xolotl sweeps the guards off their feet with his tail.
Guard 2: What the... It's got my armor and belt all tangled up! I can't move!
Guard 1: Ngh! Why the heck are you guys stuck to me like glue? Ack, someone cut off our belts!
By way of Xolotl's reality-distorting powers, the guards have been clumped together like grains of sticky rice.
Diantha: Xolotl! What's this all about?
Diola: He's playing with the guards.
Linaria: Maybe he's gotten tired of the beach already?
Diola: Nuh-uh. Xolotl's drawing everyone's attention until the concert starts.
Diola: He really wants that family to see Diantha onstage, I think.
Lyria: Wow, this has really gotten out of hand...
The tangled-up guards come crawling toward (Captain) and company.
Guard 1: P-please, (Captain)! We don't stand a chance! Help us!
Diola: (Captain), I think we've got enough of a distraction already. Can you help them with this?
Vyrn: I'm guessing we don't have to go all out?
Vyrn: Hm... C'mon, (Captain)! Let's trade a few blows with Xolotl!
The Seaside Performance Is On: Scene 4
The maidens manage to pull a fast one on the guards, giving the family a chance to enjoy the concert. Seeing their radiant smiles allows Diantha to realize that Xolotl's prophecy was a means for lifting the spirits of ichnia who no longer reside in Xochitl Island.
Guard 1: Huff... Huff... Have we quelled the beast?
Head Priestess: What in tarnation is—
Guard 2: Pant... Wheeze... From monster after monster to a primal beast appearing on the altar... It's been one battle after another...
Head Priestess: A primal beast?
Diantha: Erm... It looked like a giant dog with a golden mask...
Diantha tries to allude to Xolotl's manifestation without being too obvious.
Head Priestess: I see...
Guard 1: While we haven't sustained any serious injuries, we're definitely not in any shape to keep up the patrol. Perhaps the show should be postponed...
Head Priestess: No, we're going ahead with it.
Guard 1: Wha! But if monsters show up again—
Head Priestess: It'll be fine. The maidens are protected by a sacred power during their performances.
Head Priestess: Yes, it's always been that way. A monster or two won't make a difference.
Guard 2: I... I see... Well, I guess it should be fine if the maidens are up to it...
Although the guards cannot brush off their concern, the head priestess's strong conviction lulls them into a mild sense of security.
Rehearsal ends a little later than scheduled, and the time of the main event draws near.
Linaria Fan: Remember, sweetie. As soon as the maidens finish singing the opening chant, run with your family to the front of the crowd.
Girl: Okay! Mommy, Daddy—we get to see it all up close!
Man: I have no words for your kindness, everyone... As if giving us special entry weren't enough, you're even giving us the best seats in the house!
Canna Fan: Oh, it's nothing. The whole event's meant for Xolotl and his friends anyway. We have every reason to help you.
Diola Fan: And of course we're stoked to see what color your daughter's gonna make her tlepilli.
Harie Fan: Haha, I bet it'll be Harie—she's every girl's favorite maiden!
As a select few ichnia chat it up with the family while hiding beneath the altar, the lights suddenly go dim.
Head Priestess: Sorry to keep you waiting, everyone! But the show is about to begin!
Maidens' Voices: Ti Icniuhtli Xolotl!
Ichnia's Voice: Now! Run for it!
The ichnia in the very front take a few steps back to make room for the family that comes rushing in.
Maidens: Thank you for everything! You are my most cherished treasure. One, two, three—I love you.
Maidens: Yes, this is a neo fairy tale—
In this world that has forgotten how to believe—
Maidens: We've descended as the stars of hope—
To clear the clouds of darkness—
By shining our dancing light!
Girl: Wow. It's beautiful...
Man: Diantha's final concert—revived! I won't even blink if I can help it!
The dance of the maidens begins with glorious applause and cheer from the people of both Auguste and Xochitl.
The concert ends on a remarkably high note, leaving everyone speechless yet feeling warm and fuzzy.
Lyria: Teehee... Another wonderful performance!
Girl: Uh-huh! They were all so cute!
Diantha Fan: So have you decided on one maiden to give your full support to?
Girl: You mean which one I like best?
Girl: I love all of them!
Linaria Fan: That's what I'm talkin' about!
Canna Fan: Instead of being caught up with who's best, simply enjoying things for what they are is certainly a fine way of looking at things!
The maidens watch the smiling family in the distance.
Diantha: So that's what Xolotl's prophecy was all about...
Diantha comes to an epiphany.
Diantha: Xolotl specifically chose this locale and wanted me to join the performance all for that family.
Canna: Hm, makes sense. Xolotl considers even ichnia that have left the island to be his friends!
Harie: So that's what this was all about... He could've told us that beforehand...
Diola: Communication's tough for canine deities.
Linaria: Teehee, friends are friends no matter how far apart they are.
Harie: But how would he even know about ichnia outside the island to begin with?
Diola: His senses must've sharpened after everyone on Xochitl Island remembered him.
Diantha: I guess he planned this all out when he realized that people on other islands need the help of us maidens too...
Linaria: Does that mean we could be doing more concerts on other islands in the future?
Diola: It's possible.
Canna: Sounds fun! I'm always up for seeing new sights and trying out new things!
Linaria: That means I'll get the chance to show sooo many more people just how amazingly cute I am! Teehee!
Harie: If such an opportunity does arise, we would need protection...
Harie: Meaning we'd get to work with you again, (Captain). It'd be a pleasure.
(Captain) and company rave about the spectacular showing as they return to their lodgings.
Diantha: Hehe, I'm really glad we came to this island.
Diantha speaks about the family who had no choice but to leave Xochitl Island due to unforeseen circumstances.
Diantha: I guess I never did get past my stage fright, but I'm really glad to see that child and her parents so happy.
Diantha: And getting the chance to perform on a different island was an invaluable experience, especially for me as an apprentice priestess.
Diantha: But it's all due to your efforts that we're able to appreciate these things... Thank you, (Captain).
Though no longer a maiden, extraordinary circumstances have allowed her to perform on the altar again.
Diantha's experiences in Auguste will no doubt prove valuable in her journey to one day become a distinguished head priestess.
It can very well be said that the legend of Xolotl and the maidens has only just begun.