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What's in a Lie?
While visiting a small village, the crew loses a job to the young Thelonim, who claims to be descended from a great hero. As it turns out, the villagers have been lying to Thelonim about his supposedly heroic heritage for years, and the request he accepted is intended to make him realize the truth. Thelonim always knew what was going on, however, and has worked tirelessly to make the lie a reality. In the end, his unwavering faith causes nothing short of a miracle to happen.
(Captain) and the crew receive a letter from the chief of a distant village.
Inside is an urgent request to vanquish the monsters in a nearby forest, along with a more complicated matter...
Vyrn: Wheeze... We've been walking all day, and we're still not at the elder's house?
Lyria: Oh, I think I see it, Vyrn! That big house over there.
???: Hold it, you lot.
Vyrn: Why hello, what do we have here? Are you a villager?
Thelonim: Pleased to make your acquaintance. I'm Thelonim, descendent of heroes, and future legend.
Vyrn: Um... I'm not sure I follow.
Thelonim: Hm, I take it you lot are the skyfarers requested by the village elder?
Lyria: That's right! Wait, how do you know that?
Thelonim: Heh heh, I thought so! Sorry to trouble you, but could you let me test my skills against you?
Vyrn: Is... that something you ask people on the regular?
Thelonim charges at the party without a word.
Thelonim: All right, here I come! First up... Have a taste of my greatest magic!
Vyrn: Greatest magic? Watch out, (Captain)!
Thelonim: Dragonic Megastorm!
Vyrn: Whoaaa... Wait, this is just a bunch of leaves!
Thelonim: I'm not done yet! Awaken, slumbering might! Prepare for an onslaught of shooting stars!
Thelonim: Gigantem Meteorum!
Lyria: Eeek! Ouch... Wait, are these pinecones?
Thelonim: Time to end this! An art supreme, capable of felling even the greatest of magisters in a single blow!
Thelonim: Gallant Smash!
(Captain) bends low, taking Thelonim's onslaught with their entire body.
Lyria, observing the situation closely, is the first to notice that something's off.
Lyria: Hm, now that I look at it, is Thelonim's sword made of wood?
Vyrn: It's not just his sword! His armor and shield's made of wood, too!
Thelonim's equipment is so ramshackle in appearance that it seems entirely likely he made it himself.
Thelonim: Heh heh... Looks like the match is settled! That should prove to the village chief that I'm no pushover!
Thelonim: I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that a hero like me is way stronger than any skyfarer! Now I'm gonna make you honor your promise!
Thelonim jauntily enters the village chief's house while shouting these lines at the top of his lungs.
The crew follows shortly thereafter in a state of utter bewilderment.
Thelonim: Heh heh... Unfortunately for you, I, the heroic heir Thelonim, took the request first!
Thelonim: You can beg on your hands and knees, but I'll never, ever, ever let you have it!
And with that, Thelonim dashes out of the house as fast as his legs can take him.
Vyrn: Hey, um, Mr. Village Chief? What's going on here?
Vyrn: You didn't really let that guy take the request, did you?
Village Chief: Actually, the request that little fellow took was not entirely genuine.
Vyrn: What do you mean, not genuine?
In answer to Vyrn's question, the chief squints and begins apologetically telling a tale of long ago...
Some years back, Thelonim lost both his parents, and struggled to survive with no one to watch over him.
Taking pity on the boy, the village chief told him a white lie in an attempt to provide encouragement.
Village Chief: You may not believe this, Thelonim, but the blood of a great hero flows within you.
Village Chief: Indeed, your father told me you may very well use your sword one day to strike down a great and monstrous menace to our village.
Thelonim: I'm a... hero? Is that true, Chief?
Encouraged by these words, Thelonim was soon back to his old self.
Thelonim: Take this! Harvest's Judgment! Harvest's Judgment! Harvest's Judgment!
Ruffian: Augh... You got me...
Ruffian: Darn it... I knew we couldn't beat the great hero, Thelonim! The terrifying power of those chestnuts was just... Uh, what am I supposed to say, again?
Ruffian: Eh, doesn't matter. Anyway, that was some magic! Seriously, Thelonim's no joke, guys!
Thelonim: Heh heh... But of course! I am a great hero, after all! Now learn your lesson and never do evil again!
Ruffian: (Bwahaha... This rules. All I gotta do is play hero with this kid, and they pay my tab at the bar!)
Ruffian: (What's that village chief thinking, anyway?)
Slowly but surely, the village chief's lie spreads throughout the village.
In time, the village's entire population came to refer to Thelonim as a great hero.
Villager: Oh, why if it isn't our great hero, Thelonim! Be a good hero and help me with the farm work, won't you, dear?
Thelonim: I don't have time for that! I've gotta go to the mountains and train!
Villager: But farm work will give you the powerful legs a hero needs!
Thelonim: No way! Really? I'm in! Let me help!
The villagers began to take advantage of poor Thelonim, forcing their busywork on him at their convenience.
Nonetheless, Thelonim naively continued to believe the villagers.
Village Chief: And that, my friends, is that.
Vyrn: Wait a second, chief! It sounds like you and the rest of the town are all at fault here!
Lyria: So does that mean the real request is—
Village Chief: Hm, yes... I want you to show Thelonim how tough skyfarers really are, and make him give up this silly hero quest of his.
The crew hurriedly rushes after Thelonim, who ventured into the forest earlier to defeat the monsters within.
Vyrn: Found him! Hey, Thelonim! Hold on a sec!
Thelonim: You sure are persistent. And after I told you I wouldn't let you take the request, too!
Vyrn: We're worried about you! It's dangerous in here, and that equipment of yours doesn't seem up to the job.
Thelonim: It's fine! This is no ordinary wooden sword! It's a mighty blade carved from the wood of the legendary holy tree!
Thelonim: The crest on my armor is that of a legendary holy order of knights, enough to give pause to even the stoutest of foes!
Vyrn: A holy crest? It just looks like some scribbles to me... You were tricked, Thelonim!
Thelonim: Impossible! The village chief told me himself! He's the most respected man in town!
Vyrn: No, geez, listen! That chief of yours told you a crazy lie!
The crew looks up, startled by a deafening roar and shriek of terror soon after.
When they do, they see an out of breath Thelonim standing in the way of a massive monster.
Lyria: Thelonim, no! Let (Captain) handle this one!
Thelonim: Huff... Huff... You guys just don't give up. I told you... I won't... let you have this one...
Thelonim: I made a promise to the chief... To the whole village... I promised I'd become a hero and protect them...
Vyrn: Yeah, but they all lied to you!
Vyrn: The villagers made up that hero stuff to cheer you up!
Lyria: Vyrn's telling the truth. Please, Thelonim. Come back and—
Thelonim: Who cares if it was all lies?
Thelonim: I always knew they were lying, but they were thinking of me when they did it!
Thelonim: And darn it, I'm not going to let it turn out to be a lie! I can't!
At that moment, something miraculous occurs.
The spirit of the ancient tree responds to Thelonim's sincere honesty, the crest on his armor erupting in light.
The mysterious power Thelonim was suddenly able to call upon engulfs the enormous monster, defeating it in an instant.
Vyrn: Hm... So does this mean his crest is the real deal?
Lyria: Hee hee, I wonder. It seems like the crest isn't the only thing of his that's genuine.
Vyrn: So, then does that also mean... Thelonim's gonna be a real hero?
Thelonim: Hey, um, Captain? I, the great hero Thelonim, require an airship in order to save the world, so...
Choose: It's not going to be easy, you know.
- Just don't make a mess.
- It's not going to be easy, you know.
Thelonim: Of course! I won't go all out. Don't worry about it, Captain!
Thelonim: It's not? Awesome! Trial and tribulation are a hero's best friends!
And with that, Thelonim joins the crew, marking the start of a legend to span the azure skies...
A Hero's Dream
Vyrn and company worry about Thelonim's equipment, and take him to a weapon dealer to outfit him with something better. Once there, Thelonim shows an unexpected reaction to a knight's sword that once belonged to a princess. The princess-obsessed Thelonim is just about to buy the sword when a ruffian appears to snatch it away from him.
Thelonim is just about used to life with the crew.
Today, he joins (Captain) and company to eat at a nearby town canteen.
Vyrn: Hey, Thelonim, isn't it about time to do something about that equipment of yours?
Thelonim: What do you mean?
Vyrn: I mean, you made it yourself! It always looks like everything's about to fall apart!
Thelonim: Honestly, I don't worry about it...
Vyrn: I'm not talking about you! We're the ones freaking out every time we see you go out there!
Lyria: There, there, Vyrn. If you're that concerned about his equipment, how about paying a visit to a weapon shop?
Vyrn: Heh, now you're talking! What do you say we buy the little guy a nice sword, (Captain)?
Thelonim: (Sigh. What I've got is just fine.)
(Captain) and the crew bring a decidedly unenthused Thelonim to a weapon dealer's storefront.
Despite being treated to a wondrous assortment of weapons and sublime treatment from the shopkeeper, his expression remains unchanged.
Shopkeeper: Hrm, it's no good, I suppose. Nothing here seems to strike his fancy.
Shopkeeper: I hate to say it, but I don't think there's a weapon here I can recommend to the little guy.
With a heavy, defeated sigh, the shopkeeper picks up a sword, scratching his head with his spare hand in an attempt to conceal his embarrassment.
Shopkeeper: Actually, I think this might be a good fit. Long ago, this beauty was bestowed upon a noble knight by a princess from the far east.
Thelonim: Um, mister, c-can you repeat that?
Shopkeeper: Repeat what? The part about it being a good fit for you?
Thelonim: No, after that!
Shopkeeper: Hm, the part about it being bestowed upon a noble knight?
Thelonim: No! After that!
Shopkeeper: Ah, that it once belonged to a princess from the far east?
Thelonim: A p-p-princess!
Thelonim: Oh, what music to my ears. This sword is absolutely splendid!
Thelonim: Shopkeeper! Please, allow me the honor of using this blade!
Vyrn: That's a total 180 from the way you were acting a second ago!
Shopkeeper: Ha ha ha! I'm not sure what brought you around, but I'll happily make the sale. Come again, anytime!
As the shopkeeper begins handing the sword over to Thelonim, a voice rings out.
Ruffian: Hey, hold it! I saw that bad boy first! Sorry, kid, but the sword's mine!
A Hero's Dream: Scene 2
Strangely enough, the ruffian who suddenly interrupted Thelonim just moments before is another supposed descendant of a great hero. Thelonim is overjoyed to have met another ally, and excitedly explains the destined dream of all heroes to find and rescue a princess. The ruffian agrees, but another thug appears and reveals Thelonim's newfound friend to be a scam artist.
Thelonim and the crew defeat the rule-ignoring ruffian.
Ruffian: Heh, not bad! Can't believe you beat me, a descendent of a great hero, so easily!
Vyrn: Did I hear that right? Something about that sounded vaguely familiar...
Thelonim: You're a descendent of a great hero, too? Wow! Who'd have thought I'd run into an ally in a place like this!
Vyrn: Sigh... Heroes don't just show up whenever it fits in your schedule, y'know...
Vyrn: And wait a sec! You haven't even been recognized as a hero yourself, Thelonim!
Ruffian: Bwahaha! I've taken a shine to you, kiddo! Let's grab some grub, my treat, and talk over some of the finer points of hero-ing!
Vyrn: What gives! We just ended up right back where we started!
Lyria: Now, now, it's nothing to complain about, Vyrn. I like this place!
While Lyria cheerfully eats, Vyrn can't help but notice something's amiss.
Vyrn: It's weird, though. Why did you both want that sword?
Thelonim: Because to a hero, a princess is the ultimate aspiration! A figure of destiny!
Lyria: Um, what do you mean, exactly?
Thelonim: I've done my homework, read all the books, heard all the fairy tales.
Thelonim: All the heroes spoken of in myth and legend defeat some kind of scary monster or dragon, and then they marry a princess.
Thelonim: No ifs, ands, or buts. If you're a hero, that's what you do. Period.
Vyrn: Hm, now that you mention it, that kind of thing is definitely a consistent theme in these things.
Lyria: You're right. Katalina's told me lots of stories like that.
Thelonim: Which means as a hero, I'm gonna get to, um, m-marry a... p-princess.
Ruffian: Exactly! Well said, kiddo! Bwahahaha!
This moment of jubilation is interrupted by a sudden, brusque shout.
Visitor: You think you're a hero? Lyin' Luger here's up to his old tricks again, deceivin' folks as usual!
Lyria: What do you mean?
Visitor: Ha ha ha! What do I mean? This guy's specialty is saying just what other people want to hear!
Visitor: Pretends to be your friend when you pass through town, then hits you when you least expect it! A total con man!
Unable to hide his shock, Thelonim asks the supposedly heroic ruffian a question, his voice quivering.
Thelonim: I-Is that true, mister? It's not, right?
Visitor: As a matter of fact, the only reason we got called here is to round up all your cash and rob you blind!
Thelonim: Hey, he's not telling the truth, is he? Answer me, mister! You're a hero!
Ruffian: Gah, you idiots just had to rush things! And right as I was about to collect on these sleepwalking children!
A Hero's Dream: Scene 3
Thelonim's joy over finding another heroic ally dissipates with the realization that it was all just another lie. The crew's attempts to cheer him up come with limited success, but a coincidental mention of princesses inspires a slightly scary fanaticism from Thelonim, dragging him out of his doldrums.
Hollow victory in hand, (Captain) and the crew begin the journey to their next destination.
There's a point of grave concern for the crew, however. Thelonim has yet to utter a single word since returning to the ship.
Vyrn: Hey, Thelonim? Don't worry too much about what happened, okay?
Lyria: Vyrn's right. You have to just ignore bad people like that!
Thelonim: So it was another lie...
Thelonim: No, it's fine. I'm used to being lied to, after all.
Thelonim: I'm going to become the greatest hero in all the skies. A minor setback like this isn't going to get me down.
Thelonim flashes a courageous smile in an attempt to deflect concern, inspiring a surprising flood of emotions from the crew.
Lyria: Oh, Thelonim...
Vyrn: Cheer up, buddy! Lemme split one of those pink princess apples I bought back at the market with you!
Thelonim: Princess? Did someone say princess? Where?
Vyrn: Stay with me, Thelo! I'm talking about apples! The kind fit for royalty!
Thelonim: I knew it! You're talking about princesses again!
Katalina: What's going on in here? I thought I heard someone shouting about princesses, but that can't be right.
Thelonim: This is sounding like princess business again! Where are they? Are you one? Just point me in their general direction!
Vyrn: You're hearing things that aren't there!
Thelonim: A princess, a princess... Gotta make sure I don't make miss anything... There's my sword, got my shield...
Thelonim: Oh, this is bad! What should I do? I'm still no match for dragons and wizards! Hey, Vyrn, it'll be okay, right?
Vyrn: Er... How should I know?
Lyria: Actually, this is an awful lot like the incident back at the weapon shop.
Lyria: It seems as if he responds to just about anything princess-related...
Vyrn: Whoa, really? You're a strange one, Thelonim!
Although perturbed by Thelonim's sudden outburst, the crew looks on with smiling faces, as the storm that had blown so strongly just moments ago fades to a whimper.
A Hero's Trial
Vania tests Thelonim's ability to serve as her bodyguard, but concludes that he's not ready to assume the mantle. Although he has failed her trial, Thelonim promises Vania that he will one day become strong enough to protect her.
Thelonim: What! No way! You're a p-p-princess?
One fateful day aboard (Captain)'s ship, Thelonim meets Vania for the first time.
He is shocked to learn that Vania is, indeed, a princess.
Thelonim: (Holy moly! I've finally met the real thing!)
Vania: What's with you? Hello?
Thelonim: Ack! Um, er...
Thelonim: Ahem! Allow me to properly introduce myself, princess. I am known as the hero, Thelonim!
Vania: Um... hero? What are you talking about?
Thelonim: I am a devotee of gallantry and fearlessness! Someone who is worthy of your praise!
Thelonim: Princess, I beseech thee! Allow me to protect you! That is my duty as a hero!
Vania: So what you're saying is... you want to serve me?
Vania: Mm-hmm, I see, I see. You want to become my bodyguard!
Vania: But I've already got (Captain), you know!
Thelonim: Wait! As a hero, I am more qualified than (Captain) is!
Vania: Hm... You look kinda wimpy to me.
Vania: And you don't look as dependable as (Captain), either.
Thelonim: Grglrgh... It's true that I'm not that strong right now.
Thelonim: However! I'll definitely become stronger. I'll become the hero you deserve!
Vania: Oh... Is that so.
Vania: Hehehe! Okie dokie. I'll give you a chance!
An impish laugh escapes Vania's lips. Suddenly, she drops down on the floor, cowering in fear.
Vania: Eeek! It's scary! Save me!
Thelonim: Huh? Wh-what's wrong?
Vania: Humph! I'm scared because I'm being attacked!
Vania: And don't ask what's wrong! Say I'm going to save you! You want to be my bodyguard, right?
Thelonim: Ah! I get it now. Sorry.
Vania: Okay, do it again! And this time, protect me like you mean it!
Vania: Eeek! I'm scared!
With his eyes on Vania, Thelonim draws his wooden sword and points it toward an unseen enemy.
Thelonim: Stop right there, fiend! Relinquish yourself from the princess!
Thelonim: Prepare yourself for my ultimate sword strike!
Thelonim: Gallant Smash!
Thelonim: Phew. Are you unharmed, princess?
Vania: It's not over yet, you know.
I'm still so scared! Like, thiiiiis much!
Vania spreads both her arms out wide to show that there are still plenty of foes left to fight.
Thelonim: Whoa, th-that many? Never fear, the hero Thelonim will exterminate them posthaste!
Thelonim swings his wooden sword wildly at invisible enemies until Vania is satisfied.
Thelonim: Haa... haa... I think... that's the last of them... princess...
Vania: Yup! You got them all! Next!
Vania: Brr... It's so cold...
Thelonim: Oh no! Princess! What's wrong?
Vania: No, no, no! Were you even paying attention! Don't ask what's wrong!
Vania: I'm super sick, okay? You have to take care of me quickly!
Thelonim: I'm sorry. Please let me try again!
Vania: Okay! Here we go!
Vania: Hah... Ngh... It hurts...
Thelonim: Pardon my rudeness, princess.
With a serious countenance, Thelonim gently rests the back of his hand on Vania's forehead.
Thelonim: Yeow! You're burning up! What should I do? Ah, I know! I'll look for medicine!
Thelonim gets on his knees, and pantomimes looking through invisible brush. He completes his search and returns to Vania.
Thelonim: This is the fabled herb that cures all ailments! Open wide, princess!
Vania: Haa... Haa... Ngh...
Thelonim: D-did it work? Are you feeling better?
Vania: Yup! I feel much better now! Thanks!
Thelonim: Hehehe. Thank goodness. So what do you think, princess? I'm pretty reliable, right?
Vania: Hm... No, I knew it. You're hopeless.
Thelonim: What? But why?
Vania: Humph! Let me finish!
Vania: I get it. You want to protect me.
Vania: But I don't think you're strong enough for the job yet.
Vania: Whenever I'm in trouble, you need to come flying in to be by my side.
Vania: That means you'll have to become way, way stronger than me.
Vania: And when that time comes, I'll let you take over for (Captain) as my bodyguard, okay?
Thelonim: Really? Then I hereby swear on my honor that I shall become stronger! Strong enough to protect you!
Vania: Hehehe. Good! Pinky swear!
They raise their pinkies in the air.
With both of their pinkies intertwined, the promise is forged.
Vania: Heehee. If you break our promise, you're kaput. Don't you dare forget!
Thelonim: Haha, yes, my lady! I will never forget!
Thelonim bashfully gazes at Vania with a smile as her soft laughter fills the air.
Our young hero vows to become a champion worthy of the little princess. His mission, however, has only just begun.