The World-Class Sword
(Captain) and the crew visit a village in search of a world-class sword Mirin read about in a journal in her hometown. They end up participating in a snow festival being held there, but after the festival Mirin realizes her furoshiki has gone missing. The villagers earnestly help her find it, and she resolves to repay their kindness by revitalizing the shrinking village.
One day Mirin joins (Captain) and the crew on a visit to a snow-covered village surrounded by mountains.
Mirin: Heh heh heh... We finally made it! This village is said to be home to a world-class sword!
Mirin: Wow... Everything's white as far as the eye can see. You can tell we're in an area that gets a lot of snow!
Lyria: Hehe. You seem excited, Mirin.
Mirin: Ahaha... Sorry, I got a little carried away. It snows a lot back home, so seeing this place made me all nostalgic.
Vyrn: Oh yeah? Does that mean you have weird-lookin' houses like that one over there?
Vyrn points at an old-fashioned house that differs slightly from the homes surrounding it.
The roof of the house slopes steeply, coming to a triangular point at the top that appears to pierce the sky.
A number of similar buildings can be seen scattered throughout the village.
Mirin: Yes. Where I'm from, we call those rooftops snowslayers.
Mirin: Building the roof at a sharp angle makes it hard for the snow to pile up.
Old Woman: Oh? I'm impressed a young lady like yourself knows about that.
Old Woman: We don't get many visitors around here. What inspired you to visit our little village out in the middle of nowhere?
Mirin: Well, you see, I once read an old travel journal back in my hometown.
Mirin: Inside were words written in the old language of my homeland: It was here in this village that I discovered a world-class sword.
Mirin: Father and I used to let our minds run wild dreaming about what it might be like.
Mirin: Was it breathtakingly beautiful? Exceptionally sharp? I wondered what sort of sword it would be.
Mirin's eyes sparkle with excitement as she speaks. But the old woman simply frowns in thought with a puzzled look on her face.
Old Woman: Hmm... A sword, you say? I've never heard of anything like that existing in this village.
Mirin: What! Really? But I'm sure this is the place that was mentioned in the journal!
Old Woman: I'm afraid this is just a small, quiet village. We don't have any cheap swords here, much less fancy ones like that.
Vyrn: Huh... Do you think maybe this is all a big mistake?
Mirin: No way...
Old Woman: Hmm... There aren't any swordsmiths around here either. Rather, our village has always been known for its dyed and woven fabrics.
Mirin: Gozaru! Did you say fabrics?
Sensing Mirin's interest, the old woman leads (Captain) and the crew to her shop.
Mirin: Wow! They're all so pretty!
Old Woman: I had a feeling you might like things like this, considering you're wearing such a lovely dress.
Mirin: I sure do! My mother actually made this... dress for me.
Mirin: And this furoshiki too!
Old Woman: I see. They look more and more beautiful the longer I stare at them. Your mother is quite skilled.
Mirin: Gozaru! They're my precious treasures.
Having found a kindred spirit in the elderly woman, Mirin tells her about her hometown, and about how she set off on a journey in order to learn about foreign cultures.
Old Woman: Oh, you're interested in other cultures? In that case, would you like to attend the festival taking place in our village today?
Mirin: A festival?
Lyria: Hm? Are you a fan of festivals, Mirin?
Mirin: Festivals and battles are both big occasions for a samurai! Is it okay if we go to the festival, (Captain)?
Choose: Of course! Let's go!
- Of course! Let's go!
Vyrn: So what kinda festival is it?
Old Woman: It's an occasion to show our gratitude to the snow. We often place dyed fabrics on top of the snow to remove the color impurities and make them beautiful.
Old Woman: That's why the snow is so special to us, and we are deeply grateful for its blessings. The snow festival is our way of expressing that.
Mirin: A snow festival, huh... The mere thought sets my samurai soul on fire! Mirin, reporting for festival duty! Onward, fellow warriors—to the battlefield!
The woman escorts the crew to the village square where the festival is being held.
(Captain) and company arrive to find the celebrations already in full swing, and they waste no time joining in on a snowball fight.
Mirin: Here I come, Lyria!
Lyria: Eep... I hope I don't get hit.
Mirin: Made you look!
Vyrn: Hey! Now you've done it!
Mirin: A false sense of security can easily lead to one's downfall, Vyrn. A samurai must be prepared for battle at all times.
Mirin: That is the secret to surviving the lawless chaos of this snow festival.
Vyrn: Oh, come on! I ain't no samurai! And this is just a snowball fight, not a battle!
While Mirin is proudly sharing her words of wisdom, (Captain) creeps closer, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
Choose: Aim for the face.
- Aim for the face.
- Pelt her in the stomach.
- Miss on purpose.
Mirin: Pwah! I'm hit!
Vyrn: Hey, what happened to all that stuff about being ready for battle?
Mirin: Urgh. There's only one thing to do now... I'm prepared to pay the ultimate price for my failure!
Wait, Mirin, you can't!
Mirin: Ahaha... I was just kidding. Sorry.Choose: Pelt her in the stomach.
Mirin: Ngh! That was a splendid attack, (Captain)! You never fail to impress!
Vyrn: I mean... The captain just hit you in the gut with a snowball. It's not that big of a deal.
Mirin: But it just as easily could have been an arrow. It seems I still have much to learn.Choose: Miss on purpose.
Mirin: Huh? A snowball just grazed me...
Mirin: Gozaru! Did you just miss on purpose, (Captain)?
Mirin: Is this what they call a samurai's mercy? I'm glad I got the chance to experience it, but I have mixed feelings over my opponent taking pity on me...Continue 1
(Captain) and the crew enjoy the rest of the snow festival. But when the time comes for them to leave, Mirin comes to a terrible realization.
Mirin: G-gozaru! Gone! It's gone! I can't find it anywhere!
Lyria: Hm? What's wrong, Mirin?
Mirin: It's gone! I left my furoshiki here earlier, but it's missing!
Vyrn: Huh? You mean that cloth you were usin' to carry your stuff in place of a bag?
Mirin: Yes, that's the one. I left it here during the festival, but now I can't find it anywhere...
Villager 1: What happened? Is there some sort of problem?
(Captain) and the crew explain the situation to the villager. As more people gather, word begins to spread about the missing furoshiki.
The villagers join the crew in searching the area, but the cloth is nowhere to be found.
Mirin: Sniffle... I can't believe it's gone... That was a precious gift from my mother...
As tears begin to stream down Mirin's cheeks, the villagers quickly jump in to cheer her up.
Villager 1: Hang on! It's too early to give up!
Villager 2: That's right! Let's make sure to check every nook and cranny of the village. If we all look together, I'm sure we'll find it in no time!
Old Woman: Don't worry. Your furoshiki really stands out since it's so beautifully made. It'll be sure to catch someone's eye.
The people join together once again in search of the furoshiki. Some time later, one of the villagers comes running up to Mirin.
Villager 1: Heeey! Is this the cloth you were looking for? It was lying on the ground on the outskirts of the village.
Mirin: Gozaru! That's it! You found it!
Villager 1: Wonderful. There were monkey tracks in the area, so maybe it was one of the monkeys we've been seeing around recently getting into mischief.
Mirin: But none of the contents were taken. It's all here!
Old Woman: Is that so? I'm glad to hear it.
Mirin: Thank you so much... How can I ever repay you?
Old Woman: Please. That won't be necessary. You're one of our fellow festivalgoers.
Old Woman: The truth is, we were having a difficult time even holding the festival. So everyone was delighted when your crew appeared.
Mirin: Sniffle... Thank you... I'll never forget what you've done for me.
Considering the late hour, (Captain) and the crew take the elderly woman up on her offer to house them for the night.
Mirin: The people in this village are all so kind. I'm glad we came.
Lyria: Me too! The snow festival was a lot of fun.
Vyrn: But that old lady was talkin' about some really sad stuff.
Mirin: Yes. As the population here decreases, the village continues to lose its spark of life. It's a terrible shame.
Lyria: I guess that means the village's fabrics and snow festival will disappear one day too...
Mirin: No! I won't let that happen!
Mirin: A samurai must always repay the kindness shown to them! I will take it upon myself to breathe life back into this village!
Vyrn: Hmm... But how are you gonna do that?
Mirin: Well... Ahaha... I don't know yet.
Vyrn: Sheesh... Weren't we supposed to be here looking for a sword?
Mirin smiles sheepishly, but her mind is already firmly made up.
Her eyes shine with a burning passion as she begins to brainstorm ways to save the village.
A Kindness Repaid
In order to rejuvenate the village, Mirin decides to find the fabled sword and turn it into a tourist attraction. While asking around for clues to its whereabouts, (Captain) and the crew spot a mischievous monkey that has been caught by one of the villagers. They convince the man to free the monkey, but it lingers before leaving, seemingly wanting the crew to follow it.
Mirin has resolved to rejuvenate the village, as thanks for its residents' help in finding the lost furoshiki she received from her mother.
Vyrn: Hmm... You said you were gonna breathe life into the place, but what exactly are you gonna do?
Mirin: Why don't we search for the sword that was mentioned in the travel journal?
Vyrn: Huh? What good would that do?
Mirin: I was thinking about the scoundrel who tried to trick me out of my katana. That incident just shows how much a quality sword is worth.
Vyrn: Oh yeah, I remember that... Back when we first met you, some merchant tried to steal your sword.
Mirin: The sharper the sword, the more beautiful it is. If we could locate the sword in this village, I'm sure it would turn into a popular tourist attraction.
If the sword is as rare and beautiful as the journal claims, it's likely that people would be willing to come from far and wide to see it.
With that in mind, (Captain) and the crew set out to gather information from the villagers. However, things don't go as well as they had hoped.
Mirin: We've asked all over the place, but no one knows anything about a sword.
Despite their lack of success, they relentlessly continue their search. But just as fatigue begins to set in, they hear a curious noise.
Monkey's Cry: Keke!
Lyria: Hm? Is that a monkey?
Intrigued, (Captain) and the crew head in the direction of the sound.
Villager 1: Hah! I finally caught you, you naughty little monkey!
Monkey: Keke! Kekeke!
Mirin: Gozaru! I-is that a monkey?
Villager 1: Sure is. I have a feeling this is the culprit that stole your belongings.
Vyrn: So what are you gonna do with it?
Villager 1: Well... These guys have been causing us nothing but trouble, so the villagers are planning to tie it to a rock and drop it in the river.
Mirin: G-gozaru! But that'll kill the little guy!
Villager 1: Aye. That was the idea, but now that I've actually caught the monkey, I can't say I'm too keen on that plan...
Villager 1: Sigh. But we can't exactly let him keep getting into mischief... Maybe we could lock him up somewhere? I don't know...
The monkey stops struggling against the ropes, seeming to have given up hope of escaping. Mirin is overcome with pity for the tiny creature.
Mirin: Um, can't you just let it go? I can tell it's scared...
Villager 1: Are you sure you'd be okay with that? This monkey stole something important to you, you know.
Mirin: I think it's had enough of a fright that it won't come near the village again. So please, won't you reconsider?
Villager 1: Well... If you're sure.
Villager 1: Hahaha! It's not like we'd actually have the heart to drown the poor thing anyway.
The villager leans over and unties the rope restraining the monkey.
(Captain) and the crew watch as the monkey scampers away as fast as his little legs will carry him.
Mirin: Well, that's that. I guess we ought to get back to hunting for that sword.
Mirin: And so now we're looking for a sword said to reside in this village.
Villager 3: Let's see... A sword, you say? Sorry, I've never heard anything about it.
Mirin: I see...
Villager 2: Hmm. I'm afraid I don't know anything about a sword.
Vyrn: Sigh... I think it might be about time to throw in the towel.
Mirin: Grr! I have to repay the villagers for finding my furoshiki! I can't give up now!
Vyrn: Oh yeah? You're really hung up on the idea of repayin' favors, huh?
Mirin: Gozaru. As they say, one good turn deserves another. We must always strive to repay the kindness shown to us.
Mirin: Father and Mother grounded that into me ever since I was little.
Mirin: By the way... That monkey is still watching us.
Lyria: Hmm... I wonder what happened to it? Do you think maybe it can't get home?
Rather than returning to the mountains after being set free, the monkey instead continues to stare at the crew from outside the village.
Mirin: Do you think it wants something?
The monkey screeches as if in response to Mirin's question and takes off running.
Mirin: Let's go after it!
Vyrn: Huh? H-hang on a sec!
Monkey: Kekeke... Keke...
The monkey maintains a consistent distance between itself and the crew, seemingly guiding them along.
A Kindness Repaid: Scene 2
(Captain) and company follow the monkey into the mountains where they find a hot spring. A large troop of monkeys appear to defend their territory, but the crew's monkey guide persuades the hostile group to leave. The crew then enters the hot spring at the monkey's invitation.
Vyrn: Man, we sure are a long way from the village now.
Mirin: Do you think the monkey's leading us somewhere?
Lyria: Oh! Maybe it's trying to show us the location of the world-class sword!
Vyrn: Uhh... I'm not so sure about that.
Mirin: But the monkey definitely seems to have a goal in mind... I wonder what it could be.
Vyrn: H-hey... You don't think it's leadin' us to a monster's den or somethin', do ya?
Mirin: I don't think the monkey's that mean.
Lyria: Ahaha... Don't worry, Vyrn. (Captain)'s here too.
(Captain) and the crew continue to follow the monkey deeper into the mountains. Suddenly, Mirin notices something.
Mirin: Sniff, sniff... I wonder what that smell is? Sniff, sniff...
Vyrn: Huh. Now that you mention it, somethin' smells weird.
Lyria: Hmm... I can't decide if it's a bad smell or a good smell.
Mirin: It's really calming to me for some reason. It reminds me of something...
The crew follows the monkey down a snowy path between two rocky walls. A few moments later, they come upon an unexpected sight.
Mirin: I-I don't believe it...
They emerge into an area surrounded by tall rock walls, so secluded and mysterious that it feels like a whole other world.
In the middle of the area is a small body of water surrounded by rocks.
Mirin: It's a hot spring! So this is what the monkey wanted to show us!
The monkey waves its arms at the hot spring as though urging them to get in, but a sudden noise causes them to stop in their tracks.
Beast's Cry: Roooar!
Mirin: G-gozaru! What was that!
Giant Monkey: Grr...
An enormous monkey comes into view, accompanied by countless smaller monkeys.
Vyrn: Uhh... I get the feelin' they're not here to give us a welcomin' party...
Giant Monkey: Roooar!
(Captain) and the crew flinch at the massive monkey's roar, but just then an unexpected ally steps in.
Monkey: Keke! Kekeke!
Giant Monkey: ...
Vyrn: Huh? What's that monkey doin'?
Mirin: I think it's trying to convince the other monkey to let us in...
Monkey: Keke! Kekeke! Kekeke! Keke!
Giant Monkey: Keke.
The gigantic monkey spits out the sound and departs from the area with the other monkeys in tow.
Mirin: Ahaha... Well, I guess we ought to give it a try since we already came all this way.
Lyria: Yay! The walk here was really cold, so that sounds wonderful!
Vyrn: Uh... Those monkeys won't attack us or anythin', right?
Mirin: Ahaha... Don't worry. I don't think those monkeys are the type to launch a surprise attack.
As they chat, (Captain) and the crew start getting ready to hop in the hot spring.
A Kindness Repaid: Scene 3
Mirin realizes she must have misread the ancient language in the journal—it mentioned a world-class spring, not a sword. She considers using the hot spring to attract people to the village but eventually abandons the idea for the monkeys' sake. However, a giant monkey appears and cracks the bedrock outside the village, unearthing a hot spring and bringing hope to the residents.
Ahh... This kinda bath ain't half bad. All my tiredness is meltin' away.
The hot spring does indeed feel completely different than a typical bath, partly due to its unique scent.
Mirin's Voice: Hot springs have added benefits compared to regular hot water.
The boys can hear the voices of Mirin and the other girls soaking in the water on the other side of a tall rock wall.
Ahh... This is the life.
Lyria: Hehe... I'm so relaxed, it feels like all my exhaustion is disappearing into thin air.
Mirin: Hot springs have added benefits compared to regular hot water.Continue 1
Mirin: They relieve fatigue and promote good health... There are even legends of primal beasts visiting my hometown in search of a quality hot spring.
Vyrn's Voice: Haha! I'm laughin' just imaginin' Tiamat and Yggdrasil lookin' for a hot spring!
Mirin: But enough people visit hot springs that I wouldn't be surprised if it were true...
Mirin: Gozaru! Wait, that's it!
Mirin: The village should turn this hot spring into a tourist attraction! That way, more people will come for sightseeing and souvenirs, and business will flourish!
Mirin: A world-class hot spring like this would be really popul—
Mirin cuts off mid-sentence as she suddenly realizes something.
Vyrn's Voice: H-hey! Why'd you yell all of a sudden! Somethin' happen over there?
Mirin: I misread it... That journal must have been talking about a famous spring, not a famous sword!
Lyria: Hehe. So it was just a lucky accident that we found it. It's all thanks to that monkey.
Mirin: Hehe... I never dreamed I'd have a favor returned by a monkey...
Mirin looks up a the sky, her face full of emotion.
Mirin: When I was a little girl, there was a particular fairy tale Mother used to tell me as she was weaving.
Mirin: There once was a hunter who freed a great bird that he found caught in a trap in the mountains.
Mirin: That night, a beautiful young woman visited the hunter and weaved him some exquisite fabric.
Mirin: The following day, the woman transformed into the same bird that the hunter had saved and flew away.
Mirin: I remember listening intently to that story alongside the rattle of Mother's loom.
Lyria: Wow! What a nice story.
Mirin: I think so too. I've always loved it.
Mirin: I never imagined that the villagers' favor of finding my furoshiki would end up being connected to our favor of saving that monkey.
Mirin: Come on, we can't just keep soaking here. Now that we've found a way to save the village, we need to hustle back!
(Captain) and the crew hurry out of the spring and get dressed. But just as they start to make their way back to the village...
Giant Monkey: ...
The monkeys from earlier appear before them.
Mirin: You know... On second thought, I don't want people to ruin this place. I'm sure the monkeys feel the same way.
Lyria: That makes sense... That must be why they tried to make us leave at first.
Giant Monkey: ...
Mirin: We can't very well ignore the monkeys' favor of providing us with a hot bath.
Mirin: We'll keep this place a secret in return for their kindness in sharing their water with us.
Giant Monkey: Keke.
The enormous monkey nods as if it understood Mirin's words and walks away as though guiding them somewhere.
Vyrn: Wow, that was really nice of ya. A lotta people wouldn't have given a second thought to the monkeys' home.
Mirin: Ahaha... Stop that, you're going to make me blush. But now what are we going to do about the village?
Giant Monkey: ...
With the giant monkey still in the lead, (Captain) and the crew make their way toward the village.
The moment they reach the outskirts of the village, they hear a fearsome roar.
Giant Monkey: Roooar!
Mirin: G-gozaru! Wh-what's going on!
The enormous monkey picks up a giant rock and slams it into the ground with incredible force.
Vyrn: Whoa! Wh-what the heck is it doin'?
Giant Monkey: ...
The monkey peers at the ground as though searching for something. After spotting a crack in the bedrock, it takes its leave.
Lyria: Phew... That scared me. I wonder what that was all about?
Mirin: Sniff, sniff... I smell something...
Mirin: (Captain)! The hot spring well flows under here too! If we dug in this spot, I bet hot water would come out!
Though it seems too good to be true, the distinct smell of a hot spring lingers in the air, and warm vapor can be seen coming through the rift in the bedrock.
Lyria: Yay! Then that means this area can be turned into a hot spring!
Mirin: Yes! This way the monkeys' home will stay safe, and the village will be revitalized!
Bursting with happiness, Mirin and the others gather the villagers and describe the situation to them.
Using her hometown as an example, Mirin explains that if the hot spring is used properly, the village can be revived.
Villager 1: Wow! What a fascinating proposal! Tourists will bring us more business, and even the young people will come back.
Old Woman: You have our deepest gratitude. Thanks to you, our village is saved.
And so the villagers band together and begin developing the area around the hot spring.
Mirin watches as the villagers continue to work tirelessly on the hot spring.
Mirin: Oh? What's that?
She looks down to see a small puddle of warm water gathering in the rocky area at her feet.
Intrigued, Mirin kicks off her shoe and dips her bare foot into the water.
Mirin: Ahh... It's so nice and warm.
Lyria: Hm? What are you doing, Mirin?
Mirin: Try dipping your foot in like this too, Lyria. You too, (Captain)! Vyrn!
Following Mirin's lead, (Captain) and the others dip their feet in the water.
Lyria: Wow! It's so relaxing!
Mirin: In my hometown, we call this a footbath. It's a small hot spring just for dipping your feet.
Mirin: When I was little, Father, Mother, and I used to soak our feet in footbaths just like this.
Mirin: Ahaha... Hot springs bring back tons of memories of my hometown.
Mirin: But wow, this hot spring really feels great.
Young Man: I'm glad you think so. Now the village has a brand new tourist attraction.
As (Captain) and the crew are enjoying the footbath, a young man who had been helping dig the hot spring strikes up a conversation with them.
Mirin: If the village is revitalized, the textile industry and snow festival should be able to continue.
Young Man: Aye. That would be wonderful.
Mirin: It's all thanks to the hot spring. The truth is, we never would have known about it if it hadn't been for a giant monkey in the mountains.
Young Man: I know. It was grateful to you for freeing its friend.
Mirin: Gozaru! How do you know about that?
Young Man: Well... Hehe. Let's just say I was... involved.
Young Man: Anyway, I need to be going. Maybe we'll meet again once the hot spring is open.
Young Man: Oh, I almost forgot to say—thank you so much for your help.
Mirin: Involved? Maybe he was watching...
Suddenly hot water begins to spray out from the spot where (Captain) and the crew are soaking their feet.
Vyrn: Whoa! Th-the water's goin' crazy!
Mirin: Wow! There must be a lot of hot water beneath us waiting to come up. This is sure to turn into a wonderful hot spring!
Lyria: Hehe. I'd love to come back when it does.
Mirin: Me too! Let's make sure to visit again!
As (Captain) and company look around at the village that is once again full of life, they make a promise with Mirin to return someday.