New Dress for a New Lady
One day after being freed from her curse, Lennah invites Cagliostro in for some tea. Cagliostro, though slightly disgruntled, accepts. In their conversation, it is revealed that after being reborn from the mother-tree, Lennah's memories have become mixed with the Jinkazouki's, and in those ancient memories, a figure resembling Cagliostro appears. Cagliostro then begins talking about her past.
Lennah, lady of flowers, has lived a tumultuous life.
She gained extraordinary magic abilities in her youth, at the expense of receiving the spirit blossom curse.
Whenever she used her magic, parts of her body turned into branches and bark as compensation.
She needed to find a way to rid herself of the curse before she turned completely into a tree.
But those events have already come to pass.
Now not a single branch nor scrap of bark remains in her body.
She is free of the curse, having found and destroyed the mother-tree of the spirit blossoms—the Jinkazouki—alongside the crew.
Lennah: Thanks to (Captain) and the others...
It was a struggle full of conflict, and her freedom came at a cost.
Lennah: Hehe... Now I won't have to wear long sleeves on hot days.
But it was a cost that Lennah herself viewed as trivial.
Lennah: Hmm... Do these clothes look good on me though?
She stands in front of a full-length mirror, scrutinizing her reflection. Her ears perk up when she hears passing footsteps outside her door.
Lennah: What do you think, Cagliostro?
Lennah: Do you like my new outfit?
Cagliostro: It's... fine? Sheesh, you scared me for this?
Lennah: Oh my, terribly sorry for the fright. Will a cup of tea make up for it?
Cagliostro: Ugh... Sure. Why not.
Lennah: What tea shall we have? Hehe, it's hard to pick with so many choices.
Resting her chin in her hands, Cagliostro watches as Lennah browses her selection of homemade herbal mixes.
Cagliostro: Looks like you've gotten used to it.
Lennah: Hm? You mean moving around in these clothes?
Cagliostro: I'm talking about your body. Considering the Jinkazouki remade it, your soul's doing surprisingly well.
Lennah: Is that so? I'm long past the point of worrying about it.
Cagliostro: Not even a little bit shaken...
Cagliostro: I can transfer your soul to a human body if you want. Offer's on the table.
Lennah: That's all right. It seems like a lot of unnecessary fuss. Here, I hope you like rose hip.
Cagliostro: Ah, thanks.
With steaming cups in their hands, the pair enjoy their first couple of sips.
Lennah: I'm impressed, Cagliostro. I didn't say anything, but you already knew the person who made this body.
Cagliostro: Accurately deducing an object's origins is easy for a genius like me.
Cagliostro: I'm curious why you would refer to the Jinkazouki as a person though.
Lennah: And I'm curious why you know the Jinkazouki at all.
Cagliostro: Trust me, "Jinkazouki" isn't a person's name.
Lennah: Then what was her name, back when she was a person?
Cagliostro: I wouldn't know it.
Lennah: I see...
They both take a few more sips of their tea.
Cagliostro: Lennah. Some of the Jinkazouki's memories have gotten mixed with yours, haven't they?
Lennah: I believe so, but I'm not sure how much of it is accurate to reality.
Cagliostro: Is that right...
Cagliostro: Well, as you already know, I'm no outsider to this matter. But I wasn't deeply involved either.
Cagliostro: Since you're so interested, I could share what I remember.
Lennah: I'd be much obliged if you did. Would you like some more tea?
Cagliostro: Sure, brew me an orange tea and drop a generous dose of sugar in it.
Draining the last few drops of her current drink, Cagliostro places the empty cup onto the table.
Roots of the Tree
Long ago, before Cagliostro invented alchemy, the genius was visited by a traveling shaman. The shaman was fascinated by the replacement organs that Cagliostro had created, and was inspired to create a new method to help countless others. She was gifted a journal containing Cagliostro's notes, as thanks for her help in relieving the sick child's pain.
Lennah: Here you are—one orange tea with extra sugar.
While Lennah hands over the cup, Cagliostro receives it with a slight grimace.
Cagliostro: So... Back when I was a kid, she paid me a brief visit.
Young Cagliostro: Cough... That's one more completed... Label this jar as small intestine...
Cagliostro: It was around the time I'd started experimenting with methods to deal with my broken body.
Cagliostro: My first efforts were focused on creating substitute organs, since the ones I'd been born with were falling apart.
Cagliostro: I was sick of it all—being plugged full of tubes, too weak to get out of bed, and trapped in a room littered with flasks.
Cagliostro: One day, she showed up out of the blue. A shaman.
Lennah: Hey, Cagliostro. Don't I resemble that shaman?
Cagliostro: I guess... I wasn't a full-fledged genius yet, so those kinds of details are a bit hazy.
Lennah: So then...
Shaman: What are the tubes for?
Young Cagliostro: Cough... They serve as replacements for blood vessels and my esophagus...
Young Cagliostro: The jars they're connected to... function as my stomach and intestines...
Shaman: Fascinating... These jars all function as the organs they're labelled as?
Young Cagliostro: Yeah... Cough... Who are you anyway?
Shaman: I'm a traveling shaman. I heard there's a child with an incurable disease here, so I stopped by.
Young Cagliostro: You're wasting your time. I wouldn't be in such a state if any medicine or treatment worked.
Shaman: So it appears...
Young Cagliostro: All the other shamans and priests before you couldn't help at all. You won't be any different.
Shaman: Surely there must be something I can do. Say, are you in pain anywhere?
Young Cagliostro: Try everywhere.
Shaman: May I offer a prayer to ease your suffering, as much as I'm able to?
Young Cagliostro: Go ahead.
With a smile, the shaman opens a window, spreads out a quilt, and unveils multiple charms.
Shaman: Playful breeze flowing through the sky,
carry away this child's pain,
no more shall it preoccupy.
A gentle wind blows through the window, accompanying her voice.
Young Cagliostro: ...
As the shaman affixes charms to Cagliostro's body, the bedridden child feels the pain fade away.
Shaman: I'm sorry, but this is the extent of my abilities.
Young Cagliostro: Don't be sorry. The effort's appreciated.
Young Cagliostro: Everyone else just shrugged and left when they gave up.
Shaman: They probably believed you could do better than they ever could.
Young Cagliostro: All I've done is come up with theories and put them into practice.
Shaman: And what have you thought up?
Young Cagliostro: Straightforward ideas. For example, I vomit everything I eat because my stomach's too weak, so I made a replacement for the organ.
Shaman: Which is this jar, correct?
Young Cagliostro: Yeah. It dissolves food.
Shaman: Over there is your intestines... What about this jar?
Young Cagliostro: It stores energy, in place of fat and muscle.
Young Cagliostro: If I hook up to that and some respiratory organs, I should theoretically be able to take a walk outside.
Young Cagliostro: Ugh... That's a day that can't come soon enough.
Shaman: Truly remarkable... How did you learn to create all this?
Young Cagliostro: Just take a look outside. The hints are everywhere in the vegetation.
Young Cagliostro: Plants take nutrients from the earth and convert them into seeds, see?
Shaman: Vegetation and seeds...
Young Cagliostro: You're really interested in this.
Shaman: I know this might not mean much to you, but I think... I might be able to save a lot of people by using this idea of saved-up energy...
Young Cagliostro: Do you want my notes then? I've already memorized them all, so they're useless to me.
Young Cagliostro: In exchange, teach me about the technique you used to relieve my pain.
Shaman: That's a fair enough trade.
Cagliostro: And... that's as far as my connection with the Jinkazouki goes.
Lennah: What happened to the shaman afterward?
Cagliostro: Don't know. She said she'd come back if she found a way to help me, but I never saw her again.
Cagliostro: So, does my story match up?
Lennah: Yes. It looks like the memories inside me are hers after all.
Cagliostro: I knew your magic and that shaman's felt similar.
Lennah: You weren't wrong.
Cagliostro: Which means you know what happened to her after we parted ways, don't you?
Lennah: I think so. Everything up until her end...
Cagliostro: Hmm. It's your turn to share then. Why did the shaman end up creating the Jinkazouki?
Lennah: I'll tell you, but give me a moment.
Lennah: The memories are a jumbled mess, and I need some time to sort through them.
Cagliostro: Sure. It just so happens I'm free today, so take your time.
Roots of the Tree: Scene 2
Lennah searches through the Jinkazouki's memories to continue the shaman's tale. Using Cagliostro's research, the shaman created a method to gather life forces into jars and share that energy with people in need. The people who were saved by her shared their life forces later down the line, establishing a cycle of being helped and then helping others. The shaman elongated her own life using a similar method involving life forces, and she was able to aid many people before the War came.
Lennah: Your ideas were what sparked the creation of the Jinkazouki, I imagine.
Cagliostro: It does have the same basic principle as plants converting nutrients into seeds.
Cagliostro: But she wanted to help others, right? Why did she end up making something that produced the exact opposite effect?
Lennah: Because, at first, she actually was using her knowledge to aid people.
Shaman: How terrible...
Guard: With the bad harvests of late, most of the people are starving. Please, if you can do anything for our town...
Shaman: Leave it to me.
The shaman withdraws numerous jars from the large bag on her shoulder.
Shaman: Starting with the weakest people, give everybody one spoonful of the medicine in these jars.
Shaman: It should keep them alive for a few more days, until more supplies arrive.
Cagliostro: Let me guess—that medicine was extracted from her own body.
Lennah: You guess correctly. She took what she learned from you and continued with her own research.
Lennah: Whatever daily excess energy she had, she stored away in jars to give to those in need.
Cagliostro: Still, a single woman's life force shouldn't have been enough to save an entire town...
The shaman goes from person to person, feeding everyone her medicine. In the midst of her activities, a shadow falls overhead.
Guard: Huh... A griffin's flying in with a package.
Shaman: Oh? It seems that the next round of medicine has arrived.
A griffin wearing a collar around its neck lands nearby and drops off the large crate in its claws.
Griffin Rider: Miss Shaman, I came as soon as I could with the first batch!
Shaman: Hehe, your help is very much appreciated.
Griffin Rider: It's the least we can do to repay you for saving us. Everyone back home is eager to chip in, so I'll be back with more!
Cagliostro: So all the people she aided paid it forward by contributing their energy.
Lennah: A day's energy from one person is a drop in the ocean, but with all the contributions everyone made, her jars filled up in no time.
Cagliostro: Like a queen bee being worshipped by her hive workers. I'm starting to see how this didn't end well.
Lennah: Her intentions, at least, were pure.
Lennah: She traveled to as many islands as possible, helping everyone she found...
Lennah: Airships didn't exist back then, which is why she crossed skydoms on foot during those hundreds of years.
Cagliostro: Hundreds? This story just keeps getting better. She extended her life span with that medicine then.
Lennah: She couldn't bear to stop—not when she was haunted by every life she failed to save, or couldn't save.
Cagliostro: Good grief... She was too compassionate for her own good.
Lennah: Hehe, she really was, but...
Cagliostro: That means she was alive to watch the Astrals invade and war erupt.
Man: An Astral's beast has finally reached our home...
Shaman: Why... Why would they commit such horrible atrocities?
Man: Who knows... No one has any idea what they're after, or what those beasts truly are...
Man: They cut off our griffin routes, and without communications, we can only guess.
Shaman: Being driven from your homes and forced to hide in the mountains... I imagine that the same is happening on all islands.
Shaman: There's no meaning in such cruel destruction. I'm sorry I was powerless to save your village...
Man: Without you, everyone would've starved to death, and there would've been no village to destroy. You've done more than enough for us.
Man: If anything, we're just glad that you weren't harmed.
Shaman: Thank you.
Woman: H-help! My husband, he's...
Shaman: Bring me to him!
Shaman: (I can save him, but... what about the rest?)
Cagliostro: Skydwellers were nowhere near ready to fight the Astrals in the early years. Even if the shaman saved a village, all its people were likely to perish the next day.
Lennah: An unfortunate truth...
Cagliostro: Was Miss Compassionate able to stay sane through that kind of reality?
Lennah: I wonder. An insane person wouldn't recognize they've lost their sanity, right?
Lennah: I can only say for certain that she was doing her best to help others, up until the very end.
The whistle of a boiling kettle interrupts their conversation.
Lennah quickly pours the hot water into a teapot before continuing her story.
Roots of the Tree: Scene 3
In order to save helpless skydwellers, the shaman took life forces of the fallen that were absorbed into the earth and used that energy to repel primal beasts. She continued to do this until the day that she became the Jinkazouki. Feeling at fault for providing the basis behind the shaman's work, Cagliostro expresses frustration and regret, but Lennah smiles and says that she is happy for everything that happened to her, as it allowed her to meet (Captain) and crew. As if on cue, (Captain) and friends stop by, and a tea party is held in earnest.
Man: I-it's here! The primal beast is here!
Just as the escaping villagers believe they are safe in the mountains, a primal beast descends upon them.
Everyone scatters in an effort to escape. Only the shaman stands still, listening to the screams all around.
Shaman: No... Please...
Shaman: The people... They're returning to the earth, and I... I cannot...
Her eyes lock onto the flames swallowing the mountainside.
Eventually, the primal beast directs its aim toward the unmoving shaman.
The mountain grows quiet thereafter.
Man: What... happened? Where's the beast?
The primal beast is nowhere to be seen.
Shaman: I treated this mountain—this island—as a flask.
Shaman: I drove the life forces within the soil to bear fruit, then used the energy to banish the beast.
Man: You... repelled it?
Shaman: It appears I have.
Man: Incredible... Y-you managed to deal a blow to the Astrals!
Shaman: At a great cost... I couldn't protect anyone. From now on, I doubt I'll ever be able to...
Cagliostro: And that formed the basis for the Jinkazouki.
Lennah: For the rest of her life, she continued to harness people's energies and defy the Astrals.
Cagliostro: In the same vein as plants using surrounding materials to bear fruit...
Cagliostro: Some hundred odd years later, her efforts ended up creating that creepy mother-tree.
Lennah: She stopped at nothing to accomplish her goals.
Cagliostro: Did she ever realize the Astrals vanished?
Lennah: By that time, her body was already well on its way to forming the bark of the Jinkazouki...
Cagliostro: Never stopped to think of the consequences of her actions, huh?
Lennah: Hehe, it's kind of you to show sympathy.
Cagliostro: Well... I'm partially at fault here. If my child self had just shut up, none of this would've happened.
Lennah: But then a lot of people would've died. She ended up saving countless people too, remember?
Cagliostro: I can't accept any result that winds up causing harm.
Lennah: I understand where you're coming from, but at least in my case—
A knock at the door cuts Lennah short.
Lennah: Come on in, (Captain). Lyria. Vyrn. I've been waiting for you.
Cagliostro: Hey, (Captain). Hope you don't mind that I've crashed the party.
Lennah: Despite everything that happened because of my curse, it is thanks to it that I met you all. You could even say it brought me happiness.
Cagliostro: Sheesh... You really are something else.
Lennah: Now, let's get everyone their tea.
Lennah: Or should we bring this outside? The weather's nice today.
Choose: Your new outfit's really pretty.
- Your new outfit's really pretty.
Lennah: Why, thank you. Hehe, are we in favor of moving outdoors then?
Lennah: I know I want to go out for a spell, since you've gone and complimented my clothes.
Her light clothes fluttering, Lennah prepares to leave.
For both Lennah and the crew, the time they spend together now feels all the more precious through the many trials they've overcome.