Scenario:Anila - A Boy and His Soldier

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A Boy and His Soldier

Anila is shown a scene of Eric and his friends telling each other of their most treasured possessions. But when Eric's turn comes, insecurity grips him, and he hides the fact that he's brought his favorite toy.

Anila has fallen into a strange world through the puddle she found near Joya's shrine.
After losing her way for a time, she now resumes searching for the missing boy in this strange place.
Her sheep stay close by her side, warding off any illusions that threaten to entrap her in a web of destructive thoughts.
She grips the lost boy's toy knight as she presses on.
Anila: ...!
I'm sensing something.
Without warning, the darkness changes into a scene set on the snow-covered temple grounds.
Boy: So, did everyone get the stuff?
Girl: Yep! All set!
Anila: (...!
The children from earlier!)
She expects to be seen, but the children don't seem to notice her and instead continue their conversation.
Eric: I'm all set too!
Eric—appearing from just out of sight—joins the boy and girl.
Anila still can't tell if what she sees is reality or an illusion. She decides to stay hidden and watch the scene unfold for now.
Boy: Okay! Then let's all show each other our treasures!
Girl: Oh-oh! I'll start!
Girl: Ta-daa! My treasure is... a pink quill!
Girl: My aunt from a really far-away island gave it to me! She says it's made from the feather of a super rare bird!
Eric: Whoa! It looks so cool!
Boy: Wow! From a rare bird! That sounds like a treasure, all right!
Boy: Okay, I'll go next. Here's my treasure!
The boy opens a small wooden box and shows it to the others.
Eric: Are those... brooches?
Boy: Yep! Collecting 'em is my hobby!
Girl: Oooh! Lemme see, lemme see!
The girl takes the box and squeals in excitement.
Eric: Th-they look expensive.
Boy: Not really. I managed to get all of them with my allowance. Didn't even have to save up.
Girl: But they're so shiny and pretty and they have gems in them and everything!
Boy: Heh heh. Pretty cool, huh?
Boy: So, Eric, what did you bring? Some gems? Or maybe something rare?
Eric: Um... Well... I...
Eric reaches into his pocket but stops just before he pulls something out. There's a guilty, uncomfortable look on his face.
Anila: (Hm? What's going on?)
Eric: Sorry. Actually, I didn't bring anything today. I'm still looking.
Girl: Huh? But just now you said you were all set!
Eric: I... I didn't mean it. Sorry. Just kinda said it by accident.
Boy: Aww, man... Boooring.
Looking for something new to do, the boy gathers the snow around his feet and makes a snowball to throw.
While the boy is looking away, however, the girl takes the box and taps Eric on the shoulder.
Girl: Psst, Eric. Which of these brooches do you want?
Eric: Huh? Which do I want?
Eric is taken aback by the girl's words, yet she continues with a cheery smile.
Girl: Look, he's got so many. Surely he won't miss just one. He'll never even notice.
Anila: (What's she trying to do!)
Eric: Heh heh. Maybe you're right.
Eric: Just one. I'll make one of these my treasure!
Anila: What do you think you're doing! Stop this at once!
Anila jumps to her feet and walks toward Eric.
But before she can reach him, Eric has already taken one of the brooches and run away.
Anila: I'm too late!
Girl: Heh heh heh.
Boy: All too easy.
Anila: You!
Anila: You think this is funny? I won't stand for it!
Anila: Wha! They're gone!
Anila: Where are you? Show yourself!
Eric's Voice: Nyeh-nyeh-n-nyeh-nyeh! Can't catch me!
Anila: Hold it right there!
Boy: Give it back! It's mine!
Eric: Don't wanna!
Anila: What do you think you're doing!
Eric: Nyeh-nyeh!
Anila: Wait!
Penguins: ...!
Anila: Aaah!
Anila: Oww...
Penguins: Auwkh, auwk!
Anila: Hey! Let me pass, I say!
Eric's Voice: Hahahaha!
Anila: Stay still! Where are you...
Eric: You're not the boss of me!
Anila: Or maybe over here...
Eric: Can't catch me! Can't catch me!
Anila: Wh-where is he? His voice is coming from all over...
In the darkness, Eric's voice seems to be both everywhere and nowhere.
Anila is at a loss, for try as she might, she knows she cannot catch him.

A Boy and His Soldier: Scene 2

Making use of her powers, Anila finally gets ahold of Eric. Though at first he still refuses to return home, his tone changes when he catches sight of his favorite toy knight.

Penguins: Auwk, auwk!
Sheep: Baa! Baa!
Anila: (Everything's topsy-turvy here, even the paths. How am I ever going to catch him?)
Eric: Hm? Which way do I go from here?
Anila: Found you!
Eric: Aah!
Anila: Wait!
Nopals: ...!
Angry nopals emerge from the darkness to block Anila's way.
Anila: Wha! Where'd you come from!
Anila: Out of the way! Don't point your prickly fists at me!
Nopals: ...!
Anila: No use talking to you, is there?
Anila: What do I do... I can't chase him. I can't even move from where I am.
Anila: Hm? That's it! Why didn't I think of it before!
Anila thrusts her weapon into the ground.
Anila: My sheep, I summon you!
Anila: More!
Anila: More, more, more!
Sheep pour out in droves from the magic circle at Anila's feet.
Sheep: Baa!
Eric: Whoa!
The space is filled with an uncountable number of sheep—so much so that Eric is rendered unable to move.
Trapped in the fluffy stampede, he drops the brooch. It falls into the darkness and disappears.
Sheep: Baaa! Baaa!
Eric: Whoaaa!
Eric tumbles atop the canopy of the charging flock, which carries him directly to Anila.
Eric: Oww!
Anila: Hehe. Right to my doorstep.
With a soft, kind touch, Anila takes Eric's hand.
Anila: Now, time for us to go home. Your friends and family are worried sick about you.
Eric: I told you I don't wanna go! I'm staying here!
Anila: Now, now, don't say that.
Anila: Why, I heard you were quiet and gentle, Eric. What's gotten you so worked up?
Eric: The old me's gone now!
Eric: I'm done acting like a good kid! I'll do what I want from now on!
Anila: Does that mean it's all right to steal? Is that really going to make you happy?
Eric: Yeah, it will! So let me go already!
Eric pushes Anila's hand away and tries to run.
Anila: Stop! Get back here!
When Anila stands to go after him, the toy knight she had been holding onto slips from her grip.
Eric: ...!
My knight!
Eric's expression changes the moment he lays eyes on the figurine.
He scoops the toy up with both hands and stares deeply at the weathered and worn knight.

A Boy and His Soldier: Scene 3

Eric opens up to Anila, expressing how he longs to see his always working mother. Anila tells him she can relate, having been raised away from her family herself. Freed of destructive thoughts, Eric agrees to return home.

Eric: ...
Eric's eyes stay locked on the toy soldier.
Anila: That's yours, isn't it? It must be very important to you.
Eric: No! A busted-up old toy like this could never be a treasure!
Eric: Treasures are expensive or made from rare birds!
Anila: Treasure?
Eric: ...!
Eric throws the figure to the ground and tries again to run away.
Sheep: Baaa!
Eric: Whoa!
But like a great wall of cotton candy, the sheep bunch together to create a woolen barrier.
Anila: I see how it is now.
Anila picks up the figurine from the ground.
Anila: Before, when you were with your friends, you said you hadn't found your treasure yet.
Anila: But that was a lie, wasn't it?
Eric: I wasn't lying! I... I...
Anila: You brought this to show to your friends. This was your treasure.
Anila: But when you saw what your friends had brought, you lost confidence. You didn't think it was good enough.
Eric: ...
S-so what if I did?
Anila smiles and crouches down next to the boy, figurine in hand.
Anila: Do you know how I can tell this is your treasure?
Anila: It's all scratched up because of how much you've played with it.
Anila: And the paint's been worn away from all the time you've been holding on to it.
Anila: That wouldn't have happened if it wasn't something close to your heart.
Eric: ...
Anila: (That's it. He's coming round.)
Anila: (If I can get him to open up to me, we can get rid of the Kleshas that've poisoned him.)
Anila: Can you tell me who gave this to you?
Eric takes the toy soldier in hand; Anila's gentle voice seems to have calmed him.
He looks away, abashed.
Eric: My mom.
Anila: Oh, I see. And do you like your mother?
Eric: Yeah. But my dad... He's not around anymore.
Eric: It's just me and my mom. She raised me all by herself.
Anila: Well, that's certainly a mother to be proud of.
Eric: But she's never home until really late at night. She's always working.
Eric: Even though all my other friends' moms are always at home with them.
Anila: That must make you feel very lonely.
Eric: ...
Eric: I can't tell her that.
Eric: Mom's always working so hard for the both of us. More than I ever can.
Eric: That's why I have to become a knight. So I can protect her instead.
His knuckles turn white as he grips the figurine.
Anila: (He's been keeping all this bottled up inside for so long.)
Anila: (One can't simply be rid of loneliness. You can cry and you can pout, but you'll still be lonely after.)
Eric: Wh-what're you doing?
Anila: You're such a good little boy. And good little boys deserve a pat on the head.
Eric: Cut it out! I'm not a baby!
Anila: Hehehe. Oh, don't be like that.
Anila: Come on! You guys join in too!
Sheep: Baaa!
Eric: Hey! I said cut it—
Eric: Hehe! Ahahaha!
Anila: Cuddly, aren't they?
Anila: Try giving them a hug. You won't regret it.
Though hesitant at first, Eric buries his face into the wool of one of the sheep.
Eric: It's so warm.
Anila: Hehe. Feels good, doesn't it?
Eric's cares seem to melt away as he pets the sheep.
Anila: I too felt lonely as a child, being raised away from my parents.
Anila: Seeing you brings back memories of when I left home.
Eric: You were alone too?
Anila: I wasn't completely alone; I had others taking care of me. But I hardly ever saw my parents.
Anila: There was a letter my parents wrote to me once. Oh, how I would read the letter over and over.
Anila: So many times, in fact, that before long it was wrinkled, worn, and on the verge of crumbling to dust.
Anila: Just like that toy soldier of yours.
Eric: So... you're just like me.
Eric: Are you still lonely?
Anila: Now I have companions closer to me than brothers or sisters.
Anila: When I think about them, my heart starts to get nice and warm, and then I don't feel so lonely anymore.
Eric: I wish I had friends like that...
Anila: Humph. Actually, I believe you already do.
Eric: Huh?
Anila: Hehe. You'll know what I mean when we get back to the village.
Eric closes his eyes and sinks deep into thought as he pets the sheep.
Anila: (He's calmed down. Looks like most of those negative emotions are gone now.)
Eric: ...
I wanna go home.
Anila: Then let's do just that.
Anila: When you get back home, tell your mother how you really feel, all right?
Eric: Okay. I will.
Giving the sheep one last hug, Eric stands to his feet.
Anila takes his hand, and they head toward the light.
Just as they begin to see the snowy plains on the other side of the portal, however, something happens.
Anila: ...!
The portal! It's closing!
As if in response to their approach, the portal quickly starts to shrink.
Anila: Eric! Run!
Eric: Okay!
Eric: Oof!
Eric's foot catches on something, and he falls to the ground.
Boy: You shall not escape...
Eric: Eek!
Anila: I won't let you take him!
Boy: Tsk.
Tempter: Gwoooar!
Eric: H-he turned into a monster!
Anila: Get behind me, Eric!
Anila: You'll corrupt innocent hearts no longer!
Anila: Prepare to be defeated!

A Boy and His Soldier: Scene 4

The monsters close the exit portal, but Anila uses her powers to break through the walls and reach the outside world. Reunited with his mother and friends, Eric finally tells his friends about his most prized toy soldier, a memento of the precious day he spent with his mother.

Tempter: Grrr...
Having defeated the monsters, a heavy silence descends on them.
Eric: Miss, are you hurt?
Anila: Not to worry, I'm fine.
Anila: However, it looks like the portal's closed.
Where there was once a glow of white light, there is now nothing but darkness.
Eric: Sob, sob... I'm sorry. If only I hadn't tripped...
Anila: Now, now, don't cry. It's not your fault.
Eric: Sob... Mm...
Anila: Everything's going to be just fine. There has to be another way out of here—I know it.
Anila walks through the darkness, searching for an exit.
But no matter how long she walks, it all seems for naught.
Eric: Sigh...
Anila: (This could be a problem.)
Anila: (I supposed the monsters thought that if they couldn't defeat us, they might as well trap us here forever.)
Sheep: Baaa!
Anila: Right you are; we shouldn't lose hope.
Anila: (But if only I knew what to do...)
???: ...!
Eric: That sounds like my mom!
Eric: Mom! Mom!
Eric's Mother: Eric? Where are you?
Eric: I'm here, Mom! I'm here!
Anila: There! I see something!
Straining her eyes, she can faintly make out a faint glow in the distant dark.
Anila: Th-that looks like a crack in the walls!
Beyond the sliver of light, they see the snow-covered land of the outside world.
Eric: What do we do? How do we get to the other side?
Anila: I have an idea. Stand back!
Anila: Prepare to be defeated!
Anila: Hyaaah!
Anila: Fury of the Ram!
Eric: Miss, are you okay?
Anila: Perfectly fine. I'm just enjoying the snow!
Eric: Whew..
Eric: Hehe! We finally made it out!
Anila: That we did!
???: Eric!
Eric: Mom!
The mother takes her son in her arms.
Eric: Hm? Mom, don't you have work right now?
Eric's Mother: Oh, Eric, how could I work when you go missing like that?
Eric's Mother: I was so worried about you.
Eric: I'm sorry...
Anila: Ahh, mother and son reunited. I'm glad everything worked out just fine.
Eric's Mother: And who might this be, Eric?
Eric: She saved me, Mom! And she even found my knight!
Eric's Mother: Is that so?
Thank you, ma'am. I can't tell you how grateful I am.
Eric's mother lowers her head.
Anila: Psst. Isn't there something you want to tell your mother?
Eric: Oh, y-yeah...
Eric finally lets his mother know about the loneliness he feels from her frequent absence.
Eric: I know you're busy at work... But sometimes you come back only after I've gone to sleep.
Eric: I wish I could talk to you more. I wanna tell you about so many things—happy things, sad things, everything.
Eric's Mother: I see.
Eric's Mother: I'm sorry for making you feel that way, son. You're such a good boy and never complain—I just kept on working without thinking how you'd feel.
As the mother hugs her son, Anila doesn't miss the sadness that clouds the mother's face.
Anila: How about this: when you want to talk to your mother about something, why don't you write her a letter?
Eric's Mother: A letter, you say?
Anila: That's right! You can read his letter when you get back home, then leave a reply for him in the morning.
Eric: That sounds fun! Can we do it, mom?
Eric's Mother: Hmm, yes. That sounds like a wonderful idea. Anything to help you feel less alone at home.
Girl: Oh! It's Eric!
Boy: Where'd you go? We looked everywhere for you!
Eric: Umm... It's a secret!
Boy: What? Hey, I wanna know!
Girl: I'm so glad you're okay. You made such a sad face when we were showing each other treasures—I was worried.
Boy: Yeah, and you still haven't shown us your treasure yet!
Eric: Huh?
Girl: I knew you were lying about not having found your treasure. You were the one who said we should show each other our treasures in the first place!
Eric: Th-that obvious, huh?
Eric grips the toy knight in his hands.
Anila: (Hehe. That's it! You can do it!)
Anila nods a smile of encouragement.
Boy: A toy knight?
Girl: It doesn't look all that special on the outside. Why's it your treasure?
Eric: It's special because of what it means to me.
Eric: My mom gave it to me when we went to town for my birthday.
Eric: There were so many fun things that day. And this reminds me of everything that happened.
Eric: Well... That's it.
Boy: Whoa! Now that's what I call a treasure!
Girl: That's so sweet and wonderful!
Eric's Mother: Sob...
Eric: Mom? Are you crying?
Eric's Mother: I... I just have something in my eye.
Anila: ...
Anila: Aww, come here, you!
Eric: Whoa! What're you doing?
Anila: Nothing!
Anila: Snuggly-wuddly-woo!
Eric: C-cut it out! You're embarrassing me!
Eric blushes as Anila snuggles him with all her might.
After a little giggle, she turns to face him.
Anila: Do you understand now? You didn't need to hide anything in the first place.
Eric: Hehe. Guess you're right.
Anila: It's not about whether your most cherished item is valuable or not—if you cherish it, that's what makes it valuable!
Anila: I hope you never forget that.
Eric: I won't!
Anila: Hehe! Good answer!
She puts her finger to the toy knight's chest.
Anila: Now, be sure never to throw this away again, okay?
Looking surprised, he nods with a tinge of guilt.
Eric: Ah...
Eric's Mother: Now, how about we head back and treat ourselves to an early dinner? What do you say?
Eric's Mother: Thank you so much, young lady. For everything.
Anila: Haha. Think nothing of it!
Eric: Bye! Let me pet your sheep again one day!
Waving goodbye, Eric goes home surrounded by his mother and friends.
Anila: Whew. I guess that's case closed for this one.
Anila turns back to face the empty bell tower.
Anila: (Anger and jealousy are always the result of something else. Their cause always lies somewhere deeper.)
Anila: (To see life from another's perspective. That's what one needs to banish the self destructive force of the Kleshas.)
Anila: Hehe. I still have a long way to go myself.
Anila is the guardian of the South-Southwest. Yet at her core she was, and still is, simply a girl who loves her parents.
She holds her head high, safe in the knowledge that the pain she faced as a child has—at the very least—relieved another of the same suffering.