Shitori dreams of days long past—memories of life before and after the completion of the Great Wall, including the day she betrayed her mother, Mikaboshi.
Long before (Captain) and crew land in the Edgelands, and a short time before (Captain)'s father makes his own arrival, a curious pair plummet beneath the Sky Realm.
Their fall is broken unexpectedly, but they quickly find their feet in a place separated from the rules of reality.
Mika: Mmm... Shitori, I'm sleepy.
Shitori: You can head to bed first, Mika. I'll join you after I finish cleaning up here.
Mika: Nuh-uh. I don't wanna sleep by myself.
Shitori: All right, all right. But stay awake until we make it to the bed, okay?
Mika is barely listening, already halfway to the land of dreams. Shitori takes her by the hand, leads her to the bedroom, and promptly tucks her in.
Shitori: Relax, I'm right here.
Mika: Okay... Good night, Shitori.
Shitori breaks into a smile as she watches Mika instantly fall asleep.
She reflects on how quickly they've adjusted to their new lives, grateful for the help of the kind strangers in the Edgelands.
Shitori: (Still, this is quite nostalgic. When I was little, I snuggled up like this with Mother every day.)
Memories spring up as she continues to watch Mika's gentle resting face.
They are as unforgettable as they are many, spanning the days Shitori spent with her mother up until the moment they landed beneath the sky.
Shitori: It was an Astral who adopted me, a child without a home or family.
Shitori: Mikaboshi was her name, but to everyone else she was a lunatic driven by hatred and obsessed with revenge.
Shitori: I always thought that if they got to know the motherly side of her, they wouldn't say those things anymore.
Shitori: They couldn't say those things if they learned of the woman that saved and raised me—the only mother I've ever known. The mother that I loved most in the world.
Skydweller: Poor thing. She really thinks that woman is her mother.
Skydweller: I don't know how she could mistake a madwoman for a parent. Must've been imprinted onto her or something.
Shitori: No matter what I said, the other skydwellers never ceased spouting their cruel words against Mother.
Shitori: "A kid like you doesn't know what she's saying," or "you're so naive." They always brushed me off with pity in their eyes.
Shitori: There was a single person who treated me kindly and listened to what I had to say, though even she advised me to keep my distance from Mother.
Worried Woman: Shitori, everyone's just worried about you, myself included.
Shitori: But Jayne... Mother isn't crazy like everyone says.
Shitori: She teaches me whatever I want to learn and makes me tasty food and sweets.
Shitori: If I do something bad, she gets mad at me, but if I do something good, she tells me I did a good job.
Shitori: Is our family weird? Mother's always nice, even though she's an Astral and I'm a skydweller.
Jayne: So that's how you see her.
Jayne: Be that as it may, you don't know when madness will swallow her completely and drive her to harm others.
Jayne: If that puts your life in danger one day, we would be devastated.
Jayne: And if that were to happen, I don't think we would be the only ones to suffer. She would too, if I'm to believe what you've told me.
Jayne: So before the worst comes to pass, perhaps you should put a bit of distance between yourselves? I'm not suggesting that you never speak with her again, but...
Shitori: That's why I'm going to stay with her. If I don't, no one else will when she needs help.
Shitori: Regardless of anyone's attempted persuasions, I never left Mother's side.
Shitori: I couldn't; not when spending my days with her filled me with such happiness.
Shitori: The more I learned to do things on my own, the more Mother devoted her attention to her own developments and experiments.
Shitori: I knew she was modifying her body so she could stand against the power of the Astrals.
Shitori: It was evident in the way her body often violently trembled and her fits of temper as she became increasingly unstable.
Shitori: Mother, you don't seem to be feeling well lately. Why don't you take a break?
Shitori: I know you haven't been sleeping well... You're going to collapse at this rate.
Shitori: I wonder how many times I called out to her in concern after I noticed her behavior had changed.
Shitori: She never answered me when she was shut in her room either. Not once.
Shitori: But she always emerged after a few days and returned to being the mother I recognized, so I kept my faith in her.
Shitori: Sadly our fragile, peaceful life did not last.
Shitori: Mother's mad thirst for vengeance against her fellow Astrals was finally given form through the completion of the Great Wall.
Shitori: I'll never forget the way she looked the day that nightmarish creation was born.
Shitori: It was as if I were gazing at a feral beast.
Shitori: A howling animal that rejoiced in its thirst for blood, devoid of intelligence and reason.
Shitori: The kind mother that I believed in was nowhere to be found, and my faith crumbled to pieces.
Shitori: Seeing the terrifying weapon she had created, the skydwellers deemed Mother a threat and made attempts on her life.
Shitori: They only succeeded in assembling a massive pile of corpses, their power insignificant against the might of an Astral.
Shitori: You plan to seal Mother into the Great Wall?
Jayne: Yes, into that monstrosity.
Jayne: The Torhid Kingdom wishes to prevent further sacrifices and has already pledged their aid.
Jayne: With disputes breaking out between skydwellers and Astrals, the last thing anyone needs is for it to escalate into a large-scale war.
Jayne: This doesn't just concern you two anymore. She's now a danger to everyone in these skies.
Jayne: Please, Shitori. Cooperate with us as well.
Shitori: But... you're asking me to seal my own mother away. To betray her.
Shitori: How could you ask me to do that?
Jayne: I understand where you're coming from. She'll always be your beloved mother, no matter what kind of person she's become.
Jayne: But at least take some time to consider what I've said, Shitori.
Shitori: Whispers of a potential outbreak of war spread like wildfire.
Shitori: The creation of Mother's weapon only amplified the chaos, and people began to wonder if she would destroy both skydwellers and Astrals alike.
Shitori: Again I tried to speak to her about what she was doing, but only the door entertained my words as she remained shut in her room.
Shitori: When was the last time we were able to speak, I wonder...
Shitori: You know something, Mother? No matter who you become, you'll always be the person I hold dearest. I love you.
Shitori: Even though I'm sure you don't feel the same way. Nothing's more important to you than your revenge—not me, not even yourself...
Shitori: Mother raised me. More than that, however, she gave me love when no one else would. Helping with the seal would mean betraying everything that I owed her.
Shitori: But I couldn't continue to turn a blind eye to all the victims of her rage and wait for things to settle.
Shitori: More pressingly, Mother's body was falling apart, and her mind and soul were fracturing as she bathed in more and more blood.
Shitori: I became certain that, sooner rather than later, she would break if something wasn't done.
Shitori: I'm sorry, Mother.
Shitori: But you can't keep hurting others... or yourself until you break.
Shitori: I'm going to stop you before that happens.
Shitori: That's the only thing I can do for you now. You'll understand, won't you, Mother?
Shitori: And so Mikaboshi was sealed away. The skydwellers cheered for what they perceived to be the elimination of one Astral threat.
Shitori: But I could barely hear them. I remained unmoving in front of Mother's resting place.
Shitori: All I could see was her face, moments before the end, seared into my mind.
Shitori: Her eyes filled with hatred, anger, confusion, then despair.
Jayne: Shitori, let's head home. Everyone's waiting.
Shitori: Head home? What home?
Shitori: There's nowhere for me to return to without Mother there.
Shitori: This was the outcome I expected.
Shitori: But my eyes burned anyway, and a mixture of guilt and emptiness welled up inside me.
Shitori: Mother, is it true? You're not really my mother?
Shitori: A memory suddenly interrupted my melancholy.
Shitori: Right around the age that I began to understand the world around me, I heard from other skydwellers that I was adopted. Naturally I asked Mother about it.
Shitori: She considered what to say for a moment, then confirmed the rumors.
Shitori: She proceeded to reveal a bit of her own past to me for the first time.
Shitori: "You reminded me of myself, so I took you in out of pity."
Shitori: That was why she raised me, according to those words.
Shitori: It was painful to hear her admit as much—that there was nothing else binding us together besides sympathy for our shared circumstances.
Shitori: But upon seeing my dejected expression, Mother gave a troubled smile and gently pulled me into a hug.
Shitori: Then she told me, "Shitori, you're my dearest daughter, and I would have no one else but you. I love you."
Shitori: I'm not sure why such an old memory surfaced at that moment.
Shitori: But it was what I needed to understand the meaning behind Mother's despair.
Jayne: Shitori, what's wrong?
Shitori: I really believed... that nothing mattered to Mother other than her revenge—not me, not even herself.
Shitori: But I couldn't have been more wrong.
Shitori: Do you know how she looked at me, right before the end?
Shitori: Her eyes, filled with despair, screamed, "why?"
Shitori: And it finally hit me: I did this! I betrayed her!
Shitori: No matter how she changed, she always thought of me as her daughter until the very end!
Shitori: I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Mother!
Shitori: She never forgot about me. Despite everything, she remained my mother.
Shitori: I knew I had to pay penance for the crime I'd committed, even if it cost me my life.
Shitori: Though nothing I could do would ever earn Mother's forgiveness.
Shitori: Still, I resolved to stay by her side, so that at the very least she wouldn't be alone when she woke.
Shitori: That was why I chose to be sealed alongside her.
Jayne: You're set on this, aren't you?
Shitori: Yes. I'm sorry, Jayne. I'm glad I had you on my side up until now.
Shitori: Thank you for everything. Goodbye.
Shitori: (This might just be me being selfish, but I'd like the chance to apologize directly one day.)
Shitori: (For now, all I can do is apologize in my head. I'm sorry, Mother. I love you so much, and I always will.)
Shitori: I was fully prepared to die by Mother's hand upon our awakening.
Shitori: But I desperately hoped that I'd be able to apologize before the final blow. With that last wish etched into my heart, I drifted into a long slumber.
???: Ri... Shitori...
Mika: Shiiitoooriii! Get up!
Shitori: Mm... Mika?
Hearing her name called, Shitori rouses from sleep and slowly opens her eyes. She's met with the sight of Mika peering worriedly at her.
Mika: Shitori, are you okay? Does something hurt?
Shitori: Huh? No, I'm fine.
Mika: Then why are you crying?
Shitori responds to Mika's question by bringing a hand to her cheek. To her surprise, she feels something wet trailing down her face.
Shitori: Oh, I really am crying. I wonder why...
Mika: You probably had a scary dream. It's okay now. There, there.
But as Mika's warm hand runs along Shitori's head in soothing pats, more tears gush forth.
Mika: Shitori... Don't cry. If you're sad, I'm sad too.
Shitori: I'm... I'm sorry. Don't worry, okay? These are tears of relief.
Moved by the tears beginning to gather in Mika's eyes, Shitori pulls her into a tight hug.
Shitori: (It's better that she doesn't remember anything. This is much better than watching her fall apart again.)
Shitori: (Even if it means she doesn't remember who I used to be or that I'll never be able to apologize to her.)
Shitori: (I'm just getting what I deserve.)
Her mother is now an innocent child, reduced to such a form after the sealing of her memories and powers.
But the seal isn't perfect.
One day it will break, much like the coming dawn after a long slumber.
Shitori is certain of this. But for the moment, she squeezes her eyes shut and prays that these peaceful, happy days can continue long into the future.
The End of a Dream
Mika goes foraging for ingredients with (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn so they can make snacks for the crew members currently repairing the Grandcypher. She also takes this chance to discuss an important matter while they are alone—how she can help Shitori find her mom.
As (Captain) and crew wait for the eruption that will take them back to the Sky Realm, they busy themselves with repairs to the damaged Grandcypher.
Rackam and his helpers are especially hard at work. Hoping to provide them with refreshments, (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn seek the help of someone they know and trust.
Shitori: I get the idea. If that's all you need, then I'd be happy to help.
Lyria: Yay! Thank you, Shitori!
Mika: Refreshments... Snacks are a good idea! So what should we make?
Shitori: Good question. Let's go with something easy to eat and easy to pack.
Everyone gets to work right away, but they quickly run into a problem.
Vyrn: Huh? Something wrong, Shitori?
Shitori: I completely forgot we're out of some ingredients, and there's nothing we can use as substitutes either.
Mika: We usually gather those things in the western woods, don't we?
Mika: I can go get them if you want!
Shitori: By yourself? Absolutely not. It's too dangerous.
Mika: But I'm not going alone! (Captain)'s coming too, right?
Choose: Of course.
- Of course.
- Am I?
Lyria: We'd be happy to help!
Mika: Hurray! I'll show you a super cool place that has super cool stuff too!Choose: Am I?
Mika: What? Come on, (Captain)! I'll show you something cool if you come!Continue 1
(Captain) nods in agreement and gives a confident chest-pound as if to allay Shitori's worries.
Shitori: The Blessed's settlement is close to those woods. What if you run into them?
Vyrn: Don't go workin' yourself up over what-ifs! We got this!
Lyria: We promise we'll keep Mika safe, no matter what. Please don't worry.
Mika: See? Everyone says it'll be okay.
Shitori: Well... All right. But don't go to the ruins.
Shitori: We'll visit another time and show (Captain) and everyone together.
Mika: Whaaat! Why?
Shitori: It's dangerous. Please just go to the forest, gather what we need, and come right back. Can you promise me you'll do that?
Mika: Hmph... Fine. We're gonna zoooom over there and zoooom right back!
Mika: So let's zoom, (Captain)!
Vyrn: H-hey! Don't go off on your own!
Lyria: We'll be going then. Be back soon!
Shitori: Stay safe, and take care of Mika, (Captain).
The task on their minds, (Captain) and company rush out after Mika and head to the woods.
Under Mika's guidance, (Captain) and company make it to their destination and pick the necessary ingredients in no time.
They begin to head back, all of them doing their best to keep Mika from making any detours.
Vyrn: I gotta say, Shitori's a pretty big worrywart, ain't she?
Mika: Mm... I'm usually with her all the time, so... she probably doesn't like it when I leave.
Mika: I remember she said the same things when I played outside with (Captain)'s dad too.
Vyrn: Hearin' that makes me think Shitori's like your mom or something.
Mika: Yep! Everyone says she's like my mom or big sister.
Mika: But it doesn't matter that much to me. I don't care who she is; I love Shitori!
Mika: It's nice being with her. She makes me feel safe.
A smile forms on her lips as she speaks, but it disappears a moment later, her expression quickly clouding over.
Mika: Lately, though... Whenever someone calls Shitori my mom, she looks really sad.
Mika: That's actually why I wanted to come here with you, (Captain).
Mika: I didn't want her to hear us talking about it.
Lyria: Did something happen?
Mika: Yeah, kinda...
Shoulders slumped, she reveals what's been weighing on her mind.
Mika: I found Shitori crying for her mom in her sleep one day.
Mika: It made me think... Me and Shitori have our own real moms, don't we?
Mika: It doesn't matter to me, since I don't have any memories and I'm happy with Shitori.
Mika: But Shitori probably doesn't feel the same way.
Mika: Maybe she wants to leave here... and find her mom.
Lyria: So that's what happened...
Vyrn: I got a question though. How can she miss her mom if she doesn't remember her?
Mika: I already asked everyone else about that. They said even if her mind doesn't remember, her heart does.
Mika: I just want Shitori to smile...
Mika: She's my family, so I want to help her somehow.
Vyrn: Well, when you put it that way...
Choose: Why don't you hop on our airship?
- Why don't you hop on our airship?
Lyria: That's right! You should both come with us!
Mika: On (Captain)'s airship? Does that mean we can see your dad too?
Vyrn: We're actually on a journey to find him!
Lyria: Yeah, and we can find Shitori's mom while we're at it!
Lyria: Maybe we'll even find your mom and dad too...
Mika: My mom and dad?
Mika: No, that's not what I...
A sudden noise from the nearby brush cuts Mika off, drawing (Captain)'s attention.
Mika: Huh? Shitori! Why are you here?
Shitori: Thank goodness none of you are hurt.
Shitori bursts onto the scene, but upon seeing everyone safe and sound, relaxes after a deep breath.
Lyria: Um, did something happen while we were away?
Shitori: You were taking so long to come back that I came to check on you, but then I discovered a few of the Blessed nearby.
Shitori: I assumed the worst...
Shitori: But I'm so glad that isn't the case.
Lyria: Sorry to make you worry...
Shitori: It's okay. The most important thing is that you're safe. We should head back though. Your friends took a break and want to see you.
No one offers any argument and the group follows her lead. After taking a single step, however, Mika feels the weight of someone's stare boring into her head and turns around.
Blessed One: ...
Mika meets the gaze of a Blessed One hiding in the trees, but the figure immediately flees upon being noticed.
Shitori: Mika, what are you looking at?
Mika: Oh, it's nothing!
Head tilted curiously to one side, Mika scampers after Shitori without mentioning what she's seen.
At the same time (Captain) and company are returning home, another event takes place.
A group of people gather in a part of the Blessed One's settlement and quietly converse among themselves.
Blessed One: So that child really is her.
Blessed One: Of that I have no doubt. However, it appears that at least one of the seals is still in place.
Blessed One: We have plenty of Astrals here in case it fails, but...
Blessed One: You truly believe we'd stand a chance against her hatred? She could easily destroy the entirety of the Edgelands.
Blessed One: Then we must strike before she has the opportunity to.
Blessed One: It's prudent we take advantage of her child-like state and end her immediately, as our final mission commands us to do.
The other Blessed gravely nod in assent.
Blessed One: ...
Watching furtively in cover from a short distance away, one of the Blessed quietly sneaks off.
The End of a Dream: Scene 2
While ship repairs continue, Shitori suddenly spots one of the Blessed lurking nearby and goes after the figure alone. The figure is none other than Jayne, the one skydweller who treated her with kindness in her old life. Jayne tells Shitori about the Blessed's plan to have the two girls killed and begs Shitori to turn Mika in to save herself, but Shitori vows to protect Mika.
(Captain) and crew continue repairing the Grandcypher as the clock ticks down.
While Shitori and Mika are unable to directly assist with many of the repairs, they do what they can by carrying materials and other such tasks.
Mika: Wait up!
Vyrn: You wish! You're never gonna catch me!
Today finds them stopping by with some refreshments, though Mika quickly drags Vyrn into a game of tag. Shitori watches them with a grin.
Shitori: I'm sorry to bother you like this.
Lyria: It's no bother at all! We were just thinking of taking a break anyway.
Shitori: If you say so... I do hope you're not pushing yourselves too hard, though I understand that time is of the essence.
Despite her concerned words, Shitori's gaze turns gentle as Mika, laughing victoriously, finally catches Vyrn.
Her focus immediately changes once she feels the presence of someone's stare, and she glances about their surroundings.
Shitori: (Hold on, isn't that...)
What she spots is a Blessed One simply standing and observing from a distance away.
Perhaps discerning that they've been spotted, the Blessed One turns and retreats.
Shitori: (They're not after (Captain), are they? Or is their goal to sabotage the airship and prevent the crew from riding the eruption?)
Shitori: Excuse me for a minute. Could you look after Mika while I'm gone?
Lyria: Huh? We don't mind, but... Where are you going?
Shitori: I forgot to bring something with me, so I'm just going to grab it and come right back.
With Mika taken care of, she wastes no time in chasing after her target.
Shitori: (Found them.)
She comes up behind the leisurely walking Blessed One, keeping a safe distance at the same pace.
That's when the figure unexpectedly stops and turns around to look Shitori right in the eyes.
Shitori stares right back, determined to find out what the other person is seeking to accomplish.
Shitori: What are you up to? Because if you're trying to get in that crew's way, I won't let you.
Blessed One: I knew it had to be you, Shitori.
What do you mean by that?
Blessed One: Oh, I suppose you wouldn't recognize me while I'm dressed like this.
The person reaches up and pulls back the hood obscuring most of their face.
Shitori: Jayne? How...
Jayne: Long time no see, Shitori. I never expected we'd meet like this.
Smiling happily before Shitori is the one skydweller who treated her kindly in her old life.
Jayne, whether by chance or fate, only recently arrived in the Edgelands.
After being taken in by the Blessed settlement, she heard about Shitori and Mika through the gossip spreading around town.
Jayne: I didn't quite believe the rumors, but I happened to spot you both while I was on my way to the edgedwellers' village.
Jayne: That child with the golden hair is your mother, Mikaboshi, isn't she?
The girl's silence causes Jayne to cover her face with one hand and mutter in disbelief.
Jayne: Shitori, surely you understand what this means?
Shitori: I do. But the situation is different now. Mika isn't the same as the Mikaboshi who was my mother.
Shitori: She's just a regular girl with no memories and no powers.
Jayne: You... You're still going to take her side?
Jayne: You do remember what happened the last time you did so, don't you!
Before the War, Shitori and her mother, Mikaboshi, lived together in the Sky Realm.
Mikaboshi never hid the fact that she was an Astral, leaving skydwellers to regard her warily, while the madness stemming from her hatred toward other Astrals was impossible to ignore.
Of course there were those that felt sympathetic toward Shitori, raised as she was by Mikaboshi, but the majority of people viewed the both of them as enemies.
Only Jayne treated them with kindness and stood as their ally.
Skydweller: Jayne, aren't you afraid? You're siding with an awfully dangerous Astral there...
Jayne: I'm just worried about Shitori. That child is one of us skydwellers after all.
Jayne: Besides, I've come to view Shitori as a sister of sorts after the time we've spent together.
Jayne: No matter what happens, I want to be able to support her so that she can live happily.
Jayne, true to her words, placated the other skydwellers and protected the mother and child.
In spite of her efforts, the completion of the Great Wall drastically changed the situation.
Skydweller: It's not too late to prevent war from breaking out if we kill her now!
Jayne: Surely Shitori can convince her to stop before such drastic measures are taken...
Skydweller: Don't play dumb, Jayne. You must know that woman hasn't been paying attention to her daughter for quite some time.
Skydweller: We have to act now, or it'll be too late. I know you feel for Shitori, but don't get the rest of us dragged into this mess because of it!
Jayne's words had lost their effectiveness. One day not long after, the skydwellers acted on their own and attempted to eliminate Mikaboshi.
Their attempt was utterly futile, and in exchange many skydwellers perished.
Realizing they stood no chance against her power, the skydwellers plotted to seal Mikaboshi into the Great Wall instead.
But this plan would not succeed without help, and so they sought Shitori's assistance.
The responsibility to persuade her fell to Jayne.
Shitori couldn't hold back the shock and confusion she felt upon hearing of the plan.
Shitori: You're asking me to betray Mother...
Shitori: No, I don't care what happens to this world. I just want to be with Mother.
Jayne: (Oh, my poor Shitori... Your mother doesn't even care for you in return.)
Everyone knew Mikaboshi had been ignoring Shitori recently.
But that didn't stop Shitori from fondly calling her Mother and remaining by her side as the world cursed them. The pity in Jayne's heart only grew as she observed this.
Jayne: Listen to me. If she keeps going on like this... Mikaboshi will die.
Jayne: You must have noticed that she won't live much longer at this rate.
Jayne: Disregarding the skydwellers for the moment, you can't expect her to bare fangs at her fellow Astrals and live to tell the tale.
Jayne: Or do you really believe they'll let a threat like her get away?
Shitori: Well, that's...
Jayne: Think carefully about it one more time. If she's sealed away, then at the very least her life can be spared.
Jayne: (And once you can get away from her, you won't have anything to agonize over. You'll be free to live happily ever after.)
I'll give it some thought, but I'd like to try speaking with Mother one more time first.
Jayne: Of course.
In the end, Shitori reluctantly chose to help seal Mikaboshi away.
She hoped to save her beloved mother, even if the sin of betrayal would forever stain her hands.
Then, to the surprise of others, she asked to be sealed alongside her mother once the deed was done.
Needless to say, Jayne objected to what she saw as a path to misery.
But no matter what she said or did, Shitori wouldn't change her mind.
Shitori: Thank you for your concern. But I can never forgive myself for betraying Mother.
Shitori: It might be for my own self-satisfaction, but I want to atone for what I've done.
Shitori: I won't let her suffer alone when she wakes.
Shitori: I refuse to, not when my failure to stop her resulted in her sins.
Nothing would shake her from her determined vow.
It just so happened that the skydwellers could use her as a safety measure in case the seal ever broke, and so they granted the girl her wish.
Jayne: That seal was supposed to last for eternity, and yet here you both are.
Jayne: Though she may be a powerless child at the moment, only mass destruction awaits should she truly awaken.
Shitori: You don't know for certain that the second seal will break. It's entirely possible she'll never change in this land beyond the grasp of reality and time.
Jayne: You're the only one who would entertain such folly. The other Blessed are already mobilizing to end the both of you.
Shitori: I see... Of course they are.
Jayne: Something has to change, or you really will meet your end. Letting you be sealed away was already too much, but I won't stand to see you killed!
Jayne: You're like family to me. I only want you to live happily!
Shitori: So what—are you telling me to hand her over? Watch as they kill Mika right in front of me?
Shitori: I can't do that... I could never.
Shitori: As much as you care for me and can't bear to watch me get hurt, I feel the same way about Mika.
Shitori: I can promise you no mercy if you try to lay a hand on her.
Shitori: Because I'll never leave her side again. That's what I decided when I was sealed away!
A strained silence falls as both sides refuse to yield to the other.
Vyrn's Voice: Heeey, Shitori!
Lyria's Voice: Shitoriii! Where are you?
Shitori: Vyrn and Lyria?
As (Captain) and the others appear, Jayne vanishes from sight.
Vyrn: Found you! What in the skies are you doin' over here?
Lyria: We grew worried since you were taking a while to come back.
Shitori: I'm sorry. I was just—
Mika slams into Shitori's side right before she can explain herself and squeezes her tight.
Mika: Shiiitoooriii! You meanie! You left me behind!
Shitori: Ah... I'm sorry, Mika.
An apology slips out at seeing the tears in Mika's eyes, and her hand moves to pat the girl gently on the head.
Choose: Who were you talking to?
- Who were you talking to?
Vyrn: Oh yeah, weren't you just with someone?
Shitori: Oh, that? That wasn't anything important. One of the Blessed came to chide us against using the eruption.
Lyria: What! A-are you okay? You didn't get hurt, did you?
Shitori: No, we didn't get into a physical confrontation. I'm sorry to make you all worry.
With her head hung low in apology, Shitori breathes an internal sigh of relief.
Shitori: (No one will touch her. I swear it.)
Shitori's hand clenches tightly around Mika's as she vows to keep her safe.
The End of a Dream: Scene 3
A few days later, an unfamiliar edgedweller pulls Shitori and Mika away, claiming that something is wrong with the volcano and it needs to be examined. Where he leads them, however, is somewhere else entirely.
Outnumbered by some hostile Blessed, Shitori is relieved when (Captain) and the crew show up to help.
Shitori now knows of the Blessed's plan to eliminate Mika.
Armed with this knowledge, she only leaves home when other people are there to accompany both her and Mika.
Shitori: (I really should let the village and (Captain)'s crew know what's going on, but...)
Letting them know would also require revealing their past.
Logically, she knows she'll have to at some point, but the courage to do so evades her.
Mika: Shitori, you've been looking down lately. Did something happen?
Shitori: Hmm... Nothing you need to worry about.
Mika: Are you sad that (Captain) and everyone are leaving?
Shitori: Well... We finally got to meet them, and now they have to leave so soon. It's pretty sad, isn't it?
Mika: Yeah, I'm sad too.
Mika: But as long as I've got you, I can say goodbye to them.
Edgedweller?: Shitori, there you are!
A panicked edgedweller rushes up to them.
Shitori: You're quite worked up. What happened?
Edgedweller: Something's wrong with the volcano. I need you to come and have a closer look at it.
Shitori: Does this have something to do with the impending eruption?
Edgedweller: I'm not sure, but I don't know if it bodes well.
Edgedweller: I'm sorry, but will you come with me?
Shitori: All right. Mika, can you—
Mika: I'm going too! I won't get in the way!
Shitori: Mika... Do you promise not to leave my side then?
Mika: I promise!
Shitori and Mika give a quick rundown to (Captain) and the others on their way out and head toward the volcano.
However, they are led to a deserted area, their intended destination still off in the distance.
Mika: Hey, what gives? There's nothing here, you know?
The edgedweller takes a deep breath, as if preparing for something immense.
Edgedweller?: This is for the sake of the world. Forgive me, Shitori.
On his cue, Shitori and Mika are suddenly surrounded by Blessed Ones.
Mika: Shitori, what's going on? I'm scared!
Shitori: Backstabber! So this was a trap!
Blessed One: Good. I see the other seal is still intact. We must act now then.
Edgedweller?: For the protection of the Edgelands and the Sky Realm, you two will die here.
Shitori: I refuse! None of you will lay a finger on Mika!
Shitori: (There are too many of them... But I don't have a choice.)
As Shitori exchanges glares with her opponents, she subtly raises a hand to her bow.
The Blessed take notice but are interrupted before they can act.
Blessed One: Y-you insolent—
Vyrn: Shitori! Mika! The cavalry's here!
Choose: Glad we made it in time.
- Glad we made it in time.
Shitori: Wh-why are you guys here?
Lyria: We heard you were in trouble, so we came as fast as we could!
An injured edgedweller, missing their robe, was carried into the village after Shitori and Mika left.
As soon as a warning of danger fell from their lips, (Captain) and crew wasted no time in tracking down their friends.
Shitori: What a turn of events. I owe you guys one.
Edgedweller?: It doesn't matter how many pests show up; we just have to kill them all! Eliminate any who would stand against the order of the world!
Shitori: I never meant for you to get mixed up in this. But can I ask you to fight with me?
Shitori: They're trying to kill Mika, and that's the one thing I'll never allow!
With a firm nod, (Captain) fixes a glare and an unwavering sword on the Blessed.
Shitori: Thank you. I'm glad you have my back.
Shitori: This time I'll protect Mika... That's the entire reason I'm standing here today!
The End of a Dream: Scene 4
With the help of (Captain), Shitori manages to fend the Blessed off. An enraged Jayne then appears with another plea and lunges at Mika and Shitori, but a swift tackle from (Captain) saves the pair from harm. The two remain safe together, at least for the time being.
(Captain) easily repels the attacking Blessed.
Blessed One: Damn you! How is a child this strong!
Blessed One?: We have to retreat!
Assessing that their efforts are futile, the Blessed withdraw and scatter in every direction.
Vyrn: Phew... Things were about to get dicey there.
Lyria: Shitori, Mika, are either of you hurt?
Shitori: No, I'm fine. Mika?
Mika: Me too. Thanks for saving us.
Everyone takes a moment to catch their breath. But there's no time to relax before another person stands in front of them, fury in her eyes.
Jayne: You... If only you never existed!
Jayne doesn't give anybody the chance to react as she shoves Lyria aside and rushes at Mika.
Jayne: If only you were goneee!
Step aside, Shitori!
Shitori: Over my dead body. Nobody touches the only family I have left.
Shitori: Mika is the only one that matters to me, and I'm never leaving her again!
Jayne: Shitoriii! Why can't you understand? Why won't you understand!
Jayne swings her blade down, blinded by fury, but (Captain) tackles her off course.
Vyrn: Gotcha! I'm gonna be holdin' onto this!
Vyrn hurriedly snatches up the knife that Jayne dropped upon impact.
Jayne: My poor Shitori... Forever bound to her, forever bound to misery...
Jayne: I'll never forgive the monster who took your happiness away from you!
And with that, she scurries off in retreat.
Peace and quiet finally descend on the scene.
Mika: Shitori, are you okay?
Shitori: Yeah. What about you?
Mika: I'm okay. Because you protected me.
Shitori: Well, I'm glad I did.
Shitori: Lyria, are you okay? She threw you pretty hard.
Lyria: I'm fine. I'm really glad neither of you are hurt either.
Vyrn: Hey, Shitori? Did you know that crazy person? You acted like you did, at least...
Shitori: I'm not sure. Maybe we knew each other in the past before we came here.
Lyria: Oh, that's right. You both lost your memories.
Vyrn: So you have no idea why she's after you. Sheesh, this is a disaster...
Shitori guiltily bites her lip at (Captain) and crew's easy acceptance of her supposed memory loss.
Shitori: What if... What if in the past, Mika and I were terrible people that deserved to be hunted like this?
Lyria: Huh? What do you mean?
Shitori: If we really were horrible people that deserved to be killed... what would you do?
Choose: It depends.
- It depends.
- I don't know.
Vyrn: Yeah... Like what'd you do, what was the situation... Stuff like that would change things, right?Choose: I don't know.
Vyrn: Same here... It's hard to say without knowin' the circumstances, but we get that things just happen sometimes.Continue 1
Lyria: Even if you used to be bad people, it doesn't change the fact that you saved us when we first landed here.
Lyria: We only know the people that you are now, and that's what matters most to us. We'd never hate you.
Mika: I-I'd never hate you either!
Mika speaks up from where she is nestled in Shitori's arms.
Mika: No matter what bad things you've done, I'll never hate you!
Mika: What about you, Shitori? Would you hate me if I was a bad person?
Mika's anxious words stop Shitori's breath for a split second.
Shitori: Never. No matter what bad things you've done, I'd never hate you.
Shitori: Really. If you've done something bad, then we can apologize together. We can share the responsibility.
Shitori: (Even if the seal breaks and you become Mother again... Even then I won't hate you.)
Shitori: (You could go back to being the mother I knew at the end or the mother you used to be before, and I'd still want to be with you.)
Shitori: (That's what I decided when I asked to be sealed away with you, and that's why I'm here now.)
Her convictions reaffirmed, she silently thanks Mika, (Captain), and the crew.
A little while after the Blessed's initial attempt on the lives of Shitori and Mika, another event occurs.
The Astral known as Loki arrives at the Blessed's settlement and gives them an offer that they can't refuse.
Loki: Do you trust that I can handle them now?
Blessed One: What... What is this power!
Loki: Now, my condition: I want you to go to the other settlement and take a certain child.
Loki: That's all you have to do. I hope that wasn't too confusing for you.
Loki: It should be, well, child's play. Can I trust you'll do it?
The Blessed before Loki can only nod in response to his commanding words.
One among the crowd in particular beams in delight at the proposal.
Jayne: (Yes, yes! Shitori can finally be separated from that woman!)
Jayne: (Everything will over as soon as Mikaboshi is handed to this Astral.)
Jayne: I... I'll do it. I'll bring the child here.
All eyes turn to look at Jayne.
Jayne: (If Mikaboshi disappears, Shitori can finally find happiness...)
She smiles, unaware that her actions will invite catastrophe onto all, herself included.