The Granblue Fantasy Extra Fes 2021 Pamphlet included a short story featuring Yatima and Raybury. In honor of Yatima’s release as a summon, we’ve translated it for your enjoyment!
Note: This story takes place after the events of Home Sweet Moon, so beware of spoilers if you haven’t played it yet.
The Girl in Red
A handful of sand, scattered randomly, has almost no chance of forming into words, much less words with meaning. While it is not realistic for it to happen, it is possible. Sometimes, as if guided by multiple factors working in concert, events move toward the most unlikely result.
In this skyrealm, they call these events “miracles”.
The War of the Astrals that overturned the balance of power between the sky and the astral realm was one of those miracles, and the meeting between a young boy named Alandus and a red-haired girl is another.
One night, long ago, the boy fought with his parents over a meaningless trifle. The family was harmonious, and he was a gentle child by nature, so this in itself was an unbelievable occurrence.
But that night, as if that was all a mere facade, or perhaps guided by some unseen force, he was enraged and did not wish to even look at his parents.
The boy threw open the door and ran into the dusk, as the light of the full moon cast his shadow onto the cobblestones. Guards on night watch saw the fleeing shadows and tried to call to the boy. Their voices drove him to flee the town, as if to guide him on his path.
A faint red silhouette stood atop a hill outside of town. The boy saw it and was strangely unafraid. Common sense told him that shapes that lurked in the shadows could be monsters, but instead of turning around and going home, he approached the crimson shadow.
On any other night, he would have been afraid.
The figure stood perfectly still, bathed in moonlight. The only movement was her red hair fluttering in the gentle breeze. The boy found himself holding his breath. He felt that if he made a sound, he would shatter the extraordinary scene before him. Then, she turned around, her hair swirling around her. Even as her round, red eyes turned down at him, he was unafraid.
“Who are you?” the boy asked.
“Where do you come from?”
The girl pointed up at the night sky.
The boy was struck speechless by the incredible claim. Unfazed by the boy’s reaction, the girl continued.
“That is my home.”
The boy didn’t speak a word, and accepted her claim as the truth. People could have lived on the moon without him knowing about it.
At some point, he had read a book about the moon. It said that the moon was an island in the sky, distant and unnaturally round. If that was true, then of course people could live on it.
“Why are you here?” asked the boy curiously.
“Because I cannot go home to the moon.”
“But the moon is right there.”
“Just because we can see it, does not mean we can get close to it.”
In the boy’s mind, the girl’s quiet words applied to her as well as to the moon. So close, yet so distant.
“How long has it been since you got to go home?”
“Ever since I first arrived here.”
“That’s awful, Yatima.”
His interest piqued, the boy continued asking questions.
He asked what the moon was like, and how she got from the moon to here. He asked what kind of people lived on the moon, and if her family was there.
The red-haired girl politely answered each of the cascade of questions that poured forth from the boy, with replies that boggled his mind.
During the day, the moon was hot enough to boil your blood, and yet at night it was bone-chillingly cold. She also told him that when she left the moon, machines that could think and move on their own had sent her on her way.
The moon was so wondrous that no storybook could ever have captured it.
The boy’s curiosity led him to make an offer.
“I want to help you, Yatima.”
She went silent as her head tilted and the lids of her crimson eyes fluttered. Eventually, she broke the silence with a rapid string of questions. “Why? How? What do you gain from helping me?”
To her, his proposal was unrealistic; he had no reason to offer his help, and he was the first to have ever offered in the first place.
“I haven’t figured it out yet…”
Silence came again, as those red eyes gazed at him and waited for his next words.
“…but I want to try.”
Perhaps it was too baffling for her to comprehend. Her lips tightened and she appeared confused, but then
Those wide eyes narrowed, and she smiled stiffly.
Her smile brought the whole night into focus. The boy’s quarrel with his parents, his flight from home into the night, it must have all been for the sake of that smile.
Guided by multiple factors in concert, events drifted toward this promise between the two, and moved to the next logical consequence.
Everything happened for a reason. Every event was necessary.
The boy was scolded for bringing Yatima home, but refused to budge until his parents accepted Yatima as their guest.
When she solved the family’s problems with a mysterious, miraculous power, they panicked and wondered who – or what – she really was.
The boy grew, and when it came time for him to leave the house with Yatima, his parents told her she was welcome to return home at any time, and those wide red eyes of hers fluttered in surprise again.
Before long, an enemy she called “The Foe” appeared before them and a long war commenced.
They sought out the Seal Weapons, hoping that they would be Yatima’s path to home.
Their paths crossed with other enemies of The Foe, and formed a Society, bound by a single enemy but with their own separate goals and motives.
The boy grew into a man, and turned to his last resort.
And suddenly, the words from a trusted buddy to awaken the sleeper – “Can you hear me?”
The trajectory of that promise long ago led them into the deepest shadows.
“Bzzzz” – light blue eyes flickered on with a static noise.
“Are you awake?” the girl asked in a flat, but not mechanical voice.
“…Was I asleep?”
“It has been approximately ten days since you last awakened.”
“So, this body has begun to deteriorate. I’m sorry, Yatima.”
“Don’t worry. Are you going to continue your story?”
“Of course I am. How far did I make it last time?”
“To the night we met under the light of the moon.”
Shortly after they had arrived on the moon, Raybury’s systems started going down intermittently. The amount of time it took for him to reboot was steadily increasing.
“That was when I was even younger than you look.”
His memories were faint, as if they had been leaking out during his time on the moon.
“One night, I ran away from home and met a girl with bright red hair. Her eyes were red, too.”
Each time he awakened, he would start the same story-
And every time she would listen with a smile, as if she had never heard the story before.
“I was scared, but – I – asked–“
The voice crackled and began to break up.
The body his buddy had made from scraps and salvage was reaching its limit.
“My throat — feels — funny”
“Is it a cold?” the girl joked lightly.
“You might — be right”, he laughed in reply.
The question brought back memories of when the girl was deteriorating, and the same question was a secret code that meant everything was going to be alright.
“Sleep is the best cure for a cold.”
Those words had been his, once.
“Yes… you’re right.”
Raybury’s blue-white lights flickered as if he was being overcome by sleep.
“I’ll… sleep a little… more…”
The hunk of scrap fell limp.
“We’ll pick up the story where we left off.”
As the girl watched, the last lights in the dim room went out.
It could be a hundred days, or a thousand until Raybury woke up again. She didn’t know, and she deliberately did not calculate the time. Some simple math would have been able to predict it, and it was within her power to make a new shell for him. She could even have made him a perfect replica of the original body he had lost. The story she asked for could have been referenced and recalled from archives rather than asking for his recollection.
For now, she had no intention of doing any of these.
“Good night, Alan.”
She enjoyed tucking him in to bed, and waiting in patient joy for his next awakening.
Just as Alan had done for her, when she was on the verge of breaking down in the sky realm.
That was her wish, and most likely his as well.
She never asked, and never referred to archived information. She just had a feeling that this was the best way to treat a man with overflowing curiosity and a stubborn nature.
It could be a hundred days, or a thousand until Raybury woke again. The data he was meant to store and process was afflicted with noise and fluctuating values. Sometimes, those values would happen to line up and become the code to activate him, and a miracle would occur. In the meticulously calculated, always-on-time clock of the moon, that uncertainty was precious.
Unlike before, they had nothing but time.
As if in reply to Yatima’s second call, Raybury let out a small “bzzzz”.