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Letter Preluding Lights
RI Operator icon.png
Guard Operator
RI Medic icon.png
Medic Operator
RI Room
RI Corridor
RI Bridge
RI Cafeteria
Worried about Pramanix's situation and the siblings' relationships, Cliffheart convinces Courier to deliver a letter to Mount Karlan in her stead. Later, Courier returns from Kjerag with an unexpected invitation.
<Background black>
6:50 A.M. \ Clear
Rhodes Island Landship, Operator Dorms
<Background 1>
[Cliffheart barges into Courier and Matterhorn's room.]
Cliffheart Mornin'!
Huh, the door's unlocked... Guess I'll let myself in.
Sup, Courier! Uncle Matterhorn! You guys in?
Huh, nobody's home?
There's no way they'd be sleeping in this late... If they're not in their room, maybe they already left?
Darn it, I have to go find 'em!
<Background 2>
[Cliffheart runs through the corridors and meets Courier along the way.]
Courier Hmm? Lady Ensia, what's going on so early in the morning... Wait, hold on, don't run in the hallway, it's too dangerous!
Cliffheart Ah, there you are, bro!
Don't worry, nothing bad's gonna–– Woooah!
Courier Hey, watch out!
Cliffheart Phew... Close one. Why's there a parcel here?
Thanks, bro.
Courier Good grief, I told you to be careful. What am I going to do when you actually take a fall?
Cliffheart Hehe, I knew you were gonna catch me anyway.
Courier Hey... Lady Ensia, you're a fully-fledged operator now, you can't be so reckless...
[Matterhorn joins in.]
Matterhorn What's wrong, Courier? Did something happen?
Courier Ah, Matterhorn.
Cliffheart Morning, Uncle!
Matterhorn Ah, the Young Lady. Good morning.
Have you gotten used to life at Rhodes Island yet? It's rare to see you up so early though... Are you getting ready for a mission?
Courier Or are you not used to the beds here? After all, I do recall you having very high standards for your sleep environment.
Back at the old house, Matterhorn helped pick out a bed for you when you were still very young, right? After that, you refused to sleep anywhere else.... and never without hugging your little blanket.
Matterhorn Mm, now that you remind me...
Cliffheart W-Wait, hold your horses, Courier. Don't make stuff up, I wasn't that much of a princess!
Don't underestimate an adventurer either, got it? I've got no problem going early to bed, early to rise! If you can't get a good night's rest to replenish your energy when you're up in the mountains, there's no way you'll ever become a good mountaineer!
No matter how cold it is, no matter how thin the air is, you bet I can fall right asleep!
Matterhorn Lady Ensia... You've grown up so much.
Cliffheart (mutters) Besides, I brought my blankie with me anyway. No way I wouldn't be able to fall asleep.
Courier Ah, so you ended up bringing it with you after all.
Cliffheart You got a problem with that?!
Alright, let's stop talking about this already!
Anyway, the fact that you two are headed out this early with these packages, are you going on a mission?
Hmm, and with this amount of luggage, it's looking like a pretty long trip too... Heading back home?
Matterhorn That's right. We'll be getting ready to leave shortly.
Courier Yup. We have to bring some stuff back over there. Master SilverAsh has quite a lot of things to deal with, and Matterhorn and I will be going back to help out.
Lady Ensia, is there anything you'd like us to take back to Master SilverAsh? Matterhorn and I would be more than glad to help.
Cliffheart Mm, I do have things I'd like to give to my brother, but... But, it's more than just that this time!
Courier What else...?
Cliffheart Well, um...
Darn it, c'mere real quick...!
Uncle Matterhorn, let's meet up at the cafeteria in a bit. I'm gonna go for a quick walk with Courier here! Oh, and tell my brother and Gnosis that I said hi!
Courier W-Wait, Lady Ensia, not so hard... You're going to pull down my clothes...!
[Cliffheart leaves, taking Courier with her.]
Matterhorn ......
Lady Ensia...
<Background 3>
[Cliffheart and Courier arrive at the bridge of Rhodes Island.]
Cliffheart Phew... Alright, this place should be fine.
Courier Why are we avoiding Matterhorn? Is there something you can only tell me...?
Cliffheart I guess there's a bit of that...
Courier, can you keep a secret for me?
Courier I'm afraid that depends on the situation. If it's something dangerous, I might have to tell Master SilverAsh.
Cliffheart Ugh... Why do you have to be like that? Both you and Matterhorn are always taking my brother's side!
Courier Ahaha... Well, Master SilverAsh is also looking after you.
Cliffheart Hmph! Whatever, I'm gonna tell you anyway. It's not anything dangerous, so you'd better swear not to tell him anything!
Anyway, um, are you planning to head up to Mount Karlan, by any chance?
Courier Not that I know, so far. It all depends on Master SilverAsh's arrangements. There's no saying whether Mister Gnosis and Lady Degenbrecher have plans of their own, either.
Why are you suddenly asking about this though? Is it related to Lady Enya again?
Cliffheart Mhm. I really can't keep anything from you.
Actually, I wrote a letter to my sister...
Back home, my brother controlled things too strictly, and I wasn't even able to sneak out to see her. I didn't even get to see her before I left for Rhodes Island.
It's only gotten harder. I haven't seen Enya in the longest time!
Courier Lady Ensia...
Cliffheart So... Courier, would you be able to help me deliver this letter to Mount Karlan?
I just want to ask her how she's doing, and if it's hard being a Saintess. I also want to tell her that she doesn't have to worry about me... just stuff like that. I swear I didn't write anything outrageous!
My brother couldn't care less about this, and he hasn't had a proper conversation with me in ages. As for Uncle Matterhorn, all he'd do is try to console me into waiting some more...
So please! Courier, you're the only one I can count on!
[After Courier thinks for a moment...]
Courier I'm sorry... Lady Ensia.
Cliffheart ......
So... You can't do it after all?
Courier It's not that I don't want to, but... The situation in Kjerag has been complicated lately, and it's unlikely that the Vine-Bear Court will permit us any sort of contact with the Saintess.
Cliffheart Huh?
Courier Even if I wanted to deliver the letter, I'm afraid it would be hard for Lady Enya to receive it.
Cliffheart I- I've never heard of this before! My brother hasn't told me anything about this...
Courier Knowing too much isn't necessarily a good thing. The Master is looking out for you, and does not wish to burden you. Sending you to Rhodes Island was another way for him to protect you.
Cliffheart He's always like that.
He always keeps me in the dark, saying that he's doing this or that for our own good. In the end, my sister still left our home for Mount Karlan.
Courier Lady Enya had no choice...
Cliffheart ......
Ugh... Fine, whatever! I guess we're done here!
Courier Eh?
Cliffheart Stop it with that dour expression already, bro. Since there's nothing you can do about it, just forget the thing about the letter!
Me being upset won't change anything, isn't that right?
Courier Lady Ensia...
Cliffheart But at least promise me, don't mention a single word of this to my brother, okay? He's gonna give me an earful for sure if he finds out, and my ears are gonna fall off if I have to sit through another one of his lectures!
Courier If Master SilverAsh heard your opinions of him, I'm sure he would be heartbroken.
Cliffheart As if! He has more important things to attend to after all, hmph!
In any case, I won't keep you any longer. I've gotta find Closure first and ask if the stuff I wanted came in... Hmm, but if I went down to see her this early, do you think she'd just shoo me out?
Courier Judging by Closure's typical schedule, there's a good chance that she just fell asleep and won't be responding to any knocks on the door.
Cliffheart Good point. Maybe I'll wait 'til later then.
Ah, that's right, remember to bring me back plenty of cystymilk curds and pulled meat. I can't buy them anywhere else, and I haven't had any for a long time!
Courier Haha, don't you worry. Matterhorn has a long list already, including all of your favorite things. We won't miss any of that!
Cliffheart Excellent! Well, good luck, and have a safe trip! Uncle Matterhorn must be sick and tired of waiting in the cafeteria, so hop to it!
Courier With your blessings, we will be back in no time.
Cliffheart Take care out there.
[Courier leaves.]
Cliffheart (Waves)
*Sigh*... So, it's no good after all. Not all that unexpected, but I still can't help but feel a bit let down.
Hmph. You're such an idiot, Enciodes. Even if you send Courier and Matterhorn to keep an eye on me, there's no way I'm gonna give up.
I'm not sure if Closure managed to get ahold of the cold-weather gear I'm going to need to scale those snowy mountains... Ugh, I can't wait, but when is Closure going to get out of bed?!
Enya... Wait for me!
<Background 4>
Medic Operator The last of the wounded have been bandaged. What a relief, nobody was seriously injured.
That's another mission complete! Next, we'll have to cross the woods and return along the border between Leithanien and Victoria.
Cliffheart Ah, excuse me, but I won't be taking the same route back.
Medic Operator Hm? Cliffheart, is there something else you need to do?
Cliffheart Yes. Just a little something I still have to take care of.
But don't worry, it'll just be a little detour to take care of some personal matters. I won't be gone for long!
Medic Operator But...
Cliffheart It's fine, it's fine. I'll be acting on behalf of myself and nobody else, so I won't make any trouble for Rhodes Island... And, I'll talk to Dr. Kal'tsit myself after I get back!
Medic Operator That's not what I'm worried about though...
Well...... If you say so, Cliffheart. But make sure to stay safe, no matter what.
Cliffheart No problem!
<Background 2>
[An R.I. guard operator meets Courier who had just returned from Kjerag.]
Guard Operator Hmm? Courier!
Courier Good day.
Guard Operator Yo. Haven't seen you around in a while. Did you just get back?
Courier Mm. This time, there were quite a lot of things that needed to be done, and the whole process took longer than expected.
Guard Operator Matterhorn and that young lady, Cliffheart, were with you as well?
Courier Matterhorn did come with me, but we did not bring the young lady along.
(Speaking of which, I haven't seen her since we came back...)
Guard Operator Oh? Sorry, I must've misunderstood something.
Not long ago, I saw the young lady packing a large bag of cold-weather mountaineering gear, and she was dressed for the job too. I assumed she was heading back with you.
Courier Climbing gear... and specifically for snowy mountains? Are you... absolutely sure?
Guard Operator No doubt about it. To tell you the truth, it's a hobby of mine as well. We talk about sweet deals on climbing gear a lot, which can save a whole bunch of money!
If I'm remembering things right, your country's full of snowy mountains, right?
Courier Oh, yes. Yes it is.
(Lady Ensia, surely you didn't...)
(...decide to climb up the mountains alone just to deliver Lady Enya a letter? Knowing Lady Ensia, that IS something she'd do...)
(That can't be it, can it?)
Guard Operator If I get a chance, I'd like to take some time off and head over there myself. I've never tried climbing snowy mountains before, so I'll definitely be asking for advice from the locals when the time comes, heh.
Courier (Damn it... I can't get it out of my head!)
(I have to find out for myself... I should've known, there's no way Lady Ensia would have given up just like that!)
(If it really is true, I have to stop her!)
Pardon me, but I must get going!
[Courier rushes off.]
Guard Operator Huh? Wait, why are you running?
Courier Ah, sorry, but some urgent personal matters came up–
Kjerag welcomes one and all! I promise I'll take you sightseeing when we get the chance!
<Background 5>
[Cliffheart made it right outside the borders of her homeland Kjerag.]
Cliffheart Take this road... and then head to the west…
Ah! There it is!
That little snow-white summit... So that's what the peaks of Kjerag look like from a distance, huh?
Welp, can't really tell how hard that mountain is to climb from this distance. Might even say it looks kinda cute, that holy mountain of ours.
But I know that's a really tough peak to summit. Those who haven't tried it themselves will never truly understand.
Like us Silverashes.
Outsiders could never understand...
??? My, that's rather unfortunate. Do you see Matterhorn and myself as outsiders too, Lady Ensia?
Though it is true, hearing it does make my heart ache somewhat.
Cliffheart –!
[Courier managed to catch up with Cliffheart.]
Courier Finally, I've caught up.
Cliffheart Courier?!
Courier Thanks to your unfamiliarity with the terrain, you spent a lot of time taking this part of the route cautiously. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to catch you.
Cliffheart Wait, wh-why are you here, Courier?!
I thought I–– Erm...
Courier It's too late to stay silent now. "I thought I didn't tell anyone" is what you wanted to say, right?
Cliffheart Urgh...
Courier After realizing that I wouldn't help deliver the letter for you, you prepared all this cold-weather mountain-climbing gear and took on a mission that would put you closest to Kjerag.
After finishing the mission, you'd let the rest of the team head back to Rhodes Island first and take a little detour to "take care of some personal matters."
Such is my Lady Ensia, you certainly do act with great decisiveness.
Cliffheart But, I still ended up getting caught...
Courier The fact that I saw so many hints but still failed to see through your plan makes me the stupid one.
Cliffheart Ugh.
Courier Lady Ensia, are you planning to scale Mount Karlan again with only your bare hands?
Or, do you plan on barging into the Saintess's residence to deliver your letter, with no consideration for your own safety?
Have you considered what would happen if you made a fuss before the Vine-Bear Court?
Cliffheart ......
Ever since I was little, every time I'd try to sneak out to play, you and my brother would always catch me. I never thought I'd be able to keep anything from you two.
You're exactly right. That is my plan. Since I faced down Mount Karlan once, I can do it a second time.
Courier I can't allow it. It's too dangerous!
Cliffheart But if I'm powerless, what else am I to do?!
I'm always powerless... Powerless to stop the rift between my brother and Enya from growing wider and wider. And I'm expected to just let it happen!
Courier ......
Cliffheart On the day that Enya left home, I was hiding along the side. I knew she didn't want to go, and we both thought that big brother would protect us, but he didn't lift a finger... He didn't stop those people from taking Enya away.
I thought my sister would cry, but she didn't.
When I saw her walk out that door, in my heart, I wished that she would've cried out.
Courier ......
Master SilverAsh... also suffers his own hardships.
Cliffheart I know. Even though the two of you never tell me anything, I'm not stupid. I can see it.
Ever since he came back from Victoria and founded that company, even you and Uncle Matterhorn have been getting busier. I understand.
I don't want to blame my brother. But, Courier, have you ever seen the Saintess of Kjerag?
Courier Lady Enya? No, you mean, the "Saintess."
Cliffheart Correct. The Kjerag Saintess.
I have, on one occasion. From a distance.
At first, I was so excited to finally get a chance to see my big sister, but... the only thing I saw was the Saintess of Mount Karlan, standing there as if frozen in ice. From where I stood, there was nothing of my sister.
Ever since then, I knew that Enya could not possibly have been living the life she wanted atop Mount Karlan.
Courier We may have difficulty understanding each others' points of view from our current positions, but... I think Lady Enya is a different person now, you can't look at her like you did then.
The Saintess is very important to Kjerag, and honestly, Lady Enya's situation may not be so bad. She stands to be the master of an entire religion, the very faith of Kjerag...
Cliffheart That's not the same. Not at all.
You can say that the Saintess is noble, exalted, capable of being detached from our feelings. But our relationship is so much more important– we're literally sisters!
As siblings, if we never try to understand each other, or even worse, end up becoming enemies one day, what are we going to do then?!
I can't just wait until that day finally comes. I'm scared... so I have to do something.
Even if, even if it's something as simple as asking Enya how she's doing...
Courier And, what if it's not what you want to hear?
Cliffheart Then I'll just climb up that damned mountain. Lie, cheat, or steal if I must, I'll take her from that place!
Courier ......
Cliffheart I'm serious. I'm gonna do it!
Courier Pfft. Hahaha.
Good grief, how can you make something like that sound so simple...
Cliffheart Hey, this is a symbol of my determination! Why are you making fun of me? That's uncalled for, man!
Courier The determination to lie, cheat, and steal, huh?
Cliffheart Uhhh... That's just a worst-case scenario.
Courier That's true. I can only pray that the worst will never come to pass. Just thinking about you climbing up the mountain to kidnap her... Ughh, just thinking about it is giving me a headache.
Looks like you won't change your mind no matter what I say, right?
Cliffheart That's right.
I'm not joking. If I say I'll do it, I'll do it!
Courier Even if I insist on stopping you, or reporting this matter to Master SilverAsh–
Cliffheart Even if my brother objects, even if he wants to lock me up, I won't give in. You'd better not underestimate me, because it's not that simple to shut me down!
Courier *Sigh*...
I guess that settles it then. You've always had that streak in you, you'll do whatever you set your mind to, and nobody can tell you otherwise. If even Master SilverAsh can't do anything about it, what can I do but surrender?
Cliffheart ...!
You mean...
Courier Hand that letter over to me.
I'd rather not live with the constant worry of wondering when you're going to do something foolish. It's better for me to help you figure out a solution, not to mention safer too.
*Sigh*... You're really putting me in a rough spot here, Lady Ensia.
Cliffheart You're the best, bro!!
If my brother is really opposed to it and somehow finds out and plans to punish you, just tell him that it was all my idea!
Courier Haha, if only the Master was so easy to convince.
(whispers) But... this might not be such a bad thing either.
Cliffheart Huh? What'd you say?
Courier Nothing in particular. Just thinking out loud.
But let me say this in advance, even if I agreed to help, the most I can do is deliver the letter to the nearby monastery and then see if there's any way to get it up the mountain.
That place is as close as we can get to the area controlled by the Vine-Bear Court. Any higher up into the mountain... and that is no longer a place you can come and go at will.
Courier I cannot guarantee that your letter will reach Lady Enya.
Cliffheart No problem! The fact that you're willing to help means we at least have a shot... If it doesn't work, I'll just think up some other way!
Courier I hope whatever you think up doesn't involve climbing up there.
Cliffheart Heehee!
Courier (Haha... By the looks of things, she really won't give up.)
(If that day actually comes, Master SilverAsh is going to get the mother of all headaches...)
<Background 6>
Closure One more bowl!
Cliffheart Clo, I can't have another bite... I admit defeat.
Closure Heh heh~ Who gave you the idea to compare your appetite to that of a hungry engineer who hasn't eaten in three days? I'm so hungry I could swallow a meatbeast whole!
Cliffheart You locked yourself in your workshop again? What'cha working on this time?
Wait a sec, did nobody bring you food? How'd you starve for three days...? What about your little machines?
Closure Eheh... I accidentally set the clearance level of my door to max, plus I was wearing my headphones so I couldn't hear the door at all.
And it's not like I was doing it on purpose! All that fighting with Reunion broke a whole lot of equipment, and repairing everything was giving me a huge headache. Can't even do this job anymore without listening to some music.
Cliffheart That explains it... Thankfully, Amiya went to fish you out today.
Closure All right, we done yet? I'm not here to listen to a sermon during mealtime!
By the way, you're here to buy more climbing gear? How come I didn't see you use the cold-weather gear you bought half a year ago?
Ah, if there was a problem with the quality, just let me know. I'll go knock some... Er, I'll go bargain with the manufacturer.
Cliffheart About that, umm, it's not that. There's nothing wrong with the gear, I just didn't need it for the time being.
Closure Hm…
Courier I'd be more worried if you ended up using it.
Cliffheart That voice... Courier!
[Courier, who had just arrived from Kjerag, appears.]
Courier Good afternoon.
Closure Oh, afternoon. Did you just get back from a mission? How come you're the only one here?
Courier The others went to look for the Doctor first.
As for me, I'm here to pass something on.
Cliffheart Enya... *cough* *cough* "She" replied?
Courier That's right.
Cliffheart Awesome! Then let's make like last time and talk over there! Courier? Courier?
What's going on with you...? You don't look so good. N-Nothing happened with Enya, right?! Or, did something happen to Enciodes–
Courier Hey, don't panic, there's nothing of the sort...
Cliffheart Then, tell me what's going on!
Courier ......
Umm... the situation's a bit complicated. But in any case, Lady Ensia, there is one thing Master SilverAsh wanted you to pass on.
Cliffheart He wants me to... pass on something?
Courier Yes.
<Background black>
Courier This is an invitation, for the Doctor––