Scenario:Aster - Crossbow Training

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Crossbow Training

Though at first eager to train with Milleore and Sahli Lao, Aster grows despondent when she so quickly gets fatigued on the first day of intensive training. In an attempt to both cheer her up and help her improve, Milleore asks Aster to consider what her strengths and weaknesses are.

(Captain) and the crew are staying in the town's inn while they prepare for their rematch with the wyverns.
Early one morning, Metera is awakened by a noise downstairs and looks out the window.
Metera: Huh? Is that Aster? With... Sahli Lao and Milleore?
Metera: Well, what do you know! Since when have they been all buddy-buddy?
Hey, Sutera... Sutera?
Metera shakes Sutera back and forth in an attempt to rouse her.
Sutera: Mm... Metera?
Metera: Take a look out the window. Don't see those three hanging out often, do you? What do you think they're doing with those weapons?
Sutera: Yawn... Mhm. Apparently they took Aster on as an apprentice or something...
Metera: Huh? An apprentice?
Milleore: All right, your training starts today. We don't know exactly when those wyverns will be back, but it's safe to assume we don't have much time. Are you ready to do this?
Aster: Yes! I can't wait for my first lesson!
The morning after Sahli Lao and Milleore accepted Aster as their apprentice, they make their way to a vast forest on the outskirts of town to train.
Sahli Lao: Now then, before we begin, I'd like to ask you a question about your crossbow.
Sahli Lao: I noticed that both your big sisters use longbows... Is there a reason why you use a crossbow instead?
Aster: Um... My sisters?
Milleore: Yes. Metera and Sutera are your sisters, correct?
Aster: Oh! N-no, you've got it all wrong!
Aster: I'm not actually related to Metera or Sutera!
Aster: We just serve as guardians in the same village, that's all.
Aster: I do look up to them like big sisters though...
Sahli Lao: Oh, is that so? I'm sorry—I shouldn't have assumed!
Aster: There's no reason to apologize! I should be the one apologizing for not being clear!
Aster: I was frail and sickly when I was little, so I always admired Metera and Sutera growing up.
Aster: There were a lot of days I was too weak to even pull the bowstring, and some days I couldn't do any training at all...
Aster: But then one day I read a book from an outside island and learned about the existence of crossbows!
Sahli Lao: I see... So you fashioned a crossbow all on your own to overcome your weakness? How wonderful!
Aster: Oh, no... A blacksmith in my village was kind enough to help me!
Milleore: Ah, you had the assistance of a professional craftsman then? The aim did seem too accurate for it to have been homemade.
Milleore: Hm. Well, you seem like you're already used to handling your weapon, so it might be time to start thinking about what you can improve on.
Aster: That makes sense! If I figure out what I need to get better at, I'll be able to shoot farther without losing power!
Milleore: Shooting farther won't necessarily solve anything.
Aster: ...?
Milleore: Well, before we start thinking about practical application, let's spend today reviewing the basics—starting with how to properly hold a crossbow.
Sahli Lao: Hehe. We managed to procure a number of teaching aids and targets and whatnot to work with. Reminds me of my own training days...
Aster: You brought all that just for me? Thank you so much!
Milleore: All right, let's get started. First we'll practice shooting targets at point-blank range...
And so the training session begins, led by Sahli Lao and Milleore.
They continue training for the remainder of the day, only deciding to head back to the inn after the sun has set.
Aster: Urgh... My legs are all wobbly...
Sahli Lao: Say, are you all right? Did we work you too hard?
Aster: I-I'm fine! I won't improve if I don't push my limits!
Aster: But, um, I was curious... Do the two of you practice like this every day?
Sahli Lao: Ahaha. Every day would be a bit much, even for us. We're basically following a training regimen you'd use for a short period of time, like a boot camp.
Milleore: Hm... The fact that your lower body hurts means you haven't been shooting with the correct posture.
Milleore: But you've got a good head on your shoulders, and you're quick to catch on.
Sahli Lao: That's right. Now if we can just work on your basic strength and agility...
Aster: Urgh...
Sahli Lao: What's wrong? If you're in a lot of pain, we might need to treat you...
Aster: Oh, no, that's not it!
Aster: I was just thinking maybe I'm a lost cause after all...
Milleore: But you were already aware of your shortcomings beforehand—that's why you asked to be our apprentice, correct?
Aster: Yes. But seeing how exhausted I am after only the first day of training makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to fight like the two of you...
Sahli Lao: ...!
Milleore: Listen to me, Aster. In order to stand on the battlefield, you must first understand your own strengths and weaknesses.
Aster: ...!
Sahli Lao: Heh. That's what we were told back when we were in training, isn't it?
Milleore: That's right. Are you aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, Aster?
Aster: My strengths and weaknesses?
Milleore: Yes. Understanding theory is one thing, but understanding yourself can be surprisingly difficult.
Sahli Lao: Right. But it's an important step you'll need to take if you want to contribute on the battlefield.
Aster: ...
Milleore: Let's make that your homework. Spend some time thinking about what your strengths and weaknesses might be.
Aster: Okay... I'll try!
And thus Aster's first day of training comes to an end.

Crossbow Training: Scene 2

Aster's crossbow training continues, her mind stewing over Milleore's words the entire time. (Captain) and company happen to drop by with some food right when the archer team takes a break. Aster uses the opportunity to ask (Captain) what the captain thinks her strengths are.

Aster: Hm... My strengths and weaknesses...
That night, unable to sleep, Aster gets lost in thought in the lobby of the inn.
Aster: (One of my weaknesses is definitely my frail constitution. Milly and Lao even mentioned that I'm lacking basic strength.)
Aster: (And I don't have much battle experience either. Not to mention I can be really slow at making decisions...)
Aster: (But what are my strengths?)
Milleore: But you've got a good head on your shoulders, and you're quick to catch on.
Aster: (Milly said I'm quick to catch on, but is that even useful in battle?)
Aster: (I mean, compared to Milly and Lao—and Metera and Sutera too—my knowledge and comprehension skills are seriously lacking...)
Aster: Sigh...
Sutera: Aww... Aster looks so sad... I have to help her!
Metera: Don't you dare, Sutera.
Sutera: Metera! How long have you been there!
Metera: I heard all about it from Sahli Lao and Milleore. It's Aster's homework, so she needs to figure out the answer on her own.
Metera: And besides, you're the one who oversaw her guardian trials, aren't you? Don't you have faith in your cute little trainee?
Sutera: ...!
Sutera: You know, you're absolutely right. It's at times like these that I need to just step back and watch over her from a distance.
Metera: Good, I'm glad we're on the same page. What do you say we head back to the room then? I'm worn out from all the preparing we did today.
Sutera: All right.
Sutera: But, um, Metera? When we get back, I have an idea I'd like your opinion on...
Aster: (Urgh... I spent the whole night thinking, but I couldn't come up with an answer...)
The next day, Aster makes her way toward the forest along with Sahli Lao and Milleore.
Milleore: Hm... The mechanism that pulls the bowstring seems to be malfunctioning. I'll need to replace the respective parts.
Sahli Lao: Ahaha. Those mechanical crossbows of yours are ridiculously complicated. My simple large crossbow is all I need.
Aster: Sounds like no matter the type of crossbow, you have to go through lots of training to master its use!
Aster: By the way, what made the two of you decide to use crossbows?
Sahli Lao: Ah, an excellent question.
Milleore: Well, the answer is quite simple. We Harvins are short, so we have a small attack range. As a result, we aren't really suited for close combat.
Milleore: But on the other hand, we're capable of deft, quick movements.
Sahli Lao: That's why the Harvin soldiers in our unit were mostly archers and snipers.
Aster: That makes sense! But then why are your crossbows so different?
Milleore: It all comes down to the division of roles. My responsibility was to wound enemies with a barrage of arrows and decrease their fighting capacity.
Sahli Lao: And my job was to finish them off, so that's why I use a large crossbow.
Aster: Oh! So different crossbows are good for different roles... I never knew!
Aster: (They understood their weaknesses and were able to find roles that took advantage of their strengths...)
Aster: (But I'm not sure I'll ever be able to move as quickly as them.)
Aster: (Urgh... Do I even have any strengths?)
Sahli Lao: Hehe. Of course you do.
Aster: Eek! H-how did you read my mind?
Milleore: Please. It was written all over your face.
Aster: W-was it really that obvious?
Sahli Lao: Haha. There's no reason to overthink things.
Sahli Lao: You see, we explained about the strengths of Harvins in general, but there's more to it than that...
Sahli Lao: Take Milly here—what do you think her strengths are? Her skill with a crossbow is without equal, and she's always calm and composed, even in a crisis...
Milleore: Enough flattery. She gets the idea.
Aster: Oh, and she's very kind! She's always keeping an eye on my condition—she even gave me a massage to loosen up my muscles last night!
Milleore: Th-that had nothing to do with kindness. I was just teaching you that cooldown exercises are an important part of training. Otherwise your duties will be hindered the next day.
Sahli Lao: Hehe. Personality can definitely be a strength as well. And things like skill and composure can come from training and battle experience.
Sahli Lao: So think back on the things you've worked hard at in the past. The answer you're looking for is already inside you.
Aster: Inside me?
Milleore: Good grief. You could have just said that to her in the first place instead of dragging me into it.
Sahli Lao: Ahaha. Sorry about that. I thought an example might make it easier to understand...
Milleore: Then what do you say I tell her about all of your strengths—
Actually, never mind. This is getting silly.
Aster: Hehe. That was all very helpful. Thank you!
Aster: I'll keep working on my homework until I figure out the answer!
Milleore: Heh. I like that look in your eye. In that case, you'd better concentrate on your training. You won't figure out the solution with thinking alone.
Aster: Right! I'm ready when you are!
Milleore: Then let's begin. Today we'll be fighting monsters for some rapid-fire training.
Sahli Lao: For starters, compared to a longbow, a crossbow is at a disadvantage when it comes to firing shots in rapid succession. Fast reloading is crucial!
Aster: I see! I'll do my best!
And so begins another day of rigorous training.
Aster: Huff... Huff...
Milleore: Whew. Nice work. Let's take a breather.
Vyrn: Hey! Are you guys feelin' hungry? We brought food!
Sahli Lao: (Captain)! Nice timing!
Lyria: Hehe. Metera and Sutera cooked up some of their home village's traditional dishes!
Aster: Wow, really?
Milleore: Lao and I will patrol the area to make sure no monsters show up. We'll eat our portions later when we get the chance.
Vyrn: Oh, that'd be great! Thanks, you two!
Aster: Wait! I-I'll come too!
Sahli Lao: Heh. Taking breaks is a part of training. Make sure to eat your fill so you'll have the energy to work hard later.
Aster: O-okay!
Aster: Whew...
  1. How's the training going?

Choose: How's the training going?

Aster: Their instructions are thorough and easy to understand. I'm learning a lot!
Aster: But, well... Now it's all the more clear that I still have a long way to go.
Aster: They gave me homework to do, but I still haven't managed to figure out the answer.
Vyrn: Huh, homework not even you can solve? Sounds tough!
Lyria: Hm... Well, why don't you go ahead and eat something for now? You won't be able to think on an empty stomach!
Aster: You're right! Okay!
Aster: Wow, there are so many foresty foods! And wild vegetables too—my favorite!
Aster: I bet it all tastes just as good as it looks!
Aster: Munch, munch... Gulp.
Aster: Mmm! Yum! I can feel my strength returning!
Aster grins from ear to ear as she continues enjoying her meal.
Aster: Whew... That was delicious!
Lyria: Hehe. It sure was!
Aster: I'll have to thank Metera and Sutera later!
Aster: ...
Aster: Um, (Captain)? What do you think is good about me?
Vyrn: Huh? Where'd that come from?
Aster: Eek! I-I'm sorry! I was feeling all full and happy, and I blurted that out without thinking...
Vyrn: Does it have somethin' to do with that homework you were talkin' about?
Aster: Um... Well, yes. I've been trying to figure out the answer this whole time, but I haven't had any luck yet...
Lyria: Hehe. What do you think, (Captain)?
  1. You're a hard worker.
  2. You're very studious.

Choose: You're a hard worker.

Aster: Y-you think so?
Aster: Ehehe. I'm really happy to hear you say that, (Captain)!
Aster: (Maybe it will help to think about what I've worked hard at in the past...)
Go to "Continue 1"

Choose: You're very studious.

Aster: Ehehe. I had no idea you thought that about me, (Captain)!
Vyrn: Now that you mention it, she's always readin' books and doin' research. She must really love studyin'.
Aster: Ehehe. I do! Even on days when I wasn't feeling well, I could always read a book.
Aster: (Maybe it will help to think about what I've studied in the past...)

Continue 1

Aster: (Lao said the answer is inside me, so I should be able to find some kind of clue...)
Aster: ...
Aster: Oh! I might have just figured out the answer!
Vyrn: Oh yeah? Did you come up with somethin'?
Aster: Yes! This has to be it!
Aster: It's all thanks to you that I was able to solve my homework, (Captain)! Thank you!
After giving the crew a little bow of gratitude, Aster dashes off to find Sahli Lao and Milleore, her eyes sparkling with excitement.

Crossbow Training: Scene 3

Aster realizes that her greatest strength is the ability to analyze information and formulate a plan. And so she comes up with the strategy of herding the wyverns into the other archers' barrage of arrows, greatly contributing to the success of the mission. Sutera and Metera congratulate their dear little sister on a job well done with a brand-new metal crossbow.

The next day, the crew receive a report that wyverns have been spotted on the horizon, and they disperse to take their positions.
The five members of the archer team set up on top of the same mountain as before.
Metera: Sigh... Think they're the same wyverns? I'm not a fan of men who don't know when to give up.
Aster: Don't let your guard down! There's no guarantee they're the same ones as before!
Sutera: Oh? What makes you say that, Aster?
Aster: Well, I did a bit of research, and it turns out that when wyverns come back for revenge, they send the biggest, scariest ones in the bunch.
Aster: But there will probably be fewer of them than before, so I think the best strategy is to wait to strike until they're in mid-range!
Sutera: I see... That's very helpful. Let's keep that in mind!
Aster: Right!
Metera: Well, well, you're looking a lot more chipper. I take it you found the answer you were looking for?
Aster: I sure did! You see, I was thinking about how much I love doing research...
Aster: And I realized I could analyze the information I find and use it to come up with a strategy, and maybe that could be my strength!
Sutera: That's true. I remember back in the village you used to research monster traits and use that to decide where to set traps.
Sutera: You were a huge help to us even when you weren't feeling well.
Aster: Yes! I've decided I want to get even better at doing things like that!
Aster: Ehehe. Actually, the food you two made is one of the things that helped me realize it!
Metera: Huh? Food?
Sutera: Is that so? Then it was worth the effort it took to make!
Metera: What do you mean? What food? Come on, Aster, tell me—
Aster: Oh, look! The wyverns are getting closer! Guess it's time to get ready...
Metera: Huh? Where's she going?
Sahli Lao: Hehe. Just watch.
At that moment, the wyverns finally enter into range of Metera and Sutera.
Metera: Huh. They're definitely bigger than the last ones.
Sutera: Yes, Aster was right. It'll be difficult to shoot them down from a long distance, since our arrows will drop too much in power before they hit.
After moving a bit closer, the pair begin taking down the wyverns, but one manages to slip through.
Milleore: Lao! Aster!
Milleore immediately unleashes a rain of arrows.
Aster: Hyah!
Aster, who had taken a position away from the other four, sends an arrow flying perpendicular to the barrage.
The next moment, the wyverns plunge into the middle of the rain of arrows as though they're being sucked into it.
Once the wyverns have been caught in Milleore's barrage, Sahli Lao begins taking out the wyverns one by one with expert precision.
Sutera: Wow! What a magnificent display of teamwork! Where did this come from?
Milleore: Heh. Aster found the solution to her homework, but that's not all she found.
Aster: So, um... I think that might be my strength!
Sahli Lao: I see! What a magnificent answer—it really highlights your abilities!
Milleore: Indeed. Not just anyone is capable of analyzing information and formulating a plan.
Milleore: Helping with battle preparations is a magnificent way to contribute to the battle itself.
Aster: Thank you! But that's not all...
Aster: I think I can be useful in actual combat now too!
Sahli Lao: Oh my! Your eyes are positively shining, Aster!
Milleore: Hm. Do you have an idea?
Aster: Yes! It has to do with what you said to me before, Milly...
Aster: That makes sense! If I figure out what I need to get better at, I'll be able to shoot farther without losing power!
Milleore: Shooting farther won't necessarily solve anything.
Aster: ...?
Aster: Now I understand what you meant about the division of roles.
Milleore: Yes. You already have comrades who excel at long-range combat, so you need to find a different role that utilizes your strengths.
Aster: Hm... I think I might know just the thing.
Milleore: Oh? And what might that be?
Aster: Well...
Milleore: And then Aster said she would support our coordinated attack.
Sahli Lao: She recognized that our combination is best suited to narrow terrain or indoor battles.
Milleore: Based on that, she thought if she could drive the wyverns into my barrage, our tactics would function effectively even in an open area like this one.
Sutera: I see... I never would have considered using arrows to herd monsters...
Metera: Huh. So that's what that flash of color was...
Sahli Lao: That's right! This species of wyvern is known to be attracted to red objects, so she attached red decorations to the feathers of her arrows.
Milleore: Heh. Aster's strengths are her reasoning and analyzing skills...
Milleore: But what's really amazing about her is her positive attitude and ability to take action.
Sahli Lao: Hahaha! That's high praise coming from you, Milly!
Milleore: What! I-I was just looking at the situation logically! Anyway, enough chatter—there's a wyvern headed this way!
Aster: Everything's going so well! And my control's a lot more stable too. I guess that's the result of all my training!
Aster: ...
But I can't let my guard down yet! I need to stay focused until the end!
Wyvern: ...!
And so, thanks in part to the splendid teamwork of Aster and the others, the crew successfully defeats the wyverns.
(Captain) and company emerge from the mayor's office after reporting the results of the mission.
Vyrn: Haha! I hear you were a huge help this time, Aster!
Aster: Ehehe. It's all thanks to Milly and Lao!
Sahli Lao: Not at all. You worked really hard, and all your efforts paid off.
Milleore: Well done. Absolutely splendid work. There's nothing left for us to teach you.
Milleore: However, depending on your future duties in battle, you may have aspects of your archery that you'll need to improve on. Feel free to ask me if you ever need any advice.
Milleore: But I have faith you'll be able to forge your own path from here on out.
Sahli Lao: Agreed. Now that you're a master of the crossbow, it's time for you to graduate as our apprentice!
Aster: Me? A master?
Aster: Thank you so much! I won't let you down!
Sutera: Hehe. Congratulations, Aster. Here's a little something to celebrate your graduation.
Sutera reveals a large package and hands it to Aster.
Aster: Sutera? What's this?
Sutera: Hehehe. This is from me and Metera.
Metera: Well? Don't just stand there, open it!
Aster: O-okay!
Aster opens the package excitedly.
Inside is a brand-new metal crossbow.
Aster: Wow! It's so cool!
Sutera: Hehe. Lao and Milly were kind enough to give us some advice.
Aster: Metera, Sutera, Lao, Milly... Thank you all so much!
Aster: I'll treasure it for the rest of my life!
Aster hugs the crossbow tightly, a bright smile on her face.
Sutera: Now we just need to have it adjusted for you at the weapon shop.
Metera: Good idea. Let's get that done and then head out for some shopping!
Sutera: Hehe. I bet Aster would love to visit a peril shop, with all those rows and rows of clothing...
Aster: Um... Did you say peril shop? That sounds kind of dangerous...
Metera: Not peril, apparel! An apparel shop. Stop confusing her, Sutera.
Sutera: Oh, right! I'm sorry, I misspoke...
Aster: Wow, an apparel shop? I've read about them in books! Yay, I can't wait!
Aster: Lao, Milly, why don't you two come with us?
Milleore: What? Er, we're not really interested in clothes—
Sahli Lao: C'mon, Milly. You said Aster has a positive attitude and an ability to take action, right? There's a lot we could learn from her!
Aster: Hehehe! Come on, let's go, Milly!
Milleore: Hey! All right already! You don't have to pull!
Thanks to her apprenticeship with Sahli Lao and Milleore, Aster has been able to reflect on her own skills and grow as an archer.
The group heads for the lively town, with a brightly beaming Aster leading the way.