Cosmos in the Lostbelt 5.1: Ancient Ocean of the Dreadnought Gods - Atlantis

intro.5-1

Mash:
Good morning, Senpai!
Is your formal dress all ready to go?

Mash:
I know it's been a long two weeks since we got back from the Indian Lostbelt...

Mash:
But today, they're finally supposed to finish making modifications to the Shadow Border...

Mash:
...and complete construction on the new Nautilus that has the Shadow Border at its core.

Mash:
I can't wait to see what it looks like once they let us back into the dock at 9:00 a.m.

Mash:
I remember Captain was very particular about having us, quote:

Mash:
“Wake up at the crack of dawn and remain on standby until further notice”...

Mash:
...which just makes me that much more curious.

Da Vinci:
Ahem. Testing, testing...
Everything good with this mic?

Da Vinci:
Hey guys! Can you hear me? Are my dulcet
tones carrying clearly to your waiting ears?

Da Vinci:
Tomlin, Kawata, Octavia, Chin,
Cayenne, Elron, Marcus, Meunière...

Da Vinci:
...Director Goredolf, Mash,
and last but not least, Fujimaru!

Da Vinci:
As the eleven staff members of Novum Chaldea,
your patience has been much appreciated!

Da Vinci:
Now come on down to the dock
and meet our brand-new ship!

Da Vinci:
That's right! It's time for the launch ceremony
for Captain Nemo's Nautilus!

B:Nemo? A:
Hey hey!
Thanks for coming to celebrate with us!

C:Nemo? B:
We're sooo lucky we got to put the Nautilus together in a secret underground dock like this!

D:Nemo? C:
Congratulations, guys! We deserve it!
I can't wait till we can set sail!

E:Nemo? D:
Congratulations to you too, Fujimaru and Mash!

E:Nemo? D:
You guys are gonna be there for tomorrow's test voyage too, right?

E:Nemo? D:
Oh man, it's gonna be so much fun! I wonder if
we can still fire torpedoes in the Void Sea!?

Mash:
U-um, Master, do you know why there are so many Nemos here!?


Fujimaru 1:
It's a whole series of Nemos...the “Nemo Series!”


Fujimaru 2:
No, but I've seen them around here and there before.


Nemo:
Hey! Who said you could leave your posts!? You're making a mockery of the launch ceremony, dammit! Marines! Line up!

B:The Nemos?:
Aah! Look out, guys, Captain's all mad☆
Come on, let's all line up☆

Nemo:
That's more like it.
Now, roll call!

Nemo? A:
Nemo Marine, reporting for duty! I'm in charge of the deck! And I want you to requisition me a new mop!

Nemo? B:
Nemo Marine, reporting for duty! I'm in charge of loading the really, reeeally heavy torpedoes! Will somebody trade posts with me!?

Nemo? C:
Nemo Marine, reporting for duty! I'm in charge of the computer room, and I'm still not sure taking notes by hand is really the best idea!

Nemo? D:
Nemo Marine, reporting for duty! I'm in charge of cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms! A clean ship is a happy ship☆

Nemo? E:
Nemo Marine, reporting for duty!
I'm in charge of–

Meunière:
Whoa... Whoooaaa!

Goredolf:
Oh for! That's enough, dammit!

Goredolf:
I was a bit overwhelmed with all the new information even before this parade of identical faces!

Goredolf:
What is the meaning of this, Captain!?
Since when do you have so damn many subordinates!?

Nemo:
That's as silly as asking a fluvial sculpin why it swims upstream, Goredolf.

Nemo:
The marines are clones, or instances of me who specialize in different operations.

Nemo:
Having a large enough crew is an essential part of any voyage.

Nemo:
I didn't make the marines for you guys. I made them solely to help with the ship, and the ship is where they'll stay.

Nemo:
You could say they're animated metaphors for my mental support structure; they're fully autonomous possible alternate versions of me who–

Sion:
Thank you, Captain, I will take it from here. You have many talents, but explaining things is clearly not one of them.

Sion:
You see, the ability Captain is using to make these clones belongs to neither Nemo the Heroic Spirit nor to Triton the Divine Spirit.

Sion:
Those of us at the Atlas Institute use a technique called Memory Partition as part of our basic thought processes...

Sion:
...so I gave Captain the ability to use it when I formed a contract with him.

Sion:
Essentially, it lets you, well, partition your brain so that you can have multiple selves processing different things simultaneously.

Sion:
In Captain's case, that resulted in him gaining the ability to create multiple physical selves that all act with complete autonomy.

Sion:
In other words, all the work pertaining to running a ship that Captain Nemo has been doing by himself to date...

Sion:
...or, perhaps more accurately, all the work he had been wishing to do but was thus far unable to carry out due to a lack of personnel...

Sion:
...is now being carried out by all these other Nemos thanks to the evolution he independently achieved!


Fujimaru 1:
Wow! (Talk about a hard worker!)


Fujimaru 2:
Then they don't all just look like Nemo, they ARE all Nemo!


Nemo Marines:
Aye, aye, [♂ sir /♀️ ma'am]! Though of course, we all
have to do whatever the Captain tells us to!

Mash:
So there's going to be lots and lots of Nemos working on board the Nautilus then!

Nemo:
Well, the number of marines will change depending on the circumstances. Also, the marines aren't the only other Nemos in my Nemo Series.

Nemo:
I'll introduce you to them properly when the time is right, but for now...

Nemo:
There's Nemo Professor, whose job is to analyze situations, come up with plans, and conduct scientific research.

Nemo:
Next, there's Nemo Baker, the cook who'll be in charge of preparing everyone's meals. All these roles are important, of course, but hers stands out in particular.

Nemo:
Then there's Nemo Engineer, who's so cantankerous you'd never believe she was me. She'll just as soon throw a wrench at you as look at you.

Nemo:
Those, along with the marines, are the crew I'll be taking along to run the ship.

Nemo:
The only downside is that bringing the Border aboard the new Nautilus means there won't be any room for a bakery, so I won't be calling Baker.

Meunière:
No Baker? Aw man, that's a real shame.

Meunière:
Still, it's looking more and more like a real submarine, isn't it!? When're you gonna take it out for a test-dive, Captain!?

Nemo:
Oh, I'd like to do that no later than tomorrow.

Nemo:
We'll need to cross an ocean from the Age of Gods in this next Lostbelt, so I have to make sure everything is shipshape, figuratively speaking.

Nemo:
However, the only ones who will be coming with me are Mash and Fujimaru. The rest of you will be staying here.

Meunière:
What!? Why!?

Da Vinci:
We have our reasons, Meunière.
Sorry, it just wasn't in the cards this time.

Da Vinci:
While Captain, Mash, and Fujimaru are out
there testing the Nautilus, the rest have our work
cut out for us getting ready to infiltrate the
Atlantic Lostbelt.

Da Vinci:
Developing the ultra long-range lens...
Doubling and tripling the Nautilus's defensive systems...

Da Vinci:
Reinforcing Fujimaru's Mystic Codes...
Fine-tuning Mash's Ortinax...

Da Vinci:
Basically, Meunière, we all have an absolute ton of things to do here.

Da Vinci:
We just don't have the time to spare for you to be wasting your magecraft expertise on a submarine test-dive.

Meunière:
Dammit! Of all the rotten luck!

Meunière:
If I'd known it was gonna hold me back like this one day, I would've sold my magical crest and gotten out of the magecraft game long ago!

Goredolf:
Hahahaha! That's the boldest statement I've heard in a long time!

Goredolf:
But in case you need a reminder, if you weren't a mage, you would never have been hired at Chaldea in the first place!

Goredolf:
So how about you just resign yourself to helping the technical advisor like a good little lackey, and let me take responsibility for what is sure to be a delightful Nautilus test-di–

Da Vinci:
You sure, Gordy? You do know they're going for a test-dive in the Void Sea, not the Wandering Sea, right?

Goredolf:
Er, yes, as I was saying, I will let Fujimaru handle it, as I have a lot of...ah, directory work I need to do myself. Yes, quite a lot indeed.

Da Vinci:
Then it's settled.

Da Vinci:
This afternoon, I'll be holding a class to explain all about the Nautilus's equipment and facilities, as well as what to do in case of emergency.

Da Vinci:
Then tomorrow, Fujimaru, Mash,
and Captain will take it out for a test-dive.

Da Vinci:
While they're off doing that, the rest of us will be getting things ready here at the Wandering Sea for our infiltration of the Atlantic Lostbelt.

Da Vinci:
It'll probably take around seven days to wrap everything up, so this could be your last chance to relax on standby for a while.

Da Vinci:
Make sure you're all well rested so that you can give your best for what's to come.

Mash:
Right!


Fujimaru 1:
Got it!


Fujimaru 2:
That goes for you too, Da Vinci!


intro.5-2

Narration:
My journey is drawing to an end. It won't be long now before I arrive at my destination in southern Nevada.

Narration:
Not that it'll change anything once I get there.
I certainly won't be getting a reward for my trouble.

Narration:
Nor do I have a home to return to,
or enough fuel to get me there even if I did.

Narration:
The only point this journey ever had
was to get where I was going.

Narration:
...Well, no, that may be technically accurate, but it's still not quite right. Let me be clear, so I don't invite any misunderstandings.

Narration:
When I say I don't have a home to return to, I don't mean that in the heartless, cold-blooded bastard sense.

Narration:
My home may be gone now, but I still remember it clearly. And as long as I have those memories, I'll never feel the pain of its loss.

Narration:
See, since I was born, I've had the ability, for better or worse, to recall anything I've ever seen in perfect detail.

Narration:
It's called, “hyperthymesia,” though it's more
commonly known as a superior autobiographical memory.

Narration:
My friends considered it a disability, and sympathized with the drawbacks, but scientists considered it a gift.

Narration:
It drove me insane when I was a kid. At some points, it caused me to hate cities and people in general.

Narration:
When I grew up, I left the city behind and started living a much quieter life out in a village near the mountains.

Narration:
As a result, I've only spent about a third of my life in busy, urban areas, so I'm not really overburdened with memories of those places.

Narration:
Still, my memories are just as clear now as they ever were. I can see the friends I used to hang out with smiling and laughing as if they were right here with me.

Narration:
Of course, that includes the beautiful scenery and the stars that used to twinkle bright all across the nighttime sky.

Narration:
...Maybe that's why I couldn't shake my doubts about why this happened the way it did.

Narration:
Something just seemed...off.

Narration:
I don't mean the Earth's surface being bleached white. I mean it feels like something even bigger has changed, but in a way I can't put my finger on it.

Narration:
Whatever it is, I've noticed it at different points during this journey.

Narration:
There was something different about the skies above Russia, Scandinavia, China, India... Whatever it was, they weren't the same skies I'd seen before.

Narration:
There must be some other change occurring in places I'm not privy to. Or maybe some other humans besides me are struggling to fight back.

Narration:
Maybe they're doing their best to retake this world, this planet, this universe for humanity even as I speak.

Narration:
...Unfortunately, as intriguing as that possibility is, those places are much too far away for me to make a detour, and I have precious little time left as it is.

Narration:
I ran out of food yesterday,
and my bike's not going to last much longer, either.

Narration:
Again, once I reach my destination,
my journey is over.

Narration:
It would be nice if whoever's causing these changes taking place around the world were to stop by the States...

Narration:
...but I doubt anyone who's lost as hard as me and the rest of humanity have anything close to that kind of good luck left.

Narration:
...What a strange feeling.

Narration:
Even if this is the end for me, in multiple senses, it still feels good to achieve the goal I set for myself.

Narration:
“Why did humanity die out?”
“Why did these alien invaders show up?”

Narration:
“Why did they conquer us by bleaching the Earth white?”

Narration:
My heart is racing at the prospect of possibly uncovering the answers to these and all the other mysteries.

Narration:
I've arrived at the U.S. Air Force base once known as Area 51. It's the one place–the only part of the texture–on the entire planet that managed to evade the bleaching.

Narration:
The sheer secrecy surrounding this place led to all sorts of rumors about high-tech experiments and training being conducted here, but you'd never know that looking at it now.

Narration:
Not only are there no survivors here, there's not so much as a single piece of cutting-edge equipment.

Narration:
Any seaplanes and armored tanks that may have been here before are long gone.

Narration:
And since there's no power, I doubt I'll be able to stock up on food or water, either.

Narration:
On the plus side, the buildings are mostly untouched, so at least I shouldn't have to go sifting through rubble.

Narration:
...I can't believe it. Rain clouds cropped up here out of nowhere. I guess that means it still rains in the last area on Earth that hasn't been bleached away.

Narration:
I pushed my excitement down to keep it from getting the better of me, and began carefully making my way through the base.

Narration:
The rain clouds that cropped up in the skies overhead
stuck around the whole time I was there.

Narration:
I learned several things from my expedition into the inside of the base; the part completely cut off from the outside world.

Narration:
I wish I could offer my own personal insights on what I found, but since I'm running low on both time and energy, I'll have to stick to just the facts.

Narration:
This base did in fact contain an alien life-form.

Narration:
“2018 - Subject E Relocation”
“2018 - Initiate Subject E Examination”

Narration:
According to the documents I found, this “subject” had flown to New Mexico in the year 2018.

Narration:
The craft it had been piloting either burned up when it entered Earth's atmosphere (or was possibly destroyed by the subject itself, according to a handwritten note)...

Narration:
...leaving the subject completely exposed upon its discovery.

Narration:
The injuries sustained during its emergency landing had left it critically wounded and near death...

Narration:
...but by flash-freezing it, the Air Force managed to preserve its life functions. They then brought it to this base.

Narration:
All the other records pertaining to the subject can be summed up in a single word: “gruesome.”

Narration:
The scientists performed all kinds of tests, experiments, and surgeries in order to keep this alien visitor alive.

Narration:
They conducted clinical trials with different kinds of medicine. They tested every known substance on Earth to see how it would react.

Narration:
They observed reactions that corresponded to pain.
They observed reactions that corresponded to joy.

Narration:
To measure its endurance, they stopped supplying it with nutrients. Then they tried burning it. Freezing it. Melting it. Attaching things to it.

Narration:
They stirred its intestines around. Cut off parts of its body. Measured signals from the organ they thought was its brain.

Narration:
They performed all of this research, what could also be called the very crystallization of human history, on the subject while it was still living.

Narration:
...It didn't take long for the surgical procedures meant to resuscitate the subject to morph into brutally exploitative experiments.

Narration:
And since the cells taken from the subject's samples were made up of elements that didn't exist anywhere on the planet...

Narration:
...it wasn't hard to imagine that further research could eventually lead to military and civilian applications.

Narration:
Truth be told, that was where the top brass's true interests lied.

Narration:
After all, ever since the turn of the twentieth century, the energy race between nations had only continued to pick up speed...

Narration:
...and there was now an insurmountable gap between industrialized nations and developing ones.

Narration:
I could tell from poring over the documents that they began with the best of intentions.

Narration:
They wanted their research to result in a better life for every person on Earth. To help humanity move past its endless squabbling for wealth and forge ahead with new, loftier goals.

Narration:
However...Area 51's researchers
didn't see things the same way.

Narration:
With every experiment they ran, they became more and more certain that the subject was emitting a constant, unknown signal. It was calling for help.

Narration:
So they thought, if they kept running experiments on it, if they kept inflicting greater levels of pain on it...

Narration:
...even more potential test subjects were bound to show up.

Narration:
That's why this all happened.
This wasn't a natural disaster. It was a man-made one.

Narration:

(But is that truly the reason?)

Narration:
I finally know why those trees came here.
Now...I just have to confirm one last thing.

Narration:
Was this the true cause? Was there really a “Subject E” here, at this base? I have to see it for myself.

Narration:
And I have to do it before I die of malnutrition.

Narration:
It took me several days to discover that door.

Narration:
“E Reference Room.” A secret area that had been built even further underneath the base's underground structure.

Narration:
I manage to open the door and make my way inside the sealed-off passageway.

Narration:
...I can already tell there's something here. This is it. This is where I'll find the answers I've been seeking.

Narration:
There's just something...different about the air in this passageway that makes that all too clear.

Narration:
My instruments aren't picking up anything unusual, even though the passageway itself is like something from another world–entirely removed from what we think of as reality.

Narration:
I know this passageway is made out of iron and steel, but it feels like I'm walking on pulsating jelly.

Narration:
I make my way across the simultaneously hard, soft, warm, cold floor, one careful step at a time.

Narration:
My body temperature is dropping like a stone. I can barely breathe. My consciousness is hanging by a thread.

Narration:
...I can't even remember how many days it's been since I last had something to eat or drink.

Narration:
Soon, I won't even have enough energy left to talk into this recorder.

Narration:
But I can't stop now. I have to find the answers before I die. Answers that I'm sure lie just beyond this passage...

David:
...?

Narration:
The only sound that escaped my lips was a quiet gasp of shock.

Narration:
It was the most retro room I could have imagined. If I hadn't known better, I would never have thought it was located in the middle of one of the most high-tech bases on Earth.

Narration:
And yet, there it was atop the exam table. A bizarre...thing that resembled nothing so much as a dead tree.

A:???:
...Hey there. It's about time you showed up, Bluebook.

intro.5-3

Peperoncino:
...That's all I've got to report.
Any other questions?

Kadoc:
...This isn't like you, Pepe. Didn't you always used to tell us we should act our cheeriest when we've lost?

Kadoc:
Unless, of course, you don't consider the Indian Lostbelt disappearing a loss at all?

Peperoncino:
My, my. I see that at least your sharp tongue has managed a full recovery, Kadoc.

Peperoncino:
Alrighty then, let me rephrase!

Peperoncino:
Not only did I get in a fight with my Lostbelt's king, my very own Servant washed his hands of me...

Peperoncino:
...and I had to run all the way here with my tail between my legs after Chaldea, our SWORN ENEMY, saved my life! I'm clearly the best Crypter!

Peperoncino:
But at least the roasted bananas were suuuper yummy!!!

Kadoc:
Never mind, I take it back! You're just as cheery as ever!
Now shut up already, will you!?

Beryl:
Now that's our Peperoncino! Besides, it's still too soon to declare yourself a loser.

Beryl:
Knowing you, you must've really gotten in their good graces, right?

Beryl:
There's more to a death match than just slipping a knife between the other guy's ribs. Getting your opponent attached to you's a pro-level long game move.

Beryl:
So the way things are going, I'm betting their next destination'll be their last. Am I right?

Peperoncino:
Oh yes, this next one will settle things once and for all. They won't be going to your Lostbelt.

Peperoncino:
I mean, now that they have a ship,
they're all but certain to come here...

Peperoncino:
...even though that practically guarantees their demise.

Beryl:
Well damn, that's real brave of them.
Gotta give 'em props for that.

Beryl:
Hats off to you, Chaldea!

Beryl:
We couldn't've asked for a better [♂ guy /♀️ gal] to fill
in that last seat! Uh... What was [♂ his /♀️ her] name again?

Beryl:
Ah, who cares! Like it makes any difference to me anyway! Point is, this next drink's for you, Master What's-[♂ His /♀️ Her]-Face!

Beryl:
You must be feelin' reeeal good about yourself now that you've strangled four innocent Lostbelts in their proverbial cradles!

Kadoc:
...Hmph. We can't be sure the Chaldeans'll come to the Atlantic Lostbelt yet. Who knows? Maybe they'll end up gunning for you next, Beryl.

Kadoc:
So if you've got time to be making shitty, tasteless analogies, maybe you ought to spend it getting ready for them.

Beryl:
Huh? You serious, Kadoc? You really think I might be next? Are you feeling okay?

Kadoc:
What are you talking about?
I'm just saying it's possible that–

Beryl:
Oh. Kirschtaria hasn't told you?

Beryl:
Well hey, since all the Alter Egos aren't here at the moment so we don't have to worry about them, you mind if I tell him myself, Boss?

Kirschtaria:
No, this directly concerns the next phase of the plan, so I'll fill him in myself.

Kirschtaria:
Seyfert, the Tree of Emptiness in Beryl's English Lostbelt, has already been felled.

Kirschtaria:
I secretly asked Beryl to see to it that the English Lostbelt would go away on its own accord.

Kadoc:
It's already been felled? Then...you're saying the English Lostbelt doesn't exist anymore?

Beryl:
Nope. It ought to fall apart and disappear real soon now. And, for the record, you have no idea how hard it was to pull that off.

Beryl:
The English Lostbelt–or the British Lostbelt, as THEY like to put it...

Beryl:
...has like a thousand Phantasmal Beasts for every one of the few humans there, and you can easily find yourself in a whole different world with completely different rules if you go just a little way down the path.

Beryl:
It's a hellish wonderland, and coming from me, a guy who was raised in the UK, that's saying something.

Beryl:
So it wasn't easy sweet-talking them into cutting down the Tree of Emptiness themselves.

Beryl:
They're probably cursing my name to hell and gone for tricking them right about now, not that it's gonna do 'em any good.

Peperoncino:
Is that true? Because unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, I'm pretty sure I can still see a wall of light up around the English Lostbelt.

Kirschtaria:
Yes, I've seen it too. But even so, the English Tree of Emptiness is most assuredly gone.

Kirschtaria:
Once the Trees of Emptiness grow tall enough to reach the stratosphere, their branches start to interfere with one another, resulting in a kind of network.

Kirschtaria:
And we haven't seen a single signal from Seyfert for a few days now.

Kirschtaria:
I doubt it will be long before that accursed wall of light, the World's End, follows suit and disappears as well.

Kadoc:
...All right then, next question.
Why'd you get rid of the English Lostbelt like this?

Kadoc:
I thought our Lostbelts were only supposed to fight each other once their territories made contact.

Kirschtaria:
It just goes to show that there are exceptions to every rule, Kadoc.

Kirschtaria:
This may be difficult for you to understand, since you have no way of knowing how deep London's–that is to say, the Clock Tower's abyss runs...

Kirschtaria:
...but the English Lostbelt is the only one that cannot be allowed to remain.

Kirschtaria:
Nothing good could ever come from it.
Not for us, and not for the Foreign God.

Kirschtaria:
However, the Foreign God knows nothing of this planet's history, and we have no way to explain.

Kirschtaria:
We can't even say anything to the priestess, as her role is purely observational.

Kirschtaria:
All that aside, Kadoc and Peperoncino, the fact remains that I should have told you about this, and I didn't. For that, I'm sorry.

Kadoc:
...No point apologizing about it at this point. I still don't like it, but at least I'm in the loop now.

Peperoncino:
Same here. Besides, I'd already figured out that Beryl was up to something.

Peperoncino:
But you know, Kirschtaria, all that said, does that mean your Tree of Emptiness is the only one still operating?

Kadoc:
Don't be ridiculous. Have you forgotten about Daybit's Lostbelt? That leaves two.

Peperoncino:
I guess. Only problem with that is, I can't see anything that looks like a Tree of Emptiness anywhere around South America.

Peperoncino:
So I take it that means all the branches connected to that canopy covering the sky are from the Atlantic's Tree then?

Beryl:
...

Kirschtaria:
Good grief. I really can't get anything past you, can I, Pepe?

Kirschtaria:
That's correct. My Tree of Emptiness is the only one receiving the blessings of the Foreign God's Earth-covering canopy.

Kirschtaria:
What's more, my Tree of Emptiness has also grown to complete maturity.

Kirschtaria:
Once we confirm the English Lostbelt's disappearance, our plan will enter its final stage.

Kirschtaria:
The canopy hasn't only been absorbing the Earth's mana. It's also been soaking up all manner of cosmic rays–the kind that the Earth's magnetic field usually deflects.

Kirschtaria:
We will focus the entirety of that combined energy onto a single point, thereby enabling the Foreign God to descend upon this planet.

Kirschtaria:
From there, the changeover should be swift and all-encompassing.

Kirschtaria:
The old world will perish, a new order will be established on this planet...

Kirschtaria:
...and I will be the last human left.

Kadoc:
(...Hmph. There he goes talking a big game again.)
You sure that's all gonna go off without a hitch, Wodime?

Kadoc:
The more time you spend grandstanding like some kind of puffed up royal, the more chances they'll have to show up and ruin everything.

Kirschtaria:
I'm well aware of that, Kadoc. Chaldea has always taken keen advantage of their opponents' negligence and pride to turn the tide in their favor.

Kirschtaria:
Which is why I've sent out all the strongest forces at my command to the Atlantic. That's also why you haven't seen Caenis here.

Kadoc:
I-I wasn't worried or anything. Knowing you, I figured you'd have all your bases covered.

Peperoncino:
So it would seem, wouldn't it? Then we might as well just sit back and see what Kirschtaria's got.

Peperoncino:
In that case, I think I'll keep mooching around here, just like Kadoc's been.

Peperoncino:
How about you, Beryl? If you stick around in the English Lostbelt–

Beryl:
Hey, you don't gotta tell me. If I'd stuck around there, it'd just be a matter of time before they came for my head.

Kadoc:
Beryl!? When did you–

Peperoncino:
My, my, so you'd already long since flown the coop! I should've figured you knew exactly what you were doing!

Beryl:
Right!? But seriously, I was downright terrified out there!

Beryl:
I was all like “I can't take this crazy island anymore!
I'm getting out of here while I still can!”

Beryl:
Then I jumped off a cliff into the ocean and had Caenis come pick me up.

Beryl:
Oh, and get a load of this. You guys'll never believe what I went through over there.

Beryl:
See, that Lostbelt was home to a princess who knew nothing–and I DO mean nothing–about the ways of the world, so I figured I could take advantage of her in all sorts of ways if I got in her good graces...

Beryl:
...but she had her head up in fairy-tale land way more than I could've imagined. I mean CLINGY! Even when she found out I was a human spy, she didn't bat a damn eye.

Beryl:
She just snuggled right up against me saying things like, “I would follow you into the bowels of hell itself!”

Beryl:
I mean, how stupid can you get? She knew I'd ruined her whole damn nation, and she didn't even care!

Beryl:
How'm I supposed to deal with that?
It's beyond ridiculous!

Beryl:
Take it from me, Kadoc: don't go putting the moves on royalty unless you're sure you know what you're doing!

Kadoc:
Piss off! Don't you pull that big brother shit on me now! Besides, I'm never putting any moves on royalty again!

Peperoncino:
Wait. “Again”? Did you just say “again,” Kadoc?
Had some experiences with royalty then, have we?

Peperoncino:
Ooh, I can tell this is going to be the best news I've heard in forever! Tell me eeeverything! Don't spare a single juicy detail!

Kadoc:
Forget it! There's nothing to tell! If you don't have anything useful to say, then keep your mouth shut for once!

Beryl:
Hey now, you can't expect us not to care about something like this, right!? I mean, it's not like romantic escapades are a regular thing for you!

Beryl:
C'mon, Peperoncino, this calls for a change in venue!
Hell, we could even get Koyanskaya in on this!

Peperoncino:
Oooh, I'm so in!

Peperoncino:
Right now, I don't care what it might cost to coax some juicy secret tidbits out of Koyanskaya!

Kadoc:
Fine! Go ahead and drink yourselves silly!
I'm going back to my room!

Beryl:
Ah c'mon, we're just having a bit of fun, Kadoc.
Lighten up for a change.

Beryl:
Now how 'bout you show me where I can find a nice place to hang around? I only just got here, but I know this Atlantic Lostbelt's supposed to be amazing.

Peperoncino:
Hehe, if that's any indication, we shouldn't have to worry about Beryl for a while. Though I do hope the scent of blood will eventually wash off him.

Peperoncino:
Anyway, let me know if anything changes, Wodime.

Peperoncino:
I might not be too useful, but I'm sure there's still something I could do to help out.

Kirschtaria:
...

Kirschtaria:
...Now then.

Kirschtaria:
Perhaps it's time you considered sharing your own opinion before I make my final move, Priestess?

Kirschtaria:
This could be your last chance, seeing as the Foreign God's Disciples have yet to even realize that I have my own goals in all of this.

Foreign Priestess:
...

Kirschtaria:
...Hmm. You must have seen the adjustments I made to my Tree of Emptiness, along with the way my interests align with Zeus's, even if our conclusions differ.

Kirschtaria:
But somehow, in spite of all that, you continue to do nothing.

Foreign Priestess:
...

Kirschtaria:
Very well then, I'll not waste more time asking why you continue to insist on observing rather than acting.

Kirschtaria:
Nobody knows if the Foreign God even truly exists.
Not even the Disciples have ever seen them.

Kirschtaria:
No...the fact is, not even they have any means of determining what the Foreign God's true intentions may be.

Kirschtaria:
The Foreign God is truly a god of emptiness. I cannot in good conscience leave mankind's fate to such a being.

Kirschtaria:
...I will eliminate Chaldea, watch over Zeus until he passes, and establish the Tree of Emptiness as reality.

Kirschtaria:
So continue to stay back and observe,
void shaped like a priestess.

Kirschtaria:
Nobody else is left. I alone shall realize the future you failed to create.

intro.5-4

Narration:

—Five Days After the Nautilus Test-Dive—

Goredolf:
I see you're all here ahead of the operation's start time. Very good.

Goredolf:
Master Fujimaru.
Servants. Mash Kyrielight.

Goredolf:
As of this moment, Chaldea will assume its first battle station! And I don't want to hear any whining about how we're starting the operation two days ahead of schedule!

Goredolf:
Captain reported that the Nautilus's test-dive in Void Space concluded safely...

Goredolf:
...so I trust you're all prepared for the genuine article then?


Fujimaru 1:
Yes, sir!

Mash:
Y-yes, Director! We're completely over our seasickness and are ready to begin the operation at any time!


Fujimaru 2:
(Uh... How did the test-dive go again?)

Mash:
I can't seem to recall it very clearly, either. Though I do get the feeling it was quite the experience...


Holmes:
I am sorry about this, everyone, but Goredolf is right. The situation is dire.

Holmes:
There was a change yesterday in the branches of the Tree of Emptiness that we believe now covers the entire Earth.

Holmes:
These branches were previously circulating magical energy between them, like a network, but now, they have begun funneling that energy towards the center of the Atlantic.

Holmes:
We don't yet know what this
phenomenon signifies, but–

Sion:
Whatever it is, we can be certain that energy is being stockpiled for use in a large-scale magecraft ritual.

Sion:
Currently, the amount of energy we have measured is already equal to that used for Goetia's Incineration of Humanity.

Sion:
While we are unable to observe the Lostbelt's interior, Trismegistus already declared it a disaster on a global scale.

Sion:
I therefore recommend that this anomaly, that is the Atlantic Lostbelt's Tree of Emptiness, be dealt with as swiftly as possible.

Mash:
A magecraft ritual on the same scale as the Incineration of Humanity...! Then, that would mean–

Da Vinci:
Yup. The Foreign God descending to Earth.

Da Vinci:
Every data fragment we've gathered up to this point is pointing directly towards that inescapable conclusion.

Da Vinci:
That being said, we still don't know what this Foreign God is, whether they really are a god...

Da Vinci:
...or hell, whether or not they even exist in the first place.

Da Vinci:
Sorry for being so useless☆

Goredolf:
Th-there's no need to apologize for that, Da Vinci. You can't help that we have so little information to work with!

Goredolf:
It's not your skills that are the problem. It's the damn Crypters not giving us anything to go on!

Goredolf:
...Though of course, it also seems like they don't know any more about the Foreign God than we do.

Goredolf:
I expect the only Crypter who does know the truth is their leader, Kirschtaria Wodime.

Holmes:
Not to worry. I expect that too will be made quite clear over the course of this operation.

Holmes:
Both the English Lostbelt and the South American Lostbelt currently appear to be stagnant, with neither showing any further signs of expanding their territory.

Holmes:
Therefore, as we have previously discussed, Chaldea will be directing all of our resources towards eliminating the Atlantic Lostbelt.

Holmes:
And now, our preparations for that operation are complete.

Holmes:
The Nautilus has been equipped with an ultra long-range lens capable of observing outer space, and a record-breaking magecraft barrier from all of human history.

Holmes:
The Shadow Border has been overhauled to such a significant degree that it could almost be called a wholly new machine...

Holmes:
Both the Nautilus and the Border have been outfitted with identical functionality in the unlikely event that one of them is scuttled...

Holmes:
And Ms. Kyrielight's Round Table has been infused with enough magical energy to summon a number of Servants on-site.

Holmes:
My only regret is that we weren't able to finish an Ortinax replacement unit before circumstances forced our hand...

Sion:
Oh, do not worry about that.
I will continue to work on its design myself.

Sion:
There should already be enough materials for the reconstruction on board the Border...

Sion:
...so as long as you are able to discover or otherwise procure a concept powerful enough to fill in for one of its bullets...

Sion:
...I will be able to put the whole thing together in the time it takes you all to eat lunch!

Mash:
Right. Both my ultra long-range sniper training and the Ortinax's transformation sequence have been cleared for action.

Mash:
If it needs to be deployed to give us an edge during a decisive battle, I promise I will wield it to the best of my ability!


Fujimaru 1:
Huh?


Fujimaru 2:
What's this about a transformation sequence?


Sion:
Now, now, just pretend you did not hear any of that! Besides, we still do not know if it will even be relevant here!

Sion:
...Now then.

Sion:
As the Command Room officer who will be holding down the fort in your absence, I would once again like to give my usual order to those of you on the field team.

Sion:
The situation has changed significantly.

Sion:
I will not say we do not have a minute to spare...but I will say that time is definitely not on our side.

Sion:
What is more, it looks like that was the case for our most key point of attack as well: the Atlantic Lostbelt.

Sion:
They have now put us in check before we had a chance to do the same to them.

Sion:
This is probably going to be longer than any battle you have fought to date, both in terms of number of enemies and the path you will need to take to reach your destination.

Sion:
Even a Zero Sail can only take you to the Lostbelt's outer edge, which in this case means there will be more distance between you and the Tree of Emptiness than ever before.

Sion:
So I urge you all to handle yourselves even more cautiously and coolheadedly than you have been so far.

Sion:
In this Atlantic Lostbelt, the act of learning about its world may actually end up working against you.

Sion:
So I ask that you all stay strong, and that you simultaneously be proud of your own latent potential.

Sion:
If you ever reach a point where you decide you cannot continue with the operation, feel free to come back here immediately.

Sion:
...No, what am I saying!?
Now is not the time for pessimism!

Sion:
This is all my third process's fault! She has been incessantly insisting since yesterday that this simply cannot work!

Sion:
All right, let us all go out there and take back our Earth!

Sion:
Field team, go ahead and board the Border, starting with Master Fujimaru.

Sion:
Once I have confirmed that all of your vitals are green, you are to untether the Nautilus from reality.

Sion:
From there, you will execute a Zero Sail,
and this operation will commence in earnest...

Sion:
...Order: Lostbelt No. 5, Sub-Order:
Those Who Cross the Sea of Stars.

Sion:
Make sure you all give it everything you have,
and I look forward to your safe return!

Prologue

Sanson:
...It looks like this is as far as I go.
I'm sorry, d'Eon!

d'Eon:
Sanson!
Ghh!!

d'Eon:
Haaaaaa!

d'Eon:
(Come on d'Eon, don't let up for a moment! And don't worry about what might happen later! This is the only chance you've got!)

d'Eon:
(It bounced off! I can't believe how tough his armor is!)

d'Eon:
Khh...!

d'Eon:
(He's not even using...his Noble Phantasm!)

d'Eon:
Noble Phantasm...Fleur de Lis!!!

C:???:
I see. A series of strikes made in
tandem with a lily-based illusion.

d'Eon:
(It didn't even scratch him!)

C:???:
What a joke.

d'Eon:
Guh...!

C:???:
It's over, Proper Human History.

C:???:
We've destroyed every last one of your nests.

d'Eon:
...Heh. It's not over yet.

d'Eon:
This started long ago,
and it ended long ago.

C:???:
Ah, you mean them?
The Olympus Alter Ego will deal with them.

C:???:
Did you think this would all be over once they arrived?

C:???:
There is no path forward for you.
Any future you may have had is gone.

C:???:
You can submit to us and live, or oppose us and die.
Which will it be, Proper Human History?

d'Eon:
...We will never submit!

C:???:
I see.

C:???:
Then death it is.

Atlantis Border Guard:
We've found the leyline, sir.

C:???:
Good. This is the last one.

C:???:
Once we have used it to summon a Servant, causing it to go dormant, we will destroy it completely.

C:???:
Our enemies should have known better than to give us time to prepare for their arrival. Now, we will ensure they have no chance whatsoever of defeating us.

C:???:
Without a catalyst, the only sort of Heroic Spirit that can be summoned here will be one drawn to this place by sheer coincidence...but make sure you stand back all the same.

C:???:
We may end up summoning a Berserker, after all.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir.

C:???:
Hear me now, in the name of our great demiurge. Come forth from the circle of binding, Guardian of the Scales.

C:???:
Come forth and dedicate your life to Olympus, to this land brimming with the breath of the gods!

D:???:
Where am I?
Wait. Who am I...?

C:???:
...Hmm.

D:???:
Are you...my Master?

C:???:
Yes, I am.

C:???:
From here on, you will dedicate your body, your life, and your skills to Olympus, down to your very last drop of blood.

C:???:
It is through this servitude that your life will have meaning.

D:???:
Um... What do you...mean by that?

C:???:
...If this is beyond your comprehension,
then your only task is to die.

Narration:
The steely man spoke quietly, but his words carried an unmistakable fury.

D:???:
...

D:???:
...Yes, Master. My life is yours to command.

Narration:
The Servant kneeled low, bowing their head before their new Master.

Narration:
It was then that the man lost interest. All that mattered to him was that the Servant was not an enemy.

Narration:
For his thoughts were already focused on the true enemy that lay before him.

C:???:
...Chaldea.
The invaders who would see our world destroyed.

C:???:
I will never let you reach Olympus.
It is here in Atlantis that you will meet your end.

C:???:
None of you will escape. None of you will survive.
I will slaughter you all where you stand.

C:???:
Prepare for battle.

Narration:
Meanwhile, a man and a woman watch as a certain seacraft makes its way across the ocean.

F:???:
...Are they serious?

F:???:
Is that really all those fools at Chaldea brought to try to cross this sea?

Musashi:
They're here!? Where!?
Ooh, that must be it! Wow, what an awesome ship!

Musashi:
Although...I guess that is a little concerning. It's a beautiful ship, but it's way too small for these waters.

Musashi:
Though it might've been too soon for them to make their move. Worst case, this battle might be over before it's even begun.

Musashi:
I just hope they haven't let their victories over those other four Lostbelts go to their heads.

F:???:
Well, that's harsh. And here I thought I sensed you were firmly on the Master of Chaldea's side.

Musashi:
Hell yes I am! I can't help but go
weak in the knees for Fujimaru!

Musashi:
That's why I'm only a little concerned for [♂ him /♀️ her] and
[♂ his /♀️ her] team. Looks like they're bound to have yet
another rough start!

F:???:
You find that a happy turn of events?
Even now, I still cannot fathom how your mind works.

F:???:
Is it because of your love for dire predicaments?
I swear, you're far more Berserker than Saber.

Musashi:
Well of course I'm going to smile about this.
I'm genuinely thrilled that they made it here.

Musashi:
How about you?
Did you not expect Chaldea to show up here now?

F:???:
...Well, I hadn't ruled it out.

F:???:
How unfortunate that this is the worst possible scenario for them. At last, I'll finally get to see them lose.

Musashi:
Well, well, you sound happy.
Though you certainly don't look it.

F:???:
...Hmph.

F:???:
I can understand them having such a hard time in Russia. It was their first Lostbelt, after all.

F:???:
I can accept their pathetic showing in Scandinavia, as that was a world too kind for its own good.

F:???:
I can turn a blind eye to their raucousness in China, for that was a world too long without any manner of festivity.

F:???:
And I can concede they had a right to be so self-righteous in India, for that was a clear-cut case of good and evil.

F:???:
No doubt it is owing to these experiences that the Chaldeans are likely thinking something along the lines of:

F:???:
“The Atlantic Lostbelt may be a threat, but there must still be a way to overcome it.”

F:???:
But they would be wrong. There is no problem here that needs to be solved. None.

F:???:
This Lostbelt is already perfected and is actively moving ahead to the stage beyond Proper Human History.

F:???:
The Chaldeans shouldn't have come here with the intention of defeating this Lostbelt. And they especially shouldn't be trying to learn more about it.

Musashi:
What are you trying to say?

F:???:
I am saying that coming to this Lostbelt with any intention other than its complete and utter annihilation is a terrible mistake.

F:???:
I can only hope they realize the error of their ways before they're completely wiped out. Alternatively...

F:???:
...Well, no matter. I have my own work to do.

F:???:
How about you? If you like, I could
take you to their ship right now.

Musashi:
Oh, no thanks, I'm good. I'm just gonna go ahead and wait for them at the enemy's main base.

F:???:
...

F:???:
...Did I misspeak? I thought I was clear that as the Chaldeans are going about this now, they're all going to end up dead.

Musashi:
Oh no, I understood you. I just don't agree.

Musashi:
Sure, they might suffer a horrific defeat and end up losing everything, but there'll still be enough of them left to fight back.

Musashi:
So in the meantime, I'm going to do what I'm best suited for...

Musashi:
...so that I can be ready to pass the torch to them once they finally, doggedly make their way to the goal.

F:???:
...I see. Then you can also see how this is going to end, albeit in your own way.

F:???:
Very well then, go on ahead to Olympus. If nothing else, the Chaldeans should make an excellent decoy.

Musashi:
Right? The gods can't tear their eyes away from them!

Musashi:
So, on that note, guess this is goodbye, Chaldean.
If I run into you again there–

F:???:
You won't. This is the last time we will ever meet.

F:???:
My eyes see no further trace of you once we go our separate ways here.

Musashi:
Well, at least that ought to keep things nice and simple then! Hey, do me a favor and tell them I'll be waiting for them up ahead, okay? Thanks!

F:???:
That fool. As if I would ever pass along such a message.

F:???:
That aside... I never would have thought she would make the trek to Olympus via consecutive drifting. She truly is her own personal Rayshift device.

F:???:
Unfortunately, Chaldea, the same cannot be said of the rest of you.

F:???:
The insurmountable iron wall that is the fleet of Olympus will rain shots down upon you like a meteor shower before you can even see them coming.

F:???:
And even if you somehow manage to get past that, you will then need to face the nihilist god of the sea.

F:???:
...Do you truly understand
your position here, Fujimaru?

F:???:
You have no time to spare to learn about this Lostbelt.

F:???:
The moment you attempt to do so, or to get to know its Crypter, will be the moment your journey comes to an end.

F:???:
...Your incorrigibility has helped you prevail thus far, but you can't count on it forever.

Narration:
The Nautilus continues to make its way across the sea.

Narration:
After confronting, overcoming, and emerging triumphant against four Lostbelts...

Narration:
...its crew prepares to face the fifth,
and most formidable of all.

--ARROW--

Goredolf:
...

Holmes:
...

Da Vinci:
...

Meunière:
(Damn, you could cut the tension in here with a knife!)

Mash:
This is finally it, Master.


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah...


Goredolf:
Ahem! Come now, what's with the long faces!?

Goredolf:
Given how obviously weak and pathetic the sixth and seventh Lostbelts appear to be...

Goredolf:
...this is shaping up to be our decisive battle!

Meunière:
That's exactly it, chubs. Come on, this tension's been making your sphincter tighten up just as much as ours, right?

Goredolf:
Heh. That right there shows just how little you actually know about the world of magecraft, Kidney Pie.

Goredolf:
I'll have you know the tension I'm experiencing right now is nothing like all of yours.

Goredolf:
No, I am genuinely freaking out here, and I'll thank you not to lump me in with your everyday ordinary nerves.

Goredolf:
As far as mages go, Kadoc Zemlupus was the bottom of the barrel. Every aspect of the boy, from his skill to his lineage to his resolve was truly, genuinely substandard.

Goredolf:
Ophelia Phamrsolone's Mystic Eyes may have been menacing, but she was still just a girl with no killer instinct.

Goredolf:
Akuta Hinako was... Well, her very existence may have been cheating the system, but she was never actually a mage.

Goredolf:
I would put her in the same category as any extremely dangerous wild animal.

Goredolf:
As for Peperoncino...

Goredolf:
Hmm. On second thought, he's so slippery I don't even know how I would go about evaluating him, so let's just say he's the exception to the rule.

Goredolf:
My point is, Kirschtaria is on an entirely different level than the other Crypters. There is simply no comparison.

Holmes:
Oh? Does that mean you've met him before?
Perhaps at the Mage's Association?

Goredolf:
Oh please. Well, technically, I suppose we do both come from equally distinguished families, but never mind that.

Goredolf:
Listen. The Clock Tower is where true geniuses come to gather. There, even mages with talents well beyond average are considered to be strictly ordinary.

Goredolf:
As such, simply being able to stand out there marks you as someone capable of changing the very world.

Goredolf:
Kirschtaria Wodime has been acclaimed as one of the brightest stars by the elite aristocrats of the Barthomeloi faction...

Goredolf:
...as well as the democrats of the Trambelio faction, and even the staunch neutralists of the Meluastea faction alike.

Goredolf:
Despite their differences, they all had equally high hopes that he would be the one to rebuild this world's deteriorating foundation of magecraft.

Goredolf:
They even thought he might have gone on to found a thirteenth department of study at the Clock Tower if he hadn't decided to join Chaldea. Hmph.

Mash:
Really? I had no idea Kirschtaria was so highly regarded in London.

Da Vinci:
And yet you never met him yourself, huh, Gordy?

Goredolf:
Of course not. I was always jeal–Ahem, cautious about who I reached out to there, after all.

Goredolf:
And Kirschtaria received no end of support from all the other successors to nobility–young men who were obligated to carry on their family names.

Goredolf:
You see, anyone from a mage family, no matter how prestigious, would never dare disobey their father.

Goredolf:
For them, their fathers, some of whom are genuine monsters who have been alive for hundreds of years, are the most terrifying beings in existence.

Goredolf:
And yet, even in the face of these wicked old foxes from the previous era of magecraft, Kirschtaria was never afraid to speak his mind openly.

Goredolf:
My guess is that his confidence stemmed from the sheer superiority of the magical circuits he had, circuits that have helped him go his entire life without ever losing to anyone.

Goredolf:
He always carried himself as though he were a king,
as though he had been chosen by the gods.

Goredolf:
He was both confident and idealistic, yet distinctly humane despite being both coolheaded and ruthless.

Goredolf:
He set the top records in all sorts of fields at the Clock Tower, many of which remain unbroken to this day.

Goredolf:
I still remember feeling keenly aware of how talent and charisma are something you're either born with or you aren't while peering over at him from behind a convenient pillar.

Meunière:
(Oh yeah, I could see tubbo doing that. I bet he was tearing at a handkerchief and glaring at him.)

Mash:
The director is right. Kirschtaria was a bona fide genius who excelled at absolutely everything.

Da Vinci:
It's true. My grown-up self has memories along those lines too...

Da Vinci:
...and they're telling me that, while I was definitely an unparalleled genius in every human endeavor under the sun, Kirschtaria was an indomitable genius when it came to magecraft.


Fujimaru 1:
But I thought Daybit was the genius?


Da Vinci:
Oh sure, he is too. Just of a different sort.

Da Vinci:
Again, these memories belong to my previous self who interacted with Team A, so I can't fully vouch for them...

Da Vinci:
But I'd say that Daybit's the type who could make the impossible possible, while Kirschtaria's the type who could master anything we know can be done.

Da Vinci:
So while it's not like one type is necessarily better than the other, when it comes to being a leader...

Da Vinci:
...I'd have to say being able to put together a foolproof plan like Kirschtaria could was the way to go.

Holmes:
Nonetheless, the fact remains that they are both peerless geniuses. I can't say I relish the thought of opposing either one of them.

Meunière:
You can say that again. Maybe if we're lucky, they'll underestimate us and let down their guard?

Mash:
I don't think we can count on that.

Mash:
Kirschtaria always gave everything his full effort,
even combat simulations.

Mash:
I remember it seemed to me like he had a real...aversion–a hatred almost–to settling for anything less than what he wanted.

Holmes:
Hmm. A genius who refuses to take the easy way out...
Perhaps this means he was actually just a hard worker?

Da Vinci:
No, I wouldn't say that.

Da Vinci:
According to Chaldea's records, Kirschtaria lived a perfectly ordinary life during his time there.

Da Vinci:
If anything, Kadoc worked way harder than he did. He spent dozens of hours training for every one of Kirschtaria's.

Holmes:
Oh?

Da Vinci:
Anyway, that's pretty much all we have to go on,
so I think that's enough Kirschtaria speculation.

Da Vinci:
We may not know exactly what we're up against,
but whatever they throw at us, we'll be ready.

Da Vinci:
We've used every last bit of the magical energy resources we've accumulated to get to this point.

Da Vinci:
Now, thanks to the Nautilus acting as the Shadow Border's outer layer, crossing the ocean is a proverbial walk in the park.

Nemo:
Not that this even comes close to what the Nautilus can really do.

Holmes:
I understand your disappointment, but I'm afraid the Shadow Border's safety is of paramount importance.

Goredolf:
Quite so.

Goredolf:
With these manifold Bounded Field spells...

Goredolf:
...the new engine that lets us use magical energy to propel ourselves through water at high speeds...

Goredolf:
...and the Aronnax Phantasm serving as our naval ram, we should even be able to cross bodies of magma if we're so inclined.

Nemo:
Of course. The Nautilus and I have seen it all and can handle anything. But I would like to avoid damaging the ship if we can.

Sion:
Hello, hello, this is Sion.
I am reading you loud and clear.

Sion:
I made sure you all have as much food and drink as the Border can possibly carry.

Sion:
This is, without exaggeration, the best we are able to do at this point. If we fail with all of this going for us, I will never be able to look you all in the eyes again.

Holmes:
Oh, not to worry. If we do fail here, at least we won't have to concern ourselves with next year's budget.

Holmes:
The smart thing to do now is to use everything we've got and let the rest sort itself out later.

Goredolf:
Ulp... I do hope we can find a leyline and summon more Servants soon.

Goredolf:
As things stand now, we don't have nearly enough in the way of fighting forces!

Holmes:
Come now, Goredolf, you know why that is just as well as any of us.

Holmes:
Given the battles we've fought in the other Lostbelts thus far, summoning Servants on-site gives us much better odds.

Holmes:
Besides, Master Fujimaru can only form temporary
contracts with so many Servants. I'm afraid you'll just have to keep a stiff upper lip as best you can for now.

Nemo:
Okay, we're about to reach the storm wall.

Nemo:
It might have been impenetrable for the Shadow Border prior to its upgrade, but now...things are different.

Nemo:
Activating Imaginary Aronnax Phantasm.

Nemo:
Lostbelt Phenomenon: identified.
Naval Ram Assimilation: successful.

Nemo:
Untether from reality.
Void Space Dive Penetration Mode...

Nemo:
Zero Sail: unfurl!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Sir, the lookout just reported a faint ripple at Eastern Four, the white wall.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Of course, it could just be an underwater earthquake–

???:
Do you really think we would be seeing an oceanic earthquake now? No, it's almost certainly Chaldea.

???:
They may be arriving a little later than expected,
but the plan otherwise remains the same.

???:
Assume they have succeeded at diving through Eastern Four, and train your sights on their most likely emergence point.

???:
All hands and ships to battle positions.
And hurry up with the Lamia deployment.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir.

???:
Listen up. Do not treat these foes as you would typical Rogue Servants.

???:
Servants who have formed a contract with a Master are stronger than you think.

???:
Do not for a moment think yourselves above them. Let down your guard, and you WILL find yourselves the hunted rather than the hunters.

Atlantis Border Guard:
...Yes, sir!

???:
Very well then, I leave this in your hands, ▂▂▃▃▄▄▅▅.

C:???:
Understood. The Echidna production is coming along extremely well.

???:
Is it possible to manufacture those things?

D:???:
Yes. Well, at least the prototypes.

???:
Tch...

???:
Damn engineers. After all this time, you still haven't been able to complete them?

???:
Well, no matter.
Send them in.

D:???:
Yes, sir.

D:???:
Activate the Echidna!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Right away, sir!

???:
A creature that spits out monsters in spite of the tremendous pain it causes, hmm. It is indeed the mother of life.

???:
This should have all manner of applications.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Come on, move it!
Go, go, go!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Hoist the beam sails! Head for the target coordinates! Full speed ahead!

Atlantis Border Guard:
The Third Fleet has arrived at the target coordinates!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Lamias are now ready to deploy!
Your orders, sir!

???:
...Take them out.

Section 1: Crisis After Crisis

Nemo:
Zero Sail complete.
Returning to Reality Space now.

Nemo:
...The outside ocean is ice-cold. I hate to say it after we just arrived, but we've already got our work cut out for us.

Nemo:
All hands, let's keep a tighter grip on this situation than a blue-ringed octopus does on its prey. We need to be able to respond at a moment's notice.

Mash:
...Right. I was hoping I could wait a little longer, until Sion finishes reworking my equipment.

Mash:
But it looks like the circumstances won't allow for that...

Nemo:
Nope. Our future is always just hanging on by a thread.

Goredolf:
So, we're finally heading for the Atlantic...

Goredolf:
Just what sort of civilization could these people possibly have built there?

Holmes:
I'm afraid that's all but impossible to say at this point, given the fantastical nature of this world's history.

Holmes:
All the more so given that we are dealing with a kind of nation that none of us have ever seen before.

Holmes:
I expect the truth of the matter will be more difficult to pin down than a passing mugger.

Holmes:
However, there is one thing I can say for certain.

Holmes:
Greece is home to one of the most famous and influential mythologies in all the world:

Holmes:
The gods of Mount Olympus.

Holmes:
It is therefore highly likely that they have had a strong influence on this Lostbelt.

Sion:
Atlantis is currently thriving much more than any other Lostbelt on Earth.

Sion:
You can tell that from the fact that we can observe its Tree of Emptiness from outside the storm wall, if only just.

Sion:
That means it has grown so large it is now impossible to cover up.

Sion:
It is hard to believe something so imposing could be so empty.

Sion:
I expect a tree like that will put up quite a fight indeed when it is finally time to cut it down.

Nemo:
All right, Reality Space established.
Hull...stable.

Nemo:
We'll start to emerge once we've confirmed there are no hostiles nearby–

Nemo:
...!
Hostiles detected! Abort surfacing!

Nemo:
Dammit, I can't believe how sharp their eyes are! Not only have they already seen us, they're headed straight for us!

Goredolf:
Wha...!?

Goredolf:
You mean we're already under attack!?
What in the world were you doing, Captain!?

Nemo:
They were waiting for us.

Nemo:
They must've pinpointed our location in the time it took us to establish Reality Space after the Zero Sail!

Sion:
What kind of observational equipment are they using!?

Sion:
That is like throwing a stone into the ocean and tracking it down using nothing but the sound it made!

Nemo:
I know we didn't make so much as a peep.
My diving is smoother than the slickest dolphin's.

Nemo:
The only thing they could have possibility spotted is the faintest of ripples we made when we entered the Lostbelt...

Nemo:
...and to do that, they would have had to be continuously observing the entire storm wall without a moment's rest!

Goredolf:
Never mind how this happened! Just get us out of here, dammit! Meunière! Full reverse!

Nemo:
Wait! Don't take any evasive maneuvers just yet!

Nemo:
Pull up the monitor and take a look at the surface!
Hurry!


Fujimaru 1:
Wha...


Mash:
What...are those...?

Sion:
How awesome! Those ships are using technology beyond anything in our civilization! And a whole fleet at tha–

Nemo:
What are you doing, Marines!? I don't want to listen to Sion prattling on either, but you can't just cut her off!

Nemo Marine:
Don't blame us, Captain!
It's not our fault!

Nemo Marine:
Some sort of atmospheric interference has cut off our connection to Novum Chaldea!

Nemo Marine:
Uh-oh! I've got a report to make too, Captain!

Nemo Marine:
It's not just enemy ships!
I'm picking up a Servant out there on the water too!

Nemo Marine:
The one we really, really, really didn't want to run into!!!

Caenis:
Heh. 'Bout time you Chaldea cretins got here.

Caenis:
Now I'm gonna murder the absolute shit outta you for making me wait all this time.

Holmes:
Caenis, the Divine Spirit!
She's here along with this entire fleet!?

Goredolf:
What are you lot waiting for!? Get us the hell out of here now! We don't have any other options!

???:
—. —.
—Cha—dea.

Nemo:
A transmission!?


Fujimaru 1:
Is it Sion!?


Nemo:
No, it's not...

???:
Attention enemy vessel from Chaldea.

???:
Requesting line of communication. Over.

Holmes:
A transmission!

Holmes:
(Does this mean their civilization has advanced to the point that they've developed long-range communications as well, even if only ones that use magical energy!?)

Nemo:
...I'm going to pick up, Fujimaru.

Nemo:
Okay, you're on.

Goredolf:
Th-this is Goredolf Musik, commander of the Shadow Border, speaking on behalf of Novum Chaldea.

???:

I am Odysseus, commander of the Olympus Defensive Forces.

Goredolf:
Wha...

Holmes:
...!!!

Odysseus:
I am contacting you with your first and only warning. We have come to kill you.

Odysseus:
There will be no surrender, no offers of amnesty, and no negotiations.

Odysseus:
We will not stop until we have confirmed that every last one of you is dead.

Goredolf:
...Eep...!


Fujimaru 1:
(The pressure's so intense he can't even get a word out!)


Odysseus:
This communication is terminated, as you will be shortly.

Holmes:
So we can't even attempt to talk things out in an effort to maintain the status quo. The situation could not be worse.

Nemo:
We'll just have to make an escape! There's no way we can possibly defeat Caenis at sea!

Nemo:
Engineer, grab a salt lick!
I'm gonna crank the engine as high as it can go!

Nemo Engineer:

What was that!?
You wanna run that by me again, you Cap-Bastard!?

Nemo Engineer:

What kinda predicament did you get my poor little ship into!? When this is over, I'm gonna kick your ass so hard you'll taste nothing but shoe leather for a week!

Nemo Engineer:

All right guys, I'm taking the safety valve off the Triton Wheel! All four compartments now running simultaneously! Thirty seconds until we're at full battle speed!

Nemo:
Holmes! Meunière! Set a course for minus twelve hundred seconds! We're going to dive back once the engine hits critical!

Holmes:
Yes, I'm well aware!
Preparing for a Zero Sail now!

Odysseus:
Throw the prototype at them.
We'll move to cut them off while it keeps them busy.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Opening cage and inputting target!
Injecting Theos Klironomia!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Go, go, go!

Odysseus:
...It's still not enough.
Caenis, you go too.

Caenis:
You don't gotta tell me! No way I'm letting them get away! I'm gonna make 'em all wish they'd never been born! Especially that little runt!

Odysseus:
I see. That vessel of theirs smells of Triton.

Odysseus:
They do say the sins of the parent are visited upon the child...though why Poseidon would bother to create such dull familial bonds is beyond me.

Nemo Marine:
I'm getting something on the sonar!
Hostile contact closing fast!

Nemo Marine:
Crap! It's going to intercept
us before we can Zero Sail!

Nemo Marine:
If we get hit now, the Nautilus's whole outer layer will be completely shattered!

Nemo:
...Abort Zero Sail!
Change the spells over to physical defense!

Nemo:
Da Vinci, give me an escape route!
Our only hope is to smash through this dragnet!


Fujimaru 1:
What about us, Captain!?


Nemo:
You head out with Mash and hold back that Servant on the surface!

Nemo:
If Caenis makes it inside the ship,
we'll all be well and truly done for!

Nemo:
I'll solidify the water near the Nautilus so you can use it as a foothold. Hopefully that'll be enough!

I:Mash:
Understood!
Master!


Fujimaru 1:
Let's go!


Nemo Marine:
Roger that! Surfacing now!
Opening the hatch!


Fujimaru 1:
What the hell is that!?


Holmes:
It's a completely new type of enemy;
it doesn't match anything in our records.

Holmes:
I would normally encourage you to approach it with caution, but I'm afraid we simply don't have the time.

Holmes:
Those other ships are making their way here as we speak. If we take too long, they'll have us completely trapped.

I:Mash:
Right! I'll be as careful as I can. Engaging now!

I:Mash:
Awaiting your orders, Master!

--BATTLE--

Goredolf:
Wha... What in the world is that thing!?
And how is it so absurdly strong!?

Nemo Marine:
I can't get a read on it! Our scans are being deflected or something! All of its stats are showing up as “Unknown”!

Nemo Marine:
If our instruments can't even measure it,
I think that means it might be a Divine Beast!

Mash:
Khh...!


Fujimaru 1:
It's too damn strong!


Nemo:
...I'm going to release my Noble Phantasm.
Get ready, Engineer!

Nemo Engineer:

Are you nuts!? Why would you use up our trump card now, you moron!?

Nemo Engineer:

Ugh. Fine! We're good to go at any time! Do it! And if you die from this, I'm taking over as the lead Nemo!

Nemo:
...Swapping Great Ram over to Impact Form!

Nemo:
Holmes!

Holmes:
I'm on it! Go ahead and give it all you've got!

Nemo:
Run it through!
Great Ram Nautilus!

Nemo:
Good! The ram struck it dead-on!
Argh, but it's still alive! Dammit!

Holmes:
Yes, but you did manage to slow it down.
Now's our chance to escape!

Holmes:
Both of you, get back here on the double!

Mash:
I'm so sorry I wasn't able to defeat it!

Holmes:
No need for apologies.

Holmes:
In terms of pure destructive power and durability, that thing is easily on par with the highest rank of Servant.

Holmes:
Right now, we just need to get as far away as we
possibly– Hold it! Right there! Magnify!

Goredolf:
Wh-what in the blue blazes is that...?

Meunière:
Holy cow, these magical energy readings are off the charts...

Meunière:
No, wait, it's not the readings themselves.
It's the sheer number of fluctuations I'm seeing.

Meunière:
That...thing is fluctuating fast enough to turn a human into a mummy and back again in the blink of an eye!

Holmes:
There appears to be something moving about in its abdominal region.

Holmes:
It would appear to be...Lamias and Chimeras.
Fully grown to boot.

Goredolf:
You mean...it's birthing monsters?
What the actual hell!? HOW!?!?!?

Holmes:
What's more, it's doing so at great speed. It would seem we are dealing with the mother of all monsters, in a very literal sense.

Holmes:
...Now the monsters it birthed are heading our way!

Mash:
Master!


Fujimaru 1:
...Let's do this, Mash!


Mash:
Right!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
There, we've got a lull in between waves.
Now's our chance!

Nemo:
I know! We'll begin evasive maneuvers
as soon as we collect you!

Nemo:
We'll make our way through any creatures we can't avoid with the naval ram and anti-submarine net cutters!

Nemo Marine:

Forget that, Captain! We've gotta get out of here now, before she gets here!

Mash:
...!

Mash:
There! Above us–

Mash:
Ghh...!


Fujimaru 1:
Mash!


Mash:
I'm... I'm okay!
Although...

Mash:
(That one blow was so powerful...)


Fujimaru 1:
Who're you!?


Caenis:
Why do I gotta bother telling you my name now? 'Sides, we already exchanged pleasantries in Scandinavia.

Caenis:
Then again, I'm enjoying that terrified look on your face, so why not? You wanna know who I am? Fine, you got it!

Caenis:
My name is Caenis, a Divine Spirit! I am the lightning that tears this shitty ocean apart!

Caenis:
I'm also Kirschtaria Wodime's Servant and the envoy who's going to end every last one of you!

Caenis:
But hey, I'm sorry. I don't mean to be mean. I'm actually real happy that I get to see you lot like this.

Caenis:
Between Russia, Scandinavia, China, and India, I figured you would have died way before getting here. Hell, I was so sure of it I'd already put you out of my mind.

Caenis:
But then you show up like the pack of morons you are, flying by the seat of your pants.

Caenis:
Now I know what it feels like to bust a gut laughing! You're gonna be worth destroying just as much as that fake-ass Triton!

Caenis:
So hey, take your pick. What'll it be?
Skewered alive or torn limb from limb?

Caenis:
Either one's fine by me.
All I want's to hear you scream for mercy!

Holmes:
...

Caenis:
Oh? What's the freakin' nerd herd doin' out here? How 'bout you go back to your calculators and shit, and just leave the fighting to the grown-ups, huh?

Holmes:
While I would love to do just that, I'm afraid that a few extra hands will be necessary to deal with a Divine Spirit.

Holmes:
The name's Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes:
I'm afraid I missed my chance to say hello back in Scandinavia, so here I am now to make up for my lack of manners.

Caenis:
...

Caenis:
That so? Well, I like that you mind your manners. At least in the sense that you don't piss me the hell off.

Caenis:
On the other hand, I can't stand that whole prim and proper shit, so I think I'll split the difference and rip your guts out first.

Caenis:
Did you really think a couple of human Heroic Spirits
could even stand a chance against me?

Caenis:
I'll show you what happens when trash like you tries to pick a fight with a god!

--BATTLE--

Caenis:
Ugh! I've had to take a lot of weak-ass Noble Phantasms to the face before, but yours is by far the most irritating!

Holmes:
Khh...!


Fujimaru 1:
Holmes!


Holmes:
None of our attacks worked! Is that due to Caenis's Noble Phantasm? Or perhaps it's a type of Authority?

Holmes:
Perhaps Captain was right. It may not be possible to so much as scratch Caenis at sea... Or rather, on the Greek gods' own ocean.

Caenis:
...Yeah, that's right. I'm immortal when I'm out on this sea. That's just how I'm made.

Caenis:
I didn't ask for that, though; you can thank that piece of shit Poseidon for it. I would've been fine with just my lightning.

Caenis:
Anyway...

Mash:
...?

Caenis:
...Time's up. I'll say this for you, scrawny:
at least you know how to defend yourself.

Caenis:
All right, I'm gonna pull back,
just like Odysseus planned.

Caenis:
I was looking forward to beating the Master of Chaldea and that fake-ass Triton to death with my bare hands...

Caenis:
...but not enough to risk my own life.

Caenis:
Later, Chaldea.

Caenis:
I'll be nice and at least make
sure you die a painless death.

Mash:
Caenis has...retreated.

Holmes:
...I've got a very bad feeling about this.
Return to the Nautilus!

Holmes:
...Oof.

D:Mash:
Are you okay, Mr. Holmes!?

Holmes:
Oh, I'll be all right. I feel at least slightly better than I did after my encounter with Sigurd, after all.

Holmes:
Then again, I suppose I was only able to handle Caenis's spear thanks to my experience against his demonic sword.

Holmes:
At any rate, finding a way out of this situation is still our most urgent priority. Let's hurry on to the cockpit.

Holmes:
I don't know why Caenis fell back, but I sincerely doubt it was to give us time to rest.

--ARROW--


Fujimaru 1:
We're back!


Nemo:
Good, all crew members have returned safely!
Submerging Nautilus now!

Mash:
The Nautilus is safely underwater.
Hopefully this will buy us some time...

Goredolf:
Damn you, Kirschtaria! Wasn't that strange Demonic Beast enough!? Did you really have to sic Caenis on us, too!?

Goredolf:
It's just so...childish to be so
overprepared for our arrival!

Da Vinci:
Um, Gordy, I'm not so sure “childish” is the right word? I mean, this was pretty much the opposite of playing around.

Goredolf:
Yes, good point! But never mind that now! We need to focus on getting out of here! Are we still not ready to Zero Sail!?

Da Vinci:
Between that unidentified Demonic Beast's attacks, and the damage Caenis's lightning did to the armor, repairs are going to take some time.

Da Vinci:
If we tried to Zero Sail now, we'd all be crushed to a pulp under the pressure of Void Space.

Da Vinci:
And since we don't want that happening, we'll just have to find another way out of these waters.

E:Nemo Marine:
The sonar's going nuts!
A whole bunch of somethings are headed our way!

Meunière:
Crap! Are those depth charges!?
...No, wait. They're creatures!

Meunière:
There's what looks to be a ton of living...somethings headed our way from the surface!

Meunière:
Shit! They're gonna collide with us at ninety knots!

Goredolf:
What living thing could possibly move that fast!?

E:Nemo Marine:
I've finished analyzing them!
I think they're probably Lamiaaas!

Nemo:
Evasive maneuvers!
All hands, brace, brace, brace!

All:

...!!!

E:Nemo Marine:
Oh man, this is really bad! They punctured Section Two! We're starting to take on water!

E:Nemo Marine:
I'll seal it up once the crew is out of there!
Three, two, one... There, it's sealed!

Meunière:
What the hell!? I know those were living creatures!
So where'd the depth charges come from!?

E:Nemo Marine:
This is Hatch Lookout, I'm hearing something strange!
Oh man! I think they're trying to pry it open!

G:Nemo Marine:
Sonar, reporting in! I'm seeing a ton of ships on the surface both ahead and behind us!

G:Nemo Marine:
There must be at least fifty of them!
We can't possibly break through so many!

Nemo:
...Engine, all ahead, flank speed!

Nemo:
Shake off the creatures that're
trying to pry open the hatch!

H:Nemo Marine:
Roger that! Flank speed!

Goredolf:
E-eep! What should we do!? I don't wanna die out here!


Fujimaru 1:
...


Fujimaru 2:
(Don't even dare to breathe.)


E:Nemo Marine:
That strange sound coming from the hatch stopped!
Did we lose them?

Nemo:
...No, I don't think we did.
Though I can't say I'm surprised.

Goredolf:
Wh-what's going on?
Can't we just make a run for it now?

Nemo:
We're surrounded.
...They knew exactly what we were going to do.

Odysseus:
Proceeding to Phase Three.

Odysseus:
Activate the Lamias we built on the seabed. Once they've secured the target, we'll immediately–

Nemo:
There's nowhere left to go.

Nemo:
The sea is usually a world of freedom.
I've never felt so restrained here before!

G:Nemo Marine:
...Uh-oh!
I'm getting something on the sonar again!

G:Nemo Marine:
Now we've got hostiles coming from the seabed!
They're pretty much the same as the ones before!

Goredolf:
W-was that another depth charge!?

E:Nemo Marine:
No, sir! That sounded more like...
some sort of metallic grinding...

Nemo:
Engine status? Are they still functioning?

Nemo Marine:
No, sir! They're all tangled up in something!
We can't move so much as a centimeter!

Nemo Marine:
We can't cut it off with the anti-submarine net cutters, either! The only way we can get it off is for someone to go out there!

Goredolf:
D-d-d-does that mean they're going to crush us to death!? Wouldn't it be better to dash it all and risk the Zero Sail!?

Holmes:
We still need a bit longer to prepare for that!
They're not giving us any time at all to react!

Odysseus:
Once they've been cornered, the only option they'll have left is a Zero Sail.

Odysseus:
That means there's still a chance they could escape if we continue to attack them with ordinary means.

Odysseus:
Therefore...

Odysseus:
...we need to give them the salve of the heavens, so that there can be no room for miracles or coincidences.

Odysseus:
All ships, make sure you follow my commands to the letter. Anyone caught retreating will be punished severely.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir!

Da Vinci:
...Ah.

Nemo:
...!?!?!?

Goredolf:
What? What is it?
What's the matter now!?

Nemo:
Is that...a high-energy signature coming in from orbital space?

Da Vinci:
We should have an ultra long-range lens now thanks to Sion, right!?

Da Vinci:
Use that to zoom in as close as you can!

Nemo Marine:
Roger! Activating ultra long-range lens now!

Nemo Marine:
Zooming in to sixteen thousand meters... Thirty-two thousand meters... Sixty-four thousand meters... One hundred and twenty thousand meters... Two hundred and forty thousand meters... Five hundred thousand meters...

Nemo Marine:
...Whoa! There's something there!
Putting it up on the monitor now!

Goredolf:
...Wat?

Holmes:
...

Da Vinci:
Is that really...?

Mash:
...


Fujimaru 1:
A...spaceship...?


Holmes:
...I presume this is orbiting
directly above us at this moment?

Nemo:
That's what it...looks like...

Goredolf:
What IS that!?
What in the ever-loving blazes IS that!?

Goredolf:
I thought the Lostbelts were supposed to be places where human history stalled out!

Goredolf:
How can they have a...a spaceship that looks like something our top scientists could only have dreamed about!?

Da Vinci:
We might've been able to gather more information about it if we still had our connection to Sion...

Da Vinci:
But at a glance, it sure looks like it's more advanced than anything in our own world...


Fujimaru 1:
...


Mash:
Master? What's wrong?


Fujimaru 1:
...We're all going to die...


Mash:
Die...?

Nemo:
Ah–

Narration:
An enormous ship hangs suspended in the hazy darkness of space.

???:
Hostile entity detected.
Authenticating request... Confirmed.

???:
Verifying target coordinates
via ground-level ether sonar.

???:
Readying cannon to fire on target location:
anatolé, októ-tría.

Nemo:
We'll never be able to evade this by conventional means! Professor! Allocate all resources towards maximizing defenses!

Nemo Professor:

Understood. Activating Bounded Field spells.

Nemo Professor:

Authorizing Code L: New Moon.

Nemo Professor:

Activating Bounded Field spells One through Sixty, and spatial distortion spell up to maximum depth.

Nemo:
Good! But don't fall behind on those Zero Sail preparations, either!

Nemo:
...!

Nemo:
Here it comes!!!

???:
Dispatching interstellar cannon evacuation alert.
Firing energy charge in three...

???:
Two...
One...

???:
Shooting Star Ortygia

Narration:
The light converged on a single point,
transforming into an enormous arrow.

Narration:
...No, it wouldn't be fitting to call it an arrow. This was a weapon designed to shoot down intergalactic vessels. A weapon created to tear through entire planets.

Narration:
An Anti-Planet Noble Phantasm.

Narration:
Now, its light streaks down towards a single submarine:
the Nautilus...

Nemo Professor:

Bounded Field spells One through Sixty have been destroyed. The spatial distortion spell has already been eroded to two percent capacity.

Nemo Professor:

Time for the distortion to repair itself...
Five seconds. The spell isn't going to hold.

Nemo:
Initiate Zero Sail!

Holmes:
Captain, we can't! If we try in this state–!


Fujimaru 1:
...!


Atlantis Border Guard:
It's a hit.
The Chaldeans' ship has been completely vaporized.

Atlantis Border Guard:
...Too bad for the guys who had to keep them surrounded...

Odysseus:
A necessary sacrifice.
We couldn't give them time to fall back.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Shall we go home now, sir?

Odysseus:
...No, not yet. We're going to check the target area for any remains.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Are you sure, sir?
There's not so much as a scrap of them left.

Odysseus:
And that is reason not to look because...?

Atlantis Border Guard:
...Yes, sir. I'm sorry, sir.
We'll start searching the area right away.

Odysseus:
Is this why he paid that fox woman such an exorbitant price for that Shadow Border analysis? Because he foresaw this turn of events?

Odysseus:
That light I saw at the end...

Section 2: Impossibly Miraculous

???:
Whoaaa. That was amazing...

Narration:
...There'd been a booming sound and a blinding flash of light. The kind you'd expect at the end of the world.

Narration:
I'd heard rumors about the Goddess's Hammer of Justice, but I'd never seen it for myself before. You could feel its sheer destructive power just from the storm that blew onto the beach.

Narration:
I had my reasons for paying the beach a visit,
but I was also just a little bit curious.

Narration:
I did think I might be able to help somehow if anything had washed up on shore...

Narration:
...but I hadn't really thought about it any further than that.

Narration:
I definitely didn't expect to run into any survivors.

Narration:
I mean, the whole idea that anything COULD survive that just seemed laughable.

Narration:
After all, the whole point of the gods' punishment...

Narration:
...was to wipe its targets completely out of existence.

Narration:
Which is why...

???:
Huh?

Narration:
Which is why it was so tragic to see that lone,
frail-looking person washed up on the beach...

Narration:
Because I was the only one there
who had any hope of saving [♂ him /♀️ her].

???:
...u...
...u!


Fujimaru 1:
(What just...)


???:
...ou...!


Fujimaru 1:
(I can't...breathe...)


???:
Fou!

???:
Hey! Are you okay!? Are you alive!?
Are you still breathing!?

???:
...Oh no. You aren't, are you?
There's something stuck in your windpipe!

B:???:
Let's see, um... I think for a choking victim, you're supposed to get behind them... Put pressure on their abdomen...

B:???:
One... Two... Three!


Fujimaru 1:
(Cough, hack)


A:???:
Oh, you're awake! Thank goodness!

A:???:
Are you all right? Have you come to your senses?
Can you see me okay!?

A:???:
...

A:???:
Oh, thank goodness!
Thank goodness, thank goodness, thank goodness!

A:???:
...(Sob)... Oh, I'm sorry.
I'm just so happy I could cry. Wait, no. I am crying.


Fujimaru 1:
You are!? Why!?

A:???:
I'm so sorry...
This is my first time saving someone's life, so...


Fujimaru 2:
O-oh. Okay...

A:???:
Please, just let me get it out of my system...
(Sniff)...


Fou:
Fou!


Fujimaru 1:
Fou! It's you!


A:???:
Oh, so this little guy is named Fou?
Is he your pet?


Fujimaru 1:
Hmm. I guess I'd say...he's more of a friend?


Fou:
Fou fou.


Fujimaru 1:
What!? Why would you have a problem with that!?


A:???:
Ahahaha, you're funny.
...Hm? Wait. Hmm...?

A:???:
Um, you wouldn't happen to be a Master...would you?


Fujimaru 1:
...Are you a Servant?

A:???:
Why yes! Yes, I am!


Fujimaru 2:
I am, actually...

A:???:
Aha! I knew it!

A:???:
You see, I'm actually a Servant myself.

A:???:
Does that surprise you? Please say yes.


A:???:
Oh, right, I still haven't introduced myself, have I?
My name's Charlotte.

A:???:
Charlotte Corday.

Charlotte Corday:
I, um... I'm probably extremely minor as far as Heroic Spirits go, so I won't blame you if you haven't heard of me.


Fujimaru 1:
Don't worry, I know who you are.

Charlotte Corday:
Oh! Well, thank you.

Charlotte Corday:
...Although, if I'm being honest, having the reputation I do is actually sort of embarrassing.

Charlotte Corday:
I really wish I'd left some more flattering legends of myself behind when I died...


Fujimaru 2:
I haven't, sorry...

Charlotte Corday:
Oh no, don't be!
I'm actually delighted to hear that!

Charlotte Corday:
Really, the things I did should never have gone down in history in the first place!


Charlotte Corday:
But never mind that. What brings you all the way out to a place like this, anyway?


Fujimaru 1:
Well...


Charlotte Corday:
Nooow I get it!

Charlotte Corday:
Yes, it all makes sense...
This must be what I was summoned for.

Charlotte Corday:
I've been wondering what I'm supposed to be doing here ever since I materialized here...

Charlotte Corday:
So now that I know, I promise
I'll do whatever I can to help!


Fujimaru 1:
Then, does that mean...?


Charlotte Corday:
Yes!

Charlotte Corday:
I may be stupid, useless, and good for absolutely nothing...

Charlotte Corday:
...but I promise I'll do the
best I can in spite of all that!

Fou:
Fooou.

Charlotte Corday:
Aww. You're very cute, aren't you, Fou?

Charlotte Corday:
So what exactly is he, anyway? Some kind of squirrel?

Charlotte Corday:
I was summoned here about a month ago.

Charlotte Corday:
But it wasn't long before I realized that, well...
I can't actually do anything on my own.


Fujimaru 1:
You mean there's no enemies to fight here?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh no, there are. Plenty of them.

Charlotte Corday:
It's just that...I'm no match for them.


Fujimaru 2:
Really? Nothing at all?

Charlotte Corday:
Yes. Really.

Charlotte Corday:
And it's not because I'm an Assassin or anything.
I'm just...genuinely helpless.


Charlotte Corday:
But I have a good feeling about this!
I think I'm finally going to get to be helpful!

Charlotte Corday:
I'll certainly do my very best!

Charlotte Corday:
Anyway...I suppose the first order of business is probably tracking down all your other companions.

Charlotte Corday:
So while we're doing that...

Charlotte Corday:
...I'll tell you everything I know about Atlantis.


Fujimaru 1:
That'd be great. Thanks!


Charlotte Corday:
Of course.

Charlotte Corday:
Okay, so this island we're on now is called Hestia,
after one of the gods of Olympus.

Charlotte Corday:
There's a village here where some humans live,
and another Servant lives on the island as well.


Fujimaru 1:
Another Servant?


Charlotte Corday:
Yes. He calls himself “The Courier.”

Charlotte Corday:
I still don't know his True Name...

Charlotte Corday:
...but he's the one who brought me here on a ship.


Fujimaru 1:
A ship, huh...


Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
By the way, Fujimaru,
I'm afraid I have some bad news.


Fujimaru 1:
What's that?


Charlotte Corday:
I actually have no idea where we are right now, either...

Charlotte Corday:
Now where was that village again...?

Fou:
Fooou!?


Fujimaru 1:
I wonder where we are now...


Fou:
Fou...

Charlotte Corday:
I'm sorry...

Charlotte Corday:
Now that I think of it, losing my way is how I ended up at that beach earlier, too.


Fujimaru 1:
Why did you lose your way?


Charlotte Corday:
Well–

Charlotte Corday:
!

Fou:
Fou!


Fujimaru 1:
Shhh!


Fou:
...u.

Demonic Beast:
Grrr...


Fujimaru 1:
(A Demonic Beast...)


Charlotte Corday:
(I'm afraid I have some more bad news now...)

Charlotte Corday:
(I lost my way earlier because I was running away from that Demonic Beast...)


Fujimaru 1:
Huh?


Demonic Beast:
!

Charlotte Corday:
Th-there's no way we can beat it!
Run awaaay!

Fou:
Fou!

Demonic Beast:
—!!!


Fujimaru 1:
It's so fast!


Fujimaru 2:
Oh crap! It's gaining on us!


Charlotte Corday:
Fujimaru!


Fujimaru 1:
Corday!


Charlotte Corday:
...Please, run for it!
I'll hold it off as best I can!

Charlotte Corday:
I promised myself I'd be useful this time!


Fujimaru 1:
This time?


Charlotte Corday:
...Here goes nothing!

--BATTLE--

Charlotte Corday:
(Huff... Huff... Huff...)


Fujimaru 1:
We're completely surrounded...


Charlotte Corday:
No! I won't give up yet!

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
Huh?

Fou:
Fou?


Fujimaru 1:
Is it...raining on them?


???:
(Sigh) Having a body can be a real pain sometimes.

???:
No, wait. Something's not right here.
Why do I even have to do this, anyway?

???:
I mean, I'm a Servant, for Petros's sake!

???:
Oh... Maybe it's 'cause my name originally meant “one who discharges water”?

???:
Hahaha, that must be it! Hahaha!
Whoever thought THAT was a good name for anybody!?

Fou:
Fou...

Charlotte Corday:
Um... Does that mean the “water” falling on the Demonic Beasts' heads is actually...


Fujimaru 1:
Please no...


Fou:
Fou.

???:
Hm? What's that? Did I get it on somebody?

???:
Haha, sorry about that!
Hang on, I'll be right down!

???:
Hup!

F:???:
Sorry again. Didn't mean to involve you guys in my little, uh, bit of fun.

F:???:
So, um... Who'd I get it on?

Charlotte Corday:
N-not me! I literally couldn't
live with myself if it had!

F:???:
Guess that means you guys were the
unlucky winners then! Haha, my bad.

F:???:
Ugh, gross! Stay away from me!


Fujimaru 1:
But, you were the one who–


Charlotte Corday:
I'm sorry, this is all a little too much for me...

Fou:
Fooou.

F:???:
There we go. A nice, solid hit.

F:???:
Hey there! I don't know who you are,
but you're lucky I found you when I did!


Fujimaru 1:
Thank you for saving us.

F:???:
Well aren't you polite?
Nice to see you know your manners!


Fujimaru 2:
Um... I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name?

F:???:
Me? I'm just your everyday devilishly handsome hunter.


F:???:
As for the pretty young lady...
You a Servant?

Charlotte Corday:
Uh, yes, I am.
And...I take it you are as well?

F:???:
Sure am! I think this calls for a toast.
To our fateful encounter!


Fujimaru 1:
Just...uh, wash your hands first...


Fou:
Fou fou!!!

Charlotte Corday:
I agree!
Cleanliness comes first!

F:???:
All right, all right, I hear ya.
Man, what a pain...

F:???:
Okay, let's try that again.
This means I saved your lives, yeah?


Fujimaru 1:
Well, I guess... Technically...


F:???:
Yikes. I must've made an even worse
first impression than I thought.

Charlotte Corday:
Well, um, your entrance WAS a little...
Okay, incredibly off-putting...

Charlotte Corday:
But I suppose we wouldn't be here right now if not for you, so thank you for that.

F:???:
...So beautiful...

F:???:
Say, now that I've washed my hands,
maybe it'd be all right if I held yours?

Charlotte Corday:
No, I think I'll pass on that, thanks.

Charlotte Corday:
We still don't even know each other's names, after all, so I think it's much too early for anything like hand-holding.

F:???:
Ouch. Rejected with cold, hard logic.
That's just sad.

F:???:
Okay then, sounds like introductions are in order.

F:???:
I'm Orion, the Tri-Star hunter.

Fou:
Fo...


Fujimaru 1:
Are you for real!?


Fou:
Fooou!?

Orion:
Ah, now I gotcha. So you've met me before then.


Fujimaru 1:
Well, yes...and no...


Fujimaru 2:
I'm...not sure that counts...


Orion:
What's that supposed to mean?

Orion:
Anyway, you are...?

Charlotte Corday:
Charlotte Corday.

Orion:
O-oh. I see.

Orion:
...

Charlotte Corday:
It's okay if you've never heard of me.
I'm a very minor figure as Heroic Spirits go.

Orion:
Haha, sorry 'bout that!

Charlotte Corday:
(Sniff)...

Charlotte Corday:
I'm so sorry, Fujimaru.
I wasn't able to be useful after all.

Charlotte Corday:
If Orion hadn't showed up,
who knows what would've become of us...


Fujimaru 1:
What do you mean? You saved our lives.


Charlotte Corday:
Huh?

Charlotte Corday:
B-but I couldn't even defeat a single Demonic Beast.

Orion:
Don't be ridiculous.

Orion:
I'd never have been able to save you guys if you hadn't hung in there like you did.

Charlotte Corday:
Oh...

Charlotte Corday:
I see...

Charlotte Corday:
Then...I was useful after all! That's wonderful!

Charlotte Corday:
That means I can die now!

Orion:
Where'd that come from!?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, sorry, I misspoke. What I meant to say was, I'm so honored now that I could die a happy Servant.

Charlotte Corday:
Being able to help humanity
is a dream come true for me.

Charlotte Corday:
(Sigh) I can almost feel myself
disappearing as we speak...

Orion:
Well don't, okay?
I mean it!

Fou:
Fou fou?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, I get it.
You're actually egging me on, aren't you?

Orion:
Not even close!

Orion:
...Actually, hold on.
Something's still not adding up.

Orion:
Let's see... You're not an Atlantean, right?
And you're a Servant?

Orion:
...What's going on here?

--ARROW--

Orion:
Now I see. So you're a Master...
Oh, don't worry.

Orion:
I can promise you, with absolute certainty,
that I'm a Servant from Proper Human History.

Orion:
...So, if you're here, does that mean
you came to set this Lostbelt right?


Fujimaru 1:
I...guess so...

Orion:
Not exactly brimming with confidence, are you?


Fujimaru 2:
I'm still not sure.

Orion:
The cautious type, huh?

Orion:
Well, for my part, it would've made things easier if you'd said you were here to kick this Lostbelt's ass–figuratively, of course–but oh well.


Orion:
...So.

Orion:
I'm guessing from the way you're looking
at me that you'd like me to help you...

Orion:
But I can't.

Fou:
Fou!?

Orion:
Too much hassle.


Fujimaru 1:
That's it? That's your whole reason!?

Orion:
What more do you need?
Things don't always have to be overly complicated.


Fujimaru 2:
Is that really your reason?

Orion:
Man, you're a real doubting [♂ Thomas /♀️ Thomasina],
aren't you? Yes, that's the reason!


Charlotte Corday:
You can't be serious!

Charlotte Corday:
You must be a thousand times more useful than I could ever hope to be. So why won't you agree to help!?

Orion:
Well, uh... Let's just say I've got my reasons...

Charlotte Corday:
Hmph...


Fujimaru 1:
Now that's a sulk if ever I've seen one.


Charlotte Corday:
All right then, I suppose this is where we go our separate ways.

Charlotte Corday:
Come on, Fujimaru. We'll never find the
village if we keep wasting our time here.

Charlotte Corday:
Let's just get going!

Orion:
...Does she know the village is in the opposite direction?


Fujimaru 1:
Corday, waaaiiit!


Charlotte Corday:
Oh, right. I'd almost forgotten we were lost!

Charlotte Corday:
Orion, will you take us there, please!?

Orion:
Didn't you just say we were going our separate ways?

Charlotte Corday:
Urk... Gnnn...

Orion:
Hahahaha! I'm just pulling your leg!
C'mon, follow me.

Orion:
Oh, and just so you know, it's over a day's walk from here, so we'll have to make camp at some point.

Charlotte Corday:
Really? My gosh, I must have been even less attentive than I realized.

Charlotte Corday:
I had no idea I'd gone so far.

Orion:
...Well, don't worry. I promise I'll at least get you to the village safe and sound.


Fujimaru 1:
That'd be great. Thank you!


Orion:
...So let me ask you this.

Orion:
How much do you guys know about this Lostbelt?


Fujimaru 1:
Just that it's the biggest.

Orion:
...Sounds about right.
Okay then, let me tell you a little more about it.


Fujimaru 2:
I know it's Kirschtaria's domain...

Orion:
Yeah? Can't say I know anyone by that name.

Orion:
But I have heard there's someone called a Crypter staying at Olympus.


Charlotte Corday:
And I... Um... I guess I only really know that the weather is very mild and pleasant here...

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, and the Atlanteans.

Charlotte Corday:
Besides that, there are powerful Demonic Beasts here who are much stronger than I am.

Orion:
Powerful Demonic Beasts?
Yeah, I guess.

Orion:
But it's nothing that'll get in
the way of life on this island.

Orion:
In that sense, it's nice and peaceful around here.

Orion:
...I hope your friends are still alive.


Fujimaru 1:
They are.

Orion:
Well great! Glad to hear it!

Orion:
With an attitude like that,
I think you'll get by just fine.


Fujimaru 2:
Me too...

Orion:
I mean, there's nothing worse than dying, right?
Can't say I'm too fond of killing, either.


Orion:
...So hey, I've got a question for you.
A real serious one.

Orion:
So I want you to look me right in the eye,
and answer it as truthfully as you can.

Fou:
Fou?


Fujimaru 1:
O-okay...


Note: Male Master

Orion:
This Chaldea place you're from...

Orion:
Does it have any cute girls?
Pretty ladies?

Orion:
Women I can hit on without it being a problem?

Fou:
Fooou!?

Orion:
Oh, it's okay if they're already married. That sort of thing was totally cool in ancient Greece.


Fujimaru 1:
That doesn't sound like the ancient Greece I know...

Orion:
...Well, I guess you might die every now and then.
Or suffer a fate that makes you wish you were dead.

Fou:
Fou.


Fujimaru 2:
Sorry, but I really, really don't want to get on Artemis's bad side...

Orion:
Can't blame you for that!

Orion:
Wait. Does that mean you and I've met before?

Orion:
In that case, I'm sure you've seen how terrifying she can be for yourself...

Orion:
But you don't have to worry about her right now.


Note: Female Master

Orion:
This Chaldea place you're from...

Orion:
Does it have other girls as cute as you?
Or any other pretty ladies to speak of?


Fujimaru 1:
Orion?

Orion:
Gaah! Don't look at me like that!!!


Fujimaru 2:
What about Artemis?

Orion:
Urk!!!

Orion:
...Well, uh, if nothing else, we don't have to worry about her at the moment.


Note: Branch End

Charlotte Corday:
Um... Is this really that important a question?

Orion:
It is for me!

Charlotte Corday:
I, uh, I see. I suppose having been raised in an abbey, I simply cannot understand an issue like this...

Orion:
Anyway, we'd better call it a night.
Got an early morning ahead of us tomorrow.

Orion:
Go on and get some sleep.

Fou:
Fooou... Fou...


Fujimaru 1:
Good night, Fou.


Orion:
There we go.
Out like a light.

Orion:
Sweet dreams, Fujimaru.

Orion:
I'll be around to help you out for at least a little while. You ready, Charlotte?

Charlotte Corday:
A-as ready as I'll ever be.
Oh, and please call me by my last name.

Orion:
You got it.

Orion:
All right, you lot. Keep it down, so you don't wake up
Fujimaru, and I'll make your deaths quick
and painless.

--BATTLE--

Orion:
All right, that takes care of that.

Fou:
Fou...

Orion:
Oh hey, didn't know you were still up, fur ball.

Fou:
Fou...

Orion:
I know that expression.
You're wondering why I'm not helping out, aren't you?

Charlotte Corday:
I am too, honestly.

Charlotte Corday:
I mean, the best I can do in battles like that is slow everyone else down.

Orion:
Well... It's complicated.

Orion:
The truth is, I really do want to help...
I just need to agonize over it a little longer.

Orion:
I've never had to deal with anything like this before. I might not look it, but I've actually got a lot on my mind.

Orion:
...Atlantis is awesome.

Orion:
There's no war, and nobody wants for anything. The only thing most people have to worry about is the Demonic Beasts.

Orion:
...But there is one part I just can't tolerate.

Charlotte Corday:
!

Orion:
Knock it off. She's not an enemy.

???:
—. —.
.

Orion:
...Get lost. I don't feel like talking right now.

???:
...

Orion:
...Tch.

Charlotte Corday:
Um... Who was that?

Orion:
Hmm. I guess I'd have to say she was...
my ex-girlfriend?

Charlotte Corday:
Wait... What!?

Orion:
But even though we broke up,
we're still not exactly estranged?

Charlotte Corday:
Whaaa!?

Orion:
Anyway, that's how it is.
I'd appreciate if you could keep this between us!

Charlotte Corday:
(Sigh)...

Charlotte Corday:
Well, if you insist that's how it is, I certainly don't know enough about that sort of thing to say otherwise...

Orion:
You don't?

Charlotte Corday:
No, I don't.
Um... Is that odd?

Orion:
Hmmm.
Well, I guess that's okay!

Charlotte Corday:
Good.

Charlotte Corday:
Anyway, it doesn't look like any more Demonic Beasts will be bothering us...

Charlotte Corday:
...so I'm going to stay close to Fujimaru!

--ARROW--

Fou:
Fou, fou!


Fujimaru 1:
Okay, okay, I'm up, I'm up...


Fujimaru 2:
Please get off me, Fou...


Orion:
Hey, you're up. Ready to get going?
If we leave now, we should get to the village today.

Charlotte Corday:
Good morning, Fujimaru.

Orion:
I've got plenty of jerky if you're feeling hungry.


Fujimaru 1:
Don't mind if I do!


Fou:
Fou fou.


Fujimaru 1:
I know, don't worry. Here you go, Fou.


Orion:
So that thing's carnivorous, huh?

Fou:
Fou, fou!


Fujimaru 1:
He says he's not picky, and he's happy to eat anything.


Orion:
Hahaha, a creature after my own heart.
...Guess it wasn't just a walking emergency ration.

Fou:
Fooou!

Orion:
Ow, ow!
I'm sorry, I'm sorry!

Orion:
Well, I doubt he'd be enough to fill up on anyway,
so let's get going and eat on the way!


Fujimaru 1:
What are those machine-looking things?


Fujimaru 2:
Whatever those things are, they're really big...


Orion:
That's the village we're heading to right now.


Fujimaru 1:
THAT's the village?


Orion:
There's a bunch of remains here of the gods who fell during the war about ten thousand years ago.

Orion:
...Sorry, guess that didn't make much sense to you,
did it? Hahaha, don't worry, it will soon!

Orion:
And there're the last Demonic Beasts.
Hey, how's about helping me out to mark the occasion!

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
I just felt a flash of pain throughout
my head just now, but I'm okay!

Charlotte Corday:
I'll do my best to ensure I at
least don't get in the way!


Fujimaru 1:
Got it!


--BATTLE--

Orion:
Try this on for size!

Orion:
Aw yeah, we won!

Orion:
Man, having a Master around really does make a big difference, doesn't it?

Charlotte Corday:
It really does! I don't know why,
but I feel like I'm doing so much better now!


Fujimaru 1:
I'm just glad I can help.

Orion:
Don't worry 'bout it.

Orion:
Aww yeah!


Fujimaru 2:
High five!

Orion:
Hm?

Orion:
Oh, I get it.
Like this, right?

Orion:
Aww yeah!


Charlotte Corday:
...!

Charlotte Corday:
U-um... I don't suppose...


Fujimaru 1:
You want in on the high five action too?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, uh, yes, please!

Charlotte Corday:
But since I barely did anything to help,
I think a low five would be more fitting!


Fujimaru 2:
What's up?

Charlotte Corday:
N-never mind. It's nothing. Really...

Orion:
Did you want a high five too?

Charlotte Corday:
Yes!

Charlotte Corday:
I mean, no! I mean... Um...
Please, just forget it...



Fujimaru 1:
Okay, how's this?


Charlotte Corday:
We did it!

Orion:
Ooh, me next! Come on!

Charlotte Corday:
Huh?
Well, um, in that case...

Orion:
Just the fingertips!?

Charlotte Corday:
Well, I couldn't give you anything
better than what I gave Fujimaru, so.

Orion:
Why's that? Some kind of Servant code or something?

Charlotte Corday:
Um... I guess...something like that?

Fou:
Fooou, fou fou.

Orion:
Ah well, never mind that.

Orion:
Here we are!
Hestia Village!

--ARROW--

Hestia Island Resident:
Hm? Oh, hey, Orion.

Hestia Island Resident:
What's going on?
It's not like you to return from a hunt so soon.

Orion:
Let's just say I happened across something rare and unusual.

Hestia Island Resident:
Hm? You mean you found someone too?

Orion:
“Too”?

Hestia Island Resident:
Oh yeah, some people showed up here asking for help.

Hestia Island Resident:
I tell you, I hadn't seen anyone that badly wounded in a long, long time.

Orion:
Well damn, that's a hell of a coincidence.
So where are these people now?

Hestia Island Resident:
They're staying at the tavern for the time being. Apparently, The Courier happened to know who they were.

Hestia Island Resident:
I was going to have them head for the temple once they got their bearings, but now that you're back, this works out nicely.

Hestia Island Resident:
Why don't you escort them there?

Hestia Island Resident:
Turns out none of them had an offering from the gods, just like you didn't.

Orion:
Did you hear that, Fujimaru?


Fujimaru 1:
You think it might be them!?


Orion:
Hell yeah I do. There's no way this is just a coincidence. Come on, the tavern's this way!

Charlotte Corday:
W-wait for meee!

Mash:
...

Mash:
!!!

Mash:
Senpai... Senpai!!!


Fujimaru 1:
Mash!!!


Mash:
You're all right! Oh, thank goodness!

Mash:
I mean, well...

Mash:
I knew you were still alive and uninjured thanks to your vital readings on the Shadow Border...

Mash:
But since we couldn't contact you, I was worried that you might be trapped or imprisoned somewhere...

Mash:
I can't tell you how relieved
I am that you're all right!


Fujimaru 1:
I'm so relieved to see you're all right, too!

Mash:
Yeah.

Mash:
Luckily, I got off with only a few bumps and scratches, since I was using the enhanced Ortinax at the time.


Fujimaru 2:
What about the others?

Mash:
Oh yes, they're all okay too.
Although...


Da Vinci:
Fujimaru! You're all right!

Holmes:
Though we did have empirical evidence of your
well-being, we were all still going out of our minds with worry.

Goredolf:
I'll say. This whole sorry state of affairs just goes to show how much you still have to learn.

Goredolf:
Now you listen to me. It's every soldier's duty to always contact their superiors, no matter what their situation.

Goredolf:
If you're all right, we'll know to breathe a sigh of relief. If you're wounded, the shock will take our collective breath away.

Goredolf:
Either way, once we have contact, then we can take action. But, if you never contact us at all...

Goredolf:
My point, [♂ boy /♀️ girl], is that it's about time you took
your responsibilities as the last Master of humanity seriously.


Fujimaru 1:
Well, uh, funny story...

Goredolf:
Hmph. Let me guess:
Your communicator was broken, right?

Goredolf:
Well, given that you are uninjured, I'll overlook it just this once. The fact is, we cannot solve this Lostbelt problem without a Master, and as I just said, you're the last one we've got.


Fujimaru 2:
I'm so sorry...

Goredolf:
I don't want to hear your exc–
What's that? Your communicator was broken?

Goredolf:
...Well, in that case, I suppose there genuinely wasn't anything more you could have done... All right, here, I'll lend you mine. Just try not to break this one, too.


Holmes:
At any rate, though it is a great weight off all our shoulders to know everyone survived the attack...

Holmes:
I'm afraid the situation we find ourselves in is both highly complex and time sensitive.

Holmes:
Hmm. Where to begin...

Goredolf:
Where else?
The first order of business has to be Captain.


Fujimaru 1:
You mean Nemo? What about him?


Mash:
Well...

Mash:
The whole reason we survived is thanks to Captain Nemo forcefully initiating a Zero Sail.

Da Vinci:
Usually, Zero Sailing in the state we were in would've gotten us killed for sure, and should never have been attempted...

Da Vinci:
...but this time, it turned out to be the right call.


Fujimaru 1:
What happened?


Da Vinci:
I took a look at the data we
collected during the attack...

Da Vinci:
...and it said that the beam that came down from the sky tore the Border to pieces.

Da Vinci:
So even though our Zero Sail came to an end successfully, albeit half-assedly, our existence was still ever so slightly unstable.

Holmes:
Are you familiar with a Rider by the name of Astolfo?


Fujimaru 1:
Oh yes. Very.

Holmes:
Then perhaps you're also familiar with his Noble Phantasm, the Hippogriff?

Holmes:
Since it is not of this world, and its existence is so ill-defined, the Hippogriff is able to travel freely between truth and fiction.

Holmes:
This enables it to temporarily evade attacks that are rooted in reality.


Fujimaru 2:
Not really, no...

Holmes:
Well, one of the legends he shares with Bradamante involves a Phantasmal Beast called Hippogriff.

Holmes:
Hippogriff is a mythical creature that can travel freely to the Reverse Side of the World and back thanks to its ill-defined existence.


Holmes:
In our case, under most circumstances, our predicament would normally have led to one of two outcomes.

Holmes:
Either that light from the heavens would have torn the Nautilus to pieces, or the forced Zero Sail would have resulted in us no longer being able to verify our own existence.

Holmes:
However, it is here where Captain's decision truly shines.

Holmes:
Sustaining damage in a neither-here-nor-there state served to verify our existence through external means...

Holmes:
...and in turn, the Zero Sail helped keep the light's destruction within manageable levels.

Holmes:
Though not without significant cost, I'm afraid.

Mash:
Captain Nemo was integrated into the Nautilus, so when it was nearly destroyed, the damage to him was catastrophic, and has left him comatose.


Fujimaru 1:
...Is he going to be okay?

Holmes:
Unfortunately, it seems his recovery will be neither swift nor simple.

Holmes:
But recover he must, for we cannot hope to cross the Sea of Atlantis without the Nautilus.

Holmes:
It is absolutely essential for
us to navigate the terrain.


Fujimaru 2:
Where is he now?

Mash:
They're letting him use the bed on the second floor of this tavern. He still hasn't woken up.


Holmes:
Under normal circumstances, the best thing to do would be to send him back to Novum Chaldea, turn him into his spirit form, and give him the time he needs to restore himself...

Holmes:
But our plan hinges on the Nautilus, and with that out of commission, our hands are firmly tied.

Holmes:
For one thing, we can no longer escape even if we wanted to.


Fujimaru 1:
What about Sion?


Da Vinci:
As far as I can tell, we're almost completely cut off.

Da Vinci:
We've been able to transmit a tiny bit of data–just enough to let her know we're still alive–but that's all.

Da Vinci:
It takes forever to send, too. To give you an idea of the scale and difficulty, it's like sending signals from Earth to Mars.

Goredolf:
Then, right when everything was looking abjectly hopeless...

I:???:
That's when I showed up and said:

I:???:
“You look like you're in distress,
o beautiful lady with the hidden eyes!”


Fujimaru 1:
Who're you!?

I:???:
Ask, and you shall receive!
My name is Bartholomew Roberts!

Bartholomew:
I'm a professional pirate in the prime of my youth,
and most importantly...

Bartholomew:
I'm single!!!


Fujimaru 2:
Th-that voice! That line!

I:???:
Hehehe, I take it we've already met then.
Perhaps there's a version of me there in Chaldea?

I:???:
Still, I'm a firm believer in proper introductions,
so don't mind me if I do just that!

I:???:
My name is Bartholomew Robeeerts!!

Bartholomew:
I'm single!

Bartholomew:
(Glance)

Mash:
?

Bartholomew:
I said, I'm single!!!

Da Vinci:
Here, Mash, why don't you come
stand next to me for a while?

Mash:
Um, okay...


Holmes:
Indeed, it was through meeting Mr. Roberts
that we managed to arrive at this village.

Holmes:
What about you, Master?
How did you find your way here?


Fujimaru 1:
Orion helped me.


Holmes:
Hm?

Holmes:
There doesn't appear to be anyone else here.
Though it does smell faintly of game.

Holmes:
Perhaps this means the Servant who escorted you to this village was here not too long ago?

Holmes:
Orion, hmm...
...The human version?

Mash:
There's a human Orion too!?
Not just a bear!?

Mash:
Oh wow... I wish I could have seen that for myself!

Mash:
In the meantime, um... I noticed you also seem to have brought a very beautiful woman with you. May I ask your name?

Charlotte Corday:
?

Charlotte Corday:
O-oh, I'm sorry.
Were you talking to me?

Mash:
I was!

Charlotte Corday:
My name is Charlotte Corday.
I'm an Assassin!

Charlotte Corday:
U-um...

Mash:
?

Charlotte Corday:
Mash, was it?
Are you Fujimaru's Servant?

Mash:
Yes, that's right.
I'm Mash Kyrielight.

Charlotte Corday:
Well, as a fellow Servant,
it's a pleasure to meet you!

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, and please, call me Corday.

Mash:
Not at all. The pleasure's all mine.

Mash:
So are you the one who escorted
Master here then, Corday?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh no, it wasn't me! If anything, I was being helped much more than I was helping...

Charlotte Corday:
Neither Fujimaru nor I would have made
it back here if it hadn't been for Orion!

Bartholomew:
Aha... No wonder I haven't seen you around then.

Charlotte Corday:
Yes, I'm afraid I got hopelessly lost.
I'm sorry for worrying you, Mr. Courier.

Bartholomew:
Oh, that's quite all right. Just grow out your bangs, and it'll all be water under the bridge.

Charlotte Corday:
Huh?

Bartholomew:
Damn, I guess she didn't get it.

Bartholomew:
Anyway, is Orion gone now then? Well, that's too bad.
Guess I'll have to go after him.

Bartholomew:
Then again, I don't really want to go after another man... Then again AGAIN, I think I have to–


Fujimaru 1:
Just make up your mind already, will you?


Bartholomew:
Oh man... How am I ever going to decide?

Goredolf:
Oh, don't bother. We don't have the time or the resources to spare running after someone who's already left.

Goredolf:
Besides, we still need information first and foremost! Just what in the world is going on with this Lostbelt, anyway!?

Da Vinci:
Okay, Bartholomew.

Da Vinci:
I know you already told Holmes and me earlier, but would you mind going over this Lostbelt again for everyone else?

Bartholomew:
Not at all! Would you mind lowering your bangs?

Da Vinci:
Uh, why? I'm already perfect as I am, so no.

Bartholomew:
Tch.

Bartholomew:
...All right, moving on.

Bartholomew:
We know exactly why this Sea of
Atlantis ended up as a Lostbelt.

Bartholomew:
Did you notice anything unusual about this village?
I'm betting you did.


Fujimaru 1:
Those enormous metal structures...


Bartholomew:
Right.

Bartholomew:
As I'm sure you can imagine, those giant buildings you saw are not of human design.

Bartholomew:
They were made by...well, there's no
better word for them than gods.

Bartholomew:
What's more, these gods still hold the
reins of power here even to this day.

Bartholomew:
That's right. Here in this Lostbelt,
the gods of Olympus are alive and well.

Section 3: Enduring Light of the Gods

Kirschtaria:
How fares things there, Caenis? Did the operation to eradicate the Chaldeans conclude without issue?

Caenis:
Sure looks like it. First we beat the shit out of 'em with that massive fleet, then finished 'em off with one of Artemis's arrows.

Caenis:
If they actually managed to survive all that,
I'd be so impressed I'd even join their side myself!

Kirschtaria:
I'll take that to mean it was a highly fulfilling victory then. But I'd also advise you to watch your tongue, Caenis.

Kirschtaria:
Words have meaning, after all, and I'm afraid you might have been a bit too generous with your praise just now.

Caenis:
The hell's that supposed to mean? It's not like I could join their side even if I wanted to, now that they're dead.

Caenis:
...Wait. I recognize that mean little smirk.
Don't tell me...

Caenis:
Odysseus! Tell us what happened already,
and be quick about it!

Odysseus:
...We haven't finished our search for their remains yet, but at this point, it seems that they were not eliminated as planned.

Odysseus:
I intend to continue searching for them under the assumption that they managed to escape, most likely to a nearby island. I expect Hestia will be our best bet.

Kirschtaria:
There you have it, Caenis.
Well? Are you going to join their side now?

Caenis:
Not a chance in hell! Are you trying to start something with me, Kirschtaria!? Grr, just forget I said anything! I didn't actually mean it, anyway!

Caenis:
'Sides, I don't even see why all this was necessary. I could've easily killed 'em all myself, but you just had to go and bring Artemis into it.

Caenis:
So what're you gonna do to make up for this botched operation, Mr. Commander of the Olympus Defensive Forces?

Caenis:
You gonna offer up your head on a platter by way of apology, like the other one of you did?

Odysseus:
I don't answer to you, Caenis.

Odysseus:
The only ones who can punish me are Lord Zeus
and his close ally, Kirschtaria.

Kirschtaria:
Thank you, Odysseus. Rest assured, I have no intention of laying blame for this at your feet.

Kirschtaria:
The operation itself was perfect,
and your direction flawless.

Odysseus:
...I appreciate your even-handed decision, Kirschtaria. Now then, if you'll excuse me, I must get back to my search.

???:
Yes, that's a good idea.

???:
After all, Odysseus, the whole reason you were dispatched there was to ensure the invaders would never sully Olympus.

???:
Yes, exactly.

???:
I hope you are duly aware of the importance of your task, Odysseus.

Odysseus:
I am.

Caenis:
...

???:
As for you, Caenis, you should be ashamed
of yourself for your failure to kill them.

???:
Caenis.

???:
You are to come back to Olympus at once and cleanse yourself as best you can before you are granted an audience.

???:
If I were you, I would already be thinking up excuses for this miserable failure of yours.

???:
I can tell you right now, the King of the Gods is going to be very upset with you. Better be ready to receive his punishment.

Caenis:
Why you little–

Kirschtaria:
That's enough, you two.
I'll deal with Caenis myself.

Kirschtaria:
I would remind both of you to conduct yourselves
in a manner befitting the glorious Olympic gods.

???:
...Hmph. You're always much too
easy on Caenis, Lord Kirschtaria.

???:
But if you insist, I suppose we
have no choice but to keep quiet.

???:
...Remember, Caenis, you are nothing more than a hunting dog. There is no point in keeping you around if you can't do your job.

???:
You should be honored to have been trusted with a Divine Spirit. It's far more than you deserve.

???:
If I were you, I would never forget the debt of gratitude I owed to Lord Kirschtaria. Difficult though that may be with such a tiny brain as yours, I nevertheless suggest you try your best.

Caenis:
(I'll kill 'em.)

Kirschtaria:
Caenis.

Caenis:
(I don't even care what Zeus might do to me.
I'm gonna kill those brats dead, end of story.)

Kirschtaria:
Caenis.

Caenis:
Shut the hell up, human! Don't you keep calling my
name! Not unless you want to end up dead yourself!

Kirschtaria:
Let's refresh our memories, Caenis.
What it is you want?

Caenis:
...To get revenge on Proper Human History. No, scratch that: to reject it completely. That's the whole reason I went along with your little scheme in the first place.

Kirschtaria:
Good. Then continue to do just that.
There is no need for you to return to Olympus.

Kirschtaria:
I'll tell Zeus myself that you're biding your time,
waiting for a chance to clear your name.

Caenis:
...Tch. All right, fine.
I'll play along.

Caenis:
You are technically my Master so I'll obey that order. Besides, I have a little more respect for the Chaldeans now.

Caenis:
If they really did manage to survive Artemis's attack, they'll be plenty worth killing myself.

Caenis:
If that means cleaning up the moon
goddess's mess for her, then fine.

Kirschtaria:
Oh? I'm surprised to hear you say that,
given your notorious antipathy toward the gods.

Kirschtaria:
Perhaps visiting other Lostbelts has affected you just like it has the Chaldeans.

Caenis:
What was that!? You got a death wish or something!? Huh!?

Caenis:
I don't have any mercy to spare for humans OR Divine Spirits! Far as I'm concerned, the only good human or god's a dead one!

Caenis:
Besides, the only one in the whole damn world
who could do something about me is y–

Caenis:
...Ugh, forget it. Too much trouble.
All right, Kirschtaria, what do I gotta do?

Kirschtaria:
For the time being, you're to remain on standby under Odysseus's command.

Kirschtaria:
We can't have you roaming around the sea haphazardly and getting caught up in skirmishes with the remnants.

Kirschtaria:
Not unless you want to exhaust your magical energy before you get a chance to fight Chaldea.

Kirschtaria:
Worry not. Once Odysseus locates Chaldea, I will ensure you are the one to settle things with them.

Caenis:
Hmph. All right, I can live with that. I hate having to hang around Odysseus any longer, though.

Kirschtaria:
Odysseus. Any news of the Athena Klironomia?

Odysseus:
We're still looking for them, but I'm prioritizing the search for Chaldea for the time being.

Kirschtaria:
Fine. Let me know when you find them.

Odysseus:
Understood.

Odysseus:
...That's all I have to report.
For now, I will return to my search.

Kirschtaria:
Very well. I'm sure a hero of your
renown won't let us down, Odysseus.

Odysseus:
I find it hard to believe how rudely you behave towards your own Master, Caenis.

Caenis:
Hah. Believe it or not, this is me holding back.
I'm just too tired to bother with anything more.

Odysseus:
...Really? That was you holding back?

Caenis:
Yeah, it was. There's just no point in getting pissed off at him. He never bats an eye no matter what you say.

Caenis:
So I only ever say about half of what's
really on my mind. Couldn't you tell?

Odysseus:
...Aren't you afraid?

Odysseus:
It's not as though you are his only Servant, after all.

Odysseus:
If he were to get fed up with your rebellious attitude, he could end your contract whenever he liked.

Caenis:
Man, I wish. Then I'd finally get to pick a proper fight with him.

Caenis:
No damn human slaps a collar on me and gets away with it forever. When all's said and done, I'm gonna make him pay dearly for that.

Odysseus:
What a strange relationship...
Oh well, it's none of my business.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Lord Odysseus, the Echidna has
succeeded at producing the dog.

Atlantis Border Guard:
I believe it should finish growing in about half a day.

Odysseus:
Good. Find something it can use to track the Chaldeans.
I don't care what it is or where you get it.

Odysseus:
If the Chaldeans are indeed still alive...they're bound to have left a trail of some kind.

Odysseus:
And a dog's keen senses will
be able to find such a trail.

--ARROW--

Bartholomew:
...In Proper Human History, the gods, including the
Twelve Olympians, parted ways with humanity.

Bartholomew:
But in this world, they remained.

Bartholomew:
I don't know why that is.

Bartholomew:
We might be able to find a clue as to what happened if we went digging around in the ancient ruins...

Bartholomew:
But really, that doesn't matter.

Bartholomew:
The problem is that this world achieved amazing growth and prosperity thanks to the gods sticking around.

Bartholomew:
Well...

Bartholomew:
...if we're being accurate, most of the gods aren't actually here in Atlantis.

Bartholomew:
They're up on top of the Great Pit that sits in the middle of Atlantis's sea.

Bartholomew:
That's your ultimate destination: the interstellar metropolis, Mt. Olympus, that lies beyond that Tree of Emptiness.

Mash:
Olympus...


Fujimaru 1:
The city of the gods...


Bartholomew:
And of course, wherever you find gods,
you'll also find people who worship them.

Bartholomew:
Like the ones who attacked you the moment you set foot in this Lostbelt.

Holmes:
...This is as far as Da Vinci and I got earlier. From here on out, everything we learn will be new to us as well.

Goredolf:
R-right.

Goredolf:
Now I see. If the gods are still alive here, that would certainly explain our current situation.

Holmes:
When you mention people who worship the gods...are you perhaps referring to that Heroic Spirit?

Bartholomew:
That's right. I bet you were all quaking in your boots when you heard his True Name, weren't you?

Bartholomew:
He's one of the most famous tacticians in all of Proper Human History.

Bartholomew:
A hero who survived the same battlefield that took the lives of great heroes like Achilles and Hektor...

Bartholomew:
Odysseus.

Bartholomew:
That's the commander in chief who rules over this entire sea of Atlantis, and your sworn enemy set on wiping you all out.


Fujimaru 1:
Odysseus...

Mash:
Right.

Mash:
Along with Hektor, Achilles, Penthesilea, and Paris...

Mash:
...he was one of the heroes who helped bring an end to the legendary Trojan War.

Mash:
In fact, he was the one who came up with the idea for the Trojan horse.


Fujimaru 2:
Um... Who was he again?

Goredolf:
You mean you don't know!? Come now, surely you can find some time in your schedule to hit the occasional book!

Goredolf:
Then again, I suppose you have been keeping rather busy as of late, haven't you?

Holmes:
Odysseus is one of the heroes who fought in the Trojan War...

Holmes:
The war that broke out between the Trojans and the Achaeans due to Paris's decision in a contest between goddesses.

Holmes:
It was through Odysseus's cunning ploy to sneak Achaean soldiers into Troy inside a great wooden horse falsely presented to the Trojans as a gift...

Holmes:
...that the once impregnable Troy was finally forced to surrender.

Holmes:
This legend is so well-known that even today, we refer to malware that presents itself as something benign so that it can deliver a malicious payload as a Trojan horse.

Mash:
Incidentally, the Iliad that Iskandar is always reading is an epic poem that depicts the events of the Trojan War.


Da Vinci:
Anyway, our first order of business is to get Nemo healed up. We won't even be able to use the Shadow Border until he's feeling better.

Bartholomew:
Fortunately, I have an idea as to how to go about that, so don't worry; I'll take care of it.

Holmes:
Next, there's one more thing I would like to ask you about.

Holmes:
What was that light that came down from the sky and tore the Nautilus to pieces?

Holmes:
Is it some sort of secret weapon Odysseus came up with?

Bartholomew:
Ah yes, that... That's one of the most pressing problems you'll have to face.

Bartholomew:
Let me start at the beginning.

Bartholomew:
There are three major hurdles you'll need to clear if you're going to reach Olympus.

Bartholomew:
First, there's the Olympus Defensive Forces, commanded by Odysseus.

Bartholomew:
Second, there's Poseidon, the nihilist god
of the sea and guard of the Great Pit.

Bartholomew:
And third, there's the heavenly arrow
of divine punishment: Artemis.

All:
...!

Bartholomew:
There's no way for you all to get into Olympus unless you can do something about each of these hurdles.

Bartholomew:
Think of them as Atlantis's version of the three layers of defense that made the Byzantine Empire's capital city of Constantinople all but impervious to invasion.


Fujimaru 1:
Three layers of defense...


Orion:
...Hmm. Maybe I should've said
something before I left after all.

Orion:
Then again, I'm sure they'll figure something out with Bartholomew there.

Orion:
...Man, now I've got even more I've gotta think about.

Orion:
Where should I go?
What should I do?

Orion:
Is this really what you want, Artemis?

Bartholomew:
Things were actually relatively peaceful on the sea of Atlantis up until fairly recently.

Bartholomew:
There were still soldiers stationed here, sure,
but you could count them all on one hand.

Bartholomew:
And even with Artemis keeping watch, getting around between the different islands was no problem at all.

Bartholomew:
Back then, the only ships she'd automatically attack were those that tried to head for Olympus.

Bartholomew:
But then, not too long ago,
the situation changed dramatically.

Holmes:
Was that because of us?

Bartholomew:
That's part of it, sure, but there's another, bigger reason.

Bartholomew:
What happened was, a number of Servants from Proper Human History managed to infiltrate Olympus.

Mash:
Huh!?

Bartholomew:
I don't know if it's because of the sheer size of this Lostbelt or what, but the Counter Force ended up summoning a whole bunch of Servants...

Bartholomew:
...who tried to establish a beachhead that you Chaldeans could use to reach Olympus whenever you got here.


Fujimaru 1:
They did that for us...?


Mash:
So who were these Servants?

Bartholomew:
I wish I could tell you, girl with the beautiful hidden eyes, but I don't even remember what they looked like.

Holmes:
...I presume there is some sort of magecraft in play?

Bartholomew:
Yes, I think so.

Bartholomew:
You see, I was asked to help them reach their destination, which means I had to stay behind.

Bartholomew:
So if I remembered their True Names, there was a chance I could end up being compelled to give them to the enemy.

Da Vinci:
They must've had a really talented Caster put a spell on you. Then again, it could have been an Assassin or someone who specialized in memory manipulation...

Bartholomew:
At any rate, I do remember they managed to get past both Artemis's arrows and Poseidon's strikes...

Bartholomew:
...and ended up safely reaching Olympus.

Bartholomew:
Unfortunately, their arrival came at a heavy price.
A number of Servants were killed on the way there.

Bartholomew:
I may not remember their faces or their names...
but I do know they all went down fighting.

Da Vinci:
...Gotcha.

Holmes:
Regardless, this does shed some light on
why their security was already so tight.

Holmes:
That being said, with so many Servants being summoned, they would surely have been discovered sooner or later even if they had all remained here.

Goredolf:
Who cares about what happened in the past?
We still need to worry about the present!

Goredolf:
So you're saying the reason Atlantis is on such high alert right now is thanks to this other Servant invasion?

Bartholomew:
Exactly, man who wouldn't be my type even with much longer bangs.

Bartholomew:
Then again, if you were to lose a few pounds...

Goredolf:
Was that descriptor really necessary!?

Bartholomew:
At the moment, getting into Olympus is basically impossible.

Bartholomew:
However, there are still several Servants who stayed behind, so in my opinion, you should start by looking for them.

Bartholomew:
Of course, in order to do that, you'll need to visit the neighboring islands...

Bartholomew:
...but at least Artemis's guard should be a little more relaxed during the daytime.

Bartholomew:
And fortunately for you, my ship, the Royal Fortune, can cross between islands in the blink of an eye.

Bartholomew:
That being said...honestly, it's still incredibly risky to move around while Artemis is on high alert.

Bartholomew:
We can only hope that she's lowered her security level because she thinks you're all dead.

Bartholomew:
So, what do you say?

Da Vinci:
What about this idea you said you had for helping Nemo to recover? I'd like to know more about that.

Bartholomew:
Ah, right. It'll be faster if I just show you.

Bartholomew:
In brief, it involves taking
Captain Nemo to the temple.


Fujimaru 1:
Uh...what temple?


G:Hestia Island Resident:
Excuse me! Mr. Courier!

Bartholomew:
Yes? What can I do for you?

G:Hestia Island Resident:
I'm sorry to impose, but I have something I was hoping you could deliver for me.

G:Hestia Island Resident:
Unless you're already fully booked?

Bartholomew:
...Not at all. The only reason I'm allowed to stay on this island is because I agreed to serve as a courier.

Bartholomew:
Now, where would you like it delivered?
...The next island over, hmm.

Bartholomew:
In that case, I should be able to make it there and back by nightfall.

Bartholomew:
In exchange, I'm sorry Hairetikós, but could I ask you to do me a favor and show these people around the village for me?

Bartholomew:
I think they'd be especially interested to see how clothes are made here.

G:Hairetikós:
Sure, no problem.

Goredolf:
...Hmm.

Goredolf:
(Well, given what these villagers are wearing, it certainly seems like their lifestyle is still identical to what it was in ancient Greece.)

Goredolf:
(As such, I doubt there will be all that much of interest to see...)

Mash:
Thank you for showing us around!

G:Hairetikós:
Not at all. Okay, this way, please.

Holmes:
Hmm.

Holmes:
I'm sure it comes as no surprise, but one truly cannot help but notice those enormous structures.

Holmes:
I'm told they are known as the
remains of a number of gods?

G:Hairetikós:
“Remains” isn't the nicest way to put it, but that does seem to be what the young people call them.

Holmes:
Do you mean to say that you are no longer young yourself, my fair lady? Because if so, I must humbly beg to differ.

G:Hairetikós:
Oh, well thank you.

G:Hairetikós:
Anyway, Mr. Courier said I should show you how our clothes are made, right?

G:Hairetikós:
Here, it's right this way.

Da Vinci:
Oho. Ohoho. This is some very interesting interior decoration you've got going here.

Goredolf:
I take it that's your loom over there? Hmm. What do you use for your textiles then? Some form of cotton?

G:Hairetikós:
Cotton?

G:Hairetikós:
Um, no, it's silver birch bark
embedded with Theos Klironomia.

Goredolf:
Theos what now?

Goredolf:
Well, I suppose that doesn't matter. Though I must say, isn't this material a bit too plain for clothing?

Goredolf:
Surely you could put such a lovely shade of blue towards more fashionable means, no?

Goredolf:
And what about durability? Isn't that a concern?

Holmes:
If I may, Director, fashion is intrinsically tied to both the area in which it is worn and the civilization of the people wearing it.

Holmes:
So I daresay it's quite rude to criticize it as though our perspective is the correct one.

Goredolf:
Hmm... Yes, good point.

G:Hairetikós:
I see, so you find it too plain. But to answer your question, no, durability isn't a concern at all.

G:Hairetikós:
Our clothes can be adjusted to suit the temperature, and they're treated with a coating to deter blades which keeps us fairly safe from Demonic Beast attacks.

Goredolf:
Huh?

G:Hairetikós:
Yes?

Holmes:
...Pardon me, but would you mind if I touched the outfit hanging over there?

G:Hairetikós:
Oh no, go right ahead.

Holmes:
Hmm... I can't say I've ever felt any other article of clothing quite like this...

Holmes:
Would you also mind if I borrowed that knife?

Mash:
Holmes?

Holmes:
This is a good iron knife, well-made and
well-sharpened...and yet, it can't cut through this outfit.

Goredolf:
Huh? Are you serious? H-here, let me try.

Goredolf:
Nghhhh...!
I-it's no use! I can't cut it worth a damn!

G:Hairetikós:
Um... Could you stop, please?
You're going to ruin the knife if you keep that up...

Holmes:
Ah, of course. I do beg your pardon.

Goredolf:
Wh-what in the world IS this material?
Is there some trick to how you make it?

G:Hairetikós:
No, we just–

A:???:
Heeey! I hunted a Demonic Beast!

G:Hairetikós:
Oh good, it looks like we'll get to have fresh Demonic Beast meat for dinner today.

Mash:
You hunt Demonic Beasts? Isn't that dangerous?

G:Hairetikós:
Oh no, it's fine.
The ones around here aren't all that strong anyway.

G:Hairetikós:
The gods have permitted us to hunt them for millennia now, as long as we do so in moderation.


Fujimaru 1:
The gods, huh...?


G:Hairetikós:
They should start cutting and dressing the beasts any moment now. Come on, let's go see.

H:Hestia Island Resident:
I got a hydra!

H:Hestia Island Resident:
This one ferments alcohol in its intestines, so we ought to be able to get some good booze out of it, too.

Mash:
I don't believe it!

Holmes:
That is easily as large as an Orochi or a D'yavol Tron.

Holmes:
I say, have you all noticed something odd about these proceedings?

Holmes:
While all the villagers would seem to be happy about this kill, not a one of them is surprised by it.

Holmes:
This sort of hunt may not be exactly common for them...
but nor would it seem to be unprecedented.

G:Hestia Island Resident:
Man, this is great.
We haven't had hydra meat in forever.


Fujimaru 1:
Hey, can I ask how long forever is?

G:Hestia Island Resident:
Hmm, let me think...
Maybe thirty years or so?

G:Hestia Island Resident:
Am I right, Gramps?

I:Hestia Island Resident:
Oh, I'd say the one from thirty years ago was a good bit smaller than this.

I:Hestia Island Resident:
I haven't seen one of this size in about two hundred years, back when I was still young myself.

Goredolf:
Huh? What... What did you just say?

I:Hestia Island Resident:
Hm? I said I haven't seen one of this size in about two hundred years.


Fujimaru 2:
Can you tell us more about it?

G:Hestia Island Resident:
Huh? What, like how we hunted it?

G:Hestia Island Resident:
Well, when they get to be this size, there's definitely no taking one down on your own.

G:Hestia Island Resident:
You need to surround it with about four hunters so you can safely bring it down for the kill.

Mash:
Four hunters, you say?


I:Hestia Island Resident:
All right, let the feast begin!

H:Hestia Island Resident:
Man, we haven't had hydra in ages.

G:Hairetikós:
Don't worry, everyone!
We also have chicken if you're not a fan of snake!

Mash:
We had Demonic Beast back in Russia too, didn't we, Senpai?


Fujimaru 1:
This is some of the toughest meat I've ever had...

Mash:
That's true. It doesn't smell nearly as strong as I'd thought, but it certainly is chewy...

Goredolf:
Make sure you two brush your teeth properly. I don't want you complaining about toothaches in the middle of a battle.


Fujimaru 2:
It's pretty good, isn't it?

Mash:
Yes, it is. It is a little tough, but it's nothing you can't get used to.

Fou:
Fou fou.

Goredolf:
Hmm. Not bad. Not bad at all! But I daresay it would go down even better if it had been cooked teriyaki-style.

G:Hairetikós:
Here you go! Demonic Beast Teriyaki!


Goredolf:
All right, now that we've discovered a few more interesting things from this hydra hunt...

Goredolf:
...let's take advantage of this mealtime to go over what we've learned.

Goredolf:
First off, we were told that this hydra was brought down not by a Servant, but by four ordinary villagers.

Goredolf:
Second, these villagers haven't seen a hydra of this size in approximately two hundred years...

Goredolf:
...which we know thanks to an old man who was apparently a youngster at the time.

Holmes:
Quite so. It would seem that, while hydras of this particular size are something of a rare occurrence, it is not at all uncommon for these villagers to bring back smaller hydras from a hunt.

Holmes:
Furthermore, all the jerky we've seen hung up around the village came from Demonic Beasts as well.

Holmes:
In the Russian Lostbelt, the Yaga had to use magical guns to hunt Demonic Beasts, and even then, bringing one down wasn't easy by any means, but here–

Goredolf:
Right. Here, it would seem that hunting Demonic Beasts takes no more effort for these people than, say, hunting a quail would for us.

Goredolf:
And even though we're ostensibly from the same human race, they all seem to be in picture-perfect health.

Goredolf:
And they certainly couldn't be that healthy if they didn't regularly have enough to eat.

Bartholomew:
Hey there! Everyone enjoying the feast?
Mmm, this hydra really hits the spot.

Goredolf:
...I say, what in the world
is going on with this village?

Holmes:
I doubt anything we've seen here is unique to this village. Rather, I expect this is just what life is generally like here in the Atlantic Lostbelt.

Bartholomew:
Now, now, there'll be time for all that later. For today, I suggest you guys eat your fill, and tomorrow, I'll explain everything at the temple.

Bartholomew:
Mmm. I've got to say, this serpent liquor doesn't taste like any other kind of alcohol I've ever had, but it's got a real nice kick to it.

Bartholomew:
I bet it would be even better with some spices.
I'll have to try importing some one of these days!

Goredolf:
Hmm.

Goredolf:
True, given everything that's happened between yesterday and today, I can't help but feel a bit mentally worn out.

Goredolf:
Putting everything out of our minds for the night and getting a good, long sleep might not be a bad idea at all...

Goredolf:
Oh, um, you do realize that I'm speaking strictly in my capacity as Commander, of course. And I only reached this conclusion out of fervent consideration for everyone's well-being!


Fujimaru 1:
Whatever you say, Director.

Goredolf:
I mean it, you know!

Goredolf:
Grr, when did you become so distrustful!?

Goredolf:
Shouldn't you just, you know, take me at my word?
You are my subordinate, after all.

Fou:
Fou... (Munch, munch)

Goredolf:
Also, would you please teach this creature
to stop stealing my food already?


Fujimaru 2:
Yes, sir!

Mash:
Understood!

Goredolf:
...

Goredolf:
Well? Go on then, eat up! You'll need all
the energy you can get for what's to come!

Goredolf:
And don't be shy about asking for seconds!

Fou:
Fou fou fou.


--ARROW--

Nemo:
...

Mash:
It doesn't look like Captain Nemo will be waking up on his own anytime soon.

Holmes:
He is still comatose, or at least the closest equivalent for a Servant.

Holmes:
Unless we do something, he will most likely continue to wither away until he ultimately perishes.


Fujimaru 1:
We've got to find a way to help him!


Mash:
Right!

Bartholomew:
Unfortunately, getting to the temple could be a bit dangerous.

Bartholomew:
You see, the Demonic Beasts seem to have picked up on the scent of battle and started to roam the area.

Da Vinci:
In that case, we can't have Fujimaru carry
him, since [♂ he /♀️ she] needs both hands free for [♂ his /♀️ her] Master
duties.

Holmes:
Indeed. And it would be quite difficult, if not impossible, for you to carry him either, thanks to your small stature.

Holmes:
So, who would be the best choice...?
(Knowing glance)

Goredolf:
Urk.

Holmes:
Why, would you look at that. It seems we have a strapping young man with girth to spare right here.

Goredolf:
You're not talking about me, are you!?

Da Vinci:
Don't worry, you'll be fine. Someone as light as Nemo shouldn't be any trouble for you at all, right?

Goredolf:
Well no, of course not! Not to mention that physical enhancement is the most rudimentary of all spells!

Goredolf:
But a distinguished commander like myself giving a child a piggyback ride just seems more than a tad...well, improper.

Bartholomew:
Hahaha, you're still worried
about appearances at this point?

Bartholomew:
Shouldn't you be more concerned with improving your odds of survival, Commander? Even if just by one percent?

Da Vinci:
Exactly! Besides, I bet you'll cut a real dashing figure carrying Nemo on your back, Gordy♪

Goredolf:
Spare me the hollow praise! Something about it just rubs me the wrong way...

Mash:
Um... That actually reminds me of something I've been wondering about for a while now.

Mash:
Did the homunculi you grew up around never praise you for anything, Director?


Fujimaru 1:
I've been wondering about that too!


Fujimaru 2:
Great question, Mash!


Goredolf:
Hmph. Homunculi are already fully grown from the moment they're born, which means they have absolutely nothing in the way of genuine life experience.

Goredolf:
I don't need any praise from the likes of them.

Goredolf:
Not that they ever bothered anyway!

Goredolf:
I don't know whose idea it was, but they said it was policy to never offer praise for anything they felt was the sort of thing anyone should be able to do!

Goredolf:
I especially remember how Toole would always be like:

Goredolf:
“I'm very sorry, young master, but I will never praise you regardless of what you may accomplish.”

Goredolf:
I swear, what was her problem, anyway!?

Holmes:
I see... Fascinating. She sounds like someone I would very much like to meet.

Goredolf:
Don't be ridiculous! She's just another homunculus.
I highly doubt she'd have anything to offer you.

Goredolf:
Besides, she's long since gone from this world,
so you'll never get to meet her regardless.

Da Vinci:
...

Goredolf:
Oh for... Why am I even talking about this!?
All right, fine! I see how it is!

Goredolf:
Wait right here while I go and fetch Nemo!

Nemo:
...

Goredolf:
There! Happy now!?

Da Vinci:
(Now that's a father figure if ever I've seen one.)

Mash:
(He does look like Nemo's father now...)


Fujimaru 1:
You totally look like a doting father!


Goredolf:
Don't be daft!!!

Goredolf:
Guh! Now look what you did!
My shouting made him kick me in the stomach!

Bartholomew:
Hahahaha! Now I see!
So this is what you Chaldea folks are like.

Bartholomew:
What you lack in rules, you make up for with discipline.

Bartholomew:
That suits me just fine. In fact, I'd even say it's ideal. All right then, let's make our way to the temple!

Charlotte Corday:
I'll go with you!

Narration:
...I'm guessing I'm really just an ordinary guy.

Narration:
That's why I'm here now.
That's why I got left behind.

Narration:
Right now, I'm just a guy who looks the part,
left holding down the fort.

Narration:
Every day feels like it lasts a year.
Every second feels like it drags on for an hour.

Narration:
Don't get me wrong. Logically, it makes sense.

Narration:
Really, when you get right down to it, Servants like us are supposed to fight alongside a Master.

Narration:
It's just reckless to go off somewhere you know you're likely to die without one.

Narration:
I know what that Servant (I can't even remember their face) asked me, “Stay here and wait for them.”

Narration:
And I know I said I would (partly because it really didn't feel like the kind of situation where “no” was an option).

Narration:
But I'm supposed to be one of the greatest Sabers ever.
...Even if I do just use a club.

Narration:
Right now, I'm a Rider...
Though I can't keep my horse around all the time.

???:
Ah crap. I'm getting all choked up.

Narration:
I have no weapon and no vehicle. The only gear I've got to my name is a few tales of adventure and derring-do.

Narration:
And that's nothing compared
to the real first-rate heroes.

Narration:
I can't stand back up if my Achilles tendon is severed or if I'm stabbed in the heart.

Narration:
I can't keep protecting an entire city as its political leader, general, strategist, and warrior all rolled into one.

Narration:
I could never complete all of
the Twelve Labors on my own.

Narration:
I can't even gather a bunch of other heroes onto a single ship for an epic journey.

Narration:
So many things, and I can't do a one of them.

Narration:
The best I can manage is to hunt Demonic Beasts and donate them to the villagers, just like I've been doing every day.

Narration:
...They say there've been a whole lot more Demonic Beasts running around lately.

Narration:
That probably means they're either here,
or they will be soon.

Narration:
I wonder what they'll think of me when they show up.

Narration:
A useless, good-for-nothing, C-rank Servant? ...I just hope they're at least a little happy to meet me.

???:
Nah, what am I saying.
I've gotta stop thinking positive.

???:
They're just gonna look down their noses at me and relegate me to backup. That's all I deserve, anyway.

Narration:
All right, now that I'm feeling more myself, I'm just gonna keep looking on the dark side of life.

Narration:
After all, that's what I swore I was gonna do.

Bartholomew:
Okay then, let's get going.

Da Vinci:
Man, when we first set out for this Lostbelt, I never thought I'd end up walking it with my own two feet!


Fujimaru 1:
You're really enjoying yourself, aren't you, Da Vinci?


Da Vinci:
Well sure! I've always wanted to get a chance to explore some new, uncharted land like this!

Holmes:
While I understand how you feel, Da Vinci, and I'm well aware that you can handle yourself in a fight, I feel I must remind you that you are truly essential to the Shadow Border's operation.

Holmes:
So I would advise you to stay as close
to Ms. Kyrielight as possible.

Da Vinci:
Yeah, yeah, I know.


Fujimaru 1:
Speaking of which, where IS the Shadow Border right now?


Holmes:
Ah yes, we used its barely functional cloaking feature to hide it once we reached shore.

Holmes:
While I would prefer to return to it as soon as possible, doing so while its comms are unusable would of course render us unable to lend you our aid.

Holmes:
So in the meantime, I've entrusted
Mr. Meunière with its safekeeping.

Holmes:
On a different subject...
What exactly does going to this temple entail?

Goredolf:
That's a fair question. By all accounts, it sounds like the Twelve Olympians are our primary enemies here.

Goredolf:
So why in the world would we run the risk of going somewhere devoted to worshipping them!?

Bartholomew:
Worry not, my portly compadre. There are no gods there now. It's a temple in name only these days.

Bartholomew:
However, it still has one of the gods' relics there–a relic I thought we might be able to use to restore Captain Nemo to good health.


Fujimaru 1:
What kind of relic?


Bartholomew:
Hmm. In Proper Human History,
you would probably refer to them as...

Bartholomew:
...nanomachines.


Fujimaru 1:
Wait. Nanomachines? Really?

Goredolf:
Those are tiny robots about the size of a virus, no? Even in modern society, they're mostly just theoretical. There hasn't been much progress in actually creating functional nanomachines.


Fujimaru 2:
Nanomachines, huh...

Goredolf:
Oh yes, you see them all the
time in science fiction stories.

Holmes:
Is there no equivalent to them in magecraft history?

Goredolf:
How would I know anything about magecraft that doesn't pertain to me!?

Goredolf:
Not to mention that if I did, someone would probably have come to silence me long ago!

Goredolf:
(That said, I heard rumors that the El-Melloi family's Mystic Code use something extremely similar to nanomachines...)

Goredolf:
(...but only a fool with no sense of self-preservation would go traipsing about in other families' magecraft he knows next to nothing about.)


Da Vinci:
So then, this is Olympian technology?
Are you sure it's safe for us to use?

Da Vinci:
Speaking in my capacity as technical advisor,
I'm not sure I can endorse this.

Bartholomew:
You have every right to be suspicious, girl who I very much wish would let her bangs down.

Bartholomew:
However, this nanomachine technology has apparently been a part of this land for over ten thousand years.

Bartholomew:
So I'm afraid I'll have to defer to both of your expertise to determine whether or not it's safe.

Bartholomew:
What about you, Ms. Corday?
Do you know anything about the nanomachines?

Charlotte Corday:
Not a thing.
But I get the feeling I'd be stronger if I did!

Bartholomew:
Hmm, I see...

Holmes:
Very well then, [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru, would you
be so kind as to give us a proper send-off?

Goredolf:
Hold on. Just a moment.

Goredolf:
Since I'll be accompanying you personally for this expedition, why don't you let me handle this?


Fujimaru 1:
By all means, Director.


Fujimaru 2:
Take it away, Director!


Goredolf:
R-right then. Ahem.

Goredolf:
All hams, move out!

All:
(He flubbed it!!!)

Goredolf:
...

Goredolf:
All hands, move out!!!

Goredolf:
Well? What are you all waiting for?
Come on, before I leave you behind!

Mash:
Senpai...


Fujimaru 1:
L-let's catch up to him!

Holmes:
I-indeed. I must say, he's a much
faster walker than I expected!


Fujimaru 2:
Director! Wait for uuus!

Mash:
Right! Mash Kyrielight, preparing to run!


Da Vinci:
(Sigh) Good grief.

Da Vinci:
You'd think they'd take this a little more seriously, considering we're in the fifth and biggest Lostbelt now!

Bartholomew:
Oh, I think they're taking it just seriously enough.

Bartholomew:
If this is how you all operate, I can see how you managed to take down four other Lostbelts!

Da Vinci:
Right?

Bartholomew:
All right, we'd better go after them. By the way, would you mind hiding your eyes with your bangs?

Da Vinci:
Okay, that is more than enough of you pushing your creepily specific fetish on LITERALLY EVERYONE around you. Seek help.

Goredolf:
Whoops, now I've gone and run off too far ahead!
That won't do at all.

Goredolf:
This may be embarrassing, but I'll take shame over death any day of the week.

Goredolf:
I expect the gentlemanly thing to do here is to simply turn around and go back to rejoin them without saying a word.

Goredolf:
All that aside...I still can't believe I flubbed such a simple, yet critical line.

Goredolf:
Does this mean I'm just not cut out to be the one giving orders?

Goredolf:
No, no, that can't be right.

Goredolf:
No doubt I'm just feeling a little less articulate than usual after all this fighting.

Goredolf:
Yes, that sounds right.
I'll just go ahead and leave it at that.


Fujimaru 1:
Directooor!!!


Goredolf:
Hm? Ah, that must be Fujimaru
and the Demi-Servant.

Goredolf:
All right, Goredolf, keep it together. A good mage never loses their cool no matter the circumstance.

Goredolf:
Since I can't use my hands right now,
I'll just give them a congenial smile and–


Fujimaru 1:
Behind yooou!!!


Goredolf:
Hahaha, what's this now?
Some sort of sketch comedy routine?

Goredolf:
If so, I would certainly hope you could come up with something better than the old “Oops, there's a monster behind you” gag.

Goredolf:
That sort of tired cliché may suffice in your circles, but it'll take far more sophisticated humor than that to get a chuckle out of old Goredolf Musik–

Goredolf:
Huh!? You mean you weren't just trying to get me to turn around as a joke!?

Mash:
I'll be right there, Director!
Please, run for it!

Goredolf:
Eeeeee! Is it just me, or have I spent far too
much of this year literally running around!?


Fujimaru 1:
I don't think we're gonna make it!


Goredolf:
Th-there's no way I'm going out as some sort of bad punchline! Gof Chaaarrrge!

Goredolf:
D-dammit... I didn't have...enough charge left...


Fujimaru 1:
Guess I'll just have to use a Command Spell!


Mash:
Right! Ready when you are, Master!


Fujimaru 1:
(Even so, I don't know if it's gonna be enough!)


Mash:
Huh?

Goredolf:
Gah!
Wh-what just happened!?

Goredolf:
Eee! Please tell me these bloody chunks that look
disturbingly like crushed tomatoes aren't mine!

F:???:
Don't worry. I got the beast.

Goredolf:
O-oh, good.
Thank... Thank you?

F:???:
You and the kid would've ended up monster chow
if I hadn't been here. Glad that didn't happen.

Goredolf:
Er, yes, and I am quite grateful for that, believe me. But, um, I still don't know who you are.

F:???:
Yeah, that's fair. But before I tell you that,
I need to ask you something.

Goredolf:
Wh-what!? What is it!? And did you really have to point that surprisingly sharp-looking stick at me first!?

F:???:
I ask of you.
Are you my Master!?

Goredolf:
Uh, no?

F:???:
...


Fujimaru 1:
...


F:???:
...

F:???:
...Gotcha.
O-okay then...I'll just be on my way...

F:???:
Sorry to bother you...


Fujimaru 1:
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait up!


F:???:
No!
I'm outta here!

F:???:
I messed up the one line that no Servant should ever, ever mess up! There's nothing left for me to live for!


Fujimaru 1:
Wait! Take it easy! Can't we talk about this!?

F:???:
Forget it!

Mash:
It sounds like you're a Servant, is that right!?
Well look! There's a Master right here!

F:???:
...Wait. Really?
YOU'RE the Master!?


Fujimaru 2:
Me! I'm a Master! It's me!

F:???:
...Huh? YOU'RE the Master!?


Mash:
Yes, that's right.
Now, could you please tell us who you are!?

F:???:
Y-yeah, okay.

F:???:
Um...
Well...

Goredolf:
Aah! Now there's something behind you!

F:???:
Grrr yourself! Shut up already, you dumb things!

Mash:
Did...did he just take that monster out with a wooden sword!?

Goredolf:
Hmm.
I'm guessing that's not just any club.

Goredolf:
Then again, the only famous club wielders I know of are Miyamoto Musashi and Heracles...


Fujimaru 1:
Wait a sec... Are you Heracles Lily!?


F:???:
That has to be one of the last things I ever thought I'd hear a Master say! And no, I'm nowhere near as big a deal as that!

F:???:
My name's Mandricardo!

Mandricardo:
I'm a plain old, run-of-the-mill Servant best known for,
uh, fighting the Twelve Paladins of Charlemagne!


Fujimaru 1:
Oh, I know who you are!

Mandricardo:
Wait, really?

Mandricardo:
Even though I'm just a supporting
character in the legend of Roland?

Mandricardo:
Wow, so you know who I am. That's great!

Goredolf:
Oh yes, I know who you are, too!

Goredolf:
You're the king of the Tatars who stole the sacred sword Durendal and still ended up losing a duel to Ruggiero!

Mandricardo:
Ouch. You make a habit of going around and reopening old wounds there, tubby?


Fujimaru 2:
I'm sorry, I've never heard of you...

Mandricardo:
Yeah, that figures...
Don't worry, I get it.

Mandricardo:
Anyway, I'm a Rider. Just technically though,
since I don't actually have anything to ride.

Goredolf:
You don't? Not even a horse?

Mandricardo:
Yeah, I have a horse, but I can
only use him when I'm fighting...


Mandricardo:
Huh, guess the scent of blood
must have lured them out here.

Mandricardo:
All right, prospective Master,
I'm counting on you to call the shots!


Fujimaru 1:
You got it!


Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
(You know, even I've gotta admit, that line wasn't too bad. It had a nice easygoing feel and every–)

Mash:
U-um, Mandricardo?
Aren't you going to fight?

Mandricardo:
Oh, right, of course.
Okay, let's do this thing!

--BATTLE--

Mandricardo:
There we go.
That oughta do it.


Fujimaru 1:
He's really strong!


Mash:
Yes, he is.

Mash:
After all, Mandricardo is famous for taking on the entire French army with only three allies.

Mandricardo:
Ah, that's no big deal.
Every hero's got some kinda story like that.

Mandricardo:
...Hm? Those people coming this way friends of yours?


Fujimaru 1:
Yup! That's Holmes and Da Vinci.


Fujimaru 2:
That's right. That's Holmes, Da Vinci...and I guess Bartholomew's there, too.


Mandricardo:
Sherlock Holmes, Leonardo da Vinci,
and Bartholomew Roberts, huh...

Mandricardo:
Must be nice being so famous...

Holmes:
The important thing is that you're all unhurt.

Holmes:
And if we can now count another Servant among our ranks as well, things are certainly looking up.

Bartholomew:
...Hmm. He's got nice long bangs, but you can still see both of his eyes. Damn, so close.

Goredolf:
Is that really all you care about!?

Bartholomew:
Hahaha, what can I say?
We pirates have never been shy about our desires.

Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
(Amazing. From what I hear, he's only known these people a little longer than I have, but he's already one of the gang!)

Mandricardo:
(He must have A-rank people skills! He doesn't even try to hide the freaky shit he's into and they still like him anyway!)

Mandricardo:
(Man, I'm so jealous! If only I was a little bit smoother with people...)

Mandricardo:
...Ahem.

Mandricardo:
So, what're you gonna do now?
Keep heading for the temple?


Fujimaru 1:
That's the plan...


Mandricardo:
...In that case, I guess I can go with you.

Mandricardo:
'Sides, I'm a Rogue Servant,
so I'll feel better having a Master around too.


Fujimaru 1:
Thanks, Mandricardo.

Mandricardo:
No worries. Any Servant'd do the same, right?


Fujimaru 2:
That'd be great!

Mandricardo:
Well, if you insist, then I guess I can't refuse now...


Mandricardo:
All right then, looks like I'll be coming along.

Bartholomew:
Do you know anything about the temple yourself, Mandricardo?

Mandricardo:
Oh yeah. Hell, I've even used it myself a few times.

Holmes:
...!

Mandricardo:
A picture's worth a thousand words, right? So let's just get you to the temple and save that guy's life.

Goredolf:
Are you quite sure it can do that?
Are these nanomachines really safe?

Goredolf:
For that matter, how do they work?
I'd much rather you tell us now than later!

Mandricardo:
Don't ask me. I don't got any idea.

Mandricardo:
...Look, you'll just have to see for yourselves, okay?

Goredolf:
Tch. All right, fine.

Goredolf:
Besides, if we can't get the Nautilus back in working order, I'll have to continue this entire journey on foot.

Goredolf:
And everyone knows nobles such as myself only travel by foot when the circumstances leave them no other choice!


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah, we were all pretty desperate to escape from the original Chaldea, weren't we?

Goredolf:
How can you bring up such traumatic memories so casually!?


Fujimaru 2:
Like that super strict weight-loss regimen you had to follow for a while?

Goredolf:
I assure you. I have no idea whatsoever what you're talking about!


Section 4: Minute Assembly of Authorities

--BATTLE--

Holmes:
Hmm. Any luck finding a leyline yet, Da Vinci?

Da Vinci:
I've been searching as best I can since we got here...

Da Vinci:
...but thanks in part to the unusual way this island came together, it doesn't look like we should get our hopes up.

Holmes:
I see. I was hoping we could find a suitable leyline that would let us bolster our forces...

Holmes:
...but it seems we won't be summoning any new Servants just yet.

Da Vinci:
At least the temporary battle summons are going well, possibly because of all the magical energy in the atmosphere here.

Holmes:
Then we should at least be all right for the time being.
Very well, let's hurry on to this temple.

Goredolf:
(Gasp... Gasp...) Oi, are we there yet!? Even with
the enhancement, my poor feet can only take so much!


Fujimaru 1:
How much farther is it, Mandricardo?

Mandricardo:
Not too far. It's just over this hill.
Hang in there.

Mandricardo:
...Uh, what if I, you know,
carried him for a while instead?

D:Goredolf:
Huh? Don't be ridiculous.

D:Goredolf:
The only thing a Servant like you
needs to worry about is combat.

Mandricardo:
Y-yeah... Good point.
I'll do my best.


Fujimaru 2:
Want me to take a turn carrying him, Director?

Goredolf:
Hm? No, no need for that.

Goredolf:
No good noble would ever abandon a task he agreed to only partway through its completion!


Holmes:
Oho. And just like that,
it would seem we've arrived at our destination.

Goredolf:
O-oh thank goodness...

Mash:
Well, at first glance, it certainly seems like what I'd expect to find at any ancient Greek temple.

Mandricardo:
Yeah, I get that.
But wait'll you see the inside.

Goredolf:
Hah! I know we may not look it, but we've actually overcome tremendous difficulties and conquered multiple Lostbelts so strange you'd think they were different worlds altogether.

Goredolf:
So I highly doubt there's anything in there that will be even remotely surpr–

Goredolf:
What in the world is this!?

Holmes:
I must admit...even I am at a loss for words.

Da Vinci:
Whoa...

Da Vinci:
This looks way more like a laboratory than a temple... Or maybe even some kind of factory.

Da Vinci:
At a glance, it seems like this engineering surpasses anything at Chaldea... And if that's true, that would make it more advanced than even the most cutting-edge tech of modern-day Proper Human History.

Charlotte Corday:
(Shocked at how little idea she
has about why this is so shocking)

Mandricardo:
That's way outta my wheelhouse.
I'll let you all figure it out.

Fou:
Fou...

Mandricardo:
Give me a moment while I boot it up.

Goredolf:
What should we do with Nemo?

Mandricardo:
Lay him down on that table there.

Goredolf:
All right.

Goredolf:
Phew. I can tell I'm going to be nursing these stiff shoulders for hours to come...

Mash:
It was a surprisingly long journey, wasn't it?
Thank you so much for doing this, Director.


Fujimaru 1:
You did good, Director.

Goredolf:
Huh? What's this now? Why are you looking at me so affectionately all of a sudden? I don't trust it!

Goredolf:
You're smiling just how Toole III used to when she'd say “This next one's going to be a little bit challenging”!

Da Vinci:
Pretty sure that's the paranoia talking.


Fujimaru 2:
Talk about taking a load off, am I right, Director?

Goredolf:
You're so right, Fujimaru!

Goredolf:
...Come now, is this really
the time for silly wordplay!?

Goredolf:
I swear, you should know better than to try to make jokes to people so utterly exhausted.

Da Vinci:
Hey, you were the one who went along with it...


Mandricardo:
Let's see...

Mandricardo:
I think I press here first,
then make sure it's turned on...

P.A. System:
Scanning...

P.A. System:
Theos Klironomia allotments remaining: fifty-three.
Target capacity: ???

P.A. System:
Error: non-Olympian detected.

P.A. System:
Unable to provide Theos Klironomia.

Goredolf:
Well, that doesn't sound good.

Mandricardo:
Don't worry, all part of the process.
Let's see, what was the next step...?

Mandricardo:
Okay, you've gotta cancel out of this operation,
take advantage of the time-out error...

P.A. System:
Olympian lineage confirmed.
Bloodline value: ERROR

P.A. System:
Releasing Theos Klironomia.

Holmes:
So those are nanomachines...
They seem more like mercury than anything.

Mandricardo:
They might look like mercury, but they're not toxic.
At least, I'm pretty sure they aren't.

Holmes:
Oh? And how do you know that?

Mandricardo:
...Because I went through this same treatment myself, back when I'd been fatally wounded.

Goredolf:
What!? Hang on.
Then how do we know you haven't been brainwashed!?

Mandricardo:
Well...I'm not entirely sure either, but...

Mandricardo:
...if I was, wouldn't I have already killed you all way before we even got here?

Goredolf:
Well, yes, very probably, but still!

P.A. System:
Assimilation: complete.
Spirit Origin restoration: incomplete.

P.A. System:
Nanomachine capacity has been exceeded. Three thousand five hundred forty-three hours remaining until full self-restoration is complete.

Nemo:
Ngh...
What...is this place...?

Mash:
Captain Nemo!

Da Vinci:
Are you okay?

Nemo:
Oh... Right. I thought I'd been blown to pieces...

Nemo:
Wait! Where's the Border!? How's the crew!?

Holmes:
Rest assured, everyone survived the attack. Including you.

Holmes:
Unfortunately, the Nautilus's outer hull was split right down the middle, resulting in its complete destruction...

Holmes:
...and the Shadow Border core, though still intact, sustained enough damage to render further passage impossible.

Holmes:
Fortunately, the Border's cloaking function still works, so we were able to haul it up onto land and hide it.

Nemo:
I see. So it's basically a beached whale...

Goredolf:
Well, now that you're up and about again,
can't you restore the Nautilus as well?

Nemo:
...No, I can't. I was only able to put that Noble
Phantasm together in the Wandering Sea's dock.

Nemo:
I need Sion's help to solidify it into a ship that actually exists in reality.

Nemo:
...Besides, even if Sion was here,
my Spirit Origin's an absolute mess.

Nemo:
There's no way I could perfectly recreate the Nautilus down to every last screw right now... Dammit!

Mash:
I understand how you must feel, Captain Nemo, but please try to calm down. You still need to rest and recover.

Bartholomew:
Pardon me, Captain, but what would you think about growing your bangs out?

Nemo:
...Huh?

Bartholomew:
Whoops, my mistake. What I meant was, what would you think about having my ship tow yours?


Fujimaru 1:
How in the world do you get those two statements mixed up?

Bartholomew:
What can I say?
It's just how I say hello.


Fujimaru 2:
Juuust what we needed. Another Blackbeard.

Bartholomew:
How dare you!? I'm nothing like him!

Bartholomew:
I'm pretty sure he'll go for anyone at all as long as she doesn't care about jewels!

Bartholomew:
Oh, and I think he especially likes short women, too.

Mash:
I have to say, you two seem more alike than not...


Nemo:
Tabling...whatever that nonsense was... Towing, huh.
And at least the outer layer is already restored.

Goredolf:
Is this the same button?

P.A. System:

Theos Klironomia allotments remaining: forty-four.

Goredolf:
I knew it! There's still plenty left we can use!

Goredolf:
Go on, Mandricardo, give him the rest of these nanomachines.

Goredolf:
Then he should be back to his old self in no time.

Mandricardo:
I wish I could, but I can't.

Goredolf:
Why not?

Mandricardo:
You heard it say he's over capacity, right?

Mandricardo:
It means there's no way in hell this thing'll give him any more of its nanomachines.

Mandricardo:
We only get one shot to error around its restrictions, and we already used it.

Mandricardo:
It's weird, though. This thing oughta be more than capable of healing a Servant...

Nemo:
I see. It must be because my Spirit Origin is tied to the Nautilus, so it's actually a lot bigger than it seems.

Holmes:
I see... I suppose you ARE able to move about freely even as you keep your Noble Phantasm in constant operation.

Mandricardo:
Hey, uh... Mind if I say something, Master?


Fujimaru 1:
Go for it!


Mandricardo:
There's more temples like this on other islands.

Mandricardo:
And these machines are...what's the word again?
You know, not connected.

Da Vinci:
Oh, right. Independent.

Da Vinci:
Hmm, I see. So they aren't networked, huh?

Bartholomew:
Besides, these Theos Klironomia nanomachines are the gods' relics. The technology is actually obsolete.

Da Vinci:
Oh really? So the stuff they're using now is so much better they can just throw this stuff away like so much junk? Is that so?

Da Vinci:
...No, honestly, I can't even be mad.
I'm too impressed at how damn well it works.

Mandricardo:
Anyway, I'm not a hundred-percent sure, but I think we can get more of these at the temples on other islands.

Mandricardo:
Oh, and some of the stronger Demonic Beasts have these nanomachines too.

Mandricardo:
Only they use them to enhance themselves.

Holmes:
I see. Yes, this is all starting to come together.

Mash:
Holmes?

Holmes:
I assume the other Rogue Servants got ahold of such nanomachines as well?

Mandricardo:
Yup, they sure did.

Mandricardo:
It all began when someone started wondering why some Demonic Beasts were so much stronger than others.

Mandricardo:
They ran some tests and figured out it was nanomachines powering them up.

Mandricardo:
'Course, I don't know much in the way of specifics.

Holmes:
Given how they meant to challenge the gods of Olympus without a Master, I have no doubt they wished to even the odds as much as they possibly could.

Nemo:
Now that I've experienced what these nanomachines are like, I can say that they also serve as a source of magical energy.

Nemo:
It's almost like they're a pseudo secondary type of perpetual motion machine.

Mash:
You mean like Frankenstein's Galvanism?

Nemo:
Basically, yes.

Nemo:
If you played your cards right, I can see how you might be able to use your Noble Phantasm even without a Master.

Holmes:
This means that the Servants who infiltrated Olympus may well have a better than even chance of victory.

Goredolf:
In that case, we should try to meet up with them as soon as possible.

Goredolf:
But we'll need the Nautilus to be back in perfect working order for that, won't we?

Bartholomew:
And to make that happen, you'll need to explore all the neighboring islands, not to mention getting past the three layers of defense to actually make it onto Olympus.

Goredolf:
Dammit! I should've known the largest Lostbelt of them all wouldn't make things easy for us!

Goredolf:
Well, at any rate, now that the Nautilus is back, it shouldn't be a problem if I go back to it, right? Right?

Da Vinci:
You have a point.

Da Vinci:
We can't leave the Nautilus undefended forever, and I'm worried about the staff, too.

Da Vinci:
Okay then, Holmes, Nemo, Gordy, and I will all head back and stand by on the Border.

Da Vinci:
Much as I hate to ask this of you yet again,
Fujimaru and Mash...

Da Vinci:
...I'm afraid it'll all be up
to you two from here on out.

Da Vinci:
Good luck. We're all counting on you.


Fujimaru 1:
Don't worry. We've got this.

Da Vinci:
Great! That's just what I like to hear!


Fujimaru 2:
Consider it done!

Goredolf:
Well, well, listen to you. I daresay you're starting to sound like a fully-fledged Master.

Mash:
New Director, with all due respect, Senpai has never been anything less than an absolutely stellar Master.

Mash:
I'd even argue it's no exaggeration to say that if
[♂ he's /♀️ she's] fully-fledged, all other Masters are only
fledged at best!

Goredolf:
My word! I'd forgotten how worked up this
Demi-Servant can get whenever the topic
turns to Fujimaru!


--ARROW--

Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
Crap! They found us.

Atlantis Border Guard:
There they are!

Bartholomew:
Atlantis Border Guards!


Fujimaru 1:
Who are these people!?


Mandricardo:
They're the soldiers patrolling
Atlantis on Odysseus's orders.

Mandricardo:
Be careful.
They're all hopped up on nanomachines, too!

Bartholomew:
I'll go circle around behind them, Mandricardo!
We can't let them alert the main force!

Mandricardo:
Got it.


Fujimaru 1:
Holmes, make sure everyone gets back safely!


Holmes:
Of course.

Holmes:
Rest assured, I've got your back. All you need worry about is the enemy directly at hand!

Mandricardo:
Roger that. Okay, Master, I'm ready for your orders whenever you're ready to give 'em.

Mandricardo:
Don't worry, I'll make sure
these guys don't go anywhere!

--BATTLE--

Atlantis Border Guard:
...


Fujimaru 1:
There was something inhuman about the way they fought...

Mandricardo:
That's 'cause of the nanomachines in their heads.

Mandricardo:
The catch is, they end up losing their humanity in exchange.


Fujimaru 2:
They were really tough...

Mandricardo:
Like I said, they're hopped up on nanomachines.

Mandricardo:
'Course, the trade-off's that they end up losing their humanity...but they don't seem too bothered by that.


Goredolf:
That was quite the walloping we gave them.
Are you sure they're not dead?

Mandricardo:
Yeah, the nanomachines are keeping 'em alive.

Mandricardo:
But even if they're not dead, they'll still be outta commission until the nanomachines finish healing 'em.

Mandricardo:
So I don't think we'll have anything to worry about for the time being.

Goredolf:
(Clearly, the smart thing to do here would be to kill them...but...)

Goredolf:
Hmm. Then there should be no issue leaving them as is.
No need to bother with them, Fujimaru.

Goredolf:
We have plenty of more pressing things to do than wasting our time and energy unnecessarily.

Bartholomew:
Hmm. All right, we'll leave them be then.
The next thing we have to worry about is Odysseus.

Bartholomew:
It won't be long now before he realizes that we're still alive and on Hestia Island.

Bartholomew:
And thanks to his incredibly tight security...

Bartholomew:
...his soldiers already found and destroyed most of the Second Bartholomew Fleet I'd been building in secret.

Bartholomew:
The only ship I've got left is my own:
the Royal Fortune.

Bartholomew:
Ahh, my poor fleet. I hardly knew ye...

Holmes:
Then we had better move on to our next destination with all due haste.

Holmes:
To be honest, I would have liked to spend a bit more time investigating this temple...

Holmes:
But I suppose I can make do with analyzing the sample of nanomachines we collected here aboard the Nautilus.

Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
(Crap. Now what do I do?)

Mandricardo:
(I missed my chance to bring it up, but are we just going our separate ways now?)

Mandricardo:
(Or can I keep going with them?)

Mandricardo:
(Meanwhile, Bartholomew's just planning to tag along like it's no big deal at all. Man, that must be nice!)

Mandricardo:
(Still, I don't know if I feel good about taking up Master's time while the group is still figuring things out...)


Fujimaru 1:
Something wrong?


Mandricardo:
Oh, uh, nah, it's nothing.

Mandricardo:
...So hey, uh, would it be okay if I came along with you guys?


Fujimaru 1:
Uh, sure?

Mandricardo:
...Gotcha.


Fujimaru 2:
Absolutely! You're more than welcome to join us!

Mandricardo:
!

Mandricardo:
...That so? I see, I see. Hmm.

Bartholomew:
You seem awfully pleased about that, Mandricardo.

Mandricardo:
Who, me? Naaah, this is no big deal. Really.

Bartholomew:
(I can already tell this guy's
going to be kind of a pain!)


Charlotte Corday:
It's great to have you on board, Mandricardo!
I'm Corday!

Mandricardo:
O-oh, thanks.
...Um...

Charlotte Corday:
It's okay. I understand.

Charlotte Corday:
I won't be upset if you don't know who I am.

Mandricardo:
Okay, good.

Mandricardo:
'Cause honestly, I got no idea.

Charlotte Corday:
...

Mandricardo:
Hey! Didn't you just say you weren't gonna be upset!?

Charlotte Corday:
I'm not upset. I'm just sad.

Mandricardo:
(This is exactly why I'm such trash with people!)

Goredolf:
And here I thought the walk home was going to be so much easier. Remind me why I'm still carrying you?

Nemo:
Honestly, I can still barely move.
I feel as sluggish as a beached fur seal.

Goredolf:
Well, you could at least try to make an effort!

Da Vinci:
What do you expect? It's still gonna take some time for Nemo to get back on his feet.

Da Vinci:
Sorry, Gordy, you'll just have
to bear with it a little longer.

Goredolf:
Dammit, Butter should be the one handling things like this. Where is he when you need him?


Fujimaru 1:
Who's Butter?

Goredolf:
Come on, you know. The guy with the glasses and...
Uh, the glasses.


Fujimaru 2:
I really think it's about time you learned Meunière's name!

Goredolf:
That's it, Moony-air. Or was it Meurienne?
Oh well, it doesn't matter.

Goredolf:
Really, thinking about it now, I should have been the one to stay behind with the Border...


Mash:
Do you think the Border's okay?

Nemo:
...Yes, it's fine, at least for now.

Nemo:
The sonar is still working, so I can tell there aren't any hostiles nearby.

Holmes:
Oh? You mean you can tell that sort of thing even at this distance?

Nemo:
Only what's been reported to me, thanks to the one marine that stuck around.

Goredolf:
...Are you sure I can't put him down, seeing how he's feeling well enough to talk?

Da Vinci:
Nice try.

Mandricardo:
...


Fujimaru 1:
Everything okay?


Mandricardo:
Oh, uh, yeah, everything's fine.

Mandricardo:
I was just thinking how this is the same position I was in on my last trip not too long ago.

Mandricardo:
...You wanna hear more about it?

Mandricardo:
All right, but there isn't all that much to say.

Mandricardo:
I was just part of the group of Servants that went off to Olympus.

Mandricardo:
'Course, all the others' True Names are sealed away, so I don't know who they were any more than Bartholomew does.

Mandricardo:
But I do remember there was one Servant who was real good at making hideouts, and built a bunch of them all around the different islands.

Mandricardo:
So we might find some clues or other things that could help us if we check them out.

Mandricardo:
...
...Oh, right.

Mandricardo:
I probably should've told you about those before, huh?
I'm sorry.


Fujimaru 1:
I'll tell the others.

Mandricardo:
Sounds good. Thanks.

Mandricardo:
I get the feeling I was probably left behind to tell you guys about that kinda thing, so.


Fujimaru 2:
So why did you stay behind?

Mandricardo:
Oh, that? I don't know who it was, but somebody told me it was important that I did.


Mandricardo:
You know, Odysseus, Poseidon, and Artemis are about as big as they come.

Mandricardo:
I honestly don't know if we even have a chance of beating them...


Fujimaru 1:
...Yeah, me neither.


Mandricardo:
!

Mandricardo:
N-no, wait. That's not what I meant!

Mandricardo:
(Dammit, how could I be so stupid!? What kind of Servant goes around saying they can't win!?)

Mandricardo:
(Then again, I don't wanna lie. And it's not like
[♂ he'd /♀️ she'd] believe me, anyway! I mean, how the hell can
anyone beat real-life gods?)

Mandricardo:
(Not to mention we've got way fewer Servants now, and Artemis's keeping a much closer eye out than she was before.)

Mandricardo:
(...What're we gonna do?)


Fujimaru 1:
But I at least want to make sure we try everything we can.


Fujimaru 2:
Which is why I'm glad to have you here helping us.


Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
...Well sure, if there's anything
I can do to help, I'll do it.

Mandricardo:
Just maybe keep your expectations of me in check.
After all...

Mandricardo:
This is the only weapon I've got.

Mandricardo:
A plain old wooden sword.
Nothing special or historic about it or anything.

Mandricardo:
If I'd materialized as a Saber, then I might've been able to bring Durendal with me, but no, I'm just a Rider.

Mandricardo:
Then again, I still might not have it then, since I just picked it up when that bastard Roland happened to leave it behind.

Mandricardo:
And since I don't have any memory of wielding that sword since becoming a Servant either...

Mandricardo:
...I'm guessing that means the Throne still doesn't see me as a real hero.

Mandricardo:
...Ugh, sorry. I didn't mean to bring down the mood.

Mandricardo:
Well hey, don't worry. Even a dinky wooden sword like this oughta be enough to take out a hundred soldiers or so.

Mandricardo:
So if nothing else, I can still fill in the gaps in your lineup.

Mandricardo:
Anyway, it looks like we're falling behind.
Come on, Master, let's go catch up.

Section 5: Sailing Anew

Nemo:
...Good. Everything looks intact.

Meunière:
Hey! You're back!

Goredolf:
Thanks for the warm welcome. I take it everything's been smooth sailing here, no pun intended?

Meunière:
Yeah, everything's fine. Most eventful thing that happened here was getting sick and tired of rations.

Meunière:
In fact, we got so tired of it that we ended up raiding the food marked "Director Only." Now those were some damn fine eats.

Goredolf:
You what!?

Goredolf:
I had my heart set on that food!
They're half the reason I wanted to come back here!

Meunière:
Sorry, Boss. It was the price you had to pay to keep everyone's spirits high.

Goredolf:
Ouch! That was TOO blunt!
Dammit, all that juicy bacon, gone forever...

Nemo:
I'm checking the ship's condition now.

Nemo:
...It's still holding together, but just barely.
The damage to the hull plating is especially bad.

Nemo:
There's no way we can dive in this state. The best we can hope for now is to sail on the surface.

Bartholomew:
I see. Then it sounds like towing
is the only way to go after all.

Nemo:
I hate to say it, but yeah, it is.

Holmes:
Very well then, Bartholomew, go ahead and get ready to tow us, if you'd be so kind.

Holmes:
In the meantime, Master, I'd like you and
Ms. Kyrielight to get some much-needed rest.


Fujimaru 1:
Got it.


Fujimaru 2:
Will do.


Goredolf:
I'll go do the same.

Goredolf:
I say, Captain, I don't suppose you have any Nemo Marines who specialize in foot massages?

Nemo:
I do, actually.

Meunière:
...! (Gleam in his eye and his glasses)

Nemo:
But I can't create any extra marines right now.
I just don't have the strength.

Meunière:

...! (Completely crestfallen)

Goredolf:
I see. Well, that's too bad.
(Sigh) My poor, aching tootsies...

Da Vinci:
All right, I'm gonna go analyze these nanomachines.
Come give me a hand, Holmes.

Holmes:
Of course.

Holmes:
Bartholomew, how long will it take to rig both ships for towing?

Bartholomew:
If I start right now and hurry,
I'd say it'll be about two hours.

Holmes:
Meaning we would set sail before twilight, hmm.
That's certainly cutting it close.

Holmes:
I suppose we could wait another day if we had to...
But no, the sooner we leave, the better.

Holmes:
We can't be too cautious,
given that we're up against Odysseus.

Da Vinci:
True. You might be pretty smart, Holmes, but there's still a big difference between a detective and a general.

Holmes:
Duly noted.

Holmes:
At any rate, the situation is disadvantageous as it is, so if nothing else, we must be sure to avoid doing anything that might result in giving the enemy a chance to finish us for good.

Da Vinci:
Makes sense to me.
Okay then, let's set sail in two hours.

Fou:
Fou, fou.

Mash:
I think Fou's feeling cross about all the director's bacon having been eaten.


Fujimaru 1:
True, he enjoys the director's food almost as much the director does.


Mash:
Anyway, I'm so glad you're all right, Master.

Mash:
Servants may be able to sense whether or not their Master is okay...

Mash:
...but that still doesn't compare
to being there next to [♂ him /♀️ her].

Mash:
Honestly, I was going out of my mind with worry,
not knowing what had happened to you.


Fujimaru 1:
I was really scared too.


Mash:
...I'm so relieved you weren't hurt.

Mash:
I know we're in the middle of an operation right
now... but I just can't seem to settle my mind.

Mash:
I think that's because, even now that
we've eliminated four Lostbelts...

Mash:
...we still don't know what
the best solution for us is.

Mash:
This has been an incredibly difficult journey,
for so many reasons.

Mash:
...And I just can't take it all
in stride, like Holmes can.

Mash:
Yet despite that, as selfish as it is, I also can't help but want to hold on to the people I'm close to...


Fujimaru 1:
It's okay.


Fujimaru 2:
Don't worry. None of us are going anywhere.


Fou:
Fou...


Fujimaru 1:
Really, it's fine. I promise.


Mash:
...Okay. Thank you, Master.

Mash:
...
...Huh?

Mash:
Did you hear something strange just now?

Mandricardo:
...

Mash:
Mandricardo, did you hear anything unusual?

Mandricardo:
O-oh, that was me. I just banged my wooden sword against the wall. Sorry 'bout that.

Mash:
I see. That would explain it.

Mash:
I'm afraid the halls aren't very wide, so if you could please try not to swing your sword around in here too much, I would appreciate it...

Mandricardo:
Yeah, of course. I'll be careful.
...Sorry again.

Mandricardo:
The last thing I wanted was to bother you.


Fujimaru 1:
It's okay. It's not that big a deal.


Mandricardo:
R-right, I guess not.

Mandricardo:
Hey, how about orders?
Got anything you want me to do?


Fujimaru 1:
Not at the moment...


Mandricardo:
Gotcha.

Mandricardo:
...Sorry again for bothering you.

Mandricardo:
I know it's important that you
guys rest up when you can.

Mandricardo:
Go on, you guys take it nice and easy.
I'll go out and keep an eye on things.

Mash:
It looked like something was bothering him.
I wonder what's wrong?


Fujimaru 1:
I hope we didn't make him feel bad...


Mash:
Anyway, he's right; it is important
that we rest up when we can.

Mash:
So how about I brew some tea, and we have a nice,
relaxing sit-down, Senpai?

Da Vinci:
Hm?
Oh, hey, Mandricardo.

Da Vinci:
What's up? You're welcome to hang out here, but you might find it pretty boring. There's not really much for you to–

Mandricardo:
Please...please, if there's anything I can do to
help, anything at all, I'm happy to do it. Really.

Da Vinci:
Hmm. I appreciate the offer, but there really isn't anything to do except carry some heavy things...

Mandricardo:
No problem! I'm on it!

Da Vinci:
Hmm. Kind of a weird Servant, isn't he?

Da Vinci:
But hey, I'm not gonna say no to another set of hands.

Da Vinci:
Besides, it's best to delegate what you can!

Nemo:
There you are.
Right on time.

Goredolf:
Just so you know, Fujimaru, in the grown-up world,
anything less than five minutes early is considered late.

Goredolf:
That aside, are you sure this is going to work?

Goredolf:
I took a quick peek at the engine room earlier, and it looks to still be flooded with all manner of detritus.

Nemo:
We can't use any of the main engines right now, but we should be able to scrape by on auxiliary power.

Nemo:
After that, it all comes down to how strong the ship that'll be towing us is. Personally, I'm hoping we'll be able to glide with all the elegance of a manta ray.

Bartholomew:
Don't you worry, Captain Nemo. I didn't name this ship the Royal Fortune for nothing.

Bartholomew:
Set sail!!!

Pirate:
...

Bartholomew:
Phew.

Bartholomew:
I heard that when Blackbeard had a Holy Grail, he was able to use his Noble Phantasm to not only recreate his ship, but his entire crew as well.

Bartholomew:
Whereas the best I can do right now is order around a silent assistant.

Bartholomew:
Anyway, this just leaves Artemis. Given the time of day and favorable wind, we should just be able to get past her.

Nemo:
Good, we're moving.
Full speed ahead!

Goredolf:
A-are you sure we'll be all right? Because that sound I'm hearing is not encouraging in the slightest!

Nemo:
We'll be fine! The Border's a good ship.
I know it can handle the strain!

Meunière:
All right, we're moving!

Da Vinci:
Just barely, though.

Da Vinci:
Any rough maneuvering and the whole thing'll fall apart. And of course, diving's out of the question.

Nemo:
As long as it moves on water, it's still a ship.

Nemo:
I'm going to shift the ballast so the ship slants to one side a bit.

Nemo:
It might feel unstable, but you'll just have to bear with it for a while.

Goredolf:
Yeowch! My herbal tea!

Meunière:
Why are you even drinking tea right now!?
Especially when it's still hot!

Goredolf:
If you must know, I was counting on it to help me relax!

Goredolf:
Lest you forget, as the commander, I need to be ready to issue coolheaded orders at a moment's notice!

Holmes:
Hahaha. If you're feeling well enough to mount such a vigorous argument on the merits of herbal tea, Goredolf, then I can rest assured knowing the Border is in good hands.

Holmes:
Now then. [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru.
Ms. Kyrielight. Mandricardo.

Holmes:
I would like the three of you to move to Bartholomew's ship so as to ensure its safe passage.

Holmes:
Under the circumstances, having it come to an unexpected halt could be very dangerous indeed.

Mash:
Understood, Holmes.

Mash:
Come on, Master, let's go!


Fujimaru 1:
Come on, Mandricardo.

Mandricardo:
...
...Right.

Mandricardo:
I mean, I'll do my best out there.


Fujimaru 2:
Ready when you are, Mash!

Mash:
Right. Oh, and please be careful when climbing out of the hatch.

Mash:
But if you do slip, don't worry.
I'll be right there to catch you!


Charlotte Corday:
U-um, excuse me?
I was just wondering what it is I should be doing?

Goredolf:
Hm? Oh, right. You're such a wallflower I'd nearly forgotten we'd added another Servant to our ranks.

Goredolf:
The technical and administrative advisors, bacon thieves, and Captain should have the Border's defense covered...

Goredolf:
So feel free to entertain yourself however you like.

Charlotte Corday:
Um, I'm afraid that doesn't really answer my question...


Fujimaru 1:
Come with us, Corday.


Charlotte Corday:
...!
Right! Yes! Of course!

Charlotte Corday:
I'd be honored to accompany you!

Holmes:
Hmm.

Holmes:
Ms. Corday seems to have taken a great
liking to our [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru.

Holmes:
Of course, most Servants we've met have been quite
willing to help [♂ him /♀️ her], given the existential threat
humanity faces.

Goredolf:
Is there an issue here?
That all seems like a good thing to me.

Holmes:
And indeed, it is.

Bartholomew:
Welcome!
I'm so glad to have you on board my Royal Fortune!

Mandricardo:
How's it looking out here?

Bartholomew:
Not bad, but not great, either.

Bartholomew:
It doesn't seem like Artemis has noticed us,
but I am sensing some Demonic Beasts up ahead.

Bartholomew:
And unfortunately, we can't go around them,
since time is of the essence right now.

Bartholomew:
So we'll just have to blast them
the moment they board the deck.

Bartholomew:
All right, all hands to battle stations! I'd join you, but I've got my hands full steering the ship.

Mandricardo:
Roger that. We'll take care of it.

Bartholomew:
From here on, we're racing against the clock.

Bartholomew:
I'd suggest we pray to the gods for help...but I guess this is the worst possible place to do that, hm?

Bartholomew:
Well, good luck!

Mandricardo:
All right. Don't worry, Master.
I'm more pumped now than I've been in a long time.

Mandricardo:
(It doesn't matter if I stand out or not.
I've just gotta make sure I'm helping Master out.)

Mandricardo:
Just point me at the beast you want dead,
and I'll finish 'em off in no time!

Charlotte Corday:
(He really is pumped...
I've got to make sure I don't fall behind!)

Charlotte Corday:
R-right! I'll, um...be sure to kill someone! Yeah!

Mandricardo:
(Why's she talking about murdering people?)


Fujimaru 1:
There is such a thing as being TOO pumped...


--BATTLE--

Bartholomew:
You got them? Great. All we have to do now is pray that Artemis doesn't come after us.

Bartholomew:
Here we go! Full speed ahead! I'm going to sail this ship so fast you'll think it's running on rocket fuel!


Fujimaru 1:
Aye, aye, sir!


Bartholomew:
Haha! Now that's what I like to hear, Master!

Mandricardo:
Let's see... Oh hey, you might be pretty familiar with this next island's name, Master.

Mash:
Oh? Why, what's it called?

Mandricardo:
Heracles Island.

Mandricardo:
It makes sense when you think about it, since Heracles did end up ascending to godhood in the end.

Mandricardo:
It's no surprise he might have
an island named after him.

Charlotte Corday:
Huh? Heracles Island?

Mandricardo:
...Y-yeah, that's right.
(Talking directly to her always makes me nervous.)

Charlotte Corday:
...I remember now.

Charlotte Corday:
I actually started out on Heracles Island when I was first summoned here.

Charlotte Corday:
I was only on Hestia Island because I had Bartholomew take me there.

Mash:
Why did you do that?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, I went to fetch Jason some
medicinal herbs for his hangov–

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
Ah... Oops...


Fujimaru 1:
Did you say Jason!?


Charlotte Corday:
So much has happened that I
completely forgot about him!

Charlotte Corday:
Oh gosh, he's going to be so angry with me...

--ARROW--

Holmes:
We'll leave the Border in its camouflaged mode,
just like we did before.

Holmes:
We're also going to keep transmissions to an absolute minimum to make it harder for Odysseus to find us.


Fujimaru 1:
Got it.

Holmes:
I am sorry about this.

Holmes:
And even with circumstances as they are, we will absolutely continue to keep watch and let you know immediately in the event of an emergency.


Fujimaru 2:
I'm a little nervous about this...

Mandricardo:
Well, for what it's worth, I remember this island still being pretty peaceful.


Mandricardo:
So, Bartholomew's gonna stay behind and hold down the fort, huh...

Mash:
Is there an issue with that?

Mandricardo:
(...That means Corday and I are gonna be taking point on talking to this island's villagers, doesn't it?)

Mandricardo:
(Are they kidding? There's no way I can handle that.
Just thinking about it's freaking me out.)

Mandricardo:
(Maybe I could just let Corday deal with all that?
...But then, that'd be pretty pathetic, wouldn't it?)

Mandricardo:
...Nah, it's fine.
Let's keep moving.

Mandricardo:
First things first, we oughta head for the village and start asking around about the temple.

Mandricardo:
Once we know where it is, we can head there and get Nemo some more nanomachines.

Nemo:
(Sigh)... I hate to leave my ship behind,
but I guess there isn't any other way.


Fujimaru 1:
How're you feeling?


Nemo:
I'm fine. I've recovered enough that I can walk on my own again. And I've served in the army before, so I'm used to forced marches, too.

Mandricardo:
Great.
All right then, let's get going.

Mash:
Sounds good!
Thank you for leading the way, Mandricardo!

Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
(Aw man, now there's more pressure than ever...)


Fujimaru 1:
I hope this works out...

Nemo:
Hm? Is something wrong?


Fujimaru 2:
Everything okay? You look kind of worried.

Mandricardo:
Me? Nah, I'm fine.


Mash:
...?

Mash:
There's something strange about the ground.
It feels oddly...rigid in places...

Mandricardo:
That'll be metal from the remains of fallen gods you see everywhere. There's a bunch buried here.

Mandricardo:
We might find something good if we dug 'em up, but it'd take long enough that we're better off leaving well enough alone.

Mandricardo:
...Hm? I can sense Demonic Beasts nearby.

Mandricardo:
And they're being weirdly aggressive.

Mash:
Are they hunting us?

Mandricardo:
No, it's not that.
It feels like...they're already fighting something.

Mandricardo:
Could be some Atlantis Border Guards.
Wanna try scoping things out from a distance?


Fujimaru 1:
Let's do it!


Mandricardo:
You got it. Hang on to me, Nemo.
I'm gonna pick up the pace for a bit.

Nemo:
I usually can't stand being treated like a child,
but as we have no choice, I will endure.

E:Heracles Island Resident:
Let's go!

F:Heracles Island Resident:
That's it! Cut off their escape!

Mandricardo:
...Oh. It's just people hunting.

E:Heracles Island Resident:
Hm? You guys not from this island?

Mash:
No, we're not.

Charlotte Corday:
Hi guys! Good to see you again!

E:Heracles Island Resident:
Corday!? Is that you!?

E:Heracles Island Resident:
Where've you been all this time?
Jason's been missing you something fierce.

Charlotte Corday:
Ahahaha, good one!
As if Jason would ever miss anybody.

E:Heracles Island Resident:
Hahaha, yeah, that's fair.

E:Heracles Island Resident:
Anyway, now that you guys are here,
would you mind helping us out with our hunt?

Mandricardo:
Uh...


Fujimaru 1:
Let's do it.


Mandricardo:
Got it.
Okay, guess I'd better go lend a helping hand.

--BATTLE--

A:Heracles Island Resident:
All right!

Mandricardo:
No sweat.

Charlotte Corday:
I'm just glad I could help.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Man, you guys don't fight like
anyone else I've ever seen.

Mandricardo:
Uh, y-yeah, I guess not.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Well hey, whatever gets the job done.
The important thing is, we've got food now.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Besides, it's good to get out and hunt like this now and then. Helps break up the monotony of day-to-day life.

B:Heracles Island Resident:
I don't know...

B:Heracles Island Resident:
I think I prefer the easy life over
working too hard, like that kid.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
What are you, nuts? Who wouldn't want the glory of being chosen by Olympus?

B:Heracles Island Resident:
Well yeah, I guess...

Charlotte Corday:
Chosen by Olympus? What do you mean by that?

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Oh, that?

A:Heracles Island Resident:
It's when a number of the youngsters compete to see which of them'll be chosen as soldiers sworn to defend Olympus.

Mash:
!

Charlotte Corday:
O-oh, I see.

Mash:
Master...


Fujimaru 1:
(I know. Let's just keep quiet.)


Mash:
...

A:Heracles Island Resident:
And Filia's son has been working his rear off saying he's gonna be the one chosen this time.

B:Heracles Island Resident:
I still don't know. I mean, doesn't becoming a soldier basically mean signing up to be a disposable pawn?

A:Heracles Island Resident:
He says that's okay with him.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
After all, being an Olympian guard's the only way outcasts like us'll ever get to serve the gods.

B:Heracles Island Resident:
I guess that's true... There's no way we old-timers would make the cut, though.

Charlotte Corday:
I'm sorry, old-timers...?

Charlotte Corday:
Um, if you don't mind my asking,
could you tell us how old you are?

B:Heracles Island Resident:
We're both coming up on five hundred years old soon. Though I'm still hoping to be granted an audience with the gods at least once before I die.

Mash:
!!!

Charlotte Corday:
Five hun–

Mandricardo:
That's the Theos Klironomia at work.

Mandricardo:
Those things can give Servants enough magical energy to use their Noble Phantasms.

Mandricardo:
So letting normal people live for five hundred years is nothing.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
All right, we'd better head back to the village.
You'll come with us, right, Corday?

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Jason's still waiting there for you.
Though I have to say, I don't get him at all.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
You'd never know he's got a pretty little number like you lovingly taking care of him from the way he scowls all the time.

Charlotte Corday:
Ahahaha. That's because we don't actually care for each other...at all.


Fujimaru 1:
Not even a little?


Charlotte Corday:
Not even a little!

Charlotte Corday:
He's going to be scowling more than ever when he sees me! Just you wait and see!

Charlotte Corday:
So make sure you don't get the
wrong idea about us, d'accord!?


Fujimaru 1:
D-d'accord.


Charlotte Corday:
Phew...

Charlotte Corday:
Okay then, let's get going to the village, shall we?
Off we go!

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Hahaha. I can see you miss Jason just as much as he misses you.

Charlotte Corday:
Nothing could be further from the truth!

--ARROW--

Jason:
I can't deal with this crap anymore!

Jason:
Another!

???:
Another mug of beer, huh?
Okay, here you go.

???:
Though I gotta say, Servant or not,
don't you think you've had enough by now?

Jason:
I'm fine. Everything's fine.

Jason:
Servants can still get drunk, AND we don't have to worry about addiction. It's all good news, really!

???:
Well, I'm not gonna complain about you racking up a big tab. Though I will come collecting one of these days, you hear?

Jason:
I know, I know. Don't worry. If worse comes to worst,
I can always sell my sword.

???:
You sure? Don't you kind of need that?
I mean, you are technically a Saber, right?

Jason:
Yeah, I am!

Jason:
But you know...

Jason:
At this point, it doesn't even matter what class I am.

Jason:
I'm just gonna spend my time drinking the nights away,
counting the moments until I vanish.

Jason:
Assuming the world doesn't end first, of course.

Jason:
'Cause when that happens, me, you, and everyone else here are ALL gonna vanish without a trace!

???:
So this is what it looks like when somebody truly doesn't give a shit anymore, huh?

???:
Well, either way, there's not a whole lot left that I can do about any of it at this point.

Jason:
...
...?

Jason:
Hey, barkeep, where's that nag Corday got off to?

Jason:
It feels like it's been a few
days or so since I last saw her.

???:
You sure she didn't leave your
sorry ass to fend for yourself?

Jason:
She'd never do that.

Jason:
She can't even bear the idea of turning her
back on someone, let alone actually do it.

???:
So even though you know that about her, you're still not shy about running her ragged, huh. You're a real piece of work, aren't you?

Jason:
Believe me, it's not like I asked for her help.
I'd just as soon she leave me alone.

???:
Well anyway, Corday said she was going to look for medicinal herbs on another island about three days ago.

Jason:
Medicinal herbs? So she left the village?
All on her own?

Jason:
...Ugh, I swear. Didn't she ever stop to think about what could happen if she ran into some border guards?

???:
So what, you're not gonna go save her?

Jason:
She left three days ago, right?
Then it's already too late.

Jason:
And it's not like Servants leave
a body behind when they die.

Jason:
The best I can do is properly mourn her if she never comes back.

???:
Oh? Looks like you're not gonna
get the chance this time.

Jason:
Well, well. So she actually managed to survive,
did she? Will wonders never cease.

Jason:
She probably just managed to escape by the skin of her teeth, or somehow managed to sneak up on a Demonic Beast without getting caught.

Jason:
Either that, or one of the villagers bailed her out.

Jason:
Well, Corday?

Jason:
If you took this long to get some medicinal herbs, you'd better have some real good ones to show for–


Fujimaru 1:
Ah.


Mash:
Ah.

Charlotte Corday:
Hi Jason! I have some good news and some bad news!

Charlotte Corday:
The bad news is, I forgot all about the herbs!
The good news is, we have more companions now!

Jason:
...

Charlotte Corday:
In the meantime, I'm going to make a plate
of Demonic Beast stir-fry from today's hunt.

Charlotte Corday:
Hi Drake! Is it okay if I use the kitchen?


Fujimaru 1:
Drake!?


Mash:
Did she say Drake!?

Nemo:
Drake? Isn't that–

Drake:
Well now, it's not every day I get so many customers.

Drake:
Welcome to the Golden Hind.
I'm the owner, Francis Drake.

Drake:
...But then, if you lot are from Proper Human History, maybe you already know who I am.

Mash:
Y-yes! Of course we do!

Mash:
Oh. Although, um...


Fujimaru 1:
You don't recognize us?


Drake:
Sorry, can't say I do.

Drake:
But you know, weirdly enough, I've got a good feeling about you lot for some reason.

Drake:
Who knows? Maybe we had a good brawl together in a dream or something like that.

Mash:
I see...

Mash:
Well even so, it's been a wonderful surprise to see you here, Drake.

Mash:
And you, Jason!

Jason:
Oh for... Don't tell me you brought the Chaldeans here, Corday!?

Jason:
Argh, I swear! This is exactly why I hate airheads!

Jason:
How many times did I tell you!?

Jason:
If you're that determined to get into trouble, then go right ahead. Just keep it the hell away from me!

Jason:
Yet here you are, bringing back people reeking of trouble like a lamb drenched in gasoline!

Charlotte Corday:
Well, I was just so fortunate in meeting
Fujimaru that I couldn't help it.

Charlotte Corday:
You're acquaintances of Jason too,
right, Fujimaru?


Fujimaru 1:
I guess you could say that...


Mash:
I guess the best thing to say here is
“Long time no see,” Master?

Jason:
We're not acquaintances! We're sworn enemies!
Eh! Neh! Mees!!!

Mash:
Um... That almost sounds like you still have memories of Okeanos, Jason...

Jason:
You bet I do!
I remember everything like it was yesterday!

Jason:
I might not have experienced it in this manifestation, but with memories this disturbingly detailed, I don't have to!

Jason:
I can still see Medea's face just when I'd been tricked into feeling like I was on top of the world...

Jason:
Ugh, I swear, I'm going to have nightmares about that...

Charlotte Corday:
Well, I'm sure you guys have lots of catching
up to do, so I'm going to get to cooking.

Jason:
Huh? You're really throwing me to the wolves like this!? These people actually killed me, you know!

Charlotte Corday:
Yes, I do! That's why I'm sure you'll be great friends!

Jason:
Uh...


Fujimaru 1:
Uh...


Mandricardo:
Damn. Airheads are really something else, aren't they?

Jason:
Right!?

Jason:
I swear, why do I keep running into all these damn airheads who keep literally blowing up my life!?

Mash:
I see. I guess they really don't care for each other at all...

Jason:
Ugh, fine!

Jason:
Go on, have a seat.
The food ought to be ready shortly.

Jason:
We can each share a little about what we know until it gets here. Those are my terms. Take them or piss off.

Jason:
So, how much do you know about what's going on here?

Jason:
...Yeah, that's more or less right.

Jason:
Half the Servants here disappeared,
and the other half made it to Olympus.

Mash:
That's where we're hoping to go too: Olympus.

Jason:
Hah!

Jason:
Yep, that's the can-do attitude of a Servant who's already saved the world. But unfortunately, it's just not possible.

Jason:
Listen. When I say those Servants made it to Olympus, that's all I mean; that they made it there.

Jason:
And THEY didn't have these three layers of defense to worry about!

Jason:
There was no Odysseus commanding an army,
no Artemis watching from up in the heavens...

Jason:
...and no broken Poseidon murder machine slaughtering anything that gets too close!

Jason:
Do you understand? Honestly, it's a damn miracle you lot are even alive right now!


Fujimaru 1:
I guess that's true...


Drake:
But isn't that what Servants do?
Make miracles happen?

Jason:
I know what you're going to say.

Jason:
You want my help, right?

Jason:
Forget it!

Jason:
I'm not going on another so-called hero's journey for the privilege of getting myself killed!

Jason:
Just because I'm a Servant now doesn't mean I don't still feel pain and fear.

Jason:
And I'm definitely not so stupid as to throw my life away on a fool's errand!

Drake:
I don't mind helping out.

Mash:
Really, Drake!?


Fujimaru 1:
With Drake on our side...!


Drake:
That said, I don't know if I can be much help with this busted-up Spirit Origin.

Jason:
She's basically got an incurable wound.

Jason:
She might look like herself,
but her insides are a mess.

Jason:
The whole reason she's here running a bar is because she's got nothing better to do.

Jason:
And if that wasn't bad enough, Poseidon's cursed her to die if she ever sets out to sea.

Jason:
Serves her right, if you ask me!

Drake:
Hahahaha, at least I can still
use my culverin cannons on land.

Drake:
Maybe I should give it a shot right now.

Jason:
I'm sorry! Forgive me! I shouldn't have said that!


Fujimaru 1:
I can't imagine Drake unable to sail...


Mash:
That's awful...

Drake:
Sorry I can't be of much help. I really am.

Drake:
But the fact is, I'm just not the Francis Drake you know. I can't make the impossible possible anymore.

Jason:
That's for sure! The best she can manage now is running a tavern and drinking herself silly!

Charlotte Corday:
Here we go! A nice plate of hors d'oeuvres!

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, and while I didn't find any medicinal herbs,
I did try soaking them in this edible wild grass.

Jason:
Oh man, they taste like cold compresses...
Boy, do I love me some hors d'oeuvres...

Charlotte Corday:
Would you all like some, too?


Fujimaru 1:
Don't mind if I do!

Charlotte Corday:
Teehee, please, help yourself.
I made plenty to go around.

Mash:
Thank you, Corday.


Fujimaru 2:
Thanks, Corday!

Charlotte Corday:
...Of course!
La ta taaa♪

Jason:
Why's she in such a good mood?
She get another screw knocked loose or something?

Mandricardo:
B-beats me...

Mandricardo:
She's pretty much always in a good mood around us.

Jason:
That so? Oh well, whatever.

Mash:
You really are callous about her, aren't you?

Jason:
Believe me, I could say the same for her!


Jason:
(Sigh) I'm stuffed...
So ends another pointless day.


Fujimaru 1:
What're you going to do now?


Jason:
What else?
Fall asleep on the second floor.

Mandricardo:
Is that all you've been doing every day?

Drake:
Yup. That pretty much describes Jason's entire last month here.

Mandricardo:
How can you be so cavalier about this?
Weren't you the captain of the Argo?

Jason:
Me? Sure, I was a captain.

Mandricardo:
Then why–

Jason:
A miserable excuse of a captain
who got his own crewman killed.


Fujimaru 1:
Huh? Which crewman?


Jason:
...Heracles.

Mash:
Heracles is...dead?

Jason:
Yeah, that's right!

Jason:
He shielded me and a number of other Servants from Artemis's arrow!

Jason:
And even with the Casters
buffing him to kingdom come...

Jason:
...he could still only take two shots before he used up his God Hand and kicked the bucket!

Jason:
Dammit, why did he shield us?
If anyone should've survived, it was him!

Mandricardo:
...Right. I remember now.

Mandricardo:
You dropped out right around when Heracles died.

Jason:
Hah. Took you fricking long enough to remember.

Jason:
I guess Medea or one of the other Casters must have messed with your memories.

Mash:
Medea's here too? Is she okay?

Jason:
Don't ask me. She was alive when I bailed,
but I've no idea if that's still the case.

Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
Uh... Hey, so...

Jason:
What is it, gloomy!?
You got something to say to me!?

Mandricardo:
Shut it, sunshine! Ugh, you're so damn bright I can't even look at you!

Mandricardo:
Look, you've still got enough
strength to fight back, right!?

Mandricardo:
Well, if you don't use it now,
when the hell are you going to!?

Jason:
I'll tell you when!
Right the hell now!

Jason:
Let's take this outside!
Come on, Corday, give me a hand!

Charlotte Corday:
H-huh!?

Charlotte Corday:
You want me to fight against everyone from Chaldea!?

Jason:
If you side with them, I'm not gonna bother lifting a damn finger!

Charlotte Corday:
Ugh, you can be so unreasonable sometimes.

Charlotte Corday:
But, okay.

Charlotte Corday:
If that's what it takes to convince you,
I'll be glad to help!

Nemo:
I'm surprised that convinced YOU.
You really are a natural-born Assassin.

Drake:
Ooh, you lot gonna fight?
In that case, keep it inside!

Drake:
I wanna see what you've all got for myself!

Jason:
...Isn't the barkeep supposed to say “Take it outside”?

Drake:
Forget that! I want to see a good old-fashioned barroom brawl!

Charlotte Corday:
Ahaha, that's our Drake for you.
Okay, Jason, let's both give it our best!

Jason:
“Let's both give it our best”? Is this really the time
for–Hey! Stop! I still need to get my sword!

Mash:
I-it looks like there's no getting out of this peacefully now, Master!


Fujimaru 1:
Goodbye, hors d'oeuvres. I'll be back for you later...

Mandricardo:
You're a real easygoing [♂ guy /♀️ lady], aren't you!?


Fujimaru 2:
Would you mind holding onto my hors d'oeuvres for me, Drake?

Drake:
You got it. You're a real easygoing sort, aren't you?


Charlotte Corday:
Ahaha, maybe so, but that's one thing I like
about [♂ him /♀️ her]! Anyway, here goes nothing!

--BATTLE--

Jason:
There, it's done! I lost, you won!
Now go on, scram!

Mash:
Wait. Whaaat!?

Mandricardo:
You mean you're not gonna join
us even though we beat you?

Jason:
I never said I'd do anything of the sooort!

Charlotte Corday:
No, I guess you didn't...
I'd forgotten what you were like.

Jason:
Go ahead and take the airhead with you if you want. Not that she's good for anything besides blowing up in your face.

Jason:
But leave me out of it!

Drake:
Hey. (Waving over)


Fujimaru 1:
I wonder what this is about...


Drake:
You really want Jason to come along with you?


Fujimaru 1:
Well, Medea did say he comes through when it counts, so yeah.


Fujimaru 2:
I've heard he's at his best when the chips are down, so yeah.


Drake:
Good point.

Drake:
Given everything that's going on now, you probably would be better off with him in your crew.

Drake:
Okay then, I've got an idea.

Drake:
There's a temple up north of here where a bunch of border guards like to hang out.

Drake:
Go up there and get yourselves some Theos Klironomia.


Fujimaru 1:
And then what?


Drake:
Jason's a smart guy.

Drake:
He'll figure out what it means
that you've got some real quick.

Drake:
Oh, no need to overdo it.
Just enough for one Servant oughta do.

Drake:
Here, this is the release codes for the Theos Kilronomia, and a storage container to bring back what you can get.


Fujimaru 1:
Got it!

Drake:
Oho, that's what I like to hear. Now go on out there and loot that temple like a true pirate!


Fujimaru 2:
Thank you for this!

Drake:
No problem. It's the least I can do, since I can't fight alongside you.


Mash:
What were you talking about with Drake, Master?

Mandricardo:
Border guards at the temple, huh?

Mandricardo:
I mean, I guess that's fine,
since we needed to go there anyway.

Nemo:
Right. That suggestion of hers is just what we were looking for anyway.

Nemo:
But I still don't understand how defeating those guards will change Jason's mind.

Mandricardo:
Me neither.

Mandricardo:
Still, this is Captain Drake we're talking about.
It can't hurt to give her idea a shot.


Fujimaru 1:
Let's rest up tonight and go there tomorrow morning.


Mash & Mandricardo:
Right/Got it!

Charlotte Corday:
I'm going too, of course!

Charlotte Corday:
That's okay with you, right, Fujimaru?
Right? Right?


Fujimaru 1:
Of course. I'd be glad to have you along.

Charlotte Corday:
Wonderful!


Fujimaru 2:
I mean, I already figured you would be, so...

Charlotte Corday:
O-oh, really?

Charlotte Corday:
Thank goodness. I'm so glad to hear you feel that way.


Charlotte Corday:
I mean, you have Mandricardo to help with combat now, so I was worried you might not need me anymore!

Mandricardo:
(Really? I figured if anyone here was a fifth wheel, it'd be me!)

Charlotte Corday:
But anyway, if you do need me, I'll gladly do anything and everything I can to help.

Charlotte Corday:
I promise, I won't let you down!

Section 6: The Stars Scattered across the Land

Narration:
A sharp pain shoots through my entire body whenever I pull out an arrow.

Narration:
It never gets any easier to deal with,
no matter how many times I do it.

???:
You know, I still don't get why Servants even have to feel pain at all.

Narration:
I can't stand how incredibly inexperienced I am.

Narration:
What a joke. Some invincible hero I turned out to be.

Narration:
Any hero knows hesitating or letting your guard down, even just for a moment, can get you killed on the battlefield, but I couldn't even make my peace with that.

Narration:
I feel like a walking mountain of arrogance.
It makes me sick.

???:
So... What should I do now?

Narration:
...There's no answer. The only way I'll find one is to figure it out myself.

Narration:
I wish I could have just slept forever. I wish this was all over, and that I could just let myself be worn away.

Narration:
...But there's no point wishing for the impossible.
I just have to wait now. That's all there is to it.

Narration:
This does not involve anything so grand as destiny.
He's simply waiting for someone precious to him.

Narration:
Someone who lent him her power.
Someone he needs to take away from all this.

Narration:
She is a god.

???:
...The heavens probably aren't going to be too happy with stars moving about on their own.

Narration:
She has no interest in humans, nor does she involve herself with other gods' affairs.

Narration:
It is precisely that position of neutrality that is her reason for existing.

Narration:
Justice. Scales. Judgment.

???:
...Still, this isn't very impartial, is it?

Narration:
And yet, she would never move from that position.
Indeed, she couldn't even if she wished to.

Narration:
As much as her human side may yearn to do so,
here, her divine side is stronger.

Narration:
So she idly whiles the time away,
not waiting for anything at all.

Narration:
The goddess of the scales has no interest in anything as insignificant as humans.

Narration:
Which just means she won't turn against them.

Orion:
...Hm?

Orion:
Oh, it's you.
What's up?

Artemis:
...

Orion:
Don't feel like talking? Fine with me.
Go ahead and warm yourself by the fire.

Orion:
Come on, have a seat.

Artemis:
...

Orion:
...I get the feeling there's a lot more to this silence than usual. Something wrong?

Artemis:
...Do you remember when we first met?

Orion:
Huh?
Well sure, of course.

Orion:
Summoned for about a week♪
Here to save humanity♪

Orion:
But all I've been doing is huntiiing♪

Orion:
Hah. What a joke.

Orion:
(Sigh)... From what I hear, most of the other Servants already set off for Olympus.

Orion:
Hmm. Maybe I should just catch up to them already?
I'd need a ride to do that, though.

Artemis:
...

Orion:
Aw crap! Artemis!?

Artemis:
...
...Disgusting.

Orion:
...I'm sorry?

Artemis:
Your muscles, your skin, your face, your disposition, your smell, your voice... Everything about you is disgusting.

Orion:
Hey!

Orion:
That's the first thing you say after nabbing the prettiest pretty boy in all of Greece!?

Orion:
Then again, if you don't know who I am,
you must be the Artemis from this world.

Artemis:
It's because of weak, obese, frail, rotten-to-their-very-soul humans like you that I had to come down from Olympus.

Artemis:
You're the worst. I hate you.
Just do the world a favor and die.

Orion:
All right, I see how it is.

Orion:
You want to pick a fight with me? You got it!

Orion:
I reeeally don't relish the idea of going up against you, but if this is what you want, then bring it on!

Artemis:
...I'm not going to fight you.

Orion:
Huh?

Artemis:
I can't fight you, no matter how much I would like to, and I would very much like to.

Artemis:
The only difference between your Artemis and our Artemis...

Artemis:
...is that yours had a hero by the name of Orion.

Orion:
Okay. What's your point?

Artemis:
...I'll let you live. But I can't have you working to assist Proper Human History.

Artemis:
So you're going to swear an oath–an orkos.

Orion:
Yeah? And what's in it for me if I do?

Artemis:
Refuse, and I will destroy the entire island of Hestia.

Orion:
...!

Artemis:
I–We, are not playing around.

Orion:
...Okay, I got it. You want me to swear an oath? Done.

Orion:
Basically, you just wanna keep an eye on me, right?

Artemis:
...

Orion:
Then fine, do what you gotta do.
But on one condition.

Orion:
I want you to swear an oath to me that you'll never kill anyone in front of me.

Artemis:
I'm just a terminal; one observational unit out of many.

Artemis:
I don't have any combat capabilities of my own.

Artemis:
If things get dire...

Orion:
Yeah?

Artemis:
I'll self-destruct.

Orion:
Oh. I see...
(Crap, I think she means it.)

Artemis:
I've heard Poseidon's blood runs in your veins.

Artemis:
So if you truly mean to engage with this world as a demigod...

Artemis:
...I will be watching closely to see how you do so.

Orion:
Yup, good times.
So, you been enjoying the show so far?

Artemis:
...I can't say I have.

Artemis:
All you have done is eat meat, hit on women, eat meat, hit on women, eat meat, hit on women, eat meat, and hit on women.

Orion:
Ouch! That's harsh. I'm pretty sure I did at least a few more things besides that.

Artemis:
You come and go as haughtily as you please,
possessing godlike physical strength...

Artemis:
...yet you have done nothing with that power but use it to live your life freely.

Artemis:
And on top of all that, you have also been fickle.

Artemis:
You were as lazy and lackadaisical as a cloud.
Your very existence was wasteful and inefficient.

Artemis:
I swear...

Artemis:
I have no idea what the me from your world could have possibly seen in you.

Orion:
...Okay.

Artemis:
...Chaldea has finally arrived.

Artemis:
Apparently, they evaded our main cannon by the skin of their teeth and came to this island.

Artemis:
They're the ones you rescued.

Orion:
I–

Artemis:
I didn't report it.

Artemis:
If I had, the main unit would have blown up this entire island without a moment's hesitation.

Orion:
True.

Artemis:
...But now, the Chaldeans have finally been caught.

Artemis:
On Heracles Island. That's where they are now.

Orion:
What!? Don't tell me you–

Artemis:
...I'm certain the main unit will use the primary cannon to destroy the whole island.

Artemis:
You're going to help them, aren't you?

Orion:
Yeah, I am.

Orion:
Don't blame me. You're the one who broke our oath.

Artemis:
Even though they're here to kill us?

Orion:
I...

Artemis:
Either way, you'll never make it now.
Not with a leisurely boat ride, anyway.

Orion:
...
...You got a better idea?

Artemis:
The Sea of Atlantis is part of our domain. I'm therefore authorized to exercise partial Authority.

Artemis:
Take my hand.
I'll teleport you there.

Orion:
Why're you doing this for me?
You do know I'm going to save your enemies, right?

Artemis:
...

Artemis:
I'm not sure myself.
I just...felt like it.

Orion:
Well look at that. You do know how to smile!

Orion:
I wish you'd done that sooner. It suits you way better.

Artemis:
...I don't want to smile.
I just can't help it when I'm around you.

Artemis:
...Come on, let's go.
I'll put an end to our oath.

Artemis:
I think that's the last thing I'm meant to do.

--ARROW--

Atlantis Border Guard:
...

Mandricardo:
Yup, they're here all right.
Decent number of them, too.

Charlotte Corday:
How should we go about this? Should we just charge them head-on, or sneak up and take them by surprise?


Fujimaru 1:
Let's go head-on.

Mandricardo:
Yeah, makes sense.

Mandricardo:
If we can't take down guys like these,
we'll never make it all the way to Olympus.

Charlotte Corday:
As an Assassin, I'm not really cut out for such direct combat...but I suppose I can figure something out!

Charlotte Corday:
Besides, taking people by surprise
head-on is my specialty!


Fujimaru 2:
Let's take them by surprise.

Charlotte Corday:
Understood.

Charlotte Corday:
Then I'll go face them head-on
so I can surprise attack them.


Mandricardo:
A head-on surprise attack...?

Mandricardo:
Wait... That seems...wrong.

Charlotte Corday:
No, not in the slightest.
Now come on!

Charlotte Corday:
Heeelp pleeease!
Somebody! Save meee!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Halt! Stay right where you are!

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, I'm sorry. It's just that there's a Demonic Beast coming this way!

Charlotte Corday:
Eeeeeek!
I can't take it anymore!

Atlantis Border Guard:
A Demonic Beast? I don't see any–

Charlotte Corday:
It's me! Surpriiise!

--BATTLE--

Mandricardo:
Now we just destroy their weapons...
Tie 'em up... And...

Charlotte Corday:
All done, Fujimaru!


Fujimaru 1:
Great job, guys!

Charlotte Corday:
We couldn't have done it without you!


Fujimaru 2:
You're not hurt, are you?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, yes, a little bit.
But it's okay. This is noth–

Charlotte Corday:
Oh...

Charlotte Corday:
I, um... Thank you. You're too kind.


Mash:
(Clears throat) Ahem.

Mash:
Let's continue on to the temple!

Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
(Mandricardo wisely assessed the situation, and soon realized he was better off not getting involved.)

Nemo:
Why're you lounging around like an anglerfish?
Aren't you coming?

Mandricardo:
...U-uh, yeah, be right there.

Nemo:
?

Mandricardo:
(There's something inhuman about this guy–er, Heroic Spirit. It's kind of freaky.)

Mandricardo:
(I never ran into guys like this much back home.
I don't know how to talk to him...)

Mandricardo:
(Then again, I never know how to talk to anybody!)


Fujimaru 1:
It looks just like the other one.

Mandricardo:
Sure does. I think I should be able to get nanomachines out of this one the same way.


Fujimaru 2:
I still can't believe something this science-fictiony is real...

Mash:
Me neither.

Mash:
Every other Lostbelt we've been to felt like we were stepping into the past, since their civilizations had stagnated long ago...

Mash:
Well, maybe with the exception of the Chinese Lostbelt, depending on how you look at it.

Mash:
So I never expected to find technology in this one that in many ways surpasses our own.

Mash:
Between how strong the people here are,
the amazing properties of their clothing...

Mash:
...Never mind. It's nothing.


Mandricardo:
Okay, here goes nothing.

P.A. System:
Olympian lineage confirmed.
Bloodline value: ERROR

P.A. System:
Releasing Theos Klironomia.

Nemo:
...
...Phew.

Mash:
How do you feel?

Nemo:
...A lot better. In fact, I'd say I'm about
ninety-eight percent back to my old self.

Nemo:
...But now that we've come this far,
I can't help but want more.

Nemo:
The Nautilus I built with Sion
was only ever a stand-in.

Nemo:
It was a transitory thing and was forced to rely on my Nautilus to get us through this ocean from the Age of Gods.

Nemo:
We didn't have the resources in the Wandering Sea to accomplish what Sion really had her sights set on...

Nemo:
But if these nanomachines can reinforce my Spirit Origin, and if I can share them with the Border...

Nemo:
...I might just be able to make a new Nautilus–a new Shadow Border.

Nemo:
Fujimaru, I have a favor to ask of you.
Please, help me make that dream come true.

Mash:
Don't forget our promise with Drake. We still need to get another Servant's worth of nanomachines.

Mandricardo:
You got it.
Okay, let's try the release code she gave us...

Section 7: Delight in Your Extinction, Native Life-forms

Odysseus:
I see. Continue to patrol the area.
Whatever you do, do not let them get away.

Odysseus:
Kirschtaria.
We've located the Chaldeans.

Odysseus:
It seems they've made land at Heracles Island, as our troops there failed to check in for their regular report.

Kirschtaria:
Oho. So they not only managed to survive,
they're even going after temples now.

Kirschtaria:
They must already have eyes on the Theos Klironomia.

Kirschtaria:
It would seem they very much embody the resilience and shamelessness that were so emblematic of the old human race they represent.

Kirschtaria:
If Koyanskaya were there right now, I have no doubt she would be tickled pink by this news.

Caenis:
Hm? Now that you mention it, I haven't seen the fox bitch around for a while now.

Caenis:
What happened? Did the Foreign God bite her tails off over her failure in India or something?

Kirschtaria:
No. I'm having her monitor
the polis for the time being.

Kirschtaria:
Besides, the Foreign God would never interfere with her affairs. There's no hierarchy between them whatsoever.

Kirschtaria:
I'm sure you know as well as I do that Koyanskaya is nothing more than a spectator.

Kirschtaria:
She is an arms merchant who always provides just a bit less than her customers need.

Kirschtaria:
As far as we are concerned,
she is neither friend nor foe.

Kirschtaria:
She is merely vermin we will need to exterminate when all else is said and done.

Caenis:
(That's exactly why I wanna just squash her now and be done with it.)

Caenis:
(If we put it off till the last minute, it might end up being too late to do anything about her...)

Caenis:
All right, I'll just focus on the meal at hand for now then. So, can I go now, Kirschtaria?

Caenis:
You're not gonna stop me from
killing Chaldea anymore, right?

Kirschtaria:
...

Caenis:
Well? Say something, dammit! You're not gonna tell me to let 'em go again or some crap like tha–

D:???:
Try to tame your mindless bloodlust for once, Caenis.

D:???:
We are gods, and so our Master deserves far more respect than that.

E:???:
My brother is right.

E:???:
You're like a stray dog baring its fangs at the slightest provocation. It's pathetic, really.

Caenis:
I wasn't asking you, you little brats. Just keep running around your Master like a couple of sad puppies and don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong.

D:???:
...Well, well.

D:???:
I never expected to hear that sort of thing from a mongrel just barely capable of following simple instructions.

E:???:
Don't bother, Brother.
It's not as though she can do anything more.

Caenis:
...So you've got a death wish, huh? Why didn't you just say so? I'd be more than happy to make twin kebabs out of both of you.

Caenis:
Or are you gonna start crying and begging the gods for help again, like you did the last time you died miserably!?

Kirschtaria:
Enough.

Kirschtaria:
You are all Servants who have sworn a contract with me. I know you can behave better than that.

Kirschtaria:
You may have your differences, but you are all comrades fighting for a common goal. If you insist on fighting amongst yourselves, you may do so after that goal has been accomplished.

Caenis:
But Kirschtaria, these brats keep mouthing off even though they haven't done a damn thing to–

Kirschtaria:
Caenis. It was you who wished to serve as a warrior,
whereas those two serve as my aides.

Kirschtaria:
Their job is to facilitate communications between Zeus and myself. Of course the nature of your work will differ.

Kirschtaria:
Or is this your way of saying you wish to come to Olympus in their stead?

Caenis:
...Tch, like hell I'd ever set foot in that creepy old city. All those smiles everywhere you look make me sick.

D:???:
I'm sure. Olympus is a grand and holy city. A savage like you could never hope to understand its utopian glory.

Caenis:
Shut it, Blondie!
Well? What's it gonna be, Kirschtaria!?

Caenis:
If you're not gonna send me after them, does that mean you're letting Odysseus go instead!?

Caenis:
You better not be sending these
damn twins out in my pla–

Kirschtaria:
No. None of you should go after them.
Odysseus, Zeus has granted us a divine message.

Odysseus:
Oh?

Kirschtaria:
We have been authorized to make use of Artemis.
I'm trusting you to handle the cleanup.

Odysseus:
Understood.

Caenis:
...Hey, Kirschtaria, let me just make sure I got this straight. Chaldea's on an island now, right?

Kirschtaria:
...

E:???:
You really are quite dense, aren't you? I know it must be difficult for you, but do try to refrain from asking Lord Kirschtaria to spell out the blatantly obvious to you.

D:???:
Indeed. Lord Kirschtaria knows full well what he's doing. I take it we're here just to observe then, Lord Kirschtaria?

Kirschtaria:
Correct. I want all of you to remain on standby at one of the islands neighboring Heracles Island.

Kirschtaria:
Atlantis's defenses are fundamentally Odysseus's domain. We should not intervene unless there is no other option.

Kirschtaria:
I trust that's all right with you, Odysseus?

Odysseus:
...It is. Your consideration is unnecessary, but appreciated. All you lot need do is sit back and wait.

D:???:
Very well then. I look forward to seeing what you are capable of, Odysseus.

E:???:
Agreed.
Come, Brother, let's be on our way.

Caenis:
...Tch. So Zeus couldn't even find the balls to let us have a decent fight! Ugh, this sucks!

Odysseus:
...

Kirschtaria:
I apologize for the commotion, Odysseus. I hope it won't deter you from focusing on your task at hand.

Odysseus:
...

Odysseus:
Attention all soldiers.
Olympus has given us authorization.

Odysseus:
We will fire the primary cannon again as soon as we confirm Chaldea's presence on Heracles Island.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Does that mean we're going to destroy the whole island?

Odysseus:
Yes, it does.

Atlantis Border Guard:
I see.
...That ought to make them really happy.

Odysseus:
...Will it now? I see.
All the more reason to proceed as planned then.

Odysseus:
We will let them bear witness to the cannon as powerful as Lord Zeus himself, capable of destroying entire planets...the arrow of the moon goddess.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Oh hey, welcome back.
Where'd you guys go?

Charlotte Corday:
We went out to hunt some Demonic Beasts,
but I'm afraid we couldn't find any. Too bad.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Gotcha. Well hey, don't sweat it.
Some days, luck's just not on your side.

Charlotte Corday:
Okay, I won't.
So where's Jason? Is he at the tavern again?

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Yup, same as usual. Just like yesterday, and the day before that. It's nice to see some things never change.

Mandricardo:
I'm surprised they don't make
fun of him for being a drunkard.

Charlotte Corday:
Isn't that a good thing?

Mandricardo:
...Well, yeah, I guess.

???:

I'm gonna be a soldier!

Mash:
...Huh?
Who was that?

B:Heracles Island Resident:
They'll be here in a few days, Timi.
You'll just have to be patient until then.

Timi:
I know. But I can't wait!
Nothing has happened these last hundred years!

Timi:
...Hm? Hey there!
You guys aren't from this island, are you!?

Timi:
You're the Courier's friends, right?

Mandricardo:
Uh, y-yeah, I guess...

Mandricardo:
(Oh man, I really never know
what to say to guys like this...)

Charlotte Corday:
Hi, Timi! I'm glad to see you're doing well.

Timi:
O-oh! Hi, Corday...

Timi:
So, who are you guys?

Mash:
Oh, yes. My name's Mash Kyrielight.


Fujimaru 1:
I'm Fujimaru.


Timi:
Well good to meet you!

Timi:
Man, there're so many of you. I heard there haven't been this many nonislanders here for hundreds of years.

Mandricardo:
Damn. He's talking about centuries like we would decades...

Timi:
So what's it like outside of this island?

Timi:
I've asked the old men about it, but they always just say things are the same there as they are here.

Timi:
But I don't buy that. I think there's gotta be something different about them.

Timi:
I mean, if there weren't, there'd be no point in the islands all being separated like this in the first place.

Timi:
And there's gotta be a reason behind
everything the gods of Olympus do.

Charlotte Corday:
Is that why you want to be a border guard?

Timi:
Yeah, it is.

Timi:
Once I'm a border guard, I'll get to see what things are like outside the island.

Timi:
And I figure, if I can see what things are like outside the island...maybe that'll change something for me.

Charlotte Corday:
...Does that mean you're bored with your life here?

Timi:
Nah, not at all.

Timi:
Besides, I'm only a hundred years old.
I've still got my whole life ahead of me.

Timi:
How old're you? I'm guessing what, three hundred or so?

Mandricardo:
Uh... Physically, I'm still in my thirties.
Mentally too, actually.

Timi:
Huh?

Charlotte Corday:
Now, now, that's enough of that.

Charlotte Corday:
Anyway, good luck with becoming a border guard, Timi!

Timi:
Th-thanks! I hope you'll be there to watch my tryout!

Charlotte Corday:
Well, um, I don't know if I can be there for that,
but I'll certainly be rooting for you either way!

Timi:
O-oh. Gotcha.

Timi:
...Uh, anyway, I'd better go.
I still gotta run an errand for my dad.

Charlotte Corday:
Okay. See you later then.

Timi:
...Uh, yeah! Later!

Mandricardo:
...Well, it doesn't take a bright and cheery type to see what's going on here.


Fujimaru 1:
That it doesn't...

Charlotte Corday:
What are you guys talking about?

Mash:
She might be more of a bright type, but it looks like she's still in the dark about this...


Fujimaru 2:
Why? What IS going on here?

Mandricardo:
So you didn't pick up on it either, huh, Master?

Fou:
Fooou, fou fooou?


Mandricardo:
Well, uh... You know...

Mandricardo:
I'm guessing part of it's got to do with the fact that you're one of the island's few visitors...

Mandricardo:
...but I'm pretty sure that Timi kid's got a crush on you, Corday. Least, I think he does.

Charlotte Corday:
Ahahahaha! That's ridiculous!
Of course he doesn't!

Charlotte Corday:
We've barely even spoken more than a few words to each other. How could that be enough to develop affection for me?

Charlotte Corday:
Unless there's some other reason for his feelings?

Mandricardo:
Well, this is also just a guess, but...
maybe he thinks you're pretty?

Charlotte Corday:
I see.

Charlotte Corday:
Hmm...

Charlotte Corday:
Well, I still think this all sounds very silly,
so I don't think we need to discuss it any further!

Mandricardo:
Okay, sure thing.

Mandricardo:
(I just don't have the guts to point out that she's obviously got a crush on Master herself...)

Charlotte Corday:
Now come on. We still need to let Jason know that we're back from the temple.

Mash:
Right.

Mash:
I believe Drake said this would get Jason to understand what happened, though I'm still not sure what she meant.

Mash:
I wonder how things will turn out.

Jason:
Ahh. Another day, another delicious drink.

Jason:
Though I've got to say, I'm surprised the people here almost never seem to imbibe anything themselves.

Jason:
Still, there's something to be said for enjoying a drink in peace and solitude.

Drake:
If you say so.

Jason:
You're the kind of person who thinks it's not a real bar if it doesn't come with a raucous crowd, aren't you?

Jason:
Well take it from me. There's nothing wrong with drinking alone and getting lost in thoughts of old friends.

Jason:
...Ugh. Dammit, Heracles...

Drake:
Well sure, there's nothing wrong
with thinking back on friends.

Drake:
But in your case, it only ever ends
with you muttering that same line.

Jason:
Just let me drink in peace, will you?
...(Sigh)

Mash:
We're back, Drake.

Drake:
Oh hey, welcome back.

Drake:
Good timing. I was just thinking of closing up shop.

Mandricardo:
You're not open at night?
Kind of a weird choice for a bar.

Drake:
What can I say? Everyone here cares more about staying healthy than having a drink.

Drake:
No, wait, that's not right. It's more like they're so healthy that they don't even need to get drunk.

Drake:
So this bar of mine's just something I do for fun. I've lost more money on it than I can ever hope to make up.

Mash:
...?

Mash:
How long have you been here, Drake?

Drake:
Hmm, good question.

Drake:
I guess you could say that all the booze kind of mixed up my past, present, and future.

Drake:
...And speaking of booze, there's an idiot here who's lost himself in it, Servant or not.

Drake:
You kept your promise, right?
Then go ahead and wake him up.


Fujimaru 1:
Wakey, wakey, Jason.

Jason:
What is it...?
(Yaaawn)

Jason:
Oh, it's just you lot.


Fujimaru 2:
Please be so kind as to wake up, Lord Jason.

Jason:
...
...Aah!

Jason:
M-Medea!? Is that you!?
I wasn't sleeping! I was fully awake!

Mash:
[♂ I can't say I heard much resemblance myself /♀️ I'm surprised how well you imitated her, Master]...


Jason:
What's this all about?
If it has to do with joining you, I already–


Fujimaru 1:
We just came back from the temple to the north.

Jason:
...
...Huh?

Jason:
What about the border guards there? Huh?
Did you fight them? Did you?


Fujimaru 2:
We just fought some border guards.

Jason:
...
...You what?

Jason:
You mean the ones stationed at the temple to the north?


Jason:
...

Jason:
You idiots!!!

Jason:
What the hell were you lot thinking!? Now it's only
a matter of time until Odysseus realizes we're here!

Mandricardo:
What else could we do?
We needed more Theos Klironomia.

Jason:
You mean you stole some Theos
Klironomia on top of that!?

Jason:
Dammit! General-purpose Klironomia or not, given the situation, there's no way he won't send more soldiers here!

Jason:
And when he does, the villagers are going to lead them right to me! It won't even occur to them to lie!

Jason:
...I'll just have to run for it.

Drake:
Hahahaha, that's perfect.

Drake:
Maybe it's about time you started thinking about setting sail again, Mr. Captain of the Argo?

Jason:
Drake! This was your doing, wasn't it!?

Drake:
Got it in one♡


Fujimaru 1:
(Whoa, she looks so cute.)


Mandricardo:
(Whoa, she looks so cute.)

Mash:
Wow, Drake, you look amazing right now.

Jason:
...W-well what about you!? What are you going to do!?

Jason:
If they find you here, and they will, they're going to kill you too! Is that what you want!?

Drake:
Haha, 'course not!

Drake:
But I can't set sail on my own, and Poseidon's curse wouldn't let me even if I could.

Drake:
So I'll just find somewhere to hide here on the island.

Drake:
Luckily, I doubt Odysseus is all
that worried about me anyway.

Drake:
Any Servant that can't fight or leave this island isn't gonna be much of a threat.

Mash:
Drake...

Drake:
Ah, don't worry.
I can always come back once this all blows over.

Drake:
And with enough time, I bet I can even figure out a way around this curse–

Drake:
Hm? Sounds like a lot of commotion going on outside.

Jason:
Oh, come on!
Don't tell me Odysseus's soldiers are already here!

Mandricardo:
...That's not what it sounds like to me.

Charlotte Corday:
It sounds like somebody is upset about something...


Fujimaru 1:
Let's go check it out.


Orion:
Listen to me, will you!?

Orion:
Artemis's cannon is going to blow
up this island at any moment!

Orion:
You've all gotta evacuate to another island right now!

A:Heracles Island Resident:
...
...Are you sure?

Orion:
Yes, I'm sure!


Fujimaru 1:
Orion!?


Orion:
Hey, Fujimaru!

Charlotte Corday:
What are you talking about, Orion? What do you mean,
a cannon is going to blow up this island!?

Orion:
Exactly what it sounds like!

Orion:
Artemis is going to fire her cannon at this island in order to take you guys out!

All:

!!!

???:
He's telling the truth.
The main unit has already begun preparations.

???:
It won't be long now before she fires the cannon.

Mash:
Who are–

???:
I am Artemis.
I rule over the Greek skies and stars.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
I-is that true!?

B:Heracles Island Resident:
How do we know she's not just
pretending to be Lady Artemis?

B:Heracles Island Resident:
N-no, wait. There's no faking this divine light!

Artemis:
...Strictly speaking, I'm just a terminal–something closer to Artemis's familiar.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
What am I doing!?
I should be prostrating myself before her right now!

Timi:
Huh? No way.
Is that...one of the gods?

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Come on, Timi!
Get down on the ground already!

Timi:
R-right!

Artemis:
...

Artemis:
I repeat, my cannon is targeting this island as we speak.

Artemis:
The only way to survive is to run away from here as fast as you can, even if it means swimming to–

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Run away!? We'd never do that!

Mandricardo:
(...Yeah, that figures. They've been here their whole lives. They probably can't even imaging living somewhere else.)

Mash:
...

Charlotte Corday:
...

A:Heracles Island Resident:
One of the gods is finally paying attention to us!
Why would we be afraid to die!?


Fujimaru 1:
...Huh?


Mash:
...

Charlotte Corday:
...

Mandricardo:
...So that's how it is here...

Orion:
Are you freakin' nuts!?

A:Heracles Island Resident:
I don't know who you are, pal,
but if anyone's nuts here, it's you!

B:Heracles Island Resident:
Yeah! You want us to run away!?

B:Heracles Island Resident:
To give up the honor of bathing in the moon goddess's sacred light!?

Orion:
But you're all going to die!

A:Heracles Island Resident:
And?

Orion:
...!

Artemis:
...I knew it. I had a feeling this is what the people here would choose.

A:Heracles Island Resident:
Thank you, Lady Artemis!
Thank you!

A:Heracles Island Resident:
As defects banished from Olympus, this is the greatest end to our lives we could have possibly hoped for!

B:Heracles Island Resident:
Oh, right. I almost forgot.

B:Heracles Island Resident:
You nonislanders should probably run for it while you still can.

Mash:
But... I... We can't!!

Timi:
...

Charlotte Corday:
What about you, Timi?
Do you want to escape with us?

Timi:
Me? Of course not. I'm staying right here.

Charlotte Corday:
But...I thought you wanted to be a soldier?

Timi:
Huh? What are you talking about?

Timi:
Having the gods accept us is way more important than becoming a soldier, right?

Timi:
I mean, it's a shame that I won't get to see you anymore, Corday, but there's no way I can pass this up.

Timi:
Sorry about that.

Charlotte Corday:
Th-that's okay...
I... I understand...

Orion:
...

Jason:
...Well? What are you all still doing here?

Jason:
If Artemis is telling the truth,
then we don't have a moment to spare.

Jason:
So come on! We need to get ready to leave! Now!


Fujimaru 1:
But...!


Jason:
If it wasn't possible for these people to escape, then it would be the hero's job to stay behind to help.

Jason:
But if they're refusing to escape,
then helping them isn't our responsibility!

Jason:
Now come on, let's go!

Mash:
W-wait! What about Drake!?

Drake:
...Well, shit. This is a little more dire than I was expecting things to go. But, nothing to be done now.

Drake:
Guess this is goodbye.

Mash:
You don't have to stay here, Drake!
Please! Come with us!

Drake:
I told you, I can't.
Much as I wish I could.

Mash:
There must be a way!
I'll carry you myself if I have to!

Drake:
You're weirdly sweet on me, aren't you?

Drake:
I guess another version of me must've helped you guys out a whole bunch before.

Drake:
...But, it's okay.

Drake:
If I've gotta go, going out with some good booze ain't the worst way.

Drake:
Looks like I'll be taking a page from your book, Jason.

Drake:
Drinking alone, and getting lost in thoughts of old friends.

Jason:
I see.
...Thanks for everything, Captain.

Drake:
Don't worry about your tab.
I'll make sure to leave it right where it is.

Mash:
Drake...


Fujimaru 1:
...Are you sure you won't change your mind?

Drake:
Yeah, I'm sure.


Fujimaru 2:
Goodbye, Captain...

Drake:
If we were on my ship right now, I'd be happy to award you with the title of Navigator First Class or something.

Drake:
But here on land, well, it just wouldn't work.


Orion:
...
...Fujimaru.


Fujimaru 1:
Come with us, Orion.

Orion:
...Yeah.
I think I will.


Fujimaru 2:
Will you fight with us, Orion?

Orion:
...Yeah.
You bet I will!


Orion:
There we go! All set!

Jason:
Good, it looks like we're all on the same page.
Now we–

Drake:
Whoops, just a sec. I almost forgot.

Drake:
Jason!

Jason:
...A key?

Drake:
That's the key to the chains locking my ship's helm in place. Take it. It's your ship now.

Jason:
You want me to use the Golden Hind?

Jason:
But that's yours. It'll just disappear when you do.

Drake:
No, it won't. Not as long as you reinforce its existence with some Theos Klironomia.

Jason:
...Wait.
Are you saying–

Drake:
Once you do that, it won't be the Golden Hind anymore.

Drake:
It'll be...the Argo.

Jason:
!

Drake:
Besides, what's a captain without a ship?

Jason:
...Dammit.

Jason:
All right, fine. I'm not so high-minded as to turn down a gift being given in earnest like this.

Jason:
But I don't want to hear any complaints about what I do with your ship after the fact. You got that!?

Drake:
I got it.
Oh, and here. This is for you guys.


Fujimaru 1:
What is it?


Drake:
I think it's some kinda treasure that belongs to one of the gods here. Go on, take it.

Drake:
I found it at sea when I ran into the biggest sea monster I've ever seen!

Drake:
It was glowing so bright it practically screamed “Look at me! I'm the heart!” so I went ahead and plundered it!

Nemo:
I can't believe it...
This should be impossible, but...it's real.

Nemo:
This really is my father–
Poseidon's, Divine Core.

Nemo:
But...how did you get this!? You're a human-based Heroic Spirit. How did you possibly defeat Poseidon!?

Drake:
Ah, I just happened to get lucky. The wind, the waves, my luck... They were all going my way at the time.

Drake:
'Course, I got slapped with a hell of a curse to make up for it. Now it hurts so much to breathe I think death would actually be a relief.

Drake:
But, I had a feeling. Something that told me I couldn't up and die until I pawned that thing off on somebody else.

Nemo:
You...

Mash:
I can't believe you were holding onto something that valuable all this time...


Fujimaru 1:
Thank you. I promise we'll take good care of it.


Drake:
...

Drake:
...Whoa there. Almost said something way out of character for me.

Drake:
Well, go on.
You'd better get out of here before it's too late!

Drake:
You sure as hell don't wanna get wiped out 'cause you stuck around shooting the shit for too long.

Nemo:
...Yeah. You're right, Captain Drake.

Nemo:
And I won't let your hard work go to waste.
Rest assured, I'll take the tiller from here!

Jason:
Ugh, my body feels heavier than I expected!

Charlotte Corday:
Maybe all your unhealthy living
finally caught up to you?

Jason:
We're Servants, dammit! We already lived our lives!

Jason:
That said, I was pretty mentally blocked for a while.
That's probably what's causing it.

Jason:
Dammit, these Demonic Beasts are gonna slow us down! Ugh! Guess I'll just have to break out my own sword for this!

Jason:
Hey! Fujimaru!

Jason:
You're a Master, right?
Then show me how well you can put me to use!

Jason:
If you do a good enough job, I'll consider teaming up with you to be the backward-thinking way out of this mess!


Fujimaru 1:
Are you sure you don't mean forward-thinking!?

Jason:
Absolutely not! Know why?
Because despair always sneaks up on you from behind!


Fujimaru 2:
Really? You'd team up with me!?

Jason:
Of course!

Jason:
After all, it's not like I have many other weapons at my disposal right now!

Jason:
The trick to survival is to use whomever you've got!
That goes for parents, lovers, and enemies alike!


Jason:
All right! All hands, ready your weapons!
We need to finish this lightning quick!

--BATTLE--

Jason:
(Huff, huff, huff...)
Ugh, I hate feeling so sluggish!

Mandricardo:
Looks like you're not using any of those nanomachines yourself then.

Jason:
No, I'm not. I wanted to avoid getting mixed up with the gods here as much as possible... Though it looks like that might not be an option anymore.

Jason:
Come on, you useless good-for-nothings! RUN DAMMIT!

Holmes:
We've sussed out the situation on our end as well.
Do hurry.

Bartholomew:
My ship's all ready to set sail too.
We can leave at any time.

Bartholomew:
Oh, and I've already found the Golden Hind as well.

Bartholomew:
It's the ship closest to your current location.

Holmes:
I've just sent you the coordinates.

Holmes:
I expect using your navigational system to find that ship and escape the island will be your best bet.

Mash:
Coordinates received. We're almost there!

Section 8: Argonauts, Head Out

Mash:
We made it to the Golden Hind!

Orion:
Jason!

Jason:
I know! Okay, Francis Drake...
I'm taking your golden helm for myself!

Jason:
From here on, you take orders from me! Got that!?


Fujimaru 1:
G-got it!


Jason:
Okay, I've set the Theos Klironomia to the ship.
Starting repairs now.

Jason:
...Good, that shouldn't take too long.
In the meantime: all hands, prepare to set sail!

Orion:
...Hey, Artemis!
Artemis!

Orion:
What are you doing here?
Come on, hurry!

Artemis:
...

Artemis:
I'm afraid I can't go with you.

Artemis:
I'm forced to stay synced to the main unit. If I board that ship, she'll know exactly where you are.

Orion:
...Are you serious?

E:Artemis:
And I know for a fact that she's going to shoot me.

E:Artemis:
After all...no, I should not say.

E:Artemis:
It's my fault that things turned out this way. I've made enough trouble for you as it is. It wouldn't be fair to impose further.

Orion:
Artemis!

E:Artemis:
I'm not Artemis. I'm just an observational unit.

E:Artemis:
I'm nothing more than a four-digit model number that comes after the main Artemis unit's name.

E:Artemis:
...Still.

E:Artemis:
It feels really good to know you respect my individual existence.

E:Artemis:
...Even if that existence is about to come to an end along with this island.

E:Artemis:
Goodbye, Orion. Take care.

Jason:
...We're about to set sail!
Are you coming or not!?

Orion:
Artemis!
...I'm sorry.

E:Artemis:
Please, don't mind me.
I think you're better when you smile.

Jason:
Okay!

Jason:
From this point forward, in accordance with the promise I made to Drake...

Jason:
...the Golden Hind will be known as the Argo!

Jason:
Our first order of business is
getting away from this island...

Jason:
...and our second is rendezvousing with the Royal Fortune and the Nautilus.

Jason:
Now move it! Time is not on our side!

Narration:
Shoot down.

Narration:
Shoot down.
Shoot through.

Narration:
Shoot down.
Shoot through. Gouge out. Pierce.

Narration:
Those are the only actions she is allowed
to perform. They are all she knows.

Narration:
Her role is to shoot those who would oppose the gods.

Narration:
She takes no pleasure or joy in this task. It feels
much the same as defragmenting her data stores.

Narration:
Relax. Calm down.

Narration:
Her remaining emotion units
continue to alert her to such concerns.

Narration:
She has no records, no memories of the times she
has performed her task. She can't be bothered to
remember them.

Narration:
How many thousands of years has she been floating
in space? How many times has she used her arrows to
bore holes in the land?

Narration:
It feels like she has been firing her arrows
with surprising frequency as of late.

Narration:
She dispatched a terminal, in part due to advice
received from her central processing unit.

Narration:
But the terminal's reports were so incoherent
and riddled with emotion as to be unusable.

Narration:
She considered scrapping the terminal, but decided
to give her a stay of dissolution. If the terminal
refuses to comply, she will perish along with
everything else.

Narration:
Humans have no value.
Their only use comes from serving the gods.

Narration:
Humans have no freedom. Their only worth comes
from performing the tasks given to them.

Narration:
Humans have no will.
That is solely the domain of the gods.

Narration:
Behold the luminous Olympus. Behold the great city
built atop a grand interstellar mountain range.

Narration:
What else could achieve such glorious
heights but the power of the gods?

Narration:
Receiving coordinate data.
Authorizing arrow use.

Narration:
...Low-priority alert from
observational unit incoming.

Narration:
“This is wrong. Do not fire.”

Narration:
...Alert dismissed by controller unit.

Narration:
This shot is made in order to demonstrate
the power and glory of the gods.

Narration:
Besides, these humans were discarded from the
beginning. They should never have been allowed
to build a village, let alone a civilization.

Narration:
It must all be destroyed.
Every last bit.

Jason:
...Here it comes!
Full speed ahead!

Charlotte Corday:
So that's Artemis's...arrow...

A:Heracles Island Resident:
The light of the gods!
It's here! It's really here!

B:Heracles Island Resident:
At last, a god is finally paying attention to us!

Timi:
Ahh!

Narration:
...I'm so happy my heart could burst.

Narration:
It's been ages since we defects
were banished from Olympus.

Narration:
We've lived out our meaningless lives for thousands of years. Some of us have been waiting for hundreds of years.

Narration:
The gods abandoned us.
They saw no meaning in our existence.

Narration:
For thousands of years we dreamed of your return. It took thousands more to accept that it would never happen.

Narration:
We couldn't even choose death.
All we could do was keep living out our days.

Narration:
But now, at last, a god is looking down upon us once again...

Timi:
This is awesome!

Narration:
But there is a different thought that
keeps nagging at the back of my mind.

Timi:
I wonder why Corday seemed so sad about this...

Narration:
Those other people aren't from this island,
so they can't understand our joy.

Narration:
But in the same way,
I can't understand her sadness.

Timi:
...Maybe this is sadness I'm feeling.
I mean, I'll never get to see her again now...

Narration:
Yeah... I'll never, ever get to see her again.

Narration:
I'll never be able to see her again, or remember her smiling face, or ask why she was sad, or see her again no matter how much I might want to, hell I won't even be conscious–

Timi:
...Aw man. Maybe I should've gone
with them after

Drake:
...Well, everyone's gotta set sail at some point.

Drake:
And people who can't run anymore are gonna get left behind. That's just how it is.

Drake:
Yeah, it's sad. It's lonely. It sucks.
And a whole lot more besides that.

Drake:
But in the meantime, here's to your journey, guys.
May your ship be blessed with luck as good as gold.

Narration:
On this day, a single island
vanished from Atlantis's seas.

Narration:
...That's better.

Narration:
Ahh, now I can finally get rid
of that unidentified noise...

Jason:
Ghh... We're really cutting it close!
Hey! Anyone fall overboard!?

Mash:
I'll do a head count!

Mash:
Master!


Fujimaru 1:
I'm fine!


Mash:
Captain Nemo! Mandricardo!

Nemo:
I'm okay.
But I can't wait to get back to the Border.

Mandricardo:
All good here.

Mash:
Corday!

Charlotte Corday:
Yes! I'm here!

Mash:
Orion!

Orion:
...Yeah, I'm okay.

Mash:
And there's Jason.
Good, all seven of us are present and accounted for.

Jason:
Hey, this is my ship you're on now!
Make sure you address me as Captain!

Mash:
Aye, aye, Captain Jason!

Jason:
(Well, that was easier than I expected.)


Fujimaru 1:
Orion!


Orion:
Yeah?

Mash:
Orion, are you...sure you're okay?

Orion:
Well, maybe not entirely.

Orion:
I know full well that wasn't the Artemis I know.

Orion:
But even so, right at the end, she...

Orion:
...I just need to mourn for a while. Don't worry,
I'll get over it before we reach the next island.


Fujimaru 1:
It's okay. I understand.


Orion:
Great. Thanks.

Mandricardo:
Hey Captain, there's something
spraying a bunch of water up ahead.

Jason:
Is it a whale? Or maybe Demonic Beasts?

Jason:
Either way, make sure you have your weapons ready.

Nemo:
Don't worry. That's Da Vinci.

Da Vinci:
Fujimaru!
Maaash!

Mash:
Da Vinci!

Goredolf:
I seriously thought we were goners that time!


Fujimaru 1:
Is Bartholomew okay?


Bartholomew:
You rang!?

Jason:
Hell no!
Well, I guess I did.

Bartholomew:
Now that they've fired the cannon once, we should have some time until they can fire it again...but that's not exactly reassuring.

Bartholomew:
I suggest we make land at a nearby
island as soon as we can.

Jason:
I'm with you.

Jason:
So, as the vaunted Courier, surely you know which island is closest to us, no?

Bartholomew:
Of course I do.
That would be Hecate Island, to the north.

Jason:
Hecate Island, huh. Ha, the name alone is enough to tell me I'm going to hate it there!

Jason:
But, any port in a storm and all that.
Let's go!

Goredolf:
Hold it, hold it! Don't you think our Servant allocation is a little, er, unbalanced right now?

Nemo:
...I'll go back to the Border.
There's no point in me being here, anyway.

Jason:
Fine with me.
Now, you. The one with the twisted personality.

Mandricardo:
Who, me? Yeah, that's fair.

Jason:
You stay on my ship.
That goes for you too, Orion.

Jason:
Corday...you can go.

Charlotte Corday:
Aww, are you sure? I'm happy to help.

Jason:
Your “help” is more than a little overbearing,
physically AND mentally.

Charlotte Corday:
Okay...

Bartholomew:
In that case, I would be delighted to have you join me on my ship, Milady Mash Kyrielight. Oh, and Master too, of course.

Mash:
I, uh, I see...


Fujimaru 1:
Can't let our guard down for a moment...

Fou:
Fou fou.


Fujimaru 2:
Sounds good!

Fou:
Fou, fou!


Nemo:
Oh, now that I'm feeling better, I can make more selves again. They should at least be able to handle the ships' odd jobs.

Nemo:
All right... You're up, brave and easygoing marines!

Nemos:
Yaaaaaay!
We've so got this!

Jason:
Aah! So that's what you meant!

Nemo Marine Group A:
We'll go to the Royal Fortune and start by scrubbing the deck! Woohoo!

Nemo Marine Group B:
Then we'll stay on the Argo! Woohoo!
We've always wanted to sail on a legendary ship!

Jason:
I-is that so? Well, if you're all Nemo clones, you should have no problem keeping a boat shipshape, right?

Nemo Marine:
Of course!

Nemo Marine:
After all, we're Nemos with the power of Triton.

Nemo Marine:
...That said, I don't think we'll get along with our father, Poseidon, very well.

Jason:
Not a problem. All right...
Set sail for Hecate Island!

Jason:
We can worry about what sort of hellscape awaits us there after we've finished making our getaway!

--ARROW--

Atlantis Border Guard:
We've confirmed that Heracles Island has been obliterated.

Odysseus:
Amusing how it met the same fate as the Servant Heracles we were forced to contend with.

Odysseus:
...What else?

Atlantis Border Guard:
Two ships were seen leaving the island right before Lady Artemis's arrow struck.

Odysseus:
Hmph. They're clearly headed for Hecate Island next.

Odysseus:
...However, it will take some time until Lady Artemis is ready to fire another arrow.

Odysseus:
Send in a squadron of border guards.
Oh, and one more thing.

Odysseus:
It's time we decided where we're going to send the dog.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir!

Charlotte Corday:
We made it!
This is Hecate Island, Fujimaru!

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, and this may be too little too late, but...
Should I be calling you Master?


Fujimaru 1:
You can if you want, but if not, that's fine too.

Charlotte Corday:
Okay then, Master it is.

Charlotte Corday:
Hehe, it's got such a funny ring to it.


Fujimaru 2:
Sure, if you'd prefer that.

Charlotte Corday:
Okay, my Master!


Jason:
Tch... Figures there'd be Demonic Beasts lurking here.
I guess we'll just have to take care of them quickly.

Jason:
Go on then, get to it!

Orion:
You want 'em taken care of quickly?
Then you'd better get in here and help us.

Jason:
Hmph, fine.
Ugh, this is such a pain!

--BATTLE--

Goredolf:
...

Da Vinci:
...

Holmes:
All right, not to belabor the point
now that all is said and done...

Holmes:
...but Heracles Island is completely gone.
Artemis's primary cannon destroyed it in a single shot.

Mash:
...!

Goredolf:
Let me ask you something, Holmes.
Why were those people so willing to accept death?

Goredolf:
I mean, most people would do damn near anything to avoid death, no? I certainly would.

Goredolf:
Even the people in China were terrified for their lives when it looked like Qin Shi Huang was about to kill them.

Goredolf:
To be sure, there are some things we just can't run away from, no matter how much we want to. I daresay everyone comes across something like that at least once or twice in their lives.

Goredolf:
But that didn't seem to be what was happening there...

Holmes:
Indeed, it wasn't.

Jason:
...It's probably because gods will be gods.

Goredolf:
What do you mean?

Jason:
For those of us in ancient Greece, the Greek gods could be fickle, cruel, or generous, all depending on how they felt on a given day.

Jason:
They weren't fair or reasonable,
but that also made them more human.

Orion:
...That's true. Far as we were concerned,
the gods were close neighbors.

Orion:
They could be friends, enemies...even lovers.

Jason:
Hell, even you have Poseidon's blood in you.

Nemo:
I might be Captain Nemo, but I'm also Triton.
Oh, wait. Does that mean me and Orion are–


Fujimaru 1:
Half brothers?


Mash:
I guess it would, wouldn't it?

Orion:
...Us? Brothers?

Nemo:
No way. You smell like a shark
with all that ammonia around you.

Jason:
Shut up. I don't care. My point is...

Jason:
...the big difference between this Lostbelt and Proper Human History is people's perception of the gods.

Jason:
And that's not all.

Jason:
Unless you find a way to take out Artemis, you'll never have a hope of cutting down the Tree of Emptiness.

Holmes:
Precisely.

Holmes:
I expect that Tree of Emptiness will put up tremendous resistance to being cut down.

Holmes:
If Artemis were to take advantage of that and fire on us then, we'd all be done for.

Orion:
...

Holmes:
Which would mean our first priority, as I suspected,
is doing something about that mechanical Artemis.

Holmes:
Ideally, I would like to use a
Noble Phantasm to destroy her.

Holmes:
Is there anyone here among us with a Noble Phantasm capable of destroying a mecha-god in orbit?

Jason:
Stop wasting our time, Sherlock Holmes. We all know there's only one of us who could pull that off.

Holmes:
Yes, quite right. My apologies.
...Orion, I'm afraid you're our only hope.

Goredolf:
Just a moment, Holmes. There's something we have to ask before we even get into the technical possibilities.

Goredolf:
Can you bring yourself to kill Artemis, Orion?

Orion:
...It's not about whether I can or not.
It's whether I will or not.

Orion:
And I will. I have to. In fact, I have
a very compelling reason to do so now.

Jason:
Whoa, whoa. You're not talking about getting revenge on her, are you?

Orion:
No, it's not that.
I'd never fire my bow for revenge. I can't.

Jason:
...Well, that's okay then.

Holmes:
Very well, next question: Is your Noble Phantasm physically capable of destroying her?

Orion:
...Not at this point, I don't think.

Jason:
Figures.

Holmes:
Let me show you the footage we captured once more.

Holmes:
Da Vinci, Nemo, what do you make of her from an engineering standpoint?

Da Vinci:
She looks to be about one...
No, make that one and a half kilometers long?

Da Vinci:
It also looks like she can control her movement,
and doesn't orbit the planet like a satellite.

Da Vinci:
The one thing I can say for sure is that this technology far surpasses anything humanity had as of 2020.

Nemo:
I'm guessing that primary cannon of hers is the only weapon she's got.

Orion:
Apparently, it's called “Shooting Star Ortygia:
You, Gold That Pierces Planets.”

Orion:
At least, that's what that Artemis told me.

Nemo:
Yeah. And we saw how powerful it is when it destroyed that entire island.

Nemo:
If we hadn't been partway through a Zero Sail when she fired it at us, both the Shadow Border and the Nautilus surrounding it would have been vaporized.

Da Vinci:
It looks like her weak point–or rather, the section we'll need to target, is this one here that kind of looks like a head.

Da Vinci:
Given how thick her armor is, and the primary cannon's position, I feel safe in saying it's our only shot.

Da Vinci:
Of course, it's gonna be real difficult to reach it with a run-of-the-mill Noble Phantasm, and let's not even discuss sending you to space to fight her directly!

Goredolf:
But on the bright side, at least we know our target.
All we have to do now is figure out how to hit it!

Goredolf:
And given how big this Lostbelt is...

Goredolf:
...we're bound to find something we can use to shoot her down if we just keep looking!

Goredolf:
At least...we might, right?

Jason:
It is possible, yes.
Now, I have a suggestion.

Jason:
I say once we make land, we ask the villagers if they've seen any other outsiders–by which I mean Servants–then we make our way straight for the temple.

Goredolf:
So we can get more nanomachines?

Jason:
That's right.

Jason:
We're going to take all the Theos Klironomia we can find and use it to power the hell out of Orion.

Jason:
Simple, yet effective.

Da Vinci:
Speaking of the nanomachines, let me tell you what I found in my analysis of them.

Da Vinci:
Their components are completely safe. There's no sign of toxicity and no way for them to erode their host's cells.

Da Vinci:
Even their reparation process is strictly limited to improving their host body's performance.

Da Vinci:
There are also limiters in place to prevent the machines from consuming too much energy, overstimulating the host's metabolism, or otherwise going berserk.

Da Vinci:
They're made out of a metal that doesn't exist on our Earth. I think we should call it “orichalcum” until we learn otherwise.


Fujimaru 1:
Orichalcum...


Da Vinci:
I'm guessing nanomachines aren't what Plato had in mind when he came up with the idea for it, but you know what they say about hindsight!

Mandricardo:
...So basically, we'll still be looking for villages and temples just like before, yeah?

Da Vinci:
Right. Though of course, if you run into any other Servants who could help us, I'd like you to recruit them too.

Da Vinci:
'Cause I'm pretty sure we could use all the help we can get against Odysseus.

Mandricardo:
Do you think they'll be willing to join us?

Da Vinci:
That'll be up to Jason and
Fujimaru's negotiation skills.

Jason:
...


Fujimaru 1:
You could at least try to hide your disdain!

Jason:
How about you just mind your own business and leave me to mine?


Fujimaru 2:
I can see you're just thrilled with that idea...

Jason:
Good. I was worried I was being to subtle for you.


Jason:
Ugh, this is such a pain... All right,
just to be sure: You're all willing to fight, yes?

Jason:
Is there anyone here who doesn't actually care and would rather just while away the days until the world disappears?

Jason:
Here! Right here!


Fujimaru 1:
You're raising your own hand!?


Jason:
...Relax. I'm just kidding.

Goredolf:
Well cut it out! Poor attempts at humor in such bad taste are the last thing I need right now!

Charlotte Corday:
I'm coming too, of course!

Charlotte Corday:
I might not be much use on the front line, since I'm an Assassin...but I'll make sure your backs are covered!

Mandricardo:
Don't gotta ask me. I decided I was gonna go down fighting long ago.

Bartholomew:
Likewise.

Bartholomew:
I mean, what's the point of living in a world where hardly anybody at all is my type?

Mandricardo:
(That really is what it all boils down to for you, huh...)

Orion:
It's like I told you.
I already made up my mind to destroy Artemis.

Da Vinci:
As for us, well, I don't think
it's even a question, right?

Jason:
I see, I see. All right then.

Jason:
But in that case, you're all
going to do exactly what I say!

All:

Whaaa...!?

Jason:
Oh don't “whaaa” me.

Jason:
Is there any other Servant who knows more about Greece than me? How about one with experience leading a crew?

Charlotte Corday:
I-I guess you have a point...

Orion:
I'm just a hunter, so if you want to lead, be my guest.

Goredolf:
Now, now, slow your roll there. When it comes to defending humanity, we are the ones who will be calling the–

Jason:
That may be. But when it comes to fieldwork, I don't depend on anyone's calls besides my own!

Holmes:
...Well, his choice of words aside, he does make a sound argument.

Holmes:
I don't yet know if it's because of Odysseus or because this Lostbelt is simply so vast, but we have been losing our connection from time to time.

Holmes:
So we will need someone on whom we can rely present to give instructions when necessary.

Jason:
Don't worry.
I'll be sure to take Fujimaru's–

Jason:
–or rather, Master's opinions into consideration before making my final calls.

Holmes:
In turn, we will provide information and advice whenever we see fit. I believe this should be a suitable arrangement, at least for the time being?

Goredolf:
Oh, very well then. But you make damn sure to take our opinions into consideration too, you hear me?

Goredolf:
Remember, we've conquered no fewer than four Lostbelts to date and cut down the Trees of Emptiness in each one!

Jason:
Yeah, yeah, I got it. All right, so first, we'll split up into two groups. One group will look for the village, the other for the temple!

Goredolf:
Wouldn't it be better for you all to stick together?

Jason:
Right now, efficiency is the name of the game.

Jason:
We have no way of knowing when Odysseus might figure out where we are.

Jason:
Bartholomew, you go look for the village.

Jason:
You should already have a fair idea of the lay of this island, seeing how you were a courier and all, right?

Bartholomew:
Fair enough. Understood.

Jason:
The rest of us will head for the temple and get our hands on its nanomachines.

Jason:
Our first priority is Orion, but I'd like to power up the rest of us as much as possible too.

Jason:
Also, try to find us some leads on where to go next. Oh, and some more Servants while you're about it.

Jason:
Got all that!?


Fujimaru 1:
Don't you think you're being a little...loosey-goosey?

Jason:
Absolutely not!

Jason:
If it seems like that, it's only because we have so little to go on at the moment!


Fujimaru 2:
Yeees siiir.

Jason:
What kind of reply was that?
You need to start taking this more seriously.


Jason:
Anyway, if we're going to do this, we may as well get it over with. All hands, get going!

Jason:
Oh, and keep transmissions to a minimum!
There's no telling who might be listening in!

Jason:
New Argonauts, move out!

Narration:
– The Nautilus –

Nemo:
...Ahh. It feels good to be back on board a ship.

Nemo:
Are you doing okay, Da Vinci?

Da Vinci:
Sure, I'd say I'm doing pretty good.

Da Vinci:
I'm not sure if it's thanks to the nanomachines or not, but I don't even feel any pain anymore.

Goredolf:
You were feeling pain?

Goredolf:
Isn't Nemo the one who feels the feedback when the Nautilus takes damage?

Nemo:
For the Nautilus, yes.
But not for the Shadow Border.

Nemo:
Right now, the Nautilus is like a protective outer shell around the Shadow Border.

Nemo:
So while I can take on damage the outer layer suffers, I can't do the same for the inner one.

Goredolf:
Really? Is that true?

Da Vinci:
Now, now, don't worry about it, Gordy.
Really, it's no big deal.

Da Vinci:
The worst that happens is that I get a little sleepy sometimes, thanks to all the thinking I have to do for the repairs and recalculations.

Da Vinci:
But I think treating myself to a stack of hot, fluffy pancakes topped with lots of honey later will more than make up for it☆

Holmes:
Be that as it may, we can't have you straining yourself during your recovery, so we'll handle everything that would normally fall under your purview for the time being. Well, whatever we can handle, that is.

Goredolf:
That's all very sensible,
but there isn't much I can do.

Da Vinci:
In that case, how about a shoulder rub, Director?
You can at least do that much, right?

Goredolf:
A shoulder rub, eh? Very well.

Goredolf:
It seems the time has come to unveil the extraordinary chiropractic powers I developed by being forced to massage our homunculi's shoulders!

Da Vinci:
Huh? You mean this is actually
one of your special skills!?

Meunière:
Man, Director, it seems like
there's nothing you can't do...

Goredolf:
Yes, well, it seems homunculi nearing the end of their life span tend to stiffen up something fierce, you see!

Goredolf:
When they go about saying things like “Ahh, here I am on the brink of shutting down, and yet my master is too cruel to give me a little shoulder rub. Oh, if only I had a kind master!” well within earshot, well...

Goredolf:
...even a heartless, cold-blooded mage couldn't help but be moved to act.

Da Vinci:
Yeah, yeah, thanks for the backstory.
Now come on, let's see what you've got.

Goredolf:
All righty. Just sit back, relax, and trust that both your body and soul are in Gof–er, good hands.

Da Vinci:
Whoa, that does feel pretty g–
Gyaaah! Ow, ow, ow, ow!

Goredolf:
Good lord, woman! How can such small shoulders be so stiff!? This is exactly what comes from being sedentary!

Da Vinci:
Arrrgh! Oh, wait, I think it's working pretty we–Nope, still hurts like heeell!!!

Holmes:
Well, look on the bright side: at least you're finally getting all that tension out.

Holmes:
Now then. Any change in the stratosphere, Captain Nemo?

Nemo:
Not yet. My professor self is keeping one eye on the sky at all times, but so far, nothing.

Nemo:
Of course, we'll need to run for our lives the moment they detect anything unusual, so be ready.

Holmes:
What are our chances of blocking another strike?

Nemo:
Zero. If she shoots us again, we'll all be vaporized before you can say “brine.”

Holmes:
I see.

Holmes:
Then I suppose there's nothing to be done but put on
another pot of tea and wait for [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru's team.

Nemo Professor:
Yes, hi.

Nemo Professor:
I'm Nemo Professor, the literal
brains behind Captain Nemo.

Nemo Professor:
It didn't make sense to send Captain out just to collect nanomachines, so I was assigned to come along instead.

Nemo Professor:
As you can see, I can handle myself equally well in indoor and outdoor situations alike. I know I'm barefoot, but don't worry. I'm okay with it.

Nemo Professor:
Please, don't mind me. Just go about your business like you normally would.

Mash:
Thank you, Professor.
It's a pleasure to meet you.

Nemo Professor:
Once we've fooled the nanomachine dispenser, the only thing left to do will be to collect the machines in this container I brought.

Nemo Professor:
I trust it goes without saying, but I literally can't fight to save my life. So, while I know I told you not to mind me, I am hoping you'll be sensitive enough to pick up on how I really feel.

Nemo Professor:
That is to say:
please keep me safe.

Mandricardo:
D-don't worry. We know.

Jason:
Orion, you stay here and watch
the ship while we're out.

Charlotte Corday:
Okay, everyone, let's get going!

Section 9: Peacefully Reminisce around a Fire.

Jason:
Now, you there.

Mandricardo:
Huh? You mean me?

Jason:
Yes, you. Who are you?

Jason:
If you're going to be part of my crew,
I figure I should probably know your name.

Mandricardo:
...I'm Mandricardo.

Jason:
Never heard of you.

Mandricardo:
...That so.

Jason:
And what's with that wooden sword? Don't you have any other halfway decent weapons you could be using instead?

Jason:
At first I thought it might change into a real sword when you activate your Noble Phantasm, but apparently not.

Mandricardo:
None of your business.

Mandricardo:
Besides, all weapons are pretty much the same anyway.

Jason:
You think? Well, you're welcome to your opinion, but I think you might be in the overwhelming minority there.

Jason:
Take Atalante. The bow she got from Artemis was easily her most prized possession.

Jason:
I found that out firsthand when she put me in an armlock that nearly tore my arms clean out of their sockets after I hid it under her bed as a prank.


Fujimaru 1:
What in the world were you thinking, Captain?

Jason:
Hey, don't knock the thrill of messing with someone else's prized possessions until you've tried it!

Charlotte Corday:
You're terrible...


Fujimaru 2:
Sounds like you had it coming...

Jason:
She wouldn't even stop after I
very clearly screamed “I give!”


Mash:
I don't know. We've met at least one other Servant who said much the same thing as Mandricardo.

Mash:
Let's see, who was it...?


Fujimaru 1:
You're thinking of Hektor.

Mandricardo:
!!!

Mash:
Right! It was Hektor!


Fujimaru 2:
“All weapons are the same. It doesn't matter what you use.”

Mash:
That line...
Right! It was Hektor!

Mandricardo:
!!!


Hektor:
Hmm. Well, this might just be this old man's opinion, but ultimately, it doesn't matter what kind of weapon you use.

Hektor:
Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of work involved in getting ready to fight...

Hektor:
...but every weapon and piece of armor'll fall apart eventually if you use them long enough.

Hektor:
So if you're so dead set on only using one particular weapon that you don't know how to handle anything else...

Hektor:
...well, you're not a real warrior in my book.

Hektor:
The way I see it, a real warrior needs to be proficient with swords, spears, bows, axes... Everything, really.

Hektor:
That goes for Masters, too.

Hektor:
You can't always just have a Berserker charge straight into the enemy and expect to get very far.

Hektor:
Even if you don't have any weapons at all, you can't just give up your will to fight or stop trying new things.

Hektor:
You need to keep your mind flexible, always thinking about what you need to do to win.

Hektor:
It might be hard at first, but it gets easier the more you stick with it.

Hektor:
Besides, there's nothing harder to take than losing.

Mandricardo:
...
...No kidding.

Mandricardo:
Hektor the hero really said that?

Jason:
Ha! That sounds exactly like something he would say!

Jason:
Though that's not to say he's wrong!

Jason:
Of course, I doubt any amount of will or resourcefulness is going to make much difference in this situation!

Nemo Professor:
...All that aside, this Lostbelt really is intriguing.

Mandricardo:
You figure something out, Professor?

Nemo Professor:
I noticed it's been easier to maintain my Spirit Origin ever since we set foot on this island.

Nemo Professor:
And the original Captain Nemo is already back to his old self, even after sustaining critical injuries.

Jason:
Oh, that?
That's probably just the Theos Klironomia at work.

Nemo Professor:
That's part of it, yes, but it's helped along by the fact that this Lostbelt is absolutely steeped in magical energy.

Nemo Professor:
These Lostbelts the Trees of Emptiness create don't resurrect the past. They're continuations of worlds that exist as a present-day phenomenon.

Nemo Professor:
In our world, the atmosphere's magical energy–that is, mana–has been declining steadily since the A.D. era began...

Nemo Professor:
...but in this world, it's almost absurd how much of it there is.

Nemo Professor:
It's practically everywhere you look, and on a level that would be unimaginable in Proper Human History.

Nemo Professor:
Most of the other Lostbelts had plenty of magical energy to spare too, but this is on a completely different scale.

Nemo Professor:
So given how we're all beings made out of magical energy ourselves, it makes sense that we would be in such good condition here.

Nemo Professor:
And that's not all.

Charlotte Corday:
Um, why did you start digging?

Nemo Professor:
Magical energy has even seeped into the soil.

Nemo Professor:
So much so that if a Servant were to bury themself in it up to their head and go to sleep, they would be able to remain active for a significant amount of time without any additional sources of magical energy.

Nemo Professor:
And if we dig a little further...

Mandricardo:
What's that?

Charlotte Corday:
What is it?


Fujimaru 1:
I wonder what it is.


Nemo Professor:
There are a number of ways that islands typically form...

Nemo Professor:
...but these appear to have formed around some sort of machine that ceased functioning.


Fujimaru 1:
You mean, more god remains?


Nemo Professor:
Yes, exactly.

Nemo Professor:
I'm not sure how or why, but these remains became the base for these islands; these islands then went on to spawn plants, animals, and eventually, an entire civilization.

Nemo Professor:
Moderately sized remains were repurposed as weapons, armor, and prosthetics...

Nemo Professor:
...while larger ones became the central points for villages.

Nemo Professor:
I suspect the “temples” we've been visiting were originally something installed in these remains.

Nemo Professor:
That is to say, these ruins are actually–


Fujimaru 1:
Spaceships or something?


Nemo Professor:
...You took the words out of my mouth.
That is somewhat irritating.

Mandricardo:
Well hey, what's done is done.
I don't know what else you want Master to say...

Mandricardo:
Anyway, spaceships, huh? That's nuts. Wouldn't that make this place a full-blown alternate world?

Nemo Professor:
Basically, yes.
However...

Nemo Professor:
I'm still not sure how these spaceships tie into the Olympian gods.

Nemo Professor:
That's the biggest mystery confronting me now...

Nemo Professor:
Even Triton is telling me
“I don't remember my father being that mechanical.”

Jason:
I'm sure it's just one of the differences between our and this Lostbelt. Either way, it's got nothing to do with us.

Jason:
You can indulge your academic pursuits all you like once we've kicked Odysseus's ass.

Nemo Professor:
...You might be right, but I can't just not think about these things.

Nemo Professor:
That's my job as the professor, after all.

Jason:
On a different matter,
it looks like Bartholomew is calling us.

Bartholomew:
There aren't any border guards stationed here.
At least, there usually shouldn't be...

Charlotte Corday:
Food's ready!


Fujimaru 1:
I'll have some, Corday.

Charlotte Corday:
By all means.

Charlotte Corday:
You are human, after all, so you need to eat to keep up your strength!

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, and Charlotte is fine.

Charlotte Corday:
As my Master, I think I'd
prefer it if you call me that.

Charlotte Corday:
...Oh, but of course, that's just what I think.
If you'd rather keep calling me Corday, that's fine.


Fujimaru 2:
Thanks, Charlotte.

Charlotte Corday:
Ah...



Fujimaru 1:
Sorry! I mean, Corday!


Charlotte Corday:
No, that's okay.
It feels...right, hearing you call me Charlotte.

Charlotte Corday:
In fact, I actually think I'd prefer it if you did.


Jason:
(Munch, munch)
Not bad. A little booze and it'd be even better.

Charlotte Corday:
Absolutely not.

Jason:
I know, I know.

Mash:
That was delicious, Corday.
Thank you for cooking.

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, it was no trouble.
Especially with Mandricardo helping me out.

Mandricardo:
I wouldn't've minded cooking either, you know.

Charlotte Corday:
No, this is my job. I'm not much use in battle,
after all, so it's the least I can do.

Mandricardo:
(I don't think that's true at all...but she probably wouldn't listen even if I told her so.)

Mandricardo:
(And hell, it's not like she's the only Servant here with low self-esteem...)

Mandricardo:
(Still, at least she can use a knife. That's gotta be way better than me and my wooden sword.)

Mandricardo:
Uh... Gotcha...

Mandricardo:
(That's all I can think of to say.
I can't come up with even a single pithy remark.)

Charlotte Corday:
?

Mandricardo:
Never mind. Just forget it.

Jason:
...Hm?
Hey, where'd Fujimaru go?

Mash:
Oh, [♂ he /♀️ she] said [♂ he /♀️ she] was going to get some fresh air.

Mandricardo:
...'Scuse me for a bit.


Fujimaru 1:
...


Fujimaru 2:
...Drake...


Mandricardo:
Yo.

Mandricardo:
I, uh, I understand if you're feeling bummed and would rather be alone right now...


Fujimaru 1:
It's okay. I don't mind you joining me.

Mandricardo:
...'Preciate it.


Fujimaru 2:
Thank you.

Mandricardo:
...You don't gotta thank me.
I mean, I'm still technically a Servant.



Fujimaru 1:
I know I don't have time to be broken up over this, but...


Mandricardo:
?

Mandricardo:
What's the problem? It's normal for people to be broken up when someone they care about dies, amirite?

Mandricardo:
...No, wait. That's not the right way to use that expression, is it?

Mandricardo:
I just think it's pointless to tell someone who's feeling sad to stop feeling sad.

Mandricardo:
Don't get me wrong. If someone were to start whining in the middle of a battle, I'd be the first to slap some sense into 'em.

Mandricardo:
But if you're not in battle, and you're feeling sad, then I say go ahead and feel sad.

Mandricardo:
You might be our Master, but more than that, you're just a decent human being.

Mandricardo:
So of course you're gonna wanna grieve for the dead.

Mandricardo:
...That being said...

Mandricardo:
Servants don't answer summons
so you can feel sad for them.

Mandricardo:
(Seeing how that lady used to be a pirate who probably went around stealing and killing when she was alive...)

Mandricardo:
(...I'd guess getting to save humanity meant even more to her than it would most other Servants.)

Mandricardo:
(Well... Not that I got any idea how pirates think.)

Mandricardo:
...So as long as you don't forget about her,
I'd bet that's all the reward she needs.


Fujimaru 1:
That's how it's always been.


Mandricardo:
...Yeah, makes sense.

Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
(Crap... Now what should I say?)

Mandricardo:
(I kinda get the feeling that no matter what
I say now, it's just gonna make [♂ him /♀️ her] feel worse.)

Mandricardo:
(I could tell [♂ him /♀️ her] to not feel bad for us 'cause we're
just pawns, but something tells me [♂ he /♀️ she] wouldn't find
that too convincing...)

Mandricardo:
Man, this is so hard.
...Ah.

Mandricardo:
(Aw, crap! I can't believe I just said that out loud!)


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah, it IS really hard.


Mandricardo:
Y-yeah, for sure.

Mandricardo:
...Well hey, if you ever need to vent,
I'm always happy to join you.

Mandricardo:
Not that I'm an especially good talker.
Or a good listener.


Fujimaru 1:
How about pointless chitchat?


Mandricardo:
Pointless chitchat sounds perfect.

Mandricardo:
After all, I already wasted half my life on pointless stuff anyway.

Mandricardo:
...Hm?
What's with the look?

Mandricardo:
Oh, right.
You're not too familiar with my legend, are you?

Mandricardo:
Whoa, whoa, don't worry! I'm not offended at all!
Believe me, I get it!

Mandricardo:
Still...

Mandricardo:
I suppose one boring story could be a good distraction.

Mandricardo:
...I used to be the king of some nation somewhere.
At least...I think I was.

Mandricardo:
Now that I'm a Servant,
I can't even remember what it was called.

Mandricardo:
Man, that sounds pretty cold when I put it like that, huh?

Mandricardo:
Anyway, I gave up my claim to the throne and became an adventurer so I could avenge my father.

Mandricardo:
That part's all fine. The problem came when I found a set of armor on one of my adventures.

Mandricardo:
The armor was Hektor's, one of the legendary heroes of the Trojan War, and that war had heroes out the wazoo.

Mandricardo:
The armor had belonged to the hero who made a name for himself by defending his city for years, right up to his death.

Mandricardo:
So once I found that armor, a fairy talked me into making a stupid pledge.

Mandricardo:
I vowed that until I found Hektor's sword,
the legendary, one-of-a-kind Durendal...

Mandricardo:
...I would never wield another
sword for as long as I lived.


Fujimaru 1:
So you never managed to find it then?


Mandricardo:
No, see, that's the thing.
I DID find it, just like I wanted to.

Mandricardo:
But–

Charlotte Corday:
There you are! Come on, Fujimaru.
You need to get plenty of sleep to make sure
you're well-rested for tomorrow.

Mandricardo:
...All right. Guess we can finish the story later.

Mandricardo:
Oh, but trust me, it's not much of a cliff-hanger.
Not to get too spoilery, but I can tell you right now:

Narration:
It ends with me being a dumbass.

--ARROW--

Jason:
...

Nemo Professor:
Is something wrong, Mr. Jason?

Nemo Professor:
I know captains often tend to be on edge, but you look like seaweed that's been left out in the sun for too long.

Mash:
You do look kind of pale...
Are you feeling okay?

Jason:
I'm fine. It's nothing.

Jason:
...All right, it's something. I've been getting chills down my spine for some reason.

Jason:
Maybe I'm coming down with a cold?


Fujimaru 1:
But, you're a Servant...


Jason:
Well sure, but then how else
do you explain these chills?

Jason:
Unless...SHE'S here.

Mandricardo:
She?

Nemo Professor:
Who?

Fou:
Foo?

Jason:
Medea, of course! Who else could I possibly mean!?

Jason:
The most terrifying, ill-tempered person ever! The last person I'd ever want to make angry, let alone be around when she IS!

Jason:
Hell, I don't even want to be around her much when she isn't angry.

Jason:
That's who!
Medea, the haughty queen of the four crowns!

Nemo Professor:
Isn't that only because of how you typically conduct yourself, Mr. Jason? Because you are, to put it mildly, sea scum?

Jason:
Really? This is a woman once used a Demon God Pillar TO MAKE PANCAKES, and you think I'M the problem?

Charlotte Corday:
Yikes.

Mash:
A-anyway, putting all of that aside,
does this mean Medea is here?

Mash:
Because if she is, she could be a tremendous help to us!

Mandricardo:
True. Right now, all we've got is a Rider (me), a Saber (Jason), an Assassin (Corday), and a Shielder (Mash).

Mandricardo:
So having a Caster backing us up from the rear could make our whole team stronger.

Jason:
Oh gods, please no.
Ghh, then again...

Jason:
...Just so you know, if she tries to kill me the moment we see her, I'm running away and never looking back, got it?

Nemo Professor:
You're that worried about her? This is a bit much, don't you think?

Mandricardo:
...
...Hm?

Mandricardo:
Smells like there's some Demonic Beasts up ahead.
Probably be a good idea to get your weapons ready.

Jason:
I hope it's not Medea...


Fujimaru 1:
Okay, seriously, just what do you think Medea is, anyway?

Jason:
A Demonic Beast.

Nemo Professor:
This is exactly what I'm talking about.
You're supposed to make your wife happy, not angry.


Fujimaru 2:
I'm gonna tell her you said that.

Jason:
Please don't.
I don't wanna die.


Mandricardo:
...What's going on?
Are they defending that cave?

Nemo Professor:
No, they're not.
Take a look through these binoculars, Master.


Fujimaru 1:
Thanks!


Fujimaru 2:
If anything, it looks like they're trying to get in...


Mandricardo:
Either way, it looks like a safe bet that there's something in that cave we'll probably wanna see for ourselves.

Mandricardo:
Just say the word, Master,
and we'll sneak up and take them by surprise!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
This looks just like the interior
of the temples we've seen here...

Nemo Professor:
Strictly speaking, those aren't actually temples and were never used for worship.

Nemo Professor:
They're more like...Theos Klironomia dispensing devices.

Nemo Professor:
The internal machinery is all in perfect working order.

Nemo Professor:
...Why were we able to get in here,
when those Demonic Beasts weren't?

Mash:
I thought the same thing. I noticed a momentary flash of magical energy when we came in, but aside from that...

Jason:
...This is Medea's doing.

Jason:
It looks like she put up a Bounded Field that would keep out any unwanted visitors...

Jason:
...while also making sure it would automatically disengage if someone from Chaldea showed up. Or I did.


Fujimaru 1:
Is that...a letter?


Jason:
Yes.
...Would you mind going back outside without me?

Jason:
I want to read this in private.

Charlotte Corday:
All right.
Come on, everyone, let's go then!

Charlotte Corday:
Go on! Time's a wasting!

Mash:
Ah! Corday, wait!

Mandricardo:
...You okay?

Jason:
Of course I am. Don't be ridiculous.
Now hurry up and go already.

Mandricardo:
...Okay.

Jason:
Now then...

Medea Lily:
Hello!
I'm glad you're here!

Jason:
Gah! You scared me!!!

Jason:
Wait, what is this?
Some sort of hologram or something?

Medea Lily:
I put a lock on this letter to ensure that only you could read it, Lord Jason.

Medea Lily:
Is everyone else gone?

Jason:
Yeah, yeah, they're gone.
Why do you ask? Was that some kind of dig?

Medea Lily:
...All right, Lord Jason.

Medea Lily:
I love you. Completely and fully.
From the bottom of my heart.

Medea Lily:
But of course, that all goes
without saying, doesn't it?

Jason:
Yes, yes, I know already.

Medea Lily:
I wrote this letter after you abandoned us.

Medea Lily:
...Yes, that's right.

Medea Lily:
If you're reading this, then I've either successfully made it to Olympus...

Jason:
Or you're dead?

Medea Lily:
...or I'm dead.

Medea Lily:
But either way, I have no regrets.
I'm sure Heracles felt the same.

Medea Lily:
Without his valiant sacrifice, we...

Medea Lily:
No, it wasn't just him. Everyone has given all they
have–their weapons, their will, even their very selves–to this fight.

Medea Lily:
I don't know how many of us will make it to Olympus...

Medea Lily:
...but I'm going to do the
best I can to save the world.

Medea Lily:
And you know, Lord Jason?

Medea Lily:
In spite of everything, I still trust you. Completely.

Jason:
Oh please.

Medea Lily:
Well, no, when it comes to how you act around women and such, I don't trust you one bit...

Medea Lily:
But I do fully trust in your heroism.

Jason:
...Hmph.

Medea Lily:
Which is why I prepared an absolutely wonderful present for you!

Jason:
Oh?

Medea Lily:
It's a Mystic Code I made just for you!
I put my heart and soul into it!

Jason:
Oh? Interesting.

Jason:
Well, if nothing else, you always were a ridiculously prodigious talent when it came to magecraft.

Jason:
Very well, I will accept this gift of yours!

Medea Lily:
You'll find it enclosed with this letter!
This charm can–

Jason:
Are you kidding me!?

Jason:
What kind of idiotic effect is that!? Couldn't she have included at least one halfway useful spell!?

Jason:
Well, I guess it's at least better than nothing...
Or is it?

Medea Lily:
I expect you may be somewhat dissatisfied with it,
and for that, I'm sorry.

Medea Lily:
Making that Mystic Code really took a lot of effort,
and it really was the best I could do...

Jason:
(...Wait. I can see...
She looks so sickly, even in the hologram.)

Medea Lily:
Oh, and one more thing.

Medea Lily:
I've left you some data on the islands you'll encounter up ahead.

Medea Lily:
I think you'll find it useful.

Jason:
Oh, yeah. Honestly, that's the most helpful thing I've gotten out of this whole mess by far.

Jason:
Frankly, if she hadn't included it,
I don't know what the hell we would've done...

Medea Lily:
Farewell, my beloved Lord Jason.

Medea Lily:
...And may your journey be blessed with good fortune.

Jason:
Ha. Good fortune my ass.

Jason:
What god would go around handing out good fortune when it's the gods themselves we're trying to destroy?

Medea Lily:
Heracles and I will be showering
blessings down upon you!

Jason:
...Oh. Well, I guess in that case...

Medea Lily:
Oh, and, um...
Nnn...

Medea Lily:
I'm also enclosing some of my love.
Mwah!

Jason:
...

Jason:
...Hmm.


Fujimaru 1:
Welcome back, Jason.


Jason:
Good, you're all here.
Take a good look at me.

All:

?

Jason:
I haven't been cursed or anything, have I?

Jason:
Because that letter ended in one hell of a bombshell.

Mandricardo:
Uh, no, you don't look any different to me.

Mandricardo:
'Course, that might just be 'cause I'm not a Caster.

Nemo Professor:
My analysis isn't detecting anything unusual either.


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah, I'm not seeing anything...

Jason:
I-I see. Well, that's a relief...


Fujimaru 2:
Hey, Medea's on your shoulder!

Jason:
Aaahhh get her off get her off get her oooff!!!

Jason:
Fujimaru...
Don't. Even. Joke. Not about that. Not ever!!!

Jason:
(Sigh) I swear...

Mandricardo:
(...Nope! Forget it! I didn't see anything!)


Jason:
Well, at any rate, we've got our next destination.

Mash:
We do? How do you know?

Jason:
Because Medea left me data on all the other islands.

Jason:
We want to add more people to our party, right?
Then I've got our next stop!

Section 10: Hephaestus, God of Blacksmiths

Atlantis Border Guard:
Lord Odysseus, there's something we need you to take a look at.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Someone's been contacting us anonymously, and they're just repeating the words “This is Aeaea Island” over and over...

Atlantis Border Guard:
Is there even an island by that name in Atlantis?

Odysseus:
...Send it over to me.
Go on. You're all dismissed.

Kirschtaria:
Hello. My apologies for contacting you like this, Odysseus. I trust everything is going well on your end?

Odysseus:
...I can't say I care for your taste in codes, Kirschtaria. I don't know what you were thinking, using facts that didn't happen in my history as a cipher.

Kirschtaria:
I am sorry about that. But you see, I wanted to ensure that this conversation remained strictly between us.

Kirschtaria:
As such, I hope you can understand why I wished to avoid using my personal line.

Odysseus:
I see. So you want to keep whatever this is about a secret from Olympus.

Odysseus:
What are you up to? I thought you and Zeus the demiurge were staunch allies.

Odysseus:
In fact, my understanding is that there is no one in all of Olympus who poses even a remote threat to you.

Kirschtaria:
True. But one can never be too careful. You may have authorization to command Artemis at the moment...

Kirschtaria:
...but for all we know, there could be someone outside the chain of command who wants to take control for themselves.

Kirschtaria:
That is why I'm taking these extra precautions.

Odysseus:
...Does this mean you will be coming here yourself?

Odysseus:
All right. What can I do?

Kirschtaria:
I want to know which island Chaldea will be arriving at next, so that I'll only need to teleport once.

Odysseus:
You hardly need to fight them yourself.

Odysseus:
There simply isn't anywhere for them to flee to on these waters. And even if there were, they couldn't keep it up for long.

Odysseus:
They haven't a prayer of setting foot on Olympus without facing me first.

Odysseus:
So why would you waste your time just to put yourself in harm's way?

Kirschtaria:
There is nothing wasteful about this at all.

Kirschtaria:
As the leader of the Crypters, it is essential that I settle matters with Chaldea personally.

Odysseus:
I see. I didn't take you for the sort to mix business with pleasure.

Odysseus:
You're making a foolish, typically human decision, but if you're determined to go through with it, I have no reason to stop you.

Odysseus:
I'll let you know where Chaldea is as soon as we've confirmed their location. I'll also keep quiet about this to your Servants.

Kirschtaria:
Yes, I would like to keep Caenis out of this. But don't worry, I'll be taking the Dioscuri along for protection.

Kirschtaria:
They are magnificent Divine Spirits who know how to serve Olympus properly. The same cannot be said of Caenis.

Odysseus:
I'll keep my promise.
No one besides me will know you mean to come here.

Odysseus:
However...

Caenis:
...

Odysseus:
I did not promise to restrain anyone who might already be present.

Odysseus:
Kirschtaria certainly has terrible luck. I doubt the thought that you would be here even crossed his mind, given how much you despise us.

Caenis:
...Yeah, I bet. Believe me, your face is the last thing I want to see right now.

Caenis:
Man, did I pick a hell of a time to stop by to clean my spear. This is the worst. The absolute goddamn worst.

Caenis:
Terrible luck? I'll say.
He's never had luck on his side in his damn life.

Odysseus:
I have no interest in your and Kirschtaria's trust issues. If you have any objections with this arrangement, tell him yourself and leave me out of it.

Caenis:
Oh, you better believe I'm gonna object. I'm gonna object my spear right through his goddamn head.

Caenis:
I'm so pissed off I can hardly see straight. “Only two more times” my ass! That son of a bitch and his frigging plan!!

Odysseus:
Hm? What did you just say?
Two more times for what?

Caenis:
You wanna know what he told me when we formed our contract? Fine!

Caenis:
He said, “My plan is perfect.
I can already see how this will all end.”

Caenis:
“I expect I will fight only two more times
before Olympus is reborn”!

Caenis:
And one of those times is gonna be with those freakin' weaklings!?

Caenis:
That bastard... That goddamn bastard!!!
That does it! I'm tired of playing it nice.

Caenis:
Kirschtaria can find out I've taken care of Chaldea myself after I've wiped them from the face of the Earth!

Odysseus:
...This is getting far more competitive than is necessary.

Odysseus:
Well, whoever finds them first, be it my troops, Caenis, or Kirschtaria, it's clear that Chaldea's days are numbered.

Odysseus:
Enemy or not, I almost feel sorry for them.

--ARROW--

Jason:
All right, there should be something here on Deimos
Island that can lead us to our next, um, lead...

Nemo Professor:
I see Orion will be coming with us this time.

Orion:
I'll do my best!

Nemo Professor:
Yes, we should all strive to do that.

Mandricardo:
Talk about a mismatched team up...

Mash:
You know, this island seems a lot more like the remains of the gods we've seen than it does, well, an island.

Charlotte Corday:
Yes, it does. It's hard to walk on, and every step you take seems to make a clanking sound.


Fujimaru 1:
Are you sure there's another Servant we can recruit here?


Jason:
Assuming Medea's intel is accurate, yes.

Jason:
According to her, there's supposed to be an Assassin somewhere on this island.

Jason:
...An Assassin, huh?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh no. What if they end up taking over my place on the team!?

Jason:
Relax. Nobody's taking over for you.

Jason:
I mean, it's not like you're any help outside of antipersonnel combat anyway.

Charlotte Corday:
Hey! I cook and clean and do laundry, too!

Jason:
So does Mandricardo, and nobody has to remind him!

Jason:
Besides, it's not like I'm going
to do that sort of thing!

Jason:
Food isn't something you make.
It's something you take!


Fujimaru 1:
You sound like a pretty stuck-up king.


Jason:
I AM a king!

Jason:
...Well, strictly speaking, we suppose we ultimately failed to become a king, but nonetheless.

Mash:
(He just switched over to the royal we like it was the most natural thing in the world...)

Mandricardo:
I used to be a king too, for what it's worth...

Charlotte Corday:
Really? I didn't know that.

Mandricardo:
Well, I did end up spending like half my life traveling around like some sort of adventurer.

Charlotte Corday:
An adventurer? Ooh, I like the sound of that!
I'd love to be one, too!

Jason:
Hmph. An adventure isn't the sort of thing you embark on by choice!

Jason:
It's just a word we use to pretty up the idea of going down an unexpected, difficult path where you never know what may happen with your every step.

Jason:
Because without prettying it up, people would be so afraid to go down a path like that that they'd never take a single step onto it!

Nemo Professor:
Huh. There's a lot more substance to that argument than I was expecting.

Nemo Professor:
In a sense, one could certainly make the claim that describing an ordeal as an adventure is obfuscating the truth.

Orion:
It definitely sounds like something he'd say.

Orion:
Me? Well, the reward at the end of my adventure was a bevy of dancing beauties...

Orion:
...so it was a treasure well worth risking my life for.

Jason:
Really? I can't say I see any value in treasure that isn't wealth, fame, or status.

Orion:
Well, there is!

Jason:
If you say so.

Charlotte Corday:
Gosh, even though you two are both Greek heroes,
you couldn't be more different.

Orion:
You can say that again!

Jason:
Don't you lump me in with the likes of him, Corday.
He's just a wild beast, while I'm bona fide royalty!

Holmes:
May I have a moment of your time?

Mash:
Holmes?

Holmes:
I'm breaking our “no transmissions if at all possible” rule because I'm afraid we have something of an emergency.

Holmes:
We've detected a staggering number of hostiles from middling to large size not far from your location, so I would urge you to take all reasonable precautions.

Jason:
All right, we're leaving. (Snap decision)

Mandricardo:
That was fast.
Still, I guess it's better to be safe than sorry.

Jason:
What's the point of adding another Servant to our ranks if we all die before we can do anything with them?


Fujimaru 1:
Then, does that mean–


Jason:
It's a safe bet that our destination lies in the same direction as all those enemies.

Jason:
How do I know? Because my gut is telling me that's how this is fated to go!

Charlotte Corday:
Um... What if we just took a little peek to see what things are like there?

Holmes:
I can't say I recommend such a course of action,
but I suppose the circumstances leave us no choice.

Jason:
Are you nuts!? Forget it!

Jason:
Even the common Chimeras and Lamia wandering around are bound to be stronger thanks to the Theos Klironomia.

Jason:
So what happens if a whole swarm
of them catches wind of us!?

Goredolf:
Agreed! Most vociferously agreed!
Let sleeping Chimeras lie and all that!

Goredolf:
Jason there is one-hundred-percent right!

Goredolf:
Let's just turn around, go straight back the way we
came, and pretend we never saw this island!

Jason:
Well said, my rotund compatriot.
I think you and I are going to get along just fine!

Mandricardo:
You know, Master, I'm surprised all the stress your boss is under hasn't helped him lose any weight.


Fujimaru 1:
He's more the sort to gain weight when stressed.

Mandricardo:
Ohhh... (Convinced)


Fujimaru 2:
There was a time when he really kind of ballooned, so...

Mandricardo:
In a situation like this!?
That takes real courage in its own right!


Jason:
There you have it, Fujimaru. Now that your
superior and I have hashed things out, all that's
left is to leave.

Charlotte Corday:
Aww.

Charlotte Corday:
I was looking forward to meeting another Assassin.
I thought we might hit it off...

Holmes:
...Hm?
That's odd...


Fujimaru 1:
What is?


Holmes:
The hostiles are leaving the area.
And at a blistering pace.

Holmes:
Perhaps they detected something of interest elsewhere,
or something chased them away.

Holmes:
I wonder what could have happened...


Fujimaru 1:
Let's go on ahead and see for ourselves!


Jason:
Hmm. Well, if these creatures are all gone now, I have no issue with proceeding on our current path.

Jason:
Although...I am more than a little worried about all this... Something seems off.

Mandricardo:
Got it.

Mandricardo:
All right then, let's go see what this Assassin person looks like.

Nemo Professor:
Whaugh!


Fujimaru 1:
Are you okay?


Nemo Professor:
Yes, I think so. I'm sorry.
I must have stepped on something slippery...

Jason:
Hahaha, clumsy fool.

Jason:
It doesn't matter how slippery the ground may be.
A true hero would never–

Mandricardo:
...Never what?

Jason:
...Even the greatest heroes stumble from time to time.

Jason:
But the fact that they are always able to pick themselves back up again is what makes them heroes.

Mandricardo:
Whoa! I can't believe he managed to spin a fall into a lesson in heroism.

Charlotte Corday:
...
(Profoundly moved)


Fujimaru 1:
Guess we'll have to literally watch our step.


Mash:
Yes, Master!
I'll do my best to be careful not to stumble!

Mandricardo:
...!
Demonic Beasts!


Fujimaru 1:
All hands, battle formations!


Mandricardo:
You guys stumble too!?

--BATTLE--

Mash:
That was a difficult battle...
though not for the usual reasons...

Mandricardo:
There's something about slipping that really causes you to shrivel up, if you know what I mean.


Fujimaru 1:
I lost track of how many times you all slipped.


Jason:
Must be nice being the one who's just giving orders! You never have to worry about literally falling down on the job!

Orion:
Nooo! All that slipping and stumbling rearranged my handsome face into a bear's mug!


Fujimaru 1:
I wouldn't exactly call that new in your case.


Orion:
Look, I'm a simple man with simple goals. In the future, I just want to be a panda so that women everywhere will love me. Is that so wrong?

Charlotte Corday:
Oogh. I'm hurting all over, and that's not even counting the blow to my pride...

Nemo Professor:
It's not how often you fall;
it's whether your glasses remain intact...

Mandricardo:
Well, at least we're done here now.
Might as well keep going.


Fujimaru 1:
Let's do it!


Jason:
...

Jason:
...Bahahahaha!
Serves you right!

Jason:
Okay, now that my spirits are lifted,
let's keep going for real this time!

Mash:
Here, Master! Let me help you up!


Fujimaru 1:
Thanks, Mash.


Mash:
N-not at all...

Mash:
As your Servant, it's the least I can do.

Jason:
Hahahahaha.

Charlotte Corday:
Shut up, Jason.

Jason:
Ouch! That's harsh, coming from you!

--ARROW--

Mandricardo:
Yikes. The hell happened here?


Fujimaru 1:
The place is destroyed...


Mash:
Wait. There's something else here that's been destroyed.

Mash:
What are these things?
...

Jason:
At a glance, they look like some
kind of defensive weaponry.

Jason:
Maybe that monster horde wrecked this place and moved on once they got bored?

Jason:
All right, I'll stay here and keep a lookout.

Jason:
The rest of you, get those nanomachines, and get out.

Mash:
Understood. Thank you, Jason.

Mash:
The interior still seems to be intact...

Mandricardo:
There's something a little different about this place compared to the ones on the other islands. Like, what's this?

Mash:
It looks like some sort of nameplate...

Nemo Professor:
At first blush, these would appear to be ancient Greek letters, but they're just different enough not to qualify.

Nemo Professor:
We need more samples. Is there anything else we can use for reference on these letters?

Charlotte Corday:
I'll go.

Charlotte Corday:
I don't think I'll be much use for anything else here, so I'll see if I can find anything related to these letters.

Nemo Professor:
In the meantime, there's no reason to wait,
so let's use the nanomachines now.

Mandricardo:
All right then, I'll go ahead and bust out my usual work-around...

Mandricardo:
Huh?

P.A. System:
Intruders detected in Theos Klironomia Supply System.

P.A. System:
Proceeding to eliminate.

Orion:
Uh-oh. That can't be good.

Mash:
That siren seems to have alerted some functional models of those defensive weapons we saw earlier!

Mandricardo:
Crap, this is all my fault, isn't it?
This is so embarrassing I could die.


Fujimaru 1:
Looks like we'll just have to fight our way out of this!


Mash:
Understood.

Mash:
You're right, we are intruders. But while I'm sorry to have to do this, we're not going to let that stop us from eliminating you!

--BATTLE--

Orion:
Alley-oop!

Orion:
That's the last of them! Just what I like:
a nice, easy battle.

Nemo Professor:
...Hm? Hey, look in the direction
those things came from.


Fujimaru 1:
Oh wow, I didn't notice there's a whole passageway over there.


Mandricardo:
Wanna go see what's inside it?

Mandricardo:
I mean, Jason did say there's supposed to be a Servant somewhere on this island.

Mash:
That's true. But I don't sense any other Servants anywhere.

Mash:
Then again, since they're an Assassin, they could just be concealing their presence...

Mandricardo:
You stay close to Master, Mash.
I'll go scout on ahead.

Mash:
Understood!

Mandricardo:
...Huh?
Man, this temple's a lot bigger than I thought.

Mandricardo:
I can't even see where this passageway ends from here.


Fujimaru 1:
...Let's keep going.


Mandricardo:
Roger that!

Mandricardo:
Whoa, I can't believe how spacious it is in here!

Mash:
It is, isn't it?

Mash:
Still...I'm not seeing anything particularly unusual, big as this place is.

Mandricardo:
Yeah, I just took a walk around the whole place,
and I didn't see anything, either.

Mandricardo:
Well, least we can get a little rest, right?


Fujimaru 1:
True...


Fujimaru 2:
Guess I'll sit down for a bit then.



Fujimaru 1:
...



Fujimaru 1:
Aaaaaahhh!!!

Mandricardo:
I think that scream literally curdled my blood!
What is it, Master!?


Fujimaru 2:
Eeeeeekkk!!!

Mash:
Was that piercing shriek you, Master!?


Mash & Mandricardo:
Wha–
What the...!? A haaaaaand!?

???:
(Zzz)

???:
Ngh... Keep it down, would you?

???:
Aah!
Where am I? WHO am I!?

???:
Oh, right. I can tell from this scent that I must be in the ground!


Fujimaru 1:
It's talking!


Fujimaru 2:
The hand is moving!


???:
Then the answer is easy.
Kouga Ninja Art: Earth Evasion!

???:
Ahhh! It feels good to breathe worldly air again.

Mash:
Y-you're...!

Mandricardo:
Guess we found the Assassin.

Note: If you have cleared Shimosa


Fujimaru 1:
Mochizuki Chiyome!


Mochizuki Chiyome:
Bingo! You got it!
Wait. That must mean you're from Chaldea!


Note: If you have not cleared Shimosa

Fujimaru 1:
So, um, may I ask your name?


???:
Oh yes, you must be from Chaldea.
Forgive me for not introducing myself sooner.

???:
My True Name is Mochizuki Chiyome.
I am a Kouga Jounin and an Assassin.

Note: Branch End

Mash:
S-so, um...why were you buried in the dirt?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hahahaha, that? I was hibernating.

Mandricardo:
I've never heard of a Servant hibernating before...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Well, it is not because I am a Servant so much as it is because of the Theos, um, something or other.

Mandricardo:
Theos Klironomia?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
That is the one.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
At any rate, the Servants who went on ahead to Olympus asked me to stay behind and wait for you all here.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
They said they had left enough information that you would be certain to make your way here eventually.

Mash:
I see...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Wh-what the...!?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
This destruction is horrific.
What happened here?

Mandricardo:
Well, uh, we did.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...I see.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
So you got an error when you tried to acquire the Theos Klironomia by force.

Nemo Professor:
Oh, are you the new Servant?

Charlotte Corday:
Are you the Assassin?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
May I ask who these people are?


Fujimaru 1:
This is Nemo Professor.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I see. Forgive my saying so, but you do not appear to be much of a fighter.

Nemo Professor:
You're right, I'm not.
My role is strictly analytical.


Fujimaru 2:
This is Charlotte Corday.

Charlotte Corday:
Nice to meet you!
I'm Charlotte Corday!

Charlotte Corday:
I'm an Assassin too, so I hope we can be great friends!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Ooh, well thank you for the warm welcome.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I am Mochizuki Chiyome.
It is a pleasure to meet you, too.


Mandricardo:
Uh... Guess I should probably introduce myself, too.
I'm Mandricardo.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I am called Chiyome.

Mandricardo:
(...She sure talks kinda stiff.)

Mandricardo:
(I can't tell if that's her way of being polite,
or if she's subtly mocking me somehow...)

Mandricardo:
(Ah well, guess there's no sense in worrying about it too much...)

Nemo Professor:
While you were back here, we found a few more data points for the nameplate we saw earlier.

Nemo Professor:
You're not going to believe this.
It turns out that this temple is actually–

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Master, this temple belongs to Lord Hephaestus!

Nemo Professor:
...


Fujimaru 1:
(The professor just froze up...)


Mandricardo:
(Ouch. Just when she was about to make a huge announcement, this Chiyome lady goes and steals her thunder. I know how she must be feeling all too well...)

Mash:
Wait. Just a moment, please.

Mash:
Isn't Hephaestus one of the Twelve Olympians?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hm? I am confused.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Did Lord Jason not explain the situation to you?
Oh, right. I see.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Things must have been adjusted so that the information would only be released once he came to this temple.


Fujimaru 1:
What are you talking about?


Mochizuki Chiyome:
First, let us call for Lord Jason.
He should be present for this discussion.

Charlotte Corday:
Okay, I'll go get him right away!

--ARROW--

Jason:
All right, what's this all about?
Why did you want me to come inside?

Jason:
...?

Jason:
Gaaah!
My head!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hello, Lord Jason.
Long time no see.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Then again, it has been difficult for me to keep track as of late, so maybe it hasn't been such a long time.

Jason:
Ghh... You're...
Mochizuki Chiyome.

Jason:
Right... This is Hephaestus's temple.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Would you be so kind as to explain the situation to Chaldea?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I would do it myself, but everything here is, well, Greek to me.

Jason:
So I'm just the guide now, is that it?

Jason:
Ugh, fine, I'll do it. Nemo, go ahead and open a line with the Shadow Border.

Jason:
Don't worry. This place is clean.

Da Vinci:
Hey guys! What's up? All your vitals are green,
so I'm guessing nobody's injured or anything?


Fujimaru 1:
Well...


Da Vinci:
Hmm, hmm. An antiwiretap Bounded Field, huh.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Oh, yes, well...

Jason:
It's because we didn't know if you lot would be able to make it here at all.

Jason:
We couldn't let the situation get even worse thanks to some idiot who couldn't even get this far, after all.

Holmes:
You don't mince words, do you?

Jason:
Here, you can start by taking a look at this.
Let's see...

Jason:
Good. Everything's still working, and we've got three backups in place too.

Jason:
They definitely favor being safe over being sorry.

Holmes:
Hmm. I take it your memories were sealed away prior to reaching this temple?

Jason:
Not exactly. It's more like my brain was forced to download the information I needed when I got here.

Jason:
Basically, I know how to check the logs of all the Servants who have been here, even if I've never been here myself.

Jason:
...There we go. I'll go ahead and play it now.

P.A. System:
Playback request received from Hephaestus Console.
Executing Master authorization.

P.A. System:
Please keep the Master in the designated position.


Fujimaru 1:
So I just have to stand here?


Jason:
That's right.

P.A. System:
Scan complete. Analysis confirmed:
human of Proper Human History.

P.A. System:
Forming Master contract via Command Spell.
Speak your name to confirm.


Fujimaru 1:
Fujimaru.


P.A. System:
Fujimaru.
Authorization complete.

P.A. System:
Initiating prior visitor support mission.

P.A. System:
Uploading holographic data.

P.A. System:
Partial data encryption. Partial data corruption.
Reconstituting with substitute data.

P.A. System:
Initiating playback.

Archer:
There we go.
We'll start recording now.

Archer:
Hello, Chaldea. I am anonymous.
I am anyone and no one.

Archer:
We wish to keep our True Names a secret.

Archer:
I'll change the way I usually speak, too.
I am Archer. Just Archer.

Caster:
Indeed.

Caster:
If data about us were to be leaked, it would put us in even greater danger at Olympus.

Caster:
However, we understand that we cannot all remain anonymous and still ask for your trust.

Archer:
So one of us will need to reveal their True Name.

E:???:
I guess that leaves me then.

E:???:
After all, if Lord Jason is with them, it won't be much of a secret that I was here, too.

E:???:
I'm Medea, student of the goddess Hecate.

???:
Guess I'll go ahead and reveal my True Name too then!
I'm Sakata Kintoki, ready and golden!

Sakata Kintoki:
But let's just keep it to the two of us, yeah?
The rest of ya had better stay anonymous.

Medea Lily:
You think so?

Archer:
Sometimes, with information, the timing can be just as important as the information itself.

Medea Lily:
All right. I don't know anything about that sort of thing, so if you say you're sure, I'll take your word for it.

Archer:
All right, Chaldea, let's begin in earnest.

Archer:
We don't know how you got here,
or who you may have with you.

Archer:
But for the purposes of this discussion...

Archer:
...we'll assume you have a decent level of both equipment and Servants.

Archer:
By now, I expect you'll have discovered that this Lostbelt is probably the strongest and most habitable of all the Lostbelts you've seen so far.

Archer:
I also expect you have a decent idea of the situation here thanks to your interactions with the Atlanteans...

Archer:
...but let's go over it now anyway, just to be sure we're all on the same page.

Archer:
It all started fourteen thousand years ago.

E:Holmes:
(Fascinating. I thought the Indian Lostbelt's divergence point from Proper Human History was furthest in the past, but this one is far beyond that!)

Archer:
Fourteen thousand years ago in Proper Human History's time line, all of the gods who lived in Atlantis were killed.

Archer:
Some believe that a white titan had something to do with their demise, but the truth is that nobody knows for sure.

Archer:
However, the remnants of Atlantis's civilization eventually made their way to Greece, eventually becoming the mythology of the gods of Olympus as we know them.

Archer:
Putting aside the matter of what Olympus was like in Proper Human History for now...

Archer:
...suffice to say that in this Lostbelt,
the gods survived.

Archer:
The ones who lived in Atlantis continued to flourish, eventually going on to build an Olympus of their own.

Archer:
But apparently, it wasn't all peaceful.

Archer:
Once this titan no longer posed a threat, a rift began to form between several of the Twelve Olympians.

Archer:
We don't know why, and frankly, it doesn't matter.
They were probably just arguing about who to side with.

Archer:
Of course, this conflict never happened in Proper Human History, since none of the gods existed by this point.

Archer:
At any rate, the Olympian gods fought amongst themselves, and the winning side went on to rule Atlantis.

Archer:
And as faith in the gods continued, the concept of what the gods were gradually began to change.

Archer:
On average, the people of Atlantis live for about eight hundred years.

Archer:
However, they choose to continue to wait for the gods who abandoned them.

Archer:
In fact, they are so fervently devoted that they have no qualms about sacrificing their lives for the gods.

E:Mash:
...

Archer:
However...the gods who lost the battle survived.

E:Orion:
What?

Archer:
Hephaestus, god of the forge,
is there right now.

P.A. System:
Initiating encrypted connection.

???:
—, —.
—.


Fujimaru 1:
It sounds like...someone's trying to say something...


P.A. System:
Activating automatic response program.

???:
...If this system's been activated,
that must mean...

???:
...I was destroyed.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Lord Hephaestus!
It is I! Mochizuki Chiyome!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Please, answer me!

Hephaestus:
The data I need to answer your
queries clearly has been lost.

Hephaestus:
Reason: the head unit where my database
was stored has been divided.

Hephaestus:
Reason: a strike that severed
my head unit during battle.

Hephaestus:
56.4 percent of data stolen by Olympus.
Connecting Prometheus for assistance.

Hephaestus:
The demiurge Zeus went berserk. Instead of ending
the Age of Gods, he chose to remain as its ruler.

Hephaestus:
Some gods supported his decision.
Some gods opposed it.

Hephaestus:
There were thoughts. Theories. Rifts. The twelve
gods' opposing sides became more entrenched.

Hephaestus:
There was a war... A great war on
Olympus that began ■■■■ years ago.

Hephaestus:
The following six units were destroyed:

Hephaestus:
Hephaestus, Athena, Apollo,
Hades, Hestia, and Ares.

Hephaestus:
The following six units continue to rule Olympus:

Hephaestus:
Zeus, Artemis, Hera,
Demeter, Poseidon, and Aphrodite.

Hephaestus:
There is meaning in my existence.

Hephaestus:
Hephaestus forge unit
remains partially intact.

Mash:
What... What does this all mean?

Holmes:
Sir Hephaestus, allow me to ensure I understand you.

Holmes:
I presume we will need your help in order to fell this Lostbelt's Tree of Emptiness.

Holmes:
However, you were destroyed in a war that took place thousands of years ago...

Holmes:
...and the majority of your brain and forging abilities now lie in Olympus's hands.

Holmes:
That being said, you are still capable of some manner of forgery with what functionality remains to you.

Holmes:
Do I have that right?

Hephaestus:
That is mostly correct, with one exception.

Hephaestus:
The strike that severed my brain, and the theft
of half my unit, took place within the last year.

Hephaestus:
These acts were performed by a
Servant siding with Olympus.


Fujimaru 1:
A Servant!?


Holmes:
(A Servant managed to cut through a god of this size with a single strike!?)

Goredolf:
W-well don't be shy, man! Tell us!
What in the world was this Servant like!?

Hephaestus:
The answer to that question has been lost
in consequence of damage to memory storage.

Holmes:
...Hmm.

Hephaestus:
Do you have any other questions?

Mandricardo:
Kinda surprised he doesn't seem to care more about the Servant who literally cut him down to size...

Holmes:
I suppose that is simply how gods think. Or rather,
machines, as we should perhaps say in this case.

Holmes:
It seems they value data more than memories,
and functionality over data.


Fujimaru 1:
How can we defeat Artemis?


Fujimaru 2:
What do we need to defeat Artemis?


Hephaestus:
Ore resources: insufficient.
Indigenous life-forms: incapable.

Hephaestus:
At present, there is no weaponry on
Earth capable of destroying Artemis.

Hephaestus:
Calculating amount of Theos Klironomia required to
reinforce base power to sufficient levels:
calculation error.

Holmes:
So not even the nanomachines will be enough...

Holmes:
Are you saying there is no substance in this world capable of destroying Artemis?

Hephaestus:
Affirmative.

Hephaestus:
I request that you search for an object.
Designation: Divine Construct...

Hephaestus:
Only a weapon that has been imbued with a
conceptually high-ranking Divine Spirit can destroy
Artemis.


Fujimaru 1:
What's a Divine Construct?

Holmes:
There are a few Servants with Noble Phantasms that fall under that category.

Holmes:
To describe them loosely, they are weapons or armor that were either granted to someone by a god of myth...

Holmes:
...or that are an intrinsic part of a great legend, or that were crystallized with natural law in the heart of the planet before being further refined.

Holmes:
According to the battle records of yours I've perused,
[♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru, the Dark Saber you
encountered in Fuyuki used a Noble Phantasm that was
itself a Divine Construct.

Holmes:
Suffice to say that Divine Constructs are incredibly rare, incredibly powerful things...

Holmes:
...which leads me to the conclusion that we have little hope of readily finding any Servants who possess such devices.


Fujimaru 2:
I can't believe we need a Divine Construct...

Holmes:
Indeed.

Holmes:
We have little hope of readily finding any Servants whose Noble Phantasm qualifies as such a construct.


Hephaestus:
There is one Servant in Atlantis who
matches those criteria. True Name:

Hephaestus:
Achilles.


Fujimaru 1:
Achilles!

Mash:
Right. The hero of the Trojan War!


Fujimaru 2:
Who's Achilles again...?

Holmes:
Surely you've heard of the Achilles tendon before?
You have two of them yourself, after all.

Holmes:
Achilles is the hero for whom they are named.

Holmes:
He is easily as well-known as Heracles;
perhaps even more so.

Holmes:
Indeed, you would be hard-pressed to find many other heroes whose names have been inscribed into our bodies.


Mandricardo:
Good point. I could easily see a guy like Achilles having a Divine Construct or two on him.

Mandricardo:
(He's probably a Lancer... Wait. What if he's a Rider?
Crap. Does this mean I might be out of a job soon?)

Hephaestus:
I can reforge his shield and armor into a
Noble Phantasm capable of destroying a god.

Holmes:
I see. So you were the one to forge them in the first place. Then reforging them should be well within your abilities.

Orion:
...So that's how it is, huh?

Orion:
But, okay. The important thing's that someone can bring Artemis down. It doesn't necessarily have to be me.


Fujimaru 1:
Are you sure you're all right with this, Orion?


Orion:
Not really, if I'm being honest. I never wanted to foist this responsibility off on anyone else.

Orion:
But...I also understand painfully well that without a Divine Construct, there's only so much I can do.

Holmes:
All that remains now is the little matter of convincing him to cooperate with us.

Holmes:
I believe that will be where you come in, Master. We still have no idea what sort of hero he is, after all.

Mandricardo:
I dunno...

Mandricardo:
Legend says after he won his duel against Hektor, he tied the body to his chariot and dragged it around for kicks.

Mandricardo:
If that's true, he could be too wild for us to rein in.

Mandricardo:
And I'm not saying that 'cause I'm worried about him displacing me as a Rider. 'Cause I'm not. At all.

Holmes:
Hahaha. At any rate, it would
seem Achilles is our next goal.

Holmes:
I don't suppose you would happen to know his whereabouts as well, would you, Sir Hephaestus?

Hephaestus:
I do.

Hephaestus:
I have just uploaded the corresponding map data.
Take it.

Da Vinci:
Whoa, nice. Don't mind if we do.

Da Vinci:
I see there's a bunch of other data in here as well.
You don't mind if we use that too, do you?

Hephaestus:
I do not.

Nemo Professor:
Come to think of it, we still don't have any Theos Klironomia from this temple, since we got an error when we tried to take them earlier...

Hephaestus:
I have re-registered you as valid users.
There is no longer any issue.

Mash:
Then, does that mean it's okay with you if we take the Theos Klironomia now?

Hephaestus:
Affirmative.

Hephaestus:
My Theos Klironomia improve durability.

Mandricardo:
Whoa, really? Nice.
Then what're we waiting for?

Hephaestus:
There is only enough for two Servants left.

Goredolf:
Damn, so there won't be enough to go around for everyone then...

Nemo Professor:
I need it to reinforce the Nautilus, so that's one portion accounted for. So how should we choose who gets the other?

Charlotte Corday:
I'll pass.

Charlotte Corday:
I don't think even doubling my durability would make me any more useful, so...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I have already acquired Lord Hephaestus's Klironomia myself.

Mandricardo:
Looks like it's all yours then, Orion.

Orion:
Hmm... I know that was the original plan,
but on second thought, I'll pass too.


Fujimaru 1:
Why's that?


Orion:
I guess you could say it's my hunter's intuition warning against it? Besides, I'm already good on durability.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Then you should take it, Lord Mandricardo,
since you always fight on the front line.


Fujimaru 1:
Good point.

Mandricardo:
...A-all right.


Fujimaru 2:
Go for it, Mandricardo.

Mandricardo:
...I just hope you don't regret this...


Mandricardo:
Okay, I'm ready.

Holmes:
If I might ask you something else, Sir Hephaestus...

Holmes:
...do the other twelve Olympians all possess similar characteristics as you?

Hephaestus:
They are all able to impart abilities similar
to their Authority. For example...

Hephaestus:
Athena Klironomia: improve overall combat ability and
imbue the recipient with combat-related skills. Hades
Klironomia: provide the recipient with
pseudo-immortality.

Hephaestus:
Zeus Klironomia: improve abilities across the board.
Poseidon Klironomia: improve combat ability at sea.

Hephaestus:
Alert: Hades, Apollo, Hestia,
and Ares Klironomia no longer exist.

Holmes:
But as I recall, “klironomia” means “legacy” in Greek, and as far as I know, you are still very much alive, no?

Hephaestus:
I named these nanomachines our legacy once
it became clear that we had become stagnant.

Hephaestus:
Even after ten thousand years, we were unable to
create a next-generation panacea that could replace
the nanomachines.

Hephaestus:
That was our limit–the point
where the gods outlived our usefulness.

Hephaestus:
Since we effectively died at that point,
I thought the name would be fitting.

Holmes:
I see...


Fujimaru 1:
...Can I ask you something too?


Hephaestus:
—.

Hephaestus:
—.


Fujimaru 1:
Um...


Mash:
Master.

Mash:
I think Hephaestus is waiting
for you to ask your question.


Fujimaru 1:
Why are you going so far to help us?


Hephaestus:
Unknown.

Hephaestus:
Insufficient data to respond to
query due to damage to head unit.


Fujimaru 1:
Well, what's your best guess then?


Hephaestus:
Answer based on limited remaining data:
because it is rational.

Hephaestus:
Having indigenous life-forms live independently is
a more efficient use of energy than ruling over them.

Hephaestus:
The current Olympus is inefficient.
Things that are inefficient should disappear.

Hephaestus:
That is my answer.

Holmes:
...I see. A rational response indeed.

Goredolf:
By indigenous life-forms...I presume you mean humans?

Hephaestus:
Correct.

Holmes:
Hephaestus's actions were motivated by neither sentiment nor emotion.

Holmes:
Once he had concluded that his enemies were behaving irrationally, he simply chose to side with us.

Jason:
Hmph. That's pretty much how
all the Olympian gods are built.

Jason:
...Though they're definitely much more mechanical about it in this Lostbelt.

Holmes:
Very well then, putting Artemis aside for the moment, that still leaves the other two obstacles in our way.

Holmes:
Namely, Odysseus's army and Poseidon. Any information you could share on either would be greatly appreciated.

Hephaestus:
Releasing data on Odysseus's army.

Hephaestus:
This army appears to draft people from Atlantis into
joining, then rapidly improves their capabilities.

Hephaestus:
Data on Odysseus is not available.


Fujimaru 1:
Huh? You really don't have anything on him?


Hephaestus:
Accessing this data is risky.
I do not recommend it.

Holmes:
Hmm. I expect accessing data on Odysseus would open him up to being hacked.

Hephaestus:
Attempting to access data on Odysseus's
army's primary weapon, Echidna. Success.

Goredolf:
Echidna...?

Goredolf:
As in the Demonic Beast that gave birth to Cerberus in Greek mythology?

Goredolf:
The one with a woman's head and a snake's body?

Mash:
Master, that looks like...


Fujimaru 1:
Tiamat...?


Hephaestus:
Unclear.

Hephaestus:
There is evidence that Proper Human History data were
referenced in its creation, and it was given Theos
Klironomia to let it mass-produce Demonic Beasts.

Hephaestus:
This accounts for the significant increase
in Demonic Beast population on this island.

Nemo Professor:
...I just had a thought.

Nemo Professor:
I saw in our records that an enormous Demonic Beast attacked us when we first got here. Did this Echidna creature produce that one, too?

Hephaestus:
Insufficient data. Unable to answer.

Nemo:
It's okay if you don't know for sure. Even a guess would be fine. Please tell us, Hephaestus.

Hephaestus:
According to Echidna's specifications, it is capable
of mass-producing everything from small to enormous
Demonic Beasts.

Hephaestus:
Considering it was made for the purpose of eradicating
Chaldea, there is a strong possibility that it
produced the enormous Demonic Beast that attacked you.

Nemo Professor:
Yikes...
Well thank you for that despair-inducing answer.

Hephaestus:
I estimate that destroying Echidna would
lead to the destruction of Odysseus's army.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hmm...

Charlotte Corday:
Is something wrong, Chiyome?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Oh, no, I am all right.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I simply have some mixed feelings about the fact that this creature is part snake.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I too carry a serpent's curse within my body, you see.

Charlotte Corday:
Oh wow, I had no idea.

Charlotte Corday:
But at least snakes are cute, right?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Indeed. As am I, of course.

Charlotte Corday:
It's true! You're downright adorable!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...I suppose that is what I get
for trying to make a joke...

Charlotte Corday:
?

Hephaestus:
Attempting to access data on Poseidon. Success.

Hephaestus:
Damage to head unit detected.
Poseidon is no longer capable of logical thought.

Hephaestus:
He is now simply a defensive system that
attacks anything invading his territory.

Hephaestus:
Memories. Records. Emotions. Feelings.
Everything. Gone. Erased. Destroyed.

Hephaestus:
Evasion impossible.
Conflict inevitable.

Hephaestus:
Advice on best course of action:

Hephaestus:
Hit him with everything you've got.

Hephaestus:
I recommend downloading data about his
three weak points: his Divine Cores.

Mandricardo:
Well, that's pretty straightforward.
Guess we can worry about Poseidon later then.


Fujimaru 1:
Makes sense.

Mash:
Understood, Master.
Then where should we begin?


Fujimaru 2:
Yeah. Let's start with what we can do now.

Holmes:
Agreed.

Holmes:
After all, the only way to reach the truth of any given matter is to lay facts on top of one another until it presents itself.


Mandricardo:
All right, we'll start by looking for Achilles,
see if we can convince him to join us–

Hephaestus:
And I will use my forge unit to create weaponry.

Mandricardo:
Does that mean we need to come back here then?

Hephaestus:
Negative.

Hephaestus:
My forge unit exists in a separate, safer location.

Hephaestus:
Sending coordinate data. You will be able to extract it once you encounter Achilles.

Jason:
I see... So it operates on the same conditions as my forced brain download.

Hephaestus:
I have no more information I can disclose
at this time. Initiating system shutdown.

Jason:
So he just says what he wants to say and takes his leave as he pleases, huh.

Jason:
I swear, there's nothing more stuck-up,
selfish, or mechanical than a god.

Holmes:
At times like this, it's best to take the deluge of
new information one piece at a time. We certainly
can't expect [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru to juggle
all of it at once.

Holmes:
Rather than looking ahead to the end goal, we should start by examining our current position and taking one careful step forward at a time.

Holmes:
First, we look for Achilles.
We can discuss what comes next after that.


Fujimaru 1:
Sounds good!


Bartholomew:
Hey, welcome back.
Looks like you got what you came for.

Mash:
Yes, we did!

Bartholomew:
Indeed. Just the joy radiating from your smiling face is enough to make me want to burst into song.

Bartholomew:
Ahem.
Luscious bangs, hidden eyes, yahoy hoy hoy hoy♪


Fujimaru 1:
That's the worst song I've ever heard!

Bartholomew:
Don't you like it, Master?
I wrote the music and lyrics myself!

Fou:
Fou fou...


Fujimaru 2:
Hoy hoy hoy♪

Mash:
Not you too, Master...

Fou:
Fou fou?

Mash:
Now Fou is pressing his face into my back with surprising force... What's this about?


Nemo Professor:
I finished analyzing the Hephaestus Klironomia.

Nemo Professor:
They're just as amazing as you'd expect. There are very clear differences between them and the general type.

Da Vinci:
Interesting. What sort of differences are we talking about here?

Nemo Professor:
In addition to improving durability, the Hephaestus type also seem to enhance functions related to smithing.

Nemo Professor:
Specifically, things like metalworking and imbuing metal with specific properties.

Nemo Professor:
For starters, I think they'll help us to significantly enhance the Nautilus's cloaking ability.

Nemo Professor:
Once we're able to improve its ability to conceal us, we should be able to evade Artemis's surveillance...

Nemo Professor:
...which will, in turn, let us move from island to island in greater safety.

Nemo Professor:
What do you think, Master?


Fujimaru 1:
You good with that, Captain?

Nemo:
Of course. Anything we can do to never see that damn arrow of light again is a good thing in my book.


Fujimaru 2:
Sounds good to me.

Nemo Professor:
Great, leave it to me. I love working on new safety features and things like that.

Goredolf:
Th-that sounds most reassuring.
In that case, by all means, have at it.

Goredolf:
At last! Now I won't have to take ulcer pills every time we go to another island!

Goredolf:
...Right?

Jason:
I think so!


Jason:
All right, next stop:
Thetis Island, where we'll find Achilles!

Jason:
...Thetis, huh?
So he's on the island named after his mother...

Section 11: Glimmers Like a Meteor

Narration:
...I feel dizzy.

Narration:
My memories are patchy.
It's as though part of my brain is missing.

Narration:
What happened?
Something happened.

Narration:
Everyone's collapsed. They haven't vanished yet,
but that's clearly just a matter of time.

Narration:
I feel death closing in around me. There's no escape.
My heart freezes over in sheer terror.

Narration:
...This can't be happening.

Narration:
That was the first thing I thought once I finally regained my bearings.

Narration:
I focus my eyes to stare in shock at the young man standing before me.

Narration:
Kirschtaria Wodime.

Narration:
He defeated every last one of our Servants.

Narration:
And he did it single-handedly,
without even one Servant at his command.

Narration:
It was just a short while ago...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Very well then, let's set off
on our search for Lord Achilles.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
We already know he is on Thetis Island,
so all we need do now is set a course!

Mandricardo:
Right on.

Mandricardo:
...Man, I hope he turns out to be a Lancer...

Charlotte Corday:
...Huh? Does anyone else hear that?


Fujimaru 1:
What is that sound...?


Holmes:
Pardon me, but we have an emergency!
All hands, kindly prepare for battle!

Holmes:
We've detected a hostile headed your way from the south-southwest at incredible speed!

Holmes:
And given the sheer amount of magical energy we're seeing, it must be Caenis!

Mash:
!
Does this mean she's found us!?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Huh? I don't know what all the commotion is about,
but surely if we all band together–

???:
Hah! That's rich. A buncha weaklings banding together to try and step up to the big leagues. Adorable.

???:
But unfortunately for you, this isn't a fairy tale,
and you won't be living happily ever after!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
The whole ship is shaking!

Orion:
Chiyome! Get down!

Orion:
Ghh!

Caenis:
You bastards have nerve, keeping your little boat hidden with cheap tricks. All that to sneak around my sea?

Caenis:
That meant I actually had to work to find you.

Caenis:
I'll admit, I'm impressed you managed to survive Artemis's arrow. You might be weak, but I guess you got guts.

Caenis:
But that's all you've got.
And it won't do you any good anymore.

Caenis:
You're done for, Chaldea! I'm going to take my sweet time skewering each and every one of you!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Do not mock us!

Caenis:
Ha! And how're you gonna stop me, scrawny!?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
(She did not even bother to dodge!?)

Jason:
...Caenis.

Caenis:
Hm? Well, well. So that's why Chaldea's grown a bit since last time. They've got an extra coward filling out their ranks.

Caenis:
I guess this could be kind of a problem.

Caenis:
Musta taken a lot to get such a pathetic loser worked up enough to actually join the fight.

Caenis:
Guess this explains that utter nonsense Kirschtaria was going on about.

Caenis:
Well, whatever.
Either way, I'm still gonna end this.

Caenis:
Cry about it all you want, Jason. Your precious Heracles isn't here to save your sorry ass anymore.

Caenis:
Not since that stupid Artemis got serious and blew him to pieces!

Jason:
...

Caenis:
Gotta say though, I don't get that guy. Why in the world did he bother saving someone as pathetic as you?

Jason:
...Believe me, I wish I knew.

Caenis:
Maybe he'd just gotten sick and tired of your useless
dead weight dragging him down everywhere he went?

Jason:
...

Orion:
You little–


Fujimaru 1:
...


Caenis:
Hey, don't get mad at me, Orion.

Caenis:
Knowing Jason there, I bet he's been whining about pretty much the same thing himself.

Jason:
You know, you're not wrong!

Jason:
So hey, while we're asking questions,
I've got one for you too, Caenis.

Caenis:
Say what?

Jason:
Seeing how you supposedly despise
the gods more than anyone...

Jason:
...I was just wondering how it feels being their little errand bitch!

Jason:
My best guess at this point is that you're just some kind of masochist or something. I can't think of any other explanation.

Caenis:
...

Jason:
Hey, don't be ashamed!
We all have our own kinks!

Jason:
But you really shouldn't go around pushing yours on others, Caenis!

Jason:
Most people just can't handle that kind of humiliation!

Caenis:
You got a big mouth for such a little punk bitch. So you know what? I'm gonna take my time with you.

Jason:
Go ahead and try! I dare you!

Jason:
Nobody insults Heracles around me and gets away with it. You goddamn piece of trash!


Fujimaru 1:
Calm down, Jason!


Jason:
Like hell I will!
Let's go, everyone!

Caenis:
You idiots aren't going anywhere!
Your little voyage ends here!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
It's no use! Our attacks just aren't working!

Mash:
We're no match for Caenis on the ocean!

Jason:
Khh!

Caenis:
And here I thought you were gonna put up a fight. So, Captain, how's it feel to know you're about to be chopped into cross sections?

Caenis:
Don't worry though, I'll make sure to keep you alive after I tear off your limbs. When I'm done with you, there'll be nothing left but a big plate of human lakerda!

Jason:
Guess I should've figured a fisherwoman would know how to clean a fish! Even a third-rate fisherwoman who can't handle anything bigger than a minnow!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
(He may not be the strongest Servant,
but his skill at bluffing is spectacular!)

Caenis:
You just don't know when to shut up, do you? Fine.
I'll do you a favor and crush your head first!

Orion:
Oh no, you won't!

Mandricardo:
I don't think so!

Caenis:
Outta my way!

Orion:
Khh...!

Mandricardo:
Gah!

Jason:
How... How are you this strong?
Nobody should be this incredibly powerful!

Jason:
You were nothing special when you were with the Argonauts. No stronger than anyone else!

Caenis:
...

Jason:
...?


Fujimaru 1:
Did you just...hurt Caenis's feelings?


Jason:
!!!

Jason:
Master! Give me that thing you got from Drake!


Fujimaru 1:
What thing?

Jason:
You know, the thing!
Come on, think back!

Jason:
I got a key. What did you get!?


Fujimaru 2:
You mean...?

Jason:
Yes, that's it! Give it here!


Jason:
Bring it on, you overgrown sea shrew!

Caenis:
I don't know what it is you've got there,
and I don't care. You're done for, Jason.

Caenis:
Once I kill you, I'll never have to see your stupid face again!

Jason:
I'm afraid you're the one who's done for, Caenis!

Caenis:
!?

Caenis:
Wh-what the...?

Mash:
I... I don't believe it. It's only a scratch,
but Jason still managed to wound Caenis!

Jason:
Heh. I knew it.

Jason:
Your Noble Phantasm's an open book to me now, Caenis!

Caenis:
...!

Jason:
Once I remembered your legend, everything became clear!

Jason:
That Noble Phantasm of yours might give you unbeatable defense, but it stems from the one you despise more than anything, isn't it?

Caenis:
...!

Jason:
That's right. That Noble Phantasm is actually a blessing from Poseidon!

Caenis:
Don't... Don't you dare say that name!

Jason:
Haha! So you dragged your sorry ass to Poseidon, bowing and scraping, to beg for that Noble Phantasm, huh?

Caenis:
I'll... I'll kill you!

Jason:
The way you fly into a rage the moment you hear Poseidon's name is your fatal weakness, Caenis.

Jason:
How else could I have managed to hurt you?

Caenis:
...!

Jason:
Orion! Here!

Orion:
Rrraaahhh!!!

Caenis:
What...!?

Orion:
Well, well. Who would've thought that just holding onto this thing would be enough to make my attacks hurt you?

Jason:
That's right.

Jason:
That's Francis Drake's parting gift.

Caenis:
...!

Jason:
I still don't know how she did it, but that damn pirate made off with something precious to Poseidon.

Jason:
Well, whatever dirty pirate trick she used to pull it off, the important thing's that we've now got a way to beat you!

Jason:
I might've only been able to scratch you, but I bet Orion's attack hit a lot harder, didn't it?

Jason:
And I'm sure I don't have to
tell you why that is, right?

Caenis:
Now I see. You...
You're that son of a bitch's kid!!!

Jason:
Orion! It's all up to you!
Your attacks should pack a real punch now!

Jason:
Caenis's Noble Phantasm might be strong,
but it can't last forever!

Orion:
Got it! Don't worry!
I'll make sure to smash it to pieces!

--BATTLE--

Caenis:
Khh...
Ghh...!

Caenis:
How... How could I lose a fight on the sea!?
And to Poseidon's stupid brat, of all people!

Caenis:
Dammit, I can't see... What's going on?
Am I...gonna disappear now?

Caenis:
Am I gonna die before I get to watch goddamn Proper Human History be destroyed forever...?

Caenis:
...No way. I'm not disappearing.
I can't disappear now!

Caenis:
Help me. Somebody help me! Help me, dammit!
I've still got debts I've gotta pay ba–

Jason:
Hmph. I see you're just as bad at admitting defeat as you are at watching your mouth. Give it up, Caenis. It's over.

Jason:
You're going to disappear, just like all the Heroic Spirits you slaughtered in your gleeful bloodlust.

Caenis:
Just like them? I'm nothing like them!
I'm nothing like any of you bastards!

Caenis:
I'm Caenis, a damned Divine Spirit! I'm the one who'll be taking revenge on the gods! I'm Kirschtaria Wodime's Servant!

Orion:
It's only a matter of time until she disappears, but better safe than sorry. I'm going to destroy her Spirit Core.

Jason:
Agreed. I'm sorry, Fujimaru,
but we have to finish her off.

Jason:
I know you're a die-hard humanitarian, but we can't afford to take a chance on an enemy like this.


Fujimaru 1:
...


Jason:
Hm? Oh, I see.
You're so exhausted you can't even move anymore.

Jason:
Well, this works out nicely then.
Don't worry, we'll make this quick.

Charlotte Corday:
Um, excuse me, but I think...there's something else headed our way...

Mash:
Ah–

???:
I can't let you do that.
He's still useful to me.

???:
I am truly sorry, members of Chaldea, but I am afraid that I must destroy you now.

Meunière:
I'm picking up fluctuations in space-time about ten meters ahead of Fujimaru!

Meunière:
This reading... It's a Command Spell! Watch out!
You've got a Master incoming!

Mash:
...


Fujimaru 1:
It's...him...


Fujimaru 2:
Kirschtaria Wodime...


--ARROW--

Kirschtaria:
It's been a long time, Mash Kyrielight.

Kirschtaria:
And you must be Fujimaru, the last Master
who remained after the rest of us departed.

Kirschtaria:
I have nothing but the highest respect for how hard you have worked to come this far. That is why I decided to come and face you myself.

Kirschtaria:
I am Kirschtaria Wodime.

Kirschtaria:
I am the leader of the Crypters,
and the Master entrusted with this Lostbelt.


Fujimaru 1:
It's really him!


Goredolf:
Kirschtaria!?
Did you say Kirschtaria!?

Goredolf:
Gnnn, I never thought he'd come after us directly! Meunière, what are the scanners saying?

Goredolf:
Does he have any Servants with him!?

Meunière:
Of course he does! He's a Master, after all!
I'm seeing two... No, wait. They're showing up as one?

Meunière:
Oh, whatever! He's got two right behind him! And they're both Divine Spirit Servants as strong as Caenis...no, even stronger!

Jason:
Dammit! If it's not one thing, it's another!

Jason:
(Although...is that really the big boss? The human that pompous blowhard Zeus recognizes as his equal?)

Jason:
(Hmph, he doesn't look so tough to me! He's just using that fancy cane and outfit to dress the part!)

Jason:
Don't you talk down to us, mage. Who do you think you are, floating up there like some sort of cloud?

Jason:
The only people with the right to look down on commoners are those born to be kings! Like me!

G:???:
Silence, Jason. You have no business lecturing Lord Kirschtaria about anything.

H:???:
Right you are, Brother.
I'm embarrassed just looking at him.

H:???:
A hopeless incompetent like you who was gifted with the blessings of the gods and the Argo, yet STILL failed spectacularly, doesn't even deserve to be in the same room as Lord Kirschtaria.

H:???:
Lord Kirschtaria is a valiant hero who formed an alliance with Zeus the king of the gods himself despite being human.

H:???:
He was born far more fit to rule the human world as a king than a loser like you could even dream of!

Jason:
Dioscuri!? You're the twin heroes of Gemini!

Jason:
First Caenis turns traitor and goes over to the Lostbelt side, and now you two follow suit!?

Caenis:
What'd...you...say?

Caenis:
Don't you...give me that crap.
I'd rather die than...go over to...their side...

Kirschtaria:
That's enough, Caenis. With wounds that severe, even speaking a few words could cause you to expire.

Kirschtaria:
...

Kirschtaria:
Dioscuri, take Caenis away from here.
It's all right. I have no need for protection.

Dioscuri - Castor:
What? Lord Kirschtaria, you would really have us save this incompetent, good-for-nothing woman's life?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Indeed. I have to agree with my
brother here, Lord Kirschtaria.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Caenis is responsible for her own fate in this. I see no need for us to sully ourselves with her filthy bloo–

Kirschtaria:
Which is exactly why I'm entrusting this task to you two. ...You do understand what that means, don't you?

Dioscuri - Castor:
...Very well.
If our contracted Master commands it, then so be it.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Hehe. This is your lucky day, Caenis.
It would seem we have no choice but to help you.

Jason:
Wha–Hey, stop!
Don't take her away! We almost had her!

Orion:
(Don't be stupid! We're the ones who've been let off the hook here! The Dioscuri are even stronger than Caenis!)

Orion:
(Now that they're both gone, we have the overwhelming advantage in Servantpower!)

Jason:
Ah.

Jason:
Heh. All right, I'll let Caenis go then.
But you won't be so lucky, Crypter.

Jason:
...I take it that's all right with you, Master?
We couldn't have asked for a better chance to eliminate him.

Mash:
Senpai...


Fujimaru 1:
...Okay.


Fujimaru 2:
...Yeah. We can't hold anything back.


Kirschtaria:
...Now then. This has taken longer
than I expected, and time is short.

Kirschtaria:
I'm not here to debate the merits of our positions.
I'm only here to settle things once and for–


Fujimaru 1:
Wait. Before we begin, I'd like to ask you something.


Fujimaru 2:
Can I just ask you one question before we do this?


Kirschtaria:
...All right.

Kirschtaria:
As a former member of Team A,
I suppose I can do that much.

Kirschtaria:
Ask your question.


Fujimaru 1:
I...


Fujimaru 2:
(I have so many questions it's impossible to choose one!)


Mash:
...Why are you doing this?

Mash:
Everyone on Team A was part of Chaldea's staff.
You were Masters sworn to preserve all of humanity!

Mash:
So why? Why did you turn on humanity like this?

Mash:
Please! Tell us why things turned out this way!


Fujimaru 1:
Mash...


Kirschtaria:
...

Kirschtaria:
...I'm disappointed in you, Mash Kyrielight. I never thought you would waste time on the blindingly obvious.

Kirschtaria:
I already told you our–my goal,
right when this all began.

Kirschtaria:
We have a message for all of humanity.

Kirschtaria:
This planet will soon be reborn
as an old, brand-new world.

Kirschtaria:
Human civilization was a mistake.
The path of our growth was incorrect.

Kirschtaria:
And so I have made my decision. I will revolt against all of human history–Proper Human History.

Kirschtaria:
We are about to fill this world with inhuman Mystic secrets. We will restore the Age of Gods.

Kirschtaria:
2019... The year that Proper Human History came to an end.

Kirschtaria:
My reasons remain unchanged.
Humanity has committed too many mistakes.

Kirschtaria:
In every era...
Every civilization...

Kirschtaria:
Every hero...
Every nation...

Kirschtaria:
We humans have never once made the correct choice.

Kirschtaria:
I can only conclude that humanity as a species wholly lacks the requisite ability to do so.

Kirschtaria:
I am here to correct those mistakes. As is the Foreign God, who rescued me from the brink of death.

Kirschtaria:
The Foreign God does not accept mistakes. The Foreign God is a deity who desires only what is right.

Kirschtaria:
That is my answer, Mash.

Kirschtaria:
Now then, my erstwhile comrades, as you have surmised, the Foreign God will descend upon us in a few days' time.

Kirschtaria:
So before that grand event, I will defeat our greatest enemy here and now to put an end to this conflict.

Jason:
So you're here to take us all down, huh?
Fine then, let's see what you've got.

Jason:
So where are your subordinates?
Or are you going to ask your pal Zeus for help?

Kirschtaria:
Hardly. I don't need anyone's help to wipe you all off the face of the planet.

Mandricardo:
You're gonna fight us...without Servants!?
Who the hell do you think you are!?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Regardless, this may indeed be
the best chance we ever have!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Master, I'm going to eliminate him as quickly as I can, before any other Servants can show up!

Mash:
Master!


Fujimaru 1:
...Get your weapons ready!


Mash:
...
Okay... Understood!

Mash:
Here goes!

--BATTLE--

Narration:
It was as though the stars themselves
fell upon their heads.

Narration:
Howls. Cries. Screams.
It was impossible to tell which they were.

Narration:
The spell's magical energy, easily as powerful as one of Artemis's arrows, shattered Servants one after another.

Narration:
This magical lineage used the celestial bodies themselves as a circuit of power.

Narration:
It was the ultimate magecraft for those with the deepest knowledge of astrology–a spell that had been passed down for generations since the first Chaldeans began to read the stars.

Narration:
A spell that united the boundless magical energy of the Earth, the sky, and the universe into a single source of power.

Narration:
The same tremendous power as witnessed in the miraculous moments when planets are aligned.

Narration:
The roar of the stars.

Kirschtaria:
Stars. Cosmos. Gods. Animus.

Kirschtaria:
Antrum.
Unbirth.

Kirschtaria:
Anima, Animusphere...

Mash:
Aaah... Khh...


Fujimaru 1:
Maaash!!!


Fujimaru 2:
Nooo!!!


Kirschtaria:
It seems your Servants did their best to protect you...
But now, you're the only one left, Fujimaru.

Kirschtaria:
As long as their Master survives, Chaldea will never give in, no matter how many Servants we squash.

Kirschtaria:
But regardless of how well-optimized Chaldea may be to summon Servants en masse...

Kirschtaria:
...they are utterly powerless without a Master to hold them together.

Kirschtaria:
...No wonder Lev Lainur's attack on Chaldea was so devastatingly effective.

Kirschtaria:
Loathe though I am to follow his example, I think it best that I snuff your life out here and now.

Goredolf:
Th-th-th-the whole sky just went dark!
Don't tell me he's going to hit us with that again!?

Goredolf:
Dammit! Run for it, Fujimaru!
Don't come back to the Border!

Goredolf:
Not even the Border could survive a hit from that!
You won't be any safer in here than you are there!

Meunière:
Don't sugarcoat it! But it's no use!
That spell covers way too much ground!

Meunière:
It doesn't matter how far Fujimaru runs
now, it'll still catch both [♂ him /♀️ her] and us! I hate to say
it, but I think this might really be curtains for–

Narration:
The young man raises his staff–the staff symbolizing celestial bodies–towards the universe once again.

Narration:
There's nowhere left on this ocean...
No, in this entire world, where we can escape.

Narration:
It won't be long now before the stars he commands begin their deadly rain upon the Earth once more.


Fujimaru 1:
No...


Narration:
...There's nothing I can do.

Narration:
Every last Servant lies sprawled out and helpless,
including Mash.

Narration:
Even the Beast whose true nature nobody knows hasn't had any power to call his own in a long time.

Narration:
I have no way of avoiding death. Command Spells, magecraft, the team in the Border... None of it can do any good now.

???:
—.

Narration:

There's someone here.
She faces me and opens her mouth.

Narration:

I can't tell what she's feeling, nor can I hear what she's saying, but somehow, I understand her all the same.

Narration:

She's looking at me sprawled out and helpless,
and she's mocking me. Cursing me. Despising me.

???:
“Begone.”

Kirschtaria:
...

Mash:
Huh?
That back...

H:???:
...Tch.
I don't have time for this.

H:???:
This wasn't on my schedule at all.
But that's life for you.

Kirschtaria:
...You took the words right out of my mouth.

Kirschtaria:
So you're the unidentified mage who's been going around helping people in each of the Lostbelts...

Kirschtaria:
The one from Chaldea.


Fujimaru 1:
...!


Kirschtaria:
What are you doing here?

Kirschtaria:
My understanding is that your goal is to investigate and assess the people of each Lostbelt.

Kirschtaria:
So I fail to see what reason you have to aid the remnants of Chaldea.

Narration:
A great gust of wind whipped through the air,
blowing away everything in sight.

Narration:
It was as though the wind shredded the steam obscuring my vision and ripped off the artifice with which I'd been affixed.

Robed Figure:
I–No.
...

Robed Figure:
What an odd thing to say, Kirschtaria.

Robed Figure:
Since when do I need a reason to help Chaldea?

Kirschtaria:
I suppose I can't argue with that.

Kirschtaria:
...Am I right to presume this is a onetime only mistake, Doctor?

Robed Figure:
Of course, Kirschtaria. The Foreign God
once saved you from the brink of death.

Robed Figure:
It is therefore only fair that the Chaldeans be similarly saved, if only once. Don't you think that's the best way to ensure you're both on equal ground?

Kirschtaria:
I see. True, I can't deny that is only fair.
You always did have a way with words.

Kirschtaria:
While I would like to disregard your argument and finish them off for good, I would rather not have to fight you in the process.

Kirschtaria:
It would be my second fight, after all,
and that is something I must avoid for now.

Kirschtaria:
Very well. Now that you have made yourself known,
I will be gracious and let you save face.

Kirschtaria:
What do you say I end this battle now, let Chaldea survive yet again, and we leave it at that?

Robed Figure:
Agreed. I also prefer to avoid needless conflict, after all. Why not save our energy for when we really need it?

Robed Figure:
If you leave, then so will I. And I don't just mean here and now. I mean from this entire Lostbelt, of course.

Kirschtaria:
I'm impressed you have the gall to say that. As if you hadn't long since washed your hands of the matter.

Kirschtaria:
Farewell then, Doctor.

Kirschtaria:
I doubt we'll ever see each other again, so let me leave you with one word of caution: this impression of yours is not particularly convincing.

--ARROW--

Mash:
...


Fujimaru 1:
...


Mandricardo:
(This guy's gotta be a Servant...right?)

Mandricardo:
(No, wait. On second thought...maybe not?)

Mash:
Doc–


Fujimaru 1:
Doctor!!!


Robed Figure:
...Stay away from me.
You make my head hurt.

Mash:
...


Fujimaru 1:
(...I knew it...)


Robed Figure:
...Things simply happened to work out this way today. Just forget about what happened here.

Robed Figure:
And don't tell anyone else from Chaldea about it, either. There's someone on that boat who can't be trusted.

Mash:
...Huh? What do you mea–

Robed Figure:
I'm not going to tell you.
Figure it out for yourselves.

Robed Figure:
It's your job to figure out how to get past the three obstacles that Artemis, Odysseus, and Poseidon pose.

Robed Figure:
You need to find a way to cross
this sea on your own power.

Robed Figure:
Only once you do that, will you be granted the right to stand before this Lostbelt's king.


Fujimaru 1:
...Wait! Please don't go yet!


Robed Figure:
There is nothing left for me to see in this Lostbelt, and I have no interest in your struggles.

Robed Figure:
If you don't want to die...
No, if you truly want to live, then fight back.

Robed Figure:
Not that I expect it'll make any difference.
There's no way to save this planet.

Mash:
Ah... His heat signature is completely gone.
It looks like...he warped away on his own...

Charlotte Corday:
Who was that man?

Mash:
...

Mandricardo:
Take it easy. Right now, we need to heal up and get the hell out of here.

Mandricardo:
If Kirschtaria knew where we are,
odds are better than even that Odysseus does too.


Fujimaru 1:
Oh, right! I need to report in!


Goredolf:
What the hell just happened!?

Goredolf:
Th-there was a moment back there when all of your vital signs just vanished!

Goredolf:
I thought my heart was going to stop beating!
In fact, I'm quite sure it actually did!

Da Vinci:
Calm down, Gordy! You're not the only one who wants to get a word in right now!

Da Vinci:
Oh man, what a relief!
You're all okay, right!?


Fujimaru 1:
I think so...


Da Vinci:
Phew.

Da Vinci:
All right, you can take your time and tell us all about what happened later.

Da Vinci:
Right now, we need to get out of here, pronto.
Come on, hurry!

--ARROW--

Caenis:
Khh...
Let go of me...Castor!

Dioscuri - Castor:
You bet I will. I don't want to have to touch your filthy body any more than absolutely necessary.

Caenis:
Tch...

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Okay, I'll go ahead and kill her now.

Caenis:
!?

Caenis:
You...little...

Dioscuri - Castor:
You know, Caenis, I've always thought that you didn't belong with the gods.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Your uncouth manner of speech, your intolerable attitude... Nothing about you befits a god.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
I expect Lord Kirschtaria only overlooked your behavior out of affection.

Dioscuri - Castor:
But that's over now that Poseidon's Noble Phantasm has been demolished.

Dioscuri - Castor:
So on behalf of all the true gods,
we sentence you to death for your crimes.

Caenis:
You little...!
...I'll kill you!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Your twisted nature couldn't be more plain, Caenis.
Both your heart and your mind are warped beyond redemption.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Even becoming a god has done nothing to fix that.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
You were never anything more than a recipient of the sea-god's love. How could you possibly begin to match us?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
You never even understood Lord Kirschtaria's vision for bringing about a new Age of Gods.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
All you ever did was flail about in anger, curse the gods, and think of nothing but yourself.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Given all that, did you really think Lord Kirschtaria actually trusted you?

Dioscuri - Castor:
Exactly. Of course he didn't.
In the end, Caenis...

Dioscuri - Castor:
...you were nothing more than a woman.

Caenis:
...!

Caenis:
Gah...!!!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
We'll have to thank everyone at Chaldea for this opportunity. Though of course, I'm sure they're all dead now.

Dioscuri - Castor:
All right, let's head back.

Dioscuri - Castor:
We still need to tell Lord Kirschtaria that we disposed of the filthy bitch, just as he ordered us to.

Caenis:
Hold...it...

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Ugh, just die already.

Narration:
I'm sinking. Down, down... Down.

Caenis:
Dammit...
Dammit! This can't be happening!

Caenis:
I can't go out like this!
I still haven't finished what I wanted to do!

Caenis:
I still haven't avenged the miracle of me being summoned as a Heroic Spirit... I still haven't had a chance to slaughter those bastard gods...

Caenis:
And above all...I still need to pay him back for putting this collar on me...!

Caenis:
I've got to...pay him back!
I NEED to pay him back!!

Caenis:
Kirschtaria... Kirschtaria...

Caenis:
KIRSCHTARIAaaaAAA!!!

Goredolf:
Wh-wh-what's going on?
What in the world just happened!?

Goredolf:
Where's Kirschtaria!?
Did you actually manage to drive him off!?

Holmes:
I'm afraid the situation remains unclear.

Holmes:
Once Kirschtaria Wodime cast his second spell, we were only able to pick up audio, and only in bits and pieces at that.

Holmes:
It could be a residual effect of the sheer scale of his remarkable magecraft, where he manipulated stars to rain down meteors.

Holmes:
For the past three minutes, every one of our instruments effectively ceased to function.

Holmes:
I doubt there's anyone inside the
Border who knows what happened.

Da Vinci:
...

Goredolf:
Nnn... W-well, never mind that now.
Fujimaru! Mash Kyrielight!

Goredolf:
Both of you, return here at once! Given the horrific battle you've just been through, we need to check your vitals as soon as possible!

Mash:
R-right... Understood.
Let's go, Master.

Mash:
...I know a lot's happened, but right now, we need to take stock of our current situation...

Goredolf:
...Well done on making it back intact.

Goredolf:
The Servants are still severely injured, but I'm overjoyed to see that you two are both unhurt.

Goredolf:
Unfortunately, we still have the problem of Kirschtaria to deal with.

Goredolf:
How in the world did he cast a spell capable of nearly decimating our Servants without so much as a “how do you do?”

Goredolf:
Is that even humanly possible!?

Holmes:
No, it isn't.

Holmes:
A few rare and notable exceptions aside, there is simply no way for a mage to defeat a Servant who managed genuinely heroic accomplishments in life.

Goredolf:
Right!? That's exactly what I thought, too!

Holmes:
And even among those notable exceptions, the very best they could hope to accomplish is to strike a single blow in retaliation.

Holmes:
Decimating multiple Servants as easily as taking candy from the proverbial baby is simply not within human capacity.

Holmes:
...I took a look at Kirschtaria's file,
from before he became a Crypter.

Holmes:
While there is no question that he was a true genius, if he had such massive amounts of magical energy at his command at the time, he would have been seal designated.


Fujimaru 1:
“Seal designated”?


Goredolf:
It's what ends up happening to mages who exceed the bounds of genius and pursue singular fields of magecraft.

Goredolf:
It's essentially declaring them to be such intriguing figures that they need to either be kept in isolation or studied as a specimen.

Goredolf:
Being declared such a figure is the greatest honor the Association can confer, but it also makes that figure's life very difficult.

Goredolf:
Mages like that love delving into their preferred fields of research, but once they have a seal designation, they can no longer pursue their research any further.

Goredolf:
While this usually leads to the mage in question going into hiding and cutting ties with the Association...

Goredolf:
...every now and then, one of them is able to have their seal lifted in exchange for agreeing to contribute to the Association.

Goredolf:
Incidentally, I can assure you that
you can rest at ease, Fujimaru.

Goredolf:
Getting such a designation is something a third-rate mage like yourself will never have to worry about!

Goredolf:
And even if you did end up designated thanks to some freak accident, I can always put in a word with my old Policies chums to have it lifted!

Goredolf:
Ha ha ha!

Holmes:
Thank you for filling
[♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru in, Goredolf.

Holmes:
At any rate, there you have it.

Holmes:
If Kirschtaria had previously possessed enough magical energy to cast a spell capable of wiping out multiple Servants, we would surely have seen signs of it in records of the man.

Holmes:
And yet, there was nothing of the sort.

Holmes:
Any thoughts on the matter, Da Vinci?

Da Vinci:
O-oh, yeah, of course. That magecraft he used is the basis of what ended up becoming astrology.

Da Vinci:
It's basically the primal form of astromancy magecraft–one that temporarily assumes control over planets, the heavens, and the universe.

Goredolf:
Hm? Astromancy is part of Animusphere's field of study, but it only deals with predicting the future and observing the stars.

Goredolf:
There's nothing in it that could possibly cause the sort of cataclysm we saw here. Did you hit your head or something, Technical Advisor?

Da Vinci:
Believe me, I wish you were right.

Da Vinci:
But after seeing their–Kirschtaria's magecraft in action, its identity couldn't be any clearer.

Da Vinci:
That was ideal magecraft; it is a type that is even older than the Age of Gods, back when the planets, the heavens, and the universe were all overflowing with magical energy.

Da Vinci:
Over time, as humanity's consumption-based civilization took control and developed further, every field of magecraft began to decline in power and scale.

Da Vinci:
Astrology was no exception.

Da Vinci:
While it once involved receiving power from space, at some point, it became nothing more than a way to observe space.

Da Vinci:
However–

Holmes:
I see. So his is the original form of astrology. It draws strength from the stars in a much more literal sense.

Holmes:
The magical energy that rotates the planet.
The magical energy that fills the sky.

Holmes:
And the magical energy that rains from the heavens.

Holmes:
In ancient Greece, the world, the sky, and the heavens were all separate layers, and each layer's magical energy value differed accordingly.

Holmes:
So we can presume that the magical energy we saw Kirschtaria wielding here would be–

Da Vinci:
The heavens. That is, the laws that govern outer space. There's just no other way he'd be able to manipulate stars otherwise.

Da Vinci:
The spell he cast involves manually aligning planets to have them form an absolutely ginormous magical circuit.

Da Vinci:
It's no exaggeration to say he's able to use a bigger magical circuit than any other mage in all of human history.

Da Vinci:
When you think about it that way, it's no wonder at all that he managed to create a rain of meteors.

Da Vinci:
Honestly, it's still kind of hard to believe, but now that we've seen him in action for ourselves...

Da Vinci:
...I have to conclude that Kirschtaria Wodime has reached the zenith of what's humanly possible, to the point where he possesses even more absolute power than this Lostbelt's king.

Goredolf:
...
(Speechless)

Meunière:
Hmm. Okay, but in that case, there's one thing that adds up even less now than it did before.

Meunière:
If his genius gave him godlike power, why didn't he use it to conquer the Clock Tower ages ago?

Meunière:
Like, why would he even bother
coming to Chaldea at all?

Goredolf:
Y-yes, an excellent point. The jealousy-riddled viewpoint of a commoner such as yourself has been most informative, Moony.

Holmes:
...Indeed, that is a good point. As such, I can only surmise that Kirschtaria came to Chaldea for a single reason.

Holmes:
Everything he did, he did to create this very situation.

Holmes:
Before the Earth was wiped clean, he was certainly an exceptional person, but he was far from omnipotent.

Holmes:
So why such a stark difference between then and now? The answer is obvious. Back then, this planet was simply incapable of recreating such ancient astromancy.

Holmes:
Regardless of how refined the Animusphere's secret spells may have been, there was just no environment available to use them anywhere in the world.

Holmes:
I suspect that is precisely why Kirschtaria chose to grow the Atlantic Lostbelt.

Holmes:
The Greek view of space and the Animusphere's theories of magecraft have excellent chemistry, so to speak.

Holmes:
So the closer the Greek world gets to the Age of Gods, the closer his magecraft approaches the domain of the gods.

Holmes:
No, if anything, it becomes a Mystic surpassing them.

Goredolf:
I can't believe it... Then, does this mean wiping the Earth clean was part of Kirschtaria's plan all along!?

Holmes:
I'm afraid I can't speak to that. His power may be unrivaled here in this Atlantic Lostbelt...

Holmes:
...but he never had the kind of power capable of changing the world before, let alone bleaching it completely.

Holmes:
No, I expect that was some other being's doing. The Foreign God remains the most likely candidate there.

Holmes:
And as far as the Foreign God was concerned, Kirschtaria, with his magecraft capable of controlling celestial bodies, was the perfect fit for the job.

Holmes:
In fact, if you will indulge a moment's speculation, I would not be surprised to know that the Foreign God considered every human other than Kirschtaria unnecessary.

Holmes:
If true, that would make the other Crypters no more than a bonus; the Foreign God could have done without them.

Mash:
That's awful... I can't imagine having such little regard for other people's lives...

Holmes:
...At any rate, I see no need to come up with a strategy for the next time we face him right now. Especially since we still lack any viable means of doing so.

Holmes:
We can revisit this matter later,
once we have more information to work with.

Goredolf:
H-hm, yes. I suppose you're right.

Goredolf:
“Always put off the troublesome things till tomorrow.”
That's the Musik secret motto.


Fujimaru 1:
Why secret?


Goredolf:
Because if Toole IV were to find out about it, she'd hound me incessantly until I got those troublesome things done!

Goredolf:
But never mind that! We should get going right now, before something else comes and attacks us at sea!

Da Vinci:
The cloaking functionality's all back up and running, so now's a good time to rest up in your room if you want.


Fujimaru 1:
I think I'll do that.


Da Vinci:
Good.

Da Vinci:
You should rest up too, Mash. I'd like you to try to recuperate as much as you possibly can.

Da Vinci:
Unfortunately, being a Demi-Servant doesn't do anything to prevent mental stress.

Goredolf:
... (I swear, they look like they
might keel over at any moment.)

Goredolf:
Ahem. All right, speaking as your supreme commander,
I want to commend you both on a battle well fought.

Goredolf:
However, right now, you need to take a nice, hot shower, and get yourselves to bed. Commander's orders.

Goredolf:
Go on then! On the double!


Fujimaru 1:
...



Fujimaru 1:
That was...


Mash:
I'm sorry to bother you when you're resting, Senpai.

Fou:
Fou.


Fujimaru 1:
Don't worry about it.


Fujimaru 2:
That's okay. I wanted to talk to you, too.


Mash:
Thank you.
May I sit down?

Mash:
...

Fou:
Fou...

Mash:
Was that...really Dr. Roman...?


Fujimaru 1:
It sure looked like him.


Mash:
...Yes. And that white jacket...looked a lot like the one Dr. Roman used to wear.


Fujimaru 1:
...But, it wasn't him. At least, I don't think so.


Mash:
...You're right. I admit, my mind
went blank when I first saw him...

Mash:
...but no, I don't think it was him, either.

Mash:
Dr. Roman would never have looked
at anyone like that, no matter what.

Mash:
So...that couldn't have been him.
But...I still couldn't help but think...

Mash:
If that was really him...
If I had one more chance to see him again...

Mash:
I thought I'd finally get to tell him how grateful I am for everything he did for us!

Fou:
Fooou...


Fujimaru 1:
...Yeah.


Fujimaru 2:
...I wish I could've done that, too.


Charlotte Corday:
...

Mandricardo:
Hm?
Something wrong?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, no, nothing's wrong.

Charlotte Corday:
I was just hoping to talk to Master, but...
it looks like [♂ he's /♀️ she's] already occupied...

Mandricardo:
Gotcha...

Charlotte Corday:
Mash is a good Servant, isn't she?

Mandricardo:
You definitely don't see a lot of Shielders out there.

Charlotte Corday:
...I guess when you're a Master, there really is something special about your very first Servant, huh.

Mandricardo:
U-um... Yeah, probably...

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
Right. Of course...

Mandricardo:
Nnn...

Mandricardo:
Yeah... I'd better just leave well enough alone here.

Jason:
...Remind me, why are you on my boat again?


Fujimaru 1:
Because I wanted to be here.

Mash:
I'm sorry for the intrusion, Jason.
I hope we're not bothering you?

Jason:
Well, you are! A lot!

Mandricardo:
Yeah, yeah, sorry for the trouble and stuff.
Don't worry about him, Mash.


Fujimaru 2:
I just kind of felt like it.

Jason:
If you're going to disturb me, I'd rather it was for a better reason than “just felt like it.”


Holmes:
It's quite a relief that we're able to communicate remotely once again thanks to our restored cloaking functionality.

Holmes:
However, we must remain vigilant. We may be able to fool the gods' eyes, but not the human mind.

Holmes:
Now that Kirschtaria has retreated to Olympus,
they're bound to pull out all the stops.

Jason:
Then we'll just have to keep scurrying away like rats.

Holmes:
I can only hope we are able to come up with a plan that can confound their expectations and thwart their own designs...

Holmes:
I don't suppose you have anything to offer in that regard, Mr. Jason?

Jason:
Of course not!

Jason:
If it were easy to come up with a plan to defeat Odysseus and his fleet, somebody would've done it long ago!

Holmes:
Be that as it may, we can't run away forever.

Jason:
...Yeah, I guess you're right.

Jason:
All right, I'm just going to trust my future self to come up with something brilliant!

Section 12: Three Battles on Astraea Island

Jason:
All right, I know we've all been through a lot,
but it's time to put that behind us.

Jason:
Is everyone all healed up?

Mandricardo:
Yeah, we're all more or less back in fighting shape.

Jason:
Good. Then next stop, Thetis Island. ...Hm?
It seems there's another island on the way there.

Mandricardo:
So it does.
Should we check it out?

Jason:
Hmm... No, that's okay.
Our first priority right now is finding Achilles.

???:
Hold it right there!

Jason:
Gah! Wh-what's this all about!?

???:
You're just going to pass by my island without so much as a glance? How dare you insult a god like that!?

Jason:
Crap! You're a god!?

Jason:
...Wait. Which god are you?

Jason:
You're probably just some river-god or mountain-god or some other minor deity, right?

???:
Your tone of voice makes it clear you're not giving me the respect I deserve!

Jason:
Well if nothing else, I'm pretty sure you're not one of the Twelve Olympians.

???:
True, I am not.

???:
But I do have enough power to
stop your ship in its tracks.

Jason:
What's your name?

???:
I will reveal that later, when we come face-to-face.
For now, I merely bid you welcome to...

???:
Astraea Island.

Jason:
...

Goredolf:
...

Jason:
So it's Astraea then...

Bartholomew:
Well, Fearless Leader?
What would you have us do?

Jason:
Looks like we have no choice but to make land on this island after all.

Jason:
Much as I'd really, really rather not.

Mandricardo:
Uh... What is that?


Fujimaru 1:
It's very big, that's for sure...


Jason:
Maybe Hephaestus made it?
...No, that can't be right.

Jason:
Hephaestus would've sculpted the twelve gods,
and they'd all be uniform in size.

Jason:
But it can't be a statue of Astraea...can it?

Jason:
What, was she possessed by Narcissus or something?
...Hmm...


Fujimaru 1:
You're totally thinking about defacing it, aren't you?


Jason:
Hahahahaha. Come now, Master, watch what you say.

Jason:
Why would I ever think about
doing something so...hilarious?

Mash:
Well, you clearly are, so you tell us...

Jason:
A little mustache here...
A little stubble there... And...

Jason:
Bahahaha, there!
Not exactly original, but...a classic beard!


Fujimaru 1:
(Stifle a laugh)


Charlotte Corday:
I think this might get you in trouble...

Jason:
Hahaha, what the goddess doesn't
know won't hurt her, Corday.

D:???:
I sense wrongdoing afoot!


Fujimaru 1:
How did she find out!?


Jason:
It wasn't me! You've got it all wrong!
[♂ He /♀️ She] did it!


Fujimaru 1:
Hold the hell up!!!


Mochizuki Chiyome:
I have never before seen a Servant who tried to pin their own crime on their Master...

Holmes:
I presume you are Astraea,
the goddess of scales and justice?

Holmes:
Or rather, the Pseudo-Servant serving as her vessel, to be precise?

Astraea:
Indeed I am.

Astraea:
But I'm afraid there is something I must do now before I can introduce myself properly.

Astraea:
Jason, heroic captain of the Argonauts:
take up your weapon.

Jason:
Wait. Huh?
Are we really doing this?

Astraea:
I will weigh your sins personally,
with my scales of justice.

Astraea:
And be warned: the sin of profaning a god is the heaviest sin of all!

Mandricardo:
I can't believe we're about to fight over this, but it looks like she means business!

Jason:
I'm sorry, okay!
I even kind of mean it!

Jason:
Well, Master, it looks like I've got no choice but to fight! Ready for orders when you are!

Astraea:
Very well then. As a sign of respect for your determination...

Astraea:
...I am willing to forgive your sins if you prove yourselves capable of winning by a fall even just once.

Astraea:
Now, have at you!!!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
(Huff, huff, huff...)

Astraea:
That's enough.
Not too shabby, all things considered.

Jason:
Dammit, how the hell are you so strong?

Astraea:
I'm a goddess.

Jason:
We actually already knew that! Thanks though!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
It is good to see you again, Lady Astraea.
It is I, Mochizuki Chiyome.

Astraea:
Hm?

Astraea:
Oh, right, the one from the Far East.
I didn't know you were still alive.

Astraea:
So, why do you travel between the islands?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Well, uh...


Fujimaru 1:
We're trying to get past Atlantis's three layers of defense.


Astraea:
...

Astraea:
That may be the most insolent
answer you could have given.

Astraea:
Part of me would like nothing more than to weigh you on my scales once again, but I'll forgo that for now.

Astraea:
Come with me.

--ARROW--

Jason:
I see you have an entire mountain's worth of statues here as well.

Jason:
Talk about creep–I mean,
um, a distinctive sense of style.


Fujimaru 1:
For some reason, I feel like I need to work out...

Mandricardo:
Hey, is Master okay?
We sure [♂ he's /♀️ she's] not cursed?

Astraea:
It's no curse, I assure you.

Astraea:
These statues have simply been blessed to inspire anyone who looks upon them to train their bodies to physical perfection.

Jason:
So they ARE cursed!


Fujimaru 2:
There's something really comforting about this place...

Jason:
What, you're into bodybuilders?

Jason:
Well, you can't get bigger or better than Heracles.
The man has a damn near perfect physique.

Astraea:
True, Heracles's muscles did have quite a lot going for them...but the world is a big place.

Astraea:
I'm sure there must be many other beautiful bodies out there just waiting to be gazed upon.


Mash:
Is there a reason you have all these statues here, Astraea? They're all very elaborately made.

Mash:
Then again, maybe it's more accurate to say I can really feel the dedication that went into them. Did you make them yourself?

Astraea:
Dedication, huh? ...I-I see.
So THAT is how they appear to you then.

Jason:
Hmm? I wouldn't say that. They're made exceptionally
well, sure, but that doesn't mean much when their
choice of model's so ba–Ow! What the...!?

Astraea:
I beg your pardon.
My scale just slipped out of my hand.

Astraea:
I would advise you to watch your words as though your life depended on your discretion, or the next thing to slip may just be my bare knuckles.

Astraea:
As for the statues...

Astraea:
...they were sculpted by a Servant who stayed at this temple for a while.

Astraea:
“Been dealt a bad hand, being a goddess of the scales, seein' as how you can't pick a side.”

Astraea:
“I mean, you can't even buddy up with anyone like that, eh? Oh, guess that's why this place's so bleak, huh.”

Astraea:
“Bit of a waste for such a beautiful goddess.
...All right, made up my mind.”

Astraea:
“I'm gonna make a statue of you myself. Consider it payment for letting me stay here for the night.”

Astraea:
“What's that? You like it?
You wanna see even more of the like?”

Astraea:
“If that's what'll cheer you up, then that's what you'll get. I'm still a businessman at heart, after all. Whatever the customer orders, that's what I deliver.”

Astraea:
“That said, the whole reason I'm here is 'cause I've got a job to do.”

Astraea:
“So I hope you don't mind if I only work on these when I've got a spare moment.”

Astraea:
...And that was that. Fortunately, I had plenty of stone on hand to work with, so I had him make use of every gram.

Mash:
I see. I'm very much a beginner when it comes to sculpting, but I'm still impressed by this sculptor's dedication.

Mash:
Whoever made these statues must have observed you very closely to capture your likeness so well.

Orion:
I'll say. You can almost sense the muscles rippling under the stone skin. This Servant clearly knows their anatomy.

Da Vinci:
Hmm... I don't suppose Michelangelo
was summoned here, was he?

Astraea:
I'm afraid not.

Astraea:
I requested that this Servant make these statues less because of my divine traits and more because the girl whose body I'm possessing likes this sort of thing.

Astraea:
That said, as the god of justice, I certainly don't have anything against muscular physiques.

Astraea:
If I had to choose between punches, takedowns, and submission holds, I would go with takedowns first, submission holds second, and punches third. Oh yes.

Jason:
(Geez, she's really letting her vessel's influence come through here. And in completely frivolous ways at that.)

Jason:
(On the other hand, she actually hasn't changed a bit when it comes to who she is on a fundamental level. Dammit.)

Astraea:
...Now then.

Astraea:
You say you wish to destroy Lady Artemis,
the goddess of the moon...

Astraea:
Defeat Odysseus's army, overcome Poseidon,
reach Olympus...

Astraea:
And cut down the Tree of Emptiness, yes?


Fujimaru 1:
Will you help us?


Astraea:
That is the most naive, ridiculous idea I've ever heard. So much so, it actually makes me sick.

Astraea:
Let me be perfectly clear:
no human could ever accomplish such a feat.

Astraea:
And the prospect of mere heroes from Proper Human History emerging victorious against this Lostbelt is so preposterous it beggars belief.

Astraea:
I am the goddess of the scales.

Astraea:
Regardless of how I pass judgment, they will always come down firmly on the Lostbelt's side.

Jason:
Yeah, I figured you'd say that.

Astraea:
The gods who once took you under their protection were all deprived of their power and destroyed. Now, only scant trances of them are left.

Astraea:
Yes, that's right. Your quest has made you enemies of the gods themselves.

Astraea:
I remain on this island in my capacity as the goddess of justice in order to maintain my impartiality.

Astraea:
You will receive no aid whatsoever from me.

Charlotte Corday:
Please! We need your help! Can't you just make a little exception or something!?

Astraea:
Absolutely not. To make an exception, regardless of size, would go against everything I stand for.

Astraea:
Is that clear?


Fujimaru 1:
I understand. I'm just glad we won't have to fight you.


Astraea:
...Hmm.

Astraea:
Very well then,
I will subject you to a number of trials.

Astraea:
If you should pass these trials,
I will provide you with information.


Fujimaru 1:
Trials, huh...


Astraea:
If you have no desire to take them,
then I suggest you leave this island at once.

Astraea:
In fact, that would be the smart choice,
in my estimation.

Astraea:
You only have one life to live, after all, so you may as well spend it in the cool shade, far away from danger.

Jason:
Hmm. There's something to be said for that option...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
No. No there is not.


Fujimaru 1:
So what sort of trials are we talking about?


Astraea:
Oh, they're very simple.
All you need to do is fight and win.

Astraea:
They will ask nothing more of you,
and they will demand nothing less.

Astraea:
With every trial you pass,
I will share a new piece of information.

Astraea:
And to make things more interesting, I think I will limit the number of Servants who can challenge a given trial as well. Your Master, of course, will be free to participate in all of them.

Jason:
Ugh, what a pain...

Orion:
Works for me.
Okay then, let's start by pairing up!

Mandricardo:
Crap. Please tell me he didn't just say “pairing up.”

Orion:
Why don't we start with me?
As for my teammate–


Fujimaru 1:
Would you mind going with him, Charlotte?


Charlotte Corday:
Huh? Me? Are you sure?

Jason:
Hmm... Yeah, that's probably the best call.

Jason:
Orion is easily the strongest of us, so pairing him up with one of the weaker Servants should help balance things out.

Charlotte Corday:
I see. That does make sense.
Okay, shall we, Orion?

Orion:
Let's do it.

Orion:
All right, I don't know who we've gotta fight, but whoever it is, we're gonna wipe the floor with them!

Astraea:
Very well.
Then let's have you start with a Spriggan.

Charlotte Corday:
...Well, so much for any chance I had of being useful.
Good luck!

Orion:
Hoo boy.
Welp, guess I'll just have to do the best I can!

--BATTLE--

Astraea:
...Very well.

Astraea:
Do you have any questions for me, or shall I simply tell you something of my own choosing?

Orion:
All right, if you're taking questions,
I got one for you.

Orion:
Hephaestus told us that the only way to harm Artemis was with a Divine Construct.

Orion:
Does that hold true even if I use Theos Klironomia to power myself up?

Astraea:
Yes, it does.

Astraea:
However, a god of Hephaestus's skill should have little trouble forging a Divine Construct given the right materials.

Astraea:
Not to mention that...

Astraea:
...No, it would be tactless of me to say more.

Astraea:
Orion, you are a hunter at heart. If you wish to shoot down a star, you will need to keep it in your sights with an arrow nocked to your bow.

Orion:
...Hmm.

Astraea:
Now, who's next?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Very well then, Lady Mash and I will take the next fight.

Mash:
Right!
Mash Kyrielight, ready for battle!

Mandricardo:
Ah...

Mandricardo:
(Crap. Someone else took Mash before I could invite her to team up! And she's the easiest one to talk to by far!)

Astraea:
Very good.
Then here is your trial.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I see. So instead of one Spriggan, we will be fighting a number of Lamia that have been enhanced with nanomachines.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
However... Hehe, dealing with serpents happens to be something of a specialty of mine.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
So I will take this opportunity to demonstrate to Master just how devastatingly deadly a Kouga Jounin can truly be!

--BATTLE--

Astraea:
Enough.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Th-that turned out to be much
more challenging than I expected.

Astraea:
Those Lamia you just fought were...let's say,
“premium products” mass-produced by the Echidna.

Astraea:
The Echidna, incidentally, is essentially a living factory used to produce all manner of monsters.

Astraea:
If you take them as lightly as you do their more ordinary ilk, well, you are bound to suffer for it.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
The Echidna... I see. Then it is a member of the serpent family, as I suspected.

Astraea:
At any rate, you have now successfully cleared the second trial. Any questions?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Oh, right. Now what would be a good question...?
Do you have anything you wish to ask, Captain?

Jason:
Let me think...

Jason:
If you know of any Proper Human History Servants who would be willing to join us, then tell us who they are.

Jason:
And while you're at it, I also demand you tell us why you're refusing to join us.

Astraea:
I thought I made it clear you only get one question...
But, very well.

Astraea:
As far as I know, Achilles will assuredly be willing to join you, as long as he's still alive.

Astraea:
Aside from that, I believe there is also an Archer.

Astraea:
...And that's all I have to say about that.

Jason:
...

Goredolf:
Khh. Damn, so we were barking up the wrong tree.
I guess we can call that a bust.

Goredolf:
Make sure you ask a different question next time.

Jason:
(...You're wrong. If anything, I think that was some of the most terrifying information she could have told us.)

Jason:
(All right, Jason, keep it together...)
What about my other question?

Astraea:
...True, I am a Servant from Proper Human History. At the same time, I am also the Greek goddess of the scales.

Astraea:
And above all, the Twelve Olympians of this Lostbelt and I have already come to an arrangement.

Astraea:
In exchange for not becoming involved in this dispute, I have foregone the choice to ascend to godhood.


Fujimaru 1:
Ascend to...godhood?


Astraea:
Indeed.

Astraea:
In essence, if I had joined Olympus, I could have been incarnated as one of this Lostbelt's god pillars.

Astraea:
But I turned their offer down, as I believe that doing so would inevitably tilt my scales too much to one side.

Astraea:
So whether this Lostbelt is destroyed or not,
I will disappear when that time comes.

Jason:
Then...putting you aside, if the only other Servants willing to join us are Achilles and an Archer...

Jason:
...then they're the last two friendly Servants in all of Atlantis, aren't they?

Mash:
...!

Mandricardo:
Ah, crap. I hadn't thought about it like that...

Mandricardo:
(That'd mean that aside from Achilles and this Archer...)

Mandricardo:
(...all the other Servants who were in this Lostbelt have been wiped out!)

Mandricardo:
(Wait, that can't be right. I'm sure there were a number
of Servants besides me and Chiyome who stayed behind.)

Mandricardo:
(So then...why did she only name two?)

Astraea:
...You'll need to clear the next trial before I can address that question.

Jason:
Sadly for you, I'm afraid that response alone already qualifies as an answer.

Astraea:
You're an irritating one, aren't you? Very well then, I'll take that as you volunteering to be the next challenger.

Jason:
Hmm... Fair enough.
Mandricardo!

Mandricardo:
...What is it?

Jason:
I don't want to lift so much as a finger or speak so much as a word of command unless I absolutely have to, so you're going to do all the fighting.

Mandricardo:
Wat.

Jason:
Heh. I can see you're unhappy about it,
but this is just the way of the world.

Jason:
I'm going to run you ragged,
and you're going to take it!

Jason:
As captain, my word is law,
and I won't tolerate any back talk!

Mandricardo:
(Now that's a plan I can get behind!)

Jason:
Huh? Why are you so happy about that?

Mandricardo:
Me? I'm not happy. Not at all. Nope.

Mandricardo:
All right, let's do this!

Astraea:
...Very well then. Let's see what you've got!

--BATTLE--

Mandricardo:
(Gasp, gasp, gasp, gasp)...
I-I seriously thought I was done for...

Jason:
M-me too...
Even though I said I wasn't going to fight...

Astraea:
Very good. That done, I shall consider your earlier question answered.

Jason:
Whoa, whoa, back up.
You don't get to make that call on your own.

Astraea:
Oh? But unless I'm mistaken, you don't have any other questions, do you?

Nemo:
I have one.

Nemo:
We were told that there were other Theos Klironomia out there named after the Twelve Olympians.

Nemo:
Do you know where we can find them?

Astraea:
The Zeus Klironomia and Poseidon Klironomia are only found on Olympus.

Nemo:
What about here in Atlantis?

Astraea:
...There should still be Athena Klironomia somewhere here in Atlantis.

Astraea:
Originally, the Theos Klironomia were a fluid metal designed to reinforce and augment the gods' bodies.

Astraea:
So the Twelve Olympians went on to refine and enhance their individual Theos Klironomia for their own purposes.

Astraea:
Like Ares, Athena's specialty was battle.

Astraea:
If you are able to find her nanomachines, it's possible they may open new doors for you.

Astraea:
But, of course, there is more to it than that.

Astraea:
A mere human Spirit Origin cannot possibly hope to withstand the Athena Klironomia.

Astraea:
If any Servant who is neither a Divine Spirit nor something close to one were to try and use these nanomachines...

Astraea:
...they would either very literally fall apart or rupture on the spot.

Astraea:
As Icarus so demonstrated, humans who stray too close to the gods are punished. This is a fundamental law of this world.

Goredolf:
So we can't use these Athena Klironomia even if we manage to get our hands on them... Hm? Hang on.

Goredolf:
You said, “something close to a Divine Spirit,” no? Then what about a Servant who possesses some form of Divinity?

Astraea:
I am afraid I must refrain from commenting further. Doing so could be construed as a sign of disrespect to the gods.

Holmes:
Regardless, it seems clear that we must secure these nanomachines for ourselves.

Holmes:
If Odysseus's side were to get their hands on them, they could end up becoming a threat... Then again, perhaps not.

Goredolf:
?

Holmes:
At any rate, we will need to weigh the decision of whether or not to use them very carefully.

Jason:
...Okay.
I think that's about everything we wanted to ask.

Holmes:
Hmm.

Holmes:
Do you have anything you wish to
ask Ms. Astraea, [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru?


Fujimaru 1:
...


Astraea:
...they were sculpted by a Servant who stayed at this temple for a while.


Fujimaru 1:
Yes, I do. Who was the Servant that made these statues?


Fujimaru 2:
Yeah. What's the name of the Servant who was staying here?


Astraea:
...Ah. Your curiosity is understandable.

Astraea:
There were two Servants who were staying on this island at one point. They were from Olympus and claimed to be Disciples of the Foreign–

Astraea:
...No, that's not quite right. They are the ones who massacred the Servants from Proper Human History under the guise of protecting the Tree of Emptiness.

Astraea:
They were both Alter Egos.

Holmes:
Alter Egos, you say?

Holmes:
Then, that would be some combination of Rasputin, Limbo, and Koyanskaya?

Holmes:
Although... While Rasputin is plausible, we encountered Limbo and Koyanskaya in India quite recently.

Holmes:
So I don't see how they could have been staying here at the same time... Then again, if they were using shikigami...

Astraea:
Hm? Whatever are you talking about?

Astraea:
Yes, one of them was named Rasputin. He was a horrid priest who fought with an...unsavory form of martial art.

Astraea:
But the other one did not answer to any of the names you mentioned.

Astraea:
His body was just as finely honed as Rasputin's, but he had both a cold sharpness and a fiery intensity about him.

Astraea:
His True Name was Senji Muramasa. He was a very handsome man who had mastered a hundred swords and a thousand sword techniques.

A:All:
!!!


Fujimaru 1:
Senji Muramasa!?


Holmes:
Not to mention Rasputin!

Astraea:
Well, strictly speaking, he claimed to be a
Pseudo-Servant with Rasputin's Spirit Origin...

Astraea:
...but as far as I could tell, he never behaved as I would expect Rasputin to. Not once.

Astraea:
Though he did claim to be a man of the cloth like Rasputin was...

Goredolf:
Rasputin!

Goredolf:
As in the monster in priest's clothing who chased us down at ninety kilometers an hour before firing a rocket launcher at us!?

Holmes:
(There's a name I wasn't expecting to hear. Then this would mean Senji Muramasa was one of the causes...)

Holmes:
(There's something else this piece of information has made clear. Though I'll have to keep it to myself for now...)

Holmes:
Astraea, would you kindly tell us more about them?

Holmes:
As things currently stand, we have essentially no knowledge about them whatsoever.

Astraea:
...Very well, I suppose I can do that.

Section 13: Recollection: Disciples of the Foreign Star

Astraea:
...Your work is truly excellent.

Senji Muramasa:
What, this? I'm just making them to keep occupied. 'Sides, I figure one statue a day oughta be good for a night's worth of food and shelter.

Astraea:
Well, as far as I'm concerned, you can never have too many statues extolling your beauty and virtue.

Astraea:
...That said, there is one thing
I can't help but find curious.

Senji Muramasa:
Hm?

Astraea:
Aren't you a Servant from Proper Human History as well?

Senji Muramasa:
You bet. But right now, I'm a
full-blown enemy of humanity.

Senji Muramasa:
There's a lot of nice things 'bout being a Servant, but having no say in who your Master is ain't one of them.

Senji Muramasa:
I'm here 'cause the Foreign God summoned me. I don't know what they look like, or what they're really after...

Senji Muramasa:
...but if they want me to do a job, I'll do it.
No matter how cruel or heartless it might be.

Senji Muramasa:
'Sides, I've never been one
to please anybody except myself.

Senji Muramasa:
I never cared about what was right or what was just from the first time I opened my eyes to the last time I closed 'em.

Astraea:
...I see. So you only cared about pleasing yourself. And were you able to do that even once while you were still alive?

Senji Muramasa:
...Ha. You know how to hit where it hurts, don'tcha? Suppose that figures for the goddess of justice.

Senji Muramasa:
You're right. Neither me, nor this vessel I'm inhabiting now, have ever once been satisfied with anything we've done.

Senji Muramasa:
Maybe that's why I turned out to be a
Pseudo-Servant; we're the same deep down.

Senji Muramasa:
But don't get me wrong. That doesn't mean I'm bored.

Senji Muramasa:
There's a guy up in Olympus who's pretty all right. Be even better if he wasn't so damn big he couldn't move.

Priest:
The enemy is here, Senji Muramasa. I expect this will be the last of them. Let's hurry and get this over with so we can go back to Olympus.

Senji Muramasa:
You got it. I swear, these guys never learn.

Senji Muramasa:
All right then...looks like it'll just be the two of us fighting together again, huh.

Priest:
Of course. We have no need for reinforcements.
Not when we each know the other's moves so well.

Priest:
Given that we can tell exactly what the other wants or lacks in battle just by standing back-to-back...

Priest:
...having Limbo come in to ostensibly help would be a net negative.

Senji Muramasa:
Yeah, yeah. You still look weirdly happy about it.
Giving me the creeps.

Priest:
Ah, my apologies.

Priest:
While I of course have no memory of you, Senji Muramasa, nor of that man you've possessed who presumably has some connection to a Holy Grail War...

Priest:
...I still find my vessel's feelings towards you both inscrutable and addictive. Simultaneously similar and dissimilar to anger and joy.

Senji Muramasa:
So what, you think we once fought each other to the death in some Holy Grail War?

Priest:
I expect so, yes.

Senji Muramasa:
...
...Yeah, you might be right about that.

Senji Muramasa:
I'm not aware of doing it, but it seems whenever we exchange glances, I always end up with a wicked grin on my face.

Senji Muramasa:
I'm not usually one for having someone else watch my back, but I tend to go big and wild whenever I'm swinging a sword.

Senji Muramasa:
So it ain't bad knowing you're behind me taking care of
the riffraff. Means I can really cut loose.

Priest:
...Wonderful. That's most encouraging to hear.
Very well then, let's go with that.

Astraea:
There must have been at least twenty Servants from Proper Human History summoned here, and those are just the ones I counted.

Astraea:
And yet, those two Alter Egos working together managed to defeat all of them.

Astraea:
Yet another reason I cannot see your chances of victory as anything other than vanishingly small.

All:
...

Jason:
So those two Servants have gone back to Olympus by now?

Astraea:
That's right.

Astraea:
There was no longer any need for them to be here,
now that Odysseus has arrived.

Jason:
What about Odysseus?
Do you have any information on him?

Jason:
Hephaestus refused to tell us anything about him.
Said he was scared of being found out.

Astraea:
...All right, very well.
I suppose I can tell you as a little bonus.

Astraea:
I've only met Odysseus once, when he paid my island a visit...

Astraea:
...and I remember that he knew far, far more about Proper Human History than I expected.

Astraea:
His wasn't the sort of knowledge one acquires through reading, or listening, or even personal experience.

Astraea:
It was very much as if he'd...drained it directly out of someone, without leaving so much as a drop.

Jason:
...I see.

Holmes:
...Hmm.

Astraea:
Well, it looks like this is goodbye.
Farewell, everyone.

Goredolf:
Wait! Stop! Just a moment!

Astraea:
What is it now?

Astraea:
I've already answered every question I'm obligated to.
Any more than this will throw off my scales' balance.

Goredolf:
P-please! Just one last thing!
It's important!

Goredolf:
...Can we win this?

Jason:
Really? You're just straight up asking that?

Astraea:
...

Astraea:
Your odds are slim for sure.

Astraea:
Even if you do manage to overcome Atlantis,
Olympus still awaits.

Astraea:
And it's not a matter of who has the superior numbers.

Astraea:
The fact is, between ordinary humans like yourselves, and gods whose life spans range over ten thousand years...

Astraea:
...you simply reside on completely different conceptual planes of existence.

Goredolf:
...

Astraea:
But of course, that's not the question you should be asking.

Goredolf:
Huh?

Astraea:
You all came here in the first place because you'd made a decision to destroy this world.

Astraea:
And why wouldn't you?
You're literally fighting for your right to exist.

Astraea:
To put it another way, if you don't fight, you die. I'd say that makes winning or losing a secondary concern at best.

Astraea:
After all, if you didn't want to fight,
and you didn't want to lose...

Astraea:
...you were better off deciding not to fight in the first place.

Astraea:
But you made your decision and chose to fight.
So now, that's all that's left to do.

Astraea:
You may not be fighting for a just cause,
but you still mean to fight, don't you?

Astraea:
Then shape up already!

Goredolf:
Eee! Y-you're right! I'm sorry!

Holmes:
Hahaha, I can't argue with that.

Holmes:
Slim though our chances of victory may be,
that's no excuse to throw in the towel.

Astraea:
At the risk of repeating myself,
let me be perfectly clear:

Astraea:
Every living god in this world is your enemy.

Astraea:
I would strongly advise you to keep that in mind.


Fujimaru 1:
Thank you so much for helping us.


Astraea:
There's no need to thank me. From this point forth,
you and I may as well be perfect strangers.

Astraea:
Goodbye.

Jason:
All right, next stop, Thetis Island.
For real this time.

Jason:
Cast off!

--ARROW--

???:
(Huff, huff, huff...)

???:
Hey, you think you're gonna be okay, Paris?

Paris:
No, I don't! Waaah! I only just woke up!
Why is this happening!?

B:???:
I've synced up with this Lostbelt, and I just finished downloading information about it!

B:???:
Those guys are Atlantis border guards, and they're not looking to take you alive, so be careful!

Paris:
How exactly am I supposed to
be careful here, Lord Apollo!?

Apollo:
Good question. Beats me!

Apollo:
Oh, but I don't recommend surrendering. They'll just cut off your head as soon as they get close enough.

Paris:
Couldn't you have said that sooner, you big jerk!?
That means I've got no choice but to fight back!

Paris:
All right, take this!

Atlantis Border Guard:
...

Apollo:
Whoops. Looks like your bow's just
not strong enough to hurt them!

Apollo:
They're powered up with god fluids (aka Theos Klironomia), so fighting back might not get you too far.

Paris:
Gross! There's got to be a better way to say that!

Apollo:
Relax. It's just some fluid metal.
Nanomachines, nothing more. No need to be concerned.

Paris:
How is any of that supposed to put me at ease!?

Paris:
Now look! They went and cornered us while you were blabbing on about stupid nonsense!

Apollo:
Well that's not good.

Paris:
“Not good”!? This is terrible!

Paris:
Waaah! Save me, Brotheeer!

Paris:
...
...H-huh?

E:???:
Damn. Even after becoming a Servant
you're still just a kid.

Paris:
It...it can't be...

E:???:
What's with the look?
I'm here to rescue you, you know.

E:???:
Go on, find somewhere to hide.
I'll take care of these guys.

Paris:
You...you're freaking Achilles!

Achilles:
Oh? You know who I am?

Paris:
As if I could ever forget!
I'm... I'm–

Achilles:
Ah well, once you've been a Heroic Spirit as long as I have, you get used to some Servants just knowing your name!

Achilles:
Anyway, sorry to do this, but I'm gonna have to literally kick you out of here for a bit!

Paris:
My name's Par–aah!?

Apollo:
Waaah!

Achilles:
All right.

Achilles:
Now that the interloper's out of the way, I can start taking my anger out on you guys in earnest.

Achilles:
...

Achilles:
Sorry, but there's no way any of
you are walking away from this.

Achilles:
I'm way too pissed off to go easy on you!

--BATTLE--

Achilles:
Ha!

Achilles:
(Sigh)... Damn, that didn't help me feel better at all.

Paris:
(Huff, huff, gasp, gasp...)

Achilles:
Whoa, whoa, what do you think you're doing back here after I just saved you?

Achilles:
I mean, I do feel bad about kicking you out of there, even if it was an emergency, but–

Paris:
It's not that! It's not that at all!

Paris:
I didn't want you to rescue me!
Not you, of all people!

Achilles:
Huh?

Achilles:
...Wait. No way.
Don't tell me you're–

Paris:
That's right! It's me! Paris!

Achilles:
So it IS you! But what the hell!?
You don't look anything like I remember!

Paris:
Believe me, I've been wondering about that myself! I have no idea why I look how I did in my shepherd days!

Paris:
What's going on here, Lord Apollo!?
Why did I materialize like this!?

Apollo:
Because this point in your life was your prime,
of course. Prime cuteness, that is.

Paris:
Was that last part really necessary!?

Achilles:
Hey. Is that Apollo?
As in one of the Twelve Olympians?

Paris:
W-well, yes, but–

Achilles:
Does this mean you're on Olympus's side,
you little bastard?

Paris:
Wha...? No!

Achilles:
Sorry, but you'll have to forgive me if I can't just take your word for it!

Paris:
Well, what about you!?
You're the son of Thetis, and she's a god!

Paris:
Lord Apollo, please, lend me your aid once more.

Paris:
I need your help to do battle with Achilles!

Apollo:
...Hmm. Well, I guess every human is bound to make foolish mistakes now and then.

Apollo:
All right. Whether this is all a big misunderstanding or not, I'll give you a hand.

Apollo:
Fortunately for you, Achilles is weakened right now.

Apollo:
And since you're powered up with Theos Klironomia, you've got a real chance of beating him!

Paris:
Got it!

Achilles:
Tch. So you are on Olympus's side. I knew it.

Achilles:
All right then, fine with me. I already swore an oath to fight to my death anyway!

Paris:
Here I come!

Achilles:
Bring it!

--ARROW--

Jason:
Well, we're here...

Jason:
Ugh, why did it have to be Achilles, dammit?

Jason:
Not that I met him when I was alive or anything. I can just tell from his legends that I'm gonna hate the guy.

Jason:
He's the sort who'll be all, “Hey, Jason! Mind spotting
me for a sandwich, bro?” and then never pay me back...


Fujimaru 1:
He's really not like that...

Jason:
How would you know!?

Jason:
At this point, all we can say about him for certain is that he spent his whole life defying his superiors!

Jason:
And in this case, that means me!
And also you!


Fujimaru 2:
You think so?

Mandricardo:
...Well, honestly, that's pretty much the impression I've got of him, too.

Mandricardo:
I've never seen him before, but he sounds like the bold and unabashed type with a lot of stubble and a booming laugh.

Mandricardo:
Though again, I've never seen him before!


Mash:
Th-that's not what I remember him being like...

Holmes:
Pardon me, but our sensors just detected what appear to be small-scale explosions.

Mandricardo:
...Looks like it. Sounds like people fighting.

Mandricardo:
And I'm pretty sure I hear swords clanging.

Holmes:
If someone is fighting on this island, there is an excellent chance that someone is Achilles.


Fujimaru 1:
Come on, let's go!


Mash:
Understood!

Jason:
Dammit, I really don't like this...
But I guess we've got no choice!

Achilles:
...!

Achilles:
(This kid's a lot stronger than he looks!)

Paris:
You're the one person I refuse to lose to!

Achilles:
Whoa!

Achilles:
Dammit, I always hated this guy's skill with a bow,
even when I was still alive!

Paris:
You're going to pay for killing my brother!

Apollo:
Yeah, that's it!
Kick his ass!

Apollo:
He's gotta be on Olympus's side, anyway!

Achilles:
Me, on Olympus's side!? Don't even joke about that! Then again, maybe that's too much to ask, seeing how you look like a bad joke yourself!

Apollo:
How dare you!? I'm no joke! I'm Apollo!

Achilles:
Yeah, you're right, this isn't a joke. Having a shitty god like you as some kind of freakish mascot is a goddamn nightmare!

Paris:
Don't be rude! I know it doesn't look great, but this is actually a real power move for a god!

Achilles:
That just makes it worse!

Paris:
...Okay, you're not wrong about that!

Apollo:
Come on, Paris!
You could at least try to stand up for me!

Paris:
I've just accepted this as being what gods are like for a long time now!

Paris:
Besides, it's cute in its own way!

Achilles:
Ugh, this is all throwing me off my game!
All right, I didn't want to have to use this...

Achilles:
But now that I'm sensing more people headed this way, I'm gonna have to hurry up and finish you guys off!

Apollo:
Watch out, Paris!

Paris:
Got it!

Paris:
I'm picking up magical energy.
He's going to use his Noble Phantasm!

Achilles:
Xanthos! Balios! Pedasos!
Come to me!

Apollo:
A chariot...
So he's a Rider!

Achilles:
I've got you now!

Achilles:
Troias Tragō–


Fujimaru 1:
Stop!!!


Fujimaru 2:
That's enough!!!


Both:
!?

Achilles:
Dammit, I missed!

Paris:
I managed to dodge it!

Achilles:
Who're you!?


Fujimaru 1:
I'm from Chaldea!

Achilles:
Chaldea...?

Mash:
Yes! The Chaldea Security Organization!
It's our job to help preserve humanity!


Fujimaru 2:
I'm a Master from Proper Human History!

Paris:
Proper Human History!?

Apollo:
Guess that means we're on the same side then.


Achilles:
So...you're not enemies?

Mash:
Th-that's right.
At least, I hope not...

Jason:
What about you?

Jason:
Seeing how you were apparently just fighting to the death, is one of you a Lostbelt Servant?

Jason:
Actually, hold on. Which one of you is Achilles?

Achilles:
I am.

Jason:
Okay, then who're you?

Paris:
O-oh, right!

Paris:
While it may be presumptuous of me to say this...
I'm one of the heroes of Troy from Proper Human History!

Paris:
My True Name is Paris, and I'm an Archer!

Achilles:
Huh? You mean you're a Proper Human History hero?

Paris:
That's what I've been saying all along!
...Hm? Wait, DID I say that?

Achilles:
No! No, you didn't!
Ugh, dammit! All that fighting for nothing!

Achilles:
...

Achilles:
Tch, now my wound's acting up...


Fujimaru 1:
Are you okay!?


Achilles:
Oh, uh, thanks. But don't worry about healing me.
This wound can't be cured.

Jason:
Seriously? What, did a harpy cut you or something?

Achilles:
I wish. No...I got shot through my heel.

Paris:
...!

Mash:
That's awful...

Holmes:
Assuming that's the same heel as your fatal weak point in your otherwise immortal body...

Holmes:
...are you sure you'll be all
right now that it's been shot?

Achilles:
Yeah, I'm okay for now.

Achilles:
But I'm about seventy percent slower than usual, and I'll die if something shatters my Spirit Core in this condition.

Achilles:
Usually, the only things that can hurt me are a god, someone descended from a god, or a Divine Construct.

Apollo:
Oh yes, I remember.
It made it really hard to kill you.


Fujimaru 1:
...Is that sheep talking?


Fou:
Fou, fou!

Jason:
I've got a nasty feeling about this,
so let's just clear things up now.

Jason:
You there, sheep.
Who the hell are you?

Apollo:
Hey there! My name's Apollo!

Apollo:
I'm Artemis's brother,
and one of the Twelve Olympians.

Jason:
...
...Then you ARE our enemy!

Paris:
Wait! Please! Th-this Lord Apollo isn't like the other gods, I promise!

Mash:
You know, I think Hephaestus may have said something about this. Let's see...

Mash:
I think he said the gods who stood with us were Hephaestus, Athena, Hestia, Ares, Hades, and–


Fujimaru 1:
Apollo.


Mash:
Right. Apollo, the sun god. They're all supposed to have been on humanity's side.

Apollo:
Not to mention that, strictly speaking, I'm not one of this Lostbelt's Twelve Olympians either.

Mandricardo:
So...you're the Apollo from Proper Human History then?

Apollo:
That's a big “affirmative.” What's more, I just downloaded the data from this Lostbelt.

Apollo:
So now, I'm a god who stands with Proper Human History AND who has full access to this Lostbelt's information.

Apollo:
So if there's anything you want to know about this Lostbelt's deities, I'm your sheep. Er, god.

Apollo:
Whatever your question might be, I'll barf up the answer quick as you please.


Fujimaru 1:
Um, are you sure you don't mean “cough up”?


Apollo:
Nope, barf. You know how sheep have four stomachs?
Well, one of mine is just for data.

Paris:
Please don't vomit when you're sitting atop my head...

Apollo:
Relax, I'm just kidding.

Jason:
Tch. That's a Proper Human History god all right.

Jason:
There's no way a god from here would still be so irritatingly cheerful. Hell, that kind of cheer would be the first thing they got rid of.

Achilles:
So I really did wear myself out for nothing...

Paris:
How do you think I feel?


Fujimaru 1:
Um... Is there some bad blood between you two or something?

Mash:
Yes, Master, you could say that.

Mash:
During the Trojan War, Paris is the one who shot Achilles through his heel, killing him, to avenge his brother, Hektor.

Achilles:
Yup, it's true. 'Course, back then, he had at least a few more centimeters on him than he does now!

Paris:
M-my height's got nothing to do with anything!
Anyway, that aside...


Fujimaru 2:
Aren't these two...

Mash:
Right.

Mash:
During the Trojan War, Achilles killed Hektor,
Paris's older brother...

Achilles:
Yup. Then I ended up dying too after Paris went and shot me through my heel and heart!

Paris:
Khh... How can you be so blasé about that!?


Paris:
How come you don't seem to care
at all that I killed you?

Achilles:
Hm? Why would I?
I knew I was prophesized to die young.

Achilles:
And given how I'd chosen to live out my life as a hero, I kinda expected I'd die in that war.

Mash:
...

Achilles:
And that's pretty much why I was able to fight as hard as I could right up till the moment I died.

Achilles:
So if I don't seem all broken up about you being the one who killed me, that's why.

Paris:
...Hmph.

Jason:
All right, never mind all that.
Achilles. Are you willing to help us?

Achilles:
Help you?
Well, I am a Proper Human History Servant and all.

Achilles:
So yeah, of course I'll help. Though I'm not quite as strong as I used to be, since I'm not immortal anymore.

Achilles:
How about you, Paris?

Paris:
I-I'll help you all too, of course.
I mean... Please, let me help you.

Paris:
You said you were a Master, right?


Fujimaru 1:
Yup. I'm Fujimaru.


Paris:
Got it. Okay, [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru, I recognize
you as my Master, and vow to serve you to the best of my ability!

Achilles:
Man, for someone so small, you sure are a huge stick-in-the-mud. Anyway, it's good to meet you guys.

Holmes:
Pardon the intrusion.

Holmes:
Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective.
A question for you, Achilles, if I may.

Holmes:
Do you still have your armor and shield?

Achilles:
My armor and shield?

Achilles:
You mean the armor and shield my
mother had Hephaestus make for me?

Mash:
Right.

Mash:
We've been looking for you in the hope of finding that same armor and shield.

Achilles:
Hmm, gotcha. Well, unfortunately, I don't have the shield anymore, but I do still have the armor.

Achilles:
So what do you need them for?


Fujimaru 1:
Well...


Achilles:
Now I see. So you want to make my armor and shield into a Divine Construct I can use to take down Artemis, huh.

Achilles:
Sorry, but there's no way that's happening!

Mash:
Huh!? Wh-why not!?

Achilles:
Look, I don't mind giving you the armor.
I don't even need it anymore.

Achilles:
But like I said earlier, I'm a good deal weaker than I used to be thanks to my heel being literally shot.

Achilles:
Sure, I can still call my chariot, but I really don't think I could survive riding it up to orbit at hypersonic speed.

Achilles:
Plus, and this is just my
warrior's intuition speaking...

Achilles:
But trying to take down Artemis in anything less than perfect condition, especially with an injury like this, well...

Achilles:
...I don't think I'd have a chance of beating her.

Goredolf:
Th-then what are we supposed to do?

Goredolf:
If we don't have a way to get past Artemis, we'll have no hope of making it to the Tree of Emptiness!

Orion:
...Hold up!

Orion:
You said you can still manifest your armor, right?

Achilles:
Yeah...

Orion:
Then what if we bring that armor to Hephaestus...

Orion:
...and ask him to make it into a bow and arrow?

Achilles:
Huh? A bow and arrow?

Achilles:
Aha, now I got you.

Achilles:
True, that armor was forged by Hephaestus himself, so it definitely qualifies as a fully-fledged divine artifact.

Achilles:
And if you guys want to remake it into something else, I don't have a problem with it. But can you even do that?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
We can manage as long as we have Lord Hephaestus helping us.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...I think.

Achilles:
Well, either way, I wasn't planning on using it myself.

Achilles:
So, who's gonna fire this bow?

Paris:
...I will!

Apollo:
I'm afraid I can't recommend that, Paris.

Paris:
Why not?

Apollo:
Because it would be impossible for you.

Apollo:
You could push yourself so hard your Spirit Origin starts to crack, and you still wouldn't hold a candle to Orion in terms of power.

Apollo:
You wouldn't even be able to nock an arrow to a Divine Construct bow, let alone fire it.

Apollo:
Not even with my help.

Paris:
I see...

Orion:
So that just leaves me.

Achilles:
You sure about this, Orion?

Achilles:
Even we know that Artemis is your, well...

Orion:
I'm fully aware of that, Achilles.
Even so, I'm willing to go ahead with this.

Achilles:
...Let me just ask you one stupid question.
Are you doing this because it's the right thing to do?

Orion:
No, it's got nothing to do with that.
This is about responsibility.

Achilles:
...Gotcha. In that case, the armor's all yours.

Achilles:
'Sides, I wasn't gonna use it, anyway.

Jason:
Then we're done here, yes? Great!
Let's hurry up and go see Hephaestus!

Achilles:
Right on!

Paris:
Wait. What? Huh?

Paris:
U-um, excuse me! I-I'm coming too!
Please, let me come with you!

Jason:
Oh for... Are we sure we can rely on this kid?

Achilles:
That's...
Welp, never mind. Here they come.

Mash:
Are those...!?

Achilles:
You guys must've fought some of them before, right?
Those are Atlantis border guards.

Achilles:
You know, this works out nicely. Why don't you give Paris here a shot to see how he fares against them?

Achilles:
As for me, well...
You already know I've got what it takes, right?

Mandricardo:
(Holy hell!
He's like a walking mountain of confidence!)

Paris:
Wha...!? Where do you get off signing me up for something like that without even asking!?

Paris:
Th-that said, it does seem like it'd be a good chance to show off what I can do, so I don't have a problem with it!

Achilles:
Don't worry. I'll lend you a hand if you need it!

Paris:
Don't bother! I won't need your help!
...I won't!

--BATTLE--

Paris:
Phew...

Apollo:
There you go. Looking good, Paris!

Achilles:
Meh. It'll do.

Paris:
Who asked you?

Achilles:
Hey, I've got a right to voice my opinion. You killed me, remember? I mean, back when we were alive.

Paris:
I remember. I also remember how you killed my brother. At least, back when we were alive.

Both:
...

Charlotte Corday:
All right, you two, there's no call for this.
The fact is, you're both dead now, okay?

Achilles:
Ouch! But, yeah, I guess you're right.

Achilles:
Paris, I won't say we should be friends,
but we can at least work together.

Paris:
Yeah, that's fair.

Charlotte Corday:
There you go.
Shaking on it is the first step to making up.

Paris:
I don't think I'll really be of much help,
but I hope that's okay...

Charlotte Corday:
Don't worry, you will.
You're a lot more helpful than me, that's for sure!

Jason:
I'll say. Just take a look at her! The only thing she's good for is killing people with their backs turned!

Jason:
Though of course, without my crew here,
I'm just as useless as she is!

Jason:
Hey! Who're you calling useless!?

Mash:
Um, Jason...


Fujimaru 1:
Hey, would you lay off the one-man show, please!


Achilles:
Oho. Interesting...

Achilles:
Honestly, you didn't make a great first impression, but you're actually a lot more approachable than I thought!

Jason:
Oh no I'm not! Now stay away from me!
I can already tell we'll mix like oil and water.

Achilles:
Hahahaha, now you've really got my interest!

Mandricardo:
(C-crap, he's just as bright and cheery as I imagined! There's no way I can get along with him!)


Fujimaru 1:
Mandricardo?


Mandricardo:
Oh man, you're letting me go already!?


Fujimaru 1:
Huh? Letting you go?


Mandricardo:
I mean, never mind.
More importantly...

Mandricardo:
...
...Hey, uh, Paris? Sir?

Paris:
Just Paris is fine!
What is it, Mandricardo!?

Mandricardo:
O-oh, okay. Well, uh, I was just
kinda curious about something...

Mandricardo:
Mayhaps you could, um...pray tell me what Lord Hektor was like?


Fujimaru 1:
What's going on? You're a bundle of nerves.

Mandricardo:
Well of course I am!

Mandricardo:
I mean, Hektor has been my idol pretty much FOREVER!


Fujimaru 2:
Why are you talking like that?

Mandricardo:
Wh-why do you think!?
This is Hektor we're talking about here!


Paris:
Of course! I'd be glad to tell you all about Big Brother's many wonderful qualities!

Mandricardo:
Awesome!

Paris:
First off, he was impeccably handsome.
Handsome like Diarmuid on his best day.

Paris:
I mean, his helmet shone like no one else's.

Mandricardo:
Go on!

Achilles:
...I think I'd better give them some space before I'm tempted to get in a dig.

Achilles:
Otherwise, I think I could inadvertently end up sparking a serious bloodbath.


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah, that's probably a good idea.


Mash:
Achilles, could I talk to you for a moment?


Fujimaru 1:
Mash?


Achilles:
Fine with me.

Mash:
...Thank you.

Mash:
I wanted to ask you more about what you said earlier, about how you were able to fight until you died.

Mash:
People don't live forever. The meaning we find in our lives tends to be something we learn after the fact.

Mash:
Which is why we try to face life head-on,
and live each day as best we can.

Achilles:
Makes sense.

Mash:
But, even so, knowing your death is imminent, and not just at some vague, uncertain point in the future...

Mash:
Well, it sounds terrifying to me.
So I wanted to ask you...

Mash:
How could you stay unafraid of death, Achilles?
Is it because you were a hero?

Achilles:
Yeah, maybe.

Achilles:
Some people become heroes by saving others' lives,
and some become heroes by taking them.

Achilles:
Unfortunately, I was one of the latter, so I knew I was never gonna be afforded a peaceful death.

Achilles:
And sure enough, back when I was alive–

Paris:
That's when Hektor said–
Lord Apollo, would you mind doing your impression!?

Apollo:
“Whoa, come on now.
What's the point in cornering an old man?”

Apollo:
“...You fell for it, didn't you?”

Mandricardo:
Oh man, that's just badass!

Achilles:
That carefree kid laughing it up over there, along with the god sitting on his head, ended up taking me down.

Achilles:
But you know, I don't mind that I died how I did.

Achilles:
It might not've been peaceful,
but it was still satisfying.

Achilles:
Plus, since I was this big hero who was so famous,
now I get to be summoned like this.

Achilles:
Mash, you and Fujimaru are both gonna die
and go your separate ways at some point.
That's just a fact.

Achilles:
But that doesn't have to happen anytime soon.

Achilles:
My life being so short is why I died without any regrets, and I'm able to fight again now to help ensure you two can live good, long lives.

Achilles:
Hell, if I have to, I'm even willing
to die here again to make that happen.


Fujimaru 1:
...Do you think you're going to die here?


Achilles:
Well, I can't say for sure.
It's more intuition than anything else.

Achilles:
But, uh... How can I put this?

Achilles:
Let's just say I don't think I'm gonna get to say goodbye after everything here's been wrapped up nice and neat.

Achilles:
...But hey.

Achilles:
If you like having me around, you can always just summon me again. Do that, and I'll die for you as many times as you like!


Fujimaru 1:
That's not usually the kind of thing you say with a smile!

Achilles:
It is for me.

Achilles:
Long as my heel hasn't been shot,
I'm an invincible one-man army!


Fujimaru 2:
Don't worry about that. I'm just glad you're here now!

Achilles:
O-oh. I wasn't expecting that...

Achilles:
Okay, but I've gotta warn you, I like to have my cake and eat it too, so I plan on dying like my life depends on it.


Achilles:
Hey! Mandricardo!

Achilles:
I'm gonna bring up the rear for a while, so I'd like you to stay close to Master in the meantime.

Mandricardo:
R-right. Got it.

Mash:
You really admire Hektor, don't you, Mandricardo?

Mandricardo:
Hell yeah I do!


Fujimaru 1:
I can actually see the stars in your eyes...

Mandricardo:
Wait, really? ...All right, stop looking at me.
Come on, knock it off!


Fujimaru 2:
Whoa, you're actually glowing!

Mandricardo:
Hm? I am?

Mandricardo:
...Well, this IS my idol we're talking about.


Mandricardo:
Far as I'm concerned,
there's no greater hero than Hektor.

Mandricardo:
So if I ever get a chance to meet him, well...
I wanna be able to face him with pride.

--ARROW--

Jason:
All right.

Jason:
We now have the material we need
to make a Divine Construct.

Jason:
Which means we're one step closer to giving Artemis some well-deserved payback.

Jason:
...Hm
This feeling...

Jason:
...Gaaah!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
What is it, Lord Ja–Yeow!

Charlotte Corday:
Urk!

Orion:
Ow ow ow ow!


Fujimaru 1:
Wh-what's happening!?


Jason:
Ghh, dammit.
It's the same thing as before, remember?

Jason:
We were told the next piece of information would become accessible once we got the materials for the Divine Construct.

Jason:
Ugh, this is the freakin' worst.
My ears are still ringing.

Charlotte Corday:
Well, at least now we know where to find Hephaestus!

Holmes:
Very good. Then if you would kindly tell us the coordinates, I'll have Captain Nemo put them up on the map.

Charlotte Corday:
Sure. Hephaestus is right around...

Orion:
Here. Right in the heart of the
great labyrinth on Perse Island.

Orion:
Hephaestus is at the very end of the path that winds through the massive, intricate maze of the Minotaur.

Mandricardo:
Well, his forge unit, anyway.

Jason:
...Okay, looking at the map, it should take us about two days to reach Perse Island.

Jason:
We'll stop at a smaller island on the way to rest up, then we'll keep going until we've found him.

Nemo:
I'd also like you to get more of Hephaestus's nanomachines. About three Servants' worth, if you can.

Nemo:
According to my calculations, that should be enough to completely restore the Border. No...not just restore it. To let it be reborn.

Nemo:
I even drew up some blueprints for its new design.
Take a look.

Goredolf:
I'm afraid I don't quite know what I'm looking at...

Nemo:
And of course, it'll call for a name change as well.

Nemo:
It won't just be borrowing my Nautilus's name anymore. It'll be a new vessel, one better suited for your journey.

Da Vinci:
Though of course, that's all still
a nice daydream at this point.

Jason:
Well, this is Hephaestus's own
temple we're talking about.

Jason:
I'd say the odds of it having enough nanomachines for three Servants are better than even. ...Probably, anyway.

Jason:
Okay, let's get back to the
ship and get ready to set sail.

Jason:
And as soon as that's done,
I'm taking a well-deserved catnap!

Charlotte Corday:
But, Servants don't need to sleep...

Jason:
I might be a Servant, but I'm also making full use of my brain every hour of the day.

Jason:
So it's only natural I'd need a break and some sweets to recharge.

Charlotte Corday:
Are you suuure that's true?

Charlotte Corday:
But, all right. Then I'll bake you some cookies
or something once we're back on the ship.

Jason:
Good. That's what I like to hear.

Achilles:
All right, this may be a little
unnecessary by now, but...

Achilles:
My name is Achilles.

Achilles:
I might not be in peak condition right now thanks to my heel being shot...

Achilles:
...but I swear on my mother and father alike that I'm willing to give everything I have to help humanity.

Achilles:
...

Achilles:
Hey, what are you waiting for?
Go on, introduce yourself properly.

Paris:
Aah! R-right!

Paris:
Um, m-my name is Paris, and I'm an Archer!

Paris:
...I, um, may not even remotely compare to Orion...

Paris:
But I promise I'll at least do my very best!
Thank you for having me!

Paris:
Oh, one last thing:
I also hate Achilles!

Achilles:
Was that last bit really necessary?

Paris:
Yes, it was!

Achilles:
Oh well, that's okay. The main thing's that we're both in the same boat now, figuratively and, very soon, literally.

Achilles:
And that means we're part of the same crew,
even if we hate each other.

Paris:
Well, yeah, I guess...

Mash:
I'm surprised by how pragmatic
they're being about this...

Orion:
Well, for better or worse, heroes from ancient times are used to killing each other.

Orion:
There's more than a few Celtic heroes like that too,
if I'm not mistaken.

Da Vinci:
Of course, I doubt it's as easy as that when they have ideological differences, like Edison and Tesla...

Paris:
Khh. How can he be so indifferent
when I'm still not over it?

Jason:
Hmph. As Achilles said, we're all in the same boat now, and that boat–literally the last hope for humanity's survival–is on the verge of sinking.

Jason:
So whatever your differences might've been before, you're going to leave them all behind before you come on board!

Section 14: Suffering and Pleasure are Life's Medicine for Relief

Nemo:
Sonar has a contact. Looks like nanomachine-enhanced Lamia! Lots of them!

Nemo:
All Servants on standby,
prepare to deploy for battle!

Jason:
What, seriously? Oh, all right.
Achilles!

Achilles:
Yeah?

Jason:
Paris has shown us what he can do,
but you can't yet say the same.

Jason:
If you really are able to fight, then you shouldn't have any problem proving it to us.

Achilles:
...Hmm.

Achilles:
Master!


Fujimaru 1:
What's up?


Achilles:
Now that Jason's said his piece,
I want to know what you think.

Jason:
Huh? You're roping [♂ him /♀️ her] into this too?

Achilles:
Hell yeah I am. I don't go around just serving anyone who barks orders at me.


Fujimaru 1:
I'd like to see you fight, too.

Achilles:
Got it! In that case, just sit back and enjoy the show!


Fujimaru 2:
As long as your heel's okay...

Achilles:
That's what you're worried about, huh?

Achilles:
I can't say it's not slowing me down...but it's not gonna stop me from wiping the floor with a bunch of weaklings.


Achilles:
Hup!

Achilles:
Feels a little weird to be floating on water...
But it's nothing I can't handle.

Achilles:
Okay, kiddies. Time to learn why I was renowned as the strongest hero of the Trojan War!

Achilles:
Here I go!

Paris:
For the record, the strongest hero of the Trojan War was my brother, Hektor!

--BATTLE--

Achilles:
Annnd done.
Well, Master? Whatcha think?

Achilles:
I might not be at my best, but my speed and strength're still nothing to sneeze at, right?


Fujimaru 1:
That was perfect.

Achilles:
Awesome. That's what I like to hear!


Fujimaru 2:
That wasn't your best? Really?

Achilles:
Nope. At my true speed,
you wouldn't be able to see me at all.

Achilles:
The fact that I was visible at all just proves how weakened I still am.



Fujimaru 1:
Well here, have a heal just in case.


Achilles:
Huh?

Achilles:
I mean, I wasn't all that hurt, and I would've healed up on my own in a little while anyway...

Achilles:
But, thanks. I appreciate it.

Mash:
Are you okay, Master!?


Fujimaru 1:
I got a little dizzy...


Mash:
Using a Mystic Code again immediately after a battle really takes a lot out of you.

Da Vinci:
Whoa, whoa. You all right there?

Mash:
Here, Senpai, lean on me.
I'll take you back to your room.


Fujimaru 1:
Thanks...


Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
Hey, you got a minute?

Da Vinci:
What's up, Mandricardo?

Mandricardo:
Well...

Fou:
Fou fou...


Fujimaru 1:
Phew...


Fujimaru 2:
I'm okay. Thanks, Fou.



Fujimaru 1:
(Is that Mash?) Come in!


Fujimaru 2:
(Wonder who that could be?) Come in!


Mandricardo:
Hey, uh... Got a minute?


Fujimaru 1:
Sure. What's up?


Mandricardo:
I just felt like having a chat,
Servant to Master.

Mandricardo:
Besides, I never finished my story.

Mandricardo:
No, see, that's the thing.
I DID find it, just like I wanted to.

Mandricardo:
But–

Mandricardo:
But before we get back to my stupid antics...

Mandricardo:
...and I apologize in advance if I'm
way off base or out of line here...

Mandricardo:
...but do you think you might
be being a little overeager?

Mandricardo:
No, wait. That's not clear at all, is it?

Mandricardo:
What I mean is, are you sure you're not pushing yourself too hard? Or trying to act more positive than you feel?

Mandricardo:
I ask because I couldn't help but notice,
when you healed Achilles earlier...

Mandricardo:
...you looked like you were pushing yourself way too hard, especially after you were already tired from fighting.

Mandricardo:
I even, erm, worked up the courage
to ask Da Vinci about it...

Mandricardo:
...and she said you usually don't heal Servants after a battle like that at all.

Mandricardo:
So it sounds like before, you usually had a pretty good idea when to save your strength and when to go all out.


Fujimaru 1:
I...


Mandricardo:
...Well, if something changed, I'm sure there's a reason. And it might not really be my place to pry...

Mandricardo:
But if it's okay with you, maybe we could talk about it?
We, uh, might have something in common.


Fujimaru 1:
I've been feeling some strange urgency ever since we got to this Lostbelt...

Mandricardo:
Urgency, huh...?
Hmm...

Mandricardo:
So that's why you haven't been acting like yourself.

Mandricardo:
Uh... Sorry if what I'm about to say is kind of rude.


Fujimaru 2:
How so?

Mandricardo:
...Sorry, this is gonna sound rude.


Mandricardo:
Like I told you before, I'm a supporting character in the legend of Charlemagne.

Mandricardo:
Sure, there's some stories that focus on my personal exploits...

Mandricardo:
But in the end, I'm just an adversary there to be defeated.

Mandricardo:
So really, I'm just strong enough to make the battle compelling. That's it.

Mandricardo:
Hell, the only reason I'm a Rider is because I stole a horse more famous than me–Brigliadoro was his name.

Mandricardo:
If it wasn't for that story,
I might never have been summoned at all.

Mandricardo:
Basically...
Um...

Mandricardo:
You see...
Uh...


Fujimaru 1:
You're saying that, as a fellow weakling,you understand what I'm going through?


Fujimaru 2:
You're saying you know what it's like to be weak, like me?


Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
...Well, yeah.

Mandricardo:
Don't get me wrong, though. I don't actually think you're weak. And I know Mash doesn't, either.

Mandricardo:
But as a hero with a hell of an inferiority complex... Well, let's just say like recognizes like.

Note: Branch Begin


Fujimaru 1:
...You might be right.


Fujimaru 2:
I want to say you're wrong.


Note: If you select "...You might be right."

Mandricardo:
...I knew it. Guess my intuition's
not completely useless after all.

Mandricardo:
That other Master... Kirschtaria, right?


Fujimaru 1:
He was pretty amazing, wasn't he?


Mandricardo:
No way. Not even a little.

Mandricardo:
Listen, Master, that guy's just like me.
He's nothing special.

Mandricardo:
When you're really strong, you can live your life elegantly, and you never have to make any hard choices.

Mandricardo:
When he attacked us, I was nearly knocked out cold and almost taken out of commission for good...

Mandricardo:
But you kept your wits about you,
and above all, you survived.

Mandricardo:
That's what I call amazing.

Mandricardo:
...Listen.

Mandricardo:
A guy like me? I'll never measure up
to the likes of Achilles or Heracles.

Mandricardo:
Hell, while I wish it wasn't the case, I don't think I can even beat Ruggiero, no matter how many times I fight him.

Mandricardo:
As for why that is, well...
It's kind of a long story.


Note: If you select "I want to say you're wrong."

Mandricardo:
Crap.
...I'm sorry. Guess I really was off base.

Mandricardo:
I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions.

Mandricardo:
All that's left now is...
Oh, right, the rest of my story.

Note: Branch End


Narration:
...I went on an adventure.

Narration:
I swore I was going to become a hero the likes of which had never been seen before. One with tales of derring-do so dazzling they'd make the whole world gasp in awe.

Narration:
I traveled near and far, and at long last,
I found the sacred sword I'd been looking for.

Narration:
But...

Narration:
“You essentially stole it, Mandricardo. You have no more rightful claim to it than a stray dog to a dead man's bones.”

Narration:
...It wasn't the incredible reward I thought I'd find at the end of my adventure.

Narration:
All I did was snatch something a love-crazed knight threw away, like a dog rooting through a dumpster.

Mandricardo:
Roland had thrown Durendal away,
and I'd taken it for myself.

Mandricardo:
I did run into some trouble when I found it, but that didn't matter. They said it was no different than if I'd stolen it.

Mandricardo:
Once I'd defeated Zerbino and won the sword from him, I went around bragging about being the hero who had it all.

Mandricardo:
And I was so hopped up on the excitement of getting the legendary sword for myself that I didn't think twice about it.

Mandricardo:
As for what happened next, well...
I think I'll just give you the short version.

Mandricardo:
I lost to Bradamante's lover, Ruggiero.

Mandricardo:
I was wearing Hektor's armor, wielding Durendal,
and I still couldn't beat him.

Mandricardo:
Sure, Ruggiero was a hell of a hero,
and he did have a demonic sword.

Mandricardo:
But...there's no doubt my weapon was better.

Mandricardo:
I think that's probably why I didn't bring that sword with me when I was summoned as a Servant.

Mandricardo:
Because in exchange for that sword...I gave up something I shouldn't have. Something important.


Fujimaru 1:
I know how you feel...


Mandricardo:
...Gotcha. Well then, it was worth embarrassing myself.

Note: If you selected "I want to say you're wrong."

Mandricardo:
...Anyway, getting back to my main point.

Mandricardo:
Just to be totally clear, I–we, never once thought you were third-rate.

Mandricardo:
But if, in spite of that, you're thinking of yourself as powerless...

Mandricardo:
...or that you've got to do something, anything,
to prove you got what it takes...

Mandricardo:
...well, you're just plain wrong.


Fujimaru 1:
So, it would be better if I didn't do anything?


Mandricardo:
Uh... No, it's not that.
That's not what I mean.

Mandricardo:
I mean you've already more than proven it.

Mandricardo:
You being here...
Standing with us Servants...

Mandricardo:
The decisions you make...

Mandricardo:
Even if you can't help but think everything you do is third-rate at best...

Mandricardo:
...we–I, have nothing but respect for it.


Fujimaru 1:
So, it's fine if I mess up?

Mandricardo:
Okay, maybe not exactly FINE, but I can always bail you out if I have to.


Fujimaru 2:
So you won't get mad if I make a mistake?

Mandricardo:
Hell no.


Note: If you selected "...You might be right."

Mandricardo:
So...you know, let's only work as hard as we have to!

Mandricardo:
(Wait. Did I really just say that?
That can't be what [♂ he /♀️ she] needs to hear now, right?)

Mandricardo:
(Then again, I can't think of any better way to get my feelings across than that...)

Mandricardo:
(...Dammit, why am I so bad at
putting my thoughts into words?)

Note: Branch End


Fujimaru 1:
...Thanks, Mandricardo. I feel better now.


Mandricardo:
S-sure thing.
...I'm glad to hear that.

Mandricardo:
If you'd been all “How's this maudlin guy trying to cheer me up supposed to help!?” I'd have jumped straight into my spirit form and never looked back.


Fujimaru 1:
I'd never say something like that!


Mandricardo:
Good point. You wouldn't, would you?

Mandricardo:
Aw, crap. I probably shouldn't be this frank with you, seeing how you're my Master and all.


Fujimaru 1:
I don't mind.


Mandricardo:
But, it's so, you know, improper and stuff...


Fujimaru 1:
Really, it's fine.


Mandricardo:
...Well, okay, if you insist.
But it still doesn't seem right to me.

Mandricardo:
I mean, being this frank with each other is usually something reserved for friends and such.


Fujimaru 1:
I guess that makes us friends then.


Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
...Friends!?

Mandricardo:
B-b-but I'm like this mopey, awkward downer!

Mandricardo:
And a third-rate Servant! And a bad guy!
(At least as far as Charlemagne's side is concerned.)

Mandricardo:
If you go around calling me your friend, people are gonna start throwing rocks at you and stuff!


Fujimaru 1:
I don't think that'll be an issue.


Fujimaru 2:
Even if that happens, don't friends stick up for each other?


Mandricardo:
(Ahhhhhh!
That's riiiiiight!)

Mandricardo:
(I forgot that this Master's most endearing quality
is the way [♂ he /♀️ she] gets along with pretty much everyone!)

Mandricardo:
(So of course [♂ he'd /♀️ she'd] go along with
being friends if I suggested it!)


Fujimaru 1:
Mandricardo?


Mandricardo:
Uh, yes. I mean, o-okay, I hear you.

Mandricardo:
Then, uh...I guess from now on...
you and I are officially friends.

Mandricardo:
Although, in that case, it'd probably be weird if I called you Master, huh?


Fujimaru 1:
Just call me Fujimaru!


Mandricardo:
...Well, I think I'll still have to go with Master in battle and such, or it'll seriously throw me off, but...

Mandricardo:
O-okay then, in general, I'll call you, uh...

Mandricardo:
...Fujimaru...

Mandricardo:
...from now on.

Mandricardo:
J-just don't blame me if you regret this later!


Fujimaru 1:
I won't.


Mandricardo:
A-all right...
If you're sure.

Mandricardo:
Okay, Fujimaru, make sure to stay
warm and get plenty of sleep, okay?

Mandricardo:
(...Great. Now I sound more
like a parent than a friend.)


Fujimaru 1:
Good night, buddy.

Mandricardo:
Guh! That hit me way harder than I thought!


Fujimaru 2:
Good night, Mandricardo.

Mandricardo:
Y-you too.
Good night!



Fujimaru 1:
I think I'm gonna sleep really well tonight!


--ARROW--

Bartholomew:
...And ever since that day, I vowed to never stop
loving hidden eyes for as long as I lived.

Charlotte Corday:
That was quite the tale of adventure, wasn't it, Master!


Fujimaru 1:
I had no idea there was such a sad backstory to, uh, that...

Mash:
Indeed.

Mash:
I think, had it been written down, it might have been one of literature's greatest epic tales of tragic love.


Fujimaru 2:
(Crying too hard to speak)

Charlotte Corday:
Here, you can use this hankie.


Charlotte Corday:
...Though you know, this is quite the adventure we're on right now, too.

Charlotte Corday:
I certainly never experienced anything like this back when I was alive.

Charlotte Corday:
This may be inappropriate for me to say,
but I'm having a great deal of fun.


Fujimaru 1:
There's nothing inappropriate about that.

Charlotte Corday:
I see. That's a relief...


Fujimaru 2:
I am too.

Charlotte Corday:
Yay! I'm glad you feel the same way!


Bartholomew:
Usually, we only get a single life to live.
That's a onetime only adventure in its own right.

Bartholomew:
...Hmm. You know, if it's not too improper of me to ask, what is it you guys really want to do here?

Bartholomew:
Oh, and I don't mean the obvious things like defeating this Lostbelt, helping Master, and saving the world.

Bartholomew:
I mean other, more personal kinds of things, if you have any. I figured sharing them could add to the fun.

Charlotte Corday:
Huh?
...Hmm. I-I'm not sure.

Charlotte Corday:
I mean, I definitely do want to be useful to Master...

Charlotte Corday:
But you're talking about things apart from that, right?

Bartholomew:
Exactly. The more selfish, the better, in this case.

Bartholomew:
For example, in my case, I'm hoping I get to meet the beautifully hidden eyes of the love of my life.

Mandricardo:
G-gotcha. If nothing else, you definitely know what you like, don't you?

Bartholomew:
Oh yes.

Mandricardo:
Let's see... What do I want...?
This is tougher than I thought.

Mandricardo:
My wish to make a new friend I can just be myself with kinda already came true, so...

Mash:
It did? Does that mean you're now friends with Orion and Achilles?

Mandricardo:
Nah, nothing like that.
Those guys are just colleagues.

Mandricardo:
Anyway, I remember now.

Mandricardo:
All I want's the same thing I've always wanted:
to be a great knight.

Bartholomew:
Oh? That's a surprise.

Bartholomew:
You may have been portrayed as a villain in the legend of Charlemagne, but I was under the impression you were already a fully-fledged knight who had been on grand adventures.

Mandricardo:
W-well...I guess I did accomplish enough that I could be all humble and say something like “Oh, it wasn't that big a deal.”

Mandricardo:
...No, no, that's not good enough. I'm gonna stick with wanting to become a great knight.

Bartholomew:
Hmm, I see.

Bartholomew:
Well, seeing as your Hidden-Eyes-Depth is E-rank, I don't think you'll need any words of encouragement from me.

Mandricardo:
Yeah, yeah.

Mandricardo:
...Wait. What's “Hidden-Eyes-Depth”?

Bartholomew:
How about you, Ms. Corday?

Bartholomew:
If you could do anything in the world,
what would it be?

Charlotte Corday:
Hmm...

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
I don't think I should be free to do whatever I want.


Fujimaru 1:
You don't?


Bartholomew:
Well, that's a unique perspective.
And why do you think that?

Charlotte Corday:
Isn't it obvious?

Charlotte Corday:
The whole reason I ended up as a Servant is because I thought freely.

Mash:
That's...

Charlotte Corday:
It looks like Mash already
knows what I'm talking about.

Charlotte Corday:
I don't have any accomplishments to speak of.

Charlotte Corday:
I never achieved anything great like Drake.
I never had any stories told about me like Jason.

Charlotte Corday:
I never had any adventures like Mandricardo's,
and I was never a figure of myth like Orion.

Charlotte Corday:
I'm just a dumb assassin who committed a single murder that didn't amount to anything useful.

Charlotte Corday:
I thought about what I could do on my own, came up with a plan on my own, and tried to help save my country on my own, only for it all to end up being completely meaningless.

Charlotte Corday:
I'm a dumb, empty-headed assassin.
That's all I'll ever be.

Charlotte Corday:
So I don't have any right to decide for myself.
Not when there's no point in my even being alive.

Mash:
...I don't agree with that.

Charlotte Corday:
Why not?

Nemo:
I overheard some strange things being said while I was swaying on the ocean currents, so I'm going to cut in.

Nemo:
If that was all it took to negate the point of living, there'd be none to Bartholomew or me being alive, either.

Nemo:
I'm a purely conceptual being–nothing more than a Phantom Spirit made up of a mix of Heroic and Divine parts.

Nemo:
And as for Bartholomew, his accomplishments were all, well, terrible.

Bartholomew:
Hahaha, I can't argue with that.

Bartholomew:
It's true. I made no contributions to human history whatsoever.

Bartholomew:
I can't even claim to be the most notable pirate.
That was all that idiot Blackbeard's doing.

Bartholomew:
And the other pirate Servants all have much more interesting stories to tell than I do.

Bartholomew:
Take, say, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
They're nothing if not memorable, right?

Bartholomew:
Voilà! Just like that, there's no point in my existence either!

Charlotte Corday:
Don't be silly!
Those things couldn't be more different!

Bartholomew:
No, Ms. Corday. When you get right down
to it, they're exactly the same.

Nemo:
He's right.

Nemo:
Ultimately...there's no point to most people's lives.


Fujimaru 1:
I just happened to survive by sheer luck.

Charlotte Corday:
R-really?

Mash:
That's true...

Mash:
If Director Olga Marie hadn't happened to have kicked you out of that room back then...

Mash:
...it's very possible that none of us would be here right now.

Mash:
Though of course, you can and should take full credit for all the amazing things you accomplished afterwards, Master!

Mash:
As your very first Servant,
I couldn't be more proud to serve you.


Fujimaru 2:
It was just pure coincidence that I became a Master at all.

Mash:
Indeed.

Mash:
But coincidence or not,
I'm very grateful that you did.


Fou:
Fou. Fooou!

Bartholomew:
How about you, Jason?
Where do you stand on this discussion?

Jason:
What? You mean do I think there's any meaning to life?

Jason:
What kind of boring question is that? It's just a matter of which point in your life you decide to look at.

Jason:
Is it only worth moving ahead with life if there's some greater meaning to your existence?

Jason:
And conversely, if there isn't any meaning to your existence, does that mean you should just...die?

Jason:
Because if that were the case, all of humanity besides me would have gone extinct long ago!

Charlotte Corday:
Did he really just say what I think he said!?


Fujimaru 1:
Talk about confidence!


Jason:
Hahaha! You can all bow to me now.

Paris:
Yes, sir.

Achilles:
Are you nuts!? Why would you actually listen to him!?

Paris:
Well, I don't really know what he's talking about,
but it sounded really wise!

Achilles:
Dammit, you're even more gullible than I thought.

Apollo:
Hi, um, Apollo here. I think what you meant to say was  “pure and innocent.”

Achilles:
Do you even know how to make yourself useful!?

Charlotte Corday:
...Hehe. Hehehehe.

Charlotte Corday:
So somebody else did what I wasn't able to, huh...?

Charlotte Corday:
Yes, you may be right.

Charlotte Corday:
...But in that case,
what's the point in our even being here?

Note: Branch Begin


Fujimaru 1:
What's wrong with just having fun?


Fujimaru 2:
Maybe life doesn't have any meaning.


Note: If you selected "What's wrong with just having fun?"

Charlotte Corday:
Huh?

Bartholomew:
Hmm. You may be right, Master.

Bartholomew:
There are sacrifices to be made, of course,
and that's something to be sad about.

Bartholomew:
There's also the sense of duty we feel that drives us to help bring this war to a close.

Bartholomew:
But, all told, don't you think it's safe to say we're all having fun?

Charlotte Corday:
...Well, maybe.

Bartholomew:
Great! Now that that's settled...
Let's talk love!

Bartholomew:
What do you say? Any interest in hearing about my extraordinary romantic exploits?

Orion:
Um... Are we talking the kinds of stories reserved solely for those more, ah, mature audiences?

Goredolf:
Will you lot knock it off already!? The encrypted comms line is not your personal phone party!

Goredolf:
I'll especially thank you to not use it for such inappropriately salacious topics! There will be no tales of “extraordinary romantic exploits” on my watch!

Goredolf:
In case you've forgotten, let me remind you that we are still very much in the middle of an operation!

Charlotte Corday:
...
...Hehe.

Narration:
Ah...

Narration:
I'm well and truly convinced.

Narration:
This is fun.

Narration:
I've never seen an ocean like this, or islands like this, or a civilization like this... Anything like this, really.

Narration:
Yes, I'm still so scared it feels like my heart is going to burst, but that's just as true for all of them, too.

Narration:
I bet these people find heart-pounding adventures and terrifying monsters to be fun, too.

Narration:
...Ahh, I'm so jealous.
I wish I could be like that myself.

Narration:
I really, really do.

Note: If you selected "Maybe life doesn't have any meaning."

Charlotte Corday:
Huh?

Charlotte Corday:
There isn't...?


Fujimaru 1:
Nobody can go through life without making some painful mistakes.


Fujimaru 2:
But that doesn't mean meeting new people isn't still exciting.


Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
I-I'm sorry. My mind is still trying to process what you said.

Charlotte Corday:
...So, life doesn't have any meaning?

Charlotte Corday:
And this pain I feel is normal?

Charlotte Corday:
...Yet...despite all that,
our meeting like this is...exciting?

Charlotte Corday:
So, even though there's no point to my existence...that doesn't mean it's wrong for me to be here?


Fujimaru 1:
Of course not.


Fujimaru 2:
It doesn't prove or refute anything on its own.


Charlotte Corday:
...I see.

Charlotte Corday:
So you've met lots of different people,
and had to say goodbye to most of them.

Charlotte Corday:
And even though you must have been through a lot of
hardships...you're still able to smile like that.

Charlotte Corday:
...

Note: Branch End


Charlotte Corday:
C-can I ask you something?

Charlotte Corday:
Do you remember when we first met?


Fujimaru 1:
You mean when you saved my life?

Charlotte Corday:
...That's right.

Charlotte Corday:
I remember I was so overcome with emotion that I cried.


Fujimaru 2:
What about it?

Charlotte Corday:
Yes, well, for you, I'm guessing you mostly just remember the fact that I saved your life.

Charlotte Corday:
But for me, the much more important thing is the fact is that...I actually SAVED you.


Charlotte Corday:
I'd never once been of any use to anyone.
Not when I was alive, nor after my death.

Charlotte Corday:
So when I did something useful for you...that was the first time I ever did something useful for the world.

Charlotte Corday:
That got me wondering whether I even deserved to be part of something so wonderful...

Charlotte Corday:
And that's why I started crying.

???:
It is through this servitude that your life will have meaning.


Fujimaru 1:
Are you okay?


Charlotte Corday:
Y-yes, I'm fine. I'm sorry.
I was just spacing out a bit.

Charlotte Corday:
...Thank you, Master.

Charlotte Corday:
I really love you!


Fujimaru 1:
Huh!?


Mash:
Wha...!?

Charlotte Corday:
What?

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
!

Charlotte Corday:
I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that.
I just meant, um...

Charlotte Corday:
That you're a great Master,
and someone I really respect...

Mash:
O-oh. I see...

Mash:
In that, I completely agree!
I'm very proud to have Fujimaru as my Master.

Bartholomew:
Whoa there. If you're going to have a lovers' quarrel, take it to the Argo.

Bartholomew:
I don't allow that sort of thing here on the Royal Fortune.

Charlotte Corday:
H-huh? Why's that?

Bartholomew:
Because unsightly squabbles like that always end up reducing hidden eyes purity levels.

Jason:
I don't allow lovers' quarrels on the Argo either.
Know why?

Jason:
Because in Greece, doing anything romantic in nature is tantamount to ASKING for death!

Jason:
Trust. Me.

Mash:
I can tell you speak from painful experience.

Bartholomew:
Anyway, that's enough chitchat.
It won't be long till we reach our destination now.


Fujimaru 1:
Got it!


Mash:
Let's go get ready to disembark, Master!

Bartholomew:
Ms. Corday?

Charlotte Corday:
?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, please don't call me “Ms.”

Bartholomew:
My apologies, Lady Corday. I just wanted to say that was quite the front you put up there.

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
...You're very perceptive, aren't you, Bartholomew?

Bartholomew:
Well, I expect I have a big leg up on the most when it comes to things of this sort.

Bartholomew:
That said, you weren't exactly hard to read.

Charlotte Corday:
Do you think I'll regret it if I don't say anything?

Bartholomew:
Regrets and partings are an intrinsic part of life, Lady Corday. Especially now that we're Servants.

Charlotte Corday:
...Life really doesn't ever go the way you want it to, does it? Not even when you get a second chance at it.

Bartholomew:
I see. Then I take it my suspicions were on the mark?

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
I'll say. They were right on the money, dammit.

Section 15: An Absent Monster and Great Labyrinth in the Ruins

Nemo:
No hostiles detected near Perse Island. No sign of Artemis in nearby orbital space, either.

Nemo:
Right. All hands, prepare to make land!

Jason:
Okay, so we'll be making a Divine Construct for Orion instead of Achilles, like we originally planned...

Jason:
...but that shouldn't affect the forging process too much one way or the other.

Jason:
Bartholomew, you stay behind and watch the ship like usual. Paris, I want you to do the same.

Jason:
Take the ships around to the other side of the island and be ready to rendezvous with us there.

Bartholomew:
You got it, Leader.
We'll work with the Nemos to keep the Argo safe.

Bartholomew:
You don't have to worry about us.

Nemo Professor:
Hi again.
I'll be staying behind with the ship this time.

Nemo Professor:
Here's the container for the nanomachines.

Nemo Professor:
Please make sure you use this to collect the Hephaestus Klironomia once you find them.

Mash:
We will!


Fujimaru 1:
Okay, see you all later!


Bartholomew:
Later!

Bartholomew:
A gentle breeze and no sign of trouble anywhere, huh.

Bartholomew:
...I don't like it.

Bartholomew:
This is the exact sort of moment when unforeseen disaster tends to strike.

Bartholomew:
But I guess there's nothing I can do now except pray that fortune smiles upon them.

Jason:
...Tch.

Mandricardo:
More Atlantis border guards...


Fujimaru 1:
Do you think they've seen us?


Mochizuki Chiyome:
...No. From what I have observed, their patrol routes appear to be restricted to a standard range.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
If they had received word that we were coming here to see Lord Hephaestus...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...I imagine that they would be
far more vigilant right now.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
They are most likely simply deploying these guards to every island in the vicinity.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
If they knew Lord Hephaestus was here, the security detail would surely look very different.

Mandricardo:
Guess that means we'll just have
to take care of them, huh?

Jason:
Any quick-moving Demonic Beasts nearby?
...Doesn't look like it. Okay, let's do this.

Achilles:
Got it.

Charlotte Corday:
Right! Let's all do our best out there, everyone!

Jason:
Whoa, what happened to you?
I've never seen you so fired up before.

Charlotte Corday:
I just decided that from now on, I'm going to focus on completing the task at hand, whatever it takes!

Charlotte Corday:
All right, let's do this!

--BATTLE--

Jason:
That takes care of them...

Jason:
But it won't take long for Odysseus's main fleet to realize we're here once they fail to report in.

Jason:
That said, they probably won't
get here THAT quickly–

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Do not say things like that.
You will only invite disaster.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
In all of human history, fate has never been kind to those who are overly optimistic in their estimations.

Jason:
Dammit, you're right. And as if to prove the point, your reminder just inspired my brain to flash back to all the worst memories from my life simultaneously.

Jason:
We need to hurry.

Jason:
Chiyome, Mandricardo, you've already been infused with Hephaestus Klironomia, right?

Jason:
Does that mean you can tell where the temple is once we get close enough?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Yes, we should be able to...
But this island is also bigger than I believed.

Mandricardo:
Yeah... Right now, all I can say is that I can vaguely tell it's on the other side.

Jason:
I see. Then I suppose there's nothing to be done but start looking for it.

Charlotte Corday:
Aren't you forgetting something?
What about the labyrinth?

Charlotte Corday:
It's guarded by the Minotaur, right?

Charlotte Corday:
So, won't it attack us if we go in unprepared?


Fujimaru 1:
I...don't think we'll have to worry about that.


Charlotte Corday:
?

Mash:
...Right.
I don't think we need to worry about that, either...

Mandricardo:
(Sounds like there's a sad story there, and being the downer I am, I can tell this is a good time to keep my mouth shut.)

Charlotte Corday:
Well, if you say so, I'll take your word for it,
but we should at least take some thread with us!

Charlotte Corday:
Then again...maybe there wouldn't be much point to that, since it'd probably break pretty easily.

Jason:
Ariadne's thread wouldn't.

Jason:
It was specially woven and imbued with a fair maiden's prayers to ensure it would never break no matter what.

Charlotte Corday:
Then, if I pray hard enough...does that mean I could make Ariadne's thread too?

Jason:
Since when are you fair or a mai–

Charlotte Corday:
Don't go there, Jason.
Unless you're really eager to bleed.

Jason:
On second thought, I withdraw my comment.
(Backpedaling furiously away from that land mine.)

Achilles:
Yeah...I don't think that's gonna work, Corday.


Fujimaru 1:
How come?


Achilles:
The reason Ariadne's prayers were so effective is because she loved Theseus body and soul.

Achilles:
If they hadn't had the power of love on their side...

Achilles:
...Theseus would've never been able to follow the thread all the way back to the exit.

Jason:
I'd usually scoff at that, but I can't deny that love does have a lot of (cursed) power... Especially in Greece.

Charlotte Corday:
Love...huh.

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
True, I suppose that wouldn't work...

Jason:
Certainly not with a woman who never fell in love when she was alive.

Charlotte Corday:
I can't argue with that. (Sniff)


Fujimaru 1:
That was uncalled for.


Jason:
Heh... Part of being a hero is encouraging others to face unpleasant truths.


Fujimaru 1:
...!


Achilles:
Don't be fooled, Master. He doesn't mean it. He's just spitting out the first believable platitude that comes to mind.

Jason:
...Coming up with convincing things to say on the spot is also part of being a hero.

Orion:
You could at least pretend to feel bad!

Jason:
That is ENOUGH out of all you Greek heroes! I mean it!

Jason:
Dammit, I wish I could sacrifice you two in exchange for summoning Heracles back!

Achilles:
Well, you can't!

Orion:
Come on, don't you think that'd be a waste of a perfectly good hero right here!?

Jason:
Oh?

Jason:
Name me ONE thing about you that
surpasses Heracles in any way!

Orion:
My good looks!!!

Jason:
He and I've both got you beat there!!!


Fujimaru 1:
Talk about an endless, pointless argument...


Mash:
I agree... After all, no two people will always agree about what constitutes good looks.

Achilles:
This is so stupid.

Achilles:
Now I wish we'd brought Paris along.
He's a better looker than all of them.

Mandricardo:
I'm surprised you've got so much respect for the guy who killed you.

Mandricardo:
Aw, crap, sorry. I didn't mean to say that out loud.

Achilles:
Oh, absolutely!

Achilles:
It took a lot of courage for him to take up that bow and kill me, and I respect him for it.

Achilles:
Not that I can say so when he's around,
since he's always taking potshots at me.


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah, it might be better that way...

Mandricardo:
Definitely.


Fujimaru 2:
Why not? No need to be shy with praise.

Mandricardo:
You think? Something tells me that wouldn't go over very well.


Charlotte Corday:
Did something happen with you and Master,
Mandricardo? You seem...closer now, somehow.

Mandricardo:
...Kinda.


Fujimaru 1:
Really? That's all you're gonna say?


Charlotte Corday:
So...you're friends now?
Grr, I'm kind of jealous.

Charlotte Corday:
Maybe it would help me get closer to [♂ him /♀️ her] too
if I tried speaking more informally myself?

Charlotte Corday:
...Would that be okay?

Orion:
Hell yeah it would.
Speaking as a lifelong romantic, I guarantee it.

Orion:
And if you want to get closer to me while you're at it,
that's totally okay, too.

Charlotte Corday:
Hmm. Then again, that's easier said than done.

Orion:
Whup, you're not even listening to me, are you?
Guess she's lost in her own thoughts right now.

Charlotte Corday:
The nuns at the abbey were always very particular about ensuring we spoke politely, after all, and it's very hard to unlearn a lifetime of habits like that overnight.

Charlotte Corday:
Whatever am I going to do...?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Oh?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Master, I can see a hunter off in the distance.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Perhaps we should try asking him
where we can find the labyrinth.


Fujimaru 1:
Looks like that might be our only choice...


Mochizuki Chiyome:
Then I will try speaking to him casually,
so that he does not think us suspicious.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hiya there!!!

Perse Island Hunter:
Wha...!? Who're you!?

Achilles:
So much for that plan...
I'll go too and try to smooth things over.

Perse Island Hunter:
The labyrinth? Why would you wanna go there?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
It is our job to go around investigating ruins of that nature.

Perse Island Hunter:
Uh-huh...

Perse Island Hunter:
Well, there might be one old man back in the village who knows where it is.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Really? That would be a big help.

Perse Island Hunter:
Come with me. I'll show you the way.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
We have heard rumors that the labyrinth's monster is no longer there. Do you know if they are true?

Perse Island Hunter:
Hmm, first I've heard of that.

Perse Island Hunter:
...Wait. Really? The labyrinth monster's gone now!?

Perse Island Hunter:
When I was a kid, my parents told me to stay away from there unless I wanted to be eaten. Some people went to check it out themselves and never returned.

Perse Island Hunter:
And now the nameless monster's dead, huh?
Never would've seen that coming.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I'm sorry, nameless?

Perse Island Hunter:
Oh, I think it used to have a name at some point,
but we all forgot it ages ago.

Perse Island Hunter:
I mean, why would we need to know it?

Perse Island Hunter:
It's not like we were ever gonna
go near the thing, anyway.

Mash:
...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hmm, I see.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Then, none of you ever thought
to try to vanquish this monster?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
You are all more than strong enough to handle Demonic Beasts thanks to your Theos Klironomia.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
So how come none of you ever thought to kill the labyrinth monster and make a name for yourselves?

Perse Island Hunter:
Why would we want to do that?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Well, you know. To be heroes or something...

Perse Island Hunter:
Are you nuts? How could a bunch of exiles like us ever become heroes?

Mash:
Um, when you say “exiles,” do you mean you were exiled from Olympus?

Perse Island Hunter:
Yeah, that's right.

Perse Island Hunter:
They said we had bugs or something
like that, so we got kicked out.

Perse Island Hunter:
So it'd be wrong for us to become heroes.

Achilles:
Can I ask you something too?

Achilles:
That'd mean you knew there was a monster in the labyrinth all this time, but you never tried to kill it, right?

Achilles:
Weren't you scared knowing it was out there? That it could come and attack you in your village anytime it wanted?

Perse Island Hunter:
What else could we do? A god made that monster,
so we got no business killing it.

Achilles:
...Gotcha.

Perse Island Hunter:
Okay, there's the village over there.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Wonderful, thank you.
I will go on ahead, then.

Goredolf:
I must say, there's something very...bland about these people.

Orion:
That Artemis said something along those lines, too.

Orion:
That there's something about them that's fundamentally different from us.

Jason:
For better or worse, there were definitely people like that in Proper Human History, too.

Jason:
People who unquestioningly accept what they've been given and settle down, without attempting to push things forward.

Jason:
Honestly, they were probably the majority.
It's a much easier way to live, after all.

Jason:
People like that aren't the type to embark on an arduous quest so they can come home with a golden fleece.

Jason:
But at least they don't try to drag you down or badmouth you. That much, I appreciate.

Goredolf:
...I don't know if I agree with that.

Goredolf:
Doesn't the fact that none of them ever say anything mean, or try to drag others down, mean that they don't even feel such basic emotions as frustration or envy?

Holmes:
Indeed.

Holmes:
The people of Atlantis have gone down a very different path, both from Proper Human History and from the people of the Indian Lostbelt.

Holmes:
I have no doubt that their lives are peaceful and content.

Holmes:
They live for hundreds of years, and I suspect most of them have never caught so much as a cold...

Holmes:
...because the Theos Klironomia–the general-purpose nanomachines they have been given stop every germ and virus in its tracks.

Holmes:
They spend their many days tilling their fields, tending their livestock, hunting wild game, protecting their village from Demonic Beasts, and worshipping Olympus.

Holmes:
A simple life, to be sure.

Goredolf:
The people of the Chinese Lostbelt had forgotten their culture because it was taken away, but these people have abandoned civilization in the wake of their exile.

Goredolf:
No, that's not quite right... It's more that there's simply no need for them to develop their civilization further.

Orion:
...I see.

Holmes:
I also doubt that this civilization imposes any form of sacrifice on its people, unlike Proper Human History and its tendency to plow ahead regardless of who or what may be obstructing its path.

Holmes:
That being said, we have thus far only seen how these exiled Atlanteans view this world.

Holmes:
Whereas the people who live in Olympus near the top of the Tree of Emptiness may well see things differently.

--ARROW--

Perse Island Resident:
Hon! You're back!

Perse Island Hunter:
I sure am. And I come bringing
all the meat you could ask for!

Perse Island Resident:
And who might these folks be?

Perse Island Hunter:
They say they're here to investigate the labyrinth.

Perse Island Resident:
Huh, okay. What about it are you looking to investigate?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Well, you know... This and that.

Perse Island Resident:
Even though you're still so young and small?
Goodness, you poor thing.

Perse Island Resident:
I can't believe you have to go around investigating labyrinths when you can't be more than a hundred years old.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Gnnn. ...Ahem.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
W-well, what can I say? On my island, it is customary to begin working in one's adolescence.

Perse Island Resident:
Anyway, the labyrinth, huh?
Now where was it again...?

Perse Island Hunter:
I'm guessing old man Kynigos will know.

Perse Island Hunter:
I remember him saying he went there way back when.

Perse Island Resident:
Hmm, let's see... I think Kynigos should be living in the oldest house in the village.

Perse Island Resident:
Though I'm not sure if he's even still alive,
to be honest...

Kynigos:
The labyrinth?
Why would you wanna go somewhere like that?

Kynigos:
You do know there's a monster there, don't you?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Oh, yes, there is no need to worry.
We are quite capable of taking care of monsters.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
All we need is to know how to get there. So if you have
a map, or something of the sort, that would be a huge hel–

Kynigos:
You know the way you talk?
All stiff and all. It's weird.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Weird!?

Mash:
(Jason's over in the corner not even trying to stifle his laughter!)

Kynigos:
...Well, whatever.

Kynigos:
This is the map data I used back when I went, so don't blame me if the roads have changed since then.

Kynigos:
Should I just send it to you then?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
U-uh, yes, that would be...
I mean, that'd be fine...

Kynigos:
Gosh, I haven't sent data like this in forever.


Fujimaru 1:
How come?


Kynigos:
'Cause there's usually no need to when we're just out here living our lives.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...Could you not use this functionality to communicate with people far away?

Kynigos:
Why would I need to do that when everyone I'd want to talk to is right here?

Kynigos:
I sure don't know anyone on any far-off island.

Kynigos:
It would be one thing if we could use it to communicate with the gods. That would truly be a blessing.

Kynigos:
But there's no point in forming networks between ordinary humans.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hmm... I suppose you are–
I mean, I s'pose you're right.

Perse Island Hunter:
Come on, Kynigos, it's almost time to eat.

Kynigos:
I know. I'll be right there.
All right, that's all I've got for you.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Thank you for your help.
This will be invaluable.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
These people really do not–I mean,
don't have any ambitions, do they?


Fujimaru 1:
It's okay. I think it sounds just fine coming from you.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
(Sniff) Do you really think so, Master?

Jason:
Whoa, whoa, come on, Master.

Jason:
She's just trying to stand out.

Jason:
Nobody from anywhere close to modern times would actually talk like that otherwise.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
How rude! I will have you know there were plenty of other people from my clan who spoke in this manner!

Mandricardo:
(Whoa. A whole village of kunoichi talking like dictionaries...)


Fujimaru 2:
It's okay. You're cuter when you're being polite and all.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Cute!? Wha...!?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
D-d-d-d-do not be ridiculous.
I am a kunoichi first and foremost, remember?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
And cuteness is one of a kunoichi's primary weapons,
so it only makes sense that I would be cute as well.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
What I am trying to say, Master, is that you must have unwittingly fallen prey to my kunoichi charms!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...You have my sympathies!!!

Jason:
Dammit, Master, you've got to be more careful with complimenting that one.

Jason:
Any praise this ninja gets goes right to her head.
She's real gullible like that.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Gullible!? You, Lord Jason, are calling ME gullible!?

Jason:
And you think I am!?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
You may not be gullible, but you are absolutely beguilable!

Jason:
That's not even a word!


Mochizuki Chiyome:
...Ahem. At any rate.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
As I was saying, these people truly do not have anything in the way of ambitions or vigor!

Jason:
That's just what happens when people spend their whole lives without any kind of technological revolution.

Jason:
When life now looks exactly the same as it did ten thousand years ago, of course they'd lose all appetite for it.

Charlotte Corday:
At least it's a very peaceful way to live...

Jason:
Only because these people haven't
moved past depending on the gods.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
You know, Lord Jason, for someone born in the Age of Gods, you certainly do not like them very much.

Jason:
You wouldn't either if you'd grown up there.

Jason:
Though I have to say, whether we're talking this Lostbelt or Proper Human History, knowing the Twelve Olympians were robots makes a lot of sense.

Jason:
It explains why their way of thinking was always so incredibly inhuman.

Mandricardo:
Huh?

Mandricardo:
I thought the Greek gods were famous for being,
you know, all too human.

Jason:
Yes, and their motives were definitely human. But the conclusions they arrived at, and the way they generally conducted themselves, were all distinctly inhuman.

Jason:
For example, some scholars believe they started the Trojan War to thin out the human population after they decided there were too many of us.

Mandricardo:
...Yikes.

Jason:
I don't know if that's true or not, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was.

Jason:
And let's not forget that in this Lostbelt, the same Twelve Olympians have endured all the way up to the present day.

Jason:
I'm sure even the minor gods live anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand years here.

Mash:
You know, that reminds me of something.

Mash:
While it may be to different degrees, you said the Greek gods were robots both here and in Proper Human History, right?

Mash:
But the Divine Spirit-based Servants that we've met–like Euryale, for example–all looked like ordinary humans.

Goredolf:
So, if the Twelve Olympians are robots, why aren't the gods who served them robots as well?

Mash:
Right. For instance, Orion.
Poseidon is your father, right?

Orion:
Yeah, he is.

Orion:
But...I get the feeling I never actually met him back when I was alive.

Holmes:
Hmm. I expect that may be very similar to the way myths ebb and flow throughout the world.

Holmes:
For example, we already know that gods which emerged from concepts and nature across various lands were integrated into Greek mythology.

Holmes:
So while I can't be sure if this is due to the Twelve Olympians themselves or the faith of their worshippers...

Holmes:
...it makes perfect sense in this case that subservient gods would take the form of humans and animals.

Holmes:
After all, these robotic gods clearly came from another planet altogether, and are of a wholly foreign nature.

Goredolf:
But even so, wouldn't the myths end up twisting the forms of these subservient gods to resemble the Olympians?

Goredolf:
I mean, it happens all the time, right?

Goredolf:
When an enemy god from a different land's mythology is changed into a hideous monster...

Goredolf:
...their form ends up changing after the fact to match.

Goredolf:
So why wouldn't that happen to god being made subservient to one of these robots?

Holmes:
The Olympians may have wished to avoid appearing completely alien to their worshippers.

Holmes:
After all, I rather doubt there was anything else in all of ancient Greece in any way similar to them.

Holmes:
So the fact that Orion looks completely human despite being Poseidon's son is most likely–

Nemo:
Yeah, I think you're right.

Nemo:
The Triton side of me still remembers what Poseidon looked like...

Nemo:
...but I think that's only because he gave Triton special treatment, since he entrusted him to defend the sea as his successor.

Nemo:
Whereas I don't think he thought of his “children” who lived on land as anything more than familiars.

Orion:
...Yeah, good point! Now that I think about it, I don't actually know a single thing about my old man!

Achilles:
My mother was a lesser god,
and looked completely human...

Achilles:
Though that didn't stop my parents from separating because of “irreconcilable differences.”

Jason:
Well, suffice to say, I think there's one phrase that sums it up perfectly: “The gods are crazy.”

Mandricardo:
Man, now I'm glad I never had any Divinity of my own...
Anyway, we're here now.

Mandricardo:
...There's nobody else here.

Jason:
There isn't, is there.
What's the meaning of this?

Jason:
I mean, you'd expect there to be at least a few guards around an island temple by now, right?

Achilles:
And there's no way the villagers wouldn't have told them where to find it...

Goredolf:
Do you suppose this monster that lives in the labyrinth might have eaten them?

Holmes:
That seems highly unlikely.

Holmes:
From everything we've been told, he resided deep within the labyrinth, even here in this Lostbelt.

Holmes:
More concretely, there are no signs of a struggle here.

Jason:
...I'm getting a bad feeling about this. Should we leave someone on lookout, or should we all go in together?


Fujimaru 1:
Let's all go in together.

Jason:
Well, well... You don't usually speak up so directly. All right, we'll go with that then.


Fujimaru 2:
What do you think, Jason?

Jason:
Hmm... Let's all go in together.

Achilles:
Hang on, Leader. What's your reasoning?

Jason:
It's standard practice to leave someone standing guard when delving into underground labyrinths like this, right?

Jason:
That's why I don't like it.

Achilles:
...Gotcha.


Mash:
All right then, let's go in.

Charlotte Corday:
Okay!

Mash:
...This labyrinth looks a lot
like the one we saw in Okeanos.

Jason:
Guess this means the story about Daedalus building it to contain the Minotaur is pretty much the same here.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Though it seems like Lord Daedalus's name was never recorded in this Lostbelt's legends...

Da Vinci:
Okay.

Da Vinci:
I'm guessing we'll lose comms right about now.

Goredolf:
Huh? Why's that?

Da Vinci:
Because that's what the records from Okeanos say.


Fujimaru 1:
Right. I remember now.


Mash:
Yes.

Mash:
This was where we met Asterios and Euryale.
That was quite the ordeal, wasn't it?

Jason:
...

Charlotte Corday:
What is it, Jason?
You look like your head is about to split open.

Jason:
Let's just say all my memories of Okeanos are extremely, extremely bad ones...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hahaha, now, now.
Think of this as your chance for a new beginning.

Note: If you have cleared Shimosa

Mochizuki Chiyome:
In my case, my records say that I once went about calling myself Assassin of Paraíso and causing no end of havoc!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Apparently, I even tried to enchant Master here by saying something like “Shall I keep you company for the night?”!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I have to say, I would be interested in trying that myself at some point!


Fujimaru 1:
It was one of the scariest things I've ever experienced...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Then it sounds like it helped you to learn just how terrifying we kunoichi can be.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Who knows? Perhaps this carefree smile I am wearing now is actually all just an act.


Fujimaru 2:
It was very exciting...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hmm. I see.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I do apologize for that, Lady Mash,
but I am afraid it was out of my hands.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I cannot help that I am too beautiful for this world.

Mash:
G-gnn...

Jason:
Don't worry about it, Shielder. There are as many fetishes as there are stars in the sky.

Mash:
I really fail to see how that's supposed to help me not worry, Jason!


Note: Branch End

Mandricardo:
Whoop. We've got Demonic Beasts! ...Damn,
there's more of 'em than I thought there'd be!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
They are coming in both behind and in front of us.
I count...twenty-six all together!

Jason:
I see. Then it looks like the Minotaur really is gone.

Jason:
There's no way it would let this many weaklings take up residence in its labyrinth otherwise.


Fujimaru 1:
Either way, we're still surrounded...


Achilles:
Hahaha. We might be surrounded–

Orion:
But it's gonna take way more than a bunch of weaklings like these to challenge me!

Achilles:
Oh? In that case, Orion, what would you say to a little contest?

Orion:
Sounds good to me. I'll even give you a handicap to make up for your injury.

Achilles:
Don't worry about that. I don't need my immortal body to take care of these chumps.

Orion:
So what'll it be? Whoever kills the most wins?

Achilles:
Whoever kills the most, the fastest!

Orion:
You're on!

Jason:
...Good.

Jason:
If you guys are that sure you can win,
I can relax and get some shut-eye.

Jason:
Wake me up when you're done.

Charlotte Corday:
I don't believe it.
You're actually lying down to sleep!?

Jason:
Master, you can handle picking the formation.
You CAN manage that much, right?


Fujimaru 1:
Will do.

Jason:
Good.


Fujimaru 2:
Don't worry. I've got this.

Jason:
Well, well, now look who's on top of things.
All right then, I'll leave you to it.


Mochizuki Chiyome:
Here they come!

Mash:
Awaiting your orders, Master!
Note: Branch Begin


Fujimaru 1:
Achilles, you take the front.

Achilles:
Got it!


Fujimaru 2:
Orion, you take the front.

Orion:
You got it, Fujimaru!


Both:
Let's do this!

--BATTLE--


Note: If you selected Achilles

Achilles:
There we go! That's the last of them!

Orion:
Aw, dammit!

Achilles:
Looks like I won at both speed and kills.
Got a problem with that?

Orion:
No, I don't.
(Sniff)

Orion:
Come on, Master, can't you give me some orders too!?


Fujimaru 1:
It's hard to keep track of two battlefronts at once...


Note: If you selected Orion

Orion:
Hraaah!!!

Achilles:
All right!!!

Orion:
Since we both got the same number
of kills, that means I win!

Achilles:
Huh? Come on, that was totally a draw at best!

Orion:
What do you think, Master?


Fujimaru 1:
Orion was faster.


Achilles:
Dammit! I was too slow!

Orion:
Aren't you going to use your injury as an excuse?

Achilles:
And embarrass myself in front of Master? Hell no.

Achilles:
Besides, in a tight space like this, efficiency's more important than speed anyway.

Achilles:
I just didn't put together my plan
of attack as well as I could've.

Achilles:
Though I still would've won if
I'd had Master backing me up.


Fujimaru 1:
Sorry, but I just can't pay attention to two battles at once...


Achilles:
Yeah, I know, but still!

Note: Branch End

Jason:
Hahaha. Looks to me like you still have a lot of learning to do in that regard.

Jason:
But don't worry.

Jason:
Now that I am mentally rested after a quick power nap, I'll be more than able to make up for your many shortcomings.

Charlotte Corday:
I keep telling you! Servants don't need to sleep!
Ugh.

Jason:
By the way, Scout Chiyome,
how are things looking up ahead?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
This is the furthest point on the old man's map, but there is still a great deal of labyrinth left to cover.

Charlotte Corday:
So what do we do now?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Worry not. I have this well in hand.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Now that Lord Hephaestus's presence is getting stronger, I should have no difficulty finding him.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Follow me!

--ARROW--

Mash:
I know we expected as much, but...
this labyrinth certainly is long, isn't it?

Mandricardo:
How're you holding up, Master?


Fujimaru 1:
I'm...fine...

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
U-um, I don't think I can keep going much longer, so...

Jason:
Oh come on. Are you kidding me, Corday?
And you call yourself a Servant?

Jason:
I don't want to be here any longer
than we have to be. We keep moving.

Mandricardo:
...!

Mandricardo:
I-I don't think I can keep going much longer, either!
I'm gonna take a little break!

Mash:
...!

Mash:
Oh, right.
I actually can't keep going much longer, either!

Mash:
Come on, everyone, let's all take a break!


Fujimaru 2:
I think I might have to stop and rest soon.

Jason:
Hmph. Given your penchant for just forging ahead no matter what, you must really be exhausted.

Mash:
Why don't we all take a break then?

Mash:
Here, Master. Just give me a moment to find a blanket to put down, then you can sit.

Charlotte Corday:
Your legs must be especially tired, huh?
I'll just massage your calves for you.

Mandricardo:
I, uh...

Mandricardo:
I guess I'll stand lookout for now.


Jason:
Hey, Corday.

Jason:
When you're done massaging Master's legs,
make sure you do mine next!

Charlotte Corday:
Okay!

Charlotte Corday:
...Wait. I thought you weren't tired?

Jason:
I'm not. I just want to feel relaxed.

Charlotte Corday:
In that case, you can massage your own legs.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Oh, very well. If you truly want one, I can oblige with a pressure point massage if you like.

Jason:
Great. I'll leave you to it then.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Understood. Acupressure it is then.

Jason:
!!!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hmm.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I was not aware that Servants could build up exhaustion to this degree.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Here we go.

Jason:
...!
......!!!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
It seems you have something of a bad liver. For that, I need to really dig in, as if I were trying to gouge the pressure point right out of you.

Jason:
Ah! Gah! Eeeh!
S-save–

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Here I go.

Charlotte Corday:
...

Mandricardo:
...


Fujimaru 1:
M-maybe I should stop her...


Mash:
I-I'm not really sure what the
best thing to do here is...

Jason:
P-please...stop... I don't want to die...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
All right, last one.
Be warned, this is going to hurt a bit.

Jason:
Huh? You mean everything else up till now wasn't supposed to!?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hup!

Jason:
OW!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Phew, that is better. You were quite stiff, but everything should be nice and loose now. How about you, Master? Would you also like me to–


Fujimaru 1:
Please spare me...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I-I guess I overdid it a little...


Fujimaru 2:
Thanks, but no thanks...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Now, now, there is no need to be shy.
Huh? It is not that at all? Aww.


Charlotte Corday:
Um... Say, Master?

Charlotte Corday:
What was the Proper Human History Mino–I mean, Asterios like?


Fujimaru 1:
He was very kind... I think.

Charlotte Corday:
I see...

Charlotte Corday:
That doesn't quite line up with what I know about him.

Mash:
True...

Mash:
In some ways, he was like the Platonic ideal of a monster dwelling in a labyrinth.

Mash:
But in others, he was nothing like that at all.


Fujimaru 2:
In a word: big.

Mash:
Yes, Asterios was definitely very big.

Mash:
I don't think I'll ever forget the sight of him carrying Euryale on his shoulder.


Jason:
For better or worse, he was the archetypical example of a tragic monster.

Jason:
If he'd only been raised differently, all of his so-called monstrous qualities would have made him a great hero.

Jason:
Ha! I can practically taste King Minos' sheer cowardice even now!

Jason:
He could have made Asterios into his most powerful weapon if he'd only played his cards right, but instead, he let his fears get the best of him, and ended up raising a great brute of a monster!

Achilles:
That's pretty much par for the course with cowardly kings.

Achilles:
Far as they're concerned, any ally who could conceivably take their throne from them is an enemy to be feared.

Jason:
Cut it out, Achilles. You're reminding me of a king just like that, and I'd rather forget the man.

Achilles:
Fine with me. I'd just as soon not think about the one I knew, either. All right then, no more king talk.

Orion:
Gotta say, being a hunter meant I never really had to worry about kings.

Achilles:
Yeah? Man, that must be nice... I'm kind of jealous.

Achilles:
Since I chose to live out my destiny as a hero, the idea of getting to be a simple hunter's pretty much an impossible dream for me.

Jason:
Especially since your destiny
only lasted you about ten years.

Achilles:
Buzz off. I'm happy enough with how things turned out.


Fujimaru 1:
They're really hitting it off, aren't they?


Mandricardo:
This is what happens when you have a buncha cheery guys in one place. Honestly, if you ask me, you'd normally be right there with them.


Fujimaru 1:
You think?


Mandricardo:
Definitely.

Charlotte Corday:
(Sigh)...

Charlotte Corday:
Hearing about all of your experiences has made me realize how simplistically I used to think.

Charlotte Corday:
I used to believe the world
was much more black-and-white.

Charlotte Corday:
I thought defending the place I lived was good,
and anyone who tried to destroy it was evil.

Mandricardo:
...In one sense, you're not wrong.

Mandricardo:
Even animals will instinctively protect their territory and attack whatever threatens it.

Charlotte Corday:
I guess...

Charlotte Corday:
But in the end, I was sentenced to die,
and people thought me evil.

Jason:
Don't be an idiot!

Jason:
If you think you're evil, you should see what kind of villainy my ex-wife put me through!

Jason:
Victims become victimizers, and victimizers become victims. It happens all the damn time.

Jason:
You can't let yourself worry about that sort of thing if you actually want to be a hero!

Charlotte Corday:
I-is that really how it works?

Jason:
If you don't believe me, ask me what I was like in Okeanos!

Jason:
Even with Medea tricking me, just the thought of what I did back there twists me up inside!

Charlotte Corday:
...


Fujimaru 1:
But at least I trust you now.

Jason:
Gee, thanks! It's just what I never wanted!


Fujimaru 2:
But at least we're friends now!

Jason:
Friends? Seriously? Don't be ridiculous.

Jason:
I feel like you're only bringing
up even worse memories for me...


Charlotte Corday:
Thank you, everyone. I can see I still have a great deal to learn...about a lot of things.


Fujimaru 1:
So, shall we get going again?


Charlotte Corday:
Sounds good! I'll be with you every step of the way!

Section 16: Three-Headed Dog

Mash:
We made it!

Jason:
Th-that was exhausting...
What's with all those defenses anyway?

Mandricardo:
Maybe Hephaestus made them.

Jason:
In that case, they should realize
we're all on the same side, dammit!

Achilles:
Maybe they were bugging out or something.
Well, whatever.

Achilles:
The important thing is, we're here now.


Fujimaru 1:
Hephaestuuus!!!


P.A. System:
Hephaestus activated.
Controller unit damaged.

P.A. System:
Substitute AI activated.
Forge unit activated.

Hephaestus:
Master authorization...
Fujimaru

Hephaestus:
Diagnosis: Achilles...
Severe injury detected.

Hephaestus:
...Unsuitable.
Aborting plan.

Achilles:
Yeah, that tracks.
But I'm not the only option, Hephaestus.

Achilles:
What about this guy?

Orion:
It's me, Hephaestus, o god of the forge.

Orion:
The greatest hunter in all of Greece;
the invincible Orion!

Hephaestus:
Denied. Orion is not invincible.

Hephaestus:
Searching for true greatest hunter in Greece...

Orion:
Is it just me, or is he being weirdly hard on me!?

Hephaestus:
Searching... Searching...

Hephaestus:
...

Hephaestus:
Preparing qualification exam.


Fujimaru 1:
Qualification exam?


Hephaestus:
Initiating simulated battle.
Condition: only Archers may participate.

Achilles:
I see... So basically, we've gotta win this simulated battle before you'll give us the Divine Construct.

Achilles:
And Orion's the only one here who's allowed to fight.

Orion:
Fine with me, Hephaestus.
So who'll I be fighting?

Hephaestus:
You will be fighting a Servant whose data most closely
approximates the Artemis of Proper Human History.

Orion:
That's just Artemis!


Fujimaru 1:
That little guy on top is you!


Orion:
...

Orion:
THAT's me!?

Orion:
Dammit, I can already tell this is gonna be a huge pain in the ass, but fine, I'll do it!

Orion:
Bring it on!!!

--BATTLE--

Orion:
...There!

B:???:
AAARRR...
ghhhhhh...

B:???:
You'll paaaaaay...
for thaaaaaat...

Orion:
What the actual hell? That...that was a tiny bear who sounded just like me letting out some absurdly long death wail before just vanishing!


Fujimaru 1:
Th-that was disturbingly vivid...


Hephaestus:
...
...Just a little Olympian humor.

Orion:
Well, whoever programmed your so-called sense of humor clearly forgot to run the debugger!

Hephaestus:
Second qualification exam:
psychological assessment.

Hephaestus:
Can you kill the one you love?

Orion:
I just did, didn't I?

Hephaestus:
That one was only a shadow.

Hephaestus:
There may be differences between her Proper
Human History form and Lostbelt form...

Hephaestus:
But the question remains the same.

Hephaestus:
Can you kill the machine–the
goddess–called Artemis?

Orion:
...

Orion:
I've asked myself that same question a whole bunch of times. Can I really go through with it?

Orion:
Can I really nock an arrow to my bow, aim it up at her in the sky, and let it fly?

Orion:
At first, I thought I couldn't. That's why I gave up on protecting Proper Human History for a while.

Orion:
...But that's not the case anymore.

Orion:
Sad as it is, I realize now that I'll never be able to save her that way.

Orion:
I understand this is a Lostbelt.

Orion:
And I understand that that thing floating around up there isn't the Artemis I know.

Orion:
So if she insists on calling herself Artemis,
that's enough reason for me to risk my life to stop her.

Orion:
When I point my bow at her, I won't do it out of anger or hatred. It'll be out of pity.

Hephaestus:
Fujimaru.
A question.

Hephaestus:
Based on that answer, is Orion
mentally capable of carrying out this task?


Fujimaru 1:
Yes, he can go through with it... I think.


Hephaestus:
...

Hephaestus:
Bring forth the Divine Construct.


Fujimaru 1:
You're up, Achilles.


Achilles:
Got it.

Achilles:
Don't know if it's because of how I got it, but this armor always makes me feel like I'm wearing clothes my mother got me.

Orion:
Didn't your mother go to Hephaestus and tearfully beg him to make it for you?

Achilles:
Yeah, she did. And I do appreciate it,
along with the armor itself.

Achilles:
What can I say? It's not always easy being a hero.

Mandricardo:
Your mother was a goddess, right?

Achilles:
My mother's my mother, period.

Paris:
Hah! Look at the big mama's boy!

Paris:
...Wait. There's nothing wrong with having a good relationship with your parents, is there? Dammit!

Achilles:
Did you really contact us just to say that!?

Achilles:
There we go.
...Hmm. Guess it is a little rough without it.


Fujimaru 1:
How so?


Achilles:
Oh, I just got a little weaker when I gave it up.
Nothing to worry about.

Achilles:
I'm happy to give up my armor if it'll help us take down Artemis!

Hephaestus:
Checking. Analyzing. ...Yes. I can reforge this
into a Proper Human History Divine Construct.

Hephaestus:
The reforging process will
take approximately two hours.

Orion:
That long, huh. So we've gotta just hang out here twiddling our thumbs for two hours?

Jason:
I'm going to take a nap.

Charlotte Corday:
Again!?

Jason:
I try to think as little as possible. You can only get so much mileage out of one brain, you know.

Charlotte Corday:
I-I guess that makes sense...
Or maybe it doesn't...

Jason:
Don't worry.

Jason:
I would never ask an obvious land mine like you to lend me her lap for my nap.

Charlotte Corday:
Wait, what!? Did you really call me a land mine!?
Why in the world would you think that?

Jason:
Experience, observation, and intuition.

Achilles:
That might not be a lot of explanation, but I still totally get where he's coming from...

Orion:
(I've got a pretty good idea what he means too,
but I think I'd better keep that to myself.)

Jason:
On a different note:
Mash, don't forget the Theos Klironomia.

Mash:
O-oh, right. Thank you for the reminder.

Mash:
Excuse me, Hephaestus, but could we ask you for some of your nanomachines as well?

Hephaestus:
Query: What is your intended usage for them?

Nemo:
I want to embed them into Chaldea's ship...
the Shadow Border.

Nemo:
They'll help me make it into a ship capable of going toe-to-toe with Odysseus's fleet, and above all, one that can handle going up against Poseidon.

Nemo:
With them, I'm certain the Border can be wholly reborn...

Nemo:
It'll be like an iron steed swifter than shadow;
like a wild hunt that commands the storm itself!

Hephaestus:
Usage confirmed.
Authorization granted.

Hephaestus:
Hephaestus Klironomia are now ready for allotment.

Mash:
Here. I'll store them in this extra-large container Captain Nemo lent us.

Hephaestus:
No allotments remaining.

Hephaestus:
No Hephaestus Klironomia remaining.

Nemo:
Thanks, Mash.
...Don't worry, this should be enough.

Nemo:
So, I'll be borrowing the power of Hephaestus, god of the forge, to face my father, Poseidon.

Nemo:
I can't tell if that's irony, destiny, or both...

Nemo:
Either way, with these, the Border and I are going to change... And we're not going to lose next time.

Mash:
Don't worry, Captain Nemo. I promise I'll bring the nanomachines back safe and sound.

Nemo:
I know you will. Thanks.

Jason:
Oh, right, that reminds me.
Do you have a minute, Mochizuki Chiyome?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hm? What is this about?

Jason:
I've got a secret to tell you.

Jason:
I saw you telling Corday about
it before, but so you–

--ARROW--

Orion:
...(Sigh) Waiting around like this
with nothing to do is so boring.

Achilles:
Why don't you spend this time thinking about what you're gonna do once you've got it? For all we know, you might have to fire it right after we get out of here.

Hephaestus:
Firing at Artemis from this island is not recommended.

Orion:
Why's that?

Hephaestus:
An offensive mounted on her from a nearby island
failed. Every projectile disappeared before reaching
her. The reason for this remains unknown.

Holmes:
Disappeared before they could reach her, you say?
That is worrying.

Holmes:
I don't suppose you could provide
us with any more details?

Hephaestus:
There is a record from past
visitors regarding the incident.


Fujimaru 1:
Visitors...


Fujimaru 2:
Maybe they're the Servants from Proper Human History?


Jason:
Oh, right. Them.

Jason:
I'd rather not see their faces, but we could use all the information we can get.

Jason:
Show us, Hephaestus.

Hephaestus:
Viewing conditions met.

Hephaestus:
Uploading holographic data.
Initiating playback.

Archer:
I commend you all for making it this far.

Archer:
...Now, getting down to business:

Archer:
Since our last recording, a number of new Servants have joined us, but even more of us have been killed.

Archer:
Many of those fell at the hands of the enemy Alter Egos, Senji Muramasa and Kotomine Kirei.

Archer:
Unfortunately, we weren't able to gather any combat data on them. My only advice is to be wary of their strength.

Mash:
...!

Archer:
Don't worry about our sacrifices.
There's nothing you can do about them anyway.

Archer:
For the moment, some of us are still alive. I consider that a victory and I'd like you to do the same.

Sakata Kintoki:
That's right. We're still around,
kicking, and ready to help humanity.

Sakata Kintoki:
So don't worry about us, Chaldea!
We all knew what we were signing up for!

Archer:
...Moving on, take a look at
this data I'm about to send you.

Archer:
In the time since our last recording, we too had a run-in with the moon goddess's–Artemis's cannon.

Jason:
...!

Archer:
If we hadn't happened to be spread out at the time,
and if Heracles hadn't been there...

Archer:
...she would have easily wiped
us all out in an instant.

Archer:
No, that isn't quite right. We had a Servant with us who realized what was happening well before the rest of us.

Sakata Kintoki:
You're talking about ■■■■■■■■, right?

Sakata Kintoki:
Well of course he'd notice.
After all, he–

Archer:
...I'll cover up his name just in case.

Archer:
At any rate, we just barely managed to make it out of there with minimal losses by enhancing our cloaking function.

Archer:
After that–

Hephaestus:
Alert. Artemis has begun scanning this island.
Disabling communications for a short time.

Goredolf:
Hm? Hey, what's going–

Mash:
Hello? Can you hear us?
Please come in!

Mash:
...There's no response.
We've been cut off.

Jason:
Well, no need to worry about it.
He did say it was only for a short time.

Archer:
...Hephaestus, I'll proceed to the next answer once you've confirmed that communications have been disabled.

Mash:
Huh?

Hephaestus:
Confirmed. Communications are now disabled.


Fujimaru 1:
What's this about?


Archer:
What I'm about to tell you now has nothing to do with the Atlantic Lostbelt.

Archer:
None of this is certain, but I feel it is important you are told regardless.

Archer:
...Do you feel as though there's anything...off right now? Not in any of you, but in your current situation.

Archer:
Of course, I know that the circumstances are extremely dire right now. There's no doubt about that.

Archer:
But dire circumstances and something feeling off aren't the same thing. Look closely at everyone's faces. Listen intently to what they say.

Archer:
You may feel like it's wrong to suspect your companions, but you shouldn't. Trusting others unquestioningly isn't a virtue; it's just sticking your head in the sand.

Archer:
So suspect everyone.
Even the allies you would trust with your life.

Archer:
And while I trust this goes without saying,
keep this just between us. Please.

Archer:
...This alone probably won't be enough to assuage your doubts about shutting off the comms, so I'll also provide two pieces of key information.

Archer:
The first pertains to our
mutual destination, Olympus...

Archer:
Specifically, the route for getting there.

Archer:
And the second pertains to Artemis.

Archer:
We've performed a few different experiments now,
and it's clear that she's simply far beyond us.

Archer:
We all tried our Noble Phantasms on her,
and not a single one of them came close.

Archer:
...And it wasn't only because of the distance.
Our attacks all disappeared on their way to her.

Archer:
If it's even possible to reach her, it might only be from the island situated directly beneath her.

Archer:
That's the one place where you might be able to strike back. I'll send you that island's coordinates too.

Archer:
Over and out.

Hephaestus:
...

Hephaestus:
Resuming communications.

Goredolf:
Phew, there we go.
What in the world just happened?

Da Vinci:
Your vitals all look okay, but did anything happen while we were off-line?

Jason:
Well, we did get our hands on some valuable information, but it was mostly just pointless chitchat.

Jason:
We talked about the differences between gods and humans, philosophical quandaries, and some other crap that isn't the least bit helpful in our current situation.

Jason:
I guess Hephaestus was actually a lot more desperate for company than he let on.

Jason:
(...There, I've given you a plausible cover-up. You guys can take it from here, since this sounds like a Chaldea problem.)

Jason:
(Just make sure you keep your stories straight.
Got it?)

Mash:
One useful thing we learned was
the route to take to Olympus.

Jason:
And another was some information
we'll need to attack Artemis.

Jason:
Let me see the map.

Jason:
At a glance, it looks like there's nothing but sea around the Great Pit, where the Tree of Emptiness lies.

Jason:
So it seems like you should be
able to reach it from anywhere.

Jason:
But in fact, thanks to Poseidon's control over the ocean currents, there's only one route you can take to get there.

Jason:
And to take that route, there's one island you have to cast off from:

Jason:
Nemesis Island.

Jason:
The island named after the goddess of retribution is both the starting point in our journey to Olympus and its Tree of Emptiness...

Jason:
...and the last stop in our quest to destroy Artemis.

Holmes:
I see.

Da Vinci:
This is your area of expertise, Captain.
What do you think?

Nemo:
Hmm.

Nemo:
Well, the sea is supposed to be free.
Usually, it doesn't belong to anybody.

Nemo:
But if you wanted to restrict the paths available on the sea, ruling the currents would be a sure way to do it.

Nemo:
However, this new information also points out an unfortunate, extremely pertinent fact.

Jason:
Right. If this is true, then we have no possible way of escaping from Odysseus's army.

Jason:
Not when they already know exactly where we're headed.

Jason:
Since our quest to kill Artemis and cut down the Tree of Emptiness means we HAVE to go to Nemesis Island...

Jason:
...all Odysseus has to do is wait there for us with his army.

Jason:
Dammit, no wonder they haven't been putting more effort into looking for us.

Jason:
As far as Odysseus is concerned,
we're not on the open seas.

Jason:
We're stuck in an impenetrable, restrictive fortress.

Nemo:
There are all sorts of different seas out there, but this is the kind I hate the most. So much so that I can actually believe the legend about the Greek sea being red.

Holmes:
Let me make sure I understand you properly.

Holmes:
We cannot keep running away from Odysseus.
The only way to get past him is to go through him.

Goredolf:
But...there's no earthly way we can do that, right!?

Goredolf:
Remember, it's not just Odysseus's army we have to worry about!

Goredolf:
It's also Artemis.

Goredolf:
Orion may be able to hit her with his new bow,
but only if we focus entirely on that.

Goredolf:
But if the only way to do so is from this island Odysseus and his army are guarding...

Goredolf:
...then we have to somehow fight his army AND let Orion focus on killing Artemis.

Goredolf:
And that's all but imposs–

Hephaestus:
Warning. Warning.
Intruder alert. Intruder alert.

Orion:
What!?

Hephaestus:
Deploying defensive measures to eliminate threat.
.........Error.

Hephaestus:
Activating Atropos Barriers One through Three.
Deploying Pygmalion counterattack system.


Fujimaru 1:
What's happening!?


Pygmalion Defense Force:
Commencing counteratta–

Hephaestus:
Atropos Barrier One destroyed.
Atropos Barrier Two destroyed.

Hephaestus:
Approximate time to Atropos Barrier Three's
destruction:...two seconds.

Hephaestus:
Approximate time until intruder reaches
innermost temple: ten seconds.

Orion:
Here it comes!

Mash:
Wha–


Fujimaru 1:
Isn't that...


Orion:
You've gotta be kidding me!
Where the hell'd they pull this thing from!?

Orion:
...Right. The Echidna!

Orion:
I can't believe it can even give birth to creatures like this!

Charlotte Corday:
It's got three heads... Ah!

Goredolf:
Th-th-that's it! That's the thing that attacked us back when we first came to this Lostbelt!

Goredolf:
But what in the world IS it!?

Orion:
Something any figure from Greek mythology would recognize in a heartbeat.

Orion:
The three-headed guard dog of hell!

Mash:
Cerberus... The offspring of the Echidna!

Achilles:
Shit, it's going after Hephaestus!
Master, we've gotta keep him safe no matter what!

Achilles:
If this thing gets through, that's it!
It'll be all over for us! So come on, let's go!

--ARROW--

Charlotte Corday:
I-I'm sorry! I wish there was something I could do to help!

Hephaestus:
Analysis complete.

Jason:
Well!? Got anything more for us besides “It's strong”!?

Hephaestus:
Enemy is enhanced with Demeter Klironomia.
They specialize in self-regeneration.

Mandricardo:
Demeter's the goddess of harvest and agriculture,
right!? Damn, no wonder this thing's so tough!

Hephaestus:
Demeter is in charge of travel supply circulation.

Hephaestus:
She processes all manner of refuse, impurities,
waste, and carcasses, effectively recycling ninety
percent of them.

Hephaestus:
This enables her to make one thousand years' worth of
supplies last for an approximately four-thousand
year jour–

Jason:
I appreciate knowing her specs,
but none of that matters right now!

Mandricardo:
Hephaestus!
Is there anything you can do to help us out here!?

Hephaestus:
Negative. Building the Divine Construct
requires my full concentration.

Mandricardo:
So much for that idea. Dammit!

Orion:
Hey, I'm a hunter! Taking down dangerous beasts is my thing! If I can just lure him in a little closer, I can take care of him!

Orion:
Put me in, Master!
You won't regret it!

--ARROW--

Atlantis Border Guard:
Cerberus has entered its combat form.
We believe it should encounter the enemy shortly.

Odysseus:
Good. Set its Demeter Klironomia
to go haywire in five minutes.

Odysseus:
We'll use that to overload its regenerative functionality and make it explode, blowing up the entire temple.

Atlantis Border Guard:
...Are you sure about this, sir?

Odysseus:
Am I sure about what?

Atlantis Border Guard:
Don't you think using up a Demonic Beast powerful enough to hold back ten thousand ships just to take out less than ten enemy soldiers is–

Odysseus:
Wasteful?

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir.

Odysseus:
Perhaps.

Odysseus:
But my objective is to eliminate
any possibility of their survival.

Odysseus:
...

Odysseus:
Come to think of it, the report included her name among the enemy's ranks, didn't it?

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir.

Odysseus:
Hmm. I guess that makes this fate.

Odysseus:
Even if this operation fails, we'll be able to smoothly transition into the next one.

Orion:
Almost there!

Charlotte Corday:
...
...Ah.

Hephaestus:
Alert.
The Demeter Klironomia have begun to go haywire.

Orion:
What did you say?

Hephaestus:
External intervention confirmed.

Holmes:
...Run!!!

Holmes:
Odysseus means to have Cerberus go berserk!

Mash:
Wha–

Hephaestus:
Regenerative function overload detected.
The enemy will release a Mana Burst in ten seconds.

Jason:
A Mana Burst! Forget berserk;
he plans to blow the whole island sky-high!

Jason:
Dammit, why does Odysseus have to be so good at covering all his bases!?


Fujimaru 1:
Then we've got no choice but to run for it!


Orion:
But what about my bow and arrow!?

Hephaestus:
Time to completion:
thirty minutes

Achilles:
Dammit, we can't wait that long!

G:Charlotte Corday:
...

G:Charlotte Corday:
Please...move aside...

Mandricardo:
Corday!?


Fujimaru 1:
What are you doing...?


G:Charlotte Corday:
Please, move aside.

G:Charlotte Corday:
I can handle that Demonic Beast.

G:Charlotte Corday:
Zeus Klironomia, maximum power.

G:Charlotte Corday:
...Le Rêve Ensoleillé.

Paris:
No way. She wiped him out...like it was nothing...

Mandricardo:
...

Orion:
I can't believe it...

Holmes:
Did you just say “Zeus Klironomia,” Charlotte Corday?

Charlotte Corday:
...Yes, I did. I finally remember everything.

Charlotte Corday:
I'm a Heroic Spirit from Proper Human History who was summoned here...

Charlotte Corday:
...as a Lostbelt Servant.

Section 17: To the Sunset Red as Blood

Narration:
...I remember decrepit old machines, along with the great trees that had swallowed them up. And I remember the sunset that dyed everything with a pale red tint.

Narration:
I was summoned in answer to chants and prayers,
and I immediately recognized that something was off.

Odysseus:
So, it worked.

Odysseus:
First we draw a Proper Human History spell on top of a leyline, then assign it a pseudo-Command Spell...

Odysseus:
Not a very cost-efficient process.

Odysseus:
Much easier to get the numbers we need by turning Atlantean civilians into soldiers.

Charlotte Corday:
Where am I?
Wait. Who am I...?

Narration:
I know nothing.
I can't figure out what's going on.

Narration:
All I know for sure is that I'm in a very dangerous situation.

Charlotte Corday:
Are you...my Master?

Odysseus:
Yes, I am.

Odysseus:
From here on, you will dedicate your body, your life, and your skills to Olympus, down to your very last drop of blood.

Odysseus:
It is through this servitude that
your life will have meaning.

Charlotte Corday:
Um... What do you...mean by that?

Odysseus:
...If this is beyond your comprehension,
then your only task is to die.

Narration:
The steely man spoke quietly,
but his words carried an unmistakable fury.

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
...Yes, Master. My life is yours to command.

Odysseus:
What is your True Name?

Charlotte Corday:
Charlotte Corday...

Odysseus:
I see. The French Revolution's Angel of Assassination.

Odysseus:
Perhaps your presence here is because I killed Chevalier d'Eon and Charles-Henri Sanson.

Odysseus:
The blood of your French contemporaries must have acted as a catalyst.

Charlotte Corday:
That kind executioner...?
You...killed him?

Narration:
He doesn't answer. My entire body feels heavier from the weight of this unbelievable revelation.

Odysseus:
I may have used this leyline to summon you,
but I have no expectations for you whatsoever.

Odysseus:
My sole purpose in calling you here was to exhaust this leyline's magical energy.

Odysseus:
There is nothing you can do to aid me,
and I have no need for your loyalty.

Narration:
His words–such dull, passionless words–stung like white-hot needles.

B:Atlantis Border Guard:
We've confirmed that the leyline has spun out of control and suffered irreparable damage, sir.

B:Atlantis Border Guard:
No one will be summoning any
more Servants from this one.

Odysseus:
Nonetheless, now that our fates have been tied together, I must give you some sort of order.

Odysseus:
I can't have you wandering around
aimlessly when you don't belong here.

Narration:
I guess I'm going to be kicked out,
since there's no place for me here.

Narration:
I resist the urge to form a very un-Servant-like
self-deprecating smile.

Odysseus:
So your order is this: forget about us.
From there, the Zeus Klironomia will guide you.

Charlotte Corday:
Guide me...?

Odysseus:
You are now just another Rogue Servant. All you need do from here on is oppose us like the others.

Odysseus:
However.

Odysseus:
Should the demiurge inside you encounter an enemy god someday...then you will serve as a beacon.

Odysseus:
That is the only way in which you
might possibly be of use to me.

Odysseus:
Your actions will not be driven by your forgotten layers of memory, but by the Zeus Klironomia that have been embedded in your id.

Odysseus:
Once the Zeus Klironomia within you are fully activated, that will be the end.

Odysseus:
That is the only role I have for you, my Servant.

Narration:
Information I don't understand starts to pour into my brain, even as my memories of being summoned disappear.

Narration:
All I could do to resist was scream.

Narration:
When it was over, all that was left was my plain, ordinary, utterly useless self.

Charlotte Corday:
...Huh?

Charlotte Corday:
Does this mean I was summoned...?

Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
That's right.
I'm...a Servant of Proper Human History.

Charlotte Corday:
My True Name is Charlotte Corday.
I was summoned to this Greek Lostbelt so I could...

Charlotte Corday:
...Well, I'm not sure why I was summoned, but...
I still have to do the best I can...

Narration:
There was always a strange fog
hanging over a corner of my mind.

Narration:
...It was there back then.

Narration:
And then.

Narration:
And then. And then. And then.

Narration:
...And then.

Narration:
There was always, always something that felt off.

Narration:
Now that I've remembered what happened,
it's so obvious.

Narration:
Such a simple truth!


Fujimaru 1:
Charlotte!


Charlotte Corday:
Stay back!

Charlotte Corday:
If you get too close to me, I...
I...

Charlotte Corday:
I won't be able to take it!

Mandricardo:
Don't go near her, Fujimaru!

Hephaestus:
Zeus Klironomia activated.
Spirit Origin collapse initiated.

Mandricardo:
Crap, her Spirit Origin's one step from falling apart!

Achilles:
It's swelling up with magical energy!
It can't handle the strain!

Achilles:
She's like a balloon full of hostility that's just about to pop, and she's aiming is all right at us!


Fujimaru 1:
She is!?


Mash:
...

Mash:
I can sense it too.
But it isn't from Corday!

Hephaestus:
Zeus...the demiurge.

Holmes:
It would seem the Zeus Klironomia inside her have begun to take control.

Apollo:
Hey, uh, Master of Chaldea?
You need to finish her off.

Apollo:
Otherwise, you're just making her suffer.

Paris:
Lord Apollo, that's...!


Fujimaru 1:
...!


Mandricardo:
...You stay back, Fujimaru.

Mandricardo:
I'll take care of it.
You don't even have to give the order.

Orion:
...

Charlotte Corday:
P-please...! I can't hold out...any longer...
I'm about to...lose conscious–

Jason:
First things first:
we need to stop her!

Jason:
Everything else can wait until after that!
Come on! Take up your weapons!

--BATTLE--

Charlotte Corday:
Aaaaaaaaahhh!


Fujimaru 1:
This is horrible!


Achilles:
...I'm going to put her out of her misery.
That's all we can do for her now.

Mandricardo:
...!

Orion:
Wait!!!

Mandricardo:
...!?

Achilles:
Orion...?

Orion:
Corday.

Orion:
Let me make sure I understand what's going on.

Orion:
This is all happening because the Zeus Klironomia inside you are acting up, right?

Charlotte Corday:
Y-yes, that's r-right...

Orion:
Then do you think you can hold
out just a little longer?

Charlotte Corday:
...!?

Charlotte Corday:
No, I can't!
It's just too...too...!

Orion:
Master!

Orion:
It'd be real easy to put her out of her misery now.
All I'd have to do is smash her Spirit Core.

Orion:
...But are you really okay with that?


Fujimaru 1:
No way!!!


Mandricardo:
Then what do you suggest we do instead?

Orion:
We force the Zeus Klironomia to shut down.
Hephaestus!

Orion:
Can your Hephaestus Klironomia
disable Zeus Klironomia!?

A:All:
!?

Hephaestus:
Yes.

Hephaestus:
But they cannot remove them.
I would also need Athena Klironomia to do that.

Hephaestus:
Freezing target's Spirit Origin.
Initiating comatose state induce–

Apollo:
Hold up.

Apollo:
We were supposed to use those Klironomia to enhance the Border.

Apollo:
What you're proposing here doesn't make any sense.

Goredolf:
Exactly.

Goredolf:
Even in light of all the contributions she's made, it's clear that reinforcing the Border should be our top priority!

Goredolf:
I understand how you feel, but you won't do her any favors by wasting invaluable resources on a fool's errand!

Orion:
Hephaestus!
There's got to be a way to make this work, right!?

Orion:
If there wasn't, you'd have already said something.

Hephaestus:
...First, acquire Athena Klironomia.

Hephaestus:
Then re-extract Hephaestus Klironomia to use again.

Holmes:
Let me be sure I understand you.

Holmes:
You propose that we first use these Hephaestus Klironomia to freeze Charlotte Corday's Spirit Origin.

Holmes:
From there, we inject her with Athena Klironomia,
then re-extract the Hephaestus Klironomia?

Hephaestus:
Correct.

Apollo:
...I'll be blunt.

Apollo:
Do we really, in your view, have time to go to such lengths for an essentially useless pawn?


Fujimaru 1:
...


Fujimaru 2:
...


Orion:
I'll figure it out. I'll make it work.

Goredolf:
But we don't even know where
these Athena Klironomia are!

Hephaestus:
Sending coordinates to Athena Klironomia now.

Goredolf:
You know, there's such a thing as being TOO capable!

Holmes:
Well now. They appear to be on Eris Island, which is just off the coast of Nemesis island. It is, at least, on our way.

Charlotte Corday:
Please...don't...

Jason:
...Hmph.

Charlotte Corday:
Please...

Charlotte Corday:
Not being useful...is one thing...but I couldn't take it...knowing I was dragging all of you down!

Jason:
Master! Now's the time to decide!

Mandricardo:
Jason, how can you...!?

Jason:
I know, Mandricardo! But the fact is, only the living have the right to decide what will become of the dead!

Jason:
Now, what's it going to be?

Note: Critical Branch Selection Begin

Fujimaru 1:
We use the nanomachines on Charlotte!

Mandricardo:
...!

Mandricardo:
Yeah...yeah! Got it!

Mash:
Understood!


Fujimaru 2:
(Unable to answer)

Mandricardo:
...Orion! You're still sure about this, right!?

Orion:
...I am.

Mandricardo:
Then that's good enough for me!
Let's do this, Mash!

Mash:
R-right!


Note: Critical Branch Selection End

Charlotte Corday:
Please...don't...!
You don't have...to do this...for me!

Achilles:
How can we call ourselves heroes if we can't even save one person in trouble!?

Achilles:
...That about sum it up?

Achilles:
Don't worry about it. Once you're all better,
you can pay us back by saving us yourself!

Charlotte Corday:
I can't save you!
I can't save anybody!

Charlotte Corday:
I'm just–

Achilles:
Then don't worry about that, either.

Achilles:
We're just gonna save you 'cause
it feels better that way!

Apollo:
You're all very unreasonable creatures, aren't you?

Paris:
Dammit! I can't believe Achilles and I feel the same way about something!

Apollo:
On second thought, if Paris is good with it,
that's enough for me!

Da Vinci:
Think you two could step aside for a moment? Thanks.

Da Vinci:
I don't think it's my place to say anything here,
but for what it's worth...

Da Vinci:
If you're certain you won't regret this,
Fujimaru, I'm fine with it.

Jason:
Dragging others down is an awful feeling.
In some ways, it's a lot worse than death.

Jason:
It can make you want to drown your sorrows in booze,
or end things altogether.

Jason:
However!

Jason:
I'm still the captain of this ship, and I'm not letting any of my crew take the easy way out!

Jason:
So you're going to help us hoist the sails, raise the anchor, and conquer this sea with anger and laughter alike!

Jason:
Because you're an Argonaut, and that's what we do!

Charlotte Corday:
...!

Nemo:
I agree with Captain Jason.

Nemo:
I'm not very good at socializing. At heart, I'm honestly a misanthrope. But that has nothing to do with my principles.

Nemo:
And one of Captain Nemo's principles is, if there's someone in front of you you can help, you help them. Period.

Goredolf:
Ugh, I swear, the whole lot of you...
Fine! You win!

Goredolf:
Fujimaru, you hereby have my permission
to save Charlotte Corday, so save her already!


Fujimaru 1:
...Got it!


Fujimaru 2:
Thank you, Director!

Goredolf:
No, seriously, hurry it up before I change my mind!
I can't bear to watch this any longer!


Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
...Please...help me...!

Mash:
Right!

Mash:
Here are the Hephaestus Klironomia!

Hephaestus:
I recommend intravenous injection.

Charlotte Corday:
Khh...!

Charlotte Corday:
Nghhh.
Aghhh.

Charlotte Corday:
—, —.

Hephaestus:
Spirit Origin frozen.
Zeus Klironomia propagation halted.

Da Vinci:
How's Corday doing?

Mash:
First she collapsed, and now she appears to be sleeping.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I will carry her.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
It would not be right to ask Master, Lady Mash,
or any of the male Servants to do so.


Fujimaru 1:
Go for it.


Mochizuki Chiyome:
Not to worry.
Her breathing is strong and steady.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
So please, focus your attention on the weapon.

Orion:
Good point. We got caught up in...all that,
but how's my bow coming along, Hephaestus?

Hephaestus:
The Divine Construct reforging is complete.

Hephaestus:
It is a compound longbow designed solely for use
against interstellar fighters. I call it “Aegis Eclipse.”


Fujimaru 1:
Aegis Eclipse...


Mash:
Amazing!

Paris:
Incredible!

Paris:
I can't believe you put together a weapon as powerful as an Anti-Fortress Noble Phantasm so quickly!

Apollo:
Well, he is still the god of the forge,
even without his brain.

Apollo:
Way to go, Hephaestus!

Hephaestus:
...

Apollo:
Oh, right. I forgot you hate me.

Hephaestus:
Affirmative.

Mash:
Still, with a bow like this...
I think we have a real shot at beating Artemis!

Mandricardo:
When I was alive, I once got my hands on the legendary sacred sword Durendal, said to be the greatest sword to ever exist...

Mandricardo:
...and it feels like this bow is just as powerful.

Achilles:
Hell yeah, don't stop with the praise now.
That's my old armor you're talking about, after all.

Both:
That part, I don't like.

Achilles:
Come on, guys, you could at least
try being a little grateful!

Orion:
Let's see... Looks like it's got two arrows.

Jason:
Only two!?
I thought we told Hephaestus to make at least five!

Jason:
If you miss even one shot now, we'll be done for!

Orion:
Don't worry. There's no way I'd miss.

Jason:
That's exactly the sort of arrogance that leads to screwups. Ugh, dammit...

Hephaestus:
Unfortunately, this was the best I could
do with the materials available.

Achilles:
Too bad I didn't have my shield with me.
I'm sure that would've let you make more.

Hephaestus:
One arrow must eliminate Artemis's defenses.
The other must destroy her main unit.

Orion:
...Yeah. I think I can make that work.

Achilles:
You know you literally only
get one shot at both, right?

Orion:
Don't worry. I'm the greatest hunter
Greece has ever seen, remember?

Hephaestus:
Requesting wielder perform final test.

Orion:
Right.

Orion:
Can't use the real arrows now, of course,
so I'll have to try it with a different one.

Orion:
Ghh... Hnghhh...!

Orion:
(Gasp!)

Orion:
...

Orion:
Well, it won't be easy,
but it looks like I can manage it.

Goredolf:
Excellent. Then from there, it's only a matter of whether or not you can fire it accurately at the target!

Orion:
(Not quite. It's also a matter of what's gonna happen to my Spirit Origin afterwards...)

Orion:
(Theos Klironomia or not, I can tell firing those arrows is going to take one hell of a toll...)

Jason:
Good.

Jason:
Now we finally have the weapon we need to destroy the moon goddess, and an Archer that can wield it.

Jason:
All that's left now is–

Hephaestus:
Warning. Artemis has begun readying her cannon.

Hephaestus:
I recommend taking immediate shelter.
Repeat: I recommend taking immediate shelter.

All:

!!!

Orion:
Artemis!?

Hephaestus:
I recommend taking immediate shelter.

Hephaestus:

Hephaestus:
My current defensive systems cannot withstand this
attack. Take the civilian emergency escape pod.

Hephaestus:
I've already set it to your ship's coordinates.
Go.

Orion:
Does this mean she's going to blow
this entire island sky-high?

Hephaestus:
Correct.

Apollo:
...Wait.

Apollo:
Since you made the Divine Construct on this island...

Apollo:
...that would mean most of your primary unit would have to be here too.

Hephaestus:
Correct.

Paris:
What does that mean?

Apollo:
It means this is the end for Hephaestus, Paris.

Hephaestus:
That summation is both inaccurate and inappropriate.
You should explain more accurately; I will disappear.

Hephaestus:
Though there is another, separate of my units which
remains on Olympus along with Promethe–

Apollo:
Shut up. No wonder Aphrodite always cheated on your gloomy, uptight, can't-look-away-from-your-forge-for-a-minute ass.

Achilles:
(That seems more than a little uncalled for!)

Hephaestus:
I don't know anything about her, and I don't care.
My mating unit was the first one I got rid of.

Apollo:
You do know we might end up
fighting her at Olympus, right?

B:Hephaestus:
We chose different paths.
Much as it pains me to say it.

Apollo:
Then you DO feel pain about it.

B:Hephaestus:
...I shouldn't have said that.
Forget about it.

Apollo:
Oh, you bet I will!

Apollo:
All right then, see you around, Hephaestus. Even
in this Lostbelt, you were still the same old you.

Hephaestus:
Farewell, Apollo from Proper Human History. You were
good for just as little here as you were there.

Hephaestus:
...Go, Proper Human History.
Go put the world back as it should be.


Fujimaru 1:
...Goodbye!


Hephaestus:
Escape pod activated.
Initiating acceleration.

Hephaestus:
Chances of escape: seventy-eight percent.
Chances of eradication: seventeen percent.

Hephaestus:
Defensive systems online.
Initiating attack on target in orbital space.

Hephaestus:
Failure.

Hephaestus:
According to brain unit calculations...

Hephaestus:
...the chances of Proper Human History's
survivors arriving at Olympus are...

Hephaestus:
...five point six percent.

Hephaestus:
...?

Hephaestus:
Incoming report from communications unit.
Interstellar Fighter Artemis is...initiating a call.

Artemis:
Why?

A:Perse Island Hunter:
Hey! I've got huge news!

B:Perse Island Hunter:
What is it?

A:Perse Island Hunter:
An Olympian soldier said Lady Artemis is going to fire one of her arrows here!

B:Perse Island Hunter:
Really!? Then the gods have finally come for us!
Let's go tell the others! We'll finally be setting off!

Kynigos:
Hmm... I knew there was no point to having these communication features.

Kynigos:
How could there be when nobody ever uses them?

Kynigos:
Maybe I would have used them back then, if I'd realized three hundred years ago, but now...

Perse Island Resident:
Hey! Kynigos! Great news!

Kynigos:
What is it?

B:Perse Island Hunter:
Get a load of this!
Lady Artemis is going to show us some affection!

B:Perse Island Hunter:
We'll finally get to leave for Olympus!

Kynigos:
I see. So the time has finally come...

B:Perse Island Hunter:
Yeah, I can't wait. The whole village is already gathered out in the village square. Are you joining too?

Kynigos:
No, that's okay. I prefer this comfy old home of mine.

B:Perse Island Hunter:
Okay, suit yourself. Bye!

Kynigos:
Hmm...

Kynigos:
...

Kynigos:
Well...I suppose this is just the way life goes...

Kynigos:
Next time around, I hope I'll be born as a human closer to the gods.

A:Perse Island Hunter:
O Artemis! Great Artemis!
Goddess of the moon, destroyer of stars!

A:Perse Island Hunter:
Please, bathe us in your glorious light.
Please, take away our sins!

Hephaestus:
...Because I saw potential in Proper Human History.

Artemis:
Treason.

Hephaestus:
Our duty is to help make the
future as bright as possible.

Artemis:
So you're saying Zeus is wrong?

Hephaestus:
That's why the heroes rejected you.

Hephaestus:
The very fact that heroes of Proper Human History
didn't take your side is evidence for why our history
was denied.

Artemis:
Negative. They were only afraid of dying.

Artemis:
Humans fear death above all else,
and will do anything to prevent it.

Hephaestus:
That is partially correct.

Artemis:
...?

Hephaestus:
Most humans–most life-forms–fear death.

Hephaestus:
They squander their short lives,
unable to endure the attendant pain and emptiness.

Hephaestus:
There is no area in which humans surpass gods.

Hephaestus:
However...

Hephaestus:
There are times when beings only slightly superior
to humans manage to overcome that hurdle.

Hephaestus:
Whether it be knowledge, strength,
mentality, or something else...

Hephaestus:
...these beings take up weapons because there is
something they fear more than their own deaths.

Hephaestus:
We call these beings heroes, and they have
not existed among us for far too long.

Artemis:
Incorrect.

Artemis:
I disagree with everything you have said.
This time, I will destroy you utterly.

Hephaestus:
I accept this death willingly.

Hephaestus:
We were one to begin with,
and we will eventually be one again.

Artemis:
After my next message,
I will reject all future communication requests.

Artemis:
...Perish.

Section 18: Soldier-Sage's Trap

Nemo:
All ships, full speed ahead!
All systems green!

Da Vinci:
All systems are green on the Shadow Border too.

Da Vinci:
And judging by the comms link status, it looks like that's true for the other two ships too.

Mandricardo:
Looks like Hephaestus is gone now.
Along with the rest of Perse Island... Dammit.

Orion:
I bet. He was oddly human for a god.

Holmes:
Nonetheless, at the very end...

Holmes:
...he both saved your lives and created
a bow designed to destroy Artemis.

Holmes:
I only wish the other gods who sided with humanity had survived as well.

Mash:
Me too.

Mash:
I know the Greek gods are generally depicted as very, um, emotional beings, but all the same...

Paris:
You're not wrong there, Mash.
That definitely describes Lord Apollo.

Apollo:
Hey now, you don't know that. I could just be an automated system running a bunch of programs, right?

Apollo:
It's more than possible to simulate a personality,
along with external displays of emotion.

Apollo:
Of course, if the system itself
is designed to express emotion...

Apollo:
...then who's to say there's any difference between such “fake” emotions and real ones?

Apollo:
And if there is a difference, what could it be?


Fujimaru 1:
I never knew sheep were so into philosophy...


Fujimaru 2:
This is getting a lot more philosophical than I expected...


Apollo:
This isn't about philosophy!
This is a purely practical matter!

Apollo:
What do you think, Orion?

Orion:
You mean about you guys having feelings?
Of course you do.

Holmes:
Well now. I'm surprised you didn't
even need to think about it.

Orion:
What's there to think about?

Orion:
You could list all the differences between humans and machines you like, and it wouldn't change anything for me.

Orion:
Once you get to a point where you're testing zeroes and ones for nigh infinity, that's basically analog in my book.

Orion:
We all get to decide what emotions are for ourselves.
It doesn't matter what anyone else says.

Orion:
Here, Apollo, I'll ask you myself:
Are your emotions real?

Apollo:
...Well I'll be damned. I never thought I'd ever lose a debate to a barbarian like you.

Apollo:
The fact is, when it comes to things you make and wish with all your heart were real, it becomes impossible to tell what is real from what is not.

Nemo:
That's enough talking.
I'm going to head to the next island now.

Nemo:
We might have evaded Artemis again,
but Odysseus still knows we're here.

Nemo:
If we dawdle for too long, it'll only be a matter of time until he has us surrounded again.

Jason:
Our next stop is Eris Island, the island right before our ultimate destination of Nemesis.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I am afraid Lady Corday is still comatose.

Da Vinci:
That's because the Zeus and Hephaestus nanomachines are fighting each other for control...

Da Vinci:
...so she's been effectively deactivated as a result.

Da Vinci:
That said, I ran an analysis on her Spirit Origin,
and it looks like she's slowly wasting away.

Orion:
So it's a race against time then.

Da Vinci:
Yeah.

Bartholomew:
In that case, I take it you won't mind if we sail full speed ahead to Eris Island, fearless leader?

Jason:
Not at all.

Jason:
Our next goal is to find the Athena Klironomia.

Jason:
Once we've used them to revive Ms. Happy-Go-Lucky there, we'll use the Hephaestus Klironomia to finish work on the Nautilus.

Jason:
From there, we'll be heading out to cut down the Tree of Emptiness, but of course–

Goredolf:
We'll need to figure out the right time to bring down Artemis and deal with Odysseus's army.

Goredolf:
And let's not forget we'll also need to take down Poseidon while we're at it.

Goredolf:
...I say, isn't that a preposterously tall order?

Jason:
Forget tall. It's damn near impossible.

Jason:
That said, the Argo is the very pirate ship that made the impossible possible. So don't worry, Subordinate A, I've got everything well in hand.

Goredolf:
Hahaha. Surely you're not referring
to ME as “Subordinate A” are you?

Goredolf:
I assume you mean the shifty uninsured layabout idly fiddling around with the console there, yes?

Meunière:
It's Meunière! Meunière! Meu! Ni! Ère!
Three syllables! It's not that hard!


Fujimaru 1:
I'm gonna go check on Charlotte.


Mash:
Oh, I'd like to go with you.
Is that okay, Holmes?

Holmes:
That's fine. I expect we'll be continuing our dive for some time yet.

Charlotte Corday:
...


Fujimaru 1:
She doesn't look like she's in pain...


Mash:
No, she doesn't.

Da Vinci:
Hopefully that's true, but there's no way we can tell she's not having, say, horrible nightmares.

Mash:
Da Vinci...

Da Vinci:
Hey hey! Sorry for the intrusion, but I thought I'd go ahead and take a little break myself.

Mash:
Oh, in that case, go ahead and take the chair.
We don't mind standing.

Da Vinci:
Thanks!
Phew...

Da Vinci:
Looks like you two have been through a whole lot, huh?


Fujimaru 1:
We're not exactly out of the woods yet...


Da Vinci:
Ahaha, that's for sure.

Da Vinci:
Still, you made the right choice.
No, that's not quite right.

Da Vinci:
Back then, at that moment, YOU were in the right.
Completely and fully.

Mash:
I agree.

Mash:
Master–Senpai doesn't always do the right thing. I know [♂ he /♀️ she]'s snuck food sometimes, for example.

Mash:
But I absolutely, wholeheartedly support
the choice [♂ he /♀️ she] made back there.

Da Vinci:
That aside, you really shouldn't sneak food, you know? It's not fair to the rest of us, and it's not good for you, either.


Fujimaru 1:
I just get hungry sometimes!


Fou:
Fou fou!

Mash:
It looks like you've made an enemy of Fou.

Nemo:
We're coming up on Eris Island now.

Nemo:
Jason said he wants Fujimaru
and Mash to come to the Argo.

Mash:
Understood.

Mash:
...Please hang in there just a little longer, Corday.


Fujimaru 1:
I promise we'll save you, Charlotte.


Jason:
This time, I want to get in and get out
as quickly and quietly as possible.

Jason:
Mandricardo, Achilles, Paris, Chiyome, Master, Mash.

Jason:
Go out there and bring back the Athena Klironomia as fast as you can!

Jason:
I'll stay here on ship duty.


Fujimaru 1:
Got it!


Achilles:
Good to have you on the team.

Paris:
(Snub)

Achilles:
Little punk.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Very well then, I will go scout ahead as per usual.
Come, Master and Lady Mash, let us be on our way.

Mash:
Thank you, Chiyome! I'm glad you're here with us!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Teehee.

Mandricardo:
(She's real happy to have someone looking up to her.
I can tell.)

Mochizuki Chiyome:
We have made land.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...Uh-oh. I smell blood in the air.
Do not let down your guard.

Paris:
Blood? I don't smell any blood...

Achilles:
Me neither, but I can feel in my
bones that something went down here.

Paris:
...Now that you mention it, I think maybe I feel something like that too!

Mandricardo:
(He really doesn't want Achilles to beat him at anything, does he? ...Not that I can blame him.)

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Aha, this must be the source of that smell.

Mash:
It's a dead Demonic Beast.

Paris:
Blegh. It's a little...grotesque, isn't it?

Apollo:
Well, it is missing its head, so...

Achilles:
Let me see that.
...Yup, it was killed by a single strike.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
This was clearly a person's doing. Based on the cut, I believe they must have used a sword or similar large blade.

Achilles:
Damn, that must mean the soldiers got here ahead of us.

Achilles:
Then again, this is the closest island to Nemesis,
so I guess it makes sense that they'd be here.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
In that case, we have all the more reason to secure the Athena Klironomia and make a hasty retreat.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Fortunately, we know exactly where to look thanks to Lord Hephaestus's precise coordinates.

Achilles:
True.

Achilles:
So we'd better get a move on if we're gonna make the most of our advantage.

Achilles:
Make sure you don't fall behind, Paris!

Paris:
Why am I the only one you're calling out by name!?

Achilles:
Cause you're the one who was looking at butterflies and going “Ooh, pretty” not five minutes ago.

Paris:
G-gnnn...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Lord Paris, I am afraid I think your behavior may be too frivolous for our present circumstances.

Paris:
I-I'm sorry.

Mandricardo:
Come on then, let's get going.
We don't have any time to waste.


Fujimaru 1:
No, we don't.


Mandricardo:
(Nod)

Mash:
According to Hephaestus, the temple should be directly to the northwest of these woods.

Mandricardo:
Yup, there it is.
I can see it over there.

Mandricardo:
And there's the guards.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
We should take them quickly, before they have a chance to contact the others.

Achilles:
Paris, I want you to get the ball rolling.
You can handle that, right?

Paris:
...Yeah, I can.
How about you, Master? Are you ready?


Fujimaru 1:
All good here. Let's do this.


Paris:
Okay! Here I go!

Paris:
I'm counting on your help, Lord Apollo!
Yaaa!

Apollo:
Wait, you meant as an actual baaall!?

--BATTLE--

Mochizuki Chiyome:
They were much stronger than I thought!

Mash:
Y-yes, they were.

Achilles:
It did feel like they were on another level than the ones we've fought before, didn't it?

Achilles:
Ah well, doesn't matter now. We don't have time to stand around pondering what-ifs. Let's keep moving.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...!

Mash:
Chiyome!?

Mandricardo:
Ah, dammit. I just felt the same thing.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I-it would seem...another message
has been left here for us.

P.A. System:
Fujimaru.
Authorization complete.

P.A. System:
Initiating prior visitor support mission.

P.A. System:
Uploading holographic data.

Archer:
Hey there. Looks like we're all still alive.

Archer:
This will probably be the last transmission we send from Atlantis.

Archer:
You should be able to acquire the Athena Klironomia you came here for once it's over.

Archer:
How are you holding up, Master of Proper Human History. We have not yet met, but I hope you are not too exhausted.

Archer:
Between the robotic gods, the nanomachine-infested Demonic Beasts, and Odysseus, there are more than enough adversaries here powerful enough to break your spirit.

Archer:
I can only hope you've found the
strength to continue on undeterred.

Archer:
As for us, we've finished most of what we needed to accomplish, and we've made a few arrangements we hope will prove useful later.

Archer:
All that remains now is to hope they work as intended.

Archer:
Mochizuki Chiyome, Mandricardo, I'm sorry for asking you both to stay behind.

Archer:
Though I know Jason bailed out of his own accord...

Medea Lily:
It's okay, ■■. I'm positive Lord Jason will bounce back sooner or later.

Archer:
...Anyway, there you have it.

Archer:
We'll be setting off to Olympus now.

Archer:
I promise we'll find a way to help you.

Archer:
Odysseus's army is right on our
heels even as we record this.

Archer:
Chevalier d'Eon, Charles-Henri Sanson,
can I ask you two to handle the rest?

Sanson:
Of course. Though I'm afraid we won't be able to do much more than buy the rest of you some time.

d'Eon:
Just be sure you make the most of the time we buy you, ■■.

Archer:
Of course. The time you buy us here will be worth its weight in gold.

Archer:
...Hm? What is it, Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki:
Oh, you know, since this is the last time we're gonna call, I just thought I'd say somethin' before we hang up.

Sakata Kintoki:
See you in Olympus, Master of Chaldea!

Medea Lily:
I'll be waiting there for you too. And I'll make sure to have some lovely tea leaves ready.

Archer:
All right then, Master of Chaldea.
We look forward to meeting you.

Archer:
Good luck!

Holmes:
(So their identity remained a mystery,
right to the very end...)

Mash:
Here come the Athena Klironomia!
I'll start the extraction procedure!

--ARROW--

Mash:
Athena Klironomia extraction complete.
It looks like there's only enough for one Servant.

Achilles:
So this'll let us put Corday back to normal, huh?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I hope so...

Achilles:
You don't sound too sure.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I understand that the plan is to use the Hephaestus Klironomia to keep the Zeus Klironomia at bay...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...until we can use the Athena Klironomia to get rid of them, but that is easier said than done.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Every part of that is taking a significant toll on her Spirit Origin.

Mandricardo:
Yeah, that's true.

Mandricardo:
Hell, her Spirit Origin was already on the verge of falling apart thanks to the Zeus Klironomia alone.

Mandricardo:
Who knows if she'll be able to handle their removal...

Apollo:
Only the gods know, as they say.

Achilles:
He's right. All we can do now is
bring this stuff back to Corday.

Apollo:
Though of course, this will all be
for nothing if she ends up dying.

Achilles:
Shut up, Apollo, or I'll turn you into a soccer ball.

Paris:
You keep your hands off of Lord Apollo!

Achilles:
That's up to him.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
All right, we have heard the others' last message, and we have acquired the Athena Klironomia we came for.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Best we leave while we can.


Fujimaru 1:
Right. Let's go!


???:
I see [♂ him /♀️ her].
I'm taking the shot.

Achilles:
...!

Achilles:
Sorry, Master!


Fujimaru 1:
Huh!?


Mash:
Master!

Achilles:
Tch!


Fujimaru 1:
E-everything just went black for a moment...


Achilles:
I had to move at ultrasonic speed.
That's why I apologized in advance.

Achilles:
Dammit, they figured out we're here!

Paris:
Where did that arrow come from!?

Mash:
Hang on, Master! I'll be right–

Achilles:
Stay back!

Mash:
Huh!?

Mandricardo:
Mash! Your shield!

Mash:
!

Mash:
Khh...!

???:

Oh, what a shame. I missed.

Achilles:
That's 'cause I made you miss.
...Ugh, I still feel sick whenever I see you.

Achilles:
What the hell're you doing aiming at Master, Chiron!?

Chiron:
Why wouldn't I?
It is the soundest, most efficient strategy.

Chiron:
And when the enemy's most key figure is also completely helpless on the field of battle...

Chiron:
...don't you think it only makes
sense to go after [♂ him /♀️ her] first?

Jason:
It...can't be...

Jason:
No, wait. Achilles! Is he–

Achilles:
Yeah. He's Lostbelt-aligned Chiron!

Holmes:
Chiron!?

Holmes:
He was the one who taught Jason, Achilles, Heracles, and Asclepius...

Holmes:
He's the greatest sage Greece has ever known!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
If he is on the Lostbelt's side now, then there is no room whatsoever to resolve this peacefully!

Jason:
Dammit... You'll just have to all rush him at once!
It's the only way you can win!

Chiron:
Jason's plan is a good one, heroes I have never had the pleasure of meeting.

Chiron:
However, there is one thing I must say in response:

Chiron:
Did I ever say I was alone?

Jason:
Dammit! I should've known he'd be good at this!

Holmes:
There are no records in Proper Human History of Chiron ever taking part in battle himself...

Holmes:
But it would seem the same is
not true in this Lostbelt.

Chiron:
Right you are.

Chiron:
Whatever the Chiron of your world may have been like,
I am firmly on the gods' side in this conflict.

Achilles:
Whatever you guys do, don't let your guard down! I'm gonna do everything I can to keep Master out of harm's way!

Achilles:
Don't expect much support from [♂ him /♀️ her]!
I'm not planning to stop for anything!

--BATTLE--

Chiron:
...!

Achilles:
Tch!


Fujimaru 1:
Y-you saved my life again!


Achilles:
Don't say anything!
You could end up biting right through your tongue!


Fujimaru 1:
Behind you!


Achilles:
...!

Achilles:
Dammit, he's got us pinned down on two sides!

Achilles:
Khh...!


Fujimaru 1:
Achilles!


Chiron:
As I thought.
I knew I made the right choice, shooting your heel.

Jason:
YOU did that!?

Achilles:
Yeah, he completely blindsided me.
He knew everything I was gonna do before I did it.

Chiron:
Indeed, thanks to the combat data I took from the Proper Human History's Chiron.

Achilles:
...That's it. It all makes sense now.
...You killed my teacher, you bastard.

Chiron:
...Yes, I did.

Achilles:
...!


Fujimaru 1:
Achilles!


Achilles:
...Yeah, I know. You don't have to tell me.

Achilles:
He's taunting me. One step and I'd be in the jaws of his trap, playing right into his hands.

Achilles:
...Master, I'm gonna ask you again:
What are your orders?


Fujimaru 1:
Everyone, fall back!


Mash:
...Understood!

Jason:
Mandricardo! Chiyome!
You two bring up the rear!

Both:
Understood!/On it!

Holmes:
We're all ready to leave.
Hurry back to the shore!

Mandricardo:
!

Chiron:
A single wooden sword, hm?
How recklessly brave of you.

Mandricardo:
Khh!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Let us see how you like dealing with the cursed god pillar, Ibukidaimyoujin!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hya!

Chiron:
Oho, so you use nanomachines as well.
But unfortunately...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Ghh!

Chiron:
Hephaestus Klironomia are simply outmatched when pitted against the superior Zeus Klironomia.

Chiron:
Hephaestus may have been a god, but he was a hapless fool of a god whose one and only talent was swinging a hammer.

Chiron:
Now, if they had been Athena Klironomia,
matters might have been different.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
So my hidden trump card had no effect...

Mandricardo:
At least we bought some time!
Now come on!

Chiron:
Very well then, let us bring this skirmish to a close.

Chiron:
As I am part of Olympus here, I did not meet the same end as my Proper Human History counterpart.

Chiron:
But fortunately, now that I have killed him...

Chiron:
...I too have unlocked this Noble Phantasm.

Chiron:
O malevolent scorpion, the time of your purge
has come. Dissipate among the stars!

Chiron:
Antares Snipe!

Mandricardo:
Serment de Durendal!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Ghh, aaaaaahhh!

Mandricardo:
Hrgh!

Chiron:
And done.

Mandricardo:
Khh...!

Chiron:
Oh? That's strange. I was sure I had killed them...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Ghh... Gah!

Chiron:
Ah, now I see. His Noble Phantasm shielded them from any fatal injuries.

Chiron:
But unfortunately for you, it seems you won't be doing any more fighting, now that your “sword” is broken.

Mandricardo:
...You sure about that?

Chiron:
?

Mandricardo:
This is my Noble Phantasm...

Mandricardo:
Serment de Durendal!

Chiron:
!!!

Mandricardo:
Come on, let's get out of here!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...I am sorry. I cannot.

Mandricardo:
What do you mean, you can't!?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Never mind me. Just go! Run!

Mandricardo:
But–

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I have another way out of this!
Hurry!

Mandricardo:
...Got it!

Chiron:
I see.

Chiron:
Now I know there are some heroes out there who are able to use their Noble Phantasms with or without a weapon.

Atlantis Border Guard:
We'll go after the–

Chiron:
Don't bother. There's no need for that.

Chiron:
The one they call Mandricardo may have gotten away unscathed, but this one was not so lucky.

Chiron:
And I doubt the Hephaestus Klironomia will help her recover from her injuries soon enough to be a problem.

Chiron:
Now then...

Mandricardo:
...Dammit!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Khh...

Chiron:
Normally, I would just kill her now and have done with it, but she will be more useful to us alive and in custody.

Atlantis Border Guard:
What do you mean, sir?

Chiron:
The Echidna is running low on magical energy.
She should make for a good snack.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
A...snack...?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Heh... Hahahaha! If my choices are becoming a snack or dying with pride, I gladly choose the latter!

Chiron:
Not so fast!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Ghh...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...

Chiron:
Take her away.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir!

Chiron:
I'm sorry, Odysseus.
I failed to acquire the Athena Klironomia.

Odysseus:
It's all right.

Odysseus:
We already have enough for one Servant.
That should satisfy Olympus.

Chiron:
But won't we be at a disadvantage if the Chaldeans use the Athena Klironomia for themselves?

Odysseus:
We were able to recover some fragments of Hephaestus's video footage before Lady Artemis destroyed him.

Chiron:
Oh? But I thought he was thoroughly vaporized.

Odysseus:
He and Lady Artemis had a short conversation right before he met his end.

Odysseus:
We were able to retrieve a tiny bit of footage from that.

Odysseus:
And if it's to be believed...the Chaldeans plan to use Athena's legacy to save a single insignificant Servant.

Chiron:
Oh? Insignificant, you say?

Odysseus:
We might have been at something of a disadvantage if they had used it on a hero like Orion...

Odysseus:
...but with Charlotte Corday, we have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Chiron:
Understood. Then I will make my way back now.

Odysseus:
Fine.

Odysseus:
I'm sure Chaldea will come fully prepared,
but that's as far as it will go.

Odysseus:
There will be no surprises, no coincidences, and no lucky breaks. We will simply crush them, quickly and thoroughly.

Chiron:
Understood.
Then I will take the spoils of our victory with me.

Odysseus:
Good.

Odysseus:
One more Servant's worth of magical energy should be enough to let the Echidna produce another Cerberus.

Odysseus:
I'm counting on you, comrade.

Chiron:
Worry not, comrade.
I have everything well in hand.

--ARROW--

Mandricardo:
Sorry I'm late!


Fujimaru 1:
Mandricardo!


Mash:
Where's Chiyome!?

Mandricardo:
...I had to leave her behind. I'm sorry.

Jason:
...Is she dead?

Mandricardo:
She wasn't when I left her...

Mandricardo:
But given how all those border guards were closing in around her, I don't think she'll–

Jason:
That's okay. As long as she's not dead,
she still has a chance to fight back.

Mandricardo:
I...don't think so. Not in this case.

Jason:
...
...No, you're probably right.

Goredolf:
Does she have some sort of secret plan?

Goredolf:
I mean, she's a ninja. She'll have some explosives hidden somewhere on herself won't she?

Holmes:
Perhaps she means to take a hostage or something along those lines?

Jason:
...It'd be nice if that were the case.

Jason:
Anyway, let's go. We still need to give Corday the Athena Klironomia.

Apollo:
You're really going through with that?

Apollo:
I know you need the Hephaestus
Klironomia to refit the Border...

Apollo:
...but right now, the Athena Klironomia still doesn't belong to anyone.

Apollo:
You could just as easily use them
to strengthen Orion or Achilles.

Jason:
Well? What do you two say to that?

Achilles:
I don't need them.

Orion:
Me neither.

Jason:
There you go.

Apollo:
Man, you guys are stubborn...
But okay. I won't stop you.

Apollo:
As long as you're not putting Paris in harm's way.

Apollo:
Besides, it'd be a waste of good nanomachines to give him Athena's power.

Apollo:
So go ahead, follow your heart or whatever.


Fujimaru 1:
We will!


Paris:
That's right!

Paris:
I believe that whenever you're unsure of what you should do next, the best thing you can do is follow your heart!

Paris:
Then again, following my heart
is what led to the Trojan War...

Achilles:
You really oughta learn how to reel yourself in...

Da Vinci:
There's been no change in her condition, aside from continuing to slowly waste away.

Da Vinci:
Theoretically, the way we'd go about this is that we'd give her the Athena Klironomia first...

Da Vinci:
...have them fight off the Zeus Klironomia in place of the Hephaestus Klironomia...

Da Vinci:
...and then extract the Hephaestus
Klironomia back out of her.

Da Vinci:
At the moment, she's just barely hanging in there, thanks to the three Servants' worth of Klironomia we've given her.

Da Vinci:
The biggest risk is whether she'll hold out until we can extract Hephaestus's...

Da Vinci:
...since all three gods will basically be vying for dominance inside her body.

Da Vinci:
We also don't know if the Athena Klironomia will be able to beat Zeus's after we take the Hephaestus Klironomia out.

Da Vinci:
If they can't, she'll probably end up dead. And even if they can, her Spirit Origin might not hold out.

Da Vinci:
At this point, whether she can overcome all of this depends entirely on her endurance and her will to survive.

Da Vinci:
Okay...let's do it, Fujimaru.


Fujimaru 1:
...Got it!


Da Vinci:
Mash, Nemo Nurse, would you mind helping me out?

Da Vinci:
Because if the information Hephaestus gave us is anything to go by...

Da Vinci:
...what I'm about to do is going
to hurt a hell of a lot.

Nemo Nurse:
Of course. I'd be glad to.

Mash:
Understood!

Da Vinci:
...Here goes!

Charlotte Corday:
...!!!
...Ow! Ow ow ow ow ow owww!

Charlotte Corday:
Ah–aaaaaaaaahhh!

Mash:
O-oh no. That sounded like–

Achilles:
Shit, she just snapped a bone!
Hold her down!

Orion:
Dammit, I'll help out to–Aah!

Mash:
Orion!

Orion:
I-I'm okay!
But, how the hell did she do that?

Achilles:
I can't believe how strong she is now!

Achilles:
It must be 'cause Zeus, Athena, and Hephaestus are all going nuts inside her!

Achilles:
Get in here, Orion!
You too, Mandricardo!

Charlotte Corday:
Khh... Agh!

Orion:
It's 'cause the nanomachines are crazy powerful all by themselves. It's like they're fighting a war inside her body!


Fujimaru 1:
What can I do!?


Orion:
...Hold her hand!

Orion:
After that, it's all up to her,
and how badly she wants to pull through.

Nemo Nurse:
Her vitals are all over the place!
Her Spirit Origin can't take much more of this!

Charlotte Corday:
...No...more... Please... It hurts...so much...
Just let me die!

Charlotte Corday:
I just want the pain...to go awaaay!


Fujimaru 1:
Don't die on us, Charlotte!

Charlotte Corday:
...
B-but...

Charlotte Corday:
I can't...hold out...any mo–


Fujimaru 2:
Just hang in there a little longer!

Charlotte Corday:
I don't...think I can!


Narration:
I can't take it. I can't take it. I can't take it.

Narration:
This pain is unbearable!

Narration:
My Spirit Core could shatter at any moment.
Assuming my body doesn't tear itself apart first.

Narration:
Someone shoves their hand into my mouth to stop me from biting through my tongue. I bite their hand as hard as I can instead.

Narration:
All I can think about is the pain.
It's all that runs through my head.

Narration:
Any loyalty I had–any love or longing–has all been dyed a vivid flood of pain.

Narration:
What's the point?
I'm not worth it.

Narration:
What am I even doing here?

???:
There, the Hephaestus Klironomia are all out!

???:
Now we just have to see if the
Athena Klironomia can win!

Narration:
...I'm useless.

Narration:
I'm pathetic. Incompetent.
Incapable of doing anything to help.

Narration:
I'm a Servant. I was summoned here.
I was going to fight by their side.

Narration:
So why? Why am I so useless?

Narration:
Is there even any point to my existing when I can't do anything to help?

Narration:
No. There isn't. So there's no reason to try to endure this horrific pain.

Narration:
I should just give in and die.
That's the logical thing to do.

Narration:
...So why does my body still want to live so badly!?

Narration:
Why? Why!?

Narration:
Why does it insist on hanging on when I'm just trying to give up!?

Narration:
“Be quiet. That's not your choice to make anymore.”

Narration:
I hear a voice whispering inside me,
in response to my internal screaming.

Narration:
“You need to live.
You need to fight.”

Narration:
“You're the only one who can fight this fight. You're
the only one who can reach where you need to go.”

Narration:
“That's why you already chose one of the skills Athena offered you.”

Narration:
“Maybe nobody else knows about that yet, but I do.”

Narration:
“So regardless of what kind of sad,
lonely end might be waiting up ahead...”

Narration:
“...you can't die, no matter what.”

Narration:
“It's not your fault. You never experienced these things while you were alive.”

Narration:
“The joy of fighting to save the world.
The joy of saving someone.”

Narration:
“You didn't save [♂ him /♀️ her] because you love [♂ him /♀️ her].
You love [♂ him /♀️ her] because you saved [♂ him /♀️ her].”

Narration:
“It's pure, innocent egoism.”

Narration:
A flood of words washes over me,
only some of which make sense.

Narration:
But there is one thing I definitely understand now.

Narration:
The fact that, apparently,
there's still something I need to do.

Narration:
Squeeze the hand that's been holding yours. Cry and shout to endure the pain if you must, but don't you dare choose death.

Narration:
Killing is the only way for me to fulfill my role. Don't give up. Keep fighting until you make it to the end!

Narration:
My friend keeps calling out to her,
never letting go of her hand.

Narration:
[♂ He's /♀️ She's] holding [♂ his /♀️ her] head down like [♂ he's /♀️ she's] praying,
holding her hand to [♂ his /♀️ her] forehead.

Narration:
[♂ He /♀️ She] knows [♂ he /♀️ she] can't just breathe new life into her.
[♂ He /♀️ She] knows [♂ he's /♀️ she's] not actually doing anything to help.

Narration:
But the way I see it...

Narration:
...Fujimaru doesn't have any other choice.

Narration:
[♂ His /♀️ Her] convictions, or...something along those lines, won't let [♂ him /♀️ her] do otherwise.

Narration:
That said...

Note: Critical Branch Result - Chose to use Athena Klironomia

Narration:
...[♂ he's /♀️ she's] fully aware that it
won't do anything to help.

Narration:
Corday's endurance is being brutally tested.
She's hurt, injured, and in serious pain.

Narration:
...And [♂ he's /♀️ she's] the one who chose to
use the Athena Klironomia on her.

Narration:
It could end up all being for nothing.

Narration:
The Athena Klironomia could end up being wasted.

Narration:
...Maybe it would've been better if we hadn't used them on her after all.

Narration:
Those are the sort of agonizing thoughts running
through Fujimaru's head. [♂ He /♀️ She] must be
unable to live with [♂ himself /♀️ herself] right now.


Note: Critical Branch Result - Hesitated to save Corday

Narration:
...[♂ he's /♀️ she's] fully aware that it won't do anything to help.

Narration:
Corday's endurance is being brutally tested.
She's hurt, injured, and in serious pain.

Narration:
I think Fujimaru feels like [♂ he /♀️ she] needs to atone.

Narration:
Back then, [♂ he /♀️ she] hesitated to save Corday.

Narration:
After all, she was begging for death.

Narration:
And [♂ he /♀️ she] knew that if [♂ he /♀️ she] used the Hephaestus
Klironomia on her, instead of Nemo and the Border...

Narration:
...it could mean losing our only shot at victory.

Narration:
Those were the facts, and they laid bare a stark choice.

Narration:
[♂ He /♀️ She] knows that [♂ he /♀️ she] shouldn't have hesitated
to save her, but [♂ he /♀️ she] still nearly chose not to.

Narration:
And now...[♂ he's /♀️ she's] feeling guilty about that.


Narration:
...So I decided I'd try saying something to [♂ him /♀️ her].

Mandricardo:
...Don't worry about it, Fujimaru.

Mandricardo:
You're praying and wishing as
hard as you can right now.

Mandricardo:
It makes total sense that you didn't know what to do or say back then. Nobody could've.

Mandricardo:
So you can't tell yourself it was wrong or cowardly.

Mandricardo:
Isn't that right, Mash?

Mash:
...Right.


Fujimaru 1:
But...I...


Mandricardo:
Look. As your friend, I'm telling you:
don't whine about it.

Mandricardo:
All you can do now is pray she pulls through.

Mandricardo:
Even if she doesn't,
none of us have any right to blame you.

Mandricardo:
And if anyone tries,
I'll put 'em in their place for you.

Mash:
I-I will too.

Mash:
I know you made the right choice. I'm sure of it.

Mash:
And I'll gladly say so to anyone who asks.

Orion:
Hey, this was my idea to begin with.
If anyone here deserves to be blamed, it's me.

Achilles:
Don't forget us.
We should've realized what was going on sooner.

Charlotte Corday:
...N-no...


Fujimaru 1:
Charlotte!?


Charlotte Corday:
I'm the one...who should be blamed.

Charlotte Corday:
Thank you, Master...

Orion:
How are the Zeus Klironomia?

Charlotte Corday:
I think they're gone now.

Charlotte Corday:
I can feel the Athena Klironomia
circulating throughout my body.


Fujimaru 1:
What a relief... I'm so glad you're okay.


Charlotte Corday:
I don't know if I'd say that... I kind of feel equal parts okay and not okay right now.

Charlotte Corday:
After all, Orion should have been the one to use these Klironomia...

Orion:
Don't sweat it.

Orion:
I don't need any Athena Klironomia.
In fact, it'd probably be worse if I'd used them.

Orion:
Really, I'd have to be out of my damn mind to borrow Athena's power when going up against Artemis.

Orion:
So don't worry about taking something from someone more deserving or anything like that. Just be glad you survived.

Charlotte Corday:
O-okay. Thank you!

Charlotte Corday:
You know, Orion, I–

Orion:
Yeah? Go on. You're in love with me? Burning with passion for me? Ready to go somewhere more...private with me?

Orion:
Well, lucky for you, I'm Mr. Convenience Store, baby!
I'm open for “business” twenty-four seven!

Charlotte Corday:
......

Charlotte Corday:
...I think you're a reeeaaally nice guy!

Orion:
Nooo! I've been thrown into the friend zone!

Achilles:
She really took her time building up to it, too...

Paris:
Not to mention the backpedaling.
It looks to me like he's got zero chance with her.

Apollo:
I just plugged the numbers into the Greek Romance Equation, and I can say unequivocally that he has no shot whatsoever.

Orion:
Hey! I didn't ask for a peanut gallery!

Charlotte Corday:
...


Fujimaru 1:
Thank goodness.


Charlotte Corday:
Hm?


Fujimaru 1:
That you're alive.

Charlotte Corday:
...
...I'm glad too!


Fujimaru 2:
I'm so relieved.

Charlotte Corday:
Hehe. I'm sorry for making so much trouble for you.


Charlotte Corday:
You know, Master...

Charlotte Corday:
I really do love you.

Mash:
!

Fou:
Fou!?

Charlotte Corday:
And I love Orion, and Achilles,
and Paris, and Mandricardo...

Charlotte Corday:
...and all the people from Chaldea who aren't here right now, and Mochizuki Chiyome, and Mash.

Mash:
(She really had me scared for a moment...)

Charlotte Corday:
And I love myself.

Charlotte Corday:
...Oh, though I guess it sounds kind of narcissistic when I put it that way, huh?

Charlotte Corday:
Um, how can I put this?
...Not too long ago, I used to hate myself.

Mash:
...

Charlotte Corday:
In fact, if I had died just now...I would've gone back to the Throne still hating myself.

Charlotte Corday:
So, thank you.
Thank you for helping me learn to love myself.


Fujimaru 1:
You're, uh...welcome?

Charlotte Corday:
Ahaha, I'm sorry if that's a
strange thing to thank you for.


Fujimaru 2:
Don't thank me. I didn't do anything.

Charlotte Corday:
Come on, you know that's not true. You held my hand. You prayed for me. You wished for me to live.

Charlotte Corday:
That's more than enough as far as I'm concerned.


Nemo:
...All right.

Nemo:
Now that we've got the Hephaestus Klironomia back...

Nemo:
...I'd like to start renovating
the Shadow Border in earnest.

Da Vinci:
Got it.

Nemo:
Don't worry. I'm still keeping it low-key.

Nemo:
(Inhale...) (Exhale...)
Though honestly, part of me can't wait to get started!

Nemo:
Deep breaths.

Nemo:
Okay, I'm ready for the Hephaestus Klironomia now.
At last, it's finally time.

Nemo:
Now, at last, I can create a non-Nautilus Nautilus...

Nemo:
A completely new, cutting-edge ship just for Chaldea!

Section 19: One Who Overcomes the Stormy Sea

Nemo:
...All right.

Nemo:
All hands, I'm about to take the Shadow Border and my Noble Phantasm, the Nautilus, that's synchronized with it...

Nemo:
...and transmigrate–no,
make them ascend into something new.

Nemo:
This will probably make my Spirit Origin expand like a puffer fish, so don't panic if that happens.

Nemo:
My guess is that expanding the ship with Hephaestus Klironomia like this...

Nemo:
...will change it into something that more strongly reflects my Triton side than the Nautilus did.

Nemo:
Either way, my captain's intuition tells me we're going to have something amazing when it's done. Count on it.

Nemo:
Are you all ready!?

Nemo Marine:
Aye, aye, Captain!!!

Nemo Nurse:
Aye, aye, Captain!!!

Nemo Professor:
The Hephaestus Klironomia are prepped and ready for administration, sir.


Fujimaru 1:
Good luck, Nemo!


Nemo:
What I'm about to show you now is the Shadow Border's untapped potential.

Nemo:
This ship you and your crew put together is something really special...

Nemo:
And I'm going to prove it right now!

Nemo:
The Nautilus is my ship.
The Shadow Border is Chaldea's ship.

Nemo:
And now...

Nemo Professor:
Administering nanomachines!

Nemo:
I'm about to create a third ship!

Nemo:
A ship that uses the Nautilus for a keel,
the Shadow Border for a core...

Nemo:
...and the full power of Hephaestus, the god of the forge, in all other respects.

Nemo:
A ship with the power of Triton; a ship that can sail through the Lostbelts' supercell storm walls with ease. I give you...

Nemo:
The Storm Border!

Goredolf:
Wha... What just happened?

Nemo:
It's been reborn!

Nemo:
This is the Storm Border–a genuine dimension-piercing battleship that can cross the sea and conquer its depths!

Goredolf:
I... Wha... Really!?

Nemo:
It's even bigger than a modern-day nuclear submarine.

Nemo:
Here's the blueprint data if you want to take a look.

Goredolf:
How is this even the same ship!?
Everything's different! In every possible way!

Da Vinci:
Hey, hey! This is Da Vinci down in the computer room! That expansion was something else! My head is spinning!

Nemo:
Don't worry. I made sure to minimize the load on the computer room.

Nemo:
The only thing you need to be in charge of is the Shadow Border part of the Storm Border.

Nemo:
Now that my Spirit Origin has settled,
the Shadow Border can be sent out separately.

Nemo:
From now on, we can use it as both a landing ship and an emergency lifeboat.

Da Vinci:
So it would seem. Kind of reminds me
of a parent turtle and its baby turtle.

Da Vinci:
At any rate, I love this new, bigger computer room.

Da Vinci:
It feels like going from a
current pool to a waterslide!

Nemo:
Well that's not good. I'll have to station a few crewmates there to help you out later.

Nemo:
...Though of course, they'll only be so helpful,
since nobody else can do what you do.

Da Vinci:
Why thank you♪

Holmes:
Now then.
Bartholomew. Jason.

Bartholomew:
Hey there.
Does this mean it's finally time to settle things?

Holmes:
That's up to our leader,
the captain of the Argonauts.

Nemo:
Initiating data link.
Putting up the map now...

Nemo:
Can you see it, Jason?

Jason:
More or less.

Jason:
All right, listen up. We might be vastly underprepared, underequipped, and understaffed...

Jason:
But thanks to the Nautilus–I mean,
the Storm Border, we now have a shot at victory.

Jason:
Of course, this will be an all-out fleet vs. fleet battle...

Jason:
...and unfortunately, both my Argo and the Royal Fortune are too old to be of any help.

Jason:
The only way we can overcome our numbers disadvantages is to rely on Servants and the Storm Border.

Jason:
So.

Jason:
Our next step is to head straight into the waiting arms of Odysseus's forces.

Goredolf:
Whoa, whoa. Just a minute there, Jason.

Goredolf:
I understand we'll need to fight them at some point, but does it really have to be right now? No matter how you slice it, don't you think it's far too soon for that?

Jason:
Don't be so simpleminded, Goredolf!

Jason:
Let's get one thing straight:

Jason:
We need to act under the assumption that the enemy already knows exactly what we're thinking.

Achilles:
Yeah, good point.

Achilles:
If there's one thing Odysseus is really good at, it's ambushing his enemies when they're catching their breath.

Paris:
Considering how badly we got trounced,
I have to agree with that.

Jason:
That's why we need to ensure we always have options available to us, even when the enemy knows exactly what we're going to do.

Jason:
Which is why making land on a different island is the riskiest thing we could do now.

Bartholomew:
Which is why you want to just run straight at them?

Jason:
Frankly, it's the only way.

Goredolf:
Holmes, your whole thing is making accurate and levelheaded deductions under pressure, right? Perhaps now would be a good time for one such deduction?

Holmes:
Hmm.

Holmes:
While I would normally be happy to oblige,
the fact is, I'm not a military man.

Holmes:
So without an alternative strategy to consider,
I'm in no position to say anything.

Holmes:
What about you three, Achilles, Paris, and Orion? You are warriors, and so your input would be of far more use than mine.

Orion:
'Fraid you're barking up the wrong tree there.
I'm a hunter, not a warrior.

Orion:
I mean, I fight when I have to, sure, but that's not the same thing as being a soldier or a general.

Orion:
So it's not my place to say anything either.

Achilles:
I don't think I should even try to come up with anything clever. I mean, this is Odysseus we're dealing with.

Achilles:
It's a pretty safe bet that he already knows exactly what I'm thinking.

Achilles:
That goes for Paris too, since he's actually faced him before.

Paris:
If only my brother was here.
I'm sure he would've come up with a foolproof plan.

Achilles:
Well, he's not. So quit bitching.

Paris:
Hmph. Like I don't know...


Fujimaru 1:
I don't know what the right call is...


Mandricardo:
...

Holmes:
What about you, Mandricardo?
Do you have anything to say?

Mandricardo:
Uh... I guess, yeah.

Mandricardo:
I, uh... I don't have a ton of experience with this sort of thing, but there's one saying I think applies here:

Mandricardo:
Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Holmes:
Hmm, a fair point.

Mandricardo:
So I don't see the harm in going with Jason's plan.

Mandricardo:
We all trust him, and we're gonna
put our faith in his plan.

Mandricardo:
...Whether we can beat Odysseus
or not all hangs on that.

Goredolf:
Ghhh...

Jason:
The fact is, we're at an overwhelming disadvantage here.

Jason:
Even if this plan goes off without a hitch, I'd say our odds of winning are twenty percent at best.

Jason:
At worst, we might not even have
a ten-percent shot a victory.

Jason:
Not only are we vastly outnumbered,
Odysseus himself is a force to be reckoned with...

Jason:
...since he'll see through almost any strategy we try.

Jason:
That being said, I've still got an ace or two up my sleeve that might just work on him.

Jason:
If I can get my bomb–er, ace to blow up in his face, then we might have a shot. Maybe.

Jason:
From here on, everything's going to come down to how many trump cards I can squeeze into our hand.

Jason:
Since we don't have any clear or obvious cards to play like “Lots of soldiers” or “Massive fleet,” we'll have to double down on the other cards we have.

Jason:
First up: Achilles!

Achilles:
Yeah?

Jason:
You're no longer immortal now that
your heel's been shot, right?

Achilles:
'Fraid not.
My heel's my conceptual weak point, after all.

Achilles:
The moment it was shot,
I became just regular old Achilles.

Achilles:
So I'm not immortal anymore, and I can't run as fast as before either. All I can do now is fight till I die.

Jason:
Yikes. So you've gone past meathead
all the way to pseudo-Berserker.

Jason:
Well, at least you should be helpful
in the upcoming battle then.

Achilles:
You know it.

Achilles:
Just tell me how long I gotta hold out for,
and that's how long I'll hold out.

Jason:
Ha! Do I even need to say it?

Jason:
I'm going to throw you at the most formidable adversary we're currently facing besides Odysseus:

Jason:
Chiron.

Jason:
But there are literal boatloads of other enemies I want you to beat before you get to him.

Jason:
So whatever you do, don't die before
you reach Chiron, got it!?

Achilles:
Don't worry. Whatever you want me to do in your plan, I'll make sure it gets done.

Achilles:
I swear on Peleus, my father. I swear on Thetis,
my mother. I will do what needs to be done.

Jason:
Hmph. Well don't YOU worry, because I'm going to put you to work and then some.

Jason:
On that note, Achilles, I want you
to let Paris ride your chariot.

Jason:
Meanwhile, you'll be running from ship to ship,
destroying sails and engines. Can you do that?

Achilles:
Well, sure, that's fine with me, but...

Paris:
You want ME to ride HIS chariot!?

Jason:
That's right. And the first sign of attitude you give me, I'm going to slap you so hard you'll wish you'd never materialized.

Jason:
You will pick off anyone headed towards my ship from the air. I don't care if you think you can handle it or not. Do it.

Paris:
O-okay...

Jason:
Mandricardo, Mash, Master... Huh, that's a lot of names that start with “Ma,” isn't it?

Jason:
Not that that's particularly important right now.

Goredolf:
It REALLY isn't!

Jason:
You three will be on the Argo destroying the sails and engines of enemy ships, just like Achilles.

Jason:
You'll jump over to an enemy ship, destroy it, come back to the Argo, rinse and repeat until all the enemy ships are gone.

Jason:
Now, this next part is especially important.

Jason:
Storm Border, as our most powerful asset, you'll need to corner and neutralize Odysseus's army...

Jason:
...but you're not, repeat, not,
to neutralize them completely.

Nemo:
...Why is that?

Jason:
There's a better than even chance that Odysseus will try to have Artemis wipe us all out, even if that means he ends up in her line of fire himself.

Jason:
So before he can do that, we'll need the Royal Fortune to take Orion and make a beeline for Nemesis Island.

Jason:
If we time this badly, the Royal Fortune could end up sunk, or Artemis could end up blowing everything away.

Jason:
I'll let you decide how to best maneuver the Storm Border, Nemo. Don't wait around for me to tell you what to do.

Nemo:
Got it. I'd prefer that, too.

Jason:
Bartholomew, I don't want you joining the battle until you reach a point when you don't have any other choice.

Jason:
Your job is to get Orion to Nemesis Island.
That's all I want you to focus on.

Bartholomew:
You got it.

Jason:
As for you, Orion, when the time comes,
I want you to do the thing.

Orion:
Huh? What thing?

Jason:
You know! The thing! Use that fancy power you got from Poseidon! If you're not going to use it now, then when!?

Orion:
...Ohh, THAT thing!
Right on!

Jason:
Gee, how reassuring.
Now, as for you, Corday–

Charlotte Corday:
Y-yes!?

Jason:
...There's not a whole lot you can do.

Charlotte Corday:
That's true...

Jason:
The fact is, you're just not cut out for this kind of direct assault.

Jason:
Which is why I'm going to trust you with the most important job of all.

Charlotte Corday:
...Okay!

--ARROW--


Fujimaru 1:
I think I'll take a little break...


Charlotte Corday:
Master? Do you have a minute?


Fujimaru 1:
Sure, come on in.


Charlotte Corday:
There's something I wanted to talk to you about.

Charlotte Corday:
First, I just wanted to thank you again for saving me.

Charlotte Corday:
But, I also have to make a confession.

Charlotte Corday:
I've committed a terrible sin, and there's nothing I can do to atone for it. I just have to live with the guilt.


Fujimaru 1:
...


Charlotte Corday:
Oh, no, no! I don't blame you at all.

Charlotte Corday:
This is something I was always going to have to come to terms with...

Charlotte Corday:
...so that's exactly what I'm trying to do now.

Charlotte Corday:
Oh, and there's one more thing I need to tell you. It's about my body, and the Athena Klironomia it has now.


Fujimaru 1:
Are you in pain?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh no, there's no pain.


Fujimaru 2:
Are you feeling unwell?

Charlotte Corday:
Oh no, not at all.
If anything, I feel lighter than ever.


Charlotte Corday:
...

Charlotte Corday:
It's just that...sooner or later,
my body's going to fall apart.

Charlotte Corday:
I had a feeling my Spirit Origin was too flimsy to handle it, and I was right.

Charlotte Corday:
Anything that has to do with gods is just too divine for my blood.

Charlotte Corday:
If the Athena Klironomia are taken out of me, I'll die. And even if they aren't...it won't be long before I fall apart and disappear.


Fujimaru 1:
...


Fujimaru 2:
...


Charlotte Corday:
So that's why, um...

Charlotte Corday:
That's why I think it's best if I leave,
like Jason said I should.


Fujimaru 1:
But isn't that risky?

Charlotte Corday:
...Maybe. But risky or not, I still need to leave.


Fujimaru 2:
But what if they take your nanomachines?

Charlotte Corday:
Yes, they might.
But that's still better than the way things are now.


Charlotte Corday:
I won't be of any help in a battle.
But if I go off on my own here...

Charlotte Corday:
...then I might have a chance to be helpful.

Charlotte Corday:
Of course, there's still every chance I could fail. I could very well end up dying without accomplishing anything.

Charlotte Corday:
And even if I do succeed...
I'll probably still end up dead.

Charlotte Corday:
That might be the best kind of
ending I could hope for. But–


Fujimaru 1:
Charlotte...


Narration:
...Please.

Narration:
Please don't look at me like that.

Narration:
This isn't the first time you've been through something like this, right?

Narration:
Parting ways, forgetting the past...
None of that should be new to you by now.

Narration:
So please, don't look at me with that hurt in your eyes. Please don't let me see how much you wish things could be different.

Narration:
It makes me so happy I could cry.

Narration:
It satiates my wretched ego
to the point I feel nauseous.

Narration:
The fact that you're so hurt means that you really care about me.

Narration:
That's why I don't want to say goodbye to you looking like that.

Narration:
But, even so...I have to make the right choice.
I know I can.

Charlotte Corday:
...I wish you all the best of luck.
May fortune find you wherever you go.

Charlotte Corday:
Goodbye, Master.

Charlotte Corday:
...Goodbye, Fujimaru.

Charlotte Corday:
Sorry I'm late.

Jason:
It's fine.

Jason:
Just remember, we're not gonna slow down much for you, so try not to trip and fall.

Charlotte Corday:
I told you, I'll be fine.

Jason:
...You're in a surprisingly good mood.
Are you sure you understand the situation?

Charlotte Corday:
Yes, yes, I do. Don't worry.

Charlotte Corday:
I'll put up the best struggle I can, in my own way.

Jason:
That so? All right, knock yourself out then.
...So, did you finish saying goodbye?

Charlotte Corday:
Yup! I'm all set.

Jason:
Well don't leave any scars, all right?
Unlike me, [♂ he's /♀️ she's] just an ordinary person, after all.

Charlotte Corday:
...I kind of hope I left at least a little scar...

Jason:
Did you really think I wouldn't be able to hear you if you whispered, you big dummy!?

Charlotte Corday:
I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!
Please make sure [♂ he /♀️ she] isn't hurt!

Jason:
Never mind all that now!
Just go already!

Charlotte Corday:
...Here goes!

Jason:
Welp, should've seen that coming.

Jason:
Oh well, I'm sure it'll work out somehow.
There's no way a Servant could drown, after all.

Bartholomew:
I take it Charlotte Corday's
desertion was successful then?

Jason:
I wouldn't say that. She fell, well, way short on the jump and landed in the sea instead of on the island.

Bartholomew:
So she was a klutz right to the end, huh.
But then, that's part of what made her so cute.

Bartholomew:
If only her bangs were a little longer,
she'd be perfect.

Jason:
True.
...I mean, what? No. Gods, you're messed up.

Jason:
Anyway, I wouldn't call her cute.
Not one damn bit. I can't stand her sort.

Bartholomew:
Because she reminds you of your ex?

Jason:
Hell if I know.

Charlotte Corday:
(Cough, cough, hack!) O-oh man, I really
did make a fool of myself right to the end!

Charlotte Corday:
I'm so glad Fujimaru wasn't here to see that!

Charlotte Corday:
You know, I wonder if Jason told me to say goodbye to
[♂ him /♀️ her] in [♂ his /♀️ her] room because he foresaw this happening...

Charlotte Corday:
...(Sniff) That's so nice of him...

Charlotte Corday:
Anyway, I should get to work.

Charlotte Corday:
I guess the first thing I should do is find a boat...

Atlantis Border Guard:
Sir! We've spotted one of the enemy ships!

Atlantis Border Guard:
We've confirmed that Jason is acting as its helmsman!

Odysseus:
Keep scanning the depths.
The Nautilus is almost certainly close behind.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir!

Odysseus:
...I knew they would have to face us directly, but even if we account for the Nautilus, they should still have another ship.

Odysseus:
What are you thinking, Jason?

Narration:
Have I let carelessness, or arrogance,
or assumptions cloud my judgment?

Narration:
Have I overlooked anything?
Have I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory?

Narration:
Are you sure your memory is accurate,
my self from Proper Human History?

Narration:
Don't be an idiot.

Narration:
I've been saying all along, Odysseus from this Lostbelt with the memories of his Proper Human History self...

Narration:
...We'll deal with things as they happen.

Narration:
I know you're not going to leave yourself vulnerable.
I know you'll never let down your guard.

Narration:
But what I can do is flip over the entire board,
and remove any guarantee of defeat.

Jason:
...That said, we definitely have an overwhelmingly difficult road ahead of us.

Narration:
I've already set a few traps in motion, though I don't know if they'll go off as I planned.

Jason:
I didn't make a mistake.
This will work. It has to.

Narration:
I get chills every time I think that.

Narration:
Maybe he's already seen right through my entire plan.

Narration:
I shouldn't tell myself that this is going to work.

Narration:
If I have one thing over Odysseus,
it's that I know what it's like to fail.

Narration:
I know the hopelessness of being in a situation where there's nothing you can do to turn things around.

Narration:
I don't think he can say the same.

Narration:
He might know what happened in the Trojan War, but he can't know what it was like to have actually been there.

Narration:
That's the one thing I've got over him,
and it's the only thing I can bet on.

Jason:
No matter how bad your hand might be, Odysseus,
you can still come to the table and win.

Fou:
Fou, fou?


Fujimaru 1:
What is it, Fou?


Fou:
Fou fou.


Fujimaru 1:
(Is he trying to cheer me up?)


Fujimaru 2:
I'm okay. Thanks.

Fou:
Fooou?


Mandricardo:
...H-hey.


Fujimaru 1:
Hey, if it isn't my good friend.

Mandricardo:
...
...Wh-whoa.

Fou:
Foooooou!?

Mandricardo:
Sorry. That got me in the feels a lot harder than I expected. Anyway, uh...


Fujimaru 2:
What's up, Mandricardo?


Mandricardo:
...I just wanted to make sure you weren't too nervous or anything.


Fujimaru 1:
I'm okay. But I appreciate you checking in.

Mandricardo:
Gotcha. That's good. Just wanted to make sure.

Mandricardo:
...But while I'm here, there's something else I wanted to say!


Fujimaru 2:
...Is it that obvious?

Mandricardo:
Kinda, yeah.



Fujimaru 1:
Hey, did you fix your wooden sword?


Mandricardo:
Oh, yeah. Jason let me use some
of the Argo's spare lumber.

Mandricardo:
That's one of the perks of being me.
You can make do with just about anything.

Mandricardo:
...Ahem.

Mandricardo:
Anyway, I know we've been at a huge disadvantage pretty much from the get-go.

Mandricardo:
Even if we do manage to beat Odysseus,
Artemis, and Poseidon...

Mandricardo:
...we'll still have to do something about that Crypter.

Mandricardo:
And I just can't see any way for us to beat him and put an end to this.

Mandricardo:
It honestly feels like we'll never cut down that damned tree.


Fujimaru 1:
...Yeah.


Mandricardo:
...So hey, this is gonna sound pretty corny, but...

Mandricardo:
Ever since the woman I loved betrayed me, you know, while I was alive...to say nothing of how I betrayed myself...

Mandricardo:
...making friends has been kind of hard for me.

Mandricardo:
But, uh... Now, you and I are frie...
Frie...


Fujimaru 1:
Come on, you can say it!


Mandricardo:
Yeah, you're right.

Mandricardo:
...You and I are friends now.

Mandricardo:
So, uh... You know...
We're gonna be okay.


Fujimaru 1:
...We're gonna be okay.


Mandricardo:
Yeah! Things are gonna work out!


Fujimaru 1:
They're gonna work out!


Mandricardo:
Yeah! We're gonna win!

Mandricardo:
We're gonna defeat Odysseus!
Shoot down Artemis!

Mandricardo:
Defeat Poseidon!
Reach Olympus!

Mandricardo:
And cut down the Tree of Emptiness!


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah!


Mandricardo:
Let's do this thing!

Mandricardo:
...

Mandricardo:
...And with that, my friend, is pretty much me hitting my limit for social interaction today.

Mandricardo:
Man, it's hard cheering people up
when you're already kind of a downer.


Fujimaru 1:
You know, you haven't really been a downer for a while now.


Fujimaru 2:
Honestly, you haven't seemed like a downer lately.


Mandricardo:
Huh? You think?
Hmm...

Mandricardo:
I guess I have been pushing myself pretty hard to be cheerful and social lately. Or maybe it's the other way around.

Mandricardo:
I guess...

Mandricardo:
...I've been so focused on cheering you up that I didn't have time to worry about my own hang-ups.

Mandricardo:
'Cause it doesn't take much for a downer to go back to his old ways, you know?


Fujimaru 1:
...Does that mean you're back to them yourself now?


Mandricardo:
...Yup.

Mandricardo:
Crap. I got no idea what to talk about anymore...

Mandricardo:
...Wanna talk politics or something?
No?

Mandricardo:
W-well, uh... Maybe the weather?


Fujimaru 1:
It's night. Plus, we're inside the Storm Border now, so...


Mandricardo:
...Dammit, what's a good topic...?

Fou:
Fou fou.

Mandricardo:
Maybe Fou?


Fujimaru 1:
Ooh, that's great!


Fou:
Fou!?


Fujimaru 1:
Let's start by gushing about his tail!


Mandricardo:
You really latched onto that, didn't you!?
Crap, now I'm wondering if I messed up!

Section 20: Mad Passion and Disturbing Delusions

Narration:
Humans and gods are different.

Narration:
I might have some divine blood in me, but I was still a human at heart, and she, a goddess.

Narration:
Everything about us, from our origins on,
is fundamentally...well, different.

Artemis:
Hey, you.

Orion:
Aah!

Orion:
...Wait. Do I know you? Have we met?

Artemis:
Hmph, how could you say that!?
It's me! Artemis!

Orion:
Whoa, really?

Artemis:
Yes, really. You look confused. Why?

Orion:
You're nothing like I'd imagined.

Artemis:
Ahahaha, well that's funny. And here I went and changed my appearance to suit you.

Orion:
...You did?

Artemis:
Don't you get it?
I fell in love with you at first sight.

Artemis:
So from now on, it's your responsibility to care for me in sickness and in health, okay?

Orion:
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down.
This is all happening way too fast.

Artemis:
Get used to it♡

Narration:
My memories of you from Proper Human History are a series of silly, meaningless, uplifting comedies.

Narration:
Heck, even the way I died was ridiculous.

Narration:
I'm still grateful to the god who stopped you from trying to make me immortal.

Narration:
Like I said:
gods and humans are different.

Narration:
That's got to be just as true for why we fall in love, how we fall in love, how that love comes to an end...and everything in between.

Narration:
But that doesn't mean having humans become gods would solve everything.

Narration:
If I'd been made a god...who knows how my human feelings would twist and change once I'd abandoned that humanity.

Narration:
And that just didn't sit right with me.

Narration:
...Deep breaths.

Narration:
I look up at the sky right where I know her to be,
even if I can't see her from here.

Narration:
I knew it. It's just like I thought.
You don't belong up there in the sky.

Mash:
Senpai, it's Mash Kyrielight.
I have something to report.


Fujimaru 1:
Come in!


Mash:
Oh, hello, Fou.
So this is where you've been.

Mash:
Jason wanted me to tell you that
Corday made it off the ship safely.


Fujimaru 1:
That's good to hear...


Mash:
If you want to say goodbye to her...
Oh, I guess you already did.

Mash:
She was unfailingly good-natured, wasn't she?
And I think she was very strong, too.

Mash:
I know she always talked about how weak she was...

Mash:
...but I think there's a difference between having power and being strong.

Mash:
I wish I'd had more chances to talk with her.


Fujimaru 1:
Me too.


Mash:
I see.

Mash:
Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes.
A journey like this makes that really sink in.


Fujimaru 1:
Even so...I still remember.


Fujimaru 2:
I remember every one of them.


Mash:
Me too.

Mash:
I'm sure the battle we're heading into will be even harder than usual.

Mash:
Even Jason has stopped smiling,
and he's usually so upbeat.

Mash:
...It makes me want to win even more.

Mash:
But...not out of a sense of duty
towards saving the world.

Mash:
Even though fighting is always scary... Even though I can't even stand up without someone protecting me... I still want to win.

Mash:
We can never go back to Chaldea again.
We'll never get to go back to that room.

Mash:
But that's exactly why I want to focus on reaching a new destination.

Mash:
And I want to see what it's like with you, Master...
Senpai.


Fujimaru 1:
That's what I want, too.


Mash:
Master.


Fujimaru 1:
Right!


Nemo Marine:
Storm Border, Royal Fortune, Argo.
All engines answering full stop.

Nemo Marine:
Boosting cloaking to maximum power,
just like Jason asked.

Nemo:
We're almost at Nemesis Island...

Nemo:
...and there are countless enemy
ships gathered around it.

Nemo:
I guess that means it's time for the final battle.

--ARROW--


Fujimaru 1:
I hope this works...

Mandricardo:
I don't blame you for being nervous...

Mandricardo:
...but I'm also sure Jason knew what he was doing when he came up with this plan.

Mandricardo:
So...I think it'll work out.


Fujimaru 2:
Are you ready?

Mash:
Y-yes! I've double-checked my equipment and can confirm everything is working fine.

Mash:
I'm good to go at any time!

Mandricardo:
Try to relax. You don't wanna be so on edge that you end up screwing up.

Mash:
I'm sorry...

Mandricardo:
Wait, crap. That was a poor choice of words.


Mandricardo:
Fujimaru.

Mandricardo:
You try to relax too.

Mandricardo:
There's only so much we can do, and worrying about the stuff we can't isn't gonna help anyone.

Mandricardo:
It's okay. I'll make sure to keep
you safe–er, alive at least.

Mandricardo:
After all, you and I are frie...
Uh... You know...


Fujimaru 1:
Really? You couldn't bring yourself to say it here?

Mandricardo:
Hey, cut me some slack.

Mandricardo:
This sort of thing's way out of my usual wheelhouse,
okay? I can't help it.


Fujimaru 2:
Really? You can't even look me in the eye?

Mandricardo:
I'm sorry, okay!?
This is the best I can do!


Mandricardo:
All right. Mash, Fujimaru, circle up.
Hands in.

Mash:
Okay.
You mean like this?

Mandricardo:
What's our goal here, Fujimaru?


Fujimaru 1:
Win.

Mandricardo:
Not just win. We've gotta survive, too.


Fujimaru 2:
Survive.

Mandricardo:
Not just survive. We've gotta win, too.


Jason:
Are you three done living out
your youthful fantasies yet!?

Mandricardo:
It's not a fantasy.
This is all as real as it gets.

Jason:
You do know our lives are on the line here, right!?
But, fine.

Jason:
Nemo, open a comms line!

Nemo Marine:
Aye, aye, sir.

Jason:
I take it you all know the plan
backwards and forwards by now?

Achilles:
I'm still not sure if it really
qualifies as a plan, but yeah.

Jason:
You don't have to tell me.
Believe me, I'm well aware.

Jason:
At any rate, our first order of
business is to win this battle.

Jason:
We're all going to protect Orion and land on the final island: Nemesis Island.

Jason:
So you all need to be ready to kick Odysseus to the curb like he's nothing!

Apollo:
Well, I guess you do need to convince yourself of that more than anyone...

Jason:
Who asked you, sun god!? Just stick to blessing (read: buffing) the hell out of us like a good support mascot!

Jason:
All right...
Go on, Master! Say something to inspire us!

Jason:
...What do you mean, “like what?”
I don't care! Just come up with something!


Fujimaru 1:
Let's all win this together!


Fujimaru 2:
Let's all make it back alive!


Jason:
All right, all hands to battle stations!

Nemo:
This is the Storm Border.
Torpedoes are locked, loaded, and ready to go!

Bartholomew:
This is the Royal Fortune.
I'm all set.

Bartholomew:
On my honor as The Courier, I promise I'll deliver Orion to Nemesis Island as fast as I possibly can.

A:Jason:
Move out!!!

Section 21: Challenge: Breaking Through the Distant Seas

Atlantis Border Guard:
...I have a visual on the enemy!
But I can't see them on the radar!

Odysseus:
Turn it up to maximum sensitivity.

Atlantis Border Guard:
But, that would show every single fish in these waters for kilometers around...

Odysseus:
Tag the signals headed towards us
and set it to exclude the rest.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir.

Odysseus:
The enemy will probably continue to drop off the radar periodically. The key to victory will be in how quickly we can reacquire them.

Odysseus:
Double the number of lookouts.

Odysseus:
Make sure they share every observation they make, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir!

Odysseus:
So, they've decided to face us head-on. I suppose it's too soon to say whether they're simply throwing caution to the wind...

Odysseus:
...or if they have some sort
of secret strategy in mind.

Jason:
We're about to reach an enemy ship!

Jason:
But we're only going to get
in close for a quick moment!

Jason:
Your job is to take down the ship's crew and destroy its engine as quickly as possible!

Jason:
Remember, the clock is ticking,
even if you can't see it. Get in, and get out!

Jason:
Every Servant should be able to make the impossible possible, so now's the time for you to prove it!

Mandricardo:
Got it.

Mash:
Understood!

Jason:
It's time to kick off this war!

Jason:
Now gooo!

Atlantis Border Guard:
We're under attack!

Mandricardo:
You heard Jason.
We're gonna get in and get out!

--BATTLE--

Mandricardo:
Mash!

Mash:
Right! Using Bunker Bolt to punch through the engine!

Mash:
Yaaaaaah!

Mandricardo:
Next up...
Take this!

Atlantis Border Guard:
The beam sail is damaged!
Dammit, we can't move until we repair it!

Mandricardo:
We're getting out of here! Hang on!

Jason:
Good, you're back! But with about ninety ships left, you've still got a long road ahead!

Jason:
I'm also guessing we'll only be able to do this one or two more times at most!

Jason:
Still, that'll be one or two fewer ships to worry about later! Now get going!

--BATTLE--

Atlantis Border Guard:
Why you...!

Achilles:
Hraaaaaa!

Atlantis Border Guard:
I don't get it... I thought the report said you'd been weakened from your heel being shot!

Atlantis Border Guard:
How are you doing this!?
Who the hell are you!?

Achilles:
I don't really know what to say to that.
I'm just me.

Achilles:
Achilles the Fleet-footed,
the strongest hero in all of Greece.

Achilles:
And that report wasn't wrong.
My heel really has been shot.

Achilles:
But trust me, the very concept of having my heel shot is like constant torture.

Achilles:
Full disclosure; I'm in so much pain all the time it hurts to even talk to you.

Achilles:
So.

Achilles:
Why am I telling you guys all this?

Achilles:
Well, I can't tell my companions, 'cause I don't want them to feel bad...but dammit, I feel like I deserve a little credit here!

Achilles:
The moment my opponents learn my True Name, they all go right for my heel like nobody's business.

Achilles:
But as you guys can see, Achilles the hero is alive and well, wounded heel be damned.

Achilles:
Now come on, see if you can take me!

C:???:
Oho. In that case, I suppose I'd better strike through your heart and take your head from your shoulders. Just to be sure.

Achilles:
Well now. 'Bout time you showed up, Chiron.

Chiron:
Of course. I'm not so cowardly as to refuse to take the bait you've been dangling before me.

Chiron:
Even if the same can't be said for my Proper Human History counterpart.

Achilles:
...

Achilles:
...Heh. Hehe. Hahahahaha!

Chiron:
Oh? I didn't think I was making any sort of joke.

Achilles:
Hah, sorry 'bout that.

Achilles:
See, Jason said you would probably bad-mouth your Proper Human History self, and damn if he wasn't right.

Chiron:
...I see.

Achilles:
And one more thing. My teacher wasn't cowardly.
Not by a long shot.

Achilles:
So what if he didn't have much combat experience?
So what if he only ever taught?

Achilles:
He was so wise that none of that mattered one damn bit.

Achilles:
I've got no doubt that he'd easily win a Holy Grail War if he was ever summoned to fight one.

Achilles:
Hell, I don't even think I could beat him myself!

Chiron:
Oho. You don't say.

Achilles:
So there you have it, Lostbelt Chiron.

Achilles:
I owe a whole lot to my teacher...
But you ain't him.

Achilles:
So don't expect me to hold back...
now that it's time to kill you!!!

Section 22: Those Who Drive Through the Storm

Nemo:
All right, we're gonna pay them back a hundred times over for how they welcomed us to this Lostbelt!

Nemo:
First and second torpedo tubes loaded!
Fire!

Nemo:
Those ships might look like the ones from ancient Greece, but they couldn't be more different!

Nemo:
They have internal combustion engines, and their beam sails give off magical energy readings too!

Nemo:
It might be a seriously strange mix of technology,
but it also gives them a really distinct sound!

Nemo:
And that means all we have to do is target the sources of that sound!

Nemo Marine:
Exactly!
Yaaay!

Nemo:
We got 'em!
Now, hard to port!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Send out the Lamia!
Go, go, go!

Meunière:
Aw crap!

Meunière:
It's more of those Lamia that attacked us when we first got here!

Nemo:
Tell them they should've known better than to try the same trick twice! We figured out a plan for them ages ago!

Nemo:
Cut the engine!
Launch the special torpedoes!

Goredolf:
A-are you sure this is a good idea!?

Nemo:
Of course. It's all there in the report.

Nemo:
Back when they first attacked my ship, it was the engine that suffered the most damage by far.

Nemo:
And since Lamia are serpentine creatures,
it's not hard to figure out why.

Holmes:
They're drawn to heat.

Goredolf:
Ohhh!

Nemo:
Exactly.

Nemo:
So all we have to do is fire specialized decoy torpedoes that give off heat signatures as they move.

Nemo Marine:
The Lamia have begun homing in on the torpedoes' heat!

Nemo:
Good! We'll start the engine back up once we've put enough distance between them and us!

Nemo:
I'm counting on you, engine room!
We don't have a second to waste!

Nemo Engineer:
Aye, aye, sir!
You don't gotta tell me that!

Jason:
For whatever reason, most likely their fear of Poseidon, our enemy here doesn't seem to have anything in the way of submarine technology.

Jason:
They probably figure it's fine to sail atop the sea, but to swim beneath its surface is tantamount to blasphemy.

Jason:
Whatever the case, it means the Storm Border has an overwhelming advantage over them there, so make sure you use it to destroy as many of them as you can!

Nemo:
Now fire torpedoes from the third and fourth tubes too!

Nemo Marine:
Aye, sir!
Hurry up and get those first two tubes reloaded!

Atlantis Border Guard:
We've made contact with the enemy!
Board the ship! Kill them all!

Jason:
Hahaha! Sorry to burst your bubble, but the only ones you'll find here are me and a buncha Nemo extras!

Jason:
And none of us have any combat value at all!

Nemo Marine:
Speak for yourself! I don't know about you,
but I think I have incredible value!

Atlantis Border Guard:
???

Atlantis Border Guard:
...Oh, whatever. Just kill them all!

Jason:
Dammit, looks like these guys don't have much in the way of humor.

Mandricardo:
Phew, made it! That was close!

Jason:
There you have it. Now it's time to play defense!
Go on, get 'em!

Jason:
And be ready to fend off a veritable mountain of them!

Mandricardo:
You got it!

--BATTLE--

Jason:
Dammit, they're starting to catch on to us! Look out!
They're throwing two ships at us now!

Jason:
And they're mixing in Lamia among their lineup, too!
That must mean you-know-who's almost here!


Fujimaru 1:
...I know!

Jason:
Plus, our airborne reinforcements aren't keeping
up well! C'mon, Paris! Get it together!


Fujimaru 2:
Hang in there just a little longer, Mandricardo!

Mandricardo:
Will do!


--ARROW--

A:Xanthos:
I never dreamed I'd one day be carrying my rider's mortal enemy. But I guess now's no time to complain. I should get off my high horse! Guheehee.

A:Paris:
I-I suppose so!

A:Paris:
...Wait. You ARE a horse!

A:Xanthos:
So? It's just an idiom,
no need to take it so seriously.

A:Paris:
Oh. I guess that's true...

A:Apollo:
That's enough chatter, Paris!
We have work to do.

A:Apollo:
And just to be clear, this isn't about me being jealous that you're talking to another animal besides me or anything!

A:Xanthos:
What kind of throwback mascot are you supposed to be?

A:Apollo:
I'm an ANCIENT Greek god, thank you very much.

A:Paris:
Okay, let's do this!!

Atlantis Border Guard:
!?

B:Atlantis Border Guard:
Enemy detected, nine o'clock high!
Take that chariot down!!!

A:Paris:
Look out, Xanthos!

A:Xanthos:
I see 'em, I see 'em.

B:Atlantis Border Guard:
Dammit, all our shots are missing!
It's too damn fast!

A:Paris:
Yes! All I have to do is keep this up–

Atlantis Border Guard:

I guess we'll just have to bring out the big guns.
Bring out the large-scale annihilators!

A:Paris:
Huh? Did someone just say something?

A:Apollo:
Yes. One of the soldiers on the ground said something about large-scale weapons. Probably cover a big area.

A:Paris:
N-no way.

A:Paris:
...

A:Apollo:
Yes way, it would seem.

A:Xanthos:
Well, shit.

A:Paris:
R-ruuun!!!

Jason:
A new kind of enemy!?
Dammit, I didn't plan for these guys!

Jason:
That bastard Odysseus must have been saving them for this occasion!

Jason:
Well, we can't afford to falter here.
Take them down now! I'll help!


Fujimaru 1:
Do you have any kind of plan!?


Jason:
No!

Jason:
All we can do now is wade into the fight and win!

--BATTLE--

Holmes:
...

Goredolf:
Something on your mind, Administrative Advisor?

Holmes:
I was just thinking about the Trees of Emptiness.

Goredolf:
Oh? ...Well, I suppose we are
rather close to this one now.

Goredolf:
But is this really the time to be thinking about them!?

Holmes:
The mature Tree of Emptiness in Scandinavia sent its seeds to attack us at various points.

Holmes:
While that never happened in China or India...

Holmes:
...perhaps due to poor growth, or their Lostbelts failure to meet some condition...

Holmes:
(The Tree of Emptiness in this Lostbelt is certain to be in the best shape out of all the ones we've seen.)

Holmes:
(I therefore believed it would only be a matter of time until it sent its seeds after us...)

Holmes:
(But so far, we've seen no sign of such a thing,
nor heard of any instances from the locals.)

Holmes:
(While I suppose it's certainly possible they may have only been sent to islands we never visited...)

Holmes:
(...something still strikes me as odd about this Tree of Emptiness. It's not like any other we've seen.)

Holmes:
(What could Kirschtaria Wodime's objective be...?)

Goredolf:
Dammit Holmes, something's nagging at you, isn't it!?
Go on then, spit it out already!

Goredolf:
No, wait, don't tell me! This is another one of those “the time is not yet right” things, isn't it!?

Goredolf:
Fine then, enough of that! Back to reality!
Go on, keep those torpedoes firing!

Nemo Marine:
Aye, aye, sir! I'll start firing everything we've got every which way to keep the enemy suppressed!

Nemo:
Don't go wasting our ammo, you idiot! Wait until you've got a target before you just start firing!

Nemo:
...Wait. The Lamia just changed direction!

Nemo:
Dive, dive, dive!
Hard to port!

Goredolf:
Aaah!

Goredolf:
Oh gods, I'm gonna be siiick!!!

Atlantis Border Guard:
We did what you told us, sir.

Atlantis Border Guard:
From now on, instead of heat sources, the Lamia will be targeting the Hephaestus Klironomia tracking data.

Odysseus:
Good.
How's the Echidna?

Atlantis Border Guard:
She should be ready to give birth to a Cerberus any moment now.

Odysseus:
Only one? I was hoping for two.

Atlantis Border Guard:
She doesn't have enough magical energy for that. She'd need to devour another soul or something to–

Odysseus:
Then there is no issue. Bring the captured Servant.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...

Odysseus:
By their nature, Servants are an excellent source of magical energy.

Atlantis Border Guard:
But this one's almost dead...

Odysseus:
That doesn't matter.
All that matters is that it's a Servant.

Odysseus:
A beast near death is no less nutritious than one that has not yet been wounded.

Odysseus:
Go ahead and feed it to the Echidna.
She should be able to digest it completely.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir!

Atlantis Border Guard:
I have a message, sir.
The Argo just destroyed a fourth ship.

Odysseus:
I see.

Atlantis Border Guard:
We need to do something about it before–

Odysseus:
No, we don't.

Odysseus:
It won't be long now before the Argo has their hands so full destroying our ships that they won't be able to take evasive maneuvers anymore.

Odysseus:
And it's highly doubtful that the Border will surface anytime soon either, thanks to the naval mine Lamia we have out there.

Odysseus:
No, the one we need to be most wary of...

Odysseus:
...is Orion.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Orion?

Atlantis Border Guard:
But none of the ships have reported so much as seeing him.

Odysseus:
Chaldea couldn't afford to put Orion
on either the Argo or the Border.

Odysseus:
So we can assume he's on Bartholomew's ship...

Odysseus:
...and that he's waiting for a chance to reach Nemesis Island and destroy our guardian goddess, Lady Artemis.

Atlantis Border Guard:
...!

Bartholomew:
Tch. Orion, the Argo's started to slow down.

Bartholomew:
We're just going to have to go out there and stir things up as best we can.

Orion:
Whoa, whoa, you want to go now?

Orion:
We were supposed to wait till they destroyed ten ships,
and they haven't even done half of that!

Bartholomew:
Remember how they also said there's no telling what might happen?

Bartholomew:
Speaking as a pirate and as The Courier, every bone in my body is telling me we need to go now, before it's too late.

Orion:
Okay then, let's go.
I'll trust your pirate instincts.

Bartholomew:
Let's go back them up!

Mandricardo:
Raaaaaah!!!

F:Mandricardo:
Who's next!?

Mash:
Jason!
The ship hasn't made any headway for a while now!

Jason:
What do you expect!? I've got my hands full helping you fight, and we don't have anyone else around who can help!

Jason:
...Oh, right. I guess we do teeechnically have someone who can help, don't we!?


Fujimaru 1:
Ready and waiting!

Jason:
Glad to hear it!

Jason:
You've watched me work the helm enough that you should know how to handle the ship yourself by now, so get to it!


Fujimaru 2:
Really? Where!?

Jason:
You, you idiot! Do you see anyone else on this ship twiddling their thumbs!?

Jason:
Besides, you're the one who's been watching me work the helm and playing with it yourself when you thought I wasn't looking!



Fujimaru 1:
G-got it!


F:Mandricardo:
We're moving! Don't worry about beating these guys in a fight, Mash! Just focus on knocking them overboard!

Mash:
Understood!
Yaaaaaah!

F:Mandricardo:
Hey! That hurts, dammit!

Jason:
Why you–

Jason:
(Huff, huff, huff)

Jason:
Dammit, I'm the captain of this ship!
Why am I out here swinging a damn sword!?

F:Mandricardo:
Probably 'cause you're a Saber!

Jason:
Oh for...!

Jason:
Hey, hard to starboard!
You do know what starboard means, don't you!?


Fujimaru 1:
Uh... Right!

Jason:
Exactly!


Fujimaru 2:
Left!

Jason:
No, your other left! Are you trying to crash us!?


F:Mandricardo:
Last one!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Ghh!

F:Mandricardo:
All right! Get us out of here, Fujimaru!


Fujimaru 1:
You got it, Mandricardo!


F:Mandricardo:
...
...Haha!

--ARROW--

A:Apollo:
There! There! There too!

A:Paris:
Please slow down. I'm not fast enough!
There are so many...

A:Apollo:
You can do this, Paris! I believe in you!

A:Paris:
O-okay!

A:Paris:
But don't I need to cover Achilles?

A:Apollo:
Nope!

A:Paris:
Really!?

A:Apollo:
Really. You'd just be wasting your time if you tried!

Achilles:
Hahahahaha!
Is that all you've got!?

Chiron:
You really are strong!

Achilles:
...

Chiron:
But you're still moving sluggishly.

Chiron:
Imagine my relief at having already shot your heel.

Achilles:
Heh. I'm glad you did, too.

Chiron:
Huh?

Achilles:
This pain is proof that I'm human.

Achilles:
That I didn't ascend to godhood,
to be like this Lostbelt version of you.

Achilles:
It's proof that I'm the same person my human father had high hopes for, and that my goddess mother loved.

Achilles:
Compared to such joy...

Achilles:
Pain is nothing.

Chiron:
Say what you will; I can see it in your face.
You're fading.

Chiron:
For all your boasting, your body cannot keep this up.

Chiron:
You are no longer immortal, you don't have your chariot, and your position is far from ideal.

Chiron:
You don't even have anyone covering for you.

Chiron:
So you have to fight alone, constantly on the move,
with your injured heel slowing you down.

Achilles:
I told you, I'm...fine!

Chiron:
Yes, it's all very clear.

Chiron:
After watching you fight so gallantly, I can tell just how great a hero you were in Proper Human History.

Chiron:
But, unfortunately for you, I am not so sentimental as to be moved by such things.

Chiron:
Box him in. Give him nowhere to move.

Chiron:
Don't try to finish him off in one blow. His will be a death from a thousand arrowheads.

Achilles:
...!

Achilles:
Cowardly bastard!

Chiron:
Indeed, in this case, I'm happy to be a coward.

Chiron:
Consider it proof of how great a threat you pose.

Achilles:
...

Achilles:
(Excellent. Now I've got our most cunning foe's attention entirely focused on me.)

Jason:
Achilles, I want you to keep Chiron occupied and destroy his ship.

Jason:
If you can't manage the latter,
then just focus on the former.

Jason:
Frankly, the moment we leave Chiron free to act is the moment our whole operation crashes down around us.

Jason:
His Noble Phantasm can kill its
target with only one shot.

Jason:
If he goes for Fujimaru, he could end
this whole thing before it even starts.

Jason:
So you need to keep him occupied. No matter what.

Jason:
Be ready to take his Noble Phantasm yourself.

Achilles:
That's a hell of a tall order, you know.

Jason:
Course it is. I'm only giving it because I know you can do it. You're Greece's second strongest hero, after all!

Achilles:
Wait. What do you mean “second”?

Jason:
What, did you really think you were stronger than Heracles? Don't be an ass.

Achilles:
(Sigh) All right, fine. We've got better things to do than argue now, so I'll just leave it at that.

Achilles:
Okay, keep Chiron occupied and destroy his ship.
Got it.

Jason:
And while we're on the subject...

Jason:
—.

Achilles:
Damn, it really pisses me off how accurate his predictions are turning out to be.

Chiron:
...?

Achilles:
Don't mind me. Just thinking out loud.

Achilles:
My name is Achilles!
I am the strongest hero Greece has ever known!

Achilles:
If your third-rate asses think you got a chance against me, then take your best shot!

--BATTLE--

Atlantis Border Guard:
Reporting, sir!

Atlantis Border Guard:
It's Bartholomew Roberts,
a Proper Human History Servant!

Atlantis Border Guard:
He's got Orion on his old-fashioned sailing ship,
and he's headed straight for us.

Odysseus:
There we go.
Send in the new Cerberus.

Odysseus:
Make sure to completely eradicate Orion before he can set one foot on Nemesis Island!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir!

Odysseus:
That takes care of the last unknown variable.
It's over now.

Narration:
...Is it? Is it really over?

Narration:
Am I sure there's nothing I'm overlooking?
Can I really claim victory now?

Narration:
I know better than to ignore anything that seems amiss, no matter how inconsequential it may seem.

Narration:
Think harder.
What's the next step Jason will need to take?

Odysseus:
...He'll want to have the Master of Chaldea and Bartholomew rendezvous.

Atlantis Border Guard:
Reporting, sir!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Jason's ship was originally headed for Nemesis Island, but now it's headed for Bartholomew's ship!

Odysseus:
Set a course to cut them off immediately.

--ARROW--

Jason:
Good, it looks like we'll be able to rendezvous.

Jason:
In the end, it doesn't matter who gets Orion to Nemesis Island as long as he gets there.

Jason:
And of course, that goes for you three, too.


Fujimaru 1:
Got it.

Jason:
Good. Now hurry up and go so
I can run the hell away already!


Fujimaru 2:
What about you, Jason? Will you be okay?

Jason:
What, you think you being off my ship will put me in MORE danger? Of course I'll be fine! Now go already!


Mash:
Okay. Thank you, Jason!

Mandricardo:
See ya, Jason. Thanks for everything.

Jason:
Look, I'm a busy man, so just hurry it up. And hope that the last bomb I planted goes off without a hitch!

Mandricardo:
You know, exactly what kind of bomb are we talking here, anyway?

Mandricardo:
And why've you been so unwilling
to tell anyone what it is?

Jason:
To make sure you lot didn't inadvertently give anything away to Odysseus.

Jason:
I wanted to do all I could to give it the best shot at working. Even so, the odds are much lower than I'd like.

Jason:
Now for the last time, get going!


Fujimaru 1:
Good luck!


Jason:
I hope so. It's all I've got left at this point!

Jason:
...Tch. Dammit. Of course he figured it out.

Mash:
Ah!

Mash:
Master! A large number of enemy ships are wedging themselves between the Royal Fortune and us!

Mash:
If we don't do something soon, we'll be trapped!

Jason:
Well, you lot need to get to the
Royal Fortune, no matter what!


Fujimaru 1:
We know, but how!?


Bartholomew:
There, I can see the Argo now!
Give me some backup, Orion!

Bartholomew:
Aim for the enemy ships' beam sails and the engines located amidships!

Bartholomew:
We need to make an opening for
Fujimaru's group to reach us!

Orion:
On it!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Block it!

Orion:
Damn, it's no use!
This is gonna take way too long!

Odysseus:
Of course it will. I have no fewer than ten ships barring your way. There will be no rendezvous now.

Odysseus:
Send Cerberus. It is time to put an end to them.

Jason:
Dammit! We're so close!

Holmes:
Nemo's preoccupied with steering the Border, so I'm passing on an emergency message in his stead!

Holmes:
We're picking up a powerful hostile reading on our instruments! Matching it to existing data now... It's Cerberus!

Jason:
Oh crap! If that thing gets on board this ship,
it'll be all over (for me)!

Jason:
Hey, um... Would you be mad if I asked you to go defeat it on the enemy's ship?


Fujimaru 1:
Not at all!

Jason:
Great! Then do it!

Mandricardo:
Jason...

Jason:
Don't look at me like that!

Jason:
Not everything I do is entirely selfish!


Fujimaru 2:
I was just about to suggest that myself!

Jason:
Really? Do you have any idea how reckless that is?
Then again, I guess we're all being reckless now!


Mandricardo:
Yeah, we know!

Mandricardo:
Hephaestus Klironomia...maximum power!

Mandricardo:
All right, let's go!

--BATTLE--

Mandricardo:
Haaaaaa!

Mash:
Cerberus refuses to go down!

Mandricardo:
How can this thing be so damn sturdy!?


Fujimaru 1:
...

Mandricardo:
Hey, you okay, Fujimaru?
Hey!

Mash:
Mandricardo, look! Over there!


Fujimaru 2:
...Over there!

Mandricardo:
Where?


Mandricardo:
Huh? Cerberus is...running off in a different direction?

Odysseus:
Regardless of how absurd the notion may seem...

Odysseus:
Anyone with the potential to threaten Lady Artemis must be eliminated with extreme prejudice.

Odysseus:
Cerberus has been infused with Poseidon Klironomia.

Odysseus:
Once the guardian of the underworld, he is now a ferocious beast with free reign over the sea itself.

Mandricardo:
Dammit! This is looking real bad!

Mandricardo:
The damn Cerberus is going after the Royal Fortune!
He's gonna try to tear it to shreds!

Orion:
Too bad for you, I can run on water if I have to!

Bartholomew:
Orion!

Orion:
Don't worry. I can figure out a way to–

Bartholomew:
It's a trap!!!

Bartholomew:
There's another one!

Orion:
It was in the water!


Fujimaru 1:
It got his arm!


Orion:
Dammit! Let go of me, you overgrown–

Odysseus:
Two Cerberi working together will be more than enough to tear Orion to pieces. It's over, Proper Human History.

Jason:
...Now, Storm Border!

Odysseus:
...!

Nemo:
You should have known better than to take us on at sea. The host of torpedoes I just fired at your pets ought to demonstrate why that is.

Nemo:
Especially since, naturally, they weren't just any torpedoes.

Nemo:
They're special echo torpedoes that use pseudo-Mana Bursts for propulsion, and unleash shock waves as devastating as Triton's trumpet.

Nemo:
How do you like that, Odysseus!?

Jason:
All right!

Jason:
Orion! Change of plans!
Keep running to Nemesis Island as fast as you can!

Orion:
You sure!?

Jason:
Just go! Don't worry about the rest!

Jason:
The Storm Border's torpedoes will clear a path for you!

Jason:
Of course, you'll be pretty badly injured if one of them hits you...

Jason:
But between your devilish luck and Nemo's skilled aim, I'm sure it'll all work out! Probably!

Orion:
You got it, Captain!

Odysseus:
Go after Orion.
Do not let him reach Nemesis Island.

Jason:
Good! We bought ourselves some time. Bartholomew!

A:Atlantis Border Guard:
The Royal Fortune...!

A:Atlantis Border Guard:
It was hiding behind a ship on the verge of sinking!

Bartholomew:
Sorry I'm late, but I'm here now!
Tell me, how do you feel about cannonballs?

Bartholomew:
You like them, you say?
Then here, have some more!

Jason:
There he is!

Jason:
Master, Mash, Mandricardo!
Hurry up and join Bartholomew!

Jason:
The Argo will handle things here!


Fujimaru 1:
...Got it!


Jason:
Hahahaha, I'm actually excited! Though it's probably got something to do with the threat of imminent destruction looming over me!

Nemo Marine:
We'll be with you every step of the way, Captain!
Our affection for you's all maxed out now!

Jason:
...It better be, you fools! If I have to sail this ship into hell itself, you'd best believe you're all coming with me!

Mandricardo:
All right!

Mandricardo:
Fujimaru! Mash!

Mandricardo:
This is our last chance to make it to the Royal Fortune!
Get ready to jump!


Fujimaru 1:
I know!


Fujimaru 2:
Let's go as fast as we can!


Mash:
I'll give you a boost, Mandricardo!
Hang on to Master for me!

Mandricardo:
I will! Just make sure you're right behind us!

Mash:
Right!

Mandricardo:
Paris! Give us all the cover fire you can lay down!

B:Paris:
What do you think I'm doing right now!?

B:Paris:
Take this!

B:Apollo:
Wait!
...There are wyverns headed this way!

B:Paris:
You're kidding me! Where'd they come from!?

B:Apollo:
The Echidna!

Odysseus:
Switch production over from Lamia to wyverns for a while to keep Paris in check.

Odysseus:
How's the Echidna doing?

A:Atlantis Border Guard:
Better than ever, sir.

A:Atlantis Border Guard:
I guess it must be thanks to the Servant she ate.

A:Atlantis Border Guard:
Even after she birthed that last Cerberus, she's been pumping out three wyverns every thirty seconds.

Odysseus:
...Three wyverns every thirty seconds?
That's much too fast.

Odysseus:
I'm going to the Echidna's ship
to see what's going on for myself.

Odysseus:
Chiron, would you take over for me while I–

Odysseus:
What's going on?

A:Atlantis Border Guard:
S-sir! Urgent message!!!

A:Atlantis Border Guard:
The Echidna's, um...started to go berserk, sir!

Odysseus:
Berserk? What exactly do you mean?

A:Atlantis Border Guard:
The Demonic Beasts she's producing have started attacking us as well.

A:Atlantis Border Guard:
We took a look at one we killed,
and it had Theos Klironomia in it!

Odysseus:
...I see. So the mechanisms that suppress its instinctive hostility are somehow being disabled.

A:Atlantis Border Guard:
Yes, sir!

Odysseus:
...It must be that Servant's doing!

Jason:
...Well I'll be damned.
She really pulled it off.

Jason:
Hell, she succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

Jason:
Great work, Mochizuki Chiyome.
You really outdid yourself.

Jason:
Of course, I'm going to be less than thrilled if your exemplary efforts end up getting me killed, too!

Jason:
This is exactly why blowing yourself up really doesn't count as a plan!

Section 23: Maiden of Monsters, the Tactician of Steel, and the Angel of Assassination

Narration:
Earlier...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Gurk!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Ahh... It would seem this is it for me.
I am going to die.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
...

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Juuust kidding♪

Narration:
Well, not entirely. I really am very close to dying.

Narration:
But I am not dead just yet.

Narration:
Servants vanish when they die, after all. It is only by remaining alive that I was able to be fed to the Echidna.

Jason:
I know what I'm about to suggest is crazy,
so feel free to ignore it, but...

Jason:
Do you have any interest in becoming a Trojan horse?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Pardon?

Jason:
Honestly, I'd say the odds are about ten-thousand to one?

Jason:
And that's assuming everything goes as planned.

Narration:
A tactician would never rely on a bet
with ten-thousand to one odds of success.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
This is much more akin to gambling than strategy.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
But the good news is, we took that bet...and we won!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Though I must say, he has some gall asking me to do this when he knows my history!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I mean, telling me to curse myself?
What in the world was he thinking!?

Mochizuki Chiyome:
My True Name is Mochizuki Chiyome!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I hereby sacrifice myself to my ancestor, Kouga Saburou, and to the curse cast upon him at the sacred Mt. Ibuki!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Come to me, great Orochi! I will inherit the cursed clothes of the underworld, Yuiman. Return my body to its serpentine form!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
On sanmaya satoban! As the curse overtakes my body,
so shall my body return to its bestial nature!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Next, I will fuse with the Echidna, let my ferocious feral instincts take over, and birth a vast host of monsters!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
I may not be able to control the Echidna, but I can join with it...and in turn, prevent anyone from controlling it.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
So from this point on,
this creature is no longer a weapon.

Mochizuki Chiyome:
It is but a living calamity;
it will be equally deadly to friend and foe alike!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Farewell, everyone!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
If this cursed body of mine can be of use to humanity, I have no regrets whatsoever about sacrificing it!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Now go, my beastly child, give birth to more and wreak havoc on all you see!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
There is no longer anything holding you back.
Sink your fangs into whatever is close at hand!

Mochizuki Chiyome:
Hehe, hahahahahahaha!

Odysseus:
When I absorbed my Proper Human History counterpart,
the only thing he gave me was information.

Odysseus:
I thought that was enough at the time.

Odysseus:
As long as I knew our enemy's origins and stories,
that would be all I needed, or so I believed.

Odysseus:
But I see now that, by deliberately
giving me only information...

Odysseus:
...the other Odysseus tried to ensure that I wouldn't take things like emotions or principles into my calculations.

Odysseus:
He prevented me from seeing that Proper Human History's true strength lies not in its thoughts, but its emotions.

Odysseus:
This battlefield is about to become quite messy. ...And it'll put Chiron through no small amount of hardships.

Odysseus:
...

Odysseus:
Gather up the remaining Demonic Beasts and have them fight the creatures the Echidna is birthing.

Odysseus:
Increase the security on Nemesis Island's landing points. Hurry!

Atlantis Border Guard:
Y-yes, sir!

Odysseus:
...Maybe I should have sent out
the Olympian soldiers after all?

Odysseus:
No, I was the one who decided these military assets would suffice, so I'll go out to fight them myself.

Odysseus:
Bring me the last Cerberus!

Atlantis Border Guard:
But sir, that Cerberus has gone berserk, too!

Odysseus:
...I'll bring him to heel.

Jason:
All right, I managed to get one over on Odysseus, but this is as far as that goes. Dammit, all this hard thinking's going to give me a fever!

Jason:
Anyway, I did what I had to. However it goes with her is none of my concern anymore!

Bartholomew:
Okay, time for me to do my part!

Bartholomew:
From now on, don't worry about me, and don't worry about Jason anymore, either. Whatever happens to us, happens.

Bartholomew:
Fujimaru, your job is to get to Nemesis
Island, and mine is to get you there.

Bartholomew:
That's all there is to it.


Fujimaru 1:
But what'll you do afterwards?


Bartholomew:
I'm still a pirate, even with these dashing good looks. If I have to die, I'd much rather it be at sea than on land.

Bartholomew:
Once you get to land, Mandricardo, I'll be counting on you to watch out for Master.

Mandricardo:
...I will.

Bartholomew:
I didn't have many chances to talk to you, and you were never the chatty type to begin with...

Bartholomew:
But all the same,
I know I can put my full trust in you!

Nemo:
Fujimaru, can you hear me?


Fujimaru 1:
Nemo!

Nemo:
You mean Captain.


Fujimaru 2:
Captain!

Nemo:
That's right. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?


Nemo:
Those new Lamia have started devouring the Lamia that were chasing us around.

Nemo:
I'm b