New Gear, Same Old Us
The mission to rescue Cassius and Isaac is underway, and Farrah and Juri are tasked with guarding their base of operations. Anticipating a potential attack from Grace, the two seek gear that will be able to defend against her deadly weapon. Mahira, learning of their lack of proper equipment, works together with the Society scientists to build it for them from automagod components.
Juri: That's what happened to Cassius?
Farrah: Imagine coming home to the moon only to have your brain scooped out...
Juri: (Captain)! An invasion of the moon is unprecedented! Please add me to the task force!
Farrah: Count me in too! Katalina taught me better than to turn a blind eye to danger!
Farrah and Juri are still reeling from the previous day's report.
They declare their intentions to help prepare for the trip to the moon and rescue Cassius.
After consulting with (Captain) and the others, they are given the task of guarding the base in case of interference from Grace.
The two set off to make preparations, fully understanding the importance of the role they've been given.
Farrah: What a pickle...
But they are unable to find equipment that suits their needs while they comb through town.
Juri: Grace's weaponry is a cause for caution... How are we going to protect ourselves against it?
Farrah: It's super nasty for sure. We'd be filleted like fish in these outfits.
Farrah: Can you imagine the personality it takes to do that to someone? I'll take being cut into sashimi over being such a monster.
Juri: She has already claimed numerous victims, the cruel savage.
Juri: Damn it, how can the moon people live with themselves? Treating Cassius so terribly and consorting with unjust comrades!
Farrah: And there he goes with another "angry teapot" moment... Kinda weird using it without Cassius here.
Juri: Urk! F-forgot about that nickname. Gotta stay calm...
Farrah: Not like you're the only person who got ribbed on. He called me "simmered dish girl", and honestly, I'm burning hot enough to be charred.
Angry teapot and simmered dish girl—nicknames that Cassius gave to Juri and Farrah.
Juri: I hope Cassius can return to us safe and sound.
Farrah: He better, otherwise the Cassius-only pot I bought for him will go to waste.
Juri: You got him a pot?
Farrah: Kind of. More like I nabbed it for myself, so I can make enough of that dish he likes.
Juri: He really did like your cooking... That's why he gave you that nickname, right?
Farrah: Would've appreciated a more knightly title instead.
Juri: Haha, you're telling me. I'd rather put "angry teapot" behind me.
Farrah: Pretty sure he meant it fondly, at least. He did say he'd never tire of watching you get riled up.
Juri: I'm not sure how to feel about my shortcomings being perceived that way...
Farrah: Then work on it and show him how much you've grown.
Juri: Right. We can't let that pot go to waste either.
Juri: We'll protect this base with everything we've got. That way he's got a place to come home to.
Farrah: That's right. Once we get everything together, we'll be ready for a hundred Graces!
Farrah: If the weapons dealer is no good, then we just gotta search elsewhere! How about trying an alchemist?
Farrah opens her map and takes a few steps forward.
Juri: Farrah, watch where you're going!
Farrah: Owwie... What a tumble...
Juri: You should really keep your eyes up when you walk... Are you both okay?
Farrah: Can't believe there was stuff to trip over in the middle of the road.
Farrah: Wait, did you just say "both"?
Mahira: Hey, guys. Sorry for tripping you up. I had an idea and couldn't help but start my calculations on the spot.
Farrah: You were doing math right here? That's pretty dangerous. I mean, what if a carriage came this way?
Mahira: I wouldn't have noticed. Too busy with a revolutionary idea for the propulsion system we need to get to the moon.
Juri: I assume that's what all these formulas scrawled on the ground are for.
Farrah: Whoa, these are formulas? I thought they were a bunch of worm trails or something.
Mahira: This one here is my guess for the difference in environment between the skies and the cosmos.
Mahira: There were a lot of difficult to understand details in Isaac's documents...
Mahira: One of which was his warning that propellers shouldn't be used in the cosmos.
Mahira: Considering that air grows thinner the higher the altitude, I was able to see his point. Using fire to create kinetic force might be the way to go.
Farrah: Uh, no clue what you're talking about... Juri, do you know?
Juri: Sorry, I'm also completely clueless.
Juri: I learned the principles behind airship propulsion in school, but nothing more than that. Certainly not to Mahira's level of expertise.
Mahira: You're giving me too much credit. I'm still a half-boiled egg.
Mahira: I have to do my best here... Since I'm going to be watching over the ship, I won't be able to help anybody on the frontlines.
Farrah: We appreciate it. And hey, you're not the only one that's worried about pulling your own weight...
Mahira: Hmm, something on your minds?
Juri: We've been trying to come up with a strategy to counter the infamous Grace, but our search through town didn't yield much.
Mahira: If I recall correctly, that's the woman who wields threads capable of slicing through anything. Hmm...
Farrah: Maybe if we had gear as solid as Vaseraga's, we'd withstand a hit or two.
Juri: Wearing armor like that would bog us down too much. Only Draphs like him can handle stuff that big and heavy.
Mahira: That's true. Light armor is better in your case. I think.
Juri: The brigandine I wear is composed of metal plates attached to leather armor—fairly light and effective against slashing attacks.
Juri: Perhaps... If the mesh were reinforced with stronger materials, it might prove sturdy against her threads.
Farrah: You say that, but we just got told that there isn't any material out there that's guaranteed to tank that kind of hit.
Mahira: Brigandine... Metal attached to leather? Hmm...
Mahira: You know what, I might know how to help you.
Juri & Farrah: Really?
Upon returning to base, Mahira brings out a large box filled to the brim with various components.
Ilsa: You've come up with a countermeasure for that jar-cruncher's threads?
Mahira: Yes. I hope you don't mind if I repurpose some materials from the cosmoship.
Ilsa: So long as you have enough for the ship after... How are you going to go about this?
Juri & Farrah: ...
Ilsa: What's wrong? We're about to make your equipment. Stop squirming like baby mice and get over here.
Juri: Y-yes, ma'am!
Farrah: Sorry, uh, we didn't mean to take up your resources...
At first, only Ilsa is involved, but as the news of revolutionary equipment spreads, Society technicians soon join the operation.
Ilsa: Don't apologize. Any countermeasure against that woman's threads is a welcome one.
Mahira: I had an idea after observing Juri's brigandine...
Mahira: If we melt down Automagod armor into metal and apply it to the latticework, it should prove effective against her attacks.
Ilsa: Hmm... We don't have many Automagod parts left over. Are you sure about this?
Mahira: Based on the calculations I did on the road, I realized the cosmoship wouldn't require as many components as originally planned.
Mahira: Between the defunct components and other extra materials, I should have enough to strengthen several pieces of armor.
Ilsa: Then I'd like you to outfit the maggots under my command as well. We'll spare no resource. I'm counting on you.
Mahira: Can do.
Mahira: Farrah. Juri. Looks like we've got our work cut out for us. Are you ready?
Juri: Of course!
Farrah: You know it!
With the help of Mahira and Society members, Farrah and Juri spend a full day grueling over the creation of the new equipment.
Juri: All right, this is it!
Farrah: Totally awesome! Never worn anything like it before!
Ilsa: Some high quality stuff, I must say.
Mahira: Your trousers are also reinforced with strengthened material, which should be hard for your enemies to spot, thanks to the dark colors.
Mahira: I'd say we were able to get the most out of the Automagod scraps. Two birds, one metal hunk.
Farrah: No one's gonna stand a chance against us—not even Grace!
Juri: We'll defeat any enemy that stands in our way!
Farrah: You know it! I'm more than ready to kick some butt!
The two look forward with shiny new equipment in hand, determined to face the coming fight.
Like Sword and Shield
Farrah and Juri spar together to test out their new gear. Taking a break, the two recall their time as trainees in the empire's army and remember the day that Juri pushed himself without properly eating and eventually collapsed. Farrah chided him on the importance of balancing work and self-care—a lesson that he took to heart.
Farrah: Take this!
Having donned the new gear, Farrah and Juri are putting it to the test with a spar.
Juri: Pant, pant... You've gotten better, Farrah!
Farrah: You too... Lot tougher than before!
Juri: Haha... We're not done yet. But we should take a short break first. Not here to push ourselves and accidentally get injured, after all.
Farrah: Agreed. I'm pretty thirsty too...
Juri: I made sure to bring an extra canteen. Here you go.
Farrah: Oh, good thinking ahead! Thanks!
Farrah: Gulp, gulp, gulp... Whew! That hit the spot!
Farrah: What do you think of the new armor? It's so light, I might've moved around too much and exhausted myself.
Juri: Yeah, I don't think any adjustments are going to be necessary. Been a while since I've worked up a sweat like this...
Juri: Reminds me of our trainee days back when we served the empire.
Farrah: We used to compete over everything. Remember the training runs?
Juri: Yeah, as much as I wish I didn't. Those were certainly some times.
Farrah: I'll never forget the way you looked, wheezing, "Can't move..."
Juri: I-I never sounded like that!
Juri: Though... you're not wrong that I did struggle.
A specific memory resurfaces—one day among many spent learning under the Erste Empire's command.
After a morning of training, Juri sits down with a book in one hand and food in the other.
Farrah: Juri, more reading? Why am I not surprised.
Farrah: Mind if I sit here?
Juri: Go ahead.
Farrah takes a seat on the opposite side of the table, bringing her own food tray.
Farrah: Kinda bad manners to read while you eat, don't you think? Maybe you should pick one or the other.
Juri: A good soldier spends every single second on self-improvement!
Farrah: Is that right? Well, your life, your choices.
Juri: Glad you understand.
Conversation dying off, they both consume in silence for a short while.
Farrah: Juri? You still alive there?
Juri: What? I'm trying to focus on this book—
Farrah: Just thought you'd like to know lunch time's almost over.
Checking the time, Juri panics. He slams his book shut and attempts to shovel the remainder of his meal into his mouth.
Juri: (Oh no... A good soldier would never be late for afternoon meetings!)
Juri: Need to eat as much as I can beforehand!
Farrah: Lemme help! Nom!
Juri: Hey! Who said you could—at least leave me dessert!
Farrah: Be rude to waste food, sooo...
They swallow as much as they can before rushing out.
Juri, like always, gives his best attempt at the afternoon training runs, but the result is less than impressive.
Juri: Pant... Wheeze...
Juri: I can't... move anymore... So... hungry...
Juri: A soldier should be ready to face any situation... But to think that neglecting sustenance would result in this...
Farrah: Huh? Oh! Hey, Juri! Bye, Juri!
Full of energy, Farrah rushes past. The sight is enough to bring another surge of motivation to Juri.
Juri: Curses! I refuse... to lose!
Farrah: Oh? See you've still got some fight in you. But don't think that's enough to beat me!
Juri: I won't let you!
The two hotheads sprint off, completely forgetting that they're supposed to be training.
By the time training finishes for the day, Farrah and Juri are sprawled limply on the ground.
Farrah: Ugh... I'm gonna be sick...
Juri: Haven't been tired like this... in ages...
Farrah: Looks like it's nearly sunset. The professors'll be mad if we don't head back soon.
Farrah forces herself up and staggers to her feet.
Farrah: What're you doing? Come on, get up.
Farrah: Huh? What was that?
Juri: Can't move...
Farrah: Sigh... Guess there's no helping it.
Farrah: Sling your arm around my shoulder. I'm only ever doing this once, you hear?
Juri: Pathetic... I would've been dead if that was a battlefield.
Farrah: That's what you get for pushing yourself so hard and not eating properly.
Farrah: Sure, it's important to do your best, but you need breaks too! Balance, you know?
Juri: That's what the handbook said too. Guess I shouldn't have ignored it.
Farrah: It was in the handbook? Huh. Does seem like a handbook-y thing to write.
Juri: Wait. Have you not read it?
Farrah: Sitting down and studying is not my thing.
Juri: Not even going to deny it...
Farrah: No one likes being forced to do things they can't do. That's probably why the military's split up into different branches.
Juri: Again with the pointless talk...
Juri: (But maybe she has a point... Pushing myself past my limits did more harm than good.)
Juri: (Been too stubborn this whole time.)
Farrah: Gonna start walking now. A shoulder's all you're getting, got it? I'm not about to carry you the whole way back.
Juri: Okay, all right. Just keep the pace slow, will you?
Despite the exhaustion weighing them down, the two head back to their lodgings with satisfied smiles.
Like Sword and Shield: Scene 2
Recalling various events that shaped their lives, Farrah and Juri come upon the subject of Yodarha and consider how he has greatly changed since they first met him. The conversation is interrupted by Juri's growling stomach, and the two head for the kitchen to make lunch.
Farrah: What a nostalgia trip. You were way more of a straightlaced hardhead back then.
Juri: Excuse me?
Juri: I suppose... I was a little too caught up in my ambitions.
Farrah: After that run though, you loosened up a smidge.
Juri: Your point hit home: it's counterproductive to push myself to the point of failure. And sometimes, you have to reassess what you're aiming for.
Juri: Not that I ever expected to leave the army and take up traversing through the skies.
Farrah: True that. I totally thought you and me were gonna be soldiers for life.
Juri: Definitely started out that way.
Juri: But meeting (Captain) made me question what I was aiming for... Changed my goals, even.
Juri: Since then I've never once regretted or questioned my decision to leave the army.
Juri: My only regret is when we fought the archangels and I nearly died—I was so weak. So frustrated I'd have to leave the rest to (Captain) and everyone else.
Farrah: That sure was one crazy fight.
Farrah: I still remember all your screaming. "You're not gonna get me, you laughable halo!"
Farrah: "You think I'm going to perish in this obscure place? What kind of way to go out is that?"
Juri: C-cut it out! I was panicking, okay? I'd like to see how you do when death's knocking at your door!
Farrah: Well, I can't say I don't know what it's like to be under pressure. Reminds me of when I went foraging for greatshrooms with the crew.
Farrah: We fought huge mushrooms, chased after the master of the mountain, then the locals started hunting us...
Farrah: Anyway, we ran all over that mountain. Felt like we didn't have a moment to breathe.
Juri: Sounds like it was a mess...
Farrah: It was a fun one, at least. Master used the whole adventure to help teach us some cool tricks.
Juri: Master... You're referring to Yodarha, right? The elderly man in white.
Farrah: Yeah, why?
Juri: It's just... He sounds like a completely different person in your story.
Juri: When I see him, he's like a ghost drifting along, surrounded by a deadly aura...
Farrah: I mean... He's changed since then.
Farrah: I dunno what happened. Nobody'll tell me a thing, even though (Captain) and Rhens seem like they know what's going on.
Farrah: Hm... You don't have any ideas, do you?
Juri: Ah, no, I'm as much in the dark as you are. I was just remembering the situation with my father and Lieutenant Galston.
Juri: Finding out they knew each other after my father passed away... It was hard to learn everything after the fact.
Farrah: I can imagine. If anything happened to Master, I'd probably feel the same.
Farrah: But he's not my master for no reason. He'll be fine without me worrying after him... I'm sure of it.
Juri: At the very least, it shouldn't be necessary for you to interfere.
Farrah: Hey! Are you underestimating me?
Juri: No! I only meant that—
Juri: Ugh... That was my stomach.
Farrah: Roared as loud as a beast.
Farrah: Makes sense. It's lunchtime, and I'm feeling hungry myself.
Farrah: All right, let's get some grub! Can't do much on an empty stomach!
Spurred on by their hunger, the two head to the kitchen to make lunch.
Like Sword and Shield: Scene 3
Farrah and Juri decide to make curry for the whole base, as thanks for everyone's help in creating their new armor. The base gathers to enjoy the meal together, savoring the respite before the operation reaches its main stage. Once lunch is over, Mahira requests Farrah and Juri's help with carrying cargo, and the two eagerly oblige.
Farrah & Juri: ...!
Farrah: Haha! Yes! I peeled thirty-five carrots faster than you! I win!
Juri: Gah... First the potatoes, now even the carrots?
Farrah: The honor of fetching water and doing dishes is all yours!
Juri: How could I have let this happen...
Farrah: Come on, you just need to bring some water and sit tight for a while. I'll be doing the rest.
As Farrah begins to cook, the air is filled with her carefree humming and the pleasant aroma of food.
Farrah: Mmm, hmm-hmm!
Ilsa: This smell... Making curry?
Farrah: You betcha. The perfect meal after a good workout!
After running into Ilsa on their way to the kitchen, Farrah and Juri now prepare lunch for everyone on base, as thanks for helping with the new gear.
Ilsa: My troops will certainly appreciate the grub. Sorry for the extra work.
Farrah: Hehe, don't worry about it!
Ilsa: Then I'll go gather everyone for the meal. See you in a bit.
Farrah: Juri, it's about time to serve—
Farrah: You starving to death there, pal? Remember, there's only enough for two servings per person.
Juri: I know. You won't catch me eating as much as Cassius does.
Farrah: Be hard to find anyone who eats like him, especially the feedback he gives: "There's a certain depth to the flavor, and none of the nutritional value has been lost."
Juri: That's a pretty big compliment, coming from him.
Farrah: Then he could at least say it's delicious or something! How's a normal person supposed to know otherwise?
Juri: Now, now. You can lodge a complaint once he's back with us.
Farrah: Good idea. I'll beat some manners into him, just like my mom did for me.
Juri: Then we better make sure his rescue is a success.
Farrah: Of course! That's why we gotta eat and recharge right now!
The table is soon set. Not long after, crewmates and Society members crowd the dining area.
Ilsa: Don't forget to wash your dishes and put them away once you're done!
Society Soldiers: Yes, ma'am!
Ilsa: You never know which meal will be your last! So show your appreciation! Farrah! Juri!
Ilsa: Thank you for the meal!
Society Soldiers: Thank you for the meal!
Farrah: Ahaha... It's just some curry...
Ilsa: Perhaps that was a little much. But your food provides important relief for us, and you should be properly thanked for it.
Juri: It's an honor to be of service.
Mahira: Smells amazing. I can't get enough of the spices.
Juri: Munch... Mhmm, that's tasty! I'm already starting to feel reenergized!
Mahira: The balance between sweet and spicy is superb.
Mahira: I'm also feeling reinvigorated enough to tackle the afternoon.
Juri: Building the ship must be tough. How fares your progress?
Mahira: According to plan for the most part. I refuse to be the cause behind any delays.
Juri: Remember what we promised? You need any help, we'll be there. Just let us know.
Mahira: In that case... I was actually thinking of asking you to help carry cargo around.
Mahira: The newest shipment of components just arrived, and I'm going to need some assistance to move it all.
Mahira: With the shortage of labor around here, you'd be doing me a big service.
Juri: We'd be happy to do it! Two cargo-carrying pros, at your command!
Farrah: It's the least we can do, considering the awesome armor you made for us!
Mahira: Thank you both. I really appreciate it.
Juri: All right, Farrah! Let's see who can move the most boxes! You may have won the peeling contest, but you won't beat me here!
Farrah: You're on!
With little time left before the rescue operation, Farrah and Juri enjoy what peace they can.
They proceed with battle preparations, alongside trusted comrades.