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The Small Client
A surprisingly mature boy named Caim asks the crew to fight in the War. Figuring that a show-and-tell would get his point across faster, he uses the power of a card to transport (Captain) and company to a battlefield. Still confounded by the situation, they trust in the boy's words that participating in this battle will help save the world.
Sierokarte: Welcome, everyone! Make yourselves comfy!
The crew pays Sierokarte a visit to pick up supplies.
Lyria: Hi, Siero!
Sierokarte: I've been waiting for you to show up for quite some time actually!
Vyrn: Oh? Did something happen?
Sierokarte: Well, you see, there was a certain someone who wanted to speak with you, (Captain).
Lyria: Did they have a request?
Vyrn: We'd be happy to talk to them! Where are they now?
Sierokarte: Actually, he didn't tell me where he was going, you see.
Sierokarte: But he did say the next time he has a chance to meet would be fine.
Lyria: Well, did he say when that next time would be?
Sierokarte: He said he would pay you a visit himself!
Vyrn: That sure does us a lot of good...
???: Good afternoon.
Sierokarte: Oh, welcome, welcome!
Vyrn: Huh? What's a kid doing visiting the Knickknack Shack?
Sierokarte: This is the visitor I mentioned earlier, (Captain)!
Vyrn: Whoa, for real?
???: Ah, so you're (Captain). I had a feeling you were the one I was looking for.
Sierokarte's diminutive visitor stares at (Captain) from beneath a cowl.
Lyria: Um, are you the person who wanted to request our services?
???: Yes. Ah, how rude of me...
The face of a young man emerges from beneath the cowl. He has a dignified air about him.
Caim: My name is Caim. I have a request for you, as Siero probably told you already.
Vyrn: So this is the guy who wanted to meet us?
The crew can barely conceal their surprise at their client's youthful appearance, but Caim doesn't seem to mind.
Caim: Thank you for introducing me to them, Sierokarte.
Sierokarte: Of course, of course! Not like I did anything anyway!
Sierokarte: Okay, I'll leave you all to it!
Lyria: Oh, okay! So you said your name was Caim? Can you tell us about your request?
Caim: Yes, but... let's just say I only want a select few to hear about it.
Caim: Can you show me to your airship? We can talk there.
Lyria: Oh, of course! Just follow us!
The crew leads Caim back to the Grandcypher.
Vyrn: Is this a good place to chat?
Caim: Yes. But before we begin...
Caim slowly looks over (Captain) and the crew.
Caim: I surmised as much from speaking to Sierokarte, but it really didn't take much to make you trust me.
Lyria: Huh? What do you mean?
Caim: I understand why you'd let your guard down against a kid like me.
Caim: But I suggest you tread carefully. This world is full of crimes that use children.
Lyria: Wow, um... I'm not sure what to say to that.
Vyrn: When you put it like that, we've been pretty careless ourselves.
Caim's blunt choice of words, juxtaposed with his childlike appearance, leaves (Captain) and company at a loss for words.
But Caim begins to smile at them, putting the three at ease.
Caim: Still, your trust is appreciated.
Caim: I trust you and your crew as well. That's precisely why I decided to come to you with this request.
Vyrn: W-wow, thanks!
Caim: Let me get straight to the point.
Lyria: Please, go ahead!
Caim: Right. You know about the War, I trust?
Lyria: We do. It was a big battle between the Astrals and the skydwellers.
Caim: That's the gist of it, certainly.
Caim: At the time, every island in the sky was embroiled in savage conflict.
Caim: And in the end, the Astrals were driven away. Victory for the skydwellers, in a sense.
Vyrn: Yeah, we know! We know!
Caim: My request is simple. I want you to lead the skydwellers to victory in that conflict once more.
Vyrn: Once more? What do you mean?
Lyria: The War happened a long, long time ago, didn't it?
Vyrn: Yeah, what's the deal? You asking us to fight the War again?
Caim: Your confusion is understandable, but I believe your questions will vanish once you experience things firsthand...
Caim: With this.
Caim places a single card in front of (Captain).
The surface of the card is greyed out, making the illustration impossible to make out.
Lyria: This card... It's...
Vyrn: Hey, Lyria. You feel that?
Lyria: Oh, you too, Vyrn? I can't really put it into words, but I'm definitely sensing something.
Vyrn: Same here.
Caim: Impressive. I knew I could count on you.
Lyria: What do you mean? And what's that card for?
Caim: It's all connected to the experiences I want you to have firsthand.
Vyrn: You keep talking about experience, but I'm just wondering what you want us to do.
Caim: I hear you've fought lots of powerful monsters and primal beasts.
Caim: Just do the same thing you've done until now. Defeat whatever foes stand in your way.
Caim: That will be enough to save this world.
Vyrn: Save this world? What are you talking about?
Caim: My request is that you save this world. And I believe you have what it takes to make it happen.
Lyria: But... how?
Caim: As I said, experiencing it for yourselves is best.
Caim: Now then. Shall we begin?
Caim gently glides a finger over a red stone in his possession.
Vyrn: What's going on!
(Captain) and the crew soon find themselves enveloped in darkness.
Vyrn: Ngh... Hm? What just happened?
In the next moment, (Captain) and company are standing in a place they've never seen before.
Lyria: Where are we? We were on the Grandcypher just a second ago.
They survey their surroundings.
Lyria: Does anyone else feel a little uncomfortable here?
Vyrn: Yeah, this isn't exactly the kind of place where I'd want to throw a picnic.
Vyrn: Whoa! And look over there!
A massive roar erupts not too far from where the crew is standing, followed soon after by an equally massive plume of smoke.
Lyria: Oh no... Are we on some kind of battlefield?
Vyrn: Can someone tell me what's going on already?
Lyria: I guess this is what Caim must have meant when he talked about us experiencing things for ourselves.
Vyrn: He said we just have to fight whatever monsters or primal beasts show up, right?
Choose: This is crazy!
- This is crazy!
- Let's get down to business!
Vyrn: You're telling me! But complaining's not going to change much.
Lyria: We don't even know where we are.
Vyrn: Guess that means we just have to fight our way out!Choose: Let's get down to business!
Vyrn: You're right. We don't have time to just stand around!
Vyrn: Seems like all sorts of monsters and primal beasts are lurking around here too.Continue 1
Lyria: Caim said this would help save the world, didn't he?
Vyrn: Yep. Which means we definitely can't shirk our responsibilities on this one!
Lyria: Right! We don't know what's going to happen out here, so let's be extra careful, (Captain).
(Captain) and company charge headfirst into the smoke-filled battlefield in front of them.
They remember Caim's words. This is a fight for the fate of the world.
Cusp of a New Dawn
With the battle concluded, Caim explains that the battlefield stemmed from a primal's memory of the War. By repeating this memory, the primal plans to destroy the world of the skies and create a new world in its place. (Captain) and company learn that their participation in the memory is the key to preventing such a calamity, and so they accept a card from Caim.
Vyrn: Whoa... We're back?
Their battle over, the crew members find themselves back on the Grandcypher.
Caim: Welcome back.
Lyria: Oh, hello, Caim!
Caim: I'm very happy to see that you're all safe.
Vyrn: What was that all about anyway?
Vyrn: It was like we got transported to some kind of battlefield back there.
Caim: You deserve a full explanation. And some thanks before that.
Caim: Despite the abrupt nature of the situation, you delivered exactly the results I had hoped for.
Caim: I knew you were the right choice for the job.
Vyrn: So we did good back there?
Caim: Yes. More than sufficient for your first go at it.
Lyria: Then we're not done yet?
Caim: I'll explain everything in due time.
Caim: The world you were transported to existed within the memory of a primal beast. One from the War, to be precise.
Vyrn: From the War? Are you saying we were transported to the past?
Caim: No. I said it was a memory, did I not?
Caim: Think of it as the ruminations of a primal beast. Memories that you enter into as they tumble around inside the beast's mind.
Lyria: Um... I'm not sure I understand.
Caim: You'll begin to understand soon enough. (Captain), can I see that card I gave you earlier?
(Captain) hands over the card, sensing a strange presence from it all the while.
Caim: This card is the key to thwarting one particular primal beast's foul schemes.
Vyrn: Whaddya mean by that?
Caim: He trawls through collective memories amassed from the time of the world's creation up to the present.
Caim: As you might imagine, the memory from the War is one of particular relevance to his goals.
Vyrn: Um, you said something about him collecting data?
Caim: Correct. The War was a major branching point in the history of this world.
Caim: And so the primal beast simulates the vast possibilities within that time period.
Lyria: I'm not sure I follow...
Vyrn: I don't know what's going on either, but hang in there, Lyria.
Caim: Whatever the case, your complete understanding is not required.
Caim: I explain all of this only in the sincere interest of engendering cooperation.
Vyrn: Hey, are you following any of this, (Captain)?
Choose: I'm completely lost.
- I'm completely lost.
- Sure am!
Lyria: Thank goodness we're on the same page, (Captain)!
Vyrn: That means none of us have any idea what's going on, Lyria!Choose: Sure am!
Lyria: (Captain) can answer any questions if we get confused, then!Continue 1
Caim: Whatever the case, the most pressing matter is his goal.
Caim: They're trying to create a new world.
Lyria: Wait, a new world? Like... the world we're in now, but different?
Vyrn: They can do that?
Caim: For him, little is impossible.
Lyria: I can't even imagine...
Vyrn: So let me get this straight. They're collecting info from throughout history to create a new world?
Caim: Precisely. That's what I want your crew to interfere with.
Vyrn: So what should we do exactly?
Caim: I want you to disrupt the primal beast's simulations of history.
Caim: To wit, you will enter its memories and fight, as you did just now.
Lyria: That's all we need to do to get in the way of it making a new world?
Caim: Yes. You're outsiders in the simulation. An unknown factor.
Caim: If the simulation doesn't proceed correctly, the primal beast won't be able to collect the necessary data for world creation.
Lyria: I see. I think I've got it now!
Vyrn: If that's what you need, count us in!
Caim: So you'll accept?
Vyrn: Yup! Just leave it to us!
Lyria: Oh, but what happens if the primal beast manages to create a new world?
Caim: One possibility is that the aftershocks of the creation process will obliterate the world we currently inhabit.
Vyrn: No way! You're serious?
Caim: Another possibility is that this world will survive, but with the Arcarum reigning over their newly created realm.
Caim: A catastrophe as grave as the War would likely occur again.
Vyrn: Tell me there's a third option here!
Caim: There is. You'll assist me in preventing such a catastrophe from happening in the first place.
Vyrn: Doesn't sound like this is going to be something we can just sleepwalk through.
Caim: I'm counting on you. Take this card, (Captain).
Caim gives the card to (Captain) once again.
Caim: This card is the key to interfering within the world of memory.
Lyria: There's something super mysterious about it.
Vyrn: I guess the thing we felt earlier wasn't just our imagination after all.
Caim: You mustn't let your guard down under any circumstances.
Vyrn: We won't! Let's sock it to this primal's memories, (Captain)!
And thus the battle to prevent the creation of a new world begins in earnest.
The key to victory is in (Captain)'s hands.
An eerie presence stares back from the card with a twisted smile.
Once Upon a Time
A mysterious voice speaks of the past. A mother and father are incredibly proud of their prodigious son at first, but they come to see his remarkable intellect as ghastly and so decide to cast him away. The child is picked up by a loving elderly couple and raised with affection.
Let me tell you a little fairy tale.
Mysterious Voice: Long, long ago—but maybe not so long ago—a beautiful, brilliant child was born.
How brilliant was this child? Would you believe me if I told you he learned to speak the day after his birth? A true prodigy.
At two years of age, he was already as smart as his parents and capable of grace and class in equal measure.
At first the child was doted upon and showered with love. He was the apple of their eye.
But the parents soon grew resentful. Their child was already smarter than they were after all.
To this prodigal progeny, his parents' flaws and foibles were all too apparent.
And when pointed out, the parents had no recourse.
Eventually, they simply couldn't take it anymore.
They stuffed the child in a box and hid it far, far away.
Ah, it's almost enough to break your heart...
Oh? It seems I'm being called upon. I'll have to finish this later.
Caim: Hey! Can you hear me?
Caim glares at the red stone in his hand with a twinge of irritation.
It radiates faintly.
Caim: Don't play dumb. Going through you is the most efficient way of grasping the state of the battlefield.
Caim: How many times do I need to explain this to... Yes, that's within estimates.
Caim: Introducing unexpected elements produces better data.
Caim: Yes. I expected them to carry out such a role from the beginning.
Caim: Quiet. Now hurry up and prepare the next battlefield according to my calculations.
Mysterious Voice: Now then, where was I?
Mysterious Voice: Ah, yes. The child had just been abandoned.
Although supremely intelligent, the child was but two years old. He couldn't possibly open the box of his own volition.
And yet he persevered, surviving off the straw and other refuse in the box, biding his time.
Eventually an elderly couple found the child and brought him home.
They were kind and well-to-do and decided to adopt the child as one of their own.
The child was once again showered with love and affection, but that would only last so long...
Mysterious Voice: Hm... Let's stop there for today. It's important to leave an audience wanting more, I always say.
A Kind, Foolish World
While analyzing some sort of data, Caim is surprised at the marked increase in its randomness. Meanwhile a voice continues its story of the boy genius. As good-natured as the elderly couple were, the boy would constantly find faults with their generosity, in effect betraying their kindness. Caim's intelligence did him no favors, causing him to grow up in isolation, unaccepting of others' merits and faults alike.
Caim: Yes. As anticipated.
Caim is bent over a desk in a dimly lit room with an utterly serious expression on his face.
Caim: The randomness of the data is increasing. We should be heading back towards normalcy.
Caim: They're the singularity responsible for all this. They have to be.
Caim: Heh. Well, I suppose this all would have been something of a bore if they didn't obliterate our assumptions.
Caim: From time to time, history has a way of giving birth to unique individuals like them...
Caim: And me.
His emotionless monologue soon fades into nothingness, swallowed up like light into so much darkness.
The elderly couple dedicated their lives to the child. To outsiders, they appeared the very image of happiness.
But to the overly clever child, this happiness was a sham, full of cracks and torn seams.
How could this elderly couple not realize how sad and miserable their pitiful shared existence was?
When he turned six, the child explained to them—nay, lectured them—about this point in agonizing detail.
To the child, it came as simply as breathing.
But after six days of such abuse, the elderly couple could suffer no longer.
Mysterious Voice: I'd... prefer not to speak at length about what became of the couple, if at all possible.
Mysterious Voice: Whatever the case, the same events repeated themselves shortly thereafter.
Mysterious Voice: There are lots of kind people in this world of ours. Foolish people too.
Mysterious Voice: And so it goes without saying that the child ended up surrounded by kind fools again and again.
Mysterious Voice: Unfortunately, the child, with his uncanny intellect, was unable to find a place to call his own.
Mysterious Voice: He could not bear the world in all its kindness and stupidity.
Mysterious Voice: Just sad really.
Mysterious Voice: Anyway, let's end there for today.
Mysterious Voice: Oh, and don't tell Caim about any of this, will you?
The story of the boy continues with a visit to his birth parents' home, the conclusion of which the voice deems the crew is better off seeing for themselves. (Captain) and company are taken aback when they discover that they've been helping the primal's plot to create a new world instead of thwarting it. Just then the card of The Hanged Man shines brightly.
Caim: Ngh... Rgh... Gasp!
Caim: Huff... Huff...
Caim wakes violently from what seems to be a terrible nightmare.
Caim: It's okay... I'm alive. I'm... I'm still here... And nobody... nobody can...
Caim: That's right... I have to continue analyzing the data.
Caim stumbles out of bed and heads to his desk.
Caim: This phase is very nearly primed. Same for their end...
Caim flicks the red stone.
Caim: It's nearly time. They've done what they need to do.
Caim whispers these words as he grips the red stone with sweaty, twitching hands.
Mysterious Voice: Let's continue the story then, shall we? We're very nearly at the climax.
Mysterious Voice: After countless kind encounters and foolish departures, the child eventually decided to find the place of his birth.
As far as the child was concerned, his parents were foolish and flawed from head to toe.
Their lives must be miserable, the child thought. They had abandoned their perfect, blessed progeny after all.
But then the child found his old house with a daughter inside. And oh, how happy they all looked!
This new daughter wasn't very smart. She could hardly be described as beautiful either.
And yet the three of them seemed... happy.
They laughed about how much happier they were, compared to living with you-know-who.
They wanted to forget about him entirely.
He drove them up the wall and they had no choice but to abandon him, they thought.
They chatted on about how much fun they were having now.
The child felt compelled to listen as his parents disowned him a second time.
Could it be? Had the child been in the wrong all this time?
No, they're the ones to blame here, he thought.
And so the child decided to erase his family from existence.
Now I'm safe, he told himself with a smile.
But the child was much too smart for such simplistic solutions. The doubts sowed by his parents' words would not be so easily erased.
Day after day, those doubts grew larger... until it was too late.
The child was convinced the world was laughing at his pathetic existence.
And in time he could bear the grief no longer.
Mysterious Voice: Heh. I can't say much more than that. Not that there's any need, really.
Mysterious Voice: You're living in the middle of this story, and the conclusion is right on the horizon.
Mysterious Voice: Just hang on a little longer, okay?
(Captain) and the crew have repeated the battle within the primal beast's memories countless times.
As they begin to doubt the purpose of their struggle, Caim pays a visit to the Grandcypher.
Caim: Hello, everyone.
Lyria: Oh, hi, Caim!
Vyrn: Perfect timing! There was something we wanted to ask you about.
Caim: Yes. That's why I'm here.
Lyria: Huh? What do you mean?
Caim: You're wondering how long you have to keep fighting, correct?
Vyrn: Wow, nailed it on the first try!
Caim: It only makes sense for you to start harboring doubts.
Caim: But you can rest easy. The fight is already over.
Vyrn: Really? Does that mean we managed to throw a monkey wrench in the primal beast's plans?
Lyria: Um, Caim? The presence I'm sensing from that card you gave us is getting stronger too...
Vyrn: And is it just me, or is the image on the card clearing up? Let's see if we can finally make heads or tails of it...
Caim: Yes. I had a feeling you might've noticed.
Caim: Today, as thanks for your cooperation, I'm going to tell you the truth.
Vyrn: Th-the truth?
Caim: First, you've collected enough data. That's why the fight is nearing its end.
Lyria: Huh? D-data?
Caim: Combat data from the War. I now have enough to proceed with world creation.
Vyrn: Wait a sec!
Vyrn: I thought we were fighting to prevent a new world from being created!
Caim: Just the opposite. You were nothing more than pawns in my simulation.
Lyria: That can't be!
Thinking they were fighting to save the world, not bring it to the brink of annihilation, (Captain) and the crew are at a loss for words.
Caim: Honestly, you exceeded expectations. I'm glad I chose you.
Vyrn: Thanks, but no thanks for the compliment! You tricked us!
Caim: That's how it turned out.
Caim answers, seemingly devoid of emotion.
Caim: And? What are you going to do about it?
Vyrn: Well, when you put us on the spot like that...
Caim: Whatever you do to me won't stop the flow of events that have been set in motion.
Lyria: But we can't just sit here and watch the world get destroyed!
Vyrn: You've got that right! We've gotta stop it somehow!
Vyrn: Obviously! But what do you suggest we do instead?
Lyria: Um, you weren't kidding about a primal beast trying to create a new world, right?
Caim: I was not. What of it?
Vyrn: Oh, I gotcha! So if we can somehow stop him—
Caim: That's going to be difficult.
Vyrn: Why's that!
Lyria: The card is shining!
Caim: Fine. I never did like you, but we have to do this if we're going to move forward.
Lyria: Caim, who are you talking to?
Caim: All right, (Captain).
Vyrn: What's going on!
Caim: I'm taking the card back.
Caim slowly reaches toward the gleaming card in (Captain)'s hand.
All the crew can do is look on in stunned silence.
The primal beast calls out to Caim casually, to which he responds in disgust. The primal is not the least bit shaken, and proceeds to strangle Caim in order to give him the peace he desires. It then remarks that it loves watching people overcome the injustices of the world and attacks the crew.
The crew looks on in stunned silence at the strange light emanating from the card.
Caim calmly approaches (Captain) to retrieve the card himself.
Caim: There's no longer any reason for you to have that card.
Vyrn: Hold on!
Caim: If I may.
Caim pulls the card from (Captain)'s hand.
Caim: Happy now, Hanged Man?
Caim unhappily flicks the face of the card.
Vyrn: W-wait, isn't that one of the Arcarum?
The Hanged Man: I'm finally free!
Vyrn: He's a primal beast... right?
Lyria: So it was an Arcarum primal that was trying to recreate the world!
The Hanged Man: Howdy, Caim.
The primal beast stretches a hand towards Caim, seemingly without a care in the world. The crew, meanwhile, stares on in disbelief.
The Hanged Man: You really busted me out of a jam this time. Thanks, seriously.
Caim: Shut up.
Caim pulls away from the primal beast's hand just as it nears his cheek.
The Hanged Man: Ha ha, listen, I get it! You hate me!
The Hanged Man: But that job I asked you to do sure turned out great, didn't it?
The Hanged Man: Simulating history, gathering and analyzing data... You really got into it, from where I was sitting!
The Hanged Man: And hey, you even got to forget about your sad little delusional world for a while!
Caim: I told you to shut up!
Caim slaps away The Hanged Man's hands as they reach for his cheeks.
The Hanged Man: Ah well, it's all thanks to you that I'm here, and with tons of data too!
The Hanged Man: I've really gotta thank you properly. Like this...
The Hanged Man's hands suddenly reach for Caim's neck.
Lyria: Oh no!
The Hanged Man: I promised, right? You wanted serenity, and I'm going to deliver.
The Hanged Man's fingers slip inside Caim's neck.
Caim: What... are you... doing...
Caim's body soon goes limp.
Lyria: No way... Caim?
Vyrn: What do you think you're doing?
The Hanged Man: Sorry to keep you waiting. You're next.
The Hanged Man turns toward the crew, hand extended.
Vyrn: What are you anyway?
The Hanged Man: Oh? I think Caim introduced me already. I'm one of the Arcarum.
Lyria: Are you trying to create a new world? Why?
The Hanged Man: Hm, why indeed? I'm not particularly interested in the end result, honestly.
Vyrn: Then what do you want? And why did you treat Caim like that?
The Hanged Man: Because this world's unfair. Doesn't make sense a lot of the time either.
The Hanged Man: But dealing with that makes people stronger. Helps them evolve.
The Hanged Man: Not that I'm people! I just love seeing other folks deal with that junk.
Lyria: What do you mean?
The Hanged Man: I mean, having you guys around made things pretty fun for that very reason.
The Hanged Man: Anyway, let's bring this to a close.
Vyrn: This is bad! If we don't do something, who knows what's gonna happen!
Lyria: We'll just have to try to stop him! Let's go, (Captain)!
Extending Hope: Scene 2
Weeks pass after the battle with the primal. The crew learns from Sierokarte that Caim is awake and goes to meet him. They are surprised to see that his mind has reset to a blank slate; with no memory of who he was, he now behaves like a normal child. (Captain) and company can only pray that he has found peace.
A few days have passed since (Captain) and the crew fought against The Hanged Man.
Sierokarte: Guess what, everyone! Caim's finally awakened!
Lyria: Oh, thank goodness! Let's go see him!
Vyrn: Sounds good!
Vyrn: It seemed like he wasn't gonna pull through for a little bit there, but I'm glad to hear he's come to!
Sierokarte: Actually, about that. He may have opened his eyes, but...
Caim: Oh, Siero! Where'd you go? Please don't leave me!
Sierokarte: Sorry about that. But I brought some people who want to see you, Caim!
Lyria: Uh, hello...
Caim: Who're these folks?
According to Siero, Caim appears to have lost his memories.
On top of that, his psychological state seems to have reverted to well below what his actual age would suggest.
Caim: Sob... Oh, Siero!
Sierokarte: It's okay, Caim! Don't be scared. These people are my friends.
Caim: They're your... friends?
The frightened Caim doesn't appear to have the intelligence or personality he once had.
Lyria: Um, hello, Caim. My name's Lyria.
Caim: Who're these folks?
Lyria: Yes. I hope we can be friends!
Caim: That sounds... nice! I wanna be friends with you too, Lyria!
Caim's eyes give off a pure, radiant sparkle untainted by the trauma of his past life.
The crew entrusts Caim to Sierokarte and promises to visit again someday.
But as they return to the Grandcypher, a sadness lingers.
Lyria: Was that the serenity Caim wanted?
Vyrn: You mean, what the primal beast said he promised to Caim?
Lyria: Yeah, I wonder if Caim's happy the way he is now.
Vyrn: Beats me...
Vyrn: We don't even know why he decided to help that primal beast out in the first place.
Lyria: Did he? It didn't look like they got along very well.
Vyrn: I wonder. He sure seemed to be aware of what he was doing at the time, didn't he?
Lyria: Yeah, but why would he help out the Arcarum if he hated them?
Vyrn: We can't ask him anything about it now, that's for sure.
Caim lived a life of extremes, pushed to his limits by an intense intelligence.
What did he fear? What did he want? And what, ultimately, was the end result of his pact with the Arcarum?
There's nothing (Captain) can do to find out more, and the primal beasts within Lyria offer no suggestions.
All they can do is wish happiness upon Caim, who traded everything for a chance to experience serenity.
The Hanged Man: Heh. Well, that was fun. (Captain), was it? Something tells me there is more where that came from.
The Hanged Man: My orders as an Arcarum aside, of course.
The Hanged Man: For now, I might as well just kick back, relax, and wait. The time foretold will arrive soon enough...
Awakening and Departure
Caim suddenly falls into a deep slumber. The Hanged Man explains that he must reinvoke his pact with Caim, or they will both fade away. Seeing no other way, the crew allows it. Free of all the tragic memories he once held, the innocent and pure Caim joins the crew along with The Hanged Man.
Months have passed since the battle with The Hanged Man.
Lyria: I wonder how Caim's doing now...
The crew are on their way to meet Caim after receiving word from Sierokarte.
Vyrn: Word is he just stopped waking up one day. What coulda happened to him?
Lyria: Well, Siero did say he's just sleeping and not exactly ill...
Lyria: But it still worries me.
Vyrn: He still can't remember anything, right? Must be feeling like a real burden.
Lyria: Ah! That reminds me...
Lyria: I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but I haven't really felt The Hanged Man's presence lately.
Lyria: I don't sense much of his power anymore.
Vyrn: Yeah? Come to think of it, he came off as a total chatterbox, but he hasn't said a peep for a while now.
Lyria: Could it be related to Caim's condition?
Vyrn: Considering those two have a pact in place, that sounds about right.
Lyria: Anyhow, we'll just have to see for ourselves how Caim is doing!
(Captain) and company walk into a room and find Sierokarte watching over Caim.
Lyria: Siero! How is he?
Sierokarte: Hi there! He's still dozing off as you can see.
Vyrn: Hm, he's definitely getting in more than forty winks.
The crew gazes in wonder at the slumbering Caim.
Lyria: We can't just leave him like this.
Sierokarte: Mm-hm. Staying in bed twenty-four seven is only going to make him weaker and weaker.
Vyrn: That must really suck!
Lyria: Mmph... What do we do...
Vyrn: There's not much we can do without knowing what exactly he's come down with...
Lyria: I just felt a sudden wave of The Hanged Man's power!
The Hanged Man: Hoo boy...
Vyrn: Hey... Hanged Man! What's the big idea!
Lyria: You scared me!
The Hanged Man: Whoops, my bad. I came out on my own since I was running out of time.
Vyrn: Whaddya mean you're outta time?
The Hanged Man: I meant to say I'm running out of juice.
Lyria: Oh no!
The Hanged Man: Hm? I thought you noticed, Lyria.
Lyria: It's true I felt your power getting weaker, but to think that you might disappear...
Vyrn: How did things turn out like this?
The Hanged Man: I'm a bit of an oddball when it comes to primal beasts. I've got issues.
Lyria: What exactly do you mean by that?
The Hanged Man: Me and the other Arcarum primals were created by The World.
The Hanged Man: Maybe it's because we're made from recycled cores of other primals, but we can be pretty fragile.
Lyria: A primal beast created by another primal beast...
Vyrn: Wait, recycling cores is a thing?
The Hanged Man: I suppose you could say anything goes for us primals.
Vyrn: You almost make it sound like it's someone else's problem...
The Hanged Man: Meh. We're programmed in a way so as to never oppose The World.
The Hanged Man: In layman's terms: brainwashing.
The Hanged Man: Before I forget, I should also mention that the mastermind responsible for manipulating you all into helping shape a new cosmos is also...
The Hanged Man: The World. We're all following his orders.
Vyrn: Hold up just one sec! This is some pretty big news you're laying on us!
Lyria: So even now, you're still...
The Hanged Man: Nuh-uh, thanks to you guys, the fetters placed on me by The World are no more.
Vyrn: Geez, you coulda told us that first, you know!
The Hanged Man: Yeah, my bad. Anyway, getting back on topic...
The Hanged Man: Now that I'm free of The World's clutches, I'm finding it hard to keep up my strength.
Vyrn: So that's what you meant by "disappear."
The Hanged Man: Caim stopped waking up pretty much because I've become so weak.
Vyrn: So it was all related after all!
Lyria: What can we do to help! At this rate Caim's going to...
The Hanged Man: The solution's simple enough. I just need to renew my pact with Caim.
Lyria: You mean do what you did to him... again?
The Hanged Man: Anyone who makes a pact with one of us Arcarum primals is known as an Evoker.
The Hanged Man: Evokers are the ones who hold the power for the Arcarum to materialize in this world.
Vyrn: That explains why refreshing the pact would keep you wholesome.
The Hanged Man: Yep. And it'd mean rise and shine for Caim to boot.
Lyria: But then... (Captain)...
(Captain) finds it difficult to respond to Lyria at once.
Vyrn: You can't expect us to just say, "Yeah, sure—go right ahead."
The Hanged Man: Why?
Vyrn: Are you serious? Don't tell me you've already forgotten what you did to Caim!
Lyria: He's still suffering from memory loss.
Lyria: To place such a heavy burden on him on top of that might be too much...
The Hanged Man: Aww, how gentle you guys are. Well, I guess that's the end of it then.
Vyrn: Hm? What is it now?
The Hanged Man: If I can't have your permission, then there's no other way about it.
The Hanged Man: I'll just have to disappear along with Cain.
Vyrn: No way!
The Hanged Man: Only reason Caim hasn't kicked the bucket yet is because of the bond we still share.
The Hanged Man: In a way, he's alive thanks to me.
Vyrn: It's also your fault he almost bought the farm!
The Hanged Man: Yeah, you could say that.
The Hanged Man: Not like it changes the facts though.
The Hanged Man's easygoing attitude this entire time leaves (Captain) with a chill.
Lyria: Is that the only way?
The Hanged Man: Mm-hm, as far as I know.
Vyrn: There's gotta be something else we can try. We've just gotta look for it.
Lyria: Yeah! It's probably better to go with a method that won't be a burden on Caim.
The Hanged Man: Uh-oh! Clock's ticking!
Vyrn: Whoa! It looks like you're just about ready to fade out of existence!
Lyria: I can sense your power diminishing too!
Sierokarte: Ah! Even Caim's reacting!
Still deep asleep, Caim groans in agonizing pain before his breaths grow increasingly shallow.
Vyrn: Darn it! You weren't joking about running outta time!
The Hanged Man: Hate to say this, but it looks like this is goodbye.
Even during what may very well be his final moments, The Hanged Man remains as laid-back as ever.
Lyria: (Captain)! What do we do?
Choose: Go on and renew the pact.
- Go on and renew the pact.
The Hanged Man: Hm? You sure about that?
Lyria: Caim's life is at stake...Choose: ...
Vyrn: No time for buts!
Lyria: If this keeps up, Caim's—
Caim holds on by a bare thread.
Vyrn: C'mon, (Captain)!
Teeth clenched, (Captain) gives The Hanged Man an affirmative nod.Continue 1
The Hanged Man: All right. Here goes.
The Hanged Man approaches Caim and places both hands on his cheek, maintaining the same carefree expression the entire time.
The Hanged Man: Guess we'll be sticking around a bit longer after all.
Caim: Wow, this airship is huge! Whee!
Vyrn: Whoa, slow down there, Caim! You definitely don't wanna fall off by accident!
Caim: I'll be fine! I'm not a kid anymore!
His pact with The Hanged Man renewed, Caim has joined the crew on their adventure.
Lyria: I'm really glad Caim's all better now.
Lyria: Just look how thrilled he is running around on the Grandcypher.
Vyrn: Yup, I'm just glad he's having a blast! Still though...
Vyrn: I wouldn't say everything's back to normal.
Lyria: Yeah... He doesn't remember anything about the past.
The Hanged Man: I don't exactly have the power to just whip his memory back into shape. Besides, Caim's having a ton more fun the way he is now.
Vyrn: That's a good point...
Watching Caim prance about with so much glee, (Captain) has mixed feelings about the situation.
Caim: So, hey! Where's this ship headed?
Lyria: Is there any place you want to go, Caim?
Caim: You're asking me? Hm...
He gives it some thought before noticing The Hanged Man.
Caim: Hey... Do I know you?
The Hanged Man: Don't be so cold. I'm The Hanged Man, remember?
Caim: Um... So where do you want to go, Hanged Man?
The Hanged Man: I've decided to tag along with this crew wherever their destination is.
Caim: That sounds a lot like me.
The Hanged Man: Yep, we're in the same boat here.
Vyrn: Care to tell us why you wanna come with us so badly?
The Hanged Man: Sure. Being with you guys gives me a higher chance of bumping into The World again someday.
Lyria: Hm... You want to see The World?
Vyrn: Whoa! What's that all about?
The Hanged Man: Hey, relax. It's nothing you guys need to be afraid of.
The Hanged Man: I'm not under his control anymore.
Lyria: Then why...
The Hanged Man: Sure, I might be free from his shackles, but I still need a way to stave off boredom, you know?
Vyrn: Heh, what a riot...
The Hanged Man: Most of all, I can't wait to see the look on The World's face when you foil his plans.
Lyria: Foil his plans?
The Hanged Man: Well, you don't intend on leaving him be, do you?
Vyrn: Not in a million years.
Lyria: If he wants to rid us of our skies, then we're definitely going to put a stop to that!
The Hanged Man: So there you go. You folks are ready to bust his chops after all.
Caim: Hey, what's this all about? Who's this The World? He sounds like a bad person.
The Hanged Man: A bad person, eh? Things aren't always so black-and-white if you ask me. It's more sophisticated than that.
Caim: Black and white? So-fisty-cake-did?
The Hanged Man: Hahaha! You'll come to know what I mean in due time.
The Hanged Man: And when that time does come, I'd be more than happy to hear your thoughts on the issue.
The Hanged Man: ...
Their pact renewed, both The Hanged Man and Caim are now part of the crew.
No one can say...
How the experiences on this journey will end up shaping the wide-eyed, innocent Caim.