And Then There Were Two
Every day, Mireille and Risette are busy putting a stop to the homunculi they had brought into the world. Despite their efforts, however, the homunculi go on a rampage one day and the town is left with no survivors. The two eliminate the remaining homunculi and decide to leave on a journey to help others as a continuation of their atonement.
Hollow Man: Gwaah... Give me more...
Hollow Woman: Please... More food...
Eerie moans fill the night air as dark figures roam the streets.
An incident sparked by two residents of this town is what started it all.
One of them is a frail, sickly girl by the name of Mireille, while the other is a homunculus created by her.
Because homunculi are born with only a small amount of genetic factors, they lack the natural means to survive for very long.
Thus they are compelled to seek nourishment via special medicine containing genetic factors...
Or by drinking blood from their creator's own body.
Failure to do so results in a state of hunger where the homunculus loses control.
The homunculus will go on a rampage, seeking anything that can serve as an alternative to their natural means of nourishment.
And so they begin hunting for bodily flesh.
Oblivious to such knowledge, Mireille created Risette, who would go on to devour countless people for sustenance.
To cover up what she was doing, Risette made lesser homunculi who look exactly like the townspeople she ate.
The homunculi population came to outnumber the mortal population. The surviving townspeople now live in perpetual fear of attacks from their neighbors.
Hollow Man: Flesh... Give me your flesh...
Hollow Woman: Let me eat you... Mm, you look tasty...
Mireille: Risette. Are these the last of the homunculi showing signs of hunger for today?
Risette: Yes, Mireille.
Mireille crouches by the homunculi remains and closes their wide-open eyes.
Mireille: I'm so sorry for making you suffer... Please rest in peace.
Mireille offers a prayer, then stands back up, taking in the stillness of the town.
Mireille: This is bad... The number of rampaging homunculi is growing by the day...
Risette: It's best that we speed things up. They're reaching a starvation state days earlier than we expected.
Risette: The last thing we want is for the homunculi to lose control in a crowded place like the town square.
Mireille: The losses would be catastrophic. We have to stop that from happening at all costs.
Mireille: We can't afford to let any more people die because of our carelessness.
The two mutter under their breaths as they scan the empty streets.
You smell something funny coming from outside?
In a house situated in a remote part of town, a man opens a window and takes a sniff.
Woman: No, not really...
Man: Yeah? Strange, I'm sure I know this—
The husband suddenly falls from his chair as he buries his head in his hands. The wife runs over in a panic and helps him up.
Woman: My goodness, you look sickly pale! I need to get you a doctor!
Man: Hungry... Need blood... Meat...
Man: Meat... Aaaah!
Risette immediately rushes into the house and saves the woman.
Risette: Are you hurt?
Woman: H-how did... What happened to him?
Mireille: That was a homunculus. It wasn't your real husband.
Mireille: Starving homunculi will attack people. There were similar incidents nearby, and the smell of blood alone can cause other homunculi to lose themselves.
Woman: That's not what I'm asking! I just want to know why my husband became one of them!
Risette: That's... because of us. I'm a homunculus created by Mireille long ago.
Risette: Without sustenance, my base instincts took over, and I... fed on your husband.
Risette: And to cover up what I'd done, I made a homunculus copy to take his place.
Woman: You! You killed him! Give me back my family!
The woman furiously lashes out at Risette, repeatedly slapping her. She then breaks down in a flood of tears, clinging to the remains of her loved one.
Mireille: My condolences... Though I realize that no matter how sorry I am, what I've done is unforgivable.
Woman: Get out! I don't want to hear your voices or see your faces ever again! Just go already!
Woman: Don't think I'm ever going to forgive and forget... The death of you won't be enough... Curses on your entire family line!
As the woman sputters in disgust and continues crying at the top of her lungs, Mireille lowers her gaze and stands up.
Risette follows Mireille out of the house, leaving the devastated woman behind.
Mireille: There should have been plenty of time before the homunculi in that house began to starve.
Risette: Yes. Quite a few days, in fact. However, there were very subtle signs of hunger, even if they didn't notice it themselves.
Mireille: To think that the scent of blood alone could have such an effect on homunculi that are far from hungry... We haven't even stopped half of them yet.
Risette: Should we start hunting down all homunculi regardless of how much time they have left?
Mireille: No, let's stay the course for now. Prioritizing the hungry ones is still the safest way to go.
Mireille: Not to mention I promised Cagliostro not to let any more people die...
Mireille: Hack... Cough!
Risette: Mireille! You're coughing blood again... We've already done plenty for today. And you could really use some rest.
Mireille: Right... Thankfully, we're making good progress. And you could probably use some rest yourself.
Risette: Oh, I'm fi—
Mireille: Your body is a mortal one, just like mine. I've been relying solely on you to handle all the homunculi...
Mireille: If you don't take care of yourself, you could end up sick. Just like me.
Mireille: I wouldn't be able to bear the sight of my precious family falling apart. So please, Risette, watch out for yourself.
Risette: Of course... As you wish, Mireille.
Keen on putting an end to the mess they started, the two have been spending night after night taking out homunculi.
However, the utter loathing and contempt they face from surviving family members is starting to take its toll on the pair, both physically and mentally.
Thus they decide it is time to finally take things easy for one night so their bodies can recuperate.
???: Aiiee! H-help!
Those screams just now...
Risette: They're coming from multiple people... Oh no!
Awoken by frantic screams early in the morning, the two quickly set out to check on things.
Fearful Man: Stop it! Don't you recognize me? I... No... Gwaaah!
This is horrible...
The nauseating stench of blood carried by the wind along with bone-chilling screams is enough to make Mireille turn pale.
Risette: Unhand him at once!
Mireille: Are you okay? We'll treat you right away.
Mireille rushes to the man's aid, but bites her lip upon realizing he is no longer breathing.
Mireille: We need to look for survivors! Let's go, Risette!
Mireille: (We were too easy on ourselves! An outbreak on this level definitely wasn't in our predictions!)
Mireille and Risette grow desperate as nightmarish screams come from every direction.
But no matter where they look, they are greeted by mangled corpses lying atop thick pools of blood.
???: S-stay away from me, you monster!
Mireille: That voice... It came from that way!
Risette: Mireille! Don't go alone!
Hollow Resident 1: Meat found... Looking tasty...
Mireille runs over to help, only to be assaulted by another homunculus.
I won't let you take another step toward Mirei—
Woman: It's them... They're the ones that caused all this!
Woman: Damn them! Eeeep!
Mireille: Risette, help her! I'll manage on my own!
Holding up her book as a shield against the homunculus, Mireille gives the command.
After a moment's hesitation, Risette obeys the order.
Hollow Resident 1: Urgh... So hungry... Help...
Mireille: I'm sorry... but I can't afford to die here!
Along with those words, Mireille invokes a transmutation.
A stake appears out of thin air and pierces through the homunculus that is leaning over Mireille.
Hollow Resident 1: ...
Mireille: Huff... Huff...
Mireille: Cough, cough!
Mireille: Now for the other person... Please tell me you made it, Risette!
Forcing her trembling legs to move, Mireille races toward the direction that Risette went off to.
Risette: Mireille! Thank goodness you're okay!
Mireille: How's she doing?
Risette: I applied first aid, but she needs proper medical care soon. Otherwise...
Risette shifts her body slightly to reveal the bright red wound on the woman's neck.
Hollow Resident 2: The smell of blood... Aah...
Hollow Resident 3: Yes, blood... Flesh...
Risette: Rgh... There's so many of them!
Mireille: Let's finish this fast! I won't let her die!
A large number of homunculi have gathered, lured by the scent of the woman's blood.
Miss, what are you...
Risette loses balance as she props Mireille up and absorbs some of the impact, stopping the alchemist from a nasty fall when the woman forcefully shoves her.
Woman: You murdered my family. Why would I ever turn to you for help? I'd rather die!
Woman: And I sure as hell hope you do too! Haha.... Ahahahaha!
Mireille: What are you saying... Stop... Stooop!
The woman shakes off Mireille's grasp and plunges into the circle of homunculi, convulsive laughter overtaking her.
Risette quickly gets back up to fight off the homunculi, but it is too late.
Past the piles of homunculi corpses is a sight so ghastly, Risette cannot help but turn away from it.
Mireille: Why... I was sure we could save her...
Risette: Her hate for us surpassed any concern for her own safety...
Mireille: Let's go, Risette. There might be other survivors.
Mireille: I know we couldn't save her, but that's no excuse to give up on anyone else.
Mireille: The more we... No, it will be worth it if we can save even one person.
The two offer a small prayer to the deceased before resuming their business.
Their purpose: to save someone—anyone. It is all that matters to them now.
They continue their search for hours on end, but to no avail.
Even as the sun begins to set, they fail to find a single living person.
Risette: Pant... Wheeze... That should be the last of them.
Mireille: Huff... Huff... Yes.
The two breathe a long sigh while counting the number of fallen homunculi, easing the tension of the situation.
After a pensive look at the fiery red sky, Mireille casts her gaze downward.
Mireille: There were no other survivors after all...
Risette: Yes... If only I had acted more swiftly.
Mireille: You're not alone, Risette. My predictions were too naive, and with only the two of us, there was only so much we could do.
Mireille: In the end, we couldn't save a single soul. I told myself I wouldn't let another person die on my watch, but now we're the only ones still alive in town.
Mireille: Kind of sad that we can't even keep a single promise...
In this now perpetually quiet town, a thick silence falls between the two.
Mireille: We've terminated all the homunculi. But our work still isn't done.
Mireille: We should pay our respects to the dead. And that includes the homunculi.
Risette: Let's use a wagon, at least as far as the cemetery. The least we can do is not damage their bodies any further...
The two make multiple trips between the town and the cemetery to move all the bodies.
They work quietly without rest, the countless lives lost weighing heavily on their minds.
Finally, the first crack of morning light peeks out from behind a building.
Risette: Mireille. What do we do now?
Risette: There is no one left in town. How can I... How can we atone for our sins?
Risette's words hang heavily in the air, with no place to go. Eventually, quietly, Mireille begins to make her way through them as she confides her thoughts.
Mireille: I'm thinking we can go on a journey.
Risette: A journey, you say?
Mireille: Mm-hm. Think of all the lives we took and the lives we couldn't save.
Mireille: We can begin to atone by saving as many lives... No, by saving more than those we failed.
Mireille: We'll come to the aid of not just people in danger, but also those in trouble or distress...
Mireille: I want to help as many people as I can... Every small deed will be a step toward redemption.
Mireille: Even if it's just to satisfy my own conscience, I'd rather be proactive about it than living in the same old place, quietly praying for the well-being of others.
Risette: But, Mireille. You still have a dream...
Mireille: I can continue my research on creating a new body anywhere. And I don't know how well it will work, but I've been saving up medicine for something like this.
Mireille: I can't use my sickness as an excuse to not take action.
Mireille: Come with me, Risette. Together, we'll be able to make it anywhere.
Risette: Very well. If that is your decision, then I'll gladly accompany you.
After returning home from the cemetery and taking a brief reprieve, the two begin making preparations for departure.
The next day comes.
Risette: I guess this is goodbye to the town...
Mireille: Let's take one last good look at the scenery, so that we never forget the tragedy we gave birth to.
Standing at the town's entrance with the bare necessities needed for travel, they burn the view of the town into their memories.
Risette: The sins I've committed are unforgivable.
Risette: No matter how much I atone...
Risette: I'm so sorry... Truly...
Mireille: It's not all you, Risette. I'm just as guilty.
Mireille: I... We won't ever forget our sins... and the weight of all your lives...
Their confession lingers and fades into the air of the now resident-less town.
Mireille and Risette take deep, sincere bows before turning on their heels and setting out.
A never-ending path of repentance awaits the two, where they will spend the remainder of their lives saving as many troubled souls as they can.
The Path of Atonement
When Mireille's condition worsens during their journey, the two decide to rest at a house in the mountains. Over the next few months, they stay at the village while helping out the people there. One night, they receive a visitor from the Alchemic Guild of Helmuth, who wants Mireille to come to their headquarters and contribute to their research on the philosopher's stone. The visitor leaves upon the pair's refusal, but an uneasy feeling lingers.
Risette: This is going to sting a bit... Just hang in there.
Risette: There, all done. You did great, Ema.
Ema: Ehehe... Thank you, Miss Risette!
Risette quickly tends to the scrape on the little girl's knee and flashes her a grin.
This is a small village nestled deep in the mountains far away from Mireille's hometown.
Some months ago Risette had to find shelter for an unwell Mireille, and this village was the first place they came to.
They've been staying at this empty house since then, waiting for Mireille to recover.
Ema: I'm going to be a big sister soon.
Ema: That's why I can't cry even when it hurts! I have to set an example as a big sister!
Risette: Haha. You're a tough girl, Ema.
Ema: Ah! I forgot I have some chores to take care of!
Ema: Miss Risette, thanks again for making my knee feel better! See you later!
Risette: Careful, Ema! Watch where you're going!
Risette: Haha, what a lively child.
Mireille: That's for sure... She's the Ema from Helen's place, right?
Risette: Yes. She talks so excitedly every day about her soon-to-be-born sibling.
Mireille: Oh, has that much time passed? I guess being sick in bed for so long made me lose track of time.
For quite a while after arriving at the village, Mireille spent her days confined to the bed.
It was only recently that Mireille was able to walk again.
Mireille: I didn't think our journey would suffer such a long setback so soon after setting out...
Risette: Well, a sudden change in environment can be incredibly taxing on the body. Nursing you back to health is our first priority right now.
Risette: How's your appetite? I'll cook you a proper meal if you're able to eat normally...
Mireille: Yes, please. The book I was reading said I'll need proper nutrition if I'm to recover my strength.
Risette: Understood. I'll call you when dinner is ready.
Mireille: Mm, this pumpkin is so sweet and tasty.
Risette: They're from Amanda. She was concerned about you.
Risette: Her grandfather's back pain has largely subsided thanks to your medicine. This pumpkin is thanks for that.
Mireille: That's good to hear. It's only a painkiller, but it can help you get through the day.
Mireille: The alchemy that Miss Cagliostro taught you is coming in handy in surprisingly unexpected ways.
Risette: Without a doctor or herbalist around, the type of medicine that's easily available in a big town can be hard to come by here.
Risette: The medical knowledge I've picked up thinking it'd help me treat you has been surprisingly helpful in tending to others as well.
Mireille: The painkillers are easy enough to make. It's making medication for more serious conditions where I start having trouble...
Risette: Oh, he was elated just to be able to get through the day without much pain.
Mireille: We should get him to see a doctor while he's capable of moving around.
Mireille: Because there's no way I can make medicine that permanently cures back pain.
Risette: Haha, I'll pass the word on when I get the chance.
As the two are shooting the breeze, Risette turns her attention to the view outside the open window.
Risette: I... feel uneasy.
Risette: The villagers are all so kind to us, and we've known nothing but peace ever since coming here...
Risette: There's a sense of happiness in all this. And I don't know if I have the right to feel that...
Mireille: I know what you mean. We've lived such a joyous life these past few months.
Mireille: But it's not like we're not doing anything in return. This might sound like an excuse, but...
Mireille: For starters, you've been using the medical knowledge you picked up for my sake to play the role of doctor.
Mireille: And I did a lot of alchemical research to figure out how to make the right medication for everyone's various ailments...
Mireille: Of course, I've kept up-to-date on my body transmutation research as well. The important thing is that we stay true to the vow we made.
Risette: To atone by saving more people than we ended up killing.
Mireille: That's right. We're going to help as many people in the village as we can while we're here.
Mireille: It's by their kindness and understanding that we're able to live so peacefully here.
Risette: True. We owe so much to the good graces of the people.
Mireille: Absolutely. Refusing to be happy about what they've done for us would be doing the villagers a disservice.
Risette: You're right... I'm sorry, I...
Mireille: It's okay, just as long as you understand. Anyway, we're not doing anything wrong. Let's keep it that way.
Mireille flashes a smile, pleased to see the uneasiness fade from Risette's visage.
Mireille: Who could it be at this hour?
Puzzled as to who the mysterious visitor could possibly be, the two approach the door with caution.
Hooded Figure: Apologies for intruding late into the night. I heard this is where Mireille and Risette live.
Mireille: Who are you? What do you want with us?
Hooded Figure: I come here as a representative of the Alchemist Guild of Helmuth.
Alchemist: I specialize in research concerning the philosopher's stone.
Mireille: We don't have one. You can go now.
Alchemist: Whoa, let's not get the wrong idea. I'm not here to ask you for a philosopher's stone.
Alchemist: One of our alchemists has informed the guild that someone named Risette transformed from a homunculus into a person through use of a philosopher's stone.
Alchemist: If true, it is a miraculous feat that deserves to be recorded in the annals of alchemy's history. As it would also greatly bolster our research, I come seeking info.
Alchemist: Would you be interested in discussing this further at the guild's headquarters? I believe it would benefit us all greatly...
Mireille: I'll have to refuse. I have no intention of cooperating with your efforts or sharing anything about Risette.
Mireille: Enough talk. Please leave. Now!
Alchemist: That truly is a shame... But very well, I take my leave for today.
Though caught by surprise at how easily the alchemist backs down, his phrasing leaves a bad taste in Mireille's mouth.
Mireille: My answer will be the same no matter how many times you come.
Alchemist: Perhaps I'll pay another visit when you're in a better mood...
Mireille waits for the man to take off and be completely out of sight before breathing a sigh of relief.
Mireille: The Alchemist Guild of Helmuth, he said... I have a bad feeling about this.
A chill runs down her spine.
Something tells Mireille that this visit is a portent of things to come.
The Path of Atonement: Scene 2
One day, Mireille and Risette help a fellow villager, Helen, give birth. After seeing the newborn baby, Mireille talks to Risette about her ongoing wish of someday creating her own family. Risette is overjoyed when Mireille tells her that she, too, is included in Mireille's idea of the perfect family.
Child: Miss Mireille! Um, I'm still having trouble with this part...
Mireille: Oh, you just have to borrow a number from the next column and put it here like this... Give it a whirl.
Child: Hrm... I did it! I solved it! Thank you, Miss Mireille!
Mireille: Good job. Let's move on to the next problem.
While out for groceries one day, Mireille and Risette decide to go around the village to say hello.
The children quickly gather around, leading to some quality reading and study time.
Ema: Miss Mireille! Miss Risette!
Risette: Ema? You seem awfully flustered... Did something happen?
Ema: Um... My mom's in trouble!
Ema: Please! You have to help her!
Mireille: Okay. Let's go, Risette!
The two say goodbye to the children before rushing off to Ema's house.
Ema: Mommy! I brought them here!
Mireille: Helen! What happened?
Nervous sweat beads down her forehead as she clutches her stomach in pain on the bed.
Risette: Ema, when did your mommy's tummy start hurting?
Ema: Um, this morning, I think... It was on and off, but she was mostly okay until noon...
Mireille comes to a realization at Ema's words.
Mireille: Could it be that she's gone into labor?
Mireille: Risette! Get Amanda here at once!
Risette: Yes, of course!
Mireille: What else do I need... Ema, can I ask you to bring me lots and lots of towels?
Mireille: Also, I'll need to borrow your kitchen.
Ema: Okay! I'm on it!
Mireille musters all the relevant knowledge she's gleaned from books and prepares for childbirth.
Ema: Miss Mireille! Here are the towels!
Mireille: Thank you. Can you put them here?
Helen: Augh! The baby's... almost...
Mireille: Hang in there, Helen!
Helen: Huff... Huff... I'm sorry for all the trouble, Mireille...
Mireille: Oh, this is no trouble at all. I'm just helping a friendly neighbor in need.
Helen: Haha... Thanks.
Mireille: Helen! What do I do... Please make it back soon, Risette!
???: Whew, right in the nick of time. You're gonna be okay, Helen.
Mireille: Amanda! Risette's...
Amanda: She went to get David from the fields. She'll be back soon enough.
Amanda: So I see you have all the materials ready, Mireille.
Mireille: Y-yes. I've read about childbirth in a book once...
Amanda: Nice job. If you're up for it, I could use an extra pair of hands for this.
Amanda: And Ema, I need you to hold your momma's hand real tight.
Mireille: Of course. I'll help in any way I can.
Ema: Mm-hm! I have Mommy's hand here!
Mireille breathes a sigh of relief at the sight of Amanda, the village's only midwife, and carefully follows her orders.
Risette soon returns with Helen's husband in tow. The tension in the room is palpable.
Amanda: Keep your back arched. Now push... Perfect—you're doing great! The head's about to come out.
Helen: Hrrgh! Huff... Huff...
Mireille: You can do it, Helen!
Amanda: You're doing great! Almost there!
Amanda: Here it comes! Risette, I need a towel! Mireille, bring me a basin!
Tensions remain high as Amanda gives orders.
Amanda: Congratulations! You're now the mother of a healthy baby boy!
David: Ah! What a beautiful day this is... Thank you, Helen!
The baby's cry brings joy to every face in the room.
Amanda: Mireille, Risette, thanks for all the help. You definitely made things go a lot more smoothly.
Risette: Well... We weren't sure how best to handle it ourselves, so—
Amanda: Haha, you must be tired. I'll finish up here, so you two go get some rest.
Risette: I can help.
Amanda: No, no, it's fine! Cleanup I can handle by myself!
Her offer to help turned down, Risette politely bows and turns to Mireille, who is looking especially absentminded.
Risette: Mireille? Are you feeling okay?
Mireille: Ah, yes... I was... spacing out...
Mireille: Thinking about how I just experienced a new family member being born.
Mireille: Maybe I'll have a family like this one day...
Mireille watches with great interest as the family gathers around the newborn baby, engaging in hearty laughter.
Helen: Mireille, Risette, why don't you give the baby a hug too.
Mireille: Huh? B-but...
David: Go on, I approve. After all, you guys are helping Ema and Helen out all the time.
David: Not to mention you two played a huge role in bringing our baby into the world.
Mireille: W-would it really be okay for me to... I mean, the thing is, I've—
Mireille is taken by surprise when a sudden warmth envelops her hands.
She looks up to find Ema holding her hands, a sparkle in her eyes.
Ema: Miss Mireille! Over here!
Mireille: Ah! Wait, Ema!
Mireille's eyes wander as Ema leads her to Helen.
Mireille: I-is it really okay? For me to hold your precious little baby?
Helen: It's because he's precious that I'd like you to hold him. The boy came out okay, and I owe you two for that.
Mireille: Okay... Just for a bit then.
Helen: Hold out your hands... Okay, I'm going to let him go now.
Ema: Look! He stopped crying!
Helen: My, what a surprise. The boy's taken a real liking to you, Mireille.
Mireille: Aww, how cute... He's so small and warm to the touch... Your turn, Risette.
Risette: Er, um...
Though hesitant at first, Risette quickly relaxes as she gently cradles the baby in her arms.
Risette: This is my first time seeing a newborn baby.
Mireille: Frankly, I'm surprised. I would've thought a baby is more likely to cry when away from their mother.
Helen: It's said that when a baby is still inside the belly, they're able to experience all the sights and sounds that the mother experiences.
Helen: That's why my baby boy knows how kind you two are at heart and is grinning so happily at you.
The baby chuckles as if in response to his mother's words. Mireille and Risette trade glances.
Mireille: Kind, huh...
Mireille mutters under her breath as she flashes an awkward grin at the baby in her arms.
The sun sets, and the two make their way home from Ema's house.
Mireille: What an incredible day it's been.
Risette: I certainly didn't think we'd be helping out with a child's birth today.
Mireille: Neither did I. Good thing I read about it in a book a long time ago, thinking it'd come in handy someday.
Mireille: Hey, Risette? Do you think my mother and father were that happy when I was born?
Risette: I'd like to think so. Surely they loved you very much.
Risette: There is no parent who does not rejoice at the birth of their child.
Mireille: Yeah, you're right...
Mireille: Seeing Helen's family today reminded me of how much I want a loving space like that for myself.
Mireille: To create a family with someone I love from the bottom of my heart. As Mother and Father did.
Mireille recalls the dream she's held from a young age, only to then cast a shadow upon it.
Mireille: Though if I'm going to be honest with myself, I'm not sure I deserve to have my own happy family.
Mireille: But at the same time, I was a given a second chance at life, and I don't want to squander it.
Mireille: That's why I absolutely have to make a healthy, functioning body. I won't stop atoning or chasing my dream either. Do you think I'm being too selfish?
Risette: Not at all... I would never deny you your hopes and dreams, Mireille.
Risette: After all, my wish is for you to live a happy life. In a way, we want the same thing.
Risette: For you to find a loving spouse, have your own children, and live a blissful family life...
Noticing a tinge of sadness in Risette's expression, Mireille lets out a small sigh.
Mireille: In the ideal family that I envision, you are absolutely going to be a part of it.
Mireille: That's not going to change even after I get married and have kids.
Mireille: I never want to see you so upset again. Tell me you understand what I'm saying.
Risette rapidly blinks as she chews on Mireille's words.
Risette: Yes. I'm your family too, and I will always be with you, Mireille.
Risette's strained visage breaks into a smile as she reciprocates Mireille's loving embrace.
The Path of Atonement: Scene 3
After almost half a year, Mireille and Risette are settled into their life at the village when alchemists from the guild appear and take the villagers hostage. Mireille and Risette agree to go with the alchemists in order to save the village. However, the alchemists break their promise and are about to kill the hostages when (Captain) and company show up just in time.
Ema: Hello, big sisters!
Helen: Mireille, Risette. Good to see you.
Risette: Good day, Helen. You too, Ema.
Mireille: Greetings. Is it okay for you to be up and about already?
Helen: Yes, I made a speedy recovery. And my baby boy's the picture of health, though we haven't brought him out of the house yet.
A week has passed since Helen gave birth.
Mireille and Risette were mingling with the children at the village playground when Ema showed up with Helen.
Helen: David grew these fruits himself. Just a little something since we didn't get to thank you properly for the other day.
Mireille: Oh, but we hardly did anything. It was all you, Helen.
Helen: Now, now, no need to be so modest. Consider it a token of our appreciation.
Mireille: Well, if you put it that way... Thank you.
Ema: Miss Risette! I brought a book I was hoping you could read to me!
Risette: Haha. Let's gather everyone around so we can read together.
Mireille and Helen watch as Ema takes Risette's hand and leads her to the other children. The two then find some shade to sit under.
Helen: A lot of time's passed since you first came to the village.
Mireille: It sure has... Almost half a year now.
Helen: Being in the middle of nowhere, we hardly get visitors in the village. So when two youngsters like you showed up, I was actually a bit suspicious...
Helen: But as it turns out, there was nothing to worry about. Far from that, you brought life to the village.
Mireille: Come now, we've hardly done anything.
Helen: Haha, there you go again. I'll always be grateful to you.
Helen: Both you and Risette are so kind.
Mireille: (That's not true... We're just doing what we can.)
Mireille: (We're not as kind as everyone thinks we are.)
Mireille: Ah, sorry. I was lost in thought.
Helen: You said you're traveling. Will you really be leaving the village?
Mireille: That's the plan. Though we don't have anything set in stone yet.
Helen: That's a shame—the children love you so much. How nice it'd be if you could make the village your home...
Mireille: I love it here, and a part of me does wish that I could stay forever.
Mireille: But there are things we have to do... I'm sorry.
Helen: It's okay, there's no need to apologize. I respect your decision either way.
Helen: It'll be sad to see you go. But until that day comes, let's make the most of our time together.
Mireille: Of course. And we'll be sure to drop by soon to say hello to your son.
Mireille smiles, ignoring the dull pain in her heart as she's hit with a mix of emotions.
Risette: Isn't that...
With the sun set, Mireille and Risette are on their way back when they spot a shady figure standing in front of their home.
Alchemist: Good evening. Two ladies like you really shouldn't be walking out alone at night.
Mireille: What do you want? I already told you I have no intention of helping your guild.
Alchemist: You see, I'm not asking. You're going to join us at the guild.
Mireille: I refuse. No matter how much you pester us, our answer's not going to change.
Alchemist: I see...
Mireille: End of discussion. You can go now, and don't come back.
Alchemist: You know, I've been watching you from afar ever since the other day.
They pass by the man to enter their home, but then stop in their tracks at his next words.
Alchemist: Despite being a former homunculus, Risette shows no signs of being any different from the average person.
Alchemist: A homunculus who's transitioned to a full-fledged person. And the common alchemist who created her.
Alchemist: While many other alchemists have also created homunculi, special cases like yours are extremely rare.
Mireille: Get to the point.
Alchemist: The thing is... you've given us more than ample reason to bring you to the guild...
Alchemist: At any cost.
Mireille eyes the man suspiciously as he turns toward the village. A faint scream can be heard in the distance.
Risette: Oh no... Mireille!
Mireille: Please don't tell me you've laid hands on the villagers...
Alchemist: Heh. I haven't a clue what you're on about.
Mireille: Let's go, Risette!
Ignoring his derisive chuckle, Mireille and Risette rush to the village.
Robed Man: Simmer down already! Resist, and you die!
Mireille and Risette are greeted by the sight of robed men in the village square pointing their weapons at the villagers.
Mireille: Let them go!
Robed Man: Don't you move, little lady! You do anything funny, and this man's a goner!
David: Stop! Leave my wife and kids out of this!
Robed Man: Shut up! Say another word and I'll gut you!
Don't you dare hurt them!
Alchemist: I hope you now realize the situation you're in.
Alchemist: As far as I could tell, you became really good friends with these villagers.
Alchemist: A shame that they had to get involved in all this because of you.
Alchemist: I'll ask you again. Will you come with us or not?
Mireille: Fine, but on my terms.
Alchemist: Oh? I suppose I can hear you out.
Mireille: First, I need you to ensure that Risette and I will come out of the ordeal alive.
Mireille: Second, promise that you'll leave the villagers alone. That's all.
Alchemist: Heh... Fine. Consider your lives spared.
Mireille: You have a deal then.
Alchemist: Hehe... I appreciate the cooperation.
Mireille and Risette are surrounded by a group of men and led to the village entrance.
Unable to look the terrified villagers in the eyes, the two cast their gazes downward.
Alchemist: That should be far enough. Do it.
Robed Man: Kill them all!
Mireille: Wait! That's not what you promised!
Alchemist: I said you get to live. I said nothing about the villagers.
Mireille: Oh, don't give me that nonsense! Risette!
Risette: I won't let you lay a hand on them!
Alchemist: You're not going anywhere.
Mireille: Let go!
As if having predicted their movements, the robed men are quick to restrain the two.
Alchemist: Knowledge of you or us being public doesn't exactly do us any favors.
The glint of a blade can be seen in the reflections of their eyes.
Vyrn: Looks like we made it!
Risette: (Captain)! How...
Lyria: We came as soon as we heard the alchemist guild was coming after you.
Mireille: That explains it... Thank you.
Alchemist: No... What is the founder doing here!
Cagliostro: What were you planning to do with them? Heck, you probably had dissection in the cards.
Robed Man: Lay off, or you'll be condemning these people to an early death!
The man who's taken the villagers hostage threatens the crew.
Risette: Oh, no you don't!
Robed Man: Gwah!
He utters a scream and crumples to the ground, taken out by a Risette who's no longer restrained.
Alchemist: Rgh! At this rate, we'll just have to make do with their corpses! Finish them all off, including the founder!
Cagliostro: Finish me off? Hah, I'd like to see you try. You're going to regret saying that.
Mireille: How dare you hurt the villagers... You're going to pay!
Mireille: C'mon, Risette. We're taking out every one of these lowlifes!
Risette: Yes, Mireille! I won't let a single one escape!
The Path of Atonement: Scene 4
The village elder asks Mireille and Risette to leave for the village's sake. The two do as requested and decide to join (Captain)'s crew on their journey. As the crew is leaving, Helen comes to give them a goodbye gift, with letters from the villagers expressing their thanks. Mireille is touched by this, happy that she and Risette were able to be of help to people.
Alchemist: No... It can't end like this!
Cagliostro: It's finally over. Aaand... the villagers are safe.
With the last of the Helmuth alchemists defeated, Cagliostro turns around and breathes a sigh of relief.
Mireille: Helen! Ema! David! Is everyone all right?
Ema: Y-yeah, we're okay. How about you?
Helen: Ema, no!
Helen and David hold their daughter back, their eyes uncomfortably wavering.
Cagliostro: Seriously? Is that the kind of attitude you show to your saviors?
David: We're grateful you saved us. But...
Village Elder: Mireille, Risette.
Risette: Elder... I'm sorry I dragged everyone into this...
Village Elder: I know full well how much you've done for us. However...
Village Elder: Those people told us the real reason you're traveling, and how you ended up in the village.
Mireille: I see...
Vyrn: Whaddya mean?
Village Elder: It appears they don't know. In that case...
Village Elder: It's best I skip the details and jump straight to the conclusion. We'd like you to leave the village.
Lyria: Wait! Didn't they fight to protect you all?
Village Elder: We were attacked only because they were in the village to begin with.
Village Elder: As long as they remain, there's no telling when we'll suffer another attack.
Village Elder: Please understand that this is to protect the village.
Mireille: Okay then... Though I hope you don't mind us cleaning up at the house first. We'll be out by dawn.
Mireille: The last thing I'd want is for the guild to come back for any remaining traces of alchemy.
Village Elder: Of course. Thank you for your understanding. And I'm sorry it had to come to this.
Mireille: Likewise. I'm sorry you had to get involved.
After bowing to the elder and the villagers looking on in the distance, Mireille takes the crew back to her abode.
Vyrn: No way. You really okay with this?
Mireille: It's fine. We were planning on leaving eventually to continue our travels anyhow.
Cagliostro: Mireille... What happened in that town after we left?
Cagliostro: I thought it smelled fishy when I heard guild alchemists were hiding out here in search of you.
Lyria: What did you mean by continuing your travels?
Mireille: Okay, let me explain everything that happened after we parted with you.
Mireille: Risette, can you go ahead and pack our belongings? This could take a while.
And so Mireille relates the recent events to the crew.
About how she and Risette continued disposing the town of its remaining homunculi.
About how the homunculi went on a total rampage en masse one day.
Vyrn: So the town is just gone now... Man, this stuff is hard to take in...
Lyria: I can't believe something like that happened after we left...
Mireille: I'm so sorry, Miss Cagliostro. I couldn't keep my promise to you...
Cagliostro: To be fair, a sudden mass rampage like that isn't something anyone could have seen coming.
Cagliostro: But the responsibility for essentially wiping out the town still lies with you.
Mireille: I know! I know that all too well!
Cagliostro: So what's your reason for traveling? Don't tell me you're using it as an escape from all the wrong you've done.
Mireille: No, that's definitely not it! We...
Mireille: The people we wanted to live for the sake of are dead.
Mireille: That's why we've decided to dedicate our lives to saving as many people as we can instead.
Mireille: No matter how hard things get, I'm determined to see them through—to atone and fulfill my dreams. I have my lease on life, and I'm going to make the most of it.
Seeing the pained yet resolute look in Mireille's eyes, (Captain) offers a suggestion.
Choose: Ever thought of becoming a skyfarer?
- Ever thought of becoming a skyfarer?
- It's time we kept our promise.
Mireille: You mean, like what you do?
Lyria: Mm-hm! Skyfarer crews get requests from people who need a hand with something.
Lyria: It's our job to help them by taking on those requests.
Mireille: So if I become a skyfarer, I should be able to help anyone in the skies...
Lyria: That's right! This is the perfect job for you two!Choose: It's time we kept our promise.
Mireille: By promise, you mean... letting me and Risette join you on your journey? You remembered?
(Captain) responds to the wide-eyed Mireille with a hearty nod.
Vyrn: Our end goal's Estalucia. But we take up lots of odd jobs on the way there.
Vyrn: And in doing these jobs, we get to help plenty of people—the kind of thing you're hoping to do.Continue 1
Mireille: Hm, the thought of becoming a skyfarer to more readily help people never crossed my mind...
I'm in the crew too.
Cagliostro: If you'll come onboard, I can help make sure you're going on the right track in your alchemy studies.
Having you guys wander off only to get captured by guild goonies again and drop dead in the middle of nowhere would suck.
Cagliostro: Things will be that much easier if I know where you are. And (Captain)'s crew is one place I can count on to be safe.
Mireille: B-but would you really be okay with us joining?
Vyrn: If we weren't cool with it, we wouldn't be asking! You tell her too, (Captain)!
Lyria: That's right! Come with us, Mireille!
(Captain), being full of smiles, extends a welcoming hand.
Though unsure at first, Mireille eventually nods and takes (Captain)'s hand.
Mireille: Thank you, (Captain). Risette and I gladly accept the invitation.
Mireille: Okay... I'm pretty sure we have everything we need. Let's get going before the villagers wake up.
Early in the morning Mireille and Risette, having finished packing, are standing at the village entrance with the crew.
They bid farewell to the village and go down the mountain path. Along the way, they suddenly hear footsteps rapidly approaching.
Helen: Mireille, Risette!
Helen: Huff... Huff...
Helen: I'm really sorry about yesterday. Hearing about your past from those bad men put me in a daze...
Risette: No, it's okay. Given the things we've done, it's only natural you reacted that way.
Helen: But it doesn't change the fact that you've helped us out so much.
Helen: After what the elder said, I couldn't possibly hold you back...
Helen: So instead, I brought you a farewell gift. You haven't had breakfast yet, I'm assuming. I made enough for all of you.
Helen offers a basket filled to the brim with sandwiches and fruit.
Risette: Um... Are you sure?
Helen: Yes, this is the least I can do.
Mireille: Thank you, Helen. For everything.
Helen: Mireille, Risette... Take care of yourselves out there.
Helen waves goodbye for the last time, then retraces her steps.
Cagliostro: Now that's one good-looking breakfast waiting for us... Hm?
Cagliostro: Mireille. Try brushing those sandwiches aside.
As Cagliostro suspected, something lies hidden beneath the sandwiches.
Mireille opens the thick envelope to find a series of letters from each of the villagers expressing their heartfelt words of gratitude.
Cagliostro: They may have kicked you out to keep the village safe, but deep down they're still incredibly grateful to you.
Cagliostro: I guess you could say your journey of atonement is already starting to pay off.
Mireille: What we did mattered after all...
Mireille's voice is shaky and tinged with emotion as she holds the letters. (Captain) gently pats her on the head.
Prompted by the warmth of (Captain)'s touch, Mireille's tears come pouring out.
Mireille: Thank you so much, everyone... And goodbye!
A lifelong journey with no end in sight. Their sins may never fade, but they will continue doing their best to make up for it.
Bearing the forgiveness of the villagers close to their hearts, Risette and Mireille set out to travel the great azure as skyfarers.