The Magic Surgeon
On a treasure hunt (Captain) and Mary meet Tikoh, a magic surgeon pursuing Navis—an organization which collects ancient weapons leading to a primal beast. Impressed with her medical prowess, (Captain) invites her to join the crew.
A young woman wielding a mysterious rod has made it to the depths of a cave.
Having evaded countless traps to reach her current location, she now stands before a weathered treasure chest.
Young Woman: Finally found it. Surely this has to be the real one...
A tinge of worry in her expression, she reaches out to the chest.
Young Woman: ...!
The woman turns around in a panic and senses someone fast approaching.
Young Woman: Whoever it is, the person's a pro to make it through all these traps...
Young Woman: I have a bad feeling about this... Here's hoping it's not who I think it is...
She imbues her rod with mana, preparing to unleash an attack spell at a moment's notice, then takes cover behind a rock.
Mary: Whew, I sure wasn't expecting there to be that many traps!
Mary: For me, it's nothing to break a sweat at though! Isn't that right, (Captain)?
Savoring this chance to see Mary's treasure-hunting skills up close, the captain offers words of praise.
Mary: Fortunately, it's only the two of us today. If we were a bigger group, I might've missed a trap or two.
Mary: Hm, looks like we've reached the end point.
The treasure chest they're looking for is resting on a pedestal.
Mary: Wait! Don't touch it yet, (Captain)! Booby-trapped treasure chests are a pretty common thing. And we don't want this one to go kaboom!
Mary: Gimme a sec to check the area first.
Mary begins observing every nook and cranny of the surrounding area.
Mary: Hm, nothing fishy here. Now to check that pitch-black corner.
Maintaining a crouched position, Mary turns to the shadows to find a pair of legs.
Young Woman: ...
Mary slowly raises her head to get a better view.
Young Woman: ...!
Mary & Young Woman: Eep!
The mysterious woman unleashes her magic, hitting the cave ceiling.
Young Woman: Uh... That can't be good...
Choose: Watch out!
- Watch out!
Rocks of all sizes begin crashing down on the three.
Mary: Ouch... You okay, (Captain)?
The area suddenly grows brighter as the young woman steps out of the shadows.
Young Woman: ...!
Mary: I didn't expect anyone else to be here... Care to introduce yourself?
Lighting up the surroundings with her rod, the woman remains vigilant.
Young Woman: I could ask the same... What brings you here?
Mary: Isn't it obvious? We're here for treasure! That's some attitude for someone who just attacked us!
Young Woman: I let loose my magic out of surprise... And I've never been very good at controlling the intensity of my spells.
Noticing something, the woman takes a step closer.
Young Woman: Y-you're hurt!
Small drops of blood are seeping out of the wound on Mary's forehead.
Mary: Ah, you're right. Must've happened when that rock hit me. It's not too bad though.
Young Woman: No head injury should be taken lightly. Let me take a look.
Mary: Hey, what's the big id—
Young Woman: Quiet, please.
The woman takes a good look at Mary's forehead before raising her rod, instantly closing the wound.
Mary: Wha... A healing spell! I feel better already; I'm impressed!
Young Woman: I've treated and disinfected your wound, but there's more to do. Lie down here.
Nearly forced into a reclining position, Mary feels the light of the woman's rod beaming at her forehead.
Young Woman: Don't move.
The grains of sand on the ground begin moving on their own and slip under the back of Mary's head.
Mary: Eep! What is this? What's happening?
Young Woman: You can get up now.
Mary: H-hang on! What did you just do to me?
Pushing herself upright, Mary notices the image of a skull drawn on the ground.
Young Woman: Good news: no fractures.
Mary: Wha... You mean that's my skull?
Young Woman: That's what I've been trying to say. My special light passes through your body while the sand draws a diagram of the affected part.
Young Woman: There's no harm done to your body, so don't fret.
(Captain) and Mary express interest in this advanced form of magic.
Mary: So what's your story? You've shown you're not our enemy, but you don't exactly seem like a treasure hunter either.
Young Woman: I'm a doctor—a magic surgeon, to be precise. But give me a second. I have something to tend to...
Cutting the conversation short, she leans against the wall and slumps to the ground.
Your leg! You're hurt too!
Mary and (Captain) notice an inordinate amount of blood leaking from the woman's thigh.
Mary: You're banged up pretty bad yourself! Why would you focus on my injuries first!
Young Woman: A rock hit my leg pretty hard and severed a major artery. At this rate of blood loss, I'll be dead in less than a minute.
Mary: How are you so calm! Heal yourself!
Young Woman: Not happening... It seems like this room is booby-trapped to start falling apart in response to magic.
The cave-in is, indeed, proceeding slowly but steadily.
Young Woman: The light source from my rod is also magic... Using a powerful spell to cure my wound might just close off our escape.
Mary: There has to be some other way! You can't just give up!
Young Woman: I have no intention of dying. If I can't use magic...
The woman wraps a piece of cloth tightly around her thigh to stop the bleeding and lays out a blanket filled with tools on the ground.
Young Woman: I'll just have to perform a surgery.
Mary: A surgery?
Young Woman: Beginning the operation.
She jams the tools in her hands into her wound without a moment's hesitation.
Young Woman: Aperture of artery confirmed... Proceeding with sutures.
Unruffled, she handles the needle and thread with extraordinary dexterity, completing the task within a matter of seconds.
Young Woman: Operation complete.
Mary: Maybe you should've done that from the get-go...
Mary: Didn't that hurt though? Because it sure looked painful, opening yourself up like that...
Young Woman: Instead of anesthetics, I used my Asclepius Rod to dull my sense of pain.
Mary: Asclepius Rod?
Young Woman: It's an incredible tool that makes my medical magic possible.
Young Woman: And even the trace amount I used affected the cave's rumbling. We need to get out fast.
The woman stuffs her medical tools into her bag before standing up.
Mary: Hey, why did you save me first when you're the one who really needed treatment?
Young Woman: Good doctors prioritize their patients. Not to mention I had calculated my rate of blood loss and the time needed for a surgery.
Mary: So it's a combination of your healing magic and medical expertise, huh... You go, girl!
Young Woman: Mm-hm. Medical magic lets me work wonders in saving patients—
The sound of crashing rocks can be heard from elsewhere in the cave.
Young Woman: No time to sit and chat. We have to get a move on.
Mary: Who knows how many air vents are being blocked by the cave-in. Let's make it out while we can still breathe.
Young Woman: Agreed.
Young Woman: Hm, there should be something here... Found it.
She runs her fingers along the wall and finds a button to press, opening up a path leading upward.
Mary: A secret passage? Were you already looking for this before we got here?
Young Woman: Just following my instincts. If I were to design my own booby-trapped cave, I'd make sure to include a secret passage somewhere.
Young Woman: It's no different from a surgical bypass.
Before they proceed along the newly revealed path, the woman recalls her initial goal.
Young Woman: Whoops, I almost forgot.
She opens the treasure chest on the stand.
Mary takes the lead, searching for traps along the way. (Captain) follows closely while piggybacking the doctor.
Mary: We made it...
Young Woman: Y-you can let me down now.
She appears somewhat flustered as she gets off (Captain)'s back.
Young Woman: Thank you for carrying me out, but I'd rather not make you shoulder my body weight any longer.
The group rests for a spell, giving the woman time to heal her leg.
Mary: Feeling better now?
A concerned Mary gets up close to the woman's thighs.
Young Woman: I-I'd prefer you not stare! My legs aren't as thick as they might look!
Young Woman: Nuh-uh, not thick at all! In fact, I'd go so far as to say my body proportions are just right!
Mary: Er... I just wanted to make sure that you're all better...
Young Woman: Ah...
Young Woman: Cough... Of course I knew that! I'm fine!
Though she seems to have misunderstood Mary's intentions, her leg is in much better condition now.
Mary: By the way, why were you so wary of us at first? Does it have something to do with that treasure chest?
Though the woman opened up the chest before their escape, its contents were empty.
Young Woman: A weapon was supposed to be in there...
Young Woman: Not just any weapon, but an especially ominous one created long, long ago...
Young Woman: But since the chest was empty, I'm not sure anymore. You should know that I'm after a group called Navis.
Mary: Navis? Tell me about it.
Young Woman: They're a bunch of psychopaths who have no qualms about murdering innocents in their quest for ancient weapons.
Mary: Navis, huh... I try to keep up-to-date with all the rumors concerning treasure that come down the grapevine...
Mary: But I don't recall hearing about any scavenger groups of ancient weapons going by that name...
Young Woman: Just goes to show how good Navis is at hiding the awful things they do...
Young Woman: Word is that they're gathering weapons to gain control over some primal beast.
Mary: A primal beast?
(Captain) and Mary break into a cold sweat at the revelation.
Young Woman: Each of the weapons they're searching for acts as a coordinate for the primal beast's location.
Mary: I take it that means once they've completed their collection, the primal beast will be theirs?
Young Woman: You catch on quick.
Mary: Call it my instinct as a treasure hunter. I have to solve so many puzzles in my line of work that it's become second nature.
Mary: So you've been traveling alone all along in search of Navis?
Young Woman: That's the gist of it. I've been in various crews, trying to gather as much info as possible.
Mary: With your skills, any crew would value you.
Young Woman: Haha... Not to brag, but I actually get scouted pretty often!
She wears a proud smile, even if she doesn't mean to boast.
Mary: Weapons that act as coordinates for a primal's location... What exactly happens when all the weapons are gathered?
Mary: I get the impression there could be some other treasure involved.
Choose: Maybe we can work together.
- Maybe we can work together.
- We'd like to help you.
Mary: Great minds think alike, (Captain)!
Mary: So assuming you're not affiliated with any crew right now... How would you like to join ours?Choose: We'd like to help you.
Mary: My thoughts exactly, (Captain). For one thing, her medical magic would definitely come in handy.
Young Woman: So you trust in my skills, huh.
Mary: We sure do! But joining us would be a boon to your cause too, especially since a primal's involved.Continue 1
Mary: It's just me who's the treasure hunter; (Captain)'s our crew captain.
Mary: You wouldn't believe how many primals our captain has come in contact with over time!
Mary: We fought some... befriended some... Point is, we've got tons of experience with primal beasts!
Young Woman: What a surprise... Your crew must truly be one of a kind...
Mary: Travel with us, and chances are you'll be able to gather intel on primals and weapons that much more easily.
Mary: Besides, I still owe you one for tending to my wound.
Young Woman: ...?
Well, you got hurt in the first place because of me.
Mary: C'mon, now! It was my injury, so I ought to be able to make what I want of it.
Young Woman: Pfft... What a do-gooder... You make no sense.
The woman gives the proposal a bit of thought before responding.
Young Woman: Hm, I suppose I have no reason to refuse.
Mary: Great, it's decided then! Glad to have you on board.
Mary: Oh, I haven't introduced myself yet, have I? I'm Mary!
Tikoh: And I'm Tikoh.
Tikoh: Pleased to make your acquaintance, (Captain), Mary.
Tikoh: Sorry for firing off my magic earlier. Now that we'll be traveling together, I'll take care not to make the same mistake twice.
And so the magic surgeon Tikoh joins the crew.
However, at this point in time, (Captain) and Mary know nothing of her spine-chilling past.
Two Heads Are Better than One
Tikoh reveals that she was traveling with her family treasure, the Asclepius Rod, in hand to help people in need of medical assistance. She talks about one particular village she stayed at, where a mysterious man took great interest in her rod.
Days have passed since Tikoh, magic surgeon extraordinaire, joined the crew.
She is currently tending an injury Mary sustained on a treasure hunt—almost like a retread of events on the day they first met.
Mary: Thanks, Tikoh. Don't you think you're a bit too concerned about a minor scratch though?
Tikoh: As a doctor, treating wounds is my job. And let's not forget they can also be a source of infection.
Mary: Sigh... I came back with nothing but cuts and bruises. What a waste of a trip.
Mary: Then again, treasure-hunting isn't exactly a surefire thing.
Tikoh: What matters is that you came back in one piece...
Though she offers comforting words, her expression suggests disappointment that no weapon was found.
Noticing the doctor's dismay, Mary and (Captain) trade glances.
Tikoh: Hm? Whatever's on your mind, I'd love to hear it.
Tikoh: Wait... Don't tell me you think I'm pudgy for an Erune! That'd be devastating...
Mary: No, that didn't even cross our minds! Honest!
Tikoh is especially conscious about her body type, to the point of having a bit of a victim mentality.
Tikoh: If you consider that Erunes are too thin to begin with, I'd say I'm just the right weight. And this is also my professional opinion as a doctor, so it can't be wrong.
Mary: Sounds like the problem's solved then, I guess... Honestly, I can't tell if you're too conscious about your body or just really optimistic...
As insecure as Tikoh may be when it comes to her image, she's also not one to let anything get her down easily.
Mary: Anyway... (Captain) and I were just wondering why you're so focused on tracking down Navis.
Mary: It sounds like you've had some close calls, which got us curious. But if you'd rather not talk about it, that's cool too.
Tikoh has made it her personal mission to track down the group known as Navis, but (Captain) still does not know the particulars.
Choose: Care to share your story with us?Choose: We're worried about you.
- Care to share your story with us?
- We're worried about you.
Tikoh: My story isn't a pleasant one... You might regret hearing it.
Mary: I promise we won't. (Captain) and I want to do what we can to help you.
Tikoh: Okay... (Captain)'s done so much for me, including giving me my own office on the ship.
Tikoh: It's only fair that you know more about me.
After a moment's hesitation, Tikoh begins to speak of her past.
Tikoh: I was born into a family of doctors and became a doctor myself at a young age.
Tikoh: I was always praised for my skills in the operating room.
Tikoh: But my Asclepius Rod...
Mary: What about it?
Tikoh: It's been passed down through my family for generations, more as a symbol of healing and medicine than anything else. Although my parents couldn't use magic...
Tikoh: For some reason, I could. My healing prowess was the talk of the town.
Tikoh: Seeing the things I could do with magic, my parents sent me out into the world, believing that I'd be able to save more lives away from home.
Tikoh: I felt the same way and have journeyed far and wide since then on my own.
Mary: Major respect to you and your parents, Tikoh.
Mary: So what happened along the way?
Having made a habit of traveling the skies curing the sick, Tikoh arrives at yet another new village.
Tikoh: I love the tranquility and nature here. I suppose I'll stay for a bit.
Having no doctor of their own, the villagers are happy to welcome Tikoh and help her set up an office in an abandoned hut.
Villager 1: Oh, it hurts... Can't you fix me right up with a spell, Dr. Tikoh?
Tikoh: There's a foreign object in your right foot. A rock or twig must've made its way in when you fell from the cliff.
Tikoh: I could heal you like this, but the object would remain in your body. It's best if I make an incision to take it out.
Villager 1: Eh... W-will it hurt?
Tikoh: Can't say for sure. Maybe you can tell me when I'm done. Okay, here goes...
Villager 1: O-okay...
Tikoh taps the resting patient on the forehead with her Asclepius Rod, immediately putting the patient in an unconscious state.
The sun begins to set some time later.
Villager 1: Ah! Huh? I-I'm all better!
Tikoh: Congratulations, the surgery is a success. Please be careful the next time you go hiking.
Villager 1: Wow! There's no pain and not even a scar in sight! We're blessed to have you, Dr. Tikoh!
Tikoh spends her days in the village in peace, doing her best to treat every patient.
One late afternoon, someone calls out to Tikoh while she is enjoying a meal in the shade.
???: Hey, Tikoh! Whatcha up to? You're not slacking off, are you?
Tikoh: Oh, I'm just eating lunch.
???: Lunch? At this hour? It feels like whenever you're not working, you're eating.
Tikoh: Mmf! Being a doctor is hard work... It's important to eat and recharge when you can.
Tikoh: But Shannon... Does it really seem like I eat that much? I hope I haven't gained weight again...
Shannon is a village girl who's grown attached to Tikoh after having her scraped knee healed by the good doctor.
Shannon: Nuh-uh, you're not the least bit chubby. Rather, you're cute and super cool.
Tikoh: Oh, I know I'm cute. I grew up with my parents telling me every day how cute I am.
Shannon: What a nice upbringing you must've had...
Tikoh: That's why staying at a healthy weight is always at the forefront of my mind...
Tikoh: And just so you know, Shannon, I can't take you with me no matter how much you shower me with compliments.
Lately, Shannon has been thinking of becoming a doctor herself one day, often badgering Tikoh to take her on her travels.
Tikoh: I don't plan on leaving the village just yet, so we can still be good friends while I'm here. I'll even help you with your studies.
Shannon: It's not studying that I wanna do! I wanna go out into the world as a doctor and expand my horizons!
Tikoh: But to become a doctor, you'll have to study.
Shannon: Meh, I hate studying...
Tikoh: Haha... Aren't you cute.
Shannon: Cuter than you?
Tikoh: No, but you come pretty close.
Shannon: Ahahaha! You're hilarious, Tikoh!
Shannon's Dad: Hey, Shannon! It's gonna be night soon!
Shannon: Mama! Papa!
Shannon's Mom: We're sorry she's been taking up your free time, Dr. Tikoh.
Tikoh: Oh, no, no, I love having Shannon around. She kept me company.
Shannon: Ehehe... What she said!
Shannon's Dad: Are you done for the day, Doctor? Why don't you join us for dinner?
Tikoh: Thank you for the offer, but I have another surgery lined up tonight. People have been getting into a lot of accidents lately.
Shannon's Dad: I suppose that comes with being in a mountain village, treacherous terrain anywhere you go...
Shannon's Mom: We can't thank you enough for all your help, Dr. Tikoh.
Tikoh: Well, I'm just doing my job.
Over time, Tikoh starts to wonder if there isn't a more long-term solution.
Villager 2: Thank you so much. Who'd have thought I could be crushed by my own wagon...
Tikoh: How does something like that even happen?
Villager 2: The handle on the thing's not in the greatest shape. It buckled under the weight of the load.
Villager 2: The wagon kept going and ran over me. How embarrassing. Well, I suppose I'll take my leave now.
The number of patients continues to increase. Because the reason for each injury is different, Tikoh is at a loss for how to remedy the situation.
For better or worse, it isn't too long before the doctor notices what exactly is amiss with the village.
Tikoh: Next patient, please.
Stranger: Good day, Doctor.
Tikoh: My goodness, your arm!
The bones of the man's bloodstained arm are sticking out in various places, twisted and turned into unnatural positions down to the fingertips.
Stranger: I found myself caught in a rockfall while trekking through the mountains... I made it out alive, but I'm busted up pretty bad...
Stranger: You wouldn't believe how relieved I was when I heard a doctor was in the village.
Tikoh: Are you a resident from another town? You must've walked a long way to get here. Let's take a look at your arm.
Tikoh passes a light through the man's arm, using magic to draw a diagram of its skeletal structure.
Stranger: Color me surprised... I didn't know such magic existed.
Tikoh: What we have here is a case of complicated fracture. Fortunately, no debris has gotten inside. I'm going to proceed with a recovery spell.
Stranger: Using your rod, I take it?
Tikoh: Mm-hm... Why do you ask?
Stranger: Something about the rod really stood out to me... May I ask where you found it?
Tikoh: It's a family heirloom. I come from a family of doctors, and the rod is said to symbolize medicine and healing.
Tikoh: It's a mysterious tool that makes my medical magic possible.
Stranger: What a delightful rod... Almost as delightful as you...
Tikoh: Mm... Thanks.
Tikoh: (Is he flirting with me?)
As Tikoh continues with the treatment, the man appears to be interested only in her and the rod.
Two Heads Are Better than One: Scene 2
Suspecting something afoul with her never-ending supply of patients, Tikoh discovers that a man had been laying traps all over the village. He's taken control of the family of Shannon, a local girl quite taken up with Tikoh. When the man murders Shannon and her mother before the doctor's very eyes, she saves Shannon by transferring the girl's soul into her own body.
Villager 2: Thanks for fixing me up again, Doctor...
Villager 2: The wagon handle came right off this time. I made sure to triple-check everything, but I guess you never know what might happen...
Tikoh: Well... Let's just be glad you're okay.
The patients continue flooding in on a daily basis. They all seem to believe that their injuries are caused by mere accidents.
Tikoh, however, has a rather different take on things.
Sensing something very intentional behind the steady stream of patients, Tikoh conducts an investigation.
Tikoh: (I lost track of him last night, but I know that silhouette...)
Tikoh had spotted someone laying traps all over town under the cover of darkness.
The doctor is intent on nabbing this criminal once and for all. And her chance to do so comes soon enough.
Tikoh: Stop right there.
Tikoh: You're... You've been in my office before!
Stranger: Ah, good to see you too, Doctor. A beautiful evening, isn't it?
Tikoh: You're not from this village, are you? The sun went down a long time ago. Why are you up and about when it's pitch black outside?
Tikoh is certain that the man had been fidgeting with the low stone wall that the locals like to rest their backs against.
Stranger: Nuh-uh, I was born and raised here. That's my home right there. Why don't you come say hello to my family?
The man leads Tikoh to one of the houses and knocks on the door.
Stranger: Hey, I'm back.
Shannon: Welcome home, Papa.
Shannon's Mom: How way your day, hon?
Tikoh: What in the...
Stranger: You see? That's my wife and daughter.
Shannon: Hello, Tikoh. It's good to see you.
Shannon's Mom: You're more than welcome to take a load off and relax, Dr. Tikoh.
Stranger: Mm, whatever's cooking smells great. I hope you'll join us for dinner, Doc.
Tikoh: Hold on a sec... None of this makes any sense...
Shannon & Mom: ...
Stranger: What do you mean?
Tikoh: You're... You're not really Shannon's father.
Tikoh utters those words while clutching Shannon's shoulders.
Tikoh: Tell me, Shannon. Who is this person?
Shannon: My one and only Papa.
Tikoh: No, this can't be... I've met your dad...
Tikoh: Miss, where is your husband?
Shannon's Mom: My hubby's right here, of course.
Stranger: You see, Doctor? There's nothing fishy going on here.
The man speaks with a matter-of-fact tone.
But Tikoh remains unconvinced.
Tikoh: Hah, I'd argue that there's nothing that doesn't seem fishy here.
Stranger: Come again?
Tikoh points to Shannon and her mother.
Tikoh: Their breathing is shallow, their pulses are racing, and their expressions are stiff.
Tikoh: But their behavior is inconsistent with these symptoms of extreme panic, almost as if some power has taken hold over them.
Tikoh: As a doctor, it would be remiss of me to conclude that they are well.
With a flourish of Tikoh's rod, a light shines in Shannon's and her mother's eyes. They begin to shake in fear.
Shannon: Save us, Tikoh...
Shannon's Mom: Sniff...
Tikoh: Tell me what happened. Where's your father?
Shannon's Mom: Sob... H-he's...
Stranger: Sigh... After all that work turning us into a family...
Stranger: It's too bad!
Shannon's Mom: ...!
The head of Shannon's mother flits through the air before landing with a plop and tumbling along the floor.
Stranger: Look what you made me do!
Her chest pierced open, Shannon lets out a barely audible gasp before collapsing to her knees.
Stranger: What a shame. I was really looking forward to the village life.
Tikoh: Shannon... Shannon!
Having had her heart punctured, Shannon breathes her last breath.
Tikoh: No... Please, no...
Tikoh: Shannon! Why... How could I let this happen...
Tikoh suddenly feels an unusual warmth from her rod.
Tikoh: The Asclepius Rod is glowing...
Tikoh: It's telling me that Shannon's soul is still here! The rod's keeping her tied to this world!
The Asclepius Rod is hanging on to Shannon's soul by a thread.
Tikoh: What do I do! I need time to fix her body!
Tikoh realizes that the soul cannot be held long enough for her to repair the body.
Tikoh: It's too damaged... Her soul needs a separate container!
Taking another look at the girl's pierced body and her decapitated mother, Tikoh realizes there is only one viable container.
Tikoh: I won't let you die, Shannon... There was so much more you wanted to do... I'm going to save you!
Tikoh: Asclepius Rod! Transfer Shannon's soul into me!
Tikoh holds the rod close to her chest, after which terrifying memories flood through her mind.
Shannon's Dad: Ngh!
Shannon's Mom: Aiieee! Honey, no....
Stranger: He's dead. If only he'd just left like I asked him to.
The man had paid an unannounced visit to the girl's house days earlier.
He told the father, "I'm going to be the man of this house now. I suggest you kindly leave."
Stranger: He got his just deserts for being so hostile.
Shannon's Mom: Wh... Why would you do such a thing...
Stranger: I need to stay in this village for a while. There's something I want to keep a close eye on.
Stranger: I need food and shelter for the duration. Having a family would be even better. I always did want to try my hand at country life.
Shannon's Mom: I... I don't know what you're getting at... Oh, my dearest...
Shannon's Mom: Shannon! Stay back!
Stranger: What's wrong? Come on out, Shannon. The three of us are gonna be a family from now on.
Stranger: What say we have dinner? Seems like the perfect family thing to do. Especially since the food's right in front of us.
Stranger: Consider this a rite to welcome the newest member of your family. In with the new, out with the old.
Shannon's Mom: Huh?
Stranger: What's the matter? Aren't you hungry? I might not look it, but I'm a pretty good cook. And the ingredients couldn't be any fresher.
Shannon's Mom: Eeeep! Aaahh...
Stranger: Eat up, Shannon. Wouldn't do to let the food go to waste.
Stranger: Just so we're all on the same page, Shannon's going to call me "Papa" from now on.
Shannon's Mom: ...
Stranger: And don't even think of running. I'll hunt you down; I'm good at that.
Shannon's Mom: !
Stranger: So just be good girls, and we can be a happy family.
The stranger is ruthless in instilling fear in the two, brainwashing them into being a good "wife" and "daughter."
Tikoh has now, in a way, experienced the events that went down in this house.
Tikoh: Urgh! Blegh... Nhg...
Tikoh: Cough... Hack...
Tikoh: What... have you done...
Thoroughly disgusted, she empties the contents of her stomach.
Stranger: As a senior member of Navis, it's my job to look for weapons. Impressive, don'tcha think?
Stranger: There's a special set of weapons which, when gathered together, form a key that depicts the location of a primal beast. They're coordinates, in a sense.
Stranger: I wanna meet that primal beast. It matters more than anything else to me.
Stranger: Fortunately, I was able to come across one of those weapons in this village. So I know I'm not grasping at the stars.
Stranger: If you've got dreams for the future, then you ought to keep at it too, Shannon.
The man gently pats Shannon on the head.
Shannon: Yes, Papa... I'll do my best...
Shannon's Mom: Aren't you the luckiest daughter alive, Shannon...
Though unsteady on her feet, Tikoh gets up and chases after the man.
Two Heads Are Better than One: Scene 3
Having absorbed Shannon's memories, Tikoh learns that the man—Ferdinand—is a member of Navis who's been poking around the village to learn more about the doctor's Asclepius Rod. The Shannon side of Tikoh in particular wants revenge on Navis for taking away her family, and the crew agrees to help.
Villager 1: I-it's a fire! Darn it, how'd it spread so fast!
Stranger: My, look at it burn. The air must be really dry.
Stranger: Well, if it isn't the good doctor. My wife and kid send their regards.
Tikoh: Nonsense! Y-you murdered Shannon's father!
Tikoh: And then you fed him to his family!
Stranger: Odd... The only way you'd know that is if you were watching from somewhere like a Peeping Tom...
Tikoh: What's Navis! Is my rod the weapon you're looking for?
Stranger: It definitely is one of them. I've been going out of my way to see what sort of miracles you can pull off with that stick.
Tikoh: The things you've done to that selfish end...
Tikoh: This rod points to a primal beast's location, doesn't it?
Stranger: With Shannon dead, there's no way you'd know that... What am I missing...
As his gaze bounces back and forth between doctor and rod, he comes to a revelation.
Stranger: I can hardly believe it... It must be the work of the rod! Where are you, Shannon? I know you're there!
Stranger: I've heard tell that the Asclepius Rod can revive even the dead!
Stranger: Bwahahaha! I see what you did—you brought her back to life by sharing your body with her soul!
Stranger: Your magical prowess is truly remarkable! Papa's glad you're still around, Shannon!
Tikoh: Don't you dare pretend to be her father anymore!
Tikoh flies off the handle and sends several scalpels hurtling toward the man with her magic.
The man parries most of them, but one scalpel lodges deep into his arm.
Stranger: The hell is your problem! I thought you were a doctor! This ain't how you use medical tools!
Tikoh: I'm improvising. A malignant tumor on the world like you requires extra attention.
Tikoh: Beginning operation! Surgical removal is the only way to preserve world peace!
Stranger: Think you can hold your own, lil' lady?
Tikoh: As someone who travels alone, I certainly can.
Stranger: Crap, the blood won't stop pouring out... You got me good... I can barely move my arm now.
Tikoh: Compared to what you did to Shannon's family, you're getting off easy.
Stranger: I've always wanted a family of my own... I thought that by consuming the body of the old father, the three of us would be able to move on together...
Stranger: I'm so sorry... I suppose I should have eaten him alone, but there was just so much meat...
Tikoh: You're crazy!
Stranger: You're not the first one to tell me that... You know, as a kid, I never meant to stand out from the crowd.
Stranger: But I fell head over heels in love with a girl. She loved dogs. Kept a big, white mutt in her yard.
Stranger: I studied up as much as I could on the animals to become a dog lover myself. And then I killed that mutt in secret.
Stranger: I figured the resulting pain and sadness would create an opening in her heart—an opening that I could fill.
Stranger: Thing is, they quickly figured out it was me who killed the dog. Everyone called me crazy...
Tikoh: No surprise there.
Stranger: My whole life has always been that way. Why? I've never meant any harm.
Stranger: Oof, it hurts real bad... I can hardly feel my arm anymore...
Though Tikoh has no intention of healing the man, she grows complacent for a second.
He throws sand into her eyes, temporarily robbing the doctor of her sight.
Stranger: Bwahahaha! I've watched you long enough to know how kind you are at heart!
Stranger: And now I also know you can fight! Thanks for showing me!
Tikoh: You let the scalpel hit you on purpose? You coward! Let's settle this once and for all!
Stranger: Nah, I think I'll pass. I set a pretty big fire, so the crowd's not gonna get any smaller. Me and Navis prefer to stick to the shadows.
Stranger: Don't worry too much about how you broke up our new family. Wasn't gonna last long anyway, with how suspicious the neighbors were getting.
Stranger: Still, I'm impressed you managed to bind that girl's soul to your own. Crazy is as crazy gets.
Tikoh: What's this Navis you speak of? Tell me about the primal beast!
Stranger: You can keep the rod for now. Papa's got work to do.
By the time Tikoh regains her vision, she is greeted by the sight of a burning house. The man is no longer there.
The fire had spread to neighboring structures before finally withering away in the morning, leaving a part of the village damaged.
Tikoh, having packed her belongings, now stands on a road outside the village leading far into the distance.
Tikoh: My little clinic got caught in the fire... Though, fortunately, I was still able to heal everyone.
Tikoh: Shannon, I'm so sorry for what's become of your family. This is a grave sin that I'll never be able to make up for.
Tikoh: I had no idea the Asclepius Rod held such a dark secret.
Tikoh: Shannon, we'll be together forever from now on. I'll show you the outside world that you wanted to see so badly.
Tikoh: Since I was powerless to restore you to your body in that moment, I'm going to continue improving my medical skills...
Tikoh: And I'm going to go after that man. We share a common goal now. I promise you that we'll get you your revenge.
Tikoh: Let's go. If I find other weapons out there similar to my rod, they could point me in his direction.
Tikoh: And that's my story.
(Captain) and Mary remain silent for a while after the doctor relates her past.
Mary: You mean... it's not just you in there, Tikoh?
Tikoh: I'm Tikoh, but I'm also Shannon. You could also say we're neither.
Tikoh: My original personality's gone to the wind now that our two souls have fused.
Mary: So... I take it you're Tikoh right now. What does Shannon think about all this?
Tikoh: As Shannon, I'd say I'm satisfied. After feasting on Papa, I'm not sure I would have been comfortable going back to my old body.
Tikoh: And I love being with Tikoh. I'm so glad we get to see the outside world together.
Mary: And what of that man? Have you found out anything about him during your travels?
Tikoh: Hardly... There hasn't been much on Navis either...
Tikoh: I did find a decent lead in Shannon's memories though.
Shannon opens her eyes in the middle of the night to hear the man talking to someone. She pretends to be asleep.
Stranger: Hope it wasn't too much trouble for you to come all the way out here.
Stranger: We can leave the Asclepius Rod as is, given how valuable it is. It's probably best to keep its wielder alive for now as well.
Stranger: That's all I have to report. I know it was tough getting here, so I'm sorry I don't have more for you.
Tikoh: I couldn't hear the other person very well, but I was able to make out the name he uttered...
Tikoh: "Ferdinand," it was.
As Mary remains quiet, (Captain) moves the conversation along.
Choose: We're glad to have you aboard.
- We're glad to have you aboard.
- Nice to meet you.
Tikoh: Huh? I thought we already did our intros.
Mary: Hrm, we only kind of did.Choose: Nice to meet you.
Tikoh: Huh? I'm not sure I get you...
Mary: Ah, I see what (Captain)'s saying... We're always happy to make new friends.Continue 1
Mary: Shannon's a part of you too. And since we just found out about her, we wanted to make her feel just as welcome.
Mary: Make yourself at home, Shannon! We'll take you all over the world on the Grandcypher!
Though Tikoh is dumbfounded, she finds her lips curling into a smile.
Tikoh: Teehee... What a strange bunch you are.
(Captain) gladly welcomes Tikoh and Shannon into the crew and promises to help them on their journey.
And so the search for Navis and ancient weapons becomes another objective for the crew.