Dead Heat Summer Race!

Prologue: The Summer Goddess's Small Kindness

Ishtar: Emergency! EMEEEERGENCY!!!

Mash: Ishtar...?

Fujimaru 1: Hi, Ishtar. You're looking as divine as ever.

Ishtar: Oho. Nicely handled, Fujimaru.

Ishtar: Always minding your manners no matter the circumstance will help you go far in life! I would expect no less from the [♂ man /♀ woman] who formed a contract with m–wait, never mind that!

Fujimaru 2: You know there're no gems in here, right?

Ishtar: I know that! I checked into such things ages ago! That's not why I'm here!

Ishtar: Where's your sense of urgency...of surprise!? This is a real emergency!

Mash: We ARE how you barged in here yelling at the top of your lungs.

Mash: That, and it's hard not to notice that you seem quite upbeat about this supposed emergency.

Ishtar: Huh? Am I smiling? Really? Gimme your mirror. ...Huh. I am smiling, aren't I.

Ishtar: (...Maybe it's the rush from all the gems I brought so I could exercise my Authority. It...wasn't really that many though... I must be kinda high right now...)

Ishtar: Okay, so I know that must seem weird, but don't worry about it.

Ishtar: It's a deity thing. We always hide our anger behind smiles! You know how it is: even gods handing out blessings might turn around and do some smiting at the drop of a hat.

Ishtar: So just chalk that smile up to the dual nature innate to our divinity. You can't hold us to the same standards as you humans, got it?

Mash: (Nods) ...All right, so what is this emergency then?

Mash: I was just enjoying one of my precious few days off playing reversi and backgammon with Senpai.

Ishtar: I see. Um...those are board games some human came up with, right?

Mash: That's right. I thought playing board games with Senpai would be a great way to spend our day off.

Mash: Since it's always blizzarding outside Chaldea, we obviously got used to indoor recreation.

Ishtar: I-I see. It looked to me like you were just sitting around being bored, but I guess I was wrong. Sorry for interrupting your happy time.

Ishtar: But that is neither here nor there! From now on, no more board games until summer is over!

Ishtar: And don't you give me that bewildered look! This is important, if you hadn't noticed!

Ishtar: You may have managed to restore humanity, Fujimaru, but you're still a Master of Chaldea, right?

Ishtar: Then as soon as you hear this, you'll have no choice but to hop to: I discovered a new Singularity!

Mash: ...!

Fujimaru 1: Okay, that actually IS an emergency!

Fujimaru 2: But we didn't hear anything from the Command Room!

Ishtar: I know. That's because I'm the only one who's noticed it so far. But it's still a big deal.

Ishtar: It may not directly affect humanity...but it WILL affect the world negatively if something isn't done.

Mash: Right. The same is true for all Singularities that have been discovered to date. We have to resolve them, no matter how big or small they might be.

Mash: Do you already have some information on this Singularity's inner workings, Ishtar?

Ishtar: More or less.

Ishtar: There's a certain lord in charge of it, and she's running it right into the ground.

Ishtar: Its land has gone barren, its ground burns day and night, its people have gone berserk, and in all that mess, only the lord grows fatter.

Ishtar: My guess is that this small fry succumbed to greed and transformed the place when she took it over, making it her own.

Ishtar: At first I thought I'd just take care of it myself, but as luck would have it...

Ishtar: This lady's got a number of Heroic Spirits working for her, which of course complicates matters.

Fujimaru 1: A boss and mid-bosses... as usual.

Fujimaru 2: Sounds like a Demon King and his subordinates...

Mash: That sounds like a Singularity that could affect the Foundation of Humanity.

Mash: We should tell acting commander Da Vinci and plan this out as an official mission–

Ishtar: No need for that. This time, I'll be providing you with divine protection personally!

Ishtar: And besides...Da Vinci? She makes running Chaldea seem like this big, super-difficult job, but I could do it just as well as her.

Ishtar: Hehe, in fact, I've been wanting to order Fujimaru aroun–

Ishtar: I mean...

Ishtar: ...offer Fujimaru the honor of taking part in one of my perfect divine plans for a while now!

Fujimaru 1: (This...this can only end badly.)

Fujimaru 2: (She shouldn't have. She really shouldn't have!)

Mash: The goddess Ishtar's divine protection...! That DOES sound like an enticing offer, Senpai!

Mash: Remember the incredible spellwork cast on us in the underworld? That was such amazing divine protection!

Mash: With divine aid from Ishtar, I believe we may just be unstoppable!

Ishtar: I-I see. You're a good girl, Mash. ...A little TOO good for my tastes.

Ishtar: Anyway! You two go get ready to Rayshift. The Coffins are all set up...

Ishtar: ...and I've already bribed some staff members to program the Rayshift for your destination.

Ishtar: Oh! Make sure you bring gear that's easy to move around in. This's going to be more competition than combat!

Ishtar: There'll be hot places...cold places...all sorts of places! So you should be focusing more on comfort than on durability or protection!

Mash: Competition...? Gear that is easy to move around in...? Um, Ishtar...

Mash: If you're going to be running this operation yourself, could you tell us a little more about it?

Mash: Are you going to be helping us take down this Singularity's lord without wanting compensation, or...?

Ishtar: Hehe, typical limited human thinking! No, I will play a much bigger, more pivotal role than that!

Ishtar: There's no need to actually fight the small-timer...the queen ruling this Singularity. It'd be a big hassle, and I don't think she's got much money on her anyway.

Ishtar: Besides, we shouldn't waste our precious summer fighting! Wouldn't you much rather have a fun, flashy festival that really gets wild!?

Ishtar: Last year you spent the summer on a desert island, right? So we need something even better this year!

Ishtar: Don't you agree, Mash? Indoor activities are all well and good, but wouldn't you prefer to make memories with Fujimaru in the great outdoors?

Mash: I, uh, I see... Well, if I'm being perfectly honest, then yes.

Ishtar: Hehehe, right!? That makes all this trouble I've gone to worthwhile!

Ishtar: Okay, so, what I need you two to do is perform this little ritual I cooked up.

Ishtar: It's something I put together myself just for this new Singularity.

Ishtar: If this ritual succeeds, the Singularity will be destroyed, and this so-called lord will basically self-destruct in her own castle.

Ishtar: I mean, you don't want to spend hours on end in the blistering sun fighting wave after wave of overmuscled soldiers, do you?

Ishtar: This way, all you gotta do is complete one little ritual, and you're golden!

Ishtar: Ahh, I really shouldn't spoil you humans like this, but I just can't help myself! Perhaps I'm too kind of a goddess for my own good?

Ishtar: Feel free to show your appreciation by showering me with praise, or offering a mountain of gems in tribute.

Fujimaru 1: You're the best, Ishtar!

Fujimaru 2: (This is really kind of her. Almost too kind...)

Mash: A ritual, huh...

Mash: If completing this ritual is truly all we need to do to resolve the Singularity, that would greatly lower the risk to Senpai.

Mash: But, that would also violate Chaldea's rules, so it's not a decision we can make ourselves...

Ishtar: Ugh, fine, I didn't want to say this because it clashes with my whole divine Authority thing, but I already got permission from Da Vinci to go ahead with it.

Ishtar: “I see. Well, I'm not sure how I feel about trusting you with this, but there don't seem to be any real issues with your plan.”

Ishtar: “All right, I officially designate you as the leader of operations for this Singularity. I especially like how your plan doesn't require any of Chaldea's assets!”

Fujimaru 1: That does sound like Da Vinci...

Fujimaru 2: So everything's ready?

Mash: I see. I'm relieved to hear that the acting commander has given her approval.

Ishtar: Indeed. I've got the location all fixed up, the system is ready, the rules are in place... I've laid just about all of the groundwork.

Ishtar: On top of that, I'm even paying for this out of my own pocke–er, savings–so again, don't be shy about showing your appreciation.

Mash: Ishtar, paying for something herself!? A Singularity is one thing, but this is unheard of!

Mash: We should have Da Vinci take a look at her Spirit Origin, Master! She might be turning into an Alter!

Ishtar: Oh come on, me spending my own money can't be THAT big of a deal! Besides, how am I supposed to place my bet if I don't cover my table stakes!?

Ishtar: Uh, I mean... Wh-what's a little money compared to the fate of humanity?

Ishtar: ...Ahem. Besides, with all these other goddess types running around, I consider it a good deed to remind them all who's still the top deity.

Ishtar: Plus, I really do feel like you two deserve some fun once in a while, since you are technically helping me out and all.

Ishtar: Aaanywho, just do as I say and this Singularity will go away. You have the Ishtar Guarantee on that!

Mash: (Sigh) I see...

Ishtar: Right. Back to the ritual... There's just one problem.

Ishtar: It needs participants! Preferably powerful, first-rate Heroic Spirits who will help and encourage each other.

Ishtar: Here's a pamphlet with the event rules and entry criteria. You two will be running things rather than participating yourselves, but you should both familiarize yourselves with the rules.

Ishtar: We're going to need good, solid operation based on good, solid rules if we're going to have an exciting race, so I'm counting on you two to handle that.

Fujimaru 1: ...Race?

Fujimaru 2: Uh, did I just hear “race”?

Mash: Wh-what are you talking about?

Ishtar: Hehe... There's more than one kind of ritual, y'know. Sacrifices... Dances... Sending gifts of gems...

Ishtar: I'm just taking that concept and running with it! That's right, this ritual...

Ishtar: a race! The Ishtar Cup will be a cannonball run across the entire Singularity!

Mash: ...!

Ishtar: The idea is to carve magical energy directly into the ground by running across the Singularity.

Ishtar: But that's so boring that nobody would ever want to watch it, right? So I thought about it and came up with the brilliant idea of making the ritual a race!

Ishtar: The way I see it, every goddess needs composure and a bit of playfulness. That's why this is going to be a major, Chaldea-wide event...

Ishtar: I've got all the equipment in place to livestream and broadcast the whole thing, so we'll be giving it the full festival treatment. Thanks for helping out♡

Mash: Livestreaming...broadcasting...spectator stands...checkered flags... This sounds like those F1 races I've heard about...

Ishtar: Exactly. Only in this race, Heroic Spirits will be paired into teams and each drive a single vehicle.

Ishtar: Naturally, I'll reward the winning team handsomely. I think a Holy Grail should do the trick, no?

Ishtar: To put it another way, I'll use my divine abilities to grant the winners any one wish they'd like.

Ishtar: After all, if I'm going to liven up the festivities, it's only right that I use my Goddess Powers™ to prepare a treasure or two on par with a Holy Grail.

Fujimaru 1: Palingenesis time! Talk about generous!

Mash: I'm not so sure this is cause for celebration, Senpai.

Mash: I still feel like there's something Ishtar's not telling us about why she's spending her own money...

Fujimaru 2: (Something's still not right here...)

Mash: (Agreed.)

Ishtar: Okay, now that you're all filled in, I'm going to go pass these pamphlets around Chaldea.

Ishtar: I'll also be inviting Servants to join the race myself, so we should get enough participants soon.

Ishtar: Hehehe, I wonder what sort of reckless daredevils are going to volunteer?

Ishtar: Oh well, with a goddess like me making the arrangements, there's no way this race is going to be anything less than a spectacular success.

Ishtar: And furthermore...hehehehe!

Ishtar: Okay, that's all for now. Bye!

Mash: W-wait! I'm sorry, I wasn't planning to say anything, but, I just have to know...

Ishtar: Yes?

Mash: I'm extremely grateful that you've come up with a way for us to remove this Singularity...

Mash: And I suppose I can understand if this is all just one of your divine whims, but, I guess it just seems a little...overwrought?

Mash: I just don't see why this needs to be such a huge event.

Mash: ...Why are you doing this?

Ishtar: Didn't I already tell you? There are a number of reasons, but the biggest one is to make this...

Mash: ...To make this?

Ishtar: The best summer ever!

Team Formation: Fast & Furious & High

Ishtar: Okay... Now that Fujimaru's on board, it's just a matter of getting enough participants involved!

Ishtar: But I think I should choose who to give the crown to myself, seeing as it's the most important part.

Ishtar: There's no shortage of candidates to choose from, but...!

Ishtar: I think I'll trust this vessel's instincts and give it to the ones who look like–I mean to those two!

Nero: There's a flyer here on the wall... “The Ishtar Cup”? “Beat the heat with a cool summer race”?

Nero: A race! How delightful!

Nero: One cannot hear the name Emperor Nero and not immediately think of my superb racing skills! That is, after all, how I won the chariot race at Nero Fest!

Nero: And of course, my victory was strictly an honorable one, with no deceitful skulduggery of any kind.

Nero: I mean, I may have called for the race to be suspended temporarily when I fell off my vehicle...but I had no ulterior motive for doing so.

Nero: ...Nonetheless, I cannot involve myself with this now. A race does sound nice, but I have already promised myself I will go to the beach with Master this year.

Nero: I've even procured a new swimsuit for the occasion. So I shall pretend I did not see this flyer and–

Nero: Oh, Fujimaru! Excellent timing! I was just thinking about you!

Nero: Are you unoccupied at the moment? Is your schedule open? Ah, no matter, I am certain you will free it up even if it is not.

Nero: I have been made to understand that there is a delightful soiree in Hawaii.

Nero: I wish to attend. I am drawn as a moth to flame. But I would be lonely were I to go unaccompanied.

Nero: As you are the one who has formed a contract with me, I trust no further words are needed, Fujimaru?

Nero: Let us go and enjoy a vacation in the tropical seas together!

Fujimaru 1: “I would...but I'd rather see you race.” (Wink)

Fujimaru 2: “You'd look great holding a checkered flag.” (Wink)

Nero: Wh-what's this? You seem more radiant than usual... You gaze upon me with the fiery charm of a goddess exercising her Authority...

Nero: Then you press me against the wall, use one hand to cut off my escape, and whisper sweet nothings in my ear... Umu, I've never seen you so passionate...

Nero: Still, the race... Of course I enjoy racing as well, but...given how spring break turned out, I had my heart set on going to the beach this summ–

Fujimaru 1: “You're the only one I want to cheer for.”

Fujimaru 2: “Please. I want you to take first place.”

Nero: ...! I-I see. So you wish to cheer only for me, do you!?

Nero: Umu! I cannot refuse such a direct confession as that! The beach can wait until next year!

Nero: You wish for me to take first place in the race? Then it shall be done!

Nero: Admittedly, I do not understand why you care so much about this, but I, Nero Claudius, swear I will not fail you!

Nero: And when I win, you shall be prepared to commend me with an embrace worthy of the occasion!

Altria Alter: Hm? I see there is a flyer on the wall... “Ishtar Cup”? “Beat the heat with a cool summer race”?

Altria Alter: ...Hmph.

Altria Alter: Another worthless event. This Ishtar... What a shame to see a goddess so given to frivolity.

Altria Alter: Chaldea is no playground. It is a collection of warriors who abide by strict rules, execute missions with focus and precision, and maintain order.

Altria Alter: In other words, it is an elite unit that does not take vacations, regardless of the season.

Altria Alter: ...Indeed, none are exempt. Though if any deserved such a holiday, it would be Master, given [♂ his /♀ her] exceptional achievements under extreme duress.

Altria Alter: ...And if [♂ he /♀ she] were to go on such a holiday, I suppose [♂ he /♀ she] would wish to visit the beach, as it is indeed summer now.

Altria Alter: The only beaches I know of are fraught with raging waves, but I imagine Anne Bonny could introduce me to a fine resort beach with clear skies and calm seas.

Altria Alter: Very well then. It is decided: I am off to the beach! Fujimaru, you shall accompany me!

Altria Alter: ...Yes, I believe that is what I shall say. Hehe, it seems the summer heat has lifted even my spirits.

Fujimaru 1: “Hey there. I happened to...overhear you.” (Wink)

Fujimaru 2: “Your voice is as lovely as ever, Altria.” (Wink)

Altria Alter: Wha...! How long have you been there...!? And why is your face glowing like that!?

Fujimaru 1: “You know...I'd love to see you take first place.”

Fujimaru 2: “You're the only one I want to cheer for.”

Altria Alter: ...

Altria Alter: ...Very well. Speak not another word. You have made your feelings quite clear. I am not so dim-witted as to be oblivious to the significance of such an act.

Altria Alter: Ordinarily, you ask for nothing. But today, you have made your preferences abundantly clear.

Altria Alter: I am not incapable of understanding another's feelings.

Tristan: ...I am Tristan, merely passing by... I am the Child of Sadness, and an ill-fortuned poet...

Tristan: If I may, my foul-tempered liege: Did you say something? I thought someone was speaking of me.

Altria Alter: Indeed, you are correct! Begone, Tristan! (Blows him away)

Tristan: As you wish, my liege! (Knocked flying) But, what am I to do about this waaall!?

Altria Alter: Unwelcome intrusions aside, I have heard your feelings loud and clear. You wish for me to claim victory in this race, correct?

Altria Alter: an Alter, I cannot indulge in hedonistic pleasures.

Altria Alter: I cannot participate in this race as a king, and so I shall comply by taking a different approach.

Altria Alter: I shall take part in this dubious event by ensuring that it is conducted properly and fairly.

Altria Alter: Heh... Just you wait. When next you see me, I shall have a new class.

Altria Alter: I shall then dominate this Ishtar Cup affair and reign supreme as the greatest maid of all time.

Altria Alter: Once that happens, I expect to hear the rest of what you attempted to tell me earlier. When you do, see that your words of flattery are sufficiently eloquent!

Ishtar: Uh oh, maybe I overdid it a little... I didn't think those two would turn out to be such pushovers.

Ishtar: I feel like I might have just unwittingly set things into motion that may lead to some serious carnage!

Ishtar: Oh well, at least they're both motivated now, and I'm sure Fujimaru will figure out a way to survive somehow!

Ishtar: Still, I don't want to stir the pot up any more than I already have, so I think I'll let Fujimaru handle the rest of the invitations!

Nero: Da Vinciii! It's me! I have need of your convenient genius!

Da Vinci: Oh, Your Majesty. What is you want toda–Oho. Ohoho.

Da Vinci: What a wonderful outfit! You've made a complete one-eighty from your usual masculine getup to showing off quite a lot of skin!

Da Vinci: What a great way to start my day. I'll have to return the favor.

Da Vinci: Tell you what: just for today, I'll give you a 30% hottie discount.

Nero: Thank you, but I am not here for your wares. I am here for your skills as an inventor.

Da Vinci: Oh?

Nero: I have here a blueprint for the vehicle I require. It must be red, and embody speed, divinity, and Rome!

Nero: I want you to use this blueprint to build for me the fastest, most powerful vehicle in the world. And it must be completed by tomorrow.

Da Vinci: Tomorrow!? You want me to build you a custom-made race car, from scratch, in a single day!?

Nero: Correct! But as an emperor, I will not ask the impossible. I have plenty of QP with which I can quite handsomely compensate you.

Da Vinci: I see... Well, let me see the blueprint. ...Hmm, interesting. You clearly did your homework.

Da Vinci: Hmm. If Holmes helped me out, I might be able to handle the engine and frame.

Da Vinci: But I'm afraid that's all I could do, Your Majesty. I just don't have enough helpers.

Nero: Helpers, you say? What sort of help would you require?

Da Vinci: A welder, for one thing. I'd need a highly skilled welder in order to recreate this body as smoothly as the design calls for.

Da Vinci: Next, I'd need a dexterous artisan to put together the more detailed parts. It would also be nice if we had someone who could polish the body.

Da Vinci: Finally, we'd need an engineer–someone who could test the engine and measure its RPM and temperature when it burns gasoline–

Altria Alter: Very well then, I shall find these people.

Nero: What is this!? Who are you, and where did you come from!?

Altria Alter: Heh. I understand your surprise, for I am just as surprised as you are. I was unaware that it was so pleasant to wear a swimsuit.

Da Vinci: Well now, if it isn't the ice queen Altria! I must say, it's a surprise to see you like this!

Da Vinci: What bizarre alternate world did I end up in today!? You're in a swimsuit, AND you're saying you'll find me the help I need to build this car!?

Altria Alter: Indeed. My original purpose in coming here was to have you build me a race car, but it appears Drama Queen here was one step ahead of me.

Nero: How unfortunate for you, Trench Coat. But it IS fortunate that you are quick to grasp the situation.

Nero: Now that you understand I have beaten you to the punch, you may go. There is no place for you here.

Altria Alter: Hmph. If anyone here is fortunate, it is you. Ordinarily I would not hesitate to take your place by force, but today I am here to see justice served.

Altria Alter: At any rate, I took a look at your design, and it does seem as though it would be a formidable race car. It is somewhat evocative of my sacred sword.

Altria Alter: Drama Queen, I presume you shall be participating in the Ishtar Cup? As will I.

Altria Alter: I was planning to compete alone, as I specialize in motorcycles. However, upon closer examination, there is a stipulation in this race's entry rules.

Altria Alter: As you seem to have missed it in your ebullience, I shall enlighten you. Take a look at this here...

Nero: ...Hm? Racers must compete in teams of two, with one driving and one acting in a supporting role...!?

Altria Alter: Indeed. I was as dismayed as you when I first noticed this. A good maid works alone, after all.

Altria Alter: Her role is to serve others, not be served herself. But, such are the rules of this event.

Altria Alter: Thus, I came here intending to procure a vehicle, and happened upon another Servant seeking to enter alone.

Altria Alter: Drama Queen. You and I may not care for one another in the slightest, but we have few options.

Altria Alter: And so I offer you, the lowest of all Sabers, a chance to team up with the greatest. If you can cooperate with Tamamo Shark, you can cooperate with me.

Altria Alter: Do not stand there twiddling that antenna-like strand of hair thinking you will have another chance. You will not. This is a onetime offer. Team up with me now.

Nero: ...I knew you were dull and dour, but I did not know you were so dreadfully blunt as to be THIS dull.

Nero: Very well, I shall overlook your incorrigible insolence. However, I will ask you one thing.

Nero: Why would you go to such lengths to ally with me? Surely there are others you could ask?

Altria Alter: I have my reasons. However, this much is certain: I must win this race, no matter the cost.

Altria Alter: If that means I must work with someone like you, so be it. At this moment, I require a skilled partner more than I do a familiar subordinate.

Altria Alter: You appear to be accustomed to racing, and you seem to have more than your fair share of luck.

Nero: ...I see. So you are utterly determined to win this race. What a coincidence! I am too.

Nero: Very well, I accept your invitation. Fortunately, I have no interest in the reward, so you may have it.

Altria Alter: Is that so? If it is not the reward you seek, why do you race?

Nero: For the honor of victory, of course. That is worth more than any mere physical reward.

Nero: (That said, if this reward will aid Master in some form, I won't hesitate to keep it all to myself.)

Altria Alter: Is that so? For me, it is the complete opposite. I most certainly seek the physical reward.

Altria Alter: (It should be of use to Master, after all. Of course, the important thing is to demonstrate my superior strength above all else.)

Nero & Altria Alter: Heh... Hehehehe...

Nero & Altria Alter: Then it is settled!

Da Vinci: Wow, that was the scariest handshake I've ever seen! You'd think you were about to fight each other to the death instead of team up!

Nero: Hahaha, I can endure some humiliation if it will bring about my victory.

Nero: Very well, Trench Coat–or should I call you Dark Maid?–I shall permit you to join me. But first...

Nero: There is something of utmost importance we must decide. It would be nice if we could do it amicably, but I am sure that is out of the question.

Altria Alter: Ah, yes, I was thinking the same myself. As we are both Sabers, a duel is our only option.

Nero & Altria Alter: Let us do battle to see which of us shall be the driver!

Team Formation: Helena's Summer Vacation <Part 1>

A:Lion: Summer...

B:Gentleman: Summer...

A:Lion: The beach...

B:Gentleman: Swimsuits...!

Gentleman & Lion: The summer event season is here!

Edison: I've been waiting for this moment! Last year's barbecue tournament may have ended in a draw, but this year will be different!

Nikola Tesla: A draw? I see you still refuse to face reality. I quite handily won that tournament!

Edison: Oho, so you remember our match last year, you oddball? I don't know what else I should have expected from the man who showed up at the beach wearing a suit.

Edison: What a truly bizarre idea that was. What was in your head to make you wear such a tight suit? Was it all you could afford? Did it remind you of your boyhood?

Edison: Regardless, it's sad to see one so lacking in fashion sense! It almost makes me wish I could share my all-weather suit with you!

Nikola Tesla: If anyone here has made foolish, bizarre choices in their manner of dress, it is you. Since you seem to have forgotten, let me refresh your memory.

Nikola Tesla: Our venue was a barbecue on the beach! We competed fiercely to prove which of us was the superior cook, even as the blazing sun cooked us in turn!

Edison: Of course I remember that much, you fool! I also remember how I missed my chance to try Japanese beef!

Edison: But that's my only regret! Why, you ask? WHY!?

Edison: Because in the end, you turned pale and had to have Ms. Blavatsky nurse you back to health, all because you were a vegetarian!

Edison: What a right fool you looked! Though I will say you did look quite comfortable, using her lap as a pillow! Some gentleman you are! Wahahahaha!

Nikola Tesla: Do you ever shut that oversized mouth of yours, you overly litigious furball!? That does nothing to change the fact that victory was mine on paper!

Edison: What did you say!?

Edison: That does it! This year, I will prove one irrefutable fact to you on the beach!

Edison: I'm the king of the barbecue!

Nikola Tesla: Bring it on, you mangy plebeian!

Fujimaru 1: They're fighting again!

Mash: S-so I see. Fortunately, they're only arguing about barbecue for the moment...

Mash: But if they were to fight over something serious, it could threaten the entire Command Room...

Fujimaru 2: It's great to see them getting along so well.

Mash: I...can't say it looks that way to me.

Mash: But then, you may be right. They may sound upset, but it's not as though they've come to blo–

Edison: Hrn!

Nikola Tesla: Take that!

Mash: Uh...

Helena: Stop that! What do you two think you're doing!?

Helena: Just because it's summer doesn't mean anything goes. How many times do I have to tell you to use your words, not your weapons?

Helena: You two should be ashamed of yourselves, quarreling like children. If that's how you'll behave, then you can take it outside!

Helena: ...But don't take that to mean it's okay to fight as long as you do it outdoors, you hear?

B:Gentleman (& Lion): ...I'm sorry. Perhaps the summer heat HAS gotten to me.

Helena: That's more like it. What a good boy you are.

A:Lion (& Gentleman): I'm sorry you had to see that... I think I'll go give myself some time to cool down...

Mash: What a skilled mediator you are, Helena.

Mash: The moment you glared at them, they turned meek as little kittens!

Helena: Kittens, huh. Is that some form of modern slang? I guess they ARE like a couple of cute kittens.

Fujimaru 1: I see you keep your cool even in summer, Helena.

Helena: Hmm, I guess I do.

Fujimaru 2: No wonder you're everyone's momer, big sister.

Helena: Haha, you can call me a mom if you want. I don't care about my age anymore.

Helena: I guess I'm just not mentally young enough to run around with all these youngsters anymore.

Helena: Compared to most Servants, I lived a very long life, so if anything, I feel like a granny!

Fujimaru 1: So you're a grandmotherly girl?

Fujimaru 2: So you're a girlish grandmother?

Helena: Hehe, I know, you wouldn't think it to look at me, but I really am an old lady.

Fujimaru 1: Uh-huh. Sure you are.

Fujimaru 2: I find that hard to believe.

Helena: Yeah?

Mash: Mentally young...?

Mash: You certainly do look young, though. Could it be that...

Mash: still retain all your memories from when you were alive?

Helena: You got it. I remember everything from my life, including my old age, as if I'd never died.

Mash: So then, your Servant form IS the real Helena Blavatsky, from when you were at the end of your life?

Helena: Sure is.

Mash: But come you don't look your age?

Helena: Haha, good question. You see–

Fujimaru 1: Don't heroes always materialize in their prime?

Fujimaru 2: Isn't that the case for you too, Helena?

Helena: Hmm, well, yes and no.

Helena: Did I never tell you before that this is how I always looked?

Helena: I put on my granny form whenever I went out in public, but in private, I usually looked like this.

Mash: You mean, you used magecraft? Isn't that–

Helena: Yup. And I'm pretty sure I was in my prime in my twilight years.

Helena: I put a lot of energy into writing my book. Though I was frustrated almost all the time about how I couldn't manage to complete it.

Helena: ... ...

Helena: ...Oops.

Helena: Ahaha! Here I've been trying to be all vague about my mental age, and now I've just come out and said it!

Helena: Hehe. Well, I guess it's simplest to just say that I'm a lot older than I look!

Fujimaru 1: R-really?

Fujimaru 2: I still find that hard to believe.

Helena: Hmm. Really?

Helena: ...Hehe, I see. Thanks. I'll take that as a compliment.

Holmes: Good day, everyone!

Holmes: I just saw Mr. Edison and Mr. Tesla hanging their heads in shame out in the hallway.

Holmes: I presume that once again Madame Blavatsky has succeeded in putting paid to one of their petty feuds.

Holmes: And I can see that from there the topic turned to her seemingly unflappable calm...

Holmes: In turn, she went on to reveal quite on her own that she is much older in mind than she is in body.

Holmes: Furthermore–

Mash: (Y-you really are amazing, Holmes! I can't believe you picked all that up from a cursory glance!)

Holmes: That's very kind of you, Ms. Kyrielight, but I'm afraid I merely happened to overhear your conversation. Now, here is the real problem.

Mash: There's a problem?

Holmes: There is indeed. After all, Fujimaru, you said yourself...

Holmes: What she claims is difficult to credit, is it not?

Holmes: That while she may possess a calm and grown-up demeanor, seeing her as an old woman, even if only in mind, is something you cannot do.

Fujimaru 1: Nope, I can't.

Fujimaru 2: She does give off a motheuh, sisterly vibe, though!

Holmes: There you have it, Madame Blavatsky. [♂ He /♀ She] simply does not believe you.

Helena: !

Helena: ...Mr. Holmes!

Helena: There are some things one should never, ever say!

Mash: H-Helena!?

Holmes: My my, it seems I've truly stepped in it this time. How terribly foolish of me.

Holmes: Ah, would you look at that. I have urgent business far from here that I must attend to posthaste, so I leave you two to deal with Madame Blavatsky. Good day!

Mash: Ah!

Fujimaru 1: He just ran away!

Fujimaru 2: No fair, Holmes! No fair!

Helena: ...

Helena: ...You don't believe me?

Helena: You don't believe me... You don't trust me.

Helena: You don't believe me... You don't trust me... You think I'm a fake... A phony... A fraud...

Helena: Is that what you think of me? Is that how you see me?

Helena: (Mumbles indistinctly)

Mash: P-please calm down, Helena. I don't know why Holmes was so strangely adamant about that.

Mash: But Senpai never said [♂ he /♀ she] doesn't trust you. [♂ He /♀ She] just said that to express [♂ his /♀ her] surprise.

Fujimaru 1: I'm sorry, Helena.

Fujimaru 2: I do believe you, I promise!

Helena: (Mumbles indistinctly)

Mash: ...Helena?

Edison: She can't hear you any more.

Nikola Tesla: Indeed. “Don't believe me,” “don't trust me,” “fake,” “phony,” “fraud,”... Those words remind her of a painful past. They still cut very deep indeed.

Nikola Tesla: Especially when spoken by those for whom she feels great affection.

Edison: Poor thing. She must be flashing back to how the Society for Psychical Research used to revile her when she was alive.

Edison: As far as Ms. Blavatsky is concerned, those words are nothing less than a curse! In Eastern terms, they are akin to poking a sleeping dragon!

Edison: Essentially, whenever she feels something that reminds her of the SPR, she is immediately overwhelmed!

Mash: Uh, th-thank you both for explaining what's going on!

Mash: So then, Helena must have already suffered from those memories when Senpai mentioned that earlier.

Nikola Tesla: Indeed. And then Sherlock Holmes came and dealt the final blow. He is nothing if not skilled in the art of psychological warfare.

Edison: Thus, she suffered not one such blow, but two!

Nikola Tesla: Indeed! Two is far greater than one!

Helena: (Mumbles indistinctly)

Helena: ... ...

Mash: Is it over?

Edison: No, not yet!

Nikola Tesla: Here it comes!

Helena: Wa...

Helena: Waaahhh!

Helena: So that's how it is, huh? Fine! You want to call me a fraud? I'm a fraud! A magician! A conjurer!

Helena: You say there's no such thing as Mahatma? Fine, I'm sure there isn't!

Fujimaru 1: Please calm down!

Fujimaru 2: I didn't say anything about Mahatma!

Helena: It's not like anyone else in the whole world has any idea what I can see and hear! Waaah!

Mash: I-I think...she's experiencing a complete nervous breakdown!

Edison: I was afraid that might happen...

Edison: It's not often she becomes so completely overwhelmed and breaks down, but it HAS happened before...

Nikola Tesla: She is a wonderful woman, full of pride and intelligence in abundance. But as with any feeling person, she can only take so much.

Nikola Tesla: This is what generally happens when she is pushed beyond her limits. And regretfully...we haven't helped matters by depending on her so much.

Edison: We certainly haven't. I feel terrible for my part in this.

Nikola Tesla: Wait. Come to think of it, where did that deerstalker hat-less detective disappear to?

Nikola Tesla: If he hadn't stuck his pipe where it didn't belong, this would never have happened.

Edison: Grrr! You're right! This is entirely his fault! Where did Sigerson-slash-Holmes get off to!?

Nikola Tesla: I'll try searching for him with my radio waves... Damn, no luck. Cursed Holmes! He must have long since made himself scarce!

Edison: ...Grrr. Then I suppose we have no choice.

Edison: You and I have seen this sad sight before. Given the circumstances, it falls to us to set matters right, much as we did once in life.

Nikola Tesla: I don't recall cooperating with you in any prior capacity, you mangy plebeian. But for now, I will humor you and your delusions.

Nikola Tesla: We do indeed have no choice but to join forces and speak to her.

Edison: Indeed... Ahem. Helena. Helena.

Helena: ... (Sniff) What is it?

Edison: You must not get carried away.

Nikola Tesla: You must not let yourself become isolated.

Helena: ... ...

Helena: ... (Sniff) Isn't that...

Edison: Yes. That is what you once told us. There are indeed things in this world that cannot be reached or seen.

Nikola Tesla: It is true. Not everyone can see them, nor can everyone reach them.

Nikola Tesla: You don't need to bear the brunt of every criticism slung your way in silence, but you don't have to respond with anger either.

Nikola Tesla: ...Isn't that right?

Helena: ...

Nikola Tesla: Besides, it pains me deeply to see you so upset, my lady.

Edison: Naturally, that goes for me as well. We want nothing more than for you to be happy.

Fujimaru 1: That's true.

Mash: ...Helena.

Fujimaru 2: I really am sorry if I upset you.

Mash: (I-I don't think you have anything to apologize for, Senpai...)

Helena: ... (Sniff) ...

Edison: (Good, we're almost there! Just a bit more should do it!)

Nikola Tesla: (I know that! But we've gone as far as conventional methods can take us! We need something else that can take her mind off of things...)

Edison: (Y-yes, you're right. What else could we... Hm?)

Edison: (What's that poster there?)

Nikola Tesla: (Let's see. “Come Have Fun Restoring a Singularity!”?)

Edison: (“Get ready to rev your summer engines in the Ishtar Cup!”)

Gentleman & Lion: (A race, huh...)

Gentleman & Lion: (That's it! A race!)

Nikola Tesla: By the way, Ms. Blavatsky! Now that it's summer, what would you say to taking part in a race!?

Helena: ... (Sniff) A race?

Edison: There's nothing like a good race! Once you feel the wind blowing through your hair, you can forget all your troubles, my lady.

Nikola Tesla: Indeed, there truly is nothing like a good race. For once, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Edison: And why wouldn't you? For one thing, they also make for great movies.

Nikola Tesla: Indeed. I'm especially partial to the Thunderdome Rally. It's the best.

Edison: Hahaha, has your skintight suit cut off the circulation to your brain? Everyone knows the best kind of race is a Cannonball-like one!

Nikola Tesla: What was that...!?

Mash: Um, please try to stay calm, you two... You were doing really well.

Helena: ...Heh.

Helena: Thanks for helping me snap out of it, guys. You too, Mash, Fujimaru!

Helena: I should know better than to fly off the handle like that at my age. Ugh, I'm so embarrassed. Just forget everything you saw here, okay?

Fujimaru 1: Will do!

Fujimaru 2: Already done!

Helena: Thanks!

Helena: Now, what's this about a race?

Helena: A race, huh... Yeah, it might not hurt to do something like that for a change of pace! It might even be a good way to blow off some steam!

Edison: Excellent!

Nikola Tesla: Agreed. Besides, summer only comes once a year. You have every right to enjoy yourself now and then!

Helena: Yeah. You're right. Okay, I'll do it!

Helena: And there's no time like the present! Mahatma Change!

Gentleman & Lion & Mash: Mahatma Change!?

Helena: ...What do you think? I tried changing my class so I'd have a more 21st century summer look!

Mash: !?

Nikola Tesla: Wha...

Fujimaru 1: That swimsuit doesn't look too 21st century to me!

Fujimaru 2: She actually changed classes... She's an Archer now!

Edison: I didn't know we could change classes so easily! Wait, hold on. This can't be right!

Nikola Tesla: Oh, pay it no heed. That's just how it is with these sorts of events. Not that I would expect a mangy plebeian like you to know that, of course.

Helena: Now let's see... Hmm. It looks like you need a partner for this race.

Helena: Aw man, now what am I going to do. I already Mahatma Change'd my class...

Helena: But my Kumara Wheel is only big enough for one. The mobile lab I use as a Caster can carry more than one person at a time, but...

Nikola Tesla: Hehehe.

Edison: Not to worry! We were the ones to suggest this race to you in the first place.

Edison: Naturally, you will have our full cooperation!

Nikola Tesla: Precisely. There may be plenty of Heroic Spirits more powerful, but there are none who could prepare a custom vehicle nearly so quickly as the two of us!

Fujimaru 1: There could be, for all you know.

Fujimaru 2: ...I'm not so sure about that.

Edison: Right then. We've no time to waste! We shall build the Supportive Direct Current Thunderdome at once!

Nikola Tesla: Not a bad name at all, at least for a mangy plebeian! But I am afraid we shall call it the Supportive Alternating Current Thunderdome!

Edison: Direct Current.

Nikola Tesla: Alternating Current.

Helena: ...What about the Supportive DC/AC Thunderdome?

Gentleman & Lion: Done!

Helena: Great. Okay then, let's go have ourselves a great race!

Gentleman & Lion: Will do!

Team Formation: The Fran Show -Philosophy Edition-

Frankenstein: Uhhh... (Special Translation: Hooot...)

Frankenstein: Uuuh...uhhh. (Don't wanna...move...)

Frankenstein: Uhhh... (AC...bad... Electricity...bad...)

Frankenstein: Uunh... (Hate...summer...)

Frankenstein: Uhhh... ('t...think...)

Frankenstein: Uhhhhhh...! Uuuuh!

Frankenstein: (Whyyy is it so hooot? What'd an artificial life-form like me ever do to deserve this?

Frankenstein: Humanity, the world, peace, love. They're all things you can't see, but you can still feel their effects.

Frankenstein: Well, I guess humanity obviously exists, but you still can't see it as a collective entity.

Frankenstein: You should think about individual humans separately. That is, everyone's special in their own way.

Frankenstein: There's only one of me... Or am I wrong...?)

Frankenstein: Uhh... (It's so hot my vision's starting to go blurry.)

Frankenstein: Uhh... (There's an AC in Master's room...)

Frankenstein: Uuu... (Conserving electricity is very, very important...)

Frankenstein: Uhh... (But Master is also important, and [♂ he /♀ she] needs AC.)

Frankenstein: Uh! (Okay, I'm going to go cool off!)

Frankenstein: Uhh? (A flyer?)

Frankenstein: Uhhh... (A car race?)

Frankenstein: Uhhh... (What's this all about...)

B:???: Ahem, ahem.

B:???: “Good day, innocent artificial life-form. I am an anonymous, glorious, glamorous, magnificent, beautiful, magnanimous goddess of the planet Venus.”

Frankenstein: Uh. (So many adjectives... And aren't “glamorous” and “beautiful” just about the same thing?)

B:???: HEY! You know, with my Goddess Power™ I can tell what you're saying! What's wrong with putting some extra emphasis on my beautiful beauty?

B:???: ...Ahem.

B:???: “Heed my wooords... You must compete in the race, for the howling winds will cool your poor body.”

B:???: “And if you succeed in repairing the Singularity, Master will be sure to praise you handsomely...”

B:???: “Goodbye overheating, hello cool breeze. Now, go and find yourself a race car right away.”

Frankenstein: Uhh... (Honestly, I know you're up to something.)

Frankenstein: Uh! (But you don't seem like you mean Master any harm.)

Frankenstein: Uhh. (So I'll go along with whatever it is.)

B:???: Wh-what do you mean? I'm not up to anything. Now go put on a swimsuit and fix that Singularity!

B:???: Oh, but you'll need a vehicle and a partner!

Frankenstein: Uh, uuh...uh. (I think I know where I could find both.)

B:???: Great!

B:???: Okay, I'll let you take it from here. Just bring your entry form to Fujimaru when you're ready!

Frankenstein: Uhh! (Okay, bye now.)

Frankenstein: ...Uh. (Okay, first off...I'd better look for a partner.)

Edison: Hahahahaha! Sorry, we've already entered with Helena!

Nikola Tesla: What are you doing, you mangy plebeian!?

Nikola Tesla: The race is almost upon us! We need to get this machine working tonight even if it kills us!

Nikola Tesla: That does it. I'm going ahead and using alternating current here. We'll get far more power that way.

Edison: Don't do it, Tesla. Using alternating current there would cause all of Chaldea to blow up.

Edison: How do I know that? Because I purposefully set it up that way!

Nikola Tesla: You mangy plebeian! I'll kill you!

Edison: Bring it on, you half-witted eccentric! I've got a billiard ball sandwich with your name on it!

Nikola Tesla: Oh yeah? I wonder what Tamamo Cat will say when she hears about that!

Edison: That's playing dirty, you fiend! She has nothing to do with this, and you know it!

Helena: Agh, enough! Just shut up already! Shut up!

Frankenstein: Ugh... (Well, that was a bust...)

Frankenstein: Uh... Uhhh. (There's only one other pers–machine I can ask...)

Frankenstein: Ugh... (But, I really didn't want to ask him...)

Frankenstein: Ugh... (I guess it's now or never...)

Babbage: Fshh... Fshh...

Frankenstein: Uhh!

Babbage: ...Hm, you're Victor's girl, aren't you? What do you want?

Babbage: The last I heard, all of Chaldea's staff and Servants told me:

Babbage: “Please, we need you to go somewhere...anywhere else during the summer. With all that steam, you make everywhere you go into a sauna.”

Babbage: “It's worse than the humidity in Japan. It's so bad we have to wear swimsuits all the time.”

Babbage: “We could deal with that if it was just Master, but Blackbeard keeps staring at us, like, a lot, so...”

Babbage: Which is why I have stolen away to London to play with stray cats and stray Jack.

Frankenstein: Uhh!

Babbage: Blah blah, blah de blah...

Babbage: I see. So you need a racing vehicle and a partner. Very well, I will help you with the latter.

Babbage: ...However, there is still one rather significant problem.

Babbage: I presume you wish to take part in this race in order to beat the heat, but if I am close by, you will almost certainly be hotter than ever.

Babbage: That, of course, would completely defeat the purpose.

Frankenstein: Uuh. (Nods)

H:???: Hahahaha! You seem to be in something of a predicament!

Frankenstein: Uh!?

Babbage: Who are you?

H:???: I am... Hmm, how should I go about this... Ah yes.

Professor M: You may call me...Professor M!

Frankenstein: Ugh!

Babbage: Well, Professor M, Victor's girl doesn't seem to trust you.

Professor M: Oh come now, why not!? She should be all but swooning over the mysterious, devilishly dapper gentleman!

Frankenstein: Uuugh.

Babbage: My esteemed colleague finds that prospect highly dubious. As do I.

Professor M: Phooey.

Babbage: Now, what do you want, professor? Not that your identity is anything of a mystery at this point.

Babbage: Wouldn't it be faster and easier to just tell us your True Name and spare us the pretense?

Professor M: Gentlemen so devilishly dapper as I must always fulfill certain obligations.

Professor M: At any rate, young lady, you seem to be in need of a racing vehicle!

Frankenstein: Uh.

Babbage: Indeed she is. I have agreed to be her partner, but without a vehicle, that does us no good.

Babbage: And the two great Heroic Spirits who shine brightest in unpredictable circumstances like these...

Babbage: ...namely Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, have already joined Helena Blavatsky's team.

Babbage: Even if I were to start making a steam-powered vehicle right now, without their help...

Professor M: Hehehe, what a pity.

Professor M: Given your engineering skills, financial muscle, and management capabilities, there is indeed little hope of you finishing a vehicle in time for the race!

Babbage: I hate to admit it, but you're right.

Professor M: However!

Professor M: With my assistance, you may banish all doubts and concerns!

Frankenstein: Uh?

Babbage: Uh?

Professor M: Heh, I can assure you that with me involved, your search for both a suitable vehicle and partner will go as smoothly as the perfect crime.

Professor M: Of course, I expect to be fairly compensated, but don't worry; I won't be so cruel as to take you for all the pair of you possess.

Babbage: ...A moment if you would, professor.

Professor M: By all means.

Frankenstein: (Whisper, whisper) Uuh.

Babbage: (Whisper) Yes, it's clear he has some sort of ulterior motive.

Babbage: (Whisper) But whatever it is, I expect it would only become a concern were we to win.

Babbage: (Whisper) Given that your goals are to cool off and help Master, I don't believe his plan should pose any problem for the time being.

Frankenstein: (Whisper) Uhh...

Babbage: (Whisper) And the fact is, we have no choice but to accept his help if we're to compete at all.

Professor M: (Yawn) I don't suppose you could hurry it along a bit? It really is rather hot in your vicinity.

Frankenstein: Uh.

Professor M: Well then, what is your answer!?

Frankenstein: ... ...

Professor M: Hm?

Frankenstein: Please...

Frankenstein: Help...

Professor M: Hahaha! I must commend you for taking the trouble to speak! I know it is difficult for you with your Madness Enhancement! Very well then, I shall gladly offer my–

Frankenstein: Papa.

Professor M: ...

Narration: ...A certain math professor would later go on to describe the impact of that single word.

H:Math Professor (50s/Single): It hit a proverbial ton of bricks. It made me realize like nothing had before...

H:Math Professor (50s/Single): ...just how powerful and beautiful words can truly be.

H:Math Professor (50s/Single): ...Yes, I must confess... It was the first time I ever shed a tear.

H:Math Professor (50s/Single): That single word made me feel as though I had lived a full life. A decent, upstanding life...

Professor M: Fran.

Frankenstein: Uh?

Professor M: Just leave everything to Papa. I promise I will do all that is within my power to help you win!

Frankenstein: Uh!

Professor M: Hahahaha! A daughter! I have a daughter!

Babbage: ...Are you sure about this?

Frankenstein: Uh.

Babbage: You were...just following the procedure in that book “Evil Servants and You: A Survivor's Guide” that Chaldea gave us?

Babbage: Let me see...

Babbage: “When girls within a specific age range refer to SA156, commonly called “Professor,” as “Papa,” SA156 may respond by harming others in the vicinity.”

Babbage: “However, under no circumstances will SA156 harm the girl in question. If the subject is engaged in preparing an “evil scheme” (see Appendix E)...”

Babbage: “...the girl will generally have an opportunity to negotiate with them, thereby neutralizing the threat posed for a variable duration (see Appendix J). If the threat has been neutralized, contact a Master...”

Babbage: ...and have them use a Command Spell to effect total sealing of the SA156 instance.”

Babbage: I see. Now it all makes sense.

Babbage: So, professor.

Professor M: Yes? What can this proud new Papa do for you?

Babbage: Regarding our vehicle. I assume you have something in mind.

Professor M: Ah, right you are! The vehicle! I will have it ready in a jiffy!

Frankenstein: Uuh♪

Babbage: That soon...?

Professor M: Hahaha, it's wonderful to see you in such high spirits, Fran!

Professor M: Incidentally, Mr. Babbage: How much do you know about hypnotism?

Babbage: Hypnotism, hmm? As a man devoted to steamcraft, I cannot say I ever had any use for it.

Professor M: I see. However, there are many inventors in this world who are not overly scrupulous. Take this conversation I overheard in the cafeteria the other day, for example:

Professor M: “I wonder what it would be like if Babbage could transform, like one of those robots?” “An excellent observation indeed, Mr. Edison.”

Professor M: “First he could go 'whrrr clank clank'...” “Yeah, and then this could turn here, and that could turn here!”

Professor M: “And before you know it!” “He could end up like this!”

Professor M: ...This rather enthusiastic conversation was eventually supplemented by several diagrams and illustrations.

Professor M: I found the idea of creating a new transformation for you to be a fascinating one, so I investigated it further in between carrying out my duties.

Babbage: ...I have a very bad feeling about this.

Professor M: And I succeeded.

Frankenstein: Uh!?

Babbage: What? But surely I would remember if you modified me like... Ah.

Professor M: That's right. The blue bird of happiness was calling from within all along!

Professor M: And to prevent you from realizing it before now, I hypnotized you to erase your memories.

Professor M: Voilà! The perfect crime!

Babbage: So. This is what astonishment feels like.

Frankenstein: Uuh!?

Professor M: Now then, Babbage, let us begin.

Professor M: Steam Trance-Formation!

Babbage: Goodness me. I really had no idea I could transform like this.

Babbage: I can't say I approve of you erasing my memories without my knowledge, but at the same time I cannot complain about this particular function.

Babbage: ...This should provide a great racing experience for her as well.

Professor M: Not for nothing I am called the king of logic. With the three of us together, our victory is assur–

Professor M: Ouch! Why did you do that to your papa, Fran!?

Frankenstein: Uhh!

Babbage: ...It seems she is upset with you on my behalf for modifying me without my permission.

Professor M: I'm sorry, please forgive me, I implore you! (Dogeza)

Frankenstein: Uh!

Babbage: She says “You should never have done that, but I forgive you.”

Professor M: Ah, what a relief!

Professor M: Now then, Fran, Babbage. Remember that we are dealing with that no-good goddess.

Professor M: There is no doubt whatsoever that there is more going on here than merely fixing a Singularity, but we can blow right past that as long as we win this race!

Frankenstein: Uhh!

Ishtar: So? How's the participant list looking?

Mash: It's going well, Ishtar. Everyone is excited for the race.

Mash: A great many things are still making me more than a little uneasy, but I am really pleased to see everyone enjoying themselves with this.

A:???: Master!

Fujimaru 1: Who said that? I don't recognize that voice...

Frankenstein: Good morning, Master. Whew, that was easy.

Mash: ...Wha.



Mash: Fran!? Did you just talk!?

Mash: I mean, I know there have been a few occasions when you've talked in the past, but...!

Frankenstein: Morning, Mass.

Frankenstein: ...Hm, I guess I'm still having trouble with those sounds. Mass, Mass, Match...Mash.

Frankenstein: Was that good?

Mash: Y-yes, that was fine. Thank you, Fran.

Mash: But, what's going on? How did changing into a swimsuit help you to talk?

Ishtar: Wait, hold up. Frankenstein's supposed to be a Berserker, right?

Ishtar: ...But she's looking a lot like a Saber right now!

Fujimaru 1: Oh, hey, you're right!

Frankenstein: Yes! I became a Saber!

Fujimaru 2: Oh no. You-Know-Who's going to have a fit!

Heroine X: Bwuh!?

Heroine X: Th-this awful feeling in my heart can only mean one thing... A new Saber has been born!

Heroine X: Just you wait! I'll be there at light speed to cut you to soon as I finish my breakfast.

Mash: But how did you end up as a Saber?

H:???: Allow me to explain!

Mash: Eep! Th-the Archer of Shinjuku!?

Professor M: For the time being, I would prefer you address me as “Professor M.” Or, alternatively, “Fran's Papa.”

Fujimaru 1: I smell a crime afoot.

Professor M: Piffle! This is perfectly legal.

Fujimaru 2: Let's just arrest him now and be done with it.

Professor M: I assure you, there is no “sugar” to go with this “Papa”!

Ishtar: ...Well? Are you going to explain, or what?

Professor M: Oh, yes, of course.

Professor M: Well, you see, when I gave Fran this swimsuit, I also made a few tiny improvements to her weaponry...

Professor M: And that clearly changed her class! The end.

Fujimaru 1: That was...brief!

Babbage: ...I confess I am only guessing about this...

Babbage: However, while she may be most widely known as a character from a novel, they are not the same person.

Babbage: Given how truth and fiction are so vaguely intertwined for her, I imagine it wasn't too difficult for her Spirit Origin to change.

Mash: B-Babbage!?

Mash: Didn't you say you were going to hide out in London for the summer to avoid complaints about your steam?

Babbage: I did, but I've since changed my mind. We are hereby officially registering to compete in the race.

Frankenstein: In the race.

Fujimaru 1: You're entering the race?

Babbage: Indeed.

Fujimaru 2: All three of you?

Professor M: All three of us!

Ishtar: Uh, okay, setting aside team limits for the moment, what about a vehicle? You need to at least–

Mash: ... ...

Ishtar: ... ...

Fou: Fou...

Babbage: I call it the Babbage Locomotive Form.

Babbage: Will this do?

Fujimaru 1: That. Was. AWESOME!

Frankenstein: I know, right? Hehe! (Proud smile)

Fujimaru 2: Whoa... Transform and roll out, huh?

Mash: Um, Senpai? Why are you crying?

Mash: I was surprised too, but I don't think there's anything to be sad about...

Ishtar: Uh, yeah. I'm pretty sure [♂ he's /♀ she's] not sad, Mash.

Ishtar: Those are tears of happiness. Deep down, Fujimaru has the heart of an eight-year-old boy.

Ishtar: [♂ Some boys just take longer to grow up than others /♀ Or girl, in her case].

Mash: I see.

Mash: ...I still don't understand the appeal very well, but I'll be sure to study it more in the future!

Ishtar: ANYWAY! You're all set as far as racing vehicles go. Team “Electric Steam feat. Papa” is now officially entered!

Team Formation: Raikou Encounters the Monk [Diamond Realm Edition]

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...How deplorable.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am told there was a remarkable decline in public decency during the “events” of last summer.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: That there were, ah, people running around half naked on a desert island.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: How shameless. How terribly shameless.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: To think that young people... Ah, Lady Scáthach was there as well... So hmm...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: The fact that there were people who at least appear to be in the prime of their youth amusing themselves in such a state of undress were there...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Unacceptable. Simply unacceptable.

Fujimaru 1: I don't know if “shameless” is the word I'd use.

Fujimaru 2: We were mostly just trying to not die.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Is that so? Well, if you say so, Fujimaru, I am certain it must be true.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... (Sigh) Had I only been present, I could have seen to it that propriety was maintained.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: But what's done is done. I cannot, and have no desire to, revisit the past.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Right now, I am concerned about the present. Do you know why?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Summer is upon us once again. A familiar lightheartedness has already settled on Chaldea.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: No doubt that everyone will once again be disposed to similarly indecent revelry as part of this “event.”

Minamoto-no-Raikou: They will surely enjoy themselves, frolicking about like young children might.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: That is all well and good. Indeed, there is nothing wrong with that. It is sometimes even beneficial to combat the heat with an entertaining festival.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: However...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: (Sniff) I am gravely concerned...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: People may abandon decency, and may cavort about in the nude... Or in some similarly scandalous, salacious, sinful state of undress.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: They may engage in such unspeakable pursuits all summer, beasts!

Fujimaru 1: Huh!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: The shock I see on your face is all the confirmation I need of just how correct my suspicions are!

Fujimaru 2: “Unspeakable pursuits”!? What do you mean!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: D-d-did I not say they were unspeakable!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: P-please, don't tease me anymore...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It's outrageous. It's atrocious. (Sniffle) It cannot stand...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... (Sniff)

Fujimaru 1: P-please calm down, Raikou.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I...I am calm.

Fujimaru 2: Whatever you think's happening...isn't. I promise.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...And just wh-what DO you think I think is happening!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I have made a decision.

Fujimaru 1: Huh?

Fujimaru 2: What have you decided?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I shall see to it that Chaldea's sense of propriety is not abandoned! Others may see fit to let their decency fall by the wayside, but I cannot permit it!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Therefore...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I shall transform myself using the power of the god of the East, and execute all who would abandon decency!

Fujimaru 1: Whoa, wait! Did you say “execute”!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Gozu-Tenno, reincarnation of Indra!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Come to me! Let your divine power descend from the sky, born from the relics of a rishi, to me!

A:Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am the Prefect of Public Decency, Minamoto-no-Raikou.

A:Minamoto-no-Raikou: My yo-yo will punish all oni who would disregard what is right and decent. Worry not, Master. I vow to keep your summer safe!

A:Minamoto-no-Raikou: Summer? Swimsuits? “Event”? Don't give me that nonsense!

A:Minamoto-no-Raikou: I will not permit it! Not now, not ever! Though the gods, though the Buddha may allow it, I shall see to it that all disorder is stamped out!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...And so, I am Lancer Minamoto-no-Raikou!

Fujimaru 1: A s-sailor uniform!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Indeed!

Fujimaru 2: (Speechless)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Hehe. Does it look good on me?

Sakata Kintoki: ...I'd probably better go ahead and just lay this out now, seein' as how there's a good shot things'll get real outta hand one day...

Sakata Kintoki: Yup, I'm talkin' 'bout Raikou. The real her, when she was alive, was SUPER responsible. Real hard worker.

Sakata Kintoki: The leader of the Genji family has a whole lotta power, and she ain't shy 'bout usin' it. She gotta protect the city, no matter what.

Sakata Kintoki: And she pulled it off, even with those skinny little arms of hers. Yup, she's a real badass. Super cool, and as golden as they come.

Sakata Kintoki: The part of her you know, that Spirit Origin's a Berserker. So her, uh, maternal instincts...?

Sakata Kintoki: Whatever ya call...THAT... It's all kinda gone into overdrive now. But alla that? It's just a part of her. Not the whole deal. Not by a damn sight.

Sakata Kintoki: If, for whatever reason...

Sakata Kintoki: ...she was ever summoned with a Spirit Origin closer to the real her, like a Saber...

Sakata Kintoki: She'd be TOTALLY different. A cold beauty and a golden general all in one!

Sakata Kintoki: For one thing, her instincts to keep the city safe would definitely get way stronger, and that...uh...“maternal” thing wouldn't be so strong.

Sakata Kintoki: When she's doin' her real job, there ain't no one more responsible. She's basically a super prefect.

Sakata Kintoki: Haha, hard to imagine? It'll hit ya in an instant if it ever happens.

Sakata Kintoki: Still, it ain't like it's the kinda thing that happens every day. And Spirit Origins don't just up and change on their own so easily, right?

Sakata Kintoki: ...Hm? What's up?

Sakata Kintoki: Non-Saber classes? Yeah, I could see that. She's even got a Noble Phantasm that'd fit the bill.

Sakata Kintoki: If she became a Rider... Hmm, I guess that wouldn't be much of a difference.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, but a Lancer's close to a Saber. That'd pretty much make her a shadow prefect. In other words...

Fujimaru 1: In other words...

Fujimaru 2: An old-school Japanese female gang leader.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am Lancer Minamoto-no-Raikou, ready and willing to punish any who stray from the path of decency.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Just look at this yo-yo. I shall wield it to fell any would-be evildoers in a single strike!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Is something wrong, Master?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You seem taken aback. Hehe, did my change of outfit surprise you?

Fujimaru 1: N-no, it's just, well...

Fujimaru 2: It's all just very...impressive.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh, are you wondering about this yo-yo? It is the only weapon that suits this appearance.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Even I have learned at least that much about the modern age.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Chaldea does have a number of...visual records, I believe they are called?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I have spent a bit of time watching those.

Fujimaru 1: So the gang look and yo-yo is from television?

Fujimaru 2: Isn't that series like forty years old?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Let me be very clear, Fujimaru.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You have fought many battles, and if anyone deserves to rest a little, it is you.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Overworking yourself is dangerous. Indeed, too much of anything can be dangerous.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: That is just as true when it comes to taking a break in order to escape the heat. Am I clear?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Just because it is summer, that does not give one free reign to run about doing whatever one pleases.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: As the Prefect of Public Decency, I will not permit it.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...I take it we have an understanding now?

Fujimaru 1: But, prefect, you're showing a lot of, uh...

Fujimaru 2: You seem to be missing a lot of your skirt.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Hm?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Is something wrong?

Fujimaru 1: She's completely oblivious!

Fujimaru 2: Prefeeect!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Now that I have materialized as a Lancer, I must set about maintaining decency within Chaldea.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am the shadow prefect. I shall do whatever must be done.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Yes, I think I shall begin with a patrol.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: There are young children here as well, so I must see that decency is maintained for their sake, as well as for Fujimaru and Kintoki.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Mine is a heavy burden, but I shall pour all of my power into this task to see it through.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Now, without further ado, let us see if there is anyone disturbing public decency...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Hm?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: What is this flyer? “Come Have Fun Restoring a Singularity!”?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: “Get ready to rev your engines in the Ishtar Cup race this summer!”

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ishtar...the foreign goddess who salaciously shimmies and shakes, strutting the side streets shamefully showing sinful swaths of skin!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...This cannot stand! I smell decency being flouted!

Sanzang: Hmm? What's that you smell?

Sanzang: Wait, hang on. Are you Minamoto-no-Raikou? The Berserker?

Sanzang: You look different somehow. Kind of...divine, or something? Hmm, I can't put my finger on it...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Good day to you, Monk Xuanzang Sanzang.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...

Sanzang: Hm? What's up?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: This...this is far worse than I had imagined.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Decency is...being flouted.

Sanzang: Decency? Huh? What do you mean?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: (I am already far too late. Behold! Even a monk has let this summer “event” go to her head.)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: (This is so much worse than I could have imagined. The proof is here before me!)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: (We are not even at the beach, and here she is, already frolicking about in a swimsuit!)

Sanzang: Hellooo, anyone home? Maybe she can't hear me. I guess she's pretty engaged in her conversation with herself.

Sanzang: Hmm. I don't want to bother her, but I do want to know why she wanted to talk to me. What to do...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: This will not stand, Monk Sanzang!

Sanzang: H-huh? What did I do!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I will not stand for it! I absolutely will not stand for it!! How could a proud and noble monk like yourself fall so low!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Summer has only just begun and here you are, already wearing a swimsuit indoors! I forbid it!

Sanzang: Swimsuit...? Oh, I see now. You're talking about my outfit?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am.

Sanzang: Hahaha, no no, you've got it all wrong. See, the path to Tianzhu is really, REALLY hot, you know?

Sanzang: So this outfit is a manifestation of how good it feels to go swimming in the rivers along the way.

Sanzang: Make sense?

Sanzang: I mean, it has crossed my mind once or twice that it might be showing off a bit too much skin...

Sanzang: But Wukong also said this outfit was better than my normal one, and Bajie and Wujing agreed with him!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Outrageous! I forbid it, I absolutely forbid it!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Now it falls to me to see that you are reformed. Yes, reformed!

Sanzang: Whoa, whoa... Wait. Before you get up in arms about my outfit, maybe you should do something about yours?

Sanzang: I mean, I can totally see your belly button in that. You're pretty much showing it off, right?

Sanzang: And it really calls attention to how perfectly shaped your abs are.

Sanzang: Almost like they've been carved out of rock.

Sanzang: And that, uh, slit in your skirt? Are you aware of how sexy that look is? 'Cause it's beyond sexy.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am nothing if not decent. This uniform is no less than the emblem of purity itself. Is there a problem?

Sanzang: Even with your navel on full display, huh... But isn't that a swimsuit underneath your–

Minamoto-no-Raikou: No. Absolutely not.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I assure you that I am not in high spirits at all. I have in no way given in to the temptations of summer.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am Minamoto-no-Raikou, guardian of decency. First, I shall tell you what you must do to reform.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If you wish to reform, then come with me. I believe that is what the Buddha would want.

Sanzang: ... ...

Sanzang: ...The Buddha.

Sanzang: She's telling ME what the Buddha would want!? That's some serious confidence!

Sanzang: And what's more, it almost feels like...the gods have blessed her in some way.

Sanzang: I've got it. It's Indra, isn't it. Am I right?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...I can say only that the answer to that question will be made clear should you ever see my Noble Phantasm's True Name released.

Sanzang: Oh man, I want to see that... I REALLY want to see that.

Sanzang: ...Okay, I'm in!

Sanzang: This seems like it should be a great time! I'll go wherever your path takes you!

Sanzang: Again, this isn't a swimsuit, but so what! I want to see what you end up doing next!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ahh, I knew a venerable monk like you would understand. Please forgive my earlier rudeness.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am overjoyed to hear that you will reform by becoming a prefect, and work by my side to preserve decency and order.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Monk Xuanzang Sanzang, I gladly welcome you to the ranks of Chaldea's Prefects of Public Decency!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Now, if I may change the subject... Do you own a steed?

Sanzang: A steed? I guess I could call on Bailong if you need me to.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I have no doubt that this summer “event” is the source of this flagrant disregard for decency.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Therefore, it is the prefects' duty to see decency is preserved by embedding ourselves in this “event.”

Sanzang: Oh, you mean the Ishtar Cup? I saw some fliers about that! It looks like fun!

Sanzang: All right, let's do this thing then! I've never competed in a race before, but if you want to cross a continent, you've come to the right monk!

Sanzang: I might not always stay perfectly on the course, but you can bet I'll make it to the goal in the end!

Sanzang: Besides, if we're gonna do this thing, we might as well be in it to win it! I can already tell you'll make a great partner, Minamoto-no-Raikou!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I feel exactly the same way, as though I have gained an ally of immeasurable strength!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Now, let us be on our way. Together, we shall protect decency, summer, Master...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...and all of Chaldea!

Team Formation: A GUDAGUDA Rock Star is Born!

Oda Nobunaga: I'm going to be...A ROCK STAR!

Okita & Chacha: ...Wat?

Okita: Hey don't just throw up our title card like that! This isn't that kinda event!

Okita: Wait...! Nobbu...has the endless heat finally driven you mad?

Chacha: Heeey, wait a minute!

Chacha: How come it's so hot in here when it's always snowing outside!? Is this some kinda freak weather thingy?

Okita: No, it's 'cause we're squatting in the room next to Chaldea's boiler.

Okita: So we can't really complain about how hot it is.

Hijikata: Oh shut up. Summer is supposed to be hot. (Munch, munch)

Okita: And yet here you are, Vice-Commander, sans coat because it's too hot! There aren't enough chilled pickles in the world to cool us down!

Chacha: You're one to talk. You've taken off your jacket as well.

Okita: Huh? No, this is show off the difference between a 5☆ like me and welfare Servants!

Chacha: C-curse you and your change of clothes!

Chacha: Do you have any idea what it's like for those of us who are stuck with the one outfit!? Auntie! Chacha wants a new outfit too!

Oda Nobunaga: Fear not, Chacha!

Oda Nobunaga: Your troubles, and this cursed heat, will all be resolved once I become a rock star!

Okita: It's no use. Nobbu is too far gone. I have to do something about her, and quickly.

Chacha: There it is: Tenka-Fubu! Auntie's corner-cutting one-woman strategy to unite all of Japan using military force that only His Imperial Highness understands!

Chacha: ...This is what leads to Akechi's betrayal!

Okita: need to rest. Oh, would you like some of Mr. Hijikata's chilled pickles?

Hijikata: Okita! How dare you steal my snack! Are you looking to commit seppuku!?

Oda Nobunaga: Ugh, fools, the lot of you! Very well then, I will explain my plan in small words, so even you maroons can understand what I have in mind!

Oda Nobunaga: ...Behold!

Okita: Wh-what's this...!?

Okita: A delicious event where the winner might be given something like a Holy Grail that can grant any wish they like?

Chacha: That's the kinda scam where you promise someone something and then never give it, right? Chacha knows all about it. Chacha saw Holy Grail wars and stuff in the animes.

Oda Nobunaga: I already know that! Things are never simple or straightforward when it comes to Holy Grails! Even a child from Owari learns that from anime!

Oda Nobunaga: That is not what caught my eye! Here, the part about the race being broadcast live, with commentary!

Okita: Wow, a live broadcast! There'll be spectator stands and everything. Sure looks like it'll be a big event.

Chacha: This looks to be a lot of fun! Maybe Chacha will go see it! Just 'cuz!

Oda Nobunaga: Listen up! I am going to win this race, and then, when all eyes are upon me, I'm going to perform a commemorative concert on the spot!

Oda Nobunaga: In other words...

Oda Nobunaga: I will put on an event by me, and for me, that none shall be able to avoid:

Oda Nobunaga: “The Demon King of the Sixth Heaven 2019 Summer Festival”!

Oda Nobunaga: That is my true ambition!

Oda Nobunaga: And inevitably, I will also sell limited edition “Rakuichi-Rakuza” CDs and limited edition swimsuit figurines of myself!

Oda Nobunaga: Thus, my popularity will skyrocket, and my coffers will overflow!

Oda Nobunaga: What's that? “Rakuichi-Rakuza” actually means “free markets and open guilds” and doesn't make any sense as the title for a CD? You're overthinking this.

Okita: No, it's not that. I can imagine Okita figurines flying off the shelves easily enough, but who would want a stuffy old Nobbu figuri–

Okita: Wait. Did you say “swimsuit”?

Oda Nobunaga: Hahahaha! Have you finally caught on, princess of the little man-slayers club!?

Oda Nobunaga: Behold the figure of the Demon King, reborn for the 21st century!

Oda Nobunaga: Return to the ashes from whence one came...

Oda Nobunaga: I am Oda Nobunaga, the Summer Demon King of the Sixth Heaven!

Okita: Wh-where'd this light come from!?

A:Summer Nobbu: BEHOLD! My dazzlingly fashionable new figure! I had this outfit custom-made by one of the world's top designers to capture my Demon King-liness with a new casual flair perfect for summer!

A:Summer Nobbu: I have no idea how to use this weapon, but you gotta admit it is FREAKING COOL!!!

Chacha: D-did you just Ascend, Auntie!? I thought welfare Servants couldn't do that. That doesn't seem fair!

Chacha: Who asked for this, anyway?

Chacha: Uncle Nobukatsu? His Imperial Highness?

Summer Nobbu: Fwahahaha! I will no longer be relegated to a mere welfare Servant!

Summer Nobbu: I am none other than the 4☆ swimsuit Servant: Summer Nobbu, Demon King of the Sixth Heaven!

Summer Nobbu: ...Wait. Why aren't I a 5☆ swimsuit Servant?

Okita: ...Th-this can't be right.

Okita: Nobbu is supposed to be an unpopular Servant given out for free as an event participation award... This shouldn't even be possible!

Summer Nobbu: Now I'm sure to steal the whole summer spotlight for myself! And once I win the race and perform my Atsumori concert, that attention will only double!

Summer Nobbu: Once I finish selling CDs, I'll start streaming on ChalTube! From there, it's only a matter of time until Nobu Fever takes the music world by storm!

Summer Nobbu: Hahahaha! I may even release a Nobu-loid featuring my voice!

Summer Nobbu: I think I'll call it “Odane Nobu”!

Okita: Wh-what...? But this was supposed to be the year where I win the swimsuit competition and Okita Fever sweeps all of Kyoto!

Chacha: Poor thing... You're so shocked that you're getting delirious. Why don't you take some medicine and lie down for a while?

Chacha: On a different note... Auntie! I trust you have a swimsuit for Chacha as well?

Chacha: Chacha wants to wear one of those micro bikinis she's heard so much about!

Chacha: They're supposed to be amazing, right!?

Summer Nobbu: Not happening.

Chacha: What!? Wh-why not?

Summer Nobbu: I used all your gold to make this outfit.

Chacha: ...What?

Summer Nobbu: Also all of the Shinsengumi's money.

Okita: ...What?

Summer Nobbu: Well, there's nothing in the rules that prohibits a non-Shinsengumi member from using it, right?

Okita: ...Did you hear that, Mr. Hijikata? What's the penalty for embezzling Shinsengumi funds?

Hijikata: SEPPUKU!!!

Chacha: ALL of Chacha's gold, Auntie?

Chacha: This will not please Sakichi either! Not one bit! I'll burn you! I'll burn you good!

Summer Nobbu: Huh? Wait...I can explain.

Summer Nobbu: Once I become a world-famous Nobbu star after my concert, there might be another GUDAGUDA event.

Summer Nobbu: In time, we might even get a new Imperial City Holy Grail arc. Huh...? That won't happen? Ever? No matter what?

Okita: No more talk! To pay you back for this, and for stealing my chance to finally get to be a swimsuit Servant this year...

Okita: shall feel the wrath of my Embezzlement Seppuku Strike!

Chacha: Chacha was planning to go on vacation to Atami with his Imperial Highness's money...

Chacha: ...This is for dashing that dream! Roast Auntie Sun Castle!

Summer Nobbu: Th-this can't be happeniiing!

Okita: ...Such a shame. All they had to do was pick Summer Okita, and this could've been averted.

Chacha: Farewell, Auntie... Chacha will make sure your pudding doesn't go to waste.

Hijikata: ...

Okita: ...Hm? How come you're staring at that event flyer so intently, Mr. Hijikata?

Hijikata: It seems there will be many Servants competing in swimsuits.

Hijikata: Fascinating... Come, Okita, we're off to spectate! This is no time to be sweating away by the boiler!

Okita: This is a whole other kind of fired up for him!

Summer Nobbu: Whew... I thought I was done for back there. I even went through the vanishing animation and everything.

Summer Nobbu: At any's a pity those fools couldn't see the brilliance of my plan.

Summer Nobbu: And here I was going to let one of them at least be my driver, since I don't have a Riding Skill.

Summer Nobbu: I'm still going to need a driver to enter the race, though... Now what do I do? I can manage on a horse well enough, but I know nothing about cars.

Summer Nobbu: It's a shame Goro isn't here. I imagine he would have made a decent driver...

E:???: It seems that you could use my help, Demon King of the Sixth Heaven!

Summer Nobbu: Who said that? Wh-who are you!?

E:???: Hehehe... An excellent question. Hello, and good day!

E:???: I am the one who will kill every Sabe–er, win every space race in the galaxy. I am the ultra-skilled racer you may know as Mysterious Heroi–

Summer Nobbu: Oh, I remember you from a couple months ago. Let's see... Mysterious Chousokabe Heroine X, was it?

Summer Nobbu: Or was it Ryuzoji Heroine X, the fifth wheel of the four retainers?

E:???: Shaddup! No more GUDAGUDA talk!

E:???: I mean, what were they even thinking with that sloppy entrance and then the quick, lame exit? You know what, I'm gonna say it: that whole scene felt artificial!

E:???: Though I did like how happy X Alter looked when she had that okonomiyaki on the way home!

E:???: Of course, I had another helping of modanyaki myself, but that isn't why I'm here!

Summer Nobbu: I'm glad to see you enjoyed my event. Now, who the hell are you, anyway?

Summer Nobbu: Are you another stray Altria who wanders around sampling food or something?

E:???: No, but that does sound like a great way to spend a summer. But this time, I'm an entirely different version of my usual self!

E:???: ...Take a look at this, Demon King of the Sixth Heaven!

Summer Nobbu: Wha!? A space driver's license and galactic certification that you possess an EX Riding Skill!?

E:???: Heh, I see you know your stuff. All right, I've had enough of this “???” name and silhouette crap, so I'm getting rid of them.

Mysterious Racer X: ...There, that's better!

Mysterious Racer X: Yes, it's me! The driver who will run over every Sabe– (Cough, cough)

Mysterious Racer X: I mean, the ultra-skilled racer who can pilot any ship in the universe...

Mysterious Racer X: ...Mysterious Racer X!

Summer Nobbu: You're hired!

Mysterious Racer X: Hehe, hire me, and you'll get to park anywhere you want in the universe, receive discounts at the Universal Parking cafeteria, and–

Mysterious Racer X: Huh? Just like that? Not even an interview?

Mysterious Racer X: Are you sure you don't want me to prove my skills or haggle over my pay, like in The Magnificent Sabers?

Mysterious Racer X: I've got my résumé right here if you want to take a look. My first appearance was in the April–

Summer Nobbu: NOPE! I can see the fire of grand ambition burning in your eyes! And I can see that nothing will stop you from fulfilling that ambition, no matter what!

Mysterious Racer X: Whoa! You can tell I have noble ambitions!?

Summer Nobbu: Indeed. You have the air of a true hero about you! One who would totally save Britain or something!

Mysterious Racer X: You got all that with just one glance!? (Cries in joy)

Summer Nobbu: Ayup! I am an excellent judge of character! (*Micchi doesn't count)

Mysterious Racer X: I can't believe I've found someone who understands me.

Mysterious Racer X: I can't refuse now, or my inner Altrium would weep. Okay Demon King of the Sixth Heaven, it's a deal!

Mysterious Racer X: I swear to use my Space Hero Piloting Technique, honed in years of galactic travel, to win this race!

Mysterious Racer X: ...And that I will ALSO mow down any Sabers who happen to be on or in the general vicinity of the track!

Mysterious Racer X: ...Huh? There's not so many Sabers in this event?

Mysterious Racer X: Hehe... Sure there are. In the spectator stands!

Mysterious Racer X: I can see it now! The face of a Saber enjoying a bite of ice cream without a care in the world!

Mysterious Racer X: Little does she realize that this is a dangerous drag race! There's no telling what could happen!

Mysterious Racer X: A vehicle might tragically veer into the stands, and catastrophe may ensue!

Mysterious Racer X: Such horrible accidents have been known to happen in the racing world!

Summer Nobbu: Hmm, she's starting to sound more Demon King-ish than me.

Summer Nobbu: ...Oh well, it can't be helped!

Narration: Thus, Nobbu, Demon King of the Sixth Heaven, begins her journey towards rock 'n' roll fame!

Narration: Her vehicle: the Galaxy-Class Illegally Super-Charged Demon King of the V6 Heaven!

Narration: Her enemy: interference from a mysterious Shinsengumi woman shadowing their every move!

Narration: Unfortunate innocent bystanders: Saberfaces!

Narration: What any of this has to do with rock stardom is anyone's guess. But what the hell, let's enjoy it.

Narration: Tune in next week for:

Narration: “Huh? You get disqualified for attacking spectators? Oh come on!”

Narration: Little did they know...

Narration: That their race would end in–

Summer Nobbu & Mystery Racer X: Stop that!

Team Formation: The Story of a Persevering Pharaoh (Intro)

Nitocris: What is this papyrus-like object? “Servant Competition - The Ishtar Cup”...?

Nitocris: “Resolve a Singularity and have fun doing it...” “Speed is Beauty, and Beauty is Speed...”

Nitocris: “Take home the glory of victory today!” ...Oh my...

Nitocris: What incredibly powerful words! This is my chance to demonstrate the power of pharaohs to the world!

Nitocris: Hmm, it seems I spoke too soon...

Nitocris: “All teams must have both a driver and an assistant.”

Nitocris: All of my dreams, shattered in a single sentence. Now what do I do? My medjed cannot drive...

Nitocris: Hmm...

Nitocris: ...Heh. I guess I have no choice...

Nitocris: It may be a bit impudent of me, but I shall just have to get another great pharaoh to be the driver...

Nitocris: ...and let me help them as their assistant.

Nitocris: I need not be front and center, so long as a pharaoh wins and demonstrates our greatness to the world.

Nitocris: All right, now that that's decided...

Nitocris: This is awful... I was far too hasty!

Nitocris: My first pick was Cleopatra, but after Lord Caesar declared:

Nitocris: “This is a time for feasting, not war. I need only grace a dining establishment with my presence to secure its everlasting popularity.”

Nitocris: “What juicier business could there be than that!? I shall call it 'Emperor Gourmet.' I should look into expanding into other media as well.”

Nitocris: ...and left on a trip to sample all the delicacies of the world, Cleopatra just left a note saying:

Nitocris: “I'm going on a trip with my husband” and ran off after him. I don't know who she thinks she's fooling; she's obviously stalkin–no, never mind.

Nitocris: Next, I paid a visit to Pharaoh Iskandar, who was of course nowhere to be found, as usual.

Nitocris: And finally, Pharaoh Ozymandias, the one I was really hoping would join me, said...

Ozymandias: Ridiculous! You would have me compete in an event for mere peasants!?

Ozymandias: Summer is meant to be spent in a chamber of stone with a bowl of fruit, yet you wish to compete with other Heroic Spirits over something as trivial as speed? Have you mistaken yourself for a bird!?

Ozymandias: ...Oh, right, you are a bird. I suppose you cannot really help that. Pay that last part no heed.

Ozymandias: However! The very idea of spreading the pharaohs' glory by winning a race is a losing proposition!

Ozymandias: A true pharaoh need not spread his glory, for the world already basks in the light of our splendor!

Ozymandias: None could question that we tower over the common masses. What point is there in proving the obvious in something so foolish as a race?

Nitocris:'re absolutely right, Pharaoh Ozymandias. I'm terribly sorry...

Nitocris: I don't know what I was thinking. I will forego the race, so please, forget we ever spoke of this.

Ozymandias: No, you will compete. And of course, you will win.

Nitocris: Huh!? But, didn't you just say there is nothing for us to gain?

Ozymandias: Wrong, you fool! There is nothing for ME to gain! It is, however, my long-held belief that you lack the force of presence to drive your opponents into proper submission at your feet.

Ozymandias: This presents a perfect opportunity to remedy that particular shortcoming! Thus, queen of the heavens, you will enter this Ishtar Cup!

Ozymandias: There, you shall use your beauty and nobility to easily defeat your common Heroic Spirit opponents! That is an order from the god-king!

Ozymandias: And should you lose... I trust you understand what awaits you, Pharaoh Nitocris?

Ozymandias: I am magnanimous when it comes to heroes, but I have no mercy for cowards. ...Do not disappoint me.

Nitocris: Oh gosh... Oh gosh... Oh gosh!

Nitocris: This is terrible... Not only did I get scolded about being a proper pharaoh...

Nitocris: I couldn't even tell him that I wouldn't let him down after he placed such great trust in me.

Nitocris: I'm so ashamed. I'm a terrible pharaoh. I wish I could just crawl into a hole and disappear.

Nitocris: ...A-all right, let's just calm down. All that's changed is that I cannot back out now...

Nitocris: Besides, it's exactly because I'm lacking that I can't pass up this opportunity.

Nitocris: What's more, Pharaoh Ozymandias called me “Pharaoh Nitocris.”

Nitocris: I can't let him down now! In order to spread our glory even further throughout the world...

Nitocris: ...I will just have to work harder to become a proper pharaoh myself. That is my task.

Nitocris: That said...I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.

Nitocris: As the registration deadline is drawing near, I suppose my only option at this point is to be the driver myself, and find someone else to be my assistant.

Nitocris: At the very least, they will need to be a Servant who is appropriately in awe of us pharaohs.

Nitocris: There must be someone like that around here...

Nitocris: No, nobody here either...

Nitocris: Ugh, I'm running out of time! Isn't there anyone here who can help me!? Anyone at all!?

Caster of Storytelling: ...?

Nitocris: A-at last! You there, the woman with the familiar-looking color scheme!

Caster of Storytelling: Y-yes? (Shudder)

Nitocris: Let me ask you this: Do you believe in pharaohs!? Do you hold them in high regard!?

Caster of Storytelling: Uh...yes, I suppose so. They are kings, after all.

Nitocris: Excellent! You pass!

Nitocris: Prepare yourself! Gather your things! You shall have the honor of joining me in a race!

Nitocris: This is a great privilege! You are blessed with the chance to assist me in showing the world the true splendor and grandeur of the pharaohs!

Caster of Storytelling: What? No thank you... Just the thought of racing terrifies me. I'm sure I would end up dying.

Nitocris: Wha...

Caster of Storytelling: Is that all? I really don't want to die, so if you'll excuse me... (Bows)

Nitocris: W-w-w-waaait! You're the only one I can ask, and the deadline to register is almost here!

Caster of Storytelling: I'm very sorry, but I really must refuse.

Nitocris: ...All right, I won't ask you to do it without recompense. You said you don't want to die, right?

Nitocris: If we win, I will use my own techniques and ties to the underworld to create a special talisman for you.

Nitocris: If death comes for you, it will shatter in your place.

Nitocris: While it can only be used so many times, it should still help you to escape death.

Caster of Storytelling: I see... Is that true?

Nitocris: I swear on the gods in the underworld, the gods in the heavens, and in the name of all the pharaohs.

Nitocris: That said, creating such an object is the culmination of every bit of magecraft I know, so it cannot be done easily or lightly.

Nitocris: But this pamphlet says that the winners of this race will receive a Holy Grail from the goddess Ishtar.

Nitocris: With that sort of power, I should be able to make it.

Nitocris: All I want is for a pharaoh to win this race. I have no interest in the prize.

Caster of Storytelling: A talisman that would let me avoid death... That... That sounds nice. That sounds really nice...

Nitocris: Doesn't it though?

Nitocris: Now, give me your fingertip for a moment. (Presses it on the entry form) There we go.

Caster of Storytelling: With a talisman like that, I might not have to look up and down the street ten times before I cross...

Caster of Storytelling: I might not have to cut my steaks into tiny little pieces to ensure I don't choke...

Caster of Storytelling: I might even be able to stop going into the kitchen at every restaurant I dine at and testing my steak with my personal thermometer to ensure it has been cooked well enough to kill off all the bacteria...

Caster of Storytelling: ...Huh?

Nitocris: There, the application form is now complete!

Nitocris: Now that the biggest obstacle is out of the way, it's only a matter of time until we win this race and the glory of the pharaohs shines brighter than ever!

Nitocris: I mean, it already shines pretty bright thanks to all the other great pharaohs, but this way, it'll be as bright as Ra himself.

Nitocris: ...Maybe then, I'll finally be a pharaoh I can be proud of, even just a little.

Nitocris: Anyway! This is going to be a long journey, so make sure you're ready for anything!

Caster of Storytelling: ...

Caster of Storytelling: There's probably no cooling-off period for a contract made with a pharaoh, is there...

Caster of Storytelling: (Not to mention...)

Caster of Storytelling: (It looks as though this race is meant to repair a Singularity. In other words, it will help Master.)

Caster of Storytelling: (In which case...I suppose this is the least I can do to try and make amends.)

Caster of Storytelling: ...I'd better make absolutely sure that there are enough safety measures in our vehicle...

Opening Ceremony

Fujimaru 1: This is really exciting!

Fujimaru 2: This place is packed!

Mash: It really is, isn't it, Senpai. I wasn't expecting this to be such a huge event.

Mash: It's almost like a carnival. A lot of Servants turned out to watch in the spectator stands, too.

Mash: I saw them on that jumbo-sized screen not too long ago. I wonder if Ishtar paid for that as well.

Fujimaru 1: This must have all been very expensive...

Mash: It's not just the facilities either. Ishtar has also hired a number of Servants to staff the event.

Mash: That has to be a pretty significant expense too. It does seem very...generous of her.

Emiya: Sheesh. I can't believe she didn't make arrangements for even a single food stand.

Emiya: A race isn't just for the racers. It's also for all the people who come out to watch.

Emiya: Just look at this food cart I set up. I've got dogs...fried noodles...snow cones...

Emiya: And a super-hot steak griddle I projected specially for today!

Emiya: Heh... It's all so perfect, I almost scare myself.

Jack: Hey mister! One cotton candy, pleeease!

Nursery Rhyme: Cotton caaandy!

Emiya: Cotton candy!? ...Right. I guess that IS a popular summer treat, isn't it.

Emiya: I should have realized it sooner. Let's see, a cotton candy machine...

Emiya: I think that should do it. Coming right up, girls. How does extra caramel sound?

Ibaraki-Douji: ... (Stare) That looks like a cloud. Can you really eat it?

Emiya: Of course you can. Though it's actually just melted sugar spun into a cotton-like treat.

Emiya: You can have as much as you'd like as long as you've got QP to pay for it. There's no such thing as a free lunch, after all.

Ibaraki-Douji: Don't you mock me. Of course I have QP! In fact, I shall even pay for those two as well. Now give it to me! ALL OF IT!

Georgios: Hmm. I think I shall take a picture of that too.

Georgios: A fine shot, if I do say so myself. The subject is perfect, and the composition flawless. It seems the job of record keeper suits me.

Elisabeth: This is the best! I don't know why races are always treated as summer events, but as far as those things go, this one is awesome!

Elisabeth: After whatever happened during spring break, with me not showing up at all until the fall...

Elisabeth: ...and countless new girls popping up left and right, things were looking pretty dicey for me for a while.

Elisabeth: But then I got offered this sweet modeling gig! “All you have to do is stand around in this bikini.”

Elisabeth: This is great! I always wanted to try being a booth babe!

Elisabeth: Go on, Mr. Cameraman, snap away!

Elisabeth: I stayed up all night working on this pose! This summer, Supermodel Liz makes her debut!

Georgios: What a sad picture she paints. But she herself is so happy, I cannot bring myself to tell her.

Georgios: I must at least capture the dark side of this event as well. It is my duty as official record keeper.

Georgios: ...She truly does make for a poor subject. I wonder where I could find Lady Scáthach.

Elisabeth: Huh? What's with the pity-eyes!? I've got a great body, I'll have you know!

Mash: ...Look, Senpai. It's the racers.

Mash: Would you like to say hello to them?

Fujimaru 1: Good idea. I think I will.

Nero: Oh, if it isn't Fujimaru! Have you come to cheer me on? How very kind of you!

Nero: But then, I suppose it is only inevitable that you would. As inevitable as all roads leading to Rome.

Nero: After all, were it not for you... Hehehe...

Altria Alter: What are you prattling on about? Have the roses finally gotten to your head as well?

Altria Alter: Fujimaru is here to cheer ME on. After all...

Altria Alter: ...No, as a summer maid, I suppose I should not say anything that might lead another to be jealous.

Altria Alter: Hehe... How unusual to know the victor before the contest even begins. It does make for a decided lack of excitement, but it is certainly not a bad feeling.

Mash: I don't know why you're both acting so strangely, but I guess it would be stranger if you weren't. Still, there's one other thing I don't understand...

Fujimaru 1: Why are you both wearing swimsuits?

Nero: You mean you did not know? The rule book mandates that all drivers wear swimsuits.

Altria Alter: Indeed, it does.

Mash: I believe Senpai is wondering why you are BOTH wearing swimsuits?

Nero: Oh, that? Simple. Because we are both driving.

Altria Alter: And as an assistant is required to be on the team, we are both assisting as well.

Altria Alter: Thus, we are both driver and assistant. It was not against the rules to hold concurrent roles, you see.

Nero: Indeed! There is nothing underhanded about it!

Nero: Of course, while I should by rights be the only driver, this wicked dark maid here refuses to give up the wheel.

Nero: Never mind that I am an expert charioteer who won the race in Olympia. Why, I'm practically a Rider!

Altria Alter: Heh. That nonsense again? Even after changing into a swimsuit and altering your Spirit Origin, you still ended up a Caster.

Altria Alter: I, on the other hand, actually AM a Rider now. One with an exceptional Riding Skill, no less.

Altria Alter: There is no question that the only appropriate driver is me, but Drama Queen here would not permit it.

Altria Alter: We were unable to reach an agreement even after discussing the matter all night, and with no time left before the race was set to begin, we reluctantly agreed to share the role of driver.

Fujimaru 1: How come you both want to be the driver so badly?

Nero: You even need to ask!?

Altria Alter: I would think you of all people would understand.

Nero & Altria Alter: Because the driver gets the glory!

Fran: Uhh, Master!!

Fujimaru 1: Wait...what!?

Babbage: There may no longer be a need for me to interpret for her, but just in case... She is saying she's happy you came to cheer for her.

Mash: That's right. I just remembered that you're able to talk a little more as a Saber, Fran.

Mash: And with Babbage as your assistant, communication should be simple.

Fran: Uh. We'll be fine. (Nods)

Babbage: Of course. I can't have the daughter of an old friend taking part in a dangerous race on her own.

D:???: Indeed, there is nothing to worry about. In addition to the great bulk of the King of Steam...

D:???: ...I have joined the team to assure our victory! As such, young Fran can race in safety knowing two capable grown-ups are looking after her.

Mash: O-oh, right. I forgot you were here too, professor.

Professor M: Hahaha, I assure you there is nothing to fear.

Professor M: Right now, I am nothing more than a fiftyish adoptive father whose heart has been stolen by the innocent plea of a purehearted young girl!

Professor M: If you still have concerns, I invite you to change my entry name to “Mysterious Papa”!

Fujimaru 1: I still totally smell a crime afoot.

Professor M: How could you mistrust me so much? You wound me!

Fujimaru 2: I'll put you down as “Shady-Looking Old Man.”

Professor M: Please don't!

Mash: Fran and Babbage partnering up makes a lot of sense...

Mash: But somehow, I feel like their choice of additional members adds a lot of shadiness to their team...

Fran: I can handle a little shadiness!

Babbage: Indeed.

Babbage: Our team may have been assembled rather hastily, but his knowledge, notoriety, and shadiness are genuine.

Babbage: I have every confidence that we will win.

Babbage: Furthermore, he has agreed to assume nearly all responsibility if something occurs during the race.

Babbage: And since anything bad that may happen would almost certainly fall on his shoulders anyway, we feel everything should be fine.

Fran: Uh!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh, Master. I see you have come to cheer me on.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Hehe, thank you very much.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I confess to being...somewhat embarrassed knowing that I will be seen competing in a race, as that is more something Kintoki would do.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: But knowing you are cheering for me is a tremendous motivation. I swear I shall not disappoint you.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Other Servants may have abandoned dignity and decency simply because it is summer...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: But as the shadow prefect, I shall see that all such flagrancy is duly punished.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: My sword that kept all of Kyoto safe is still completely untarnished!

Mash: I really don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about, but it does sound like you have a different goal than the other racers, Raikou.

Sanzang: That she does. Personally, I still want to take first place, but who knows how it'll turn out.

Sanzang: Well, aside from the Buddha, of course. Anyway, it still looks like fun, so I decided to race with her!

Sanzang: It's been a long time since I got to go on a journey, so I can't wait. Who knows, I might even find a new disciple or sutra along the way!

Sanzang: As they say... GO WEST, young monk...

Sanzang: ...Wait. Come to think of it, which direction ARE we supposed to go in?

Helena: Oh, hello. What's up?

Helena: Wait, let me guess... You're here to find out what mystical wisdom powers our car, right?

Helena: Sorry, but I'm not telling. I trust you, but there's still a nonzero chance that information could make its way to the other teams if I did.

Helena: This race may be all fun and games, but it's more fun if we all do our best to win, right?

Fujimaru 1: Uh, I...guess?

Fujimaru 2: You seem more fired up than usual.

Nikola Tesla: Even she needs a chance to let off some steam now and again. I trust you can understand that.

Fujimaru 1: Still, I don't know...

Fujimaru 2: Isn't this race kind of dangerous...?

Helena: I'll be fine. I know I'll be competing with powerful kings and former Berserkers...

Helena: But brawn doesn't win a race! It's all about brains.

Helena: Don't believe me? ...Well, you should, 'cause I'm going to show you what we old people can do with all our years of wisdom!

Edison: (Whisper) As you can see, she's still a bit upset about that little incident from the other day. Part of that falls on your shoulders, Master.

Fujimaru 1: I'm sorry...

Edison: That said, we are the ones who encouraged her to compete.

Edison: Though I hesitate to use this word given its connotations with Holmes, one might say you and we are accomplices in that regard.

Edison: If you feel at all responsible for what happened, you can make up for it by cheering with all your might for this superb direct current support vehicle to win.

Nikola Tesla: Hold it. What did you just say about the alternating current support vehicle I've worked so hard on?

Mash: I can see where this is going...

Mash: Anyway, we don't have a lot of time, Senpai. Let's go visit the other teams while we still can.

Oda Nobunaga: It's me! Hahaha, let me guess: You came to tell me that the three ceremonial dishes I always have before setting out on a new campaign are all ready, correct?

Oda Nobunaga: That's the kind of dedication I like from my Master!

Oda Nobunaga: Still, while I imagine chestnuts and abalone remain a rare enough treat in this day and age, isn't kombu absurdly common now?

Oda Nobunaga: Perhaps you should forego the kombu and try something more modern... Maybe truffles?

Oda Nobunaga: After all, given that I handily won a (totally real and not imaginary) popularity poll, gaining a swimsuit is cause for an all-out celebra–

Oda Nobunaga: Huh? Chaldea's Nobbu Resources already ran out during the GUDAGUDA event this year? You're kidding me.

Oda Nobunaga: ...Well then, that's all the more reason I must win! First I shall take the prize money, then I shall perform a live concert that'll burn down the house!

Mash: I, uh, I see... A live concert, huh.

Mysterious Racer X: What's this about lives!?

Mysterious Racer X: Cause of course, I've been sensing the birth of too many new wicked lives myself!

Mysterious Racer X: Both the new and scantily clad Altria face and her partner, the emperor who thinks she can escape my sword by turning into a Caster!

Mysterious Racer X: There could be no evil so perfidious as their team in this or any race!

Mysterious Racer X: They may be a Rider and Caster now, but they're still Sabers at heart. And so I will cut them down. No, I MUST cut them down!

Mysterious Racer X: On top of that, I sense the birth of a whole new Saber... I'm gonna make sure we see SOMEONE knocked outta this race as soon as the starting gun goes off!

Mysterious Racer X: Of course, it also looks like I'll get to eat all sorts of yummy things if I win, so I'll be doing my best to win the race as well!

Oda Nobunaga: Indeed, I have high hopes for you, seeing how I am trusting you to handle all driving-related matters!

Oda Nobunaga: After all, I'm a general from the Sengoku period. The only mount I know how to steer is my horse, Oniashige.

Oda Nobunaga: And apparently this race's horse quota had already been filled.

Oda Nobunaga: ...Oh well, it can't be helped!

???: So, you wish to be granted an audience with the pharaoh before she sets out on her journey. Good. Such is only proper for one sworn to a contract with her.

Fujimaru 1: Who the heck are you!?

Fujimaru 2: Wait, did a medjed just talk!?

Nitocris: Y-you don't have to make THAT big a deal out of it. It's just me.

Mash: Oh! So it was you under there, Nitocris. But... Why were you under there?

Nitocris: Well... Earlier, while I was getting changed into my swimsuit, I got to thinking about how inadvertently rude I was to Pharaoh Ozymandias...

Nitocris: ...and how far I still have to go as a pharaoh myself.

Nitocris: And then I really, really, REALLY wanted to just hide my face, and one thing led to another, and...

Nitocris: Uh, I mean, never mind all that!

Nitocris: Surely you see how Medjed must be a fast racer thanks to his sleek form, right!? Yes! That is what you need to know!

Nitocris: Ahem. At any rate, I gratefully accept your presence as an audience. I presume you have prepared a tribute?

Fujimaru 1: Uh... Does wishing you good luck count?

Nitocris: ...Yes, it does. Gold or jewels would be unnecessary burdens on this journey, anyway.

Nitocris: I am glad you understand what is truly valuable. I gratefully accept your tribute, my ally.

Fujimaru 2: Uh... Sorry, I forgot.

Nitocris: ...Blasphemy!

Nitocris: ...No, I have only myself to blame. This wouldn't have happened were I a better pharaoh.

Nitocris: That, of course, is why I am here in the first place. I will demonstrate the glory of the pharaohs for all to see, and in so doing become a true pharaoh myself.

Caster of Storytelling: (Sigh) ...

Mash: I must say, it's a little surprising to see you assisting Nitocris.

Caster of Storytelling: I am just as surprised as you are.

Caster of Storytelling: I can hardly believe I was so taken with the idea of a charm to protect me from death that I entered a race which is almost certain to result in death.

Caster of Storytelling: Ah, all I can do now is hope that victory will allow me to be free of death forevermore.

Mash: It does seem kind of ironic that being so scared of death led to you skirting it.

Fujimaru 1: Stay safe out there.

Fujimaru 2: Just make sure you don't get hurt, okay?

Caster of Storytelling: ...

Caster of Storytelling: I am told that by participating in this race, we will be helping to dispel a Singularity.

Caster of Storytelling: If I imagine that I am offering this service to a compassionate king, perhaps that will serve as its own reason for my participation.

Caster of Storytelling: Indeed, I hope that by doing so, I can be of some service to you as well.

Mash: That's all of the teams.

Mash: To be honest, I have no idea which one will end up winning. All I can say for certain is that it looks like it's going to be a very intense race.

Mash: ...Oh? Senpai, look. Isn't that–

Ishtar: Okaaay! Everyone's here, right? Great!

Fujimaru 1: You're wearing a swimsuit too!

Fujimaru 2: And you're still floating...!?

Ishtar: Well of course I'm going to wear a swimsuit. I can't host a race in my stuffy regular clothes, can I?

Ishtar: Besides, I always wanted to try wearing a modern-day swimsuit. And since I was changing my outfit anyway, I thought I'd take the opportunity to get all sorts of other new things too★

Fujimaru 1: (Her usual outfit's basically a swimsuit anyway.)

Ishtar: What's that now? Word of advice: be careful what you think around a goddess.

Ishtar: In fact, this works out well. Since I was already taking my new form out for a test drive, I think now's as good a time as any for a little warm-up.

Ishtar: You two are going to have your work cut out for you in this event anyway, so I may as well give you a little taste of what's in store.

Ishtar: Hey, here I come, Fujimaru! Time to see what this new form can do!

Mash: Well, surprising no one, she isn't going to take no for an answer. Please try not to get hurt, Master!


Ishtar: Okay, that oughta about do it.

Mash: Um, can I ask you a question?

Ishtar: What is it?

Mash: Well, I couldn't help but wonder what that...thing by your feet is.

Ishtar: Uh...g-good question. Come to think of it, what IS this thing, anyway?

Fujimaru 1: Besides a weird pseudo-weapon, you mean?

Ishtar: H-hey, I didn't ask it to follow me around. But since it is, and it seems to really like me, I may as well train it to help me out a little, right?

Ishtar: Besides, every good race needs a mascot. And at least it's better than kicking it to the curb, right?

Fou: Fou... Fofoou... Fo?

Mash: Ah! Fou is giving it the same wild look he gave the boar piglets on that desert island!

Ishtar: So hey, on another note! I almost forgot something important. All racers, gather round!

Altria Alter: What is this about?

Ishtar: Okay everyone, all eyes on these tools!

Ishtar: These ritual tools are the key to erasing the Singularity and indicating that you're a legit participant of the Ishtar Cup!

Ishtar: They've been designed to integrate into your vehicles, so make sure you each install them.

Ishtar: Any vehicle that tries to compete without one of these will be automatically disqualified, so make sure not to forget them!

Ishtar: Got it? Whatever you do, do NOT lose or remove it during the race. That's VERY important.

Nero: Mine somewhat resembles a crown! I like it!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I suppose this is like that “E-Zpass” device that Kintoki has on his bike.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am not overly familiar with things like this, but as it seems our steeds require them, we shall use them!

Helena: A new part? Now? I wish you'd told us about this sooner.

Edison: It affects the balance of the entire craft. Of course, I can compensate quite easily, genius that I am.

Ishtar: Fujimaru! Don't give me that look! This concerns you too!

Ishtar: You two will be helping me run things. Come here, I'll tell you what your responsibilities are.

Ishtar: ...There you have it. Here we have the service and maintenance area along the starting line.

Ishtar: We'll have a few pit stops like this along the course.

Ishtar: I want you two to restock supplies as needed, handle any problems that arise...

Ishtar: ...and really just do whatever I tell you. Basically, you'll be like PAs for my new hit series!

Ishtar: I have no idea what that means, but I was told that's what you'd be!

Fujimaru 1: I see... Dare I ask who told you that?

Da Vinci: That would be me, of course!

Da Vinci: Ciao, Fujimaru! Ciao, Mash!☆

Mash: Da Vinci!

Da Vinci: I can see that you have a question for me. You're wondering why I allowed this whole thing!

Da Vinci: Admittedly, this is all pretty strange, but I figured I could let Ishtar here handle this how she wanted.

Da Vinci: I mean, Chaldea's budget is already stretched thin as it is, you know? The Mage's Association has cut off all financial aid until their inspectors get here...

Da Vinci: right now, all we've got is our UN budget and the remains of our nest egg keeping us afloat.

Da Vinci: So when Ms. Goddess there agreed to fund all this herself, I decided it was worth the risks.

Ishtar: Hey, of course there's gonna be risks. We're erasing a Singularity here, remember?

Da Vinci: Yes yes, I'm well aware. Anyway, there you have it, Mash. I know it's not ideal, but I trust you'll be able to handle it!

Mash: (Sigh) ...I guess I can see how you weren't able to stop this, but...

Da Vinci: Oh, don't worry. I'll keep backing you up from here like usual until my turn rolls around.

Da Vinci: While its format is pretty unorthodox,

Da Vinci: Ishtar was kind enough to provide a control system with a magecraft source of sorts, so we're all covered.

Fujimaru 1: She's really pulling out all the stops, huh.

Ishtar: O-of course. We goddesses are especially generous in summer, okay? You'd better be grateful!

Da Vinci: We are. Anyway, don't mind me. You two just focus on enjoying this year's summer festival.

Mash: Okay. It looks like Senpai and I are relegated to working behind-the-scenes this time...

Mash: But I certainly don't want to rain on the para–race after coming this far, so I'll do my best.

Mash: By the way Ishtar, what are you going to do once the race begins?

Da Vinci: If you're the production assistants, wouldn't that make her the director or producer or something?

Ishtar: Don't be silly. I planned this whole race, AND I'm the one supervising it. I've got tons of work to do!

Ishtar: In addition to telling you two what to do, I also have to provide running commentary, color commentary, and serve as the referee.

Mash: Commentary, huh. You really are taking this seriously...

Ishtar: Well, of course I am. I've got to keep the spectators engaged, after all.

Ishtar: Oh, and at some point, I might need you two to help me with a different kinda job.

Fujimaru 1: What sort of job?

Ishtar: Remember how I told you that this Singularity has a ruler and subordinates?

Ishtar: As long as we can finish the race, we shouldn't have to worry about them... Buuut since it's going to last for so long...

Ishtar:'s probably too much to hope that they'll just leave us alone for the whole thing.

Ishtar: So if they do try to interfere, I might have to go and stop them.

Ishtar: And since we're going to have to try to keep them from messing with the race too much... Naturally...

Ishtar: I'll need you to come along as a Master for that sorta thing, so stay sharp, 'kay?

Mash: That's true. We shouldn't forget that there are still enemies about.

Mash: I'm sorry I'm still unable to assist with combat myself...

Mash: But I'm relieved to know that you'll be out there with us, Ishtar.

Mash: I guess I was right when I predicted you'd be helping us without asking for compensation after all.

Fujimaru 1: I'll try my best, as always!

Mash: I know you will, Master. I'm sure you'll be fine no matter who we're up against!

Fujimaru 2: I'll try even harder than usual this time!

Ishtar: That's what I like to hear. I knew I saw potential in you.

Ishtar: Anyway, on that note, I'll let you give the combat orders during the race.

Ishtar: And to reward you for your service, I'll even form an official contract with you once the race is over.

Ishtar: Thanks again for helping out, Fujimaru!

Ishtar: Hehe... Just make sure you're not so enthralled by my swimsuit form that you forget all about the race.


Ishtar: Now that the race is finally about to begin...I'd better get ready to wave the starting flag.

Ishtar: There's not a job that stands out more, so I can just leave all that glory and publicity to someone else.

Ishtar: Ah! That means I won't be able to press the button for the starting lights... Okay, you can do that part.

Ishtar: ...It's not as important as the flag, but it's still a big job, so you better be ready for some divine punishment if you screw it up.

Da Vinci: Do you even need to wave the flag if you've already got the lights?

Ishtar: It's all about presentation, duh! Doesn't matter what I'm doing, so long as it gets the crowd fired up! So! I'm starting this race Ishtar-style! Got a problem with that?

Da Vinci: Not at all, my goddess.

Ishtar: Okay, Fujimaru, let's start by heading to the commentator seats.

Ishtar: First, I'll go over the rules of the race with the spectators, and introduce all the teams.

Ishtar: Then I'll tell everyone to get ready, and head to the starting line.

Ishtar: Once I give you the signal, go ahead and press the button to start the race whenever you're ready.

Fujimaru 1: Got it.

Fujimaru 2: I hope I don't mess it up...!

Mash: G-good luck, Senpai! Don't worry, I know you can do it!

Ishtar Commentary: At last...the moment you've all been waiting for is almost here!

Ishtar Commentary: The Ishtar Cup Singularity Cannonball Run is just about to begin!

Ishtar Commentary: Thank you for that thunderous round of applause!

Ishtar Commentary: This race and commentary are brought to you by Chaldea's richest and most beautiful goddess, the incarnation of love and war herself: Ishtar!

Ishtar Commentary: As I'm sure you've all heard plenty, Ishtar's the only goddess Chaldea needs! So don't you worry, you'll be seeing plenty of yours truly during this event!

Ishtar Commentary: Oooh, I can FEEL the glares of those other inferior goddess Servants who're all upset that they won't be getting their turn in the spotlight.

Ishtar Commentary: And to that, I say... sucks to be you, losers!

Mash: I'm...not even sure what to say anymore.

Fujimaru 1: She just doesn't give a damn, does she.

Fujimaru 2: I think she's OVER-warming up the crowd.

Ishtar Commentary: Now then, let's go over the rules of this race.

Ishtar Commentary: The starting line is, of course, right here, and the finish line is on the other side of this Singularity. You'll recognize it because it's sporting the beautiful, brand-new Ishtar temple! Check it out on the live feed!

Mash: I had no idea she had something so extravagant built at the finish line, too. What an incredibl(y wasteful) expenditure for a onetime event!

Ishtar Commentary: Incidentally, this live feed is brought to us by a drone made in the famed workshop of none other than the Ishtar Cup board member and special advisor, Leonardo da Vinci.

Ishtar Commentary: Thanks to this, you'll all be able to see how each team is doing at every leg of the race!

Ishtar Commentary: As everyone knows, it's the mark of a great goddess to give credit where credit is due.

Ishtar Commentary: So let's have a big round of applause for this muh, this...FOR DA VINCI! They've been a big help!

Ishtar Commentary: Now then, there are four checkpoints between the starting line here and the finish line.

Ishtar Commentary: Whenever a team reaches one of these checkpoints, they'll be required to stop...

Ishtar Commentary: ...and wait for every other team to reach the same checkpoint. Naturally, each team's time will be closely monitored all the while.

Ishtar Commentary: Once every team has reached that checkpoint...

Ishtar Commentary: ...the race will resume with all vehicles leaving from that checkpoint's starting line at the same time and continuing to race until the next checkpoint!

Ishtar Commentary: Since it's a long way to the finish line, the idea is to break up the race into five smaller courses.

Ishtar Commentary: However, at the last checkpoint before the goal, instead of all vehicles leaving at once...

Ishtar Commentary: ...the time difference between each team will be tallied up, and they will have to wait until the corresponding amount of time has passed before they can go.

Ishtar Commentary: This is so we don't have vehicles getting too far apart from one another. That'd be really boooring!!!

Ishtar Commentary: Gotta mix things up to keep 'em interesting, y'know?

Mash: Th-that makes a surprising amount of sense. She's thought this through a lot more than I expected.

Ishtar Commentary: Oh! Also, there's a looot of distance even between checkpoints, so you racers'll probably wanna rest up at the various pit stops you'll find along the way.

Ishtar Commentary: Even though each team's got an assistant providing their vehicle with magical energy, this'll DEFINITELY be one exhausting race!

Ishtar Commentary: Now, of course I expect you all to REEEALLY compete to be the fastest, but I also want you all to see the race through to the end. No dropping out on my watch!

Mash: I think...that's Ishtar's way of showing concern for all of the racers.

Mash: I guess she hasn't entirely forgotten her kindhearted goddess side after all. That's a relief.

Fujimaru 1: For sure.

Fujimaru 2: If only she could remember that side more often...

Ishtar Commentary: Okay, that about takes care of the rules! We'll be getting this race started real soon now!

Ishtar Commentary: Now I think it's time we met all the lovable daredevils who volunteered to risk their lives in what's sure to be a brutal race!

Ishtar Commentary: Our first team is the Tyrannical Shooting Star, and one of the top contenders for the cup!

Ishtar Commentary: Just the fact that they named their vehicle Red Venus, EVEN THOUGH I'm the organizer, should tell you everything you need to know about how gutsy these two are!

Ishtar Commentary: In the driver-slash-assistant seat: Nero Claudius!

Nero: Umu. I, Nero Claudius, am nothing less than the greatest charioteer in all of Rome!

Nero: I may not have her sword, but my victory is promised just the same! Shower me in your cheers and adulation!

Ishtar Commentary: And, in the other driver-slash-assistant seat: Altria Alter!

Altria Alter: I know no one by that name. I am but a summer maid, as I believe I indicated on my entry form?

Ishtar Commentary: That's right, it's an unprecedented double-driver, double-assistant team! At first I was a little flustered I didn't catch this loophole about teammates pulling double duty...

Ishtar Commentary: ..buuut they're both wearing swimsuits and it oughta be fun to watch, so I figured what the hell! Besides, doesn't look like either of them has any other friends to ask!

Ishtar Commentary: Next, we have Electric Steam feat. Papa! Hey, can you do something about how shady you're coming off!?

Professor M: Hello there. I'm Professor M, the assistant for this team. I promise you can trust me.

Ishtar Commentary: ...Gonna take that as a no. That guy is suuuper shady...

Ishtar Commentary: Well, never mind him. Let's just move on to the driver.

Ishtar Commentary: She's not normally much of a talker, but it looks like she'll be making up for lost time this summer! I like your spirit, Frankenstein!

Fran: ...Uh! I'm new to being a Saber, but I'll do my best!

Ishtar Commentary: Next, we have another...assistant? Or whatever he is... Charles Babbage!

Babbage: Here, I shall reveal my body's new functionality, the result of countless painstaking calculations.

Babbage: ...A transformation!

Babbage: Input complete, steam pressure rising! Behold the King of Steam's new cross-country form!

Babbage: Babbage Locomotive Form!

Mash: ...(There it is!)...

Fujimaru 1: (Yup, transformations are still awesome.)

Professor M: Mmm, this is nice. I can sense everyone's mistrust of me is greatly reduced as Babbage's Locomotive Form draws their attention.

Professor M: An exemplary instance of teamwork.

Ishtar Commentary: More like the mistrust is getting spread around your whole team. Just make sure your evil scheming doesn't make too much trouble for us running the show, okay?

Fujimaru 1: Probably not the BEST idea to say stuff like that...

Fujimaru 2: You know, he might think you're serious.

Ishtar Commentary: That's okay. A little chaos in the mix should help keep things interesting!

Ishtar Commentary: Okay, let's keep things moving with–well, talk about straightforward! Give it up for the Prefect of Public Decency and Monk Sanzang!

Ishtar Commentary: Their driver is Minamoto-no-Raikou! I've received a tip from a passing motorcyclist warning me that...

Ishtar Commentary: ...quote, “Raikou's a dangerous shadow prefect now, so be careful.” I wonder what that's all about.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Listen, everyone: you must not let summer go to your heads! I will not permit anyone to engage in behavior or wear clothing that flouts public decency!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Should anyone attempt to do so, they should be prepared to suffer the consequences: a swift execution!

Sanzang: I'm just tagging along for this reform program ride! In that sense, I guess I'm kind of like Wukong!

Sanzang: I'm picking up plenty of Buddha Power in this place, so I'm feeling good about my chances!

Ishtar Commentary: Incidentally, I've decided their outfits qualify as pareu-style. As far as I'm concerned, summer Sanzang's a swimsuit Servant. Got that? Good.

Ishtar Commentary: As for their vehicle, its name is Kyogoku & Bailong!

Ishtar Commentary: Okay, so it's not the same sorta machine as the other vehicles here, but hey, these horses still seem like pretty strong spirits, so I decided to allow it!

Ishtar Commentary: Our next team is Satisfaction H∴T∴E! Its driver: Helena Blavatsky!

Helena: This is it! We're going to have so much fun!

Ishtar Commentary: This vehicle's name is Kumara Wheel & Thunderdome.

Ishtar Commentary: And it looks like they've given a technical breakdown that...nobody asked for. Let's see...

Ishtar Commentary: Apparently, this is “an ingenious design created by certified geniuses that takes Ms. Blavatsky's racing...

Ishtar Commentary: ...Kumara Wheel and ingeniously pairs it with a DC/AC Thunderdome to provide genius-level support–”

Nikola Tesla: It's an AC/DC Thunderdome!

Edison: No, she had it right with DC/AC the first time!

Ishtar Commentary: (...This team isn't going to implode, is it? I spent a lot of money on this race, so you'd all BETTER finish it.)

Helena: Don't worry, Ishtar! If worse comes to worst, I'll just race in my Kumara Wheel!

Edison & Nikola: After all that trouble we went to!?

Ishtar Commentary: Okay, next we have... Uh... Is it just me, or does that look more like a rocket than a car?

Ishtar Commentary: This team's name is ...Killer Demon King of the Xth Heaven! Their vehicle: Demon King of the V6 Heaven!

Ishtar Commentary: It's a highly unorthodox vehicle, but then, it's a highly orthodox team, with Oda Nobunaga as driver!

Oda Nobunaga: That's me!

Oda Nobunaga: Oh yeah! Are you seeing this, Okita?

Oda Nobunaga: Bet you never expected to lose so massively to Summer Nobbu, did you! (Double peace sign)

Mystery Racer X: Vroom, vroom! The engine looks to be in peak condition! Heh... It's gonna be out for blood tonight!

Ishtar Commentary: I get the feeling the driver and assistant roles are switched here,, I'll allow it!

Ishtar Commentary: Well, more that I'm just gonna let these two do their own thing and be done with it. Now, our final entry!

Ishtar Commentary: Their team name: Desert Beauty. Their vehicle name: The Pharaoh Legend!

Nitocris: All right, which one of you said those names are overselling it!? I'll pass judgment on you myself!

Nitocris: ...No, I won't. I already know I don't live up to those names. I thought I should at least make it sound like I have confidence in myself...

Nitocris: I thought that doing so might help me to mentally overcome the things Pharaoh Ozymandias said I was lacking, but... (Mutter)

Caster of Storytelling: I don't believe anyone said anything of the sort.

Caster of Storytelling: Also, we have yet to even begin the race. Isn't it a bit early to be hiding away like that, Nitocris?

Caster of Storytelling: Then again, if the purpose of that outfit is to prevent death from heatstroke on our perilous journey...

Caster of Storytelling: ...then you should be commended. Perhaps I should wear one myself, since I don't want to die.

Ishtar Commentary: Don't do that! It defeats the whole point of a swimsuit event! Will nobody think of the fans!?

Ishtar Commentary: Of course, having said that, I can't really deny that this race holds peril after peril for our teams!

Ishtar Commentary: So a word of advice to all you racers: be careful not to die out there!

Ishtar Commentary: Okay, now that we've met all the teams, I think it's time we got this party started!

Ishtar Commentary: All racers, on your marks!

Ishtar: Okay, I've got the flag, and I'm standing in position. Now then... (Glance)

Mash: Senpai, that's the signal! Go ahead whenever you're ready!

Fujimaru 1: (Gulp...)

Fujimaru 2: (Okay, there's the button for the lights.)

Mash: ...

Ishtar: ...

Fujimaru 1: ...Here goes!

Ishtar: Aaand we're off! The Ishtar Cup Singularity Cannonball Run is underway!

Mash: I-it's started. It's really started! Look at everyone go!

Mash: The first one out of the gate is...

Mash: ...!

Oda Nobunaga: Wahahahaha! Cars? Horses? LOL, as the kids say! This is why I chose this woman as my partner!

Oda Nobunaga: These days, it's all about air–no, space travel! Why drive when you can fly!?

Oda Nobunaga: This is how Oda Nobunaga, the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven, rolls! You obsolete Heroic Spirits can all be relegated to historical footnotes!

Oda Nobunaga: My path to superstardom is now all but inevitable!

Mysterious Racer X: Elevation angle, check! Igniting rocket boosters! Main engine...full throttle!

Mysterious Racer X: Output levels look good! We could fly to the other end of the galaxy if we wanted to!

Mysterious Racer X: Here goes! Altrium...blast ooofff!

Ishtar: ...

Oda Nobunaga: What just happened!?

Ishtar: I guess you didn't read the rules, huh? This is a race. No flying permitted.

Ishtar: Catching some air off the ramps is one thing, but just flying around like that is against the rules!

Ishtar: If I see any of you try that again, I'll shoot you down with Maanna immediately, so watch yourselves.

Oda Nobunaga: I see... Well, in that case... I suppose it can't be helped.

Mash: It looks like this is already shaping up to be a highly fraught race.

Mash: I wonder if everyone will make it to the finish line okay.

Mash: And what's more...which team will be the winner...?

1st Area: Plains A

Fou: Fou... Fouwaaa...

Mash: Fou is so bored he's starting to yawn.

Mash: With the exception of that rocket incident, I guess it HAS been surprisingly quiet so far...

Fujimaru 1: Everyone's still feeling each other out.

Mash: True. But I wouldn't mind if things stayed this peaceful for the entire race.

Fujimaru 2: I wouldn't mind if it stayed that way...

Mash: Me neither.

Mash: I've learned about sporting events like marathons and ekiden from video records in the sports library.

Mash: They showed me that a competition doesn't need fighting or conflict to be riveting. Just seeing who is the fastest can be more than enough.

Mash: I hope this race turns out to be a clean, honest competition, just like–

Ishtar: No way! I didn't pony up for this event just to have my racers be good sports!

Ishtar: Did you forget who I am or something? I'm Ishtar! The goddess of love, beauty, and WAR! Duh!

Ishtar: And I say it's not a real race until there's been some bloodshed. The fans didn't come here to watch the racers play nice!

Ishtar Commentary: ...So, on that note, let's go back to commentary mode!

Ishtar Commentary: The lead racers are just about to enter the first area... Does this bode well, or is it a sign of trouble afoot!?

Ishtar Commentary: And hey, what do you know: It looks like something's happening over there. That's more like it!

Nero: Everything looks the same around here. I am growing bored of this scenery! I desire excitement!

Nero: What do you say, dark maid? Shall we try picking a fight?

Altria Alter: I am loathe to admit it, but I was just thinking the same thing. My self-control has reached its limit.

Altria Alter: However, before we go about ridding ourselves of interlopers, there is something strange around here that must be dealt with.

Altria Alter: I can sense the sort of people I dislike most: ill-mannered customers.

Fran: Hm...? (Tilts head)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I see the air and sand have grown dry. Hmm...

Helena: Hm? What is this rundown place?

Nitocris: This desert brings back memories...but the sand here seems much less pleasant than it is in Egypt.

Oda Nobunaga: Something's coming from up above! Watch out!

Mohawked Man A: Yeehaw!

Mohawked Man B: You're not goin' anywhere!

Mohawked Man C: Stop right there, girlies!

Oda Nobunaga: Who are these men with the strange haircuts? Were they defeated in battle and forced to cut their hair that way as a mark of their shame?

Mysterious Racer X: Heh, I guess they're some kind of wandering space soldiers.

Mysterious Racer X: This should be fun! Let's see if they can keep up with my driving technique!

Ishtar Commentary: What's this? A mysterious group of mohawked men have appeared before our racers! Are they friend, or foe!?

Fujimaru 1: Foe, obviously. Three words: search and destroy.

Mash: Yes...I suppose you're right. They certainly don't appear to be very friendly.

Fujimaru 2: I guess they could just be pretending to be foes.

Mash: Yes...I suppose you're right. We shouldn't judge books by their covers, after all. It's just like you to be so understanding, Senpai.

Ishtar Commentary: Our racers are completely surrounded, and have no choice but to come to a stop!

Ishtar Commentary: Each group is eyeing the other! Will our racers engage these men with diplomacy, or hostility!?

Altria Alter: Welcome, honored customers. Let us begin with Secace Morgan!!!

Mohawked Man: GAAAAAAH!

Nero: Hahaha, well done, British barbarian! I shall have to make sure I do not fall behind!

Nero: You came to hear me perform, yes? Then listen well, Laudatum Domus Illustris!

Fou: Fou!?

Mash: They STARTED with their Noble Phantasms!? Th-that's overkill!

Fujimaru 1: Sure is.

Fujimaru 2: Bit much for the little guys like that isn't it!?

Ishtar Commentary: Looks like things are escalating quickly. Not that I'd expect any less.

Ishtar Commentary: Anyway, this looks like the right level of violence to get things rolling.

Ishtar Commentary: Let's sit back and watch how our racers handle this little warm-up exercise!


Fran: ...Hm!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Such rebellious hairstyles are unacceptable! You may shave your head if you like, but you must keep the hair that remains in a tidy topknot!

Helena: They're not very strong, but there's so many of them that it's–hm? What's that?

???: ...This is as far as you go, intruders.

???: This is our land.

???: Did you think you could set foot in our land without first paying your respects?

Nero: This voice...

Mohawked Man A: B-boss!

Mohawked Man B: Big cat sis!

Mohawked Man C: Ma'am's here to save us!

Nitocris: Ugh! Couldn't you all have agreed on a nickname for her ahead of time?

Nero: What an unpleasant surprise... This Singularity truly has gone awry. I never expected to see you leading these barbarians.

Nero: But let me just make certain of this: ARE you their leader, Atalante?

Atalante: It would seem I am, Your Imperial Highness.

Nero: Why do you interfere with my rosy driving? Who are those men, anyway?

Atalante: My presence here alone should give you the answer to that.

Atalante: They are my darling children.

Nero: ...What was that?

Fran: I don't...understand.

Babbage: What in the world are you talking about?

Professor M: Perhaps I should introduce you to a good therapist.

Nitocris: Children...? But, you're so close in age...

Oda Nobunaga: And you look nothing alike. In fact, I have a hard time believing you're even the same species...

Oda Nobunaga: They look more like ogres than anything...

Atalante: There is more to parenting than age difference or genetics. Our relationship is what matters. I shall tell you again: these are my children, and I adore them.

F:Mohawked Man: Yeehaw!

F:Mohawked Man: Yeah! Mama gets compliments all the time on what precious angels we are! (Licks pipe)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Relationship, eh... You're exactly right. A mother and her children are not linked by blood alone.

Atalante: Now...never mind my children.

Atalante: These are the Atalante Plains, and there is something I must tell all who would try to cross them.

Helena: Huh, I'm surprised you're such a romantic that you'd name this land after yourself. That's like something an explorer would do.

Atalante: ...The name is of no importance.

Atalante: What IS important is that this road leads to our greatest treasure... Something more valuable than even gold or jewels.

Altria Alter: Is that so... And what is this treasure?

Atalante: Seed apples. We have planted seed apples up ahead.

Altria Alter: ...What?

Nitocris: Um... I'm not even sure what those are.

Atalante: Seed apples are seed apples. Plant them, and they grow into apples.

Atalante: They are truly a blessing in this forsaken land. I need them to ensure my children's future.

Atalante: But if you were to run roughshod over them with your wheels and hooves, that future would be ruined. I cannot permit that.

Helena: Um, are you aware that apples don't like arid environments? There's no way they'll ever grow in climate like thi–

Atalante: Silence! It is not today that matters, but tomorrow!

Helena: I'm fairly certain this desert will still be hot and dry tomorrow, and you'll have the same problem...

Atalante: At any rate...I will not have you racing over our seed apple orchard.

Atalante: I shall be merciful and permit you to turn back, or to find another path.

Atalante: However...if after everything I have told you, you insist on proceeding, my wrath shall be swift and terrible.

Atalante: I will not hesitate to pierce your heart on the spot.

Atalante: For my arrows exist solely to ensure my children will always have cause to smile!

Mohawked Men: Heeheeheehee! (Smiling while sticking out pierced tongue)

Ishtar Commentary: The very instant our racers reach the first area, they are presented with their first real challenge: an ultimatum from a mysterious, beautiful woman!

Ishtar Commentary: If they continue on their current path, they will have to face a hail of arrows!

Ishtar Commentary: How will they get out of this predicament!?

Ishtar: Looks like this Singularity's inhabitants showed up after all. It does complicate matters, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Ishtar: Races are supposed to have setbacks, after all, so it all adds up to make the ritual more exciting!

Ishtar: Now come on you two, don't just stand there! You've got a lot of work ahead of you!

Mash: I guess it's too soon to tell what will happen later, but for the moment, it does seem like we won't be fighting Atalante just yet.

Mash: So I suppose we should do what we can by focusing on our own jobs.

Mash: I believe it had something to do with keeping supplies in stock?

Ishtar: That's right. I want you to bring supplies and stuff to the pit stops and racers on the track.

Ishtar: That said, circumstances can change preeetty quickly in a race like this, so it's probably impossible to make sure all the teams are always on equal footing all the time.

Ishtar: So you're free to use your own discretion to send supplies to whichever team you think needs them...

Ishtar: ...or even just the team you most want to win.

Ishtar: If that ends up making things a little uneven, well that's okay. Each team's relationship with you is an important part of the race too.

Fujimaru 1: I see. Okay, I'll give it a try!

Fujimaru 2: I'll do my best to keep up with everyone!

Mash: I know you will, Senpai. I do wonder how everyone else will end up handling this race.

Mash: But I'm certain that if we do our job well, we'll be able to help all of them. Let's both do our best!

Fou: Fou!

1st Area: Race Highlights

Professor M: Now, while events are yet in their infancy, I have already arrived at one certain, undeniable conclusion.

Professor M: To wit: seed apples do not, in truth, exist. Ergo: that catgirl is merely bluffing. QED.

Professor M: Therefore we would be best served by proceeding ahead without concern! Nothing could be simpler!

Professor M: Go on, Fran! Feel free to put the pedal to the metal and express how much you love your helpful Papa!

Fran: I don't really love you, Papa! Full steam ahead!

Professor M: ...Am I mistaken, or did she just say something tremendously hurtful? Please tell me I misheard her?

Babbage: ...Answer not found. I couldn't hear her over the sound of my lovely steam whistle. Full speed ahead!

Fran: I love summeeer!

Professor M: Hmm. Well, my daughter certainly seems happy, so I shall call it a win! I am nothing if not a master of rationalization!

Helena: I agree, we don't need to worry about their crops! Let's pick up the pace!

Edison/Tesla: You got it! DC/AC power...full charge!

Oda Nobunaga: If ever there was a time to take advantage of our rocket, it seems like it would be now.

Oda Nobunaga: I doubt we'll be found out now that we've come this far. I'll just retract our tires and try cruising at low altitu–

Mysterious Racer X: Danger! Emergency evasive action! Ishtar's trying to snipe us! Get those tires back out! Hurry!

Oda Nobunaga: Wahahahaha, this is quite the spin we're going on! Totally rock 'n' roll! Go on, ramming speed!

Mysterious Racer X: Hehe, what an unfortunate accident! It's a reeeal shame, but these things happen! Just you wait, Saberfaces! I'm coming for you!

Nero: Umu! It's wonderful to have such earnest rivals as this. All of their brakes are shot to hell!

Nero: Well, I am not about to be left behind! Onward, let's leave a trail of roses as we weave our way through the skirmish! We shall be the ones on top when this ends!

Altria Alter: Seed apples... Those sound nice. Their name reminds me of apple pie. But...I will still not show them an ounce of mercy! After all...

Altria Alter: I do not know how to cook! I only have use for pies that have already been baked! If these seed apples have any sense, they shall be reborn as seed apple pies!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...This won't do at all.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: While combatants may run roughshod over an orchard in battle often enough, this is still a transgression I cannot overlook!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I forbid it! This is unacceptable! If any here is the sort of delinquent who would violate public decency as easily as they would trample a campus flower bed...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...know that I, Minamoto-no-Raikou, will never let you get away with it!

Sanzang: But won't it only damage the ground more if we go after them with horses?

Sanzang: I'm sure the Buddha wouldn't approve of wasting food...but oh well.

Sanzang: Indra has clearly smiled upon her, so if she's this unconcerned about the orchard...

Sanzang: ...that must mean the Buddha is A-OK with it!

Nitocris: We should soon be in the zone where these seed apples are supposedly planted.

Nitocris: ...It certainly is a dilemma, isn't it.

Nitocris: If we trample the orchard, I could be seen to be ignoring starving commoners, which isn't a good look for any ruler.

Nitocris: I'm not at all afraid of that huntress's arrows, but anything that would lower the pharaohs' reputation is cause for concern.

Caster of Storytelling: Shall we take a detour around the area then?

Nitocris: Don't be ridiculous! A true pharaoh wouldn't take a detour! Especially not when we're already behind!

Caster of Storytelling: (Sigh) Then what DO you want to do?

Nitocris: That's what I'm trying to figure out. Hmm... Hmmmm...

Nitocris: ...

Caster of Storytelling: (I wonder if it is easier for her to think under that outfit, in much the same manner as how some people feel more at ease in narrow spaces.)

Nitocris: Hmm... What would Cleopatra or Pharaoh Ozymandias do if they were here? Hmm... (Gasp)

Nitocris: I see it now! If Pharaoh Ozymandias were here, I'm sure this is what he would say...

Ozymandias (Imagined): Hahahaha! A foolish question! If these seeds are hearty and strong, then they should welcome my noble footsteps!

Ozymandias (Imagined): And if they are so impertinent as to die from my trodding upon them, then they did not deserve to remain alive!

Ozymandias (Imagined): In other words...either outcome is acceptable! Now go forth, and pay them no heed!

Nitocris: ...What an inspiration he is! Yes, great pharaoh! I shall follow your example!

Caster of Storytelling: ...Um, Nitocris, I'm not so sure this man you admire is, well–

Nitocris: Come on, we don't have any time to waste! Onward!

Caster of Storytelling: (...She seems to have profound concerns of her own. I can relate to how fragile her happiness is.)

Nitocris: Phew. All that said... Even if this is the only choice available to me as a pharaoh...

Nitocris: ...I do hope I don't end up killing any of these seeds.

Nitocris: I also used to be a king, however briefly, so I understand how important orchards like these are to–

Nitocris: ...?

Nitocris: Um, is it just me, or do we seem to be unusually high off the ground?

Nitocris: And is it my imagination, or are we also moving more slowly?

Caster of Storytelling: Yes, we are. We are using one of The Pharaoh Legend's hidden forms: Walker Mode.

Nitocris: W-Walker Mode!? I didn't know we had anything like that!

Caster of Storytelling: In this mode, the Legend extends six legs normally hidden in the undercarriage and transforms into a scarab form...

Caster of Storytelling: ...then is able to move very carefully by placing the small tips of each leg down one at a time. Like so.

Nitocris: I-it's very shaky... and it feels like...we're barely...moving!

Caster of Storytelling: There is nothing we can do about that. This is one of the Legend's safety features. Its scarab legs touch very little of the ground at a time...

Caster of Storytelling: ...when it sensed that you did not want to step on the seeds, it transformed automatically in order to avoid doing so.

Caster of Storytelling: This system was originally designed to prevent us from dying to land mines.

Caster of Storytelling: I never expected it to activate in order to avoid stepping on seeds planted in the ground.

Nitocris: Why...did you...install this!?

Caster of Storytelling: What do you mean? I asked you while I was putting this vehicle together if it was all right for me to install a bare minimum of safety features.

Nitocris: Okay...I remember...that! But how does THIS...qualify as a bare minimum...feature!? ...Ow, my butt!

Caster of Storytelling: I'm afraid you'll just have to deal with it. This mode is designed first and foremost to avoid stepping on dangerous objects. Speed and comfort are secondary concerns.

Nitocris: Oh man, we're the only ones still here. All the other teams are already way ahead of us...

Nitocris: And at this piddling speed...we'll never catch up to them!

Nitocris: This race was supposed to demonstrate the glory of the pharaohs. I've already failed to do that, and the race is only just beginning!

Nitocris: If Pharaoh Ozymandias were watching this, I'm sure he'd be extremely upset about–

Caster of Storytelling: Hm? Something just exploded up ahead!

Nitocris: Oh gosh, oh gosh! Is Pharaoh Ozymandias already firing at us from Mesektet!?

Nitocris: I-I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry! I know I'm a failure as a pharaoh!

Caster of Storytelling: No, nobody is firing at us, Nitocris. Look, over there!

Fran: ...!

Oda Nobunaga: Wh-what the...? The ground beneath us just EXPLODED. And these flames... They remind me of Honnoji. (Slump)

Mysterious Racer X: S-some cowardly Saber must have done this... I swear...I'll make (Slump)

Atalante: Pitiful.

Atalante: I planted land mines in front of our seed apples, the symbol of our tomorrow, in order to keep them safe.

Nitocris: !?

Caster of Storytelling: It seems that everyone who went ahead of us has been blown up.

Caster of Storytelling: I believe we avoided a similar fate thanks to Legend's Walker Mode.

Atalante: Now do you understand, intruders? There is nothing I will not do, no matter how despicable or depraved, to keep my children safe!

Atalante: Incidentally, I purchased these land mines from a passing demon. They are guaranteed to be effective even against Servants.

Nitocris: Okay, but...considering how big their explosions were...

Nitocris: Haven't they also just blown up all the seed apples you planted here too?

Atalante: ...

Atalante: ...Cursed intruders! Our hopes for tomorrow have been dashed thanks to your meddling!

Atalante: If only you had never come children would still be smiling.

Mohawked Men: (Wide grin with missing teeth)

Caster of Storytelling: They still seem to be smiling, though...

Atalante: Silence! I will endure your atrocities no longer! You shall pay for what you have done!

Nitocris: Well that complicates matters. that all the other teams are out of commission, this is our chance to pull ahead!

Nitocris: Restore The Pharaoh Legend to Driving Mode! First we'll shake her off, then we'll take first place!

Caster of Storytelling: I will do as you say, since we'll be a sitting duck otherwise...but I'm afraid we cannot shake her off.

Caster of Storytelling: She is easily keeping pace with us on foot!

Atalante: Did you truly think you could escape me!?

Atalante: My name is synonymous with racing, and racing with my name! Unlike you weaklings, I have no need for a vehicle!

Nitocris: Damn... Looks like we have no choice but to fight our way out of this.

Nitocris: But once we beat her, our victory here is all but assured. Let's go!


Atalante: O-our future... Our future is...gone.

Nitocris: Now that we've reached an understanding, I think we'll be on our way.

Atalante: ...Wait. There is one last thing I wish to say.

Caster of Storytelling: ...What is it?

Atalante: I did my best to play the role I was given...but I suppose expecting you all to buy that the mohawked men were my children was asking a bit much after all?

Nitocris: Role...? Who could have given her a role to play? Is there someone else ruling this Singularity?

Caster of Storytelling: Perhaps? I'm afraid I do not know.

Nitocris: Ah well, that hardly matters any longer! The important thing is that no one's holding us back anymore.

Nitocris: Let's head for the checkpoint and enjoy some well-earned admiration along the way!

Nitocris: ...Why are we back in Walker Mode!?

Caster of Storytelling: It is precisely when one lets down their guard after feeling secure in their victory that accidents are most likely to occur. We must not fall into that trap.

Caster of Storytelling: After all, if we were to get careless and drive over a leftover land mine...we would still end up dead.

Nitocris: Oh no! I hear the sound of engines coming up behind us!

Nitocris: The other teams must have recovered. At this rate, they'll catch up to us in no time!

Nitocris: Hurry up and get us out of this mode! Now!

2nd Area: Crater B

Mash: Now the race for the second area is underway. All the teams are starting off on equal footing again.

Mash: I've calculated the difference in times between when everyone arrived at the first checkpoint, so we do have a provisional ranking at the moment.

Mash: But it's still too early to tell how things will play out.

Fujimaru 1: I'm just glad nobody retired early.

Ishtar: You said it. That's the one thing we've got to avoid no matter what.

Ishtar: So make sure you keep tabs on every team, got it, Fujimaru?

Fujimaru 2: That was a hell of an area to start the race with.

Mash: That's very true. I'm glad everyone made it through there.

Ishtar: You gotta admit the crowd loved it, though. You know, enthusiasm at a race is a lot like faith.

Ishtar: And in this case, the stronger that faith is, the more certain this Singularity will be to disappear.

Mash: Since you've put such an unusual amount of time and money into this event...

Mash: ...I guess you really must want everyone to finish this race, right, Ishtar?

Ishtar: Uh, yup, I sure do!

Ishtar: Anyway, I'm glad everyone made it through the first area!

Ishtar Commentary: Now...what awaits our racers in the second area!?

Ishtar Commentary: As they all left the starting line at the same time, it shouldn't be long now before they notice the change in their surroundings!

Ishtar Commentary: Fancy scene transition, go!

Oda Nobunaga: Whoa it's hot here! Yikes! It's downright scorching! Are they trying to set us on fire?

Oda Nobunaga: Wait. Am I already starting to tan?

Mysterious Racer X: Now I'm really glad we went through the snow cone drive-through!

Mysterious Racer X: Huh!? It's so hot here that my snow cone already melted into a puddle of syrupy water! Although...(sip) at least it still tastes good!

Fran: Uuh, so hot... Need to, cool down... (Sticking out tongue)

Professor M: Hmm. I see you are attempting to lower your body's temperature by expelling your internal heat using the same method as overheating dogs.

Professor M: Naturally, I find that behavior completely adorable!

Babbage: Don't you compare my friend's daughter to a dog!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: My...this heat seems a match for the fires of hell. Not that I have any experience with those, of course.

Sanzang: ...Personally, this place reminds me of the Flaming Mountains. Oh no... I'm getting flashbacks of rope...and a king stuffing himself with pork buns... Oogh, my head!

Helena: This heat is really abnormal. It should not be possible topographically, but it looks like...we're near a volcanic crater?

Nitocris: ...Hm? I think I see someone up ahead.

Boudica: Hey there, good of you to come. You must be tired after such a long journey.

Boudica: Are you hungry? Shall I make you a galette? They say you can't something-something on an empty stomach, after all.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my, Ms. Boudica. I feel as though it has been ages since I saw you outside of the kitchen.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And a “gullet,” you say? Fascinating. I've never heard of anyone making a dish out of gullets before.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: How do you go about preparing such a dish?

Boudica: Hahaha.

Boudica: You'll see when I rip your “gullets” from your throats.

Nitocris: !?

Nero: ...Boudica. What are you doing here? What is the meaning of this hostility?

Nero: I recall Master saying [♂ he /♀ she] has seen you like that before, but little else.

Boudica: My land has been taken from me. That's all the reason I need.

Boudica: And then...there's what happened last year.

Fran: Last year?

Boudica: I was told to wear a swimsuit and sit in a hammock, where numerous photos were then taken of me!

Boudica: I was a little embarrassed, but I agreed because I thought it would make everyone happy.

Boudica: And when I was then told that the resulting photos were some of the more popular 3★ entries, I dared to believe that when this year's summer event rolled around...

Boudica: ...I might even get a playable swimsuit version of myself!

Boudica: So then why...why haven't they given me a swimsuit!? What sort of world do we live in where hard work isn't rewarded!?

Oda Nobunaga: Ugh, you sound like the mysterious Shinsengumi woman who tried to catch me off guard right before I boarded my vehicle!

Oda Nobunaga: One misstep, and my new swimsuit form could have been lost forever.

Oda Nobunaga: And now, here YOU are!

Mysterious Racer X: ...Heh. (Smirk)

Mysterious Racer X: An inferior mass-produced Saber like that one could have never hoped to match me.

Mysterious Racer X: Tonight, my Secret Calibur will bathe in blood!

Mysterious Racer X: Er...well, she coughed up some blood before giving up the ghost!

Oda Nobunaga: As you can see, this bloodthirsty mad dog went and took her out of her own accord! All that said, Boudica.

Oda Nobunaga: You may want to be careful. This may be kinda rich coming from me, but if you say things like that too often, you'll start to lose credibility.

Oda Nobunaga: ...Of course, in my case, I've already given up on ever being taken seriously!

Boudica: No, I have become an Avenger consumed by rage. This is as far as you all go.

Boudica: I'm glad you're all in vehicles. That will let me use my chariot to make you all bow down before me.

Boudica: ...But I do not merely want to defeat you. I want to utterly break your spirit. That is the only way I can truly protect my land.

Altria Alter: Is that so? What an amusing concept.

Altria Alter: We summer housekeepers have exceptionally strong spirits, for no matter what manner of filth we must clean, we do not have the option of resigning. How then do you intend to go about breaking our spirits?

Boudica: A game of chicken, to the mouth of the volcano.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: (Chicken? Does this mean she's still talking about food after all?)

Boudica: I've set things up so that you'll never be able to cross this mountain unless you defeat me.

Helena: She's right. I've taken a quick look around, and I don't see any alternative route.

Helena: Anything like that has probably been hidden with magecraft, or physically obstructed in some way.

Helena: Regardless, we can't do anything about that with an opponent facing us.

Helena: In other words...we really do have no choice but to accept her challenge.

Helena: And I'm okay with that! It sounds like fun!

Nero: I have no objections either, Boudica. It is clear that words will not suffice to break your delusion.

Nero: This too must be fate. Our match shall be both a race, and a battle to demonstrate our resolve.

Nero: Above all, I shall never back down from a challenge in which I must risk my life!

Altria Alter: A game of chicken? At first I thought it might be a competition to see who can eat the most turkey...but I can tell that the situation is more dire than that.

Altria Alter: I grant you, though, that I am not concerned with your enthusiasm for this competition, Nero, I can see that you take it seriously. I would not mock those who dare risk their lives for what they desire.

Altria Alter: Just this once, I shall acquiesce and let the sub-driver take the glory. You shall have this maid's full support, Drama Queen!

Nero: Umu! And you in turn have my gratitude! I shall dedicate a song to you once we have won!

Boudica: ...

Boudica: You two... You share the same vehicle. Why... Why are you...?

Ishtar Commentary: ...Hmm, I see, I see! There you have it, folks!

Ishtar Commentary: Looks like the second area will be kicking off with a game of chicken against Boudica and her chariot!

Ishtar Commentary: The victor will be the team that can get her and return to the main race fastest!

Mash: Are you sure about this? Racing towards the mouth of an active volcano seems like a very bad idea!

Ishtar: You think? I doubt they'll have to worry about anything besides lava hail and pyroclastic clouds.

Fujimaru 1: That sounds pretty dangerous to me!

Fujimaru 2: Are you sure this is a good spot for a race?

Ishtar: Don't worry about it! If things really do get dicey, I'll step in to help.

Ishtar: I guess if you can't help but worry, you and Mash can keep bringing them supplies like you did last time.

Ishtar: I've got pit stops set up there and everything.

Mash: Yes...I suppose you're right. Let's do our best again, Senpai.

Fou: Fooou.

Ishtar Commentary: All right, it looks like the game of chicken with Boudica is about to get underway!

Ishtar Commentary: The countdown...will be handled by Boudica herself, apparently. Well, I'm sure she'll be fair about it.


Caster of Storytelling: ...

Boudica: Go!

Nitocris: Come on, we'd better move it! Wait...huh?

Nitocris: Has the Legend's body just grown extremely heavy, or are we not moving at all!?

Caster of Storytelling: Nitocris, listen to me very closely.

Caster of Storytelling: There is only one possible outcome of this game.

Caster of Storytelling: Death.

Nitocris: You don't know that!

Caster of Storytelling: Yes, I do. Given your pride, earnest nature, and sense of responsibility...

Caster of Storytelling: ...I see no possible ending for this race...

Caster of Storytelling: ...that does not include our deaths.

Caster of Storytelling: Therefore, I am left with no choice but to activate the Legend's Full Spike Mode.

Caster of Storytelling: It is designed to let it cling to the ground in case of avalanches and landslides. We must proceed first and foremost with caution.

Nitocris: Do you even understand what the goal of a race is!?

Ishtar Commentary: What's this!? We're still at the very beginning of the second area, but one team's already lagging behind!

Ishtar Commentary: Meanwhile, the other teams' vehicles are neck and neck with Boudica's chariot!

Ishtar Commentary: At this point, let me offer the same advice I gave in the first area.

Ishtar Commentary: If you get crushed by a boulder or melted by lava, walk it off! You'd better make sure that each and every one of you makes it to the finish line!

2nd Area: Race Highlights

Nero: Impressive, Boudica! You're pedal to the metal with not a whit of concern for volcanic bombs, and you know how to use your chariot's heavy rear to drift across the terrain!

Nero: Even in my Olympia, there are none who could match your skill!

Nero: However...I will show you that it takes more than determination to claim victory!

Boudica: ...I won't lose to you this time. I'm going to win, no matter what it takes!

Mysterious Racer X: Whoa! This heat is giving me atmosphere reentry flashbacks! Yeowch!

Mysterious Racer X: I mean, I designed my ship to protect us from extreme heat, but I never imagined how hot it could get in here!

Mysterious Racer X: It feels like I'm working in a sweatshop! Could I maybe take off my jacket? Or even better, just race in a swimsuit!?

Oda Nobunaga: What's this? You're attempting to use the surrounding chaos as a ploy for you to change into a swimsuit yourself? Ingenious!

Oda Nobunaga: Still, if we get even more characters with your face in swimsuits, it's likely to start a riot!

Oda Nobunaga: And yet, this heat really is unbearable... Very well the spirit of the summer event, I might as well just sell out completely!

Oda Nobunaga: I shall consider this our own personal summer festival!

Oda Nobunaga: Oh yeah, everyone's loving it! And it's all thanks to me!

Mysterious Racer X: Um, I think you're confusing flames of excitement with ACTUAL FLAMES, but I AM getting kinda excited now, too...!

Mysterious Racer X: My Altrium's running so hot you could fry noodles on it!

Mysterious Racer X: Time to strike while the griddle is hot!

Helena: Our surrounding environment keeps getting harsher and harsher. Though I guess that's no surprise, since we're getting closer to the mouth of a volcano.

Helena: ...!?

Fran: Red goopy...paste... Is that stuff the same as the food I eat every day?

Fran: The kind that tastes like it's made for babies!?

Babbage: I know what sort of food artificial life-forms eat, and it doesn't come bubbling up from the ground.

Professor M: This seems a bizarre revelation about my dear daughter's background, but I shall chalk it up to being a figment of my imagination!

Professor M: Well, this certainly isn't good. A stream of lava just cut us off from the others!

Fran: ...Uuh... Can we...go through it?

Babbage: I'm afraid not. Continuing to press forward now would be tantamount to suicide.

Babbage: I could vent some steam to let us fly over it, but–

Professor M: That sounds like a wonderful solution! Go on then, do it!

Babbage: Unfortunately, after running the numbers, I can't rule out the possibility that Ishtar might shoot us down. Flying is against the rules of this race, after all.

Professor M: Perhaps she would overlook it as our sole purpose is to avoid the lava? ...No, probably not.

Babbage: Then I'm afraid this is our only option. Locomotive Form, off!

Fran: Uh? (Sitting on his head)

Babbage: In this form, I'm not venting steam to fly, but to leap, thus lowering our odds of being shot down.

Babbage: This way, we can move forward and avoid the lava. It does slow us down, but it's better than being stuck here.

Fran: ...Uh! (Nod)

Professor M: Just a moment! Where am I supposed to sit!?

Professor M: I too would like to be carried away like something out of a fairy tale, you know!

Babbage: I'm afraid that's impossible. There's not enough room for you, so carrying you both would cause stability issues.

Babbage: Fortunately, you can leap quite well under your own power. I've seen you do so when using your Noble Phantasm.

Professor M: And have you any idea what a toll that takes on my back to do that at my age!?

Professor M: Every leap and bound is taken at great peril of sciatica, hernia, and other such dangers, to say nothing of the gunfire giving me tinnitus!

Professor M: Trust me when I tell you that I would just as soon not be making any such literal leaps of faith! You can't imagine the strain all this activity puts on your body once you get to be a gentleman of advancing years!

Helena: Something's changed in the surrounding environment. I wonder if–

Helena: ...Oh no! I can't believe I forgot!

Edison: Not to worry. I know what you're thinking. I have been thinking it myself.

Edison: You have been biding your time waiting for the perfect chance to rid this vehicle of its most useless energy...

Edison: Namely, its source of alter-something or other–and now the opportunity to do so has presented itself in the form of an active volcano.

Edison: Fortunately, I have already prepared a lever for precisely this eventuality. Pull it, and that half-witted eccentric will be ejected straight into the lava. Go on, then. Whenever you're ready.

Nikola Tesla: Haaahahahaha! You great hairy fool! In a vehicle where safety is paramount, alternating current is the only viable choice!

Nikola Tesla: Your cut-rate direct current doesn't even work with transformers! I believe we've both had enough of you and your childish antics. Go on, Ms. Helena, all you need do is press this button.

Nikola Tesla: It will open a hatch directly beneath the furry villain. Gravity will handle the rest in a most glorious and gratifying display!

Helena: Ugh, stop it! This sort of thing is exactly why I forgot!

Helena: You two and your constant, ridiculous antics kept me too distracted to realize how bizarre this place really is.

Edison: Hmm. What do you mean by that?

Helena: This is a volcano. Ever since ancient times, people have believed that volcanoes hold mystical power.

Helena: And whenever a volcano is about to erupt, mysterious lights are also frequently spotted nearby!

Edison: Uh... O-oh, yes, I think I've heard of something like that!

Nikola Tesla: I believe such light arises not from mystical means, but because of–

Edison: Shut up, you half-wit!

Helena: You know what this must mean, I think I'm nearing Mahatma again!

Helena: I can't pass up this chance now that–Huh? Did you see that light in the sky just now!? I think I just saw something fly by!

Helena: Forget the race for the moment. We've got fieldwork to do!

Nikola Tesla: Wasn't that just the drone flying around to broadcast the race?

Edison: Didn't I tell you to shut up? Some things are better left to the imagination.

Edison: As far as this race goes, I believe we should let Ms. Blavatsky do as she pleases.

Sanzang: Oh man... People are starting to drop off left and right.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And yet, you seem quite unperturbed.

Sanzang: Well sure! I'm used to these sorts of places, after all. Not to mention I get to stay on Bailong, I don't have to cross fires barefoot...

Sanzang: ...AND I don't have to gather Banana Leaf Fans, Excalibanana or otherwise!

Sanzang: It's still really hot here, of course, but aside from that, this is so easy it almost feels wron–

Sanzang: ...

Sanzang: In fact, maybe it IS wrong. Compared to the others, we must look like we're slacking off big-time in the eyes of the Buddha.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Not at all. I am fiercely maintaining my vigilance for even the slightest violation of decency. I believe the Buddha himself would be proud of my efforts.

Sanzang: Hmm, yeah, you probably don't have anything to worry about.

Sanzang: Plus, I can see you're picking up the pace to catch up to that shameless emperor's team, which is great.

Sanzang: I guess I'm just more worried about myself. Like, just the fact that I'm thinking this, well...

Sanzang: It feels like I might be upsetting the balance between enjoying the Buddha's protection and trying to complete the trial he's given me?

Sanzang: There, you see!? That was a volcanic bomb!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: This is bad. It's spooking the horses...

Sanzang: Oh no... I knew it.

Sanzang: I figured we would never fall in the volcano as long as we had the Buddha's protection, so we could easily win as long as we kept going at full Buddha speed.

Sanzang: But I should have known that he would see right through that.

Sanzang: I'm beyond ashamed. I just have to accept that I still have a long way to go on my journey!

Sanzang: In gratitude, I will smash a thousand volcanic bombs! Five Elements Mountain Buddha Palm! Eiyah!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am no heartless oni either. Indeed, I will not be likened to one of those winged insects who deserve only a swift execution!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And so...I shall show mercy. I will hold this ground here and give potential offenders a chance to remedy their ways for the duration of this rock storm.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am not the only one who can protect public decency, after all. What's more...I sense I have some sort of connection to those people there.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Listening to constructive criticism from friends and reflecting on the manner in which one conducts oneself is a perfectly valid type of reform in its own right.


Altria Alter: It appears as though most of the other racers have dropped out. Few things are better than stains that easily come out in the wash.

Nero: A predictable outcome. This course is a melting pot of heat and passion, just like my own Vesuvius.

Nero: Rome may delight in all manner of entertainment, but even we Romans do not usually race on an active volcano more than once a decade at most!

Nero: I, of course, have already raced on such a course, so I am well aware of the necessary techniques! It is all but impossible for neophytes to any hope of keeping up!

Oda Nobunaga: We're still here, you know! I'm an old hand when it comes to seeing truth amid flames!

Oda Nobunaga: Tell me, have you ever danced with a Nobbu in the pale firelight!?

Oda Nobunaga: Huh? What do you mean nobody will get that reference these days!?

Boudica: Curse you... Curse you, Rome! I won't lose this battle. This is OUR land!

Mash: They're going even faster! They'll reach the mouth of the volcano in no time!

Altria Alter: ...The volcano's mouth is already upon us. If we do not slow down soon, our lives will be forfeit.

Altria Alter: What would you have us do, sub-driver? We have no traction on this ground.

Altria Alter: Slamming the brakes will not let us stop in ti–

Nero: Understood. Then we floor the accelerator as hard as we can! Hold on, dark maid!

Nero: I told you I was serious about this battle, and I meant it. I may enjoy making light, but I have never once spoken falsehoods!

Altria Alter: ...I see. Very well then, I shall entrust this to you.

Altria Alter: All is in your hands now, Nero Claudius!

Nero: Umu! Vesuvius is my garden; the embodiment of the passion within my heart! We have nothing to fear from it!

Nero: Well, I HAVE heard that it caused a disaster at Pompeii after I died, but that was not my fault.

Boudica: Oh yes it was! It's all your fault! All of it!

Boudica: It is because you Romans broke your promise that our land–my daughters, tribe, and allies–all perished!

Boudica: ...That is why I fight. That is why Rome, and you Romans, are my sworn enemy!

Altria Alter: ...I am not Roman.

Boudica: That's right... Why? Why is a child of Britain working with a Roman?

Boudica: ...No. Whatever your reasons may be, that only makes it more important that I not allow myself to lose!

Nero: So you would attack us again!? Very well! This shall be our final standoff!


Boudica: ...!

Nero: ... ...!

Mash: They're getting closer and closer to the mouth of the volcano! A-are they going to be okay!?

Fujimaru 1: Please don't fall in!

Fujimaru 2: I-I hope they can stop in time!

Nero: Hrngggh!

Boudica: Raaaaaah!

Boudica: (No matter what happens, I can't let myself lose this fight!)

Boudica: (I need to get ahead of Nero, even just a tiny bit...)

Boudica: (And prove to everyone how brave I am...that I'm not just a loser who suffered a humiliating defeat at Rome's hands! And if winning this game will accomplish that...)

Boudica: (I don't care if I fall into the volcano!)

Boudica: (Even as my body burns, I'll face her and say...)

Boudica: (“Take that, you coward!” and “So much for the great Rome!”)

Boudica: (That...that will be my greatest victory!)

Nero: ...Boudica, I am sorry! I know I shouldn't say this, but I can hold myself back no longer!

Nero: I can tell that you are prepared to die in order to secure your victory. In light of your determination, I am compelled to tell you this!

Boudica: What is it? What do you have to tell me, now that you're about to lose!?

Nero: Well, since I can't hold back any longer, I suppose I'll have to just spit it out...

Nero: I am having the time of my life! I am not prepared to face death! I would much rather live!

Nero: That is why this is so enjoyable! We continue to challenge death to sing the praises of life!

Nero: I am not making light of your choice to race headlong to your death. I would be sad to see you die!

Boudica: !?

Boudica: Wh-what? What are you saying?

Boudica: ...This is a battle: one between the conqueror and the conquered! I bear you only scorn and contempt!

Nero: Umu, you have every right to loathe Rome. You may denounce my name as much as you like. But this? This is a battle between you and me.

Nero: And unlike our previous battle, there is no one who will humiliate you or your daughter without my knowledge.

Nero: Your people will not die. There is no land for anyone to take. There is nothing but the contest to see which of us will be the victor.

Nero: And I must tell you, Boudica: that I am able to compete with you like this now makes my heart sing with joy!

Nero: It makes me wish that we could become sisters in arms! Friends who share each other's bravery, buttress each other's determination, and swallow each other's fear!

Boudica: ...!

Nero: Boudica! Proud charioteer, and queen of victory! Please reconsider your decision to claim this victory even at the cost of your own life!

Nero: If you truly mean to take revenge on Rome and me, then achieve a complete victory!

Nero: Use your skill to surpass me, and laugh as you watch me fall into the volcano!

Boudica: ...

Nero: All right, the moment of truth is upon us!

Nero: Is this the time for me to shine brighter than Rome has ever shined before!?

Nero: ...Now! Hit the brakes!

Boudica: Well, so much for breaking their spirit.

Nero: Boudica! Why do you not rein in your horses!? You're about to fall into the volcano!

Nero: Whew. We just made it.

Mash: Oh thank goodness... Her chariot may have fallen into the volcano...

Mash: ...but Nero managed to grab hold of Boudica before she could follow it!

Mash: And Altria has hold of Nero, so she was able to lean out of their car and grab hold of Boudica!

Altria Alter: ...Hm? What are you looking at? Hurry up and get in.

Boudica: ...There was something I wanted to ask you as well, child of Britannia.

Boudica: You fought against Rome too. You should hate it every bit as much as I do.

Boudica: So then...why are you able to fight alongside her?

Altria Alter: ...

Altria Alter: ...I cannot say. Pondering such weighty matters is better left to royalty.

Altria Alter: Right now, I am no more than a housekeeper. I have set such lofty matters aside for the time being. However...

Altria Alter: “It makes me wish that we could become sisters in arms,” eh? Everything this woman says is steeped in the opulence of the victorious.

Altria Alter: And yet, there is something strangely pleasing about that opulence. It is like a deus ex machina that one actually wishes to see come about.

Boudica: Hehe... I see. Now I get it.

Boudica: I should have realized it all along. I've been a spirit for a long time now.

Boudica: Heroic Spirits are shadows of people who have made their mark on history. They aren't actually those people themselves.

Boudica: The real me who once lived, and the Heroic Spirit I am now aren't the same person. I even said that back when I tried to make myself look good once.

Boudica: But now...I don't know. When I was summoned here, it was like my Spirit Origin was different somehow.

Boudica: I guess that's why I ended up flying off the handle like that. I'm sorry.

Boudica: ...I really did make a lot of trouble for you all, didn't I.

Nero: Hold it. Don't go disappearing. We still need to discuss something important. Did we win this battle?

Nero: We stopped our vehicle right near the volcano's edge, but your body went closer towards it than ours.

Nero: Is the winner of this battle determined via the vehicle's position, or the driver's?

Boudica: Oh, that? Naturally, it's–

Oda Nobunaga: Wahahahaha! Not so fast! You got so careless you failed to see the true victor emerging from behind!

Mysterious Racer X: You Sabers pretending to be a Caster and a Rider got sloppy!

Mysterious Racer X: First we secretly followed you from behind so as not to kill the serious mood, and now our plan's going to pay off by letting us win!

Oda Nobunaga: What's more, I anticipated something like this might happen, so I had a drop-off detection system just like the one that R:**mbas use installed in the V6 Demon King!

Oda Nobunaga: Nothing can beat the technology found in those clever little cleaning robots!

Oda Nobunaga: They never once fall down a staircase, no matter how close they get to the edge!

Oda Nobunaga: Which means I can use that same technology to get as close as possible to the edge of the volcano without falling in!

Oda Nobunaga: Kazusa-no-Suke's great victory!

Oda Nobunaga: My my, first I steal her turn to get a swimsuit, now I steal her catchphrase! Sometimes I'm so awesomely evil I surprise even myself!

Mysterious Racer X: Yes, this vehicle is designed to shut off its engine if it detects a significant drop-off.

Oda Nobunaga: Excellent. Just as I ordered.

Oda Nobunaga: Wait. Did you say “shut off”?

Mysterious Racer X: That's right! So our inertia will send us driving right over into the lava!

Oda Nobunaga: What!? What kinda crappy design is that for a rocket!?

Mysterious Racer X: It's not crappy! Rockets don't need silly little control structures like that, so I omitted them!

Mysterious Racer X: Honestly, I don't really know much about how spaceships are designed anyway!

Oda Nobunaga: Hmm, we really are hopeless, aren't we!

Nero: My, what a breathtaking lava dive that was.

Altria Alter: For some reason Oda is still smirking and giving a thumbs-up as she sinks into the lava.

Boudica: I guess this means they won? Both they and their vehicle went the farthest, after all...

Boudica: ...Well, see you around. You'll find the road to the next area after I disappear. Good luck.

Nero: Hmm. I can't help but be a little disappointed with how this ended...but, oh well.

Nero: She WAS smiling in the end, after all! Truly a great race befitting the Queen of Chariots!

Nero: Now what is going on!?

Altria Alter: Oh no... It's going to erupt! Get back!

Mysterious Racer X: Ugh... This ship can withstand reentry heat, so it's not going to melt in lava or anything.

Mysterious Racer X: But it looks like its reactor set off something in the volcano that triggered an eruption!

Oda Nobunaga: Really? That sounds pretty dire. Like, “wipe out human civilization dire,” no?

Oda Nobunaga: Can we escape it?

Mysterious Racer X: I think it'll probably end up blowing us out of here on its own. It might even send us into space!

Oda Nobunaga: All right! THAT's a Nobbu kinda plan! I'll just skip taking over the rest of the world after Japan and go right on to conquering the whole damn universe! Ahahaha!

Oda Nobunaga: Just as well! This planet could never hope to contain all my awesome anyway!

Oda Nobunaga: ...Either way, it can't be helped!

Mash: It erupted!

Fujimaru 1: ...And there they go.

Fujimaru 2: Their rocket's shooting up like...uh...a rocket.

Mysterious Shinsengumi Woman: So, not even the earth's fiery fury is enough to kill Nobbu.

Mysterious Shinsengumi Woman: Still, it did succeed at banishing her into the stratosphere...

Mysterious Shinsengumi Woman: Hehehe... That's what she gets for running off and getting a swimsuit by herself! This is divine justice at work! Now I can rest easy until a Summer Okita comes out next year!

Fou: Fou!?

Mash: Yes, I saw a mysterious Shinsengumi woman pass by whispering something serious-sounding too, but I'm sure it doesn't mean anything. Well, mostly sure.

Ishtar: A vertical off course, huh. ...Well, they did say their vehicle can reenter the atmosphere, so they'll probably come back sooner or later.

Ishtar: Since it wasn't their fault, I won't treat this as a flying violation...but if they try to cheat for distance when they come back, I'll shoot them right the hell down.

Ishtar: Anyway, let's keep going with the race.

Ishtar: Especially now that the other teams caught up while the emperor was settling the score with Boudica.

Ishtar: Let's see how things go from here!

3rd Area: Rift Valley P

Ishtar Commentary: And that puts us at the halfway point! Each team is clawing their way forward trying to take the lead!

Ishtar Commentary: Still, this next area might be way less eventful than what we're used to now. What is this next area you ask? Well, it's a graben.

Fujimaru 1: A what now?

Mash: A graben is...well, it's basically a sort of natural straight trench between two faults.

Fujimaru 1: Oh, okay. Thanks!

Fujimaru 2: You're so smart, Mash.

Mash: N-not at all. I just happen to know that because it was in a book I read when I was bored once, so...

Ishtar Commentary: Suuuper interesting, you two, but save the geography lesson for when we go to commercial! All eyes on the live feed, please!

Ishtar Commentary: Our racers all made it here at once! If I was to make a prediction...I'd say this is the most distinctly summer-ish area of the race!

Nero: Hm, I see our surroundings have changed yet again.

Altria Alter: This is...a water environment, eh.

Helena: A river! This IS more summer-ish! It should be a lot nicer to race here than the last area, so it'll be perfect for helping me blow off steam!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Indeed... Places like this are great sources of temptation. I smell all manner of forbidden things here. I must be more vigilant than ever.

Oda Nobunaga: Wahahaha! This looks to be the perfect spot to cool off after feeling the heat of reentry!

Oda Nobunaga: Though granted, I'm already feeling fairly cool after Ishtar shot us down when I got just a liiiiiitle bit greedy with our reentry angle.

Oda Nobunaga: I almost ended up a burnt Nobbu Kebabu!

Mysterious Racer X: Heh... Ishtar's beam might be goddess-class, but my driving technique is galaxy-class level!

Mysterious Racer X: I can handle anything she throws at us, Demon King of the Sixth Heaven!

Mash: Now I see. Water must have come flowing into the graben to form something like a long, straight river.

Ishtar Commentary: That's right! So this stretch is gonna be a water race. Still no flying! But racers can swim or skim as they like.

Ishtar Commentary: They can choose to use the water, or ignore it completely and stick to land! I expect to see a lot of variety in this leg of the race!

Ishtar: Of course, given how things have gone so far...

Ishtar: I wouldn't be too surprised if someone comes along to mix things up.

Nero: Umu, I did enjoy the passionate heat of the volcano, but this cool water is not bad either.

Nero: The sounds of nearby birds twittering their songs of love... The wind caressing us with gentle spray from the running water... The nameless grass gathered along the river's edge.

Nero: What a peaceful picture this river paints. It truly is a beauti–

Gorilla-esque Queen: How dare you!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Isn't that...

Gorilla-esque Queen: You called me “beautiful,” didn't you? I'll kill you!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Nobody said anything of the sort.

Gorilla-esque Queen: ...No, I can tell what you're thinking. It's written all over your faces. I will kill you for it!

Oda Nobunaga: I have heard of self-consciousness, but this is freakin' absurd!

Fran: ...Uh. (Nods) It's hard to be properly aware of things around you sometimes.

Fujimaru 1: This is way beyond excessive.

Fujimaru 2: But I guess that it is kind of...Berserker-y?

Mash: Well, she did suffer a great deal of trauma when she was alive, so...

Gorilla-esque Queen: ...Nonetheless, I remember now. If I do not explain this part, there will have been no point in my signing the contract to be this land's guardian.

Gorilla-esque Queen: Listen well. The most important element of your voyage along this river is beauty.

Altria Alter: Beauty?

Nero: Is that so! I can't say I fully understand why, but that makes it sound like a place made just for me!

Gorilla-esque Queen: Be beautiful, racers. In this area, the more beautiful you are, the faster you shall go.

Nero: Truly!?

Gorilla-esque Queen: This place is evidently designed to confer some sort of supplementary effect to your speed in proportion with your beauty.

Gorilla-esque Queen: Though I do not know if it has always been so, or if someone placed a special Bounded Field here for that purpose.

Mash: ...

Fujimaru 1: Wait a second...

Fujimaru 2: Did you do this, Ishtar?

Ishtar: Of course. It's the only part of the race with water, so I thought it deserved to have its own unique twist.

Ishtar: Besides, I'm the goddess of beauty, so it's pretty on brand, don't you think?

Mash: I see... A unique twist, huh.

Ishtar: Water and beauty go together like ambrosia and nectar, so I figured this could be a way to use the river to let the racers race faster.

Ishtar: We've got all that lovely water right there, after all. It'd be a waste not to take advantage of it!

Gorilla-esque Queen: I accepted this position once I learned of this area's unique properties.

Gorilla-esque Queen: So go forth and be beautiful, racers. That is what I desire as well.

Oda Nobunaga: Are you sure? Won't it be a problem if we move too quickly?

Gorilla-esque Queen: Not at all. The more beautiful you all are, the less beautiful I seem in comparison.

Oda Nobunaga: You've got to be kidding me.

Oda Nobunaga: Yup, definitely way too self-conscious.

Helena: So, if you only took this job because you didn't want anyone calling you beautiful...

Helena: ...Does that mean you're not going to go out of your way to interfere in our race?

Gorilla-esque Queen: Precisely, yes. Besides, there is nothing in my job description that obligates me to do so.

Altria Alter: While this is a most interesting idea for a race, there is one significant problem: there is nothing so difficult to judge as beauty.

Nitocris: I agree. It's inherently subjective. So how exactly is our beauty going to be judged?

Nitocris: Without a clearly defined standard, we won't have any basis on which to form a strategy. That doesn't seem like it would make for a very interesting battle.

Nero: Well, given that I am clearly the epitome of beauty by any standard, victory is already as good as mine anyway!

Nitocris: Why you...! I won't stand for that!

Nitocris: We pharaohs are exceptionally beautiful just by virtue of being pharaohs! Our radiance lights up every room we walk into, and that's just our natural state!

Gorilla-esque Queen: Not to worry. I knew some sort of standard would be necessary to facilitate such a competition.

Gorilla-esque Queen: Fortunately, I happened to find two people nearby who claimed they were “born to be beauty judges,” so I brought them along.

Gorilla-esque Queen: I shall have them assess each team's beauty. I am told that one shall handle the racers, while the other will be focused on their vehicles.

Gorilla-esque Queen: First, to judge our racers, we have Mister B, connoisseur of young girls.

Gorilla-esque Queen: His catchphrase is "Moe is the forward compatibility of beauty. Therefore, the one who is the most beautiful is the one who is the most moe"...whatever that means.

Mister B: Duhuhuhu! That's right, it's me! You KNOW you can't have a swimsuit event without me around!

Mister B: For what are swimsuits–and the areas they cover–if not the stuff of dreams?

Mister B: This kinda event only comes once a year, so I just GOTTA participate! Why WOULDN'T they bring me in for the second glorious year of this swimsuit festival?

Mister B: “Oh no, the girls' smooth and bouncy bits are slipping out in a wardrobe malfunction!?” “Worry not, for that too is a dream come true...”

Mister B: Wrote that bit of dialogue myself. Feel free to use it in your fanfics, but credit me for it!

Nero: ...

Mister B: What is it? How come everyone got so quiet? Ohhh, I get it. You wanna hear more about my dreams!

Mister B: Oh, all right. Since I'm such a fan favorite, I can't let everyone down, can I?

Mister B: Right, listen up! Y'see, girls hide the bits they DON'T want you to see under their swimsuits. Get it? That means that what they DON'T hide is fair game for all the ogling your lonely heart desires!

Mister B: It's a free pass to enjoy the show! What kinda fool would you have to be not to take them up on that sweet offer!?

Mister B: So go on! Take it AAALL in! Everything they're showing off! Armpits! Thighs! Navels! Armpits again!

Nero: Laudatum Domus Illustris!

Mister B: Yeow! Ow ow ow ow!

Mister B: Oogh... Thank you, armor. Without you, I'd have been dead in an instant!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: This behavior is truly unacceptable. His very existence is unacceptable. I shall finish him off myself, and then I shall soak his remains in salt for a full week.

Mister B: Huh? Now that's just uncalled for. Are you perhaps unaware of the tragic fate that awaits me?

Mister B: Meh, whatever. Couldn't keep doing what I love doing if a bit of salt bothered me! We pirates do whatever we want, and nothing else! (Boom!)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Very well then.

Mister B: Ah! Wait, please. I was just kidding. Sheesh, you'd think someone as sexy as you would know how to take a joke☆

Mister B: I swear that my heart is as pure as Ms. Helena's chest is flat. Here, now, I am but Mister B, a faithful judge.

Mister B: Or rather, to be precise, I'm just a robot that was made specifically to serve that role. Beep boop. I'd have thought the whole metal body thing would tip you off!

Altria Alter: Oho... A robot, you say?

Mister B: Beauty standards may be inherently subjective, but the boss still wanted someone to evaluate the racers as calmly and impartially as possible.

Mister B: That's why the boss decided to use a machine, and to copy over the personality of someone well-suited to be such a judge into it.

Mister B: Given my finely-honed tastes and opinions about beauty, I may offend you with my statements at times...

Mister B: But I hope you will overlook that, as it is merely a recreation of the original model's rudeness.

Mister B: ...After all, there is nothing more pointless than getting angry at a machine, is there?

Helena: (Teeheehee. If he really is a robot, I'll have to turn him into a self-checkout machine later.)

Gorilla-esque Queen: Next is the vehicle judge.

Gorilla-esque Queen: Her catchphrase is “I delegated the rest of my work to my most dependable staff! I'm sure they won't mind a little extra!”

Masqueraded Count: Good day, Servants I have never met before. My name is Masqueraded Count.

Masqueraded Count: There is no one better suited to judging beautiful gadgets than yours truly!

Masqueraded Count: Oh, and in case you were wondering, I'm wearing this mask to be respectful of our entrants.

Masqueraded Count: After all, it wouldn't be fair if a judge was more beautiful than those she was judging, would it?

Fujimaru 1: ...I see she's finally shown her true colors.

Fujimaru 2: Mona Lisa's family isn't going to like this.

Mash: Come to think of it...she did only mention backing us up until her turn rolled around, didn't she.

Mash: Now I see what she meant by that...

Gorilla-esque Queen: ...And so, these are the two judges who will be evaluating your beauty.

Gorilla-esque Queen: If you wish to race faster than your opponents, you will need to demonstrate your beauty to them.

Mister B: That's right! So don't be shy about putting it all out there! And I do mean ALL! (Vulgar hand gestures)

Masqueraded Count: So you know, I'm very strict when it comes to judging. Industrial design, form factor, how cool it looks in motion, functional design, overall balance...

Masqueraded Count: My standards are multitudinous and comprehensive. So if you want to meet them, you'll need to demonstrate every aspect of your craft's potential.

Masqueraded Count: Essentially, I want to see something that will make my inventor's soul sing. Though I will grant you that is a pretty tall order!

Sanzang: Yikes... What an unpleasant person that count is. I wonder who it could be under that mask...

Sanzang: Aggy...? King David? Maybe even King Ozymandias? ...I could see that.

Nitocris: No you can't! You really have no idea who that is!? You couldn't be farther off the mark if you tried!

Gorilla-esque Queen: Enough! Now that you understand what this race entails, I shall say one last thing.

Gorilla-esque Queen: If I am left to my own devices, I am cursed to grow more beautiful at a moment's notice.

Oda Nobunaga: Oh, you're cursed to, huh?. Guess there's nothing for it then. Just when I thought she couldn't be any more absurdly self-conscious...

Gorilla-esque Queen: So be as beautiful as you can, and be quick about it. I will pursue you as the particulars of my job require, but I will not interfere.

Nero: Your advice is noted, but unneeded. I am already the ultimate beauty, and I still have limitless room to grow further.

Nero: This race is all but a foregone conclusion. If what you seek is for someone else to be more beautiful than you...

Nero: Then sit back and watch me race, secure in the knowledge that you are witnessing a zenith of beauty you could never hope to reach!

Ishtar Commentary: There you have it! The third area is a riverside stage where beauty is the key to victory! You really don't want to lose this stage, ladies.

Ishtar Commentary: Just imagine: the cool spray of water, glistening in the air... Blood and sweat flying off the racers as they vie for the top spot... Piles and piles of money rolling in from satisfied customers... What could be better?

Ishtar Commentary: These women are putting their pride on the line for this race, and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

3rd Area: Race Highlights

Masqueraded Count: All right, I've got all the data I need. Let's get to judging these vehicles!!!

Masqueraded Count: First up, Red Venus!

Masqueraded Count: I haven't the foggiest notion of who created this craft, but whoever it was, they must surely be a brilliant and exquisitely beautiful genius inventor.

Masqueraded Count: What's more, she must also be exceptionally generous and open-minded to accept such an impossible request from these two tyrants.

Masqueraded Count: At any rate, the resulting vehicle is truly wonderous: the pinnacle of functional design, where any artifice unnecessary in the pursuit of speed has been skillfully stripped away!

Masqueraded Count: And still, its form remains astonishingly stylish.

Masqueraded Count: It is as though it is the very culmination of the entire history of mankind's attempts to build the fastest possible car.

Masqueraded Count: Truly, this streamlined machine with its beautiful, functional design embodies the aphorism “Simple is best.” I award it...ten out of ten!

Masqueraded Count: Next, we have Kumara Wheel & Thunderdome!

Masqueraded Count: What a lovely surprise to see Helena's old-fashioned Kumara Wheel repurposed into this futuristic avant-garde design!

Masqueraded Count: And then we have its accompanying monster car!

Masqueraded Count: Putting the question of what sort of current it uses aside, this mechanism that transforms vast amounts of electricity output into propulsive force may be a little on the overcompensatory side...

Masqueraded Count: ...but it is clearly the result of the two men assisting her putting all of their pride into their work. Indeed, sheer muscle can be beautiful too.

Masqueraded Count: And the fact that such opposing views came together to create this single machine is beautiful in its own right!

Masqueraded Count: I award this team...ten out of ten!

Masqueraded Count: Demon King of the V6 Heaven!

Masqueraded Count: While it does seem a little worse for wear after getting blasted out of a volcano right into the stratosphere...

Masqueraded Count: ...its form itself is still the stuff of truly amazing dreams. There is something to be said for its pilots' wild nature making itself so plainly evident.

Masqueraded Count: Though this vehicle does exhibit some fundamental aerodynamic design flaws when driving across the ground, those don't really matter.

Masqueraded Count: What matters is how beautifully it embodies the concept of wanting to blast off to anywhere besides here.

Masqueraded Count: Only a true connoisseur can appreciate a machine dedicated to such a single-minded purpose, so as one such connoisseur, I give it ten out of ten!

Mash: ...

Fujimaru 1: I can already see where this is going.

Fou: Fooou.

Masqueraded Count: Pharaoh Legend is patterned after the scarab beetle!

Masqueraded Count: This vehicle's form skillfully captures the venerable representation of the sun god Khepri.

Masqueraded Count: And this team's assistant has also added a low-key Arabian motif to the vehicle's decoration.

Masqueraded Count: The result is a positively exquisite unified design! Collaborations are a lot harder to pull off than people think, you know!

Masqueraded Count: So taking that into account...I think it deserves ten out of ten! Friendship is beautiful in its own right!

Masqueraded Count: Here we have Babbage Locomotive Form! In a word, I find it fascinating!

Masqueraded Count: I'm told that Professor M's calculations played a large part in its design, but I think they could have asked another brilliant genius inventor and gotten the same calculations, personally.

Masqueraded Count: Next time, I'd encourage them to go that way instead of relying on shady professor types, but I'll give them a pass on that for now.

Masqueraded Count: Regardless, the out-of-the-box idea to turn Charles Babbage into a vehicle is itself a thing of beauty!

Masqueraded Count: As a fan of,, giant robots, I'm giving them ten out of ten!

Masqueraded Count: Finally, we have Kyogoku and Bailong! While it would be easy to point out that they're horses, not vehicles...

Masqueraded Count: There is no denying their stunningly beautiful coats, long, soft manes, and the kindest eyes you'll ever see in any creature...

Masqueraded Count: Truly, wild animals have a rare and uniquely divine beauty all their own.

Masqueraded Count: Humans can and do make beautiful art, but even that can't compare to the work of God's own hand. Well, except me, of course. Even God himself would be jealous of the stuff I come up with.

Masqueraded Count: At any rate, these two horses are absolutely two of the most beautiful creatures you'll ever see. As such, they deserve nothing less than ten out of ten! (Also, I really don't want to get on Raikou's bad side!)

Masqueraded Count: Ahh, that was fun.

Masqueraded Count: ...Hm? Yes, I know. Every team ended up with the same ten out of ten score, right?

Masqueraded Count: Nothing I can do about that. That's how it goes when you try to evaluate art!

Masqueraded Count: You gotta give credit where it's due.

Masqueraded Count: You can't just start ranking works of art against each other from best to worst. All you can really do is be honest about whether it evoked a sense of beauty.

Masqueraded Count: At least, that's how I believe art ought to be appreciated.

Masqueraded Count: For artists, it doesn't matter what your station in life is, what sort of principles you hold...

Masqueraded Count: ...or even if you're just a kid throwing something together.

Masqueraded Count: To try and pretend otherwise would be a crime against the very concept of beauty. That's why it's impossible to force art into a hierarchy of better or worse.

Masqueraded Count: Take the first time I saw Mikey's statue of David, for examp–

Masqueraded Count: Oh, right, I'm the Masqueraded Count right now. Just forget you heard that.

Masqueraded Count: Anyway, to give my general appraisal...!

Masqueraded Count: Every vehicle here is spectacular–each one uniquely special in its own way!

Masqueraded Count: Thanks to them, I won't be lacking in inspiration for a good long while. Hehehe!

Masqueraded Count: In fact, I can feel an unprecedented invention just waiting for me to create it already taking shape in my mind! I think I'll go with a motorboat that runs on land!

Ishtar: ...I might have picked the wrong person for the job.

Fou: Fou...

Altria Alter: Tch, we are getting nowhere like this. I cannot believe she failed to see how easy it is to clean this vehicle.

Nero: This calls for drastic measures! We shall dive into the river, and I shall let the water that sprays forth highlight my beauty even further!

Mister B: Heeheehee, I can't wait! Don't worry, I don't have any hang-ups when it comes to rankings! This beauty contest is just getting started!


Nero: Go on then, robot beauty judge, feast your eyes on this!

Nero: My swimsuited form IS beauty! The manifestation of Venus herself!

Nero: This is how I look even without doing anything special, it is merely the glorious radiance inherent to me!

Altria Alter: Hmph. A professional truly dedicated to her job will naturally shine with inner beauty.

Altria Alter: Furthermore, I used Merlin's whatsit to include a system in our vehicle that exudes floral fragrances... This match is ours.

Mister B: Hmm, I can't say I see much difference from usual.

Mister B: I mean, it's good and all, but I'm not seeing anything surprising here. Nothing I couldn't already imagine.

Mister B: I guess I'd say you're both decently cute?

Nero: What!? Have you lost your mind!? How could you see THIS as anything less than perfection itself!?

Nitocris: Beauty, huh. I do (want to) believe that as a pharaoh, and an incarnation of Horus, I am already truly beautiful on my own merits.

Nitocris: But in order to win this battle, I'll need to go further.

Caster of Storytelling: Do you have something in mind?

Nitocris: Of course! In fact, it's something with which you should already be familiar.

Nitocris: A stark, minimalist structure that includes only what is necessary and no more... A smooth form that practically begs to be touched... Eyes to pierce your very soul.

Nitocris: Yes, THIS is the form that unites all those aspects–the true face of beauty!

Caster of Storytelling: ...

Nitocris: What's more, this streamlined form is inherently aerodynamic, which will give us yet another boost to our speed! A perfect two-bird, one-stone plan.

Nitocris: Behold! Even as I speak, we are quickly...

Caster of Storytelling: It seems we are quickly...slowing down...

Nitocris: Why!? I don't understand!

Mister B: You actually have to ask? How could it not be obvious!? This is no good! NO GOOD!

Mister B: Exposure may not be the end-all, be-all, but it's still one of the best weapons any beauty contestant could have! And here you are, throwing it away!

Mister B: Don't show yourself again until you've got a much more risqué outfit! Even your normal clothing shows off more skin than that sad excuse for a swimsuit!

Nitocris: Ah... You strike such a low blow!

Mister B: I could have conceivably given you a few points if you were at least wearing a bikini.

Mister B: Oh, but that doesn't mean you should try to take shortcuts with a little wardrobe malfunction.

Mister B: It's not seeing the nip itself, but the IDEA that we might get a little nip-slip that's so tantalizing.

Mister B: That dream...that hope for an uncertain future is what I wish to award beauty points to!

Mister B: And yet, I could also end up easily giving full points for a nip slip where the slipper is profoundly embarrassed about it. Truly, the adult world doesn't play fair.

Mister B: Incidentally, there is another reason why I might give points for a bikini.

Mister B: Namely, that I can now create polka dots in my mind's eye thanks to intensive training. Yes, I know how god-tier that sounds.

Nitocris: I don't know what you're talking about, but I do know there's something supremely creepy about you.

Nitocris: I'm used to dealing with the frigid temperatures of the underworld, and you still send shivers up my spine.

Mister B: Hmm, this team is hopeless. Completely hopeless. Go on, get out of here!

Oda Nobunaga: Open the canopy! Now that all eyes are upon us, this is our chance! I'll use this watery stage to put on a fiery performance!

Oda Nobunaga: Oh, but before I do that, I'd better change into my stage outfit!

Mysterious Racer X: Don't let the wind pressure blow you away, Demon King of the Sixth Heaven!

Mysterious Racer X: But if you do get blown away, make sure you fall onto at least one Saber and take them out with you!

Oda Nobunaga: Very well, but keep in mind that you would be the closest target in that case. Anyway, now that I'm done changing...

Oda Nobunaga: Open the canopy! My new campaign is about to begin!

Oda Nobunaga: Heh... What a lovely river breeze.

Oda Nobunaga: Now, behold the ROCKIN' swimsuited figure of the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven and the waves!

Oda Nobunaga: Nobunaga in the hooouse!

Oda Nobunaga: I'm showing off plenty of skin and working up a healthy sweat, right? You can't take your eyes off me, right?

Oda Nobunaga: This is the Nobbu's wabi-sabi-savvyness at work!

Mister B: Hmm, I can't say I care for your blatant shamelessness.

Mister B: You've got SUCH a healthy attitude that it's really not hitting that moe strike zone, you know? You're more badass than babe-alicious.

Mister B: I think I would have preferred Okita or Chacha instead. Change plz.

Oda Nobunaga: I don't think this guy even knows what wabi-sabi is!

Fran: Uh. I don't...get it.

Fran: How do we here?

Babbage: I'm afraid that such quandaries lacking clear parameters have never been my forte. This is no exception.

Professor M: Hahaha, leave this to me.

Professor M: We may both be skilled mathematicians, but as an innately approachable academic who is also popular amongst middle-aged women, I am perfectly suited to understanding how this demographic feels about–

Fran: Never mind that, Papa. it.

Professor M: At once, my little lady!

Professor M: First, we make a little tweak to your Spirit! Don't worry, honey, it's all right. Just leave everything to Papa.

Professor M: Now then, Mr. Babbage, go ahead and open up so that everyone can see her!

Professor M: Feel free to reduce your speed temporarily if you must!

Babbage: Understood. How's this?

Professor M: All right, we're good to go! Stand up, my darling daughter!

Fran: ...?

Mister B: Wh-what the heeeck!? This is new! Very new!

Mister B: I always thought Fran had potential, but since she's a Berserker and all, I was scared of getting too close.

Mister B: But then she became more approachable as a Saber, and she's wearing bandages for a bra!?

Mister B: It's shoddy craftsmanship, offers no protection whatsoever, and is inherently risky AND risqué, but I can't help but love the sheer helplessness of this outfit!

Mister B: All this is to say...ALL OF MY YES! If I had to flip my YES/NO pillow on this subject, it would land with a resounding YES!

Mister B: Deeheehee, at last, my restraining order has been lifted. I'm coming for you, Fran-Fran!

Mister B: ...Rats. Now that I've judged her to be moe, she's moving so fast I can't catch up!

Fran: ...So fast. Hurray.

Babbage: Fortunately for you, I admit that our speed has improved.

Babbage: If it hadn't, I would have thrown you headfirst into that walking pile of scrap metal.

Babbage: Just look at what you've reduced Victor's girl to...

Professor M: I-it's just a swimsuit, remember? It's cute, she seems to be happy with it, and as you said, our speed has improved. I don't think I've done anything to apologize for.

Fran: Stop. No fighting. ...Come on, let's go.

Babbage & Professor M: Understood./Okay!

Helena: Beauty, huh... Of course, I know that our vehicle can travel over water too.

Helena: But I don't know how else to go about this.

Edison: Hmm. Traveling over water, eh...

Nikola Tesla: Don't tell me you're still struggling, you great hairy buffoon? As a true genius, I already arrived at the answer from those words alone.

Edison: No, a TRUE true genius is one who immediately presents the answer without beating around the bush. In this case, the answer is that this is a subjective beauty evaluation.

Nikola Tesla: Then allow me, a true true TRUE alternating current genius, to simplify and identify the answer even more clearly! In essence, the logical thing to do here is to play to the judge's tastes!

Helena: Would you guys stop speaking in turn like that? It makes you impossible to understand. What exactly do we need to do?

Edison: ...Could we ask you to change your model for a short while?

Nikola Tesla: I can understand how you might be reluctant to do so...

Nikola Tesla: But the truth is, this is the answer. What's more, we already know how good it is thanks to last year.

Helena: ...?

Helena: Is this what you're talking about? I think this is what I wore last year.

Mister B: Gwaaa (taking damage)! Now that's what I'm talking about! Kill me nooow!

Mister B: My excitement has officially peaked!

Mister B: I applaud your skillful efforts in pinpointing my precise tastes! You have truly outdone yourselves!

Mister B: Tch... I could've made a killing with geniuses like you on my ship.

Mister B: That's right! This swimsuit is so exciting it even brings out my inner pirate!

Mister B: This is nothing less than the Platonic ideal! I know I stressed the importance of exposure earlier, but this is the exception to the rule!

Mister B: Too cliched? Too ordinary? Saw it coming a mile away? Everyone agrees those are the best parts!

Mister B: That's why I'm proud to stand up and say this loud! I've said it before, and I'll say it again!

Mister B: School swimsuits best swimsuits!!!

Mister B: Specifically...the way its navy blue turns even darker and sticks to the skin when it gets wet.

Mister B: Truly the mark of high society, though I am open to alternative views on this subject.

Helena: Ugh, I'm getting goose bumps... If he'd been on the track, I might have run him over!

Helena: Easy there, Helena. Keep your cool. You can't let this speed boost go to waste now!

Helena: You two have a LOT to answer for...later. For now, though, we need to focus on the race! Let's go!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my... Telling young women to take off their clothes? Expose themselves? “Nip slips”? I will not stand for it! I forbid it!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: He may be a metal demon, trying to temp people off the very path of decency that I pledged to defend...

Sanzang: The one who kept interrupting the Buddha as he was trying to meditate, huh? That's a seriously bad dude.

Sanzang: If this robot is being possessed by such a wicked spirit, we may have to do something about it. Let's teach it a lesson it won't soon forget!

Mister B: Eee! Don't look at me like that! You two are scaring me!

Mister B: You're both very pretty and all, but bigger isn't always better! I fully support your level of exposure, though!

Mister B: ...Okay, now that they've slowed down, I'll take advantage of this chance to put some distance between us and check out more of Fran and Hele–Huh?

Mister B: Oh, you're approaching me? Wait, why?

Altria Alter: You've got a lot of nerve...

Nitocris: So lack of exposure's no longer a problem all of a sudden!? Double standards much!?

Mister B: W-wait, wait! Have you forgotten?

Mister B: I'm just a robot that's been programmed to be a beauty judge. Yelling at me or hitting me won't solve any–

Nero: Nonetheless!

Nero: As women who have had our beauty dissed, we have every right to pound the circuits out of you! Prepare yourself!


Blackbeard: Guh! Oogh...

Nitocris: I knew it... He was inside all along.

Oda Nobunaga: We ALL knew it all along!


Professor M: It would seem the competition here is now between two teams!

Professor M: Hahahaha! This is our chance, Babbage! It is time to surpass your limits!

Babbage: Steam pressure at maximum, maintaining full speed... No! I can accelerate further!

Babbage: If any parts get damaged, I'll just repair them later! Forward!

Fran: Uh. I'll do my best...!

Edison: Hurry up and change your inferior alter-whatnot to direct current already, you half-wit! We need more electricity!

Nikola Tesla: You've got it backwards, furball! Hurry and plug your brutish direct current into the inverter! Then it can finally be useful for once!

Helena: Ahahaha, I don't fully get what's going on, but I love how flashy all this lightning is!

Helena: I can already feel my stress melting away! Let's really kick this baby into gear!

Professor M: Just give up and admit it! My daughter is more beautiful!

Edison: No, Ms. Blavatsky is! She appeals directly to the enthusiast crowd!

Professor M: And you think a swimsuit made from bandages doesn't? Listen to yourself!

Nikola Tesla: If our beauty is being evaluated, it's only right to take the beauty of this lightning into account as well!

Nikola Tesla: Lightning once belonged exclusively to the gods, yet now it is we who control it! What could be more beautiful!?

Babbage: Hold it. Who is that up ahead?

Gorilla-esque Queen: Whew. Swimming really does make for good training.

Gorilla-esque Queen: I was so caught up in swimming I didn't realize I had reached the end of the course. That just goes to show what a warrior can do when she–

Gorilla-esque Queen: Hm?

All: ...

Queen of Abs: I...I see. So that's how it is. How sad. I suppose I truly am cursed to grow more beautiful...

Professor M: I don't believe that is it. It is more likely that while we slowed down to fight amongst ourselves, you were the only one who maintained a steady pace.

Queen of Abs: No. This will not stand. I swear this will not stand, AAACHILLES!!!

Queen of Abs: Start over! Do it again! I will not allow anyone to tell me I am beautiful ever again! As such, I must not be the first to reach the goal!

Helena: ...It looks like she's trying to drag us back to the starting line by force.

Fran: We can't go back now. I'll defeat her!

Fran: Uuuuh!


Helena: That should make her happy, being defeated by the two most beautiful girls here.

Fran: Ugh... So tired...

Professor M: I wish I could let you rest, my dear, but I am afraid we don't seem to have that luxury.

Professor M: The other teams have closed the gap while we were fighting her.

Professor M: We must make one last push if we are to come out victorious in this area. Are you up to it?

Fran: Uh. I'll do my best!

Babbage: ...What a good girl you are.

Professor M: I couldn't agree more. Incidentally, I don't suppose you could also give your Papa a little back massage after he spent all that time working hunched over?

Fran: Sure. Hang on.

Professor M: Huh? Electrotherapy? Wait, slow down. Even at its lowest setting, isn't that a D-ran–

Professor M: Kaaarrrgh!

Babbage: R.I.P.

Helena: ...What about you two? I could use a shoulder massage if you don't mind.

Edison & Tesla: Leave it to me. This DC/AC electrotherapy apparatus will cure any sort of shoulder stiffness!

4th Area: Valley A

Da Vinci: Ahh, that was a lot of fun. It's nice to leave the office now and then☆

Mash: I see you're already back to Chaldea now that your role is done, count.

Da Vinci: Count? Whatever are you talking about?

Da Vinci: If you mean the noble with a body as perfect as my own who I just happened to hear about through the grapevine, I'm sure I know nothing of her identity.

Da Vinci: I also have no idea why my staff here is glaring at me!

Da Vinci: Sorry everyone, I'll make it up to you, starting now!

Mash: If I had been there when you up and disappeared, and had to cover for you while you were gone...

Mash: ...I'd probably be glaring at you too...

Da Vinci: Well, since Holmes is here, I knew things would be all right regardless!

Da Vinci: Can't we all just lighten up a bit?

Fou: Fou...

Mash: At any rate...we're nearing the end of the race! It kind of feels like it's going by really quickly, but also really slowly at the same time.

Fujimaru 1: It WILL be kind of sad to see it end.

Mash: I agree, Senpai.

Mash: It's been a lot of work helping Ishtar, but it's also been a nice change of pace.

Ishtar: Aw, that's sweet. I knew I was right to make you my assistants.

Ishtar: That said, we still have to make sure to see this race through to the end. Seriously, that's very important.

Fujimaru 2: I can't wait to see who wins.

Mash: Me neither, Senpai. We both know how hard each team is trying.

Mash: I wish there were some way for everyone to win...but I know that's not possible.

Ishtar: Of course not. Competition is cruel and unforgiving. Some come out of it happy, the rest sad. That's just the way of the world.

Ishtar: I'm the goddess of war! I certainly couldn't stand to see something so sappy as everyone holding hands and crossing the finish line together.

Ishtar: But don't worry. As long as the winner and losers are all equally satisfied and have an equally rough time getting there, it's all fair and square!

Ishtar: I'm hoping they keep coughing up blood and cursing each other's names right up to the end!

Fou: Fou! Fou, fou!

Mash: Fou!? Did you like what Ishtar just said?

Ishtar: Okay then, let's start the commentary for the final areas!

Ishtar Commentary: This is it! The fourth area!

Ishtar Commentary: Once our racers get through here, all that remains is the final area: a short straightaway to the finish line!

Ishtar Commentary: In the final area, each team's total times for the previous areas will be added up, and their starting times will be adjusted accordingly.

Ishtar Commentary: Which means the fourth area is their last chance to put themselves at an advantage for the home stretch!

Ishtar Commentary: Teams who have been falling behind will want to focus on closing the gap.

Ishtar Commentary: And those who are doing well will want to try and extend their lead. Best of luck to all of you!

Ishtar Commentary: Now then, the fourth area itself is a peaceful valley surrounded by two great tracts of land.

Ishtar Commentary: As for why I described it that way, well...I think you'll understand when you see it for yourself.

Mash: ...?

Ishtar Commentary: A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. Now, let's get the fourth area race started!

Nero: My... Those are certainly some ample hills.

Nero: Huh? That's odd... That word's not really used to describe land. Why did I use it, I wonder...?

Nero: I suppose it must be my poetic side making itself apparent!

Helena: I feel like I've seen these shapes somewhere before... Almost as if...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Yes?

Helena: That's right. This land reminds me of you, somehow.

Fran: ...Uh! Look out!

Nitocris: Somebody's firing arrows at us! Evasive maneuvers!

Oda Nobunaga: Unfortunately for them, no arrow can touch me!

Oda Nobunaga: It looks like those were warning shots, but there were certainly a lot of them. Who are you!?

Nero: That's...Artemis!?

Oda Nobunaga: Th-there's so many of them! What the...!?

Artemis: Hold it! This is the Artemis Valley! You can't just go through it willy nilly!

Fujimaru 1: Now I know why Atalante acted like that.

Fujimaru 2: I guess she couldn't say no to her boss.

Mash: I more or less had an idea of why the usually serious Atalante took on a role like that...

Mash: But, Senpai, look at how many Artemises there are! What's going on?

Ishtar: Is it that much of a surprise?

Ishtar: She's a god too, y'know, and it looks like she possesses the concept of prolificacy. I'm sure it's not too big a deal for her to make temporary copies of herself.

Fujimaru 1: Easier said than done.

Mash: When it comes to gods, it may just be best to not question why they do anything.

Mash: What concerns me is her reason for doing this.

Fujimaru 2: Okay, but WHY is she doing this?

Ishtar: Oh, that? It's probably a countermeasure. Haven't you noticed?

Mash: Come to think of it, something does seem off here.

Mash: Artemis doesn't quite seem like herself somehow. Almost like there's something important missing...

Helena: Huh? It looks like there's something else on top of that other hill.

Edison: Now they're mass-producing these as well!?

Fran: ...Uh... So many fuzzies.

Orion: Well, hello there, young ladies. I'd find some other path if I were you. Trust me, it's in your best interests.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my... Me, a young lady? ...Teehee.

B:Artemis: There you are!

C:Artemis: Give us back our darling, darlings!

Orion: I'm afraid it's not that simple.

Oda Nobunaga: First we get a buncha goddesses scurrying around, now little bears dressed as hunters. What the hell, guys!?

B:Artemis: Don't talk about us like we're bugs!

C:Artemis: All right, I suppose I can explain.

C:Artemis: Take a look at all those darlings there. They're each slightly different from my real darling.

Altria Alter: Now that I look closer, I see what you mean. One is holding his club in the wrong hand, one's ears are shaped differently...

Helena: Feels like a game of spot the differences.

Artemis A: Only one of those darlings is my real darling! I'm here to find out where he is!

Artemis A: ...Now that I say that out loud, it almost sounds like this is a trial to prove how true our love is, doesn't it? Teeheehee.

Artemis B: At any rate, I may have made more mes to deal with all the darlings...

Artemis B: But they're still very quick runners.

Artemis C: So, uh, that's why I'll only let you all pass through my valley if you find my real darling and return him to me!

A:Artemis D: Otherwise, I'll hit you with so many Amore Mio that you'll never make it through!

C:Artemis E: I'm a goddess asking for your help. Surely you'll complete this trial of love for me, won't you?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am not sure I understand the point of having others complete a trial for you.

Nitocris: To begin with, how did this even happen? Why are there so many Orions right now?

Artemis A: That's what I'd like to know too!

C:Artemis B: Well, I suppose that while I was lovingly squeezing darling...

C:Artemis B: ...I might have ended up squeezing too hard because the thing under our feet was the same.

C:Artemis B: So he might have got caught in that before one thing led to another, I guess.

Mash: I have no idea what any of that meant...

Ishtar: Eh, if you don't get it, you don't get it.

Ishtar: But we at least know for sure now that this place is Artemis's Valley, yeah?

Fujimaru 1: Bountiful pair of...hills, indeed...

Fujimaru 2: Couldn't they also have been called “Twin Peaks”?

Ishtar: Well, she IS a goddess at the end of the day, so I guess her divinity rubbed off.

Ishtar: Incidentally, I think they might actually be there to keep Orion from escaping.

Altria Alter: Tell me something. Why do you remain in this area?

Orion A: Well, we'd love to leave, but we're helpless against these boobs. We're only men, after all.

Orion B: These warm, soft hills are the best.

Orion C: I could cling to them all day.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It would seem these bears are not talking in the maternal nurturing sense. I forbid such uncouth language, whether it comes from the lips of man or bear!

Orions: Uh oh! Bloodlust!

Artemises: They got away again! Come on, everyone, hurry up and catch my real darling!

Ishtar Commentary: That's right... Welcome to Artemis Valley. Look out for the fierce, bow-wielding Artemises guarding it!

Ishtar Commentary: Will our racers comply with this fickle goddess's difficult request, or power their way through an onslaught of her arrows!?

Ishtar Commentary: It's time to see how this final race plays out! Everyone, on your marks!

4th Area: Race Highlights

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...

Nero: When it comes to matters of love, I am, of course, a most understanding emperor!

Nero: With my great expertise, I have determined that this must be a lovers' quarrel between the bear and the goddess.

Nero: While it would be entertaining to watch, right now, I am a racer. I will drive through this valley whether she permits it or not!

Altria Alter: Agreed. Love, hate, romance...

Altria Alter: Such things appear without reason, stubbornly remain, then disappear before you know it.

Altria Alter: They are like stains you are unsure whether you should clean or not. Now is not the time to worry over such trifles! We must push on!

Artemis: It's not going to be that easy! Open fire, me!

Nero: Drat, there are too many of them! We cannot possibly navigate such a storm of arrows!

Altria Alter: Dammit, look out! You're going to hit the hillside!

Nero: Khhh!

Nero: ...Hmph! They are so soft as to be infuriating! But they are also in our way!

Nero: There is such a thing as “too big” you know! As they say, just enough is plenty! And indeed, mine are perfect!

Artemis: You're wrong! The bigger they are, the happier they make darling!

Oda Nobunaga: Now's our chance! Tactical genius that I am, I have a cunning plan to trap them all! Who needs Zhuge Liang when you've got Nobbu!?

Mysterious Racer X: It's a shame I couldn't do it myself, but I could watch Sabers taking double damage from Archers all day!

Mysterious Racer X: Mmm, sweet satisfaction! Wait, is it just regular damage now since they're technically a Rider and Caster?

Mysterious Racer X: No, no. I can practically SEE their souls being crushed, so it's all good! Mmm, that's the stuff!

Artemis: It's going to take a lot more than that to get past all of me!

Helena: Grr, stand still and let me catch you already!

Orion?: A school swimsuit, huh. Not bad, not bad at all. But it's what's inside the swimsuit that counts.

Orion?: And your body's just too young to fill it out properly...

Fran: Is this him? No... (Sad)

Orion?: Now now, don't let it get you down. You may not believe this coming from me, but it doesn't matter if you're real or fake.

Orion?: What matters is whether this love is real or not.

Orion?: Personally, I think you're well on your way to being great someday. Seriously, one more step up and you're there.

Orion?: A few more years and you'll be busting out in all the right places. Then I won't be able to stop myself from–

Orion?: What's that? You'll never grow any more? Well that's too bad.

Professor M: I'll thank you to stop hitting on my daughter so brazenly, and in my presence, little bear!

Nitocris: (Huff, huff)... Between Medjed, my mummies, and your summoned characters, we're covering a lot of ground.

Nitocris: But there's just so many of them that we can't–Aah!

Orion?: Oh yeah, these are surprisingly well-balanced. Size, color, shape... They're the total package.

Orion?: Between you and your partner, you've got all your (second) bases covered! How's about letting me join your team too? I can be your mascot!

Nitocris: Wh-why you little! Get away from me! Unless you're the one we're looking for, in which case, give yourself up!

Nitocris: Damn, he's so fast!

Caster of Storytelling: Do you know the story of Wardán?

Nitocris: Who's that?

Caster of Storytelling: In brief, a shop owner named Wardán finds a suspicious woman who'd always buy an unusual amount of things, and decides to follow her...

Caster of Storytelling: ...Only to end up seeing something completely unexpected in her basement. Something really, truly unexpected...

Nitocris: Wow... No wonder you're a storyteller. That was just a few short sentences, and I'm already dying to know what happens next! What did he see!?

Caster of Storytelling: turns out that the woman...and the bear she was keeping there were... (Embarrassed whisper)

Nitocris: ...!

Caster of Storytelling: Essentially...the moral of the story is that bears have dangerous appetites. Do with that knowledge what you will.

Nitocris: D-did you really need to tell me that story NOW!? How can that possibly be helpful!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: This is... This is by far the worst indecency I have seen so far.

Sanzang: ...?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Nothing but shameful, forbidden acts everywhere I look!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: The problem lies with those bears. In a way, they are an even more direct threat to public decency than what happened in the area we just left.

Sanzang: Yeah, these are some seriously bad bears!

Sanzang: I remember a bear named the Black Wind Demon once stole my kasaya. Thankfully, Wukong got it back for me.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I once thought a bear would make a good playmate for my son, but these Orion bears won't do at all.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: That does it. I have made my decision.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Now is the time to stand my ground. I shall do everything within my power to see that decency is upheld!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If I see something shameful taking place in the east, I shall fly there like a bolt of lightning. If I hear of something shameful taking place in the west, I shall come down like a peal of thunder.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Yes... In order to preserve decency in this depraved world, I must become lightning itself.

Sanzang: (I kind of feel like that's what she's been doing all along anyway.)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If I am truly to be swift as lightning, I do not have the luxury of being choosy with my methods.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: The time has come to put this attire aside.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: This outfit is both a symbol of my determination to keep the world decent...and the shackles that keep my true power restrained!

Sanzang: Whoa, really!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I think so. When I showed it to Kintoki before coming here, he told me:

Minamoto-no-Raikou: “Raikou, whatever ya do, ya better not take that outfit off. Ya need ta keep covered up, or...”

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Then he trailed off while avoiding looking me in the eye. As a mother, I could tell how worried he was about me.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...However! If it will serve the greater good, I have no compunctions about shedding even this outfit!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It should be all right. I am sorry to depend on you for assistance, but you have proven yourself a trustworthy companion.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If something should go wrong, I have faith that you will take action.

Sanzang: I'm not totally sure what you're talking about, but the Buddha is clearly still on your side! I see no problem with me continuing to assist you!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Thank you very much. I truly do hope that the Buddha blesses me with his protection.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...All right, here goes!

Orion A: What the!? This aura! I sense a new, phenomenal rack nearby... But where? (Flutters toward Raikou)

Orion B: There! Hubba hubba! It's like they have their own gravitational pull, and I'm helpless to resist! (More fluttering)

Sanzang: Oho, this is handy. Instead of us going after them, it looks like they're coming right to us.

Sanzang: Ah, and I believe I've just been hit with a divine Buddha inspiration!

Sanzang: If we can't tell the fakes ones from the real one...we can just string them ALL up!

Sanzang: If we hand over ALL the bears, one of them HAS to be the genuine article.

Sanzang: I'm sure the goddess can figure it out if we bring them all to her!

Sanzang: It's not like she told us to ONLY bring her the real one, after all, so we should still be able to meet her condition this way.

Sanzang: Okay, I feel good about our chances now. Maybe I'll even roll up my kasaya so I can really let loose!

Orion C: Whoa, there's another great pair over here!? They've got a really nice shape to them too. I think I'm in love. (Flutters towards Sanzang)

Orion D: She kind of seems like a pushover, too. The type who's surprisingly innocent about this sort of thing. I dig it. (More fluttering)

Sanzang: Huh!? It looks like they're coming to me now too, for some reason!

Sanzang: Is my virtue that obvious? So much so that just looking at me makes them want to come over so I can admonish them?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If they are coming to greet us of their own accord, that will save us time.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Come. We will capture every one of these creatures and give them the chastisement they so richly deserve!


Minamoto-no-Raikou: You shall not escape, beastly disturbers of public decency! My lightning shall straighten you out! Wickedness, begone!

Orion: Eeyaaah! (Snapped out of it) She's gonna kill me!

Artemis: Stop that! I never told you to treat them that way! Leave my darlings alone!

Sanzang: Huh, I didn't even notice we'd made it all the way to the depths of the valley.

Sanzang: Still, now that we've caught most of the bears, this could work out nicely!

Sanzang: Heeeeeey, lady goddess, we brought you your boyfrie–

Sanzang: Well, so much for that idea. She's so worked up that she's not even listening.

Sanzang: Guess I'll just have to go with my old standby for getting people to calm down: sutras!

Sanzang: This'll be my first time reciting to a foreign goddess, so she might not understand what I preach...

Sanzang: But that's okay! (Physical) Buddha Power admonishes the soul just as well as the body! Here goes nothing!


Minamoto-no-Raikou: Whew. That should keep you in line and respecting public decency for a while.

Orion: I...I never knew Eastern boobs were so scary. (Shiver)

Artemis: Now look what you've done! I've never seen darling shiver in fear like that before.

Artemis: It's downright... Downright...

Artemis: Adooorable! Wait, hang on... This is my real darling, isn't it? Hurray♪

Artemis: It's okay, darling, there's nothing to be scared about. Look, Western boobs! Mine are still the best, right?

Orion: Hmm? Back when I was clinging to those hills, shaped as similarly to yours as they were, the sheer size felt new and fresh at the time, but these...

Orion: These are always so accessible that I've kind of gotten bored with them...

Artemis: Daaarliiing!

Orion: (Gasp) Wait, I didn't mean that! I was still half asleep, and my true feelings just slipped out!

Artemis: So they ARE your true feelings!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Oh my. I can see it all too clearly.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If I were to take Kintoki or Master in my arms, cradle them to my chest, and give them a loving embrace...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Only for them to tell me they had “gotten bored” with me...I cannot even imagine the depths of my despair.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Does this mean you are still a bad bear? Was your earlier punishment insufficient?

Orion: Eeeeee!

Sanzang: ...Now that we've found the real one, I think I might have an idea. Are you familiar with this golden headband?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my... Isn't that the same one that your disciple, Sun Wukong wears on his head?

Orion: Wait. I've heard of that thing too. You're kidding, right? Please tell me this isn't going where I think it's going!

Sanzang: Here, this is for you!

Artemis: What's this? It looks like a shiny golden hoop...

Sanzang: Try putting it on your pretty little bear-friend's head.

Artemis: Okay, okay!

Sanzang: Then, if he ever starts acting up, all you have to say is: (Whisper, whisper).

Artemis: Huh? (Whisper, whisper)?

Orion: Ow ow ow ow ow! It's tightening, it's tighteniiing! All my stuffing's gonna pop out!

Artemis: Oh wow, what is this? A one-word punishment system made just for my darling?

Artemis: So now, if darling ever looks at, touches, thinks of, walks by, or smells another girl...

Artemis: Or another girl loses a hair in the street and he steps on it, or he sits in a chair that's still warm from another girl's body heat...

Artemis: Or he sees his reflection in a puddle made from raindrops that hit another girl's body...

Artemis: I can just say (whisper, whisper)?

Orion: Ow ow ow ow! I can't take this! I really can't!

Orion: Seriously, look at me! I've got a literal hourglass figure going on!

Artemis: Ahahahaha! This is amazing! Now darling will never look at anyone but me again!

Orion: I...I'm sorry!!!

Orion: I apologize! I repent! I promise I'll behave for a while!

Orion: So please, let me keep my stuffing inside! Don't make me choose between a world with nothing but men or death!

Artemis: Oh, darling, you don't need to cry and apologize like that, happy as I am to hear you say all that...

Artemis: Now darling and I can finally go back to having cuddle times together!

Artemis: I'm done being a gatekeeper now, so go ahead and pass through my valley and hills all you like.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I see. Very well. Since the other teams will soon be catching up, let us go on ahead and catch our breath.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: From there, we can keep an eye on the others for any signs of indecency.

Sanzang: Sounds good to me!

Artemis: ...I wonder if I should have warned them, since I am a goddess and all.

Artemis: Maybe they'd want to know about the purpose of all the textures that have been placed here, and how that girl is still seething because of what they did...

Artemis: Oh well, I can't catch up to them now anyway, so I might as well not worry about it! Come on, darling, let's you and me enjoy some long-overdue one-on-one time!

Orion: ...You're not still carrying that shiny golden headband behind your back, are you? Are you? (Shudder)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: By the way...may I ask you something about that headband?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You never truly meant to use it, did you?

Sanzang: Nope. You could tell, huh?

Sanzang: The one I can produce is just a simple imitation of the one Lady Kannon gave me.

Sanzang: It doesn't last very long, so there wouldn't have been much point in putting it on that bear.

Sanzang: Besides...I might use it for a while when fighting monsters, but it's not really something I like doing.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I see... Is that because it is a sort of one-sided punishment, devoid of love?

Sanzang: Hm? Well, yeah, that's part of it, but more than that, it's just kind of passive aggressive, you know?

Sanzang: If someone does something wrong, you should just tell them so on the spot in no uncertain terms. That's what being a teacher is all about, right?

Sanzang: And you can't do that if you're mumbling to yourself from the shadows.

Sanzang: When I first began my journey, I had a really long way to go–not to say I don't still have a long way to go even now...

Sanzang: And I think Lady Kannon gave it to me as a way of helping me out. But now, I don't need its help anymore.

Sanzang: These days, I bet I could even reach an understanding with Wukong with nothing but my bare hands! Especially now that I've got so much virtue built up!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I see. I agree that there are some things which can only be conveyed through direct interaction.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: That is why I am on this journey to protect public decency.

Sanzang: Exactly. I bet I've built up a lot of virtue on this journey alone. Now that it's almost over, I'd like to tell you this again...

Sanzang: Thank you for inviting me. I'm glad I did this. I guess the Buddha really was on our side, huh?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ah, if only others were as appropriately ashamed of their unacceptable appearances as you, and had agreed to come on a journey to make amends...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: This truly is a difficult path we walk, isn't it.

Sanzang: (Um, I didn't think I was especially ashamed of my appearance...)

Sanzang: (Yeah, no, I'm definitely not.)

Sanzang: Anyway, we're almost to the finish line now! We can't celebrate just yet, but since we've made it this far, I say we aim for the top spot!

Final Stretch: Bridge to Glory

Ishtar Commentary: Okay, folks...this is it. Win or lose, there's no turning back now.

Ishtar Commentary: The final area is upon us. All that's left now is the Ishtar Temple at the finish line. Are you ready, racers!?

Fujimaru 1: ...(Gulp)

Fujimaru 2: I'm getting nervous again.

Mash: All we can do now is watch over everyone on the home stretch.

Ishtar Commentary: For this area, each team will be leaving the starting line based on how quickly they completed the rest of the race.

Ishtar Commentary: This will of course give some teams an advantage over others, but there's still no way to say for sure how things will play out.

Ishtar Commentary: And unlike the other areas, this one is a simple straightaway with a single bridge, so each and every team has a shot at victory.

Ishtar Commentary: Got that, everyone? Now that you've made it this far, you're all bona fide cannonball racers.

Ishtar Commentary: There'll be no retiring and no giving up!

Ishtar Commentary: So give your engines all the magical energy you've got, keep your wheels spinning, and make sure you all leave your marks on this land!

Fou: Fou!

Ishtar Commentary: All right then, without further ado...

Ishtar Commentary: Let the final area of the Ishtar Cannonball Run...begin!

Altria Alter: Tch, our tires have lost some of their traction by this point... But we are still on top for the moment!

Altria Alter: Once we make it to the bridge, none shall be able to pass us! How fare the other teams, Drama Queen!?

Nero: Umu... They remain close behind us! I suppose we should expect no less from our rivals who have kept pace with us this whole time!

Nero: Whatever happens, do not take your foot off the accelerator. Is that clear, Trench Coat?

Nero: The tires may have worn down, and the smallest vibration may now cause us to skid around a bit, but Red Venus's engine is still going strong!

Nero: As its drivers, we cannot afford to hesitate even for a moment! If we should slip off the bridge, so be it!

Altria Alter: Of course! Though I am loathe to admit it, you and I are in full agreement, Drama Queen! Once we are past that treacherous bridge, I shall shower you in ale myself!

Professor M: Babbage, now that we have come this far, we must not settle for anything less than victory!

Babbage: I know that! Explosive steam turbo boost, go!

Fran: UUUUUUhhhhhh! Here we goooooo!

Professor M: Are we accelerating even faster!?

Babbage: This form incorporates a secret engine to be used only in emergencies!

Professor M: Aha, I see!

Professor M: By the way, would it perchance make use of nitro–

Babbage: JUST STEEEAM!!!

Professor M: Indubitably!

Professor M: At any rate, let us give all we have in the final stretch! Hahahaha! Who knew races could be so much fun!

Sanzang: I believe...we have reached the crucial point in this competition!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am well aware of that, Monk Sanzang. Now is the time to demonstrate my true shadow prefect power!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Is that clear, Kyogoku, my beloved steed? Then run with all your might!

A:Kyogoku: Neiiighhh! (Translation: I'll follow you anywhere, prefect!)

Sanzang: Oh man, they're leaving me in the dust! What's the deal with that horse, anyway?

Sanzang: Well, I can worry about that later! Time to kick it up a notch, Bailong!

Sanzang: Show them what the next great Dragon King of the West can really do!

B:Bailong: Snort! (Translation: Leave it to me, Lady Sanzang!)

B:Bailong: Snort snort! (Translation: I'll run to the ends of the earth if I have to!)

Sanzang: Now that's what I'm talking about! Keep it up!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I expected no less from you, great monk. Come, let us show everyone that we prefects are not to be trifled with!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Hi ho, Kyogoku!

Helena: The emperor and the king are out in front, huh. Looks like they may well cross the finish line first.

Helena: But not if Mahatma has anything to say about it! Time to show everyone my Kumara Wheel's ludicrous speed!

Edison: L-ludicrous speed!?

Nikola Tesla: H-hold on, Lady Blavatsky! Can you really achieve such speeds on land!?

Helena: ...No, I can't! Sorry! I just said that because it sounded good!

Gentleman & Lion: What!?

Helena: But that IS about how fast I WANT to go. And it DOES have a super-acceleration feature, though the g-forces make it a little rough!

Helena: But, I'm afraid we don't have enough magical energy to use it. (Glance)

Nikola Tesla: Hahahahaha! That's where we come in!

Edison: Indeed! Other teams may not have that sort of energy, but it's not a problem for us!

Gentleman & Lion: With our Thunderdome!

Edison: Our Thunderdome's true worth lies in its exceptional electricity generation! Now that we are in the heat of the race's home stretch, we will crank it up to 256 times its normal output!

Nikola Tesla: Let me handle converting electricity into magical energy. Don't worry, I just need to invert the standard galvanism.

Nikola Tesla: I do end up taking a significant amount of damage in the process, so I can't make use of this secret technique very often...but for you, Lady Blavatsky, I would be glad to!

Edison: As would I, my lady! We WILL have the Thunderdome run at full capacity!

Helena: Thanks, guys. I love you both. Okay then... Whenever you're ready!

Edison: Indeed!

Nikola Tesla: Naturally!

Helena & Edison & Tesla: ...Kumara Wheel, Ultra Acceleration!

Oda Nobunaga: Thanks to my excellent observational skills, I can tell that now is the time to settle this race once and for all! This is our watershed moment!

Oda Nobunaga: Go! Full throttle! Do not let up on the rudder one bit, Mysterious Something-Or-Other!

Mysterious Racer X: Hehehe! That car with the two Saberfaces out in front is driven by nothing less than two of my mortal enemies!

Oda Nobunaga: I see your unwavering dedication to your goal is as strong as ever! I gotta be honest; it kinda freaks me out!

Oda Nobunaga: But, since we've come this far, there's no stopping now! We are inextricably linked! This shall be our Okehazama!

Mysterious Racer X: You got it, Nobbu! Go, Altrium!

Mysterious Racer X: Surpass your limits, Demon King of the V6 Heaven!

Mysterious Racer X: To the skies and beyond! Red Zooone!

Nitocris: Keep going, Pharaoh Legend! By the time this is over, you really WILL be a legend!

Nitocris: Just watch me, Pharaoh Ozymandias, Pharaoh Iskandar, Cleopatra, and every other pharaoh!

Nitocris: Soon, I'll have attained the sort of glory due to all pharaohs by right of birth, with my own hands!

Caster of Storytelling: Oh, oh no... We're going too fast... The vehicle's practically shaking itself apart... We're going to die...

Nitocris: Stay strong. We can't slow down now! Because...because, uh...

Nitocris: Because right now, it's like the Legend is swinging around a huge weight! If we stop it too soon, we'll slam against the window and die.

Nitocris: So if you don't want to die, our only option right now is to go even faster and sling the weight even further!

Caster of Storytelling: ...! I...suppose that does make sense...

Nitocris: (It worked! Hehehe, be prepared for anything, as they say.)

Nitocris: (I knew it was worth taking that Sphinxology correspondence course in case we ever had a Sphinx deficiency.)

Nitocris: (They were dead-on about being able to convince people with any possible analogy as long as you say it with conviction!)

Nitocris: Now go forth, my sun! You are beholden to none but the sky. There is nothing and no one that can stop you!

Ishtar Commentary: No surprise here, folks! Every team is going full throttle! Nobody's giving an inch!

Ishtar Commentary: Each vehicle is approaching the final part of the race, the bridge spanning a deep ravine, at the same time!

Ishtar Commentary: It all comes down to this! Which team will manage to cross this bridge first!?

???: ...Do it.

Nero: Wh-what the...!?

Altria Alter: What is this!?

Fran: Uhhh...! I can't steer!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Something has...cut down the bridge!

Helena: Dammit, I can't steer with all this debris!

Oda Nobunaga: Now's the time to blast off! ...Eh? We'll just smack into the ground faster at this angle?

Oda Nobunaga: YOOOLOOO

Mysterious Racer X: Welp, this is how it ends!

Nitocris: W-we're falling... We're falling!

Fou: Fou, fooou!

Mash: Wha... What was that!?

Fujimaru 1: The whole bridge just...collapsed!

Fujimaru 2: I can't believe it.

Ishtar: ...!

A:???: ...I hope you all enjoyed yourselves, because the fun's over now.

A:???: You're going to pay dearly for messing up my country!

B:???: ...

Mash: There are so many things I don't understand right now. But the first thing we need to worry about...

Mash: that everyone fell to the bottom of that ravine!

Da Vinci: I'm still picking up Spirit Origin readings for everyone, but none of them are moving anymore.

Da Vinci: I don't know if this is relevant or not, but we also lost the signals from all of our nearby relay drones as the bridge went down.

Da Vinci: So unfortunately, it's a little hard to tell what's going on!

Fujimaru 1: We've got to go help them!

Mash: Agreed! Ishtar, can you help get us to them, like you did when we brought them suppli–Ishtar?

Ishtar: Huh? Oh, yeah, of course. I'll send Maanna out right away. In the meantime, get all the first aid supplies and stuff ready to go.

Mash: Okay!

Fou: Fooou!

Ishtar: ...

Ishtar: Damn...we were so close. This just became a huge pain in the ass...