Scenario:Elmott - The Mercy of Man and Fruit

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The Mercy of Man and Fruit

A thief sneaks into the forest to steal collegare, the fruit of an endangered plant species whose rarity and difficulty to cultivate fetches a high price. Elmott and Bosco fail to stop the thief, which only strengthens Bosco's resolve to protect the precious fruit he's trying to save from extinction. Elmott, wanting to help Bosco, takes it upon himself to become the forest's protector.

In order to repay Bosco for food and shelter, young Elmott helps the woodsman with various tasks, like felling trees and doing farmwork.
Days go by quickly.
Elmott: Hah! All done planting the saplings! What's next, Old-timer?
Bosco: Wow, you're a natural at this. So glad you're my assistant.
Bosco: Okay, how about some woodchopping?
Elmott: Be done in no time.
The child that nobody wanted, Elmott, seems to be enjoying the field work. Watching him move with purpose warms Bosco's heart.
Bosco: (Still, I don't know if letting him stay here is a good deal...)
Bosco: (On the other hand, it would probably hurt him just as much to go back home. Hm...)
Bosco wrestles with the responsibility expected of a grown-up, when his thoughts are interrupted by a gunshot echoing from the forest.
Bosco: ...!
Elmott: Let's go, Old-timer!
Bosco: Y-yeah!
Elmott: So you're the one shooting up the place.
There among the brush stands a ruthless-looking man next to the carcass of a monster.
???: Tch, guess the cat's outta the bag.
When Bosco catches sight of the basket of unripened fruit on the man's back, he begins to shake uncontrollably.
Bosco: H-hey! Have you no shame! Those aren't even ripe yet! H-how... How dare you!
Elmott: Whoa... Calm down, Old-timer!
Bosco: Thiiiieeef!
Ignoring Elmott's plea, Bosco charges the man and throws a punch.
Bosco: Raaagh!
???: Lights out!
Bosco: Gwah!
Elmott: Old-timer!
Bosco: Ow... That hurt, but I'm not going to let you just walk away!
Elmott: ...
Elmott: Heh... You should've seen that punch comin' from an island away...
Elmott: But I think you got the right idea...
Elmott: Old-timer!
Elmott: Haaah!
???: Urk!
Elmott: I'll burn you to a crisp!
Bosco: N-no!
Seeing the sweeping flames leaping from Elmott's body, Bosco quickly tries to stop the boy without a care for his own safety.
Elmott: Wh-what the hell, man! You're gonna get cooked! Step back!
Bosco: No, Elmott! Please, douse your flames!
In the commotion, the fruit thief takes the opportunity to flee.
???: Grrr, I swear you'll pay for this!
Elmott: Get back here, slimeball!
Bosco: Hey, forget him! It's over! Just put out your flames!
Elmott: Tch... Fine. I'll do it, so let go of me already! Sheesh...
Bosco: Huff... Huff... Thank you...
His face still throbbing from the punch, Bosco crouches down to catch his breath.
Elmott: You had to have been pretty pissed to pick a fight you couldn't win. And now you're just gonna let him off the hook?
Bosco: No... I'll never excuse his actions. Never.
Elmott: Then why'd you stop me!
Bosco: I wasn't trying to protect him. I did it for the forest.
Elmott: ...
Bosco: When I saw the color of your fire, something about it felt sinister.
Bosco: If I didn't jump in when I did, that man would've died, yes, but the whole forest would've gone up in smoke too.
Elmott: ...
Bosco: Er, I mean I know you'd never harm the forest intentionally! I was just being cautious, that's all.
But Elmott knows that Bosco speaks the truth, and he can't help but grimace.
Elmott: (Yeah, he's probably got a point...)
Frontiersman: Come on, Chief! How long do we gotta let this demon stay here!
Elmott: (It's hard to get a grip on my emotions and my flames. Screwed up a lot thanks to that.)
Elmott: (Deep down I think I knew I was making life hard for the villagers... Or at least I had an inkling...)
Elmott: (But what was I supposed to do? Take all the insults and hate with a smile on my face?)
Village Girl: Hey, why did you burn down the flower garden!
Elmott: Shut up!
Bosco: Elmott?
So many negative thoughts at once are pushing Elmott to his tipping point.
Bosco does the only thing he can think of to calm the hot-tempered youth—he picks up a fruit dropped by the thief and stuffs it into Elmott's mouth.
Elmott: Mmph!
Bosco: Chew and swallow!
The surprising intensity behind Bosco's command gets Elmott to stop fidgeting. He eats the fruit without a word.
Elmott: ...!
Bosco: Good, huh?
Elmott: Yeah... Stupidly good.
Bosco: They're called collegare. Turns red when ripe, and they become ten times sweeter.
Elmott: Wait, so that thief was trying to steal unripened ones?
Bosco: Collegare is an endangered plant species. This forest is now the only refuge it has left.
Bosco: Anyone who's unfamiliar with the fruit probably has no idea how to tell if it's ripe or not.
Bosco: Or maybe it doesn't matter how ripe they are since buyers will spend a fortune if it's rare enough.
Elmott: And it only grows in this forest...
Bosco: Well, I'll be honest with you; collegare is incredibly difficult to cultivate.
Bosco: The world's a big place, but I got a feeling I'm the only one who knows how to grow them. Heheh...
Bosco suddenly stands up straight and tall, his pain from before seemingly gone.
Bosco: I consider this forest to be my turf. I've set up a bunch of traps everywhere in order to protect the collegare.
Bosco: I'm not growing as much fruit as I can so that greedy fat cats can line their wallets.
Bosco: All the blood, sweat, and tears that go into nurturing this species is for the greater good of conservation.
Bosco: And that's why I'll never forgive those buffoons for their money-grubbing ways!
Bosco's impassioned determination seems to have rubbed off on Elmott.
Elmott: I get what you're trying to do, but what's the point if thieves just keep coming back?
Elmott: Look, I'll help you out.
Bosco: What?
Elmott: I'm saying I'm gonna protect this turf as if it were my own!
Bosco: Oh... Hahaha, gotcha.
Elmott: That's it? At least say thanks or something!
Bosco is obviously grateful for Elmott's help, but he's still agonizing over whether it's right for the boy to stay in the forest.

The Mercy of Man and Fruit: Scene 2

Elmott continues to drive thieves away from the forest, but one day a merchant tries to buy collegare seeds with a large sum of money. Bosco refuses—his goal isn't to make money but to perfect the cultivation process and spread that knowledge across the skies. After the merchant leaves, Bosco's illness comes to light. The spurned merchant sets the forest on fire.

Elmott makes good on his claim to defend the forest by fending off fruit plunderers on a daily basis.
It's clear that Elmott takes pride in his duty, and for that reason, Bosco decides to let Elmott stay until the youth is ready to move on.
Bosco: (Yeah, that's what I'll do! There's so much to learn about nature. I'm sure he'll soak up a ton in no time.)
Elmott: What are you mumbling about? Get to work, Old-timer. Chop, chop.
Bosco: How many times do I have to tell you—it's Bosco! And I'm only thirty-two!
Elmott: Age isn't the problem. You trip over everything and have garbage stamina. Old-timer fits you like a glove.
Bosco: Geez, it's a sprawling forest, okay? You oughta fix that twisted personality of yours right this instant!
Elmott: Hyahahaha! You can't pray my wickedness away. So if you got time to flap your gums, you got time to work.
Finding it hard to snap back at Elmott's belittling, Bosco silently pouts.
Elmott: Wait! Stop!
Bosco: Huh?
They hear the familiar sounds of gunfire coming from the forest and glance at each other.
Bosco: Grr, they're back again! Just when the fruits are starting to ripen too!
Elmott: They keep coming back because we only give them slaps on the wrist. We need to give 'em hell this time so that they'll never step foot in here again!
Bosco: Hell?
Elmott: I can't really count on you to strike fear in their hearts. That's why I'm here!
Something about the mischievous smile on Elmott's face leaves Bosco ill at ease.
Elmott: Who the hell are you fools?
???: Bahaha. Sorry for not ringing this hackneyed bell trap to grab your attention.
Merchant: But hey, let's all just relax. I'm a simple merchant who's here to negotiate.
Merchant: All I'm asking for is that you hand over the fruit and their seeds.
Elmott: Negotiations, my butt. This is obviously a hostile takeover.
The merchant's bodyguard flashes his teeth at Elmott and loudly cracks his knuckles.
Merchant: Now, now. I've instructed my bodyguard not to get rough as long as no one gets too pushy.
Merchant: But back to the topic at hand! I think we can agree to terms that benefit both our parties!
Bosco: I'm afraid that's not going to happen. Please kindly leave.
Merchant: Bahaha... People told me you'd say that. But I wonder if you'll be singing the same tune after seeing this...
The bodyguard hands the merchant a satchel, and he opens it up for Bosco to see.
It's stuffed to the brim with gold, the precious metal shimmering alluringly in the sunlight.
Elmott: Dude... No way...
Merchant: Bahaha. Yes way. And it's all yours, Bosco.
Bosco: Um, I'm sorry, but my answer is still no.
Merchant: What! Y-you're actually turning down a deal of a lifetime?
Bosco: Yes, I am.
Merchant: Ah! Ah, ah, ah! So that's your game! Rejecting the first offer to make me jack up the price!
Bosco: No, I'm not trying to do that either. I'm not growing collegare for the money.
Bosco: Besides, even if you had the seeds, they're quite hard to raise.
Bosco: And considering they're endangered, there isn't exactly a manual on how to grow them. I went through a lot of trial and error myself.
Merchant: In other words, the secrets are inside that head of yours.
Merchant: Which means you've got all the leverage...
Bosco: Erm, regardless of what you might think, I'm not in it to sell. That much is true.
Merchant: Bwahaha! I didn't get rich by falling for sweet-talkers!
Elmott: You just don't get it...
Merchant: Hm?
Elmott: Bosco isn't a greedy pig, unlike you oinkers! Get the hell outta here!
Elmott becomes fed up with the stubborn merchant's flippant attitude.
His boiling emotions almost ignite into literal flames, but somehow he manages to control his aggression.
Elmott: (Damn, that was close... I can't let my flames shoot out willy-nilly.)
Bosco: I-I just want collegare to be enjoyed by as many people as possible!
Bosco: So here's my plan.
Bosco: After I master the cultivation process, I'll write a detailed handbook. Then I'll give out copies of it along with seeds to every nation.
Bosco: And I'd be more than happy to extend the same offer to you as well!
Merchant: Is that a joke? Even you should understand the concept of supply and demand.
Bosco: I don't care if that tanks their price. In fact, I hope it turns out that way!
Despite how nervous he is, Bosco stares down the merchant.
When it becomes clear to the merchant that Bosco won't budge, he and his party leave.
Bosco: Phew... I need to sit down...
Elmott: Heh, you were a nervous wreck, but you still told 'em off. Nice job.
Bosco: Haha, and my compliments for keeping your temper in check. Well done!
Not used to trading flattery with people, Elmott awkwardly scratches his head.
Elmott: Psh...
Bosco: It'd be nice if we could always talk out a resolution like this.
Elmott: Again with the wishful thinking...
Elmott: I'm surprised his bodyguard didn't try to start something though.
Bosco: Yeah... I was waiting for him to throw a punch the whole time.
Elmott: I know. You were shaking like a wobbly top.
Bosco: What! Was it that obvious? That's a shame—
Bosco: Ngh...
Just as Bosco's about to poke fun at himself, he loses consciousness for a brief second.
Bosco: Yikes, that could've gone bad... Haha...
Elmott: What just happened? Are you okay?
Bosco: Oh, I'm fine. Perfectly fine. I guess I'm more tired than I thought... Haha...
Elmott: ...
Bosco: Hm? What is it?
Bosco senses the unease in Elmott. He offers the same cheerful smile he's always had to show him there's nothing to worry about.
Bosco: Want to call it a day? After stuffing our faces and sleeping it off, we'll be fully recharged.
Elmott: That won't work.
Bosco: What won't?
Elmott: I know there's something wrong with you.
Bosco: Huh? No there isn't! Don't be silly! Like I said, I'm just tired—
Elmott: I'm not stupid! Give it to me straight!
Bosco: ...
Elmott: It's not just the shortness of breath. You can't walk right. You're coughing up blood...
Bosco: Cough... Cough...
Bosco: Sigh... Guess my body hates me...
Elmott: ...
Elmott: This isn't about paying you back for food and a place to sleep. If you need stuff done, just... you know, ask.
Bosco: Oh... Is that why you've been busting your hump lately? To get more work?
Elmott: Shut it. I'm saying I'm worried about your health.
Elmott: I mean, what am I gonna eat if you're knocked out of action?
Bosco: Haha... I should've known. But in any case, thanks.
Elmott: Sigh... You're so damn passive. C'mon, let's go back to the hut.
Elmott offers his shoulder and helps Bosco up, but before they walk off, they see flames spreading in a section of the trees.
Bosco: This can't be happening...
Elmott: Stay here. I'll go—
Bosco: Wait, Elmott! Please take me with you.
Elmott: Tch... Your choice. Just don't do anything stupid.
Bosco leans on Elmott, and the pair hurry toward the fire as fast as they can.
Bosco: Did you people start the fire?
Bodyguard: What fire?
Merchant: Don't worry, Bosco. If you won't give us the seeds, we'll do the heavy lifting and help ourselves.
Merchant: Bahaha... It might take hundreds of tries or even thousands, but we'll figure out how to grow them, and then introduce them to the market.
Merchant: With zero competition, all that sweet, sweet profit will be mine!
Clutching a basket full of fruit in his hand, the merchant does a celebratory jig.
Bosco: Profits, profits, profits...
Bosco: Give me a break! It's people like you who've driven collegare to near extinction!
In his anger, Bosco tries to confront the merchant but his legs buckle, and Elmott has to steady him.
Elmott: Old-timer!
Bosco: I don't have time to be useless. I've got a forest to protect!
Bosco: I'm going to the nearby lake. Elmott, you go warn the village!
Bosco takes off without waiting for an answer, willing his weakened body to run.
Elmott: ...
Merchant: Bahaha... Better get moving, boy, before the fire spreads.
Elmott: Damn it...
Suppressing his seething anger with all his might, Elmott is about to head for the village when he hears a chorus of familiar voices.
Villager's Voice: Spread out and cover the right side! I'll handle the rest! We're gonna put out this fire! Are we clear on that?
Hearing the cheers in the distance, Elmott decides to leave the forest fire to the villagers.
Elmott: (Take care of the forest for me. I've got a few skulls to bash.)
Elmott takes a deep breath as he glares at the merchant and his goons who are strolling away from the chaos.

The Mercy of Man and Fruit: Scene 3

Leaving the forest fire to Bosco and the villagers, Elmott manages to stop the merchant and his bodyguard from stealing collegare. Bosco succumbs to his illness three years later, but not before mastering how to grow collegare, and now the fruit can be found throughout the skies. After telling the crew about his childhood, Elmott muses that mentoring troubled kids like Bosco did for him doesn't sound all that bad.

An unscrupulous merchant has come to the forest to harvest collegare without permission. Not only that, but he's set fire to some of the trees.
The merchant and his gang now find themselves blocked by a wall of flame stoked by Elmott's rage.
Merchant: Aiiee!
Elmott: This is nothin'...
Merchant: B-bahaha... I had no idea these foresters could spawn such barbaric fires.
Elmott: Don't remind me. I'd rather not use it, but I'll do whatever it takes to stop you.
Elmott: I'll make this real simple. People aren't the only ones that call the forest home. Plants and animals need this place too.
Elmott: So don't come here torching someone's home and expect to get away with it!
Giving in to his anger, a swirling flame erupts from the palm of Elmott's right hand, one that's equal parts mesmerizing and sinister.
Merchant: Gulp...
Bodyguard: Step back, sir. I'll teach this brat some manners.
Elmott: Heh. Looks can be deceiving. That's how you get burned.
Elmott: Eat this, sucker!
Bodyguard: Graah!
Elmott: Ungh...
Elmott: (Damn... I wanna crush him, but I don't have enough control over my fire...)
Elmott: (What's the point in saving the forest if I end up burning it down?)
Bodyguard: Wahaha. Is your fire just a magic trick?
Elmott: (Tch, stop wasting time thinking! I've got a forest to protect and criminals to scorch!)
Elmott: Yaaah!
Elmott fights valiantly against the bodyguard.
But trying to limit the collateral damage is too much of a handicap.
Elmott: Guh...
Merchant's Voice: Bahaha... Still just a kid.
Bodyguard's Voice: Sir, it's getting dangerous here. We should leave.
Elmott: Stop... bastards...
Crawling on his hands and knees, Elmott struggles to his feet.
He takes aim even as his body screams with pain.
Elmott: Those... aren't yours!
A brilliant scarlet blaze engulfs the basket on the bodyguard's back.
Merchant: M-my collegare!
Bodyguard: You stupid kid!
Elmott: Heh... Serves you right.
Having exacted his revenge to a certain extent, Elmott tries to flee, but a swift blow from the bodyguard knocks him unconscious.
Elmott: ...!
Elmott's eyes flutter open as he bolts upright. He calms down a bit when he realizes that he's inside Bosco's hut.
Elmott: Oh, yeah... Got straight-up beat... Haha, man do I suck...
Bosco: Took you long enough to wake up. Really had me worried there...
Elmott: Old-timer! What happened to the fire and the forest?
Bosco: Everything's all right. The whole village worked to put out the blaze. Aside from some minor injuries, no one was hurt.
Elmott: I see...
Bosco: Well, you're the one I was most worried about. Glad you're okay.
Elmott: Who cares about me? Those bastards are still alive when they should be dead!
Bosco: Your life is more important than taking theirs. Yes, that's a good thing.
Elmott: ...
When Elmott hangs his head in apology, Bosco nudges the boy in the forehead with his finger.
Bosco: Anyway, the villagers were another big problem. They thought you were the one who started the fire.
Elmott: The hell? Why me!
Bosco: How many times have you bared your fire against them?
Bosco: Of course they'd jump to conclusions.
Elmott: Tch...
Bosco: Here's the good news. I had a nice, long chat with everyone and straightened things out.
Elmott: Guess it goes without saying, but keeping my fire in a forest full of wood is a really bad idea...
Bosco: Sure, a fire can potentially wipe out everything you hold dear, including a certain forest.
Bosco: But if used correctly, it can also be a boon to society. Remember how you lit that firewood for me when I couldn't?
Bosco: Ah! You really have no idea how much that helped me out back then!
Bosco: If I hadn't run into you that night, I'd probably be rotting in a ditch by now!
The woodsman is so elated by this memory that he profusely bows to the boy.
Elmott's had enough.
Elmott: Freakin' cut it out!
Bosco: Nope. You saved my life.
Bosco: And it's only fair that I repay my savior with a gift.
One by one, Bosco stacks tomes about magic on top of each other.
Elmott: W-wait. Hold up. You expect me to read all that?
Bosco: I think it's high time you learned how to control your fire.
Bosco: Ideally I'd rather enroll you in a magic academy, but... I'm broke.
Bosco: That being the case, the next best thing is to learn on your own, right?
Elmott: ...
Bosco: Something wrong?
Elmott: No one's ever given me a gift before...
Elmott admits this under his breath, blinking back tears of gratitude.
Bosco: I see.
Elmott: Yeah... So thanks... Bosco...
Bosco: Ahaha! I can't believe it! You finally said my name!
Bosco: Well, that's a good start. Now how about calling me Mr. Bosco?
Elmott: Don't push your luck...
Ignoring the annoyed growls of Elmott, Bosco happily ruffles the boy's hair.
Bosco: Cough, cough...
Elmott: Have you seen a doctor about that yet?
Bosco: Of course I have. Basically there's no cure; I need a miracle.
Bosco: I think this forest is the reason I'm barely hanging on. I'm thankful for that.
Elmott: That's loser talk! Now that I'm here to take some of the pressure off, you can go look for a world-class doctor!
Bosco speaks softly, trying to calm the flustered youth.
Bosco: Thanks for worrying about me, but I've accepted my fate.
Bosco: Do I really want to spend what little time I have left talking to every doctor in the Sky Realm?
Bosco: Nah, I'd rather be growing collegare. And someday...
Bosco: Someday the sweet fruits of my labor will be enjoyed throughout the skies.
Bosco: That's my dream.
Bosco picks a fresh collegare seed and places it inside the pendant hanging around his neck.
Bosco: Say hello to my new good luck charm! Haha!
Spurred by Bosco's adamant speech, Elmott feels his own resolve being bolstered.
Elmott: I... I'll help you make your dream come true, Old-timer.
Bosco: Ah... I don't want that.
Elmott: What! Why not!
Bosco: Because this is my dream through and through. You've got other goals to accomplish, am I right?
Bosco looks at the stack of books, and Elmott knows he's right.
Elmott: I mean, I can't just study all day, or my brain'll fry.
Bosco: Definitely not. I'm still counting on you to help with field work.
Bosco: But you have to have your own dreams.
Elmott: Easy for you to say...
Bosco: It's not that hard, you know. If you're really drawing a blank, then take a break from the forest!
Bosco: There's a big world out there that's worth seeing. Keep looking and you'll find a dream worth pursuing.
Elmott: Yeah... It's a big world...
Elmott: Bosco acted like he was headed for a coffin in a matter of days, but he went on to live for three more years.
Elmott: In the end, he made it count. He mastered how to cultivate collegare and made his dream come true.
Vyrn: Wow, collegare grows everywhere these days, so I had no idea it used to be endangered.
Elmott: Good. That's how Bosco wanted it to be.
Considering all that's happened in Elmott's tale, (Captain) has a hunch that Bosco not only saved collegare but also Elmott.
Lyria: After Bosco passed away, did you live by yourself in the forest?
Elmott: Pretty much. I thought about taking Bosco's advice to get out into the world.
Elmott: Shipping out handbooks and seeds while studying magic took up a huge chunk of my time though.
Elmott: The years flew by before I even thought to check.
Elmott: Then one day I ran into a fire elemental that was gettin' a little too cute with its flames...
Vyrn: And that's when we met you.
Elmott: Looking back on that incident, it kinda makes sense now. Some crooks in the past who were after the fruit probably sent it.
Elmott: I totally forgot there are still people who hate my guts, even though it's their own damn fault.
Lyria: That makes trying to burn down the forest even worse!
Elmott: Oh, I know. I don't care what their reasons are, I'll roast 'em till they're nice and crispy.
Elmott rests his hand on Bosco's grave and grins.
Elmott: Hey, Bosco. I took your advice, and now I'm cruisin' the world.
Bosco: Excuse me! That's Mister Bosco, okay?
Elmott: Heh. Why make a fuss over formalities?
Elmott: Well, I'll be seein' ya. I've had enough melancholy for one day. Let's go, Captain (Captain).
Rolling the pendant around his neck between his fingers, Elmott suddenly has a thought.
Mentoring troubled kids the same way Bosco did for him while he tours the world doesn't sound bad at all.