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Trails in the Chest, Part II is a story nonlinearly told through 61 empty-chest messages in Trails to Azure. These were written by Brittany Avery, formerly of XSEED Games, and included by the fan translation team Geofront in their English localization of Trails to Azure. [1] The previous entry, Trails in the Chest, can be found in Trails in the Sky The 3rd.

Contents

  1. You remember reading the teaser in Trails in the Sky the 3rd for 'Trails in the Chest, Pt. II,' but you didn't think it'd ever come. Yet suddenly, you have a craving for more Trails...in the Chest.
  2. 'I shall await your answer at midnight. From my heart to yours. --Jubilee' With the letter fully read, Cyril sighed, returned it back to its accompanying chest set upon on his lap, then sunk further into his chair, long legs spread wide in a most undignified manner.
  3. He rubbed his temple to ease his growing headache-- not that doing so eased it even a little, but old habits were dogged to perform as they would. Again and again, he grumbled to himself, 'What do I do?'
  4. The problem was not with the sender, Jubilee, a total stranger to him; it was with its receiver, Genevieve, his bride of seven months.
  5. Genevieve's father was a ruthless businessman who would do anything to make a profit--even wed his only daughter to the son of an Erebonian viscount...To him. Quite regrettably, in Cyril's humble opinion.
  6. The day of their wedding, she, beautifully pristine to a distressing degree in his eyes, had marched down the aisle at a stiff pace. When he lifted her veil, he'd seen no joy in her expression.
  7. When he kissed her after her 'I do,' her lips made no effort to return it. He'd shielded the cold scene from their blushing reception by cupping her cheeks in his hands and tugging her tightened hair out of its bun.
  8. It had certainly not been the wedding of his dreams. Yet Cyril held deep sympathy for the woman, for from the moment he met her father, he had seen that he loved his daughter in the way the nobility loved fine jewelry.
  9. 'What do I do...?' he moaned yet again, this time gently massaging the hoods of his eyes--which again eased nothing. For he was aware: he stood in the way of true love between Genevieve and Jubilee.
  10. This was not the first letter Jubilee had sent, but it was one that marked one year since their parting. His staff had intercepted them all on her father's orders-- not that it pleased Cyril to know they were coming.
  11. True love! Something out of fairy tales, yes, but Cyril's heart always did pang with longing while reading them. He was a romantic at heart, and now here he sat, the key villain in one seemingly penned to life.
  12. Well, not the villain, per se. No! Of course not. That was much too harsh! He was only twenty-seven years old, not yet dulled in spirit by the constant, tiresome politics tethered to life as an heir.
  13. Inner conflict refusing to relieve itself, Cyril thrust himself upward from his sprawled position and placed the chest atop his dresser. He still had some hours to decide whether or not to tell Genevieve about it.
  14. As part of a business venture pushed upon him by his father-in-law, Cyril and his wife were now in Bose to meet with its mayor. Its market was ever bustling, and property values around it continued to rise.
  15. Bose also happened to be where his wife's true love happened to live...as he had discovered upon finding the chest before his hotel room door this morning rather than hers. A mistake on the part of its sender.
  16. Jubilee was a stranger insofar that she and Cyril had never met. He did know of her--but only through the whispers of the staff who attended to him. And, as with Genevieve, he felt deep sympathy for her.
  17. 'Perhaps we ought to meet and discuss this properly.' Properly? Is there anything 'proper' about a woman's husband seeking out her true love to discuss their options? Dear! Oh, dear! The headache he had...
  18. It was time to eat breakfast. Certainly, he couldn't think up a solution to this conundrum on an empty stomach! He could sit on it. He had hours to do so, and there was work to be done today.
  19. Seemingly confident with this decision, Cyril gave the chest a light-but-defiant tap on its lid and exited the room. 'This is the right way to go about it,' he thought as he went to rap on Genevieve's door. 'It is!'
  20. Yet he paused his raised hand. Suddenly, the conundrum grew twice greater in his mind. '...It's not. I know it's not.' Confound it all!
  21. Nobility he was and husband he was also, but part of Cyril clung to those wondrous, boyhood fairy tales. 'This is the right way!' 'Villain! You're a villain!' 'She's my wife!' 'You're more married to her father!'
  22. He breathed deeply--deeeeeply--deeeeeeeeeply-- and let out a whine while running his raised hand through his hair. He knew what he had to do; and if he had to be a villain, he may as well be a sympathetic one.
  23. 'Yes?' Genevieve heard a knock at her door. She had been sitting upright at the edge of her bed, fully dressed in modestwear from head to toe, with her veiled hat set next to her as she read a book.
  24. No answer. Odd. She placed a bookmark and made a note of her last line--'But it's not me they're after. It's what I'm carrying.'--before standing and fiddling with minor creases and imperfections on her clothing.
  25. She inspected her makeup, fixating on minor flaws (that weren't there). She retrieved her hat fitted with a black veil and ensured not a strand was out of place (they weren't). There was no room for error.
  26. Genevieve, a beauty in the eyes of all, had long been ruled by her father, an aggressive businessman who longed for profits and peerage. Even after marriage, her nervous habit of finding imperfections remained.
  27. Cyril wasn't the worst husband he could have chosen for her. He was among the kindest she was encouraged to court, to be sure. A little plain, but not unattractive. Quite timid and very awkward.
  28. Those qualities pleased her father greatly. He was the son of a viscount who could easily be manipulated! What a find! And had she not fallen in love just before their engagement, she would have thought so, too...
  29. Her mind was wandering--as it had been ever since she arrived. Like a thick sheet of ice masking a rushing current, her stone-faced exterior had been fighting to quell the warm fluttering within...
  30. ...but she could not. No more of this! To hell with being a wife! Screw it! She couldn't take another minute! The moment she knew their next business trip was taking them to Bose, she'd made plans to run.
  31. And the more she thought about it, the more that warm fluttering seemed to spread from her chest to her arms, to her legs, to her cheeks. She was ready to burst! She couldn't wait to see her!
  32. The last thing to do was to place the book she'd been re-reading--an inspiring work that reminded her of an old friend she'd not seen for a year--in her bag. And with that, she was ready to leave her life for good.
  33. Now riled, she swung open her hotel room door with more force than she was used to letting out. Perhaps she overdid it; on the other side with a somewhat startled expression, hands behind his back, was Cyril.
  34. 'G-Good morning!' he stammered out a little too loudly to match Genevieve's fire. He then recollected himself in an effort to reset the mood between them. 'Would you, er, like to have breakfast with me?'
  35. 'I would not,' she responded flatly. Cyril always took care to ask this, even if she rarely agreed to it. He frowned. 'If you don't mind, I have urgent business of my own to attend to while we're here. Alone.'
  36. 'We have a meeting with the madam mayor today. Will it take long?' A pause. Genevieve wasn't used to explaining herself, as she kept most of their interactions as clipped as her words. 'It's with Jubilee, isn't it?'
  37. Genevieve's eyes grew wide. He knew her name? Of all the names that could have come from his mouth! It left her own hanging open...but she had to say something. She spoke firmly. 'How did you know?'
  38. 'I forbid it,' Cyril responded with equal firmness. 'You're my wife. You're not to fritter away your hours with some other woman under my nose.'
  39. It was an unusually cold thing for him to say, giving Genevieve pause. When she glared, as she so often did rather than shout, he revealed the answer to her question, eliciting a gasp from her.
  40. At last, he moved his hands from behind his back. Small enough to fit over his palms was a chest--one of a dark, cherry-red wood framed with a steel that was painstakingly etched end to end with florae.
  41. Genevieve recognized the craftsmanship right away. No one held the same love for carpentry as her one and only Jubilee. As she made to snatch it from Cyril's hands, he raised it over his head.
  42. 'Give me that!' she demanded in a low tone, to which he only responded with an ill-suited snort. In the heat of the moment, she had no time to consider how strange it was. 'That isn't yours.'
  43. 'Does that make it yours, then?' he retorted. 'What if I happened to like the local carpenter and commissioned a fine chest to store my trinkets?'
  44. 'Oh, SHUT UP!' Genevieve hopped just enough to grip it and pulled it downward. Both had their hands on the chest now, and neither one appeared to have any intention of letting go. And then, to Genevieve's shock...
  45. ...Cyril burst into laughter. It almost caused her to loosen her grip on the chest, but his laughter became so ridiculous that he let go to muffle his mouth, allowing her to hug it possessively against her. She watched him, perplexed.
  46. After an uncomfortable minute that left Cyril crouching on the ground with tears in his eyes, he let out an easy sigh and lifted his head to look up at her. 'I've never heard you raise your voice before. Not once.'
  47. This perplexed Genevieve all the more. 'You've always kept your anger over this whole arrangement in. You've been so cold...and now look at you. I can't even ACT angry with you like this.'
  48. Cyril stood and carefully reached for the chest with both hands, only to make her hug it more tightly. He paused. Waited with patience. Moments later she relented, understanding that he meant no harm.
  49. He opened the chest on her behalf, and as though they had been over-stuffed, a thick bundle of letters expanded and burst out until a wealth of them were scattered on the floor between them.
  50. 'These are all the letters Jubilee has written to you since our marriage,' Cyril explained. 'I always kept them with me. I knew you would never come to me willingly, so in a strange way, I was the best hiding place.'
  51. He then removed one specific envelope from his breast pocket and placed it above the lid. 'Whoever left this letter and chest placed it in front of my door instead of yours. You'd best read it--the clock is ticking.'
  52. And so she did while Cyril re-gathered the other letters, giving her precious few minutes for the sheet of ice within her to melt and join the rushing current. Months of emotions had built into a sudden, colossal flood.
  53. Her eyes whelmed with tears as she read--the first time Cyril had ever seen her cry--and while she was distracted, he took care to replace the letters in the chest and close it with due discretion. When she finished, it was all she could do not to keep her voice from shaking. 'Why? Why are you letting me read this?'
  54. Cyril set the chest in her palms, the newest letter nestled between them and the chest's bottom. He then leaned just so their foreheads barely touched. Eyes closed, he whispered, 'Take care, Genevieve.'
  55. In Bose, cramped between two of the most popular shops on the block, was a tiny, tiny building. Last year, it had been in a terrible state. Cobwebs once adorned the windows, and insect droppings were commonplace.
  56. It was now a more respectable location, and the building's owner had her true love to thank for it. And today--tonight--was the night that would determine if that love had been worth clinging to all these months.
  57. At this moment, she swept the floors aggressively with butterflies flitting about in her stomach, legs, arms-- everywhere--waiting for midnight to strike. Waiting, praying to Aidios...
  58. ...and then the door swung open, slamming against the wall, and there she was. 'G-Genevieve!' she squeaked, dropping the broom on the floor, releasing a plume of wood dust in the air. Was she seeing things? 'I-It's still morning! Wait! No! You're here? It's not even midn--oof!'
  59. She couldn't even finish her sentence before Genevieve barreled into her chest to squeeze her middle. Jubilee, indelicate as she was, lost her balance and fell back to the floor, bringing about another surge of dust.
  60. 'Oww...' she groaned. Still, pain be damned. She could feel her. Her Genevieve! And on the floor to her right, she saw the chest she had spent weeks carving, hoping for her return. 'So you did get it...'
  61. 'But I couldn't wait till midnight,' Genevieve replied through a fit of giddiness. She lightened her hug, but only so she could plant a long-overdue kiss. 'I've missed you! Oh, I love you so much, Jubilee!' [Trails in the Chest, Pt. II, END?]
  1. [1]Trails in the Chest, Part II announcement Tweet
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