A female mercenary who leads the 'Iron Spears'.
Born into a noble family with a tradition inherited from the stars, Herja was trained to fight by her father from a young age. She looked up to and respected her father greatly, but didn't act much like a father around her. She states in her Birthday Fate Episode that whilst he was strict, he always smiled on Herja's Birthday.
When Herja's father died, a dispute caused the family to split up, and Herja left to lead the same mercenary band her father was forced into when he was young. Whilst the Iron Spears were close, and Herja refers to them as her 'family', she ultimately felt lonely during her time with them, isolated from both her family and forced to supress her romantic feelings.
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Afflicted by her longing for love, Herja constantly struggles to find peace within herself. Rosetta advises her to give herself a chance to fall in love, and fate soon brings a man into Herja's life.
The crew encounters Herja on an island where, since time immemorial, each generation of the governing clan stood to inherit a cherished primal crystal.
While hardened from training as a soldier, she still retains an aroma of grace about her.
Herja: I believe the family you seek is none other than my own. But...
When Herja's father, the leader of the clan, died, there was a bloody dispute over the inheritance, and they were scattered to the four winds.
Herja: I was driven out at a young age, left with nothing but my father's lessons in the sword.
Herja's agents recognize her desire to find her family, and encourage her to seek them out.
Herja: I'd be happy to join you!
Thus Herja joins (Captain)'s crew on their journeys and continues to travel with them to this day.
Since joining, Herja's experience as an agent has been of immeasurable value to (Captain)'s crew on numerous occasions.
However, her old weakness continues to haunt her.
Soldier: I never dreamed I'd be beaten by such a beautiful creature... If only we had met in another place, at another time.
Herja: B-b-beautiful? M-m-me? Th-this is neither the time nor the place to say such a thing!
Herja: I-I certainly am very flattered... So very flattered, oh my... H-however! We are currently enemies in mortal combat! B-besides, I'm—
Vyrn: Hey! Herja! He's gettin' away!
Herja: Ah! Wait! Don't think you can just confess to a girl and not take responsibility!
Vyrn: What're you talking about? That ain't the point! He's the enemy!
Herja: Oh! You're right! How could I let him slip away like that!
Vyrn: Um, Herja, is it just me, or does it seem like you're falling for guys even more easily than before?
Herja's affliction is none other than a heart that longs for love too much, and is thus smitten too often.
Herja: I'm sorry, (Captain)... I need to be by myself for a while!
Afflicted by her longing for love and swayed and thrashed by the waves of her passionate heart, Herja constantly struggles to find peace with herself.
Which makes this meeting all the more unexpected.
For Herja, the instant they meet feels like a moment unstuck in time.
Gentleman: I don't think there's anyone who could look more beautiful in that dress than you.
Herja: Um... Th-thank... you...
She feels her face flush red and hot as they stare into each other's eyes. Their flight of bliss had started several hours prior...
But it had seemed like only a fleeting moment ago.
A solemn Herja stands alone by the ship's deck with a pained expression on her face.
Rosetta: Quite the early riser today, aren't we, Herja? See something you're looking for in those clouds, perhaps?
Herja: Rosetta... I want to apologize for yesterday. I let the whole team down, and I have no one to blame but myself...
Rosetta: Oh, don't be too hard on yourself, darling. To err is human, after all.
Herja: This isn't the first time this fickle heart of mine has blunted my sword.
Herja: I always tried to chase the thoughts away by losing myself in training, but lately...
Rosetta: It isn't quite doing the trick?
Herja: While I hate to admit it... Yes.
The reality of her confession shakes Herja to her core, and she covers her face in dismay.
Rosetta: Herja dear, all you need to do is to take this dilemma of yours by the horns.
Herja: By the... horns?
Rosetta: Exactly. Face it head on. Give yourself a chance to fall completely and utterly in love.
Herja: L-love? I just want to be rid of these wanton thoughts, not—
Rosetta: Herja. Everyone needs to be loved. You can't deny your heart that.
Rosetta: You can't resist it forever. That's what got you here in the first place.
Herja: You can't be serious...
Rosetta: Besides, if you chase two rabbits, you'll catch neither one. I suggest you put one aside for now and focus on the other.
Rosetta: It'll all become clear for you then. Trust me on this.
Herja: You... really think so?
Rosetta: I do. Better than worrying about it anyway. That won't change anything.
Herja: I see... I think you're right...
Herja realizes the truth in Rosetta's words.
She decides to lay her sword down for the time being to rid herself of her wayward thoughts once and for all.
Herja: (Captain), I hope you can give me some time to sort myself out. I don't want to cause any more trouble for you than I already have.
(Captain) nods in silent consent.
Rosetta suggests a makeover to start their endeavor off, and Herja soon finds herself in a boutique with (Captain) and company.
Rosetta: Hmm. How about this one?
Rosetta picks out a low-cut, open-back, open-shoulder dress.
Herja: R-Rosetta! That's far too bold for me! I-I don't think I could bring myself to wear something like that!
Rosetta: Really? I think it'd be just the thing to catch a man's eye. But yes. It might be a tad too daring for you.
Herja: I think I'd prefer something that was a little less... Oh? What's this?
Herja's wandering eyes lock onto a particular display piece. Something about it draws her like a magnet.
Herja: This... Hm?
Herja reaches out toward the garment, only to find that another hand is also reaching to take it.
In one fleeting moment, their hands touch. They pull away in unison, abashed.
Gentleman: M-my apologies.
Herja: T-think nothing of it.
Gentleman: Ah... Are you interested in this piece as well?
Herja: Y-yes, but if you've got your eye on this dress, you can take it. I'll look for another.
Herja: Is something the matter?
Gentleman: Oh, no, nothing. I was just thinking this must be an excellent dress if it caught the eye of a woman like you.
Herja: Well, I wouldn't describe myself as being particularly fashion-savvy.
Gentleman: Really? You struck me as someone with particularly refined sensibilities, so I suppose I just assumed...
Herja: R-refined? Me?
Lyria: How about this one, Herja? Oh! Who are you?
Rosetta: Well, well. Who do we have here?
Herja: Ah, um... It seems we both have our eyes on the same dress.
Gentleman: To be honest, I've been racking my brain trying to find a present for my little sister's birthday.
Gentleman: Just when all hope seemed lost, I spotted this dress.
Herja: I see. If that's the case, then I'll go look for something else. You can take the—
Gentleman: I'll be the one looking for something else. I think this dress would suit you very much.
Shopkeep: Would you like to try that on? The fitting room is right this way.
Herja: No, that won't be—
Lyria: Wow! He's right, this dress looks like it'd be perfect for you!
Rosetta: Why don't you try it on? Everyone seems to agree it's a good fit for you.
Unable to refuse, Herja enters the fitting room.
Lyria: You look amazing, Herja!
Rosetta: You're absolutely divine in that dress, dear.
Gentleman: Hahaha. Giving you the dress was the correct choice, I see.
Herja: What? Why would you say that?
Gentleman: Because I don't think there's anyone who could look more beautiful in that dress than you, of course.
Herja: Wha! Um... Th-thank... you...
Gentleman: Well, it's been a pleasure meeting you, but I'm afraid I must take my leave. I still have to find a present for my sister, after all.
Herja: I-I understand... Sorry about that.
Gentleman: No apologies needed. I hope you have a lovely day.
Herja's eyes follows the man as he walks out of the store, her gaze clinging feverishly to his retreating figure until it can be seen no more.
Herja can't stop thinking about the man she met. When Rosetta finds out, she assures Herja that she'll meet him again someday.
Juice Stand Man: Apple juice! Get yer apple juice here! Freshly squeezed! Guaranteed to be the juiciest apple juice you've ever tasted or your money back!
Vyrn: Whoa! Did someone say apples? Guys, we gotta get some!
Lyria: Rosetta! Can we go get some? Pleaaase!
Rosetta: All right, little ones, go on ahead. But don't stray too far. Understood?
Lyria: Yes, ma'am! Let's go, (Captain)!
Herja: Hehe... It's times like these when I'm reminded just how young (Captain) still is.
Rosetta: You took the words right out of my mouth. Our captain is so reliable it can be easy to forget sometimes.
Rosetta: Herja. Are you thinking about that man from before?
Herja: Ah! Well, I um... How should I put this...
Rosetta: Hehe. Just as I thought. Can't get him out of your head, can you?
Herja: To be honest, I've had this strange feeling in my chest ever since we left the boutique.
Herja: I can't quite describe it—I've never felt this way before.
Herja: I... just want to see him again. And I can't think of anything else.
Rosetta: I'm sure you'll meet again someday. Fate always has a way of bringing two hearts together.
Herja and Rosetta continue their exchange as they watch (Captain) and the others frolic about. Their tender moment, however, is rudely interrupted.
Hooligan 1: Dagnabbit! Ain't there anythin' to do 'round here? I could sure go for a fight or a real purty dame right about now!
Hooligan 2: Well, how about that! Looks like we've found ourselves a couple of top-notch ladies! Dibs on the foxy one!
Rosetta: Sigh. I'm afraid we're a tad busy right now, boys. Try coming back in a couple of centuries and we'll think about it.
Hooligan 1: Why you little! That how you answer a compliment? You better show some respect!
Herja: Listen, you two. This is a public place, and you're making a very unsightly scene. I suggest you apologize for your boorish conduct and leave.
Hooligan 2: C'mon, honey! Don't play hard to get!
Rosetta: She's not playing. Now take her advice and run along.
Hooligan 1: Looks like someone needs to teach these two who's boss around here!
Herja: Hey! Get your hands off of me!
Rosetta: Tch... And we were having such a nice time. You two need to be taught some manners.
Herja: I'd prefer not to draw my sword, but you leave me no choice.
As she issues her challenge, Herja unsheathes her blade.
Herja: I am Herja, commander of the Iron Spear. And I'm more than willing to deal with you myself.
The man realizes Herja commands a group of agents responsible for killing his family and challenges her to a duel. Herja soundly defeats the man, who tells her his feelings were genuine, and she promises to face him again the next time they meet.
Lyria: Oh my gosh! Are you okay? I can't believe all this happened while we were at the juice stand...
Rosetta: Hehe. Nothing to be concerned about, Lyria. We just had a little fun with them. They ran away before we even got to the good part.
Lyria: I-if you say so...
Herja: Hmm... Where'd it go? Here? No... Hmm, not here either...
Vyrn: Whatcha lookin' for, Herja?
Herja: I seem to have lost my handkerchief. I could have sworn I had it in this pocket...
???: Might you be looking for this?
Herja turns around and finds the man from the boutique standing before her holding a handkerchief.
Gentleman: I thought it was you. We meet again.
Herja: I-it's you!
Gentleman: You dropped this. Right over here.
Herja: Um... Th-thank you.
Vyrn: Is it me, or is Herja's face getting kind of red?
Lyria: Vyrn! Shush!
Gentleman: Quite the coincidence for us to meet twice in the same day, isn't it?
Herja: Y-yes... What a coincidence.
Gentleman: It's a pleasure meeting you again. Is this your family?
Herja: Family? Yes. They're as good as family to me.
Gentleman: I see. It must be nice having such a large family. My sister and I only have each other.
Gentleman: Since she's all the family I have, I find that I tend to spoil her sometimes.
Herja: I see... And have you managed to find her a birthday present yet?
Gentleman: Haha. Not quite yet, I'm afraid. I'm trying to figure out what a girl might want.
Herja: I'm sorry... I feel somewhat responsible for putting you in this situation in the first place.
Gentleman: How about this, then: we'll meet up tomorrow and you can help me pick out a present. What do you say?
Herja: M-me? I-I'm not sure I'm the best person for the task...
Gentleman: How about thinking of it less as a task and more as a date?
Herja: A d-date?
Gentleman: I'd like to get to know you a little better. Assuming that's okay with you, of course.
Having met the one her heart had so longed for, Herja lets slip a tiny squeak of joy.
With encouragement from Rosetta and Lyria, Herja accepts the man's invitation.
Herja: I-if you really are all right with little old me... Then by all means.
Gentleman: I was hoping you'd say that! I'll see you tomorrow then!
Lyria: Yippee! A date! I can't imagine how excited you must be, Herja!
The next day finds Herja by a cafe, waiting for the man she met.
But no matter how long she waits, her companion never appears.
Herja: Perhaps I came too early? But I could have sworn...
Herja: I don't suppose he might have run into some trouble along the way...
Fears and doubts run rampant in her heart as Herja continues to wait. And wait. And wait.
Herja: There you are! I'm so glad you came! I was getting worried that something might have...
Herja's words trail off when she notices the pained expression on the man's face.
Herja: Is something wrong?
Gentleman: The Iron Spear...
Gentleman: Are you... Herja, commander of the Iron Spear?
Herja: How do you know such a thing?
Gentleman: Answer the question! Is it true?
Herja: Indeed. I am Herja, commander of the Iron Spear. But why—
Before Herja can finish her sentence, the man unsheathes his sword and points it at her.
Herja: Wh-what's the meaning of this?
Gentleman: I... I'll have your head! Say whatever prayers you have. They'll be cut short soon enough!
The man lunges at her with his sword. Herja barely manages to draw her own blade and deflect the attack.
Gentleman: Gasp... So it's true, then!
Herja: Wait! Please, I don't understand—
Gentleman: You... You destroyed the only semblance of family my sister and I ever had!
The man explains that he was once part of an organization of agents at odds with the Iron Spear.
Gentleman: They were like family to us. It was the only place where I felt like I belonged. But on that fateful night, the Iron Spear shattered our family into pieces.
Gentleman: My sister and I were on a different assignment at the time, so we didn't know about the tragedy that had befallen us.
Gentleman: But when we returned to headquarters, there was no one to be found.
Gentleman: Contacting former members of our organization was impossible.
Gentleman: We had lost the war, after all, and agents who fight for fallen lands risk losing their lives if discovered.
Gentleman: My sister and I have lived every day since then with the pain and sadness that comes from losing one's family.
Herja: That's what it means to be an agent. You live your life on the battlefield, knowing any moment could be your last.
Gentleman: You said yourself that the people you were with yesterday were like family to you. What would you do if they met the same fate?
Gentleman: The heart can't simply forget the pain of the past!
Gentleman: That's why I vowed revenge on the ones who destroyed my family! I vowed revenge on you!
The man swings his sword at Herja, but she deflects his weapon with a powerful riposte of her own.
The force of the blow sends him hurtling to the ground. He doesn't try to get back up.
Herja stabs the tip of her sword into the ground.
Herja: Is that the best you can do?
Herja: This is why you approached me in that store to begin with, isn't it?
Herja's voice trembles with sorrow.
Gentleman: If I had known who you were, I... I wouldn't have gone to the trouble of putting on a show like that...
Gentleman: Everything I said to you... I meant every word!
Herja: A monster! Watch out!
In but a fraction of a second, Herja cuts down the monster that attacked the man.
Herja: Our time together may have been short, but the moments we shared have meant very much to me.
Herja: We chose an agent's life because we had to.
Herja: And no matter how hard we try, we can't change the past.
Herja: We need not hurt each other any more than we already have.
Herja: If we ever meet again, I will face you as Herja... commander of the Iron Spear.
With these parting words, Herja leaves the man to be.
Herja comes to terms with her identity as an agent and parts with the man. The weight lifted from her shoulders, she cheerfully declares to the crew that she's taking a break from love and will focus on finding her family.
On the way back to the ship, Herja encounters a troop of ruthless monsters.
She swings her sword with reckless abandon, slaying one monster after another.
Lyria: Ah! Welcome back, Herja! How'd the date go?
Vyrn: Hm? You're all red in the face! Must've been pretty fun!
Herja: To love is to experience a whirlwind of emotions, sensations... and peril.
Herja, are you all right?
Herja: Yes. But I think I'll be taking a break from love for now. I need to refine the sword techniques I learned from my father if I'm going to find my family!
Herja: Our training regimen begins again tomorrow, (Captain)! I expect to see you there!
Herja lets out a cheery smile. A weight, it seems, has been lifted from her shoulders.
The Herja of old, so clouded with disappointments and confusion, is nowhere to be found.
Herja is frustrated by her unending idle thoughts. Yngwie appears and offers some advice which leads her to accept her daydreams and to learn to follow her heart.
Herja: Unh! Hiyaaa!
Herja is practicing her swordplay on the deck of the Grandcypher.
She has but one goal: train until she can replace her weak heart with a disciplined resolve.
Herja: Huff... huff...
Why... huff... am I always so prone to distraction?
Herja: It's so shameful... I have to keep training my emotions!
Herja refocuses and begins swinging her sword again. A burly scent wafts through the air, revealing an approaching Yngwie.
Yngwie: Bravo, baby! Training day in and day out—you got some real dedication, eh?
Herja: N-not really. I just wanted to clear my head...
Yngwie: Distracted by something? Could it maybe be... love?
Herja: H-how did you guess?
Yngwie: Hah. I knew it.
You know that's not something you really need to let go of.
Herja: B-but when I get distracted... I've just made so many mistakes...
Yngwie: Well, you ain't the only one. People're animals—balls of worldly desires. So mistakes aren't something you should be that worried about.
Yngwie: Yeah, maybe you can quiet your emotions by swinging a sword around.
Yngwie: But that's still a long way away from fixing your problem.
Herja: Then wh-what should I do?
Taking a moment to consider Herja's dilemma, Yngwie's face falls into a steely concentration that exudes maturity.
Yngwie: Just accept who you are and follow your heart, sweetheart!
Herja: Is it... really that easy? I just... follow my heart?
Yngwie: Yep. Ain't nothing to be afraid of. We're all loved by the gods of amour after all.
Herja: Haha... You don't say!
Just as Herja finishes digesting Yngwie's advice, a sultry scent wafts through the air. Moments later a beautiful woman steps aboard the deck of the Grandcypher.
Beauty: Oooh, Yngwie!
Yngwie: Haha! My lovely sweetheart! Did you come all the way here to visit me?
Yngwie shoots a quick wink at Herja, locks arms with the beautiful woman, and disembarks the Grandcypher with his impromptu date.
Herja: Thank you, Yngwie... That was quite the demonstration.
Yngwie's advice is a revelation for Herja; she vows to always follow her heart.
A couple of days pass.
(Captain) and the crew are standing before a village chief after exterminating a monster infestation.
Chief: What in tarnation? Y'all already done got rid of 'em all!
Vyrn: Heh heh! That's us for ya!
Lyria: Mhmm! A lot of the credit goes to Herja though!
Herja: Haha... It was nothing, really. I'm simply glad you'll be able to live in peace again.
Herja gives the chief a warm smile, when abruptly a young man from the village notices a wound on her arm.
Young Man: Uh, Herja! Yer arm's bleedin'!
Lyria: Are you okay?
Herja: Oh, it's hardly an injury. Please don't worry about it.
Young Man: D-don't worry about it? Like heck! Lemme slap a bandage on it at least!
The young man retrieves a first aid kit and tends to Herja's arm.
Young Man: Whew... That looks 'bout right!
Herja: Thank you... That's very kind of you.
Young Man: Don't thank me! We should be the ones thankin' y'all for savin' the village n' all!
Young Man: So thanks again, Herja!
The young man beams at Herja as she takes her hand back. She can't stop her heart from fluttering.
Herja: (I-is he interested in me?)
Too conscious of the boy's presence, Herja's mind begins filling with familiar distraction. But then she remembers Yngwie's words of wisdom from the other day.
Yngwie: Just accept who you are and follow your heart, sweetheart!
Herja: (I-I'll change! I'll let my heart guide me—just as Yngwie lets his!)
Vyrn: Huh, Herja? You okay?
Vyrn's question doesn't phase Herja. She takes a deep breath and gazes into the eyes of the village youth.
Herja: I need to tell you something...
Young Woman: Well, I never! This sweet lady and her friends are skyfarers!
The woman's sudden appearance causes Herja's resolve to wilt like a flower in a desert.
Herja: (What terrible timing...)
Young Man: Hey, hey! Watch yer mouth—you can't go talkin' 'bout people right in front of 'em! Sorry about my wife, y'all...
Herja: H-huh? A-ah, you're both so young for such a happily married couple... Heh...
Young Woman: Well, me and him go back so far that we used to play house together! Now we own one!
Herja: Haha—I think we're all looking for that kind of love. I hope your happiness lasts until the end of time.
Young Man: Aww shucks, thanks for sayin' that.
Oh, speakin' of, weren't you gonna say somethin' earlier?
Herja: Oh, uh, um—you know, it wasn't anything. Heh.
Unable to ignore the panicking Herja, a pack of young villagers descend upon her to offer her comfort.
Attentive Man: Miss Herja, what's the matter?
Concerned Man: Don't say it—your wound's startin' to hurt again, I bet!
Hysterical Man: That's gotta be it! Emergency, everybody! We gotta get her to the medicine man or she's a goner!
Herja: (Could it be... Is, is everyone interested in me? I-I'm not ready for this...)
Surrounded by the village men, Herja's distracting thoughts take on a new level.
Herja: (I can't handle this...)
Herja: E-excuse me! I'm okay!
(Captain), I've remembered an errand I need to finish, so I'll meet you back at the Grandcypher!
Vyrn: Huh? What got into her?
Herja sits in contemplation, condemning herself for letting her mind wander in front of the young villagers.
Herja: Sigh... What should I have done?
Despite pondering the question for some time, she doesn't arrive at an answer. She walks toward some trees and begins swinging her sword to clear her mind.
Herja: Haaah! Hiyaaa!
Yngwie stops Herja's strike in midair, his beefy arm not so much as twitching.
Yngwie: Hmm... Your swordplay's a little off.
Herja: Huh? Strange... Just seeing you—it's made me tear up...
Yngwie: There, there. Nothing wrong with crying. You gotta cry when you can, hon.
Herja: I just feel so bad. I decided to follow my heart, just like you taught me, Yngwie...
Herja: B-but, I...
Yngwie: Think it's difficult? Think you can't do it? Think it's impossible?
Yngwie: Tch. Don't you think you deserve a little more credit than that? Saying that kinda stuff just means you'll never follow it.
Herja: Sniff... You're right...
C-can I ask you a question? Wh-why are you interested in helping me?
Yngwie, glowing with masculinity, fixes his gaze on Herja who is quickly getting overwhelmed.
Without even realizing it, she has accidentally backed into a large tree.
Yngwie walks forward, gives a gentle look down at the girl, leans over, and shoves his palm against the tree with a loud thud.
His face moves closer until his breath is tickling her nose. Her heart beats faster; she swallows nervously.
Herja: (Wh-what sh-should I say?)
Yngwie: All right, try to control that beating heart, okay?
Herja: Huh? Oh, o-okay...
Yngwie: Now, why am I interested in you? That's easy.
Yngwie: Love is the essence of life. So to see someone try to throw it away—I can't just stand by and watch that happen.
Yngwie: That's it.
Herja: Oh... I see...
Yngwie pushes off the tree, putting distance between himself and the blushing Herja. As he walks away, he turns and yells back to her.
Yngwie: Besides, there's only one woman for me—well, one on each island, baby! Hah!
Herja watches as Yngwie's figure gets smaller and smaller in the distance.
Herja: Haha... He's so free... Just like a bird in the sky.
Herja: Hahaha! One day I'll fly as freely as him!
With Herja's heart tempered by an unfamiliar flame, she slips into daydreams of new love and takes a big step toward self-acceptance.