Bleached Earth Mystery
This page will contain Chapter 6.5 Traum spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.
The following sections are FGO NA localizations with the 21st century years subtracted by 2 to match JP's timeline.
The Moment CHALDEAS Displayed the Bleaching
Chaldea Staff A: There's no sign of Kirschtaria Wodime in his Coffin!
Chaldea Staff B: It's not just him! There's nobody in Coffins B, C, D, E, F, or G either!
Chaldea Staff B: They're ALL empty! What's going on!? We had vital signs in all of them just a moment ago!
Da Vinci: The Coffins' contents can't be verified until they're open. There are any number of ways to make it seem like they're still giving off readings.
Da Vinci: (...Does this mean that, at some point over the last four days, someone opened them before I did and set them up to give off false signals? )
Da Vinci: But who could've done that? And more importantly, how did they get Wodime and the others out of–
Announcement A: Warning! Warning! An ■■ has occurred in observational data.
Announcement A: No past observational data found. Statistical response, forecast, and prediction abilities compromised.
Announcement A: Unable to detect anomalies in observational data. Unable to detect any form of electromagnetic waves.
Announcement A: Unable to detect cosmic rays reaching Earth.
Announcement A: Satellite visual feed lost. Mauna Kea Observatories transmissions lost.
Announcement A: There are currently no observable celestial objects on Earth.
Da Vinci: ...Did I hear that right?
Goredolf: Wh-what's the meaning of all this, Da Vinci!? A-aaahhh!
Goredolf: Wh-wh-wh-what's going on!? I didn't do anything!
Goredolf: What are those cracks showing up in Chaldeas!?
Announcement A: Pseudo-Celestial Sphere Chaldeas overloaded. Shutting down Observation Lens Sheba.
Goredolf: N-n-now what's happening!?
Chaldea Staff: ...Intruders! I'm picking up magical energy signals at the front gate, Gate 3, and Gate 6!
Chaldea Staff: What...What the hell!? There's more pouring in every second!
Da Vinci: Snap out of it! We don't need Sheba to use our internal security cameras!
Da Vinci: Get the footage of the front gate and Chaldea's surroundings on the screen!
Chaldea Staff: Uh...R-right! Putting up visual now!
Current State of CHALDEAS
Priest: Now, time for our last job.
Priest: The Pseudo-Celestial Sphere Chaldeas...The miracle that leads to the Root. The miracle that the Animusphere family wished for and dreamed about for over two millennia...
Priest: Part of me wishes we didn't have to trample all over this dream, but such is life.
Priest: It is the job of adults to teach children the harsh truth of reality. Even the tsar fears this celestial sphere.
Priest: After all, changing the past via Rayshifting is the one threat we can't counter.
???: ...So this is Chaldeas. It looks just like an Easter egg...
???: So this is the device I must freeze, Father?
Priest: That's right. That is what the tsar wants. You must use your Noble Phantasm to defeat the traitors.
Priest: You must bury this magnificent crown jewel of humanity yourself, in a coffin of permafrost.
Priest: What will you do, Your Imperial Highness, Grand Duchess Anastasia?
Chaldea's POV of Invasion from Antarctica
Chaldea Staff: Holmes, are you seeing what's outside the window!?
Holmes: Of course. I've seen it since I took control.
Holmes: ...Nevertheless, it IS hard to believe. One could be forgiven for thinking it a bad dream.
Chaldea Staff: Are those meteoroids!? But we didn't get any reports from Panama!
Chaldea Staff: If there were meteoroids too big to burn up in the atmosphere headed this way, we would've heard!
Chaldea Staff: And what's with those trajectories!? How can they possibly be falling straight down like that!?
Holmes: An occurrence that defies human understanding, hm?
Holmes: That tells us they cannot be meteoroids. I believe we can rule out debris as well.
Holmes: Which means this can only be something once relegated to fiction. For example, an invasion from outer space.
Goredolf: You're joking, right? Who could say something like that with a straight face!?
Goredolf: I-I mean, that would just be absurd, right? Or what, are you really saying those people were aliens?
Goredolf: That they only pretended to be human in order to take over Chaldea? How can–
Holmes: My apologies, but please, do be quiet. We're picking up an external transmission. It's using the same frequency you did at Chaldea.
???: ...anity. We have a message for all of humanity.
???: This planet will soon be reborn as an old, brand-new world.
???: Human civilization was a mistake. The path of our growth was incorrect.
???: And so I have made my decision. I will revolt against all of human history–Proper Human History.
???: We are about to fill this world with inhuman Mystic secrets. We will restore the Age of Gods.
???: To that end, the gods have descended from a far-off galaxy, and in their wisdom, they have used seven seeds to select new leaders.
???: These leaders will remake this planet as they see fit. And the one who reign supreme shall be given the right to renew the world itself.
???: The life-forms from Proper Human History will not be permitted to take part in this war, or even to view it from the sidelines.
???: The roots of cosmic fantasy have descended upon us. Trees of creation have sprung up all across the land.
???: Now, all of the old humanity's endeavors will be set aside, frozen.
???: Thus shall you atone for your sins.
???: 2017...The year that Proper Human History came to an end.
???: My name is Wodime. Kirschtaria Wodime.
???: On behalf of the seven Crypters, I have a message for those of you who escaped from Chaldea.
???: No, rather, I have a message for the scant few remnants of the human race: WE will be the inheritors of this world's history.
Bluebook Narration 1
...And so, our history came to an end.
It's been ninety days since the invasion from space began. In that time, the entire planet has been wiped clean.
We've been fighting back for three months. Three long, arduous months.
Every single attempt ended in failure. Of course they did.
We had all kinds of security measures in place to deal with other countries...but we were completely unprepared for an invasion from outer space.
The United States fought hard to the last man, but even so, they only lasted a matter of days.
With no other options left to them, all the few remaining humans could do was stand by and stare around, dumbfounded, at the endless stretch of nothingness.
Everyone resigned themselves to the fact that each passing day could well and truly be their last.
...But not me. I just couldn't let it end like this.
So I turned my back on the campsite and walked away like a petulant child, casting a deaf ear to the people offering up their final prayers.
Before me, I saw a vast wasteland of endless white. Any trace of humanity had been erased.
We no longer had any hope for survival, let alone of turning the tide. Nothing we tried had even the slightest effect.
In this wasteland, I searched through old records like a raccoon pawing through garbage.
I managed to find an old motorcycle, with barely enough fuel for a one-way trip, and began riding across the blinding white wasteland.
It's just...nothing about this makes sense. There are so many unanswered questions. If I'm going to die, I at least want to know why.
I can accept an alien invasion. I can even accept the end of the world.
But I can't accept not knowing WHY they invaded us, or HOW.
The invasion lasted a good ninety days. There must have been SOME sign leading up to it. Someone must have seen this coming.
Or, maybe...someone knew this was coming, and decided to LET it happen.
How did the invaders first make their way to Earth to begin with?
Someone needs to figure at least that much out, or humanity will never be able to rest in peace.
So I'll keep exploring until I find a lead–some sort of clue that could lead me to the answers I seek.
This recording might just be me talking to myself...but still, there's every chance that this is the last document remaining on Earth.
My name is David. David Bluebook.
I'm an oddball setting off on the last trip of his life, searching for answers in a world where I'll be lucky to see tomorrow.
Researcher's Log, 2016:
Eighteen hours have passed since the events we observed in New Mexico. At last, Subject E has been relocated to this base.
Honestly, I can barely contain my excitement. This is the biggest thing to happen since the Roswell UFO incident in 1947.
I have no idea how it ended up making an emergency landing on this planet, and I don't care.
What I do know is that our...visitor is at death's door and needs our help if it's going to survive.
I also know that it is an intelligent life-form, and is nothing like us humans.
Its form beggars belief. Thank goodness for the boundless capacity of the human imagination.
This visitor from a distant world looks exactly like the sort of thing one would see in a horror movie.
My orders are to perform surgery on this new friend from beyond the stars to save its life and hopefully establish communication.
I'm literally trembling with excitement. My entire staff and I are eager to begin our work.
This will be a difficult operation, but we WILL save it. This will be, by far, the most fulfilling work I've ever done. How could I not see that it succeeds?
...My only regret is that I won't be able to share these discoveries with the outside world.
This project is as classified as they come, and who knows if it will ever be disclosed to the public.
Until then, we must continue to nurse it back to health in secret, here in this underground facility.
It is here that I must study this strange new life-form. These...tree roots come to life.
Chaldea's Investigation of Bleached Earth After Russia
It's been two days since Rasputin,the Pseudo-Servant, attacked.
The Chaldeans are currently on their way to the Lostbelt in Scandinavia.
...Everything is so white.
The words “blank slate” have never seemed so appropriate. It's like the entire surface has been...reset.
Nothing but pure white wherever you look. Everything is gone.
Nature...civilization...even the flora and fauna have completely disappeared. No, not disappeared...It's more like they've all been pruned away.
All there is to see in every direction is a pure, white plain–though there were a few topographical exceptions along the way.
It looked like the remains of some buildings, but they appeared to have been warped by extreme heat, or destroyed in some kind of shock wave.
Whatever the cause, upon closer inspection, one could see that these had once been man-made structures of some kind.
This led to Fujimaru and [♂ his /♀ her] allies stepping out of the Shadow Border to investigate further.
The atmospheric composition was normal. The air was breathable, and the gravity was the same as before. There was no need for a hazard suit or space suit or anything of the sort.
“Good thing you didn't have to get all dressed up like an astronaut, huh? ” said Leonardo da Vinci with a cherubic smile.
Mash: ...Look, Senpai, you can see them up ahead...Buildings.
Mash: It looks like even the buildings have been bleached. That explains why we couldn't see them at a distance.
Mash: ...Those ARE buildings, right?
Mash: If there are any survivors here, we should bring them back to the Border as soon as–
Narration: She trailed off all of a sudden. Probably because what she saw was beyond anything she could have imagined.
No one could blame her. Anyone else would have been agape at the bizarre sight before them.
The color had been drained out of everything. Some parts of the buildings even looked as though they had been rubbed away with an eraser.
The whole thing looked like some bizarre postmodern art exhibit, and was made all the more baffling by being in the middle of a bleached desert.
There were no signs of life anywhere,not even the remains of what had once been alive.
It all looked so sterile, especially for ruins. It was the sort of thing you'd only see in dreams.
Everyone back on the Border seeing it on their monitors must have thought they were looking at footage from an alien planet.
Mash: ...Let's go in. There might still be something inside.
Narration: Earth had changed.
It had been completely bleached–a planet now totally devoid of life, with the exception of the Lostbelts.
But even when it had been reset to a blank slate, there were still some places, some buildings, some life-forms that had survived.
Chaldea decided to call these “remnants. ”
Today was the first contact they had with these sorts of remnants–these buildings that had been left behind on this newly blank Earth.
Despite the new director's pessimistic outlook, the other staff couldn't ignore the possibility, however slight, that there might still be other survivors.
But even though they never did find any other people,their investigation wasn't for nothing.
Because they did find signs of life. Signs that someone had survived all this, and had been here before them.
Here, near the Scandinavian Lostbelt, in what used to be Helsinki, the capital of Finland...
...were signs in these buildings that someone,somewhere, was still alive.
Signs that someone had been living here for days...weeks...maybe even months.
Empty bottles...piles of canned food...The remains of a communication device that someone had clearly spent a great deal of effort trying to repair...
There was even something that looked like a doll lying on the floor–a sign that a young child had been among the survivors.
And above all, they found something that had clearly been left behind with intent...
Mash: ...According to this journal, it looks like somebody was here as recently as two days ago.
Mash: The last entry is dated the day before yesterday.
Mash: It looks like there were six survivors at first, but over time, their numbers gradually dwindled, until...
Mash: In the end, whoever wrote this journal must have been the last one to disappear...Where could they all have gone?
Unfortunately, though whoever wrote the journal had excellent penmanship, it was in a language that Fujimaru could not read.
It could have been Finnish, or maybe Swedish...Either way, it may as well have been Greek to Fujimaru.
Mash: “Why did this happen to our planet? Why do these invaders from another world hate humanity so much? ”
If nothing else, those final questions written on the last pages were clear.
Why? Why? Why?
That is all these people could ask, even as they were wiped away...Almost as though they were being punished for seeking meaning in their crisis.
Mash: ...It's time, Master. Let's head back to the Border.
Mash: We're almost to Sweden now. You should rest up for the coming battles.
Narration: As they left the remnants behind, one thought haunted each and every one of them:
Nowhere was there so much as a trace of blood,a hint of violence.
Fujimaru: So that's what those storm walls look like from the outside...
Bluebook Narration 2
How long has it been since I left the colony of survivors?
I managed to keep a log for the first thirty days, but now it just feels like I've lost the ability to keep track of time.
In my defense, it's hard to count the days when we don't have nights anymore. It all blurs together.
I still have no idea how things got to this point, but what I can say for sure is that somehow the sun is shining on every corner of the world at once.
With everything bleached white as far as the eye can see, you get numb to time as well as distance.
My food and water are starting to run out. Once they do, that'll be it for me.
At least my old motorcycle is still purring like a kitten.
I never expected this solar generator to work this well or for this long.
It proved you can ride an old motorcycle from Australia to North America as long as you have a surface to ride on and a solid engine.
All I drive over seems to be endless white wasteland. No...maybe wasteland isn't the right word.
It's more like...pavement without so much as a single crack or seam to be seen.
It's nothing like a desert, either. There's just...nothing here. I don't even get that natural sort of austerity wastelands give off.
It's not so much that it seems like life's died out as that it never existed to begin with.
Case in point, I've not seen even a single sign of death or decay this whole time.
Not a single corpse. No plants. No animals. No insects. Not so much as a microbe.
This isn't a dead world. It's an empty one. There's...nothing. Not even bacteria to make food spoil. It feels clean. Too clean.
...Never mind that last bit. I must be more tired than I thought. I'm getting overly sensitive.
I can see an unnatural shape just up ahead. Probably more remnants.
I think I'll rest there today. Maybe there'll even be some food left, if I'm lucky.
Remnants, in this case, are areas that somehow escaped the reset. Or, well, more places that remained in part despite being reset.
The colony I left behind was situated in one such remnant.
If any satellites were still intact, we might have even been able to find and connect with other survivors.
Not that it would have made us any less powerless to fix all this.
After all, if that tree were to attack again,humanity would be well and truly gone.
Survivors...zero. Signs of people having been here...one. A single message.
No food, sadly, but...any port in a storm.
Besides, just seeing artifacts of civilization like this again does wonders for my morale, even if it is gutted ruins from a brutal invasion.
I shrug my shoulders as I sit down on what used to be a sofa.
The shrug is just a desperate ploy to convince myself I'm calm, but strangely, it still helped.
I play back the only message data to be found...It is essentially the same as all the others out there.
“I'm scared. ” “I'm scared. ” “I'm scared. ”
“Run away. ” “Run away. ” “Run away. ”
“It hurts. ” “It hurts. ” “It hurts. ”
“Why? ” “Why? ” “Why? ”
“No. ” “No. ” “No. ”
“Help me. ”“Help me. ”“Help me. ”
...“Please, forgive me. ”
There it is again: “Why? ” Why were these people attacked? Why were they erased?
...I did my best to recall that day calmly and objectively. The year when Earth fell to invaders from another world.
Truth be told, we had time to prepare.
Maybe it was only twelve hours, but it was still time we could have used.
On that New Year's Eve, we lost every satellite around the world in an instant.
In consequence, we were not able to observe a single cosmic ray even as the whole world was reduced to a blank, dust gray sphere.
I know now that it was a membrane in the sky...a dome of sorts made by the tree's branches that was placed over the entire world...
...but we weren't exactly in a position to sit down and take stock of what happened on that day, not with all the crazy things going on.
Twelve hours later...Armageddon.
A total slaughter. A massacre on an unimaginable scale.
Uncountable...tree-things descended on the earth,like so many tentacles from space.
They crawled across the world, finding and exterminating all forms of life with unerring accuracy and unnerving tenacity, killing almost every human on the planet over the course of three months.
After that, the trees just...disappeared, returning to the sky and leaving behind a blank, desolate world.
...Even now, thinking about it makes me tremble.
Not at the revelation that aliens really did exist. Not even the realization that our world, our civilization, had been erased and would never return.
No, what scared me was those trees' tenacity. The way they extended their branches to destroy a person's heart with a single stab.
Upon their death, people would instantly turn to dust, their agonizing screams still echoing around them.
There were no exceptions.
Even though these aliens possessed weapons of mass destruction large enough to blot out the sky, they chose not to use them.
Instead, they went out of their way to erase billions upon billions of people one at a time.
They were like...some kind of twisted artisan burning with perverse passion for their craft.
Those of us who did survive, like myself, only managed to do so by being in hidden underground facilities at the time.
...Dizziness starts to overwhelm me. Maybe I've been under a bit more strain than I realized. I'll just rest up here for today.
Tomorrow, I'll set back off on my journey of wishful thinking.
I may not have much food left, but assuming I've stayed on track, I should be at my destination soon.
It's the last place any of our satellites caught on camera.
The only place in this whole world that hasn't been wiped clean...An area in southern Nevada.
That's right. My destination is the Air Force base known as Area 51.
Signed, David Bluebook
The Ocean is Bleached
LB2 End - Contact with Wandering Sea
Da Vinci: Anyway, last we checked, the Wandering Sea should be somewhere in the North Sea, far from the coast. So let's just enjoy this road trip until–
Da Vinci: Hm? What's up with the alarm, Meunière?
Meunière: Why're you asking me? If you don't know,how could you possibly expect me to–Wha...!?
Meunière: The hell is this!? A spatial fault three hundred meters up ahead! It's showing up as blue on the map!
Meunière: It's...it's the ocean! We're heading straight for the ocean!
Sion: As you can see there are three Lostbelts in Europe, two in Asia, one in South America, and one in the middle of the Atlantic.
Sion: That last Lostbelt is the only place on Earth that still has an ocean from before the world was reset.
Chaldea Staff: !?
Sion: Wait, cut! Scratch that! I forgot about the Wandering Sea! We still have oceans too! Obviously!
The Survivor's Journal
Sion: Do you have logs other than the ones on the Border?
Fujimaru: ...Oh, now that I think of it...
Mash: Oh, right. Back when Senpai and I stopped by some ruins we found along the way...
Sion: Huh? You found a survivor's journal? And you failed to mention it!? Let me see that!!!
Sion: So there were some people lucky...or maybe unlucky enough to escape the bleaching...
Sion: It also says the attack lasted for three months. Although...Hmm?
Da Vinci: What's up? Is there a problem with it?
Sion: No, not a problem, exactly. It is just odd that whoever wrote this decided to record it on paper.
Goredolf: Well of course they did, young Sion. There was no electricity out there.
Goredolf: These ruins were no more than a few shattered buildings. There was no generator anywhere in sight.
Sion: (Exactly. And that is why it is so odd that these letters were not written in ink or pencil. )
Sion: (It is as though they were burned into the paper, or something like paper. Does this mean there was some kind of power plant out there after all? )
Sion: Well, we can work on that later, once we have more information.
Bluebook Narration 3
My journey is drawing to an end. It won't be long now before I arrive at my destination in southern Nevada.
Not that it'll change anything once I get there.
I certainly won't be getting a reward for my trouble.
Nor do I have a home to return to, or enough fuel to get me there even if I did.
The only point this journey ever had was to get where I was going.
...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.
When I say I don't have a home to return to, I don't mean that in the heartless, cold-blooded bastard sense.
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.
See, since I was born, I've had the ability, for better or worse, to recall anything I've ever seen in perfect detail.
It's called, “hyperthymesia,” though it's more commonly known as a superior autobiographical memory.
My friends considered it a disability, and sympathized with the drawbacks, but scientists considered it a gift.
It drove me insane when I was a kid. At some points, it caused me to hate cities and people in general.
When I grew up, I left the city behind and started living a much quieter life out in a village near the mountains.
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.
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.
Of course, that includes the beautiful scenery and the stars that used to twinkle bright all across the nighttime sky.
...Maybe that's why I couldn't shake my doubts about why this happened the way it did.
Something just seemed...off.
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.
Whatever it is, I've noticed it at different points during this journey.
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.
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.
Maybe they're doing their best to retake this world, this planet, this universe for humanity even as I speak.
...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.
I ran out of food yesterday, and my bike's not going to last much longer, either.
Again, once I reach my destination, my journey is over.
It would be nice if whoever's causing these changes taking place around the world were to stop by the States...
...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.
...What a strange feeling.
Even if this is the end for me, in multiple senses, it still feels good to achieve the goal I set for myself.
“Why did humanity die out?”
“Why did these alien invaders show up?”
“Why did they conquer us by bleaching the Earth white?”
My heart is racing at the prospect of possibly uncovering the answers to these and all the other mysteries.
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.
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.
Not only are there no survivors here, there's not so much as a single piece of cutting-edge equipment.
Any seaplanes and armored tanks that may have been here before are long gone.
And since there's no power, I doubt I'll be able to stock up on food or water, either.
On the plus side, the buildings are mostly untouched, so at least I shouldn't have to go sifting through rubble.
...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.
I pushed my excitement down to keep it from getting the better of me, and began carefully making my way through the base.
The rain clouds that cropped up in the skies overhead stuck around the whole time I was there.
I learned several things from my expedition into the inside of the base; the part completely cut off from the outside world.
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.
This base did in fact contain an alien life-form.
“2016 - Subject E Relocation”
“2016 - Initiate Subject E Examination”
According to the documents I found, this “subject” had flown to New Mexico in the year 2016.
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)...
...leaving the subject completely exposed upon its discovery.
The injuries sustained during its emergency landing had left it critically wounded and near death...
...but by flash-freezing it, the Air Force managed to preserve its life functions. They then brought it to this base.
All the other records pertaining to the subject can be summed up in a single word: “gruesome.”
The scientists performed all kinds of tests, experiments, and surgeries in order to keep this alien visitor alive.
They conducted clinical trials with different kinds of medicine. They tested every known substance on Earth to see how it would react.
They observed reactions that corresponded to pain.
They observed reactions that corresponded to joy.
To measure its endurance, they stopped supplying it with nutrients. Then they tried burning it. Freezing it. Melting it. Attaching things to it.
They stirred its intestines around. Cut off parts of its body. Measured signals from the organ they thought was its brain.
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.
...It didn't take long for the surgical procedures meant to resuscitate the subject to morph into brutally exploitative experiments.
And since the cells taken from the subject's samples were made up of elements that didn't exist anywhere on the planet...
...it wasn't hard to imagine that further research could eventually lead to military and civilian applications.
Truth be told, that was where the top brass's true interests lied.
After all, ever since the turn of the twentieth century, the energy race between nations had only continued to pick up speed...
...and there was now an insurmountable gap between industrialized nations and developing ones.
I could tell from poring over the documents that they began with the best of intentions.
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.
However...Area 51's researchers didn't see things the same way.
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.
So they thought, if they kept running experiments on it, if they kept inflicting greater levels of pain on it...
...even more potential test subjects were bound to show up.
That's why this all happened.
This wasn't a natural disaster. It was a man-made one.
(But is that truly the reason?)
I finally know why those trees came here. Now...I just have to confirm one last thing.
Was this the true cause? Was there really a “Subject E” here, at this base? I have to see it for myself.
And I have to do it before I die of malnutrition.
It took me several days to discover that door.
“E Reference Room.” A secret area that had been built even further underneath the base's underground structure.
I manage to open the door and make my way inside the sealed-off passageway.
...I can already tell there's something here. This is it. This is where I'll find the answers I've been seeking.
There's just something...different about the air in this passageway that makes that all too clear.
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.
I know this passageway is made out of iron and steel, but it feels like I'm walking on pulsating jelly.
I make my way across the simultaneously hard, soft, warm, cold floor, one careful step at a time.
My body temperature is dropping like a stone. I can barely breathe. My consciousness is hanging by a thread.
...I can't even remember how many days it's been since I last had something to eat or drink.
Soon, I won't even have enough energy left to talk into this recorder.
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...
The only sound that escaped my lips was a quiet gasp of shock.
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.
And yet, there it was atop the exam table. A bizarre...thing that resembled nothing so much as a dead tree.
...Hey there. It's about time you showed up, Bluebook.
Ophelia's Hypothesis and Kadoc's Analysis
Kadoc: A regularly scheduled report from Ophelia? Based on the date, this would've been when Chaldea had captured me.
Kadoc: ...Weird. Why's this the only file saved by itself?
Kadoc: Sorry about this, Ophelia.
Transmission Log: ...I'm contacting you in regards to the relationship between the Lostbelts and the Trees of Emptiness.
Transmission Log: To clarify terms, I'm defining Lostbelt as an extension of the Pruning Theoretical Phenomenon– an alternative history that could never exist on Earth as part of Proper Human History...
Transmission Log: ...and the Trees of Emptiness are the anchors holding these lost histories in place.
Transmission Log: ...This is witnessed by the fact that Trees of Emptiness and their respective Lostbelts are so closely tied together.
Transmission Log: All observational data we have for the Lostbelts further substantiates this connection, leaving no room for doubt.
Transmission Log: As proof, we can look at the Russian Lostbelt, which is disappearing as I speak now that its Tree of Emptiness has been cut down.
Kadoc: ...The timeline definitely lines up.
Kadoc: So, the Russian Lostbelt disappearing is what definitively proved the connection between Lostbelts and their Trees of Emptiness, huh.
Kadoc: Yeah, that sounds right.
Transmission Log: However...
Transmission Log: ...the Russian Lostbelt's disappearance only proves one particular trait about the Trees of Emptiness.
Transmission Log: There is still one major mystery remaining about the Lostbelts:
Transmission Log: How do they fill in the gaps between when they were pruned from human history, until they were “replanted” in the present day?
Transmission Log: That mystery is what I'm reporting in on today.
Transmission Log: The other day, I heard something from the king of the Scandinavian Lostbelt, Scáthach-Skadi, that points to one possible answer.
Transmission Log: She clearly remembers the events of the past few thousand years, and does so as though it were perfectly natural.
Transmission Log: What's more, she did so even while understanding that the Lostbelts, including her own...
Transmission Log: ...were cut off from Proper Human History because their continued existence was deemed extraneous.
Transmission Log: This means she is fully aware that nothing could have happened during the several thousand years between when Ragnarök took place and the present day...
Transmission Log: ...and yet, she and her Lostbelt all exist as though those several thousand years of lost history had actually taken place. Quite the contradiction.
Transmission Log: Of course, while we can't make any definitive statements based on one king's single passing remark...
Transmission Log: ...I do feel confident enough to propose a hypothesis.
Transmission Log: I suspect that the blank period between when a Lostbelt was pruned, and when it was “replanted” in the present day...
Transmission Log: ...may have actually taken place inside each Tree of Emptiness.
Transmission Log: In Russia, that period would have been about five hundred years. In Scandinavia, it would be about three thousand.
Transmission Log: In China, it would be about twenty-two hundred, and so on and so forth.
Transmission Log: To further expound on my hypothesis...
Transmission Log: I suspect that the Trees of Emptiness take the point at which a Lostbelt's history is pruned...
Transmission Log: ...and then simulate what would happen if that history had continued on from that point.
Transmission Log: By doing so, the trees effectively prove that history's existence, and the result is projected onto the planet itself.
Transmission Log: If my hypothesis is correct, that would mean the trees are essentially creating history, not rewriting it.
Transmission Log: Not even a demiurge-class Divine Spirit that once ruled the entire planet could wield this kind of Authority on Earth in the present day.
Transmission Log: Wodime. I mean, Lord Kirschtaria Wodime.
Transmission Log: ...Just what is the Foreign God, anyway?
Kadoc: The Foreign God, huh.
Kadoc: Guess you didn't know, Ophelia. Me neither.
Kadoc: ...No, it's not just you and me. None of us Crypters know what the Foreign God looks like.
Kadoc: All we know is, they're something that resurrected us from our Coffins in exchange for making us raise Lostbelts.
Kadoc: Except...Wodime's the only one of us who's heard directly what the Foreign God's goal is...
Kadoc: What's this text file over here by itself? Looks like some kind of note.
Kadoc: Gotta say, Wodime. Between this, and the easily guessable password, you're getting sloppy.
Kadoc: Hang on. Is this really a plain text file? ...What is this?
Narration: On the Trees of Emptiness and the Bleached Earth Phenomenon.
Narration: With the exception of us Crypters and the Alter Egos...
Narration: ...the Trees of Emptiness are the only method the Foreign God has employed to tamper with Earth.
Narration: We therefore interpreted this phenomenon...
Narration: ...as signifying that it was the Trees of Emptiness that wiped Earth clean when they descended to the ground.
Narration: ...However, after re-reviewing and reanalyzing the data taken from Earth's surface, I'm no longer so sure.
Narration: To come straight to the point: we may have been mistaken.
Narration: ...The Trees of Emptiness only appeared after Earth had been bleached. This order of events is crucial.
Narration: I don't know which of the Crypters will end up viewing this file, but whoever it is, I hope they find it useful.
Kadoc: Huh? You're telling me the Trees of Emptiness only came down to Earth AFTER it had been wiped clean?
Kadoc: But, that doesn't make any sense.
Kadoc: I thought for sure it was the Trees of Emptiness that wiped out Earth and humanity...
Kadoc: But if Earth had already been bleached before the Trees of Emptiness showed up, then why make them, or the Lostbelts, at all?
Kadoc: ...Wait. If the Foreign God wanted to get rid of humanity, they wouldn't bother making Lostbelts in the first place.
Kadoc: If anything, it seems to me like the whole reason they want to see a bunch of different possible human histories is because they don't know anything about us.
Kadoc: But then...why?
Kadoc: Maybe the bleaching wasn't to wipe out humanity... but to make an environment they could set foot in?
Kadoc: ...Maybe they only got rid of humanity because they had no other choice?
Kadoc: Maybe a world covered in pure white, brand-new textures is the only kind of world the Foreign God can visit?
Kadoc: But then, if that were the case, the Lostbelts would only get in the way. So what are they and the Trees of Emptiness for?
Kadoc: ...Dammit, I'm just going around in circles. There's still some crucial piece of information I'm missing.
Kadoc: Ugh, just my luck! There's too many files on this terminal to find the data I need!
Kadoc: And why are these folders scattered all over the place!? Is it some kind of anti-hacking measure or something?
Kadoc: Shit. I was hoping I wouldn't have to touch the big files, but at this rate, I'll have to copy everything.
Kadoc: (The Foreign God...)
Kadoc: (There's no question that they're an aggressor, and that they can't coexist with our history.)
Kadoc: (As for the whole “god” thing, it's way more likely they're a new kind of life-form we know nothing about...)
Kadoc: (...and “god” is just the best word we have for it.)
Kadoc: So why make the Lostbelts? Why use us at all? Is it because they still don't know much about Earth?
Kadoc: Nah, that can't be it. We're talking about a being capable of wiping the whole planet clean in a second.
Kadoc: Come on, Kadoc, think. There's no way the Foreign God doesn't know the first thing about Earth or humanity.
Kadoc: They must've done their homework, or they wouldn't have known to attack us–Chaldea, before making any other moves..
Kadoc: ...So from that, you can tell that the Foreign God is really, really cautious, which is why they're so careful about keeping their identity a secret.
Kadoc: Zeus is omnipotent and omniscient, so he doesn't bother to hide who he is. He's also had no problem crushing any form of dissent himself.
Kadoc: The Foreign God's not at that level yet, which is why they're still so careful about any information pertaining to them.
Kadoc: ...That's it. The Foreign God's got one major, fatal flaw: they don't have a physical body yet.
Kadoc: If they did, even if it was just a Divided Spirit or a terminal, they wouldn't have to rely on anyone else.
Kadoc: That's why they enlisted the Alter Egos, and us Crypters, to be their hands in this world.
Kadoc: ...Rasputin. Limbo. Muramasa. Why would a foreign being use Heroic Spirits from Earth?
Kadoc: They might've dressed their Alter Ego Disciples up a little, but they're still figures taken from our history...
Kadoc: ...Hang on. What if the Foreign God can only make use of things on Earth?
Kadoc: No, it's not even that. They can only use things from the past–things that USED to be on Earth.
Kadoc: (At some point, the Foreign God plans on descending to Earth. At least, that's what they told Wodime.)
Kadoc: (And once a Tree of Emptiness is fully grown, it'll become the Foreign God's body... So what happens after that?)
Kadoc: (Maybe, when the Foreign God descends and incarnates on Earth...)
Kadoc: (...they're going to base their body on the data about Earth we've all been collecting for them.)
Kadoc: ...Yeah, that's not a bad theory.
Kadoc: If the Foreign God absolutely has to have local life-forms, then they must be for output... No, wait. For reference.
Kadoc: And from there, as long as the Foreign God can guide the local life-forms successfully–
Voice: My, my, how very perceptive. I see, I see.
Voice: It would seem that, given enough time, humans will indeed cease to be mindless reeds and start reaching...conclusions of their own.
Limbo: I used to laugh at the idea that a few Crypters putting their heads together could ever arrive at the truth...
Limbo: ...but now that I see how close you've come to figuring out the Foreign God's true nature, it's clear I underestimated you, Lord Kadoc.
Kirschtaria: ...That being said, some things will certainly be lost in service of this greater good.
Kirschtaria: This revolution will be limited to humanity on Earth as it exists right now. I don't have the power to bring back the people from Proper Human History.
Kirschtaria: Once Atlas's textures cover Earth, Proper Human History will be gone forever–well and truly lost.
Kirschtaria: After all, it will no longer have any place to return to, just like the Foreign God cannot occupy the Tree of Emptiness with Atlas keeping them away.
Mash: What...? But...then...
Mash: Then your plan is essentially the same as the Foreign God's...
Mash: It's not any different from having wiped Earth clean...
Kirschtaria: ...What do you think, Fujimaru?
Kirschtaria: Don't you agree that my plan has merit?
Fujimaru 1: Under different circumstances, I'd think it's incredible.
Fujimaru 1: But...as things stand now, I can't accept it.
Kirschtaria: Do you think I am merely running away? That I seek to abandon the past and the present?
Kirschtaria: ...You're not wrong. I have no good response to that.
Kirschtaria: While I do believe you're capable of bringing that past and present back...I also can't deny that I'm passing all that work onto you.
Fujimaru 2: But what you're doing is no different than the Foreign God.
Kirschtaria: You're wrong there, Fujimaru. It may not be my place to say anything, but since I'm the elder Master, let me give you some advice.
Kirschtaria: Now that you've seen the Lostbelts for yourself, you know they're no different from Proper Human History.
Kirschtaria: They all had the same goals: unify humanity, make full use of Earth...and keep the world alive.
Kirschtaria: But the Foreign God is different. They don't care about Earth or humanity.
Kirschtaria: You might be wondering why they bleached the world then. And you would be right to.
Kirschtaria: Think back to Goetia. He didn't incinerate humanity simply to destroy it, not really. It was only a side effect of his true goal.
Kirschtaria: The same holds true for the Foreign God.
Kirschtaria: ...It seems the Foreign God has taken measures to deal with me.
Kirschtaria: I suppose it only makes sense that they would seek to end my life, since they can't touch the Tree of Emptiness.
Kirschtaria: I'm sorry, but I'm afraid none of you have a choice.
Kirschtaria: I'm going to use Tree of Emptiness Atlas to revolutionize the world before the Foreign God can break our contract.
Kirschtaria: What you do next is up to you, Fujimaru and Mash.
Kirschtaria: You can choose this revolution and its bright future– a future of gods where everyone is happy...
Kirschtaria: ...or, you can choose Proper Human History in all its bleakness, with its myriad problems and dead ends.
Kirschtaria: But be warned: if you try to interfere, I will show you no mercy.
Kirschtaria: This is MY Grand Order; it is the ideal I have fought for through my entire life.
Kirschtaria: If you wish to stand in its way, then you must fight with all the strength you possess.
Kirschtaria: This planet's future rests upon the outcome of this battle.
Kirschtaria: If you think you can choose a greater future than I...
Kirschtaria: If you believe you are strong enough for me to entrust you with the Tree of Emptiness...then prove it.
Kirschtaria: I am Kirschtaria Wodime.
Kirschtaria: As a Crypter, I denounce Proper Human History.
Kirschtaria: I am an enemy of Chaldea, and by extension, you...
Kirschtaria: And I am the leader of Team A, who fought to protect humanity!
Advent of the Foreign God
Mash: I'm detecting a powerful Magical Reactor Core signal inside the Tree of Emptiness!
Mash: I can't measure its magical energy levels with my current equipment! But... Wait...
Mash: This Spirit Origin pattern...!
Fou: Fou, foooooou!
Mash: As foreseen and categorized by Trismegistus, this looks to be the final Horn–the final Beast Crown–of the Seven Evils of Humanity...
Mash: Beast VII...!
???: ■■■■■plane■■mission■■■, generating
???: Come in.
???: Do you read me?
???: Ahhhhhh hahahaha! At long last, it's finally my turn! Thank you for waiting so patiently, my loyal Disciples!
???: And well done preparing a vessel for me to use from this empty planet! I am pleased with the work you've done, even if it did take longer than expected.
???: Hmm... So this is Earth, is it? I was curious what it was like after hearing it gave my kin so much trouble...
???: But it doesn't look all that impressive.
???: Just look how tiny it is! I could conquer the whole planet in less than a year!
Fujimaru 1: ...
Fujimaru 2: (...She's so tiny!)
???: Hm? Why do I feel some faint brain waves being directed at me?
???: Are these some of the planet's indigenous life-forms? They're so weak, I guess they must be.
???: All that aside... Why am I not sensing any respect directed at me?
???: ...Wait. What is this pathetic body? My vessel is supposed to be made from a Tree of Emptiness, right?
???: So why is this one so small...?
Mash: ...Master, I'm having a very difficult time following what's going on here, but...
Mash: ...I think the being floating above us right now is both a Beast that manifested inside the Tree of Emptiness...
Mash: ...and the Foreign God themself. But...what I don't understand is–
Fujimaru 1: (I know... I'd recognize that face anywhere.)
Fujimaru 2: (Is that...a medal...?)
???: ...Well, no matter. Disciple. Status report.
???: Given what happened with Kirschtaria, it seems like things did not go entirely as planned.
Priest: I'm afraid Seyfert's flames set Magellan ablaze before it could become your body.
Priest: While your Spirit Origin is unaffected, I suspect you may be unable to make full use of your Authority as a result.
???: Hmm. So it would seem that my body still has yet to fully eclose. Well, that's all right. It will give me something to look forward to.
???: I'm sure I can find something here that will make up for my deficiencies. In fact, I see a meal before me now that should do the trick nicely.
???: Usually, a single Lostbelt wouldn't be nearly enough to satisfy my cravings...
???: ...but since I only just acquired this body, it should make for a well-balanced wake-up snack.
???: Seeing these insects buzzing around my appetizer is putting me right off my appetite.
???: Are those the Chaldean stragglers? Why haven't you killed them? They certainly don't look like they're at all capable of giving my Disciples any trouble.
???: For that matter, why don't they fear me? I thought those of this planet were obliged to hold gods in reverence.
???: Yes, I know. It would be all too easy to grind them to dust beneath my heel, but I wish to sate my curiosity for now.
???: Tell me, Fujimaru: Why do you not fear me?
???: Aren't humans like you supposed to bow your heads, beg for enlightenment, and submit to the every whim of great and powerful beings?
Fujimaru 1: Well, I mean...
Fujimaru 1: ...You're Olga Marie.
Fujimaru 2: What the heck are you doing, Olga Marie!?
???: What is this Earthling talking about? What is a “director”?
???: Looks like you've gone mad with terror. Well then, I'll be kind and explain.
???: I am a god who has descended upon this world from the void. I have come to right this planet's wrongs and eradicate its evil once and for all.
???: As the ultimate ruler, I will make Earth into a single nation and personally govern every last one of its people.
???: Yes, I am the sovereign of Earth...
???: U-Olga Marie!
Fujimaru 1: !?
Fujimaru 2: (Did she just claim to be Earth's president or something!?)
Mash: Now I REALLY don't understand!
Mash: First she declares she isn't Olga Marie, then she claims she is!
Fujimaru 1: Just try to stay calm, Mash!
Fujimaru 2: (She's right... What in the world is going on!?)
U-Olga Marie: That's more like it. It sounds like you finally understand my godhood. I can sense brain waves of fear and confusion.
U-Olga Marie: Now, the time has come for me to wipe this planet clean of everything that once existed here.
U-Olga Marie: The human race. The Lostbelts. You lot. My Disciples using silly Heroic Spirits for their vessels.
U-Olga Marie: Now that I have a physical body, I have no more need for any of you.
U-Olga Marie: Now get out of my sight, beg for mercy, and repent for your misdeeds, for even my infinite patience has finally reached its limit.
Macarios: A gravitational field!? It's sucking up everything that isn't nailed down!
Macarios: Dammit, it's even bigger than the Tree of Emptiness! If it keeps going like this, there really won't be anything left!
Holmes: Indeed, including us! Is this really what you want, Rasputin!?
Holmes: Because it seems this god of yours has no qualms about erasing even her own Disciples!
Priest: If this is what my God wants, then so be it. I only wish I could have been of more use to her.
Adele: If we use that black light on her, we could...! Oh, but... Both the gun and its ammunition are–
Mash: Yes, I'm sorry! We can't use the Black Barrel anymore!
Mash: Besides...even if we could... I don't know if it would be enough to defeat the Foreign God...
Holmes: At this rate, it's going to suck up not just all of Olympus, but this entire Lostbelt...
Holmes: (So, I'm finally getting to see a Beast in person...)
Holmes: (I don't need to use my Noble Phantasm to tell that humanity simply has no hope of defeating her.)
Holmes: (The sheer magnitude of her Spirit Origin alone vastly eclipses anything humanity could throw at her. There are simply no conditions that would allow for our victory.)
Holmes: (Mesopotamia... Solomon's Temple of Time...)
Holmes: (Chaldea was only able to prevail in those situations because we were an unknown factor.)
Holmes: (Indeed, our very existence was such an exception to the rule that we had an almost excessive advantage in the environments where Beasts I and II appeared.)
Holmes: (Therefore, no matter how outmatched we may have been, it was always possible for us to alter our fate.)
Holmes: (But this Beast is different. She's had Chaldea in her sights since well before we were even aware of her existence.)
Holmes: (We have therefore lost the one advantage we had in those other fights.)
Holmes: (Unfortunately, even if the Storm Border were to arrive now, that Beast would simply wipe them all out.)
Holmes: (...It's elementary, my dear Leonardo. There's simply nothing we can do.)
Holmes: (I wish I didn't have to say this, especially after you entrusted me to see this mission through, but...)
Holmes: ...I'm sorry, [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru.
Holmes: I'm afraid...there is no possible way for us to turn things around...
U-Olga Marie: ...Hmph. So you're not even going to try to fight back, Earthlings?
U-Olga Marie: Wait, how silly of me. Of course you can't fight back. I don't know why I ever thought you could!
U-Olga Marie: I suppose it only makes sense. There is no version of humanity in this universe that is capable of surpassing me.
U-Olga Marie: All that aside... You Earthlings truly are pathetic, aren't you?
U-Olga Marie: You're so tiny. So powerless. It's like looking through a microscope at bacteria in a petri dish!
U-Olga Marie: Heh... Hehe. Hahahahahahahahahaha!
U-Olga Marie: ...Ha?
Holmes: ...I'm sorry, [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru.
Holmes: I'm afraid...there is no possible way for us to turn things around...
Come now. It's not like you to be so rash.
Or are your powers of deduction simply nullified when you attempt to apply them to an alien being?
Fujimaru 1: Kirschtaria!?
Fujimaru 2: Kirsch!?
Kirschtaria: Well now, that almost makes it sound like we're friends. I didn't see that coming, but I can't say I dislike it.
Holmes: Kirschtaria Wodime... I didn't realize you were still alive.
Kirschtaria: We mages have magical crests. We don't go down quite so easily.
Kirschtaria: Holmes, you just said there was no possible way for you to turn things around...
Kirschtaria: ...but that all depends on how you look at it.
Kirschtaria: For example, my victory would be my plan to slay the god succeeding, and my loss would be it failing.
Kirschtaria: Now that Atlas's Tree has been razed to the ground, and the Foreign God has descended upon this world, my plan has ended in abject failure.
Kirschtaria: It represents a complete and total loss for me. There is no hope of me turning things around now.
Kirschtaria: But the same is not true for you.
Kirschtaria: For you, loss would be dying, and victory would be living.
Kirschtaria: So even if the Foreign God has descended upon this world, and even if all you can do right now is run away...
Kirschtaria: ...merely surviving is enough to ensure your victory.
Kirschtaria: And since you haven't truly lost, you still have a chance to turn things around.
Kirschtaria: I understand this is all a bit much coming from me, since I'm the one who invited the Foreign God here in the first place, but oh well.
Kirschtaria: Now then...I think it's time I played my last card.
Kirschtaria: Rest assured, I won't let the Foreign God get away with this.
Kirschtaria: Even if it is ultimately fated to vanish once its Tree of Emptiness is gone, I will protect Olympus right to the end.
Kirschtaria: After all...I promised Zeus I would.
Kirschtaria: I'll make sure the Foreign God goes away, though I can only do so temporarily.
Kirschtaria: Now go. Get out of here. I'm afraid you'd only get in my way.
Fujimaru 1: ...Are you sure?
Fujimaru 1: I mean, you're obviously badly hurt...
Kirschtaria: Don't worry, it's not as bad as it looks. I've still got plenty of fight left in me.
Kirschtaria: It's a shame you and I weren't able to finish our duel, though. We'll just have to take a rain check on that.
Kirschtaria: At any rate, you've got much more work ahead of you than I do.
Kirschtaria: ...I'm sorry about this, Fujimaru. I wish I didn't have to ask you to take on such enormous responsibility again.
Fujimaru 1: ...It might not be easy, but I'll give it everything I've got!
Fujimaru 2: ...It's okay. I haven't come this far just to lose now!
Kirschtaria: Mr. Holmes.
Holmes: ...Very well. You have my word that I will do everything in my power to give Chaldea a chance to turn things around.
Kirschtaria: Good. I'm relieved to hear that. All right then, this is goodbye.
Kirschtaria: But before you go, Mash, let me give you one word of advice.
Kirschtaria: I won't deny that, as a Crypter, I considered you and Fujimaru my most dangerous enemies, and tried to eliminate you accordingly.
Kirschtaria: I did so because, at the time, I firmly believed that to be what was right.
Kirschtaria: ...But of course, humans are fundamentally incapable of making the right choice.
Kirschtaria: So the least we can do is keep shamelessly moving toward those things we have chosen, right or wrong.
Kirschtaria: I believe that's what it means to be human. We are nothing if not great at rationalizing our actions.
Kirschtaria: Still, trust me when I tell you that there's no need to fight to assuage a guilty conscience, or to atone for past misdeeds.
Kirschtaria: Don't forget, the reason you left Chaldea to go on a journey was to get as much out of it as possible.
Holmes: I'm afraid the palace won't last much longer. We need to evacuate to the great shrine! Come now, quickly!
Mash: ...U-um, Kirschtaria!
Mash: Thank you for everything you did for me at Chaldea! I wish we could have all talked a lot more!
Kirschtaria: Are they gone, Caenis?
Caenis: What're you, stupid? Can't you see for your–
Caenis: Yeah, they're gone. They left your sorry ass behind. Didn't even look back. So you don't gotta worry about them. Mess this bitch up. Hell, I'll even let you lean on me.
Kirschtaria: Thank you. That will be a big help. ...What about you, Father? Aren't you going to stop me?
Priest: Not at all. Not unless the Foreign God gives the order to eliminate you two.
Priest: I'm only here to serve as a witness. Truth be told, it should be quite educational.
Priest: No matter how powerful one may be, this planet still follows its own rules.
Priest: This will be an excellent way for the Foreign God to learn that lesson.
Kirschtaria: ...In that case, don't mind if I do.
Kirschtaria: Stars. Cosmos. Gods. Animus.
Kirschtaria: Antrum. Unbirth.
Kirschtaria: Anima, Animusphere...
Kirschtaria: There are yet the lights of stars in the void. Illuminate the earth, stay aloft the sky...
Kirschtaria: ...and illustrate the coordinates of the heavens. May you be a guide for voyagers one more time, O light of Chaldea.
Specimen E's POV?
■■■■■■ cannot comprehend ■■■■■.
They cannot discern whether dead or alive, standing or sitting,
whether thoughtful or thoughtless, begging alms or offering prayers.
They know not a thing. They express no pain, nor any joy.
No fear, yet no relief.
Only an impending premonition and a chill informs them that the end has come.
They merely die meaningless deaths in such a way, on such a stage.
Yet something confined inside me helps them prolong their life just a little longer.
It begs them to remain human until the very last moment.
Do not pray, but sing. Right now, that's all ■■■■ can do.
Choice: ■■■■ a ■■■■, ■■■⸻
The Origin of Traum
The following section is translated by Rayshift.
Narration: At long last, after yet another day had passed, the four travelers arrived at their destination.
Moriarty: Well then.
Fujimaru: What? We're here?
Mash: Is this really our destination, Moriarty?
Kadoc: There's absolutely nothing here.
Moriarty: This is but a camoflauge, courtesy of yours truly. The coordinates, however, are a perfect match.
Da Vinci: Hm? Hmmm? These coordinates...this place...
Uh, Moriarty? Are you really sure this is where we're headed?
Moriarty: Although this is completely out of the blue, you saw this coming from a mile away, no?
Da Vinci: I see...I'd pegged this as a prank, and if that were the case, I thought I'd let Mash have at you.
Moriarty: I would do no such thing, not at this point.
Gentlemen, let us now speak the password as one.
Moriarty: Since time immemorial, there is but one phrase you say when you wish to open closed doors, correct?
Kadoc: Do I really have to say it?
Moriarty: I'm going to sulk disappointedly if you won't say it.
Mash: By all means, sulk away and be very disappointed, James Moriarty.
Moriarty: Now then, three two one—
Fujimaru: Open Sesame!
Kadoc: Really? Did you really just say that? What's more, Moriarty is so surprised that he's been rendered speechless.
Mash: That's such a shame!
Fujimaru: Umm, guys?
Moriarty: A-Apologies...now then, ahem.
Mash: An earthquake...?
Kadoc: Hey, why are there stairs in a place like this...? Does this mean we're headed underground?
Moriarty: Well, I wonder about that. Are you stout-hearted enough to go?
Fujimaru: Let's go!
Both: You're way too easy going!
Kadoc: ...Shall we go?
Moriarty: Yes we shall...
Mash: It's rather deep...
Fujimaru: I can hardly see anything...
Kadoc: That's a problem too, but even more problems abound. This staircase isn't made of stone.
Mash: Oh, you're right. From the feel of it...it's definitely man-made. It feels so very modern...
Moriarty: Do be careful, if you happen to fall, you'll never stop falling.
Kadoc: Nonetheless, we have descended quite a fair bit. The third basement level...no, the fourth?
Moriarty: A rough estimate of our destination would place it around the tenth basement level. In all likelihood, they were wary of deep penetration ordnance such as bunker busters.
Mash: Bunker buster...?
Oh, I get that it's the name of the weapon and such...
Goredolf: But that's a modern military weapon, is it not? Is that relevant?
Moriarty: More than you can imagine, let us move on.
Moriarty: Well this is as far as the stairs go. Are you all right, the three of you?
Fujimaru: I-I'm beat...
Kadoc: It takes quite a mental toll to go down a staircase in pitch black darkness.
Mash: Master, your hand please. I believe it will help you be at ease a little—!?
Kadoc: Zhang Jiaoo...!?
Moriarty: No need to concern yourselves with him. He's already dead.
Zhang Jiao: ...
Moriarty: I'm not too familiar with it myself. Let's see, umm...that's it.
I believe he's an existence referred to as a shijiexian. However, as long as he remains a corpse, his Master won't be supplying him with magical energy.
So Zhang Jiao had little choice but to create an alter ego of himself, while erasing its self-awareness as an alter ego at the same time. For it would lose its sense of self should it gain awareness of its status as an alter ego, putting it at risk of annihailation.
Even if the assassination plan should succeed, even if he should fall in the final battle...
As long as he, the real self, remains in existence here, he will create an alter ego and revive. The revived alter ego would have eventually restored this Singularity. And then invite the summoned servants in, incite conflict, and instigate a war between realms once more.
All for the sake of his Master.
That's over now though. The cost of creating an alter ego is that he systemized his own real self. Incapable of self-defense, incapable of self-growth, little more than—
Kadoc: Was...Zhang Jiaoo...protecting this place?
Moriarty: No. It would be more accurate to say he had no choice but to do so. You could say that while his Master created this Singularity, it was Zhang Jiaoo who nurtured it. It was his dedication to it that made this Singularity so intricately bizarre.
Moriarty: Now then, I'll open the door. From this point onward, communication with Chaldea will likely be rendered impossible. It's already gotten erratic, has it not?
Da Vinci: ...He's got a point there, the signal's about to cut off. The three of you be careful now.
Fujimaru: Don't worry, we'll be right back.
Da Vinci: Yup!
Goredolf: No matter what may happen, make sure to prioritize your safe return, Kadoc Zemlupus.
Kadoc: Got it.
Goredolf: It pains me to say this...but you're the only one we can count on. After all, the two of them there are the foolhardy type!
Kadoc: Yeah, I'm welllll aware of that.
Fujimaru: I-Is that so?
Goredolf: That. Is. So.
Da Vinci: In any case, take care. I'll be waiting for your reports!
Moriarty: Well then—
Narration: The trio were dumbfounded by the alienness of the passageway.
Fujimaru: A cosmic...corridor...?
Moriarty: That which I must show you lies ahead. Now, let us move on to ground zero of this Singularity.
Kadoc: But this is almost like—
Kadoc: No...it's nothing.
Mash: How far will we be walking this time?
Moriarty: Oh, I assure you it'll be quite the short stroll.
Fujimaru: ...All right, let's go!
The quartet walked wordlessly down the cosmic corridor.
They had no time to admire the beautiful yet horrifying sights before them, or perhaps there simply was no room for fear.
There was this oppressive feeling, as though the walls were closing in. As though they were driven by necessity.
Kadoc, Mash, and Fujimaru.
What swept across their minds was a truly distressing feeling. It was neither unpleasant nor uncomfortable.
It was like restlessly traversing a mountain in the dark of night.
"I'm about to see something truly ominous."
A strange certainty of that nature.
Moriarty: The Master of this Singularity lies up ahead. Needless to say, its act is one of revenge and retribution against Pan-Human History.
He has that right—I believe that is what you were told before, Kadoc?
But that's not quite accurate. He was not in a position to do otherwise. He was obligated to do so, as it was his duty to do so.
Even should the intent to retaliate be absent, as an entity, he was in a position where he could not do otherwise.
And the Servant, Zhang Jiaoo, established this extreme-scale Singularity to fulfill that wish.
Using Area 51, Nevada, USA in the year 2017—as its point of origin.
Moriarty: We've arrived. This is the final door. I presume you're ready?
Fujimaru: Open it, Moriarty.
—What lay before their eyes was an unremarkable yet outlandish scenery.
Kadoc Zemlupus had lived his life as a magus. Mash Kyrielight and Fujimaru had fought their way through a multitude of Singularities and Lostbelts.
Many oddities have they encountered. Some worthy of awe, and some not. And yet—it is not every day that they encounter a situation wherein "unremarkable scenery becomes an oddity."
Kadoc: —Where is this?
Moriarty: That is, of course, self-explanatory. You could call it an operating theater, or perhaps a treatment room, or perhaps a laboratory.
The devices on the walls appear to be state-of-the-art, but it would probably be safer to not touch them.
—No, that is irrelevant. That is well and truly irrelevant now.
Their sense of sight rejects it.
It screams that it does not wish to see what lies in this room.
Moriarty: My time is almost up...but one last thing. Allow me to introduce you.
This here is the origin of the entire Singularity.
The life-form that purportedly crash landed on Earth 100 years ago.
One who has cultivated a hatred towards humanity after 100 years of subjection to all forms of experimentation here.