Scenario:Shao - Line between Good and Evil
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Line between Good and Evil
The crew comes across an old lady suffering from sickness and the tremendous debt she's accumulated from paying for treatment. According to Shao's prognosis, the medicine she's been paying an excess for is not very effective for her symptoms. Shao prescribes a different medication, one that requires the crew to gather ingredients from the nearby forest.
Shao: There you go. Please take these before you go to sleep, with a drink of hot water if you can.
Townswoman: Thank you.
Shao: And what can I do for you good sir?
Elderly Citizen: Wel, my left arm has become very stiff. I can barely move it.
Shao: May I examine you a moment?
The crew has put down anchor on a certain island at the same time as Shao is in town, peddling his medicines as usual.
Shao: ... These herbs should do the trick. And please try to keep your arm as warm as you can.
Elderly Citizen: I see, thank you so much.
Shao: Yes, take care now.
Vyrn: Hey there! Shao!
Shao: Huh? Well look who it is, fancy bumping into you here.
Vyrn: Hey, there's nothing fancy about it, we came here looking for you.
Shao: I do beg your pardon, what can I do for you?
Lyria: Oh, we're not on an errand or anything, we just wanted to say hi and couldn't see you anywhere.
Vyrn: What are you doing selling stuff on a back-alley like this? The main street is way more lively.
Shao: I'm a wandering peddler, and I'm still a newcomer to this town. The main street is just a little too...
???: Why you! Get out, this instant!
Just then an angry shout rings out from a short way away.
Vyrn: Wah! What was that?
Lyria: Uh-oh! Sounds like trouble... We should go look!
Shao: Here we go again... I can't decide whether you guys are busybodies, or just... gregarious?
While shaking his head, Shao follows after the crew.
???: Look here, is this all you've got for us today? This won't do at all. You got that, crone!
Old Woman: Ohhhhh! Forgive me.
Outside a tiny house, two men are bullying an old woman.
Lyria: Oh! Those men are trying to get money from that woman!
Shao: Judging from the tenor of their conversation, I'd say those two are debt collectors.
Debt Collector 1: Hey, just how long are you planning on making us wait for our money? Huh?
Old Woman: I'll have it for you next time, definitely...
Vyrn: Now then you two, hasn't this gone far enough?
Shao: See, just butting into the affairs of people you hardly know, aren't you just being busy-bodies?
Lyria: B-but! We can't just stand by and let them speak to that old lady like that!
Vyrn: Yeah, what she said! We can take 'em...
Vyrn: Oi, you two! Is that any way to speak to your elders?
Debt Collector 2: Huh? What's it to you! This ain't nothin' to do with you, so butt out!
Old Woman: Everybody hold on a second! I'm sure I'll have the money ready for next time, so I think we should just call it quits for today...
Debt Collector 2: Well in that case, we'll just have to come back and pay you a visit tomorrow then, won't we! Don't go takin' off anywhere!
Thrusting the old woman away from them, the two debt collectors skulk off.
Old Woman: Ahhhh, that was close... (Cough, cough... )
Lyria: Are you feeling OK? Hang in there!
As the old woman falls to her knees in a fit of coughing, Lyria rushes to her side.
Old Woman: Haaah, haaah (Cough!)
I get this all the time...
I get this all the time...
Vyrn: Hey, you mustn't overexert yourself! (Captain), let's carry her back inside her house!
Old Woman: I'm so sorry to cause so much trouble for you...
Vyrn: Don't mention it! But... just who were those guys back then?
Old Woman: Well, they're...
The old woman explains that she has been suffering from her illness for a long time, and has to continually take medicine.
As a result, her medical bills have piled up and she has had to borrow money to pay them.
Vyrn: I see... So that's why those debt collectors were barging in on you.
Shao: ... Pardon me, madam. That medicine you mentioned, who are you getting it from?
Old Woman: Oh, that's all arranged by those debt collectors.
Lyria: Huh? Those two guys just now, they're apothecaries?
Old Woman: Well... it's a very precious medicine that I need, and they got me a very good deal on it.
Shao: Could you just show me your medicine for a moment?
Old Woman: Sure, here it is.
Shao examines the medicine while asking the woman about her illness.
Vyrn: What is it, is something the matter? Is there something wrong with her medicine?
Shao: The thing is... Frankly, you could take this medicine as long as you wanted and you'd never get any better.
Lyria: Gosh! Isn't there something we can do?
Shao: ... I can prescribe a different medicine. It will be a whole lot cheaper than this one, too.
Old Woman: Are you a healer? If you could do that for me, I'd be so grateful.
Shao: ... I will see to it. I need to gather the ingredients for the medicine, so please wait a little while.
On Shao's instructions, the crew has come to a forest near the town.
Vyrn: And those monsters that dwell around these parts, we can take them out, right?
Shao: Please do. I can use them as an ingredient in the medicine.
Lyria: Look, over there! Aren't those the monsters you mean?
Shao: Yes, they've arrived. (Captain), I'd be obliged if you could help me out here.
Line between Good and Evil: Scene 2
The crew visit the elderly lady again the day after only to learn that she had passed away. Her neighbor explains that her final moments were peaceful, describing Shao as "the healer who gave me this final medicine." Before they can confirm the true meaning of those words, the debt collectors who had been giving her so much grief show up.
Vyrn: All right! That's all of them!
Lyria: Right, we should get back to that woman's house right away...
Shao: Wait a moment please. Could I ask you to return to the Grandcypher?
Vyrn: Huh? How come?
Shao: The old woman is sick. It's not good for her to have so many people intruding on her home.
Lyria: Yes I see, that makes sense.
Shao: And preparing the formula is a complex operation, and you'd only get in the way with your boisterous banter.
Vyrn: ... The cheek! So that's what you really think of us!
Lyria: Now, now, Vyrn. Let's go back to the Grandcypher with (Captain).
As Shao heads back to the woman's house on his own, (Captain) and the crew part from him and head back to the Grandcypher.
The following day...
Lyria: Excuse meeee! Miss? Are you in?
(Captain) and the crew have come to check up on how the woman's recovery is going.
Vyrn: Hmmm? There's no answer. Are they out?
Just then, a man pokes his head out from the window of the neighboring house.
Neighbor: Hmm? Are you friends of the woman next-door?
Lyria: Yes! We came to see how her recovery was coming along!
Neighbor: Ah, well, I'm sorry to tell you this but... She passed away yesterday evening.
Lyria: Oh, how sad! Yesterday she seemed so chatty...
Neighbor: Well, it seemed she passed away very peacefully. She'd had nothing but hardship of late, so maybe in some ways it's a release...
Lyria: Ohhhh... That's so sad. I really thought with Shao preparing a treatment specially for her, that...
Neighbor: Oh I see. Are you the medicine man? She said to say thank you to you.
Shao: She did?
Neighbor: The last medicine she took... You gave it to her, didn't you?
Vyrn: What does he mean?
Shao: Yes, I... didn't want to tell you this earlier, as I was worried about how you would react.
Vyrn: What do you mean, how we would react! I think you should explain!
But just as the crew are pressing Shao to answer their questions-
Debt Collector 1: Oi, crone! Open up!
The debt collectors from yesterday have returned.
Debt Collector 2: Hey! Have you got the money ready for us?
Vyrn: Hey, stop that... The woman, she passed away...
Debt Collector 2: Huh? She kicked the bucket! How're we gonna get the money back now!
Debt Collector 1: Of all the... I bet she's just hiding in there! Come on, we're going in!
Neighbor: Wha! Stop that at once! Stop that I say!
Shao: Haaah... (Captain), could I ask you to do what you do best?
Line between Good and Evil: Scene 3
Seeing that the old lady was too far gone to recover and would only live on in misery against sickness and debt, Shao had handed her the final medicine believing it to be for the best. He tells the crew to banish him if they cannot agree with the moral and ethical implications of his actions, but they decide to ponder over it with Shao close by as a sort of personal assignment.
Debt Collector 2: Curses... We'll be back, you'll see! You haven't seen the last of us!
Lyria: Haaah... Well, I think we showed them.
Vyrn: I think we did. So Shao, continuing where we left off...
Vyrn: That medicine that you prepared for her.
Shao: Yes, it was just something that relieved her suffering, but would not have been able to cure her.
Lyria: You mean, you knew...
Shao: Her illness had already advanced beyond being treatable. All I could do was give her something to temporarily ease her pain.
Shao: Whereas the medicine she had before was actually poisonous. Keeping her ill was a way for those men to extort money from her.
Lyria: That's horrible... So horrible...
Shao: You're quite right. For the longest time she suffered both debt and illness needlessly.
Vyrn: But, but... Wasn't there something that-
Shao: I may be a healer, but I'm not an omnipotent god with the power to cure all illness.
Shao: So I just tried to do the best I could for her.
Shao: Without proper treatment her illness just got worse and worse. And with her accumulating debt on top of that...
Shao: That was a terrible ruse those men cooked up. At least she was comfortable in her final moments.
Shao's voice sounds unusually distant, and the crew also falls silent, lost in thought.
In the midst of this brooding silence, Shao's expression suddenly changes, and his usual smile plays once more on his lips.
Shao: Perhaps it was wrong of me not to tell you how serious her condition was.
Shao: But I didn't know whether you would accept that. I thought you might insist that something would have to be done.
Shao: I've seen so many people pass away now. I think what I did was for the best.
Shao: Perhaps there is many a skyfarer who would say that I'm a fraud, not a true healer if there are some ailments that I cannot cure.
Vyrn: Hold on a minute! No one's accusing you of that!
Shao: Do you understand why I didn't tell you how serious her condition was? That extending her life may not be the best thing for her...
Vyrn: I guess, but...
Lyria: Would it be all right if... I'd like to see the woman one last time.
Neighbor: Yes of course. Go in and pay your respects.
The crew enters the house and approaches the bed where the woman lies.
Lyria can't take her eyes from the woman's face, which seems so peaceful that it absolutely appears as if she is sleeping.
Lyria: (Sniff)... No matter what the cause, death is just so sad.
Lyria: But... She said to say thank you to us, right?
Neighbor: Yes. She was really grateful for what you did for her.
Lyria: So, Shao...
Lyria lifts her head and fixes Shao with an intense gaze.
Lyria: I... don't yet have an answer to your question. So, do you mind if I think on it a little more? As a sort of assignment.
Shao: An assignment?
Lyria: I'd like to think on what you said before while you travel with us.
Vyrn: That's not a bad idea. I'm sure (Captain) will want to do the same.
Shao: You lot really are... gregarious, aren't you?
Shao: ... Very well then. Let us journey together a while longer.
Hence, Shao gives (Captain) and the crew one of the great ethical conundrums to consider.
And when the time comes for the crew to answer, they might finally discover the true feelings hidden beneath Shao's smile.