Setsubun Banquet Scroll - Hundred-Level Pagoda of Oni Nirvana
Prologue: To the Oni Tower
Narration: This is a tale of something that may or may not have happened.
Da Vinci: So! Here's what we know about this latest incident.
Da Vinci: Recently, a mysterious horned duo were seen using a combination of liquor and crocodile tears to scam the staff into secretly Rayshifting them somewhere.
Fujimaru 1: “Mysterious”? Really?
Fujimaru 2: Took me all of two seconds to figure who did it.
Mash: I agree. This has Shuten and Ibaraki written all over it...
Da Vinci: Sure, we don't exactly need Holmes's help to figure out the culprits this time, but that's not the real issue.
Da Vinci: The REAL issue is the strange signal we've been picking up from the little Japanese village they Rayshifted to.
Da Vinci: After a bit of research, we've figured out that it's yet another minute Singularity.
Da Vinci: I'm guessing they Rayshifted there after they caught wind of some treasure to be found.
Da Vinci: Couple of slick operators, those two–especially that Shuten-Douji. I could easily see them digging up, say, a Holy Grail.
Fujimaru 1: You shouldn't go around digging up Holy Grails willy-nilly.
Mash: Indeed. There's a lot of variation to be found even among Holy Grails...
Mash: It is possible one could end up with a grail due to the space-time distortion created by the incineration and restoration of humanity.
Da Vinci: Right you are, Mash.
Fujimaru 2: Impressive as always from the oni bandits of Mt. Ooe!
Mash: This is no time to be admiring their skills as thieves, Senpai!
Da Vinci: That said, it doesn't look like this is a full-blown Holy Grail.
Da Vinci: We did get a reading that looked like a Holy Grail for just a moment, but it turned out to be more like a pile of Holy Grail fragments.
Da Vinci: Still, it's a fairly big pile, with a lot of pure magical energy to it. I imagine that's what Shuten-Douji and Ibaraki-Douji are looking to get their hands on.
Mash: Can you tell us what exactly's going on in that area, Acting Commander Da Vinci?
Mash: If Shuten and Ibaraki are involved, does that mean there's an alcoholic fog hanging over the place, like there was during Rashomon?
Da Vinci: Well our readings sure resemble the Rashomon mess, but things are a little different this time.
Da Vinci: Here, we're dealing with a tower.
Da Vinci: It's odd. The thing appeared out of nowhere and we're not sure what it's for.
Da Vinci: It's not just any old tower. The height and shape of the thing shouldn't be possible from a structural standpoint.
Da Vinci: You'll know what I mean when you see it for yourselves.
Da Vinci: At any rate, I have no idea what they're planning, but we can't risk this turning into another Singularity.
Da Vinci: Fujimaru, I need you to Rayshift there yourself and handle this before that happens.
Fujimaru 1: You got it.
Da Vinci: That's what I like to hear.
Da Vinci: Of course, you won't be going alone.
Da Vinci: Given this particular location, I thought it'd be best if a Japanese Servant well-acquainted with its climate and culture went along with you.
Da Vinci: Fortunately, I already found one killing time in the rec room. Come on in!
Female Samurai: ...Your choice of words is a bit misleading. I was not “killing time.”
Female Samurai: I was quite busy sneaking up on cowardly snipers and knifing them in their backs...
Female Samurai: ...before they had a chance to shoot me from their little spawn camping positions.
Female Samurai: Truly, there are few things I enjoy more than killing spawn campers.
Da Vinci: As you can see, she's, uh, gotten REALLY into first person shooters.
Fujimaru 1: One hour time limit on gaming per day!
Fujimaru 2: I hope you're not ruining your eyes...
Female Samurai: ...Not to worry, Master.
Female Samurai: These games of the video are not my only means of entertaining myself.
Female Samurai: I have also been availing myself of that room's analog offerings.
Female Samurai: I speak, of course, of the games where two players take turns commanding pieces on a wooden battlefield.
Female Samurai: Shogi, chess, backgammon, Spehss Mehreens 41,000...
Female Samurai: Every one of these has proven to be an invaluable tool for sharpening my command of military tactics.
Da Vinci: Hahaha. Can we get back on topic now?
Female Samurai: Oh, of course. My apologies. I got a little carried away. Ahem.
Female Samurai: ...Tell me Master, Lady Da Vinci. How may I be of service?
Female Samurai: I see. So that is what those two are up to...
Fujimaru 1: Do you know them?
Female Samurai: ...Only by name and face.
Mash: So you haven't talked to them much?
Female Samurai: No, I have not.
Female Samurai: They are oni–vile creatures that, by their very nature, exist only to harm and feast on humans.
Female Samurai: However, these oni are also Servants, and each serves the same Master as I. I therefore must trust them.
Female Samurai: ...But be that as it may, I'm afraid I have not yet had occasion to meet them properly.
Female Samurai: Still, that is of little consequence now.
Female Samurai: If you will have me, I would be happy to join you in investigating this strange oni tower.
Da Vinci: Oh, I almost forgot. In addition to you being Fujimaru's primary Servant...
Da Vinci: ...I'd also like you to lead the other Servants who will be accompanying you. Can you do that?
Female Samurai: As you wish.
Female Samurai: However, I feel compelled to ask... Much as I am honored to be appointed general for this mission, I wonder how it is you came to choose me?
Female Samurai: Surely there is a Japanese general of far greater skill and fame than I residing here in Chaldea?
Da Vinci: Yeah, I...uh...I know who you're talking about, but sending her after these two would not end at all well.
Da Vinci: A peaceful resolution would be pretty much out of the question with her in charge.
Da Vinci: So I thought that since you're not a Berser–I mean, since you have a good head on your shoulders, you'd be a good choice to lead this mission.
Female Samurai: Hmm. I cannot say I fully understand your reasoning, but if I am the one most suitable for this mission, I am happy to accept.
Female Samurai: However... If it is not too forward of me, there is one thing I would like to ask of you, Master.
Fujimaru 1: What is it?
Female Samurai: This will be my first mission since I was summoned to Chaldea. As such, I cannot afford to fail.
Female Samurai: Even as we speak, I have been steeling myself with even greater resolve than usual.
Female Samurai: Therefore, if you do not mind...I would ask to be given an official title for this operation. A “call sign,” I believe, is the term.
Female Samurai: After all, a special name gives one a special sense of purpose.
Female Samurai: ...Hm? What would I like it to be? An excellent question...
Female Samurai: Naturally, that would be–that is, I will be happy with anything you decide, Master!
Fujimaru 1: Well, since it's THAT time of year, how about...General Setsubun?
Female Samurai: Yes! That's perfect!
Mash: Isn't it a little on the nose!?
Female Samurai: Indeed, it describes my position exactly. It could not be more perfect.
Female Samurai: As far as I am concerned, too obvious is just right.
Female Samurai: Now that I think of it, my beloved also had a wonderful second name that–
Female Samurai: Ahem. At any rate, I am proud to accept the name you have bestowed upon me, Master. I cannot wait to begin!
C：General Setsubun: I am General Setsubun, and I have been charged with a critical task! I shall see the plot of these oni–whatever it may be–foiled!
General Setsubun: And now, we gird ourselves for battle.
General Setsubun: Our first order of business is to find this tower. Master, I shall lead the way while you–
General Setsubun: ...
Fujimaru 1: I...don't think finding it will be a problem.
Fujimaru 2: Well, that's...huge.
Mash: We have visual on it here as well. It seems safe to assume that this is the tower in question.
Mash: Our observation results say it has...one hundred floors!?
Da Vinci: So instead of a five-story pagoda, we have a hundred-story pagoda, huh.
Da Vinci: Of course, there's no way they pulled this off with standard architectural engineering.
Da Vinci: If they'd tried, it would've come crashing down well before the fiftieth floor.
Da Vinci: Anyway, we're still analyzing it, but I'm pretty sure this tower is Shuten-Douji's Noble Phantasm, “Multicolored Poison - Shinpen Kidoku.”
Fujimaru 1: I just...can't even with this...
Da Vinci: Mmm. I had a feeling you'd say that. But I'm afraid that's the only way to explain it.
Da Vinci: After comparing our data from examining the tower to Chaldea's database...
Da Vinci: According to our observational data, Shuten-Douji's Noble Phantasm was the one it had the most in common with.
General Setsubun: But how can that be? That is clearly a tower, not wine.
Da Vinci: Exactly. That's the biggest head-scratcher here. But once you figure that out, all the other pieces fall into place.
Da Vinci: Looking at what things are like there, I'm guessing Shuten-Douji combined the magical energy source with her Noble Phantasm to build this tower.
Shuten-Douji: Well well, you figured it out already? I'm impressed.
Shuten-Douji: You got it in one. I made this hundred-story pagoda with my Shinpen Kidoku. I call it the Oni Pagoda.
General Setsubun: Shuten-Douji!
Da Vinci: Whoa, how are you communicating with us? Are you actually projecting your image through an alcoholic fog? I've never seen that before!
Ibaraki-Douji: Hahahaha, how do you like that? Anything you lot can do, we can do better!
Ibaraki-Douji: But don't ask me how it works. I don't have a clue!
Ibaraki-Douji: I call it FogTime, designed by Shuten in the Oni Pagoda!
Ibaraki-Douji: It has been so very Shuten since its debut that people have been peeing their pants. Leave your belongings behind, and we'll let you escape with your lives!
Shuten-Douji: Easy, Ibaraki. Slow down. You can't reveal everything right at the start.
General Setsubun: The Oni Pagoda... So that is this tower's name?
Fujimaru 1: Why did you make this thing, anyway?
Shuten-Douji: You want to know why? I'm sure you'll be able to figure that out if you make it to the top.
Shuten-Douji: This probably goes without saying, but that's where you'll find us, too.
Shuten-Douji: ...Don't get lost on the way here, all right, sweetie?
General Setsubun: That explains nothing, Shuten-Douji.
General Setsubun: Now that Master has given me the role of General Setsubun, I wish to know the ultimate goal of your scheme.
General Setsubun: If you would rather not tell me, then no matter.
Shuten-Douji: ...Heh. Is that so?
Shuten-Douji: I had a feeling you'd be showing up. Interesting title you've got there, too.
Shuten-Douji: Now that you mention it, it IS that time of year, isn't it?
General Setsubun: What time of year?
Shuten-Douji: Setsubun, of course. That's as good a reason as any for me to have built this tower.
General Setsubun: What nonsense is this? Are you oni completely unaware of logic and the natural order of things?
General Setsubun: When two armies are about to engage in combat, it is incumbent upon them to face one another...
General Setsubun: ...and declare their reasons for going into battle! Have you no decency at all!?
D：???: There is no point in explaining the rules of warfare to an insect, General. The only way to handle such a creature is to squash them, like this.
General Setsubun: Lady...Minamoto-no-Raikou!
Fujimaru 1: Oh, you're here.
Minamoto-no-Raikou: Of course I am♡
Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...But now I've said that, I can't help but notice...
Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...that what you said gives the distinct impression that you wish I was not here...
Minamoto-no-Raikou: I do so hope I am mistaken... You don't want to make Mother cry again, do you...?
Fujimaru 2: Right. Of course you'd show up... (Nervous sweat)
Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Oh? Why do you look so terrified?
Minamoto-no-Raikou: It's me, your Raikou. The dependable oni exterminator. The warrior as devoted to you as a mother is to her children.
Minamoto-no-Raikou: So please relax. You have nothing to worry about.
Minamoto-no-Raikou: All you need to do is give me the order to eradicate those insects. Go on.
Da Vinci: Yup, there it is. She's going full Kishimojin right out of the gate.
Da Vinci: Sorry about this. I DID manage to convince her not to lead this expedition...
Da Vinci: ...but I couldn't come up with a good reason for her to not join the rest of the Servants accompanying you.
Mash: Right... Plus, she IS a tremendous asset in combat...
Shuten-Douji: So you're here too, huh. I couldn't care less about you myself, but if there's one thing my tower doesn't need, it's a woman who's too uptight to have fun.
Minamoto-no-Raikou: I always knew you to be an insect lurking in Chaldea's shadow, but I believed you might still serve a purpose, even if only as a pawn to sacrifice.
Minamoto-no-Raikou: But if you have begun to wreak havoc outside Chaldea's walls, then you leave me no choice. No choice at all.
Minamoto-no-Raikou: I will execute you swiftly and mercilessly.
Minamoto-no-Raikou: Teehee, I always wondered when you would show your true colors. Now, at last, my patience has been rewarded...
Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ahem. I mean...
Minamoto-no-Raikou: You think I rejoice at the thought that I finally have a proper reason to rid myself of an irritating bug? N-nothing could be further from the truth.
Shuten-Douji: Putting her aside for now, let me just tell you this.
Shuten-Douji: This hundred-story Oni Pagoda here is...well, wine. It might be a giant tower, but it's still wine at its heart.
General Setsubun: ...What do you mean by that?
Shuten-Douji: It doesn't matter how well you can hold your liquor, sweetie. Drink enough wine, and anyone'll get drunk.
Shuten-Douji: So you miiight find yourself getting a little tipsy each time you reach a new floor.
Shuten-Douji: Come up! Enjoy yourselves along the way! And don't forget to play with the other oni while you're at it.
General Setsubun: Other oni!? You mean...there are oni in this tower besides the two of you?
Shuten-Douji: ...Teehee. Hope you're in the mood for some Setsubun fun.
Shuten-Douji: It's not healthy for anyone to be stuck inside all the time. So why don't you all come on up and join me for some fun times...?
Ibaraki-Douji: Ooh, are you doing the fadeaway laugh thing? I wanna do it too!
Ibaraki-Douji: I've so GOT this! As a terrifying oni leader, I have never neglected to practice my haughty laugh!
Ibaraki-Douji: Here goes! Mwaha, mwahaha, MWAHAHAHA (Blip)
Mash: ... I see those two haven't changed a bit.
Mash: Still, I AM curious about what she told us. Namely, that you will become intoxicated with every floor you ascend, and that there may be other oni present as well...
Minamoto-no-Raikou: You mustn't take bugs at their word, Mash. You would be a perfect little girl if only you weren't always so serious.
Minamoto-no-Raikou: Shinpen Kidoku originally belonged to me. Rest assured, we have nothing to fear from this tower.
Minamoto-no-Raikou: Furthermore...following a path oni have laid out for us is out of the question.
Minamoto-no-Raikou: There is no telling what sort of nasty traps they may have put in place. We must be smart about this.
Fujimaru 1: Meaning...?
Minamoto-no-Raikou: Meaning I will just scale the tower and kill them myself right now, okay?
General Setsubun: L-Lady Raikou!? Please, wait!
General Setsubun: You are being a bit hasty! We should wait for Master's orders!
Da Vinci: Damn, is she really planning on running straight up all one hundred floors?
Da Vinci: So much for being smart about this. She's going full Berserker today, huh.
General Setsubun: Oh my, look how far up she has already gone! There's no stopping her!
Fujimaru 1: Wow, she's fast. I can't even see her any–
General Setsubun: ...?
General Setsubun: L-Lady Raikou!
Fujimaru 1: When did it start raining Raikou!?
Da Vinci: I'll run a medical checkup on her right away! ...Hm? What's this...?
Mash: Her Spirit Core hasn't been damaged directly, but...
Mash: ...it's as though her magical energy is...running low? Like it's stagnating somehow...?
Mash: Basically, she seems to be suffering from extreme exhaustion.
General Setsubun: You again!?
Shuten-Douji: Hehe, you know oni. Just when you think we're gone, we pop right back up.
Shuten-Douji: I forgot to mention something. There's no waaay I was ever going to let you climb up the outside of this tower after all the trouble I went to make it.
Shuten-Douji: That's why I set it up so that climbing or flying up to the top will get you REEEALLY tipsy!
Shuten-Douji: So make sure you come up one floor at a time niiice and proper now, you hear?
Da Vinci: Hmm. So this is your idea of “tipsy,” huh.
Da Vinci: Getting light-headed, losing your sense of balance... Sounds more like “completely smashed” to me.
Shuten-Douji: Sorry I couldn't make it the fun kind of tipsy. These things happen when you go and turn wine into a tower.
Shuten-Douji: But don't worry. It's not so bad as long as you make your way up the inside.
Shuten-Douji: Sure it might wear you out a bit, but you'll probably be fine as long as you rest up and take turns along the way.
Shuten-Douji: Okay then, we'll be taking it niiice and easy on the top, waiting for you to show up...
Mwaha, MWA HA HA HA! ...Phew. I believe that should be enough laughter for now. I AM getting rather tired.
I must say though, Shuten, do you not find it wasteful to use your delicious wine on such frivolity?
I may not be as strong as you, but I can still hold my liquor quite well, you know. If you simply wanted someone to drink with, surely you and I could have suffice–
Mash: So it looks like Raikou's current state is a result of her breaking the rule not to climb the outer walls.
Mash: What's more, it looks like there is no way to completely avoid this exhaustion, even inside the tower.
Da Vinci: Hmm. And we won't be able to determine exactly HOW intoxicated or exhausted you'll get in there until you actually start climbing.
Da Vinci: So if you want to clear this tower as quickly as possible, you'll probably need to switch out your tired fighters for fresh ones as you go along.
Da Vinci: If worse comes to worst, we might even need to draw on Chaldea's entire Servant pool.
General Setsubun: (Sigh) Wine... Why did it have to be wine?
Fujimaru 1: Hm? What's with the sighing? Is there a problem?
General Setsubun: ...N-no, of course not. I will simply do the best I can under the circumstances.
General Setsubun: Now, Master, let us begin! This will be our magnificent first step towards conquering this oni tower!
General Setsubun: My spirits are high, and my preparations are complete. There is nothing to worry about whatsoever.
General Setsubun: I shall lead by example, thus demonstrating to all who follow that General Setsubun is here!
Fujimaru 1: Wow, you ARE fired up! This is really reassuring!
General Setsubun: Thank you for your kind words, Master. I must confess, I get intoxicated at the faintest whiff of alcohol...
General Setsubun: ...but I am reasonably certain I can manage as long as I keep my spirits up!
Mash: I'm suddenly feeling much less reassured about this magnificent first step!
Discovery: Secret Hot Springs of Healing
Fujimaru 1: Shouldn't we still be climbing the tower?
Fujimaru 2: What're we doing here?
General Setsubun: As the general leading this operation, I must take care of the exhausted Servants under my command.
General Setsubun: I have thought a great deal about what I might do to assist them...
General Setsubun: At length, I arrived at a decision. Part of that decision was to come here.
General Setsubun: Yes, this place seems perfect. Now then, this is still a work in progress, but...
Fujimaru 1: Huh?
General Setsubun: Haaaaaa!
Fujimaru 1: YEOWCH! Hot, hot, hot!
General Setsubun: Ah! M-my apologies, Master! I WAS trying to be careful, but I am afraid the bedrock was harder than I expected...
General Setsubun: Indeed, Lady Mash, Master. Please, take a look. It should be bubbling up any moment now.
Da Vinci: Well well, look at that.
Fujimaru 1: I-it's a hot spring!
General Setsubun: I merely gave the spring water lying dormant here a little encouragement. Hot springs and R & R go hand in hand, after all.
General Setsubun: And since this is a spirit spring, it should even work on Servants to a degree.
Da Vinci: Hmm. So this way, Servants that have become drunk off their–I mean, exhausted from fighting in the tower...
Da Vinci: ...can speed up their recovery by soaking in the springs, huh. Sounds great!
Da Vinci: It looks so good I wish I could dump my work on Holmes and go for a soak there myself!
General Setsubun: Indeed. It is my job to ensure that everyone can regain their lost spirits as soon as possible.
General Setsubun: As such, I will change my clothes to help me better handle a variety of problems, such as the water being too hot or not hot enough.
Madam Setsubun: Here, I am Madam Setsubun, the caretaker of these spirit springs. I can even make hot spring eggs if one so pleases.
Madam Setsubun: Please, come and soak in these waters yourself, Master. I would be glad to wash your back for you.
Madam Setsubun: ...Not to worry, I am fully aware of modern conceptions of chastity and similar values.
Madam Setsubun: As such, I will be sure to split the baths into men's and women's sections.
Madam Setsubun: For those who fall under neither gender or wish for their gender to remain a mystery, and particularly for Lord Astolfo...
Madam Setsubun: ...I will prepare a steel drum bath in a separate, private tent.
Madam Setsubun: Of course, no one is obligated to make use of these facilities. I only offer them as a way to help.
Madam Setsubun: Oh, now that I think of it, some of the Servants will need baths for their steeds as well... There is still much I need to prepare.
Da Vinci: Okay, let's set this to this, aaand done. As usual, my genius knows no bounds.
Da Vinci: I just whipped up a visual filter. This way, even if footage of these baths ends up on Chaldea monitors for some inexplicable reason...
Da Vinci: ...the filter will automatically process the image to make it seem as though everyone is still wearing clothes.
Da Vinci: Not, I confess, my most elegant solution, but it is at least an ethical one.
Da Vinci: Now now, wipe those tears off the console, Mr. Meunière. We can't have them causing a short.
Mash: So, um, disregarding the sobs of grief I hear behind me...
Mash: ...having a place like this where you can all rest and recuperate should be a great help going forward.
Mash: Let's be sure to take everyone's exhaustion into account and make use of these springs as we make our way up the tower, Master!
The Oni of the 10th Floor
General Setsubun: Good, we have nearly reached the tenth floor.
Fujimaru 1: Are you feeling all right?
General Setsubun: Oh yes, I am not the least bit inebriated. Thank you for your concern, Master.
General Setsubun: I admit I was a bit worried about what might happen, but it seems the oni alcohol fumes need not have been a cause for concern.
General Setsubun: As long as we keep our spirits high, there is nothing we cannot do!
Mash: Ah... Please be careful, Master. There's someone else on this floor.
Katsushika Hokusai: THERE you are. 'Bout time you got here.
Katsushika Hokusai: We've been up here so long I was worryin' Toto-sama might dry up!
Mash: That's...Katsushika Hokusai, isn't it. Well, I suppose it would be more accurate to say “the father and daughter team of Katsushika Hokusai.”
General Setsubun: You were a famous ukiyo-e artist, were you not? What brings you to this place?
Katsushika Hokusai: My art, of course. What, didja think I was gonna use my paint to make soba or somethin'?
Katsushika Hokusai: I gotta say though, that oni from Mt. Ooe's really generous!
Katsushika Hokusai: Take a gander at all the rare paints she got me! I feel like the court artist to the Tokugawa family!
General Setsubun: So, you are here on Shuten-Douji's instructions?
Katsushika Hokusai: I wouldn't say instructions. It's more like...I just can't say no to girls who look like that. I used to have a little sister, you know.
Katsushika Hokusai: So when they look up at me with their big doe eyes and ask for a favor, all I can say is yes!
Katsushika Hokusai: Course, with her offerin' me pretty much any kinda paint I could want, a place all my own where I don't gotta think about nothin' but my art...
Katsushika Hokusai: ...AND a buncha new subjects I ain't heard sight nor sound of before making their way to me of their own accord...
Katsushika Hokusai: With all that, there was no way I was gonna turn her down! Hahaha!
Fujimaru 1: Subjects...?
Katsushika Hokusai: What, you serious, Master? Just take a look around.
Katsushika Hokusai: You're surrounded by warriors, generals, monsters, and fairies that look like they walked outta a picture book.
Mash: So...does this mean you want to use the Servants as models?
Katsushika Hokusai: Heh heh heh. I bet even the Buddha himself couldn'ta known I'd get to see the famous lady samurai from the Genpei War for myself after I croaked.
Katsushika Hokusai: All these different Servants are blowin' my mind. I can't wait to get to paintin'!
General Setsubun: Please forgive my rudeness, but I fear we are in something of a hurry; we will not have time to model for you.
Katsushika Hokusai: ...YOU'RE bein' rude?
Katsushika Hokusai: If anyone's being rude, it's ME, ya dummy!
Katsushika Hokusai: After seein' how valiant, graceful, and sad you are behind those big red eyes of yours, it'd be rude of me NOT to paint you!
Katsushika Hokusai: If I just let you go now, the deity of art'd whap me on the head askin' why I passed you up!
General Setsubun: I see. Then...what would you have us do?
Katsushika Hokusai: Heh. As if you don't already know.
Katsushika Hokusai: If you ask an artist to choose between the brush and the chopsticks, it'd be the brush every time. Hell, if she ain't careful, she might end up eatin' with her brush.
Katsushika Hokusai: You know, Toto-sama actually did that a good few times before he realized his mistake and spat out his miso soup... Such a waste of good food...
Katsushika Hokusai: Anyhow!
Katsushika Hokusai: If I'm gonna paint somethin' unpaintable...I guess I got no choice but to break out the big brush!
Fujimaru 1: So we ARE going to have to fight...!
General Setsubun: Please stand back, Master.
General Setsubun: I do not wish to turn my blade upon an artist so young and unaccustomed to battle.
General Setsubun: But if you would stand in our way, then you leave me no choice!
Katsushika Hokusai: Ooh yeah! Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Those eyes! That spirit! That katana of yours, ready to strike!
Katsushika Hokusai: My brush's itchin' to paint you too. Be warned, if you come at me thinkin' I'm just some little girl who paints, that choice of yours will be your last mistake!
Katsushika Hokusai: My brush can paint anything and everything. That includes pain, numbness, and shortness of breath, so don't you forget it!
Katsushika Hokusai: Now come on! I'll show you how Hokusai, the great painter of Edo, handles herself in a scrap!
Katsushika Hokusai: Dammit, I can't believe you got me! Ow ow ow...
Fujimaru 1: Why don't you rest up in the hot springs outside?
Fujimaru 2: Everyone goes to the hot springs for a bit of R & R.
Katsushika Hokusai: What? Did you just say hot springs!? Nobody told me anything about there being hot springs here!
Katsushika Hokusai: ...Hang on. If there's hot springs, that means...
Katsushika Hokusai: ...all the beautiful fairies and maidens from all of history who have a contract with Master here are gonna have a soak in 'em!
Katsushika Hokusai: Ain't no way I'm gonna pass up a chance for that kinda inspiration! I gotta get goin'!
General Setsubun: Um... Are you sure about this?
Katsushika Hokusai: Eh, it's fine. Got a pretty good idea of how to paint you now, thanks to that scuffle.
Katsushika Hokusai: 'Sides, at the hot springs, I'll get to see my subjects naked, not like here where everyone's dressed!
Katsushika Hokusai: It don't take a genius to figure out which one's the better opportunity! Now that's settled, I'll–
Katsushika Hokusai: Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I'd better blindfold Toto-sama. Octopus or not, he's still a guy–
Katsushika Hokusai: Bwa!?
E：Katsushika Hokusai: ...Holy hell, he moves fast. Toto-sama! You get back here right now!
E：Katsushika Hokusai: You're tryin' to sneak into the women's bath, ain'tcha!? Don't come cryin' to me if you get boiled and served up as an appetizer!
General Setsubun: Well, that was a bit of an ordeal... But at least the path to the next floor is now clear.
General Setsubun: We are likely to encounter other guards like her on the floors above us...
General Setsubun: ...but this is only at the beginning of our ascent. There is no need to be hasty.
General Setsubun: Now, let us keep our wits about us, and forge ahead one floor at a time!
– Meanwhile –
Gilgamesh: ...Hmm. While this of course pales in comparison to the spaciousness, splendor, and rarity of the spring waters in my Noble Phantasm's bath...
Gilgamesh: ...I will grant this water is not terrible, considering it was prepared by a mongrel.
Gilgamesh: As a reward, just this once, I will overlook your transgression of bathing in waters that have touched my royal person!
Gilgamesh: Rejoice, for my kingly aura is now one of the benefits you will enjoy by soaking in these springs!
Iskandar: Hmm? But, King of Heroes, take a look around... Ahhh. (← Spoken while gulping down wine)
Gilgamesh: What of it?
Romulus: Yes, this is a thermae. Thermae is Rome, and this is Rome too!
Ozymandias: Hmph. You call this a bath? I am truly magnanimous, so I will call it “rustic”...
Ozymandias: ...but if you wish to make something of this place, you shall begin by handing over all that raw material to me!
Ozymandias: Do that, and I shall build a grand pyramid-styled golden bathhouse around these hot springs worthy of a pharaoh!
Vlad III: Why am I here? Why else? To demonstrate that water holds no power over me, nor presents any obstacle!
Vlad III: If you wish to verify that with running water as well, then so be it.
Vlad III: Prepare your water, and I shall face it head-on.
Ozymandias: Oho. So these waters flow and circulate much as they do in the Nile...
Ozymandias: ...I approve!
Iskandar: There's nothing BUT kings here!
Iskandar: Their kingdoms may be different in size, but still, to have so many kings in one bath like this...
Iskandar: Well, it's not something you see every day now, is it? Wahahaha!
Gilgamesh: Hmph, it is hardly impressive. These other kings are little more than mockeries of my own royal splendor.
Gilgamesh: It is clear to all that I am the most accomplished when it comes to baths. As such, there is no longer any reason for me to stay.
Iskandar: Oh? Getting out already? I wouldn't have figured the King of Heroes to have a hard time handling a little hot water.
Gilgamesh: ...What was that?
Gilgamesh: Fool! I could simply see that these waters were barely able to contain the glory of my royal person and, in my generosity, elected to offer them a brief respite.
Gilgamesh: Death from exhaustion is no laughing matter, after all.
Gilgamesh: But the time for respite has now passed. At the very least...
Gilgamesh: ...I shall not be raising my royal bottom again until these so-called “kings,” who're enjoying their cheap liquor, have been thoroughly boiled.
Iskandar: Oh? So you propose a test of endurance?
Leonidas: Endurance, you say? That sounds like quite a lot of fun. Hehe, but be warned, these waters are already hot! We should work up a good sweat indeed by the time it is over!
Iskandar: So you'll be joining us too, King of Sparta? This is getting more interesting by the moment.
Iskandar: But in that case, this barrel of wine just won't be enough.
Iskandar: King of Heroes, if I'm not mistaken, I believe you have a supremely delicious vintage in your possession. Am I right?
Iskandar: Hell, I'll bet you've got a hundred–two hundred flasks you could spare without batting an eye! How else could you call yourself the King of Heroes!?
Gilgamesh: ...You have sharp ears. Or rather, a sharp nose.
Gilgamesh: Indeed, everything under the sun belongs to me. As such, a mere child could easily have arrived at your conclusion.
Gilgamesh: However, I am aghast at your gall in asking me so bluntly to open my personal stores to you. You do indeed live up to your name as a great king.
Gilgamesh: Specifically, the great king of drunkards and extortionists!
Iskandar: You bet! There's nothing wrong with wanting delicious liquor and asking for it!
Iskandar: Besides, surely you find it more fun to drink with others than all alone! Now come on, just produce it like you do everything else!
Iskandar: I expect to see bottles upon bottles of the finest liquor around, enough to fill this very bath!
Iskandar: You're the invincible King of Heroes, aren't you? Then you MUST take up a challenge when confronted!
Gilgamesh: Hmph. Despite your thick build, I see now that it is words, rather than muscles, that are your greatest weapon.
Leonidas: What's this? It seems there is a black octopus dwelling within these waters. ...Aha, now I understand.
Leonidas: Master must have brought this slippery creature here to let us attempt to catch hold of it, thus letting us train even as we work up a sweat in the bath.
Leonidas: What a wonderful Master we have! Very well then, here goes...!
Leonidas: Wha! It's so slippery! And huge! No need to tell me, this must be a creature akin to the umibouzu I have heard stories about–
Darius III: Iskandaaar!
Iskandar: Oho, if it isn't the King of Persia and former Pharaoh! If you're here too, a simple test of endurance may no longer be enough!
Cú Chulainn Alter: (Ugh, it's too damn noisy... Can't these jackasses keep their mouths shut when they're taking a bath?)
The Oni of the 20th Floor
General Setsubun: Now then, it is about time for the next oni guard to appear.
General Setsubun: But rest assured you have nothing to fear, Master.
General Setsubun: I WAS concerned about what effect the alcohol fumes may have on me, but thus far there seems to have been none.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: And yet, it is always when things seem to be going smoothly that the ground falls from beneath your feet.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: I have been on my guard as well, but one can never be too careful.
Fujimaru 1: Are you okay?
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Your kind consideration warms my heart, Master.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: If it is my appearance that concerns you, then worry not. I am a kunoichi and a shrine maiden–a shrine ninja, if you will. And alcohol is a key to many divine rites.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: I may be small in stature, but I assure you that I can endure alcoholic fumes as well as anyone.
Mash: It seems like the intoxication and exhaustion effects of climbing this tower...
Mash: ...may not have much to do with how old each Servant appears to be.
Mash: If they did, then Servants like Jack and Nursery would presumably tire out quickly...
Mash: ...but based on the data I've seen so far, that doesn't seem to be the case.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: ...So you say that how well one can hold one's liquor does not affect how intoxicated one becomes here?
Hapless Shrine Ninja: I am afraid that such things tend to fly over my head, so I shall let you do the heavy thinking.
General Setsubun: ...Hmm... (Then, why have I been able to climb this tower so easily, despite my own weakness to alcohol...?)
Hapless Shrine Ninja: If I recall correctly, this tower was created by Shuten-Douji using her Noble Phantasm.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: As such, its effects may well differ from Servant to Servant.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Perhaps that is due to the affinity or bond she has with a given Servant...
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Indeed, speaking of bonds, being inside this tower inspires strange feelings within me.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Something familiar, even nostalgic. Something nice, and something cursed at the same time...
Da Vinci: (...Hmm. Now I'm wondering if Shuten-Douji and this shrine ninja have something in common...)
Hapless Shrine Ninja: And on this floor in particular, I have sensed another scent. One who is strange, yet also hauntingly familiar. Yes, for example, it–Hm!?
General Setsubun: Who goes there!?
Gorgon: Hmph. Who else would hide in dark, cold shadows like this but a demon that feasts on gloom?
Mash: Gorgon... What are you doing here? Did Shuten-Douji hire you as well?
Gorgon: Hire me...? As if I would ever let a stunted little oni like her use me.
Gorgon: ...Though I will admit that she did invite me here.
Gorgon: Of course, I am under no obligation to help her, but I do enjoy the demonic aura that permeates this tower. It simply drips with poison.
Gorgon: For me, being in this tower is much like...
Gorgon: ...Well, like being in a hot spring is for you. So why should my presence be anything but perfectly natural?
General Setsubun: Whatever your reasons, the question on our minds is, do you mean to let us through or not?
General Setsubun: If you do, then all is well. If you do not...
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Master, Lady General. May I speak to you for a moment? (Tug, tug)
General Setsubun: Hm? What is it, kunoichi of many attributes? Why are you tugging on our sleeves?
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Wh-why would you call me that!? That was just mean!
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Besides, you have plenty of attributes yourself, seeing as you are a widow, a horned creature, a hakama wearer, AND a bowless Archer all in one!
General Setsubun: Oh my, I'm so sorry. It just slipped out. You're right, I am in no position to judge others...
General Setsubun: And I will have you know that I DO carry a bow...sometimes... R-right!?
Hapless Shrine Ninja: ...Ahem. At any rate, that is not what I wished to speak to you about.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: I believe that woman is the source of the smell I've noticed on this floor. I apologize for my impudence, but I cannot leave her behind.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: I can tell she is very...twisted? Perhaps even cursed?
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Whatever her manner of ailment, I simply cannot look the other way... As such, I would like to talk to her, if at all possible.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: I understand this is a selfish request, one completely unbefitting a shinobi, and yet...
Fujimaru 1: That's totally fine with me, but...
General Setsubun: Indeed. It all depends on how she responds.
Gorgon: What are you whispering about over there?
Gorgon: I had no intention of serving as a guard, but I feel almost as if our meeting here was fated.
Gorgon: All of this is to say that I have no intention of standing idly by and letting you pass.
Fujimaru 1: Huh? Why not?
Fujimaru 2: I thought you just liked being in this tower?
Gorgon: Oh, it's simple really. I love nothing more than tormenting weaklings and hearing their pathetic screams.
Gorgon: Just because I'm soaking in what feels like a hot spring to me doesn't mean I've gone at all soft.
Gorgon: And to me, tearing you lot to pieces sounds like a lovely way to pass the time.
General Setsubun: Unfortunately...it appears she is not too interested in conversation.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Such avarice... Such cold-bloodedness. It is just as I feared...
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Very well then. I shall see this curse's end through with mine own eyes!
Gorgon: Khh... I should have known Eastern magical elements could only do so much. How could water so lukewarm ever be rejuvenating? It cannot even relieve my stiff shoulders!
Gorgon: Ugh, I'd be much better off in the hot waters below. If you wish to move on to the next floor, then go ahead. I can't be bothered to stop you.
General Setsubun: I would love to do just that, but...
Gorgon: ...Ah, yes. You there. Why do you look at me like that?
Hapless Shrine Ninja: I knew it. You... You...
Hapless Shrine Ninja: You're cursed too!
Hapless Shrine Ninja: And you have the same great serpent curse too! Hehe, I have never before met someone in the same situation as me. It is like meeting a dear friend for the first time.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: I never thought this would happen, especially after I became a Servant.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: I suppose one truly never knows what fate has in store...
Gorgon: Um... What is she going on about...?
Fujimaru 1: B-beats me...
Fujimaru 2: I'm just glad she's happy.
Gorgon: ...I know not what you speak of, but you clearly have the wrong idea, little girl. I–
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Oh yes, I am well aware.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Indeed, I understand all too well how you feel. It is not the sort of thing one can share easily.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: There are matters of which one can only speak to another woman who shares her plight.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: As a shrine maiden, it is my job to help others unburden themselves. And of course, there are many things I wish to ask you as well.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: For example...
Hapless Shrine Ninja: ...Do you also find it difficult to get out of bed on winter mornings? Do you find yourself wishing you could just stay under your blankets until spring?
Fujimaru 1: (That sounds more reptilian than anything.)
Fujimaru 2: (You sure you don't just wanna slack off?)
Mash: Shh, Senpai. That's a private matter.
Mash: Just because she's a cool ninja doesn't mean she doesn't also want to act her age sometimes.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: I believe a change of venue is in order if we are to discuss this any further. Let us take this to the women's bath outside.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: I am well aware that snakes enjoy cold and gloomy places, but that is exactly why we should pick each other's brains in a nice warm bath.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Come now.
Gorgon: Wait, what are you doing? Stay back. All that earlier was just sour grapes. You couldn't get me into the hot spring outside if you paid me.
Hapless Shrine Ninja: Why do you flee? Come now.
General Setsubun: Oh. They both ran off.
General Setsubun: ...Oh well, I was planning to have her rest at this point anyway. Besides, now there is nothing barring our path.
General Setsubun: Let us take this chance to advance to the next floor!
– Meanwhile –
Nero: Umu umu, there is nothing so Roman as hot springs!
Nero: These may pale in comparison to the great bathhouse I built at Campus Martius, but they are still wonderful!
Nero: Water hot as the fires of hell... Heat filling the crisp, clean air... Light and steam so conveniently coalescing around certain body parts...!
Nero: What a lovely inferno! It is truly worthy of a tyrant such as I!
Nero: Ahh, whatever am I going to do? I was already beautiful, but now I glisten a thousand times more than usual merely by being here.
Nero: Indeed, I am the very picture of Venus rising from the ocean on an oyster shell. My beauty is like a painting that expresses the envy of the entire world!
Nero: But alas, my beauty in these hot springs is now well beyond gods and mortals alike. Forgive me. Now, waiter! An ice-cold glass of strawberry milk!
Ishtar: ...(Sigh) Somebody's sure in a good mood...
Ishtar: I probably shouldn't be at this point, but I'm always surprised how she can say things like that with a straight face in front of the LITERAL goddess of beauty.
Jaguar Warrior: I get it. I'm a goddess too, so I totally get it.
Nite-Brite: Ugh, why did you need to bring your ugly paw staff into the bath. It reminds me of cats... So terrif–Ahh! I mean, it's fine, absolutely fine!
Nite-Brite: There, now that I have put some distance between myself and the feline... Keh heh heh! I daresay my own beauty easily rivals anyone here! (Swagger)
Atalante: I am trying to hold my tongue regarding this discussion of goddesses and beauty. Such tragedies that decision has wrought...
Nite-Brite: Gyaaa! When did you get behind me!? Are...are you some kind of cat too!?
Mata Hari: By the way everyone, haven't you noticed something a touch...odd, given the topic of conversation?
Abtastic Berserker: ...?
Atalante: Yes, now you mention it. ...She is being quiet.
Mata Hari: All thanks to me being close by and covered her ears before she could hear anything...
Mata Hari: But it'd be reeeally nice if someone were to trade places with me... If she gets worked up, I'll be the first casualty, you know. Any takers...please?
Medea: I heard these hot springs do wonders for your skin! Move aside, little girls!
Scáthach: First I've heard of it. No matter. I'm only here to relieve the stresses of battle.
Helena: (Wow! She just sashayed in here cool as you please and slipped right into the best spot in the bath!)
Carmilla: If there is any truth to these springs being good for the skin, I wonder why that may be the case...
Carmilla: It must be the essence... Yes, the essence of so many young Servants soaking here before us... (Stare)
Suzuka Gozen: H-hey! Could you NOT give me that creeper stare for a bit!? And you sound, like, super sketch right now, Carmie!
Medea: I see. I suppose that means I should let the little girls keep their spots for the moment.
Medea: Except the one with fox ears. She looks like she's just desperately pretending to be a high school girl rather than actually BEING one...
Medea: If I could just sit beside a Servant who is TRULY young and absorb her essence...that would be–
Medea Lily: Stop that, Medea, you're embarrassing yourself. Besides, I don't think skin is THAT important.
Medea Lily: Who cares about luster, or elasticity, or vitality? Those things just slip away with age, right?
Medea Lily: And we all look to be different ages, so I don't see the point in worrying about it.
Medea: Don't you lecture me!
Helena: Hey! Stop that, Medeas! No fighting with yourself!
Pig-Loving Queen Witch: Hahaha, this is the best show I've seen in ages. I wonder which of my pupils I should cheer for?
Pig-Loving Queen Witch: I can't decide. Maybe I'll just turn them both into piglets and be done with it.
Mata Hari: Uh oh.
Medea: Of course you don't understand now! But you will!
Medea: One of these days, you'll see that your beauty is a resource far more valuable than any magical energy...
Medea: ...and one that fades over time whether you use it or not...!
Abtastic Berserker: ...! Did you say “beautiful”? You did, didn't you!?
Nero: Yes! And I am!!!
Abtastic Berserker: ...I see. Very well, then. Carry on.
Helena: So someone on the level of an emperor shouting at the top of her lungs is actually able to reach her in her berserk state!? You really do learn something new every day!
Sanzang: I'm just glad it all worked out. I don't know what I would do if a Berserker went, uh, berserk here.
Sanzang: It's just not a proper bath unless you can take the time to soak and relax. Six roots purification, six roots purification...
Geronimo: Ugh, just hearing her voice from the women's bath set him off!
Robin Hood: Not again! We only just got Darius to settle down!
Robin Hood: Are we ever gonna get to actually RELAX in this bath!?
The Oni of the 30th Floor
General Setsubun: Hm? Isn't that...!
Fujimaru 1: Talk about a surprise oni!
Mash: Indeed... I never thought we would see you here, Mr. Holmes!
Da Vinci: No wonder he didn't respond when I called him. I guess he must have found out about this before the rest of us.
Da Vinci: Hey, Great De-Slack-tive. What do you think you're doing over there instead of helping me out back here?
Fujimaru 2: What are YOU doing here, Holmes?
Holmes: Hm? What am I doing here, you ask? I am afraid I must give you two contradictory answers.
Holmes: I am doing exactly what I always do, and I am doing something I can't usually do.
General Setsubun: I'm terribly sorry, but I'm afraid I have never been very good at solving riddles.
General Setsubun: That goes for puzzle games as well.
General Setsubun: There is just something irritating about a game where you cannot win by skewering your opponent...
Fujimaru 1: (It wouldn't be a puzzle if you could solve it with violence.)
Fujimaru 2: (Don't worry about it. That's just Holmes being Holmes.)
Holmes: Well now, it seems my habits have unwittingly claimed another victim.
Holmes: Please pay it no mind, my lady. I assure you, it is not as difficult a riddle as it may seem.
Holmes: The first answer is, of course, solving riddles. It would seem I am something of a riddle-solving oni.
General Setsubun: Riddles...? Then, do you mean you have already unraveled the mystery of this incident, Lord Holmes?
General Setsubun: You know what it is Shuten-Douji and Ibaraki-Douji mean to accomplish with this tower?
Holmes: Naturally. And so as not to break with tradition, I shall refrain from sharing the answer.
Holmes: You are a gamer, so I imagine you will understand my reasoning.
Holmes: It would be the height of boorishness to reveal a game's secrets so early on.
General Setsubun: Ah! You mean like when people go around posting spoilers!? Of course I am familiar with that!
General Setsubun: Those scoundrels who so callously reveal the last boss's name are far worse than any wicked demon!
General Setsubun: Indeed, just the other day I stuffed Lord Blackbeard into a barrel and inferno'd it after he told me the heroine is the true last boss of the game I am currently playing!
Fujimaru 1: (I've heard THAT one before...)
Fujimaru 2: (I can totally see that happening...)
Holmes: That is why I have chosen to remain silent on this matter. Furthermore, this time, I am not here at anyone's behest.
Holmes: Given that this is a highly personal case, I decided I was entitled to act for my own reasons as well.
Holmes: Specifically, this reason...
Holmes: Mmm... Delicious.
Holmes: Indeed, the only complaint I could make about Chaldea would be its limited assortment of wines.
Holmes: Servant though I may be, I still enjoy a good Bordeaux or Tokay from time to time.
Holmes: Of course, strictly speaking this is not the genuine article...but it is quite a creditable reproduction.
Holmes: Doubtless it is the result of such an...avid drinker tapping into an abundant magical energy source.
Mash: So... Let me make sure I have this straight, Mr. Holmes. Based on everything you've told us–
General Setsubun: Lord Holmes, do you mean you agreed to guard this floor...
General Setsubun: ...in exchange for your favorite brand of alcohol?
Holmes: Ah, right you are!
Da Vinci: Welp, looks like you don't have to worry about holding back now, Fujimaru.
Da Vinci: In fact, I've got a special mission for you on this floor and this floor only.
Da Vinci: Beat the hell out of that lazy wino and drag him back here! Preferably kicking and screaming!
General Setsubun: Understood. I am greatly relieved to see this will be a test of strength rather than wits. Come, Master!
Holmes: Oh well, I suppose break time is over. Farewell, my beloved Tokay.
Da Vinci: That's it. You get your lazy butt back home. You've got looots of work waiting for you.
Da Vinci: Not to mention aaall those things you still have to investigate, riiight?
Holmes: (Sigh) There are few things in the world more dull than background checks. All without an ounce of mystery.
Holmes: Nonetheless, as a now former guard, I will tell you just a bit about this tower before we part ways.
Holmes: In brief, this will not escalate into a major crisis. On that much, you have my word.
Holmes: You will find that the guards past this point are thinking things along the lines of...
Holmes: ...“Hey, this is more like a vacation than guard duty.” Some more so than others, of course.
Holmes: That said, this tower is unlikely to disappear until someone makes the trek up to the top floor.
Holmes: So your task remains unchanged, [♂ Mr. /♀ Ms.] Fujimaru.
Holmes: Continue climbing this tower at your own pace, and you WILL eventually reach the top. That is the name of the game, as it were.
Holmes: ...Now, before we go our separate ways, would you mind if I asked you something?
Holmes: When Ms. Da Vinci told me to return, why did she point towards the window rather than the staircase?
Holmes: Surely you don't mean–
General Setsubun: Why, because she entrusted me with this:
General Setsubun: A High-Speed Ground Level Return kit.
Holmes: ...I was afraid of that. I presume you mean this wonderfully cheap, simply made rope?
Da Vinci: That's right. It's just a plain old rope. I knew you would catch on quickly, O great detective... I hope you die.
Fujimaru 1: It's just a bungee jump cord!
Da Vinci: Non non, it's a cutting-edge return kit with built-in automatic elevation adjustment!
Da Vinci: Sure, it may bounce you a few times more than could be considered necessary–or safe–but hey, even a genius has to get her kicks somewhere!
Da Vinci: Just watch out that you don't slam into the building when you bounce. It'd be a waste of good rope if it ended up snapping.
Holmes: ...Well then, if you will excuse me, I think I shall employ the nearest staircase for a leisurely trip home.
Da Vinci: I should mention that I had the general there tie the rope to the target before he could notice.
General Setsubun: There, all done.
General Setsubun: In war as in FPS games, the most effective strike is the one your opponent never sees coming.
General Setsubun: Now, go on, Lord Holmes.
Holmes: Heh. Very well then. No true gentleman would flinch at such a thing. Besides, this jump is nothing compared to the falls at Reichenba–
Holmes: Er, on second thought, I only survived that by using the professor as a cushion. I'm not certain I like my chances here without any–
C：Ruler of Reichenbach: Ah, aaaaaahhh...!
– Meanwhile –
Kid Gil: Ahh, this water is great.
Kid Gil: I have a hot spring Noble Phantasm myself, but these Japanese hot springs are really nice too.
Kid Gil: Having a bath out in the middle of nature instead of an ostentatious building is a nice change of pace... It's so elegant!
Alexander: Good point. It's a lot like Macedonian baths in some ways, and very different in others. Fascinating.
Alexander: The occasional break would not be so bad if it meant we get to experience things like this.
Alexander: Really, it's just nice to get to experience new things!
Rama: Speaking of fresh, King of Macedonia, now that I see you up close...
Rama: ...I realize you are much more muscular than I thought.
Alexander: Well sure. I do train every day, you know.
Alexander: ...If anything, I find you impressive, King of Kosala.
Alexander: With that build of yours, I have no trouble believing the tales that are sung about your heroic exploits.
Rama: Naturally. I was able to take Sita back, but I will need to do so again.
Rama: ...That is why, if there is a test of strength to be completed–a chance to push myself even further– I will never let it pass me by.
Rama: All the more so if my opponents are kings themselves. As such, I propose a round of arm wrestling. What do you say?
Alexander: Oh? Sure, that's fine with me.
Kid Gil: Ahahaha, that sounds like fun, but I think I'll pass. I'm more into literature than combat.
Kid Gil: And speaking of literature... What're you doing off on your own over there?
Andersen: Are you an idiot or a sadist? On second thought, don't bother answering. It's obviously the latter!
Andersen: I'm not so stupid a writer that I'd actually go out in public. I'm well aware where I belong in society.
Andersen: Besides, you kings only ever talk about the same thing, over and over! I swear, have none of you ever heard the word “clichéd” before!?
Andersen: So don't worry about me. Just pretend I'm not here, and give me something I can work with!
Andersen: You guys might be walking clichés, but at least you've refined those clichés to an art by now!
Andersen: Between all your mediocre adventure stories, there ought to be at least one idea I can use!
Kid Gil: Ahaha, you really are a consummate author, even while you're insulting us, Mr. Andersen.
Kid Gil: I'm not sure even my grown-up self could change you or your principles.
Kid Gil: It'd be a dream come true if you and the great playwright ever collaborated on something. Since he loves himself as much as you hate yourself, I'm sure whatever you came up with would be–
Andersen: Are you always like this, or has the heat gotten to your head? You couldn't make me collaborate with him for all the gold pieces in the world.
Andersen: Just imagine what would happen if we tried writing a story with the same theme. The book would be split right down the spine.
Kid Gil: Right, sorry about that. I should have known you'd never go for something you really wanted. I admire your restraint.
Andersen: You really ARE an idiot! I couldn't possibly care less about collaborating with him!
Andersen: If we really did write two halves of the same book, we'd only end up arguing over who deserved the greatest share of royalties!
Kid Gil: Hmm, good point. That IS a major problem for authors, isn't it?
Kid Gil: You know, you seem to be in an even worse mood than usual, Mr. Andersen.
Kid Gil: Do you not care for hot springs?
Andersen: Hmph. I like lounging about naked after a bath just fine, but no, I don't find hot springs to be especially enjoyable.
Andersen: ...To begin with, I'm not in the habit of taking my clothes off around others. But you'd never know it from all the fuss those fools make about how good hot springs are for the creative process!
Andersen: So let's get something straight. The idea that bathing in a hot spring will make your manuscript write itself is, at BEST, a myth.
Andersen: If you're going to push an author into a hot spring thinking he'll emerge with a manuscript, you might as well give a bunch of monkeys typewriters instead. You'll get the same results either way!
Andersen: Relaxation? Stress relief? Soothing aching writing hands and shoulders?
Andersen: Fools! Do you think we use nothing more than our arms and heads to write our manuscripts!?
Andersen: What's more, we are forced to sell our work at cut-rate prices! We've never been anything more than slaves to our pens and publishers!
Andersen: I can't even count how many times I've written something down only to wonder what I was thinking!
Alexander: Okay, I believe that makes two out of three...?
Rama: Hold it, that one didn't count. My Brahmastra slipped. I demand a rematch.
Alexander: Fine with me, of course. Should we make it best out of five then? That way we can keep going longer.
Amakusa Shirou: (Ahh... This is nice.)
Amakusa Shirou: (So many different Servants, each with their own pasts and their own ways of living.)
Amakusa Shirou: (Those differences are even apparent in how they enjoy hot springs.)
Amakusa Shirou: (And since the ones here now are so close in physical age, the ways they differ must stand out even more.)
Amakusa Shirou: (Watching them from a distance like this might be the most luxurious way there is to enjoy it... Hehe...)
Billy: (...That's a super shady smile if ever I've seen one. He better not be plotting something again...)
The Oni of the 40th Floor
General Setsubun: Hm? Who is that?
Benkei: Please, my most famous and renowned of lords! I beg of you!
Benkei: Would you be so kind as to leave this place and run happily around a nearby field!?
Ushiwakamaru: Wh-where is this coming from? You're acting even stranger than usual, Ben–
Benkei: Noooooo! Do you not remember!? Just for today, I asked you to call me by another name!
Benkei: I will refer to you as my most famous and renowned of lords, so please, use a different address for me as well!
Ushiwakamaru: I don't even know what that means...
Benkei: It is to distinguish you from Master, my most famous and renowned of lords!
Ushiwakamaru: ...Well, no matter. Then for this day only, you shall be Captain Cosplay.
Benkei: Ouch! You wound me to my core! W-well, that is all right. I shall consider it a battle lost and a war wo–Huh?
Fujimaru 1: (Benkei just locked eyes with me.)
Fujimaru 2: (Ushiwakamaru still hasn't seen us.)
Ushiwakamaru: Hm? Is there something behin–
Ushiwakamaru: Wha...!? Why are you holding me by the head!? How am I supposed to turn around now!?
Benkei: It is just a rat! Nothing you need to concern yourself with, my most famous and renowned of lords!
Benkei: Now, we have not a moment to waste. As a matter of fact, Master said [♂ he /♀ she] had a request to make of you, my most famous and renowned of lords!
Ushiwakamaru: Oh? What is it?
Benkei: Well, uh... It was something about wanting to see what a warrior from Japan was capable of, I believe? Now that [♂ he's /♀ she's] back in the country and all.
Benkei: More specifically... It was about hunting the beasts that reside in that far-off field.
Benkei: [♂ He /♀ She] has been greatly interested in the giant Yamata-no-Orochi that has been consuming copious amounts of wine as of late. No doubt [♂ he /♀ she] would be very pleased if you offered up some of its heads as trophies.
Ushiwakamaru: I see... Wonderful! So, Master has finally seen the joy and value of head-hunting!
Ushiwakamaru: Very well then, how many heads did [♂ he /♀ she] say [♂ he /♀ she] wanted?
Benkei: Oh, right. Well, you know. The more the better. I am sure that is what [♂ he /♀ she] would want. Yes.
Benkei: Should your hunt continue until you just happen to realize this tower has disappeared, I think that will suffice.
Ushiwakamaru: Then...I can hunt heads to my heart's content? It is like a dream come true...
Ushiwakamaru: Very well, I, [[File:berserkervoice1.png50px]]maru, shall devote myself to this task with utmost dedication!
Ushiwakamaru: I shall travel far and wide to surpass my personal best of heads presented to my brother, [[File:berserkervoice1.png50px]]...
Ushiwakamaru: ...What is the meaning of this, Captain Cosplay? Why do you keep interrupting me with Berserker yells?
Benkei: [[File:berserkervoice1.png50px]]–Ahem, ahem ahem. Apologies, my most famous and renowned lord. My throat has been bothering me today.
Benkei: I must have performed one too many Buddhist chants.
Ushiwakamaru: So that is what you sound like when your throat is in poor shape? Oh well, I suppose a bit of thunderous intensity IS to be expected when performing Buddhist chants.
Ushiwakamaru: At any rate, I must be off if I am to surpass my record.
Benkei: Understood. If I may, my most famous and renowned of lords, I would advise you to go straight ahead, without looking back, and gracefully leap down from this tower!
Benkei: Master also said [♂ he /♀ she] would love to see the beauty of your perfect dive in a forty-story drop!
Ushiwakamaru: Heh. Well of course, this height is but a trifle to me.
Ushiwakamaru: Very well then. Wherever you may be, my lord, behold this display of skill and agility!
Benkei: (Huff, huff) Phew, that was close... Now then.
Loyal Oni: Hey, you there! I'm the loyal oni that guards this floor for various reasons!
Fujimaru 1: What're you doing, Benke–
Loyal Oni: [[File:berserkervoice1.png50px]]...! Did you not listen to that conversation, Master!?
Loyal Oni: Please! Refrain...from using...that name!
Fujimaru 2: That was one hell of a distraction there.
Loyal Oni: I am sorry to have kept you waiting so long. But I'm afraid that my task there was a crucial one.
Loyal Oni: Indeed, it was arguably the most important thing I have ever done.
General Setsubun: Hmm. I could have sworn I've seen you before somewhere, but now that we're face-to-face... Hmm.
General Setsubun: I'm afraid I just can't tell who you are under that mask.
General Setsubun: Have we met? Come to think of it, that small person who just left seemed somewhat familiar as–
Loyal Oni: Not at all! I am but a loyal oni. A ruffian who definitely probably has no ties to the Minamoto clan whatsoever!
Loyal Oni: So, whatever it is you think you saw, I am afraid I must tell you that you did not see it, Lady.
Loyal Oni: As for the shameless exhibitionist who was just here, I would write her off as just your run-of-the-mill nymphomaniac, or a hallucination. Or something.
Mash: I think I finally understand what this is all about...but if you mean to stand in our way, then we have no choice but to fight.
Loyal Oni: Indeed, there is no other recourse.
Loyal Oni: My purpose here was to prevent my most famous and renowned of lords from seeing someone she shouldn't. Unfortunately, I was then told by a certain high-powered lawyer that this was breaking and entering.
Loyal Oni: And since I have no means of paying the fine, I was forced to guard this floor as punishment.
Loyal Oni: In other words, no, I have not become a hapless oni pawn. I am simply trying to set matters right.
General Setsubun: I'm afraid I don't know what you are talking about, but regardless, I have my orders to resolve this situation. As General Setsubun, I cannot back down from this fight.
General Setsubun: If you will not step aside peacefully, we will pass through by force...large familiar stranger!
Loyal Oni: Good! With this, I have fulfilled my obligations.
Loyal Oni: My most famous and renowned of lords is no doubt happily traipsing about the fields collecting a mountain of monster heads as we speak.
Loyal Oni: I have no intention of stopping you. Please, by all means, continue on your way.
Fujimaru 1: So you did all this out of loyalty?
Loyal Oni: ... I know that this cannot go on forever.
Loyal Oni: The time will come when we must face each other–face our shared history, and come to terms with our respective actions.
Loyal Oni: After all, the people that stand here today, while they have the same face, same ideas, same abilities, are not the same as their past counterparts.
Loyal Oni: But...that time should not be today. At least, that is what I thought.
Loyal Oni: After all, today is Setsubun.
Loyal Oni: And Setsubun is an event... Or perhaps I should say, a festival?
General Setsubun: ...
General Setsubun: Let us be on our way, Master. This is not our destination. We still have many floors left to climb.
Fujimaru 1: R-right.
General Setsubun: Why don't we take a break after we have made a little more progress? We could have the rice balls I made for us.
General Setsubun: Although...I'm afraid I didn't quite realize my own strength while I was making them, so...
General Setsubun: I may have squeezed them so hard that they ended up turning into mochi... I apologize if they don't agree with you.
Fujimaru 1: Don't worry, I love mochi.
General Setsubun: I see. I am glad to hear that!
Loyal Oni: ...I am in your debt.
Narration: (This is as it should be.)
Narration: (Yes... For now at least, this is the right choice.)
Narration: (If I had revealed myself, the target of her revenge, instead of pretending to be a nameless Setsubun oni...)
Fujimaru 1: Hey, can I say something?
General Setsubun: What is it, Master? I'm afraid it's still a bit early for our rice ball break.
Fujimaru 1: If you ever need to talk, I'm here to listen.
Fujimaru 2: Let me know if you ever need help with anything, okay?
General Setsubun: ...!?
General Setsubun: ...Uh, yes, certainly. I don't quite know what you mean, but I will, uh, keep that in mind.
General Setsubun: ...Thank you...
– Meanwhile –
Danzo: ...Phew. I clearly need to revise my sensory data projections...
Danzo: Up till this point, I had some doubts that a machine like me would ever find herself in a hot spring, but...
Danzo: ...Ahh. I can feel the water seeping into every nook and cranny of my gears. It is a very pleasant sensation...
Danzo: Interesting. It would seem this water fulfills a function for us similar to lubricating oil. Very intriguing. I have added it to my database.
Danzo: “Us.” I did not mean to say that. Yet another very intriguing aspect of this situation...
Danzo: ...It would seem no one is here.
Danzo: When I first arrived, Mecha Eli or whatever her name is was just getting out...
Danzo: ...but before I could say anything she took off toward the entrance with some spectacularly loud jet thrusters.
Danzo: Now I wish I had. What a wasted opportunity...
Fran: Uhh. So hot. So sluggish... But, this sluggishness...not so bad. (Blowing bubbles underwater)
Danzo: You... You are a Western karakuri! A mechanical puppet like I am!
Fran: ...? That's right. But, about...half of me, is made with fresh meat. Hello there.
Danzo: So you are made with biological parts? Very intriguing.
Nezha: Entering. Warm waters. Splash. Good times.
Danzo: Is that...?
Nezha: Hm? Oh. Pardon me. I did. Not see. There were. Others here. If I. Must leave. I will. Do so.
Danzo: Wh-why would you leave so suddenly? Did I do something to offend you?
Nezha: I did. Not know. If I. Should go. To the. Men's bath. Or the women's. So I. Stood my staff. On the ground. And went. Where it fell.
Danzo: I see...?
Danzo: Didn't the Lady General say there was a drum bath for people in situations like yours?
Nezha: Yes. I saw it! But I. Did not. Fall for it!
Nezha: No doubt. It is. A trap. A cunning scheme. My enemies laid. To defeat me.
Nezha: It was. Clearly meant. To boil me. To death! But they. Cannot fool me.
Danzo: ...Um, you said you did not know which bath to use, correct? That is quite a coincidence.
Danzo: I too am only here for the sake of convenience. I may look like a woman, but I am really just a machine.
Nezha: Hm? Hmm... Then we. Are mostly alike. Probably.
Danzo: I knew it! To tell the truth, I have been wondering: are you also a puppet from the continent...?
Nezha: I am. No puppet. Nor am. I human.
Nezha: All I know. Is that. I have. A jewel where. A human's heart. Should be. Perhaps you. Could call. Me a machine. Made with. Sage arts?
Danzo: Now I see. I did not know such a thing was possible...!
Danzo: ...Yes, this is it. This is what I have been searching for. A hot spring should also be a place of community.
Danzo: As such, I was hoping that, by virtue of removing as much of our external armaments as possible to enter the bath...
Danzo: ...a frank exchange of information about our internal mechanisms and hidden parts might arise naturally.
Danzo: By better knowing oneself, and knowing others, I can record the differences and make better use of my abilities.
Danzo: Once I do that, I am certain my efforts will be rewarded.
Fran: So earnest. That's great. (Pat pat)
Nezha: Agreed. I commend. Your passion. (Pat pat)
Danzo: Huh!? Th-this is rather novel.
Danzo: While I do have very faint memories of patting another's head, I have none at all of anyone patting mine...
Danzo: L-look, someone else is here! That's enough hands-on testing of my cranial compartment!
Tamamo Cat: Arrrrrrf! (Mecha)
Tamamo Cat: I heard it all, woof! You can't have robots without catbots, and you can't have catbots without robots!
Tamamo Cat: On behalf of N.E.C.O.–the Natural Energy Computation Option–Tamamo Cat is here in the flesh!
Tamamo Cat: Hello and good day from the digital age of the future! I'm strictly paws-off except when I'm eating iron and cat cans, woof!
Danzo: N.E.C.O.? Then, you're a robot too!?
Tamamo Cat: Sure am. Here, check out these mitts. No way these puppies are anything but pure Japanese cat, right?
Danzo: Th-that is true. These are certainly not human hands...
Danzo: So those paws are actually mechanical puppet parts as well. I should have realized it sooner...
Tamamo Cat: Aw, don't worry about it. This is all nonsense you'll forget about by this time tomorrow anyway. Anywoof, I'm guessing all three of you aren't too big on baths?
Tamamo Cat: Well, neither am I, as it turns out! That's why I'm here–to get over my little bathing hang-up! Bath up? Bang up?
Tamamo Cat: Don't worry, we can do this if we all work together. You guys make the limbs, and I'll form the head.
Tamamo Cat: Now go on, Danzo, do your thing! By our powers combined, we'll be Captain Bathtime!
Fran: Uh. So hot. So stuffy. So soft... Is this heaven, or hell?
Nezha: She is. Not the. Vixen with. The mirror. She is. A wild vixen. I am. Not good. With either. To punch. Or not. To punch?
Nezha: My current. Purpose is. Full recovery. As of now. I can recover. Neither physically. Nor mentally.
Nezha: As such. I must activate. Semi-sleep mode. Powering down. All functions. Temporarily.
Nezha: ...(Empty stare)
Danzo: What's this!? Nezha gave up on fighting it and sent her mind elsewhere!? ...Huh?
Babbage: ...Whether human, or god. Beast, or machine...
Babbage: As long as one possesses a heart, one can enjoy a hot spring.
Babbage: Indeed. I can feel the lubricating hot water seeping into my steam engine...
The Oni of the 50th Floor
Quetzalcoatl: Hello! This is the tower's halfway point, yes!
Quetzalcoatl: Can you guess what awaits you at this wonderful milestone? Get it right, and you'll win a fantastic prize, yes!
Fujimaru 1: I can see the ring, you know!
Fujimaru 2: Lucha. It's a lucha match. A lucha match awaits me.
Quetzalcoatl: Thaaat's right! You just earned the privilege of competing in this ring, yes!
Fujimaru 1: Called it!
Mash: Not you too, Quetzalcoatl!
General Setsubun: Hmm. I have seen this before.
General Setsubun: One of the characters in my favorite fighting game has a home stage that looks like this. I often select this character when it is time to do battle.
General Setsubun: He is a very muscular man, and it is a lot of fun to make him twirl his opponent and throw them around like...
General Setsubun: I apologize. I have gotten rather off topic.
General Setsubun: Ahem... Tell me, goddess from a foreign land, why do you side with these oni?
Quetzalcoatl: ¡Es simple! They scratch my back, so I scratch theirs.
Quetzalcoatl: I don't want beating hearts and the like, no! But I WILL take other kinds of sacrifices! I am a goddess, you know!
Quetzalcoatl: And just when I was getting a little down from not quite getting enough exercise, Shuten and Ibaraki came to me with something wonderful!
Quetzalcoatl: They offered a place small enough to focus solely on lucha, on a floor at an altitude high enough to toughen up my heart and lungs...
Quetzalcoatl: ...AND a situation where a bevy of opponents would show up all of their own accord. What more could I ask for?
Quetzalcoatl: Basically, it means I get student after student showing up to enroll, yes!
Beowulf: I don't remember signing up for any school, but what the hell. I'm having all kinds of fun with this lady!
Spartacus: Ahh, an enclosed space where escape is not an option. This takes me back to my gladiator days! As such, the only choice I have left is to rebel!
Spartacus: Now come, hurt me. Injure me! I shall take everything you have, and rebel with love!
Fergus: If there's a battle royale with love to be found, you can bet I'll be throwing down!
Quetzalcoatl: By the way, that vigilante Assassin is sitting this one out, yes.
Quetzalcoatl: I still remember our promise, but it just didn't seem right to lump the Assassin in with the rest of my students, you know?
Fujimaru 1: I'm surprised how well Spartacus fits in here.
Mash: I suppose he is used to taking his opponents' attacks head-on.
Mash: Well, he was a gladiator, so he's probably used to fighting in rings like that...
Fujimaru 2: I see Fergus is still as Fergus-y as ever.
Da Vinci: I'll say this for him. He's certainly...gutsy, trying to add HER to his list of conquests...
Quetzalcoatl: So! The rules on this floor couldn't be simpler. No need to dredge up the past or worry about old acquaintances showing their faces here.
Quetzalcoatl: All you have to do is pin me for a three count, yes! If you can't the stairs to the next floor will never open!
Quetzalcoatl: In other words: Buster x Buster x Buster. Simple, yes!?
General Setsubun: For a “three count”... Is that different from a KO?
Quetzalcoatl: Hmm? Well, if you manage a knockout, that counts as a victory too! So either works, yes!
General Setsubun: I see. Then it really is simple. Essentially, all we need to do is defeat you.
Fujimaru 1: I'm surprised you knew the term “KO.”
Fujimaru 2: Sure, but that's easier said than done.
General Setsubun: Indeed. I have KO'd many an opponent in my games of video.
General Setsubun: All I need to do here is use my arms instead of my controller.
General Setsubun: And although it is a bit embarrassing to admit this as a woman, I have every confidence in my physical strength.
General Setsubun: Watch, Master, as I defeat every opponent who dares challenge me! I shall pound them all into the mat!
General Setsubun: (Huff, huff)... I won!
Quetzalcoatl: Wooow, increíble! We've got a contender on our hands, yes! I would love for you to join my lucha team!
Quetzalcoatl: If you combined that sheer power with lucha's speed and technique, I think you'd be unstoppable!
General Setsubun: That's very kind of you, but I must humbly decline. Fighting games are fine and all, but constant one-on-one fights feel like nothing more than endless brawls.
General Setsubun: I still prefer strategy games. Besides, there are still many genres of game I have yet to try.
General Setsubun: Ah, if only there were more hours in the day...
Quetzalcoatl: Hmm, not quite the answer I was expecting, but okay! Just let me know if you ever change your mind, yes!
Mash: So...I suppose you won't be telling us the real reason you were working with Shuten-Douji and Ibaraki-Douji?
Quetzalcoatl: I will not, no! Where is the fun in that! I am a benevolent goddess, but those two are far from benevolent, yes.
Quetzalcoatl: Sinceramente, I don't mind playing along as long as there might be–or is–a good reason to do it.
Quetzalcoatl: That is an act of benevolence on its own, yes!
Quetzalcoatl: Besides! I got to spread the joy of lucha!
Quetzalcoatl: Anyway...adiós mis amigos♡
General Setsubun: She was not even trying, and yet her prowess in combat was incredible... What extraordinary skill...
General Setsubun: So this is what it is to face a goddess...
General Setsubun: At any rate, we have finally crossed the halfway point. Let us keep this up for the next fifty floors as well!
– Meanwhile –
Giant Wolf with H: ...
Raikou's Steed - Kyogoku: Snooort... (Translation: Man, that guy really stands out...)
Sanzang's Steed - Bailong: Neiiigh... (Translation: You certainly don't see someone like that every day...)
Kyogoku: (Perhaps he only showed up here because this bath is reserved for steeds. But then, what about the man on top?)
Bailong: (Say, I just noticed he's barefoot, Kyogoku! Maybe he's just here to soak his feet?)
Kyogoku: (Then all is well!)
King's Steed - Dun Stallion: Wh-whinny... (Translation: That aside, this latest battle is quite a big to-do, isn't it?)
King's Steed - Llamrei: Neigh! (Translation: It IS certainly a new experience, even for veterans like us.)
Kyogoku: (Ah! Are you a, um, mare, Llamrei? Your proportions are a sight to behold!)
Llamrei: (Sorry about that. I'm afraid there weren't separate baths for male and female steeds.)
Bailong: (A-anyway, I admire all the hard work you two have been putting in. I'm sorry Kyogoku and I have mostly just been on standby this time.)
Dun Stallion: (Oh no, we still have a very long way to go. Lord Bucephalus isn't here right now, but he must have been working far harder than Llamrei and I.)
Bailong: (I've heard rumors about him. They say he can actually respond to summons on his own, depending on the situation. Talk about powerful...)
Dun Stallion: (That goes for Lord Tarasque over there as well. He may be snoozing away without a care in the world right now, but I'm told he's contributed immensely.)
Bailong: (I heard him talking in his sleep about how he wishes his rider were more refined, but I'll just pretend I didn't.)
Llamrei: (Well aren't you guys having fun. Still, there's a fine line between harmony and tedium. I, for one, don't envy your situation at all.)
Kyogoku: (Now, now, it's more exciting here than you think...)
Kyogoku: (My master finally got tired of going back and forth between these hot springs and the tower, and decided to stay in her swimsuit to avoid having to change clothes...)
Kyogoku: (Now I'm terrified I might get called up at any moment. Not that I wouldn't be happy to serve, of course! I mean, we're talking swimsuits here!)
Kyogoku: (By the way, I just remembered something I wanted to ask you about. May I?)
Dun Stallion: (What is it?)
Kyogoku: (It's about the difference between the master who rides you, and the one with the same face who doesn't.)
Kyogoku: (I've always wondered about why the one who rides you is...y'know...“bigger” if you take my meaning.)
Dun Stallion: (Well... There are many different elements that go into the sacred lance, so...)
Kyogoku: (So I had a thought! A hypothesis, even!)
Kyogoku: (What if...what if your hide produces some sort of special, temporary growth hormone?)
Dun Stallion: (...)
Kyogoku: (If they do, and my OWN master were to ride you, well... I can't stop thinking about it!)
Kyogoku: (I mean, they're already gloriously huge as they are, but what if...they got even bigger?)
Kyogoku: (Not only that, I wouldn't be the one carrying her at the time, so I'd have a perfect opportunity to ogle them as much and for as long as I wanted!)
Kyogoku: (Ahh, just the thought of it makes me... Makes me...!)
Bailong: (C-cool it, Kyogoku! Can't you see Lady Llamrei's about to kick the living daylights out of you!?)
Dun Stallion: (By the way... I've been so relaxed here that I only just noticed, but...)
Lu Bu: ...
C：Dun Stallion: (Why is that warrior lounging about in the steed bath...?)
The Oni of the 60th Floor
Tamamo-no-Mae: Look who just showed up! Welcome, everyone♡
Kiyohime: Here, the party is right this way. Come on, don't be shy.
Osakabehime: Aw crap. Nobody told me Master was coming! Wh-wh-why didn't anyone tell me!?
Osakabehime: I thought this was just supposed to be an online friends-only IRL meetup! You tricked me, Tamamocchi!
Tamamo-no-Mae: Well what else could I do, Osakabehime? You'd never leave your room if I didn't.
Osakabehime: Guh, I can't believe I fell for it. I THOUGHT it was fishy when you said it would be waaay up here!
Osakabehime: But I was just happy because I thought it meant you were finally accepting bats as part of my character!
Osakabehime: You're...you're gonna make me die of embarrassment. This is all part of your keikaku, isn't it!?
Tamamo-no-Mae: Now, now, don't you think this is a lovely place for a party? It was only three thousand yen to rent it out for half a day, AND it's got an open bar and Wi-Fi.
Tamamo-no-Mae: Plus, we have a full menu of goodies thanks to that deal we made with Emiya's Kitchen! We didn't even need to ask Benienma for help.
Osakabehime: Eh? You called Beni-sensei!? AND the wrought iron chef is coming!?
Tamamo-no-Mae: No, and no. Just a figure of speech. Neither of them is coming.
Tamamo-no-Mae: Besides, Shuten's the one who finally got off her lazy ass and organized all this.
Tamamo-no-Mae: And I highly doubt she'll be letting in any serious oni types like that♡
Osakabehime: O-okay, yeah...I guess you're right. I mean, I did come because this was such a rare opportunity...
Osakabehime: AND this is a pretty amazing place for a party. It's got everything I could ask for in an IRL meetup.
Osakabehime: Except...all these uninvited people showed up! I'm in super lazy-hime mode right now! I'm not ready to–
Fujimaru 1: Um...
Kiyohime: Hm? I just got a text...
Tamamo-no-Mae: Me too. Let's see... “Buy me some time until I can make myself presentable”?
Tamamo-no-Mae: Come on, Osakabehime. I keep telling you to stop texting us when we're standing right next to you!
Tamamo-no-Mae: Besides, [♂ he /♀ she] already knows what you're really like. There's no point trying to hide it now!
Tamamo-no-Mae: “Shut up and bail me out already! Pretty please♡”
Kiyohime: Anyway, I'm so glad you could make it, Master.
Kiyohime: I hope you like this place; it is where we will be having our wedding ceremony.
Tamamo-no-Mae: Well, I see you've still got a completely one-track mind, Kiyohime. Me, I guess I see this as more of a combination singles mixer and girls' night out?
Tamamo-no-Mae: And that means everyone is welcome, and anyone who wants to leave has to pay their fair share.
Tamamo-no-Mae: Now that you're here, you're to enjoy our discussions, Pocky games, and sultriness until your head spins.
Tamamo-no-Mae: Of course, that goes for you just as much as Master, uh...General Setsubun, was it?
General Setsubun: Indeed, I am a general right now. And as such, I have no time to waste with idle chitchat.
Tamamo-no-Mae: Ouch! I'll have you know our discussions are far more than chitchat! And this is no mere game, I assure you!
Tamamo-no-Mae: This is nothing less than our respective lives crashing into each other with full force.
Tamamo-no-Mae: It is a battle none of us can afford to lose, while also being an endless collaborative exchange of information...
Tamamo-no-Mae: We call it the Deadly Spider Lily Romance Talk Murder Party!
Tamamo-no-Mae: Girls' nights out are practically defined by tales of romance! It is a precarious, unavoidable gauntlet, but also a flower that blooms beautifully when nurtured!
Tamamo-no-Mae: Of course, at times, this flower can be so intensely hot that both sides end up getting injured and watching its petals wilt away, but such are the risks we take for love.
Tamamo-no-Mae: At any rate, now that you've arrived at this party, you WILL be joining in.
Kiyohime: Oh yes, there's SO much to talk about. Where we should live, when we should get our marriage license, what the rules of our house will be, our children's names...
Kiyohime: Those decisions aren't going to make themselves, after all! Teehee!
Tamamo-no-Mae: Hm? Hmm? (Staaare)
Kiyohime: What about Chinhime!?
Kiyohime: That way, our child would get to share both our names! Eee♡
Tamamo-no-Mae: Now I see. No wonder you were off in your own world more than usual!
Tamamo-no-Mae: You're already drunk off your ass. I was too late...
General Setsubun: Talk of romance...you say? That, then, is reason enough for me not to take part.
Tamamo-no-Mae: (Sigh) You WOULD say that. I guess I should've known why Shuten really called us here...
Tamamo-no-Mae: Okay, I don't feel great about doing this, but let me ask you too, Master...
Tamamo-no-Mae: Don't you think it's juuust a bit unhealthy and even kind of morbid for a widow to spend all her time playing video games whose point is just to murder people?
Fujimaru 1: Well...I guess, maybe?
General Setsubun: Hold on, Master. I believe you both have the wrong idea.
Fujimaru 2: Not at all. It's just a hobby.
General Setsubun: Thank you, Master. I appreciate that. But if I may, I'd like to correct her misconception.
General Setsubun: There is nothing morbid about me playing the games of video! In fact, grinding my opponents to dust always puts a smile on my face!
Fujimaru 1: That...does not help your case, General!
D：Osakabehime: The general's right! You can't just blame everything on video games, Tamamocchi!
D：Osakabehime: Oh, hello Master. Fancy seeing you here.
Fujimaru 1: All done with your makeup?
Fujimaru 2: I feel like I'm living a flashback...
Tamamo-no-Mae: Osakabehime? You can't just waltz in now like nothing happened!
D：Osakabehime: Whatever. I just thought I should try to do it right this time.
D：Osakabehime: Well, aaanyway...
D：Osakabehime: This place really is nice, you know? I could shut myself in here for a nice, looong time!
D：Osakabehime: So why don't we just stay here together, instead of going out and fighting and everything? I'm tired of that stuff.
D：Osakabehime: Oh, just so you know, Master, the general and I game together all the time.
D：Osakabehime: PC, console... I pretty much taught her everything she knows. I'm her video game sensei!
General Setsubun: Stay together? ...I am afraid I must decline. I have much more pressing matters to attend to at the moment.
General Setsubun: As such, I must proceed to the next floor. Would you kindly move out of the way?
D：Osakabehime: Huh? But I am soooo laaaaazy!
Tamamo-no-Mae: Ugh. I'm afraid we have certain obligations to Shuten since she's the one who put this all together for us.
Tamamo-no-Mae: As part of the social media monster brigade, we can't just let you pass without a fight. For that matter...
Tamamo-no-Mae: Just look at how fired up Kiyohime is! I don't even have to turn around to see it!
Tamamo-no-Mae: I get it, okay, Kiyohime? You don't want [♂ Lord /♀ Lady] Anchin getting away!
Tamamo-no-Mae: So, if I'm going to keep my word to Shuten AND my tail from getting singed...I'll have to pull out all the stops!
Tamamo-no-Mae: Okay, I'm calling it. This girls' night out is officially over!
Osakabehime: (Tap, tap) “Thanks guys! Great party!” Aaaand sent.
Tamamo-no-Mae: Another text? Seriously, I'm RIGHT here. Oh, would you mind sending Kiyohime down on one of your origami cranes?
Osakabehime: Fiiine, if I gotta. Okay, seeyanara! Let me know if you ever feel like painting figurines.
Da Vinci: Well, that was certainly the noisiest floor we've seen so far.
Mash: I guess I still have a long way to go before I'm ready to go on a girls' night out...
Da Vinci: Oh, I wouldn't say that. You'll be ready before you know it, Mash. Could even go tomorrow if you wanted.
Da Vinci: Hell, if I didn't have all this work to do, I wouldn't mind a chat about romance now and then myself!
Da Vinci: So if you ever do decide to go on one, let me know!
Mash: R-right. I'll make sure to do that...
Mash: At any rate, this floor's all clear. Let's shake it off and move on to the next one!
– Meanwhile –
Jack: Wooow, it's so big!
Nursery Rhyme: Yes it is!
Jeanne Alter Santa Lily: Hold it, you two. There's no reason to get so excited about a simple outdoor ba–
Jeanne Alter Santa Lily: Wooow! It really IS big!
Jack: Ahaha, ahahaha! Look, you can even swim in it!
Martha: Children, I'm glad you're enjoying yourselves, but you have to keep it down. And no swimming. Other people want to use this bath too, you know!
Nursery Rhyme: Oooh, it's waterfront Martha. She's the one who gets all punchy when she's upset. She's even scarier than the bear in the forest.
Jack: Eee, run away before she whales on us! Ahahaha!
Martha: Where in the world did you two get that idea? Honestly, why can't you two behave yourselves like this little girl?
Little Hassan: ...
Martha: ...Wait. Who IS this? I don't think I've ever seen her before...
Hundred Personas: She is me.
Hundred Personas: Very well, when in Chaldea, do as the Chaldeans do. I'll start by washing up over here.
Hundred Personas: Hmm... I guess you can't wash yourself, can you? All right, I'll just have to do it for you.
Hundred Personas: Come sit over here.
Hundred Personas: ...Now we need to wash under your arms. All right, arms up...
Little Hassan: Up.
Nursery Rhyme: ...(Staaare)
Jeanne Alter Santa Lily: ...(Staaare)
Hundred Personas: ...Oh, all right already! Come on you three, get over here. I'll help you all out.
Hundred Personas: Go on and sit in a circle, then wash the back of the one in front of you!
Nursery Rhyme: This is like a new kind of Ring Around the Rosie. It's so much fun, it is!
Jeanne Alter Santa Lily: All these white suds kind of remind me of Christmas!
Martha: Wait a second! I'm the saintly big sister type, right? How is Hassan a better babysitter than me!?
Martha: ...Oh well, at least the children have settled down.
Martha: I guess now's as good a time as any to take a nice, long, relaxing–
Mordred: Woohoooooo! 'Bout time we saw some water again!
Mordred: I was hoping there'd be enough space to break out my board, and it looks like I was right on the money!
Mordred: Who needs tides and currents and stuff when you can make your own waves with a couple good Mana Bursts!?
Mordred: All right, surf's up! ...Oops.
Martha: ...(Dripping wet)
Mordred: (Did she just put on her gauntlets without breaking her smile!?)
Martha: Sit down, you little delinquent! I'm gonna teach you what it means to respect public property!
Jeanne Alter Santa Lily: Ugh, what do you two think you're doing? Don't you know you're supposed to behave yourselves in the bath?
The Oni of the 70th Floor
Caesar: Ahh, how good of you to come here. I thought you might never arrive.
Caesar: I'm afraid I can't welcome you properly, given my position and all, but of course, that is but a mere formality.
Caesar: Mhmm, mhmm... Verbal agreements, you know? No evidence, no documentation... Just our word of honor.
Caesar: After all, is it documents that enable us to trust one another? Is it our job titles?
Caesar: Of course not. It is the impressions we impart by virtue of the life we lead.
Caesar: As such, in our case, there can be nothing BUT trust between us. At the very least, I can say with absolute confidence that I would trust you all with my life!
Fujimaru 1: Wow, I had no idea you felt that way...!
Fujimaru 2: I don't know where this is coming from, but I'm touched!
Mash: Be careful, Senpai! Caesar still hasn't gotten to the details yet!
General Setsubun: I may have only come to Chaldea recently, but I too know better than to trust this man blindly.
General Setsubun: I have been warned about him! Many have told me that if I am not careful, he will eat me for breakfast!
Caesar: No no, you've got me all wrong, my silver-haired maiden. They were merely warning you of my voracious appetite.
Caesar: The phrase may be foreign to you, but I assure you it is quite common in the modern parlance!
Caesar: Chaldea's food reserves only have so much to spare, you see, so I'm afraid big eaters like myself are often viewed with suspicion. It is sad, but a burden I must bear...
General Setsubun: Oh, you poor man. Please, forgive my rudeness. It's not much, but I have some leftover rice balls if you like...
Fujimaru 1: Aaand this is how he gets you...
General Setsubun: It is!? Oh my, I didn't realize I had fallen for it...! Th-this is why I cannot trust those with silver tongues!
Caesar: Now, now, I was just having a bit of fun. Let me be clear: what you see is what you get with me.
Caesar: I understand you may find it odd that a Heroic Spirit so harmless as I is here guarding this upper floor...
Caesar: ...but I assure you there is no great significance in it.
Caesar: Just look at my bright red coat. A Red Oni (ROMA Style), in the flesh!
Caesar: Yes, the only reason I am here is because I accepted an offer of employment...
Caesar: One that I did so readily, given that it aligned with my own interests.
General Setsubun: ...Interests?
Caesar: Why, naturally...the fact that this entire tower belongs to me.
Fujimaru 1: ...Say what now?
Caesar: Were you all granted permission to enter my property? You weren't, were you?
Caesar: Then you are trespassing... Or, as they say in Master's country, you are breaking and entering.
Caesar: And that, I am afraid, is a felony offense, the penalty for which is a hefty fine or a rather lengthy prison sentence.
Caesar: High-powered attorney that I am, I would counsel you to pay the fine rather than submit to penal servitude.
Caesar: Since you have been caught red-handed, I expect you to pay immediately, but I am nothing if not flexible. As such, I will accept payment in QP in lieu of cold hard cash.
Fujimaru 1: You've got to be kidding me!
Mash: I completely agree, Senpai. He's no attorney. This is just another one of his cons!
Fujimaru 2: You're no attorney. You're a con man!
Caesar: Oh no, I am indeed an attorney. I even have the certificate to prove it. Take a look.
Mash: (That's just a Roman scroll sealed with a laurel wreath! It's obviously a forgery!)
Cleopatra: And I am his beautiful wife-slash-high-powered-secretary!
Cleopatra: When he said he'd show me how he could be the man of my dreams, I simply couldn't say no!
Cleopatra: And of course, it really is turning out to be everything I'd dreamed and more!
Caesar: Indeed. As you can see, everything is in place. Every high-powered attorney needs a beautiful secretary, after all.
Caesar: And well, as for the most beautiful woman I know...does she even need an introduction?
Caesar: Even I get bashful from time to time. Especially in front of the woman I love.
Cleopatra: Ahh, he's even more handsome when he's bashful...!
Cleopatra: Seeing my darling Caesar live and in the flesh like this... Ooh, I feel like I'm about to lose my mind!
Cleopatra: I'm SO glad I asked Da Vinci to make this special contact lens spell that makes everyone I see look...much slimmer!
Fujimaru 1: “Live and in the flesh,” huh.
Da Vinci: Oh yeah, I DID make a spell like that, didn't I. It was such a transparent request that I completely forgot about it as soon as it was done.
General Setsubun: Just a moment. Back on the ground, Shuten-Douji explicitly told us to climb up this tower.
General Setsubun: Does that not mean we were, in fact, invited to these premises?
Caesar: I, of course, have heard nothing of this! It would be one thing if you had evidence to support your claim, such as an audio recording, but of course–
Da Vinci: Um, I'm pretty sure I've got that audio archived right here...
Caesar: Hah! As everyone knows, audio recordings are only hearsay, and so are not admissible. Phew. Bullet dodged.
Caesar: Now, getting back to the law... Why did I await you here on an upper floor, rather than one of the lower ones?
Caesar: Because this tower is akin to a high-rise apartment building, with each floor considered its own domicile.
Caesar: In order to reach this seventieth floor, you must have broken into all of the other domiciles.
Caesar: And as a high-powered attorney, I have, of course, drawn up contracts with all the other tenants allowing me to litigate on their behalf.
Caesar: As you can see, I've even taken the liberty of preparing their damage reports ahead of time!
Caesar: Which is to say, you must now render unto me a trespassing penalty fine for all seventy floors!
Caesar: Hahaha! Had I waited for you on the tenth floor, I would not have collected a seventh of that fine!
Cleopatra: How wonderfully crafty of you, my Caesar!
Mash: Just out of curiosity, why do you even need that much money? Not that this is anything new for you, admittedly.
Caesar: A fair question. Essentially, I ran out of funds after one too many gourmet tours.
Caesar: Additionally, I frequently encountered beautiful women with no one else to turn to, so I would buy them a house and enjoy a single night of romance with them.
Fujimaru 1: ...
Fujimaru 2: I don't think we can talk our way out of this one...!
General Setsubun: I agree. This man is clearly trying to talk us out of every valuable we possess.
General Setsubun: That is the work of an oni if ever I saw one. We have no choice but to defeat him if we are to proceed.
Cleopatra: What do you mean, work of an oni? The ethical concerns aside, his logic is ironclad!
Cleopatra: If you mean to come at us with those scrawny twigs you call arms, then I shall face you myself!
Cleopatra: By the way, Master, are you feeling all right? You look so much thinner since I last saw you. Have you been eating properly?
Da Vinci: Whoops, looks like someone went and forgot the spell she cast on herself... Talk about being in denial.
Caesar: I came! I saw! I was conquered!
Caesar: Any attorney worth his salt knows when to litigate and when to settle! We shall meet again!
Cleopatra: Aah, my slimming spell wore off! Curses! It must not have been able to withstand the pressure of my Pharaoh Fighting Style...!
Cleopatra: But it's wonderful to see you looking so well-rounded too, my Caesar! I shall never stop yearning for your embrace!
Caesar: Cleopatra. Since we have come all the way to Japan, let us partake of sushi! I particularly wish to try fatty tuna!
Caesar: No one ever gained weight from eating too much fish, after all!
Caesar: Indeed, it has long been my dream to gorge myself on the finest cuts of tuna as though they were popcorn!
Caesar: I am afraid I must ask you to foot the bill. But worry not. I will be sure to pay you back. Somehow...
Cleopatra: I know you will, my Caesar. I shall find a way to pay, even if I have to pawn my cobras!
General Setsubun: Lord Caesar may be a crook, but it is nice to see a married couple so happy and harmonious together.
General Setsubun: ...Married couple...
Fujimaru 1: Something wrong?
General Setsubun: ...No, I am fine. I was just thinking about a married couple I know myself.
General Setsubun: Come, let us hurry on.
General Setsubun: ...By the way, Master. I am told that in this day and age, concubines have all but ceased to exist, even among the nobility.
General Setsubun: Is that true? If so, does that not lead to much turmoil in modern society?
Mash: Wh-where did that come from!?
– Meanwhile –
Narration: Who could that be!? Is it a bathing beauty!? Is it the hot springs of Rome!? Naturally...
Blackbeard: It is me, that it is!
Blackbeard: Hi there. It's me, Teach. You've all been expecting me. You know you have.
Blackbeard: But what else would you expect!?
Blackbeard: Sometimes, no matter how predictable it may be or how much he may be hated for it, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!
Blackbeard: Am I right, or am I right!? What do you say, my good men!?
Steamy Papa: ...Let the planning for the perfect crime begin.
Hektor: Hmm, I HAVE always been better at defending and protecting. I guess I should change things up now and then to keep it all fresh.
Shakespeare: I have a feeling this will turn out to be a most exciting story indeed!
Shakespeare: It has the potential to be a great tale of suspense, or a mystery, or a hunt for treasure...
Shakespeare: I only hope it doesn't turn into a horror show.
David: I think that's up to us. If we try to hide somewhere, we'll be nervous about being caught, right?
David: So I say we walk right in there, bold as you please. It'll be much easier on our hearts that way. After that, only God knows what will happen next.
Orion: Man, this king's something else. I think he's actually serious with this plan. Probably 'cause he's totally sure he won't suffer any consequences for it.
Gawain: Hmm. I get the sense there is a rather disturbing conversation taking place over there.
Gawain: Personally, while I have no interest in peeping myself, I do have some understanding of how they feel...
Gawain: ...however, as one sworn to uphold order, it seems I have no choice but to accompany them, to ensure that they stay out of trouble. I swear, when large groups come together, they get up to no end of mischief...
Lancelot: Indeed. As Knights of the Round Table, we are honor bound to keep fair maidens safe. If you mean to go with them, Gawain, I shall come along too.
Lancelot: Hm, this will be a difficult mission indeed... In order to protect the maidens from Peeping Toms, we will have to enter their bathing area ourselves.
Lancelot: Though I, of course, have no ulterior motive in doing so, there are bound to be misunderstandings.
Lancelot: I speak in particular of Mash's icy cold shoulder. I do not know if I could bear it if she were to ignore me again...
Tristan: So you speak of circumstantial mixed bathing... Very well, I too shall accompany you.
Tristan: After all, I cannot let my fellow Round Table knights march heedlessly to their deaths.
Tristan: How sad. If only you too could make use of my echolocation, it would be trivial to sneak from shadow to shadow without being caught... Ah, it's good to be me...
Fionn: Ahh, I can hear the voices of those who require my help. The time has come to bite my thumb and think!
Fionn: That said, this is truly a pickle. It seems that women trouble is inevitable no matter which path we take.
Fionn: My good looks are sure to lead to yet another romantic fate, regardless of whether the mission fails or succeeds.
Fionn: Unless, of course, you would be willing to draw attention away from me again? You know, like how you made all eyes focused on me fall upon you instead that one time? Hehehe!
Diarmuid: H-Huh? W-Well no, I, uh...
Bedivere: (This is bad!)
Diarmuid: (I have to do something!)
Bedivere & Diarmuid: (I cannot let the Knights of the Round Table... ...except for Tristan... I cannot let my king... ...be disgraced any further!)
Bedivere: ...I say, it must be fate that brought us all here to these hot springs.
Bedivere: Why don't we take this chance to wash each other's backs and strengthen our bonds as fellow Round Table knights?
Diarmuid: I suggest the same, my king.
Diarmuid: Please, permit me to wash your back, so that I may demonstrate my endless gratitude and loyalty!
Gawain: J-just a moment there, Sir Bedivere. We are about to–
Bedivere: About to what, pray tell–Switch On! Oh, my apologies. That just slipped out.
Fionn: That's right, Diarmuid. There is no reason you need to wash my back right this mo–
Diarmuid: With all due respect, my king, I'm afraid it MUST be this moment! I am overcome by my desire to wash your royal back right here and now!
Diarmuid: Otherwise, I may find myself taking up Móralltach and Beagalltach instead of soap!
Fionn: What a frightening prospect! Very well then, it seems I have no choice!
Bedivere: Haha, I must say, sitting around in a circle like this brings back memories of the Round Table, doesn't it?
Bedivere: ...Well, putting aside that two of the Knights of Fianna are filling in, since there are only four of us here right now, that is.
Gawain: I cannot say I recall a time in Camelot where the only thing I could see was the back of the person before me...
Tristan: How sad... Indeed, I can think of no sight sadder than the back of a naked man...
Lancelot: (Hang on. Tristan has been behind me this whole time... He never stopped scrubbing me with both hands...)
Lancelot: (So where did that harp sound come from!?)
Fionn: I just noticed that the other bathers have all left. Perhaps they went to undertake their missio–
Diarmuid: ...I believe they were most likely near the source of that blast.
Diarmuid: Though it seems some of them have been blown into the stratosphere.
Diarmuid: At any rate, all we can do now is avert our eyes from this tragedy, and pray for the fallen heroes...
The Oni of the 80th Floor
Emiya: There you are. Right on time.
General Setsubun: Lord Emiya. Not you too... Why are you here?
Emiya: Why? You want to know why...?
Mash: I just heard a strange gurgling sound! Are you okay, Senpai!?
Fujimaru 1: Sorry, that was just my stomach...
Fujimaru 2: You have no idea how good it smells in here...
Emiya: ...Hmm, it looks like you've already been force-fed someone's lies. But that's neither here nor there.
Emiya: For my part, I have no objections to this latest mission. I'll carry it out quickly and quietly, just as planned.
Emiya: Let's start by having everyone introduce themselves. Keep it brief.
Tawara Touta: You want white rice? I've got you covered. Just look how perfectly this batch came out!
Boudica: Thanks, but I only know how to do home cooking, so I'm not sure how well my food will go with rice. Sorry about that.
Pārvatī: I don't see a problem. The more kinds of food we have to choose from, the better.
Pārvatī: Who knows? We might even discover a delicious new combination.
Pārvatī: Anyway, here's the biryani, sambal, and tandoori chicken you asked me to prepare, Archer.
Pārvatī: Of course, I also have Japanese curry. Which do you prefer?
Emiya: ...Indian curry sounds intriguing, but given the occasion, I think I'll go with the mild Japanese one.
Ex: ...I'm just here for dessert.
Ex: Oh, I don't care for meat at all, so please, feel free to enjoy that amongst yourselves.
Ex: All the nutrients I need come from my Cosmo rations. I'm only in this for the dessert.
Emiya: Got it. Then how about some of these sesame dumplings I just finished frying up?
Ex: Major danger detected. These dumplings must be taste–er, dealt with immediately, before they explode. Trust me. I'm a professional.
General Setsubun: ...This is quite an assortment of delicious-looking food.
General Setsubun: But I'm afraid we do not have time for distractions right now. We must hurry on.
Emiya: ...I knew it. So you're just going to leave?
General Setsubun: That's right. There is nothing we need to do here.
Fujimaru 1: He looks so disappointed...
Emiya: I think you might have the wrong idea. Let's make sure we're all on the same page first.
Emiya: We're here to throw you a welcome party. Shuten-Douji asked us to put it together.
General Setsubun: D-did you say a welcome party? For me!?
Emiya: That's right. I accepted her request 'cause it didn't look like she had any ulterior motives.
Emiya: I'm guessing that's true for all the other Servants you've met along the way too.
Emiya: With the exception of the scam artist and the poor sap following him around...
Emiya: ...I'm pretty sure everyone in this tower–hell, even the tower itself–wanted you to have a good time and make your stay here a memorable one.
General Setsubun: ...
General Setsubun: But, then... Why would those oni go to all the trouble of making a tower THIS enormous...?
Emiya: Sorry, I can't speak to that. No one is ever really sure what Shuten-Douji is thinking.
Emiya: She's always played her cards pretty close to the chest.
Emiya: But, at least this time, her request was clear and convincing.
Emiya: You're a Heroic Spirit from Japan. The idea of looking over your old homeland from an unbeatable view, all while enjoying gourmet food...
Emiya: Well, it sounded like a pretty perfect welcome party to me.
General Setsubun: ...I did notice that the guards we've encountered have demonstrated neither animosity toward me nor any particular loyalty toward Shuten-Douji.
General Setsubun: I believe each of them agreed to help her for their own reasons.
General Setsubun: However...
General Setsubun: Despite my young age, I have the honor of being entrusted with the role of general, and the task of dismantling this tower before it can transform into a Singularity.
General Setsubun: Right now, completing that task is my highest priority. How I do so, and how I feel about it, are secondary at best.
General Setsubun: I cannot stop here. I must continue on to the top floor and face the oni behind this, Shuten-Douji...
General Setsubun: Everything else is merely secondary.
Emiya: You really take your job seriously, huh. I'll admit that this is a pretty rough way to throw a party.
Emiya: Personally, since I know exactly what Shuten's goal is, I'm not at all worried about it turning into a Singularity.
Emiya: Once this is all done, I'm pretty sure she'll get rid of the tower on her own.
Emiya: That said, I guess it was inevitable...
Emiya: ...that you'd need to see her for yourself to find out if she's serious about this or not.
Mash: ...! Emiya just took up his weapons...!
Fujimaru 1: Do we really have to fight...?
Emiya: You bet we do. All this time and effort we put into cooking for you, and you're just going to walk away without trying it? I don't think so.
Tawara Touta: I agree. Rice balls may still be good when they're cold, but man cannot subsist on cold rice alone.
Tawara Touta: Surely you must admit that there is nothing better than hot rice paired with hot side dishes.
Pārvatī: I mean, most food is best when it's been freshly made, right?
Boudica: We even made sure to account for the time it would take you to get here, to ensure it'd be done just as you arrived.
Boudica: Oh, but that doesn't mean you HAVE to stay and eat it, of course. Kids always do want to run off and play without knowing how much work went into the food on their table.
Boudica: Or to fill up on snacks to the point where they're not even hungry for dinner, like Ex here.
Ex: (Huff, puff) (Munch, munch)
Ex: The sugar has reached my Altereactor, but as I suspected, sesame dumplings are not true Japanese sweets, even if they are made with sweet bean paste.
Ex: No more appetizers. Give me all the sweetest sweets you have. I'll make them my five-course meal of cola, cream pastries, cake, ice cream, and churros.
Emiya: As you can see, we've all put our hearts and souls into cooking. Not to mention wasting food goes against everything I stand for.
Emiya: If you insist on turning your back on this feast we've made for you...then you'd better be prepared to fight your way past us!
Emiya: Okay, okay, you win. I guess this is why people invented Tupperware.
Emiya: I bet there are plenty of Servants at the hot springs who'll help ensure all this food doesn't go to waste.
Emiya: Guess we'll start with the dishes that spoil easily, and see where it goes from there...
General Setsubun: ...I am so sorry. But I promise you that once my task has been fulfilled...
Emiya: ...I know. Don't worry about it. I may hate wasting food, but I still enjoy cooking. I'm happy to do it again.
Emiya: The next welcome party might end up being at Chaldea's dining hall, but I'll still be there to whip you up something good.
General Setsubun: Thank you. I cannot wait to try it.
Fujimaru 1: This really has me wondering...
Fujimaru 2: Did Shuten-Douji really just want to throw you a party?
General Setsubun: What I said to Lord Emiya earlier remains true, Master.
General Setsubun: Our objective is to eradicate this tower, regardless of why it was built.
General Setsubun: As such, we must make our way to the top floor as soon as possible.
Fujimaru 1: Yeah... I guess you're right.
General Setsubun: I almost let my guard down for a moment...but I am well aware that I must not let that slow me down.
General Setsubun: Especially now, as I have a premonition.
Fujimaru 1: Premonition?
General Setsubun: Yes. Now that we have passed the eightieth floor, I feel the time is fast approaching...
General Setsubun: ...when we shall come face-to-face with one of the oni behind this.
– Meanwhile –
Drake: Ahhhhhh, this is the life! I betcha not even the queen herself ever got to experience the luxury of a cold drink in a hot outdoor bath!
Anne: You said it! We may be expert pirates, but we still didn't know the first thing about bathing.
B：Mary: The crew and us used to drink enough booze to fill several bathtubs every day right before jumping into the ocean. You know, not everyone made it back up, huh?
Medb: Are you serious? Don't tell me you two actually dislike taking baths?
Medb: I can't believe it. You don't know what you're missing. But then again, I guess it WOULD be pretty tough to take regular baths on the open sea.
Medb: Still, trust me, baths are the best. They feel great, they make you look great, and if you end up getting down and dirty in one, you're in the perfect place to wash up!
Jing Ke: I know what you mean! It's SO much easier to cover up evidence in a bath. Though you still have to watch out for those luminol reactions!
Jing Ke: Of course, there are ways around that too if you know what you're... Aw, I'm all out of booze.
Jing Ke: Oh, wait. Spoke too soon! Man, talk about service. They've even got three different kinds to choose from!
Jing Ke: Now let's see... Eeny, meeny, miney mo, catch an emperor by the toe...
Okita: Oh, please throw that “Mystery Substance” thing away, if you don't mind. I'd rather not deal with anyone too irritating if we don't have to.
Okita: Say, for example, a Saber assassin who tries to push me aside and pretends to be my partner!
Okita: AND ANOTHER THING! How come I never get to show up!? You know, Okita and Heroic Swordmasters go together like peas and carrots!?
Nitocris: Phew. I guess it makes sense that hot springs would be a lot hotter than the waters of the Nile, huh...
Nitocris: I think I'll get out now. See you later.
Storyteller Caster: Very well. Until we meet again...
Fluffy-Eared Queen: Ahh, it's a LOT quieter here than it is over there.
Storyteller Caster: Indeed... I cannot say I approve of drinking too much in the bath. That could very well lead to death...
Fluffy-Eared Queen: O...kaaay, so instead of drinking, how about you tell me a story?
Fluffy-Eared Queen: You ARE a storyteller, right?
Storyteller Caster: ...Very well then, Your Majesty. Presumptuous though it may be of me, I will tell you a tale...
Storyteller Caster: ...The end.
Fluffy-Eared Queen: Oh, wow! Thank you! That was so great!
Fluffy-Eared Queen: ...
Storyteller Caster: ...?
Fluffy-Eared Queen: So we've got a hot spring with super rejuvenation powers that can heal your body, soul, and mind, AND riveting stories to boot. You know what this means?
Fluffy-Eared Queen: It means we can make ALL OF THE MONEY!
Storyteller Caster: !?
Fluffy-Eared Queen: Just imagine, a huge theme park built around soothing waters and exciting stories! And with the profits, it won't be long before I can expand into Chaldea itself...!
Fluffy-Eared Queen: So what do you say, partner? All you have to do is sign right here on this dotted line, and you and I are in business!
Storyteller Caster: Er, I-I, I'm sorry, but...
Nitocris: What are you doing!? It's been ages since I got out, and you're still here?
Nitocris: This is way too long for a bath. Are you just trying to get out of combat duty?
Nitocris: Look, I know you're scared to fight, but you can't stay in here forever.
Nitocris: Besides, no matter how good hot springs may be for you, staying in them for too long has got to be–
Storyteller Caster: Indeed, staying in hot water for too long can be deadly. I'm well aware. It's dangerous. One must be vigilant for signs of changes in blood pressure, dehydration, and no doubt other symptoms as well.
Storyteller Caster: Thank you for fetching me, Nitocris. Let us be on our way. We must return to the front line. Immediately.
Nitocris: Y-you're actually fired up for once!?
Storyteller Caster: (If I stay here any longer...I will almost certainly find myself dying of exploitative work conditions...)
Fluffy-Eared Queen: Waaait! Okay, so you MIGHT end up putting in excessively long hours, but I'll make sure you get paid overtiiime!
The Oni of the 90th Floor
Ibaraki-Douji: Mwaha, mwahahahaha! I commend you for making it this far!
Fujimaru 1: Ibaraki-Douji and Shuten-Douji!
Fujimaru 2: Shuten...Douji...?
Ibaraki-Douji: Oh, crap. I forgot I was still holding her. Um, lemme try that again. I'll just put you down here...
Ibaraki-Douji: Now where were we... Hehahahaha! Yes, it is I, Ibaraki-Douji! The leader of the Mt. Ooe oni!
Fujimaru 1: Back up. Just back the hell up!
Mash: What...did you just put down there?
Fujimaru 2: Um, what was that...thing you just put down?
Ibaraki-Douji: A life-sized Shuten body pillow. SO!?
Mash: Now that you mention it, I can see there's several of them scattered around the floor. There even seems to be a bunch of wall scrolls...
Ibaraki-Douji: Heh. Jealous? Want some? Too bad, they're all mine.
Ibaraki-Douji: Obviously I didn't make any of them. It was all Shuten. Crafts, souvenirs, you name it...
Ibaraki-Douji: She only made one at first, but when I asked her for more, she was kind enough to oblige!
Ibaraki-Douji: Yep! Shuten has been reeeally nice during this whole adventure! It's...actually kinda scary, really...
Da Vinci: So Shuten-Douji made these herself, did she? Interesting. Maybe I should see if there's a market for my own line of Da Vinci merch...
Ibaraki-Douji: When I asked her about it, she smiled cruelly and told me:
Shuten?: “Just be as much of an oni as you can, sweetie. Show them you're having the time of your life. If you need anything from me to help you do that, I'll get it for you.”
Ibaraki-Douji: Do you know what this means? It means she knows exactly what to do to get under your skin!
Mash: (She's using the body pillow like a ventriloquist's dummy...!)
Ibaraki-Douji: Of course, as everyone knows, my greatest joy is simply being together with Shuten.
Ibaraki-Douji: But since she has to stay on the tippy-top floor, I had her make all these to keep me company.
Ibaraki-Douji: BEHOLD! Feast your eyes upon this!
Ibaraki-Douji: I now have enough Shuten-Douji, terror of Kyoto, to make my own baseball team!
Ibaraki-Douji: Truly there can be no sight more hellish than this... I daresay I may even have gone a bit overboard.
Ibaraki-Douji: But that is not all. I also have this candy! See how it is red as blood, and soft as a fresh liver!
Ibaraki-Douji: Heh, no doubt the mere sight of it fills you with dread... That is because it is Shuten candy made by Shuten herself.
Ibaraki-Douji: Even I shudder to think what went into it! Now...I shall do this!
Ibaraki-Douji: What do you think of THAT!?
General Setsubun: I have no response to any of this.
Ibaraki-Douji: Wh-why is it not working? I just showed you I was having the time of my life.
Ibaraki-Douji: ...It had to be just like that on the lower floors, too...
Ibaraki-Douji: They must have shown you how fun it is to be an oni, just as Shuten planned.
General Setsubun: ...
Ibaraki-Douji: I can sense it. I have a feeling that something may have happened to some other version of me, but no matter. I can sense it nonetheless.
Ibaraki-Douji: Since I'm an oni lead–No! Since I'm an oni whose mommy raised her to be a credit to our bloodline...
Ibaraki-Douji: ...I can tell that I should invite you to join us!
Ibaraki-Douji: That's why I've been showing you how much fun it is to be an oni! So...why didn't it work?
General Setsubun: ...I can sense something between us too. No doubt another you and another I must have had some sort of connection.
Ibaraki-Douji: Hmm. So you can feel it, but you still don't want to join us? That makes even less sense!
Ibaraki-Douji: ...What in the world ARE you?
General Setsubun: I...
Ibaraki-Douji: I'm not asking out of malice! I just genuinely don't get it. You...you're–
General Setsubun: Silence. I...I must hurry on to the next floor. That is all I can say.
Ibaraki-Douji: Hehehe. Hahaha. Yes, that's it. That's how it SHOULD be.
Ibaraki-Douji: Now I finally understand. I see there's something in you I that I really get.
Ibaraki-Douji: When there is something you want, you take it by any means necessary. That is what it means to be an oni. If only you had shown that part of yourself sooner–
General Setsubun: I said SILENCE! I...I'm not like you!
Fujimaru 1: So much for diplomacy...!
Mash: I agree, Master. We have no choice but to engage in combat!
Ibaraki-Douji: Hahaha, why choose anything else? Again, it's the way of the oni to take things by force!
Ibaraki-Douji: Here, I am surrounded by Shuten at every turn!
Ibaraki-Douji: S-sometimes, the real Shuten even gets bored and comes down to pretend to be one of her own body pillows! It's the scariest thing EVER!
Ibaraki-Douji: Now, I will have you experience the wonders of this paradise for yourselves, whether you want to or not!
Ibaraki-Douji: Oh, forget it! I don't care anymore!
Ibaraki-Douji: Just don't come crying to me when you finally realize how awesome we oni really are and decide you want to join us, you big jerk! Jerk...jerk...! (Echo)
Mash: Ibaraki-Douji has run away! She's as quick to make her escape as ever!
General Setsubun: That is how oni are. They are contemptible creatures, loyal only to their own selfish desires...
General Setsubun: ...
General Setsubun: Come, Master, let us be on our way. We only have ten floors left to go.
Fujimaru 1: R-right.
General Setsubun: Hehe, please do not concern yourself with me. I think I more or less understand the situation now.
General Setsubun: All I need do now is make my way to the top floor and settle things with Shuten-Douji.
General Setsubun: Indeed... I am the only one who can.
– Meanwhile –
Sasaki Kojirou: How generous of General Setsubun to provide us with hot springs and liquor.
Sasaki Kojirou: It would be rude not to partake of what is offered. If our general has invited us to relax, we cannot refuse.
Sasaki Kojirou: Besides, all work and no play is no way to live. Now come, Lord Yagyuu, let me pour you a drink.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: ...Very well. You have my thanks.
Hijikata: I shall provide the snacks. Have all you like. I brought an entire barrel of them with me.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: ...I see. Most kind of you.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: Hmm... Pickles, eh. To think that pickles would still be enjoyed hundreds of years after my time. How about you, honored monk?
Inshun: I am a monk, and so must not imbibe alcohol, but... Oho, if it isn't wisdom water. I can make an exception for that. I think I shall have some pickles as well.
Inshun: Well now, this is delicious! These pickles in particular have been soaked in soy sauce as well. I must say, I am pleasantly surprised to find out how well pickles taste in a hot bath instead of near a roaring fire!
Hijikata: Of course. If something tastes good, it'll taste good wherever you eat it. By the hearth, in bed, anywhere. Also, pickles are very easy to eat anywhere.
Sasaki Kojirou: Judging from the voices coming from the women's bath, it seems they have chosen to pair their liquor with noisy chatter.
Sasaki Kojirou: Hehe. Whereas we in the men's bath clearly prefer to enjoy our alcohol in silence.
Sasaki Kojirou: Hmm, perhaps too MUCH silence. Given the luxurious springs we find ourselves in, the more drinking partners we have, the better.
Sasaki Kojirou: Come, let us invite those two over there to–
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: Don't bother. It is clear they are in no mood to socialize.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: Oni...
Inshun: It is true that oni will one day walk the earth aga– On second thought, I shall refrain from saying anything.
Hijikata: Oni, huh... You know, folks called me all manner of nasty names when I was a kid, but “oni” was never one of them...
Hijikata: As an adult... Well, that is another matter.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: Indeed. By the time the shogunate came to an end, the word “oni” had all but disappeared from our language.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: Even if oni themselves had not.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: They were enough a part of everyday life that we would frequently hope not to encounter one on the battlefield.
Inshun: Hmm. I suppose feeling that oni truly did exist is something unique to our particular stations.
Inshun: Heroes from the West seem to have little idea of them.
Inshun: It is similar to how we are unmoved by dragons and demons.
Inshun: They may be unusual creatures, but I cannot think of them as any more fantastical than lions and tigers.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: Indeed.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: ...Perhaps samurai from a time before our own would find them more impressive.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: The ones who did battle with oni in order to keep their cities safe. Or perhaps their children and grandchildren.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: We cannot fathom what such samurai would think were they to see this oni tower reaching up to the heavens.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: Perhaps they would be unwilling or unable to set foot in it, knowing all too well what horrors may lie within.
Yagyuu Tajima-no-Kami: Whether they act or not is no more within our control than the clouds covering the moon. All we can do is drain our glasses and bear witness to whatever the outcome may be...
Fuuma Kotarou: Excuse me...
Sakata Kintoki: ...
Fuuma Kotarou: Um... Lord Kin–I mean, Golden...?
Sakata Kintoki: ...
Sakata Kintoki: Whoa! What's up, Fuuma? Why you gotta go shoutin' in my ear like that?
Fuuma Kotarou: I-I'm sorry. I tried to get your attention several times, but it seemed you couldn't hear me.
Fuuma Kotarou: It looked like you might be sleeping, so I thought I should wake you up to stop you from drowning...
Sakata Kintoki: Nah, I wasn't sleepin'. Guess I musta been spacin' out somethin' fierce if ya thought I was, though. My bad.
Fuuma Kotarou: ...Is everything all right, Lord Golden?
Sakata Kintoki: Huh? Whadda ya mean by that?
Fuuma Kotarou: You've just seemed somewhat...restless, lately.
Fuuma Kotarou: It's actually been nagging at me for some time how you've, er...
Fuuma Kotarou: ...been staying at these hot springs for so long.
Fuuma Kotarou: What I mean is...you've hardly been involved in climbing the tower at all since we got here. Are you all right?
Sakata Kintoki: Ah... Well, I s'pose I ain't exactly feelin' my best, so...
Sakata Kintoki: ...
Sakata Kintoki: Aw, hell. Might as well just tell ya. Lemme give it to ya straight: I can't climb that tower.
Fuuma Kotarou: !?
Sakata Kintoki: You know how it tires different people out in different ways?
Sakata Kintoki: Well, it looks like it's set up to tire me out super golden.
Fuuma Kotarou: Set up, you say...?
Sakata Kintoki: That's right. I'm guessin' Shuten set it up that way on purpose when she was puttin' the thing together.
Sakata Kintoki: Far as I can tell, General Raikou's the only other one affected so strongly. Maybe not quite as bad as me, though.
Sakata Kintoki: Knowin' Raikou, I bet she's goin' back and forth between the bath and the tower so she can keep fightin'...
Sakata Kintoki: ...but the tower affects me so golden much I can't even do that. So here I am, takin' it easy in the hot springs.
Sakata Kintoki: Sorry I can't help you guys out with this one.
Fuuma Kotarou: N-not at all, Lord Golden. You have nothing to apologize for.
Fuuma Kotarou: The assault on the tower is going well thanks to everyone's help. I'm even told that Master will soon reach the top floor, so you have nothing to worry about.
Fuuma Kotarou: That aside... Why would Shuten-Douji set the tower to affect you so strongly...?
Sakata Kintoki: Hah, ain't it obvious? 'Cause she doesn't wanna see me.
Fuuma Kotarou: Um... What do you mean...?
Sakata Kintoki: Shuten and Ibaraki, well... They are true oni.
Sakata Kintoki: Up till now, the only thing we had in common was bein' Servants to the same Master.
Sakata Kintoki: That's why we all had ta keep the peace if we ran into each other.
Sakata Kintoki: I mean, it makes sense. There's only one Master ta go around, after all.
Sakata Kintoki: But, there's an exception ta every rule. Times when there ain't no peace to be kept.
Sakata Kintoki: When it comes to me and oni, if we ever ended up on opposin' sides, well...don't matter one damn bit if we still serve the same Master or not.
Sakata Kintoki: We'd hafta kill each other. That's the way it is, and the way it oughta be.
Sakata Kintoki: They're human-eatin' oni, and me? I swore ta keep humans safe from the likes of them.
Sakata Kintoki: Even if we're all just shadows of our livin' selves, that ain't ever gonna change.
Fuuma Kotarou: ...
Sakata Kintoki: (Yeah, that's right...)
Narration: (Please! Please, I'm begging you! There's no one left I can turn to...!)
Narration: (They took everything from us. Everything...!)
Narration: (This is too cruel. What did we do to deserve this...? Why did this happen to us!?)
Sakata Kintoki: (That's right. If we forget about who we are, about what happened...all those people's tears'll be for nothin'...)
Fuuma Kotarou: So, Shuten-Douji is preventing you from climbing the tower so that you don't have to kill each other?
Fuuma Kotarou: That sounds awfully...human of her, for lack of a better word.
Sakata Kintoki: Nah, it ain't that. Them oni, they know the score as well as I do.
Sakata Kintoki: If they really saw me and Raikou as enemies, they'd wanna fight. Be stupid not to.
Fuuma Kotarou: Huh? But then, in that case...
Sakata Kintoki: Yup. It's pretty much their way of sayin' they don't see us as enemies at all.
Sakata Kintoki: They're just crankin' up this exhaustion stuff as a way of tellin' General Raikou and me to butt out.
Sakata Kintoki: Basically, they don't want me or her ta be the ones makin' it ta the top of the tower.
Sakata Kintoki: This time 'round, I'm just a benchwarmer. That's why I'm stayin' here and stickin' ta the sidelines.
Sakata Kintoki: Maybe if I'm lucky, a bear'll show up and I'll get to kill some time facin' off with it sumo style.
Fuuma Kotarou: So, that would mean there's someone else that Shuten-Douji wants to make it to the top of the tower. But who...?
Sakata Kintoki: C'mon, Evil-wind Kotarou. I'm sure you can figure it out.
Sakata Kintoki: There's someone here who's got oni blood in 'em just a little bit more than you...
The Oni of the 100th Floor
General Setsubun: This talk of a welcome party was merely a pretense for hiring all those guards, wasn't it?
General Setsubun: Your true goal was to drag me down the path of the oni as well, wasn't it, Shuten-Douji?
Shuten-Douji: Aww, you finally make it here, and that's the first thing you have to say to me, sweetie? I guess patience isn't your strong suit, is it?
Shuten-Douji: Look, even our young Master is at a loss for words.
Shuten-Douji: And drag you down? That's hardly how I'd put it. A little unfair really, don't you think?
Shuten-Douji: Wait, waaait. Has NO one said it? Really? All this time? Maybe they're just being polite, as teeerribly obvious as it is.
Shuten-Douji: Ah, well. If no one else will say it, I guess that means I have to. Sweetie, you're an oni.
General Setsubun: ...No, I am not.
General Setsubun: I lived and died as a human. I am no oni.
General Setsubun: I...I'm not.
Shuten-Douji: Hehehe. That's the best you've got? For all you know, Ibaraki and I could've died living among humans too.
Shuten-Douji: I mean, how can aaanyone ever really know what someone else is thinking or how they live their life?
General Setsubun: Enough of your sophistry. Nothing you say or do now will make any difference.
General Setsubun: Did you somehow think that showing me all the Heroic Spirits forced to play Setsubun oni in this tower...
General Setsubun: ...would convince me that oni were in actuality wonderful creatures?
Fujimaru 1: Yeah, that would never happen... I hope.
General Setsubun: Master is right.
General Setsubun: The very notion is absurd. Preposterous. If this is some manner of jest, it is far from amusing.
General Setsubun: Your actions here might have endangered the whole world. And for what? Some misguided attempt to convince me that we are somehow alike?
General Setsubun: This has gone on long enough.
General Setsubun: This abomination of a tower cannot be allowed to exist. Get rid of it at once, Shuten-Douji. Otherwise–
Shuten-Douji: Otherwise...what? Fufu, you wouldn't reeeally kill a fellow oni, would you, sweetie?
General Setsubun: I told you, I am not–
Shuten-Douji: Well, you could've fooled us.
Shuten-Douji: You smell like an oni, you've got horns like an oni, and you pack waaay more power in those scrawny arms than any human ever could.
Shuten-Douji: Oh, I almost forgot. You even use fire, right?
Shuten-Douji: I can tell how strong you are just by looking at you.
Shuten-Douji: You do understand that REAL humans can't just rip another person's head off with their bare hands, don't you?
General Setsubun: ...!
Shuten-Douji: See? You can't even say you'd never do that. I can see that lying isn't really your thing, sweetie.
Shuten-Douji: There's an oni inside you. I can tell. Deep down, you're one of us, sweetie. That's all there is to it.
Shuten-Douji: ...But even now, you refuse to admit it. You just won't accept who you really are.
Shuten-Douji: And you know, if I'm being reeeally honest about it...
Shuten-Douji: ...it kind of disgusts me. Won't you just pick a side already?
General Setsubun: I... I...
Fujimaru 1: Shuten...
Shuten-Douji: I know, why don't we get some audience participation. We'll ask the Master who summoned you.
Shuten-Douji: What about it, Master? What do you think she is, sweetie?
Fujimaru 1: When she answered my summon, I knew...
General Setsubun: ...
Fujimaru 1: ...that she was the one who answered my call.
General Setsubun: ...Huh?
Narration: That's all I can say.
Narration: I didn't summon her thinking she would or even SHOULD be human or oni.
Narration: All I can really say for sure when I summon someone is that I'm grateful they come.
Narration: Even if I don't yet know their name, I know they responded to my call for help. I'll always be grateful for that.
Fujimaru 1: That goes for you and Ibaraki as well, Shuten.
Shuten-Douji: Pfft... Hehehehe! So you're just grateful to aaanyone you summon, are you? Aaanything goes, huh!?
Shuten-Douji: Oh, Master, you're always good for a laugh. Hah!
General Setsubun: Yes... That's right. I am me. I remember now.
General Setsubun: I remember the joy of being accepted for who I am. The joy of running into battle alongside powerful allies.
General Setsubun: I have not felt those joys in a long time, but...
General Setsubun: ...it is wonderful to experience them again.
General Setsubun: ...
General Setsubun: And more than that, there's something else I remember now.
General Setsubun: That right now, before anything else, I am Master's Servant.
General Setsubun: I could not be more fortunate to have a Master who accepts me as I am. I consider [♂ his /♀ her] wishes to be my own.
General Setsubun: Whatever [♂ he /♀ she] asks of me, I will happily oblige. Now, Master, what is your command?
Fujimaru 1: It's time to rein Shuten-Douji back in!
Fujimaru 2: Make her tell us how to get rid of this tower!
General Setsubun: As you wish!
General Setsubun: This will most likely be my last mission as General Setsubun. If I should be reduced to ash in its undertaking, then so be it!
General Setsubun: I shall use this newly rediscovered joy to stoke the fires of my loyalty, and bring them down upon your head!
Shuten-Douji: Ooh la la! Now you look more like an oni than ever! Good thing there are no children around. One look at you and they'd run away screaming!
Shuten-Douji: And THAT means that with just a liiittle more of a push from me, you'll really be a true oni!
Shuten-Douji: Mmm...ouch. This doesn’t look great.
Shuten-Douji: But it'd be sooo dull if I went out here and now, so... Hup!
Mash: Shuten's running away! She just leaped through the window and...appears to be climbing even higher!?
Shuten-Douji: Oh, just so you all know, the exhaustion's gonna hit you the hardest up on the roof.
Shuten-Douji: So you might want to be careful not to send anyone up there unless you're reeeally sure they can take it.
General Setsubun: In that case...it seems that I must be the one to go after her, since I am the least susceptible.
General Setsubun: My apologies, Master, but it is bound to be unstable up there, so I cannot bring you with me. Please wait here until I return.
Fujimaru 1: I'm sorry. I suppose it's all up to you, General.
Fujimaru 2: Just don't be TOO hard on her, okay?
General Setsubun: Worry not, Master. Just leave everything to me!
Epilogue: The Burning Oni Pagoda
Shuten-Douji: (Glug, glug)... Ahhh.
Narration: When I found her...she was lying on the roof, gazing up at the sky, a cup of wine raised to her lips.
Shuten-Douji: Hm? Ah, there you are. I had a feeling you'd be the only one showing up.
General Setsubun: Spare me your feigned surprise. This is exactly what you planned.
Shuten-Douji: Mmm, right. Sorry, sorry. I've had sooo much to drink, it's gone to my head a little.
General Setsubun: ...
Narration: It seemed the alcoholic fumes were so thick that we were completely cut off from Chaldea.
Narration: So, since it was just the two of us...I decided that if I was ever going to ask her, it had to be now.
General Setsubun: There is another reason you made this tower, isn't there?
General Setsubun: If all you truly wanted was to ask me whether I was an oni or not, you would never have made it so tall. That is much too complex an endeavor for such a simple goal.
General Setsubun: It may make sense in the abstract, but I cannot believe you ever pursued it in earnest.
General Setsubun: So of course I would expect that your true intentions lay elsewhere.
Shuten-Douji: Ahaha... You're thinking waaay too hard about this.
Shuten-Douji: I'm just an oni who loves her drink. You can't expect me to go around taking everything seriously, sweetie.
Shuten-Douji: But if you reeeally insist, I guess I might have thought it'd be fun to do something big for Setsubun.
Shuten-Douji: I really WAS trying to get you to admit to your true oni nature by making this tower, and having a bit of fun while I was at it...
Shuten-Douji: ...but it wouldn't have been much fun if you were the only one making your way up.
Shuten-Douji: So I thought, if we make a big Setsubun festival out of it, we could ALL have more fun.
General Setsubun: I see. Does that have anything to do with the man you prevented from climbing?
Shuten-Douji: ...Oooh, you're a lot sharper than you look.
General Setsubun: I AM a general, after all. It is part of my job to keep a close eye on everyone's condition.
Shuten-Douji: But, you're still wrong.
Shuten-Douji: This time around...if me and the brat faced off, we'd only end up killing each other. That's just how it is.
Shuten-Douji: I mean, that's fun in its own right, but I'm having so much more fun being Master's Servant right now.
Shuten-Douji: So keeping him on the ground was basically me saying “We don't have to do this NOW, okay?”
Shuten-Douji: I've no idea if that's how he took it, though.
General Setsubun: ...
Narration: Back when I was just beginning to make my way up the tower...
Narration: ...I thought it made sense to speak with the people who would understand what was happening there.
Narration: And of course, he was one of those people.
Narration: Reflecting on those conversations, I suspect he knew Shuten-Douji's true intentions. Of course he did.
Narration: How strange. They were opposites in every way, predisposed to try and kill each other whenever they got the chance...
Narration: And yet, this oni and that human understand each other better than anyone else.
General Setsubun: (Yes... I see now that their relationship is, in its own way, just as valid as any other...)
Shuten-Douji: Hey, while we're drinking together and all, tell me something else.
Shuten-Douji: Do you know anything about your ancestors? Any stories passed down or anything?
General Setsubun: ...I do not. Both my parents and my grandparents alike were shocked when I was born looking like this.
Shuten-Douji: Gotcha. Well then...I guess all we can say for sure is that one of your ancestors must've gotten real friendly with an oni somewhere way back.
Shuten-Douji: ...I wonder what happened to them. Did the oni just eat the human, or...did they find a way to make it work...?
General Setsubun: ...I cannot say. I... Nobody can say for certain whether humans and oni were ever able to coexist peacefully.
Shuten-Douji: Mmm, guess you're right. Hahaha! That's so embarrassing!
Shuten-Douji: I really should know better than to ask dumb questions I already know the answer to. Just forget it.
Shuten-Douji: ...Aww, that's just great. Now I'm all out of my best wine.
Narration: She stretched out dejectedly, and got to her feet.
Narration: For a fleeting moment, she seemed to put her usual carefree attitude aside and let herself just...be herself.
Narration: It was then that I had a thought. A wild, baseless, unfounded thought...
Narration: I wondered if perhaps her true objective in building this tower...
Narration: ...might not have been those last few moments we spent together.
Narration: Up on that roof, she wouldn't have to worry about anyone else interrupting us, or overhearing what we had to say.
Narration: A safe haven for an oni...and the one invited to join her.
Narration: Perhaps that was what she truly needed. A place where she could be herself...and someone who would join her there.
Narration: That way, no one else would ever learn about the question she asked.
Narration: ...Or that she even cared enough to ask in the first place.
Narration: ...No, that couldn't be right. I must have simply been imagining things.
General Setsubun: (Right... An oni like her would never be interested in coexisting with humans, after all...)
Shuten-Douji: So, what're you gonna do about me, anyway?
Shuten-Douji: For a while there, I thought you were gonna cut off my head before I'd finished my drink.
General Setsubun: ...I will never be an ally to an oni. But, neither will I be your enemy, or cut you down where you stand.
General Setsubun: Right now...I am [♂ Lord /♀ Lady] Fujimaru's Servant.
General Setsubun: Just as you are.
Shuten-Douji: You know, you still kind of disgust me. But since I lost the fight, I guess I don't really have a leg to stand on.
Shuten-Douji: Still, I should let you know. Someday, you're gonna have to pick a side, whether you want to or not.
General Setsubun: ...
Minamoto-no-Raikou's Voice: Hnghh... I refuse to...let this strong alcohol get...the better of me. I must exterminate...the pests...while I still...have good cause...!
Shuten-Douji: Well that's just great. Guess that overprotective cow isn't gonna stop until she claws her way up here. Gotta say, I'm kinda impressed.
Shuten-Douji: Oh, hey Ibaraki. Didn't know you were still here.
Ibaraki-Douji: I am. I was biding my time on the ninetieth floor's outer wall when the cow's bloodlust drove me up to the roof.
Ibaraki-Douji: We should have known Raikou would eventually make her way here! So...isn't now a good time to end all this!?
Ibaraki-Douji: I mean, we can kill her, or we can run away, but whichever it's gonna be, we need to do it now!
Shuten-Douji: You're right. You know, it's been suuuch a fun day that I'm exhausted. Let's get out of here.
Ibaraki-Douji: Understood! Hang on tiiight!
General Setsubun: Wait! You need to destroy this tower before you go!
Shuten-Douji: Oh, right. Don't worry, I already took out my magical energy core. All you gotta do is demolish the tower like normal, and it should disappear on its own.
Shuten-Douji: After that, go ahead and do whatever you want for all I care.
Ibaraki-Douji: Oh, you're here too, huh.
Ibaraki-Douji: You've got even bigger oni horns now, and you're wielding fire just like I do...
Ibaraki-Douji: HEY WAIT! You're pretending to be mad at me just to get candy from the green one, aren't you!? How dare you!?
Shuten-Douji: Never mind that. Let's just get out while the getting's good.
Ibaraki-Douji: Hmm. All right, if you say so, Shuten.
Ibaraki-Douji: You may be a fire oni too, but don't forget that you'll never be on my level!
Ibaraki-Douji: I've got WAY more experience and awesome tales of my exploits, so you better come pay your respects later!
Shuten-Douji: Well, see you around. Maybe we can share a drink together again if the opportunity presents itself.
General Setsubun: ...I doubt that. Let us just say that have no tolerance for alcohol whatsoever.
General Setsubun: ...Phew. Now then.
General Setsubun: Lady Raikou! Master! If you can hear me, then know that I have driven the two oni away!
General Setsubun: I will complete our mission by demolishing this tower, so everyone, please make your escape as soon as possible!
Narration: Master and Lady Raikou responded swiftly, neither wasting any time in making the correct decision.
Narration: But they no doubt needed time to complete their evacuation. There was no need for me to rush.
Narration: I steadied my breath, and slowly reached for my quiver...
Ibaraki-Douji: Hey, Shuten. I didn't really learn anything from all this. Not that I have any regrets! There's just something I wanna ask you!
Ibaraki-Douji: Are...umm...are you sure we aren't gonna get in trouble when we go back to Chaldea? What if it ends up being Mt. Ooe all over again!?
Shuten-Douji: Hmm? Well, the tower's time is already up anyway.
Shuten-Douji: They'll probably call it even if we say we're sorry and tell them we just did it to welcome the new girl.
Shuten-Douji: Especially since we didn't bother any ordinary humans this time.
Ibaraki-Douji: H-hmm, that's true. Since there were so many other good things to eat, I didn't take so much as a finger!
Ibaraki-Douji: Still, aren't you sad the tower you work so hard to build is getting destroyed? What a waste...
Shuten-Douji: Oh no, it's fine. I figured it was gonna end this way when I made it.
Shuten-Douji: That's why I called this tower the Oni Pagoda. One that was made by an oni, and meant to be burned down by one.
Shuten-Douji: (Still...setting fire to a building so soaked in alcohol fumes is probably going to create a raging inferno...)
Shuten-Douji: (...but they can't hold me responsible for THAT, right?)
Narration: As I narrowed my eyes and turned my gaze upward to the blazing sunlight piercing the heavens, I could have sworn I heard a familiar voice whispering in my head.
Narration: “You certainly are a strong one, aren't you! I like that. I like that very much.”
Narration: “Hm? Oni blood? What of it? ...You are you, are you not?”
Narration: And that's when it hit me. Neither of them chose.
Narration: Not my current Master, and not Lord Yoshinaka.
Narration: So I shall do the same. I choose not to choose.
Narration: I am neither oni nor human. No, I am just...
General Setsubun: ...
Narration: As I drew my bowstring, I thought about oni. And about humans.
Narration: Peering down the tip of my arrow, I saw the midday sun lying beyond it. It may not have been the morning sun, but it still reminded me of him.
Narration: Would my arrow reach it if I fired now? Who knew?
Narration: What I did know is that, if I were to wish with all my heart that it would, and it succeeded, his soul would surely be at peace...
Narration: With that in mind, I chanted with all my heart...
General Setsubun: On Arorikya Sowaka!!!
Narration: No matter how I squinted my eyes, I could never look directly upon its light.
Narration: All I could do was let loose my arrow, taking with it my love for him, knowing with certainty that my beloved lay in the direction it flew.
Narration: However, I knew that, sadly, it would never reach him, no matter what. Which was why, of course...
Narration: ...it came back to me.
Narration: As its piercing glimmer drew near, I saw all manner of things.
Narration: I was, in essence, dreaming.
Narration: I dreamed of the long life I once lived, solitary and alone. Of dying together on the battlefield, a fate that never came to pass.
Narration: And, of parting ways with the battlefield, and living a long, long life, happy together.
Narration: Ahh, if only I could have lived out the rest of my days by his side.
Narration: Would I have remained human if that had come to pass? Or...would I have eventually succumbed...?
Narration: ...In the end, that too was but a meaningless dream.
Narration: I was me, at that moment, in that place. No more. No less. As much as I still loved him, he was part of my past, and there he must remain.
Narration: Indeed, even if I were to lay my hands on the omnipotent wish granter known as a Holy Grail, and could receive anything I asked for...
Narration: ...I would not wish for anything at all.
Narration: Up to that very moment, I had wished fervently for nothing more than for my beloved to rest in peace.
Narration: That much was certain.
Narration: I had wished as greedily as an oni, and as modestly as a human.
Narration: Funny, that. I didn't even have to think about it. I had always been an oni, AND a human.
Narration: I leaped off the tiles and began to fall through the air.
Narration: Soon after, the arrow I had loosed earlier came back down to pierce the spot where I had stood, and from there...
Shuten-Douji: Well now. I thought it'd be a fun change of pace to try drinking in the rec room, but look who's already here.
Shuten-Douji: It's nice to see you two getting along so well.
Fujimaru 1: Heya.
Gaming Archer: ...
Gaming Archer: Good timing. At this moment, I could use all the help I can get.
Gaming Archer: Please, right this way.
Ibaraki-Douji: Hm? What are you up to? Are you plotting to ambush me?
Ibaraki-Douji: I've been waiting all this time for you to come and pay your respects, and now you invite me to–
Gaming Archer: I only resort to violence when there is no alternative. ...Here, consider this an advance.
Ibaraki-Douji: Hmm, this is azuki bean daifuku. It tastes just as sweet as I remember... (Munch, munch)
Gaming Archer: As I told you, I could use all the help I can get. Now please, come here and take this controller.
Gaming Archer: I am currently engaged in a three-on-three team battle against Lady Osakabehime.
Gaming Archer: I let the CPU fill in for our missing team member, but I see now that the more allies I have to whom I can give orders freely, the greater my chances of victory.
Gaming Archer: It is fortunate that Master happened to show up when [♂ he /♀ she] did, but I could still use another player...
Ibaraki-Douji: (Munch, munch) And why should I help you with that!? Hand-eye coordination isn't really my strong suit!
Ibaraki-Douji: An oni does not concern herself with her allies' placement in battle! Why else do you think I fought on Mt. Ooe all by myself!?
Gaming Archer: Ibaraki... (I cannot believe how much consideration she shows to those around her...)
Gaming Archer: That is too bad. I was planning to repay your kindness with more azuki bean daifuku, but–
Ibaraki-Douji: Mwahahaha, give me that controller! I will show you what an expert co-op match looks like! Just watching you play a bit is all it took for me to master this paltry game!
Ibaraki-Douji: Soon I shall hear the wailing and lamentations of that bat woman as she cowers in abject defeat!
Shuten-Douji: I swear, Ibaraki's sweet tooth will be her downfall... Oh well, guess it's better than getting kicked out, since we ARE oni and all.
Fujimaru 1: Like that Setsubun saying “Out with oni, in with good fortune”?
Fujimaru 2: You know, in some places, people say “In with oni” too.
Shuten-Douji: Hehehe, is that so? I can hardly imagine what sort of nutjobs would want to invite oni into their homes.
Shuten-Douji: Oh well, I suppose I'll just cheer you all on from back here.
Fujimaru 1: Want to trade with me?
Shuten-Douji: No thanks, sweetie. I can't drink if I'm holding a controller with both hands, now can I?
Shuten-Douji: I'll just watch you all so my drink goes down easier. Make sure you put on a good show for me, 'kay, sweetie?
Shuten-Douji: Cause if you don't, and I get bored, I might just start nibbling YOU, starting with your ears...
Shuten-Douji: Fufufu. Good luck out there, 'kay?
Shuten-Douji: If you're gonna invite this many oni into your home, you better be ready to handle us aaall the way to the end.