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Princess Heles has been overseeing the rebuilding of Alster Island. However, she calls for (Captain) and their crew, and asks to accompany them on their adventure. She believes the new council of the country relies too much on her guidance, and wishes to leave the island to allow it to develop naturally. Heles, who owes (Captain) and the crew a debt from their previous meeting, comes along with the party, and finally leaves the island.
(Captain) and the crew arrived on Alster Island. When they had visited in the past, it was troubled by constant monster attacks.
Thanks to (Captain) and the crew, they had been able to fight off the monsters and regain peace.
This time, (Captain) had been called to the island by a princess whose country had been destroyed by the monsters.
Heles: Thank you all for taking the trouble to come here.
Lyria: Not at all! We're happy to see you again, Heles. How is the rebuilding going?
Heles: Excellently! The town is nearly as busy as it was back when the Irestill Kingdom was around!
Vyrn: That's great news! But why did you call us here? Are there still monsters around?
Heles: No… I have to ask something different of you this time.
Heles: I wish to accompany you on your journey.
Lyria: What! Why? Heles, your people need you here as their princess!
Lyria: If you were to leave, wouldn't the citizens of Alster be left with nobody to look to for aid?
Heles: Indeed. In fact, that is the very reason I wish to leave this island.
Vyrn: Wha-? What do you mean?
Heles: Alster Island has long been ruled over by the Irestill royal family.
Heles: Through the negligence of my father, King Connor, the kingdom of Irestill was destroyed by a monster invasion.
Heles: After the destruction, we formed a council here to oversee the reconstruction of the kingdom, bringing in leaders from across the land.
Lyria: And now the castle has become known as the "Great Court", right?
Heles: Indeed. Because the castle at the island's centre, this is the most convenient place for the Great Court to be located.
Heles: But returning to the topic at hand, if the successor to the throne cannot unite the kingdom, the citizens will be in great danger.
Heles: And so, my brother and I have renounced our claim to the throne. We have handed over control of the country to the Great Court.
Heles: However, the Great Court has only just been created, and thus lacks experience. Everyone is overly reliant on me, so I must leave.
Vyrn: Well duh, of course they rely on you! Your country is huge, and you've just entirely changed its ruling system!
Heles: Agreed, relience is okay in the beginning. No system can start from scratch, they must first learn from another.
Heles: But I can't let the country stagnate and remain in its current form.
Heles: The Great Court has a great deal of ability. All they need is more experience. Having me here is an hinders thier progression.
Vyrn: Ahh… It's drastic, but it's all for the sake of the people…
Heles: Yes. It is time for me to step away from the country and let it develop independantly. That is all there is to it.
Heles: I feel that I can trust you. Also, I owe you a debt of honor from last time. Will you take me with you on your journey?
Choose: Sure, come with us!
- Sure, come with us!
- Shouldn't you be somewhere safer?
Heles: Thank you, Noble (Captain). Oh, sorry, Noble Captain (Captain).
Heles: I'm confident in my abilities. Let me lend my spear to your adventure. To the sky's edge!
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: Well, we lead pretty crazy lives! Fighting Primal Beasts, exploring the skies, y'know?
Heles: Are you saying that I'm lacking in skill compared to you? Very well, let us confirm this, in open combat!
Lyria: Oh no, we have the utmost faith in you, Heles. I'd just like to know why you want to be in an airship order so badly?
Heles: …Your freedom and boldness has left a deep impression on me. Especially since I haven't ever left the island of my own will.
Heles: I'd like to try living that way, if only for a short time. That's why I want to join your order!
Heles: Please accept my allegiance, Noble (Captain). I truly appreciate your generosity.Continue 1
Heles: I have a lot to learn, so please, teach me all you can.
And so, Heles, the princess of the ruined kingdom, joined the crew of the Grandcypher
She became a trusted ally of (Captain) and the others, as they continued their journey across the sky.
The Princess's Finest Guards
Heles, (Captain) and the crew land briefly on Alster Island as they continue their journey. Heles looks over the kingdom being rebuilt with satisfaction. Suddenly, a group of imperial guardsmen appears in front of them. They want to see Heles, their former commanding officer, but they have abandoned their posts to come and see her, so Heles scolds them severely. Heles decides to test the soldiers’ skills in battle, and they have a mock fight.
(Captain) and the crew had stopped off at Alster Island on their travels.
Heles looked at the streets, surveying the rebuilding efforts with satisfaction.
Heles: Wonderful… The town is bustling with activity again!
Lyria: Yes! There seem to be many more people here than when we last visited!
Heles: It seems that Seruel and I were right to leave the country…
Vyrn: Hmm, aren't you a bit sad though, Heles?
Heles: Huh? What do you mean, "sad"?
Vyrn: Well, this is the country you used to rule, right? It must be a little sad that it's doing great when you're not it's leader anymore…
A strange expression crossed Heles's face, but then she smiled warmly.
Heles: Heehee! Of course not!
Heles: Actually, I'm happy that choosing to go on a journey with you was the right choice, so it's a load off my mind!
Vyrn: I see… Well, at least you're happy, Heles!
The party were approached by a group of Imperial Guardsmen.
Imperial Guard 1: Ah, Princess Heles! So this is where you got to!
Imperial Guard 2: Why did you not inform us that you would be visiting?
Lyria: Woah! That's a lot of soldiers!
Heles: …I'm sorry to surprise you, Lyria. These soldiers were once members of my personal guard.
Heles: Anyway… What are you men doing away from your posts?
Imperial Guard 1: Huh? Our… posts? We're only leaving them for a minute!
Imperial Guard 2: Compared to the old days, the town is much more peaceful! The monsters stay outside of the town, and?
Heles: You dithering fools! Shirking your duty like that is a punishable offence!
Heles: Never abandon your post selfishly like that! I thought I taught you better… It seems like you haven't learned anything…
Heles: If monsters attack the town, it'll be too late to apologize for leaving it unguarded!
Imperial Guard 1: Y-yes ma'am… Deepest apologies…
Heles: I don't recall training such fools to be my guardsman…
Heles: Do you think you can protect the kingdom if you act so carelessly?
Imperial Guard 2: N-no!
Heles: It's good that the kingdom is peaceful now, but you must work to safeguard that peace with your lives!
Heles: I had better test you to make sure your fighting skills aren't as rusty as your sense of duty!
Imperial 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 keep getting back up, even after being defeated by Heles and the crew. Seeing their indomitable spirit, the crew agree to give them another round of sparring.
Heles looked down at the soldiers who had collapsed at her feet.
Heles: What are you doing? Is that all you've got?
Imperial Guard 1: Urgh… No! We can still fight…
Heles: Stand up! You're as useless as oars on an airship! How are you going to defend a kingdom?
Imperial Guard 2: We… will fight… for Irestill…
Seeing this, Lyria stepped between them.
Lyria: W-well… I'm sure you have a lot of catching up to do, so let's leave the fighting for later…
Heles: My feelings are entwined with the thrill of combat! Come at me, men!
Imperial Guard 1: Yes, ma'am! We're so happy to be able to spar with you again!
Imperial Guard 2: (cough) (pant) That cold focused gaze, fueled by patriotic passion… Princess Heles gives the best training!
Vyrn: Errr… these guys are having a strange reaction to being beaten up…
Heles: Aren't they wonderful? My soldiers will never give up!
Heles: The more you push them, the harder they try. Just like zombies, they keep coming back.
Lyria: Ah… haha… I see…
Imperial Guard 1: Princess Heles! Let us spar one more round with you!
Imperial 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 resilient my soldiers are. To stop training them before they've learnt their lesson would be a crying shame.
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.
Imperial Guard 1: Aargh!
Heles: Hmm, what's wrong? I don't remember training you to collapse onto your knees like that!
Imperial Guard 2: Ungh… One… one more round!
Vyrn: Whoa, whoa, haven't they had enough now?
Imperial Guard 1: Agh… Heles is only thinking of what's good for us when she trains us like this!
Imperial Guard 2: The Imperial Guard has been an instrument of Princess Heles's will for a long time. Please understand, this is our way.
Vyrn: Hmm… I see…
Vyrn: She might say harsh things, but at the end of the day she has good intentions!
The guardsmen got to their feet once again and readied themselves to fight.
Imperial Guards: Princess Heles! Please continue the training!
Heles: Ahh, I've finally warmed up! Very well, another round!
The two sides squared off against each other, but suddenly a messenger came running into the middle of the fight.
Messenger: P-Princess Heles! There you are!
Heles: What are you so agitated about, boy?
Messenger: Your Highness! There are reports of a pack of monsters attacking a nearby village!
Imperial Guard 1: What?! Messenger, report to the commanders that we'll head there as soon as possible!
The guardsmen quickly forgot about the fight with Heles and began getting ready to move out to fight the monsters.
Heles: Wait. We're coming with you.
Imperial Guard 1: But… we can't keep relying on you! We have to do our duty!
Imperial Guard 2: Yes! We have to do this ourselves!
Heles: People's lives are on the line here!
Imperial Guard 2: Wha??
Heles: …Now is not the time to be talking about independence and not relying on others.
Heles: We should strive to defeat the enemy with skill and finesse.
The guardsmen listened to Heles's words, and regained their composure.
Imperial Guard 1: As you command, Your Highness!
Heles: Messenger, I will be taking command of the anti-monster 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. OK, let's get moving!
The Princess's Finest Guards: Scene 4
After stopping the monster attack, Heles rescues a child that had been hiding in a nearby bush. But at that moment, a monster who had also been hiding jumps out at her! The soldiers quickly defeat the monster, and check to see if the child is OK before attending to Heles. Seeing them tend to the citizen's needs before hers makes Heles smile, satisfied in their training. A few days later, the soldiers and Heles have an emotional farewell.
(Captain) and the crew were able to stop the monsters before they could overrun the town.
The soldiers were awestruck once again by the crew and Heles's skill in battle.
Imperial Guard 1: Wow… Princess Heles is so skilled… We're hardly fit to be her subordinates…
Imperial Guard 2: Heh… you're right. She's not your average soldier, by any means.
Heles: Well… I didn't just wake up like this! It's the result of years of training.
As the crew were chatting with the soldiers, they heard the noise of a child crying coming from a nearby bush.
The crew quickly jumped into action and pulled the child out of the shrubbery.
Child: (sniff) (sniff) I was so scared…
Heles: You're safe now, don't worry. You were very brave to stay there all by yourself.
Heles: Come on, let's head back to town.
Just as Heles let her guard down, a monster jumped out from hiding!
Imperial Guard 1: Look out, Princess!
Before Heles could even lift her spear, the monster was shot down by the assembled soldiers.
Imperial Guard 2: Are you all right?
Child: Y-yes… Thank you, mister…
The guardsman checked on the child before taking a look at Heles.
Imperial Guard 1: Oh no, Princess Heles, I'm so sorry! Are you injured?
Heles: What are you apologizing for? Have some confidence in your actions!
Imperial Guard 1: Y-yes, ma'am…
Heles: You were right to check on the child first. The citizens of the country should always be foremost in your thoughts.
Heles: Then we can lead Irestill to a bright future…
Imperial Guard 2: Yes ma'am! We won't forget it!
Listening to the soldiers, Heles smiled, finally satisfied.
A few days later, the guardsmen came to see Heles and (Captain) as they prepared to set off again.
Imperial Guard 1: Please look after Princess Heles on your journey!
Lyria: We will!
Lyria: Well… We're usually the ones being looked after by her.
Imperial Guard 2: Please come back to Alster Island whenever you're in the area!
Vyrn: Sure thing! I'm looking forward to the next training day!
Imperial Guard 1: Princess Heles… please look after yourself…
Heles: …You too, soldier.
Heles chatted with the guardsmen in her usual way.
Heles: Anyway… It's time we got moving.
The airship began to lift off slowly with the crew on board.
Heles stood on the edge of the deck, and said some parting words to the soldiers.
Heles: You are my elite, prized troops. I trust you to look after the citizens of Irestill.
Heles's intense emotions caused tears to well up among the guardsmen and, brushing them off, they stood to attention and saluted.
Heles returned their salute, expressionless.
But (Captain) noticed, in the corner of her eye, a small tear had formed.
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.