After the incident with the Wild Hooligans, in order to save the SBI and Supermax's reputations, Sho is sent to do community service in juvie. Though reluctant at first, Sho puts his all into his activities, and his earnestness and sincere words lead other delinquents to also have a change of heart. Once his sentence is over, Sho decides to continue his upright activities by traveling with (Captain)'s crew.
Sho: I came back.
His name is Sho, leader of a gearcycle gang known as the Destiny Nocturnes.
He once did time on Juvenile Detention Island, but today he stands on the deck of the Grandcypher as a free man.
Lyria: Oh! Hi, Sho! Long time no see!
Sho: Yeah. Haven't had a chance to chat since—what—the kerfuffle with the Wild Hooligans?
Vyrn: Good to see ya again, Mr. Busy Bee! Heard you were workin' your tail off.
Sho: Appreciate the kind words, but it's nothing to get excited about. I was just trying to make lemonade out of lemons.
Sho: Still, I can't deny I wanted to get a lungful of the outside world sooner rather than later.
Sho: It was good experience though. Think I developed a taste for it.
Choose: A taste for what?
- A taste for what?
- Uh-oh, what did you do this time?
Sho: A clean lifestyle.
Sho: Heh... Just thinking about what I went through in juvie gets me worked up. That sort of inspiration doesn't fade away.Choose: Uh-oh, what did you do this time?
Sho: Hey, c'mon, (Captain). Last thing I need is for you to get the wrong idea.Continue 1
Sho: If you insist on twisting my arm, then listen up as I give the lowdown on my epic saga!
It all started when I got called into Mysteria Academy's office.
There used to be a time when Sho's beef with Tsubasa spilled over to the crew.
However, after a period of self-reflection, Sho blossomed into a studious pupil at the Mysteria Academy of Magic.
His studies were interrupted when he was framed by Domon, boss of the Wild Hooligans gang. Domon wanted revenge for the humiliation he'd suffered at Sho's hands.
Sho was sent to a supermax facility where inmates are mentally and physically disciplined into conformity rather than rehabilitated.
Luckily he formed close bonds with his fellow inmates, and with their help, he managed to break out and prove his innocence.
But there was still another twist to come.
Elmott: Sho, reps from the Skydom Bureau of Investigation and the supermax have a formal request for you.
Sho: They want me to do community service to repay my debt to society?
Elmott: Yep. Charges against you for dealin' illegal substances were dropped, but you did break out of the supermax, a feat no one's ever done before.
Elmott: So from the SBI's position, they can't exactly let you off the hook for that stunt...
Sho: Hyahaha! Are you kidding me? That's some straight-up, grade A nonsense.
Sho: I was the one framed by that dirtbag Domon, remember!
Elmott: Look, they get it. That's why they've come here with their hats in hand.
Senior Investigator: Sho, we sincerely apologize with great remorse.
Warden: From the bottom of our hearts, we humbly ask for your forgiveness! We're on our knees!
Warden: We're aware of the absurdity, but please understand where we're coming from. For an enrollee to not respond to our discipline—
Warden: Er, rather, to not experience a reformation...
Warden: And to have focused solely on escaping, we have failed as an institution.
Senior Investigator: "All escapees, innocent or not, shall be punished." It's a hard-line that we have no choice but to maintain.
Elmott: Humor me for a sec. Supermax houses kids who've crossed the line when it comes to crime. The facility has a reputation to uphold.
Elmott: What they're tryin' to say is, will you take one for the team in order to help the other inmates rejoin society?
Sho: Sigh... Okay.
Sho: (Me? Performing community service? It's like they're out to dull my edge.)
Sho: (Sometimes they had me chat with the elderly.)
Sho: (Other times I had to cook for snotty brats who needed their diapers changed.)
Sho: (Hyahaha... And they wanted me to teach street safety? No comedian can top that joke, baby.)
Although he views his latest arrangement with cynicism, Sho faithfully performs his duties.
Heh... Those were some hard tasks, but doing things the clean way felt right. One incident in particular left a deep impression on me.
Sho: Sigh... Trash detail... Yeah, this looks fun...
Sho exhales deeply and bends down to collect discarded magazines strewn across the ground.
Sho: (There's no end to this. I pick up one thing and something else takes its place.)
Sho: (So this is what the juvie staff has to deal with. Now I know their pain.)
Sho: (In the past, I'd have felt nothing but anger toward grown-ups. If this is what they gotta endure on the daily though, I get why they'd make it tough on us.)
Sho: Heh, funny how I had to walk in someone else's shoes to figure that out. No fist was heavy enough to knock that kind of sense into me.
Sho: Well, doesn't mean someone's gonna pick up the trash for me. Let's get this over with.
Juvie Punk 1: Huh? Well I'll be damned! It's friggin' Sho!
Sho: Well, well...
Juvie Punk 2: Yo, how you been, man? Thought they released you back to the outside world. Don't tell me you missed the hard-knock life of the joint already?
Sho: Was just thinking about it actually.
Juvie Punk 1: Come on, fill us in! Hell, we used to eat the same slop together, after all!
Juvie Punk 2: I heard about it, man. That you got sent away to the supermax.
Juvie Punk 2: What's it like in there? I gotta know, Chief.
Juvie Punk 1: Bwahaha, cut that out. Glaring gives you wrinkles.
Juvie Punk 2: Yeah, settle down, my guy. I got a present for ya that'll pep you back up.
The young man cackles as he tosses a crumpled-up piece of paper at Sho.
Sho's rage shoots to its boiling point, but he picks up the litter and stuffs it in his trash bag without a word.
Sho: Got any more on you? If you do, dig it out.
Sho: I don't wanna leave and come back to another mess.
Juvie Punk 1: Ey, we got a problem here? 'Cuz it sounds to me like you're tryin' to start somethin'.
Sho: What are you talking about?
Juvie Punk 2: Lost your edge out in the world, freedom boy? Punch first, ask later!
Sho: Oh, that... Yeah, I used to sock anyone that looked at me funny.
Sho: Something I didn't like? I'd punch it away. Every day, same old story. You wanna talk loneliness? Fists don't make good conversation partners, you know.
Sho: I realized I gain nothing from lashing out like that.
Sho: So I promised myself I wouldn't throw down without a cause anymore.
Sho: If you feel like taking swings, go ahead, dimwits. It's a small price to pay for making you feel good about yourselves.
Sho: As if some loser's fist could hit harder than a wet fart anyway.
Juvie Punk 1: Where do you get off lecturin' us! That highfalutin attitude of yours always got on my nerves!
Sho: There's no redemption when fists do all the talking. All it does is spill blood on the floor, am I right?
Sho: I've got a ton of trash to pick up. We done here? Then get out of my way.
Juvie Punk 1: Tch. Whatever, man. We got better things to do!
The youths sling insults as they slink off.
Sho: Hmph, way to eat up my time.
Sho: I'd hate to give the staffers any excuse to chew me out for.
Sho: I'll shine this place so good it'll blind them.
Sho: Full throttle!
Sho works in silence past his scheduled hours, taking the initiative to spearhead the cleaning effort on his own.
Day after day he tackles his community service duties with the same fervent zeal.
Sho: Here's to the start of another day. I'll sweep away the litter like nobody's business!
Sho: What is it now? I don't have time to clean and talk. If it can wait—
Juvie Punk 1: Show us how to waste something.
Juvie Punk 2: What's the best way to tear stuff up?
Sho: What? I don't follow...
Juvie Punk 1: Quit playin' dumb! I'm talkin' about flattening empty boxes, and you know it!
Juvie Punk 2: Dude, stompin' down empty cans is even harder!
Juvie Punk 2: The tiniest pressure in the middle makes 'em bend over like chumps... Stupid cans ain't got no backbone!
Sho: Haha... Why the sudden change of heart?
Juvie Punk 1: Huh? 'Cause you're a freakin' eyesore, that's why!
Juvie Punk 1: Gotta put up with your stupid, ugly face every day you come to pick up trash!
Juvie Punk 2: So if we take away your precious litter, you got no reason to come by anymore!
Juvie Punk 2: How you like them apples, huh? Are we geniuses or what?
Sho: Whatever floats your boat. If it cuts down on my workload, I'll show you the ropes.
Sho: But I'd better not catch either of you throwing in the towel halfway through.
Juvie Punk 1: Ain't gonna happen! Just try us!
Juvie Punk 2: ...
Sho: Cat got your tongue? What's on your mind?
Juvie Punk 2: Be straight with us, Sho.
Juvie Punk 2: Do we really got a shot at going clean?
Sho: Dunno. I see two dudes who are stuck in the muck.
Sho: But you wanna climb out and hose yourselves off, right?
Sho: Then can the chitchat, put your heart into your work, and we'll go from there.
Sho teaches the youths how to sort and collect trash. They work diligently as a team.
While the youths quietly concentrate on their tasks, Sho supervises and thinks of his past.
Sho: (This is how I should've been from the start. It was all so simple...)
Sho: (It's never too late to change. All it takes is a single spark of realization.)
Sho suddenly feels a swell of clarity, and a calm smile crosses his face.
Sho: That's basically the gist of it.
Vyrn: Whoa... Totally not what I expected.
Lyria: Ahaha... But it's not out of character for Sho.
Sho: Clean-living's my jam now. What's life without principles? Might as well be a soulless puppet.
Sho: If I travel with you guys, I'll be able to roll up my sleeves in all kinds of locales.
Sho: I swore I'd return to Mysteria someday, but not before giving it my all.
Sho: Come on, now. You can't say no to me.
Sho: Not that such a kind, generous captain would dream of uttering words of rejection anyway.
Feeling cocky, Sho offers his hand for a handshake, to which (Captain) nods and accepts.
Sho: Thanks. I'm in your hands, (Captain).
Thus Sho joins—or rather, semi-forces his way onto—(Captain)'s crew.
One day, Sho is reunited with his friends—the informant, pyrotechnician, and pickpocket—who have also been released from Supermax. Together, they take on a job from Sierokarte and head to a redeveloping town that has been struggling with illegal dumping. As the town mayor does not want any trouble with the development company responsible for the dumping, he asks Sho and company to help remove the trash instead.
(Captain) and company are on their way to introduce the newest addition to the crew, Sho, to a certain interested party.
Sho: Sierokarte? Who's that?
A few days earlier, (Captain) had received a letter from Siero. She'd heard about Sho's community service work and has a job she thinks is up his alley.
Sho and company finally arrive at the designated meeting spot.
Sho: So this lady's a bigwig in the merchant world, huh? Hah, wonder what she's like. Hope she doesn't mind if I size her up.
Sho: One look at a merchant's face is all I need to get a feel for how crooked they are. Thanks, Dad, for setting such a "great" example.
Sho: (Who am I up against: a demon or a snake? Heh, my heart's racing!)
Of course, Siero is no villain. Despite being assured of this fact, Sho can't stop fidgeting.
Sierokarte: Sorry for the delay. Are you Sho?
Sierokarte: It's a pleasure to meet you. My name is Sierokarte.
Sho: Huh... So you're the one who—
Sho: (Sh-she's the one and only Sierokarte? She looks so laid-back, yet it'd be idiotic to try ripping her off...)
Sho: (Hyahaha! Who called her an ordinary merchant? That's a bad joke, man! She's a wolf in sheep's clothing!)
Sho: (Who knows what she's done to get this far. She's survived no less than one or two hundred hells, no doubt.)
Sho: (Brrr, gettin' the chills... Her badass aura is off the charts!)
Sierokarte: Um, is something wrong?
Sho: Erm, no. Sorry, it's nothing...
Sho: (Shiz! She's so disarming!)
Sho: (Well, she doesn't seem like a bad person. I mean, that's obvious, considering she helps (Captain) and everything.)
Sho: (Okay... I think I can trust her.)
Sho: So, Sierokarte. Since you know about my community service, I'm assuming you've also looked into my past.
Sierokarte: Mm-hm. That I certainly have.
Sho: Then answer me this. What's your reason for picking me for this job?
Sho: What if I quit in the middle of it? Aren't you worried about pissed-off clients or the hit to your rep?
Sierokarte: Not at all. I already know you would never do such a thing.
Sho: Why not? I mean, thanks for the vote of confidence, but where's that assurance coming from?
Sierokarte: I've already heard so much about your past and your character.
Sho: My character?
Sho: Hm, was it (Captain) that put in a good word for me? Society at large doesn't consider me praiseworthy, so...
Sierokarte: (Captain)'s endorsement played a part, but you have more fans than you realize.
Informant: Sup, King! How's it hanging?
Sho: What the... Why are you guys here?
Informant: Because we've got no reason to stay at the hospital now that we're healed up, duh!
Pyrotechnician: Hehe... That's gotta be a record for quickest turnaround.
Pickpocket: Yeah, because we wanted to get better fast. King's rebellious spirit gave us the will to push on.
Pickpocket: Right around the time we were getting discharged, (Captain) sent us a letter asking if we'd be down for a reunion.
Pyrotechnician: Surprises are way more fun too. I'd say we succeeded big time!
Sho: Heh... Hyaaahahaha!
Sho: Look at you boys thinking you're oh-so clever.
Informant: Uh-oh. What's this, what's this? Sho, are those tears?
Sho: Shut up! Keep talkin', and I'll ram a fist down your throat.
Sho and his pals happily rib each other. They share what they've been up to during their time away.
Pyrotechnician: Dang, community service, eh? Bet you got some interesting stories coming outta that, King.
Sho: Meh. It wasn't bad. Wasn't easy either.
Pickpocket: Sounds rough, pal. Say, let us tag along on this job. We'll lend a hand.
Sho: No skin off my back. Sure you wouldn't rather be enjoying your free time on a beach or something?
Informant: We're buddies, aren't we? What more of a reason do we need?
Sho: Mm, fair enough. Couldn't ask for a better squad.
Sho: All right! Then come experience the clean life with me!
Sierokarte: Now if you'll all simmer down, we can get to the real meat and potatoes. Heeheehee...
Sho: Bring it on. We're okay with anything; nothing can stop us.
Sierokarte: Heehee, that's music to my ears. So the job I have for you deals with waste management.
Sierokarte: There's a town that's being redeveloped in order to spur growth, but illegal dumping is on the rise as a result.
Sierokarte: The mayor knows that waste is an inevitable by-product of construction, but he'd like to know if there's any way to spruce up the area.
Sho: Hm, sounds like a load of trouble...
Sho: (They say sacrifices come when society makes progress. Tch, reminds me of the crap Dad pulled back in the day.)
Sho: (You can shut your eyes to the bad stuff all you want, but you're gonna have to deal with it at some point.)
Sierokarte: What do you think? If it sounds too difficult I can always look for someone else.
Sho: Waste management has a nice ring to it. Okay, why the heck not.
Sho: Hyaaahahaha! I'll take out all the trash, especially the ones behind the dumping!
Sierokarte: I'm afraid that's not part of the job description. Please keep in mind that violence is strictly prohibited.
Sho: Oof. Note to self: jokes don't fly with this lady...
Afterward, Sho and company pay the mayor a visit to learn the details of the job.
Mayor: I'm at my wits' end. The dumping keeps happening.
Mayor: I've plastered the area with "No Dumping" signs to appeal to their morality, in addition to whatever else I could think of.
Mayor: It had little effect, and the residents grew increasingly vocal, which is why I petitioned for outside help.
Sho: Why not go after the ones responsible for the dumping?
Mayor: Our town's future is staked to this redevelopment project. We can't afford to anger the development company...
Sho: Which leaves removing garbage the old- fashioned way.
Sho: This is ridiculous... But I love a good challenge!
Sho: We'll clear the garbage until the company cleans up their act! Show us to the dump site, Mr. Mayor!
Mayor: Of course. I'm counting on you all.
Sho and his boys bid farewell to Siero, then follow the mayor to where they'll face a great obstacle.
Dad's Example: Scene 2
Sho and company find an incredible amount of garbage at the dump sites and work hard for days to clear the trash. However, they soon find a new pile of waste at a site they had already cleaned. Suspicious, the boys do some investigating and discover that both the mayor and the development company are behind the dumping. Sho comes up with a plan.
Sho and company arrive at the illegal dumping grounds and are shocked by the veritable mountain of junk.
Pickpocket: This is a crying shame. It's even spilling onto the roads and blocking traffic.
Informant: We'll have died of old age by the time we finish clearing this much crap...
Pyrotechnician: What's up, King?
Sho: The townspeople aren't the only ones making sacrifices for the sake of progress.
He walks over to the trash pile and kneels down.
Sho: Check this out. Here's a downtrodden victim whose screams will never be heard.
He lifts up a piece of rubble, allowing a small flower to finally see the sun again.
Sho: I don't think I've seen this flower on any other island.
Sho: It's probably native to this area. There must've been a whole field of them growing around here.
He tries to prop up the withered flower by its broken stem, then clenches his fists as he rises to his feet.
Sho: (This place used to be clean and pristine, but that company of butt-wipes fudged it up!)
Sho: The stench doesn't do the scenery any justice either.
Sho: Listen up, boys! We're gonna shut this down right here, right now!
Sho's Friends: Yeah!
Mayor: Oh, I almost forgot to give you this.
The mayor pulls out a map from his pocket and hands it over.
Sho: What do these five red circles mean?
Mayor: Erm... This is a map of all the illegal dump sites...
Sho: What! There are four more of these?
Mayor: I hate to admit it, but yes.
Pyrotechnician: We'll never get this done even if we work through the whole night...
Mayor: No one expects you to wrap up everything in one day, so you needn't feel pressured to do so.
Mayor: I must see to other matters, so I'll leave you to it.
The mayor gives a deep, apologetic bow and leaves.
Sho: This turned out heavier than advertised. Everyone still with me?
Informant: I feel like I'm heading for an early grave, but eh. Work is work.
Pickpocket: Sure beats breaking out of the supermax, right?
Pyrotechnician: Coming out of the hospital, this is our first official act of badassery. Hehe, I can dig it.
Sho: Heh, knew I had nothing to worry about. Okay, guys, game faces on!
Sho's Friends: Yes, King!
Sho and the gang get busy cleaning, working long into the night to clear the first site.
From that day on, they methodically work their way through the rest of the dump sites, putting in extra hours every day. Unfortunately...
Sho: The hell is this? After all that garbage we removed on the first day...
Sho: There's a new freaking pile!
The garbage hills have returned like weeds. Sho and company grumble over having to redo the work that's been done.
After this cycle plays out in the same way over the span of a few days, Sho finally understands what's going on.
Sho: This stinks.
Informant: Uh, it's a dump. What'd you expect?
Sho: That's not what I meant.
Sho: Don't you get it? No one produces this much waste with this much efficiency.
Informant: We're dealing with pros, man. They've got it down to a science.
Sho: Picture how much trash we've picked up so far. You think the four of us alone could make that much trash, even if we tried?
Informant: Pffft! That's impossible!
Sho: Exactly. We'd fill a few bags at most. Even a gearcycle gang couldn't waste this much.
Sho: I'm willing to bet the dumpers have at least a hundred people in their org.
Sho: So why haven't we seen any traces of a huge group?
Informant: Uh, well... When you put it like that... You'd think a dump site would be full of footprints or whatever.
Informant: I was so focused on getting the job done that I didn't even think about it. I'm losing my touch...
Informant: You're right, King. This does stink. Might be worth looking deeper into.
Sho: Yeah. Can you sniff out a lead in town?
Informant: Consider it done!
Sho: Thanks. And try not to get sent back to the supermax while you're at it.
Pickpocket: I'd better go with him to be on the safe side then.
Pyrotechnician: Good call. I feel much better if you're there to keep tabs. Don't let him do anything stupid.
Informant: Gee, thanks. Really feeling the love, guys!
Sho: Hey, we believe in you. All right, let's get a strategy meeting going.
When all is said and done, Sho and company decide to do a secret investigation while continuing their cleanup efforts.
They keep their eyes and ears open while passing through the town and end up discovering a lead on the potential culprit.
Sho: So the developers hired a subcontractor, who then hired another subcontractor that's actually a shell company. And the permits are stamped by the mayor...
Sho: Unbelievable. Even the mayor's complicit in this whole operation. Talk about a dirty business.
Pickpocket: Illegal dumping won't stop as long as the mayor stays cozy with the development company.
Pyrotechnician: What now, King? Turn the screws on the mayor?
Sho: Would be nice if that gets him to change his tune.
Informant: Man... And to think the dude earned a little of my respect.
Pyrotechnician: Why's that?
Informant: When I was going around gathering intel, I learned a buncha things about him. Like his personality and stuff.
Informant: People who've been living here since forever say the mayor's been plugging away at his job since he was young.
Informant: I got the sense that he genuinely cared about improving the town, so this is kind of shocking.
Sho: I mean, people do change, for better or worse.
Sho: The old me would've been up in his face, threatening him with violence to confess.
Sho: You guys know I'd have done it. In any case, I won't fall back on bad habits.
Informant: Hot damn! Preach it, King!
Sho: Okay, I've got a plan. Who's in and who's out?
Sho's three companions stick with him, and he explains the plan he just came up with.
Dad's Example: Scene 3
The boys lure the mayor to a dump site by telling him it had caught fire. The mayor confesses that he has been putting up with the illegal dumping as the price for keeping trade open. Reminded of how his father once was, Sho convinces the mayor to reconsider his methods of contributing to the town. Touched by Sho's words, the mayor finally explains everything to the townspeople and resigns from his position. Having learned some valuable lessons, Sho is inspired to start his own business with his friends.
The city is quiet, for most of its residents are tucked in bed.
That peaceful silence is suddenly broken by a booming voice.
???: Fire! We've got a brush fire!
???: Mr. Mayor! Help! Please wake up!
The mayor is jarred out of bed by the sound of loud banging at his door.
Mayor: Wh-what's going on! Where's the fire?
???: Something at the dump site must've ignited it! Now the whole southern mountainside is blazing!
Mayor: Wait, on the south side? What's it doing down there!
???: What do you mean, sir?
Mayor: Er, sorry, I'm still shaking off the sleep... Never mind! I'm heading over there right now!
???: Got it! I'll round up some volunteers to put out the fire!
Mayor: No! Don't speak to anyone else!
???: Um, why not? What happens if the flames spread to the town?
Realizing his slipup, the mayor hastily clears his throat.
Mayor: Oh, I, um... don't want to cause undue panic!
Mayor: I'll go confirm the situation first! Until then, don't act without my permission!
The mayor makes sure the person at the door has left before rushing out of his house.
Following the smoke rising in the distance, the mayor hurries along a trail until he reaches the dump.
He sees a grouping of tubes billowing thick smoke into the air.
Mayor: What is the meaning of this?
Sho: Don't worry about how smoky it is. These tubes won't start any fires.
Mayor: Huh? What're you—
Sho: A belated "good evening." Sorry for disturbing your peaceful slumber.
Mayor: I demand an explanation! If this is your idea of a joke, I'm not laughing!
Sho: You and I need to discuss this illegal dumping business.
Sho: Beating around the bush isn't my style—I'm more of a straight shooter.
Sho: Let's talk permits and turning a blind eye. Are you the one who offered them a secret deal? Or are they extorting you?
Mayor: What secret deal? This is absurd!
Sho: Come on, I know what's up. I've seen the dirty contract for myself.
Sho: Wonder how quickly the authorities will find it if they were tipped off to search the company's office?
Mayor: Th-that's a forgery! It has to be!
Sho: Not cool, man. Gotta learn to quit when the jig is up.
Sho: Putting up those signs warning the company not to dump wasn't meant to do jack.
Sho: Residents got fed up and pressured you to take more action.
Sho: If they hear about your alleged collusion with the company...
Sho: Boom! Instant firestorm of a scandal. People aren't gonna take that well, and I'd worry about the danger of losing your life let alone your job.
Sho: Dead or alive, your crimes will be exposed. It's already game over for you.
Mayor: Y-you don't know what you're talking about! Everything I've done has been for my constituents!
Sho: Is that right?
Informant: Why'dja keep the fire hush-hush then? Coulda hurt a lot of innocents.
Mayor: Guh! That was your voice I heard!
Sho: You'd be up crap creek if the company started dumping in places outside the contract.
Sho: That's why you came alone to settle the matter with them.
Sho: Look here, Mr. Mayor. I'm not trying to set you up.
Sho: Tell me what happened that made you turn dirty.
Mayor: Sigh, no sense in keeping up the charade.
Mayor: I can't stomach the dumping. It angers me to the core.
Mayor: But it was the price of doing business. In exchange for a good deal, they demanded I turn a blind eye to the dumping.
Mayor: If I didn't, they'd cut off trading with us.
Mayor: My only wish was to bring prosperity to my beloved town. A few unfortunate sacrifices had to be made in the name of growth.
Sho: Okay. So that's the story.
Sho: Now according to my good friend here, those who've lived in town for a long time praise you as a dedicated, hardworking official.
Sho: So your motivation to serve your constituents checks out.
Sho: Too bad you chose the wrong way to do it.
Mayor: Well, if you're so smart, then tell me what I should've done!
Sho: Sorry, I may lead a gearcycle gang, but that's way different than governing a town. You're barking up the wrong tree.
Mayor: See! You're too young to know how the world works! So let's keep this between us!
Sho: True, I'm just some know-nothing kid...
Sho: But I do know a stinkin' crooked adult when I see one!
Sho: I can tell what you're thinking. "What's this punk talking about? I won't let some kid with zero experience lecture me."
Sho: But, man, I hate watching grown-ups crash and burn because they think cheap, underhanded tactics are the only way to help the ones they care about!
Mayor: Then I hope the next mayor will accomplish more than I have.
Sho: Whoa, back up. Why don't you start by making a sincere apology in front of everyone?
Mayor: Not all are willing to forgive.
Sho: And not all are willing to condemn.
Sho: I'm sure there are people who'll stick up for you.
Sho: People like the adults who were willing to go to bat for a guy like me.
Sho: People who still believe in you even if you take a wrong turn.
Sho: Stand tall and own up. I can see in your eyes that you're not a lost cause. You can still change.
Sho: So instead of getting your hands dirty for the town, why not lift it up with clean ones?
Mayor: You're absolutely right. I lost sight of what was important.
Mayor: Even if the town is poor in gold, it can be rich in smiles. I'll return to the drawing board to bring those smiles back.
Inspired by Sho's righteous example, the mayor confesses his actions to the people and resigns from his post.
As expected, a portion of the populace wants to exile him from the town, but the voices in his favor are equally as strong. Ultimately he is allowed to stay.
The ex-mayor vows to contribute to the town's development as a private citizen, and he bids Sho and company farewell.
Sho: Damn, how did we go from picking up garbage to solving a full-blown conspiracy?
Pyrotechnician: Worked out in the end, didn't it? Can't speak for anyone else, but I had a blast running the op with you fellas.
Pickpocket: No kiddin'. It weren't no prison break, but I got my share of thrills.
Informant: Best part for me was when King gave that epic speech at the end. You see how smooth he was?
Sho: Heh. Nice try, but butt-kissers get nothing.
Informant: Shut up!
Pyro & Pickpocket: Bahaha!
Sierokarte: Greetings, everyone. Congratulations on a job well done.
Sierokarte: I heard how you masterfully resolved the problem.
Sierokarte: Truth be told, I certainly couldn't have orchestrated a better resolution. Trusting you all was the right decision.
Sho: Wait, what's that supposed to mean?
Sierokarte: I'll be honest; I already knew what the mayor was up to.
Sho: You're kidding!
Sierokarte: The illegal dumping problem had been an issue for some in the merchant circle.
Sierokarte: Suppose I caught the mayor in his lie. He'd offer a hollow apology, and no real change would happen.
Sierokarte: Something had to reignite the honest embers in his heart, like say, the fiery words of an unspoiled youth?
Sho: Shiiiz! You had me eating from the palm of your hand!
Sierokarte: Now, now, let's not forget what matters. Thanks to you and your friends, the mayor has turned a new leaf.
Sho: Yeah, guess so. Managed to pick up valuable lessons about the real world in the process too.
Sho: My old man's not the only one guilty of shady stuff. There's many sides to what goes on in the skies.
Sho: (That's no excuse to do whatever you feel like though. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't think anyone is actually happy living with one foot in the shadows.)
Sho: (What would I have done in the mayor's shoes?)
Sho: (Could've hyped up those flowers I found on our first day of cleaning to jumpstart tourism—)
Sho: (Wait, what am I thinking? I'm no businessman. Just some punk teen.)
Sho: (Hm... On the other hand, maybe merchant blood really does run in the family. Might even call it destiny...)
Sho looks up at the sky. He gathers his thoughts then turns to his pals.
Sho: Hey, what do you boys say we make a name for ourselves?
Sho's Friends: ...?
Sho: I'm thinking about starting a business. I'm not joking.
Sho: Which means I'm gonna need reliable employees. Anyone wanna join me?
Pyrotechnician: Ah, that's what you meant.
Pickpocket: I dunno... Doesn't sound like you, King.
Sho: How so? You saying a reformed ruffian like me who used to settle disputes with his fists can't bow down to his customers?
Pickpocket: Nah, that ain't what I'm saying.
Informant: The king we know wouldn't ask if we wanna join him.
Pyrotechnician: He'd be commanding us to follow his lead.
Sho: Heh, you guys know me too well. Fine, let's make it official; right here, right now.
Sho: We're gonna start a revolution!
Sho's Friends: Yes, King!
Sho: Sierokarte, you don't mind if a couple of bums study under your tutelage to learn the ways of the merchant, do you?
Sierokarte: I wouldn't mind at all. It's only fair that I return the favor for resolving the dumping matter.
Sierokarte: But I must warn you: the path of a merchant isn't all sunshine and rainbows.
Sho: Yeah, I figured. I saw that firsthand watching my dad.
Sho: But the higher the wall, the more rewarding it'll be at the top. I can feel it.
A fearless smile crosses Sho's face, one that bears none of the animosity from his past self.
Now that he has a new goal to strive for, he'll walk his own chosen path with his friends at his side.
A Violet Flash of Lightning
One night, Sho witnesses Tabina speeding past him on her gearcycle with incredible speed. The next day, Sho challenges Tabina to a speed race. The competition starts off with Sho building up a huge lead. However, when Tabina hears about a rumor from Lyria of someone who looks like Attiyah being sighted in town, she overtakes Sho in no time and disappears into the distance.
An endless road in the countryside, lit only by the gentle moonlight from above.
All is calm, until suddenly.
The shrill sound of exhaust pipes and the glare of multiple headlights shatter the quiet darkness of the night.
Sho: Hyaaahahaha! Who would've thought we'd bump into each other like this all the way out here? Now this is destiny!
Destiny Nocturnes: Whooooo!
The members of the Destiny Nocturnes are thrilled to have a rally with their king again, in what could only be a fated coincidence.
Sho: Well, now that we've got our turbine reactors warmed up nicely...
Sho: Ready, my men? Then let's get our usual speed race started!
Destiny Nocturnes: ...
Sho: Haha. Just try and take this king's throne, I dare you! But that's only if you can outride me first!
Destiny Nocturnes: All riiight!
Sho: I'm not going easy on you guys! Ready... Go!
At Sho's call, their gearcycles roar to life in an intense speed chase.
Sho: Full throooottle!
Sho pedals his gearcycle like there's no tomorrow as he speeds ahead, leaving the other Destiny Nocturnes behind in the blink of an eye.
Sho: Hyaaahahaha! Let's see you catch up to me, boys!
Destiny Nocturnes: King!
Sho shoots a smug look back at his squad, challenging them to try harder.
Sho: Heh... Come on, you can do better than that. Show me the delinquent in y'all!
Sho: But, eh, I guess not everyone's got what it takes. You don't know real speed till you drift like I do!
Gloating to himself, he pumps his fists in the air, up at the full moon glowing overhead.
It is in that moment that he notices something from the corner of his eye.
???: Pant, pant...
Sho: Wh-what the? Did I just see... something purple flash past me?
Sho: Wait a minute... That was someone from our crew, wasn't it? Ms. Tabina!
Sho's eyes widen in shock as he watches Tabina move like lightning, speeding far into the distance until she is out of sight.
The very next day.
Unsure of whether what he saw the night before had been a dream, Sho decides to seek out Tabina on the Grandcypher.
Sho: (Hm? That's Ms. Tabina and the lizard talking on the deck.)
Sho: Hyahahaha! G'morning! Ms. Tabina—
Sho: (Ack! That was stupid of me... I stepped in at the wrong time!)
Vyrn: Hey, keep your head up. You don't know if it was really Attiyah, right?
Tabina: But if only I'd made it to the town faster... I might've gotten some clues!
Vyrn explains to Sho that Tabina had received news of someone who looked like Attiyah in town. But, in the end, she was unable to confirm whether he was there or not.
Sho: Haha... So it really was you speeding down that country road last night, Ms. Tabina.
Tabina: Oh dear, you mean... you saw me? How dreadfully embarrassing...
Sho: (I guess love really is blind. She didn't even notice I was there.)
Sho: Well, you know... Maybe it didn't work out this time, but I'm sure you'll find something again real soon. So...
Tabina: Hngh... Waaaah!
Sho: (Sigh... I can't deal with this.)
Perplexed, Sho nudges Vyrn with his elbow in a plea for help.
Vyrn: Uh... How about this! Sho and I'll help you find Attiyah, so cheer up! Whaddya say, Sho?
Sho: Wha? Er, yeah, of course! If my help's what you need, then it's yours.
Tabina: Oh! Are you really, really sure?
Sho: You betcha. I'm a man of my word.
Vyrn: Leave it to us!
Tabina: Thank you. Your kindness is much appreciated!
Wiping away her tears, Tabina cracks a smile at the two. Her eyes, however, remain listless.
Sho racks his brain for a way to assist his distressed crewmate.
Vyrn: Whoa! What the heck was that for?
Sho: Heh. When you're down, there's only one thing to do.
Vyrn: Oh yeah? Wait, you don't mean...
Sho: You got it. You take your beast and go for a wild ride.
Vyrn: Haha, that's a pretty good idea! All right, Lovey-Dovey Girl. The three of us are takin' a trip!
And with that, Tabina follows the two out to a large, grassy field.
Tabina: Hehe. The wind certainly feels nice.
Sho: Looks like you've calmed down a bit.
Tabina: Yes. I went a little overboard earlier, making a fuss all by myself...
Sho: There we go. You've got the best smile. Clouds are gone and the sun's back.
Vyrn: Yeah! All that sniffling and wailing's not like you, Lovey-Dovey Girl.
Tabina: Hehe. Thank you, Vyrn. Sho.
Tabina: All right then. Shall we go for a ride and refresh ourselves?
Sho: I like the sound of that. Here's an idea...
Sho: What do you say to a race? Let's see who can win at speed—you or me.
Tabina: Huh? A race?
Vyrn: Whoa, whoa. You go as fast as Tsubasa—is there any point in even tryin' to win against ya?
Sho: Haha... Of course there is.
Tabina: Speed... Yes, that's it! Speed!
Vyrn: Wha? What's the matter?
Tabina: If only I had ridden faster last night...
A frustrated expression spreads across Tabina's face again as she grips the handle of her gearcycle tightly.
Sho: So how about it? You can only overcome your limits by testing them in a head-to-head battle. You get what I'm saying?
Tabina: Yes, you're right. If I want to ride faster... then I have to keep pushing myself!
Vyrn: Heheh, you sure are gettin' fired up. I'll be here cheering you on!
Tabina: Hehe. And of course, I'm doing it to win! Since Tsubasa and the others tuned up my Attiyah-Pooh for me, this is my chance to go all out!
Sho: What? Tsubasa did?
Sho: Heh, guess I really can't afford to lose now.
Sho: Then it's settled! We're in for a raaace!
And so, with Vyrn as the referee, the speed race between Sho and Tabina begins.
Vyrn: Rules are simple. First one to finish five laps around this field wins!
Vyrn: So, everyone good to go?
Tabina: Yes, I'm all set.
Vyrn: Let's get this started then. Ready... Go!
At Vyrn's signal, Sho and Tabina step on their pedals, both rotating them at incredible speeds.
Their gearcycles rocket across the field.
Sho: It's show time!
Tabina: Ugh... Unbelievable! How does he go so fast?
The difference is clear right from the beginning. Sho continues to gain speed, pummeling ahead and gradually widening the gap between him and Tabina.
Sho: Was I hallucinating last night? Nah... It's too early in the game to relax just yet!
With complete concentration, Sho hurtles on, almost lapping Tabina. Meanwhile, Vyrn is on the sidelines, his eyes are glued to the competition.
Vyrn: I guess it's pretty impossible to beat that...
Lyria: Oh, Vyrn!
Vyrn: Hm? Hey, Lyria. What's up?
Lyria: Actually, we just received news that Attiyah was spotted in town! So I came to...
Noticing Sho and Tabina's gearcycles streaking across the field, Lyria cocks her head quizzically.
Vyrn: Oh, some things happened and they're having a race right now. But it's pretty clear who's gonna win.
Vyrn: Anyway, guess we gotta tell Lovey-Dovey Girl about Attiyah!
Tabina is doing her best to close the distance between her and Sho when she hears Vyrn call out to her.
Tabina: Vyrn? Lyria's here too... I wonder if something's wrong.
Lyria: U-um, it seems someone's spotted Attiyah working in the warehouse district!
Tabina: What! Attiyah's in the warehouse district?
Tabina: Hahaha! Then I guess there's no time to spare! I need to go see him as fast as I can!
Sho: No problem, the race is just about over anyway. Don't worry about me. Just go to where your—
Sho looks over just in time to see Tabina flashing past him again like a streak of purple lightning.
Tabina: Wait for me, Attiyah! I'm coming for you!
Tabina disappears before anyone can react, hurtling out of sight on her gearcycle.
Sho sits on his beast, stunned and failing to comprehend what had just happened.
Sho: You're kidding me...
Vyrn: Whoa... I never knew gearcycles could go that fast...
Lyria: Wow! That's what you call the power of love!
Sho: Haha... You telling me that something erratic like love gave Ms. Tabina the power to do that?
Lyria: Yep! Tabina and Attiyah even defeated a primal beast with the power of their love before, you know!
Vyrn: Heheh. Sounds pretty hard to believe, but it's true.
Sho: Hah. Who knew the power of love... could beat my speed? Color me impressed!
Sho barks a laugh. But the stiff expression on his face doesn't escape Vyrn.
Vyrn: Well, ya know... In times like these, there's only one thing to do, right? Whaddya say we go for a wild ride?
Sho: Thank you... 'Preciate it.
Sho takes Vyrn up on the offer and the two of them speed away, shaking off the gloom.
Suppressing the tears in his eyes, Sho throws his head back and looks up into the clear, blue sky.