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Dark Dragoon Forte
(Captain) and the crew visit a city to take part in a fighting tournament. The other participants, however, have withdrawn since a formidable warrior named Forte entered. (Captain) alone accepts Forte's challenge, and the two cross blades. Impressed, Forte joins the crew.
The crew catches wind of a fighting tournament that is about to be held in a certain city.
They head to the venue with intentions of testing their strength.
Right away, they notice a sign that says that the event has been canceled.
Vyrn: No way. What's up with that?
Promoter: Oh, were you planning on participating? Sorry, but as you can see, there will be no tournament.
Lyria: Why was it canc—
???: You there! You call yourselves warriors?
Lyria is suddenly interrupted by a brusque voice. The surprised crew turn toward the source of the outburst.
???: What sort of cowards flee before the battle even starts? Shame on you all!
Vyrn: Whoa, is that who I think it is? That's gotta be Forte!
Lyria: Do you know her, Vyrn?
Vyrn: No, not personally. She's super famous, though.
Promoter: Yep, the scaly guy's right. She's the one in charge of the Dark Dragoons.
Promoter: She's a dragon-riding warrior who's as solid as they come.
Lyria: Dark Dragoons? Is that a crew?
Vyrn: Yeah, that bunch doesn't mess around. They smash everything they come across, or so the rumors go.
Promoter: Not everything. They go after humans and monsters, good or evil, but they don't prey on the weak. Some call them heroes because of that.
Lyria: Wow. And a group that wild is being led by her.
Vyrn: Aha! I think I'm starting to get it.
Vyrn: Everyone backed out when they found out those guys were joining.
Promoter: Thanks for saving me the trouble of explaining it. It's all their fault. I'd run too if I knew I had to fight them, know what I mean?
Forte: Unbelievable! We came all the way out here expecting to do battle but now we have to go back with nothing to show for it.
Forte's Lackey 1: Hey, maybe it's for the better. That means our opponents knew enough to run away!
Forte's Lackey 1: So what if they didn't fight? A win's a win. Isn't that all that matters?
Forte: What did you say?
The air seems to freeze as Forte glares in disdain at the now-silent subordinate. (Captain) is standing far away but can still feel the cold wrath.
Forte: A victory without a battle has no meaning! It's nothing!
Forte: A win's a win? Don't you dare spew such trash!
Forte's Lackey 1: Forte, please, I'm sorry!
Forte: Whatever. But keep this in mind.
Forte: If you call yourself a warrior under my banner, then hunger. Hunger for battle. Hunger for victory. Hunger for it all.
Forte's Lackey 1: Yes, Captain!
Vyrn: Yikes. She wasn't even looking in my direction but I could still feel it from way over here.
Vyrn: Talk about power! I'm getting the chills.
(Captain) nervously nods in agreement.
And yet, (Captain) begins to contemplate what a fight with the exalted Forte would be like.
Forte: I'll ask one last time, weaklings! Who of you thinks he can quench my thirst for battle?
The crowd grows silent as Forte waits for an answer. (Captain) raises a hand slowly, trembling with excitement.
Vyrn: Hehe, that's what I thought! We came here to test our skills, not go home with our tails between our legs!
Forte: Oh ho, so there is someone with some guts.
Forte: You! What's your name?
(Captain) answers and readies their sword.
Forte: (Captain)... That's a fine name. I see that you command dragons, too. Hahaha, this'll be interesting!
Forte: Come at me, (Captain)! Don't hold back! Let's see if your blade can get past my Wings of Darkness!
With a slight nod, (Captain) launches at Forte and swings their sword with full force.
Forte: (Such speed!)
The blade just grazes Forte's cheek. For a brief moment before she disappears, a look of astonishment—or joy—crosses her face.
Vyrn: (Captain), behind you!
(Captain) quickly spins around while swinging the blade.
Forte parries the strike with ease.
Forte: Ha! Excellent! Fine work!
Forte: Your attack was powerful, but full of tenacity and conviction too. Ahaha! I haven't been this moved in such a long time!
Forte drops her weapon, and approaches (Captain) with a look of delight.
Forte's Lackey 2: Here we go again...
Vyrn: What do you mean?
Forte's Lackey 2: Looks like she's back to her old habits. It must have started after that argument with the Crew of Enforcers...
Lyria: Um, what is this old habit?
Forte's Lackey 2: You'll see.
Forte: Hmm, you are still a bit green. But I can tell that you possess grace, integrity, and fortitude. Makes me want to train you.
Forte: Then it's decided! From now on, you're a member of the Dark Dragoons!
Vyrn: What the heck!
Lyria: Wait! We're on a journey with (Captain). All of us, together!
Vyrn: That's right! (Captain)'s the captain of our crew! You can't take our captain away!
Forte: Humph. No good, huh? Oh well then...
Vyrn: Uh... She took that pretty well.
Forte: All right, I'm coming aboard! I can't allow such exquisite talents such as yours to slip through my fingers.
Forte: Hey! I'm leaving for a while! Take care of things while I'm gone!
Forte's Lackey 2: Roger!
Vyrn: Wait wait wait! Who said you could decide things on your own? Not only that, but why are you guys not objecting to this?
Forte's Lackey 2: Eh, it's always like this. Once she gets it into her head to train someone, she'll stick it out to the end.
Forte's Lackey 1: Yeah! She knows that anyone she trained herself will be a worthy opponent.
Vyrn: That's one heck of a reason!
Forte's Lackey 1: She might seem tough, but she's got a nice side so don't worry!
Vyrn: Really? All I see is someone who loves to fight.
Forte: Hey, little whelp! What are you mumbling about? Hurry up and show me the ship. We need to get (Captain) ready for training.
The crew is giving Forte a tour of the airship when they hear the growl of an empty stomach.
Lyria: Ah, I'm sorry...
Forte: What are you apologizing for? If you were hungry you should've said so. Don't tell me you haven't eaten anything yet.
Lyria: Ah, well, it's not lunchtime yet, so...
Forte: Humph. In that case, we shall eat now. A strong body needs proper nourishment!
Forte: Tell me what you want to eat and I shall prepare it for you.
Choose: I'll leave it up to you
- I'll leave it up to you
- What do you want to eat, Vyrn?
Forte: I see. Then something meaty will suffice.
Lyria: Yay, meat! Sounds good!
Forte: I'm making you a salad too. You'll eat your vegetables and enjoy it!
Lyria: Okay! I'll eat my veggies, too!
Forte: Good answer! Let's go buy ingredients!Choose: What do you want to eat, Vyrn?
Vyrn: Something with apples!
Forte: Apples... I suppose I could make a fish saute topped with an apple glaze.
Vyrn: Apple glaze? My mouth is watering already!
Forte: Then it's settled. Let's go buy ingredients!Continue 1
Forte takes the lead and steps off the airship.
As the crew follow Forte, they feel as if they have caught a glimpse of the mighty warrior's more compassionate side.
(Captain) and Forte are sparring when a woman's scream pierces the air. The crew hurry to the source of the scream, where they find a woman under attack from monsters.
Forte: Come, (Captain)! Swing your sword with all your might!
The clash of sword and spear sounds throughout a breezy field.
The two combatants are using their day off to spar.
Forte: Excellent! You're stronger than ever, (Captain)!
Forte laughs cheerfully as she parries (Captain)'s attacks with her two spears.
Vyrn: She sure loves to fight! Is it just me, or is (Captain) having fun too?
Vyrn lets out a bemused sigh.
Suddenly, a monster's roar cuts through the air.
???: Help me! Somebody!
Forte: Let's move, (Captain).
(Captain) nods and they race toward the source of the screams.
An injured woman lies on the ground next to a ferocious monster.
Forte: I hate those that prey on the weak.
Forte: If you think you're so tough, then we shall be your opponents! Charge!
Dragon Daycare: Scene 2
The crew travels to the hospital with the injured woman, who reveals that she cares for orphans. (Captain) and the others decide to fill in for her, but discover that babysitting is tougher than expected.
After defeating the monster, the crew takes the injured woman to a nearby hospital.
Kind Woman: Ungh... Where am I?
Lyria: Thank goodness you're awake! Does it hurt anywhere?
Kind Woman: Hurt? Oh that's right. I was attacked by a monster...
Doctor: There's no telling what could've happened if these people hadn't brought you here. You're very lucky.
Kind Woman: Thank you so much for—Oh no! I can't stay here! I have to get back!
The woman tries frantically to stand up but the doctor firmly restrains her.
Doctor: Don't move or else your wounds will reopen! You still need to take it easy for a few more days.
Kind Woman: A few days? Oh dear, but what about the children?
Forte: Did you say children?
The woman explains that she is the only caretaker at an orphanage.
Kind Woman: If I'm bedridden for a few days then the children will surely go hungry. Oh, what should I do?
Lyria: Can't we help her out, (Captain)?
Forte: You people are such bleeding hearts. Well, whatever, I don't mind.
Kind Woman: Really? Do you think you can help?
Forte: That's the plan. I trust there are no objections, right (Captain)?
Forte: Problem is, I don't know anything about babysitting.
Lyria: Don't worry about that! We'll all pitch in and do our best!
Forte: Precisely. We are in control now. I command you to rest and heal.
Kind Woman: I'm sorry for troubling you. I can never thank you enough. Please take good care of the children.
The crew bid farewell and make their way to the orphanage.
Impish Boy: Mom! I'm home! Huh?
The crew greets the surprised children and explains the situation.
Meek Girl: I can't believe she... Sniffle. Is she okay?
Lonely Girl: Hic... When's she coming back? Today? She's not coming today, is she?
Forte: Calm down. Your mother is fine but she needs to rest in the hospital. She'll be gone for a few days.
Meek Girl: No! I want to see her right now! Waaaaah!
Forte: Enough of your pigheadedness! And stop that blubbering!
Meek Girl: Waaaugh!
Lyria: You're scaring them, Forte!
Forte: T-that's not what I intended... Look, I'm sorry, okay? Stop crying!
Forte: Agh. What should I do... Shall we battle, child?
Meek Girl: Aaaah!
Forte: Sorry, sorry! So what now?
Meek Girl: Sniff... I want a snack...
Forte: A snack?
Meek Girl: One like Mommy makes...
Forte: Oh yeah? Well if it's a snack you want, it's a snack you'll get!
Vyrn: Hehe. It's kinda refreshing to see her all flustered like that.
Lyria: Don't just stand around watching, Vyrn, we should help out too!
Vyrn: You're probably right. It'd be a disaster if she was the only one in charge!
Meek Girl: These aren't like the ones Mommy makes... but they're good!
Forte: I seem to be in the clear.
The crew finally begin their babysitting duties.
Impish Boy: Come on lizzie, let's play!
Vyrn: Okay, okay! Stop pulling my tail!
Impish Boy: Yay! Come play with us too, Forte!
Forte: Not now. I'm in the middle of training. When I'm done.
Impish Boy: Aw...
Forte: Don't look at me with those eyes. Argh, fine, just for a little while!
Meek Girl: Forte, read me a story!
Forte: A story? Can't you read by yourself?
Meek Girl: Oh, I guess so. Sorry...
Forte: No, that's not what I... Oh, never mind, I'll read it to you! Come here!
Lonely Girl: Lyria, pick me up!
Lyria: Me? I don't think I'm strong enough.
Lonely Girl: Then how about Forte?
Forte: Huh? Carry you? So... like this?
Lonely Girl: Owie...
Forte: Whoops! Are you okay? There, how's that?
The crew and Forte suffer through many hardships taking care of the children.
Night finally falls and the crew successfully put the kids to bed.
Forte: Phew, what a day. Babysitting is a monumental task.
Vyrn: You got that right. I'm sorry we couldn't help more!
Forte: No, it's fine. Now I know why they say mothers are strong.
Forte smirks just as a monster's howl echoes outside the house.
Forte: Ugh, what a time to start howling! It's going to wake up the children!
Forte grabs her weapons and rushes to silence the wail.
Vyrn: Hm, mothers are strong... Then someone as strong as Forte might as well be a mother!
Vyrn: Whoops, now's not the time for that. We need to hurry, (Captain)!
Dragon Daycare: Scene 3
The children ask Forte how to get stronger, and she replies that there are no shortcuts. That night, the children slip out of the house to train against monsters anyway. After a quick search, the crew spots the children surrounded by monsters.
Morning arrives and the children are no longer shy around Forte and the crew.
Impish Boy: Hey hey! Let's all go play outside!
Forte: All right, but don't wander off. Stay where I can see you, understand?
Forte: Hehe, that's what I like to hear.
Vyrn: You had me worried for a bit, but you're quite the mom now!
Forte: Tch, not by choice. The little squirts won't leave me alone!
Vyrn: You can't fool me! Admit it—you really do enjoy looking after children.
Forte glares at Vyrn and, in the blink of an eye, gently bats his head.
Vyrn: Ouch! Ouch? I feel dizzy...
Vyrn spirals down to the ground.
Forte: Don't forget, I'm a warrior who controls dragons. I know a dragon's weak spot, so don't get carried away.
Meek Girl: Wow! You're so strong, Forte!
Forte: It's nothing. Like I'd lose to that guy.
Impish Boy: Hey, Forte! How can I be big and strong like you?
Forte: Simple. Eat well, sleep well, and never forget to train.
Impish Boy: So that'll make me strong right away?
Forte: Well, it won't happen overnight. What's the rush?
Impish Boy: I was thinking. I want to be tough like you. Then I can save Mom from the monsters.
Impish Boy: What do you think? Pretty cool, huh?
Meek Girl: Get strong to save Mom? Yeah, I want to be strong too!
Lonely Girl: M-me too!
Impish Boy: C'mon, tell us how! We just need to beat up lots of monsters like skyfarers do, right?
Forte: That would only work if you were already strong enough to take on monsters.
Forte: At your age, the only way to get stronger is to practice, practice, practice. No rushing. Understood?
The children answer disappointedly.
Night falls once again. The children have all vanished from the house under cover of darkness.
Lyria: I can't find them anywhere in the house! They're not in the room, and one of the windows is open!
Forte: They pretended to sleep, and then sneaked out the window? What are they thinking?
Vyrn: You don't think they went looking for monsters, do you?
Forte: Argh! I told them that's not how you get stronger!
Forte: Tch. I should've been more forceful. Bah, this is no time for should'ves!
Forte bolts into the night and whistles with her fingers.
A dragon comes tearing through the clouds and Forte hops on.
Forte: You guys get on too! Little whelp, fly with all your might! We're searching from the sky!
The crew climbs on and searches together with Forte.
Thanks to the dragon's incredible speed, they quickly locate the children.
The situation is dire as the children are already surrounded by monsters.
Forte: Get away from those kids, you fiends!
Lyria: Is everyone okay?
Meek Girl: Sob... I'm sorry...
Forte: Apologize later. All that matters is your safety. For now, stay by my side!
Vyrn: Here it comes! Stay sharp!
Dragon Daycare: Scene 4
Forte rescues the children just in the nick of time, and later lectures them about the virtues of patience. After a few days pass, the young woman returns and the crew say their final good-byes. The children promise to grow stronger as Forte looks on with a heartfelt smile.
Having dispatched the monsters, Forte turns toward the weeping children.
Forte: I'm glad you're safe, but that was too reckless.
Impish Boy: Sob... I'm sorry... I'm sorry...
Forte: Now do you see why you shouldn't rush into things?
Forte: If anything happened to you, it would've broken your mother's heart.
Forte: Is that what you want?
Meek Girl: No... Waaah...
Forte: Then don't do anything that foolish again. If you want to keep your mother safe, then be strong. As strong as they come.
Forte: Once you're powerful enough, you can protect yourself and anyone else.
Forte: Take it slow and steady and you're sure to get strong.
Impish Boy: But what if we keep practicing and don't get any better?
Forte: You will get better. Because today, you learned your limits.
Lonely Girl: Limits?
Forte: When you stood in front of those monsters, you felt those limits, didn't you? Fear. Helplessness. All you could do was cry bitter tears.
Forte: Never forget what it felt like. Burn that moment into your memory.
Forte: Keep working so that you never have to feel that shame again. You're sure to become truly powerful then.
Forte: You said from the bottom of your hearts that you want to protect your mother. I know you will succeed.
Impish Boy: Sniff... Forte...
Forte: Come here.
Forte beckons to the children and they come over to her. She pats their heads gently, one by one.
Forte: In any case, I'm glad that you're all safe.
Meek Girl: Sorry for making you worried, Forte...
Lonely Girl: Lyria, and Vyrn, and everybody. We're so sorry.
Vyrn: You've learned your lesson, right? We're not mad or anything. Just don't do it again, okay?
Meek Girl: Mm-hmm. Never ever.
Forte: Great. Don't forget!
Forte: Well then, it's way past your bedtimes. Gotta sleep well if you want to get big and strong!
With a gentle smile, Forte leads the children back to the orphanage.
A few days later, the woman leaves the hospital and returns to the orphanage. She expresses her gratitude to the crew.
Kind Woman: I'm so grateful for everything you've done for us. I don't know how to thank you.
Forte: I don't need any thanks. If anything, maybe I should be thanking the little ones.
Kind Woman: Huh?
Forte: These past few days were very.... educational.
Lonely Girl: Sob... Forte, everyone... Thank you. Will you come see us again?
Forte: Of course. We'll be back before you know it to see how much you've grown.
Forte: However! You're going to get a talking to if you're not stronger by the time I get back.
Impish Boy: Hehehe. We'll be fine! After all, you told us how to become stronger!
Vyrn: Haha! It looks like our work here is done then!
Lyria: I guess it's about time for us to head out.
The crew wave goodbye one final time before turning their backs and returning to the main road.
They don't get far before they hear the pitter-patter of footsteps behind them.
Impish Boy: Forte, watch me get big and strong!
Lonely Girl: I'll be strong enough to beat anyone! And to protect Mother, too!
Meek Girl: I'm going to be as strong as you, Forte!
Forte: Hahaha. Those little kids...
Forte turns back toward the children, smiles, and waves.
Forte: Take care of yourselves. Let's cross swords the next time we meet!
The warrior grins like never before.
It seems that Forte's soft side has thoroughly charmed the crew.