GUDAGUDA Super Goryōkaku - The Killer Sign is M51

Prologue: Reverse Okehazama

A forest. The rain is pouring all around. There's a splatter of blood, and Demon Lord Nobunaga falls to her knees.

She couldn't imagine ever ending up like this. Her enemy towers above her.

They say that despite the strange road to becoming demon lord, right here in this place, right now, their destinies are at a clash. Still, Nobunaga is surprised at the sheer power of her enemy. Is this the power of the Holy Grail? We see the classic swirl of said item in the enemy, who says that with this wish-granting device, nothing will stand in their way. Not even her. Nobunaga isn't so sure about that, and just then Hijikata and Kagetora arrive on the scene, attacking the mysterious enemy. However, they easily deflect their blows, and wounds them both with a single strike. The enemy recognizes Kagetora, voicing their disappointment that she would be "misled" but Nobunaga like this, and while they don't recognize the "incarnated demon" that is Hijikata, they assure all of them that there is no greater warrior than themselves.

Kagetora turns to Nobunaga and says that there is no doubt they have been schemed against, and lured to their deaths in this place. Exchanging a glance with Okita, apparently a ways off, Nobunaga then makes a sudden turn and orders you, her Master (who's apparently also been here the whole time) to retreat. "Right here in this place, right now, there's no chance of us winning," she says. You promise to come back for the rest of them. Hijikata says he'll hold the line, and orders Okita and Saito to handle the retreat. Okita runs ahead, while Saito tells Kagetora to grab Gudao, putting them on her steed and rushing off.

The mysterious enemy thinks you all have some nerve to leave the battlefield like this, then turns to Nobunaga and asks if she's not also going to retreat. Nobunaga says that while it's both beneath her, there's another reason she can't do that: because this is what makes her who she is. More than being metaphorical peptalk, she says that because Nobunaga is who she is, she cannot retreat from this place, in this moment. From this moment on, the path to her becoming demon lord has been paved. This is her Okehazama!

Her enemy laughs at the truth of her statement. She who was once their greatest rival in life, the time has now come for the two of them to engage with the karma of their past lives. Energy swirls, and their eyes glow with an eerie purple, as the scene cuts out.

We switch to Chaldea's control room, where Mashu notices that Gudao's signal has disappeared from the instruments. It happened a bit after the rayshift into the singularity (which is specifically Okehaza, by the way), and Sion wonders if it isn't possibly due to interference. It seems they've also lost the signal of Nobunaga herself, so Nobukatsu demands a search party be sent out. Da Vinci said that the ones sent into the Singularity already were the ones with the best aptitude for it, so there's no way they can really top that, but Gordolf will work something out.

Back in the Singularity, as you dart forward on Kagetora's horse, her, Okita, and Saito wonder how they could even get into a situation like this. You were ambushed immediately after you rayshifted, with the enemy perfectly positioned, and even with your collective strength you were still easily outmatched. Regardless, you still have to make your escape, so Kagetora suggests crossing the mountains to the east, to head for Shinano. But from the shadows is heard "I won't let you escape", and a new enemy leaps out at you.

Kagetora says this is "just as expected of the best bowman on the Kaido" to prepare like this. Okita tells Kagetora to escape with you while they handle this guy, but Kagetora still manages to be wounded as she rides away. Even so, the new enemy doesn't pursue, because turns out, he's here for Okita and Hajime, captains of the first and third unit of the Shinsengumi. Here is where they will pay for their past deeds.

Back with Nobunaga, she unleashes her Noble Phantasm on the enemy, who merely comments on how truly powerful the flames of the demon lord, which swallows even the gods and buddha, have become. However, she would not be able to burn this enemy, even were they a god or buddha. This is the end for Nobunaga. The enemy cuts her down, and as she contemplates what a rare event Okehazama was for her, she disappears. Her now victorious enemy apologizes to her. It was a mistake to underestimate her as a fool in the past. This is why they put everything into this occasion. But Hijikata is still there and ready to avenge his fallen comrade, but even he is beaten easily. Standing now alone, completely victorious, the mysterious enemy realizes that they're perhaps not fully unscathed, and that a Servant of Chaldea is not to be underestimated either. Regardless, this is what it all has lead up to. As one thing ends, another begins.

It was here in Okehazama that the rival of their destiny was struck down, and so from hereon a new world will be laid bare. All by the hands of the best bowman on the Kaido---Imagawa Yoshimoto.

Chapter 1: License to Kill, M51

While you're unwounded, Kagetora hasn't been so lucky. She's been hurt quite deeply, musing about how Imagawa in life definitely didn't have such power, and also remarks that the wound seems to be slow to heal, even with the use of magic. She collapses on the ground, and tells you to escape over the mountains into Shinano. You go to pick her up to carry her over your shoulder, and while she wants to tell you to leave her, she knows that's not the kind of person her Master is, so she just goes with it and you get out of there together. And then, you end up at... a service area?

You're both quite shocked, almost getting hit by a passing truck. The rayshift destination was supposed to be the sengoku era, but this is all wrong. Is this also due to the holy grail? Regardless, you need a place to rest, so you look around and, while it's not an ordinary teahouse or an inn, there's something at least...

You're served food and tea by the apparent owner of the food truck.

The owner takes a look at Kagetora's state, and tells you that she also sells medicine if you need it. Kagetora graciously declines, but says she does have some questions she would like answered instead. She tells the owner that the two of you are just returning from a long trip away, and Shinano seems to have changed a lot during that time. However, the owner says that it's been like this ever since Imagawa changed the Kai and Shinano provinces into "Demon Kai" in the Holy Grail Rebellion. According to the owner, weaklings like you won't last long in this place, especially knowing as little as you seemingly do. Kagetora asks what that exactly means, and then you see something on the other end of the street. A man is being forced into a truck by soldiers, apparently being forcefully conscripted into Imagawa's ranks. The soldiers show no compassion as the man begs to be allowed to stay and take care of his old mother, as the soldiers just say that if you're old and unable to do anything you should just lie down and die. The owner explains that rather than just being conscripted, these people are sent to some sort of factory to be turned into magical Imagawa soldiers, to be used by Imagawa to rule this place.

More soldiers appear, having rounded up a bunch of children, and put them in a truck of their own. They separate the adults from the children, as adults go straight to the factory and children to some sort of sorting. The owner says it's best for people like you to just stay out of it if you know what's best for you. Kagetora agrees, but looks over at you with a smile. You say thanks for the tea, and ask Kagetora if she's up for the task. The owner starts trying to talk you down, saying one of you is wounded heavily and the soldiers are more powerful than they seem, not to mention you're outnumbered. Kagetora just smiles and says that she knows it'll be dangerous, that's why the owner should stay out of it. As you turn to leave, the owner stops you, having one last advice. She tells you about the "M51" ticket to be used when in trouble, and how coincidentally she's both selling it and is having a huge discount just in this moment, how about that? You agree to purchase a ticket, and before you can even consider that you don't know what an "M51" is, the owner has left you, gotten into her car, and driven away. Well, at least she won't have to worry about getting involved now.

By the trucks, an old man is "consoling" a crying child, when some soldiers come to investigate the commotion. They're confused why this old dude is here in the first place. Old people are useless and should be killed. One of the soldiers attack the man, but he deftly parries the blow, revealing a sword within his cane.

Uttering a classic "who are you calling old man", the obviously old man cuts down a soldier. Then another. And another. He didn't mean to get carried away, but what's done is done. This is the strongest of the Shinsengumi---Nagakura Shinpachi. Turns out the soldiers have no idea who or what a shinsengumi is, which riles up Shinpachi even more. He'll teach these kids who they're messing with. The soldiers have realized he's a stray Servant, which means they get paid more for taking him down, which should be easy since he's alone and also old. Just then, Kagetora jumps into the battle, introducing herself as Bishamonten, and saying "I'll be happy to help out if you'd like! Actually, I'll fight them whether you like it or not!", and so the fight begins. During the fighting, amidst a few occurrences of a soldier calling Shinpachi old and causing him to strike them even harder while yelling "I'm not old!", Kagetora reveals to him that you came from the west, which surprises him, as it would've made more sense to come from the north, I guess. Kagetora points out that one of the soldiers radiates much more energy than the rest, and you prepare for proper battle.

[Battle against Soldier x2 & Imag(ical)awa Soldier ] (the enemy name is a pun on 今川Imagawa and 今魔川Imagawa but the second one has "magic/demon" thrown in)

The soldiers are no match for proper Servants, so they realize they have to take out you, the Master. Kagetora feels her wounds catching up to her and is unable to act in time, so Shinpachi makes a dash for it to protect you, but it seems he won't make it in time. You close your eyes, awaiting the inevitable, and then...a gunshot. The enemy before you falls to the ground, and there stands...the shop owner from earlier?

Well, she says she has no idea what you're talking about. She just arrived here, since you're a client and there was a request. She points to the ticket, and says the words "Killer Sign 51". She introduces herself as the "HotaruFirefly of Saika" , and prepares to eliminate the rest of the enemies. "The Saika will now commence," she says, gunning down the rest of the troops. Following the words "Saika complete," she puts away her gun to check on her client. Kagetora asks if the "Saika" in question are the Saika Ikki, which she confirms is the case, saying she's with them, and her name is HotaruFirefly. Having confirmed the children are safe as well, HotaruFirefly confirms that the ticket you bought earlier, the M51, is a killing sign, to call out for the Saika. She also confirms that she was indeed the shop owner from previously. She just didn't think her secret identity would be blown so quickly. Kagetora is like "Yeah but it's just, you know, we saw you and... ah whatever", and thanks her for the help.

You figure you should get everyone to safety, which should be easy if you take the trucks, even if it's a bit far. HotaruFirefly (well, having taken off her goggles I guess she's in her secret identity mode but we have no other name for her) pulls her car up and says she also has a sidegig as a cabbie, so she'll give you a fair price on that too. Shinpachi says Shinano is ruled by Imagawa so nowhere here is really safe, but there is "that guy" in the east which might be a good bet. That guy being "Takeda of Kai".

Chapter 2: Nice Kai

--- Arrow 1 ---

Back with Okita and Saito, they're still fighting Genji from Overwatch. Not only is he very strong, but he's also gotten some backup. Saito and Okita manage to take out the backup with well-coordinated teamwork, but the big guy swats them away on his own like it's nothing. And then it finally clicks for them. That power, that dual-sword style, that aggression in his form. There is only one person this could be: Hattori Takeo, of the Imperial Mausoleum GuardGoryo-Eji. However, this is not the way they remember him. Sure, he had some armor in the past, but there were no spikes or horns or anything. Hattori says that the armor isn't the only thing that's changed. He then turns to his now-wounded backup, who is apologizing for being unable to help, but Hattori simply says that just by their being here, they are so much stronger.

"You won't escape your wounds. So become my flesh and blood so that we can fulfill our goal here," he says, as he seemingly absorbs the lowly soldier. Green energy bursts out from inside the armor, as he says a passing prayer for the soldier who is now no more.

He says this is all for the sake of getting revenge for acts of the past. He may have been taken by surprise back then, but this time he's fully prepared, and there's no chance of him losing against the two of them.

[Battle against Hattori Takeo with solo Okita & Saito]

--- Arrow 2 ---

The two of them are still in awe at the sheer strength of their oppponent. Hattori says that it's the souls of his comrades that are flowing through his body, and their regret granting him added strength. That is to say, that soldier wasn't the first person he had absorbed. Okita is about to say something about this, but Hattori says they of all people have no right to talk about betraying one's own comrades. And now they will pay for the lives of his friends taken on that day.

Cut to Gudao and company, who are now being changed by a crowd of chibi Nobbus in cars on the road.

Them being here isn't all that surprising, but it does tell you something: Nobunaga is alive, and presumably not far. As the nobbus start catching up, HotaruFirefly tells you to take the wheel, which is apparently fine because you spent the summer learning to drive(?). She then leaps out of your car, and lands on the hood of the frontmost pursuer. The nobbu scolds her for planting her dirty feet on the hood that they washed just yesterday! HotaruFirefly takes aim, fires at the car, and leaps to the next one as the one before spins out and crashes. She repeats this, being told this is excessive road rage each time. You step on the gas to give yourself enough distance to set up an attack front for when the rest of the cars catch up, so that you can avoid leaving HotaruFirefly behind. She says you should've just gone ahead, as good-natured people like that won't make it far, but Kagetora won't have any of that, so now you fight the rest of the nobbus.

[Battle against Dry Nobbu x9]

--- Arrow 3 ---

Having gotten off the road for now, you take a well-earned break with HotaruFirefly providing tea and food. Meanwhile, you have a talk about some stuff. For one, how well-maintained the roads in this area are. Turns out that's all thanks to Imagawa. Actually, there being roads across the whole area is all thanks to him. You ask what his actual goal with all this is, and HotaruFirefly explains it's all to build a strong people, and a strong country. He plans to strengthen select people with magic to turn them into powerful super-soldiers, and they're using the slogan "magify the country, strengthen the army" to promote the idea.

TL Note - also pointed out by Kagetora

富国強兵 is a meiji-era slogan which translates to "enrich the country, strengthen the army". Here, Imagawa has once again inserted 魔 into any word he can, making it 魔国強兵.

Basically, it'll be a country where the strong are always in the right and the weak have no right to complain. Because of that, many will even volunteer to become soldiers, since it's kill or be killed. To Imagawa himself, being weak is almost like a sin, or a crime. His policies are especially hard on children, who based on a grading of their individual qualities either have to become soldiers or slaves.

As you make your way further into the forest, getting closer to Kai, you're ambushed by nobbu drivers once again, and they've brought soldiers this time. Kagetora's wounds still haven't healed, and she's not fit for fight, so HotaruFirefly starts shooting and tells you to book it out of here if you don't want to be hit by a stray bullet. Supporting Kagetora on your shoulder, you move as fast as you can, when suddenly another car pulls up in front of you, and someone gets out.

Kagetora immediately tries to attack him, but he easily evades, saying she's too slow. He says you're not getting through here, and will have to go somewhere else. Your opponent now is Takeda.

--- Arrow 4 ---

This is Harunobu, or Takeda Shingen, the Tiger of Kai. HotaruFirefly have caught up with you, with soldiers not far behind. The soldiers thank Takeda for his cooperation in managing a pincer maneuver. According to them, Imagawa and Takeda are in an alliance. Kagetora wonders if he's just here to settle old rivalries, but Takeda is pretty dismissive of this in general. He says that he came here because he heard the god of war herself was here, but now that he's here it seems like a total waste of time. With a single blow, he knocks Kagetora far away. She calls out to HotaruFirefly to take you to safety, but...of course, she's also with the enemy?

Takeda explains that during Imagawa's Holy Grail Rebellion, the Saika Ikki ran rampant as his mercenaries. Actually, according to Takeda this is really common knowledge here, so how is it even that you spent all this time with her and didn't even know that? However, HotaruFirefly herself tells you that while, yes, she did fight for Imagawa, it's not like she was tricking you. Kagetora attempts to summon her horse to at least get you out of here, but it seems she's far too weak to do even that right now. She instead asks if Shinpachi was also with Takeda, to which he doesn't reply. She then says that if this has to do with their old rivalry then it should stay between them, and gudao should be left out, but Takeda just tells her to shup up for a second, striking her unconscious. A soldier approaches her body, giving praise to Takeda, but is suddenly knocked back. "Didn't you hear me? You're not getting through here, go somewhere else".

The soldier is furious. They were allies, he can't do this! Takeda simply says that "oh right, the alliance. It's annulled", and tells the soldier to scram. The soldier says Takeda is only one man, and sends the nobbus to take care of him. However, as soon as they get close to his fancy, red car, they are immediately impressed and just straight up change side. They've all got the best colored cars, after all. Takeda says betrayals and the sort are just everyday business around here now, and with that the soldier runs off to inform his lord of the happenings.

Takeda turns to you, recognizing you as Chaldea's Master, saying you need to talk. The two of you, Takeda and Chaldea, need to form an alliance. "An alliance to stop Kenshin."

Cut to some sort of prison, where Hijikata wakes up in a cell. Hattori talks to him from outside the cell, saying it's impressive to maintain one's Saint Graph after taking a blow from Imagawa. Hijikata recognizes Hattori by his voice, but when demanding to see his face, Hattori refuses. He says this is his guise now, and that's that. Hijikata asks what Hattori's doing here, to which he replies there is only one, and has only ever been one, reason for him doing anything. Just then, another person appears.

The mysterious new person greets Hijikata by his title of deputy chief, then turns to Hattori to ask how he's doing. Hattori says not to worry, that he's fine, but the man says that it's important to make sure of these things. After all, not even Imagawa himself emerged unscathed against the Demon Lord of the Sixth Heaven. It'll take some time for the new magic to take effect, he says, and he's been very busy with this. Hijikata now seems to recognize the man.

"It's been a long time since you met your old friend, Ito," he says.

Chapter 3: The Northern God of War

--- Arrow 1 ---

In a flashback, we see Ito and Hijikata discussing the former leaving the Shinsengumi. Or, to be specific, it's not that he's leaving, because that would mean he would have to commit seppuku like Yamanami did, but rather that he's forming a separate unit which will be assigned to act as imperial guard for the royal tomb. When Hijikata asks how this is different from leaving, Ito says that it's a plan to make it seem like he's leaving, when he's really going to be spying on the courts of Satsuma and Choshu. He would infiltrate them and learn all their secrets. Regardless, he had already divulged this plan to Kondo (head of the shinsengumi). Despite this, Hijikata doesn't seem to be fully on board. Ito explains that this is all for their dream of building a strong and great country, and that this will create beneficial connections to the shinsengumi as well, but none of it can convince Hijikata. Unfortunately for him, Kondo had already agreed to the plan, so asking Hijikata about it was a mere courtesy.

As Ito stands to leave, Hijikata tells them they're not done, but on the contrary, Ito thinks that's very much the case. On his way out, he bumps into Okita, who's looking paler by the day, constantly coughing. He tells her she should take a day off and rest, and then proceeds to leave the building. When Okita asks what happened between them, Hijikata says that it's not about what has happened, but about what they will do now.

Cut to elsewhere, where Ito has informed Shinpachi of the imperial guards plan, and how it's all clear because he got the go-ahead from Kondo.

Speaking plainly, Ito believes there is no future for the Shinsengumi. The actions of Hijikata and Kondo are being glossed over, and Shinpachi himself is being drastically undervalued in his presence within the group, he says. He turns, and asks Hattori, also present, what he thinks.

He seems to just agree with everything Ito is saying, and so Ito proceeds with trying to convince Shinpachi to join them. If he did, so many others would follow suit as well, just from their admiration of him. Shinpachi thinks this is all a waste of time, and that he's leaving now, when Ito suddenly drops that Saito has already accepted the invitation. Not only that, but Heisuke Todo as well. Still, Shinpachi won't have any part of this. Suddenly, Ito gives a vague nod at Hattori, who draws his swords. Perhaps it was just a threatening motion, as Ito then says Hattori will simply escort Shinpachi outside, and not kill him here. He knows that Shinpachi is not the kind of person who will tell of their plan to anyone else, even Kondo or Hijikata. Shinpachi confirms he won't tell anyway, and as he leaves, Ito asks him to watch out so that he doesn't end up like Yamanami.

End of the flashback, we cut to Ito entering into audience with Imagawa. Ito boasts about the power of Imagawa, but the latter dismisses his obvious attempts at flattery. Ito then randomly divulges how much they prepared for the battle against Nobunaga, how they invited Chaldea here, and then ambushed them with all the power of Imagawa. It's truly a testament to Nobunaga's strength that she was able to stand against them as long as she did. Imagawa says that Ito's knowledge about the future has been of great use to him. He then seems to space out for a minute, but when Ito asks what's up, he says it's nothing, to which Ito just smiles. He tells Ito to handle the production of more troops, as it'll take a while for him to grow fully accustomed to the new power of the grail, which is apparently making him unable to move, and then proceeds to warn Ito not to underestimate the Master of Chaldea. Ito says it was unfortunate they had to let Chaldea's Master go, since their priority was to eliminate Nobunaga no matter what, but at least they know their prey is headed right for Takeda.

Cut back to Gudao talking to Takeda, who reiterates that you and him are going to take out Kenshin together. He's not talking about the woman here with you, but the northern goddess of war. He tells Kagetora, still lying on the ground, to get up already. No one would be fooled to believe she's actually unconscious. She immediately gets up, saying she would've liked to wait for an opportunity to hit him back in surprise, but oh well. Something weird that they notice is that her wounds, which had previously not healed much at all, were healing much more rapidly now. Takeda explains that they were only healing slowly because they were wounds inflicted by Imagawa in his own territory. Now that she's in Takeda's territory, she'll be fine.

Takeda then says if it wasn't for the Saika, Imagawa wouldn't even have been able to extend his territory to Shinano in the first place. They then reiterate how the Saika fought for Imagawa in the Holy Grail Rebellion, and how they're just guns for hire. HotaruFirefly says this time is different, but Takeda knows she's still just helping Chaldea for money. When asked how much longer her contract with you is gonna last, she says it already expired, and she only followed with you here because you were heading in the same direction. Takeda gets it. Imagawa is too powerful now, so he doesn't need mercenaries, and so they make their way here to Takeda's territory. Well, he doesn't want them either. Not much to do about that, HotaruFirefly says, sighing. "Yeah," Takeda replies, and in an instant HotaruFirefly is knocked back by Takeda's strike. Kagetora asks what the hell he's doing, but he says it should be pretty obvious: he's gonna kill this brat.

HotaruFirefly, or rather all the Saika, will side with anyone for money. If they end up allying with Imagawa again, it'll be bad for everyone. HotaruFirefly says she won't work with Imagawa anymore, to which Takeda just asks if she'll just side with the northern god of war instead. Actually, if she doesn't side with anyone, there's no point in keeping her alive either. You have to stop this, so your first thought is to ask HotaruFirefly if she has any more tickets. Basically, if she's just contracted to you (via money) then that should be fine, and Takeda agrees. "In that case," she says, "the Yatagarasu of Saika is hereby in your hands". Kagetora teases Takeda, saying if he wanted to team up with us too he should've just said so, and about his habit of betraying allegiances. She then asks once again about the northen god of war he mentioned earlier.

Takeda Shingen:
Yeah, the incarnation of Bishamonten... Uesegi Kenshin.

--- Arrow 2 ---

Back with Ito and Imagawa, it seems they already know Takeda has broken their allegiance. Ito knew it was going to happen, but he laments the timing of it all. They've just dealt with Nobunaga, and now they'll have to move right onto Takeda. Imagawa says that's his speciality after all, and he must have taken advantaged of the fact that Imagawa is currently unable to move. After all, he had been very quiet until now. Anyway, we learn that Imagawa apparently pulled the chibi nobbus out of Nobunaga (or that they leaked out, perhaps), and that he's using the power of the grail to mass produce them. They're not entirely trustworthy (as we've seen), but they're enough of a force to be reckoned with, so they'll likely prove useful still. They'll amass an army of them, and march on Takeda in due time.

Back with Gudao and Takeda, they've taken his sweet ride to a nearby village. Old people and children alike come up to Takeda, giving him praise and talking lively about their lives and workdays, to which Takeda replies happily. It's obvious everyone here loves him. It appears you're currently at Tsutsujigasaki Castle, Takeda's residence, but as HotaruFirefly and Kagetora point out, it's pretty shabby-looking, even considering that it was never supposed to be a proper castle. Takeda tells you to follow him, and eventually you arrive at an open field, with nothing to it. Kagetora asks what you're supposed to see here, and he says it's his castle. If you're not seeing it, you're just not looking hard enough. Energy begins to swell all around Takeda.

Takeda Shingen:
Men are your castles;
men are your stone walls;
men are your moats.
Fellow feeling is your ally;
---enmity is your enemy.

A castle appears, and you all head inside to talk more.

HotaruFirefly finally realizes why it was so hard for Imagawa's forces to find Takeda's stronghold. It's truly a Noble Phantasm befitting the man who received the full support of the Kai province. Suddenly, Shinpachi comes running in, chasing a bunch of nobbus. Takeda has to explain to him that these ones aren't with Imagawa anymore, and then he also explains to you that he and Shinpachi have been allied this whole time. He also thanks you for helping save the people in the service area earlier, and that he won't forget this good deed. Now, as for allying with Takeda to take out Kenshin, he says that it would be a good idea to ally with one another until you've defeated Imagawa, since it's a goal you both share anyway. As for the Kenshin in the north, it's obviously a very different one than the one here with you now. Shinpachi however says that he was a bit freaked when you suddenly appeared before him earlier, since that would've meant the northern god of war was now a lot more southbound. When he asks HotaruFirefly if she wasn't a bit scared too, she just says that she honestly didn't even think about it because they look so different.

Takeda proceeds to explain how this Kenshin just appeared out of nowhere one day, when Takeda and Imagawa's troops were fighting. Takeda was at a disadvantage, when Kenshin suddenly appeared and started slaughtering tons of Imagawa's soldiers at an alarming rate. One person, turning the tide of battle in the blink of an eye. Imagawa got so spooked that he himself had to join the fight. However, it was apparently then that Kenshin suddenly stopped, and started slaughtering Takeda's men instead.

The conversation ends there, and we cut to a foggy field, where we see this northern god of war, Uesugi Kenshin herself.

Northen God of War:
Has the balance been upset?
---Then, it must be saved.

With those words, she disappears in a blue flash. Cut back to Tsutsujigasaki, where Imagawa's soldiers are attacking, killing the old and weak, capturing anyone else. The God of War appears in the middle of the town just as an old man is about to be killed, quickly and easily slicing apart several of Imagawa's soldiers. All the while, she repeats the mantra "Let Bishamonten grant you salvation". When the fighting subsides, and an old man approaches her to give her thanks, she sees only a weakling. Bishamonten shall grant them salvation. And so, having escaped the soldiers, the old man's life comes to a swift end.

Chapter 4: Lively Aburanokoji

Another flashback to a shinsengumi meeting. This one takes place around the Aburanokoji incident, and we hear Hijikata talking about how they've left Ito's corpse on the street where he was killed. He'll arrange for a place where the corpse can be "retrived" for the rest of them. Shinpachi says that this is the last time he'll do this. Just this once.

The fade-out card says December 13, 1867 (November 18 Keio era), Kyoto, Aburanokoji Shichijo.

We see a bloodied and murdered Ito on the street, the other men of the imperial tomb guards having found his body, knowing full well the shinsengumi did this to him. As they go to pick up his body, Hattori warns them that they must escape this place as quickly as possible. Just then, multiple shinsengumi members ambush them. The other men fight valiantly, but cannot win. Hattori laments that not all of them wore armor like he did, but even with it he can't last forever. With his twin blades, he has to fight his way out of here, and he'll take Ito's corpse with him. But the shinsengumi are countless, and they are surrounding him. Suddenly, Shinpachi joins the fray, telling the others to step aside. Hattori says he thought Shinpachi was more reasonable than this, but according to Shinpachi it is Hattori who's acting out of line. Ito didn't deserve to be treated like this, but someone had to fall. And so now, Hattori and Shinpachi will fight honorably to see who's truly the strongest of the shinsengumi. Except...

"I don't have time for this," Saito says, stepping out from behind the wounded Hattori. The latter has now realized Saito was double-crossing them the whole time. Hattori asks Shinpachi if this is his idea of honor, which seems to strike a nerve with Shinpachi. Breathing heavily, Hattori tells the other men still on his side to escape this place. He'll hold the line on his own. Saito tries to stop them, but Hattori pushes him back. An aspirationless sword has no business messing with the future, and the time will come for them all to pay for their wickedness. For now, Hattori will see them all off to hell with his twin blades.

Back with Gudao and Takeda, they reiterate that it seems the god of war Kenshin is simply killing Imagawa's troops when they gain the upper hand, and Takeda's troops when they gain the upper hand. In other words, maintaining constant balance throughout the country. You have no idea why she would act in this time-consuming, seemingly roundabout way. Neither do you know why she suddenly started attacking citizens earlier, after slaughtering soldiers. Takeda says that regardless of what her deal is, you can't ignore it for much longer, so tomorrow you'll head north to defeat her.

Outside, a child is talking to HotaruFirefly about how cool her guns are, and how when he grows up he's gonna become a cool gunslinger to protect his mom because Takeda has said guns will be the weapon of the future. Suddenly, a bullet winds past his head. HotaruFirefly explains to him that this is the deadly reality of guns: with just the pull of a trigger, anyone can kill anyone. All she had to do was shift her hand slightly to the left and the boy would've been dead. They're powerful weapons, but also very dangerous to wield. Well, the boy is like "isn't it the same with spears and swords" and she says that "yes, it is", so you know. The kid says he still prefers guns, because they're cool, and we get a flashback for HotaruFirefly.

An unknown person is telling her that she's definitely better suited for martial arts, and should train in that instead. But HotaruFirefly has a good reason for using guns: because they're cool. Flashback over. She tells the kid he has good taste, and tells him to hurry home before sunset. You come up to her and ask if she likes kids, to which she just says that she's a gun for hire, and she'll kill adults and children alike. She then asks you why you contracted with her like this, and if you answer "Because you were so cool with your guns", she'll just say "what are you, an idiot?" before leaving.

We cut to Ito speaking with Hattori, discussing how Kenshin got in the way of their move into the north again. She's simply way too powerful for even Hattori to even scratch. They then wonder about why Takeda broke his allegiance with Imagawa (which was also for the sake of beating Kenshin) and went with Chaldea instead, but perhaps he believes these are better odds. After all, if nothing is done about Kenshin, Takeda and Imagawa will be forced to remain in a perpetual stalemate. That said, Ito says, even though Imagawa himself is unable to move, his troops grow by the hour. Meanwhile, Takeda might be taking in refugees from Imagawa, but he must be having a hard time managing it all with his limited land. He has no time to waste. Still, it would be a bad idea for them to attack Takeda head on right now, as they don't know what Kenshin will do, so for the sake of getting rid of her, maybe they'll set something up in the north. "We're just gonna have a conversation," Ito says.

Back with Gudao, you're out on the road with Takeda now, heading to where Kenshin is. HotaruFirefly says that if even Imagawa hasn't touched Kenshin, what odds do you possibly have, but Takeda says that now Chaldea's Master is here, and more specifically, that means another person is here.

Kagetora's wounds have healed, and she's also gotten a sweet new outfit. She saw that Takeda was dressing all modern and cool, so she thought she couldn't lose to him on that front either. Also, when the subject is borached, turns out Kagetora isn't too fussed about facing off against her other self, what with how often that happens in Chaldea, especially that time with all the Nobunagas running around. Shinpachi asks her if she's gone insane, or if this is some movie she's referencing, to which she just says "I wish". Anyway, you will soon pass by some Imagawa controlled territory, so Takeda will go first and then you follow. Kagetora asks if she should follow him, to which he says there wouldn't be any point, because her horse can't possibly keep up with his car, but she says not to worry about that.

This is the HT-1100, Kagetora's horse turned motorcycle. Takeda just smirks at it, and that's because of something Kagetora had already realized. The car he drives was originally also his horse. He says this is something he can do because he's the Rider of Kai (as in, referencing his class). Kagetora is like "I'm a rider too! The Rider of Echigo!", with Takeda going "No, you're a Lancer, and... Whatever." The two of them jerk each other off about who is the fastest some more, and it all culminates in what's essentially an impromptu street race. "Maybe they're both idiots?" HotaruFirefly asks. You'll have to take her truck, but thankfully Shinpachi knows where to meet up. Before you leave, you hear a new voice asking if they can tag along; a voice which Shinpachi knows well.

Cut to what I assume is a flashback to slightly before, with Ito telling Saito that he needs to go catch up with Takeda and Chaldea. Since Ito and company killed Nobunaga, he feels it would be in bad taste for them to meet up with Chaldea, so it's better for Saito to do it, since we know him. Hattori warns that Saito is the most untrustworthy of all the shinsengumi. He even betrayed the imperial tomb guards on that day in the past. Ito also mentions that Okita and Hijikata are still alive, being kept hostage specifically to make Saito cooperate. Saito thinks he should've just opened with that since he has no choice either way then, but Ito says he doesn't really like throwing that kind of stuff around. After some further sarcastic remarks about Saito from Ito, Saito agrees to pursue his Master, but can't guarantee he'll agree to Ito's terms. However, all Ito asks is that he tries. Once Saito leaves, Ito explains to Hattori that it's obvious how Saito is going to act here, and at the end of the day it's more like a distraction than anything else. He also says to keep a close eye on Okita. She's apparently a lot scarier than the rest of them.

Chapter 5: Reunion in Kai

--- Arrow 1 ---

A title card shows us February 4th of the Keio era (whatever fucking year that is), "somewhere in Edo".

Hijikata relates to Shinpachi and Saito that the Shinsengumi will now fight under the reformed title of Kōyō Chinbutai (Pacification Corps). They have received word from the shogunate that they are to defeat Satsuma and Choshu troops at Kofu castle, and if they do so, they can keep the castle for themselves. They've been given plenty of resources for this endeavour, which Saito believes is rewards for Kondo's earlier plan. As if keeping the castle wasn't enough, Hijikata says that they would welcome Yoshinobu alongside the shogunate troops after the battle as well. But of course, they have to take the castle first. This is their last chance at greatness. They can't have a repeat of Tobi-Fushimi. And there aren't that many left of them to go. Especially because Okita will be left here in Edo, according to Hijikata. They also point out Hijikata's change in clothes, to which he says that they'll have to change their whole ways to pull out a victory here.

Anyway, Shinpachi goes to round up some other guys, while Saito tells Hijikata that this is all obviously way too good to be true. Keeping a castle, being greeted by Yoshinobu himself. Even Shinpachi knows this is all for naught. However, Hijikata says that they have no place in Edo anymore. They would merely be discarded if they stayed here. That's why he'll take his chance with any battle they're given, even if their chances at victory are slim. "As long as Kondo is still around, the Shinsengumi will prevail," he says, which is funny since the Shinsengumi is already no more, as Saito points out. It's the Kouyou Chinbutai now.

Another title card says that in March that same year, at the battle of Kōshū-Katsunuma, the Kōyō Chinbutai were wholly defeated.

Back with Gudao, having now met Saito, he immediately gets into a row with Shinpachi. They start attacking each other, making HotaruFirefly think they're enemies, and then they greet each other like two best friends who haven't seen each other in a long time, and then they suddenly start throwing harsh insults at each other. As another fight is about to break out, bullets fly past their heads, catching their attention. "The Master asks that you sit down and calm down. If you don't, next time I won't miss," HotaruFirefly says. Both the guys apologize, and then everyone has a round of introductions. Saito then proceeds to relay that Okita and Hijikata are held hostage, and that he's here on an errand for Imagawa, who wants to make it clear that he wants to help Chaldea fight the northen god of war. Shinpachi says that it's weird for him to want to team up again when he just broke off with Takeda, but Saito reiterates that he wants to team up with Chaldea, not Takeda.

You agree to the deal, and before Saito returns to deliver the message, he feels the need to tell Shinpachi that both Ito and Hattori are here with Imagawa. Shinpachi thinks it's not so strange Hattori is to be found with Ito, considering his weird fascination with the guy all the time. Anyway, as Saito heads back, you have to go catch up to Takeda. On a field further ahead, Takeda and Kagetora stop their rides. Takeda says that he needs them to fight here. Sure, getting beat up here will mean not being at full strength for the other Kenshin, but there's something he needs to make sure of before that fight happens: whether the Kagetora here and now is really Kenshin or not.

[Battle against Takeda Shingen with solo Kagetora]

When Saito reports back to Ito, all he can say is "What? They said yes? Is the Master of Chaldea a moron?" Turns out Ito thought there was no shot at this deal being accepted, and he just wanted to get a feel for Chaldea's Master based on what they would reply or whatever, but now they're in this situation and since they do want the same thing, Ito figures they have to send some form of reinforcements. Thus, he tells Hattori to head out and help them. Imagawa is immobalized for a while still, so out of the remaining people on their side, Hattori is the only one even close to being able to fight Kenshin. "Oops, don't tell them that, Saito". Saito acts as if he wasn't even listening, and says he'll go lie down. Hattori asks if this is really a good idea, to which Ito replies that this is a perfect opportunity to show everyone what they're working towards. He then says this is all for the sake of their glorious leader, Imagawa, but Hattori initially does not join in on the cheer, staying quiet. There's a very emphasized shot of Ito's eyes opening, which is then followed by Hattori repeating the praise for Imagawa, and Ito thanking his friend for joining him in giving praise.

--- Arrow 2 ---

We get a monologue and flashback from Takeda. Saying he was born strong. We hear other strong people sing his praises, saying he is an excellent warrior as well as strategist.

Takeda Shingen:
I fully believed there was not a man in the world who was stronger than I.
Despite that, my father didn't want me as heir. Guess he just couldn't stand me.

We see his brother arguing against Takeda not being heir, but their father saying it's already been decided. It's something the brother seems very sad about. However, Takeda explains that despite the uncertainty over who would become heir, due to some other family members' feelings on the matter, eventually Takeda usurped his father and became leader of the clan. He would return victorious from war time and time again, and he was a great ruler, he says. He gained the support of all his people, and they grew stronger by the day. There was nothing he couldn't do.

Takeda Shingen
Until the day I met that person...
That woman, Nagao Kagetora.
I was certain no man could match me, but there was in fact a woman.

He rants about how angry she made him. How jovial she was in undermining his military skills, his strategies, and so on. But the worst of all was that she had said she was just fighting for righteousness. He couldn't believe it. She didn't want his territory or anything. Time and time again, her people would march on his, fight, and then return back whence they came, wholly satisfied. Why come in the first place? In the end, he says, he was never able to best her during his lifetime. Was it because he was too weak? No, no matter how you twist it, that woman was simply absurd. He didn't want to meet her again, but here they are now.

During their fight, Kagetora suddenly hesitates. There's something off. Takeda is only fighting with one arm. He simply says that one arm is more than enough to beat someone like her right now. He even compels her to deploy her Noble Phantasm, and so she does. As she finishes her chant, Takeda just asks if that's it, and when she tells him that he has to don his armor now ("I showed you mine, now you show me yours"), he only says that they're already done. On top of that, he says, he doesn't want to lose to her. That's kinda weird, since according to her he did lose in that moment, but he doesn't care about that. Actually, instead, he just asks what happened to her sword, but she simply points to the other weapons in her possession, to which Takeda gives a dismissive "I see" in reply. Now Kagetora is getting really riled up, and in her battle frenzy, is about to actually kill Takeda for real, when he interrupts her by saying that her Master has arrived, so they have to stop regardless.

Later that day, you relay Imagawa's proposal to Takeda as well. He wonders what they stand to gain from this (rather than just letting you deal with it), when Shinpachi says that the message must have been sent by Koshitaro Ito. Takeda explains that Ito is someone not to be underestimated. He was, after all, the person who brought all the knowledge of the future to Imagawa. It was thanks to his knowledge of road constrution and vehicles that the transformation of the territory was made possible (using Imagawa's grail as resources). At least those things specifically were useful for Takeda, which is apparently why he teamed up with them in the first place. He got access to roads and cars, and gave them some magical ore from his mines in return. Anyway, the battle at Okehazama earlier where you were defeated is a perfect example of why future knowledge is so powerful, since it was only possible for them due to that. Actually, it seems Ito was the one responsible for hiring the Saika too, so he's wielding a lot of power here.

Anyway, even though you've made this deal Takeda doesn't believe they'll literally send you reinforcements and will more just be watching you closely, so you should just go ahead and deal with Kenshin yourselves. Turns out she's just through the woods here, out on the plain. When she's not off killing people somewhere, she just stands there, unflinching, as if she were a buddha statue. You briefly consider planning an ambush of some sort, but Kagetora says something like that would never work on her, and you should just go head on in proper battle. And so you set up a plan for Shinpachi to enter from the flank, with HotaruFirefly providing cover fire from the back (which she is a bit bummed about because she's quite adept in close quarters). Just then, Hattori appears on the scene, and after some more "woah look at you" comments from people, he says he's here as your reinforcements. He says that unlike the shinsengumi, the imperial tomb guard can be trusted to keep its promises. Hattori will happily serve you in this battle. That said, he clarifies that he's here to serve Chaldea's Master, not Takeda. Moreover, eventually he'll make Shinpachi pay for what he's done.

But for now, you should just take the time to prepare, and get into position. As everyone gets fired up about the plan, suddenly Kenshin is right there among you.

Northern God of War:
Now, let Bishamonten slaughter them.

Chapter 6: The salt, the sword, and Bishamonten

--- Arrow 1 ---

We start off with another flashback. It's set shortly after Takeda broke his three-way alliance with Imagawa and Hojo Ujiyasu. Kagetora is told by a retainer that the two lords who Takeda betrayed have stopped all shipments of salt to his fiefdom, slowly starving its citizens. The retainer says it's a perfect opportunity to attack Kai, but Kagetora does not agree. Not only would it be boring, but it's a most cowardly and unbecoming tactic. Sure, it's Takeda's fault for breaking the pact, but still. And so, she promptly declares: send salt to Takeda Shingen. People should not be allowed to suffer, so this is the least they can do. Of course, they're not just giving it away for free, so they'll pass it onto Takeda by way of merchants (for context here, there was no source of salt that Takeda himself had access to after having the salt embargo placed on him, so it had to come from a neighbouring territory, which was either Hojo, Imagawa, or Kagetora's), but priced fairly. The retainer says another opportunity like this won't come to them, but Kagetora says it's just not interesting to fight a weakened enemy. Instead, they'll turn their attention to the Ikkou sect in Etchuu, since they've been gaining a bit too much momentum lately.

Ordering the retainer to prepare the troops, Kagetora goes to pray to Bishamonten. In the shrine, she laments that she does not understand the human heart. People nowadays are simply too quick to turn on each other, she thinks. Perhaps Takeda is having similar problems with his people...

Over in Kai, Takeda has received words of the salt shipments. A messenger says the merchants are also carrying other rations for their troops, and that it's all very fairly priced. Takeda can't begin to guess what's going through that woman's head, but they're in dire need of these resources, so he sends his men out to get the goods. Meanwhile, he stays and reads a letter to him written by Kagetora.

That's what you get for always getting carried away and breaking promises, Harunobu.
However, I would be very annoyed if I found out that you only lost because of this,
so I'm sending you some of Echigo's delicious salt.
It's just so delicious! E-chi-go salt!
I need you to get fully back on track and come face me.

  • Nagao Kagetora

After I beat the Ikkou sect, I'm heading back for Kawanakajima, so get ready!

End of flashback, and we're back in the forest with Gudao and company, being attacked by Kenshin. She strikes down Shinpachi, and counts one, then she strikes down Hattori, counting two, and with HotaruFirefly she counts three kills. Except it appears she misjudged the power necessary, as all her targets are still alive (if just barely). Still, she's insanely powerful just from that display. She says next time, they won't survive, but before she can act again, Kagetora attacks her, but it proves uneffective. Rather than attacking back, Kenshin notices Kagetora (who she calls her "distortion") has something on her mind, and so tells her to ask it. Kagetora then asks what the big "cannon" on Kenshin's back is. Well, obviously it's not a cannon, but rather it's a pagoda wherein sutras relating to Bishamonten were stored. Kagetora feigns understanding what that means for a second, before switching it right back and attacking Kenshin with her Noble Phantasm, still as ineffective. Kenshin wonders what there is to not get. After all, Kagetora is, she changes her mind. The Kagetora here would be nothing but a fake. With a swift slash, Kenshin cuts down Kagetora.

Northen God of War:
My self who has forgotten her role as the arbiter of the human world. A distorted, broken me.
Now, accept my hand and vanish.

Kenshin reaches out towards her counterpart, but Takeda jumps in between them to stop her. However, no matter how much support he's receiving from Kai, he can't match Kenshin. She says that he was always a true picture of humanity's foolishness. Takeda asks what she's doing going around pretending to be a god, but she says she is not pretending, for she is a proper incarnation of Bishamonten. Takeda disengages from her, then orders Shinpachi and Hattori to stall for time while Takeda sets up a winning chance for them. Despite the fact that the two of them haven't fought side by side for a very long time, they're quick to go at it. However, Kenshin calmly proclaims that no human power can wound her.

As the three of them fight, Takeda tells Kagetora, still wounded deeply, that what Kenshin said is true. That's a proper god, an actual Bishamonten, and no human power will be able to hurt her. He turns to Gudao and apologizes for being so abrupt, but he needs them to make a contract with him, and also to give him a Command Spell. Takeda is already receiving a lot of power from his support in Kai, but he needs the push of a contract plus a command spell to be able to even stand a chance. This is just the logical next step of your alliance with him, to be honest. There are no objections, and so the contract is formed, and a command spell is used. Now, he just needs something from Kagetora...

Meanwhile, Shinpachi and Hattori are not able to as much as scratch Kenshin, who appears to be literally clothed in divinity. That said, they're also still standing, so they're doing something right, and she commends them for the fact. However, she tells them not to make the mistake of thinking man can stand against a god. Her next strike will be the last. Suddenly, a bullet flies straight for her heart, however some barrier of sheer power seems to deflect it. HotaruFirefly has regained consciousness and joined the battle now too, providing suppressing fire from afar. Kenshin is getting tired of all their shenanigans and jumping around, so it's time for her to blow them all away in one fell swoop.

The thing on her back begins to glow, and she proclaims she will reduce everything to ashes by means of the sacred flame from the twin towers of Bishamonten. You know she said it was just a storehouse for sacred treasures, but that thing is totally a cannon. You have to retreat immediately. However, there's no time. Kenshin fires off her attack.

Somehow, everyone's still alive. And then, they hear Takeda's voice from amidst the smoke.

Takeda Shingen: Men are your castles;
men are your stone walls;
men are your moats.
Fellow feeling is your ally;
---enmity is your enemy.

He has donned his legendary armor, and from hereon, this is his fight.

--- Arrow 2 ---

As it turns out, with all the extra help, Takeda was able to summon his castle to here, and the walls were able to withstand the attack, protecting everyone. Truly, in the Kai province, none can match him. But if it's to be a siege on Takeda's castle, Kenshin says, she'll have to get serious. Hearing this makes Shinpachi pretty scared. She wasn't being serious before? Thus, the battle begins anew.

[Battle against Northen God of War with forced Takeda, HotaruFirefly, Shinpachi frontline. Battle ends after taking off her first bar twice.]

Flashback again. We see Seigan-in (Kagetora's mom) talking to Nagao Tamekage (Kagetora's grandpa? no sprite).

She says that last night, Bishamonten appeared by her bedside, and entered her body. Tamekage thinks this is a great omen, and that she will bear a child who will bring salvation to their family, and light into this world plagued with war. Some time later, we learn that the child is born, and that it's a girl. Both the child and mother are in good health, but there's something off. From the chambers, there is no crying of a child to be heard, only laughter. Seigan-in believes this to be a sign that the child is an incarnation of Bishamonten himself. However, Tamekage is more frightened by this child, laughing maniacally, and so he orders the child to be disposed of. Initially, Seigan-in tries to dissuade him, telling him to look at the savior child of the family. But the more she looks, the more disturbing it gets. Why is this newborn child laughing so? What is she laughing at? Why doesn't she stop laughing!?

The flashback ends, and we're back after the battle with Kenshin. You haven't been able to hurt her at all. Or rather, it's as if the damage is being instantly healed. She repeats that humans cannot hope to stand against a god, but Takeda on the other hand seems to be goading her into hitting you harder. He asks if this is all she's got, and says that if she doesn't deploy her Noble Phantasm, she'll never be able to defeat him either. Kenshin wonders what Takeda is trying to gain from provoking a greater attack like this, but he just keeps laying it on thick, mentioning her shortcomings in life, asking if she's scared, and so on. Well, if that's what he wants, he'll get it. She's sure he has something up his sleeves, but she'll blow his plan away alongside him.

Takeda tells the rest of you to get back, as a pillar of blue light jolts down from the heavens. As the light dissipates, a large sword has appeared in Kenshin's possession (I didn't have time to screenshot before the cammera panned away, so here's the full sprite instead.)

Takeda seems to recognize the sword, but Kenshin spares no time launching her attack. She chants, as the sword is clad in flames.

Northen God of War O heaven, O land, O people...
Witness my "righteousness" in this single swing.
---Bishamonten's Eight Phases: "White"!!!

The sword falls towards the enemy, and...he does not manage to dodge it.

Or rather, he took the blow on purpose. He was well aware she would possess this sword, and there's something she has forgotten about it. Kenshin doesn't know what she's talking about, but what she does know is that the sword is stuck now, and won't budge. Then, Takeda says that he's gonna have to ask her to return it, as it belongs to the Takeda clan. It's a sacred treasure of their clan, called the shiotome-no-tachi (塩留めの太刀, "salt-embargo sword"? idfk, I tried for a long time to find if there was an actual english name for this sword). He throws the sword to Kagetora, and Gudao empowers her with a command spell. Then, unleashing the same attack right back at Kenshin, Kagetora finally manages to cut the god.

We get a flashback to just before, with Takeda explaining the plan to Kagetora. There's no way any human power could strip the divine protection of Bishamonten himself, but using that same power against it should work. In other words, turning Kenshin's NP on herself, and Takeda happens to know just the one. He's already figured out that she possesses the shiotome-no-tachi, the sword given to Kagetora from him as thanks for the salt. Funnily, Kagetora doesn't remember it, and when he explains what it was, she just goes "oh...was that really such a good sword??" and he just goes "please just shut up". Anyway, this sword is special because it's one that technically belongs to both him and Kagetora/Kenshin. So, if they can get a hold of it, they should be able to utilize it to strike right back. Kagetora wonders why she would've taken this sword and turn it into an NP, but Takeda just says that whatever the case, if it's used in Kai, then it'll definitely display properties of an NP. For now, Kagetora should just rest as much as she can, until Takeda is able to snatch the sword. This is the only chance you've got.

End of flashback. Kenshin laments that she would be beaten in this way, even though she's only lost her divine protection. As she keeps talking down to Kagetora, suddenly there's a splatter of blood. Imagawa has arrived, and has striked at Kenshin. Without her divine protection, she's as fragile as any other human. Imagawa says that the gods have no business meddling in the world of man anymore. From now on, it will be a world decided upon by sheer power. A people at a standstill, only praying to their gods, are unwelcome.

Northen God of War I will no longer be able to arbitrate this Holy Grail Rebellion.
O distortion of mine, live on in this world of the latter days of the law.
Live without desire, and die without desire.

"Begone, you white god born of man," Imagawa says, when suddenly Kenshin disperses, and is seemingly absorbed into Imagawa. Ito arrives on the scene, thinking that went very smoothly, all things considered. He then greets Shinpachi, but proceeds to ask him what he's doing here. Specifically, why he didn't kill Saito, the traitor. Anyone leaving the crew must commit suicide or be executed, and Saito definitely falls under that category, Ito says. "Just like you killed us." He continues to taunt Shinpachi, asking if he didn't also leave, or did it not count because it was the Kōyō Chinbutai at that point? That's a bit like cheating, isn't it? Either way, Ito can tell Shinpachi is getting very angry, and this isn't the time for them to fight. Imagawa has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here. Kenshin is gone, and now stands a wounded Takeda and Chaldea before them. It will all end here and now.

Shinpachi knew they would betray you, obviously, but he didn't think they'd be so blatant about it. He asks Hattori if he was just here to watch for this moment, but Hattori does not respond. Well, Takeda just says that he was gonna beat Imagawa next after Kenshin anyway, so this just saves him some time. Even with his deep wound, Takeda is standing tall, and both parties prepare for battle. And then, a loud bang.

Standing prideful, HotaruFirefly yells out that this is revenge for the Saika---no, for Magoichi.

Chapter 7: Saika's Elegy

--- Arrow 1 ---

Another flashback. On a ship this time.

I barely remember my home...
Just the color of its soil, and its waters.
When I looked up, I saw only the hateful eyes of adults.
When I looked down, I saw only hands bound in chains.
That's how I knew I've been sold off.

A merchant stands before her, eyeing her up and down. He says that due to her unusual hair color, she'll fetch a good price in Japan. However, they'll have to make sure she's not too skinny when they get there, so the merchant orders food be given to her.

I was fortunate; much more so than the children who were stuck belowdecks with nothing to eat.
The sun set, then rose, time and time again, until I finally lost count.
Until we arrived at the country called Japan.

In the night, the ship has caught flames. Bandits have attacked, just as they were about to reach port. The Merchant orders the crew to save what goods they can, and he personally drags HotaruFirefly away, when suddenly the voice of another person stops the merchant in his tracks. The voice belongs to one Saika Magoichi, who shoots the merchant dead. It appears Magoichi strongly dislikes slave traffickers, but at least their presence means his people can make money themselves. Magoichi looks over to HotaruFirefly, immediately noticing her hair color, and deducing she must be a foreigner brought here on the ship.

It didn't shock me to see people die right in front of me.
I'd seen many children die, and be thrown overboard, and I was so sure the same would happen to me.

Magoichi, obviously not speaking the same language as HotaruFirefly, gestures to her. He gestures to follow him. Well, turns out that HotaruFirefly had managed to learn a few words, just barely enough, and so Magoichi explains to her that her only choices now are to burn alive on the ship, jump into the sea and swim all the way back home, or come with him. In the end, there was never really a choice, but Magoichi presents the options to her, and awaits her decision. And so, whether the choice itself was moot, HotaruFirefly felt like this was the first time she really acted of her own will, as she simply says "I'll follow". From that day on, she became a child of the Saika.

End of flashback, and we're back at the scene of battle. Takeda falls to his knees, and his castle disappears. HotaruFirefly has betrayed you, seemingly all at the behest of Ito. However, Ito says that he was actually just helping out, rather than doing something bad. Specifically, he helped HotaruFirefly get her revenge. Since the rest of you don't seem to understand what he's talking about, he explains that during the Holy Grail Rebellion, it was Saika Magoichi, HotaruFirefly's leader, who was summoned here, and who was subsequently vanquished by Takeda. Kagetora asks Takeda if this is true, to which he just replies "So what?" Ito then explains that Magoichi possesses a unique skill, wherein he'll automatically chain summon the next generation Saika leader when he dies. As a result, HotaruFirefly was summoned here. Basically, HotaruFirefly wanted to avenge her comrade, who was killed in a dirty manner, and Ito felt that he could not idly sit by during such a premise. And HotaruFirefly was just using her contract with you to get closer to Takeda.

Before he dies, she asks Takeda why he just let her be, since he should've known he would try to kill her, but he just says that he's not so weak as to be killed by her, so he just used her for as long as she was useful, and then ignored her. As HotaruFirefly prepares to fire the killing shit, Kagetora orders all of you to start retreating. However, Ito won't let you get away now that things have proceeded so smoothly, so he asks Imagawa to take care of Takeda and Kagetora here and now. Energy swirls around Imagawa as he swings his sword towards Takeda, when suddenly Hattori blocks the blow. He apologizes to Imagawa for the trouble he's about to cause, then tells HotaruFirefly to not move, and you that he'll take care of all this. Imagawa asks Ito if he put Hattori up to this, but Ito says that's absolutely not the case, asking Hattori what the hell he's doing. But the answer is pretty simple: he's doing exactly what Ito told him to, namely to help Chaldea. Ito is real confused now. That part of the plan is long since over. Did Hattori not hear him through that helmet of his? However, Hattori says his contract with Chaldea is not yet over, and breaking a promised contract like this goes against a samurai's code of honor. Doing so would make him no better than the Shinsengumi. If it comes down to it, he's even prepared to fight Yoshimoto over this.

You decide to take this opportunity to escape, but just before, Takeda turns to HotaruFirefly, and asks her something: "Is this really your Saika? That's what you should ask yourself." With that, you retreat from the area.

Now that Chaldea has escaped, Ito asks Hattori what is going to happen. Hattori says that even though he did what he did to honor his other contract, it's unforgiveable that he acted against his other master, so he should be punished as they see fit. Ito lets Imagawa handle that matter, and so the decision is made swiftly: death.

Hattori (barely) survives the strike, which Imagawa commends, as this is exactly the type of strong person he wants in his world, so because of that he lets Hattori live. Ito apologizes for the actions of his companion too, but Hattori says that now that his other contract has been fulfilled properly, he'll wield his swords without hesitation next time. At the same time, since HotaruFirefly failed to properly avenge her master's death, she'll continue her contract with Ito. And so, now that they've gotten rid of Kenshin, and Takeda is wounded, they can head for the place where Imagawa's worldview will firmly take root: Kawanakajima.

--- Arrow 2 ---

It seems you're not being pursued, but you need to rest, and luckily Takeda has one of his many hidden hot springs around Kai be nearby, so you decide to head there. Meanwhile, Saito has broken into the prison where Okita is being held, and frees her. She seems to be mostly fine, but unfortunately neither of them have any idea where Nobunaga or Hijikata are being held. As they make their escape, they come across a strange room in the center of the castle.

Inside the purple forcefield, they spot Hijikata, unconscious. The forcefield is obviously magical, and even when Okita uses her Noble Phantasm to break a hole in it, it just repairs itself too quickly. Hijikata has now woken up from the commotion, and he tells the two of them that they should leave him and get out of here, because there's something he needs them to tell Gudao. Namely, what Ito and Imagawaw are planning. While their goal is the "Imagawa era", it's not limited to this singularity. Ito has much grander aspirations, Hijikata says, and he will wholly destroy and rebuild Japan. Like, literally.

Ito arrives on the scene with HotaruFirefly, and confirms what Hijikata just said. Okita immediately goes to attack, but is stopped by HotaruFirefly's bullets. Ito then invites Saito to join them once again, hoping he'll now have a better understanding of what they're trying to do. Especially since Saito was once upon a time also someone who left the Shinsengumi. Okita can stay out of this, though, she's scary. Obviously, Saito declines, and demands Hijikata be released. Ito snaps his fingers, and suddenly some sort of magical electricity penetrates Hijikata. Apparently this whole thing is a magic-amplifying reactor that uses Servants as batteries. Ito apparently can't understand why they care about Hijikata so much now. After all, while Okita may have died of her illness, Saito left the Shinsengumi and lived his own "happy" life, while Hijikata was forced northward after all his captains deserted him, where he died a horrible death. Saito tells him to shut up, and that they might as well fight it out here and now, two on two. However, Ito is not so keen on the idea, since even if Saito goes up against HotaruFirefly, Okita will definitely come out on top against Ito. After all, she already killed him once. While Saito thinks Oishi was the one to kill him, Ito says that even in a drunken state he wouldn't lose to Oishi and random soldiers. But he never would have expected a sickly Okita Souji be deployed as assassin against him. For as much as Hijikata talks of being a samurai, he is an outright dirty player.

Okita is sick of this. If killing Ito again is what it takes, then so be it. Suddenly, Imagawa also appears, and attacks Saito, who barely blocks the blow. He then attacks Okita from behind, except... it's not him. Or, it is, but now there's suddenly two of him. Hijikata tells them to run, as it's vital they tell Gudao that they're planning to annihilate this castle and Japan. Ito understands they're surprised, but not like it matters, since they'll all die here. And they'll start with...HotaruFirefly. The two Imagawa's lash out and strike at HotaruFirefly, who has no time to dodge the attack. Ito knows well that the Saika act only in allegiance to money, even though HotaruFirefly says they'll honor all their contracts, but a mercenary for hire with no true allegiance has no place in this world, he says, and so Imagawa goes for the killing blow, when Okita suddenly parries the strike. She gets that HotaruFirefly betrayed Gudao, but if her Master made a deal with her in the first place, then they must've believed something good about her, and so Okita is now acting as she think her Master would. She then has Saito grab HotaruFirefly, and they escape, telling Hijikata they'll be back. Hijikata is then stuck in the reactor core, as the castle begins to shake.

Back with Gudao, they're now at the hot spring, having a relaxing bath. They then talk a bit about the Holy Grail Rebellion, wherein Takeda killed Magoichi. Basically, when Takeda was summoned into Kai, Imagawa already controlled most of the land, but at that point the whole thing was also a proper Holy Grail War. Takeda was the Rider, Shinpachi the Berserker, and Magoichi the Archer. However, something went wrong when Magoichi exited the war. For some reason, when they disappeared, the Caster (Takeda just says "mage" but) Servant summoned another Archer Servant at the same time. One who had possession of the Holy Grail. In other words, Imagawa wasn't one of the original Servants here. According to Takeda, the one responsible for handling Imagawa then was supposed to be the Caster Servant, but he doesn't know more than that. He would've guessed that it would've been Imagawa Sessai, Imagawa Yoshimoto's confidant, military advisor, and uncle, who was the Caster, since he'd be perfect for it, especially since it's been said that if he was still around at the time there would've been no defeat at Okehazama, but apparently it wasn't. So then the question is, who was the Caster Servant?

Shinpachi assumes it'd be Ito, which Takeda also thought originally, but the order of events doesn't really make sense then. If Imagawa summoned Ito, who had knowledge of the future, to aid his cause, then it would make a lot of sense. But if Ito was summoned first, it doesn't make much sense for him to summon Imagawa. He was a member of the Shinsengumi, with no connection to the Imagawa clan whatsoever. Takeda also dismisses the idea that Ito would be merely controlling Imagawa with the grail, since apparently even the grail's power isn't enough to control the best bowman on the kaido (uhh???). Anyway, there's another major issue, he says. Specifically, what the origin of this singularity is. Someone must've originally gotten hold of a grail, or similar, which caused the development of the singularity itself. The conversation is cut short as the ground begins to shake violently, and the sun is blocked in the sky. As you look up, you see something...huge.

Okita, Saito, and HotaruFirefly are trapped on the flying castle. Ito catches up to them, telling them this is the lynchpin which will usher in a new "era" for them. It is the aerial fortress, Goryoukaku.

Chapter 8: Kaido Supreme Leader, Yoshimoto

--- Arrow 1 ---

Flashback, December 13, 1867, in Aburanokoji, Kyoto.

A drunk Ito stumbles along after what he thinks was a successful discussion with Kondo, now thinking the Shinsengumi will take better to his situation. However, Shinsengumi soldiers quickly catch up to him, stating he must die. Even drunk, he easily avoids their blades, and cuts them down in return. As he does this over and over, he thinks to himself that it's quite naive of Hijikata to think Ito would be killed with this number. But suddenly, he is stabbed in the back. There was another one, hiding. Okita Souji. Ito could never have guessed that they would deploy such a seriously sick person to do this. That is his reason for losing here. As he falls dead to the ground, we see another flashback, when he first joined the Shinsengumi. He was invited by invitation of Todo, and was commended by the other members for his smarts. He looked forward to working wtih all of them, and the flashback ends on a happy Okita greeting him. In the alleyway, Okita bids Ito farewell, as they prop up his corpse as bait. Such was the assassination of Koshitaro Ito, of the Imperial Tomb Guard.

Back at the flying castle, Saito and Okita recognize the name of the castle as the place where Hijikata fought his last battle in life. Ito says that it's just so, and that it was picked partly because it marks the end of the samurai world, serving as a sort of epitath. Of course, this isn't the actual castle, but a newly designed recreation of his. Maybe he might even be so bold as to call it "Super Goryoukaku", he says, but Okita just says that's lame. Saito asks how the castle is able to fly, and Ito explains that the Goryoukaku is in the shape of a pentagram, and by using this shape it has the ability to amplify the power of the holy grail. It can then also feed that energy into the master of the castle, who will then be able to wield power beyond a regular Servant. Thus is born the "Supreme leader on the Kaido, Yoshimoto". Ito then goes ahead and explains all of his plan until now. At first, they had to mine a bunch of magical ore, which meant they had to control Kai and Shinano. Then, they would have to keep waging war against Takeda and Uesugi so that the construction of the castle would go unnoticed. Turns out Kenshin actually manifested as a response to them breaking the rules of the holy grail war. Then they had to prepare for Nobunaga's arrival and Imagawa's revenge on her. He's then kind enough to also explain the Imagawa clones. Basically, he creates these by absorbing another Servant, and then like using them as a base and draping them in his magical energy. So one of the clones is actually from an absorbed Magoichi. He says they killed Magoichi after he was wounded in battle against Takeda, to which HotaruFirefly says like "but you said Takeda beat him...", and Ito responds with "He beat him, but we didn't say what happened next". Anyway, the other clone is from an absorbed Nobunaga.

Now, Ito says their end has come. Their only means of escape would be to jump from the castle, and that would just make them sitting ducks for a master Archer like Imagawa, of which there are two right now. HotaruFirefly says she'll hold them off so the other two can escape, since she has a reason to fight back now, but Okita knows that's a death sentence. Instead, she asks Ito about his knowledge of the future, and just how far ahead that goes. Ito is taken aback by the suddenness of this question, and says that while he had help from the grail to build this thing, he definitely brought in knowledge and technology etc that was unthinkable for this era. Okita then just smiles, and says "alright, you wanna see what I brought?" Ito doesn't get it. What is she talking about? And then...

Everyone is in shock. Was she wearing her swimsuit under her clothes this whole time? Okita dashes over to Saito and HotaruFirefly, and starts levitating with them in the air. Now Ito is in even more disbelief. How can she fly? Okita (J. Souji) realizes the camouflage is still on, so she disables it and reveals what's on her back: a futuristic jetpack. And then, she just blasts off, with Ito left dumbfounded.

While in the air, Saito asks Okita why she even brought this in the first place, and we see a flashback of before they left for the singularity, in which Himiko had told her that she had a dream telling her that a sickly swordsman needed to bring a swimsuit to the singularity. And well, there's only one sickly swordsman (there's Takasugi but he wasn't going on the expedition anyway). Himiko just tells her to wear a swimsuit instead of underwear, just in case. And that's what she did. Okita brags that not even Ito, who's so smart, noticed this, but Saito is just like "how the hell would he notice?" Suddenly, HotaruFirefly starts firing her gun into the air. Turns out one of the clones was shooting their bow at them, and HotaruFirefly just barely managed to deflect it. But now, the other clone shoots as well, overcoming a distance normally impossible, and with no time to dodge, one of the jetpacks are hit, and the group start falling faster.

Back in the castle's throne room with the "real" Imagawa, he asks how Ito could let them escape, but Ito's just like "what do jet packs and swimsuits even remotely have to do with each other?" Anyway, now that the castle is in the air and moving it's not like anyone will be able to interfere anyway.

--- Arrow 2 ---

At the hot spring, Shinpachi has to explain to Kagetora what the castle in the sky is. He says it's a shogunate castle which was the final battlefield of the shinsengumi. Kagetora then goes "Wow, a flying castle is such a shogunate move!" Takeda ignores her dumbass, noticing something in the sky, and then goes "what's that in the sky?", to which Kagetora goes "it's a castle, duh". Of course, that's not what he's talking about, and before you know it, Okita and the others come crashing down into the water. More than anything, Shinpachi, being an old man, throws a fit because of how Okita is dressed, but she just says he should see some of the other swimsuits in Chaldea. Moving on from that, they explain everything that's happened (with Okita changing back into regular clothes). They then explain HotaruFirefly's sitatuation, and somehow Takeda's first thought is just "let's kill her then", and when others disagree, he's just like "she shot me!" Well, HotaruFirefly is fine with being killed by him at this point, but she has a question for him first: was it Takeda or Ito that killed Magoichi? Takeda doesn't outright answer the question, only asking what HotaruFirefly would do with that information. If he killed him, he killed him. If Ito killed him, then he killed him. How does that change HotaruFirefly's goal here? Is this what's the basis for her Saika?

We get another quick flashback to her life in the past, with Magoichi (presumably at the end of a conversation) saying "that's my Saika", then asking HotaruFirefly what hers is. The flashback ends right there, and back in the present, Takeda says he has something to give her too, and then hands her a gun. He then says she can figure out the rest on her own from here. Turns out that's Magoichi's gun, which I guess he gave to Takeda before dying, and told him to hand it to someone claiming to be of the Saika. Takeda didn't really care about the reason, but he honored the request. HotaruFirefly then leaves to think about some stuff for a bit. Kagetora asks Takeda to clarify if he did kill Magoichi, but he just repeats the same answer he gave to HotaruFirefly. Kagetora doesn't understand what that means, but he just says that she doesn't need to understand, because it doesn't have to do with her.

Moving on from that, Saito and Okita relay the whole destruction plan to you, and Takeda quickly figures out that they're going to crash the castle into the place where Kenshin was, Kawanakajima. Basically, that place is a location where all the leylines (dragon veins, for those keeping track of the different usages) of Kai and Shinano intersect. Kagetora calls the intersection point the "dragon's den", and says that it then makes sense why Kenshin was stationed there, if she was using it to replenish her abnormal amount of energy. So basically, they crash their huge magical reactor castle into that point, and everything crumbles. Or that's the idea, anyway. So, really, it could've been that Kenshin was actually stationed there specifically to protect the one super-vulnerable point from being abused. Well, since it's moving slowly, you have approximately two more days to stop it, so you decide to head back to Takeda's base for now to formulate a plan.

Meanwhile, in the forest a ways off, HotaruFirefly is pondering what to do. Suddenly, you arrive there with Shinpachi, asking HotaruFirefly to tell you about Magoichi. She starts by recounting how she was brought here as a slave from a faraway land, and how she became a Saika. She mentions how many other abandoned children were taken in, and how they learned to wield guns and became a force that altered the courses of war in many places. Eventually, with the overbearing rise of Nobunaga, they stopped fighting for the sake of the weak like they were originally, and just fought for money, and once they realized, it was too late. Magoichi was someone who tried to get them back on track, but he was betrayed by his comrades and killed. After that, the clan eventually dwindled and died off, because they had become as much of everyone's enemy as they were their ally, and thus could not stand on anyone's side anymore. HotaruFirefly had left the clan to avenge Magoichi, but she was never able to accomplish that either, just like is the case here and now. In the end, it's always her, a dumb fool, who's left behind alone. But Shinpachi says that it was Magoichi who summoned her here, so she must be here for a good reason. To protect the weak. With newfound resolve, HotaruFirefly asks if your contract with her is still valid, because now she'll fight as her own kind of Saika.

Chapter 9: Full Speed! Kawanakajima in 24 Hours

So, back at Takeda's base, you're discussing how to deal with the flying castle. Perhaps it was Kenshin's idea to use her big "totally not a cannon" to shoot it down, but that's obviously a no-go now, so Takeda says if you can't stop it from reaching its location, you'll just have to do something else. However, before getting into the plan he obviously has cooked up already, he turns to HotaruFirefly, asking why he's here. Explaining that she's still under contract with Gudao, she then also says that even though she was deceived, it'd be fine if Takeda wanted to kill her here and now, but when Takeda asks if it's really "her Saika" to die here with her contract unfulfilled, she says that she wishes just for a little more time, and that they would let her join in the fight against Imagawa. After it's all done and over with, then he can do as he pleases with her. He agrees to the terms, but says that at the slightest hint of treason, he'll kill her on the spot, which both Gudao and her agree to. Kagetora says it's a good thing everyone's made up now, but also adds that it was totally Takeda's fault for being so careless. He retorts by saying it's pretty hard to avoid being shot in the back out of nowhere, and Kagetora just goes "I've never been shot "

Anyway, as for the plan, if you can't shoot the castle down or stop its march, then there's just one thing to do: take it head on.

In the castle, Ito says they'll reach the dragon's den in less than 2 days, which will usher in the collapse of the Singularity. That is, if nothing comes in their way. Hattori agrees that Takeda is not someone who will ever give up, so he asks to be entrusted with Imagawa's army to clear the path. Imagawa first responds by saying that he won't do that, which Hattori believes is due to his earlier actions, but rather, Imagawa adds that knowing what kind of man Takeda is, and what he knows about Chaldea's Master, sending just Hattori with the army won't be enough. If this is the threshold to usher in Imagawa's new world, then he will not repeat the same mistakes as in life. He'll deploy all his soldiers, all the power at his disposal, for the sake of winning this war. He turns to Ito, asking if his clones are ready, and Ito goes into a bit of an explanation about the clones (really natural exposition). Basically, by taking in spiritual frameworks (other Servants), Imagawa has created four clones in total, one for each cardinal direction. Tokaido (east), Nankaido (south), Saikaido (west), and Hokkaido (north) (TL note: if you couldn't tell from the last one, on top of being direction + kaido, these are all also real location names); these make up the four supreme leaders that are Yoshimoto's clones. On top of these clones, they have several hundred thousand magically enhanced units at the ready, all being powered by the magic reactor in the castle. This is what they've been building for this whole time.

So back with Takeda, Kagetora asks what he means by "take it head on", to which he says it's simple. He'll go to Kawanakajima before they get there, and then he'll just "catch" the castle. Or rather, his own castle will. Since he can summon it anywhere in Kai, and it's an absolute fortress, it should be no problem. Since no one has a better idea, this is what you're going with. Some of the Nobbus that joined Takeda earlier come with a report, saying Imagawa's troops number a million, on top of the four clones. Anyway, you'll stick to the plan. Your only shot is to disperse their troops and make it to the center of the field before the castle drops. Takeda won't be able to help with the fight for the most part, because he has to be ready to just dash ahead once the path opens up to catch the castle. To do that, he'll also need another command spell to boost him. So then that leaves you with HotaruFirefly, Kagetora, and the three shinsengumi members to do the fighting. Suddenly, there's a huge rumble, and a nobbu drives by, saying his recent customer was a huge nuisance. Then, none other than Mori enters the room. Behind him closely follows Ranmaru, and Mashu. They settle things with the nobbu driver, and then approaches the rest of you, with Ranmaru immediately going for a hug and Mashu getting flustered.

So these three are the reinforcements sent from Chaldea. It had to be Servants with a connection to the Singularity, so that's what they ended up with. Mori is related by fighting the Takeda in Kai during his lifetime, Ranmaru gets to tag along because of also being a Mori, and then Mashu gets to go because in another singularity she acted as the head of the Chaldea clan or whatever. So now you have some more manpower, and you go over the plan again. You'll push through the enemy troops with a spearhead formation, with Takeda staying in the back until the path opens up and he can dash in with his car. Shinpachi and Mori do some friendly in-fighting (even though it becomes a literal bloodbath) as they get more riled up, and Mashu blows her conch horn. The time approaches for you to face the greatest bowman on the Kaido.

Chapter 10: Makai Decisive Battle of Kawanakajima

[This story is available after the raids against the Imagawa troops, 4x Imagawa Yoshimoto clones, and Hattori Takeo]

On the battlefield, we see the historical researcher, Mashu Kyrielight, Phd., saying this battle will go down in history among Chaldea's own Sengoku period; the Makai Decisive Battle of Kawanakajima. As we see Shinpachi and Mori fight alongside the nobbus, Mashu relates how the battle broke out at dawn, with the Imagawa forces numbering one million against Chaldea and Takeda's united forces of not even 20,000 men. One would think it would be a one-sided battle, but the Servants of Chaldea fought valiantly, and turned the tide of battle to be a more even one. From the castle, Ito and Hattori are observing Chaldea's strategy, noting that Takeda is hanging back, realizing they're just trying to get him to the center. Hattori asks if Ito has a plan to counter whatever it is they're doing, but he (somewhat surprisingly) says that with an army of this size, you don't really need tactics, you can just wear them down in a war of attrition. Hattori will join the frontlines, though, as Ito takes his place by Imagawa's side.

Our resident historian, Mashu Kyrielight (still Phd), recounts that it's been six hours since the battle begun, and that Chaldea and Takeda have had to slow down somewhat compared to the start. Everyone's just kinda getting tired, but they still fight on. Hattori is trying to direct his troops, and even deploying demonic beasts, when Shinpachi confronts him alone, wanting to settle old scores. Elsewhere, HotaruFirefly thinks the troops are getting too tired, so you need to pull back a bit and regroup. She and Mashu will hold the line, while Ranmaru delivers a message to the rest of the troops.

Historian Mash tells that while Chaldea's army fought bravely, they were eventually almost entirely stopped in their tracks by the never-ending reinforcements on the enemy side. Even after regrouping they couldn't regain momentum, and so the Imagawa took the opportunity to launch an all-out asssault. With this going on, Ranmaru delivers a message to Kagetora elsewhere on the battlefield, who is standing ready to break through the enemy flank. This ambush creates an opportunity for the others to push forward, as the enemy becomes disorganized. It seems this is it, but then, Ito appears on the battlefield, giving a new order to his troops. Suddenly, they pull out fencing and guns, mowing down Kagetora's unit. This is the three-stage shooting technique, as invented by Nobunaga. It's another bit of knowledge Ito brought in, which he had set up during the fighting. Imawgawa (or one of his clones?) then appears and strikes Kagetora, causing her to fall to the ground. He says that her "parents were fools for trying to manifest a child of man and god in this world", but as she doesn't seem to know what he's talking about, he says it's better for her to die ignorant of the fact. Ito then orders his volley-unit to fire against the rest of the troops, which works wonders because turns out the guns they're using are made from information extracted after absorbing Nobunaga.

Mashu and Ranmaru notice something's wrong at the frontlines, and so they head there immediately, leaving HotaruFirefly to protect Gudao. On the frontlines, everyone around Shinpachi are dropping dead. This is just like that battle during his lifetime, but he has little time to reminisce, as Hattor slashes at him, wounding him gravely. He drops to his knees, as Hattori says something quite strange: "You may have been their second captain, but you should not have been part of the Shinsengumi. You were far too 'honest' to be part of them." Shinpachi is taken aback, but Hattori explains it clearly. If Servants are summoned in their prime, then what is with this old appearance? Needless to say, it must follow that Shinpachi holds deep regret over his involvement with the Shinsengumi, and cannot admit to his youthful days. Even though Shinpachi rejects the notion, it's clear that he has now ended up back at this place where comrades abandoned one another, under the castle that marked the end of the Shinsengumi. The very picture of the opposite to the ideals which Shinpachi held dear. Hattori strikes, wanting to end the suffering of the man in front of him, when someone blocks the strike. It's Okita, now wearing her Shinsengumi haori. Hattori asks her much the same thing, if she's really okay with still being used by the Shinsengumi, which is long since gone, even now that she's a Servant. But Okita too rejects the notion. The Shinsengumi are not over with. Because they, no, because Hijikata is still fighting. What follows is a rather weird exchange. Hattori says that Hijikata isn't still fighting for the Shinsengumi, because he went north and died, but Okita says he's not dead, and that he's still fighting for the Shinsengumi. Hattori then says that she's talking nonsense, that it's a historical fact that Hijikata died and the Shinsengumi dispersed, but Okita says that the facts don't matter. What matters is that Hijikata is still fighting.

Saito joins them, also wearing his haori now. He says that it's funny, but Hijikata is apparently still fighting, never having seemed to realize that he died in that castle. After all, he had said proudly that as long as he's around and fighting, the Shinsengumi will never end. Their words are obviously inspiring to Shinpachi, and when Saito asks if he's gonna get back on his feet, or if he's too old for that, his emotions erupt. There's an explosion of energy, and then...

Before them stands Nagakura Shinpachi, captain of the Shinsengumi's second unit, and the strongest of the Shinsengumi. Hattori says that it's now time to truly decide who was the strongest of them.

[Battle against Hattori Takeo with forced Shinpachi, Saito, and Okita]

The three of them in unison manage to take down Hattori. Before Hattori collapses, Shinpachi says he has no intention of apologizing, to which Hattori says he doesn't need to, but he's definitely disappointment that he would return to fight under the Shinsengumi banner. Moving on to the next target, there's Imagawa in front of you. That's the last obstacle before reaeching your destination. However, Ito arrives beside him, and says that Hattori has done well, but the time is up now. In the sky above you, the castle has arrived. Imagawa commands the castle to fall, and so the collapse is about to begin.

Chapter 11: Decisive Battle, Super Goryoukaku

--- Arrow 1 ---

The castle has begun falling, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. All of a sudden, Kagetora asks Ito, who knows so much about the future, if he's aware of the battles of Kawanakajima, to which he says they were just a bunch of meaningless battles between Takeda and Uesugi who never really went anyhwere. In fact, it was pretty crazy of them to keep fighting like that when both have so much to lose and so little to gain. Well, in that case, Kagetora says, he'll know of the woodpecker. He does in fact not appear to know what that is, but all of a sudden Takeda's car appears behind him and Imagawa, putting him right in place to catch the castle. They have no idea how he got there, but they don't even have time to react before Takeda assumes his third ascension.

With this, he has become the Castle of Kai, Takeda Shingen himself. We get a flashback to the strategy meeting before the battle, where Takeda had explained that he would use the same woodpecker strategy he used in life against Kagetora. It basically just involves having one unit attack the enemy from the front, forcing them into some disarray, and then to have another unit attack from the rear in a pincer maneuver. However, to make this possible, Takeda will have to take a REALLY long way around the whole place, passing via Ueno and Echigo. The issue then is that the enemy will definitely notice that he's not with the rest of your troops. Well, he'll just have a car made that looks like his, and have someone else drive it. Luckily, as already established, Gudao now has a driver's license, so that's not a problem. He'll also put a copy of his armor in the passenger's seat so that it's harder to tell from a glance.

As the castle approaches, Takeda is ready to intercept. Who cares if it's a famous castle or whatever, at the end of the day it's just a huge piece of rock, and he will stop it. Ito thinks that even Takeda can't stop it all on his own, but Kagetora says he's underestimating him too much. After all, Takeda Shingen is the only sengoku-era warlord who went head to head with her numerous times. When Takeda says he'll do something, he'll get it done. The castle descends, and after great commotion, the battlefield is filled with shattered pieces of rock.

Takeda might have taken a bit of a beating, but he's done it. Now, he turns to Imagawa.

Takeda Shingen:
Seems your ambitions were all talk, Yoshimoto.
Or should I say, Ujizane?
You did well in imitating his strength, but you couldn't match his smarts.
If you were truly the best bowman on the Kaido, you would have easily seen through this plan.

Takeda explains that it's been bugging him for a long time who was the origin of this Singularity, but it came to him when Yoshimoto earlier said that this was the "Imagawa" which he "let crumble and be destroyed". Kagetora then explains that Ujizane was the eldest son of Yoshimoto, who took over the clan after his father's death, but was unable to keep it together, and had to go on the run. Ito tells his companion that they've figured him out, and so this is the end of the authority of Yoshimoto Imagawa that has been borrowed until now. Takeda then surmises that Ito was the mastermind of this plan all along, but Ito says he has no idea what he's talking about. Takeda then explains that they probably used Ujizane as a yorishiro, draping him in Yoshimoto's Saint Graph, thus being able to utilize that power. With the power of the holy grail, on top of Ujizane being a direct descendent of Yoshimoto, he believes this should be possible. Ito congratulates him on figuring it out this far. In that case, Shinpachi says, is this Singularity all for the sake of Ito? Hearing this, Ito bursts out into laughter.

Ito Koshitaro:
Did you hear that, Ujizane? They think I've been manipulating you for my own ambitions!
You absolute fools! Is that really what you believe!?
Since Ujizane summoned me to this land, I, Ito Koshitaro, have served him single-mindedly.

He says the Shinsengumi, traitors all, have no right to speak of him like this. Ujizane tells him he has served well, and that they indeed have no right to criticize. So in the end, Ujizane was the actual origin point of this singularity. He says that he will not deny the shortcomings of his shortlived rule over the Imagawa clan, however, it pains him that his fater will go down in history as merely someone who lost at Okehazama, and who then had a failure of a son take over. While those facts in and of themselves might be true, is that cause enough for all other facts to be discarded, and to treat his father forever like only a loser, and a clown? That is why he will use the power of the holy grail to create a new history, wherein he can record a true depiction of his father. Ito seems to imply that it was in response to these feelings of indignation that the imperial tomb guards were summoned as well, and they eventually got to have their own wishes fulfilled too, since the inclusion of the Goryoukaku in the plan made it inevitable that the Shinsengumi would show up here. Well, in the end their plan was a failure, but they can just try again. Kill all of you, and try again and again, until next time they manage. However...

There will be no next time.

She shoots Ito point blank, leaving him gravely wounded. As she cocks her gun again, she asks him what happened to Magoichi. Ito explains that they had tried to convert him to their cause, offering him the restoration of his honor and the Saika clan within their new history, but his reply had been a surprise to them. In response to hearing about the strong nation they would establish, Magoichi had refused, for the sake of fighting for the weak. That's why they had him taken out after his battle with Takeda.

Ito Koshitaro:
But how about revenge? It feels good, doesn't it?
If you get hit, you hit back. That's what it's all about!
The Shinsengumi who killed me, Ujizane's lamentable history, everything!

Suddenly, Hattori (who is apparently still alive), stands up, and says he'll act as the middleman here. He then all of a sudden cuts Ito, shocking everyone else, and tells Ujizane to accept his and Ito's Saint Graphs. This is the ultimate loyalty of their unit, wholly unlike the Shinsengumi. Apparently very thankful for getting to serve Ujizane, they are then absorbed.

Not only is his energy increasing rapidly, but so is his actual size. This is the proper effects of the castle's amplification. Now Ujizane has surpassed his father, and become the Supreme Leader on the Kaido.

[Battle against Supreme Leader on the Kaido, "Ujizane", battle ends after 2 break bars]

--- Arrow 2 ---

Ujizane is simply too powerful. The Shinsengumi members are the first to fall, leaving onl Takeda, Kagetora, and Gudao (who managed by hiding behind Takeda). Ujizane is closing in on godhood, thanks to taking in Kenshin earlier. Kagetora is a bit confused as to why that would be, and so Ujizane explains to her that when her mother, Seiwa-in, became with child, it's said that Bishamonten himself was by her bedside, and entered her body. Kagetora says that was just a dream, according to her father, but Ujizane says it was not so. Her mother had indeed tried to intentionally bear the child of a god. She had consumed the supposed bones of a buddha from a reliquary, and whether that was the cause or not, eventually Kagetora was born. Born with an inhuman power. Something only describeable as divine. That's why she's often described as an incarnation of Bishamonten himself. And now, since Ujizane took in Kenshin's Saint Graph, he knows this power all too well. However, the power is incomplete, and so he assumes that he needs to absorb Kagetora as well to complete it. Stunned by this revelation, Kagetora is unable to avoid his blow, and thus she is next to be absorbed by him.

--- Arrow 3 ---

In some metaphysical place, we see Kagetora meeting Kenshin again. Kenshin greets her distorted self, and explains that she was born as an arbiter of war, a true incarnation of Bishamonten, and the form of the child wished for by the one who bore her. In that sense, Kagetora is a distortion. She's an off-shoot of sorts, originally meant to have been an arbiter of war like Kenshin, one who mediated peace in a war-torn world. A true incarnation of Bishamonten. But Kagetora says she did act according to those virtues, which Kenshin agrees is correct, but there came a point when she became distorted. When she met that man, Takeda Shingen. Kenshin says that when they met Takeda, a desire was born within their hearts. An obssession. It was something never felt before, and wanting to fight him consumed their being. Kagetora says that she still handled her other duties as leader, though, but Kenshin says that if that were truly the case, then she would not have time and time again, over half her life, waged meaningless wars like Kawanakajima, with nothing to be gained. The obsession was apparently born from the confusion about how a man like that could challenge her to a fight. She had to find out, and it was ultimately part of her trying to understand people.

Kenshin asks, what is the point of a god understanding the hearts of men? With this in mind, Kagetora became distorted, and lost her position as the arbiter she was supposed to be. This place was originally a land wherein those who wished for a future they could never reach were summoned. That's why Kenshin was summoned here to be the arbiter. And she'll disappear here, alongside her distortion. Kagetora is able to hear voices from outside, hearing Gudao's wish for her return, and Takeda asking how she could let this happen, since there was no way he would lose to someone who herself would lose so easily. They are the voices of foolish humans, Kenshin says, the very people who distorted them. Such people are truly irredeemable, she says.

But Kagetora does not agree to this notion, an obvious extension of her mother within Kenshin. These are the voices of people that can be heard even in a distant place like this. It's the very "thing" which she has sought, and which she's now clinging to. To have someone else's voice and wishes echo loudly within a dimension of despair; if that's a mistake, then so be it. Kagetora's mother wished for something so very specific out of her child, just like Ujizane wished for another image of his father, and the two have appaered here, likeminded, clothed in an ideal they tried to achieve. But Kagetora could never be what her mother wished of her, because... she so much wants to stay close to people. She might not truly understand them still, but that doesn't matter. Kenshin's nameplate here changes to "Seiwa-in", as she says that if Kagetora does this, she will not be able to become either a proper human, nor a god. But Kagetora just laughs. She had none of that to begin with. She's just happy that she can finally relate like this to people.

Kenshin's form changes to that of Seiwa-in, as Kagetora bids her mother farewell. "I'm sorry for being an insufficient child." Seiwa-in disperses, and the scene fades to white. Outside, Ujizane is preparing to strike you all down, having attained the full power of a god. However, both Gudao and Takeda seem relatively unbothered, as they believe in Kagetora's ability to take all that someone has built and completely crush it nonchalantly. Ujizane's power is surging, but there's something wrong. The power is almost enveloping him, and from within a voice can be heard. It chastises Takeda and Gudao for talking down to such sweet people, then names itself incarnation of Bishamonten, and the dragon of Echigo.

This is Uesugi Kenshin. Ujizane's reaction implies that she has emerged carrying more of the other Kenshin's power within her as well, a sort of fused Saint Graph, if you would. She makes sure Gudao and Takeda are up for fighting, then turns to confront Ujizane, who is boasting that even with this loss he still has more magical energy than the two of them combined. But another voice is suddenly heard, saying "not two". The voice belongs to Hijikata, who is still alive. He immediately yells at Okita and Saito for just lazying around on the ground, and then HotaruFirefly arrives with Ranmaru, Mori, and Mashu in tow, explaining that they've just freed Hijikata. He's still heavily wounded, but he'll fight nonetheless. The shinsengumi won't go out here. Ujizane says it doesn't matter how many you are. The weak remain weak, and only the strong will go down in history. However, Takeda retorts by saying that Ujizane only appears strong because he abuses the powers of those he takes in. Meanwhile, Kenshin says, it is because people are weak on their own that they can band together and work in unison. When Ujizane stands at the end, all by himself, what will remain for him? But he rejects the rhetorics, saying this battle alone will determine the course of history. Here now stand the weak against the strong.

[Battle against Supreme Leader on the Kaido, "Ujizane" with forced Kenshin support]

You push him back, but he won't relent until he has cleared his father's name in history. HotaruFirefly seems to sense a presence from within Ujizane, which is calling out to her. It's Magoichi, who's telling her that she needs to live according to her own idea of the Saika. Hearing this, she asks Gudao for permission to go all out, and subsequently naming herself Saika Magoichi, "gun god, Yatagarasu!" Energy swells, and a massive bullet hits Ujizane dead center. He says something like that won't stop him but...he's unable to move now. Everyone else takes the opportunity to strike at him, with Takeda unleashing his other Noble Phantasm against him. Finally, Kenshin delivers her single swing of righteousness. With this, Ujizane has lost.

He laments that despite the lengths he went to in order to clear his father's name, he was still unable to do so, and at the end of the day he's still a failure of an heir. Takeda starts being all like "yeah I know a thing or two about living up to a father's expectations", but Ujizane cuts him right off. He might have been beaten, but he hasn't lost. This isn't the time for this kind of talk. Suddenly, Ito appears beside him again. Turns out that his last resort is to remanifest the absorbed Ito, then have him snap his fingers so as to trigger an explosion of Ujizane's body and the rest of the Saint Graphs within him, so that even if he can't rewrite history to his own liking, he can at least burn your history, and Ito will have his revenge on the Shinsengumi, finally.

Chapter 12: A Symphony of Red and White

We get a flashback to when Ujizane used the power of the grail to take over his father's power. He asks Ito and Hattori, who are both obviously superior to him in both general knowledge and military prowess, why they would respond to his summons. They answer simply that it's for revenge. And so, the three of them make a deal. Ujizane will clear his father's name, and the two of them will have revenge, and as long as they're working for those goals, Ujizane doesn't care what happens to himself, as long as their wishes can be fulfilled.

Back in the present, Ito...can't do it. This is as far as he can go, he tells Ujizane. He does not wish to achieve victory at the cost of his lord. Hattori (I guess also released now) agrees. Ujizane says they are fools, but comes to the conslusion that foolish vassals are only fit for a foolish lord. He thanks them for their service, and as he begins to disappear, he bids Gudao and the rest farewell. They have won, and he will honor now that they are the strong and victorious who will go down in history. Now, he'll go to meet his father. Left behind, Ito admits defeat, and tells Hijikata they can have their way with them. Even use his corpse as bait again, though Hattori says he won't allow it to go that far. Hijikata then says that he's the one who had the two of them killed, so if it was revenge they wanted, they should've just settled for killing him, rather than going after everyone and everything at once. But Ito says that wouldn't really make them feel good. See, revenge feels good, he says, and he quickly turns to Gudao to stop them from saying something like "revenge produces nothing of value" or just leads to worse things. At the end of the day, Ito's revenge was not just about killing the shinsengumi for killing him. It was to reject their ways, to accomplish what they could never do. They, as the imperial tomb guards, would band together for the sake of their lord, fight for their lord, and die for their lord, unlike the Shinsengumi who handed Kondo over to the enemy, then scattered. Seeing the faces this puts on the Shinsengumi members really does make Ito feel better. Well, except for Okita, since she was sick and all. But he still finds her scary.

Anyway, since he's about to disappear, he tells HotaruFirefly, or rather, Magoichi, that if she wishes to kill him, now's her last chance. However, she's the one to say that nothing good will come of revenge, so she doesn't need it. She might be similar to her master in many ways, but she'll lead the Saika her own way. Ito then tells Hattori that he put him through a lot of hardships, but Hattori is just glad he could stay by Ito's side this time around. In the end, though, Ito really does feel like he may have lost the battle, but won the war. Hijikata dismisses him, sick of seeing his face, and Ito says the same thing right back.

Ito Koshitaro:
I'll see you around, Shinsengumi.
You just keep embarrasing yourselves in history like you always do.
I'll keep exposing you.

And so he disappears. Next to go is Hattori, who says he's happy he was able to cross swords with the other Shinsengumi members head on this time. Unfortunately him and Shinpachi never really did get to see who was the strongest, so they'll have to do that another time. And then he disappears as well. With those two out of the way, Magoichi tells Takeda to go ahead. Shooting him was unforgiveable, so he should settle the score. However, he just says that if she really thought a bullet like that would take him out, she's sorely unfit for killing people (though Kenshin says it definitely worked, and he was on the brink of death, but Takeda just says "shut up, please, I hate you"). Before Magoichi disappears, she actually thanks Takeda for fighting her master, but he says they just had a man-to-man, and there was nothing more to it. She also tells Gudao to keep the ticket, and to call on her if they're ever in need of the Saika.

Next up, the Shinsengumi prepare to leave too. Actually, they realize that Nobunaga should've been freed as well, but she's nowhere to be seen. Takeda says that since this singularity originated in Okehazama, then once it disappears it'll be corrected and Nobunaga will be alright, so there's no reason to worry. With that out of the way, you bid farewell to Takeda, and you all leave.

Remaining on that battlefield, now under a curtain of snowfall, are Kenshin and Takeda (who's smoking a cigarette, real cool like). She asks him if he's going to stay dressed like that, to which he says that this way he's basically a symbol of the Takeda, and he can still be like this thanks to the lingering effect of the command spell. In that case, Kenshin says, she'll match him.

He says she doesn't need to do that, but she's sure that otherwise he'll just come blaming that after he loses. This is the culmination of desires stemming from past lives. And so they fight once more on this worn-out battlefield. They both unleash their Noble Phantasms in a huge clash and torrent of power, and that's all we get to see.


Bonus Stories

Makai Gold Rush (intro)

Back in Chaldea, Nobu is "alive" and well again now that Ujizane is gone. Kenshin and Takeda tried settling their past score, but after a full day of fighting they got tired so now they're having lunch break in the cafeteria. Takeda also says he's just here until he beats Kenshin. Then, someone looking exactly like Magoichi Saika but wearing goggles enters and is like "I'm just a random merchant" but you all obviously see through it, so Saika just drops the act and has lunch with the others. She orders the spicy natto, and when Takeda tastes it, his whole body tenses up from the spice. Meanwhile, Okita is telling Himiko about how her prediction helped save the day. Shinpachi enters the dining hall too, in his new cool Drive (2011) jacket which he apparently bought from Saika's store to better fit in here.

Mashu rushes in and tells you there's an emergency. It appears the goryoukaku has started flying in the singularity again (even though it was supposed to disappear soon). Saika then remembers she had something for you, and hands you a treasure map. It supposedly shows the locations of Imagawa's leftover treasures he collected, or at least what might be left after spending it all on the castle. That's when you realize that there are a lot of servants you haven't seen the whole day. Turns out that a bunch of them rushed into the singularity on their own, hoping to be the first to get their hands on the riches.

So there's your objectives: get all the servants back to Chaldea, and fix the singularity once and for all.

The Girl Who Loves Pure Gold

Okuni is in a cave, having Zanzaburo in mining mode getting gold for her. Chacha is there too, touting her "strong sense for finding gold". She wasn't with the "most golden man in Japan" for nothing, after all. After some time, the two finally strike gold. Chacha can finally go back to a luxurious life, while Okuni can make her own digital distribution service to avoid dealing with existing ones for her content. Also, she can moe-fy zanzaburo (while he, meanwhile, has a death wish).

You enter the cave with Takeda in tow (whose cave this actually is), startling the girls. When asked what they're doing, Chacha is like "I-it's not like the money I got from His Highness is starting to run out or anything...", while Okuni just says she was tricked by Chacha, and she isn't actually greedy. Takeda says he'll teach them both a lesson for this, to which Chacha says that apparently her hubby had actually promised her the Takeda's gold mines back in the day, so she was just getting a bit of an advance on it. But that's a no-go, so you fight.

[Battle against Chacha & Okuni]

(Reward is a Saika NP copy)

Monster of the Mountain Pass R

In the mountains, you're told by a Nobbu driver that there's some kind of speed demon with a fancy car that's crushing them all in races and pushing them out of their territory here, so they need your help. Or rather, they need Takeda's help since they've sworn their allegiance to him, which shocks Nobu. Just as you ask when this mosnter usually shows up, you hear the screeching of tires. This monster, calling themselves the "Monster of the Mountain Pass R" is actually just Medusa, who immediately recognizes you. She's here to beat the nobbu in a downhill race, but they swap in Takeda to race for them since he's the fastest man in Kai. And then you race, I guess.

[Battle against Monster of the Mountain Pass R & 5x Greece M Drives]

(Reward is a Saika NP copy)

The Evil Secret Company T

You've entered the Imagawa remodelling factory, a prime location for some hidden treasure. Weirdly, this place was supposed to have been shut down, but it's fully up and running. Is Imagawa pulling tricks from beyond the grave? Nope, it's the Evil President Takasugi! He was hoping his plan to take over this place and use it to boost his kiheitai wouldn't have been discovered so quickly, though. Woops, he just outed his whole plan just like that. He's truly becoming a caricature of a cheesy villain. Ryoma is also here, I guess just like, hanging around? More importantly, Oryou asks Takasugi if he's seen Izo around, beceause they haven't seen him since they got here. Takasugi answers with a "What? Who? Oh, no, haven't seen him, too bad... Wait, I remember now!" and then proceeds to call on his newly modified heroic spirit, "Manslayer Okada".

Izo in his third ascension pops out, just shouting "NANJAAAAA!?" (TL note: "NANJAAAA" means roughly "WHAT THE HELL"). So, context for this is that the day before, Takasugi paid for Izo's drinks at the bar, and in exchange Izo signed a contract for undergoing remodelling, so that's how they ended up with this. Takasugi boasts that this new Izo is twice, or even ten times more powerful than before. The only side effect is, of course, that he can only say "NANJAAAA!?" Actually, Takasugi just needs Izo to beat you here so he can go on to build a new giant robot or something cooler, but first thing's first.

[Battle against Takasugi & Okada Izo]

In this battle, literally all Okada's voice lines, and all his skill names, have been changed to "NANJAAAA!?". Basically, you get to listen to him saying that over, and over, and over again.

Imaging Daimyo

Out on the highway, Mori and Ranmaru have taken to motorbikes and flying swords, threatening anyone who gets between them and any treasure. Takeda doesn't waste any time saying he'll kick their asses, when suddenly, Ranmaru stops. She recognizes Takeda, except as the head of "Space Kai Takeda". One thing that remains constant between here and the servantverse, though, is that Takeda is always quick to break his promises. Well, Takeda thinks a beating from the sengoku period's most powerful rider will overshadow this trait as one that goes down in history.

[Battle against Mori & Ranmaru]

Lone Gunner Saika

You've gotten back to where Saika's shop was, and so she asks if there's anyone you'd like to have "taken care of". Kenshin wonders who you'll name, and hopes it's Takeda, but you just answer "No Way/Just fight fairly", to which Kenshin replies "There goes my plan for taking over with a swift assassination-and-buyout combo..." Well, the only reason Saika's asking in the first place is because she's out of money, and indebted. See, when fighting for Imagawa, she had to borrow money for all the ammo she was spending, and the loan is just too big. Kenshin takes a look at the bank statement, and turns out that the interest on this is so high that she'll be indebted for her whole life because she'll always just be paying off the interest, and never the actual loan. Saika is shocked; the money lender guy seemed so nice...

Kenshin: "I don't want to be like that, but how were you ever able to be the head of a clan?"

Actually, the other clan members took care of this stuff, so she never had to bother. Either way, you go check with the loan shark. He's in the process of scamming some remaining Imagawa soldiers, who will use the money to get a headstart on the treasure hunt. Suddenly, Saika's calling card comes flying through the air, and a hidden Saika explains to the soldiers that the guy is setting them up for a scam. The soldiers are more interested in the fact that they think this is the previous Saika servant who should be dead, and who went against Imagawa, so now they're gonna kill her. Kenshin jumps into the fray, saying some dumb shit when Saika is like "No, please say the lines as we practiced them", followed by Kenshin giving a proper like Sailor Moon-tier intro line for both Gudao and Takeda. Takeda himself isn't even entertaining this whole thing, he's just here to beat up the loan sharks scamming people in his territory. Kenshin, on the other hand, is in full-on killing mode now though.

[Battle against Imagawa Remnant Troops x6]

Melancholy of a War God

Elsewhere, another Imagawa soldier is forcibly collecting a bunch of salt from civilians.

Man: "Noo, not my salt! If you take it, It'll be bad when I need to cook my pasta..."
Soldier: "Eat your soggy pasta and shut it, old man! And don't worry about the sauce either, it won't have any flavor to it!"

What a tragedy. The man prays to buddha for the sake of his pasta, saying he'll share information about the hidden treasure if he gets help. Kenshin in the form of Bishamonten appears then (reassuring him that she's not the scary lady from earlier), and straight up just blasts the soldier with her totally-not-cannons. As the soldier more or less disintegrates in the explosion, both Kenshin and the old man are left just staring, before the man finally says "I think you blew up the salt too..." Seems Kenshin overdid it. She's still getting used to controlling this thing, after all. Okita Alter who's also here now says she totally knows the feeling, because sometimes when she just has too much to eat, she ends up firing off her beam just because (to which Rengoku says "you definitely don't know that feeling"). Old man Li is also here, saying sometimes when he just lightly touches people, they fall over and die. Naturally, the logical thing to do now is for the two of them to fight Kenshin so that she can get better at gauging her output. As they all get fired up, the old man interrupts, asking them to get off his lawn first.

[Battle against Li Shuwen & Okita Alter]

Kōyō Chinbutai Shinsengumi

Narrator Mashu explains that crime rates have skyrocketed because of the remaining Imagawa troops. As a result, Takeda (sick of all this stuff already) established an "off the recourd"-type special unit of killers to up security in region, with some help from Chaldea. This unit, called the Kōyō Chinbutai Shinsengumi, was made up of Shinpachi, Hijikata, Hajime, Yamanami and Okita.

Hajime: "No no, it's either Kōyō Chinbutai or Shinsengumi, not both."

The four of them argue a bit over their assigned ranks, with Hajime having become captain apparently because of his previous experience with this kind of stuff. Shinpachi apparently got in some trouble because when he was chasing some bad guys the other day, he blasted into a house and leveled it, after which Hajime had to do tons of paperwork. Hijikata is just sitting quietly in the corner, but for some reason he's still deputy director. Okita says that he's actually not supposed to be anymore, but he didn't listen, so... Either way, since it's just the four of them there anyway, they're all field workers at the end of the day anyway.

Gudao enters the room, apparently a new recruit for the unit. Okita tells them to be careful, because their latest recruit who joined just a couple days ago was already killed in a swordfight. Actually, Hajime interjects, they didn't die, they just packed up their stuff and ran away from the hospital in the middle of the night. Shinpachi laments the youth of today. Yamanami bursts into the room, reporting about some nobbus causing a ruckus up north. Shinpachi and Okita apparently can't really focus on the report, only focusing on Yamanami's outfit. The former thinks it's too "police-y" while the latter thinks it's "like a cool ninja outfit". Meanwhile, Hajime just thinks to himself that the guy wearing a Drive (2011)-style jacket and the girl not even wearing any pants probably shouldn't be ones to talk. Anyway, fight time.

[Battle against Careless Drive Nobbu x6 ]

(Reward is a Saika NP copy)

Mountain Attagirl

In the mountains, Komahime and Rikyu are hiking. Well, Komahime is already tired of it. They're only up here because Rikyu saw some camping video on the internet. Komahime would have much rather just driven up here, had some grilled food, and then go home to sleep in her own bed. Just a nice bit of glamping. Rikyu, on the other hand, is insisting that camping is a good way to get in touch with nature and how people lived in the past. That's why they have to make everything on their own, from food to bedding. Komahime says she's definitely not fit for figuring that stuff out, but thankfully, they have two guides with them who are experts in ancient lifestlyes: Iyo and Himiko.

The camera cuts to the two of them as they discuss what they're gonna eat first from all the snacks they bought at the nearby service station. Maybe a rice ball? Or some curry? Perhaps Komahime would like a melonpan? Gudao arrives at the location and asks what's going on. Komahime says she can take not a single step more, unless of course she happened to get one of the soft-serve icecreams from a nearby store that they passed earlier. Rikyu, losing her temper, blurts out that they don't have time for this. If they don't hurry, someone else will get to the treasure first. And there's the true reason they're out here. Rikyu didn't just suddenly and mysteriously become interested in camping. Rikyu, having been found out, decides to flee the scene, except... she shares a body with Komahime, who already told you she's not taking a single step more. She urges gudao to punish Rikyu quickly. When she's told that she'll be injured as collateral if they do, she just says:

Komahime: "I would rather be hospitalized for emergency care than be out here."
Rikyu: "Risking one's health and safety for the sake of being lazy is quite the move."

And then you beat her up.

[Battle against Sen-no-Rikyu where she's automatically stunned in the first turn]

GUDAGUDA Bar-Hopping (Final node)

Mashu reports that the goryoukaku has started descending again. However, unlike last time, it's very slow. Something's not quite right. Furthrmore, its current position is at Okehazama. You head there immediately, and the slow descent really was like it was just landing. However, when you enter, there are no signs of anyone. Surely the castle didn't just get up and move on its own, right? Suddenly, a voice is heard, laughing at you all for being fooled.

???: "I won't let it be...! Defeated at Okehazama? The fall of Imagawa? That...can never be allowed to happen!"

You recognize this voice immediately. It's Demon King Nobunaga(?). Okita first sighs at more rogue Nobu breakaways, but suddenly realizes. The Demon King is using "boku" as personal pronoun. Could it be this is actually Nobukatsu?

Demon King Nobunaga: "It is not I, it is my sister! I am the 'Demon King of the Seventh Heaven: Nobunakatsu'!"

Nobu tries to explain that you're not supposed to just keep counting up, but gives up quickly. Nobunakatsu explains that when they heard their sister was defeated by Imagawa, they immediately rayshifted to Okehazama. When they later confirmed the fact, they were overcome with grief. In their grief, they were overcome by thoughts such as "my sister is the strongest of the sengoku era", "there's no one stronger than my sister", "there will never be anyone better than my sister" and so on, and at the height of those feelings, the grail suddenly appeared to them. Thanks to it, they were clothed in the remnants of Nobunaga's Saint Graph which lingered at Okehazama, effectively turning them into a yorishiro (an item made to attract and house spirits). In short, it's the same as Ujizane did with Yoshimoto, more or less. Now, with her power, Nobunakatsu will crush Imagawa Yoshimoto, who killed their sister.

Except, well, you know, you already beat him. Nobunakatsu stares at you blanky. Saika relates that they all teamed up with Chaldea to take him down, and it was an epic battle that will echo through history.

Nobunakatsu: "So...I have to give back my sister's Saint Graph...?"
Nobunaga: "Give it back."
Nobunakatsu: "Do I have to...?
Nobunaga: "Of course you do! It's no wonder why that big me wouldn't manifest."
Nobunakatsu: "Ok but if you think about it, we're actually stronger when I'm fused with my sister like this...and now the grail has responded to my wish by giving me an opportunity to absorb the remaining two thirds of my sister's spirit, creating a wonderful future for us!"

Takeda thinks back to his own brother, who supported him against all odds. He likes Nobukatsu for what he's trying to do here, trying to avenge his sister and all. That's why Takeda will deal with him. Nobunakatsu is all like "Do you really think you can beat me, the demon king of the seventh heaven", when Takeda just asks if he hasn't heard of the man who made his sister cower away in fear. Katsu thinks there is no such man, and we cut to a blushing Nobu saying she wasn't scared, she was just waiting for a good time to strike (totally). Takeda reveals some more embarrassing stuff about Nobunaga that she said, making her blush more and more. Kenshin feels the need to add that she was feareed by both Nobunaga and Takeda, but when hearing her name Nobunakatsu just goes "The military god echigo, Uesugi Kenshin, who my sister died on the shitter!!"

Kenshin: "She said what!?"

Anyway, Nobunakatsu reveals all the treasures were actually here in the castle all along and he's using them as power source, so he'll just beat them both and become the strongest version of his sister. In that case, Kenshin says, she'll also get serious, and goes Bishamonten mode, while Takeda dons his legendary armor.

Nobunakatsu: "The aura of someone who died on the toilet suddenly disappeared..."
Kenshin: "No further comments necessary!"

[Battle against Demon King of the Seventh Heaven, NobunaKatsu]

Takeda is throwing a feast for everyone to have fun now that you're all done.

Mashu and Saika are having a moment where Saika calls her "Mashu Senpai", because if she's serving Chaldea now then that's obviously how it goes, and Mashu gets all flustered about it, while Saika is just thinking to herself that it was some devious ploy to be able to stay in Chaldea longer.

Riyku is telling Komahime that if she only eats meat she'll become a fat fuck, urging her to have some greens, but the young lady refuses. This is to make up for all the barbecuing they missed on that camping trip. Iyo being the nice girl she is gives her meat to Komahime, and komahime in return gives Iyo her veggies.

Takasugi is talking to Izo, saying he's already apologized countless times, asking how much more he has to do it, but Izo still just replies "NANJAAAA!?" Takasugi's brilliant plan to cure this condition is to get Izou stupid drunk and make him vomit out the excess magical energy. Oryou goes ahead and just pours drinks down Izou's throat.

Okuni is showing her new video to some others. Chacha thinks it'll definitely go viral. Mori is apparently doing some paperwork about this, and Ranmaru is ready to distribute on a cosmic scale. Or well, turns out Earth's primitive technology makes transmitting data too slow, so it would take millions of years for this video to reach Ranmaru's planet.

Okita Alter is telling Kenshin about how cool her cannon is, and while Kenshin accepts the compliment, she has to remind her that it's a pagoda, not a cannon.
Okita Alter: "Oh I see. In that case, can my rengoku be a pagoda too?"

The Shinsengumi are all drinking together, having a good time, when Shinpachi suddenly decides to apologize. It's been nagging at him that he didn't follow the shinsengumi til the very end. That he didn't fight with them at the goryoukaku. But Hijikata says that's a lie. He did fight there. Except it was here, in Kai. But it was still the same castle. They all fought together. And that's why they can all happily drink together now.

Nobunaga in her demon king form is talking to...Nobbu, but like, looking like the regular Nobunaga? I guess she just split her saint graph. Anyway, they've apparently bound up Nobukatsu as punishment. Not only that, but he's being forced to act as a stool for his sister. Maou-nobu at first tries to soothe the situation by saying Nobukatsu didn't mean anything bad by it, before changing her mind and going "no, he definitely meant something bad by it, but it was still for my sake".

Nobukatsu: "Oh what great words from my sister...! Please put more of your weight on me...!"

Smaller Nobu thinks Maou is too soft on Nobukatsu, to which she just replies "you're one to talk", which the former doesn't really understand, but then ignores, just telling her to return to their collective Saint Graph when the feast is over. Nobukatsu asks if he can join too, but is answered with a quick "No thanks".

And so, day turns to night, and the drunks are all on their last legs. Saika has also fallen asleep, dreaming about her future life in Chaldea. Mashu is dreaming about finally being someone's senpai. The only ones still up are Takeda and Kenshin, and so he tells her to follow him. They enter some sort of bar, and are greeted by Kipposhi nobu. They sit down for a drink and reminisce about old times. Kipposhi laughs at their stories, thinking they're both dumber than he thought. When Takeda says that he doesn't want to hear that from the fool of owari, Kipposhi says that if they compare the two, Takeda didn't manage to beat Kenshin a single time, while Nobu beat Imagawa. However, Kenshin just goes "That was pure luck, wasn't it?", with Takeda reaffirming "That was pure luck".

Regardless of the outcomes, Kenshin smiles when thinking back to all the moments they shared in the past. Takeda then points out that Kenshin has come to be very expressive compared to before. He doesn't understand how becoming more of a god made her more human at the same time, but here they are. Hearing this, being called human, Kenshin gives a bright, wide smile. Takeda just smiles back, until Kenshin gets flustered, and tells him to pour another round. Takeda says this one's on him, as he's in a good mood today.

And then, suddenly, another patron walks in, wanting to have a drink. It's Ujizane! Or actually, Kipposhi points out this is the actual Yoshimoto. They ask if he's come to avenge his son, and when he asks "if I were, what would you do?" and everyone readies their weapons, he just gives a soft question in return: "Ujizane...did he fight to the fullest?" Takeda says he was no less of a warrior than his father, and Yoshimoto smiles.

Yoshimoto: "I placed a great burden to bear on Ujizane; one I did now wish for him to bear. I feel bad for him, no matter how well versed in the military he was."

Takeda thinks back to his relationship with his own father, and when they try to comfort Yoshimoto by saying that they're sure Ujizane knew this deep down, Yoshimoto says that while that may be true, it only annoys him to hear it. Kipposhi then suggests something entirely different: they should fight at okehazama one last time. The greatest bowman on the kaido, against these three great warriors. What a battle it would be. However...tonight, Yoshimoto is only in the mood for a drink. Takeda offers him a seat, talking to him about his father and Yoshimoto's relationship. Kenshin chimes in that she wishes she could've fought him once in life. Meanwhile, Kipposhi sits quietly, their hands sweating. When asked about it, they just bring up the battle again, and at the end of it all, they say that Yoshimoto can be the Demon King's associate, if he wants.

Yoshimoto: "This body of mine is like a fleeting dream, made manifest by a vanishing grail. So I only want for us to drink to our hearts' content tonight. With my enemies...and the great heroes who lived in that era."