BI-ST-3: One Mindless Move

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BI-ST-3
One Mindless Move
Break the Ice: The Grand Ceremony
Previous BI-5 (Story)

Many people believe that their loss is determined by a single move, without ever realizing that every step before that was forcing them closer to defeat.
Characters
Kjerag Warrior C icon.png
Browntail Clan Warrior
Kjerag Monk icon.png
Devotee
Male Kjeragian C icon.png
Kjerag Civilian A
Female Kjeragian B icon.png
Kjerag Civilian B
Male Kjeragian A icon.png
Kjerag Civilian C
Kjeragian Nobleman C icon.png
Kjerag Noble A
Kjeragian Noblewoman B icon.png
Kjerag Noble B
Kjerag Warrior A icon.png
Kjerag Warrior
Kjerag Warrior A icon.png
Silverash Clan Warrior
Kjerag Warrior D icon.png
Paleroche Clan Warrior
Elder
Backgrounds
Karlan Square
1
Kjerag Guestroom
2
Snowy Forest
3
Kjerag Street 2
4
In the midst of the Ceremony, Enciodes points a finger at the other two clans' dishonest schemes.
The masses stand on Enciodes's side, and by Sharp's aid, the heads of the other two clans flee in disgrace.
<Background 1>
Kjerag Civilian A What? Sir Enciodes was attacked in the mountains yesterday?!
Kjerag Civilian B Huh? Is that true?
Kjerag Warrior Of course it's true. Sir Arctosz had General Gulo rush people over to report to the Great Elder.
The other nephew of my third uncle came back with General Gulo.
They arrived just now, and I heard the news from him.
Kjerag Civilian A What a good lad. Now that's some big news!
Kjerag Warrior Heh!
Kjerag Civilian B But, who would be so foolhardy as to attack Sir Enciodes? On his way to the Holy Hunt, no less!
Kjerag Civilian A Do you think it could've been a Tschäggättä?
Kjerag Civilian C How the hell could've it been a Tschäggättä? Didn't we already say a person did it?
If you ask me, it must've been the doing of the Paleroches or the Browntails.
They tried so hard to suppress the Silverashes, saying something about how Sir Enciodes had trampled upon our teachings.
But who knows, maybe they were really after the Silverash clan's land.
Kjerag Warrior I wouldn't go around making spurious claims like that.
Kjerag Civilian C Spurious? Do you have any idea how much Silverash land the Browntail clan gobbled up after Sir Enciodes left Kjerag to study abroad?
Kjerag Civilian B ......
Kjerag Civilian C Now that Sir Enciodes has had a change of heart and took the initiative to show favor to the Saintess, the other two clans are panicking because they no longer have an excuse to keep the Silverashes down.
Kjerag Civilian A Well...
Kjerag Warrior Wh-Who do you belong to?!
Kjerag Civilian C I'm with the Browntail clan. So what?
Kjerag Warrior You're a Browntail? How can you say those things about your own clan?!
Kjerag Civilian C Because I've been working down in the valley for so long, I honestly feel that Sir Enciodes has been wronged!
Sir Enciodes has brought so many good things to Kjerag, but has been kept down in the Tri-Clan Council.
Even now after he has offered to return to the government and taken the initiative to repair his relationship with the Vine-Bear Court and the Saintess, look how they treat him.
Even if you're a Paleroche, does that not make your conscience ache?
Kjerag Warrior You...
Kjerag Civilian A You have a point...
Kjerag Civilian B That's right. No matter what the circumstances are, an attack on Sir Enciodes is simply going too far.
Kjerag Civilian A Besides, to do it during a ceremony as important as the Holy Hunt is also a grave insult to Kjeragandr.
Kjerag Civilian C Exactly! No matter what the facts are regarding this situation, there must be some kind of explanation!
Kjerag Civilian B You said it.
Kjerag Civilian A That's right, the perpetrator must be found!
<Background fades out and in>
Kjarr What's wrong? Didn't sleep well last night? You don't look so good.
Doctor Enciodes ended up running into trouble after all.
Kjarr Mm. Word of it has spread, and everyone's talking about.
I can see that many people are already demanding an explanation for this matter.
Judging from the look on your face, did you not expect this at all?
Doctor It's precisely because I DID expect it.
Kjarr Huh? Then what's got you in a twist?
Gnosis doesn't see eye to eye with Enciodes, and he's been plotting to overthrow him since they parted ways.
You didn't think Enciodes would leave himself so open, nor did you want to interfere in the affairs of the three clans, so you came to the ceremony as a guest.
I'm just talking about superficial appearances here. From that angle, that is how the situation seems, right?
Doctor Everyone has a skewed understanding of the situation. / Not necessarily.
Kjarr I don't have a clue what goes on in that head of yours all day.
But I feel like you've infected me into enjoying thinking about these things, so let's do just that.
Hmm... Since Enciodes used to be good friends with Gnosis and we know the latter to be a crafty man, he must've been prepared for Gnosis's betrayal from the very beginning.
But he was attacked anyway, and it became a pretty big deal...
In other words, he engineered this situation to become more sympathetic in the eyes of the public?
But, what exactly does this accomplish?
Right now, the Holy Hunt party should be on its way back.
Shortly, the Grand Ceremony come to its final ritual, including the ceremonial crowning of the Saintess.
If he can catch the perpetrator at the ceremony, that'll increase people's faith in Enciodes... but that's it, right?
Doctor Actually, there's another possibility.
Kjarr What would that be?
Doctor It's just a possibility. / You'll find out soon enough.
<Background 2>
Great Elder The Saintess shot and killed the prey herself during the Holy Hunt?
Elder A Yes.
Great Elder And news of the attack on Enciodes has already spread among the people.
Elder B Yes.
Elder A Not only that, but a number of people are demanding that the perpetrator be punished before the coronation ceremony.
Elder C To injure a countryman during the Holy Hunt is to gravely disrespect Kjeragandr. Of course this deserves punishment!
Elder B But, this is still the Saintess's coronation ceremony.
Elder A Both of you bring up good points... Great Elder, your judgment?
Great Elder ......
Given Enciodes's superb abilities, there is little chance that the mastermind behind this will not be sniffed out, regardless of who it is––
If only things were that simple.
Elder A Please do explain, Great Elder.
Great Elder The Saintess's behavior has gone increasingly out-of-line, yet Enciodes's response has been quite uncharacteristic.
What are those siblings planning?
Elder A What does the Great Elder mean by "those siblings?"
Great Elder No, there is no possibility of any collusion between the two.
But perhaps, this is the Silverash blood that runs through their veins––
Kjerag Warrior Everyone, the Elders, the Great Elder, and the Saintess's teams are about to arrive.
Great Elder Enough. Let's go to meet the Saintess.
<Background 1>
[Enya, Arktos, Ratatos, and Enciodes arrives at the Karlan Square.]
Kjerag Civilian A Hurry, it's the Holy Hunt party!
Kjerag Civilian B Look, Sir Enciodes's wounds have been bandaged!
Kjerag Civilian C The rumors were true after all!
Kjerag Civilian A Great Saintess, please deliver justice for Sir Enciodes!
Kjerag Civilian B Find the perpetrator who sabotaged the Holy Hunt!
Kjerag Noble A Matriarch Ratatos and Sir Arctosz appear ill at ease.
Kjerag Noble B Might they be connected in some way to this incident?
[The Great Elder arrives.]
Kjerag Civilian A The Great Elder is here!
Kjerag Civilian B The Vine-Bear Court must uphold justice for Sir Enciodes!
Kjerag Civilian C We won't accept this ceremony if you just try to sweep things under the rug and move on!
Enciodes My friends, I am very grateful for your concern.
Though the perpetrator has not been found yet, it is only a matter of time.
For now, let us first prioritize the ceremony.
What say you, Saintess?
Enya As Sir Enciodes is so faithful to Kjeragandr, I have no objections.
Great Elder Then, children of Kjeragandr, know that this year's ceremony holds a different meaning.
The proposal by the head of the Silverash clan, Enciodes, to have the Saintess restored to power passed the previous Tri-Clan Council, and this was announced throughout our territory.
And today, on the day of Kjerag's grandest celebration, we hold the coronation ceremony for the Saintess.
This will also be the last ceremony that I preside over.
Kjeragandr gave Her own flesh to the Paleroche clan, making the land fertile so that the people of Kjerag would go hungry no longer.
[Arctosz looks at Valais...]
Arctosz Valais.
Valais Sir.
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 3>
??? I am a researcher. Even should I lie, I would never lie about my research.
You may distrust the results of my analysis, yet you still hold onto my sample from back then.
You can use it as an experiment, to verify the things that I said.
Or, are you ready to accept this 'truth?'
Do you truly believe that your father died for "blaspheming Kjeragandr?"
Valais ......
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 1>
Valais respectfully brings forth a cup of wine.
This cup represents a bountiful harvest.
Arctosz I offer this wine made from nourishing grain to Kjeragandr, so that we may be blessed with a bountiful harvest next year.
The Great Elder receives the wine and drinks it in one gulp.
Arctosz As head of the Paleroche clan, I, Arctosz Paleroche, pay the highest tribute to Kjeragandr.
Enya Your prayers will surely reach Kjeragandr.
Great Elder Kjeragandr gave Her own hide to the Browntail clan, making the forests lush and full of beast-life so that the people of Kjerag would no longer succumb to the cold.
[Ratatos looks at Yucatan...]
Ratatos Yucatan.
Yucatan Matriarch.
Yucatan respectfully brings forth a scarf.
This scarf represents comfort and good health.
Ratatos I offer this cloth knit from warming fur to Kjeragandr, so that we may be blessed with comfort and good health next year.
The Great Elder takes the scarf and drapes it across the Saintess.
Ratatos As head of the Browntail clan, I, Ratatos Browntail, pay the highest tribute to Kjeragandr.
Enya Your prayers will surely reach Kjeragandr.
Great Elder Finally, Kjeragandr gave Her own bones to the Silverash clan, making the mountains rich with metal so that the people of Kjerag could forge tools and weapons.
[Enciodes looks at Matterhorn...]
Enciodes Matterhorn.
Matterhorn Sir.
Matterhorn respectfully brings forth a small knife.
This small knife represents peace.
Enciodes I offer this weapon of refined ore to Kjeragandr, so that we may be blessed with peace next year.
The Great Elder takes the knife and hands it to the Saintess with both hands.
Enciodes As head of the Silverash clan, I, Enciodes Silverash, pay the highest tribute to Kjeragandr.
Enya Your prayers will surely reach Kjeragandr.
Great Elder Next––
[Weiss rushes to the ceremonial ground, interrupting the ritual.]
Weiss Master, the perpetrator has been found.
Enciodes Great Elder, now that the perpetrator has been found, I know not whether to continue the ceremony or interrogate the perpetrator.
<Background 4>
Kjerag Civilian A This perpetrator must be brought to justice!
Kjerag Civilian B That's right! The perpetrator must be punished!
<Background 1>
Great Elder Since the people worry about this matter, bring the perpetrator.
Enciodes Very well.
Come.
[Monch is brought before the attendees and then surrounded by Kjeragian warriors as precaution.]
Ratatos ......!
[fades out and in]
[Sciurus (who gave Monch the order) and Yucatan are surprised to see Monch being the assassin.]
Sciurus (Monch?!)
(What's going on? Why is Monch in custody? D-Does this have something to do with the assassination attempt?!)
(Dammit, that idiot!)
[Sciurus is distressed to see her plan failing, which Yucatan notices.]
Yucatan (Wait, Rus, what are you doing?!)
Great Elder Assassin who dares disrupt the Holy Hunt, state your name.
Monch ......
Great Elder Why... *could* *cough*... would you seek to take Sir Enciodes's life?
Monch ......
I kill what needs to die.
Great Elder ......
Assassin, keeping your mouth shut will not spare your life.
Your sacrilege against Kjeragandr during a sacred ceremony is a sin that must be punished accordingly.
Know that if you persist, then by the Commandments, I can order your execution on the spot!
Monch ......
Great Elder Fine. Then you shall be dealt with according to the Commandments.
[The Kjeragian warriors stand ready to execute Monch under the Great Elder's command.]
Great Elder Even if you choose not to speak, your identity will not be difficult to uncover.
Monch ......
Sciurus Wait, hold on!
Monch ––!
Yucatan Sciurus!
[Before Sciurus could admit that she is the mastermind, Yucatan holds her back.]
Sciurus Yucatan, what are you doing? Let go of me!
Monch is one of my people! I won't let you hurt her!
Great Elder Is this true, Sciurus?
Ratatos ...Sciurus! You get back here this instant!
This isn't the time or place to be fooling around. Yucatan, get your wife under control!
Yucatan ...Rus, you don't understand the situation. Let's not make a scene here, alright?
Come, over here, by me.
Sciurus What am I not understanding? And I am not making a scene!
They're all like that. If I didn't speak up, they would've condemned Monch as an assassin!
I—
Ratatos Silence!!
Sciurus ––!
Ratatos, I...
Monch ......
Great Elder Looks like that saves us the trouble of identifying the assassin.
Detain Sciurus.
[The warriors take Sciurus into custody.]
Sciurus W-Wait, why are you arresting me?!
I'm telling you, I never had Monch do anything of the sort! Someone must be trying to frame us!
Ratatos ......
Great Elder, surely it cannot be appropriate to use force against a member of the Browntail clan solely due to the words of an insignificant person who knows nothing of the situation.
As you can see, my stupid little sister could not possibly seek to assassinate Sir Enciodes, for she clearly lacks the brain cells to do so.
Sciurus Hey, what are you trying to say?!
Ratatos I told you to shut up!
(...Sciurus, know your place.)
Sciurus ......
Great Elder What, you mean to say that your sister has been deceived, Ratotos[sic]? Do you not find something unusual about that?
Ratatos Very perceptive, Great Elder.
Great Elder *cough* *cough*... Enciodes... *cough*... What do you think?
Enciodes Ratatos has always treated me kindly. and I have always trusted her. Even if we have our differences, I believe she would not resort to such drastic measures.
Ratatos ......
Enciodes Ratatos, I have no reason to believe you to be of so little faith as to behave in such a manner during a celebration of Kjeragandr.
While my well-being is of little consequence, this disrespect to Kjeragandr cannot be tolerated.
Ratatos What do you mean by that?
Enciodes Now that we know that the perpetrator is a member of the Browntail clan, no one will believe the empty rhetoric that the Browntails have nothing to do with this matter.
Without providing some concrete evidence, or turning over the real perpetrator, even if I am willing to turn the other cheek... I'm afraid that the house of Browntail will be hard-pressed to convince the public.
Ratatos ......
Ratatos feels that she can understand the man's meaning, but the buzzing of those words inside her ears... is far too thunderous to bear.
The entire ceremony is awash with turmoil. She has never once felt the gaze of the surrounding people in such a way before - full of distrust and hostility, like barbs in her back.
Sciurus also seems to be saying something to her, and not in her usual sharp shouts, her lips are silently quivering.
Ratatos can tell from a glance what her voiceless words are. In the past, the two of them played similar tricks without the notice of adults.
Her sister says:
"But, I just wanted to do something for the Browntail clan!"
Ratatos ......
Enciodes Great Elder, what is your opinion?
Great Elder *cough*... Your words ring true, Enciodes... *cough* *cough*...
Enciodes Great Elder, is there something wrong?
Great Elder I'm fine... *gurgle*...
Devotee Great Elder, what's happening?!
Great Elder ......
[The Great Elder collapses as he spits noxious liquid from his mouth.]
Devotee There's some green liquid coming from the Great Elder's lips... He's been poisoned!
Someone poisoned the Great Elder!
Enya Let me see.
Devotee Stay back, Saintess! There may be other poison!
Enya I'm not afraid.
[Enya tries to cure the Great Elder with her Arts, but have little effect.]
Enya No... the poison is too potent and is suppressing my healing Arts. I can only barely maintain the Great Elder's life for a while.
Devotee Who would poison the Great Elder?! And, when...
Wine! It must've been that cup of wine that Arctosz offered to the Great Elder!
Enya Bring the cup!
Devotee H-Here it is!
[Enya checks the wine cup from which the Great Elder drank the wine given by the Paleroches.]
Enya Without a doubt... there are traces of poison.
Arctosz That's impossible!
Enciodes ...So that's your game.
Arctosz, I never could've imagined that you would dare poison the Great Elder in your bid to take over Kjerag!
Arctosz What?! What reason would I possibly have to poison the Great Elder?!
Enciodes Hmph. The Paleroche clan has always been on good terms with the Vine-Bear Court, but you leveraged this relationship to gain many privileges throughout Kjerag. The people gathered here are all witnesses to that.
Over these years, you have used this privilege to suppress me, something I endure to this day. You have all seen this with your own eyes.
And now, even as I have compromised by proposing to return temporal power to the Saintess, you still have to terrorize the house of Silverash.
Once the Saintess holds all the power and the three clans are equal under her leadership, will the Paleroche clan still enjoy its privileges as it does now?
Perhaps because the Great Elder was no longer willing to support you, you then chose to contact Madame Sciurus, plotting the scheme unfolding before our very eyes.
Madame Sciurus was responsible for assassinating me, you would poison the Great Elder, and the two of you would take advantage of the situation to seize power in Kjerag... Not a bad plan, Arctosz.
Arctosz You dare slander me, Enciodes!
Enciodes Slander?
It is a fact that your clan is on good terms with the Vine-Bear Court. It is a fact that the Browntail clan is now allied with yours. It is a fact that the Elders agreed to return temporal power to the Saintess.
And as of now, it is a fact that you poisoned the Great Elder.
I would ask all of you present to pass judgment – am I the one who slanders, or is Arctosz the one who deceives?!
<Background 4>
Kjerag Civilian A But... Sir Arctosz isn't that kind of person...
Kjerag Civilian B Sir Enciodes was injured during the Holy Hunt, and a Browntail was responsible. Now, Arctosz poisoned the Great Elder. What is there to doubt?
Kjerag Civilian C I can't believe I had such a wrong impression of Arctosz! I never thought he was faking his piety all these years!
Kjerag Civilian A ...I refuse to believe it!
Kjerag Civilian B Wake up already!
<Background 1>
[Enciodes give the order for the Silverash clan's warriors...]
Enciodes Pin down the murderer and Madame Sciurus.
[...and one holds down Sciurus.]
Silverash Clan Warrior Right away.
Sciurus Get your hands off me, you bastard!
Yucatan Sciurus!
Matriarch...!
Ratatos Wait––
[Suddenly the warrior holding Sciurus is struck by an icy projectile...]
Silverash Clan Warrior Guh...
[...incapacitating him.]
Matterhorn Who's there?!
Weiss Ice Arts, and from such a long range? Could it be––
<Background 4>
Kjerag Noble A Who is it?!
Kjerag Noble B Look over there!
??? Warriors, it's time to rescue your clan leader.
[Several warriors move in under the attacker's command, who turned out to be Gnosis.]
Kjerag Noble A That's... Gnosis! Why is he here, and, why are the Browntails with him?!
Kjerag Noble B I haven't heard from him since he was blacklisted from Karlan Trade. From the looks of things, he's defected to the Browntail clan?!
<Background 1>
[Gnosis walks to the ceremonial grounds.]
Gnosis Enciodes, you've gone to such great lengths to paint yourself as some pious victim, making your high-and-mighty proclamations atop that stage of yours. Have you no sense of shame?
Enciodes ......
I was wondering where you were hiding, Gnosis. Turns out you fell in with Ratatos.
Gnosis Hiding? No, I've been biding my time for this moment.
Ratatos, what are you hesitating for?
Ratatos Gnosis, you––
Gnosis Take a good look at the people around you, and the distrust they harbor for you in their eyes!
<Background 4>
Kjerag Civilian A Ratatos has betrayed Kjeragandr! She must be punished!
Kjerag Civilian B Arctosz, I thought better of you!
Kjerag Civilian C Strike them down, Sir Enciodes! Strike them down!!
<Background 1>
Gnosis Get a good look at your sister. Enciodes is about to take her away!
Sciurus Let go! Let go of me!!
[Yucatan tried to stop the Silverashes' warriors from taking Sciurus away...]
Yucatan Don't you dare hurt my wife!
Silverash Clan Warrior Hmph!
[...and striked one, but another struck him down.]
Yucatan Argh...
[Sciurus is shocked to see her husband get hurt, so does Ratatos.]
Sciurus Yucatan!
Ratatos Sciurus! Yucatan!
Gnosis Now is your last chance.
Enciodes said that he trusted you. But did he ever actually trust you?
You should've seen through this long ago. He's just forcing you to make a decision. But do you really think you can protect your Browntail clan simply by turning over the "assassin" that he wants?
Look around you. See how the people are looking at you.
Do you have any idea what will become of your clans should Enciodes take over Kjerag?
Ratatos I...
Yucatan Matriarch!
Ratatos ......
Gnosis Ratatos, don't tell me that you intend to protect neither your clan nor your lands, and instead will simply relinquish your public image and privileges?
If you still choose to do nothing, even at this point...
Then allow me to help you.
Gnosis turns to look at Enciodes.
Ice-blue Arts condense in the palm of his hand, but Enciodes remains unfazed.
Enciodes Gnosis, you disappoint me.
Gnosis What a coincidence, Enciodes. I was just thinking the same thing.
Enciodes ––Degenbrecher.
[Degenbrecher shows up and easily disarms Gnosis, knocking him down to the ground.]
Gnosis Guh...
[Gnosis defiantly uses his Arts, but Degenbrecher shrugs it off.]
Degenbrecher As you should know, these Arts are nothing to me.
Alright, don't waste my time.
Let's put you down, Gnosis.
[A fight breaks out between Degenbrecher and Gnosis, but he is no match to the Black Knight...]
Judge, Jury, and Executioner.png
Degenbrecher How pathetic.
Gnosis Pathetic?
Even if you strike me down here today, it won't do you any good.
You may be able to stop one person, or even a hundred people. But can you stop a thousand? Ten thousand?
Look behind me.
The flames have been lit.
<Background 1>
Ratatos ......
Grr.
Arctosz.
Arctosz What?
Ratatos Do you believe me, or Enciodes?!
Arctosz I don't trust either of you!
Ratatos Then you should at least know very clearly now, who the real enemy is!
Browntail clan warriors, prepare for battle!
[The Browntail clan's warriors answer Ratatos' call.]
Ratatos First, we rescue Sciurus. Then, bring Enciodes to me!
Browntail Clan Warrior Yes, Matriarch!
Arctosz Fy faen[note 1]... Paleroche warriors, in formation!
[The Paleroche clan's warriors, led by Gulo, answer Arctosz's call.]
Arctosz Take down the traitor! Expose to the masses that Enciodes is the real traitor!
Gulo Yessir!
Paleroche Clan Warrior Yessir!
Enciodes Degenbrecher.
Get Gnosis.
Degenbrecher You don't need me?
Enciodes I don't.
Degenbrecher Alright.
Enciodes Matterhorn.
[Matterhorn answers Enciodes' call.]
Matterhorn Sir.
Enciodes Take care of the Great Elder and the Saintess.
Matterhorn Right away.
Enciodes Weiss.
[Weiss answers Enciodes' call.]
Weiss Sir.
Enciodes Bring me Arctosz and Ratatos.
Try to avoid taking any lives. Now isn't the time for that.
Weiss Understood.
[Several Tschäggättäs come to Enciodes' side...]
Weiss It shall be done.
[...and aids Matterhorn and Weiss in their tasks.]
<Background fades out and in>
Kjarr ......
Doctor The other possibility seems to have been the correct one.
Kjarr So what was all of that?
Doctor That... was all planned by Enciodes from the very beginning.
Kjarr Didn't we know that all along?
Doctor I mean, including Gnosis showing up.
Kjarr Huh?
Do you mean that––
Doctor Sharp.
Sharp Your orders, Doctor?
Doctor Enciodes always had contingencies in place.
I need you to rescue Arctosz and Ratatos.
Sharp ...I'm not sure I understand.
...I need a reason to act, Doctor. This goes beyond my duty to protect you.
Doctor At this point, Enciodes has already won.
Even if Arctosz and Ratatos aren't in danger.
Kjerag is bound to undergo tectonic shifts.
Sharp ......
My duty is to uphold Rhodes Island's interests, and protect you.
And from a practical standpoint, the things going on here have nothing to do with you, Doctor.
Even if Enciodes wins, no harm would come to you, as you are his guest.
From another perspective, he was the one who formed business ties with Rhodes Island, not the other two clans, let alone Kjerag as a whole.
If anything, interfering with Enciodes's plans is more likely to threaten Rhodes Island's interests, as well as put your safety at risk.
Doctor What I am going to do... is prevent wars and save lives.
Sharp ......
Doctor, people are dying in every corner of this world.
If you go around committed to saving people, genuinely devoting yourself to that cause, you're just going to end up overcome with guilt when you fail.
I break with a lot of Rhodes Island when I often find myself thinking that saving and protecting lives is kind of pointless.
I believe in the victories you bring, and the discernable value that comes with those victories.
Kjerag's population is in the millions. The people you are talking about aren't just a few. Not dozens, or hundreds, but tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands.
...Is this the victory you promised today?
Doctor Trust me, Sharp. / Just treat it as overtime.
Sharp Alright. I'll see it done.
<Background fades out and in>
[The Grand Ceremony turned into a battlefield as warriors of the Browntails and Paleroches pressure those of the Silverashes.]
Silverash Clan Warrior Guh...
Ugh... Launching a sneak attack during the chaos? Don't let them get away!
[Yucatan struck the Silverash warrior holding Sciurus, freeing her.]
Yucatan Sciurus!
Sciurus Yucatan!
Yucatan Hurry!
[Yucatan fought his way through the Silverash warriors, only to be stopped by Weiss...]
Weiss Stop!
Yucatan Out of the way!
[...forcing the two into a fight and entered a deadlock.]
Weiss Stand down, Yucatan of the Browntail clan.
If you come peacefully, the Master will treat you mercifully. He has no interest in taking your lives.
Yucatan (As long as Rus can get away––)
[Weiss gains the upper hand and overpowers Yucatan.]
Yucatan Gah...
*cough*... Rus, hurry...
Weiss Sorry.
[Weiss lands a blow on Yucatan that knocks him out as Sciurus watches.]
Browntail Clan Warrior Hurry, Sciurus!
Sciurus Yucatan is still back there! And, Monch too!
Ratatos You're still talking about the assassin? You idiot!
Sciurus ...She didn't do anything!
......
But Yucatan... What about Yucatan?! He's my husband!
Ratatos Look at what's going on around you! Yucatan sacrificed everything to save you, and you plan on jumping back into the fire?!
Sciurus So you're just going to abandon him?!
Ratatos If I was giving up on him, I wouldn't be fighting back!
Now stop being a damned fool!
Sciurus Fine fine, I'll just keep running!
(Yucatan...)
<Background fades out and in>
[On the Paleroches' side, the Tschäggättäs aiding the Silverash warriors prove to be a tough foe as they are getting overwhelmed.]
Gulo Gah... Where'd these freaks and their weird armor come from?
Sir, Enciodes's forces outnumber us too heavily! We're getting overwhelmed!
What do we do?
Arctosz There are no cowards in the Paleroche clan!
Ratatos Arctosz, stop trying to play the hero! We need to team up and cut our way out of here!
Arctosz How do you expect me to live that down?!
Ratatos You won't have a say in the matter if you die here!
Arctosz Dammit... Damn it all!
Gulo, gather the warriors and follow me! We're going to break out of here!
Gulo Yessir!
[The Browntails-Paleroches attempted to flee, only for the Tschäggättäs to stood in their way.]
Weiss (*whispers*) Sorry about this.
The Tschäggättä already have this place surrounded.
You still have the option to surrender before you pass the point of no return.
Arctosz Lackey of Enciodes, you speak only lies! We will fight our way out!
Weiss I would prefer if you calmed down first. You stand no chance.
You can't run.
??? Actually, they can.
Weiss Who's there?
A tall man stands in the corner at the entrance of a corridor, under the shadows of the eaves.
Behind him, several Tschäggättä, who were supposed to have the perimeter secured, lie in the corridor.
Out from the shadows strides one of the operators most familiar to Courier during the time he spent at Rhodes Island.
He knows exactly what this means.
Ratatos You... Who are you?
Arctosz You're... that Doctor's...
Ratatos Why are you saving us?
Sharp It's not my job to tell you things.
The exit is this way. I've already dealt with the guards outside.
Aurora, escort them out.
Aurora Got it!
Tschäggättä You aren't getting away!
[One of the Tschäggättäs charge at Aurora, but Sharp stood in the way and struck the warfighter...]
Tschäggättä Urgh...
[...incapacitating him.]
Sharp Who's next? Try me.
Weiss Don't do anything rash! Get in formation!
Tschäggättä Get in formation? Just for a single person?
Weiss GET IN FORMATION!!
Tschäggättä ...Understood.
Sharp Very good.
[Sharp swings his sword at Weiss and the Tschäggättäs.]
Weiss Captain Sharp...
I'm so sorry.
Sharp There's no need to apologize to me, Courier. Nothing personal.
It's just business.
<Background 4>
Fifteen minutes later...
Aurora Captain! You... You're injured?
Sharp There were a lot of 'em, and Courier's blade is still pretty quick.
Aurora Captain... Courier, he...
Sharp I spared him, don't worry.
Aurora So, what's next?
Sharp We're all done with work over here.
On to the next job.
<Background 1>
Matterhorn How's the Great Elder doing?
Vine-Bear Court Medic It's not looking good.
Matterhorn Send the Great Elder back to the Vine-Bear Court. Sir Enciodes will arrange for a special doctor.
And, great Saintess, Sir Enciodes has invited you to return to the Vine-Bear Court and hold the coronation ceremony again after things have settled down.
Enya ...I know.
The Saintess' Dilemma.png
Enya does not resist. She knows that right now, she does not have the leeway to resist.
From a certain point onward, she has known that this was all staged farce.
And the one who set this farce in motion... was her very own brother.
He ruthlessly shattered all the mental preparations she made for this moment, as well as her vision for the future.
Even if she could take down everyone standing in front of her right now, the people would still ask her to take the position that Enciodes prepared for her in the Vine-Bear Court.
She looks all around her.
When she sees Matterhorn take notice of her gaze, she deliberately looks away.
She sees the combatants clad in modern, cutting-edge equipment tearing through the formation of Silverash warriors, escorting Arctosz and Ratatos away.
She sees the eyes of the people focused on Enciodes, like a rapt audience in front of a theater's master.
She sees the hope and fervor in their eyes.
She sees Kjarr, and she sees the person standing next to her–you.
Your eyes meet, and within them, you see sorrow, reluctance, and–– fury.
All fleeting emotions.
She finally averts her eyes, and takes a step forward.
<Background 1>
Silverash Clan Warrior Master! Rhodes Islanders suddenly rushed in to help Arctosz and Ratatos escape!
Enciodes ......
Dr. {nickname}.
You... always keep me on my toes.
[Degenbrecher walks to SilverAsh's side.]
Degenbrecher All this happened in the piddling amount of time it took me to suppress Gnosis?
Enciodes I must say, Rhodes Island's attack indeed surpassed my expectations. I did consider the possibility of them intervening, but underestimated their strength. This time, it is I whose plans have been forcefully disrupted.
Degenbrecher Should I go after them?
Enciodes There's no need. I still have a backup plan.
Moreover, whether or not those two die here has no bearing on what I'm going to do next.
Dr. {nickname} must've realized as much, to make a decision like this.
What do you think comes next?
Degenbrecher Assuming this Doctor isn't an impulsive fool, then these two still have a role to play.
As for what comes next...
Since you seem to hold this person in such high regard, then it isn't surprising to me that your Doctor would take advantage of this opportunity to manipulate the two clans into an obstacle for you.
Enciodes I do not take the Doctor for such a flamboyant daredevil.
Degenbrecher You seem to really "understand" this Doctor.
Enciodes It's just my intuition. My intuition as a chessmaster.
However, an outsider has rescued the heads of the Paleroche and Browntail clans...
Even I cannot fathom what one can achieve in this situation.
So, I am most curious as to what comes next.
Of course, if what you said is true, then I eagerly await our match.
Degenbrecher Let's just call it a day and shove those thoughts back in your head. You're the victor of today's mess.
Everyone is waiting to hear from the victor.
Enciodes I know.
The scene left behind by the turmoil has not yet been cleaned up, and the people are heatedly discussing what just took place.
But as Enciodes slowly makes his way to center stage, everyone stops what they are doing, and they all turn to look at him.
The crowd is waiting for him to pen the denouement to this farce.
Enciodes ......
[After a moment of silence...]
Enciodes People of Kjerag, I am so sorry.
It pains my heart greatly to see such tragic events unfold on a holy day.
But this has given us an opportunity to see who the true traitors are in the land of Kjerag.
They are none other than Arctosz and Ratatos!
They were dissatisfied by the changes brought about by my proposal to relinquish our powers, and tried to assassinate me and poison the Great Elder to seize control of all Kjerag.
Without a doubt, there can be no greater blasphemy to Kjeragandr.
Though they managed to escape justice just now, I swear that this matter shall not end here.
Arctosz and Ratatos will be given fair trial, without fail!
Trial! Trial! Trial!!
Enciodes Though in my heart, I truly wanted to see these individuals captured and brought to justice, I had no intention of starting a conflict.
Kjerag is the land of Kjeragandr, the land of all who dwell in the icy mountains. It does not belong to me.
As such, let it be known to all people of the Paleroche and Browntail clans – there shall be no civil war, as that is something we all are worried about.
Consequently, my Silverash warriors will only be deployed to protect the Vine-Bear Court. We will await the Great Elder's recovery, and then discuss Kjerag's future together with the Saintess.
But, I hope that the people of the Paleroche and Browntail clans can at least clearly see who the true enemies of Kjerag are.
I believe that we will surely find a better path forward when all our interests are aligned.
When that time comes, we will be able to usher in a better Kjerag.
Enciodes! Enciodes! Enciodes!!!
Silverash! Silverash! Silverash!!!
People start to chant Enciodes's name, with no concern for the fact that this celebration was meant to culminate in the Saintess's return to power.
From the mountain's summit and the direction of the Vine-Bear Court comes the melodious ringing of a bell.
Ding, ding, ding––
The bell was supposed to celebrate the coronation of the Saintess, but now, it seems to herald a coming revolution.

Notes

  1. "Holy f**k" in Norwegian