Cutscene: Why Am I Here?

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Characters: Tsubasa Furugawa; The Fortune Teller

Locations: Okina shopping district; Inaba's Floodplanes

Synopsis: Tsubasa meets a strange man and faces a choice.

Why am I here? This question is both a metaphorical and literal question in Tsubasa's mind. He was asking this question to himself, wondering why he chose the location that he did, when he thought about the higher meaning of this question. On the cosmic scale, Tsubasa wonders if he has any purpose on this planet. Has he made a difference? He doesn't know, but seriously doubts it. Will he make a difference? That is even harder for him to answer. He hopes to someday make some contribution to the world, as do most human beings. He doesn't want praise, fame, or fortune from it, however. He just wants to know that he made a difference somewhere. He eventually lets these thoughts escape his head as he focuses on the here-and-now.

On a more literal, down-to-Earth meaning, Tsubasa wonders why he is in Okina. Sure, it is relatively near Inaba, but he seems to have no purpose here, more literally than his curiosity of having a purpose on Earth in general. There doesn't seem to be anything for him to do here that he had to have come here to do it. It just...seemed like where he needed to be. Weaving through the crowd in the shopping district, however, makes him think he made a mistake - when he hears his name called.

Tsubasa turns to where he heard his name, and spies a Fortune Teller and his booth. He looks around to see if someone else was calling him, when he noticed that all of the people in the crowd had vanished. "Welcome to my stand," the Fortune Teller politely says. As Tsubasa approaches him, he notices certain features of him. He's garbed in a black robe, the hood obscuring parts of his face as he looks downward. However, there was no way the hood could obscure his exceptionally elongated nose, which reminds Tsubaru of a tengu. "You are here for an important reason, aren't you," the Fortune Teller asks, "a reason that you are unsure of...?"

"I...guess I am," Tsubasa replies uneasily. "How did you know? And... how did you know my name?" The Fortune Teller puts his gloved hands together and laces his fingers together. "It is good to see that you have been trying new experiences. I must say, you are definitely growing. However, it appears that you are in need of my services." Tsubasa looks confused, but answers calmly. "I'm sorry, but I don't think I am. Thank you for the offer, anyways." The Fortune Teller then looks up at Tsubasa, and for the first time, he can see the Fortune Teller's eyes. They are swollen, bloodshot, pinhole-pupiled...and infinitely deep. They look like they can see through everything. They might just be able to see into the future after all. "You cannot believe in fortune telling, can you? If I told your future, and it became true, then you fear there is no control over your destiny." As the Fortune Teller says this, he releases his hands and grabs a mask that looks as if it is crying and places it over his face.

"I understand your fear. That is why I'm not here to tell you your future is set in stone. I am here..." he replaces his mask with a smiling one. " give you an opportunity to take the reigns of your destiny. However, control of your destiny requires control of yourself. Will you..." Again, he replaces his mask with one of anger. "...lose control of yourself, and fall to your own darkness?"

Tsubasa tries to answer this question, but is struck hard by it. He is filled with self-doubt as his biggest fear is laid bare before him. Can he keep control of his negative emotions, or will he one day burst and hurt someone he cares about? Can he fight his inner darkness, or will he be consumed? As he thinks, he comes to a realization. There is only one possible answer.

"I don't know," Tsubasa admits, "I just don't know. But with all my willpower, I will do my best to prevent that from happening." The strange Fortune Teller then starts laughing. "Of course you will," he says proudly. "That is all you can do, all anyone can do is try. Admitting that you have doubts, but are willing to push forward is a possible sign of strength." He puts on the happy mask again before continuing. "I can now tell you what you need to know."

"There is the potential for great power within you," the Fortune Teller continues. "If you wish to claim it, then it is yours. However, it may not bring you happiness." He replaces the happy mask with the crying one. "In fact, it may bring tragedy. Whether you will control it or it will control you is up to you. However, it will help you reveal the truth about yourself, to yourself. It may be a good truth, but the truth is often painful. Are you willing to claim this power...?"

Tsubasa knows about painful truths. His advice has been helpful to his friends, but he had great power over them due to the truths he uncovers about them. He has restrained himself from revealing the whole truths before the time has come for them. However, the time for his truth has come.

"I accept."

Tsubasa awakens in the gazebo of Inaba's floodplanes. "...whuh....oh. Must've...fallen asleep while reading," he groggily mentions to nobody. "Better...better head back." He gathers his books and begins to leave, when he notices a tarot card on top of his book of Norse Mythology. He suddenly flashes back to that dream he just had, remembering the strange, long-nosed Fortune Teller handing him this card, and that it is very important. "But...that's...not it?" He asks himself. Little did he know that things were about to get much more impossible...

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