People Who Matter Most
(Captain) and company return to a place from Societte's childhood to find clues to Ninetails's whereabouts. Guided by memories of her family, Societte perfects her closing dance.
One day (Captain) and the crew stop into a nearby eatery, where they find a beautiful Erune sitting at a table.
An assured look on her face, she glances at passers-by and, from time to time, locks eyes with them.
Lyria: (Captain), what do you think she wants? It's almost like she's trying to communicate with her eyes.
(Captain) makes eye contact with her.
Lyria: Um, excuse me, but... is something bothering you, miss?
Her face lights up and she nods several times.
Her name, she says, is Societte, and she admits to being unpracticed at talking with others.
Vyrn: So that's why you kept looking around at people without saying anything.
Societte: I have so much I want to ask, but no idea how to phrase my questions.
Lyria: I see. What did you want to ask, Societte?
Societte: Have you... heard of a nine-tailed flame that lives and breathes?
Vyrn: Never heard of it!
Lyria: If you gave us a little more to go on, we might be able to tell you something.
Societte: You don't seem like bad people. I suppose it would be all right to speak to you.
Societte begins to calmly speak of Ninetails, the sentient flame.
A thousand years ago, the nine royal families of a great kingdom worshipped Ninetails and protected the land with her power.
One day, however, the power of Ninetails raged out of control and then suddenly vanished.
With the kingdom's sacred treasures lost as well, Societte took up the charge to search for them and restore order.
Lyria: You've been searching for Ninetails and these sacred treasures all by yourself this whole time?
Societte: And a friend. And the ancient dances for Ninetails. A lot of things...
Societte: But I haven't found so much as a single clue so far.
Choose: We'll help you.
- We'll help you.
- Hang in there.
Societte: S-seriously? You sure?
Vyrn: If it's cool with you, we'd be glad to help! Call it... fate, or something.Choose: Hang in there.
Societte: I will.
Vyrn: H-hold on. That was a joke, right, (Captain)?
Societte: Huh? I-I'm not sure I understand...
(Captain)'s bluntness has Societte feeling guilty, but the crew reassures her that they really do want to help her.Continue 2
Societte: Oh, you're all so kind...
Societte blushes and politely curtsies while her ears and tail wag happily.
And thus the ever-shy Societte joins the crew.
While traveling with the crew, Societte runs into her old friend Yuel.
Overjoyed at their unexpected reunion, the two swear to each other that they're going to find Ninetails.
Some time has passed since then.
Shortly thereafter Societte reunites with her old friend Yuel on the Grandcypher.
Overjoyed at their unexpected reunion, the two swear to each other that they're going to find Ninetails.
Some time has passed since then.Continue 1
Societte, this time in a new outfit, appears in front of the crew with Yuel.
Vyrn: Whoa, lookin' gorgeous, Societte! Why the new outfit?
Societte: W-well, this is for ceremonial purposes, you see...
Societte: If I dance in this, more of Lady Ninetails' power will awaken within me.
Lyria: There's something very... mystical about the way it looks.
Societte: If I'm not up to the challenge of drawing out Lady Ninetails' power, that look is all it's going to be good for.
Yuel: Ever since we started travellin' together, though, you've become a total pro at using ol' Ninetails' power!
Vyrn: All that experience sure has paid off, eh, Societte?
Societte: Yes, but, I ah... er...
Societte: It looks... strange... doesn't it?
Choose: It's cute!
- It's cute!
Societte: Um, er... I mean... Heheh...
Societte: Hearin' you say that kind of thing really makes my day, (Captain).Choose: ...
Societte: Um, ah... (Captain)?
Societte: Um... er... well... ngh...
Yuel: C'mon now, (Captain)! Quit messing with Societte, will you?
Yuel: Listen, I get it. You think it's cute when she gets all flustered. But don't make fun of the poor girl!
Societte: H-huh? Y-you were just... making fun?
Societte: You're such a bully, (Captain)...Continue 3
Yuel: Anyway, you're like a whole nother person in that new outfit!
Yuel: Let's really dig in and find as much stuff as we can about Ninetails and the old kingdom!
Vyrn: Sounds good, but it sure feels like you've exhausted your leads, doesn't it?
An awkward silence suddenly falls over the crew.
Societte steels herself to speak.
Societte: When I was little, there was a place where I practiced dancing for Lady Ninetails with my parents.
Societte: There could be some kind of clue there.
Vyrn: Whoa, why didn't we look there before?
Societte: I was scared. Scared that... that remembering them would just make me feel even more hurt and alone.
Hearing the sadness in her voice, (Captain) remembers how Societte lost both her parents.
Yuel: You really wanna go back there, Societte?
Societte gives a small nod.
Yuel: Gotcha. Let's go, (Captain).
The crew sets a course for Societte's childhood home.
After arriving at the island, the crew begins moving through the forest toward its destination. Suddenly, Societte stops.
Societte: Just past here. Just past here there's a beautiful lake.
Societte trembles as she says this.
Yuel: (Captain). Go right.
Yuel looks like she's about to grab Societte's left hand. (Captain) reads the signal and grabs her right.
Societte: Eep! H-huh?
Vyrn: And I'll take... the head!
Lyria: I'm going behind!
Vyrn lands on Societte's head, and Lyria grabs her from behind.
Societte: W-what are you doing?
Yuel: It'll be okay, Societte. We're right here with you!
Vyrn: Yup! So stop worrying, and let's go!
Societte: Heheh... Thanks a bunch.
The crew begins to walk again. This time Societte has a smile on her face.
Soon, they find a beautiful lake. The water is crystal clear and can be seen through to its depths.
Yuel: Whoa, look at this! I ain't never seen a lake this beautiful before!
Yuel: I bet we'd have a grand ol' time splashing around in there! Anyone game?
Vyrn: We don't have time for that right now! Societte's on a mission!
Yuel: Haha... Yeah, my bad. Still, it's seriously pretty, ain't it?
Societte: When my parents danced, I used to watch their reflections in the water and follow along for practice.
Societte: They taught me all the dances here: the opening dance, earth dance, and alabaster dance.
Yuel: So that's how it went down... Wait a sec, you know four dances. Where'd the last one go?
Societte: They taught me the closing dance, but I couldn't quite remember it all.
Societte: What you see me perform now is imperfect and incomplete.
Yuel: For serious? Dang, this must be one tough dance!
Societte: It is very, very difficult. Every time I performed, it felt like something was missing.
Societte: Even when I couldn't dance at all, Mother and Father were still so good to me.
Societte stares back at a reflection of herself on the water's surface, wistfully recalling the past.
She notices small fans resting at the bottom of the lake.
Societte: This... these are the fans I used when I was young.
With a nostalgic smile, Societte reaches into the water and pulls out the fans.
Societte: So this is where they were. I remember bawling my eyes out when I lost them.
Societte: Mother and Father made me feel better then. They were so sweet...
Societte: (Just like... when I failed...)
Societte remembers what her parents told her when she made a mistake during the closing dance.
Societte's Father: You don't need to dedicate your dance to Lady Ninetails, dear.
Societte's Mother: Dance for those that matter most to you, and the rest will sort itself out.
Societte: So that's what I was missing. I have to... dance for those that matter most to me.
Remembering her parents' words, Societte turns toward the crew and gracefully readies her fans.
Societte: Um, if it's okay with everyone... I'd like to dance for all of you.
Yuel: Yeah, of course! It'd be a pleasure and a privilege.
(Captain) nods in agreement.
Societte: Yuel, (Captain), everyone... Thanks.
With a gentle smile, Societte begins to dance for the sake of her friends.
As she dances, pale blue flames surround her, illuminating the vicinity. Slowly the flames turn crimson.
Societte: (Father... Mother... I'm going to dance... for the people who matter most!)
Determination wells up within Societte's heart, and the flames respond in kind, growing larger, burning brighter.
Societte: (My body's moving on its own... I can do this!)
Once incomplete and imperfect, Societte's performance of the closing dance is now immaculately precise.
It takes the crew's breath away. All they can do is watch in stunned amazement.
When she finishes, everyone present bursts into rapturous applause.
Yuel: That was freakin' incredible! Perfect, even! How did you do that?
Societte: I... remembered my parents' words.
Societte: They told me to dance for the people who matter most.
Societte: So, um, the reason I could do any of that, was, er... thanks to you.
Societte: I-I mean, you're all... You all matter so much to me, so...
Societte: I'm just so... so glad I met you guys.
Choose: Pat her head.
- Pat her head.
- Same here.
Societte: Heheh... You're so kind, (Captain).
Yuel: Whoa, save some for me! Me, me, me!
Societte: Haha, that tickles! Oh, I can't thank you enough for everything you've done. Seriously...Choose: Same here.
Yuel: W-wow, I feel like I'm gonna blush or somethin'! Can't thank you enough for bringing us aboard, Societte!Continue 4
Societte: S-so um... Would you like to see me dance again?
Yuel: Of course! As many times as you want!
With a smile on her face, Societte once again begins to dance in honor of her precious friends.
They can't help but be amazed at the beautiful flames encircling her, wrapping her in blue and red.
Yuel and Societte witness a terrible vision of nine Erunes performing a ritual that turns Ninetails to stone. Distraught, the pair decides to search for the petrified Ninetails.
Yuel: Hey, Societte! Wanna learn my dance next? The crimson dance, I call it! Here, I'll teach you!
Societte: Sure thing, Yuel!
One day Yuel and Societte take turns teaching each other their dances.
At last the time has come for Societte to teach Yuel her closing dance.
When they complete it, a strange sensation comes over the two of them. Suddenly, they lose sight of everything around them.
Yuel: (T-the heck?)
Societte: (What's happening? I can't see anything!)
In the middle of their confusion, a scene suddenly springs forth in their minds.
A village aflame. Nine Erunes with furious expressions on their faces stand against a blazing, nine-tailed monster.
Waving the nine sacred treasures passed down from their lost kingdom, they dance furiously in the face of the nine-tailed beast.
One of the Erunes, who closely resembles Societte, finishes the closing dance. The monster writhes in agony and slowly turns to stone.
Yuel: Societte, you okay?
Yuel rouses Societte from unconsciousness.
Societte: Urgh... Y-Yuel? W-was that...
Yuel: I saw it too. It was like... It was like we were there, fighting alongside the other successors.
Societte: I don't get it, but... that flaming beast. It was Lady Ninetails.
Societte: Still, I... I can't believe it. How could that terrifying monster be Lady Ninetails?
Societte: That was nothing like the stories my parents told me...
Societte is unnerved by the images she's just seen. Yuel takes her hand in an attempt to reassure her.
Yuel: I don't get it either. But we gotta just keep puttin' one foot in front of the other!
Yuel: Call it a hunch, but that was no dream. No illusion, either.
Societte: Yeah. I have the same feeling...
Yuel: Right? We gotta find the stone that monster turned into! I bet that'll tell us something!
Societte: Right... Gotcha...
Yuel: Worried, huh? Me too. But it'll be okay. We're in this together.
Societte: Right. Thanks, Yuel.
Societte and Yuel decide to search for the stone monster they saw in their visions.
After the two explain the situation to (Captain) and crew, everyone heads out to gather information.
Ninetails Hunt: Scene 2
The crew hears rumor of the slaughterstone, which sounds like it may be the petrified remains of Ninetails. When they attempt to see it, however, a warrior blocks their way.
After traveling near and far to gather information, (Captain) and the crew have a few good leads.
Yuel: The slaughterstone?
Vyrn: Yeah. On one of these islands there's supposed to be a freaky stone that kills everything around it.
Societte: A stone that kills...
Societte: I... I can't believe such a thing would be Lady Ninetails, though...
Yuel: Right? That's not the Ninetails you'd always heard about, Societte.
Societte: Ninetails was kind. She protected the kingdom, the people... everyone.
Yuel: Hm... She definitely doesn't sound like the slaughterstone.
Yuel: But the beast we saw in our vision definitely does.
Vyrn: Well, standing here thinking about it's not gonna do us any good! Let's go find it!
Yuel: Couldn't agree more! I hate thinking!
And with that, the crew heads to the island where the slaughterstone is rumored to be located.
Having arrived at a heavily forested island, the crew sets out to find the stone.
It doesn't take long for (Captain), Vyrn, and Lyria to encounter a heavily armed man.
Imposing Man: Who are you? Not that it matters. Whoever wanders past this point faces grave danger.
Imposing Man: Turn back. Unless you want to die to a terrible stone that kills with poison mist.
Lyria: That wouldn't happen to be the slaughterstone, would it?
Imposing Man: You're a very knowledgeable girl. But that won't do you any good here. Turn back now unless you want to die.
Vyrn: Hold it, bub! We've got something we need to do with that stone cold killer!
Imposing Man: If you won't cooperate, I'll remove you by force.
Vyrn: Guess this guy's not willing to listen!
Yuel: What was that sound?
Societte: D-did that man over there attack you?
Imposing Man: Bring as many friends as you like. You're not getting through me!
Vyrn: Watch out! Here he comes!
Ninetails Hunt: Scene 3
The elder of the nearby village stops the fight and explains that a young boy who once lived nearby requested no one be allowed near the slaughterstone. The crew members explain their situation to the elder, who relents and allows them to see the stone.
Kindly Elder: Stop! That's enough out of the both of you!
An old man's shouts suddenly interrupt the fight.
Imposing Man: Elder? But why?
Kindly Elder: Would the child have asked for this? Enough.
Yuel: Who are you guys, anyway?
Kindly Elder: I'm the elder of a local village, and this man is one of its residents.
Kindly Elder: My apologies for his rather... reckless behavior. He was simply trying to keep a promise.
Kindly Elder: If you have time to listen to an old man ramble on, I can explain.
The crew members nod and follow the elder to his village.
They eventually settle in at the elder's home.
The elder stares intently at Societte and Yuel.
Societte: If you keep staring at me, I'm gonna get embarrassed...
Kindly Elder: Oh, how rude of me! The more I look at you, the more I realize how much you look like him. Like the child.
Societte: You mentioned a child before...
Yuel: Does the child have something to do with why you won't let us get at the stone?
Kindly Elder: He does. A child once lived in the place where the slaughterstone is.
Kindly Elder: He'd come to play in our village all the time.
Kindly Elder: Strange boy, he was. Wrapped in an aura of unapproachability, yet always cheery and well-mannered.
Yuel: Hold on! But the slaughterstone is supposed to kill anyone who gets close to it...
Kindly Elder: That's right. Hence why none of us from the village dared to go near it.
Kindly Elder: Only the child ever visited it, acting as if he had not a care in the world.
Societte: He certainly doesn't sound like your average boy...
Kindly Elder: He wasn't a bad child. On the contrary. He slew monsters, helped with the fields...
Kindly Elder: Why, he was like the village guardian! A credit to his generation.
Vyrn: Hmm... You make it sound like the little guy's not around anymore.
Kindly Elder: He's not. Recently he just up and left the island.
Kindly Elder: We promised him to let no one near the stone.
Societte: So that's why you were so insistent...
Yuel: Makes sense to me. But we still gotta get at that stone!
Societte: P-please! There's something we gotta check out!
Kindly Elder: Hm. Special circumstances, it sounds like.
Kindly Elder: Very well. Promise me one thing, though. If you sense danger, I want you to flee immediately.
Societte: Got it! Thanks so much!
With permission in hand, the crew members once again head toward the location of the slaughterstone.
They proceed past the area where the armed man stopped them earlier and begin to sense a poisonous miasma.
Lyria: Cough... It's getting tough to breathe.
Yuel: Huh? I'm just hunky-dory.
Societte: Same here. You don't need to push yourselves, everyone.
Suddenly a monster appears from the underbrush. It seems to be in pain.
Monster: Rggh... Grrgrghhh!
Thrashing and writhing, the monster bares its fangs and leaps at (Captain) and the crew.
Yuel: We don't have time for you, buddy!
Ninetails Hunt: Scene 4
Societte and Yuel find the slaughterstone and witness a continuation of their previous vision. This time the Erunes perish after the petrified Ninetails shatters into three pieces. With a new mystery to unravel, Societte vows to find the truth.
The crew proceeds forward after defeating the monster.
But the miasma just keeps getting thicker. Lyria and Vyrn struggle to breathe.
Lyria: Cough cough... Rgh...
Lyria: Sorry... I'm just... feeling a little dizzy...
Societte: I should be the one apologizing. If only I'd realized sooner...
Societte: It's only going to get worse from here. Let's head back.
Vyrn: But we haven't found the slaughterstone yet!
Yuel: Your lives are more important!
Lyria: Yuel, Societte... You're not affected by the poison?
Societte: No. But something feels a little off.
Vyrn: You guys should go ahead on your own. We'll head back.
Societte: B-but Vyrn...
Vyrn: I said it's fine! Go on. Just... be careful.
Yuel: Gotcha. You be careful too, everyone.
(Captain) and company fight their way back through the miasma.
After seeing their friends off, Yuel and Societte head deeper into the miasma.
Societte: This... must be the slaughterstone.
The pair come upon a massive stone that's spewing out poison gas.
Yuel: Huh? A little smaller than I thought it'd be.
Societte: Yeah, and something about it feels... hollow.
Societte's hand is drawn to the stone. She touches it.
Yuel: Gasp! T-this again?
Just like when they performed the closing dance, the two of them suddenly lose consciousness.
Soon a familiar vision fills their thoughts.
It appears to be a continuation of the scene they saw earlier.
Nine Erunes stand around the monster, now turned to stone. One of them looks like Societte. She dances, causing the stone to shatter.
The stone splits into three fragments, which are flung into the far reaches of the sky.
Poison gas floods from the stone fragment. The nine Erunes have nowhere to run and collapse on the spot.
Societte returns to consciousness. Feeling drained and weak, she collapses.
Societte: What... was that? I don't understand...
Societte: If what we just saw really happened, then everyone who turned Lady Ninetails to stone... died?
Societte: Does that mean Lady Ninetails... killed everyone?
Societte seems shaken by the incomprehensible experience.
Seeing her, Yuel lovingly pets her friend's head.
Yuel: I've got no idea what's going on either. It sure makes my head hurt just thinking about it, though...
Yuel: Is Ninetails good or bad? Why'd that group of people turn Ninetails to stone? Why'd they die?
Yuel: Oh! I think I just thought of something super smart!
Societte: What did you think of?
Yuel: All this stuff is new, right? New mysteries, sure, but it's stuff we didn't know before!
Yuel: And there's that kid who used to live here! Maybe he's a successor? We've gotta find him and grill him on what went down here!
Yuel: Am I on fire or what? Maybe I was a genius this whole time and never even realized it!
Societte: Heh heh heh...
Societte: You always lift my spirits, Yuel. Thanks again.
Yuel: No worries! You've done plenty for me, too!
Societte: Thanks so much... Seriously.
Societte can't help but thank Yuel for everything she's done.
Now these two mystery chasers have a host of new questions to find answers to.
One thing's for certain, though: they're definitely getting closer to the truth.