Irene: Lantern's Twilight

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Operator Record
Lantern's Twilight
Irene icon.png

It is no easy matter to act according to your beliefs.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Irene to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Irene.
Characters
Backgrounds
Wilderness Dusk
1
Iberian Streets
2
Irene makes a decision, and visits her master's grave to say goodbye.
Background-Wilderness Dusk.png
Ashen skies. Strong winds. Untamed wilds. Somber graves.
This is the final resting place for all High Inquisitors.
Inquisitor Irene ......
Irene still remembers the sight, from the first time her master brought her here.
What she dared not tell him at the time was that it had made her heart burn with a zealous sense of purpose. That to her, their sacrifice was something to be glorified.
That she had felt as if the entire graveyard was shrouded in a hallowed beauty.
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 1>
Inquisitor Irene (It's so beautiful...)
High Inquisitor Dario Irene.
Inquisitor Irene Oh! Y-Yes, Maestro!
High Inquisitor Dario Seeing as you've chosen to become my deputy, then starting today, I am not just your teacher, but also your superior officer.
Inquisitor Irene Yes, sir!
High Inquisitor Dario This is where my mentor brought me when I first became an Inquisitor.
Most of the graves here are cenotaphs. After all, not many in our line of work are recovered in one piece when we die.
So rather than their bodies, their lanterns and weapons better represent the trail they've cleared in life.
As such, we place them here on the graves of every Inquisitor to fall in battle, to serve as a memorial.
And these nine tombstones... are for the nine Saints.
Inquisitor Irene Nine? But isn't your master, Lord Carmen, still alive?
High Inquisitor Dario While the other eight have long since perished on their journey, Lord Carmen has already designated this as his final resting place.
Inquisitor Irene ......
(How wonderful would it be if I could give my life defending Iberia and be buried here too.)
High Inquisitor Dario Irene.
Inquisitor Irene Yes, sir!
High Inquisitor Dario One day, you will also bring my lantern and weapon here, to lay them to rest.
Inquisitor Irene ......
High Inquisitor Dario I can only hope that when that day comes, you will not grieve, but rather have understood what we fight for.
Because by then, nobody will be left to instruct you.
Until that day, though, I will teach you everything I know.
<Flashback ends here>
Irene remembers answering with a resounding "Yes, sir!"
But at the time, she did not understand the weight of her master's words, nor the weight of a life.
She did not understand. Not until after everything she experienced on the Stultifera, not until she was carrying her master's tools with her to lay upon his grave.
Inquisitor Irene There are more graves here now.
Irene arrives in front of one.
"Here sleeps High Inquisitor Dario."
A simple wooden plaque. A single, unassuming sentence, with no embellishments. The grave of a High Inquisitor.
Lest she disturb his soul, she gingerly places what he left behind on his grave, before slowly sitting down.
Inquisitor Irene Maestro, I've brought your lantern. I've brought your weapon.
As you requested, I've returned them to your grave, so that your soul may return to your homeland.
But, even though I made that promise back then, I never thought the day would come so soon.
While it's been some time since it happened, I still can't believe that you're no longer with us.
But in the end, you're gone.
There will be nobody to scold me for being childish. Nobody to warn me to think more, to observe more. Nobody to shelter me from the wind and the rain.
[Irene placed the late Dario's lantern and handcannon on his tombstone.]
Inquisitor Irene ...Never mind. If you could hear me now, I'm sure you'd just chide me for being soft and weak.
Don't worry. I still remember what you said. That you hoped I would understand what we are fighting for.
I think I do now. At least somewhat.
So... I might not be back to visit you for a while.
Not because I've lost faith in my beliefs.
If anything, I'm doing this because I now truly understand the meaning of "inquisition."
I hope you can continue to watch over me, Maestro.
[Saint Carmen walks to the late Dario's grave and stands beside Irene.]
Inquisitor Irene Lord Carmen?!
Saint Carmen No need to be so nervous. I am nothing more than a teacher, come to see his fallen student.
Inquisitor Irene ......
Saint Carmen Those items you placed belonged to Dario, no?
Inquisitor Irene Y-Yes. While it didn't need to be me who brought them here, I wanted to do it myself.
He was my maestro after all, and... I wanted to tell him goodbye.
Saint Carmen Oh?
Inquisitor Irene ......
The person standing before her eyes is a High Inquisitor crowned with the title of Saint. Every Inquisitor knows of the countless trials Saint Carmen has overcome, and of the countless evils he has passed his judgment on.
His existence itself is the embodiment of the Inquisition's will.
For a moment, she regrets the decision she has made, but quickly suppresses that thought.
She made up her mind long ago.
Inquisitor Irene I handed in my resignation before coming here.
I plan to step down from my position as Inquisitor. So, I wanted to say goodbye to my maestro before I leave the Inquisition.
Saint Carmen ......
Irene had already prepared answers to the questions she was sure would come, but is met only with the Saint's silence.
She dares not speculate what this silence implies, but does not sense any anger from him.
Saint Carmen Dario was my eighth student, and the finest of them all.
But he was never very good with words, and wasn't particularly popular even among the Inquisitors. He never stopped calling me "Lord" either, even though I was his teacher.
It must not have been easy being his student.
Inquisitor Irene That's not true.
Maestro always acted swiftly and decisively. I admired that about him, and the results proved again and again that he was always correct.
Saint Carmen Only thanks to the many, many mistakes he made when he was younger.
A fleeting illusion flashes across Irene's mind–that the person in front of her is not a strict and stolid Saint, but rather a weary old man.
Saint Carmen Had I accompanied him to the Eye of Iberia, he would likely not have given his life.
Inquisitor Irene ...Aboard that golden ship, when that monster told me news of his passing, she told me that his death was meaningless.
So I responded: "the Inquisition never makes sacrifices in vain."
But before he died, he once taught me that the notion of a good death was nothing but a romanticization.
That for us Inquisitors, the only way we can fulfill our ideals is by living on.
So before considering whether his death was meaningful or not, it would've been better had he survived. That's what I've been thinking.
Saint Carmen Dario taught you well.
......
After the calamity swept over Iberia, the other Saints and I gradually grew the Inquisition into what it is now.
We achieved a great number of things, most of which can be read in the Scriptures.
But sometimes, I've been forced to ask the very same question: had I acted differently, could I have prevented someone's death? Countless deaths?
Ultimately, I am but one man. Even if different choices could have allowed me to do so much more, they too might've resulted in yet more death.
Inquisitor Irene In other words, there's only so much one person can do.
Saint Carmen Surely you're not resigning because you're disillusioned in the direction the Inquisition is going?
Inquisitor Irene Of course not... I didn't expect you to see through me so easily, though.
Saint Carmen Had that been the case, you would've shied away from me after you returned from the Stultifera.
But you didn't.
Your convictions now are even purer than when I first saw you in Gran Faro.
What reason would I have to suspect you of running away?
Inquisitor Irene But...
Saint Carmen I still remember a few years back, when Dario told me that he would take his first student. A young child.
For the survival of the organization, each High Inquisitor must select a few students from among the Inquisitors, and pass down everything they have learned.
However, it is extremely rare for one to choose a child.
Inquisitor Irene The Scriptures saved my life, but had Maestro not been there, I may well have still died in those ruins.
After that, I was taken to the Inquisition's orphanage, and he occasionally came to see me from then on.
...It's not as if he became my maestro right away. Actually, as a High Inquisitor, it was against regulations for him to instruct an orphan like me in the first place.
But some time after he found out that I wanted to become an Inquisitor, and had already begun training for it, he suddenly told me that he wanted to personally teach me a few things.
Saint Carmen Oh?
Inquisitor Irene His decision always puzzled me too, so I eventually found an opportunity to ask him about it. I'll never forget what he said.
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 2>
High Inquisitor Dario You want to know why I decided to take you as my student?
Inquisitor Irene That's right.
High Inquisitor Dario Because your zealotry for the Inquisition, the Scriptures, and the Law reached my ears.
Inquisitor Irene Really?!
High Inquisitor Dario And that is your fatal flaw.
Inquisitor Irene Huh?
High Inquisitor Dario Your justice comes from the texts that saved you, from the Inquisition that raised you, from your own studies in your path to becoming an Inquisitor.
But it leaves little room for the sights witnessed with your own two eyes, the words heard by your own two ears, or the ground tread by your own two feet.
You are still too fragile, Irene.
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 1>
Inquisitor Irene I didn't understand him at the time, and he wasn't willing to say anything more, so I always just kept his words in the back of my mind.
I never understood what he meant, until now.
He feared that I would be blinded by justice, hurt by zealotry, and slain too soon by truth.
Because I was so convinced that the contents of the Scriptures and the Law made me who I am.
Saint Carmen So, you began to wonder if there are limitations to our laws.
Inquisitor Irene No, I'm still convinced that the Law is effective.
Saint Carmen Then you want to say that the distinction we make between good and evil lacks nuance.
Inquisitor Irene No, I believe that our codes are tried and true.
Saint Carmen In that case, why are you leaving the Inquisition?
[Irene pauses for a moment before continuing,]
Inquisitor Irene Maestro once told me that when the time comes, I must become Iberia's last line of defense.
I used to think he expected too much of me, but now I see that this was the least he could have hoped for.
It wasn't because of any special talent of mine, or because I'm to fulfill some kind of unique duty.
It was because he expected the same of himself, and he did just that.
So as his student, it was only natural that I do the same.
Everything I learned on the Stultifera, everything he ever taught me, was all to help me to come to one realization–
That the Scriptures and the Law will guide my actions, but my actions must first abide by my own ideals.
I must first understand myself. Have faith in myself. Only then will the Scriptures and the Law truly grant me strength. Only then will my lantern truly strike fear into the sea monsters.
I witnessed the truth in the cage beneath the Inquisition. And on the Stultifera, I learned of their thoughts, their language, and... their evolution.
I have seen our enemies clearly, and now understand the imminent crisis we face.
I have traveled with the Hunters, and fought alongside them. I have seen their pride, but also the extent of their strength.
They are unknowns, but we need not fear them.
Saint Carmen So, my child, after everything you've experienced, what is the answer you've arrived at?
Irene When I came face-to-face with those monsters, it became immediately clear that what I suspected was what Maestro also suspected. That what I feared was what he also feared.
My justice could not endure the trial I faced, and my maestro's conviction was the result of thorough consideration.
I will no longer doubt, hesitate, or run. I will do what I can do. What I must do.
Saint Carmen ......
Irene Oh, I'm sorry, Lord Carmen. I should've chosen my words more carefully.
But please believe me. I'm stepping down only so that I can better carry out my duties as an Inquisitor.
Saint Carmen The position of Inquisitor is an extremely sensitive one. Only by relinquishing it are you able to work with other organizations, or even countries.
Child, you've witnessed the light of multilateralism.
So what will you do after parting ways with the Inquisition?
Irene I'll try to work with the three Abyssal Hunters for the time being.
They seem to have close ties to that Rhodes Island organization, so I am considering whether or not to reach out to them.
Saint Carmen Hmm, if that's the case...
[St. Carmen faces away, and...]
Saint Carmen Did you hear all that, Kal'tsit?
[Kal'tsit walks toward St. Carmen and Irene.]
Irene Huh?!
Kal'tsit Sorry, but the conversation had gotten so interesting that I couldn't help but stop and listen in.
Irene Ugh...
Kal'tsit Naturally, Rhodes Island would never refuse the assistance of such a capable Inquisitor.
Saint Carmen Irene, you can step down without leaving the Inquisition altogether, you know.
Irene Huh?
Saint Carmen You can become our Messenger to Rhodes Island, and cooperate with them on our behalf.
Irene Really?
Saint Carmen Remember, Irene. Your decision today will be the next step in Ægir's partnership with Iberia.
Irene ...Yes, sir!
Saint Carmen Good. Get ready to set off then.
Nobody will be there to guide you on your new journey. Only the faith in your heart can show you where to go.
Irene Yes, sir!
[Irene leaves.]
Saint Carmen ......
See, Kal'tsit?
For me, the opportunity for Ægir and Iberia to rejoin hands came far, far too late.
Even if they've given us an opportunity to turn things around, time has taken its toll on me, and I can no longer feel even the slightest bit of joy from it.
But for her, it truly is the dawn of a new day.
Kal'tsit If their evolution is the instinct of life itself, then the decision she made just now must surely be the instinct of civilization.
[Kal'tsit noticed something.]
Kal'tsit ...Hm?
Saint Carmen What are you looking at?
Background-Wilderness Dusk.png
The old man follows Kal'tsit's gaze. The lantern resting atop Dario's grave suddenly flickers a few times.
As if it is saying both goodbye, and good luck.