These tabs contain full Fate Episode cutscene scripts with major spoilers about the character. View these tabs at your own discretion.
The traveling healer Shao prescribes the proper treatment for (Captain)'s mysterious fever. From charging exorbitant rates as a joke to angering fraudulent thugs and using the crew as a decoy against them, no one can guess what's on his mind. Nonetheless, (Captain) and company see his gift as a healer to be genuine and invite him into the crew.
Lyria: Hold on, (Captain)!
When (Captain) suddenly comes down with a mysterious fever, the crew makes a stop in a town to seek treatment.
Although they have already consulted a doctor, (Captain) has been in a bad shape for several days.
So, once again, they take (Captain) into town for an examination, and return with medicine.
Vyrn: Well for now, let's hurry back to the Grandcypher so (Captain) can rest.
Lyria: Yes, let's go. Just a little further, (Captain), hold on!
With the crew's encouragement, (Captain) takes slow steps forward, before keeling over in a feverish haze.
Lyria: Eeep! (Captain)!
???: Oh dear, that was a close one.
A young Erune man catches (Captain).
Vyrn: Whoa, are you OK, (Captain)?
Thanks for your help.
???: It was nothing. Anyway, is your fainting friend here OK?
???: You're looking off color, and that fever is very high. Shouldn't you see a doctor?
Lyria: We saw a doctor, but it's been several days and the fever just won't go down...
???: I see. Do you mind if I take a look?
Vyrn: Huh? You a doctor or something?
???: No, I am but a humble purveyor of medicine... but I may be able to help a little.
The medicine seller checks (Captain)'s pulse and mouth, before tilting his head to one side.
???: ... So, are you travelers?
Vyrn: Sort of. We’re skyfarers, and (Captain) here is our captain.
???: Ah, skyfarers? Well, it's no wonder...
Lyria: Oh, did you think of something?
???: This medicine won't work. If you like, I can prescribe something different.
Vyrn: What? Are you saying the doctor gave the wrong diagnosis?
???: It's not something you see on this island, so the doctor wouldn't have recognized it. Your friend must have caught it elsewhere.
The man mixes a new prescription for (Captain).
???: Drink this, and rest this evening. Your fever should be down tomorrow.
Vyrn: That's great news, thanks! Oh, how much do we owe you for this?
???: Hmm... Let me see...
The man presents the crew with an outrageous bill.
Vyrn: WHAT? This is way too much, right, (Captain)?
Choose: We'll figure something out.
- We'll figure something out.
- This is extortionate!
Vyrn: Hey, what are you saying? We can kiss goodbye to our journey if we spend this much.Choose: This is extortionate!
???: Oh? Well, I'll just have to take that medicine back, then.
Lyria: Oh no! What are we going to do now?Continue 1
???: Haha... I was joking.
Vyrn: Huh? Joking?
???: Well, of course it's too much. I didn't realize you were all so naive.
Vyrn: What? Hey, don't you think you're being kinda rude?
???: Aw, don't be like that. Here, you can have it for free. A special offer for new customers.
Lyria: Really? Are you sure?
???: Of course. In return, pay me a visit next time you need medicine. You can call me Shao.
Lyria: Thank you so much, Shao!
Shao: Take care, then.
Just as Shao said, (Captain)'s fever disappears the next day.
Vyrn: Isn't that great, (Captain)? That guy was weird, but he knew his stuff.
Vyrn: Hmm... Maybe we should have bought more medicine from him.
Lyria: Well, then let's pay Shao another visit! I'd like to thank him, anyway.
However, when they return, Shao is nowhere to be seen. The crew wanders around the marketplace.
Vyrn: Hey, look. That old guy is selling medicine. Let's ask him.
Vyrn: Hey, there was an Erune selling medicine around here yesterday. Do you know where he went?
Merchant: What? An Erune? The one with the medicine box?
Lyria: Yes, that's the one! Do you know him? He helped us out, so we wanted to thank him...
Merchant: What? So you're telling me you know him? Where is he?
Vyrn: Well, that's what we were trying to find out...
Merchant: You better be telling the truth, lizard. If you're not...
Vyrn: Whoa! What's going on?
Merchant: Hey, get them! Rough them up a bit, don't let 'em go until they cough up that medicine man's location!
Lyria: Oh no! What do we do?
Vyrn: This doesn't look good. Let's run for it!
Confused, (Captain) and the crew flee the scene.
Vyrn: Huff... Haaah... Why do we have to run?
Thug 1: Hey, get back here!
Vyrn: Honestly, what did that medicine seller do to have thugs like these chasing after him?
Lyria: Oh, look over there!
Vyrn: There he is! Heeey! Medicine man!
Shao: Oh? Why, you're all out of breath. Is this some sort of training exercise?
Vyrn: Of course not! There are some dodgy guys looking for you.
Thug 2: All right, prepare yourselves!
Vyrn: Whoa, they caught up! Here they come!
Shao: So they're after me? Hmm... I see.
Shao bows his head, and slowly steps out in front of the thugs.
Thug 1: So you're the one? The Erune medicine seller!
Shao: That's right. It appears you have business with me, but I don't believe we've ever met.
Thug 2: Hey, we're going out of business because of you!
Thug 1: That's right. You were trash-talking us to our customers in the next town over!
Shao: Oh, that's right. You were the ones selling fake medicine.
Shao: I only told them the truth, that your wares weren't real medicine.
Thug 2: Hey, where do you get off talking about us like that?
Shao: That medicine was just flour mixed with a few spices. It won't hurt anyone, but it's not going to help them, either.
Shao: It's such a petty thing to do, it's almost laughable.
Thug 1: Damn it... Watch what you're saying!
Vyrn: Hey, don't make them any angrier...
Shao: Anyway, I have no interest in dealing with these pathetic creatures.
He turns to (Captain) and the crew and assesses them.
Shao: So I'll leave this one to you.
Lyria: W-what do you mean?
Shao turns tail and flees.
Thug 2: Hey, stop right there!
Vyrn: Huh? What? Why do we have to fight them?
(Captain) and the crew take off after Shao, with the thugs once again in tow.
Shao: Hmm? What are you following me for?
Vyrn: What do you mean you'll leave them to us?
As they argue, the thugs close the distance between them.
Vyrn: Damn it! Medicine man, don't you know any good escape routes around here?
Shao: Hmm... Well, I suppose there's an alley coming up on the right...
Vyrn: OK! Right it is!
(Captain) and the crew turn into an alley and run down it.
Vyrn: So where do we go next, medicine man?
Lyria: He's gone!
Thug 1: Hahaha, it's no use running! You better be ready for a fight!
Vyrn: Ugh, what do we do?
Vyrn: Haaah... What a hassle this has been.
The crew somehow manages to escape and arrives back at the Grandcypher.
Vyrn: Lyria, did you hurt yourself when you fell?
Lyria: I'm fine. It's just a scratch.
Shao: Ah, welcome back, everyone!
Vyrn: Hey, what are you doing here?
Shao: Oh, I just stopped by to thank you for taking care of those thugs for me.
Vyrn: Hey, we didn't do that by choice!
Shao: Oh, is that so?
Vyrn: I mean, you were the one who told us to take that turn, and then you disappeared off somewhere...
Shao: Hm? I said there was an alley, yes, but I never told you to take it.
Vyrn: Well, I suppose you didn't...
Shao: Anyway, are you all right, miss? Would you like me to take a look at that scrape?
Lyria: Oh, thank you!
Shao: Still, all these illnesses and injuries... You certainly live dangerous lives.
Lyria: Hee hee...
Shao: It's nothing to laugh about. The world is full of con men like the ones back there, and doctors who can't give a correct diagnosis.
Shao: And there's a fine line between medicine and poison. You have to be very careful, and all seem a bit naive.
Lyria: Yes, we'll make sure to take care...
Shao: Anyway, if I were a bad person, I would have given you poison yesterday instead of medicine, no?
Shao: Actually, I'm rather adept at making poison.
Vyrn: Wait, medicine man, you're-
Shao: Aw, I was just joking.
Vyrn: H-hey, that wasn't funny at all!
Shao: You think so? Well, I was just giving you some advice. Here, I finished treating your friend.
Lyria: Thank you!
Shao: Take care! Now, I better get off this island before those con men find me.
Lyria: Oh, you're not from around here, Shao?
Shao: I'm not. I travel all over the place selling medicine.
Lyria: Wow, really? Hmm... I know! Why don't you come with us?
Vyrn: Huh? Lyria, what are you saying?
Lyria: But his medicine really works! He even cured (Captain)'s sickness.
Lyria: And anyway... all that stuff he said about medicine was a little scary.
Lyria: But if we have a great healer like Shao around, then we'll be OK!
Shao: Oh? I'm rather flattered. What does your captain say to this?
Choose: Do you want to come with us?
- Do you want to come with us?
- Of course you can come!
Shao: Answering a question with another question, are we? Let's see...
Shao: You're quite the amusing bunch. I'm especially intrigued by that talking lizard of yours.
Vyrn: I'm not a lizard, I'm a dragon!
Shao: My apologies. A dragon is much more precious than a lizard.
Vyrn: That's right!
Shao: Why, I could use every part of you to make medicine. Not a scale would go to waste.
Vyrn: H-hey! Cut that out!
Shao: It was just a joke.
Vyrn: Well it wasn't very funny!
(Captain), what are you laughing about?
Shao: Well, I suppose I'll just have to join you, then.Choose: Of course you can come!
Shao: ... You're very eager. Are you sure you want a suspicious stranger like me aboard your ship?
Lyria: Heehee, you cured (Captain)'s sickness, and you took care of my injury.
Lyria: So you're definitely not suspicious!
Shao: Is that so?
Shao: Well, I suppose I'll just have to join you, then.Continue 2
Shao: ... An airship is certainly a more convenient place to be.
Vyrn: Huh? What was that you said?
Shao: Oh, nothing. Nothing at all. I look forward to traveling with you all.
And so, Shao the healer joins the them as a skyfarer.
However, the crew doesn't yet know what lurks beneath his smiling face.
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...
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.
That Was in the Past
Shao dreams of an incident that occurred five years ago, in which he returns home after an extended absence to find that his ailing sister has become an invalid after consuming a highly addictive substance. After exhausting all options looking for a cure without success, he feels he has no choice but to perform euthanasia.
The following is a story that takes place about five years ago.
Shao: Sister! I'm home!
Shao has returned after being away for a few weeks selling medicine. He lives with his older sister, who is ill.
Shao: Sorry it took me so long to get home. How are you feeling?
A soft voice should have greeted him by now, but all is quiet in the house.
Shao: Probably sleeping...
Shao's Sister: ...
Shao peeks into his sister's room. She's lying perfectly still in bed, eyes staring blankly at the ceiling.
Shao: Oh, are you up? What's the ma—
Shao's Sister: ...
No semblance of awareness is reflected in her wide-open eyes. Dread immediately grips Shao.
Shao's Sister: Aaauu...
Sickly groans trickle out of his sister's mouth as he tries to rouse her. Her dilated pupils reveal nothing.
Shao: What happened to you, Sister?
Shao looks around in a panic and spots something next to his sister's pillow. It's a medicine vial that he's never seen before.
Shao: What's this?
Determined to understand his sister's condition, Shao launches an investigation into the strange medicine.
He then checks with neighbors who might have noticed anything while he was gone.
Shao: They mentioned a man coming and going...
Shao: He must've given her this stuff.
Digging even further, he discovers that their savings are gone.
Shao: Damn it! If only I'd come home sooner!
But lament as he might, he can't turn back the hands of time.
Shao returns home. His sister's gaze remains fixed on the ceiling. He walks to her side and reaches out a hand to touch her face.
Shao: I'm home.
Shao's Sister: Gyaaaah!
His sister suddenly erupts in earsplitting shrieks, flailing her arms wildly.
Shao: Sister! Sister, calm down!
Shao's Sister: Uungh...
Shao: It's me, remember? Shao!
Struggling to hold back his tears, he administers a sedative to his sister.
Shao: I'm sorry I had to do that. Everything's okay, so just relax.
Calm at one point, stormy the next. This hellish scenario repeats itself ad infinitum.
Her seizures periodically flare up, a symptom of withdrawal from whatever it was she'd taken.
When she isn't in a state of torment, her vacant eyes fail to recognize her beloved brother.
Shao's Sister: ...
Shao: The effects of the sedatives are becoming detrimental...
He bites his lip in frustration, barely holding on to his sanity.
He desperately tries to find a cure for his sister, who at this point is his only clue to unraveling the mystery.
But the results he so desires never come back positive.
Shao: The addiction is irreversible. Even if I could find a cure, it's advanced so far that she'll never be the same again...
Continuous trips to hell take a toll on the younger brother's psyche.
Warm rays of the midday sun filter in through the window. It's peaceful.
Shao's Sister: ...
Shao gently brushes his sister's cheek with the back of his hand.
Her dried-out skin and sunken eyes belie the vivacity that was once visible in her face.
Shao: I'm sorry I wasn't here with you when you needed me the most. This is all my fault.
Shao: But I want you to know...
Shao: That I can still hear your voice welcoming me home every time I step through that door.
Shao: It was music to my ears.
A tear leaks from his eye. And then another. And then another.
Shao's Sister: ...
Shao puts a phial to her lips and carefully tilts it.
Shao: Good night, Sister. Sweet dreams.
Shao is trying to recover from the nightmare that shook him awake. The first light of dawn starts to seep into his room.
Shao: Huff... Puff...
Shao: Perspiration... Heart palpitations... Shortness of breath...
Shao: The same symptoms as always.
Shao rattles off his diagnosis with disinterest, then fumbles under his pillow for the medicine he always keeps on hand and quickly gulps it down.
Shao: Sigh... No improvement even after five years.
Shao: Just my luck. I guess these symptoms might really be incurable.
That Was in the Past: Scene 2
A day after putting an incurable elderly patient out of her suffering per her request, scathing blame from the patient's son seems to gnaw away at Shao. Lyria begins reexamining the morality of Shao's methods, but a man suddenly arrives at the Grandcypher with a request.
Shao: My, my, that was a mighty big yawn.
Lyria: Oh, good morning, Shao.
Shao: And a good morning to you.
Allowing only a brief greeting for his crewmates, Shao is already walking away. (Captain) and company exchange glances.
Vyrn: Just like always, eh?
Lyria: Doesn't he look a little pale though? Do you think he's still thinking about what happened?
Vyrn: Who knows? That guy's harder to read than a book in the dark.
Lyria is referring to an incident that took place the day before.
Old Woman: I'm sorry for taking up your time.
Shao: Oh, stop that. You needn't concern yourself about me.
The old woman suffers from a debilitating illness that has no cure. Shao has come to administer her final dosage.
Shao: You fought valiantly. You've earned your rest.
Old Woman: Aaah... Thank you. Thank you so much...
Shao: Those words should be saved for your son.
Shao releases the patient's hand, and the old woman's son takes his place beside her.
Son: Mother... Mother!
Old Woman: Thank you, love. Please, whatever you do, don't cry. Don't... cry...
Son: Please, no...
As her final breath leaves her lips, her son can no longer keep it together and crumbles into wailing sobs.
Son: Sob... Mother... Why...
Son: Damn it all. Why'd you do it... Why'd you kill my mother!
Vyrn: Well, I mean... She told us this is what she wanted, and you asked us too...
Lyria: Um, killed is kind of... a bit harsh, I think.
Son: I know that! But was there really nothing else that could be done?
Son: Answer me! Was my mother's sickness absolutely incurable?
Shao: At best, her pain could have been alleviated, though at the cost of becoming heavily addicted to the medication.
Shao: But once off the treatment, the suffering from withdrawal would have been far worse.
Shao repeats the same explanation he has given many times before.
Son: I know, damn it!
Clinging to the fading warmth of his mother's hand, the son cries out in vain.
Son: You don't get it. You don't understand what it's like for someone who's forced to say goodbye!
Vyrn: Sigh... That was a big oof.
Lyria: Yes. I know how devastated the son must have felt at his mother's passing, but saying that to Shao...
Choose: It's hard to know with Shao.
- It's hard to know with Shao.
- He's feeling it too, I bet.
Vyrn: Hmm... You can't really tell what he's thinking.
Lyria: Well, Shao definitely likes to keep to himself, but he's a kind person.Choose: He's feeling it too, I bet.
Lyria: Mm... Yeah...
Lyria: Well, Shao definitely likes to keep to himself, but he's a kind person.Continue 1
Vyrn: Yep. His medicine has helped cure a lot of people.
Lyria: Mm-hm. And he usually doesn't charge people who can't afford it.
Vyrn: Can't say the same for people with deep pockets though. He basically overcharges them.
Lyria: Ahahaha, that happens too. We've seen a lot of interesting cases.
Lyria: Remember this one?
Vyrn: Is it possible the medicine you made for her caused her to...
Shao: You've got the right idea. My medicine was only meant to make her comfortable.
Shao: Her illness had already advanced to the end-stage. All I could give her was something to temporarily ease her pain.
Shao: The medicine she had been taking was actually poisonous. Keeping her ill was a way for those men to extort money from her.
Lyria: That's so horrible...
Shao: Quite right. She suffered from needless debt and illness for the longest time.
Shao: I'm a healer, not an omnipotent god with the power to cure everything.
Shao: Given her options, I came up with the best prescription I could think of.
Shao: Or are you saying she should've continued living in suffering?
Shao: "I know you're not getting better, and your debts keep piling up, but try to do your best." Is that it?
Shao's voice sounds unusually cold, and the crew falls silent.
Lyria: I don't have an answer for you yet. So can I make it my homework assignment?
Lyria: Yep! Keep traveling with us. That way I can think some more about what you said.
Vyrn: Yeah, I remember that.
Lyria: I don't know if we'll ever find the answer to that assignment, but...
Lyria: What happened yesterday got me thinking again.
Vyrn: Did you figure out anything?
Lyria: No, not yet.
Lyria: I think we need more information, and it should come from Shao himself.
Vyrn: Easier said than done... I can't picture him willingly opening up to us.
While the crew is in the middle of discussing Shao, a guest arrives on the Grandcypher.
Dubious Man: Pardon me. Are you (Captain), the skyfarer?
(Captain) walks up to the intimidating man and nods.
Dubious Man: Good. I have a job for you. You'll be fairly compensated at the end of course.
Lyria: Um, what kind of job is it?
Dubious Man: Sorry, I can't tell you out here. I was told to keep it private. You'll learn more if you come with me.
Vyrn: Like that's gonna convince us...
Uncertainty surrounds this proposition. (Captain) and company are unable to drop their suspicions.
Dubious Man: Yeah, I know this isn't a good look, but I wouldn't be asking if it wasn't an emergency.
However, after seeing the man's desperation, the crew finally gives in.
Dubious Man: Thanks. But before we go, I'd like to request one of your crew members in particular to join us.
That Was in the Past: Scene 3
The crew follows the man to a mafia base where many mafia members have become hooked on a mysterious substance. Shao requests a sample of the substance and time to work; afterward he visits a patient and decides that seeing the smiles of patients and their families is what brings him the most joy.
Lyria: Wow! Look at the size of this mansion!
Vyrn: It really is huge, but I wouldn't get too excited if I were you.
Shao and the crew walk into a base belonging to the island's controlling mafia.
But Shao is wary for a different reason.
Shao: I'm guessing the reason you asked for me personally is because your people are sick?
Mafia Messenger: Yeah. From this point on, only the healer is allowed in. I'll have to ask the rest of you to wait here.
Lyria: Huh? But...
Shao: These skyfarers are more trustworthy than I am. I can vouch for them.
Vyrn: Uh, how can he trust you if you're less trustworthy than we are?
Mafia Messenger: Sigh. All right, whatever. This way.
Lyria: Gasp! They're all...
They are led to a room sheltering many men.
Mafia Member 1: ...
Some lie in bed, while others are curled up on the floor.
Mafia Member 2: Uur... Ugh...
Mafia Member 3: Hehehe... Hahaha...
The crew stand aghast at the eerie sight of people who are clearly not in their right minds.
Shao approaches a bed to examine one of the men.
Shao: Care to fill me in on the situation?
Mafia Messenger: It happened pretty recently, but someone introduced this substance and its use spread among the family.
Shao: A substance, huh...
Mafia Messenger: Yeah, one that's particularly strong and easy to get hooked on.
Shao: And these are the users that got hit hard.
Mafia Messenger: Yep. I'm not a doc. I have no idea how to help them.
Mafia Messenger: With nothing else to lose, I figured I'd go to you since I've heard the rumors about what you do.
Shao: I'm... honored, I guess.
Mafia Messenger: So, uh, can you help us?
Shao: Well, let me first take a closer look at that substance.
Mafia Messenger: Be my guest.
The man hands over a vial.
Shao: Where's this stuff being distributed from?
Mafia Messenger: ...
Shao: Is there no established supply line yet?
Mafia Messenger: Um, is this medically related?
Shao: I won't know until I hear it, but the more info I have, the better.
Mafia Messenger: Sigh... We don't know how it's being distributed.
Shao: I see. Only those in your family took it then? It hasn't leaked into town?
Mafia Messenger: Right. It should be self-contained among us.
Mafia Messenger: So you've figured it out?
Shao: No, it's still too early to draw a conclusion. I need more time.
Shao: Do you mind if I hang on to this?
Shao holds up the substance, and the man gloomily nods.
Lyria: Shao, do you think the mafia's request is going to work out?
Shao: It's hard to say at this point.
Vyrn: If you say so...
Something about Shao's expression makes the crew feel uneasy. They struggle to find something to say.
Shao: Ah, that reminds me. Can I stop by somewhere real quick?
(Captain) nods, and Shao leads the way.
Elderly Man: Who do we have here? Back again today, Shao?
Shao: How are you feeling?
Elderly Man: I'm doing just fine. My knee doesn't hurt at all.
Shao: Happy to hear it. Looks like you're taking your medicine as instructed.
Young Woman: Yes. Father's all like, "Shao said this" and "Shao said that."
Young Woman: Teehee, he's finally taking things seriously.
Elderly Man: That's because Shao's medicine works wonders on me.
Shao: Hahaha. Medicine can only do so much. Your desire to get better is just as potent.
Shao: When you feel up to it, I'd like you to get up and carefully give your body a good stretch. Being stationary isn't good for you.
Elderly Man: You don't say! So I'll be healthy enough to go outside again?
Shao: Of course. It won't be long now, so stick to the plan.
Lyria: I think you made his day! He looked so happy.
Shao: He has a caring family, which creates a worry-free environment.
Shao: I can't tell you how happy I am when a patient and their family members can laugh in good spirits.
The crew exchange glances, then look at Shao.
Shao: What is it? Is there something on my face?
Vyrn: No, it's just not something we hear you saying every day.
Shao: Aw, but I'm a happy-go-lucky healer! I'm always like this.
Shao chuckles, a hint of melancholy in his voice.
A Future from the Mire
Shao examines the mafia substance and discovers it's the same as the one that afflicted symptoms on his sister. Meanwhile (Captain) and company run into a suspicious man selling medicine in town; Shao tells the crew to prepare to leave the island while he goes to confront the man.
Shao is alone in his room, digging around in the bottom of his medicine chest.
Shao: Here it is.
He pulls out a small vial from a hidden compartment.
Shao: The substance from the mafia... It's a perfect match with this sample.
Holding the two bottles side by side, he gives a half-hearted sigh.
Shao: I'm finally on the trail, so why isn't my heart into it?
His voice is full of self-derision. A knock at the door forces him to hastily stash the vial back in the medicine chest.
Shao: Come in.
Lyria: Hi, Shao...
Shao: What can I do for you?
Vyrn: We were doing some shopping in town, when...
Young Woman: Oh, it's the skyfarers!
Lyria: Hm? We saw you at the elderly man's house.
The woman who hails the crew is the same one they saw earlier at the elderly patient's house.
Young Woman: Heehee, thank you for your services yesterday.
Lyria: You're welcome. Is your grandfather doing well?
Young Woman: Yes. He gets some swelling in the morning on account of the chill, but he's just fine by the time the sun is high and bright.
As the conversation continues, a man's voice cuts in.
Suspicious Man: Psst. You there. Wanna hear something good?
Suspicious Man: Overheard ya talking about your gramps. I got some good meds if you want them.
Vyrn: Where'd you come from...
Suspicious Man: Look, check this out.
The suspicious man forces a glass bottle into the woman's hands.
Young Woman: Um, what's this?
Suspicious Man: I'll have you know it's my last one! That's some really valuable medicine.
Young Woman: Th-thank you... This is all I can afford to pay you though...
Suspicious Man: Tch... That's it? Oh well, I'll give you the discount!
The man practically spits the words out as he counts the money, then nervously scurries off.
Lyria: Something felt really wrong about that, so we kept the medicine for her.
Shao: I see.
Shao takes the bottle from (Captain) and studies its contents carefully.
Shao: I'll handle this.
Vyrn: That's really dangerous stuff, isn't it?
Shao: Definitely. It's a good thing you brought it to me. You made the right call.
Without elaborating further, Shao stores the bottle, straps on his medicine chest, and heads for the door.
Lyria: O-oh, are you going somewhere?
Shao: Yes, just for a little while.
Vyrn: Wait, are you feeling okay? You're not gonna do anything rash, are you?
Shao: Nah, everything's fine on my end.
Shao: But something sinister is stirring in this town, and it'd be a good idea to get ready to leave.
Choose: Got it.
- Got it.
Shao: Thanks for catching my drift, (Captain).Choose: Why?
Shao: Because the mafia from yesterday are involved. It's best not to overstay our welcome.
Vyrn: Yeah, I got a bad feeling about this.Continue 1
Lyria: What are you going to do, Shao?
Shao: I'm going to go take care of some unfinished business.
Vyrn: Okay! While you're doing your stuff, we'll get the ship ready to leave!
Lyria: Be careful out there!
Suspicious Man: Huff, huff... It's already getting dark.
Shao: Excuse me. This might seem out of the blue, but...
Suspicious Man: What is it?
Shao: You wouldn't happen to know anything about this, would you?
Shao waves the bottle he got from (Captain) in front of the bewildered man.
Suspicious Man: What the! Why do you—
Shao: So it was you.
Suspicious Man: Damn! You a bounty hunter or something? Well, you ain't takin' me in!
A Future from the Mire: Scene 2
The man selling medicine in town turns out to be the culprit who gave Shao's sister the fatal substance. Shao gives the man a taste of his own medicine, subjecting him to the same pain felt by his sister, and then ends the man's life. Although Shao is reluctant to continue flying with the crew, Lyria believes that his brand of medicine saves people physically and spiritually. With a smile of mixed emotions, Shao finally boards the airship again.
Suspicious Man: What is... The hell'ja do to me!
Shao: Just a little something to keep you from moving. Don't worry, it's nontoxic.
Shao: I can't risk having you run off in the middle of our talk. Call it insurance.
Suspicious Man: Are you with the family?
Shao: Goodness, no. I work alone.
Suspicious Man: What! Then what problem do you got with me?
Shao: When I spoke with the mafia guy earlier, I felt something was off.
Shao: He insisted on avoiding the topic of where the substance came from—even to a good, upstanding citizen like me.
Shao: That's no smoking gun, of course, but it points to internal strife, doesn't it?
Suspicious Man: ...
Shao: After some internal conflict, you hooked your family on illegal substances. Then you got away without facing the consequences. I can't think of anything more shameful for a crime syndicate.
Shao: Although I for one couldn't care less about your squabbles.
Suspicious Man: Tch. Then why'd you stick your nose in this?
Shao: I'm getting to that. Settle down and let me finish.
Suspicious Man: You piece of...
Shao: When I took a closer look at the afflicted, I found their symptoms had become too advanced to treat.
Shao: Isn't that right?
Suspicious Man: Hell if I know.
Suspicious Man: All I care about is how long it takes for them to bite the dust and how to exploit it.
Shao: Phew... I was hoping you'd say that.
Suspicious Man: Huh?
Shao: I never intended to take this job seriously from the beginning.
Shao: I'm not unsympathetic toward them, but those addicts basically brought it on themselves.
Suspicious Man: Then what's the problem? If you got nothing to do with it, mind your own business!
Shao: Except I've been looking for you for a long time.
Shao produces a different vial.
Suspicious Man: Wh-what's that?
Shao: I don't owe an explanation to you, especially not one that's personal.
Suspicious Man: Wait!
Shao: Feels bad, doesn't it? Not being able to move no matter how hard you struggle?
Suspicious Man: Stop!
Shao draws some of the contents from the vial and administers it to the man.
Suspicious Man: No...
Shao: I believe this dose should be enough to take immediate effect.
Shao coldly stares down at the stricken man lying helpless on the ground.
Suspicious Man: Aaagh... Aauu...
Shao: How is it? Honestly I'm not too knowledgeable about the effects, but...
Shao: Do you feel anything in your limbs? How's your hearing? Your sense of touch?
Shao: Does your body feel hot or cold?
Shao: Or perhaps it feels as if your entire body is crawling with insects?
Suspicious Man: Aaaiee! Gaah!
Shao: Hello? Can you hear me?
Shao: I'm barely whispering, yet it must feel like someone pounding on your eardrums.
In between violent convulsions and belabored breaths, the man struggles to glare at Shao.
Suspicious Man: This... This is about revenge, isn't it?
Shao: Still holding onto your sanity, huh? It must hurt. That's bad luck for you.
Suspicious Man: Wheeze... You can tell yourself what you want to hear... You and I are the same... We're both villains.
Shao: I'm way ahead of you.
Shao: I've been this way ever since that day.
Shao: Good night, Sister. Sweet dreams.
Shao: I know for a fact just how far away I am from being a decent person.
Suspicious Man: Ngh... I-I...
Shao: Can you still hear me? Then I'll say one last thing.
Shao kneels down next to the man, posing as if to offer a repenting prayer.
Shao: At first I had intended to cast off my obsession for revenge.
Shao: That doesn't mean I planned on forgiving you though. That would just be absurd.
Shao: Ironically the drive for revenge allowed me to discover that the world is brimming with beauty.
Shao: Leaving you alone would only spawn more tragedy, and that would be irresponsible of me.
Shao: I don't pretend to be a friend of justice. I don't care if I'm a criminal.
Shao: But I wouldn't want these five years of pain to go to waste.
Suspicious Man: ...
Shao puts a phial up to the man's lips and carefully tilts it.
Shao: That about sums it up. Farewell.
Vyrn: All right! We are ready to roll on outta here!
Lyria: Yeah! Just as soon as Shao gets back.
Lyria: Ah! Shao!
Vyrn: You're just in time! We're ready for takeoff!
Shao: You're still here.
Vyrn: That's no way to say hello. Of course we waited for you.
Shao: Yeah. Because that's just the kind of people you are.
Choose: Welcome home, Shao.
- Welcome home, Shao.
Shao's Sister: Heehee. Welcome home, Shao.
Lyria: Um, Shao?
Shao seems to be at a loss. He makes no attempt to come aboard.
(Captain) extends a hand toward Shao.
Shao: You guys are really something...
(Captain)'s hand goes unshaken.
Lyria senses that something is wrong and attempts to appeal to the healer.
Lyria: I still haven't turned in that homework assignment I got from you.
Shao: Oh yeah. It's overdue.
Lyria: You once said that there's a thin line between poison and medicine.
Lyria: When you cure people of their sickness, you use medicine.
Lyria: But when you end someone's life because they can't be cured, it's poison. But I don't see it that way.
Lyria: When I thought about it, I realized there are two types of medicine—the kind that heals illness, but also the kind that saves the soul.
Lyria: Those are the two ways that I think you help people.
Shao: Then you agree with me taking the lives of those that can't be cured?
Lyria: Well... I still don't have an answer for that. It's sad whenever anyone dies...
Vyrn: Yeah, just like a few days ago...
Son: Sob... Mother... Why...
Son: Answer me! Was my mother's sickness absolutely incurable?
Son: You don't get it. You don't understand what it's like for someone who's forced to say goodbye!
Lyria: Yes. It's hard to forget what he said.
Lyria: But there are other people, like the elderly woman you treated, who are able to smile because their minds are at ease.
Vyrn: Yep, I agree with Lyria.
Shao: You think I'm saving their souls?
Shao: (You have no idea what I've done...)
Shao: (I wasn't thinking about saving his soul at all.)
Once again (Captain) thrusts a hand out to Shao.
But this time (Captain) takes initiative and grabs Shao's hand.
Shao: My, my.
After being pulled up onto the deck by (Captain), Shao reconsiders what has been said.
Shao: Medicine that can soothe the soul.
Lyria: I don't think I answered the homework question perfectly, but...
Shao: Nah. To tell you the truth, I don't know what the correct answer is either.
Shao: The important thing is to keep searching for a suitable one.
Lyria: Hehe, that's true! Let's all put our heads together!
Vyrn: Okay! All aboard! I'll go let Rackam know what's up!
Shao: Sheesh, I've never met a pushier bunch.
A quick laugh later, and Shao's usual carefree expression returns.
However, (Captain) senses something different in Shao this time around, something like a dull pain.
Although Shao's history remains unknown to the crew, they have caught a glimpse of the healer's true self.