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Die Another Day
After snatching a crate of the food additive MSH from the crew, Predator runs off to take out a group of crooked merchants. When the crew reunites with her later, they come to understand her plight and welcome her into the crew.
At a run-down bar in the suburbs of Agastia...
A masked woman enters a bar and eyes her surroundings.
She lets out a sigh of exasperation as her gaze lands on a particular man.
Masked Woman: Calling me out at a time like this? You never change, do you?
???: Aww, c'mon... Nothing's better than an action-packed mission in the middle of the night. Ain't that right, Ema?
Masked Woman: Tui... I no longer go by that name.
A hearty chuckle escapes Tui's lips as he lays out a wanted poster on the table.
Tui: Let's talk business then. Here's our next target.
Tui explains to the masked woman that the man in the poster has been destroying lives by dealing in the dangerously addictive food additive monosodium heaven—otherwise known as MSH—in the black market.
Tui: Hm... Once we take him out, I assume we'll wipe out any organizations involved next.
Tui: If we do that, it'll be the Acier family that controls the flow of MSH.
Masked Woman: What's the whole point then? We'd only be trading one supplier for another!
Tui: That's right. Try as we might, changing the world is no easy feat.
Masked Woman: Then why even—
Tui: Our actions might not change the world outright, but you'll be one step closer to your goal. This'll be the perfect chance to earn the trust of the Acier family.
Masked Woman: ...
Tui: And until we do earn their trust, we'll just have to sweep our ideals of justice under the rug. Okay?
Masked Woman: Justice, you say... I only care about avenging my father and everyone else who worked in that factory...
Meanwhile (Captain) and crew are in a town helping with a courier job, making their way toward the Grandcypher with crates in hand.
Vyrn: Man, that guy was so pumped about getting this stuff sent! Sure, the island we're taking them to is a bit far, but this is a ton of rupies we're getting!
Rackam: Doesn't matter how far away the island is—anyone who pays us this much is definitely getting their goods delivered.
???: Hey there.
Lyria: Hm? Did someone just—
The merry crew stop in their tracks when a voice calls out from behind.
Masked Woman: ....
Vyrn: Huh? What's a masked lady doing out here?
Masked Woman: Sorry, but is there any chance you can give me those crates?
Rackam: The heck? You pop up out of the blue and expect us to just hand over our possessions?
Masked Woman: Heh, I thought you might say that.
Masked Woman: ...
The masked woman suddenly readies her weapon and charges at (Captain) and company with alarming speed.
Masked Woman: Humph!
Masked Woman: Surprise, surprise. You're not half bad.
The woman shrugs her shoulders at having her attack deflected by (Captain).
Vyrn: Heheh! (Captain)'s not your everyday skyfarer, you know!
Vyrn: Come on, (Captain). Let's take her on!
With weapon sheathed, (Captain) smiles at the masked woman.
What's going on here?
Rackam: Heh... Looks like she was only testing us.
Masked Woman: (Taking the cargo by force isn't going to work...)
Masked Woman: What if I told you there's MSH inside those crates?
Vyrn: In these? No way.
Masked Woman: Why not take a look for yourselves?
Rackam: Hm... Will do.
Lyria: But is it really okay for us to just open up these crates without permission?
Rackam: Good point, but there's no way we're transporting these if there's really MSH inside.
Feeling compelled to get to the bottom of the matter, Rackam pries open a crate.
Rackam: Tsk... Looks like she wasn't kidding.
Vyrn: Whoa... I can't believe we came this close to helping the MSH trade.
The masked woman takes advantage of the crew's surprised reaction and snatches the crate in Rackam's hands.
Rackam: What the? Hold it! What do you plan on doing with MSH?
Masked Woman: Ciao.
With no reason to stick around any longer, the masked woman takes off.
Rackam: After her! MSH is dangerous; we can't let someone we don't even know run off with it!
The crew gives chase, but she quickly disappears into the hustle and bustle of the town.
Rackam: Aww crud... We'll never find her now.
Lyria: Huh? That sound...
The distant sound of gunfire still ringing in their ears, (Captain) and company immediately run in the direction it came from.
The crew arrives at a dilapidated old building reeking of recently spilt blood.
What they see upon entering leaves them aghast.
Thug 1: Ngh...
Thug 2: Cripes... Hurts like hell...
Thugs are strewn about the floor, screaming, crying, blood gushing forth—a grisly sight.
Vyrn: Could it be that masked lady back there who did this?
Lyria: Who could she possibly be?
Just as they begin talking about the masked woman...
The sound of an airship engine roaring from outside rattles the building.
Rackam: Darn it. They're close! Let's hustle!
By the time the crew gets to the back of the building, the airship is only moments away from liftoff.
Vyrn: Shucks! A few seconds too late...
Lyria: Ah! Look! Over there!
(Captain) and crew look up to see the masked woman leaping toward the airship from the roof of the building.
Her body arcs gracefully through the air, and she lands on the deck of the airship as it takes off.
Masked Woman: Whew.
Rackam: Tch! The problem's not just MSH now! Who knows what that girl might do! After 'em!
As the crew make their way toward the Grandcypher...
The airship with the masked woman on deck suddenly explodes, crash-landing in the nearby fields.
Rackam: What the? What's she up to now?
The crew rushes toward the crashed airship and finds the masked woman trying to get away.
Masked Woman: I didn't think you'd come this far for me. You must be bored.
A man huffing and moaning crawls out from behind her.
Man: Huff... Huff... You must be from one of the competing families to come and blow up my airship like this.
Lyria: Ah! It's him! He's the one who sent out the request in the first place!
Masked Woman: Tell me where you got the MSH... or die. Take your pick.
Man: Nuh-uh! I've got rules to follow! You'll never get me to talk! Besides... you're the one who's gonna die here!
The man takes out a knife and charges at the masked woman.
She easily evades the attack and slashes the man's throat with her claws.
Masked Woman: (Killing him alone won't change anything. I have to hit them where it hurts.)
Masked Woman: The mafia sells MSH even to children. It's absolutely despicable. Surely you agree.
Rackam: No argument there. Your methods are pretty drastic, but at least what you're doing makes sense.
Rackam: Well then... Care to tell us who you are?
Masked Woman: Does it matter? Not like I care what you guys think of me anyway.
Masked Woman: I'll be leaving this island for my next job. We won't be meeting again.
Lyria: Um... Why is it that you look so lonely?
Vyrn: Huh? What's this all of a sudden, Lyria?
Masked Woman: Me? Lonely?
Lyria: This might come off as strange, but I can't help but care about you.
Lyria: Because I know firsthand what it's like to be all alone.
Masked Woman: ...
Understanding what Lyria is trying to get at, (Captain) gently calls out to the masked woman.
Choose: Why don't you join us?
- Why don't you join us?
- Be true to your feelings.
Masked Woman: Hm? Well, that'd definitely help me get off the island, but... Wait, you're actually serious?
Vyrn: Oh yeah! (Captain)'s asking politely but really wants you to come with us!Choose: Be true to your feelings.
Masked Woman: You want me to open up to a bunch of total strangers like you guys? Fat chance.
Lyria: Well, we're willing to open up to you first...
Vyrn: Oh yeah! Lyria's as gentle as ever, but she really wants you to come with us!
Vyrn: Besides, you're leaving this place anyway. Might as well hitch a free ride with us off the island.Continue 1
Lyria: Yeah! So come with us!
Masked Woman: ...
Lyria: Um, can I ask your name, miss?
Predator: You can call me... Predator.
Vyrn: Huh? Say, that doesn't seem like a very... feminine-sounding name.
Predator: It's an alias. I've tossed away my real name.
Rackam: Just one question. What did you do with the MSH you snatched from us?
Predator: I was using that as evidence to try to dig up more info... Didn't go so well though.
Predator: So I chucked it off the crashing airship. Relieved now, old man?
Rackam: Urgh! She called me an old man!
After a playful tease at Rackam, Predator removes her mask.
Predator: I'll take you up on your offer.
Till the next island it is.
And thus Predator's journey with the crew begins.
Though they remain blissfully unaware of the many dangers that await them.
On the Way
Predator sneaks away from the crew to infiltrate a corrupt organization, unaware that the merchants running it are lying in ambush. She manages to escape with the merchants on her tail, then (Captain) and crew come to the rescue.
Predator glances through the directions passed on to her by Tui, the man who gave her life anew as an assassin.
The hearty laughter of (Captain) and company can be heard from the room next door.
Ema's Father: Gahahaha! Relax, Ema. Daddy'll get the factory back in shape in no time!
Predator: Why are these memories coming back to me now...
No longer the innocent little Ema of the past, she has now taken on the guise, role, and name of Predator.
Predator: (They've taken me far enough. Assassins work better alone.)
The crew lands on an island said to be home to an organization dealing in the underground trade.
Vyrn: Hey, guys! The masked lady went off on her own!
Rackam: Great, right after we told her we'd come along.
Lyria: I'm worried about Predator...
Rackam: Yeah, I've got a bad feeling about this... Let's go after her, (Captain)!
Meanwhile Predator has infiltrated the organization's facility.
She proceeds down a dark hallway to find rays of light emanating from a nearby room and takes a peek inside.
Merchant 1: We're practically aboard the gravy train with this MSH food additive. Hope we can continue doing business.
Merchant 2: Hehehe... You can count on it.
Predator: (Rotten scum...)
Predator: I am a predator. And predators never let their prey escape.
Predator repeatedly utters the same phrase as if in a trance.
She exhales a deep breath before leaping into the room.
Merchant 1: Eep! Who goes there?
Merchant 2: What!
Predator: You're not leaving here alive!
Just as Predator lunges at the merchants, claws outstretched, gunfire rings out.
Predator turns around to deflect the bullets and gives a quick sweep of the surroundings with her eyes.
Predator: So you were expecting me, huh.
Kingpin: Just what sort of bush-league information network do you think we have?
Armed men enter the room and surround Predator, chuckling all the while.
Kingpin: Tell me! Which family sent you?
Predator: As if I'd answer that.
Predator: (Exit's sealed... Guess my only way out's through the window.)
Kingpin: Think you're hot stuff, huh? This is the fifth floor. There's no way you're getting outta here. Get her, boys!
Predator leaps for the window.
She deftly tumbles down a giant tree, her descent slowed by a number of branches that lessen the impact of the fall.
Predator: Well, that could have gone better.
Kingpin: Damn it! Find her and make her talk!
The clamor of the merchants still ringing in her hears, Predator makes a swift escape.
In the meantime (Captain) and crew are still searching for Predator and come across what appears to be the shady organization's hideout.
Vyrn: Do you guys hear that ruckus coming from the forest?
Lyria: Look! Over there! Predator's being chased by so many people!
Rackam: Ugh... Really, Predator?
On the Way: Scene 2
Predator laments the fact that she still lacks the power to carry out her vengeance. When the merchants come and fire at the crew later, she throws herself at Lyria to protect her.
Predator: Whew... Thanks for saving my hide back there.
Rackam: Geez, weren't you listening when we said we'd come along? No need to shoulder the burden yourself, you know.
Vyrn: I'm just glad we got here in time! Hope you don't go wandering off on your own again!
Predator: (That was a close call. If they hadn't come to save me... I'll never be able to exact revenge on the Acier family at this rate.)
Predator: (Tui was so much better with these claws...)
Tui: Hey. Check this out, Ema.
With claws raised, Tui demonstrates his martial prowess.
Tui: You'll need to be able to do this yourself one day.
Lyria: Um, Predator? Taking on all those people by yourself seems a bit reckless...
Predator: I really do appreciate the concern, Lyria. But this is my problem to deal with.
Gunshots ring out, signaling a shower of bullets raining in the direction of (Captain) and company.
Predator: Lyria, watch out!
Predator throws herself at Lyria, shielding her from the gunfire, and then glares in the direction of the shooters.
Predator: Perfect—they've found us. Saves me the trouble of going back for them later.
Kingpin: Tch! I'll take out every last one of you!
Kingpin: Get them!
On the Way: Scene 3
After taking down the corrupt organization, Predator decides to reveal her past to the crew. When (Captain) and company learn that the Acier family set up Predator's father to fall, they offer to shoulder the burden together.
(Hit a few snags, but the mission's accomplished.)
Predator: (Hopefully this earned me enough points with the Acier family to infiltrate their inner ranks.)
Predator takes comfort in having taken down the organization with an iron grip on the underground trade.
Lyria: Thanks for saving me earlier.
Predator: Not at all. I'm the one who brought the danger to you in the first place.
Lyria: Hey! Um... I really, really want to know more about you! Won't you tell me more about yourself?
Choose: I'm interested in you too, Predator.
- I'm interested in you too, Predator.
- It's all right if you're not ready to talk.
Predator: Huh? You too, (Captain)? But...
Vyrn: No point trying to fight it now! (Captain)'s gonna follow you everywhere until you spill the beans!
Predator looks toward the skies, takes a deep breath, and points her gaze at the crew.Choose: It's all right if you're not ready to talk.
Predator: Except your face is telling me the exact opposite.
Rackam: Hehe, might as well let the cat out of the bag now. Or we could be stuck here forever.
Predator looks toward the skies, takes a deep breath, and points her gaze at the crew.Continue 1
Predator: I'm not meant to roam the skies freely like you skyfarers do. As an assassin I thrive in the darkness.
Choose: No matter. We're friends now.
- No matter. We're friends now.
Predator: Friends? You see me as a friend?
Lyria: Of course! You're one of us now, Predator!
Rackam: I imagine you're the type to bottle up your feelings and try to handle everything yourself.
Rackam: Sure, telling us your problems won't solve them, but I guarantee you that you'll feel so much better afterwards.
Rackam: Gotta admit though... You look like you've got some serious problems.
Predator: Serious problems? Me? Hahah, is that what it looks like to an old man?
Lyria: It's not just Rackam though. Everyone here feels the same.
The crew's affectionate consideration for Predator causes her ice-cold heart to thaw out just a bit.
Predator: Okay then... Just don't tell me later that you regret ever having asked.
Vyrn: We're not the sort of cowards to say something like that! You can trust us!
Predator: My father ran an iron and steel factory in Agastia. We lived a humble life, but we were happy.
Predator: When the business went sour, my father took a loan from the Acier mafia family. That's when it all started...
Predator: But no matter how hard he tried, the business never recovered and the debt just kept piling on. And then the accident with the equipment happened...
Ema's Father: Grrargh!
Predator: My father lost his legs. The staff did their absolute best to cover for him.
Predator: But that wasn't enough. The business eventually went bankrupt.
Predator: As payment for the debt, the mafia seized the factory, leaving us to live on the streets.
Predator: At the same time, my father passed away. The toll the injury took on him was just too great.
Predator: Thing is—that whole accident at the factory was a setup by the Acier family. I was furious when I found out!
Unable to find words that would give her solace, (Captain) and company simply look on as she shakes with fists clenched.
Predator: Ever since then I've made it my life's goal to exact revenge on the Acier family, for my father, and for everyone else who worked at the factory...
Predator: I'm sorry if this is boring you.
Rackam: Nuh-uh. I'm glad you told us your story. That's just too much to keep inside.
Lyria: I want to help you, Predator...
Choose: Let us carry the burden together.
- Let us carry the burden together.
Vyrn: Hey, were those guys back there with the Acier family?
Predator: No, they were the opposing family actually.
Vyrn: Wait... Doesn't that mean all we did was help the Acier family?
Predator: For now, yes.
Vyrn: Um, I don't really get it...
Rackam: I'm sure you have your reasons, Predator. I just hope you'll be willing to tell us one day.
Vyrn: Hehe. Yeah, we'll be waiting!
Predator: You guys are too kind.
Predator's stiff expression loosens up a bit as the corners of her lips curve upward—but not quite enough to qualify as a smile.
The day she will be able to tell her full story and smile from the bottom of her heart is still a long ways off.
But meeting (Captain) and company has no doubt left a lasting and positive mark on her.
I Yearn For Only You
Tanya comes to realize how similar she and Predator are and approaches her in hopes of becoming closer. They become friendly with an old man who reminds them each of their late father, and the trio spends some quality time together.
Predator looks up into the crisp, morning sky from a sandy beach, a look of cold dreariness on her face.
Predator: Father... Am I going about this the wrong way?
There is no response. The ebb and flow of the sea are the only sounds breaking the silence.
Just then Predator feels the piercing sensation of eyes watching her every move.
(Again? Doesn't seem like they're going to attack though... I wonder...)
Predator: Hm... (Time to flush them out.)
Predator puts on her mask and saunters into the forest.
Predator stops in her tracks, sharpens her senses, and surveys her surroundings for anyone tailing her.
Predator: Target confirmed! Prepare to die!
She immediately leaps into action.
Predator: Wha? It's you... Tanya...
Tanya barely parries the blazingly fast swipe of Predator's claw in time.
Tanya: Ngh! I have no intention of fighting you. Please put your claws away.
Tanya: I'm sorry...
Predator: So you're the one that's been following me around these past few days, huh? What do you want with me?
Predator seats herself on a nearby stump, her eyes fixed on Tanya.
Tanya: Ah... Erm... W-well...
Predator: Hey, I'm willing to hear you out. I'm not mad or anything. So relax—I'm all ears.
Tanya: Th-thank you... It's just that you and I are alike in so many ways...
Tanya: I knew I wanted to speak to you, but I just couldn't find the right timing...
Predator: Don't tell me... You've been tailing me the last few days just for that?
Tanya: I-I'm so sorry... But yes, I guess that's right.
Now clear as to why Tanya was shadowing her, Predator breathes a sigh of relief.
Predator: Phew... Okay... I really don't see how we're alike though, Tanya.
Tanya: Maybe you're right... But, hey! We're on the same crew! Surely, that counts for something...
Tanya: Umm... Is it okay if we have a little chat? I'd like to know more about you.
Predator: No dice. I didn't join this crew to make small talk. And I won't have anyone prying into my affairs.
Tanya appears unfazed by the retort, even as Predator turns to walk away.
Tanya: Meeting (Captain) and everyone else has changed me. I find myself smiling a lot more, even if inadvertently...
Tanya: And I'd like for you to experience that as well. I mean... We're friends... aren't we?
A heartwarming sensation wells up inside of Predator.
Predator: Heh... You're a strange one.
Just as Tanya's feelings get through to Predator, a voice calling for help rings out from deeper in the forest.
Predator: That way.
The deadly duo push their way through the brush, making their way toward the voice.
Nice Old Man: Aaagh! H-help, anyone!
The girls make quick work of the monsters encroaching upon the old man and his cart.
Predator: Whew... You okay, mister?
Nice Old Man: I can't thank you enough for saving me.
The old man struggles to stand back up but remains slumped on the ground.
Nice Old Man: Looks like I sprained my ankle back there. Heh, my bones sure aren't what they used to be...
Predator reaches out to the old man, his smile tinged with an air of loneliness.
Predator: I imagine pulling that cart around won't be easy. We can give you a hand if you'd prefer.
Nice Old Man: That would be a tremendous help, but... I take it you're part of a crew? Do you really have time to be bothering with me?
Predator: Not a problem. Our captain loves helping people, so helping you would simply be furthering that end.
Tanya: Haha, no worries. I'm sure the captain won't chew us out if we're a bit late.
Predator: So just relax and let us help.
Predator and Tanya accompany the injured old man to a nearby village.
Nice Old Man: Thank you so much. Why don't you two have a seat there? I'll whip up something real tasty!
As soon as they arrive at his home, the old man immediately gets to work playing the role of gracious host despite his injuries.
Predator: Hey, don't stress yourself. I'll do the cooking.
Nice Old Man: But I couldn't possibly ask you to...
Tanya: Relax. It's no trouble at all.
Nice Old Man: Well, if you insist...
Though it's a bit of an awkward situation, Predator and Tanya smile in response and move into the kitchen.
Seeing how skilled Predator is in the art of cooking, Tanya lets out a sigh.
Predator: Huh? What for?
Tanya: I... Erm... Well... I didn't think you'd be so good in the kitchen...
Predator: Hey, that goes for both of us. I actually didn't know you cooked.
Predator spots a hint of pensive melancholy underneath Tanya's gentle smile.
Predator: Okay, I know I'm the one who was against prying earlier, but... You want to tell me what's going on?
Tanya: Yes... Well... Watching that old fellow brought back so many memories of my father—that's all...
Predator: Hm... (So Tanya's lost her father too...)
Predator: We might be alike in a few ways after all...
Tanya senses that Predator, too, is thinking about her own father.
The old man beams at the delectable array of dishes laid out on the table before him.
Nice Old Man: Oh my! Did you two really—
Tanya: That's right. We made it all... No need to look so surprised though.
Predator: Let's eat up while the food's still hot.
Nice Old Man: Great googly moogly, it's all going into my belly! Haha... Which should I try first...
The old man all too excitedly chomps down on the sumptuous cuisine, savory delight in every bite.
Predator: Whoa, slow down there! No need to wolf it all down like th—Huh?
Nice Old Man: ...
Tears of joy stream down his cheeks even with his mouth full.
Predator and Tanya silently watch over the old man as he continues to feast.
Nice Old Man: My apologies... Seeing you two like this reminded me of my daughters... They'd be around your age if they were still alive...
Nice Old Man: Oh, I didn't mean to get all teary-eyed here—I just... couldn't help it... Sniff...
Nice Old Man: Being with you two today has felt like a joyous reunion with my daughters. You have my utmost gratitude for everything you've done for me.
Tanya: Hehe... Well, being the good daughters that we are, we'll even give you a massage later.
Predator: Why don't you wipe your tears first? Wouldn't want the food to get salty.
Nice Old Man: R-right... Ahaha, how silly of me to be shedding tears on such a blissful day.
The old man wipes his tears to show a refreshingly radiant smile.
Predator: Haha... That's more like it. Right, Tanya?
Tanya: Hehe... Agreed.
A fun, nostalgic time is had by all.
This brief respite in the crew's long journey does much to heal the wounds of the two fearless skyfarers.