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A Peasant's King
The so-called king of a town's slum requests the audience of the crew via a resident named Thomas. When the crew come face to face with the king, he takes out a single card, and in a blinding flash of light, the crew suddenly find themselves fighting monsters on a vast battlefield.
(Captain) and company have just completed a quick mission on an island. That's where a fated encounter is about to occur.
Vyrn: Whoo, that was easy!
Lyria: The requestor was all smiles too when we finished!
The crew members are walking along a boulevard when they hear approaching footsteps. Soon they are surrounded by a gaggle of strangers.
???: Call me Thomas. I hail from the town's edge. You're all talented skyfarers, I take it?
Vyrn: Uh, what?
Thomas: Got a proposal for—
(Captain) and the others stay guarded as they wait to hear what Thomas has to say, but a passerby interjects.
Passerby: Watch yourselves, skyfarers! Those no-goodniks are from the slums!
Vyrn: Slums? What's that all about?
Passerby: The squatters there make a living offa graft. Betcha they'll cozy up to you and then loot your bags.
Thomas: We do no such thing!
Passerby: Heh, who you trying to convince, huh?
The situation grows tense on the boulevard. Unsure of what they've gotten into, the confused crew members can only stand there.
Vyrn: So... I don't really get what's goin' on here, but is there something you need from us?
Thomas: Right, sorry... I was hoping to refer you for a job. King's looking for capable people.
Vyrn: Huh? What do you mean?
Passerby: Hey, I'm warning you, skyfarers! Lately it seems like they've come into a bit of cash...
Passerby: An' I bet they didn't do it on the up-and-up. You're gonna get suckered into some shady deal!
Thomas: No! We do not engage in that kind of stuff!
Lyria: E-excuse me...
Thomas: S-sorry... You must be so lost right now...
Choose: I'd like to hear more about this job.
- I'd like to hear more about this job.
Thomas: You... You'll hear me out?
Vyrn: Sure! It's not like we're saying we'll do it, but it wouldn't hurt to hear the details!
Thomas: Thanks. That really helps us out.
Thomas: To be honest with you, we don't know the details either. King just told us to go round up strong folks like you.
Vyrn: You keep saying king, but does this place even have a king?
Thomas: I owe you an explanation but not here.
Thomas and his cohorts guide the crew to the slums. Their surroundings change drastically the further along they go.
Thomas: Are you shocked by how run-down everything is?
Lyria: Oh no, that's not what I was thinking!
Vyrn: Yep, it's shabby all right. Why would a supposed "king" wanna live here?
Lyria: Vyrn! That's not a nice thing to say!
Vyrn: O-oh yeah... Sorry about that...
Thomas: Haha! Don't worry about it. It's hard to believe, but things are a lot better than they used to be.
Thomas: Any improvement made to this area is all thanks to King.
Vyrn: Really? What kind of person is this King guy? Is he a real king?
Thomas: We started calling him King because he looks the part and ran with it.
Thomas: It's not like we know his real name anyway. And he never told us why he came here in the first place.
Thomas: All we know is, he just... appeared in town one day.
Thomas: And before any of us knew it, he was teaching us stuff.
Vyrn: Hmm... What kinda stuff did he teach you?
Thomas: Let's see... Okay, here's my story. Not long ago I was running moonshine with a few buddies under the baron's nose.
Lyria: Gasp! Isn't that a bad thing?
Thomas: Mm-hm. That guy back there was right about me. I still feel guilty about what I did.
Thomas: But back to the story.
Thomas: You need big barrels to make alcohol. I went out and found what I thought was good lumber—made the barrels myself.
Thomas: I'd heard whispers about some mysterious guy in town, then one day, poof, he's right in front me. Came to stop my moonshining ways.
Thomas: Somehow he knew I had a good eye for judging timber quality. Said I should be a wood dealer. He'd even set it all up for me.
Thomas: Things moved quickly from there. He was the bridge between me, the lumberjacks, and the carpenters.
Thomas: So now I'm brushing up on procuring and selling high-quality timber. Sure beats making booze in secret, I can tell you that.
Lyria: That's great! What an inspiring story!
Thomas: That's how he got our lives in order and showed us a better way to live.
Thomas: Doesn't really matter who said it first, but we started calling him King out of respect and friendship.
Vyrn: Gotcha. You've got me all excited to meet this guy!
When Thomas finally stops at their destination, however, the crew sees a dilapidated residence that can hardly be described as regal.
Thomas: My work's done here. King will tell you about the job.
The crew members are the only ones to pass through the entrance and into the gloom. The door closes behind them.
Vyrn: Guys? Do you really think a big shot named King lives in a shack like this?
???: Warmest welcomes to my palace.
A voice booms from within the room. The crew sees a diminutive figure sunk deeply into a chair.
???: And so a crew of mighty skyfarers appears before me. I heard the reports on how your crew operates.
Vyrn: Are you the one they call King?
King: The one and only.
The Harvin's affirmation of his status as a king is self-evident in his mannerisms.
???: Please have a seat.
A female Harvin steps in. (Captain) and the others sit down around a table at her beckoning.
Another figure appears from behind King, causing the crew to do a double take.
Haaselia: How do you do?
Vyrn: I was wondering where you'd gone... What are you doing here? Do you know King?
Haaselia: You should hear the explanation from King himself. I am only attending him.
Haaselia says nothing more, and the crew members sit down around a table at her beckoning.
King: I assume you have come to hear about the job I am offering to capable skyfarers.
King: But first I have something to show you.
King produces a card and places it on the table for everyone to see.
The card is quite worn. It's hard to make out what's drawn on it, but that's not the only peculiar thing about it.
Vyrn: Whoa... This card...
Lyria: I can feel a great power coming from it...
Vyrn and Lyria sense an indescribable power lurking within the card.
King: Well, well. Your intuition is sharp. I feel safe placing my trust in you, and I hope you will all accompany me somewhere.
Vyrn: Hm? But we just got here. Where are we going now?
(Captain) and company start to climb to their feet.
King: There is no need to get up. From here we shall be diving into this card's dormant memory.
Vyrn: Uh, the card's what?
They glance down at the card on the table. It's faint at first, but a white light emanates from it and gradually increases in intensity.
Squinting through the glare, the crew is presented with an astounding sight.
Vyrn: Whoa... Where are we?
The room in the slums is gone, replaced by a sweeping wasteland of smoke and embers.
Lyria: It almost looks like...
Primal beasts glide through the sky while monster hordes stalk the ground. The crew holds its collective breath.
Vyrn: Where's King? He was just with us a second ago!
They quickly scan the area, but King is nowhere to be seen.
Lyria: I wonder where he went?
Vyrn: Yipes! Here come the monsters!
Vyrn: This all too confusing, but we gotta deal with this first!
The situation is a mess, but the only course of action open to the crew is to face the oncoming horde.
(Captain) prepares to meet this challenge head-on, weapon at the ready.
His Majesty's Petition
The crew defeats the monsters and are returned to the slums where the king explains that a malevolent primal beast is sealed in the card, replaying memories of the War in order to learn how to destroy the Sky Realm. The crew agrees to help the king stop that from happening.
A brutal battle unfolds between the crew and foe after foe.
Lyria: Huff... huff... I think it's calmed down a little?
Vyrn: Looks like we got most of the monsters around here. What now, (Captain)?
Choose: We need somewhere to regroup.
- We need somewhere to regroup.
- Let's make a break for it.
Vyrn: Right-o! Let's find a place to hide out!Choose: Let's make a break for it.
Vyrn: Yeah, but to where? Oh well, we'll figure it out as we go.Continue 1
Vyrn: So any ideas on how we got from the inside of some shanty to here?
Unsure of what else can be done, the crew members continue to fell any foes they encounter but find nothing to help explain their current predicament.
Vyrn: Where'd that little King go? You think he got attacked by monsters somewhere?
Lyria: Mm... I'm worried.
Lyria: Oh! What's that over there!
Lyria points to a cluster of white light hovering just off the ground.
Vyrn: What in the world... Careful. It's probably a monster.
The light is dim at first. Then it gives off a burst of luminescence.
Vyrn: Argh! I'm blind!
Vyrn: Wha? We're back at King's place!
Lyria: What just happened?
Vyrn: Beats me. Maybe we dreamed the whole thing...
A calm King is planted firmly in his chair as if nothing had transpired.
King: You put on quite a display of your fighting prowess.
Vyrn: You sent us to that place, didn't you?
King: Indeed I did.
Vyrn: You can't just zip us around out of the blue! Someone could get hurt!
Choose: What was that place?
- What was that place?
Lyria: I want to know too. It looked like...
King: What you experienced was the end of the War.
(Captain) and the others feel shivers run down their spines.
King: A change of venue is in order. We can continue speaking there.
King hops off his chair, prompting the crew to immediately tense up.
King: Haha. I praise you for staying on your toes, but this time we shall simply be stepping outside.
King: A meal will do us good. Follow me.
King exits the room with a grin, followed closely by the woman who seems to be his attendant.
King exits the room with a grin, followed closely by Haaselia.
King's mention of the War still rings in their ears as (Captain) and company file out behind their hosts.
Resident 1: Yo, King! How's everything going?
Resident 2: Hi, King. It's a hot one today.
Resident 3: Get a load of this, King. My grandkid started workin' at the smithy makin' nails and blades.
Resident 3: It's all thanks to the advice you gave that the little'un has a good job now.
King: Hardly. He accomplished it himself through natural talent. It runs in his fingers.
The crew observes from behind as many residents greet King. Vyrn and Lyria whisper to each other.
Vyrn: When I found out he was the one who kicked us onto that battlefield, I thought he was a real piece of work, but...
Lyria: Yes. A lot of people here seem drawn to him.
The crew stays guarded against King's veiled motives, but they're not sure what to make of all the happy faces turned King's way.
They all finally arrive at a street-corner canteen, and everyone has a seat inside.
Lyria: Everyone in this area seems so grateful to you.
King: I acknowledge it was not my place to meddle in their lifestyles, but I was allowed to do so.
King: This canteen was able to open thanks to the sudden increase of workers in the area. The nights really come alive.
Lyria: That's wonderful!
King: Oh, this is nothing to write home about just yet.
Food is shortly carried out.
King: The menu here is meager at best. Acquiring fresh, quality ingredients is an expensive, not to mention difficult, undertaking.
Simple dishes consisting of dried meat, beans, and root vegetables sit on the table.
Vyrn: Hmm... Looks tasty enough for me.
King: But I wish they could have more.
Vyrn: I think that's great and all, but why are you doing this? What's your game?
King: Thomas probably mentioned this to you, but I have never spoken a word about my past.
Vyrn: Yeah, I remember that.
King: I will only say that helping the poor gain wealth also benefits my cause.
King: But it isn't enough. I want to make the residents still more affluent.
Vyrn: Affluent, huh? How rich do you want them to be?
King: How rich? Hmm... Rich enough to hear the joy in music for instance.
Lyria: Did you say music?
King: Consider it a metaphor. Come. It is time to eat.
Vyrn: Yeah! I'm starving!
I detect nothing.
???: Enjoy your meal, King.
King takes the partially eaten meal from the girl. He begins to eat the rest unperturbed.
Vyrn: Um, what are you doing? You don't have to eat from the same plate, you know. We got enough plates to go around.
???: I was tasting for poison.
Vyrn: P-poison? Why would you have to taste for poison?
King: Pay no heed. It's a way of life.
???: Yes, just a way of life.
???: Oh, King, you have a spot of sauce there.
The girl wipes King's mouth with a napkin.
Vyrn: Say, who is she anyway?
King: Did I not introduce her before? This is my younger sister. The people have taken to calling her Princess.
Princess: Tis a pleasure to make your acquaintance.
I detect nothing.
Haaselia: Enjoy your meal, King.
King takes the partially eaten meal from the Haaselia. He begins to eat the rest unperturbed.
Vyrn: Um, what are you doing? You don't have to eat from the same plate, you know. We got enough plates to go around.
Haaselia: I was tasting for poison.
Vyrn: P-poison? Why would you have to taste for poison?
King: Pay no heed. It's a way of life.
Haaselia: Yes, just a way of life.
Haaselia: Oh, King, you have a spot of sauce there.
Haaselia wipes King's mouth with a napkin.
Vyrn: Say, how do you know Haase anyway?
King: Did I not explain before? She is my younger sister. The people have taken to calling her Princess.
Lyria: Really? You're Haase's older brother?
Haaselia: It's nice to see you all again.Continue 2
King: Let us return to the business at hand.
King places the card on the table. (Captain)'s face stiffens.
King: A primal beast is sealed within this card. I must warn you it is especially ferocious.
Vyrn: An actual primal beast?
King: Furthermore it is using a certain process to refine its power—soon it will manifest in our world to exterminate all skydwellers.
Lyria: What kind of process?
King: The very one you saw earlier: the War.
Vyrn: Wait, wait! How's that possible? The War happened, like, forever ago!
King: Yes, that event occurred far back in history. But what you experienced was neither dream nor illusion. It was a memory.
Lyria: A memory...
King: This primal beast is constantly repeating the memory of the War, so that it may learn every facet of warfare.
King: It is preparing for the next grand-scale conflict on the horizon.
Lyria: Oh no...
King: The moment the primal analyzes all the knowledge it needs, it will manifest.
Vyrn: What can we do then? Can we stop it somehow?
King: That is why I am asking for your help. Enter into the memory and prevent the primal's forthcoming revival.
King: You will be the outliers of the battlefield.
Vyrn: What's that mean?
King: As I said the primal must learn all there is about warfare before it can manifest.
King: If you enter the memory and begin laying waste to the enemies on the battlefield, that is more data for the primal to process.
King: Thus you would be buying time for our world.
Vyrn: Oh, okay...
Vyrn: But doesn't that mean we'd have to fight nonstop?
King: Well, you mentioned earlier feeling a power emanating from the card.
King: If the primal beast deems it impossible to absorb all knowledge about this battle, I expect it will give up, and that power will disappear.
King: I can't give you a concrete number, but I doubt it will take less than several dozen fights.
King: I apologize for not providing a clear explanation when I sent you into the memory earlier.
King: The thing is, this card is so powerful that it always carries the risk of being abused.
King: Before I could disclose the truth, I needed to ascertain your reliability.
King: I hope you can forgive me.
Lyria: When you put it that way, you have nothing to apologize for.
Vyrn: Yep! Totally understandable!
King: An elderly fortune teller entrusted me with this card while I was traveling.
King: I have been searching for competent fighters ever since. At long last I have found them in your crew.
King: Will you lend your strength to ensure peace reigns in our skies?
(Captain) and company cannot help but respect King for his dedication to the safety of the Sky Realm even as he lives modestly in the heart of the slums.
Choose: Leave it to me.
- Leave it to me.
Vyrn: Yeah! We got it covered!
King: Your courage is a beacon of light in these dark streets! I wish you the best of luck. My meager capabilities are at your disposal as well.
A primal beast slumbers in a card.
The crew joins forces with King so that the seal on this terrible force may never be broken.
The Augmented Fifth
As (Captain) and company battle monsters on the field, the king reminisces about his past. His real name is Katzelia, fifth imperial heir of the Galgenia Empire. He spends his time as an orchestra conductor, having little to no interaction with the empire's politics, but those peaceful days draw short when the emperor falls ill.
A primal beast is sealed within a card, reiterating the memory of the War in order to discover a method for certain victory.
Should the primal complete its assessment and manifest in the world, the entire Sky Realm will face a deadly threat.
But if a powerful outlier that can't be analyzed were to be injected into the memory, its approaching manifestation will be delayed indefinitely.
Acting as that powerful outlier, the crew jumps into the memory and engages in battle with everything on the line.
Vyrn: Nice! Now, (Captain)!
Lyria: Got it! Summoning now!
As the crew fights heroically, King sits atop a small hill nearby, watching it all unfold.
King: Hahahaha! Just listen to that requiem of haunting cries and trembling earth! This is what war is all about!
Those skyfarers are quite strong.
You have found yourself an excellent group of players.
King: Indeed. Even our fatherland couldn't produce stalwarts of their caliber.
King: I have delivered what you wanted, Demon Cat.
King: With this I draw one step closer to achieving my objective.
???: Katzelia Alois Gangnus. Well done, my son. Your recital the other day was magnificent.
???: The leaders of the smaller nations were most astounded to see an imperial prince take up the conductor's baton.
Katzelia: I am unworthy of such praise, Your Imperial Majesty.
Emperor: It's been two years since your mother, the third empress, was claimed by illness.
Emperor: Then my beloved daughter—your elder half sister who was third in line for succession—also departed from this world due to illness one year after.
Emperor: The Galgenia Empire has suffered many deaths over these last few years.
Emperor: However, I daresay your symphonies will dispel the dire melancholy besieging this land.
Katzelia: Nothing brings me more joy than knowing that you are satisfied with my performances.
Emperor: Yes, they are magnificent indeed, but... Isn't it high time to learn the finer points of war and politics?
Emperor: One of my six children has sadly been lost. I want the remaining five to come together and exemplify our empire's dignity.
Katzelia: The empire's dignity lies not in the swinging of a sword or spear.
Emperor: Pray tell, Katzelia, what would you swing instead?
Katzelia: I shall swing a conductor's baton.
Emperor: Heh, cheeky lad. Your indifference to political affairs shows me that you take after my little brother rather than me.
The Galgenia Empire consists of several smaller countries.
Despite being the fifth imperial heir, Katzelia has no interest whatsoever in government or the military.
Katze is returning from his audience with the emperor when he runs into his uncle, the archduke, and his eldest half brother, the first imperial heir.
Katzelia: Greetings to you both, dear uncle, dear brother.
First Heir: Ho there, Katze. What brings the empire's vaunted maestro here today?
Archduke: Did His Majesty summon you in regards to your concert? It was a lovely affair.
Katzelia: I am glad you enjoyed it.
Archduke: However, you're well into your majority now. Do you still find politicking unworthy of your attention?
Katzelia: I just had a conversation with Father in which he claimed I took after you.
Archduke: Hah-hah-hah! Me of all people! Coming from His Majesty, I would think he sees me as a hedonist.
Katze's uncle isn't involved in politics, but rather investments, philanthropy, and other contributions to the empire.
The precedent set by his uncle greatly inspired Katzelia to become a musician.
Katzelia: I am not cut out for politics. You, Brother, are the person best suited to ascend as the next emperor.
Katze's half brother is the eldest son of the first empress. As the first in line for succession, his path to the throne is more or less assured.
Conversely, Katzelia is fifth in line. Barring a disaster of epic proportions, he won't get a chance to rule.
First Heir: You shouldn't speak so frivolously. His Majesty is still in good health.
Katzelia: Forgive me. I implore you to disregard my impropriety. What I meant was I intend to use my music to help the empire. The orchestra is doing quite well.
Aside from Katzelia, who is the conductor of the Galgenia Symphony Orchestra, the entire ensemble is comprised of commoners.
Katzelia: That's all for today. Next time we'll continue with the third movement.
Orchestra Member 1: Katze! Hey, Katze!
Katzelia: What is it?
Orchestra Member 1: Heard you talked to His Imperial Majesty. Did he happen to say anything about my improv solo during the concert?
Orchestra Member 1: I was just thinking, you know... if people started talking about it, maybe it'd get stuck in his head or something...
Katzelia: He said that was the only part he couldn't stand, so, in a way, you got your wish.
Orchestra Member 1: H-he did?
Katzelia: Hahaha! 'Tis a jest! He praised your performance for its heartfelt passion.
Orchestra Member 1: Sigh... That was harsh for a joke, you know...
Orchestra Member 1: You're not what I'd expect from someone born into the imperial family.
Katzelia: Oh? Those are words of treason. I hereby sentence this criminal to stay after and continue practicing.
Orchestra Member 1: Nooo! That's cruel and unusual punishment!
Orchestra Member 2: Teehee, Katze is such an amusing fellow.
Orchestra Member 3: You won't find an imperial prince like him anywhere else. Maestro here is our empire's pride and joy.
Katzelia: Hah, laugh it up while you can.
Katzelia, the fifth imperial heir, builds rapport by joking around with his orchestra mates as if he too were a commoner.
But those days of bliss come to an end at the same moment the emperor collapses.
With the death of the emperor, the first imperial heir ascends the throne and begins to root out suspected conspirators involved in various deaths of the imperial family, going so far as to imprison the fourth imperial heir. Katzelia's orchestra members are murdered from drinking poisoned wine, but he avoids the poison when he's distracted by a voice coming from a card his mother used to keep. Spurred by the fury of losing his parents and his friends, Katzelia vows to uncover the truth.
Katze takes his place beside the emperor's sickbed.
Katzelia: I am here, Your Majesty. How do you feel?
Emperor: It hasn't been so bad today. Katze, has anything unusual taken place?
Katzelia: No, nothing in particular. The empire is running smoothly.
The emperor has been bedridden for a month. He's unaware that someone has assassinated the second imperial heir in his absence.
Death came in the form of a stab wound to the abdomen, but neither the assassin nor the weapon has been identified. The castle is in tumult.
This information is withheld from the emperor, as it would surely be the final nail in his coffin.
The spate of deaths over the years has naturally spawned theories about a conspirator in the shadows.
Welcome home, dear brother. How fares our Father?
Welcome home, dear brother. How fares our Father?
Katzelia: It's good to be home, Haase. He's regained some color in his complexion today.
Haaselia Alois Gangnus is Katze's blood sister, the youngest heir of the emperor's brood of six.
Once the sixth in line for succession, the deaths of the second and third imperial heirs have brought her that much closer to the throne.
Katze finds himself in the same precarious situation.
Haaselia: I feel uneasy, Brother. What is to become of the empire?
Katze embraces his sister to quell her shivers, gently stroking her hair.
Katzelia: There's nothing to fear, little Haase. Father will bounce right back before you know it.
Haaselia: You are the only one I can rely on, Brother...
But just a few days later, the emperor draws his final breath.
The first imperial prince takes his father's place, overseeing an empire in turmoil.
New Emperor: The cancer eating away at this empire must be excised. We cannot afford to hesitate.
Male Citizen: I swear I don't know anything! I was only hired to clean the castle!
New Emperor: Guilty.
Female Citizen: Why was I brought here? I had nothing to do with the assassination of the second heir!
New Emperor: Guilty!
If so much as a shadow of suspicion falls on anyone, they are punished without mercy or fair trial by the new emperor.
Hard evidence is eventually produced implicating Katze's older sister, the fourth imperial heir, as the culprit. She is immediately imprisoned.
Katzelia: Brother! What is the meaning behind our sister's imprisonment!
New Emperor: The investigators searched her room and found the dagger used to kill the Second.
Katzelia: I won't believe it! Yes, our sister is strong-willed, but she is also a kind person.
New Emperor: We were simply unaware of the bad blood between the Fourth and the Second—the exact opposite of your close relationship with Haase.
Katzelia: But won't you at least grant her a fair trial with a proper defense?
Katzelia: Recently you've taken to doling out guilty verdicts in quick succession... Is that the right course of action?
New Emperor: Stop talking like a fool. That woman is a snake. You're falling right into her trap.
New Emperor: Besides, the mood in the empire has finally stabilized.
The citizenry is shocked and saddened at the revelation that the Fourth is the true criminal.
And yet they seem to accept the fact readily, if only to provide a resolution to the tragedy that rocked the nation.
Katzelia: (What a mockery.)
Katzelia: I have an orchestra rehearsal to run, Brother. That's all I have to say for today.
New Emperor: I look forward to the performance at the coronation ceremony. One last thing, Katze.
New Emperor: You will address me as "Your Imperial Majesty."
New Emperor: It wouldn't set a good example to call me "Brother" forever, don't you agree?
Katzelia: As you wish.
With the assassination incident wrapped up, a new date for the delayed coronation is finally set.
The Galgenia Symphony Orchestra spends every waking hour rehearsing for the performance.
Katzelia: (My brother has changed. He used to be more levelheaded...)
Katzelia: Hm? Are we missing someone today?
Casting a quick glance over the ensemble, Katze immediately realizes the absence of a familiar face.
Orchestra Member 1: Um... Her father was found guilty by you-know-who... and executed...
That can't be!
Having lost the head of their household, the surviving family members hide at home rather than suffer the stares of their neighbors.
After rehearsal, Katze and a steward secretly pay a visit to the absentee's house.
Orchestra Member 2: Katze! You're an imperial prince! Why would you come here, especially without bodyguards?
Katzelia: That doesn't matter. Tell me about your father...
Orchestra Member 2: Sob... Daddy... My dad, he... He's not some kind of schemer!
Orchestra Member 2: But they still accused him of being an accomplice in the murder of the second heir... What is my family supposed to do now?
Katze takes out a gemstone ring and places it in the woman's hand.
Steward: What are you doing, Lord Katze?
Katzelia: You stay out of this.
Orchestra Member 2: What is this ring for?
Katzelia: A memento from my mother. It will ease the burden for you to move elsewhere.
Orchestra Member 2: I couldn't possibly take something that important from you!
Katzelia: It's fine. I'll have a ship prepared at port. Have your family gather their belongings with haste.
Orchestra Member 2: K-Katze... I really... I can't thank you enough!
Katzelia: Don't thank me... I'm sorry this is all I can do for you...
Katze sees the family off as they head for the port.
Steward: To bequeath your mother's ring to a person of such a low status...
Katzelia: It matters not. This card is all I need.
Katze takes out a card from his pocket.
Whatever was drawn on the card is now faded beyond recognition.
Steward: Your heirlooms were that ring and this card.
Steward: But what purpose do they serve? Neither seems particularly valuable...
Katzelia: Their value comes from improving the lives of the people. Mother would be overjoyed to know that.
Katzelia: My inheritance from her has served its purpose, even if this card has no value at all.
Katzelia: I'm far more concerned with the course this empire is taking and what will become of it.
The day of the coronation approaches. Preparations everywhere are in their final phase, including those of the symphony orchestra.
Katzelia: That'll do for today. Make sure to rest well before the big day.
Orchestra Member 1: Katze! I come bearing refreshments!
The man promptly whips out a bottle of wine to the cheers of the ensemble.
Katzelia: Where did you get that?
Orchestra Member 1: Don't know who sent it, but it came with a message attached that said, "I look forward to the performance."
Katzelia: I see...
Aromatic burgundy sloshes around the brim of each glass. Katzelia raises his own glass in a toast after everyone else has been served.
Katzelia: Here's to a top-class performance worthy of the expectations held by our emperor and fellow countrymen. A toast to the glory of Galgenia.
Orchestra Members: To the glory of Galgenia!
As one, the orchestra partake of the wine.
Katzelia, just a sip behind, brings the glass to his lips.
Orchestra Member 1: Phew! That's the good stuff!
Orchestra Member 1: Hm? Something wrong, Katze?
Katzelia: I thought I heard someone's voice just now. It was quite close...
Katzelia turns his head this way and that. He instinctively pulls out his card and looks at it.
Orchestra Member 1: Bwaha! Don't tell me the card talked to you! Well, you always were a card yourself—
Orchestra Member 1: Urrrgh! Cough... Hack...
Suddenly the orchestra members start to claw at their own throats in obvious pain. Retching of black blood soon follows.
Katzelia: Wh-what's happening? Hey!
Orchestra Member 1: Katze... Help...
The wine drinkers, lying in their own blood, will not rise a second time.
Katzelia: I don't... understand...
Imperial troopers rush to investigate the scene, cordoning it off from Katzelia. The investigators have to snap Katzelia out of his daze to get his attention.
Imperial Trooper: Lord Katzelia, the evidence we've gathered proves that the wine was laced with poison.
Imperial Trooper: Does that have any significance to you?
Orchestra Member 3: You dragged us into this!
Katzelia turns quickly to face a few members who are still alive. They glower at him.
Imperial Trooper: It seems fortune favors those who don't drink.
Orchestra Member 3: You had it made as royalty, but you insisted on hobnobbing with us commoners. Now look what your family drama has done! They're dead because of you!
Imperial Trooper: Stay your foul tongue, knave! Such language shall not be directed at an imperial prince!
But Katzelia also blames himself.
Given the recent assassination, it makes sense that the poison was meant for him.
Haaselia: Welcome home, dear Brother. It seems you have had a bad day...
Haaselia looks worriedly at Katzelia. Evidently she has heard the news.
Katzelia gives his sister a hug and a quick peck on the forehead.
Haaselia: It's so scary... They still haven't caught the perpetrator...
Katzelia: Don't worry. I'll keep you safe from all the evils in this world.
First the death of his mother, and then the death of his father. His friends were the next to go.
All Katzelia has left is his little sister.
Katzelia: I swear I will unmask the one attempting this coup.
In his chest beats a heart of wrath.
Time of Judgment
Katzelia is accused of assassinating the former emperor and sentenced to be punished. In this dire moment, Katzelia forms a pact with the primal beast Judgement, who helps him escape death. After learning that the person manipulating the new emperor is their uncle, Katzelia and his sister, Haaselia, are forced to flee into exile.
The Fifth makes an impassioned speech in front of a squadron of imperial troopers.
Katzelia: Murder runs rampant in our empire! Killings that extend beyond the death of the second heir!
Katzelia: The late emperor who we thought was claimed by illness, the passing of the third heir a year before that, and even my mother two years back.
Katzelia: I highly doubt the purported causes of their deaths!
The accusatory tone in Katze's aggressive words sparks a commotion among the soldiers and retainers present. But Katze doesn't care.
Katzelia: The criminal's weapon of choice is poison, the potency of which was most likely tested on animals beforehand!
Katzelia: Check the records of the public health office! Do not allow a single animal autopsy report to go unread!
Katzelia: The one who is plotting to overthrow our empire is angered that I still breathe! They will surely strike at me again!
Katzelia: I am willing to use my life as bait! Therefore, comrades, it is not my safety but the capture of the culprit which I implore you to prioritize!
Once a fickle imperial prince in love with music, Katze now commands troops with authority.
But late one night, the door to Katze's room is violently bashed in.
Soldiers pour into the room, led by his elder half brother, the new emperor.
Katzelia: What is the meaning of this, Your Imperial Majesty?
New Emperor: Little brother Katze... You are hereby under arrest, accused of murdering the symphony orchestra musicians.
New Emperor: The fact that you did not drink the wine is proof alone. Obviously you wouldn't knowingly poison yourself.
Katzelia: That is absurd! What reason would I have to murder my own orchestra members!
New Emperor: Well, let's go through your thought process.
Katzelia: My thought process?
New Emperor: I was going to ignore you since you never showed an interest in politics, but you were just hiding your fangs!
New Emperor: Oh, what a sly, usurping beast you are! Currying favor with the masses by taking command of the military forces!
Katzelia: Ignore me? Usurping...
Katzelia: No! Brother, you couldn't have—
New Emperor: I told you to address me as "Your Imperial Majesty!"
Katzelia: Please tell me it's a lie, Brother! Father... Mother... Why did you...
New Emperor: Humph.
New Emperor: The former emperor planned on skipping over me to another heir despite the fact that I was first in the line of succession.
I had heard no such thing.
New Emperor: I will not bother arguing with you.
The soldiers level their guns at Katze.
Katzelia: Damn you, louts! You're pointing your guns at the wrong person!
But Katze's words fall on deaf ears. These soldiers are already firmly entrenched in the new emperor's camp.
New Emperor: I view that as intent to resist.
Katzelia: You planned to kill me from the start...
Katzelia: (He's taken everything from me! He should be the one on trial! If only I had the power to pass judgment!)
The soldiers place their fingers on the triggers.
Katzelia: Wh-what? My card... is glowing?
???: My name is Judgement. These winds carry the burden of adjudication. A tempest of verdicts.
Judgement: I can give you the power to convict, if you so desire.
New Emperor: Wh-what is this phantasmal cat?
Katzelia: You're a primal beast, aren't you? What is it you seek?
Judgement: For you to make a pact with me. I can grant you power.
Katzelia: Power, you say?
New Emperor: A demon has entered these castle walls! All soldiers, exterminate it immediately!
Judgement: Know that my power requires an equivalent excha—
Katzelia: Do it!
Judgement: Then you agree to the pact?
Katzelia: I'll prepare whatever this equivalent you're asking for is afterward! Just give me the power to judge these men!
Katzelia: And do it quickly!
Judgement: It is done. May the storm serve you well.
New Emperor: The demon disappeared? What was that all about?
The emperor and his retinue are still perplexed by the sudden coming and going of the primal beast.
New Emperor: ...!
Katzelia: Court is now in session. The hour of judgment is upon us. I trust you are prepared?
New Emperor: Wh-what?
New Emperor: Oh, I get it! That demon was all your doing, wasn't it!
New Emperor: I don't know what tricks you're employing, but no amount of chicanery can deceive the emperor of Galgenia!
Katzelia: Order in the court. The defendant stands accused of—
New Emperor: Fire! Fire, fire, fire! Pull your damn triggers!
A whirlwind erupts from within Katze just as the soldiers shoot.
New Emperor: Gaaah!
Bodies go flying back, slamming into the walls before crumpling to the floor.
New Emperor: Guh... Ungh...
Katzelia: Brother, answer me truthfully. Why did you try to kill me?
New Emperor: I told you already. I was going to leave you in peace! But then...
Katzelia: I see. You have a coconspirator.
Katzelia: What is this plot to install a younger heir over you? You were clearly on track to claim the throne without having to resort to murder.
New Emperor: One of you younger brothers was slated to rule... Uncle said so...
Katzelia: He what?
There's a knock at the door. The steward peeks in from outside.
Steward: Lord Katzelia, there is something you should hear—
Steward: By the gods! What am I witnessing?
Katzelia: Lower your voice. You were saying?
Steward: Ah, er, yes! The investigation of the public health office was carried out as you ordered.
Steward: Several documents dating from a year ago were discovered. They pertain to the removal of animal corpses from the archduke's residence.
Steward: It was listed as pest control, but staffers claim the archduke himself carried it out.
Katzelia: So that's his game...
Katzelia: The normal order of succession starts with the emperor's eldest child, and then progresses through his other children based on the order of birth.
Katzelia: Since Uncle is a sibling of the emperor, his right to succession falls to the seventh position behind Haase.
Katzelia: If all six of the imperial heirs are removed from the picture, Uncle will naturally claim the right to rule!
Katzelia grabs his half brother by the nape.
Katzelia: I know Uncle's silver tongue has completely fooled you, but he'll come for you eventually!
New Emperor: U-Uncle would never do that! He's on my side!
Katzelia: You damn fool!
Katzelia discards his brother like garbage and stalks off.
Steward: Wh-where are you going?
Katzelia: To see the archduke! I have some questions for my uncle. If my theory is correct...
Katzelia: He will suffer all the pain and humiliation this empire has, and more!
Steward: Please reconsider! I caught a glimpse of many soldiers coming this way!
A cacophony of footsteps rumbles like approaching thunder.
Steward: Oh no... They are here!
Steward: I think I understand what's happened, but if the soldiers see you like this, it won't look good for you!
Steward: Moreover, we don't know how many of them are under the archduke's influence!
Katzelia: Then what would you have me do?
Steward: Withdraw. Please think of Haaselia's well-being. You are the only one who can save her!
Steward: There is another way out. Take Lady Haaselia and escape. You must hurry!
Daybreak. Katzelia and Haaselia flee to the nameless wilds on the edge of the empire. Only the steward is there to say goodbye.
Katzelia: A rough life of exile awaits us. Uncle and his cronies will no doubt continue to hunt us down.
Steward: There are no words to describe what this has become.
Katzelia: Don't cry. This is not a final farewell.
Katzelia looks back on the distant empire, slowly being bathed in the dawn's light.
Katzelia: I shall return! And when I do, the trial will commence!
Katzelia: To my eldest brother who abandoned his siblings to save himself, my uncle who murdered his own relatives for his ambitions, and every coconspirator in the upper echelons...
Katzelia: The sentence for each and every one of them shall be death!
Katzelia: If I have to crawl through the dust and drink mud to do it, I will live to render judgment upon you!
Steward: Oh, Lord Katzelia... One day you will become emperor. You are the only one truly suited to rule!
Steward: Thus never forget, my lord, that even at your lowest moments, you must maintain your grace!
Steward: Grace is the essence of authority. Continue to refine yourself so that the people may honor you with their esteem!
Katzelia: Very well. From this day forth, I shall act as the legitimate heir to Galgenia.
Steward: Lady Haaselia...
Haaselia: I will accompany Brother wherever he goes. If he is to be the next emperor, then I will play the role of his attendant.
Steward: Ah... How noble...
Katzelia: Haase, the road ahead will be full of hardships. Please support your foolish brother.
Haaselia: Of course. I will always be with you, Brother.
And with that, the siblings leave the island.
Katzelia announces that he desires to start a war of succession to take back the Galgenia Empire, unaware that the crew has overheard him. When the crew refuses to help Katzelia carry out his plan, the exiled imperial summons Judgement to fight them.
From upon the hill, Katzelia, Haaselia, and Judgement continue to observe the fighting down below.
Katzelia: It's convenient that your desire for strong fighters coincides with my needs as well, Demon Cat.
Katzelia: My objective is to launch a war of succession to take back Galgenia, but I lack experience and knowledge of warfare.
Katzelia: What better model to study tactics and logistics from than the War itself.
But war alone doesn't make an emperor. The one who stands over everyone must also win the hearts of the people.
That's why Katzelia took charge of the impoverished people of the slums.
Katzelia: Progress has been slow, but the time of war is steadily approaching.
But he has made a mistake.
Lyria: What's this about a war?
Katzelia spins around and is met by the gaze of the crew.
Katzelia: I believe you have misheard me.
Vyrn: I don't think so, buster! You said the War is convenient or something. You've got some 'splainin' to do!
Vyrn: While I'm at it, we've seen that primal beast before too! Which makes you the person we saw on Sephira Island!
Katzelia: Hmm, so that was you back then...
Katzelia clears his throat and puffs out his chest.
Katzelia: I am Katzelia Alois Gangnus, rightful heir to the throne of the Galgenia Empire!
Katzelia: I request your assistance in starting a war of ascension against the treacherous felons that commandeered my empire.
Vyrn: You're tryin' to start a war?
Vyrn: Is that why we're in this memory?
Katzelia: On the contrary, the conflict within this memory is for this primal beast's objective.
Vyrn: What kind of objective?
Katzelia: If you want to know, you must submit to my command. I will give you important positions in my army.
Choose: Absolutely not.
- Absolutely not.
- What would you make us do?
Vyrn: Yeah! We're skyfarers! We don't soldier for nobody's army!Choose: What would you make us do?
Katzelia: With my intellect and your power, we shall be able to recruit every noteworthy warrior in the skies with ease.
Katzelia: Become my generals and lead our troops to victory!
Vyrn: Hah! We're skyfarers through and through! We ain't got time to be anybody's puppet generals!Continue 1
Lyria: Please don't start another war! That's not the King I know who helps the poor!
Lyria: Thomas told us that you were the one who showed them a better way to live!
Lyria: I'm sorry, but I don't think war is the right way to do things!
Katzelia: So am I to shut my eyes to fallen comrades who vomited blood? Do you understand what it feels like to be powerless?
Katzelia: Have you seen the landscape of hell itself?
Katzelia: I have an obligation to save the citizens of my empire! This is the only way I can do that!
Katzelia: I can afford no surrender. Until my plan comes to fruition, I will not go to my grave!
Katzelia pulls out his conductor's baton from his jacket.
Vyrn: Wh-what are you going to do with that?
Katzelia: All you need to start a war is a collision of ideologies to create a spark...
Katzelia: Like this!
With a flick of Katzelia's baton, the primal beast commences its attack on the crew.
Orthodox Succession: Scene 2
Katzelia and Haaselia vanish in the aftermath of fighting Judgement. Judgement, now free from The World's control and following the crew, reveals the history of two exiles as well as what the Arcarum were created to do. Returning to the slums, the crew inform the residents that their king has left.
Vyrn: Huff... Huff... I think we won...
Vyrn: Huh? King's gone!
Princess isn't here either. I wonder where they went?
Haase isn't here either. I wonder where they went?
Judgement: The siblings have already left this memory. They have their own purpose to pursue.
Vyrn: You mean this whole war business?
Judgement: Not the war, but what lies beyond it. If you'll allow me, I will tell you of their fall from grace.
Judgement proceeds to retell the tragic past shared by Katze and Haase.
Lyria: I can't believe they went through such rough times...
Vyrn: Well, that explains them, but what's your story?
Judgement: I am Judgement of the Arcarum.
Judgement: The Arcarum are primal beasts cut from a different cloth—our tailor is The World.
Judgement: The World wishes to create a new world only for the Arcarum.
Lyria: A new world?
Judgement: When the next conflict that rivals the War arrives...
Judgement: Data is needed to ensure our victory. That data is you.
Judgement: The information gleaned from observing strong warriors on the battlefield is crucial if we are to triumph.
Judgement: The World manipulated me into lending power to Katze. The discovery of capable fighters was a product of this pact between Katze and I.
Vyrn: That's a crazy plan. Is it really okay to be tellin' us The World's scheme though?
Judgement: The shackles that The World placed on me were unfastened in our violent duel.
Judgement: I am free. No longer do I have reason to do as The World commands.
Judgement: Katze has embarked on a journey to a far-off place to see his mission through. However, I have nothing left.
Judgement: Therefore I surrender myself unto you.
The crew is transported from the memory of the War back to the slums.
As expected, King and Princess are nowhere to be found.
Vyrn: Looks like all we're left with is this Judgement card...
What once was a worn-out card now displays an unmistakable picture of Judgement.
Lyria: Oh, it's Thomas.
Thomas: Y'all know where King went? I wanted to talk to him about work stuff.
Vyrn & Lyria: ...
(Captain) tells him the truth: King and Princess have already skipped town.
Thomas: He abandoned us?
Other townsfolk form a crowd around (Captain), sensing that a misfortune has occurred.
Resident 1: Bull! You're saying King's gone?
Resident 2: But what's going to happen to us if King and Princess are gone?
Resident 3: I can't bear the loneliness... Tell me you're lying...
The people continue to wail, but the crew can do nothing else for them.
Any Way the Wind Blows
Some time after falling out with Katzelia, the crew returns to the slums and are reunited with him, Haaselia, and Thomas. Katzelia no longer wishes to pursue his war of succession, instead striving to restore peace to his empire, and so he formally joins the crew. He reestablishes his pact with Judgement and vows to return to the slums once Galgenia is at peace.
Days and months pass after the showdown with the king of the slums.
(Captain) and company have come back to the island for the first time since King's disappearance to transport cargo for a job.
The rich and prosperous requester has asked for the crew specifically.
Vyrn: Hehe! This guy knows his skyfarers if he had the good sense to choose us!
Lyria: Oh! I think this is the shop.
(Captain) approaches the door of the shop. It opens and a man steps out.
???: Hey there! I've been waiting for you!
Thomas: It's been a while. Y'all look well.
It's none other than Thomas, the wood supplier the crew met in the slums.
Vyrn: Wait... So the rich guy that hired us is—
Thomas: You guessed it! Me! I asked for you specifically!
Vyrn: Holy smokes! You mean you own this joint? How'd you do it?
Thomas: I put King's lessons to good use and never strayed from the path of doing honest business.
Thomas: Sometimes I'd snag a big deal, and then that led to another deal, and another... My luck kept rolling.
Thomas: Business was booming. Figured I'd need a shop, so I set up a place on this island.
Lyria: Oh, I see. I'm glad everything has worked out for you!
Thomas goes on to happily report that other residents from the slums have also since prospered.
Vyrn: So where do you want us to take the cargo?
Thomas: Actually the destination hasn't been finalized yet.
Vyrn: Say what? How's this gonna work then?
At that moment a pair of familiar figures make their entrance into the shop.
Katze & Haase: ...
Lyria: Oh my goodness!
Katzelia: Long time no see.
Haaselia: Have you been well?
Whoa! It's King and Princess! Where'd you guys run off to?
Whoa! It's King and Haase! Where'd you guys run off to?
Katzelia: After we left your presence, we were found by imperial pursuers. We had no choice but to go on the run until recently.
Katzelia: We were at the ends of our ropes, ready to give up, when we happened across Thomas.
Thomas: Course I'm just a simple merchant. Even though I knew their lives were in danger, I didn't have the power to do anything.
Thomas: That's when I got the idea to call you guys.
Vyrn: I'm with you so far...
Katzelia: I decided to stop thirsting for a war of succession.
Katzelia: Defeat at your hands drove home the fact that I am a musician and not suited to war.
Katzelia: From now on my calling is to find a way to take back the empire through peaceful measures.
Katzelia: That is in the best interests of the citizens of Galgenia.
Lyria: I agree! That's the best way forward!
Vyrn: Wait... Then the cargo we're here to transport is...
Katzelia steps closer to (Captain).
Katzelia: (Captain), you are the captain of the crew.
Katzelia: Will you shelter us two exiles?
Choose: You're more than welcome.
- You're more than welcome.
- Just don't lie anymore.
Katzelia: I don't know how to thank you. You didn't even hesitate, despite the fact that I once took up arms against you.
Vyrn: Hehe, think nothin' of it! (Captain) doesn't do it for the thanks!
Katzelia: I am humbled...Choose: Just don't lie anymore.
Katzelia: I swear on my homeland, the Galgenia Empire, that I will never deceive you ever again.
Katzelia: And I apologize for the incident that transpired between us.
Vyrn: Well, I think we can accept that, right, (Captain)?
(Captain) nods with a smile.
Katzelia: I am humbled...Continue 1
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much for not just sheltering my brother, but for opening his eyes as well.
Lyria: You never said anything to us about Katze's intentions...
Haaselia: I was uncertain of what to do back then. I'm sorry.
Haaselia: I was powerless to persuade my brother who was so consumed with revenge.
Haaselia: But in my heart, I knew (Captain) would show my brother that war is not the answer.
Haaselia: I believed that losing to you would bring him to his senses, just as it did for me.
Thomas comes to say goodbye to Katzelia.
Thomas: Take care of yourself out there, King!
Katzelia: I am a king no longer. Just baggage.
Thomas: Nope! You'll always be a king to us! Doesn't matter where, doesn't matter when, you'll forever be in our thoughts!
Lyria: He's right! And you're not baggage, Katze! You're our friend!
Orchestra Member 1: Katze! Hey, Katze!
Orchestra Member 2: Teehee, Katze is such an amusing fellow.
Orchestra Member 3: You won't find an imperial prince like him anywhere else. Maestro here is our empire's pride and joy.
The faces of departed comrades flash through Katzelia's mind. Never had he dreamt of ever making friends again.
Lyria: Katze! I feel the Judgement card calling out to you!
Lyria hands the card to Katzelia.
Katzelia: Demon Cat...
Judgement: I have prepared another pact between us, Katze.
Katzelia: You would once more lend me power? But I no longer intend to start a war.
Judgement: I have been released from The World. My mission now is to judge The World. Such is the conclusion I have drawn.
Katzelia: Humph. And now you need a host to carry it out.
Katzelia: Very well! I am kin of an imperial usurper! You were an altered primal beast!
Katzelia: We both know the pain of betrayal by those close to us.
Katzelia: Let us join together, my fellow cursed companion, and blast fierce winds over the arena of judgment!
Judgement recedes into a single point of light on the card, and Katzelia pockets it.
Katzelia: I suppose possessing this power ends my short-lived tenure as baggage.
Thomas: Astonishing as always, King... Taming a primal beast like it's nothing...
The Grandcypher pushes away from dock.
Thomas: Stay safe, King!
Katzelia: Thomas, tell this to the townspeople for me! Once I reclaim the empire, I will come back to see you all!
Thomas: I'll let 'em know! We'll be here waiting as usual! Please take care of yourself!
And so the exiled emperor sets out on a new adventure aboard the Grandcypher.