Voice and Letters! Murasaki Shikibu and the Seven Cursed Books

Section 1: Let's Read Books

Anastasia: ... ...

Anastasia: (Reading a book)

Qin Liangyu: ... ...

Qin Liangyu: (Reading a book)

Gilles: ...

Gilles: (Reading a book)

Fujimaru 1: Hm?

Fujimaru 2: I didn't know so many Servants were bookworms...

Fionn: (Reading a book)

Gawain: (Reading a book)

Fionn: Oh, pardon me. I was so caught up in this book I didn't even see you!

Fionn: Hm? What sort of masterful writing could cause a man as great as myself to make such a careless mistake?

Fionn: Oh, it's nothing, really. Just a book with the simple title of “Fionn mac Cumhaill: Knight of Gold.”

Fionn: I have to say, I never knew reading could be so much fun!

Gawain: Not at all, good sir. If anyone should beg pardon here, it is I. I am in the same boat as you, Sir Fionn.

Gawain: These days, I spend much more time broadening my mind than I do practicing my sword.

Gawain: I, too, never thought I would ever be so engaged with books...

Gawain: ...but these neat rows of letters written out on paper are far more engaging than I ever thought possible.

Gawain: It has been quite enjoyable, going back to basics like this.

Fionn: I know exactly what you mean. I don't even need to consult my thum...er, Finegas, to understand where you are coming from.

Fionn: We knights are no more than men who have only tales of bravery and valor to our names, after all.

Fionn: My beloved wife would be worried sick if she saw me so absorbed in a book, of all things.

Fionn: In fact, she would almost certainly suspect me of using it to cover up adultery, or some other distasteful business!

Fionn: Not that I would ever do anything of the sort, of course. I trust things are similar in your order as well, Gawain?

Gawain: That they are. At least for me.

Gawain: Say, could I trouble you to lend me that book once you are finished with it, Sir Fionn?

Fionn: By all means. I would be happy to let you read it.

Fionn: Now, what's that you're reading there? ...I see. So it's called “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”...

Fujimaru 1: Hmmm.

Fujimaru 2: That explains it...

Mash: ...

Mash: (Reading a book)

Mash: ... ...

Fou: Fou!

Mash: Aah! Fou?

Mash: S-Senpai! Wh-when did you get here!?

Mash: I'm so sorry I didn't notice you sooner!

Fujimaru 1: Don't worry about it.

Mash: This is far from the first book I've ever read, but I was still so caught up in it!

Fujimaru 2: What're you reading, Mash?

Mash: The Iliad, Homer's Greek epic.

Fujimaru 1: What were you reading?

Mash: Oh, this is the Iliad, Homer's Greek epic.

Mash: It's about the Trojan War. The one Achilles and Hektor fought in.

Fujimaru 1: A lot of the Heroic Spirits here love that book.

Mash: Oh yes!

Mash: The way it's written really makes you feel as if you're right there watching the Greeks and Trojans waging this war on behalf of the Greek gods.

Mash: It's a tragic story, so full of death...

Mash: ...but it also has such beautiful depictions of strength and valor on both sides...

Mash: I'm sorry. Once I started reading it, I just couldn't put it down.

Fujimaru 2: Didn't a guy named Heinrich Schliemann excavate the ruins of Troy?

Mash: Yes, he did!

Mash: The Iliad was thought to be entirely fictional for a long time, but thanks to Heinrich Schliemann, an archaeologist from the late nineteenth century, many people now believe this story reflects real historic events.

Mash: It's a true Mystic, weaving history and mythology together like few other historical works.

Fujimaru 1: ...Sure seems like a lot of people have caught the reading bug.

Mash: Oh, really?

Mash: Yes, it looks like they have!

Mash: We didn't often see Servants reading, but now we seem to have books everywhere.

Mash: And there's a very simple explanation for that.

Mash: Namely...

Mash: ...we have a library now!

Mash: This is it. The underground library.

Mash: I'm told it's a massive new library that just showed up here one day, separate from the one we already have.

Mash: It might seem like it takes up a lot of room, but they say it's actually using magecraft to bend the space around it.

Mash: As a result, it fits entirely in the storage area, and doesn't get in the way of the Magical Reactor or other support systems at all.

Fujimaru 1: First I've heard of this.

Mash: R-really? That's odd. It's not like Da Vinci to leave you out of the loop...

Mash: Oh, maybe there's a bug in the email server!

Fujimaru 1: That might be it.

Mash: I'll make sure to check on it later. It could just be a loose cable or something.

Fujimaru 2: Da Vinci's definitely not the type to forget to tell us something important.

Mash: No, she's not.

Mash: ... ...

Mash: Back in Chaldea...

Mash: ...all of our databases were digitized, and we didn't have much in the way of paper books.

Mash: Maybe that's why I got so caught up in these actual books...

Fujimaru 1: Don't sweat it! Besides, this is your time off!

Mash: Thank you, Senpai!

Fou: Fou fou.

Fujimaru 2: You really do like paper books, don't you?

Mash: ...Yes, I do.

Mash: They were very rare back at Chaldea, so...

Fou: Fou?

Mash: ... ...

Mash: ...I understand that there's no meaningful difference between reading a tablet or a book in terms of the information you get.

Mash: And yet, it's strange. When I read a paper book...

Fujimaru 1: You can't put it down?

Mash: Right. Exactly.

Mash: Here we are. This is the underground library's reception desk!

H:Librarian: ...Welcome.

H:Librarian: My underground library is home to books old and new, from far and wide.

H:Librarian: It has history books, biographies, mythology, legends, tragedies, comedies, classics, new releases, fairy tales...

H:Librarian: ...period pieces, Westerns, lowbrow humor, political drama, occidental, oriental, Middle Ages, contemporary...

H:Librarian: Ancient records, recent best sellers, fiction, nonfiction... As well as maps and field guides.

H:Librarian: Oh, and of course...we also have tales of revenge, and stories of romance.

H:Librarian: If there's any book you can't find on our shelves, please come straight to me.

Fujimaru 1: We really do have a librarian...

H:Librarian: ... ...

H:Librarian: Good day, Master of Chaldea. I suppose this is our first time meeting, isn't it?

Fujimaru 2: Nice to meet you.

H:Librarian: It's nice to meet you too, Master of Chaldea.

H:Librarian: By your leave, I am the librarian of this underground library, and a Caster.

H:Librarian: My True Name is Murasaki Shikibu.

Murasaki Shikibu: I have been enthralled with letters, words, and human emotion since I was a child...

Murasaki Shikibu: I hope you will be patient with me, as there is still much I do not know about the modern world.

Fujimaru 1: Welcome to Chaldea!

Fujimaru 2: I'm .

Mash: Murasaki Shikibu was born in Japan during the Heian period, just like Raikou and Kintoki.

Fujimaru 1: I think...she was an author, right?

Mash: Yes! She's best known for The Tale of Genji, the very first novel in recorded history!

Mash: It takes place during the Heian period, focusing specifically on noble society and the exploits of its titular character Hikaru Genji.

Mash: But Murasaki Shikibu was also a famous tanka poet. Some of her poems are included in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, which is still used in karuta to this day.

Fujimaru 2: She's the tanka poet who wrote The Tale of Genji!

Mash: That's right!

Mash: As a Heroic Spirit, she manifested as a Caster, and I believe she specializes in Eastern magecraft.

Mash: The results speak for themselves. She used her own magical energy to make this underground library from scratch...

Mash: ...converted all the books saved as files in our database into physical objects...

Mash: ...and now lends them out to the Servants and staff for free.

Murasaki Shikibu: Magecraft...?

Murasaki Shikibu: You think I created this library with magecraft...?

Mash: Y-yes. Didn't you...?

Fou: Fou, fou.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Uh, yes. I suppose...I must have.

Murasaki Shikibu: I consider this a type of onmyoudou myself...

Murasaki Shikibu: A type of phenomenon where something miraculous is spun beyond mortal ken and bound with the mind.

Murasaki Shikibu: If such beautiful things as that are what you call magecraft...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...then I am sure what you said must be true, Lady Mash.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...To be perfectly honest...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...I was never very good at onmyoudou back in the Heian period.

Murasaki Shikibu: It is only now, as a Servant, that I find myself in command of so many skills I could never have managed before.

Murasaki Shikibu: I still have much to learn as a Caster, but I hope I can be of use to all of you nonetheless.

Fujimaru 1: Glad to have you with us!

Murasaki Shikibu: Thank you, Master. It is a pleasure to be here.

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Now, having said that...

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm so terribly sorry!

Murasaki Shikibu: ...I've made a terrible mistake!

Murasaki Shikibu: I really wanted to do things right this time, and make a fabulous Heroic Spirit debut...

Murasaki Shikibu: But then, it just happened...

Murasaki Shikibu: One of the books from a collection I made using my magical energy got away from me!

Fou: Fou, fooou!

Mash: Got away? So, you mean...a book's gone berserk?

Murasaki Shikibu: Yes, that's right. It was just this morning, when I was organizing the archive...

Murasaki Shikibu: There we go.

Murasaki Shikibu: Phew. I think that's enough stocking up for today.

Murasaki Shikibu: I feel bad, putting so many of these books away. People poured their hearts and souls into writing these words.

Murasaki Shikibu: I only hope they find their way to someone who truly appreciates them one day...

Murasaki Shikibu: Hm? Now what's this book? That's strange. I don't think I recognize it...

Murasaki Shikibu: What!?

Murasaki Shikibu: Why is it floating!?

Murasaki Shikibu: Eek!!!

Murasaki Shikibu: H-hey, what are you doing? Is that...!

Murasaki Shikibu: I put that in my bag specifically so...! S-stop! Don't absorb it!

Murasaki Shikibu: Give that back to me this instant!

Murasaki Shikibu: Ah!

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh no. Is it...gone!?

Murasaki Shikibu: ...This is all my fault. I should never have been so careless.

Murasaki Shikibu: Now one of the books I'd long kept in my library's archive has taken on a cursed life of its own.

Murasaki Shikibu: When it is not feeding on all the information and magical energy it can find in its vicinity...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...it runs around endlessly in an instinctual act of self-preservation.

Murasaki Shikibu: I've come to calling it the Cursed Book. (Sniff)...

Fou: Fooou, fou.

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Murasaki Shikibu: Back when I used to serve the Empress, Lady Shoushi, the other ladies-in-waiting used to pick on me for being too highbrow...

Murasaki Shikibu: I was so saddened by that experience that I refused to leave my chambers for a time...

Murasaki Shikibu: It wasn't until I began feigning the vapidity of an airhead that I only just started to fit in at work...

Murasaki Shikibu: But I really wanted to get it right this time!

Murasaki Shikibu: I was so determined to make a perfect debut as the Heroic Spirit of Books, and that you would all be glad I was here...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...(Sniff) But now, I've gone and ruined it all...

Fujimaru 1: Don't worry, everything will work out.

Fujimaru 2: It sounds like we just need to get that book back, no?

Mash: Right, Master! If this book is dangerous, we can't just let it run around doing whatever it wants!

Fou: Fou!

Murasaki Shikibu: ...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Y-you mean, you're not going to chastise me, Lady Mash? [♂ Lord /♀ Lady] Fujimaru?

Fujimaru 1: Of course not. Besides, everyone loves the new library.

Fujimaru 2: Nah, it's fine. Everyone makes mistakes.

Mash: Besides, we know from experience that all bets are off when it's Valentine's season!

Mash: Besides, we're in the legendary Wandering Sea right now. Anything could happen here!

Semiramis: Hm? Oh, good, it seems that was the right switch. Can you hear me?

Mash: Semiramis?

Semiramis: Yes, it is I.

Semiramis: Da Vinci was feeling ill, so I had little choice but to take over communications for her.

Semiramis: Now, uh, regarding the reason I am calling...

Semiramis: You see, um, we seem to have an, ah...emergency on our hands...

Semiramis: I noticed a strange book drawing near to my magical energy reserves I had set aside specifically for this year's Valentine's Day...

Semiramis: ...and it gobbled up every last drop. There is nothing left for this year's chocolate production at all.

Fujimaru 1: Did you say a strange book!?

Mash: She did, Senpai! That must be the Cursed Book...!

Fujimaru 2: All of it!?

Murasaki Shikibu: ...I'm so sorry...

Semiramis: It didn't seem to be one of the Demonic Books we usually face. Did it come from that library, by any chance?

Murasaki Shikibu: Yes, it did! Oh no, this is terrible...! This is just what I was afraid of!

Murasaki Shikibu: It's going around attacking people...!

Semiramis: Hm? What was that? This control panel is so strange, it's hard to make heads or tails of it...

Semiramis: Hmm. It looks like a number of magical energy signals are headed your way. You'll need to handle them on your own.

Fou: Fo, fou!?

Mash: Senpai!

Murasaki Shikibu: This is all my fault. I am so, so sorry.

Murasaki Shikibu: I have to put an end to this before anyone else gets hurt! Please, let me handle it!

Fujimaru 1: No way! We'll fight with you!

Fujimaru 2: No way! It's too dangerous to fight on your own!

Murasaki Shikibu: A-all right! ...Then let's go!


Mash: The hostile entities have been eliminated!

Fou: Fou fou.

Murasaki Shikibu: I can't believe the Cursed Book is transforming into a monster...

Fujimaru 1: There it is again...!

Murasaki Shikibu: Don't worry. It won't attack anyone ever again.

Murasaki Shikibu: I'll make sure of it!

Fou: Fou, fooou.

Mash: The Cursed Book has been recovered... Does that mean this case is now closed?

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm afraid not. Just a moment...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...There, I've completed my analysis.

Murasaki Shikibu: This is not the original Cursed Book. It's a separate book that was given some of the stolen chocolate resources.

Mash: So, the Cursed Book can use the magical energy it absorbed to make copies itself. Then, if we don't do something...

Murasaki Shikibu: Yes. It won't stop until every book in the library has been similarly cursed.

Murasaki Shikibu: But, if we can recover the original Cursed Book, we should be able to neutralize all of the copies with a single recovery ritual!

Fou: Fooou, fou!

Murasaki Shikibu: For the moment, I've sealed off all the books in this library, so now it will only be able to curse books that have already been checked out.

Semiramis: In that case, it should not be too difficult to find this Cursed Book.

Semiramis: So, be quick about it, Fujimaru!

Fujimaru 1: Yeah, yeah, I know. It's all up to me again.

Semiramis: One “yeah” is quite enough, thank you.

Fujimaru 2: By the way, what was the deal with those Choco Dragon Tooth Warriors...?

Semiramis: They were the same as the ones from last year, no? Then the Cursed Book must have made them as well.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Yes, it did. I am so sorry.

Semiramis: ...Murasaki Shikibu, was it?

Murasaki Shikibu: Y-yes?

Semiramis: If indeed you are of noble upbringing, then do not be so quick to bow your head.

Semiramis: ...Hmph.

Murasaki Shikibu: !

Murasaki Shikibu: Y-yes, you're right. I'm so sorr–I mean, thank you.

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Murasaki Shikibu: [♂ Lord /♀ Lady] Fujimaru, I can't thank you enough for all your help.

Murasaki Shikibu: Having had a chance to participate in a battle as a Servant myself now, I understand how woefully inexperienced I am.

Murasaki Shikibu: I feel bad that Lord Seimei wasted so much of his time trying to teach such a poor student as me...

Murasaki Shikibu: But inexperienced as I may be, I will do whatever I must to clean up this mess I have made!

Fujimaru 1: We'll help too, Murasaki.

Murasaki Shikibu: Thank you. Truly.

Murasaki Shikibu: I will never forget this debt I owe you, [♂ Lord /♀ Lady] Fujimaru of Chaldea.

Fou: Fou, fooou! Kyaaau!

Mash: I guess that means we're going on a book hunt then, Senpai! Look, even Fou is excited about it!

Murasaki Shikibu: So I see! All right then, this librarian is officially taking some time off!

Murasaki Shikibu: After all, those books aren't going to hunt themselves!

Section 2: Chaldea is Delicious

Murasaki Shikibu: I see. This certainly is a lively place...

Fujimaru 1: First time at a cafeteria?

Murasaki Shikibu: In fact, yes.

Murasaki Shikibu: Usually, I prefer to keep to myself, surrounded by nothing more than books and words.

Murasaki Shikibu: I have no wish to boast, but even as a child, I would frequently read books meant for male scholars.

Fujimaru 2: I take it you don't usually leave the library much?

Murasaki Shikibu: No, I suppose I don't. My intention is not to be a shut-in, though...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...but I suppose I do usually end up perusing my library's collections whenever I have a spare moment.

Murasaki Shikibu: I was unaware just how much I had neglected to get to know so many others. This simply will not do.

Mash: People often gather at the cafeteria, so it should be the perfect place to look for a lead on the Cursed Books!

Fou: Fou???

Mash: Semiramis and I will be supporting you and Murasaki Shikibu from the Command Room, Senpai.

Mash: Mr. Holmes is on break, and Da Vinci seems to be genuinely exhausted, so...

Semiramis: Never mind Holmes. The reason for his indisposition is hardly a secret.

Semiramis: Da Vinci was actually having trouble walking straight, so it's clear that she should sit this one out.

Semiramis: Now then, as for this “original Cursed Book” or whatev–

Tamamo Cat: Oh? Is that yet another new face I spot?

Tamamo Cat: At first glance you'd think you weren't getting enough to eat, but you've clearly been packing the pounds on in other places.

Tamamo Cat: Welp, no matter how impossible your proportions might be, we cats don't turn away customers.

Tamamo Cat: So go ahead and help yourself to some of this cat's home cooking, woof! I'll even throw in a ninety-nine-percent newbie discount!

Boudica: What's going on here?

Boudica: Oh, if it isn't Fujimaru...and the librarian! What a nice surprise to see you here. I'm guessing you must be hungry.

Tamamo Cat: And the librarian lady looks real down in the dumps. How about a sandwich? Everyone loves sandwiches.

Tamamo Cat: Oh, wait. Sorry, lady with the beautiful hands, but we cats just aren't cut out to cook bookworms...

Tamamo Cat: Not for lack of trying, mind. It's just that we can't find the buggers no matter how hard we look...

Murasaki Shikibu: I, uh, I see... Um, do you all know this cat woman, or...?

Emiya: Sorry 'bout that. Try not to pay too much attention to what she says.

Emiya: Nice to see you here in the cafeteria for once, Murasaki Shikibu. This your first time leaving the library?

Fujimaru 1: I see you know everyone besides Cat.

Fujimaru 2: You're pretty famous, Murasaki.

Murasaki Shikibu: I-I-I'm so sorr–

Semiramis: Ahem. She and that Master there are looking for a book. One bound with an unusual type of magical energy.

Semiramis: Would any of you know anything about such a book, Heroic Spirits of the kitchen?

Murasaki Shikibu: (Lady Semiramis...)

Emiya: I mean, it's not like the ONLY thing we ever do is cook...

Boudica: I've definitely seen a lot of Servants reading books lately...but I can't say I've seen any quite like that.

Emiya: There was that one writer Servant. He's pretty much always got a book with him...

Emiya: ...but lately, he's been bringing whole stacks of them to the table. Did so just this morning, in fact.

Boudica: Oh, right! He has been reading even more than usual lately, hasn't he.

Emiya: Guess it's the new hotness.

Boudica: True. Heck, even we've been reading a lot lately. It's so much fun, learning all these new things.

Tamamo Cat: Thanks for waiting, ladies and germs! Cat's back with an all-new entree!

Tamamo Cat: This baby's overflowing with spice née intelligence, and is the perfect addition to any cafeteria kitchen!

Tamamo Cat: I give you...us kitchen Heroic Spirits' unsung hero!

Tamamo Cat: “Shirasagi's One Hundred Recipes: Cooking So Simple Even Batty Can Do It”!

Fujimaru 1: Hold up!

Fujimaru 2: If this is going where I think it's going...!

Fou: Fou fou!

Tamamo Cat: Huh? Is there something weird about this book I had Raikou borrow for me?

Murasaki Shikibu: Pardon me, Lady Cat!

Tamamo Cat: What the woof!? Why did my book jump outta my paws like a bunny outta hell!?

Murasaki Shikibu: I knew it! This is one of the Cursed Books!

Mash: I'm picking up an unusual magical energy reading from that book! I'll call it a Cursed Book Signal for the time being!

Murasaki Shikibu: Pardon me, everyone! I need to recover this book right away!


Emiya: ...That oughta do it.

Murasaki Shikibu: Cursed Book, return to me!

Mash: The Cursed Book has been recovered! It doesn't have much magical energy, so I'm guessing–

Murasaki Shikibu: Yes. It seems this was not the original Cursed Book. Fortunately, we can at least be certain that it was one with which the original shared its magical energy.

Murasaki Shikibu: I apologize once again for all the trouble I've caused you, kind chefs.

Boudica: Hahaha, if you think this is trouble, you obviously haven't been in many cafeterias! I'm still not sure what's going on here, but don't worry about us.

Boudica: Compared to you-know-who seeing Nero's face and going wild, Salieri acting up, one of Phantom's episodes, or Berserkers you can't reason with...

Boudica: Well, let's just say we're used to things not always running smoothly around here.

Tamamo Cat: For sure. There's pretty much always something on fire in the kitchen, figuratively and literally.

Tamamo Cat: It's gonna take way more than a little flying book action to make us bat an eye.

Emiya: There you have it.

Emiya: If you're in a hurry, Murasaki Shikibu, we won't keep you here...

Emiya: ...but I hope you'll come back sometime for a more leisurely cup of tea when you can.

Murasaki Shikibu: Thank you, everyone. That sounds lovely.

Fou: Fou!

Fujimaru 1: Next stop: the writer Servants' room!

Mash: Understood!

Section 3: Writer's Path

Shakespeare: Andersen, my friend! My comrade in pens! Would you be so kind as to grab me a book from that mountain over there?

Andersen: Are you just incapable of addressing someone without foisting friendship or whatnot upon them?

Andersen: You know, on second thought, I don't have to do a damn thing for you. Get it yourself if you want it that badly.

Andersen: That mountain of books is eerily well-balanced.

Andersen: If I pull any one of them out, it'll cause a book-a-lanche that would certainly bury me alive and then come after you.

Shakespeare: What a shame that is to hear! Though I must say, if you had to die, wouldn't being buried by books be the best way to go?

Andersen: Don't be an idiot. I could never rest in peace if I went out like that.

Andersen: I'm already killing myself to get these drafts done. If I have to die, I want it to be by something other than books for once.

Shakespeare: Hmm, I see. I suppose that is one way in which you and I differ. You always put your life above all else–even your stories!

Andersen: Hmph. Guess it just goes to show that, unlike you, I'm not so happy-go-lucky as to want to filter everything that happens to me through the lens of comedy.

Andersen: Anyway, what's that book you just finished reading there?

Shakespeare: The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. I plan on delving into The Tales of Ise next.

Caesar: Oh? I didn't realize Far Eastern literature was your thing now, Lord Shakespeare. Hahaha, it's mine too, would you believe?

Caesar: As you can see, I've most recently read the Kokinshu, the Gosenshu, and the Shuishu!

Shakespeare: You don't say, Lord Caesar! What strange coincidences are these! Your choices do strike me as oddly lopsided, but never mind that!

Shakespeare: I should have known a man of your grace would appreciate the finer pleasures of poetry.

Andersen: Grace? Your ulterior motives couldn't be plainer if you had them tattooed to your foreheads, you boobs.

Andersen: You just heard those are the widowed librarian's favorites and you're looking for a way to get into her ruffly skirt.

Caesar: Other people's wives!

Shakespeare: Are something special!

Dictator & Playwright: (Secret handshake)

Andersen: ...(Sigh) Sorry about that, guys. I can't always stop them from horsing around like that in here.

Red Hare: Horsing around?

Red Hare: Don't be absurd. I am Lu Bu, obviously.

Red Hare: What is Lu Bu doing reading books, you ask? Good question. All I can say is that...I am Lu Bu. Yup.

Red Hare: So if I read a book, that means Lu Bu reads it too. Do you understand my logic?

Chen Gong: You're the one who's mistaken, Red Hare. I believe Lord Andersen was addressing Master, not us.

Andersen: Good grief. So much for my idea to move to a real study instead of the simulator just so I could bring in real books.

Andersen: It's so damn noisy in here I can't get anything done.

Andersen: At this rate, I'd've been better off holing up in a hotel and working on a Little Mermaid sequel or something.

Andersen: Eh, why bother. Anyone with half a brain could see the twist that she's actually half sea serpent coming a kilometer away.

Fujimaru 1: It sure is lively in here!

Mash: Yes, it's very lively! Usually the study is kind of...quiet, but today it's like...well...

Fujimaru 2: Seems like things escalated quickly here!

Mash: Uh, yes, it does!

Mash: Usually, it's just Andersen and Shakespeare in here, along with the occasional visit from Caesar...

Mash: But it's very lively in here today. It's almost like...uh...

Red Hare: Neigh.

Red Hare: What were you going to say, young lady? That it's like a stable in here?

Mash: N-no, it's not that. I was going to say it's like...

Mash: ...a writers' lounge...?

Red Hare: Oh, okay. Sorry about that. I ought to know better since I'm Lu Bu. Say, just out of curiosity, how do you feel about horses?

Mash: Horses? Well, uh...I think they have very gentle eyes.

Red Hare: Neigh hah!

Fou: Fou! Fooou!

Red Hare: Oh, sorry again. I was just so happy to hear that I couldn't help myself. Not that I have any connection to horses, of course, seeing as I'm Lu Bu and all!

Chen Gong: Easy, Red Hare. Why don't you take a break and go have some of the feed I brought along? See, it's right over there.

Red Hare: Neigh-heeeigh!

Murasaki Shikibu: ...There are so many different Heroic Spirits here!

Murasaki Shikibu: I had no idea there were any that resembled horses like that.

Murasaki Shikibu: If I'd stayed in the library, I might have gone my entire manifestation without ever learning a thing.

Murasaki Shikibu: And then there are all the different ways they interact with one another... What a moving sight.

Murasaki Shikibu: And above all...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...it's such a thrill to see Heroic Spirits of the authors I admire go about their daily lives!

Murasaki Shikibu: This is one of the luckiest days of my life! Well, of my manifestation, that is!

Fujimaru 1: You're quite the fangirl aren't you?

Murasaki Shikibu: A-am I? Perhaps I am...

Fujimaru 2: That's one way to look at the bright side!

Murasaki Shikibu: Ah!

Murasaki Shikibu: I was so happy that I forgot myself...

Murasaki Shikibu: I was like this back when I was alive during the Heian period, too. I was always in awe of people who had proven their intelligence and talent through their beautiful poetry.

Murasaki Shikibu: In fact, I would often introduce myself by saying, “Murasaki Shikibu, aka Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko! My mental age is 19 years old, and my type of man is anyone like Lord Ariwara-no-Narihira!”

Murasaki Shikibu: N-Not that Ariwara-no-Narihira and I lived in the same time period, of course... He was a great source of inspiration for me, however.

Shakespeare: Please, tell me more!

Shakespeare: I would love to hear all about the day-to-day life of the Far East's most esteemed female author!

Shakespeare: And I must say, it is fascinating to hear you speak in person! The very lilt of your voice is enough to stir my pen!

Caesar: Oh yes. There truly is something special about women of nobility.

Caesar: Your demeanor is exceptionally pleasant as well. You practically radiate poetic sentiment.

Shakespeare: ...Forgive me for being so brazen, but I have also heard rumors of your palace romances.

Shakespeare: If you would be so kind, I would like nothing more than to interview you about the ups and downs of romance in Far Eastern noble society.

Caesar: Oh? Does that mean your interest in her is purely professional, Lord Shakespeare?

Caesar: Hahaha, not that it matters to me one way or the other, of course. Hahaha.

Shakespeare: Hahaha! I believe you had best hold your tongue, friend, lest your dear wife make an unannounced appearance!

Andersen: If you don't put a stop to this, they're going to go on leering forever. Go on. Speak up.

Andersen: You cursing them out would go a long way toward keeping these fools in line.

Murasaki Shikibu: O-oh no, I couldn't possibly! I'm...I'm just so honored to have such illustrious company take an interest in me.

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Andersen: Hm?

Murasaki Shikibu: Well, um...

Murasaki Shikibu: I know it's presumptuous of me, but if you should ever be inclined to write a new story...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...I was kind of hoping you might be willing to donate it to my library?

Andersen: What, now that you're a Heroic Spirit, you fancy yourself an editor? Not that I don't understand how you feel!

Andersen: This is a chance you won't ever find elsewhere! Not even in heaven or hell!

Andersen: Believe me, whenever Shakespeare writes something new, I make sure to read it before anyone–

Andersen: ...Never mind. I shouldn't have said that. There's something about you that makes me relax my guard. Maybe because you remind me of someone?

Andersen: I...think that's enough of this. Yes. No more. This conversation is over.

Andersen: Now, what are you lot doing here, anyway?

Andersen: Surely you didn't come here just to see which of these idiots can embarrass themselves the worst.

Andersen: What is it? Go on, spit it out.

Andersen: A Cursed Book, huh. I guess I could see that happening with Eastern curses.

Andersen: I don't mind sussing it out for you, but I barely even know any magecraft, let alone curses.

Shakespeare: Likewise! Hahaha, after all, we are students of the pen, not the wand!

Caesar: I'm not even a Caster!

Andersen: There you have it. So if you want to turn the place upside down to look for this book, feel free.

Andersen: I still haven't cleaned up here since the move, so it's not like you could mess it up more.

Murasaki Shikibu: Okay! In that case, I'll just go ahead...

Fou: Fou, fooou!

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh...! There ARE Cursed Books in this study! More than one, in fact!

Mash: I'm seeing their signals on my end, too! They're rapidly boosting their magical energy in response to your detection curse!

Mash: Look out, Senpai! They're about to take on physical form!

Fujimaru 1: Let's get to work!

Fujimaru 2: Come on, authors, help us out here!

Andersen: ...I swear. How many times have I told you I don't do hard labor?

Shakespeare: Now, Andersen don't be like that. I believe Master here is ordering us to help for our own sakes. Especially since we haven't partaken in the farming of Embers as of late!

Caesar: In other words, a little exercise would do us good, eh? True, I suppose I have let myself go juuust a bit.

Caesar: Besides, now that I think about it, this is an excellent opportunity to show off in front of a most exquisite lady! Two birds, one glorious stone!

Caesar: Don't you worry about a thing, beautiful librarian. Just stand back and witness our prowess!!

Murasaki Shikibu: Okay!


Red Hare: Now's your chance, beautiful black-garbed lady!

J:Commentary: Update: Red Hare heard the commotion and came back to help in the interval! Meanwhile, the author Heroic Spirits were entirely wiped out!

Murasaki Shikibu: Thank you, kind horse with the gallant, entirely unhorselike voice!

Murasaki Shikibu: Cursed Books, return to me!

Mash: You've recovered more of the Cursed Books! But...I'm afraid they don't have much magical energy either.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Indeed.

Murasaki Shikibu: Still, while they may not be the original Cursed Book, I can't let them run around doing whatever they please.

Murasaki Shikibu: Thank goodness I was able to recover them. Thank you all so much for your help.

Andersen: Hmm. Books checked out from the underground library, huh...

Andersen: You said it's possible this original Cursed Book could be mixed in among books like that, right?

Murasaki Shikibu: I did.

Andersen: Well, I remember seeing that girl carrying an armful of them.

Fujimaru 1: Which girl?

Fujimaru 2: Who are you talking about?

Andersen: You know, that one with the glasses who's into manga and doujin and stuff.

Mash: Oh! I know who he means now, Senpai!

Fujimaru 1: Osakabehime!

Andersen: Let's go pay her a visit then.

Andersen: What? Her room's not that far from my study, and the least I can do is show you the way.

Section 4: Himeji Doujin Monogatari

Andersen: ... ...

Andersen: ...She's not answering.

Mash: I'm not reading Osakabehime's magical energy signal either. It looks like she's not in her room.

Mash: There's also no Cursed Book Signal, so I don't think we need to worry about getting inside.

Murasaki Shikibu: I see...

Andersen: I didn't think she ever left her room if she could help it. ...Well, at least I have an idea where she might be.

Andersen: Now that I've come this far, I might as well show you the rest of the way, too. At least it'll be something different.

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm so sorry to make you go to all this trouble...

Andersen: Eh, I'm just helping out a bit on my way back to my easy chair. If you really want to thank me, you can lend me one of your rarer books.

J:Commentary: Despite his cold, off-putting demeanor...

J:Commentary: ...Mr. Andersen found himself unable to abandon Murasaki in her time of need.

Fou: Fou!?

Mash: !

Andersen: Hm? What is it? Why're you looking at me like that?

Fujimaru 1: When did we get a commentary track here?

Fujimaru 2: You mean I wasn't just imagining things!?

Andersen: Commentary?

Murasaki Shikibu: Ah! I-I-I'm so sorry, Lord Andersen! I just...couldn't help it...

Mash: Wh-what was that just now!? Did anyone else see that commentary floating above your heads?

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Oh, this is just mortifying.

Murasaki Shikibu: This is the only technique I ever managed to learn from Lord Abe-no-Seimei...

Murasaki Shikibu: Taizan Commentary Fest.

Fujimaru 1: Taizan...

Fujimaru 2: Commentary Fest...

Murasaki Shikibu: Merely something I came up with. Nothing to do with the resurrection ritual of the Taoist god with a similar name.

Fou: Fooou.

Murasaki Shikibu: I didn't even want to learn it, but I acquired it almost by osmosis while I was around Lord Seimei...

Murasaki Shikibu: It's a dreadful technique that exemplifies the worst of Lord Seimei's mischievousness...

Murasaki Shikibu: It creates a sort of running commentary that anyone can see or hear...save the one being commented on!

Murasaki Shikibu: The commentary cannot lie outright, but it can reveal very painful truths!

Murasaki Shikibu: I remember this one scary monk once told me “Such shame...such cowardice! Mmmm, yes, I have seen this technique's true nature.”

Murasaki Shikibu: It still gives me chills to think about it...

Fujimaru 1: A scary monk, huh...

Fujimaru 2: Mmmm, something about the way he speaks sounds familiar...

Murasaki Shikibu: He warned it was not a technique to be used lightly, b-but I'm afraid I went and activated it in spite of myself...

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm afraid I often end up doing that whenever I relax my guard... It's almost like a curse...

Mash: A-are you sure it isn't? Because it really does sound like one...

Fou: Fooou.

Murasaki Shikibu: Please forgive me, Lord Andersen!

Andersen: Hmph. I got commented on all the time, it's nothing new to me.

Andersen: How many critical and faux-critical reviews do you think we writers have suffered by now? Not to mention all that painful amateur analysis!

Andersen: If I had a dime for every slanderous accusation that's been thrown my way, I could have retired after my first book!

Andersen: Don't be an idiot, Shikibu. You're an author; you know what it's like.

Andersen: We writers are expected to have a monologue or two ready to go at all times.

A:Andersen (Commentator): “...Not to mention, this commentary must be from the great Eastern genius writer, Murasaki Shikibu.”

A:Andersen (Commentator): “What greater honor could there be than that? Any man, no, writer worth his salt should be so lucky.”

A:Andersen (Commentator): Thus, Andersen, still smiling, secretly decided to brag about this to Shakespeare later.

Murasaki Shikibu: Lord Andersen...

Fujimaru 1: Ander...

Fujimaru 2: (I think...I just saw the ultimate tsundere in action...)

Andersen: Hm? Now don't you start too, Fujimaru. I told you not to worry about it.

J:Commentary: Indeed, Mr. Andersen, with his sky blue hair and matching eyes, spoke not a hint of falsehood.

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh no, there it goes again...! I'm so sorry!

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh gosh, oh gosh...

Andersen: ...So you really don't have any control over it, do you. Since I was the one commented on, I obviously have no idea what it said...

Andersen: ...but as a fellow author, I doubt you could have had it say anything that was wrong. Stop apologizing so much.

Andersen: Now come on. We're going to find Osakabehime and take care of these Cursed Books!

J:Commentary: “Life in Chaldea isn't quite like life anywhere else. Here, adventure could knock on your door at any time at all.”

J:Commentary: Thus, resigned to his fate, Mr. Andersen decided he may as well stick around until the Cursed Books were disposed of once and for all.

Fujimaru 1: There it goes again...

Fou: Fooou!

Mash: This is...the library's reception desk.

Mash: I guess this means we're back where we started...

Andersen: Osakabehime's been coming to the library a lot lately, so since she wasn't in her room, I figured we'd find her here.

Andersen: Look, there's a note left on your desk.

Murasaki Shikibu: Let's take a look. Hmm. Whoever wrote it has lovely handwriting.

Murasaki Shikibu: “Hi, Librarian. You weren't here when I showed up, so being the kind princess that I am, I'll put these books back on the shelves myself.”

Murasaki Shikibu: What kind, beautiful lettering. I can almost see her personality leaping off the page.

Andersen: Oh?

Mash: Ah.

Mash: I just realized I forgot to tell you!

Mash: In addition to running the library, Murasaki Shikibu also holds calligraphy and creative writing classes.

Mash: Oh, and proper letter-writing too...

Andersen: I see. That does sound like it would be right up her alley.

Murasaki Shikibu: I just wanted to be of whatever help I could to anyone who wished they had beautiful handwriting...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...or who wanted to better express their innermost feelings.

Murasaki Shikibu: It's not much, but I do hope it's something.

Fou: Fou, fou!

Andersen: All right, let's go look for Osakabehime. She said she was going to put some books back on their shelves, right?

Murasaki Shikibu: Just a moment, please. It would seem...that her note wasn't the only one left here!

Murasaki Shikibu: Um...

Murasaki Shikibu: “Then I will too.” “Me too.” “Me three.” “Same.” “As shall I.” “Likewise.”

Andersen: ...Ugh, great! Just our luck that they all had to run off inside the library!

Fujimaru 1: Let's go after them!

Murasaki Shikibu: Okay!

Mash: I'll close the hall to the library, just in case!

Fujimaru 2: Maybe we should seal off the entrance, too.

Mash: Right, Senpai! I'll make sure to close off the hall to the library.

Mash: If anyone else shows up there, I'll send a message letting them know to wait until you get there.

Andersen: That should work. All right, come on.

Osakabehime: Hm hm hmm♪

Osakabehime: What a nice princess I am, putting books back where I got them♪

Osakabehime: ...I guess that would technically be against the rules in most libraries...

Osakabehime: ...but it looks like they don't even keep track of who's checked out what in this one.

Osakabehime: I'm sure it'll be daijoubu since I let the librarian know what I was doing. Hm hm hmm.

Mash: There she is!

Andersen: Good, we found her.

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh... It's her! The girl in glasses who frequents my library...!

Fujimaru 1: Osakabehime, wait! Don't return that boook!

Osakabehime: Master! A-a-a-and Murasaki-paisen!? I mean, Senpai!?

Osakabehime: Oh gosh, oh gosh oh gosh...! N-n-n-now what am I gonna do!?

Osakabehime: Murasaki and I both love books, and we're both Japanese Servants who are big into literature! There can't be room for both of us in the lineup!

Osakabehime: This is exactly why I've been trying to avoid running into her and Ma-chan at the same time!

Fou: ...Fou?

Fujimaru 1: Uh...

Fujimaru 2: I wouldn't say you're THAT similar...

Mash: I'm...not sure what to say...

Osakabehime: Oh come on! We're both into books, we're both gloomy... We're practically identical twins! Right, Ma-chan!?

Murasaki Shikibu: U-um, Osakabehime!? Putting aside how similar we might be, could you let me see those books you checked out!?

Murasaki Shikibu: Also, have you noticed any books you don't recognize, by any chance!?

Osakabehime: Huh? You want to see my books? Well sure, that's fine with...

Osakabehime: Wait. Y-y-you mean, here? In front of Ma-chan!?

Osakabehime: Kyaa!

Osakabehime: How is my book floating on its own...!?

Mash: This is a Cursed Book Signal if ever I saw one! It's very strong, too!

Andersen: So given what happened in the study, I'm guessing these things turn into enemies and try to attack us?

Murasaki Shikibu: That's right! But once we defeat it, it will turn back into the book it used to–

Osakabehime: N-n-n-no, please! Anything but that!

Osakabehime: I can't let Ma-chan see what I was reading!!!

Mash: The Cursed Book has transformed into an Eastern-style hydra! Be careful, it has a lot of magical energy, too!

Osakabehime: S-stay back! Please! Yamete kudastooop!

Fujimaru 1: Sorry about this, Osakabehime!

Fujimaru 2: I'll do my best not to look at the title!

Osakabehime: Nooo!

Mash: H-huh!? It looks like...Osakabehime has sided with the Cursed Book serpent...!

Andersen: She really was serious about not wanting Master here to see what the book was... The author in me sympathizes.

Andersen: All right, I'm not here to judge. Let's take down this serpent and I guess try not to hurt Osakabehime much!


Andersen: It's over. Eh, you keep writing about certain things long enough, you're bound to go a little crazy from time to time.

Fou: Fou. Fooou. (Special Translation: You call this a LITTLE crazy?)

Murasaki Shikibu: Don't worry, Osakabehime! I'll do my best to keep the Cursed Book's title out of sight while I recover it!

Mash: I've confirmed that you've recovered the Cursed Book. It does have a lot of magical energy...

Mash: ...but it's still less than a quarter of the energy that was stolen. Which means this isn't the original, either...

Osakabehime: (Sniff)... (Sniff)...

Osakabehime: Waaah! This is a nightmare! Not only did I make a complete baka of myself, I didn't even put up a good fight...

Osakabehime: As if being too similar to her wasn't bad enough... I'm not even a good writer. All I've ever made is doujin...

Osakabehime: I've never written any historic novels, let alone any masterpieces or classics... (Sniff)...

Osakabehime: Why would Ma-chan want to keep a pale imitation like me around when [♂ he /♀ she] could have the real thing with Murasaki-senpai...

Osakabehime: (Sob)

Fujimaru 1: It's okay. Really.

Osakabehime: (Sob) Ma-chan...?

Fujimaru 1: Nobody could ever replace you.

Fujimaru 2: You're not an imitation of her at all.

J:Commentary: Fujimaru spoke from the heart, without a hint of dishonesty.

Osakabehime: !

Osakabehime: Is that...Murasaki-senpai's strange, sort of automatic commentary track technique? The one that only says things that are true...?

Murasaki Shikibu: I call it Taizan Commentary Fest. Osakabehime, [♂ Lord /♀ Lady] Fujimaru is right. You and I are nothing alike.

Murasaki Shikibu: We may both like to put pen to paper to express our thoughts and feelings...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...but in my mind, that only makes us comrades, regardless of our different time periods.

Osakabehime: Waaah! Paisen! Ma-chan!

Osakabehime: Gomenasorry! I should never have acted up like that! But I'm really, really glad Ma-chan never saw that book's title!

Osakabehime: If [♂ he /♀ she] had, I think my poor little princess kokoro would have brokoro into a million pieces... (Sniff)

Murasaki Shikibu: There, there. You have nothing to apologize for. This was all my fault to begin with.

Osakabehime: (Sniff) Paisen...

Murasaki Shikibu: There, there.

Fujimaru 1: I'm glad everything worked out.

Fujimaru 2: You two really are good friends, aren't you?

Andersen: Hey. In case you've forgotten, we're a long way from happily ever after here. We still haven't found the original Cursed Book, and we don't even know where to look.

Andersen: So come on, let's get moving. We can start by checking all the books those other Servants came here to return!

Mash: It's so nice of you to help us like this, Andersen!

Andersen: Believe me, if there was someone else you could ask, I'd be gone in a heartbeat. But, in for a penny, in for a pound, as my colleague might say.

Andersen: ...All right, how long are you gonna keep cuddling each other!? Let's go already!

Murasaki Shikibu: Okay!

Osakabehime: I-I still don't know what's going on here, but I'll come along too!

Section 5: The Sorrows of Young Valkyrie

Ortlinde: ...This should be the place.

Hildr: Hmm, it'd be kind of a waste to return it now. Maybe I'll hang onto it a little longer.

Thrúd: There is no need for that. Remember, we are the Valkyries.

Thrúd: As long as one of us has read a book to completion, it will forever persist in our shared memory.

Hildr: Yeah, I know, but there's just something about paper books.

Hildr: It's exciting to turn a new page, even when you know what happens next.

Ortlinde: True... That is a good point.

Thrúd: I disagree. One can easily attain similar feelings even with electronic and Spiritronic information.

Thrúd: Besides...

Thrúd: Sentiment is for humans. As are emotions.

Thrúd: As Valkyries, we have no need for either.

Hildr: Aww man.

Ortlinde: Very well then, let's return these books. We can inform the librarian of their ret–

Mash: There! I found three Heroic Spirits who seem to have come here to return some books!

Osakabehime: A yuri story about three robot sisters... That could totally be moe...

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh, it's those three sisters. I remember them.

Andersen: The Norse Valkyries, huh. All right, let's see if they can be reasoned with.

Fujimaru 1: Heeey! Valkyries!

Fujimaru 2: Don't return those books just yet!

Thrúd: ...Master.

Hildr: Huh? Why're you here, Master?

Ortlinde: Estimation: Master has found something suspect about our actions...

Ortlinde: ...and wishes to check the books we are about to return accordingly.

Hildr: Wait, really!?

Thrúd: ... ...

Hildr: Uhh, h-hey there, Master! We're not up to anything weird here, I promise!

Hildr: There's nothing suspicious about us coming to the library a lot lately. It's not like we've all been checking out every single romance novel we can fi–

Thrúd: Hildr.

Hildr: Gyah!

Ortlinde: That's true. I borrowed Aesop's Fables, and cannot yet say for certain that it has no tales of romance.

Hildr: Really? I got Little Women, and there was definitely some love plots in that.

Thrúd: ... ...

Hildr: What about you, Thrúd?

Thrúd: I borrowed, uh...Wuthering Heights.

Andersen: Oho, fascinating. That's a tale of real passion. A very grown-up choice.

Andersen: If it's passion you're looking for, you should try The Tale of Genji next. In fact, I could read it aloud for you right now if you like.

Murasaki Shikibu: L-Lord Andersen...!

Osakabehime: (N-no way! That's downright sadistic! Does this mean four-eyes here was actually a heartless shota type all along!?)

Thrúd: The Tale of Genji?

Thrúd: No need.

Thrúd: I have already read it.

Hildr: Oh yeah, you didn't waste any time checking that one out. I remember it was one of the very first stories to be added to our shared memories.

Thrúd: It was a very...enigmatic story. It depicted mind games, affection, and other human things in great detail...

Thrúd: Yet despite that, it was also strangely entrancing. What about it?

Hildr: Hmm, you don't say.

Thrúd: Yes, I do say.

Ortlinde: You do?

Thrúd: I do.

Thrúd: (Gasp) Wait! That does not mean I... It's not as though I have any interest in human thinking myself...

J:Commentary: The two younger Valkyries, delighted to learn of their eldest sister's obsession, could not contain their glee.

Thrúd: Huh!?

Fujimaru 1: M-more commentary!?

Fujimaru 2: Maybe this really is a curse...

Thrúd: What? Why is my copy of Wuthering Heights floating in midair!?

Mash: Senpai, I'm getting another Cursed Book Signal! It appears to have the same amount of magical energy as the last one!

Andersen: Damn, another red herring. But we can't just leave it here. We'll have to deal with it now.

Osakabehime: Yosh! This is my chance to prove I can be useful!

Murasaki Shikibu: I'll start recovering this book right now! I'm sorry about this, Valkyries! I'll explain later, I promise!

Ortlinde: Situation understood. Emergency in the library. Preparing to counteract threat now.

Hildr: Don't worry! We've got this!

Thrúd: ...Very well. I, too, will assist you.

Mash: The Cursed Book has transformed into a giant ice beast! Please be careful, everyone!

Murasaki Shikibu: Very well then... Let us begin!


Ortlinde: ...Confirmed: The battle has concluded. Well done, everyone.

Hildr: Great work, team!

Mash: Murasaki! The Cursed Book has taken physical form again!

Murasaki Shikibu: Right! Not to worry, I have this under control. Cursed Book, return to me!

Thrúd: ...It would seem the emergency has been resolved. Now then, if you will excuse us.

Hildr: Huh? I don't think it's completely resolved yet, Thrúd.

Hildr: Andersen said this wasn't the right one, so doesn't that mean the original threat is still out there?

Thrúd: ... ...

Thrúd: ...Then, the three of us will take a different route to search the library. We will report back if we detect any similar magical energy readings.

Thrúd: How does that sound, Master?

Fujimaru 1: It sounds great. Thanks!

Fujimaru 2: That'd be a huge help.

Ortlinde: Thrúd...

Hildr: Did you just smile?

Thrúd: Of course not. Come, you two. Let's go.

Hildr: ...Hmph. Well, see you later, Master!

Andersen: Splitting your forces, huh. Not a bad idea. I don't know if they'll be able to recover any cursed books...

Andersen: ...but I doubt those three will have any trouble neutralizing them if they turn into monsters again.

Andersen: All that aside...

Andersen: If all three Valkyries are capable of materializing at the same time, why don't they do so more often?

Mash: Oh, I think I can answer that one.

Mash: It's because having all three of them materialize at once uses an excessive amount of magical energy, thanks to their unique Spirit Origin Ascension pattern.

Mash: At least, that's what Da Vinci said.

Andersen: ...I see. Well, we can't have them overexerting themselves, I suppose.

Andersen: Well, come on then. We need to hurry up and check the books everyone else is returning too!

Fujimaru 1: Right on!

Fujimaru 2: It'd be great if the original's here in the library.

Mash: Yes, it would...

Mash: There's a distinct possibility that it's hiding among the books that were lent out from the library...

Mash: But if we check each and every one of them, we're bound to find it eventually!

Murasaki Shikibu: Very well! Let us be on our way!

Section 6: Night Travels


Blackbeard: Y-you'll never get this book from me, you hear!

J:Commentary: Blackbeard, the legendary pirate, had apparently borrowed someone else's biography...

Jeanne Alter: The hell business is it of yours what I read!?

J:Commentary: It remains unclear exactly what Jeanne d'Arc Alter was trying to learn from her German dictionary.

Tristan: You have me all wrong, Master... I was merely curious to see what contemporary poets were writing about...

Tristan: I assure you, I had no intention whatsoever of making my own modern debut in the hope of finding romance... (Strum)

J:Commentary: Even while clearly holding a book titled “The Überbeginner's Guide to Singing” in his hands, Sir Tristan still found a way to play his harp.

Blackbeard: (Huff, puff...)

Blackbeard: Am I just seeing things...

Blackbeard: ...or did I just watch a library book I borrowed turn into a giant snake then get beaten to a pulp?

Fou: Fou fo.

Blackbeard: Gah! What was that all about!? If that had been a book about man's prowess in the boudoir, we'd have a fight to the death on our hands, you know!

Blackbeard: Lucky for you that it was just a biography of Captain Kidd!

Jeanne Alter: I don't give a rat's ass what you dipshits think. Besides, I was just brushing up on my German with that dictionary.

Tristan: Indeed, I too was pursuing a course of study, albeit one more focused on modern culture. What's more, my motive for doing so was chivalry itself...

Tristan: I merely wished to gain new wings so as to surpass my fated rival, Sir Lancelot... (Strum)

Fou: Fou. Fou, fo fooou? (Special Translation: Maybe we should just off Tristan now and be done with it?)

Murasaki Shikibu: I do hope you can all forgive me. I promise I will take great care not to let anything like this happen again!

Fujimaru 1: Sorry but it's so we can save the chocolate for Valentine's Day!

Fujimaru 2: We had to do this to save Valentine's Day, so...

Blackbeard: What's that? Did you say Valentine's?

Fou: Fou fou.

Blackbeard: Oho, why didn't you say so sooner! Of course I understand! Hell, I'll even help you out myself!

Blackbeard: Besides, I see you're accompanied by a Servant who's got a mind for the fine arts, and an even finer body...

Blackbeard: Once I show her what I've got, I bet I'll be rolling in chocolate!

Blackbeard: Maybe I'll get enough chocolate to make a trophy out of it! Neeheehee!

Fujimaru 1: You're a good egg sometimes, Blackbeard.

Fujimaru 2: I'm counting on you!

Blackbeard: Woohoo! You just leave it to me, Master!

Mash: There, you've been through the whole library now. Great work, Senpai.

Mash: The only place you haven't visited yet is the archive that's usually kept off-limits.

Mash: Everywhere else has been thoroughly checked.

Andersen: Guess this means those three were the last Servants to return here with checked-out books.

Andersen: We've got a good number of Cursed Books now, but we still haven't found the original.

Osakabehime: That's the one that made off with all the magical energy resources that were meant for Valentine's chocolate, right?

Mash: That's right. We've recovered a good amount of it by now, but we still don't have as much as last year.

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Andersen: Hmph. All things considered, it doesn't sound like there was that much magical energy involved.

Andersen: Come to cases, I could just spin a sob story for one of the really rich ancient kings and get them to cover the difference.

Fujimaru 1: I guess that would work, but...

Fujimaru 2: I don't know...

Andersen: ...Okay, yeah. That would be sort of an anticlimax, especially given all we've done...

Andersen: Problems like these should be overcome by a protagonist who's aware of their failings and is motivated to face them.

Andersen: Isn't that right, Murasaki?

Murasaki Shikibu: Yes! Absolutely!

Murasaki Shikibu: If we can't find the original Cursed Book in the library, I'm prepared to go back and search the rest of the base.

Mash: Well, if that's what you want, I can reopen the hall at any time...

Mash: ...but let me try scanning the entire library first, just to make sure the Cursed Book isn't hiding in there.

Andersen: Good idea. It'd be a real pain if this scoundrel were to flee the moment the shutters were opened.

Fujimaru 1: Thanks, Mash!

Mash: No problem!

Fujimaru 2: Just make sure you don't push yourself too hard, okay?

Mash: I won't, Senpai.

Mash: It will take about thirty minutes for the scan to finish, so this should be a good opportunity for you to rest.

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh, then why don't we go to my room behind the reception desk? It should be perfect for a break.

Osakabehime: A-as in, your private room? Oh wow, I've been to this library lots of times, but I've never seen inside there!

Osakabehime: This is kind of doki-doki, isn't it, Ma-chan?

Fujimaru 1: I...guess?

Andersen: As long as I get to sit down and rest my poor aching feet, I couldn't care less where it is. Now come on.

Fujimaru 2: There is something cool about having your home attached to your workplace.

Osakabehime: Yes! Exactly!

Murasaki Shikibu: It's right this way. Please, follow me.

Fou: Fou fou, fooou!

Osakabehime: Oh man, oh man, oh man! So this is what Murasaki-senpai's room looks like!

Osakabehime: ...Wait. Huh?

Fujimaru 1: It looks just like a hotel room.

Osakabehime: ...Specifically, a fancy luxury suite!

Fujimaru 2: This looks like...the rooms we had in Luluhawa...

Osakabehime: Exactly! Considering how much time we spent there I know that room like the back of my hand!

Osakabehime: What's going on!? I don't wakarunderstand!

Murasaki Shikibu: D-d-do you not like it? Oh no, maybe I should have gone with tatami mats after all...

Murasaki Shikibu: This room seemed so nice when I found it in Chaldea's database...so I thought I'd try to recreate it myself.

Osakabehime: R-recreate it!?

Osakabehime: Wow, I never knew onmyoudou could be so handy! It must be so nice being you, Senpai.

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm afraid my techniques are my take on Lord Seimei's teachings, so it isn't very representative of true onmyoudou...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...but I hope it will suffice to let you all rest for now.

Andersen: I don't have many fond memories of my bed in Luluhawa...but at least it's all top-notch stuff.

Andersen: Ahh...

Osakabehime: I'll go make some tea! You're all good with hot tea, right?

Fujimaru 1: Sounds good to me.

Osakabehime: You got it!

Fujimaru 2: I'd actually prefer cold...

Osakabehime: Hmm, I don't know how to use chilling magecraft... Is it okay if I take a peek in your refrigerator, Senpai?

Murasaki Shikibu: Yes, by all means. I think I still have some cold barley tea in there.

Osakabehime: Got it!

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Fujimaru 1: Is everything okay?

Fujimaru 2: You look like something's bothering you.

Murasaki Shikibu: O-oh, I'm sorry.

Murasaki Shikibu: You see...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...there's something I wish to recover more than anything else.

Murasaki Shikibu: Back when I first encountered the original Cursed Book in the archive...I had a letter taken from me.

Murasaki Shikibu: A very precious letter–full of beautiful expressions of love...

Murasaki Shikibu: I kept it close, but even so, it was taken from me so easily...

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...I'm sorry. I know I don't have any right to be concerned about this.

Murasaki Shikibu: The only thing I should be focusing on now is bringing this situation under control.

Fujimaru 1: We can be concerned about more than one thing at a time!

Fujimaru 2: If this letter means that much to you, we'll just have to get it back.

Murasaki Shikibu: Thank you, [♂ Lord /♀ Lady] Fujimaru.

Murasaki Shikibu: Your words have lifted a tremendous weight from my shoulders.

Fou: Fou, faaau.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Thank you too, Lord Fou.

Andersen: Shikibu. I don't have enough energy to bother sitting up right now, so I'm just going to lay down while we talk. But let me ask you this:

Andersen: Why would this book want to eat a letter?

Andersen: These Cursed Book monsters haven't had any problem defending themselves, but I've never seen one go out of their way to attack anyone.

Andersen: There's got to be some connection here.

Andersen: So we've got your letter. The Cursed Book.

Andersen: And...magical energy resources meant for producing chocolate.

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Murasaki Shikibu: I...I am a Heroic Spirit whose focus has always been putting feelings into words.

Murasaki Shikibu: Especially feelings of one person caring deeply for another.

Murasaki Shikibu: So all the books I have created are sensitive to feelings as well...

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm not entirely sure, but I think that must be what caused this mess.

Murasaki Shikibu: That is why...I believe the Cursed Book eats feelings.

Andersen: Okay, I'm awake! Now we're getting somewhere!

Andersen: Master. What's the main thing you know about the Cursed Books?

Fujimaru 1: They feed on nearby information.

Fujimaru 2: They feed on nearby magical energy.

Andersen: Right. They consume both nearby information, and nearby magical energy.

Andersen: But they don't do so indiscriminately. There's a condition that needs to be met first.

Andersen: To borrow Shikibu's words...the Cursed Books focus on information laden with emotion as well as magical energy.

Andersen: The former explains why one ate her letter, and the latter explains...

Fujimaru 1: The Valentine's chocolate resources!

Andersen: Exactly.

Andersen: Of course, that doesn't help us track down where the original Cursed Book is now, but at least it all makes sense.

Andersen: These Cursed Books may be a pain in the ass, but they're not going around eating anything and everything.

Andersen: So we don't have to worry about one eating, say, a Magical Reactor, or a Holy Grail, or even a Heroic Spirit's Spirit Core.

Andersen: Hell, compared to the other shit we've been through, this is hardly a blip on the radar.

Andersen: So no one is really going to mind that you're worried about your precious letter or whatever.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...!

Fujimaru 1: Hey, you look like you're feeling a little better now.

Murasaki Shikibu: I am!

Fujimaru 2: Thanks, Andersen.

Andersen: Don't thank me. I was just laying it all out.

Andersen: Still... Of all the things it could have been, it had to be feelings, huh. What's the deal with that?

Andersen: What, are you one of those types who bares your soul in letters, but can't actually bring yourself to give them to the person they're meant for?

Andersen: Ah well, it doesn't matter either way. Besides, it's a fitting story for Valentine's Day.

Semiramis: Pardon the intrusion. I see... This explains a great many things.

Semiramis: Despite the fact that these books consume magical energy, we have yet to hear of them attacking Servants.

Semiramis: Nor have they flocked towards the Magical Reactor, or tried to break into storage area for Holy Grails.

Amakusa Shirou: Haha, did you say Holy Grails? Do you...know where they're being kept?

Fou: Fou, fooou!?

Semiramis: Go away.

Osakabehime: I'm back! Who's ready for some tea?

Andersen: I'll have some. Heh, just as I thought. You have good taste in tea leaves.

Semiramis: Ah, yes, that reminds me: I have a message for you.

Semiramis: That Mash girl is hard at work on her scan, and says she will be done shortly. That is all.

Fujimaru 1: Thanks for telling us, Semiramis!

Semiramis: It was nothing. Truly.

Fujimaru 2: Would you mind, um...keeping an eye on Amakusa for me?

Semiramis: You need not even ask. Of course.

Fujimaru 1: Okay, tea, please!

Osakabehime: Here you go!

Andersen: Hm.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Thank you.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Ahh, this is so nice and warm.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...You are all so kind. So very warmhearted.

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...My place in the world:

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Why should it bring me grief? Mountain cherry...

Murasaki Shikibu: Blossom in my sight, Were it ever so...

Osakabehime: Ooh, ooh, I know that one! You wrote it yourself!

Andersen: Yes. That's one of the tanka poems included in the Goshui Wakashu, from Japan's Heian period. To elaborate, it means–

Osakabehime: “Why should I feel bad about the world I live in? If I could just look at it the same way I do flowers...”

Andersen: There are multiple interpretations, as with any renowned poem. Some consider it a reflection on the fragility of one's own life...

Andersen: ...but in this case, I think yours has the right idea.

Fujimaru 1: It's a lovely poem.

Murasaki Shikibu: Not at all. If it seemed that way to you...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...that is only because it reflects what lies in your own hearts.

Andersen: Ugh, you fools are far too emotional. Haven't I been telling you not to wring your hands over every little misstep?

Andersen: As for you, Osakabehime, how's a writer supposed to get any writing done if they keep bawling their eyes out with every line they write?

Andersen: Or do you just plan to go your whole life and manifestation without ever finishing a single book?

Fou: Fou, fooou. Fou.

Section 7: Letter from Chaldea

Mash: I'm sorry to interrupt your break, everyone!

Mash: But we have an emergency!

Fou: Fo!?

Osakabehime: Wh-wh-what happened!? Yeowch! I spilled my tea!

Mash: Several Cursed Books have destroyed the library's shutters from the outside! It looks like they broke right through the shutters' magecraft resistance!

Mash: They're somewhere inside the underground library as we speak... And that's not all!

Mash: I'm also getting emergency calls from Blackbeard and the Valkyries!

Hildr: Yeah, we found one of those monster books! We tried to punch its lights out, but it gave us the slip!

Ortlinde: It appears to have run off towards the back of the library. To be blunt, it got away from us.

Blackbeard: I WISH it was just one or two books! I can't even count how many I saw!

Murasaki Shikibu: The original must have continued to make more while we were inside the library... This is terrible...

Mash: Well, actually...

Mash: I found a single Cursed Book in the hall right before I finished my scan of the whole library.

Mash: I was just about to tell you about it when the shutters were destroyed...

Andersen: You think that's the original?

Mash: It's very possible. I'm looking at the readings for all the Cursed Books that broke into the library...

Mash: ...and they're all headed straight for the one that was hiding in the hall!

Fujimaru 1: To the hall!

Fou: Fooou!

Osakabehime: I-is this... Are we getting to the final battle? Sh-should I even be here!?

Andersen: Of course you're going to help us fight. Now come on! I'll show what it means to bring a story to a satisfying conclusion!

Fujimaru 2: That's where we saw Blackbeard, Jeanne, and Tristan, right?

Murasaki Shikibu: Yes, that's right!

Mash: Please be careful, everyone!

Murasaki Shikibu: Here! The hall is right up this way!

Mash: J-just a second! The Cursed Book Signal is showing some strange activity...!

Murasaki Shikibu: Lady Mash?

Mash: All the individual Cursed Book Signals seem to have coalesced into a single book...

Mash: I can tell they've all met up in the hall...but now they're headed to the space behind it!

Mash: It looks like this is–

Murasaki Shikibu: ...The archive?

Andersen: Let me pull up a map; it'll be faster. Yup. There's some kind of archive right behind the hall.

Andersen: So this is where these books are now?

Mash: This reminds me of something. It feels like...I'm looking at a beehive, or an ant colony!

Mash: These books are perfectly positioned to build a nest around their queen!

Fujimaru 1: ...This whole incident started in the archive, right?

Andersen: Now I see. So this queen book roamed the base creating offspring of a sort, and now they're all coming back to the nest. Well that's easy to grasp.

Fujimaru 2: So, like a homing instinct?

Andersen: A homing instinct, huh. That's definitely a possibility.

Andersen: At any rate...this is also our best chance to take these things down for good. Master!

Fujimaru 1: Let's go get them!

Andersen: Too late! We're under attack right now!

Fujimaru 2: (Put up your guard)

Osakabehime: Huh? What's going on?

Andersen: A battle! Master's already spotted them! Now get ready to fight, quickly!

Mash: I'm seeing more magical energy...no, Cursed Book Signals! A small group from the archive is headed your way!

Osakabehime: Kyaah!

Murasaki Shikibu: Then I shall meet them on the field of battle! It's time to clean up this mess I made once and for all!


Andersen: ...It's quiet. Too quiet.

Andersen: Even after all those Cursed Books flooded the halls earlier, I don't see so much as a page now. Looks like their leader knows when to reign in the troops.

Andersen: Where's the entrance to this archive?

Murasaki Shikibu: Right over here. I usually keep it hidden with one of my spells...

Fou: Fou!?

Osakabehime: Wow! To think there was a secret passageway behind those shelves! It's like a mage's workshop, or a masked vigilante's secret base...

Murasaki Shikibu: It's nothing special, really. Just an ordinary archive. All I do is try to keep it from drawing attention.

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Thank you all so much for everything. You've been a tremendous help to me.

Murasaki Shikibu: Now that my mess is almost cleaned up, I'll be doing this last part–

Fujimaru 1: With the rest of us, of course.

Fujimaru 2: Nuh-uh. I'm not letting you do this alone.

Andersen: What [♂ he /♀ she] said. It's not like [♂ he's /♀ she's] got anything better to do, after all. Nor is [♂ he /♀ she] the type to give up and go home after coming this far.

Andersen: So you may as well give up and let [♂ him /♀ her] keep helping you.

Andersen: What? You still feel sorry for getting us wrapped up in all this? Well too bad.

Andersen: You're a Chaldean Heroic Spirit now, so you'd better get used to others getting in your business, whether you like it or not.

Andersen: Besides, it's not like this is a Holy Grail War where lives are on the line. There's nothing wrong with a Servant leaning on their Master.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...All right.

Murasaki Shikibu: I won't resist your efforts to help me any longer.

Murasaki Shikibu: I would be glad to have you all accompany me to the very end...Master.

Fujimaru 1: ...Let's go!

Murasaki Shikibu: Okay!

Fou: Fooou!

Mash: I'm picking up a large magical energy signal...! This is definitely the biggest Cursed Book we've seen to date!

Mash: Everyone, please be careful!

Murasaki Shikibu: What an enormous Japanese-style bound book... It's as though it were the king of all books, or a dragon in book form.

Osakabehime: Wow, it's dekahuge! Super dekahuge! I-I mean Mecha Eli-chan is bigger...!

Osakabehime: ...but it's still really, really dekahuge! Are you sure we can fight it at human scale!?

Andersen: Great! So now we're up against a Great Cursed Book that feeds on human feelings! Can WE really bring it down? We don't exactly have any heavy hitters here!

Murasaki Shikibu: That's it. I'm certain this is the original Cursed Book!

Fujimaru 1: Only one thing left to do now!

Fujimaru 2: Come on, everyone! Let's get it!

Fou: Fou fou! Kyaaau!

Murasaki Shikibu: Very well then! Let's bring this last Cursed Book to heel right now!


Andersen: Now's your chance! Take it down!

Murasaki Shikibu: Okay!

Murasaki Shikibu: Bound as I am...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...these mourning robes are dyed but a shallow shade of gray...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Yet there are depths where the tears have made pools on my sleeves....

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Releasing Noble Phantasm, Tale of Genji, Aoi, Evil Spirit.

Murasaki Shikibu: Cursed Book...the last, and first, of your kind... Return to me now.

Mash: The Cursed Book has been recovered! Checking its magical energy now, and...Oh!

Mash: This is great! All of the chocolate resources have been restored!

Semiramis: Indeed, I can confirm as much myself. Everything the Cursed Book took has been returned.

Semiramis: Despite that woman's wailings about making a mess, I see no reason to be dissatisfied with these results.

Andersen: Well, well. That's quite merciful for an empress so notorious for being harsh. I'd even call it sweet. Whoa.

Semiramis: ...If you so much as mention the word “chocolate,” little scribe, I will have your head off where you stand.

Andersen: Who, me? Don't worry. I'd never be so foolish as to say that the stronger and scarier a woman is, the more susceptible she is to sweets.

Fou: Fou fou, fooou!

Osakabehime: Phew, I'm exhausted. You must be too, Murasaki-senpai! Congratulations on a job well done!

Murasaki Shikibu: And to you. I can't tell you all how grateful I am for your help.

Fujimaru 1: Did you get your precious letter back?

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Oh, yes. I did indeed. The letter is firmly back in my possession.

Murasaki Shikibu: Thank you, [♂ Lord /♀ Lady] Fujimaru!


Narration: After that...

Narration: Valentine's Day preparations, as well as the customary chocolate gift-giving went smoothly.

Narration: And it was not long before the newly built underground library reopened its doors.

Semiramis: It would seem all is well now. That silly Da Vinci even said...

Semiramis: “Go ahead and make as many magical energy-replenishing chocolates as you like, just like last year! No point in leaving any spare resources behind!”

Semiramis: Well, I suppose even they could use a break now and then.

Amakusa Shirou: I'm so glad things turned out okay. Really.

Amakusa Shirou: There doesn't seem to have been any real damage, so I'd say this was mild as far as Valentine's Day happenings go.

Semiramis: Do not get smart with me.

Amakusa Shirou: By the way, Assassin, you wouldn't happen to know where the Holy Grails–

Semiramis: No.

Amakusa Shirou: ...The Holy Grails–

Semiramis: Do not make me repeat myself.

Semiramis: If you are so eager to have something, then try looking for it yourself, like what's-her-name did with the letter.

Amakusa Shirou: Hahaha, you've got me there.

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...There you are.

D:???: ...

Murasaki Shikibu: You must have been dreadfully worried when I lost that precious letter...

Murasaki Shikibu: I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't had so much help finding it.

Murasaki Shikibu: I am so deeply sorry for the trouble I caused you.

D:???: Please, don't be...

D:???: I was there the whole time, seeing how hard you searched for it...

Murasaki Shikibu: Then, please...allow me to return the letter you left in my care.

Murasaki Shikibu: I kept it in my bag after making my final corrections.

Murasaki Shikibu: At last...I can finally return it to you.

D:???: ...Thank you.

D:???: I'd never written a letter before...but you showed me everything I needed to know.

D:???: You taught me how to put my thoughts and feelings into words.

D:???: If it hadn't been for you...I don't think I'd have ever finished it.

D:???: So, thank you. Believe me, what happened afterwards was no trouble at all.

Murasaki Shikibu: That's very kind of you... But no. I will not forget how my carelessness led to this mishap.

Murasaki Shikibu: And I promise I will take the utmost care never to let anything like it happen again.

Murasaki Shikibu: So I hope I will continue to see you here at the library, as well as in my writing class.

D:???: Of course! I'd love to join you again.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Valentine's Day is coming up soon.

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm told we celebrate it by giving form and voice to the feelings we harbor every day.

Murasaki Shikibu: It needn't necessarily take the form of chocolate. Whatever feelings you may have, you may write down in a letter...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...be they gratitude, or affection, or anything else you may find yourself thinking of between missions...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...I hope that letter successfully makes its way to its intended recipient.

Narration: And after that...

Narration: While it is not clear whether she may have done so during the sweet revelry of Valentine's Day...

Narration: ...or at some other, later point...

Narration: A young girl may just have found the courage to give a letter of her own to a certain someone...

Mash: G-good morning, Senpai.

Mash: I, uh... I have something for you...