Scenario:Alec - A Child's Determination

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A Child's Determination

The clashing of blades rings out on the deck of the Grandcypher. Alec is taking on Katalina with a sword, a weapon he is unaccustomed to using, in order to learn the art from her. She scolds him, sensing the fear in his strokes. However Alec believes he has good reason for hesitation due to the nature of his usual fighting abilities, which shorten his own lifespan every time they are used. Angry at Katalina's rebuke, Alec leaves the ship and runs off. Soon after, he happens to hear the scream of a girl being attacked by monsters in a nearby forest.

The Grandcypher was docked at an island. On the deck, the sound of swords clashing was accompanied by cries of rebuke.
Wielding a sword, a weapon he was unfamiliar with, Alec charged at Katalina.
Katalina: What's wrong, Alec? Is this all you have?
Katalina: Poor! Your approach lacks conviction. Come at me again!
Alec: Yaaaahhhh!
Alec: Ugh!
Katalina: All right, that'll do for today.
Sprawled on the deck in defeat, Alec stared bitterly up at the sword tip pointed at his throat, muttering to himself.
Alec: …Why is it? Why can't I land even one blow on her?
Katalina: Well… That would be because there's something you're lacking….
Alec: Something I lack?
Katalina: Yes. Courage.
Alec: That's impossible. Are you calling me a coward?
Katalina: It's not that. Rather, I can sense a fear of death in the motions of your blade. And a timid blade will never reach the opponent.
Katalina: Well? Have you grasped my meaning?
At Katalina's words, Alec sunk into a haughty demeanor.
Alec: Hah! Of course you would understand… Nothing less to be expected of Katalina.
Alec: You're right, of course. It's all thanks to this power I'm cursed with.
Alec: Every time I take down an enemy, it eats away at my very life force…
Alec: Recently, I've become afraid of using my power, so… so… I…
Katalina: I see. So that's why you've taken up training with the sword.
Alec: …………
Alec said nothing, but stood silently and raised his weapon.
Katalina: What is it? I believe I said training was over for today?
Alec: I don't have the time to wait… Not while this is suckin' away at my life every single day. I need to learn the sword now!
Katalina: No. If you overexert yourself, you'll only sustain pointless injury.
Alec: What's a few scratches when my own life is being drained away?
Katalina: Oh dear… That's precisely your problem, Alec.
Katalina: You yourself are not cowardly. You're exactly the opposite, in fact. You have too many reckless qualities.
Katalina: But until you realize for yourself, there's no point in my teaching you the sword any further.
Alec: What's wrong? Why don't you get it?
Alec: All I want is to become strong so I can protect everyone…
Katalina: It's you who needs to understand. How can you possibly protect the lives of others, if you treat your own so wantonly?
Alec: Enough already. I can't rely on you. I'll grow stronger by myself!
Alec: What's Katalina's problem? She doesn't understand me at all…
Alec: I told her I just want to get stronger…
Alec: Get stronger, and then continue on the journey with everyone…
Alec: Why doesn't she get it?
It was at that moment that a scream from inside the forest pierced the air.
???: Eek! Someone, help me!
Alec: What? Why is there a person all the way out here?
Katalina: Huff… Pant… Wait up, Alec!
Alec: …Katalina.
Katalina: I'm sorry. I fear I overstepped the mark when I scolded you. Let's return to the ship. This area is rife with monsters.
Alec: Watch me now, Katalina. I'll prove to you I'm not a coward!
Katalina: Wait, Alec! Where are you going?

A Child's Determination: Scene 2

Alec saves the girl from the monsters, but when she subsequently asks him to show her his powers one more time, his expression darkens, and he vanishes into the forest. Eugen explains the nature of Alec's power to the girl, who is understandably confused. After realizing that Alec's ability to manifest fire and thunder affects his lifespan, the girl becomes upset by her actions. As she worries about him, the sound of Alec's fire and thunder becomes audible deep in the forest.

Girl: Oh! Thank you so much for saving me!
Girl: Hey! You were really amazing! What was that, magic? It was so pretty!
Alec: Errm… Well, kind of…
Girl: Wow! Real magic! That's incredible, um… er…
Alec: Alec.
Girl: Hee hee, Alec!
Girl: Hey, could you show me that magic just one more time?
In contrast to the girl, whose face is beaming like the sun, Alec's expression rapidly clouds over.
Alec: …Sorry, I'm really tired. Maybe another time.
Girl: Oh, Alec! Please wait!
Girl: Sigh… He left…
Girl: Hmm, I wonder if I said something wrong…
Eugen: Sorry 'bout that, Miss. I wonder if ye couldn’t let him be?
Girl: Eh, why's that?
Eugen: Well… That power ye were just talkin' about… It's not somethin' he chose himself.
Girl: Huh? Not something he chose himself? What do you mean by that?
Eugen: How t'say it… He has possessed it since birth, y'see.
Eugen: It's an excessively great power, but he can't keep it'n check with that small body of his.
Eugen: So y'see… well, that little guy has it pretty rough… Even his own lifespan's influenced by his power…
Girl: What? His lifespan is?
Eugen: Uh oh… Think that was a word too far.
Girl: Listen! You have to tell me, please!
Eugen: I'll right, I'll spill the beans, jus' calm down a little.
Eugen: Thing about Alec's power is… The more he uses it, the shorter his life becomes. Guess ye could call it a cursed power.
Girl: Huh? A cursed power?
Girl: How… how awful… And I had no idea…
Girl: Sigh… I asked him to show me it without a second thought… I've been so inconsiderate…
Girl: I'm so sorry… Sniff… What shall I do?
Eugen: Don't worry yerself. Alec knows ye didn't mean him any harm, at least.
Girl: But, but still, I?
Katalina: Hm? That sound… Could it be the sound of Alec's…
Eugen: Let's go, Katalina!

A Child's Determination: Scene 3

Following a fight with monsters, Alec overuses his power and loses consciousness. Carried to a bed in the nearby village and made to listen some truths, he regrets being a burden to everyone. At that moment, a flustered villager enters. It transpires the girl they encountered in the forest, who is his daughter, has gone to pick medicinal herbs for the exhausted Alec, disappearing into the forest. When Alec rushes off to save her, the party attempt to stop him. However, they come to realize it is not out of recklessness, but out of concern for the girl he has met, that he is risking his life.

As Alec came to, he became aware of (Captain) and the others, watching over him.
Alec: …Why… why am I in a… bed?
Eugen: Well, about that… Y'kind of… Used yer powers too much n' collapsed, see.
Katalina: Yes. It's unfortunate, but it would be best not to exercise your power for the time being.
Alec: …No way. Have I gone and caused trouble for everyone again?
Eugen: Can't be helped. No need t' get so gloomy about it. A little rest, and you'll be able to use them again, right?
Eugen: Hey now, say somethin', why don't ya?
Villager: Skyfarers! I live in a village around here. I have something to ask of you!
Katalina: What's wrong? You're pale as a ghost.
Villager: Yes. It's about my daughter… Have any of you seen her? It's dark, and she hasn't come back yet!
Eugen: Well, that sure came out o' the blue. Afraid that's not much t' go on, how do we know who she is?
Villager: Ohhh! My humble apologies!
Villager: The thing is, she told me she had made the acquaintance of some skyfarers at lunch, so I assumed it was…
Katalina: Lunchtime, you say? Then, the girl who was with Alec must be…
Villager: Yes, that's her. That's definitely my daughter! Do you know where she went?
Katalina: Hmmm… I'm sorry, but I haven't any idea where she might have gone…
Eugen: Let's see… Can I ask you one thing?
Villager: Yes, what is it?
Eugen: Well… Is there any place around here that ye might find medicinal herbs or the like?
Villager: Yes, that would be in the center of the forest. They're effective on wounds and can heal all kinds of sickness.
Villager: In fact, they're so potent that people once believed that they could even extend one's life.
Eugen: This ain't good… I should never have told 'er what I did…
Villager: But, well, that area is full of monsters, so no one from the village goes near.
Villager: Wait! Are you telling me… my daughter has…
Everyone started at a sudden sound behind them, and turned quickly to look.
But the bed was empty.
Katalina: Alec! Wait!
Monster: Graggghhh!
Girl: Ahhhh!
Alec: Darn it! That obstinate girl… Hold on! I'm coming!
Katalina: Wait, Alec! Where do you think you're going?
Alec: Let me go, Katalina!
Katalina: I think not. Do you have any idea what you're about to do?
Katalina: Exactly. Leave this to us. Or you really will die this time.
Alec: What of it?
Katalina: You're still saying things like that? Have you realized nothing from what I?
Alec: That's not it, Katalina.
Katalina: Huh?
Alec: If I'm too afraid of dying to protect anyone, then what's the point of living?
Katalina: You mean…
Alec: You said it yourself. That I should have courage.
Alec: Take another look. Is my sword still afraid?
Katalina stared fixedly at Alec's eyes, searching for that glittering light within…
Katalina: Heheh…
Katalina: Indeed, I can see it. That fine courageous blade, deep within your heart.
Katalina: Impressive, Alec! All right, you have my back!
Alec: Heh! Leave it to me!

A Child's Determination: Scene 4

The party saves the girl in the nick of time. Alec chides her for putting herself in danger, but quickly goes red when she proffers the medicinal herbs she has collected for his sake. Watching the pair, the crew suddenly realize Alec has remained composed after using his abilities. It seems that his association with the girl has matured Alec, as well as his capacity to use his powers. With the fear of death no longer upon him, the overjoyous Alec runs wild, nearly destroying the house… much to Eugen's dismay.

(Captain)'s crew were able to locate the girl and rescue her from the monsters…
The party breathes a sigh of relief, but only Alec seems angry.
Alec: How could you do something so rash! Do you have any idea how dangerous that was?
Girl: I'm sorry…
Eugen: Hey, you're not one t'be preaching about rashness, now, are ye?
Katalina: Exactly. You're as headstrong as she is, Alec.
Alec: Th-that's beside the point right now!
Girl: Hee hee…
Alec: But make sure you never do something like that again.
Girl: Yeah. Sorry…
Girl: But, you should too.
Alec: Should what?
Girl: Well… I want you to promise too.
Girl: That you'll stop hating yourself.
Girl: Sorry, but I heard everything from Eugen. He said your power causes you pain.
Girl: But, it's thanks to that power that you can help people.
Girl: I, and everyone from the Grandcypher… We've all been helped by you, Alec.
Alec: …all right. I got it, I'll promise. I won't call it a cursed power or anything anymore.
Alec: Guys, I'm sorry…
Katalina: Hehe… As long as you understand, it's fine.
Eugen: Yeah.
Girl: Um… Also, this… Sorry…
Saying this, the girl holds out her open palm, on which sits the bunch of green leaves she had been holding, glittering with dew.
Alec: What are these?
Girl: Well, these are the medicinal herbs.
Girl: It's my fault your lifespan was shortened, Alec. So, I thought that this was the least I could do…
Alec: …oh. Thanks. I… I guess I might as well hold on to them, then…
Eugen: Hey hey, whatcha goin' all red for, now?
Alec: Sh-shut up! It's your imagination.
With a flustered look, Alec gives Eugen a hard jab.
Eugen: Give it a rest! Ye can't hide yer embarassment from this wily old timer.
Alec: I-I'm not hiding anything!
Katalina: Hold on a minute, Alec. How come you're moving so sprightly all of sudden?
Alec: Eh? Huh… It's true! My body doesn't hurt at all right now…
Alec: The pain that's always there is gone… And I don't feel like my lifespan's been affected either.
Eugen: Ho ho… Looks like you're becomin' an adult!
Alec: Huh? An adult? I don't really feel that way, but…
Eugen: Haven't ye heard? Leave a boy fer three days, 'n he'll come back a grown-up… That's what they say, anyway.
Eugen: It means, well, that yer natural capacity's increasin' as ye grow and all. That's why ye've come to control yer overfowin' power.
Katalina: How does that follow? Eugen, don't go filling his head with unsubstantiated things like that, or who knows what he'll?
Alec: You mean… I can use my powers all I want, and my life won't be shortened any more?
Eugen: Yep, no worries, lad. O'course, it's best not t'get carried away at first. Let's see how it goes, and then?
Alec: Yahoo! Freedom!
Eugen: Hey, watch it now, Alec! Hold on, ye wanna destroy this house or somethin'?
Alec: Ahahahaha!
Katalina: Sigh… That's why I tried to warn you…
Sounds of merriment are not uncommon in the village, but the peals of laughter ringing out this day are more joyous than most.