An old man warns the crew not to go into the mountains, but they hasten to do so anyway. There, Vyrn and Lyria run into a mysterious young boy called Flesselles, who, with tearful eyes, tells the party the story of his lonely circumstances.
(Captain) and the crew have stopped at a small village to handle a request.
They finish that request and are about to hurry off, when someone stops them.
Village Chief: Wait. You mustn't enter the mountains.
Vyrn: Um, what?
Lyria: Erm... Why shouldn't we go into the mountains, sir?
Village Chief: You mustn't. Simply mustn't. The mountain god is stirring now, you see. So you mustn't go. Mustn't go...
Katalina: We appreciate the advice, sir, but we have to get back to our ship as soon as possible.
(Captain) and the crew bid the chief a light nod of recognition and take the shortest route into the mountains.
With the words of the village chief weighing on their minds, the crew hurries along the path back to the ship.
Rackam is the first to notice that something seems strange.
Rackam: Something's off. It feels like we're going around in circles...
Eugen: I was thinkin' the same. Katalina, we're lost, ain't we?
Katalina: I don't think so. This is the same road we took to get to the village, and we didn't get lost then.
Rackam: Hehe, but what about the curse of the mountain god the village geezer mentioned?
Katalina: Sigh... Don't be ridiculous. That's nothing but a silly superstition.
Katalina: Right, Lyria? Huh? Where'd Lyria and Vyrn go?
Vyrn and Lyria have lost sight of the crew and are wandering helplessly through the mountains.
Lyria: Oh, this is bad. Vyrn, what should we do?
Vyrn: Whoa, check this out. There's animal bones sticking out of this tree. What do you think it means, Lyria?
Lyria: It means it's scary! It must be some kind of black magic curse!
Vyrn: And what do you think these tall piles of stones are for?
Lyria: Also scary! They must be graves... and they're everywhere!
Vyrn: What about those creepy howls we keep hearing?
Lyria: Eek! It's a ghost! The ghost of the mountain god!
Vyrn: Aw, I'm just messin' with you, Lyria. Besides—
A large, ominous shadow flies at Vyrn from the thicket.
Lyria: Aaaah! Are you a ghost? An actual ghost?
???: Whoaa! A girl? A real live girl?
Lyria: On second thought, you're not very ghostlike...
Flesselles: You've got it all wrong! My name's Flesselles. I'm a hunter who wanders these mountains.
Vyrn: Hee hee, quit it! Easy there! Hey, not the tail!
Slobber, slobber, slobber...
Hearing the hound's bark, (Captain) and the crew finally rejoin Lyria and Vyrn.
The boy introduces himself as Flesselles to the rest of the crew. He speaks excitedly, eyes shining with enthusiasm.
Flesselles: Hehehe, you thought I was a ghost? That's real funny, Lyria!
Lyria: I'm sorry. We saw trees with bones in them everywhere. I thought it might be some kind of curse, so I got scared.
Flesselles: Hehehe, that's no curse! It's hunting season in the mountains right now, and the bones are there to warn others of danger.
Lyria: Oh, I see. What about the pebble graves?
Flesselles: Those aren't graves. They're markers that let my buddies know I'm hunting here.
Lyria: Then what about the ghostly wails?
Flesselles: Hahaha! Ghostly wails? You better apologize to my buddy Camaro here!
Camaro: Bow-wow! Slobber, slobber, slobber...
Vyrn: Hee hee! Hey, enough with the licking! That tickles!
Flesselles: Hehehe, it's always good to make new friends! Camaro seems to have taken a liking to Vyrn too!
Katalina: Hm... Piecing it all together, that means the mountain god is—
Flesselles: Yep. Me.
Flesselles: We mountain Erunes used to be known as the mountain hunters a long time ago.
Flesselles: But that somehow got corrupted into some mountain god nonsense.
Katalina: Sigh. That old man isn't doing you any favors spreading it around.
Eugen: Bwahaha! Just let it go. Why embarrass the old guy? Let's hurry up and get through these mountains already!
(Captain) and the crew rise to their feet in order to climb the mountain once more.
Lyria: Let's hurry! Bye, Flesselles! Bye, Camaro!
Flesselles: Righty-oh! See ya!
Camaro: Bow-wow! Slobber, slobber, slobber...
Vyrn: Heheh... Wait, why are you still following us?
Flesselles: Huh? You mean we can't follow you? Doesn't it feel lonely? Let's keep talking a little longer.
Vyrn: Whoa. When'd you get so clingy?
Lyria: Hee hee, do you like being at the center of attention, Flesselles?
Lyria innocently teases Flesselles, who begins telling a teary-eyed story.
Flesselles: We're from a tribe of archers. Our rite of passage involves leaving our families and living alone in the mountains.
Flesselles: But I get lonely easily, so that lifestyle is no good for me. All I think about is my family...
Flesselles: And then you guys came along, chatting and laughing... It reminded me of my parents.
Flesselles: Sob... I'm so lonely... Father... Mother... Sob...
Vyrn: Well, I guess there's only one thing to do. Whaddya say, (Captain)? Can he come with us?
Lyria: Oh? That's not like you, Vyrn. You don't make requests like that very often.
Vyrn: Hmm... I guess you could say I can't leave a sad hunter in the woods.
Camaro: Bow-wow! Slobber, slobber, slobber...
Vyrn: Haha! I wasn't talking about you! Hahaha! Hey, quit it!
Choose: I really want to hear more of your stories.
- I really want to hear more of your stories.
- We can't turn down a friend of Vyrn's!
Flesselles: Huh? Are you sure? Then I'll tell you all sorts of stuff about the mountains!
Vyrn: Heheh... I can't wait! This is gonna be fun, (Captain).Choose: We can't turn down a friend of Vyrn's!
Flesselles: Thanks, Camaaaro! It's all thanks to you that we get to stay with these guys!
Camaro: Bow-wow!Continue 1
Lyria: Yay! Now you won't be lonely anymore!
Despite coming from a hunting tribe that lives in the mountains, Flesselles doesn't handle solitude very well.
Although he seems undependable, he's not a kid who's looking to be coddled.
One day this mysterious archer is going to help the crew in its time of need. But that's a story for another time.
(Captain) and the crew make an emergency stop with a damaged Grandcypher on the side of a mountain far from anywhere that might sell supplies. With Flesselles' help, the crew progresses through the mountains, only to incite the anger of the mountain goddess...
The Grandcypher had been cruising through clear skies above a sea of cloud.
Unfortunately, a sudden bout of engine trouble forces the ship to make an emergency landing on a small island.
Their landing point is halfway up a mountain, which is a considerable distance from the nearest town.
After discussing the situation, the crew decides to trek into town to secure the necessary parts to repair the ship.
Eugen: Let's get a move on. Cuttin' through the mountain's the fastest way for us to get to town.
Rackam: Then it's decided. The sooner we set off, the sooner we can fix the ship and get out of here.
The crew is just about to disembark when Flesselles chimes in.
Flesselles: Taking the mountain route is faster, sure, but I'd recommend against it.
Lyria: What's wrong with the mountains?
Flesselles: There's a certain someone who shows up around this time of year, and that means it's not a good idea for girls to go into the mountains. Especially girls like you, Lyria.
Lyria: Wh-what do you mean by that?
Flesselles: Like, if she spots a cute girl like you, she might get jealous.
Lyria: I don't understand. Who's this she you keep talking about?
Flesselles: The goddess of the mountain.
Vyrn: Hold on! Last time we heard a story like that, you turned out to be a mountain god!
Flesselles: That was a misunderstanding, but this is the real deal. An honest-to-goodness mountain deity.
Katalina: That's certainly confusing. Whatever the case, time is short.
Katalina: Is there anything you can do to prevent this mountain goddess from obstructing us?
Flesselles: Got it. Just leave it to me. But you need to follow my instructions exactly.
Flesselles quickly performs a strange and unfamiliar ritual in front of the crew.
After uttering strange incantations in what sounds like an ancient language, he dances to ask forgiveness for entering the mountain. Finally, he distributes what appear to be pieces of ceremonial cloth to the crew.
Vyrn: What's this? Looks like a hand towel or something.
Lyria: Ah, is this part of the protection ritual?
Flesselles: Hmm... Not exactly, though it may just end up saving you later.
Lyria: Save us? Wow... Okay, I'll make sure to hold on to it!
The crew passes through verdant forests and prairies, pushing forward without the benefit of paved trails.
After walking a considerable distance, Vyrn and Lyria sink to the ground.
Vyrn: Huff... I'm ready for a little break...
Lyria: Pant... My throat feels so dry.
Katalina: I'm sorry, Lyria. We were in such a hurry to leave that I forgot to fill our canteens.
Vyrn: You're supposed to be the responsible one, Katalina! There's no water here!
Katalina: I'm so very sorry, Vyrn.
An unhappy mood starts to descend, but a boy's uplifting laugh cuts through their grumpy conversation in an instant.
Flesselles: Heheh, no worries. I'm just glad to see those towels coming in handy.
Lyria: What do you mean?
Flesselles: Remember the towel I had you tie around your leg before we left? Could I borrow them for a sec?
Flesselles collects the towels from each crew member.
From there he retrieves a large metal pot from his bag and wrings the towels over it.
A stunning amount of water drains into the pot.
Lyria: Wow! That's a lot of water!
Flesselles: My father taught me this trick. Tying a cloth around your legs and walking through the wet grass is a perfect way to collect morning dew.
Vyrn: Not bad! Bring it over here so I can get a drink!
Flesselles: Not yet, Vyrn. We still have to boil it, so hang on just a little longer.
Flesselles deftly lights a fire under the pot before removing some leaves from his bag.
After toasting the leaves on both sides, he throws them into the pot. A pleasant aroma wafts through the air.
Lyria: Ooh, that smells wonderful. What is it?
Flesselles: My father's secret tea recipe.
Flesselles: The leaves purify the water, so you won't get sick even if it's dirty.
Vyrn: Are you sure that stuff works? Just looks like a bunch of leaves from where I'm flying.
Katalina: No. He's right. Those leaves are resistant to rot and have powerful restorative effects as well.
Flesselles: Heheh, you really know your stuff, Katalina!
Katalina: Hee hee... I studied herbal remedies during my time in the imperial army.
Flesselles: Ah, looks like it's ready! Here you go, everyone.
Flesselles pours the tea into cups and passes them around.
Smiles blossom as soon as the tea touches their lips.
Katalina: Hm, it's been some time...
Vyrn: Whoa! This is good! Real good!
Lyria: It's so warm and sweet. I've never tasted anything like it!
Lyria: I had no idea you knew how to do this kind of thing, Flesselles! You're amazing!
Lyria: It's been scary up here in the mountains, but having you here puts my mind at ease!
Sorry, Lyria. Can you stay quiet for a bit?
Flesselles: The goddess is going to be jealous if she sees her husband being friendly with someone that isn't her.
Lyria: Wait. You two are married?
Flesselles: Not quite. Hmm... How should I explain this?
Flesselles's expression suddenly changes, having perceived that something is wrong.
With the finely honed senses of a hunter born and raised in unfeeling mountains, Flesselles's glare penetrates the darkness.
Flesselles: She's sent a monster after us. You might want to get back, Lyria. She's seriously upset.
Attention Demander: Scene 2
Flesselles explains his tribe's tradition of marrying the goddess of the mountain upon reaching adulthood. Unfortunately, Lyria's friendliness toward Flesselles risks causing the goddess' anger to boil over...
After the monster is driven off, Flesselles explains the mountain goddess's true identity.
Flesselles: When members of my tribe become adults, we marry the goddess of the mountain.
Flesselles: According to my father, becoming her husband grants us the protection of the mountains, ensuring our safety as hunters.
Lyria: Hee hee... That sounds so romantic.
Flesselles hurries onward, urging the crew to avoid angering the goddess any further.
Vyrn: Huff... Let's take a little break.
Lyria: Wheeze... Uh-oh, my stomach's all rumbly.
Katalina: I'm sorry, Lyria. It seems I forgot to pack food as well.
Vyrn: That's strike two, Katalina. What are we supposed to do now?
Katalina: I'm sorry, Vyrn. I really am...
The mood among the crew grows desperate, but Flesselles is unfazed.
Flesselles: Hehehe, no worries. Look at your feet, Lyria.
Lyria: Er... My feet? Are you talking about these acorns?
Flesselles: Hehehe, don't eat all of them. Just have a few and leave the rest.
Flesselles: Otherwise the monsters and beasts that also eat them won't have any food, and then they'll attack the town.
As he is saying this, Flesselles takes out his pot and heats it up again.
First he pours in leftover tea. Then he adds rock salt and dried meat from his pouch, slowly stewing the contents.
Once he's satisfied with the stew's taste, he adds in boiled acorns and distributes it between the crew members.
Flesselles: For mountainfolk, nothing tastes better than a hot bowl of soup.
Flesselles: It doesn't just warm your body but your spirit too.
Lyria: I think I know what you mean. It's so warm and relaxing.
Vyrn: Sorry for getting annoyed at you earlier, Katalina. I was just hungry!
Katalina: Oh, Vyrn... I haven't given it a second thought.
Lyria: You're amazing, Flesselles! You know everything about the mountains! Your knowledge is awesome!
Flesselles: Lyria, no! Don't compliment me like we're super buddy-buddy!
Lyria: Eek! What was that?
Eugen: Argh, here we go again... You've gone and angered the goddess.
Rackam: That... doesn't sound good.
Although everyone else starts to panic, Katalina remains calm.
Katalina: Don't lose your heads, everyone. Look closely, and tell me where you see a goddess.
Katalina lops off some thick brush in front of them, which allows them to see a large creature charging at them.
Flesselles's eyes change, and he no longer resembles his boyish self. His calm voice echoes through the thicket.
Flesselles: Forgive me, Goddess. I pledge my life and ask that you show devotion to your beloved.
Flesselles: O kind wife—mountain's deity. Hear the call of my arrow. May it pierce the evil beast, straight and true!
Attention Demander: Scene 3
(Captain) and the crew exits the mountains safely, and Flesselles holds the descending ceremony of respect dedicated to the goddess of the mountains. In order to subdue her jealousy, Flesselles asks the girls of the group to stand and swear an oath to the goddess that they will not stand between her and her husband.
Daybreak. The hardship of the battle from the night before vanishes in the gentle light of dawn.
The crew finally exits the forest and returns to the mountain road. They observe Flesselles's mountain descending ritual in utter solemnity.
The ceremony goes off without issue. When he finishes chanting, Flesselles looks back at the crew with a smile.
Flesselles: That should do it. I do have one last request however.
Lyria: A request?
Katalina: Very well. Whatever you need, I'll do my best to help.
Flesselles: Wonderful! I was worried you might refuse.
Flesselles: Can you come over here for a second then?
Flesselles whispers something to Lyria and Katalina.
Lyria nods blankly, not fully grasping the meaning behind what she's been told to do. She stands in front of a shrine to show her respect.
Lyria: Oh, Goddess. Please don't worry. I won't take your husband away from you.
Katalina approaches the shrine as well.
Katalina: Um... Dear... goddess of the mountains. I swear I won't take—
Katalina: Ugh. Flesselles! I'm not saying I don't believe you, but is any of this really necessary?
Flesselles: K-Katalina! You can't say that in the middle of the—
Rackam: I think you just angered the goddess again, Katalina!
After that, Katalina delivers her vow with utmost sincerity. But everyone in the crew is thinking the same thing.
Let's skip the mountains on the way back.