GA-ST-2: Iris

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Guide Ahead: Summit of Nations
Previous GA-8 (Story)

The iris fields outside the Ecclesia Requietum are gentle in the breeze; their rustle like a farewell, like soft song.
Sarkaz Pathfinder B icon.png
Lateran Sankta Nun icon.png
Laterano Streets
Laterano Hospital Ward
Laterano Chapel Outside
The setting sun illuminates the halo on his head like a crown. She recalls her mother's words, including the word that she did not fully understand - "martyr".
<Background 1>
Sciurus I was treating this like a holiday in Laterano... Never thought something like this would happen.
Kjerag is a theocracy too, so why couldn't we have done this?
Yucatan Laterano is much more influential. The Legati were all part of the Apostle's plan.
We simply don't have that sort of foundation.
Sciurus Influence, eh? It's only after leaving Kjerag that I learned how troublesome influence can be.
Pretty amazing how Enciodes managed to negotiate with our neighboring countries all on his own.
Yucatan The Saintess's influence is on the rise too. We have our own advantages.
Sciurus But do you really think what the Lateran Pope is talking about is possible?
Yucatan I don't know.
I can't imagine a world where all the nations are so tightly entwined with one another. It sounds like a dream, or maybe a nightmare.
But no one can ignore the miracle that happened that day, or the Pope's speech.
Is Laterano really the blessed city?
Sciurus What do the Sankta think of all this, Ezell?
Ezell Huh? Well, er... it was stunning?
Sciurus Figured as much. Apparently, that bell has not rung for thousands of years.
So what will happen to Laterano now?
Ezell Perhaps not all that much, from what I know of the Laterans. Or maybe it's the same everywhere.
Turning points in history don't always seem so important at the time.
But we do perceive that change is happening, and we'll take up our own duties and responsibilities.
Sciurus Well said, brother.
You can leave us here. We have a car on the way.
Yucatan Thank you.
Ezell No problem. Cardinal Velliv is at a hospital not far from here. I'll be reporting back to her directly.
Sciurus Please give her our thanks.
Ezell As long as you're satisfied. Those were her instructions.
Sciurus Nothing gets past her, huh?
Say, can you take a photo of me and my husband?
Ezell Sure.
[Ezell takes a photo of Sciurus and Yucatan.]
Ezell How is that?
Sciurus You're a pretty good photographer.
Yucatan Thanks.
Ezell You're welcome.
[Sciurus and Yucatan takes their leave.]
<Background fades out and in>
Mostima Say, Fiammetta, do you feel like your steps are heavier than usual?
Fiammetta Where's this coming from?
Mostima You don't feel a weight on your shoulders, after what His Holiness said?
Fiammetta Get to the point.
Mostima Well, I'm thinking I'm due for a career change. I'm not really cut out for a job with too much responsibility.
And you seem like just the girl to take my—
Fiammetta In your dreams.
Ezell Good afternoon.
Mostima Long time no see, Ezell.
Ezell It's only been two weeks...
Fiammetta Are you on a mission?
Ezell An errand on behalf of Cardinal Velliv. I was just about to report back to her.
This is my final task in Laterano.
Mostima Not bad. Once you've seen the world, you'll realize how boring this place is.
There aren't as many great desserts out there, but... life is about more than just enjoyment, don't you think?
Fiammetta So you're going to meet with Velliv? Where is she?
Ezell Stevonus Central Hospital.
Fiammetta ......
Mostima Let's go together then. We're headed the same way.
<Background 2>
Velliv Have you made up your mind?
Lemuen Yes, I have.
Velliv I thought you'd need to mull it over a little longer.
Lemuen I just felt that I can't be the only one standing still, while everyone else has already taken the next step.
Velliv Then I have nothing to add. I'm glad you accepted.
It's wonderful to have someone like you join us, times being what they are.
[Ezell, Fiammetta, and Mostima enters the room.]
Mostima I knew you'd be here, Velliv.
Velliv How did you...?
Fiammetta We ran into Ezell.
Ezell The emissaries from Kjerag have reached their destination.
Velliv Good work.
But don't leave just yet. I've got another task I could use your presence for.
Ezell Understood.
Velliv See you next week, Lemuen.
Lemuen See you.
[Cardinal Velliv leaves.]
Fiammetta Have you decided to join the Seventh Tribunal, Lemuen?
Lemuen Already on the job.
Fiammetta Hm, it won't be easy over there, after this conference.
Lemuen Don't you think we're a match made in heaven though?
Fiammetta I suppose.
Lemuen You've all chosen your paths. It's about time for me to think about what I can do too.
Mostima Speaking of, I was just talking to Fiammetta about quitting my job as a Legata.
Lemuen Too much trouble?
Mostima I mean, with the old man? I can already see the trouble waiting in the future.
Lemuen But you're not getting away that easily, Mostima. You answer to me now.
Mostima Oh.
Lemuen Here's your first job: bring this letter to El.
Mostima Can I say no?
Lemuen Nope.
Deliver it to her personally.
Mostima Unemployment is sounding more appealing by the second.
Fiammetta Quit it with the lame excuses.
Mostima And there's my old taskmaster.
Fiammetta You won't give up.
Mostima How can you be so sure?
Fiammetta Don't pretend that you don't need this job.
You're looking for an answer, aren't you?
Mostima I'm not Andoain.
Fiammetta I didn't say you were.
But you have a choice to make, about who you are.
And to find that answer... one must have journeyed far enough.
Mostima ......
Lemuen So how does it feel to be seen right through, Mostima? Sounds like you don't even need a halo to.
Mostima This is my own path, then. You shouldn't follow me, Fiammetta.
Fiammetta You think the world revolves around you? We just happen to be taking the same road.
I have his gun.
If he still sees himself as Sankta, he'll be back for it.
Then he'll pay for what he did!
And you'll help me.
Mostima Fine...
Lemuen By the way, the Astray that were caught in the city have been set free.
Fiammetta Is that His Holiness's will?
Lemuen Uh-huh.
Fiammetta His mercy is none of my business.
Lemuen I thought you might say something like that.
Oh, and you'll be dispatched to Rhodes Island under the agreement with the Notarial Hall, through the Fifth Tribunal.
Fiammetta Er, you mean the pharmaceutical company that Mostima and Lemuel work part-time at?
Where's this coming from?
Lemuen Velliv wants to deepen our cooperation. You're as good as anyone for the role.
Plus, we have a good track record with them. You should be well-supported.
Fiammetta Alright.
Lemuen Oh, by the way, I have some really good news for you!
You get to choose from one of three code names for your next mission!
Fiammetta Do we really have to keep up this farce, now that you're our liaison?
We only used a temporary name in the first place because there's no clear role for keeping tabs on her.
I've had enough of these monthly name changes!
Mostima Didn't you like Shimmering Vigil? What was it that you said... "they've finally come up with a decent name"?
Fiammetta Shut up.
Mostima Hey, nice flowers.
Lemuen Hate to break it to you, but the tradition of changing your title has become a rule unto itself. Just accept it.
Here are your choices: Void Gourmet, Wasteland Pilot, or Dawn Destroyer.
Fiammetta ...Dawn Destroyer.
Mostima Man, your tastes are so easy to guess.
Fiammetta I told you to shut up already!
<Background fades out and in>
Oren *exhales*...
Velliv You're awake?
Oren Luck has really not been on my side lately.
Velliv What's wrong? Getting bedsores from too much lying down?
Oren No, forget I said anything.
Huh? Ezell?
Velliv I wanted him to see what happens to those who come close to betraying Laterano.
Ezell Er...
Oren Stop bullying the kid, Velliv.
Velliv Are you implying that I'm not young myself?
Oren Sorry.
Velliv You're no longer a Legatus.
Oren If that's the price I must pay, then...
Velliv But you're still my subordinate.
Oren's a heavy one.
Velliv You talk a big talk, Oren. Let's see what you learned in Victoria.
Oren Does that mean you need me to do things my way?
Velliv Remember that question you asked? I can answer it now.
I have no interest in being a woman of integrity.
But I respect those who have worked hard to earn the title.
Oren Well... I can't argue with that.
Ezell Was that intended for me as well?
Velliv Of course.
Treasure the opportunity you've been given with Cecelia. Don't ever let me know what... influence she will have on Laterano.
Ezell You don't want her returning here?
Velliv If I didn't, why would I waste time crafting an identity for her?
Other than, well, compassion. And the fact that she still has potential value that outweighs her risks.
Ezell ......
Oren Trust me, there's no harm in getting this sort of candid promise.
Ezell I understand.
Velliv No need to be nervous. I'm simply expressing Laterano's sincerity.
If you two ever get tired of traveling, Laterano will be here.
Her doors will be open.
[Someone knocks the door.]
Velliv Come in.
Ezell Federico?
Federico Cardinal Velliv, here are the past two years of records regarding the activities of the former Legatus, Oren Argiolas.
Velliv Thank you, Executor Federico.
Oren Er...
Velliv Just in case.
Federico There is reason to believe that Executor Richele may be his accomplice. Should I summon him?
Velliv No need. He'll only claim to have been tricked by an old classmate, now won't he, Oren?
Oren Remind me never to pick a fight with you again.
Velliv I'll let Richele be. For now.
But I would like to speak with him through you, when it's convenient. You don't have a problem with that, do you?
Oren N-No, not at all.
Velliv Then the two of them have been dealt with for the moment, Executor Federico.
Oren ......
Hold on, Federico.
Federico What is it?
Oren I've been thinking. It couldn't have been easy to deduce that it was Feoria who met with the Sarkaz, just from a few sentences in a journal.
Why were you so obsessed?
Who were you seeking?
Federico ...Arturia.
Oren Arturia... huh? Arturia?
Velliv The wanted criminal?
Oren What exactly is your relationship with her?
Federico A distant relative.
Oren Hahahaha!
Seriously, man.
If I could stand right now, I'd be dragging you to the nearest bar.
Federico I don't have time.
Oren You do, because I happened to run into an infamous fugitive a few years back. By the name of Arturia.
Velliv ......
Oren Wait! Calm down, Velliv!
I wasn't looking for her! It was a coincidence!
Seriously, I like to think of myself as a veteran, but just thinking back on that experience sends a shiver down my spine.
Federico Where did you see her?
Oren Three years ago, in Leithanien.
<Background 2>
[Cecelia, accompanied by Richele, greets Ezell.]
Cecelia Mister Ezell!
Ezell Cecelia!
Richele The paperwork is in order. She's now free to leave Laterano.
Ezell Thank you, Richele.
Richele Just doing my job.
You know where you're going, right?
Ezell Well, we'll meet up with Federico and join a company by the name of Rhodes Island under a cooperation agreement. Apparently, it's more convenient this way, since we'll be spending a lot of time outside.
Richele Good. I've already contacted them.
But you're still an executor of the Notarial Hall. Missions will be issued to you through Rhodes Island when it's inconvenient for you to return.
That said, I have a hunch that your journey with her will go smoothly. You might find what you're looking for sooner rather than later.
And my hunches are usually right.
Ezell Er, thanks?
Richele I'll be going, then. Goodbye, Cecelia.
Cecelia Bye-bye, Mister Richele.
Richele Ah-choo!
Yikes. I'm getting a hunch that something bad's gonna happen...
[After Richele left...]
Ezell Richele is an eccentric one too.
Hey, wait, how did he know that we're looking for something?
Cecelia What's wrong, Mister Ezell?
Ezell Nothing.
Is there anything else you want to say before we go?
Cecelia ......
The girl lets go of the young Sankta's hand and walks to the center of the flower field.
Cecelia (I'm leaving Laterano, Mamma.)
(But I'm not running away.)
(I'm gonna find Papà on my own, and tell him what you said.)
(I wanna see the outside world for myself... I wanna see Kazdel.)
(I'm happy, Mamma. Now, just like before...)
(Please, watch over me.)
Can I pick a white flower?
Sister Of course.
Cecelia Thank you!
[Cecelia returns to Ezell with the flowers she picked.]
Ezell You want to take this flower?
Cecelia Uh-huh.
Ezell Fresh flowers won't last long. I can press it for you.
Cecelia Will you teach me? I wanna learn for myself.
Thanks, Mister Ezell.
Ezell Huh?
I'm the one who should be thanking you.
Cecelia Eh? Is that...?
<Background fades out and in>
Andoain Patia, are you really coming with me?
Patia Of course.
Andoain I was thinking you could stay here.
Patia Laterano doesn't have what I'm looking for.
Andoain What is it, Patia?
Patia Excuse me, that was out of line.
But... did you just smile?
Not to say that you don't normally—it's just that, well, something seems different.
Andoain Hmm...
For many years, I thought we walked alone in the wilderness. I was arrogant and immature.
Did you hear the old man's speech?
Patia I heard the second half when it woke me up. It was being broadcast all over the city. Loudly.
Andoain Yvangelista, the Patron Saint of Sacrifice and Unity. Perhaps he will go even further than the ten who took that name before him.
What a grand, yet fragile vision.
But one upon which I offer my blessings.
Patia What did you learn that day?
Andoain It's not important, Patia. Not so important, anyway.
Even if there is no reward waiting at the end of the journey, the act of continuing onward is, in itself, carrying the torch. Therefore, I will continue onward.
We do not trade for blessings, nor for pity. We walk the path that we believe in.
Because... it is the only way to live with dignity, is it not?
Rosella We should depart, Guide, before the sun sets.
Andoain Let us go, my brothers and sisters.
The girl of mixed blood sees the leader take the first step.
The setting sun illuminates the halo on his head like a crown.
She recalls the stories of the Saints that her mother would tell her, and the word that her mother placed so much emphasis on.
She does not fully understand its meaning, or its symbolism. For some reason, though, it comes to mind when she sees that faraway figure.
<Background fades out and in>
Ezell What are you looking at, Cecelia?
Cecelia No, nothing.
The sunset is beautiful.
<Background fades out>
The girl looks about her, at the flowers, at the church, at the statue and the bell tower, so far away now.
She takes the young Sankta's hand, and the two of them begin to walk into the distance.
Her steps are slow, but she does not look back.