Can't Read Her Poker Face
Karyl, (Captain), and the crew interrupt their search for Kokkoro's lord to look for some local children who've gone monster-hunting in the forest. The kids are found handily beating a weakling monster, but Karyl insists they need to develop a healthy fear of monsters for their own safety. She magically controls the monster to give them a scare. (Captain) and the others realize Karyl is a more caring person than she likes to let on.
On the island of Deliciora is a town whose streets upon streets of eating establishments have earned it the moniker "Flavorville."
The crew visited on a monster-hunting mission and met a mysterious trio from a group called the Gourmet Guild.
The three guild members had come to investigate rumors of monster activity and promptly lost track of their fourth member.
The guild helped the crew with their mission, and in return (Captain) and the others decided to join the search for the missing guild member.
The search is not going smoothly.
Pecorine: Morning! Everybody pumped for the search today?
Kokkoro: Yes. I am determined today will be the day I rescue my Lord.
Kokkoro: (Captain)... All of you... I am truly grateful for your assistance. Thank you for joining our search again today.
Vyrn: You bet! Mister Lord's long overdue for a rescue! And ya don't hafta be so formal with us, Lordette.
Lyria: That's right! We're doing this because we want to help! Right, (Captain)?
(Captain)'s answer is, of course, a bright smile and nod of agreement.
Kokkoro: Thank you so much. Your kindness warms my heart.
Pecorine: We're all so lucky we met you! You guys are the absolute best!
Vyrn: Hehe, you're as sunny as ever, Miss Peckish! Well then...
Vyrn looks over at the third guild member.
Vyrn: N-nothin'. Um. Who brushed you the wrong way, Whiskers? You look kinda mad...
Karyl: I'm not mad. Do I look mad? Let's get searching already. We're losing daylight.
Pecorine: Ahaha... That's my fault. She just finished giving me a lecture before you got here.
Karyl: Yeah, because you were taking all year to finish your breakfast.
Pecorine: But Karyl! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! How am I supposed to do my job on an empty stomach?
Karyl: Siiigh. Sure. Fine. I already said I'm not mad. Let's just go.
Hey, Lordette, are they okay?
Kokkoro: Please rest assured. This is how they always interact.
Kokkoro: Pecorine set out to consume a day's supply of nutrients this morning, in order to better search for my lord.
Kokkoro: Karyl probably hurried her along because she's impatient to find him.
Kokkoro: Though their methods differ, they both feel the same.
Kokkoro: Of course, I do wish they got along better...
Vyrn: Yeesh. It must be rough on you keeping this guild together single-handed.
Kokkoro: Oh, no... The two of them are very dependable when push comes to shove.
Vyrn: Hmm... If you say so.
The guild and the crew split up to cover more ground.
Lyria: Hmm... Not here either. I wonder where he is and what he's up to right now.
Vyrn: Don't look so glum. If he's on this island, he's gotta turn up sooner or later.
Vyrn: Hehe. Maybe he's not even missing. Maybe he's just hiding 'cause he's scared of catching one of those lectures from Whiskers!
Lyria: Oh, Vyrn, that's a terrible thing to say...
Vyrn: Haha, I'm only kidding! But she's so prickly!
Vyrn: Especially compared to Miss Peckish and Lordette. They're so easy to get along with.
Karyl: Well forgive me for being prickly.
Vyrn: Gyah! Wh-wh-where'd you come from, Whiskers!
Karyl: I was looking for my friend, and I happened to hear a certain lizard running his mouth.
Vyrn: I ain't no—
Vyrn: L-lizard. I'm not...
Karyl: Hunh! Well, too bad, 'cause I'm not nice, and I am prickly. Deal with it!
Vyrn: Uh... No, I... I'm sorry. That was my bad.
Lyria: Um, Karyl, I... I don't think Vyrn meant anything bad by it!
Karyl: Sigh... It's fine. He's not wrong.
So? How's the search going on your end?
A shake of the head is all (Captain) can offer. The crew hasn't found a single clue.
Nearby, a group of adults suddenly burst into a flurry of restless activity, worry clear on their faces.
Karyl: Wait, what just happened? Is something wrong?
Neighbor Ned: O-oh... Hello, travelers. Sorry to alarm you. Don't worry, it's just a local problem.
Vyrn: What kinda problem? We're skyfarers, so maybe we can help!
Neighbor Ned: You are? Well, the thing is, it seems some local children got it into their heads to go monster-hunting in the woods.
Vyrn: What! Kids goin' after monsters on their own?
Neighbor Ned: They're a rambunctious group, and apparently they've been talking about how they could handle monsters by themselves for a while now...
Neighbor Ned: No one had seen them since this morning, so we went out looking. Someone said they spotted them entering the woods...
Neighbor Ned: Only small, weak monsters live in the woods near here, which is probably why the kids figured they could handle them.
Vyrn: A little monster's still a monster. No way is that a good idea.
Choose: Let's go find them.
- Let's go find them.
- Yeah, this sounds like trouble.
Vyrn: I'm with (Captain)!Choose: Yeah, this sounds like trouble.
Lyria: Yes... I'm worried about them!Continue 1
Vyrn: H-hey, Whiskers, sorry to do this right in the middle of our guild-member hunt.
Vyrn: But we can't just let a bunch of kids become monster snacks.
Karyl: You wanna join the search party? Fine... What else can we do, under the circumstances?
Vyrn: R-right! Let's make tracks for that forest and bring 'em back safe and sound!
(Captain), Karyl, and the crew suit the action to the word.
Karyl: These woods are pretty deep... What were those kids thinking coming here by themselves?
Vyrn: Yeah... We gotta find 'em before they run into something nasty!
Lyria: Wait! Did you hear something over that way?
Lyria leads the way, and soon the sounds she heard become clear to everyone. The crew picks up the pace.
Benny: Yaah! Hi-yah!
Kenny: That'll teach ya to mess up our fields all the time!
Jenny: This is for startling my granny! It's your fault she fell down an' hurt herself! Hyah!
(Captain) and company stare dumbfounded at the children fearlessly hurling stones at the monster and whacking away at it with sticks.
Vyrn: Wow... It's just a half-pint monster, but those kids are giving it a run for its rupies!
Lyria: I'm just glad they're safe... They gave me a fright, but it looks like they're okay.
Vyrn: True. Geez, do they even know what a fuss they caused?
Vyrn: Wh-whoa, Whiskers, what's wrong! You look like you're about to blow a fuse...
Vyrn and Lyria move a little closer together in the face of Karyl's barely suppressed wrath.
Vyrn: Y-yo... If you're mad that they made ya worry, I get it, but... All's well that ends well, yeah?
Karyl: What do you mean, "ends well"! We can't let this stand!
Vyrn: Meep! Whaddya mean?
Karyl: Those kids are going to grow up thinking monsters are nothing to be scared of, and tell other people the same thing!
Karyl: Who knows how many people could get hurt because of that!
Vyrn: Well, maybe, but all you can do is set 'em straight when they go wrong, right?
Karyl: Not good enough. If they win this battle, they're not going to listen to anything adults tell them.
Choose: You have a point.
- You have a point.
- Sounds like you have an idea.
Karyl: Right? If they win now, they're not going to believe grown-ups when they tell them how dangerous monsters can be.
Karyl: So I've got an idea. I'll use a little magic to teach them to look before they leap.Choose: Sounds like you have an idea.
Karyl: You bet I do. Perceptive of you to notice. Guess that's why you're the captain, huh?
Karyl: I'm going to use a little magic to teach them to look before they leap.Continue 2
Karyl: I need a few more people to pull this off. Are you in?
Vyrn: Sure, but what kinda magic are you gonna use?
Karyl: Heh heh. A spell I save for special occasions!
Benny: We got 'im on the ropes! Let's show the grown-ups how it's done!
Kenny: What? You scared?
Jenny: Uh... hey. Does the monster look... different, somehow?
The monster, which had merely been running from the children in a panic, suddenly rounds on them with a murderous glint in its eye.
Brat Pack: Yeeek!
Benny: Wh-what's your problem, buckteeth? Y-you think you're tough all of a sudden?
Jenny: Nooo! He's scary, he's scary, I hate him! I wanna go home!
But their fearsome, furred foe heads them off at the pass, gnashing its teeth.
Just as the beast is twitching its cotton tail in preparation to spring, two figures throw themselves into its path.
Vyrn: You kids okay?
Lyria: Don't worry! We'll save you!
Kenny: Whoa! A lady an' a lizard just popped outta nowhere!
Vyrn: Hey. I ain't no—
Vyrn: Eh, maybe this isn't the time.
Vyrn: Hey, carrot breath! You take your twitchy nose elsewhere!
Benny: Are we... saved?
Lyria: Yes! Everything's going to be okay!
The monster flings itself at Lyria and Vyrn, who crumple to the ground one after the other, clutching their sides.
Vyrn: Oh no... He got me...
Lyria: Aaah... Someone, help...
(Captain) is the next to jump to the children's defense, but the captain, too, is knocked flying.
Choose: The pain, the pain!Choose: Can no one save us?
- The pain, the pain!
- Can no one save us?
Kenny: Th-this is awful! What do we... What can we...
Jenny: What'll we do? Will we ever get home?
Karyl: I'll make sure of it.
Benny: Whuh... Who are you?
Karyl: Forget that—just get outta my way!
Karyl sprints forward, winds up her staff arm, and takes aim at the monster's head.
The moment Karyl bops the monster on the head, it returns to normal. No sooner has it regained its senses than it dashes off and disappears between the trees.
Jenny: I-is it really gone?
Vyrn: I think so... Whooo, what a relief! That was the strongest monster I've ever seen!
Vyrn: (Yeesh. You really go all out with your schemes, Whiskers.)
Karyl: Heh heh. A spell I save for special occasions!
Karyl: I can magically control monsters. I just need you guys to put on a bit of a show for me.
Vyrn: Wow, Whiskers, you can really do that?
Vyrn: Wait. What kinda show? What're you planning?
Karyl: I'll make the monster look really ferocious. You guys go out there and act like it's thrashing you.
Karyl: If they see a bunch of adults getting their tails handed to them by a monster, it should teach them that monster-hunting is serious business.
Lyria: Okay... I get it. Let's give it a try!
Vyrn: So all we have to do is act like it walloped us? Sounds like fun!
Karyl: I hope you squirts realize now just how dangerous monsters are. Next time you'll know better, right?
Benny: Yeah... I was so scared... I thought we were all goners. I'm sorry...
Kenny & Jenny: We're sorry too...
Karyl: All right then, let's go home. You made a lot of people worry, you know. They've been turning the town upside down looking for you.
Brat Pack: Okay...
Jenny: But you were really cool, miss! You're so strong!
Karyl: W-well, he was no match for me, really.
Lyria: Hehe... I think Karyl just loses her temper because she cares about people. She's actually a really nice person, don't you think, Vyrn?
Vyrn: Yeah! I really feel bad about what I said earlier.
Karyl: What's keeping you two? I want to get back to our original search. You're not dropping out on me, are you?
Karyl: Those three really reminded me of our guild's lost doofus. He really is just a big kid.
Vyrn: That's what you say, but you're worried about him, huh?
Karyl: N-no I'm not! I wanna find him so I can give him an earful for putting me to all this trouble!
Vyrn: Hehehe! Aww, you don't have to be embarrassed!
(Captain) and the others exchange a private smile as they follow Karyl and the children homeward. They are happy to have discovered her kind nature in spite of her attempts to hide it.
Now that they know her better, they are even more determined to reunite her with her missing friend.
While searching for her missing guildmate, Karyl runs into the children she previously saved and scared. One of the kids knocks over a flowerpot while playing, and its wealthy owner, Finch, demands compensation for what he claims is an expensive work of art. Karyl intervenes and offers to work off the debt.
It's a quiet afternoon in one of Flavorville's residential districts, well away from the main streets thronged with delicacy-devouring tourists.
Gourmet Guild member Karyl walks through the tranquil streets, on the alert for any sign of her missing guildmate.
Karyl: This is a lot more restful than elbowing my way through the crowds... but is there any point searching out here?
Karyl: He's more likely to go where the action is... He's just a big kid, after all...
Karyl is about to pack it in and return to the busier part of town, when suddenly...
Karyl: Yeeek! D-d-don't startle me like that!
Kenny: Ahaha! Scared you!
Jenny: He scared you! He scared you!
The scamps responsible for adding a few extra white hairs to Karyl's head are the same trio who had previously ventured into the woods for some ill-advised monster-hunting.
Karyl: Now listen here...
Karyl: (That doofus seems to get a kick out of startling me too...)
Karyl: (Always popping out at me out of nowhere. Really, completely immature...)
Kenny: What's wrong, Karyl?
Karyl: It's nothing. More importantly, what are you three doing here?
Jenny: Exploring! We've never been out here before! Why don't you play with us?
Karyl: I'm busy. I don't have time for kids' games.
Benny: What are you busy with?
Karyl: My friend went missing. Unlike you, I can't just—
Kenny: Heeey! Over here! There's a park!
Karyl: Don't ask if you're not gonna listen to the answer!
There's an open, grassy space not far away. In a moment, the three children are tearing around it at top speed.
Karyl: Hey, wait a minute. I don't think that's a public park... It looks like it's that mansion's garden.
The back of the property in question is occupied by a sprawling mansion. Its front lawn is wide and well-tended enough that the children could be forgiven for their misunderstanding.
Lost in an impromptu footrace, the trio fails to hear Karyl calling them.
Jenny trips over a planter. The sound of shattering pottery rings out clearly across the garden.
Jenny: Oh no... I knocked over that pot...
Karyl: What do you think you're doing! Are you hurt?
Jenny: No... But what should I do? Do you think the tree's okay?
The pot is home to a small shrub with black bark. Its slender trunk and leaves appear to be unharmed, but soil is leaking through cracks in the pot.
Karyl: The tree looks fine, but I don't know if we can save the pot...
Benny: A-are we gonna get in trouble?
Kenny: Whaaat? Nooo...
Jenny: Whine... Sniffle...
Karyl: Oh for goodness' sake, don't cry! I'll go with you to apologize.
As Karyl awkwardly attempts to comfort the children, someone calls out from behind them.
Francis Finch IV: Dear me, whatever could this commotion be? I don't recall inviting anyone into my garden...
Karyl: Are you the owner of the house? Uh... Sorry! We broke this flowerpot...
Francis Finch IV: I'm well aware. I was watching you.
Karyl: (He was?)
Karyl: (This jerk... "Whatever could this commotion be?" my foot!)
Francis Finch IV: What is your relationship to these children? You don't look like you hail from these parts.
Karyl: We're just acquaintances... What's it to you?
Francis Finch IV: Well, then I won't hold you responsible. We have to treat our tourists well, after all.
The man snaps his fingers, and underlings swarm out of the mansion en masse.
Karyl: Hold it right there! Just what are you planning!
Francis Finch IV: Children need strict discipline to learn the error of their ways. Wouldn't you agree?
Karyl: (Urgh... I mean, I did scare the stuffing out of them with my whole monster-manipulation performance...)
Karyl: But who are all these men? You're frightening the kids!
Francis Finch IV: These are my bodyguards. As a man of means, such protective measures are an absolute necessity.
Karyl: (Really? He needs this many bodyguards in a peaceful area like this?)
Karyl: And? Why did you call them all out here?
Francis Finch IV: For a start, I must escort these children back to their homes and demand appropriate compensation for the destruction of my property. I believe I may include an additional charge for unlawful entry.
Karyl: They're just kids! Who cares about some cheap little pot?
Francis Finch IV: Cheap? I'll have you know that pot is a work of art thrown by a renowned potter.
Karyl: Are you serious?
Francis Finch IV: Deadly serious.
Come now, children. Time to pay a visit to your parents.
Benny: W-we're really sorry...
Kenny: We promise not to do it again...
Jenny: Sniffle... Sob...
Karyl: Stop right there!
Karyl: Punishment like this has nothing to do with these kids' education! There's no way I'll let you do this!
Karyl: I'll work off the price of the flowerpot! You shouldn't have any problem with that, right?
Francis Finch IV: Hm... I don't see how that will entertain me. I have all the employees I need already.
Biff the Bodyguard: Nyehehe... You're boring the man, missy! How 'boutcha clear off?
The bodyguard makes a grab for Karyl to get her out of the way.
Karyl swings her staff, flinging bluish-white orbs of light at the bodyguard which explode beneath his nose.
Biff the Bodyguard: Yikes!
Karyl: Keep your hands to yourself!
Biff the Bodyguard: Wh-why you!
Francis Finch IV: So you're a magic-user! How interesting!
Francis Finch IV: Very well then. I could find a use for you on my staff after all, if you think you're up to the task.
Karyl: Bring it on!
Biff the Bodyguard: Tch!
Jenny: K-Karyl... I'm sorry...
Karyl: Don't you worry. You three just head home.
Karyl: And be careful on your way, all right? Bye!
Karyl decides to take responsibility for the children's carelessness by working off their debt.
She smiles brightly to reassure them, then turns to follow her unpleasant new employer.
Catgirl-of-all-Work: Scene 2
Karyl's temporary employer, Finch, is a harsh taskmaster, and Karyl is showing the strain. Alerted to the situation by the children Karyl saved, the crew offers to help. Finch agrees to forgive the debt and release Karyl from his service if the crew collects all of the rare, spice-producing plants growing on a treacherous, monster-infested mountain peak.
Karyl has agreed to work for a very unpleasant man in order to compensate him for an expensive flowerpot three children broke in his garden.
The well-heeled fellow is the proprietor of several restaurants in Flavorville, and proves to be a harsh taskmaster.
Francis Finch IV: Right then. If you'd be so good as to deliver this sealed letter to my restaurant on the west side of town?
Karyl: All right.
Karyl: I'm back.
Francis Finch IV: Ahh, there were some documents I wanted from that branch. I'd like you to run back and fetch them.
Karyl: What? Why didn't you tell me before I went the first time?
Francis Finch IV: I beg your pardon, did you say something? When you've done that, I have errands for you at my north and east branches as well.
Karyl: Fine, fine! Whatever you want!
Karyl: Ugh... Geez... I'm back...
Karyl returns out of breath to find her employer lounging in his opulent sitting room, sipping tea with his pinkie raised.
Francis Finch IV: Oh, there you are. Next I suppose you can tidy up the garden. I do like everything in its place.
Karyl: Hey... You've been lazing around all afternoon. Don't you have anything to do?
Karyl: (Making me run all these errands while I'm supposed to be looking for my friend...)
Francis Finch IV: I'm not suited to sweating and straining like a commoner—I prefer to engage in intellectual labor. One must, to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Karyl: What does that mean?
Francis Finch IV: As far as cuisine is concerned, all one needs to do is mimic popular dishes from other restaurants. Tourists don't have the palate to discern real quality.
Francis Finch IV: Listen. Flavorville is filled to the brim with talented chefs who come up with dazzling new fare every day.
Francis Finch IV: My people stay abreast of these developments. Disguised as customers, they order each new dish and smuggle it back here, where we reverse engineer it.
Francis Finch IV: We produce a similar menu item at a lower price and then aggressively publicize it, until no one will believe the dish was not mine to begin with.
Francis Finch IV: My franchise gets all the fame, and the actual creator is crushed under our heel... driven to bankruptcy, if things go particularly well.
Karyl: That's... fraud. You're not just copying their recipes, you're stealing them outright.
Francis Finch IV: Such harsh words. I prefer to call it "research." In the end, it's not quality that matters, but publicity. To the best advertiser go the spoils.
Francis Finch IV: That's how I've built my business. I don't intend to stop until I've dominated the market entirely.
Karyl: (I may not know commerce, but I'm really starting to hate this guy.)
Francis Finch IV: Oh, yes. I'm hosting an important get-together today. You will be attending.
Francis Finch IV: It's a party for the movers and shakers of Flavorville. And the main attraction won't be food, for once. You'll be using your talents to entertain us.
Karyl: Excuse me?
A group of affluent guests have gathered at Finch's estate for the party. They mill curiously around a large tank of water set in the center of the room.
Karyl stands at the bottom of the tank, fully submerged.
Francis Finch IV: Impressive, is it not? See how calm my servant is, despite being submerged for so long. Not a flicker of unease!
Karyl: Glubble glub blubble glub blubble!
(Who're you calling a servant!)
Francis Finch IV: But this is perfectly natural. Using magic, she can breathe underwater as easily as she can on dry land!
Francis Finch IV: I suppose I won't need a boat the next time I crave fresh fish! I can simply have her catch them barehanded!
Karyl: Pant... Wheeze...
Ugh, that took a lot of magic. I'm beat.
Francis Finch IV: But wait, we have more magical delights in store!
At his signal, a cage hidden in one corner of the room opens, and a monster springs out.
Francis Finch IV: Please rest easy, ladies and gentlemen! Even this fearsome beast is no match for my servant's powers!
Karyl: (I am not your servant!)
Karyl: All right, now be a good monster and go back to your cage!
The guests watch, wide-eyed, as the monster meekly obeys Karyl's command.
Francis Finch IV: Behold how her magic can bend monsters to her will!
Karyl: Ugh... What am I doing here?
Three small, stealthy figures peer in through the window as Karyl exhausts herself for the entertainment of her employer's guests.
Benny: Karyl's having a really tough time... What should we do?
Kenny: It's all our fault... She took the fall for us.
Jenny: Um... What if we go talk to her friends?
Benny: The ones we saw when we went monster-hunting? That's right... Didn't they say they were skyfarers?
Kenny: Yeah! Let's go find them! They were looking for a missing friend, so they must still be somewhere in town.
The children hurry off in search of (Captain) and the others.
Vyrn: What! So that's what Whiskers has been doing?
Jenny: I'm... I'm sorry. It's all because of the flowerpot I broke.
Lyria: Um, no, uh... It's okay! We'll fix this!
Vyrn: Yeah! First off, let's get the full story from Whiskers.
When Karyl returns to the inn that night, (Captain) and the others seek her out for a chat.
Karyl: You found out my secret, huh? But there's no need to worry.
Vyrn: Um... When do you think we should worry, then?
Lyria: Vyrn's right, Karyl. You look really tired...
Karyl: That man is a pig, but we really did break something of his. No getting around that.
Karyl: Promise me you won't tell Pecorine and Kokkoro. I want them to stay focused on the search for our friend.
Choose: Let us help.
- Let us help.
- I can't let you do this alone.
Karyl: Huh? Help me?
Vyrn: Of course you! We're not gonna let you handle this alone, Whiskers!Choose: I can't let you do this alone.
Karyl: What? Why?
Lyria: Because we want to help you, Karyl!Continue 1
Karyl: Well... I hope you don't think this means I owe you or anything...
Vyrn: Hehe! Look at you gettin' all embarrassed again!
The following day...
Francis Finch IV: Interesting... You propose to help Karyl with her duties so that she may be released from her obligations sooner?
Lyria: Y-yes! Please let us help!
Francis Finch IV: It isn't as though I'm short of servants...
Francis Finch IV: But wait a moment... You said you were skyfarers?
Francis Finch IV: There is something you could do for me. It's a bit dangerous, but it would clear your friend's debt.
Vyrn: Really? What kinda job is it?
Francis Finch IV: I'd like you to gather a certain herb from high in the mountains. It can be used to make a potent spice which enhances flavor like no other.
Karyl: So it's for your restaurants. And it's valuable enough to get me off the hook?
Francis Finch IV: Well, yes. That is the only place it grows wild on Deliciora.
Francis Finch IV: Particularly dangerous monsters nest among the peaks, so harvesting it is extremely difficult.
Vyrn: Heh! We can finish three assignments like that before breakfast!
Francis Finch IV: I'm gratified to hear it. Make certain to pull up everything you find growing there carefully by the roots.
Karyl: I guess we don't have a choice! C'mon—(Captain), Vyrn, Lyria! I'll need your help for this!
So Karyl, (Captain), and the others head for the mountains where this rare plant grows wild.
Catgirl-of-all-Work: Scene 3
(Captain) and crew battle their way to the mountain peak, but after Lyria suggests it would be a shame to pull up all the plants there, they decide to harvest only half. Upon returning they discover that not only was the broken flowerpot cheap, but Finch is an unscrupulous recipe thief trying to corner the market for this rare spice and drive up prices. Finch refuses to give up the plants and calls his bodyguards for backup.
Karyl: Oof... We did it. Somehow.
Vyrn: Hey, Whiskers. Did we really have to fight that monster? Couldn't you have controlled it instead?
Karyl: Ugh... If I could have, I would have. I can only pull that off with weaker monsters.
Vyrn: So it's a tricky spell, huh?
Lyria: Oh! Are those the herbs?
There are several small shrubs ahead which match the description Finch gave them.
Karyl: Wait... Those shrubs look familiar.
Vyrn: What's wrong? Let's grab 'em before another monster comes along!
Lyria: But... I'd feel kinda bad to pull them all up...
Karyl: I agree. I count less than ten of them. Maybe we should leave a few.
Karyl: It's not like that lazy jerk is going to come up here himself to check that we got them all.
Karyl and the others leave behind about half of the plants and return to town.
Lyria: This means you can quit working for him, right?
Karyl: Yeah. Thank you guys so much for your help.
Vyrn: But geez, Whiskers, you coulda told us sooner what was going on. We're friends!
Vyrn: Hm? What's wrong?
Karyl doesn't answer. Her gaze is fixed on a general store nestled in among the other restaurants and shops on the street.
Vyrn and the others exchange a questioning glance. Before they can ask, Karyl takes off running.
Vyrn: Hey! What's that about?
Lyria: L-let's just follow her!
Karyl's footsteps thunder through Finch's sprawling mansion. The door to his sitting room nearly flies off its hinges as she enters.
Karyl: I want an explanation!
Francis Finch IV: What is all this commotion? Did you fail to harvest the herbs?
Karyl: Oh, I got them all right! This is what you wanted, isn't it?
Karyl throws the plants at him.
Francis Finch IV: Oh, splendidly done! I'm impressed you actually succeeded...
Karyl: Ask me why I'm angry! Go on!
Karyl: That flowerpot you said was sooo valuable was on sale at the general store! At an extremely affordable price, to boot!
Karyl: I could have paid you back for that out of pocket! You swindled me into working for you for free!
Upon seeing the flowerpots stacked in the general store window, Karyl had been shocked speechless.
(Captain) and the others arrive a few minutes after their friend, but as they follow Karyl's enraged voice through the mansion, they gather the salient details.
Vyrn: So that's what he was up to...
Lyria: That's awful. He took advantage of Karyl and those children...
Francis Finch IV: Tch!
Finch scowls, but his expression clears almost immediately. He smiles at Karyl.
Francis Finch IV: Please, don't jump to conclusions. I did indeed say that the flowerpot was valuable. I won't deny that.
Francis Finch IV: But it wasn't a matter of price. That pot was a gift from someone very dear to me.
Francis Finch IV: Memories are far more valuable to me than mere objects. Can you understand that?
Karyl: Ugh! It's just one scam after another with you! You really think I'm going to buy that?
Francis Finch IV: I believe your business here is concluded. Would you be so kind as to make yourselves scarce?
Vyrn: You think we're going to leave just like that, after all you put Whiskers through?
But (Captain) and the others realize there is very little left they can do here.
Francis Finch IV: The door is that way.
Vyrn: Dang it...
Chef Sean: Excuse me?
Vyrn: Huh? Who're you?
Chef Sean: I'm a chef. I live nearby... I ran into these children outside, and they told me something rather troubling...
Vyrn: Hey, it's the brat pack! What're you still doing hangin' around?
Benny: We were worried about you guys...
Chef Sean: They told me what's been happening here. That flowerpot the children broke... it belonged to me.
Francis Finch IV: ...
Chef Sean: The herbs growing in that pot can be processed into a very valuable spice.
Karyl: Wait, I thought those were the plants we just harvested in the mountains?
Karyl: So that's why they looked familiar! You already had one.
Chef Sean: You harvested them? But the place they grow is treacherous and infested with monsters.
Karyl: We dealt with the monsters. It was all to pay off the price of that flowerpot. Those are the herbs you're talking about, aren't they?
Karyl points to the plants in Finch's hands. For a moment, the chef seems at a loss for words. Then he glares at the unscrupulous entrepreneur.
Chef Sean: You took advantage of these people because they're not from Deliciora, didn't you!
Francis Finch IV: Now, now. Let's be reasonable about this. I was only thinking of Flavorville...
Vyrn: Hey! You guys mind letting us in on whatever you're talkin' about?
Chef Sean: Those herbs are so rare that everyone in Flavorville has agreed not to do any individual harvesting.
Chef Sean: As a representative of the Chef's Guild, I had special permission to keep one plant myself...
Chef Sean: But I foolishly lent it to this person because he claimed to want to research it. I never imagined it would lead to all of this.
Karyl: So you're saying we illegally poached those plants?
Chef Sean: You weren't aware of the rules, so I don't think you can be held responsible...
Karyl: Lyria had the right idea about leaving half of them behind then.
Lyria: Oh, I... I guess so!
Francis Finch IV: What? You fools! I told you to harvest them all!
Karyl: Put a sock in it! We would've felt bad to take all of them!
Chef Sean: Thank goodness! If you left some, then more should grow, in time.
Chef Sean: But perhaps you would like to explain just what you intended when you told them to harvest all the plants. Don't tell me...
Francis Finch IV: ...!
Vyrn: Don't tell you what?
Chef Sean: If he cornered the island's supply of the herbs, he could drive the price up as much as he liked.
Chef Sean: If the rumors are true, he's the sort of person who'll employ any means, no matter how underhanded, to turn a profit.
Karyl: I'm sorry I just went along with him without knowing any of that. And about your flowerpot too.
Jenny: Um... I was the one who broke it. I'm sorry...
Chef Sean: Oh, that's no problem at all. The plant wasn't hurt.
Chef Sean: In fact, I'm partially to blame. I don't know what I was thinking lending my plant to someone like him.
The chef shakes his head ruefully, then holds out his hand toward Finch.
Chef Sean: I'll thank you to hand over those plants! You can't be trusted with such precious resources. The Chef's Guild will see to it they're handled properly.
Francis Finch IV: Never! They belong to me!
Finch flings open the nearest window and leaps out.
Vyrn: You're not gettin' away that easy!
Francis Finch IV: Fool! That is my mansion! I have no intention of escaping from my own home.
Francis Finch IV: I merely don't want your worthless blood staining my decor. I like everything neat and tidy.
Vyrn: Wh-what'd you say?
Francis Finch IV: Where are you, men? Time to earn your keep!
At Finch's call, the men he called his bodyguards appear as if from thin air.
Biff the Bodyguard: Well, what is it? I thought you didn't have any more use for us!
Francis Finch IV: I thought so too... But apparently these people need to learn their lesson the hard way.
Francis Finch IV: Make sure they're in no condition to tell the tale!
Karyl: Ha! I finally get why you hired this bunch!
Karyl: You were going to send them to collect those plants, weren't you?
Francis Finch IV: Quite perceptive. But it's too late now!
Biff the Bodyguard: Heh heh heh... I guess we could take one more job. This little spitfire gets on my nerves too.
Karyl: Hunh! I'm not going to go easy on you like last time!
Biff the Bodyguard: Good! Show me what you've got!
Brat Pack: Whimper...
Karyl: You three stand back. I mean it, now. Don't even think about getting in the middle of this.
Jenny: C-come on, Karyl... You've done enough... Let's go home.
Karyl: It'll be fine. You've seen what I can do. I've got this!
Kenny: Yeah, but your friends got taken out by that bunny...
Lyria: Whuh? Oh! Oh yeah... I forgot about that...
Karyl: That was... just a fluke! They weren't feeling well that day! Forget it ever happened! My friends are actually really strong!
Vyrn: Yeah! So you just leave it to us!
Catgirl-of-all-Work: Scene 4
The crew defeats Finch's bodyguards and turns over his case to the local Chef's Guild. Karyl is touched to learn from the crew that Pecorine and Kokkoro have been worried about her. Grateful townspeople invite Karyl and the others to a feast for apprehending Finch. Knowing just what they're in for once Pecorine arrives, Karyl and the crew share a smile.
Biff the Bodyguard: Gyurk!
Karyl: Aww... Done already?
Francis Finch IV: That's... ridiculous...
Kenny: So strong...
Jenny: Karyl and those skyfarers are amazing!
Chef Sean: The Chef's Guild will hear all about what you've been up to.
Chef Sean: It's up to you to see if you can earn Flavorville's forgiveness. I suggest you think very seriously about your actions.
Francis Finch IV: Urgh...
As Finch's shoulders sag in defeat, Karyl feels a weight lift off her own.
Karyl: Good grief... I'm exhausted.
Vyrn: You've had a rough few days, Whiskers.
Karyl: But now that it's all over, I feel great!
Lyria: Well, this is a relief. I'm sure Pecorine and Kokkoro will be happy too.
Karyl: What? What about those two?
Lyria: Ahhh! I forgot we weren't supposed to tell them!
Vyrn: Well... You'd been looking tired lately, y'know?
Vyrn: Miss Peckish and Lordette were bound to notice...
Pecorine: I'm worried about Karyl... Doesn't she seem like she's been working too hard lately?
Kokkoro: I know she's been doing her utmost to find my lord, but perhaps something else has come up to add to her workload.
Pecorine: (Captain), do you think you could find out what's going on with Karyl, without letting her know?
Vyrn: Hm? Sure, but why don't you ask her yourselves?
Kokkoro: We have, but she won't tell us anything. Which only makes us worry more.
Pecorine: All she'll say is, "You have more important things to worry about than me."
Pecorine: I wish Karyl would lean on us more, but she likes to handle things herself...
Kokkoro: Karyl probably doesn't want to let anything take her away from the search for my lord.
Kokkoro: If you could help, then we could focus on that...
Kokkoro: And still respect Karyl's wishes.
Lyria: In that case, you can count on us!
Vyrn: So we were about to come check on ya when the brat pack turned up asking for help.
Lyria: Pecorine and Kokkoro were both super worried about you...
Neighbor Ned: Ah! There you are!
The crew turns to see the Flavorville local who formed part of the search party when the three children went off on their monster hunt.
Neighbor Ned: Have you three been stirring up mischief again?
Benny: N-no, we promise! But Karyl was... um...
Neighbor Ned: Hey, I know you skyfarers. What're you doing here?
Neighbor Ned: I see... I don't know how to thank you for coming to these kids' rescue again.
Karyl: Don't worry about it. It was just bad luck they ran into such a shady customer.
Neighbor Ned: No, as a citizen of Flavorville, I have to thank you properly.
Neighbor Ned: Allow me to treat you all to a feast tonight!
Chef Sean: I hope you'll allow me to participate as a representative of the Chef's Guild.
Chef Sean: I want to show them what a meal made with that spice can taste like!
Lyria: Really? But aren't those herbs really valuable?
Chef Sean: Not to worry! I have some spice that's already been processed.
Chef Sean: And since you harvested them so carefully, roots and all, the plants will be safe as long as we pot them.
Lyria: Oh, thank goodness!
Karyl: Well... I'd love to take you up on your offer, but we actually have two more friends in town...
Neighbor Ned: Oh, please, bring them along! This is going to be a great night!
Chef Sean: Yes, please don't hold back on our account. The more guests at the table, the greater the chef's motivation!
Karyl: You heard what he said, right?
Vyrn: Yep, with my own two ears. Hehehe...
Ned & Sean: Huh?
Their two would-be hosts look on blankly, unaware of what they've gotten themselves into.
Karyl: One of my friends has an appetite the likes of which you've never seen.
Karyl: Prepare to be amazed! She's a marvel to behold, able to swallow entire banquets in a single gulp!
Karyl: So be sure you cook a lot!
As she laughs, the exhaustion seems to fall away from Karyl's face.
Perhaps the brightness of her smile has something to do with a sudden sense of closeness to her fellow Gourmet Guild members. Who can say?