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The Sky Beyond the Alleyway
Yuri is searching for Rollo the cat, who has disappeared in Aenyr Citadel. Rollo runs down an alley, and Yuri finds a mysterious black vortex in his place. Yuri assumes that Rollo was sucked into the vortex, and jumps into it himself. He emerges in a mysterious world, full of islands floating in the sky. Looking for information, he knocks on the door of a “Knickknack Shack”.
Yuri: Hey, Rollo! Where are you? Come out!
Yuri: Jeez... what are you doing, going missing at a time like this...
In the miasma-shrouded citadel of Aenyr, Yuri was searching for a certain cat, shaking his head in an exasperated way.
Yuri: Elle told him to hide, so he's probably fine...
Yuri: But then again, we don't know when the monsters could come back into the town...
Yuri: Rollo! Come out! Elle's worried about you.
Yuri: (sigh) I'm getting nowhere with this...
Yuri: Besides, why am I trying to call a cat? Surely he can't understand me...
Yuri: Well, I guess I don't speak Cat, so I don't really have any options...
Yuri: Rollo! Where were you hiding?
Yuri: Hey, wait!
Yuri: Wait! Darn cat!
Yuri: Hey! Stop running away!
Yuri: Rollo! What happened?
Yuri ran into an alley after Rollo.
But Rollo was nowhere to be found. Instead, the alley contained a swirling jet-black vortex, with a strange aura.
Yuri: What the hell? Rollo, where are you?
Suddenly, the vortex began sucking in objects violently.
Yuri felt the vortex taking hold of his body, pulling him in.
Yuri: Wh? What the hell! What is this?
Yuri: (That sound from before... What if Rollo got sucked into this black vortex?)
Yuri: (That means that he's on the other side of it!)
Yuri let go of the wall he was hanging on to, and let the vortex pull him in...
Everything went black, and Yuri struggled to make sense of what was going on.
Cat's Voice: Meowww...
Yuri: Urgh... What's going on... Where am I?
Yuri: An island... It's floating? Huh? Why the hell is it floating?
Yuri: Where is this? Doesn't look like Windor...
Yuri: Oh yeah... I was chasing Rollo in Aenyr Citadel...
Yuri: And there was a black vortex... and I got sucked in... So this is where that vortex led...
Yuri: So I guess that means that Rollo is here somewhere...
Yuri: But I have no idea where. I don't even know where "here" is. (sigh)
Yuri: Right... Let's ask around and see if I can find him...
Looking around, Yuri set out into the mysterious town he had arrived in, searching for information.
Shortly after, he asked around and, hearing about a "Knickknack Shack", he headed there and knocked on the door.
What the Blade Protects
A cat cafe on the cat sanctuary of Marco Island hires (Captain)'s party as bodyguards. As they explore a rough part of town in search of a catnapper, they run into a panicked group of thugs. Confused about the party's loyalties, the thugs attack.
While (Captain)'s party was staying on Marco Island to help Yuri search for Rollo...
An unusual job offer found its way to them.
Yuri: A bodyguard at a cat cafe...?
Vyrn: Ha! That right there is Marco Island in a nutshell.
Lyria: This is no laughing matter, Vyrn! It says cats are going missing...
Offering visitors a chance to enjoy dining with cats, the Marco Island cat cafe is a popular tourist destination.
But at the moment, the cafe is struggling to deal with a thief who abducts cats in the middle of the night.
Yuri: So the job is protecting the cat cafe from a cat thief?
Yuri: What sort of thief would steal cats? Where's the money in that?
Eugen: Well, guess we'll just have to catch the guy and ask him.
Vyrn: Hm? Is that the cat cafe over there?
Yuri: Oh, brother. Are those military police? Something nasty must have happened...
Lyria: Well... let's go in and find out.
Lyria: What? Another cat's been kidnapped?!
Officer: Yeah, it sure looks that way. We came as soon as we heard.
Eugen: Damn. We were just a little too late.
Yuri: Well, only thing we can do about it now is to get that cat back. Recovery is part of the job.
Yuri: Hey, officer. You guys got a suspect on this?
Officer: Not exactly, but there's a rough area a little ways east of here, where the island's criminal element hangs out.
Officer: And I suppose they love cats as much as anyone else on the island...
Yuri: All right, thanks. Guess we'll check that out first.
A brooding man stands before a quizzical group of cats, clutching a bowl of food.
Thug 1: Look, I'm sorry... You eat this food, and you'll go right to sleep, no suffering.
Thug 1: Aw, geez... I just can't do it. Offing these cute little kitties...
Yuri: Hate to butt in, but what's the deal here? Those cats feral or something?
Yuri: We're looking for the cats taken from the nearby cat cafe, if you've heard anything...
Thug 2: What? So he's sending hired muscle after us now?!
Thug 1: Ah, I see how it is. You're here to see if we really offed the cats or not!
Yuri: Hey, let's all relax. No one said anything about that.
Thug 2: Damn it! Well, now we got no choice! Looks like it's kill or be killed!
Yuri: Looks like we got the right guys, but... there's something fishy about this.
Vyrn: We'll have to work that out later... They're drawing their swords!
What the Blade Protects: Scene 2
(Captain)'s party gets the whole story from their captives: the thugs stole the cats on orders from pedigree supremacist guards who wants all mixed-breed cats exterminated. Their crimes exposed, the officers reveal their true nature and attack (Captain)'s party.
Yuri and (Captain)'s party was able to easily overpower the thugs who attacked them.
But Yuri remains perplexed by their strange behavior.
Yuri: All right, so what's the deal with that cat food? It's poisoned, right? And you were gonna feed it to the cats...?
Thug 1: ...
Yuri: Why steal cats from the cat cafe only to poison them? That doesn't make a lot of sense.
Thug 2: ...
Yuri: When you first saw us, you thought we were muscle hired by someone, right? Who?
Thug 1: W-Wait, so... you're not?
Yuri: That means there's someone above you. None of this was your idea...
Yuri: No surprise there. It certainly didn't look like you were enjoying your work.
Yuri: So are you doing this for money? Or is someone forcing you?
Yuri: I've been around a lot, you know. If you got an explanation for this, I'm all ears.
Yuri: Tell me straight, and we'll be on our way. I'm not gonna jam you up.
Thug 1: The truth is...
Yuri and (Captain)'s party brings the cats back to the cat cafe.
Officer: Look at that! You found the missing cats!
Officer: So what happened to the thugs who took 'em?
Yuri: We disposed of them.
Officer: Huh! That takes care of that, I guess.
Yuri: And that's it? You'd be satisfied with that?
Yuri: We heard the whole story. They told us everything.
Yuri: About how you paid them off...
Yuri: How you told them to leave the purebreds and only take the mixed-breed cats...
Yuri: How you told 'em to dispose of the cats they took.
Officer: So that's what they told you, huh?
Yuri: I sure don't hear you denying it. So tell me... Why? What's the point?
Officer: See... This is exactly why I hate mongrels.
Officer: Not only couldn't they get the job done, but they went and blabbed the whole thing.
Officer: Pedigree is everything! It's as true for people as it is for cats!
Officer: A mongrel with an unclear pedigree ain't worth a damn thing.
Eugen: Hmph! So this is your true face, huh?
Yuri: Sure looks that way. I was hoping I'd be wrong, but it's exactly as I feared.
Officer: Should have just done your job, got paid, and kept your noses out of places it didn't belong.
Officer: That's what you get with skyfarers! You're just a dirty mish-mash of mongrels yourselves.
Officer: Heh heh. And now that you know too much, we're gonna have to make you disappear.
Yuri: All right. If that's your game, we'll play ball.
Yuri: Gotta admit, you guys kinda piss me off. I'm not holding anything back this time!
What the Blade Protects: Scene 3
(Captain)'s party defeats the guards that had hired the cat thieves. Exposing a crime committed by men who were in charge of protecting the town has Yuri pondering the nature of justice. A certain friend looms large in his mind—one who serves in the same knighthood but is his opposite in many ways.
(Captain)'s party defeated the officers that were directing the cat thieves.
They brought the defeated officers to the island's lord, along with the details of their crimes.
Eugen: We sign up to protect a few cats and end up fighting for our lives against corrupt guards. Some easy "bodyguard" job that was!
Lyria: Well, at least the cats are safe now!
Vyrn: Good point! Nice work, eh, Yuri? We sure went above and beyond the call of duty!
Eugen: What's up, kid? You seem awfully quiet.
Yuri: Huh? Nah, it's nothing. I was just thinking about how even the guard has criminals in its ranks.
Eugen: Ha! Well, of course they do. Soldiers are people too.
Eugen: Everyone thinks they're doing the right thing, but we've all got our own definition of what that is.
Yuri: (That's exactly the problem... The world's got all too many different opinions about what constitutes justice.)
Yuri: (I gotta figure out what it is I'm fighting for. I guess you already made that choice, eh Flynn?)
Yuri looked up and wordlessly raised the question to the night sky.
This feeling that weighed on him, like waiting for the morning star to pierce the night sky, would go on to shape his destiny...