Scenario:Helnar - Musings of a Young Man
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Musings of a Young Man
Helnar spends the early afternoon in his room finishing repairs to a mechanical bird. After the repairs are completed, he invites Vyrn to go with him into town where he intends to participate in a fighting competition.
There's not a cloud in the pure blue skies on this gorgeous, sunny day.
Helnar is cooped up in his room with the smell of glue wafting in the air.
Helnar: The inside's probably okay. Looks like I just need to swap out this part.
It may seem like an ordinary mechanical bird to others, but to Helnar it's an indispensable companion.
Helnar: Don't worry. This won't hurt at all. Everyone needs a tune-up every once in awhile. Now, lie still for me.
Mechanical Bird: Creak, creak.
The bird obeys Helnar's command as if it has a will of its own.
With the bird lying gently on its side, Helnar suddenly stops and glances at his calendar.
Helnar: Oh yeah... Today is...
It's been some time since Helnar lost contact with his partner—the one he left his hometown with.
His bonds with the crew, however, grow deeper as they continue to travel together.
Mechanical Bird: Creak, creak.
Helnar: Whoops, sorry. How rude of me to keep a lady waiting. Let's get started.
Helnar deftly dismantles and reassembles the bird with surgical precision. The maintenance is over in a flash.
Helnar: Perfect. Who's a cute little birdie? Take care until next time.
Helnar smiles as he speaks to the bird in a gentle voice.
Helnar sets his sights on something and leaves the room.
Vyrn: Oh, are you heading out, Helnar?
Helnar: Yeah, I heard there's a festival going on right now. I thought I'd go check it out.
Vyrn: Hahaha. What else are you going to be checking out, hmm?
Helnar: Come on, Vyrn, don't say it like that. Anyway, wanna tag along?
Vyrn: Well... I'm curious to see where you're going, so, yeah, I'll tag along!
Vyrn: Whoa! This place is buzzing! It looks like a fight contest, but why did you want to come here in the first place?
Steely Fighter 1: What the? Look at this chump. How you gonna swing that sword with them skinny little arms? Someone get this guy a twig instead!
Steely Fighter 2: Bwahaha! That's a good one! Hey, skinny-bones! You ready to dance?
Helnar: Sigh. What a total lack of refinement and class. I think this calls for a smackdown.
Vyrn: You sure you want to enter? Those guys look pretty tough.
Helnar: You think I can't handle them? Don't worry. I'll pull out before I get hurt.
Musings of a Young Man: Scene 2
Helnar's brilliant swordplay makes short work of his opponents, but instead of soaking in the adulation of the crowd, he and Vyrn run off to a bar. He tries to hide his identity from the other patrons, but an old woman with knowledge of his past compels him to tell the story of his adolescence.
Helnar: Whew, I've gotten a bit rusty. I bet no one noticed though.
Onlooker 1: What just happened? I saw some quick flashes, and then it was over!
Onlooker 2: How breathtaking! Oh, Mr. Swordsman, please, please look my way!
The crowd cheers at Helnar's brilliant swordsmanship, but he remains stoic despite his victory.
Vyrn: That was awesome, Helnar! You should wave back to everyone... Hey! Where are you going?
Helnar: I'd love to have a chat with my adoring lady fans, but let's get out of here for now.
Vyrn: But why? Hey, wait up!
Onlooker 2: Huh? Mr. Swordsman? Where are you going?
Vyrn: Hey, you won the fight and everything, so why did we have to run away?
Helnar: Eh, it's fine. Forget about that. What do you want to drink? Oh look, they've got apple juice here.
Vyrn: Really? Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Gimme a glass of apple juice, mister!
Bartender: Comin' right up. Say, aren't you the swordsman chap that showed up at the fighting thing just now?
Helnar: Hahaha. Sorry, you've got me confused for someone else.
Bartender: Huh. Izzat right? You looked so alike I musta gotten you two mixed up. Sorry 'bout that.
Helnar: Nah, it happens. No biggie.
Vyrn: Um, that chap was you, wasn't it? Why are you trying to hide it?
Helnar: I don't believe I've ever called myself a swordsman. I'm just a traveling performer, so it's not like I lied or anything.
Woman 1: It's you, isn't it! The swordsman from before!
Woman 2: You're the one they're calling the Handsome Phantom Fencer that's become the talk of the town. So the rumors were true—you are cute.
Vyrn: Ah, sorry, but you've got it all wrong. This guy—
Helnar: Yo, nice to meet you ladies. The name's Helnar the Traveling Performer, but please just call me Helnar.
Woman 1: So you're not the swordsman? But you look exactly like him... On the bright side, we've still got a nice catch!
Woman 2: Whaddaya say? Wanna come join us? We've got a spare glass for you.
Helnar: Let's drop the act, shall we? Bartender! Can you bring that table the finest drinks you've got?
Woman 1: Oooh, wonderful! Come sit next to me, Helnar!
Woman 2: Huh? No way! Sit next to me, okay?
Helnar: Haha. Hey, there's plenty of me to go around.
Vyrn: Oy, this had nothing to do with the festival after all.
Vyrn: Sheesh. Now I gotta put up with all that gross perfume!
Helnar: Lighten up, Vyrn. It's good to get some male bonding in every once in a while, yeah?
Vyrn: Says the guy who's surrounded by girls.
Old Woman: You there. Young 'un. You're that swordsman, ain'tcha? You don't fool me.
Helnar: Whoa. There's no denying it if you put it that way.
Vyrn: Were you watching the competition, granny?
Old Woman: Yes. The way you handled your sword reminded me of a blademaster who passed on years ago.
Old Woman: Mmm... To think that I'd one day bear witness to such swordsmanship again. I'm glad to have lived this long. Hehe...
Vyrn: Hm? What're you guys talking about?
Helnar: Can you keep it at that, miss? There are some things I'd prefer to tell my friends myself.
Old Woman: Oh dear, oh dear. That was quite rude of me. Well then, I'm sure we'll meet again...
Vyrn: Hey, hey, was that granny a friend of yours? What were you two talkin' about? It was totally over my head.
Helnar: I suppose it would be. Shall we go somewhere else? Bartender, check please.
Vyrn: So? What's the deal with that old lady?
Helnar: Remember how she mentioned a blademaster that passed on? A blademaster that I resemble so much? That was my father.
Vyrn: She was talking about your father, eh? Um, so he's...
Helnar: Yeah, he's no longer around. It's been a while since then, I guess.
Helnar: Actually, today's a special day. Shall I tell you a story from my past? I don't think it's all that interesting, so don't read too much into it.
Helnar pauses briefly before quietly recounting his tale.
Musings of a Young Man: Scene 3
Young Helnar hones his swordsmanship under the tutelage of his strict father while practicing sword dancing with a young dancer. He realizes that he's only using the sword dancing sessions as a means of escape from his father's shadow, which leads him to abandon his home, the sword, and the dancer.
Helnar's father had devoted his life to the way of the sword and was peerless in ability. Truly, he made all fellow Erunes proud.
It's rare to see an Erune face opponents with such quiet, focused ferocity. His prowess was admired by many far and wide.
Helnar: To me, my father was a frightening figure. He was a man of few words, and I never knew what he was thinking.
Helnar: On those rare occasions he did talk to me, it was always, Don't do this and don't do that.
Vyrn: Yikes. Your dad was really strict.
Helnar: Yeah. But the fact that no one could measure up to him just made me admire him even more.
Helnar: When I was young, I dreamed of one day standing on equal footing with my father. I trained everyday as if my life depended on it.
Helnar: I'd participate in all kinds of fighting competitions and crush the opposition.
Vyrn: Ooh! Just like how you wiped the floor with those guys earlier!
Helnar: Heh. I figured if I won all these competitions, my father would be proud of me.
Vyrn: Yeah! Your dad must've been thrilled!
Helnar: Nope. He never once complimented me.
Vyrn: Seriously? Why not?
Helnar: Other adults would praise me, calling me the great son who'd inherited his father's gifts.
Helnar: But the only one who never acknowledged me was Father. That's what I was afraid of most.
Vyrn: Yeah. He sounds scarier the more I hear about him.
Helnar: Actually, he probably just wasn't good at expressing his feelings...
Helnar: Oh yeah, that's around the time I met my dancing partner.
Vyrn: I had no idea you guys went that far back.
Helnar: I guess. We've been through a lot together, she and I.
Vyrn: You were aiming to be a blademaster like your dad, so what happened to that? Why did you become a traveling performer instead?
Vyrn: You told everyone at the bar that you're not a swordsman.
Helnar: Haha. Chill out and listen, Vyrn.
Helnar: After I met that dancer, I began to spend more and more time with her because we complemented each other's skills.
Helnar: I was captivated by her graceful dancing, and she was taken with how I handled the sword.
Helnar: And that is when I first learned the art of sword dancing.
Helnar: I'd sneak away after practice and relish the fun we spent training together.
Helnar: At the same time, I still felt the need to become a famous swordsman, and desperately sought my father's approval.
Helnar: At one point, my father was chosen as the judge for an upcoming sword fighting tournament.
Helnar: Finally, I thought, this was my big chance. If I won, he'd surely give me the approval I'd been seeking.
Helnar: I trained my butt off for that day. I was gonna take the floor and show him everything I had.
With trophy in hand, Helnar walks over to his father.
Helnar's Father: Are you satisfied with this?
Young Helnar: W-what do you mean?
Helnar's Father: You heard me.
Young Helnar: Yes, I'm satisfied... You were judging the competition.
Young Helnar: I trained hard every day in order to win and I did. That means you've acknowledged my abilities, right?
His voice quivers with uncertainty, traces of desperation lingering in each word that comes out.
Helnar's Father: And you're satisfied by that? Useless. Fine, get back to your room.
Young Helnar: !
His father's flippant remark triggers years of frustration to boil over, and Helnar erupts in fury.
Young Helnar: Why won't you acknowledge me! Tell me what I'm doing wrong! I work hard each day so that I can be like you—
Helnar's Father: Is that what you think I want?
Young Helnar: !
Vyrn: Did your dad really say that?
Helnar: Yeah, it hit me right in the gut. Makes you wanna cry, doesn't it?
Helnar: After I heard him say that, I had no idea what to do with myself. What was I working so hard for after all these years?
Helnar: I started skipping practice and staying out late.
Helnar: But it was more like I knew my father would be pissed off that I was playing hooky, so I didn't want to go home.
Helnar: There was one thing I couldn't let go though. Sword dancing with her was the only thing that kept me going during those rough days.
Young Dancer: Isn't it time for you to choose your own path, Helnar?
Young Helnar: What do you mean, my own path?
Young Dancer: Oh, come now. I'm saying that we should continue down the path of sword dancing.
Young Dancer: Surely, you want the same thing.
Young Helnar: ...
Helnar comes to realize that he's been running away from his desire to get stronger, using their training sessions as a means of escaping from reality.
But for the boy whose only wish had been to stand at the same level as his father, he couldn't think of any other goal to pursue.
Young Helnar: Look, I honestly don't know what I should do. So why can't I keep doing this until I figure it out?
However, that's not what the young lady wants to hear.
Young Dancer: No matter how many times I've had to pick up after you, or how many times I've had to put up with your bad habits, I've always respected how much faith you put in the sword.
Young Dancer: As your partner, I thought I could turn a blind eye to your self-serving actions.
Young Dancer: But I've had it! A man who's nothing more than a withered shell of his former self could never be my partner!
Young Dancer: You can go and act like a sullen child all you want! See if I care!
Helnar: And that's how I lost both my way of the sword and my partner.
Vyrn: Ouch. That's rough, pal.
Helnar: Yeah. I left after that without a trace. I tried looking for a place where no one knew who I was.
Helnar: Sigh, I was such a brat back then, wasn't I? It wasn't long after I'd left that I found out Father had passed away.
The clock rewinds to when Helnar first receives news of his father's passing.