What We Do for Smiles
Zaja is afraid that playing tricks on children will only frighten them, so (Captain) suggests some innocent costume fun instead. However, (Captain) and company start feeling a bit uneasy when they see the costume he has chosen.
It is the day before Halloween.
The crew set course for a village where they have accepted an assignment to liven up the Halloween festivities.
Zaja: Halloween, eh? Hm...
Lyria: Hey, isn't that Zaja over there?
Vyrn: He sure seems down in the mouth about something.
Concerned for their distressed friend, (Captain) and company call out to Zaja.
Vyrn: Heyo, Slouchy! Whatcha doin' over here?
Zaja: Hello, my friends.
Zaja: My thoughts were turned to Halloween.
Zaja: Surely there must be something I can do to bring joy to the children. Yet nothing springs to mind...
Zaja: I can make it look like my thumb came off. I showed it to (Captain) once. Surely you remember?
Zaja: When I tried to show it to the children in the crew, they just became worried that my finger had really come off.
Zaja: Ever since that day, I've sworn to never play that trick on anyone ever again.
Lyria: Ahaha... What a trick it must've been...
Zaja: That's why I've been thinking of another method. But my knowledge of matters other than battle is scarce, and nothing noteworthy comes to mind...
Vyrn: So that's the story, huh?
Zaja: Do you happen to have any ideas I can use?
Now aware of Zaja's plight, the others help him brainstorm.
Vyrn: Maybe you can just put on a costume and see how that goes?
Lyria: Mm-hm. I think that'd work too!
Zaja: A costume... Would that be enough to bring smiles to children?
Lyria: Well, since doing tricks is difficult...
Lyria: There's no need to try to force a trick. It doesn't suit your kind personality anyway, Zaja!
Lyria: Besides, I think children would be more than impressed with just how flashy and imposing your costume would look!
Zaja: I see...
Vyrn: Hehe! Slouchy's got the perfect build to play Halloween dress-up! Wouldn't you say so, (Captain)?
Choose: I couldn't agree more.
- I couldn't agree more.
- Can't wait to see your costume, Zaja.
Zaja: Hm, so (Captain) is of the same opinion...Choose: Can't wait to see your costume, Zaja.
Zaja: Haha... I can't say for certain I'll meet your expectations, but I'll do my best...Continue 1
Zaja: Thank you. Perhaps I, too, will be able to contribute to the village's Halloween spirit.
Zaja: I must now make preparations for tomorrow...
Zaja parts with the others and shuffles off.
It is now the night of Halloween.
Vyrn: Heheh! Let's get out there and get our party on, guys!
Lyria: Teehee, this is so exciting!
Zaja: Everyone seems rather spirited tonight...
Vyrn: Hey, Slouchy... Whoa!
The sight of Zaja in his new getup leaves the crew astonished.
Zaja: I intend to do my part as well, starting with this costume.
Zaja: What do you think?
Vyrn: Erm... How do I put this... Ahem...
Lyria: Um... I-it looks great, of course!
Zaja: Is that so? Ah, your words bring me solace...
Zaja: I determined that halfway measures wouldn't please the children, so I put all my efforts into this costume.
Zaja: I swear upon my life that I shall bolster the excitement of tonight's Halloween festivities!
Seeing Zaja so hyped up all of a sudden, (Captain) and company trade uncertain glances.
Vyrn: Psst... You think he's gonna make the kids cry?
Lyria: Well... Zaja's such a nice person... I'm sure his kindness will shine through!
Zaja: Hah hah hah... Wait for me, children...
Picturing the beaming faces of the local youths, Zaja's cheeks curl into a relaxed grin.
Though others in the crew have their misgivings, they are also curious to see how the Draph might fare in town.
A Frighteningly Happy Night
Zaja proudly struts his Halloween costume in a village. When everyone runs for their lives upon seeing his terrifying appearance, the grief-stricken Zaja wanders around until he stumbles upon a house with a lone girl rummaging about inside.
The crew is at a village to help spread the Halloween cheer.
The village is decked out in the color of All Hallows' Eve, with shouts and laughter filling the streets.
Lyria: Haha, everyone's having such a good time!
Vyrn: All righty! Let's join in on the fun!
Zaja: I can feel the excitement boiling within! Children's laughter brings such joy... Haha...
Vyrn: Erm, hey... Just be careful you don't hype yourself out before we even get started, okay?
Zaja: Is there a problem?
Lyria: W-we just don't want you to feel exhausted from trying too hard!
Zaja: My friends, your concern is much appreciated.
Zaja: But it is unnecessary... For I will spare no effort to put smiles on those children!
Brushing the concerns of his fellow crew members aside, Zaja approaches a group of villagers in high spirits.
Zaja: How lively... Smiles abound...
Village Man: Hahaha! That's right! Today's Halloween aft—
Village Man: Aiiee!
Zaja: My apologies, did I scare you? That was not my intention.
Zaja: I was hoping you could tell me where the children might gather on a day like this.
Village Man: Ack... D-did you say children? What are you planning!
Village Lady: Eeek! We're under attack by a monster!
Terrified screams fill the air as the villagers run for their lives.
Lyria: No, wait! We're—
The crew tries to clear up the misunderstanding but to no avail. The villagers are too panicked to hear the crew out.
What was hustle and bustle only moments ago quickly turns to an eerie silence, the village now an empty, vacated shell.
Zaja: Now I realize why you were so fidgety before, my friends... You must have foreseen this happening...
Vyrn: Er, well... We didn't mean to offend you...
Zaja: Hm, I suppose you kept silent out of consideration...
Zaja: But the responsibility is mine alone. I tread a most unsound path in my efforts...
Zaja: Forgive me. If you could please leave me to myself for some time...
Lyria: Ah, Zaja!
It is with a weary heart that Zaja walks away from the crew.
He wanders around the now-deserted village.
Every Halloween decoration or food item that Zaja sees splattered along the ground is another nail in his heart.
Zaja: It's all my fault... I took away their smiles...
Zaja: As one who lives solely for battle, this was an impossible endeavor from the outset...
While overcome with grief, a sound from a nearby house reaches his ears.
Zaja: Is someone there?
Zaja approaches the house and finds the door slightly open.
Zaja: (How careless...)
Zaja: (No... Please don't tell me bandits are using this opportunity to plunder!)
Zaja takes a peek inside the house with caution.
In the dimly lit house is a lone girl rummaging about.
A Frighteningly Happy Night: Scene 2
Zaja encounters a blind girl who is searching for the doll she dropped. After finding the doll and handing it to her, he escorts her to the forest where the villagers have run off to. Zaja spots the girl's mother under attack by monsters and immediately intercepts.
Zaja is dumbfounded by what he finds inside.
Zaja: A girl...
???: Huh? Who's there?
Zaja thinks to spare her his presence and continue on his way, but the girl calls out to him in a flustered voice.
???: Please wait! I could use your help with something!
Zaja: You need my help?
???: Um... Please?
Zaja: Oh, I don't mind. It's just...
Zaja: Are you not afraid of me?
???: Huh? Why would I be?
Zaja: Because of the way I look... My costume...
Just then, Zaja notices something amiss with the girl's eyes.
Zaja: Could it be... Can you not see?
???: Mm-hm, that's right.
Blind Girl: Um... You're not a bad person, are you, mister?
Zaja: Why are you here alone?
Blind Girl: I came back to get my doll. She's family to me...
Blind Girl: Mommy dragged me by the arm, saying we have to get out of here... But I left my doll behind, so...
Blind Girl: I just had to come back... And then I got separated from Mommy...
Zaja: I see... I understand your plight now.
Zaja: Pardon my intrusion.
Zaja enters the house and picks up a doll stuck in a crevice between two pieces of furniture, then places it firmly in the hands of the girl.
Zaja: Is this it?
Blind Girl: Yes! It's her! Thank you for finding it!
Zaja: No problem...
Zaja: Though it is dangerous for a child like you to be here alone. I'll escort you to your parents.
Blind Girl: Thank you, mister!
The girl leaps up in joy, the impact causing one of the doll's arms to fall off.
Blind Girl: Ah...
Zaja: Oh my, it came off... It did feel wobbly when I picked it up...
Blind Girl: Sniff... Waaaah!
Please, just take a deep breath!
Despite the pell-mell state of things, Zaja does his best to calm the girl.
Zaja: V-very well! I'll fix it!
Blind Girl: You can do that, mister? Really?
Zaja: Yes, this much I should be able to handle... So please, shed no more tears.
Blind Girl: Okay!
Relieved to see that the girl is no longer weeping, Zaja borrows a sewing kit from her and gets to work.
Zaja: This requires a fine eye for detail...
Blind Girl: Oh no... You mean you can't fix it?
Zaja: N-no, no, that's not it! If you would please give me a bit of time...
Blind Girl: Oh really? Okay!
Zaja: Haha, I suppose this is really precious to you.
Blind Girl: Mm-hm! It's been with me since the day I was born!
Zaja: I see...
The girl's infectious smile helps to loosen Zaja's expression as he gets to work.
Zaja: There. That should do it.
Blind Girl: Hooray! You really did it!
Zaja: Haha... Careful now, we wouldn't want the arm to come off again.
Blind Girl: Ahaha! I'm so happy, I just can't help it!
Blind Girl: Thank you so much for saving my precious family!
Zaja: (Family, huh...)
Zaja: (My friends who lie at the bottom of the skies... If I had intervened instead of simply watching as a bystander, perhaps I could have ended the conflict...)
Zaja: (But would I have been capable of protecting you all?)
Blind Girl: Um... Mister? Why did you go quiet all of a sudden?
Zaja: Oh, it's nothing... I was just reminiscing about the past.
Zaja: Anyhow, should we get going? Your parents must be worried...
Blind Girl: Okay!
Zaja brings the girl to the forest, where the villagers had run off to.
Zaja: (This would be a good spot...)
Zaja stops in his tracks after walking some distance.
Blind Girl: Mister? What's wrong?
Zaja: I'm sorry, but... I think it's best if you proceed alone from here.
Zaja: There are voices in the distance. Follow those voices, and you should reunite with your mother soon enough.
Blind Girl: But... Why aren't you coming along, mister?
Zaja: I would love nothing more than to accompany you... But I would only stir confusion and chaos with the way I look right now.
Zaja: You'll be okay... Because I'll be watching from the shadows.
Zaja: If anything should happen, I'll run to your aid at once.
Blind Girl's Mom: Eeep!
Zaja: Huh? What was that scream?
Blind Girl: Ah... It's Mommy!
Zaja: Hold on tight to my back, little girl!
Zaja lifts the girl onto his shoulder and rushes toward the source of the scream.
After a short run, Zaja finds a woman about to be attacked by a monster.
Blind Girl's Mom: Eek! Someone help me!
Zaja: Please wait here, little girl!
Zaja helps the girl down before running up to the monster with his axe.
A Frighteningly Happy Night: Scene 3
The girl's mother, along with the other villagers, apologizes for their unfortunate misunderstanding. The children realize that he is just a friendly giant and warm up to him. After giving one too many piggyback rides to them, Zaja throws his back out.
Zaja: Huff... Huff... It's done for...
Zaja: Are you two safe?
Blind Girl's Mom: Eep!
Having just witnessed Zaja's battle frenzy, the girl's mother slowly backs away.
Zaja: (I thought this might happen...)
Zaja: (But now that the girl is safe, I suppose I should take my leave.)
Blind Girl: Sniff... Mommy!
Blind Girl's Mom: Where were you this whole time! Do you have any idea how worried I was!
Blind Girl: Sorry...
Blind Girl: But this nice man helped me! He even fixed my doll!
Blind Girl's Mom: Wha? Him?
Zaja is unsure how to react. Meanwhile the rest of the crew, having heard the screams earlier, arrives to help.
Vyrn: Heyo, everyone okay?
Zaja: Ah, my friends...
Zaja: In their panic, they must have entered monster territory without realizing it.
Zaja: But I have thwarted the menace. There is nothing more to worry about.
Blind Girl's Mom: Um... Thank you so much!
Zaja: I did nothing worthy of thanks. In fact, I caused this mess to begin with...
Blind Girl's Mom: Please don't say that... It looks like I misunderstood your intentions completely.
Blind Girl's Mom: I really shouldn't judge people based on their appearance... I can't thank you enough for saving my daughter!
Zaja: No... It is only natural to judge a book by its cover...
Zaja: It was my mistake for not exercising greater consideration... I now realize such consideration is of paramount importance even for festivities.
Lyria: Haha, I'm just glad there's no more misunderstanding!
Zaja: (How fortunate that I was able to protect them...)
Zaja: (My dear friends in the bottom of the skies... Perhaps my actions here may serve as a sliver of atonement...)
Afterward the girl and her mother explain the situation to the other villagers, finally clearing up the misunderstanding for Zaja.
Halloween continues as it should, now with Zaja and crew joining in on the fun and games.
Village Boy: Ahaha! Hey, gimme a piggyback ride!
Zaja: I don't see why not!
Now realizing that Zaja is not one to be afraid of, the children crowd around him.
Surrounded by smiles all around, Zaja's face breaks into what might very well be the biggest grin he's ever put on as he frolics with the little boys and girls.
Lyria: Haha, look how happy Zaja is!
Village Girl: I wanna go next!
Zaja: Happy to oblige.
(Captain) and company turn to Zaja in surprise when he lets out a sudden yelp.
Lyria: Huh? What's wrong?
Zaja: Sorry for making you worry, but I think I threw my back out...
Lyria: Oh no! Do you think you'll be okay?
Any version of Deliford
is a crew member
Aw, c'mon now... Maybe I oughta call you and Deliford the Backache Boys...
Zaja: I... should be okay... I think...
Vyrn: You sure don't look like it with your face all pale! Hey, just take it easy, all right?
Zaja: Though it was a misunderstanding, I instilled fear in the villagers...
Zaja: I cannot, will not, let anything else get in the way of a festive Halloween...
Zaja: I promised myself I'd be spreading merriment tonight, so I'm going to do just that!
Lyria: Yikes! What should we do?
Vyrn: Sheesh... You tell him too, (Captain)!
(Captain) flashes a wry smile at Zaja's grave sincerity.
But at the end of the day, Zaja's efforts lead to the liveliest Halloween the village has ever seen.