Event synopsis: Lingering Echoes

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Lingering Echoes
Lingering Echoes event.png
Leithanien, land of spires, home to wisdom and music.
The shadows of days past are gone, and the light of dawn fills the streets.
Afterglow Hall, Vyseheim.
Strings stretched to the breaking point are about to play their last notes.
Keys of black and white are trapped by the stave lines of destiny.
A forgotten melody begins to grow in obsession.
The sounds of joy drift in the glow, as no one notices that the sun has begun to set.

Das Abschiedskonzert

Following the rumors surrounding the abnormal "recovery" of the local Infected, Hibiscus takes a journey to Leithanien city of Vyseheim to find out more. There, she learns that the Afterglow District is about to hold a musical concert to celebrate the farewell performance of its beloved pianist William Fichte Czerny. While she too is interested in the concert, she is more concerned with his medical condition as Czerny too is one of the "recoverees" of the district.

Ebenholz and Kreide practicing together

Meanwhile, Graf Urtica, under the invitation of the city's Lehnsfrau Gertrude Strollo in his pseudonym "Ebenholz", attends this event. He soon encountered a white-haired Caprinae named Kreide who is talented in cello. Despite the former being a noble and the latter a peasant, the two are interested in the concert and wish to perform with Czerny. Even though their melodies could not synchronize well, they try their best to practice hard until they are somehow accepted by Czerny by luck.

Indeed, fate somehow performs the two boys' encounter. Kreide treats the young Graf as his closest friend he has ever met since his settlement in Vyseheim. In turn, Ebenholz has been frequently protecting him from others' discriminations onto his Infected status. As musical prodigies, Ebenholz teaches Kreide how to play his flute and Kreide on the other way round. They are grateful to be under the guidance of Czerny despite his hot temper. Day after day, their performance seems to be well polished, and they are happy to make it before the deadline. Their relationship is as if as close as good brothers.

Little did they know, however, that the trio will be embroiled into a bigger conspiracy.

Songs of the Past

Prophecies and Curses

While it is indeed true that the young Graf is here for the concert, it turns out that he is actually the surviving bloodline of the Witch King, the most wicked caster in Terran history. As a young boy, he was forcefully implanted with a powerful musical Arts, the accursed "Voice of Terra" that is believed to possess the Witch King's consciousness following his death, in an attempt to "resurrect" him by his Remnants. Following their purge by the Twin Empresses' forces, the young boy has been finding ways to get rid of the Arts in his mind and his outwardly appearance. Dame Gertrude then suggests this plan: if he performs in Czerny's concerts, the music will easily extract the Arts from his mind once and for all, and she will transfer it onto Kreide. Seeing that there is no other option, Ebenholz reluctantly accepts even though he suspects her to be taking part of this ritual while using the poor boy as a sacrifice.

Kreide's melody made Ebenholz realized that he is also like him

In the meantime, Ebenholz feels something very familiar from Kreide as if they met each other long ago. As Ebenholz frequently experiences headache due to his "Voice," only Kreide's cello could lessen the pain. Unbelievable in Ebenholz's eyes, Kreide himself is also the surviving descendant of the Witch King who also possesses the "Voice", though being an incomplete one that is constantly "leaking out." Their reunion further prompts Ebenholz to get rid of their "Voices" as soon as possible in hope that it will never again affect Kreide's life.

Hibiscus' stay in Vyseheim is not peaceful either. She hears a recent rumor about a Vampire secretly performing a bloody ritual who will bring plague to the townsmen through a swarm of Originium Slugs and brimstorm. Had not Kriede and Czerny stood up for her, she and the local R.I. office will be harassed by the angry hooligans. Meanwhile, she discovered the truth about the Infected's miraculous "recovery": it is the result of an Arts effect that will make one's Oripathy remain dormant temporarily while quietly accelerating their condition. To make the mater worse, the phenomenon started since the day Kreide and Ebenholz staying in the district. She even found out that the Arts source comes from the two's "Voices of Terra" that attempt to merge with one another, something that she finds it horrendous after uncovering the Witch King's dark legacies.

Das Letzte Sinfonie

Hibiscus persuades Czerny to stop the concert immediately. On the other hand, Czeny believes it is simply too late as it will bring chaotic confusion among the townsmen. Adding to this is the recent rumor on her that will further prove that Hibiscus is indeed the preparator. The concert needs to be held regardless of the obstacles.

Ebenholz and Biegler repelling the swarm of Originium Slugs

As the gang are seeking to halt the crisis, they slowly uncover more plots by the Witch King's Remnants. With the help of the barista Biegler and Kreide's grandfather who are revealed to be the Empresses' secret agents, they discover an underground basement inside the sewers where the Remnants continue their research onto the Witch King's forbidden Arts. Lachmann, one of the Remnants who spreads the rumor on Hibiscus, then unleashes a swarm of poisonous Originium Slugs that plagues the Afterglow. Not only Czerny has to sell off his copyrights in exchange for immediate treatment for all the victims, but also Kreide's condition worsens drastically. Meanwhile, they quickly dismantle the Arts amplifiers installed by the wicked Lehnsfrau and the Remnants inside the Afterglow Hall. Upon encountering Dame Gertrude, Ebenholz easily defeats her through an intensive Arts battle and hands her over to Biegler for the Empresses' judgment.

In an attempt to create a vessel for the boys' "Voices," Czerny decided to write a new song, Licht und Schatten, that could hold their "Voices" and sacrifice himself to activate it during the concert. Facing the grand shadow of the Witch King, Czerny literally uses his life to compose the score. Nevertheless, Czerny is grateful for it and treats his concert as his final farewell to his beloved fans.

Auf Wiedersehen

The concert went smoothly at first...

The day has arrived for Czerny's farewell performance. The trio proudly stand on the stage while eagerly waiting for this moment in their lives. Under her request, the incarcerated Lehnsfrau Gertrude is allowed to watch the performance under Biegler's accompany. Among the crowds, some Remnants snug into the concert as they attempt to start their "resurrection" ritual.

During the performance, Ebenholz's and Kriede's "Voices" are extracted and flow together with the symphony. However, it suddenly goes uncontrolled. Gertrude secretly casts her Arts by playing her harp to disrupt their "Voices" and activate the Hall's true purpose as the Witch King's medium during his reign. By sacrificing countless Infected, she wishes to seek vengeance from both the Twin Empresses and even the Witch King's Remnants in which both of them ruined her family's life. Seeing things being out of control, Biegler has to stab her to death to stop further acceleration. But it is too late; the "Voices" slowly increase the Oripathy condition among the Infected audiences.

...but Ebenholz has to confront the Witch King's shadow taking over Kreide

Just then, Kreide steps forward to let the disrupted “Voices” possessing his body. By the end of the performance, Hibiscus quickly evacuates everyone in the auditorium, and Ebenholz hurriedly brings Kreide out to the square. As Kreide's Oripathy accelerates, his body transforms into a monstrous being, and his mind is slowly corrupted by the Witch King's consciousness. Everyone in the town is terrified to see the Witch King's shadow haunting them once again. Nevertheless, Kreide proudly faces his ultimate death and commands Ebenholz to end his life before succumbing to the Witch King.

In the end, the chaos ends with Kreide's death by Ebenholz's hands. Not only Ebenholz contacted Oripathy while saying goodbye to his deceased cousin, but also his "Voice" continues to linger inside his mind as the Witch King still condemns him as a weakling. Even then, R.I.'s heroic act in Vyseheim has attracted the Empresses who wishes to seek future collaboration with them. Ebenholz is also able to stay there in a new identity. While losing his fame and wealth, Czery too stays in R.I. to start his life once again. Still, no one will forget the unnamed hero who stops Vyseheim's disaster through his final symphony.