The Worst Wake-Up Call
Vira wakes in a foul mood after dreaming of the Lowain bros. To cheer herself up, she dons a dress gifted to her by Katalina, but is denied the chance to show it off because Katalina has plans with other crew members all day. Dejected, Vira accepts an invitation to a cafe from Korwa and Sutera.
Psycho Vira: Playboooys!
Hatred manifested in the form of motorized cogs and camshafts terrorizes the streets of Amalthea.
This mechanical monstrosity is Psycho Vira, the ultimate in playboy-purging technology.
She's locked onto the source of her revulsion: three ants that are trying to scurry away.
Playboy 1: By the skies! It won't be long till Vira squishes us into paste!
Playboy 2: We can only blame ourselves, bros! We were too busy clownin' around!
Playboy 1: It's divine retribution for tryin' to get close to Katalina without takin' Vira's feelings into account.
Playboy 3: If that's the case, then we deserve to be mushed into pig slop!
Psycho Vira: Die...
Psycho Vira: All playboys must die!
Background Noise: We're sowwy!
To say that Vira wakes up on the wrong side of the bed would be an understatement.
Vira: Sigh... Why are those guys ruining my dreams too?
Vira lets out a sigh and shakes her head, as if doing so might dissolve any lingering residue.
Grating Voice: We're sowwy!
Vira: Ugh! If someone has to invade my dreams, at least let it be Katalina.
Vira: I need a mood changer...
Vira: When in doubt, think of my knight in shining armor!
Vira brightens in an instant and bounds over to her closet.
She goes through her wardrobe and pulls out a dress.
How she came to own this piece is still fresh in her mind.
Vira: Teehee. It's been so long since we had the chance to go shopping together.
Katalina: Yes, it's getting harder to make plans since the crew keeps expanding.
Vira: I'm happy for (Captain) that the crew is making headway, but I've been somewhat lonely.
Vira: That's why I reserved you all to myself today.
Katalina: Hahaha. That suits me just fine, but isn't there more you want to do besides strolling through town?
Vira: I'm perfectly content as long as I can spend time with you. Whatever else we end up doing is icing on the cake.
Vira and Katalina window-shop along the avenues.
They catch up on recent events all the while, delighting in the easy back-and-forth.
Katalina: Hm? Something catch your fancy?
Vira: Yes. I think that dress would look smashing on you.
Katalina: M-me? I agree it's nice, but it's a little too fancy for my taste...
Vira: Not at all. I dare say it was made for you.
Katalina: Hmm... Honestly I think it might look better on you.
Katalina takes the dress and drapes it along Vira's body.
Katalina: See? What did I tell you?
Katalina: I'll foot the bill for the dress as a small token of appreciation for taking me out today.
Vira closes her eyes and gives the garment a loving squeeze.
Vira ventures into the inn's lobby in search of Katalina.
The knight is nowhere to be found; in her place is a trio of youths.
Killa Taiga: ...
Yung Rintaro: ...
Yung Rintaro: Yooo! What's with the threads, Vira?
Vira: Katalina picked this out for me.
Killa Taiga: Aha! Gotcha, gotcha. Can't blame ya for wantin' to put on a show right off the bat.
Yung Rintaro: Man, Katalina's got taste! Those duds're angelic—
Killa Taiga: ...!
Before Rintaro can finish, Taiga smacks him upside the head.
Killa Taiga: Watch yer trap, dummy! What're you flirtin' for with that "angel" stuff?
Yung Rintaro: C'mon, man, you got it wrong! I'm just sayin' angels wear white, and her dress is white too...
Killa Taiga: Why didn't you just say that in the first place? Back me up here, Tsubasa!
Tsubasa: Huh? Uh, sure...
Tsubasa: Yeah, shoulda just said it was white.
Tsubasa: Lowain told us not to wear anything that'll get stained 'cause he's making pasta tonight.
Vira: Ah, I see. Thanks for the warning.
Vira: By the way, you haven't seen Katalina, have you?
Tsubasa: Yeah, we saw her. She promised to help us study today. She's fixin' up a lesson plan.
Vira: You're studying with Katalina?
Vira: I see... So that's what she's...
Vira: She hasn't forgotten her duty as a mentor, and you all just happen to be students.
Vira: Heh. Very well. I'll even help out and add supplemental lessons of my own when you're done.
Vira: So study hard, listen to your teacher, and behave.
Mysteria Trio: You got it!
Vira: (Our precious time together has been snatched away.)
Vira: (Still, I don't hold anything against those kids for asking Katalina for help.)
Vira: (It's just unfortunate this piece will have to wait for another opportunity to make its debut.)
Vira's mood drops off a cliff, and she stares blankly at the floor while fidgeting with the hem of her dress.
Korwa: Hey, is that...
Sutera: You look wonderful in that ensemble! Can I ask what you're all dressed up for?
Vira: No reason in particular.
Korwa: I see. We were on our way to check out this cafe people are raving about. Care to join us?
Vira: Sure. I was about to head out and wander anyway.
Katalina had mentioned the side effects of an expanding crew, and Vira is experiencing it firsthand.
She's lost some face time with Katalina, but gained some unexpected interactions in exchange.
It's these interactions that spur the changes taking place within her heart.
When Vira mentions that Katalina is busy tutoring Tsubasa and friends, Korwa cheerfully recounts a story about the three young students. It isn't enough to dispel Vira's jealousy, and Psycho Vira pushes her way into Vira's thoughts about the boys.
Korwa and Sutera lead the way to the cafe.
Korwa: Girls, I can say with no exaggeration that you two are dressed for success!
Korwa: Be it design, price, or whatever, when you slip on something that just clicks, don't you feel like a million rupies?
Korwa: I can totally see the joy on someone's face when they do, and it's the best feeling in the world!
Korwa: Doesn't even matter if some other tailor made them. I love it when people get a kick out of their clothes!
Korwa: So what I'm getting at is, I see two decked-out ladies who are down for some fun. I. Am. Pumped!
Vira: Haha. The way you're gushing over me is making me blush.
Sutera: It's only because you tailored my outfit that it looks good on me, Korwa.
Korwa: What can I say? Nothing shines brighter than the glow of a satisfied customer and their outfit!
Vira: I'd originally recommended this dress to Katalina, but she said it looked better on me.
Korwa: Uh-huh, uh-huh. She was spot-on. You'll be turning heads everywhere you go!
Vira: I wouldn't count on that. The only attention I've received so far came from Tsubasa and his friends, cautioning me not to drip pasta sauce on myself.
Sutera: Tsubasa and his friends? Are they the students tagging along with the crew recently?
Korwa: Yeah, those guys! They're a fun bunch, if a bit unpolished when it comes to conversation.
Vira: Yes, they're diligent students. They even got Katalina to tutor them. (Leaving me out of her plans in the process.)
Korwa: They act tough, but their hearts are in the right place. Last time I was hanging out with the Lowain gang, those kids...
Mysteria Trio: ...
Steam rises off the unmistakable shape of a fish's head, which rests on a plate in front of the trembling trio.
Killa Taiga: Th-this is a steamed bonito head...
Yung Rintaro: They say your magic gets better if you eat the brains and eyeballs...
Lowain: Yeah... I tried to spruce it up an' make it more appetizin'...
Lowain: But it kinda backfired. I think I just made it uglier.
Lowain: 'Stead of fishin' for fixes, I figured simple was best, y'know?
Killa Taiga: So, like... I'm supposed to scoop out the eyes or something?
Yung Rintaro: Rrrgh... Uh-uh. It ain't happenin'...
The bonito head continues to give them the fish eye, daring them to make a move.
One youth steps up to the challenge, staring the fish down without so much as blinking.
Tsubasa thrusts out his fork, aiming straight for the fish's eye.
Vira: (You took my precious Katalina time away from me!)
Psycho Vira: Delinquents must die!
Korwa: So they're all, like, "I ain't losin' to no fish," and they forced it down. Somehow they still seemed to have fun with it.
Vira snaps back to reality. Somehow her dream from earlier had seeped into the conversation.
Sutera: Life that provides sustenance shouldn't be wasted. How conscientious of them.
Korwa: Haha, right? They've got their heads screwed on right.
Shifting Winds: Scene 2
Vira is accosted by ne'er-do-wells, but the three women drive them off. Korwa and Sutera exclaim over how poorly these miscreants compare to their crew members, who are all good people. Vira is conflicted, realizing that Katalina may not be wrong in her positive estimations of Lowain, Tsubasa, and the others. Vira is further surprised at how much she enjoyed Korwa and Sutera's company.
The three women satisfy their appetite for cake and tea, settle the bill, and prepare to leave the cafe.
Korwa: Vira's sure taking her sweet time.
Sutera: Maybe something happened in the restroom?
Korwa and Sutera grow concerned over Vira's extended absence.
???: Aw, c'mon, babe! What's the point of goin' home early after gettin' all spruced up? Let's chill!
Vira: You don't know when to quit. I told you I'm not interested.
Hooligan: Don't be like that! You must like my company a little. I don't see you runnin' off.
Vira: You're like a snotty tissue stuck to my heel that I can't get off without getting my hands dirty.
Vira: Since you're able to move of your own volition, however, would you please go and flush yourself down the toilet?
Hooligan: Huh? Look here, missy, you don't wanna piss me off—
Vira: Now you're threatening me? What exactly is a wadded up tissue going to do, pray tell?
Hooligan: You asked for it, hot lips!
The enraged man pulls a knife from the sheath behind his back.
Vira's hand moves effortlessly, imperceptibly swift to the untrained eye, and relieves him of the knife.
Hooligan: What the!
Vira: I ought to stick this knife back where it belongs. Now where exactly would that be?
Hooligan: A-all right, let's be cool... No need to escalate, hehe...
The man falls flat on his rear and frantically squirms away.
Korwa: Vira, honey? You okay?
Vira: His aggressiveness was a bit disconcerting, but a man of his ineptitude is nothing I can't handle.
Sutera: I guess people like that exist everywhere you go.
Korwa: Ugh! Why is it no one outside our crew seems to have any idea how to behave!
Korwa: Sure, we've got a few members who are rough around the edges, or a little big for their britches, but not one of them would dream of acting like that!
Sutera: So true. You can tell our crew members are nice people just by talking to them.
Korwa: Even if some of 'em are a little weird, I think the reason there's nothing but good people on board is down to (Captain)'s morality.
Vira: (That's the problem. It'd be so much easier to chase off crew members if they were losers like that man from before.)
Vira: (But irritating as it is, Katalina enjoys the cooking of that frivolous threesome.)
Vira: (And I'm sure she enjoys counseling those Mysteria students too...)
Sutera: Vira? Is something troubling you?
Vira: I was just clearing something from my head. I enjoyed today's get-together.
Vira: (I'm being honest. I feel as if I can speak my mind without worrying about status.)
Vira: (It reminds me of my academy days with Katalina...)
Shifting Winds: Scene 3
Vira worries that other people are coming between her and Katalina. That night, the dream avatar of her rage, Psycho Vira, terrorizes the playboys and problem students. Vira herself intervenes, realizing that this isn't what Katalina would want.
Vira: (Tonight's dinner was delicious, and Katalina was all smiles.)
Vira: (It used to be me who prepared her meals, but that's changed.)
Vira: (She used to be the one who'd notice the strides I'd made and praise me for it. That's no longer always the case.)
Vira: (Nothing's really changed between us. Yet it feels like we're drifting away with each new member added to the crew.)
Vira: I'm in uncharted waters...
Vira: Meeting (Captain) has changed me.
Vira: But I think certain aspects that I didn't want changed were affected too...
Vira: What I considered to be special... What I wanted to be special... Have they lost their luster?
Vira tries to put her anxiety to rest and pulls the covers over her head.
Psycho Vira: Katalina...
Lowain: By the skies! It won't be long till Vira squishes us into paste!
Tomoi: Don't throw in the towel, Lowain! Fight to the very end!
Elsam: Yeah, but how? Playboys like us could never hope to defeat her alone!
Delinquent (M): 'Sup. Happened to be passin' by and thought we'd jump in.
Delinquent (L): Hehehe... You won't be able to push 'em around so easy now that the gearcycle crew's rolled up.
Delinquent (S): We'll run circles 'round that oversized clunker!
Tomoi: Bros... Now we're adding punks to the mix?
Elsam: 'Ey, Lowain. This is basically our only hope, isn't it?
Lowain: Yep. All the players are here. We'll make it work... somehow?
Delinquent (S): Tsubasa! I'm goin' in first!
The youth revs his engine and speeds off.
Delinquent (S): Get psyched! Focus, baby! Feel the buuurn!
Psycho Vira: Die!
Psycho Vira: All pests must die!
Delinquent (S): Tsu-Tsubasaaa!
Delinquent (M): Yuunng!
Delinquent (L): Half-assed grit ain't gonna cut it!
Lowain: Okay, that's it... Time for a combined assault!
Psycho Vira: Plaaayboooys!
Playboys and delinquents unite, and the pitched battle with the mighty murder machine is in full swing.
Projectiles from the ancient warrior are deftly dodged, its harsh blows withstood by steely wills.
The united offensive slowly chips away at Psycho Vira's armor, but is it enough?
Psycho Vira: Katalina, Katalina...
Psycho Vira: Katalinaaa!
Elsam: What now, Lowain? We can't hold on like this!
Tomoi: This is cray with a capital C!
Delinquent (M): Damn it!
Psycho Vira's unrepentant assault has her foes on the ropes.
Psycho Vira: You pests are deeaaad!
???: That's far enough.
Psycho Vira: ...!
Vira: Sigh... I can't ignore this, even if it is just a dream.
Katalina: Do you intend on rescuing them, Vira?
Psycho Vira: Why would you—
Vira: This isn't what Katalina would want. I'm putting a stop to you, since you can't play nice with others.
Vira: All that I've done and endured has always been for her sake.
Vira: And that's not about to change now!
Psycho Vira: Stay out of my waaayyy!
Shifting Winds: Scene 4
The next morning, Vira once again wears the dress Katalina gave her. She runs into Katalina, who not only compliments her, but asks Vira to make her lunch. Realizing that the heart of their relationship will never change, an elated Vira sets to sandwich-making.
Katalina: Now, Vira! Show me your determination!
Katalina's words of encouragement give Vira just the boost she needs.
Psycho Vira: Ngh!
Vira's slash, as if sharpened by her feelings of adoration, cuts deep into Psycho Vira's armor.
Psycho Vira: Won't... lose...
Psycho Vira: Ka... Kat... lina...
Psycho Vira: Katalinaaa!
Psycho Vira prepares to fire the weapon she'd used to fry the playboys, but there's a problem.
Psycho Vira: Empty?
Vira: You used up your ammunition and energy fighting against the boys.
Vira: That means you're finished!
Katalina: Superb, Vira. Your sword is no longer lost in the shadows of gloom.
Vira: Yes, Katalina.
Vira offers Katalina a smile. But not all traces of doubt have been erased from her face.
Katalina: Maybe I spoke too soon. Is anything else bothering you?
Vira: A dream is just a dream, but I still accepted the fact that those boys could be relied upon in tough situations.
Katalina: That's right. Maybe now you understand why I can't bring myself to hate them.
Vira: Yes, I do.
Vira: (With the Lowain trio taking care of the cooking and Katalina helping the students with their studies...)
Vira: (I had more time to spend with Korwa and Sutera...)
Vira: (It's only natural that some of what we shared can no longer be exclusive.)
Vira: (But even so... When I think about me and Katalina...)
The next morning dawns.
Although Vira's dream helps her clear up some of her hang-ups, it hasn't done much to improve her mood.
Vira dons her white dress again, clinging to the memento of Katalina in the face of the dwindling time they have together.
Katalina: Oh, Vira. There you are. Good mor—
Katalina stands there at a loss for words.
Vira: What's wrong?
Katalina: Sorry, it's just that you look even nicer in that than I had imagined.
Katalina: Yes. You look fantastic.
Katalina: Hm? Was it something I said?
Vira: Eheh... Um... Heeheehee...
Katalina: A-are you all right? Should I fetch a doctor?
Vira: N-no... Haha... I'm fine... Just peachy...
Vira: (Aaah! What is this feeling?)
Vira: (I can't find the words to describe how happy I am.)
Vira: Heeheeheee... B-by the way... Haha... Were you... Were you looking for me?
Katalina: Mm-hm. I was wondering if you might make me lunch.
Katalina: Watching Tsubasa and the others study reminded me of our school days back in Albion.
Katalina: Remember how you used to make sandwiches for me all the time? I suddenly felt a craving for one.
Vira: Is that so? Then I'd be delighted to!
Katalina: Wonderful. I hope you don't mind the extra work.
Vira: Not at all. Let's round up (Captain) and the others for a picnic.
New situations can sometimes feel daunting.
But Vira hasn't lost what's important to her, and Katalina's words ring clear in her heart.
And so Vira heads into town to buy ingredients with the weight of the world lifted from her shoulders.