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In left to right order; Fina, Vyse and Aika, who figured themselves out

There were Valuans, there were Black Pirates, and there were Blue Rogues, and that was enough for Vyse and Aika to wrap their heads around. Then a girl crashed into their lives, and the world became a whole lot bigger. And somewhere during a globe-spanning epic adventure that changed everything, a man, his best friend, and the girl that went sailing off the map with them figured themselves out. Because Blue Rogues always played by their own rules.
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Between Three Rogues by Erico is a Skies of Arcadia fanfiction. Like the video game it’s based on, it follows the saga of the air pirate Vyse, son of Dyne, and his childhood friend Aika as they find a girl wearing strange clothing named Fina, take on the world-spanning Valuan empire, unlock ancient secrets, challenge world-destroying threats, and grow into air pirates in their own right - and maybe discover a more unusual and vibrant love between them all.

This story is a pseudo-novelization, and rather than reconstruct the game's events line-by-line, it focuses on filling in gaps in the original story with extra world-building and character development, most notably fleshing out the development of the game's lead trio into an eventual OT3.

Also can be found on Archive Of Our Own here.


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Between Three Rogues contains examples of:

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     A-G 

  • Achey Scars: The scar on Prince Daigo's chest was received in a final encounter with a corrupt minister that was part of an opium smuggling ring, the aftermath of which had Daigo arrested and accused of killing nobility by Kangan, leading to his exile. He notes that the twinges from it have stayed with him for ages, and is the main reason he hates wearing sleeves on that arm. It lasts until he meets Fina, who removes the aches with her healing.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Prince Daigo. In contrast to the game, rather than jumping instantly into battle when Moegi, Vyse and the others come to find him, he instead tries to convince Moegi that their royal line has ended and that she should stay hidden with him, knowing first-hand the perils of trying to fight the power. When she has none of it, calls him out on just sitting back and drinking sake, and declares her intentions to leave and fight anyway, he quickly changes his tune to avoid her running off half-cocked and agrees to help, just like she knew he would.
  • Adaptation Distillation: As a fic focused on filling in gaps in the original story instead of retelling it line by line, a few moments are left offscreen.
    • The entire run through the Temple of Pyrynn and the subsequent battles between Recumen and Belleza are skipped over.
    • While the moments of recruitment for a number of the new crew members are shown, a few, like Pinta’s, Merida’s and Tikatika’s, are only mentioned in passing.
    • The exploration of Mt. Kazai is also skipped over.
  • Adaptational Badass: In canon, Urala was merely a very good cook, and Kirala was just a builder with a good throwing arm. Here, they are also the scions of a Ninja clan that once served the Tokugawa dynasty.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • Ilchymis normally can only be met after the Delphinus reaches Yafutoma, due to being in Upper Sky which can only be reached with upgraded sky engines. Here, his island floats up and down between Upper and Middle Sky, and thanks to Enrique’s knowledge, the Blue Rogues seek him out early, and Fina’s prowess with Silver Magic gets him to join the crew.
    • Hans too will only join after Yafutoma, but the presence of Lapen to help their adoptive father Centime fix up their ship eventually frees up Hans to join the crew on their visit to Ixa’taka before the Dark Rift.
    • Similarly, Kalifa will only join the crew if Vyse has the Suiren Blade, which can only be bought in Yafutoma. She joins the crew right before heading to Esperanza.
    • Don is inspired enough by Vyse’s battle against Admiral Gregorio and determination to conquer the Dark Rift to sail out and join him before they start, along with all of the population of Esperanza, whereas in game canon, Vyse has to pass Yafutoma, circle the globe and return to Esperanza before he’ll join.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The main thrust of the story. While the Love Triangle between Vyse Aika and Fina takes center stage there are a multitude of other expansions, such as chapters told from the perspectives of side characters like Marco, Admiral Belleza and Prince Daigo, and a lot of effort is put into fleshing out the game's world-building.
    • The origin of the Blue Rogues is detailed, and it all started with Dyne of the Valuan Armada growing disillusioned with the direction the Empire was taking, and striking out with other like-minded sailors to become air pirates.
    • Aika’s parents are mentioned a couple of times. Aika’s mother was a Blue Rogue and member of Dyne’s crew, while her father was a Nasrian merchant who settled down with her. Sadly, both of them have passed for a while, with Aika all but adopted by the Dyne family.
    • The story also takes a lot of time in fleshing out the likes of the legendary pirate Daccat.
      • Daccat was said to be Nasrian, which is why Nasrad’s guild master is so determined to purchase Daccat’s Coin from Vyse, so that it could be used as a symbol to rally Nasrad’s people after the city’s destruction.
      • Daccat even made it to Yafutoma, where he is known as Daqat, and became (in)famous by sailing off with Princess Kikue Tokugawa right before her wedding, as well as with her dowry and the wedding feast. In Yafutoma’s eyes, the commoners see the tale as a dashing rogue romantically wooing a princess longing for freedom, while the nobility see it as how a vile thief repaid hospitality with kidnapping. Kikue is found buried next to Daccat, and their other wife Yasmina.
      • Daccat's grave is in fact on his island, near a village overgrown with jungle foliage, where he is buried next to his two wives.
      • Daccat was also said to have two ships, the Salamander and the Scorpion, referencing the two animal images on the doors leading into his island dungeon. When his grave is finally found, it's revealed that he named his ships after his two wives, the Salamander for Yasmina, and the Scorpion for Kikue.
    • Absent during the sack of Nasrad in canon, the Home Fleet of the Nasrian Navy was caught out of place, but they later led the Valuan Navy on a chase through the northern islands to draw attention away from the rebuilding city. Just as they are finally cornered, the Delphinus flies in to save them.
    • Clara’s past is expanded upon. Her father was a merchant that turned to smuggling during the Valua-Nasr War and was executed by Valua, her mother was a seamstress and died of illness, and Clara was eventually taken in by Clara and Centime and became a Blue Rogue just like her adoptive father.
    • If Belleza's thoughts are anything to go by, Lord Galcian has taken her into his bed at least once, but he still doesn't return her affections.
    • The story of how Prince Daigo was forced into exile (and how he got that scar on his chest) is fleshed out. On a tour of military duty, he uncovered an opium smuggling ring and tried to bring it to light, but conspirators killed the witnesses and destroyed the evidence. He went rogue to track down the ringleaders of the conspiracy, but got lured into a trap, and although he killed whom he thought was the ringleader (a noble in his father's court), Minister Kangan and his compatriots were quick to accuse him of treachery towards the nobility and get his father to exile him.
    • The Captain's Hat's power comes from its wealth of spiritual energy drawn from every one of its past owners, from the previous head of the Larso clan to the legendary Daccat himself.
    • The Iron Star is more than just an ordinary discovery in this fic; it's a relic from the Old World that, when retooled by Fina, can be used to broadcast radio frequencies around the world.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Vigoro wasn't exactly a great guy in the original game but his attempted Prison Rape of Aika was also played entirely for laughs. Here that scene is played completely straight, turning him into a Serial Rapist who uses magic to cloud the minds of his victims, which is a reference to how one of his in-game attacks causes the confusion status ailment. Thankfully Vigoro's magic is weak against The Power of Love and his genitals are weak against getting char-broiled by Aika's fire magic.
  • Adapted Out: Piastol’s Death Hound companion is only used in her very first battle with Vyse; in all subsequent battles, she is without it.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Played with. In the game Fina's silvite priestess garb includes a pair of leg-exposing side slits. Here those are the result of Fina doing some Rip Tailoring to make her dress easier to move in.
  • A Father to His Men:
    • Dyne is this to his crew, especially Vyse, his actual son.
    • Vyse probably wants to qualify for this trope but there's a little too much UST going around on the Little Jack for that. That changes after he obtains the Delphinus.
    • Drachma is notably not like this, being so obsessed with his hunt for Rhaknam that he briefly maroons the party in Maramba to chase rumors of an arcwhale sighting.
  • Almighty Mom: Aliya, the Kabal skewer chef from Maramba doesn't care that her foster daughter Laurette's (who was cared for by her biological daughter Fatima in Maramba) leader and potential new love is Prince Daigo, she'll tell him off anyway.
  • Amazon Brigade: “Calamity” Clara’s air pirate crew is entirely comprised of females.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Vyse just has one question to The Casanova Gilder about his lovestruck stalker Clara: could he live with himself if she gave up and left him alone without a fight, or worse yet, if he lost her for good?
    • Daniel Rawlins, vice-admiral for Belleza and Valua's 4th fleet, gives her two in quick succession. The first is when Belleza says that the occupation for Yafutoma needs to go smoothly for Galcian, and he confronts her about it needing to go smoothly for her to look good for Galcian. When that confrontation turns to Belleza's denied weakness for Galcian (to the point where it harms her own well-being), Rawlins asks if Belleza knows his (Rawlins's) weakness. One good look into Rawlins's eyes later...
      Belleza: You... it's me?
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Belleza gives Vigoro one of these after he tries to protest her arresting his men, after they almost caused a riot with the Yafutomans when they mistook a teahouse serving girl for a prostitute.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • “Loose Cannon” Lapen goes from fought boss to crew member of the Delphinus, after he offers his services to repair the damages he caused to the ship.
    • Quite a few of the Esperanzan locals count after they all choose to join Vyse’s crew through the Dark Rift.
      • Amongst them, the standout example is Laurette, the redhead from Esperanza whose parents died to the Dark Rift. When the Esperanzans joined Vyse, she made herself useful helping Osman manage supplies and conduct trading in Yafutoma, and learning the language at a fast pace. Helping out with the post-Valuan occupation cleanup, she met Prince Daigo in person, and her wit and advice to him formed a bond between them. In the end, after some discussion, she accepts his offer to become Yafutoma's foreign minister.
    • Admiral Belleza has no less than two chapters from her perspective - one during her disguised tenure as Bellena, and another during the occupation of Yafutoma.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Lapen’s Gunarm is defeated by Enrique damaging the lens inside its rudimentary moonstone cannon with a thrown dagger, causing it to self-destruct.
  • Badass Creed: The Code of the Blue Rogues:
    ”Blue Rogues leave nobody behind. Blue Rogues never back down from a greater danger. Blue Rogues always help out those in need. Blue Rogues never give up. And Blue Rogues Fly Free.”
    • Vyse is working on adding his own lines to his version of the Code. So far he's settled on "If you would be Free, then live to make others Free. If you would hold Power, then defend the Powerless."
  • Battle Couple: After their Relationship Upgrade, Gilder and Clara more than count. Vyse and his girls count too, edging slightly into Battle Harem.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Vyse has a very big point to make when he orders the Delphinus to face the Draco head-on, ship cannon to ship cannon, even waiting so that both ships fire at the same time. The Moonstone Cannon is more than powerful enough to vaporize the Draco Cannon's shell and decimate the vulnerable ship behind it.
  • The Bet: Vyse makes one with Lawrence during his recruitment. He’ll pay half of his 10,000 gold fee up front, and he’ll get the other half if he proves he’s a better helmsman than Vyse. If Vyse can impress him with the friends, family and freedom that Lawrence calls “sentimental drivel“, then he stays on as a full crew member.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Fina is a sweetheart and definitely the kindest member of Vyse's crew, but even she has a temper when she's well and truly pushed. For example, when Grendel was activated, Fina went absolutely ballistic on the priest for activating forces they did not understand. Then, after the fight, Isapa tries to protest Vyse taking away the Green Moon Crystal, and then Fina slaps him for activating the Gigas in the first place.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just as Admiral Bast Komullah and the remnants of the Nasrian Home Fleet are to be destroyed by the Valuan Navy, the Delphinus flies in to turn the tables.
  • Brain Uploading: The Glacian people survived the Rains of Destruction by sealing their minds into the walls and defense drones of their city, but the power is slowly running out, and eventually, they'll all pass.
  • Brown Note: The interior of the Dark Rift unnerves everyone, especially Fina, but the mere presence of the Black Moon Stone causes her to have a bloody, major-league Freak Out. It’s all Ilchymis and Merida can do to keep her restrained.
  • Character Development:
    • After talking to Fina, Aika and Vyse, Gilder finally understands what they were trying to tell him about love, and decides to stop running from Clara and accept her love.
    • Marco started the story as a Street Urchin that became a sky pirate to Captain Vyse, but it takes some further Coming of Age for him to understand that aside from all that, he is a person and his story is worth telling.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The experience that Vyse and Lawrence get flying through Typhoon Alley in Southern Ocean proves integral in navigating the fierce winds kicked up by Bluheim.
  • Coming-of-Age Story:
    • The first part of the story follow's Vyse canon adventures with Aika and Fina and becoming an air pirate captain in his own right, with the added bonus of navigating his own feelings for the two of them.
    • Chapter 42 shows some phases of Marco's own growing-up story, from him helping some other Street Urchins in Nasrad find a home, to him coming to terms with his growing body and thoughts about girls, and him understanding that his story is worth telling.
  • The Conspiracy: The Yafutoman opium smuggling ring, which enslaves peasant farmers to grow the drug, is willing to burn factories and kill prisoners to keep secrets, and has reach that extends into the Yafutoman Navy, the royal court, and of course includes the Evil Chancellor Minister Kangan. Prince Daigo fell afoul of it during his tour of military duty, and his attempts to expose it are what got him exiled.
  • Content Warnings: Chapter 19 contains a trigger warning for Attempted Rape. This is the chapter that covers the prison break from the Grand Fortress and contains the scene where Vigoro tries to put the moves on Aika. To quote the author:
    "This is the one scene in the game that drove me nuts on reflection five years later after I first played it, grew up, and realized that the game devs tried to make prison rape into a joke here. Well, it's not a joke, it's not funny, and I'm not glossing over it. [...] In the game it's a setup so you can feel like a big strong man rescuing your woman from the clutches of a blackguard. Screw that. Aika can rescue herself."
  • Crazy-Prepared: In preparation for facing against Yeligar, the Delphinus undergoes a full electro-proofing refit, from an insulating rubber layer over the hull to lightning rods and leyden jars to absorb and redirect its lightning.
  • Crippling Castration: Aika foils Vigoro’s Attempted Rape by grabbing his balls and literally burning them off. It’s enough to make the veteran air pirate Gilder throw up.
  • Cruel Mercy: The spirits of the Glacians within the city's walls could very well break Fina and her cohorts' minds with pure psychic might for intruding on their city... but their ringleader chooses not to, for after hearing Fina talk about the Glacians' monstrosities and none about her own people's, she decides that letting Fina live and learn the Awful Truth about the Silvites will be more painful than anything they could do to her.
  • Cunning Linguist:
    • To feel some semblance of freedom from her place as Yafutoma’s lone heir, Moegi has read and learned everything Yafutoma has recorded 200 years ago about the infamous pirate from the West, Daqat, and the language he spoke. Her knowledge is such that she is the only one capable of communicating even rudimentarily with Vyse’s crew once they reach Yafutoma. Moreover, it only takes her 4 hours conversing with Vyse and the crew to become passable with the modern Mid-Ocean trade language.
    • Laurette, the redheaded NPC from Esperanza, shows herself to be one, learning Nasrian to help her adoptive "big sister" Fatima, conversing with Merida in Ixa'takan, and learning Yafutoman to help the crew with trading. That skill with languages is what draws in Daigo's attention, and eventually become the Foreign minister for Yafutoma.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: During the mission at Dangral Island, Vyse and his crew experience Galcian's might firsthand. Just one strike from his massive sword is enough to put down anyone it hits, and although Vyse's strongest attack does draw blood, it doesn't slow Galcian down a bit and his counter lays Vyse out flat.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Twofold for the denizens of Esperanza. First, there is Vyse’s canon challenge to them to find new dreams when the Dark Rift had dashed all their old ones. Then, when a large group of them are inspired enough to sail to the Delphinus and ask to join Vyse’s crew, the Nasrian merchant delivers another one when they try to buy the last part they need from him, leading Don to sell the merchant his old cutlass to make up the difference.
    Merchant: What is your escape from Esperanza worth to you? Because what you have offered in trade so far is not enough.
  • Darker and Edgier: The presence of actual Mook death is one thing, but then there’s Vigoro’s Attempted Rape of Aika that’s not Played for Laughs in any way - to say nothing of what she does to him afterward.
    • Valua's initial takeover of Yafutoma is a lot bloodier. For one thing, Moegi is chased into Vyse's guest room followed by Valuan guards, with the lone guard trying to protect her dying in front of her eyes. For another, as they escape into the sky, they can see bodies of loyal guards dragged out of the palace for later disposal.
    • We know that the Purple Civilisation turned Rhaknam the arcwhale into Plergoth the Gigas, but the exact changes are spelled out in visceral detail here: every injury Plergoth suffers is instantly healed with magical ice, keeping the beast alive when all it wants to do is die.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Aika is able to shake off Vigoro’s Attempted Rape and take care of him herself, instead of Vyse and Gilder saving her.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • For the crimes of unleashing Bluheim on his home country, Minister Kangan is decapitated by Daigo instead of being captured and exiled.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • After being defeated by Vyse, Lapen hears that they’ll be meeting up with his adoptive father Centime later, and asks to join his crew to reunite with him. He’s even willing to repair his damage to Vyse’s ship and become a Blue Rogue to do so.
  • Defector from Decadence: The original Blue Rogues, including Dyne and Centime, were all sailors in the Valuan Armada who mutinied when they began to disagree with the direction the Empire was going.
  • Defensive Feint Trap: In the case of faking a ship injury; knowing the Delphinus cannot beat Admiral Gregorio and the Auriga in a head-to-head fight, Vyse orders Lapen and Hans to make it look like one of the ship’s turbines has overheated, to fake out Gregorio into overextending. Once the Auriga has committed to a ramming attack, Vyse waits until the last moment to dodge out of the way and then hammer Gregorio with point-blank cannon fire.
  • Defrosting Ice King: The entirety of Chapter 28 is from “Lone Wolf” Lawrence’s perspective, detailing his time so far as part of Vyse’s crew, flying through the Dark Rift, and slowly coming out of his aloof shell and becoming a true part of the crew. The last line of the chapter says it all:
    Lawrence was still a wolf in his heart, but he wasn’t a Lone Wolf any longer. He had found a pack to belong to at last.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Maybe Vize, Anita and Faina should've thought of the consequences of trying to impersonate the most wanted crew in Mid-Ocean before the Valuan Armada came for them and tried to drag them off for execution.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • Vyse and Enrique all but choke when they see Aika and Moegi dressed in Ixa'takan style.
    • Upon seeing Urala in her Ninja garb as part of the Setsu clan to join Vyse on a covert mission, Hans is gaping like a fish. Urala also blushes when she notices his reaction.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Inverted. After his Relationship Upgrade with Clara, Gilder hadn’t wanted to think about his old epithet, “The Unfettered”, due to it reminding him of his past as The Casanova. When a beaten Valuan soldier calls him that, he replies, “Just Gilder, if you please.”
  • Dramatic Irony: Upon confronting the spirits of the Glacians in their icy city, they taunt Fina with the atrocities of her ancestors without telling her anything of what they are. If you have played through the original game, you know what the ancient Silvites were responsible for.
  • Dressed in Layers: Laurette shows up at a Yafutoman party just wearing a regular blue winter kimono, but later removes it to reveal another kimono underneath: one of the fancier kimonos that Prince Daigo gifted to her, as her answer to him about choosing to stay as the empire's foreign minister.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: A side-chapter has Gilder and Clara hijack a Valuan warship and then dress as its captains to infiltrate a Valuan resupply base, take it over, and get the components to upgrade their ships’ engines.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Subverted. Vyse brings a grieving Enrique a bottle of rum and they toast Gregorio's heroic sacrifice, but after one shot, Vyse puts away the booze and brings out the tea, because he doesn't want Enrique to drink to forget, but instead to drink to remember.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Chapter 37, which is the post-Yafutoman arc wrap-up, is titled "My Place Is With Him". While it does refer to Moegi wanting to leave with the Delphinus to be with Enrique, the majority focus of the chapter is Laurette, an NPC from Esperanza, brought over on the crew, and how she finds her place at Prince Daigo's side, as Yafutoma's new foreign minister.
  • Dungeon Bypass: When approaching Glacia, Aika is resistant idea of using the Delphinus to smash through the ice wall to reach it due to the damage it could cause to the ship, so the crew instead reach the city from Lower Sky. Then the trope is deconstructed when, because Vyse and co. didn't go through the trials to reach the city, they are hit with some psychic defenses that knock them all out.
  • Eating the Eye Candy:
    • Belle has sometimes snuck into the gym to watch Khazim exercising, much to the amusement of their gunner crews.
    • While watching Vyse and Enrique spar (with Vyse going shirtless and Enrique down to his undershirt), Moegi is watching intently while blushing at every titter from her ladies-in-waiting.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted. Moonstone fuel, provisions and supplies are all things that need to be traded for along the journey, which is why Osman’s presence on Vyse’s crew is such a boon to them.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: When Prince Daigo is first exiled by Kangan's machinations (and his acting outside the law) and Emperor Mikado regretfully goes along with it, Daigo is visibly crushed.
  • Emergency Weapon: When Ryu-kan delivers Vyse's and Aika's new Gigas-material weapons to them, he also includes a dagger for Fina - in case an enemy gets too close and Cupil is too busy being a shield.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Belleza is not happy when she hears that Vigoro and his men had tried finding companionship amongst the locals during their occupation of Yafutoma, arrested one when she rebuffed them and all the men who tried to defend her, and almost caused a riot as a result. She immediately arrests all the Valuan men responsible for starting it, and when Vigoro tries to protest, she slaps him.
  • Exposed to the Elements: While flying through the Southern Ocean and the bitter cold sky rifts to the south, many of the Ixa’takans and Nasrians on the crew start bundling up for the weather - except Khazim, who insists on remaining shirtless.
    • Also, in contrast to the game where he could be on the exposed lookout in his tribal wear without flinching, Tikatika is explicitly bundled up for cold weather.
  • Femme Fatale: Admiral Belleza, even moreso than in the game. Chapter 7 is told from her perspective and we get to see her acting in her role as the head of Valua's intelligence network. Not only did she dupe the heroes into bringing her the red moon crystal, she also planted the rumors of Rhaknam being sighted in the area specifically to separate Drachma and the Little Jack from the rest of the party and force them to come to "Bellena" for help.
  • Foil:
    • Gilder proves to be this to Vyse considering their attitudes towards love; Vyse can’t choose between his love for two girls and can’t bring himself to break up with either, while Gilder is The Casanova with one girl perpetually chasing after him. While they manage to travel together easily enough, both of them find the other’s attitude towards love ridiculous. Then Vyse reunites with Aika and Fina, both willing to love him and each other equally, and Gilder starts thinking harder about what he’s been running from.
    • Enrique initially sees himself and Princess Moegi as Not So Different nobles conflicted between duty and freedom, but Fina's insight shows their contrasts instead; Enrique turned against his corrupt homeland when it would've been easier to stay, while Moegi chose to remain and do her duty as the new heir of her beloved kingdom when it would've been easier to leave and find her exiled brother.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Vyse doesn't just Easily Forgive Drachma's temporary abandonment of the party the way he does in the game. It takes Drachma admitting his fault and placing himself under Vyse's command to restore some measure of Vyse's trust in him.
  • The Gadfly: When Enrique lets Vyse and his lovers know about the ship-wide betting pool about which girl he is romantically involved in, the three of them end up staging a fake confrontation in the dining hall where the two girls arranged dates with Vyse at the same time, leading to more gossip and speculation amongst the crew and fuelling the betting pool. Though the two public and sequential Big Damn Kisses weren’t in the script.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The fact that Fina joins the party at level 1 when the rest of the team is around 10 or 12 doesn't go unremarked on. Fina has to work hard to catch up with Vyse and Aika before eventually finding her niche as the party's White Mage.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Vyse and Aika all but jump Fina's bones when she illustrates the concept that Arcadia is round, revealing the biggest Discovery in history.
  • Good Is Not Soft: During Vyse’s What the Hell, Hero? moment with Drachma for leaving them behind on Maramba, he all but says that if Drachma can’t rebuild his trust, he’ll repay the favour and maroon the old sailor on the aptly-named Maroon Isle - with a single-shot pistol to boot.
  • The Good King: King Mathias du Valua, Teodora’s husband and Enrique’s father, was by all accounts an honourable, respected and just man, the man that embodied everything Valua should stand for. His passing and the rise of Lord Galcian proved to be a major turning point for Valua’s morals.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: After the Power Trio’s throuple relationship is perfected, all three are shown sleeping together and are shown very satisfied and content afterwards.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Kirala and Urala, in this story trained kunoichi, join Vyse and the others in infiltrating Dangral Island.

     H-O 

  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The finale of the battle against Anguila, the giant angler-serpent boss in the Dark Rift, ends with it being bisected by the Delphinus’s Moonstone Cannon.
  • Half-Truth: When Belleza commandeered the Delphinus at Yafutoma, she asked Lapen (in this fic a reformed Blue Rogue) how to get the Moonstone Cannon functioning. Lapen says that Fina was making improvements to the cannon, that she had to take it offline to do so, and that he didn't understand a lick of what she was doing, so he can't undo her improvements to reactivate the cannon. All true... except that what was disabling the Moonstone Cannon was an emergency breaker that Fina insisted on installing, which Lapen managed to flip before he was captured. When Aika comes to bust them out, turning off the breaker and restoring cannon function literally takes five seconds.
  • Harmful Healing: Ilchymis tries to help Don’s alcohol poisoning by using his learned Silver magic to remove all the alcohol from Don’s system at once, but Don’s been The Alcoholic for so long that his body instantly goes into withdrawal seizures. If not for Fina’s intervention, Don wouldn’t have survived.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Enrique spends several chapters giving Vyse a hard time about seemingly two-timing Aika and Fina, though he still has his Undying Loyalty. He finally confronts the three of them about it, and is speechless when their three-way relationship becomes clear to him.
  • The Heart: Of the three amigos Fina is the one who has her emotions best sorted out and tends not to get thrown off by relationship drama. When Vyse reveals that he loves both Fina and Aika and can't choose one of them over the other, Fina is far less distraught and far more accepting of the situation than either of her party members. She's also the one who ultimately talks Aika around to the polyamorous solution to the issue with her own love confession.
  • Heel–Face Turn: As in canon, the defeats of Rupee Larso and Gordo the Round lead to them halting their Black Pirate ways and opening up a rug shop and restaurant respectively, but Lapen is added to this list after his defeat at Vyse’s hands gets him to join his crew.
    • Lorenzo the black marketeer in Ixa’taka even Lampshades this when Vyse suggests that he can become a merchant shipping Ixa’takan fruit to Mid-Ocean.
      “Is this what you do? You deal with people and you... you make them go legit on you?”
  • Hell Is That Noise: The howling of the winds and tornadoes through the Southern Ocean, so much so that Fina can’t get to sleep until Aika offers her some help, i.e. joining her in the bed.
  • Hello, Sailor!: Despite the presence of actual women on the Delphinus, that doesn't stop a couple of homosexual couples forming on the ship.
    • Vyse has caught Lawrence and Lapen making out in the closet at some time or another, and Marco has noticed the two hanging out around each other a lot.
    • Similarly, Marco has also noticed the same air around Brabham and Izmael, who both argue incessantly yet are never out of each other's sight. Whether this has been going on since their time on Gilder's crew is not specified.
  • Hero of Another Story: Chapter 29 shows that while Vyse and the Delphinus were traversing the Dark Rift, Gilder and Clara were off having their own adventures and getting used to sailing together.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Fina, despite her naïveté to Mid-Ocean and its tech, is well-versed in advanced Silvite technology and moonstone weaponry, due to studying it during her free time as a Silver Priestess.
    • Vyse shows himself to be shrewd in not just the art of captaincy, but in his vision for a better tomorrow. When discussing Lorenzo the black marketeer becoming a merchant in Ixa’takan produce, Vyse doesn’t mention kafa (coffee) beans to him. He explains later that if/when Ixa’taka decides to sell their sacred beans to other buyers around the world, it’ll be on their terms, not anyone else’s.
    • All those portraits of beautiful women around Gilder’s ship cabin; Gilder painted himself. He even goes as far as painting a family portrait for Centime.
    • Kirala and Urala's parents, Osuma and Raiko, are descendants of the Setsu clan, who had once served the Tokugawa dynasty as Ninjas. Osuma and Raiko were the ones who taught Daigo how to operate unseen in the underworld during his rogue mission to uncover the kingdom-wide opium smuggling ring.
  • History Repeats: It turns out that Vyse mirrors the legendary pirate Sahira Daccat in more than a few ways: not only his round-the-world travels and legendary acts that shake the world, but also that just like Aika and Fina are Vyse's lovers, Daccat had two wives, Yasmina and Kikue.
    • Princess Kikue Tokugawa's tale plays itself out again with her descendant Moegi, whereupon she too left Yafutoma with a legendary air pirate to see the world. The only difference is that while Kikue marries Daccat, Moegi falls for Vyse's comrade Enrique.
  • Honey Trap: Belleza, in her guise of Bellena the dancer, tries pulling one on Vyse on the way to the Temple of Pyrynn. Despite his own conflicting feelings for Aika and Fina, Vyse turns her down so as to remain loyal to them, and despite her own feelings for Galcian, Belleza can’t help but feel a bit of longing.
  • Honorary True Companion: After they're reunited, Drachma says he never took Vyse's oath of being a Blue Rogue, but Vyse hands him a Membership Token anyway and calls him an honorary member.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Over and over again, Rhaknam is ravaged by its own rampages and returns to Glacia to die... and over and over again, the power of the Purple Moon Crystal repairs its wounds and rebuilds its flesh, body and even mind with ice, keeping it alive.
  • I Choose to Stay:
    • After being rescued by the Delphinus, Admiral Bast Komullah of the Nasrian Home Fleet offers Khazim a place back in his rebuilding fleet. Khazim declines, saying that he has sworn an Oath to serve Vyse of the Blue Rogues and to fight against Valua.
    • When Rupee Larso gave up pirating to become a rug seller, Barta and all the other pirates of the Larso clan chose becoming his deliverymen over continuing piracy without him.
    • Laurette the Esperanzan girl, brought to Yafutoma on the Delphinus's crew, finds her place in being the Yafutoman foreign minister, advising Prince Daigo himself. In addition, her taking Moegi's place as someone who knows both Yafutoman and the Mid-Ocean trade speech allows Moegi to join the Delphinus's crew.
      • Later on, her adopted sister and guardian Fatima the bartender joins her, along with her mother Aliya from Maramba.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Belleza is this to Galcian, as in canon, but she also finds out that one of her underlings is this to her: her vice-admiral, Daniel Rawlins. His admission of such forces her to take a closer look at her own longing for Galcian and her desires for love and control, and how she is bereft of both even with her current position in the admiralty.
  • Ignored Epiphany: With the knowledge of Piastol's past, Vyse invites her to dinner where she meets Doc for the first time in years and reveals that her sister Maria is still alive. However, instead of calming down and surrendering, Piastol instead demands that Vyse face her one last time, now not because she wants to kill him, but because she wants him to kill her.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: In Chapter 38, Vyse relates to Fina one time where he caught Lawrence and Lapen making out in the supply closet.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Driven to the edge at the realization that her sister is still alive and would hate the monster she's become, after Vyse defeats her and yet refuses to kill her, Piastol takes out a knife to finish the job herself. However, Aika knocks the knife out of her hand and demands that she live instead.
  • Intimate Artistry: Gilder is a painter and artist, all the portraits in his cabin his works. After he finally stops running from Clara, both of them share a moment where he paints a second portrait of her, this time of a nude.
  • Intimate Psychotherapy: After the second Grand Fortress escape and Vigoro’s Attempted Rape of Aika, she begs Vyse and Fina to “make me forget him”. The resulting two hours of intimacy work and she goes to sleep with a smile on her face.
  • It's All Junk:
    • Gilder, an amazing painter and The Casanova, had a portrait painted of every woman he slept with and kept them hanging in his cabin. When he stops running from Clara and she comes to see him, she finds him taking down all the portraits… except hers.
    • Throughout all of Don’s years wasting away at Esperanza, there were two things that he could not bring himself to sell for booze money: his cutlass while he was still a Valuan Navy Ensign, and a gold compass his father gave him when he joined the Navy. He ends up selling the former for an engine part, to enable the population of Esperanza to sail to the Delphinus on a beat-up patrol boat so they can join its crew.
  • The Jail Bait Wait: Both of the Delphinus's gunner crews joke about their leaders making eyes at each other and Belle sneaking in to ogle Khazim while he's working out, while Khazim (who's twice Belle's age) promises not to court Belle until she reaches the age of maturity. Belle is exceedingly embarrassed, but doesn't say no.
  • Joke and Receive: After the Delphinus returns to Crescent Isle after the voyage through the Dark Rift, to Yafutoma and then around the world, Brabham looks at the damage and jokingly asks if they fought the whole Valuan armada. Vyse replies no, just the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fleets and a Gigas for good measure.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Justified. The Blue Rogues don't act like traditional pirates because at their roots they're more of an anti-Valua resistance movement. The group's "leaders" (insomuch as it has them) like Dyne and Centime are former Valuans themselves, being captains who mutinied against the larger fleet to resist Empress Teodora's tyranny, and the rest of the group follows their ideals.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: “Lone Wolf” Lawrence joined Vyse’s crew with half his 10,000 gold fee and a bet that if he acknowledged Vyse as a better helmsman, he’d forgo the other half in exchange for full employment. Faced with the idea of flying through the tornado-laden Southern Ocean, Lawrence decides to not risk the lives of everyone aboard on a challenge or his pride, and concedes to Vyse to take them through it.
  • Leave No Survivors: Cornered by the Valuan Navy, Admiral Bast Komullah raises flags of surrender and orders his men to the lifeboats, but the Valuans don’t stop firing and respond with flags of “No Quarter”. If not for the Delphinus intervening, things would've been bloody.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Invoked by Enrique during the ship battle against Gregorio and the 2nd Fleet at Esperanza. Just as Blue Rogues are not Black Pirates and Gregorio’s men are not monsters like Galcian, they will allow quarter and retreat and will not use the Moonstone cannon against them, to send a message of the Blue Rogues’ true character. That said, Defensive Feint Trap tactics are not out of the question.
  • Like Father, Like Son: According to Gilder, Vyse has the same supernal charisma and leadership as his father Dyne. And when Dyne defected from the Valuan Armada to become the first Blue Rogue, others followed him, turning a mutinying detachment into a coalition of air pirates across Mid-Ocean, all following the same rulebook.
  • Living Legend: Dyne the Blue Storm is not just a Blue Rogue, he was the First Blue Rogue - the first to mutiny from Valua and leading many others after him. Clara’s breath is taken away when she hears that Vyse is his son.
    Clara: Dyne was the First Blue Rogue. The First to raise our banner. The First to break away from tyranny, and imagine a better way.
  • Long Dead Badass: The legendary pirate Sahira Daccat counts as one, given that many of his feats, from reaching Yafutoma and sailing around the world, are spoken of with awe by many and with determination by Vyse.
  • Love Triangle: Absent from the game, romantic entanglements between the story's main Power Trio and how they eventually sort things out between them are a major focus of the story's character development.
    • Aika's jealousy of Fina is a focus throughout the early chapters of the story, whereas in the game Aika never showed any hint of competition against her.
  • Magnetic Hero: Vyse is depicted as this, mostly seen through the eyes of those that follow him. From Domingo jumping at the chance to explore further than Mid-Ocean, to Khazim turning down a chance to rejoin the Nasrian fleet in favour of staying with Vyse, and Don and the whole town of Esperanza begging to join up, the young Blue Rogue’s charisma and valour lead many people to join his ranks upon moments of meeting him. The Nasrian merchant in Esperanza says it best:
    “And now word has it, he has offered all of you a place in his number. What Vyse wants, he takes. He is a Blue Rogue, but he is a pirate, and if he wants you, then he will have you. You all cannot help but be drawn in by his charisma.”
    • When the Valuans occupy Yafutoma and repossess the Delphinus, Belleza talks to several of the crew to gain insight into Vyse's motivations, and the sheer amount of Undying Loyalty all of them show for him throws her for a loop.
    • Even Prince Daigo can't help but be won over. Mere days after meeting the Blue Rogue, Daigo admits that if Vyse asked him to throw himself into the abyss, he'd give the idea serious thought.
    • Ryu-Kan, despite remaining stoic, is all too willing to join the crew if it means potentially crafting weapons out of Gigas material.
  • Manly Gay: "Lone Wolf" Lawrence is The Stoic, a good swordsman, and one of the helmsmen for the Delphinus. "Loose Cannon" Lapen is a reformed Black Pirate and a hard-mouthed engineer. Vyse catches them making out in a supply closet.
  • Manly Tears:
    • When Prince Enrique apologizes to the denizens of Esperanza for Valua casting them aside, Don finds himself sobbing for the first time in years.
      • He, Robinson and everyone from Esperanza that joined the Delphinus shed even more when they finally make it through the Rift.
    • Enrique sheds some more onto Vyse's shoulder after Gregorio's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Mercy Kill: Rhaknam/Plergoth cannot die with the Purple Moon Crystal constantly repairing its body, so Fina has to be the one to use Eternum on it and finally grant it peace in death.
  • Motive Misidentification: “Loose Cannon” Lapen’s axe to grind with his adoptive father Centime is not only that he’s wasting his engineering skills, but that he and his wife Carol up and left without telling him where to go. He never knew that a storm blew them all the way to Ixa’taka, where they’d been stranded ever since.
  • Must Have Caffeine: In Fina’s opinion, the best treasure they get from Ixa’taka are the kafa beans and the life-restoring brew they make. Fina greatly misses the drink from her past, and even calls it coffee due to language drift. She’ll even halt sex with Vyse to have her morning cup.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When Lawrence expresses doubt in hitting Bluheim with the Moonstone Cannon in the middle of the storm it's whipping up, Don says that he will, because "this is what you're paid for." In the video game, Lawrence says "This is what I'm paid for." during the Blue Rogues team attack.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • The Ixa’taka Black Marketeer is named Lorenzo, and he’s as much The Alcoholic as Don is.
    • Vyse’s mother is named Relena.
    • Osman’s first name is Rabina.
    • Khazim’s first name is Fasha.
    • Ilchymis’s full name is Ilchymis du Argas, a name derived from the Silvite language.
    • The redheaded female NPC in Esperanza, whose parents perished to the Dark Rift, is named Laurette.
    • The Nasrian bartender in Esperanza is named Fatima, and her mother in Maramba is named Aliya.
    • Robinson’s last name is Caruso, in an obvious Shout-Out to his namesake Robinson Crusoe.
    • Don’s full name is Don Juan Artours.
    • The Yafutoman Emperor and his children have the surname Tokugawa, in an Homage to Tokugawa Ieyasu.
    • Kangan and Muraji have the surname Kurowei.
    • Belleza's first name is Nadia.
    • Daccat's first name was Sahira.
    • Gregorio's first name is Winston.
    • Doc's full name is Doctor David Levinstone.
  • Near-Death Experience: Aika very nearly gets her ticket punched during the party's first encounter with Piastol. It's only Fina's talent for silver magic that saves her at the last second.
  • Nice Hat: The Captain's Hat equip item. In-game, it's just an exceptionally powerful piece of equipment, while lore-wise in this fic, it carries a bit of power from every past wearer, from its original wearer Daccat, to the Larso clan head, and finally to Vyse. It even bears two red and blue ribbons that correspond to Daccat's two wives, and now that it's Vyse's, he plans to add a silver ribbon to it.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Aika and Fina are seen taking birth control medicine after their shared Relationship Upgrade with Vyse. It even leads to the crew seeking out Ilchymis early, as the medicine they use is too strong for their liking.
  • Not So Different:
    • During their separation in Nasrad, Aika despairs over what happens if they find Vyse and he chooses Fina over her. Fina recognises her depressed sobbing for what it is, and admits to knowing what it feels like being second best - being the second Silvite chosen for the mission after all.
    • When Moegi and Enrique first converse, she confronts him about abandoning his duty to the throne for honour, and Enrique admits that he felt trapped by his position on the throne, a mere useless figurehead, and part of his motivation was to break free of that and enact real change. Little does he know, Moegi is grappling with the same dilemma of being nothing more than a royal figurehead bound by duty to marry and continue the royal bloodline.
      • Fina later appraises the two royals more as Foils for each other - Enrique sees Valua as flawed and his position as the Crown Prince as useless, and though he could have just stayed and plugged his ears, it was a hard decision for him to leave and join Vyse to try and stop Valua. In contrast, Moegi sees Yafutoma as fine just the way it is and her new position as the new heir of the utmost importance, and though she could've just flown away to find her brother, it is a hard decision for her to remain and do her duty as princess of the kingdom.
  • Not So Invincible After All: The Gigas, as weapons of mass destruction of the Old World, were thought to be invincible, unbeatable even by an entire fleet of warships. That sentiment lasts until the Delphinus's Moonstone Cannon's makes Bluheim bleed, and the crew is heartened with the knowledge that if it bleeds, it can die.
  • #1 Dime: Daccat’s Coin is this for two different people in two different ways. To Vyse, it is the final treasure at the end of the quest to reunite with Aika and Fina, and represents Daccat’s lesson that the most valuable treasures in life are friends, family and freedom. To the Nasrad guild master, it is a national symbol of one of their heroes (as Daccat was said to be Nasrian), and is needed to rally their people after their city’s destruction. Osman is able to come up with a contract-sealed compromise that gets the guild master to mint personal replacement coins for all of Vyse’s crew, as Membership Tokens and reminders of Daccat’s lesson.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • The Delphinus's final Moonstone blast shears Bluheim's head from its body.
    • Daigo removes Minster Kangan's head for the crime of unleashing the Blue Gigas against Yafutoma.
  • One Degree of Separation/Adaptation Origin Connection:
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. Fatima, the Nasrian bartender from Esperanza who is Named by the Adaptation, meets the identically named innkeeper in Nasrad who helped out Aika and Fina.
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: The Yafutomans are not happy in the least at the Valuan occupation, supported by Minister Kangan or not... but they do show some appreciation of Admiral Belleza arresting several of Vigoro's men when they mistook a female teahouse worker as a prostitute and got violent when they were rebuffed.
    Bystander: You still invader, though. Divine Wind punish you all. But maybe - spare you, red-haired one. Hope - spare you.
  • Overprotective Dad: Centime isn’t as receptive to his adoptive daughter Clara dating the known skirt-chaser Gilder, and his wife Carol isn’t either. It takes Clara showing her mother an intimate portrait that Gilder painted for her and Gilder saying that they would leave if he couldn’t be in a family portrait for them to come around.

     P-Z 

  • Parents as People: Vyse’s mother Relena spends some time warning her son not to string both Aika and Fina along, and to make a choice and let the other down easy. The next morning, later in the chapter, she catches her son and his lovers all in bed together (still sleeping the morning after), and her internal dialogue shows her desperately trying to make sense of what she sees as deviant and unnatural, though she eventually comes around after seeing how peaceful they all look and a morning-after talk with the three of them.
  • Parental Substitute: While growing up, Enrique saw Gregorio as a second father. Which makes it more tragic when the last words Gregorio says to Enrique while he's holding off Galcian are "Goodbye... my son.".
  • The Peeping Tom: Marco is bribed into being one when the crew get him to see which woman Captain Vyse is sharing his bed with. Though he does find out, he is so unnerved and confused at seeing Aika and Fina undressing and his reaction to them that he doesn't tell anyone what he saw.
  • Pirates vs. Ninjas: When Urala and Kirala (in this fic scions of a Yafutoman Ninja clan) join Vyse and his away team on a covert mission, the author invokes a variant of this trope.
    AN: You know what's better than Pirates Vs. Ninjas? Pirates AND Ninjas. Working together.
  • Plot Hole: Wherever possible the story invents new details or otherwise smooths over holes in the original story.
    • For instance during the mission to rescue Fina the Little Jack performs a Gunship Rescue, blasting a train car in half to separate the party from an unbeatable Admiral Galcian. But how did Drachma to know where to shoot? Well when the same scene happens in chapter 5 Aika is tossing around Pyri crystals (magic grenades) and when Galcian corners them Vyse tells her to throw her last one out a window, using it as a signal flare.
    • How would Yafutoma be able to communicate with Vyse and his crew if they'd not had contact for centuries? Answer: with Fina knowing ancient Yafutoman, and Moegi reading everything recorded about the infamous Western pirate Daqat (Daccat) that came to Yafutoma 200 years ago, and whose language is taught rudimentarily to Yafutomans as how to recognise invaders. And even then, their first conversation is quite halting.
    • The "Arcadia is a torus" idea due to the east and west being linked and the north and south being linked is nipped in the bud. Arcadia is explicitly declared to be round and Glacia is located at the South Pole.
    • Also with regards to Glacia, in the game, the crew originally gets to it from above by using the Delphinus to smash through the ice. Aika vetos that idea, citing the ludicrous amount of damage the ship would take on a risk, and advises Vyse to find another way. Instead, they go in through the Lower Sky entrance first - which proves to be a mistake.
  • Polyamory: Vyse/Aika/Fina, natch. It takes some time to grow into it, though, and challenges such as Aika’s initial jealousy of Fina and Vyse’s inability to choose between either of them have to be overcome.
    • Then it's revealed that Daccat had two wives that also loved each other, Yasmina and Kikue.
  • The Power of Hate: The spirits of the Glacians', buried in their city's walls, loathe the Silvites/Silvians with an undying passion, and their hatred is strong enough to bring Fina to her knees with their psychic shouts and knock her friends out. The ringleader says as much:
    Glacian Ringleader: You claim that we are heartless. You’re wrong. It takes a heart to hate. And we hate you, whether you call yourself Silvian or Silvite. We hate you more than you know.
  • The Power of Love: Vyse, Aika and Fina and the love they all have for each other spurs them all on throughout the story. It’s what motivates Vyse to keep surviving while marooned to get back to them, what helps Aika break free from Vigoro’s supernatural charm, and what helps Fina power the Delphinus’s Moonstone Cannon enough to help them escape the Grand Fortress.
  • Power Perversion Potential: The Captain's Hat greatly increases Vyse's strength, which has made his bedroom activities with his girls a lot more energetic, much to their appreciation.
  • Precision F-Strike: Fina exhibits a lot more profanity when it's revealed that not only did the Glacians turn Rhaknam the arcwhale into Plergoth the Gigas, a living beast into a living weapon, their augmentations also regenerate any wounds he takes with enhanced ice, slowly replacing his flesh and preventing him from dying.
  • Prison Rape: While the game plays this trope for laughs, this fic plays it ruthlessly straight.
  • Puppy Love: The little girl Lyndsi develops a cute crush on Marco, much to his disgust. Everyone else finds it either adorable or hilarious.
  • Rags to Riches: Laurette goes from an orphaned girl on Esperanza, with no prospects in life and watching everyone else waste away, to the foreign minister for the entire kingdom of Yafutoma, with a close bond with Prince Daigo himself.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Vigoro’s Attempted Rape was Played for Laughs in canon. Not here. When Prince Enrique hears about it and what Aika did to him in return, he says that his injuries were well-deserved.
    • Moreover, during the Valuan occupation of Yafutoma, some of Vigoro's crew end up getting violent with some of the teahouse workers, mistaking them for prostitutes, and arrested several Yafutoman men who tried to defend them. Belleza is so incensed she puts all of the offending soldiers under arrest themselves, frees the Yafutomans, and overrules Vigoro when he tries to protest. And slaps him for good measure.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Sailing through a tornado-laden sky is going to take a lot longer than a few days, and provisions, fuel and energy are all running on empty by the time the Little Jack makes it through.
    • Raising 10,000 gold in two weeks by just waitressing? Nope, Aika and Fina have to prove their chops as bouncers to earn higher wages (and even manage to turn in some Black Pirates for the bounty money).
    • A dash of Gameplay and Story Segregation in that the Delphinus’s ammo stores are limited on Vyse’s second escape from the Valuan Grand Fortress, and he has to make every shot count.
    • Nasrad’s guild master is fully willing to pay 10,000 gold for Daccat’s Coin… if his coffers weren’t cleared out after paying Vyse the bounty for “Loose Cannon” Lapen and the city wasn't trying to rebuild after Valua's attack, and a draft notice is no good either.
    • When Vize and his fellow actors start trying to impersonate Vyse and his crew for shakedown money, they run into a big wrinkle in Nasrad, filled with people that had actually met the real Vyse and can see right through the impostors. And then they get captured by the Valuan Armada who jump at the chance at taking down the most wanted people in the sky; it's only luck that the real Vyse and his crew intercepted the cruiser on the way back to Valua for the scheduled execution.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: The rough-and-tumble Aika initially has a problem with Fina when they start travelling together, particularly that she’s too weak and frilly to take care of herself (and a tinge of jealousy that she might lose him to Fina). That soon changes after Fina saves her life with a Riselem crystal.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • While traveling from Daccat’s Island back to Nasrad, the reunited Fina, Aika and Vyse take turns talking to Gilder about love while the other two are… reuniting. Fina and Aika mostly spend the time indirectly chastising Gilder for his attitude towards love and how he sees it as either being faithful to one or unfaithful to many, and how he doesn’t deserve Clara who’s never stopped loving him. Vyse takes a softer approach.
    • Vyse doesn't mince words when he chews out his impostor Vize for impersonating him and acting like ruthless Black Pirates in his name, after the latter is rescued from a Valuan ship bound for his execution.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Stated verbatim in Chapter 35 as some of Vyse's best ideas, that which are Crazy Enough to Work. It's also the idea used when leading the Tenkou against the Valuan Armada; with the Armada appraised of Yafutoman engines and expecting guerilla-style tactics, if that's what the majority of the Tenkou use, it'll lower the Valuans' guard enough for Vyse and his mates to board and retake the Delphinus from a direction no-one would see coming - Lower Sky.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • Aika and Fina’s feelings for each other coalesce in the weeks working at the Nasrian bar to earn the funds for a boat to go searching for Vyse, and when they finally rejoin Vyse, they’re fully willing to enter in a throuple between them all.
    • In Chapter 20, Gilder finally decides he’s done running from Clara, and asks her to sail with him for a while longer.
    • In Chapter 38, Enrique and Moegi finally admit their feelings (and Enrique drops propriety and kisses her) when they find the grave of Princess Kikue Daccat née Tokugawa.
  • Rotating Protagonist: The perspective generally flips between the main Power Trio, but occasionally whole chapters are devoted to auxiliary party members and side characters, especially when Vyse starts expanding the crew of the Delphinus.
  • Secret Keeper: In exchange for getting a place to rebuild his damaged fleet, Admiral Bast Komullah promises to keep the location of Cresent Isle, Vyse’s headquarters, a secret.
  • Secret Legacy. Ilchymis du Argas is from an old Valuan family that supposedly came from elsewhere in the world, with the family motto, “Always to guide, never to rule”. Turns out, “Argas” (and the name of Arcadia itself) comes from the ancient Silvite word Arrakad, which means “Moon born”, and his family motto comes from the oath taken by priestesses of the Silver Shrine.
  • Side Bet: It doesn’t take long for a betting pool to stir up amongst the crew of the Delphinus about which girl is Vyse’s paramour, with Kalifa as the bookie.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Princess Moegi. A princess without any martial or magical experience she may be, but in the middle of the battle with Bluheim, she unveils a spiritual power and depth that not even she knew she had and uses what is effectively her Crew Command to shield the Delphinus against Bluheim's storm power.
  • Shield Bash: "Iron Wall" Gregorio knows how to deliver a mean one. Galcian's broken nose can attest to that.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Robinson's last name being Caruso in a clear reference to his namesake Robinson Crusoe.
    • There are some obvious cues from One Piece from the main character possessing a legendary heirloom from a legendary pirate, and bonus points in that they're both hats. Just like how Gol D. Roger's straw hat came into Monkey D. Luffy's possession, Daccat's pirate tricorn, filled with spiritual energy, is eventually given to Vyse by the Larso clan as the Captain's Hat hold item.
    • Admiral Gregorio shouts "Fly, you fools!" when making his stand before Galcian, to allow Vyse, Enrique and the others to escape.
  • Squee!: Both the men of the Claudia and the girls of the Primrose lose their minds when their captains kiss in front of them.
  • Student and Master Team: The two helmsmen of the Delphinus, the Old Soldier Don and the younger Lawrence, form this duo piloting the ship through the battle with Bluheim.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: Subversion. After beating Yeligar and escaping from the Valuan Navy into Upper Sky, the crew barely has a moment to catch their breath before the Delphinus is very nearly blindsided by the Flying Flail discovery, which, as a reminder, is almost as large as the ship.
  • Take Up My Sword: Or in this case, hat. Rupee Larso has his father’s old air pirate tricorn, brimming with spiritual energy. But as Rupee does not wish to be an air pirate, he instead gifts the Captain’s Hat to Vyse instead. It's later revealed to once belong to Daccat.
  • Tengu: This seems to be the basis for the Tenkou's name, as Daigo took the name from "tales of creatures between man and bird, they who had been feared at first and who became protectors and guardians".
  • Technology Uplift: Well-versed in Silvite technology as she is, Fina has no trouble offering her own expertise and upgrades to the Delphinus, such as recalibrating De Loco's inefficient moonstone cannon. When it's revealed that the Valuans have developed wireless telegraph for cross-sky communication, Fina proposes using the Iron Star discovery to develop shortwave AM radio.
  • There Are No Coincidences: When Gregorio and the 2nd Fleet intercept the Delphinus at Esperanza, Enrique wonders if Belleza was smart enough to figure out their circuitous route to the Dark Rift, if Ramirez helped her… or if the Armada was just searching everywhere at once and Gregorio’s fleet got lucky.
  • The Talk: Vyse finds himself giving this to Marco in Chapter 42. While Marco's puberty is certainly a topic, more emphasis is given to the emotional side, as Marco has seen whores screwing in Valua's alleys but has never understood that it could mean any more than that.
  • Translation Convention: When Vyse and his officers first communicate with the Yafutoman ruling family, there’s shown to be a language barrier, which only Moegi and Fina can bypass. Even so, Moegi’s first attempt to speak 200-year-old Mid-Ocean trade language comes out like Asian Speekee Engrish, and Fina’s first attempt to speak 1000+-year-old Yafutoman comes out like badly-grammatical Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
  • Troll: Lapen is this to Belleza after she captures the Delphinus at Yafutoma and tries interrogating the crew for insight into Vyse. His incessant flirting nearly drives her up the wall.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Under King Mathias’s reign, Valua was honourable and just. Then he passed away, his wife Teodora broke trying to hold the realm together, she gave her ear and lent influence to Lord Galcian, and soon, Valua was no longer a noble Kingdom, but an Empire that used slavery and cruel tactics to maintain control and expand its borders.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: The guild masters of the various Sailor’s Guild outposts are all related and look identical at casual inspection, but have distinct differences (like the Nasrad guild master having a scar and a glass eye). He even makes a joke that could be a Take That! against the Nurse Joys and Officer Jennys from Pokémon.
    Guild master: […] our mothers are careful to never reuse names. Can you imagine how much of a headache it would be if we all had the same damn name, seeing as so many of us work in the Guild?
  • The Unfettered: Gilder the Unfettered’s main trait is his irreverence for rules and love for freedom, be it the restrictive laws of the Valuan Empire or the Code of the Blue Rogues, while hating the cruelty of the Black Pirates, and refuses to ally himself with any of them. This attitude also extends to his love life as The Casanova, seeing monogamy as a prison that ties you down. But then he sees Vyse’s relationship with his girls and how Clara helped him escape from the Grand Fortress, and he starts to think that maybe love isn’t a prison, but what sets you free.
  • The Unfought: Vyse doesn't challenge the trio of impostors in this fic; instead he has to rescue them from a Valuan prison ship.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Princess Moegi has no martial experience and no talent for either battle casting or healing magic, but she has a greater spiritual depth than even she ever imagined. When she channels that spirit into the Delphinus, it forms a defensive barrier strong enough to deflect even Bluheim's might.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Vyse tries to defuse his last encounter with Piastol by inviting her to dinner, where she finally meets Doc and realizes that her sister is still alive. However, this instead drives her to demands that Vyse still face her one-on-one, intent on dying at his hand. Moreover, during that fight, she's lost all her previous stoicism and composure as the Angel of Death, now full of rage and emotion.
  • Villain Respect: Admiral Gregorio respects Enrique’s decision to stay with Vyse and change Valua from the outside, saying he’s just like his father King Mathias. It’s even echoed by Vyse, who offers Gregorio the chance to become a Blue Rogue, and though Gregorio respectfully declines, Vyse admits he would allow it in a heartbeat.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • No Easily Forgiven for Drachma’s canon Changed My Mind, Kid moment in Nasr here - after his rescue, Vyse confronts him in private, practically stages a mutiny for leaving him and the girls behind on Maramba, and demands that Drachma show that he can trust him. Drachma, having regretted his decision the moment he made it, does so by acceding command of the ship to him.
    • Fina, rather than express regret at ancient technology, gets furious with the Ixa’takan priest for awakening Grendel.
    • Aika and Fina end up staging an intervention for Vyse when he stays up for way too many shifts taking the Delphinus through Southern Ocean.
    • Moegi has a few choice words for her exiled brother Prince Daigo, when they come to his island of exile after the Valuan conquest of Yafutoma, and instead of immediately pledging his aid, he tells them to remain with him where it's safe.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Vyse asks this of Zivilyn Bane when they encounter him for the umpteenth time in Glacia.
  • Wrench Wench:
    • Aika is your more traditional engineer, willing to get dirty keeping a ship’s engine running at full capacity.
    • Fina also counts, having an extensive knowledge of Silvite and moonstone technology and how to make it work, such as moonstone cannons. She spends most of her time on the Delphinus calibrating the Moonstone Cannon to make De Loco’s (in her opinion) ramshackle design more efficient, and when she tries to explain it to her fellow engineers, it almost comes out as Techno Babble.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Laurette has spent her whole life being overlooked, whether it was from the old men living on Esperanza who only saw her as a part-time serving girl, or on the Delphinus, where even the Blue Rogues only saw her as a non-combatant assistant to Osman and a good translator, but little else. Prince Daigo, on the other hand, saw how she bonded with the Yafutoman merchants, even befriended a local family, managed the aftermath of the Valuan invasion, and even gave him advice on showing mercy to the court's corrupt ministers, and tells her that those skills are why he wants her to become his Foreign Minister and advisor.
  • You Are Not Alone: Throughout the fight against Bluheim, this is the sentiment that Vyse falls back on, from Aika, Fina and Enrique supporting him in keeping the Delphinus and its Moonstone Cannon powered with spiritual energy, to the lesson that Dyne taught him reverberating through his mind.
    Dyne: Being a leader isn’t always about having the right answer, or always looking invincible. You find people willing to share the burden with you. You find people who can give you the answers you don’t have, the ideas you need. You be their strength, and let them be yours. You can wear the mask that people expect around everyone else. Just let it down when you have the time to, so that when you can’t put it down, it won’t crack on you.

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