The crew finish shopping and are about to call out to Vaseraga in the crowd when they're suddenly stopped by Zeta. She's tailing Vaseraga to uncover a secret, and the curious crew decides to join the hunt.
Lyria: Phew! That's everything on the shopping list.
Vyrn: Nice! Siero said she's gonna deliver the big stuff to the Grandcypher for us.
Lyria: Thank goodness we won't have to carry it back. I guess we can head home now.
Vyrn: I'm kinda hungry though. Can we grab a bite to eat first?
Lyria: Sounds good!
Vyrn: Where should we—Huh?
Vyrn: Isn't that Spiky over there?
Lyria: I don't see... Oh, there he is!
Vyrn: Guy's like a mountain. How could you miss him?
Vyrn: Hey, Spi—mmf!
Zeta: Quickly! Over here, Lyria! You too, (Captain)!
Zeta seems to appear out of nowhere, and she drags (Captain) and the others into her hiding spot.
Zeta: Yikes, that was a close one.
Lyria: What's going on, Zeta?
Vyrn: Yeah! You scared the heck outta me, popping out and grabbing me like that!
Zeta: Sorry, sorry. But just be quiet for a sec.
Zeta slowly pokes her head out from the shadows and surveys the area.
Zeta: Good. He didn't notice us.
Lyria: You mean Vaseraga?
Zeta: Yeah. I'll fill you in later.
Vyrn: Why not now? Is there something wrong with Spiky?
Zeta: He... hasn't been himself lately.
Vyrn: Like, he's acting all strange and stuff?
Lyria: Oh no! What happened to him?
Zeta: Calm down, Lyria. It's not that serious. You don't have to get so worked up about it.
Lyria: Then why...
Zeta: Shoot, he's on the move! I've got to stay on him!
Vyrn: I'm worried. Let's go after both of them!
Zeta: Hold it, Vyrn! You're way too conspicuous flying out in the open like that!
Vyrn: But I can't see anything if I don't...
Zeta: As long as I can see him it's fine. Now why did you follow me?
Vyrn: Because we wanna know what's up with Spiky too!
Lyria: That's right. You said Vaseraga hasn't been acting like himself.
Zeta: Well... It's kind of hard to explain.
Zeta: Honestly it's nothing, but something about his attitude rubs me the wrong way.
Zeta: So I guess strange is the only way I can describe it.
Vyrn: Really? He looks like the same ol' guy to me.
Lyria: Yes, I think so too. I don't feel anything strange about him.
Zeta: Obviously you wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at him.
Zeta: I often find him lost in thought, and he keeps sneaking off somewhere.
Vyrn: Hmm, I see...
Lyria: You sure are watching him closely, Zeta.
Zeta: Huh? It's not like that at all!
Zeta: Look, we've run lots of missions together, okay? In some cases we're together for days on end.
Zeta: You pick up on these things. That's how I know when something's different.
Vyrn: That makes sense.
Lyria: So what do you think is different about him this time?
Zeta: My intuition says...
Zeta: A woman.
Lyria: Huh? But Vaseraga's a man...
Vyrn: Yeah, what do you mean a woman?
Zeta: Swing and a miss.
Zeta: Think about this: what if Vaseraga's found a lover?
Vyrn: Say what?
Lyria: Vaseraga is in love?
Zeta: Shhh! You'll give us away!
Lyria: Whoops! Sorry!
Zeta: So now you know. And I'm going to keep tailing him until I find out more.
Vyrn: Okay! We're coming too!
Choose: Let's go!
- Let's go!
Lyria: I want to know too! My heart's pounding with excitement...
Zeta: We can be snoops together.
Vyrn: I don't know 'bout this love business, but I'm curious about what he's up to.Choose: No...
Vyrn: Why not? Aren't you curious?
Lyria: Maybe we shouldn't pry into someone else's privacy...
Zeta: Come on, don't overthink this!
Zeta: You're such a serious bunch, you know that? If you want to come with me, just come.
Vyrn: I'm in!
Lyria: Uh-oh, we can't let Vyrn go off on his own! I guess we'll just have to go with him, (Captain).Continue 1
Zeta: I don't mind having you guys tag along, but a big group sticks out like a sore thumb.
Vyrn: Look who's talking. We're not the ones wearing bright red armor that makes us look like tomatoes.
Zeta: You got me there. In that case...
Zeta glances around quickly before flashing a smile at the others.
Zeta: I'll be right back. Keep an eye on Vaseraga, got it?
Lyria: Where are—She's gone...
Vyrn: Eh, let her go. In the meantime let's try not to lose track of Spiky.
Zeta goes off somewhere but isn't gone for long.
Zeta: Sorry to keep you waiting! Did anything happen while I was gone?
Vyrn: Nope, everything's A-OK. We never took our eyes off him for a second!
Lyria: Ooh, you changed outfits, Zeta! It looks fantastic!
Zeta: Really? Thanks, Lyria.
Zeta: Anyway, the stalking should go more smoothly now! Let's move!
Vyrn: Hey, Spiky's moving again!
Vyrn: Uh, is it just me, or does he look nervous?
Lyria: It looks like he's searching for something...
Lyria: I think he just said something to that person.
Vyrn: Hmm... We're too far away to hear anything, but I bet you're right.
Zeta: See? I told you something was up.
Vyrn: Yep, no doubt about it. We can't stop now!
Zeta and the others continue to track Vaseraga, hoping to stay undetected as they gather clues.
But what they will find remains yet a mystery.
Night Falls on the Alleys
Zeta dons a new outfit over her usual crimson armor in order not to stick out. Though Vaseraga's actions don't point to anything beyond the mundane, Zeta and the rest continue tailing him around town.
Having shed her usual crimson armor for something more lightweight, Zeta, along with the crew, creeps after Vaseraga.
Vyrn: He went into that shop!
Lyria: It looks like a—
Zeta: Weapon shop. Seriously, that man is no fun at all.
Lyria: I wonder what kind of weapon he's going to buy.
Lyria: I can't imagine him using anything besides his huge scythe.
Zeta: Yeah, I doubt he'll buy a weapon. Knowing him, he's probably buying that stuff again...
Vaseraga: Just this.
Weaponsmith: Thanks, come again!
Vyrn: That doesn't look like a weapon. Looks like a small... jar?
Zeta: It's oil.
Lyria: Oh! I've seen Katalina using it too! Isn't it for polishing metal?
Zeta: Yep. He uses it to polish his armor.
Vyrn: Huh, so even a guy like him takes care of his equipment!
Zeta: He's always keeping his armor in top condition.
Lyria: I get it! That's his way of looking stylish!
Zeta: Stylish? Pffahaha! I wouldn't exactly say he's fashion-conscious!
Lyria: Why not? He takes good care of his armor, doesn't he?
Zeta: He does it to ensure his senses stay sharp and his movements aren't impeded.
Zeta: Even though his body feels no pain, he's always worried when even the tiniest things are out of place.
Vyrn: Hah! I know the feeling! He's got an eye for detail, and he likes working with little things.
Lyria: I guess that's why he's so nice to you, Vyrn.
Zeta: Ahaha—Oops. This is no time to be laughing.
Zeta: He's on the move again. We'd better keep up!
Night Falls on the Alleys: Scene 2
Vaseraga stops at a grocery store to buy milk, lending credence that Zeta may be mistaken in her belief that he's hiding something. As they continue watching him, a thief flees from the store, prompting the crew to forget about their investigation and give chase.
After tailing Vaseraga to a weapon shop, the crew then follows him to his next destination.
Vyrn: It's a grocery store.
Zeta: First oil and now food. Bo-ring.
Lyria: Today must be his shopping day.
Zeta: And it's boring no matter how you look at it.
Vyrn: So what do you do on your days off?
Zeta: Me? I guess I shop. Sometimes I go with Bea if she's around.
Beatrix: Hey, which do you like better, Zeta?
Zeta: Hold them both up again. Hmm... Wouldn't that one look good on you?
Beatrix: Yeah, it's not bad. All right, I'll go with this one!
Zeta: So are we done here?
Beatrix: Um... Actually I wanted to go check out some shoes.
Zeta: Well, there's a shoe place across the street. Let's go there next.
Beatrix: You don't want anything from here?
Zeta: Nah, I want to check out shoes too. Hopefully they'll have something I like.
Lyria: Ooh, that sounds like fun!
Zeta: Wanna come with us next time?
Lyria: Can I?
Zeta: Of course!
Vyrn: That's all well and good, but did you actually end up buying anything, Red?
Zeta: Hm? So what if I didn't?
Vyrn: Oh, nothing... Just that you and Spiky are pretty much alike...
Zeta: Shut up!
Vyrn: Come on, what else do you do?
Zeta: What else? Um... I like going out for drinks, I guess...
Zeta: Oh, that's right. I found out about this really tasty snack that goes great with a cold drink.
Lyria: Gasp! What kind of snack?
Zeta: Auguste eelpout, dried and salted.
Vyrn: Dried and salted?
Zeta: It's an extremely rare fish that isn't sold outside of Auguste.
Zeta: I practically had to beg an old fisherman friend to send me any.
Zeta: It wasn't cheap, but it was totally worth it.
Vyrn: Eh, I don't know 'bout that but okay. Sounds like you've got the tastes of an old geezer.
Zeta: Hate all you want. I like it, and that's all that matters.
Lyria: Look! I think Vaseraga's done shopping.
Vyrn: What did he buy?
Lyria: He likes to drink, right? I think I see a bottle...
Zeta: That store doesn't sell alcohol. It's probably... milk.
Lyria: Does he like milk?
Zeta: Yep. Did you know he doesn't allow himself to drink on the job?
Zeta: So he has milk instead.
Vyrn: Whoa! That's another surprising fact! I never would've guessed that...
Zeta: Hey, keep it down! There he goes again. Come on.
The chase continues as (Captain) and the others do their best to tail Vaseraga without being spotted.
Vyrn: So, uh, I haven't seen anything out of the ordinary...
Lyria: Yes, it doesn't seem like he's out to meet anyone.
Vyrn: Maybe Zeta messed up.
Zeta: What? Are you doubting my instincts?
Vyrn: Well, this all started because you went with your gut, so...
Zeta: So you agree with what I just said!
Lyria: Now, now, calm down, you two. Vaseraga might hear us!
Lyria tries to pry the two bickering parties apart.
???: Stop right there, you punks!
The sounds of crashing objects and angry voices ring out into the street.
Thief 1: Cheese it!
Shopkeeper: Thieves! Thieves! Somebody catch them!
Vyrn: What the heck?
Lyria: I heard someone say thieves!
Thief 2: Move it!
Zeta: Lyria! Are you all right?
Zeta: Are you sure?
Lyria: Yes, I'm fine.
Zeta: Thank goodness. Just what do those idiots think they're doing?
Zeta: They need to be caught and taught a lesson, (Captain)!
Night Falls on the Alleys: Scene 3
The thief is apprehended, but Vaseraga's trail is lost. After splitting from the crew, Zeta unexpectedly spots Vaseraga heading into a dark, narrow alley, and she resumes her pursuit with glee.
(Captain) and the crew successfully capture the thieves and turn them over to the local authorities.
Vyrn: That takes care of that! Too bad we lost Spiky though.
Zeta: Darn it, he got away. Ah well, guess we'll just have to call it a day.
Lyria: It wasn't a total loss. I had a lot of fun!
Zeta: Yeah? Then maybe it wasn't such a waste after all.
Zeta: But I'll be better prepared for him next time. I swear I'll uncover his secret!
Vyrn: If you ask me, I don't think he's got anything to hide.
Vyrn: At first I thought there was something fishy, but every place he went today was super normal.
Zeta: That's fine. You can believe whatever you want. But I'm not giving up until I see him meet this woman of his.
Vyrn: Why do you care so much about this?
Zeta: Because I want something to hold over his head.
Lyria: By the way, when did you start noticing him acting strangely?
Zeta: Hmm... Good question.
Zeta tilts her head to the side, deep in thought.
Zeta: It must've been during the skyraces a little while ago.
Vyrn: That was when we raced against each other in the finals! Going up against that half-man, half-speedship sure was rough.
Zeta: Yep, that was it. I noticed it soon after the last race.
After Vaseraga's trail goes cold, the crew and Zeta go their separate ways. Zeta walks through the town alone.
Zeta: Sigh, it's too bad. That was my chance to figure out his weakness.
Zeta grumbles under her breath before her eyes catch the familiar sight of a huge figure.
Zeta: Vaseraga! I thought he'd given me the slip, but there he is. Ahaha, what luck!
Zeta: What's he doing wandering into the back alleys?
Zeta: Could this be the real deal? If I stay quiet, I might finally see who he's meeting with.
Zeta: Geez, this is a really long alley. Maybe this is where...
As Zeta continues following Vaseraga, the alley grows darker and darker.
Unbeknowst to Zeta, ruffians leer from the shadows.
Ruffian 1: Yo. It ain't safe to be wanderin' here alone, ya know.
Ruffian 2: Why don'tcha come wit' us? We'll keep ya safe.
Zeta: Thanks for the concern, but it's none of your business.
Ruffian 1: Aw, come on, don't say that.
One of the ruffians places a hand on Zeta's shoulder. She promptly brushes it off in disgust.
Zeta: Get your hands off me.
Ruffian 1: Tch... Ya got a lotta nerve. Be a good girl and get over yourself.
Ruffian 2: Play nice. Let's not make this painful, all right?
What little light shines into the alley glints off the knives in the ruffians' hands, but Zeta laughs with scorn.
Zeta: Hah! Actually that doesn't sound bad at all! Bring on the pain!
Ruffian 2: Wha... She's completely lost it!
Ruffian 1: Your wish is my command, princess!
Night Falls on the Alleys: Scene 4
Zeta's chase comes to an end when she finds Eustace and Vaseraga meeting in secret. Suspecting the Society of treachery, the two men consider leaving the organization. Zeta is advised to prepare for a stormy future.
Zeta crushes the ruffians with ease, but she has another problem on her hands.
Zeta: Nooo, I lost him again!
Zeta: Argh! It's all because these stupid bozos got in my way!
Zeta: Humph... Now that I think about it, he should just be straight ahead.
Zeta regains her composure and continues down the alley. As she rounds the corner...
Vaseraga: Looking for me, Zeta?
Vaseraga: What's wrong?
Zeta: You! Why are you here too?
Zeta: Eustace... I knew this had something to do with the Society.
Vaseraga: Is that so, Zeta?
Vaseraga: You think I didn't notice you chasing me around town because you thought I was meeting with a woman?
Zeta: What? But... how? When did my cover slip?
Vaseraga: When you and (Captain) caught those thieves.
Vaseraga: I thought about joining in, but you all had it under control.
Zeta: I hate you so much right now!
Vaseraga: You looked like you were having the time of your life out there. I didn't want to douse your fun.
Zeta: It couldn't be... Did you start that ruckus?
Vaseraga: Is that how you interpret it?
Zeta: You're darn right it is! You set off that fight on purpose!
Zeta: And where do you think you're going, Eustace? I've got questions for you too!
Eustace: Ask Vaseraga.
Vaseraga: Are you sure about that?
Eustace: If we don't tell her, she might get the wrong idea and cause trouble for us down the road.
Zeta: Then out with it already!
Zeta: Wait! Eustace!
Eustace doesn't acknowledge Zeta's protests in the slightest and walks out of sight.
Zeta: Ugh! What's his problem?
Vaseraga: Stop it. Calm yourself.
Zeta: He seriously pisses me off... but I'll let it go this time. Will you fill me in now?
Zeta: What are you—No, what are the both of you hiding from me?
Vaseraga: It's a long story.
Vaseraga begins to explain the suspicions he and Eustace started having about the Society.
Eustace: Guzaletha. The founder who betrayed our Society.
Eustace: I came here to dispose of you on orders from above. And I'm going to see it through.
Guzaletha: Mwahaha! I see. So you're the one they sent to put me away!
Guzaletha: Let me tell you something. The Society's mission has become a hollow facade. Their ideology is now utterly degenerate.
Guzaletha: The Society's goal was once to bring freedom to all in the skies by destroying all primal beasts. And what of that goal now?
Guzaletha: Now the Society wield their very own special weapons. They just want to set themselves up as the rulers of the skies!
Guzaletha: They've become a menace to freedom—the very antithesis of what they once stood for!
Eustace: It is as you say.
Eustace: That's all the PSC officials we know were involved.
Eustace: We've exposed all of them who had anything to do with the race fixing.
Vaseraga: But that doesn't mean the case is closed.
Vaseraga: So this secret lab here was linked to both the Society and its enemies.
Eustace: And in the end, the Society wanted it erased...
Vaseraga: Humph. Something's going on that we don't know about.
Eustace: Yes, but we both know it didn't start here.
Zeta: I can't believe this involves the mission in North Vast. And there were back-end deals happening at the races?
Vaseraga: We still haven't been able to bring anything to light, but everything I've told you is true.
Zeta: I've always thought of this organization as being on the level, but now...
Zeta falls silent as if lost in thought before shortly raising her head again to speak.
Zeta: And so you two have been sneaking around gathering intel on the Society?
Vaseraga: No. There's little opportunity for that in our current position.
Zeta: What do you mean?
Vaseraga: The central figures of the Society aren't in Phantagrande.
Zeta: They're in another skydom...
Vaseraga: Yes. It's not a simple matter of dedicated detective work. Staying undercover long enough to get any information is a difficult task.
Zeta: And if you leave the organization, that'll be like painting a target on your back.
Vaseraga: Right. Either option is a dangerous one.
Once again Zeta has nothing to say. All is quiet in the dark alley.
After a while Vaseraga finally breaks the silence.
Vaseraga: You've got a foul mouth, Zeta, but you've always been a straight talker.
Zeta: Huh? That's all you've got to say to me?
Vaseraga: I'm telling you to consider a plan of action and prepare yourself for what's to come.
Zeta: You don't have to tell me twice...
Vaseraga's words burn deep into Zeta's mind. She knows she'll have to make serious decisions in the future.