Fairytale Everlasting

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Fairytale Everlasting Beyond Here
Feline Girl icon.png
Little Girl
RI Operator icon.png
Field Operator
Male Lungmenite icon.png
Ordinary Clerk
Male Kuranta A icon.png
Castle of Dreams Keeper icon.png
Acahualla Village B
Acahualla Village A
Village Blurry
Leithanian Village
Village Outskirts
Jungle Entrance
Fulfilling a twenty-year-old promise, Iris sets out to find a particular individual. Along the way, she comes across a tiny, little Oripathy patient.
<Background 1>
[A Caprinae girl is talking with a Feline lady.]
??? You're leaving today?
The Godmother only just gave you that staff, and all the things in the castle are still unsorted. Is it really so urgent?
??? It'll soon be time. No matter what, I cannot deliver things late.
Don't forget. We abide by agreements, and we never break promises.
??? I wasn't saying that. I just think it's all too sudden.
You could've chosen something much simpler first. Like choosing a well-behaved child to welcome at the castle, or giving the boys and girls sweet dreams. That sort.
It'd all be better than trying to find a girl from over ten years ago. We only know the name, and you lack any experience, Iris...
??? I do indeed lack experience.
But out of everyone who preceded me, none ever gave up a promise for its difficulty.
??? Sigh... Fine. If you insist, I can't stop you.
Then this metal thing. Yes. Keep it well.
??? Is this—a radio?
??? An obsolete kind. I fancy it'll barely receive the closest waves nowadays.
[A Cautus boy joins in the conversation...]
??? Keep jabbing at it like that, and you might jab it apart.
[...and talks with the Feline.]
??? Here, for you. It'll be useful on the way, and I've kept the details packed with.
??? Oh, thank you.
[The Caprinae jabs at the Cautus...]
??? I'm not that careless!
I've kept it nice! Letting someone else have it does not reassure me! You'd better not break it on the way!
[...with the Feline interrupting her...]
??? You're worrying too much. That'd never happen!
??? Easy enough to say.
??? What...!
[...only for the Cautus to calm them down.]
??? Now, now, enough fuss. No-one doubts your capability. We're all very aware.
It's only normal that everyone should worry for you on your first outing.
[The Caprinae responds to the Cautus...]
??? Hm-hmph.
[...who continues talking to the Feline.]
??? You must stay safe outside, and safer still in front of strangers. Your transport is all ready. Remember to keep its parts maintained along your journey. Before you enter the wilderness, you must take full caution...
Ah, I've gone on too long. Regardless of anything, prioritize protecting yourself.
??? I know... I understand. Don't worry. It may be quite trying, but it'll be fine.
I must see this agreement through to the end. It's already been far too long since we set foot outdoors.
The children believe in us, and that's why they give us their cherished belongings for our safekeeping. We must return them as arranged. We cannot let their trust be in vain.
And so, even if they've grown up, and they no longer believe, I'll prove it to them still.
I'll prove—
that fairytales are everlasting.
??? I see. Then may all go well for you.
We look forward to your return. Iris.
<Background 2>
[Iris arrived on a shanty settlement.]
Iris (Oh, I'm finally here.)
(By the records, back then, the child should've been around here when she was taken in.)
(Tonnerre Village. The child's name was... Mabel. Good, all in order.)
(But is... is this a village?)
[A Kuranta worker called for Iris.]
Worker Hey, careful, little miss.
Don't go any further in, you'll mess up your shoes. Shoes like those, it'd be a shame if you did! We'd never afford to pay!
Iris Thank you for the warning.
Worker No problem.
You seem like a little miss from a good old family. No escort with you? What're you up to in this kind of place?
Iris I don't need an escort. I'm just looking for someone.
Moreover, this is Victoria. What's the problem with Victorian people being on their own soil?
Worker Ha! Well put! Well put, little miss. Of course it's safest for our own people in our own home!
But still, best you watch out. You're young yet. See, there's been disturbance in the city recently. Careful where you step.
Iris The city...?
Er, never mind. What goes on in the city is nothing to do with me.
I've given you an answer. I think it's fair you give me one now.
Worker What's your question?
Iris I came here to find someone, but...
Shouldn't there be a village here? Why don't I see anyone else?
Worker A village?
See for yourself, little miss. What looks like a village here to you?
There used to be a few villages around here, mind, but they've all left now. Old noble boy snapped this place up. There'll be construction starting this spring. Building a factory!
Iris ...A factory...
Worker Look here, this metal sheet, and this giant thing! Majestic, isn't it? Goes vrrmm!
Iris It's—it's very cool.
But, the factory... Why here? Why not on a nomadic plate?
Worker The old noble boy builds wherever he pleases. It's ours to ask why.
Iris ......
Could you tell me where all those villages here migrated to?
Worker What? Who the hell knows...
Can't have moved far, I'll tell you that. This area's solid, after all, close to the city orbits. You only see refugees with nowhere to go head for the wastes!
Iris Hm...
I understand. Thank you very much.
[Iris leaves.]
Iris (...Still within expectations.)
(It's already been close to twenty years. It wouldn't be odd for the child's village to relocate between then and now...)
(I'll only be able to search a little bit of the surrounding area. At least the village's name, and the name of the child are still recorded. If worse comes to worst, I'll enter the city and see what I can do to find them.)
(Hmph. A hurdle this trifling could never stop me!)
<Background 3>
[Iris arrived at another shanty settlement.]
Iris Excuse me, is this Tonnerre Village?
It's not? Alright, thank you, sorry to bother you.
<Background 4>
[Iris arrived at a village.]
Iris Hello, could I ask if anyone knows a girl named Mabel... erm, sorry, she should be a lady of about twenty. Does anyone know her?
I see, then...
Thank you, I'll go somewhere else and see if I can ask.
<Background 5>
[Iris arrived at another village.]
Iris Sorry for the bother, but is this Tonnerre Village...?
<Background 6>
[Iris arrived at yet another village.]
Iris Excuse me...
<Background black>
Iris recalled the words she grew up with—To protect a paradise, a fragile dream, is never an easy thing.
It was only to fulfill a promise, to allow slumberland to last forever in the children's fledgling hearts. They always gave it their utmost, their all.
Dazzling dreamlands far-flung from reality became the gentle croons of nursery rhymes, broken into phrases kept in stories handed down across the land, down across hundreds and thousands of years.
She didn’t want to give up.
She couldn't give up.
In fairytales, nothing was ever unachievable.
Within reality, achievement could only ask one's dedication to the task.
<Background 7>
[In the middle of a forest...]
Iris (Southwards from this road, and then turn east... pass through the forests here...)
(There's a roadsign here. Mm. I should be going the right way.)
(How many villages is this now? This is already the nomadic city's periphery plate. Look any further in, and I'll be entering the city...)
(Or perhaps, I should head outwards...)
(Never mind. I'd better find somewhere to keep the vehicle safe first.)
Hm? What's that sound?
<Background 8>
Little Girl Daddy, are we going home?
Is my disease all better now? It still hurts... aren't we going to the doctor?
Man We're going home... we're not going to the hospital, we're going home.
Daddy bought you medicine. We'll go home and take it, and then it won't hurt, Dora.
Little Girl Huh? Do I have to take really bitter medicine again...? I don't wanna take it! No!
Woman Dora, listen carefully, if you take your medicine your illness will be better. So even if it's bitter, you have to be brave, okay?
Little Girl But it's so bitter...
Last time, that burnt up paper was really hard to swallow. And then before that, the injecshun really hurt... mummy, can I stop seeing the doctor? I don't wanna get injecshuns, and I don't wanna take more medicine.
Can I go outside and play? I miss my friends at school. Maemae came to ask when I can play with her the day before. I wanna go out and play with her...
Woman ......
Little Girl Mummy, are you crying...?
Don't cry, mummy! I... I'll take my medicine, and I won't go outside at all! I'll stop complaining!
I'll listen to mummy and daddy. I'll be a good girl. So stop crying, mummy...
Woman Dora, Dora... you're a good girl... why did it have to be you, why did it have to be you!?
Man My poor girl... oh...
[Iris watches the little girl and her parents from a distance.]
Iris (An ill child...)
<Background 9>
[A Rhodes Island operative is talking with a shop clerk on a village.]
Field Operator This mission's about over now. Give it the stamp for me.
By the way, I brought some fruit from the south for Maemae. Are these the ones she threw a fit about wanting last time?
Ordinary Clerk You even brought something? You really are too kind.
Thank you for these, they're just the ones. Don't spoil her too much, now. Her teeth will fall out if she keeps eating sweet things all day!
The only thing on her mind all day is play. Oh, this morning she insisted to me a fairy took her to stay at a castle last night. I think I've been telling her too many bedtime stories. She's still so silly, even at her age.
Field Operator She's still little.
Ordinary Clerk She's not little, she's almost about to go to school. Let's see... no issues with the mission. Do I just stamp on here for you?
Field Operator That'll do.
Ordinary Clerk Certainly. Have this back.
You came back fairly fast this time. What's the city like now?
Field Operator Much better than I was expecting. Some talking politics in coffee shops, but just talking. Gatherings are peaceful.
Ordinary Clerk Aside from the culture nuts, normal folk like us don't care about the political stuff, after all.
Field Operator There were some workers making a commotion on the street the day before because their payslips were too low, but nobody got hurt, thankfully.
Ordinary Clerk Sounds like it wasn't much of an incident.
Field Operator Perhaps.
[The R.I. operative sees Iris at a distance.]
Field Operator Who's that girl? She's not a local, is she?
Ordinary Clerk Who? Oh, you mean her... you've got sharp eyes. Out of the blue, she came to this village just about yesterday.
It sounds like she's looking for someone. First she asked the village's name, and that seemed right, and then she started going from house to house, asking.
All she has is a name. Can't be easy finding them.
I don't know how far she's been already, but that craft she came in's been dinged and scraped up to Hell and back. It's parked up by Mr. Eason's right now, waiting for repairs.
The girl doesn't give up, I'll tell you that.
We all want to help her too. Maemae's been helping her since the crack of dawn, running all over to knock and ask, and plenty of the kids with, all raring to go.
Field Operator ......
She's coming over.
[Iris walks to the R.I. operative and the clerk.]
Iris Excuse me.
Can I ask if Maemae's back yet?
Ordinary Clerk Not yet. Don't know where she's run off to.
How's it been going for you? Still haven't found who you're looking for?
Iris Not yet, no.
Field Operator What kind of person are you looking for?
Iris What kind of person are you?
You look out of place. And all goggled and masked, how suspicious!
Field Operator ......
Ordinary Clerk Hahahahaha!
Field Operator Hey.
Ordinary Clerk Ha, haha... she's not wrong, you know. First time I saw you, I was thinking the same thing!
Field Operator Do I really look that shifty?
Iris The last thing I tell is lies!
Ordinary Clerk Here, Miss, don't wrinkle your brow like that. Tell him about who you're looking for. Ignore him dressing like he's dangerous. He's actually a quite reliable guy.
Iris Really? Er...
Field Operator ......
Iris ......
Field Operator ......
Ordinary Clerk Don't your eyes hurt, glaring at each other so hard?
Field Operator It's fine. I'm used to it.
Iris Never mind. I'm not arguing with you.
Field Operator And I'm not arguing with a child.
Iris (Scowl)
Ordinary Clerk Keep some things to yourself!
Iris Hmph...
Seeing as you already know I'm looking for someone, why not tell you, I suppose.
Mabel. I'm looking for Mabel Grimm.
Field Operator What...?
Iris I don't like repeating myself.
Field Operator ......
Iris ......
Ordinary Clerk Oh, don't you start glaring at each other again.
Iris I'm not that puerile!
I... in all honesty, I've never met her. But I know she's called Mabel, she's a Feline, and she has brown hair and green eyes.
Field Operator ......
Iris She should be roughly under thirty, and she's very nimble with her hands... That's all I've heard.
But... I've gone around every single house in the village, and I still haven't found a clue whatsoever.
Is this really Tonnerre Village? I'd hate it if all along I'd gotten the name wrong...
Ordinary Clerk As sad it is to say, Miss, there's all too many villages whose names sound like ours. And your records aren't all that specific, not to mention, you're looking for someone from all those years ago.
Iris ......
Ordinary Clerk Oh, don't, now. Don't feel down. I'm sure you'll find her!
I remember there were a few more houses in the forest beside the village. Have you been over there, yet?
Worst comes to worst... to worst, mind you, give this fella a shout. Get him to take this mission on, and help you out!
Field Operator Oi. Wait a moment. Rhodes Island's missions all need to be registered, first...
Ordinary Clerk (Whisper) Stop it with the office talk. The mission you had is done, isn't it! Look, are you going to help her, or not?!
Field Operator (Whisper) ...Fine.
Iris ?
What are you plotting, all mysterious over there...
<Background fades out and in>
Iris What are you doing, following me?
Field Operator Helping you.
Iris I don't need it!
Field Operator (Shrug)
You'll leave the village out this way. Going to visit the houses out on the edge?
Iris Mm. I can do it on my own. This is my job. I don't need you to help!
Field Operator Child labor?
Iris What did you say?
Field Operator *cough*. Nothing.
Actually, I wanted to say, about the person you're looking for. I probably know them...
Iris —Shh!
(Wait, stop for a moment!)
(Did you hear... a voice just now?)
Woman's Voice No! I won't have it!
Are you afraid?! You're afraid, aren't you?! You're scared of being sentenced, so you'd give our daughter over?!
I won't let you do anything of the sort!
You can't give them Dora, they'll take her away, throw her into isolation! She's got a whole life ahead of her, and if she goes in there, she'll never come out again!
This is my child, this is our bloody child! How could you?!
Man's Voice Just calm down—keep it down a little!
Why in the hell would I give Dora to them? I never said that! It's just—it's just, how can you bear to see her like this?
We can't cure her... we've tried every drug, we've taken her for every treatment they told us... Useless, all of it's been useless!
There's already people suspicious of us because we're going and buying medicine! We can't keep hiding this! We need to figure out something soon!
Woman's Voice ......
We'll—We'll leave this place. We'll take Dora, and we won't stay here anymore. We can go somewhere where nobody lives—
Man's Voice And where do we have to go?
[The R.I. operative goes to where the voices came from, with Iris tailing him.]
Field Operator (The voices are coming from this side. Hrm... here. This house.)
Iris (They were talking about...)
Field Operator (Their daughter catching Oripathy, most likely.)
(Hiding Infected. In Victoria, that's a fairly grave offence.)
Iris (Dora... I've heard the name before...)
I'm going to take a look!
[Iris rushes off.]
Field Operator —Hold on, oi!
She acts on the first word she hears... honestly, what a child.
<Background black>
Little Girl What's the time, Mr. Wolf? ...3 o'clock!
What's the time, Mr. Wolf? ...Dinnertime!
This is no fun.
Dolly, dolly, I wish you could move. Then you could play with me.
Dolly, when do you think mummy and daddy will finally let me go outside?
I don't want to be ill. I hate being ill.
My arm hurts... my belly hurts too...
Iris Don't scratch. If you scratch, it might get even worse.
Little Girl —!!
(Covers mouth)
(Whisper) Who... who are you!?
(Whisper) How did you come in? The windows are all closed... um, wait, you should get out quick! If my mummy and daddy find you, they'll get mad at us!
Iris Windows like that can't stop me. It's okay, nobody will find us.
Were you playing something just now?
Little Girl Yeah!
Iris Do you want this doll to move, and play with you?
Little Girl Of course! But... how does a dolly move?
Iris There's ways. Aren't there all sorts of little creatures in storybooks who can speak? If there are puppets who can be people, and cats who can walk on two legs, then of course there are dollies who can move.
Hm... do you like listening to stories?
Little Girl I do! Mummy's told me lots of stories before!
Like the child in the chimney, and the one with big scissors, and the garden with a fairy...
And the one about a castle with tea parties!
It's really, really big, and really, really pretty, and only good children can go to it, and inside, there's these really nice fairies, and they give you really nice cakes and stuff, and they have a tea party all day...
And you can grab the clouds out of the sky, and they taste really sweet, too...
I really want to go to the castle, and be in the tea party, so, I've been trying really hard all the time to be a good girl. When will the fairies pick me up to go to the castle?
Iris Perhaps, very soon, you'll have the chance.
You're a good girl. I'm sure you will!
Little Girl Really? That's super!
When I go to the castle, will my dolly start moving, and play with me?
Iris Mm-hm. You've heard it in stories, haven't you? At the fairies' castle, if you're a good child, they'll keep your most beloved treasures safe, and when the time comes, those treasures will come back to your side once again.
Dollies who live in the castle aren't ordinary dollies. They can move, and sing, and play games with you!
Do you want your dolly to come "alive?"
Little Girl I... I really do...
But, do I have to leave my dolly behind?
If I have to, then I don't want to...
Iris Wh... why?
It won't take too much time. My friends... I mean, the fairies are really powerful, and I'm sure they'll let your dolly move in no time!
Just make sure everything's agreed, and your dolly will be back by your side before you know it!
Little Girl (Shakes head)
My mummy and daddy gave me this dolly for my birthday. I don't want to leave her.
When I got my dolly, I told mummy that I'd protect her forever! I have to protect my own little girl, right?
Why do people all leave their treasure and stuff so the fairies can keep 'em?
Iris But you're—
...But you're...
You're fallen ill...
If one day someone else finds you, they could take you away. If they really do, then you'll have no way to protect your dolly, right...
Little Girl Um... daddy said the same thing, too.
But, it's okay. I'll stay at home like they told me. Mummy and daddy won't let me get taken away!
My dolly is my little girl, and I'll protect my dolly. Mummy and daddy said I'm their little girl, and mummy and daddy will protect me.
So as long as I listen to them and be a good girl, I won't get taken away!
Iris ......
I can accept that...
Little Girl Hehee. Thank you for worrying about me.
Oh, um, I still haven't asked your name yet. Are you sure mummy and daddy won't find us? You're not... from our village, right? I've never seen you before.
I'm Dora. What about you?
Iris I'm... Iris.
Little Girl Iris!
Can you... can you play with me for a bit? Just a tiny bit!
It's too boring by myself, and I can't play outside, so I can only draw stuff at home, and play jigsaws... and I've played them forever and I'm bored...
Iris You can't go outside?
Little Girl If I say I wanna go outside, then mummy will cry. 'Cause I've got a really bad disease, and if I go outside when I want, then bad people will take me away.
They'll take me away, and then I'll never see mummy and daddy again.
Iris ......
Little Girl I don't wanna make mummy cry, and I don't want to leave mummy and daddy behind. But...
But I miss Maemae and all my friends, and I wanna go back to school.
Iris Oh, don't feel down... I'll—I'll play with you!
Do you like this one? Or this toy here, see, if you press it, it lights up! Let's play jigsaws for now, and then next time I'll bring you a new ragdoll—
I'm sorry, this is as much as I can do... I don't have any way to let you go outside.
I'm sorry...
Little Girl Iris, why are you being all weird and apolojettic? You didn't do anything wrong.
Um, do you think, if I really see a Miss Fairy, I can make a wish to her?
Iris Of course you can! Fairies are enormously powerful!
Little Girl That's great! Will the Miss Fairies in the castle cure my disease?
Iris That's...
The Miss Fairies can't do everything, either...
Little Girl I see, then...
Iris B—But!
Even if they don't have a way to cure your disease! If you have any other desires as well, I'm sure they can—
Little Girl Then, I want mummy to never cry again. Can they do that?
Iris That's—That's not possible, but if you have anything else!
Little Girl Um... I want to grow up a little faster, too.
Iris That can't be done, either.
It can't...
None of it can be done...
Little Girl Um...
Then never mind.
Iris Dora, aren't you disappointed?
Don't you feel like... the fairies are so useless, that the fairytales are all liars?
Little Girl Why?
I'm gonna tell you a secret. You can't tell anyone else! Actually, my best friend Maemae came to play with me this morning, but she couldn't come in, so we talked through the window all secret.
Maemae said, last night, a Miss Fairy invited her to the castle, and Maemae wouldn't lie to me! She said it was like a dream in there, and the cakes and biscuits were all super tasty!
Iris Maemae's a good girl too...
Little Girl Mm-hm! But, if I meet a Miss Fairy, I won't mention any of the wishes from just now. Iris, you have to keep it a secret, too!
Iris A secret? Why?
Little Girl Um, because, think about it! If the Miss Fairy knew she couldn't make my wishes come true, then she'd feel really bad. So I can't tell her about them.
Iris ......
Thank you...
<Background 8>
[Iris meets with the R.I. operative as she walks out of the house.]
Field Operator You've finally come out. Are you done talking with that girl in there?
Iris How did you know?
Field Operator Had a chat with her mother and father, and I heard movement from the rooms inside.
What's wrong? Didn't go well?
Iris It's none of your business...
How are her parents? Are they truly thinking about handing their daughter over?
Field Operator I can reassure you, they don't want their daughter to leave their side. They just... can't think of another way.
Iris And on the off-chance someone else finds them, what'll happen?
Field Operator Hrm... I'm guessing they'd immediately take the poorly girl away, and throw her in an isolation ward. The parents are harboring hidden Infected, so in all likelihood, they'd be sentenced too.
But you don't need to worry about that too much right now. I've already introduced them to somewhere reliable.
Iris What kind of place could even be reliable for people stuck in their situation?
I know what Dora has is Oripathy, and I know it's an awful disease with no current cure...
Field Operator What kind of place is it, huh... hrmm, it's a little hard to describe.
But it's essentially somewhere where their daughter can receive treatment. Not somewhere where people just get split apart and left to die, or directly hung, or condemned to work in factories.
Iris ...It sounds like it has something going for it.
Field Operator Obviously. But it's just a possibility I gave to them. It's up to them how they decide.
Victorian people have a strange sense of pride and superiority about their country and its soil. I've had the pleasure of knowing that more times than I can count.
Iris What in the world makes you... are you being sarcastic?!
Field Operator Ah... I don't mean it that way.
It's just that—throwing away your current life in pursuit of a single possibility, that's something much easier said than done. Even if they opted to go on as things are in the end, I wouldn't be surprised any.
Iris ......
That girl fallen ill still believes in fairytales. She's still that young.
I can't help her... she's a good child, but I—don't have anything I can do for her. One story, one dreamland. None of it, nearly enough to rescue her from her ailment...
Field Operator But they let people have hope.
Iris Huh...?
Field Operator I might not know what's gnawing at you right now, but I think stories and sweet dreams are good things.
Wonderful things let people yearn, and let them have hope. In awful circumstances like these, letting people hold onto their longing for wonderful things like that, I think, is essential.
After all, we need to first know what's good, and that's how we can have a direction to strive in, am I right?
Iris Then tell me about you. Do you believe in fairytales?
Field Operator I believe in some things even more idealistic than fairytales. If those count as fairytales too, then yes, I believe.
Don't let it weigh on you. There's so little we can do for others in the first place.
[The R.I. operative gave Iris some time to ease herself before resuming their conversation.]
Field Operator Right, you said you were looking for someone before...
Iris What?
Field Operator If you have no other trails, then I actually know a girl called Mabel.
I know she was originally Victorian, she's twenty-odd, brown-haired, green-eyed, and very nimble with her hands, though she's not a lover of manual work. She just likes fiddling with machine parts.
For the moment... she matches up completely with your account.
Iris —! She matches so thoroughly; this can't just be a coincidence!
Where is she?! Tell me where she is!
Field Operator Mm-hm. I've actually gotten more sure the more I think about it.
But, if she's really the one you're looking for, then you're actually a little late now.
Iris What do you mean?
Field Operator Certain things happening that probably aren't be up to me to tell.
Or... maybe you should try going to meet her.