The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II


The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - Memoirs

Story I

Story I

Trails of Cold Steel Drama CD - Returning Home

This is the first drama CD script, "Returning Home." It is highly recommended that you finish the first Trails of Cold Steel before reading on. Enjoy!

Rean: [Narration] In recognition of our achievements at the Sachsen Iron Mine, all of us in Class VII were invited by none other than His Majesty the Emperor to a brief respite at the hot springs paradise of Ymir. Instructor Sara and the second-year students who generously assisted us in bringing the crisis to a close were also extended the same invitation.

Rean: [Narration] Ymir, as it so happened, was my hometown. I'd once sworn that I wouldn't return until I found a path of my own to walk, so going back before reaching that goal admittedly gave rise to mixed feelings. Still, with the academy festival looming ahead in the near future, I knew that I could do with a well-deserved rest as much as my fellow classmates and chose to go back home.

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Phoenix Wings - Staircase
[SE] Multiple people climbing up stairs
Elise thoughtfully guides everyone up to the Phoenix Wings, Ymir's local inn.

Elliot: Woooooow!

Rean: You're gonna fall off the staircase if you don't look where you're going, Elliot.

Elliot: S-Sorry. This is one fancy-looking building, though, isn't it?

Elise: This is the Phoenix Wings, and I'm sure you'll all be very comfortable here during your stay. It has quite a storied history, having been given to this village by a former emperor of the Imperial family.

Machias: An emperor? Really?!

Jusis: I had heard that the Imperial and Schwarzer families were on good terms, but I'm surprised to see your relationship extends this far.

Rean: Haha. It was ages ago, though. By the way, Elise, I wasn't expecting you to come out and meet us as soon as we arrived. Any special reason?

Despite being overjoyed to see her brother, Elise suppresses those feelings and behaves most curtly toward him.

Elise: My being here should come as no surprise to you whatsoever. As the eldest daughter of the family, welcoming all of you is my duty.

Angelica, naturally, is captivated by Elise's dignified manner.

Angelica: The scenery is beautiful, our lodgings are elegant, our guide couldn't be more beautiful... Boy, if I wasn't looking forward to taking a dip in the springs before, I certainly am now! Haha... I can barely contain my excitement.

Alisa: I hope you aren't planning to do anything inappropriate...

Sara: It kills me to agree with her, but this village is very picturesque. Like the kind of cozy little hideaway where you can sit back and take in the scenery while drinking the day away.

Angelica: I'd be more than happy to keep you company, Instructor.

Towa: No, you won't! Students aren't allowed to drink alcohol. You know that!

Angelica: I only said I'd keep her company! And you're welcome to make it a threesome if you want, Towa. Why not join us?

Towa: M-Me? Sorry, but I think I'll pass...

Towa, much like Class VII, despairs upon imagining what a drunk Instructor Sara and Angelica could do with their powers combined.

Alisa: I swear...

Machias: It'll take more than a change of scenery to get these two to give up their usual degenerate ways.

Gaius: Think of it this way: no matter where we go, you can always count on them to stay the same.

Fie: Wow. You actually managed to make it sound like a good thing. My hat's off to you.

Gaius: Haha... It's what I do.

Rean: Haha... Well, I'm just glad you guys seem to like it. It's too bad not everyone who was invited could make it, though.

Phoenix Wings - Second Floor

Elise: Everyone's rooms are located here on the second floor. The men will be in a room on the left side of this communal lobby, while the ladies will be in a room on the right. We've also prepared individual rooms for Angelica, Towa, and for your instructor.

Angelica: And I was rather hoping all the ladies could be in one room for some quality female bonding time. I suppose you can't have everything...

Alisa: That is exactly why I'm glad we AREN'T sharing rooms, you know.

Elise: Heehee. Well, if there's anything we can do to be of service, don't hesitate to alert the staff. Everyone's all-too eager to help in any way they can, especially since His Majesty was the one who asked us to wait on you all.

Towa: Aww. Thanks!

Emma: Should we go and put our things in our rooms, then?

Rean: Sounds like a plan, but can everyone in Class VII come down to the lobby afterwards? I want to have a meeting about our concert before we start doing anything else.

Emma: I don't see why not.

Rean: Great. All right, I'll see the rest of you la...

Rean slowly trails off as he notices Elise hesitating to say something.

Rean: Hmm? What's up, Elise?

Elise: Umm... Well...

Rean: [Catching on] ...Haha. Don't worry. I'll head to the mansion later and say hi to Mom and Dad. I know they'll probably shake their heads and wonder what I'm doing back here, but still. You're curious, too, right?

Elise: N-Not at all! On the contrary, I've been really looking forward to—

Rean: ... Huh?

Elise: [Panicking] I-It's nothing! Regardless, I should get out of your way and let you get on with what you need to. I'll see you later, Rean!

Elise promptly leaves, her cheeks flushed and her formerly dignified manner now very flustered.

Gaius: Haha. She's adorable, Rean.

Angelica: Ahh... She truly is a lovely young lady. The sight of her alone is enough to send my raging libido into an uncontrollable overdrive.

Rean: Please keep all thoughts relating to my sister and your raging libido to yourself, thanks.

Laura: Well, I can hardly fail to agree how lovely she is. I'm a little lost on this "libido" business, however...

Rean: [Sighing] Stay that way, Laura. It's for your own good.

Phoenix Wings - Second Floor Lobby
After placing their belongings in their respective rooms, the members of Class VII gather in the lobby.
[SE] Rean standing up from a chair

Rean: Looks like we're all here.

Alisa: Yep.

Machias: I take it this meeting means you've ironed out all the details on the concert? I have a vague idea at best, but it's not like we've heard anything beyond the basics.

Jusis: I think it's about time you told us what we're actually doing, don't you?

Rean: Yeah. Sorry it took so long, but Elliot, Crow, and I think we've got enough to finally start filling you guys in.

Elliot: Originally, the plan was to tell everyone as soon as we got back from our field study, but then this whole thing ended up happening. Kinda threw us off, you know?

Laura: Understandable.

Elliot: Crow said he's fine with just me and Rean handling the actual announcement, so here goes! We've decided we'll be doing two songs, and to do them, we're going to need musicians, male and female vocalists, and backup dancers.

Gaius: This is already sounding a lot more professional than I was expecting.

Machias: And we're doing TWO songs? I thought we'd be doing one... Then again, I didn't think we'd be needing backup dancers, either.

Elliot: I don't think just the one song will be enough to satisfy people, really. It'll feel like the show's ending right when it's getting started, you know? And if we want our performance to have some sort of impact on them, backup dancers are a must.

Fie: Well, you're the expert.

Jusis: I see no reason to object thus far.

Elliot: Next, we'll go through everyone's respective roles and what we're currently thinking for our stage outfits. Here you go.

[SE] A piece of paper being unfolded
Everyone leans in to take a look at its contents and is shocked by what they see.

Emma: ...What?!

Laura then begins reading out the information printed loud enough so her classmates can hear.

Laura: Hmm... So Rean will be the lead guitarist, Alisa the rhythm guitarist, Gaius the bassist... [Looking for herself] And as for me...

Gaius: Looks like you'll be our drummer, Laura. Then Elliot will be handling both the violin and the keyboard.

Fie: That makes me and Millium the backup dancers, huh? Then... [Surprised] ...the first song will be sung by Machias and Jusis, and the second by Emma...?

Predictably, Machias and Jusis are strongly opposed to this.
[SE] Jusis and Machias both banging their fists on the table at the same time

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Jusis & Machias: Wait just a damn minute!

Machias: I-Is this some kind of a sick joke?! You want me to sing with HIM?!

Jusis: And in the same outfit, no less!

Machias: Are these FRILLS?! Are you clinically INSANE?!

Elliot: W-Well, I thought they'd look good on you... They're kind of regal and all.

Alisa: I think the girls in the audience would love them.

Fie: Yeah. You'll probably look cool.

Elliot: S-See? I knew I wouldn't be alone on this! Like I said, we're gonna need to make an impact if we want to beat Class I...and you DO want to beat them, right?

Machias: [Knowing it's the truth] W-Well...

Rean: I'll back you up as much as I can in vocals, so can you at least try?

Jusis: [Knowing he's fighting a losing battle] Ugh...

Gaius: Haha. I think we all know their answer.

Emma: Maybe you know for the first song...but the second still seems like a bad joke to me.

Elliot: Nope. That was a very deliberate choice on Crow's part. He says it's the perfect way to make the second track memorable. Between how different you'll look once you take off your glasses and Millium and Fie backing you up on stage, I'm inclined to agree.

Emma: Y-You want me to take my glasses off?

Alisa: Oh, I get it now... Hmm...

Alisa approaches Emma and wordlessly plucks the glasses from her face.

Emma: A-Alisa?! Please, give those back!

Alisa: Hold still. This'll only take a minute.

After gently unbraiding Emma's hair, Alisa begins brushing it.
[SE] Hair being brushed

Emma: U-Umm... What are you—?

Alisa: Aaall done. See? I barely did a thing, and she's still like an entirely new Emma. What do you guys think?

The boys are stunned into silence; the girls rejoice.

Machias: O-Oh, my...

Gaius: You really do look like a completely different person, Emma.

Rean: You're telling me... I can hardly believe my eyes.

Alisa: Honestly, having your hair up all the time and hiding those pretty eyes behind those glasses is such a waste. Doesn't she look amazing like this?

Laura: I agree... Now that I've seen it, I almost wonder if you should assume this look all the time.

Emma: I-I couldn't possibly! Don't be silly!

Fie: This should be a total hit, especially if you've got me and Millium behind you.

Emma: But what about this outfit? Do I really have to sing on stage wearing something so revealing?

Rean: If you think THIS is revealing, you should've seen the original drafts... I'll give you that they're probably a little more flashy than your everyday wear, but they'll work perfectly with the kind of music we'll be doing.

Laura: The design is within the realms of good taste, in my opinion. Would you mind if I took a look at the original drafts? I'm rather curious after the way you put it.

Rean: Ahaha...ha...

Alisa: [Sigh] I can't say I don't have my doubts, but if you say they'll work well with the music we'll be doing, then we'll just have to make it work. I'm not a vocalist so I can't take lead, but I'll support you as best I can, Emma.

Emma: Well... [Sighing and accepting her fate] All right. I'll try my best...

Gaius: We might've figured out the vocals, but I have my concerns about the instruments. I'm not even familiar with what a bassist is, much less how to play one.

Laura: I've never played the drums before, either. ...Or any other instrument, for that matter.

Elliot: Yeah, but you can play the sitar, right, Gaius? With that kinda experience, you should be able to pick up playing bass guitar without much trouble. As for you, Laura, I think your sense of rhythm and general physical strength makes you a perfect choice for the drums. Rean and Alisa should be able to transfer their skills with the lute and violin respectively over, too. Maybe it won't be easy, but it's not impossible.

Alisa: [Nervously] You make it sound so simple...

Rean: Maybe he IS simplifying it, but Elliot sounds pretty confident about us all getting the hang of things with enough practice.

Elliot: [Somewhat scary smile] Oh, don't worry. You'll get the hang of your instruments, all right. Failure isn't going to be an option.

Everyone is overpowered by Elliot's aura of intimidation.

Rean: Erm...

Emma: [Quietly]'re kind of scaring everyone...

Machias: [Whispering] Woe to anyone who would give less than 100% to music in Elliot's presence...

Gaius: ...All right. Consider me on board.

Laura: I am as well. I've never been one to shy away from a challenge, and I don't intend to start now. Besides, I have all of you with me.

Machias: [Sighs] As opposed as I am to certain parts, I wouldn't want to reject all of the hard work that has clearly been put into deciding all of this. Count me in, I suppose.

Jusis: I've already resigned myself to the inevitable.

Emma: I'm not getting out of this one, am I?

Rean: Guess we've got the concert details all squared away. Clearly, we're in for a ton of practice if we want to pull this off and walk away proud, so we're going to need to get started on that as soon as we get back to the academy...buuut that's back at the academy. For now, I want everyone to make the most of the next two days and rest as much as possible. We can worry about all the tough stuff later.

[SE] Folding paper away

Rean: Anyway, that about does it. There's nothing in particular planned until dinner later on, so everyone's welcome to go and do whatever they want until then.

Fie: Got it.

The meeting ends, and everyone stands up to leave, with Machias continuing to grumble about being paired with Jusis as he walks.

Elliot: So what're you planning to do now, Rean?

Rean: Well, I did promise Elise I'd pop my head in the mansion and say hi to my mom and dad. Figured now would be a good time.

Alisa: This is the first time you've been home in ages, isn't it? I would think you'd want to do more than "pop your head in."

Rean: Yeah, but...

Gaius: Don't hold back on our account. Spend as much time as you like with them.

Rean: Well, if you insist...

Jusis: We do. I intend to go and offer my greetings to Baron Schwarzer before we leave myself, but that can wait until tomorrow. I wouldn't want to disturb his time with his family.

Rean: All right. I'll tell him to expect you, then. See you guys later.

In front of Baron Schwarzer's mansion
Rean arrives at the mansion.
[SE] Opening door

Rean: Has it really been half a year since I last set foot here?

Rean: (Maybe I've got a few memories here that I'd rather forget, but it'll always be home to me. I've missed being here.)

[SE] Opening door
Baron and Lady Schwarzer step out from inside the mansion.

Rean: Oh...

Lady Schwarzer: Welcome home, Rean.

Baron Schwarzer: It's good to see you home.

Rean: It's good to see both of you, too. I... Umm... I just wish I could have returned under better circumstances...

Rean's mother suddenly pulls him into a warm embrace.

Rean: ...!

Lady Schwarzer: Heehee. No one needs a reason to come home, surely. Just like a mother doesn't need a reason to hug her child.

Rean: Haha... I suppose not.

Hearing voices, Elise hurries out to the entrance hall.

Elise: [Off-stage] Mother? Father? Is that Rean?

Elise sees her mother hugging Rean and is surprised.

Elise: M-Mother!

Rean: Huh? Elise?

Elise: Th-That's not fair! I've been restraining myself all this time because of everyone else being there, and here you are—

Rean: ...Wait, what?

Elise: [Gasps, realizing what she just said] ...!

Lady Schwarzer: Heehee. If only you could be that honest with yourself the rest of the time. Then I wouldn't need to worry about you so much.

Elise: [Blushing] M-Mother, please!

Baron Schwarzer: Haha. It's been a while since we've had the whole family together, hasn't it? What do you say we all sit down together and talk over some tea?

Rean: [Smiling shyly] That sounds great.

Lady Schwarzer: Just make sure you don't get too carried away with your hunting stories this time, darling. I want to hear all about Rean's school life while I have the chance.

Baron Schwarzer: Haha. I won't, I won't.

Rean: Were you out hunting today, too, Dad?

Baron Schwarzer: But of course. My children's homecoming would be reason enough to want to catch something to celebrate! How could I not when they're coming home with friends? And after being commended by His Majesty, at that!

Rean: I'm sure everyone'll love whatever you've caught when they find out.

Lady Schwarzer: Now, what are we standing around here for? I'll get the tea ready, so go on and make yourselves comfortable in the living room.

Rean: Thanks, Mom!

Baron Schwarzer's Mansion - Living Room
Rean, Elise, and Baron Schwarzer are sitting in the living room talking while Lady Schwarzer brews the tea.

Baron Schwarzer: Oh, incidentally, Rean...I had the chance to speak with Master Ka-fai a couple months back.

Rean: You did?

Baron Schwarzer: Indeed. You'll be pleased to know that he's as healthy as he ever was. Enough for him to best me in our drinking contest... Although I must admit, I may have been at fault for getting a little too cocky.

Rean: [Sighs] You two are such a dangerous combination...

Baron Schwarzer: Hahaha...

Rean: ...He didn't happen to say anything about me, did he?

Baron Schwarzer: He did, actually.

[SE] Baron Schwarzer taking a piece of paper out
Baron Schwarzer hands a letter over to Rean.

Rean: A letter?

Baron Schwarzer: To you from Master Ka-fai. Go ahead and read it.

Rean: R-Right.

Rean intently reads through the letter.
[SE] Pages being turned

Rean: [Nervously laughing] Haha...

Elise: What does it say?

Rean: Well, Dad's right—he does seem to be doing pretty well. Sounds like he's still wandering the continent and taking it easy for the most part. That's not all he's written, though. There's a more serious message for me, too.

Elise: Something relating to your training?

Rean: Yeah. This bit here.

Elise leans in to peruse the section that Rean is referring to.

Elise: "The seventh form that I have taught to you is 'Void.' Remember: form is emptiness, and emptiness is form. I want you to take the meaning of those words to heart."

Baron Schwarzer: [Sighs gravely]

Rean: I guess I can't really hide the truth from him, can I?

Elise: What do you mean?

Rean: This isn't the first time he's said this to me. It was the first thing he taught me back when I first became his student, in fact... Even now, all this time later, I haven't worked out the true meaning behind those words. And if he's repeating it to me here, he must know it, too...along with how lost I still am.

Elise: Oh...

Baron Schwarzer: Just think of it as a bit of homework from him during your trip. Maybe something will come to you while you're relaxing with your friends.

Rean: ...I'll give it some thought.

In the midst of the awkward silence, Lady Schwarzer's voice can be heard from in the kitchen.

Lady Schwarzer: [Off-stage] Could you come and give me a hand, darling? I can't get the lid off the jam.

Baron Schwarzer: I'll be right there!

[SE] Baron Schwarzer getting out of his chair

Elise: It sounds as though the tea is almost ready, so perhaps we should save these serious matters for another time, Rean.

Rean: Yeah. You're probably right.

Elise: Oh, by the way...I assume you'll be spending the night here in the mansion?

Rean: Actually, I was planning to head back over to the Phoenix Wings once we were done here... Sorry.

Elise: What?! Surely it wouldn't hurt to just spend one night here!

Rean: Maybe not, but the only reason I'm here now is because of His Majesty's kindness...and given that he suggested all of us go here together, it feels like it's only right that I stay with them as much as possible.

Elise: [Unhappy] Well, when you put it that way... But still...

Elise is unable to accept Rean's decision, but try as she might, she can't think of a good way to change his mind.

Elise: ...If you must. But you'll come over and see us tomorrow, won't you?

Rean: Of course I will.

Baron Schwarzer's Mansion - Kitchen

Elise: [Off-stage] That's a promise, now! A promise!

Rean: [Off-stage] O-Okay, I know!

Lady Schwarzer: My, my. She insists on going to St. Astraia so she can be away from him, and then the second they're both home, she doesn't want him out of her sight.

Baron Schwarzer: What's it been? Three years since she found out he was adopted? Takes me back to how she was always like this before then.

Lady Schwarzer: It would certainly be a lot for any young lady to take in at once... If only the two of them would get married! Then we wouldn't need to worry about any of this.

Baron Schwarzer: I'm not so sure I agree. He's a good son, yes, but he'll need to be more than that if he wants my daughter's hand.

Lady Schwarzer: Oh, you can be such a child sometimes! ...Well, even if it doesn't work out between the two of them, it sounds like he has more than enough potential sweethearts at the academy. Who knows what the future holds?

Baron Schwarzer: Who knows is right... With the way the Empire is now, I just hope the children here even have the chance to live the futures they want.

Phoenix Wings - Cafeteria
[SE] Sound of crockery
Having returned to the inn, Rean joins the others for their evening meal.

Alisa: Are you sure you don't want to join your family for dinner, Rean? You eat with us all the time, but this is your first chance in a while to join them...

Rean: Nah, it's fine. Elise hasn't had the chance to dine with them in a while, either, so I'm guessing they'll have a great time catching up without me butting in.

Alisa: [Knowing how Elise really feels] You are so unbelievably dense sometimes... I'm surprised she hasn't lost her mind dealing with you.

Rean: Huh? Dealing with what?

Alisa: It's nothing...

Meanwhile, the others are happily enjoying their meal at the same table.

Elliot: [Munching] Wow! This all tastes amazing.

Fie: Yup. Just the kind of food you'd expect from a place surrounded by nature.

Laura: This wild duck is spectacular. Your father caught it himself, you said?

Rean: Yeah. He loves nothing more than a day spent hunting. He used to take me out with him sometimes when I was a kid, too.

Jusis: He's fairly known for it outside of Ymir.

Machias: That's quite the upper class hobby.

Gaius: Haha. I wouldn't say it's limited to the aristocracy. Hunting's popular back home, too.

Emma: The vegetables and herbs used in all of the cooking are so luscious and colorful, Rean. Were these all raised by your mother?

Rean: That's right. She loves her garden. Elise used to help Mom tend to it, too, though that's kind of hard to do these days since she's away at school.

Sara: It's nice to finally be able to sit down and dig in on some fancy regional dishes for once. You guys're always getting to eat the good stuff during your field studies.

Rean: This might come as a surprise to you, but our field studies aren't a vacation.

Fie: And don't lie—you totally showed up where we were half the time. I bet you got to sample all kinds of local dishes.

Sara: Well... Uhh...

Alisa: Surprise, surprise.

Angelica: Heh. Joking aside, you should try and make the most of this time to rest. You'll be swimming in work once you get back to the academy, you know.

Rean: That's the plan. We know what we're going to be doing, so all that's left is practicing and getting it down to a fine art. Easier said than done, but we'll try.

Elliot: Oh, you'll try. Even if it kills you.

Jusis: ...I'm not sure I appreciate your tone of voice.

Machias: [Sighs] You can tell he's dead serious, too...

Towa: Heehee. I really hope the academy festival turns out to be fun for everyone. The fact that the national situation's finally calmed down a little gives us the chance to really focus on it, right?

Rean: Well...

The mood around the table suddenly grows much more serious.

Angelica: You could put it that way...

Rean: It's somewhat reassuring that we haven't heard anything about the terrorists since the incident at the mine, but even then...

Emma: Do you really think that's the last we'll see of them?

Sara: Looks that way from where I'm standing. They lost all of their key members at the mine when that airship exploded, so unless there were others that we aren't aware of, I think we can safely say they're done for good.

Fie: Yup. There might be other remnants of the group out there, but not like they can do much without a leader. They're done.

Sara: If only we could figure out the mystery behind who shot that airship down...

Machias: Don't forget, there's still no end to the conflict between the factions as well. His Majesty's words seem to have had some effect in calming them, but who knows how long that'll last?

Jusis: And we know as well as anyone that they've only been calmed on the surface; the conflicts still persist underneath much like they always have.

Rean: It'll take more than what we've done to solve Erebonia's problems, I guess...

Towa: [Encouragingly] But that's all the more reason why you should focus on trying to make the festival fun for now, right?

Angelica: I'm with Towa. There aren't that many major events in Erebonia where both commoners and nobles mingle together, but the academy festival is one of them.

Towa: Yeah. And your class has people from both classes in it, too, so if people visiting see just how well you all work together, maybe it'll change their perspectives—and even a little change is better than none.

Laura: That does sound like an interesting way for us to keep working towards a solution. Haha. I'm feeling motivated all over again.

Elliot: And that goes double for me! You guys ready to bust out the best concert Thors has ever seen?

Rean: You bet!

Phoenix Wings - 1F Lobby

Rean: [Narration] After dinner, the boys and the girls took turns to enjoy bathing in the springs, and we were able to wash away all the fatigue that had built up over the past few days. Afterwards, we enjoyed the rest of the evening together talking, playing billiards, and even indulging in an intense pillow fight. Before we knew it, it was time to turn in for the night.

Rean: [Narration] While the others soon fell fast asleep, I was stirring, unable to get the letter from Master Ka-fai out of my mind. Eventually, I found myself wandering through the still night alone towards the outdoor hot spring.

[SE] Insects chirping

Rean: (I can't help but feel weighed down by my own shortcomings. The same shortcomings that are stopping me from discerning the truth of Master Ka-fai's words...and from finding my own path to walk in life.)

As Rean wanders idly to the outdoor bath, he finds Angelica in the lobby. Far from her usual cheerful self, she appears to be somewhat docile and preoccupied.

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Angelica: [Sighs, deep in thought]

Rean: (Wait. Isn't that...?)

Rean: Angelica?

Angelica: Oh. Heya, Rean. I would've thought you were fast asleep by now.

Rean: Haha. I could say the same to you. What brings you here?

Angelica: Eh, not much. I was just on my way back from a dip in the springs when I thought it might be nice to stop here and take in the night scenery for a bit. Care to join me? I'll treat you to a drink if you want.

Rean: [Hesitantly] Umm...

Rean: (Is it just me, or does she seem

Angelica: Hmm? Something wrong?

Rean: N-Not really. Well, seeing as you're offering...

Angelica: Heh. Good answer. It's been too long since we last got to talk together like this. So, how's academy life treating you?

Rean: Haha... Pretty roughly, actually. I thought we'd be able to catch a break half a year in, but it's showing no sign of letting up any time soon. It's definitely fulfilling, though. The academy festival getting closer's just making me feel that way all the more, too.

Angelica: That's good to hear. You might've gone through a few rough patches since enrolling, but it seems like both your field studies and your classwork are going well. All in all, life's still turning up Rean, right?

Rean: Not quite... [Somewhat depressed] For every thing I'm happy with, I feel like there's something else I'm worried about, too.

Angelica: ...Is that power of yours one of them?

Rean: ...Huh? You, uh... You know about that?

Angelica: I've heard the gist. You look like a man who's been forced to look deep inside himself anew after spending a long time away from home. The kind who really doesn't like what he's seeing.

Rean: That about sums it up. Before, I felt lost just figuring out what I am and what I'm supposed to be doing. Coming back here's only ended up making me feel even more lost.

Angelica: Haha. I don't think there's any harm in feeling a little lost for now. You're still a first year; you've got plenty of time left to mull over the answers to those questions. They're not things you need to—or can—solve in a couple of days. Not alone.

Angelica: [Nostalgically] There's a lot that you can't do on your own, but if you got enough friends you can trust, not even the sky's the limit. You know the feeling, right, Rean?

Rean: I... Yeah, I do.

Angelica: Then you'll be just fine. Remember that feeling, and never let it go. You won't find the answers you want by searching frantically for them—they're more likely to find you when you least expect it, especially with your classmates at your side.

Angelica: You only get one chance to enjoy youth. Make the most of it.

Listening to Angelica's final sentence, Rean gets the feeling that there's some deeper meaning to them than there appears to be.

Rean: ...?

Angelica: Haha. Sorry. Was that too cringeworthy for even you?

Rean: No, it's not that. It's just...I'm not the only one with something on my mind right now, am I?

Angelica: Heh... I was planning to tell you eventually, but I wasn't expecting you to throw a chance at my feet before I could even get to it.

Angelica looks directly at Rean with a serious expression on her face.

Angelica: Rean, I've got a favor I want to ask of you.

Rean: Wh-What is it?

Angelica: Would you be willing to take my bike off my hands?

Rean: [Stunned speechless]

Angelica: ...I'm sure you know what me asking that means.

Rean: You're...planning to drop out of the academy?

Angelica: Pretty much. As soon as I return home after this trip, that'll be it, I think. The little stunt I pulled at the mine didn't go down very well with that hardheaded old man of mine, you see.

Rean: Oh...

Angelica: That's why he went ahead and told the academy that I'll be dropping out. Without my permission, of course. I'm going to be grounded at home for a while.

Rean: But that's insane! I-Is there nothing that can be done? I mean, can't the principal or someone intervene on your behalf or refuse to let you drop out? He didn't even ask you!

Angelica: Not even the academy can go against a noble as prestigious as Father—not unless they're willing to face repercussions on its administration. Principal Vandyck's put me down as "on leave" rather than actually "dropped out," but there's no real difference when you get down to it.

Angelica gives a somewhat resigned smile.

Angelica: Still, it's not as though I didn't see this coming. But if I bring the bike back home with me, he's just going to take it away...and the last thing I want is to have the thing we all put our hearts into making disappear into thin air. I'd rather give it to someone who can look after it. Maybe even get some use from it.

Rean: And... And you think that should be me?

Angelica: I don't want to give it to anybody else. If I know it's in your hands, I'll be able to rest easy. So...would you?

Rean thinks silently for a while.

Rean: ...Sorry. Can I have a little more time to think about this?

Angelica: Of course. Oh, and while I doubt I'll be able to get out of the mansion until then, I do still want to drop by the festival. So, you know. Good luck getting everything ready for it.

Rean: Thanks...

[SE] Angelica standing up from her chair

Angelica: Haha... Thanks for keeping me company.

Rean: Not at all. I feel a bit better about my own worries after talking to you, too.

Angelica: Well, I'm glad to have been of service. Sweet dreams, Rean.

Rean: Good night, Angelica.

[SE] Footsteps as Angelica walks away

Rean: [Mumbling to himself, sighing] First I get homework from Master Ka-fai, now Angelica... So much for two days of rest and relaxation...

Phoenix Wings - Outdoor Bath
With their talk now settled, Rean makes his way to the outdoor bath.
[SE] Sound of a door opening

Rean: (Maybe I'll be able to clear my head if I take a soak in the spring. It's mixed bathing hours, but I can't see anyone else still up by now, so I'll probably be fine.)

[SE] Footsteps

Laura: [Off-stage] Hmm? I wonder who that could be.

Alisa: [Off-stage] Maybe one of the other girls couldn't sleep, either?

Rean: ...Hmm?

Both ladies turn to see Rean as he walks in and freezes, horrified.

Laura: Wha...?!

Alisa: ...?!

Rean: [Gasps]

It doesn't take more than a few seconds of uncomfortable silence for it to dawn on Rean what kind of situation he's in.

Rean: A-Alisa?! Laura?! What are you—?!

Alisa: Aaaaaaaaah!

Mortified by Rean's presence, Alisa sinks as far as possible into the water.
[SE] Water splashing

Alisa: Wh-What are you doing here?! This is the women's bathing time!

Rean: W-Wait! No, it isn—

Laura: [Furious] I thought you were better than this, Rean!

Rean: Whoa! Hey, now!

Laura wastes no time brandishing a large wooden stick in Rean's direction.

Laura: You'll pay for your shamelessness!

Rean: Where did you even get that thing?!

Laura: Fear not. Your end will be swift and painless.

Alisa: Now, now, Laura...

Alisa, her embarrassment now overtaken by rage, swings a wooden bucket in Rean's direction.

Alisa: He needs to suffer if you ask me.

Rean: G-Guys, just put your weapons down and listen to me! There's a perfectly good reason why I'm here!

Laura: No excuses!

Alisa: Take THIS!

Rean: Eeeeek!

Laura: Prepare for judgment!

Alisa: [Throws bucket] Hyaaaah!

Rean receives the full impact of Laura's stick and Alisa's bucket.
[SE] Rean getting hit in the face by the bucket and over the head with the stick

Rean: Gaaaaah!

He collapses toward the spring as a result of the force of the impact.

Rean: You're making...a mistake...

[SE] Rean collapsing into the water

A short time later...

[SE] Sound of wooden bucket
After Rean wakes up, he finally manages to explain the situation to a now extremely apologetic Laura and Alisa.

Alisa: I-I'm so sorry, Rean! I had no idea these were mixed bathing hours!

Laura: The two of us are clearly in the wrong here. We should have made sure before coming in...and especially before wounding you so.

Rean: [Quietly, exhausted] I thought I was done for... [Gathering his strength] N-No, it's okay... I should've checked if someone was in first.

Laura: Nonsense, Rean. It wasn't your responsibility to do so—the blame here lies solely at our feet. You had every right to come to the spring, and after all this, I think it's only right that you remain here.

Rean: ...Seriously?

Alisa: L-Laura! We might have been in the wrong, but we don't have to go that far!

Laura: But he's already been in the water, and I couldn't bear to send him on his way and out into the cold after what we did.

Alisa: I-I see your point, but still...

Rean: Yeeeah... I'm not sure what the best solution is here.

The three become distracted by what appears to be white petals falling gracefully around them.

Rean: ...Huh?

Alisa: Are those flower petals?

Laura: That was my first thought, too, but they're coming straight from the sky...

They're all pleasantly surprised upon realizing that the 'petals' are snow.

Alisa: Oh, wait! Those aren't petals!

Laura: Snow?

Rean: But it's only the start of October! It's too early in the year for it to start snowing!

Phoenix Wings - Lobby
The next morning, everyone gathers in the lobby. They are all looking outside at the snowy scenery before them.

Jusis: The village is blanketed in snow as far as the eye can see...

Machias: This really shouldn't be happening at this time of year.

Gaius: Indeed. It's not a sight one even sees up in the most chilly part of the highlands.

Towa: It just keeps coming, too. Someone's going to need to work on clearing it at this rate.

Rean: Yeah... If it keeps going how it is, we're going to have a serious problem on our hands by the afternoon. I wouldn't be surprised if the cable car's operation would have to be suspended, even. We wouldn't even be able to leave the village...

Baron Schwarzer and Elise then arrive. Elise looks quite distraught.

Baron Schwarzer: We're at that point already, I'm afraid.

Elise: ...Good morning, everyone.

Rean: Morning...

Baron Schwarzer: I've been around the village to assess the situation, and the snow buildup on the slope the cable car uses is far too significant. We don't have a choice but to suspend its operation for the time being.

Elliot: That's too bad. We were hoping to leave around midday...

Sara: Guess we're stuck.

Elise nervously draws near to Rean and looks up at him.

Elise: Rean...

Rean: ...I know.

Laura: ...? Is something the matter? You two both seem rather serious.

Rean: [After hesitating] Well, it's just that something like this happened around eight years ago, too...

Alisa: It was this bad?

Baron Schwarzer: That it was... The snow lasted for roughly three days, then it simply stopped. We never could figure out why.

Angelica: It sounds like this might be something more than some freak occurrence, then.

Baron Schwarzer: I'll be sure to inform you once the cable car is up and running again. Oh, and before I go, I was given this by an employee at the Phoenix Wings. It's addressed to you and your classmates.

Upon seeing the envelope, everyone is stunned.

Elliot: This looks like those envelopes our field study tasks were written in!

Rean: Why would someone send us something like this?

Laura: There's no sender written on it from what I can see...

Sara: I think we all know what the fastest way to start getting to the bottom of this is. Go on! Open it up, Rean.

Rean: A-All right, then.

[SE] Envelope being opened
Rean carefully takes the letter out and begins to read.

Rean: [Begins in a relatively flat tone while growing audibly more surprised as he reads] Ladies and gentlemen of Class VII: I write in the hopes of entrusting you with an additional field study task. Journey along the Ymir Valley, and may you bring an end to this extraordinary snowfall...?!

Elliot: It specifically says Rean needs to come with us at the end, too.

Alisa: What's "bring an end" supposed to mean?

Rean: As hard as it is to believe, it looks like this snow isn't even a product of nature. Someone's actually causing it to fall.

Jusis: But that's impossible...

Gaius: Not if we go by what this letter is saying.

Fie: The way it's written kinda feels familiar, doesn't it?

Rean: Yeah, it does...

Sara: ...So, what are you all going to do?

Rean: [After briefly mulling it over] We should go. It feels like whoever's causing this snowfall is doing it to call us to them...and if they're requesting me by name, I don't think I can back away from this one.

Emma: I agree with Rean.

Angelica: Heh. Class VII's dependable leader has spoken.

Towa: Yep. Watching them from close up always reminds me of the field studies we did last year...but it feels like Rean's built an even better team than ours, huh?

Rean: Well, now that we've decided, there's not a moment to waste. We should get going as soon as we can.

Jusis: Of course. Let's prepare at once.

Unable to resist any longer, Elise shouts her objections.

Elise: I-It's too dangerous!

Rean: ...! Elise?

Elise: You c-can't go! You don't even know what you're going to be up against! You'd be putting yourselves in danger!

Baron Schwarzer: Remember, Elise, they're military academy students. Their whole education is about teaching them to handle dangerous situations just like this one. If they say they want to go, then we should let them.

Elise: B-But, Father!

Rean: [Reassuringly] We'll be fine, Elise.

Elise: But...

Rean: I know you're nervous because of what happened last time—but unlike then, I'm not alone. This isn't going to end the same way. Just trust me, okay?

Elise: ...

Rean: ...Okay?

Elise: ...All right. If I must.

Elise casts aside her hesitations and looks up with a determined expression.

Elise: But you need to promise me that you'll return safely! If you take too long coming back, I will be coming to rescue you!

Rean: I won't be long. Promise.

Alisa: Heehee. Leave Rean to us, Elise. We'll take good care of him.

Machias: You can extend that promise to us, too. All of us swear to return safe and sound.

Elise: Thank you!

Rean: Well, then, we're off.

Elise: Good luck, Rean!

Ymir Valley - Midpoint
Having reached the path along the valley, the members of Class VII begin their ascent, and eventually reach the halfway point.
[SE] Everyone walking across the snow

Rean: Well, we're halfway up now...but there's still no sign of whoever sent that letter.

They keep walking, but Emma begins to notice something strange about the surrounding area.

Emma: [Quietly to herself] I can feel the presence of spirits on this mountain. Something couldn't be sealed here...could it?

Laura: Whew... Traveling through the snow like this certainly is exhausting, wouldn't you agree, Emma?

Emma: P-Pardon?! Y-Yes, of course! It doesn't help that the monsters seem oddly aggressive, either.

Rean: I'm guessing that's due to the snow, too. We don't usually get this much even in the middle of winter, so it's probably got them a bit riled up.

Alisa: You said this kind of thing happened once before, didn't you? And...umm...maybe something else, too?

Rean: Yeah...

Alisa: Umm... I mean, I'm not going to force you to talk about it if you don't want to, but...

Rean: No, it's okay. I was planning to tell you all eventually, and now is as good a chance as any.

Talking about the experience is clearly painful for Rean, but he keeps going nonetheless.

Rean: Like I said, it was eight years ago. I was nine, so that would've made Elise seven. The two of us went to play in the stream along the valley, but while we were out, snow started falling heavily just as suddenly as this one. We panicked and tried to hurry back to the village...but on the way, we ran into this huge, bear-like creature.

[SE] Monster growling from afar

Rean: We were kids, so we didn't stand a chance of trying to seriously fight it. All I could do was try desperately to keep it from harming her, even if it meant getting hurt in the process.

Rean is knocked back by the monster.
[SE] Rean being knocked back

Young Elise: Rean! Are you okay?!

[SE] Rean collapsing on the snow

Young Elise: Rean, you're bleeding! [Crying] Rean! No! Rean!

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - Returning Home image 4

[SE] Monster growling

Young Elise: No...

The monster approaches Elise, who is shaking in fear.

Young Elise: No... Don't come any closer... Please...

Rean: [Narration] I was starting to lose consciousness, and all I could hear was the sound of the monster's footsteps drawing gradually closer. I knew in my mind that for every step it took, Elise was in more and more danger...and that's when it happened.

[SE] Sound of loud heartbeat

Rean: [Narration] The scar on my chest started to ache like it was set on fire, and my vision was dyed completely red.

Young Rean's powers awaken within him, and he rises up.
[SE] Rean walking slowly across the snow

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - Returning Home image 5

Young Elise:

The monster roars as Rean cleaves the monster apart, blood splattering in grotesque chunks across the white snow.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - Returning Home image 6

[Recollection scene ends]

Rean: When I finally returned to my senses, I was standing in the middle of a sea of blood, the small hatchet I'd brought to cut through tree branches in my hand, left with the realization that a kid like me had just hacked a giant monster apart with such an insignificant weapon.

Rean: ...That was right when I started to fear the power that I'd discovered sleeping within me. I couldn't help but always be scared of losing control again. Who would be next? Elise? Someone else I cared about? How badly would I hurt them...or would it be worse?

His story over, Rean lets out a great sigh.

Rean: ...Well, that's it. That's the childhood trauma I've spent almost my whole life recovering from. You guys already know—I still can't control my power, even after training under Master Ka-fai.

Rean is clearly anguished.

Rean: Every time I think of how I might end up hurting all of you because of my own inability, I...

Alisa: [Sighs]

Rean: [Self-derisively] Haha... Having second thoughts about wanting to be around me? I wouldn't blame you.

On the contrary, all of Class VII accepts his story without a second thought.

Emma: Not at all.

Rean: ...Really?

Jusis: I thought you knew us better than that, Rean. We've been with you for far too long to second-guess staying over something so trivial.

Elliot: If anything, I'm happy you trust us enough to tell us that story.

Machias: As am I.

Rean: ...!

Fie: Yup. Same here.

Gaius: Whatever happens, you'll have us at your side. You have nothing to fear.

Laura: Not a single one among us would hesitate to lend you our strength.

Alisa: You don't have to deal with all your worries alone anymore, Rean. You've got us, right?

Rean: I... [Silence] ...I do. Thanks, everyone.

Encouraged by everyone's words, Rean puts his worries at the back of his mind.

Rean: Anyway, we've been hanging around here long enough. We're almost at the upper part of the stream—let's keep going.

Everyone nods.

Everyone: Right!

Ymir Valley - Upper Part (10 mins later)
[SE] Blizzard raging
The group reaches the upper part of the valley.

Jusis: The winds are rather forceful in this area.

Rean: Yeah... This is the spring area. Ordinarily, it'd flow out to the rest of the valley, but it's completely frozen over right now.

While looking around, they notice the faint glowing of a stone monument with an unusual mark of some kind etched upon it.
[SE] Monument emitting light

Rean: ...Hmm?

Alisa: What's with that thing? It's glowing...and there's some kind of weird symbol on it, too.

Laura: It reminds me of that orb we encountered in Lohengrin Castle...

Rean looks dumbfounded at the monument; he has seen it look this way before.

Rean: Yeah... You're right...

He slowly begins to recall exactly when he saw it glowing last.

Rean: I remember now!

Machias: R-Remember what?

Rean: I touched this monument that same day eight years ago! And when I did, that symbol appeared, all the water started freezing over, and the snow started falling!

Emma: If that is true, then I would think the monument and this weather are connected this time, too...

Jusis: Why is this the first we're hearing of this?

Rean: Sorry. I wasn't trying to keep it from you or anything—I'd completely forgotten about it myself until just now. Maybe because touching that was the catalyst behind putting Elise in danger.

Elliot: It's not like you knew what would happen, though! You can't blame yourself.

Rean: ...Thanks, Elliot. Either way, I agree with Emma about the monument. The question is, how do we stop it?

Fie: How about blowing it up? That might return things to normal.

Rean: I...think we should consider blowing up things our very last resort. For starters, let's have a look around and see if we can find any clues in the surrounding area.

At this point, the symbol on the monument begins to grow even brighter.

Rean: ...? What's happening?!

Alisa: It's so bright!

Emma: I can sense intense power!

A giant ice monster appears.
[SE] Heavy footsteps

Gaius: What...?!

Elliot: Whooooooa!

Rean: Was that thing sealed inside the monument the whole time?!

[SE] Everyone draws their weapons.

Laura: Approach it with caution, everyone!

Fie: Right.

[SE] Monster letting out a loud roar

Alisa: Eeek!

Everyone is turned to ice up to their shoulders by the monster and rendered unable to move.

Everyone: ...?!

Emma: How was it able to freeze this many of us at once?!

Machias: Ugh... I can't move!

[SE] Monster howling
The monster raises its arm to attack.

Jusis: It's going to attack again!

Gaius: Ugh... But we can't fight back!

Rean: No!

Rean: (We can't lose. Not now! But what can I do?)

Rean then begins to recall Elise and Alisa's words:

Elise: "The seventh form that I have taught to you is 'Void.' Remember: form is emptiness, and emptiness is form. I want you to take the meaning of those words to heart."

Alisa: You don't have to deal with all your worries alone anymore, Rean. You've got us, right?

Rean: Oh...

[SE] Loud heartbeat

Rean: ...Now I get it.

Rean: (It's just like that power of mine... Looking away from things that make me who I am doesn't suddenly make them disappear. All it does is stop me from being able to move forward. I need to start by accepting myself for who I truly am!)

[SE] One final loud heartbeat

Rean: [Gathering strength] Haaaaaaaaah!

Alisa: Rean?!

Rean: Haaaaaaaaah!

As Rean cries out, the ice imprisoning everyone shatters.

Jusis: What?!

Machias: I-I can move again!

Rean: [Breathing deeply, power welling from within him]

Laura: What immense strength...

Gaius: This is Rean's true power, huh?

Rean: We CAN beat this thing. Let's do it!

Emma: Right!

The beast lets out another mighty roar.

Elliot: Uh-oh! I think it's gonna try and freeze us again!

Machias: Not this time!

Machias fires several shotgun rounds to stop the monster in its tracks.
[SE] Machias' shotgun being fired several times
[SE] Monster howling
Fie flies through the air, taking advantage of the opening created by Machias.

Fie: Payback time. Boom.

[SE] Sound of two short explosions
Laura uses this chance to attack, slashing the beast with great force.

Laura: Haaaaaaaaah!

[SE] Slashing
[SE] Monster crying out
The monster flinches.

Jusis: Now, Rean!

Gaius: Back him up, Alisa!

Alisa: Got it!

[SE] Arrow being fired
Supported by Alisa, Rean runs toward the monster.

Rean: Raaaaaah!

Rean: I won't lose! Not after promising Elise I'd return safely! Not after promising her this won't end the same way as last time!

Rean: Haaaaaaaaah!

With all of his strength, Rean successfully bisects the monster. It gives out one last fateful cry before collapsing and fading away to nothing.

Rean: [Panting]

Jusis: Is it...disappearing?

Machias: The blizzard's stopping, too.

Alisa: Is... Is that it, then?

Rean: Looks that way. Whatever that thing was, it must've gone back inside the monument.

Machias: Whew... I hope it doesn't come out again any time soon. It did not want to go down.

Alisa: Still, was like you were a completely different person in that fight. Heehee. Gone some way to overcoming that trauma of yours now?

Rean: Yeah. And I've got you guys to thank for it. It was only because you were able to accept that part of me that I was able to take the first step towards accepting it, too. So...thanks.

Gaius: Haha. That's good to hear.

Emma: Indeed. With all that behind us, I'd say that's a job well done, wouldn't you?

Rean: [Thinking] ...

Elliot: Whew... What a relief.

Rean: ...No. We're not finished just yet.

Jusis: Why not?

Rean cries out to their seemingly empty surroundings.

Rean: How about you stop watching us from the shadows and show yourself, Phantom Thief B!

Machias: Him?!

Phantom Thief B reveals himself while clapping his hands in a delighted manner.

Phantom Thief B: Haha! That was quite the spectacle...and how astute you are to realize that I was present to witness it! You have my genuine respect, Rean Schwarzer.

Elliot: Why's that weird guy here?!

Laura: I have to wonder why we didn't see it coming in the first place.

Fie: So you were watching us from that cliff the whole time?

Rean: Was all of this your doing?!

Phantom Thief B: Correct.

Rean: Why? What did you have to gain?!

Phantom Thief B: Tsk, tsk, Rean! Is that really the question you should be asking? I think not. What you should be asking is this: "Why have you taken such an interest in me?"

Rean: The hell...?

Phantom Thief B: Heh. But before answering that much more appropriate query, I should like to introduce myself again.

Phantom Thief B bows before them, his cape elegantly blowing with the wind.

Phantom Thief B: You already know of my identity as Phantom Thief B, but I am also Enforcer No. X of Ouroboros...and I imagine you'll be meeting me plenty more in that capacity, Class VII.

Jusis: Ouroboros?!

Alisa: Wait. You're with the people who made those archaisms?!

Rean: And the ones who helped the terrorists!

Phantom Thief B: Haha. I would hate there to be any misunderstandings between us, so allow me to make our position perfectly clear:

Phantom Thief B: We of Ouroboros live and work in the shadows of history—we have no interest in the ideals of terrorists. We did, however, have an interest in the result their actions would bring about, and as such chose to give them a little helping hand.

Phantom Thief B: Of course, none of that is here nor there. My being here today has nothing to do with the goals of Ouroboros.

Phantom Thief B: No, I am simply here because of my own personal interest in all of you.

Rean: Care to enlighten us?

Phantom Thief B: You each have your own fascinating histories and circumstances; you were brought together by the guiding hand of fate and my very own rival in beauty, Prince Olivert. As a phantom thief who thirsts for hidden beauty in all of its forms, how could I not be allured by such splendor? Particularly you, Rean Schwarzer.

Rean: ...!

Phantom Thief B: Other than you supposedly being found in a blizzard by Ymir's baron twelve years ago, all else about your past is shrouded in a veil of mystery. Are you a commoner? A noble? Erebonian? Foreign? No one knows. And were that not curious enough, you even have an unfathomable power that you constantly live in fear of! Just who are you, truly?

Bleublanc's rapturous excitement is obvious in his voice as he keeps talking.

Phantom Thief B: The truth that lies hidden within you is so delightfully enigmatic that I cannot help but want to learn it!

Rean: [Sighs calmly]

Alisa: H-How can you stand in front of someone and talk about them like they're some kind of riddle that needs solving? Rean's an actual person with feelings, you know!

Emma: You truly are despicable...

Rean: No. It's fine, you two. I'm not bothered.

Phantom Thief B: Oh?

Rean: Go ahead and try to learn the 'truth that lies hidden within me' if you want, Bleublanc. You're not going to be able to do it.

Phantom Thief B: Might I ask what makes you so sure?

Rean: You're talking about my past—about who I am—as if it's something where there's only one right answer, like it's some kind of multiple-choice question on an exam. But it's not that simple.

Phantom Thief B: I'm listening.

Rean: Who I am is something I can only find out myself, and that's after struggling to find that answer—after never looking away from that answer or refusing to accept it, no matter what it may turn out to be.

Rean: If you sniffed around hard enough, maybe you could find out where I was born or how I got this power of mine...but all you'd be finding out is random facts. Those aren't who I am. Those aren't the answer I want.

Rean: And as long as you don't understand that, you may as well just give up and get lost.

Alisa: I'm proud of you, Rean.

Jusis: Agreed. Well said.

Rean: [Glares at Bleublanc]

Phantom Thief B: Hahaha... Hahahahahaha!

Rather than being dismayed by Rean's words, Phantom Thief B is in high spirits.

Phantom Thief B: I see... I suppose when you put it that way, your words make perfect sense. Such truths are purely personal, and the one I would acquire would be much different from your own. A fine answer!

A strong wind begins to blow, and Class VII's vision is obstructed by a flurry of petals.

Rean: Whoa!

Gaius: Why are there white petals all of a sudden?

Jusis: Ugh... How cowardly.

Phantom Thief B: But bear in mind that no one can hide from their own destiny...and I look forward to finding out what truths you all discover when the fateful moment comes.

Phantom Thief B's final words echo through the air as his cape flutters in the wind yet again.

Phantom Thief B: I earnestly await what the future holds in store for your class! Until we meet again!

With one more powerful gust, Bleublanc disappears.

Elliot: H-He's...gone?

Fie: That was like magic...

Emma: What a formidable man he is...

Rean: The number of mysteries surrounding Ouroboros just keeps going up, doesn't it?

Laura: [Sighs] So it seems.

Rean: All right. We've done what we set out to do, and we know who was responsible. Let's head back to the village.

Alisa: No objections from me. I'm sure Elise will be happy to see you home, too.

Rean: Yeah.

Funicular Station
With the mystery behind Ymir's strange happenings resolved, Class VII gathers to depart from the village as originally planned.
Baron Schwarzer, Lady Schwarzer, and Elise are there to see them off.
[SE] Cable car pulling into the station

Lady Schwarzer: [Sadly] Must you leave right away?

Rean: I'm afraid so. A little later than we expected, but better late than never, right? ...Take care, all right?

Alisa: Thank you again for taking care of us while we were here.

Lady Schwarzer: I wish you all well in the days ahead.

Elise: I was hoping that your stay would be a lot more relaxing than it turned out to be, though...

The group thinks back to what happened with Bleublanc.

Sara: I think we all were...but no one could have ever predicted someone from Ouroboros would show up here.

Alisa: Fortunately, he didn't seem too intent on causing any more trouble than was necessary to lure us out. But then again...

Gaius: It's clear the society as a whole has a completely different goal of their own—one they're even willing to aid terrorists in order to achieve.

Rean: And whether he was trouble today or not, he's shown full well that he's not a foe we can afford to underestimate. I'll bet that's true for the group's other members, too.

Rean: We're really going to have to get a lot stronger if we want to stand a chance against them next time we meet.

Elliot: You're telling me. But I'm sure we can do it if we put our minds to it!

Baron Schwarzer laughs, clearly relieved at Rean's attitude.

Baron Schwarzer: Were you able to solve Master Ka-fai's homework, Rean?

Rean: ...I think so. I can't be sure without asking him, of course...but I've finally realized that all this time, I've been lying to myself.

Rean: I've been trying so hard to convince myself that I'm someone I'm not, all because I was too afraid to face up to the truth. Until now, I've felt so ashamed.

Lady Schwarzer: Rean...

Rean: What happened today has taught me that I can't look away from what's inside me any longer. So I don't want to—I want to find out what this power within me is, and I want to find just who left me in that snowstorm all those years ago. For now, that's my truth.

Elise: But then...

Rean: [Reassuringly] You don't have to look so sad, Elise. I'm not planning to disappear from your life or anything. Whatever those answers turn out to be, I'll be here.

Elise: ...!

Rean: The reason I want to know is so that I can truly be myself. There's a Rean Schwarzer that I should have been all this time—the one that's your brother, the one that's Mom and Dad's son, and the one that's a member of Class VII—and I intend to find him.

Baron Schwarzer: ...No matter how harsh the truth may turn out to be?

Rean: Yes. Even if I'm not up to accepting it now, I intend to make myself that way by the time I do find out. With my classmates at my side, I'm sure I can.

Baron Schwarzer: Then I will say no more on the issue. I'm glad you have such wonderful companions.

At this point, Baron Schwarzer produces a sword and a scroll.

Baron Schwarzer: I think you've earned a passing grade. As such, take this.

Rean: Isn't this...?!

Baron Schwarzer: Indeed. It's an intermediate level scroll for the Eight Leaves style. Master Ka-fai asked me to give you this in the event that you displayed you had the potential to advance in your swordsmanship. I'd say you've done just that.

Rean: He did?

Baron Schwarzer: Haha. He knew deep down that you had more potential than you had shown him during your training. Accept it, Rean. It's all yours now.

Rean takes the scroll in his hand.

Rean: ...I will humbly accept.

Elliot: Well done, Rean!

Jusis: Heh. Don't go slacking off now that you've earned it.

Rean: Ha. I wouldn't dream of it.

Angelica: Haha. Congratulations, Rean.

Rean: [Surprised] Thank you...

Angelica: Incidentally, dare I hope you have a positive response to my own question?

Towa: Oh... About the bike?

Angelica: You got it, Towa. So, Rean, made up your mind yet?

Rean: [Thinks for a while] ...Yes, I have. I'd be happy to accept that, too.

Angelica: [Clearly relieved] Just what I wanted to hear.

Rean: But I want to make this very clear: I'm not going to be looking after it forever. You're gonna have to come back to us at some point to pick it up. Think you can handle that?

Angelica: [Stunned into silence] ...Haha. I sure wasn't expecting that as a response. All right, then. As long as you take good care of her while I'm away, we have a deal.

Rean: Good!

Towa: Heehee. Good for you, Angie!

The time then finally comes for them to actually leave.

Sara: Haha. Maaaybe you guys didn't get as much R&R as we planned, but eh, I'd still say you kids got something worthwhile out of this whole shindig.

Sara: So, you ready to head out now?

Rean: Oh...

Rean then turns to face his family again.

Baron Schwarzer: Try to come by again on your next vacation, son.

Lady Schwarzer: Heehee. This is, after all, your home—and it always will be.

Rean: Thanks, Dad. Thanks, Mom.

[SE] The train's bell ringing, ready to depart

Elise: Look after yourself, Rean! I can't wait to see you at the academy festival!

Rean: I will! [Smiling] I'll see you soon!

[SE] Cable car's door shutting


The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - Returning Home image 7

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