(Captain) and company stumble across a talking dog that shifts from being docile to extremely foul-mouthed and hostile. This meeting is interrupted by a woman's scream. Racing to the house where the scream came from, the crew discovers a man who is about to use his scythe on the woman inside. This man is Rosine's husband.
One day after coming across a tale entitled Rosine's Rice Crackers, the crew decides to visit the real person it's based on.
Rosine: Why, hello there! Welcome, welcome, one and all!
A sweet old lady by the name of Rosine gives the crew a warm welcome, though the pack of children capering about her seem indifferent to them.
Sadly this woman has a tragic past.
She once happily lived with her surgeon husband deep in the woods.
That came to an end when an organization calling themselves the Primal Beast Research Agency kidnapped him.
Rosine: Now, I always have the children and the islanders with me, so my loneliness left me long ago.
Rosine: But y'know... It'd be nice if I could see him one last time...
Even the children of the island know that deep down in the old woman's heart, her solitude never truly disappeared.
They encourage her to go on a journey to find her missing husband.
Rosine: Lillian, Vernon, and (Captain). Thank you for having me aboard.
To expedite the reunion between these two lost loves, the crew visits a certain mountain village following a tip.
(Captain) helps Rosine along the rugged village grounds.
Vyrn: Um, anyone else think this "grim reaper" person is all too convenient?
Lyria: I do!
Vyrn: And according to the rumors, he doesn't sound like the kindly old grandpa Rosine described to us.
Earlier the crew had gone to the Knickknack Shack about a tip that someone has been found possibly matching Rosine's husband.
Sierokarte: They say he appears next to someone's death bed on the wings of nightmares. Or that he vanishes to the chorus of agonized screams.
Sierokarte: He attacks every night when people are asleep to quench the bloodlust of his scythe.
Sierokarte: That's how the rumors go anyway.
Vyrn: I can't tell which parts of Siero's info are real or fake.
Vyrn: But if it turns out he's not the old guy we're looking for, we'd better have plan B ready!
Lyria: Yes! We have to keep Rosine safe at all costs!
Rosine: Thank you, dearies.
Arriving at the village, the crew immediately sets upon digging up what information they can.
But tracking down such a supposedly dangerous individual is unexpectedly fruitless, much less having any hopes of finding a run-of-the-mill old man.
Days pass by with little progress made in the search.
Lyria: Gosh, Granny! Look at all the pretty little white flowers!
Rosine: Well, isn't that something? Sprouty little sweethearts...
Rose. Come take a look at this.
What is it?
Rosine: Bless my heart! I had no idea these beauties were blooming here.
???: The children heard you saying how much you liked them, so they planted some for you.
Rosine: Such darlings...
???: That way when they bloom every year around this time, you'll have joy to match.
Rosine: Hahaha. Cuter flowers there never were.
???: You make a wonderful mother.
Rosine: Because I have you.
Vyrn: Doesn't make sense though. You'd think we'd at least hear a whisper about this scary customer by now.
Lyria: Mm... We asked everyone that lives here, but no one knows anything.
They continue to search every nook of the village but find not a single trace of this mysterious person.
Rosine: Whoever it was has probably moved on by now.
Rosine: Thank you, (Captain). You've looked long enough.
Rosine: We'll just have to cut our losses. Let's head home.
Rosine accepts the harsh reality. The crew trudges back to the airship, clearly dejected.
Vyrn: Uh, did you hear that?
Lyria: It sounded like a dog! It came from over there!
The crew ventures deeper into the forest to ascertain the owner of the voice.
Dog: Whimper... Bark, bark! Whine...
A large dog with flowing golden fur winces in pain from having its leg caught in a trap.
Rosine: Oh no, no, no! How absolutely dreadful!
As Rosine approaches the dog, its pained yelps become menacing growls.
Dog: Grr... Woof, woof!
Vyrn: Er, hey, uh, Granny? You shouldn't go near a panicking dog!
Rosine: I can't leave it stuck like that. Will you help me, (Captain)?
Rosine and (Captain) take small deliberate steps toward the trapped animal.
Rosine: Aw, I know it hurts. It's okay. Don't be afraid. Just bear with it a little longer.
Rosine stretches out her hand for the dog to smell. In her hand is senbei, a type of rice cracker.
Dog: Sniff, sniff...
Rosine: It's for you.
Distracted by the delicious aroma of the senbei, the dog takes a timid bite.
In that instant (Captain) undoes the trap, freeing its captive.
Rosine: What a relief. Thank you, (Captain).
Dog: Arf, arf, thank you, arf, arf!
Vyrn: Whoa! You can talk?
Lyria: I heard it too! You're not a normal dog, are you?
Rosine: Heehee. You must be hungry. Here, take all you want.
Dog: Woof, woof! Lick...
Rosine: Haha, that tickles. This old lady doesn't have senbei for hands, y'know.
Vyrn: How's your head, dog? Looks like you got hit up there—
Vyrn: Oh no! Does it hurt?
Dog: Whine... Don't touch me, you bloated gasbag!
Rosine: Come again?
The dog's demeanor suddenly shifts, its glare as piercing as a demon's, its thirst for blood aimed squarely at the crew.
(Captain) instinctively draws a sword against this perceived threat.
Dog: Snort. Don't make me laugh.
Dog: Lure me in with a pleasant facade before slicing my belly open. I see through your tricks!
Lyria: That's not what we had in mind at all! (Captain) would never do such a thing!
Dog: Nice try, but all people are the same! Scum-suckers who talk big to stroke their own egos while stepping all over us!
Dog: That's why people are rotten sacks of useless flesh! Mange-ridden parasites!
Vyrn: The heck's your problem! What did we do to you?
Dog: Shut your stupid mouth!
Dog: Why am I being forced to live like this?
Dog: I'm gonna tear into that decaying geezer's neck and rip the life out of him!
Vyrn: Oh crap... This ain't good!
Woman's Scream: Aaaaah!
Lyria: That was a woman's scream!
Vyrn: I'm more worried about that dog, so I'm going after it first!
We should go too.
Lyria: Huff... huff... Are you doing okay, Granny?
Rosine: Yes, I'm fine!
Vyrn: There you guys are! I lost the dog, but I think that scream we heard came from this house!
Lyria: That dog seemed really sad to me.
Vyrn: Yeah, that's why I chased after it.
Vyrn: But since we're here now, might as well check out what that scream was about!
Lyria: Yes, we should!
Lyria: Um, hello? Is everything all right? We heard a scream, and—
Reacting to the commotion from outside, the door of the house slowly opens.
A hooded figure stands in the doorway, with his large scythe seemingly ready to slice open the throat of the woman lying in bed.
Rosine: My love...
Promise by Senbei
Rosine ushers the crew away from the house so as not to impede her husband while he performs surgery. While they wait, she tells the crew more about her doctor husband. Once he's finished performing his operation, he comes out to have a tearful reunion with Rosine.
Rosine: My love...
The hooded man flinches in the slightest upon hearing Rosine's voice but otherwise ignores her.
Rosine: Everyone... We should leave right away.
Vyrn: Wait, why? You know something we don't?
Rosine: Please do this for me, okay? We're not supposed to be here.
Confusion strikes the crew members, but they can't ignore the urgency in Rosine's request.
Vyrn: No way! Are you tellin' me that hooded maniac is Gramps?
Lyria: Then why didn't you stay and talk to him? Didn't you want to see him again?
Rosine: It's not right to interrupt someone on the job. A patient's life hangs in the balance.
Vyrn: Uh, you heard that scream too, right? Gramps is gonna murder—
Vyrn: Bwuh? Did you say "patient"?
Lyria: Oh, that's right. Rosine's husband is a doctor!
Vyrn: So is he, like, performing an operation right now or something?
Rosine: Yes. That's why we had to leave quickly.
Lyria: Ah, so that's what you meant.
Rosine: I'm sorry I didn't get to the point sooner.
Rosine: It's such a nice day for a walk, don't you think? Come on, the operation will take a while to finish.
Rosine: My goodness.
Rosine plops down next to some flower beds, produces an old flat iron, and begins toasting senbei.
She proceeds to talk about her husband.
Rosine: My hubby was a preeminent physician. The best of the best.
Rosine: From itty-bitty nicks and scratches you'd find on any scamp...
Rosine: To wounded, vagrant skyfarers and knights who lost limbs, he treated all sorts of patients until they fully recovered.
Rosine: His reputation stretched outside the village and became known all across the island.
Rosine: And then one day... they took him away.
Rosine: I searched far and wide for him for such a long time.
Rosine: But even with the help of his former patients...
Rosine: I found nothing useful that could lead me to him.
Rosine: This is where I called it quits...
Rosine touches a dust-covered flat iron, long lost to storage, her days of baking senbei behind her.
Rosine's Husband: Ever since I met you, Rose, I never realized that your senbei were my favorite snack in the whole wide world.
Rosine's Husband: Do we have any brown sugar left? I love that stuff.
Reliving those salad days evokes too much emotion for Rosine's heart to bear.
As the tears well up in her eyes, a lost child happens by.
Child: Sniff... Momma... Where's Momma!
Rosine: Aw, did you lose your momma? That must be scary.
Rosine: Let's get you out of the cold and warmed up with a hot cup of tea.
Rosine wipes away her tears before the child can notice and ushers him into her house.
She treats the lost boy to tea, senbei, and a warm welcoming smile.
Child: Um, thanks, miss lady.
Rosine: Heehee. You're welcome.
Touched by Rosine's kindness, the child's cheeks begin to dry, calm returning to his heart.
Child: Can I ask you something, miss lady?
Rosine: What is it?
Child: How come you're so sad?
Child: 'Cause these crackers make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Rosine's Husband: Whenever I bite into your senbei, my face lights up with joy.
Rosine's Husband: Your charity brings cheer to anyone lucky enough to have a taste.
Rosine's Husband: I love that soft twinkle in your eyes when you treat someone to a crispy sliver of heaven.
Rosine's Husband: When you frown, the whole world frowns with you. So regardless of what sadness may befall us, let's live on with a smile.
Rosine: I'm sorry, dearie, was Granny showing a frown?
Rosine: Granny knows better than that. She has to pull it together.
Child: No, it's okay. I don't think it's a bad thing.
Child: This cracker is sooo good!
Rosine: Really? Heehee... You're sweet.
Thanks to this chance encounter with a young boy, Rosine remembers the promise she made with her husband.
She vows from that day forth to never let anything snatch her smile away from her.
Rosine: After that, many of the village children came to keep me company.
Rosine: Their visits uplifted me from the loss of my husband, as I spent each precious day laughing with others.
Rosine: There aren't enough years left in me to express how thankful I am to those children and the islanders. They are my special treasures.
Lyria: Sob... Oh, Granny...
Rosine: Heehee. I haven't forgotten you, Lillian, or Vernon, or (Captain) either. You're all my special treasures too.
Rosine: Thank you for bringing me along.
A distant voice calls out to Rosine.
Slowly she turns, and there he stands, the man she has traveled great lengths to find.
Rosine's Husband: Rose!
That soft-spoken voice. That familiar smile. A decade of fleeting felicity roars alive.
Rosine's Husband: Rose!
Rosine: My love...
Rosine: It's really you, my love!
Rosine's Husband: Dearest Rose... I caused you heartache, didn't I?
Rosine: I can't... take this...
And for the first time since meeting the crew, Rosine breaks down in front of her companions.
Promise by Senbei: Scene 2
Florus, Rosine's husband, reveals the details of what he's been up to in his ten-year absence from Rosine. He introduces her to his two "children," Gaspar and Lyon, two distinct entities that inhabit one body—the body of the dog the crew had run into earlier in the forest.
Rosine and her husband finally reunite after many years.
Not wishing to intrude, the crew gives the couple some room to catch up.
Rosine: I'm just happy to see you're safe more than anything else.
Rosine's Husband: How did you get along while I was gone? I'm sorry for putting you through those lonely times.
Rosine: It wasn't like that really. All the villagers made sure I didn't feel alone.
Rosine's Husband: Good, good. I must remember to thank everyone when I get back.
Vyrn: Hahaha! Hooray for Rosine!
Florus: Ah, where are my manners? My name is Florus.
Florus: Please accept my deepest gratitude for looking after Rose. If there's anything I can do to repay you...
Vyrn: Hehe, it's all good. Just happy to see the grandsome twosome back together again!
Rosine: Before we go any further, I want to show off this fantastic family man to you all.
Dog: Grrr... Bark! Bark!
Florus: I'm your family. Don't be afraid. Come over here.
Florus: Hello, Lyon. How are you? Is Gaspar asleep?
Dog: Whine... Sniff, sniff.
Florus: Hahaha. You know that tickles. Begging for treats, are we?
Florus: Gaspar... I want you to keep living.
Dog: Shut up, or I'll shut you up when I chew off your wrinkly gullet!
Florus: Of course I wish the same for Lyon. You're both my precious sons.
Dog: Quit patting yourself on the back while trying to kiss our asses!
Dog: If you're so proud of this father-figure charade, then don't forget to worship the steaming piles I squeeze out too, senile coot!
Florus: If that's what it takes for you to live, then I'll gladly take a soak in a manure bucket.
Florus: I'll do anything for the happiness of my sons.
Gaspar: Don't worry.
Gaspar: You and I have each other. Not by choice anyway.
The dog's magnificent tail droops along the dirt, and it turns away from Florus and the others to head back into the forest depths.
Florus: Actually, Rose, there's a child I'd like you to meet.
Rosine: A child, you say?
Florus: Come, Gaspar.
Vyrn: Huh? I don't see anyone else around though.
Florus: This one's a bit on the shy side.
Florus: Gaspar. I know you're there, Gaspar. Come over here with Lyon.
Florus persists in gently calling out to the still forest.
Eventually a large dog steps out from behind a tree.
Vyrn: Hey! You're that mutt from before!
Florus: Hm, I guess you've already been acquainted.
Gaspar: How did you know I was here?
Florus: A parent always knows where their own children are, no matter what they're up to.
Gaspar: You're the only one trapped in this family delusion, you decrepit mummy.
Vyrn: Hey there! Gaspar, was it? I'm Vyrn!
Vyrn: I was chasin' after you, but you gave me the slip. Good to see you again!
Gaspar: Like I give a damn what people call their caged lizard. Go crawl into a fire and grill yourself.
Vyrn: Wha... What!
Rosine: Hello, Mustang. I'm Mrs. Rosine. It's nice to meet you.
Florus: Huh, I see your hearing hasn't improved much over the years. His name is Gaspar, Rose.
Rosine: Oh dear, hearing problems, you say...
Gaspar: Humph. It was the geezer's idea.
Florus: And the other one is Lyon. Come on out, Lyon.
Lyria: Hm? There's one more?
Gaspar: Humph. Whatever...
Lyon: Woof, woof, woof! Awooo!
Rosine: What in heavens...
Vyrn: Freaky! What's goin' on here?
Florus: Meet Lyon.
Rosine: So Gaspar and Lyon are one and the same?
Rosine: They must get along really well.
Vyrn: Um, are you really just gonna leave it at that, Granny?
Florus: Hahaha. Nothing ever fazes you, Rose.
Rosine: I'm Mrs. Rosine. Nice to meet you, Lyon.
Lyon: Pant, pant, pant. Play, play!
Florus: Rose, there's something I want to discuss with you. Will you hear what I have to say?
The crew follows Florus into a house.
Florus: This is where I'm staying under the island's hospitality.
Florus: The villagers know of my circumstances and are providing me with shelter.
Lyria: So that's why they wouldn't tell us anything about you.
Florus: I'm sorry that made looking for me all the more difficult.
Vyrn: Tell me something, Gramps. Why were you dressed up in that creepy getup?
Vyrn: Have you heard the crazy rumors swirling out there about you?
Florus: Hahaha, that's the idea.
Vyrn: Huh? That's what you were going for? You don't have a care in the world, eh, Gramps?
Florus: Since I'm being hounded by certain parties, rumors that blur who I really am are a godsend.
Vyrn: Hmm... Guess you could say that.
Vyrn: So what'd you want to say to Granny?
Florus, who had brought up the matter in the first place, simply gazes at Rosine.
Rosine: My love.
Rosine: It's okay. Don't make it harder than it needs to be.
Rosine: Tell me everything from the beginning.
Florus: You see right through me, don't you, Rose?
Rosine: Hahaha, you think so?
With Rosine's blessing, Florus screws up his courage and begins to speak.
Promise by Senbei: Scene 3
Rosine encourages Florus to rescue the creatures that are being experimented on by the organization that kidnapped him ten years ago. Though the couple has just reunited, they decide to travel down different paths for the time being. Florus promises that once he's completed his mission, he will return for Rosine.
Florus recounts what took place during his absence.
Kidnapped by the Primal Beast Research Agency, he was exposed to atrocious animal experimentation.
Florus: Monsters, animals, primal beasts... They caged all manner of living creatures.
Florus: They were forced to endure endless agony while under the influence of a cocktail of narcotics.
This laboratory was attempting to stitch together divergent creatures to manufacture military-grade living weapons capable of opposing primal beasts.
New breeds with fused attributes surpassing any other creature, all wrapped in one hybrid body.
Florus: The creatures they birthed were called chimeras.
However, their research was incomplete, resulting in beings with lifespans measuring mere hours.
Vyrn: That's so messed up...
Florus: They're a pack of butchers fancying themselves to be like Astrals.
Florus: But the chimeras... I wish I could rescue those pitiable souls.
Florus: The hubris of man knows no bounds in its ceaseless slaughter—carcasses minced, the sanctity of life spit on... It defies all rhyme or reason...
Florus: Rose. I escaped from that facility and set off to return to you.
Florus: But when I saw that you weren't home, I assumed the worst until I noticed your flat iron was missing.
Florus: I'm not sure why, but somehow that told me you were safe.
Florus: They were still pursuing me at the time, so I left the island without speaking to anyone.
Rosine: I see...
Florus: Although I never would've dreamed you were soaring through the skies as a skyfarer.
Rosine: Heehee. Never underestimate the power of an experienced lady.
Florus: You always stop at nothing to amaze me.
Florus: To see you again like this—
Rosine: Is like a dream come true.
Rosine: Just one thing, my love.
Florus: What is it?
Rosine: If you don't save those children, who will?
Rosine: I don't want to be put on one side of the scale while your important mission is on the other.
Rosine: And I know you can't choose only one side because both have a place in your heart.
Rosine: You are my beloved soul mate. But you're also an extraordinary doctor.
Rosine: Save them. Save as many of those precious lives as you can.
Rosine: You're the only one who can do it.
Lyria: Huh? Rosine?
Florus: Rose... Sorry...
Florus: Thank you.
Lyria: Wait! How can you leave after not seeing each other for all these years?
Lyria: I-I know! Why don't you come with us, Florus?
Lyria: I really think we'd be better off traveling together!
Vyrn: Yeah! Now that we've heard the story, we wanna help save 'em too!
Florus: Thank you. You young'uns are kind to offer.
Florus: But I can't allow that. I'd rather spare you and Rose from the dangers that stalk me.
Vyrn: Yeah, but—
Florus: Your goal is to reach Estalucia. You can't lose sight of that.
Lyria: How can you say that after you two finally found each other? And now you can't be together? Think about how Rosine feels!
Rosine: That's enough, Lillian. I'll be all right.
Lyria: But... But!
Rosine: Now, now. It's quite all right.
Rosine: I still have you, don't I, Lillian? So I won't be lonely.
Lyria: Are you really sure about this?
Rosine: As sure as sure can be. This old lady doesn't lie.
Lyria: Sniff... Rosine... I'm never going to leave you alone! You'll never have to feel lonely again!
Rosine: Thank you, dearie...
Lyria sheds tears for Rosine's plight. Touched by Lyria's compassion, the elder sheds soft tears of her own.
Florus: Young skyfarer.
Florus: Once I have completed the first stages of what must be done, I'll return for Rose.
Florus: When that time comes, if you would so oblige, may I join you on your journey to Estalucia?
Choose: You got it!
- You got it!
- You had me at "young skyfarer."
(Captain) nods in acknowledgment of Florus's determination.
Lyria: Yes! You're more than welcome to!
Vyrn: Say, Gramps, you're trying to get to Estalucia too, right? You got business there?Choose: You had me at "young skyfarer."
(Captain)'s frankness elicits an amused smile from Florus, and he offers a handshake to seal the deal.
Vyrn: Hehe, there we go! Just saying a promise isn't gonna cut it!
Vyrn: Say, Gramps, you're trying to get to Estalucia too, right? You got business there?Continue 1
Florus: Yes. I have to go for my children.
Lyon: Whimper... Arf, arf!
Gaspar: Are you kidding me with this? Why the hell am I a dog!
Gaspar: Wretched filth! How dare you!
Gaspar: I'm a monstrosity!
Gaspar: Show your face, you old bag of bones! Release me from this cruel life support!
Gaspar: Do you really expect me to let you die in peace? I'll feast on your carcass until there's nothing left!
Gaspar: No cartilage, no marrow, no nothing!
Vyrn: Oh yeah. You gotta save the other guys first!
Florus: That's right. In the meantime look after Rose, would you?
Lyria: Okay. We'll be waiting for you!
Rosine: Gaspar, Lyon. Please take care of Daddy.
Rosine: Mommy will do her part to pray every night for your safety.
Gaspar: Listen, crone, where do you get off acting like a parent too?
Florus: Gaspar. Perhaps Lyon would like to see Mommy off as well?
Gaspar: Is the wax blocking your ears? Senile rot-brains, the whole lot of—woof!
Lyon: Arf, arf... Woof!
Vyrn: Haha. Take it easy, Lyon and Gaspar.
Rosine: Always remember to look after yourself. I'll be waiting for as long as it takes.
Florus: I will. And I'll see you again.
With their promise made, two roads diverge in a blue sky for Rosine and Florus.
Yet a sad separation this is not, for the two well-traveled souls will forge on toward a brighter future, and that will make all the difference.