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Spoiler Warning
This page contains the full text transcription of the story from The Last Story collaboration quest. The story is also a continuation of the story from the Wii game The Last Story, and may contain spoilers of the plot from that game. If you do not wish to be spoiled, please do not continue reading.

Notes:

Most of the text on this page has been transcribed exactly as is. If there is a correction, the modified text is underlined and the original text can be viewed by hovering over the underlined text (may not display in mobile view). Each page of text is separated by a horizontal line.

Branches in the story are separated by tabs. Tab A contains events that lead towards the "Perfect Fate" ending, while other tabs contain all other events. The different endings are listed in the Epilogue, with each ending in a separate tab. Tabs may not render correctly in mobile view and may display separated content one after another. Because of this, it is recommended to view this page in desktop view.

Notes for the reader that are not a part of the story are denoted by indented, italicized text enclosed in parentheses, such as the following:

(note)

PrologueEdit

A young sellsword once acquired an arcane power.

It was the power of the Outsider, a manifestation
of people's hopes, desires, and aspirations.

A certain highborn girl fell in love with the sellsword.

Her name was Calista.
And the sellsword's name was Zael.

That day marked the beginning of a long and
stormy struggle over the Outsider's power.


It began on Lazulis Island,
a key access point to the empire,
and soon escalated into a war that swept up
the human and gurak races.

The mastermind behind
the conflict was none other than
the mercenary Dagran,
Zael's comrade and leader.
Zael loved him like a brother but
ultimately slew him with this own hand to bring
the war to an end.

Zael and Calista exchanged
vows before their friends
as a show of commitment until
they could be officially wed.

The mercenaries then
disbanded and went their separate ways.


Lazulis Island, Ariela's Tavern...

It had been a few years,
but the tavern still felt like home.

A subtly off-key harmonica in one corner.
A boisterous group on their way home from
the arena in another.

Some things hadn't changed at all.


Yet there were differences, too.

The collection of banknotes
decorating the walls had grown.
And the clientele now included
not only human patrons but
the feral-looking gurak as well.
They sat drinking, chatting
and laughing together--
an idea that was unfathomable
during the war.

Lowell threw himself onto a battered chair,
feeling slightly out of place. He had come here often
during the war with Zael and the others.
Times had changed.


Lowell rang the bell on the table,
and a feisty and familiar voice instantly sang out,
"Coming!"

As Ariela bustled up to take his order,
he gave her a wink.


"Prettier than ever, I see."
"Lowell?! I didn't recognize you!"

It was understandable.
Back then he'd always frequented the place clad
in grungy armor.

Now he wore a richly embroidered coat over
a fine silk waistcoat. Times had changed indeed.

"I hear you're running a trading house
with Syrenne these days.
Looks like business is booming."
"We've started small,
nothing to boast about.
But on a totally different note..."
"The news about Zael?"

Ariela's expression clouded over.
"They say he's been thrown in the dungeons
on charges of treason.
But there's no way he would attack Calista.
It's inconceivable!"


Lazulis Castle, several days earlier...

"Ready?
Now, picture someone you love looking happy.
You're learning magic to help
make that special someone happy!"

The court wizards were
giving a spellcasting lesson to
a group of children in the castle library.
Everyone present wore an unusually earnest
expression--for Calista, the lady of the castle,
was in attendance today along with Zael,
hero of the recent war and commmander of
the Lazulis knights.

Despite the faculty's zeal,
an oppressive gloom seemed to
hang over the guests of honor.


"There's no point in waiting any longer, Zael."
"Imperial custom dictates that we can't marry
without the sanction of the aristocracy, right?"
"It's an archaic rule that
some old fossil concocted centuries ago."
"But you can't just flout the rules if you hope to
succeed in their world. I don't want to
be a detriment to you."
"My, how terrible noble of you, Sir Zael!"

Calista's voice had risen as she lost patience,
and she suddenly felt all eyes on her.
The children were staring openmouthed.


"Ah...um... My apologies."
"Urgh..."

Zael had grimaced in agony, for just an instant.
It didn't escape Calista's notice.
She forgotten her embarrassment at once.

"Where does it hurt?"

"I'm fine," Zael muttered, but the beads of
sweat on his forehead said otherwise.


Unable to bear the pain,
Zael stumbled out into the corridor.

"The Mark of the Outsider... Why is it...?"

Zael's right arm had taken on a crimson glow.
More precisely, a red pattern emanated from
the back of his right hand, dimly illuminating his arm.

"Zael, isn't that--"

Calista had no chance to complete the thought.
Glowing chains erupted from the mark on
Zael's hand in an explosion of crimson light.
It looked remarkably similar to the Gathering
power he had once mastered...
yet it was markedly different.

"Run, Calista! Now!"
"But..."


Calista hesitated for a moment too long.
The crimson chains snaked towards her with
blinding speed.

"Lady Calista!"
"Stay back, Sir Zael!"

The nearest guards came running--
and instantly disintegrated into
particles of light.

"It can't be..."

Zael had seen this happen once before.
The late Count Arganan had met the same fate
when he wounded the Outsider in an attempt to
absorb the land's energy to the utmost limits.

The Outsider's power
had atomized them into life energy.


The crimson light unleashed from
Zael's arm traced a silhouette in the air that
resembled something between
a dragon and a phoenix.
Then it dove into Calista.

Calista opened her mouth to speak...
and an unfamiliar voice emerged.

More...power...

Zael sensed bloodlust in that voice...
but he couldn't strike Calista down.

The Lazulis knights rushed onto the scene.

Battle 1Edit

Zael: Now what...?

(If Zael attacks Calista)

Calista: !!

After Battle 1Edit

"Sir Zael?!"
"Lady Calista! Keep your wits about you!"

The crimson light left Calista and returned to
Zael's right arm.

But
the Outsider's power had ensconced itself deeply.
A dark red pattern coiled about the full length of
her body, as though binding her from head to foot.

She fell into a deep, deathlike sleep,
her consciousness mired in some remote limbo.

And Zael, as though sapped of all strength,
collapsed on the spot and likewise fell unconscious.


The traitor Zael

is sentenced

to death

The decree was issued four days later.

Zael was an orphan and an ex-mercenary.
Worse, the leader of his mercenary band had been
the mastermind behind the war with the gurak.
War hero or no,
Zael couldn't shake his past so easily.


House Arganan enjoyed certain
distinct advantages as
the sovereigns of Lazulis Island,
a key access point to the empire.
A number of rival houses eyed their domain like
a pack of ravenous wolves.

It was these power-hungry nobles who
refused to sanction Zael and Calista's marriage.

And when Calista fell victim to the Outsider's power--
a power that should have been long gone from
the world--they inwardly smiled.

Catching wind of recent events,
Lowell set out for Lazulis Island without
a moment's delay.


Ariela's Tavern...

"I see. So you want to rescue Zael, eh?"

Lowell was drinking with the knights who
had fought at Zael's side on that fateful day.

"Ariela mentioned that you and
Sir Zael were comrades once."
"We were originally adventurers ourselves."
"Some people looked down on us,
but Sir Zael was different."
"He always looked out for us even at
his own expense.
This is our chance to return the favor."
"In that case, I guess I'll take you up on your offer.
But wouldn't it mean losing everything
you've worked for?"

The knights smiled.
"No, sir. Just means we'll be back to
the adventuring life."


That night,
the unconscious Zael mysteriously vanished from
his prison cell.


Some weeks later...

A distinctive, slightly husky voice rings out on
the morning air. It might have been called sensual if
its owner wasn't mercilessly berating her staff.

"C'mon, you numpties, pick up the pace!
We haven't got all bloody day!"

It belongs to Syrenne--ex-mercenary,
hard drinker, and business entrepreneur.
She runs this giant trading house with Lowell.

Zael is staying here along with
the former Lazulis knights while he recovers.

"Listen up! If this isn't done by midday,
the lot of you are working through lunch, got it?"

Whimpers for mercy fill the room as
the workmen pick up the pace.


"The lady of the house is impressive as always.
Grows more imposing every day, in fact--
especially around the waistline."

Lowell barely manages to dodge the beer stein
heaved in his direction. It shatters on the wall
behind him in a glittering shower of glass.

"Whoa, that was uncalled for!"
"Oops, sooo sorry. My hand slipped.
You'll be covering the cost of
the replacement, by the way."
"What! You've gotta be kidding me!"
"Haha, just like old times with you two."

Zael stands in the doorway.
He's finally managed to stand on
his own after weeks of being confined to bed.


A few hours later...

"Zael's fallen asleep again."
"No surprise. He's been like this ever since
the Mark of the Outsider appeared."
"The Outsider should be back in space by now.
poor Zael always gets the short end of the stick!"
"Wish we could help him, but what can we do?"
"We can fight alongside him."

Lowell hesitates a moment, then hands
Syrenne a letter. "Here, read this."
"What's this? A letter from Mirania?"
"Aye. I'll be taking a little trip into
the empire. We're all supposed to meet up on
the day of the third full moon.
Can you take care of Zael until then?"
"As long as this letter explains why, sure."


The next morning...

"Morning,
Zael. We have a little proposition for you."

Syrenne explains that they want to meet up with
Mirania and Yurick and revive
the old mercenary band.

"You'll be leader, naturally," Lowell adds.


"Life has been pretty carefree for us since
the end of the war.
But we think maybe you haven't been so lucky."
"We can't just turn a blind eye to
what you're going through any longer, Zael."
"The point of this plan is
to get your right arm healed."
"And we expect
a wedding invitation shortly thereafter!"
"Er, well... Aye. That's a fine idea too."


Zael nods without voicing the question in his head:
"How can we possibly heal this?"

Nor does he mention
the throbbing pain in his arm that
stubbornly refuses to fade.

Thus it's decided that the newly reestablished
group would round up their old comrades and
head for Lazulis Island.


"Where the hell are all these monsters coming from?"
Syrenne shouts. Then it hits her.
"Could it be that Zael's Outsider power is
drawing them to us?"

The answer remains unclear.
What is clear, however, is that in addition to
hordes of monsters,
you're surrounded by bounty hunters eager to
collect the handsome reward offered for
Zael's head.


A

"Guess they won't just accept
an apology at this point."
"Ah, I've had it. It's no good. I give up!"
"Oh, come on."
"Get moving, Lowell. Quick."
"Syrenne..."
"Master Lowell, we'll stay behind too.
Please, go on ahead."

Lowell takes a deep breath.
With the next he's turned away.


"Keep her safe, lads. I'm counting on you."


"The day of the third full moon.
Remember, it's our appointed day."
"Righto. So, shall we give this a shot?"

A END

B

"It's hopeless, there are too many of them.
You'd all best run while you can.
Don't stop for anything."
"Hey, we could win. We won't know unless we try."
"Our objective isn't to prove something here, Syrenne."
"I know, I know.
The day of the third full moon, right?"
"Remember, it's our appointed day."
"Righto. So, shall we give this a shot?"

B END

Battle 2Edit

Syrenne: No way we're going down!

After Battle 2Edit

A

"You lot are quite good, actually."
"We have Sir Zael's training to thank for that."
"Looks like Lowell managed to get away.
Now we've just got to pick up Mirania and
Yurick... Ow..."
"Are you badly hurt, my lady?"
"Nothing a little spit couldn't fix up. Let's move!"

"Sorry, Syrenne. If I'd only been able to fight..."
"Don't be a fool, Zael. Your turn is coming."

A END

B

"So he managed to get away?"
"Aye, my lady. Unfortunately,
quite a few monsters got away, too."
"Can't be helped... Ow..."
"Are you badly hurt, my lady?"
"Sorry, lend me a shoulder, would you?"

"Sorry, Syrenne.
If I'd only been able to fight..."
"Don't be a fool, Zael. Your turn is coming."

B END


My sword hand was shaking.
But not out of fear, I think.

Seeing Calista ensnared by that
crimson light had reminded me of a day
I'd seen something similar.

Dagran was like family to me.
I knew him like I knew myself.
But on that day,
I drove my sword through his heart.


The party reaches a warm, sun-dappled forest.

While traces of the blight's aftermath remain visible,
nature yet survives and thrives here,
envoking the lush paradise from days of yore.

"Hm? What's this?"

The scars are unmistakable:
A spell landed a direct hit here. As you approach,
your whole body tingles with a subtle heat and
the sensation of an overflow of power.

Vestiges of magic--and very recent.


Weapons drawn,
your companions stand at the ready.

"Leave this to us, my lady."

They're here.

The forces of
nature and enmity manifest and attack.

After Battle 3Edit

"She's gotta be around here somewhere..."

Mirania is supposedly arranging passage to
Lazulis Island, but she's nowhere to be found.
One of your companions raises a shout:

"Lady Mirania!"

Syrenne whirls on him, furious.
"Quiet! What kind of fool
starts shouting in hostile territory?!"

A skirmish breaks out nearby,
and Syrenne's own voice rises in irritation.

"See? What'd I tell you!"


A familiar voice drifts over the din of battle--
airy and elusive, delicate as gossamer,
yet with a core of unmistakable strength.
Zael recognizes it at once.

"Mirania's in the middle of that brawl!"
"Move it, guys! She needs backup!"

The party races off in the direction of
Mirania's voice.

Battle 4Edit

Mirania: We have a ship to catch. Let's wrap this up!

After Battle 4Edit

A

"The ship is this way."
"Whew, I'm beat. I could really use a drink..."
"I've worked up an appetite myself, actually."

A chill runs down Syrenne's spine.
She's all too familiar with that infamous appetite.

"Say, Syrenne, I hear business is
booming for you and Lowell these days..."
"N-now, hold on,
Mirania! Go easy on the grub, okay?"
"Of course. I'd be perfectly satisfied with
a roast or two, some potatoes and pie,
and perhaps a few dozen muffins.
Nothing elaborate."
"Apparently I'm not getting through to you..."

Your ship sets sail for Lazulis Island.

A END

B

"Looks like we managed to fend them off.
Lucky for us, as this is the last ship out to Lazulis."
"That was waaay too close for comfort.
Didn't think monsters would be
attacking ships, too..."
"Indeed. Fighting certainly works up the appetite,
doesn't it?"

Mirania's stomach rumbles ominously,
sending a chill down Syrenne's spine.
She's all too familiar with that infamous appetite.


"Say, Syrenne,
I hear business is booming for you and
Lowell these days..."
"N-now, hold on,
Mirania! Go easy on the grub, okay?"
"Of course. I'd be perfectly satisfied with
a roast or two, some potatoes and pie,
and perhaps a few dozen muffins.
Nothing elaborate."
"Apparently I'm not getting through to you..."

Your ship sets sail for Lazulis Island.

B END


Mirania hasn't changed a bit--neither her
insatiable appetite nor her motherly affection.
I have a feeling she'd accept me for
who I am no matter what.

But when our eyes happened to
meet earlier, she looked so...sad.

I couldn't bring myself to ask about it,
though. I wanted to hear all about
her recent travels instead.


Midway through the voyage,
a storm descends on the ship.

"Gaaahhh!"

In the cramped quarters below,
your landlubbing companions struggle to
find their sea legs.
Each lurch sends them reeling and rolling,
stumbling and tumbling over.
Everyone looks a bit green.

"C-come on, pull yourselves togeth--whoa!"

An especially violent tremor rocks the ship.
Simultaneously, a cacophony of clashing steel and
angry bellows erupts from the decks above.

Sounds of battle.

Grabbing your weapons, your party races topside.


"Gurak pirates?"

Although the war between the gurak and
human races is long over, more than a few gurak
seamen still roam the seas, unaware of this fact.

You face one such crew now,
a remnant of the gurak naval forces.
They're pirates now,
raiding any civilian ships that cross their path.

"Well, we can't afford to end up fish bait now!"
"Lady Syrenne, Lady Mirania, stay back with
Sir Zael and leave these bandits to us.
We'll handle this!"

After Battle 5Edit

A

"Bloody hell, they just keep coming!"
"My magic is doing little good, I'm afraid..."

Syrenne and Mirania have joined the fray,
taking up defensive positions on the side of
the ship opposite you.

"H-hey. What the hell is that?"

Cleaving swiftly through the towering waves is
a battered and monstrous warship.


A sailor raises a shrill cry:

"Monsters! There are monsters aboard that ship!"

And it's headed on a course straight for you.

But suddenly,
a fiery explosion engulfs the massive warship.

"Guess I'm late to the party."
"Yurick!"
"About bloody time.
Now how about frying the rest of
these bastards with those snazzy fireworks?"
"Nice to see you too,Syrenne. As I've said before,
using magic takes a lot more effort than you realize,
all right?"

Mirania grins.
"We're counting on you, Yurick. And your magic."

A END

B

"Yeah! Nearly cleared out the lot of 'em!"
"S-Syrenne. Over there..."

Cleaving swiftly through the towering waves is
a battered and monstrous warship.

A sailor raises a shrill cry:

"Monsters! There are monsters aboard that ship!"

And it's headed on a course straight for you.


But suddenly,
a fiery explosion engulfs the massive warship.

"Guess I'm late to the party."
"Yurick!"
"About bloody time. Now how about
frying the rest of these bastards with
those snazzy fireworks?"
"Nice to see you too, Syrenne. As I've said before,
using magic takes a lot more effort than
you realize, all right?"

Mirania grins.
"We're counting on you, Yurick. And your magic."

B END

Battle 6Edit

A

Yurick: Run, run, or you'll be well done!

A END

B

Yurick: Shall we turn up the heat a bit?

B END

After Battle 6Edit

A

"Well, we made it...somehow."

Dawn is breaking by the time you repel
the monsters' savage assault.

The storm has passed,
leaving the sea utterly calm in its wake.
The morning sun, just peeping over the horizon,
ripples gently in the serene waters.


"Looking pretty sunburnt there, Yurick."
"You look...bigger somehow, too. Stronger."
"More like a seaman, perhaps?
That ship over there is mine."
"Uh... Kinda...huge, ain't it?"
"Hm, is it?"
"By any chance is that ship..."
"Aye, Zael. We rebuilt my father's ship
using parts from the original.
The whole village pitched in."

A END

B

"They didn't stand a chance!"

Dawn is breaking by the time
you repel the monsters' savage assault.

The storm has passed,
leaving the sea utterly calm in its wake.
The morning sun, just peeping over the horizon,
ripples gently in the serene waters.

"Looking pretty sunburnt there, Yurick."
"You look...bigger somehow, too. Stronger."
"More like a seaman, perhaps?
That ship over there is mine."
"Uh... Kinda...huge, ain't it?"
"Hm, is it?"
"By any chance is that ship..."
"Aye, Zael. We rebuilt my father's ship
using parts from the original.
The whole village pitched in."

B END


Born the son of a sailor,
Yurick has weathered rough seas since childhood.
His village shunned him when
his father mysteriously vanished.
His mother, miserable,
died shortly thereafter.

Then came the war.
Fighting alongside Zael's mercenaries,
Yurick found the strength to put the past behind
him and look ahead to new horizons.

"You've all changed."

He left the topic of
Zael and Calista's situation untouched.


Syrenne and Lowell have set up shop together as
partners in both business and love.

Mirania is committed to a life with nature,
nourishing and sustaining the world.

Yurick went back to his village and
cleared his father's name.
He's a splendid seafaring warrior now.

Everyone's moved on
and found new purpose in their lives.

Everyone but me.

I feel like I've fallen short.
I feel...unworthy.


That night Zael had a dream.

Port Lazulis, some years ago...

"Well, take care."
Zael uttered the words as cheerfully as
he could manage. His friends were off to
new adventures, after all.

"What's next for you, Zael?"
"I'll stay at Lazulis Castle, of course.
It's my job to keep Calista safe."
"Sir Zael, paragon of chivalry and puppy love."
"You're a fine one to talk, Syrenne.
You and Lowell
can't stop mooning over each other."
"W-well... Maybe."
"Are you and Lady Calista planning a wedding?"
"Only a heartless oaf would gripe that
it's a waste of money, after all. Am I right?"
"Quiet, woman! You're the one who
spent half our saving at the arena!"
Zael sighed. "You two never change."


The clanging of a bell resounded through the harbor,
signaling departure time. It was time to say farewell.

"Can't believe we're going our separate ways,
but you were right, Zael.
We all have things to do, goals to accomplish."
"Thank you for everything, Zael."
"Call on me if you ever need anything.
I'll be there."
"Be good to Calista.
And try not to miss me too much, okay?"

"Thanks, everyone. Best of luck."


The next morning...

"The day of the third full moon..."
"Yes, also known as the day the moon burns."

The party contemplates
the impending day over breakfast.

"A blood-red moon shall
invoke an otherworldly power.
So they say."
"Would you mind elaborating, Lady Mirania?"
"People are endowed with infinite varieties of magic.
On this day, the moon will hold sway over
one in particular,
and its wielder shall allegedly awaken to
immense power."
"And this involves Zael and Calista?"
"Yurick, our world... It's coexisted with
the Outsider for too long."


The Outsider is a cosmic seedling that
wanders the stars absorbing energy from
far and wide.
By harnessing the power for its own,
it grows and expands until, over time,
it becomes a planet.

Long ago,
a sorceress shackled the Outsider to this world.
It was left with little choice but to drain energy from
the planet itself.


The planet began to
hoard vast amounts of energy in self-defense.

The land would decay as a result,
but it should have allowed the planet to
regain its balance.

But one day, the Outsider vanished.


The planet continued to hoard energy,
unable to adapt to this new circumstance.

The resulting energy imbalance seemed to
drive Nature herself mad.
Monsters rampaged, trees twisted and mutated,
the seas swelled and seethed.

Mirania witnessed all this and more while
traveling the wolrd. And she realized:

There was little time left.


"And the planet itself is
trying to create a new Outsider in
an effort to restore balance."

"So that's what's behind
this Mark of the Outsider..."

"If you use Gathering,
I don't know what will become of you or the planet,
Zael. But if we do nothing..."

Zael nods resolutely.

"If this is something only I can do,
I'll give it my best shot."


A

Suddenly, a heavy impact.
Then another. A magical blast thunders through
the air, followed by an uproar of voices.

Enemies are attacking. A lot of enemies. But...

"Let's clear this vermin out, lads!
Consider it a homecoming gift!"

Spirits are high among the former knights of
Lazulis. Home is drifting closer with
every passing wave.

A END

B

Suddenly, a heavy impact.
Then another. A magical blast thunders through
the air, followed by an uproar of voices.

"Monsters again?!"
"To arms!"

B END

After Battle 7Edit

Port Lazulis...

Zael, Syrenne, Yurick,
and Mirania squint at the familiar surroundings with
bittersweet nostalgia.
The calamity and the day the last parted feel like
they happened just yesterday.

"Well, let's head into town."


Ariela's Tavern...

"Well, well. Welcome, everyone."

Lowell greets you with an awkwardly stately air but
immediately breaks into a broad grin.

"How've you all been?
This calls for a celebration! Drinks all around!"
"Cheeeers!"

Tankards of ale are raised high and
clink merrily in frothy celebration.

The old friends catch up late into the night.
The time passes all too quickly, full of laughter,
lamentation, and smiles.

The celebration could easily have lasted all night
or even two, had they not cut it short out of
concern for Zael's health.


Late that night...

"Well, the day is nearly upon us."
"The day of the third full moon..."
"We've told Zael about tomorrow.
All the arrangements are in place."
"For the negotiations with empire,
you mean?"
"Aye. Not like I'd go all that way to run errands."


"You met with Lord Commander Therius,then?
Some are hailing him as the next emperor."
"Seriously? I knew our white knight was moving up
the ranks, but that high?"
"He's working with us to establish Lazulis Island as
a neutral domain, independent of the empire."
"I-is that even possible?"
"Seems he's surpassed even Asthar.
The old man would be proud."
"Anyway, this means Zael's future is riding on
tomorrow's events."
"Master Lowell.
You'll allow us to assist tomorrow as well,
won't you?"
"Of course. I've got a ton of tasks in mind for you."

Lowell and Mirania proceed to outline their plan.


"Ah, I see..."

Exchanging glances,
the former Lazulis knights nod, intrigued.

"So, we'll repair the planet's energy limiter
using the Outsider's power as a conduit?"
"Zael's Gathering has grown deadly,
stealing energy indiscriminately."
"We're betting that's the planet's doing.
If we're right, it should give us
the energy we need freely."
"The full moon will intensify Zael and
Calista's magic. We'll reverse the energy flow and
channel it all back via the Mark of the Outsider."
"It's the only way to restore the balance of
energy and the world's equilibrium."


"But...here's the crux."
"Should this fail, Zael won't last long.
If he's absorbed by the Outsider's power..."
"What are you saying? Does Sir Zael know?"
"Of course he does."
"And you're certain that this can save
Sir Zael and Lady Calista?"
That depends entirely on Zael.
If the worst should happen,
we'll have to make a choice."


"A choice?"
"Between Zael and Calista.
One of them will fuel the magic, so to speak...and
could be consumed in the process."
"They're connected to the planet through
the Mark of the Outsider. No one else can do this."

Syrenne stares daggers at Lowell and Mirania.
"You really expect me to go along with this?
How can you suggest this so blithely?"


"We haven't much choice.
This is the best we can do."
"Sure. And if we screw it up,
Zael loses Calista forever."
"We're talking about the end of the world here,
Syrenne. Ain't like we got a whole lot of options."
"Zael found a way once!"
"Aye. At Dagran's expense."

Syrenne has no comeback.
The memory of that day and
its implications crash back like a tidal wave.

The happiness they all enjoyed now came at
a cost: Dagran's death at Zael's hand--
and Zael's decision to live with that choice.

"How does Zael feel about that?"

No one has an answer.


"We're selfish bastards, aren't we...
We just carry on as we please and
leave Zael with the bill.
Guess some things haven't changed."
"All we can do now is trust in him."
"If anyone can do this, he can. He's our only hope."

Syrenne sighs. "I suppose he is..."


A

"That said... It's our turn to protect Zael."

A END

B
(This section has no alternative text.)
B END


Zael is listening the entire time.


The day arrives.

"How are you feeling, Zael"
"Not bad, I guess. No worries, I've got this."

The clear cerulean sky gradually gives way to
orange, crimson, and russet hues.

"Well, let's go."

Nightfall is near.


"It's begun..."

The edges of the moon take on a faintly bloody tinge.
Zael's right arm reacts first.

The Outsider's power
suffusing Zael's body begins to
surge and seethe in response to
the full moon's unhallowed influence.

Paralyzing pain spears him head to foot from within,
ripping strangled screams of anguish from his throat.
All he can do is endure it as best he can.

"Stay with us, Zael! Stay strong!"

Through hazy vision,
Lazulis Castle swims before his eyes.


"Doctor! Lady Calista's condition is worsening!"

The Outsider's power is
pulsing to life in Calista, too,
the dark red pattern entwining her body
more prominent than ever.

A murky aura engulfs Calista like a shroud...
and she begins to transform.


A

"Gaaahhh!"

Rays of crimson light blaze outward from Zael.

"Overflow of the Outsider's power?"
"Heads up, everyone!
A swarm of monsters is heading this way!"
"Zael's power must be drawing them here!"
"Keep Zael safe! We've got to hold them off until
the moon turns red!"

A END

B

"Gaaahhh!"

Rays of crimson light blaze outward from Zael.

"Overflow of the Outsider's power?"
"Heads up, everyone!
A swarm of monsters is heading this way!"
"The hell? A legion, more like--including monsters
you don't normally see in these parts..."
"Drawn here by Zael's power, perhaps?"
"I'll protect Zael.
Keep fighting and hold them off until
the moon turns red!"

B END

Battle 8Edit

A

Lowell: Hold your ground!

A END

B
(Lowell is absent from the battle.)
B END

After Battle 8Edit

"Urgh... Gyaaaahhh!"
"Zael!"

Still in the throes of agony, Zael writhes in pain,
his vision fading to white...

His consciousness breaks free and drifts away.


"Where...am I?"

Everything has gone white.

The pain is entirely gone. Or rather,
Zael has lost all sense of where his body is--
whether it's floating or fallen,
standing or asleep.

Suddenly, crimson flames flare up around his feet.

"Whoa!"

The blaze swallows him whole,
and he ceases to breathe.


Revive it...

"Who's there?"

Restore the power lost to me.

Whoever is speaking is nowhere in sight.
But Zael has a hunch:

It's the voice of the planet itself.


"What do you intend to do with Calista?"

I shall make an offering of that glorious power.


"An offering? To whom?"

To the Outsider.

"That's impossible now. The Outsider is gone."


Nay. To a new Outsider.


With that, Zael loses consciousness and
is dragged back to reality.


"Use Calista's magic to create a new Outsider...
So that's it!"
"Zael! Are you all right?"

Zael rips the bandage from around
his right arm and clenches a fist.

Unleashing the power of Gathering would
channel immense energy through him to Calista.
But it was the only way to save her.
He could take her magic to
sunder her connection with
the Outsider's power once and for all.

So be it. He would force a conduit open
for that purpose through the power of Gathering.

However, sundering that connection would
essentially condemn him to shoulder the entire burden
as a fuel source for the planet.

To give or to take... Zael must choose.


Closing his eyes, Zael catches his breath.

He focuses his full attention on the back of
his right arm, skin rough and hairs bristling.

Then, as though purging every last ounce of
smoldering frustration from his being, Zael screams:


"Enough is enough!"

As the words erupt from his throat,
Zael unleashes the power of Gathering.


Glowing chains explode skyward with crimson light,
then plunge into the earth and into all the life that
dwells here. It's a vastly different sight from
the Gathering of old.

But that's only natural.
This is not the Outsider's power.
It's power generated by the planet itself.

The impact is horrific.
Vegetation withers almost instantly and
monsters fall in droves,
their souls snatched away whole.

Meanwhile, Zael is drawing in energy from
the land and all its living creatures.
The spectacle is disturbingly reminiscent of
the Outsider's energy exploitation in the past.

Mirania can't conceal her horror at
the scene unfurling before her as life after life is
ravaged, plundered, stolen away.


"Give me all of your power...
It's me you want, not Calista!"

"Zael! What are you doing,
you fool? If you keep this up..."


A

"If only one of us can live,
I'll gladly give my life for Calista's."
"You... What are you saying?"
"I'm going to protect her. I've lost enough already."
"Zael, don't do this!"
"If I don't, who will?"
"Zael! You done enough already!"
"I don't know what you are--
planet or otherwise--but here,
take as much as you want!
This is the power you so desperately wanted!"


A blinding flash of crimson light
flares skyward along with Zael's scream,
raising a massive cloud of dust and
white smoke into the air.

"Zael!"

The smoke dissipates,
revealing Zael swaying slowly on his feet.
Beside him towers the white sentinel beast Mitra.

More...power...

Possessed by
the power flowing through him,
Zael turns his gaze on you and draws his weapon.
His eyes burn with madness.

A END

B

A blinding flash of crimson light
flares skyward along with Zael's scream,
raising a massive cloud of dust and
white smoke into the air.

"Zael!"

The smoke dissipates,
revealing Zael swaying slowly on his feet.

More...power...

Possessed by
the power flowing through him,
Zael turns his gaze on you and
draws his weapon. His eyes burn with madness.

B END

After Battle 9Edit

A

"Zael! Snap out of it!"
"Urgh..."
"Stay with us!"

"Calista...? Agh..."


Zael finds himself drifting among the currents of
the planet's consciousness.
A familiar voice speaks.

Zael... Thank you.

"Calista? What are you doing here?"

You've been fighting so hard for everyone. For me.

"It's not over yet."

I'll keep the world safe. Live and be happy, Zael.

"I can't. Not in a world without you!"


This makes us even, you know.


A new sentinel beast appears--
black as a starless night and wreathed in
shimmering crimson light.


Time crashes back into synch and
Zael crashes back into the physical world,
awakening with a gasp.

"Zael!"
"The sentinel beast is Calista!
And she plans to die."
"What?"
"She intends to give her life for
us by becoming one with the planet.
I won't allow it!"
"There's no way to stop her, Zael."
"There is. And I'll find it."
"It's hopeless!
Look at what just happened to you!"
"My death isn't my death alone.
I have a duty to protect the life entrusted to me."


The former sellswords catch a glimmer of
their old leader in Zael's steely gaze.

But it isn't the steely coldness that
stems from a closed and gloomy heart.
It's a grim determination born of the resolve to
protect something precious.


"I need you to trust me."
"You're the leader. Do as you will."
"Aye. My money's on you, Zael."
"I have faith in you, Zael."
"We're counting on you."

"Right, then.
Clear out the small fry and leave Calista to me."
"Got it."

A END

B

"Zael! Snap out of it!"
"Urgh..."
"Stay with us!"

But the threat is far from over.

A new sentinel beast appears,
black as a starless night.
Zael senses something strange.

"It can't be... Calista? Agh..."


Zael finds himself drifting among the currents of
the planet's consciousness.
A familiar voice speaks.

Zael... Thank you.

"Calista? What are you doing here?"

You've been fighting so hard for everyone. For me.

"It's not over yet."

I'll keep the world safe. Live and be happy, Zael.

"I can't. Not in a world without you!"


Time crashes back into synch and
Zael crashes back into the physical world,
awakening with a gasp.

"Zael, you're awake!"
"The sentinel beast is Calista!
And she plans to die."
"What?"
"She intends to give her life for
us by becoming one with the planet.
I won't allow it!"
"There's no way to stop her, Zael."
"Just leave it to me."


The former sellswords catch a glimmer of
their old leader in Zael's steely gaze.

But it isn't the steely coldness that
stems from a closed and gloomy heart.
It's a grim determination born of the resolve to
protect something precious.

They decide to respect his wishes.


"I need you to trust me."
"You're the leader. Do as you will."
"Aye. My money's on you, Zael."
"I have faith in you, Zael."
"We're counting on you."

B END

C

"Zael... Zael!"
"Dammit, he's not breathing!"
"Come back, Zael!
We've still got to save Calista!"

But the threat is far from over.

A new sentinel beast appears,
black as a starless night.

Sensing an alarming presence,
Zael abruptly resumes breathing--but
his consciousness remains captive.


Zael finds himself drifting among the currents of
the planet's consciousness.
A familiar voice speaks.

Zael... Thank you.

"Calista? What are you doing here?"

You needn't fight so hard anymore.

"What are you saying? Calista?"

Leave the rest to me.


Time crashes back into synch and
Zael crashes back into the physical world,
awakening with a gasp.

"Zael, you're awake!"
"The sentinel beast is Calista!
And she plans to die."
"What?"
"She intends to give her life for
us by becoming one with the planet.
I won't allow it!"
"There's no way to stop her, Zael."
"Just leave it to me."


The former sellswords catch a glimmer of
their old leader in Zael's steely gaze.

But it isn't the steely coldness that
stems from a closed and gloomy heart.
It's a grim determination born of the resolve to
protect something precious.

They decide to respect his wishes.

C END

Battle 10Edit

A

Zael: I'll finish this myself!

A END

B
(Zael is absent from the battle.)
B

EpilogueEdit

Perfect Fate

"Calista... I'll set you free!"

Tossing his sword aside,
Zael charges straight at the sentinel beast,
defenseless.
It reflexively swipes at him to stave him off,
but something repels its right arm back.

"Is that...Ancient Barrier?"
"But how? Calista is the only one who can cast it..."

Zael draws back his right hand--
the hand etched with the Mark of the Outsider--
and drives it deep into the sentinel beast's body.

The agony is unbearable,
but he grits his teeth and endures it.


The heat is so intense
it feels like his right hand is awash in magma,
but Zael drives it in further until
it's engulfed entirely by the creature's body.

"Reach for my hand, Calista...
I'm here. I'm here with you!"


The sentinel beast rebuffs Zael,
pushing his hand back.

"Now, everyone!
Move in! Calista, don't give up!"

Syrenne grabs Zael's hand and pushes with him,
forcing it deeper. Her arm begins to smolder.

"Syrenne! Idiot!"

Lowell rushes the sentinel beast, enraged.

Mirania casts healing spells tirelessly without
regard for the mental toll it's takin on her.

Yurick burns through vast amounts of
magic at the risk of burning himself out and
brings a tempest of fire raining down.

Everyone gives themselves completely to
the cause, driven by a single hope:
that a day like that will never come again.


"We're going home together, Calista!"


Suddenly, out of nowhere,
something soft touches Zael's right hand.


Light spills forth silently.

The sentinel beast and its incessant,
sinister howl are gone without a trace.

In its place...


Zael and Calista stand together, hand in hand.


Several days pass.

Zael and Calista, spent from the long struggle,
regain consciousness at last.
Calista remains bedridden a while longer, however,
so Zael pays her a visit.

Unfortunately, he arrives while she's in
the midst of changing and is sternly warned off by
an attendant.
Still, they manage to talk briefly through the door.

A voice soon interrupts, however,
addressing Zael through the door with cold courtesy:

"Sir Zael, I'll see you on your way now."


Zael is to face an inquest of addressing charges of
treason against Calista and for
breaking out of prison.

But the deluge of testimonies in
his defense may well overturn those charges.

"Heading out now."
"All right."
"I'll be back soon."

That brief exchange cuts Calista like a knife.
It feels like a final farewell--
the last time they will ever meet in this world.


Some days later, the city is bustling with
celebratory preparations.
The people are in high spirits now that
Lady Calista has awakened from
her deathlike sleep at last.

Fireworks splash the sky overhead with
dazzling color, while riotous feasting and
song shake the island below.
It will undoubtedly be a night to remember.


A lone figure watches the revelry wistfully.
A cowl is pulled low over his eyes,
and his right arm appears to be swathed in bandages
The stranger attracts wary glances,
clearly out of place amidst the festivities.

Turning, he suddenly bolts out the gates,
as though he cannot endure staying any longer.


The hooded figure gazes at
the fireworks blooming over Lazulis City from
a distant rise.

"One day, I'll be back..."

The bandages wrapped carelessly around
his right arm unravel and flutter in the breeze.
The Mark of the Outsider glows beneath,
pulsing a dark crimson.

"...once this battle is finally over."


"And when might that be?"


The hooded figure whirls around in surprise.
Calista stands there in a familiar, deep blue dress--
the rich and vivid blue of lapis lazuli.

"It's all right if you don't want to say.
I won't pry. I'm Calista, by the way."

A chuckle escapes the hooded man.
"My name's...Zael."

The exchange echoes from
the day they first met--
although their roles had reversed.
Zael had discovered Calista in hiding that day.


"Thank you.
You're an awfully nice person."


The Last Story: Coda

- Perfect Fate -

Fin.

They live on in the imagination, thanks to you.

Alternate Fate

"Calista... I'll set you free!"

Tossing his sword aside,
Zael charges straight at the sentinel beast,
defenseless.
It reflexively swipes at him to stave him off,
but something repels its right arm back.

"Is that...Ancient Barrier?"
"But how? Calista is the only one who can cast it..."

Zael draws back his right hand--
the hand etched with the Mark of the Outsider--
and drives it deep into the sentinel beast's body.

The agony is unbearable,
but he grits his teeth and endures it.


The heat is so intense it
feels like his right hand is awash in magma,
but Zael drives it in further until
it's engulfed entirely by the creature's body.

"Reach for my hand, Calista...
I'm here. I'm here with you!"

"Calista!"
The others add their voices to Zael's,
calling to her, hoping beyond hope that
the girl sleeping within the beast will awaken.


The sentinel beast rebuffs Zael,
pushing his hand back.

"Now, everyone!
Move in! Calista, don't give up!"

Syrenne grabs Zael's hand and pushes with him,
forcing it deeper. Her arm begins to smolder.

"Syrenne! Idiot!"

Lowell rushes the sentinel beast, enraged.

Mirania casts healing spells tirelessly without
regard for the mental toll it's takin on her.

Yurick burns through vast amounts of
magic at the risk of burning himself out and
brings a tempest of fire raining down.

Everyone gives themselves completely to
the cause, driven by a single hope:
that a day like that will never come again.


"We're going home together, Calista!"


Suddenly, out of nowhere,
something soft touches Zael's right hand.


An ominous light flares,
and then the howling sentinel beast is
gone without a trace.


Several days pass.

Zael and Calista, spent from the long struggle,
regain consciousness at last.
Calista remains bedridden a while longer, however,
so Zael pays her a visit.

Unfortunately, he arrives while she's in
the midst of changing and is sternly warned off by
an attendant.
Still, they manage to talk briefly through the door.

A voice soon interrupts, however,
addressing Zael through the door with cold courtesy:

"Sir Zael, I'll see you on your way now."


Zael is to face an inquest of addressing charges of
treason against Calista and for
breaking out of prison.

But the deluge of testimonies in
his defense may well overturn those charges.

"Heading out now."
"All right."
"I'll be back soon."

That brief exchange cuts Calista like a knife.
It feels like a final farewell--
the last time they will ever meet in this world.


Some days later, the city is bustling with
celebratory preparations.
The people are in high spirits now that
Lady Calista has awakened from
her deathlike sleep at last.

Fireworks splash the sky overhead with
dazzling color, while riotous feasting and
song shake the island below.
It will undoubtedly be a night to remember.


A lone figure watches the revelry wistfully.
A cowl is pulled low over his eyes,
and his right arm appears to be swathed in bandages
The stranger attracts wary glances,
clearly out of place amidst the festivities.

Turning, he suddenly bolts out the gates,
as though he cannot endure staying any longer.


The hooded figure gazes at
the fireworks blooming over Lazulis City from
a distant rise.

"I can't stay with you. Not like this..."

The bandages wrapped carelessly around
his right arm unravel and flutter in the breeze.
The Mark of the Outsider glows beneath,
pulsing a dark crimson.

"But one day, once I'm finally free of this..."

Turning away,
he vanishes into the mountains without
a backward glance.


The Last Story: Coda

- Alternate Fate -

Fin.

They live on in the imagination, thanks to you.

Blind Fate

"Calista... I'll set you free!"

Tossing his sword aside,
Zael charges straight at the sentinel beast,
defenseless.
It reflexively tries to stave him off,
tearing into him with claws and teeth.

Fresh blood gushes from Zael's body.

Nonetheless,
he seizes the beast with his right hand--
the hand etched with the Mark of the Outsider--
and refuses to let go.

He's already lost all sense of the rest of his body.
Only a general haze of pain remains.

Just as consciousness recedes,
the pain drags him back, as though
he's been condemned to an eternal hell.


The heat is so intense it
feels like his right hand is awash in magma,
but Zael drives it in further until
it's engulfed entirely by the creature's body.

"Reach for my hand, Calista...
I'm here. I'm here with you!"

The sentinel beast responds by
shredding deeper into Zael.

His friends stand paralyzed with horror,
unable to move or even pray.
All they can do is watch.


"Z...Zael!"


Suddenly, out of nowhere,
something soft touches Zael's right hand.


"Welcome home, Calista."


Several days pass.

Calista regains consciousness at last,
her recovery rousing joyous celebration
all across Lazulis Island.

Yet Zael does not awaken.

His heart still beats and he still breathes,
albeit shallowly.
But consciousness does not return.

"The planet may have consumed his soul..."

This was Mirania's speculation.

On a castle balcony overlooking
the surrounding lands and the island beyond,
Calista gazes out at the sweeping view without
seeing, lost in thought.


Some days later, the city is bustling with
celebratory preparations.
The people are in high spirits now that
Lady Calista has awakened from
her deathlike sleep at last.

Fireworks splash the sky overhead with
dazzling color, while riotous feasting and
song shake the island below.
It will undoubtedly be a night to remember.


A lone figure watches the revelry wistfully.
Swathed in a robe with cowl pulled low,
the stranger attracts wary glances,
clearly out of place amidst the festivities.


Turning,
the hooded figure suddenly bolts out the gates,
as though unable to endure staying any longer.


The hooded figure gazes at the fireworks
blooming over Lazulis City from a distant rise.

Four comrades surround the stranger in a
protective ring. They were once sellswords.

“Looks like we have a guide, Calista.
It should show us the way.”

Behind them stands a newcomer, waiting.
Its snowy fur shimmers with an otherworldly light.

Turning back to the city in the
distance, the hooded figure whispers,
“We'll be back. I promise.”

A gust of wind blows the deep cowl back,
revealing pale hair.


Those lovely, flowing locks have been chopped short,
but it's unmistakably Calista.

“Wait for us, Zael.
We'll find a way to bring you home.”

Boarding a carriage, Calista and the others set off
in the white tiger's wake.


The Last Story: Coda

- Visionary Fate -

Fin.

They live on in the imagination, thanks to you.

Blind Fate

"Calista... I'll set you free!"

Tossing his sword aside,
Zael charges straight at the sentinel beast,
defenseless.
It reflexively tries to stave him off,
tearing into him with claws and teeth.

Fresh blood gushes from Zael's body.

Nonetheless,
he seizes the beast with his right hand--
the hand etched with the Mark of the Outsider--
and refuses to let go.

He's already lost all sense of the rest of his body.
Only a general haze of pain remains.

Just as consciousness recedes,
the pain drags him back, as though
he's been condemned to an eternal hell.


The heat is so intense it
feels like his right hand is awash in magma,
but Zael drives it in further until
it's engulfed entirely by the creature's body.

"Reach for my hand, Calista...
I'm here. I'm here with you!"

The sentinel beast responds by
shredding deeper into Zael.

His friends stand paralyzed with horror,
unable to move or even pray.
All they can do is watch.


"Z...Zael!"


Suddenly, out of nowhere,
something soft touches Zael's right hand.


"Welcome home, Calista."


Several days pass.

Calista regains consciousness at last,
her recovery rousing joyous celebration
all across Lazulis Island.

Yet Zael does not awaken.

His heart still beats and he still breathes,
albeit shallowly.
But consciousness does not return.

"The planet may have consumed his soul..."

This was Mirania's speculation.

On a castle balcony overlooking
the surrounding lands and the island beyond,
Calista gazes out at the sweeping view without
seeing, lost in thought.


Some days later, the city is bustling with
celebratory preparations.
The people are in high spirits now that
Lady Calista has awakened from
her deathlike sleep at last.

Fireworks splash the sky overhead with
dazzling color, while riotous feasting and
song shake the island below.
It will undoubtedly be a night to remember.


A lone figure watches the revelry wistfully.
Swathed in a robe with cowl pulled low,
the stranger attracts wary glances,
clearly out of place amidst the festivities.


Turning,
the hooded figure suddenly bolts out the gates,
as though unable to endure staying any longer.


The hooded figure gazes at
the fireworks blooming over Lazulis City from
a distant rise.

"I'll be back. I promise."

A gust of wind blows the deep cowl back,
revealing pale hair.


Those lovely, flowing locks have been chopped short,
but it's unmistakably Calista.

"Wait for me, Zael.
I'll find a way to bring you home."

With that, Calista turns and breaks into a run,
toward the carriage where their friends await.


The Last Story: Coda

- Blind Fate -

Fin.

They live on in the imagination, thanks to you.

Contrary Fate

"This is the end!"

Tossing his sword aside,
Zael charges straight at the sentinel beast,
defenseless.
It reflexively tries to stave him off,
tearing into him with claws and teeth.

Fresh blood gushes from Zael's body.

Nonetheless,
he seizes the beast with his right hand--
the hand etched with the Mark of the Outsider--
and refuses to let go.


"Let Calista go! Take me instead!"


Suddenly, the sentinel beast swallows Zael headfirst
and dissolves into shimmering particles of light.

Leaving Calista behind, it vanishes without a trace.


"Z...Zael?"

The name leaves Calista's lips and
vanishes into empty air.
Zael is out of reach now.


Thus ended the conflict over
the Outsider and the mark branding those who
wield its power.

The former sellsword Zael was one such wielder.
He offered himself to
the planet and became a part of it,
a source of power that sustains it today.


Several years have passed since that day.

Calista has proven a remarkable leader as
head of House Arganan and gone on to make
a name for herself in imperial politics.

With the aid of four trusted knights,
she's extended her influence with dizzying speed.
Whispers abound on the continent that
the empire's next sovereign may well be
the first empress in its long and illustrious history.


The Last Story: Coda

- Contrary Fate -

Fin.

They live on in the imagination, thanks to you.

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