Wild Mane: Aspiration

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Operator Record
Wild Mane icon.png

Which side is the real him?

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Wild Mane to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Wild Mane.
Armorless Union Assassin icon.png
Armorless Union Member
Male Old Kuranta B icon.png
Bar Owner
Kazimierzian Campaign Knight icon.png
Campaign Knight (Marsov)
Male Kuranta A icon.png
A Campaign Knight A
A Campaign Knight B
A Campaign Knight C
Newsstand Owner
Kazimierz Streets
Kazimierz Ghetto
Kazimierz Bar
Village House
Iwona receives assistance from a campaign knight while in the middle of a predicament, but her savior is a bit different from what she expected.
<Background black>
"Iwona, what do you fight for?"
"What do I fight for?"
"To become a glorious campaign knight, of course. To take on the strong, protect the weak, and make a name for myself!"
Upon hearing Iwona's answer, her parents laughed with satisfaction. Her visiting uncle cheerfully patted her head.
<Background 1>
[Iwona answers a call from Sona.]
Sona There's just one last Infected to contact on the list? Already?
Iwona Of course. You know how quick I work.
Sona Great.
Iwona Anybody else you need me to get in touch with? Lemme take care of it.
Sona Let's see...
Nope, we're good for today.
After you contact this Mr. Kalisz, you can take the rest of the afternoon off.
Iwona Time off? Naw, I don't need any of that.
Sona Iwona, getting proper rest is important too!
[Iwona stops.]
Iwona (Wait, is that... a campaign knight?)
A campaign knight stands before a newsstand not too far away, and Iwona naturally comes to a stop when she sees him.
Newsstand Owner ...That'll be...
Campaign Knight ...Not this one... Umm...
Seeing that he's in a bit of a pinch, she quickly strides forward without a second thought.
She wasn't able to personally witness the Silverlance Pegasi entering the city on the night of the power outage, but the flood of news and photos that followed stirred her heart.
For her, it was a bolt from the blue that pierced through Kazimierz's neon skyline.
Iwona Sona, something came up. Talk to you later!
Sona But you're supposed to be taking a break–
Iwona I know! After I get ahold of Mr. Kalisz, I'll make sure to do nothing else this afternoon!
Okay, see you!
[Iwona hangs up and walks toward the campaign knight.]
Iwona (Calm down, Iwona. Calm down.)
Good day. Do you need some help?
Campaign Knight Who are you?
Iwona I am–
Up close, Iwona can now clearly see the source of the campaign knight's hesitation – two lottery tickets.
A campaign knight. Gambling.
Two things she'd never imagined could mix.
Iwona ...I am Iwona Krukowska, an Infected competition knight.
Sorry for bothering you. I'll be on my way now, if there's nothing urgent I can help with.
Campaign Knight One moment, please. Do you know anything about this type of lotto–
Iwona Sorry, I'm not familiar with that stuff... Goodbye.
Campaign Knight Alright then.
[Iwona walks away.]
<Background fades out and in>
Iwona Why would a dignified campaign knight be buying lotto tickets? Seems kinda sketchy for someone like that.
Well, whatever. None of my business.
Maybe he was just curious because he'd never seen stuff like that. Yeah, that's gotta be it.
<Background 2>
Iwona Let's see... Mr. Kalisz is supposed to live somewhere around here...
Mr. Kalisz?!
Kalisz I-Iwona...
The man she was looking for is collapsed in his own doorway, moaning as he clutches the wound on his leg, blood gushing between his fingers.
There is nobody nearby to help him. Nor does anyone dare step forward to help the injured Infected, for obvious reasons.
Iwona Did the Armorless Union do this?
Kalisz (Nods in pain)
Iwona Where'd they go?
Kalisz (Points towards the depths of the alley)
Iwona Dammit!
Iwona urgently bandages his wound, then tightly grips her lance.
Iwona I'm gonna go settle the score–
As soon as those words leave her mouth, it suddenly dawns on her – is it really a good idea to leave him alone after he was just attacked? An Infected person, at that.
The old Wild Mane Knight would never have considered this: all she'd ever wanted was to charge at her enemies lance-first. But now, things were different. Now she's Wild Mane of the Pinus Sylvestris Knightclub.
But if she let the assassins get away, wouldn't that endanger both herself and Mr. Kalisz?
Right at that moment, she sees someone pass by the entrance to the alley.
Iwona Hey– Do you hear me? Hello?
[The one passing by is revealed to be the campaign knight from before.]
Campaign Knight Iwona Kru... Miss Krukowska? Did you need something–
This man... Who did this to him?
Iwona The Armorless Union. I'm about to go teach them a lesson. Can I leave Mr. Kalisz to you?
Campaign Knight Sure thing. Wait a sec– is he also Infected, like you?
Iwona So what if he is?
Campaign Knight Then I have to be extra careful not to come in contact with his blood, right?
Iwona ......
Campaign Knight Go show those sewage-sucking pests what for! I'll take care of him!
Iwona Appreciate it!
Take him to a Pinus Sylvestris safe house, please! He knows the way!
This card has our knightclub's crest. Show it to the people there, and they'll know what happened!
<Background fades out and in>
Iwona Hold it right there!
You've got nowhere to run!
[Iwona cornered an A.U. operative on an alley.]
Armorless Union Member ...You're pretty quick on your feet, girl.
Iwona Why did you attack Mr. Kalisz?
Armorless Union Member First, I don't know either.
Second, I know who you are, Wild Mane.
Seems like you got into a pretty big brawl with my colleagues earlier, but that's none of my business.
Also, you ought to get your temper under control, for your own sake. We weren't after that guy's life, yet you've chosen to wade into these murky waters yourself?
Iwona Just shut up and face me, asshole!
[Iwona charges at the A.U. operative, who dodged the attack.]
Armorless Union Member I'll admit, I'm no match for you. But you were never one of my targets to begin with.
You were about to skip town too, so why bring all this extra trouble on yourself?
[The A.U. operative fires at Iwona, who dodged the shots.]
Iwona How'd you know we were leaving?!
Armorless Union Member You are public figures, after all.
A good while ago, I even placed a few bets on you. Lost quite a bit of money on that–
[Iwona charges at the A.U. operative, who parried it.]
Iwona Who cares?! I'm here because of what you did to Kalisz!
Even if you're just following orders, does your trigger finger not shake even a little bit when you're indiscriminately pointing your weapon at innocents?!
Armorless Union Member Of course my fingers are shaking. I'm absolutely terrified, young lady. So, would you mind letting me go now?
[Iwona strikes at the A.U. operative's crossbow, knocking it off his hands...]
Iwona I'm not after your head. What I want is–
[...before striking him...]
Iwona An apology!
[...and again...]
Iwona For Mr. Kalisz!
[...until the A.U. operative draws a dagger to parry an attack from Iwona.]
Armorless Union Member If that's the case, I'm not sure what to tell you.
All I can say is, you're very fortunate to have met Flametail's crew.
If you'd all come together, you might have been able to keep your life.
The Armorless Union member's presence diminishes.
Iwona's instincts, honed through countless battles, tell her that–
[Iwona is suddenly fired upon.]
Iwona Someone's firing arrows?!
Where are they hiding? I need to flush them out–
The arrows from the hidden assassins take aim at her vitals, forcing her to constantly dodge.
Then, she sees the person she had just cornered take out a bow and aim it squarely between her eyes–
[The campaign knight from before shows up, standing behind Iwona to protect her from the A.U. assailants.]
Campaign Knight Reveal yourselves, you vermin squirming in the shadows!
Iwona ...The campaign knight?!
Campaign Knight We do not defend Kazimierz to provide a breeding ground for your corruption!
Armorless Union Member A campaign knight?
[The A.U. operatives retreat.]
Campaign Knight Iwona, don't let them catch you off-guard.
Monitor any movements in your surroundings. We need to get out of here.
<Background 1>
[Sona contacts Iwona.]
Sona Mmhmm! The campaign knight brought Mr. Kalisz over, and Rhodes Island's Doctor is here too. You're in good hands now!
After how hard you've been working, you really deserve that afternoon break!
[Iwona hangs up.]
Iwona Phew...
Sorry, but what should I call you?
Campaign Knight Marsov will do.
Iwona Thank you so much, Sir Marsov. I really mean it!
Marsov No need to be so polite. I just happened to be passing by while on vacation, and decided to lend a hand.
Nobody wants to see Armorless Union filth while on their day off, right?
Iwona Haha, that's for sure!
Speaking of, I happen to have the afternoon off, so why don't we find someplace to have a drink?
Marsov Hm, a drink?
Iwona That's right! I'll foot the bill!
Marsov Hmm, I suppose... I can do that.
Iwona Alrighty! Time to hit the pubs!
<Background 3>
Iwona Okay... Gotta say, I was expecting somewhere more crowded. Lively? Why'd you take me to a bar with hardly any people?
Marsov I... prefer quieter places.
Iwona Hmm, well, I guess that's fine too.
But man, they've got the good stuff here. Cheers!
Marsov Cheers.
[Iwona and Marsov have a toast.]
Marsov This liquor is quite good.
Iwona Marsov, on the night the campaign knights entered Kawalerielki, I was fighting the Armorless Union and didn't get to see you guys in person.
But I kept up with every bit of news after that! It was the coolest thing ever!
Marsov Haha...
Iwona What Kawalerielki needs is more people like you, unafraid to tear off the masks off those two-faced backstabbers and stomp them into the ground!
You know what those hotshots in the General Chamber think of us Infected knights?
Marsov I'm not sure what you're asking. Aren't you just competition knights who happen to have Oripathy?
Iwona Hmph. If normal competition knights are their puppets, we're even less than that. We're nothing but tattered rags to them!
Every time something goes wrong with the competitions, they always find a way to blame some unrelated Infected knight!
And when they want to brag about how well they treat the Infected, they shove us all on stage to show off the "preferential treatment" we get... Just thinking about it makes me feel like my lungs are about to burst!
Marsov How could they go and do that?
Iwona Take the Armorless Union. Ever since our Pinus Sylvestris Knightclub got a little famous, they've been knocking at our door nonstop, just because we don't want to get treated like trash by the G.C.C.!
They nearly killed me on the night of the power outage, and my friends weren't any safer!
Marsov I've heard no shortage of rumors about the Armorless Union, but this is the first time I've seen them acting so brazenly in Kawalerielki.
Iwona That's 'cause we're going up against them to help the Infected. They've been trying to get rid of us for a long time.
But there's no way we're gonna give up. As long as I draw breath, I won't sit back and watch as Kawalerielki chews us up and spits us out!
Marsov Hmm... It can't be that bad, can it?
Iwona Huh?
Marsov The Armorless Union and the G.C.C. might be despicable, but we're talking about Kawalerielki as a whole, here. At least the heart of Kazimierz is willing to look after the Infected, right?
Otherwise, they'd never have agreed to the Infected knights system in the first place.
Iwona The way you put that almost sounds like...
Bah, forget it. I don't wanna think about this. Drink up, drink up!
[Iwona and Marsov have another toast.]
Marsov Pour me another glass, barkeep!
Bar Owner Want it with ice? Maybe seltzer?
Marsov Give it to me straight.
Bar Owner Sure thing.
[The bar owner pours whiskey to Marsov's glass.]
Bar Owner Here, one straight whiskey.
Marsov ......
That's good stuff.
Iwona Uhh... lemme get the same thing.
Bar Owner Want to add anything?
Iwona I also want it straight.
Bar Owner This stuff's quite powerful undiluted, young lady.
Iwona I can handle it.
Bar Owner Alright then. Just one moment.
<Background fades out and in>
Iwona ......
*cough* *cough*.
Phew, that's some good whiskey!
Oh right, Marsov, when I ran into you in the streets, I think you were checking out the lottos?
Marsov Yeah.
Iwona Lemme give you a word of advice. That stuff is a bottomless pit.
Sona told me before – those tickets are rigged.
You only have any real shot of winning the small prizes. Nobody's ever seen the so-called jackpot before! Oh, and some people bet on the matches too. Those are almost always fixed behind the scenes–
[A drunkard suddenly interjects,]
Drunkard That's... That's a load of shit!
Iwona Huh?
Drunkard Last month, my cousin... Bought a ticket, and made a ton of money!
Iwona That's the exception that proves the rule.
Drunkard I... I also bet on a lot of matches, and I've made some serious dosh!
Iwona But Sona said the people who give out the tickets have already done the math. You can never make back more money than you spent.
Drunkard A complete load of crap!
My cousin was real sick, and he only survived 'cause of that prize money!
Iwona That's just a weird special case–
Drunkard The hell are you talkin' about? Sounds like you're asking for a beating!
Oh right, you said you're an Infected, didn't you?
Iwona ...Got a problem with that?
Drunkard Infected scum... You should all get thrown out of Kawalerielki, so you stop polluting our streets.
Iwona Say that again to my face?
Drunkard What, is a filthy Infected gonna start a scene–
Iwona grabs the drunkard by the collar.
Iwona Say that again, I dare you!
Drunkard ......
[Iwona pushes the drunkard, causing him to fall on the floor.]
Drunkard Hmph. What're you actin' all smug for...?
Knights these days are a joke. First, they let the Infected become competition knights; now, even campaign knights are mingling with 'em–
Marsov, who had been seated the entire time, abruptly stands up.
Marsov Sir, I will be holding you responsible for your slander against the campaign knights.
Drunkard You–
[The drunkard leaves.]
Iwona "Sir, I will be holding you responsible for your slander against the campaign knights." Ahh...
That line was SO badass!
Looks like you're way better at dealing with assholes like that than I am.
Marsov Those sorts of people can't tell chalk from cheese. Once they sober up, they'll remember what fear is.
Iwona Anyhow, like I was saying before we were rudely interrupted, you'd better not buy those lotto tickets. It's a scam the G.C.C. came up with to squeeze us of our hard-earned money.
Marsov I appreciate the advice. I'll try to avoid them.
That said, they aren't entirely bad.
Iwona What are you talking about? What good could they possibly serve?
Marsov At the very least, they offer a tiny bit of hope to pathetic men like him.
Iwona Woah, that's kinda... deep.
Marsov Hardly.
Iwona Because of that stupid gambling, people've been pushing me to fix my matches ever since I became an Infected knight.
Marsov You must have been under a lot of pressure.
Iwona Maybe, but I've never caved to 'em even once! Haha!
If I win, I win. If I lose, I lose. I'm not gonna give up the glory of victory just for a few coins!
Marsov Well said. To the glory of victory!
Iwona To the glory of victory!
[Iwona and Marsov have a toast.]
Marsov Oh right, Iwona. What was your last name again?
I seem to vaguely recall hearing of other knights with that name before.
Iwona Krukowska.
Actually, some of my family also happen to be campa–
[Marsov's comm terminal rings...]
Marsov One second, let me take this call.
[...and he picks it up.]
Voice from the Phone Marsov, didn't we agree to meet beneath Mieszko HQ? Where'd you go?
Marsov I... I had to take care of a little business.
Voice from the Phone What kind of business?
Marsov Uhh...
Voice from the Phone Stop making shit up. We all saw you walk into a bar with some competition knight-looking chick!
Never thought you of all people would fall so far.
Marsov ...That's not true at all!
I'm heading over right now–
Voice from the Phone Hahaha, don't worry about it. We're already outside the bar!
[The caller hangs up.]
Iwona Your colleague?
Marsov Mm...hmm.
Marsov stands up stiffly and heads out the door.
Against the sunlight, Iwona sees three campaign knights waiting for him to leave.
A Campaign Knight A Playing the long game, are we, Marsov? Cozying up with a competition knight just to steal a drink?
Marsov I did nothing of the sort. Stop joking around like that.
A Campaign Knight B Get out of there. Can't believe you'd slither into this den of commoners. We'll be lucky if you don't get a stomachache from that competition knight liquor.
Or don't tell me you've fallen in love with her, and plan to–
Marsov Shut up already!
A Campaign Knight C C'mon, stop messing with him. He must've had his reasons forcing him to consort with scum like her, the sort that parade around with the title of knight. Isn't that right, Marsov?
Marsov turns his head and looks at Iwona with embarrassment.
She is still shocked by their remarks, and has no time to respond to his pleading eyes.
He then turns back around.
Marsov S-S-Stop making crass jokes like that!
A Campaign Knight A Oooh, and now he's getting angry.
Marsov Like hell I know who she is. She just grabbed me and forced me to drink with her!
Who'd cozy up to a girl like that, so infatuated with campaign knights but can't even fit in with them?
I wouldn't have been drinking in a shithole like this in the first place if you guys hadn't been late!
A Campaign Knight B Yeah right! We saw you happily chatting and laughing with her a moment ago.
Marsov I was just being polite. Besides, isn't the whole job of a competition knight to provide entertainment?
A Campaign Knight C Alright, alright. We can talk about this later.
Iwona Marsov, why?!
A Campaign Knight A Ohoh? What's this? A card?
Haha, never thought an honest-looking guy like you would have such a salacious move in his playbook.
Is this how the two of you planned to secretly stay in touch? Something like the real letters appear when you hold it over a fire?
Marsov Ridiculous!
Iwona sees Marsov throw the card bearing the crest of Pinus Sylvestris onto the ground, before viciously grinding his heel on it several times.
Marsov I told you I was just having a bit of fun, but you guys won't listen.
She's an Infected anyway. If she weren't stalking me, I'd never have come to a place like this.
A Campaign Knight A Urgh, an Infected?
A Campaign Knight B Tsk, tsk.
Marsov Let's find a place that serves some proper wine. The swill in this shop is so vile that no decent person would be able to swallow it.
The campaign knights swagger away noisily.
Iwona remains frozen in place. The only thing she can think to do is to pick up the card from the ground.
Gray boot prints are imprinted on its surface, dense and overlapping.
Iwona So this... is a campaign knight?
Iwona thinks back to how he had acted from beginning to end.
Which one was the real Marsov?
He was willing to stand up for the safety of the Infected, and even to drink with an Infected knight he had only just met.
Yet, he also stomped on the card symbolizing her knightclub. He lied that she had stalked him, and belittled the competition knights by saying they were only good for entertainment.
Bar Owner This is for you, girl.
Iwona An extra-large mug of Żubrówka vodka?
I didn't order this...
Bar Owner This is the finest liquor I serve. It's on the house.
Don't worry too much about that guy. The hotshot knights are all like that.
Iwona You mean... him?
Bar Owner Who else?
Seeing you like this... Forget it, I'll pay for your drinks this time.
Iwona Why though?
Bar Owner You helped me drive away a mean drunk just now, didn't you? Treat it as fair payment.
So enjoy your drink. After all, wasn't this bar opened specifically for people like us?
Iwona ...Alrighty!
[Iwona drink the whole vodka in one gulp.]
Bar Owner Whew, you downed that whole thing in one go?
Iwona It'd be an insult if I didn't!
After all, I've earned this afternoon off!
Still not sure how exactly to spend it, but I can't let it go to waste.
<Background 4>
Sona Iwona?
Didn't we agree you'd take the afternoon off? Why are you back so soon?
Iwona (Mutters incomprehensibly)
Sona Oh, because you're smashed.
Did you hit the bars with that campaign knight?
Iwona (Nods)
Sona I see. Go ahead and take a nap then.
[Iwona walks to her bed and hits the hay.]
Sona Woah, she's already out cold.
She's always had a high alcohol tolerance, and only lets herself get drunk when she's in a bad mood. I wonder what happened to get her like this?
Iwona Hiyah!
Sona What's wrong, Iwona?
Iwona J-J-J-Justice Knight! Assemble!
Justice Knight Beep beep!
Sona (Oh, she was just sleeptalking...)
Iwona The other day... I... wanted to paint you... sterling silver!
Justice Knight Beep?
Iwona And then, ch-ch-change your name... to Silverlance Pegasus, Justice and Campaign Knight!
Justice Knight Beep-beep-beep?!
Iwona But I changed my mind! From now on... you'll just be Justice Knight, okay? No need to paint, no need for brushes!
Justice Knight Beep...
Iwona Dismissed!
Justice Knight Beep beep.
A small card falls out of Iwona's pocket, bearing the crest of the Pinus Sylvestris Knightclub along with a tessellation of boot prints.
As Sona comes to cover her with a blanket, the card does not escape her eyes.
When she connects the unfamiliar boot prints on the card to the contents of Iwona's sleeptalking, she has a rough idea of how she got drunk like this.
Iwona "What do I fight for?"
Sona (whispers) Iwona?
Iwona I want...
to become a glorious...
Phew, that's some good whiskey!
Zzz... zzz...
Iwona turns over, stops talking in her sleep, and falls into a deep slumber.
Sona sighs, puts away the besmirched card, and slides a fresh, clean one into Iwona's pocket.