What Is Freedom?
Skull leads the crew to the Odajumoki's hideout, but he keeps pausing along the way to propose wild ideas, like going fishing or swimming in icy water. Eustace and Skull bicker over the Harvin's idea of freedom, but Eustace secretly agrees with him in a way.
(Captain) and the crew make their way toward the Odajumoki's hideout, led by Skull.
En route, as though bored of showing them the way, Skull strikes up a conversation with the others.
Skull: Aren't you guys tired of all this walking? Let's head to the sea and do some fishing!
Vyrn: We're kinda in the middle of somethin'...
Vyrn: Wait, what! There's a sea out here in North Vast?
Skull: Yeah, a big one! And there are these fish you can catch there that are tiny but delicious!
Skull: If you fry them until they're really crispy, nothing beats them!
Lyria: Really? I might like to try tha—
Eustace: No. We need to keep moving.
Lyria: Haha... I guess you're right.
Skull: What a punk. I'd call him a fish brain, but fish would probably be easier to deal with...
Skull: I've got it! How about we go winter swimming? Let's go to the sea and take a dip in the icy water!
Skull: Nothing beats the feeling of diving into the sea!
Lyria: What? Swimming on a cold island like this? Wouldn't we freeze?
Skull: We'd be fine! As a matter of fact, the reason I'm tough as leather is 'cause I grew up doing stuff like that!
Skull: I haven't been sick a day in my life! Impressive, right?
Eustace: Wow. I've heard that some people are too dumb to get sick, and now I have proof.
Skull: You calling me dumb? That's rich coming from a sub-fish like you!
Skull: If you've got something to say, spit it out! Or did some fairy make off with your brain?
Skull: You make fun of me, but you just don't understand my genius!
Skull: I'm a free spirit—no cold weather or disease can stop me! But I guess a stagnant mud puddle like you wouldn't get that!
Vyrn: But is that really what it means to be free?
Skull: Of course it is, you glassy-eyed gecko! I of all people know what freedom is!
Skull: Freedom is... Actually, I have no idea.
Vyrn: What! You don't even know?
Eustace: You really are dumb.
Skull: Shut your face! You're in the presence of a genius, puddle!
Skull: Freedom can't be captured in words! It's something you feel in your heart! Probably!
Skull: I told you to spit it out already! You making fun of me again?
Eustace: Could be.
Skull: Grr... You make my blood boil!
Vyrn: Calm down, you guys... Oh, hey! Didn't your dad say somethin' about freedom, Crossbones?
Skull: You mean the ability to run wild? Hmm...
Vyrn: What's wrong? Why're you quiet all of a sudden?
Skull: I was just wondering... Is something like that really freedom?
Skull: I think the freedom my old man gave me is kinda different...
Skull: Well, whatever.
Vyrn: What! You're just gonna leave it at that? Seriously?
Skull: Of course! I'm a genius after all! I'll have it figured out before you can say Odajumoki backward ten times fast.
Skull: Listen up, Eustace! You better stop making fun of me for every little thing!
Skull: 'Cause I'm going to become a hotshot who's more free than anyone! And who'll be laughing then?
Skull: I will, that's who! I'll wipe that smug look right off your face!
Eustace: Humph. I'd like to see you try.
Skull: Don't give me that! And quit walking on ahead like some headless chicken! You'll get lost without me!
Skull: Wait up already! I said wait!
Skull angrily chases after Eustace.
As they watch Skull run off, the crew gets a sense of his burning ambition to be free.
What Is Freedom, Really?
Skull and the crew lie sprawled on the deck of the Grandcypher, enjoying their freedom. But Skull suddenly declares that this is not true freedom and makes the captain chart a new course in search of it.
One day Skull is lying down on the deck of the Grandcypher.
Skull: This is the life... Nothing like peace and quiet...
Skull: Yeah... This must be what real freedom feels like.
(Captain) spots Skull lying comfortably on the deck.
The captain decides to follow suit and bask in the sun next to him.
Skull: Oh, (Captain). You want to spend some time being free too? Feels good, doesn't it?
Lyria: Hehe. It's nice idling the time away like this every once in a while.
Vyrn: Yeah... Makes me all sleepy...
Skull: Go ahead and sleep! That's freedom after all... Huh? Wait a second...
Skull: That can't be right! This isn't freedom at all!
Vyrn: Whoa! Why are you yellin' all of a sudden?
Skull: We're just fooling ourselves! This isn't freedom!
Skull: How long are you guys going to just lie there? Get up already!
Skull: We're off to find true freedom! Right this very minute!
Vyrn: Huh? Where'd that come from? Well, guess we don't have anything better to do anyway.
Lyria: But where do we go to find true freedom?
Skull: Simple! We circle the skies, traverse the lands, and before we know it, we'll have it!
Seeing Skull brimming with confidence, (Captain) gives in and randomly changes the course of the ship.
Thus Skull and the crew embark on a journey to find true freedom.
What Is Freedom, Really?: Scene 2
While resting in a town, (Captain) and the crew hear about a new circus troupe, but the circus is closed when they get there. When the ringmaster explains that the animals no longer listen to instructions, Skull heads to the animals' cages... and then suddenly whips out his gun to fire a blast at the locks.
(Captain) and company search the skies high and low in their quest to find true freedom but are unsuccessful in the end.
Worn out from all their journeying, they visit a nearby town to take a break.
There they hear about a newly formed circus troupe.
Lyria: Really? A circus? I'd love to see that, (Captain)! Let's go!
Skull: A circus, huh? But we still haven't found true freedom yet. We don't have time for distractions.
Vyrn: Don't be like that. Come on, let's check it out.
Vyrn: Besides, if we go back to the ship now, we'll have wasted the whole day wanderin' the skies with nothin' to show for it.
Skull: Good point... That doesn't sound like freedom...
Skull: All right, I'm on board! Let's go, assuming you belly-crawlers can find your way there!
Vyrn: Heh... Whatever you say. Glad you're excited! Let's go, everybody!
(Captain) and the crew head to the square where the circus is supposed to be, but they arrive to find it closed.
An apologetic-looking man approaches the bewildered crew.
Circus Ringmaster: I'm so sorry to have put you folks out. But the circus will remain closed for the time being.
Lyria: What do you mean? Did something happen?
The man reveals himself to be the circus's ringleader and begins to explain the circumstances.
According to his story, the circus animals have stopped listening to commands.
Skull: Hmm... I see. Say, where are their cages?
Circus Ringmaster: Huh? Over there... Why? What are you planning to do?
Skull: Being the genius I am, I figured I ought to work out what's wrong with the animals for you! Over there, right?
Vyrn: Hang on! Don't go runnin' off on your own!
As Skull nears the animals' cages, he gasps loudly.
Skull: This isn't good at all. You can't do this to them.
Circus Ringmaster: Huh? Whatever do you mean?
Without answering, Skull nimbly unholsters his gun and fires a blast at the cages.
Circus Ringmaster: Whoa! What do you think you're doing?
Skull: That's my line! What kind of patchwork teddy bear do you have in place of a brain?
Skull: You're stealing their freedom, throwing them into dark cells like this!
Skull: It only took one look to figure out what was wrong with them. They're stressed out by their lack of freedom!
Vyrn: Oh, I get it. So that's why the animals won't listen.
Skull: It hurts to have your freedom snatched away.
Skull: Hey, you lot!
Skull turns to address the animals but is startled by his reception.
Circus Animal: Grrr!
One of the animals lashes out at Skull.
Vyrn: Hey! You okay, Crossbones?
Skull: Ouch! What was that for, you walking rug? Guess I can only count on dogs to understand what I'm thinking!
Skull: But you made a big mistake, laying your paws on a genius like me! I'll give you a taste of your own medicine!
What Is Freedom, Really?: Scene 3
Skull realizes that the animals won't obey orders due to stress resulting from their captivity, so he decides to train and tame them himself. He also teaches them how to run wild and free, which becomes a spectacle that reinvigorates the circus.
Circus Animal: Grrr...
Vyrn: Phew. Looks like it finally calmed down.
Circus Ringmaster: Oh no! It's over! It's all over!
Circus Ringmaster: If the animals are attacking people, the circus is finished... Our business is doomed...
Skull: Whoa, hang on! I think you're jumping the gun a little there!
Skull: Thanks to that fight just now, I get what they're trying to say! Just leave it to me!
Circus Ringmaster: Sigh... Well, I suppose there's nothing to lose. Do as you like.
Skull: Excellent! Guess I've got free reign to sort this out!
Vyrn: You sure you know what you're doin'? Like, really sure?
Skull: Of course I am! I'm a genius after all! Heh heh!
Skull: Anyway, (Captain)... I'm going to stay here and play with these critters for a bit.
Skull wears a carefree smile, but his eyes are serious.
Deciding to trust Skull, (Captain) heads back to the airship without him for the time being.
A few days pass.
The crew returns to the circus to find it thriving.
Lyria: Wow! Look at all the people! There are guests of all ages... Everyone's here!
Vyrn: You think Crossbones actually did it?
The crew heads into the building where the circus is being held, wondering if Skull could be the cause of its success.
Circus Animal 1: Groooar!
Circus Animal 2: Graaawr!
Vyrn: Wh-whoa! What's goin' on?
They enter to see the circus animals running riot on the stage.
Lyria: Wh-what's happening here?
A familiar voice calls to the baffled crew from the stage.
Skull: Hey, (Captain)!
Skull: Check it out! The circus is a huge success, and it's all thanks to little old me!
Vyrn: So you did this! Doesn't look like much of a circus...
Vyrn: I mean, those monsters look more like they're fighting than performing!
Skull: They're just playing! Quit your worrying about nothing!
Circus Animal 1: Groar!
Skull: Argh! Th-this is their way of playing! Really! Ouch!
While the animals play with Skull, the ringmaster approaches the perplexed crew.
Circus Ringmaster: Oh... Welcome back! Our circus has been saved, and it's all thanks to Skull.
Vyrn: You should probably save him from those animals before you start thankin' us...
Circus Ringmaster: Oh, he's fine. They really are just playing with him.
Circus Ringmaster: Haha. Skull has quite a way with animals.
Circus Ringmaster: The animals took to him right away, so we decided to let them out of their cages for good.
Lyria: Really? Are you sure that was a good idea?
Circus Ringmaster: Of course! Being able to run free gives them a chance to vent their stress.
Circus Ringmaster: And throngs of people have started coming to see the animals, drawn to the intensity of their fighting and playing.
Vyrn: So that's why you've been having all this success...
Circus Ringmaster: But I suppose we're pretty much finished as a circus.
Lyria: Ahaha... Yeah... I guess you can't really call what the animals are doing a performance.
Lyria: But isn't it a little dangerous? What if they attack someone?
Circus Ringmaster: That's a fair question. But just look at your friend over there.
(Captain) watches the animals playing with Skull.
Oddly enough, the animals only play with each other and Skull, completely disregarding the spectators near the stage.
Skull: Heh heh... I bet you want to know my secret.
Skull: The thing about these critters is, they're actually quite timid by nature. They only really play with—
Circus Animal 2: Groar!
Skull: As I was saying, they only really play with people they trust and creatures of the same speci—
Circus Animal 1: Groar!
Skull: Hey! Will you lot calm down already!
Vyrn: Hmm... So basically they won't attack people.
Lyria: Ahaha... I guess not. But still...
Skull: Bring it on, critters! Haha! Try this on for size!
Circus Animal 2: Groar!
Skull: Ouch! You better watch yourselves around a genius like me, you dishrags!
Lyria: Hehe... Looks like Skull is having fun... I think.
Vyrn: Heh... Well, he's definitely got energy, that's for sure.
Vyrn: But don't you think we oughta save him soon?
(Captain) nods and heads over to help Skull, smiling ruefully.
The captain can't help but think that perhaps Skull has already found the freedom he's been chasing all along.