SilverAsh: Unbreakable Ice

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Operator Record
Unbreakable Ice
SilverAsh icon.png

Eternity does not melt; eternity does not forsake.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise SilverAsh to Elite 2 Level 60.
  • Have 200% Trust with SilverAsh.
Reserve Operator - Caster icon.png
Caster Operator
RI Guard icon.png
Guard Operator
Bounty Hunter B icon.png
Infected Brother
Bounty Hunter A icon.png
Infected Underling
Male Victorian A icon.png
Female Victorian icon.png
Noble Sister
Victoria Streets
RI Corridor
Village Outskirts
RI Room
Enciodes forwards a commission to Rhodes Island to rescue a kidnapped noble, which the Doctor accepts. Unexpectedly, this commission becomes proof of their friendship.
<Background 1>
Enciodes Doctor, no doubt you already know that the Silverash clan's exploration of the outside world began with my ancestors—namely, my grandfather.
As recounted in Kjerag folklore, he once went on an expedition with an adventurer, eventually returning with a wealth of silver and gold.
While he did in fact spend over ten years away with an adventurer, in truth he returned with nothing of value.
Only a few bits of literature, some tools that were considered advanced at the time, and blueprints.
These trinkets would go on to greatly influence my father, Olafur, who became the first person in all of Kjerag to study abroad.
He met my mother Elizabeth while studying in Victoria, where he also made connections among the nobility.
It was then that Viscount Walden became friends with my father.
When I stayed in the same city on my own trip abroad, I received some assistance from the Viscount. I also met his children—Carle and Kate.
Carle was my age, and full of pride. While he saw me as a rival in all things, he was far from a bad person.
However, I had the misfortune to learn that he was attacked and killed by Infected some time after we parted.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor I thought Victoria granted the Infected rights.
Enciodes Realistically, it all depends on the particular nobles running each city.
Different branches of Karlan Trade also need completely different strategies for working the Infected, depending on local conditions.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Yet you passed his request on to us.
Enciodes Rest assured, Doctor. I shall personally ensure that Rhodes Island's reputation is upheld.
Now, there's no need to be nervous. I've only received reports of your recent activities. I don't know what your plans actually are.
But I surmise that connections with a powerful viscount can only work in your favor.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Enciodes Regardless, Kate is the subject of our concern this time. She was kidnapped—by Infected.
This is partly why the Viscount agreed to let me pass this on to you, despite his disgust towards the Infected.
You see, he worries that his own actions may have provoked this, and as such he is willing to employ any means necessary.
Doctor ......
<Background 1>
Kal'tsit ......
The daughter of the Viscount of County Sykes was kidnapped by a group of Infected. They demand a ransom of 100,000 pounds within twenty days, or they will kill the hostage.
Viscount Walden hopes we will be able to find and rescue his daughter.
He is well-known among the nobles of Western Victoria for having his eldest son was slain by the Infected a few years ago, as well as for the strict policies he's enforced on them since.
The laws and regulations the Infected are subject to in Sykes are more stringent than any other county.
Dobermann More importantly, Walden's surname is Caster.
The Caster family is very influential in Western Victoria, and if we can form connections with them, it may save us a lot of trouble down the road.
Kal'tsit But therein lies the problem.
Naturally, a noble so hostile to the Infected would not normally entrust this commission to us directly. And in fact, it was passed on through an intermediary.
That intermediary's name is Enciodes.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Don't look at me.
Kal'tsit If you were involved, it'd be reasonable to assume that this might erode your relationship with the rest of Rhodes Island.
I doubt he'd be so reckless.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Could it be a coincidence?
Kal'tsit A delicious cake, placed before us right when we're most hungry? I am skeptical, to say the least.
But I must admit that, ignoring whatever Enciodes might be scheming, this commission is still very tempting.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor He must be expecting something.
Kal'tsit I'm inclined to agree.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Kal'tsit Rhodes Island has been making moves across the nomadic cities of Western Victoria, to find places we can stopover at.
Considering his renown among Victoria's nobility from his time studying abroad, it's hardly surprising that he would have noticed our movements.
If anything though, he is the one with more to lose from this interaction, yet he is the one who reached out to us.
As such, I am forced to understand this as a sign of his trust in you. I can't think of another explanation.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Trust...
Kal'tsit Your tour in Kjerag earned his "trust", did it not?
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor (Shrug)
Kal'tsit Looks like you understand after all.
Or rather, I will treat that as being the case.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Stop teasing me.
Kal'tsit I must confess I had the same instinctive response, given what I saw of your operation report.
However, the mere arrival of this commission proves the value of your trip to Kjerag.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Kal'tsit Naturally, I do not intend to pry into your relationships.
But I will simply remind you: as our cooperation with Karlan Trade is ongoing, we must be careful how we handle our relationship with Enciodes.
Admittedly, your trip to Kjerag has brought about some unexpected benefits.
But you should also understand that what we are about to do next is an exception, and I strongly recommend not getting tangled up with any Victoria-adjacent figures beyond a business capacity.
It is extremely dangerous—for both you and him.
<Background 1>
Caster Operator Doctor, I've located the target. They're hiding in the forests on the outskirts of the city.
Doctor Good work.
Caster Operator Hardly. All it took was a little asking around, and some tracking in the slums.
But damn, this city really treats its Infected terribly. They're all miserable here.
By the look of it, the noble girl's kidnapping was carried out by the only relatively large group of Infected in the city.
Their security was pretty tight for amateurs, so I took some pictures of the surroundings first.
These are the pictures taken from around their holdout point.
And this is a picture I got of their boss.
Enciodes Hm...?
Caster Operator What's the matter?
Enciodes I see, so that's what's going on, is it?
Doctor, I have a rather presumptuous request.
<Background 3>
Infected Underling Boss, we're running short on food.
[An Infected warrior approaches the underling.]
??? If push comes to shove, butcher "Sand" and let our brothers eat meat.
Infected Underling H-How could we do that? Isn't she the burdenbeast you raised yourself?!
??? People are starving to death, and you're worried about some animal?
Infected Underling *Sigh*...
??? Hang in there just a little longer. After we get the money, we'll change our identities and start a new life in another city.
Infected Underling I know.
Noble Sister Brother, perhaps I should head back home in secret first?
Infected Brother Are you stupid? How do you even expect to get back without any skills? Just stay put like a good little hostage.
And what did I tell you about getting too close to us? Are you TRYING to catch Oripathy? Scram.
Noble Sister Ugh...
[Suddenly Enciodes show up alongside the Doctor.]
Infected Underling Wh-Who are you people?!
Enciodes Easy now. I'm here to speak to your leader.
Infected Underling Well, you're not welcome here! Get out, now, or you're leaving in a body bag!
Noble Sister Enciodes...
Enciodes You're not going to invite us in, Carle?
Infected Brother Stand down... Let them through.
Infected Underling But...
Infected Brother You can't beat them.
Enciodes Rest assured, I didn't bring any weapons or bodyguards.
Infected Brother So what brings Enciodes, the illustrious president of Karlan Trade, to our humble abode?
Enciodes As I recall, the last I saw you was at that ball eight years ago.
How prideful you were back then, as the eldest son of Viscount Walden.
Infected Brother Yet everyone's eyes were on you the moment you stepped out.
Tch. Damn and blast.
Listen up, Enciodes. I have no interest in waxing lyrical about my days as a noble. I've long since quit that game.
The only thing I care about right now is how you found this place. You and that enigmatic hooded person next to you. What are you trying to do with just the two of you?
Enciodes I'd heard that you died during an Infected riot. Seems the situation was more complicated than that.
Infected Brother You bloody daft or something?!
Enciodes Just a little curious.
Noble Sister If father asked you to come, then please turn back...
I will not be going with you.
Enciodes I assume you and Carle planned this kidnapping together, Kate?
And if I'm not mistaken, you must have been the one to come up with the idea.
Noble Sister Yes, you're right...
Carle's had a terrible time all these years since he became Infected. I've been trying to aid him and his friends in secret, but there's only so much I can do alone.
Enciodes So you offered to let your brother kidnap you, in order to collect a ransom from your father.
Viscount Walden loves you dearly, and will surely be devastated.
Noble Sister I know... I don't want to make father sad either, but I just can't bear to see Carle suffer so.
Infected Brother Shut your mouth, Kate!
Noble Sister I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought it up...
Infected Brother In any case, Enciodes, if you're here as the old man's mouthpiece, I'd recommend you leave, now.
And if you plan on taking Kate with you, you'll have to ask my brothers what they think of that.
Enciodes Calm down, you two. Although I did come at your father's request, I stand before you as myself.
And next to me is my friend. "Doctor" will suffice.
I am here to help you.
Infected Brother Help, huh? Help, charity, handouts. Why not just use your favorite word? What was it again... Ah yes, a "deal".
Enciodes You're free to take it however you like.
Infected Brother In your eyes, I might as well still be that blowhard of a noble who was always showing off.
Maybe if I were still that same man, I would have some chips to wager with you.
But now I have nothing.
You want to make a deal? What would you offer me? And what could I possibly give you?
Enciodes That all depends on how this conversation goes.
First of all, I can assure you that Viscount Walden will never know anything that happens here.
Infected Brother Hah... I can't remember the last time I had a serious talk with anyone other than Kate.
Even if it's coming from you of all people, I can't help but to think back to the old days.
At least let me thank you for showing me respect, in your own way. Not that I feel at all respected.
But I knew you couldn't help me the moment you waltzed in here, grand as anything, like the world was already in your hands.
You want to know why I'm alive? How my quarrel with the old man got to this point?
Fine, I'll tell you.
You completely stole the spotlight in that ball, and you wouldn't believe how much that upset me.
So I left the venue early that night, thinking that as long as you were in Sykes, I'd rather be anywhere but there with you.
And while my head was lost in the clouds, I accidentally ran over a woman.
Now, I'm no saint, but I wouldn't just do a hit-and-run, so I took her to the hospital.
But when we got there, I found out she was actually Infected, so no one would treat her.
The most hilarious part though? That the doctors were all so eager to help me, the Viscount's son, right up until they saw the Originium crystals on her skin and recoiled in horror.
I just couldn't understand at the time. I honestly could not wrap my head around it. I knew that having Oripathy was bad, but I never expected it to be THAT bad.
So my temper flared up and I brought her back home. Made our personal family doctor see to her.
Naturally, the old man was furious when he found out, but I pushed back against him.
Enciodes This all sounds vaguely familiar, but I was busy getting ready to move on to the next city at the time.
Infected Brother That's right, you bastard. You decided to just up and leave after making such a big splash. I don't even want to know how many girls' hearts you took with you.
Looking back though, I have no idea what came over me back then.
It's not like I wasn't scared of Oripathy, but I couldn't see what about it made everyone shit their pants like that.
But now I understand how terrifying it truly is. Some patients will straight up explode when they die.
Some don't, but their deaths are still very painful. Heh, better watch yourselves. Maybe I'll blow up too, and take the both of you out with me.
Doctor And then what? / That's fairly rare, actually.
Infected Brother Hm? Hey, Hood, your reaction's pretty different from Mister Cool here. You Infected too?
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor A lot of my friends are Infected.
Infected Brother No wonder you seem so comfortable with all this.
If you're that bored, why don't you go hang out with my brothers?
This is none of your business.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor I can treat you.
Infected Brother You're really a doctor then?
Spare me. You think I can afford a medical bill?
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Infected Brother In any case, the old man wouldn't let the lady stay in his house, so I had her convalesce in my own courtyard.
For the longest time, she thought I was planning to do something to her, but it was much simpler than that. I just wanted her to get better.
I was a complete idiot at the time. I'd push back against anyone that tried to go against me, no matter the reason.
The old man wanted to kick her out, so I insisted on keeping her. She thought she'd be a burden on me, so I wanted to look after her even more.
Enciodes You fell in love.
Infected Brother Damn right I did. It's a story as old as time. A noble and a commoner fall in love, but the family will never approve. Finally, father and son turn against each other.
Only difference is, the commoner was Infected, and the father had a hand in tormenting her to death. So the noble infected himself as revenge against his father.
Enciodes I see. So that's the basis of both your "death" as well as Viscount Walden's hatred of the Infected.
Infected Brother Naturally. His son with a bright future fell in love with an Infected and turned against him. Unwilling to admit his own failures, who else could he blame but the Infected?
And... I was already the Infected he hated the most.
The news of my death wasn't a lie, Enciodes.
The man named Carle Caster died, seven years ago.
Enciodes ......
Infected Brother Look, you have that expression on your face again.
What do you think is going to happen even if I do get the ransom?
I share the money with my brothers, then we move to another city and live out the rest of our lives in peace?
No, we'll still be turned away at every door, simply because we are Infected.
We'll still be looked down on. We'll still have stones thrown at us. We'll still be driven to suffer in the slums.
Even if we wanted to work, nobody would take us in. The only thing left for us would be to find a cozy little alley to die in.
Of course, the money wouldn't hurt. A few of us have already starved to death.
But how much would that money actually be worth?
After years of groveling, struggling to survive with my Infected brothers, I finally understand.
The Infected cannot survive.
I've heard of a group called Reunion that was uniting the Infected. And of an organization called Rhodes Island trying to save our lives.
Who knows when their help will ever reach us?
t may not happen in my lifetime.
But at very least, they have the ability to help because they know how hard it is for us to even survive.
But you. You know nothing.
Noble Sister Carle...
Enciodes ......
Infected Brother So, you might as well kill me right now. Bring Kate back to the old man, claim his reward.
Or, just turn back. You can even tell him everything, if you want. What difference does it make?
Point is, there's nothing you can do for me.
Enciodes It seems I've made something of a fool of myself.
Let's go, Doctor.
<Background 4>
Enciodes ......
Doctor ......
Enciodes Doctor, I have a question.
Did I act out of line when dealing with Carle?
Doctor No. / You were the same as usual.
Enciodes In other words, my usual performance didn't work in front of him.
[Enciodes saw Carle, the Infected from before, heading somewhere on his own.]
Enciodes That's... Carle?
He's headed out alone... in the direction of the city?
Doctor Follow him. / That look on your face...
Enciodes ......
<Background 1>
Infected Brother I'm begging you, my sister seriously needs an anti-infection device.
This is all the money I've got, but I assure you, give me a few days and I'll come up with the rest. Let me take out an IOU on this, and I swear I'll pay it back double!
Merchant Shoo, away with you! Stop coming here to beg every day, it's pissing me off.
Like hell I'd believe that you can get that kind of money in a few days. That's what every debt-ridden deadbeat says. What's to say that you won't just take the blasted thing and I never see you again?
Besides, Lord Walden has decreed that we aren't allowed to sell anything to the Infected within the city.
Infected Brother But I can't get my hands on anything like that in the slums!
I've looked all over to find you. Everyone speaks of how kind you are, so can't you see how desperate I am? Can't you help me just this once?
This is everything I have on me. Whatever you want, just take it.
Or maybe I can earn my keep? I swear, I won't let anyone find out that I'm Infected!
Please... I'm begging you... Just this once...
Merchant Fine, enough of that. How could you possibly have anything of value on you?
Come in. Keep wailing like that, and you might even attract the guards.
Infected Brother Thank you, thank you so much!
Merchant And get off your knees already, you're going to dirty up my floor.
<Background fades out and in>
Doctor We'll need a spare protective suit.
[The R.I. caster from before responds to the Doctor's call.]
Caster Operator Roger that.
Enciodes ......
Doctor Surprised?
Enciodes Somewhat.
No, I'll admit it, I'm surprised.
Now I better understand why he said I can't do anything for him...
And Kate, how long do you plan on following us?
[Kate, Carle's sister, reveal herself before Enciodes and the Doctor.]
Noble Sister I'm sorry...
Enciodes Did you know of this?
Noble Sister Yes, I knew. But there's nothing I can do.
If I went up there right now, Carle would just tell me to leave.
Enciodes ......
Noble Sister I know this is shameful Enciodes, but... I- I want you to help my brother!
Enciodes He's already refused my help.
Noble Sister If he were only after the ransom, I wouldn't have risked myself to come here, so... I don't want you to misunderstand him.
But, you've always been ever so reliable, and there is no one else I can turn to, so please!
Enciodes I'll do what I can.
Noble Sister As you said, I was, in fact, the one to bring up the kidnapping plan.
And ever since my "kidnapping", I've been living with my brother and the other Infected.
While I dare not say that I completely understand their plight, I have at least some idea of what they're going through.
Back then, he plunged a chunk of Originium into his arm, right in front of me and our parents, before rushing out of the house.
It took two years to find him again in the slums, completely by chance.
His impetuous temper from before had turned violent, as you've seen, but to me, the biggest change in him was that––
Even though he's alive, he doesn't seem to be living.
Sorry, I'm not sure how exactly to describe it...
He's gotten himself battered and bruised so many times for the sake of his friends, but he doesn't seem to care.
And as you saw just now, he'll grovel and denigrate himself without a second thought as long as it's for the sake of others.
The only person he doesn't care about is himself.
Enciodes ......
Noble Sister It's the same with the kidnapping, really...
Doctor He's never cared about the ransom. / He wants to give up his life for something?
Noble Sister Yes...
Infected Brother Kate...?
Noble Sister Oh no, Carle...
Infected Brother Enciodes too, and even Hood...? Y-You saw everything?
Did you bring them here, Kate?
Noble Sister No, I swear.
Enciodes We followed you.
Infected Brother Lords these days. How easily they admit to tailing people, hah!
Enciodes Carle.
Infected Brother I already told you, there's nothing you can do for me.
Enciodes ......
Infected Brother So just stay up there in your ivory tower. You shouldn't feel even a pang of conscience over a pathetic existence like mine.
It's better this way. For you and me both.
Let's go, Kate.
[Carle walks to Kate...]
Noble Sister Umm...
I'm sorry, Enciodes.
[...and she leaves together with him.]
Enciodes ......
Guard Operator Doctor, I brought what you asked for.
Doctor Thanks.
Enciodes ......
Doctor So what do you think?
Guard Operator ......
Oh, were you asking me?
Doctor That's right, you.
Guard Operator Well, I've been basically watching over you in secret this whole time, so I more or less saw the whole thing.
And I do have an opinion on it. Since you asked, maybe you can tell me if I'm right.
The ransom is only part of what this Carle guy is after.
He does want it, but not for himself. It's for the other Infected who've gathered at his side.
Meanwhile, he doesn't really care what happens to himself.
He used to be nobility, a young lord. But after infecting himself, he's lived in the city as a beggar for years.
Falling from such a great height has only highlighted the oppression of the Infected for him.
Because before all that, he may well have been one of the oppressors.
From another perspective, the death of his loved one made him choose the most irrational, impulsive method of exacting revenge on his father.
And the consequences of that not only banished him to the streets, but also drove his father to ratchet up the oppression.
That has always been a source of the contradiction in his heart.
So I think what he really wants comes after he gets the ransom.
As for his specific plans... Well, the lives of normal people mean little to him, let alone the lives of our Infected.
So I'm guessing either murder or suicide.
Enciodes ......
Doctor Let's go.
Enciodes Doctor, that's the direction of Carle's camp.
Doctor I know where I'm going.
Enciodes ......
That being the case, I suppose this is where we part ways for now.
There is one thing I'd like to apologize to you for.
I should have stayed out of this after I took on the role of an intermediary and passed the commission on to Rhodes Island.
But it would appear that the situation has changed.
I'll admit, even when you got involved in Kjerag, I didn't feel as restricted as I do now.
You are reminding me to answer a question that I've been avoiding for over a year.
I must ask you once more, just how important is this question for you, Dr. {nickname}?
Doctor For me personally, very. / I choose my partners carefully.
Enciodes In that case, I'm afraid I have no choice but to produce my answer.
Doctor Rhodes Island will uphold the way it's always done things.
Enciodes Just as I have my own methods.
Doctor I just have one question.
Enciodes, what will you use to bargain for his life?
Enciodes ......
<Background black>
Three days later
<Background 5>
Infected Brother To be honest, Doctor, even now I find it hard to believe that you're the one from Rhodes Island who saved all those Infected.
I always thought you were just a legend.
What I find even harder to believe though is that you came here with Enciodes.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Life works in mysterious ways.
Infected Brother ...Haha, true. It really does.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor We just happen to be acquainted.
Infected Brother I really hated that guy, back in the day.
But there was nothing in particular I hated about him. I was just jealous.
I still am.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Infected Brother Setting everything else aside though, I'm willing to place my trust in you, Doctor.
So, if something happens to me... I'd like you to take care of Kate and my brothers.
Doctor ......
[Enciodes shows up.]
Infected Brother Enciodes? What are you doing here?!
Enciodes Did you really think that Viscount Walden would risk coming out to this barren wasteland to cut a deal in person?
Infected Brother What the—?!
Enciodes The Viscount has authorized me to serve as his agent in this transaction.
Infected Brother He... This is his flesh-and-blood daughter we're talking about! How could he... How dare he!
Enciodes You were the one who kidnapped his daughter. What right do you have to judge his decisions?
Infected Brother Good... Great! This is just perfect!
If that's what you want... fine! Someone, bring out the hostage!
[Carle's men bring Kate with them before him.]
Noble Sister Carle...
Infected Brother The money for the girl.
Have your people put the box in the middle, then we'll release the girl.
Enciodes No objections.
[Enciodes puts the briefcase containing the ransom some distance away from Carle...]
Infected Brother Go, Kate.
(*whispers*) Go back to where you belong.
Noble Sister Carle... *sobs*...
[who hands over Kate to Enciodes...]
Enciodes It seems the exchange was successful.
[...before one of Carle's men picked up the ransom.]
Infected Underling We've got the box, boss!
Infected Brother If everything's there, then hurry up and run!
[Carle's men stood still for a moment.]
Infected Underling Huh?
Infected Brother Do you seriously think the Viscount would let us go?
Isn't that right, Enciodes?
[A number of Victorian soldiers move in to deal with Carle and his men.]
Infected Underling Tch... Run, brothers, hurry!
[...who promptly flee.]
Guard Operator What do we do, Doctor?
Caster Operator Attacking one of the Viscount's guards would spell serious trouble... But are we just going to stand by and watch?
Doctor Ensure their safety.
But we don't have to attack them.
<Background fades out and in>
Enciodes I thought you'd let them run a bit further ahead of time.
Infected Brother I needed to make sure they got their money. Plus, with their skills, if I let them run away first, you'd just hold them up to threaten me.
Enciodes "Make sure that they got their money"... In other words, you never planned on leaving here alive, correct?
Infected Brother ......
What does it mean to be alive, Enciodes?
Does having a heartbeat count as being alive?
Or is being alive watching your loved one's body get dragged away like an old rag?
Or watching other people die in front of your eyes because they can't get medicine?
I don't know how to be alive anymore. All I know is how I want to die.
It was supposed to be me and the old man dying here today.
I would've told him that his son still lives. Then I would've killed him, and then myself.
That's all I wanted. My one and only desire.
So why did you have to stomp out the embers of even that last little bit of desire?
Enciodes You rejected my help, so I can only resolve this using my own methods.
Infected Brother Haha... that's right. That's exactly the kind of person you are.
Enciodes Also, I can assure you of at least one thing. The Viscount already knows.
The look of horror on his face when he heard his son was still alive was positively brilliant.
Infected Brother Hoping I'll die slightly more at peace?
Enciodes Indeed, that was my intent.
Infected Brother Then I've changed my mind, Enciodes. I'll kill you, then I'll kill the old man.
Enciodes And what about after that?
Infected Brother We'll see when we get there!
Die for me!
[Carle fights Enciodes, but he is no match to the patriarch of the Silverash clan and the founder of K.T..]
[fades out and in]
[After being unconscious for a while, Carle wakes up to see Enciodes sparing his life.]
Infected Brother ?!
Enciodes You've woken up.
Infected Brother You... Why...
Why didn't you kill me? Out of pity?
Enciodes Carle, when you said that there was nothing I could do for you, what you really meant was that I don't understand the plight of the Infected.
And I must admit, that is true.
As I was returning to the Viscount, the Doctor asked me a question.
What would I use to bargain for your life?
I thought about it for a long time. I didn't want to answer with words like revenge, hope, or the future.
Finally, I reached my conclusion.
I will use the lives of all of your friends to save yours.
Infected Brother What?!
Enciodes As of now, all of them in this city have already died. Including you.
Next, they will move to one of my branch offices in a neighboring city and begin a new life there.
The same goes for you. Of course, if you have any objections, I will respect your wishes.
Infected Brother They... aren't dead?
Enciodes The people chasing them are my men.
Infected Brother Ha... Haha... You bastard... How arrogant can you get?
Enciodes I won't deny it.
You don't need to worry about the Viscount. The only problem is your sister... I'm very sorry, but you two will have to be separated.
Infected Brother I wouldn't have gone to see her even without your arrangement.
She's better off forgetting about this good-for-nothing brother of hers.
But... give me some time. To think it over.
Enciodes You have all the time in the world.
[Enciodes leave Carle alone...]
<Background fades out and in>
[...before returning to the Doctor's side.]
Enciodes Doctor.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor We make a pretty good duo, huh?
Enciodes Flawless.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor You should be thanking me.
Enciodes True.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Enciodes This commission was originally my way of apologizing to you, but as it turns out, now I owe you an even bigger favor.
Also, I failed to help you establish a connection to Viscount Walden.
Truly, a series of uncharacteristic gaffes on my part.
Regardless, this incident has provided me with a novel perspective on certain matters.
Give me some time, Doctor, and I will pay you back in a way that satisfies you.
<Background 1>
Kal'tsit I've finished reading the report.
In terms of outcomes, this was a resounding failure. Not only did we fail to establish a relationship with Viscount Walden, we might even be blacklisted by him now.
Therefore we no longer have the option of using his network to find a stopover point for Rhodes Island.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor Sorry.
Kal'tsit I wasn't finished.
But from the standpoint of Rhodes Island, you made the correct choice.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor I don't regret it.
Kal'tsit You shouldn't, as you've done nothing that warrants regret.
Rhodes Island has no desire to be involved with that sort of nobleman anyway, unless absolutely necessary.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor You know you'd have done the same thing.
Kal'tsit I might have taken an even more decisive approach.
Although I won't deny that the results would probably be similar.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Kal'tsit Besides, we didn't walk away from this commission empty-handed.
Although even I cannot predict what effects this will bring about down the road.
While speaking, Kal'tsit pulls out a document from the archive's sky-high pile of papers and hands it over.
It looks to be a temporary operator cooperation request. The operator in question calls himself SilverAsh.
Doctor How is this possible?! / ...... / He...
Kal'tsit This arrived just yesterday.
You can imagine the HR Department's confusion when he requested to join Rhodes Island as an operator.
In the end, I was forced to handle the situation in person, and to cut straight to the result—
He accepted all the conditions I laid out for him, and passed the operator exam with flying colors.
Doctor No wonder everyone on the way looked so bewildered.
Kal'tsit He's waiting for you in the reception room right now. You should give him a tour of Rhodes Island while you're there.
<Background 6>
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor What's the meaning of this?
Enciodes Ensia has been receiving treatment here while working as an operator. As her older brother, naturally I was concerned and decided to follow suit.
Is there something wrong with that?
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor This is your way of paying me back?
Enciodes That's right.
This is the end result of a thorough deliberation.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor SilverAsh?
Enciodes Using my clan name as my code name is easy to remember, no?
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Enciodes Carle accepted my offer. Rest assured, no one will know where he or his friends ended up.
Speaking of which, the new monitoring bracelet you gave me is much better than the previous one.
I'm interested in purchasing a batch myself.
Perhaps we can sit down to discuss it.
Doctor Why would you become an operator? / I thought I misread it when Kal'tsit showed me.
Enciodes Are you asking why I signed that lopsided contract Madam Kal'tsit drafted?
That is simply a price I'm willing to pay to become a member of Rhodes Island.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor You know that's not what I'm talking about.
Enciodes No need to be so pushy.
If I had any ulterior motives, I wouldn't be going through all this, now would I?
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Why?
Enciodes Surely someone as smart as you would be able to guess the reason?
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Rhodes Island isn't a good fit for you.
Enciodes No need to be so diplomatic. "You don't belong here."
I must admit, this is a rather bold experiment, even for my tastes.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Doctor Get to the point. / What are you trying to do?
Enciodes ......
I want to be your friend, {nickname}.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Does the president of Karlan Trade lack friends?
Enciodes I have plenty of business partners, subordinates, competitors, and enemies. What I'm missing is—
A friend.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor I thought we were already friends.
Enciodes I trust we've already reached a tacit understanding, to some degree.
But understanding between individuals is always asymmetric, which is why I do not trust tacit understandings, Doctor.
The best way to know what someone else is thinking will always be to ask them directly, no?
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Doctor There are plenty of others who could do it. / A lot of people understand you.
Enciodes Such as?
Doctor Enya.
Enciodes Enya is doing superbly right now. Better than I could have imagined.
We did reach a mutual understanding, in a sense, but that is precisely the reason we were able to clearly see each others' choices.
All I can say is she would be a very suitable partner, but not a friend.
Doctor Ensia.
Enciodes I realize that Ensia is no longer a child. She has keen insight into a variety of matters.
I will give her everything she wants, and respect her opinions.
But there are far more things I cannot tell her than things I can.
Doctor Gnosis.
Enciodes Gnosis seems to have already made quite a name for himself in your lab, thanks to his talent and personality. He may be knowledgeable about many things, but that is a product of the years we spent together.
He is not someone I can share anything with, and he understands that better than I do.
Doctor Degenbrecher.
Enciodes Degenbrecher and I are on sublime terms, and it is true that she has great insight in many areas.
The thing is, she doesn't care. She deliberately keeps herself uninvolved in most affairs. From her perspective, much of what I do is merely inviting trouble for myself.
And I can't deny that.
Doctor Matterhorn and Courier.
Enciodes Matterhorn and Weiss... I trust them implicitly, and feel comfortable handing them many responsibilities.
While I won't say that our relationship as superior and subordinate creates a distance between us, realistically speaking we will always have a hard time reaching a mutual understanding. As the giver and recipient of trust.
So, as you can see...
I can share bits and pieces of myself with each of the people you mentioned.
But for various reasons, I cannot share everything with them, just as they cannot share everything with me.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor You've drawn too many lines.
Enciodes I never wanted to.
Just as nobody asked me if I wanted to become head of the clan that year.
I've grown accustomed to weighing the value of each and every person I encounter, and designating a role for them on my path to progress.
Within the spheres I have designated for them, I am completely genuine.
But nobody can claim it all.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Because they all have ties to Kjerag...
Enciodes Correct.
At the core of my enterprise is the land of Kjerag, to the point that all the people I find around me are intimately connected to the land itself.
Most of the time, this isn't a bad thing.
However, I have realized that I am lacking an objective viewpoint who can criticize or discuss matters concerning myself.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Enciodes ......
Enya and Ensia were still very young when our parents suddenly passed away.
The family's heavy responsibilities fell completely onto my shoulders. For both my sisters and the clan, I could only grit my teeth and pick up the mantle as a Silverash.
After a few years of this, I realized that nothing would ever change from simply remaining the head of a clan in Kjerag.
So I left to study in Victoria, following in my father's footsteps.
What happened during my time abroad would make a fascinating topic for another time, should you be interested.
But judging from the results, I made the correct decision. If I hadn't left, I would never have understood what Kjerag needed, nor what challenges it would face.
A few years later, I voluntarily ended my studies and returned with my capital and connections to form Karlan Trade.
I'll admit the whole process was originally meant to take much longer. While abroad, most of my time was dedicated to studying and networking, though it is not as if I didn't have moments of leisure as well.
Unfortunately though, the alarm bells ringing in my heart pushed me to make my decision early.
What comes after is the history of Karlan Trade's development.
I cannot claim full credit for our achievements, but I have indeed put everything I have into it, and into the land.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor I know. It hasn't been easy for you.
Enciodes It seems that we share a propensity to tease others.
I won't say I've grown weary, but I've never been one to fail to understand the importance of relaxation.
If I were only here because I needed someone to talk to... then I would lack the qualifications to be your friend.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor You want someone to talk to.
Enciodes Correct.
People like us would never say that hard work alone makes efforts worth acknowledging, nor would we use it as an excuse.
Quite the contrary. I want to share what I've experienced in my life with someone worthy of my recognition.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Doctor But what does this have with you joining Rhodes Island?
Enciodes I originally thought that our cooperation would remain on a business level, but you seemed to insist that your business is inseparably connected to all of us.
And you've managed to convince me.
Kjerag has experienced hardly any Catastrophes in the past, and as such, the people of Kjerag have little innate prejudice against the Infected.
That said, the role they play in society, what they've experienced, what they will experience...
I must admit, I had failed to adequately consider these things.
When I issued articles of incorporation modeled after Victoria's statutes, all I had in mind were some commonplace management tricks.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor That's already more than enough.
Enciodes But not enough to become your friend, now is it?
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor I'm not trying to force you.
Enciodes But if were to become friends, you would have that privilege.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Enciodes I need to gain a deeper understand of the Infected, and of Rhodes Island's business.
You've helped me realize that this isn't important just for Karlan Trade, but for the way I view this world.
And after getting to know you, the simplest way to achieve this seems to be to work with you and Rhodes Island.
Which is why I became SilverAsh.
Or, put more simply, friends need to see each other every once in a while, don't they?
Doctor ......
Enciodes I've grown accustomed to dealing with others as a transaction, where one party provides something of value and the other reciprocates with equal value, neither side owing anything to the other.
But friendship, family, and love cannot be assigned a value.
As such, I must choose my partners carefully.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor I'd love to hear about your time abroad.
Enciodes I'll be staying here for a few days, so we'll have plenty of time for that.
Perhaps you will be able to glean some of the secrets of the Victorian nobility from the vignettes I share with you.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Do I have the option to refuse?
Enciodes Obviously. If a third party were present for this conversation, they would quickly discover—
That I did not come here to 'establish' a friendship at all, but simply to have a chat with a friend.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor You're a terrible judge of character.
Enciodes If that's the case, then the same must be true for you.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Enciodes Alright, Doctor, you're still responsible for showing me around the landship.
We can talk more along the way.
Doctor No objections. / Okay. / *Sigh*...
Enciodes One more thing.
I'll admit that doing things this way may have come as a surprise. Perhaps even caused you some trouble.
But the next time you see me, you should be glad.
After all, nobody is better suited to solve your problems than me. Isn't that right?