Trail of Memories
As the crew lugs cargo through the mountains, Juri is reminded of his first mission with the imperial army. Farrah remembers that Juri was placed in detention soon afterward. With some prodding from Farrah and the crew, Juri reluctantly reveals what happened on his first mission.
Juri: I trod through a forest just like this one on that cargo transport mission...
Juri: It was my first mission after joining the army. I was on edge the entire time.
Farrah: Hehe! Your first mission, huh... That reminds me of mine!
The once up-and-coming private, Juri.
He first crossed paths with (Captain) and company when the Erste Imperial Army conducted a campaign in Auguste.
He trusted in his empire's brand of justice, but a series of events created doubt in his mind about the imperial way of doing things.
He has since fled their ranks and now lives to right the world's wrongs as a member of (Captain)'s crew.
Farrah: I played pack mule in a desert for my first mission! It was tough getting around, not to mention the crazy heat...
The crew is walking along a mountain path, trying to get a cargo load from point A to point B.
Their destination is a remote village beyond the mountains. The members engage in friendly chatter on the long trek.
Lyria: So for both of you, your first mission back in the imperial army was something like this?
Katalina: Hm, cargo transportation is generally one of the safer assignments, but regardless it pays to keep your guard up.
Katalina: Since the army also marches the entire way, it's the ideal mission for new recruits.
Juri: Yeah, it got me used to military life really fast.
Farrah: To be honest, I'm really surprised that was your first mission, Juri!
Juri: Hm? Wasn't it the same for you?
Farrah: Oh, I'd imagine you had it way more rough.
Farrah: Like eating contests, to battling atop giant dogs, to sneaking into enemy territory while cross-dressed...
Juri: What the... What makes you think they did that kinda stuff in the army?
Farrah: I'm talking about Galston's unit! Under him, pretty much anything went.
Lyria: Wasn't that the name of your lieutenant, Juri? Sounds like that unit must've been pretty famous.
Farrah: Definitely! Especially with all the weirdos in their ranks, they were the talk of the entire army!
Vyrn: That reminds me, Juri, you were chewing out your army buddies for goofing off at the beach when we first ran into you.
Juri: Haha. Yeah, I remember that. It brings back memories.
Katalina: You'd have to write a formal apology if the superiors ever caught wind of it. It's no surprise you were angry.
Farrah: Ah! That reminds me...
Farrah: Juri, weren't you in detention shortly after being assigned to your unit?
Farrah: I always wondered... What exactly went down on your first mission?
Juri: N-nothing! Nothing at all! Just forget about it!
Vyrn: Ooh, sounds juicy. Now I'm really curious.
Lyria: Juri... Did you do something?
Juri: Sigh... Hehe, it was such a long time ago... Can't we just forget about it?
Choose: I'm interested too.Choose: I'm dying of curiosity!
- I'm interested too.
- I'm dying of curiosity!
Juri: Not you too, (Captain)...
Unable to evade their expectant gazes, Juri lets out a deep breath.
Juri: Fine... I'll talk...
Juri looks up past the canopy of trees toward clear blue skies before beginning his story.
Juri: It was a sunny day, not too different from today...
Jick: Yes! I'm private Jick Bay!
Jick: I swear to give my all for the empire and for my mother back in the countryside!
Galston: Hm... Keeping your parents in your thoughts is most commendable. All right, next!
After prolonged training, Juri is assigned to his first unit.
He exchanges greetings with his teammates, also newly assigned.
Juri: Hello! Private Juri Eckard reporting!
Juri: I'll do my best to become a respected soldier like my father!
Galston: Oho... So you're his son...
Juri: You know my father?
Galston: Heh... Let's just say your father and I have been through a lot in the past.
Juri: He never mentioned anything of the sort... Can you be more specific?
Galston: You know, I've seen you before when you were just a toddler.
Private 1: Lieutenant! Tell us what Juri was like as a kid!
Galston: Never mind that! The Juri we have with us today is what matters!
Galston: But if you really care that much, ask Juri yourself and leave me out of it!
Private 1: My apologies, sir!
Private 1: So, Juri, what kind of a kid were you?
Galston: Blasted idiot! Not now! Ask him on your own time!
Private 1: Ah! My apologies!
Juri: (This is quite different from what I'd imagined...)
Galston: You rookies will be coming along on today's assignment.
Galston: Keep in mind that this is no drill! Brace yourselves for whatever might happen!
Juri: (At long last... I'll be able to take my first steps as a soldier of the imperial army!)
Galston: Today's mission is cargo transport. We're to carry these supplies to our forward operating base in the south where a battle is ongoing.
Galston: There's no time to waste! We depart at once!
Privates: Sir! Yessir!
Galston's unit marches along a mountain path.
Galston: Keep up the pace, rookies! Don't fall behind!
Galston: But if this is too hard on you, don't be afraid to speak up either—we can afford to take a break!
Juri: Thank you!
Juri: (We did our fair share of hiking during the usual drills... I can handle this.)
Juri: (But this is obviously the long way there. Why are we taking this route?)
Juri: (The lieutenant's just zooming ahead...)
Juri: (Given our proximity to enemy territory, maybe he just means for us to scout the surrounding area...)
By the time the sun begins to set, Galston stops in his tracks.
Private 1: Lieutenant, could this be...
Galston: Yes, there's no mistaking it.
Juri: Wh-what's wrong? Did you find something?
Galston: Oh, it's nothing. We're just lost out here, but I'm sure we'll be okay.
Juri is aghast at what had just come out of Galston's mouth.
Overcoming this conundrum will prove to be quite the challenge.
Red-Hot Imperial Spirit
Juri and Lieutenant Galston's unit are transporting cargo to their forward base when they stumble upon a secret enemy base. Galston orders his unit to withdraw quietly to avoid risking conflict, but a unit member accidentally alerts the enemy. Juri is provoked into fighting which gives the enemy time to call in reinforcements. Galston commands Juri to flee back to base while he and the others hold off the enemy.
Galston's unit lose their way while transporting supplies.
Juri is unable to contain his panic.
Juri: (I sure wasn't expecting this to happen on my first mission...)
Juri: Ah, if only I had pointed out we were straying from the assigned route...
Private 1: Wait, Juri, you mean you can read the map?
Juri: Er... Well, I'm no expert, but I can make sense of it!
Juri: My apologies! I should have pointed it out as soon as I noticed we were going off course...
Private 1: Well, Lieutenant Galston seemed so confident.
Private 2: Besides, getting lost is an everyday thing!
Juri: (An everyday thing... Are we gonna make it to the base before sundown?)
Private 2: Hah-hah-hah! It's been too long since we last camped out, Lieutenant!
Galston: Who said anything about camping out, you dimwit! We sleep out here, and we'll just catch a cold! Shake those legs!
Private 2: Sir! Yessir!
Juri: (I want to sleep in the beds back on base.)
Juri spreads open his map to confirm their current location.
Private 1: Huh, why? Aren't we lost—
Galston gestures for the others to lay low.
Then he points to their right side.
The soldiers turn their attention to two figures standing by the entrance of a cave past the trees.
???: So you're up for mess duty tonight? Put some extra meat on my tray, will ya?
???: Pshh, how 'bout you stop talking like a spoiled brat?
Juri: (That crest on their sleeves... They're enemy troops!)
Galston: Looks like we've reached a secret base of theirs.
Private 1: What do we do? We can easily subdue those two lookouts.
Galston: No, we were never here.
Juri: We're just going to let them go? But this is the perfect chance to—
Galston: Humph... We can't be sure they don't have more men inside. And let's not forget we don't exactly have our bearings together right now.
Galston: The risk is too great, and we can't afford to lose anyone. We'll continue toward our own base.
Juri: I see...
Juri: (Damn it, I can't believe we're just gonna pass up this opportunity...)
Galston: We're to leave these grounds quietly. Quietly being the operative word. I know the footing here isn't the most stable, but take care not to trip over anything.
As the unit gets ready to move out, Jick falls over with a thud, his scream giving away their location.
Enemy Soldier 1: I recognize that armor... You're with the empire!
Galston: Tch, we've been spotted! Run! We just have to keep our distance!
Enemy Soldier 1: Whoa now, making a break for it, are we? I always did take you imperial dogs to be little more than spineless cowards!
Juri stops in his tracks in response.
Enemy Soldier 2: Heck, walk into any one of their towns, and you'll see even their citizenry are a dastardly bunch. Makes the lootin' that much easier for us.
Juri: You've laid hands on common citizens? Why, you son of a—
Galston: Don't mind him, Juri! He's only trying to get you riled up!
Enemy Soldier 1: Heh, don't even try putting yourselves on a pedestal.
Enemy Soldier 2: You imperials have done far worse.
Juri: Don't you dare measure our proud imperial army against the likes of you!
Enemy Soldier 1: Gwaah!
Enemy Soldier 1: Hehehe... That was too easy!
Juri: Admit you've lost! Now to go for the other one—
Juri looks around but cannot find the other soldier.
Juri: Don't tell me...
Enemy Soldier 2: Well, now! Let's see how well you "almighty" imperials fare against these numbers!
The other soldier has returned from the base and brought enemy troops en masse.
Juri: Cripes, their main force is stationed here?
Enemy Soldier 2: We fight! Graah!
Enemy Soldier 2: Urgh!
As enemy troops leap toward Juri, a large shadow skirts past him.
Galston: Juri! We'll handle things here. You head to our forward operating base on the double!
Juri: I couldn't possibly do that! It's my fault we're in this mess to begin with!
Juri: My imperial spirit compels me to stay and fight! I won't abandon my duties here!
Galston: You fool!
Galston strikes Juri hard on his left cheek.
The full force of the gauntlet's weight behind the blow knocks Juri on his backside.
Galston: You do what you must to secure victory for your allies... That is how a true imperial soldier fights!
Galston: If you would call yourself a soldier of the empire, then go! Run for it!
Juri: Sir! Yessir!
Juri breaks into a full sprint.
The map clenched tightly in his grip, Juri throws off the cargo he was transporting without ever turning back.
He bites his lip so hard that blood begins to seep out.
Red-Hot Imperial Spirit: Scene 2
Upon returning to the imperial base and informing Captain Pommern of the situation, the repentant Juri is allowed to regroup with Galston's unit to serve as their navigator. Taking Galston's previous reprimand to heart, Juri leads the unit to divide and conquer the enemy troops.
Pommern: So you ran away with your tail tucked between your legs?
I won't deny it.
Juri reaches the forward operating base right before sundown and briefs Captain Pommern on everything that's come to pass.
Juri: My selfish arrogance led to this... I take full responsibility!
Pommern: Humph, don't get ahead of yourself, rookie.
Pommern: Hoo boy... you're too green to take responsibility for anything, I do say.
Juri: I'll go in as a commando, decoy—anything you need me to do! Doesn't matter how dangerous it is!
Juri: I'll show them the might of the empire!
Pommern: Sigh... Looks like you didn't understand a word of what Lieutenant Galston said.
Pommern: I'll think of what to do with you later. Dealing with the enemy's secret base comes first, I do say.
Pommern: But assuming there is no error in recent reports, I'll need to go in prepared.
Pommern: And you're going to help our main force gear up!
Juri: Captain Pommern. If it's all right, I'd like to enter battle myself. Which squad should I join up with?
Pommern: Humph, there's no need for that, I do say.
Pommern: As if I'd really let you join the front lines!
Juri: B-but... Captain Pommern!
Juri: Nuts! I... I...
Juri: (What am I doing here...)
Juri bites his lip again as he helps the main force prepare.
Juri: Damn it! I got them into the mess...
Juri: And I won't even have a chance to redeem myself!
Juri: Is this really the most I can do?
Standing in front of weapons and provisions that still need sorting, Juri clutches his head in despair.
Juri: Damn it! Urgh, I can't believe this!
Juri's left cheek suddenly grows hot. Searing pain from the fresh scar on his lip calls back a certain memory.
Galston: You do what you must to secure victory for your allies... That is how a true imperial soldier fights!
Juri: What is it that I must do to secure victory for us all...
Juri: There's only one thing that a fledgling like me can do...
Juri: Captain Pommern! I've finished preparing the weapons and provisions for Squads 1 to 4!
Juri speaks to the imperial captain once more before their forces move out.
Pommern: Well, yes... I've already heard.
Pommern: If you've no other business, then scamper off already, I do say!
Juri: There's... something else!
Juri: If I may be frank... Please allow me to be the navigator for this assault!
Pommern: Oho... Can you give me a good reason?
Juri: The field of view will be severely limited in the darkness. I believe having someone along who's walked the path will be of great aid!
Pommern: Hm... I'm not too sure about that. A map will ensure we find our way, I do say.
Juri: If I am able to come along, Captain, our forces will be that much more likely to reach the destination!
Juri: With your permission, sir!
As a show of sincerity, Juri arcs his upper body so low that his head grazes his kneecaps.
Captain Pommern softens up at the sight of such a desperate Juri...
Only to regain his usual rigidity in the next moment.
Pommern: My, my... This is the second time you've defied a superior officer's orders... I hope you understand that this is sufficient grounds for suspension.
Despite the harsh words, Juri's head remains bowed.
Pommern: What is it that drives you so?
Juri: My inexperience limits me in what I'm able to do, but this is one surefire way I'm confident I can contribute!
Juri: For the empire... For the victory of my comrades!
Pommern: Regarding preparations... I'm told you did surprisingly well for a new recruit.
I'll let you join in on this mission as our navigator.
Juri: Th-thank you!
Pommern: Just don't forget that you've yet to receive your punishment! Be sure to come back on your own two feet!
And thus Juri's wish to serve as the imperial army's navigator is granted.
Pommern: Aha... It appears our enemy lies in ambush, I do say.
Captain Pommern can already sense the enemy's presence before they even arrive at the secret base.
Pommern: You, private from Galston's unit.
Juri: Sir! Yessir!
Pommern: I order you to act alone from here on out! Try to join up with Galston if you can!
Juri: Huh? I can remain for the battle?
Pommern: Wars aren't won without a bit of risk-taking, I do say.
Pommern: But until you find your unit, try to avoid battle.
Pommern: Once you do find them, lead them back here to fight alongside the main force!
Juri: Given the circumstances, it's possible they've already been captured as POWs...
Pommern: Humph. You have no idea why Galston is the commander of that unit, do you?
Juri: I, er, guess not...
Pommern: Go already! And hurry!
Juri: Sir! Yes! Sir!
Captain Pommern mutters to himself after Juri makes off.
Pommern: We make sure to have the sharpest commanders leading the sharpest recruits... And Lieutenant Galston definitely fits the bill.
Pommern: He's not one to be captured so easily.
An air of solemnity fills the mountainous terrain as the battle begins.
Juri darts past all manner of trees, running along paths where there are none.
Juri: Lieutenant Galston! Everyone! Are you safe?
Galston: Juri? How did you find us here?
Juri runs toward his comrades who lay low in the brush.
Juri: My imperial spirit guided me here! It's what'll bring us to victory!
Private 2: Hey, calm down. What are you talking about?
Juri: My apologies! My excitement got the better of me...
Juri explains that he was ruminating over how a unit of their size could launch an effective attack.
He concluded that breaking through the center of the enemy's line formation and cutting off their communication would be optimal.
Juri: I was searching for a good spot from which to launch our ambush!
Private 2: Really, now... You pretty much just said exactly what the commander had in mind!
Galston: Heh, your tactical genius must come from your father.
Juri: I thought of everything my father ever taught me to come up with that plan. Consider it my way of atoning...
Juri: I'm so sorry! My conceit led you all into this predicament!
Private 1: Sheesh, for real. You have any idea how hard it was to get away?
Private 2: Sure felt great seeing you smack one of 'em upside the head back there though.
Galston: Just keep your wits about you next time. That's the end of this discussion.
Juri: Thank you so much, everyone...
Galston: Get it together, Juri! We're moving out for the assault—
Juri: Captain Pommern assigned me the role of navigator.
Juri: As such, I should remain true to that role...
Galston: Juri! It all comes down to how you interpret it!
Galston: I hereby command you to fulfill your duty...
Galston: And navigate us to victory. How about that?
Galston: This is Captain Pommern we're talking about! He probably foresaw that we'd be employing this strategy! Just a hunch though!
Juri: I will take the lead on this assault and lead our forces to victory!
Galston: That's the spirit!
Galston: Men, the time has come to divide their forces!
Galston: Show them how an imperial soldier fights!
Privates: Sir! Yes! Sir!
Red-Hot Imperial Spirit: Scene 3
In the aftermath Juri is placed under detention for disobeying orders, though it only lasts for a few days. He realizes his imperial spirit isn't defined by simply defeating the enemy but by helping his comrades achieve victory. He walks on toward his destination, conviction reignited.
Farrah: And then? What happened after that?
Farrah listens with bated breath.
Juri: As planned, we stirred confusion within their ranks and scored an easy victory.
Juri: Galston's unit is usually pretty disorganized, but when it comes to actual battle, they come together like you wouldn't believe.
Juri: Imagine my surprise seeing our commander's quick and precise judgments on the battlefield, immediately followed by the unit's swiftness and teamwork in carrying out those orders.
Vyrn: Well, color us surprised. Who'd have thought a story about a cargo transport mission could go so many places?
Katalina: So the detention Farrah mentioned earlier happened because you disobeyed orders?
Juri: Well, yes. It ended up only lasting a few days, but I suspect that's because Lieutenant Galston put in a good word for me.
Choose: What a story.
- What a story.
- What a commander.
Juri: Thank you.
Juri: It's a story of failure as well, so it was a bit embarrassing to tell it...Choose: What a commander.
Juri: Yes. He was good to me from the moment I met him until the moment I left the empire.Continue 1
Juri's gaze grows distant as he continues.
Juri: That first mission made me realize something important.
Juri: Imperial spirit is much more than simply the will to best the enemies of the empire...
Juri: It's the conviction to do whatever you must to help your comrades and lead your forces to victory!
Juri: I'm no longer with the empire, but the imperial spirit continues to burn bright within me!
Juri: It rages within my heart!
Farrah: You always were a passionate one, Juri! But that's what I like about you!
Vyrn: I'd say you're so straight of an arrow that it almost makes you look suspicious.
Juri: V-Vyrn! What do you mean by that?
Reminiscing on his first mission reminds Juri what it is that makes him tick.
The crew's destination past the mountains is still quite a distance away. Juri marches on with a confident stride.