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While overseeing the restoration of Alster Island, Heles calls for (Captain)'s crew. When they arrive, she asks if she can join their ranks, stating that her continued presence on the island would hinder the progress of the new government.
During their travels (Captain) and company once stopped at Alster Island. There they discovered a society suffering from frequent monster attacks.
The crew wasted no time in quelling the threat and brought peace back to the island.
Now they've returned to that very place, summoned by the princess whose kingdom was destroyed by the monsters.
Heles: Let me start by expressing my gratitude to all of you for coming here.
Lyria: Not at all! We're happy to see you again, Heles. How's the rebuilding going?
Heles: It's going well. The island is nearly as prosperous as it was back when the Irestill Kingdom still held firm.
Vyrn: That's great news! But why did you call us here? Are there more monsters to deal with?
Heles: No... I have an entirely different request for you this time.
Heles: I wish to accompany you on your journey.
Lyria: What? But why? Heles, your people need you here as their princess!
Lyria: If you go, won't it leave the citizens of Alster with no one to turn to?
Heles: It would. And that is the very reason I wish to leave this island.
Vyrn: Wha? What do you mean?
Heles: Alster Island has long been ruled by the Irestill royal family.
Heles: But it was the negligence of my father, King Connor, that resulted in the destruction of Irestill Kingdom.
Heles: As part of the reconstruction effort, we decided to rebuild the government as well, and installed a council composed of local leaders from across the land.
Lyria: Oh, that's why the castle is called the Great Court, right?
Heles: Precisely. The castle's location at the center of the island is the ideal location for the seat of government.
Heles: But returning to the topic at hand. If the throne's successor doesn't possess the faculty to rule the kingdom, then it's the people who will suffer.
Heles: Father exemplified this, so my brother and I renounced our claim to the throne and relinquished all control to the Great Court.
Heles: But the Great Court has only just been created, and its members lack experience. Everyone is overly reliant on me...
Vyrn: Well, duh! Of course they rely on you! Your country is huge—and you guys just changed your whole government!
Heles: I realize we're in the beginning stages. Even the most talented budding politicians would need an example under these circumstances.
Heles: But I can't let the country stagnate and remain in its current form.
Heles: The Great Court has plenty of ability. All they need is more experience with decision-making. And that makes me a hindrance.
Vyrn: Um, that's kind of drastic, but if it's for the sake of the people...
Heles: Yes. It's time for me to step away. There is nothing more to say on the matter.
Heles: I feel that I can trust you. And I owe you a debt of honor for what you did before. So will you take me with you on your journey?
Choose: Sure! We'd love to have you!
- Sure! We'd love to have you!
- Shouldn't you be somewhere safer?
Heles: Thank you, (Captain). Oh, sorry... Captain.
Heles: I'm confident in my abilities. Surely my spear will aid you in your journey to the end of the sky.
Heles: To be honest, I haven't actually ever left this island, unless you count political conferences and the like.
Heles: Yes... It's very unlike me to act this way, but I'm actually extremely excited to be leaving!Choose: Shouldn't you be somewhere safer?
Vyrn: That's right... We do fight primal beasts and stuff, you know?
Heles: Are you implying that I lack skill compared to you? Very well... Let us find out in open combat.
Lyria: No, that's okay! We know how skilled you are. I guess it's just... Why do you want to be in our crew so badly?
Heles: Your freedom has left a deep impression on me. Especially since I've never left the island of my own will.
Heles: I'd like to experience that freedom, if only for a short time. That's why I want to join your crew!
Heles: Please accept my allegiance, (Captain). I truly appreciate your generosity.Continue 1
Heles: I have a lot to learn, so please teach me all you can.
Thus Heles, the princess of a ruined kingdom, joins the crew.
She quickly becomes a trusted ally of (Captain) and the others, as they continue their journey across the sky.
The Princess's Finest Guards
While visiting Alster Island, Heles and the crew are approached by some of Heles's former royal guard. She scolds them for abandoning their posts and then tests their skills in a mock fight.
At Heles's request, the crew stops by Alster Island to check on its reconstruction progress.
She walks through the streets, surveying the rebuilding efforts with satisfaction.
Heles: Wonderful... The town is bustling once again!
Lyria: It sure is! There are way more people here than the last time we visited!
Heles: It seems that Seruel and I were right to leave the country.
Vyrn: Heh-heh... Maybe, but doesn't it make you a little sad?
Heles: Huh? Why would I be sad?
Vyrn: Well, this is the country you and your brother used to rule, right? Isn't it a bummer that it's doing so well without you?
Heles looks a little surprised at first, but then she smiles warmly.
Heles: Haha... Of course not!
Heles: Actually, I'm happy that joining your crew was the right choice. I can rest easy now!
Vyrn: You don't say! Well, as long as you're happy!
The crew is suddenly approached by a group of guards.
Royal Guard 1: Your Highness! There you are!
Royal Guard 2: Why didn't you inform us that you'd be visiting?
Lyria: Wow! That's a lot of soldiers!
Heles: I'm sorry to surprise you, Lyria. These soldiers were once members of my personal guard.
Heles: What are you troops doing away from your post?
Royal Guard 1: Oh, our posts? It's fine for us to leave from time to time!
Royal Guard 2: The town is much more peaceful nowadays! No monsters ever come in, and—
Heles: You irresponsible fools! Shirking your duty like that is a punishable offence!
Heles: How dare you abandon your assignments! I thought I taught you better, but it seems that you learned nothing.
Heles: If monsters attack the town, your apologies won't bring anyone's children back!
Royal Guard 1: Yes, ma'am... My deepest apologies...
Heles: I don't recall training such fools to be my guardsmen...
Heles: Do you think you can protect the kingdom if you act so carelessly?
Royal Guard 2: No, ma'am!
Heles: It's good that the kingdom is peaceful now, but it takes tireless effort to safeguard that peace!
Heles: I'd better test you to make sure your fighting skills aren't as rusty as your sense of duty!
Royal Guard 1: Yes, ma'am!
Heles: This is a good chance to test ourselves as well! Please help me, (Captain)!
The Princess's Finest Guards: Scene 2
The guards get up no matter how many times Heles defeats them. Inspired by their spirit, the crew agrees to another round of sparring.
Heles stares down at the soldiers collapsed at her feet, her expression unreadable.
Heles: What's wrong? Is that all you've got?
Royal Guard 1: Ugh... No! We can still fight...
Heles: Stand up! You're as useless as oars on an airship! You better start taking this seriously!
Royal Guard 2: We... will fight... for Irestill...
Lyria, who has been watching the proceedings, steps between them.
Lyria: Well... I'm sure you have a lot of catching up to do, so let's leave the fighting for later, and—
Heles: The only catching up we need to do can be accomplished through combat! Now come at me!
Royal Guard 1: Yes, ma'am! We're so happy to be able to spar with you again!
Royal Guard 2: That cold gaze, fueled by patriotic passion... Your Highness has always given the best training!
Vyrn: Um... Strange reaction for guys who just got beat up...
Heles: Aren't they wonderful? My soldiers never give up!
Heles: The more you push them, the harder they try. Just like zombies, they keep coming back.
Lyria: Aheh... I see...
Royal Guard 1: Let's have one more round, Your Highness!
Royal Guard 2: The captain and crew too!
Heles: Well, (Captain)...
Heles: I'm terribly sorry, but could you lend me your skill for one more fight?
Heles: You've seen how tough my soldiers are. They're just getting warmed up, so it'd be a shame to interrupt their training.
Vyrn: Oh well... Looks like we're fighting again!
The Princess's Finest Guards: Scene 3
Just before the soldiers and the crew face off for another round of sparring, a messenger appears. The messenger reports that a nearby village is under attack from a pack of monsters. Heles takes command of the anti-monster squad, and the crew go with her to dispatch the threat.
Royal Guard 1: Argh!
Heles: What's wrong now? If that's all it takes to bring you to your knees now, how did you ever survive my training?
Royal Guard 2: One... one more round!
Vyrn: Whoa... Haven't you had enough yet?
Royal Guard 1: Ugh... Her Highness is only thinking of what's good for us when she trains us like this!
Royal Guard 2: We've served Her Highness for a long time, so we understand how she thinks!
Vyrn: Hmm... I think I get it...
Vyrn: She might say harsh things, but at the end of the day she has good intentions!
The guards rise to their feet once again and prepare to square off with Heles.
Royal Guards: Please continue the training, Your Highness!
Heles: With pleasure... I've finally warmed up, so let's have another round to—
A messenger dashes up to them as they prepare to face each other.
Messenger: Your Highness! There you are!
Heles: What has you so flustered?
Messenger: There are reports of a pack of monsters attacking a nearby village!
Royal Guard 1: What? Report to the commanders that we're on our way there now!
The guards quickly forget about their fight with Heles and prepare to move out.
Heles: Wait. We're coming with you.
Royal Guard 1: But we can't keep relying on you! We have to do our duty!
Royal Guard 2: Indeed! We have to do this ourselves!
Heles: People's lives are in danger!
Royal Guard 2: ...!
Heles: Now is no time to be worrying about trivialities like independence.
Heles: Our only concern should be how to defeat the enemy skillfully and completely.
The guards listen to Heles's words and regain their composure.
Royal Guard 1: As you command, Your Highness!
Heles: Messenger, I will be taking command of this squad. Assemble the soldiers at the castle gate!
Messenger: Understood, ma'am!
Heles: I'm sorry to drag you into yet another fight... but could you help us, (Captain)?
Vyrn: Of course we can! Right, (Captain)?
Heles: Thank you. Okay, let's get moving!
The Princess's Finest Guards: Scene 4
After stopping the monsters, Heles finds a child hiding nearby. But a stray monster suddenly attacks them, and the soldiers drive it off. They prioritize the safety of the child when rebuffing the fiend, causing Heles to look at her former guards with satisfaction. A few days later, the soldiers and Heles have an emotional farewell.
(Captain) and the crew stop the monsters before they can overrun the town.
The soldiers are once again awestruck by the combat skill of both Heles and the crew.
Royal Guard 1: Wow... Your Highness is so skilled... We're hardly worthy to be your subordinates.
Royal Guard 2: Hah. No doubt about that. How could regular soldiers like us ever hope to keep up?
Heles: Well, I didn't just wake up like this! My skills are the result of years of training.
As the crew chats with the soldiers, they hear a child crying from a nearby bush.
The crew quickly pulls the child out of the shrubbery.
Child: Sniff... I was so scared...
Heles: You're safe now, so don't worry. You were very brave to stay there all by yourself.
Heles: Come on. Let's head back to town.
The moment Heles relaxes, a monster leaps out at her from hiding.
Royal Guard 1: Look out!
Before Heles can even lift her spear, the monster is shot down by a nearby soldier.
Royal Guard 2: Are you all right?
Child: I think so... Thank you, mister...
The guard checks on the child before taking a look at Heles.
Royal Guard 1: Your Highness, I'm so sorry! Are you injured?
Heles: What are you apologizing for? Have some confidence in your actions!
Royal Guard 1: Yes, ma'am...
Heles: You were right to check on the child first. The people of the country should always be foremost in your thoughts.
Heles: That's the only way to ensure the future peace of Irestill.
Royal Guard 2: Yes, ma'am! We won't forget it!
Upon hearing the words of the soldiers, Heles smiles, finally satisfied.
A few days later, the guards come to see (Captain) and the crew as they prepare to set off again.
Royal Guard 1: Please look after Her Highness on your journey!
Lyria: We will!
Lyria: Even though she's usually the one who looks after us...
Royal Guard 2: And come back to Alster Island whenever you're in the area!
Vyrn: Sure thing! I'm looking forward to the next training day!
Royal Guard 1: Take care of yourself, Your Highness.
Heles: You too, soldier.
Heles nods to her former guards before turning to the crew.
Heles: Anyway... it's time we got moving.
The crew boards the airship, and soon after it slowly lifts off the ground.
Heles stands at the edge of the deck and says some parting words to her soldiers.
Heles: You are my elite, prized troops. The people of Irestill are in your hands now.
Though her words are few, they capture intense emotions, and the guards hold back tears as they salute.
Heles returns their salute, her face expressionless.
But (Captain) notices, just in the corner of her eye, the telltale twinkle of a small tear.
For Her Homeland's Sake
Heles wishes to return to Alster Island upon learning of a trade dispute there, but she decides not to after Percival argues the importance of teaching the people self-sufficiency. Some time later she learns that conflict has been avoided, thanks in part to an unknown red-haired knight.
It's vacation time for (Captain) and the crew, who have decided to spend it on a peaceful island.
The central marketplace hums with activity; merchants and shoppers rush to and fro with giddy excitement.
Lyria: Heles? Why the long face?
Heles: Sorry. Watching this lively marketplace brings back memories of how Irestill used to be...
Vyrn: Yeah, it'd be great if Irestill quickly returned to the way it was before.
Heles: Yes. And with that in mind, I want to exert even more effort to achieve that goal—to go beyond the level of my current endeavors.
Heles: (Yet what more can I do for my kingdom? That's something for me to think about further.)
Meanwhile another individual with a great burden on their shoulder, Percival, contemplates the ideal way to rebuild his own homeland.
Percival: (The citizens of this town go about their lives with a skip in their step. This is how a country should be.)
Percival: Hm? What are you staring at so intently, Heles? Is there something stuck to my face?
Heles: I see this town's grabbed your attention as well.
Percival: Indeed it has. These people prove that it is the citizens who form the foundation of a nation.
Heles: Yes. But unlike the common people, you and I are not the type of individuals who can easily lie back and relax on our days off.
Percival: I'd say that's a fair assessment. Then as you have pointed out, I believe wandering about town and making observations is the best course of action for us.
Percival: Hm... However, this day off is long overdue, and my vassals deserve to let off some steam.
Lyria: Um, where are you going, Percival?
Percival: I'm heading to the port to examine how this island conducts its trade.
Heles: I see... Then please allow me to join you.
Percival: Mm, as you wish.
Percival and Heles split off from the crew and head for the port.
A great many airships are flitting through the air when the pair arrives at the port.
Hundreds of cargoes line the docks, either ready to be exported or waiting to be unpacked.
Percival: Superb! What a smooth-running system...
Heles: Goodness... I could learn so much from this place. Let's go converse with the merchants!
Percival and Heles go around speaking to everyone they see, gleaning what they can to help rebuild their respective homelands.
Just then one particular airship docks rather abruptly.
Percival: Ah, that airship bears the flag of—
Heles: Huh? Irestill? It's an airship from my kingdom!
The two dash over to the airship that had just landed.
A messenger from Alster Island disembarks to greet them.
Messenger: Lady Heles! I wasn't expecting to find you so quickly!
Heles: What is the matter? And how did you know where I was?
Messenger: Well, the skyfarers you travel with are quite famous. We followed the rumors to track you down.
Messenger: Um... So I hate to be the one to tell you this, but...
The messenger explains that the people of Alster are nervous about the possibility of a violent clash breaking out.
It all started with a dispute between established local vendors and newly arrived traders from outside the island.
Up until now the Great Court and security forces had managed to keep the peace.
But the mafia had kept a sharp eye on the situation and then made their move when they saw an opening, exacerbating the conflict.
With no other recourse left, the Great Court wants Heles to return to set things straight.
Messenger: Sigh... Like I said before, I really didn't want to break this news to you, Lady Heles, but—
Heles: Let's make for Alster. We'll block the mafia and put an end to this trade dispute once and for all.
Heles begins to board the airship, but Percival clamps his hand on her shoulder.
Percival: Tell me, messenger... This trade dispute stems from an argument over vested rights, yes?
Percival: I'll put this simply. Upholding vested rights of the locals creates a closed, protectionist market.
Percival: Now, if you really want the kingdom to prosper, you should lower taxes and abolish the idea of vested rights.
Percival: Yes... If you do that, I think a free-market economy will be established that is as dynamic as the one found in this town.
Messenger: But what about the local vendors who have been around for generations?
Percival glances quickly at the messenger before turning his gaze back to Heles.
Percival: If Heles is the one to proceed with this course of action, then the matter will probably resolve rather quickly. But the people would soon grow overly dependent on her.
Percival: Imagine if that dependence lead to citizens standing in the way of their leader despite her guiding them toward prosperity. You wouldn't want that, would you?
Heles: (Hmm... Percival makes a sound argument, but...)
Heles: You're exactly right, Percival, but my first priority is to stop tensions from boiling over!
Percival: Humph. Do you place such little value on the wardens you cultivated by your own hand?
Percival: Well? If you were unable to return home, are you saying they couldn't even stop a fight?
Heles: That's not...
Imperial Guard 1: We'll protect the people in Lady Heles's absence!
Imperial Guard 2: Hah hah hah! Have no fear. We've been run through the gauntlet by Her Highness herself!
Heles: No. They're not weak in the slightest. They're my proud wardens who don't need me to babysit them!
Percival: Aha! Then believe in them. Let them sort things out with the people. That's part of what makes a kingdom grow.
Heles lets out a soft breath, then takes the messenger's hand in both of hers.
Heles: I will remain here. So please... Give my message to our vendors and everyone else.
Heles: Let them know that I understand how they all feel. But I also want us to welcome newcomers and follow a path of renewed growth.
Messenger: Very well. I will relay your message to everyone in full.
The messenger takes to heart Heles's conflicted decision and boards the airship to return to Alster Island without her.
A few weeks later, that same messenger from Alster arrives on the Grandcypher to speak with Heles once more.
Heles: Heh. I can already tell what you're about to say from the look on your face.
Messenger: I'm just relieved to be able to deliver some good news this time.
The security forces had completely routed the mafia before their plans could go into full swing.
As for the local vendors, they agreed to adopt a free-market approach upon hearing Heles's words.
Heles: (Hehe... I have Percival to thank for all of this.)
Heles: Speaking of which... (Captain), have you by any chance seen Percival?
Vyrn: Oh, yeah. So this actually happened a little earlier...
Vyrn: Huh? You headin' out at this time of night, Sir Burnsalot?
Percival: Humph. I'll just be gone for a little while. Watch over things here, my vassals.
Vyrn: H-hey! Geez, slipping into the night so suddenly... What's up with that?
Vyrn: But I haven't seen him come back yet. I wonder what happened...
Messenger: That sounds like... Well, it's possible that... Um, there was a report from the guards...
Heles: Does it pertain to Percival?
The guards reported that a knight with red hair appeared out of nowhere and helped them destroy the mafia in a matter of days.
Vyrn: Whoa... That's gotta be him...
Lyria: Hmm... It sure sounds like Percival...
Just then the thud of clanking armor gets louder and louder as someone approaches the deck of the airship.
Lyria: Oh! It's Percival!
Percival: What's this? You all look depressed for some reason. Did something happen?
Seeing Percival safe and sound brings relief to (Captain) and the others.
Vyrn: Hey, you could've just told us you had to go to Alster, ya know!
Percival: Hm? Now why would I have any reason to go to Alster?
Vyrn: Look at this guy, playing dumb when we already know the truth.
Percival: Hahaha! A red-headed knight, was it? He must be quite a fanciful fellow.
Percival: Ahem. I'm a little tired now. I shall retire to my room. Wake me up if anything happens.
With dirt and soot raining from his cloak, the knight with hair as red as flames strides gallantly to his room, an innocent smirk gracing his face.
Heles: Heehee... That Percival is a perfect gentleman...
Heles smiles and bows her head to Percival as he enters the bowels of the Grandcypher.