The Corpse King
While on a mission to defeat a certain primal beast, (Captain) and company encounter a girl who intends to defeat the target she calls "Boneby" herself. After it escapes, the girl—whose name is Lich—reveals that the primal is actually an incarnation of her dark power, and the crew ends up escorting her to the ship in order to learn more.
Primal Beast: Gwoooah!
Vyrn: Look out, (Captain)! It's headin' your way!
Primal Beast: Bwoooah!
Lyria: Now's our chance! I'll cover you while you finish it off!
Primal Beast: Bwoooah!
Vyrn: Nice one! Looks like it's on its last legs!
Primal Beast: Bwoah... Bwoah...
Lyria: Huh? What's this feeling in the air? It's almost like mist...
Primal Beast: Gwoooah!
It all began a few hours prior.
While in town on a supply run, the crew had accepted a monster-hunting request.
Their objective was to defeat a certain mysterious primal beast.
Vyrn: Lich, the corpse king, huh? So you're sayin' it's been showin' up around here lately?
Client: Yes, it's holed up in some ruins near town. I'd like to get rid of it before it causes any serious damage.
Lyria: I don't blame you. But what makes it so mysterious?
Client: Well, this particular primal's become something of an urban legend among merchants that broker requests.
Client: According to records, the corpse king is supposed to be long dead.
Vyrn: Huh? But primal beasts are immortal. What's so weird about this one comin' back?
Client: The fact that it's reviving isn't what's strange. You see, its first recorded defeat was around a century ago.
Client: Half a year later, it appeared on another island. Then somewhere else ten years later, and again a few months after that. It's popped up dozens of times since, albeit irregularly.
Lyria: That many times in a hundred years?
Client: Judging purely by existing records, it's clear this primal beast is unusual.
Client: If you include the possibility of unrecorded defeats, it's reviving with unbelievable frequency.
Vyrn: Are you sure? What if there are just a bunch of other ones that look like it?
Client: I can't deny that possibility, but all the evidence I've gathered points to it being one singular primal beast.
Client: All I know for sure is that if it's defeated, any damage should be contained for the time being.
Client: Anyway, I'll leave you all to it. Good luck.
Lyria: Hmm... It sounds like we're up against an awfully strange primal beast.
Vyrn: Yeah, I've never heard of anything like it. Pretty creepy if you ask me.
Vyrn: But it's all good. The fact that there are so many records of it goin' down just proves it ain't that strong of an enemy in the first place.
Lyria: Oh, that's true! That just means it's been defeated time and time again.
Vyrn: You bet! This'll be a piece of cake for us.
Vyrn: For now, let's go back to the ship and rest until it shows itself tonight.
???: Excuse me...
Lyria: Oh, (Captain)! Do you mind if we stop by a shop on the way? I saw a really cute one nearby.
Vyrn: That place, huh? I'd be up for swinging by the fruit stand afterward.
Lyria: Um, let's see... I think it was this way.
Vyrn: Pretty sure it's that way. Around the corner from the flower shop.
Vyrn: Huh? Are you talkin' to us?
???: Ah, hi there... Do you have a second?
???: I heard you mention a request earlier. Related to a primal beast that recently appeared in some nearby ruins.
???: And, well... I was wondering if I could talk to you about that.
???: Could I ask you to... give up on defeating it?
Lyria: Give up?
Vyrn: Huh? Why would we do that? Can't you at least give us a reason?
???: Well, the thing is... that "Boneby" is my target.
Vyrn & Lyria: Boneby?
???: So would you mind bowing out?
Vyrn: I'm still not followin'... Does that mean you're plannin' to defeat it all by yourself?
???: Kind of, yeah.
Lyria: Do you have any friends to help you? I think it would be pretty dangerous alone.
???: Well, I play solo, see...
Lyria: Play solo?
Lyria: So... Um... Does that mean we can't help you fight it?
???: Huh? I mean, it's not like you couldn't, I guess...
???: Hmm... Now that you mention it, fighting co-op never really crossed my mind.
Vyrn: It'd be a lot easier to take down together. We're experienced skyfarers, y'know.
???: That might work... As long as I could get in the finishing blow—
???: Wait. Skyfarers?
Lyria: Yeah, we're part of a crew. The rest of our friends are back on the ship.
Vyrn: What's up? Somethin' wrong with that?
???: Not really...
???: But a crew's, uh, you know...
???: It's a bunch of men and women living together in a floating private hideout called an airship, right?
Vyrn: Uh, I guess...
???: That's basically a paradise... A labyrinth where fates intertwine...
???: Eheh. Ahh... youth.
???: But yeah... I'm not sure I can team up with a bunch of extros.
???: So could I ask you to give up after all?
Vyrn: Hey... Somethin' about this gal feels off.
Lyria: Hmm... I wonder if she has a problem with skyfarers?
Vyrn: What'd she mean by "livin' the life" anyway? Sounds like she's got a real bone to pick. This is gettin' ridiculous.
Lyria: I can't believe she even turned us down... But I'm sure if we talk it through we can reach an understand—
Vyrn: Run, you two! This gal's bad news. We gotta get to the Grandcypher!
Lyria: Oh no! Sorry, please excuse us!
???: Oh... There they go...
???: Hm? Did they say the Grandcypher?
And so (Captain) and the crew now find themselves facing off against the mysterious primal beast.
Primal Beast: Bwoooah!
Vyrn: Huff... Puff...
Did we get it this time?
Lyria: Not yet! I can still sense it!
Primal Beast: Gwoooah!
Vyrn: Argh! This thing's sure got a lot of life in it for a skeleton!
Lyria: But it feels like we're almost there...
Vyrn: Hang on, Lyria! It's lookin' for a chance to attack!
Primal Beast: Gwoooah!
???: Yo. I said I'd finish it off, so...
???: Time to end this once and for all.
???: Boneby! Stop this and return to my core—now!
Primal Beast: Bwoooooah...
Lyria: Th-thanks for that...
Vyrn: Phew... You really saved our bacon. Did you follow us here?
???: It disappeared again...
Vyrn: Huh? Again?
Lyria: Um... The primal beast hasn't gone down yet. I can still sense it faintly.
Lyria: It's like it flew off somewhere in an instant...
???: About that. See, Boneby hasn't been reviving this whole time—it's actually never been defeated.
???: Sigh... Where'd it scurry off to this time?
Vyrn: Sheesh, what's up with that thing? Actually... what's up with you? Who are you anyway?
Lich: Oh... My name's Lich. You can call me Lichi.
Lyria: Huh? Lich? But that's the name of that primal beast...
Lich: Bombie's an incarnation of my dark power.
Lich: It stole my power a century ago and has been roaming around ever since.
Vyrn: Your power? Does that mean you're a primal beast?
Lyria: What exactly happened those hundred years ago? If you defeat that primal beast, will you get your power back?
Lich: Well... Honestly, I'm not sure.
Lich: But I'll explain more back on the ship. The Grandcypher, I mean.
Vyrn: Wait, huh? Why the Grandcypher?
I just don't get that gal...
Lyria: She's getting ahead of us. We'd better go after her.
After exchanging confused glances, (Captain) and the crew end up escorting the mysterious Lich to the ship.
Why is she so interested in the Grandcypher? What could she be planning? Only time will tell.
In Love with Love
On the Grandcypher, Lich chats with her old friend, Rosetta, explaining that she's been hunting Boneby since it stole her power a century prior. After Rosetta leaves on an errand, (Captain) and company ask Lich about Boneby, so Lich agrees to tell them the cruel tale of what happened all those years ago.
Lich: Huh... You never change, do you, Rose? Here you are traveling the skies again.
Rosetta: Hehe. Well, you know how it is. Have you been hunting Boneby all this time?
Lich: For a whole century. Even mortals have been after it, but no luck.
Rosetta: It sounds like it's caused quite the predicament. Not surprising considering who it came from, I suppose.
Lich: Are you implying it's my fault?
Either way, I figured something out recently.
Lich: Boneby's been playing dead this whole time, so to speak. I thought it was reviving, but it's never actually been defeated in the first place.
Rosetta: Really? It's an even trickier customer than I imagined.
Rosetta: Considering its unusual behavior, it might be quite difficult to recover your power.
Lich: You said it... Plus, my one and only friend was gone when I went to confide in her, and it turns out she was on some coed pleasure cruise.
Rosetta: That phrasing's a bit misleading...
While the Grandcypher sits docked at port, a young primal beast enjoys some pleasant conversation in the galley.
Having heard through the grapevine that her old friend Rosetta was a passenger on the ship, she had decided to pay her a visit.
Vyrn: Yo. Did you guys get to catch up?
Rosetta: Why, hello, you three. I appreciate you bringing Lichi here. Thanks to you, we were able to have a nice, long chat.
Lyria: I had no idea the two of you were friends. She really surprised me when we first met—
Lich: Hee. Lyrichi here ran like she'd seen a ghost.
Lyria: Urgh... I'm sorry...
Rosetta: Don't let it get to you, Lyria. It's Lichi's own fault for being so inherently suspicious.
Vyrn: She seriously gave off some sketchy vibes. Actually, she still kinda does.
Rosetta: Now then, I have some matters to attend to in town before we set sail. I'm sure you all have a lot of questions for Lichi.
Rosetta: Don't tease them too much while I'm gone, all right?
Rosetta: If only I could believe you...
Lyria: Do you mind if I ask you something, Lichi? It's about that Boneby you mentioned back at the ruins.
Lyria: We'd like to know more about it in case we run into it again.
Lich: Ah... I did promise I'd explain, didn't I?
Lich: But are you sure about this? The details might be too brutal for the ears of a child.
Lich: I refuse to be held responsible if your hearts are scarred for life.
Lich: So what's it going to be? Do you really want to hear my story?
Vyrn: W-well... Yeah, I guess so. But sheesh, you don't have to be so creepy about it...
Lyria: You want to know too, right, (Captain)? We've been through a lot ourselves, so I'm sure we can handle it!
Lich: Hah... Sounds like you're ready, then.
Lich: It's a long story. About a tragedy that occurred around a hundred years ago...
In Love with Love: Scene 2
Lich recounts the bittersweet incident involving her beloved James that took place a century ago. Though Lich was forced to hide the fact that she was a primal beast, the pair's love for each other was no less real. But after James lost his life in an accident, Lich broke her self-imposed rule and kissed him, transforming him into Boneby.
It all started in an ordinary bookstore on an ordinary street corner.
If anything had been different on that day, at that moment, in that place, we would have remained strangers.
But against all odds, we met. It was as though we'd been bound by the string of fate.
Lich: Sigh... What a predicament...
Lich: The bookshelf is too tall for me to reach. I'll have to find a stepladder or something, I suppose.
Lich: But where exactly?
???: Excuse me, miss. Is this the book you wanted?
Lich: Oh, yes...
???: Glad to hear it. Was there anything else that caught your eye?
Lich: Er... Well...
Lich: Hmm... It can wait until next time. Thanks for your help today.
His name was James—a kind young man with a beautiful smile who had arrived in town just recently.
I had suffered centuries of boredom. And he was an intellectual working in a bookstore. It was only natural that we'd grow closer.
Lich: Ehehe! Go ahead—try and catch me!
James: Ahaha! Oh, I will—just wait and see!
Lich: Then promise me one thing! Once you do, never let me go!
James: I promise! Whatever happens, I won't let you go!
Lich: Kyaha, ehehe!
James: Kyaha, ehehe!
Both: Kyaha, ehehe!
But those happy days eventually came to an end. That promise he made to me on the shore was based on the assumption that I was mortal.
James: Why won't you let me kiss you?
Lich: I'm sorry. I'm still not mentally prepared...
James: You say that every time. We're just talking about a harmless kiss!
Lich: Even so... Please, James. Try to understand...
James: I can't understand unless you give me a real reason!
James: Hahaha... We're a couple, and you still can't be honest with me?
James: It's all clear to me now. You've just been leading me on, haven't you?
I was a primal beast. And as such, I possessed far greater power than that of a mortal.
My lips could turn the living into the dead, transforming them into a primal beast, as it were.
Therefore crossing that line with a mortal was forbidden. I wasn't qualified to love him, but I couldn't tell him for fear of disappointing him.
So as the morning sun began to rise, I boarded a carriage to leave town.
Lich: Farewell, my last love...
I couldn't believe my eyes. There he was, standing in the middle of the road, arms spread to block the carriage's path.
James: I was wrong! It took losing you for me to realize that!
Lich: But... But I won't even kiss you...
James: I can live with that! We can overcome anything as long as we're together!
James: I love you!
A drowsy coachman, an ill-tempered horse... And suddenly James was gone just like that, trampled underfoot.
Staring into his lifeless face on the side of the road, I placed my lips to his without thinking.
Lich: I love you too...
Primal Beast: Gwoooah!
In Love with Love: Scene 3
Lich's tragic story is soon exposed to be a complete lie. When Rosetta returns, she reveals the truth about Lich's one-sided crush on James, causing Lich to run away in shame. Rosetta goes on to explain that Lich wants to join the crew in order to search for Boneby, and they decide to welcome her on their journey.
As Lich finishes her story, a heavy silence falls on the galley, interrupted only by Lyria's intermittent sobs.
Lyria: Sniffle... Urgh... That's just too tragic...
Lyria: You and James loved each other so much... Why'd it have to end that way?
Lyria: The whole matter with Boneby has to be settled so Lichi can finally move on...
Lyria: (Captain), isn't there anything we can do to help? After hearing that story, we can't just do nothing—
Vyrn: Hang on a sec. Can I ask a question first? There was somethin' fishy about that story.
Lich: Oh? How so, Vyrnybean?
Vyrn: For starters, you said your kiss turns mortals into primal beasts, right? That seems kinda far-fetched.
Vyrn: And gettin' run over by a carriage? Isn't that kinda, I dunno, stupid?
Lyria: Vyrn! That's a horrible thing to say!
Lyria: There are so many things about primal beasts we still don't understand! And him standing in front of the carriage was a display of love!
Vyrn: But what was with all that "Kyaha, ehehe!" nonsense? Those memories seemed pretty shady to me.
Lyria: Well, I mean... It was a hundred years ago...
Vyrn: And why's that thing called "Boneby" now? Why doesn't it have the same name as when it was alive?
Lyria: Um... Why is that, Lichi?
Lich: Just hearing the name is too much for me to bear. It reminds me of my beloved Jason—
Vyrn: Uh, don't you mean James? Who the heck's Jason?
Rosetta: I'm back. Did you finish your chat?
Lich: Yeah. There wasn't a dry eye in all the skies.
Vyrn: More like we didn't even start. This gal's out of her mind.
Rosetta: Oh, Lichi. Were you picking on mortals again?
Lich: Hee... I mean, I miiight have embellished the story a little here and there.
Lyria: Ahaha... But then, how much of it was a joke? Did James really exist?
Rosetta: James? The man who rejected Lichi's advances a century ago?
Lich: Hey, shh!
Vyrn: What! So in reality he turned you down?
Rosetta: Well, technically he never turned her down. To him, she was just a regular at the bookstore. Lichi was the one pining over him from afar—
Lich: Stooop! Or face the wrath of these fists!
Rosetta: I will not. This is your punishment for playing such a nasty little prank on everyone.
Rosetta: So anyway, one day he got married. Lichi spent the entire night wallowing in despair—
Lich: Gyaaah! Stop iiit!
Lich: Curse you, Rooose!
Rosetta: Oh my. Did I go a little too far?
Lyria: Even after all this time, she still can't let go. It must have really hurt her.
Rosetta: In Lichi's case, it's more that she's in love with love. You could say she's still in that embarrassing adolescent phase.
Vyrn: Ahaha! That makes sense. She couldn't even keep the guy's name straight.
Vyrn: But goin' back to what you said... Does that mean the Boneby thing appeared when she was all depressed?
Rosetta: Yes. Although I'm not sure of the exact logic behind it.
Rosetta: By the way, (Captain). Did Lichi ask if she could join the crew yet?
Rosetta: Since Boneby appears around the entire skydom, she thought traveling on this ship might be quite convenient...
Lyria: Yeah! We can't just ignore poor Lichi and Boneby after hearing all that.Choose: Uhhh...
Vyrn: Ahaha! She's definitely a pill, to say the least.
Vyrn: But we can't exactly abandon her, right? Let's let her on board for now.Continue 1
Rosetta: Hehe, I appreciate it. I'll let Lichi know later.
Rosetta: I only hope she doesn't cause too much trouble...
And so the primal beast Lich joins their journey in order to recover her dark power.
(Captain) and company look forward to seeing what this new quirky addition will bring to the crew, even as Rosetta's concerns echo in their minds.