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Sun-Baked Rice Crackers
After reading a fairy tale at the Knickknack Shack, the crew sets off to meet the person it's based on, Rosine—a kind, elderly woman who treats the crew to a batch of rice crackers. It turns out her husband was mysteriously kidnapped, and she joins the crew to search for him after some urging from the island children.
A gentle breeze blows one sunny afternoon. Having finished one errand and in search of the next, the crew visits the Knickknack Shack.
After reading a fairy tale titled Rosine's Rice Crackers, they share their impressions of it.
Lyria: I'm glad it ended on a high note, but did the old lady ever get to meet up with her husband in the end?
Vyrn: Nope, I don't think so. They still didn't know where he was at the end of the story.
The tale tells of an old woman who was separated from her husband, but eventually rediscovers joy after suffering through many hardships.
The woman in the story makes rice crackers said to have the power to bring happiness to all who eat them.
Sierokarte: This book is based on a true story, you know. It was published quite recently, so the woman it's about is still going strong.
Vyrn: No way! In that case, I wanna meet her! I gotta know if she ever found her husband!
When (Captain) and the crew arrive on her island, a refined, elderly woman surrounded by children comes out to greet them.
Rosine: Why, hello there! Welcome, welcome, one and all!
Vyrn: Heya, I'm Vyrn! And this here's (Captain)! We travel the skies together.
Lyria: And I'm Lyria. I'm so glad to meet you, Rosine!
Rosine: What's that you say? Vernon? What a lovely name...
Rosine: And, uh, Lillian, was it? Thank you for coming all this way just to see me.
Vyrn: My name's Vyrn! Not Vernon!
Lyria: Um... And mine's Lyria!
Rosine: Of course, of course.
Vyrn: Yeesh... I don't think that sunk in at all.
Rosine is delighted to hear that the crew came to visit her after reading her tale, and she welcomes them with the utmost hospitality.
Rosine: Have some tea. And please, help yourself to tea cakes and rice crackers.
Child 1: Granny's rice crackers are super yummy!
Lyria: Wow! So this is a rice cracker! It looks amazing!
Lyria: Yum! This is delicious, Rosine!
Vyrn: Hehe! Yeah, they're so good! Oh rice crackers, where've you been all my life?
Rosine: Oh, come now. You're all too kind.
Child 3: Granny! Look at this bug I caught! What kinda bug is it?
Rosine: Goodness me, you sure found a big'un. Let Granny have a closer look.
Rosine begins earnestly examining the bug under a magnifying glass.
Rosine: It's... a little hard to see... Where's that magnifying glass I had?
Vyrn: Um, aren't you using it right now?
Rosine: Oh my. So I am. I didn't even realize. My eyes must have gotten worse again.
Vyrn: I don't think that's a vision problem...
Rosine grips the magnifying glass tightly and squints her eyes, leaning in to inspect the bug once more.
Rosine: Ah, I know what this guy is! There's no mistaking that hard carapace and those large horns...
Rosine: This is a, erm... Let me see now...
Rosine: Now what was it called again?
Vyrn: Is it just me or is she crazy forgetful?
Lyria: Ehehe. Yeah... But she's even more adorable than the Rosine in the story!
The crew finds being around Rosine incredibly relaxing. Eventually the conversation turns to the book, and a chance arises to ask about her husband.
Lyria: Rosine, aren't you sad that you never found your husband? Don't you want to see him again?
Rosine: Hmm? Well, yes... We're both getting along in years, but I suppose it's possible he's still alive.
Rosine: But I have the children and the other islanders by my side now. My loneliness left me long ago.
Her husband, a famed doctor, was kidnapped by the Primal Beast Research Agency, a society wanting to take advantage of his skill.
Ten years have passed since then. Despite being left all alone, Rosine has somehow managed to withstand the loneliness and despair.
Rosine: But you know... It'd be nice if I could see him one last time...
Vyrn: What kinda guy was he?
Rosine: Oh, he loved animals. He had a special connection with them, so he was always surrounded by creatures of some sort.
Rosine: As a physician he was without equal. He was incredibly passionate about his research...
Rosine: He had all kinds of rare instruments for practicing his medicine.
Sierokarte: Say, Rosine. Your husband didn't happen to possess a large scythe by chance, did he?
Lyria: Ah! It's Siero!
Vyrn: Whoa, where'd you spring out from! I thought you vanished the moment we landed.
Rosine: Hmm? Why, yes. He had a scythe, a hoe, things like that. But they were whisked away at the same time he was abducted.
Vyrn: She's way too chill about all this! It's kinda weirdin' me out.
Rosine: Siero, was it? Welcome, welcome to my humble home.
Sierokarte: Why, thank you for having me!
Vyrn: Back up a minute, Siero. How'd you know what tools the old man had anyway?
Sierokarte: Well, you see... There are stories of a wandering healer who performs esoteric medicine. He's said to talk to animals and carry a great scythe.
Vyrn: Wait, what!
Sierokarte: When I heard those rumors, I started to wonder if they might be describing Rosine's husband.
Rosine: My goodness...
Sierokarte: Hehehe. It looks like I've hit the nail on the head.
Lyria: That's amazing, Siero!
Rosine, he could be your husband!
Vyrn: So this healer, whereabouts is he now?
Sierokarte: Well... It seems hewanders continuously, so he doesn't have a fixed residence. I heard he's searching for the road home.
Vyrn: You're on fire today, Siero!
Hear that, Granny? Maybe you can see Gramps again after all!
Rosine: Oh my... My, my, my... I'm sorry, but... How should I put this...
Lyria: Hey, (Captain), why don't we take Rosine to find her husband?
Lyria: I know there's a chance this healer could be the wrong person, but we'll never know unless we reach out to him.
Lyria: And even if he's not her husband, there's a good chance our paths will cross at some point on our travels.
Choose: Let's search for him together!
- Let's search for him together!
- Let's see what Rosine thinks
Rosine: That's a very generous offer. However...Choose: Let's see what Rosine thinks
Rosine: These islanders have become like a family to me.
Rosine: I want to do all I can to repay them for giving me so many days filled with happiness, for lifting me up.
Rosine: I'm not long for this world, so I know there isn't much I can do to thank them... But this is for my own self-indulgence.
Rosine: It's not that I don't want to see my husband again, but I think I'll wait patiently for him to return.
Rosine says this with a serene smile, leaving the crew members speechless.
Child 1: Hey, Granny!
Child 2: Um, we know you sometimes get sad.
Rosine: My, my, my... Where is all this coming from?
Child 2: I want you to be happy all the time like we are. I don't want you to be lonely.
Child 3: Deep down, you wanna see Gramps again, don't you, Granny?
Child 2: Yeah! And I bet Gramps wants to see you too! So go find him!
Rosine: Oh, children...
Rosine is at a loss for words at this unexpected development. The persuasive words of the children sway her stubborn heart.
Finally she speaks.
Rosine: You young'uns grow up so fast... When did you get to be so wise?
Lyria: Hehe. It's easy to see they all love their Granny!
Rosine: Well, when you put it like that, I don't have much of a choice, do I?
Rosine: May I take back my previous response to your invitation, (Captain)?
Vyrn: Of course you can! Just say the word! Right, (Captain)?
Lyria: Yay! We'll find your husband together! I'm sure of it!
Rosine: Lillian, Vernon, (Captain). Thank you for having me aboard.
Vyrn: Hey! Who's Vernon!
Lyria: Well, I guess Lillian is close enough to Lyria.
Rosine: Look after my place while I'm away, children. And you all play nice, now. Don't wander off anywhere dangerous.
Child 1: Hehe. Don't worry about us! You take care of yourself too, Granny!
Rosine joins the crew on their travels in hopes of one day being reunited with her long-lost husband.
And with that, a new chapter of Rosine's Rice Crackers begins to unfold.
Walking the Bright Path
The crew visits a desolate mountainside following a tip about a man they suspect to be Rosine's husband, but to no avail. When a monster gets the drop on them, Rosine offers it a rice cracker, distracting it long enough for the crew to gain the upper hand.
Lyria: How's your back today, Granny? Does it hurt?
Rosine: My back and my knees are just peachy. Thank you for asking, Lyria.
Mindful of Rosine's age, (Captain) and the crew move steadily through a mountain pass that shows no trace of humans or monsters.
They have come following a report that the traveler suspected to be Rosine's husband has been spotted in the area. However, their visit proves fruitless.
Vyrn: Looks like that wanderer Siero told us about already moved on to someplace else.
Vyrn: Sigh... We came all this way for nothin'! I'm not complainin' about the lack of monsters though.
Lyria: Vyrn, you jinxed us! Monsters!
Vyrn: Hey! I never said I wanted 'em to show up!
Rosine: Oh my... Are you hungry, dear?
Rosine: Hunger is enough to make anyone cranky.
Lyria: Eek! Granny, that's dangerous!
Rosine: I'm sorry, but I simply can't neglect a starving child.
Vyrn: If it's starvin', that means we're on the menu!
Rosine: How about some nice rice crackers instead?
Vyrn: It's actually eatin' the crackers!
Vyrn: Sheesh. I can't believe you adopted a monster as one of your grandkids.
Lyria: Hehe. Not even monsters can resist Granny's rice crackers !
Vyrn: All right! (Captain), let's flank 'em while they're chowin' down on the rice crackers!
Walking the Bright Path: Scene 2
As (Captain) and the crew search for their next lead, Rosine reveals the real reason she decided to journey with them. She believes that if she shows the islanders back home how much she's done on her travels, it will give them a drive of their own.
Rosine: Phew. There we go.
Io: Mm! They smell so good!
Vyrn: Hey there, Rosine. You makin' rice crackers again?
Rosine: They should be just about done baking. Any minute now.
The crew has returned to the airship after repelling the monsters. Rosine bakes rice crackers while they search for their next lead.
Rosine: I've carefully memorized your favorite flavors.
Rosine: Rackam is partial to brown sugar, Io prefers wasabi, and Lyria is a fan of chili. Isn't that right?
Lyria: Chili? What! But I can't handle spicy food!
Io: Wait, what's wasabi? Never heard of that one!
Rackam: Brown sugar, huh? Hahaha. Well, I don't hate it or anything, but...
Vyrn: They're all totally wrong! How'd you get 'em so mixed up?
Rosine: Oh dear... I'm so sorry. I've been so forgetful as of late...
Vyrn: Well, that's part of what makes you so lovable, I guess.
Rosine: Oh well. I made plenty, so help yourselves to the ones you like.
(Captain) and the crew enjoy a brief moment of respite before they reach their next destination.
Rackam: Boy, it's even tougher than I thought tryin' to track down that old man.
Vyrn: Sigh... Looks like it's gonna be a while before Granny gets her happy reunion.
Rosine: Could I have everyone's attention for a moment?
Rosine turns to fix her gaze on the gathered crew. A strange feeling of tension fills the air.
Lyria: Um... What is it, Granny?
Rosine: Listen, dearies. It's true that I'd like to see my husband again, of course.
Rosine: But that's not the only reason I decided to join you on your journey. There was something I wanted everyone on the island to know.
Lyria: Oh? There was?
Rosine: Yes, child. I wanted them to see that even an old lady like me can go gallivanting across the skydom.
Vyrn: Huh? Why's that?
Rosine: Everyone on the island is so kind, almost too much so.
Rosine: But they haven't had much contact with the outside world, so they're somewhat sheltered. You could even say they've got no gumption.
Rosine: Life isn't all smooth-sailing. When you encounter hardships, you need courage to overcome them.
Rosine: I don't want the islanders to live their lives afraid of the unknown. I think it would do them good to have a broader outlook of the world.
Vyrn: I get it. If you show them how much you've done on your travels, it'll give 'em a drive of their own. That whatcha mean?
Rosine: Ohoho... Yes, exactly. So you see, I'm indebted to all of you.
Rosine: Yes. It's all because of your crew that I was able to go off on an adventure like this.
Rosine: (Captain), everyone. Thank you for everything you've done for me.
Rosine: If there's ever anything I can do to help out, you just let ol' Granny know.
Rackam: In that case, I guess we oughta make plans to show our faces on the island from time to time.
Walking the Bright Path: Scene 3
Disappointed that their newest lead has once again gone cold, (Captain) and the crew apologize to Rosine. However, she reassures them that their efforts have made her incredibly happy and resolves to continue traveling with them on their journey.
Rackam: The trail's gone cold again.
With a promising new lead in hand, the crew had once again set out on the trail of the wandering healer.
But they were too late, as the wanderer had already set out on his next journey.
Vyrn: Sigh... Sorry, Granny. And here I thought we were finally gonna find somethin'.
Rosine: Come now, please don't look so down, Vernon. That goes for the rest of you too.
Rosine: There's absolutely no need to apologize. After all, I'm incredibly happy right now.
Rackam: Really? What're you happy about?
Rosine: I'm touched by everything you've done for me. Thank you, everyone.
Rosine: And I've made so many wonderful memories on this journey. I can't wait to share them with everyone back on the island.
Rosine: If we'd found my husband right away, then my quest would already be over, right?
Vyrn: Good point! So this means you can keep traveling with us! Woohoo!
Rosine: Yes indeed. This game of cat and mouse with my husband is only getting started.
Rackam: Haha! You're really something, Granny!
Vyrn: One last thing. How long are you gonna keep callin' me Vernon?
Taking Rosine's words to heart, (Captain) and the crew plot a course for the next step of their voyage.
But is there light at the end of the tunnel, or ever-lurking darkness?
Regardless of what awaits them at journey's end, they continue on their way forward, hand in hand.
Scythes and Crackers
Rosine mistakes the scythe-wielding Vaseraga to be her long-lost husband. The misunderstanding is quickly dispelled, but all is not as meets the eye as Vaseraga might in fact be connected to her husband through an intricate web of mystery.
One fine day on the Grandcypher, a most curious scene begins to unfold.
Rosine: Oh my... My, my, my... Could it be? Is that you, dear?
It seems Rosine—who joined (Captain)'s crew in hopes of finding her kidnapped husband—has mistaken the scythe-wielding Vaseraga for her long-lost spouse.
Suspecting that he does not recognize her, she tries to remind him.
Rosine: Dearest... it's me, your wife Rosine.
Though Vaseraga finds this case of mistaken identity to be absurd, the sincerity in Rosine's eyes leaves him at a loss for words.
Before he can respond, Vyrn shouts out in astonishment.
Vyrn: Whoa! Spike is Granny's husband!
Lyria: What! Vaseraga? Husband! I always imagined Rosine's husband to be a little older...
Vaseraga: Calm down. Nobody's anyone's husband.
Vaseraga: Ma'am. I'm sorry, but I'm not who you think I am.
Vaseraga: I don't know what gave you the idea, but I'm not your husband.
Rosine: Oh my...
Rosine: Oh my! Why yes, you're right!
Lyria: Whew! Okay, that makes more sense. You had me going for a second there!
Vyrn: Now that you mention it, you said your husband had a big sickle, right? I guess it looks a lot like Spike's scythe.
Rosine: Oh, I'm so very sorry. My eyes just keep getting worse these days. Age seems to be catching up to me.
Rosine rubs her eyes gently. A tear rolls down her cheek.
Rosine: Vaseraga, was it? A pleasure to meet you. I hope you'll forgive an old lady her mistake.
Vaseraga: Sure... (What's an elderly woman like her doing on a skyfaring crew?)
Rosine: Well then, who's up for some tea? I'll be back in just a minute.
With the misunderstanding behind her, Rosine eases herself to her feet and gives a warm smile.
A flicker of sorrow can be seen in her eyes, if only for a moment.
Vyrn: All right, it's snackin' time! We'll help you get the kettle ready! C'mon, (Captain)!
Lyria: You're in for a treat, Vaseraga. Rosine's crackers are out of this world!
Vaseraga: That good, huh? I'm looking forward to it.
Teatime comes and goes, and everyone pitches in to help clean up. Rosine reaches to pick up a metal tray.
Rosine: Off this goes to the—
Vaseraga: I'll handle that. Don't strain yourself.
Seeing Rosine try to lift the heavy tray of teacups and saucers, Vaseraga offers a helping hand.
Rosine: Hm? Vaserogan! My, my, my. What a kind young man you are.
Vaseraga: What? No, my name is—
Rosine: Thank you so very much. Gentlemen are such rare sights these days.
Once again at a loss for words, Vaseraga takes the tray.
Vaseraga: What's so funny?
Rosine: I was just reminded of my husband; we would clean up together just like this. Those were the good old days...
Vaseraga: I see.
Rosine: Ohh, he loved rice crackers with a passion.
Rosine: And he...
Rosine: Umm, he...
Rosine: What was I trying to say, again?
Rosine: By the way, did you have your fill of crackers, dearie?
Rosine beams with satisfaction at Vaseraga's reply.
Rosine: Ah yes, now I remember. He just loved those sweet, salty crackers.
Rosine: You can't imagine the amount of baking trays that had to be cleaned once he was through. Hohoho. We would wash the mountain of trays together.
Vaseraga: I see.
Rosine: Ah, but all this talk must be such a bore to you, Vaserogan. I'm sorry I ramble on sometimes.
Vaseraga: No need for apologies. You said this man looked like me. Could you tell me more about him?
Vaseraga: I'll admit you've gotten me curious.
Rosine: Oh, my, my, my! Such a tender heart you have, Vaserogan.
Rosine: Well, if you want to indulge an old woman her stories, you'll have it.
Rosine begins to
reminisce of the days she spent with her husband.
She tells of how he was a famously skilled doctor, of how his unique brand of medicine employed a sickle and a hoe, and of how he could communicate with animals.
He was captured by a secret organization, but according to information from Sierokarte, it seems he has since escaped and is now searching for a way home.
Rosine: There's no way to know for sure if those rumors are true.
Rosine: But I can feel it. I know that we'll be together again, soon.
Rosine: Hoho. Or one can hope, at least.
As Vaseraga listens to Rosine, his expression grows solemn.
Vaseraga: (Could the organization be behind this kidnapping? Intelligence states they've been gathering pawns through any means necessary.)
Vaseraga: (But there was word of someone who organized a rebellion and escaped... Could it be... Could he be that man?)
Vaseraga: (No, I can't jump to conclusions. It's more likely that these two men are completely unrelated.)
Vaseraga: (However, if this woman's husband and that man really are one and the same, I'll be glad we're on the same side.)
Vaseraga: (But if he's not...)
Vaserara looks on at Rosine's serene expression.
Rosine: My, my, what fine weather we have today.
Vaseraga: (An innocent, frail woman has been burdened with such bitter hardship.)
As if to clear his mind, Vaseraga quietly shuts his eyes.
Vaseraga: (My scythe I wield for justice, and justice alone.)
Rosine: Oh dear. Vaserogan, are you all right? You don't look too well.
Vaseraga: Ma'am. Stop calling me that. My name is Vaseraga.
Rosine: Of course, of course. I understand, Vaserogan.
Vaseraga: I told you, stop calling me that.
Unaware of the flurry of thoughts running through Vaseraga's mind, Rosine smiles on.
Vaseraga concedes to stay on guard, but to pry no further into the matter.
He resigns himself to the fact that whatever burden this elderly woman carries, it is out of his control.
Vaseraga: I enjoyed the crackers. I hope you'll let me try them again someday.
Rosine: Why, of course. Just say the word and I'll bake 'em up in a jiffy.