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Guardian of the West-Northwest
(Captain) and company struggle to break up a dispute at the Canine Temple, but the year spirit Vajra appears and immediately resolves the issue. She and her trusty canine, Garjana, join the crew as part of her journey for self-improvement.
The crew visits a special location to celebrate the new year.
Lyria: This year's lucky direction is west-northwest, which means this Canine Temple must be the right place...
Vyrn: So whoever's guardian here is this year's spirit, huh?
Lyria: Yes! That seems right!
Vyrn: It's quite impressive, I tell ya!
They look ahead to find large crowds gathered around the Canine Temple, consecrated in the name of one of the Twelve Divine Generals.
Lyria: Everyone must be here to pray for good fortune.
Vyrn: Yep, it's a once-in-a-year thing, and people don't wanna miss out! I mean, here we are ourselves.
Vyrn: But somehow...
Vyrn cocks his head in wonder at all the visitors before them.
Vyrn: Is it just me, or does it seem kinda rowdy?
Lyria: Rowdy? What do you mean?
Vyrn: My gut tells me lotsa people out here are packin'.
Lyria: Now that you mention it...
Lyria: A lot of them seem to be soldiers or agents.
Vyrn: I know it's New Years and all, and that anyone can come for a prayer or two...
Vyrn: But there's just way too many of them.
Lyria: That's a good point... Let's try asking around.
Lyria: Excuse me!
Visitor 1: Yes? What's the matter?
Lyria: There seem to be a lot of soldiers and other people carrying weapons today. Do you know if something happened?
Visitor 1: Well, this is the Canine Temple after all.
Vyrn: What's that supposed to mean?
Visitor 1: The canine year spirit is commonly referred to as a deity of war.
Lyria: D-deity of war?
Visitor 1: It's only natural to see those wishing for martial fortune flock here in droves.
Visitor 1: They come to pray for success in battle.
Lyria: Aah, that makes a lot of sense!
Visitor 1: But of course, just like with the other directional temples, many come to pray for good luck in general.
(Captain) and company are quickly convinced.
Lyria: It all makes sense now.
Vyrn: For sure!
Vyrn: Hey, (Captain)!
Vyrn: We might as well pray that we can become stronger ourselves!
Lyria: Teehee. I'll pray for everyone's continued good health as usual!
Vyrn: Hahah! Always appreciated, Lyria!
Vyrn: That guy mentioned the deity of war...
Lyria: He was probably referring to the Divine General of the temple.
Vyrn: Must be one heckuva character.
Lyria: Sounds really frightening...
Vyrn: Could be.
Lyria: I'm getting anxious just thinking about it...
Right that moment...
???: Screw you! Try saying that again to my face!
A raucous clamor arises from the crowds.
Vyrn: What's the fuss over there?
Lyria: I hope a fight doesn't break out!
Vyrn: Yeah, we can't have that happening with so many people around!
Lyria: We should put a stop to it...
Visitor 3: How many times do I have to say it before it sticks in your brain! You have absolutely no business being an agent!
Visitor 2: You chose the wrong day to pick a fight with me, buster!
Vyrn: Not good.
Lyria: We need to stop them before other people get hurt.
Vyrn: All right then...
Visitor 2: Whoa!
Visitor 3: The heck?
A shadow descends upon the two men who were about to clash.
A giant canine around Lyria's height appears before them.
Visitor 2: What's with this mutt?
It does not growl, nor does it bark—the canine simply looms with its commanding presence.
Visitor 3: Wh-what do you think you're looking at!
Visitor 1: Wait, check out that armor...
Visitor 4: C-could it be the keeper...
Faint mutterings abound as the other visitors peer at the two squabblers and the canine.
Lyria: Wasn't the keeper supposed to be this year's spirit and one of the Twelve Divine Generals?
Vyrn: That's what I thought too...
Vyrn: Maybe the Divine General of the Canine Temple just happens to be a dog.
Lyria: That doggie is a Divine General?
Vyrn: All I know is that it means business from the looks of it...
(Captain) gulps and nods in agreement.
???: You guys done fighting?
Lyria: Wait... Whose voice was that?
Visitor 2: Wh-what is it this time?
Lyria: A girl?
A girl of tender years gracefully lands beside the giant canine.
???: Looks like you didn't even need me.
???: Thanks, Gar. Good doggie!
Her lips break into a satisfied smile as she heartily pets the canine.
Visitor 3: The heck am I seeing here?
Visitor 2: All right, missy. Why don't you be a good girl and take that mutt elsewhere?
Visitor 3: That's right. Don't butt in where you're not needed.
???: "Not needed," you say?
???: You should know that I don't like to see fighting on temple grounds. It's a nuisance to the other visitors.
Visitor 2: Miss, I'd advise you zip it unless you're looking for a thrashing.
???: Heh, you guys are hopeless.
Visitor 3: Rgh! Don't make fun of your elders, girlie!
The canine steps forward as if to protect her, but she graciously refuses the gesture.
???: It's okay, Gar.
Visitor 2: Why you little!
Her unflappable attitude rubs the men the wrong way.
Visitor 2: I've had enough of your highfalutin attitude! Get ready for a spankin'!
The girl cracks a smile as the men clench their fists in anger.
???: About time! Come at me!
Visitor 3: Now you're gonna get it!
Visitor 2: You little snot!
Visitor 2: Urgh!
???: Take that!
Visitor 3: Ack!
???: It's over.
Cheers arise from the crowd as she swiftly sweeps the men off their feet.
Visitor 4: She's the keeper!
Visitor 1: Our guardian!
Vajra: Yep, that's me! I'm Vajra, and this is Garjana.
Vajra: Sorry for that ruckus.
Visitor 2: Rgh... Is she really one of the Twelve Divine Generals?
Vajra: So are you two gonna cut it out or what?
Visitor 3: Ngh...
With Vajra's identity revealed, the two men look up in awe and bob their heads in nervous agreement.
Vajra: Good boys!
Vajra: Striving to become stronger is always a good thing. Just as long as you're not bothering others.
Visitor 2: I'm so sorry...
Lyria: Oopsie, I guess the doggie wasn't the Divine General after all.
Vyrn: So that's her, huh?
Vyrn: She's definitely strong, but she's not as menacing as I thought a deity of war might be.
Vajra: Whew, it sure is lively come New Year's.
Vajra: If only I had a place I could let loose a bit...
Vajra: Maybe I should start a fighting tournament of sorts...
As if suddenly recalling something, Garjana nips Vajra's cuff and tugs on her sleeve.
Vajra: Oh, is it time already? We'd best get going then!
She looks around and catches sight of (Captain) and company.
Vajra: You guys have a strange scent about you.
Vyrn: You saying we smell?
Vajra: You know...
At another tug from Garjana, Vajra promptly turns around.
Vajra: Ah, right. Sorry. We'll be out of here soon enough.
Vajra gives Garjana a reassuring pat before turning to look at the crew once more.
Vajra: Think you can stay on the island until nightfall?
Vajra: Good! I'll meet up with you later! See you then!
Vajra: It's a promise!
Vyrn: Whoa now...
Vajra: C'mon, Gar!
Vajra mounts Garjana and rides into the horizon, leaving behind the confused crew.
Lyria: So... what should we do?
Vyrn: I guess we'll just have to watch the grass grow until she shows up again.
Lyria: Yeah, we might just have to do that.
(Captain) ponders on the meaning of what looked like a gentle bow from Garjana only moments earlier.
Vajra: Hello! Hello!
Just as Vajra had announced, she comes upon the crew right outside the Grandcypher.
Vyrn: You really came. But how'd you even know where to find us?
Vyrn: I mean, our airship's not the only one docked here today. Especially considering there's so many people here for New Year's.
Lyria: That's true. How did you find us?
Vajra: Actually, I asked everyone about you guys.
Vyrn: Everyone? You mean the other temple visitors?
Vajra: Mm-hm. Word is you skyfarers can handle your own. And that you're headed for Estalucia.
Lyria: That's right! We're adventuring all over, but Estalucia's our end goal!
Vajra: That's amazing!
Lyria: Yeah! It's so much fun!
Vajra: I wish I could join you! In fact, why don't you let me?
Vyrn: Whoa, what's this all of a sudden?
Vajra: Oh, right. I suppose I should explain myself first.
Vajra: You know how those in my tribe are known as deities of war?
Lyria: Yeah, we heard about that at the temple this afternoon. You must be really strong!
Vajra: Nope, I still have a long way to go. That's why I need to go on a journey to really toughen myself up.
Vyrn: So that's what this is about?
Vajra: Besides, your scent is unlike any other, which is what caught my attention in the first place.
Lyria: Our scent?
Vyrn: Hey, I don't think we smell that funny, but you're welcome to join us!
Vajra: Yeah? Thanks a bunch!
Vajra: You're the captain, right?
Vajra flashes (Captain) a big, wide grin.
Vajra: Garjana and I are glad to be in your crew!
Garjana, too, turns to (Captain) and gently lowers its head in a friendly nod.
Choose: The dog's coming too?
- The dog's coming too?
- Welcome aboard!
Vajra: You don't like dogs?
Vajra: Don't worry! Gar might seem menacing, but he's super nice!
Vyrn: You sure he won't bite?
Lyria: Hehe, I'm sure it'll be fine. Just look at how docile he is.Choose: Welcome aboard!
Vajra: Appreciate it!
Lyria: Teehee. Here's to a fun and exciting journey, you two!Continue 1
Lyria's eyes light up as she pets Garjana.
Vajra: Hahah! Gar's no mere pet. He's a friend, he's family... He's the best partner I could ever ask for!
Vyrn: Sounds like how (Captain) and I are best partners!
Lyria: Hey, no fair! I thought I was (Captain)'s best partner!
Vajra: Aww, how nice! But the best partners award goes to us!
And thus Vajra of the Twelve Divine Generals and her partner, Garjana, join the crew.
Expectations for the new year reach an all-time high with these refreshing new recruits aboard the Grandcypher.
Canines Mean No Harm
During a quiet stroll, Vajra talks about how she and Garjana grew up like siblings, and that the air in the area is very similar to that of her hometown. Fortunately her sharp sense of smell helps her sniff out monsters lurking about.
One early morning...
(Captain) wakes up earlier than usual and goes out on deck for some fresh air.
It turns out others are already there.
Vajra: Well, you're an early bird, (Captain)!
- Just happened to wake up early...
Vajra: Morning!Choose: Just happened to wake up early...
Vajra: Doesn't the morning sun feel great?Continue 1
Vajra: Me and Gar are gonna go for a walk. You should join us!
Led by Vajra, (Captain) disembarks.
Vajra: Gar! We're going to that big tree down there!
Vajra is giddy with delight as she breaks into a sprint.
Garjana quietly and obediently runs beside her.
(Captain) follows after them.
Some distance ahead, Vajra turns around as if she's forgotten something.
Vajra: Sorry, (Captain). I got so caught up in the heat of the moment.
Vajra: Let's take a break.
Vajra plops down and sprawls out on the ground, which is still fresh with the glimmer of morning dewdrops.
Garjana sits down right beside her.
Vajra: I've gotta hand it to you, (Captain)!
Vajra: I'm impressed you're able to keep up with me and Gar!
Vajra: Hahah! You're amazing in your own way too, Gar!
Vajra lovingly hugs Gar and snuggles up to him.
Vajra: Ahahaha! That tickles! Hey!
Vajra: Ahaha! Gar, c'mon, hahaha!
Vajra's face is all sticky after a few good licks from Garjana's enormous tongue.
Still in each other's embrace, the two roll about on the ground in pure, unadulterated joy.
Vajra: Woo! Had enough yet, Gar? Teehee! Ahahaha!
(Captain) looks on with a hint of concern—
Concern that Garjana's massive size might be too much for Vajra to handle.
Vajra: Hm? (Captain)?
Vajra: Relax, I'll be fine! Gar's always careful not to put too much of his weight on me!
Vajra gives an amused smile before turning the tables and rolling on top of Garjana.
Vajra: I, on the other hand, can put all my weight on him, and Gar doesn't feel a thing!
Choose: You two get along so well.
- You two get along so well.
- You okay, Gar?
Vajra: Of course! We've been together ever since Gar was born.
Vajra appears proud of the fact.
Vajra: In keeping with our tribe's traditions, Gar and I were raised like siblings.Choose: You okay, Gar?
Garjana calmly licks (Captain)'s hand.
Vajra: In keeping with our tribe's traditions, Gar and I were raised like siblings.Continue 2
Vajra: There are still a lot of young pups back home.
As if recalling a precious memory, Vajra looks up into the skies and sniffs the fresh air.
Vajra: This island really takes me back to my hometown. The air, especially.
Vajra: It's definitely more lively here though.
(Captain) gives an understanding nod.
The forest feels exceptionally quiet this morning.
Vajra: Hm? Do you sense something in the brush?
Garjana goes into high alert.
As Vajra props herself up, Gar gets up right beside her. They carefully survey their surroundings.
Vajra: Watch out, (Captain)!
Canines Mean No Harm: Scene 2
After the scuffle, (Captain) and Vajra return to the Grandcypher to find it ransacked. Garjana tracks the scent to find three puppies fighting off monsters.
After dispatching the monsters, Garjana presses his nose into Vajra's hand as if to make a statement.
Vajra: Yeah. I got it.
Vajra: (Captain)! We need to return to the airship at once!
Vajra and Garjana make an about-face and bolt off, with (Captain) trying to keep up.
Vyrn: Ah! (Captain)! Where were you this whole time?
Vyrn greets (Captain) in a panic.
Vajra: Sorry, Vyrn. I had (Captain) come along for a walk.
Vyrn: That's fine, but we've got ourselves a mess here!
Vajra: So something happened?
Vyrn: Come on deck and see for yourselves.
It looks as if a hurricane just passed through, with items trashed all over the place.
Vajra: It's gonna take a while to clean all this up.
Vyrn: And this isn't all. The whole exterior's pretty beat up. Rackam was borderline hysterical.
Vajra: This is bad...
Vajra: Things were all fine when we headed out this morning though.
Vyrn: Yeah? That means this all happened just a little while ago.
Vajra: Yeah... Gar, can you look into it?
Vyrn: You have a plan?
Vajra: Gar can trace the scent.
Vyrn: Aha! We just need to pinpoint the culprit!
Vajra: Yep! Any bad boy or girl who does such a thing needs to be taught a lesson!
Vajra: Anything, Gar?
Vajra approaches Gar as he paces about.
Ah, (Captain), you're back!
It's Lyria's turn to run now as she comes out on deck.
Vyrn: What's gotten you into such a panic?
Lyria: I went to take a look inside...
Lyria: And the kitchen's a total mess too. Some food seems to be missing as well...
Vyrn: Just the kitchen?
Lyria: Yeah. The other rooms looked okay.
Vyrn: This sounds like one heck of a hungry thief.
Lyria: But didn't Rackam say the damage on the ship looks like it was done by monsters?
Vyrn: These are some seriously malnourished monsters.
Lyria: Sure seems like it.
Vajra's Voice: Guys! We need to chase the scent!
Vyrn: Looks like Big Dog's got a line on the culprit!
Vyrn: Let's follow 'em!
Vajra: So, Gar?
Vajra: So that's how it is, eh...
Lyria: It's amazing how Vajra can understand everything Garjana is trying to say!
Vyrn: Yeah, but look...
Vyrn: Hey, Vajra! You're lookin' kinda puzzled. Did you lose the scent here or something?
Vajra: No way! Gar's not one to lose track of his prey so easily!
Lyria: What's wrong?
Vajra: Monsters are definitely the culprit. But there are other scents mixed in here too.
Lyria: Other scents?
Vajra: Yes, it seems like my friends were here.
Lyria: Um, you mean your friends other than Gar?
Vajra: Yeah. They seem to be chasing the monsters...
Vajra: But they're still small. We need to hurry after them!
Garjana understands the gravity of the situation and quickens the pace.
Vajra: Hold it.
(Captain) and company turn around to find Vajra stopped in her tracks.
Vajra: I might as well ask everyone else on the island to help sniff out these monsters...
Garjana strongly tugs on Vajra's sleeve as if to discourage her.
Vajra: Sigh... You worry too much, Gar.
Vajra: Fine. I'll leave it to you.
Vyrn: Everything all right? You looked ready to do something just now.
Lyria: Who did you mean by "everyone else on the island"? Do you have lots of local friends?
Vajra: Oh, I haven't explained myself yet, have I? People call me a deity.
Lyria: So you're like a goddess?
Vajra: Hm, how should I put this...
Vajra: There's a spirit—a consciousness of sorts—dwelling in all things in nature.
Vyrn: Whaddya mean by "all things in nature"?
Vajra: I mean that literally. For instance, this rock, that tree, the water in that river, the wind...
Vajra: There's a spirit housed in everything.
Lyria: Wow... That's a wonderful way of looking at things.
Vyrn: And you can communicate with all these spirits?
Vajra: Yes, I can.
Lyria: That's incredible! How do you do that?
Vajra: Well, it's hard to put it in words...
Garjana suddenly looks up, and Vajra follows suit.
Vajra: It's close.
Vyrn: Is that him?
Puppy 1: Woof!
Puppy 2: Woof, woof!
Puppy 3: Grrr!
Vajra: Eka! Dvi! Tri!
Lyria: Are those cutie puppies your friends, Vajra?
Vyrn: Looks like they're trying to fight that monster in the back!
Vajra: Idiots! Don't you see how dangerous this is?
Vyrn: Darn it! We've got little critters all over the place to deal with too!
Vyrn: We've gotta take 'em out first!
Canines Mean No Harm: Scene 3
As things get dire in the battle, Vajra undergoes some sort of transformation to ensure the safety of her canine companions.
Vyrn: All righty! Now it's time to take out the big kahuna!
Vajra: Gar! Go in from the right!
Vajra herself plunges toward the monster's left flank.
Vajra: Eka, dodge to the left!
Vajra: Dvi, fall back!
Vajra: Tri, get on the left branch!
Vajra, seeing that Tri has lost its footing to a small crack in the ground, throws herself toward the puppy.
Lyria: Watch out, Vajra!
Garjana reels for a moment from the blow meant for Vajra before springing back to his feet.
Vajra: Sorry, Gar. Enough is enough—let's end this already.
Vajra takes a deep breath and closes her eyes.
Vyrn: What's going on?
Vajra: Defilers of the peace we hold dear in these lands...
Vajra: Shall know the watery retribution of my blade.
Canines Mean No Harm: Scene 4
Vajra loses consciousness after dispatching the monsters. Garjana explains that his master enacted spirit channeling earlier to access power significantly greater than her own—a feat that makes her vulnerable. Concerned for Vajra's well-being, he asks (Captain) to take care of her.
With the monsters defeated, Vajra appears somewhat detached yet tense as she calmly lowers her blade.
Vyrn: Um, Vajra?
Vajra: Gar, Eka, Dvi, Tri! Everyone okay?
As if a switch had just been flicked, Vajra returns to her usual self and rushes over to the dogs.
Vajra: Thank goodness the injuries are nothing serious.
Lyria: All's well that ends well!
Vajra: No, this is not well.
Vajra: I hope you puppies have learned your lesson.
Vajra: Sigh. Yeah, I know about that.
Vyrn: What are they sayin'?
Vajra: These pups aren't really supposed to leave the island we're from yet.
Lyria: But then why are they—
Vajra: The air on this island very closely resembles that of our homeland. That's their only excuse for coming here.
Vajra: They wandered aboard an airship where they bumped into monsters.
Vyrn: Ah, so they're the ones who chased off the monsters?
Vajra: Seems like it.
Lyria: Wow! Thank you so much for protecting the Grandcypher!
Vyrn: There wasn't much damage inside the ship other than the kitchen.
Vajra: Kitchen? Could such a large monster even fit in there?
Vyrn: Hm, that's a good point...
Vajra: Agh! I can't believe it!
Vyrn: What's wrong?
Vajra: The kitchen was all their doing... Sorry!
Vyrn: The pieces are all coming together now.
Lyria: Ahaha, they must've been really hungry.
Vajra: Shame on you pups!
Vajra: First you break tradition and now this...
Garjana walks over to support Vajra as her body teeters over.
Vyrn: What's wrong!
Vajra: Sorry, Gar... I think I pushed it... Hope you can take things from here...
Vajra falls unconscious.
Lyria: Vajra! How did this happen?
Vyrn: She gonna pull through?
Garjana: She's passed out from exhaustion.
Garjana: Vajra won't wake up for a while. Nothing a refreshing nap won't fix, of course.
Lyria: I knew that was your voice, Gar!
Vyrn: Big Dog! You can talk?
Lyria: That's incredible!
Lyria: But is Vajra going to be—
Garjana: Allow me to explain. But first, my master needs a more suitable place to rest.
Vyrn: Your master? You mean Vajra?
Lyria: Okay. Let's get inside first.
Back inside the Grandcypher, the crew puts the slumbering Vajra to bed.
Vyrn: She didn't even have to count sheep... Or puppies.
Garjana: I imagine she'll be asleep until nightfall.
Vyrn: Sure, no problem with that.
Lyria: She must've been really worn out.
Vyrn: Sure seems like it.
Vyrn: What's her deal anyway?
Garjana: She performed spirit channeling in the battle earlier.
Lyria: Spirit channeling?
Garjana: Yes. She draws a spirit into her body, temporarily suppressing any trace of her own personality and consciousness.
Vyrn: So that's why she was acting so different during the battle.
Garjana: Spirit channeling allows my master to unleash power of an entirely different magnitude.
Lyria: Wow! That sounds like a really useful skill to have!
To the surprise of the impressed crew, Garjana solemnly shakes his head.
Garjana: I would prefer my master refrain from using it.
Lyria: Um... Is it because she gets so tired?
Garjana: This is the first time she's used it outside our island.
Garjana: I surmise she was able to use it here only because the air is so familiar.
Garjana: Otherwise it is no easy feat.
Vyrn: Yeah? I had no idea it took such a toll on her.
Garjana: For it to work, one needs not only a sound mind and body, but also a strong heart.
Lyria: A strong... heart?
Garjana: In other words, the complete trust and willingness to make yourself entirely vulnerable.
Garjana: My master gives herself over too easily.
Lyria: And that scares you because of how precious Vajra is to you, I see.
Vyrn: Yeah, that definitely sounds like cause for concern.
Garjana: I will protect my master at any cost, no matter what.
Lyria: I'm sure it's the same for Vajra.
Vyrn: Whaddya mean, Lyria?
Lyria: She used spirit channeling to protect Gar and the puppies.
Vyrn: Oh, that's right. She used it right when Big Dog got hurt.
Lyria: I'd prefer Vajra not use it either if it's so risky...
Lyria: But I have to say I really admire her strength and kindness.
Lyria smiles softly at the resting Vajra.
Garjana: I hope you'll continue to be good friends with my master.
Garjana bows deeply to (Captain) and company.
Lyria: Teehee. Likewise.
They look down to find a most soothing spectacle.
The three puppies snuggle right up to Vajra for warmth, the din of their peaceful snores filling the air.
A Friendly Competition
Vajra and Garjana drop in on Mahira as the new year approaches. Mahira challenges the pair to a race in order to test her
newly-completed mini-airship, Clucky.
A cold winter day at the tail end of the year.
Mahira: Brr... It's so cold. Good thing your wings are mechanical, Clucky.
Mahira: Otherwise this weather would freeze your feathers and leave you grounded!
???: Heeeey, Mahi!
Vajra: Mahi! It's been forever!
Mahira: Well, hello there, Vajra, Gar.
Mahira tilts her head quizzically as Vajra rushes up to her.
Mahira: What brings you to the Rooster Temple, Vajra?
Vajra: I'm on year spirit duty next, so I came for the handoff!
Mahira: Excuse me, but... isn't it up to me to come see you for that?
Vajra: What's the difference? We were in the neighborhood, so why not drop in and save you the trip?
Mahira: I see... You never were one to sweat the details, Vajra.
Mahira: Speaking of which, isn't it a little early for the handover?
Vajra: Yeeeahh, but... Well, I missed you!
Mahira: Hahaha, thank you.
Vajra: Mahi, you seem... happier than usual.
Mahira: You think so?
Vajra: Yeah! Did something good happen?
Mahira: Astute as always. How did you know? Something about my scent, I'll bet.
Vajra: I didn't need my nose this time—I could read you like a book!
Vajra: We Divine Generals go back a long way after all!
Mahira: I don't think I'm the type to wear my heart on my wing...
Vajra: Hm? What's that?
Mahira: Never mind.
Mahira: Actually, if the two of you have some time, I have a favor to ask.
Vajra: Wow, that's rare!
Vajra: Whatever you need, I'm ready!
Mahira: Well, if you say so...
Vajra: Lay it on me!
Mahira: Would you be game for a little competition?
Mahira: Yes, a competition. A footrace, to be precise.
Mahira: Ah, I won't be running though.
Mahira: And I want you to race me on Gar's back.
Vajra: That won't make for much of a race!
Mahira: Hehe... I think you'll be surprised.
Vajra: Ahh! Is that—
Mahira: That's right! I've perfected my mini-airship.
Vajra: It's amazing! You're something else, Mahi! You really pulled it off.
Mahira: Hehehe. But of course!
Vajra: All your hard work finally paid off. Congratulations!
Mahira: Thanks! I call it Clucky.
Vajra: I see! So you wanna race with you riding Clucky and me riding Gar, right?
Mahira: Exactly. So are you in?
Vajra: You bet we are!
Vajra: I'm really happy I can finally do something for you, Mahi!
Mahira: Great. Let's get started, then.
The trio head off in high spirits to find an open space where they can really put their speed to the test.
Vajra: Ahahaha! That was great! Let's go around again, Mahi!
Vajra: Hello? Mahi?
Mahira: As I suspected, Gar's strength is his sudden bursts of speed. If I want to boost Clucky's performance on tight turns...
Mahira: Should I tweak the propulsion? Or maybe the tail controls need to be...
Muttering to herself, Mahira plunks down on the ground and begins her calculations.
Vajra: Here we go again.
Vajra: She looks like she's having fun though, doesn't she, Gar?
Vajra: Let's give her some space to work.
Vajra: I've still got energy to burn, so let's take a quick tour of the island!
Vajra: We can meet up with Mahi for dinner. A nice, hot stew would really hit the spot!
Vajra quietly slips away, leaving Mahira wrapped up in her mechanical meditations.
After so long apart, Vajra still has a lot she wants to talk to Mahira about.
But the two generals are such close friends that respecting each other's quirks has always been second nature.
Vajra visits Kumbhira to officially pass on the year spirit duties. The two divine generals take the opportunity to engage in a friendly sparring match, leaving Kumbhira dumbfounded by how much stronger Vajra has become over the past year.
With the new year hot on the heels of the old, Vajra pays a visit to the Boar Temple to officially hand over the year spirit duties to Kumbhira.
Vajra: Hey, Kumbhi! It's been a while! How've you been?
Kumbhira: Doing well, thanks. How about you and Garjana?
Vajra: Better than ever! Right, Gar?
Happy to see Kumbhira once again, Garjana gives the divine boar a lick on the hand.
Vajra: We couldn't wait to see you, so we ran all the way here!
Kumbhira: Wait... You mean you ran all the way to the temple from the port?
Vajra: Yep! Who wouldn't come running to see you?
Vajra: Though I kept tripping over tree roots in the forest...
Kumbhira: Wow, I can't imagine dashing through untamed mountain forest. There's not even a path through that wilderness.
Vajra: To be honest it felt like training!
Kumbhira: You're as thorough with your training as ever, I see. You never hold back.
Vajra: Hehe. We're not different in that respect, Kumbhi.
Kumbhira: Well, I try my best. I could still learn a thing or two from your dedication.
Kumbhira: But you must be tired, right? Why don't we go grab a cup of tea before the ceremony?
Vajra: That sounds all right...
Vajra: Or I was thinking maybe we could spar for a round?
Kumbhira: Let me guess... You want to go right now?
Kumbhira: Haha. Dedicated, but impatient... Vajra, you haven't changed a bit.
Kumbhira: But fair enough, it would be nice to train with you again.
Vajra: Hah! Exactly what I was hoping you'd say!
They exchange grins before heading to a field behind Boar Temple.
Vajra: The way you flourish your lance is splendid, but that doesn't compare to your flexibility! And you're way faster than before too!
Kumbhira: I'm not the only one, Vajra. You've gotten way better yourself—easy to see why they call you a war deity!
The two of them continue to duel, sparks flying as they clash.
On the sidelines of their bout, a fluffy audience of piglets and puppies looks on with gusto.
Vajra: Pant... No matter how hard I focus, I just can't keep up with the way you wield Recker!
Kumbhira: And yet you've deflected every attack. That's evidence you've grown in your role as year spirit.
Vajra: You got that right! I'm stronger than ever!
Kumbhira: (She's way better than I remember. Serving as a year spirit really gives you phenomenal skill!)
Kumbhira: Pant... Let's take a break.
Taking advantage of the natural lull in action, the pair pause their sparring session and plop down on the grass.
Kumbhira: You've been through a lot this year. I can tell that much from your swordplay.
Vajra: Hehehe... You're right about that! You always were an intuitive one, Kumbhi!
Vajra: I can hardly keep track of everything that's happened. You wanna hear about it?
Kumbhira: Of course. I've always got time for your stories, Vajra.
Vajra begins to reflect on the past year, starting with her role in celebrating the new year.
Vajra: Canine Temple is always packed on New Year's, but it was truly something else this year!
Vajra: I wasn't sure how it would go over, since it was my year to be year spirit and all, but after things got rolling, it was really fun!
Vajra: I prayed for good fortune, broke up a quarrel between some temple visitors, and met (Captain) and the crew!
Kumbhira: Oh, the skyfarers you're traveling with?
Vajra: Yep, them! They've got some interesting smells on 'em!
Kumbhira: I couldn't imagine going on an adventure with anyone.
Vajra: Really? I think if you tried it, you'd love it!
Kumbhira: Hmm... I'm not so sure...
Next, Vajra recounts her struggles fighting against a Joya the likes of which had never been seen in the skies before.
Vajra: It took me, Anila, Andy, Mahi and even Zooey and (Captain) to quell that Joya's rampage!
Vajra: The four of us divine generals helped with Zooey's priestess training... And then we had to erect that barrier... Haha. It was awful.
Kumbhira: You say it was awful, and yet you're smiling.
Vajra: That's right! No matter how bad things were then, they're good memories now!
Vajra carries on for some time, cheerfully reminiscing about her past travels.
Vajra: Right? I feel like I've done a pretty good job of adventuring!
Having finished her talk, Vajra is beaming from ear to ear, clearly proud of her accomplishments.
Kumbhira: You sure did, Vajra.
Vajra: Yeah! I feel like I deserve a reward! The reward!
Kumbhira: Haha. Okay, fine. You don't have to twist my arm.
Kumbhira lets out a giggle before gently patting Vajra's head.
Kumbhira: I see your love of head pats hasn't changed at all.
Vajra: Well, that's because it's so relaxing when you do it.
Vajra: Hey, don't stop yet! I haven't gotten head pats from you in so long!
Kumbhira: Okay, okay. I'll make up for the lost time then.
The divine boar continues to pat the war deity's head, causing Vajra to enter a comfort-induced stupor.
Kumbhira: Ah... I guess it's going to be my turn to take up the year spirit mantle soon enough.
Vajra: You've got nothing to worry about, Kumbhi. You've been preparing for this your whole life—that was obvious from our match!
Vajra: You're serious and determined and won't let anything hold you back. Isn't that right, Gar?
Garjana gives Kumbhira a friendly lick of affirmation on the cheek.
Vajra: Look! Garjana's given you his seal of approval! What do you guys think?
Kumbhira: Thank you, everyone.
Kumbhira: But I still can't help being anxious. I wonder if I'll live up to the former divine boars.
Kumbhira: I don't want to let anyone in my village down.
Vajra: Oh yeah, the people from your village are quite traditional when it comes to their beliefs about the year spirit, huh?
Vajra: Hmm... I think it will all work out for the best though!
Vajra: After all, you've got the other eleven divine generals to help you out!
Vajra: Of course! I'm not sure I could've completed my duties without everyone else's help. I definitely couldn't have handled the Joya on my own.
Vajra: If you have Gar, the divine generals, or even (Captain)'s crew on your side, then there's no obstacle you can't overcome!
In a display of camaraderie and mutual trust, Vajra grabs Garjana by the scruff and rubs her cheek against his.
Hamward lets loose a brave squeal, letting Kumbhira know that he'll always be there for her.
Thomboar nuzzles against Kumbhira's leg in an attempt to ease her anxiety.
Finally Pigchelle gives a cheerful yelp, as if to tell Kumbhira she'll save her bacon no matter what.
Vajra: They just said they've got your back, right? Even I could understand that!
The piglets jump and cry with delight, confirming Vajra's words.
Kumbhira: Everyone, you really believe in me. That makes me feel a lot better.
Kumbhira: But if I grow to rely on others too much, then I'll never live up to—
Vajra: Geez, cut it out already! It's going to be fine, Kumbhi!
Vajra puffs up her cheeks and gives Kumbhira a stern poke.
Kumbhira: Where'd this come from? You're acting like a kid all of a sudden.
Vajra: You know, before I came to see you, I had a little talk with the priestess at Boar Temple.
Vajra: The people from Kumbhira's village sure have high expectations for the year spirit, huh?
Vajra: That's a lot of pressure for anyone—especially that year's guardian—so I wish they'd lay off a little and be more supportive.
Temple Priestess: Vajra, you are very caring, concerning yourself with Kumbhira.
Temple Priestess: But everything will be all right. The villagers are not quite as strict as you believe.
Vajra: What? Really?
Temple Priestess: Of course, they do possess high expectations, but that's only because they have nothing but the utmost respect for the divine boar. They all wish her well.
Temple Priestess: Lady Kumbhira has spent her days either in her house or in training.
Temple Priestess: Perhaps she's misinterpreted the villagers' expectations.
Temple Priestess: We are all here to watch over her and to provide her with support. But I suppose we've failed to communicate that to her.
Kumbhira: They're just trying to support me? They're not going to be so critical after all?
Vajra: You got it! So you can try to live your life a little more like you wield that lance—loose and relaxed!
Kumbhira: You think so? I guess... I guess I can. Thank you, Vajra.
Vajra: Ugh... You still sound so uptight...
Vajra: I know! How about we try this...
Vajra grins mischievously and begins patting Kumbhira's head with reckless abandon.
Kumbhira: H-hey! What gives!
Vajra: Whenever you do this for me, I feel relaxed. How's it working for you?
Kumbhira: Ungh, just... go a little bit easier...
Vajra: Haha. Sorry. I'll stop.
Vajra: Kumbhi, you work harder than anybody else. That's something everyone recognizes.
Vajra: So you're going to be okay! Promise.
Kumbhira: You really have grown.
Kumbhira: (In this short time as the year spirit, she's really come this far.)
Kumbhira: (No, it's not just that. It's because she was traveling with that (Captain) person's crew...)
Vajra: Hey, Kumbhi, all this sweat is starting to make me cold.
Kumbhira: Oh? Wanna warm back up with a rematch?
Vajra: Hah, you bet!
The two divine generals stand simultaneously, grabbing their weapons as they rise.
They take a couple of paces apart, turn toward one another, and then charge just as the sun begins to set.
As they spar, warrior versus warrior, they continue their conversation in the language only masters of battle understand.