Blood, Sweat, and Tonfas
A baking lesson reminds Vanzza of the importance of the basics, so he sets out to retrain himself in tonfa fighting from the ground up. His demonstration of the new skills is interrupted by ruffians who once worked for Acorazada, Vanzza's old friend-turned-enemy.
In their journey across the sky, (Captain) and the others were joined by Vanzza, a warrior who values honesty and trust above all else.
A man with a tragic past, Vanzza was betrayed by his close friend Acorazada.
He poisoned Vanzza's girlfriend, Carolla, who now lies in a coma.
Vanzza was lucky enough to get his hands on the antidote...
But only when (Captain), too, was dosed with the same mysterious poison.
Forced to choose between (Captain) and his girlfriend, Vanzza chose to use the antidote on the captain.
The crew has been determined to help him find a similar cure for Carolla ever since.
Vanzza has been traveling with the crew for some time now.
The Grandsky Rumble tournament promised the victor not only a substantial sum in prize money, but a single wish.
Grasping at any possibility, however slight, Vanzza entered the tournament hoping to wish for Carolla's recovery.
Sadly his first-round matchup proved too much for him—he lost to Soriz.
Tournament rules forbade the use of weapons, so he resolved not to use the tonfas he carried. In the crucial moment, however, he raised them—creating the opening Soriz required.
Since then Vanzza has thrown himself into his training as if he has nothing else left.
Vanzza: When it came down to crunch time, I resorted to my tonfas.
Soriz: Yeah. It gave me just the opening I needed!
Vanzza: It was an amateurish mistake.
Soriz: Mm... I wouldn't call it amateurish.
Soriz: You said those weapons used to be a weak point of yours. But even so you've been using 'em a long time, right?
Soriz: I'd say they've pretty well become a part of your body, wouldn't you?
Vanzza: These tonfas?
Soriz: Coming that far using a weapon you weren't any good with is nothing to sneeze at.
Vanzza: (A part of my body...
Vanzza: (If they are, I ought to be able to use them better.)
Vanzza: (If the tournament had permitted weapons, could I have defeated Soriz?)
Vanzza: (No... I don't think so.)
Vanzza: (Damn it. What is it? What am I still missing?)
Vanzza swings his tonfas haphazardly, taking a chunk out of the cliff face, sending rock fragments skittering down the mountainside.
(Captain) and the others gingerly approach, worried that he's pushing himself too far.
Vanzza: What is it, (Captain)? Do you need help with a mission?
Lyria: N-no... Nothing like that, just... Would you like to come out with us?
I'll pass. I can't afford to take a break.
Choose: Gently take his hand.
- Gently take his hand.
- Please? Just a short one?
(Captain) tugs gently at Vanzza's left hand and Lyria follows suit on his right.
Lyria: Come on, Vanzza! Really, it'll just be a short break!
Fine, but only for a bit.
Lyria: Perfect! Hehehe, yaaay!Choose: Please? Just a short one?
Vyrn: Yeah, we'll just borrow ya for a bit. C'mon, you can spare us a little time.
Vanzza: You're... right. I could use a change of pace.
Vyrn: Hehehe, that's more like it! C'mon, follow me!Continue 1
Chocolatier: Hehe. Is everyone here? Today, I'm going to teach you a chocolate cake recipe passed down on Chocolae Island!
Lyria: Whoo! (Captain), Vanzza, let's bake our hearts out!
Wait just a minute.
Vanzza: Why exactly did you bring me here? What is this crazy place?
Lyria: That's no way to talk about this school! Chocolatiers hardly ever open their classes to the public!
Vanzza: I... I'm sorry.
Vanzza: Wait, no. That's not—
Vyrn: Listen... You've had a lot on your mind recently, right? With all that training, you've been dragging your butt around the airship like a zombie.
Lyria: We wanted to get you a cake, since you like it so much...
Lyria: And it just so happened that this event was going on at the perfect time!
Vanzza: Then this is all for my benefit?
Vanzza: You kids are too softhearted...
Vanzza: Geez... It's enough to make you cry.
Vanzza: Well, if I'm doing it, I'm going to do it right. I'll make a cake that'll make our teacher weep.
The crew begin to mix up their batter under the chocolatier's expert instruction.
Vanzza shows a flair for baking clearly born of experience.
Chocolatier: Wow! You've done this before, haven't you!
Chocolatier: But that's why your batter should have been better!
Vyrn: Wh-whaddya mean? You mean he baked a better batter, right?
Chocolatier: Non, non! I meant what I said!
Try a bite of his cake and then a bite of mine and you'll see.
The chocolatier offers them his own creation.
As instructed, (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn try some of his, then some of Vanzza's.
Lyria: Mmm... Dey're boff sho goood!
The chocolate melts in your mouth!
Vyrn: Yeah, but Teach's cake is...
Vanzza: But where did my cake fall short?
Choose: Flavor combos.
- Flavor combos.
Lyria: Oh, I know! Maybe your flavoring was a little too bold?
Lyria: I don't think Vanzza's cake tasted bad though.Choose: Practice.
Chocolatier: Hmm... That's part of it, but it's not the main issue! This is tough for me to admit, but he's almost as skilled a baker as I am.
Chocolatier: The difference is simple. The flavor profile was too complex—you tried to combine too many different flavors.
Lyria: I don't think Vanzza's cake tasted bad though.Continue 2
Chocolatier: No, but the flavor was too aggressive. Your problem is you're shaky on the basics.
Chocolatier: My guess is you're a self-taught baker. You've never taken any classes, have you?
Vanzza: You guess right.
Chocolatier: This kind of flavor is something you can only pull off once you've mastered the basics! You have to perfect the mold before you can break it!
Vanzza: The basics... Breaking the mold...
Chocolatier: Oui! But don't worry! With your talent, if you devote yourself to mastering the basics—
Vanzza: Relearn... the basics...
The chocolatier's words remind Vanzza of someone else's... Someone whose voice he hasn't heard in years.
Acorazada: You're really set on doing things your own way, aren't you? You oughta put in the time to master the basic forms.
Vanzza: I see... So that's what I'm missing...
Vyrn: H-hey. You okay there?
Vanzza: (Captain)! I have a favor to ask!
Vanzza: There's something I want to try, and I need a sparring partner!
With only a brief glance toward the chocolatier, Vanzza heads outside.
The others shake off their bewilderment and hurry after him.
Vanzza trains for several more days, this time accompanied by [;nickname].
Concerned for both of them, Lyria and Vyrn drop in to see how things are going.
Vanzza: Huff... Huff...
Sorry, you two. I've been taking up all the captain's time.
Vyrn: Nah, if that's what (Captain) wants to do, we're on board. So what kinda training are you doing?
Vanzza: Just what that chocolatier suggested: the basics. I'm practicing all the beginner forms.
Lyria: Huh? You've been baking this whole time?
Vanzza: Sorry, Lyria, but cake-making is on hold for now.
Vanzza: I've been reviewing the basics of tonfa fighting.
Vanzza: I never gave my weapons the undivided attention they deserved.
Vanzza: I made excuses, saying I just wasn't any good with them.
Vanzza: To this day though, I've never once used tonfas properly in battle.
Vanzza: Now that I've studied the basic forms and given myself a proper foundation, I should be able to use them the way they're intended to be used!
Vanzza: Now stand back and watch some real tonfa techniques!
Vanzza lowers his tonfas to hip-height.
Using the heavy weapons as a counterbalance, he unleashes a flurry of perfectly targeted kicks.
Vyrn: Whoooa! You smashed that rock to smithereens!
Vanzza: That's nothing!
That huge tree... just split in half...
Vanzza: Now my ultimate technique!
Soaring Tonfa Knee-Strike!
Vanzza swings his tonfas to give his leap extra height and descends knee-first, with devastating force.
A fissure opens in the rock, shooting out from the point of impact with a thunderous crack.
Vyrn: Wow... So this is real tonfa fighting?
Vyrn: Hey, wait a minute! You didn't use your tonfas for any of those! Are you messing with us?
Vanzza: Heh heh... Yes. I was just playing around.
Vanzza: Watch this. Ready, (Captain)?
Vanzza swings his tonfas and sends (Captain)'s weapon flying.
Manipulating the tonfas as if they were part of his own body, Vanzza captures (Captain)'s arm between them and twists it into an armlock.
Vyrn: Wow... For a split second there, I lost track of your movements altogether.
Vanzza: And that was a relatively simple move. Tonfas can be used like this to immobilize an opponent.
Vanzza: Just knowing that has opened up a lot of options for me in combat.
Lyria: You've really mastered the tonfa now, Vanzza.
Vanzza: Yes. I won't go around using my lack of expertise as an excuse anymore. I'll say it with pride: the tonfa is my weapon of choice.
Vanzza: It's all thanks to you kids, Soriz, and that chocolatier.
Vanzza: (And Acorazada... To think that your advice would prove useful in the end...)
Vyrn: Hehehe! We should celebrate you finally getting the better of those things!
Lyria: Yes! And what better way than by baking a cake?
Vanzza: Heh... Right you are. Time for that baking training we talked about—
Their excited chatter is cut short by the sudden, clear sense of a malicious presence.
Vanzza and (Captain) move as one to defend Lyria and Vyrn.
Vanzza: Who's there?
???: You oughta know that, One-Horned Vanzza!
Vanzza: You! Don't you work for Acorazada?
Acorazada's Man? 1: Hunh! Think I'll fall for that? Where've you hidden him?
The crew is approached by men Vanzza thinks he recognizes as underlings of his old enemy, Acorazada.
However, their demands for Vanzza to turn their former boss over sound none too fond.
(Captain) and the others exchange confused glances, but no one seems to grasp the situation.
The Truth about Acorazada
Vanzza and the crew are accosted by thugs demanding to know Acorazada's location so they can kill him. They also have orders to eliminate Vanzza, causing the situation to turn violent.
Vanzza trains with (Captain) until he's mastered the basic forms of tonfa fighting.
As the crew is preparing to celebrate his achievement, they're accosted by a pair of toughs.
Vanzza recognizes them as former subordinates of his archrival, Acorazada.
But it appears there's been a power shift.
Henchman 1: Cut the crap! Cough up Acorazada's location or else!
The shady pair demand to know the whereabouts of the man they once called their boss.
Vanzza: I've been trying to find him myself. He certainly isn't here.
Vanzza: You ought to have a better idea of his whereabouts than me.
Henchman 1: Hah! You think we've got a bead on him?
Henchman 2: If we did, he'd already be sleepin' with the fishes!
Vanzza: You're talking nonsense. Why would you be interested in killing him?
Henchman 1: What's it to ya? If you don't know where he is, we got no business with you. You were next on the hit list anyway.
Vanzza: Oh? Whose list is that?
Henchman 2: Hahaha! Do we look like the kinda sweethearts who'd waste their breath on a dead man?
Vanzza: I think you are decent people. People who aren't being honest with themselves.
Henchman 1: What kinda crap are you spouting?
Vanzza: We'll soon see. Come on, (Captain)!
The Truth about Acorazada: Scene 2
The thugs reveal that they are part of a criminal organization known as Nurang, of which Acorazada is the former boss. Though the crew suspect the all-too-easily-gained confession is a trap, they head to Nurang's base.
Henchman 1: Gyurgh... Damn it...
Vanzza: Tongue feeling any looser? If not, I can help with that.
Vanzza raises his tonfas, and the henchman flinches, covering his belly. He shakes his head frantically.
Henchman 2: Okay, okay! I get it! I'll squeal!
Henchman 1: Sigh... Acorazada betrayed us... Betrayed Nurang!
Vyrn: Nurang? What the heck is that?
Lyria: Umm... It's not the name of a dish, is it? It sounds like some kind of sweet...
Vanzza: Are you thinking of meringue?
Vanzza: I'll make you that cake later, so try not to let the hunger pangs get the better of you.
Lyria: Ah... Eheh... Sorry.
Vyrn: It can't be anything good, anyhow. Something like the Odajumoki Gang, I bet.
Nurang Member 1: Hunh! Don't lump us in with posers like that! We're in the killing business!
The Nurang member seems quite proud of himself.
Nurang acts as a supplier of both arms and drugs to common ruffians and more organized crime. They thrive by greasing the wheels of crime throughout the sky realm.
Vanzza: I... see. So that's the kind of operation Acorazada was running...
Nurang Member 1: Yeah, was. Now he's nothin' more than a dead traitor walkin'.
Vanzza: Just what did he do?
Nurang Member 2: Hell if I know. The boss just told us he was a traitor, and to kill Acorazada and you.
Lyria: Why Vanzza?
Nurang Member 2: Tch. How should I know?
Nurang Member 1: Aaahh, wait, hold up! We're cooperating, okay?
Nurang Member 1: But we really don't know anything else! If you wanna know, you'll hafta ask the boss yourself!
The cowering criminals reveal the location of their hideout.
Vanzza: I knew I was right about you two.
Nurang Member 2: Huh?
Vanzza: You're actually quite kind.
Now you must be tired from all that talking. Take a break.
Vanzza gives each man a sharp blow to the solar plexus with his tonfas.
Nurang Members: Gyah...
Vanzza: Well then...
I'd better go.
Vyrn: Uh... Hang on. Doesn't this sound like a trap? They coughed up the location pretty easily.
Vanzza: It probably is. But I can't afford not to go.
Vanzza: You wait on the airship. I don't want to put you at any further risk.
Choose: Remember our promise.
- Remember our promise.
- We've come this far with you.
Vanzza: Our promise...
Vanzza: ...Choose: We've come this far with you.
Vyrn: Yeah! Besides, you and (Captain) made a promise.
Vanzza: ...Continue 1
When Vanzza saved (Captain) after the captain was poisoned, the two of them made a promise.
Past Vanzza: When I first met you, I thought you were just some helpless kid who needed to be looked after.
Past Vanzza: How is it that you seem so reliable to me now?
Past Vanzza: So let me just say thank you. I'll gladly accept your help.
Vanzza holds out his hand.
(Captain) grasps it and gives it a firm shake.
Vanzza: That was a while ago now.
Lyria: But you never break your word... do you?
Vanzza: You kids...
Vanzza: Are you trying to make me turn on the waterworks?
Vanzza: All right then. We'll go together. I promise—no matter what, I'll protect you all.
Vanzza: Oh, and...
Vanzza: You've got my back, right, (Captain)?
(Captain) gives a resolute nod, and the crew heads for Nurang's headquarters.
The Truth about Acorazada: Scene 3
Nurang's current boss, Capo Gadji, explains that every initiate swears a blood oath to eliminate outsiders who learn of them. Acorazada, however, couldn't bring himself to extract the required pound of flesh when Vanzza witnessed one of the gang's clandestine deals. Instead Acorazada poisoned Carolla—Vanzza's girlfriend—only as a cover, planning to provide the antidote later. When the truth was discovered, Nurang put out a hit on him.
The crew infiltrates the Nurang hideout, laying out any henchmen who stand in their way.
Deep within its winding halls, they stumble upon a room far more luxurious than those they've seen so far.
???: Hahaha... Welcome, Vanzza. Sorry I couldn't offer you a more lavish reception.
Vanzza: Who are you?
Capo Gadji: My name is of little importance, but introductions are only polite. I am the current head of Nurang, Capo Gadji.
Capo Gadji: An unusual name, isn't it? You can call me Gadji, brother.
Vanzza: An alias?
Capo Gadji: Yes and no. But leave that to one side and let's focus on you.
Capo Gadji: I'm sure you're full of questions, so ask away. Get them all off your chest.
Vyrn: He's... oddly cooperative.
Capo Gadji: So you used to be close with Capo—well, former Capo—Acorazada?
Capo Gadji: Heh heh heh...
Oh, how rude of me. Can I offer you a drink?
Vanzza: You're such a good host it brings a tear to my eye. But it's bad manners for a guest to get sloppy drunk, so I'll hold off.
Capo Gadji: Hahaha! That's rich coming from a Draph—you could probably drink my whole organization under the table. Are you worried I'll poison you?
Capo Gadji: You wound me, brother. But if you won't drink, we may as well get down to it.
Capo Gadji: Acorazada... broke a blood oath.
Lyria: A blood... oath?
Capo Gadji: A vow made by everyone who joins Nurang.
Gadji begins talking about the nature of Nurang.
Nurang is a small organization under the wing of a huge mafia.
From its inception, Nurang rapidly became a major source of revenue and a valued partner.
The parent organization feared Nurang coming to the attention of officials such as the Crew of Enforcers, and perhaps being dismantled as a result.
So they took great pains to ensure it remained a secret.
The blood oath which each member swore at their initiation was to preserve that veil of secrecy...
And eliminate any who pierced it.
Capo Gadji: Anyone who learns of Nurang—no matter who they might be—must be dealt with.
Capo Gadji: Through injury, disability, or death, their silence will be ensured. And that's only the beginning.
Capo Gadji: Any member of our organization who fails to silence a witness will get the same treatment.
Vyrn: Uh... Those guys we knocked out earlier gave up your location pretty easy, dude.
Capo Gadji: Yes, at my instruction. In order to draw you here, Vanzza.
Vanzza: So it was a trap.
Capo Gadji: Perhaps.
Capo Gadji: At any rate, the blood oath is absolute. It must be kept no matter what.
Lyria: Wait, what? Then those two people—
Capo Gadji: Probably enjoying a nice, deep sleep... On the Crimson Horizon.
Vyrn: Why, you—
Vanzza: Don't tell me that Acorazada is...
Capo Gadji: You witnessed one of our deals once, didn't you, Vanzza?
Vanzza: Yes... I'll never forget it. That was the day I lost to Acorazada.
Vanzza: I witnessed a drug deal between some shady-looking people... and Acorazada changed completely.
Vanzza: So that's what happened. He was trying to keep his blood oath.
Capo Gadji: But instead of doing so, he spared his friend's life.
Lyria: But... didn't Acorazada poison Vanzza's girlfriend... a-and put her into a coma?
Capo Gadji: Acorazada claimed it was in order to put Vanzza through hell, to drive him into infirmity and thereby ensure his silence.
Capo Gadji: But he carried the antidote with him wherever he went, just waiting for the opportunity to rush it to his old friend.
Vyrn: You mean... he only intended to put her to sleep... for a little while?
Capo Gadji: It was quite the drama he staged to keep you safe from us, Vanzza.
Vanzza: Acorazada... I knew it... I knew there was some reason...
Vanzza: You never betrayed me at all!
Capo Gadji: Hahaha, it tugs the heartstrings, doesn't it? But I'm dropping the curtain on his little farce.
Capo Gadji: And the final scene calls for two more players to exit.
Capo Gadji: Heh heh heh... At least you'll have something to talk about when you meet him in hell.
Now. It's time for me to fulfill my oath.
The Truth about Acorazada: Scene 4
Capo Gadji blows up the Nurang hideout to buy time while his operatives hunt down and eliminate the comatose Carolla. The crew race to save Carolla but find that Acorazada has beaten them to it and disappeared with her. Vanzza vows to find and save them both.
Capo Gadji: Heh... Impressive. A minor player like me couldn't hope to oppose you.
Gadji seems strangely unconcerned, a smile briefly gracing his lips... before he coughs blood and keels over.
Vanzza: If you were such a weakling, you couldn't have taken over from Acorazada.
Vanzza: What are you up to?
Capo Gadji: Heh heh heh. Like I've been telling you, I'm just small potatoes.
Capo Gadji: Although I have my own ideas about things.
He grins and pulls a small device from his breast pocket, holding it out toward the crew.
Capo Gadji: I may have failed... But another will take my place... and another. You can't defeat Nurang.
Capo Gadji: And sooner or later, we will blow you out of the skies!
Capo Gadji: I'll be heading to the Crimson Horizon first, so I'll lay out the welcome mat for you, brother!
Capo Gadji: Haaahahahahaa!
(Captain), Vyrn, Lyria! Get over here!
Smiling through gory lips, still hacking up blood, Gadji activates the device.
An explosion echoes through the hideout. The building rocks on its foundations, and the walls and ceiling begin to crumble.
Vanzza throws himself over the others to shield them from falling brick and plaster.
Thick dust billows as chunks of masonry and pulverized rock pour down over Vanzza's broad back. As his arms shake under the weight, his ears prick at the sound of Gadji's voice.
Capo Gadji: I don't suppose this will kill you, but if I bought some time for the organization, that's good enough. A decent epitaph for a minor player.
Capo Gadji: Heh heh heh. I'm still dropping the curtain though. Say a prayer for your beloved Carolla, because you'll never see her again.
Vanzza: What! You son of a—
There is nothing but a mountain of rubble where the Nurang hideout stood.
Pebbles skip down the face of it, then a shower of dust and rock as Vanzza bursts into the open air, clearing a path for (Captain) and the others.
The young skyfarers crawl into the light, conscious that they owe their lives to Vanzza's heroics.
Lyria: Sob... Vanzza... Thank you... so much...
Vanzza: Forget about it. It's nothing... (Captain) couldn't have done...
Vanzza: Besides... I promised you, didn't I? I said I'd keep you safe.
Lyria: Whimper... Vanzza...
Vanzza: There's no time for that though. We have to hurry! Urgh...
Vanzza: There's no time for that though. We have to hurry! Urgh...
Vyrn: Wh-where do you think you're going in your condition!
Vanzza: Nurang is after Carolla! This time they plan to kill her!
Vanzza: (Captain), please. We need to take the airship and go!
(Captain) ducks under Vanzza's arm and heaves the Draph to his feet. A short time later, the Grandcypher turns her prow toward the place where Carolla lies sleeping.
The crew arrives at a small village and races through the streets toward the hospital.
Vanzza skids to a halt in a back alley at the sight of several injured men sprawled out unconscious on the pavement.
Vyrn: Huh? Are these guys... members of Nurang?
Vanzza: Y-yes... But what are they doing lying around here?
Vanzza: And those bruises they're sporting look like...
Vanzza: It couldn't be. Acorazada!
Vyrn: Hey, Tonfa Bro! There's somethin' on the ground next to them!
It's a letter.
Vanzza reads the clipped, hastily-scrawled lines.
No time. I must be brief.
Nurang knows about this place.
I'm getting Carolla out.
They stole all the antidote I had.
I swear I'll get more.
I'm going to put an end to this.
Acorazada: When it's all over, promise me you'll let me apologize.
Vanzza: Acora... zada!
Vanzza: You've been... trying to protect us... this whole time!
Vanzza: Never thinking of your own safety... You really are the man I thought you were!
Vanzza: This time... This time it's my turn. Acorazada... I won't let them silence you!
Acorazada's letter clutched in his fist, Vanzza swears to find his old friend.
In the same moment, he resolves to topple Nurang, the evil organization responsible for all their suffering.