|Last Exile character|
Claus Valca aboard the Silvana
|First appearance||First Move|
|Created by||Range Murata|
|Voiced by||Japanese |
Johnny Yong Bosch (Last Exile)
Micah Solusod (Fam, the Silver Wing)
|Greek name||Κλαυς Βαλκα|
|Date of birth||G.D649|
|Occupation||Vanship courier |
Vanship fighter pilot
|Known relatives||Hamilcar Valca (father) |
Justina Valca (mother)
Claus Valca (クラウス・ヴァルカ) is the main protagonist in Last Exile. He's the son of Hamilcar Valca and Justina Valca; he's also part of the vanship duo with Lavie Head and a fighter pilot to the Silvana. After the events of Last Exile, he moved to Earth and started a farm with Lavie in the manga, Last Exile - Travelers from the Hourglass. Four years later, in the events of the Anti-Luscinia Rebellion, Claus makes his return in Last Exile - Fam, the Silver Wing.
Personality & Character
Claus is a easy-going person with the ambition to become a great vanship pilot. He is a man of his word with strong aesthetics to the vanship pilot code(s); once he accepts a mission he must see it through to the very end. It's because of his reputation as a young skilled and reliable pilot that allows him to fly on advanced missions.
As a child, he was orphaned at a young age and was forced to grow up quickly to survive in city of Norkia. Although his father died on his mission as a vanship pilot, he followed in his father's footsteps and also wished to fulfill is his dad's unfulfilled mission: to cross the Grand Stream into Disith. Because his best friend and navi,Lavie Head, both lost their fathers in the Grand Stream, they both shared a similar ambition as well.
Originally only aiming to become a highly skilled vanship pilot, Claus's world was affected during the Anatoray-Disith War. Claus had recovered Alvis from a dying vanship pilot, Ralf Wednesday. After promising to help deliver Alvis to the Silvana, they were pursued by the Guild because of Al. After being rescued by Alexander Row, but not trusting their intentions with Al, both he and Lavie ended up staying on the Silvana to look after her. It was from there his perspective on life changed and eventually got involved in the war.
After fulfilling his life-long dream with Lavie, there was nothing of value for them to remain in Prester and he and his family (Lavie, Al, and Holly) decided to immigrate to Earth to start a new life. However, the Guilds on Earth was also after Al and it angered Claus to know that the Guild would consider humanity merely as breeders and their attempts to kidnap Al (who he considers a family member). Through that end, he resolved to protect Al from her pursuers once again.
Skills & Abilities
Claus is considered one of the best vanship pilots in both Prester and Earth. Although young, he has enough flight and combat experience to take on a Guild starfish and any battleship of the Anatoray-Disith armada. He's most skilled in sharp turns and evasive maneuvers, earning the nickname "Immelmann" from Dio, for a famous flight maneuver.
He has light brown hair and blue eyes. He is seen to wear a dark brown pilot uniform but his gloves are a much darker brown than what he wears.
At the age of one, Claus's father, Hamilcar Valca (an eccentric nobleman who loved flight), moved with his wife and Claus to the city of Norkia from the Imperial Capital. They moved next door to Georges Head and his daughter Lavie Head. Hamilcar and George became a vanship duo (Hamilcar as the pilot, and George as the navigator) and made income through their missions. Through their fathers, both Claus and Lavie would learn the ways of piloting and navigation and learn their appreciation for flight in the skies.
Life on the estate was calm, but money was tight. Although born from nobility, Claus's family never considered themselves better than commoners and they made enough with work to get by. Claus would often pitch help around the house chores, but to make things interesting, his dad would often do role plays and suggest the tasks are 1-star "missions" to motivate him. Because Lavie is tomboyish by nature, she would rather do the things Claus does.
On Lavie's birthday, the Valca family celebrated with the Head family with a outdoor BBQ. The Head family brought in 3rd-rate water to celebrate this special day. Lavie and Claus worked on making sandwiches while the adults roast the meats. It was one of the most memorable moments in time before tragedy struck Claus.
One day, Claus's and Lavie's fathers departed on a 10 star mission, to cross the Grand Stream to give a message of peace with the Disith, from which neither of them ever returned. This news was brought to them by the only survivor of the mission and it devastated Claus's mother. Lavie is orphaned, but was taken in and stayed with the Valca family (Claus' family). To honor their fathers, they created empty graves for them as a place to honor their deaths.
Unfortunately, tragedy would strike again as Justina Valca (Claus's mother) died from stress and exhaustion approximately two years later, orphaning Claus also. She was buried under the same resting place as the empty graves of the duo's fathers. After her death, he makes the resolution with Lavie to one day cross the Grand Stream together like their fathers.
Although orphaned, the duo had their parents' estates and lived their quietly for a time. Using all they learned from their fathers, the two spend their days attempting to master vanship piloting and navigation. After many trials and error, the duo eventually mastered their fathers' roles and Claus was eager to enter the Grand Stream. Unfortunately, their plans were stalled due to financial problems.
Without any adults helping them, Claus didn't know the family owed money to merchant(s) over their vanship. Choosing to save their vanship over their parents' homes, they liquidated their assets to continue the dream of crossing the Grand Stream. To survive in Norkia, they quickly became one of the youngest duos to join the Vanship Union to survive as couriers. With the help of friends, the two found a open spot above a canal line and built themselves a small shack-like wooden house and continued on as couriers until they can succeed in their ambitions.
Preparing the Norkia Cup & 3-Star Mission
Several years have passed, Claus is 15 years old and continues to live in the small shack-like home he and Lavie made a life out of. Both Claus and Lavie continues to work on their dream to fly to the Grand Stream one day, but currently aiming to be greater vanship pilots first. Recently, the Norkia Cup was announced and they intend to compete in the race.
One morning, Claus was drilling holes into their vanship. The Norkia Cup was going to start very soon and the preliminary "Time Attack" (rank placement in the race) will start later in the day. While Claus is working on vanship weight reduction, he can hear Lavie venting her frustration while making a breakfast sandwich. She's upset because the Disith invasion has inflated engine prices to double and the duo needed a booster system to insure victory in the race; with such unreasonable prices, they are at a disadvantage.
With breakfast ready, Lavie checked with Claus about the weight reduction and he mentions that 30 ounces was taken off; he estimates about 40 ounces after finishing on the ship. To avoid further weight issues, the two agreed to skip breakfast to fly lighter. As the two were thinking about the race, the bell had rang to alarm all freelance pilots of available work. With Lavie's strong enthusiasm to find profitable work for the booster, the two took off and hurriedly flew to the canyon. Ultimately, Lavie decided to take a 3-star mission: delivering a message to David Mad-thane at Minagith from the Mad-thane household. However, Claus was worried because 3-stars entails danger, but Lavie took the mission and Claus went with it.
At the Mad-thane family estate, both Claus and Lavie looked at wonder at the Mad-thane's water fountain. It was flowing with such clean water and Lavie wondered was it drinkable without boiling it. Claus took initiative and told her not to worry by drinking it first, it was good. Lavie tried to get some of the water, but she bumped into the household butler and they showed they're from the Vanship Union, ready to deliver a message to David Mad-thane; they were sent to see Lady Mad-thane
Lady Mad-thane was surprised that the couriers were so young and opposed giving them the job as it was deemed too dangerous. However, Lavie argued that they have exceptional records, proving they're no ordinary teens. Lavie gave the butler their flight record and he confirmed, not even an adult could maintain such a record. Lavie then appealed to Lady Mad-thane, reasoning if they were denied, it would cost an entire day to resubmit their request and have her message delivered. With that, Lady Mad-thane agreed and gave them both money and the letter, specificying that David should be the only person to read it. As they accepted their mission, Lady Mad-thane's daughter, Holly Mad-thane clumsily appeared and requested Claus to help her deliver a letter to him as well and the two happily accepted.
At the skies of Minagith, the duo found the Claimh Solais (the ship that David Mad-thane commands) and requested permission to land. After given permission, Claus performed a clean side-swipe landing, a move that impressed an adult vanship pilot within the hanger. After introducing themselves, the duo was escorted to see Commander Mad-thane. While heading to the bridge, Lavie wondered did Anatoray win and the escorting soldier confirmed with confidence they did. Unfortunately, the victory was short-lived.
An unregistered Disith battlefleet had arrived and began firing at Anatoray fleet. At the bridge, both Claus and Lavie were confused at what's happening as they thought they were winning. It was moments ago that a unsanctioned group of Disith capital ships fired several volleys and hit the Claimh Solais. While a shell hit near the bridge, it wasn't a direct hit, but the shock was enough to knock several of the crew, including the duo down to the floor.
After Claus recovered, he checked on Lavie's condition and she confirmed she was fine. Claus then checked on their message tube and found it safely undamaged on the floor. Lavie then tried to convince the nearby soldier to help them deliver the message to Commander Mad-thane, but they couldn't pass. Claus pulled Lavie behind, stating it was important to deliver the message personally to Mad-thane; the executive officer (XO) felt their presence was a nuisance and had them sent back.
At the vanship hanger, the two found reasons to believe their mission was a success. However, the fact there wasn't even a signature to prove their completion was an upset to Claus; Lavie explained it couldn't be helped as they were kicked out. Claus didn't feel any better about the matter and Lavie thought if they kept a small piece of the Claimh Solais, it would be physical proof they boarded the ship and delivered their message. However, their mission wasn't entirely completed.
When Lavie tried to pull out a metal plate from the hanger, the message tube from Holly came out. It was then they realized they forgot to deliver Holly's letter. Since they were kicked out, they couldn't return to the bridge. To remedy that issue, Claus and Lavie tapped into the ship's communication systems and began reading the message out loud. Unfortunately, the XO wasn't amused and demanded the pilots to be arrested.
To complete the letter as quickly as possible, Claus held in the hanger entrance doorway to delay the soldiers as long as possible before they could reach them. However, Claus delayed barely a minute before the soldiers restrained them and held them at gunpoint. However, they received unexpected assistance from a sympathetic musketeer, Mullin Shetland. He held a fellow officer hostage to help finish reading the letter.
The XO loudly commented with anger on the speaker that neither a child nor a commoner could understand the meaning of chivalry, especially vanship pilots. Claus tried to explain they do understand, but Lavie was angered by the XO's comments and retorted, "Have you ever had a day where you couldn't sleep because you were too hungry!? As far as I'm concerned, your chivalry stinks!" The head officer that was held hostage was angered at Lavie's words and insisted they shoot the duo, regardless if Mullin would shoot him or not. There was about to be a bloody shoot out when Commander Mad-thane intervened.
Mad-thane demanded no soldier would point their weapons at each other as they had still just begun their battle against the Disith. He then acknowledged delivery of the two was completed and requested the two to reply a message for him: to tell his daughter he'll be coming home. Ask they prepared to fly off, Mad-thane asked for their price for such a job and they asked his safe return.
As the two aimed to fly back to the Mad-thane estate, Claus saw how the Disith is chasing the retreating Anatoray battle-fleet. Seeing such unfair conditions, he tried to flying around the Guild ship while Lavie tried to request their intervention. Unfortunately, they didn't listen and Claus decided to stall the Disith ships by interfering himself.
With such limited smoke, it wasn't enough to blind the Disith ships. As Claus was prepared to charge through the nearby Disith ship, a red vanship appeared and told them to follow their lead. The red vanship (Tatiana Wisla's vanship) dropped two bombs and destroyed the ship. Just after that, the Silvana appeared in the combat zone and threw the Disith fleet into disarray. The two flew to a safe distance to observe the chaos and was happy to see the Anatoray fleet had successfully retreated home.
Back at the Mad-thane estate, Claus happily told Holly that his father is well and will return soon. Although the mission was a grand success, their race results suffered for it. Because they were too preoccupied to enter the "time attack" preliminaries, they were rated last in the race. However, they savored the day by drinking some of the water they acquired from the Mad-thane fountain.
Day of the Norkia Cup & 7-Star Mission Transfer
On the morning of the Cup, Claus had been sleeping next to his vanship. He was soundly asleep until Lavie made him get up and stuffed his mouth with a breakfast sandwich. Although tired, his eyes opened wide with surprised as their vanship attained the booster accelerator they wanted. Still with the sandwich in his mouth, he asked (through the sandwich) how did Lavie do it and she explained she got it from the parts dealer in the middle of the night. With the booster, Lavie was confident that their ambitions to win the race is no longer a dream.
At the race, the vanship pilots began taking their positions. As Claus prepared for the race, several vanship pilots (familiars of the duo) flew by and mocked the two. Sunny Boy arrived to mock how the two made it on time without falling asleep, but Lavie retorts she can see his nose hairs (a sensitive subject to Sunny Boy). Then Fat Chicken had arrived and mocked the two for being suited with children cheering for children; Lavie angered him by mocking his weight. Hurricane Hawk arrived and also mocked the duo for not finishing the race last time. However, Claus was focused on the race.
With the waving of the flag, the Claus raced throughout the streets-turned-racetrack of Norkia City. To minimize speed reduction during turns, Claus made sharp turns and utilized the walls of the buildings to help him stay on track without slowing down. After the duo reached 4th place, their next hurdle was to bypass Fat Chicken, but he intentionally flew in a waving pattern to prevent Claus from cutting through him. Flying through the sewage tunnels, Claus made a daring move by flying their ship temporarily underwater to rise right under Fat Chicken and succeeded. Tailing the 2nd place racer, Sunny Boy, the two moved passed him easily as his booster was damaged when bumping into Claus's vanship; their real challenge was Hurricane Hawk.
The two caught-up with Hurricane Hawk at the canyon. With Claus's piloting skills, he bypassed Hurricane Hawk with a barrel roll and prepared the use the booster to win the race. Unfortunately, the timing couldn't be any worse as a unidentified and heavily damaged vanship appeared before them. Although unexpected, Claus used his skills to avert crashing into the vanship, but the damaged vanship crash-landed into the forest. Even though first place, Claus couldn't let a downed vanship go unaided and gave up on the race.
On the ground, the two looked for the downed vanship they encountered earlier. After landing near the open river, the two found a heavily injured vanship pilot. When Lavie tried to check on the navi, the pilot said the person is already dead. He then introduced himself, Ralf Wednesday, the dead passenger, Gita Rjuna, and Alvis. He asked Claus to accept transfer of his mission as he's dying. Claus was surprised to see it was a 7-star mission, but Ralph pleaded with Claus and with Lavie's blessing, he formally accepted the transfer.
To the duo's surprise, Ralph's cargo is Al. Just then, the Guild starfish that pursued him earlier is heard nearby. Ralph volunteered to act as a decoy for the duo to escape with Al, but also warned them to never activate their engines as it has the ability to detect Claudia engines. Before leaving, Ralph asked Claus to take his vanship figurehead and the two ran back to their vanship. The duo then escaped by pushing their vanshp into the river and floated their way across the river to avoid detection. As the two floated down, they heard an explosion (Ralph self-destructed his vanship along with himself to stop the starfish from chasing the duo) and even though Ralph died, Claus actually believed he's still alive.
While flowing down the river, Claus began reviewing the contents of his mission with Lavie. According to the letter, they're to deliver Al under the custody of Alexander Row, captain of the Silvana. Lavie flatly refused as both the captain and his ship is one of the most infamous ships across the skies, filled with great supernatural mysteries. However, Claus was firm about finishing this very important mission.
Hiding From The Guild & Delivering Al
Back at home, Al was placed in Lavie's room to rest while the two make plans to intercept Alex Row. While Lavie tried to make some quick repairs and maintenance over their vanship, Claus made plans to avoid Guild detection by floating across the sewage tunnels to safely make it to the drop point. Although they accepted the mission, Lavie wanted Claus to reconsider as it's a 7-star mission, but to Lavie's dismay, Claus was excited for it. As he loaded provisions to the vanship, he reminded her they accepted the mission on Ralph's behalf, but Lavie pointed out Ralph's fate because of it as well.
The two then went outside to review the night. Lavie was still concerned over the Guild starfish after them, but Claus was more confident, believing Ralph's explosion must've destroyed the starfish; Lavie was more skeptical about that. However, Lavie went with it and decided to prep the vanship's engines before they leave, but Claus didn't want to risk their engine alarming potential threats and had Lavie put it on hold until conditions changed.
Back in their hanger, Lavie expressed strong skepticism over their mission as she re-spun the hanger wires. The Silvana is filled with myths and Lavie thinks they might not survive their mission; although Claus agreed it's a ship filled with rumors, it wasn't enough to deter him. Lavie then mentioned about how the Silvana landed in the village of Mayasa and nobody mentioned about Silvana as everyone died. Lavie explained the last to die was Fat Chicken's grandmother. However, Claus debunked her story as he remembered seeing Fat Chicken's grandmother at the Cup. Lavie continued to argue for her life, but they were interrupted by Al waking up.
The two took Al to the kitchen to have some dinner. At the table, Al asked for Gita Rjuna, but the two didn't have the heart to tell her she was dead. Lavie made an excuse: she was too busy with other things and dropped her off. Al wouldn't eat her dinner and it irritated Lavie that she couldn't do anything for herself. Claus held back Lavie against the sensitive situation, but they were interrupted when Al ran off to follow a vanship.
A random vanship flew by and Al thought it was Gita coming back for her. Claus quickly ran after her and got her back inside in fear of potential danger. Al still wanted to know will Gita return and Claus made a lie, saying she'll return for her tomorrow to get her to cooperate. Just then, Lavie just activated their vanship's engines and Claus was upset that she would turn it on after he wanted it off. However, Lavie argued they would be at a disadvantage if they didn't make the necessary checks to properly fly. Claus couldn't argue her point and dressed up in their pilot suits to prepare for an early leave.
Before sleeping, he went in to check on Al. She was curious about the pictures on the wall and Claus explained those are pictures of him and Lavie when they were younger. Afterwards, Al got tired and went to sleep; Claus was relieved that Al calmed down and he went out to see Lavie. Outside, Claus wondered to Lavie about Al's relevance to the mission, but Lavie warned him not to get too involved. Claus then reminded Lavie that she's all alone, a lot like them at her age. Afterwards, everyone went to bed, but they would soon be visited by the Guild.
While sleeping next to the vanship, Claus was awakened by a feint sound coming from Al's room. When he went inside to check on Al, he held on to her as there was a eerie red light flashing before them, a Guild starfish. The unit unleashed its robotic arms and began attacking, attempting to grab Al. Lavie was also awakened by the commotion and Claus called Lavie to run for it. The duo then grabbed their prepped gear at the hanger and quickly dropped their vanship right below their home and into the water canals. While they escaped, their house was a casualty.
After dropping into the canal, Claus checked on Al. She was alright and mentioned those starfishes are always after her. The starfish then stabbed through the flooring in attempt to get Al and Lavie suggested to turn on the vanship to run for it, but Claus didn't want them to be detected and continued their dangerous silent run. Using the breaking system as a rudder, they drifted themselves through the canal for escape.
Once outside of the tunnel, Claus checked with Lavie over their course and directions. At the incoming fork, Lavie warned Claus it will be their last chance to save themselves. If they make a right turn, they'll make it to the Vanship Union HQ, where they can drop off Al and someone else could be assigned to the task. Lavie pleaded with Claus to give up on the mission, but looking at a frightened Al, Claus decided to see the mission through and made a left turn (to Lavie's dismay).
The trio then entered into another tunnel. This time, it revealed the water glowing. Claus explained to Al that Claudia mineral deposits are washed into the tunnels from the mines, but they're not allowed to take them. Past the mineral deposits, Lavie used a candle lamp to light their remaining journey. Lavie threw over some breakfast, last night's left-over sandwiches; Claus explained to Al that Lavie never forgets preparing for food. Al was enjoying the sandwich for a moment until she started crying. Claus wondered why Al is crying and she tearfully asked over Gita's fate. Claus apologetically confirmed that Gita died. However, there wasn't time to mourn for the dead as moments later, the Guild caught up with them.
As they traveled through the tunnel, there was a spark of light, suggesting they're close to the exit; once they leave the tunnel, they can make it to the temple ruins to drop off Al. However, Lavie realized that they still have a while to go before reaching the exit and they realized it's the starfish. Claus had Lavie quickly activate the engines and the trio ran for their lives. To cut through the starfish, Claus told the ladies to hold their breaths (against Lavie's opposition) as he intends to pushed the vanship underwater for several seconds before flying back out and pass the starfish.
After cutting through the starfish, they ran for their lives as the starfish is in hot pursuit. As they ran, Claus can see the true exit this time and had Lavie prepare the grappling hook. The starfish then fired a shockwave, attempting to use the water's force to down their vanship, but Claus elevated right on the ceiling to evade the attack. The hook was then fired before they exited to the waterfall. They then dragged the starfish with them as they dropped and made a sharp curve back up, causing the starfish to slam into the waterfalls.
Unfortunately, the tactic didn't work and the starfish fired and damaged the vanship. The vanship's fuel tank and air break suffered damage and Claus was forced to crash-land their craft. However, they managed to make it to the temple ruins.
After checking to make sure everyone was okay, they realized they're at the drop point and now they're waiting for Alex Row. Unfortunately, the starfish from earlier still functions and grabbed Al. Claus tried to fight for Al, but the starfish easily knocked him away. The Guild pilot had enough of Claus and he tried to kill Claus, but Alex Row appeared and saved the trio.
The Silvana mechanics took point, Godwin Austin and Gale Frank retrieved and secured Al from the fallen starfish. The two thanked Claus for his hard work, but Claus didn't feel comfortable how the Silvana crew is handling Al; he demands to know what they're going to do with her. Alex didn't want to be bothered and threw his pouch of gold to Claus to pay half the fee for completing the mission. Claus realized the person before him is Alex Row and attempted to demand answers about Al's fate, but Alex ignored him and they left on board the Silvana.
Chasing After The Silvana & Getting Roughed Up
Determined to get the answers he wanted, he went to his vanship and used caulking to seal the craft's hull to make it airworthy again. However, Lavie pointed out even if they managed to get the repairs working, they would still need fuel; Claus went to siphon the fuel off the fallen starfish. When opened, the body of the dead Guild pilot was still inside. They went around the body and drained the fuel out of the starfish and into theirs. During the draining process, Lavie reminded Claus that they completed their mission and it's as far as it goes. However, Claus argues it's not over until they find out about their intentions with Al, a trait that Lavie finds naive in Claus. Afterwards, they began their chase after the Silvana.
When accelerating their vanship, the two was surprised at the power of the fuel. The grade purity was high and it nearly overwhelmed their vanshp, but after Lavie made the necessary adjustments, they were able to fly in control. Because the two never seen a starfish before, they wondered who would have such fantastic fuel and Claus theorized it belongs to the Guild. Just then, a coin fell out of pouch that Alex paid them with; Lavie took the money with them. Claus wasn't happy, but Lavie argued it should be put to good use like maintain and upgrading their vanship. Claus thought it was thoughtful of her, but she argued it's important to be mindful of money. Not long, the duo caught up with the Silvana.
As they reached closer to the Silvana, Claus was ready to charge in, but Lavie noticed a warning message to stay away. Ignoring those warnings, Claus charged through. Under Alex's commands, the ship began firing at the duo. Unknown to them, Alex was just toying with them, just enough to scare them away, however, it didn't work and with some evasive maneuvers, Claus crash-landed on the lower deck of the Silvana. After surviving their crash, the two re-positioned their vanship had it secured before entering Silvana.
Through the entrance door, Lavie wondered why they did they stopped shooting as they had the chance to finish them and Claus figured they didn't to avoid the trouble. They found the elevator and rode up to the vanship hanger bay. They tried to go higher, but they realized this elevator only takes you to certain levels. They entered the hanger and Claus recognized the red vanship they encountered during the battle of Minagith. Claus wanted to feel the ship when the Silvana mechanics crew appeared.
Surrounded, Godwin wondered about their appearance and presumed it had to do with the half-payment. Anthony Kostabi then insulted the two's vanship as scrap and intends to teach them a lesson for scratching up the Silvana. Ethan Pelerin then wondered if it had something to do with the plush lamb doll and Claus used it as an excuse, saying they had to deliver the plush doll to Al in order to complete their mission. Unfortunately, it was a transparent excuse as the crew laughed it off. However, Claus was serious and intends to make to Al to see she's okay; he promised to complete this last task and he'll be on his way.
Anthony reasoned if it was such a simple matter, he'll take the doll and deliver it to Al himself; Claus wouldn't let them do it, stating that he needs to personally deliver it to Al to complete his job. Unfortunately, they didn't sit well with the mech-crew and they began hazing/roughing him up. The crew took turns punching and hitting Claus as the two tried to recover the lamb doll for the mech-crew, but Claus only got hurt. It wasn't until the unexpected appearance of the vanship squad leader, Tatiana Wisla, that the crew stopped messing around.
Tatiana got back the lamb doll for them and gave it back to a battered Claus. As she handed to him, she demanded to know his name. After telling his name, Tatiana and her navi, Alister Agrew, prepped for launch. Before leaving the hanger, Tatiana told Claus to head to the bridge to ask for Al. Claus then asked for Tatiana's name, but she paused. Claus wondered if she's not going to give her name and Alis thought he doesn't know his place. However, Tatiana introduced herself and left. Claus then made it to the bridge to ask Alex about Al. Unfortunately, the beating he took from the mech-crew took its toll on his body and he fainted.
Planning for Escape & Silvana Vs Guild
Afterwards, Claus was taken to a guest quarters where he can rest while Lavie looked after him. To his surprise, Lavie woke him up to reveal Al was okay. Al wondered if he was okay; he admitted that his face isn't the best shape, but he's good. Claus then forced himself to get up. With the three united again, he intends run away together, but Alvis pointed out that his vanship was damaged.
Seconds later, Sophia Forrester, the Silvana's XO arrived with some refreshments and apologized for the Mechanic's mistreatment. Lavie was amazed as the clarity of the water and encouraged Claus to try some, but he wasn't in the mood. Looking at Sophia's face, she could tell he wanted to speak with Alex and he was escorted there for a chat.
At the captain's cabin, Alex and Claus had a chat. Claus wanted to know about Alex's intentions with Al and Alex in turn asked Claus the same question. Claus answered he wanted to protect her, but because he couldn't elaborate on his reasons, Alex felt his resolve was weak and unable to protect her. However, Claus angrily replied she's safer with him than on Silvana. Alex wanted to know Claus's reasons for being up in the skies and just as he was about to mention his ambitions with the Grand Stream, there was a report on a Guild attack. Claus thought the Guild attack is the perfect opportunity to escape the Silvana; Lavie pointed out their ship had suffered damage, but Claus was confident they can escape so long as the engine is still operational.
At the hanger, the mech-crew was busy handling fighter launches and damage control. Claus used the time to quickly repair their vanship enough to get it flying. As the tried to get their vanship running, Lavie had trouble loosening one of the screws and just as Claus was about to help, Gale showed up to assist as well as Sophia for Al. Lavie used her wrench and hit Gale, angry at the fact for such a renown safe ship, they're not doing well; she was also upset that she ended up in such a deadly situation and their vanship being violated as well. Claus reasoned it's why they're going to fly, but Lavie was angry at Claus for being naive in the situation.
Their situation was distracted after a starfish made it to the hanger. Godwin managed to destroy the unit, but not before it severely smashed Claus's vanship. Angered at what happened to his vanship, Claus asked for a fighter vanship to take the fight to the enemy. Surprisingly, Alex didn't mind heavily on Claus's request and given him permission to use one of his fighters. As the mech-crew prepared to launch Claus and Lavie, the crew gave the duo a last-minute tutorial in how to utilize their combat system. After understanding how to use its guns, reloading, and other controls, Claus was ready to fight. However, the battle came to him early.
Another starfish managed to enter the hanger and Claus used his guns to press back the starfish. He then rammed the starfish with his fighter and pushed it out of the Silvana and began engaging targets. Because the fighter vanship is different than what he's used to, he had to learn how to control his ship while attempting to shoot down the starfishes. Unfortunately, the starfishes are extremely fast and maneuverable and Lavie had trouble handling the battle as she feared for her life.
As the battle progresses, a starfish attacked Claus from above and he had to evade incoming fire. To evade enemy pursuit, he attempted a scissors maneuver and switched to a Immelman Turn to shake off their attacker. However, the battle would change as Claus's activities caught the attention of Guild member Dio Eraclea.
Just as Claus locked-on to a starfish, he was interrupted by the appearance as a new starfish (two starfishes combined as one, with Dio Eraclea and Lucciola as the pilots) appeared. Claus tried to shake off his pursuer, but Dio's piloting skills are greater. He attempted to go faster by telling Lavie to push harder on engine output, but that did little to remedy the situation. As the chase continued, the duo realized that the starfish had the opportunity to fire, but didn't; Claus believes the pilot is toying with him.
Claus then tried to disappear within the clouds by pulling a sharp and hard turn to quickly reappear back out in attempts to shoot down Dio from behind. While he succeeded in going behind Dio, he ran out of bullets and needed Lavie to install a new clip, however, Lavie suffered a red-out from Claus's earlier maneuver and has no usable weapons for defense. As Dio continued to chase him, showing he had ample opportunity to shoot him down, he didn't and continued to taunt him. However, his fun was interrupted with the intervention of Tatiana.
Tatiana Wisla just returned from her envoy mission and provided combat assistance to Claus. However, the two didn't know the starfish could split in two. To prevent Tatiana from ruining Dio Eraclea's fun, Lucciola split off to distract her. As Claus continued to evade, Dio once again acquired target, but before he could try anything else, a recall order was given and all Guild fighters returned to their mothership. Without further pursuits, Claus headed back to the Silvana, however, there was a momentary scare as the entire fleet of starfishes that attacked Silvana was flying at his direction. However, to his relief, they passed by him without trouble.
Back on board Silvana, Claus wanted to thank Tatiana, but he got a scolding instead. She felt he wasn't worthy of piloting a fighter and equally felt Lavie was a liability as she suffered a red-out in the middle of a operation. Before she left, she reminded Claus that combat isn't meant to be toyed with.
Back inside Silvana, Al went to greet Claus and Lavie. Seconds later, Sophia Forrester announced over the speakers that they'll be having a special dinner (as a reward for their hard work). Seeing how hungry Al was, the trio headed to the vanship hanger to enjoy a crew dinner. Unlike the "welcoming" they had last time, it was an enjoyable experience for them. Afterwards, the trio went to their shared quarters and slept.
Staying On Silvana & Watching The Skies
Because Claus never learned the truth behind Alex's reasons for having Al, he decided to stay on board the Silvana until he does; he also felt he had the best vantage point to observe the situation developing in the skies on board Silvana while he continues to use the tools of the mech-crew to repair his vanship.
Night at The Casino Royale & Silvana Vs Goliath
While Claus slept in, the Silvana made it to Walker's casino, the Casino Royale, for emergency repairs. The ship quietly docked late in the night and the majority of the crew had temporary shore leave to enjoy the delights of the casino as Walker's crew quickly fixed Silvana's damages. Claus finally awoke around 3:00 AM to find Lavie missing. He later realized the crew headed to the casino and he decided to check it out while looking for Lavie.
At the elevators, Anatoray soldiers pushed him into the rear, where he encountered Alister Agrew. The soldiers pushed in hard as everyone was eager to catch the bird races, but the pushing caused Claus to hit on Agrew's injured arm. Showing concern for her arm, she blushed and thanked Claus for his concern. Unknown to them, Lavie just started a full-blown brawl: Silvana's crew Vs Goliath's crew
At the casino floor, Claus was confused and surprised at the violence in progress. Although not involved with the fight, a soldier pulled him in and threw him down to the side floor. Alister looked after Claus, but the fight ended when Walker intervened. The Goliath's commander, Charles Knowles, was about to slay Mullin Shetland when Walker fired his gun to stop Charles's attack as well as the fight. Things were escalated when Alex appeared. He had his crew return to Silvana, but Charles's ego demanded satisfaction and he threw his gloves at his back, signifying a duel. Under the suggestion from one of his men, Charles suggested a duel between ships and Alex stoically agreed.
On board Silvana, the ship was honoring the rules of the duel by traveling at a specific distance before firing; before Silvana could fire, the Goliath's crew decided to fire ahead in attempt to destroy the Silvana first. Unfortunately, the Silvana experienced minimal damage and returned fire with their new jet-propelled armor-piercing Gatling gun. The weapon swiss-cheesed the Goliath and it was destroyed within seconds of the official signal of the duel. The entire crew, including Claus, was amazed at the destruction of the ship.
Race at Cave Eight & Dio's Challenge
As night turned into day, Claus and Lavie worked on repairing their vanship. While repairing their vanship, Mullin volunteered to join in; he mentioned he has mechanical experience and bragged how he's more reliable than the mech-crew. Claus and Lavie watched as the mech-crew grabbed him and drafted him (with his clothes off, naked) into the Silvana's mech-crew. The duo was happy for Mullin as he found a new job on board the ship. Afterwards, Anthony told the duo that Sophia wanted to talk to them.
The trio (Claus, Lavie Head, and Alvis) went to see Sophia Forrester and she mentioned about attending a 8-hour endurance race; Claus presumes their next destination is Horizon Cave. When asked how did Claus knew, he explained all vanship pilots heard about the race and it's race that vanship pilots would like to enter once in their lifetime. Al wondered what was the Cave Eight was about and Claus explained it to her.
It was unusual race as it involves both the mechanical and piloting skills of each team. The mechanical crew must restore an on-site wrecked vanship into working order and fly the most laps within an hour. Sophia then asked if Claus wanted to enter the race and he easily accepted, but there was an issue with a mech-crew and she granted the Silvana's mech-crew at their disposal. With all matters settled, the duo happily agreed to enter the race. As Lavie and Al went back inside, Claus told Sophia he was happy to be given a chance to race and he given up on racing after staying on board the Silvana. When Sophia asked why he couldn't race, he reasoned the vanships on board Silvana are meant for combat and not for racing. However, Sophia reasoned it's not just the Silvana as all vanship pilots will be needed one day for winning their freedom for the skies.
Nearing Horizon Cave, Claus and the others boarded a transport vanship to enter Horizon Cave. Although there were many things Claus had on his mind, his excitement for the race was all he could think of. Once inside Horizon Cave, the trio worked to unload their cargo. When passing by the city, they looked at wonder at a gigantic hourglass that will be used as the timer in the race.
At the vanship lottery, the crew eagerly awaited for their turn to pick out their vanship. To include Al, Claus encouraged Al to help them pick out the colored ball in the lottery, it was a golden one. When shown to their assigned vanship, it was in dead a heap of scrap and the duo worried if they could ever repair the ship to make it airworthy. As the two talked and planned things out, Tatiana Wisla was also involved in the race (albeit on a secret mission) and objected the amateur duo from entering the race, however, Alex didn't have problem with it and wondered was she ever so weak to begin with. Lavie was affected by Tatiana's words, over her red-out, but Claus encouraged her to not let Tatiana's words get to her.
Claus, Lavie, Godwin, and Gale began working hard on repairing their wrecked vanship. Claus commented because the warped frame, maneuverability will be problematic, but the two pressed on. After finish repairing their vanship, the duo then launched to the skies and docked at the pits before starting the race.
While getting ready for the race, Dio Eraclea suddenly appeared behind Claus, creeping him out when he held him and greeted him as Immelman. Claus jumped away and tried to recover from the creepy encounter, but Dio chased after him. Lavie blocked Dio's path and the mech-crew thought maybe it was a friend. With reminder of Lucciola, Dio introduced himself as Dio Eraclea, but nobody still recognized him. However, Dio's reminders of their recent encounter made everyone realize he was the starfish pilot that chased him earlier. Both Godwin and Gale tried to attack the Guild duo, but their reflexes were strong and they leaped back to their vanship.
Dio then told Claus he simply wanted to greet Claus. He then expressed excitement as Claus would be in the race and he'll give his all to compete with him. Throughout this whole time, Claus was addressed as Immelman, something he doesn't like, but Dio preferred to call him that way. As a compromise, Dio agreed to call Claus his real if he won, something Lavie thought was odd since it's supposed to be a lost deal; Dio explained he won't lose and flew away.
With the wave of the banner and turn of the giant clock, it signaled the start of the race. Unfortunately, Claus had a bad start as their engine stalled, but was quickly fixed and they flew. Lavie warned a well-aware Claus that they must get a feel for their vanship first before trying any risky moves and they began learning how their vanship worked as well as the course.
Within the 6th hour, several vanships had already malfunctioned, but Claus's vanship continues to work fine. As the duo raced through the caverns, several other vanships are attempted to surpass their lead, but Claus's use of thrust helped the duo maintain their lead and even caused several vanships to crash. Through all of this, Dio maintained a close distance with Claus and even blew a creepy kiss to Claus to compliment his skills.
The 8th hour nighs as Claus and Lavie performed their final pit-stop before finishing the race. Lavie had Godwin half the tank on refueling to lighten their load and bolted out of the pit-stop to win. However, behind them is the ever-taunting Dio, constantly shadowing the duo. When a neighboring vanshp tried to squeeze through, Claus was disgusted when Dio knocked the other vanshp to crash, defiling the honor of the race. However, at the last stretch of the race, Claus and Lavie won the race.
After the two won the Cave 8, the duo performed a victory lap when the entire city went dark (due to Tatiana's tactical timed bombing during the race). Although they won the race on a half tank of fuel, they now have short supply of fuel and was forced to land. Without proper lighting, they couldn't fly to locate the Silvana on such limitations. As the two took the time to wait and enjoy the victory fireworks, Claus thanked Lavie. He thanked her for her efforts and that she's an irreplaceable navigator to him. Lavie was tearfully touched and thanked him for the praise.
Lavie then wanted to tell Claus an important subject. She mentioned how she understood his reasons for fighting on board the Silvana, but she couldn't do it. Instead, she'll devote her efforts into maintaining his fighter vanship as his mechanic. Claus mentioned the important thing was that they're together and that he's a peace of mind knowing she's maintaining his vanship; Claus promised the next time the two flies together again, it will be to fulfill their ambitions through the Grand Stream.
The fireworks had ended and there's still no reliable source of light to take them back to Silvana. However, unexpected assistance arrived when Dio hooked-on their vanship and offer a ride back to the Silvana. While the duo didn't like the idea of their assistance, they were short on options and reluctantly agreed.
Dio's Minder & Escorting Alex
Back on board Silvana, the mech-crew greeted the winners, but not without them wondering their disappearance (they left earlier to avoid complications after the bombing disturbance they caused). Godwin excused it was because they wanted to prepare for celebration over their victory. Unexpectedly, but not for the duo, Dio and Lucciola arrived in the hanger lift. The two caused a commotion after Lucciola effortlessly knocked out Godwin, but they volunteered to surrender to Alex.
Later in the day, Claus found Lavie hard at work restoring their vanship. He was reminded of their chat earlier, about her being his mechanic instead of his navi until he stops fighting. She then tells him to check on Vanship #5 while she works on their vanship and reminded him of their promise of reaching to the Grand Stream one day, but his thoughts seem to be elsewhere. Just then, Dio appeared to report the "great news" that Alex assigned Dio as his minder (a personnel monitor), much to Claus's dismay.
Dio then confirmed from Lavie that it was she who decided to lose half the weight in the race and Dio credited her as the victor, something Lavie was happy to hear. He then dragged Claus into maintaining his fighter vanship with pointers about the engineering faults of the vanship, however, Claus was not happy with this new "partnership."
While working on his fighter vanship, Dio was amazed at the primitive engineering of the vanship. He then talked about checking out Silvana's Claudia Unit as it's not registered to the guild, but Claus didn't know such things and reminded him the obvious that he can't go there. He was about the explain the obvious reasons when Dio accidentally took out the steering controls. Claus then had Dio stop touching things as he tried to repair his vanship when Alex appeared and had him escort a vanship with him.
Tatiana was upset to find that she's being passed off for Claus. She reasoned he's not suitable to go since he doesn't have a navi, but Alis volunteered to help Claus (to Tatiana's disappointment). Claus was merely a bystander in all of this, but couldn't help look over Tatian's down expression. He later escorted Alex to his rendezvous point and landed near the tattered ruins of unknown design.
At the tip of a mountain, Alis used her navigation skills to study the skies. When Claus inquired what she was doing, she explained she was observing the stars, but the stars has been unreliable as of late. She said even if you see the stars, you can't get a correct bearing; she believes something is happening in the skies. Afterwards, the two began descending down back to their vanship. It was this time a terrible rumble began and Claus was surprised to see a battleship appear right before him. Tatiana explained the ship before his eyes is the Urbanus and that he should take a good look at it before he loses the chance.
After completing his mission, he went to the gym to find Al on the swings. When he checked on her, she was in a frozen state and was glowing. Believing Dio had something to do with it, he demanded answers, but Dio merely explained he recited a poem (technically true, but it was also Exile's activation sequence). She continued to glow into purple light and Claus tried to snap her out of it as her energies threw Silvana out of control, but couldn't. She then replied to Dio's poetic question, mentioning Exile, however because the poem was incomplete, she returned to her normal state. When asked was she alright, she had no recollection of what just happened. Not long Al snapped back, Sophia made a tactical alert announcement: they'll be heading to the Dragon's Fangs to battle against the Urbanus.
Silvana Vs Urbanus Battle-fleet
In preparation to battle the Urbanus, Tatiana debriefed the vanship pilot of what they're up against. She will lead the advanced recon mission, but instead of having Alis as her navi, she chose Claus (possibly to spite Alis and pick on Claus for what happened earlier). Claus didn't object and prepaired for the mission.
On Tatiana's vanship, Claus prepped for his role as navi. Lavie wondered was he up for being a navi while Al mentioned her disdain for Tatiana as she's always unpleasant, however, Claus said he'll give it a try. Lavie tried to warn him of the dangers of being a navi, especially a red-out, but it didn't phase him. He tried to get out of his seat to head to the toilet, but he ripped his pants as a result.
The crew originally expected a ship-to-ship battle with the Urbanus, but to their surprise, it was the entire fleet of Urbanus-class battleships. Alex managed to use their cannons to create a dark cloud to blind the enemy ships while shooting below their blind spots. While the Urbanus-class ships didn't get their bearings, the vanship pilots were scrambled for launch in their recon mission. Before Claus boarded with Tatiana, Lavie and Al came with an extra bag of water, lunch, and his fixed work clothes as a cushion. After being rushed by Tatiana, Claus boarded her vanship and prepped for launch.
While on the hanger lift, Tatiana unpleasantly asked Claus why didn't he leave the Silvana and wondered was it simply a reason for him to fly. Claus never answered, but Tatiana thought if those were his reasons, he should get off the ship as it's not a playground for children. She then guessed again, presuming it's him antagonizing Alex, but Claus explained he just wanted to look after the Al and Lavie and learn the events of the skies; Tatiana find his reasons naive.
The two navigated through the Dragon's Fangs to scout for the enemy. As they flew forward, they found two additional Urbanus-class battlecruisers ahead of them and the scouts informed the Silvana of the situation: a total of 5 Urbanus-class ships surround them in a pincer attack. As the two ships began using their wing-chainsaws to cut through Silvana, Tatiana and Claus switched from scouting to diversionary. The vanships would use their smoke to create thick black clouds to blind the enemy from accurate firing solutions. With amazement, Claus witnessed the Silvana single handedly sunk the Sebastianus and Georgius while the two continue smoke-blinding tactics.
Another two ships fired their grappling hooks to the left and right side of the Silvana. Claus was upset that Alex didn't make a tactical move, but Tatiana snapped back, saying he doesn't understand war tactics. In the meantime, Tatiana attempted to shoot down the Urbanus by firing at the bridge, but no luck. After another attempt, their vanship's engine got hit and was losing control. Concurrently, the Silvana just fired its jet-propelled shells to destroy the upper parts of a nearby rock. The Silvana dragged the two ships with its trust to position them right under the falling rocks to allow the ships to be smashed and sunk, however, the Silvana was sunk as well. Claus could only watch in horror as the Silvana went down.
Crash & Survival with Tatiana
Watching in horror as the Silvana is crashing, Tatiana attempted to fly up-close to the ship to see if they could do something, but the fleeing Urbanus got in the way. With Tatiana emotionally compromised, she began to lose control of flight controls. Unfortunately, to no avail, Tatiana was frozen as they continued to dive downwards.
Falling pass the Dragon's Fangs, Claus made a desperate move to snap out Tatiana: overload the engines. He intentionally stressed the engines to cause the fuel gauge to rupture and splash fuel to Tatiana's face. It was enough to get her to pull up and Claus used the air-brakes to crash-land her vanship.
Shaken, but alive, Claus woke-up and found themselves within a desert land. Unable to get his bearings, he set up some cover for Tatiana as he began making a damage assessment on her vanship. Unfortunately, the damage was critical as the port engine was out.
When Tatiana finally woke up, she shortly realized what had happened and became distraught. Claus himself was holding a metal plate, banging on it with a hammer, mourning those days when Lavie used to wake him up all the time. However, Claus didn't despair, he continued to work on the vanship in attempts to escape the desert. As twilight fell, Claus managed to get the engine started, but due to fuel and power issues, the engine couldn't produce enough energy to fly.
In the middle of the night, Claus awoke to find Tatiana missing, but found her tracks. She walked a distance away from their position, in a depressive state of despair and she believed the Silvana is gone, along with Alister Agrew. However, Claus believed the Silvana isn't destroyed and encouraged Tatiana to work together to find Silvana together.
The following day, Claus continued to repair the vanship's engines through the heat. When Tatiana wanted to drink some water (from the canteen Lavie gave Claus before the mission), Claus asked her to not drink any of it so there would be enough water to fuel the vanship. In anger, she flung the canteen at his face. However, Claus didn't get angry and continued to work on the engine through the sweltering heat.
Later in the day, twilight again, Claus found a wild bird (the same kind in Walker's casino for racing) and wanted to get Tatiana to help him capture it as a means to escape the desert; unfortunately, the bird over-powered Claus and threw him face-flat to the ground. Claus didn't move for a while and Tatiana thought he might have been hurt, but upon closer inspection, he was fine as he quickly raised his head and hit Tatiana's head as he wondered where the bird went. Watching the bird squawk in anger amongst his fellow birds, the two couldn't help share a laugh. As night fell, as Claus continued to rework the engines and started a chat with Tatiana to help the time pass.
He inquired to Tatiana's reasons for serving on board the Silvana and she explained she didn't have a place to go and served. He also inquired about her nobility status and she confirmed she does come from a noble family house. She wondered how does Claus know and he explained it's due to her lack of appreciation for water (since commoners always worry about water supply and grade quality). While mixing water and Claudia crystals into the engine, Tatiana explained that her family are "abandoned nobles" as they were left behind in the old towns and couldn't make it to the new lands. She went into detail how she worked hard for her life, become top of her class in military school and had a full scholarship, something Claus was impressed with. She also admitted because she was so good that she got cocky over her abilities. Claus then started to talk about his life.
Claus told Tatiana he and Lavie's fathers were vanship pilots. As he was about to go into detail about their peace envoy to Disith, Tatiana was quick to recognize his father's name, Hamilcar Valca. Surprised that she knows, she explained all vanship pilots have heard of his father's mission (crossing the Grand Stream to Disith), something Claus wanted to with Lavie one day. Tatiana then went into the details about the dangerous conditions of the Grand Stream and couldn't help but take in all the details of her descriptions. Claus explained he had only heard of stories from vanship pilots, but never encountered someone who actually braved the Grand Stream before. He couldn't help feel amazed at his father's actions.
After reworking the vanship into a single engine, the two managed to get the vanship to produce enough lift to hover across the desert (a risky gamble as they prioritized their vanship over being hydrated). With the vanship successfully working, the two flew across the desert to find the Silvana. Tatiana suggested to find an emergency shelter than the Silvana created for supplies and the two flew throughout the day to reach it.
At the located site, the two traveled on foot to reach there, but was surprised when they were captured by Disith soldiers. The Disith soldiers then binded Claus and Tatiana and shoved their heads to a cannon turret and was about to execute them when refugees from Disith arrived. With the arrival of their people, the soldiers abandoned the duo and ran after the migrant ships.
Although tied up, both Claus and Tatiana wanted to see what was happening and trailed the last soldier running away (Dunya Scheer). The two found the Disith soldiers in shock and mourning as an entire fleet of migrant ships made it to Anatoray, but none of the passengers survived the journey, only leaving various remains of supplies.
Afterwards, the two learned that Norkia had fallen to the Disith. Although not specified, it seemed that the two road on their vanship as far as possible until they ran out of fuel. However, they were eventually found and rescued by Dio and Alister Agrew and returned to the Silvana. Although happy to see everyone was alive, Claus skipped the pleasantries and told Lavie that their hometown had fallen.
Return to Silvana & Lavie's Feelings
Shortly after Alister and Dio rescued Claus and Tatiana, Claus quickly told Lavie at the hanger that Norkia had fallen to Disith control. However, unknown to Claus, Lavie was actually emotionally compromised due to something entirely different: a suggestive romantic relationship between him and Tatiana. Claus loaned his work-clothes for Tatiana to wear during their excursion, but her change of clothes as well as her attitude became the most popular speculative gossip of the whole ship.
Claus never knew about Lavie's romantic feelings and he was perplexed as to why she had hidden herself within her quarters. He tried to coax her out of her room by suggesting they work together on repairing their fathers' damaged vanship, but she couldn't do it and Claus went off with Al to work on repairs alone and give her time. Not long as well, the Silvana was air-worthy again and had lifted off.
Several hours later, while working on their vanship, Lavie had the emotional strength to come out and help with Claus on their vanship. While repairing the vanship together, Claus picked the worst topic he could mention: Tatiana. He told Lavie that Tatiana is a misunderstood person and that she's not bad; he had hoped Lavie and Tatiana to be friends, but Lavie's feelings for Claus overwhelmed her and she started to cry. Completely unaware what was going on, Lavie merely apologized and ran off, leaving Claus confused again.
Unexpected Revelations & Vulnerable Emotions
After Lavie ran off, Alister when to check on her. Moments later, Dio appeared to talk to Claus. He had mentioned he and Tatiana had been the highlight of the crew's chatter and he's bored because Claus dosesn't play with him; Dio reminded Claus he is his minder and Claus merely acknowledge his unusual mention. Dio then flashed a familiar picture, a picture of little Claus, Lavie, with their fathers as well as the vanship couple on the right side.
Claus was angered, believing Dio had went to Norkia and taken this photo out of his home. Claus demanded to know the state of things in Norkia, however, Dio corrected him and said he found it in the captain's quarters. Shocked to know the captain would have a picture of his family, he stormed right into the bridge and demanded answers from Alex as he gave commands to find Delphine Eraclea. After giving out his commands, instead of punishing or yelling at him, they had a private chat in his quarters.
Inside the captain's quarters (while the vanships were deployed for advanced scouting), Claus demanded to know why Alex had a picture of his family. Alex warned him about his readiness in accepting the truth, no matter what it may be and Claus felt getting answers would be better than to live with unanswered questions. With that, Alex began unraveling the past and learn the final details of his father's fate.
Alex first explained that the vanship Claus believed to belong to his father is actually his. On the day he learned about his father's failed mission through the Grand Stream, it was Alex (the only survivor of the incident), that broke the news to him. It was then Claus realized the guy on the right side of the picture was actually Alex. Alex admitted that he was a coward; he ran away from the Grand Stream and even left behind the most important person to him, Euris Bassianus, his significant other. Claus then wondered if Alex saw the final moments of his father's death and he confirmed it as a sight he'll never forget.
Alex explained their vanships were thrown out of control because of Delphine Eraclea. Her ship whipped them away, causing Hamilcar Valca's vanship to lose control and crash onto Exile and Alex losing Euris. Claus asked if the reason why the Silvana's fight against the Guild had been about revenge. Alex explained that Delphine's death and the defeat of the Guild won't mean a thing if the world doesn't change; Claus wondered about that change and Alex explained that only having possession of Exile would change humanity. The mention of Exile peaked Claus's strong curiosity and wanted to know more about it.
Alex explained that Exile is the backbone of the Guild's authority over Prester; it's a power than can destroy the world. Claus asked what would Alex do with such power and Alex said he would destroy it. Claus wondered if it was the reason why Alex fly the skies, but Alex no longer answered. He explained he now knows everything and he's free to go if he doesn't believe in his goals. Ultimately, Claus decided to remain on board the Silvana. Claus then headed to the hanger to work on his vanship.
While heading to the hanger, he saw Sophia without her glasses and her hair down and was curious over downed facial expression, but headed to repair his vanship. After some tuning, he headed to the observation deck and found Sophia again. He commented how nice was her perfume and Sophia thanked him, saying she tried some on for a change of pace. He wanted to ask about her face when passing by earlier, but she changed the subject by suggesting a chat.
Sitting next to a rail with Sophia, Claus wondered why Alex does the thing he does. Alex knew who Claus was and didn't say anything and he idled when he and Lavie suffered in the battlefield; Claus thinks he's no different than the murderous Guild. Sophia defended Alex, saying he had his own pains, but Claus doesn't see it that way because he revealed nothing until he shoved the proof in front of him. Claus felt Alex was going to keep the secrets forever if he didn't confront him over it, something Claus finds unforgivable; Sophia thought it was interesting that Claus would remain to stay in spite of things.
Sophia said got an idea what sort of man Hamilcar Valca was when observing Claus. She also remarked that Alex had great respect for Hamilcar Valca. Claus then wondered why Sophia remains on Silvana as well (because she's in love with Alex and wants to stay at his side), but she couldn't answer and Claus apologized for asking a sensitive subject. However, Sophia was okay with it and was surprised at herself for being so weak, but Claus feels Sophia is a strong person. Grateful for Claus's kind words, she surprised Claus by giving him a loving kiss.
The following day, Claus was playing chess with Dio, but even Dio could tell, Claus's mind wasn't on the game. He then wandered throughout the ship to find Sophia, but the mechanics at the hanger told him "her royal highness" already left. It was then the crew revealed the XO is also the princess of Anatoray. They also revealed she was originally planted on board the Silvana to observe Alex, but she fell in love with him at first sight. Shocked with such a revelation, he walked off with everyone confused over his reaction.
While walking through the corridor, Alvis found him and wondered what he was doing last night. Blushing and embarrassed to mention his time with Sophia, he continued to walk until he walked past her quarters. Unfortunately, the door no longer had her tag, it was ripped; it suggests she'll never return. Thinking over her eyes and the wind through her hair, he missed her and wanted to knock on her door to see if she's there. However, he realized Alex should've had her stay. He stormed into his quarters and wanted to know why didn't he have her stay, but he reasoned Claus doesn't know what he's talking about.
Later at the rec-room, Claus was thinking to himself when Tatiana came by to drop off the clothes he loaned to her previously. She then warned Claus should leave with Lavie soon as they soon will face the Guild. Wondering about Tatiana's intentions, she told Claus that the Silvana is her home, she'll stay and fight.
As night fell, Claus found Lavie still working on their vanship. Claus suggested Lavie to leave the Silvana because of the impending dangers. Lavie wanted Claus to leave with her, but he intends to stay to continue his observations of the skies through Silvana. It was also that moment that Claus revealed to Lavie that the vanship isn't their fathers', but really Alex's. After telling her the whole story, Lavie resolved that even if it's not their fathers' vanship, it's theirs now. She then reflected and reminded Claus of his focus and drive to travel to the Grand Stream, however, as of late, he's been indecisive about things and it's a unlikable trait to her.
The following day, Claus was still heavy in thought. He sat on the hanger to think over things when Tatiana appeared. When she asked about his decision over leaving Silvana, he said he made a decision over his vanship. Unsure what has happened, Tatiana reminded him of his father's vanship, but he corrected her and said it really belonged to Alex. Tatiana didn't want Claus to turn on his back to himself as well as give up his ambition to the Grand Stream, but Claus felt she couldn't understand. Seeing how he was, she pointed out he was reminiscent of Alex, something Claus felt offended to be compared to and she apologized for it.
Just then, a vanship courier had arrived and the two directed them to the bridge. After Alex received his message from Walker, the Silvana set course for Horizon Cave. When Alex looked at Claus, he couldn't help feeling angry and stormed off. Back outside the landing pad, he asked the old courier if he was afraid of delivering a message to the Silvana (a 5-star mission), but the pilot reasoned he's been doing it too long to be affected. He also mentioned there's a shortage of vanship pilots and even old men like him, from the Retirement Association, was re-deployed for service. Before he left, he told Claus the skies are amazing and for him to try flying, the best experience.
Back at the hanger, Tatiana continued to convince Claus to fly again and he said he will, as a fighter pilot. However, Tatiana felt that wasn't his path and tried to get him back as a vanship pilot. Claus was annoyed as well as angry because Tatiana's overly concern for his life decisions. Before things could continue, Al appeared and invited him to join Lavie to repair their vanship, but Claus excused he was busy, something even Al couldn't believe. The mech-crew also showed up, inviting him to join them to eat, but he passed them off as well.
Alliance Training at Horizon Cave
In between this time, the Disith had already fallen. The majority of their people suffered harshly due to the unforgiving colds of their homeland. Although they originally tried a desperate move to conquer Anatoray to survive as a people, an alliance was made with them as both agreed the Guild was responsible for their suffering. United as the Anatoray-Disith Alliance, the two forces now assemble their forces to prepare taking down the Guild.
At Horizon Cave, Claus and Al walked around the vanship hanger. Claus decided to skip the meal and check out all the vanships that had came to the place. Al wondered was it okay to skip eating with Godwin and the others, but Claus reasoned he wanted to see the hanger more. Al pointed out Claus must really love vanships and Claus agreed. However, Al, even a little girl, could tell he was having trouble making a decision. When Claus tried to excuse it off, Al said he was lying and that she could tell based on his recent unusual facial expressions (something Claus didn't know he was doing); Claus reluctantly agreed.
While walking about, he found a twin-engine vanship that looked a lot like Ralf Wednesday's vanship. When comparing the figurehead, there's a strong similarity in design. It was then a man that looked nearly identical appeared before them, Michael Wednesday, Ralph's big brother.
After telling all that had happened, Mike thanked Claus for taking over his brother's mission and bringing back his figurehead. Mike decided to give away Ralph's figurehead to Claus, as the honor of one vanship pilot to another. Although he was here for the new alliance against the Guild, he realized it's also a chance for avenging the death of his brother.
Just then, Claus noticed vanships flying by and wondered why are elite forces are here; Mike explained that they're here for specialized training against the Guild. Using the ship that Marius Bassianus escaped from the Guild, it's being used as a training tool for vanship pilots. Mike thought Claus was here for such training as well, but he wasn't. As he watched vanships flew by, he recognized three old familiar faces, Hurricane Hawk, Fat Chicken, Sunny Boy. The former vanship racers had also come for the training against the Guild. With Lavie welcoming their appearance, the pilots all went to eat together and discuss current events.
At the cafeteria, having a feast, the three mentioned how this alliance is being funded by commander David Mad-thane. They mentioned it was the commander's idea to utilize vanships in the future of warfare due to his experience with a courier team back in the battle of Minagith. When Claus and Lavie realized it was their actions that caused this, they were deeply saddened. The racers only joked about their involvement, not realize they actually guessed right.
Claus and Lavie tearfully believed they were just helping out. The duo hated the idea that vanships would be used as tools of war, but only wanted to help out the Anatoray battle-fleet at the time; he didn't realize that they would turn vanship pilots into fighters because of their involvement. Claus began blaming himself for what has happened, but Lavie reasoned it's not his fault. He announced to his fellow pilots that he won't run away from the skies he created; he intends to atone for his actions.
Some time later, all the vanship pilots have gathered for their special Guild combat training. While listening to the training instructor, Dio appeared and creepily said he and Claus are shooting stars, something that made him feel very uncomfortable. After training, Anthony told Claus and the gang that Mullin will be leaving the Silvana to return as a musketeer.
At the mess hall, with Al and Lavie, Mullin asked about Claus's next move and he said he oddly like being on Silvana, possibly how the skies look through the ship. He explained he originally stayed on Silvana to protect Al from the Guild as well as the Silvana, but after realizing the truth, he believed that the Silvana is "the safest place in the world." Through his own observations, he realized the crew of the Silvana flies in a sky of their own choosing; he intends to stay on Silvana. Mullin told Claus not to die and Mullin himself explained a sense of duty as a musketeer; Claus made a toast to a reunion one day. As soon as they toasted, Silvana's alert was sounded off, Alex declared departure and Claus returned to Silvana.
Sophia's Return & Capturing Exile
While Claus and Lavie worked on their vanship, Al notified Claus of Alex's appearance. Claus declared he intends to stay on board Silvana as a vanship pilot and Alex simply accepted his decision. He then told Claus to prepare to fly in a vanship, to honor the coronation of Empress Sophia and to get her regards from him.
At the coronation, Claus acted as navi to Tatiana's vanship as they flew throughout the skies in decorative colored cloud patterns. Looking afar, Claus felt Sophia looked different from what he was used to. While flying around, Dio flew upside-down to show-off to Claus of his piloting skills. However, the coronation was about to be disrupted by the very force the newly formed alliance vowed to destroy, Maestro Delphine.
The Guild had came to shower the coronation with Delphine's specially grown roses. While some viewed it as beautiful, Dio went into anxiety shock. Claus could only watch as Dio flew around, screaming in fear. Somehow, Dio calmed down enough to return to the Silvana. Seeing how Dio was earlier, Claus wanted to see if he was okay, but he completely ignored Claus and walked off. Meanwhile, the mech-crew wondered about Sophia's elevation to Empress and Delphine's appearance. Lavie and Al thought the red petals were beautiful, but Claus thought differently, seeing Dio's reaction.
Later, the duo once again worked on their vanship when Gale Frank and Godwin Austin appeared and offered a H-shaped frame to help reinforce the structural strength of their vanship when riding through the Grand Stream. Claus was happy to receive such a gift, but things would get more interesting as Ethan Pelerin announced Sophia's return.
Not long, Sophia made an announcement over the nature of their mission: they'll be joining the battle against the Guild and working in concert with Mad-thane's fleet and the surviving Disith fleet to gain control of Exile as well as get Delphine to surrender. As Sophia spoke the nature of the mission, Claus wanted to speak to Sophia and dropped the new frame to Lavie as he ran off to see her.
Claus managed to catch Sophia heading to her quarters. He wanted to speak with her, but the imperial guard gave him a hard time, however, Sophia allowed it and the two spoke inside her room. Claus anxiously wanted to know Al's role with Exile and Sophia calmed him down before she quietly explained things. When being seated down, Claus couldn't help blush over the view of Sophia's cleavage, but his attention was re-focused when Sophia explained Al is the living key to activating Exile. By securing the Claudia Units from their battleships and taking control of Exile, they'll have the power to defeat Delphine. Claus thought Sophia also thought of Al as "cargo", however Sophia didn't consider Al as tool and promised to keep her safe. She then reached for her old uniform and announced her return; Claus welcomed her coming back.
Back at the hanger, Claus spoke with optimism that Al will be safe on Sophia's word, something Lavie feels skeptical about. However, Claus assures Al's safety with him at her side, something Lavie also sarcastically cheered for. When wondering about Al, the two found her at the rec-room, with the flower petals spilled all over the floor. Dio had gotten upset over the flowers Al presented him with and Lavie explained that there are some things people don't like even if it's fine with other people. The two also noticed a scratched up date on the calender, showing Dio's birthday on the Guild's birth-week observance. The two thinks that Dio is also unhappy over his birthday and Al had the idea of making a birthday cake for Dio.
Later on, the Silvana had reached to the Grand Stream. Seeing their dream coming closer than ever, the duo agreed to walk outside Silvana while in the torrential elements of the Grand Stream. With the help of Godwin, the duo wore specialized gear and had their bodies chained to a harness in case the winds blow them away. Experiencing the very Grand Stream that took their fathers, Claus looked determined than ever to cross it.
After getting a small taste of the Grand Stream, Sophia organized a meeting with all vanship pilots over their mission. Sophia debriefed everyone that they'll be using special drill-anchors to tether their ships to capture Exile. In order to have their vanships navigate safely through the stream, Sophia requested Dio to be Claus's navi in the mission, but due to his fear of his sister, he refused and walked off.
Later, Al had Claus, Lavie, and the mech-crew to throw a birthday party to celebrate with Dio to cheer him up. Claus had given him his goggles as a present and even though worn, Dio was overjoyed nonetheless. Al then presented Dio with a hideous-looking cake (nobody dared to insult a little girl's cake), but to everyone's surprise, it tasted better than it looked. While on silent run, the crew quietly sang a made-up birthday song and enjoyed every moment of it. Soon after, silent running ended as the Silvana had located Exile and announced preparation for retrieval. With Dio's spirits high and the encouragement of the mech-crew Dio happily joined Claus in his mission to hunt down Exile.
As the vanship crew prepped to leave, Dio was very strict about the calibrations on Claus's assigned vanship. Lavie complained that the navi was getting high and might, but Claus allowed it as he was the resident expert to their mission. As Claus and Lavie promised each other to fly through the Grand Stream, Dio interrupted and warned them "flying" through the Grand Stream is deadly as winds out there are 120 knots, capable of blowing them away; Lavie expects Dio to be a competent navi to Claus in the mission.
As the two launched, there were already pilots suffering control problems and had to immediately return to Silvana. However, thanks to Dio's expertise, Claus was able to navigate through the Grand Stream without suffering serious complications. Once they reached to Exile, the vanship pilots were quickly attacked by worm-like defenses that attempt to grab and/or crush enemy targets. Claus and Dio managed to attach one of the anchors to Exile to begin abstraction.
Silvana's Capture & Delphine's Prisoners
Once back on board Silvana, the crew mysteriously vanished and Dio recalls stories of ships losing crew members in such myths, however, it wasn't a supernatural event happening, it was the Guild. At the main bridge, both Dio and Claus were relaxed to finally see crew members when Delphine welcomed their return. The Guild had taken over the ship and Alvis is being held hostage. Seeing how Dio made a friend, with Claus, Delphine invited Claus to join them on their ship. However, Claus only agreed because Al's life was in danger.
While riding the lift to the hanger (Delphine, Al, Claus, and Dio inside), Delphine commented how adorable Al is and that she knew her grandfather, James Hamilton. Dio quietly mentioned that Delphine attempted to kill James on multiple occasions. Delphine then sarcastically mentioned her sadness when Dio disappeared for a long time and he apologized, however, Claus can see the fear as well as anger on Dio's face.
After reaching the hanger bay, Alex appeared before them and began shooting at the Guild members in attempt to free Al and Claus. Although not talented as the Guild, he succeeded in killing most of his attackers. Unfortunately, Delphine's personal guard and elder brother to Lucciola, Cicada stopped Alex before he could land the final blow to end her.
After the Guild secured and tied everyone, Delphine asked Alex about the Mysteria while Claus watched. Alex attempted to negotiate the freedom of his crew, the ship, and Alvis under the conditions of telling her one of the mysterion. However, either intentional or accidental, he quoted the mysterion from the House of Eraclea, Delphin's own house mysterion; it suggested to her that Alex knows all of the mysterions and keeping himself quiet. Claus tried to talk to Delphine about letting Al go as well, but Alex silenced him as Claus isn't in a position to negotiate.
Delphine decided it was time to go and perform the Rite of Covenant for Dio's birthday. Lucciola followed Delphine's commands and restrained Dio to escort him back to the Guild. Claus tried to stop Lucciola, but he pushed him away and warned him to behave himself. Claus reminded him that he's Dio's friend, but Lucciola argued it's futile to resist Delphine's will. As the group was about to move, Al was deeply afraid and went to Claus for comfort, but Cicada stopped her from potentially doing anything funny. However, Delphine didn't care and allowed her to hold onto Claus.
Both Alex and Claus were sitting on board a fighter vanship. It was being held together by a starfish to transport them to the Guild mothership. Lavie was also at the hanger, witnessing everything. Before leaving, Claus comforted her with some words before leaving. He promised to return and will come back to protect her. The starfish then ferried them away to the Guild ship.
Delphine's Guest & Truth Behind the Skies
At the Guild base, situated within the Grand Stream, Claus received a tour from Delphine. Floating on a bubble platform, her followers welcomed her arrival. Alvis was scared and Claus comforted her by telling her he's there for her. He then asked about Dio and she told him he's fearfully anticipating Rite of the Covenant, the day he'll become a man and Delphine hopes Claus to celebrate the occasion together.
In their specialized hanger, Delphine showed where all the Claudia Units dock and then showed him the arena which Dio will perform the Rite of the Covenant before them. Claus didn't know what was this ritual about and asked about it; Delphine explained children become adults through the Trial of Agoon. At a rose garden, Delphine told her affinity for beautiful and adorable things, it's why she love roses. Thinking they should be hungry by now, Delphine had dinner prepared for them to eat.
At the dining room, Claus and Al were given Guild-type clothes to wear and high-quality foods to eat. For appetizers, Delphine gave them a mushroom salad that grows near first-grade water. Claus encouraged Al to try, but she was too afraid to try it. Still worried about Dio and Alex, Claus asked if they'll be joining them together, but his inquiry got on Delphine's nerves and she broke her kindness to tell them it's manners to focus on their food and eat.
For the main course, it was Yak steaks with mashed potatoes (or something close to it). Delphine mentioned that the steaks from a Yak that lives in the coldest regions and it cost the lives of many men to successfully capture the Yak. The thought of so many men dying for this plate made Al very uneasy and Claus tried to get Delphine to send her away, but she continued to talk about Dio's birth-week ritual.
For the second main course, marinated catfish. Delphine said it took 100 gallons of first-grade water to wash away the mud to prepare the dish. Claus couldn't help feel angered as normal people struggled and drank dirtied water while she used first-water for cleaning off a fish. However, Delphine reasoned she had the right above commoners to enjoy the finest pleasures. Just then Cicada reported Dio's transformation has been completed and revealed himself to Claus; unfortunately, Dio was not himself.
Dio's Transformation & Escaping the Guild
Dio appeared aged, taller, and in a trance-like state of mind. Claus was angry and saddened to see Dio in such a state. He told Delphine he finally understood why Dio was so afraid of her, because she can crush his spirit. Looking at a guilt-ridden Lucciola, Claus asked him was he okay with this and Delphine answered for him: It was fine because it's her world. Delphine then suggested Claus to congratulate him as Dio becomes an adult today.
Later, at the arena, before the ritual could begin, Delphine tells Claus that she knows about his desire to understand what's happening in the skies. Delphine then tells him that she's the source of everything; if Claus understands Delphine's actions, he'll know how the skies would turn out. Shortly after, it was time for the Rite of the Covenant.
Delphine explained through her speech (towards her Guild members), the Rite of the Covenant is no less than finding the successor of the next Maestro of the Eraclea clan. All the potential candidates must face mortal combat to earn the right to wield the Covenant Sword, signifying the next ruler of the Guild. Horrified at such a barbaric game, Claus could only partially watch as he shielded a terrified Alvis from Dio's killings in the arena. However, Alvis was the next event.
Delphine thought it was time to move to the next stage of things. When Claus asked about Dio's life in the arena, she said she only cared about the results of the fight and didn't care if Dio died in combat. She told Claus to bring a scared Al along, but he refused; Delphine imposed her will to get Claus to cooperate.
Delphine had Claus and Al board one of their Guild cruisers and observe their attempts to gain Exile. However, the ship's self-defense systems resisted all attempts from the Guild. Claus wondered if Delphine is concerned over the lost of her ships and men, but she felt those that sacrificed their lives for her and touched by Exile is a fortunate thing. While trying to understand what Exile is, a mechanical tentacle appeared and attempted to destroy Delphine's ship, but Exile recognized its Key, Al, and stopped.
It was then that Delphine explained that Exile is a giant transport ship, with the power to take humanity to another world. She then explained that Exile could be the manifestation of humanity's hope and by her controlling Exile, she would forever keep Exile in men's dreams. A matter which she feels as her duty and her reasons for never letting the rest of humanity to touch.
The Exile sent a sensor probe to communicate with Al. Claus didn't want Al to do anything, but Al was in a trance-like state herself, emanating great energies that confirmed to Exile that the key is within the ship. Delphine then brought out Alex to recite the mysterions to gain control of Exile.
Alex appeared from a elevated platform. He had been tied to a genetically modified species of roses, which secrets truth serum into his blood through its thorns; his will was being cut away from the chemicals in his system and he finally couldn't control his actions anymore. When asked about the Dagoberth's mysterion, he cited it and it caused Alvis to reply with an answer that caused Exile to react. Claus wanted to do something about the situation, but Lucciola stopped Claus.
Now citing the House of Hamilton mysterion, Al reacted again and further energy was building up from her body. When asked over the House of Bassianus mysterion, Alex couldn't answer. To prevent Delphine from attaining all the mysterions, he hidden the final one in paper to Sophia. Delphine then ordered Cicada to retrieve the empress and told Al they'll continue some other time. Claus didn't like how she was touching Al and told her to let her go, but the situation was distracted over the victory of the Rite of the Covenant, Dio had won.
In a unspecified chambers (suggestively back at the Guild fortress), Dio walked right pass Claus as he tried to call out for him. Claus reacted in fearful shock as Dio rubbed the blood of his victims on Claus's face as he walked to greet Delphine. He is now the successor of his house and the darling of Delphine. Later at the dining hall, Delphine is playing with Dio as Claus looks at the two, feeling sad at what Dio had become. Delphine then wondered why haven't Claus nor Alvis tried the rose tea or the Kerasion Mousse, but the two couldn't eat any of the extravagant foods as they were all unethically made.
Delphine was later pulled away from spending time with Dio as the Anatory-Disith Alliance had taken control of the Claudia Unit within their capital ships. While she was busy tending to war, Claus tried to convince Lucciola to help them escape with Dio back to Silvana and Lucciola agreed. Taking Claus, Dio, and Alvis to the hanger, where their vanship is parked, he gave Al a special communication device as a necklace and told them to leave with Dio. Claus inquired about Alex, but Lucciola reasoned he can't be rescued and that Alvis's safety takes priority. Before leaving, Claus asked what he alone can do and Lucciola replied that he'll take on those would hurt Dio.
Lucciola had set a series of explosions that broke the lower decks of the Guild fortress so that it would fall out of the sky. With the help of Al and a mentally questionable Dio, he flew away from the falling spiral and crash-landed back on Anatoray. The three fell unconscious for several hours and was rescued by unknown strangers to the Mad-thane estate, currently a hospital for the wounded.
Recovery & Return to Norkia
A few hours later, Claus woke up and he found Lady Mad-thane beside him. He realized he was back in the Mad-thane estate (now converted into a hospital) and was glad to know everyone is alive and well. Because Dio was still resting, he decided to leave him under the Mad-thane's care while he and Alvis attempt to return to Silvana.
Using a vanship, Claus flew back to his hometown, Norkia. Claus returned to his damaged home and began making an assessment of the house. Claus noticed a Rain-bird had landed and thinks it will rain later. While gathering water to drink, Alvis found Lavie's old navi-manual she created when she was younger. When shown to Claus, he explained that Lavie used to ask a lot of questions and noted them in the book to help her become more competent as a navi, something she successfully became.
As day became night, the two needed some food, but everything spoiled since they were gone for some time now. However, knowing Lavie, Claus knew she had a hidden stash of smoked meat (preserved meats can last for months) under the cabinet. While the two dined on some delicious smoked meat, Al's communication necklace started to glow, but no luck in reaching anyone. Just as the Rain-bird had signified, rain had come over the night. Without knowing what to do next, the two sat around the hanger and waited until something changes. Al wondered if Lavie is okay, but Claus was confident in the Silvana's abilities that it's unsinkable. As the night rain passed and morning came, Al's communication device went online again and it reached to the Silvana.
The device has the ability to connect to Claudia Units and it connected to the Silvana's Claudia Unit. Claus made contact with Lavie and she was tearfully glad they survived. After telling her he and Al are okay at Norkia, she wanted to know how they got to Norkia, but there was little time for explanations. Claus was quickly patched to Sophia and he told her that he and Al are okay, but Alex remains with the Guild. She then had an idea of delivering the mysterion to Claus and wanted him to head to the Dragon's Fangs to rendezvous, but the details couldn't be made as there was a sudden energy surge that cut off their connection.
Crossing the Grand Stream & Activating Exile
Rally To Silvana & Guild Interventions
Although unable to restore communication, Claus decided to go through with her idea and flew to the Dragon's Fangs. Using the manual Lavie used when she was little, Al was able to pick up quickly about being a navi. At the rendezvous point, Claus told Al they arrived to their destination and they shortly received a smoke signal to narrow the location point. Although Al was worried about their fuel intake, Claus was confident they'll make it there and punched it.
The two found a floating port and docked on the clamps to board. To their surprise, they were greeted by Ethan. While Claus had many questions over the fate of the Silvana, he said there's not a lot of time and for him to board another vanship. Looking over, Alister Agrew was sitting on stand-by as the next navi for their trip. Before leaving, he assured the Silvana and its crew are fine and that it was Sophia's command to make sure to transport Claus through a series of rally points, each with a fresh vanship and navi for them to reach to the Silvana.
On the new vanship, Al was eager to replay her role as navi, but Claus pointed out she wasn't needed with Alis as the navi. Feeling left out, Alis let Al work as the navi for pre-flight check. The trio eventually reached to the second rally point. This time, Anthony received them and their new navi will be Tatiana in her red vanship.
While flying to the final rally point, Tatiana asked about his thoughts flying in the middle of the skies he wanted to know about. Claus replied with guilt that he felt he couldn't protect nor do much of anything for the people around him that got hurt and feels like a bystander. Seconds later, Tatiana confirmed enemy starfishes heading for them and Claus anticipated with high-speed evasive maneuvers the moment they arrived and fired.
Claus was shocked to know they seriously tried to shoot them as he thought the Guild needed Al (Delphine thinks she didn't need her anymore). While Claus continued to evade, the two starfishes attempted pincer attacks to shoot down Claus, but he always avoided getting shot. Unfortunately, because they haven't reached to their rally point, Claus couldn't drop the excess fuel tanks until they reached close enough to the third port. However, once they reached near the last point, Claus ejected the fuel tanks and pulled a back-drop move to shoot down the fuel tanks. The starfishes were trailing behind him, so he ignited the tanks and destroyed one of them, showing Claus dramatically improved as a pilot. The battle ended as they were near Walker's casino and he used his canons to destroy the last one. At the end of the battle, Tatiana reminded Claus he's not a bystander as he protected Alvis.
At the hanger, Claus had an emotional welcome with Lavie. After the mech-crew complimented on his improvement in piloting, they told him to feast his eyes on the vanship awaits for him: his beloved vanship fully, restored and tuned for the Grand Stream. Claus could one react with his eyes wide open and feel personally touched to see it fully restored again. Feeling it's time to complete their ambitions, Claus told Lavie it was time they complete their promise: Lavie would fly the skies with Claus once again as his navi when he pilots their vanship. Claus, Lavie, and Alvis bid the mech-crew farewell and headed to the Grand Stream.
Upon entering the Grand Stream the two had difficulty in navigating through the rough currents. However, Claus knew about the Rain-birds that know how to reach between Anatoray and Disith; if they find a flock, they can safely navigate their vanshp through. However, a mad Dio appeared before them in a stolen fighter vanship and attempted to shoot them down. While pulling high-speed evasive maneuvers, Lavie sited the rain-birds and the two attempt to follow them in the midst of being chased. However, the danger passed as Dio's madness caused him to fall out of his vanship and disappear (it would be later known he survived due to him being rescued by a Guild ship).
Defeat of the Guild & Moving to Earth
Nearing the end of the Grand Stream, Claus had Lavie punch their boosters to go the distance and the two made it to Disith. The trio shortly saw the Silvana pinned down by the defensive tentacles of the Exile as well as the destruction of Delphine's ship. Claus was worried the mechanical arms might harm them, but Al was confident it wouldn't and she was right, the arms allowed them to fly, and that's when they recited all four of the mysterions and unveiled the true form of Exile, a large colony transport ship.
After the battle had ended, Tatiana had notified Claus and Lavie about finding their fathers' vanship. Tatiana handed the original message tube to Claus and when climbing into their cockpits, they found their bodies. Overwhelmed with emotion, Lavie cried in Claus's arms after finding them after so long. Afterwards, Claus and a select number of people of Prester decided to leave their planet and returned to their ancestor's homeworld.
From a bird's-eye-view, Claus and everyone saw in wonder over Prester. They they watched, Al pointed out to Claus that Lavie's eyes are getting teary. He was surprised to see her getting so sentimental over Prester, but he also reminded her that their journey has just begun and everyone looked forward to seeing their true homeworld, Earth.
On Earth, the bodies of Hamilcar Valca and Georges Head were honored on a cliff by the sea. Suggestively, the two were buried together in their vanship and their grave was decorated with the figurehead of their vanship. To signify peace between Anatoray and Disith, Lavie handed the peace accord to Dunya and they hugged each other in comfort. It was shown later that Claus, Lavie, Al, Tatiana, Alis, Holly, Mullin, Dunya, and Dunya's siblings all live happily together in a settlement, with Claus loving the skies of Earth.
Farm Life & Return of the Guild
In a undisclosed settlement and some time later, Claus, Lavie, Holly Mad-thane, and Alvis built a new home and worked as farmers to survive in their new life. The Mad-thanes sent their daughter, Holly, to Earth ahead of them and entrusted the vanship duo to look after her. In addition, they kept the white bird in Walker's casino as a pet, keeping his nickname, Sleepyhead.
Claus recently worked hard to create a wheat field (likely for making flour and bread) and examining its situation. Lavie and Al came to give him some lunch and to see his progress, but he was concerned because it's not growing as well as expected due to Earth’s soil over Prester’s. While enjoying the peaceful time with Lavie, Claus and everyone was stunned to discover a Guild Starfish had targeted Alvis once again.
Alvis was learning the basics of vanship flight controls with Holly when the starfish appeared and grabbed the entire vanship to take Alvis away. Using a second vanship, Claus and Lavie chased down the starfish to save Alvis. When they reached to them, Claus fired a grappling hook to the hull of Alvis’s vanship.
While holding on, Claus instructed Alvis to use the air-brakes on his cue, but she was scared as she never piloted a vanship before. With some encouragement, Alvis used Claus’s confidence as bravery and calmed down; the starfish began to fire at Claus, but he managed to evade all enemy fire. With Claus’s cue, Alvis slammed the breaks and caused the starfish to close control. The two vanships manage to damage the starfish with a tree trunk and caused it to crash and explode on the ground. Safe from danger, Claus tethered his vanship to Alvis’s to take them home.
Back on the ground, Claus complimented on Alvis’s abilities on her first attempt in piloting a vanship. As the group walked back home, Alvis wondered was it was Claus’s ingenious plan from the beginning to take down the starfish with a tree trunk, but Lavie dismissed it as Claus merely winging it. The idolizing ladies were shocked to find their rescue was completely improvised.
After the incident, Claus, Lavie, Al, and Holly went to the battlecruiser that Tatiana and Alister (this was before the two was assigned to the Silvius) was assigned to. In attempt to learn more about the Guild’s intentions, they left Al and Holly under the protection of the ship to fly in the starfish’s last known direction in hopes to learn more of their intentions. However, Al didn’t want to be left alone and wanted to join the duo, but Claus convinced Al to stay behind. Tatiana and Alister had planned to join the two, but due to assignment issues, a replacement escort was dispatched to cover Claus and Lavie as they attempt to learn more about the Guild’s intentions.
Not long into their investigation, their escort was quickly shot down by another Guild starfish and it grabbed Claus’s vanship. The starfish forced Claus’s vanship to crash, but they weren’t harmed. The starfish pilot revealed himself to confront Claus and began to speak:
“People of Prester, I welcome you to the homeworld. Ideally, you should have been led here by my colleagues...However, I shall not inquire as to whether or not that is indeed the case. That is because the fault of not managing you properly falls partially on them as well. I have...two commands for you. We shall provide full assistance to all returning refugees. In exchange, you will place yourselves under our leadership. That is number one. On this world, with a different and climate and ecosystem than you are used to, there is but one sole means for your “species” to continue to breed and thrive. That is to subject yourselves to our control. This is for your protection. Secondly, you are to relinquish the maiden of the exile to us.”
During the entire rhetoric, Claus got angrier and angrier as the Guild pilot referred to them as something to be controlled and relieving Alvis to the Guild. He had enough and scolded the pilot that they’re free people and also refused to let go of Al. In response, the pilot used his footing to kick off parts of the vanship’s hull to Claus’s face. Lavie tried to shoot the pilot, but his reflexive speed grabbed and threw Lavie out of the ship before she could fire. Just as the pilot was about to grab Al, the might of the Anatoray-Disith battle-fleet arrived to save them and the pilot retreated.
After getting patched up, Claus and the family returned home. Claus had his head bandaged after the scuffle with the Guild pilot. As the night winds down, Claus wondered about Al’s condition as she suffered severe anxiety to sleep. Lavie then reflected if the Anatoray-Disith battle-fleet hadn’t come, they would be in trouble. She also reflected on the strength of the pilot; Claus agreed and also realized she’s being hunted down by the Guild once more. Unknown to them, Al developed a deeper seated fear of the Guild over recent events.
Dinner at Tatiana’s & Meeting Henrick Wisla
Some time later, Claus was summoned to Tatiana’s home for dinner. Apparently, Tatiana’s uncle, Henrick Wisla, also wanted to take a good look at the man Tatiana was so fond of. From the moment Henrick opened the door to “greet” Claus, it was filled with mysterious angst as Henrick “invited” Claus inside for a "chat."
At the dinner table, it was a strong air of tension as Tatiana waited for his uncle to react and Alister ecstatically observed every moment of the situation. Henrick started by introducing himself as Henrick Wisla, uncle and guardian to Tatiana. Henrick wasted little time and went to the point: he accused Claus of getting close to Tatiana to rise his status with the Wisla’s court rank.
Tatiana was quick to defend Claus as he’s confused about the entire situation. Feeling uncomfortable with the situation, Claus used the excuse of his concern over Al to leave, but Henrick grabbed and pulled him in, accusing him of getting too friendly by calling him “uncle.” However, that was Henrick’s delusion as Claus tried to explain he didn’t say anything of the sort. To further confuse Claus (because he never knew Tatiana had feelings for him and their relationship had always been platonic), Henrick loudly proclaimed that Claus will never have his niece. However, Henrick finally changed his tune when he realized who Claus really was.
Throughout this time, Henrick couldn’t figure out the relevance of the name, Claus. It was at that very moment he was yelling at Claus that he realize who he really was: the famed vanship pilot, his exploits on board the Silvana, and a trusted confidant of the empress. After truly understanding who Claus was, his biggest fears about Claus “attempting” to gain rank in the Winsla family changed as he realized he could do the same through him.
Suddenly, Henrick released Claus and completely changed his tune. Henrick politely offered him wine and used the honorific, dono (lord), when calling his name. Claus was still shocked as the sudden shift in attitude and still perplexed as to what is happening; he suggested to leave, but Henrick begged and groveled for Claus to stay and eat. Claus was nice about the whole matter and agreed to eat, but no drinking.
Several drinks later, due to Henrick shoving wine into his mouth, Claus’s face was drunken red-flushed. Tatiana gave Claus some water and apologized for her uncle, explaining he’s a man that takes some getting used to. Claus was nice about the matter and said he was okay with it. He then thanked Tatiana for the food, he thought it was delicious. Tatiana gave most of the credit to Alis (unknown to him, Tatiana was the one who cooked everything for Claus). He then got up to bid farewell, but the wine overwhelmed him and he fell right into Tatiana. To keep him from falling, she held him as he rested in her arms and his head over her shoulders. Unknown to Claus, the Guild had returned for Al again.
Guild Kidnapping & Rescue
The following day, Claus returned to find out that Lavie and Al were captured by the Guild over night. Mullin apologized for his failure to protect the two, but Claus never blamed him. Looking over the wreckage, he found a food tray with food. Holly told Claus that both Al and Lavie reserved food for him and waited for his return. Holly was angry and demanded to know what took Claus so long to return home, but he couldn't answer Holly. He was wrought with guilt because everyone thought he was at a important meeting at the Wisla house, not a dinner where he got drunk and recovered from a hang-over.
Feeling angry and guilty over what happened, Claus blamed himself and tried to take a transport vanship to find the two; Tatiana wouldn't allow it. She reminded him the dangers of taking on the Guild and Claus angrily acknowledge the dangerous situation, but he also blamed himself for them being taken. Later, Tatiana and Claus returned to her battleship and suggested they use a fighter vanship to find the missing two. Feeling also responsible for the situation, Tatiana volunteered to be Claus's navi for the rescue mission.
Soon after, Claus and Tatiana took flight to search for Al and Lavie. After some consideration, Claus realized Al still have the necklace Luciola gave her before and believes it's connected to all Guild communication devices; he believes he can find the girls through it. Returning to the crash site of the Starfish he defeated earlier, he attempted to salvage the ship's communication device. With the help of Tatiana's understanding of Guild tech, they managed to get a position on Al and immediately flew over to investigate.
The duo eventually discover a hidden Guild base, built within a mountain range. However, they were quickly detected and the Guild dispatched Starfishes to shoot them down. Claus manage to handle himself well against advanced Guild ships, but he was unable to bring out his full abilities due to Tatiana's navigation abilities lacking a symbiotic coordination (unlike his bond with Lavie) to fully control their vanship, they were shot down by the Guild.
Although shot, the ship merely suffered pressure Claudia complications from battle damage and they managed to safely crash-land the fighter under the clouds of the mountain. Repairs were quickly done and the two could fly again, but Tatiana's emotions got in the way. During the battle, he called out Lavie's name in the heat of the battle instead of Tatiana; her emotions got the best of her and she demanded to know is she nothing compared to Lavie. Unfortunately, Claus read it as a direct question of her skill, not her insecurity of not romantically measuring up to Lavie (even though he never chose any girl).
Tatiana asked again, but implied it's not related to her navigational skills. She tried to make it more clear, but she couldn't admit her feelings for him and made things confusing. Her anxiety convinced her to refocus on the mission and told Claus to forget what she said. Claus still haven't figured out Tatiana's feelings for him, but stopped her by grabbing her hand and said he thinks she's an amazing pilot, but also believes that's not the answer she's looking for. Claus knows at least that his answer is important to Tatiana and wanted her to clearly ask him so he can give an honest answer. Tatiana was about to explain herself when the duo heard a commotion nearby. Her capital ship, the Dian Cecht, is under attack.
The Dian Chect had come in search of the two, but quickly encountered Guild resistance. Claus and Tatiana launched their vanship to help the Dian Chect. A Guild starfish badly damaged the command bridge and the Captain was badly injured. Just as the starfish was about to make a return, Claus rammed his vanship right into the starfish to prevent the Dian Chect from being destroyed. The Guild pilot was about to return fire and Claus backed off to prevent further damage. The duo then landed right into the damaged bridge and Tatiana rallied the crew for a counter-strike.
Two years have passed since the events of Last Exile. In this time, Claus served as the earliest of the United Kingdom of Anatoray-Disith settlers, serving as a key figure in the eventual discovery of the seed vault left in the care of the Earth Guild as recorded in Last Exile - Travelers from the Hourglass.
Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing - Aerial Log, documents Claus in the time between Travelers from the Hourglass, and Fam, the Silver Wing. Claus sustained serious injuries in a one on one confrontation with an amnesiac Dio, when the latter arrived on Earth tracing his faint memories. While his resulting injuries have confined him to a wheelchair, Claus has forgiven the recovered, and deeply remorseful Dio. Claus' confident promise to heal and find his way back to the skies has comforted Dio. In return, this allowed Dio to find a renewed purpose to make sure the skies will be there to welcome Claus back.
During the events of the Anti-Luscinia movement, including Dio's and Al's escape from the Guild, Claus is resting on the mountainous highlands within his vanship. Lavie arrives with a wheelchair to wake him up for lunch.
United Peace & Grand Race
After Luscinia's plans were foiled, the Ades Federation renewed their policy for world peace. Restarting what the former Augusta attempted nearly a decade ago, Sārā Augusta restarts the Grand Race in attempts to bring world peace again. Learning about the Grand Race, Claus and Lavie attended to observe the race. Dio originally won the race, but due to the fact he won without a navigator, he was disqualified and Tatiana Wisla was the defaulted winner.
Claus's father, he's the greatest inspiration to Claus as a child.
Claus's mother, she was the housewife that tended the land while Hamilcar performed his vanship missions to make income. After her husband's death, she continued to work and took in Lavie, but her health failed and eventually died of illness. With her gone, Claus and Lavie were orphaned, but they survived on their own.
Navigator and best friend to Claus, they both lost their fathers to the Grand Stream, but also inherited their will to also cross it one day. Although their personalities are different, they always thought alike and understood each other in a personal wavelength. Growing up, they did everything together, including learning to become skilled vanship pilots. Somewhere through all this closeness, Lavie developed romantic feelings for Claus, but Claus always treated her as a sister. Although Lavie had always been brutally blunt and honest about everything else in her life, she always kept her romantic feelings private, however, everyone else can see she loves Claus.
In last exile ginyoku no fam, the two of them act like a couple, which eventually happened during the five years break.
The last survivor of the Hamilton family and unofficial Guild member, Al has been a target of interest to all that understood she was the living "key" to accessing the Exile arch-ship within the Grand Stream. Claus couldn't leave a young child behind in fear and vowed to look after her. Throughout the events of Last Exile, Claus had always come to her rescue and helped her whenever she was in need.
After moving to Earth, the Guild returned again, but Claus came to her protection again. It was through Claus's self-less acts that Al started to have a crush on him.
Claus first met Holly after taking a 3-star mission to deliver a message to her father, David Mad-thane. She wanted to deliver a personal message to her father and Claus agreed to help her deliver it. Claus would return optimistic news to Holly that her dad will return to her soon, but things changed afterwards. Because of the on-going war between Anatoray and Disith, Holly's family devoted their efforts to helping the wounded.
After the events of Last Exile, Holly's parents sent her ahead of them to Earth and she stayed with Claus and Lavie.
Crew of the Silvana
Captain of the Silvana, Alex was the one who originally attempted to fly through the Grand Stream with Hamilcar Valca (Claus's dad) and also the one who returned to give Claus and his mother the news of his demise. Because of the many years that had past since Claus had last seen Alex, he didn't remember nor recognize him as the pilot that flew with his dad. Alex had left his vanship behind to the Valca family, but Claus had mistaken it for his father's and maintained it for many years until the two were reunited on board the Silvana.
Because Alex tends to be a intense and strict person, he's often difficult to approach and to speak with. However, after understanding more about Alex and the reasons behind his actions, Claus's anger gave him the courage to speak his mind against the infamous captain.
Sophia is second in command of the Silvana and would later become the empress of the Anatoray-Disith Kingdom. Sophia is the only person to develop any sort of romantic relationship with Claus. In a moment of emotional weakness, Claus comforted Sophia after she was emotionally punished by Alex. To thank him in the way she could only think of, she gave Claus loving kiss, a kiss that Claus would never forget. Unknown to others, Claus developed a crush on Sophia, but she became the empress and he never pursued her and eventually left for Earth.
Lead vanship squad leader, she presented herself as a stiff and rude person around Claus. She would often make impolite comments to Claus to remind him of his incompetence (due to lack of training). Through it all though, Claus was never angry with her and continued to be nice to her. After she had a emotional breakdown, it was Claus that help her recollect herself. After sharing emotions and life & death situations together, Tatiana eventually developed romantic feelings for Claus. Unfortunately, despite her blunt nature, her nervousness over him makes her timid over certain things. While she wants to have something more than a platonic relationship with Claus, she kept her feelings private, but it often confuses Claus as others are aware of it and he can't see past the hints.
Alister was the first girl from Silvana's crew who set her eyes on Claus. During their first meet she was rude to Claus, when he had asked Tatiana's name, but later Alister changes her mind. In casino Claus protected Alister by his own body from the crowd of Goliath's soldiers which was able to smash injured Alister. She was very surprised and confused of that. After 8-hour endurance race and Lavie's refuse to be Claus's navigator, Alister proposes to take her place during negotiations between Alex and Vincent. She tells Claus that she was always navigated by the stars, but now she couldn't trust them to find the right way. She allows Claus to call her 'Alis' that only very close friends can do. There is a secret what Alister really feels to Claus, because she never show her feelings. Also, she was very happy, that Claus had changed her best friend Tatiana.
Notes & Trivia
- Due to ladies competing for his affection particularly Lavie and Tatiana, Claus later earned a nickname of "Lady Killer"
Articles & References